Compiled by Jacquelyn J. Alvord,

Chairman, Fort Hall Replica Commission

January 1999

Introduction: There have been many books, articles, stories, and legends written about the original Fort Hall built by Nathaniel Wyeth, the Fort Hall of the Hudson's Bay Company, and the subsequent military camp at Cantonment Loring. To gain a view of life at Fort Hall during both the years of its prime and decline, extensive research has been conducted to compile a history through the words of the traders and visitors. An effort has been made to use first hand accounts of people who were actually at Fort Hall based on their diaries, letters, memoirs, and other accounts. It is unfortunate that many key players in the history of Fort Hall left no written record. Whenever possible, each entry is presented as dated by the author of the quotation, but some accounts covered a period of time and the exact dates were not provided. The name of the author of each quote and some amplifying information is presented. There are considerable variances in wording and spelling thoughout the document, as these are direct quotes. It must be remembered that this is a work in progress and therefore does not contain all the attributions and references normally presented; however, an extensive biblography is prestented at the end of the document. Fort Hall has been called a place of destiny by many historians. The Fort Hall Diary tells us why.
















































Jul 11/12 [1834] "On the 11th (July) we left Bear river and crossed the low ridges of broken country for about 15 miles in a N East direction and fell on to a stream which runs into Snake river called the Black Foot. Here we met Capt. B.L. Bonnivill with a party of 10 or 12 men. He was on his way to the Columbia and was employed killing and drying Buffaloe meat for the journey. The next day we traveled in a west direction over a rough montaneous country about 25 miles and the day following after traveling about 20 miles in the same direction we emerged from the mountain into the great valley of Snake River. Journal, Osborne Russell, Trapper  

14th [July 1834] "At eleven o'clock we made a camp on Lewis' river, (a fork of Snake or Shoshone river) having traveled about six miles. Soon after we stopped, Captain W. with three men, started out to hunt for a suitable spot for building a fort and establishing a trading post. They returned in the evening with the information that an excellant and convenient place had been pitched upon, about five miles from where we are now lying, and on the same river. On their route they killed a buffalo, which they left at the the site of the fort suitably protected formt he wolves, &c. This is very pleasing intelliegnce to us, as our stock of dried meat is almost exhausted, and for several days past we have been depending upon fish, with a small quantity fo our preserved provision to relish them." Original Diary, Dr. John K. Townsend, Botanist and Explorer  

July 15 [1834] "Arrived at the place Captain W. had chosen to built his fort. Reverend Jason Lee, Oregon Missionary  

15. [July, 1834] "Commenced building the fort and set out 12 men to hunt to be gone 12 days and continued at work on the fort a few days and fell short of provisions and was obliged to knock off in order to obtain food Sent out some men for Buffaloe they returned to in two days with plenty." Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader  

15th [July 1834] "We removed this morning at five o'clock, and in an hour and a half arrived at the spot selected for the fort. The men were immediately put to work felling trees, making horse pens, and preparing the requisite materials for the building. On the west side of the river ther is some large timber, of cottonwood, willows, &c., with a dense undergrowth of the same, intermixed with service-berry and currant bushes. There is , no doubt, a number of interesting birds to be found here, but at present I have not time to procure any, having engaged to start in the morning with a hunting party, and all my leisure to-day is employed in preparing for it." Original Diary, Dr. John k. Townsend, Botanist and Explorer  

[16 July 1834] "..on the 16th- We crossed the valley and reached the river in about 25 miles travel West. Here Mr. Wyeth concluded to stop build a Fort & deposit the remainder of his merchandise: leaving a few men to protect them and trade with the Snake and Bonnack Indians." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

July 16 [1834] "Twelve men went out to procure and dry meat for the journey to Wallahwallah, there being no prospect of finding buffalo below. July 17 The men returned laden with meat." Reverend Jason Lee, Oregon Missionary  

[18 July 1834] "On the 18th we commenced the Fort which was a stockade 80 ft square built of Cotton wood trees set on end sunk 20 feet in the ground and standing about 15 feet above with two bastions 8 ft square at the opposite angles. On the 4th of August the Fort was completed. And on the 5th the "Stars and Strips" were unfurled to the breeze at Sunrise in the center of a savage and uncivilized country over an American Trading Post" Osborne Russell, Trapper   [26 July 1834]. "On the 26th a Frenchman named Kanseau was killed horse racing and the 27th was buried near the fort he belonged to Mr. Kays camp and his comrades erected a decent tomb for him service for him was performed by the Canadians in the Catholic form by Mr. Lee in the Protestant form, and by the Indians in their form as he had Indian family. He at least was well buried" Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader  

26th [July 1834] The man who was burnt with powder yesterday is this morning considerabley better, and will, probably, be entirely well in a few days. We started at about six this morning and traveled steadily without halting until four in the afternoon, when we arrived at our fort on Lewis river. On the route we met three hunters whom Captain W. had sent to kill meat for the camp: they inform us that the men have been for several days on short allowance, and are anxious for our return. When we arrived within sight of the fort we gave them a salute, each man firing his gun in quick succession. They did not expect us till tomarrow, and the firing aroused them instantly. In a very few minutes a core of men were armed and mounted, and dashing out to give battle to the advancing Indians, as they thought us. The general supposition was that their little hunting party had been attacked by a band of roving Black-feet, and they made themselves ready for the rescue in a space of time that did them credit. It was perhaps 'bad medicine' (to use a phrase common in this country) to fire a salute at all, inasmuch as it excited a good deal of unnecessary alarm, but it had the good effect to remind them that danger might be hovering round when they least expected it, and afforede them an an opportunity of showing the promptness and alacrity with which they could meet and brave it. We found Captain M'Kay's party encamped on the bank of the river within a few hundred yards of our own company. It consists of thirty men, thirteen of whom are Indians of three tribes---Nezperces, Chinouks, and Kiouss, with a few squaws--the remainder are French, Canadians, and half-breeds. Their lodges which are several , are of a conical form, composed of ten long poles, the lower ends pointed and driven into the ground, the upper blunt and drawn together at the top by thongs. Around the poles are dressed buffalo skins sewn together are streched, a hole being left in one side for entrance. These are the kind of lodges universally used by the mountain Indians while traveling; they are very comfortable and commodious, and a squaw accustomed to it will erect and prepare one for the reception of her husband, while he is removing the trappings form his horse. I have seen an expert Indian woman stretch a lodge in half the time that was required for four white men to perform the same operation with another in the neighborhood. Original Diary, Dr. John K. Townsend, Botanist and Explorer   July 28 [1834] "Read the funeral service to all of both companies, who appeared very solemn. O that they would remember this, that they would think on their latter end. Two Indians from Capt. M'Kay's company came to our tent, and told us they wished to give us two horses. Suspecting that they intended to pursue the sam course that the traders say they generally do, viz., give a horse and then require more than its value in goods, I told them if they gave us horses we had little to give in return. They replied that they wanted nothing in return. Fearing that they would be displeased, if we refused, and being in want of horses, I told them that I would gladly accept the favor, and accordingly they brought us two fine white horses. Captain M'Kay had told them that we were missionaries, and it was on this account that they presented the horses. In return I gave them a small present with which they seemed well pleased. Thus we were provided for just in time of need, for two of our horses were nearly worn out, and were able to do nothing after, and we were obliged to leave them in the prairie. The name of Capt. W's fort is Fort Hall, its latitude 430 14' north. The place is not pleasant, the sand being frequently driven about by the wind in large quantaties as snow in the east." Reverand Jason Lee, Oregon Missionary  

[July 1834] "This was a big undertaking, as they had no wagons to haul their timber. Logs were cut and dragged or carried to the spot as needed where they were placed in an upright position,side by side, and about three feet in the ground. In this manner a large space was enclosed, and while part of the men were engaged in the outer palisade, others were constructing a log house in the enclosure in which to store the goods." Isaac P. Rose, Trapper  

[July 1834] "We repaired to the grove about half past three o'clock for public worship. I did not attempt to preach, but gave a short exhortation from I Cor. X, 31: "Whether, therefore, yet eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." In the evening two of Mr. McKay's men ran a horse race; one of the men was thrown from the horse and killed. The next day, Monday, Mr. McKay asked me to conduct a funeral service. I attended at twelve o'clock, read the 90th Psalm, prayed, and then went to the grave, where I read a part of the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians, and also read the burial service as found in our Disciplin." Subsequent Account of Events, Reverend Jason Lee, Missionary  

[July 28, 1834] "Late yesterday afternoon a fatal accident happened to a Canadian belonging to Mr. McKay's party. He was running his horse, in company with another, when the animals were met in full career by a third rider, the horses and men were thrown with great force to the ground. The Canadian was taken up completely senseless, and brought to the lodge in which I happened to be sitting with others, taking supper. His whole person seemed paralysed and comatose, his breathing stertorous, and he had every symptom of rapidily approaching death. I perceived at once that there was little chance of this life being saved. I bled him copiously in both arms, applied cups to the back of his head, blisters to the side of his neck and legs, and used fomentations of various kinds, but all to no purpose. He remained in the same state until three o'clock this morning, at which time he quietyly expired the symptoms never having varied an atom form the cmmencement. He was a man about forty years of age, healthy, active, and very much valued by Mr. M'Kay as an interpreter among the Indians of the Columbia. At twelve o'clock today, the body was interred. It was wrapped in a piece of coarse linen over which was sewed a buffalo robe. The spot selected, was about one hundred yards south of the fort. The funeral was attended by the greater part of the men in both camps. Mr. Lee, the missionary, officiated in performing the ordinary church ceremony, after which a hymn for the repose of the soul of the departed, was sung by the Canadians present. The grave is surrounded by a neat palisade of willows, with a black cross erected at the head, on which is carved the name "Casso"." Original Diary, Dr. John K. Townsend, Botanist and Explorer  

30 [July, 1834] "Mr. McKay left us and Mr. Lee and Capt. Stewart with him." Nathaniel Wyeth, Trader  

30th [July, 1834] "At noon to-day, Captain M'Kay and his party left us for Fort Van Couver. Mr. Lee, the missionary, and suite, started with him, and Captain Stewart, an English gentleman who accompanied us form the renezvous. We are all sorry to lose Mr. L. From amongst us; he has rendered himself a universl favorite, bu his amiable manners, and his kind and obliging disposition. As the party passed our camp, we fired three rounds, which were promptly answered, and thee times three cheers heralded them away. We shall probably follow in about five or six days; we shall, however, take a shorter road, and as we shall be enabled to travel much more rapidly then they, we expect to reach the fort before them. Original Diary, Dr. John K. Townsend, Botanist and Explorer  

July 31th 1834 "INSTRUCTION TO ROBERT EVANS Fort Hall July 31th 1834 as a gent and Partner of the Columbia River Fishing and Trading Co I leave you the following instrtuctions for your government during the time of you may remain in charge of Fort Hall. 1st you will remain untill you are relieved by another superintendent, or untill the expiration of your time of service with the Co unless you are obliged to evacuate by starvation or the hostility of Indians in either which cases you will endeavor to cash what goods you are obliged to leave securely. 2nd In trading yu will adhere to the Tariff which is annexed and on no account deviate therefrom and you will give no credit to any one 3rd You will give no supplies to any of your men unless the Co are $20 in their debt by the acts which have been handed to you, you will be able to ascertain when this is the case 4th You will have th animals left here guarded by one man in the day time and put into the Fort at night. 5th You will keep one centry at night on duty untill you Fort is entirely finished and afterward and if any guard is found asleep you will note it in your Journal and for this and similar purposes you will keep a book in which you will enter all remarkable occasions. 6th Saddles and harnesses you will keep in some secure palce in order that those disposed may have a few facilities of deserting as possible. 7th After my departure you will first bend your attention to lining the Fort completely after which you will build such buildings as are required for store houses and habitations for men. 8th If a cash should be made you will be careful not to comunicate it to any one 9th When the goods are sold you will make memorandum of the sale in a Book kept for the purpose enltering at the same time the articles for which they are sold and to whom 10th You will say to every white man and Indian that visits the fort that we shall continue to trade clean robes, rats and beaver, deer, elk, and antelope skins dressed at the prices established in the tariff and shall supply the Fort with goods from time to time. 11the You may expect a further supply of good before closing in of winter. 12th You will on all occasions trade meat whether you have a supply or not at the time. 13th You will if possible trade 200 Upishemays 25 good riding saddles 500 cords 200 par flushy sinews &c &c 14th As ariticles are sometimes called for that you have not got you will keep a memorandum so them so that the deficiency may be supplied. 15th When people come to the Fort you will exercise a much hospitality as the state of your provisions will admit of the persons in charge of such parties you will invite to your own table and take for their refreshment such articles from the outfit as you deem suitable an account of which you will keep in order that the Goods left in your charge may be all accounted for. 16th You will divide your men into two messes and appoint a cook for each, yourself will mess alone and your cook will eat after you have done this and will make two messes of each 5 in number and yourself and the cook in the third 17th All hands until the work is done and while strangers are at the fort will be called at sunrise at other times one hour afterwards you will have three meals per day for all hands 18th You will avoid as much as possible leaving the Fort yourself, and on no occasion leave less then men 6 men in the Fort, and always on such occasions one man on guard placed on the highest point of the fort. 19th You will keep the store locked up at all times except you are in it yourself trust no one but yourself 20th You will not allow the men to trade the smallest article themselves but you will trade for them a reasonable quantity of leather for their own use but in no case exceed the price named in the annexed tariff 21st As soon as I am gone you will plant some turnips at McKays horse pen first taking away all the old dung 22nd You will from time to time look into the Cash and if you find it damaging you can remove it to one of the Bastions 23rd You will when there is any considerable number of Indians in the Fort keep two men in each Bastion into which no Indian to go. 24th All the Pack and riding saddles which I have here you will have covered with raw hide and all Harness kept in order 25th You will not leave the Fort yourself unless absolutely necessary but send out men to hunt. 26th You will keep all the Fire Arms which are left with your except the mens personal Arms loaded and in the Bastions and once a Week you will draw the charges and reload them. 27th After other matters are arranged you will make in the place laid out a Horse Pen large enough for 100 horses 28th You will at a convenient time clean the slew of brush and reeds. 29th You will erect a Privy at the place designated. 30th Next spring you will endeavour to obtain young Antelope and Buffaloe of both sexes 31st You will sell any or all the Animals I leave here if you can obtain Beaver for them. 32nd You have left with you an account against Antoine Godins and Messrs Fraed & Jervais, in case they come in and pay up their dues you will credit them to a seasonable amt. provided they have not beaver, but if they have you will require them to hand it over to you for whct they take at the same rates as mentioned in their accounts. 32 You will have a flag made of red flannells for yards long whcih you will put up at 9 ock and at 3 ock keeping it up half an hour each time and ony hoist the Am. flag on particular occasions 33rd You will endeavor to fill all the empty keegs with tallow and have them covered with green hide 34th You will not disturb goods in cash for Mr. McKay unless there is danger from water in which case you will make the safest dispostiion ot them in your power, and you will not deliver them except to my order or personally to Mr. M.Kay. 35th You will assort the powder before trading commences to avoid the bad appearance that it now makes and you will have a sufficient quantity of lead moulded for trading. 36th You will in trading with the Ind. divide the papers of vermillion, as they are too large. 37th Have all the large cut beads put in strings so that you can measure them out in fathoms and then you will trade for beaver or robes only. 38th You will on first arrival of a village of Indians give two or three of the chiefs a glass of liquor be sure you give this to none but chiefs of villages and on on other occasions give any to any other Indian. Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman  

6th [August, 1834] "Having done as much as was requisite for safety to the Fort and drank a bale of liquor and named it Fort Hall in honor of the oldest partner of our concern we left it and with it Mr. Evans in charge of 11 men and 14 horses and mules and three cows. We went down the river S.W. 4 miles and found aford crossed and made N.W. 6 miles to the head of a spring and camped in all 29 strong. Fort Hall is Latt.43, 14' Long. 113 35' Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman  

8mo. 5th [August, 1834] "At sunrise this morning, the star-spangled banner was raised on the flag-staff at the fort, and a salute fired by the men, who, according to orders, collected around it. All in camp were then allowed the free and uncontrolled use of liquor, and , as usual, the consequence was a scene of rioting, noise, and fighting, during the whole day. Some were so beastly drunk that their senses fled them entirely, and they were therefore harmless; but by far the greater number were just sufficiently under the influence of the vile trash, to render them in their conduct disgusting and tiger-like. Such scenes I hope never to witness again. They are absolutely sickening, and cause us to look upon our species with abhorrence and loathing. Night at last came and closed the wretched scene; the men retired to their pallets peacefully, but not a few of them will bear palpable evidence of the debauch of the 5th of August. [6 Aug} The next morning we commenced packing, and at 11 o'clock bade adieu to "Fort Hall." Our company now consists of but thirty men, several Indian women, and one hundred and sixteen horses. We crossed the main Snake or Shoshone river, at a point about three miles from the fort. It is here as wide ad Missouri at Independence, but, beyond comparison, clearer and mor beautiful. Immediately on crossing the river, we entered upon a wide, sandy plain, thickly covered with wormwood, and early in the afternoon, encamped at the head of a delightful spring, about ten miles from our starting point." Original Diary, Dr. John K. Townsend, Botanist and Explorer  

[August, 1834] "As soon as the fort was built and goods securely housed, Wyeth thought it was high time to commence business, and a party of men were at once sent off, under the command of Joseph Gale to trap Beaver in the Blackfoot country." Isaac P. Rose, Trapper   11th [August, 1834] "At a distance of about 12 miles (after leaving Fort Hall), from our starting place we entered a pass between the mountains, agout 500 yards wind, covered, like the surrounding country with pines: and as we proceeded the timber grew so closely, added to a thick undergrowth of bushes, that it appeared almost impossible to proceed with our horses." Original Diary, Dr. John K. Townsend, Botanist and Explorer  

12 August [1834] "On the 12th of August myself and 3 other (the Mullattoe included) started from the Fort to hunt Buffaloe. We proceeded up the streaming running into Snake River near the Fort called Ross' fork in a East direction of about 25 miles, crossed a low mountain in the same direction about 5 miles and fell on to a stream called the Portneuf: here we found several large bands of Buffaloe we went to a small spring and encamped. I now prepared myself for the first time in my life to kill meat for my supper with a Rifle. I had an elegant one but had little experience in useing it, I however approached the band of Buffaloe crawling on my hands and knees within about 80 yards of them then raised my body erect took aim and shot at a Bull: at the crack of the gun the Buffaloe all ran off excepting the Bull which I had wounded, I then reloaded and shot as fast as I could until I had driven 25 bullets at, in and about him which was all that I had in my bullet pouch whilst the Bull stood aparently riveted to the sport I watched him anxiously for half an hour in hopes of seeing him fall, but to no purpose, I was obliged to give it up as a bad job and retreat to our encampment without meat: but the Mullattoe had better luck he had killed a fat cow whilst shooting 15 bullets at the band. The next day we succeeded in killing another cow and two Bulls, we butchered them took the meat and returned to the fort." Osborne Russell, Mountain Man  

Oct. 6th 1834 Columbia River "Dear Sir Since mine of 20th June I have built the Fort that I then mentioned on Lewis River, Long 112 deg. 30 min. W. Latt 43 deg. 14 min. N. I arrived on the Columbia and met my vessell on the 11th Sept. she having been struck by lightening on the passage out and detained in consequence to repair at Valparaiso. She entirely missed the salmon season and I am obliged to detain her another year. I still think of the old buisness and hope if this fails to find an opening left to resume it. When I shall be at home is uncertain. This business looks very bad at this time. We have failed in every thing for the first year. I shall do all I can one year more, which will I think shew whether anything is to be done here or not, and I will not be long in closing the concern when I find nothing is to be made. You will be careful not to make any disclosures as it regards the prospects of our buisness here which might be injurious. I am anxious to hear from you and obtain information of how the agitated question now stands. In the mean time believe me your obt Servt Letter to Jas. W. Fenno, Esq., Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman  

October 6 [1834] Columbia River ."Dear Uncle Since min of June 21st rom Hams fork I have as I then proposed built a fort on the Snake or Lewis River in lLatt 43 deg. 14 min. N. and Long 113 deg. 30 min. W which I have named Fort Hall from the oldest gentleman in the concern, Mr. Henry Hall. We manufactured a magnificant flag form some unbleached sheeting a little red flannel and a flew blue patches, saluted it with damaged power and wet it in villanious alcohol; and after all, I assure you it makes a very repectable appearance amid the dry and desolate regions of central America. Its bastions stand a terror to the skulking Indian and a beacon of safty to the fugitive hunter. It is maned by 12 men and has constantly loaded in the bastions 100 guns and rifles. These bastions command both inside and outside of the Fort. After building this Fort, I sent messengers to the neighboring nations to induce therm to come to trade. After leaving hese at the Fort I shall locate and build two more one of which will be scituated near the Great Salt Lake. I shall return to this place about the 15th of May next to see what can be done about the fishing business......" Letter to Leonrd Jarvis, Esq, Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman   Oct. 5th 1834 Columbia River "Dear Wife I am here but have had no good luck. The vessell was struck by lightening on her way out and detained so long that the salmon season was past. She will therefore have to remain here until another year. In the mean time I shall cruise about the country and see what I can find. I have built a Fort on Snake river near the middle of the Continent, one here and made a farm on the Multnomah. If by another year I find that business is to be successful I shall send home for you, if not I will come home myself. I hope you make yourself comfortable and happy. It is the only good policy to enjoy ourselves while can. Yr afte. Husband Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman

Oct. 6th 1834 Columbia River (40 miles above the mouth) "Dear Sir Sine min o f 20th June last I have built a Fort on Lewis River and raised the Am. Flag in a new region amid the din of powder and effects of alcohol common on such occasions. I assure you the Fort looks quite a warlike as a pile of ice but not quite so proffitable. After accomplishing his I made for this place and net the vessell on the 11th Sep. She having just arrived after a disasterous passage of 8 months caused by being struck by lightening off Valparaiso. Consequently I am obliged to delay the vessell until another year which will delay for that period at least any decision as to the duration of this business, it look black enough at the present time to induce an opinion that it must terminate soon one way or the other. I find by some English publication that you ice adventure to East Indies attracts much attention. Should this branch of you business appear to be of value would it not be possible to raise up some trade from this coast to enable you to sent vessell from this to Calcuta. I think the ice might be obtained a little north of this, I can not think of any cargo that could be brought here from the East Indies. I an anxious to hear how the speculation ended and if you find sufficient encouragement to continue it, and also how your ordinary ice business has succeeded the last year and what ha been the result of your coffee affair. Permit me to ask the favour of a letter from you at the first opportunity. I am now buisy in making an establishment on the Multnomah about 50 miles from its mouth and one on the Columbia a this place. This winter I go up Lewis River to make one more Fort on its waters and one on the south side of the Great Salt Lake. In the Spring I shall return and ascertain if I can put up a cargo of Salmon. With wishes for all manner of prosperity for you. To Fredric Tudor Esq. (Boston), Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader   [Oct 10, 1834] "On the 10th the Village arrived and pitched their Lodges with about 200 yards of the Fort. I now commenced learning the Snake Language and progressed so far in a short time that I was able to understand most of their words employed in matters of trade. Octr 20th a Village of Bonnaks consisting of 250 Lodges arrived at the Fort from these we traded a considerable quanity of furs, a large supply of dried meat, Deer, Elk and Sheep skins etc.--In the meantime we were employed building small log houses and making other necessary preparations for the approaching winter." Osborne Russell, Trapper  


[1834/35] "Novr, 5th. Some White hunters arrived at the Fort who had been defeated by the Blackfeet Indians on Ham's Fort of Green River. One of them had his arm broked by a fusee ball but by the salutary relief he received from the Fort he was soon enabled to return to his avocation. 16th Two more White men arrived and reported that Capt. Bonneville had returned for the lower country and was passing within 30 miles of the Fort on his way to Green River. 20th four Whites more arrivied and reported that party of Rocky Mountain Fur Company consisting of 60 men under the direction of one of the Partners (Mr. Brigder were at the forks of the Snake River about 60 miles above the Fort where they intended to pass the winter. We were also informed that the two Fur Companies had formed a coalition. Decr. 25th The ground still bare but frozen and the weather very cold. 24th Capt. Thing arrived from the Mouth of the Columbia with 10 men fetching supplies for the Fort. Times now began to have a different appearance. the Whites and Indians were very numerous in the valley all came to pass the winter on Snake River. On the 20th of Jany 12 of Mr Bridger's men left his camp and came to the Fort to get employment they immediately made an engagement with Capt. Thing to form a party for hunting and trapping. On the 15 of March the party was fitted out consisting of 10 trappers and 7 Camp keeper (myself being one of the latter) under the direction of Mr. Joseph Gale a native of the City of Washington." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

February 16, 1835 "To the following goods fur juse and Indian trade of J. Gales Trapping party vix 6lbs sugar, 6 labs coffee, 1/2 lb redpepper, 1/2 lb black pepper, 1 lb chocolate, 2 packs hawks bells, 2 lbs vermillion, 4 doz awls, 3 dox fish-hooks, 3 dox gun worms, 2 dox fore steels, 3 doz fuzee flints, 2 bunches garnet beads, w bunches white seed beads, 2 bunches striped sead beads, 2 dox Indian knives, 2 bunches black seed beads, 1/ 2 doz pocket glasses, 3 camp axes, I half axe, 5 lbs gunpowder. 10 lbs musket balls, I nine inch butcher knife, one six inch butcher knife, I Indian knife, 1 hone.. ..[Total cost 14.57 1/ 2 ] " Fort Hall Journal  

Ap 3d 1835 Wappatoo Island "Friend Weld I write, but do not know when I will have an opportunity to send. I am in the mood which you know is alwayrs enough for me. If I were at Cambridge the wine would suffer to night and you pretty well know who would be in the company. I have had a severe winter of it. All my men have been sickly except myself anf one man and nothing but pur obstinacy has kept me from being hauled up.......Went down the river and found my Brig not arived but outside the bar.... Went down river and met her coming up. This was on the 11th Sept. ...After shaking hands, set about arranging a party to send to a Fort which I have built among the Rocky Mts. This party consisted of Capt. Thing 13 Sandwich Islanders and 8 whites. They proceeded about 200 miles up the Columbia inland at the same time I took a party of 4 Sandwich Islanders and 16 whites and followed inland 150 and got news that Capt Things Islanders had all run away from him. This obliged me to spare all my Islanders, and all but 6 of my whites to enable Capt. Thing to proceed to Fort Hall. With the residue I proceeded to look for the deserters....." Letter to Friend Weld, Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman  

May 30th [1835] "We traveled down to the Plains and on the day following arrived at the Fort later travelling about 30 mls in a South W. direction. On arriving at the Fort we learned that Capt. Thing had started in April with 12 men for the purpose of establishing a trading post on a branch of Salmon River: but had been defeated by the Blackfeet with the total loss of his outfit excepting his men and horses." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

[June 1835] "On the 10th of June a small party belonging to the Hudsons Bay compay arrived from Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River under the direction of Mr. F Ermatinger accompanied by Capt. Wm. Stuart an English half pay Officer who had passed the winter at Vancouver and was on tour of pleasure in the Rocky Mountains. On the 12th they left Fort Hall and started for the grand rendezvous on Green River. We now began to make preparations for what the Trappers termed the "Fall Hunt" and all being ready on the 15th we started." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

Sept. [1835] "On the first of September, 1835, we departed on the fall hunt. We trapped the Yellowstone and Big Horn rivers, and then crossed over to the Three Forks of the Missouri, went up the North Fork, and wintered on Big Snake River and it tributaries. There we found Thomas McCoy, one of the Hudson's Bay traders. With Antoine Goday and four men I joined McCoy, having heard that beaver were abundent on Mary's River. We trapped down the river until it lost itself in the Brat Basin, but found fewer beaver. We then went back up river some sixty miles and struck across to the water of Big Snake River, where we separated, McCoy going to Fort Walla Walla and the rest of us to Fort Hall. On our march we found no game. The county was barren, and for many days we had nothing to eat but roots, and blood which we drew from our horses, and cooked. On the fourth day before we got to the fort we were met by a party of Indians, and I traded them for a fat horse. We killed it, feasted for a couple of days, and then concluded our journey to the fort in safety. We were received kindly by the inmates who treated us well. We remained a few days with them, then started out to hunt for buffalo, having learned that they were not more than a day's travel form the fort. We killed a good many, and returned to the fort. The Blackfoot Indians must have seen use while we were hunting, for that night they came to the fort and stole every animal we had. We were encamped outside the fort, but our animals were in one of the corrals belonging to it. During the night the sentinel saw two men approach and let down the bars and drive out the animals, but supposing them to be our own men turning the animals out to graze, he did not raise and alarm. We were now afoot and had to remain at the fort for about a month, when McCoy appeared and we joined him and started for the rendevous on Green River. He had plenty of animals and we purchased such as we needed from him. Kit Carson, Trapper, Etc.  

Sept. 20th 1835 Columbia River "Dear Uncle. My last was from this place dated Oct 6th. 1834 We have had a bad season for salmon. About half a cargo only obtained........I am now a little better from a severe attack of billious Fever. I did not expect to recover and an still awreck. Our sick list has been this summer usually about one third of the whole number and the rest much frightened. 13 Deaths have occured beside some in the interior killed by Indians. I leave in a few days for the interior to winter at Fort Hall. In intend in the spring to return to this place and take up goods then I shall thun my face toward the rising sun and hope to have the pleasure of seeing you about the last of Oct. 1836." To Leonard Jarvis, Esq., Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman  

Sept. 22d 1835 Columbia River "I am too buisy and too unwell to write much ever to you.......Our salmon fishing has not been succeeded. Half a cargo only obtained. Our people are sick and dying off like rotten sheep of billious disorders. I shall be off by the first of next month to the mountains and winter at Fort Hall. In the Spring I shall return here then again to Fort Hall and start about June to see you all in the States...." Letter to Bro. Charles, Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Trader and Businessman  

Sept. 22 1835 Columbia River "Dear Wife I have been sick but have got well and shall be on my way to the Mts. To winter at Fort Hall in about 6 days. I expect to be home about 1st Nov. 1836. Mr. Nuttal is here and well......" Nathaniel Wyeth, Trader and Businessman  

[October, 1835] "On the 19th learning that Bridger was approaching the forks and the party of hunter to which I had belonged had passed down the river towards the Fort I mounted my horse--started down river and arrived at the Fort next day about noon the distance being 60 Mls S.S.W. When I arrived the party had given up all hopes of ever seeing me again and had already fancied my lifeless body lying on the plains after having been scalped by savages. The time for which myself and all of Mr. Wyeth's men were engaged had recently expired so that now I was independent of the world and no longer termed a "Greenhorn" At least I determined not to be so green as to bind myself to an arbitrary Rocky Mountain Chieftain to be kicker over hill and dale at his pleasure." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

Novr. 15th [1835] "Capt. Thing arrived from the Columbia with supplies for the Fort. In the meantime the men about the Fort were doing nothing and I was lending them a hand until Mr. Wyeth should arrive and give us our discharge." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

Decr 20th [1835] "Mr. Wyeth arrived when I bid adieu to the "Columbia River Fishing and Trading Company" and started in company with 15 of my old Messmates to pass the winter at a place called "Mutton Hill" on Port Neuf, about 40 Mls.SE from Fort Hall. Mr. Wyeth had brot. A new recruit of Sailors and Sandwich Islanders to supply our place at the Fort." Osborne Russell, Trapper  


5th May, 1836 Fort Vancouver "Sir: The following proposal is made with a view of establishing a permanent fur business on the Upper Waters of the Snake River and countries to the Eastward and Southward, not much, if any frequented by your parties, it is not made with a view of eventually limiting Supplies to the amount named, but to increase the same to any extent that may be found profitable. I wish to obtain some assurance from the Honble. Company of Supplies, in order to be able on my return to Boston to make my present partners and offer for the property we have in this Country, if you approve of the plan, & could yourself furnish any positive assurance of the Supplies before I arrive in Boston, it would assist me in my transactions there, or if you would place the subject before the Honble. Company in England so that I could receive their answer during the coming winter, it would effect the object. The proposal which I wish to make is as follows. Ist The Honorable Company to furnish Supplies at 75 p. Cent advance on prime Cost and Charges to the Amount of L700 deliverable at Vancouver. 2d The Hble. Co. to furnish the produce & manufactures of the Country at the Tariff of the Country, Horses not over Seventy five the first year, & afterwards according to the exigency of the business at their Cost at Walla Walla, and the men not exceeding fifteen the first year, and thereafter according to the wants of the Trade, and the Cost of their wagons commencing from the time said men shall leave the place they are hired, the homble. Co. To send the said men home free of charge on the termination of their contracts with N. Wyeth. 3d The Honble Co. to furnish one or more clerks if required charging their Wages. 4th N. Wyeth to deliver over at Vancouver all the furs and peltries he may obtain, and receive therefore a credit of L1 p.1 merchantable Beaver of 1 lb. Weight and all smaller to be considered as half Beaver, and for all other furs and peltries usually receive by the Co. at prices to be heeafter determined. 5th N. Wyeth to agree to abandon Fort Hall if required and in no case to trade or barter with any Indians of freemen below the scite of said Fort on the waters of Snake River, and also agree to establish no posts on the Columbia or any of its waters without consent of the Honble. Company, but to pursue his trade on the waters of the Salt Lake, the Colorado, del Norte, and the Rivers of the Atlantic. I am respectfully, Your Abedt. Sert." Letter to John McLoughlin, Esqr., Nathaniel Wyeth, Explorer and Tradesman  

3d [Aug., 1836] "Came to Fort Hall this morning distance eight miles. A cool breeze made our ride very pleasant. Husband & myself were alone entirely behing the dust and camp & enjoyed a sweet repast in conversation about home & dear friends. Particularily Mother Loomis in her new situation. Thought a sight of her in her dairy would be particularly pleasant. Was much cheered with a view of the Fort at a considerable distance. Any thing that looks like a house makes us glad. Called and were hospitably entertained by Capt Thing who keeps the Fort. It was built by Capt Wyeth a gentleman from Boston, whom we saw at Rendezvous, on his way east. Our dinner consisted of dry buffalo meat, turnips, and fried bread, which was a luxury. Mountain bread is simply coarse flower and water mixed in Buffalo grease. To one who has had nothing by meat for a long time, this relishes well. For tea we had the same, with the addition of some stewed service berries." Narcissa Whitman, Oregon Missionary  

Aug 3 [1836] "Arrivied at this place [Fort Hall] a little after noon, were invited to dine at the fort, where we have again tasted bread. Since we left the Rendezvous, our diet has been mostly dried buffalo meat, which, though very miserable, I think has affected my health favorably. This fort, situated on the south side of the Snake River, was built by Captain Wyeth in 1834, and is exposed to the Blackfeet, a savage tribe who glory in spilling blood of the whites. Several men of the fort have been killed by those savages. The blessing of the gospel would remedy this evil." Eliza Spaulding, Oregon Missionary  

4th [July, 1836] Enjoyed the cool retreat of an upper room this morning while writin. The buildings of the Fort are made of hewed logs, roof covered with mud brick, chimney & fireplaces also being built of the same. No windows, except a square hole in the roof, & in the bastion a few port holes large enough for guns only. The building are all enclosed in a strong log wall. This afford them a place of safety when attacked by hostile Indians, as they frequently are, the Fort being in Black Feet country. We were invited to breakfast & dinner, dined with them only. Since dinner visited the garden & corn field. The turnips appear thrifty, the tops are very large & tall but the roots were small. The peas looked well but most of therm had been gathered by mice. Saw a few onions that were going to seed, these looked quite natural. This was all the garden contained. He told us his own did extremely well until the 8th of June, when the frost of one night completely prostrated it. It has since come up again but does not look as well as it dis before. This is their first attempt at cultivation. The buildings at Fort William on Larimy's Fork of Platte, Black Hills, are made in the same way, but larger & more finished than here. Here we had stools to sit on, there we had very comfortable chairs, bottomed wiht buffalo skins. Thus you see we have a house of entertainment almost or quite as often as Christain of Pilgrim's Progress did. We expect one more before we get to Walla Walla. That is Snake Fort belonging to Mr. McKay who is journing with us. If prospered we expect to be there in fifteen days. From this on our company will be small. The Indians leave us today except one or two who go with us to assist in driving the cattle. Kentuck who went with Mr. Parker last year and Chief Rotten Belly. The whole tribe are exceedingly anxious to have us go with them, use every arguement they can invent to prevail on us to do so, & not only arguments, but stratagem. We all think it not best. We are very much fatiqued & wish to get through as soon as possible. To go with them would take us two months or more, when now we expect to go to Walla Walla in twenty-five daysm ir be there by the first of September. When we get there rest will be sweet to us. So it will be to the Christian when he gets to heaven. Ah! will Mother& Father get there before I do? If so they they will be ready to greet me upon its threshold. He we have raised our Tbenezer, saying, 'Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.' Now we leave it & pass on. Farewell dear Parents for the present. Our animal are nearly ready. It is now half past two, expect to go but a short distance & encamp." Narcissa Whitman, Oregon Missionary  

5th [July, 1836] "Came all of ten miles last eve, did not arrive here untill after dark. Mr. McLeod & his company started earlier than we did intending to come but a little way from the Fort just to make a commencement. We could not ger ready to start with him & the man who piloted us., led us wrong, much out of the way. Those on whom we depended to drive our cattle, disappointed us. Husban & myself fell in behind to assist John Aits, who was alone with them. This made us later into camp than the rest of our com. We came through several swamps & all the last part of the way we were so swarmed with musquetoes as to be scarely able to see, expecially while crossing the Pourtniff which we did just before we came into camp. It is the widest river I have forded on horseback. It seemed as if the cows would run mad ofr the Musquetoes. We could scarcely get them along. Mr. McLeod met us and invited us to tea, which is a great favour. Thus blessings gather thick around us. Fort Hall is situated on a flue of Snake River, called on maps Lewis, about 10 mile above the junction of the Pourtniff in his valley. We have been in the mountains so long find the scenery of this valley very greatful to the eye, with a large river on my right and one on my left hand skirted with timber. This is our first sight of Snake River at Fort Hall. We shall follow the course of it on the south side, for many days. We have passed many place where the soil is good and would be fertile if there were frequent rains. Usually the country is barren & would be a sandy desert were it not for the sage, which is its only production, in some places it grows in bunches to the height of a mans head & it is so stif and hard as to be much in the way of our animals & waggon. Its common height is just above the ancles. Narcissa Whitman, Oregon Missionary  

Wednesday 3rd [Aug., 1836] "Off 8 A m arrived at Ft. Hall 12 O Clock M 10 miles The Valley in which Ft. H. is is generally the winter quarters for the Snake or Shoshon tribe and the Banacks a branch of the same tribe. Ft. Hall was built some two years since by Capt. Wyeth of Boston We had an introduction to him at Rendevo and received a letter from him to Capt. Thing the Superintendent at the Ft. by whome we were treated verry kindly. We remained at the Ft till next day 2 P.M. and continued our Journey down S.R. which is the South Branch of the Columbia The Nez Persies leaving us at this place Ft H. and taking a North course across S R into the country of the Black Foot. Takin Souits and his family onlly remaining with us From Fort Hall we went south of West to the River Portnough 10 miles an d camped on the south W. side" W. H. Grey, Oregon Emigrant  

Sept. Ist. [1836] "Mr. John M'Leod chief trader of the Hudson's Bay Company. Arrived this morning from the rendezvous, with a small trading party. I had bee anxiously expecting this gentleman for several weeks, as I intended to return with him the Vancouver. He is accompanied by several Presbyterian missionaries, the Rev. Mr. Spaulding and Doctor Whitman with their wives, and Mr. Grey, teacher. Mr. M'Leod informed me of the murder of Antoine Goddin, the half-breed trapper, by the Blackfeet Indians at Fort Hall.--A band of these Indians appeared on the shore of the Portneuf river, opposite the fort, headed by a white man named Bird.--This man requested Goddin, whom he saw on the opposite side of the river, to cross to him with a canoe, as he had beaver which he wished to trade. The poor man accordingly embarked alone, and landing near the Indians, joined the circle which they had made, and smoked the pipe of peace with them. While Goddin was smoking in his turn, Bird gave a sign to the Indians, and a volley was fired into his back. While he was yet living, Bird himself tore the scalp from the poor fellow's head, and diliberately cut Captain Wyeth's initials, N. J. W. In large letters upon his forehead. He then hallooed to the fort people, telling them to bury the carcass if they wished and immediately went off with his party.... We also hear, that three of Captain Wyeth's men who had lately visited us, had been assulted on their way to Fort Hall, by a band of Walla Walla Indians, who after beating them severely, took from them all their horses, traps, ammunition, and clothing. They were, however, finally induced to return to them each a horse and gun, in order that they might proceed to the interior, to get fresh supplies...." Peter Townsend, Botanist and Traveler  

Oct. 2, 1836, Columbia River "....Thence west to Fort Hall, on Snake or Lewis river, Lat. 42 degrees, 13 minutes, Lag. 113 degrees. This fort was built in 1834 by Capt. Whyeth of Boston, who came that year into the country to engage in the fur trade and with whom the missionaries Lees came. No female accompanied them. Here turnips have been raised but too frosty for farming. Some timber on a small spot and apparently several thousand acres of good soil. This is a dangerous situation, in the vicinity of the Black Feet, a blood-thirsty Indian tribe, frequently at the gates of the fort, have destroyed many lives and stolen hundreds of horses....." Letter to Brothers Wm. & Edward Porter & their wives, Rev. H. H. Spaulding, Oregon Missionary  


[1837] "Miles during his first year in the mountains had two horses, and was wintering at Blackfoot Creak, at a point about 40 miles from Fort Hall, when a man from the fort offered him two good guns for a horse. Miles gave his horse, and the guns were to be sent to him, but they not arriving, he set off on foot to get them. When about 2/3rd of the way himsel and companion gave out, and turned back 4 miles to get water. They reached the creek at 9 at night--willow banks piled 20 feet high with snow--out of their way down an old buffalo trail gathered a few dry willow twigs, and while Miles sat striking a light, cross-legged, his feet froze! 10 pounds of ice on each snow shoe, and then when the fire touched the frost in his flesh, his involuntary scream of agony startled the midnight solitude! Plunging his feet in the snow and icewater of the creek gave some poor relief and he law in the snow all night, burning, as if in fire. But the resolution boy started off the next morning, though each foot was bigger than his head, and he made his was to Fort Hall, where he got his horse again but no guns." Based on an interview by Matt Field in 1843, Miles Goodyear, Trapper  

October 31, 1837 "....On the the 18th July the Americans arrived from St. Louis, when he was infomred though Captain Thing, Mr. Wyeth's Clerk, that Mr. Wyeth had given over the business, and given him the power to sell out, but states nothing regarding the proposal he made Your Honors, and he writes Captain Thing he would find further instructions at Vancourver. Captain Thing offered Mr. McLeod at once to Sell to the Hudsons Bay Company all Mr. Wyeth Goods &c. A 100 p Cent on Boston prices, Fort Hall 1000 Dollars Traps 12 " ea, Horses 40 " ea..,,,and his trappers advances at their valuation in the Books; Mr. McLeod very properly would not accept these terms as too high, and Captain Thing immediately sold his Traps and Horses to Fourtenelle & Drips at those prices, and brough down his Furs here, and according to the offer you made him, I purchased his Goods &c. Valuing them at our Importation of '36, and taking the Boston prime cost for such articles as you offered, and putting no value on useless articles, (However to give us a claim on these last, when the accounts were made out, I gave him Fifty Dollars for them), Beaver 4 1 /2 Dollars p. lb. (The Rocky Mountain price) on conditions that he wuld lake Five Hundred Dollars for Fort Hall and his Outstanding Debts, to be paid by Bills on England, the Dollar to be valued at 4/2. But if these terms do not suit him, I offered him passage for his effects and furs to Oahu, on his paying freight, he accepted the offers I made him, and sold us all Mr. Wyeth Furs, Goods &c. As the terms stated when we closed his accounts, and he leaves this for Oahu. {the total price paid to Wyeth for Fort Hall came to $8,179.98}." Letter to Company Officials, Dr. John McLoughlin, Chief Factor in Oregon, Hudson's Bay Co.  


June 21 [1838] "....Finished my letters and made preparations to start after dinner. In the meantime, Thomas' horse threw him and trod upon his knee which was swelled a great deal and the pain was extreme. By this time the camp was in motion and our horses became extremely uneasy. Washed the knee in strong vinegar and commense packing the horses and one ran away.....Thomas was in great pain and lying outside the Fort [Hall} no invitation having been given to take him in. I asked a Kanak to take hin and went in quest of horses that meantime ran away." Reverand Jason Lee, Oregon Missionary  

8th. Sunday [July 1838] "Today a company from Fort Hall has arrived with Mr. Ermatinger at their head. Rev. Mr. Lee is in company with them on is way to the States. He is one of the Methodist missionaries form west of the Mountains. This arrival fills our hearts with joy. This company will go with us through the most dangerous part of the country. We were intending to move camp on Tuesday next, but were feeling anxious for our safety. Supplies have been sent us form Mr. Spalding of flour, rice, Indian meal & c." Asa Bowen Smith, Oregon Missionary  

12th July 1838, Wind River "My Dear Edward I arrived here a day or two ago and met Mr. Gray, who handed me your letter, and believe me I am truly sorry to hear of your family misfortune. I had never once thought it possible that such a bereavement would attend us. If Lawrence does not turn out well we must make a sailor of him, if indeed he can be made anything of. He wa too long at that school in Vancouver and I fear that it will cost more trouble to break him of the vile habits her learnt there. Since I wrote you last, I have been continually upon the move. From Colvile I went to Vancouver and upon my way up just above the Cascades was near going to the bottom. I lost all I had with me. From Walla Walla I came here with some American gentlemen and now I am about to start back with Mr. Gray to Fort Hall. This trip I made purely for their benefit. The situation I hold now is beyond all comparison the worst I ever had. So many drunken lawless fellows to deal with and the vexation of being cheated by them is too much for me. Now these differences in Canada must operate against you and be the cause of my remaining to assist you. It is impossible for me, dear Brother to write you here. Suffice it to day that I am well and shall be anxious to hear how your troubles will end. A Mr. Lee had gone down, and I shall expect a letter form you by him. My love to Mrs. E. and remember me to Mr. Dears. Yours affectionately Letter To Edward Ermatinger, Francis Ermatinger, Hudson Bay Factor at Fort Hall  

Thursday, July 26th [1838] "Rode six and one-half hours, twenty-three miles; encamped on a branch of the Portsmouth; two mules threw their packs, one into the river; crossed ten creeks." Myra R. Eells, Oregon Missionary  

27th Friday. [July, 1838] "Rose this morning as soon as it was light & set off for Fort Hall. Arrived about nine. Took breakfast at the fort. Were pilotely treated by the company. Found her 6 Nez Perces Indians direct from the Spaldings. They have brought the melancholy intelligence of the death of Mrs. Lee, wife of the missionary who met us at rendezvous." Sarah Gilbert White Smith, Oregon Missionary  

Friday July 27, 1838 "Move from the picket at half past four, ride five hours, eighteen miles. Arrive at Fort Hall; introduced to Mr. MacKay, one of the chief factors of the Hudsons' Bay Company; also to a number of Nez Perces Indians. They came here last night directly from Mr. Spaulding's, on an express to the Rev. Mr. Lee, with the painful news of the death of his wife and infant. The same express will take letters for us to the states; nearly all improve the opportunity. Received kindly at the fort. Mrs. Walker almost sick." Myra Fairbanks Eells, Oregon Missionary  

Friday 27th [July, 1838] "Had but about 13 miles to travel to reach Fort Hall. Set out as soom as it was light & reached the fort about 9 a.m. We were very kinldly rec'd 7 treated with much attention. Took breakfast at the fort & had the proivlege of sitting down a table, which we have not enjoyed since we left the States. Our breakfast consisted of boiled ham & salted tongue with hard bread. The ham & flour come from Collvlle. Found here a company of 6 Nez Perces who had come to meet us from Mr. Spaulding. They brought intelligence of he death of Mrs. Lee, the wife of the Methodist missionary we met at the Rendezvous. This will be sad intelligence to him. An express will probably be sent on to overtake him with intelligence to him. We shall thus have another opportunity of sending letters to our friends. We found the Nez Perces very glad to see us & seem very ready to tell us the names of things in their language. I have already learned several words so that by them & signs I can make them understand very well. It rains this afternoon & we are very glad to stay in our tents & rest. We have now travelled 14 days since we left the Rendezvous & the distance is commonly estimated at 400 miles. We have averaged 28 1/ 2 miles per day & and that over the most rugged part of our route. It is very rapid travelling & our animals have suffered in consequence of it. Asa Bowen Smith, Oregon Missionary

Friday July 27 [1838] "Enroute & Fort Hall. Left the camp ground half past four in the morning after a sleepless night with tooth ache. Set out as usual with Dr. G. & wife; But Ermatinger and Batiste came on, and they set off with them & left me behind. Capt. Sutor [John Augustus Sutter] happened to be with me, and not having his spurs, was unable to keep up. So he and I were left alone without a guide. I suffered my pony to do as he pleased; but having left the trail and seeing no one ahead, he began to be alarmed, & hastened over the sedge. I succeeded in checking him and turning his head the other way. Saw Mr. Richardson approaching. He came up, and my pony kept up with him. So I reached Ft. Hall after a ride of four hours, pretty will exhausted by fatique and toothache, and found breakfast ready which was indeed acceptable. Husband and the rest of the party arrived about an hour after, so I think, After breakfast I laid down and tried to compose myself; but my nerves were so excited, and my tooth still aching. Though I laid nearly all day I could not get even a nap. So most night, I concluded to have it extracted, after which I felt better." Mary Richardson Walker, Oregon Missionary

July 27th, 1838 From Fort Hall "My Dear Parents. "We arrived here today. 16 days from the Rendezvous, a distance of 400 miles & over the most rugged & mountainous part of the way. We have traveled very safely, but it had not been s fatiguing here as on the low ground where it is warmer. We have had a cool bracing air, as we have been some of the time in the region of snow. We have an unexpected opportunity of sending letters form theis place as an express mail arrived here last night from Walla Walla withthe intelligence that Mrs. Lee, the wife of the missionary we met at the Rendezvous, was dead & an express will go to inform him of this mournful event. We are all well, tho some fatiqued with our labor. We can endure it better however now than in the first part of the route before we became accustomed to it. We have now 500 miles to go to reach Wallawalla which makes 900 from the Rendezvous instead of 800 as I mentioned in my last. Six Nez Perces are here, came to meet us here with fresh horses. They are very glad to see us & are very ready to tell us the names of things in their language. I hve already learned several words so that by these & signs I can make them understand very well. I like th appearance of the Nez Perces better than any Indians I have seen as yet. They are all, however, filthy in their appearance & practive. Lat Sabbath were with a party of Bannocks. They were friendly and troubled us some with their company. Several sat around while we had a sermon preached. One squaw caught lice& eat them most of the time. This is common among the Indians to eat lice. We shall doubtless find many things trying in our labors among them, but I trust we shall have some delight in the work. The Lord has truly been our helper thus far & I trust we shall come through in safety. Sarah sends much love. Pray for us much that the grace of God shall dwell richly in us. Very affectionally yours." Asa Bowen Smith, Oregon Missionary

Friday, 28. [July, 1838] "Fort Hall. Pretty much sick all day; had to let my work all go. Wrote part of a letter to our folks. Mary Richardson Walker, Oregon Missionary

Saturday, 28. [1838] "Slept most of the day. Attended meeting at the fort in dining room, Mr. Eels preached. Mary Richardson Walker, Oregon Missionary

29th Sat. [Juy, 1838] "Have done some washing, am quite fatigued, Mr. Ermatinger very kindly gave us the provilege of washing at the Fort & let his servants bring wood, water, &c. The Fort is bulit of dobie, a kind of clay made into brick & dried in the sun, cool in the summer & warm in the winter. We receive many calls from the Indian ladies, wives of the gentlemen who own the Fort. They are very pretty but their minds uncultivated. The Nez Perces are very fond of visiting us & learning us their language." Sarah Gilbert White Smith, Oregon Missionary

Saturday, July 28th [1838] "Attend to washing, mending, etc. No one willng to carry the express for less than fove dollars." Myra Fairbanks Eells, Oregon Missionary

29th. Sat. [July 1838] "This morning the Nez Perces come to our tent, knew it was the Sabbathm said it was wicked to work & wicked to talk bad. Wished to have the Bible read. They could readily find the name of God, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chris, John & many could tell te story of the cross stretching out their arms, pointing to their hands & side tell us he was nailed & pierced. They had also the story of Abraham offering Isaac, of Cain killing his brother & many others. Surely truth is finding its way to the minds of this people. O that the Spirit wuld make it effective to their conversion." Sarah Gilbert White Smith, Oregon Missiona

Sab. 29th [July, 1838] "The six Nez Perces come to our tent twice today & sang & I prayed with them & endeavored to convey some instruction to them. They would readily find the names of God, Jesus Christ &c. They seemed much interested & it was truly interesting to hear them sing the songs of Zion. They appeared very solemn during these exercises & it may be that the Spirit of God has already touched their hearts". Asa Bowen Smith, Oregon Missionary

Sunday, July 29th [1838] "Mr. Gray lodges in the Fort. Mr. Eells and I have a tent to ourselves. We get ant eat our breakfast before any in the camp are up. About 10 o'clock Mr. Ermatinger comes to invite us to breakfast; says he had just got up. After breakfast he comes again to invite us to have preaching in the Fort. Afternoom, Mr. Eells preaches in the dining room; sone fifty or sixty hearers. Mr. Smith tries to talk with the Indians, who are constantly around his tent." Myra Farbanks Eells, Oregon Missionary

Monday, July 30. "Fort Hall Quite well. Washed &c." Mary Richardson Walker, Oregon Missionary

30 July [1838] Letter from Fort Hall "After riding fast four hours, arrived a Fort hall where I found breakfast ready...Sat on a stool & ate at a table. After riding 16 or 18 miles before breakfast & going without sleep two nights, I found myself pretty well used up. After bearing it all day & finding no relief I had it extracted, after which I got a good nights rest. On reaching the fort we received letters from our Missionary bretheren, and the sad intelligence that Mr. Lee's wife and child were dead; and so an express goes to overtake Mr. Lee, we have still an opportunity to write home... Ermatinger takes a great liking to Mr. W. Is ready to afford him all the assistance & accomodate him in every way. The cattle we exchange at the fort & exchange them for those already there. This will be a great relief expecially to Mr. W. Who has had a hard time in driving across the mountains & I hope to enjoy what I have been most of the time deprived of the company of my husband in rideing. Most of the way he had had so much are that I could not ride near as comfortable with him as else-where so I hve seldom seem him except morning, noon and night. Frequently I have been several miles ahead & have felt rejoiced & supprised to find we were safe in camp... All day the melting sun, sand & sedge---I have no idea how much of the continent was destitute of trees--- Since I left the States I have scarcely seen what could with propriety be called a forrest. On the Rockey Mountains ther are some of their sides covered with yellow pine but I do not think the most extensive wood we had passed through was a mile across. All the timber is groves that skirt the banks of rivers and brooks. From Fort Hall we go to Boise, 250 miles and half the way to Walla Walla.... The fort is built of doughbes which are clay made in form of brick two feet long six inches deep. The wall is double & room as cool as a cellar almost. We have our tents pitched out side the fort but have a room inside where we stay when we choose. It is now Monday July 30, sister P's birthday. I have got most well again am going to washing room at the fort which in form and size & cleanliness resembles your hog sty. The fort is full of men with squaws & half breeds children with bright black eyes, enough of them to make a fine school. Tell John & P.H. I see little boys & girls no biger than they who ride horses all alone over the steep mountains through the deep rivers without being at all afraid. And little children only two or three years old fixed on top of a pack with the mothers leading the horse & they fast asleep. There head shaking about so that I cant see how it is possible they should not have their necks broaken.... I have had to exert myself very much to write this. But it is so uncertain when I shall ever have another oppotunity that I could not suffer this to be unimproved. I shall rejoice to be once more, where I can sleep without the loaded musket at our side..." Mary Richardson Walker, Oregon Missionary

30th Mon. [July 1838] "Spent the day in our little tent. It has been very warm & the tent not very comfortable. Are preparing to leave here tomarrow. Have now about 500 mile to travel. We feel that we are near home. We begin to see the end of our journey & our hearts are glad. I hope the trials we have experienced will be blessed to us & we be parepared for great usefulness among the heathen. Sarah Gilbert White Smith, Oregon Missionary

Monday, July 30th [1838] "Mr. Richardson and Mr Curtis go back with the express. Some of the company think it best for Mr. Gary to go on as soon as possible to Mr. Spaulding's and make arrangements for our arrival." Myra R. Eells, Oregon Missionary

Tuesday, July 31st [1838] Make arrangements for moving camp. The men of the Fort think it not best for Mr. Gray to leave the camp at present. Hire two men, one for Mr. Spaulding, and one for the good of the mission, for one year...Ermatinger gives ten pounds of sugar. At 2 o'clock bid farewell to our new formed acquaintances at the Fort; rode two and one-half hours, ten miles; encamp on the Fortsmouth. Mr. McKay and wife and two or three Indians go with us to our encampment, take tea with us and return. Myra R. Eells, Oregon Missionary

Tuesday, July 31. Left Ft. Hall. "Mr. MCCay and lady, Battice &c accompanied us to our first encampment." Mary Richardson Walker, Oregon Missionary

3 1st Tues. [July 1838] "Left Fort Hall at 1 o'c this afternoon with the kind wishes of all at the Fort. Several men & women rode with us to our encampment on Portsmouth river about 10 miles. We have been treated with the greatest kindness by this company for which we would be thankful." Sarah Gilbert White Smith, Oregon Missionary

Tuesday 31st [July, 1838] "Left Fort Hall in the afternoon & crossed over Portmouth about 10 miles & encamped. We were treated with great kindness at the Fort & have great reason to bless God for his kindness to us." Asa Bowen Smith, Oregon Missionary [August, 1838] "..went up wind river in to Jacksons hole on the piers hold and on the 5th of August left for the hudsons bay Co on Snake river [Fort Hall} with my woman and two little boys the Distance of 150 and arrived thare Safe and found Mr. Eramatinger in Charge and I was well received and treated by him and McClain. times is hard and peltries low provisions scarce indians in a bundence going in all parts Serch of Something to stay on their Stomachs" Robert Newell, Mountain Man

 [Events in 1830's] "....In 1832 a Mr. Wyeth came accross by land from Boston with eleven men, with the intention of establishing a salmon fishery and expected to have met a vessel which he had sent from Boston, but he learned afterwards wh had been wrecked on an island in the Pacific, and the nonarrival of his vessel obliged Mr. Wyeth to return to the United States, but his men remained in the Wallamette. In 1834 Mr. Wyeth returned with a large number of men whom he had left in the Snake Courtry to trap beaver, where he built the present Fort Hall, and bought about twenty men to prosecute the object of his first voyage in 1832, for which purpose he despatched the May Dacre, Captain Lambert, from Boston in 1833, and which entered the river a few days after Mr. Wyeth arrived at Vancouver, who built on Wapatoo Island. Collected in 1835 about half a cargo of salmon when the May Dacre sailed in 1835 and in 1836 Mr. Wyeth broke up his establishment on Wapatoo Island. Returned to the states, offered the remains of his property in the country for sale to the Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company in London, but they referred him to their officers in Vancouver, who bought Mr. Wyeth's property and his establishment of Fort Hall in 1837 form Mr. Wyeth's agent, and he left in on of the Hudson's Bay Company' vessels for Oahoo in 1838. Dr. John McLoughlin, Chief Factor Oregon Country, Hudson's Bay Company

[October/November 1838] "After I went to the fort a party was fitted out for a hunt of buffalow 9 of us Started from fort hall up to Camace prarie had four horses Stole after 30 days arived I then left Fort hall and Joined Mr. Drips in piers hole and wient from thare to head of Green River commen win quarters with I men and verry Cold Nov 20 1838. Robert Newell, Mountain Man

[June, 1838/Jan. , 1839] "The next day we Travelled to Blackfoot creek and the day following to Fort Hall we remained at the Fort until the 20th and then started down snake river trapping with a party of 10 men besides ourselves 22nd We arrived at a stream call Cozzu (or Raft River) This we ascended and hunter until the 5th of Octr. when finding the county had been recently hunted we returned to Fort Hall. From thence we started on the 18th with the Fort hunter and six men to kill Buffaloe meat for winter We cruised about on Snake river and its waters until the 23rd of Novr. When the weather became very cold and the snow about 15 inches deep we returned with our horses loaded with meat to Fort Hall where we stopped until the 1st of Jany 1839 when we began to be tired of dried meat and conclued to move up the river.." Osborne Russell, Trapper


[June 1839] "We staid two nights together at this place with myself and Elbridge took leave of them and returned to Frays Marsh from there we started toward fort Hall travelling one day and laying by 5 or 6 to fatten our horses and arrived at the Fort on the 5th of June. This Post now belongs to the British Hudson's Bay Company who obtained it by purchase from Mr. Wyeth in the year 1837 We stopped at the Fort until the 26th of June and then made up a party of 4 for the purpose of trappping in the YellowStone and Wind river mountains..." Osborne Russell, Trapper

[July 1839] " Green River met Drips with 4 carts of Supplies from below held randezvous I left with Mr F Eramatinger to fort hall left on the 9 of July arived at fort hall on the 20 1939 Missionaries from the States Griffin and Monger with their Ladies" Robert Newell, Mountain Man

[July 17/26, 1839] "On the first day we only saw some shy antelope; on the second day we saw two buffalo and killed one of them. The country was broken, the ground sandy, and game was scarce. For three days we remained on a little brook, while some of us were set out to hunt. In all this time only three buffalo, a buffalo calf and a grizzly bear were shot. If ever a sojourn was tedious to me, it was this one. The surroundings were depressingly desolate. Only hungry ravens croaked around, as if in mockery of us and as the Blackfeet frequently roam though the country, we have to keep quiet as possible. No one was permitted to fire a gun or go hunting, save the hunters regularly chosen for that purpose. On the seventh day we finally started again. I felt a load off my back on this uncanny country. On the same day we saw in the distance the so-called Three Buttes, three steep snow peaks, across the Snake River, visible from afar. The sandy valley of the Snake River was spread out before us. On the eighth day we crossed the Blackfoot Creek, followed its course for a time, and finally on the ninth day camped near the Snake River, about eight miles below Fort Hall. The next day, July 26th. I rode with some others to the fort." Frederick A. Wislizenus, M. D., Oregon Emigrant

25th Thursday [July, 1839] -"-moved on until we came within 6 miles of Ft Hall--Found a beautiful spring of water boiling up out of the earth--There are many similar I this region. Friday moved camp today only a mile--found good grass and water stopped here for the purpose of recruiting our horses--I mad perparations and started about noon for Fort Hall. Was wecomely received by Mr. Ermitinger & Mr. Walker who are the principal men in charge of this fort--Fort Mr. Rodgers here form the mission west of the mountains. I returned a horse I received at Soda Springs. He would receive nothing for the use of him. Mr. Rodgers went home with me and stayed with me until this morning. Moved our camp down about a mile below Fort Hall for fear of the Blackfoot Indians would steal our horses, or that the Snake or Shoshone Indians would--& charge it to the Blackfoot--They never come below the Ft to steal. Took Eliza an went up to the Fort and spent the afternoon. The men were drinking very much.--Sab. This day is indeed a day of rest. We are alone reading the precious Bible and other books--suffering our bodies and minds to rest. How blessed to case allout cares upon Jesus. How blessed to realize the care That Jeauss takes of those he loves, When we are tried he know it all, He listens to the heaving sigh we breathe, Though silent--meets his gracious care above No angry thought no frowning look returens But pease and joy pourted into the troubled soul Dispels the fears of those that trust in God. Ashel Munger, Oregon Emigrant

July 26 [1839] "Fort Hall lies on the left bank of the Snake River, between the mouths of the Blackfoot an Portneuf Creeks. It was built by Capt. Wyeth, and sold by him some years later to, when he left the mountains to the Hudson's Bay Company, in whose possession it has remained up to the present. It is the most southern fort which this English company has pushed into the Oregon Territory of the United States. The fort lies hard by the river, and is built square about eighty by eighty feet, suggestive of barracks. The style is essentially that of Fort Lariamie, except that the outer walls, ten to twelve feet haigh, are constructed in this case of wood. A small cannon is in the courtyard. He owns may horses and six cows. The whole garrison consists of six men; among them two Sandwich Islanders and a German. The clerks of the fort were Mr. Armendinger and Mr. Walker. We had learned to know the former as a jovial companion at the rendevous. Both showed themselfes very obliging to us, and furished in this respect and agreeable contrast to the often brusque behavior of agents at American forts. The day of our arrival we were invited to supper at the fort, which would have been deemed quite frugal in civilized life, but which, in this wilderness, consisted of the most delicious dishes which we had tasted since we started, namely, bread, butter, milk, dried buffalo meat, and tea with rum. No Paris meal composed with all gourmand's style, ever tasted better to me, than the luxuries (for that country) of this feast on the sans steppes of the Snake River. As we intended to stay here at least eight days to allow our animals to recuperate and to prepare ourselves of the trying jounrney to the Columbia, I employed the time in making inquiries about the Columbia River." Frederick A. Wislizenus, M. D., Traveler

11 August 1839 "Left fort hall on the 11 of August for Browns hole up Rosses creek." Robert Newell, Mountain Man, Trapper, Etc.

August [1839] " I remained eight days at Fort Hall. We camped outside the fort. Various parties of Indians and trappers arrived during this time, and camped by us. The trappers were mostly French-Canadians, preparing for a fresh campaign against the beavers. The Indians, chiefly Flatheads, led a life that suited them perfectly. They gambled and sang all night long, and slept during the day. Near the fort were some graves. In one of them rested Antoin Godin, an adventurous mountaineer and a bitter foe of the Blackfeet. It wa he who brought on in 1832 the bloody fight with the Blackfeet at Pierre's Hole, related in W. Irving's "Rocky Mountains," by treacherously grasping the hand of their leader, while another shot him. The Blackfeet after that harbored the bitterest enmity for him. Some years later a band of Blackfeet appeared near Fort Hall, on the right bank of the Snake River. Through signs they made it known that they were peaceably dispoposed and wished to trade with the fort. Some white men--among them Godin, who chanced to be there--crossed the river, and smoked the pipe of peace with them. While they were thus employed, a Blackfoot shot Godin from behind, and so avenged the death of their leader through similar treachery. Such occurences are here, unfortunately, not uncommon; and the first provocation if given ordinarily by the whites rather than the Indians. The days of rest which I spent at Fort Hall restored full vigar to my body, which has been debilitated by my previous illness and hardships; and the leisure I have to reflect on my program for further travel, determined me to change it; and, instead of going to the Columbia River to return to the United States. Several reasons brought me to this conclusion. In our party, composed of very heterogeneoud elements, many dissensions had of late developed, so that a regular separation occured, our party, small as it was, splitting inot three or four smaller ones. Although I took no part in thes petty quarrels, I was ill at ease the while, and missed a great comfort on such trips,k that is good company. Moreover, I would in all probability had had to spend the winter on the Columbia, for the journey from there to California by land is very fatiguing and dangerous. Caravans go there by seldom, and then my limited means would not permit me a prolonged stay on the Columbia and a scientific exploration of the country. Under these circumstances I thought it was most advisable to return in the fall to the United States by another road than that by which we had come up. Two off my former traveling companions came to the same resolution. But as we were all novices in mountain life, and wished to cross the country in various directions, we looked about for an experienced and relaible guide, ad found him in Mr. Richardson, who had accompanied our journey up as a hunter. So there were only ofur of us to begin the return trip. Our plan was to cross the Rocky Mountains I a more shouthern direction; to gradually draw toward the Mexican border and reach the boundary of Missoure by the great Santa Fe road. Our undertaking was not without danger. Our little party, in case of an encounter with hostile Indians, had little chance of success. On the other hand, we had the advantange of attracting less notice and of being able to travel faster. We left Fort Hall in high spirits on August 10th. Frederich A. Wislizenus, M. D., Traveler

[17 August 1839] 'On the 17th we determined to proceed on the Fort Hall, about 300 miles beyond. Mr. Kelly our guide, had never been there, but he made such inquiries here as he thought would enable him to find it without difficulty...... Mr. St. Clair told us we could not get farther than fort Hall by winter; that if we staid there through it we should most likely be compelled to eat our horses before spring, for there was no game to be killed near it; and that the people there generally had nothing but horse flesh through the winter. With all these discouragements staring us in the face--the difficulty of reaching fort Hall and the impossibility of getting to Oregon before cold weather set in--the prospect ahead looked rather gloomy. They proved to be a party which had a few weeks previous excorted to fort Hall in the Nez Perces country, situated on Big Snake river, two missionaries with their wives--Rev. Messrs Monger and Griffeth--consisting of five persons, viz: Paul Richardson (leader), Dr. Wislizenus, Charles Kline, Mr. Koontz, and a Frence trapper named Eugene....After some reflection we concluded to return with Richardson and his company. They were gratified at this resolution, as their party was quite small, though our joining it did not much increase it. Farnham, Smith, and the rest of our company parted from us with much regret, But not more than we felt at leaving them....leaving our companions, who intended to winter at fort Hall in case they found no company going farther, unflinchingly determined, the ensuing spring, toe reach 'Oregon or the Grave'." Obadiah Oakley, The Peoria Party

17th [Aug. 1843] [At Fort Crockett} "An event of great interest occured this day. It was the arrival of Paul Richardson and his three of his companions from Fort Hall. This old Yankee woodsman had been upon one of his favorite summer trips from St. Louis to the borders of Oregon.He had acted as a guide and hunter to a party of missionaries [Munger and Griffith] to the Oregon Indians. Several other persons from the western states has accompanied them: one with the lofty intentions of conquering California; and others with the intention of trading, farming, &c. On the lower Columbia; and others to explore the Rocky Mountains, and the wonders of nature along the shores of the Pacific.... Thomas J. Farnham, Traveler and Agent of Horce Greeley

[Aug 19, 1839] ...on the morning of the 19th August left the hospitality of Fort David Crockett for the dreary waste and starving plains between it and Fort Hall. Blair, Smith, and my guide Jim consitituted my whole force. Numerous war-parties of Blackfeet and Sioux were hovering over my trail. I discovered by them, death was certain; if not, and starvation did not assail us, we might reach the waters of Snake river..." I was indeed kindly offered quarters for the winter at Brown's Hole; but if I accepted them, I should find it impossible to return to the States the next year. I determined to reach the Columbia river that season, be the risk manner what it might. Accordingly I engaged a Snake Indian, whom the whites called 'Jim', to pilot me to Fort Hall, the march to commence on the morning of the 19th---distance two hundred miles, compenstaion fifty loads of ammunition, and three bunches of beads.... Thomas J. Farnham, Traveler

31st [Aug. 1839] "20 m and arrived at Fo [Fort Hall] whare we were trated by the utmost politeness by Mr. Walker. Who came out and met us from the Fort made us well-come and I assure that we are welcome arrived 3 P.M. Sidney Smith, Oregon Emigrant

[Aug-Sep 1839] "On the return of spring, we commenced our hunt, trapping the tributaries of the Missouri to the head of Lewis Fork, and then started for the rendezvous on Green River, near the mouth of Horse Creek. There we remained until August, when myself anf five others went to Fort Hall and joined a part attached to the Northwest Fur Company. We trapped at the head of the Salmon, then to the Malade, and down this stream to Big Snake River and up big Snake. We then trapped Goose Creek and Raft River, and returning to Fort Hall, disposed of the beaver we had cuaght. We remained there for a month and then joined Bridger in the Blackfoot country." Kit Carson, Trapper and Explorer

[Sept. 1, 1839] "The first of September was a fine day. The sun was bright and unclouded, as he came in his strength ofver the eastern mountains, and awakened us from out slumbers among the alder on the bank of the Portneau. Hunger, indeed was still gnawing at out vitals. But sleep had banished wearniess and added something to our small stock of remaining strength; and the recollection of past perils--perils of flood, of tempests, of Indian foes--death threatened at every step during a journey of three months in the plains and mountains--the inspiring view of the vale of the great southern branch of the Columbia, so long promised us in hope along our weary way--the fact that we were in Oregon, unmoored the mind forn tis anxieties, and shed over us a gladness that can only be comprehended by those who, having suffered as we had, hve viewed as we did, from some bright hight, their sufferings ended, in the rich, ripe possession of the objects so ardently sought. We were in Oregon. Fort Hall lay on the plain before us. Its hospitalities would be enjoyed ere sunset. Our wardrobes were overhauled, our razors put on duty, our sun-burnt faces bathed in the Portneuf; and equipped in our best, our hearts beat joyfully back the rapid clattering of our horses hoofs on the payements of the mountains, as we rushed to the plains. An hour among the sands and wild wormwood--an hour among the oo-along the banks of the Saptin River--we passed a line of timber springing at right angles inot the plain; and fefore us rose th white battlements of Fort Hall! As we emerged from this wood Jim intimated that we shoud dischare our rifles and as we did so, a single armed horseman issued from the gate of the Fort, approached us warily, and skulking amonf the copses, scanned us in the most inquisitive manner. Having satisfied himself at last the our skins were originally intended to be white, he come alongside; and learning that we were from the States; that we had no hostile intentions: that we knew Mr. Walker to be in the Fort and would be glad to have our compliments conveyed to him, he returned; and Mr.Walker immediately appeared. A friendly saluation was followed by an invitation to enter the Fort; and a "welcome to Fort Hall," was given in a manner so kind and obliging, that nothing seemed wanting to make us feel we were at home. A generous flagon of Old Jamaica, wheaten bread, and butter newly churned, and buffalo tongues fresh from the neighboring mountains, made their appearance as soon as we had rid ourselves of the equipage and dust of journeying. And allayed the dreadful sense of starvation." Thomas J. Farnham, Traveler

Sunday Sept. The 1st, 1839. Spent this day at fort-Hall very plesantly, rained the 31st of August the first rain that has fallen at this place for some weeks but rain follows us up. No rain this day the 1st of Sept. we shall Start tomarrow for the peciffic Ocean; or the mouth of the Columbia River. Monday 2d. Started travel 10 m. And campt on Snake River; here it has the appearance as though we had passed through the vally of the Shaddow of Death the land looks fine and rich covered with good pasture.." Sidney Smith, Oregon Emigrant

[Sept 2, 1839] "The business of this post [Fort Hall] consists of exchanging blankets, annuninition, guns, tobacco, $c., with the neighboring Indians, for the skins of the beaver and land otter; and in furnishing white men with traps, horses, saddles, bridles, provisions, &c., to enable them to hunt these animals fot the benefit and sole use of the owners--The Hudson Bay Company. In such cases, the horses are loaned without price; the other articles of the 'ourfit' sold on credit till the termination of the hunt. Ant the only security which the company requires for the return of their animals, is the pledge of honor to that effect, and that the furs taken shall be appropriated at a stipulated price to the payment of arreareges. Goods are sold at this establishment 50 percent lower than at the American posts. White trappers are paid a higher price for than is paid the Indians; are charged less for the goods which they receive in exchange; and are treated in every respect by this shrewd company with such uniform justice, that the American trappers even are fast leaving the service of their country-men, for the larger profits and better treatment of British employment. There is also a company of men connected with this Fort, under the command of an American mountaineer, who, following various tribes in their migatory expeditions in the adjacent American and Mexican domain, collect whatever furs may chance to be among them. By these means, and various other sugsidiary to them, the gentlemen in charge of this trading establishment, collect, in the summer of 1839, more than thirty packs fo the best beaver in the mountains" Thomas, J. Fornham, Traveler

[Sept 4, 1839] "We spent the 2nd and 3rd most agreeably with Mr. Walker, in his hospitable adobie castle--exchanged with him our wearied horses for fresh ones; and obtained dried buffalo meat, sugar, cocoa, tea, and corn meal, a guide and every other necessary within the gentleman's power to furnish for our journey to Wallawalla. And at 10'o'clock A. M. Of the 4th of September, we bade adieu to our very obliging countryman , and took to our saddles on the trail down the deserted banks of the Saptin. As we left the fort we passed over the ground of an affray, which orginated in love and ended in death. Yes, on the western declivity of the Rocky Mountains! And love of a white man for a murky Indian dame! It appeared, from the relation I had of it, that a certainwhite trapper had taken to himself a certain bronze damsel of the wilderness to be his slave-wife, with all the solemn ceremonids of purchase and payment for the same in sundry horses, odogs, and loads of ammunition, as required by the custom in such affairs governing; and that by his business of trapping beaver &c., he was, soon after the banns were proclaimed, separated from his beloved one, for the term of three months and upwards, much against his tender inclination and interest, as the following showeth: For during the term of his said absence, another whit man, with intent to injure, &c., spoke certain tender words unto the said trapper's slave-wife, which had the effect to alienate from him the purchased and rightfully possessed affections of this slave-spouce in favor of her seducer. In this said condition did the beaver-catcher find his bride when he came in form the hunt. He loaded his rifle, and killed the robber of his heart. The grave of the victim is ther, a warning to all who would trifle with the vested rights of an American trapper in the love of an Indian beauty." Thomas J. Farnham, Traveler

Wed. 4th [Sept. 1839] "20 m. And campt on s Small Spring brook near Snake River this day pased an other Snake rappid on this River; Saw an antelope or quarrick, but could not Kill him. Fort Hall is about 19 thou-Sand feet above the Sea, and from that I think we have been at Least 20,000 feet above sea level" Sidney Smith, Oregon Emigrant

[Sept. 4/5,1839] "The weather being very cold and fording the river so late at night caused me much suffering during the night Septr 4th we were on our way at day break and travelled all day thro. The high Sade and sand down Snake river. We stopped at dark nearly worn out tieh fatique hunger and want of sleep as we had now travellid 65 Mls in two days without eating. We sat and ohvered over a small fire until another day appeared then set out as usual and travelled to within about 10 Ms of the Fort when I was seized with a cramp in my wounded leg which compelled me to stop and sit down every 30 or 40 rods at length we discovered a half breed encamped in the Valley who furnished us with horses and went with us to the fort where we arrived about sun an hour high being naked hungry wounded sleepy and fatigued. Here again I entered a trading post after being defeated by the Indians [Russell and a companion named White were attacked and severely wounded by a party of Blackfeet] but the treatment was quite different from that which I had received at Larameys fork in 1837 when I had been defeated by the crows. The Fort was in charge of Mr. Courtney M. Walker who had been lately employed by the Hudsons Bay Company for that purpose. He invited us into a room and orderd supper to be prepared immediately. Likewise such articles of clothing and Blankets as we called for. After dressin outselves and giving a brief history of our defeat and sufferings supper was brot, in consisting of tea Cakes butter milk dried meat etc I eat very sparingly as I had been three days fasting but drank so much strong tea that it kept me awake till after midnight. I continued to bathe my leg in warm salt water and applied a salve which healed it in a very short time so that in 10 days I was again setting traps for Beaver" Osborne Russell, Trapper

13th of Sptr. [1839] "On the 13th of Septr. Elbridge arrived safe at the Fort he had wandered about among the Mountains several days without having any correct knowledge, but at length accidently falling onto the trail which we had made in the Summer it enabled him to reach the plains and from thence he had rravelled to the Fort by his own Knowledge." Osborne Russell, Trapper

20th of Octr. [1839] "We started to hunt Buffaloe and make meat for the winter. The party consisted of 15 men." Osborne Russell, Trapper

Nov. Ist [1839] "We arrived at the Fort [Fort Crockett] on the first of November and remained there till the 8th. On the evening of the first, there were one hundred and fifty head of horse stolen from the vicintiy of the Fort by a party of ten Sioux, as w afterwards learned. This was very unexpected, as the trappers & Snake Indians had been in the habit of letting their horses run loose in the valley, unattended by a guard, as this place was unkown to any of the holstile Indians. This event cause considerable commotion at the Fort, and they were determined to fit out a war party to go in search of the stolen horses, but the next morning this project was abandoned, and a party of twelve men went over to Fort Hall, belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company and stole several horses from that company, not withstanding they had been very well treated by the man who had charge of the Fort. On their return, they stopped by a small encampment of Snake Indians, consisting of three lodges, one of them belonging to a very old man, who invited them to eat with him, and treated them with great hospitality. At evening the whites proceeded on their journey, taking with them all the old Indian's horses. On returning to the Green River, the trappers remaining at the Fort expressed their displeasure at this act of unparallelled meanness so strongly, that the were obliged to leave the party, an go to a trading post of the Eutaw Indians. The where inthe valley, fearing the Snake Indians might retaliate upon them for the the loss of their horses, pursuing the theives & and compelled them to restore the stolen property.. 8th. We moved up river a short distacne to a log cabin, built by some young men who had come over the mountains, last spring, intending to remain there till the following Spring." E. Willard Smith, Oregon Emigrant, Civil Engineer

[Nov. 1839] "Continued our journey to Bear river, down the some to Soda Springs; from thence north to Port Neuf and Snake river, and arrived at Fort Hall on the evening of the 11th day of leaving Fort Crockett where we were hospitably received by F. Ermantinger, the gentleman in charge of the fort. During two days previous we had lived on a handful of crumbs of dried meat and a cup of coffee per day to each man. After a few days rest and refreshments, Newell and Meek, having purchased their supply, set out to return to the Green river. The writer was now left entirely alone as to American Society, exposed to the injustice of the much-abused Husdon's Bay Company, but, owing perhaps to the dullness of apprehension, is not aware any person connected with them attempted to take any undue advantage of his situation; but, on the contrary, were friendly and hospitable, and disposed to assist him in prosecuting his journey, Mr. Ermantinger especially so. Nearly all the men belonging to the post were gone to the headwaters of the Missouri on a buffalo hunt, consequently times were dull, and the prospect of proceeding on my journey was not favorable to me as the expedition to Vancouver would not be ready in less than a month. However, Mr. Ermantinger agreed to send what fur he had in charge of a Canadian named Sylvertry and myself, assisted by two natives. I gladly availed myself of the offer, and as soon as the necessary preparations could be made we set our on our journey of 500 miles to Walla Walla. Robert Shortness, Oregon Emigrant


[Nov. 1839/Mar. 1840] "I left for fort hall with Meek and one other man for good arived thare Safe got my Supplies 45 horse loads and arived on green river mouth of Glack fork 9th of November nothing to eat on to Browns hole found all Safe thare except about 100 head of horses had been Stolen by the Shyanes and on account of that the whites a party from Browns hole heded by phillip Thompson and michel to fort hall and Stole 14 horses oan on their Return Stole 30 from the Snakes the horse thieves about 10 or 15 are gone to California for the purpose of Robbing and Steeling Shuch thing never has been Known till late. I left Browns hole for fort hall on 7th February 1840 with 300 beaver after a long trip of 45 Days I arived snow very bad and provisions scarce" Robert Newell, Mountain Man, Speaker Oregon House of Representatives  

[10 Dec. 1839/10 Mar. 1840] "...4 of us however (who were the only Americans in the party) returned to Fort Hall on the 10th fo Decr. We encamped near the Fort and turned our horses among the springs and timber to hunt their living during the winter whilst ourselves were snugly arranged in our Skin lodge which was pitched among the large Cotton wood trees and in ti provisions to serve us till the Month of April. There were 4 of us un the mess. One was from Missoure one from Mass. one from Vermont and myself Maine. We passed an agreeable winter We had nothing to do but to eat attend to the horses and procure fire wood We had some few Books to read such as Byrons Shakespeare and Scotts works the Bible and Clarks Commentary on it and other small works on Geology Chemistry and Philosophy--the winter was very mild and the ground was bare in the Valley until the 15 of Jany. when the snow fell about 8 inches deep but disappeared again in a few days. This was the deepest snow and of the longest duration of any we had during the winter. On the 10th of March I started again with my old companion Elbridge " Osborne Russell, Trapper  

6th February 1840 Vancouver "My Dear Brother.......My campaign in the Snake Country I consider to have been my master work and must have removed any doubt, if nay had exited, of my abilites as a trader. We doubled the returns and reduced the expenditure much and had a ruined country to work upon. I brought out 3300 beaver and better, and received compliments enough here, but they cannot avail me for next year. Pambrun, who is and has been snug at Walla Walla for 10 or 12 years past , deserves the preference and must be brought in before me. Be it so, I will be patient for the present. The Snake country is not as when you were here, a snug little party to conduct to their trapping ground. We have to deal with a lawless a rabble, the scum of all nations, as can possibly be gathered together. I left Fort Hall upon the 26th November and soon afterwards received an express informing me that a part of scoundrels had been at the Fort and run off all the horses, at the same time left a note threatening my life and declaring that 'their fathers fought for the country and the Company shall not possess it.' I have again, in consequeneces of these threats, consented to head the party, for I am determined to make them see how they have neglected me, and if I come clear off, I hope it will be my last risk in that quarter for notwithstanding their having made the threat, I cannot believe they intend any harm to me individually. The good folk here treat the thing lightly, and I am sure I hope they may have no cause to change their opinion before two or three years are passed...." Letter to Edward Ermatinger, Francis Ermatinger, Hudson's Bay Factor, Fort Hall  

15th March 1840 Vancouver "My Dear Edward The bustle has commenced and 'all hands' are busy packing up for the express. Tod, who goes to New Caledonia, with the rest. Since I wrote you, I have made a trip to Walla Walla and there received letters formt he Snake Country, smoothing down the former reports from that quarter. But I pay little attention to either. The clerk we have at Fort Hall [Courtney Walker] is a fool and not to be depended upon, one way or the other. However I know the men I have to deal with, and if a war takes place between England and America am convinced that our Ourfits in their quarter will go for it. Since I came back, the Dr. and I have had a break out upon a most trifling subject and we now scarcely speak to each other. The truth is, I can scarcely look the man in the face for I consider his continual bickerings to have been both ungenerous and unjust. He sees that I feel he has not pushed me forward as he promised to do and as he ought to have done, and he takes evey opportunity, I presume, to humiliate me before whoever may be by us. Be it so, I never stood higher as a trader than at this moment and he knows it, and I fear he pursues this line of conduct to cloak his real feelings. We struck the Snake balance the other day and find L1700 clear gain. Now, not one of my predecessors ever upon the same amount of Outfit made L300, nor will they again if they try it. This year, if I get the same quarantee of Beaver (I have already L1300 upon the ground) our profits will be splendid, as I hve reduced the charges at least L700 from the amount the former year. Had not my faith upon the Company been so great I could have earned my two thousand dollars Per annum the Conduct the Am Camp's affairs---and I have refused a Ship from Boston. They say I make Beaver...." Letter to Edward Ermantinger, Francis Ermantinger, Hudson's Bay Factor at Fort Hall  

[April 1840] "This 3d of April fine wether plenty of indians all over the country no goods times hard \&c \&c the horse thievesor banditti consists of Phillip Thrompson. Mo. William New. Eleven michel. Ohio. Richard owens. Oh. Kelly belcour Exevia Malona. St. Louis, Mo." Robert Newell, Mountain Man  

[June 1840] "Mr. Eramatinger arivd [at Fort Hall] 13th June. Robert Newell, Mountain Man  

[May/June 1840] "30th went on to the Right fork of Muddy and set some traps, here I dtaid 6 days and went to Gray's marsh intending to kill and dry some meat and go to the Fort by finding no Buffaloe ther I ascended Gardners fork crossed the Mountain and fell on to Blackfoot creek where I killed a fat Bull dried the meat and started for fort Hall where I arrived on the 10th of June. June 14th Mr. Ermatinger arrived at the fort with 80 horse loads of goods to supply the port the ensuing year. On the 15 Elbridge arrived having fallen in with a party of hunters soon after leaving me in the Mountains after having lost his traps in crossing Grays river. A few days after he arrived he expressed a wish that I would go with him and two others to make a hunt in the Yellow Stone mountains I replied I had seen enough of the Yellow Stone Mountains and moreover I intended to trap in future with a party who would not leave me in a 'pinch'. On the 22d of June I started with two horses six traps and some few books intending to hunt on the waters of the Snake river in the vicinity of Fort Hall." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

[Sep. 1840] "I went to the Amarican randevous Mr. Drips Feab and Bridger from St. Louis with goods but times was certainly hard no beaver and everything dull some Missionaries came along with them for the Columbia Messers Clark Smith Littlejohn I engaged to pilot them over the mountains with their waggons and succeeded in crossing to fort hall thare I bought their waggons also which I perchased and Sold them to the H Bay Co while at Rondezvous I had Some diffiqulty with a man by the name of Moses Harris I think he indended murder he Shot at me about 70 or 80 yards but done no damage only to him self. I left the randezvous our little party consisted of 9 men and 3 women in 17 days we arived at fort hall found all well and on the 27 of September 1840 with two waggons and my family I left fort hall for the Columbia and with Some little Difiqutly I arived at walla walla thare I left one waggon and the other I had took down in a boat to vancouver......I likewise brought 2 american cows with me. this is to be remembered that I Robert Newell was the first who brought waggons across the rocky mountains..." Robert Newell, Mountain Man

[1840] "At the time we took the wagons, I had an idea of undertaking to bring them to this country. I exchanged for horses to these missionaries for their animals, and after they had gone a month or more for Willamette and the American Fur Company had abandoned the country for good, I concluded to hitch up and try the much-dreaded job of bringing a wagon to Oregon. I sold one of those wagons to Mr. Ermatinger at Fort Hall. Mr. Caleb Wilkins had a small wagon which Joel Walker had left a Fort Hall. On the 5th of August, 1840 we put out with three wagons. Joseph L. Meek drove my wagon. In a few days we began to realize the difficulty of the task before us, and found that the continued crashing of the sage under our wagons, which was in many places higher than the mules' backs, was no joke. Seeing our animals begin to fail, we began to light up, finally threw away our wagon beds, and were quite sorry we had undertaken the job. All the consolation we had was that we broke the first sage on that road.....On hearing me regret that I had undertaken to bring wagons, the Doctor said, 'O, you will never regret it. You have broken the ice, and when others see that wagons have passed they too will pass, and in a few years the valley will be full of our people.'" Letter to Hon. Elwood Evans of Olympia, Memories of earlier events, Dr. Robert Newell, Speaker, Oregon House of Representatives

[Aug./Oct., 1840] "From there [Gardners fork] I started toward the Fort hunting the streams which were on the route and arrived on the 22d--After stopping here for a few days I stated in a Company with 3 trappers one of whom was 'Major Meek' and travelled to the forks of Snake river From there we ascended Henry's fork about 15 Mls and then took up a stream in a SW direction into the Mountains by finding no Beaver we crossed the mountain and struck Lewis fork in the kanyon where after trapping some days we went on to Grays creek where after staying some days we killed a fit Grizzly Bear and some antelope loaded the meat on our horses and started to the Fort where we arrived on the 22 of Septr. On the first of Octr. I again left the Fort with a Frenchman who had an Indian wife and two children and was going on to Green river to winter there." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

[Nov., 1840] "They told me [Snake Indians} told me if I would go to the Fort and get some goods return and spend the winter with them they would trade their Furs with me. I started for the Fort with one of them whom I engaged to assist me with my horses. I arrived at the Fort on the 23rd of Novr. when after getting such articles for trade as I wished and my personal supplies for the winter I returned to Cache Valley accompanied by a halfbreed." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

[Nov., 1840] "I left for fort hall with meek and one other man for goods arrived on the Green river mouth of Blacks fork 9th of november nothing to eat on to Browns hole found all safe there except about 100 head of horses that had been stolen by the Shyanes on on account of that a party from Browns hole hedded by philip Thompson and michel to fort hall and stole 14 horses and on their return sole 30 from the Snakes the horsethieves about 10 or 15 are gone to California for the purpose of robbing and steeling. Shuch things has never been known until late." Dr. Robert Newell, Mountain Man & Trapper  


T. 10th [Aug. 1841] "The day was fine and pleasant; a soft and cleerful breeze and a sky bedimmed by smoke brohgt to mind the tranquil season of autumm. A distance of 10 miles brought us to the Soda Fountain, where we stopped the remainder of the day.....Father De Smet, with 2 or 3 Flathead Indians started about dark this evening to go to Fort Hall which is about 50 miles distant." John Bidwell, California Emigrant and Explorer  

W. 11th [Aug. 1841] "Having traveled about six miles this morning the company came to a halt---The Oregon company were now gettng ready to leave Bear river for Fort Hall which is situated on Lewis river a branch of the Columbia--many. who proposed in setting out, to go immediately through to California, he concluded to go into Oregon so the California company now consists of only 32 men and one women and child [Mrs. Benjamin Kelsey and daughter, first women and child to cross the Sierra Nevada] ther being but one family. The two companies after bidding each other farewell, started and were soome out of sight, several of our party, however, went to Fort Hall to procure provisions, and to hire, if possible, a pilot to conduct us to the Gap in the California mountains, or at least to the head of Mary's river, we were therefore to move on slowly 'till their return. Encamped on Bear river, having come about 12 miles." John Bidwell, California Emigrant and Explorer  

[2 Apr/8Aug 1841] "The next day I went on the Bear river and struck it about 15 Mls from the mouth There I found my winter Comrades and staid one night an dthen pursued my journey towards Fort Hall where I arrived on the 7th of April I hunted Beaver round the country near the Fort until the 15 of June when the party arrived from the Columbia river accompanied by a Presbyterian Missionary [Munger] with his wife and one child on their way to the States. I left the Fort with them and conducted them to Green river where we arrived on the 5th of July when learning that no party was going to the States they concluded to return to the Columbia River and we retraced our steps to Fort Hall where we arrived on the 8th dy of August." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

[Events in Aug. 1841] "We struk Bear river.....and followed the the river down. It makes a bend to the north there, and comes to Salt Lake. We arrived at Soda Springs, on Bear river, and there we separated form the company of missionaries, who were going off towards Snake river or Columbia. There we lost the services of their guide Fitzpatrick. Several of our party who had started to go with us to California also left us there, having decided to go with the missionaries. Fitzpatrick advised us to give up our resolution and go with them to Fort Hall, one of the Hudson Bay stations, as there were no road for us to follow, nothing was known of the country, and we had nothing to guide us, and so he advised us to give up the California project. He thought it was doubtful if we ever got there, me might get cuaght in th e snows of the mountains and perish there, and he considered it was very hazardous ot attempt it. Some four or five of our party withdrew, and went with the missionaries." Statement made in 1878, Josiah Beldon, California Emigrant  

August 15, 1841 "On the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, toward sunset, during the finest weather imaginable, and when all our party were in excellent health and spirits, we arrived at Fort Hall...We found Father DeSmet here, who had arrived the day before; he was full of joy, for he was able to present to us the advance guard of our prospective neophytes". Father Point, Catholic Missionary  

August 16th 1841 Fort Hall "Rev. and Dear Father Provincal: .....Here, here I much to relate that is not less etifying than curious; but before I enter upon the chapter of nobel actions, I must conclude what I had commenced in my preceding letter. But I feel bound before all to pay Mr. Ermatinger, the captain of Fort Hall, the tribute of graditude we owe him. Although a Protestant by birth, this noble Englishman gave us a most friendly reception. Not only did he repeatedly invite us to his table, and sell us at first cost, or one-third of its value, in a country so remote, whatever we required; but he also added a pure gifts many articles which he believed would be particularily acceptable. He did more:he promised to recommendus to the good will of the Governor of the honorable English Hudson Bay Company, who was already prepossed in our favor; and, what is still more deserving of praise, he assured us that he would second our ministry among the populous nation of the Snakes, with whom he had frequent intercourse. So much zeal and generosity give him a claim to our seteem and gratitude. May heaven return to him a hundredfold the benefits he has conferred on us. It was at Fort Hall that we took our final leave of the American Colony, with which we had, till then, pursued the same route... Those who had started, purely with the design of seeking their fortune in California [Bidwell and Barleson Party}, and were pursuing their enterprise with the constancy which is characteristic of Americans, had left us, but a few days before our arrival at the fort, in the vicinity of the boiling springs that empty into Bear river. ....Early in the morning, we decended by a small cleft in the rocks, which the opsurity of the night had concealed and arrived on a plain watered by the New Port, one of the tributaries of the Snake River. We trotted or gallopped over fifty miles in the course of the day. The whole way presented evident remains of volcanic eruptions; piles and veins of lava were visible in all directions, and the rocks bore marks of having been in a state of fusion. The river, in its whole length, exhibits a succession of beaver ponds, emptying into each other by a narrow opening in each dike, this forming a fall of between three to six feet. All these dikes are of stone, evidently the work of the water and of the same character and substance as the stalactites found in some canyons. We arrived late in the evening, within half a mile of the Fort, but being unable to see our way in the darkness, and not knowing where we were, wen encamped for the night among the bushes, near the margin of a small brook." Father Pierre-Jean DeSmet, Catholic Priest  

Aug 20 [1841] "We turned off from the Bear River, and struck over on to the waters of Snake River. Next morning we started down one of its branches, but found we could not get along with the wagons. We therefore turned back again, ans staid near where we had camped the night before. The next day we continued on up, and fell over on Snake River, at Fort Hall. Here the Flatheads met the Catholic priest, who, with his little company, left us and turned to go to the Flat Head tribes, where he had a mission. I felt sorry when we parted with him. After we had got some provisions, and the men had exchanged their wagons for horses, we pursued our journey. Our company is now going with Mr. Armington, who is our captain. We passed the Ponock Indians. They seemed to show some dislike to us. Our captain said, if they they were not for peace, they would not come openly to us. Here news came to us that about two hundred Sioux had attacked Frap's camp, mentioned in another part of my narrative. We now started down on the Snake River. We have now beautiful plains to travel through. A Fort Hall we had to give one dollar a pint for flour. Fort Hall is a beautiful place, in a handsome part of the country." Joseph Williams, Oregon Emigrant  

F. 22nd [Aug. 1841] "This morning a man [Mr. Brolaske] returned form the fort and said the reason why he come alone, was , the other men had left him because he was unable to keep up with them; he have a pack horse laden with provision. He had seen the note at the intersection of the trails and was guided by ti to the camp; the undoubtedly going the rounds of the triangle; sure enough, they came up in the afternoon, have gone to the river and back, no pilot could be got at the fort. The families that had gone on to Oregon had disposed of they wagons at the fort and were going to decend the Columbia river on pack horses--they in exchange received one horse for esch ox; their wagons they could not sell. They procured flouw a dollar a pint, sugar same price and other things in proportion..." John Bidwell, California Emigrant and Explorer

[Events in Aug. 1841] "I set out about the ist day of May, 1841 with a party of 30 men, I women and I child, from Jackson County Mo. Col. John Bartleson was Captain of our company, but our number increased to 75 before starting, by another company that was bound for Oregon, and which separated from ours at Soda Springs, near Fort Hall. It was commanded by Captain Fitzpatrick.... We got safely through to Fort Hall no incident worth note except that a young man shot himself at Ash Hollow attempting to pull his gun out from a wagon. The company concluded a day or two after leaving Soda Springs to stop and recruit the animals, and meanwhile sent Col. Bartleson and myself ahead to the forks of the Humboldt, to select a route." Narrative in 1871, Charles Hopper, California Pioneer.  

[15 Sep 1841] "I remained at the Fort until the 15 Septr. And then started with Elbridge and my old Comrades from Vermont to hunt a few more Beaver we went to the head waters of Blackfoot where we staid 10 days... Osborne Russell, Journel of a Trapper  

October 1, 1841 Wieletpo, Oregon Territory Letter to Jane "My Dear Jane: I wrote you a folio sheet, as full as I could write to you nd Edward, and sent it across the mountains with the almost certain assurance that it would reach you, at least by this time, if not sooner. But it has returned, with all the other letter we sent that way. We have now sent all our spring letters to Vancouver, to go by sea, so that it is doubtful when you will get them, if at all. I mentioned in my letter to you that Mr. Munger had become unbalanced in his mind, and it was thought best for hime to return to his friends in the States. He had been prevailed upon to go, and accordingly started, with his wife and one child to go across the mountains. To them we committed our letters, with the expectation that they would pass through Quincy on their way to Oberlin. They accompanied the H.H.B. Company's party to Fort Hall, and from thence to the place of the American Rendevous, on Green River, and found that no party had come up from the States, and, from all that they could learn, no one was expected. They accordingly returned to Fort Hall, and concluded that there was no other alternative but to retrace their steps to this country again.... The emigrants were twenty-four in number-two families, with small children, from Missouri. This company was much larger when they started. About thirty went another route, to California. The company of Jesuits were twelve in number, consisting of three priests, three novitiates, four laborers, and their pilot, started from St. Louis, one they found on the way. Their pilot is Fitzpatrick, the same person thath commanded the party we came with from the States. This company came as far as Fort Hall." Narcissa Whitman, Oregon Missionary  

[Nov. 1841] "We stopped at this place [Cashe Valley] until the 5 of Novr. And then returned to Fort Hall where after remaining a few days we concluded to go to the head streams of Port Neuf and stop until the waters froze up.....In the year 1836 large bands of Buffaloe could be seen in almost every little Valley on the small branches of the Stream at this time only traces which could be seen of them were the scattered bones of those that had been killed. Their trails which had been made in former years deeply indented in the earth were overgrown with grass and weeds the trappers often remarked to each other as they rode over these lonely plains that it was time for the White man to leave the mountains to the Beaver and game had nearly disappeared." Osborne Russell, Trapper  


[15 Dec. 1841/14 Mar.1842] "We stopped about these streams untill the 15th Decr. Then returned to Fort Hall where we staid until the 24th March. The winter was unusually Sevevre. The snow was 15 inches deep over the valley agter settling and becoming hard, we had no thawing weather until the 18th of Mrch.. when it began to rain and continued 4 dys and nights which drove the snow nearly all from the plains. Mch. 25 I started in company with Alfred Shutes my old Comrade from Vermont to the Salt Lake and pass the Spring hunting water fowls eggs and Beaver.' Osborne Russell, Trapper  

[1842] "At Fort Hall, the exact date of reaching which is not rembered by Mr. Matthieu, the immigrants delayed, some for a shorter, others for a longer time. The object was to change from their wagons to pack saddles. Mr. Mathieu does not recollect that the Hudson's Bay Company commandant there offered to purchase any wagons, and thinks this improbable. "The Hudson's Bay Company had no use for any wagons," he observes. The commandant, Grant, is well remembered as very large and fine looking "as big a man as Dr. John Mcloughlin"--which is a grand comparison as could be made by a MacLoughlin admirer. Grant assures the immigrants that it was impossible for wagons to cross the Blue Mountains into Oregon. This Mr. Matthieu believes, was said because he thought it quite true, an he was simply representing what was generally understood as the fact. Mr. Matthieu remarks, however, "we all know very well that the Hudson's Bay Company was not favorable to immigration to Oregon;" and, though only a young man at the time, he understood that the British expected to hold the Columbia River as their boundry line. As to bringing wagons on to the Columbia River, he says that this could have been done, as wood and water and the grass were in most places difficult, ti was not impossible to American teamsters. He and his comrades remained about eight days at Fort Hall, and then came on with the Hudson's Bay express by the horse trail....." Reminiscences of F. X. Matthieu, Trapper and Trader  

June 1st [1842] "We stopped on Snake River, at Fort Bois. This day I heard some dreadful oaths fromMr. Grant, aobut some threats wich he had heard from Mr. Bridger, one of the American Fur Company against Fort Hall; and respecting some goods which had been stolen by Mr. Bridger's company from the Hudson Bay Company." Joseph Williams, Missionary and Traveler  

[June 2-16, 1842] "...We started up the Snake River, where we were tormented with mosquitoes, and almost stifled with dust; and when I was chopping some wood, I struck my tomahawk inot my shin-bone, and it bled very copiously. Mr. Grant soon came up, and applied some medicine to it which stopped the blood and it got better in a few days...My eyes were almost ruined with the dust, Mr. Grant gave me a piece of green silk vail, which he tore from his own. This I put over my eyes, and found ti to be a great help to me. Mr. Grant has been very kind to me, although he is subject to intoxication. After leaving Fort Bois, we crossed Wyhee River, and so continued up Snake River. Here an unhappy circumstance occurred with an Indian woman. Her husband had three wives, and had turned her away and took another in her place. At night she put on her best clothes, made some small arrangements, and took a rope and hung herself up the corner of a high rock. Her mother passing by saw her hanging, apparently dead, and soon cut her down. Mr. Grant iwas mmediately sent for. He bled her, and gave her some medicine, and she came to again, She could not speak for several days. What villians these men are, that act so cruelly toward their women. All along up this river we could see snow on the mountains, while we were suffering with heat in the plains. Where we passed the Trois Buttes, which were on our right [left] hand. We hear some unfavorable news about the hostility of the Indians between here and the United States, and we have no assurance of company farther than Fort Hall, except one man besides ourselves, making four in all...... Here we had an example of the hardihood of the Indians. One of their women, whose husband had gone on to Fort Hall, staid behind the company by herself, and was delivered of a still-born child, and buried it in the sand; then mounted her horse, and came on. Some of the company missing her, went back about seven or eight miles, and met her coming on." Joseph Williams, Missionary and Traveler  

Thursday, June 16th [through 27th, 1842] "We arrived at Fort Hall. Here we saw the Snake Indians holding a dance around a scalp which they had taken form Black Feet Indians. They had set the scalp upon the top of a pole. Here we learned from the Indians, that the Black Feet and Crows and Sioux were determined to kill all the white people they could. This did not disturb me much, for I trusted in the Lord, that he would be with me. On Sunday I tried to preach to these people, who seem to be hard-hearted and wicked. Mr. Grant was drunk, and made some disturbance. Here I was told that the Sanpach Indians would sell their wives for horses; and sometimes kill their horses and eat them, in case of hunger. Mr. Eubanks, who lived at Fort Hall, showed me a woman whom he had lived with, and for whom he had given two hundred dollars." Joseph Williams, Missionary and Traveler  

June 28th [1842] "We left Fort Hall; camped with a large company of French and Indians, who were on a hunting expedition. Next night we staid on Ross Creek. Mr. Shutz is now our leader." Joseph Williams, Missionary and Traveler  

[1842] " March, 1842, returned to Independence, where I found seventeen families waiting to go the Oregon, who engaged me as a guide. I took them as far as Green river, where they were overtaken by Fitzpatrick's brigade on the way to Fort Hall, and several of the families cut up their wagons and made packsaddles, and packing their effect on their animals, went along with Fitzpatrick. The balance of the wagons I conducted safely to Fort Hall, and by going through a new route, known as 'Meek's and Sublette's cut-off.' I arrived there the same day as the others did ,much to their suprise. The wagons were left there, and the goods were packed through upon the animals." Stephen Hall Meek, Mountain Man and Guide  

[May./Sep. 1842] "We caught some Beaver and feasted on Fowls and Eggs, until the 20th May and returned to the Fort where we stopped until the 20th June when a small party arrived from the Mouth of the Columbia on their way to the United States and my comrade made up his mind once more to visit his native Greem Mountains after an absence of 16 years whilst I determined on going to the Mouth of the Colunbia and settle myself in the Willamette or Multonoma Valley I accompanied my comrade up Ross's fork about 25 miles on his journey and the mext morning after taking affectionate leave of each other. I started up the mountain for the purpose of killing Elk.....In the evening I killed an Elk and on the following day cured the meat for packing from thence I returned to the fort where I staid till 22d Aug In the meantime there arrived at the Fort a party of Emigrants from the States on their way to Oregon Territory among whom was Dr.E White U S sub agent for the Oregon Indians. 23d I started with tem and arrivied at the Falls of the Willamette river on the 26 day of Septr. 1842." Osborne Russell, Trapper  

[Oct,, 1842] 'He [Richard Grant} said it was just perfect folly. The Indians had been up there and murdered the Snake Indians that very season. He told us not to do it...So then Whitman changed his course and goes by way of Uintah, out of Taos and around the Sante Fe...We were all winter. We made terrible work of it. When we got to Fort Hall we took men from the Fort, a hlf-breed from St. Louis by the name of Rogers. We went right through the Salt Lake Country. There was not a house or thing there, and it was a perfect waste. It looked to us then as though there would never be any thing there." Account of earlier events Asa Lawrence Lovejoy, Oregon Emigrant.  

[October 14/16, 1842] "We traveled rapidly and reached Fort Hall in eleven days, remaining only a day or two and made a few purchases; took a guide and left for Fort Wintee, as the doctor changed the direct route to a more southern, through the Spanish country, iva Taos and Sante Fr. On our way from Fort Hall to Wintee we met with terribly severe weather; the snows hindered our progress and blinded the trail, so we lost much time." Account of 1869, Mr. W. H. Gray, Oregon Resident  

Nov. 9 [1842] "On resuming our course we continued up Bear river to the famous mineral springs, thence bearing a northwesterly direction, we arrived at Fort hall in the afternoon of Nov. 9th.... Our journey form the Uintah to Fort Hall occupied twelve days, and took us a distance of about two hundred miles. Most of this time the weather continued mild and pleasant; the only interval of inclemency was a single breadk and cloudy day, succeeded by a slight fall of snow during the night, which the bright sunshine of the ensuing morning dissipated n a few moments. Along the entire route we found an abundance og green grass at sheltered places in the valleys, and also large quantities of game, especially blacktailed deer, bear, and elk. Bear are more numerous in this section than any other I am acquainted with. Fort Hall is located upon the left bank of Snake river, of Lewis' Fork of the Columbia, in a rich bottom near the delta formed by the confluence of the Portneuf with that stream, in lat. 430 10' 30" north, long 1120 20" 54 west. In general the structure it corresponds with most of the other trading establishments in the country. It was built by Capt. Wyeth of Boston, in 1832 [1834], for the purpose fo furnishing trappers with their needful supplies in exchange for beaver and other peltries, and also to command trade with the Snakes. Subsequently it was transferred to the Hudson Bay Company in whose possession it has since remained. Mr. Grant, a gentleman distinquished for his kindness and urbanity, is at present in charge, and has some sixty Canadians and half-breeds in his employ. This post is in the immediate vacinity of the old war-ground between the Blackfoot, Snake, and Crow Indians, and was formerly considered very dangerous locality on that account. Its early occupants were subject to frequent losses from hostile incursions of the former of these tribes, and on two or three occasions came very near being burnt out by their unsparing enemies. The country in the neighborhood of Fort Hall affords several extensive valleys upon the Snake river and his tributaries, which are rich, well timbered, and admirably adapted to the growth of grain and vegetables. The adjoining praries also, to some extent, posses a tolerable soil, and abound in a choice variety of grasses. Back from the valleys and plains, the landscape is extremely rugged and mountainous, poorly timbered, and bears the character of general sterility. Rufus B. Sage, Traveler in the Rocky Mountains  

[Nov. 9/20, 1842] "My stay at the Fort brought me in contack with gentlemen from various parts of Oregon, who kindly imparted to me all the information in their possession relatve to the nature and true condition of this interesting and highly important section of our national domain..... Nearly the entire trade of Oregon, at the present time is in the hands of the the Hudson's Bay Company, from whom dry goods and groceries may be obtained by the settlers at less than the common price in the United States; this, as a necessary consequence, precludes all oppostion. The principal exports (raised at the stations or received by way of barter) are flour, fish, butter, cheese, lumber, masts, spars, furs, and skins.... The over-land route from Indepence, Mo. to Fort Hall, affords a good waggon-road; but that from Fort Hall to Vancouvre is generally considered impassable for other than pack-animals. It is said, however, that a new route has recently been discovered, by which waggons may be taken, without much difficulty, the entire distance. Should this report prove true, the emigrant may convey everything needed for his comfort during the long journey before him.... At the time of our visit, there were some sixty men connected with this establishment. These consisted principally of half-breeds and Canadian French, among whom were several who had seen service in the unrelenting war between the whites and the Blackfeet that has been so long in prosecuted.... Yielding to the solicitations of my comrades, demontes, I am again journeying for the Platte. During the brief period of our srtay at Fort Hall, we enjoyed mild and agreeable weather, as a general thing; only one inconsiderable fall of snow having occured meanwhile, and the grass, even yet in many places, is green and fresh." Rufus B. Sage, Traveler in the Rocky Mountains  

[Nov. 9/20, 1842] "During our stay at Fort Hall an incident connected with its early history was narrated to me, which, as it tends much to illustrate the bold daring and spirit inbred republicanism possessed by the mass of trapping parties frequenting the mountains, I am tempted to discribe. Soon after this post came into the hands of its present owners, severa squads, on returning from their regular hunts, rendezvoused in its vacinity. According to the custom of the Hudson Bay Company on such occasions, the British Flag was hoisted in honor of the event. Thereupon the proud mountaineers took umbrage, and forthwith sent a deputation to solicit of the commandant its removal; and, in case he should prvoe unwilling to comply, politely requesting that, at least, the American flag might be permitted to fly by its side. Both propositions were peremptorily refused. Another deputation was then sent announcing that, unless the British flag should be taken down and the stars and strips raised in its place within two hours, they would take it down by force, if necessary. To this was returned an answer of surly defiance. At the expiration of the time named the resolute trappers, mustering en masse, appeared before the Fort, under arms, and demanded its immediate surrender. The gates had already been closed, and the summons was answered by a shot from the bastion. Several shots were forthwith exchanged, but without much damage on either side; the trappers directing their aim principally at the British flag, while the garrison, feeling eill-disposed to shoot down their own friends in honor of a few yards of parti-colored bunting, elevated their pieces and discharged them into the air. The result was that the assailants soon forced an enterence, took down and tore in pieces the hated flag, and mounted one of their own country in its stead, amid deafening huzzas and successive rounds of riflery. The commandant and his sub-cronies, retreating to a room, barricaded the enterence, when the trappers promptly demanded their surrender upon the following terms: 1st. The American flag shall occupy its proper place hereafter. 2d. The commandant shall treat his captors to the best liquors in his possession. 3rd. Unless the offenders comply with these conditions, the captors will consider Fort Hall and its contents as lawful plunder and act accordingly. After a short parley the besieged agreed to a capitulation. In compliance with the second article fo the terms, a barrel of whiskey, with sugar to match, rolled out into the yard, where its head was knocked out, and the short but bloodless campaign ended in wild frolicking, as toast after toast was drunk in the fancied honor of the American flag, and round after round of responsive cheers told who were they that stood ever ready to proudly hail it and rally beneath its broad folds." Rufus B. Sage, Traveler in the Rocky Mountains  


January 7, 1843 "Doct Whitman and Lovejoy arrived at Fort Hall, 18 Oct, Left 20 with guide to Paiute, expecting to go by way fo the Arkansas or Santa Fe." Letter to A. J. Smith, Henry Spauldings, Oregon Missionary  

[July 1843] "When we arrivied at Fort Hall, we found it in charge of the Hudson Bay Company. Mr. Grant was the president of the company. When we were about on hundred miles from Fort Hall, Doctor Whitman told us that the danger of Indians was over and to make the trailing easier we broke up into little bands, whcih covered a radius of several miles. On arriving at Fort Hall, Mr. Grant tried to discourage us in every possible way, saying that we could not get over the Rocky Mountains and that we had better stop there. Failing to influence us, he next proposed that we trade our cattle and wagons for pack horses, he and his under men almost insisting that we trade them. Just then Doctor Whitman, who had come in a little late, arrived and told us not to pay any attention to Mr. Grant, to rely on him and he would pilot us through in safety. Having great confidence in the man who had been the cause of our starting on the journey, we did his bidding and moved on for a couple of miles and camped for two or three days in order to let all catch up and to rest our tired animals." John A. Staughton, Oregon Emigrant  

29 Monday [July, 1843] "This day we divided hour mess, we don't know where we shall be located. Tue.--This day I am rejoiced to spend in writing home. I had written over on sheet and more in the afternoon. After dark I got on a strang mule to go in search of horses, I rode about half a mile only, before she rared up, jumped, and kicked until she threw me and broke my right shoulder. Providentially there was a physician in camp who set the bone free of charge. Ashel Munger, Oregon Emigrant  

(July 31/August 2, 1843] "The law done away with, we divided up and travel as we elect till we reach Fort Hall on Snake River, one of th Hudson Bay Posts. Here we got a scant supply of provisions. He we buried John Richardson, a particular friend. We stopped here three days and I made up a party of thirty and left the Ox teams and families to get along as best we could. We messed by two, three, four and soon we were strung out down the Snake River, fifty miles or more. Some had no provisions at all and had to beg or steal of those who had but a scantry supply. We depended on getting salmon of the Indians." John M. Shively, Engineer and Oregon Emigrant  

[Aug. Ist]- [1843] "-Thursday, I had commenced copying our journel to send to Gea Goodell--had to stop on account of my shulder. E. has had hard labors. Tuesday she washed and lamed her wrists, yesterday she had to get her own wood, and climb a steep bank for water, It was to much for her. Providentially I went out a little before night (The day I was hurt) and made a bowery of willows, the sun beats down very war. Ashel Munger, Oregon Emigrant  

[Aug. 2nd] Frid. [1843] "Spent most of the day writing--part of the time with my left hand, though some with my lame one. Itis gaining finely. Sat 3rd--Today I finished copying the Journal up to this date to Dea Goodell--and finished my letter to mother and gave then to Mr. Richardson to forward to the States, as he with three men is to start to-marrow to return. We have had the privilege of living alone nearly a week. [Aug. 3] Sab. E. and Myself spent the day alone. [Aug. 4] Mond. Mr Griffin offered to help us this morning as were about to move up near the fort. We thought it would not be safe for us to remain where we are since the company left. Mr. Richardson and his company started yesterday for the States, and all the remainder or other part of the company had started before for Van Cover, so that we are left alone-- Before we were ready to start two Indians came along and helped us. They packed our horses and took great pains to assist us in everything we needed after they unpacked, they went and alled us a load of wood fire. This evening Mr. Ermitinger come down to enquire why we were here destitute of horses--or why both claimed the same horese--I told him the reasons How the money we had expended had been raised--how much more had ben expended than we had anticipated &c, &c. [Aug 10] Sat. We have been kindly supplied with milk--sweet and sour, some butter, flower, sugar, &c also berries from the fort. [Aug 11] Sabbath--This day has been rather long and lonesome to E. She thought much of home--friends--prospects--& present condition. I tried to get her above these things. I hope she has in a measure. [Aug 12] Mon. This morning all preparations mde for a start for Walla Walla. Mr. E furnished 5 horses which he had promised and one for the Indian to ride who packed for us. The use of six horses in no trifle for 500 miles travel, as I was leading the 5 horses over to the tent Mr. McKee told me that 3 of Mr. G's horses were gone--they had look for them all morning--We got started about 10 o'c--as were were starting a very large camp of Bonack, Indians came up to the Fort--they are said to be very bad Indians--There have been many Snake or Shoushaenee Indians here since we came--They war quite filthy and indolent, went about 3 hours march and camped." Ashael Munger, Oregon Emigrant  

Friday, August 25 [1943] "Leave Bear River: traveled twenty miles over to a creek running into the Snake River, the the name of Portneuf. Saw to-day signs of volcanic eruptions. They appear numerous along the Bear River. The stones which lay about large sinks in the ground, have the appearance of melted clay, and ring like earthware. Their appearance is very singular. However, the greatest curiosity is this part of the country are the soda spings, which boil up in level ground and sink again. They are quite numerous and have exactly the taste of soda water without the syrup. The springs are continually sparkling and foaming. Camped on Portneuf. James W. Nesmith, Oregon Emigrant  

[Aug. 25, 1843] "Remaining in camp until nearly eleven o'clock, we traveled a short distance down the river, ans halted to noon on the bank at a point where the river quits the valley of the Bear River, and, crossing a ridge which divides the Great Basin from the Pacific waters, reaches Fort Hall by way of the Portneuf River in a distance of probably fifty miles, or two and a half days' journey for wagons. An examination of the great lake which is the outlet of this river, and the principal feature of geographical interest in the basin, was one of the main objects contemplated in the general plan of our survey; and I accordingly determined at this place to leave the road, after having completed a reconnaissance of the lake, regain it subsequently at Fort Hall. But our little stock of provisions had again become extremely low; we had only dried meat sufficient for one meal, and our supply of flour and other comforts was entirely exhausted. I therefore immediately dispatched on the party, Henry Lee, with a note to Carson, at Fort Hall directing him to load a pack horse with whatever could be obtained there in the way of provisions, and endeavor to overtake me on the River." John C. Fremont, Captain U. S. Army  

Friday, August 26. [1843] "Trailed sixteen miles; camped at some springs. Kit Carson. Of Freemont's company, camped with us, on his return from Fort Hall, having been on express. James W. Nesmith, Oregon Emigrant  

August 29 [1843] "Reach Fort Hall." Pierson B. Reading, California Emigrant  

August 28 [1843] "We reached Snake River a bout 2 miles above Fort Hawl & in camped at a fine spring a bout 6 hundred yards from the river. Distance 15." William T. Newby, Oregon Emigrant

August 29 [1843] "The Oregon Company left this morning. Will continue their course down the river. They have a journey of 100 miles to the Willamette River before they will reach any settlement. May of the co. must suffer for the want of provisions...I shall remain at this place until the small company behind comes on; will then proceed for the valley of California by an unexplored route." Pierson B. Reading, California Emigrant  

August 29 [1843] "Lay by & thare was good rain, the first rain we hav had for the last 5 weeks. Doc Whitmon, considering it safe to travel alone, left for his place on pack horses with his neighbew & J. B. McClain." William T. Newby, Oregon Emigrant  

August 30 [1843] "Capt. Gannt, Col. Martin and Reading camped near Fort Hall and bought some horses and mules for their baggage and provisions. Left wagons at this place." Pierson B. Reading, California Emigrant  

August 30 [1843] "We past buy the fort & we down 3 miles & incamped. Dist. 5.' William T. Newby, Oregon Emigrant  

[August 1843} "He [Dr. Whitman} was up every morning and getting all hands ready for the day's march. Some time before we arrived at Fort Hall, the Doctor left us and said he would go on and, if he could not find a pilot to conduct us through, he would wait at Fort Hall till we came up. The Doctor remained there until we came up, and told us he if could not get a pilot that he could rely upon to conduct us through. Captain Grant, after advising us to abandon our wagons or them and pack through, said, 'I was going to say that it was impossible to get through with your wagons, but I will not say that for if Americans took a notion to remove Mount Hood they would do it.' This I got from Captain Grant's mouth. Dr. Whitman was present, and said, at the same time 'Never leave your wagons. I will take you through to my place this season, and I think you can go to The Dallas; put you cannot cross the Cascade Mountains this year'." Recalling Earlier Events, J. Baker, Oregon Emigrant  

[Aug 22/30, 1843] "On the 22nd we arrived at the great Soda Springs, when we left Bear River for Fort Hall, at whichplace we arrived on th 27th, haveing traveled, two hundred and thirty-five miles from Fort Bridger in thirteen days. Fort was then a trading post belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, and was under the charge of Mr. Grant, who was exceedingly kind and hospitable. The fort was situated on the south bank of Snake River, in a wide, fertile valley covered with luxuriant grass and watered by numerous springs and small streams. This valley had one been a great resort for buffaloes, and their skulls were scattered around in every direction. We saw the skulls of these animals for the last time at Fort Boise, beyond which point they were never seen. The company had bands of horses and herds of cattle grazing on these rich bottom lands. Up to this point the route over which we had passed was, perhaps, the finest natural road, of the same length, to be found in the world. Only a few loaded wagons had ever made their way to For Hall, and were there abondoned. Doctor Whitman in 1836 had taken a wagon as far as Fort Boise, by making a cart on two wheels and placing the axltree and the other two wheels in his cart. We here parted with out respect pilot, Captain Gant. Dr. Marcus Whitman was with us at the fort, and was our pilot from there to Grand Ronde, where he left us in charge of an Indian pilot named Stikas, and who proved to be both faithful and competent. The doctor left us to have his grist-mill put in order by the time we should reach his mission. We worried....and we had many misgivings as to our ultimate success in making our way with our wagons, teams, and families. We had yet to accomplish the untried and most diffucult portion of our long and exhaustive journey. We could not anticipate at what moment we might be compelled to abandon our wagons in the mountains, pack our scant supplies on our poor oxen, and make our way on foot through this terribly rough country as best we could. We fully comprehended the situation, but we never faltered in our inflexible determination to accomplish the trip, if within the limits of possibility, with the resources at our commmand. Doctor Whitman assured us that we could succeed, and encouraged and aided us with every means in his power. I consulted Mr. Grant as to his opinion of the practicability of taking our wagons through. He replied that while he would not say it was impossible for us Americans to make the trip in our wagons, he could not himself see how it could be done. He had only traveled the pack-trail, and certainly no wagons could follow that route, but there might be a practical road found by leaving the trail at certain points." On the 30th of August we quitted Fort Hall, many of our young men have left us with the pack trains" Peter H. Burnett, Oregon Emigrant & 1st Gov. of California  

[Aug. 31st, 1843] "Daniel Richardson of Franklin County, Missouri also left the Company at Fort Hall. He died on the last day of August leaving a wife and two children to stuggle on without him. Lloyd W. Coffman, Oregon Emigrant  

Sunday, August 28/31, 1843] "Trailed twelve miles to-day and arrived at Fort Hall, where we remained until Friday, September 1. Here the company had considerable trading with Grant, manager here for the Hudson's Bay Company. He sells at an exhorbitant price; flour, 25 cents per pint; sugar, 50; coffee, 50, rice 33 1-3. Part of the company went on with pack animals, leaving their wagons. Nothing of importance occured, with the exception of a Mr. Richardson dying. Was buried August 31 at Fort Hall. Diary, James W. Nesmith, Oregon Emigrant  

[August 1843] "Now as regards the services of the Doctor, as regarded the then situation of Oregon, they were invaluable. The services the Doctor rendered the emigrants before they reaching Fort Hall were of immense value. From the Fort the journey commenced in earnest. This was the most difficult part of the way, and the portion of country Captain Grant said the wagons could not pass and it was useless to undertake it; but in the face of all this, the Doctor brought the emigration, wagons and all, through safety, and I say without fear of contradiction that the services the Doctor rendered the emigration at Fort Hall to the Dalles was invaluable." Recalling Earlier Events, Captain H. D. O'Bryant, Oregon Emigrant  

[August 1843] "When we arrived at Fort Hall I heard the comandant tell the immigrants that Dr. Whitman would starve them all to death if he got them down in the Green River country. He said they could never get their wagons to the Columbia in their lives. I went in and told Dr. Whitman about it, and he got the immigrants together and gave them a harangue. He told them the could get them to the Coloumbia River if he lived; that they had just to stick to their wagons and follow him and he would get them through. There had been other small immigrations with wagons, but they had all come just so far and left their wagons, and got rid of their cattle, by driving them off or giving then away. I heard Dr. Whitman urge his followers to hold their cattle, as they were the ones that would make them a living when they got to the Willamette. He also told them they could not break the soil properly with Indian ponies. They all stuck to their wagons." Recollection of Events, Perrin B. Whitman  

[1843] "We went from the lake on the summit to Sandy; there we had an increase of an infant by Mrs. Hembree. From there to Green River. Green river was deeps fording. "We propped up the wagons and got over dry. Not much occurred until we reached Fort Hall. There we found the wagons of the emigrants of 1842. Mr. Keizure got a wagon Verdmand Bennett had left. I left my horse-wagon, put my goods in Ben Young's old wagon, and drove his ox team to the dalles." Samuel Penter, Oregon Emigrant  

[Aug. 1843] "Captain Grant endeavored to dissuade us from proceeding further with our wagons, and showed us the wagons that the emigrants fo the preceding year had abandoned, as an evidence of the impracticability of our determination. Dr. Whitman was persistent in his assertion that wagons could proceed as far as the Grand Dalles of the Columbia river, from which point he asserted they could be transported on boats or batteaux to the Williamette valley, while our stock could be driven by an Indian trail over the Cascade mountains near Mount Hood. Happily, Whitman's advice prevailed and a large number of wagons, with a portion of the stock did reach Walla Walla and the Dalles, from which points they were taken to the Willamette the following year. Had we followed Grant's advice, and abandoned the cattle and wagons at Fort Hall, much suffering must have ensued, as a sufficient number of horses to carry the women and children of the party could not have been obtained; besides, wagons and cattler were indispensable to men expecting to live by farming in a counrty destitute of such articles." Referring to earlier events, J. W. Nesmith, Oregon Emigrant  

[1843] "The Doctor was a man among men, and was a warm friend of mine. You may judge something of the man by the following facts: When we left that he expected Mrs. Spaulding, and I think your mother, to be sick about this time, he left us at Grande Ronde and went on before goin to his place. The Indians brought considerable flour to him at Fort Hall, and the morning we left there he distributed all the provisions he had to the needy emigrants, except about fifty pounds for five of us who were in his mess, and the only ones who went ahead of the wagons. I was the driver of the light wagon. I must state another fact--that he picked up some beef bones the morning we left Fort Hall, and a young calf that was dropped that morning; and, of course, it was too young to travel, and it was knocked on the head and was put in my wagon for us to eat. But I lost tht calf out before we arrived at camp; it was rather young for us." Letter to Rev Myron Eells. Referring to earlier events, J. B. McLane, Oregon Emigrant  

Friday, September 1. "Got underway this morning. Weather very cold and rainy, as it has been for the last three days. Trailed down Snake River fifteen miles. Passed some fine mill sites. Camped on the Snake River." Diary, James W. Nesmith, Oregon Emigrant  

[Aug 19-Sep 4, 1843] "From here [Soda Springs] Fremont set out the explore the Great Salt Lake, while I went on to Fort Hall for a fresh supply of provisions [Aug.19]. I was well received at the fort and furnished with all that I required. With one companion I began the return journey and rejoined Fremont at the upper end of the Salt Lake...." Kit Carson, Trapper, Scout, Etc.  

[Sep. 4, 1843] The next morning, while we were preparing to start, Carson rode into the camp with flour and a few other articles of light provision, sufficient for two or three days--a scanty but very acceptable supply. Mr. Fitzpatrick had not yet arrived, and provisions were very scarce and difficult to be had at Fort Hall, which had been entirely exhausted by the necessities of the emigrants. He brought me also a letter from Mr. Dwight, who, in company with several emigrants, had reached that place in advance of Mr. Fitzpatrick, and was about to continue his journey to Vancouver." John C. Fremont, Captain, U. S. Army  

September 7 [1843] "We continued down the river about 12 miles & incamped. Grazeing indeffeent. Distance 12. Today I saw a Mr. Wilson that had sold his waggeon & team at Fort Hawl & was packing. He went to strike fire on the 5 ult. & thare was one pound & a half of powder cauth on fire & like to burnt him up. He is the worst looking person I ever saw. He had a wife and two children. He was taken in by Mr. Mills & hawled." Willian T. Newby, Oregon Emigrant  

Monday 11th [Sept. 1843] "Cold; rain, hail, &c. Left the Company, started for Fort Hall where we arrived I hour by sun. Fort Hall is situated in a large plain on Snake River; & built of squaw cakes of mud baked in the sun; it is inferior to Fort Larimie. Plenty of timber, water and grass." John Boardman, Oregon Emigrant  

[Referring to events in 1843] "In later days when the spirit of war was aroused for the whole of Oregon or war the question was raised whether it was to be taken under the walls of quebec or on the Columbia. Neither was the place. Oregon was taken at Fort Hall; for it will be seen that from this time the grand result in the Oregon case was no longer in the open and doubtful issue; only details and minor adjustments required attention." Oregon address , Dr. William Barrows  

[1843] " When we arrived at Fort Hall, we found it in charge of the Hudson Bay Company. Mr. Grant was the president of the company. When we wer about one hundred miles from Fort Hall, Doctor Whitman told us that the danger of Indians was over and to make the trail easier we broke up into little bands, which covered a radius of several miles. On arriving at Fort Hall, Mr. Grant tried to discourage us in every possible way, saying that we could not get over the Rocky Mountains and that we had better stop there. Failing to influence us, he next proposed that we trade out cattle and wagons for pack horses, he and his under men almost insisting that we trade them. Just then Doctor Whitman, who ahd come in a little late, arrived and told us not to pay attention to Mr. Grant, to rely on hime and he would pilot us through in safety. Having great confidence in the man who had been the cause of our starting our jounry, we did his bidding and moved on for a couple of miles and camped for two or three days in order to let all catch up and to rest our tired animals." John A. Stoughton, Oregon Emigrant  

September 12 [1843] "Started for Fort Hall 12 miles distant. Menard coame for the Fort to distant meet us, with a letter from Mr. Fremont. Mr Fremont had struck the Oregon Trail west of "Independence RocK', and kept on it until it left Bear River, which River he followed to its debouchement in the Great Salt Lake he was at this place on the 6th instant. On account of scarity of provision he despatched thence, Menard with 7 men, to proceed to Fort Hall procure provisions and return to him. The horses two of Menard's party, Auguste and Frank Lejeunesse, gave out and he was left behind by the rest of the party having lost their way, striking Snake River a considerable distance below the fort. Theodore Talbot, Oregon Emigrant  

Tuesday, September 12th [Sept. 1843] "Chiles' team came up, and few can imagine the disappointment when they learned there was neither meat, flour nor rice to be had [at Fort Hall]. Nothing but sugar and coffee at 50 cents per pint; rice worth 35 cents per pound where they have it, flour 25 cents per pint, though dry goods are cheaper than at any other of the posts, Laramie; calico woth $1.00 yard; shirting $1.00, tobacco $1.00 to $2.00; liquor $32 per gallon. They have cattle here but will not sell, and Walker will not start with his wagons till he has meat. Chiles talks of leaving his wagons, and packing through to California. Others talk of taking cattle by force and driving them off, rather than start from here and eat horse meat. Cloudy. Wednesday, September 13th. Pleasant. Fitzpatrick is to be here today. All are in a quandary to know how they are going to California. No arrangements yet made to get meat." John Boardman, Oregon Emigrant  

September 13, 1843 "We reached the Fort early in the afternoom, camping at a convenient place for greass and wood, a mile beyond. Much of the plain is overflown by recent rains. Captain Grant a partner of the "Hudson Bay Company" and Bourgeois to Fort Hall dined with us together with Joe Walker a noted hunter and trapper &c, the same who headed Capt. B.E. Bonnivilles California trapping party. Grant is a good looking gentlemanly man talks of country as British, the Indians in it, as serfs of the Hudson Bay Compy, and soforth in the same strain. Walker is an agreeable companion and possesses much knowledge of the country,and also indomitable bravery. He is engaged as pilot to Childs party of California Emigrants. This party consisting of several families and young men are all camped here. They are suffering for want of provision. Grant has refused to sell, even at the most exorbitant prices. Theodore Talbot, Oregon Emigrant  

Thursday, September 14th. [Sept. 1843] "Pleasant. Chiles brought 4 beef cattle at a high price. and will start tomarrow. Houck and Mr. Ayers left yesterday for Oregon. Friday 15th. "After waiting till near night, expecting every moment to move, we left, and made 3 miles and camped. John Boardman, Oregon Emigrant  

September 14 [1843] "Paid a visit to Capt. Grant. Fort Hall is small and rather ill constructed Fort, built of "Dobies". It was established in the summer of 1834 by Nathaniel Wyeth, a yankee. He could not compete with the H.B. Compy and finally sold out to them. The Fort is near the entrance of Portnuef into the Snake River. The river bottomes are wide and have some fertile lands, but much is injured by the salt deposits of the waters from the neighboring hills. Wheat, turnips have been grown here with success. Cattle thrive well. The nights are always cold. Grant has a large herd of cattle and fine band of horses. The employees of the Fort are a motley group. English, Scotch, Okney men, Canadians, Spaniards, Americans, Owyhees, Chenook, Neepercees, Kaiwahs &c. There are several lodges of French free trappers under on "Bonaparte" camped at the gate of the fort. They are here to over-awe the emigrants, and protect Capt. Grant, at whose expense they are living. I bought a large Elk skin and am going to have a pair of pantaloons made of it by the wife of Grant's Spanish Major Domo...Tonight we had the magnificant thoughly terriffic spectacle of burning prairie. The country for miles was one continuous sheet of flame borne on a high wins. We have noticed a dense column of smoke during the day, but it was not until night and its nearer approach that we witnessed the scene in its full splender. The fire came near to us by we were protected by streams of water. The Fort horse guard by whose carelessness the fire occured, narrowly escaped with their cattle, taking refuge on an island in the "Portneuf"." Theodore Talbot, Oregon Emigrant  

September 16 [1843] "Left Fort Hall. For Fort Boise 30 miles distant. In party Samuel Hensley, Milton McGhee, John Meyers, Capt John B. Gantt, Wm. Martin, Charles Bradley, Joseph B. Chiles, Henry Chase, James John, Isaac and Squire and Squire Williams and Reading. Pierson B. Reading, California Emigrant  

September 16 [1843] "Went to Fort with Alick Godare, breakfasted with Grant. Breakfasted with Grant. High wind. Moved camp. The California party started yesterday evening but Martin & McClellan unable to resist the clamors of their children for food have returned with the resolution of compelling Grant to sell them provisions. Being promised assistance by our party in case of refusal they boldly bearded the lion in his den and succeeded in frightening him into terms." Theodore Talbot, Oregon Emigant  

Saturday 16th. [Sept. 1843] "Pleasant. Chiles appears to be prefer having those go through with to California, who have not traveled with him, than to have Smith and myself, thinking we could go with the wagons, so that we would pay sone of the pilotage in consequence of which we parted with and bade farewell to our companions, those who had encountered with us, all the troubles, trials and difficulties of the route and started for Oregon, not having sufficient provisions to go the long way with the wagons. 9 of us in Company expecting to overtake Houck in two or three days. Traveled down Snake River, and crossed Portneuf. Little grass, bottoms narrow; plenty sage, poor soil. Camped on a small creek. Wind high. 25 miles. John Boardman, Oregon Emigrant  

[September 1843] "Upon arrival at this fort, we were received in the kindest manner, by Mr. Grant, who was in charge; and we received every aid and attention from the gentlemaen of that fort, during our stay in their vicinity. We were here informed, by Mr. Grant, and other gentlemen of the company, that it would be impossible for us to take our wagons down to the Pacific, consequently, a meeting of the party was called, for the purpose of determining whether we should take them further, or leave them at this fort, from which palce it appeared that we could take them, about half way to the Pacific, without serious interruption. Some insisted that the great convenience of having wagons with us, would amply warrant taking them as far as we could; while others thought, as we would eventually be under the necessity of leaving them, it would be preferable to leave them at the fort, expecially as we could there obtain tools, and all other means of manufactoring our packing equipage, which wee could not do elsewhere. Another reason which was urged in favor of leaving them was, that we could, perhaps, sell them for something at this place, which we could do, at no other point upon the route. The vote having been taken, it was found that a large majority was opposed to taking them any further, the consequence of which was, that there was no alternative for the minority, as our little government was purely democratic. Mr Grant purchased a few of our wagons, for a mere trifle, which he pain in such provisions as he could dispose of, without injury to himsel. He could not of course, afford to give much for them as he did not need them, but bought them merely for accomodation. Those who did not sell to Mr. Grant got nothing for theirs; but left them to be destroyed by the Indians, as soon as we had commenced our march. This was a serious loss, as most of the wagons and harness, were very valuable. Eight of ten days were occupied, in consummating our arrangements for the residue of our cheerless journey. In the interim, those of our company, who left us at Green river, had accomplished their preliminary arrangements, and had gone on, several days in advance. We were enabled, at this fort, to exchange our poor and way-worn horses, for those which had not been injured by use; having done which, to considerable extent; having prurchased many; having procured such additional provisions as could be obtained; and having convinced ourselves that we were invincible, wer once more resumed out dangerour journey, over the burning sands, and through the trackless deserts to Oregon." The Emigrants' Guide, Landsford W. Hasting, Emigrant and Guide  

[Sep. 1843} "We now ascended Bear River until we got above the Lake, where we crossed to the Malade. Ascending it, we went on to Fort Hall, where we met Fitzpatrick and his party. Fremont here overtook his party and proceeded in advance, Fitzpatrick keepeing some eight days in the rear." Kit Carson, Trapper, Scout, Etc.  

[12/13 Sep 1843] "It was late in the night before we reached the Western side of the valley, and found wood and water for our camp. The water upon which we encamped, was a branch of the the Portneiff, a tributary of Snake or Lewis River. We noticed, scattered over the country, a king of black volcanic glass, shaped like fragments of a broken bottle. Winding our way through the hills, by a very circuitous route, on the 13th of September we arrived at Fort Hall. It is situated on the South bank of Snake River, in a rich valley, about twelve miless wid and twenty-five miles long, and in latitude about 43 deg.20 min. North. The Portneiff, Black Foot, and many other small streams, run through the valley of Fort Hall. The streams are lined with a fine growth of Cotton Wood timber, and the entire valley abounds in excellent grass. The Company keep several hundred cattle and horses at this place, which live through the winter, generally, without much attention. We were told by one of the members of the Company, that wheat had been sown at the Fort and grew well. Fort Hall is built of the same material, and nearly in the same manner, as the Forts on the Platte are. Leaving Fort Hall we traveled down the South bank of the Snake River, and a few miles below we crossed the Portneiff, a beautiful little steam emptying into it; and at eighteen miles came to the American Falls. Overton Johnson & Wm. H. Winter, Oregon Emigrants  

September 18 {1843] "Except that there is a greater quantity of wood used in its construction, Fort Hall very much resembles the other trading posts whcih have already been described to you, and would be another excellant post of relief to emigration. It is in the low, rich bottom of a valley, apparently 20 miles long, formed by the confluence of Portneuf river with Lewis's fork of the Columbia, which it enters about nine miles below the fort, and narrowing gradually to the mouth of the Pannack river, where it had a breadth of only two or three miles. Allowing 50 miles for the road from the Beer springs of the Bear river to Fort Hall, its distance along the traveled road from the town of Westport, on the frontier of Missoure, by way of Fort laramie and the great South Pass, is 1,323 miles. Beyond this place, the line of road along the barren valley of the Upper Columbia, there does not occur, for a distance of nearly three hundred miles to the westward, a fertile spot of ground sufficiently large to produce the necessay quantity of grain, or pasturage enough to allow even an temporary repose to the emigrants. On their recent passage, they had been able to obtain at very high prices and in insufficient quantity, only such assistance as could be afforded by a small and remote trading post-and that a foreign one-which, in the supply of its civilization, but which obtained nearly all its supplies form the distant depot of Vancouver, by a difficult water carriage of 250 miles up the Columbia river, and a land carriage by pack horse of 600 miles. An American military post sufficiently strong to give their road a perfect security against the Indian tribes, who are unsettled in locatily and very uncertain in their disposition, and which, with the necessary facilities for the repair of their equipage, would be able to afford them relief in stock and grain from the produce of the post, would be extraordinary value to emigration. Such a post (and all the other to be extablished on the line to Oregon) would naturally form the nucleus of a settlement, at which supplies and repose would be obtained by the emigrant, or trading caravans, which may hereafter traverse thes elevated, and, in many places, desolate and inhospitable regions..... Taking leave of the homward party, we resumed our journey dow the valley, the weather being very cold, and the rain coming in hard gusts, which the wind blew directly in our faces. We forded the Portneuf in a storm of rain, the water in the river being frequently up to the axles, and about 110 yards wide. After the gust, the weather improved a little, and we encamped about three miles below, at the mouth of the Pannack river, on Lewis's fork, which here has a breadth of about 120 yards. The temperature at sunset was 42; the sky partially covered with dark, rainy clouds.' John C. Fremont, Captain U. S. Army  

September 18 [1843] "In the bottom I remarked a very great number of springs and sloughs with remarkably clear water and gravel beds. At sunset we encamped with Mr. Talbot and our friend, who come on to Fort Hall when we went to the lake, and whom we had the satisfaction to find all well, neither party having met with any mischance I the interval of our separation. They, too, had had their share of fatigue and scanty provisions, as there had been very little game left on the trail of the populous emigration; and Mr. Fitzpatrick had rigidly husbanded our stock of flour and light provisions, in view of the approaching winter and the long journey before us. September 19--This morning the sky was very dark and gloomy, and at daylight it began snowing thickly, and continued all day, with cold, disagreeable weather. At sunrise the tempature was 43 [degrees]. I rode up to the fort, and purchased from Mr. Grant several very indifferent horses, and five oxen in very fine order, which wer received at the camp with great satisfaction; and, one being killed at evening, the usual gayety and good humor were at once restored. Night came in stormy." John C. Fremont, Captain U. S. Army  

September 20 [1843] "We had a night of snow and rain, and the thermometer at sunrise was at 34; the morning was dark, with a steady rain, and there was still an inch of snow on the ground, with an abundance on the neighboring hills and mountains. The sudden change in weather was hard for our animals, who trembled and shivered in the cold-somtimes taking refuge in the timber, and now and ten coomingout and raking the snow off the ground for a little grass, or eating the young willows. September 22.- Ice made tolerably thick during the night, and in the morning the weather cleared up very bright, with a temperature at sunrise of 29; and I obtained a meridian observation for latitude at the fort, with observations for time. The sky was again covered in the agernoon, and the thermometer at sunset 48." John C. Fremont, Captain U. S. Army  

September 22--[1843] "The morning was cloudy and unpleasant, and at sunrise a cold rain commenced, with a temperature of 41. The early approach of winter, and the difficulty of supporting a large party, determined me to send back a number of men who had become satisfied that they were not fitted for the laborious service and frequent privaion to which they were necessarily exposed, and which there was reason to believe would become more severe in the further extension of the voyage. I accordingly called them together, and, informing them of my intentention to continue our journey during the ensuing winter, in the course of which they would probably be exposed to considerable hardship, succeeded int prevailing upon a number of them to return voluntarily. These were Charles DeForrest, Henry Lee, J. Campbell, Wm. Creuss, A. Vasquez, A. Pera, Patrick White, B. Tesson, M. Creely, Francois Lejeunesse, Basil Lajeunesse. Among these, I regretted very much to lose Basil lajeunesse, one of the best men in my party, who was obliged, by the condition of his family, to be at home in the coming winter. Our preparations having been completed in the interval of our stay here, both parties were ready this morning to resume their respective routes." John C. Fremont, Captain  

[Oct. 5, 1843] "...early the next morning arrived at Fort Boise. This is a simple dwelling house on the right bank of Snake River, about a mile below the mouth of Viviere Boisee; and on our arrival we were received with agreeable hospitality by Mr. Payettee... ...He was very hospitable and kind to us, and we made a sensible impression upon all his comestibles; but our principal inroad was into the dairy, which was abundantly supplied, stock appearing to thrive extremely well; and we had an unusal luxury in a present of fresh butter, which was, however, by no means equal to that of Fort Hall--probably by some accidental cause." John C. Fremont, Captain, U. S. Army  

November 6, 1843 Twalatine Plains, Oregon Territory "Dear Sir: I avail myself of an opportunity offered by one of the vessels belonging to the Hudson Bay Company to forward you a few lines. The emigrants have not all arrived, though more than half are here.....This expedition establishes the practicability beyond doubt of a waggon road accross the continent by way of the southern pass in the Rocky Mountains. We have had no difficulty with the natives, although we have had a tedious journey. We have had less obstacles in reaching here than we had a right to expect, as it was generally understood before leaving the States that one third of the distance, to wit, from Fort Hall to this place, was impassable by waggons. Great credit, however, is du to the energy, perseverence, and industry of this emigrating company, and particularily to Doctor Whitman, one of the missionaries at the Walla Walla Mission, who accompanied us out. His knowledge of the route was considerable, and his exertations for the interest of the company were untiring. Our journey may now be said to be at an end, and we are now in the Wallammatte Valley. I have been here near three weeks, having left my waggon in charge of the teamster and proceeded on horseback from Fort Hall in company with some thirty persons, pricipally young men." Letter to Hon. H. C. Dodge, Delegate to Congress from Iowa, M. M. Carver, Oregon Emigrant  

November 11, 1843 Fort Vancouver "...We traveled several days down this river, then crossed over on to the Snake River, and arrived at Fort Hall on the 25th of August. Here I found some of the best beef I ever saw....The road from Independence to Fort Hall is as good a road as I would wish to travel,--From Fort Hall there is some bad road and some good.....Start as soon as your stock can get grass enough to travel on, for the grass will be getting better evey day until you arrive at Fort Hall; after that you will find the grass bad in places until you get to the Blue Mountians.....You should start with some medicine, for you will have more or less sickness until you get to Fort Hall. Be sure and take good care not to expose yourself unncessarily, for people have to go through a seasoning on the road, which makes the most of them sick." S. M. Gilmore, Oregon Emigrant  

December 13, 1843 "A postscript to a letter from a gentleman in the Indian country, dated October 19, received by a gentleman of this city says: 'Fort Hall, on the Oregon has been delivered up to Lt. Fremont, and is believed that Ft. Vancouver soon will be." How far this report is reliable, we have no means of knowing, except that he and his part are in Oregon by the authority and direction of the United States Government." Missouri Republican  

December 14, 1843 "We yesterday noticed a postscript of a letter from the Oregon coutnry. We had since seen letters from Lt. Fremont and other men of his party written at Ft. Hall, and bearing the date of 20th September, which do not confirm the report alluded to. The silence of these letters as to the surrender of Fort Hall is full assurance to us that the report is not correct. The letter before us, the statments of whcih are corroborated by Lt. Fremont, himself, says:-- 'I arrived at this place (Fort Hall) on the 13th inst. with my part of the caravan all safe and in tolerable order.... Lt. Fremont, whom I parted with on the South fork of the Platte, and expected to meet at this place, joined us yesterday after making a survey of the Salt Lake, which he has done much to his satisfaction. The exploration and and new routes which we have taken have made out trip tedious and very laborious, but, I hope it will be satisfactory to the department. We leave tomorrow for the lower country, and find it necessary to let some of our men off on account of the scarcity of provisions, which are not to be had at this place...' The forgoing is the latest news from Oregon, and may be relied upon as correct." Missouri Republican  


[June 1844] "At one hundred miles from the Hot Pools we came to and crossed the Raft River, which empties into Snake River, twenty-three miles below the American Falls. Thence we crossed the main range of mountains, South of the Valley of Snake River, through a large deep gap, and at thirty miles came to the river five miles below the junction of the Protneiff; thence we proceeded to Fort Hall, a distance of twenty-three miles, where we arrived on the 20th day of June, forty days having elaped since we left Capt. Sutter's in California. In the whole country between the Eastern base of the California Mountains and Fort Hall we saw no game of any discription, excepting a few Antelopes on the head of Marie's River. Wm. H. Winter, Oregon Emigrant  

[Sept] 10, [1844] "Moved on down the creek N.W. &Soon came in sight of the broad extensive vally of Snake river which for several miles was entirely covered with wild Sage & deep blackish Sand After a fatiquing we at length reachd the Low vally & found plenty of grass & good water whare we unpacked to graze Made 16 miles & encamped on Snake River about 2 miles above Fort Hall as we understood the grass was poor Further down this vally is wide & the Northeren Highlands are invisible perhaps on account of the Smoke which lies thick in this vally the land appears to be poor & cold with great Quantities of Springs & Brooks in all Directions with the finest Kind of Trout but they ware Difficult to be Taken I did not go down to visit the Fort as I had no Letters for the place a good stock of cattle is Kept at the fort & a Large Quality of horses. [Sept] 11 one 1 /2 hour brot us oposite to the white washed mud walled Battlements of Fort Hall and as I had no Business to transact I did not go inside But the outward appearance was pretty fair for a comfortable place for all that the present trade admits of Flour plenty at $20 per cwt. And nothing was purchased I cannot give nay oeht prices but I presume they are as cheep as any of her Sister establishment in this region about noon crossed Portnuff here a Swift Stream 60 yards wide & and Belly deep to our horses having plenty of Tout in it Made 18 miles & encamped on the river about half a mile above the first falls during the whole of the afternoon we were passing large bottoms of grass which would Support a considerable number of cattle & other Stock but not land fit for cultivation the uplands are covered with wild Sage " James Clyman, Frontiersman  

Saturday, Sept. 14 [1844] "A mild, clear morning. We are now nearly through the Rocky Mountains and expect to reach Fort Hall in a few hours to-day. We had a sand plain to cross, which made heavry dragging for the oxen for about six miles. We reached Fort Hall about three o'clock and made a short stop. We then rolled down a beautiful valley six or seven miles and camped on Lewis River. We are now looking toward Oregon City, although we are a great distance from it. Some say the distance is five hundred miles, but Lieutenant Fremont has returned it six hundred miles. Mr. Hoover and company are here with Mr. Holly and us. The two Gilliams and Captain Ford are behind us. Rev. Edward Evans Parrish, Oregon Missionary  

Saturday, Sept. 15 [1844] "The night was cold enough to freeze a little. Fine, clear morning. Started by seven o'clock and traveled fifteen miles and camped on the same beautiful Lewis River. We could have gon four or five miles further, but there is no grass for twenty-five miles. A hard day's drive for to-marrow. We have overtaken six wagons that left us some week past. We crossed Lewis River to-day eight or nine miles below Fort Hall. It is a small stream here, but soon gets twice as large. This valley is decidedly the best range for cattle that I have seen in the country. There is plenty of grass for great quantities of cattle, winter and summer. We passed the American Falls. We camped early on the same river on account of the distance to grass." Rev. Edward Evans Parrish, Oregon Missionary  

[Sept. 1844] "....We camped here [Soda Springs] and next morning when we started we left the river and after traveling some sixty or seventy miles we reached Fort Hall, then a Hudson Bay Co. trading post. When Mr. Grant was Chief Factor, here a circumstance occured that has caused me throughout life to regard Grant as a bad hearted man. Peter H. Burnett a noted man of the previous emigration had written a letter of instruction and encouragement an sent it to Grant with instructions that he should read it to emigrants when they reached Fort Hall. When we arrived ther the letter was called for and Grant read it to us. It was a very welcome note giving us useful instructions about the route and strong encouragement about the country we were going to, but you can scarely conceive of the barrels of cold water that he poured on to Mr. Burnett's words of encouragement. The circumstances were such that such a proceeding was of no profit or benefit to him or the company he was serving for it was next to impossible for us to turn back. We were from the very nature of our situation compelled to go ahead and he well knew that his discouragements could avail nothing towards stopping us. I have never been able to regard him as a good man. When we left Fort Hall we entered the country of the Snake Indians." Manuscript March 8, 1904, W. S. Gilliam, Oregon Emigrant  


[February, 1845] " Snake river issues from the Mountains 80 or 100 miles Fort Hall and soon passes out in to a wid valley being in many placess form 40 to 60 miles wide mostly a dry arid sand plane covered with a Strong groth of wild Sage and prickly pears the lower valley However is well clothed with grass expecially on the moist ground and near the water a thick growth of small willows with an occasional grove of cottonwood The Hudson bay co. who occupy Fort Hall keep a large Herd of cattl in this vally which do well and Furnish the fort with the fines Beeff in the fall season These cattle are Likewise a large herd of horses live well through the winter without any food except what they obtain on their own industry on the Praries In the head or Eastern part of this vally stande the three tetwas which are verry high steep conicle Mountains appearantly rising out of an undulated plain and so high that their summits are are covered with Eternal snow and frost and may bee seen from a great distance from the S. W. And west The three butes Likewise stand in this vally nearly opposit or North of Fort Hall and are rounded Detached conicle Hills likewise But on no great hight and are formed of rounded water worn rock Clay Pumise stone and obsedian the latter resembling Black glass which is here found in great abundance and has formerly been the place whar the Natives manufactured great Quantities of arrow points and other instrument of ofence and defence the fragments of which Lay thickly strewn over the surrounding plain...." James Clyman, Mountain Man  

[1845] Betsey Bayley and her family migrated to Oregon in 1845. Four years later, in a letter to her sister in South Charleston, Ohio, Mrs. Bayley recounted the following incident. While her party was camped at Fort Hall on the Snake River in present-day Idaho, some Indians resident in the region approached for the purpose of trading. Instead of the usual negotiations, however, at least one young Indian indicated he wished for a wife, and was prepared to bargains with horses (which were, of course, extrementy valuable to nomadic tribesmen). Mr. Bayley apparently did not take the young man seriously. According to his wife, he "joked with them, and asked a young Indian how many horses he woild give for Caroline", the couples' 18-year-old daughter, then stipulating that for "six can have her"! The father's "joke" backfired, for "The next day he (the young Indian) came after her, and had six horses and seemed determined to have her." In fact, the young man followed the wagon train for several days before gibving up on the proposed "trade". In what was undoubtedly an understatement to her sister, Mrs. Bayley note "we were glad to get rid of him without any trouble. The Indians never joke, and Mrs. Bayley took good care ever after not to joke with them." Reprinted from the Tombstone Epitaph  

[1845] "While my father had gone to school but three months in his life, he was a well educated manyy, deeply versed in the Bible, and a man of strong and deep convictions. My father wuld not join a train whose members planned to travel on Sunday. He circulated around among the emigrants willing to lay over on Sundays. There were 70 wagons in the train. The members of this train passed a subscription paper around and raised sufficient money to purchase a large tent in which to hold Sunday services. Each Saturday night this tent was put up, and on Sunday my father preached both morning and evening. The wagon train had an uneventful and on the whole a pleasant trip all the way across the plains to Fort Hall. They run the legs of their oxen by travelling hard and fast and not giving their oxen a chance to rest on Sundays." Richard Watson Helm, Oregon Pioneer  

15th July 1845 New Helvetia "Dear Sir! I send you a Newspaper from St: Louis sent to me over the Rocky Mountains, with a somewhat exagerated description of California. The Company which arrieved the 10th instt from the Oregon conisists out 39 Men, 1 Widow, and 3 Children of which I send you the enclosed list. All of these people have a descent appearance and some very useful Men among them some of them will remain here, and the Majority will spread over the whole Country like usual, a good Many come to Monterey and present themselves to you, I give them passports, and give Notice to the Government. I received a letter which informs me that in about 6 or 8 weeks an other Compy. will arrive here direct from the U.S. a very large Company of more as 1000. Souls from Kentucky and Ohio and a good Many young enterprizing Gentlemen with some Captial to improve the Country, under the lead of L. W. Hastings Esqre of whom I received some letters which informed me of this Arrival, I am looking for them in about 8 or 10 weeks from Now, I am very glad that they meet with some good Pilots at Fort Hall, people who went over there from here, to pilot Emigrants the new Wagon road which was found right down on Bearcreek on my farm. I am so much engaged at present that it is impossible to write you better letter, and I shall embrace the Opportunity by Mr. Williams who will leave from here to Monterey in about 5 or 6 day. I remain very repectfully Your Most Obedient Servant Letter to Thomas O. Larkin, Esqre, J. A. Sutter, California Colonist  

[August] 1845 "We had as good traveling as could be expected for people that was fresh from the city & as green as grass I the feilds. from my childhood I allways loved to milk so sometimes we use dot milk the cows as they feeding on the alonge the road. that was before were left the settlements after that we fared rather hard. For traveling made us very hearty. nothing of espesial interest accord untill we arived at fort Hall on snake river where we found that out stock of provisions was rather low we laid in a little more. when we were a little this side of fort hall on snake river the provisions being rather low & and the cattle poor, myself & hussband we left our little party & got in with a man by the name of gristow I did the cooking & washing & my husband drove the team into Call our cattle was giving was giving out so we had to cut the wagon down & make a cart of it & throw away some of our goods things began to look very scary just then. We traveled on day or so and cam across a party of emagrants bound for Callifornia & they were looking for recruits so we joined their company wich was about 40 wagons in all They had an old man by the name of Greenwood for A pilot for the road was new & was ltttle known to any but trappers." Eliza Marshall Gregson, California Pioneer  

[August] 1845 "left Independence for Oregon with Captain Welch and one hundred and twenty-nine wagons, and perhaps five hundred persons. We divided first into three companies, and then splet into small parties. I came on the way as far as Fort Hall with Welch. At Fort Hall a train was made up for California and I joined it. The Hudsons [David and William], [William B] Elliots and [Michael] Coleman for whom Coleman valley is named, joined also, with P. McCristian and James Gregson." Henry Marshall, California Pioneer  

[August] 1845 "Near Fort Hall we fell in with Jacob R. Synder and Judge Blackburn who were traveling with pack horese, they cam on with us....Geo. McDougal....joined us at Fort Hall and also Kinght from whom Knights Valley is named." James Gregson, California Pioneer  

[August] 1845 "At Fort Hall we were met by old man Caleb Greenwood and this three soms; John was 22, Britian 18, and Sam, 16. Caleb Greenwood, who originally hailed from Nova Scotia, was an old mountain man and was said to be over 80 years old. He had been a scout and trapper and had married a squaw, he sons being half breeds. He was employed by Captain Sutter to come to Fort Hall to divert the Oregon-bound emigrants to California. Greenwood was a very picturesque old man. He was dressed in buckskin and had a long heavy beard and used very picturesque language. He call the Oregon emigrants together the first evening we were in Fort Hall and made a talk. He said the road to Oregon was dangerous on account of the Indians. He told us while no emigrants had as yet gone to California, there was an easy grade and crossing the mountains would not be difficult. He said that Capt. Sutter would have the Californians meet the emigrants who would go and that Sutter would supply them with plenty of potatoes, coffee, and dried beef. He also said he would help the emigrants over the mountains with their wagons and that to every head of a family who would settle at Sutter's Fort, Captain Sutter would give six sections of land of his Spanish land grant. After Greenwood had spoken the men of our party held a pow-wow which lasted nearly all night. Some wanted to go to California, while others were against it. Barlow, who was in charge of our train, said he would forbid any man leaving our train and going to California,. He told us we did not know what we were getting into, and there was a great uncertainity about land titles in California, and that we were Americans and should not want to go to another country under another flag. Some argued that California would become American territory in time; other thought that Mexico would fight to hold it. And that Americans who went there would get into a mixup and probably get killed. The meeting broke up in a mutiny. Barlow finally appealed to the men to go to Oregon and make Oregon an American territory and not waste their time goin g to California to help promote Sutters' land schemes. Next morning ol Caleb Greenwood with his boys stepped out to one side and said: 'All you who want to go to California dirive out from the main train and follow me. Your will find there are not Indians to kill you, the roads are better , and you will be allowed to take up more land in California than in Oregon, the climate is better, there is plenty of hunting and fishing, and the rivers are full of salmon.' My father, Jarvis Bonney, was the first one of the Oregon party to pull out of the Oregon train and head south with Caleb Greenwood. My uncle, Truman Bonney, followed by my father, then came the Sam Kinneys of Texas, then came Dodson and then a widow women named Tetters, and many others. There were eight wagons in all that rolled out from the main train to go to California with Caleb Greenwood. After driving southward for three days with Caleb The last thing those remaining in the Barlow train said to us was, 'Goodbye, we will never see you again. Your bones will whiten in the desert or be gnawed by wild animals in the mountains.'" Greenwood, he left us to go back to Fort Hall to get other emigrants to change their route to California. He left his three boys to guide us to Sutter's Fort". Memories of Events in 1847, Benjamin Franklin Bonney, California Emigrant  

August 8 [1845] "We traveled but five miles, which brought us to Fort Hall. This is a trading post in the possession of the Hudson's Bay Company. Like the forts on the east side of the mountains, it is built of mud or adobe. They are of a similar construction. At each corner is a bastion, projecting out some eight or ten feet, proforated with holes for fire-arms. Captain Grant is now officer in command; he has the bearing of a gentleman. The garrison was supplied with flour, which had been procured in the settlements in Oregon, and brought here on pack horses. They sold it to the emigrants for twenty dollars per cwt., taking cattle in exchange; and as many emigrants were nearly out of flour, and had a few lame cattle, a brisk trade was carried on between them and the inhabitants of the fort. In the exchange of cattle for flour, an allowance was made of from five to twelve dollars per head. They also had horses which they readily exchange for cattle or sold for cash. The price they demanded for a horse was from fifteen to twenty-five dollars. They could not be prevailed to exhange for their goods or provisions, excepting cattle or money. The bottoms here are wide and covered with grass. There is an abundance of wood for fuel, fencing, and other purposed. No attempt has, as yet, been made to cultivate the soil. I think the drought too great; but if irrigation were resorted to, I doubt not it would produce some kinds of grain, such as wheat, corn, potatoes, &c. Our camp was located one mile to the south-west of the fort; and as at all the other forts, the Indians swarmed about us. They are of the Snake tribe, and inhabit the country bordering on Lewis and Bear rivers, and their various tributaries. This tribe is said to be numerous; but in consequence of the continual was which they have engaged in with the Sioux, Crows, and Blackfeet, their numbers are rapidly diminishing. Snake river, which flows with one half mile of the fort, is a clear and beautiful stream of water. It courses over a pebbly bottom. Its width is about one hundred and fifty yards. It abounds in fish of different varieties, wich are readily taken with the hook. While we remained at the place, great efforts were made to induce emigrants to pursue the route to California. The most extravagant tales were related respecting the dangers that awaited a trip to Oregon, and of the difficulties and trial to be surmounted. The perils of the way were so magnifiedd as to make us suppose the journey to Oregon almost impossiblel For instance, the two crossings of the Snake river, and the crossing of the Columbia, and the various small streams, were represnted as being attended with great danger; also that they had never succeeded in getting more than fifteen or twenty head of cattle into the Willamette Vally. In addition to the above, it was asserted that three or four tribes of Indians, in the middle region, had combined for the purpose of preventing our passage through their country. In case we escaped destruction at the hands of the savages, a more fearful enemy, that of famine, would attend our march; as the distance was so great that winter would overtake us before making the passage of the Cascade Mountains. On the other hand, as an inducement to pursue the California route, we were infromed of the shortness of the route, when compared to that of Oregon; and of many other superior advantages it possessed. These tales, told and rehearsed, were likely to produce the effect of turning the tide of emigration thither. Mr. Greenwood, an old mountaineer, well stocked with falsehood, had been dispatched from California to pilot the emigrats through; and assisted by a a young man by the name of McDougal, from Indiana, so far succeeded as to induce thirty-five or thirty-six wagon the take that trail About fifteen wagons had been fitted out, expressly for California; and joined by the thirty-five aforementioned, completed a train of fifty wagons; what the result of their expedition has been, I have not been able to learn." Joel Palmer, Captain, Oregon Emigrant  

[August 1845] "Whilst I was at Fort Hall, I conversed with Captain Grant respecting the practicability of this same route, and was advised of the fact, that the teams would be unable to get through. The individual in charg at Fort Bois also advised me to the same purport. The sensure rests, in the origin of the expedition, upon Meek: but I have not the least doubt but he supposed they could get through in safety. I have undestoood that a few of the members controlled Meek, and caused him to depart from his original plan. It was his design to have conducted the party to the Willamette Valley, instead of going to the Dalles; and the direction he first traveled induced this belief. Meek is yet of the opinion that had he gone round this marshy lake to the south, he would have struck the settlement on the Willamette, within the time required to travel to the Dalles. Had he discovered this route, it would have proved a great saving in the distance. I do not question but that there may be a route found to the south of this, opening into the valley of the Willamette." Joel Palmer, Oregon Emigrant  

[August 31, 1845] "We killed a bullock this morning in a fit of exravagnce, and after replenishing ourselfes with a most substantial breakfast, set out with renewed energies and brightened prospects. We arrived in the afternoom at Fort Hall, a trading post belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, on the Snake or Sapin River, and encamped in a fine piece of timber land, under cover of wooden battlements. We past a most pleasant evening in exchanging civilities with it inmates, who were not a little surprised at his tremendous irruption in their solitude. Some of the members told us that they could scarcely believe their eyes when the saw the immense stretch of our line, the number of our lowing herds and our squads of prancing horsemen, and they inquired laughingly if we had come to conquer Oregon, or devour it out of hand. They treated us, however, with every attention, and answered with the utmost patience and particularity, all our inquiries in relation to the country. We paused here a day to recruit our cattle, and when we set out I the morning following, we received a parting salute from one of the guns of the fort, and answered ti with a volley from our small arms. Our journey today commenced through a piece of country well timbered, a possessing a soil apparently capable of raising the grains and vegetables of the States. I learned however, that the climate of this region is subject to frequent frosts, the severity of which are fatal to agricultural operations of any magnitude." Wilkes, Oregon Emigrant & Writer  

[1845] "In March 1845, I went to New Orleans and then up river to St. Louis, where I got letters of recommendation from Fitzpatrick, Wm. Sublette and Rob. Campbell, which secured me the position as guide to the immense emigrant train of 480 wagons then preparing to go to Oregon. We started on the 11th of May 1845, on which day I first saw Elizabeth Schoonover, whom I married a week later. Arriving at Fort Hall, one-third of the train under Wm. B. Ide, of bear flag notoriety, went to California, guided by the old trapper, Greenwood. The remainder I conducted safely to Oregon, the first large train of wagons ever taken there. Stephen Hall Meek, Trapper and Guide  

[October 1845] "After a stay of 2 days at Bridger's to recruit, our party of 10 started for Fort Hall. Before they had reached there they became very short of provisions and suffered not a little. One of the party--no matter as to the name-, for he has for many years been slumbering in the grave, succeeded one Evening in Shooting a very lean and apparently Superannuated Coyote, which he broiled and before morning, ate all the carcass, minus bones and Entrails himself. At length, weary and hungry the party reached Fort Hall. They had but very little money but Major Grant, the Factor at the Fort for the Hudson Bay Company was induced to supply them with some provisions, payment for which they promised to make by sending the money on their arrival in California to Doctor M Laughlin Chief Factor for H B Co. In Oregon--The promise we believe was fulfilled.--After a 2 days stay at Fort Hall, the party resumed their journey." Recollection of Napoleon B. Smith in 1875  

Nov. 23rd, 1845 "...I do not deny that , at first glance, a great portion of the eastern and interior of that territory [Oregon} appears to be of little worth, nor could otherwise say the than in the Willamette Valley, the garden of the world, possing more strength and depth of soil and less waste than nay country of like extent, that three months of twelve arising from the continous rain, are disagreeable, but, sir the time is coming, and rapidily advancing when domestic herds will take the place of immense herds of buffaloes and prove a rich source of revenue. Experiments at Fort Hall, Dasea, Wallawalla and other places demonstrate clearly." From St. Louis Republican, Dr. Elijah White, Physician and Missionary  


[May 1846] "I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Lieutenant Woodworth, of the United States navy, bearer of despatches to Oregon and California. I shall, probably , bear him company as far as Fort Hall. He is shrewd and circumspect, and says nought about his mission." George Law Curry, Oregon Emigrant  

1846 "Leave Soda Springs early in the morning, and when you go down the river about 4 miles, fill your kegs, as you cannot get to the water here, you leave the river. Six miles below, opposite the great Sheep mountain, you leave Bear river, from which is 12 miles to a little branch of good water, but no wood; 6 miles farther to the Portniff creek, one of the tributaries of Snake river, from whcih is 48 miles to Fort Hall. Here you will have an opportunity of buying provisions, swapping cattle for horses, and receive many acts of kindness from Captain Grant, the superintendent of the Fort. Here you must hire an Indian to pilot you at the crossing of the Snake river, it being dangerous if not perfectly understood. Fort Hall is situated in a large fertile valley on Snake river, you will not travel far, however, "till the gloom of desolation with spread around you, grass very scarce, water and wood plenty....." J. M. Shively, The Shively Guide ,,  

May 21 [1846] "...At 14 miles we encamped, this being the point where Mr. Fremont intersected the wagon trail last fall on his way to California and Mr. Hastings our pilot was anxious to try this route but my belief that it is very little nearer and not as good a road as that by Fort Hall.. 22--After long consultation and many arguements for and against the two different routes, one leading northward by Ft. hall and the other by the Salt Lake, we all finally took Fremont's trail by the way of Salt Lake late in the day..." John Clyman, Mountain Man  

[1846] " On the 23rd of May we Started our long Journey--all bound for Oregon except the Graves family, which afterwards become member of the Doner party--we all traveld together till we Came to Fort briger where the California and oregon Roads forked--there we Seperated we takeing the oregon road via Fort Hall--and the Graves family the California road, Via Salt Lake..... [At Fort Hall] we took a copy of a guide that a man by the name of Applegate had left....and went according to it till we got to the turning point on the Humbold River....the day that we we were laying by some 2 or 3 Companys of the California Emigrants past us--that at fort Briger was 3 week ahead of us we had went round by fort Hall some 150 miles farther and Stuck the Humboldt before they did--but I supose at that time the Doner Company was some 75 or 100 miles behind us---." George W. Tucker, California Emigrant , 1879 Statement  

July 17 [1846] "Mr. Editor--Sir, I see in the Gazette of this morning, under the head "From Oregon," a statement that a portion of last years emigrants were induced by the representation of persons belonging to the Hudson Bay Company, to take a new road beyong Fort Boises, which proved to be wrong one, ant that the disastrious consequences which followed was owing to their getting lost,&c. Now I am not a member of that company, more have I any very good feelings toward them, but justice requires that facts should be stated. It was a man by the name of Stephen L. Meek, from Jackson county, Mo. Who induced the company to take that route. He stated that he could shorten the distance 150 miles over the old road, and that he was perfectly familiar with the route. But unfortunately it proved otherwise. Captain Grant, the person in charge at Fort Hall advised us not to take that route, as also did the person in charge at Fort Boisea..--" Saint Joseph Gazette, from Joel Palmer, Oregon Emigrant  

June 17, 1846 Oregon City "We the undersigned, left the United States in 1845 to proceed to Oregon, and upon our arrival at Fort Hall, having been told by Capt. Grant that the road to Oregon was so bad and destitute of grass and wood, by his advice and others, we were induced to leave the Oregon trail and go to California. When we arrived in at the plains of the Sacramento Valley we found the whole country burnt up by the sun, and no food for either man or beast; having been deceived ourselves or objective is prevent others being deceived in like manner.....When we left California for Oregon, Lansford W. Hastings started to meet the emigration from the states, to try to persuade them to go to California. He told us publicly that he and Capt. Suter intended to revolutionize the country, as soon as they could get sufficient emigrants into California to fight the Spaniard; this plan was laid between Capt. Suter and L. W. Hastings, before said Hastings published his book of lies in 1844." Statement signed by Truman Bonney, James Bonney, and corroborated by Abner Frazer.  

June 26 [1846] "The practicability of wagons getting into California from Fort Hall, has been tested, successfully tested. Fifty arrived there last year, and some twenty the year previous." George Law Curry  

July 31, 1846 Fort Bridger, one hundered miles from Eutaw or Great Salt Lake. "We have arrived here safe with the loss of two yoke of my best oxen. They were poisoned by drinking water in a little creek called Dry Sandy, situated between the Green Spring in the Pass of the Mountains, and Little Sandy. The water was standing in puddles. Jacob Donner also lost two yoke, and Geroge Dooner a yoke and a half, all supposed from the same cause. I have replenished my stock by purchasing from Messrs. Vasques and Bridger, two very excellent and accomodating gentlemen, who are the proprietors of this trading port.--The new road, or Hastings' Cut-off leaves the Fort Hall road here, and is said to be a savings of 350 or 400 or thought to be, on stretch of 40 miles without water; but Hasting and his party, are out a-head examining for water, or for a route to avoid this stretch. I think that they cannot avoid it, for it crosses an arm of the Eutaw Lake, now dry. Mr. Bridger, and other gentlemen here, who have trapped that country, say that the Lake has receded from the tract of country in question. There is plently of grass we can cut and put into the waggons for our cattle while crossing it. We are now only 100 miles from the Great Salt Lake by the new route,--in all 250 miles from California; while by way of Fort Hall is 650 or 700 miles--making a great savings in favor of jaded oxen and dust. On the new route we will not have dust as there are but 60 wagons ahead of us. The rest of the Californians went the long route--feeling afraid of Hast, but Mr. Bridger infroms me that the route we design to take is a level road, with plently of water and grass, with before stated. It is extimated that 700 miles will take us to Sutter's Fort, which we hope to make in seven weeks from today." James F. Reed, California Emigrant, Donner Party  

July 11, 1846 Sweet Water 220 miles from Fort Hall "Dear Father: there is a gentleman in our camp [Wales B. Bonney] who has just come from Oregon alone & intends turning to the United States alone. He arrived late this evening bringing a letter from Mr. Hastings, which stated that he would wait at the Salt Lake 60 miles from Fort Hall and from that place take us a new route California which would make a difference of 300 miles nearer. But if it is his determine to aid in Revolutionizing the country and to get us to aid him in immortalizing himself, he will find himself sadly mistaken. There are now 510 wagons for Oregon and California and nearly all contain families......If we should change our notion, which is yet uncertain until we arrive at Fort Hall we will not lose anything by it for our oxen are worth mor in Oregon than in California. Our wagon will also be more valuable... It will be in Umqua Valley where most of the Californians will go, if things are not as they anticipated when we left, in fact the Aristocracy or respectable portion of the companies will go to this valley if any danger is apprehended when we arrive at Fort Hall." Letter to Joseph Putnam, Charles F. Putman, California and Oregon Emigrant  

[July] 22 [1846] "Traveled 21 to Blue Springs 5 miles from fort Hall 23 passed FT hall traveled 14 miles to portneiffe River. William E. Taylor, California Emigrant

[25th July. 1846] "Our object was to locate the road direct from near the head of the Humboldt to Bear river, leaving Fort Hall forty or sixty miles to the northward. Our stock of provisions being almost exhausted, we decided to dispatch a party, witht the strongest animals, to Fort Hall at once, for supplies. while the rest of us would bmove along more slowly, making such improvements on the road as seemed necessary, and perhaps reaching the head of the river in time to meet the Fort Hall party there on return. According, on the morning of the 25th of July, Jesse Applegate, Moses Harris, Henry Boygus, David Goff and John Owens, left us for Fort Hall. The place decided on for the reunion of the party was known as Hot Spring or Thousand Spring Valley, on the Humbolt. " Lindsay Applegate, Explorer [Reminiscence in 1877]  

27 [July 1846] " we met numerous squad of emigrants untill we reached fort Larrimie whare we met Ex governor Boggs and party from Jackson county Miourie Bound for California and we encamped with them several of us continued the conversation until the lat hour.....[the Boggs party included the Donners] ....' told him [James Reed] to take the regular wagon track [by way of Fort Hall] and never leave it--it barely possible to get through to get through if ou follow it--it may be impossible if you don't'. Reed replied, 'there is a nigher route [the Hastins Cutoff], and it is of now nue to take so much of a roundabout course.' 'I admitted that fact, but told him about the great desert and the roughness of the Sierras, and that a straight route might turn out to be impracticable." James Clyman, Mountain Man  

[1846] "When we got to Fort Hall, some of the folks in the train took the road to Sutter's Fort in California. Among them was my brother-in-law, Alva Kimsey. He came north to go to Oregon the following year. When gold was discovered at Sutter's Fort he took the back trail and returned, but he didn't have much luck. At Fort Hall my father exchanged all to the bacon and flour, and cornmeal he could spare for an order on Dr. McLoughlin for a similar amount at Oregon City. This saved hauling this surplus across the Cascades. We came by the Barlow Route, which had just been opened and it was a terror." Barnet Simpson, Oregon Emigrant  

August 2, 1846 From Fort Hall "Dear Brother:--I am happy of the opportunity of sending to you some further infromation with regard to our tedious trip to Oregon. We arrived at this place [Fort Hall] on yesterday, which is situated in a beautiful plain on Snake river, and is certainly a healthy place if ther is one in the world. The curiosities that are to be seen upon the plains, are enough to compensate me for all my trouble. The soda springs are a curiosity indeed, the water of these springs tastes a good deal like soda, and bild up like soda when the acid is mixed; just below these soda springs is a bioling spring, which comes up through a hole in a rock; it makes a noise like it was boiling, and can be heard a quarter of a mile off. The water foams like suds, and is a little above warm milk. Independence rock is also an interesting sight, it is about 150 feet high, and covers something near six acres of ground. There are engraved upon this rock, between two and three thousand names; I left my name on it, July 2d, 1846. If I were to tell you that we crossed lakes of salaratus, you would scarcely believe me, but it is true; we travelled over them with our teams, and used it in our bread, and it is as good, if not better, than any you buy in the States. From Fort Laramie to this place, the road is quite rocky, mountainous, and sandy; our teams however, seem to stand it tolerably well--we have to rest them a good deal in consequence of the scarity of grass near the mountains. The worst thing we have to encounter, is the dust, which is very disagreeable indeed. This is a long and tedious trip, and requires great patience, but I have not for a moment regreted the undertaking, for it has been a great benefit to my health, and I find health better than friends. The old men who undertook this trip for their health are getting along finely; old Mr. Linnville looks well. Those who undertake this trip sioud select well made cattle, as they stand it much the best; and don't be alarmed if you have to burn buffalo chips to cook by, for it makes a good fire. Letter to Brother, Daniel Toole, Oregon Emigrant  

Monday August 3 [1846] "Made and early start from the springs indending to to to Port Neuf, but was stopped by an awful calmity in 3 1/ 2 miles. Mr. Collins'son George about 6 years old, fell from the wagon and the wheels ran over his head, killing him instantly; the remainder of the day occupied in burying him at the place wher leave the river. 3 1/2 miles. Tuesday August 4--Leave Bear River and travel up a plain, covered in places with volcanic rock, and camp on Port Neuf, a branch of the Columbia. Made 18 miles. Wednesday, August 5--Travel up Port Neuf to its head and passed through the mountains to another branch of Snake River and camped. Traveled 17 miles. 17-1,389 miles. Thursday August-- Our travel today down the branch on which we camped last night 12 miles and camp, 4 miles from Fort Hall. 12 miles Friday, August 7--Pass the fort andcamp four miles below on Port Neuf. Find the fort located on a rich fertile plain, well watered with springs and creeks and some scattering timber. 8 miles. Virgil Pringle, Oregon Emigrant  

August 8, 1846 Fort Hall "Dear Father It is doubtful whether you have received any of the numerous letters that we have written to your, for the persons who are return to the States have no convenient way of carrying them, being on horseback & I have found several letters on the road broken open whcih were directed to the states....A Mr. Weir left Independence June 2d brought a St. Louis paper of the 28th of May which gave an account of the victory of Gen Taylor & the great zeal & interest manifested by the Western States in sending troops to Texas..... A Kentuckian has come to camp from Oregon to Pilot us. His name is Applegate, he is wll acquainted with Ex-Governor Boggs & was a member of the Legislature of Mr. when Mr. B, was Governor. Mr. A. is a warn Whig. We stopped three days at the Soda Springs where we enjoued ourselves as much as though we had been at Saratoga N. Y. I will return next year & give all the particulars. If you think of coming I would get three or four strong but light two horse wagons with three yoke of oxen to each wagon & a side door with steps for the family. I would also bring some fine cows, Mares, &c: they are no trouble & plenty of grass for them." Letter to Charles F. Putnam Sr., C. F. Putnam, Oregon Emigrant  

August 9, 1846 Fort Hall, Snake River "Dear Brother: I arrived here yesterday alone and on foot from the Willamette valley at the head of a party to meet the emigration. We left our homes on Willamette the 22d June last to explore a Southern route into that valley from the U.S.--After much labor and suffering we succeeded in our object tho it occupied us so long that a part of the emigrants had passed our place of intersection with the old road before we could possibly reach it. The new route follows the California road about 350 miles from here, it then leaves Ogdens or Marys river and enters Oregon by the way of the Clamet Lakes, Rogue river, Umpqua and the head of the Willamette valley--it shortens the road--avoids the danger of Snake & Columbia rivers and passes S. Of the Cascade Mts.--There is almost every place plenty of grass and water & every wagon ox or cow may enter Oregon. I would give you a more lengthy description of this road if I had time or opportunity but I cannot escape the importunities of emigrants who are pursuing me into every room of the fort and bedieging me with endless questions on all possible subjects--so much I am confused that I scarce know what I have written or wish to write--Suffice it to say that we fully succeeded in our object--of your acquaintances, Lindsay [Applegate], David Goff, B.F. Burch & Wm. Sportsman were with me. I am well pleased with Mr. Burch he is a good boy and of correct principles--as he may not reach here in time to write tell his father that he is well and well pleased with the country and the opportunity presented itself intended coming on to Missouri after him this fall--but as his horses were very tired when I left the balance of the company and I hear of no party going back I expect he will return with us to the Willamette. I met Larkin Stanley going to California & Oregon who told me you were coming to Oregon next year, it is so I am glad to hear it--and gladder still that I have assisted in finding a new route.--I believe I have no reason to change any part of the directions I gave you last Spring--it is a pity you have not come sooner to Oregon--Gov. Boggs and almost all the respectable portion of the California emigrants are going on the new road to Oreon--and nearly all the respectable emigrants that went last year to California came this Spring to Oregon--and as long as you are actually coming I venture to say the "you will never regret it" I am better pleased every day I would write and wish to write much to you but at present I have no opportunity the emigrants will give no peace Capt. Grant has done his best to give me an opportunity to write, but all in vain.--Speaking of Capt. Grant reminds me of a favor I have to request of you and Betsy. Capt. Grant the gentleman in charge of Fort Hall has two sons and a daughter at school in Canada he wishes them to come to Fort Hall next year with the emigration. He says his som a young man of 20 or thereabouts with little experience in the world, is his only dependence to bring his daughter a girl of 15 and a younger brother over the Mountains--He appears anxious to place his daughter in the care of some respectable lady who is coming to this country-- Now if Betsey will take the girl under her protection and you will see to the comfort and safety of the sons, you will confer a great favor upon me, and serve a gentleman to whom I owe many obligations, not only for kindness extended towards myself, but for the assistance he daily renders to the emigrants to Oregon. If you are coming next spring to Oregon and will take charge of these young people,--write to Richard Grant Jr. (Care of Phillip Burns esq. Three Rivers Lower Canada--) when and where to meet you which it would be better probably your own house before you leave--as in that case you could see that they were properly prepared for the journey. If I have the opportunity I will write more. Letter to Lisbon Applegate , Jesse Applegate, Explorer  

August 10, 1846 Fort Hall "Dear Brother: Allow me to introduce to your favorable notice Mr. Richard Grant Jr.-- By my recommedation he has called upon you to rest himself at your house for a few days. That you and your family will make him comfortable I make no doubt. Mr Grant will give you another letter which will fully explain his & his fathers wishes, respecting his coming out in company--to Fort Hall and perhaps all way Willamette. Tell Betsy and the boys that upon the new road I have been exploring they will see some of the greatest wonders of nature.--So truly wonderful is some parts of this road that I am unequal to the task of giving you a description. The immense masses of Mountains, covered in eternal Snows, the black smoke of volcanoes the boiling Springs, and deep and dark passes among the Mountains into which the sun never shines, and the high plains over which we pass, where frost fall and ice freezes every night, it worth a years travel to see these wonders of nature, to say nothing of the immense numbers and variety of the wild animals to be seen upon the road. In haste, P.S. Tomarrow I start homeward, the emigrants have almost annoyed me out of my senses--and Capt. Grant who is proof against all kinds of annoyances, has out of Charity undertook to put those behind upon the right track. Jesse Applegate, Explorer and Guide  

August 10, 1846 Fort Hall, Snake River,"Gentleman: The undersigned are happy to infrom you that a southern rout to the Willamette, had just been explored, ans a portion of the emigration of the present year are now upon the road. Owing to unavoidable delays, the exploring party did not arrive at the forks of the road until some of the front companies of the emigrants were passed, perhaps eighty or one hundred wagons. The new route follos the road to California about 320 miles from this place, and enters the Oregon Territory by way of the Clamet Lake, passes through the splendid vallies of the Rouge and Umqua rivers, and enters the valley of the Williamette near its south eastern extremity. The advantage gained to the emigrant by this route is of the greatest importance--the distance is considerably shortened, the grass and water plenty, the sterile regions and dangerous crossings of the Snake and Columbia rivers avoided, as well as the Cascade Mountain--he may reach his place of destination with his wagon and property in time to build a cabin and sow wheat before the rainy season. This road has been explored, and will be opened at the expense of the citizens of Oregon, and nothing whatever demanded of the emigrants. Gov. Boggs and party, with many other families of respectability, have changed their destination, and are now on their way to Oregon. Some of the emigrants intend stopping in the Umqua valley--which, tho' not large, is quite equal to the Williamette for fertility. A way-bill, fully describing the road, will be prepared and sent to the United States, or to Fort Hall, for the use of the emigration of 1847, and no pilots will be required. The exploring party left the upper settlements of the Willamette on the 25th of June last,--crops were most promising, and farmers in high spirits. They met a large emigration from California, consisting of the Hon.Felix Scott; lat of St. Charles county, Missuri, and many others who left the United States. They give a decided preference to Oregon over California. The exploring party consists of John Jones, John Scott, Robert Smith, John Owen, Samuel Goodhue, Henry Boggs, Wm. Sportsman, Jesse Applegate, Levi Scott, David Goff, Lindsey Applegate, Moses Harris, Wm. Parker, Benj. Osborne, Benj.F.Birch. Editors in Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa, friendly to the prosperity of Oregon will please insert the foregoing communciation." Open Letter to FUTURE EMIGRANTS OF OREGON, Jesse Applegate, Explorer and Guide  

[August, 1846] "On the 10th the Fort Hall Party party returned to us with a supply of provisions, and on the 11th we turned our faces toward our homes, which we judged to be eight or nine hundred miles distant. Before the party of five reached Fort Hall, one of them, young Boygus, hearing that a son of Capt. Grant, commanded of Fort Hall, had recently started for Canada, via St. Louis, concluded to leave the part and, by forced marches, endeavor to overtake Grant, as he was anxious to return to his home in Missouri. Boygus was brave and determined, an expecting to meet immigrants occasionally, he sat out alone on his hazardous undertaking. We never heard of him afterwards, and his fate has always remained a mystery. There was, perhaps, truth in the report current afterwards that his gun and horses were seen in the possession of an Indian at Fort Hall, and it is most likely that he was followed by Indians from the moment he left his companions and slain, as many a poor fellow has been, while all alone upon the great plains. At Fort Hall the party of four met with a considerable train of immigrants, with some of whom they were aqainted, who decided to come to Oregon by way of our route. This train closely followed our companions on their return, and reacher Hot Spring valley before our departure. Before starting on the morning of July 11th, a small party of young men fromt he immigrant train generously volunteered to accompany us and assist in opening the road. These were: Thomas Powers, Purges Shaw, Carnaham, Alfred Stewart, Charles Putnam, and two others whose names I disremember. A Bannock Indian, from about the head of Snake River, also joined us. This increased our road party to twenty-one men, exclusive of Scott and Goff, who remained to guide and otherwise assist the immigrants on their way to Oregon." Lindsay Applegate, Explorer [Reminiscence in 1877]  

August 14, 1846 Fort Hall "Dear friends I now take my Pen in hand to infrom you that I am well at present and have been every since I left home I have had my health better this summer and feel stouter than I have for Several years I have got along very well so far I shal have plenty of Provisions to last me throw all of this company has plenty of Provisions to do them thare is seven wagons in our company Buckheart 2 wagons Suttle 2 wagons Johnston 2 wagons and min all from Desmoins country I have got all of my oxen yet and Abigal two She workes well and gives afine chance of milk we have had no trouble acrossing streams it has been very dry weather hear and dusty travling we havent had but on Shower of rains Since we left South Plat River and no Drews at ll it is very pleasent travling threw this country we have Sean Some Indians but our company has reseaved no injury from them thare is Sevral companies behind us and agreat many before us, one of the companys behind us and agreat many before us, one of the companys behind us had three horses Stolen from them and and two wagons robed by the Sioux Indians about one hundred of them to geather you susent low no Indians get in your wagons while they was takeing thins out of the qagons the old Chief tried to Stop them all he could and Shot Several of thear horses and Stoped them from robbing-- look out about 12 miles the other side of the willow Springs the Soap factory it looks like it was solled on top and if you Step on it you will go under head and years and if not washed off it will take the hair off one of our girles was so misfortunate as to get it by I dont think it takened the feathers of I have had the Pleasure of Seeing the Salaratus factory--it is first rate and looks as white as Snow the Sody Spring is aquite acuriosity thare is agreatm many of then Just boiling rit up out of the ground take alitle sugar and desolve it in alittle water and then dip up acup full and drink it before it gass it is frristrate I drank ahal of galon of it you will see several Spring Sprouting up out ove the river it is quite asite to see the prairies covered with Buffalow we had agreat time acilling one we Shot him and Broke his leg and then we after him we would run him awhile and Shoot him and then he would run us I must tell you acouple astoryes about tow men hunting buffalow they wounded one and thought they would drive it in to camp they got up to him saying golong yhear you Big fellow you Pating him on the rump he turned round and tramped on the fellows hela as he whealed to rune ketched his horn in the seat of his Britches and turned him acomplete summer set. they rode in alarge drove one day and one of them droped his Bridle and commenced hallowing hay, hay, hay and his horse throwed him of and run about ten miles before he ketched him he cane in to the camp Owot abig Bull got ahead so wide Streaching out his hands more wider as dat yer Owat abig Bull. I have not Seen father nor John yet I think it is more than likely Some of us will Be back thare nex year I dont no But I will Come Back my self but I cant tell for certain til I see them but I think one ove us will certainly come back thare to tend to business and come out with you if you dont come next year I would like to hear from you bu cant I Sen this letter by Mr. Grant give my best respects to all of my friends I want you to write to me next spring and tell me all about e thing I still live in hopes of seeing you all gain my best love to Eliza Jand and Laton I would like to see you very much ti makes me shed tears to think about your So far well to you all" Letter to William Butine or Joseph V. Morgan, William J. Scott, Oregon Emigrant  

September 3 [1846] "Some of Oregon emigrants of 1846, arrivied at Oregon City on the 256h of August--also a naval officer, (Liet. Woodworth, who is connected with the U.S. Navy) crossed over the Rocky Mountains in company with three gentlemen destined to Oregon, having letter for the squadrom, which were left on the U.S.Sch'r Shark, lying in the Columbia river. Lieut. Woodworth brought us files of papers from various parts of the United States of dates up to the 23rd of April, and says he brought paper of dates up the the 1st of May as far as Fort Hall, but by accident they were unfortunately left at Fort Hall. He declares that one newspaper left by accident at Fort Hall, contained the new of the final passage of the bill through the Senate, giving Great Britain the required year's notice of the termination of the joint occupancy of Oregon....." Oregon Spectator, Oregon City  

October 1, 1846 Oregon City "The public mind has been happily put at rest, in relation to the welfare of Captain Jesse Applegate and party, by the arrival of intelligence, at Fort Vancouver, recently, to the effect, that he had succeedde in discovering a most admirable road for the emigration--one mcuh more direct, and in every respect more preferable than the old one. We trust to be able to speak more at large in relation to his important circumstance hereafter. Captain Applegate struck the old trail in the vicinity of Fort Hall in time to turn the bulk of emigration which are now coming on under his guidance; indeed it is altogether probable that the advance wagons have already entered the head of the Valley. Oregon Spectator  

October 17, 1846"Late on the evening of the 8th of August Mr. Applegate from the Walla Amett settlement arrived [at Fort Hall}--he had discovered a South route from the Walla Amett valey to Ogdens river & then east to Fort Hall--He gave such a fine description of the country between the Californian line & the Walla Amett valey that I felt most anxious to accompany him & his party on their return--The next day being Sunday he allowed me this much to prepare for the journey--I packed a small quantity of paper, a guantity of such bags & forty days provisions--On the 11th we left the Fort--." Letter to Sir William Hooker, Joseph Burke, British Botanist  


January 24, 1847 Lower Pueblo, California "Dear Sir, I take the earliest opportunity to writing according to promise, at the time of our parting. By the time we had arrived at Fort Hall we were met by Mr. Applegate, who had recommended a new road to Oregon, by the ways of Mary's river, which we pursued 350 miles, to the point where the road forks, the right hand leading to Oregon and the left to California. We traveled 15 miles on the fork leading to Oregon, where we found a written paper infroming us that it was two or three days journey to grass and water, and we also observed mountains that could be crossed without difficulty. There circumstance discouraged us so much that we concluded to turn back to the forks, and pursue out way to California.... I have heard from Warren Brown and David Allen whom I left sick at Bridger, they have both recovered their health and go to Oregon, not knowing but hose before them had gone there. On the road between Bridger and Fort Hall, there was a number of us taken sick, myself among others, and by the time we arrived at Fort Hall, there was 14 of us helpless all from out neighborhood.--There was no doctor in our company and our medicine had give our and by the time we had got to Mary's river, Thomas Adams died and was buried, 22 August, we continued our journey untill the 27th when Isaac Allen also died..."" Letter to Reverand Thomas Allen , William Edgington, California Emigrant  

March, 1847 Oregon Territory"My Dear Sir By the late emigrants I received your welcome letter, written last spring... The emigration of last year have all arrived with the exception of some five families now at Dr. Whitman's,...That emigration was not so large as the previous year. The emigrants came by two new routes, one across the Cascade mountains near the Columbia river, and the other by a southern route.... The southern route was surveyed by Messrs. Jessee Applegate, Moses Harris and others, promped no doubt by the most laudable motives; and cost them much labor and expense, and subjected them to much censure. These gentlemen left the Wallamette Settements in the latter part of last summer, and reached Fort Hall after the larger portion fot eh late emigrants had passed. Those they met at that place agreed to try this new route with their wagons, teams, and cattle." Letter to James M. Hughes , Peter H. Burnett, Oregon Emigrant and First Governor of California  

[1847] "We struck the Bear River some distance below where the town of Evanston now is, where the coal mines are and where the railroad passes, and gollowed the river down...We arrived at Soda Springs on the Bear River and where we separated from the missionaries who had gone off towards Snake River of the Columbia. There we lost the service of our guide, Fitzpatrick....Firzpatrick advised us to give up our expedition and go with them to Fort Hall, one of the Hudson's bay stations as there was not road for us to follow...He thought it was doubtful if we ever got there....Some four or five of our party withdrew and went with the missionaries. About thirty-one of us...declined to give up our expedition...As we approached Salt Lake we were misled quite often by the mirage. The country was obscured by smoke." Josiah Beldon, California Emigrant  

June 6, 1847 Black Hills, Bitter Creekn 30 Miles west of Fort Laramie "My dear sir: By my date you will discover my location, and as there is an emigrating company from the states camped about one mile back this eve, some of whom, as I understand as destined for San Francisco, I improve a few moments to write to you...... We left upwards of 4000 inhabitants at Winter Quarters and expect a large company which have since started, and are now en route, among whom will be as many of the families of the Battalion as can be fitted out. If any of the Battalion are with you or at your place, and want to find their families, they will do well to take the road to the States, via the south bank of Salt Lake, Ft. Bridger, South Pass, etc. and watch the path or any turn off the road till they find this camp...The camp will not go to the west coast or to your present place; we have not the means. Any among you who may choose to come over to the Great Basin or meet the camp are at libertyu to do so; and if they are doing well where they are, and choose to stay, it is quite right... Letter Sent to Fort Hall for Samuel Brannen, Member of Morman Battalion, Brigham Young, Mormon Pioneer, President of the Church  

Monday, July 12: [1847] "Col. Fremont travels with us. [Col. Fremont was being taken under military guard to Fort Levenworth]." Tuesday, July 14: Met some Oregon emigrants, in company fourty-three wagons. In the afternoon met some more emigrants. Wednesday, July 15: Came fifteen miles to Fort Hall. Here we got some bacon. Started in the afternoom met some more emigrants. Thursday, July 16: Today our enlistment is up. Camped on a branch of Bear Valley, on a small stream. Nathaniel Jones, Sergeant, Morman Battalion  

[July 1847] "We went on then to the divide; and soon I should be with my own, i.e. in the region of Fort Hall, which is subject to my espiscopal jurisdication." Rt. Rev. A. M. A. Blanchet, First Bishop of Walla Walla  

7 Saturday [August 1847] " We left only at 10 o'clock. Part of the road is over quicksand. We plan to have our meal 5 or 6 miles from Fort Hall and then we will pitch our tents near the Fort. Before arriving we must cross several streams or forks. (15m.) The Fort is a long square made of clay and baked in the sun. Mr. Grant, who is the bourgeois, is a kind gentleman who welcomes us with the courtesy which is remarkable among all the gentlemen of the Hudson's Bay Company. Rt. Rev. A.M.A. Blanchet, First Bishop of Walla Walla  

9 August 1847 "Indeed this life of the prarie and mountains is not the most agreeable in the world. There is a great deal of weariness and anxiety, and discomfort to experience. Even sickness has attacked us one after another so that often we have difficulty in having our wagons conducted for the drivers have not recovered from sickness. The bacon which we procured at St. Louis became insipid and we were happy even to have some milk to soften our bread. Joined to that , on one hand, was excessive heat which we had frequently to endure, and on the other, heavy frosts during several nights at the base of mountains we skirted....A few days before our arrival here, a chief of the Cayuse nation came to ask for missionaries. That Indian tribe is only forty miles from Walla Walla, in a beautiful country where the soil is fertile and which is close to an abundance in wood. Perhaps Providence prepares the way for my establishment in the midst of these savages. They have provisions in abundance, which will serve us well on our arrival. So as not to lose time, I shall go on ahead by horseback, to find out in which place the little caravan could establish it winter quarters...." Rt. Rev. A.M.A. Blanchet, First Bishop of Walla Walla  

[Aug. 9, 1847] "Captain Brown, Samuel Brannen, William H. Squires and some others started this morning on pack horses for California. Brother J. C. Little and some other went with them intending to accompany them as far as Fort Hall and a few only as far as Bear River." Major Howard Egan, Morman Pioneer  

10 Tuesday [August 1847] "Our wagons left the Fort at 11 0'clock. I stay with Father Ricard in order to arrange for the properties of our company as far as Walla Walla. Summary of distances For Westport to Fort Laramie...............615 miles From Fort Laramie to Fort Bridger..........379 miles From Fort Bridger to Fort Hall.............188 miles total 1182 miles 11 Wednesday We are told to this day, this year, 710 wagons have passed here; all destined for Oregoan and 200 more are announced. 14 Saturday Everything ready for departure, the horses are saddled and packed. We leave the Fort at 3:30 in the afternoon. The caravan is made up of 17 persons and 43 horsed; those which are not burdened are destined to carry riders or burdens in case of need. We go at a good pitch in order to pitch our tents at the river crossing. Portneuf is about 8 miles from the Fort. There we will have to fight against an army pitched in battle which will win a victory. They are large mosquitoes, which do not leave us freedom to eat or sleep." Rt. Rev. A.M.A. Blanchet, First Bishop of Walla Walla  

[Aug. 1847] "Or next stop of interest and importance was Fort Hall, owned by the Hudson's Bay Company. We remained there for a day or two in order to rest our teams, before going into the Snake River country, which was inhabited by the Snake Indians. They were considered a very treacherous tribe, and fromthen on we had to keep a good lookout for the night. After leaving Fort Hall, we soon came to the Snake River with its rocky banks, sometimes several hundered feet perpendicular." James D. Miller, Oregon Emigrant  

August [1847] "Captain Brown started immediately for Fort Hall, at which place, and in the valley of the Bear River he said the whole Morman emigration intended to pass the winter. He reported that he had met Captain Hunt, late of the Morman Battalion, who was on his way to meet the emigrants and bring into the country this winter, if possible, a battalion, according to the terms of my letter to him of 16th of August, a copy of whcih you will find among the military correspondence of the department." Col. Richard B. Mason, Military Governor of California  

August 29 [1847] "Passed Fort Hall Captain Grant (of the Hudsons Bay Company) is not that charitable gentleman that we expected to see, but a boasting, burlesquing, unfeeling man. Made 15 miles." Elizabeth Dixon Geer, Ore  

[September, 1947] "We overtook the company in Bear Valley nest day and proceeded our journey on 5 Sept 1847, and met Sam Brannan with an epistle from President Young...They crossed the Goose Creek Mountains to Fort Hall on Snake River where we found Captain Grant of the Hudsons Bay Fur Company. When we told him where the Church was locating he said it would be a failure if we attempted to colonize there, for we could not raise a bushel of grain in the Salt Lake Valley." Reddick Newton Allred, Morman Battalion  

[September 1847] 'Our Captain Brown was ordered to California on business for the government. He selected five soldiers and I was one of them. Brannan and two others went with us. We started the 9th of August 1847, and went by way of Fort Hall on the Snake River in the British possession. We laid in our supplies for the trip. Captain Grant commanded the Fort and was very obliging. Britain furnished everything necessary, and also a guide, a French-Canadian, a very interesting companion for the trip. He had a beautiful Indian squaw for a wife. She was one of the best looking women in the mountains. When we started she came out and shook hands with her husband and bid him good-bye. She saluted all of us. There were a great many Indians at this place trading. We started down the Snake or Lewis River and camped at the Great Falls. The canyon below had an echo that is very strange. Our guide had an Indian legend to relate to these falls. A few miles further we can to the fork of the road; the right leading to Oregon; the left to California. We took the left. In a few miles further was the City of Rocks." Abner Blackburn, Morman Battalion  

  [1847] "We had delivered our train into three at Ash Hollow, and after hat we didn't have any captain. Captain Levi Scott had come from the Whillamette Valley the year before to find and easier way for the emigrants. My brother Ben was one of his party. They surveyed a way by the southern rout. Captain Scott met us near Fort Hall. He acted as our guide by the southern route. It was no this trip that the emigrants were attached by Indians and some of their losse cattle were shot. Henry Williamson, one o f the men guarding the cattle was wounded. Garrison, who wnet with Captain Levi Scott from Polk County to Fort Hall to meet and guide the emigrants, was killed near Granite Ridge by Indians. Captain Levi Scott, though his arm was pinned to his side with an arrow, drew his revolver and killed the Indian. Uncle Sammy Burch, Oregon Emigrant  

[1847] Twenty Two Wagons With the bull-teams feelin' not so spry, We made Fort Hall the last o'July. Next day seein' fresh antelope track Si Reed went to stale 'em, and dinn't come back Oh, shoot your guns, ride east and west But there's many a hole wher he may rest! Ride the north and south, look low and high, But there's many a gulch where he may lie! With a broken leg that means his life, Or his head ringed round with a Bannock's knife! Along by Mary River side Mrs. Brown had twins but all three died. We buried her in her wedding dress... May God have mercy in the wilderness! We buried a child on either brest, And drove the wagons on to the west. But to hid the spot from Diggers' sight, We milled the herd on the grave at night..... Jo Utter, California Emigrant  

Sun 10th Oct [1847] "... traveled down the river about 25 miles & encamped passed an Indian Settlement to day the valley here is large & we cannot be far from Fort Hall how far I cannot tell. Mon 11th Oct Came down the River some 20 miles & encamped near a Road we suppose leads to Origon we cannot be far from the Fort fomr Every appearance Saw 3 graves of Emigrants to day Tue 12th Left Raft River & struck an East course some 7 miles & came to a Noble River running West we crossed 2 fine streams of water & encamped on the River having come 22 miles today Wed 13 Oct 1847 Continued our Journey up the River about 25 miles & encamped on the River passed a number of beautiful falls on the River to day Thr 14th Oct Continued our March for about 20 m & arrived at Fort Hall vistied Capt Grant of the Establishment bought some Necessarys for our Journey &c Capt Grant read his remarks to our people who had passed him this fall, as recorded in his Journal; He days they were gentlemen payed for all they got of him & he heard no Oath or vulgar expression from any of them but he could not say so in regard to Other people who passed him this season; He is a Gentleman fo Inteligence & Observation Fri 15th Oct 1847 left Fort Hall & struck a direct South Course for Salt Lake traveled 20 miles in a verry cold Wind & encamped on the Banock River." Robert S. Bliss, Member Mormon Battalion  

16th Oct 1847 Oregon City "My Residence in this Country and the situation I held as an officer in Charge of the Hudson Bay Co Business in it from 1824 to 1846 has afforded me opportunity to acquire some Knowledge of the Character and Disposition of the Indians in this Territory and I am convinced that the Manner in which the Immigrants travel from Fort Hall to his place will lead to troubles with them Unless as I stated to Dr. White in 1845 when he left to do home that Every Company leaving Missisouris Bound to this Country ought to have a Conductor well Aquainted with the precautions Necessary to be taken by persons traveling from there to Fort Hall where the Government should Establish a post and place an Indian Agent who during the Summer ought to had ten or twelve steady Judicious Men well Acquainted with the Indians Between this place and the Agent should put one of these men with Every Company comeing here who would Act as Conductor and Manage Any Business the Immigrants might have with the Indians till they Reach this Valley. And as it is found the Best Route from Fort Hall to this place is by the Road Explored Summer 1846 by Mess Applegate and party as the Immigrants who came by it this Season were here long before those who came by the Old Route and as it passes out of the Range of the Nez perces Cayouses and Walla Walla tribes the Best Armed Most Numerous and the Most Warlike tribes on this side of the Rocky Mountains and as the Applegate Road passes in a Country thinly populated and Badly Armed for these Reasons Every Exertion ought to be made to get the Immigrants to pass by this Route and post ought to be Established at Rogues River Valley Garrisoned by forty or fifty Men to keep these Indians in Check and the Communication open Between this and Fort Hall and Between this and San Francisco. An Indian Agent ought to be placed at this post with an Indian trader with Goods to carry on trade with the Indians as the sure Means of Reconciling them to the presense of Whites on their Lands. But as the Hudsons Bay Establishment at Fort Hall would serve as it has hitherto the purpose of a post there for the present the post of Rogues River might be dispensed with for a Season. But it is of Urgent Necessity the Agent with the Necessary Authority to Act and his twelve Conductors wre at Fort Hall Summer of 1848 in time to Meat the Immigrants. As the Agent and Men Ought to Be persons Well Known to the Indians and Respected by them such persons can only be found Among the Rocky Mountain traders and trappers Now Residing on the Wilamette and I would take the liberty to Recommend Mr. Robert Newel [Newell] an Old Rocky Mountain trader as a person well qualified for the office of Agent at Fort Hall and he should select the Conductors and if these suggestions are approved by the Government Instructions might be here in time to Enable Mr Newel to proceed to Fort Hall to meet the Immigrants. As Mr Newel and the Men he Would take are settled in the Wilamette on their Claims they would demand what some Might consider great Wages. But my Experience convinces me that it is Economy to get men who can and Will Manage the Business as it ought, Especially as it is most important to begin the Business Well in three years the Road will be Established and the Expenses can be Reduced. As I am infromed you are the proper officer to be addressed on Business Relating to the Indian Affairs my duty as a Christian to do all I can to Avert Evil from my fellow Men And my Desire to promote the properity of the Country will I am Certain be considered as An Apology for troubling you and if I can be of any further use command me who am with the Greatest Respect Your Obedient humble Servant To the Secretary of War [William L. Macy], John McLoughlin, Chief Factor, Hudson's Bay Company  

Dec. 13th 1847 Camb. To Hon. J. G. Palfrey, M C. "The papers herewith enclosed are in continuation of the subject brought to your notice in my letter of the 5th of April last which was accompanied by my statements relating to claims of John McLoughlin Exq, fromerly chief Factor in Charge of the H. B. Co's western district comprising all the territories occupied by that Co west of the Rocky Mts......I here with send a statement of facts No. 1 and a petition to Congress No 2. [Statement of fact No.1] .......on 7th Feb. 1834 left Boston for St. Louis where I organized a party of 70 men for the overland trip arriving at the head waters of the Snake or Lewis river in July 1834, and on the 15th of that month commenced to build Fort Halll, and after placing it in defensive condition left it on the 7th August following for the mouth of the Columbia.....In the autumn of that year [1835] I proceeded to Fort Hall with supplies, having sent some previous to that time. During the winter of 1836 I resided at my post of Fort Hall, and in the Spring of that year returned to Fort Willian of Wappatoo Island whence I carried more supplies to Fort Hall arriving there on the 18th June and on the 25th left for the U.S. by way of Taos and the Arkansas river and arrived home in the Autumn of 1836. The commerical distress of that time precluded the further prosecution of our enterprise, that so far had yielded little but misfortunes. It remained only to close the active business which was done by paying every debt, and returning every man who desired, to the place whence he was taken, and disposing of the property to the best advantage. All the property in the interior including Fort Hall was sold, it being necessary in order to retain that post, to keep up a garrison for its defence against the Indians, and to forward annual supplies to it, an operation at that time beyond our means..." Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Businessman  


Wednesday, July 14: [1848]--"Met some Oregon emigrants, in company fourty-three wagons. In the afternoon met some more emigrants. Thrusday, July 15 [1848]--"Came 15 miles to Fort Hall. Here we got some bacon. Started in the afternoon came sixteen miles. A great many emigrants. The road is full of them." Nathaniel V. Jones, Morman Battalion  

2nd August [1848] "We left at 7 o'clock in the morning and on two occasions had to cross a very deep river. At 9 o'clock I caught sight of Fort Hall. From a distance it looks most attractive, but is charm evaporated as we drew close to it...It is a fort like all those in Oregon which, with the exception of Fort Vancouver and Fort Nisqually, ar built of sunbacked bricks. They can be overcome, not by cannonballs, buth rather with baked apples! This fort still belongs to the American Company. The manager, or chief clerk is a Canadian. The fort is built on the banks of the river called the Snake. We camped on the other side of the river. We had to cross this at a most dangerous spot. Father Honore-Timothee Lempfrit, Catholic Priest  

August 15. [1848] "At eleven last night we rolled out for water...At six this morning arrived at the sink of the Humboldt and camped. The water here was not very good. Cattle did not like it. Towards eveining eighteen emigrant wagons rolled in and camped by us. They had met our packers about forty miles ahead of us and had traveled aobut one hundred miles without water. These emigrants came by way of Fort Hall. There was one family in the crowd by the name of Hazen Kimball that had wintered in the Salt Lake and had moved in March to Fort Hall. Kimball said he did not like the Salt Lake country and had left, but the people there had been sowing wheat all last fall and winter and had put in eight thousand acres of grain." Henry William Bigler, Morman Pioneer  

San Fancisco, Dec. 7 [1848]. "I arrived in Salt Lake Valley on the 3d of October, 1847, and remained there during the winter. On the 2d of March, I left in company with one team for Fort Hall--a distance of 200 miles--where a wagon had never been before without a guide without difficulty. On the 15th of July! I left Fort Hall with 25 wagons and 34 men, emigrants from the States, For California. We had very good luck--came over the Sierra Nevada by a new route, one the Mormons opened this fall on their way in to the Salt Lake. The road is very good--much better than the old one, it is said by those who have travelled both." Hazen Kimball, California Guide, Letter  


June 29 [1849] "We halted at the fort [Fort Hall] for a couple of hours to regale ourselves on bread and milk... A Mormon family had moved hither from Salt Lake City for the purpose of supplying emigrants with articles of this kind and had brought a large number of cows. Butter was very scarce as they sold it as fast as they could make it. Cheese brought 25 cents per pound, [milk] 12 1/2 cent per quart...I here saw and smoked with some Flat-Heads....and saw some Mexicans and French Canadians, who had Indian wives, Snake Indians were planty here and so were Banaches." Charles Elisha Boyle, California Emigrant  

June 30 [1849] "A man by the name of Grant had charge, but there were a lot of Mormons here who appeared to have charge of the cattle, of which there was a herd of some 300 head, as fine fat animals as one ever saw in the best stock froms in the Western States. They made plenty of good milk and fresh butter...We found a fine supply of buckskin and mountain sheepskin, clothing, and moccasins, etc., much cheaper than at Peg Leg Smith's...There were a few Mormon women and children who seemed to be happy and contented. They were evidently making money, for they had quite a large number of cows to milk, and between making butter and cheese and preparing meals for the emigrants they had enough to do.." James Morris Hixon, California Emigrant  

Monday July 2nd [1849] "Just as were leaving camp this morning it commenced raining, and continued till 10A.M. We are today in the vally of several rivers. To wit--Port Neuf, Panack, &Snake or Lewis's fork of the Columbia River. Fort Hall stands on the left bank of Lewis's fork or the Snake. It is surrounded by a vast plain, cut through and through with Rivers, creeks, branches & Sloughs running in every direction. And to all appearances one stream running paralell with anoth in oposit directions, and but a short distance from each other. There is plenty of timber in this valley. From where we nooned I rode back seven or 8 miles to trade with some Indians, the Panack's. I effected a trade with one of them. I gave him a good Rifile a good blanket & some amunition for a very good young horse. Mean time the train moved on to the Fort, we crossed the Port Neuf river 4 or 5 miles before we reached the Fort. The train moved on by one mile & haulted for the night. I did not get back till after dark. The Indians are rather below in size the other Indians that we hav seen on our rout, but the most perfectly fromed men I ever saw and with all very keen and active, pleasant and rather agreeable in their manners. The women are small sprightly looking and handsom. They own a great number of horses in which they take great delight, and some of their horses are very fine. At the lodges were encamped some of the Soshonees & Senika's. Fort Hall is occupied by English traders. They pack their goods from Astoria and other trading posts on the Pacific cost of Oregon. The buildings are composed of Sun dried brick. They have vast herds of Cattle & horses & Mules. They milk a great number of Cows and make a great deal of butter & Cheese. Their stock runs at large on the jplaines which is covered with fine Grass, and every evening & morning you'll see several boy on horseback driveing up the stock. There are severl families liveing here--some French, some English, and some Americans. It was quite a pleasant sight to see White women & children. Distance 20 ms. James A. Pritchard, California Emigrant  

Jul [1849] "Our wagons made a short stop at Fort Hall, where we disposed of part of our powder, coffee and tobacco. Fort Hall is a trading post belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company andis situated on LewisFork of the Snake River. To the south and west of the Fort lies a large bottom that appears to fertile. Whether it has ever been tilled I do not know but have heard that the Indians do not look with favor on any agricultural pursuit. The Fort is built of adobe and patterned much the same a Laramie. About 25 men are employed there, trading with the Indians. In addition to the men, I saw three white women, one being the wife of a half-Indian negro. The principal trader was a hamsome, portly man [Grant]about sixty years very polite indeed. He had a number of good horses and cattle for sale but was asking as much as three hundred dollars for some of the horses. Moving on about three miles from the Fort, we passed a number of wagons wich had been destroyed. This was a common sight after leaving the Blue River. Wagons and provisions, valued at thousands of dollars, were cast aside by those unable to take them further. Usually the wagons were burned or chopped up in such a manner as to leave them useless. Occasionally, however, we did pass wagons totally intact." James M. Daigh, California Emigrant  

July the 4th [1849] "We arived at fort hall the distance 15 miles and a bout six miles heavy sandy road and we had som vary bad slews to cros over and little creek and one larg one that we had to put poles on our end bords and then pile out stuf in the wagon upon these poles on our end bords and then pile our stuf in the wagon upon these pole to keep our goods dry. Fort hall is situated on the Snake or luis river this fort is cept by the inglish we left fort hall and wnt a bout 8 miles this after noon and we camped on the nous this river we crosed we had sage and som willow for fuel and grass didlem short" Randall Fuller, California Emigrant  

Saturday, July 14th [1849] "There being 150 wagons around us, we moved at daybreak to get upon the raosd before them. We soon encountered a marsh & slough which was very trying to our mules, many of them going down in the mud up to their very nose. The road is through a swamp & these sloughs are every 200yds. Our guide infroms me ther here to fore this has always been a smooth, hard, excellent road, & the vast amount of water now is accounted for in the same manner as it has been during the trip. I have been much in a musquitoe country, but confess I never before saw them in in their glory. They were so thick you could reach out & get your handful. We tried to tie up our hands & faces, but they would creep in wherever an opening was left. Out horses and mules were literally covered with them & and you could scrape them off by handfulls. After 4 hours of splashing, plunging , & draging we arrived at "Fort Hall", it being distant from the start, 6 miles. Half mile before you reach the fort, you touch upon the bend of a river, This is Lewis's Fork or Snake River, one of the tributaries to the Columbia. It is, at this point, 120 yrds. Wind & looks very deep, but not with a vey stong current. Fort Hall is still in possession of an English fur company, "The Hudson Bay Fur Company." It is built of dobes, but has more wood about it than common, & consequently retains its original shape better tah any generally do. It is much the same looking ranch a Laramie's but not as large or as high. It has a fine court in the centre with a fountain of water in the middle. There is an enterence on the south side & one on the north. Around the inside a little rooms with one small window to each, which are to keep their firs & fur stores, trading shops et cetera. The upper story, with a protico on the north side, and steps running from the court, is the apartment of Capt. Grant, the English Agent. On the west side of the Fort, 150 yds. distant runs the Snake river, whcih furnishes water to the Fort. On the opposite side is a slough which extends around the back part of it, making a moat around except in front. Capt. Grant has been at this station for 25 years. He first came in the employ of the Fur Company, & has remained in it ever since. He has become identified with Fort Hall. He had been married twice, his last wife being a squaw. I met his son, Mr. John Grant who was about 20 years of age, & a very gentlemanly & intelligent gentleman, although raised in the wild and dressed in skins. The Captain himself is a most remarkable looking man. He is 6 ft., 2 or 3 inches, high and made in proportion, with a handsome figure. His face is perfectly English, fat, found, chubby, & red. His hair is now getting in th sere & yellow leaf & his whiskers are also turning grey. There was many Indian lodges around the fort & many Indians. They are not good looking or cleanly & are also poor. Whe succeeded in getting a few skins & a couple of ponies. There was here many traders, this being the headquarters of both their startings & returnings. They are generally Frenchmen & most of them came out many years ago employ of the Fur Company, having joined in St. Louis, which was first settled by the French. We succeeded in getting some nice milk & also a fried chicken, which carried us so far back, "to days that's past,' that we were quite low spirited. After getting our flour on board we rolled away, the road being bette than in the morning. Three miles & a half brought us to Portneuf or Pannack River, which we crossed, it being up to our axels. The river was 75 yds. wide, pure, clear water with a gravelly bottom.Half mile, we encamped on the side of the river. Having mules that required shoeing & wagons to be repaired, we determined to spend this evening at this place. We saw some very large fish in the stream and drew a seine, but, owing to the moss covered bottom, took nothing but a bucket of lobsters or craw fish. These we "parboiled," & those that had lived in fish country or on water sourses enjoyed them very much, while others were standing around with mouths turned up in awe at such woldishness. The Pannack river runs down the valley for twenty miles & empties into Snake River above American Falls. In mnay places where the river makes bends, they come withins a quarter of a mile of each other. Distance, 6 miles." Vincent Geiger & Wakeman Bryarly, California Emigrants  

July 18 [1849] "We reached Fort Hall about nine o'clock in the morning. Its from resembled that of Fort Laramie, although much smaller. It belongs to the Hudson's Bay Company, who, by treaty at the cession of Oregon Oregon to the United States by England, was allowed to retain possession nineteen years, in order to close its affairs, five of which had expired. We had hoped to obtain some supplies here, but were disappointed. The company were even purchasing bacon and flour forn the emigrants who were overloaded. The fort stands on the left bank of the American Fork of the Columbia, sometines called Snake, and fromerly Lewis and Clark's River, which is here perhaps five hundred feet broad. On the west, nothing is seen but a vast barren plain, as far as the eye can extend. On the north, at an apparent distance of thirty or forty miles, high buttes and mountains rise to the clouds, with nothing in the view to cheer the traveler; and this we felt more keenly after having passed through the fine valley of the Bear River. On applying at the fort, we were courteously told we could leave our letters, and they would be forwarded by way of Oregon the first opportunity, but there was no certain communication with the States, and that our surest way was to take them outselves to California. While thanking them for their frankness, we felt disappointed at not being able to send our remembrances to our friends. Subsequently we learned that no intelligence of us reached home, until four or five months after we left the Missouri. It was therefore anticipated that some accident had befallen us. Around the fort were several lodges of Snake Indians, and shirts were their only dress. The honesty of the Indians was so proverbial, that in traveling through their country we had relaxed in our discipline,and did not consider it necessay to keep night guard--a confidence wich was not misplaced. We were infromed that it was eight hundred miles to the settlements in Oregon, and seven hundred to Sutter's Fort in California. About six miles below Fort Hall, we crossed Panack River, a little above its junction with the American. It was here a hundred and fifty feet broad, and so deep that it was necessay to raise our wagon boxes to prevent our provisions from getting wet. Ascending a steep hill after crossing the Panack, we found ourselves upon a barren, sandy plain, where nothing gut the interminable sage and greasewood grew. In the sultry son, and through suffocating clouds of dust, we drive on till night. Our cattle found good grass below a steep hill o the bottoms of the American after a drive of seventeen miles. Alonzo Delano, California Emigrant  

18th [July 1849] "This morning at half past two we left the river ten miles over a very sandy road, destitute of grass and water. The road forks here; we took the right hand road three quarters of a mile to water and grass. To Fort Hall, a distance of seven miles, is a bad raod, crossing numerous bad streams. The face of the country here presents a swanpy appearance, and is covered with numerous groves of cottonwoood. The dust is unendurable ever since we entered the South Pass, always blowing from the west and north-west; mosquitoes very bad.--Nineteen miles. 19th One mile brought us to Fort Hall, which has a beautiful situation on the south side of Lewis's Fork, on the north side of Port Neuf river, built principally of houses made of sod; a great deal of business is done here. Flour, seven dollars a barrel; hard bread, and sugar, thirty-seven and a half cents per lb; and other articles in proportion. Five miles brought us to the hills again. Crossing two creeks, Port Neuf and Pannack; very bad crossing; twelve miles farther, occasionally coming close to the river; road very dusty; grass scarce; wild sage very thick, mosquitoes very bad. Here we encamped on the bluffs; good grass on the bottom; river water to use; sage for fuel.--Eighteen miles." William J. Watson, Oregon Emigrant  

20 [July 1849] "We followed up the creek this morning that we camped on last night for 5 miles we then left it and struck across a dry sandy plaine heare ww had a hard time the sand was five or six inches deep and no water alnog the road besides this the sum came down scorching hot we stoped for an hour at noon on this desart to rest our cattel We them pushed on two miles and came to a fine spring of water and what was a good got out of the sand this is the largest spring I ever saw and is a fine water as ever was drank thear is a numb of springs about fully as large in five miles from the springs we came to fort hall this is a trading post belonging to the hudson bay company I was much disappointed by the pla as by the talk I expected to find something of a fort it is only one building and built of mud, and is situated on the banks of the snake river or as it is called by some lewis fork it is one of the branches of the clombin for hall is by freamont called 1323 miles from the mouth of the kansas and they call it 600 from hear to sutters fort so that we ha accomplish over two thirds of our Journey the companys of rifel men that came up with us are to be stationed hear thear is a number of lodges of snake indians around the fort they are like the rest of them the filthes devils I ever saw we camped four miles from the fort amonst a million of mosquitoes they would not let you rest a moment and after swalllowing a cup of tea and about fifty of them I bundeled up head and ears and let them sing me to sleep distan to day 23 miles" Joseph Hackney, California Emigrant  

21 [July 1849] "Lay by today we have concluded to send two men on from hear to find out all that can be learned about the gold region so that when we get in we will no what to do we appointed Benjamin Gattan and Silas Goorich to go through we had an election for officer to day Dr. Knapp was elected captain and Lewis Jarbo As. Captain some of the boys caught a number of fine fish hear we have been bother nealy to death by mosquoties all day and at nig they came swarming I never seen them so ba before in my life you could not get rid of them no way we built large fires all though camp but it done no good the boys out oa all patience and I never heard so much swearing in one while before" Joseph Hackney, California Emigrant  

22 July [1849] Letter to Mrs. Mary A. Page "We are now one days travel west of Fort Hall, and two of our company have decided to go ahead by pack mules--and as this we bring you news from me quite early, I hasten to improve the time and say another few words before I send this off--I found that there was no chance to send letters at Fort Hall---We are now over 1200 miles from St Jo & about 600 from the Gold diggins--At Fort Hall we obtained another yoke of oxen, with out horse--The team has become somewhat worn and wearried, and to make everything safe for the sand road & mountains ahead of us--In about 6 week we shall be in California--& taen for some news from my dear wife & friends--You cant think how eagar we are to hear, for we have had the news from St Jo to the 29 May or later & heard that the cho was very bad (but it had not reached us by 600 miles)--of the Great fire at St Louis &c--I am not very well today, but able to ge around and will be well in a few days--A little fever caused by taking cold & two or three doses of medicine has set me straight--Henry & Tome & Judge are very well & if H & T can find time they will write--The weather is getting quite warm& we make most of our travel in the cool of the day, laying by at noon for 3 or 4 hours--We had not heard anything from California since we were on the road--We are now on Lewis fork of the Columbia river, but shall turn south over mountains in about 2 days--Judge Tappen wishes to be remembered to A M Blackburn---My best love to all friends, and especialy to all relations in the homestead--And dear, a parting word to you, keep up your courage and remember what mother told us about me going--I have thought often of it & hoped you had-- Kiss the dear children for their Papa & dont let them forget him & I hope Willie and Cynthia are good children---Good by dearest & best of wives & write by every steamer-- Your husband, Henry Page, California Emigrant, Postmarked Sacremento Aug 20  

August 4 [1849] "We commenced our journey to-day for Fort Hall, which was not more than an ordinary day's march; but the fatique of the teams of yesterday, and the heavy, sandy road that we were to pass over between us and Fort Hall, made it very doubtful if we accomplished the distance to-day being twenty-two miles. The first division left the encampment at 6 a. M. The morning was cold, and as clear as you generally find in this country; but being calm it indicated heat in the middle of the day. We decended a long hill, the banks of the Port Neuf, which, after taking acircuitous route through the hills, strikes again the road at the base of the hills which we had just decended, making it eighteen miles from our encampment of the 2d. We continued along its banks for some distance, when it diverges from the road, and, passing through the plain, reaches the Snake River valley, where it falls into that river, about fifteen miles below Fort Hall [Cantonment Loring]. Throughout the day the sand was very heavy, and the middle of th day extremely warm. The train during the day became, in many instances, completely exhausted, and at sundown we were just entering the valley of the Snake river, Lewis's Fork of the Columbia river--bing compelled, from necessity, to leave some of the wagons on the plain until the next morning, the mules having become too much exhausted to get them along. As you cross the valley to approach the river, there are many small streams to pass over, where banks are miry and dangerous, and rendered still more so in proportion to the number of wagons that had passed over them. It was, therefore, very late in the evening before the regimental train got into camp, and the supply train also--so much so as to compel me to park the latter on the banks of a very miry pool until the next morning; for to have attempted to pass it in the night would have endangered the wagons. This was the sight of the command, which had nothing to do but to ride forward in the morning, and rest quietly until the arrival of the two trains in the evening. It was a very severe day's march, and, though not a long distance, was felt by the whole command, even by those who had very little to do, and were therefore very little exposed. Osborne Cross, Major U. S. Army, Quartermaster  

August 5 [1849] "The morning was pleasant, and presented, as usual, a smoky atmosphere. I gave orders to commence crossing at daylight, so as to reach the camp as early as possible. Several wagons were still on the road, but were brought in during the morning. We had now arrived at Fort Hall [Cantonment Loring] our last resting place; and such was the condition of the trains, which were destined to carry us a distance of seven hundred miles further, before any aid could be obtained after leaving here. These were the same teams which, from their conditionat Fort Kearney, induced me to call for a board of survey, being fully satisfied that their condition did not justify the hope of our arriving with them at our destination without great trouble and loss of property. It was now important to reorganize the whold train, by leaving such animals as were unfit for present use and unservicable wagons at Fort Hall, which was to be occupied by two companies of the rifle regiment that had recently arrived. The regimental train was the most injured by the march. The drivers, being enlisted men, were entirely ignorant of such duty, and took no interest in learning, or even improving their condition of their teams. Having found among the train that had recently come up a number of very fine mules, it enabled me to refit once more the whole train, together with what I had, and place them in a condition to commence the long journey which we still had before us. The best drivers were taken from Fort Hall., and substituted in place of soldiers for the regimental train. The most indifferent teamsters of the supply train were paid off, and other left at Fort Hall, to be discharged as soom as they received their pay. We were busily engaged through the day in making preparations to renew the march. Osborne Cross, Major U. S. Army, Quartermaster  

August 6 [1849] "The morning as calm and pleasant, and, although cloudless, was, as usual, smoky. We had now entered a country entirely different from that we had recently traveled. We were approaching the Blue mountains and the Cascade range, which are constantly on fire during the summer and fall, as well as other mountains that are thickly wooded; and the sky in this vicinity presents a hazy appearance, caused entirely by the smoke from the burning mountains, which increases to such an extent as to hide the neighboring hills as we advance. This gives the sun a yellow hue, and the day the appearance of an Indian summer. The weather was fast changing, and flet more like autumn in latitude 300 than which should have been experienced in latitude 450. We were busily engaged today in making such alterations and improvements as remained unfinished yesterday, and succeeded in preparing the first division, so as to leave on the 7th. We entirely overhauled the public stores, and made a report of their conditions, leaving such as were unnecessary fo rht march at this post. This day was a busy one, and my clerks, as well as myself, were extremely fatigued when we retired to rest at eleven o'clock at night. All resting days for the troops are generally the reverse for staff officers; and there was none of us but what were glad always to commence the march again...." Osborne Cross, Major U. S. Army, Quartermaster  

August 7 [1849] "---All necessary arrangements having been made for the first division, the march was renewed at 12 o'clock. The day was passed in completing all unfinished business, and preparing the second division to follow in the morning. Reports were made to the chief of the department, as well as to Colonel Mackay, at St. Louis, suggesting the property of furnishing the acting assistant quartermasters at this post with such instructions as might be deemed necessary for his future guidance; for when I left St. Louis., I received no orders relative to the several posts that were to be located, neither were there any instructions given me while on the march......We retired this evening to rest at half-past eleven o'clock, agter riding, walking, and writing throughout the day and much of the night, having again completed a new train, which was to last us to the end of our journey, there being now but two divisions instead of three. One of the companies was left, but another was taken from here, which still mad the number of campanies the same; vut the decrease of provisions and stores had greatly diminshed the supply train, and it was though adviseable to concentrate the troops the remainder of the journey. Osborne Cross, Major U. S. Army, Quartermaster  

August 8 [1849] "The morning was pleasant, and the second division connenced their march ar 10 a.m., and encamped on the Port Neuf, about eight miles from here. I left at two p.m. and passed Fort Hall, a trading post establishment of the Hudson's Bay Company. This place is about three mile below where two companies of the rifle regiment have chosen for the site of their new post. It is built of clay, much in the from of Fort Laramie, having a large sally port which fronts the Port Neuf, with its wall extending toward the banks of the Snake River. There is a blockhouse at one of the angles, and the buildings inside are built against the side of the wall, and of the same materials. The main buiding is occupied by the proprietor, while others are intended for store rooms and places for the hands who are employed in the service of the company. The rooms are all small, and by no means comfortable; being geneerally intended for one person. They are somewhat contacted and dark, having but a window and one door. The place is occupied by Captain Grant, who has been here about fourteen years. He infromed me that he ad endeavored to cultivate the soil, but to no success. As they seldom have rain during the summer, the ground becomes very hard and baked, transpiration water from the river not being sufficient to keep it moist. The ground presented to me a fine, dark, alluvial soil, and by proper cultivation would produce well. I have seldom met with any of the trader, howerver, either on the Upper Mississippi or this route, who have turned their attention to agriculture enough to speak with any experience or certanity on the subject. There are along the river small quantities of cottonwood, particularly in the vicinty of where the two companies are located. With the exception fo this advantage, I do not admire the ir loaction for the post: I presume the troops, however will not be required to occupy this post very long, it seems to be out of position, not being able to draw properly the necessay supplies for it from either Fort Levenworth or Vancouver; for , while the fromer is 1,400 miles land transportation, the latter is upwards of 700 miles, having the Cascade and Blue mountains to pass over which are very fromidable barriers; and the whole counrty is a dreay and barren waste, where there is but little or no vegetation. The is very good grazing on the prarie or bottom-land about here, and around the vacinity of where the post is established, which is four miles above, and the same point where our command struck the river. Here the troops are able to procure as much hay as may be required by them; but in this country it is expected that the horses will be hardy enough to endure the winters by running at large and grazing on the bottom lands. The two drawings of the outer and inner side of Fort Hall, or the trading- post of the Hudson's Bay Company, will give you a correct idea of their rude construction, and I find but little difference in any of them on the route to the Columbia river. Having left Fort Hall, I joined the second division about five o'clock, and divided the train into sections and assigned the severl wagon-masters to their respective places, and was again prepared to commence the journey for Oregon City, or the Dalles of the Columbia river." Osborne Cross, Major U. S. Army, Quartermaster  

August 9, 1849 The morning was quite cold. The command left at half-past six o'clock, and crossing the Port Neuf, soon ascened a steep bluff which borders on the plain, hat is about five miles wide, where the roadruns along the bluff, giving us a fine view of Snake River valley below, which is wide and much cut up with small streams, either rising from springs on the side of the bluffs, or from springs which are found boiling up I the valley, sending forth water in such quantities as to soom from large streams; and the valley, from the tomp of the bluff presented a beautiful view, as the road wound along, compared with the surrounding country. We had now fairly commence the remainder of our journey to Oregon City, which the best we could procure from the materials obtained at Fort Hall, and were to pass through a more dreary and barren country than heretofore, a small specimen of which had been before us during the day. From the bluffs to the range of hill which runs parallel to the left bank of the river, about five miles off, the land is poor, light, barren soil, covered with artesisia, neither the hills or the plains producing one stick of wood. On the opposite side of the river the country is avast plain, and, with the exception of the Three Butes, which are high peaks standing alone on the plains, but give a a little variety to the scenery, there is nothing to be seen in the distant view but artemiais, which is always present to the sight, let the eye turn in any direction ti may. The picture, on the whole, was anything but a pleasing one; and when we reflected that we were to travel several hundred miles through a country presenting nothing more pleasing than barren hills and sterile plains, have artemisia to burn, as well as food probably for the animals, it was certainly very discouraging. Osborne Cross, Major U. S. Army, Quartermaster  

[Sept/Oct 1849] ""Beyond this point the valley of the Pannack gradually sinks down into that of the Snake River. The hills that enclose it ar not high, and seem formed almost wholely of white clay; at least, this was the only soil exposed, even in some very deep ravines. The same character of soil is found o the whole country this side of Snake River. Twelve miles from the forks we leave the Pannack, which there make a curve to the westward, around the point of a ridge which is quite low, and the ascent gentle and regular. Upon reaching the level of the table land, nothing was to be seen, as far as the eye could reach, but the eternal artemisia, which had been complete possession of his barren, dreary waste, and extended quite to the Port Neuf. Upon reaching this steam we struck upon the emigrant road by Fort Hall to California; and decending a bluff, or rather a cliff, two hundred feet in height, and composed entirely of argillaceous soil, we crossed the Port Neuf and entered the valley of the Columbia. From the top of the bluff, an extensive level plain, clothed with grass, is spread out before us, like a beautiful picture; while the fringe of heavy timber, streaching far away to the north and west, indicates,the position of Lews's Fork, of the great river of the West. Five miles to the north, Fort Hall, with its whitewashed walls, is plainly in view. The 'Three Buttes' rise in the distance, while the Port Neuf, with its bright sparkling waters, flows at our feet. The scene was one of surpassing beauty, and richly repaid us for our dreary ride across the plain of sage. The Port Neuf, where we forded it, is a fine, clear, bold stream one hundred yards wide and three feet deep, with a moderately rapid current and pebbly bottom, formed pricipally of decomposed vegatable mould, reposing on sandy loam and gravel. Numerous spings of cold, pellucid water, abounding in speckled trout of delicious flavour, break out in every direction, giving rise to many little streams, which rapidly increase in size and afford great facilities for irrigation as well as for the construction of mills. Passing over the delightful plain, we left Fort Hall on our left, and five miles beyond it terminated our journey, at Cantonment Loring, our point of destination. I was most courteously received by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Porter and the officers of his command, which consisted of two companies of the regiment of Mounted Rifles, left here by Colonel Loring on his way to Oregon, with the view of selecting a permanent post for the protection of the vast emigration across the continent. The troops were quartered in tents, but were busily engaged in the erection of quarters, of a more substantial character, for the winter. The result of this exploration has been to demonstrate the entire practicability of obtaining an excellant wagon-road from Foprt Hall to the Mormon settlement upon the Great Salt Lake. With the exception of the ridge dividing the waters of the Pannack from those of another affluent of the Prot Neuf, the line traced is unexceptionable, and offers facilities for the best natural road I ever saw. Although when we passed there had not been even a track broken, so favourable is the surface of the country that I transported my provisions over it without the slightest difficulty, loading my wagons with not less than thirty-five hundred pounds each. The ridge referred to can, by a little labour, be rendered easy to cross; and even as it is, offers little obstruction. Inseasons of high water, Bear River and the Port Neuf would have to be crossed by ferries; or, should the travel ever demand it, timber for the construction of bridges could be obtained in the vacinity of both localities. The supply train from Fort Leaven worth, with my provisions, had not arrived at the post, as I excepted, and I was consequently detained until the 6th of October, when, having obtained them, I set out on my return. The frank and generous hospitality we received during our stay at the post demands a greatful acknowledgement. Returning I was accompanied by Colonel Porter, with a small escort, sas far as the crossing of Bear River. He was desirous that we should make conjointly a reconnoissance of Cache Valley, to ascertain its fitness for the location there of a permanent military post." Howard Stansbury, Captain Corps Topographical Engineers, U. S. Army  

October 13, 1849 Cambridgeport, Mass "The last accounts from the gold diggers was that there were 500 wagons between South Pass and Fort Hall entirely helpless; all of their teams having been drowned in crossing streams, or died from want of grass. Hundreds were then dying daily, and the road near blocked up at some passes with broken down wagons and teams, and the men had become mad because they could not get by or go ahead, they were fighting and killing each other. An express had been sent from Fort Hall for assistance to gather the destitute into the valley of the Great Salt Lake, as they must die if they had not help." Letter to Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Morman Pioneer and Church Official