Signs of Burning over the Columbia Bayou

The area of the south bank of the Columbia between the Sandy and Willamette Rivers is of particular interest to the tribes who once lived there, villages of families and bands of the Cascades Watlala. Historically, there is not too much known of the region beyond the records of the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1805-1806. In 1806, the expedition stopped at and recorded several villages of people, one quite large with 25 houses noted on their map. The journals of the expedition record that these villages were the winter villages of the Cascades Watlala peoples. they would arrive in … Continue reading Signs of Burning over the Columbia Bayou

Encounters with Chief Kiesno of the Columbia

Chief Kiesno was one of the most powerful chiefs on the Columbia River at the time of the fur trade and American settlement. He was related to tribes throughout the lower Columbia region. He is well documented in numerous encounters with a number of explorers, fur traders, and settlers. His time spanned the whole of the early colonization of Oregon and ends in 1848, when he passes. There is then a transition to Oregon as an official U.S. territory.  It is probable that he is the model for the figure of Chief Multnomah fictionalized by Frederick Balch in his book … Continue reading Encounters with Chief Kiesno of the Columbia

Waukikum Treaty of 1851

Treaty between the Waukikum tribe and the United States, negotiated by Anson Dart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The treaty negotiations at Tansey Point on the Columbia River were all arranged by Robert Shortess who was appointed special subagent. Dart was assisted by Henry Spalding agent, and Josiah Parrish sub-agent. The treaty was among 19 treaties negotiated by Dart and the Willamette Treaty Commission in 1851. None of these treaties were ratified by Congress. Dart accompanied the treaties to Washington, D. C. and gave the Senate a means of moving forward, by notifying them that all lands in the Willamette Valley … Continue reading Waukikum Treaty of 1851

Modeste Demers Ethnographic Descriptions of the Tribes, 1839

Modeste Demers was assigned with the Oregon Territory, in 1837, at the same time as Francois Norbert Blanchet and they traveled together overland to their assignment in canoes and on horseback, in Hudson’s Bay trading party.  Along the way, Demers and Blanchet take time to have short missions with the tribes and baptize more than 100 people. Demers set up his initial residence in Fort Vancouver and spent three months learning Chinuk Wawa (Jargon), which was the language the missionaries used to instruct nearly every tribe they encountered in the region. In the following early report of the tribes encountered … Continue reading Modeste Demers Ethnographic Descriptions of the Tribes, 1839

Blanchet’s Mission to Vancouver, 1841

Reverend Blanchet traveled to Fort Vancouver after his mission to the Clackamas. In Vancouver, there was much more orderly town life, the chapels in the fort being served by the Anglican priests. Nevertheless, he is likely politely invited to give sermons in the various chapel locations. The Chapels are likely based on the highly segregated populations at the fort, one for the officers, one for the white laborers and one for the Natives who provided the vast majority of labor for the fort, yet most were never allowed to enter the fort and lived instead in the Kanaka village. Blanchet … Continue reading Blanchet’s Mission to Vancouver, 1841