Saturday, April 23, 2011

Page 3,4 & 5

The Baltimore Colony

It was then in the early days of the spring of 1858 that a little band of old time friends and business associates met together in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, and the subject arose as to the wonderful domain on our country westward of the Rocky Mountains on the Pacific, its history of trappers and miners and gold discoverers, with it international disputes as to national sovereignty and almost of war. Its varied and boundless resources, it climate and soil, its mineral resources and its tempting future possibilities on land and sea; all these were gone over in those talks among the old neighbors on those days. Then came up the personal interest of each as it might be aided in that prospective vista. Might a change of habitation ---- of home ---- warrant a serious thought? Then came expressions of doubt and fear as some would weigh the heavier matters of concern. There was a long reach of three thousand miles to consider. It must be overcome by the slow plodding ox team for two thousand miles without military escort over a trackless region infested with prowling savages to waylay and rob, and perhaps to murder. And then when this trial of toilsome six months should be ended, to begin in a new and wild country beset with all the inconveniences and often dangers in the home making - all these seemed insurmountable and not worth the price to be paid.

To go by sea over two oceans, to cross the sickly and miasmatic Isthmus of Panama and embark on the other side and still continue to suffer the mal de mer with which so many are afflicted in the small rolling steamships of those days; and then after the arrival in California again to trans-ship on vessels of still smaller capacity and convenience, upon that roughest part of the Pacific, to the shores of Oregon, with all the costs, time and torture to them, and the worse fate for delicate wives, mothers and children before the long journey way ended – to many of the little group seemed absolutely unbearable. To go still another way by water in the slow sailing vessels around Cape Horn with storms and rough sea for six months all the way, was not even considered.

Then came the other side in the musings and debate. This was the year following the panicky 1857, when depression, business failures and bankruptcies prevailed throughout the country. The outcome was not sure, should they, as professional and business toilers, rest content as home with such an unpromising future before them? Was not the outlook on the shores of the Pacific far more promising even though the long journey thither was fraught with so many inconveniences and with so much cost? How glorious, it was argues, was the commercial prospect so near at hand
For such a country! There was Asia fronting on the same seas and containing one half the population of the earth. What a market and what consumption there for so many of the products of American hands in the fertile valleys of Oregon! And what a rich part of the earth in China and Japan for their products in exchange for our own! The reciprocal commerce world, in brief time, employ a large and profitable shipping between the two coasts.

Then again, Congress was at that time considering a measure for the homesteading of the public lands making practically a donation of one hundred and sixty acres upon compliance with conditions of residence and cultivation, and payment of a small fee. A law already existed, known as the Preemption Act which gave Patent title to the same quantity of land upon settlement and cultivation and payment of $1.25 per acre. Under various grants of land by the General Government to the several public land states, lands could be purchased from them not requiring settlement and cultivation. Such liberal provision would enable those of the prescribed age of the little party to acquire the most desirable homes upon the public domain. Still another inducement for emigration to the Pacific, it was argued, was the hopeful prospect of a trans-continental railroad. The Government had already made elaborate surveys and there was a popular sentiment throughout the nation in approval of Federal aid toward such a desirable mode of communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Coast States and Territories. The danger of conflict with the Indian tribes in the Oregon country so much dreaded and suffered by the pioneers, until within two years previous to this Baltimore meeting, was no longer to be feared, since the various tribes had entered into treaties with our government and had all been removed and were then residing upon special Reservations with troops near at hand to preserve the peace.

These considerations had much to do in convincing those present that it was to their interest to think favorably of a migration to the great West. It was not because of any ill considerate feeling toward that great old city of the South, which in the siege of Fort McHenry gave forth that song dear the heart of every American;

”The Star spangled banner,
Oh, long may it wave,
O’er the land of the free
And the home of the brave.”

It was not for lack of beauty or fault of people, for Baltimore was then famous throughout the world for especially trees things: For it monuments, its hospitality, and its beautiful women. Most of these friends were native born to the city and all were united to social clubs, singing societies or fraternal and business associations.

They were leaving behind them many devoted kindred and fellow in society, commerce and trade. These were all ties hard to relinquish. But the individual conditions already mentioned with unfavorable health to some, while to many others with growing boys to rear, came the thought that in the new and promising West, with fewer restrictions more elbow room and more opportunities, there was an incentive and a better field for the development of the young. This reflection came more pronounced as there was known many successes of Baltimore boys who had gone to the Pacific in previous years. The advice of old Horace Greeley to the youth of the nation was still ringing in the ears of many; “Go West, young man, go West.”

Before they separated on that May day they had all agreed to become home seekers in the far away Oregon, if further information would warrant. The first requirement for so important a change was an accurate knowledge of conditions. This they did not possess. To obtain it in the most economic and reliable source they decided to commission Dr. Henry Hermann, one of their number present, to proceed to the Pacific Coast and there by personal observation and examination to acquire such details of facts of the country and of Oregon in particular, as would be convincing to those at home. The doctor was a learned man and of wide experience in life. He had been a professor in one of the oldest universities of Europe and was then a prominent physician and surgeon in Baltimore City and family physician of most, if not all, of those assembled in the little concourse mentioned. Above all he had for years been a close student of the growth and development of the Western states and territories and of their resources and possibilities. At one time he was on the point of joining in the rush for the gold mines when those discoveries were made in California. At the outbreak of the Mexican was he was chosen regimental surgeon in the troops raised in his county, then in Western Maryland, and would have gone thither so great was his desire to investigate the county intermediated, but family consideration prevented. He was therefore considered a most valued and fitted person to undertake this mission for the exploitation of the Pacific West. Oregon had only recently voted for admission as a state into the union, and a bill for its membership was then pending in the American Congress.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I am going add a few pages every now and then of the book.

It is the story of these families Coming to Oregon and their descendants.

John Henry Schroeder, Sr. and Dorothea Dietz

John Henry Schroeder, Jr. and Emily Perry

J. Fred Schroeder and Mary Perry

August Henry Schroeder and Dorathea Perry

Charles Edward Schroeder and Lucinda Perry

Charles Albert Schroeder and Rachael Simmons

Frank Elmore Schroeder and Laura Christianson

Clara Schroeder and Levi Snyder

Eva Schroeder and James Watson

James Finley Schroeder and Birdetta Hidagarde Burgess

Louisa A. Schroeder and Orvil Ovando Dodge

Dr. Henry Hermann and Elizabeth Hopkins

William Conrad Volkmar and Wilhelmia Dieffenback

August Bender and Anna Trust

George Stauff and wife Henrietta

David Holland and Sarah Skidmore

Alexander Stauff and wife Mary Elizabeth

The Baltimore Colony and Pioneer Recollections

Published August 1959

Taken From the Original Notes of The Honorable Binger Hermann


In the following pages is a story that could have happened only in America and only at the actual point in history when it did occur.

The gold fever of 1849 had abated, to be replaced by an even greater hunger for new lands, new homes, and new opportunities. How this hunger grew in faraway Baltimore, the people it affected, and what they did about it comprises a saga in the growth and development of the West.

Today the descendants of these pioneer look back upon a century of progress made possible by the courage and fortitude of their forebears. The names of those who came in the journey of the Baltimore Colony are still names familiar to all the Valley of the Coquille.

It is our hope that on the occasion of the Oregon Centennial this history of the Baltimore Colony will help to enshrine the deeds of our pioneer father forever in the annals of Western growth.

We extend our sincere thanks to the Hermann family for the right to publish this history and to the staff of the University of Oregon for their assistance in preparing the material.




Elton A. Schroeder

Verlin Hermann

Austin Dodge

Kenneth Dietz

Raleigh Greene

Page 1 & 2


History is the more valuable as it is written by actors themselves or by their contemporaries who are the witnesses to the events recited. Too much of our so-called history is but a mingling of tradition and fiction with real and now happenings. The difference between Herodotus, and the father of historians, and Tacitus, is that the former deals too much in tradition and mythology, while the latter confines himself more too record events transmitted form authentic sources. As we approach the modern, such as Bancroft in his history of the United States, he gives us still more assurance of the real facts narrated; and so also of another Bancroft still later in his history of Oregon. Such a history gives a true picture of the people and the circumstances in their lives, and of the countries in which they live, their resources, customs and laws with their beginnings. We feel that we can rely upon them.

It is interesting as the study of development and progress from the beginning of all things. We best now what we are by knowing what we have been wherever that is possible. How much there is in the old saying; “Big oaks from little acorns grow.” It involves the struggle for existence, and as Herbert Spencer called it, “the survival of the fittest.” It is the great process known as evolution, and the scientific study of nature, of man and his works unfolds that is us. Such narration is history.

The purpose of this introduction is to lead us in the reading of the most important narrative of the foundation and up building of a very interesting community in the Empire of the Pacific Northwest. It relates more especially to a part of the great Oregon country where history is presented with narrative of more pioneer energy, patience, endurance, sacrifice and triumph over difficulties than in most other sections of the United States. We linger by the hour in the recital of the perils and the hardships and failures endured by the Puritan Fathers of the New England Colonies, and by the English settlers around Jamestown, and the colonization of the further wilds of Virginia and in their long years of development. There in many respects are surpassed in the thrilling stories of adventure and daring of sacrifice and suffering of the early pioneers of Southwestern Oregon after their long, arduous and perilous ox team journeys of two thousand miles with no military for protection through an Indian country across a vast continent.

Such a picture is afforded in the story of the Coquille and Rogue River Valley from the mountains to the sea. Particularly is this true of the Coquille and to it will be confined much of what follows.

As the settlement which first gave notable history to the country described was that of the Baltimore Colony, we begin with it and associate with it as we proceed those hardy adventurers who preceded it and paved the way.