THE PIONEER OF 'FORTY SIX
Antonio B. Rabbeson, "The Pioneer of '46. His interesting reminiscences of the first American settlements..." Tacoma Ledger, May 9, 1886.
I remember on my first arrival in the territory in 1846 the only mode of travel was either to walk or go on foot. When I arrived at the mouth of the Cowlitz River and wanted to visit Puget Sound, I was compelled to shoulder my blanket and take the trip on foot, and had to live on such food as could be had of the Indians, the food consisting of salmon and fern roots.
After two days of travel along the river I found a French settlement, and a Hudson Bay Company farm. Ten miles from said farm I found the first American settler, John R. Jackson. I remained over night and the meal I was served was boiled wheat, straight.
The next night I reached to Skookum Chuck, a settlement consisting then of the following persons: Sidney Ford, George Wanch and families and Joseph Borst; and each of the above having a cow or two were living upon the fat of the land which was boiled peas and milk.
The next day I arrived at the last and only American settlement on Puget Sound. I found there the following settlers with their families: Michael T. Simmons, George Bush, Gabriel Jones, John Kindred and James McAllister and the following single men; Jesse Ferguson and Samuel Crockett.
I passed the first night at the house of George Bush, a colored man, one of the most hospitable, generous, and benevolent men that ever lived. I have always found frontiersmen of that character, but he was an exception, ever ready to share his last mouthful of food with the needy, and to lend all the help that was in his command to those who required it.
I often hear men now-a-days, late arrivals, complaining of hard times and the distressed condition of the country, that a man has to have a mint of money and then cannot half live. Why, bless them! Could they but have looked into the homes of those early settlers they would be ashamed of themselves.
When I arrived I was heartily welcomed at every home and found the whole settlement living upon, and had been for a year, fried peas, salmon, clams, fern roots, and such game as they could secure.
Game was plenty, but ammunition hard to get, as it was all in the hands of the Hudson's Bay Company and it, being opposed to Americans at that day settling north of the Columbia River threw every obstacle in their way to discourage settlement.
And frequently was the case that a family would have to go hungry until the head of the house went to the bay for a mess of clams and if the tide happened to be in the result may be imagined, no dinner that day.
Even under these circumstances these people appeared happy and contented. They saw before them years of toil and hardships, but they lived in the future and in time did reap their reward. These people had been living near that place when I arrived, a little over one year. There are but three of them original settlers now living; Jesse Ferguson, Samuel Crockett and John Kindred.
A. B. Rabbeson, "The Pioneer of 'Forty-Six," Tacoma Ledger. May 9, 1886.
PUGET SOUND MILLING COMPANY
"As to occupations, most of the settlers in the county busied themselves with clearing their land claims and farming the prairie lands adjoining. In August, 1847, however, eight of these pioneers joined together to form the Puget Sound Milling Company, the first corporate commercial venture in this new American settlement.
"The land selected for the mill was a part of Michael T. Simmons' New Market claim and the following agreement was drawn up with him:
"Oregon Territory, Lewis County, Newmarket.
"August 20th, 1847, I, Michael T. Simmons of said County to lease to the following persons, namely (Michael T. Simmons, J. Ferguson, G. Jones, A. D. Carnefix, J. K. Kindred, B. F. Shaw, E. Sylvester and A. B. Rabbeson) for the period of five years and ten if said Company shall think advisable the northwest part of my lower falls as a building spot for a sawmill for the said company.
"Reserving to myself during the period of five years likewise extending to ten should said company desire no right or authority whatever any more than each individual of said Company is possessed of.
"In testimony whereof I have signed my name this 20th day of August, 1847 before the following witness, L. L. Smith.
"Michael T. Simmons."
"The company purchased the equipment from the mill from the Hudson's Bay Company for three hundred dollars in lumber which they delivered to the landing of Fort Nisqually at the enviable rate of sixteen dollars per thousand.
As Levi Smith notes in his diary on October 25, Simmons was "elected Superintendent of affairs" of the company; and, on the next day, the co-partners commenced building the mill which they completed during that fall and winter."
James Robert Tanis, ed. "The Journal of Levi Lathrop Smith," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XLIII (October, 1952), p.277.
ON PUGET SOUND IN 1849
Antonio B. Rabbeson, "On Puget Sound in 1849, a pioneer tells of a trip to Whidbey Island," Tacoma Ledger. June 6, 1886.
It is said that the old live in the past and the young in the future, and I find there is a great deal of truth in the saying. I find as I grow old that my mind dwells much of the time upon the past.
After thinking much upon the first trip I made down the Sound, I thought I would give a short account of the same.
In the fall of 1847, W. Glasgow visited Whidbey Island and took the claim now known as Ebeys Landing opposite Port Townsend. He then returned to Tumwater and in the spring of 1848 persuaded A. D. Carnefix and myself to accompany him to the island. We concluded to explore Hood's Canal on our voyage tither, and went by canoe to the head of North Bay.
There we employed Indians to carry our canoe and other traps across the portage to the canal. At the point where Union City now is located we found a large camp of Indians, many of whom for the first time looked upon the face of a white man.
It had been arranged before we started from Tumwater that we should take turns in doing camp duty, each a week about, the other two to keep the camp supplied with game and fish. The first week's work fell upon Carnefix. He was a man standing six feet four inches and strongly built, a man who would attract the attention of most anyone, and especially the Indians at that time.
The Chief of the Skokomish Tribe, being at the point with his people and seeing Carnefix doing camp work while we were putting on airs over him, concluded that he was our slave, and as we did not try to disabuse his mind, he at once proposed to purchase him.
He made an offer of two Indian slaves, ten three point blankets and one musket, being about all the property he had with him, but we demanded one hundred beaver skins in addition.
Glasgow's woman, not liking Carnefix, quietly informed him that she had no doubt that the chief would pay the price and that it was our intention to sell him, and not liking to take any chances, he, that night, shouldered his blanket and rifle, took the trail as pointed out to him by the woman and made his way back to the settlement.
We, the next morning, purchased an Indian slave, paying one scalping knife, a three foot string of large red beads, one hickory shirt and a Harrison medal. Then we started on our trip down Hood's Canal. We explored every bay and inlet from the head of the canal to Port Townsend. Large numbers of Indians were found at every prominent point and all were friendly except at one place opposite Port Townsend.
There we were obliged to bring our rifles to bear upon the chief and back out of musket shot. At that point we crossed the Sound and landed on Whidbey Island at the old Ebey Landing. Near there we found signs of a Catholic Mission. A short distance from the shore there stood erect a large cross upon a side hill. On the prairie a log house had been built, as we learned from the Indians, by the priests but it had not been finished.
We could not ascertain whether the missionaries had been murdered or only driven away, and it appeared to be a subject on which the Indians did not want to talk about.
At this place we built Glasgow a small cabin out of poles. While thus engaged we noticed that the Indians were gathering on the island in large numbers. Their camp had been made at Penn's Cove, as where we were located there was but little water. Inquiring as to the cause of the gathering the information was given that the Indians were preparing to have a grand hunt and big talk.
We supposed at this time there were camped, within a radius of three miles, about eight thousand Indians. They built a line of brush fence and nets of sea weed from Penn's Cove to Ebey's Landing. They then started the dogs and whippers in at some lower point on the Island, and drove the wild animals and game before them.
There must have been killed on the day of that big hunt sixty or seventy deer, and large quantities of other game. Then was held the biggest barbecue I have ever seen. In the Indian War dance there took part about two thousand bucks.
We had a desire to witness the whole of the performance, but were advised by Glasgow's woman to hide until the excitement was over. On the third day came the "big talk." There were in the assembly representative men from every tribe on the Sound. Those who seemed to be the most active were from the Snohomish, Clallam, and Duwamish tribes.
The first speech was made by Patkanim, Chief of the Snohomish tribe. Glasgow's woman acted for us as interpreter. He spoke very bitterly about the Hudson's Bay Company, and urged that all of the tribes combine to attack and destroy the station at Nisqually, divide the goods and stock, and kill or drive the King George men (as the English were called by then) out of the country.
He was followed by John Taylor, who was in favor of including the Boston Men (the appellation given to Americans) at Tumwater. He admitted that the latter had not much goods, but he had been over in the Wallamette Valley and there had heard that the Bostons in their own country were as numerous as the sand upon the beach; and if something was not done to check their coming they would soon overrun the whole country and they, the Indians, would be transported in "fire-ships" (steamboats) to some distant country where the sun never shines and there left to die, and what few Indians escaped their fate would be made slaves.
He urged that now was the time to strike terror to the white man's heart, and save all future trouble. This brought old Grey Head, Chief of the Tumwater tribe to his feet. He was a warm friend of the Bostons and a fluent speaker. He said that before the advent of the Bostons the Nisqually Indians were in constant dread; that the very tribe whom Patkanim and John Taylor represented were constantly making raids upon his people because they were weak, killing them, making slaves of them and robbing them. But now the Bostons were ever ready to protect his people and if the Bostons were killed or driven off who, he enquired "...will shelter us from our enemies?"
The Chief of the Duwamish Tribe, with a great flourish, now arose and said that as his people occupied the country between the Nisqually and the Snohomish he would protect them. But old Grey Head said he would rather have one rifle with a Boston behind it as a protector than the whole Duwamish tribe, and this being the sentiment expressed by all of the Nisqually and Chehalis men, it caused hard words and we expected to see them come to blows.
When night came it was concluded by Patkanim's party that by the killing of Glasgow and myself it would compromise Grey Head and his people and then they would join them in their plan of contemplated attack upon Fort Nisqually and the American Settlement. Glasgow's woman, however, learned this fact, informed us, and when night came we stole a small canoe and pushed for home leaving the woman and the slave behind, with instructions to follow at the first opportunity.
That was the last we ever saw of the slave or our traps. Shortly after we started a favorable breeze sprung up and by daylight we were off Apple-tree Cove. When off Blakely the wind became so strong and the sea so rough that we were compelled to make for land. In making the landing at the point above Blakely we stove our canoe and were left helpless.
We succeeded in keeping our powder dry, and remained upon the point until the next day, and subsisted upon some ducks that we had killed. About noon six Indians came along in a canoe. We debated a long time as to the advisability of hailing them. Had there been but three of them we would not have hesitated, but six to two, if they should prove not friendly disposed was too much odds.
The case was desperate, however, so the call was made. They consulted a long time before they would land. When they came ashore we pretended to understand but little Chinook. By signs and a few Chinook words we gave them to understand that we wanted to go to Fort Nisqually, and that we would give them our two blankets to take us there. This they agreed to do.
We entered the canoe taking our position in the center of the same, one facing the bow and the other the stern. Both of us being somewhat conversant with their language, soon learned that they were Duwamish Indians and that they did not intend that we should ever see Nisqually.
Their plan was to camp at Gig Harbor that night and while we slept make good Bostons out of us, take what we had and return home. But we were well armed and of course disagreed with their cunning plan, they made a slight mistake in their calculations.
When we arrived at the harbor, which was late in the evening, they made signs to us that they were going to camp and sleep at this place. We gave them to understand that it was all right. We all got out of the canoe and made camp. A fire was built and some salmon cooked for supper.
We watched for an opportunity and when it presented itself we took possession of their muskets, made them launch the canoe and got in. Glasgow took a seat in the stern, guiding the boat. I sat immediately in front of him, covering the Indians with my revolver.
Then we started and I can assure you that the Indians did not get much rest that day. When we arrived at Balch's Passage a fair wind sprang up and we made up our minds that we had no more use for our Indians, so we put them ashore on the little island in the center of the passage leaving them to shift for themselves.
We arrived safe at Tumwater the next day.
Antonio B. Rabbeson, "On Puget Sound in 1849, a pioneer tells of a trip to Whidbey Island," Tacoma Ledger, June 6, 1886.
LETTER FROM MR. RABBESON TO THE EDITOR OF THE PIONEER AND DEMOCRAT DATED OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON TERRITORY, NOVEMBER 5, 1855.
Believing that a short account of the misfortune happening to the escort detailed from Capt Hays' company of Mounted Volunteers to escort the Express messengers--Major William Tidd and John Bradley to Acting Governor Mason, might prove of interest to your readers, I therefore give a brief detail of the circumstances happening on the route.
Colonel A. Benton Moses, Dr. M. P. Burns, George Bright, Joseph Miles, and myself in company with the Express messengers, left camp at the first crossing of the Natchez river, on Tuesday last; and traveled unmolested until Wednesday evening, three o'clock to Connell's prairie in the White River valley.
Here we met with a party of Clickatat and Nesqually Indians, numbering about one hundred fifty warriors. Having there discovered that Mr. Connell's house had recently been burned, we inquired of the Indians who, at that time showed no signs of molestation, had burned the house or if they knew how it came to be burned?
They denied all knowledge of the cause and declared themselves entirely peaceable, saying that their tum tums were hyas close copa Bostons, ie. that their hearts were right towards the Bostons. We talked with them for a long time, asking many questions, why there were there? and endeavored as much as words would do to draw them out and make them show their true position, they all the while making declarations of friendship.
We then went to the place where we supposed they intended to camp and endeavored to purchase some moccasins from their squaws and while there we saw and conversed a while with their main chief, Leschi. In the meantime, all the first Indians were gradually dispersed, but we did not know at that time where. We then mounted our horses again and proceeded on our route about half a mile to a deep muddy swamp.
There we received a murderous fire, from the very same Indians who had secreted themselves in ambush from behind us. Colonel A. Benton Moses received a ball, entering the left side of the back and passing immediately under the heart and came out through the right breast, going through the center of a letter in the breast pocket of his over coat.
Mr. Joseph Miles, of Olympia, received a wound in the neck, which unhorsed him, he fell in the deep mud and was unable to regain his horse's back again, or get out without assistance. We directed him to take hold of his stirrup leather, while we gathered his horse's bridle and then putting spurs to our horses, we succeeded in dragging him out of the mud.
Here we found that he had become so faint, that it was impossible for him to mount his horse. He then told us to leave him and make our escape if we could, as there was no hope for him.
All this time the Indians were pouring into us a continuous fire, not more than thirty yards distant, in which Major Tidd received three slugs in his head, but did not penetrate the skull. We were compelled to leave Mr. Miles so we put spurs to our horses and rode about a mile and a half when Colonel Moses became so much exhausted in consequence of his wound that he could not remain on horseback any longer.
We then dismounted and carried him some two hundred yards and hid him in the brush. We then remounted and rode at full speed to the first crossing of Finnell's creek. Here we discovered another ambuscade; whereupon we dismounted and made a charge into the brush, three of us on one side of the creek and two upon the other, each of us discharging the full contents of our revolvers and then using our sabres, completely routing the Indians, they not firing a gun.
We must have killed quite a number of them, as none of us had to shoot more than ten feet, and several times we placed our revolvers against their bodies. We then returned to Colonel Moses for the purpose of making him more secure and comfortable; we took our coats and wrapped them around him and left him having rendered him all the assistance in our power, that we were able under the circumstances. On leaving him, his last words were: "Boys if you escape, remember me!"
We then returned to the edge of the bluff going down to Finnell's creek, here we discovered a large body of Indians on the opposite side of the prairie that lay close by, but our number being so few, we did not think it advisable to risk another attack. All of us, with the exception of Dr. M. P. Burns, took to the brush, but he kept straight on declaring that "He would fight until he died!" We considered it recklessness, but it was utterly impossible to persuade him otherwise.
We saw him enter the Opposite side of the timber and immediately heard the report of three guns and an Indian yell, and very naturally supposed that was the last of him.
We kept in brush and traveled until dark. We then stopped and held a consultation as to what course to pursue. Some were for returning to Captain Maloney's camp, others for making for the settlements. We finally concluded to make for the settlements, believing that we could get assistance to Colonel Moses sooner. The night was very disagreeable, raining and dark in the forepart of the night and freezing in the afterpart. We all became so exhausted that we could not travel but a short distance at a time, sometimes up to our waists in water and at others entangled in the immense thickets of underbrush and fallen timber.
While resting, two of us would lay down on the ground and the other two upon the top of them. When the two underneath would get a little warm we would then change places. At other times we would get to a hollow stump or tree, two of us would enter and allow the other two to lean against our breasts, and blow the warm breath in others faces.
About daylight we crossed the immigrant road, but dare not travel in it from fear of discovery. We then took a course as near as we could for the forks of the Puyallup River. We struck the river at noon about three miles above the forks, then travelled down the river until we supposed ourselves opposite the upper crossing, then went to the river and found ourselves too far down. We here undertook to cross a large deep swamp. This was about two hours before sunset.
On reaching the opposite side we found ourselves on the edge of Lemon's prairie; consequently we were compelled to remain in the deep mud and water until long after dark, all the while shaking with cold so much that our cartridge boxes rattled like cow bells. About an hour from the time we first came there we saw two Indians approach close by and secrete themselves in a small willow thicket. We supposed them to be spies. We could have taken them prisoners or killed them, but to do so we were afraid that we would have to fire a gun and to escape without observation required much care and anxiety having to scrape away the sticks and leaves from under our feet as we stepped until we were out of hearing.
We then crossed the Puyallup and took the immigrant trail direct to Steilacoom. We arrived at Mr. Tallentire's on Friday morning at three o'clock all very much exhausted having been three days and nights without food. About one half mile from Mr. Tallentires house, Mr. George Bright became so much fatigued that it was impossible for him to travel any further; here he laid down and went to sleep the rest of us being so weak that we could not carry him.
Upon reaching the house we dispatched Mr. Tallentire and an Indian in search of him, but he slept so soundly that their hallooing would not rouse him and the night being so dark he could not be found until morning.
After reaching Steilacoom we immediately sent to the station and informed Lieutenant Nugent of the above circumstances, who immediately detailed Captain Wallace and his command to the relief of Colonel Moses and to deal with the Indians according to their deserts.
Yours in haste. A. B. Rabbeson.
RABBESON AND LESCHI'S FIRST TRIAL
It fell to the lot of the author to be drawn as one of the petit jurors that tried his (Leschi's) case following an indictment quickly drawn and almost as quickly passed upon. This was my first experience as a juror and curiously enough my last case to try though now nearly fifty years have elapsed.
The case had been tried outside the court and the prisoner found guilty. For months and months Leschi's name had been a household word. With the partisans of Stevens the story of his guilt had been told on every street corner, in every hotel, or before the camp fire, until it was generally believed he was the monster murderer he was charged to be.
There could be no fair trial in such an atmosphere of prejudice and false accusation told and retold a thousand times.
A painful duty devolves on me here to record that now unquestioned fact of the perjury of the chief, and in fact, the only witness, A. B. Rabbeson. He was a too willing witness to be truthful and had not been on the witness stand five minutes until the guilt of perjury showed so plainly reflected in his eyes that no one really believed he was telling the truth.
His testimony on the second trial in Olympia is substantially the same as I remember it on the first, at Steilacoom, except he was more guarded in his statements and dwelt upon the question of time his party spent on the prairie. This was important as giving Leschi more time to get into the swamp ahead of Moses and his companions.
By examination of the rough map made by Lieutenant Kautz, afterwards General in the Union Army...the reader will see the utter impossibility of Leschi being at the two places that Rabbeson testified he saw him.
Lieutenant Kautz made a careful survey of the only possible routes the parties could traverse. By this it is shown that Leschi would have had to travel twice as far to intersect the road traveled by the express party and by a rough and difficult trail, while the party would have the direct, open wagon road to make the distance of sixty-eight chains, and the trail Leschi would have had to travel 104 1/2 chains.
The truth was that Leschi was not in either place that Rabbeson swore he saw him, but was miles away, as he said he was in his last words on the scaffold.
Ezra Meeker, "The Two Trials of Leschi," The Tragedy of Leschi. Seattle: The Historical Society of Seattle and King County, 1980 pp. 214-215.
RABBESON AND LESCHI'S SECOND TRIAL
March 18th, 1857, Leschi was again placed on trail. Subsequent to his first trial at Steilacoom, November 17, 1856, the Territory had been redistricted to conform to a law of Congress restricting the holding of court to three points in the Territory.
This deprived Steilacoom and Seattle of courts and compelled the citizens of each to go to Olympia, which had been selected as the one place in which court was to be held in the Second Judicial District.
This was an unfortunate event for Leschi, transferring the trial to Olympia, where the influence of the Governor had fanned the prejudice against the Indians from the start, and where his official patronage was so potent as to make certain an unbiased jury could not be obtained or a fair trail had.
As on the former trial, Rabbeson swore that he left Leschi on the prairie where his party had first encountered the Indians after several minutes talk with them; that after riding three fourths of a mile they struck the swamp and were fired upon' that he took one of the Indians who came out to be Quiemuth, but Leschi was the one that fired at him; that the road traveled by his party was three quarters of a mile to the swamp and the trail three or four hundred years.
If this had been true Leschi could have left the prairie, taken the trail and gotten into ambush in time to have fired on them, as described. How utterly false his testimony was is shown by the survey and map made by Lieutenant August V. Kautz, giving the distances in each case and reversing the statement; that Leschi would have had to travel one hundred and four and one half chains while Rabbeson and his party traveled but sixty-eight chains, and that by the wagon road, while the other way was by a crooked, obstructed Indian trail.
The facts were the Indians had detailed seven men to keep watch in the swamp for the Eaton Rangers, a rear guard, and it was this party that killed Miles and Moses and not that met by Rabbeson on the prairie.
Meeker, Ezra. "The Two Trials of Leschi," Chapter XXX. The Tragedy of Leschi. Seattle: Historical Society of Seattle and King County, 1980. ppgs.219-220.
EXCERPTS FROM THE JOURNALS OF AUGUST V. KAUTZ
December 28, 1857.
"I made all preparations to go to Connell's prairie tomorrow to measure the ground where Rabbeson says he saw Leschi at the time Moses and Miles were killed. Tolmie will probably go, he wrote me a note to that effect this evening...
December 29, 1857.
"Notwithstanding the rain I set out very early this morning with Tidd. We reached Connell's Prairie about two o'clock. Dr. Tolmie arrived soon after and we made most of the measurements. It is half a mile that Leschi would have had to go on horseback part of the way and the remainder on foot and Rabbeson had in the same distance only half a mile to go, a good road all the way and he on horseback.
"We found some Indians in the houses at Connells. We camped in an unoccupied house. Two Indians, Luke and Porswiki are with us and they are of considerable assistance. It rained very hard this afternoon.
December 30, 1857.
"We measured the distance to the swamp which is all that is required and we returned home."
Kautz, August V. Northwest Journals of August V. Kautz, Fort Steilacoom, Washington Territory.
THE EXECUTION OF CHIEF LESCHI
"The prosecution arranged for a second trial beginning March 18, 1857. Leschi was now found guilty and sentenced to be hanged on June 10. The conviction, according to the statement in the February 3, 1858 Truth Teller, was based largely on the evidence of Antonio B. Rabbeson, whose testimony stated that the ambushed party of Volunteers approached Connell's Prairie by a military road from the east.
"They were met on the edge of the Prairie by a party of "friendly Indians" and conversation ensued. Rabbeson claimed to have talked with Leschi at this point. Leaving the Indians, the Volunteers rode rapidly to a swamp a mile away, where the ambush was laid.
"Rabbeson again testified that he saw Leschi and two other Indians step from behind trees and fire."
"Appeal to the Territorial Supreme Court delayed execution of Leschi until January 22, 1858. An appeal to the new governor, Fayette McMullin, for executive clemency, proved useless. Meanwhile public opinion rose through various stages of warmth reaching the boiling point on the day set for the hanging of the chief (p. 32)."
"In 1895 Colonel Granville Haller, who was involved in the Yakima War, wrote an article that opened the Leschi controversy once more. "If Leschi shot Colonel Moses," said Haller, "...it was an act of war. But I propose to show that he did not shoot him, was not present at the shooting and that he was found guilty by a prejudiced jury." (p. 35).
Martin Schmitt, "The Execution of Chief Leschi and the Truth Teller," Oregon Historical Quarterly, (March, 1949) p. 30-39.
A NOTE ABOUT LESCHI BY ANTONIO B. RABBESON
Antonio B. Rabbeson, "The Truth of History," Oregon Native Son, (July 1899), p. 148-151.
During the summer of 1855 Leschi, who has the credit of being a ruling spirit in hostile Indian demonstrations visited the country east of the Cascades, both in this and Oregon territory. Whilst on this mission, councils were held by the Klickitats, Yakimas, Walla Wallas, and other tribes, in which he urged upon them resistance to the terms of the treaties, and advising them into the adoption of hostile measure.
During the course of these councils, he continually urged a system of general hostility, with the mutual assurance of a common reward in the event of success.
It is understood that this proposal was openly made by Leschi to the different tribes between the Snake River and the Rogue River Valley: "If you will insure us one hundred head of cattle and one hundred fifty head of horses, myself and my brother Quiemuth will succeed in inciting the Nisquallys to open acts of hostility against the settlements, and we will conquer them."
On his return to the Sound Country, he told his people that the extermination of the whites in this territory had been agreed upon by the Indians east of the Cascade Mountains, and urged upon them by every threat and persuasion in his power to join the general combination.
It is said, in his harangues, he discoursed with them somewhat in this wise," Brothers, you will all receive an equal share of the movable property now belonging to the whites; we will possess all the buildings and other improvements made upon the soil, and enjoy the advantages of all the farms they have opened."
He represented to them that the Indians east of the mountains were very powerful, and told them that it was their design not only to exterminate the whites, but to kill or make slaves of all the Indians on the Sound who had not submitted to the terms of the combination. This threat, in connection with others, was not without its influence in inciting them to revolt.
In his speeches he would repeat in language peculiar to himself the famous story of "Poo-la-kly Eli-ke" or land of darkness, a story most admirably adapted to work upon the fears and credulity of an ignorant people.
This story spread amongst all the Indians with the rapidity of wildfire, well calculated to arouse their savage hatred towards all whites, particularly the Bostons.
Antonio B. Rabbeson, "The Truth of History," Oregon Native Son, (July 1899), p. 148-151.
Mr. A. B. Rabbeson, one of Olympia's earliest citizens received a visit the other day from a sister whom he had not seen for more
than forty years. A wayward son of indulgent parents, Mr. Rabbeson left his Atlantic home and came to this coast.
The daughter, after coming to the estate of womanhood came West, married and settled in Fargo, Dakota Territory. Hearing of the family name in this city, she made all haste to ascertain its genuiness; and thus parted as children at home, the mysterious workings of concurrent circumstances have brought brother and sister together here.
The Tacoma Daily Ledger. January 1, 1884.