From: Oregon Historical Quarterly XXIV (1923) pp. 238-268
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John Work was an extensive traveler and trader and a chief factor of the Hudson's Bay Company. He came to the Pacific Coast from York factory, on Hudson's Bay. in 1823, with Peter Skene Ogden, who had charge of the annual express that year, and served in the fur-trading posts of the Upper Columbia River. He established a farm at Fort Colville in 1823, the first in the Old Oregon Country, and built Fort Colville in 1825-26. In 1830 he succeeded Peter Skene Ogden in charge of the Snake River brigade. Fort Simpson was in his charge in 1835-49, and in the latter year he was stationed at Victoria as a chief factor. For many years he was a member of the legislative council of Vancouver Island. He was born in 1791 and died December 22, 1861. For his biography, see Howay's and Scholefield's History of British Columbia, IV, 1178; Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, X. 296-7. For journals of his travels, see Washington Historical Quarterly, 111, 198-228 (1824) ; V, 83-115, 163-91, 258-87 (1825) ; VI, 26-49 (1826), all by T. C. Elliott; XI, 104-14 (1828), by William S. Lewis and Jacob A. Meyers; Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, X, 296-31:1 (1828) ; 331-65 (1825-26) ; XIII, 363-70; XIV, 280-31.1 (1830-31), all by T. C. Elliott. A narrative and journal of Work's Snake River expedition (1831-32), edited by William S. Lewis, of Spokane, and Professor Paul C. Phillips, of the University of Montana, is soon to be published by the Arthur H. Clark Company, Cleveland, Ohio. The John Work journal of the expedition of 1834 from Fort Vancouver to Umpqua River, and return, is herewith presented as copied from the original, and has not been edited or otherwise altered. The bracketed numbers represent the pages of the H. H. Bancroft copy of the Journal. The writer of the subjoined comments is indebted to William S. Lewis, of Spokane, Washington; T. C. Elliott, of Walla Walla, Washington, and F. G. Young, of Eugene, Oregon, for many details of information.
This copy of the John Work journal of 1834 was made from the H. H. Bancroft copy of the original, under direction of Dr. Herbert I. Priestly, librarian of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, California. The original journal is in the Provincial Library at Victoria, British Columbia.
|1834. May 22.||Very heavy rain the greater part of the day. Left Vancouver on a Trading & Trapping Trip to the Southward with 12 men. We embarked at 2 p.m. & reached the traverse in the little channel of the Willamet at just 6 oclock whence we are to proceed on horseback. It rained so hard that the people were completely soaked and the baggage also a good deal wet. And where we had to encamp is among wet grass which is very unpleasant, besides there plenty of mosquitoes & very little wood to make fire.||The "traverse," where the boat route joined the mountain trail, was on Willamette Slough (Multnomah Channel), called by John Work "little channel," probably one or two miles northwest of the railroad station named Holbrook. This is some twelve miles from Fort Vancouver and five miles south of the present town Scappoose. At or near this "traverse," the Hudson's Bay Company had a dairy on Wapato (now Sauvie) Island. The mountain trail led across hills of between 1100 and 1200 feet elevation to McKay Creek, tributary of Tualatin River. John Work's bateaux probably crossed the upper end of Sauvie Island, which was then inundated by the spring freshet of Columbia River. See map of Charles Wilkes in "Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition", 1838-42. The distance across the mountains is estimated by John Work at ten miles, but the later winding road (1923) is about eight miles. It may be of interest to note that John Work gives the "i" instead of the "a" vowel in the first syllable of Willamette. This vowel difference has been the subject of controversy.|
|Saturday, May 23.||Heavy rain. Sent part of the men across the mountain to Faladin Plain for the horses with which they arrived in the evening, all completely soaked with water.||"Faladin" or Tualatin Plain was near North Plains, Washington County, Oregon, probably one mile or more northeast of that place. The Indian name "Titalatin" has had many variations. The meaning is unknown. The horses were probably those of Thomas McKay, who probably sent them there for grazing from his farm near Scappoose. This grazing ground is described by John Work in his entry of May 24 (see following). For John Work's description of McKay's place, see his entry under July 8, following. For details, see also Lee and Frost's "Ten Years In Oregon", XI, 124-26; also printed journal of Wyeth's second expedition (1835), p. 251, published by University of Oregon, 1899; diary of Jason Lee (1834), "Quarterly of Oregon Historical Society", XVII, 297, 399, 400, 401.|
|24.||Showery. After getting everything ready raised camp & proceeded
across the mountain to the beaver ground at Faladin Plain. In the
afternoon gave out the people their horses & selected those to accompany the
party, the remainder to be sent tomorrow to Mr. McKay's place. We were 3 ½
hours crossing the mountains which may be perhaps 10 miles across about S. West.
 The road is in many places steep & rugged particularly on the N side
of the hill. The unfavorable weather & being encumbered in places with
fallen timber rendered it worse than it otherwise might be. The soil is
composed of a thick strata of dark vegetable mould perhaps not over 6 or 8
inches deep, over a bed of reddish tile ( ?) No stone or gravel worth
mentioning. It is not thickly wooded with timber but overgrown with
underwood. The trees principally pine & cedar and of a pretty large
size. On reaching the plains some oak of a middling size fringe the edges
of the woods. There are also some ash & other trees. The country
on geting out of the woods has a beautiful appearance. It is a continuation of
plains which commence here and continue on to the Southward, separated by narrow
strips of timber, bounded to the east by the strip of woodland which occupy the
banks of the Willamet; and to the westward by the woods which occupy the base of
the Killymaux Mountain.
The soil is a rich blackish mould covered (but not with a close  thick sward) with grass & other plants, among which are considerable quantities of strawberry plants, now well furnished with fine fruit. Not a stone & scarcely a shrub to interrupt the progress of the plough which might be employed in many places with little more difficulty than in a stubble field.
The country here though termed Plain from being clear of wood, is not a dead flat but composed of portions of level land with gently rising grounds. Portions of the flat lands are springey. Here the soil inclines to be clayey. The vegetation is not rank, yet it yields a great deal of pasture. This first plain may be about three times the size of the clear ground about Fort Vancouver, and about 170 horses have been feeding upon it for the two last months, and there would still be grass enough for them for the rest of the summer. This Plain is never overflowed; the most Northern fork of the Faldin is a little distance further on to the Southward. It is not far but through a woody country, to the banks of the Columbia in a N. N. W. direction.
The open country here is of an irregular form, as points of woods  jut out into the plains from both sides. There can be no doubt but abundant crops of every kind of grain would amply reward the labor of the husbandman, besides its being so well adapted for pasture both of cattle & sheep. The open ground here may be about 3 or 4 miles wide from E. S. E. to W. N. W.
|The horses to be sent to "Mr. McKay's place," apparently, were to return by the same mountain route to the "traverse" of May 22, and thence to go north to McKay's home near Scappoose. Thomas McKay was the son of Alexander McKay who was lost on the "Tonquin" in 1811. Wilkes' "Narrative", 1841, page 221, mentions McKay's gristmill near Champoeg and describes him as St a man of middle age, tall, well-made and of muscular frame, with an expression of energy and daring, and a deep-set, piercing black eye, beneath a full projecting eye brow." The gristmill was built in 1836. "Killymaux" Mountain, to the west, is John Work's variation of "Tillamook", which has had many diverse forms and is supposed to have been originally the designation of an Indian tribe. The camping place was east of the present village North Plains, Washington County, probably four or five miles north and east of the site of Hillsboro. "The most northern fork of the Faladin" probably was Dairy Creek, some four miles southwest. The distance to the Columbia River, north, given by John Work as "not far," was thirty-five miles. In a northeasterly direction the distance to that river was less than fifteen miles.|
|May 25.||Thick fog in the morning. Fair weather afterwards. Sent off six men and boys with 103 horses to Mr. McKay's Place. Owing to the fog it was late in the morning before the horses were all collected, and as it took some time to separate those which we are to take with us from the others, it was near noon before they started. They are directed to be here as early as they can tomorrow so that we may proceed on our journey. Kanata killed a deer.||Kanata was listed among the employees of Hudson's Bay Company in 1821 as number 935. His name appears as Kanote, Kanota, Kanola, Kanotti and Kanato. He accompanied John Work in the Snake River country in 1831-32. This name and others are from the Hawaiian Islands, natives of which were brought here by the North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, following their first introduction by the Astors and the "Tonquin" in 1811. The name Owyhee in Eastern Oregon, is a relic of these people. For the name Knola and Kanotti, see "Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society", XIV, 295, 309.|
|May 26.||Fine weather. By the time the men who were sent with the horses yesterday, it was near three oclock and too late to raise camp. There was a good deal of trouble getting the horses down through the woods yesterday.|
|May 27.||Overcast fine weather. Proceeded  on our journey at 8 o'clock &
encamped near 2 at the 4th & last fork of the Faladin River near the
mountains. We were delayed an hour & a half crossing the second fork where
the horses had to be swam across, and the baggage carried across a bridge formed
by a tree thrown across the river. The other forks were all fordable; the
banks of all these forks are very steep & clayey. Our course today was
S. S. W. about 18 miles. The soil has mostly the same appearance as where
we left in the morning, but where we are encamped near the hills the soil is of
a more reddish cast, and as not such a good appearance, and there are some
gravel & stones in it.
To the Eastward of this there are some hills covered with wood. On the banks of the third fork there is some low, stony land, with longer grass & herbage than elsewhere. Some spots today are overgrown with fern, & the soil did not appear so good.
|Camp, apparently, was between Dilley and Gaston, the "4th and last fork of the Faladin River" being either Scoggin Creek or South Fork of Tualatin River. The river crossings this day were probably of McKay Creek, Dairy Creek and Scoggin Creek. The difficult crossing probably was that of Dairy Creek. The "third fork" was probably Gale's Creek. The hills to the eastward of the camping place were Chehalem Mountains. The day's route passed the sites of Forest Grove and Dilley, in Washington County, Oregon.|
|May 28.||Heavy rain in the night, and rain the most of the day. The unfavorable weather deterred us from raising camp, for the rain was not heavy during the day, yet the bushes were so loaded with water  that the baggage would have been wet. The hunters were out in the evening but without success. They saw some deer, but they were so shy that they could not be approached. There are a good many Indians about here, which causes the deer to be so wild.||The Indians mentioned were probably either Yamhills or Tualatins, of the Kalapooian family.|
|May 29.||Fair weather in the morning but continual heavy showers during the day
afterwards. Raised camp & continued our route S. S. E. 4 miles
[hours?] & about 15 miles. Encamped on a small creek at the head of an
extensive plain. After leaving the river where we slept last night, the
road lay through a point of woods, and two small plains of fine rich soil, but
subject to be under water at times during the rainy season. Then over a
few hills mostly covered with wood and bushes, and along an extensive plain of
rich soil with a kind of swamp or lake running all along the West side of it.
Parts of this plain are subject to be partially inundated. Before reaching the
southern extremity we struck across to the Eastward over a portion of low hilly
country covered with bushes and some trees, principally  oak to the head of
the fine plain where we are encamped; which is some miles in length and breadth,
composed of a rich soil covered with fine pasture; the lower part of it subject
to be overflowed or rather covered with water in the rainy season. Passed
some small rivulets during the day's march. After encamping I went to the
Sand's encampment which is about 8 or 9 miles S. E., about half way through the
plain we are encamped, and then through alternate small plains and points of
woods to the Willamet.
My object in going here is to get some information from Depatty relative to the trade with the Umquah Indians, but though he had been there two years ago & as it was Gagnion who performed the trade, he could tell me very little about it. Kanota killed a deer & the men traded 3 from the Indians.
|Camp was apparently on Chehalem Creek, west of the site of Newberg, and near the land of Ewing Young, who arrived there later in the same year (1834). The day's travel followed the east shore of Wapato Lake, whose overflow conditions John Work well describes. "Sand's Encampment" was Champoeg, otherwise known as "Campment du Sable, Camp au Sable" and "Sand Point". Depatty's house was near Champoeg and appears in the map of Nathaniel J. Wyeth (1832-33). See "Correspondence and Journals of Nathaniel J. Wyeth, 1831-36", edited by F. G. Young, Eugene, Oregon, 1899, p. 178. See also p. 233, "Duportes House." Gagnion was apparently J.B. Gagnion, or Gagnier, number 821 on the list of employees of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1821, where the name is given J. B. Gagmon. This employee was assigned to Fort Umpqua as interpreter in 1840. Lucius Gagnion, said to have opposed the American party at Champoeg in 1843, may have been the same. In Gustavus Hines' "Oregon", VI, 99, Gagnion is referred to as follows: "We were kindly received at the fort (Umpqua) by an old Frenchman, having charge of it, by the name of Goniea. * * * * * The Frenchman, it is said, belongs to a wealthy and honorable family in Montreal, and though frequent efforts have been made to reclaim him from his wanderings, yet all have been unavailing. He lives with an Indian woman whom he claims as his wife." The Umpqua Indians, whose habitat was the river of that name, are classed as belonging to the Athapascan family.|
|May 30.||Fine. Continued our route near 7 hours S 10 miles to Yamhill river
which we crossed, & then S. S. W..; 8 miles up the Southside of the river a
little below the Faladin fork, and encamped on a small creek. The road
till we  reached the river lay along a fine valley not very wide,
surrounded with a number of rising hills thickly covered with oak. The
soil all the way is very rich and the pasture though not rank more luxuriant
than in the large level plains. On the summit of the hills the soil
inclines in some places to a reddish tile. On the South side of the river
the road lay through an extensive plain of fine Soil, and different from the
country we passed through three days past by being a dead level. It
appears a fine rich soil.
The plain continues on without interruption except a few trees along some small streams, on to the mountains to the Westward and is capable of yielding pasture for immense herds of cattle, for in places it is several miles wide. On the North side of the river the plains also continue on to the mountains, as well as along the Faladin fork. The banks of the river are clothed with a little timber, principally pine with a mixture of oak & some other trees. This wood here & there juts in points out to the  Plain, and there are patches of oak here & there. To the Southward of this plain on the S side of the river, a range of low green hills extend, with a few oak trees upon them, and would be a fine pasturage for sheep. The river has generally steep clayey banks, & is difficult to approach on account of the Underwood, and can only be crossed at some places wherever traversed. It runs over a bed of soft rotten sandstone, and many of the horses fell descending the lower part of the sloping bank which is also composed of these stones. This & the river which we crossed yesterday morning are the only places we have seen stones since we started. Where we crossed there is a rapid, but from the formation of the river it would be difficult to make it secure for millstream[?] The hunters were out. P. Lagere killed a deer.
|The party crossed Yamhill River probably near Dayton. Faladin (Tualatin) Fork probably was the north fork of Yamhill River, which rises from the northerly direction of Tualatin River. The "small creek" upon which camp was made probably was Salt Creek, near the later village Amity. P. Lagere may be Baptismo Deguear and J. B. DeGuerre, frequently mentioned in "Ewing Young and His Estate," "Oregon Historical Society Quarterly", XXI, 171-315.|
|Sunday May 31.||Fine & warm, cool at night & heavy (Dew in the morning.
Continued our route 6 3/4 hours) about 24 miles S & S. S. W and encamped at
the second fork from the Yamhill. The road for the first 16 lay through a
fine uninterrupted  plain of fine soil, with some swampy places, with
better pasturage than we have hitherto met with. There is also a small
lake. On each side of us there were ranges of moderately elevated hills,
some of them with little wood, the others thinly covered with oak, and here &
there a patch of pine. Beyond these hills to the Eastward there are said
to be other ranges of Plain country. Here we closed up pretty nearly with
the mountains to the Westward, and crossed a small river the first from the
Yamhill, when the road lay about 3 miles along a ridge of hills pretty well
timbered with oak, & then along a marshy valley about 5 miles to the fork
where we are encamped.
The Plain which we left beyond the first fork continues along the range of hills which run along East of the road. The river where we are camped is 10 or 12 yds wide. A fringe of woods runs along its banks, behind which a narrow plain extends towards the mountain on both sides, and also downwards. This river runs over a bottom of a rocky & gravelly nature, of a slatey  texture, but has steep clayey banks. The plains in places appear subject to be inundated in the rainy season. The first river which is a branch of this one runs over a gravelly bottom & the soil on its banks is for a short distance gravelly, which is the only place we have seen gravel since we started.
|Camp apparently was on Luckiamute River, which the diary calls "second fork from the Yamhill." The first "fork" was Rickreall River. The route passed the sites of later McCoy, Dallas and Monmouth. The "lake" is one mile south of Perrydale.|
|June 1.||Fine. Continued our route 7 hours, 24 miles. The first half of
the way S. E. & then S. W. to the river at Sauvie [Laurie] where we camped.
The road for the first 14 miles lay through a plain country for about 7 miles
across a point to another fork which falls into the river we left in the morning
& thence over low hills & across along plain 7 miles further to another
creek. All the way there is fine soil, and the low grounds about the
creeks superior pasture land and very extensive to the E. Some woods along the
banks of the rivers. And on the high ground oaks here and there. The
road for the next 4 miles lay along the base of some hills thickly timbered with
oak and composed of rich tile soil & pretty well covered with grass.
Large tracts of open ground extend to the E. The road now lay along  an
extensive plain, some parts of it swampy, to Laurie river where we are camped
not far from its discharge into a Channel of the Willamet. Here is an
extensive plain on both sides of the river, ad the mountains to the W. are
nearly without wood. Clover was observed today both on the high and on the
low ground. The soil & herbage has the same appearance as usual.
Where we are camped at the usual traverse of the river is too high to be forded,
but we learn from the Indians it is fordable a little higher up.
We met a party of Indians today who informed us that all Michell's party but himself and one man were killed by the Indians; that this report was received from an Indian who was coming from the Umquah with the news, but turned back. Passed some Indian huts at the rivers we passed. A few natives visited us in the evening. The hunters were out in the evening, but without success.
|Laurie River was Mary's River. This river is "Riviere des Souris" (Mice River) in Duflot de Mofras' "Exploration", II, 210. Apparently John Work's "Laurie" is Duflot's Souris. The day's crossing was the South Fork of Luckiamute River, which John Work calls "another fork which falls into the river we left in the morning." The next creek mentioned is probably the later Soap Creek. Camp apparently was near the site of the later Corvallis. "Michell's party" evidently refers to the party of Michel Laframboise, see under June 2, following. Laframboise is frequently referred to as "Michell" in this diary.|
|June 2.||Fine. Proceeded 18 miles S & camped at the traverse at Sam 
Tomeleaf [?] river. We were delayed some time in the morning fording a
traverse where we camped last night, after which the road lay through an
extensive plain, very level except place[s] & averaging from 5 to 7 miles
wide. On our left or E side at a short distance lay first the small
channel of the Willamet, then a long narrow lake like a canal & then the
river where we camped. And to the W extends the chain of mountains, the
first range of rising hills with little wood on them. The soil here is of
the same description as that passed three days past, but from being mostly a
dead level, considerable portions of it appear to have been under water in the
rainy season. And in places the grass seems to be less luxuriant than we
have observed hitherto, probably owing to the drought having rendered the ground
hard & cracked. Along the banks of the lake some places are swampy.
The river here is close to the mountains and runs over a bed of rocks over which
there are steep clayey banks. On the E side of the [1961 river there are
By what we can learn from T. Mouria[?] the Islander the Companion of poor Mourio who was drowned coming with letters from M. Laframboise some time ago, it appears that it was somewhere about here that they embarked in the canoe to descend the river, and 2 days after (but he cannot make us understand when [where?]) the canoe came in contact with a stick or fallen tree that was in the river, & upset when the poor man was drowned & the letters & everything they had was lost, and he Morina barely saved himself by his good swimming and found his way to the settlement 2 days after nearly starved with cold & hunger. From the little information he can give us & the length of time elapsed since the important occurrence any attempt to find out the place, or anything relative to the accident would be fruitless. The hunters killed 1 deer.
|Sam Tomeleaf River was Long Tom River. Camp probably was near the site of Monroe. The day 4 journey, apparently, followed the route of the later Southern Pacific Railroad. Michel Laframboise was a French Canadian voyageur and interpreter who arrived in Oregon on the "Tonquin" and established himself in later years on a farm at French Prairie. See Ross, "Oregon Settlers", p. 257; Franchere's "Narrative", pp. 29-30. In 1833-38 he was attached to the Umpqua expeditions. In 1839 and 1841-43 he was listed on the Bonaventura expedition. He served as guide for the Wilkes party. He is listed as an opponent of the American party at Champoeg in 1843.|
|June 3.||Chilly & rain. Continued our route 18 miles S S E & S. Crossed the [197) river in the morning when we continued up the E side of it to the commencement of the mountains, where we are camped on the same river. The road Jay through an extensive plain, the greater part of the way quite level, bounded to the E by the Willamet. Considerable portions of the plain are subject to inundation & parts of it are not so well clothed with grass as some of those we have already passed. Some places of it are also swampy. And parts of it gravelly which is the first soil of the kind we have seen since we started. This plain is 4 to 6 miles wide. The river here runs over a. muddy bottom with steep clayey banks so much so that it is difficult to water the horses. Where we left this morning would be an eligible situation for a settlement. On the E side of the river would serve for pasturage & the high ground on the W side for tillage & sheep walks; and the river could easily be made navigable. The hunters were out but without success, except P. Legare who killed 2 deer. There are some deer, but  they are very shy. Some Indians visited us in the evening.||The river crossing was that of the Long Tom near Monroe. The mountains were those at the head of Willamette River, southwest of Eugene, called Calapooya Mountains. The day's course was up Coyote Creek of long Tom River. Camp apparently was ten miles west of the site of Eugene. The Indians were probably Calapooyas.|
|June 4.||Cloudy. Proceeded 20 miles, first S. S. W. & then S. S. E.
through a hilly country. First up a narrow valley along the river where we
are camped, & then across a range of hills and along another narrow valley,
where we crossed some more hills to another valley which brought us to the
Yangawa river where we camped at the foot of Elk Mountain.
This river at the foot of the mountain falls into the sea. Some spots of rocks are to be seen on the brows of some of the hills we passed today. Some parts of the valley we passed today are subject to inundation. There are also a few places marshy but all the rest of the way the soil appears very rich & clothed with a more luxuriant crop of herbage than we have met with since leaving the fort. There is a considerable quantity of clover among the long grass, which in many places is sufficiently rank & thick to be cut for hay, & most excellent hay it would make.  The ground appears highly susceptible of cultivation & would be superior pasture land, the low ground for cattle, the bare or partially wooded hills for sheep. The plain on the end of which we are camped is of considerable extent & has a pretty large swamp in the middle of it. The second valley through which we passed is watered by a fork of the river which we left in the morning. Through all the hilly country through which we passed the land on the sides of the hills and in the intervening valleys appears to be of a superior quality, or at least the vegetation is more luxuriant than on the low flat plains even where they do not appear subject to inundation. There is also some timothy grass similar to what we have from England. The clover is of the white or red kind & grows most luxuriantly on the border of swamp or on the plains, where the ground is a little damp & springy. The timber today was mostly oak & a few other trees, & pine on the higher hills.
|Yangama River was Siuslaw River. Elk Mountain marks the divide between Siuslaw and Umpqua rivers. Camp probably was ten miles west of the site of Cottage Grove.|
|June 5.||Rain. The unfavorable weather deterred us raising camp, as passing  the mountains through the thick woods & bushes which are loaded with water would have wet & spoiled and baggage and horse agnts [ ?] An Indian, Catarah joined us here & state that M. Laframboise had gone along the seacoast & that reports had been received that the Indians attempted to pillage them of their property which caused a quarrel in which 16 of the natives were slain, & that subsequently the Indians had assembled in great force & cut off all, or the greater part of M. Laframboise's party. This part of the story I do not think probable. The hunters were out but without success. There are but few tracks of animals, besides the weather was unfavorable.|
|June 6.||Heavy rain. Did not raise camp on account of the bad weather. The hunters were out but without success.|
|June 7.||Fine. Proceeded 4 ½ hours, 15 miles, first S 8 miles across the Elk mountain to Elk river, & then S W. 7 miles down the N side  of the river to the traverse where we camped. We were an hour ascending the mountain on the N side, & 11/2 in descending. All the way through a woody country until we came within a short distance of the river when the road lay down a fine sloping hill & across a plain clear of woods & covered with fine verdure on a rich soil. The road then lay along the declivity of the hills which are mostly clear of woods. The soil in the mountains appears good. I observed timothy at different places along the road. No stones during the day's journey, but the river here runs over a bed of loose stones and rocks. The wood in the mountains is chiefly pine and along the river & on the hillsides a mixture of pine, oak & other trees.||Elk River was the later Elk Creek. The "traverse" and the camp probably were near Drain.|
|June 8.||Cloudy & light rain. Left camp in the morning & proceeded
with 3 men and an Indian down to the Vernon[?] (for some furs which Michell had
traded in the winter) where we arrived after 9 hours about 40 miles, first S W
then W. The road  through a very hilly country, several of the hills steep;
thickly wooded; parts clear of wood. The road crosses the Elk river
between our camp & its discharge into the Umquah which is about half way to
the Vervor. The road then lies along the N bank of the Umquah which may be
about 80 yds wide. No stones worth mentioning all the way; the river runs
on a bed of soft slatey rock. The soil rich and clothed with fine pasture.
A narrow valley runs along the north side of the river. Here is a most
luxuriant growth of fern mixed with grass, clover, vegetables & flowers.
The plain which may be from 1/4 to ½ mile wide is bounded to the N by a
range of bare hills with trees along their tops, and several rivulets intersect
it on their way to the river. Joe the master of the only house that is
here has a small patch of potatoes which appear in a most healthy & thriving
condition. Some of the pines in the woody part of the country are of very
large size.  We had put up close by the House in the grass for the night
and had supper, but as there was an appearance of heavy rain Joe invited us to
take shelter under his roof which we reluctantly did as we dread being infested
with fleas. In other respects except the excessive heat of the house our
quarters are very comfortable but a scarcity of provisions prevails here at the
This Joe is a noted character among the natives by whom he is much feared, as the life of a fellow creature is held in little estimation by him. He has seven wives now in the house with him which is said to be but half of the number he possesses. He appears attentive to us. There are five packs of beaver here which Michell left, besides 2 belonging to his men. Joe it appears has also about a pack to trade. Here I received a letter from Mr. Laframboise addressed to Mr. C. F. McLoughlin dated 17th of April last. He & his party were then all well shortly previous to that date he had had a battle with the Indians on the S side of the Umquah mountain in which 11 of the  savages were slain & several wounded. None of the whites had received any hurt. The cause of the quarrel is not mentioned. He desires Mr. McLoughlin not to be uneasy about his safety.
|"The Vernon" or Vervor appears to have been near the site of Scottsburg, on tidewater, and twenty miles west of Elkton and the later Fort Umpqua. The later fort was near the site of the later Elkton, on the south side of Umpqua River. Elkton is on the north side. The letter to "C. F. McLoughlin" was to Chief Factor John McLoughlin at Vancouver. "Michell" refers to Michel Laframboise. Fort Umpqua near Elkton, apparently did not exist in 1834. John Work camped near there on June 9 and passed there June 8 without mentioning the fort. But he mentions "Umpqua old fort," which appears to have been established in 1832 on or near Calapooya Creek. See entry of June 11, following. See also Himes and Lang's "History of the Willamette Valley", p. 201. The Umpqua country is described by Ross' "Oregon Settlers", p. 257, as the "finest hunting ground on the Willamette."|
|June 9.||Light showers. Had the furs arranged, & returned on our way to the camp accompanied by Joe & 2 other Indians with some beaver to trade, at the end of 7 hours march put up for the night as our horses were fatigued. The road very hilly. This must be a very bad road to pass in the winter season on account of the number of times the river & other small creeks have to be crossed, the country being so hilly & in many places so thickly wooded. Even now our eyes are like to be torn out with the thicketty branches.||The party returned some twenty miles or half way to the camp on Elk Creek. This half-way place apparently was near the later site of Fort Umpqua, on Umpqua River, opposite Elkton.|
|June 10.||Light rain. Continued our route & reached the camp at the end of 5 hours march. Traded Joe's beaver in the evening. Some more Indians, Old Grey Heads sons, arrived with some beaver. I saw some Indians on the way going down 2 days ago  coming up the Umquah in canoes & sent word with them that we were here for the purpose of trade. Since I have been off 3 deer were killed.||The party arrived at the camp on Elk Creek.|
|June 11.||Heavy rain. Traded what beaver the Indians had which with those
received from Joe make 72 beaver & 25 otters. I find some of the
Indians difficult to deal with. I have not a proper assortment of goods.
Heyquales[?] are much asked for, and I have none of small green beads which are
much in demand. I had only 4 or 5 pounds & they are all done.
The other sorts of beads are in little repute. Nor are the other goods
except ammunition in much demand except at very low prices. The Indians
also complain that the goods are charged higher than they have hitherto got
them, which in some things perhaps may be the case. But be it so or not
the Indians are always apt to say so when a stranger comes among them for the
first time. The most of these furs appear to be procured from along the
seacoast, & there seems to be an opposition among the Indians who go there
to trade, which causes the  beaver first to cost higher than they otherwise
would do, & to induce the Indians to ask a higher price from us, in order to
have a little profit.
Joe returned home. I sent a letter with him for Michelle & also sent a bag of corn, 5 Gall rice, 5 Gall flour, 1 lb. tea & ½ loaf of sugar. Should Michell be sick as was my case last year, these things would be a great acquisition to him. After Joe went off I learn that he & some of the other Indians are not on the best of terms. He is said to have killed 4 Indians during the winter & is represented as a very bad character & a great hand for taking other people's wives. The men set some traps since I went off; only 1 beaver taken; 2 deer killed.
|June 12.||Fine. Had arranged to proceed to the Umquah old fort where I understood the natives have a few beaver, but was deterred on account of a child of Champaign's which has been sick some time, being so sick that it was not expected to live out the day. By some Indians that were here I sent word to those on  the Umquah to meet me with what few beaver they may have to trade. Hunters out but no success, except Kanota killed two deer.||"The Umpqua old fort" indicates there were two Forts Umpqua. The later fort of that name was opposite Elkton on Umpqua River. Either the old or the later fort, probably the former, was established by Chief Trader John McLeod and Michel Laframboise in 1832. The "old fort," apparently, was on Calapooya Creek west of the sites of later Oakland and Sutherlin, perhaps at the junction of Calapooya Creek and Umpqua River, which place was the southernmost objective of this journey.|
|June 13.||Overcast & chilly. F. Champaign's child continued so ill that it was not expected to live out the day, in consequence of which we did not raise camp. Hunters out, 2 deer killed. We got enough to serve the people so that they require to touch but little of their voyage provisions.||Francois Campoigna was an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company on the list of 1821-22 as number 638, and on the list of 1822-23 as number 509. See "Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society", XIII, 367; XIV, 290.|
|June 14.||Cloudy & fine. Proceeded 20 miles S. E. & S. to the second fork of the Umquah through a hilly country with intervening valleys of rich soil richly clothed with verdure. Found some Indians where we encamped, and about 20 men visited us in the evening. Two of the men crossed the mountains to the E. accompanied by an Indian as a guide to set some traps. Hunters had no success.||The route was southerly from the camp near the site of Drain to Calapooya Creek, probably near the site of the town Oakland. The second fork of the Umpqua was Calapooya Creek, the first fork being Elk Creek.|
|June 15.||Fine. Did not raise camp. Champaign's daughter died about noon. The old chief Latana accompanied by 2 other Indians visited us. There are a few beaver among his people which I mean to go down  that way to trade. I received a note from Mr. Laframboise dated 8th April. It contains no news but what was contained in the one I received a few days ago addressed to Mr. McLoughlin. Men off yesterday returned. Hunters out; an elk & a deer killed.|
|June 16.||Fine. Proceeded down river to below its discharge into the Umquah 9 miles. The river which the road runs along runs through a valley enclosed by hills. Soil fine & clothed with pasturage, grass & clover. The old chief Satarna (opposite to whose house we are encamped) with several of his people visited us in the evening. The hunters had no success.||The day's journey ended below the junction of Umpqua River and Calapooya Creek, probably the site of "Umpqua old fort."|
|June 17.||Fine. Employed most of the day trading with the Indians & traded only 21 large beaver, 2 small do & 5 otters, which I believe is all they have. They are troublesome to deal with. They suppose, or affect to suppose, that they are harder dealt with than usual. .News arrived again that Michell & his party were all killed. The Indian who brought this news had heard it from another, who had received the information from  a third far off; and again it is stated that our people have killed 25 more of the Indians. Most probably the whole story is a falsehood. The Umquah here is about 150 yds wide & runs over a rocky bottom of soft slatey rock & is not very deep. A horse can ford it at present. A little below our station, the mountains which are steep & ragged strike close into the river. Where we are encamped there are a few plains on both sides of the river. The rock on the high ground is a sort of a freestone.|
|June 18.||Fine. Returned to our station of the 17th [15th?]. There we met a party of Indians from the head of the Willamet, headed by a man named Charles who had been formerly a slave, but obtained his liberty & is now a chief. From this man we learned that the head of the Willamette is so difficult to ascend that it can only be hunted with canoes, & that for a length of time no one has been up it (indeed no white man has ever been all the way to the head of it) and that there are some beaver in it. I have  determined to go there & try what can be done as there is nothing to be got elsewhere that we can venture to go to. Old Satana & some of his men followed us up in the evening. The hunters out, P Legare killed a deer.||Beginning the return, the party journeyed up Calapooya Creek to the camping place of June 15. A person named Charles is mentioned in "Ewing Young and his Estate," "Oregon Historical Society Quarterly", XXI, 219, 267, 280.|
|June 19.||Fine with squalls. Charles has some business to settle with the Indians which requires this day, and as he is to guide us to the head of the Willamet across the mountain we did not raise camp. There is some disturbance & rumors of war among the Indians here. It appears that an Indian was bitten by a rattlesnake some time ago & died. His friends accuse a tribe above of having effected his death by conjuring, & threaten to avenge it if property is not paid for the body, which will probably have to be complied with as the conjurers are the weaker party. One deer killed.|
|June 20.||Fine. There was a total eclipse of the moon last night, which continued a considerable time. Raised camp & proceeded 20 miles N. E. & N. to a fork of Elk river through a hilly country partially wooded  some valleys of fine rich land covered with pasturage. A number of Indians encamped near our station. Three hunters out, each killed a deer.||Camp was on Elk Creek above the site of Drain, perhaps five miles northeast, and also a few miles northeast of the camping place of June 7, 10-13.|
|June 21.||Fine. Proceeded 6 hours N. across the Elk mountain to a fork of the Willamet. Road across the mountains rugged & lies through thick woods. But on both sides places clear & covered with verdure. The soil more gravelly than we have seen for some time.||The route crossed the divide between Elk Creek of Umpqua River and Coast Fork of Willamette, to a camp south of the site of Cottage Grove. The party had crossed this same divide, more to the westward, on June 7.|
|June 22.||Fine. Continued our route 10 miles N down the river where we camped in order to send the hunters in quest of deer. The hunters had no success.||Camp was near the site of Saginaw.|
|June 23.||Fine. One of the men who was out hunting lost his horse & it was late when he found him, so that we could not raise camp. One deer.|
|June 24.||Fine. Continued our route 16 miles N to the main or middle fork of the Willamet at the commencement of the mountains, or end of the plains or clear ground where we camped. The river here is 80 to 100 yds wide. From Indian information the upper part of this fork has never been visited by whites and beaver  are said to be numerous within a few days march of this place beyond the first range of mountains, where there is a valley, but from the mountainous nature of the country, thickly wooded, little or no grass, it would be very difficult to get to with horses & though the navigation is difficult, it is said to be practicable to ascend the river in canoes. I have determined therefore to send the people to try what can be done that way. The men were off & selected cedar trees to make canoes for the purpose and were afterwards getting their tools in readiness to commence making canoes tomorrow.||Camp was near the site of Springfield. John Work proceeded to build canoes so as to enable members of his party to ascend Middle Fork in quest of beaver.|
|June 25.||Fine. The tree is very large & pretty difficult to work.
Several Indians visited us & corroborate what we have before heard
respecting beaver being in the upper part of the river, & that the
navigation is practicable, tho' difficult. Traded 2 beaver. One of
the men taken ill with fever. The  hunters were out but without
One of the Willamet freemen, Louis, paid us a visit. He has killed 7 beaver within a few days between the settlement & this; and from his account upward of 80 beaver have been in the river from this downwards since the spring, the most of which must have come from above during the high water.
|June 26.||Fine. The people still busy with the canoes. Hunters killed nothing.|
|June 27.||Lowering weather, thunder & light rain. The canoes were brought out of the woods to the water side, but they are not finished yet. 1 deer killed.|
|28.||Heavy rain. People busy finishing their canoes. F. Champaign still continues very ill.|
|29.||Foggy with rain, The canoes 3 in number being ready, I sent off 6 men
accompanied by 3 Indians to ascend to the head of this fork to trap beaver.
They are allowed 2 months to be back here if they find wherewith to employ
themselves so long. They will have some difficulty in  getting up but
from the accounts the Indians give of beaver being numerous it is expected that
they will get a good many. An Indian who is acquainted with that place &
speaks the language of the natives there, the Melilish is engaged to accompany
the people. Two men remain with the families to hunt for them, & take
care of the horses. These men are to have a share of the hunt the same as
those who have gone off. Champaigne who is ill with the fever also remains
but he is not concerned in the partnership. Gave Kanota a few articles to
trade any beaver he may find and make trifling presents to the Indians.
Some Indians arrived in the afternoon from McKenzies fork & brought a few pieces of salmon. Traded 2 beaver.
|McKenzie's Fork was the later McKenzie River, named for Donald McKenzie. This river enters the Willamette some ten miles below, but the distance to the river from camp was not more than four miles. Donald McKenzie was described by Ross in "Fur Hunters" II, pp. 264-65, as "Perpetual Motion McKenzie." He was a Northwester but came overland with the Hunt party and returned in the employ of the North West Company in 1816. He was a notable figure in the early Snake River fur trade expeditions. After coalition of the North West and Hudson's Bay companies in 1821, he became governor of the Red River colony. He accumulated property in the fur trade and died at Mayville, New York in 1840. He was a kinsman of Alexander Mackenzie. He was a remarkable rifle shot, skilled in woodcraft and Indian warfare and was an able Indian trader.|
|June 30.||Fine. Proceeded 10 miles N. W. to Mr. McKay's old house where I left the three men & Champaign & the men's families that are gone up the river, as this is said to be a better place for deer than where the canoes were made.  1 then continued down the river 12 miles W. to the plain accompanied by De Champ, an Owyhee & an Indian on the way to the fort with the furs. The road lay through a hilly country, woods & clear ground, & the rest thinly timbered. The banks of the river are thickly wooded. A good deal of the soil is gravelly and of a poor quality, yet a good deal of pasture on the S. side of the hills. The herbage is being already dried up. Some parts of the road stoney.||"McKay's old house" probably was at or near the confluence of Willamette and McKenzie rivers, some six miles north of the site of Eugene. From this place the canoes would ascend McKenzie River. John Work then continued the day's journey to a place apparently west of the site of Harrisburg. "McKay's old house" indicates that an earlier trading party under leadership of Thomas McKay had a temporary trading post there.|
|July 1||Fine. Continued our course 24 miles W.& W. N. W. down the river & then across a plain to the traverse at Lamitambuff[?] Met 2 Indians & traded the meat of a deer; three other Indians passed us but made a very short stay & appeared to be much afraid of something. Parts of plain gravelly & soil poor, herbage getting dry & the ground has an arid appearance; on the lower spots grass luxuriant.||Lamitambuff probably was Sam Tomeleaf River of June 2 (Long Tom River). Camp apparently was several miles northeast of the site of Monroe. "Longtabuff River," tributary of the Willamette, is mentioned in David Douglas' journel, printed in London, 1914, page 236. This is probably a form of the modernized Long Tom. The name has had many variations. Wilkes gives "Lumtumbuff" (1841), in "Narrative", V, 222.|
|July 2.||Fine. Continued our course 6 ½ hours across the plain to River Lauries river where we camped.  The Indians set fire to the dry grass on the neighboring hill, but none of them came near us. The plain is also on fire on the opposite side of the Willamet.||River Lauries was Mary's River. See under June 1.|
|July 3||Fine. Sent in the morning to an Indian village below to see if they had any
beaver. 10 of them visited the camp & traded their beaver. These Indians are
much alarmed lest they be attacked by the Umquahs. It seems some of their tribe
a little ahead pillaged an Umquah Indian some time ago of a rifle, & that
nation have threatened to come to war upon them. They also inform us that 4 men
of Lautaude Indians have been killed & 3 children taken slaves a short time
since, as they suppose by a party of Faladin or Yamhill Indians. It was 11
oclock when we had settled with these Indians after which we proceeded on our
journey and camped at our station of 31st May.
As we were coming on we found a party of 32 men all armed & ready for war, supposing that a party  of the Umquahs were coming upon them. The smoke made near our camp was made to apprise them that strangers were coming. It was these people that had taken the rifle alluded to above. One Indian who is an Umquah who accompanied us & who was commissioned to get the rifle, demanded it from them, and after a great deal of talk they gave it to him. Where we are camped we found 8 or 10 Indians with the meat of 2 deer. They gave us a little. They are now busy dancing & singing & making -merry with the produce of their chase.
|July 4||Showery. Continued & camped. An Indian came some distance to trade 6 or 8 beaver & otters that he had, but he demanded such an exorbitant price that I did not trade. They will no doubt find their way to the fort. After 9 ½ hours march we camped on a small fork near Yamhill river not far from our station of 30th May. Several Yamhill Indians passed us going to their village which  is close by, on their way from the Willamet falls loaded with salmon which are now of an indifferent quality, having been carried 2 days in the sun. These people have no beaver, nor do they know of any Indians about here who have any. Part of a deer was obtained from an Indian today.||Camp was near Amity. Willamette Falls were less than forty miles distant.|
|July 5.||Cloudy. Proceeded 6 hours & camped not far from an Indian village opposite the Campment de Sauble. Traded a beaver & 8 otters from the Indians here. These people are preparing to go to war in a band of the same tribe a short way to the N. who killed one of their men a short time ago without any cause.||Camp was on west side of Willamette River opposite Champoeg. John Work had been here on May 29.|
|July 6.||Fine. Continued on 5 ½ hours & camped on the 3rd fork from the N. of Faladin river. There are a number of Indians here which I suspect to be the people that killed the Indian above alluded to, though they deny it, as they are all armed & prepared for an attack. They have no beaver.||Camp apparently was near South Fork of Tualatin River and Gaston, where the party camped May 27. This was the "fourth and last fork" of May 27, and the "third fork from the north fork" (McKay Creek) of Tualatin River.|
|July 7.||Fine. Proceeded 4 ½ hours to the  N. fork of the Faladin river. We were delayed 1 ½ hours carrying the baggage across the middle fork which is too deep to ford. Owing to the constant marching our horses are much jaded.||Camp was on McKay Creek, this being the "north fork" of Tualatin River. The "middle fork," which made delay, apparently was Dairy Creek, where the party encountered similar delay on May 27.|
|July 8.||Fair. Continued our march & in 3 ½ hours crossed the
mountain to the little Channel of the Umquah [Willamette] when we continued down
the river to Mr. McKay's place which we reached in 6 hours. The road lay
sometimes along the plain & sometimes along to the height of the water.
We had to pass through the woods where the road was very bad & difficult to
pass owing to the thickets & fallen timber. We had also to unload &
carry the baggage across a creek deep with steep clayey banks. The horses
could not cross loaded. There are immense meadows all the way down along
the river, & if the grass were not injured would yield an immense quantity
of pasturage & hay. Where the water has recently dried off there is a
thick crop of grass so tall that it reaches to the horses'  shoulders.
Mr. McKay's place is in a beautiful situation. There is a plain of considerable extent surrounded by woods clothed with fine pasturage in which there is a considerable quantity of clover. The soil however is gravelly & appears of an inferior quality to the Faladin country. There is a considerable quantity of ground enclosed & under crop. One field of potatoes, 5 acres, has a fine appearance, but the wheat, barley, peas & Indian corn don't promise so abundant a crop. The house is built on the bank of a lake which communicates by channels with the small channel of the Willamette. The cattle & horses are in fine order. What a pity the low ground is subject to be inundated, for otherwise it would yield most abundant crops of every kind of grain.
|The route was that of the mountain trail of May 24, as far as Willamette Slough or Multnomah Channel, near the site of Holbrook. Thence the route was northward to Scappoose plains where Thomas McKay lived. Travel was slow owing to the bad trail and the fagged condition of the horses.|
|July 9.||Fine. Obtained a canoe from La Bonte and a boy as a guide &
embarked at  10 oclock & after winding through a number of small
channels reached the small or western channel of the Willamet which we ascended
a considerable distance & crossed a lake (which now occupies a considerable
portion of Wapitoe Island) and made a portage of 190 yds into the main channel
of the Columbia which we ascended to opposite the upper fork of the Willamet
where we encamped at sunset, as it would have been late in the night before we
could have reached the fort.
A canoe with people from the "Llama" passed us in the evening on their way to the fort.
|Louis La Bonte provided the canoe for the journey to Fort Vancouver. Camp was six miles west of and below Fort Vancouver, on the Washington side, opposite the mouth of Willamette River. The "lake" was probably Sturgeon Lake in Sauvie Island, that being the later name of Wapato Island. The "upper fork" of the Willamette was the present main channel of that stream. The vessel Llama was owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, for whom it was operated by Captain William O'Neil for trading purposes. The vessel evidently was anchored down river, at Fort George (Astoria), and had sent a small boat to Fort Vancouver. Captain O'Neil sailed the vessel to Columbia River in 1832, and sold it to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1833. Louis La Bonte came to Oregon with the Hunt overland party in 1811-12. He was an employee of the company in 1821-23 as numbers 989 and 798.|
|July 10.||Fine weather. Proceeded on our way by daylight as we were glad to get
away from swarms of mosquitoes, and reached the fort for breakfast.
Afterwards had the furs all opened and examined & stood by.
|The party arrived at Fort Vancouver.|