網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

My return will not be so soon as I expected. I fear not sooner than about June or July 1806 [It was in fact late in September of that year.] Every exertion will be made to accomplish this enterprise in a shorter period. Please to present me most respectfully to my sister Lucy (wife of Major Croghan) and the family, and accept the assurance of my sincere affection, &c.

Wm Clark [P. S.] I send my sister Croghan some seed of several kinds of grapes."

It is admitted that to John Colter must be ascribed the first intimation of the existence of the volcanic region at the head waters of the Yellowstone and Madison rivers. Hence every particular regarding Colter's adventures in the Far West becomes of such interest that it ought to be garnered in. With this view Mr. Koch, in his paper on the “ Discovery of the Yellowstone National Park,” has inserted an account, two pages long, of Colter's capture by Indians and his miraculous escape. This narrative was borrowed by Mr. Koch from an article by W. F. Sanders, in the first volume of “Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana" (Helena, 1776, p. 101). But where did Mr. Sanders find the story? He himself does not state, merely saying, that he "gives it as it has long been told, both in print and otherwise."

Had the original account of Colter's Indian experience been known either to Mr. Koch or Mr. Sanders, I think it would have been mentioned, and I am very glad that I am able to supply their omission, and to bring on the stand a contemporary witness.

Colter's story, as told by himself, is printed in "Travels in the Interior of America in the years 1809, 1810, and 1811, by John Bradbury" (Liverpool, 1817, P. 19 et seq.). Bradbury, a botanist, who pushed up the Missouri well-nigh to the Yellowstone, had an interview with John Colter on the 18th March, 1811. The meeting was on the Missouri, at the mouth of Bæuf Creek, four days' canoe voyage up the river from Saint Louis. Colter, Bradbury says, was then living within a mile of Bæuf Creek, had come down the Missouri 3,000 miles in thirty days in a small canoe, arriving in Saint Louis, May, 1810, and had been seen there and then by Bradbury. Bradbury obtained an account of many adventures from Colter, but says that he relates only one. It is probable that he committed others to writing, perhaps to the English press, which transatlantic research may bring to light. Some of these may prove to be the earliest reports concerning the geyserite region. John Potts, who was killed at the time Colter was made prisoner, had served with him under Lewis and Clark, but was not discharged until the party had reached Saint Louis. It does not appear how or when he ascended the Missouri or joined Colter again. Bradbury describes Colter as very eager to go up with him into the heart of the continent in 1811, and as only prevented by having just married a wife.

Some light is thrown on Colter as the Columbus of the Park, by scrutiny of Lewis and Clark's Journal, and especially the map drawn by Clark, as well as his subsequent life.

In 1806 Lewis and Clark, returning from the Pacific, on the third morning after passing the mouth of the Yellowstone, were surprised to meet two white men-the first they had seen for years. These were Dickson and Hancock, who had come from the Illinois on a hunting excursion up the Yellowstone. These trappers accompanied the Captains down the river for three days to the Mandan villages, and meantime won the heart of Colter.

In the Journal of Lewis and Clark we read (Vol. II., p. 407), Saturday, 14 August.—“In the evening we were applied to by one of our men, Colter, who was desirous of joining the two trappers who had accompanied us, and who now proposed an expedition up the river, in which they were to find traps and give him a share of the profits. The offer was a very advantageous one, and as he had always performed his duty, and his services might be dispensed with, we agreed that he might go, provided none of the rest would ask or expect a similar indulgence. * * *

We supplied him, as did his comrades also, with powder and lead and a variety of articles which might be useful to him, and he left us the next day.”

If the secret of being dull did not lie in saying every thing, I would add various gleanings from the Lewis and Clark Journal showing how well Colter had done his duty for years. But I forbear.

The “dotted line" mentioned by Mr. Koch on the “Maps of Lewis and Clark's Track," is worthy of more particular description, for it is not found in many editions (as in the Dublin, 1817), and it may lead to further discoveries. That line starts from the upper waters of Pryor's Fork of the Yellowstone. Passing to the Big Horn, up it to Stinking Water, and up that stream nearly to a point marked "Boiling Spring ;" it then returns via Clark's Fork to the point from which it started.

A second loop of dotted lines leaving the first at the highest branch of Clark's Fork, crosses to the Yellowstone and up it some distance, leaves it for the north point of Lake Eustis (Yellowstone Lake] runs south along its west shore, and then, leaving Lake Biddle [Jackson) on the left, it reaches a branch of the Rio del Norte (Green River of Colorado] written down as Colter's River. Thence via the Upper Big Horn, the Salt Fork of the Stinking Water and the Boiling Spring, it returns to its starting-point. The legend Colter's Route in 1807, appears on the dotted line as it crosses from Clark's Fork to the Yellowstone. Just beyond its crossing of the Yellowstone are the words Hot Spring, Brimstone.

It is natural to ask “How came these dotted lines on the map of Lewis and Clark ?” their track was nowhere near the dotted lines, and their two octavos will be searched in vain for allusions to Yellowstone phenomena.

But the original drawing of the map was made by Captain Clark, and by him also the dotted lines and legends must have been added. When Colter arrived at Saint Louis in 1810 Clark had become governor there, and he knew Colter well. In Clark's papers then there is another possible source of further information about Colter's wanderings for three years and more after his discharge in 1806.

At the date of Colter's return to Saint Louis the only newspaper there published was the Missouri Gazette. The only copy of it now known to be in existence has been searched for me, but no syllable has been discovered concerning Colter, and only one line concerning Bradbury.

The earliest use of the word geyser to describe Park water-spouts should be sought out as indicating the time when those wonders first met the eyes of one who could tell what he had seen. Thus far, the earliest mention of the Western water-columns as geysers, appears to be in the article cited by Mr. Koch (p. 506) as published in 1842 at Nauvoo, although written possibly in 1833.

Nothing is more needed as a contribution to Western annals than a new edition of the Travels of Lewis and Clark. That work would have been prepared for the press by Capt. Lewis but for his death. It was prepared by hack writers, Paul Allen and Nicholas Biddle. Many details must have been omitted as unimportant, that in the light of subsequent events would be precious. Thanks to the care of Jefferson the original diaries in a dozen volumes are all treasured in the archives of the American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia. Let them not wait longer for a worthy redaction. MADISON, Wis.

JAMES D. BUTLER

NOTES

NAZING—In his “Memorials of the Pils that venerable homestead on the other grim Fathers," a paper written for the side of the broad Atlantic. If we were Royal Historical Society, W. Winters permitted to search over some of the old thus describes the sequestered village of deeds, now in the possession of the owners Nazing, England : “At first sight it pre- of these ancestral homes, it is quite possents a rather antique and interesting sible we might discover the very houses appearance, and one might justly sup- once occupied by the Pilgrim Fathers pose that little improvement had been prior to their departure for America.” made in the neighborhood for centuries, beyond the recent erection of a few new buildings. Many of the domestic build- WEBB-LIVINGSTON DUEL—The dispute ings, which are shaded by gigantic oaks between General Webb and William Livand elms, the resort of rooks and daws, ingston, jun. Esq., was terminated at are, we imagine, much about as they Powles Hook, on Tuesday the 5th inst. were when the Pilgrim Fathers took their in a manner that does credit to the parlast farewell of the place of their nativity. ties; and must, we conceive, be pleasing This original and select 'state of things to the real friends of both. The distance may, however, be partly accounted for

was agreed upon and the pistols loaded by the isolated situation of the village, it by their seconds-on a signal agreed being some distance from the smoke and upon for the gentlemen to discharge, noise of the 'iron horse.' The nearest General Webb fired-Mr. Livingston reapproach by rail to it is either from Wal- served his, and addressed General Webb tham, or Broxbourne Station, on the in the following manner: “Sir, you have Great Eastern Railway. Several of the missed me—I came here to answer deold houses inhabited by farm laborers mands you had against mehave thatched roofs, gable fronts, low suppressed that letter, which I never said eaves, with massive stacks of chimneys, you had, your life would be a recompense many of which are built outside. There

I cannot ask-I shall discharge my pisare other wooden houses of a higher class, tol in the air.” Which he did. The with tiled roofs and gable fronts, the seconds declared the contest honourably upper story considerably overhanging the settled, and to General Webb that he lower, many of which are very pictur- had ample satisfaction, and advised the esque and others are equally rustic, and contending gentlemen to reconciliation built exactly in the same style as the old and friendship, which took place on the house erected by William Curtis (a na- ground.-N. Y. Packet, September 11, tive of Nazing), in 1638-9, 'on the 1786.

W. K. margin of a little stream called Stoney Brook in Roxbury, Massachusetts.' One would naturally suppose that he had the CENTRAL NEW YORK-First Centenplan of one of those houses now standing nial Celebration of the settlement of in Nazing before him when he erected Whitestown, 1784-1884. The one hun

-had you

dredth anniversary of the first settlement thorities were cited, but all were from at Whitestown, was celebrated on the English authors on decisions of English 5th inst. under the auspices of the courts. Not a New York nor an AmerOneida Historical Society, at Utica, N. ican case or authority was referred to; Y. A large concourse of people as- and probably because there was none in sembled on the Whitestown green at an existence." early hour, and at 11 A.M., Hon. Charles An elegant collation was served by Tracy, of New York, opened the exercises the ladies of Whitestown in honor of the with an historical address, which was fol- occasion, to which some nine hundred lowed by speeches from Rev. A. I. Up- guests were invited. son, D.D., W. M. White, Chairman Campbell, Rev. Dr. M. E. Dunham, John F. COINS A CENTURY AGO-Mr. Domett, Seymour and others. A poem was also in his “History of the Bank of New read by B. F. Taylor. A handsome York," speaking of the coins of 1784, monument has been erected upon the says : “Both the Johannes and the moispot where the first settler, Hugh White, dore were gold coins of Portugal; the erected his house, the cost of which was Johannes being so called from the figure provided for by private subscription. In of King John which it bore. The Cartracing the growth of the town of White- oline was a German coin, and the pistole stown, the Hon. Charles Tracy said : was of the same value as the Louis d'or. “This town furnished to the Court of The chequin, sometimes written zeechin, Errors in 1805, the first chancery case in zechin, and sequin, was a gold coin, and the State on rights in a stream of water, had its name from La Zecha, a place in as affected by occupation and by un- the city of Venice where the mint was written agreements between the propri- situated. The chipping and sweating of etors of adjacent lands. In 1809, this the gold coins in circulation had long been village gave the Supreme Court its first carried on in New York, and as far back case on the law of escapes.

The jail

as 1770 the Chamber of Commerce had liberties here which were free to im- stigmatized it as an “evil and scandalous prisoned debtors, were so established practice,' and had passed a resolution that a certain sidewalk was within the agreeing not to take the light coins, exliberties, but the adjacent roadway was cept at a discount of fourpence for each not.

A prisoner strolling on a winter deficient grain. · A good deal of trouble day found this sidewalk encumbered was experienced at the bank after it comwith a snow-drift, and he stepped out menced business from this source, and into the roadway and walked there a few Hamilton was for some time occupied in rods; and the sheriff being sued for this devising a method of receiving and payas an escape, was condemned to pay the ing out gold. This had been done elsecreditor the whole amount of the judg- where by weighing in small quantities; ment, being over $5,000. Each of these a practice which was attended with many cases was argued ably by Whitestown evils, and for which, in the absence of a counsel, was considered by the courts national coinage, it was difficult to find with care and fully reported. Many au- a substitute."

« 上一頁繼續 »