It is frequently a misfortune to have very brilliant men in charge of affairs. They expect too much of ordinary men. — Thucydides

Antoine of Oregon - James Otis




Trading at Fort Hall

At the end of the first week in August we arrived early one forenoon, at Fort Hall, which is a trading post belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company and having the appearance of a regular fortification, because of being built chiefly of adobe brick.

There we were able to buy flour at two cents a pound, providing we were willing to pay for it in cattle at the rate of from five to twelve dollars per head, and since we had two lame oxen and three cows that could travel but little farther, we laid in a supply, being allowed for our five animals thirty-six dollars in goods.

[Illustration] from Antoine of Oregon by James Otis

At this place John Mitchell's people were urged to abandon the idea of going into the Oregon country because of the hardships and dangers which must be encountered, and those trappers who were lounging about the fort insisted that it would be better that we went to California, instead of attempting to go farther on the road we had chosen.

The emigrants who had joined us on the way became frightened because of the many stories which were told, and decided to try their fortunes in California rather than Oregon. Therefore when we pulled out from Fort Hall, Susan Mitchell was saddened at parting with Mary Parker, who had been a cheery comrade for the girl during the time they had traveled together.