Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific.

Messrs. Ross and Pillet returned on board on the 1st of April, without having learned anything respecting Mr. Fox and his party.  They did not even perceive along the beach any vestiges of the boat.  The natives who occupy Point Adams, and who are called Clatsops, received our young gentlemen very amicably and hospitably.  The captain and his companions also returned on the 4th, without having decided on a position for the establishment, finding none which appeared to them eligible.  It was consequently resolved to explore the south bank, and Messrs. M’Dougal and D. Stuart departed on that expedition the next day, promising to return by the 7th.

The 7th came, and these gentlemen did not return.  It rained almost all day.  The day after, some natives came on board, and reported that Messrs. M’Dougal and Stuart had capsized the evening before in crossing the bay.  This news at first alarmed us; and, if it had been verified, would have given the finishing blow to our discouragement.  Still, as the weather was excessively bad, and we did not repose entire faith in the story of the natives—­whom, moreover, we might not have perfectly understood—­we remained in suspense till the 10th.  On the morning of that day, we were preparing to send some of the people in search of our two gentlemen, when we perceived two large canoes, full of Indians, coming toward the vessel:  they were of the Chinook village, which was situated at the foot of a bluff on the north side of the river, and were bringing back Messrs. M’Dougal and Stuart.  We made known to these gentlemen the report we had heard on the 8th from the natives, and they informed us that it had been in fact well founded; that on the 7th, desirous of reaching the ship agreeably to their promise, they had quitted Chinook point, in spite of the remonstrances of the chief, Comcomly, who sought to detain them by pointing out the danger to which they would expose themselves in crossing the bay in such a heavy sea as it was; that they had scarcely made more than a mile and a half before a huge wave broke over their boat and capsized it; that the Indians, aware of the danger to which they were exposed, had followed them, and that, but for their assistance, Mr. M’Dougal, who could not swim, would inevitably have been drowned; that, after the Chinooks had kindled a large fire and dried their clothes, they had been conducted by them back to their village, where the principal chief had received them with all imaginable hospitality, regaling them with every delicacy his wigwam afforded; that, in fine, if they had got back safe and sound to the vessel, it was to the timely succor and humane cares of the Indians whom we saw before us that they owed it.  We liberally rewarded these generous children of the forest, and they returned home well satisfied.

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Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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