Dr. McLoughlin, Director of the Hudson’s Bay Company activities commented in routine correspondence to Archie McDonald, in June, 1831: “We have also raised the price of a blanket to two skins. At first the Cowlitz Indians refused to pay this price, but they have come into it.”
JOHN K. TOWNSEND
The white settlers took advantage of the Cowlitz Indians’ knowledge of the rivers. In 1834, John K. Townsend hired a Cowlitz Indian as a pilot on his brig for Columbia River service. This Cowlitz Indian could have been any one of three different men: Captain Peter (AKA Joe Peter), Captain Jack Wannossay, or Captain George Karell. All three of these men were referred to as “Captain” at one time or another, referring to be a river pilot. This captain camped near Cowlitz lodges below Warrior’s Point (near the mouth of the Lewis River).
LT. CHARLES WILKES
Lt. Charles Wilkes, born in New York City in 1798, commanded an exploring and surveying expedition on the Pacific Coast 1838-1842, which ultimately took him to the Antarctic Continent. In 1841, he journeyed up the Columbia and the Cowlitz Rivers, and visited the Puget Sound Agricultural Company’s farm at Cowlitz Landing. Murray Morgan relates an encounter between members of the Wilkes’ Expedition and a “Squaw Chief.” They negotiated with a female chief for a horse to use on their portage, “The squaw chief seemed to exercise more authority than any chief they had met with … indeed her whole character and conduct placed her much above those around her. Her horses were fine animals; her dress was neat, and her whole establishment bore the indications of Indian opulence.” This would seem to possibly have been Princess Charlotte, the handsome daughter of the famous Chinook Chief, Concomely, and wife of a Cowlitz Chief. Tolmie had thought of her as “The best looking native I have ever seen, about the middle size, a dark brunette, with a large languishing eye, pearly teeth, and finely formed limbs and there is a grace in all her actions.”
Chinook Jargon phrase for the week: “Mamook liplip chuck,” meaning, “Make boil water, or, boil some water.”