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Ewing Young was an important figure in the fur trade in the southwest during the period 1817-1829. In 1829-1830 Young led his first expedition to California. While on the San Joaquin, Young's company contacted Ogden's Hudson's Bay trappers. The two groups trapped together for several months, before Ogden's returned to Fort Vancouver. On this expedition, Young probably did not venture farther north than the Mission of San José, where he entered into agreement with J. B. Cooper. By this contract, Young was to return, after a hunt on the Colorado, and sell his furs to Cooper and with the proceeds purchase mules. Soon thereafter, there was a drunken brawl at Los Angeles in which a man was killed, and Young was compelled to flee the area. In April 1831 he was back in Taos.

In October of that year, Young left Taos for California, at the head of a company of trappers. The autumn of 1832 found Young's party hunting beaver on the San Joaquin. A few miles below the mouth of American Fork, they encountered a large company of Hudson's Bay trappers under La Frambois. These people had been trapping the area since the spring, so Young pushed up the Sacramento Valley, until he came to the mouth of Feather River. Skirting the southern and western shore of Clear Lake, the company crossed the Coast Range and struck the Pacific, 75 miles above Fort Ross.

Young now led his people up the coast, searching with little success for streams with a large beaver population. Several futile attempts were made to recross the mountains, until a point was reached, a few miles south of today's boundary between Mendocino and Humboldt counties. Here the trappers came out on the Warrior Trail, which they followed in a northwesterly direction, passing through Long Valley, crossing the mountains, and striking Eel River, near where it is joined by Middle Fork. They then crossed the mountains to Round Valley, and from there went over the mountains to the west side of the Sacramento Valley. They then turned into Smith's trail, near today's town of Tehama. The trappers followed the route pioneered by Smith into Oregon as far as Rogue River. [19] They then struck eastward to Klamath Lake, turned southward, and re-entered California by way of the Sacramento Valley. [20]

In the years between 1833 and the cession of California to the United States by Mexico in 1848, the Humboldt Coast was undoubtedly visited by other trappers. Eugene Duflot de Mofras, who visited California and Oregon in early 1840s, reported that the region north of Fort Ross was inhabited by Indians, "but traversed at times by the French-Canadians or American expeditions." In his atlas he shows two routes of travel—one via the Sacramento Valley and the other along the coast. [21]

A Hudson's Bay schooner, Cadborough, commanded by Captain Brotchie in 1836 had carefully reconnoitered the mouth of the Klamath. [22]

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004