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discovered and named Boothia. Parry explored the northern coasts of Fludson's Bay, and discovered Fury and Hecla Straits. Dr. Richardson, and Captains Franklin and Beechy, also made extensive discoveries along the shores of the Polar Sea.

These expeditions led to another, terminating in some important results. Ross had sailed in 1829, and for four winters nothing was heard of him-a circumstance which excited the deepest anxiety. Accordingly, an expedition was fitted out to go in search of him, and Captain Back, an able officer who had served under Franklin and Richardson, volunteered to conduct it. He sailed from Liverpool, February 17, 1833, and, after visiting New York, ascended the Hudson to Albany. In April, he reached Montreal. After numerous difficulties in raising provisions and men, he sailed up the Ottawa, to a small stream leading into Nipissing Lake, and thence by the Rivière des Français, he entered Lake Huron. Then, crossing Lake Superior, Rainy, and Lake of the Woods, they reached Fort Alexander at the southern extremity of Lake Winnepeg. From the settlers in this vicinity he received the most marked attention, and was furnished by Governor Simpson with every convenience. The party then commenced their dreary journey toward the north, sometimes sailing along rivers, then carrying their canoes across almost impassable surfaces, and even fording torrents and cascades. The thermometer was sometimes 90° below zero; and a huge fire in a small apartment could not raise the temperature higher than 12° above zero. Ink and paint froze, and boxes of the best seasoned wood split. The skin of the hands cracked and opened in gashes. When the face was washed near the fire, before it could be dried the hair was clotted with ice. All living beings disappeared; no sound but that of the passing wind broke the awful stillness. Captain Back penetrated far to the north and passed the winter; but he found it almost impossible to prosecute further discoveries. In the following year, he was compelled to retrace his steps, and on the 8th of September arrived at Liverpool. This expedition was followed by others of a similar character. The Hudson's Bay Company now manages the affairs of the territory. There are four principal stations, between which the country is divided; York Fort, Moose Fort, Montreal, and Fort Vancouver. Smaller stations are scattered throughout the territory, some of which afford protection and support to pious missionaries, who are engaged in the laudable work of instructing the natives in religion and civilization.

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HE term Oregon has, until lately, been employed to designate the country extending from California to the Russian possessions, and from the Pacific to the Rocky Mountains. It was visited as early as 1579 by Sir Francis Drake, who, pursuing the track already commenced by the Spanish navigators, sailed along the coast as far north as 48°. It is very probable that even previous to this the Spaniards had sailed further northward than the ex

tremity of California. In 1598, D'Aguilar, commander of an expedition under Philip III., of Spain, visited the coast, and discovered




the mouth of the Columbia; but his account of the expedition was treated by his countrymen with unmerited neglect.

For nearly two centuries after that period, the Spaniards made no further attempts either at discovery or settlement; and the distant region of Oregon seems to have been considered by all nations as an unknown territory. But when maritime enterprise revived in the latter part of the eighteenth century, Spain established ten stations (1769-1779) along the coast of Northern California. In 1774, Juan Perez sailed from California as far north as 55°. On his return he anchored in San Lorenzo bay, probably Nootka Sound. Nearly the same ground was passed over in 1775, by another Spanish expedition under Don Bruno Heceta. In 1776, Captain Cook, of England, examined the western coast from 44° to Behring's Straits.

On account of the discoveries of Drake and Cook, Great Britain claimed all Oregon, and established small posts throughout the territory, under the auspices of the Hudson's Bay Company. It was further visited by Vancouver, in 1791, who made several important explorations. But a new impulse was given to adventure in this quarter, by a series of enterprises conducted by land. Mackenzie discovered the Frazer river, (1793,) and explored it to a considerable distance. In the early part of the present century, Mr. David Thompson, surveyor and astronomer of the British North-west Company, crossed the Rocky Mountains into Oregon, and explored a branch of the Columbia. In 1807, he established a trading-post near British America, and spent there two years; at the end of which time he founded another station on the Flathead. Altogether he spent several years in the country, making valuable topographical observations upon the lands bordering on the Columbia.


The American Revolution having secured the Independence of the United States, the merchants of that country manifested, with increased ardor, that spirit of commercial enterprise which had been arrested during the arduous struggle. On the 7th of May, 1792, Captain Robert Gray, in the ship Columbia, of Boston, entered the Columbia river, to which he gave the name of his vessel. is the first definite account given of that stream. During the administration of Mr. Jefferson, Lewis and Clark were dispatched (August, 1805,) on an expedition to explore the region beyond the mountains. They reached the latter range, in latitude 44° north, crossed it, discovered the southern head-waters of the

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Columbia, floated down its stream for about six hundred miles, then struck off in a westerly direction, and, on the 15th of November, reached its mouth. Here they built some huts, remained in them during the winter, and, in 1806, returned to the United States, exploring, in their course, many of the tributaries of the Columbia. This, until very recently, was the only occasion in which the Rocky Mountains have been crossed by persons acting in a public capacity.

In 1806, Mr. Frazer, of the North-west Company, established a trading post on Frazer's river, in about latitude 54°; and, in 1811, Mr. Thompson, agent of the same company, discovered the northern head-waters of the Columbia, (52° north,) and erected some huts on its banks. In the same year, John Jacob Astor, of New York, despatched an expedition, both by sea and land, which met near the mouth of the Columbia, and erected on its southern bank a little fort. This was named Astoria, and was intended to be the centre of an extensive trade between America and China. During the war of 1812, it was captured by the British, and the name changed to Fort George; but by the treaty of Ghent it was restored to the Americans. Not long afterwards, Astoria was abandoned as a government settlement.

On the 22d of February, 1819, Spain and the United States esta

blished, by the Florida treaty, the forty-second parallel as their mutual boundary, from the source of the Arkansas down to the Pacificthe former power yielding her claim to all territories north of that lino. In 1824-5, the Russians effected an agreement with the United States, renouncing all right to any land south of 54° 40. A similar treaty was stipulated with Great Britain; and thus the tract between 42° north and 54° 40', was left to be apportioned between the two great leading powers of Europe and America.

Negotiations for establishing a permanent boundary were almost immediately commenced. The Americans had already offered (1818) the 49° north latitude, as that boundary, but this was refused; and, in 1824, they renewed it. The British government claimed to the Columbia. Both efforts were fruitless; and a third, in 1826, was attended with a like result. On the 6th of August, 1827, the two nations agreed on a resolution of "joint occupancy," leaving the territory free to the hunters and companies of each, to carry on trade and build posts. From that time until 1845, the whole region was under the almost entire control of the Hudson's Bay Company, whose members established numerous posts along its northern and western limits. But during the great presidential canvass for 1844, the subject of a definite boundary to Oregon became a great measure, an item of politics; and when President Polk assumed the executive chair, public interest, both in the United States and England, became painfully awakened to the claims of the two rivals. The President soon showed a disposition to have the subject brought to an immediate issue. In the message of December, 1845, he recommended the termination of joint occupancy, and claimed the whole of Oregon, up to 54° 40'. The British were firm in maintaining their claim, and made active preparations for war. This resource now seemed inevitable, and the question of its occurrence rested wholly with the Senate. That august body acted in a manner worthy the highest representatives of a Christian nation. On the 16th of April, 1846, the Senate passed a resolution authorizing the President to notify Great Britain, at his discretion, of the abrogation of the terms of convention which had passed the resolution of joint occupancy. Meanwhile, negotiations were actively carried on with a view of concluding a treaty. In June, the English ambassador proposed the boundary line of 49°, and the free navigation of the Columbia to that point, as the basis of an agreement; and the Senate authorized the President to accept it. This was

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