- As to the origin of the name Pudding River there is much confusion. One account states that the term was bestowed by a party of hunters that consumed a blood pudding while camped on the stream. J. Q. Thornton thought the name was corrupted from Put-in. So far as ascertained, the name was first used by Alexander Henry, the younger, who wrote in his journal, January 21, 1814: "At 11 A. M. we passed a small stream on our left called by our people, 'Pudding River.' " See Leslie M. Scott, "History of the Oregon Country," I. 283. Thornton "Oregon and California," I. 285. The authorities are collected in Carey, Hilt. Ore. 48.
- John Minto. Minto Pass, Ore. Hist. Quar. IV. 242.
- Victor, "Early Indian Wars," 73 ff.
- S. A. Clark in Ore. Hist. Soc. Scrapbook XL. 34.
- Brown MS.
- R. C. Geer.
- G. W. Hunt, "A History of the Hunt Family," 34. Mr. Hunt was a member of Geer's company.
- Those in the party were John Warnock, Richard Miller, Mitchell Whitlock, James Brown, John Stanton, M. W. Wilkins, William Langlois, Lauren Thomas and others. Brown MS., Oregonian, April 3, 1877.
- And Coosa was not wrong in his atdtude, as the Indian title to this part of the country was not extinguished until a number of years later.
- In the cabin at the time were Mrs. Mitchell Whitlock and baby, Dick Thomas, then a boy, Mrs. Miller and two daughters, Sarah and Amelia, and a son, Thomas Miller. L. S. Thomas MS., 1916.
- A "big chief" or even "a man of God;" a term with many shades of meaning.
- L. S. Thomas MS.
- Bancroft, Hist. Or. I. 747. This reference to the Patterson family is erroneous. At the time John Patterson was unmarried. His marriage took place June 2, 1853. Don. Cer. No. 5133. At this time he was away in the Cayuse war, in Captain Maxon's 4th company. Bancroft, Hist. Ore. I. 683. His cabin was but a few hundred yards south of Miller's on the south slope of the hill between Miller cemetery and the Abiqua, and at this time was occupied by the family of Samuel Allen, who arrived on the Abiqua in October, 1847. Louisa Allen MS. 3.
- "In looking back over this affair I am fully persuaded that the promptness of the whites saved the settlers from a bloody Indian war, for there was a council held, at which I was present, and it was not the intention to harm the Indians but to surround them and escort them out of the country." A History of the Hunt Family, 34; Oregonian, March 12, 1877.
- L. S. Thomas MS.; Oregonian, March 20, 1877, and September 6, 1885.
- Of this incident Mrs. John Barger said: "One old Indian, nearly blind, came up from the brush toward the whites and said, 'Don't bother old man. He is too old to hurt anyone!' Coming up close, he up and shot Stanley with an arrow. They were afraid it was poisoned. A man named Jones shot the old Indian." Barger MS. This is erroneous, as Stanley was wounded in the second day's fight. Jones has not been identified.
- Brown MS. These men were in the second day's fight.
- The site of this day's fight is on the donation land claim of James Murray, about nine miles east of Silverton, and near the Murray dwelling house.
- Some of the women had taken part in the fight, using weapons with as great skill and dexterity as the men. Oregonian, September 6, 1885.
- Geer's account says nine.
- Sergeant King told me in this skirmish twelve Indians were killed and one wounded. Two squaws, who were found fighting with the Indians, were badly wounded and one of them diet that night." A History of the Hunt Family, 36.
- As the settlers were returning, they found a papoose hidden under a log, probably placed there by one of the squaws in the fight. Barger MS.
- Geer says twenty-four hours.
- After this time, it is said, the sullen chief transferred his insolent activities to Clackamas county, where he was shot by Fred McCormick for entering the house of a settler without permission. The story is to be seriously doubted. See ante, P.3. A thorough search has been made to locate the muster rolls of the home guard companies, without avail. It may be that since they were volunteers no record was kept. Geer has given the personnel of his company that were at the fight.
Some probable members of Richard Miller's coxnpany were William Elliot, Samuel Allen, Thomas G. Allen, John Patterson, Mitchel Whitlock, John Warnock, James Brown, William Langlois, Lauren Thomas, William Allen Jack, Richard Pollard, But Patterson, Pollard, and Jack were serving in the Cayuse war. "All the companies were considerably depleted by the call for the Cayuse War." Oregonian, April 3, 1877.
Minto gives the names of Jonas Davis and J. Wilson as serving in the two days' fights. Oregonian, March 20, 1877. Jonas Davis might have been Allen Jones Davie.
Warnock add's the narnes John Stanton and M. Wilkins. Oregonian, April 5, 1877. Stanton afterwards settled in the Silverton country. Wilkins probably came to Oregon in 1847 with Samuel Allen.
Besides Samuel Parker, the only members of his company known to have been at the fights were Jacob Caplinger, Jarres Stanley and probably the Shrums. But the Shrums lived several miles from Silverton and might have belonged to Davie's company from the Santiam. Stanley lived a few miles east of Salem. Oregonian, March 12, 1877.
Geer's list of participants may be found in Victor, "Early Indian Wars in Oregon," 224, wherein the author states that nine were killed besides the wounded.
Frances Fuller Victor was the author of two books describing the Abiqua fight. These are "Bancroft's History of Oregon." See Morris, authorship of the Bancroft Histories, Oregon Historical Quarterly, IV. 301, and "The Early Indian Wars of Oregon", Salem, 1894, 224. In these, while fully admitting ample justification for chastizing the Indians, she has unjustly belittled the actions of the settlers. Bancroft calls the war "a sad blunder," because an Indian woman was wounded . . . John Warnock said that some of the Klamath women fought side by side with the men and were quite as proficient fighters. Moreover, on account of the dense underbrush, it was impossible to distinguish the bucks from the squaws. Warnock was a veteran of the British navy, whose ship had been wrecked off the coast of Mexico. Yet we are asked by Mrs. Victor to believe that he was engaged in a "disgraceful" proceeding wherein women were attacked.
She also states (Bancroft, Hist. Ore. I. 747): "The real marauders escaped or were never present and the Indians attacked were their wives, chfldren and a few guards left with the camp." Yet Katka and Red Blanket were killed. Is it Possible that two chiefs were left to stand guard in the camp of women and children?
Mrs. Victor's account in her "Early Indian Wars in Oregon" is evidently taken from Bancroft, as the two in narrative, tone and phraseology are remarkably alike, a sirnilarity that can hardly be called accidental. She states "that the settlers were ashamed of their easy victory," but quotes no one to that effect. Possibly the inference was drawn from "the sad blunder" of Bancroft. Minto's account is probably the basis of the Bancroft and Victor accounts. Who were his informants cannot be stated with certainty, but were probably Ceer, Wilburn King, Ceorge W. Hunt and Jumcs Brown. See Oregonian, March 12, 1877; Bancroft, Hist. Ore. I. 749, cites Minto's Early Days MS.
In 1877 a controversy was started in the newspapers over the battle of the Abiqua, which had the result, finally, of clarifying "the somewhat murky atmosphere that long hunt over that affair." It was asserted that there was never such a fight. Bancroft, Hist. Ore. I. 747-749; Oregonian, March 2, 1877. To answer this charge, Minto wrote his account. Whereupon Senator Nesmith, who always took immediate exception to any statement made by Minto, entered the controversy. He said he had never heard of it and never read of it before seeing Minto's account. "I would like to see the man who had counted the dead Indians." Having summarily disposed of the matter thus, he proceeds artlessly to relate his own heroic part in the Cockstock affair. Oregonian, March 15, 1877. A. F. Johnson, in the Oregonian March ??., 1877, also endeavored to belittle the action of the settlers at the Abiqua. As a result of the controversy the facts were fully brought out, as stated in the foregoing chapter.
Recently a grandson of Senator Nesmith has attempted to maintain the attitude of his illustrious ancestor. He states: "It was on the Abiqua that a skirmish of the Cayuse war was alleged to have been fought in March, 1846, and some noncombatant Indians killed," citing the letters of Minto, Nesmith and Johnson, and continues: "It is apparent from reading the above newspaper articles that the battle was neither bloody nor important, even if it was actually fought." Oregon Hist. Quart. XXVI. 311. It is to be hoped that the other portions of the article represent more thorough research than the part relating to the Abiqua.
James Brown and Mitchell Whitlock gave an account of the battle to J. M. Brown on the same day and in each other's presence . . . They stated unequivocally that they had seen in the two days' fight thirteen Klamaths slain and the wounded squaw, but were unable to state whether she had subsequently died. J. M. Brown of Silverton, whose unerring memory of early times was the wonder of his neighbors, related to the author the statements of his father and Mr. Whitlock, which have just been given. The three accounts of Warnock, Brown-Whitlock and Geer agree in all essential particulars and have been made the basis of this chapter.
The names of those present, as far as it has been able to ascertain, are as follows, taken for the most part from R. C. Geer's account: Daniel Waldo, William Parker, Joseph Churchill, Allen J. Davie, James Harpole, Wilburn King, James Brown, James Stanley, S. D. Maxon, L. A. Bird, Israel Show, Robert Show, M. Wilkins, King Hibbard, William Brisbane, Miles Winchester, Porter Cilliam, William Howell, Thomas E. Howell, Ceorge W. Howell, William Hendricks, William Langlois, Leonard Eoff, Leander Davis, G. W. Hunt, James Williams, John Warnock, J. W. Shrum, Thomas Shrum, Elias Cox, William Harpole, Samuel Allen, Cyrus Smith, T. B. Allen, Henry Shrum, Samuel Parker, John Stanton, Jacob Capliner, Paul Darst, Charles Benson, Lauren Thomas, Mitchell Whitlock, David Culver, John Barger, Jonas Davis, Montgomery Barger, J. Wilson, Jonathan E. Center and Wm. Elliott.
Samuel A. Clark, author of "Pioneer Days of Oregon History," also wrote an account of the battle of the Abiqua which was printed in the Oregonian September 6, 1885. He calls it a "story never before told." In it he relates that his information was obtained from Mrs. J. Hutchins, a daughter of Coosta, the Molalla chief. Clark, with Mrs. Victor, places the settlers' rendezvous at Miller's, which is erroneous. He also states that, due to the excitement scattered through the settlements, "they came in families and squads. Mothers with their children . . . " One reference to the battle claims the rendezvous was at Samuel Allen's. But Allen had no cabin at that time and was occupying that of John Patterson.
The truth of the matter would appear to be that while the rendezvous was at Warnock's, the intense excitement of three days, with frequent comings and goings of the settlers at the cabins of Richard Miller, John Patterson and John Warnock, all within a mile or so of each other and none more than a mile from Coosta's village, has led to this confusion.