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went to the Rocky Mountains, and the ease and safety with which it was done proved the facility of communicating overland with the Pacific Ocean.”*
So rapidly the cannon followed the rifle, and wheels the saddle, and then the locomotive, on the Oregon Trail.
The year 1832 is marked in the frontier annals for several first things. This year the first steamer went up as far as the mouth of the Yellowstone, on the Missouri. The American Fur Company had there a trading post, and this steamer was in their employ, and on its first trip carried so far toward their mountain home on the Upper Oregon the two Nez Percés Indians who had come the long trail to St. Louis for the white man's Book, to tell them of the white man's God. This steamer also carried Catlin, renowned for his Indian portraits and biographies. It will always be regretted that Congress, lavish of money in so many ways, did not make the Indian portrait gallery of this historic painter safe against fire. Its irreparable loss, however, is quite in keeping with the humiliating history of the American Indians. About this time Mr. Wyeth and company commenced Fort Hall on the Snake or Lewis branch of the Columbia, one hundred miles north of Salt Lake. As a rival in the Indian trade, and to ruin the American enterprise, the Hudson's Bay Company built Fort Boisé, farther down the stream, and where the Boisé or Read's River empties into the Snake. By underselling and forest plotting they ruined Mr. Wyeth and took Fort Hall, and held it quite successfully against American immigration as the gateway to Oregon, till Dr. Whitman opened a highway by it.
“ About the time of Wyeth's expedition also took place the earliest emigrations from the United States to the territories of the Columbia, for the purpose of settlement, and without any special commercial objects.” +
The first successful and permanent colony was planted 1834, in the Willamette Valley, and under the religious leading of the Methodists. Two years before, that country had begun to be called Oregon, and that important name had taken its place in history.
Other leading outposts of the coming West were taken in those fruitful years, and growth was marked at many points on the magnificent curve of our border. In June, 1833, the first Anglo-Americans settled Dubuque, and before the year closed the town numbered five hundred. It took its name from Julien Dubuque, the early proprietor of the “ Spanish Mines" on the upper Mississippi, included in a tract of 103,680 acres on the west bank of that river, which he obtained from the Indians in 1788, and which * Oregon : Its History. By Rev. Gustavus Hines. 1851. Buffalo. P. 409.
+ Greenhow. His. Oregon and California, p. 360.
was confirmed to him by Baron Carondelet and the seal of the King of Spain in 1796.
It was long after this pressure into the Northwest that the light of letters and the encroachment of American civilization began to show over our borders on the southwest. The first printing press was set up in New Mexico in 1835, and on the twenty-ninth of November in that year the first number of the first newspaper was issued in that territory—El Crepuscula, and of letter-cap size ; Cura Martinez, of Taos, proprietor. It lived only four weeks. American trade, especially from St Louis, had now been active many years as far as Santa Fé. The newspaper would seem to have been well called The Dawn under those dark and illiterate shadows, if one considers how light has flooded that region between 1833 and 1883—a marvelous half century for New Spain.
The first goods came overland to New Mexico from Kaskaskia, Illinois, in 1804, by Baptiste La Lande; in 1812 more came by another company, who were arrested as spies, and the goods confiscated. In 1822 trade to New Mexico from the Missouri became established ; in 1825-7 the United States surveyed a route from Fort Osage, in Missouri, to Taos ; in 1829 Bent's Fort was built on the Arkansas, and in 1832 Bent and St. Vrain, of St. Louis, established themselves as traders at Taos; in 1846 the “ Adobe Palace" at Santa Fé was said to be the only house in New Mexico that had window-glass; and on the 18th of August in that year General Kearny took peaceable possession of it and of New Mexico for the United States, and February 9, 1880, the cars of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fé road entered that city—the oldest on the continent known to Americans.
It was in 1839 that such a beacon light was set up on the north west coast, and its first printing press was a gift back to America from our Christian missions in the Sandwich Islands—bread cast upon the Pacific waters, and returning after not many days.
In speaking of first things, the little item is sometimes as suggestive as the great, in showing beginnings, and in furnishing the waymarks of growth. To the thoughtful, therefore, the fact will be helpful, in marking the stages of progress westward, that the first family carriage beyond the Mississippi was that of General William Clark, of the Oregon Expedition of Lewis and Clark. He was Indian agent and brigadier-general in upper Louisiana, Governor of Missouri Territory till it became a State, and afterward Superintendent of Indian Affairs till he died, in 1838. In 1840 that first carriage in Louisiana was sold for a trifle at auction. So young are the United States, that our antiquities and historical relics are so recent as to be worthless.
But one more fact will be mentioned as showing the germs and beginnings of the incidental forces that have contributed to the development of the Republic, and that have marked off the eras of growth in different sec. tions. In the very primeval and pre-organic days of Oregon, when the civil state was “ without form and void,” certain men formed the “ Wolf Association," out of which came the first forms of civil government there.. They also founded a circulating library for the education of the people, and still later the same gentlemen constituted the Oregon Printing Association. On the fifth of February, 1846, this association published, at Oregon City, the first newspaper ever issued on the Pacific Coast. The printing press had arrived six years before, and had been doing good work. It does not seem possible, when we consider the daily and weekly and quarterly publications of Oregon and California, and the scholarly and massive volumes written and published on the western coast, as Bancroft's “ Native Races of the Pacific States," five volumes octavo, that it is only thirty-eight years since the first newspaper was issued west of the Rocky Mountains. The marvel grows on us as we group the first three newspapers—the first between the Alleghanies and the Rocky Mountains in 1786; the first in New Mexico and our vast New West in 1835; the first beyond the Rocky Mountains in 1846. In 1880 Oregon had seventyfour periodicals, of which seven were dailies, fifty-nine were weeklies, and six were monthlies, with two unclassed. Only the three wheat grains of Cortez can afford an ample illustration of the growths from those three printing presses. His slave had found three kernels in the imported rice, and planted them. As the increase we have the thirty thousand wheat acres of Dalrymple, the 1,440,000 bushels as the product of the Dr. Glen farm in California in one year, the mill power of Minnesota to manufacture into flour 56,000,000 of bushels of wheat a year, the mill power of Minneapolis alone to produce 16,000 barrels of flour a day. These germs of the nation and this planting season of the Republic, still continued and with increasing activity, furnish a fascinating field for study for the intelligent American.
A CHAPTER IN THE HISTORY OF NEW ORLEANS
The years 1729 and 1730 were exciting periods in the history of the colony of Louisiana. The massacre of the French at Fort Rosalie by the Natchez Indians already had thrown the colonists into confusion, and in 1730 an additional source of alarm arose in the little city of New Orleans by the discovery of a plot among the slaves, which had for its purpose, as was shown by developments, the destruction of the French settlers and the occupation of their lands. At the head of this plot was a native African, who appears to have possessed more than the ordinary intelligence of his race, and to have figured in his own country as a leader and warrior of considerable repute. His name was Zamba, and he performed the duties of first commandeur, or overseer, at the habitation du roi or King's Plantation, formerly called the Company's Plantation, situated opposite New Orleans, where is now the town of Algiers. Zamba was, moreover, one in whom the manager of the plantation, M. Le Page du Pratz (from whose “Histoire de la Louisiane” the facts of this narrative are drawn) reposed great confidence.
A lull had occurred in the warfare against the Natchez Indians undertaken by M. Périer, the colonial governor, in consequence of the massacre at Fort Rosalie, and the authorities of the colony were awaiting the arrival from France of the reinforcements in troops which had been solicited by the India Company's agents in Louisiana. It was in this interval that Zamba conceived the idea of his plot, the discovery and frustration of which were simple enough in comparison with the perils involved. The active agent, the amateur detective, as it were, in this discovery, was M. Le Page himself.
Among the laborers in the brick-yard connected with the plantation was a negro woman. A soldier of the garrison in New Orleans having repeatedly endeavored to induce this woman to bring him fire wood, offering to remunerate her for her trouble, she as persistently refused. Finally becoming exasperated at her refusals, the soldier one day slapped her. Smarting under the blow, the woman exclaimed in her anger, speaking in the patois of her class—a patois which may still be heard every day in the streets of New Orleans—“ Hé, soldat ! To frappé mouin asteire! Eh bien ! Francais la-yé pas bat' neg'e long-temps non! To tendé mouin, n'est
VOL. XII.- No. 6.—33
ce-pas ?” (Hey, soldier! You strike me now! But you Frenchmen won't beat the negroes long—no. You hear me, don't you ?)
This speech was overheard by several bystanders and led to the woman's arrest. The Governor, before whom she was taken, ordered her to be put in prison. She was visited there by the Criminal-Lieutenant, who questioned her, but without gaining any satisfactory replies to his interrogatories.
M. Le Page having been informed of the arrest, sought the Governor, who said to him that, no information having been obtained from the woman except that she uttered the objectionable words in anger, without any ulterior motive, nothing could be done with her.
“I am of the opinion, Monsieur le Gouverneur," replied M. Le Page philosophically, “that a man in his cups and an angry woman are more ikely to tell the truth than a falsehood. I apprehend, therefore, that a plot is on foot, and that it cannot be carried out without some of the people on the King's Plantation being concerned in it.” He then proposed to charge himself with the task of discovering it and nipping it in the bud, without causing any excitement in the city, already troubled by the agitation growing out of the Natchez war. The Governor and his advisers approved of the idea, and M. Le Page began that very night to put his plan into execution.
At an hour when he had reason to believe the plantation hands asleep, he sought their quarters, accompanied by a lad, one of his servants. They went quietly from cabin to cabin until they reached one in which a fire was burning. In this cabin was Zamba, with two companions, one of whom was the second overseer. The occupants of the cabin were conversing over the details of their projected enterprise, and were cautioning each other not to make their plans known to the other hands until within two or three days of the day of the contemplated rising.
Peering through the crevices of the door, M. Le Page inspected the conspirators as they sat in the light cast by the flickering flames of a pineknot fire. The first remark he heard came from Zamba.
“Many of our people,” he said, “ like Mr. Le Page and these would not fail to betray us. I have spoken already to so-and-so”-naming two of the plantation hands—“on whom we can count with safety."
M. Le Page was astonished to hear his confidential overseer thus discourse ; but he controlled his feelings in order to hear what his second overseer, whose name was Guey, and who had begun to speak, had to say.
“I spoke to such-a-one," said Guey, “and I am sure of him. He told me that we must be careful about speaking too soon to the others.”