Biography of James P. Goodall

JAMES P. GOODALL.- There are some hundreds of men upon our coast whose life experiences embrace as much of romance and adventure as was every told in the pages of Marryat, Irving, or of Smollet. For a full recital of this, we must refer the inquirer to such men as the genial gentleman whose name appears above, that he may in his own home, in the beautiful city of Jacksonville, Oregon, recount as to us the stories of his life upon this coast.

He was born at Milledgeville, Georgia, in 1818, and at that city and at Columbus in the same state, and at Montgomery, Alabama, received his education. In 1836-36, while but a youth of seventeen, he began his active career by joining the column under Scott to quiet the Creeks and the Seminole Indians, and, after service there was ended, entered Texas as a revolutionist under Lamar and Houston, serving an active army life from the Sabine to the Rio Grade, and north to the Red River, and the northwest of Texas in the Comanche region.

In 1846 the war with Mexico took him with the advance to Wools column to the Mexican borders, to Presidio, Rio Grande, to Monclova, Monterey and other interior towns. At the close of hostilities, having served a whole term, and having experienced several skirmishes and action, he performed an overland trip in 1849 via Durango, to the Pacific at Mazatlan, and thence by sea to the gold fields of California. Ten years were spent in the exciting pursuits of the miner, and in the hard brushes with the Indians of Northern California and Southern Oregon. In 1853, while mining at Yreka, he raised a company of ninety men to quell the Indian disturbances of that season in the Rogue river valley. This was a notable fighting company, serving under General Lane and losing a quarter of its number. More than twenty years after this Mr. Goodall passed over some of the same ground, inspecting the lava beds of the Modoc country, where he had acted with Ben Wright’s expedition in 1852, performing effective and hard service.

Temporarily quitting life on the Pacific coast, he returned in 1859 to New York, making a trip to Washington, District of Columbia, and throughout the South as far as Texas. He thence arranged a trip to Europe and the Mediterranean, leaving New York City in the summer of 1860 on a tour extending to Cairo, Egypt, thence along the north coast of Africa to Tunis, across the Mediterranean to Marseilles, and thence overland to Bayonne, taking ship home from that French port to New York.

Being in full sympathy with the South from 1861 to 1865, he did service in the main from Corpus Christi to Brazos Santiago, and after the unpleasantness was over made once more the journey to the Pacific by Durango and Mazatlan to San Francisco. The gold fields of the Upper Columbia lured him to their mineral deposits; and he made a protracted tour of all the leading mines in Idaho and Nevada, – at the Comstock and elsewhere. From 1871 to 1873, he made explorations for mines in Arizona and Southern California in the vicinity of San Diego. In 1877 he came up again to Oregon; and at length, as the most desirable spot for a home, he brought to Jacksonville his lares and penates, and is now living in serene age under his own vine and fig-tree, and in the midst of his peach and apricot groves, – a sunny spot to spend the sunset years of a life not without its tempests, and a part of which had been spent as a seeker after gold with the pick, shovel and sluice-box.



History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington. 2 v. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. 1889.

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