At the business portion of the Association’s thirty-seventh annual session, meeting in the Masonic Temple, a momentous gift was presented to the Oregon Historical Society. Charlotte Terwilliger Moffett Cartwright1, “an honored pioneer of 1845,” conveyed “a tract of land on Clatsop Beach, near the Seaside Hotel, at Seaside, upon which is situated the salt cairn or furnace which was erected by Lewis and Clark, early in January, 1806, for the purpose of distilling salt from the ocean water to supply the needs of the company.”2 This property was “of great historical importance by reason of the fact that, so far as known, this salt cairn is the only physical evidence left of the presence of the Lewis and Clark Exploring Expedition in the Oregon country.”

The deed to this property was presented to Frederick V. Holman, president of the Society, by J. E. Majers, president of the Association. Following Holman’s short address expressing his appreciation, Scott Duniway “replied to Mr Holman, on behalf of Mrs. Cartwright, in a few felicitous remarks” that manage to insinuate an equal suffrage message into this ceremony.

Of course, Abigail was active in other aspects of the reunion as well. Particularly “amusing” was a conversation with Cyrus H. Walker3, of Albany, “the oldest native son of white parents now living,” and Dr. Bethenia Angelina Owens-Adair, “a pioneer of 1843,” that was conducted in the Chinook jargon language devised by early traders to do business with Native Americans.4

The text is taken from a three-page manuscript in the Abigail Scott Duniway Papers.

In the early dawn of the Nineteenth Century, while yet this vast Pacific Empire was yet a wilderness, Sacajawea5, an obscure Indian slave woman, bearing a man-child on her back, piloted an intrepid band of white explorers across this trackless continent to the surging shores of the Pacific seas.

Half a century later Sarah Josepha Hale6 led a little band of women who saved Mount Vernon to the Nation as a perpetual shrine sacred to the memory of General Washington.

In the early dawn of this Twentieth Century Sarah A. Evans7 led a band of patriotic women who erected in enduring bronze a statue to the memory of the slave woman who, through the agency of Lewis8 and Clark9, discovered the Whole of Oregon.10

But to you, Charlotte M. Cartwright11 belongs an honor of even farther reaching significance.

Little recked you, when listening in your childhood’s days to the screaming of wild beasts or yells of wilder savages in the vicinity of your Oregon home, that the day was so near at hand when the primeval forest would be subdued by the iron horse, or the falls of the wild Willamette harnessed to electric energy–obedient to the will of man. Still less could you believe that this splendid Rose City of ours would spring like magic from these vernal shades, a thing of beauty and an abiding joy.

But, least of all, no doubt, did you imagine that the high honor would be yours to bestow upon the Oregon Historical Society and the Oregon Pioneer Association this everlasting deed to God’s sacred acre on which shall rest forever the historic Salt Cairn of the Lewis and Clark regime of the Century gone, a silent witness of the primitive struggles that gave Old Oregon to these United States when the whole of Oregon was young.

That you may live to realize the fullest desire of your patriotic heart in the very near future, when through the affirmative votes of liberty-loving men the last vestige of “taxation without representation” shall be lifted from the shoulders of women of whom Sacajawea was an original type, is the earnest prayer of every patriotic Pioneer.


    1. (1842-1915): born Hancock County, Illinois; of Dutch descent; family removed overland to Oregon, 1845; married Walter Gray Moffett, 1860; two children; married Charles M. Cartwright, 1897; four children; resided Portland; Unitarian; chair, Women’s Auxiliary, Oregon Pioneer Association, for fifteen years; honorary president, 1912; died Gearhart (Oregon Pioneer Index, OR Hist. Soc.). []
    2. Curiously, Scott states that the Oregon Historical Society acquired the site in 1901 (History of the Oregon Country 1: 152 [n. 2]). []
    3. He was a son of Rev. Elkanah Walker and Mary A. Richardson Walker. []
    4. Transactions of the Thirty-Seventh 290-91. []
    5. Sacagawea (c. 1786-1812): Shoshone woman and westward companion of Lewis and Clark; probably born in present-day Idaho’s Lemhi Valley; taken captive by Hidatsa raiders when 12 or 13 and sold to French-Canadian fur trader, Toussaint Charbonneau; first reference in historical record is Sgt. John Ordway’s journal, November, 1804, when Corps of Discovery was wintering in Knife River Indian villages near present-day Stanton, North Dakota; some months later she, newborn son Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, and husband left Knife River villages with Corps of Discovery on journey westward; interpreter; pointed out landmarks in Shoshone territory, especially Bozeman Pass route over Continental Divide; left expedition again at Knife River villages, August, 1806; probably died 1812 at Fort Manuel in present-day South Dakota (Wells; Corning 214; “Sacagawea“; Mulford 8-15). []
    6. Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788-1879): magazine editor; born Newport, New Hampshire; teacher, c. 1806-13; married attorney David Hale, 1813; five children; widowed in 1822, compelled by circumstances to open millinery and turned seriously to writing verse and fiction; became editor, Rev. John Lauris Blake’s Ladies’ Magazine, 1828, and moved to Boston; accepted most prevailing beliefs about “woman’s sphere,” but championed greater educational opportunities such as the female seminary movement and state normal schools for women; became editor, Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1837, when Godey bought Ladies’ Magazine, combining it with his Lady’s Book, and moved to Philadelphia, where she continued to warn against militant woman’s rights ideas such as equality with men and suffrage, and tended to avoid controversial topics altogether; gradually came to accept some careers outside the home, including charity, missionary work, and medicine; supported property rights for married women; built Godey’s circulation to a record-breaking 150,000 by 1860; wrote “Mary had a little lamb” and other poems; her agitation responsible for Lincoln’s proclamation of a national Thanksgiving Day, October, 1864; fifty or so books attributed to her; announced retirement in December, 1877, issue, at age 90; died following April (Boyer, “Hale”; Mott 1: 583-84). []
    7. Sarah Ann Shannon Evans (1854-1940): born Bedford, Pensylvania; attended Lutherville College (Maryland Woman’s College); married William M. Evans, 1873; three daughters; lived in North Dakota, where collected Indian relics; moved to Oregon, 1894, settling in Oswego; co-founder, Portland Woman’s Club, 1895; president, 1903-04; co-founder, Oregon State Federation of Women’s Clubs, 1899; president, 1905-15; chaired committee on free public libraries, 1899, and lobbied legislature for tax bill enabling same in Portland; organized financing of Sacagawea statue for Lewis & Clark Exposition, 1905; proponent of trade schools and domestic science education (founded cooking school in South Portland that led to public school curriculum), humane care for mentally ill (campaigned for certified nurses to accompany insane when transported to state hospital in Salem), child labor reform, and pure food laws; appointed Portland city market inspector, first in U.S., and policewoman, August 17, 1905 (position held until 1935); appointed state Liberty Loan coordinator by President Woodrow Wilson; an active Democrat, sought to ally Portland Woman’s Club with Clara Dorothy Bewick Colby and Anna Howard Shaw, and to undercut Scott Duniway’s suffrage leadership, after 1906 debacle (Corning 81; Downs 220-23; Gaston, Portland 2: 718-19; Oregon Lung Association; First Annual Report; Oregonian 11 Dec. 1940; Writer’s Project; Agnes Holt, “Sarah A. Evans (1854-1940),” in H. Smith, With Her Own 229-30; Moynihan, Rebel 213, 215). []
    8. Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809): soldier; President Jefferson’s private secretary, 1801; appointed by Jefferson to lead first overland journey of exploration to Pacific, 1803, the journey taking more than two years, 1804-06; governor, Louisiana, 1806-09 (Corning 146). []
    9. William Clark (1770-1838): soldier and friend of Meriwether Lewis’ in army; co-leader of overland “Expedition of Discovery” to Pacific, 1804-06; governor, Missouri Territory, 1813-21; Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 1822-38 (Corning 55). []
    10. A reference to the statue of Sacagawea unveiled at the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905. []
    11. Charlotte Terwilliger Moffett Cartwright (1842-1915): born Hancock County, Illinois; of Dutch descent; family removed overland to Oregon, 1845; married Walter Gray Moffett, 1860; two children; married Charles M. Cartwright, 1897; four children; resided Portland; Unitarian; chair, Women’s Auxiliary, Oregon Pioneer Association, for fifteen years; honorary president, 1912; died Gearhart (Pioneer Index, OR Hist. Soc.). []

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