Today in History:

29 Series I Volume L-II Serial 106 - Pacific Part II


patiently and so constantly given in support of law and order and in support of the Constitution and Government of our beloved country. And now, sir, after the presentation of my sincere personal respects, and of my cordial congratulations upon your military promotion to the honorable position of a general in the U. S. service, I wish to express the satisfactory confidence I feel in your appointment to be commanding officer of this military District of Oregon State and of Washington Territory, for, with your military experience and sound practical judgment, which length of service and rigid observance alone can give, I feel an abiding hope and confidence that with your watchful military vigilance, the lives and property, with the peace and quiet of all our permanently settled and of our mining population, as well as the vast multitude of overland emigrants now coming to this country, will all be carefully preserved and protected. With these feelings allow me to request your careful and earnest consideration to the universally believed reports that vast numbers of emigrants would leave Kansas City, Fort Leavenworth, Saint Joseph, Omaha City, and many other points and places along the Missouri River on or about the 1st day of May last on their overland travel route to various places in California, Oregon, and Washington Territory. And their main traveling road will be along the North Fork of the Platte River and across the dividing ridge of the Rocky Mountains at the South Pass, and by way of Fort Hall down the Snake River road to the valley of the Columbia River, and from all parts of the main Columbia River, the new coming emigrants will scatter through the State of Oregon and through Washington Territory seeking for permanent location and settlement as farmers; while others will leave the Snake River road at various points to hunt for the Salmon River gold mines and other mining districts in Washington Territory; while other large bodies of emigrants are expected ouis in steam-boats and run up the waters of the Missouri River and its tributaries as far as Fort Benton, and from thence travel westward across the Rocky Mountains and scatter through the widely spread mining country between the Rocky and the Cascade Mountains, in this Territory, while some of the new comers by the Fort Benton route will aim directly for Walla Walla and the Columbia River country. Those first starting trains of emigrants who left the Missouri River about the 1st day of May may be expected to arrive at the South Pass, or perhaps may have reached Fort Hall, by this date, and large numbers will leave the Missouri River at various dates after the 1st day of May, and, of course, will reach Fort Hall and Fort Benton at different times throughout the summer and fall months of this year. With these views I respectfully and earnestly request your careful and compassionate attention and consideration to the immediate and pressing necessity of your affording and providing sufficient military protection to all the vast mass of defenseless men, women, and children now on their overland travel routes to this Territory and to Oregon, and thereby save them all from the savage and butchering attacks of the merciless and brutal Snake Indians and other murdering, thieving, and unfriendly tribes. Allow me to beg you to consider the safety of all the lives of the overland emigrants, together with all their teams and property, entirely in your own safe-keeping, and I most earnestly commend them all to your compassionate and fatherly care and protection.

With very sincere respect, your obedient servant,


Governor of Washington Territory.