Yet in their rush, gold seekers spent as little time as possible in Portland. There, Rover said, “The merchants have large stocks of goods on hand, for which they have no customers.” On the other hand, he wrote, “At the Dalles we found business quite brisk, and a large number of miners fitting out for the different mining camps.”
Still, Lewiston was “the dullest of all dull places.” That was primarily because “No mining is yet being done at Florence, Warren’s diggings, Elk City, or Oro Fino. No pack trains can get into these places at present. Parties go in and come out on snow shoes.”
Supplies were not going to the Boise Basin either, “owing to deep snow on the mountains.” People still wondered about that region – discouraging as well as glowing letters had made their way out.
|Lewiston, ca 1863. Nez Perce County Historical Society.|
Earlier reports from the East gave the 46th parallel as the northern border of the new territory. That placed it coincident with the northern border of Oregon (east of the Columbia River) and nearly thirty miles south of Lewiston. Because of that, Rover also said, “The people here are in doubt as to whether they are in Idaho or Washington. No definite news as to boundaries has yet been received from Washington.”
“Letter from Lewiston, W. T.,” Evening Bulletin, San Francisco, California (April 21, 1863).