Topic: Indian Wars

Colonel Steptoe Marches North

Fort Walla Walla was built during the fall and winter of 1856, by Brevet Lieutenant Colonel E. J. Steptoe. With three companies of the Ninth Infantry he had arrived there late in the summer from the Nachez River in the upper Yakima country, with orders to erect the post. For many years prior to the establishment of this fort the Hudson’s Bay Company had maintained a trading post on the Columbia, at the mouth of the Walla Walla River, which it designated as Fort Walla Walla. The rude structure around which the dignity of the title centered was composed...

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Biographical Sketch of Joseph Cushman

Joseph Cushman was appointed by a democratic legislature first probate judge of Thurston County. He was born at Middlebury, Massachusetts, March 13, 1807, and was a lineal descendant of Robert Cushman of the Mayflower company, had a good home education and a Boston business training, hence was a valuable man in any community, besides being an orator of ability, and ready writer. He went to South America in 1849, and after a brief stay in Valparaiso, came to California, and engaged in jobbing goods on the Sacramento Paver. Making the acquaintance of Samuel Merritt, owner of the brig G. W. Kendall, he took charge of Merritt’s business, established in Olympia in 1852, Merritt running a line of vessels, and having a trading house at that place. In 1857 Cushman was admitted to practice as an attorney, and successfully defended Luther M. Collins, who was charged with murder in connection with the execution of an Indian outlaw. In 1855 he was nominated by the Free Soil Party for delegate to congress, but was beaten by J. P. Anderson, democrat. In the Indian war he enlisted as a private in Eaton’s company of rangers, and was one of the party besieged on Lemmon’s land in the Puyallup Valley, remaining in the service until the close of the war. He was president of the first board of trustees for Olympia in 1869....

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Biographical Sketch of Gilmore Hays

Gilmore Hays was a native of Kentucky, but resided in Missouri, where he was district judge, when the gold discovery drew him to California. Returning to Missouri, he led a train of immigrants to Oregon in 1852, and in 1833 settled on Des Chutes River near the head of Budd Inlet. The year 1852 was the time of the cholera on the plains, and Hays lost his wife and two children, who were buried near Salmon Falls of Snake River, together with the wife of B. F. Yantis. There remained to him three sons, James H., Charles, and Robert, and one daughter, who married J. G. Parker, all of whom reside in Olympia. In the same company were John P. and Isaac Hays, his brothers, N. Ostrander, Hilary Butler, James Scott, and their families, Thomas Prather, George Fry, and others. When the Indian war threatened, he was first to volunteer, his was the first company raised, and throughout he was of much service to the territory. After the termination of the war, he returned to Mo., but in 1863 removed to Idaho, and was useful to the supt of Ind. affairs for Washington in arranging treaties with the natives. Failing health caused him to return to Puget Sound, where he died October 10, 1880. Olympia Transcript, Oct. 30, 1880; Olympia Standard, Oct. 29, 1880; Olympia Courier, Oct. 29,...

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African Slaves and Indian Wars

The problem of civilization in Louisiana was early complicated by the presence and mutual contact of three races of men. The Mississippi Company’s agricultural colonial scheme was based on the West Indian idea of African slave labor. Already the total number of blacks had risen to equal that of the whites, and within the Delta, outside of New Orleans, they must have largely preponderated. In 1727 this idea began to be put into effect just without the town’s upper boundary, where the Jesuit fathers accommodated themselves to it in model form, and between 1726 and 1745 gradually acquired and put under cultivation the whole tract of land now covered by the First District of New Orleans, the centre of the city’s wealth and commerce. The slender, wedge-shaped space between Common and Canal Streets, and the subsequent accretions of soil on the river front, are the only parts of the First District not once comprised in the Jesuits’ plantations. Education seems not to have had their immediate attention, but a myrtle orchard was planted on their river-front, and the orange, fig, and sugar-cane¬†were introduced by them into the country at later intervals. Other and older plantations were yearly sending in the products of the same unfortunate agricultural system. The wheat and the flour from the Illinois and the Wabash were the results of free farm and mill labor; but the...

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Muster Roll of a Detachment of Georgia Cavalry Mounted Riflemen

Muster Roll of a Detachment of Georgia Cavalry Mounted Riflemen under my command stationed at Fort Mitchell, Hartford and on an Indian Scout from the 9th of November to the 22d of December 1814. Both dates included. Allen Tooke, Co. Lt., commencement of service Nov. 9, 1814; expiration of service Nov. 22, 1817; stationed Ft. Mitchell. Captain, R. H. Thomas 1st Lt. Jas. L. Perry 2nd Lt. Furney F. Gatlin Private Thos. Sutton 1st Sergts. Thos. J. Johnson Jos. B. Colson Hardy Gatlin Jacob Watson Corporals James W. Shines John Jones B. J. Thomas Chas. Carden Privates Isham Adams Dennis Adams Bartlett Barker (extra services as Sergeant Major) Elijah Barker John Bird Bartlett Brown John Bush Moses Brian John Brown William Brian Matthias H. Beard John Bradshaw Thomas Carden James Crawford Noah Cole David Cumming Robert Daniel Win. Davidson Jordan Deese (lost a bayonet in Flint river) James A. Everett Moses Franklin Solomon Franklin Thomas Folsome Wm. Folsoine Obadiah Garrett I. Gilstrap Jeremiah Gilstrap Joshua Harris James Holly Benjamin Howell Stephens Hagens Eli Horn Absolom Holsom Aaron Johnson John Jean James Ivey Daniel Kirklen Washington Lancaster William Lions George Little Wright Lancaster Christopher McRae Matthias McCormic John McCormic Elisha Morgan Benj. Newton Spice Mill John Mayo Charles Mayo William Mayo Henry Moses Jesse Moses Gilbert McNear Francis J. Norris Archibold H. Odom Zelah Pullen James Powers Wm. Ramsey James...

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Biography of Alfred A. Plummer, Sr.

ALFRED A. PLUMMER, Sr. – This pioneer of the port of entry was born at Alfred, Maine, March 3, 1822. He was the son of John and Eliza Adams Plummer, of an old family of the Pine Tree state. In early life young Plummer removed to Boston and learned the saddlery and harness trade, thereby acquiring practical ideas, and the facile use of his hands, which fitted him for the varied work of the pioneer on our coat. In 1849 he left for the Pacific shores, coming with the argonauts who steered their way across the seas of grass, and the deserts of the West, – one of those hardy, keen characters that find a world of resources within their own hearts and minds sufficient for any demand to be made upon a human being; and he most fully justified this confidence in his after career. At San Francisco he engaged for a time in the hotel business, but, feeling the drift of destiny still farther up the coast, boarded in 1850 the brig Emory, Captain Balch, and arrived in the Strait April 24th. The present site of the Port was then wholly uninhabited; but, seeing its great natural advantages as the first really practicable landing at the entrance of the Sound waters, he laid there his Donation claim, and with Charles Batchelder became the first settler of the...

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Biography of Col. La Fayette Mosher

COL. LA FAYETTE MOSHER. – There is perhaps no resident of Oregon more widely known and generally respected than L.F. Mosher. He has held so many prominent positions, and is so well qualified to fill them, that it only seems a natural thing to see him in the senate, and as a justice of the supreme court. He was born in Benton County, Kentucky, September 1, 1824. So entirely did he bend his energies tot he gaining of an education, that at the age of nineteen years we find him a graduate of Woodward College, Cincinnati, where he carried off honors on June 30, 1843. After graduating, he acted as deputy clerk of the supreme court of Hamilton County, where he remained until the breaking out of the Mexican war. He at once came valiantly forward and joined the Fourth Ohio Regiment, and served in the brigade of General Joseph Lane until the close of the war. When the war was ended he entered the law office of Pugh & Pendleton, the members of the firm being ex-Senator George E. Pugh, now deceased, and ex-Senator George H. Pendleton. He was admitted to the bar in May, 1852, and at once began the practice of his profession in Cincinnati. He came to Oregon with General Lane in 1853, landing in Portland in May of that year. The following months he...

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Biography of Capt. Thomas Smith

CAPTAIN. THOMAS SMITH. – Captain Smith, the intrepid Indian fighter and pioneer, has seen the beginning of every Indian disturbance in Southern Oregon; and his narratives are therefore of peculiar interest. He was born September 14, 1809, in Campbell County, Kentucky. At the age of seventeen he removed with his recently widowed mother to Boone County, and learned the trade of a carpenter. In 1839 he went to Texas, and in 1849 formed a party designated as the Equal Rights Company, to cross the plains by the southern route via El Paso and the Gila River to California. The journey was notably difficult, chiefly from the excessive heat and lack of water. Captain Smith’s indomitable spirit had many occasions in which to be tested, as when he recovered a horse and mule from the Pima Indians on the Gila, or led his column – seventy-five men and two hundred and fifty animals – across the desert, following Colonel Crook’s trail by the animals of the government train which had died and had dried up by reason of the desert air, and finding water and grass on a sunken river and at a small lake. Arrived in California in the autumn, Captain Smith’s experiences in the mines at Dry Creek, Oroville, and on the Feather River, were of the checkered character of the argonauts, – more of sickness and ill...

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Biography of Hon. James Harvey Slater

HON. JAMES HARVEY SLATER. – Mr. Slater has ever borne a conspicuous part in the public affairs of Oregon; and no one has preserved a more honorable name. His mental qualities are solid rather than brilliant, and his operations weighty rather than keen. He is a man whose integrity has never been impeached; and he has ever been relied upon as a friend of the people. In his two terms at Washington, once as congressman, once as senator, he has performed some very effective work for our state; and all Oregonians hold him in high esteem. The following brief sketch will furnish the data of his life, and be eagerly read by all. He was born in Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1826, and remained there until 1849. He received a common-school education, and prepared himself for college; but, abandoning further advance in that line he concluded to try his fortunes in California, coming to the Pacific coast in 1849. After a year in California he came up the coast to Oregon, and located near Corvallis in Benton county, where he put to good use his former education by teaching public school for two years. In 1853 he made a venturesome trip to California, and was at Yreka during the Indian troubles in which General Joseph Lane took so prominent a part. he returned to Oregon the same fall. In...

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Biography of N. K. Sitton

N.K. SITTON. – This pioneer of 1843 was born in Calway county, Missouri, in 1825. As a boy in school he read Lewis & Clarke’s travels, and being an active and intelligent youth seventeen years old, at the time of the great interest that prevailed in the border states respecting Oregon, was moved to join the party of Applegate Or Burnett, and made the journey with these noted men across the plains. he remembers meeting with Whitman on the Sweetwater, and recalls his services in guiding the emigrants from Fort Hall. Arriving in Oregon he found employment on various farms and at at a mill, but in 1846 took his Donation claim on the rich lands five miles north of McMinnville. he was married soon afterwards to Miss Percilla Rogers of Chehalem valley. There the young pair began life, and made a happy home in which they lived many years. In 1848 Mr. Sitton made the trip to California for his pot of gold, and got it. After his return he made rapid improvements upon his farm, developing grain and stock. By his first wife, who died in 1869, he reared a family of nine children: C.E., Caroline (Mrs. Rogers), Ora (Mrs. McColough, deceased), H.W., N.H., Fred D., Elbridge D., and two who died in infancy. He was married secondly to Mrs. Mary M. Laughlin, a daughter of Michael...

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Biography of Dr. Alden H. Steele

DR. ALDEN H. STEELE. – “Olympia will always be a place for pleasant homes,” says one of her citizens well qualified to render an opinion, – the gentleman whose name appears above. The wide streets, magnificent shade-trees and comfortable residences of the capital of Washington Territory, together with her delightful climate, an extensive view of water and mountains, fully justify the remark; and no place could have a more pleasant recommendation. The Doctor has also examined the facilities of the place for a naval station, and finds that the location is most desirable from the following particulars: Safe anchorage and good harbor; ease of defense; abundance of coal, iron and ship timber; opportunity for a fresh-water dock and basin at small cost at Priest’s Point; ease of communication; and advantage of tide. Doctor Steele, whose presence as a resident contributes much towards the pleasantness of Olympia, is a native of New York State, having been born in 1823 at Oswego, where his father had long been a successful merchant. At the age of twenty our subject graduated from the medical department of the University of New York, and also from the office of Doctor James R. Woods, the distinguished professor of surgery. The first practice of the young physician was at Oswego, new York; but in 1849, in company with the mounted riflemen under Lieutenant-Colonel Loring, he crossed the...

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Biography of Harrison B. Oatman

HARRISON B. OATMAN. – This gentleman, a pioneer of the early days, and at present one of the capitalists of Portland, was born at Cortland, New York, in 1826. As a child he moved with his parents to Ohio, and at the new home in Bellevue attended school, laying a good foundation for his later study and information. At twelve he removed with his parents to Rockford, Illinois, and was married there in 1847 to Miss Lucena K. Ross. In 1853 he made with his family the toilsome journey to Oregon, crossing the plains with ox-teams, and establishing his home in Jackson County. The early days of his residence there were spent in mining, and in trading and packing. He was closely associated with the lamented Fields, whose massacre at the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains in 1853 was the real beginning of the general Indian war. Indeed, Mr. Oatman was a member of the party to which Fields belonged, and was with him on that lonely mountain; and by only a chance, running between the arrows, he escaped to the settlers and gave the alarm, in response to which a company was gathered and the mutilated body of Fields recovered. Mr. Oatman remained in Southern Oregon fourteen years, coming thence to Portland, where he has since resided. On arriving there he went into the grocery trade, which he...

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Biography of General Edward McConville

In the recent trial of arms in which America won recognition and admiration never before accorded her by the older “powers” of Europe, there was no more distinguished or valiant soldier than General McConville, of Idaho, who went forth as one of the commanders of the Idaho troops and laid down his life on the altar of his country. His was a noble life and a glorious death, and his name is enduringly inscribed on the roll of America’s heroes. Though his loss is deeply mourned by his many friends, his memory will ever be cherished by all who knew him, and the cause of liberty will acknowledge its advancement to him and his compatriots who have fallen in defense of the honor of the flag and the noble principles of republicanism and justice which it represents. General McConville was a native of New York, his birth having occurred at Cape Vincent, Jefferson County, June 25, 1846. The history of the family furnishes many examples of valor, for since the days when William the Conqueror fought the battle of Hastings its representatives have won honor and fame in the military and naval service of France, England, Ireland and America. The family had its origin in France, it’s branches being found in Brittany, Gascony and Normandy. Two representatives of the name fought with William, the Norman prince, at the battle...

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Biography of Relf Bledsoe

The days of chivalry and knighthood in Europe cannot furnish more interesting or romantic tales than our own western history. Into the wild mountain fastnesses of the unexplored west went brave men, whose courage was often called forth in encounters with hostile savages. The land was rich in all natural resources, in gold and silver, in agricultural and commercial possibilities, and awaited the demands of man to yield up its treasures, but its mountain heights were hard to climb, its forests difficult to penetrate, and the magnificent trees, the dense bushes or the jagged rocks often sheltered the skulking foe, who resented the encroachment of the pale faces upon these “hunting grounds.” The establishment of homes in this beautiful region therefore meant sacrifices, hardships and oft times death, but there were some men, however, brave enough to meet the red man in his own familiar haunts and undertake the task of reclaiming the district for purposes of civilization. The rich mineral stores of this vast region were thus added to the wealth of the nation; its magnificent forests contributed to the lumber industries and its fertile valleys added to the opportunities of the farmer and stock-raiser, and today the northwest is one of the most productive sections of the entire country. That this is so is due to such men as Captain Relf Bledsoe, whose name is inseparably interwoven...

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Biography of John Cuddy

In western Idaho is located Cuddy mountain, which will ever stand as a monument to the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, one of the honored pioneers of the state. More than a third of a century has passed since he came to this part of the Union, and few if any of the early settlers are more widely known than he, while none are held in more genuine regard. In almost daily fear of Indian attack, he planted his business interests near the mountain named in his honor and there maintained his home while civilization slowly advanced toward him from the older east, gradually lessening the realm of the red men, who were once lords over this rich and beautiful region. The history of his life here in the early days, if written in detail, would prove more marvelous than the most wonderful tale of the novelist, but space forbids us to give more than a limited notice of his career. Mr. Cuddy was born in county Tipperary, Ireland, November 15, 1834, a son of Michael and Catharine (Murphy) Cuddy. In 1840 his parents crossed the Atlantic to Boston, Massachusetts bringing with them their ten children, while one of the number, having married, remained on the Emerald Isle. The father died at the age of seventy-eight years, and the mother passed away at the age of ninety-three. John...

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