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The Pacific Monthly.

Vol. IV.


No. 6.

Oregon Writers.
By Eva Emery Dye.


HERE beautiful scenery abounds, of the Rockies and the Pacific was wel

there legends usually cluster. come, doubly so in the sugar-coated ro

This is true of the Rhine, of the mance of “The Prairie Flower,” that in Scottish Highlands, of the Hudson Riv successive editions reached its ninetyer, and of Oregon. Already every bold second thousand. The veteran author peak and smiling glen of the coast and is living yet at Oregon City. the Columbia has its legend waiting for Oregon was a state of schools from an artist to give it setting. Like a faint the first. The early missionaries brought perfume this whole emerald Northwest colleges with them. Willamette Univeris redolent of song and story. The earli sity landed in Oregon with Jason Lee. est comers felt this. Franchere's charm- Whitman College came over the mouning "Narrative" of the Astor expedition tains with a hero of the West. Pacific gave Washington Irving his best glimp- University grew from a little log school ses of "Astoria."

house. In the fifties, Columbia College, The first considerable body of settlers, the germ of the State University at Euaside from fur-hunters and missionaries, gene, counted among its students Joacrossed the plains in 1842. With then quin Miller, the Poet of the Sierras. came Oregon's first romancer, Sidney Cincinnatus Heine Miller came with Walter Moss, who wrote “The Prairie

his parents and brothers and sister Flower," upon his journey. The manu with the old ox-team across the plains script was sent back by a returning im in 1852, and grew up in Oregon. Immigrant to Emerson Bennett, who gave mediately from college he went, as he it to the world under his own name, himself says,

* “into the heart of the prefaced by a fanciful story of the mys then unknown and unnamed Idaho and terious stranger who placed it in his Montana; gold dust was as wheat in hand. The book created a sensation in harvest time; I and another, born to the its day, and no wonder, for it was the saddle, formed an express line, and carvery first story ever published of that ried letters in from the Oregon River, journey, in itself sufficiently wonderful and gold dust out, gold dust by the to attract attention without any embel horseload after horseload, till we earned lishment of romance. For years all all the gold we wanted. Such rides! western stories had been imitations of And each alone! Indians holding the Cooper, but this was another and a new

plunging horses ready for us at relays. er West, whose capital features were Those matchless night rides under the Sioux and buffalo, Fort Laramie, Kit Carson, Great Salt Lake and Oregon. * Joaquin Miller's Poems; Whitaker & Any information of that trans-Missouri Ray Edition, San Francisco

stars, dashing into the Orient doors of Joaquin's friend. George Eliot, Rosetti, dawn-this brought my love of song to Anthony Trollope, Dean Stanley, Prince the surface. And now I travelled, Mex Napoleon, became his associates. His ico, South America; I had resolved as I triumphs were borne across the seas, rode to set these unwritten lands with and America discovered for the first the banner of song."

time that she had a new poet in one of His first little book, "Joaquin, et al.,"

those homespun lads who had followed printed by George H. Himes in Port

the immigrant trail to Oregon. Jean land in 1869, was laughed at, derided,

Ingelow gave him a letter of introducand from it he was ever afterward called

tion to a Boston publisher. So our Poet “Joaquin.” He had studied law, made

of the Pacific reached America through some success, and sought a place on the foreign introductions. In Boston, LongSupreme Bench of Oregon, only that he fellow, John Boyle O'Riley, and other might find more time to write. “Better

great singers of our time, were his

friends. stick to poetry,” was the taunting an. swer. Three months later Joaquin Mil He did write in the Scottish Highler was in Europe at the grave of Robert lands, on his back in a hospital at Rome, Burns.

at Naples, where he once thought he With all the freshness of the western

would settle down. Some of his poems winds upon him, Joaquin Miller went to

were written in the wilderness of HonEurope, a stranger and alone. With a duras, at Yosemite, and in the Shasta little thin volume of poems in hand, he

land where he fought the Modocs. His went boldly to the most aristocratic pub

“Isles of the Amazons” was written at lisher in London. He says, “The songs

the instance of Dom Pedro, the last my heart had sung as I galloped alone Emperor of Brazil, who invited Joaquin under the stars of Idaho—make up

to make his home in that land. His about half of my first book in London."

magnificent "From Sea to Sea," was England looked upon Joaquin Miller

written during his first railroad ride as a young barbarian come out of the from New York to San Francisco, and West, with a new harp and a new song,

is full of the sweep and whirr of the flyThe Oregon boy became the lion of ing train and changing scene. Some of London. After his first poems were out,

his poems were written in the wilds of various great people wrote to him. The Washington, on the banks of the CoArchbishop of London invited him to lumbia, on De Soto's River, the Mistake breakfast with him, and meet

issippi, at the tomb at Mt. Vernon, in Browning, Dean Stanley, Lord Hough

Mexico City, Alaska, wherever his rovton, and others. The poor poet actually ing fortunes led him. He tried all lands had not fit clothes to wear among the

and came back to the Pacific. He lives great folks, so he went to an old Jew now on the heights above Oakland, to hire a dress suit. While he was fit- overlooking San Francisco and opposite ting the clothes on, “Hurry,” said Joa

that wonderful harbor entrance that Frequin, “I am in haste to go to a great

mont named the Golden Gate. breakfast." The Jew looked at him Perhaps even nearer to the popular sharply. "No," he said, "you must not heart is Sam L. Simpson, sometimes wear that, you must have a suit of vel called the Burns of Oregon, who crossed vet.” The good Jew never stopped un

the plains, an infant in his mother's til he had Miller in great state, with

arms, in 1845. While yet a youth, wancane, silk hat, gloves and all. And aiter dering on the banks of the river, his that, at all the great dinners, the good "Beautiful Willamette" leaped into Jew fixed him up, and never would take deathless melody. As on the banks of a cent of pay. “I have a son of my own

“Bonnie Doon" at college,” that was all he said, but he

“Love could wander went on fixing up Miller as if he had

Here and ponder-been that beloved son.

Hither poetry would dream." Lord Houghton, who was first to dis Sensitive to the charms of the emercover and encourage Keats, became ald state, his genius blossomed lux

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uriantly in verse that celebrated local in Kansas. Her first book, "The Flower events and scenes. His "Song of the that Grew in the Sand," was published Sword” has been ranked as one of the in Seattle in 1896. In the same year the five great battle-pieces of the world. Macmillan Company, of New York, seThere is nothing amateur, nothing crude cured the copyright and brought out in Simpson's work; he has the form and new editions under the title, “From the completeness of a classic with the sub Land of the Snow Pearls." In 1897 the ject matter of a new land. One day Ore same firm published her second book,

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short story." The scenes of Mrs. Hig- tinction of being the pioneer literary woginson's stories are laid in Oregon and man of the Pacific Coast. In 1852, as a Washington.

young lady of 19, she embodied her emMrs. Higginson's sister, Carrie Blake igration adventures in a tale entitled Morgan, of Portland, is also a popular “Captain Gray's Company,” that has writer of stories and verse for Lippin- delighted two generations of readers. cott's, McClure's, the Overland, and For many years she was editor of “The other magazines.

New Northwest," and for half a century In the same year with Joaquin Miller, her pen has been wielded in support of Frederick Schwatka came by the immi every good cause and work. grant trail from Galena, Illinois, whe: Mrs. C. A. Coburn, another sister of he was four years old. His life work re the same family, is the founder of the mains among the permanent records of Portland Evening Telegram. the nation. His books, "Along Alaska's Among the native Oregon writers, Great River,” “Children of the Cold,” may be mentioned Louis Albert Banks, ***The Nimrod of the North,” and “In the whose delightful book, “An Oregon Land of the Cave and the Cliff Dwell- Boyhood,” ought to be in every school ers," all commemorate land and naval library. Another of precious memory expeditions led by this noted author and is Frederick Homer Balch, whose exexplorer.

quisite “Bridge of the Gods,” is the high In that eventful year for Oregon iet water mark of Oregon letters. This old ters, 1852, the Scott family left the Elm legend of the Cascades, that a granite Tree Farm in Taxewell county, Illinois, briage once extended from Mt. Hood on the ox-line journey to the far, iar across the Columbia to Mt. Adams, nas West. It was in the dread cholera time, passages in it worthy of Irving. Balch a scourge that took away the mother in died in the Portland hospital with a a few brief hours. Harvey W. Scott valise full of half-written romances at was then a boy of sixteen. Arriving in his bedside. Oregon he became the first graduate of Edwin Markham was born at OrePacific Cniversity, and in 1865 took up gon City in 1852. His most noted poem, his life work on the great paper of the “The Man with the Hoe," has stirred Northwest. What Benjamin Franklin two continents with its pathos. It is a was to the Atlantic colonies, that Har- study in human conditions, depicting vey Scott has been to the Pacific Coast the unlettered peasant of Europe rather a fearless writer, constantly hammering than the wide-awake American farmer. into the people industry, economy, tem Oregon has been rich in delvers perance, pure politics and plain, com among original documents, and of these mon sense. No account of the great Fiances Fuller Victor and Harvey K. editors of our time can omit the name Hines have attained the most distincof Harvey Scott, of the Oregonian. tion. They have unearthed treasures

Abigail Scott Duniway, a sister of commemorating the brave deeds of Ore:the great editor, enjoys the proud dis- gon's early heroes.

Flight of the Birds.

Gaily whirling,

Swiftly swirling,
Dipping low o'er rippling streams;

Mounting higher,

Flitting nigher,
To the home of bright sunbeams.

Tilting slightly,

Poising lightly,
On the slender waving reeds;

Blithely soaring,

Music pouring,
Over flower-dotted meads.

Sportive racing,

Gleeful facing,
Wild pranks of the merry breeze;

Fleetly darting,

Quickly parting,
Slowly floating 'mong the trees.

Closer winging,

Louder singing,
Speed the wand'rers on their way,

While o'er mountain

And o'er fountain
Faintly rings their parting lay!

- Adelaide Pugh.

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