The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 47
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The Last Expedition of Josiah Gregg
and he be left behind, hastily caught up. his instruments and
ran for the canoe, to reach which, however, he was compelled to
wade several steps into the water. His cup of wrath was now
filled to the brim; but he remained silent until the opposite shore
was gained, when he opened upon us a perfect batter of the most
withering and violent .abuse. Several times during the ebulli-
tion of the old man's passion, he indulged in such insulting lan-
guage and comparisons, that some of the party came near inflict-
ing upon him summary punishment by consigning him, ihstru-
ments and all, to this beautiful river. Fortunately for the old
gentleman, pacific counsels prevailed, and we were soon ready
and off again. This stream, in commemoration of the difficulty
I have just related, we called Mad River.
The party now continued its way along the ocean beach, little
mindful of the object of their search, but active in speculation
upon the chances of their being able to make their way once more
to a land of civilization. When night came they made camp
where they were and now for the first time found a scarcity of
water, consequently two of the number were sent out in search
of this needed article. One of them returned with a kettleful
of water which was found to have a brackish taste, and on be-
ing asked where he had obtained it replied laconically, "about a
mile for here." Other inquiries brought the reply, "I dipped it
from a bay of smooth water," but beyond that he had nothing to
say. Early the next morning all the party were ready to move
and soon their camp was pitched on the shore of the bay, which
at the present time is known as Humboldt Bay."
Finding that they would not be able to continue south along
the beach on account of the entrance to the bay their route was
now directed around the northern portion of the bay, which had
been named by them Trinity Bay since they believed it to be the
one discovered by the Spaniards. Christmas Day was spent in
camp on a plateau at the head of the bay, the present site of
the town of Arcata, their dinner being furnished by a band of
elk which was found near camp the evening before. The next
day the party followed an Indian trail south along the eastern
8This was the first discovery of Humboldt Bay during the American
period, for although it had been known by the earlier fur-traders it had
been little appreciated and soon forgotten. Early the next spring Eureka
and other towns were established upon the bay which soon became the
most important shipping center along this portion of the coast.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/53/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.