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Polynesian. [volume] (Honolulu [Oahu], Hawaii) 1844-1864, June 08, 1844, Image 1

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J. J. JAItVES, Editor.
NEW SERIES, Vol. 1. No. 3.
E E ras 'ST o
For the I'olyncsUm.
Music, to thco the power in given,
To charm on earth with strains of heaven;
To calm tho mind in papsion'a strife,
And wile away tho cares of life;
To fire the soul in battle hour,
When dangers round us darkly lower;
In madening pain or drooping grief,
To theo we ily for quick relief;
Or, in the hour of mirth and joy,
We find in thee no pad alloy.
Music 'tis thine to tamo the heart,
And soften with thy moving art;
For gentle conqueror Music, say,
Who here below owns not thy sway i
When Sol had lost his torrid power,
In softest shades of even hour,
And mountain, Hood, and distant heaven,
Were clad in the brightest hues of evca';
Genius of Music, then full well,
I loved to seek at eve thy cell,
And there beguile a truant hour,
Charmed by the magic of thy power.
While toils and cured were yet afar,
I loved to hoar the sweet guitar;
O then tho trembling notes would roll,
In floods of joy upon the soul.
But ah ! what boots it now to tell,
How much I loved thee and how well ?
Honolulu, June 1, 1841. - Z.
For the Polynesian.
Mr. Editor, Since the following remarks
were penned, large accessions have been
made to the population of the Willamette
valley, from the United States, across the
Rocky Mountains. About 1,000 souls ar
rived last autumn, accompanied by 1'20 wag
ons, and a large herd of cattle. This com
pany was composed of farmers, artisans, la
borers, a few professional men, and some
limited capitalists.
Lieut. Frecmont, of the Topographical En
gineers, with a small protecting party, ac
companied the emigrants, to make observa
tions for tho information of the government
of the United States. An indelible road has
been tracked across the mountains, and wag
gons, from the state of Missouri, have readi
ed the Columbia River; and it is confidently
estimated that from one to four thousand will
be added, the current year, to the population
of Oregon.
Being under the jurisdiction of no foreign
power, the necessities of the colony required
the organization of a temporary government,
which was effected in 18-12, and, up to the
date of last advices, was working well in
practice. Of the details of the organization
I am uninformed, but understand it to be up
on the simplest plan of a republic, with fetid
This infant colony has tho reputation of
being a moral and well-ordered community;
and there is good reason to hope, if this
character is justly awarded, that it will prove
the germ of an enterprising state, which will
soon exert an influence upon alfairs in the
On arriving in the Columbia River, on the
2oth of Jftrch we found spring fairly estab
lished in tho seat of old winter, who had
been completely ousted by the mild advances
of his more genial supplanter. The woods
were vocal with tho songs of innumerable
warblers; and the air was filled with the
cheerful humming-bird, whoso joyous twitter
and rapid, darting movements, seemed to in
fuse into every animato object, something of
its own restlessness. Tho air was bland, tho
grass had started from its long sleep of
months, and tho trees had put forth their
tender leaves to woo the gentle kisses of the
balmy breeze. In short, all nature gave
indication of a much earlier resuscitation,
from the effects of winter, than in the same
latituues on the Atlantic side of the continent.
Notwithstanding these appearances, frosty
nights occur as late as May, I believe, almost
every year.
The banks of the Columbia, from the sea
inland to a distance of about 1.50 miles, are
thickly wooded. The principal timber is of
the evergreen kind; fir, spruce, cedar and
pine. There is also u small portion of oak,
ash, soft maple, birch and alder, and some
other kinds, of less importance. After pass?
ing out of tho heavily timbered country,
there is still some timber of the various kinds
mentioned; but it becomes thinner and thin
ner, and finally, at a distance of 2.30 miles
from the coast, the banks arc bare, and tim
ber is only seen on the distant heights of
land, arid on tho. small streams which empty
into the Columbia.
In passing up the river, we find it divided
into several channels by a great number of
islands, some of which arc miles in length,
but so low as to bo overflowed almost every
year by the freshets, and rendered useless
for agricultural purposes; though I doubt
not some of them would afford excellent fish
eries for salmon. We also observe on the
banks, and contiguous to tho river, prairies
of various dimensions, from a few acres, to
thousands of acres in extent. These are
covered with a rank species of grass, of a
poor quality for cattle; and many of them
arc overflowed occasionally, though not ev
ery year, by the rise of the Columbia. The
beautiful prairie on which Fort Vancouver is
situated, is sometimes overflowed to the very
gates of the fort, notwithstanding an embank
ment has been thrown up on the river's side,
to guard against such an event: and the
crops on that prairie are often injured, or en
tirely swept away, by the flood.
Although a river of great length, the Co
lumbia can only be ascended, by a ship of
300 tons, a distance of about 100 miles from
the ocean; and the head of tide water is but
a few miles higher up, or at about 120 miles.
125 miles from the sea occurs tho first rapids,
and in this vicinity the first portage, where
all goods, and even tho boats and canoes,
have to be carried over by land, a distance
of half a mile. s From this point, the riv
er is again navigable about 100 miles, where
another portage has to be made; and from
tiiis, to tho highest point of my observation,
rapids occur frequently, but no other portage
has to be made, except at the falls, for a
long distance.
At a distance of 80 miles from the sea, the
Willamette or Wceltnomalo river enters the
Columbia. There is however, another branch
which enters the Columbia about 20 miles
below, forming a long island of that length,
between it and the Columbia. It is upon
this river, at a distance of . 50 or GO miles from
the Columbia, that the principal settlement
in the wholo country is located. Tho river
is navigable for salmoners and small brigs to
the falls, 25 miles up from tho Columbia.
About the samo distance above tho falls,
commences tho settlement, which is continu
ed along the river, for an equal distance.
And many have also taken up land back from
river, on the beautiful praries which are found
in tho broad valley of this stream.
The valley of the Willamette is beautifully
diversified with prairies and woodland, well
watered, with a good soil, and affords facili
ties for agricultural operations rarely sur
passed. But it is yet questionable whether
the climate is equally favorable with tho soil.
The winter and spring months are usually
very wet, and frosts occur as late as May;
while tho summer is exceedingly dry, and
most crops suffer more or less from drought.
Wheat and peas arc tho crops which ap
pear best adapted to the soil and climate,
and are raised of an excellent quality, though
in a moderate quantity, as a general yield.
But whatever may be the advantages or
disadvantages in relation to the agricultural
prospects of the valley of the Willamette,
there is no question but it is admirably adapt
ed to the raising of herds and horses. These
thrive and multiply with remarkable facility;
and as no provender has to be provided for
the winter, the cost of a herd is a mere trifle;
consisting only in the necessary oversight of
the herd, and the occasional trouble of getting
them together to mark, etc.
I cannot pass over this branch of tho sub
ject, without dwelling a moment longer on
the country immediately under consideration.
The natural facilities afforded by tho pecu
liar nature of this valley, render the procu
ring of the mere necessaries of life, extreme
ly easy. The prairie soil is considered of a
good quality, and is ready for the plough,
without any preliminary preparation. The
usual course pursued by the settlers is, to
erect a log house on the edge of the praric,
enclose a few acres at first with a rail fence,
plough it up, put in the seed, and then turn
their attention to other improvements. The
enclosures arc enlarged as the ability of the
occupant will admit. These prairies are sur
rounded with timber, which is convenient
and valuable for buildings and for fencing;
and many are skirted with a scattering
growth of oaks, which resemble, in some
places, an orchard. Some of them are also
intersected with a stream of water, which
falls into the river, and alfords a site for
mills and other machinery. Many of them
arc rolling, or undulating, on their surface;
and from some of them eminences arise,
which built upon, would overlook a large
farm. (To be Continued.)
My dear Editor, Speaking in my last of
the plants in the National Conservatory at
Washington, reminds mc of the beautiful ex
hibition of the Horticultural Society of Phil
adelphia, in China Hall, beneath Pcale's
Museum. Fruits, flowers and vegetables
were there displayed in the greatest richness
and profusion, and arranged in excellent
taste. Could one have had the privilege of
plucking and eating, the enjoyment would
have been perfect. The beauty and fashion
of Philadelphia frequented the hall, so that
the rival charms of nature and art were fair
ly at issue. It was a pretty spot for lovers
to saunter in; flowers strewed their way, and
piles of luscious fruits looked temptingly into
their faces. But like the fruits of the tabued
trees of Eden, they were forbidden to touch
and cat. The moral was very good, if they
took the pains to interpret it, and would serve
them for good counsel through life. The
names of those who raised the fruits were
attached to their several piles. I noticed
some fine grapes from Andalusia, the prince
ly country scat of Nicholas Biddle. Some
one, with more truth than feeling, had writ
ten on the label, "watered by widows'
tears." Tho puny specimens of our noble
tropical trees, the banana, pine-apple, palms,
&.c, were tho chief objects of attraction.
The taro looked tho best, and my appetite
yearned strongly towards it. In truth, all
exhibited much attention and care, but to
me were of minor interest, when compared
with the fully developed productions of our
own soil. Many were strangers to me ; some
such as the egg plant, could be usefully in
troduced into your islands.
Perhaps there is as little interest in tho
Sandwich Islands, in Philadelphia, as in any
other city of the Union. They have no trade
in common, and the Friends, or Quakers, a9
others call them, look with an unfavorable
eye upon the Pacific Missions. 1 endeavor
ed to explain to some and I believe to some
extent succeeded the beneficial results of
their operations thus far. But like all other
sectarians they are strongly wedded to pre
conceived opinions, and loth to leave the
well-beaten track of their fathers. Yet in
action, none arc more benevolent. They
were the best friends the aborigines of Ame
rica ever had, and I sec no reason to doubt,
that had their duty led them to the Polyne
sian islands, the result would have been sim
ilar. In New York I was quite surprised to find
our exploring friend J. P. Couthouy. He
has refused all offers of further employment
from government in connection with the pub
lication of the scientific details of the Expedi
tion, and, with a partner, established himself
in a lamp store in Broadway. However, ho
finds time occasionally to give the world
some of the results of his valuable observa
tions on natural history, through the pages of
Silliman's Journal of Natural Sciences. He
is indeed a man of wonderful energy and
aptness, in whatever he applies himself to.
I send you his pamphlets on the coral forma
tions, icebergs, &c, and his reply to certain
strictures on the part of Mr. Dana, the min
eralogist. The latter is rather caustic, but
both arc well able to defend their respective
views. I wish Mr. Couthouy could reside
at Honolulu, and devote himself to tho exa
mination and observation of the volcanic
phenomena, and the several departments of
natural history appertaining to the group.
You need some close observer for this pur
pose, both for your own sakes and that of
the world. There is much that is curious
and valuable to be gleaned at Hawaii in par
ticular, and he is the man for the work.
One would think by the Daguerreotype
signs about the streets, that tho world had
gone portrait-mad. Tho faces of one's friends
stare ono at every hour. It is a beautiful
art, and when well done, they give tho most
perfect miniatures true to life the minu
test feature not escaping the accuracy of the
lenses even the figures of a muslin cape, a
riband or breast-pin are alf given. There is
no opportunity for flattery. In these like
nesses one perceives' his friends as they re
ally appeared at the time they were taken.
The process of transferring them through
the agency of light, is peculiarly interesting.
Tho Americans have made great improve
ments in the art, since Dagucrre first discov
ered it. At present I am too busy to write
further. Remember me to our old circle; I
think much of all of you, particularly when
Jack Frost covers the windows, and pulls at
my nose and fingers. The old fellow seems
to have grown more crusty since my boy
hood. Happy Oahuians! oblivious to all his
charms. Yours, as ever,
Philosophy of Heat." Well, my little
fellow," said a certain Principal to a juvenile
philosopher, whose mamma had been teasing
the learned Knight to test the astonishing
abilities of her boy, "what arc the proper
ties of heat?" "Tho chief property of heat
is, that it expands bodies, while cold contracts
them."- " Very good, indeed can you give
mo a familiar example?" Yes, sir; in Sum
mer, when it is hot, the day is long; while in
Winter, when it is cold, it becomes very
short." The learned Knight stopped his ex
amination, and was lost in amazement that so
familiar an instance should have bo long es
caped his own observation. English paper.

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