From Washington Historical Quarterly, Vol. 5 No. 2 (1914), pp. 83-115
Readers of the Washington Historical Quarterly have already become acquainted with Mr. John Work, an officer of the Hudson's Bay Company, through his previous journal-with introductory note- published in Volume III, pp. 198-228, recording the details of the journey of an expedition from Fort George on the Columbia river to the Fraser river and back in November-December, 1824, (in which he remarked among other things about the "weighty rain" common to the Coast and Puget Sound localities). Mr. Work's particular duties during January-May, 1825, we do not know; this was the period during which Governor Simpson and Chief Factor John McLoughlin selected the site for Fort Vancouver and the headquarters were removed from Fort George (Astoria) to the new location, which was on the high ground east of the present city of Vancouver, Washington, where the buildings of the Washington (State) Asylum for the Blind and Deaf now stand. Governor Simpson returned up the Columbia river in March, 1825, with the Express bound for York Factory on Hudson's Bay, but events indicate that he already had learned to place much confidence in the young clerk John Work. In June, Mr. Work finds himself assigned to duty in the interior and accompanies the "brigade" of officers and voyagers under Mr. John McLeod returning up the river with goods for the trade at the various interior forts. Mr. McLeod was then stationed at Thompson River (Kamloops) but had been given leave to return across the mountains to Hudson's Bay the following spring. Readers of the "three synoptical writers of Astoria," as Dr. Elliott Coues designates Gabriel Franchere, Alexander Ross and Ross Cox, have had occasion perhaps to tire of the narratives of successive journeys up and down the Columbia river with the constant encounters with the Indians at the Cascades and Dalles portages. In this journal we have another account of the same journey and discover that with the education of the Indians of the Columbia to the fixed and just policy of the Northwest and Hudson's Bay Companies in their trade relations, the hatred and distrust and armed resistance of these Indians has already ceased to a great extent and that only the natural disposition to pilfer has to be taken much into account.
Between June 21st and November 1st, 1825, the period covered by part of this journal, Mr. Work journeys many miles and introduces us to the regular lines of travel of the fur traders between their forts in Washington, Northern Idaho and Montana and to some of the routine life of the forts. He visits the Nez Perces at their trading ground where the city of Lewiston, Idaho, now stands, the Flatheads at the spot where the large power plant is now being erected below Thompson Falls, Montana, and the then active Fort Okanogan, Washington, at the mouth of that river where now there is only barren waste; but his headquarters were at Spokane House, then as now the trade center for all the "Inland Empire." He also tells of the very beginning of building and planting at Kettle Falls, where the most important of the interior trading posts, Fort Colvile, was just being started. Only the first part of the entire journal is given in this issue and the remainder is to be presented in a later number of the Quarterly, and then to be followed by a second journal of the same writer . For brief mention of Mr. Work's career the reader is referred to the earlier number of this Quarterly-already cited, and page 464 of Volume II of H. H. Bancraft's History of the Northwest Coast. It is sufficient to say here that Mr. Work was of Irish descent, the name being properly spelled Wark, and that he remained in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company continuously up to the time of his death at Victoria, B. C. in 1861. This journal comes to us through his descendants and is now deposited as a part of the archives of British Columbia, and Mr. Scholefield, the Provincial Archivist, has kindly compared this copy for publication. The journal has never before been published and does not appear to have been examined or used by Hubert Howe Bancroft, who had access to others of the Work journals in the preparation of his series of histories.
The parenthetical marks are used to designate words that are doubtful by reason of the original manuscripts being blurred or faded.
T. C. ELLIOTT.
June 21, 1825.
Drizzling rain with some weighty showers. Very little wind. At 10 o'clock the Interior brigade, consisting of five boats carrying pieces and manned by 32 men, left Fort Vancouver under the charge of Mr. McLeod 1 , A sixth boat and 12 men under the charge of Mr. McKay 2 accompanied the Brigade as a convoy to above the Chutes 3 . The water is very high and the current strong. Encamped at 4 o'clock opposite Quick Sand River 4 . We stopped at this early hour to get some of the boats which were badly gummed. Some of the pieces were put in Mr. McKay's boat to lighten the others. Being ordered to proceed to Spokane in charge of the outfit for that place, I accompany the brigade.
Wed. 22 Drizzling rain forenoon. Wind W. Embarked at 3 o'clock and reached the Cascades at 1, had to carry at the New Portage 5 , everything was got half way across the Portage by 5 oclock when the men were employed gumming the boats. There were a good many Indians, but they were very quiet, 60 to 70 salmon were purchased from them, principally for Tobacco, at an inch per salmon.
Thursday 23 Dry weather, blowing fresh from the N. W. Resumed carrying at 3 o'clock and by 6 everything was embarked at the upper end of the portage where we proceeded up the river under sail with a fine strong wind till 12 oclock when we put ashore a little below Cape Horn 6 . Mr. McLeod considering it too rough to proceed.
Friday 24 Dry weather a fine breeze from the N. W. Continued our journey at a little past 3 oclock with a nice sail wind and reached the lower end of the Dalles about two and got boats & foods about half way across the portage. We were detained more than two hours at breakfast below the portage, as Mr. McKay left his boat with two men, and the pieces had to be put in the other boats. On approaching the Dalls the current was very strong and the boats being deep laden it was difficult getting them up. My boat was caught in a whirlpool and very near sunk, she was wheeled around three times before the men got her out. There are a good many Indians on the portage we reckon from 400 to 500, however they were very peaceable. Gave them a little Tobacco to smoke and bought as much salmon as we required at equally as low a price as at the Cascades
Sat. 25 Clear very warm weather a little wind up the river in the morning but calm afterwards. Recommenced carrying at « past 2 oclock, had everything across the portage 7 & embarked at 6, and were across the Chutes by 11. The portage at the Chutes was short on account of the high water. Encamped at 6 in the evening a little below Day's River 8 , to gum the boats. We lost nearly 2 hours at breakfast below the Chutes. We reckoned 150 to 200 Indians at the Chutes, they were very quiet. Gave them to smoke and also about an inch of Tobacco each when we were coming off. Mr. McKay & Mr. Douglas 9 , with the convoy men left us at the upper end of the Chutes to return to Fort Vancouver.
Sunday 26 Clear weather little breeze of wind from the N. W. in the morning and evening, but calm and very warm in the middle of the day. Continued our journey a little past 3 oclock and encamped at 7 in the evening. Were detained 2 hours gumming the boats- had the sails up while the wind lasted in the morning and evening. A good many Indians along the river.
Monday 27 Clear. a fine breeze up the River in the morning but calm and insufferably warm afterwards. Embarked a little before 3 oclock, passed the lower end of the Big Island 10 at 1/2 past 4 and encamped at 6 to gum one of the boats, we were also detained 1 1/2 hours in the day gumming.
Tuesday 28 Clear very warm weather, a little breeze of wind down the river which prevented the heat from being so oppressive as yesterday. Continued our route before 3 o'clock and encamped late a little above the Grand Rapid 11 In ascending a piece of strong current doubling a point in the evening, two of the boats got aground and sustained some injury, one of them put ashore & gummed, the other went on to the encampment, & had not time to repair. Traded some beaver from the Indians along the river.
Wed. 29 Clear weather and not withstanding there was a nice breeze down the river the heat was oppressive.
We were detained gumming the boat till near 5 o'clock when we embarked and proceeded to Fort Nez Perces 12 where we remained at 12 o'clock and had boats immediately unloaded, and the cargoes examined. These were landed here from the five boats independent of the gentlemen and mens private baggage 262 pieces, viz. (Laments) boat Mr. McLeod passenger 47 pieces,-Ignace's boat J. Work passenger 52 pieces.-P. La (Course's ?) boat, Mr. Dease passenger 53 pieces.-Grosse (Chalon's ?) boat 55 pieces and Thomas Tagouche's boat 55 pieces.
Thursday 30th Not withstanding it blew strong from the N. W. the heat was oppressive, the sand, and wood about the fort were absolutely burning. In the evening there was a great deal of thunder and lightening with heavy squalls of wind and a few drops of rain, the wind sometimes quite hot. Mr. McLeod occupied the greater part of this day separating the pieces belonging to the different posts.
Friday 1 Blowing strong from the N. W. A party having to make a trip up the South branch 13 to trade horses, (150 if possible,) the forenoon was occupied in making up an assortment of goods for that purpose and a 1/2 past 1 o'clock Mr. Dease accompanied by Mr. Dears 14 , myself and 28 men, embarked in two boats and proceeded to a little up the South branch where we encamped for the night.-Several Indians were about the entrance of the river, purchased a few salmon from them, mostly small ones at about 2 inches of tobacco each. Our boats are very light laden, and the men well armed. Mr. McLeod & 10 men remain at the Fort.
Sat. 2 Clear, and not withstanding a pleasant breeze from the N. W., very warm. Embarked at 3 o'clock and pursued our journey up the river till past 6 when we encamped for the night. Made a good days march, as the men worked constant and very hard.-The current was uniformly very strong. and the water high, though it has fallen at least 1 1/2 or 2 feet from its- greatest height this season.-The shores are generally high, some places steep rocks, at others undulating hills, the vegetation on which seems to be burnt up with the heat and has a barren appearance. Here and there along the river, bushes and grass appear green, having not been deprived of moisture. Passed several Indian lodges and traded 42 fresh and 9 dry salmon for 1 1/2 yards of Tobacco. The salmon are all of a small size.
Sun. 3 Clear excessive warm weather though there was a little breeze of wind from the N. W. the heat was oppressive. Continued our journey at 3 clock and encamped at the Flag River 15 at 2. There are a few lodges of Indians here who have some horses two of which were purchased from them at 15 skins each. these are the first horses we have seen in this river. The general appearance of the river the same as yesterday, the shores high and clearer. The general course of the river from its entrance to this place may be about N. E. a little above its entrance it takes a considerable turn to the Eastward and thus bends back to the Westward a little below the Flag River.-From this place to Spokane 16 is about 1 1/2 days march on horseback. Nez Perces is about the same distance
Mon. 4 Clear very warm weather, the beat was suffocating. Expecting that the Indians would bring some more horses to trade we delayed embarking till 8 oclock when we proceeded up the river a short distance where we put ashore at an Indian lodge and bought a horse, which detained us a considerable time.-Two men rode the horses along shore-made but a short days march. The heat and plenty of musquitos which were very troublesome, allowed us to have but little sleep last night. Encamped past 6 oclock. The current still very strong, the general course of the river from a little above Flag River a little more to the Eastward. Not many Indians on the river and but few horses to be seen.
Tues. 5 Clear a good breeze of wind up the river which made the beat more supportable than these days past. The current very strong, course of the river nearly E. the shores high with some times a low point, all parched up with the excessive beat, here there some bushes that are green areto be seen along the shores and in the little valleys or creeks. Embarked at 3 oclock and encamped a little below the La Monte. Made a very short days march as we delayed a good deal along the river at Indian lodges, bought 3 young horses at 18 skins each.
The Indians inform us that a large party went off to Spokane yesterday, and that the Flat Heads and (Pendius ?) 17 have been with the Indians above and bought a number of horses from them.
Wed. 6 Stormy in the night and blowing fresh all day, Wind N. W. In order to get some salmon from the Indians. delayed embarking till 8 oclock when we proceeded up the river, to La Monte 18 where we encamped at 10-This is a place of rendezvouse for the Indians but only one lodge is here at present, the others are all off in the plains digging camass. Some Indians were sent off with Tobacco for the Natives to smoke & to apprise them that we were here & would remain a few days to purchase horses from them, and that we would then proceed to the Forks 19 so that such of the Indians as are in that neighborhood may be there to meet us.
Thur. 7 Cloudy blowing fresh from the N. W.-pleasant cool weather. Several Indians of different tribes arrived at our camp from whom ten horses were traded, 15 to 18 skins each. The most of these horses are young not more than 3 years old and some of them very small. It would have been desirable to get ones of larger size, but the great number required renders it necessary to take such as can be got and not be too choice.
Fri. 8 Weather as yesterday. Trade going on very slowly. A few Indians visited the camp, but only 6 horses were traded one of which was a wild one and was immediately killed for the people. The Natives seem not eager to part with their horses. Generally young small ones are offered for sale, yet some of those purchased today are good stout horses. The articles generally paid for a horse are a blanket, 3 pt, 6 skins, 4 or 5 skins, 1 yd. each of green beads, a few skins of ammunition, a skin of Tobacco, a knife, and sometimes. Buttons and Rings a skin or two.
Sat. 9 Cloudy Warm weather, Wind variable, not blowing so much as these days past. A few more Indians visited us but only 4 horses were traded & two of these are young ones not broke in. We learn from the Indians that the natives above are collecting on the River to meet us. The Indians at our camp occupy the most of their time gambling. The River is falling very fast, the water is lowered four to 5 feet perpendicular since it has been at its height this season.
Sun. 10 Though a fresh breeze from the Eastward the weather was very warm and sultry. In expectation that the Indians would trade some more horses we delayed embarking till one o'clock when we proceeded up the River seeing that nothing further was to be done. Stopped at the Indian lodges as we passed and bought two unbroken in young horses one of which a beautiful animal, lept so when he was haltered & the man not managing him properly that he tumbled on his head & broke his neck. The current continues very strong the course of the river from E. to S. E. The appearance of the country continues much the same, the bank very high & mostly rocky, the smooth summits & sides of the hills clothed with dry grass, burnt up with the heat, here and there along the water edge and in some of the deep valleys or coves tufts of willow and poplars, and a few bushes of other kinds. Though the hills and valleys, except on the faces of the steep rocks are well clothed with vegetation nearly dried up, the country has altogether a barren appearance. The Indians live (in) sort of houses or lodges constructed of drift wood split & set on end, they are generally high and very large and inhabited by a great many Indians, I counted upwards of fifty at one house the dimensions of which were 40 yards long and 10 wide. These houses are generally high and flat roofed, the one side is occupied by the inhabitants who sit and sleep on the ground, and the other side is appropriated for drying fish which are hung up generally in two tiers the one above the other lower ones so near the ground that one has to stoop to get under them.-The air has a free circulation through these habitations from the openness of their walls, which makes them cool & comfortable when there is the least air of wind, but in case of rain, from the openness of the roof, very little would be excluded. However, this is an article that seldom troubles them. The Natives along the River now are generally employed curing salmon and collecting camass.
Mon. 11 Cloudy but occasionally very warm Wind Easterly. Waiting till the Indians would bring us some horses to trade deterred us from embarking till 8 clock when seeing that only one horse could be traded, we proceeded up the river and as usual stopped to smoke at the most of the lodges which we passed which made our progress very slow, however only one horse was purchased till we encamped in the evening when four more were traded, making in all six today.
The appearance of the River and country much the same as yesterday. The course from E. to S. E. The hills along shore appear less elevated towards evening. The Indians near whom we are encamped offered a sturgeon for sale, which shows that these fish ascend this high.
Tues. 12 Cloudy blowing fresh from the Westward. The Indians traded two more Horses which detained us fill after breakfast when we proceeded up the River till 11 oclock when we encamped a little below the Forks at the lodge of an Ind. 20 called Charly where a good many Indians are expected to assemble. About 70 men collected to smoke in the course of the afternoon. Two horses were traded from them. Which makes 4 today. Charly is considered to have a good deal of influence among the natives. A present was therefore made him and he afterward harangued the Indians from which good effects are expected tomorrow.
Wed. 13 Though cloudy part of the day, the weather was very warm and sultry. A brisk trade of horses commenced in the morning and 15 were purchased during the day, the greater part of which were bought before breakfast. They are much finer horses and the prices rather lower than those procurred below. Horses are more numerous and much better here than in the lower part of the river. There were not so many Indians with us today as yesterday, but they had more horses. The Indians who visit us are of four different tribes, Chapoples 21 or Nezperces, Pelooshis 22 , Carooris and Wallawallas. They are very peaceable but a good deal of Tobacco is required to keep them smoking They amuse themselves gambling in the evening they had a horse race. In the course of the day a message was received from some Indians further up the river, requesting us to go to their place, and more horses would be procured. It seems a kind of jealousy exists among the natives and the one party does not wish to sell their horses at the camp of the other, or that they wish to have the honour of being visited at their own camp.
Thur. 14 Very little Wind. excessively warm, where we are encamped on the stony sandy beach we are literally next to be roasted. The trade did not go on so briskly as yesterday, only 8 horses were bought, one of which was an unbroken in lame mare to kill, as she was fit for nothing else.
Fri. 15 Sometimes a little breeze of wind from the S. E. yet it was clear and so sultry that the heat was oppresive.
Embarked at half past 5 oclock proceeded up the river and in 2 hours arrived at the Forks 23 and encamped an the E. side of the North branch where a few Indians are encamped shortly after we arrived about 40 of them with the old chief Cut Nose at their head visited us in form, smoked, and were presented with about 3 inches of tobacco each. A trade of horses was immediately commenced and 8 very good ones were soon bought from them, though these people have plenty of horses yet they say they have none, they mean probably that they can spare. This is not Cut Nose's camp, it is farther up this branch. In the afternoon a party of upwards of 100 men and a good many women on horseback with the son of broken or cut arm, as chief at their head, arrived down the S. branch. the Chief immediately on his arrival presented a horse to Mr. Dease, and received a gun, 6 yds. of Beads & Tobacco and ammunition 27 skins as a present in return. After smoaking and getting about 3 inches of Tobacco for each of his people, a trade for horses was opened and 5 very good ones were soon bought which with the one presented and the eight bought in the forenoon make 14 that have been procured to clay. These are the best horses we have got yet, they are 18 to 20 skins each. There is a little short of 200 Indians about our camp now, several of those from below accompany us as we advance up, and those encamped here with the band that arrived from the S. branch make about the above number. they are very quiet and peaceable for so far.
The country about the Forks is flatter and the hills not so abrupt as farther down. The South branch 24 falls in from the Southward, and the North one from the S. E. the waters of these latter are quite clear. while those of the other are white and muddy the North branch seems not so large as the other, nor does not discharge such a body of water. It may be about 250 to 300 yards wide. Charlie the chief who accompanied us from our last encampment crossed the river with a horse, and in swimming back either was seized or pretended to be seized with a cramp & called out for assistance. Some of the Indians brought him ashore, where he became very ill and got little better, though at his own request he got 2 or 3 drams, until evening when he thought he would be the better of an airing and got the men to paddle him in a boat up and down the river and sing at the same time, which must considerably contribute, no doubt, to the recovery of his health. This man may have some influence among the Indians at least to do injury, but be is undoubtedly an artful knave.
Sat. 16 Cloudy, a storm of thunder ,with squalls of wind from the Westward and a little rain in the afternoon, last night there was a violent storm of thunder & a great deal of lightening, with squalls of wind and some rain. A brisk trade commenced in the morning and 19 horses were bought during the day, they are generally good ones and cost mostly 20 skins each. At noon (Tawerishea) arrived at the head of a troup of 64 men and several women with plenty of horses from up the North branch. After smoking and each of his people being presented with a piece of Tobacco he presented a fine horses to Mr. Dease and received a present of different articles to the amount of 32 skins in return.-The other chief now here seems not to be fond of this man on account of his being a doctor or medicine chief. On account of our articles of trade falling short we will not be able to answer these people's expectations in the way of trade.
Sun. 17 Cloudy, gusts of wind from the Westward. A heavy thunder storm with strong wind and some rain in the afternoon. Commenced trading after breakfast & bought horses during the day, four horses were presented during the day by principal men of (Tawerishewa's) band, but they were dearer than if they had been traded on account of the quantity of articles that had to be presented in return. The most of the horses purchased today are very fine ones and cost mostly 20 skins each. Our articles of trade got short or we would have got more horses. Green Beads, Tobacco and blankets are entirely gone, several blankets were borrowed from the men. The last band of Indians that arrived were considerably disappointed by these articles being nearly gone when they came. There are about our camp near 250 or 300 Indians. they are very quiet and give us very little trouble, they occasionally get a little tobacco to smoke. They pass the greater part of their time gambling, horseracing & foot racing. We have traded 112 horses, 5 of which have been killed. A fine young white one was drowned crossing the river today.
Mon. 18 Cloudy pleasant weather not too warm. Wind Westerly. Our trade being finished and everything ready, we took leave of our friendly Indians and I and six men and an Indian Charlie as a guide, set out with 106 horses across land to Spokane at 1/2 past 8 o'clock. Two of the horses which were traded had got lame and were not able to start. We were detained two hours waiting for Charlie who delayed after us to make some arrangements with his family. On account of this delay and not being able to drive quick as one of the finest horses in the band (Mr. Dease's) being lame which I did not perceive till after we were off, we made but a short day's march. We passed through a fine country the course from N. to N. W. On leaving the river ranges of high hills had to be ascended 25 , the country then was not level but a continual succession of little rising hills or hummocks and valleys destitute of trees or bushes except along the margins of little brooks, but pretty well clothed with grass and other plants though rather dried and parched, in some of the valleys along little rivers there are a few trees and bushes besides different plants of an uncommonly luxuriant growth. A ridge 26 of high land runs along at a short distance to the Eastward, thinly wooded, close to a point of this wooded land is a beautiful situation at a Title spring of water. we encamped in the evening at about five o'clock having to wait for one of the men who remained behind with the lame horse.-Though the country was dry yet water as to be found at short intervals the most of the day. Five Indians with 8 horses also on the way to Spokane joined us in the day & kept company with us. In the evening we passed a party of women with a number of horses going off to the plains to collect horses. My object in accompanying the horses besides seeing them taken care of principally is to Visit Spokane, see how affairs stand there and consult with Mr. Birnie as to the practicability of getting all the property, etc., removed at once to the Kettle Falls so that the whole may be there by the time the boats arrive, by which means the trading parties to the Flat Heads and Kootenais could be sent off immediately and meet the Indians at a proper season or at least as early as possible, while the remainder of the people, when two establishments are not to be kept up, could be advantageously employed at the building of the new establishment. This is the only plan which will enable us to accomplish the objects of removing to the new Fort and attending their trading excursions at this advanced season without material injury to the trade. In order to enable us to put the above plan in execution I got Mr. Dease prevailed upon to supply Spokane with 11 pack horses which are certainly very few considering that there are only eight at Spokane, and there is little prospect of being able to hire any from the Indians as removing the Fort is likely to be disagreeable to them. I have also brought two men intended to be left at Spokane to assist. I also wished much that Mr. Dears should accompany me for the same purpose, so that he might proceed to the Kettle Falls & remain in charge of the property with one man while the transportation of the property was going on, but Mr. Dease would not consent to his coming lest Mr. McLeod would not be satisfied, as he would not have any one to assist him in taking up the boats from Walla Walla to Okanogan. He certainly needed no assistance to conduct these boats well manned, when little danger is to be apprehended from the Indians. I represented these things to Mr. Deise but it had no effect. I also pointed out the inadequacy of the number of horses, but as he had orders to procure a certain number for New Caledonia and Thompson's River, and no mention made of any to Spokane, 11 besides 2 saddle horses were all he could give, after completing the numbers for the other places, and depending on his own Fort for 60 for the Snake Country. In case the above plans are found to be practicable I intend to proceed on to Okanogan to receive the Spokane and Rocky Mountain, outfits and accompany the boats to the Kettle Falls. One or two more men ,were also requested but they could not be granted lest Mr. McLeod would have too few to take up three boats, though there are 23 for that purpose, of which number 2 certainly might have been spared.
Tues 19 Cloudy pleasant weather, Wind Westerly. Proceeded on our journey at an early hour but in consequence of having to delay & drive generally very slow waiting for the lame horse, we made but a short days march and encamped late in the evening at a small River or rather sort of swamp. In the morning we crossed the Flag River. -The lame horse gave up in the afternoon and with reluctance I was obliged to leave him at a spring in a little valley with plenty of grass about it. he seems to be otherwise diseased besides the lameness, his near foreleg is swelled, the outerfilm of the skin and hair is come off his breast in the shape of a horses foot, where probably he has received a blow before leaving him Charlie scarified his foot, he will be sent for if possible. The country through which we passed today has much the same appearance as that passed yesterday and the course nearly the same. Though the horses have not been driven hard yet some of them are getting fatigued. Many of them are getting very lean. Last night as the night before the horses were watched all night by 3 men at a time.
Wed. 20 Weather cloudy, but sultry and oppressively warm by turns. These two nights past were very cold which is a great change from the excessive heat experienced some time back. This is probably owing to our being in the vicinity of the high land. Set out on our journey early in the morning and got out of the plains into the woods about 1/2 past 7 oclock. At 4 oclock I left 4 of the men (C. Gregoire,) (A. Laparde,) (I. Levant) and (J. Maria) at the fork 27 of the road that branches off to Okanogan, and proceeded to Spokane with 2 men and 16 horses, 12 for this post and 4 with which I am to go to Okanogan. One of them knocked up by the way & had to be left to be sent for tomorrow. As the horses were fatigued I ordered the men to encamp and allow the horses the evening to rest and to march at a very slow rate for the future.
I left them with 89 horses but one of them was so much jaded that it could not be expected to be able to march. I therefore ordered it to be left and it would be sent for tomorrow. Arrived at Spokane 28 at 7 oclock and found Mr. Birnie and his people all well. The country through which we passed today as we advanced towards the woods and in the woods was in places very stony which was not often the case these past days. Water was also scarcer than hitherto.
Thurs. 21 Clear very warm weather. Employed this day examining the property to be transported to the Kettle Falls and find that the whole amounts to 254 pieces including trading goods, provisions, stores & sundries. Mr. Birnie has been actively & diligently employed during the summer, & has almost the whole tied up and ready to put on horseback.-Had Mr. Dears been permitted to accompany me I could have returned to Okanogan with an Indian, and the transportation of the property might have commenced immediately as Mr. Dears with one man could have remained in charge of the property at Kettle falls. But now as the horses which I brought with me must be returned to Okanogan and it being necessary that I should be at that place to receive the goods and to accompany the boats up, and no one being here to spare to take charge of the goods at the Kettle falls, and leave enough to remain here with Mr. Birnie and attend to the horses on the voyage, the conveying the property must be deferred until Mr. Dease and some men can be sent from Okanogan and the first trip will be at the Kettle Falls by the time the boats arrive. From the dislike the Indians have to the removal of the Fort, of which they have heard some vague reports, which they seem unwilling to believe, there is reason to apprehend that no assistance will be received from them In the horse way which will very much retard our business, as the number of horses which we have, about 34, will be a long time of conveying all these pieces. Mr. Birnie for so far has been pretty successful in the trade of provisions, appichimens & saddles, and about a dozen of horses the latter at a much cheaper rate than those purchased in the Nezperces River. But the returns in furs are far short of those of last year at this season the Indians from different places have done very little. The garden looks remarkably well, the potatoes are bigger than eggs. Six kegs which were sowed at the Kettle Falls also looked well the last time people were there they have been hoed twice. Paid the Indian Charlie who accompanied us with the horses 20 skins which he was promised more than he received at the Forks, and also made him a present of a Buffalo Robe, he has promised to bring the horse to the Fort. In case any other Indian trapper (should happen) to take him off he is the only one that would be likely to recover him. I intended to have sent a man & an Indian for this horse immediately but Mr. Birnie doubts that it would not be safe as a good many straggling Nezperces Indians are going & coming who might probably pillage them.
On my arrivel last night Mr. Birnie handed me a note from Governor Simpson of which the following is a copy.
Columbia Lake 16th Apl. 1825.
The Dr. will no doubt have informed you of the reasons that induced me to alter your destination for this season and I trust the change will be agreeable to you. I have lined out the site of a new establishments 29 at the Kettle Falls and wish you to commence building and transporting the property from Spokane as early as possible. Mr. Birnie has been directed to plant about 5 kegs of potatoes. You will be so good as (to) take great care of them the produce to be reserved for seed, not eat, as next spring I expect that from 30 to 40 Bushels will be planted.-Pray let every possible exertion be used to buy up an abundant stock of Fish and other Provisions counrty Produce, as no imported provisions can in future be forwarded from the coast. If you can dispense with the service of Mr. Dears in the course of the summer I wish him to be sent with a couple of Indians to examine tire Flat Heads River 30 as far as the Ponderoy Camps at the Camass plain and if Navigable you will be so good as (to) forward the outfit of that Post by water instead of land carriage which will save a great expense in horse hire, etc.-The Cantany River 31 we know to be navigable; it is not, therefore, necessary to examine it, but you will likewise forward the outfit for the Post of that name by water. A few long Portages must not interfere with this plan as the benefits to be derived from the change will more than counterbalance the additional trouble and personal labour it may give our people. I have not the smallest doubt we shall be perfectly independent of the Indians in regard to horses, which will be a great saving of property, and thereby we shall also avoid the chance of quarrels with the natives in regard to horse thieving as we shall have few or none to tempt them. Mr. Dears appears to be a self-sufficient forward young man, he must not, however question or dispute your authority, if he does let me know it, in the meantime show him this paragraph if necessary.-With Mr. Birnie you will have no difficulty, he is unassuming active and interested.-Pray use every exertion to trade horses for Thompson's River and let them be sent in the fall so as to be forwarded from Okanogan to New Caledonia with all the pack saddles and appichimens that can be collected. The cedar canoes brought down this season from Spokane will be the proper craft for the Cootanies & Flat Head Rivers. The Spokans will not be pleased at the removal of the Fort but you must ( ? ) the chiefs with a few presents besides fair words.
Do me the favour to collect 32 all the seeds plants Birds and quadrupids & mice & rats you can and let them be forwarded by the ship of next season to N. (Gosny) Esqur. care of Wm. Smith Esqr. Secty. H. B. Cmy., London. Wishing a pleasant & prosperous season,
Your most obd. servant,
(Signed) Geo. Simpson
Fri. 22nd Cloudy, but sultry warm weather. I deferred setting out for Okanogan, as I intended, in order to allow the horses which are fatigued another days' rest, and there still being plenty of time to reach that place before the boats from the Wallawalla something more could also be done here. In the course of the day the business of removing the Fort was broached to the Chiefs and notice given them that they would be requested to lend some assistance in horses. They gave no decisive answer on the subject but seemed to take it better than was expected. It was intimated that the Fort would be left in their charge and that probably instructions might be received in the fall for some people to reside at Spokane with them still. They seem to swallow this not withstanding its improbability. Very few of them are now about the Fort the most of them being a short distance below it at a fishing barrier where they are taking 7 or 800 salmon per day.
Sat. 23 Cloudy blowing strong from the Westward. At 1/2 past 9 o'clock set out from Spokane for Okanogan accompanied by a man and an Indian as a guide with seven horses, that is the 4 that belong to Okanogan, & 3 to return to Spokane with some people. At 12 o'clock we got clear of the woods & into the plains, except a short time that we stopped to allow the horses to feed. We drove on at a round pace all day and encamped at 1\2 past 7 o'clock at a little pool of bad water, some distance from the key encampment. The clouds of dust raised by the wind which was right ahead made riding very disagreeable as we were like to be choaked & blinded. Our guide did not keep the road but cut from place to place through the plains. Our course might be from N. W. to W. Ridges of mountains or highlands run along at no great distance to the Northward, thinly clothed with wood, the country through which we passed though not (even) could not be called hilly but swelling into little knowls, covered with a thin coat of dry vegetables and generally of a barren & scorched appearance, except some little valleys where some few bushes & green vegetables are produced in consequence of there being water in the place or some moisture in the ground.-The road was in some places good, but in others very stony. Nothing to be seen to the S.E. but extensive plains bounded by the horison.
Sun. 24 Weather as yesterday. Continued our route at 4 o'clock and arrived 33 on the opposite side of the River at Okanagan at 1/2 past 7 after a smart days ride, and our horses much fatigued, some of them nearly knocked up, this was owing to their being allowed to drink too much water. if indulged in water while on the route they ought never to be allowed to take more than a mouthful or two. The appearance of the country course etc were much the same as yesterday except that we passed through a point of woods, in the morning we passed along the banks of the Columbia at the Lampolle 34 River, and before noon crossed the Grand Coolley, some of the mountains to the Northward were topped with snow. The men whom I left to proceed with the horses on the 20th arrived here about noon with the whole band but one which they lost a little more than a days march from this place.-It is a small horse 2 yrs. old, and does not seem well.
Mon. 25 Cloudy blowing fresh from the Northward. Went with the men for the purpose of bringing the horses across the River, but as it was blowing fresh and several of the horses very lean it was deemed advisable to let them remain untill another occasion.
Tues. 26 Clear warm weather. Brought the horses 35 across from the other side of the River all safe. A little past noon an Indian arrived from Spokane with a note from Mr. Birnic and a packet which had recently reached that place from Mr. Ogden 36 dated East branch of the Missourie 10th July. In consequence of the former coming out at the Flat Heads, the Snake business would be so much involved with that of Spokane that I deemed it my duty to open the dispatch which I am sorry to find contains intelligence of a disagreeable nature. A series of misfortunes have attended the party from shortly after their departure on the 24th may they fell in with a party of Americans when 23 of the former deserted, two of this party were killed one by the Indians and one by accident and the remainder Of the party are now coming out by the Flat Heads.
This occurrence will entirely change all our plans at Spokane, respecting moving the Fort, as all our time will be occupied in transporting the Snake outfit from Fort Nezperces to Spokane if the Snake country business is carried on.-It is indispensably necessary that these despatches should be sent to Fort Vancouver as soon as possible, they must be sent either direct to Fort Nezperces from this place or round by Spokane, by the former rout they will reach Nezperces in four days, by the latter they will require six.-I shall wait for Mr. McLeod's arrival when I expect he will furnish a man to accompany Mr. Dears whom I intend to send for the more safe conveyance of the packet, and who can return accompanied by an Indian direct from Walla Walla to Spokane, with all the despatches remaining at that place for Mr. Ogden, by this route he will reach Spokane as soon as I will with the boats and the papers can be forwarded by the Trading party to the Flat Heads & thence to Mr. Ogden by his men who are to come in with their furs. Mr. McLeods man LaPrade 37 who passed in the spring and who knows the road from this place to Nez perces can return accompanied by an Indian and be back at Okanogan in 8 days, or if deemed safe he could come round by Spokane which would occupy 2 or 3 days longer. If this plan meets Mr. McLeod's approbation it will be the most expeditious. The route by Spokane will answer equally well, but it will occupy at least 2 or three days longer to reach Nezperces.
Wed. 27 Warm sultry weather. Sent off two of the men E. Gregoire and J. Moreau to seek the horse which they lost by the way coming.-La Prade is retained at the Fort to accompany Mr. Dears to Nezperces, in case Mr. McLeod allows him to go.
Thurs. 28 Cloudy sultry weather. Mr McLeod arrived with the boats 3 in number at 9 oclock in 8 days or rather on the 8th day from Nezperces, the day was occupied separating the cargoes, when I made out an a/c of the pieces which are to be taken to Spokane Forks. 38 Some pieces belonging to Nezperces and the Snake expedition, it is thought advisable to take to Spokane, for the Nezperces pieces Mr. Dease is to take an equal number of the same description from the Snake outfit at his place. By taking these pieces to Spokane it will save the carriage across land from Nezperces.
Fri. 29 Sultry warm weather. This day was employed preparing despatches for the sea which are to accompany Mr. Ogdens letters which are to be sent off tomorrow; expected that Mr McLeod would have spared a man to accompany Mr Dears to Wallawalla, but he cannot. I therefore thought he would have had to go round by Spokane, but on consulting Robbie Doo 39 the Indian who came with me, he engages to take him from here to Wallawalla though he never was that road, this will save the horses, and two or three days time. Mr Dears is to return straight to Spokane where I expect he will arrive as soon as men with the boats, & have all Mr. Ogdens (documents) with him. Though we have not more than full cargoes for two boats and 18 men to work them to the Forks, wet as the road is very (bad) and Mr. McLeod's and Mr. Ross's 40 families to accompany us it is the guide's opinion that we will get on safer and more expeditiously by taking three boats, 6 men per boat. Three are therefore to be taken.
Clear warm weather.
Left Okanogan with 3 boats at 8 oclock and encamped at 6 in the evening to gum one of the boats which was leaking though she had been gummed at the fort. The road was tolerable though the current was very strong till afternoon, they got on without the poles but afterwards the boats had to be towed the greater part of the way with lines, sometimes the united strength of the two crews was required to take up one boat. The water is high though it has fallen greatly.
Mr. Dears & the Indian also set out in the morning for Wallawalla. The Indian who brought Mr. Ogdens letters from Spokane, also returned to that place, with a letter to Mr. Birnie requesting him to send horses to meet me at the Forks to take the property up to Spokane, as we know not whether the Fort can be removed this year untill answers are received from the sea 41 to our letters.
Clear warm weather.
Embarked before 4 oclock this morning and reached the lower end of the dalls 42 at 9 oclock and got over there at 1, and encamped at half past 6 in the evening, having made a better days march than the common. In the evening we got on a little with the poles, but all the rest of the day the tow line had to be used, at the dalls it was very bad, the men had to pass the line over high projecting rocks where had they missed a foot they would have been killed. At the upper end of the dalls the boat had to be lightened and the one half of their cargoes carried a piece, as the boats could not b dragged up with the cargo all in.
Clear very warm.
Embarked at 3 oclock and put ashore at 5 to wait for Mr. McLeod who was to come across land with his family to embark for the mountains, and with some papers which he had not finished when he left the Fort, and were delayed till 3 oclock, when we proceeded on our journey and encamped at ½ past 6.
Cloudy mild weather.
Continued our route at 3 oclock and put ashore near 7 having made a very good days work.-
Embarked at 3 oclock passed the (Lampoile) River at 9 where we breakfasted and traded a few pieces of dry salmon from the Indians, and encamped past 6 oclock. A good days march. Tho' our boats are only a little more than 2/3 loaded yet they are a good deal embarrassed, as we have four women and ten children passengers.
Cloudy and very warm afternoon, a great deal of thunder & lightening and some rain in the night.
Embarked past 3 oclock and arrived at Spokane Forks at 8. The road this morning was very bad being continual rapids. These two days past, it was not so bad as the tow line had only to be used at some strong points. The boats were immediately discharged, at 10 oclock 3 men arrived with the horses horses from Spokane with a letter from Mr. Birnie. It appears that they had some trouble at Spokane with the Indians. The scoundrel Charlie with some others was making a disturbance, about removing the Fort.
Busily employed the after part of the day, distributing the property among the men who are divided into two pairs and are to take a brigade of horses each two, and also laying out the goods for Rocky Mountain that are to go to Kettle falls, and some boxes of tools for the building at Kettle Falls.-The two boats that are to remain are also laid up and some guns, 26 pieces, which was sent from Spokane, burried in the sand, till it be sent below in the fall.-
Sent a little Tobacco to the old chief at the Sampoile bourne and a message that some salmon were wanted for the people, he brought twenty fresh ones in the afternoon, which was abundance for the people, Some dry ones were also traded.
At an early hour, had the horses assembled and divided into brigades, loaded and set off by 8 oclock and encamped at 1 at the bottom of the big hill which is a good days march. We have altogether 35 horses loaded, including baggage, etc. Left the guide P. L. Etang preparing to start with the boat and cargo destined for the R Mountains, to the Kettle Falls, where he is to remain until the 20th of next month, he has 7 men with him, who are to be employed preparing timber, and if they have time, building a store as a beginning to the new establishment, 43, tools are sent with him for the purpose.-Intend sending Mr. Dears who I expect is arrived nearly at Spokane by this time, to Superintend the people, and L. La Bentie who is a carpenter to assist & direct in the building. As there is a great demand for provisions, the salmon can be loaded at the same time, for which purpose and to feed the people, an assortment of goods is sent up.
Cloudy, blowing fresh from the Westward.
Proceeded on our journey at 4 oclock and halted to let the horses rest & feed at 10 and again resumed our journey at three and encamped for the night before 6 at camp at Cariboo (?) having made a long days march, the horses are tired.
The cords which fastened a load of traps gave way and the cases fell, the horse took fright and ran off with the load hanging to him, and so lamed one of his shoulders and leg that that he is disabled from carrying his load & scarcely fit to walk.-An Oil cloth which one of the men Gros Carlo had in charge was also lost through negligence. This is a serious loss as there in none to replace it and all we had were required. I sent notice among the Indians to seek it & if found to bring it to the Fort & they would be paid for their trouble.
Mild warm weather.
Resumed our journey at a little past 4 oclock and by 10 all the brigades had arrived at the Spokane Fort and delivered in the cargoes. The horses were immediately sent across the River to graze and a man to take care of them.-
Mr. Birnie was like to have some trouble with som of the Indians shortly after my departure to Okanagan. Charlie, according to inteligence received by Mr. B., with a few other Nezperces had laid a plan to cut off the fort, but as this is grounded on report and as the Inds are very prone to belie each other, there is no knowing what degree of reliance to place on it. Charlie is doubtly a notorious scoundrel, when he heard of the Fort going to be abandoned he was much displeased and declared among the Indians that had he known of it not a horse would have been got into the Nezperces River if in his power to prevent it.-The trade of furs has been a little better last month than the preceding ones, but the whole returns are far short of this time last year.-In provisions the trade is still increasing, there are now between 4 and 5000 pieces of salmon in the store, besides roots. Saving so much provisions is a fortunate circumstance as unfortunately almost the whole of the dry meat is found to be so completely spoiled and damaged that it is useless.-
Mr. Dears contrary to my expectations is not yet arrived, 9 days are now elapsed since he left Okanagan for Wallawalla, which is a day than I had calculated on his being able to reach this place. Probably something may have occurred to prevent him from arriving on the day expected.
Cloudy warm weather
Employed opening & examining the outfit-and making preparations by packing up the outfit for the Flatheads.
Mr. Dears and the Indians arrived at noon from Wallawalla with despatches from that place, they were five days coming and had been four days going from Okanagan to Wallawalla. However he got through safe.-
Cloudy warm weather.
At 10 oclock sent off 11 men with 10 horses loaded with an assortment of trading articles for the Flat Heads and a supply of some articles required by Mr. Ogden. I intend following them tomorrow accompanied by the Flat Head chief who has passed the summer here & is now going to his friends, and another Indian who is to bring back the horses. I was prevented from accompanying the people today by having some papers to arrange. After the people had been off some time one of them returned for another horse in stead of one that had thrown his load and ran off from them.
Clear fine weather.
At 9 oclock I set out after the people accompanied by the old Flat Head chief and another Indian. Near 6 oclock we came up with the party encamped at the little Lake 44 in the woods.-Mr McDonald's 45 horse which the old chief rode had been unwell before he left the fort though we did not know it, and was so knocked up that we had to leave him at the little River at this end of the Coer de Alan plains where we arrived before 3 oclock which (is) a little more than 6 hours though we stopped to smoke by the way & seldom went past a trot.
Left Mr Dears preparing to go off to the Kettle Falls with L. La Bontie to to go on with the buildings at that place.
Showery in the morning, fair afterwards with strong Westerly Wind.
Set out at 4 oclock and arrived at the Flat Head River 46 at noon & immediately commenced gumming the canoes which occupied the whole afternoon and is not yet entirely completed. One of the canoes was taken across the River by the Indians & we had to send across for it. The Indians had also taken nearly all the poles and paddles which will cause us a loss of time and labour to replace them with others. We are very scarce of gum.
An Indian handed the men who crossed for the canoe, a note from Mr Kittson 47, he has been at the Chutes 48 since the 31st of July, with the Indians waiting to trade
Cloudy pleasant weather.
Notwithstanding I had the men at work by daylight, they were so long getting paddles, poles & ready that it was 11 oclock before we started & then lost nearly an hour crossing (a freeman, the Soteaux & his baggage.) So that it was noon when we got off. We got on pretty well and encamped past 6 oclock in the Lake 49 below the traverse to the island. One of the canoes had only 2 men & as they found poles & paddles ready, they went off in the morning & are yet ahead. Two of the canoes are still very leaky notwithstanding the time that was taken to gum them.
Sent off the Indians in the morning to the Fort with the horses, and the appichimens, at the same time I wrote to Mr. Birnie & Mr Dears & desired the latter if he could to prevail on the Kettle falls Indians to get a quantity of cedar bark to cover the store. I doubt the season is too far advanced to raise the bark.
Cold in the morning blowing fresh from the Southward. Lightening, & some thunder & rain in the night.
Had the men up at 3 oclock but it was blowing too fresh to attempt crossing the Lak & nearly 2 hours were lost waiting, still it was rough making the haven, afterwards we got on very well and encamped near 7 oclock below Isle de Pierre.50 Came up with the two men in the canoe that was ahead of us, in the afternoon.
Passed a good many Indians at the upper end of the Lake, gave them a little tobacco to smok, bought a little cammass from them, & then proceeded.-
Cold foggy weather in the morning but very warm afterwards.
Proceeded on our journey before 4 oclock and encamped before 6 a good piece above the Barrier River.-We had to stop early to gum the canoes which were very leaky.
Passed a few Indians, two accompanied us all day in a canoe.
Showry in the morning, fine afterwards.
Embarked at 4 oclock and reached the Indian camp at the Chutes, 51 at 11 oclock, where I found Mr. Kittson and two men from Mr Ogdens party with 38 packs & 6 (Parto .... ) braves. The Indian chiefs (with) Snake furs soon visited us and on being asked whether they wished to trade immediately or wait till tomorrow they preferred the latter. Some tobacco was given them for all hands to smoake.-And in the afternoon Mr. Kittson and I visited their principle lodge where the whole of the Indians soon assembled, when we gave them all the news from the different quarters of the country when they were enjoying the pipe & gave us what news they had in return.-The chiefs sent us some provisions immediately on our arrival.
Cold in the morning, very warm afterwards.
At an early hour the Indians began to arrive & a brisk trade was immediately commenced and by noon nearly the whole trade was finished, some lodges & trifling things were brought for sale during the afternoon.-
In the afternoon the men were off in the woods collecting pitch for the canoes, we applied to the Indians but a sufficiency could not be obtained from them and the canoes much in want of it as they will be very deep laden.
Cloudy mild weather.
The men were employed the whole day gumming the canoes & had not the Indians favored us with the lend of their kettles to boil pitch it would have taken another day to finish their business.
All the Indians, except one chief who remained with us, took a most friendly leave of us and departed during the day, there might be altogether about Indians of four different nations, Flat Heads. Kootanies, Ponderus and Piegans, of the latter there are but very few. A considerable number, 30 tents, were coming, but from some cause turned back. It was from the Flat Heads and Kootenais that the trade was principally obtained. these are remarkably fine Indians and easily dealt with. After the trade was over made each of the chiefs a trifling present of a little ammunition & Tobacco, a looking glass & a little beads.-
Joachin Hubert accompanied the Indians with the horses that brought the Snake furs and a small supply of articles for Mr. Ogden to whom I wrote and forwarded a number of letters and despatches addressed to him. The packet was put in charge of Grospied one of the F. Head chiefs, as being more safe. It was not till I was perfectly satisfied by Mr Kittson that there was no danger of these documents falling into improper hands, that I would trust them. The chiefs are directed to give them to no one but Mr Ogden and in case of any accident having befallen him to bring them back. It was Mr. Ogden's directions to Mr Kittson that only one man should be sent back to him.
Our trade amounts to 374 large & 99 small beaver and 1 otter large, 76 bales meat, 44 Robes, 122 appechimans 16 dressed skins & 11 (chevereaux) and 5 lodges and 1 horse, 29 saddles and cords. etc. Beaver and dressed skins are far short of last year, the deficiency in beaver is owing to a great many of the Kootanies having gone off to their own lands before our arrival, the scarcity of leather may be attributed to the same cause and to their having been at the Buffalo this season. Every encouragement was given for leather, it being so much wanted, and very high prices offered and articles given which is not customary to give for it. A trip will yet have to be made to the Kootany country to endeavour to get some leather and what beaver they may have.
Foggy in the morning, fine weather afterwards.
Having everything ready, commenced loading at daylight and fell down the river and encamped in the evening a little above the Heron rapid. The canoes are very full and deep laden, it was so much as we could do to get the whole into them, they are in fact heaped up in the middle. We came down the first rapid with half cargo, the other rapids were run with four men in each canoe, so that having to take only two canoes down at a time detained us. Two of the canoes were broke by striking on stones & some time was lost in repairing them, the cargoes fortunately sustained very little damage as they got ashore before they had time to be wet.
The old chief La Brash, who remained with us all night, took his leave and went off in the morning.
Cloudy fine weather.
Continued our rout at daylight, and encamped in the evening at the lower side of the wide traverse in the lake.52 We were detained sometime repairing one of the canoes that was brok, also two hours at the Lake which was too rough to cross with our canoes so deep laden, tho there was no wind.-Some of the bales of meat were a little wet in the canoe that was broke.-
Rain in the morning dry afterwards.
Continued our course at daylight and reached the Portage 53 at noon where three men were immediately sent off to the Fort 54 for horses. the men that remained employed drying the bales that were wet, and preparing places to lay up the canoes.
Foggy in the morning, warm afterwards.
The men laid up the canoes & arranged part of the baggage to be in readiness when the horses arrive.
Clear fine weather.
Had all the pieces tied and distributed among them who are divided into twos, saddles, appichimans & cords were also divided among the men.
Three Indians visited us In the evening from whom we got four ducks and a little bears meat.
Three bags of balls, & 9 half & 6 small axes which we had over & above our trade was hid in the woods in the horse pond in the night as it will save the carriage to the Fort and back in the Fall, and these are articles that will not injure by being burried under ground a short time.
Cloudy mild weather.
Before noon the men arrived from the Fort with all the Company's horses and what Mr Birnie could collect from the Indians which was still seven short of the number required. However an Indian arrived with these in the evening. The Indians at the Fort it seems are mostly off collecting roots which renders it difficult to procure horses.-As the horses require time to feed & as there would not have been time to get out to the plains where they can be kept without danger of loosing them we deferred starting till this morning-
Some rain in the night, and wet disagreeable weather morning.
The weather being unfavourable we were detained some time in the morning, but it clearing up afterwards, the horses were loaded and we set out & encamped in the evening at the little River at the edge of the woods. Some of the horses are very weak, and scarcely able to manage their loads.
Showery in the night, but fair weather during the day, blowing fresh from the Westward.
Proceeded on our journey at 6 oclock and halted at Campment Bindash 55 at 11, where, as some of the horses are weak, I left the people, to go to the Fort tomorrow, & proceeded with Mr. Kittson to the house where we arrived at 4 oclock. I found two of Mr Dease's men who had arrive with despatches from the sea a few hours before they also brought 26 horses for the use of the Snake country expedition.
By a letter of instructions to me I am directed to bring half or such part of the Snake outfit as Mr. Kittson may suppose sufficient, from Nez perces. Now as it is uncertain whether Mr. Ogden may, equip his men at the Flat Heads or take them to Nezperces, I am at a loss how to act, if Mr Ogden takes his peoples to Nezperces it would be lost labour to bring goods from Nezperces and just have to take them back again, it is therefore determined to defer sending for any part of the outfit till the beginning of October, by which time we will have heard from Mr. Ogden & perhaps from the sea and will be able to act according to the instructions received.-I am apprehensive we will not be able to remove to the Kettle Falls this fall as we are uncertain what assistance we may have to give the Snake people. by remaining the trade will be little affected, where as by removing we run a great risk of having the property, particularly the provisions injured as a store will not be ready to receive it, the horses would also be so completely knocked up transporting the property, that they would be of little service to Mr. Ogden in case he requires them, & probably not able to bring his outfit from Wallawalla.
F 'day 26th Augt. 1825.
Clear fine weather.
The men arrived with the horses before noon when the furs, provisions &c were all delivered in safe.-In the afternoon the Indians were settled with for their horses which we hired for the trip.
In the evening I was employed writing letters to Fort Vancouver.
Clear fine weather.
Sent off Mr Dease's men with dispatches to Nezperces to be for- forwarded to the sea.
A young Indian was engaged to carry the dispatches to Mr Ogden in the Snake country he is to have a horse for his trip, and promises to make the most expeditious he can. Nothing material has occurred since
I have been absent. Trade in furs still slack but a little doing in provisions.
Weather as yesterday.
Sent off the Indian with the express to Mr. Ogden he expects to reach him in about 8 to 10 days.
We are living now entirely on dry provisions as nothing fresh is to be got, not a salmon to be caught in the river.
Clear fine pleasant weather.
Mr Kittson (&) two men with 6 horses set out for the Kootany country 56 with an assortment of Goods on a Trading excursion.
Sent off 9 men with some tools etc to the Kettle falls to assist with the buildings. I intend following them tomorrow or next day, to see how the business is going on. Getting the store completed is the first object.
Had the Flat head Furs opened and counted, they are in good order. the meat which was opened on Saturday is also in fine condition and weighs about 5500 lbs. The blacksmith Philip made 2 large axes, on Saturday he made 5 & did not begin early. we have now axes for all the people.-
A fire kindled about the Ind camp & spread about our garden & then burnt the greater part of the fence which was composed of thorn bushes.-
Fine pleasant weather.
Several Indians of the Pendant Oreill tribe arrived and traded, some beaver & roots & berries.
Seventy salmon were taken in our barier which are the first that have been caught for some time The Indians took 100 in this.
Set out from Spokane accompanied by an Indian with 3 horses & some articles, required for building and trade, to the Kettle falls at 8 oclock and encamped at an old burn on a little River in the evening at 5clock. The road lies on the hills & through valleys. some plains thickly wooded & some places clear & here, & there a plain in the valleys.
Sept. Thursd'y. 1
Resumed our journey at 4 oclock and arrived at the New Establishment at noon.-The road was much the same today as yesterday, it lay a considerable distance through a plain along side of a little river 57, the plain is covered with very long grass and reeds in some places higher than the horse. The course from Spokane is nearly North, perhaps a little to the E of it.
The men who were sent off from Spokane on Monday arrived yesterday and are at work.
The men who were here before have made but very little progress in the work.-7 men of them have been employed since the 13th of Augt. and have only squared 4 logs 70 feet long, 4-25 feet long, 16-12 feet long & 13 joists 25 feet long. Mr Dears says he could not get them to go quicker, as some of them were almost always sick.-Two of them are at present ill with the venereal and fit to do very little, one of them does nothing. A pretty good stock of provisions is traded, dry fish & berries sufficient to serve all the people here now 18 days. Very few fresh fish are now to be got the water is fallen so much that the salmon do not leap into the baskets which the Indians set for them.
Very warm in the middle of the day.
The men were at work at an early hour and finished squaring the logs mentioned yesterday, the pitt saw was also put in order and a pit made to commence sawing tomorrow. A carriage with two wheels and horse harness were also furnished that carting the timber to the house may be begun tomorrow.-
The fort is to be situated in a little nick just above the falls on the South side of the River. This little nick or valley, is of a horse shoe form. about 2 miles along the River side and about 21/2 or 3 miles in depth surrounded by steep hills on both sides, a ridge of hills runs along the opposite side of the River. The Fort is to be situated on a sandy ridge about 600 yards from the river side. There is not a sufficiency of wood about it to build the store, that is now under way there the nearest wood is 1400 yards off on one side, 1500 or 1200 yards. on the other, where a little river is to be crossed.-
I took a ride along the river, through a point where there is some fine timber. The most expeditious mode of getting the dwelling house and other houses built will be to have the timber squared a few miles from the fort and rafted down the river. There seems to be some fine timber on the opposite shore about the same distance off.
The potatoes look well, but the moles are destroying some of them. the ground they occupy may be about 35 yards square.-
Fine pleasant weather.
The men were differently employed, four preparing the frame for the store. some sawing, some squaring & one carting. there are now fifteen men fit for duty at work I expect as they are now properly set agoing they will get on well, and be able to have the store so far completed that the property can be deposited in it if we can effect a removal from Spokane this fall. This must in a great measure depend on what assistance we can give the Snake people.
Two Indians, the old chief's sons, were spoken to and having agreed to accompany a gentleman up the Pendent Oreille River in case he can be spared to go, to examine the lower part of it.
An Indian was also engaged to accompany me to Spokane & bring a supply of some articles of trade & toll that are wanted.
Pleasant cool weather.
Set out from Kettle Falls at 1/4 past 6 oclock and arrived at Spokane at 7 in the evening, which was a hard days riding, I was accompanied by two Indians who were driving ten horses to the (Buffer de Chideu) where I left them in the evening as some of the horses were giving up. The Indians changed horses frequently, but I changed only once the one I rode in the afternoon came from where I left the men In 11/2 hours.
Clear fine warm weather.
Three of the freemen belonging to Mr Ogdens Party arrived here two days ago for supplies & say they were permitted to leave the party to proceed across the mountains to the S. side. But as they had no writings with them but notes specifying the state of their a/c which we did not consider sufficient authority to give them any advances and deeming it necessary to send them back to Mr Ogden, so that he might keep his party as strong as possible, they were refused any advances but a little ammunition to take them back to where they would likely meet Mr. Ogden. These men are (A. Valle), A. (Curvais) and (Wetacass), they have brought some beaver, & have all money coming to them. Mr Ogden's notes are dated on the 15 Augt. when all the freemen but 6 had parted from him,58 his party then was only 15 strong, and he was going through a dangerous country, they had been successful in their hunting since Mr Kittson left them.-All the freemen but these three and another, turned back with the Flat Heads.-These men met the Indians who went off on Sunday week with the despatches to Mr Ogden, he was getting on well.-
The Indians whom I left Yesterday evening arrived with the horses, some of them are much fatigued.
Nothing material has occured here since I have been absent.
Mr. Kittson arrived from the Kootenais and has made a pretty good trade, 99 beaver, 62 deer & 34 elk skins & 2 horses, he changed some of his horses which were jaded for others. The Kootanies desire a Post 59 to be in their country this season, though some of those we saw at the Flat Heads said it would not be necessary.
(To be continued.)
1 John McLeod, Senior, stationed at Thompson river or Kamloops. Consult "Peace River," by Archibald McDonald, for his career.
2 Probably Charles McKay, son of Alex McKay who was blown up with the Tonquin, and step-son of Dr. John McLoughlin.
3 Celilo, or the Falls of the Columbia, above The Dalles.
4 The Sandy River, Multnomah County, Oregon; camp being near Washougal on the opposite shore.
5 Portage around the Cascades on north bank, where railroad portage was built in later years.
6 The Upper Cape Horn, below Klickitat river; see Wilkes' map of Oregon.
7 This was the long portage of about 4 1/2 miles from Big Eddy to the upper end of Ten Mile Rapids. From here they used their boats to the Falls, or Chutes, where again carried boats and goods a short distance. Here was the "Wishram" village of Washington Irving. See "Astoria"
8 John Day River, Oregon side.
9 David Douglas, the English botanist, who was then on the Columbia. Consult Oregon Historical Quarterly, Vol 5, pp. 218 and 245-6-7.
10 Now known as Blalock Island but more often referred to by the fur traders as the Long Island; opposite Cayote station of O. -W. R. & N. Ry.
11 The Umatilla rapids, above mouth of Umatilla River, Oregon side.
12 Also called Fort Walla Walla, built in July-Aug., 1818, by Donald McKenzie & Alex Ross ; consult "Fur Hunters of the Far West," chapters 6 & 7 and fronstpiece for picture of the Fort. Location 1-1/2 miles west of Wallula, of present day.
13 South branch of the Columbia, that is the Snake River.
14 Mr. Thos. Dears, a clerk of the H.B. Co., but not attached to any special Post. Mr. J.W. Dease, a Chief Trader, was then in charge of Fort Nez Perces.
15 The Palouse river of today; the Drewyer's river of Lewis and Clark, and known to the fur traders also as Pavion and Pavilion river.
16 Spokane House, about 100 miles northward; see Ross Cox' "Adventures" etc for an account of this trail to the Spokane River.
17 Meaning the Pend d'Oreille Indians
18 Almota Whitman county, Wash., always a favorite Indian camping place, and meaning the hilly or mountainous stream or place. Lewis and Clark camped here Oct. 11th, 1805 and mention the Indian houses described by John Work a little further on in this text.
19 That is, the junction of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers.
20 Red Wolf crossing of the Snake River, at mouth of Alpowa creek Garfield county, Washington. Col. E. J. Steptoe's expedition crossed here in the year 1858 on its disastrous expedition.
21 John Work's corruption of the Indian family name Shahaptin
22 The Palouse and the Cayuse tribes. Not unlike Lewis and Clark, Mr. Work was "something of a speller."
23 Where Lewiston, Idaho, now stands. See page 128 of Vol. 2 of "Trail of Lewis and Clark" (Wheeler) for photo and description of this site.
24 That is, the Snake Eiver proper but designated by Lewis and Clark as the Kimooenim while the Clearwater from the S.E. was the Kooskooske.
25 A very correct description of "Lewiston Hill" and of the famous Palouse country beyond. Travelers by stage over that road all remember it. Mr. Dease evidently returned direct to Fort Walla Walla by the river.
26 The regular Indian trail northward followed the line between Washington and Idaho, generally speaking: consult Manring's "Conquest of Coeur D'Alene, Spokane & Palouse Indians" for this.
27 Probably near Phileo Lake between Spangle and Cheney, Spokane county, Washington
28 Spokane House, at junction of main with the Little Spokane River, nine miles N.W. of City of Spokane, first established by Finan McDonald in 1810: Mr James Birnie in charge. Mr. Birnie afterward settled at Astoria and Cathlamet near the mouth of the Columbia.
29 This is, and previous entries, give us the actual plans for removal of this trading post to Kettle Fals on the Columbia, as had evidently been agreed upon during the winter at Fort George. Consult "Fur Hunters of the Far West" (Ross) Vol. 2, p 162 as to this.Also Gov. Stevens large map in Vol. 12 of Pac. Ry. Reports.
30 The Pend d'Orielle river, from its mouth tothe Calispel river and flats near Cusick, Washington.
31 The Kootenay River.
32 Evidently Gov. Simpson was not without some gift of humor; he was preparing Mr. Work for David Douglas' expected visit to the interior to collect botanical specimens.
33 After at least 150 miles across the best farming lands of Spokane, Lincoln and part of Douglas counties, Washington. Fort Okanogan was then on the Columbia river side of the plateau at mouth of Okanogan river.
34 The San Poil river, from the north.
35 These horses were for use in transporting goods to the Thompson river and New Caledonia Districts, which were now on to deliver furs and get goods at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia. Up to this time they had shipped everything to and from York Factory to Hudson Bay, using the Tete Jaune Pass across from the Rocky Mts.
36 Peter Skene Ogden, who was in charge of the Snake Country trappers that season. Consult Oregon Historical Quarterly Vol. 10 p.p. 229-278.
37 A half breed named LaPrate, who afterward was for many years resident at Fort Okanogan.
38 The mouth of the Spokane river.
39 This name should be Robideaux, another half breed.
40 Alexander Ross, who had proceeded to Red River with Gov. Simpson this same Spring and whose family now follows; and Mr. McLeod sends his family preparatory to himself leaving the Columbia river district the following spring.
41 Meaning Fort Vancouver.
42 That is Whirlpool Rapids at the foot of Nespalem Canyon. Consult Lieut. Thos. W. Symon's Report of Examination of Upper Columbia River for this journey from Okanogan to mouth of Spokane river.
43 The trading post to be known as Fort Colville just above Kettle Falls.
44 Probably Spirit Lake Northeast of Spokane, and the little river mentioned a little further on was probably Rathdrum creek.
45 Mr. Finan McDonald, who built Spokane House in 1810 and had but recently left there.
46 Pend D'Oreille river at Sineacateen crossing, the north end of David Thompson's "Skeetshoo Road": later known as Markham's Ferry, Kootenay County, Idaho.
47 William Kittson; see "Fur Hunters of Far West" Vol. 1, p. 207.
48 Thompson Falls, Montana.
49 Lake Pend d'Oreille.
50 Probably the Cabinet Rapids in Clark's Fork river. Barrier river next mentioned is probably Trout Creek of today and maps.
51 Thompson Falls, Montana, where the Indians would be gathered for the summer trade and to fish. Mr. Ogden's party was either on head waters of Jefferson's Fork of the Missouri in Montana, or on the Snake or Salmon rivers in Idaho.
52 This wide traverse or crossing of Lake Pend d'Oreille was from near Hope, Idaho westward across the Lake.
53 That is at Sinecateen again. During mining days this was the principal crossing of the Pend d'Oreille river and is well known to all early settlers of Idaho and Montana and the Kootenay country.
54 Spokane House.
55 Probably they had camped for the night at the Hoodoo lake and this Bindash Campment at Spirit Lake, but impossible to locate certainly.
56 Mr. Kittson goes as far as Bonners Ferry, Idaho, near which David Thompson's "Lake Indian House" had been, for a summer trade with Kootenays there.
57 The Colville river and valley, and we now get a glimpse of the beginnings of actual settlement and trade in that valley. The "little nick" mentioned further on is Marcus Flat, just above Kettle Falls, where Fort Colvile (so named after one of the H. B. Co. officials) was maintained until about 1872.
58 This refers to the desertions of the H. B. Co. Free-hunters under inducement from the American traders, concerning which there has been some reflection cast upon Gen. W. H. Ashley, but without real evidence to support it.
59 Probably meaning the rebuilding of the Post or Fort near Bonners Ferry: a regular Post had been maintained further up the Kootenay river about opposite Jennings, Montana. See Ross Cox "Adventures," p. 233.