Posts Tagged ‘Chinook’
Friday, January 31st, 2014
2014 is already approaching February! I sincerely hope the beginning of everyone’s year has been smooth and that you all are in good health and that the year ahead will be everything you want it to be.
At 3:00 p.m. on October 6th, 2013 three Japanese – along with several Americans – were at Fort Astoria (Ft. George) National Historic Site. The three were gazing at the stone monument entitled “The Birth Place of Ranald MacDonald”. The scene was not unusual, but it was quite historic! 時は２０１３年１０月６日午後３時、数人のアメリカ人に混ざって３人の日本人がFort Astoria 史跡公園を訪れていた。３人はその一遇に建つ「マクドナルド生誕の地」と刻まれた石碑に見入っていた。それ自体珍しい光景ではなかったが、それは大変歴史的な出来事であった。
Ranald MacDonald was born at Fort Astoria (Fort George) on February 3, 1824 the son of Archibald McDonald and Princess Sunday, a daughter of Chinook Indian Chief. In 1848, Ranald – a grown to be a strong 24 year-old sailor – succeeded in landing on an a small island in the Sea of Japan off northern- most Hokkaido. At that time it was generally regarded as an unattainable venture to enter Japan; however, with the careful planning of a “faked shipwreck”, Ranald was saved by Ainu people and the result was a successful landing onto Japanese soil. Soon after that, Ranald was arrested as an unlawful intruder and was transported to Nagasaki under “house arrest” at Daihian, where the translators of Dejima were taught English by Ranald. That is why Ranald is regarded as the first Native English Teacher in Japan. ラナルド・マクドナルドは、スコットランド人アーチボルド・マクドナルドを父に、チヌーク族族長の娘、プリンセス・サンデーを母とし、ここFort Astoria (Fort George) で１８２４年２月３日に産声をあげた。そして１８４８年、２４歳のたくましい船員に成長したラナルドは北海道北端の日本海に浮かぶ利尻島への単独上陸に成功した。当時鎖国令を敷いていた日本への入国は無謀・・・と思われていたが、ラナルドは緻密な計画に従い遭難を偽装、かけつけたアイヌに救助され、結果的に目的を果たしたのだった。しかし、その後不法入国者・・・として幕府に捕えられ長崎へ護送された後、座敷牢”大悲庵”に幽閉されたが、そこで出島の通詞達に英語を教えた事が今日マクドナルドを「日本で最初のネイティブ英語教師」と位置付けている所以である。
The three Japanese at Fort Astoria were two students, Yuuki Komatsu and Tatsuya Koujiya of Rishiri High School and their principle, Mr. Hiroyuki Tsukamoto. The three had arrived at Portland International Airport a day earlier, October 5, 2013. So it was that 165 years since Ranald landed on Rishiri Island, three people from Rishiri came to visit Astoria, the birth place of Ranald MacDonald. There are only two towns on Rishiri Island: Rishiri-cho and Rishirifuji-cho. In December 2012 the citizens, the businesses and other groups in both towns got together and established “A Support Group for MacDonald Scholarship Funds” in order to support the only high school on the Island, Rishiri Senior High School. The objective is to send a few students annually to the US, in particular, to Oregon and Washington states, where Ranald had close ties – and thus encourage students to study English and assist students to acquire an “International mind and etiquette”. The next few pages are copies of newspaper articles, photos and the comments by Yuuki-kun and Tatsuya-kun from Rishiri Senior High School:
Fort Astoria に居た３人の日本人は北海道利尻高校から前日（１０月５日）ポートランド国際空港に到着した留学生の小松祐希君及び糀屋達也君と付添いの塚本宏之校長先生であった。オレゴニアン、ラナルド・マクドナルドが利尻島に上陸して以来、実に１６５年間を経た２０１３年に利尻島からの３人はラナルドの生誕地、アストリアへやって来たのであった。利尻島内には利尻町及び利尻富士町という２つの町が在るが両町の町民や企業、団体が島の将来の為協力し同島内唯一の利尻高校を支援し元気付けようと２０１２年１２月に「マクドナルド奨学基金支援の会」を立ち上げた。その趣旨は毎年何人かの利尻高校生を米国（特にマクドナルドゆかりの地、オレゴンとワシントン州）へ短期留学させ、生徒達の英語学習欲を促し、同時に国際感覚養成に役立てるというものだった。 以下、小松君及び糀屋君のオレゴン及びワシントン州への第１回留学に関する新聞記事や写真、両君の感想等を掲載させて頂く：
ご報告： ２０１３年５月１１日のＦＯＭ年次総会席上ご承認頂きました「ＦＯＭよりマクドナルド奨学基金 支援の会への寄付１０口分として￥５０,０００」を実行致しました。
Report: We have donated 50,000 yen to The MacDonald Scholarship Fund in Rishiri Island from FOM General Funds per approval during the annual luncheon meeting in Astoria on May 11, 2013.
ＦＯＭ Chairman 谷田部 勝／Masaru “Mas” Yatabe
* * * * *
朝日新聞 — Asahi Shimbun
Our Overall Impressions
3年 小松 祐希/Yuuki Komatsu, Senior
僕は今回、アメリカ研修留学に行って本当によかったと思っています。 それは、たくさんの人に出会い、たくさんの事を学び、広く視野を広げることが出来たからです。ですが、１つ後悔をした事が在ります。それは「もっと英語の勉強をしておけばよかった」ということです。 アメリカでの生活の中で1番困ったのが「英会話」でした。あまり英語が話せなくても楽しく8日間をすごすことができましたが、ちゃんと英語が話せればもっともっと楽しく充実した8日間になったのかな。と思うととても悔しく思いました。来年度からもこの事業が続いて行くという事なので、次回の留学生には僕のように後悔をせず心からアメリカでの生活を楽しんできてもらいたいです。なので、学校での英語勉強の徹底をした方がいいと思いました。このような体験ができたのもマクドナルド奨学金支援の会の方々や利尻町、利尻富士町両町のご支援ご協力があったからです。今回学んだことを残りの高校生活、そして卒業後の学生生活に活かしていこうと思います。この度は、本当にありがとうございました。
I am truly glad that I went to America to study this time. It enabled me to meet many people, learn many things and gave me a broader perspective. However, I do have one regret: I should have studied English harder. The most troublesome thing for me was English conversation. It made me feel sorry when I realized the 8 days would have been a lot more enjoyable if I had had better command of English – even though those 8 days were fun days. I understand that this program will continue on to next year and beyond; I hope future participants will enjoy the experience fully and without regret. Therefore, it will be a good idea to make sure the student(s) study English seriously and with diligence. I was able to have this valuable experience because of the assistance and cooperation of the people of ‘MacDonald Scholarship Fund Support Group’ and the Towns of Rishiri and Rishirifuji. I intend to apply and utilize what I learned to the rest of my High School life and my life after graduation. Thank you very much.
2年 糀屋 達也/Tatsuya Koujiya, Junior
Studying abroad was a very good experience for me and visiting America for the first time gave me many surprises. I will always remember going to school in America and exchanging ideas with the students I met. The most enjoyable thing was to go to class together (with American students) even though we had language difficulty and had to depend on our hands and body gestures a lot for communication. I was alone among foreigners for a few days during the home stay, and I gained confidence in myself when I was able to work out a problem by myself. In the future I hope I can apply the worldwide perspective which I gained through experiencing the cultural differences between Japan and America during the study tour, experiences I could not have enjoyed had I stayed in Japan. Last, but not least, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the people of the Towns of Rishiri and Rishirifuji and the members of ‘MacDonald Scholarship’ funds. If I could go again next year, I would love to.
Sunday, June 26th, 2011
“Once there were a people so wealthy, plump, and sleek that they drank sea lion oil straight and didn’t have to look for food all winter long. They danced and sang and recited stories instead. These people’s upriver neighbors bent under ninety-pound packs. These people just carried their big boat down to their river, piled in several tons of trade goods ( cranberry preserves, smoked salmon, dried clams, six or seven kinds of vegetables, fur robes, and arrow-proof battle armor ) and paddled a hundred miles or so up the river to trade.
They were not just rich but highly intelligent and comparatively sane. Their numerous villages of fancifully decorated houses lined the shores of the mighty river, from which they drew most of their living and much of their pleasure. That river (we call it the Columbia) was all they ever wanted. It provided them with more than they could use. Fish in profusion swam up the river, which they called Wimah. Five of the six kinds of salmon that swim the Pacific Ocean, sturgeon, smelt, and lamprey came up, each in its season, to offer their succulent flesh to the people. Crabs and oysters in the bays, roots and bulbs in the marshes, deer, bear and elk in the forests and meadows.
What to call these people is a problem. The name Wimah merely meant “Big River,” which was the same meaning all of the other three languages above the Chin on the river called it. But the people had no name at all for themselves. Each village had a name, and there were names for groups of villages that spoke the same dialect, but each village was really separate, indeed each family was separate, though inextricably connected by relationships to other families. A man might take his house planks and dependents, and paddle up to the next village, and then he was one of those people. As for a name for all those who spoke Chinookan languages, fifty or more winter villages strung along both banks of the lowest two hundred miles of the Columbia River, plus twenty-five miles up the Willamette River at the falls and the Clackamas River, and twenty miles north and south along the Pacific seacoast, for all those people the river people had no name, indeed hardly more than a memory that they must be related.
When the first European ship sailed into the river and anchored eight miles above the mouth, offshore from proud Qwatsamts, a three-row village, the mariners wanted to know what to call the people. One sailor asked some sort of question, in some approximation of language, pointing at the village. Something like, “What are these people called?” (Pointing, by the way, was dangerous and ill-mannered among these people.) A headman or spokesman responded Chinoak or Tsinuk or something like that. Forever after, the white people called the people in that village, and three or four others along the riverbank nearby, Chinook or Chinooks. (The river people at first called the strangers tlohonnipts, “those who float [or drift] ashore.”)
After a while, when they learned that the people upriver for a couple of hundred miles had roughly the same languages, the tlohonnipts called them Chinook, too. Years later, all canoe-paddling Indians on the North Pacific Coast were sometimes referred to as Chinooks. All that, based on no more than what some person answered when strangers impolitely pointed toward the village of long cedar-plank houses, row on row along the shore, which town they called Qwatsamts.
Tsinuk was what the Chehalis, who lived to the north and spoke an entirely different language, called the village or villagers, or some of the river people Chinook, or perhaps Chin people. For though it is probably only a coincidence, the suffix ooks or uks meant plural people in the Chinook language. So it is possible, though unlikely, that the people were really called the Chin, and Chinooks meant more than one Chin person. Of such shadows are names made, when strangers with no common language first meet. Personally, I favor Chin for its simplicity and the feel of it against the roof of my mouth, Tchinn. The language is how I categorized them, and on that account we might call them Chinookans, if the word sounded better to the ear. During their perhaps three or four thousand years of living along the Columbia one language evolved into three or more languages, with relationships about like Dutch to German, or Portuguese to Spanish, and there were dialects and mutually understandable accents, but in all the world, only the people of the river spoke a Chinookan language. Chinook or Chinookans or Chin, they were a singular people, far different from the stereotype “Indians.” They were polite anarchists (in the classic, not the modern sense) with artificially flattened heads and a tendency toward red hair, which they delighted in. They had a highly stratified society with many subtle variations of class. The Chinook had ritualized inter-village or tribal conflict into a maritime battle performance, where few were harmed and gifts were exchanged afterward. They were open to new people and ideas, true cosmopolites, and they loved more than anything to barter. They were good at it, too. The Chinook bettered the canny Scottish fur traders again and again, or so the Scottish fur traders claimed.
In trade they were very like us, but in other ways they were utterly opposite. Our Western heritage contemplates a universe where there is one central God and all the subordinate creatures take their identities in relation to that over powering One. The Chinook believed the world a multiverse where everything was alive and had its own spirit. The powers of the spirits differed widely but there was no central all-powerful One.
The Chinook lived along the river for thousands of years. Then pale strangers floated ashore, and within forty years the Chinook were pretty much gone. All but a few in the center of their land disappeared, a great majority of those at the seacoast and Willamette Falls, a relatively smaller percentage at the eastern edge, up the Columbia River Gorge. In much of that area their culture was shattered.
Tsagiglalal saw all this happen, from her rock at the uppermost end of the Chinook-occupied river. Tsagiglalal is a beautiful broad face, with luminous eyes and wide smile, her tongue thrust out, inscribed on rim-rock at the easternmost edge of the Chinook land. Coyote, their myth age trickster-hero, put her there to watch the people. “She Who Watches” they called her. She became a symbol of conscience and of death. “She sees you when you come,” they said, “she sees you when you go.”
What, if anything, did the long persistence and swift collapse of the Chinook mean? They were living so nicely. They had all they wanted and nobody to bother them, were wealthy and respected. Then, because of the skin of a sea mammal and a host of spirits too small to see, thousands of them died, their culture crumbled and the survivors were sent away in a cruel diaspora.
They didn’t sign away their rainy Eden or sell it, they didn’t die in warfare, or move to reservations, not until twenty-five years after the catastrophes that swept most of them away. It wasn’t smallpox that laid them low. Suddenly most them were simply gone. The Wapato Lowlands in particular were empty and silent. Did God call them home? The few survivors walked away dazed. Took to speaking other languages. Were replaced by strangers. After a few decades hardly anyone remembered that they had ever been there.”
This book is meant to remedy that lapse of memory. Naked Against The Rain, Far Shore Press, Portland, OR, 1999.
She Who Watches has also been called the stone Owl Woman who watches. Indian women have gone to the stone and knelt before it. They would say something like, “You who watch, please look into me and see my problem and help me to solve it.” A ray of light would come down to shine on the stone face then. After the woman goes to her teepee to sleep a dream would come telling her how to deal with the problem. Maybe that woman would go again to the stone and the ray of light would come down again on the stone, and the next dream would give even more detail as to how to solve the problem.
From: Tahmahnaw, The Bridge of the Gods, by Jim Attwell.
Sunday, April 10th, 1994
The text of this article is reprinted from the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, (Volume XII) 1891-1900, thanks to the great kindness of its author, David H. Wallace, and of the publisher, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
MACDONALD, RANALD, adventurer, teacher, explorer, businessman, and author; b. 3 Feb. 1824 in Fort George (Astoria, Oreg.), eldest son of Archibald McDonald*, an HBC fur trader, and Chinook Indian princess Raven (Sunday), daughter of Chief Comcomly; d. unmarried 24 Aug. 1894 in Toroda, Wash.
Ranald MacDonald’s mother died shortly after his birth, and he was raised by his stepmother, Jane Klyne. After spending his early years at several Hudson’s Bay Company posts in the Columbia district, he was sent in 1834 to the Red River Academy at Fort Garry (Winnipeg) [see David Thomas Jones*]. Four years later he went to St Thomas, Upper Canada, to train in banking at a bank managed by one of his father’s friends, Edward Ermatinger*. He soon tired of this work, however, and early in 1841 he left surreptitiously to go to sea. Determined to visit the closed country of Japan, he shipped from Lahaina (Hawaii) in 1848 on the whaler Plymouth and arranged to be dropped off, appearing to be a shipwrecked sailor, near the west coast of Ezo (Hokkaido).
Taken by the Japanese authorities to Nagasaki, he made the best of his comfortable confinement in a temple room by becoming the first teacher of English in Japan, and it is as a teacher that he is best remembered there. One of his students, Enosuke Moriyama, later became a noted interpreter to the missions of Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry in 1853–54 and of Lord Elgin [Bruce*] in 1858–59.
At the end of April 1849 MacDonald was released to the American sloop of war Preble, which was visiting Nagasaki to pick up American sailors who had deserted from the whaler Lagoda. He traveled widely in Asia, Australia, and Europe before returning, shortly after his father’s death in 1853, to his family, then living in St Andrews (Saint-André-Est), Lower Canada. He remained there for about five years, during which time he became a Freemason.
In 1858 Ranald and his half-brother Allan returned to the Pacific coast, to the new colony of British Columbia. They set up a packing business between Port Douglas (Douglas), at the head of Little Harrison Lake and the Fraser River gold-mines, and ran a ferry across the Fraser at Lillooet. Their younger brother Benjamin later joined them. In 1861–62 Ranald MacDonald and Johnston George Hillbride Barnston, whose families were connected through marriage, set up the Bentinck Arm and Fraser River Road Company to service the new mines in the Caribou district. The route for this road was a pack-trail, running from the site of present-day Bella Coola to the Fraser River near Fort Alexandria (Alexandria, B.C.). The enterprise was not completed, however, because of financial difficulties. In 1864 MacDonald and Barnston’s younger brother Alexander joined the Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition [see Robert Brown]. On this expedition, which crossed the largely unexplored interior of Vancouver Island four times, MacDonald participated in the discovery of vast stands of prime timber, the Sooke gold-fields, and a large coalfield on Browns River near Comox. The next year he led a government-sponsored expedition to explore for minerals in the Horsefly area of the Caribou.
MacDonald spent the following decade in the Caribou district, exploring, and at his ranch on Hat Creek. He was also an employee of Barnard’s Express and Stage Line [see Francis Jones Barnard*] and later of Bonaparte House, the hotel run by Charles Augustus Semlin* and Philip Parke at Cache Creek. In 1875 he assisted his cousin Christina MacDonald in her trading operation at Kamloops. He finally retired to a log cabin close to the home of Christina’s brother Donald near Fort Colvile (near Colville, Wash.), where his own father had developed a large farm for the HBC during the 1830s.
While in retirement, MacDonald tried to find a publisher for his account of his visit to Japan. The manuscript was edited by Malcolm McLeod, who in 1872 had published Archibald McDonald’s Peace River journal, and several drafts were submitted to Canadian, American, and British publishers. A proposal for publication in Montreal under the title “A Canadian in Japan” fell through in 1892 because of a lack of subscriptions, but a revised version which McLeod prepared the following year finally appeared in 1923.
A portion of Ranald MacDonald’s original account of his visit to Japan is preserved in Malcolm McLeod’s papers at PABC, Add. mss 1249, along with one of the three manuscript copies of McLeod’s final 1893 edition, “Japan: story of adventure of Ranald MacDonald, first teacher of English in Japan, A.D. 1848–49.” The other surviving copy (the one McLeod returned to MacDonald) is held by the Eastern Wash. State Hist. Soc. (Spokane), which published it in 1923 as Ranald MacDonald: the narrative of his early life on the Columbia under the Hudson’s Bay Company’s regime; of his experiences in the Pacific whale fishery; and of his great adventure to Japan; with a sketch of his later life on the western frontier, 1824–1894, ed. W. S. Lewis and Naojiro Murakami. A Japanese translation of the Narrative prepared by Toruo Tomita, Makudonarudo “Nihon Kaisoki”, appeared in Tokyo in 1979.
MacDonald is also the author of Bentinck Arm and Fraser River Road Company, Limited, prospectus (Victoria, 1862), prepared in collaboration with his partner, Johnston George Hillbride Barnston.
Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Repository (Tokyo), Zoku Tsushin Zenran Ruishu (coil. of docs. from the time of the Tokugawa government), “Beikoku Hyomin no Geisen Nagasaki-ko ni Torai Ikken” (record of the visit to Nagasaki of the Preble, 1849) and “Kits Kaigan Hyochaku no Beikokujin Nagasaki Goso a Ikken, 1848–1849” (record of Ranald MacDonald and the Lagoda seamen). PABC, Add. mss 794, esp. Vancouver Island Exploring Expedition journals of Robert Brown and of Ranald MacDonald. [Robert Brown], Vancouver Island; exploration, 1864 (Victoria, ). “An interesting visitor,” Ottawa Daily Citizen, 1 Sept. 1888; repr. in Daily News–Advertiser (Vancouver), 15 Sept. 1888. Frederick Whymper, Travel and adventure in the territory of Alaska, formerly Russian America – now ceded to the United States – and in various other parts of the north Pacific (London, 1868).
British Colonist (Victoria), 1858–60, continued as Daily British Colonist, 1860–64, and Daily Colonist, September 1894. Cariboo Sentinel (Barkerville, B.C.), 12 June 1865. China Mail (Hong Kong), 1 May 1849. Morning Oregonian (Portland), 12 Feb. 1891. Spokesman–Review (Spokane), 31 Aug. 1894. DAB. J. E. Ferris, “Ranald MacDonald, the sailor boy who visited Japan,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly (Seattle, Wash.), 48 (1957): 13–16; “Ranald MacDonald’s monument, Toroda Creek, state of Washington,” BCHQ, 15 (1951): 223–27. Province (Vancouver), 18 Nov. 1963. Shunzo Sakamaki, “Japan and the United States, 1790–1853,” Asiatic Soc. of Japan, Trans., 2nd ser., 18 (1939): 44–49. Vancouver Daily Province, 20 May 1928.
© 2000 University of Toronto/Université Laval
NOTE: A second edition of Ranald’s Narrative was published in 1990 by the Oregon Historical Society Press with support from FOM and Epson Portland, Inc. It is available from the OHS Press, 1200 S.W. Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205, at $30 plus shipping. [U.S. funds only.]
Chinook Tribe Seeks Information …
Edna Miller, secretary of the Chinook Indian Tribe, has asked that FOM share with the Tribe information about Ranald MacDonald, half-Scot, half-Indian, and grandson of legendary Chinook Chieftain Comcomly. FOM Chairman Bruce Berney has offered copies of our publications and suggested a newsletter exchange.
Dramatic Scenery, Historic Sites, Good Company, Great Fun …
The vastness of Eastern Washington is awe-inspiring. The air is pungent with the scent of pine and sage, the land rolls with breathtaking skies. Travelers will visit three unusual museums: the Native Cultures Collection at Cheney Cowles Museum, Spokane; the architecturally exciting Yakima Nation Indian museum; and the charming Colville Museum, the heart of an historic complex.
We’ll learn more about Indian culture with an Indian feast — and see pictographs and petroglyphs painted and carved thousands of years ago. We’ll see gigantic Grand Coulee Dam, a working gold mine, a winery …
We will visit, finally, the house in which Ranald MacDonald died and the lands he knew, pausing for a centennial tribute at his well-marked grave site near the Canadian border.
The tour is being organized in cooperation with the Oregon Historical Society , which will also invite its members to participate. TO ASSURE YOUR PLACE on the tour, complete and mail the special FOM advance reservation form in this newsletter.
A Visit to Toroda
by Prof. Steve Kohl, Ph.D.
(FOM Vice Chair Steve Kohl, a member of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Oregon, has long been interested in the Ranald MacDonald story. Steve will lead our Tour to Toroda. The following is his account of his visit there last summer …)
RANALD MacDONALD died at Toroda on the Canadian border of Washington. Eva Emory Dye romantically and erroneously describes him passing away at his home at Fort Colville near Kettle Falls. The actual circumstances of his death were more dramatically poignant than that. Away from home, visiting his niece, Jennie Lynch, he died in her arms saying, “Sayonara, my dear, sayonara.”
Last August we drove through the Okanogan country, passing through Kettle Falls, crossing the Columbia, camping at Curlew Lake, and going on to Toroda to visit the site of MacDonald’s grave on a bluff high above Kettle River. In many ways the area has greatly changed since MacDonald passed through here on his last journey, and in that process of change our sense of history has changed as some things are lost and other things gain heightened importance.
MacDonald spent his final years at Fort Colville where his father had been chief factor half a century earlier. MacDonald evidently cared a great deal about preserving that legacy in his father’s memory. He seems to have found contentment during those final years of his life. He is quoted as saying, “I yearn for nothing more than to live according to the whims of my nature. If I need meat for my dogs, in the foothills there is plenty of game. If it is flour that I lack, there is a store at the nearest settlement. My books furnish diversion, and in my solitude I am free to write and meditate.” Today, neither fort nor homestead remain; all were flooded by the backwaters of Grand Coulee Dam.
As we crossed the 75 miles or so from Kettle Falls to Toroda, i could not help but wonder if these mountains and meadows are any different from what they were when Mac made his last journey in August of 1894. He surely passed by Curlew Lake and perhaps camped there as we did, watching the sun set and twilight gather over the Okanogan.
When Lewis and Murakami were editing MacDonald’s Narrative in 1923, they described the site as a neglected Indian cemetery. Today it is a neatly fenced plot which includes also the graves of Jennie Lynch, Nellie Stanton and other family members. The mountains and rivers have not changed at all. On a clear August morning the hills are green and dotted with pines and the river flows through the valley below, a remarkably lovely location.
Changes, of course, have been many. MacDonald went to Japan hoping to open the doors of commerce with that country. Today, as we see the vast amount of commerce – the wheat, cattle, timber, potatoes, fish and fruit of the Columbia River basin that goes to Japan, and when we see the Toyotas, televisions and computers that comes from Japan — we can appreciate the extent to which MacDonald’s dream of commerce and friendship between our two countries has been accomplished. As we near the 100th anniversary of MacDonald’s death, it seems appropriate to honor this man of vision and humanity.
What FOM’s Been Doing …
AT FORT VANCOUVER Boy Scouts from Hyogo Prefecture in Japan joined Washington State representatives to rededicate the Friendship Monument erected in 1988 to honor three Japanese sailors – “shipwrecked” sea-drifters rescued and brought to the Fort in 1833 on orders of Dr. McLaughlin. Chairman Mas Tomita represented FOM.
AT THE OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY FOM was represented at the August 6th opening of an OHS exhibit about the issei, Japanese pioneers who came to Oregon in the late 19th and early 10th centuries. A special FOM flyer was developed for the opening. FOM member George Azumano was among those instrumental in developing the popular exhibit, a joint effort of the japanese American National Museum, Oregon Japanese Americans and OHS.
IN PORTLAND FOM was host to a film crew from KTN-TV/Nagasaki, which created a special documentary about Ranald MacDonald as part of the stations 25th anniversary celebration. Portland-area Friends met for dinner with the film crew. FOM Vice Chairman Bruce Berney entertained the group in Astoria. The film-makers also traveled to Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.; Winnipeg; Toronto; Washington, D.C.; Republic and Spokane, Washington, and Lahaina and Honolulu, Hawaii. A copy of the Japanese-language production will be placed in FOM archives.
FOM/PORTLAND this month also greeted visitors from Japan led by FOM Vice Chair/Japan Masaki Takahashi. The group was making an early centennial pilgrimage to Toroda.
IN JAPAN – Masaki Takahashi, who spearheaded development of the Rishiri monument memorializing Ranald MacDonald, is the new Vice Chairman/Japan for FOM. He will serve as liaison between FOM/US and leaders of four Japanese chapters, who are Dr. Obama, Nagasaki; Mr. Nishiya, Rishiri; Mr. Aisaka, Kansai; and Mr. Kawasaki, Tokyo. The Japanese groups have published a number of MacDonald studies.
AT THE BANK – Chairman Mas Tomita reported on FOM’s fiscal year-end status during the November meeting, noting a 12% increase in current paid membership. income from memberships exceeded budget projects by $231; resale items were up $8, donations up $450, and luncheon receipts up $452, for a total increase in income of $1,181. Expenses overall decreased, down from a budgeted $1800 to $1265, primarily because of reduced printing expenses.
Tuesday, October 17th, 1989
RANALD MacDONALD: His Ancestry and Early Years
Jean Murray Cole of Ontario, Canada, an award-winning author, editor and historian, delivered a paper entitled “Ranald MacDonald: His Ancestry and Early Years”, during the 2nd annual Friends of MacDonald Seminar in Portland, Oregon on may 6, 1989. Mrs. Cole, who is the great-great-granddaughter and biographer of Archibald McDonald, Ranald’s father, has generously presented a typescript of her presentation to Friends of MacDonald for the archives. Her words paint a scholarly picture of a devoted, close-knit family, working hard to match “civilized” standards of education and religious training while stationed in the remote outposts of an uncivilized wilderness. Excerpts follow:
RANALD MacDONALD was the product of two proud and powerful races, brought together by chance in this remote corner of the world. His lineage was that of generations of free-spirited Scot Highlanders, joined with the blood of legendary Comcomly, Chief of the influential Chinook tribe who, in the early 1800s, held sway over all the natives around the Columbia River mouth (until nearly 90 percent of them were carried off in the fever epidemic of 1830-31). The sense of kinship was strong in both. After infancy, surrounded by an ever-increasing number of half-brothers in a household that his father was determined should emulate as nearly as possible family life as he had known it in what he often referred to as the “civilized world.”
Archibald McDonald … was descended from the colorful Glencoe branch of the MacDonald Clan. His grandfather, John, escaped as a child with his mother to the surrounding hills when King William’s troops carried out their infamous massacre of 38 MacDonalds in 1692. Archy’s father, Angus, at the age of 15 served in the field at the Battle of Culloden in 1745 …
Although Ranald was in fact an “only child”, he grew up as part of a large, loving and happy family. Later in life he said that he hadn’t realized, as a boy, that Jane Klyne was not his real mother, although this is difficult to reconcile with the fact that he also brings forth memories of his time spent in the lodge of his grandfather Comcomly. He remembers that he was sometimes called “Comly” by his father’s fur trader friends, and “Qu`Ame” (grandson) or “Toll” (Chinook for “boy”) by Comcomly himself …
Ranald was born at the Hudson’s Bay Company Fort George, formerly (and later) Astoria, but when his mother, Princess Raven, died shortly after his birth he was taken to Comcomly’s lodge to be cared for by an aunt, his mother’s sister, Car-cum-cum. There he remained until the following year when his father took another wife “in the custom of the country” – Jane Klyne.
[After Archy’s assignment to a new post, Fort Langley, near what is now Vancouver, Canada:] It was here that the little family began to grow up, and it was here that the father began what he referred to as his “thriving school” where he himself gave instruction to mother and sons alike. McDonald firmly believed, as he said to friends, “There is nothing like early education,” and he was determined that his children would not suffer the fate of many of the offspring of fur traders who spent their childhood in the Indian country … [In late 1830] McDonald reported that his young wife had become “an excellent scholar” and that “Toll is a stout chap – reads his New Testament and began his copy the other day as he got out of his 7th year … ”
Much to his regret, that spring of 1833 McDonald was called back to Fort Vancouver … Ranald recalls this trip in his memoir, and at the age of nine he would no doubt have vivid memories. I believe, though, that when he wrote of the Ft. Colville of his childhood, he was in fact recalling the years at Ft. Langley, “Here, during three or four years, with younger half-brothers, under the tenderest and best, in every way, of parental care, I spent what I consider to have been the very happiest days of my life: in a world of our own; little, singularly isolated from the haunts of men … ” In fact the family was never all together at Ft. Colville.
There are many myths about Ranald, and there are many truths – it is not easy to sort them out. It is documented, however, in contemporary records, that after those years at Langley the family was never all together again for any length of time. Archibald McDonald was posted to Ft. Colville in the spring of 1833 … he decided to enroll Ranald in John Ball’s school at Fort Vancouver for the winter of 1833-34 … He had plans for the children: “It’s high time for me to … get my little boys to school …” [A journey east permitted him to see his family settled in Red River (now Winnipeg, Manitoba) while he was on furlough in Europe and to register the four older boys in the Red River school.]
Duncan Finlayson, who had charge of the Hudson’s Bay Company spring Express Party in 1834, brought Ranald with him from Ft. Vancouver to join his father at Colville before they moved on to the east together. That brief time … was in fact the only period in Ranald’s childhood that he was there …
This myth about Ft. Colville brings up another confusing element … that [Ranald] was at Fort Vancouver when the three survivors of the shipwrecked Japanese ‘junk’ [Hojun-maru] were brought there [by Capt. McNeil on board the Llama] in the summer of 1834. The truth is that Finlayson left Vancouver with Ranald in March of that year – they left Colville on April 18th, and arrived at the Committee’s Punch Bowl where Michael Klyne met them with horses to take them through the mountains to Jasper on May 2nd, and by June they were at Norway House at the Council Meeting.
[Ranald’s] knowledge of Japan and its people, I suspect, came more from his reading and his later travels with the whaling fleet in the south seas, although he may well have heard something of the three survivors of the shipwrecked ‘junk’ who arrived at Fort Vancouver shortly after his departure from there. (Eva Emery Dye’s assertions in her 1907 version of the story that Ranald was “detailed” by McLaughlin to look after the three Japanese as they recovered in the Fort hospital is totally without substance, although one can believe, as she says, that “Ranald listened to theories of his elders as to the other wrecks.”) That he identified with the Japanese people cannot be questioned … once he had conceived his plan to shipwreck himself on the Japanese coast, nothing could deter him … His purpose was firmly fixed: “to learn of them; and, if occasion should offer, to instruct them of us.”
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IN RANALD’S WAKE: Steve Kohl’s FOM Experience in Japan
Prof. STEPHEN KOHL, Ph.D., Friends of MacDonald vice chairman, returned to Oregon this fall after a year in Tokyo as director of the Oregon State System of Higher Education’s exchange program in Japan. Dr. Kohl, who is professor of East Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Oregon, will discuss his participation in Japanese Friends activities during the FOM membership dinner meeting.
July 5: Katie and I met Prof. Jukichi Suzuki in Shinjuku and discussed wording for a new Ranald MacDonald monument to be erected on Rishiri Island on the beach where it is thought MacDonald came ashore.
July 13: Dr. Takahashi and Mr. Ushio came to Sapporo, where we were staying with friends, to take us to a MacDonald seminar on Rishiri. Weather problems disrupted our seagoing travel plans and we instead went by train to Otaru, where we boarded a beautifully sleek cruiser and headed out through the breakwater into the open Sea of Akhosk, taking photographs as we followed MacDonald’s trail.
As we reached the point judged by Professor Tomita to be the place where MacDonald actually left the Plymouth, it became hard to see why he made for distant Yagishiri rather than the mainland of Hokkaido, which is clearly visible to us. In our discussion of this matter we came up with several reasons:
1) It was foggy, as we know from MacDonald’s journal, and perhaps he could not see the mainland to the east but could see Yagishiri to the north. 2) There is evidently a northward current in these waters which may have made it more practical for him to go north rather than east. 3) Because long stretches of the Hokkaido coast were uninhabited in those days, MacDonald may have decided to seek out a smaller island as an easier and more likely place to find human habitation.
My own conjecture is that MacDonald did not get off the Plymouth at the point Prof. Tomita indicates, but, rather got off further north within five miles of Yagishiri as he indicates in his journal …
Mr. Isono, a local innkeeper and a man who knows all the details of local history, was our guide on Yagishiri. MacDonald is thought to have landed on a sandy beach on the south side of the island. After lunch at Mr. Isono’s inn, we re-boarded our cruiser and headed north for Rishiri into a strong north wind and heavy waves. It was quite moving to approach the towering peak of Mt. Rishiri and to think that this is the same sea MacDonald sailed and that we were seeing the same mountain and island he saw. None of this has changed in the past 141 years. What is different is that Ranald MacDonald was going into the unknown, dread Japan; we were accompanied by friends who would insure our good reception. But this is only possible, of course, because MacDonald made that first trip.
July 14: In the afternoon we went to Notsuka, which is where we believe MacDonald must have landed on Rishiri. Our plan was to retrace MacDonald’s route from there to Motodomari on the other side of the island, which was Samurai headquarters in those days. At Motodomari we visited a local Shinto shrine which was built about ten years before MacDonald’s arrival. MacDonald visited the shrine and so did we . . .
July 15: A day-long adventure climbing up steep, rocky trails, but we made it to the summit of Mt. Rishiri. If you like mountain climbing it was glorious – high, alpine meadows filled with flowers, steep gorges, cliffs, and still some snow in the high meadows.
Over dinner that night we talked more about MacDonald and discussed a number of questions that had been raised by Prof. Aihara and some of the other 50 FOM members in Japan – questions that will be of interest to many of us here.
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Saturday, June 11th, 1988
We Are Organized!
“Friends of MacDonald” has been organized as a Clatsop County Historical Society chartered committee. It honors Ranald MacDonald, a native Astorian who, in 1848, risked his life on a mission of friendship to forbidden Japanese shores.
The Charter was presented May 20 by Heather Reynolds, president of the Historical Society.
The organization will seek to find and preserve MacDonald memorabilia, to promote publication of newsletters, books, articles and other materials about MacDonald, to hold seminars and other educational programs, and to encourage museum exhibits and visits.
WEST OF THE SUN ~ A Tokyo Branch of Friends of MacDonald has been organized with Hiromichi Shibata as Manager. Extensive press coverage in Japanese language publications includes Oregon Trail Magazine, The North American Post, Kaigai Chuzai, Japan Economic Journal and others.
Charter members of Friends of MacDonald include Hugh Ackroyd, Aihara Agency Inc., Yuji Aisaka, Clifford B. Alterman, Wayne Atteberry, Mr. & Mrs. George Azumano, Frank Bauman, Borden Beck, Jr., Floyd Bennett, Bruce Berney, J.E. “Bud” Clark, Joan Choi, Marilyn Cochrane Davis, Brian Doherty, Epson America Inc., Ted & Carrie Etzel, Nancie Fadeley, Bill Feuchtwanger, Michael Foster, Vera Gault; Evelyn Hankel, Edith Henningsgaard, Gene Hogan, Itogumi USA Corp., Japan-American Society of Oregon, Toshiyuki Kasai, Eizo Kaneyasu, Shigeru Kimura, Isamu Kobayashi, Stephen Kohl, Kiyoshi Komatsu, Hiroyuki Kurumizawa, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Betty Leu, Allan Mann, Stephen McConnel, Randal & Ross McEvers, Jerry McMurry, Barbara Minard, Shirley Minard, Hope Moberg, Jim Mockford, Dr. & Mrs. R.P. Moore, Kenneth Munford, Eiji Nishiya, Hiroaki Nishitani, Ryuji Noda, Mamoru Ofuku, Pacific Power & Light Co., Peat Marwick Mann & Co., Barbara C. Peeples, Phyllis Reuter, Yasuo Skaniwa, Shoichi Sakanushi; Herbert & Barbara Schwab, Arnold Seeborg, Hiroaki Sekizawa, Katsuhiko Shimodaira, Shokookai of Portland, Standard Insurance Co., Richard & Helen Slagle, Donald Sterling, Hisao Sugi, Sam & Kitzie Stern, Yuji Takahashi abd the Rishiri Rotary Club, Isaac Tevet, Mr. & Mrs. Dick Thompson, Masakatsu Tomita, Frank Tomori, Morio Toyoshima, Paul Van der Veldt, Susanna Von Reibold, Ronald L. Walquist, Akira Watanabe, Betty Williams, William Winn, Katsu Yamazaki, Ichiro Yokoyama.
OFFICERS ELECTED – Mas Tomita, president of Epson Portland, Inc., chairman; Bruce Berney, City of Astoria librarian; and Stephen Kohl, PhD. of the University of Oregon, both vice chairmen; and Barbara Peeples, Portland public relations counselor, secretary; Hiromichi Shibata, Tokyo Branch Manager.
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Monument Dedicated to Honor Astorian Ranald MacDonald,
Japan’s First Teacher of English
ASTORIA, May 21 ~~ A monument of American granite was dedicated this day on the site of the old Fort Astoria [Ft. George] in honor of Ranald MacDonald, born here in 1824 to a father descended from Highland Scots and his wife, a Chinook princess.
The jubilant cry of bagpipes recalled the Scottish heritage as dignitaries representing four nations joined 200 other guests for an outdoor ceremony beneath clear, blue skies and a hot sun. Ranald MacDonald, dead for almost a century, was being honored by his hometown.
The ceremony recognized MacDonald’s 1848 visit to Japan, during the period in which Japan shut its doors to foreigners and threatened Christian intruders with death. MacDonald, carrying a bible and armed only with native ingenuity and goodwill, made a plan which landed him on Japan’s Rishiri island and permitted him, even though imprisoned, to learn Japanese and to become Japan’s first teacher of English.
Today, MacDonald is widely known in Japan as a pioneer ambassador of international friendship. A monument on Rishiri tells of his arrival; books and magazine articles have been published, including a Japanese translation of his own story. Guests at the dedication included a crew from Hokkaido Broadcasting Film Company, which has produced a documentary about his life. Speakers during the monument dedication included Akira Watanabe, Consul-General of Japan; Andrew Hay, British Consul; State Senator Joan Dukes; Oregon Clan Donald Commissioner Marilyn Davis; Astoria Mayor Edith Henningsgaard; descendants of Chinook Chief Com’Comly, MacDonald’s maternal grandfather, and of Archibald McDonald, his father.
Bruce Berney, who is vice president of the Clatsop County Historical Society, was master of ceremonies. Dr. Stephen Kohl presented an historical vignette; John Cooper, CCHS executive director, unveiled the monument and Kenichi Tomita, 10, son of Mas Tomita, chairman of Friends of MacDonald, read the Japanese text.
Moriyama and Tokojiro, two of MacDonald’s students,became chief interpreters to Commodore Perry
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GREETINGS FROM ABROAD TO OREGON FRIENDS
HOKKAIDO, JAPAN ” … We are deeply impressed that the starting point of relations [between Oregonians and Hokkaido-ans to further mutual friendships] was marked before the Civil War or the opening of Japan’s ports with the visit of an American named Ranald MacDonald. Mr. MacDonald knocked on Japan’s stubbornly closed doors and taught his native tongue to the Samurai. Indeed, his visit of some 140 years ago was an historic scheme of grandeur … We hope that the dedication of the MacDonald Monument will serve to remind us of this brave man who cut a road of friendship based upon trust and understanding … ” ~ Takahiro Yokomichi, Governor of Hokkaido
” … MR. EINOSUKE MORIYAMA, who was taught by Mr. MacDonald, had contributed to the civilization and enlightenment of Yokohama City in Kanagawa Prefecture. I sincerely expect that Friends of MacDonald will also carry out brilliant achievements for friendly relations between the United States and Japan …” ~ Kazuji Nagasu, Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture
” … HE IS UNDOUBTEDLY of special interest to us because of his presence in Lahaina at the height of the whaling period and his unique tie to Japan … We look forward to being a member of the Friends of MacDonald.” ~ Lynn McCrory, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
” … I REGRET THAT I cannot come to Astoria to take part in the ceremony. On the same day I have a prior commitment to give a lecture about Ranald MacDonald to a group of high school English teachers in Toyohashi City. Ranald MacDonald deserves special recognition as a memorable contributor to Japanese history.” ~ Akira Yoshimura, author of Festival of the Sea, a book about MacDonald and E. Moriyama
” … HE GREATLY IMPRESSED the Japanese with his intelligence, politeness and integrity and succeeded in communicating friendship and trust … Such a wonderful story should be handed down to Japanese generations to come. I believe that this monument will … promote the friendship that he began between Japan and the United States.” ~ Masaki Takahashi, of the Rishiri island Rotary Club, which last year erected a monument at the place where Ranald landed in 1848.
” … EVEN AFTER 140 YEARS MacDonald’s great courage and action have left a deep impression to not only Rishiri Citizens but also to all of the Japanese … Although Rishiri, Nagasaki and Astoria are a great distance apart, they share the same spirit of friendship which crosses the Pacific Ocean.” ~ Toshi Adachi, Town Mayor of Higashi Rishiri
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RANALD’S NAMESAKE ATTENDS FESTIVITIES
Ranald MacDonald, a descendant of Ranald MacDonald’s father (Archibald McDonald) was a guest at the first MacDonald seminar May 20. Young Ranald is a student at Montana State University in Bozeman, where he is studying political science and public administration. he and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Ranald McDonald* of Niarada, MT, made the long trip here to participate.
Other special guests at the ceremony included descendants of Chief Com’Comly and the Stanton families, who are descendants of Jenny Lynch, MacDonald’s niece. It was at Mrs. Lynch’s home that Ranald MacDonald died in 1894 whispering the Japanese words of farewell: “Sayonara, sayonara.”
[* Ranald MacDonald, who restored the “a” in MacDonald that his father and some other relatives abandoned, never married. There are many collateral descendants, related through his step-brothers and sister, Com’Comly’s cousins and his parents’ siblings.]
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PROGRAMS, PUBLICATIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
MACDONALD SEMINAR – Prof. Torao Tomita of Rikkyo University, Tokyo, a leading Japanese authority on American Indians and also the Japanese translator of Ranald MacDonald’s memoir, was a key speaker on May 20 when Friends of MacDonald sponsored a seminar about MacDonald in Astoria. More than 100 guests attended.
Dr. Tomita suggested two reasons for MacDonald’s decision to visit Japan: one, he said, was the prejudice he faced because of his Indian heritage; the other, his theory about the ancestral kinship of the Indian and Japanese people.
Prof. Stephen Kohl of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Oregon, and long a student of MacDonald, spoke of the peril MacDonald risked by visiting Japan. Kohl credited MacDonald’s “enduring belief in human nature – if you act like a human being, people will treat you like one” – for his success.
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MACDONALD BOOKLET AVAILABLE
A concise story of Ranald MacDonald’s adventure, taken from the book Five Foreigners in Japan by Herbert H, Gowen, has been re-printed by Friends of MacDonald. Publication was made possible through a grant from Epson Portland Inc. and with the permission of Fleming H. Revell Co. The booklet includes photos of MacDonald, members of his family and Japanese students and a map of his voyage from Rishiri to Matsumae. It is available for $2.50 plus 50 cents postage from the Clatsop County Historical Society.
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THANK YOU, CLAN DONALD: Marilyn David, Oregon commissioner of Scottish Clan Donald, to which Ranald MacDonald belonged, presented a clan memento to Bruce Berney of the Friends of MacDonald during her talk at monument dedication ceremonies. MacDonald was proud of his Scottish ancestors, who came from Glencoe in the Scottish highlands. Oregon members of Clan Donald have themselves dedicated a monument, at the Old Scotch Church in North Plains, Oregon, in memory of the Massacre of Glencoe.
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MACDONALD EXHIBIT ON DISPLAY AT CCHS: A Ranald MacDonald exhibit is now on display as the Heritage Museum of the Clatsop County historical Society, located at 1618 Exchange St., just a block east of the MacDonald monument. Visitors will find maps, books and photographs about Ranald MacDonald and his voyage across what he called “this placid sea”.
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LIBRARIAN WITH A CAUSE REALIZES A DREAM: Ranald MacDonald’s rebirth in Astoria, Oregon can be traced back to 1972. Bruce Berney, director of the Astoria Public Library, was culling seldom-read books from library shelves. One of those books was Ranald MacDonald’s story of his visit to Japan in 1848 and his experience as Japan’s first teacher of English. Berney’s interest was piqued; the librarian had been an English teacher in Japan in 1961-63. Berney set the book aside for his own reading and this met Ranald.
On February 3, 1974, the 150th anniversary of MacDonald’s birth (also Berney’s birthday, coincidentally) Astoria Friends of the Library celebrated. Slowly, interest in the incredible story grew. Dr. Torao Tomita came to Astoria to learn more about MacDonald, and eventually translated his book into Japanese.
Berney wanted a MacDonald monument erected. He felt it would interest Japanese seamen visiting Astoria and other tourists, but money was needed. The State’s growing Japanese business community was approached. A talk to the Board of Shokookai of Portland stimulated the interest of Board Member Mas Tomita, president of Epson Portland, inc., who had read the MacDonald story in a Japanese magazine but had not realized that “Fort George” was better known as Fort Astoria.
Steve Kohl of the University of Oregon and other became involved. The result: our international organization, FRIENDS of MACDONALD, is in existence because Bruce Berney found a book no one had read for five years.
Berney told guests at the dedication ceremony: “My dream has been realized.”
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