Thomas Holt
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Oregon Spectator, II: 3, 4 Mar 1847, p.4

Holt= s Journal

Thomas Holt, in company with five half breeds and one Frenchman, started on the 3d of last December, to assist the immigration then coming in on the southern route. They had a band of 34 horses. The following is a memoranda of travel kept by Mr. Holt.

Dec. 4th. We crossed the Rickreall and traveled 15 miles and camped on the north fork of the Luckemute. Some of the men started with the expectation that I had provisions for all hands, and did not bring any. I did not take any more than I wanted for my own use, as it was generally understood that Mr. Jones had started out with fifteen hundred weight of flour, and some beef cattle. I found out here that Mr. Jones had not started at all. I had two hundred weight of flour, and Rev. J. B. Baldrouch, 100 cwt. flour and one bacon ham, which he sent to be given to the needy. I found it necessary to get some more; I bought twenty-seven pounds of salt pork from Mr. J. Taylor.

Dec. 5th. Crossed the north and south fork of the Luckemute--swimming and bad crossing--traveled ten miles and camped on muddy creek. We met the first wagons here; Mr. Goff is here--he is bringing Mrs. Newton in. Mr. Newton, her husband, was killed in the most barbarous manner. Three Indians came to Mr. Newton and gave him to understand that he had better camp where he was; if he went any further, he would not get as good a place, and accordingly he camped. The Indians begged something to eat, and some ammunition, with the promise to fetch in a deer; one of the Indians could speak a little English. He gave them three balls and some powder. The Indian that could speak English, loaded his gun with the three balls, and remained about the camp. Mr. Newton suspected that all was not right and wanted them to go away, but they would not go. He thought he would watch them, but happened to drop asleep, and one of the Indians shot three balls into him; he was laying outside of the tent--he jumped inside of the tent to get his gun, and one of the Indians got an axe and cut his leg very nearly off. He died the next day of his wounds. The Indian robbed the tent of some articles and took an American mare and packed her off.

Dec. 6th. Crossed Mary= s river; there is a small canoe here that we cross our packs in, and swim our horses. Traveled nine miles and camped on the south bank; there are five families with their wagons here, and one family packing, camped here.

Dec. 7th. Traveled 18 miles and camped on the north bank of Lungtum river.

Dec 8th. Crossed our pack over the river in a canoe, and swam our horses. We overtook Capt. Campbell, Mr. Goodman, Mr. Jenkins, and Mr. Harris, with 25 horses and some provisions. They all tell us that they are going to the kanyon. We have more help than Capt. Campbell, and travel faster--he started three days before us. We met three families packing, and one family with a wagon. They tell us they have had nothing to eat to-day--the children are crying for bread; we let them have fifty pounds of flour. Traveled 4 miles through a mirery prairie, and camped on a slough.

Dec. 9th. We met 8 wagons and as many families, all out of provisions; we gave 10 pounds of flour to each family. Traveled 5 miles and camped on the Willamette. We waited here for Capt. Campbell to go ahead with the provisions, as we have no more to spare.

Dec. 10th. Traveled 14 miles and camped on Goose creek. There is a number of families encamped here, waiting for assistance; their teams have given out. Mr. Owens, Mr. Patten, Mr, Duskins, Mr. Hutchins, Mr. Howell, and Mr. Burrows overtook us to day with 24 horses.

Dec. 11th. The Frenchman and three half breeds turn back this morning; they are afraid if they go over the mountain, they will not get back this winter. I told Baptiste that Mr. Beers expected that he would go with me to the kanyon, and if he turned back, I could not go any further. He said that he did not think that the people back had any money to pay for being brought in. I told him that if he would go, that he should be paid--if the people was not able to pay him, that Mr. Beers would raise a subscription and pay him. He said that he owed Mr. Beers sixty dollars--that if I would see that paid, he would risk the rest; I told him I would see that paid. We came across four or five families encamped, about noon, at a bute in the prairie. These families could not get any further without assistance. Mr. Goodman, Mr. Hutchins, and Mr. Howell stopped here to assist them in. We traveled 23 miles and camped at the foot of the mountain. There are three families here that are in a very bad situation; their teams have given out, and they have no provisions. Mr. Campbell let them have some flour. I feel for them; it is hard for me to pass them, but when I know there are other helpless families among hostile Indians; I am bound to go on and assist them.

Crossed the Callapoia mountains; saw the carcasses of a good many dead animals today--met one family on the top of the mountains, packing,--met two families on south side of mountain, just ready to take the mountain; they were almost afraid to try to cross--their cattle were nearly giving out, and their provisions all gone. Mr. Campbell let them have some flour. Traveled 12 miles and camped on Deer creek. This is a very pretty valley, but it is small and scarce of timber. There is white and black oak, and some ash, but very little fir timber nearer than the mountain.

Dec. 14th. Traveled 15 miles and camped on the north fork of Elk river; there are five families here. Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Hall, Mr. Croizen, and Mr. Lovlen; they have neither flour, meat, nor salt, and game is very scarce. Baptiste killed two deer, and divided the meat among them. I gave them 50 pounds of flour.

Dec 15th. Crossed the north and south forks of Elk river, both swimming--we carried our packs across on logs. Mr. Campbell met his family here, and two others. Mr. Cornwall and Mr. Dunbar, Mr. Harris and Mr. Jenkins stopped here to help these families; there were not horses enough to take Mr. Cornwall= s= he moved to the other family. Mr. Campbell left nearly all his property with him. We traveled 6 miles and camped on a spring branch.

Dec. 15th. Traveled 9 miles and camped on the creek where Mr. Newton was killed by the Indians. We saw a camp of Indians on a small creek; when they saw us, they fun. Baptiste told them to stop--he went up to them--they told him that the Indians that killed the Boston man was on the south fork of the Umpqua river, and the mare that they stole was there also. We crossed the north fork of the Umpqua river in a canoe; the Indians made us give them a blanket for the use of the canoe; we swam our horses across.

Dec. 17th. Traveled up the south fork of the Umpqua 10 miles and camped on a spring branch. We met the last company of immigrants here, consisting of five families. They rejoiced very much when they saw us.

Dec. 18th. All hands busy making pack saddles.

Dec. 19th. The Indians stole a horse belonging to Baptiste. To-day we took the back-track. Mr. Owens took Mr. Crump= s family, Mr. Patten and Mr. Duskins took Mr. Butterfield= s family and the widow Butterfield, Baptiste took Mr. James Townsend= s family, Delore took Mr. David Townsend= s family, Thomas Holt took Mr. Baker= s family. These families had been out of bread for more than two months. Their teams were all about given out--they are taking their empty wagons along until they get to the river; there they will leave them. We traveled nine miles and camped on Rock creek.

Dec. 20th. The Indians stole 3 horses and 1 mule belonging to Mr. Owens, Mr. Patten and Mr. Duskins. We pursued the Indians so close, that we got the mule. We traveled 6 miles and camped on a spring branch.

Dec. 21st. Crossed the north fork of the Umpqua river. The Indians were very saucy; they told us that they would not let us have a canoe to cross--told us to go and hunt a ford; they knew the river was very high, and it could not be forded. We had to give a gun, valued at eight dollars, belonging to Delore, before we could get a canoe. We traveled nine miles and camped on the north bank.

Dec. 22d. Traveled 5 miles and camped on a spring branch. Snowed all day.

Dec. 23d. Traveled 10 miles and camped on the south fork of Elk river. We leave the wagons here.

Dec. 24th. It took us all day to cross the river. It is out of its banks. Drowned two oxen. Camped on the north bank.

Dec. 25th. Lay by to-day. It snowed all night. The snow is a foot deep.

Dec. 26th. Traveled a mile and a half and camped on the north fork of Elk river. We find these families in a very bad situation. Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Hall state to us, that their families have had nothing to eat for four days, but a little tallow boiled in water. Mr. Baker has three oxen that were driven from the settlement; he paid 75 dollars a yoke for them. I proposed to him to let these families have them. He said that he had lost nearly all his property in the kanyon, and these oxen were all he had to depend on. These people are not able to pay him for them--I thought it rather a hard case that he should lose them, and thought that under such circumstances, the people in the settlements would pay him by subscription. I told him that if he would leave them, I would insure his pay, whatever they cost him. He left them, and we divided them out, one to Mr. Kennedy= s family, one to Mr. Hall= s and one to Mr. Croizen= s family, and three quarters of one to Mr. Cornwall= s family. I gave 50 pounds of beef to two men that are encamped here, for an axe, and sold them 10 pounds of tallow for one dollar. I gave the axe to Mr. Townsend, it being very cold weather, and he having no axe to cut fire wood with. Mr. Owens leaves us to day to go ahead. Mr. Duskins goes with him--as he has lost his horses, he can be of no more service to Mr. Butterfield. I let Mr. Townsend and Mr. Baker have 80 pounds each of beef. I omitted to state, that Mr. Burrows returned on the 15th, and packed Mr. Lovlen= s family in.

Dec. 26th. We lay by to-day to dry our clothes. This is the first clear day we have had since we left the settlements.

Dec. 28th. Traveled 6 miles and camped on a spring branch. This is very slow getting along in consequence of having to pack oxen. I let the widow Butterfield have a horse to ride, the Indians having stolen her horse.

Jan. 1st. Crossed the mountains--the snow three feet deep in places. I cached some flour in the mountains, going out. I opened the cache to-day--our mouths water for some bread, and we have been out some time. Traveled 10 miles and camped at the foot of the mountain.

Jan. 5th. To-day and the last three days traveled 24 miles and camped at the Skinner house. We met Mr. Powers here, with three horses to assist Mr. Butterfield.

Jan. 6th. Mr. Butterfield gave a dollar and a half towards paying for Delore= s gun= he lies by to-day. We traveled 6 miles and camped on the Willamette.

Jan. 8th. Very cold and frosty; swam two creeks--the women and children got went and came very near freezing. We had to camp--traveled 14 miles yesterday and to-day.

Jan. 9th. Crossed Lungtum river swimming--traveled 10 miles and camped at Scott=s bute. Mr. Butterfield overtook us again to-day.

Jan. 10th. Crossed Mary= s river, swimming. Traveled 10 miles and camped on the north bank of the river.

Jan. 11th. Traveled 12 miles and camped on muddy creek. Mr. Butterfield was taken sick and stopped here.

Jan. 12th. Traveled 5 miles and remained with Mr. William son the Luckemute. Very stormy and cold.

Jan. 17th. After lying by four days in consequence of storms and severe weather, traveled 7 miles and stopped with Mr. Harris. Crossed the Luckemute below the forks, swimming. Very stormy. Baptiste traveled on the 14th and crossed the Luckemute, and drowned one of his horses. He left the two Townsend families at the forks of the Luckemute.

Jan. 18th. Traveled 8 miles and stayed at Judge Nesmith= s. Very cold and stormy--two horses gave out to-day.

Jan. 19th. The horses are so stiff to-day that they cannot travel. I leave Mr. Baker= s family here, I took the best horse that I have to ride to Mr. Beers= house. I got as far as the Rickreall, and he gave out.

Jan. 20th. I took it a foot this morning, as far as Mr. Keyser= s. I got a horse from Mr. Keyser and stayed all night.

Jan. 21st. Went to Mr. Beers= today. One horse died this day. On this day, Jan 21st, 1847, I arrived at home, after having been gone fifty days, undergoing many privations and hardships, but I feel that I have done no more than my duty. The public doubtless is aware of the humane object of our trip. It was to relieve our fellow beings who were suffering almost beyond description. As the painful news of their suffering was not to be heard without prompting some of us to endeavor to relieve them as far as we could. We succeeded in relieving many who must have perished. Our party agreed to charge nothing for the use of our horses; and as yet we have not received any thing. And I feel it will be too great a lose on us as individuals, to be at the whole of the expense of the trip. Therefore, I appeal to the public to know if they will not bear a hand in defraying the expenses of the trip. It will not be felt by the many, but to be wholly defrayed by persons in as indigent circumstances as we are in, will be felt considerably.

I therefore subjoin a bill of expenses:--

To provisions taken from home,

$12.00

For  ferriage,

19.25

To  

pork brought on the trip,

 3.12

A  

Horse stolen

 40.00

A  

Three beeves bought and distributed (cash)

 112.00

A  

Horse drowned

 40.00

A  

Horse died

 40.00

  Baptiste Gardapie= s service

80.00

A  

Q. Delore= s service

 60.00

A   Sundry expenses

 10.00

 

Total

$426.37

Thomas Holt

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