Antoine of Oregon - James Otis

Arrival at Fort Boise

I shall not speak of that terrible time, save to say that the good God permitted us to arrive finally at Fort Boise at the very moment when I believed there was no hope of our succeeding. It was as if we had been dead and come alive again, when the trappers came out to meet us, and carried the women and children into the inclosure, for, having arrived where grass could be found, the hungry beasts came to a full stop nearly a quarter mile distant, nor was it possible to force them forward a single pace farther.

Fort Boise is a Hudson's Bay Company's post, and if the trappers and traders there had been members of the American Company they could not have treated us with greater kindness. Because of our exhausted condition the men took entire charge of our cattle, and we were treated almost as children, being waited upon during the first hours after our arrival as if we were not capable of caring for ourselves, which I suppose really was the case, for if we had been allowed to have all the food we desired some of the weaker ones might have eaten until they died.

[Illustration] from Antoine of Oregon by James Otis

Two days at this post served to put the members of the company, as well as the cattle, in fairly good condition, and the men who had treated us so kindly urged that we take our departure without further loss of time lest we be overtaken by snowstorms while among the Blue Mountains, which range it would be necessary to cross before we arrived at the Oregon country.