In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

REVIEWS OF BOOKS 209 The White-headed Eagle: John McLoughlin,Builder of an Empire. By R•Cr•ARD G. MONTGOMERY. New York: The MacmillanCompany. [Toronto: The Macmillan Companyof Canada.] 1935. Pp. xiii, 358. (4.00) TH•s volumeis a welcomeaddition to the historyof the far west coast. It tells the story of Dr. John McLoughlin, the "Father of Oregon"in a clearstraightforward manner. The authortellsusthat it ishispurpose to "bring the doctorinto full relief againstthe already familiar western scene" and on the whole he has succeeded. Mr. Montgomery has made interestingresearches into the early life of the "White-headed Eagle" as the Indians of the Columbia River termedMcLoughlin. The French-Canadianbackground is moreclearly sketchedin than in any previouslife of "Dr. John". The influenceof the grandfather,MalcolmFraser,theScottishseigneur of Murray Bay, of the uncleSimon, the medical practitioner, and of Alexander, the fur-trader, iswell portrayed. The authordiscreditsthe story that JohnMcLoughlin studied medicine in Edinburgh and Paris. He believes that all McLoughlin 's medicaltraining took placein the provinceof Lower Canada. The White-headed Eagle is frankly popular and Mr. Montgomery writes well. Perhaps at times he allows his imagination to fill in the gaps in his narrative. He loves the picturesqueand tells his story to bring out the human interest. There are minor factual errors, due in part to his followingof the old legends. For example, he repeats the oft-quoted statement said to have been made by McLoughlin when he retired: "Gentlemen, if suchis your order, I will serveyou no longer." Miss Judson'sresearches,one thought, had laid this old ghost forever! But as a rule Mr. Montgomery's fine literary sensehas enabled him to sift the wheat from the chaff. He has read widely and' carefully and his book is basedon soundscholarship. Historical students,no doubt, would have preferred footnoteson every page to notes segregatedby chaptersat the end of the book,and it would have beena real assistance if pagereferences had beenincludedwith thesenotes. On the whole the volume adds but little to our knowledge of the history of old Oregon. It was not intended that it should. It does, however, paint a full-length portrait of McLoughlin. We see him in various r61es,as the young Nor-Wester, as the wintering partner who tried to get better terms in London at the time of the union of the two companies,as the friendly but autocratic ruler of the Indian tribes of the Columbia,as the upholderof the rights of the Hudson'sBay Company, as the friend to American missionaries, and as the benefactor to the starving immigrants who had come acrossthe plains over the Oregon trail. McLoughlin's domesticvirtues are stressedthroughout but mention is made of his defectsand particularly of his ungovernabletemper. The author, a member of an old Oregonianfamily, naturally sides with the doctorin his strife with the Hudson'sBay Company. But he is fair to the old company and to Sir GeorgeSimpson. He makes us feel the nobility of McLoughlin and his childlike Christian faith, and yet we arepreparedfor the final tragedy. The king of the Columbialost his throne, becamea citizen of the great republicand died disillusioned by the treatment he had receivedfrom his fellow-citizens. But he did not die in vain. Oregonhasdonejustice to hismemory. WALTEU N. S•G•- ...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
p. 209
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.