Copyright 1999 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
This page is part of the Union County, OR AHGP
sawmill at Phoenix. In the fall of that year, while still retaining his interest in the milling enterprise, he left for the East via the Nicaragua route, hoping to avoid the many hours of sickness he had known on the plains in reaching here. But in this he reckoned wrongly; for through seasickness he hardly knew a well day while on the ocean blue. After visiting his old home and friends, he went to New York and studied daguerreotyping until he had become conversant with the mysteries of the art, when he purchased a photographic outfit and materials and took passage once more by sea for "Webfoot" via Panama. After his arrival here he began taking pictures; and such were the first ones taken in Southern Oregon and Northern California, making him the pioneer photographer in that section.
During the early part of October, 1855, while he was in Eugene the news came of the outbreak of the Indians on Rogue river. Believing the protection of the settlers' homes and families paramount to all other duties, he at once began the organization of a company of volunteers. Before the brave men enlisted could perfect arrangements to depart for the scenes of hostilities, General McCarver, who was on his way to the field of action, arrived at Eugene and wanted a messenger who would go to Scottsburgh to procure ammunition, as his stock was rather low. In pioneer days that place was of considerable importance, having five or six well-stocked trading houses. Castleman was recommended to him as one who could make the perilous trip if anyone could. Upon his being approached in the matter, he volunteered to undertake the mission, and on receipt of his instructions departed for his destination, reaching there in twenty-one hours. The distance being ninety-one miles and over mountains, and the roads being nothing but trails, this was wonderfully quick time. On arriving at Scottsburgh, he delivered his dispatches to the merchants of that place, who agreed to comply with the request therein, - such being for a mule load of ammunition. Taking upon his horse a portion of the same, and packing the balance upon the mule and placing it in charge of another, he left by the river trail for Roseburg, where he was to meet McCarver, covering the distance of over a hundred miles in twenty-four hours, the ammunition coming in two days after.
The next step in the conduct of the war was to get the ammunition into the hostile country, and into the hands of its sturdy pioneer defenders; and again Castleman was selected to accomplish another dangerous task. The route which he had to take led through the Umpqua cañon, which by the way is one of the most magnificent stretches of scenery the world affords, and which the lover of nature never tires of gazing upon; but it was at this time hardly calculated to touch the poetic chord in one when its recesses and mountain crests contained the camp-fires of the howling savage, who thirsted for the white man's blood and was eager for his scalp. He, however, after an all-night's ride in darkness, succeeded in reaching Hardy Eleff's without accident or molestation, at sunrise the next morning, where he found some of the heroes of the Battle of Hungry Hill, which had been fought the day previous. Here he turned over to the volunteers the ammunition consigned to his care. On his return to Roseburg he was appointed assistant quartermaster-general for meritorious conduct, with his station at that place.
Late in October the Indians congregated at the Meadows, on Rogue river, and prepared their camp for defense. To this point the troops made their way and laid siege to the rudely constructed fortifications. Tiring of this, and wishing to break the siege, the red devils selected a force of forty picked warriors and sent them out to terrorize the country. Making their way through the wilderness to the South Umpqua, they inaugurated their fiendish work by the burning of the settlers' houses, and laying waste all they could. On the first day of November, the news reached Roseburg; and the most exaggerated reports were pouring in, causing the wildest excitement. Pat Day, then sheriff of Douglas county, and Castleman agreed to go on a scout by themselves and learn what they could. They first went to Honorable John Kelly's, who lived one mile south of Roseburg, who took them across the South Umpqua in a canoe, their horses swimming after them. They then started for Rice's farm, where the Indians were reported to be hard at work. They came to Looking Glass creek, which was a long way out of its banks, and was difficult to ford in the daytime, much more so in the dark, it being night by the time they reached there. They finally got across and were soon at Gage's stockade, where they refreshed themselves. Gage told them that he had heard firing at Rice's all day, and that it had finally stopped about sundown. At Gage's two men joined Castleman and Pat Day; and from there they went to a Mr. Kent's, where they next stopped, and where about a dozen more men gladly joined the party.
Castleman, holding the rank of assistant quartermaster in the volunteer service, was made leader of the company. Following the trail of the savages up Ten Mile creek, which was marked by devastation on every hand, they crossed a divide to the waters of Olilla creek, and, coming up with the savages, actually saw them firing the house of a settler. They hid and waited for developments. They sent two scouts after the Indians, who tracked them to a band in the Olilla. They waited until the Indians turned in and were asleep, and then crept into their camp. Getting all the information they desired, they returned to their own camp and reported. The savages being more than two to one it was deemed best not to attack them until they got some help. They went to McCully's stockade and got a reinforcement of twenty-five men, they being a portion of Captain Baily's company, and under Orderly-Sergeant Tom Holland. Castleman, being a higher officer, was tacitly acknowledged captain.
It was very dark when they set
out for the Indian encampment, following a local guide, who knew the country,
creeping continuously along until they were only half a mile distant from
the Indian stronghold; and there they halted and held a council of war.
The Indians, who had tantalized the volunteers during the previous day
stockade, had no fear of an attack, and were consequently very careless. The plan of action decided on this: Castleman, with fifteen men, was to approach the Indian camp from the left along the creek. Pat Day, with ten men, was to attack them then in front. Tom Holland, with fifteen men, was to make a détour on the right, crossing the Olilla below their camp, and pick them off as they tried to swim the creek. Each party was to be in readiness at their appointed stations, to make a simultaneous attack at daybreak. As it was then but four o'clock, and daylight did not come until near seven, each party had ample time to gain their respective stations. Castleman with his squad started at once for his post and reached it. Holland's men got into a slight depression, and he concluded to wait there. Pat Day, when part way to his post, concluded to wait and see what would happen.
The Indian camp was in a bend of Olilla creek, between the creek and an immense fir log which lay just behind them. Castleman and his band were making for this fallen monarch of the forest; and he stood almost at the end of it before he realized the extreme danger of his position. He raised to look around him; and there were the painted devils, who were already up sitting around their blazing fires, cooking their breakfast and keeping warm.
It was while he stood there within a stone's throw of the savages that Pat Day fired his gun. Instantly they raised the warwhoop; and every redskin seized his gun. But fortunately they had thrown them down carelessly, where rain and snow had fallen later; and a number of them were unfit for use. Castleman looked behind, expecting to see al his men close to him; but only six were in sight. The other eight soon turned up. Hardly had the sound of that gun been lost, when Castleman shouted: "Take the log, boys; take the log!" and, crouching, he led the rush for it. But, while rushing for the log, Castleman received a shot which entered his side, ranged the ribs and went out over the right hip. His lower limbs were paralyzed; but his arms were all right. He shouted to his men to make all the noise they could, and make the Indians think there were a thousand of them. They loaded and fired and shouted in turn. Their leader lay on the ground, loading and firing over the log. Firmly believing that his end had come, he determined to render as much assistance to his comrades as possible, regardless of himself. Before many minutes had elapsed, the whole force was at hand; and the battle assumed much larger proportions.
As soon as the firing began, both of the other squads joined Castleman. The eight of Castleman's squad who lagged behind when he made the charge became a flanking party and did valiant work. It was dark where the assailants were, while the savages stood in the full glare of their campfires. An Indian stood behind some saplings so close to Castleman that he could have clubbed him with the butt of his gun, had he dared to have exposed himself so much. He was vainly endeavoring to make his gun go off, which fortunately for Castleman had got wet; and the charge would not leave the gun. He would occasionally put on a fresh cap, until finally a bullet from Jim Burnett's gun went crushing through his abdomen, sending him howling to the rear. While Castleman was making the most of the life that was left in him, loading and firing and shouting to his men what to do, a "pet Indian," known as "Cow Creek tom," who could speak English fairly well, yelled back "Yes, G-d d- you, and while you are doing that we will kill you and cut you up in a thousand pieces, and lay you out on that log." That was no idle threat to keep in mind. He knew that if the Indians captured him they would do some such horrible thing. The battle was an awfully fierce one while it lasted. But the combined attack was too much for the Siwash element, and giving a parting warwhoop, they fell back in great disorder completely routed, and unable to carry away their dead. After the battle was over the Whites proceeded to take an inventory of what they had captured. They recovered much of the property which had been stolen by the Indians, and recaptured many horses that had been taken the day before.
Castleman's wound was not only
dangerous, but was considered necessarily fatal. He was carried away on
a rude litter to McCully's stockade, where he suffered the most excruciating
pain for some weeks, when he was taken to a hospital near Roseburg, where
he remained several months. When able to leave it, he was but a mere shadow
of his former self; and from that day to this he has carried painful reminders
of that terrible night on the South Umpqua, receiving no compensation nor
even recognition that his services had been worth anything to his country.
After leaving the hospital, he was commissioned assistant commissary of
subsistence, with the rank of captain. This took him to Eugene, where he
remained until peace was restored.
After the close of the Indian war he bought a drove of hogs and several ox-teams, loading the teams with produce, and drove them through to Southern Oregon, where he disposed of them, also selling his interest in the mill business. In the following winter, he in company with Lewis Ward, bought a pack-train of B.F. Dowell, and packed produce from the Willamette valley to the Southern Oregon mines.
In the winter of 1857 Castleman
sold his pack-train and bought a livery stable at Eugene, which he and
Ward owned until the summer of 1858. At that time t. Chase bought Ward's
interest in the business, after which Castleman and Chase carried on the
business until 1862, when they both went to Walla Walla and carried on
the same business until 1865. They then sold out their business, and Chase
returned to Eugene. In 1862 Castleman, leaving the business in charge of
his partner, went to the Salmon river mines, but returned in the fall and
moved his family to Walla Walla and engaged in photography. After the mines
were discovered at Boise, he and Mr. John Doval took a stock of goods from
Walla Walla to Placerville in the winter of 1863. Often during the trip
they traveled through seven feet of snow, and came near losing their lives.
In 1865 he sold out in Boise and returned to Walla Walla, where he again
carried on photography until 1867, when he moved with his family to Eugene.
Soon after this he returned East on a visit to his mother and family, his
having died in the meantime. While in the East he bought a large tract of land, and built a sawmill on it. But, circumstances not being as favorable as he had anticipated, he disposed of it and returned to Oregon, satisfied to remain, living one year at Eugene, one year at Tillamook, and about eight years on a farm in Yamhill county, which he sold, removing to Portland in 1878, where he has since resided.
Mr. Castleman has been quite an extensive speculator, and has always been willing to engage in any honorable enterprise. he is a public-spirited and generous man, and has done much to develop the country. He has been an extensive stock-dealer, and is now interested in a fine hop ranch, near Eugene. He has lived a busy and eventful life, and enjoys the confidence, honor and respect of all who know him.
Mr. Castleman has long been identified with the Indian War Veteran Association of the Pacific Northwest, and at present is the vice-grand commander of the grand encampment. During its sessions, or in the councils of the subordinate camp to which he belongs, he has been an ardent advocate of the publication of such a work as is now in the hands of the reader; and the interest manifested by him resulted in the formation of the company which has carried forward these volumes to completion, and in which he has been a member and one very active in the collection of data and historic matter.
He was married in 1856 to Mrs. I.J. Evans. Their union was blessed with five children, Euretta F., now the wife of J.A. Campbell, of Berkeley, California; Stephen F., deceased;; Mary E., who died in infancy; Anna B., now Mrs. W.H. Gaines, of Portland, Oregon; and William R., who is at present at home with his parents.
Mrs. I.J. Castleman was born December 28, 1834, in Stark county, Ohio. Her parents, B.F. and C.S. Davis, moved to Marshall county, Indiana, where they lived several years. In1847 they emigrated to Oregon and settled near Eugene. In 1850 Miss Davis was married to G.W. Evans, who died in 1853. They were blessed with two children, Frances E., now the wife of T. Patterson, and George W., who is now a resident of Yamhill county. Mrs. Evans was married to Philip F. Castleman March 18, 1856.
ISAAC CATHCART. - In the gentleman whose name heads this brief memoir, we have a leading and worthy citizen of Snohomish county. He is one of the men whose success in life has been mainly achieved in the county in which he now lives, by the exercise of economy, industry and business integrity, guided by intelligent financial ability. he is now in affluent circumstances, though twenty years ago he was a poor man. What he has came gradually through those years as the result of correct business calculations, and not by chance or the favorable turn of Fortune's wheel.
Mr. Cathcart was born in Fermanagh county, Ireland, in 1845, and is therefore in the prime of life, being now forty-three years of age. He is the son of Issac F. and Charlott (Bushfield) Cathcart. He resided in his birthplace until nineteen years of age. He then concluded to emigrate from that ill-fated Green Isle, and came via New York to Patrolia, Canada West, where he spent the following two years. He then came to Michigan, and for eighteen months found employment in the forest of that state. At the end of that period he concluded to seek his fortune in the Golden West. Coming to Missouri, he ascended the river of that name to Fort Benton, Montana, form whence he walked to Helena, and from the latter place via the same conveyance to Wallula Junction, Washington Territory, making the distance he had walked six hundred and forty miles. He immediately proceeded down the Columbia to Portland, Oregon, where he took passage on board the steamer Active for Port Townsend, where he arrived in September, 1868, his early possessions amounting on his arrival in the above place to the munificent sum of eleven dollars. After a short stay in Port Townsend, Mr. Cathcart came to Snohomish, and for four years foundem0loyment in the logging camps along the Snohomish river.
In 1873 he engaged in business in the latter city, and in that year built the well-known and popular Exchange Hotel. A few years later he erected the large two-story frame building known as Cathcart Opera House, the lower part of which he occupies as the leading general merchandise store in the city of Snohomish. The capital Mr. Cathcart possessed on arriving at Port Townsend has by his usual ability and sagacity been augmented until now he owns no less than 3,500 acres of valuable land in Snohomish county, together with a large amount of property in the city of Snohomish, besides his mercantile business. Mr. Cathcart is one of the best known loggers on the Snohomish river, and is also largely engaged in farming. In politics our subject is a strong and consistent Republican, and in the fall of 1882 was elected on that ticket county treasurer of Snohomish county, a position he held for four years.
In personal appearance Mr. Cathcart is a large, fine looking man, as his portrait which appears in this work would indicate. For such men as Mr. Cathcart is Washington indebted for her present prosperity and future success.
He was united in marriage in Seattle to Miss Julia J. Johns, a native of Ohio, August 8, 1876. They have a family of three children: Isaac C., Lizzie M., William and Amy (deceased).
HON. JOHN CATLIN. - Mr.
Catlin is of New England and Scotch stock. His father, Seth Catlin, was
born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and from there emigrated with his father
and an only sister to the State of Illinois, about the year 1812. His mother
came with her parents from Scotland to America when but twelve years of
age; and her father, James Ridpath, settled with his family in Randolph
county, Illinois, in 1818. His parents were married in the year 1831, and
located on a farm at Turkey Hill, St. Clair county, Illinois, where their
first child, John Catlin, the subject of this biography, was born on February
6, 1832. His father was a successful farmer of more than ordinary energy,
good judgment and intelligence, and represented the county of St. Clair
more than once in the
senate of Illinois. In the spring of 1848 he started with his wife and seven sons across the plains for Oregon, making the trip with ox-teams. After a long and tedious journey, they arrived at Philip Foster's, on the west side of the Cascade Mountains, on September 15th of the same year they left Illinois; and the same fall he located upon the claim afterwards taken by Edward Long, south of East Portland, where he remained one year, and then removed to what is now Cowlitz, Washington. Here John Catlin suffered the loss of his father in June, 1865, though his mother survived her husband many years.
Before coming to Oregon, John had received a common-school education in Illinois; and after his father located in Cowlitz county he entered the Willamette University at Salem, Oregon. In the year 1858, he was elected to the territorial legislature of Washington Territory, where he filled the position with the highest honor, and won respect from all his colleagues. In the fall of 1859, he returned to his native state after an absence of eleven years, where he at once began the study of law with Governor French. After one year's hard study there, he entered the law school at Cincinnati, Ohio, where he applied himself assidiously, and in due course of time graduated in his chosen profession.
Upon his return to the Pacific coast, he located at Portland, Oregon, and entered into the practice of law, in which city he has since resided, engaging in his chosen profession of law. As an attorney he has always stood at the head of the bar, and has enjoyed the reputation of being an honest man, and a close and abiding confidant of his clients. As a counselor-at-law, his interpretations and guidance have often proved valuable to young attorneys in piloting them through tangled and complicated cases. As an evidence of his personal popularity and the esteem in which he is held by the people, one and all, he was elected county judge on the Democratic ticket of Multnomah county, Oregon, by a large plurality, while the balance of the ticket was decidedly defeated. This position he at present fills with marked ability, both to the courts and the people.
The Judge is now in the afternoon of life; yet he is hearty, hale and well preserved both in mental and physical respects, for he has always been regular in his habits, and has strictly obeyed those immutable laws of nature which are conducive to health and great longevity. The judge married a daughter of Robert Henderson, of Yamhill county, Oregon, in the year 1866.
JOHN L. CAVINESS. - The name presented above is borne by one of the most exemplary citizens of Eastern Oregon, and a man who has sounded all the depths and shoals of pioneer life.
The family came from Indiana, settled for a time in Iowa, and came on to Oregon in 1852, spending a short time at Forest Grove, but soon locating in Linn county on a section Donation claim. In 1856-57 John L., now a young man of eighteen, began his career by driving cattle to California, and in the spring of the latter year to Eastern Oregon. While in the Walla Walla valley, he found employment as purchaser of horses from the Indians, receiving a hundred dollars per month, - better than splitting rails for his board on the Touchet, as he had done a few weeks after his arrival. In 1859 he made a successful trip with a drove of cattle to British Columbia, and followed this by freighting to Colville. Closing out his outfit to advantage, he tried his fortune in the Salmon river mines. In 1862 he hazarded six thousand dollars in a team (a prairie schooner) and goods, and made a very profitable expedition to the mines again, selling oats for as much as a dollar a pound. He cleared ten thousand dollars on the trip, and repeated it twice. Selling out once more he took up the business of ferrying across Salmon river at Warner Diggings, paying fifteen dollars for a skiff and taking in three thousand dollars in ferriage in a short time. These figures seem fabulous, but, to a miner just on the eve of making his fortune, five or ten dollars seemed nothing for him to give for getting across the dangerous river that lay between him and his strike.
Returning to the cattle herds, Mr. Caviness bought up a drove of beef animals, and sold beef in the mines at thirty and fifty cents a pound. After prospecting at Bannack, and trading at Walla Walla, the autumn of 1863 found him in the Blue Mountains at Auburn, where there was a large mining camp. Shortly after, finding his old partner, John Bryant, at Walla Walla, he laid in a stock of provisions and took up the claim at Grande Ronde, on which he had been having an eye for some time. It was the location of Island City; and the squatter then there had to be bought off. Getting some lumber for sixty dollars a thousand, Mr. Caviness put up the house which still stands and serves as his homestead. To the original purchase of two hundred and forty acres he soon added one hundred and twenty, and has more recently increased it by seven hundred and twenty, all in the valley. In 1872, in partnership with Mr. Darling, he built the Island City Flouring Mills, which he sold out in 1884. He is still living, however, at the old place prosperous and contented.
He is married and has five children, and is a straight Republican in politics.
HON. STEPHEN FOWLER CHADWICK. - No man in the history of the state of Oregon has held more prominent positions, or done more for the welfare of the country, than the subject of this sketch. He was born in Connecticut on the 25th of December, 1825, and received his education in his native state. After becoming proficient in other branches, he read law in the offices of Stoples & Goddard and Edward E. and H.B. Cowles, Wall street, New York City. He was admitted to the bar in New York on the 30th of May, 1850. On March 13th of the following year he sailed for Oregon, where he arrived April 21st of the same year.
He settled at Umpqua, now Douglas
county, where he practiced law; and while Oregon was yet a territory he
was assistant United States district attorney for the Southern district,
and served for a time as prosecuting attorney by order of the court. He
was a member of the constitutional convention
from Douglas county, and was elected judge of that county, the first under the state constitution. When General McClellan was candidate for President in 1864, he was an elector on the presidential ticket, and again in 1868 carried to the electoral college at Washington, District of Columbia, the electoral vote of Oregon for Horatio Seymour. He was elected secretary of state of Oregon in 1870, was re-elected to the office in 1874; and, on Governor Grover being chosen United States senator in1877, Stephen Fowler Chadwick was elected governor of Oregon.
He took official interest in the Indian war of 1877 in Idaho and on the borders of Oregon, and, taking the field in the war of 1878, in Eastern Oregon, aided in punishing the Indians and restoring peace, and is now a member of the Society of Indian War Veterans of Roseburg. He delivered a fine address at the laying of the corner-stone of the state capital building in Salem, and also delivered the first regular pioneer address after the permanent organization of pioneers. Indeed, in all public enterprises we find him foremost in lending his aid with encouraging words and helping hands. He also suggested the time of the annual meeting of pioneers to be on June 15th, the date of the ending of the treaty of joint occupation of the territory of Oregon between the United States and great Britain in 1878.
At the council of war in1878, after peace was restored, he, as governor of Oregon, demanded the surrender of all Indians who had engaged in murdering citizens and making war upon settlers, in order that they should be tried and punished by the authorities of the state, instead of by military law, which had heretofore been the practice. This was the first time this demand had been acceded to, and was done to prevent a disturbance between the United States military and state authorities. All chiefs were taken prisoners and held as hostages until the guilty Indians were captured.
Mr. Chadwick was grand master of Masons in Oregon, and has been for over twenty consecutive years chairman of the committee on foreign correspondence of the grand lodge of Masons of Oregon.
MARTIN L. CHAMBERLIN. - This representative of the generation of young men born, or for the most part educated and developed, in our state, who are taking such a controlling part in her present rapid development, is the son of the well-known Joseph Chamberlin, who came to this coast in 1855, as missionary to the Indians, and in this capacity was of essential service to General Joel Palmer in getting the late hostile and still sullen and broken-spirited Indians upon the Grande Ronde Reservation.
Martin, our subject, was born at Dryden, La Peer county, Michigan, May 17, 1846, and, being the only son in a large family, was almost the chief mainstay of his excellent and greatly beloved mother while the father was laboring in Oregon. The responsibilities thus thrown upon him in his youth he discharged with conscientious fidelity and an ability beyond his years.
By the arrangement of the father, the family came out to Oregon in 1857, making this state their first home at the reservation, and enjoying in many ways the half wild and half military life at old Fort Yamhill, in one of the most beautiful of the little valleys of Western Oregon. They here formed the acquaintance of General Phil Sheridan, then stationed at the fort as commander, making of him an esteemed friend.
Young Chamberlin was deprived of the early educational advantages which his parents were able to afford their younger children, but from this very fact attained that independence of thought and action, and acquired that habit of developing from meager resources all that may be derived in the way of information or ideas, and that peculiar steadfastness of purpose and steadiness of aim which distinguish the truly self-made man.
In 1862 he removed with his father's family to Marion county, and five years later took up with them his residence at Salem, and has resided continuously at the capital as one of its leading men. Having filled acceptably a number of minor offices, he was elected in 1880 as clerk of Marion county, and in this responsible position for two terms proved his ability to assume also even higher trusts. In 1886 he was elected state senator for Marion county, and discharged the duties thus laid upon him with dignity and ability, and to the great satisfaction of his constituents. He has been a Republican since his first formation of political opinions, and takes deep interest in public causes.
His business aggregates a large volume, which he transacts with his usual integrity and fidelity, and conducts at Salem large transfers in real estate. He was married in1885 to Miss Rose Weller, and has a happy home with bright prospects for the future.
A.H. CHAMBERS. - This wealthy and influential resident of Olympia is a native of Washington Territory, and a son of one of the earliest pioneers, his parents having crossed the plains to Oregon in 1844. Andsworth was born near Olympia, at Chambers Prairie, June 25, 1851. He began his career at the early age of twelve as a herder of stock, and continued in this business until nineteen years of age, acquiring thereby a knowledge of life and of practical affairs which has been of great value. At the above age, in partnership with his father, he successfully established a butcher business at Olympia, and in 1881 enlarged it by the purchase of his father's interest, conducting it himself for the following eight years. In the spring of 1889, he disposed of his retail business, and now confines himself to stock-raising and the wholesale butcher business. In 1888 he erected the beautiful building which bears his name, a view of which, together with his own portrait, appears in this work.
Although beginning with small
means, Mr. Chambers early mastered the art of attending to his business
with close attention, and has thereby gained a competency, never, however,
resorting to miserly, avaricious methods, nor relying upon fortune, nor
taking advantage of his fellow-man. There is no more enterprising citizen
in the capital city, nor indeed in the state, than A.H. Chambers; and every
enterprise which tends to public improvement or benefit finds in him a
warm supporter. As an illustration of his extensive business relations,
mention that he has a controlling interest in the Gas and Electric Light Works, and is also a director of the First National Bank, and is one of the incorporators and the business manager of the hotel company now erecting the magnificent Hotel Olympia. As an illustration of his public spirit, we may cite his gift of a thousand dollars for the establishment of a hospital of the Sisters of Charity in that city. He has ever felt a deep interest in the welfare of the capital, and since reaching his majority has been a member of the city council, and has held the office of mayor of the city for three successive terms, declining further nomination. He was united in marriage in Olympia May 20, 1878, to Miss Mary Connolly. They have three daughters.
WM. M. CHANDLER. - It is a lamentable fact that quite a large percentage of the young men born in Oregon within the last thirty years have not taken advantage of the opportunities by which their early life has been surrounded. The defects of education or character have made them idlers, or have caused them to waste in dissipation or distraction the time which might have been employed in fitting themselves for our great future. Mr. Chandler, of whom we present a portrait in this history, is not one of these. He belongs to that other class which is not small, of Oregonians born, who have not despised their birthright. Polk county was the place of his nativity, and the time 1858. Here he spent his life until he was nineteen, working hard and gaining what education he could from the public schools. At that age he went forth into the world for himself. He sought a place in the Walla Walla country, and found work there on a farm, and also in teaching school. He was naturally a studious and thoughtful man; and what he thus imbibed afforded him more mental pabulum and stimulus than it might have done for others. Working with his hands four years longer, he found his way to Sprague in1882, entering into the land and insurance business with W.M. Baxtell, In the fall of the same year his partner retired, leaving him with the whole management. He has been successful.
In April, 1888, he purchased the Sprague Sentinel; and in the June following he became the owner of the Sprague Journal, consolidating the two papers as the Sprague Mail, which has since been under his management and editorial charge.
In public affairs also he has taken a hand, having by his individual efforts secured the organization of a school district in Sprague, in 1884, acting as clerk of the district until April 1885. He was first treasurer of the city, and served also a second term. He acted as agent for Wells, Fargo & Co's express from August, 1883 to July, 1886, when it withdrew from the Northern Pacific line. He was elected probate judge of Lincoln county in 1886, and served until March 4, 1889. He is a member of the board of trade.
His wife, to whom he was married in 1883, is a daughter of a pioneer merchant of Sprague, Edwin Dane. She is a lady well calculated to be his companion in the earnest business of outside life, and in the substantial treasures of home. They have two children, a daughter and a son.
DANIEL CHAPLIN. - The subject of this sketch was born in Niagara county, New York, in 1823. He was educated in his native place, and became a surveyor, removing to Michigan. Honest, upright and much respected, he was one of those men of broad ideas and indefatigable energy who create prosperity for any community in which they settle. Having heard much of Oregon, its boundless resources and delightful climate, he crossed the plains in 1854, settling near Champoeg in Marion county. From there he moved to where Sheridan, in Yamhill county, now stands, and thence to Dayton, Yamhill county. In the spring of 1862, he located in La Grande, Union county, and built the first house in that place.
Through his efforts, he succeeded in having the land-office for Eastern Oregon located there, and for fifteen consecutive years held the position of receiver of the land-office, when he resigned on account of the accumulation of other business on his hands. The arduous duties of this office were conducted by him with admirable promptness and honesty; and the settlers who came to transact business with the office were always treated with great consideration. In1864 he was elected to the legislature of Oregon, and gave entire satisfaction to his constituents. In 1865 he, in conjunction with Green Arnold, established the present water system of La Grande, and laid the first water pipes. He was the father of La Grande, was a very generous man, and always responded with a liberal hand to every call of charity, especially to the churches. He gave five acres upon which to build the Blue Mountain University, and also five hundred dollars toward the construction of the building, and also land to build a number of churches upon.
After leaving the land-office, he became deeply interested in railroad matters; and his efforts alone were the means of locating at this point the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company's machine shop, round house and other buildings, and of making this station the end of a division, for which he gave to the railroad company one hundred acres of land, which were estimated in value, by the adjuster of the company, at sixty-five thousand dollars, as will show by their books. He was the only person who have anything towards securing to this place the benefits arising from railroad communication; and, had it not been for him, this town would never have attained the prominence it now possesses. He was always a great worker for the interests of La Grande, and labored with unabated zeal for its welfare and advancement; and, in his death, La Grande lost one of its most useful, generous and respected citizens. His death occurred on the 9th day of December, 1887.
WILLIAM CHAPMAN. - The immigration of 1847 was large, and without accident, with the exception of those unfortunate members of it who remained at Doctor Whitman's until the massacre. Mr. Chapman belonged to the arrivals of that year, and was closely connected with the sufferers of savage fury.
He was born in Schuyler county,
New York, in 1824, moving to the West in 1843. In 1847 he left
Havana, New York, in company with John and Ronald Crawford, traveling with them to Independence, where they separated. There he joined John Wright, traveling with him to the Kaw river, where they joined the company of John Bewley. The train was delayed by high water on the Kansas; and it was the third of June before the company was well under way, - the latest of the season. However, they overtook the Oskaloosa train, with seventy-five wagons, under Captain Smith, and with their own twenty-five made a respectable cavalcade.
Some distance out they met with a singular adventure, which will sound like a mythical tale to the future generations. Camp had been made just at sunset, when one of those innumerable herds of buffalo, which once thundered over the plains, began to cross on their front. Fearful that the host of moving animals would overwhelm the camp, they set a strong guard, which also surrounded the cattle, lest they should be drawn off in the press. The buffalo herds were all night in passing; and the guards were compelled at times to give back. In the morning it was found that forty yoke of oxen had been swept away. This disabled a part of the train. Some, undaunted, put cows in the place of the missing oxen. One who had lost all followed the buffalo herd many miles, hoping that his animals had tired and dropped behind; but he did not find a solitary hoof. In this dilemma, those who had animals divided with those who had not; so that none were compelled to return.
One of the pleasantest men whom they met on the plains was Vasca, near Laramie, a mountain man of forty years standing and partner of Bridger. He used to shoot game, and say casually, "When you get to so and so, look about so far from the road and you will find an antelope." Though virtually supplying the train with meat, he took no pay whatever.
Arriving at the Umatilla, a détour was made for provisions to Doctor Whitman's; and Miss Esther Bewley and her brother Crockett remained there, the former being sick, and the Doctor desiring her to teach in the Mission school as soon as she should recover. Mr. Chapman came on to the Willamette, effecting the journey from The Dalles by a canoe to Switzer's landing, whence he walked to Oregon City, meeting with favors on the way from J.M. Stevens. For his first work at the city, he was paid in an order upon Abernethy & Co., but upon presenting this at the store found that they had nothing in stock except salt, flints and whetstones. Being unable to make use of these commodities, he gave his order to a friend Wallace, and proceeded up the valley. At Salem he met John Courtney, one of those good-hearted men so abundant in Oregon long ago, who told him that he had plenty of flour in his cabin by the Calapooia, and that deer were abundant, and that he had better bring his rifle and stop with him over winter. Chapman, being in somewhat straightened circumstances, accepted the invitation, but was not long suffered to remain there. Another use was need for his rifle. The Whitman massacre had taken place; and he was called away to fight the Indians.
From East Portland, in Captain Maxon's company, under Colonel Gilliam, he went to The Dalles and participated in the campaign on the Des Chutes. Before going to Umatilla, the Colonel found it necessary to clear the infected region between. Proceeding up the east bank of the Des Chutes river, the troops met and drove the Indians before them, but found them in force once more at the next crossing. To pass the river, it was necessary to move on a narrow ledge exposed the entire distance to the fire of the savages. A flank movement was therefore made, a storming party taking the Indians from behind and dislodging them. Craig, the guide, who with every seventh man had stayed behind with the horses, had a fat cayuse pony killed and roasted for the boys on their return; and the chase was resumed the next day, the Indians finally being scattered in the mountains. Coming back to The Dalles, from whence they had been away for four days, they found supplies, and went on up the Columbia, making camp at the Wells Springs.
Striking out at this point for Whitman Station, they had passed no more than a dozen miles on the plateau before they found themselves surrounded by a large number of savages in their war paint. A line of battle was formed, and the Indians driven from their stand. This was a sharp but desultory fight, lasting from morning until night. Eleven of the Whites were wounded, and a number of the Cayuse Indians slain, the head chief, War Eagle, the great medicine man, being among the number. His body lay all day on the field. The Indians fell back and left their horses, and were skulking in the sage-brush. The Whites followed the same tactics; and there was a random, irregular fire, every man shooting wherever he saw an enemy, and often popping away into empty bunches of sage. No order of battle was preserved; and frequently one from either side found himself alone in the midst of enemies. As night came on, the warriors on both sides crept back to their camps. and Craig, who had been living with the Nez Perce, crept through the lines to their camp. These Indians, who were on the ground, were neutral, or, if anything, favorable to the Whites. Craig found his brother-in-law, an Indian chief, and arranging a truce, made an agreement with the Nez Perces to proceed to Whitman Station. The march was thenceforth in company with these Indians, who went side by side as escort. On the Umatilla the two parties camped near each other; but before the Whites arose in the morning the Nez Perces had disappeared.
Turning off now to Fort Walla
Walla for supplies, the Americans found McBean, who was in charge unwilling
to furnish ammunition. Colonel Gilliam assured him that he had but little
powder and shot left, but what little he had might be used in order to
get more. McBean then answered; "here am I, and there is the door to the
magazine. You can help yourselves; that is all that I can do for you."
Helping themselves accordingly, the volunteers set out for Whitman Station.
They halted there for three weeks, while the peace commissioners were arranging
for the surrender of the murderers, and while some of the Indians were
busy running off their horses. The final pursuit of the Cayuses to Idaho
belongs rather to the main history, to which we refer the reader.
Returning to the Willamette valley, Mr. Chapman found employment on Howell's Prairie with old Mr. Simmons; and, with the wheat he thus secured as pay for his labor, he purchased an outfit to go to California to the gold gulches. Returning by water in 1849, he was married to Miss Esther Bewley, and in1852 went to Yamhill county, taking up his Donation claim near Sheridan, where he has since remained, and has made of it one of those remarkably good farms of old Yamhill with crops that never fail. During the last three years his sons have had the management of the place.
WILLIAM H. CHAPMAN. - Upon entering this city and examining the business houses, one will not only note the handsome buildings devoted to the drug business of Allen & Chapman, but be deeply impressed with, and almost astonished at, the indications of the immense business of this firm, which speaks eloquently of the large and growing community with whom they do business, and proves the frequent assertions which one hears that they conduct the largest trade in heir line in Yakima county. We give a view of the interior of their store; and, to those who may think that North Yakima is a sort of an Indian trading post on the frontier, this will be a revelation, and speak more than many pages.
The junior member of this firm, who is the subject of this sketch, was born in New York City in 1855. His father, William Chapman, who now resides at Columbus, Washington, is of English birth, and is a clergyman of the Second Adventist denomination. he gave his children good advantages, and by reason of his pastoral labors in many localities greatly diversified their early lives, not only by changes of scene, but with the culture which comes from much observation. The years from 1865 to 1877 were spent in Iowa. In the latter year the family crossed the mountains by rail to Washington; and William H. went to Klikitat county in search of a location. Being pleased with Goldendale, he here made his home for five years, most of the time being druggist for B.F. Saylor. In 1884 he changed his location to Yakima, forming a partnership with H.H. Allen, who had now become his father-in-law. A year later, they moved to the new town, and in 1887 erected their present fine and commodious building.
It was in 1882 that Mr. Chapman was married to Miss Clara, the daughter of his present partner. Her death in 1888 was an irreparable loss to her husband, his one consolation being the daughter Hazel G. whom she left.
In a public capacity, Mr. Chapman has ever been able and faithful, having served three years as city councilman, and being master of the Yakima Masonic Lodge. He is a Republican.
COL. W.W. CHAPMAN. - It has frequently been remarked, that while many men of great fame, and a deservedly wide reputation, cannot lay their finger upon a single public act that they originated, others whose names are less known can county by the score the progeny of their brains, now alive and active in the affairs of the world. Of the latter class is Colonel Chapman of Oregon. There are few men in America, even among those esteemed great, who have originated and carried to completion a greater number of particular acts of large scope and general beneficence. Many whose names appear constantly in current literature can point to no policy or institutions established by themselves, while he has been the projector or formulator of measures which have become established from the Atlantic to the Pacific, having launched them in complete form upon the sea of political or judicial activities. This is a broad statement, but is fully borne out by an investigation of the facts.
The Colonel is a man who works unostentatiously, relies little upon public enthusiasm, and never resorts to the noisy methods of the demagogue. He prefers to bring together forces already in operation, and to change their current not so much by agitation, or even by persuasion of public men, as by the inevitable movement of human tendencies. On account of this manner of working, what he performs may be accomplished before the public know anything of it; and his name may scarcely appear. While thus deep, it scarcely need be said of him that he has never reached his ends by the improper use of money, or by any method approaching chicanery. He has ever been perfectly honorable, and although able to keep his own counsel like the Sphinx, relies at the last upon the simple justice and rights of the case. His ability lies in arranging matters so that they will come to a head just at the right capacity for reading men's motives, and measuring their power, gives him ample time to prepare work for them to do, and shape matters so that they will naturally fall in with his plans.
The story of his life is chiefly the enumeration and record of his public endeavors, since he has lived almost wholly in the activities of the community or state where he has resided, and has followed principally public movements, not only not giving attention to the accumulation of a private fortune, but even giving away, for the sake of public increase, property that now in its individual segments is worth a number of fortunes.
As some guide to the reader's
thoughts, let us here enumerate the famous acts in which Colonel Chapman
has taken a prominent or controlling part. Beginning with his life in Iowa,
we find the following: The settling of the boundary between that then territory
and Missouri; changing the fight of state land from internal improvement
to the use of public schools, - a policy which has been copied into every
state constitution since; framing the provision in the Iowa constitution
for the election rather than the appointment of judges, - a policy which
has become almost universal in the United States; and the first suggestion
of a standing pre-emption law for the relief of settlers. In Oregon we
find that it was due to him as at least one among three, and as the originative
mind of the three, that Portland became the metropolis of the Pacific Northwest;
that the Oregon & California Railroad was determined by him to become
a road for Oregon as well as for California, ad to be above the possibility
of extortion or discrimination; and
that he made it possible for Portland to have transcontinental railroad communication. With these as guiding points, let us now proceed with the plain story of his life, and make good these broad statements, not with any purpose of lauding a man who cares but little for, and is in little need of, praise, but with the simple aim of tracing these public acts of great weight and moment to their source.
William Williams Chapman was born at Clarkesburg, Virginia, August 11,1808. At he age of fourteen he suffered the death of his father, and was thenceforward thrown chiefly upon his own resources, although assisted to some extent by a kind brother and faithful mother. After obtaining what information and mental discipline was to be gotten at the public school, he secured a position in the office of the clerk of the court of which the eminent jurist Henry St. George Tucker was chancellor. In these endeavors at self-improvement, he was much encouraged and indeed assisted by a kind lady, Mrs. Schon, mother of the eminent Methodist minister of that name, who, noticing his studious habits, directed the servants to keep well warmed and lighted the room that he occupied. He also was given free access to the libraries of the noted members of the bar in that city.
Receiving in due time, from Judge Lewis Summers, Daniel Smith and Chancellor Tucker, his license to practice, he at once took up his residence at Middleburn, Tyler county, Virginia. The spring following, 1832, he was married to Margaret F., daughter of Colonel Arthur Inghram, a farmer of means, and also a leading gentleman and public man, who served twenty years in the legislature of the Old dominion, and afterwards removed to Illinois, but made his last home in Iowa, where he died.
In the autumn of 1833, Mr. Chapman went to McComb, McDonough county, Illinois, and in the spring of 1835 moved out to Burlington, in the "Black Hawk Purchase," now a part of Iowa. Those were early times for even the Mississippi states; and this region was then reckoned as a part of Wisconsin, and was attached to the territory of Michigan. It may be inferred that Mr. Chapman was a man of mark, with a penchant for forming new society, or he would never have been in that new country with his large legal acquirements. This presumption is confirmed by the fact that we find him the next year appointed prosecuting attorney by John S. Horner, acting Governor of Michigan. In 1836 he was appointed by President Jackson United States Attorney for the territory of Wisconsin, established upon the admission of Michigan as a state. The most exciting litigation of the time was with reference to "jumping" land claims. The settlers had a court of their own before which jumpers were tried, and by it summarily ejected from their hold, if found guilty. Mr. Chapman proved to be on the side of the settlers, defending a body of them before the court. Military officers and men, including General, afterwards President Taylor, and Jefferson Davis, his son-in-law, used in those days to come around sometimes to remove "squatters," as the settlers were contemptuously called. That was before the present land laws; and the public domain was opened to legal settlement only as thrown open by proclamation of the President, who sometimes proceeded upon the idea that new land should not be settled up until all the "offered" land was occupied; while the settlers preferred to live and take land where they pleased. On account of his friendship, the Iowa settlers were willing soon after to and did send Mr. Chapman as delegate tot he United States Congress.
In 1836 he removed to Dubuque, and in 1837 removed back to the neighborhood of Burlington. In 1838 Iowa was set apart as an independent territory, through the efforts of G.W. Jones, delegate from Wisconsin; and, upon the election held September 10th, Mr. Chapman was found to be successful over three other candidates. In Congress he became very active, the first bill prepared by him being for the opening of a military road from Dubuque through Iowa City to the southern boundary of the state, for another to run from Burlington west, and for still another to run east and terminate at De Hague, a place in Illinois. It was essential to get this road to the latter place in order to cross the extensive low bottom lands on the east or Illinois side of the Mississippi river, which were flooded with water during the summer freshet. On account of the opposition of Van Buren to internal improvement in the states, Chapman omitted to mention in his bill that De Hague was in Illinois; and the President, not being aware of this fact, signed the bill contrary to his own policy of non-interstate improvement.
In 1836, at an election in Dubuque county, Wisconsin Territory, now a part of Iowa, W.W. Chapman, then twenty-six years of age, was elected colonel of the militia by a most flattering majority, which was particularly gratifying to the young man from the fact that his acquaintances had made him believe that they were all voting against him, some telling him that he was too young and inexperienced and he overhearing others saying, "It won't do, he is too young," etc.; but when the votes were counted, and he found that he had received the almost unanimous support of the electors of his township, he too felt able to enjoy the joke. His commission as colonel, issued December 2, 1836, is signed by "H. Dodge, Governor of Wisconsin Territory," and attested by J.P. Horner, secretary of that territory. Colonel Chapman qualified December 30th of the same year, by taking the oath of office before Warner Lewis, "a justice of the peace in and for Dubuque county." The Colonel still preserves this commission and, among others, his commission as United States attorney for the same territory, signed by the great Andrew Jackson.
In the matter of the boundary,
the act creating Iowa as a territory fixed the northern boundary of Missouri
as the southern boundary of Iowa. One point determining this line was the
Des Moines rapids. Missouri, anxious to acquire a large tract to the north,
claimed that these rapids were in the Des Moines river, while Iowa claimed
that the rapids meant were those in the Mississippi river, above the mouth
of the Des Moines, bringing the line some
twenty or thirty miles farther south. Governor Lucas of Iowa; advising with Colonel Chapman, promptly occupied the disputed territory with militia, in order that Missouri might not be first on the ground, as it would be difficult to oust a state from her actual holding, while a territory might be easily cut up. Missouri hastened to send up her troops, but found the field already in possession of Iowa; and Chapman rode out and advised a stay of all proceedings, and that the contestants should await the action of Congress and of the Supreme Court; whom he would soon visit. Missouri felt reasonably confident, as she had Benton and Linn in the Senate and three able men in the House at Washington, while Iowa had but one unknown delegate. But when the tug of war before Congress came, Chapman was able to present a mass of testimony to the House, from the writings of French missionaries and others, showing that the Des Moines rapids were in the Mississippi river. Seeing the case going against them, the Missourians hastened to get a bill into the Senate in their favor; and Doctor Linn was pushing this measure with all the vim of his great abilities. It was then, as it is still, unparliamentary for a member of one House to interpose in the proceedings of the other; but Chapman, although then a young man of about thirty, felt no hesitancy in honoring this custom in the breach, and sent a written communication to the Senate, protesting against the action of Senator Linn in bringing forward the question of boundary in a body where Iowa had no representative, and referred them to the fact that this question was then pending in the House. As a result of this communication, action in the Senate was stayed. While the decision was still in suspense, private overtures were made from the Missouri members to persuade the Iowa delegate to unloose his grip and Benton proposed to Chapman, if he would yield, to grant great favors and an early admission of Iowa into the union. But in reply to all of this Mr. Chapman could only say that he was intrusted by the people of Iowa to hold their line as claimed by them; and this eventually prevailed.
As to his suggestions with reference to a permanent pre-emption law, it is to be remembered that in the former times there was no regular or legal way for the settler to acquire public land wherever he might choose in the United States territory; and it was customary for Congress to pass a bill from time to time granting existing settlers the right to pre-empt the lands which they might have occupied. This was a cumbrous and in many cases a dilatory way of granting title to settlers; and it was while a bill to grant a special pre-emption was before Congress that Colonel Chapman proposed a standing law providing for pre-emption, to be a permanent arrangement for prospective as well as actual settlers. The idea was novel, and met with some ridicule, but has now become so much a part of the land policy of the government that it seems as if it must be almost as old as the statute-book itself.
In 1844 Colonel Chapman was chosen a member of the state convention to prepare a constitution for Iowa, and originated the measure to transfer, in the face of the act of Congress, the grant of five hundred thousand acres of land to the state for internal improvements for the use of schools. Such a proposition was then unheard of, but has become the policy since followed by all the new states. He also proposed the measure providing for the election of judges, which when then wholly an innovation; and, although there has been much question of its wisdom, it is a policy that has extended wholly over the West, and to the East in many instances. Colonel Chapman is himself a firm believer in the usefulness of the plan; for, while the judges are thus more subject to the entanglements of politics, they are also more immediately responsible to the people, and are removed from executive or legislative patronage.
Although having accomplished so much for the young State of Iowa, and having become so well known among her citizens, with a large future opened to his enterprise and ambition, he was led by a spirit of adventure, and perhaps even more by the underfeeling that his greatest strength in establishing and formulating principles for future states, to seek a new field where political and business forces were yet in embryo, and determined upon Oregon as the most promising field for his endeavor. The choice has been most fully justified by the result.
On or about the 4th of May, 1847, from Oskaloosa, Mahaska county, Iowa, Colonel Chapman and family set out for their journey across the plains to Oregon. The family consisted of himself, his wife and seven children, five boys and two girls, - Sarah Eveline, thirteen years old; Thomas, eleven years old; Arthur I., nine years old; James grimes, seven years old; William Warner, five years old; Mary Catherine, three years old; and Houston I., seven days old. Their mode of conveyance was by two good ox-teams and wagons, one being a family wagon and one for provisions, which also served a as sleeping-place for two or three of the boys. The family wagon was conveniently arranged, having a long body with a jut-over on each side, to which the boys for the cover were attached, and upon which springy boards were placed to serve as a support for the bed in which Mrs. Chapman and the babe were accommodated. A neighbor emigrant lady, looking upon the baby, exclaimed, "Why, Mrs. Chapman, do you expect that little one will ever get to Oregon?" To this Mrs. Chapman, pressing the boy to her bosom, replied: "Yes. If I get there, it will."
In arranging for emigrating across
the plains, - an unbroken Indian country from the Missouri river to the
pacific Ocean, - the thought of danger from Indians was most prominent
before entering their country, hence the large trains and consequently
increased bands of stock. Before starting from the Des Moines river in
Iowa, the number of wagons and teams of the emigrant train, including the
Chapman family, had reached nearly one hundred, and had become such an
obstacle to travel that the emigration was about a month in crossing a
corner of Missouri to St. Joseph. It was customary, when about to launch
onto the plains, to conduct an investigation so as to ascertain who were,
and who were not, reasonably prepared for the journey, so that there should
be no imposition of unnecessary burthen upon the company. Upon this occasion
there was a man in the train who, with little more than himself and wife, had a splendid ox-team, indeed, the finest in the company or anywhere upon the route. This man objected to many as unprepared for the journey, saying that every man must help himself and nobody else, as he would do. Notwithstanding this man's assertions, all were permitted to enter upon the journey. There was also another rule observed in traveling, - that he who traveled in front to-day must go behind to-morrow. The man with the good oxen kept half of this law; - he went in front all the time, always joining the train in time for camp.
From St. Joe the large train moved slowly on for a short time, when it was found that the number of wagons and stock so delayed their movements that it was absolutely necessary to effect a division, and to separate the great train into small companies. This being accomplished, the several parties moved on rather more rapidly, with the well-pr3epared independent man still in the lead. As the number of emigrants diminished, the fear of Indians seemed also to grow less; and the company moved out earlier in the morning and proceeded with greater rapidity, with the independent man always ahead, to the annoyance of the whole party. After some days, the fear of Indians seemed to have vanished, although prudence required proper guards against thieving Indians, as was evidence by the great care which an esteemed and prudent lady took of her mare and colt. having tied a rope to the mare's neck, she carried the end of the rope into the covered wagon and made it fast to her garments. Having put down the wagon cover and lighted a candle, she sat late knitting and complacently watching the rope end, when, some disturbance arising outside, she drew upon her cord; and what does the reader suppose she drew into the wagon About two feet of rope. The Indians had cut the rope, and with the mare and colt silently stolen away.
While yet early in the period of the journey, another division took place, still further reducing the numbers of the respective parties. This time Mr. Frederick moved out; and Colonel Chapman, the Starrs and Belknaps and others followed after, but always with the man of independence in the lead. Everything moved on smoothly for days, until one beautiful afternoon on the Platte, the sun shining brightly and the train moving steadily forward, all at once one wagon came to a halt; and soon the whole train halted, fearing that an accident had happened. The truth was soon ascertained to be that the lady who had made the anxious inquiry of Mrs. Chapman had just presented her husband with a bright, young baby, and that mother and baby were doing well, the mother in the full belief that if she got to Oregon the babe would get there too; and so they all did.
At the crossing of Green river
one small family had a narrow escape from drowning. The gentleman with
the good team was of course in advance, caring nothing for those behind.
The train reached across the river, which was high; and there was a deep
pool immediately below the crossing. An old man and his wife occupied a
wagon having two yoke of oxen. About midway of the river, something frightened
the lead oxen; and they turned short around upon the upper side of the
tongue cattle ,and were likely to turn oxen, wagon and occupants over into
the boiling flood. Colonel Chapman had a yoke of leaders which he often
through the rivers, and, seeing the danger, jumped onto the near one, threw
the chain across their necks, reached the unruly team, hitched onto them,
and brought oxen, wagon, and occupants safely to shore. The gentleman often
repeated an account of the circumstances which led to his perilous conditions,
describing the situation, and always closing with the words, "And there
was Polly; and she couldn't swim a lick!"
The emigration pressed forward until they reached a trapper living upon the present site of Pocatello. Here they met the noted Jack Harris, who represented that the southern route was preferable on account of grass and water, and that there was less danger from the Indians. He instructed the company always to keep the Indians at a distance, and allow of no close friendship, as they would take advantage of it. The company consented to take the southern route. On the head of Mary's or Humboldt river they suffered an attack upon the cattle by the Indians; but nothing serious resulted.
Between what is now Winnemucca and Goose Lake is a piece of very rocky road. Here the man with the good team was as usual considerably ahead, and going pretty fast, when suddenly down came his wagon in the road. The rapid driving over the rocks had broken off the spindle. He sat upon the corner of his wagon presenting the most despondent appearance, while the train came up within a few minutes, and, instead of stopping, passed around without a word being uttered. Immediately the road led the train over into a deep hollow out of sight of the man. He thought he was left in the boundless wilderness, a prey to wild beasts or more savage Indians, - a fate his selfishness richly deserved. But, under the directions of the good leader, all stopped. Mr. Frederick, being a mechanic, now took two or three other good men and went back and brought the independent man and his wagon into camp. What does the reader suppose were this man's thoughts when the train passed on out of sight? Some idea may be formed from what occurred afterwards. It was a practice with emigrants, when a wagon or any attachments were abandoned, for each to select a part that might become useful in an emergency; and in pursuance of this economy the leader, Mr. Frederick, had hung under his wagon a piece of an axletree that just suited in this case, and with which he mended and repaired the broken piece. This being done the train moved on, with the man of independence in the rear for the rest of the day. For the remainder of the journey no man was more obedient to the rules of travel, or more ready to lend a helping hand, than this man who cut such an unfavorable figure at the outset. Those whom the afflicted man at first took to be as priests and Levites, passing by on the other side, nevertheless returned as good Samaritans and made him whole, and sent him on his way rejoicing.
About the first of November the
just below the narrows of Rogue river, at the head of a small prairie. A great many Indians came in and were quite friendly. In the morning the company had about them crowds of Indians, men, women, and children. The emigrants were yoking up their teams near to their fires and cooking utensils. An Indian came along by the spot where a man was yoking up,; and near him was a skillet containing some bread. His request for bread being refused the Indian kicked the skillet over; and the man struck the Indian with his ox-bow, and straightway there was mischief afoot. The Indian warriors gathered in a crowd of fifty or sixty, with bows and arrows threatening to shoot. The Indian women and children disappeared; while it was all the old chief could do to prevent at attack at once. Emigrants were yoking up with guns on their shoulders; but the leader, Mr. Frederick, got onto his horse and rode over into the crowd of Indians; when the Indians took his horse by the bridle, compelling him to dismount. By signs, Mr. Frederick explained that the Whites wanted to be friendly, and were going to a far country. This pacified the Indians, and peace offerings were exchanged. Who can tell of a braver act than Frederick's? After this thrilling incident, the company moved on; and the chief took Mr. Frederick down to his fish trap, and as a token of friendship gave him a salmon. He also appointed four Indians to accompany the train to the boundary between the Rogue river and Umpqua Indians. In addition, the first night after the trouble, he went into the mountains and killed deer and gave them to the emigrants. The four Indians accompanied the train, and often picked grapes and gave them to the travelers.
Arriving at the summit between Rogue river and Umpqua river, which was the boundary between the two nations, the four guards bade the emigrants a friendly good-by and started back; and the company moved on without any occurrence of note until they reached the crossing of the Umpqua. Here they found the river too high to ford with wagons; and Indians with two canoes were secured to ferry them over. This was done by unloading and standing each wagon lengthwise in the two canoes. The landing was opposite a high bank; and the vehicles had to be hauled up with teams. When but two wagons remained to be crossed, a wagon just reaching the top of the bank broke loose and ran back on the canoes, splitting one from stem to stern. This caused a disturbance among the Indians; and they went away, but came back in two or three days and resumed work, putting the remaining two wagons. over. This same civilized Indian stole that night a horse, saddle, overcoat and sundry other things of Mr. Chapman. This horse the Colonel found six years later at Fort Umpqua in possession of old John Garnier, the keeper of the Hudson's Bay farm, who promptly returned the horse to Mr. Chapman on learning that it had been stolen.
The company crossed the mountain into the head of the Willamette valley amid rain and snow, and made an early camp for the night. The next morning they found a small creek to cross near by. Its banks were about two feet high and filled with water. Wagons had cut a narrow way into the creek; and the off-wheel oxen of Colonel Chapman's team were passing down into the creek, when the lead oxen rushed ahead, drawing the tongue around, causing the off fore wheel to go down, while the near wheel was on the bank, and thereby overset the wagon into the creek, filling the fore end of the wagon and the bows with water. The neighbors quickly turned the wagon back; and the water ran upon everything within. The remarkable fact was that Colonel Chapman had driven entirely across the plains without ever stalling or upsetting, and here at the head of the Willamette, upon a dead level, had upset his wagon and family into the creek. but all got out safely, and in due time, on the evening of the 13th of November, 1847, reached Mary's river, near what was then called Marysville, now Corvallis, Benton county. The small company as it was then, consisting of the Chapmans, Gilberts, Starrs and Belknaps, here came to a stop, it being substantially their journey's end.
Illustrative of the great difficulties of a journey with a family across the plains may be mentioned the illness of Mrs. Chapman and her children. In the Klamath country Mrs. Chapman, in order to give assistance to a sick woman, entered her wagon. After a little while she made inquiry as to the cause of her sickness, and was informed that she had the measles. This was a surprise and a source of anxiety to Mrs. Chapman, since she had not had this disease herself, and that she should have it now was inevitable. Neither was there hope of escape for the little baby or any of the children; for not one of them had ever been affected. Mr. Chapman alone of the whole family escaped the affliction. This exposure was moreover needless, had the prostrated woman known her ailment, as it was in the power of Mrs. Chapman to have assisted this woman without going into the wagon; and, besides this, there were undoubtedly others not liable to contract the disease who would have readily, as they did afterwards, afford all necessary aid and comfort to this woman. Mrs. Chapman first indicated that she had contracted the disease, then her infant child, and, passing on, the whole family of children became subjects of the pestilence. When it is remembered that there was but one wagon (the provision wagon having been left near Snake river) for all the family to crowd into, or under, for sleep or rest; that Mrs. Chapman's eyes were so affected s to be without sight for sixteen days, almost to the end of the journey; and that they must have undergone great exposure and suffering, - it may well be considered almost a miracle that they all came through alive. But there was not only an unbroken friendship among the members of the company of which Mr. James Frederick was the leader, but there was a sealed friendship among the ladies which none but they could appreciate, making them all ever ready to aid and encourage the sick and unfortunate; and Mrs. Chapman and her children received every attention that these kind ladies could bestow.
After a few days' search, the
Chapman family found shelter for the winter in an unfinished cabin, with
two young men, Nye and Getteys, whom he soon learned to address familiarly
as John and Sam,
in accordance with our easy Western custom, and whom the family ever remembered for their integrity and generosity. Being anxious to see the rest of Oregon, and especially to make the acquaintance of the leading men of the young settlement, Colonel Chapman made, between Christmas and the New Year, following, a trip by horseback with his two new friends to Oregon City, or the Falls, as then known. At this quaint little capital, and then indeed the metropolis of the region west of the Rocky Mountains, where congregated Oregon's early heroes, "men of renown," Mr. Chapman formed a pleasant acquaintance with Judge S.S. White and Colonel B. Jennings, formerly of Iowa. He met also the most of our early celebrities, and with Governor Abernethy had a long and most valuable conversation, in which he learned pretty much all of the history and prospects of the young commonwealth, and, with his aptitude for formulating a distinct policy, descried almost from that moment his own future work and governing ideas in our state. He decided to make his home at the Falls, but, returning to his residence near Corvallis, was stopped on the way by Dr. Wilson of Salem, who treated him with such kindness and cordiality, and moreover made it so advantageous for him, that he altered his purpose and accepted Salem as his residence.
In February, 1848,he with his family reached Salem, where they were furnished quarters in the lower story of the Methodist, or old missionary, academy building, and were treated with all the consideration of members of the Doctor's family. In this place he remained for some time, although school was kept in the upper story of the building.
With the facility of the pioneer, he turned his hand to manual work, and as spring came engaged in making a garden, and also righted the fences that inclosed the big field upon a portion of which the State House now stands. He also picked up as rapidly as possible the threads of legal activity in the state, attending during the spring and summer several terms of court held under the auspices of the Provisional government by Judge Eugene Skinner. The last of these was on Knox's Butte in Linn county, and which became memorable for its abrupt adjournment from the report of gold in California.
Mr. Chapman was no les interested than the rest, and, although not excitable, made speedy arrangements for the comfort of his family during fall and winter, and in a party containing also Mr. Alanson Hinman of Forest Grove, J.B. McLane of Salem, and Mr. Parrish of Linn county, packed across the mountains to the mines on the Sacramento. The whole of Oregon was moved; and this little party had swelled to a considerable army by the constant aggregation of other little parties on the way; but before Sutter's Fort was reached the company broke up into little bands, scattered out in all directions to the gulches and bars of Northern California. Some of these early settlers were lost to our state forever, going nobody knows where in the world; while others, having made their fortune, came back to Oregon to spend their days in peace and plenty, and to assist in making our state the glory of the Northwest.
After mining with good success, until autumn, Mr. Chapman made a somewhat indefinite tour to San Francisco, with an eye to establishing some kind of a center of trade or society, thinking a little of forming a combination with Sutter to build a city at Sacramento; but he discovered that the quick mind of Judge Burnett had already grasped the idea and seized the position. At San Francisco he remained some time, and was about to visit the other mines of California, but, meeting with Governor Lane, who was on the way from Washington, was persuaded by him to come to Oregon. He arrived in February or early in March, 1849. Proceeding at once to his home in Salem, he was soon elected representative to the first territorial legislature chosen and convened upon the order of the new governor. During this session he was appointed to draft a code of laws; but, under a technical construction of the Organic law, this act was declared void.
At the end of the session in 1849, he decided upon removing to Oregon City, and remained there for a short time, but upon a close examination concluded that this could not be the place for the seaport emporium, and consequently made a thorough exploration of the Lower Willamette to the Columbia, with the result that he concluded Portland to be the place where transportation by land and by ship could most readily meet. He found Portland built on a section of land owned by General Stephen Coffin and Mr. D.H. Lownsdale; and in this claim he bought a third interest. Although Portland had a natural advantage, her success as the chief city depended upon her making use of that advantage; and only by showing an enterprise equal to that of a dozen other rival places could the favor of nature by turned to account. Mr. Chapman, with his family and household effects, was "bateaued," from Oregon City to Portland on the 1st day of January, 1850. In the spring and summer following, he cleared and erected, upon the block upon which the county courthouse now stands, a frame building for a residence, and with his family resided therein until the fall of 1853. In this building Mrs. Chapman gave birth to two sons. The first, Winfield Scott Chapman, was born on the 3d day of July, 1850; and the second, Harra Davis Chapman, was born on the 17th day of March, 1853.
The town proprietors of Portland, as Messrs. Coffin, Lownsdale and Chapman were called, at once engaged in any and all enterprises which they deemed calculated to advance the interests and prosperity of Portland as the commercial metropolis of Oregon. Every town or prospective town on the Lower Willamette and Columbia rivers contested with it this pre-eminence. Among these was Milwaukee, five or six miles above Portland; and, had it been a suitable location, the energy and enterprise of its proprietor, Lot Whitcomb but a snug river steamer on the line between Milwaukee and Astoria, ignoring and for a time refusing to stop at Portland; and he also established a newspaper at Milwaukie.
In the fall or winter of 1850, the owners of the steamer
Hunter brought her up to Portland, and negotiated her sale for $60,000
to the town pro-
prietors. Of this sum a few outside individuals subscribed small amounts; but the bulk was taken by the three proprietors jointly. Twenty-one thousand dollars was paid down; and for the balance, Coffin, Lownsdale and Chapman gave their joint notes. It was not known, however, that there existed a controversy between a minority interest at San Francisco and the majority that brought the steamer up and sold their interest at Portland. On making the purchase, as the Oregon purchasers held but a few shares above a majority, it was agreed in writing that no Oregon shareholder should sell his interest except to the Oregon owners. Captain hall and N.P. Dennison each owned small interests; and the first was put in as captain, and the latter as clerk. The steamer made regular trips for a number of times to San Francisco loaded with Oregon products, such as cattle, hogs, grain and vegetables, and gave Portland such an advantage over all rivals as to fairly annihilate their hopes for further success, and until even the snakes proclaimed the victory. It was in this wise: Uncle Robert Kinney, of Yamhill county, meeting his old friend Colonel Chapman, said to him, "Well, I see Portland is taking the travel and trade of the country." The Colonel asked, "Ah, how did you learn that?" Mr. Kinney replied, "Why, I have been on several roads; and I see the snake tracks are all on the road to Portland. You know they always resort to the most traveled and dusty roads."
But although Portland was thus successful, and the Gold Hunter was doing for her such wonders, a sudden setback was given the proprietors. The captain and clerk mentioned, though their interest was small, had nevertheless enough stock to give the majority control of the steamer; and they were found to be subject to temptation. The California minority, learning their weakness, on one of the trips to San Francisco gave them a large bonus for their interest; and they delivered the steamer over to the California stockholders. Of this the Portland proprietors learned nothing for some time, as mails were infrequent; and they waited in vain for the return of their Gold Hunter. In the meantime the steamer was run down the coast to Tehuantepec, where he was bottomried and sold; and thus Portland was left in the lurch, and her proprietors lost the steamer and their money. This dishonest and pusillanimous conduct of Hall and Dennison very seriously injured the proprietors and weakened their credit; but the town prospered nevertheless to such an extent that Lot Whitcomb ceased to ignore her, and finally ran his boat no farther up the river than Portland. The Pacific Steamship Company also let go their attempt to make St. Helens the point, and anchored at the port of Portland; and that city thenceforth became the recognized seaport.
To facilitate the coming of the people of the Tualatin Plains and Yamhill and Polk counties, the old cañon road from the head of what is now Jefferson street was constantly improved; and in a short time Portland had the satisfaction of seeing that road dusty, while the Oregon City road showed but few tracks. Only sixteen blocks of the city had originally been laid off, and but two streets parallel with the river opened; and these were but sixty feet wide. Soon after the entrance of Mr. Chapman into the company, the town plat was enlarged so as to include the whole section; and the new streets running north and south were made eighty feet in width.
But one of the most important enterprises of the time was the establishment of a paper at Portland. In point of journalistic enterprise, both Oregon City and Milwaukee were ahead of her; and this was not to be endured. Coffin and Chapman went to San Francisco in a bark, and, taking with them as a present to the people of that place a pole a hundred and thirty feet long cut near the present residence of W.S. Ladd, to serve as a flagstaff or "liberty-pole," secured Mr. Dryer to come up and bring his newspaper plant and run a paper. They promised him a salary out of their own means, and, in fact, paid his traveling and freight expenses. Upon the arrival of the editor, the office was set up; and by working all night the first issue was gotten out. Mr. Chapman, who was one of these night-workers, rendering what assistance a non-typo could, hired a man with a horse to start early the next morning with a pack of papers and distribute them over the country on the west side of the Willamette as far up as Corvallis, and to return by the east side; while in the town and surrounding country his sons, Thomas and Arthur, on horseback, delivered the first edition of the new paper, and thereby became the first newsboys of Portland. Thus was begun with flying colors the first paper in Portland, which has grown to be the chief journal of the Pacific Northwest. At the suggestion of Mr. Chapman, while still in San Francisco, it was given the name Oregonian.
It is proper to state that in commencing work it was necessary for the editor to initiate an apprentice, or devil. This duty devolved upon Mr. Chapman, who called to his assistance a gentleman present. Proceeding to the discharge of the duty, he blindfolded the "devil," and placed a box between the press and the wall, and fastened upon his back the picture of a mule with the written declaration thereunder, "I'll split no more rails." The apprentice thus prepared was conducted three times around the room; and each time, as he passed over the box by the press, he was made to bow and repeat the words, "I'll split no more rails."
Many other measures were also undertaken, such as the careful examination of Swan Island bar, in order to insure the growth and prosperity of the city. While thus there were for some time rival points on the Columbia and Willamette aiming at metropolitan dignity, the hard blows which they aimed at Portland were all met and parried by the energy and foresight of the proprietors.
In making the purchase of an
interest in the Portland claim by Colonel Chapman, the three, Coffin, Lownsdale
and Chapman, became joint owners of what was known as the Portland land
claim. The titles and the form of conveyances at once became important
questions. Pettygrove, and Pettygrove and Lovejoy, and Lownsdale and Coffin,
successive owners of the claim, and town proprietors of Portland, had sold
lots in the town; and each successive purchaser contracted to recognize
previous sales if he should obtain title from the United States. But the form and effect of previous conveyances were very indefinite until Chapman became interested; then upon him the responsibility was thrown of formulating all contracts and conveyances. Thenceforward all sales and contracts for sales of lots or blocks were made with a clause of warranty against all persons, the United States excepted; and if the proprietors obtained the title of the Unites States they were to make it good to the purchasers. Prior to the passage of the Donation law, the town proprietors had laid off the whole section into lots and blocks, streets and public grounds, and had caused maps to be made designating the same. The Donation law contained a provision that all future sales before the patent issued should be void under the Donation law, and that claims could not be taken by a company or firm; moreover, the wife was entitled to half of the settler's claim. So the object of obtaining title according to the respective rights of the company seemed impossible. The company had sold a great many lots and blocks to each other, and to other persons, as well as having dedicated streets and blocks for public use. The matter was referred to Colonel Chapman for his advice as to the best plan to obtain title in view of the prohibitory clause in the Donation law, and at the same time hold the town proprietors bound for title.
Colonel Chapman advised that a joint contract be made dividing the claim into three parts as nearly equal as convenient, each claimant being bound to make good their former joint or several contracts for any property within his Donation claim, Chapman holding that this was not a contract for the sale of the property, but only a contract for confirming sales already made. This plan was adopted. Colonel Chapman drew the writings; and the claim was divided, each party taking his separate claim under the Donation law and receiving a patent. Some years afterwards Lownsdale died; and then his heirs took it into their heads to disregard the contracts for title made by Lownsdale, and brought suits to recover a large amount of the most valuable property in the city of Portland.
Many of those against whom suits were brought were induced to compromise, for which thousands of dollars were paid. Doctor Davenport was one of the parties sued for a valuable property. He was frequently met and sought to be influenced to compromise. He would then go to Colonel Chapman, his attorney, to know what he thought about it. On one of these occasions his attorney said; "Doctor, I have given you my opinion; and I have not changed it. If I do I will notify you at once; but if you want to compromise don't let me prevent you." He went away satisfied, and never said compromise again.
The case was prepared for trial before United States Circuit Judge Sawyer, sitting with United States District Judge Deady; and they heard the case. After long consideration, Judges Sawyer and Deady decided the case for Davenport; and the heirs appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States. After hearing the case, the Supreme Court decided in favor of Davenport, upon the very grounds upon which Mr. Chapman, after the passage of the Donation law, drew the confirmatory contract. That settled forever upon a solid foundation the title to property in Portland proper derived through conveyances from Pettygrove, Lownsdale, Coffin or Chapman, as is plainly shown by the following extract from the opinion of the Supreme Court, as delivered by Justice Miller; "But counsel, resting solely on the latest written agreement between Lownsdale, Coffin and Chapman, insist that it was void because made after the Donation act was passed. That agreement was only designed to give effect to the previous contracts on the same subject, and is in accord with the spirit of the proviso." This decision not only made valid the titles by deed, but also the titles by dedication, such as the park blocks, the market blocks, the church blocks, the seminary blocks, the plaza blocks, and the blocks for a public landing upon the Willamette river, as well as the streets represented by the surveys and maps.
In the fall of 1853, becoming impressed with the profit to be made in the cattle business, Colonel Chapman acquired the Hudson's Bay Company's improvements at Fort Umpqua, in what is now Douglas county, and although retaining his interest at Portland, and continuing in the practice of law, removed to the fort with his family, himself returning to Portland about once a month to see to his interests in that city. At his new residence, Mr. Chapman continued to improve and cultivate his farm and herd his cattle.
On the 28th of April, 1955, Mrs.
Chapman at Fort Umpqua gave birth to a daughter, who was named Clara. In
the fall of 1855, while Mr. Chapman was attending court at the head of
the cañon on the road from Roseburg to Scottsburg, the news was
brought that there was a great Indian uprising, particularly fierce and
violent on Rogue river, with depredations committed between Jacksonville
and Cow Creek. This was the beginning of the war of 1855-56. Under the
proclamation of the governor, Colonel Chapman began at once to gather a
company, of which he was elected captain. No sooner was this responsibility
laid upon him than he went to Portland, riding day and night, to procure
arms for his men, and returning took from his own farm, wagons, mules and
horses for the equipment of the company. Proceeding thus by forced marches
towards the seat of war at the Little Meadows, stopping at Roseburg only
long enough to be mustered in in proper form as Company I of Major Martin's
Battalion, he proceeded expeditiously to join the main command. At Grave
Creek he was compelled to leave the wagons and pack his munitions and supplies
on mules and horses, having prepared for this emergency. On the trail he
overtook Captain Smith of the United States army with his company, on the
way to join the forces at the Meadows. The captain was waiting, however,
to learn whether the major commanding was going to fight, or give up the
campaign. Mr. Chapman learned upon further procedure, that that night there
was to be a council upon this very point as to continuing the campaign
for the winter.
At the assembling of the officers, Colonel Chapman felt, as a new member and but one day upon the field, somewhat diffident about giving an opinion, but was nevertheless forcibly impressed with the belief that if the forces were withdrawn the Indians would at once scatter out and fall upon the settlements; while if they were followed and pursued and thereby held together, they would be prevented from perpetrating outrages. He therefore favored building a fort and leaving a strong garrison; but, on account of lack of military experience, he did no more than make the suggestion. His foresight, however, was but too terribly verified by the depredations committed soon after the troops were withdrawn. During the winter that followed, the movements of troops were of little concern, and the army was reorganized. Lamerick was chosen brigadier-general by the legislature, and appointed commander of the Second Regiment of Oregon Volunteers. At an election, John Kelsey was chosen colonel, and Mr. Chapman lieutenant-colonel. James Bruce, then whom there was never an abler or better officer, or one more intelligent or more ready to carry out a command to the letter, was chosen major of the Second or Southern Battalion, and Latshaw, an able and energetic officer, of the First or Northern. At a council of war held soon after the forces were gathered together, to decide upon a plan of campaign, Colonel Chapman basing his opinion upon the experiences of the last year, advised to press the Indians, and unite them as closely as possible, compelling them to concentrate at some point, probably at the Meadows. This place, the fastness of the Indians, was a rocky cliff or bluff on the south side of the Rogue river, opposite a wide strip of clear meadow lands. To cross the meadows, and ford the swift and dangerous river in the face of an enemy concealed among the rocks and trees, was an impossibility.
Colonel Chapman therefore advised that a force; the Southern Battalion, be sent down the south side of the river by way of the Port Orford trail, to attack the Indians from the rear of their stronghold, and another force, the Northern Battalion, be sent to cooperate on the north side, and if the Indians fled across the stream to be there to meet them. By this strategy the enemy must be crushed between the two battalions. This suggestion was adopted; and, at the request of General Lamerick, Chapman reluctantly consented to take command of the Southern Battalion, with headquarters at Vannoy's Ferry. As soon as he began concentrating his forces, which were scattered at various places in Southern Oregon, he was met with expressions of fear from the settlers that they would now be left without defense, and exposed to the attacks of the Indians. Colonel Chapman, however, assured them that he would stand between them and the Indians; and, having made all preparations, he set out at the head of the forces, numbering some three hundred or four hundred man, all hardy, sturdy soldiers, good fighters, and mostly miners. Moving to Hays,' on Slate creek, where the Indians had left tracks by recent depredations, scouts were sent out to find the enemy; and it was soon ascertained, as was anticipated, that the savages had concentrated in the presence of the large force coming after them, and had retreated to their great stronghold opposite the Big or Lower Meadows. This was a point a little below their place of defense of the previous year, which was called the Upper or Little Meadows, and was a stronger position, being better defended on the north.
Returning to Vannoy's, preparations for a simultaneous movement were made The men were dismounted, only animals sufficient for the commissary being allowed; and the expedition on both banks moved forward. There was a point on the Port Orford trail known as Peavine Camp, high on the ridge, not far from the meadows on the south side, to which Chapman was to repair with his force, and from this point watch the trail below on the north that heights ascertain the movement of Lamerick and the Northern Battalion, whose force would be visible there as he went by. Reaching Peavine, Chapman waited some time in the snow, which still hung on the high ridge, but failed to discover is superior, and at length was told that his flat had been seen on the Upper Meadows. Scouts were sent ahead, who found the Indians in force under the bluff opposite the Lower Meadows; and all preparations were made for an attack, the men being eager for the work. But just at this juncture, however, a message was received by Colonel Chapman from General Lamerick, stating that he had learned that it would be impossible for Colonel Chapman to reach the Indians on the south side, and ordering Chapman and his battalion to cross the river to the north side and join him. Chapman and his men were annoyed at this intelligence and command, and for a time thought seriously of disregarding the order, but, upon consultation, it was decided not to make the attack, but to rejoin General Lamerick, which they did.
At the Meadows, considerable fighting was done across the river. Major Bruce was ordered by General Lamerick, with a small command, in the face of the Indians, to cross the river; and, as has been said, for some reason he failed to cross. The reason was certain and sufficient. It was the same reason (the impassability of the river) why the whole army commanded by Major Judea of the United States army, and Major Martin of the State Volunteers, with the mountain howitzer to aid them, in the fall preceding, were unable to cross the river in the face of the Indians. This impassibility led Colonel Chapman, in the spring of 1856, to plan a campaign by which the Southern battalion was to go down to the south side of Rogue river, and the Northern Battalion to go down on the north side, and which he partially carried out but it was broken by the order of General Lamerick before mentioned to join him on the north side. At length the Indians chose to leave their camp. Then an advance across the river was made, when General Lamerick found that they had gone; and he occupied their deserted camp one day and one night. General Lamerick then made an order for the army to retire from the further pursuit of the Indians, part to Illinois river, part to Jacksonville, and part to other places.
On the same day, before these
orders were put into execution, Colonel Chapman, seeing that if
these orders should be carried out the whole plan of this campaign would be broken, the Indians left free to destroy the lives and property of the settlers, and the volunteers left with the same unsatisfactory results as after the unfruitful campaign of the year before, urged General Lamerick to build a fort near by, and to man the same, to hold and keep the Indians in check. At this suggestion the General took offense, and swore around like mad, but said he would refer the matter to a council of war. At this council Chapman was called upon to explain his views, which were at once indorsed by every member of the council; and it was decided to erect a fort, which was immediately done; and it was named Fort Lamerick. Major Latshaw was placed in command there; and the remaining troops were sent to various points (as before mentioned). Lamerick went to Jacksonville, and Chapman to Roseburg. Latshaw, a brave and vigilant officer, soon reported to Colonel Chapman that he had found the Indians on John Mule creek, and was only waiting orders to attack them, and asked also for a supply of provisions. Chapman at once issued the order for an attack, and sent off the provisions. Major Latshaw, in pursuance of Colonel Chapman's order, promptly attacked and whipped the Indians; and by this blow, and the timely aid he gave the regular army then coming up Rogue river, the war was ended. The Indians surrendered to the United States troops, they having some natural distrust of the settlers and soldiers amongst whom they had been pillaging and murdering.
Resuming civil life, the Colonel removed in the latter part of 1856 to Corvallis with his family. In 1857, on the first day of July, at Corvallis, Mrs. Chapman gave birth to another daughter, which was named Margaret. The admission of Oregon as a state was now taking definite form; and it was supposed as a matter of course that the Colonel would be a member of the constitutional convention from the Corvallis district. There was, however, at that time much division of opinion on the subject of slavery, and what provision in respect to this institution should be inserted in the instrument constituting Oregon a state. A meeting of the Democratic party was held at Salem; and, while returning with a number of his party friends to Corvallis, the subject was broached; and Colonel Chapman frankly said he would be opposed to slavery, as it was a thing that could not be established in such a community, and that a movement to attempt this was uncalled for. He expressed no hostility to the South, but believed that the attempt of such a social change as this policy contemplated would be only evil. From that moment he was dropped; and Judge Kelsey, of pronounced pro-slavery views, was selected for the place. Among those who thus discarded the Colonel were a number who afterwards became prominent Republicans.
During this or the following year he visited Eugene, and purchasing extensive farming property removed hither with his family. While there the election of territorial and state representatives occurred; and he received the nomination to a seat as territorial member. The number of candidates being large, a very lively canvass was conducted, for a part of the time a t least the whole legislative ticket stumping together. The Colonel bore a large part of the burden of this work.
As the contest for senator drew near, a strong movement was set on foot to elect Chapman. He would have been a very strong candidate but for a number of reasons, chief among which was his opposition to slavery in Oregon; and his party could not allow him the honor. He was also spoken of as a worthy man for the position of United States district judge. While the party managers were trying to adjust these claims of his friends, and at the same time not injure the party by offending other aspirants for these positions, the Oregon legislature being still in session, news was received from Washington that the Colonel was appointed surveyor-general of Oregon; and he himself received at the same time a letter from General Lane strongly urging him to accept. feeling for the General the strongest friendship and personal attachment, he consented to do so; and all the party claims were speedily adjusted. In 1861, believing it unbecoming to hold office under a President whose election he had opposed, he tendered the resignation of his office, and was superseded after some time by P.J. Pengra.
While not believing in the coercion of states, Colonel Chapman did a service second to none in Oregon for the preservation of the peace and happiness of the Pacific states. In the early days of the war, there was a strong attempt on the part of the South to agitate the idea of still further embarrassing the government by the establishment of a Pacific republic. Dr. Gwynn, of Virginia, sent letters to prominent Democrats; and news of these came to Colonel Chapman, to know what to do with reference to this matter. Not only did he not favor the suggestion, but advised to let it utterly alone, and so far disapproved as to sit down at once and write as strong an article as he knew how to compose, deprecating any such an attempt, urging the most weighty reasons, such as that this movement meant the uprooting of society in Oregon, and would bring in changes that would be destructive of her fabric. The article was published in a paper at Eugene, and was copied into a number of other journals, and being widely read produced a deep impression. Coming from so prominent a Democrat as Colonel Chapman, it had the effect to kill the rash enterprise in the bud.
During the fall of 1861, Colonel Chapman, with his family and household effects, returned to his old homestead in Portland, and in the early part of the year 1862 erected the residence at Twelfth and Jefferson streets in that city, which has ever since been the family home. During the years of his later residence in Portland, the Colonel has practiced law extensively, especially in land matters, and spent a life of energy and a magnificent fortune in his noble determination to secure for Oregon its one great desideratum, - Eastern railroad connections.
The following explanation of
Colonel Chapman, with reference to a matter which he deems of no great
importance in itself, but which from its very erroneous treatment in works
hitherto published is
deserving of a place in authentic history, will
not only serve to detach from his life and public acts all imputation of
blame, but will also be of interest in showing the true character of the
people and of the justices of the Supreme Court,
which would otherwise rest under suspicion. The colonel writes, September, 1889:
"In 1851, in the circuit court at Hillsboro, Washington county, Judge Pratt took exception to the language of an affidavit for change of venue drawn by myself for my client, and ordered me imprisoned, and that my name be stricken from the roll of attorneys. The supreme court reversed and annulled these orders; and so the matter rested until of late years, when some writers for history have seen proper to revive it. The first of these I think was Lang's history. The manner of its mention there I did not think worthy of notice. I had long let bygones be bygones. But Bancroft's history so foully misrepresents the facts as to place me in the wrong, and represents the people as rescuing me from the hands of the law; and justice requires that a correct history of the matter be given to posterity. In order to give correct and indisputable knowledge of the cause of affront to Judge Pratt, I have caused the clerks of the supreme court and of the circuit court at Hillsboro to make diligent search for the original affidavit and record entry, none of which they have been able to find. I must, therefore, state the facts from my best recollection; and they are as follows:
"Robert Thompson had a suit in the state circuit court at Hillsboro before Judge Pratt. He wanted a change of venue because, as he said, the Judge was prejudiced against him. He told me that the ground of the prejudice was that they had had a quarrel over a game of cards, or at a gambling table, in Galena, Illinois. Out of respect for the court, I did not fully set forth in the affidavit and motion the grounds of circumstances giving rise to the prejudice, thinking that the Judge would not be tenacious upon the subject. But he overruled the motion and affidavit because they were not sufficiently specific. I then, at the instance of my client, drew an affidavit and motion alleging more specifically the circumstances out of which the prejudice arose. Upon this the Judge ordered me to show cause why I should not be imprisoned, and my name stricken from the rolls for contempt. Having heard Mr. Tilford in my behalf, the Judge reached to his hat and took out the order against me, which he had drawn up before he came into court or heard my defence. The second affidavit - the one objected to - was made thus specific only because the Judge had ruled out the first because it was not specific. The Judge having directed the order against me to be entered, the court adjourned.
"The statement in Bancroft's history that the people aided me to escape is an unmitigated falsehood. While the Judge was deciding against me, I observed that the people were excited; and I so conducted myself as to avoid, as much as possible, further irritation. As we went to dinner I told the sheriff I was going home; - that my family would be uneasy, - but that I would be at his service in the morning. After dinner my horse was brought out; and the sheriff took him by the tip of the tail and told me not to go. I, however, jumped upon my horse; and the sheriff's tail-hold slipped, and consequently I rode off. Two gentlemen only were present, who were going to Portland, but they never uttered a word. Next morning the sheriff came into the city past my house; and I went down town with him in order to go back. There some friends who made some demonstration unfavorable to my return; but I put a stop to it and rode off with the sheriff. When we reached his house, three of four miles from Hillsboro, he left me to remain there and himself went on to the town. In a day or two a writ of error came, and I was at ease; and in due time the supreme court reversed Judge Pratt.
"But this is not all. The writer for Bancroft's history goes back for nearly forty years in order to seek material for false and slanderous articles about Judge strong and myself. He represents that Judge Strong and myself connived and co-operated to exonerate the Judge from some blame in what is now Washington, and that in turn the Judge aided me in being released from the order of Judge Pratt. And to this end the article in Bancroft goes on to say I wrote a letter exonerating Judge Strong, and intimates that I forged my brother's name to it, - he living then at Steilacoom. This whole statement is false and unfounded, a lie made out of whole cloth. I never knew of Judge Strong having any difficulty of the kind. If any letter over my brother's signature upon that subject were published, it was neither instigated, written nor seen by me; and I never spoke to Judge Strong or to Judge Nelson on the subject of my case. The statement in Bancroft to the effects that politics was at the bottom of my trouble with Judge Pratt, or influenced the action of the supreme court is false and unfounded. Such political considerations may have had influence with low and unprincipled newspapers; but if so I took no notice of them."
Pioneering the way in laying
broad the foundations of our state, and contributing by his wise foresight
to the material prosperity of Iowa and Oregon in their organic laws, Colonel
Chapman is also to be credited, more than any other man or dozen men, in
proposing safeguards in matters of railway construction in Oregon, which,
looking back at it from this distance, seems to have been an inspiration
from on high to save us from the clutches of unscrupulous corporations,
whose only law was greed, and who, but for the wise advice of Colonel Chapman,
would have ridden roughshod over us, and made our railroad system an appendage
of foreign control. In 1863 the first rumble of railroad agitation was
felt in Oregon. As the outcome of the progress of the pacific system then
extending across the plains, a bill was introduced in Congress with a land-grant
subsidy for a proposed road from a junction with the Central Pacific Railroad
in California northward to Portland or the Columbia river; and so great
was the desire for railroad connection that the people of the state were
favorable to the scheme on any project likely to accomplish the object
sought for. A meeting was held in Eugene City on the day the surveyors
reached that point. Great enthusiasm prevailed; and a meeting was called
purpose of indorsing the scheme which was then pending in Congress; and the approving voice of the people was of course to be presented to Congress as an aid to the passage of the bill. Colonel Chapman happened to be present, and, learning the object of the meeting, and seeing that under the terms of the bill as introduced the builders would begin at or near Sacramento and continue towards Portland as fast or slow as they pleased that as they built towards Portland the trade would necessarily run to California, even till they would be in sight of Portland, and that it would inevitably work greatly to the disadvantage of Oregon and her commercial metropolis, wherever that might be, he determined upon a remedy, and when the meeting was organized submitted and procured the passage of the following preamble and resolutions:
"WHEAREAS, we learned that the surveying party on the contemplated route for the Oregon & California Railroad has arrived in the Willamette valley, and that the chief engineer, Mr. Elliott, is now on a tour in the lower counties for the purpose of learning facts respecting the route, and the means to be obtained in aid of the survey and improvement; therefore,
"Resolved, that all grants of land and other said by the government of the United States, and means to be appropriated, should be expended in equal proportions in Oregon and California, and progressing southwardly, and at Sacramento, California, progressing northwardly, so that each state and section may derive equal advantages therefrom, while the road shall be in process of completion.
"Resolved that we do hereby recommend that several organizations be effected in Oregon for the purpose of receiving the aid of the government and executing the work within the state."
The preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted. On Colonel Chapman's return to Portland, the subject was brought before the people of that city; and two public meetings were held, at which the proceedings of the Eugene meeting were indorsed, memorials and petitions to the same effect being forwarded to Congress. The result was that the measure was modified as was requested. Senator Nesmith in his later days told him that he well remembered the circumstances, and that upon the receipt of the proceedings in Oregon he did just as suggested. On the 25th day of July, 1866, the act of Congress passed.
Independent of the advantages that have accrued to Portland, to Oregon and indeed to the whole Pacific Northwest, through the modified provisions of the bill as it became a law, causing the immediate and early construction of the road from Portland southward through the Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue river valleys, infusing new life and increased energy into our people, it inaugurated new and important enterprises, developments and prosperity in Oregon, surpassing the most sanguine expectations of our people. so that instead of the last spike in the construction of the entire road being driven at Portland, it was driven and celebrated at Ashland, near the southern boundary of our state. Thus, in the very embryo stage of railroad construction in Oregon, Colonel Chapman gave the guiding hand and struck the keynote for provisions in the interest of his adopted state which will redound to her benefit through all the future. How he fought and what he accomplished in another direction, whereby we secured the splendid system of railroads extending eastward from Portland, against the opposition of a powerful railroad monopoly, will appear in succeeding pages.
After all has been said relative to these momentous matters, and when all the wheat is separated from the chaff of personal vaunt as to each one's share in the upbuilding of the superstructure of our statehood and commercial relations, the name of Colonel Chapman will tower above them all conspicuous for foresight and that undaunted perseverance, - quailing not before numbers and power, - until the object of his wisdom was attained in our behalf. It illustrates a character which never says fail, and as such is a glorious example to our rising youth, teaching them the value and the rewards of perseverance. The fruitage of his persistent endeavors is that the railroads in Oregon were built as he designed, with safeguards that make them wholly under the control of Oregon; and so far as the Oregon & California Road is concerned, the act of Congress which gave them its franchise, in section seven, provided so categorically for that equity in carriage for Oregon that the Southern Pacific Railroad, now operating that system, and whose whole terminal interests are centered in San Francisco, is precluded from doing what interest and desire would prompt, - diverting the grain carriage in the Oregon valleys from Portland to San Francisco. An attempt to do this was indeed made; but, on Colonel Chapman's calling attention to the matter in the Daily Oregonian of October 22, 1881, in a powerful and convincing letter upon the subject, that corporation wisely concluded to refrain from their purpose so long as the vigilant eye of Colonel Chapman was upon them.
While the Colonel thus kept his
eye vigilantly upon the process of railroad construction in our state,
and determined that corporate abuses should so far as possible be forestalled
by adequate legislation, he was no less watchful of our commercial interests
with reference to the navigation of our rivers, and the improvement of
legislation for the sake of securing connection by ship with foreign ports.
Being in the legislature in 1868, his attention was direct to the fact
that our commerce with European and Atlantic ports was suffering greatly
from lack of towage at the mouth of the Columbia river. As member of a
committee to examine the causes and propose a remedy for this unhappy condition,
he found that, from the experience of Captain Corno some years previous,
it was deemed unremunerative to operate a steam tug upon the bar. He therefore
prepared a report setting forth that fact, showing also that it was not
lack of water so much as lack of wind that he led to disasters at that
place, and calling attention to the fact that, so long as the mouth of
the Columbia was considered dangerous by shippers, it would be avoided,
or at all events excessive rates would be charged, which fell with double
severity upon the people of Oregon,
not only compelling them to pay high tariffs on all their imports, but particularly compelling the producers to pay the added charges upon all exports. He pointed out that the wheat of Oregon was then taken in steamers to San Francisco and that while the price in Portland was but seventy cents per bushel, in San Francisco it was a dollar and eight cents per bushel.
He urged that this condition was working disastrously to the agricultural interests of the state, and proposed as a remedy that a tugboat be secured for the bar by means of a state subsidy. He reported a bill providing for a powerful steam tugboat sufficient for towing vessels across the bar in all weather, so that it could be crossed by the best class of steamers or sailing vessels, with proper approval and license of United States inspectors. To secure such a tugboat the bill provided a subsidy of thirty thousand dollars, to be given in five successive years; it directed that the license of all pilots, except those of the master of the tugboat and of the pilots employed upon her, should be revoked; and that the fees for towing and piloting sail vessels should be reduced to the rate of eight dollars per foot for the first twelve feet of draft; and ten dollars for any excess, - the same as for piloting steam vessels. This was a reduction of twenty-five per cent. To prevent exorbitant rates of pilotage, and of towage on the river from Astoria to Portland, the tugboat was allowed, in case of absence of employment on the bar, to tow to Portland, at rates to be fixed by the pilot commission, keeping, however, a sufficient pilot boat always near the bar in case of need.
The operation of this bill, which was passed almost unanimously, was most beneficial. By Captain Flavel, of Astoria, the tugboat was furnished; and it was but a few years before our large commerce sprung up between the Atlantic and European ports and Portland. But important as was Colonel Chapman's part in the foregoing events, his tilt with the Northern Pacific Railroad Company surpasses them all in dept of design and in brilliancy of execution. It shows the capacity of one sharp, strong mind to rout a powerful combination of financiers and legislators, and reflects a credit upon the unofficial strategy and statesmanship of Oregon, which ought to be known fully in all our borders. It shows also that, of our round table of knights, the Colonel is our Lancelot. But, strange to say, this action, by which the prestige of Oregon was secured, is almost unknown. It is known that the North Pacific somehow once got a staggering blow, by which her contemplated monopoly of the Pacific Northwest was completely broken. But so quietly was the blow given, and so little did our knight care to blow his trumpet, that none knew where the thrust came from. The following is a succinct account of the matter.
Colonel Chapman was, in the years alluded to, one of the most earnest to get a railroad for Oregon to the East, and knew fully the whole political and financial situation with reference to it, as well as having a complete grasp topographically of the region to be traversed. The following lines will remind and inform many of the hard work Colonel Chapman did in behalf of Portland and the whole State of Oregon, and will give a concise history of important legislation. The first charter was granted to the Northern Pacific Railroad about the year 1864, together with a land grant, but without authority to issue bonds or mortgages. As an argument with Congress, it was to be built on the subscription to stock. When their bill was before Congress, it was proposed that the people of Oregon have a land grant for a railroad from Salt Lake to Portland; but to negative this the Northern Pacific agreed to and did add a branch to Portland. The main line was to run near the northern boundary of the United States, across the Cascade Mountains; and a branch was to pass down the Columbia to Portland. After several failures, in 1870, the company having conceived the idea of antagonizing Portland and her trade, got a bill before Congress for an extension; or, rather, it was a joint resolution. It was an unparalleled ambiguity and deception. It provided that the main line be transferred to run via the Columbia valley to Puget Sound, and the branch pass across the Cascade Mountains to Puget Sound. In a joint resolution of the year previous, Congress granted an extension of the branch and the right-of-way for it from Portland to Puget Sound, but positively and expressly refused the right to issue bonds or mortgages. Now, by this joint resolution of 1870, the main line being authorized to run via the valley of the Columbia, it was to be noted that this valley was on both sides of the river, and the road could therefore be legally located on either side. Instead, therefore, of its taking the place of the branch on the south side to Portland as Congress and our Congressmen supposed it was to be located, after surveying everywhere, and on both sides of the river, it was located on the north side of the river, ignoring Portland and the branch line it was intended to embrace.
As soon as the joint resolution was published before any survey was made, Colonel Chapman informed the citizens of Portland that "they were sold;" that it was the intention to locate the road north of the river, and leave Portland out, so that Portland would lose not only the original branch granted expressly to and for Portland, but also the main line intended by Congress to take its place. The people were incredulous. In 1871 Colonel Chapman, being in attendance upon the Supreme Court of the United States, procured from the commissioner of the general land-office a copy of the map of the location of the road on the north side of the river, attested by the commissioner's own signature.
This great wrong to the people of Portland and Oregon is the foundation of Colonel Chapman's war upon the Northern Pacific Company from that day to the present. It was not only a fraudulent deprivation of Portland and Oregon of both the branch and main lines, but was a source of great wrong and inconvenience to the public, and has given rise to unending controversy.
But the wrong to Portland and
Oregon was not the only one committed by authority of that ambiguous resolution.
The United States was cheated out of millions of acres of public lands
in this wise; First, the transfer of the main line by way of the
Columbia to Puget Sound increased its length one hundred and forty miles on a line where Congress said, in the joint resolution of 1869, there should be no land grant, bonds or mortgages. The increased length of one hundred and forty miles, with a width of forty miles, equaled five thousand, six hundred sections or three million, five hundred and eighty-four thousand acres. At four dollars an acre, this would reach the value of fourteen million, three hundred and thirty-six thousand dollars. And the company have used this land. But this is not all. The line from Portland to Wallula, two hundred and fourteen miles, upon this transfer from state to territory, was increased by twenty sections per mile, or four thousand, two hundred and eighty sections, - two million, seven hundred and thirty-nine thousand, two hundred acres, - at four dollars an acre worth ten million, nine hundred and fifty-six thousand, eight hundred dollars, making a total increase subsidy in land of a value of twenty-five million, two hundred and ninety-two thousand, eight hundred dollars. Furthermore, the whole land grant of two hundred and fourteen miles between Portland and Wallula has for many years been withheld from settlement.
To return to the subject of the road on the south side of the Columbia between Portland and Wallula; After the land grant for this road was taken away from Portland by the fraudulent joint resolution of 1870, the public being in great need of the road from Portland up the Columbia river, some of the citizens of Portland, including Colonel Chapman, inaugurated measures for the construction of a road form Portland to Salt Lake. Considerable of the line was surveyed; and at times the prospects were very favorable. On one occasion, when their bill in the House was progressing under favorable circumstances, the Credit Mobiler broke out, and crushed all railroad bills. There were several contests with the Northern Pacific Company after they had taken from Portland the branch grant under pretense of giving them the main line, and then taking the main line also.
The most noted and telling of these contests was one late in the seventies, when Colonel Chapman, in one of his unceasing efforts for the promotion of the interests of Oregon and Portland, prepared and had introduced in the United States Senate a bill in aid of the Portland, Dalles & Salt Lake Railroad. At that date ,such had become the opposition to further land grants to railroads, that an original grant was impossible. This bill, therefore, provided for the construction of the Portland and Salt Lake roads upon the Columbia as a common road for the Northern Pacific and Salt Lake line, to be built as a common road with the land grant then tied up idle on the north side of the river. It further provided that the Northern Pacific should built this common road; but if they failed to commence the road at Portland within ninety days, and to prosecute the work diligently, that the Salt lake company, or any other company building that line, might build it, but that it should, nevertheless, be a common road for both. There were provisions for the construction of the Salt Lake road after leaving the Columbia river. The bill was referred to the railroad committee of the Senate. Colonel Chapman having drawn the bill, appeared alone in its behalf, while the great attorneys and others appeared for the Northern Pacific in opposition to the bill. On behalf of the Northern Pacific, the point was made that their road was only constructed to Bismarck, and that they could not construct a road on the Columbia river until they should reach Ainsworth, or Snake river. still they could assign no reason why another company should not build the road on the Columbia, if when built it was to be a common road for both the Northern Pacific and Salt Lake lines. The propositions of the bill were so fair that the committee reported it to the Senate and recommended its passage.
Shortly after an article appeared in a morning paper of Washington City, that all differences between the Oregon people and the Northern Pacific were settled, and that the bill was to be re-committed to the Senate Committee, and be amended to suit the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. This was wholly new to Colonel Chapman, who was thus referred to as the "Oregon People;" and he was sought to appear before the committee in opposition to the new arrangement, but was refused. The bill in the interest of the Northern Pacific was reported back to the Senate; and Chapman sent to the Senate a written protest against the bill as amended. This protest was sent to the printer without being read; and the bill was taken up and passed in its absence. This was one of the most extraordinary and unjustifiable transactions, taken all in all, known among men having claim to honesty and fair dealing. It sold Oregon and Portland a second time. But the fraud was not complete until the bill should pass the House of Representatives, to which it was then sent and placed on the Speaker's table.
It would be supposed that under the circumstances Colonel Chapman would have submitted to the result and abandoned the contest. But not so. Farseeing, full of energy and foresight, and feeling that the best interests of Portland and Oregon were at stake, he never lost sight of the enemy. He never was out of the House of Representatives one minute while that bill was pending.
The Speaker took up the bill
to refer it to a committee, knowing that Chapman could meet it in open
House. A certain man objected; and it went back on the table. Chapman concluded
that it was the intention of this man, when it would be his turn and in
order, to move to suspend the rules, and pas the bill without debate. He
ascertained from the Speaker's list of members to be recognized to move
to suspend the rules where this man stood, and when he would be reached,
and then wrote a scathing review of the bill, and had a sufficient number
for all the members printed and sealed up, and purchased a sufficient number
of envelopes, not failing to be in his seat every moment the House was
in session. In the evening, previous to the day, when by Chapman's calculation
this man of the Northern Pacific would move to pass the bill under a suspension
of the rules, Chapman invited the vice-president of the Northern Pacific
to his room in the hotel where both lodged to effect compromises; but the
vice-president was so confident of