Jedediah Smith’s Journal - Second Expedition to California
13 Jul 1827 – 3 Jul 1828
My preparations being made I left the Depo on the 13th July 1827 with eighteen men and such supplies as I needed. My object was to relieve my party on the Appelamminy and then proceed further in examination of the country beyond Mt. St. Joseph and along the sea coast. I of course expected to find Beaver, which with us hunters is a primary object, but I was also led on by the love of novelty common to all, which is much increased by the pursuit of its gratification.
I had learned enough of the Sand Plain in my late journey
across it to know that it would be impossible for a party with loaded horses
and encumbered with baggage to ever cross it. Of the [nine] animals with which
I left the Appelamminy but two got through to the Depo, and they were, like
ourselves, mere skeletons. I therefore was obliged to take the More circuitous
route down the Colorado, which, although much better than that across the [
Plain, was yet a journey presenting many serious obstacles.
Leaving the head of the Little Lake I moved in a South Eastern direction to Bear River, which, where I struck it, was about yards wide. From Bear River I struck S W to Webers River and up the River Nearly South until I came to where it turned too much S E. I then turned S W across a divide and struck a small stream which ran S W. I followed it down to its mouth in the Uta Lake. Near the Lake I found a large Band of the Uta's encamped.
I[n] coming from the rendezvous to the Uta Lake I was employed about six days. The Uta Lake is....
I traded with the indians for the such things as I wanted, among which was two horses, and leaving the Lake I moved on south to Ashleys River and got on to my old track to Lost River. The Utas had told me of some men that came from this direction last Spring and passed through their country on their way to Taos. They said they were nearly starved to death. On Ashleys River I saw tracks of horses and mules which appeared to have passed in the spring when the ground was soft. These tracks were no doubt made by the party the indians spoke of.
In this time nothing worth relating occurred. At Lost River the indians who were so wild when I passed the year before came to me by dozens. Every little party told me by Signs and words so that I could understand them, of the party of White Men that had passed there the year before, having left a knife and other articles at the encampment when the indians had ran away. I made them some small Presents and; moved on to Adams River and down to Pauch Creek and to the indian Lodges on Corn Creek, where I first found corn; and pumpkins on my route of last year.
Not an indian was to be seen, neither was there any
appearance of their having been there in the course of the summer their little
Lodges were burned down. From this place, instead of taking the route I had
before traveled through the Mountain by following in the channel of the river,
I followed up Corn Creek about 25 Miles and then turning SW I crossed the
Mountain without any difficulty, and crossing some low Ridges, struck a Ravine
which I followed down to the bed of the dry River which I call Pautch Creek,
which I followed down to [
the bed] Adam's River about 10 miles below the
Since I struck Adams River I had seen but one Indian, and he kept as close to Rock as a Mountain Sheep. I could not account for the indians being so wild. I passed one place where there was a little corn, but it was just in the tassel. Along the Creek I saw several works for making making the sugar or Candy of which I have before spoken.
From the Mouth of Pautch Creek nothing material occurred
until my arrival at [Bitter] Creek. I stoped at the Salt Cave and took some
salt. On the left hand side of the Creek [
and] about three Miles below
my camp and 1/4 of a mile from the Creek I happened to observe a perpendicular
bluff of Salt facing the Creek and like the salt of the cave with the
exception, perhaps, that it is not quite as pure. The indians still continued
as wild as on Pautch Creek.
From [Bitter] Creek I moved on to the Mouth of Adams River, where I found the old Pautch farmer still on the east side of the Colorado. From this place to the first Amuchaba village my route was the same as when I passed before, with the exception that instead of taking the ravine in which I had so much difficulty I took another further south and passed in to the river without difficulty.
As there had been no indians to carry news of our approach, on our arrival at the village the indians all ran off, but finding an opportunity to talk with one of them, the[y] soon returned and seemed as friendly as when I was there before.
I remained a day to rest my fatigued animals and then moved down to the next settlement. The indians had heard of my approach and met me some distance above their village.
I went to the place where I intended to cross the Colorado and encamped in a situation where I found good grass, with the intention of giving my horses some rest. I exchanged some horses, Bought some Corn and Beans and made a present to the Chiefs. My interpreter, Francisco, who was still there, told me that since I had left there the last summer a party of Spaniards & Americans from the Province of Sonora, by the way of the Gila, had been there. He showed me some things they had got from them. He said the[y] had quarreled and separated, one party going up the Colorado and the other in another direction. This accounted for the tracks of horses and Mules I had seen on Ashley river and for the starved party which the Utas said had passed through their country.
After weighing all the circumstances of my situation as calmly as possible, I concluded to again try the hospitality of the Californians. I had left with my party on the Appelamminy a quantity of Beaver furs, and if the Governor would permit me to trade, and I could find any person acquainted with the value of furs, I might procure such supplies as would enable me to continue my journey to the North.
But to return from this anticipation, I was yet on the sand bar in sight of My dead companions and not far off were some hundreds of indians who might in all probability close in upon us and with an Arrow or Club terminate all my measures for futurity. Such articles as would sink I threw in to the river and spread the rest out on the sand bar. I told the men what kind of Country we had to pass through and gave them permission to take such things as they chose from the bar.
After making their selection, the rest was scattered over the ground, knowing that whilst the indians were quarreling about the division of the spoils we would be gaining time for our escape. We then moved on in the almost hopeless endeavor to travel over the desert Plain, where there was not the least probability of finding game for our subsistence. Our provision was all lost in the affray, with the exception of about 15 lbs of dried Meat.
We had not gone more than 1/2 Mile before the indians closed around us, apparently watching the proper moment to fall on us. I thought it most prudent to go in to the bank of the river while we had it in our power, and if the indians allowed us time, select the spot on which we might sell our lives at the dearest rate. We were not molested and on arriving on the bank of the river we took our position in a cluster of small Cotton Wood trees, which were generally 2 or 3 inches in diameter and standing verry close.
With our knives we lopped down the small trees in such a manner as to clear a place in which to stand, while the fallen poles formed a slight breast work. We then fastened our Butcher knives with cords to the end of light poles so as to form a tolerable lance, and thus poorly prepared we waited the approach of our unmerciful enemies.
On one side the river prevented them from approaching us, but in every other direction the indians were closing in upon us, and the time seemed fast approaching in which we were to come to that contest which must, in spite of courage, conduct and all that man could do, terminate in our destruction.
It was a fearful time. Eighth men with but 5 guns were awaiting behind a defence made of brush the charge of four or five hundred indians whose hands were yet stained with the blood of their companions.
Some of the men asked me if I thought we would be able to defend ourselves. I told them I thought we would. But that was not my opinion. I directed that not more than three guns should be fired at a time and those only when the Shot would be certain of killing. Gradually the enemy was drawing near, but kept themselves covered from our fire.
Seeing a few indians who ventured out from their covering within long shot I directed two good marksmen to fire they did so and two indians fell and another was wounded. Uppon this the indians ran off like frightened sheep and we were released from the apprehension of immediate death.
The indians did not press on us again, and just before dark we commenced our journey and traveled all night and the next morning got to the first spring. As we had no way of carrying water and the weather was verry warm I remained at the spring during the heat of the day and in the evening moved on, traveling all night. In a low plain and in the night when I could not see the distant and detached hills I had no guide by which to travel and therefore lost my way. In the morning I ascended a hill, but could not ascertain on which side the trail Lay.
Observing a high hill nearly in the direction in which I wished to travel I told the men which way to travel in case we did not come back soon, and taking a man with me who was a good walker, I pushed on in search of water and fortunately found some. I sent the man back to the other men and in the mean [time] laid down to take a little sleep, which from my incessant anxiety and fatigue had become quite necessary.
When the party arrived I left them at the little spring and mountaing the highest hill I could see I was enabled to determine that we were about five miles on the right of the trail and nearly opposite a place where I had found water when I passed before. We remained at the spring until nearly night, and then bearing the spring on the trail to the left, I struck directly for the next spring on the old route, traveling and resting by intervals during the night and the following morning until ten O Clock, when we got to the spring.
We there remained during the remainder of the day and the following night, and in the morning early we started, but instead of following the old trail I turned to the left and struck directly for the Salt Plain. My guides had told me of that route when I was there before, but it was considered too stoney for horses.
The day was extremely warm and consequently we suffered much from thirst, my men more than myself, for they had not been accustomed to doing without water as much as I had. We found some relief from chewing slips of the Cabbage Pear, a singular plant which I think I have before described; very juicy although frequently found growing on the most parched and Barren ground.
My men were much discouraged, but I cheered and urged them forward as much as possible and it seemed a happy providence that lead us to the little spring in the edge of the Salt Plain, for there was nothing to denote its place and the old trail was filled up with the drifting sand. Two of the men had been obliged to stop two or three miles before we got to the spring, and although it was just night two of the men took a small kettle of water and went back, found and brought them up. After dark we proceed[ed] on across the Salt Plain and stopt at the holes I had dug when I passed before and there remained for the rest of the night.
On the following day I moved on to inconstant River. It was still dryer than when I passed the year before. I think it reasonable to suppose that the Salt of the Plain has been formed by a deposit at different times from the overflowing of Inconstant River. The water of the river is sufficiently brackish and the country near the place where it is finally lost in the sand is sufficiently level to justify the conclusion that in some seasons of the year, when the water is most abundant, it spreads over the Plain, and as the dry season approaches the water disappears and leaves a deposit of salt which has in the course of years produced the beautiful encrustation found in the Salt Plain.
About 8 miles up the river I found 2 horses and soon after 2 indian Lodges. I determined at once to secure the horses. And as the indians did not discover me until I had got close to them they had no chance to run off. I found them to be Pauch. With some cloth, knives, Beads &c., which we had brought along, I purchased their horses, some cane grass candy and some demi jons for carrying water.
I then proceeded on, nothing material occuring until I got near the head of Inconstant River there I fell in with a few lodges of the Wan-uma's indians. They had two horses which I purchased, and in continuing my journey, instead of traveling south East around the bend of the stream I struck directly across the Plain Nearly SSW to the Gape of the Mountain.
So soon as I had passed through the Mountain and near the place where I encamped the first night after leaving St. Bernardino on my first journey, I saw numbers of cattle. I immediately determined to kill some cattle and dry the meat to support us in our journey through the Barren country Between Bernardino and the Appelaminy. I therefore had three cows shot and the meat cut and dried.
As the distance to the Mission was considerable I would not go in, but send word to Bernardino of what I had done, but the overseer came out bringing with him such little Luxuries as he had, and as he appeared anxious that I should go in and stay with him a night at the farm house I did so and was verry well treated.
When the overseer came out, among other things he had brought a horse for me to ride in. On the following day he came with me and brought with him some horses which were purchased with things we had brought on our backs from the Amuchabas, which, with those we had before, made each of us a horse.
Two of my men I left at Bernardino, Thomas Virgin, who had been wounded by a club at the Amuchaba affray, and Isaac Galbraith, a free trapper who belonged to my party and preferred remaining, to which I did not object.
The overseer told me that some of the Amuchaba chiefs had been in to the settlement and brought the news of their having defeated a party of Americans, which was no doubt the same of which Francisco spoke. But instead of quarreling among themselves the probability is that they were defeated by the indians, separated in two parties in the affray, and traveled different ways.
In coming from the Amuchabas I had been 9 1/2 days. And remained at the camp 5 days. In the mean time among other things I procured some paper and wrote to father Sanches giving the reasons of my coming to the country and also the reasons that induced me to leave Mr. Virgin. It was my intention that Father Sanchez should advise the Governor of what I had communicated to him.
After having remained [
three] five days at the camp
near Bernardino I moved off towards my party on the Appelamminy, directing Mr.
Virgin, as soon as his health would permit, to come on directly to St.
Francisco, for which purpose he was furnished with a good horse. With some
small exception I traveled the same route I had passed before and arrived on
the Appelaminy and found my party on the 18th of [ August] September.
They were becoming somewhat anxious for my return, as it was
within two days of the latest time fixed for my return. I was there by the time
appointed, but instead of Bringing [
the expected Supplies I came to bring
them disappointment and defeat] them the expected supplies I brought them
intelligence of my misfortunes and the consequent disappointment.
I found them all well. They had passed what hunters call a pleasant Summer, not in the least interrupted by indians. The game consisted of some deer and Elk and Antelopes in abundance. They spoke in high terms of the climate. The air was extremely pleasant from the effect of a gentle North Western Breeze that rose and sank with the rising and setting of the sun.
The indians appeared to be very honest, having at no time manifested a disposition to steal, and entirely friendly. The old Macalumbry Chief (Te-mi), of whom I have before spoken, frequently visited them, bringing them grass seid meal, currents and raspberries &c, and they in return loaded him with meat, which appeared to the indians of this country a most acceptable present.
Among other incidents It may not be amiss to mention that Te-Mi brought the stolen horse, as he had promised, a few days after I started for the Depo. He had also brought 7 or 8 of the traps lost in Rock River that had been broken in pieces by the indians, but the men had repaired them.
A party of Spaniards had visited them in the summer, having received intelligence of their being in the country from some indians who had gone in to the Missions. They appeared satisfied with the reasons Mr. Rodgers gave for his being in the country.
I stayed two days with my party, arranged them for trapping, and taking 3 Men with me I started to go in to the Mission of St. Joseph, a distance of about 70 Miles S W. I took some indians with me for guides & on the 3d day arrived at St. Joseph.
I rode up in front of the Mission, dismounted and walked in. I was met by two reverend fathers. One father [Narciso Duran] belonging to the Mission of St. Joseph and the other father [Jose Viader] of the Mission of Santa Clara. The reverend fathers appeared somewhat confused by my sudden appearance and could not or would not understand me when I endeavored to explain the cause of my being in the country.
They did not appear disposed to hear me, and told me I could go no further and soon showed me the way to the guard house. My horses were [taken] away and for two days I could get no satisfaction whatever. They would neither put me in close confinement nor set me at liberty. No provision whatever was made for my subsistence and I should have suffered much had it not been for the kindness of the old overseer, who invited me at each meal to partake with him. My men likewise ate at the same place.
After 2 days hearing of a man, an American by the name of [William] Welch, I sent for him. He had the kindness to come immediately. I then endeavored to have an interview with the Reverend father [Duran]. He condescended to let me know that an officer would soon be up from St. Francisco to enquire what business I had in their country. He asked me if I had anything to eat, thinking I suppose that two or three days was nothing for a heretic to go without eating, as this was the first time he had mentioned the subject, perhaps presuming that I lived on faith instead of food.
I lived in the same way for several days. Finally Lieut. Martinos came up from St. Francisco. After a little conversation with him I found I was to be tried for an intruder and for claiming the country on the Peticutsy. I hardly knew what to say to this charge, but by enquiry I found that an indian had been over on the Peticutsy and returned with his own story of the views of my party.
In the presence of the father, the indian and my self were confronted, Lieut. Martinos sitting as judge. I put a few questions to him by which I ascertained that he had seen me just before my departure for the Depo and had once been with my party during my absence. But no circumstances could be proved against me and Lieut. Martinos instead of punishing me as the father desired Sentenced the indian to a severe flogging, which perhaps he did not deserve.
The father seemed much interested against me for what reason I know not unless perhaps It might be that he was apprehensive of danger to the true faith, for which reason he was anxious to stop my fishing around the country (for so he termed my traveling in their country).
I gave the Lieut to understand my situation and my wants and hinted at my desire to go directly to Monterrey, the present residence of the Governor, for I considered this the most expeditious way to get through with my business. He told me I would be obliged to remain at the Mission until an express could go to and return from Monterey.
Endeavoring to impress him with an Idea of the importance of despatch I urged him to expedite the business as much as possible. He prevailed on the father to furnish me with a room.
After this my meals were sometimes brought to me in my room and sometimes I ate with the overseer as before.
Capt. [John Rogers ] Cooper, a Bostonian who had married and resided in Monterrey & Mr. [Thomas B. Park], supercargo of the Brig Harbinger from Boston, came up in company from Monterrey and remaining at St. Joseph a days much relieved the anxiety of mind attendent on the uncertainty of my situation. Capt. Cooper in particular seemed willing to afford me any assistance in his power.
I was detained at St. Joseph 12 or 14 days before I received a letter from the Gov. and at the same time a guard to accompany me to Monterey. During this interval I . . . .
On the receipt of the Governors letter I made all haste and
started immediately for Monterey. The journey employed us [
days until 11 O Clock at night before we arrived at the Presidio, where I was
immediately introduced to the Guard house and closely watched until the next
day. In the mean time Capt. Cooper came to see me, bringing some brekfast with
him and endeavoring to console me in my unhappy situation.
At 11 O Clock I was informed that the Governor was ready to see me. He met me at the door, shook hands with me and passed a few compliments in Spanish. We then walked through a hall into a Portico, and sit down.
He then commenced talking in Spanish when I immediately told
him it would be necessary to have an interpreter. He assented and proposed
having Mr. Hartwell, who he said was the only good interpreter in Monterey but
who was absent and would not be at home until the evening. He asked me if I
would have some breakfast and said he would have a room prepared for me. I
thanked him and told him that if he had no objection after breakfast [
no objection] I would go to Capt. Coopers, to which he assented.
At Capt. Coopers I was received with a hearty and sincere well come and introduced to Mr. Hartwell. In the Evening I had an interview with the Governor and found him in Monterrey distinguished by the same traits as those that Marked his character when I saw him at San Diego: Nothing further could be concluded on than this. That I should be allowed the privilege of the town, Presidio and harbor. His Excellency appointed an afternoon for an interview at the house of Mr. Hartwell.
I saw at Monterrey Ferguson, the man who ran away from me at St. Gabriel, and Wilson, the man I had discharged at the Chintache lake. At the appointed time I went to Mr. Hartwells and met the Governor. He comenced the business of the interview by observing that what I had stated with regard to my business might be true but he could not believe it for said he, when you came to San Diego you represented the route by which you had come in to California as being a dry barren desert almost impassible, and now you have come by the same route again. It is a verry circuitous route and if, as you say, your only object was to strengthen and supply your Appelaminy party why did you not come directly across to them? And further, when you was defeated and came in so near St. Gabriel why did you not notify me of your arrival?
In answering him I told him it was verry true that when at San Diego I had represented the route by which I had come in as being verry bad, which was a fact, but that on trial I had found the direct route much worse in fact I considered it entirely impassible for a party with loaded horses at that season and perhaps at any other. Of two evils it was natural and politic to choose the least, in doing which I had taken my old route down the Colorado. In regard to the notification of which he spoke, I had made a communication to Father Sanches under the impression that it would be forwarded to him immediately.
He did not appear satisfied with my explanation, said it was altogether a misterious business, and that he must have time to consider the subject. From this time I called on him at intervals of a day or two, and after several days he came to the conclusion that I must go to Mexico.
I told him I was ready to go and the sooner he would send me the better. He told me I should go by the first opportunity. A few days after Capt [William G.] Dana of Monterrey, Master of an English Whaler, was ready to sail for Acapulco, the place of debarking for Mexico. I informed the Governor of the opportunity. And he merely said I might go. I soon found that he was not disposed to put himself to any trouble about it. I asked him if he intended that I should go to Mexico as a prisoner and at my own expense. He said most certainly, if I had the privilege of going in a foreign vessel, but if I would wait two or three months a Mexican Vessel would be going to Acapulco when he might perhaps as a favor from the Capt get a passage for me.
I [t] seemed that this man was placed in power to perplex me and those over whom he was called to govern. That a man should seriously talk of making a man take himself at his own expense to prison. That he should talk to me of waiting 2 or 3 months for a passage to Acapulco. I plainly told him that on such conditions I would not go. Capt Cooper, knowing that I had no money, supposed that to be the reason why I refused to go and told me the want of money should not hinder me from going. I thanked him, but I told him I would not see Mexico on the terms proposed by his honor the Governor.
At another interview a few days afterwards Mr. Hartwell, who always appeared quite willing to assist me and whose opinion seemed to pass with the Governor for law, told him he had thought of a way by which I might be let off without his bringing the responsibility on himself. He said "the English Law allowed 4 Masters of vessels in a foreign port in cases of emergency to appoint an agent for the time being who would act as consular agent [for] until the government could be apprised of their proceeding, and perhaps said he the Americans have such a Law."
This seemed to please the govenor and he said he would see what could be done. No sooner was the conference ended than I told Capt Cooper of what had passed and also the Masters of the several vessels in port. They were not perfectly satisfied of the legality of the proposition, but thought the urgency of the case would justify the proceeding.
Capt Cooper was appointed agent by the different Masters in
among which was]... Having lost my journal of that date I am
unable to give the names of but two of them, Capt. [Joseph] Steele of the Brig
Harbinger and Capt. [Allen] Tilton of the Ship Omega.
Previous to this the Genl had requested me to write to my party to come in. I told him they were nearer St. Francisco than that place and he remarked that they might go in there.
I therefore wrote to Mr. Rodgers that it was the Governor ['s]
request that they should come in, and at the same time hinted at the treatment
I had received. This I knew was sufficient for Mr. Rodgers, who from what had [
passed between us would go in to [ San] Bodega.
I carried the letter to the Genl unsealed. He had it
translated and took a day or two to consider its contents, then sent for me and
said he was afraid to [
that letter] send such a letter for I had not
ordered Mr. Rodgers positively to come in and that I had discouraged him from
coming in from the manner in which I had spoken of [ my] the usage I had
received at the same time he observed he would be verry sorry [ to] that
his soldiers should have any difficulty with my party.
I told him I thought what I had written verry reasonable but that if he would give me a copy I would write again. He said he could not do that. After getting the promise of the Govenor that they should not be imprisoned and should be furnished with provision I wrote to Mr. Rodgers directing him to come in to San Francisco. The soldiers who carried the letter went by way of St. Joseph and one of my men accompanied them.
Notwithstanding what the Genl had said about his soldiers and the smallness of my party I think he did not wish to have my party try their rifles on his soldiers, for there was some terrible stories in circulation about the shooting of my men. It was said they were sure of their mark at any distance.
In the mean time news came in from the South that another party of Americans were near Too Larra Lake. I told him I was well convin[c]ed there were no Americans there, but as it was his request I would write to them.
After Capt Cooper was appointed agent the Genl wished him not only to become responsible for my good conduct until I left California but also to insure that I should [not] return again to the country on any pretense whatever. I would not agree to such a restriction and after a short contest the Genl consented to drop it.
I received a letter from Mr. Rogers informing me of his arrival at St. Francisco. I got permission to write to Mr. Virgin and the Genl agreed to forward it to him.
November 7th 1827 I called on the Governor in company with Capt. Cooper who gave the Genl a written certificate stating the reasons which he thought had brought me to the country, which nearly accorded with what I had stated to the Governor. It also stated what I was in want of, in the mean time offering to become responsible for my conduct.
The Genl said on those conditions I could take my choice of three things either to wait until he could receive orders from Mexico. Or I might go there as an opportunity would offer in 8 or 12 days or I might go away with what men I had in the same direction by which I had come in. He insisted that I should travel the same route by which I arrived and in preventing me from hiring more men he calculated I would be afraid to travel with the number of men I had and consequently he would retain me in the country until he could receive orders from Mexico. But I told his excellency I would go if I had but 2 men. The Genl said he would make a memorandum of what Capt. Cooper must become responsible for and would then call on us.
The Ship Omega, Capt Tilton, departed and in the evening I received a letter from Mr. Rodgers stating that by the help of Capt Richardson of St. Francisco he had got permission to remove to a spring not far distant from the Precidio. This letter came by the hand of Charles Swift and further informed me that the party were well supplied with Beef Corn Beans &c.
9th November & 10th The Genl was sick so that no
business could be done. A ship being in the harbor from Boston, [John] Bradshaw
Capt, and [Rufus] Perkins Supercargo, I made a contract with the Capt selling
him all my furs at $2.50 per lb. On the 10th the Genl gave Capt. Cooper a Copy or
pattern for a Bond which he with some little alterations agreed to sign. In the
first place the Genl wished to obligate me to remain North of the 42nd
parallel of Latitude. But he finally satisfied himself to [
Capt Cooper [ responsible] guarantee that I should not hunt on the sea
coast south of the 42nd parallel of latitude but within Land wherever my
Government might permit. Before the Bond was signed the Genl again proposed
sending me to Mexico but I told him as I had sold my furs and made arrangements
for traveling homewards I could not well do otherwise, and he with some little
hesitation assented. We were to have three [ origine] copies of the
original bond, one to send to Mexico one to be left with the Genl [ and an]
one for Capt Cooper and one for myself.
12th November The Bonds were all made and signed. The Genl then requested a list of such things as I wished to purchase which I gave him. He objected to none of the articles except Horses and Mules but after some difficulty he allowed me permission to purchase 100 Mules & 50 horses.
15th having got my passport I went on board of the Franklin, Capt. Bradshaws Vessel, and at 2 O Clock we sailed for St. Francisco. I was soon sea sick and a gale of wind that came on at 5 O Clock Made me much worse. At tea time a sudden lurch of the vessel threw the whole apparatus of the table into one of the lower births and Capt Bradshaw received the whole of the Tea but no other damage was done save the breaking of some dishes.
16th At night we were off the Bay of St. Francisco but the wind being contrary we stood off and on until the next day. 17th At 12 O Clock the wind being fair we entered the harbor there were 7 Sail in at the time. I called on Don Lewis the Commandant he seemed satisfied with my passports. I found my men all well but they had not been well supplied with provisions - Mr Viermont (a German) trading under the Mexican flag had been very Kind to them.
18th I had my furs taken on board the Franklin amounting to 1568 lbs of Beaver & 10 Otter Skins. Rainy weather. I was engaged until the
22nd in preparing my good [s] & going back and forth from the ship and party to the Precidio. I made arrangement to have some of my things sent in the Launch to St. Joseph and some put on shore at that place. In company with Capt Bradshaw I received an invitation to dine on Board the Sloop of War Blossom. But was detained so long by my business with Don Lewis that I could not attend.
23d My things were all ready to go on shore and I received an invitation to dine. The Company consisted of Capt. John Bradshaw of the Ship Franklin from Boston. Capt. Reuben Cresy of the Sophia from New Bedford, Capt. [John] Fo[r]ster of the Brig Tullum from Mexico, Capt Moses Harris of the Weymouth from Nantucket, Capt [Obed Swain] of the Enterprize from Nantucket, Capt [Benjamin A. Coleman] of the Eagle from Nantucket, and Mr. [Henry D. ] Fitch, supercargo of the Brig Tullum. After dinner the wind arose so that I could not go on shore, so we remained and supped and contrary to my wish sat up untill 3 O Clock to drink wine, after which we took a little sleep.
24th Early in the morning I went on shore and as I could not get my work done at St. Francisco I got permission from Don Lewis to remove to St. Joseph as that place would not be out of my way.
26th Since the party had been at St. Francisco the horses had been nearly starved but I got them up and moved off in the direction of St. Jose, about 20 miles, and put them up at the farm of Don Lewis, where I was politely treated at his expense.
27th I went ahead of the company as far as the Pueblo with
Mr. Garnier, a man I had engaged to go to Monterrey with two men and two horse
loads of Merchandize to pay for some horses I had purchased at that place. At
the Pueblo I made application at the house of Mr. Welch for the payment of [a]
draft of 200 Dollars on him from Mr. Perkins. But I was disappointed he was not
at home and had [
sent] left orders for me to send to the Mission of
Santa Cruz. I hired a man, sent him there but got no money.
28th I continued on my way to St. Jose, Mr. Garnier being with me for an interpreter. I mad [e] an arrangement with the Priest by which I was to have the use of the Smith Shop for one week for the purpose of repairing my guns and a room for myself and two small rooms for my men. The party arrived at 5 O Clock having left some of their horses behind which had given out.
29th I sent two men down to the Pueblo to bring up any horses which Mr. Garnier might purchase there.
30th My two men returned with 3 horses and 3 Mules sent by Mr. Garnier. I spoke to Capt Bradshaw who had come up with some things for the Priest and for myself of the disappointment I had received in relation to the money from Welch. He told me if I would go down to the Ship he would pay it.
Dec. 1st I started to go down on the north side of the bay in Company with Capt Bradshaw having procured a guide from the Father and a horse from the Overseer. At 4 O Clock I arrived at the Farm of St. Pablo and procuring a Boat and men at 10 O Clock I embarked, leaving Capt Bradshaw. At this time it was flood tide and the wind being being verry high shortly after starting we was obliged to come to under the shelter of a small island for a short time when were enabled to proceed on again and at about 3 O Clock arrived on board the ship.
I procured some such things as I wanted and remained all day waiting for the arrival of Capt. Bradshaw who did not arrive untill 3 O Clock at night. In the morning I got my money and was ready to sta [r] t back, but the wind blew so hard I was obliged to remain until the following morning when I started early and immediately on my arrival at the farm of St. Pablo I mounted my horse and rode up to the Mission. In my absence Mr. Rodgers had driven up the horses to brand and found that five of them were lost.
December 5th My men were Busily engaged in Baleing up my goods for the journey.
6th Dec My men engaged as before. on having my horses driven up I found 6 of them were missing.
Isaac Galbraith, the man who had stayed at St. Bernardino with Mr. Virgin came but brought no news from him. I received Letters from Capt. Bradshaw, Capt. Cooper, Mr. Garnier and Mr. Perkins. But Mr. Perkins said not a word about the money I was to receive from Mr. Welch. I also recd one from father Louis of Santa Cruz stating that on the receipt of my letter he had sent me $150, being all the Money he had at the Mission at the time, but that just after the Messenger started on his return to me he had received a letter from Mr. Welch which caused him to send after the Courier and detain the Money.
7th Palmer & Reed were at work on the Guns and the rest of the party employed as the day before. My horses were all found but 3. I wrote to Don Lewis and to Capt. Bradshaw.
8th Was a Saints day and of course little could be done.
9th Was Sunday. I attended Mass. The Music consisted of 12 or 15 violins 5 Base vials and one flute. The father spoke in Latin and in Spanish and a part of his discourse was then translated for the indians into their own tongue. Not only on Sunday but every day of the week the indians are called to prayers at an early hour in the church.
10th 11th & 12th My men were employed in the several kinds of preparation for the journey. As yet no word received from Mr. Garnier.
13th I had some of my men engaged in drying Meat and others
at work in the Shop. In the course of the day Mr. Virgin arrived. He had been
imprisoned for some time and frequently without anything to eat and strictly
forbidden to speak to any one, [
8 days before] and abused in almost
every way. On the 5th the Genl on his way to St. Barbara saw him, released him
and instructed the fathers to forward him on to St. Joseph. He was much
rejoiced to see us and I am sure I was quite glad to see the old man again.
I am informed by good authority that my young indian of whom I spoke the first time I was in California and who was in prison when I went away was tried for his life charged with having piloted me into the country and sentenced to be shot. But father Sanches, influenced by his own good feelings and his promise to me, wrote to Mexico and procured his pardon. And further I have good reason to believe that the Amuchabas were instructed to kill all Americans coming in in that direction; but let that be as it may the fact that they punished an indian for being friendly to me would readily convey the idea that they would reward them if they were enemies.
15th Some of my men were engaged in cutting meat to dry, others at Blacksmithing and some Loo[k]ing for lost horses. I had spoken to Cap` [W. A.] Richardson of St. Francisco when on his way to Monterrey to speak to Mr. [Paul Shelikof] the Russian agent at Bodega who was at that time at Monterrey of the probability of my passing by Bodega on my way north and that I might want to repair my things or procure some supplies. I received a letter from Mr. [Shelikof ] informing me that he should soon pass to the North himself and would give instructions to the agent at Ross the Precidio of the Russian Settlement to provide me with whatever I stood in need of.
16th Sunday. I again attended Mass.
17th I had several of my men out hunting horses and one was found. No news as yet from Garnier. My preparations for a start are nearly complete.
18th Arthur Black came from Garnier with the intelligence
that he [
was in want of money and] had purchased 180 horses and mules
and was in want of money. He was at Castros
farm 20 Leagues from St. Joseph and from what Black told me I considered it absolutely necessary that I should be on the spot. I soon fixed for starting with 4 men and as my horses were inconvenient I bought some for the trip it rained and snowed considerably but that did not stop me and at 12 O Clock at night I arrived at Castros farm. Since Black had left there the horses had broken out of the pen and several I knew not how many were lost.
19th rainy but I had men out hunting for the lost horses and some of them were found and put in with the band at night carefully guarded for I find that notwithstanding the small value of horses they are frequently stolen.
20th I started with 2 Spaniards and 5 of my own men to drive the band of horses in to St. Jose in the mean time Mr. Garnier and one Spaniard remained behind to look for lost horses. I went on with the Band of horses about half way to St. Jose when I stopped them and pushed on ahead. On my way I hired a young man an Englishman who had been in [the] country about 2 years and was an excellent horseman, his name was Richard Leland.
21st I had my horses which were near St. Jose driven in and started to meet the band, in the mean time intending to [buy] some things of Mr. [John] Burton... in the Pueblo and some Blankets of Father Joseph at Santa Clara. I met the Band, did some of my business and returned to St. Jose. In the evening I went again to the Pueblo and as the rain increased I staid all night at Capt Burtons.
22nd I returned to St. Jose and got permission from the father to remove my Company to a sheep farm belonging to the Mission called St. Lorenzo, where there was a plenty of grass and a pen in which I could shut up my horses & Mules.
23d As it was rainy I did not move.
24th I started the Party off to the farm & taking Laplant with me I went as far as Lieut. Martinos on my way to St. Francisco. It was late when we arrived at that place and we remained all night.
25 After taking some of the Lieut's Honey we proceeded on and arriving at St. Francisco I found that nothing could be done on that day, one of Don Lewis's Children having died the night before. All my preparations being completed for moving of [f] to the North I was anxious to be off as soon as possible.
26th I had 2 interviews with Don Lewis. It was the instruction of the Genl to Don Lewis that I should cross the Buenaventura River near its entrance into the Bay of St. Francisco. Don Lewis was further ordered to send 1o Soldiers to see me safe out of their territories. The time which the Genl had given me to remain was nearly expired but I found it entirely impossible to procure a Launch to take me across the river without which it was impassible. The only Launch in the neighborhood belonging to Capt Richardson was unfit for service.
In this situation I made no doubt that Don Lewis would consent that I should go up the River until I could find a place where I could swim my horses and carry my goods over on a raft which could not be done at the mouth. But he would hear nothing of this proposition but insisted that I should cross at the particular place directed by the Genl. I then told him to furnish the boat and I was ready to cross. This he could not do but said I must wait untill the Genl could be advised of the situation of things and give further instructions. I apparently acquiesced but left him with a determination fixed to take my own course without waiting for their tardy Movements which the situation of my finances would not permit.
By riding until 12 at night I arrived at the Pueblo where I found Mr. Gamier. He had got but one of the lost horses. I settled with him and found that in the time he had been employed in Purchasing for me he had lost 19 horses and Mules. I sold them to him for 25 Dollars.
27 I went home to my company and as I am about ready to leave the Settlements of California It may perhaps be appropriate to insert in this place the remarks I have made on the country in the vicinity of the Bay of St. Francisco. The Bay of St. Francisco having been well described by Vancouver I will merely observe that it is universally considered the most safe harbor on the Western Coast of America. It is spacious and has suficient debth of water for the largest vessels. The entrance is safe and about miles wide and the surface of the Bay is protected from the violence of Western winds by a chain of hills that run through the two projecting points of land that form the neck of the Bay. The form of the Bay is somewhat triangular, one of the arms running to the S E and one to the NorthEast. That to the South East is the longest, extending for some considerable distance, perhaps 20 miles, into the rich valley of the Missions of St. Jose and Santa Clara. The N Eastern and shorter arm is that which Receives the Buenaventura River.
The Precidio of St. Francisco is on the narrow Point of land that forms the S Western Boundary of the Bay and about 1/2 miles from its entrance & immediately on the shore. There is but little good land in the vicinity of St. Francisco a chain of hills that run parallel with the coast of the Ocean and shore of the Bay come in Close to the Precidio leaving but a narrow strip of fertile soil along the Bay. The Buildings of the Precidio are according to the common custom of the Country built of unbur [n] t brick. They are like Barracks and built in a square and were once capable of accomodating 20 families and 100 Soldiers but are now much decayed.
The entrance of the harbor is defended by a fort placed on the point about 1/2 mile from the Precidio in a situation admirably adapted for the purpose for which it was intended. It mounts 15 or 20 pieces of cannon but I am told is somewhat decayed. About 3 miles from the Precidio is the Mission of St. Francisco which is not as rich as some others in the vicinity.
Leaving St. Francisco [
the Chain] and proceeding S.
E. along the Shore of the Bay the Chain of hills on the S West on which are
fine forest of cedar gradually retire and leave a fine country pleasingly
varied by prairae and woodland. In this delightful country is the Mission of
Santa Clara. Not far from the Southern extremity of the Bay and nearly opposite
is the Mission of St. Jose.
There is a considerable Stream that enters the South Eastern Extremity of the Bay after winding through the fertile valley Laying Between two Chains of hills one of which ranges nearly North and South and terminates near the Mouth of the Buenaventura and the other of which I have before spoken ranging in a South Western direction from St. Francisco.
Near the] From the S. E. extremity of the bay
extends a considerable Salt Marsh from which great quantities of salt are
annually collected and the quantity might perhaps be much in creased. It
belongs to the Mission of St. Jose.
About one Mile from Santa Clara is the Pueblo which consists of about 100 houses built of the common material. Unburnt Brick. But few of these are any wise respectable in appearance - the remainder are merely huts. Along the east side of the Bay a fine country extends to the Mouth of the Buenaventura River including several fine farms and among the rest that of Santa Ana near the Mouth of the River. On the North Side of the Bay a fine country is spread nearly to the Ocean where there is a chain of Rocky hills nearly on the coast.
The Mission of St. Raphael is about Two miles from the Bay and nearly opposite the Mouth of the river. It is a fine country which extends indefinitely from the Chain of hills near the coast along the shore of the Bay and up the Buenaventura River. The farm of Santa Anna extends along the shore of the Bay about three miles and back into the country about the same distance. There is verry little land in cultivation and the amount of stock is small for that country, but the soil is excellent and the situation combining many advantages is at the same time Most delightful and pleasant.
The Best farming establishments in California are the Missions. At Each of these there are fine orchards and gardens. Individuals of this country are generally too indolent to make good farms they rather prefer the less laborious task of raising horses and cattle and in this business they are so forcibly assisted by the peculiar advantages of the country that the herds of Cattle have accumulated untill they are nearly as numerous as the Buffalo of the plains of the Missouri and the horses are in many places so plenty as to lead to that barbarous custom of which I have before spoken of shutting them up by hundreds in Parks to Starve. Because they eat the grass from the tame Bands.
I coul [d] not say much of the enterprize of these people. I
have heared them speak of the chalk mountain of the east which is no other than
Mt. St. Joseph they having never been sufficiently near to [
determine that what they thought to be [ Snow] Chalk was in reality
nothing more nor less than Snow.
They have frequently spoken of a party of discovery that went out three or four years since under the direction of Don Lewis. They say they went a long distance up the principal Branch of the Buenaventura or Piscadore and that there was a man in company well acquainted with the Columbia who told them that this river was a Branch or rather Bayou of the Columbia & that [left it something like 600 Miles from the Bay of St. Francisco] they were in a short distance of that River.
This proves to me their enterprize for I well know that it is not over 250 m from San Francisco to the place where the river leaves the Mount St. Joseph. Among other things they described a singular hill in the plain which was near the place where they turned back. By the help of this I was enabled to fix the limits of this Memorable voyage of Discovery that left it doubtful whether the summits of Mt. St. Joseph were chalk or snow.
28th & 29th I had my men engaged in breaking mules for the loads. I wrote to the Genl and to Don Lewis informing them of what I intended to do and in the mean time settled off with the father under pretence of moving to better grass.
30th Rainy but I started and made 8 Miles N E and at night had my horses guarded by men on horseback. On the 31st it was Rainy and consequently Muddy but I moved 10 Miles North East.
January 1st 1828 20 Miles East and encamped on Buenaventura River which sometimes is called by the Spaniards the Piscadore. One of my best mules which was tied broke loose and ran away and was lost.
2nd 4 Miles S E and encamped again on the bank of the river which I suppose to be the Peticutsy. I made rafts for crossing of poles and flags.
3d I made a pen on the bank of the river and driving my horses in by small bands into the pen and from the pen into the river I crossed them over without the loss of any, contrary to my expectations.
4th Some of my men were out hunting for Beaver sign and as the water was high the weather rainy and the banks of the river Low I thought it advisable to build some Skin Canoes which would assist us in trapping and in crossing streams in our course.
Having been so long absent from the business of trapping and so much perplexed and harrassed by the folly of men in power I returned again to the woods, the river, the prairae, the Camp & the Game with a feeling somewhat like that of a prisoner escaped from his dungeon and his chains.
7th Some of my men are engaged in hunting Elk for the sake of the skins to make canoes and a few were trapping but I could not do much at trapping for I had but 47 traps. 9 men were attending the traps and the rest of the party not hunting were taking care of the horses and camp keeping. In the course of the day I moved 8 miles down the river and encamped on a creek not far from the river. Nearly all the Lowlands along the river were inundated. At the camp from which I moved I left 4 men to finish two canoes which were nearly done and start down the river trapping. They were to join me again in a week.
10th It had been raining almost every day since I came to the river, and finding that verry little could be done by horses when the rivers were so high I concluded to make another Skin Boat.
11th & 12th Good Weather. I had at that time taken 45 Beaver. I had the skins dried and started 2 men with another canoe. Some of the Appelamminy indians visited me; they were as usual friendly. My horses had eaten the grass so much at make it necessary for me to move my camp.
13th N Westerly 4 Miles and encamp on a creek which was dry when I was in the country the last summer but now had plenty of water. In the vicinity and at this season of the year it was impossible to go [to] the river with a horse for several miles above and below my camp in consequence of the low flaggy ground which was covered with water. Some of the Ponds have Beaver along their flaggy banks and three of my men who trap by land succeed [ed ] in taking some of them. My number of Beaver had increased to 61. The weather good.
14th I sent Mr. Rodgers with 2 men to hunt for Elk with instructions to remain out one or two nights as circumstances might require. My 4 Men who went with the first 2 Canoes came in at night bringing with them 33 Beaver. My Men in camp were engaged, some in stretching Beaver skins, one in saddle making and some in breaking Mules. Weather still pleasant.
16th Mr. Rodgers and the 2 men returned having killed 4 Elk. With them came 2 indians. One of them was the principal chief of the Machyma Band of indians that reside on the head of the Mackalumbry River. I was at his village the last spring. I made them some presents and told them I was going to Bodega and they agreed to go with me.
17th Reed & Pompare the 2 Trappers that went in a Canoe by themselves returned having caught 22 Beaver. The two chiefs left camp and said they would join me on Rock River in five days. 2 of the 4 Canoe trappers came in they had put ashore 6 Miles below the river at that place had overflowed its banks so that there was no chance for trapping. As there was now opportunity for trapping by water I directed the men to take horses, go on by land and join me at Rock River.
18th I started for Rock River. Reed & Pompare started in
the canoe to join me in 8 days [
hence] on Rock River. In 4 miles I came
to the Mackalumbry River and in attempting to cross it I got my horses nearly
all mired and was obliged to relinquish the idea of crossing at that place.
After some difficulty I got my horses out of the mire and encamped.
19th N E 10 Miles I moved on up the Machallumbry endeavoring to find a suitable [place] to cross. The traveling was verry miry and I continued on ten miles before I found a place that would answer the purpose. I then encamped. In the morning I saw a Grizzly Bear and shot at him but did not kill him
20th I[ t] took me all day to get my goods and property over the river. I fell trees across the water and carried the goods over. We then undertook to cross the horses by swimming them, but could not get them into the water until I had made a pen on the Bank for that purpose. Before they were all over the place where they came out on the opposite bank became so miry that I had to Bridge it. One of the men shot several times at a Bear but did not kill it.
21st 10 Miles North to Rock River Although the ground was rolling the horses sank at every step nearly to the nees. In the morning the 4 Canoe trappers joined me. They had follow ed up the Buenaventura to the mouth of Rock River and up it several miles but not finding me they struck across to the Mackalumbry and fell in with me just as I was starting. They had seen a great many indians but found them friendly. In the evening a good many indians were seen near our camp, but they all ran off.
22d I sent some men out early to hunt for deer as there was sign in the vicinity and we were destitute of provision. Several indians came to camp and I gave them some tobacco. They brought with them some fine salmon some of which would weigh 15 or 20 lbs. I bought three of them and one of the men killed a deer. In the mean time some of the men were up and some down the river searching for Beaver sign. They found but little and set but few traps. One of the Chiefs that had promised to meet me at this place and accompany me to Bodega came and told me that the other was sick which would prevent their going with me. It rained most of the day and all night.
23 It had been my intention to ford the river and go down on the other side. But the late rains had raised the river so much as to render this impracticable. I therefore remained in camp and although the rain continued the river commenced falling. Many indians visited the camp among the rest some of them who were so hostile to me the last spring. They were quite friendly and I gave them some Tobacco and Sugar. An indian which came the day before pretended he would go with me 2 or 3 days and as he was quite naked I lent him a Blanket. At night he ran off taking with him the borrowed Blanket. There was in camp several indians of the same band and among the rest one who called himself a Chief. I told him of the theft of the Blanket by signs which he understood. He remained at camp and after sending out twice brought in the Blanket. These indians are nearly naked and have less modesty than any I have ever been with.
24th I went down the River 2 Miles, found a ford and crossed over and went 7 Miles further down course nearly W N W. found some Beaver sign set traps and encamped.
25th As I had some Beaver skins which need drying I did not move camp. But took 4 men with me and went down the river as this was the day I was to meet Reed & Pompare. I went about 12 miles and supposed I was near the Main River. But could get no further on account of the miry Bottoms. I therefore left two notes for them. One on the bank of the River and one on the trail and returned in doing which I saw several indians who ran off.
26th I crossed over the river at an indian village of 50 lodges they made a flag canoe to assist me in crossing. I then got an indian who could speak a few words of Spanish and taking him and Laplant with me I went down Rock River 3 Miles further than I had gone the day before and in view of the flags of the Buenaventura. But Rock River turning N W I supposed from the instructions I had given Reed & Pompare that they had passed above its mouth and were then on the main river. As the indian said I could not go up that way on account of the Mire I concluded to return again to the village and send some indians after the 2 men. So I returned and remained all night at the village where I was treated with great Kindness. In the morning I hired six Indians to go [in] search of the lost men & sent them off. I invited the Chief to visit me & returned to Camp.
27th I returned to my camp and soon after the chief with 20 or 30 indians came to see me and I gave them some small presents. These indians called themselves Machalunbrys. I saw among them a good many Spanish Blankets & Shirts. They did not manifest a disposition to steal which as I have before remarked is no small merit for an indian. The[y] have a kind of preparation resembling the Persimmon bread made by the indians on the Lower Mississippi but their principal living seems to be Acorn Mush. Their Lodges are stationary and made of grass and Mats. When the indians came to my camp they Brought a large Basket filled with Mush and asked me for some meat which they ate with their Mush.
28th The Indians I had sent for my 2 men returned without finding them. They said they had seen their tracks where they had been traveling towards Rock River. My horses caused me a considerable trouble and one of my horse guard in looking for horses not far from camp lost himself, Mired his horse and left him. I was absent and Mr. Rodgers sent some men to look for the horse but the[y] returned without finding him.
29th N W 9 Miles down Rock River. Some horses were missing but I did not wait for them. As soon as it was light I took 4 Men and started on the trail made by the Man who lost [his] horse when he went out. Traveling every point of the compass through Mud and for 7 or 8 Miles I found the horse not more than 3 Miles from camp. By ten O Clock I was back again to camp. 4 Men sent for lost horses returned they had found them but could not get them to camp.
30th I sent three men back after the lost horses. It rain [ed] considerably, but I had my packs put upon the horses & moved down the river & encamped where 4 of my men sent down to trap had encamped last night. In the evening the men sent for the horses returned with part of them, some were still left.
31st I sent two men over to the river to look for Reed and Pompare and I with one man went again down on the North side of Rock River for the same purpose. 2 men were sent for horses. At night all came in. The men from the Buenaventura saw no sign of the lost men. I went with difficulty as far as the Mouth of a stream coming in from the North which I supposed to be indian River. The country miry and the River high. No sign of the lost men. The [men] who went up the River found no horse.
Feby 1st 1828 I took 3 Men and went in search of the horse but did not find him. Two Men were sent down on the oposite side of the river in search of Reed and Pompare with instruc tions to go if possible to the mouth of Rock River. Four indians visited the camp and one who had been with us several days ran away taking with him a Blanket. My trappers took a few Beaver each day.
2d 3d & 4th remained at the same camp. The indians brought me word that they had seen my two men some distance above on the Buenaventura. I immediately started two men off in Company with some indians to see if they could be found.
5th I crossed over the River carrying my goods in two skin canoes I had lately made and swimming the horses and then went down the River 4 Miles and encamped.
6th I had another Skin Canoe made. In the course of the [day] 50 or 60 indians visited the Camp. They were from Elk Creek and Indian River and seemed to want nothing but meat which our luck in hunting enabled us to give them as Mr. Rodgers had killed 4 Elk and myself 5. The two men sent to look for Reed & Pompare returned. The indians had taken them in towards the Buenaventura but as it was constant wading they were obliged to return. I sent 6 Men in 3 Skin Canoes down Rock River for the purpose of trapping.
7th A good many indians stayed in camp the last night. The trappers sent down the river returned in consequence of hearing a good deal of shooting and observing some movements of the indians which the[y] did not like. I went down with them again and encamped with them.
8th I went down the River a few miles from the camp of the trappers to see if I could cross the River when ready to move on North, I found a suitable place and returned.
9th I went hunting for Elk but did not kill any. When I returned I found about 60 indians at camp. Ten indians who I had sent two days before in search of Reed and Pompare returned without hearing any thing from them. I then gave up all hopes of seeing them again. On examination I found they had taken nearly all their things with them, from which circumstance I Judged their absence was voluntary and that when they went away they had no intention to return.
10th I moved down the river to the place where I intended to cross. My men thought I could go no further but the indians said I could go on. There were at my camp several of the neighboring indians and I made them some small presents.
11th I went with one man across the river to examine the
country on the opposite side. Considering it passible I sent a note back to Mr.
to have] directing him to cross over and I continued out into
the prairae pursuing Elk but did not kill any.
12th I moved N W 10 Miles across a flat muddy country sometimes in mud and water 2 or 3 feet deep and encamped on the East bank of the Buenaventura River. At that place the River was about 300 yards wide, a gentle current and apparently deep, the water somewhat muddy. The Banks generally low are timbered with Ash Cottonwood Elk Sycamore Willow and where the ground is sufficiently dry some Oak. The Timber on each side of the river is narrow and the boundary between the upland and river bottom is not marked by steep Bluffs, the inclination of the face of the country being on both sides gently sloping towards the river. In the bottoms are Lakes and flags which frequently extend 2 miles from the river. The soil of the country is generally good being frequently a rich chocolate colored loam.
The winter in this valley is the best season for grass and at the time of which I am now speaking the whole face of the country is a most beautiful green, resembling a flourishing wheat field. I have frequently had occasion to speak of the miry muddy traveling which so much obstructed my progress. This is much owing to the superabundance of rain during the winter which in addition to the vast volumes of water poured out of Mt. Joseph fills the streams to overflowing and completely saturates the light rich soil of the valley. I had by means of the residence of my party in the valley during the summer and by my own observation an opportunity to determine that the country was generally sufficiently dry for cultivation except during the rainy season. On [arriving at] the river I found verry little Beaver but plenty of Otter sign. On my first arrival at the river I was under the impression that it was Wild River But soon after I was undeceived.
13th N 12 Miles Some of the [Indians] which came with me as guides from Rock River continued on with me. The Country like the last described. Encamped just below a creek on which was considerable beaver sign and the traps were set.
In the course of the day I passed an Indian village of 20 or 30 lodges made of flag mats and straw. The men were there themselves but had taken the precaution to send off their wives, children and goods. Our arrival caused a good deal of uneasiness but when my guide, the old chief, came up and spoke to them all was well again.
14th Only 6 Beaver were taken the last night. Some Raccoon and 2 Deer were killed but the deer were poor which is always the case in this valley although the grass is good.
15th Was rainy. I had my things all carried over the slou on a log and my horses swam over. The old chief, my guide, left me making signs that he would return. 2 Beaver taken.
16th A circuitous route of 10 Miles following a bend of the river to the west and then North, making a direct line of six Miles. Country dry along the river and flag Ponds back a short distance. Opposite camp the river was much smaller and and as I could see about 2 miles below camp an arm of timber extending off North West I concluded that the main river ran in that direction. South East from camp the timber extended farther from the river and the land became dryer. In the course of the day I passed several indian villages built of flag Mats and straw. But the inhabitants had taken the alarm and fled. Much more Beaver sign than Below. The day was tolerably pleasant.
17th Remained at camp. After 9 O Clock it was Rainy. 14 Beaver taken.
18th Remain[ed] at same Camp. The rain that commenced the day before continued without intermission for 24 hours. This may be well termed the rainy season for we scarcely had more than one pleasant day at a time, 12 Beaver taken.
19th The rise of water interfered so much with trapping that but 6 Beaver were taken. One of my men, E. Lazarus, had a trap stolen by the indians and a number of them had him surrounded but he was relieved by some trappers coming from above who drove the indians off and would have punished them had it not been for some miry ground over which they retreated.
20th I went with the Trappers within a mile of the place where I struck the river on the last Apl. Above that there was no Beaver sign but considerable from the camp up to that place.
I saw some indians on the opposite side of the river but they ran off. The river was quite rapid and the rushing of the water brought fresh to my remembrance the cascades of Mt. Joseph and the unpleasant times I had passed there when surrounded by the snow which continued falling. My horses freezing, my men discouraged and our utmost exertion necessary to keep from freezing to death. I then thought of the vanity of riches and of all those objects that lead men in the perilous paths of adventure. It seems that in times like those men return to reason and make the true estimate of things. they throw by the gaudy baubles of ambition and embrace the solid comforts of domestic life. But a few days of rest makes the sailor forget the storm and embark again on the perilous Ocean and I suppose that like him I would soon become weary of rest.
21st Nothing material occurred the weather rainy. 9 Beaver were taken.
22nd I moved across the River. My goods were ferried over in a skin canoe, and the horses swam. The Skins of my 3 Canoes had been carried along for several days and were ready for us at any time by making a frame. After crossing the River I moved 3/4 of a mile and encamped on a slou of the River my camp being on an island. It was so late when I encamped that but few traps were set. The afternoon was rainy. One trap was lost, another broken and 11 taken by Reed & Pompare, leaving me but 32.
23d I took all the trappers and went down to the forks and up the Main River but soon found slous so deep as to be swimming. I then turned back and endeavored to head them but found it so Muddy that the horses could not travel. Found some indian Lodges deserted but on searching found two squaws, one too old to run away and the other blind. They were trembling with fear and made signs for us to go away. I gave them an awl and some pieces of flannel that I had in my Shot Bag at the same time I gave them some fish that the men found in one of the Lodges. This seemed to satisfy them and they altered their tone so much as to invite me to sit down.
All appearances for progress were unfavorable for as far as I could see up the Main River The flag Ponds & Lakes extended. I hardly knew what course to pursue, for it was impossible to travel North and useless to travel up Wild River on which I was encamped for there was no Beaver in that direction. At 1 O Clock the weather became clear with a north wind. I crossed over the slou by the means of my skin Canoes and a raft made of logs. My raft was formed of some logs that appeared to have been hewn many years since and used for the same purpose to which I applied them. In none of the indian lodges of the vicinity could I see any thing like axes.
24th I concluded I would move up Wild River. But did not go far as I was obliged to raft two slous in 40 yards.
25th E 3 miles up Wild River. Mr. Rodgers and myself went hunting and killed an antelope. We could go no distance from the River on account of the Mud which made the country quite impassable for horses. This was the more surprising as the country was timbered and the soil gravelly. In the evening some of the men found setting for their traps.
26th I went hunting and killed a goose and an Antelope. Two of my trappers, [Toussaint] Mareshall and [John] Turner were up 3 or 4 miles from camp and seeing some Indians around their traps who would not come to them but attempted to run off they fired at them and Turner killed one and Mareshall wounded another. I was extremely sorry for the occurrence and reprimanded them severely for their impolitic conduct. To prevent the recurrence of such an act the only remedy in my power was to forbid them the privilege of setting traps, for I could not always have the trappers under my eye.
27th fine weather but still so muddy that I was afraid to try the country North. I went down the river a few miles in doing which I fell in with an indian who could not handily get away and coaxed him to camp. I made him a few presents and sent him off.
28th remained at the same camp.
29th As the only chance was to go down the river I moved down to my old camp and endeavored to go further but found it useless.
March 1st 1828 I went in company with the trappers down to the confluence of Wild River and the Buenaventura which was about 2 Miles from camp. The Buenaventura still continued about 300 yards wide and came from the North maintaining the appearance of which I have before spoken. The Mountain on each side about 30 Miles distant. In going down Wild River we came suddenly on an indian lodge. Its inhabitants immediately fl[e]d. Some plunged into the river and some took a raft while some squaws ran down the bank of the stream.
We galloped after them and overtook one who appered very much frightened and pacified her in the usual manner by making her some presents. I then went on to the place where I had seen one fall down. She was still laying there and apparently lifeless. She was 10 or 11 years old. I got down from my horse and found that she was in fact dead. Could it be possible, thought I, that we who called ourselves Christians were such frightful objects as to scare poor savages to death. But I had little time for meditation for it was necessary that I should provide for the wants of my party and endeavor to extricate myself from the ebarrassing situation in which I was placed. I therefore to convince the friends of the poor girl of my regret for what had been done covered her Body with a Blanket and left some trifles near by and in commemoration of the singular wildness of those indians and the novel occurrence that made it appear so forcibly I named the River on which it happened Wild River. To this River I had before that time applied a different name.
I found so many Ponds Lakes and Slous along the Buenaventura immediately above the mouth of Wild River that I thought the country impassible. On our return towards Camp in crossing a Slou which was swimming deep 2 horses were drowned. On one was six traps and on the other four. The stream was not more than 20 yards in width but a strong current and filled with trees. We went home with the intention of fixing one of the Skin Canoes and coming down the next day to search for them.
March 2nd I sent some of the men to look for the drowned
horses and went myself to see if it was possible to kill a Deer. I killed one
and wounded two others and on coming in the men let me know that they could [
find but one of the drowned horse which luckily was that on which was the six
traps. I then went in search myself but was unsuccessful. The loss of traps in
that country and in those times was much regreted as I had but verry few and
there was no chance to procure more. During our stay at this encampment the
trappers brought in 3 or 4 Beaver each day. But one meal of meat ahead.
March 3d N 12 Miles finding that the water had somewhat dried out of the ground I determined to make one more attempt to proceed. I found the mud verry deep but not as bad as I had expected. There was an indian trail leading through the most difficult part of the way which served as a guide. We passed 30 or 40 indian lodges but the indians as usual all ran off. I encamped at the head of a flag Lake and at some lodges which the owners left for our accomodation. After encg I saw a band of elk and taking with me 3 Men we killed two Barren does which were in good order for the season. The weather fine and warm. Muskitoes troublesome.
March 4th N 11 Miles and encamp on a creek 20 yards wide running SW. As it was verry Brushy I called it Brush Creek. found some Beaver sign and had traps set. Saw a good many Elk and passed on the bank of the Main river which continues to run North and South several indian lodges thatched with grass.
March 5th Mr. Rodgers went hunting and I went with the trappers. We crossed over the creek on a tree which had been felled for that purpose and went to the River but found that the main river had turned to the left some miles below. On this fork bearing NNE found some Beaver sign and had my traps all set. Mr. Rodgers saw a good many Elk but as the country was not favorable for approaching them he did not kill any.
March 6th I sent my trappers over to their traps and I moved on up the creek to find a place to cross. I threw a tree across but it would not answer the purpose and finding the banks high and some Slous I abandoned the idea of crossing at that place and returning to camp I had a skin canoe made with the intention of going down the creek to cross. My men who were off trapping came and encamped opposite.
7th March I moved down a mile and crossed by the help of the Skin Canoe the horses swimming. All got over safe but it was too late to move. I went down to where the trappers were and carried them some Blankets. They had killed a large Brown Bear which was in good order and were of course feasting. Yes, I repeat it, feasting, for the hunter of the Buenaventura Valley at the distance of 2000 miles from his home may enjoy and be thankful for such Blessings as heaven may throw in his way.
8th N N E 7 Miles I was under the necessity of travelling verry crooked to avoid the mud encamped on the smaller River to which I had not at that time applied a name. Opposite to my camp was an indian village and not far below one or two more. Their Lodges were built like those of the Pawnees. After we had encamped several of them came and sat on the bank opposite talking but in a language which I did not understand. On this river I found a plenty of Beaver sign. 13 were caught the first setting. Mr. Rodgers killed a Brown Bear and wounded another.
March 9th Early in the Morning Mr. Rodgers went after the
wounded Bear in company with John Hanna. In a short time Hanna came running in
and said that they had found the Bear in a verry bad thicket. That he suddenly
rose from his bed and rushed on them. Mr. Rodgers fired a moment before the
Bear caught him. After biting him in several places he went off, but Hanna shot
him again, when he returned, caught Mr. Rodgers and gave him several additional
wounds. I went out with a horse to bring him in and found him verry badly
wounded being severely cut in [
many] 10 or 12 different places. I washed
his wounds and dressed them with plasters of soap and sugar.
The indians came as they had done the day before and sat on the bank of the River. I prevailed on several of them to come over and made them presents of Beads, pieces of Flannel and some Meat. They were entirely naked. The game of the Country was Bear Elk Black tailed Deer Antelope Large and small Wolves Beaver Otter and Raccoon. The Birds were Swan Geese Crane Heron Loons Brant Many kinds of Ducks Indian Hens. Some small birds but they were not plenty. The birds of Prey were Buzzards Crows Ravens Magpies &c. The trappers took 9 Beaver.
10th March Mr. Rodgers wounds were verry painful. I dressed them frequently with cold water and salve of Sugar and Soap. The indians came across the river again bringing me presents of several Bunchs of feathers worn on the head. 11 Beaver were taken.
11th March. The indians came to the opposite bank of the River as they had before done. I invited them over and made them some presents. As I was intending to remain at that place for some time I concluded to go to their village. With this intention I took some small presents and was ferried over the river by the indians on their log rafts.
Arrived at the village I was seated on a mat in a vacancy apparently left for Public use and comenced business by giving my presents. The principal characters took them for distribution in doing which they were verry exact giving to some one and to others two or three Beads as their respective merits might claim. In making their division they did not speak loud but whispered among themselves.
After this business was finished they I suppose felt under obligation to make some presents in return and commenced bringing me fishing nets and dishes but I returned them expressing by signs my satisfaction and my desire to return. When I came away they endeavored to cry as a demonstration of their sorrow for my departure. The village consisted of about 50 Lodges. I saw nothing among them which had any appearance of having come from a civilized country. They were generally naked but a few of them had feather robes and dresses made of net work. The dress of the women consisted of a belt around the waist to which was attached two bunches of bark or flags one hanging down before and the other behind in the form of a fringe.
These indians smoke in wooden pipes and in common with the most of the indians of this valley they wear their hair not more than 5 or 6 inches in length. The entrance to their houses is by a low passage covered with dirt through which they are obliged to creep on their hands and knees. 20 Beaver were taken and as I had but 28 traps I considered it great trapping.
12th March The men were trapping several miles above camp towards the mountain. they told me that the river forked about a mile above camp and that the fork on which they were trapping was clear and had some rapids. In the course of the day some indians came to camp for meat as usual. 8 Beaver taken.
13th March Remained at the same camp. In the vicinity were a good many Black tailed Deer and I improved every opportunity to dry the best of the meat. I sent men up the river to the Mountain but they found verry little Beaver sign higher up than where the trappers had been setting. 13 Beaver taken.
14th March I made my calculations for crossing the fork which came from the East on the Morrow. To this river I gave the Indian name Hen-neet. The weather still continued fine and Mr. Rodgers wounds in such a situation as to make it impossible that I should move any great distance in the day.
15th March I went with the trappers across the Hen-neet and
directed them to encamp near where the[y] would [
encamp] set their
traps. I recrossed to camp. A considerable number of indians crossed the River
a short distance below. 14 Beaver taken.
16th March Moved N E about 1 mile up the river and crossed over above the forks without any difficulty by the help of my skin canoe in which my goods were carried over, the horses swimming. The indians near my camp still continue friendly and were singing when I left them. 12 Beaver taken.
17th March I went with the trappers 8 or 10 Miles up the River which came from the North and united with the Hen-neet near my camp. To this River I gave the name Ya-loo which was the name I applied to the indians of the village last visited. We found but little Beaver sign as far as we went up the river. I passed two indian villages of 20 or 25 dirt lodges each the inhabitants were much alarmed at our approach but after some time I prevailed on them to come to me and take some presents.
During my absence there was a considerable alarm in camp by the appearance of several hundred indians on the opposite bank of the River but the alarm subsided when they passed on up the river and in a short time returned loaded with Acorns from some caches they had in that direction. 9 Beaver taken.
18th March I sent the trappers to remove their traps from the Yaloo to a branch of the Hen-neet on which they had found some Beaver sign. 9 Beaver taken.
19th March As there was no chance for trapping on the Yaloo
and some little on the Henneet I moved N E 5 miles towards the foot of the
Mountain. I was induced to do this more especially as Mr. Rodgers was not in a
situation to make a great days travel which would be necessary in traveling up
the Yaloo for it was in all probability some distance to Beaver in that
direction. After encamping I went [
up the river] North 5 or 6 miles to a
Creek 20 yards wide running west called from the Color of its bank Red Bank
Creek. It was fordable but I found verry little beaver sign in it. The country
generally as the dry season advanced became dry and firm and apparently fit for
cultivation, presenting a verry different appearance from that of a month back
when it was almost impossible to travel in any direction.
In the course of the days travel I saw some Antelope and the
sign of Elk and fell in with 2 indians and a squaw on the plain. I found they
were attending [
their] some nets set for the purpose of catching Brant.
From where they stood cords extended 2 or 300 yards to the nets and there we
observed several Brant.
While I was making the indians presents of some Beads the men said they would creep up and kill some. They made several shots without success when I told them I thought they were deceived. They said not for they had seen them move and one said his gun must be crooked but that he would try them again. He did so and I was convinced that I was right in the supposition that they were decoys and on examination found them so complete that the deception could not be detected except in verry near approach. The nets were about 20 feet long and 6 feet wide and arranged much like the common pigeon net. There was three of them all to be sprung at once by the same line. 9 Beaver taken.
10th March On account of the wounds of Mr. Rodgers I was obliged to remain in the same camp. The weather still continued fine, 9 Beaver taken. Some indians came near camp I went to them and gave them some presents of Beads and some Meat with which they appeared much pleased.
21st March N W 7 Miles crossing the several channels of Red Bank Creek and encamp within 3 Miles of the Yaloo. After encamping I went with the trappers down to the river where they set their traps. The indians were numerous and in one place I came uppon them before they had an opportunity to run off and gave them some Beads according to my common custom. The squaws had their baskets filled with young Pea vine and from what I could observe I think their principal supports consi[s]ts of Acorns, Grass, Pea vines, Roots and what few fish and water fowl they are able to take.
If Missionaries could be useful in Civilizing and Christianizing any indians in the World their efforts should be turned towards this valley. The indians are numerous honest and peaceable in their dispositions. They live in a country where the soil is good and the climate pleasant with the exception of 2 or 3 months in the winter when there is too much rain. There is seldom any frost and I have seen snow but once in the valley of the Buenaventura.
A great many of these indians appear to be the lowest
intermediate link between man and the Brute creation. In the construction of
houses they are either from indolence or from a deficiency of genius inferior
to the Beaver and many of them live without any thing in the shape of a house
and rise from their bed of earth in the morning like the animals around them
and rove about in search of food. If they find it it is well if not they go
hungry. But hunger does not teach them providence. Each day is left to take
care of itself. … degraded ignorant as these indians must be and miserable as
the life appears which they lead it is made more apparent by a contrast with
the country in which they are placed a country one would think rather
calculated to expand than restrain the energies of man a country where the
creator has scattered a more than ordinary Share of his bounties. [
observation I made among these indians ]
22nd March Lay by on account of the wounds of Mr. Rodgers. Some rain during the night. Nothing material occured. 12 Beaver taken.
23d N W 6 Miles and encamp on the Yaloo River. At 12 O Clock it commenced raining and continued until 3 when it cleared off with a west wind. The trappers who came directly up the River passed 3 indian villages. They found the river somewhat rapid and but little appearance of Beaver.
24th March The party remained in camp. I went with several of the men a North East course to the foot of the Mountain. Betwe[e] camp and the Mountain on the North side of the river were two indian villages and some Beaver. Some Indians visited camp in my absence and Mr. Rodgers gave them some Beads and some Meat. 17 Beaver taken.
25th March W N W 3 Miles to the place I had selected for crossing the river. 17 Beaver taken.
26th March The Ya loo at that place was about 100 yards wide and strong current but as I found good bars on both sides of the river I had no difficulty in swimming my horses and my goods were carried over in a Skin Canoe made for the purpose. The indians were close to camp on both sides of the river but I did not allow them to camp this being with me a general rule.
I went to them and gave them some presents and one of them was so bold as to venture into camp but soon left it at my request. But few traps were set. 10 Beaver taken.
27th March I had my horses caught early but one of them ran off and swam the river. I got an Indn raft which was a mile above and went over after him and drove him back. At 12 O Clock we moved off W N W 12 Miles over a level Prairae crossing some small muddy Creeks and encamp on a Creek 30 yds wide running SW Deep and Muddy with some timber on its banks but very little Beaver sign. I had a tree thrown across at a narrow place to form a foot Bridge that I might be in readiness to cross early in the morning as I was desirous of proceeding to the Buenaventura River which appeared about six Miles distant.
28th March 7 Miles W N W and encamp on the Buenaventura. In the course of the day I crossed two muddy Slous of the River. The Buenaventura at that place was about 200 yards wide Deep and forcible current. Its general course South and its banks fringed with timber principally Cotton wood and Sycamore and when the banks were somewhat higher Oak. Far off to the north verry high Peaks of the Mountain were seen covered with snow. The valley at that place was apparently about 50 Miles in width. The Mountain to the west on towards the coast not high but rugged and some snow. On the East the Mountain was high timbered and its upper region covered with snow. In the course of the day I saw some Elk and the trappers killed two they were in good order. There was not much Beaver sign about the river its banks were too sandy, But a short distance back were Lakes and ponds in which were found some Beaver.
29th March N 6 Miles and encamp on the river. I was obliged to cross many Slous of the River that were verry miry and passed great numbers of indians who were engaged in digging Roots. I succeeded in giving to them some presents. they were small in size and apparently verry poor and miserable. The most of them had little Rabit Skin Robes. 11 Beaver taken.
30th March The Party remained in camp and I went up the river with one man to examine the country. About 1 Mile above camp a creek came in 20 yards called Pen-min wide deep and Muddy. Along its banks were many dirt Lodges having the entrance at the top. As we passed along the little children reminded me of young wolves or Prairae dogs. They would sit and gaze at us until we approached near to them when they would drop down into their holes. Some of the indians appeared much frightened as we came in sight while others scarcely quit their Work (digging roots) to look at us.
At that place I saw a few indians who wore their hair long [
The women dressed like the last described except perhaps that the scanty apron
was there sometimes made of Deer Skin instead of bark or flags. I came to one
place where there was several lodges together the women cryed and the men harrangued
me on my approach but I soon pacified them. On my return to camp I got my horse
mired and we were obliged to draw him through the mud for two hundred yards 3 of
the indians assisting us. On my arrival at camp I found the indians had been
there all day or as near as I allow them to come. The indians of this vicinity
were all pleased to get the least morsel of meat.
31st March North 8 Miles. To make this distance my route was quite circuitous being obliged to travel much out of my way in order to find a suitable place to cross Pen-min Creek and the mud beyond. We passed many indians and some of them went with us to the place of encamping. Just before encamping I discovered 2 Bear and 3 of us approached them and killed both. They were neither large nor fat. 4 of the trappers did not come in to camp. 14 Beaver taken.
April 1st The trappers all came in one trap lost by Beaver.
In the evening several of us went out hunting for there was considerable sign of Bear Deer Elk and Antelope in the neighborhood. Mr. [ Martin ] McCoy and J [oseph ] Palmer killed a large Grizly Bear in tolerable order and on opening him found nearly in the center of the lights a stone Arrow head together with about 3 inches of the Shaft attached to it. The men brought that part of the lights containing the arrow into camp. The wound appeared perfectly healed and closed around the arrow. 3 indians who came with us to camp were busily employed on the share of Meat alloted to them and on the entrails of the Bear. They filled themselves so completely that they were puffed up like Bladders. One of those indians had a spear with a stone head like that of an Arrow but 5 or 6 times as large. The handle was about 6 feet Long.
2nd April At the same camp. Several indians visited me to whom I gave some small presents and some meat for these indians were well pleased whenever they could [get] the least morsel of meat. Two of the indians who came with us to camp still remained. 17 Beaver taken. For 4 Days past the Cranes and Brant had been on their passage North in great numbers. The Geese had principally gone before.
3d April Remained at the same camp. The weather warm and at night the Musquitoes troublesome. My two indians still with me. 13 Beaver taken.
4th April The trappers had been 4 or 5 miles up the river. Beaver plenty but the numerous Slous interfere much with trapping. The indians were verry numerous and friendly. 18 Beaver taken.
5th April W N W 7 Miles Turned out from the river and 5 miles from camp crossed a Creek 20 yards wide running West. Rapid but fordable. I called it Black Sand Creek. My encampment was on the River bank. Many indians came as near the camp as I would permit and sat down. I gave them some presents. They were naked but had not the miserable appearance of those below. They were under the impression that the horses could understand them and when they were passing they talked to them and made signs as to the men.
6th Remained at the same camp. At 8 O Clock about 100 indians visited us they were generally naked but a few of them had rabbit Skin Robes. They were about 5 feet 10 inches in heighth rather light complexion round featured, wide mouths, and short hair. They brought with them no weapons but had genly in their hands a bush of green leaves. I met them according to my usual custom about 80 yards from camp and invited them to sit down. One who seemed tolerably intelligent showed me the principal men. I gave them some cotton shirting Beads Awls, and Tobacco. They were apparently fond of smoking. Their pipes were long strait and made of wood. Those indians were frequently where my men were setting their traps But did no further damage than springing a few of them. A river about 70 yards in width entered the Buenaventura on the west side 12 Miles below Camp. Its water had a verry Claey appearance. I called it Pom-che-le-ne. Beaver taken.
7th April W N W 8 Miles. At 2 Miles from camp crossed a creek 30 yards wide rapid and stoney Bottom running SW and having some Beaver sign. 3 Miles farther struck a creek same size and running S. W but so deep that I was obliged to follow it up 3 Miles to find a ford at which place I encamped. In the vicinity was considerable appearance of game and particularly bear. In the evening we shot several Bear and they ran into thickets that were convenient. Several of us followed one that was Badly wounded into a thicket. We went on foot because the thicket was too close to admit a Man on horse back.
As we advanced I saw one and shot him in the head when he
tumbled] fell-Apparently dead. I went in to bring him out
without loading my gun and when I arrived within 4 yards of the place where the
Bear lay the man that was following me close behind spoke and said "He is
alive". I told him in answer that he was certainly dead and was observing
the one I had shot so intently that I did not see one that lay close by his
side which was the one the man behind me had reference to. At that moment the
Bear sprang towards us with open mouth and making no pleasant noise.
Fortunately the thhicket was close on the bank of the creek and the second spring I plunged head foremost into the water. The Bear ran over the man next to me and made a furious rush on the third man Joseph Lapoint. But Lapoint had by good fortune a Bayonet fixed on his gun and as the Bear came in he gave him a severe wound in the neck which induced him to change his course and run into another thicket close at hand. We followed him there and found another in company with him. One of them we killed and the other went off Badly wounded.
I then went on horse Back with two men to look for another that was wounded. I rode up close to the thicket in which I supposed him to be and rode round it several times halloeing but without making any discovery. I rode up for a last look when the Bear sprang for the horse. He was so close that the horse could not be got underway before he caught him by the tail. The Horse being strong and much frightened exetered himself so powerfully that he gave the Bear no opportunity to close uppon him and actually drew him 40 or 50 yards before he relinquished his hold.
The Bear did not continue the pursuit but went off and [I] was quite glad to get rid of his company on any terms and returned to camp to feast on the spoils and talk of the incidents of our eventful hunt. 16 Beaver taken.
8th April The party remained at the same camp. I [
went up the Creek which I called Grizly Bear Creek to the foot of the first
small range of Mountain. The distance was but 1 1/2 Mile and the creek for that
distance had a rapid current and stoney bottom. From the top of the mountain
which appeared to be a spur of the main range breaking off from it a few miles
south of my position I took a view of the country around. On the East Mt.
Joseph appeared lower than it had before been having but little snow on such of
its summits as were in view. The Main Mountain still ranged nearly North &
South and a stream joined the Grizly Bear Creek on the north side. One Bear
killed and ten Beaver taken.
9th April At the same camp. Rainy with a south wind. 10th April N W 6 miles. I moved on with the intention of traveling up the Buenaventura but soon found the rocky hills coming in so close to the river as to make it impossible to travel. I went on in advance of the party and ascending a high point took a view of the country and found the river coming from the N E and running apparently for 20 or 30 Miles through ragged rocky hills. The mountain beyond appeared too high to cross at that season of the year or perhaps at any other.
Believing it impossible to travel up the river I turned Back into the valley and encamped on the river with the intention of crossing. For this purpose I set some men at work to make a skin canoe. My Camp seemed in a curve of the Mountain. Mt. Joseph gradually bending to the west appeared in conjunction with the low range on the west side of the river which in its course north joined it to encircle the sources of the Buenaventura. The distance from camp to the main range of Mt. Joseph on the East was about 20 Miles on the N E 30 on the N 25 and the low range on the West about 20 miles. The country East N East and North was hilly rocky and timbered with small Oak and Pine. 10 Beaver taken.
11th April The Canoe being finished I crossed my things over in it and swam the horses. All got over safe with the exception of a colt which was drowned. The trappers found setting for a few traps. 12 Beaver taken.
12th April at the same camp. I went with the trappers down the river to look for Beaver sign but found so little that I did not think it worth setting for. On my way I came suddenly on about 20 indians. The moment they saw me they sprang to their feet and commenced dancing in which they appeared to exert their best energies throwing their bodies into every immaginable position.
I was much surprised at this singular reception and knew not how to consider it. Perhaps it was meant as a charm or a Medicine according to the meaning of the term when applied to indians or it may have been a mark of respect or the accustomed manner of saluting strangers. Be that as it may I soon made them quit and gave them some presents after which they accompanied me as near the camp as I would allow them to go and received some meat which they as well as all the indians of the valley appeared to eat with great relish. 5 Beaver taken.
13th April N W 8 Verry hilly and rough traveling the timber generally scrubby Oak. Some indians came to us on the route we gave them a part of an Antelope which Mr. Rodgers had killed and they left us. My route was in the direction of a Gap of the Mountain through which I intended to pass. I encamped about 12 O Clock to dry my things which were wet by the last rain and stretch some Beaver skins which I had on hand. One of the indians which came to me had some wampum and Beads. They were procured as I supposed from some trapping party of the Hudsons Bay Company which came in that direction from their establishment on the Columbia.
14th April W N W 6 Miles and encamped on a creek 20 yards wide running N E. Some indians who had encamped near me traveled in company. The hill country and some unbroke mules which I had packed prevented my travelling far.
15th April W N W 12 Miles. At 1 1/2 Mile from camp crossed a Creek 15 yards wide running N E. The country verry rough and hilly but fortunately a ridge or divide ran nearly in the direction in which I wished to travel on the top of which I was enabled to move on without much difficulty until nearly night when I turned a little N E and went down into a deep ravine to encamp on the bank of a rapid stream 20 yards wide running S E. I drove the horses under a steep bank next the Creek that I might have a convenient place to catch them.
While catching them I observed an arrow in the neck of a
horse and immediately called to the men to tie the horses they had in their
hands and spring to their Guns. This was quickly done and several men mounting
their horses rode quickly to a point where 10 or 12 indians were throwing their
arrows into camp. They ran off and were fired at and two fell but afterwards
crawled off. I got a shot at one soon after but he went off leaving much blood
behind. The indians were shouting about until night but did not come again
within gun shot. In the affray they wounded 9 horses and [
Some Badly and some slightly and in all probability paid for the damage they
had done me by the sacrafice of two or three of their lives. In taking out the
arrows [ points] some of the points were left in. The Creek on which we
had encamped had some appearance of Beaver.
16th April West 12 Miles. On account of the roughness of the country I was obliged to turn West. The traveling was exceedingly bad and through a country timbered with some Oak and an abundance of Bastard Cedar. One of the mules and one of the horses both wounded were left behind being unable to travel. I encamped at the foot of the Mountain which was on the West and North West.
The indians had been following us all day and yelling from
the high points and after encamping they came quite close to camp. I took
several men with me and went within gun shot endeavoring by signs to persuade
the indians to come to me being desirous to convince them of my disposition to
be friendly. But they had their bows strung and their arrows in their hands and
by the violence of their gestures, their constant yelling and their refusal [
no] to come to me left no doubt on my mind of their inclination to be
hostile. I therefore in order to intimidate them and prevent them from doing me
further injury fired on them. One fell at once and another shortly after and
the indians ran off leaving some of their property on the ground. Lest they
should return and shoot some of my horses I had a pen made to put them in and
had them guarded as I had done the night before.
17th April W N W 10 Miles and then N W 6 Miles. At 1/2 Miles from camp I crossed a creek 15 yards wide running East. From that place the ascent of the Mountain for 10 Miles was in some places quite steep and timbered with Oak & Pine. Then crossing the ridge of the Mountain where there was some snow and high peaks on the right and left I came to waters that ran to the North West and in a few Miles came to a creek 15 yards wide on which I encamped after travelling down it a short distance. I was apprehensive from the appearance of the country that the stream on which I encamped turned back again into the valley of the Buenaventura.
18th April N 3 Miles. Whilst preparing my horses for starting I sent two men down the creek to see what chance there would be for passing in that direction. It was eleven O Clock before they returned and reported the pass practicable but verry rough. When I moved on I found it necessary to wind among high and steep hills and making but 3 miles encamped on the creek below the mouth of a small creek coming in from the East where there was good grass.
19th April North 6 Miles and West 4 Miles following down the river. The mountain came in close to the river but leaving a tolerable pass along its banks. I encamped where there was a small valley and a creek coming in from the south. At camp the River ran North West. A short distance above camp I saw an Indian lodge and went to it and found an old man a woman and child. The woman and child ran off but the old man staid and I gave him some Beads and tobacco. Soon after encamping some indians showed themselves on the opposite bank of the river and appeared to be creeping up to get a shot at the horses. I went close to them with Arthur Black made friendly signs and invited them to come to me. But they answered by prancing about and making preparations to throw their arrows. I therefore told Black to fire. He did so but without killing any and the indians ran off letting fly their arrows as they went. I shot as they ran but did not kill. 12 or 15 indians soon collected on the other side of the river at the distance of 400 yards and made a fire. Soon after some of them came close enough to throw some arrows near the horses. Some of my men fired at them but without success. About sunset 6 or 8 came and made another fire a short distance from camp. I had 4 horses caught and 3 men and myself gave them a chase. 2 of them were killed and the rest escaped. After this they troubled us no more.
20th April. N N W 8 Miles following down the river I had to cross
some high points of the mountain and travel along the side of the hills through
thickets of Brush and over steep and [
precip] rough masses of rock. The
traveling extremely bad was made much more difficult and dangerous by the great
number of horses which I had along. In a bad pass the horses all endeavored to
avoid being crowded off themselves and therefore rushed against whatever
In a struggle of this kind two of my horses were pushed from a precipice into the river and drowned. 5 traps and some of the mens things were lost. I was obliged to encamp where there was but verry little for my horses to eat.
21st April W N W 12 Miles Traveling same as yesterday. I
found some grass on the side of the Mountain about 1 mile from the river and
encamped. There appeared to be a small valley on the river which turned in its
course nearly North and [
nearly North] received a branch from the South.
Several Smokes were in sight during the day and several of my horses were verry
lame from the roughness of the traveling.
22d N W 3 Miles and encamped where there was good grass in a small valley on the … Passed several indian Lodges the indians themselves were yelling on the hills and some appeared in sight of camp, but when I attempted to go to them they ran off. The river to which I had given the name Smiths river had been gradually increasing in size and at my camp was about 40 yards wide with a strong current and wide sand bars. Its course was N N W. The Mountains of the vicinity were covered with Pine timber and the summit covered with snow.
Just before sunset one of my horse guard came in and told me that there were some indians on the opposite side of the river close at hand. I went with one man to see what they wanted but before I got down they were throwing their arrows at the guard. They were at a distance of 150 yards but their arrows scarcely reached us. I called for some men and went down to the bank of the river and fired several guns wounding one or two of them but killed none dead on the ground. They then ran off yelling and troubled us no more that night. Among those troublesome indians I was obliged to put my horses in a pen every night and have them guarded the fore part of the night but as those indians had but little clothing and the weather in those mountains was cold there was no necessity for continuing the guard during the latter part of the night. Several of my horses were verry lame.
23d April I got under way quite early and went down the river about two miles but the mountain came in close to the river so that I was obliged to order the party back to camp as there was no possibility of proceeding without crossing the river. I went with two men to look for a pass. On examination I soon found the best course would be to cross the river and for that purpose found a ford and returned to camp. No indians were about in sight.
24th North 7 Miles. Early in the morning crossed the river
without any material accident and continued down the river the mountain coming
in quite close to the river with Brushy thickets and deep ravines. One point of
the Mountain over which I was obliged to pass was so exceedingly Rocky and
rough that I was four hours in moving one mile. The Rocky hills over which we
had to clamber mangled the feet of the horses most terribly. At my camp [
the steep side hills were covered with Oak and Pine timber and the grass was
tolerably good. I observed a kind of tree with which I was before unacquainted.
The largest were 1 1/2 feet in diameter and 60 feet high. The limbs smooth and
the bark snuff colored. It was at that time in Bloom. Some Europeans who were
of my party called it the Red Laurel.
25th My horses were so much fatigued that I remained in
camp. Several of us went out to hunt and killed 3 Deer [
they ate]. Some
of the men found some nooses set to catch Deer. They make a fence of Brush
leaving a small aperture over which a cord is extended with a noose
sufficiently long to admit the head of a deer. It is of course set in some of
the common passes.
26th 5 Miles N W About two Miles down the river and immediately below the mouth of a creek coming in from the West the Mountain closed in to the river which ran in a channel of cleft rocks. I therefore turned up the creek and encamped on the north side where it was 30 yards wide rapid and difficult fording. The traveling rough and rocky being along the abrupt sides of the mountain on which were some Oak Pine and Hemlock timber and tolerable grass. More of my horses and Mules were wounded by the rocks during the days march.
Any persons apprised of the character of the country through which I was traveling might form something of an Idea of the difficulty of traveling with a Band of three hundred horses. After encamping I sent two men to look for the best pass over the mountain which lay on the North. They returned at dark and told me it would not be difficult to ascend to the top of the Mountain but that they could not see far enough to judge of the traveling beyond.
27th As I was not satisfied as to the best route by which to
continue my [
route] journey and as the grass about my camp was
tolerably good I did not move the party but sent 3 men back for a horse that
had been left and went myself with one man to view the country. The best
traveling I could discover was to steer NW and keep on a range of hills [ which
was] the divide between the River and the creek which had its rise
apparently nearly in the direction to which the river ran. The hunters killed 4
Deer and 2 Grizzly Bear. The men from horse hunting returned having found 2
instead of one.
28th N W 3 Miles ascending the steep side of the mountain and arrived at the top and turning N N W the ground a little descending for three fourths of a mile the snow was three or four feet deep. Leaving in that distance the snow and continuing the same course for 5 Miles over high ridges and through Deep ravines along the sides of abrupt hills and through dense thickets after working hard all day we made but 8 Miles and encamped where I was obliged to make a pen for the horses to keep them from s[t]rag[g]ling off as there was no grass for them. At night it was found that 5 were missing, two of that number being packed one with fur and one with some clothing belonging to the Men. By the help of a good Moon light two of them were found before I went to bed.
29th North 3 Miles As soon [as it was] light I sent the [company] forward and went myself with 3 Men to look for the lost horses. Found them in different places and safe the packs on the Mules having remained on during the night without turning. I got to camp about sunset and found good grass.
30th N [
W] 1 1/2 mile with the intention of going to
the river but I found the deep ravines impassable and the river yet washing the
base of high hills. I there [fore] retraced my steps to a place where I had
seen good grass and encamped sending men off at the same time to see if there
was any possibility of passing back from the river. When the[y] returned they
told me they thought it passible although the traveling would be bad.
May 1st 1828 North West 3 Miles I went but little beyond
where the men had gone the day before when I found the traveling so bad that I
was obliged to encamp and send on again to search for a pass. At my camp there
was verry little grass. The men returned and reported the traveling extremely
bad for about three Miles after which there was plenty of good grass. I went
hunting with several men we killed [
several] one Deer which was quite in
time for our dried meat was nearly exhausted. Rain with some snow during Most
of the day and following night.
May 2nd North 2 Miles. The road most terrible down steep hills which were extremely Rocky and Brushy. On the side of the mountain were some remarkably handsome hemlocks, the largest I had ever seen. Beside Hemlock was Pine and some Oak. On the point of a ridge on which I encamped was some good grass. 4 Deer were killed.
May 3d 1 Mile North. I first made an attempt to move down towards the river but found it impracticable. I therefore returned to camp and moved north 1 Mile over traveling like that to which I had now become accustomed. I encamped a mile from the river on a ridge which produced plenty of grass and Oak timber. Opposite my camp a large stream entered Smiths River from the East. It appeared even larger than the stream on which I had been traveling. One Mule lost. After encamping the hunters went out and killed two deer.
May 4 I was obliged to lay by in consequence of the lameness of my horses. I had my Beaver skins dried and sent men back on the trail to look for horses. The hunters killed 8 Deer and the Meat was cut and dried.
5th May At the same camp, some of my horses being unable to
travel. I had my horses brought up and counted and found that there was ten or
twelve not to be accounted for. I therefore took one man and went back on the
trail intending to go [
back] to the 4th encampment directing Mr.
Rodgers that in case [ I was back] I did not return to start early on the
following morning. I found two horses and got two miles on my way back.
May 6th When I got to the party in the morning they were 3
Miles on their way traveling north. For that distance the road was tolerable
being near the river. The Mountain came in near the river but was not so abrupt
as it had been nor so high, particularly on the west side of the river. Passed
several indian lodges and encamped opposite to one. Their Lodges were built
differently from any I had before seen. They were 10 or 12 feet square, the
sides 3 feet high and the roof shaped like a house. They were [
built of split pine plank with 2 or 3 small holes to creep in at. About 1/2
Mile above camp a creek entered on the west side 20 yards wide. Rapid current.
After camping a canoe came down the river with a good many Deer skins on board. I made signs for them to come to [me] but they would not. 2 or 3 indians passed down on the opposite side of the river. I endeavored to persuade them to come over but did not succeed.
May 7th North 4 Miles then North West 5 Miles following the river as close as the traveling would permit. Passed through thickets and over two verry high rocky hills from the last of which the country had a much more promising appearance. Lost several Mules and horses in the course of the day but found them all again. Several indians came to camp in my absence.
They appeared friendly and made signs that they wished to trade Deer Skins for Axes & knives. Indian trails were becoming large and lodges of the kind mentioned more plenty than in the country through which we had for some time been traveling. I saw several places in the course of the day where there had been axes used. Judging from the size of the river and the appearance of the country I suppose the river had in the course of the days travel received a tributary from the East as large or larger than itself.
8th 2 Miles N W In the morning several indians came to camp
different from the indians I had before seen in the country, particularly in
their dress and in the length of their hair which was long while nearly all the
indians of the Buenaventura valley and the country generally I have
distinguished by the appellation of short haired indians. These indians were
clothed in [
skin] Deer Skins Dressed with the hair on. The lower part of
the body was left naked. Some of them had Mockasins. Their lodges were
tolerably numerous and they had a few good canoes.
Soon after starting a horse ran off and detained me so long that I did travel but two miles before encamping. Two of my horses were found dead when we caught up to move on, poisoned as I supposed by eating some poisonous weed.
9th N W 6 Miles Following the river 3 Miles but it turning more to the North and the indians informing me by signs that it was Rocky along the bank of the river. I turned N W following a ridge which was in that direction and encamped 2 or 3 Miles from the river on a creek. 3 horses lost. An abundance of Elk and some deer sign. One fine Elk killed.
10th N W 5 Miles. To make this distance I traveled as much as ten Miles first attempting to move in towards the River with the intention of traveling along its bank but this I found impracticable and turned back on to the ridge and moved N West untill night over hills rocky and steep and through thickets and deep ravines to a small creek where I encamped without any grass for my horses and was therefore obliged to make a pen for them. On examination I found several were missing, among the rest two that were packed.
May 11th N W 1 Mile. I went up a verry steep hill and finding grass encamped and sent 4 Men back to look for the lost horses and a gun which had been lost at the same time. The men returned in the evening having found 13 horses. There was three yet missing and the gun was not found. The hunters killed three Deer.
12th May I remained at the same camp and sent back two men to look for the lost horses. They found one but could not drive it to camp, therefore they were abandoned.
13th 4 Miles N W I had flattered myself that I was nearly over the bad traveling But I found this day of the old kind. The course of the river was N N W and I made an attempt to go down and travel along its banks but did not succeed and was obliged to wind about among the hills and mountains.
May 14th 2 Miles north. I made another attempt to get in to the river but the rocks obliged me to take to the hills again. Crossing a deep rocky ravine I found greater obstacles than I had before encountered in that rough country. I worked with all my men hard during the day and at night had made but two miles. Two of my horses were dashed in pieces from the precipices and many others terribly mangled. Some of my packs I was forced to leave in the ravine all night with two men to watch them.
May 15th I went back with several men to fetch in the packs and horses left in the ravine and worked hard until 3 O Clock before we got them all to camp. Some men out hunting killed 5 Deer.
May 16th My horses being verry lame I thought it most prudent to remain in camp for a time. I sent two men to examine the country ahead. Some indians came to visit us at camp bringing with them some Lamprey Eels and Roots for trade. I gave them some presents purchased their fish and a Beaver skin which one of them had. They had Beads Wampum & knives. I endeavored to make them understand by signs the direction in which I wished to travel and to ascertain something of the character of the country but they could not understand me. They appeared very friendly and I allowed them the privilege of camp. Some of their squaws was with them.
May 17th Remaining in camp at 9 O Clock the 2 Men sent out to reconnoiter returned. They told me that the country to the West was tolerable [and] that the Ocean was not more than 15 or 18 Miles distant. I determined therefore as traveling along the river was so bad to move towards the coast.
May 18th West 3 Miles along a ridge somewhat thickety and encamped in a small prairae of good grass. In the course of this short days travel two horses gave out. My men were almost as weak as the horses for the poor venison of the country contained verry little nourishment.
19th May West 6 Miles principally along a ridge brushy and
timbered with Hemlock Pine & Cedar. Some of the Cedar's were the noblest
trees I had ever seen being 12 or 15 feet in diameter tall [
straight & handsome. I encamped in a prairae with the Ocean in sight. 6 Elk
were killed two of them in tolerable order. Counting my horses I found that
three were missing. 4 indians that followed us on the trail came up and
encamped with us.
May 20th I remained in camp to give my lame horses an opportunity to recruit and dry meat. I sent two men to look for lost horses and Mr. Rodgers & Mr. Virgin to examine the country towards the Coast. Several indians visited the camp in the course of the day. At night Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Virgin returned. They had found the traveling along the coast verry bad. The hills heavily timbered and brushy coming in close to a rocky shore. In their excursion Mr. Rodgers had left Mr. Virgin a short distance with the horses to get a shot at some Elk. Shortly after he was gone some indians raised the yell and at the same time let fly their arrows at Mr. Virgin and the horses. In return he shot one of them down and calling for Mr. Rodgers at the same time they ran off having wounded one of the horses verry badly but not to prevent bringing him in to camp. The two men horse hunting did not return.
21st May Rainy with a verry heavy fog. The horse hunters returned with one horse. No indians visited camp.
May 22d I had my horses caught up early but just as I was ready for starting it commenced raining and made it impossible to travel for the dense fogs quite common to this coast would prevent me from avoiding the deep ravines and precipices that everywhere came across my way. Among the animals I observed in the country was Elk, Black tailed Deer & Black Bear all of them plenty. Some Raccoons, Large and small wolves, Foxes, Wild Cats, Grey & striped squirrels. The Birds are Large & small Buzards, Crows, Ducks, Ravens, several kinds of hawks, Eagles and a few small birds among which are Robbins & Humming Birds.
23d May From the information I had obtained of the nature of the country on the coast I was convinced of the necessity of retracing my steps and making the attempt to cross Smiths River where I left it. I previously made another unsuccessful attempt to find a pasage along or near the coast and early in the morning taking a man with me I endeavored to find a ridge by which I might pass to the river without following the trail by which I had come out but my efforts were unavailing and I returned to the party and moved back on the trail and encamped at the same place as when I came out. during the past night a north wind cleared the sky from clouds and left the weather fine.
24th May Back to the river and down it [
to] 1 mile
below my old encampment. Finding [ my] no grass on the river I encamped
about 1/4 of a mile from the west bank. A little below my camp and on the
opposite side of the River was an indian village where there was some Canoes. I
went down to the River and calling to the indians some of them came over and
went with me to camp. I gave them some Beads and made them understand that it
was my intention to cross the river the next day. One horse lost and two men
sent back to find it. During most of the day a heavy fog. The men returned with
the lost horse.
May  5th I packed up early & went down to the river. The indians appeared suspicious that I had some evil intentions and made signs for me to go off. However after a long time I prevailed on one of them to come over with a Canoe. I soon convinced him that I only wished to cross the river and promised to pay him if he would bring 3 or 4 canoes and carry my things over. No sooner were the indians satisfied as to my designs than they brought over their canoes and soon my things were all taken across.
In swimming my horses some of them fell too far down and had hard work to get out and others returned and went out on the same side. I went across with some indians and two men although it was raining and soon found 12 horses & mules hudled together on the bank. We drove them in and they swam over. At the same time we found one horse drowned. When we were all over I sent two men down the river to view the country. during the afternoon the indians visited camp in considerable numbers. They brought with them a few Lamprey Eels & I got of them a piece of salmon, 2 Beaver & an Otter skin. They stole a trap. The explorers returned at night telling me that the country down the river was tolerably rough.
May 26th. North 6 Miles. I moved down the river 2 Miles and then struck east on to high range of hills winding along their summit for several miles and then turning west again in consequence of a creek that made a deep ravine. I encamped about 2 miles from the river having traveled about ten miles to make the six above mentioned. 3 Deer Killed 5 having been killed the day before.
27th May W N W 3 miles and encamped on a creek 30 yards wide running west. My camp was in a small bottom of grass just above the confluence of the Creek and river. The desent to the creek was down a hill long & steep & thick with brush. One horse left and five or 6 lost. I sent two men back for them. Several indians inoffensive in appearance and without arms visited camp.
May 28th North East 7 Miles In consequence of the hills which came in close and precipitous to the river I was obliged to ascend on to a range of hills and follow along their summits which was verry difficult particularly as a dense fog rendered it almost impossible to select the best route. I encamped where there was verry little grass and near where the Mountain made a rapid descent to the north rough & ragged with rocks. I went to the brink of the hill and when the fog cleared away for a moment I could see the country to the North extremely Mountainous along the shore of the Ocean those Mountains somewhat lower. From all appearances I came to the conclusion that I must move in again towards the coast.
May 29th. 1 Mile back on the trail. I attempted to move towards the river but the fog closed around me so thick that I could not see how to travel and finding myself among thickets & Deep ravines I was obliged to stop and send off men to search for a pass. About 2 O Clock it cleared off and I was enabled to see the country around me. The general course of the river was West as far as its entrance. In places are small prairaes along the bank and in others the Mountain closes in to the water.
May 30th 2 1/2 Miles N. W. In the morning it was quite clear on the mountain while the river the deep ravine and the Ocean were hid from view by a dense white Cloud. My route was down a steep hill in [to] the valley of a creek where I encamped in a small prairae of good grass 1/2 mile from the river. I [went] back with some men to look for some horses and one load that was lost in the descent of the hill and found 7 horses and the load with the exception of one trap. 2 Elk were killed. In the evening it became again foggy.
May 31st In the morning it commenced raining and continued during the day. I therefore did not move camp. In the vicinity I saw a bush resembling a common brier in appearance only somewhat larger. Its fruit was like a raspberry in taste and shape but larger. They were ripe at that time and some were yellow and others red. 2 indians came to camp remained all night and the rain still continued.
June 1st 1828 West 3 Miles and encamped 1/4 of a Mile from the river in a small prairae where there was some grass. In the course of the day we traveled through dense thickets and timber and up and down two steep hills made verry bad by the rain of the past day and night and its continuation during the day. Several horses with their loads were lost.
June 2nd Remained at the same camp. At 10 O Clock the sky became [clear?]. Several men sent off for the lost horses returned having found all that I had missed. Two harmless and inoffensive indians visited camp without any arms.
June 3d West 2 Miles. Moving along a ridge passing through a close thicket and down the point of the ridge into the river bottom. I encamped where I was stoped by swamps and muddy ground at the distance of half a mile from the river and where there was hardly any grass for my horses. The tide came up in the river opposite my encampment.
June 4th North 1 Mile. Whilst the party were preparing I went ahead looking [for] a route to pass around the swamp and found one passible by the assistance of axe men to clear the way along a side hill. In passing along my horses were so much fatigued that they would not drive well and many of them turned down into the swamp from which we extricated the most of them with considerable difficulty. Where I encamped there was no grass for my horses. I was therefore obliged to build a pen for them to keep them from strolling off. Some men sent in the morning for horses returned having found a part of them.
June 5th 1 1/2 Mile North West crossing 2 or 3 small creeks
and encamped on a creek 20 yard wide running south west. 2 horses & one
mule gave out and were left behind. We had no meat in camp since the morning of
the day before and at night I gave out a ration of 1/2 pint of flour to each
man. During the day we hunted hard but saw nothing to kill although there was
some Bear & a little fresh Elk sign. At night therefore as we were quite
hungry I gave another ration of 1/2 pint of flower per man and killed a dog the
only one we had in camp. For a long time I had been traveling in [
a country where our utmost exertions would not enable us to travel more than 3
or miles per day at most where my horses were mangled by the craggy rocks of
the mountains over which they passed and suffered so much from hunger that I
found myself under the necessity of stopping a while to rest them or run the
risk of losing many of them if I should proceed.
This situation was verry unpleasant because while my men were suffering from hunger and in a country where there was verry little game they were laying in camp and apparently without the power of supplying their wants the only alternative being patient endurance with a prospect ahead not verry flattering for although near the Ocean yet our intended route appeared equally rough with that over which we had passed. In the vicinity I saw some Beaver sign but the tide setting up interfered with the design of trapping. An affray which happened the day before between one of my men and 2 indians and which I neglected to mention in the proper place was as [follows]:
Two indians following in the rear of our party in company with one of my men offered him some berries which he took and ate and made signs to them to come on to camp. But they did not understand him and insisted on being paid for the berries he had nothing to give them and they attempted to take some of his clothing by force on which he presented his gun and they ran off he firing as they ran. As he was not a good marksman I presume he did them no hurt. His account of the affair was somewhat different from this but I presume mine is near the truth.
June 6th Remained at the same camp and had some of my men engaged in pressing fur and others hunting. But the hunters after every exertion returned without killing anything. Two of them traveling North West found a pass to the Ocean. Saw some Elk and got a shot at a Bear. As no game could be killed I was obliged to kill a young horse which gave us quite a feast.
June 7th Remaining at the same camp I sent 2 men forward to hunt directing them to encamp where it was my intention to stay the first night after leaving that place. Others of my men were employed in pressing fur and looking for lost horses. 10 or 15 indians visited camp bringing with them a few Muscles & Lamprey Eels and some raspberries of the kind I have before mentioned. In the evening when they left us they stole a small Kettle.
June 8th North West 5 Miles and encamped on the shore of the Ocean at the mouth of a small creek where there was tolerable good grass. The high hills which came in close to the beach of the Ocean presenting a front nearly destitute of timber with bushes breaks and grass in some places. Verry little game for the hunters after the greatest exertion returned at night without having killed or even seen any thing to shoot at. Some of the hunters remained out all night.
June 9th There were several indian Lodges near my camp of
whom I purchased a few muscles & small fish. At 11 O Clock the hunters all
came in. For three or four days [
we] as many of us as considered
ourselves good hunters had [ all] been employed [ ourselves] in
hunting. During that time nothing had been killed and but three animals had
been shot at 2 Black Bear and one Deer which we wounded. This was what hunters
call bad luck and what we felt to be hard times for we were weary and verry
Among other trifling things which the indians brought us to
eat was some dried sea grass mixed with weeds and a few muscles. They were
great speculators and never sold their things without dividing them into
several small parcels asking more for each than the whole were worth. They also
brought some Blubber not bad tasted but dear as gold dust. But all these things
served but to agravate our hunger for we were constantly encountering the
greatest fatigue and having been long accustomed to living on meat and eating
it in no [
ordin] moderate quantities nothing else could satisfy our appeties.
In the afternoon I took my horse and rode out to make another effort to kill something to alleviate the sufferings of my faithful party and thanks to the great Benefactor I found a small band of Elk & killed three in a short time which were in good order. I returned to camp and directed several men to go with me with some pack horses without telling them what they had to do. When they came to the spot where the Elk lay their surprise and joy were tumultuous and in a short time their horses were loaded and they returned to camp to change it from the moody silence of hunger to the busy bustle of preparation for cooking and feasting. Little preparation however was necessary when men could be seen in ev'ry part of the camp with meat raw and half roasted in their hands devouring it with the greatest alacrity while from their preparations and remarks you would suppose that nothing less than twenty four hours constant eating would satisfy their appetites.
June 10th Remained at the same camp. My men were employed in making salt and in cutting & drying Meat. Early in the morning the indians came offering to give the Beads I had before traded to them for Meat. I soon made them to understand that what I had to spare which was verry little would be freely given to them.
June 11th North 4 Miles. I packed up early and moved on but missing an ax and drawing knife I stoped the party and searched for them. Not finding them I concluded the indians had stolen them & went back to some indian lodges close at hand. They were all gone but an old man who pretended to know nothing about them. I then went to some Lodges above and when the indians saw us coming they all ran off. But after a while one of them came to me and I told him that I should keep him until the tools were found and at the same time sent the old man found at the other Lodges to tell the indians the reason why their friend was detained.
By searching we found the ax covered in the sand under their fire. The drawing knife could not be found and I took the hostage along tied. After keeping him several hours no indians appearing to relieve him I let him go. The traveling was verry bad and at 4 miles I came to a deep impassible ravine and encamped having to build a pen for my horses lost in the course of the day.
June 12th West 1 Mile. Early in the morning I packed up and moved down a ridge with considerable difficulty to the beach of the ocean where I encamped. I drove the horses across a small creek where there was some grass. The horses lost the day before were found and brought up. 3 of my men quite sick.
June 13th North N West along a ridge in places rough with
thickets and rocks. At night descending to and encamping on the shore where
there was but little grass. In the course of the day 3 Mules gave out and were
left one load was lost and one [
mule] horse was disabled by falling down
a ledge of rocks.
June 14th North 1 Mile. It being low tide by passing around a point in the water I was enabled to travel along the shore and encamped in a prairae of about 100 acres of tolerable grass. In the vicinity was a plenty of Elk sign. The prospect ahead was somewhat flattering and I was in hope that we had passed all the mountains. Some men sent back for the purpose found the lost load and brought up the fatigued mules.
June 15th I lay by to recruit my horses. Several of us went
hunting and Joseph Lapoint in the morning killed one of the largest [
Elk I had ever seen. He was not verry fat but [ in] tolerable [ order]
good meat. His size induced me to weigh the meat which I found to weigh 695 lbs
neat weight exclusive of the tongue and some other small pieces which would
have made it above 700 lbs.
In the evenings hunt Mr. Virgin and myself each killed an Elk not as large as the one before mentioned but one of them was good meat. In the course of the day several indians visited camp bringing some Clams small fish Raspberries strawberries and a Root which on the Columbia is called Commass. These indians traded like those last mentioned.
June 16th North 5 Miles. One mile along the beach north & then turning to the right I traveled 4 Miles across a prairae leaving a range of hills on the East running North not far distant and thickly covered with Hemlock & Cedar. The prairae was covered with brakes bushes & grass & had many springs some of which were miry.
June 17th 1 Mile north at the end of which I came to the termination
of the [
timber] prairae. Then commenced thick timber and brush and
swamps which so much obstructed my progress that I was obliged to retrace my
steps and encamp. I then went with one man on the ridge and traveled north 4 or
5 miles when I found it impracticable to move in that direction on account of
the thick brush. I returned to camp and sent two men towards the Ocean. When
they came in they reported That there would no difficulty in moving to a prairae
not more than a Mile distant. Its extent they had not time to ascertain. In
their excursion they had killed an Elk dressed & hung it up. Other hunters
out killed nothing.
June 18th Remained at the same camp. Sent some men to hunt and others to see which way it would be advisable to travel. The hunters were unsuccessful and [the men] that were looking for a road found it impracticable to travel near the Ocean. They observed a Lake of several Miles in extent along the shore of which it was impassible on account Thick brush and mire.
June 19th Remained at the same camp because I did not wish to move until I knew whether I could find grass for my horses. I took two men and struck East across the ridge following an indian trail 2 1/2 Miles when I struck a river 80 yards wide coming from ESE. I crossed Leaving the Men on the bank and found the river so rapid that my horse fell and, it was with great difficulty that I got him out. I went 1/2 Mile up the river & recrossed having the same difficulty as before. The bottoms along the river were brushy but there were some small prairaes and the hills beyond were bare. On the river was some beaver sign. From the high ground I could easily see that what the men had taken for a Lake was a bay of the Ocean. From the breaking of the water without I supposed its entrance to be shallow.
June 20th East 2 1/2 Miles & encamped on the North bank of the river which I had discovered the day before. It was deep fording. My camp was in a small prairae of good grass. Several men sent hunting.
June 21st North N E 6 Miles. Leaving the river on account of the brush and traveling along a ridge stony and covered with small brush but verry little timber. As I advanced the country became rough and the high ridge on which I was traveling extremely rocky. I saw that it would not answer to move longer and therefore encamped. 3 Deer and a fine Buck Elk killed. Deer verry plenty in the vicinity.
June 22 N North West 5 Miles Being obliged to move again towards the coast I followed a descending ridge for 5 Miles and encamped in a prairae. The country was generally timbered during the days travel but from my camp towards the coast the prospect was generally prairae.
June 23d North West 8 Miles At 3 Miles I arrived on the
shore and from thence I traveled along the shore and sometimes immediately on
the beach for 5 miles and encamped after crossing a creek 20 yards wide. The
hills came within 1/2 mile or a mile of the sea, and were generally bare of
timber. The Low land along the shore and in the valleys covered with high
breaks and has some Miry springs. Many indians visited camp in the evening
bringing berries small fish and Roots for trade. [
During the d ] In the
course of the day one Mule gave out and another ran back on the trail.
June 24th West North West 3 miles and encamped at the mouth of a river 50 yards wide rapid at the mouth but as it was high tide I could not cross. The hills about the same distance from the coast as the day before and the low land thick covered with brakes scotch caps and grass. When starting in the morning I sent two men back for the Mules that had been left the day before. They came in the evening without the mules and I immediately sent two men back but they soon returned as the indians at a village close at hand did not appear friendly.
Near my camp was a village of 10 or 12 Lodges but the indians
had all ran off. Among the indians of this country I have seen a small kind of
Tobacco which is pretty generally cultivated. These indians Catch Elk in Pits
dug in places much frequented. They are 10 or 12 feet deep and much Larger at
top] bottom than [ bottom] top. They are completely covered
over and some of my hunters with their horses fell into one and got out with
June 25th North N West Early in the morning as it was low tide I packed up and forded the river. During the principal part of the days travel the hill came in close to the rocky shore. I was therefore obliged to turn out into the hills which were nearly bare of timber but brushy and cut by some dark ravines. In the morning when my horses were brought up I found two of them wounded with arrows and in the evening one was missing which I supposed to have been killed. This day I traveled 12 Miles which was much the best march I had made for a long time. Deer plenty and some Elk.
June 26th N N West 8 miles. On leaving camp I struck out
from the Ocean following a ridge on a circuitous route [
for] until It
came into the Ocean again at the mouth of a creek 20 yds wide where I encamped.
The place from which I started [ was] in the morning was covered with
brakes & brush when I got out among the hills I found some timber &
good grass & where I struck the [ shore] a sandy soil short grass low
Pines Sand Cherries and strawberries.
June 27th North 7 Miles. With the exception of two or three steep points which I was obliged to pass over I was able during the day to travel along the beach. I encamped on the south side of a bay and close to its entrance which was 150 yards wide. The Bay itself was 3 Miles long and 1 Mile wide. At low water I found it quite fresh, from which circumstance I infered that it received a considerable river. After encamping I made rafts that I might be ready to cross the bay early on the following morning. On each side of the Bay were several indian villages but the indians had all run off. On a creek which I crossed 3 miles back was some beaver sign and also some in the bay.
June 28th N N West 6 Miles. Early in the morning as it was low water I commenced crossing. And when I had finished I had lost 12 or 15 drowned in the middle of the water. I know not the reason of their drowning unless it might perhaps be ascribed to driving them to much in a body. In three days I had lost by various accidents 23 horses & mules.
June 29th N N West 5 Miles. The traveling for the last two days much alike alternately on the beach and over the hills which generally closed in to the shore near which the country was generally prairae with some thickets. Farther back from the coast the hills were high rough and covered with thickets & timber. This day I could have traveled farther had it not been high tide which prevented me from traveling on the beach and the hills were too rough to allow me to leave the shore. In the vicinity of my camp the country was clothed with fine grass and other herbage, a good grazing country though somewhat rough.
June 30th North 5 Miles. After traveling 2 Miles I was obliged to leave the coast and travel over the hills to my encampment which was a short distance from the shore where there was good grass. From a high hill I had an opportunity to view the country which Eastward was high rough hills and mountains generally timbered & north along the coast apparently Low with some prairae. In climing a precipice on leaving the shore one of my pack Mules fell off and was killed.
July 1st 1828 North 9 Miles. At 5 Miles from camp crossed a creek the outlet of a small Lake on which was some Beaver sign. At this place the hills recede from the shore leaving a bluff from 30 to 100 feet in heighth. Immediately on this bank is a narrow skirt of prairae and further back low Pine & brush. The soil thin and loose. Encamped on a river 60 yards wide on which was some beaver sign. I found the tide too high to cross. For the three past days but one deer had been killed but as we had dried meat we did not suffer from hunger. We saw appearances of Elk have been abundant in the vicinity when the grass was tender. For many days we had hardly got sight of an indian and but one had visited camp since my horses were killed. In the course of the days travel one of my horses was crowded off from a cliff and killed.
July 2nd 12 Miles North principally alond the shore at 6 Miles from camp passing a small Lake. During the days travel the hills were generally 3 or 4 Miles from the shore the intermediate space being interspersed with grassy prairae brush, sand hills & low Pines.
July 3d 5 Miles N N West. At 2 Miles from camp I came to a
river 200 yards wide which although the tide was low was deep and apparently a
considerable River. On first arriving in sight I discovered [
two] some indians
moving as fast as possible up the river in a canoe. I ran my horse to get above
them in order to stop them. When I got opposite to them & they discovered
they could not make their escape they put ashore and drawing their canoe up the
bank they fell to work with all their might to split it in pieces.