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general information.' The pamphlet is published by the Oregon State Board of Navigation, at the Eastern Office at Washington Street, Boston, Mass., and bears date 1877., From this pamphlet copious extracts have been made, as also from various official reports of the U.S. Government.
Oregon is the most north-westerly State in the Union, Washington Territory, which bounds it on the north, not having as yet been able to constitute itself a State. It lies between 42° and 46° of northern latitude, or at about the same distance from the equator as the south of France and north of Spain. It is bounded on the east by Idaho, on the west by the Pacific Ocean, on the north by the Columbia River, and on the south by Cali. fornia and Nevada. It extends on an average for 350 miles east and west, and for 275 miles north and south, and contains 95,274 square miles, that is to say, it has an area exceeding that of England, Wales, and Scotland by about 5500 square miles.
The Cascade Mountains, a continuation of the range known in California as the Sierra Nevada, stretch across the State from north to south at a distance of about 110 miles from the Pacific, having an average elevation apparently of about 7000 feet, with passes of only 4500 feet above sea level. A series of mostly isolated volcanic peaks scattered along the range rise snowcapped above the general mountain mass; such are the Three Sisters, Mount Hood (11,025 feet), Mount Jefferson, Mount Pitt, &c. These fine peaks, towering far above the main range, and being covered with snow and glaciers, render the Cascade Mountains far more striking and beautiful in scenic effect than the Sierra Nevada of California. The Cascade Range divides Oregon into two distinct sections, known as Eastern and Western Oregon. Of these the former contains by far the most territory, but the latter is far more advanced in
civilization, and within its natural boundaries, that is, between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific coast, well-nigh nine-tenths of the present population are living.
In Western Oregon, another range of mountains, the « Coast Range,” extends along the Pacific coast, and varies in distance from the Cascade Range from 40 to 70 miles. Its average height is said to be 2500 feet above sea level, and its highest points not more than 5000 feet. Where traversed by us at the head waters of the Yaquina River the general elevation of the mountains was less, although Mary's Peak, close by, was ascertained to have an alti. tude of about 4000 feet. The easy passes over the range are only about 700 feet above the sea level.
Eastern Oregon is subdivided, so to speak, into Middle Oregon and Eastern Oregon proper, by the Blue Mountains, a range with a general north and south direction situate at a distance of about 150 miles east of the Cascade Mountains. Whilst in Western Oregon the general extent of the flat country, consisting principally of the broad valley of the Willamette, is only elevated 60 or 100 feet above sea level, the extensive plains composing Middle Oregon are a tableland, and were found at Prineville or Ochico to be elevated 2800 feet above sea level.
The Columbia River is the most important on the Pacific slope of the American continent. It rises in a small lake among the western declivities of the Rocky Mountains, 576 miles in a direct line from its mouth, and flows in a devious course 1360 miles to the Pacific, forming a great portion of the dividing line between Oregon and Washington territory on the north. It has a basin with an area of 194,400 square miles. Its first wanderings are northward along the base of its great hill ranges, and afterwards it shapes its course due west to the sea, though very capriciously. It is a rapid river, pushing its way through mighty mountain passes and in many a cataract of marvellous beauty. In its course through the Cascade Ranges it falls into a series of charming rapids, which may be numbered amongst the chief natural attractions of the country. The tide sets up to this point 140 miles. For 30 or 40 miles from its mouth the Columbia spreads out into a chain of bay-like expansion, from four to seven miles or more in width. Its average width is less than a mile. The shores are lined with grand mountain heights, making the landscape everywhere extremely interesting and impressive.
Vessels of 200 to 300 tons burden may ascend to the foot of the Cascades. Above this point the river is navigable for small vessels only, and but at intervals on its course.
The Willamette, the largest tributary of the Columbia, lies with all its affluents, the Santiam, Luckiamute, Mary, &c., entirely within Western Oregon. The river flows from the foot of the Cascade Range 200 miles, first north-west and then north, to join the Columbia, 8 miles below Fort Vancouver. Its way is through the beautiful valley lands which bear its name, and upon its banks are Oregon city, Portland, Corvallis, Eugene city, and other thriving places. Ocean steamers ascend 15 miles to Portland. Ten miles above this point a series of fine falls occurs in the passage of the river, above which the waters are again navigable perhaps 60 miles for small steamboats.
The valley of the Willamette is a most fertile region. It is 50 miles by 100 miles in extent, and supports by its agricultural products nearly one-half the entire population of the State ; and it is to the great fertility of the basin of this river that the prosperity and present advancement of Oregon are due.
Other smaller rivers, such as the Rogue, Umpqua, Siletzo, Yaquina, and others, furrowing the Coast Ranges, and with varying amounts of flat or bottom land in their valleys, drain into the Pacific Ocean directly.
In Middle Oregon the principal rivers are the Des Chutes, John Day, and Umatilla Rivers ; and in Eastern Oregon, the Snake River. All of these join the Columbia. There are numerous lakes in South-eastern Oregon, the principal of which are Klamath, Goose, and Warner Lakes, and Lake Harney.
I travelled the entire length of Western Oregon from south to north by coach and railway, so as only to obtain a hurried glance at the country passed by, but a journey taken from west to east across the centre of Western and Middle Oregon, extending from Yaquina Bay to Ochico or Prineville on Crooked River east of the Cascades, was more deliberate, and on the whole I have had a fair opportunity to judge of the prospects and present condition of the country, excepting in the case of Eastern Oregon proper, of which I have seen nothing, but judge only from published accounts and by the reports of a few cattle owners whom I met with in Middle Oregon.
The discovery of Oregon is an honour disputed by the British and Spanish nations, for the coast was visited by navigators from both countries in the sixteenth century. Ferello, the pilot of Cabrillo, a Spaniard, is said to have reached as far N. as lat. 43o, in 1547, while in 1579 Drake arrived at the forty-eighth parallel. In 1778 Cook sailed along Oregon. Heceta, in 1775, and Vancouver, early in 1792, suspected the existence of an important river from the general appearance of the bay into which the Columbia empties itself.
The estuary of the Columbia River was first entered in 1792, by Captain Baker, an Englishman, and by Captain Gray, of Boston, commanding the ship Columbia,' from which vessel the present name of the river is derived. On account of the priority of the entrance of the latter explorer, the American Government laid claim to the entire country watered by the river and its affluents; but the river was actually ascended for the first time by Lieut. Broughton, R.N., who, a few months after Captain Gray had entered its mouth, went up it for above 100 miles, and formally took possession of the country in the name of his sovereign, George III. In 1804 an expedition was sent out by the United States, commanded by Captain Lewis and Clark, who crossed the Rocky Mountains and descended the Columbia to the Pacific, passing the winter of 1805-6 at the mouth of the river. From that period the coast became the resort of English and American fur traders, and the official report of these