Coquelle Trails

Volume II: Journal Entries, Surveyor Notes, Indices & References

Part 1. Journals & Correspondence


2. Jedediah Smith & Harrison Rodgers Journal Entries, June 29 – July 10, 1828

The Smith and Rodgers journal excerpts used here and referenced in the text are from Dale (1918) and Sullivan (1992).


June 29th 1828

JEDEDIAH SMITH: June 29th N N West 5 Miles. The traveling for the last two days much alike alternately on the beach and over the hills which generally closed in to the shore near which the country was generally prairae [sic] with some thickets. Farther back from the coast the hills were high rough and covered with thickets & timber. This day I could have traveled farther had it not been high tide which prevented me from traveling on the beach and the hills were too rough to allow me to leave the shore. In the vicinity of my camp the country was clothed with fine grass and other herbage, a good grazing country though somewhat rough.  

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Sunday, June 29th, 1828.  We made an early start again this morning, stearing [sic?] as yesterday N.N.W. along the beach and hills, and travelled 5M. and enc. on account of the water being high, which prevented us from getting along the shore, or we should have travelled a great deal further, as the point of the mou. was too ruff that come into the beach to get along. The travelling yesterday and to-day much alike. I killed one deer after we enc. The day clear and warm.

June 30th 1828

JEDEDIAH SMITH:  June 30th North 5 Miles.  After traveling 2 Miles I was obliged to leave the coast and travel over the hills to my encampment which was a short distance from the shore where there was good grass. From a high hill I had an opportunity to view the country which Eastward was high rough hills and mountains generally timbered & north long the coast apparently Low with some prairae. In climbing a precipice on leaving the shore one of my pack Mules fell off and was killed.

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Monday, June 30th, 1828. We was up and under way in good season, directing our course N.N.W. along the beach 1 mile, then took a steep point of [Humbug] mountain, keeping the same course, and travelled over it and along the beach 6 miles more, and encamped.  Lossed one mule last night, that fell in a pitt that was made by Inds. for the purpose of catching elk, and smothered to death; one other fell down a point of mou. today and got killed by the fall. The day clear and pleasant.

July 1st, 1828

JEDEDIAH SMITH:  July 1st 1828 North 9 Miles.  At 5 Miles from camp crossed a creek the outlet of a small Lake on which was some Beaver sign.  At this place the hills recede from the shore leaving a bluff from 30 to 100 feet in heighth.  Immediately on this bank is a narrow skirt of prairae and further back low Pine & brush.  The soil thin and loose.  Encamped on a river 60 yards wide on which there was some beaver sign.  I found the tide too high to cross.  For the past three days but one deer had been killed but as we had dried meat we did not suffer from hunger.  We saw appearances of Elk have been abundant in the vicinity when the grass was tender.   For many days we had hardly got sight of an indian and but one had visited camp since my horses were killed.  In the course of the days travel one of my horses was crowded off from a cliff and killed.

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Tuesday, July 1st, 1828.  All hands up early and under way, stearing as yesterday N. along the beach of the ocean and across the points of small hills and travelled 12 miles and enc.  The day clear and warm; one Ind. in camp early this morning.  The country for several days past well calculated for raising stock, both cattle and hogs, as it abounds in good grass and small lakes a little off from the beach where there is good roots grows for hogs.  One horse killed again to-day by falling.

July 2nd, 1828

JEDEDIAH SMITH:  July 2nd 12 Miles North principally along the shore at 6 Miles from camp passing a small Lake.  During the days travel the hills were generally 3 or 4 Miles from the shore the intermediate space being interspersed with grassy pairae brush, sand hills & low Pines. 

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Wednesday, July 2nd, 1828.  We made a pretty early start again this morning, stearing N., and travelled 12 miles and enc.  No accident has happened in regard to horses to-day.  We travelled pretty much along the beach and over small sand hills; the timber, small pine; the grass not so plenty nor so good as it has been some days past.  The country, for 3 days past, appears to leave the effects of earth quakes at some period past, as it is quite cut to pieces in places and very broken, although it affords such an abundance of good grass and clover.  The weather still good.  As the most of the mens times expired this evening, Capt. Smith called all hands and gave them up there articles, and engaged the following men to go on with him, at one dollar per day, untill he reaches the place of deposit, viz;
           John Gaiter                  Abraham Laplant
           Arthur Black                Charles Swift
           John Hanna                  Thos. Daws
           Emanuel Lazarus         Tousaint Marishall 
Daws  time to commence when he gets well enough for duty. Also Peter Ranne and Joseph Palmer, at the above named price, one dollar per day, and Martin McCoy 200 dollars, from the time he left the Spanish country, untill he reaches the deposit.

July 3rd, 1828

JEDEDIAH SMITH:  July 3rd 5 Miles N N West.  At 2 Miles from camp I came to a river 200 yards wide which although the tide was low was deep and apparently a considerable River.  On first arriving in sight I discovered [two] some indians moving as fast as possible up the river in a canoe.  I ran my horse to get above them in order to stop them.  When I got opposite to them & they discovered they could not make their escape they put ashore and drawing their canoe up the bank they fell to work with all their might to split it in pieces.

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Thursday, July 3rd, 1828.  We made a pretty early start, stearing N. along the pine flatts close by the beach of the ocean, and travelled 2 m., and struck a river about 2 hundred yards wide, and crossed it in an Ind. canoe.  Capt. Smith, being a head, saw the Inds. in the canoe, and they tried to get off but he pursued them so closely that they run and left it.  They tryed to split the canoe to pieces with thir poles, but he screamed at them, and they fled, and left it, which saved us of a great deal of hard labour making rafts.  After crossing our goods, we drove in our horses, and they all swam over, but one; he drowned pretty near the shore.  We packed up and started again after crossing the beach N., and travelled 5 miles more, and encamped.  Saw some Inds. on a point close by the ocean; Marishall caught a boy about 10 years old and brought him to camp.  I give him some beads and dryed meat; he appears well and satisfied, and makes signs that the Inds. have all fled in their canoes and left him.  I killed one deer to-day.  The country similar to yesterday; the day warm and pleasant.

July 4th, 1828

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Friday, July 4th.  We made a start early, stearing N.N.W. 9 m., and enc.  The travelling pretty bad, as we were obliged to cross the low hills, as they came in close to the beach, and the beach being so bad that we could not get along, thicketty and timbered, and some very bad ravenes to cross.  We enc. on a long point, where there was but little grass fir the horses.  Good deal of elk signs, and several hunters out but killed nothing, the weather still good.

July 5th, 1828

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Saturday, July 5th, 1828.  We travelled 1 ½ miles to-day N. and, finding good grass, enc. as our horses was pretty tired.  Two Inds., who speak Chinook, came to our camp; they tell us we are ten days travell from Catapos on the wel Hamett, which is pleasing news to us.  Plenty of elk signs, and several hunters out, but killed nothing.

July 6th, 1828

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Sunday, July 6th.  N. 2 miles to-day and enc., the travelling very bad, mirery and brushy; several horses snagged very bad passing over fallen hemlock; after encamping, two elk killed,

July 7th, 1828

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Monday, July 7th, 1828.  We concluded to stay here to-day for the purpose of resting our horses and getting meat and clearing a road to the mouth of a large river that is in sight, about 2 miles distant that we cannot get to without.  About 100 Inds. in camp, with fish and mussels for sale; Capt. Smith bought a sea otter skin from the chief; one of them have a fuzill, all have knives and tommahawks.  One a blanket cappon, and a number of pieces of cloth.  The weather for several days past good.

July 8th, 1928

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Tuesday, July 8th, 1828.  We made an early start, directing our course N. along the beach and low hills; the travelling very bad on account of ravenes, fallen timber, and brush.  We made 2 miles and struck the river and enc.  The river at the mouth is about 1 m. wide, the Inds. very numerous, they call themselves the Ka Koosh.  They commenced trading shell and scale fish, rasberrys, strawberrys, and 2 other kinds of bury that I am unacquainted with, also some fur skins.  In the evening, we found they had been shooting arrows into 8 of our horses and mules; 3 mules and one horse died shortly after they were shot.  The Inds. all left camp, but the 2 that acts as interpreters; they tell us that one Ind. got mad on account of a trade he made and killed the mules and horses.  The weather still good.  One horse left today that was ma[i]m[ed].

July 9th, 1928

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Wednesday, July 9th.  We made an early start again this  morning, and crossed the 1st fork of the river, which is 400 or 500 yards wide, and got all our things safe across about 9 o.c. A.M., then packed up and started along the beach along the river N., and travelled about 2 miles, and struck another river and enc.  We crossed in Ind. canoes; a great many Inds. live along the river bank; there houses built after the fashion of a shed.  A great many Inds. in camp with fish and berris for sale; the men bought them as fast as they brought them.  We talked with the chiefs about those Inds. shooting our horses, but could get but little satisfaction as they say that they were not accessary to it, and we, finding them so numerous and the travelling so bad, we thought it advisable to let it pass at present without notice.  We bought a number of beaver, land, and sea otter skins from them in the course of the day.

July 10th, 1828

HARRISON G. ROGERS:  Thursday, July 10th, 1828.  We commenced crossing the river early, as we had engaged canoes last night; we drove in our horses and they swam across; they had to swim about 600 yards.  Our goods was all crossed about 9 o.c. A.M. and 2 horses that was wounded, and one was much, remained, that Capt. Smith and 5 men stay to cross; the 2 horses dyed of there wounds, and Capt. Smith swam the mule along side of the canoe.  He was some what of opinion the Inds. had a mind to attact him from there behaviour, and he crossed over where the swells was running pretty high, and, there being good grass, we enc. for the day; the Inds. pretty shy.  The river we crossed to-day unites with the one we crossed yesterday and makes an extensive bay that runs back into the hills; it runs N. and S., or rather heads N.E. and enters the ocean S.W., at the entrance into the ocean its about 1 ½ miles wide.

Vol. II, Part 1.3. Lt. Col. Silas Casey Correspondence, October 24 - December 14, 1851


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