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The Bridge of the Gods A Romance of Indian Oregon. 19th Edition.   By: (1861-1891)

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First Page:


[Illustration: " What think you now, Tohomish? "]


A Romance of Indian Oregon



With eight full page illustrations by L. Maynard Dixon


Chicago . A. C. McClurg & Co. Nineteen Hundred & Fifteen

Copyright A. C. McClurg & Co. 1890 and 1902

W. F. Hall Printing Company, Chicago


Encouraged by the steady demand for Mr. Balch's "The Bridge of the Gods," since its publication twelve years ago, the publishers have decided to issue a new edition beautified with drawings from the pencil of Mr. L. Maynard Dixon. This tale of the Indians of the far West has fairly earned its lasting popularity, not only by the intense interest of the story, but by its faithful delineations of Indian character.

In his boyhood Mr. Balch enjoyed exceptional opportunities to inform himself regarding the character and manners of the Indians: he visited them in their homes, watched their industries, heard their legends, saw their gambling games, listened to their conversation; he questioned the Indians and the white pioneers, and he read many books for information on Indian history, traditions, and legends. By personal inquiry among old natives he learned that the Bridge which suggested the title of his romance was no fabric of the imagination, but was a great natural bridge that in early days spanned the Columbia, and later, according to tradition, was destroyed by an earthquake.

Before his death the author had the satisfaction of knowing that his work was stamped with the approval of the press and the public; his satisfaction would have been more complete could he have foreseen that that approval would be so lasting.

JULY 1, 1902.


In attempting to present with romantic setting a truthful and realistic picture of the powerful and picturesque Indian tribes that inhabited the Oregon country two centuries ago, the author could not be indifferent to the many serious difficulties inseparable from such an enterprise. Of the literary success with which his work has been accomplished, he must of course leave others to judge; but he may without immodesty speak briefly of his preparation for his task, and of the foundation of some of the facts and legends which form the framework of his story. Indian life and character have long been a favorite study with him, and in these pages he has attempted to describe them, not from an ideal standpoint, but as he knew them in his own boyhood on the Upper Columbia. Many of the incidents related in the story have come under his personal observation; others have been told him by aged pioneers, or gleaned from old books of Northwestern travel. The every day life of the Indians, their food, their dress, their methods of making their mats, of building their houses, of shaping their canoes, their gambling games, their religious beliefs, their legends, their subjects of conversation, the sports and pastimes of their children, all these have been studied at first hand, and with the advantages of familiar and friendly intercourse with these people in their own homes. By constant questioning, many facts have been gained regarding their ancestry, and the fragments of history, tradition, and legend that have come down from them. Indian antiquities have been studied through every available source of information. All the antiquarian collections in Oregon and California have been consulted, old trading posts visited, and old pioneers and early missionaries conversed with. Nothing has been discarded as trivial or insignificant that could aid in the slightest degree in affording an insight into Indian character and customs of a by gone age.

As to the great Confederacy of the Wauna, it may be said that Gray's "History of Oregon" tells us of an alliance of several tribes on the Upper Columbia for mutual protection and defence; and students of Northwestern history will recall the great confederacy that the Yakima war chief Kamyakin formed against the whites in the war of 1856, when the Indian tribes were in revolt from the British Possessions to the California line... Continue reading book >>

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