The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Correspondence of the Oregon Superintendency
Southern Oregon-related correspondence with the Oregon Superintendency for Indian Affairs.

Washington D.C.
    Jan. 6th 1876
Hon. Commissioner
    of Indian Affairs
        Washington D.C.
                As you are aware the last Congress [passed] a law opening to settlement what is known as the Alsea Ind. Reservation and also all that portion of Siletz Reservation lying north of the mouth of Salmon River in the state of Oregon. The bill also provided that the Indians occupying said territory should be located upon what was then fixed by law the permanent Siletz Reservation bounded as follows: Commencing at a point on the coast near Cape Foulweather running due east about twenty miles, thence north to a point due east from the mouth of Salmon River, thence west to the mouth of Salmon River, thence south along the coast to the place of beginning, a distance of about thirty miles. From this permanent south line of Siletz Reservation to the north line of Alsea Reservation is about twenty miles. It was further provided that the Indians should not be removed without their consent. Consequently the Hon. Secretary of the Interior appointed a commission consisting of two Ind. agents, Fairchild of Siletz Agency and Litchfield of the Alsea Reservation. They made the effort and from some cause failed to be successful. I was afterward appointed as special agent to act with them. About the first of August I proceeded to Alsea Reservation in company with Special Agent James Brown and Mr. Chapman, the then acting clerk of Agent Fairchild. We met the Indians in council at the mouth of Alsea River. Agent Litchfield was present but took no particular part in the council. The council lasted three days without any particular result. I afterward visited the Nestucca Indians, who were living on the Nestucca River some three miles from its mouth where it empties into the ocean some twenty miles north of the mouth of Salmon River. Those Nestucca Indians number about sixty souls. They were living in their own country, had never been treated with. After three days' council they consented to give up their country and remove to the Siletz Permanent Reservation at the mouth of Salmon River. I promised them government aid and protection, which you will see by reference to my report of that council.
    Three days after this council had closed the Indians were on the ground designated for them at the mouth of Salmon River.
    In consequence of an injury I [omission] and in crossing the Nestucca Mountains I did not return to Alsea Agency as I before had anticipated. A short time after my return to my office in Portland I was informed by a letter from Mr. Sinnott, the agent at Grand Ronde, that a delegation of chiefs and head men had visited his agency and desired him to say to me that they were willing to comply with the proposition of removal which I had made to them, which was to give up their country and remove to the permanent Siletz Reservation at the mouth of Salmon River. Grand Ronde Agency is about thirty miles east of the mouth of Salmon River. I was unable to attend to the matter further than to write to other parties to inform them that all I had said to them would be complied with strictly at an early day. I am sorry to say this promise has not been complied with strictly, and I regard the failure very unfortunate, both to the Indians and the whites, and I must say it is more attributable to Agent Litchfield than anyone else. You will see by reference to the instructions of the Hon. Commission of Ind. Affairs to Agent Fairchild that he was to pay all expense connected with this commission Agent Fairchild, not having funds in his hands sufficient to comply with the instructions, informed the Commission of the fact. Agent Litchfield was then instructed to turn over to Agent Fairchild all government funds in his hands to be used for the purposes before mentioned. Agent Litchfield refused to comply with the order, and as I am credibly informed he has continued to persuade the Indians to not comply with the proposition made to them to remove to Siletz Reservation but to remain where they are. So the removal of Alsea Indians has been delayed up to this time, and Agent Litchfield still holding his position. The Alsea Reservation in extent is about forty miles along the coast and twenty miles back. There are four tribes of Indians occupying it, namely, the Siuslaws, Umpquas, Cooses and Alseas. The Alseas are living on the Alsea River; they number about sixty or seventy persons. They mostly live in a village near the mouth of the river, do not cultivate any land, except probably they may some of them have small gardens. They live principally on fish and wild game. The Umpquas and Cooses are located at the agency some eight miles south along the coast from the mouth of Alsea River. Those two tribes number not to exceed one hundred, cultivate but little land, live principally on fish, wild game and what they get from Siletz Agency and from outside.
    The Siuslaws live on the Siuslaw River near its mouth. This is about twenty-five miles south along the coast from the agency. This tribe numbers some fifty or sixty persons, they live on fish principally, cultivate no land except small gardens and those are quite limited. This reservation is mountainous and not fit for cultivation except along near the coast and small streams. It is more valued for timber and grazing purposes. I am informed that white settlers anticipating the removal of the Indians have already taken claims on the reservations. I would therefore in view of the conflict that is likely to arise between the Indians and the whites most respectfully suggest that Agent Litchfield be directed at once to turn over to the agent at Siletz all government money and property in his hands and that the agent be instructed to proceed at once to remove all of said government property to Siletz Agency and such as may be needed to transfer immediately to the mouth of Salmon River for the use of those Indians that are and may hereafter be located at that point. And to take such steps as he may deem but to remove all the Indians now residing upon Alsea Reservation to the mouth of Salmon River on permanent Siletz Reservation. And I would furthermost respectfully suggest that Congress be asked to make a special appropriation of at least five thousand dollars for the benefit of the Indians that are now and may hereafter be located at that point. Said appropriation to be used under the instruction of the agent at Siletz Agency in the construction of suitable buildings for a school and for the employment of teachers &c. And I would further state that it will require at least three thousand dollars to defray expense of removal and preparing buildings for those Indians that now are and may hereafter be located at that place. I wish again through your indulgence to urge the strict compliance with all promises made to the Indians by the government agents. There is in my judgment nothing more deleterious to the Indian service then the noncompliance with promises made to them.
    All of which I would most respectfully submit.
Your obt. servt.
    Ben Simpson
        Late Special Agent
            and Sur. Genl. of Oregon
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Grand Ronde Ind. Agency, Or.
    Jany. 29, 1876
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 10th inst. in regard to seven crusts of vaccine virus sent to this agency by Dr. E. E. Griffin of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, upon an order from your office. In reply I have to state that the receipt of the same here was duly acknowledged in a communication to your office under date of June 7, '75. The report desired as to the operation & effect of the vaccine virus I have not sent, as there has been on physician employed here since its receipt, consequently have made no use of it.
    As soon as a physician is employed and application made of it, will send the report asked for.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. svt.
        P. B. Sinnott
            U.S. Ind. Agt,
Hon. Commissioner Ind. Affairs
     Washington D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Klamath Agency, Oregon
    [June 6, 1876]
    On yesterday morning, the 5th instant, the body of Tecumseh, a Klamath Indian, was found in a small creek between this agency and Fort Klamath, and appearances indicated that he might have been murdered. The Indians immediately fixed upon Thomas McKay, a half-breed, as the perpetrator of the deed, and to allay the intense excitement and also believing it to be best for Mr. McKay's safety, I took him in custody at once, and gave him an opportunity in the presence of the Indians to prove an alibi, which he did to my entire satisfaction, when I set him at liberty.
    The Indians are not satisfied with my decision in the matter, still insisting that McKay is guilty, and they wish to bring the case before you.
    The peculiarity of the circumstances connected with the case makes it seem advisable that I should turn the whole matter over to you, as I now respectfully request you accept the responsibility and proceed with the case as you may deem proper.
Very respectfully yours
    L. S. Dyar
        U.S. Indian Agent
    Captain John Q. Adams
        Commanding Fort Klamath
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

    Investigation of the circumstances of the death of "Tecumseh," an Indian, charged by the Klamath Indians to have been killed by one Tom McKay, a half-breed, June 7, 1876.
    Statement of witnesses for the prosecution:
    S. Kellog:
"I asked George when [sic] he first saw Tecumseh's horse tied, and he said up by the little bridge. When I first got down off my horse at the place I saw a little blood on the ground, & it looked as if something had been dragged on the ground, toward the creek & under a willow bush hanging over the stream. I found the body lying in the stream. When I first saw him I could see his boots, and along up his back. I was the first one who found the body. I told George and Ben that I had found him. The body was lying face upwards. The other two were a little ways from me when I found the body. The other two Indians pulled the body out, while I was gone to tell the other Indians."
    Ben's statement: "George told me to go in the creek and take the body out. I took it out on the bank. The shirt was pulled up and torn--this was Monday morning. I turned the body over, and saw where it was cut on the lip & on the chin. I put a blanket and coat over him and went after the wagon. When I found him there was a handkerchief tied around his neck. When Tecumseh started from home he had no handkerchief around his neck."
    Ball's statement: "I came up the road towards the fort, Sunday morning, about the time I heard the big gun fired; went on out towards the brickyard, and met Tom McKay--who told me that the bridge was gone, and I couldn't get across. Tom told me, pointing in another direction, where there was deer. When I came back about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I saw Tecumseh's horse tied, near where the body was. I thought when I saw the horse tied that Tecumseh had gone for another one, and didn't think much about it. I went on home and was skinning two deer that I had when some other Indians came to where I was. Tecumseh's mother came to me and told me that Tecumseh had [been] gone all day. She didn't know where he was and was crying. I told her I saw his horse, and she came up to where the horse was and got it. Three other Indians saw the horse and told me the horse had been sweating badly. The same night I went and told the Indians that Tecumseh was killed or something, and I didn't see anything but the horse. After they found the body I went around and made it known to all the Indians. Monday--a little before noon I went to Mr. Dyar, who told me Tom McKay was going to Linkville and to go after him and catch him. Mr. Dyar told me to take some Indians with me, and if Tom McKay had not killed Tecumseh he would come back with them all right, but if he had he would resist them. And the man, Bob Beall, went on ahead; his horse outrun the rest. We saw him first just below Pit River Charlie's, and when we saw him Bob's horse outrun the rest of us. When we came up, Tom asked if they were running after him or running a race. The Indians then all got up to where Tom was and told him they wanted him to go ahead to the agency with them. Tom asked then, 'What will I do at to the agency when I go back.' Indian Captain told him, 'Tom, come back.' Tom came back a few steps, and asked if Mr. Dyar was coming--Tom said if Mr. Dyar was at the house, he wouldn't go with them, but if he was a piece this way he would go. Tom told them he wasn't going to the agency, that he was going to Linkville. I then took hold of Tom's horse, and told him he had to go back to the agency. Captain told the Indians to take hold of him, for maybe he wouldn't go back to the agency. Jackson jumped from his horse and took the rope of Tom's horse and Tom struck at him twice; once he hit him. Jackson caught Tom's horse by the head and Tom spurred the horse and Jackson still held on to the horse. Tom made a motion as if he was going to draw his pistol, but didn't do it. Jackson stopped the horse then, and Tom drew the pistol. I caught Tom by the shoulder and Jackson took the pistol away from him. Captain says, 'What is the matter, Tom? You don't go along good.' Tom said the cinch was loose and he wanted to fix it. I forgot to say, when Captain told the Indians to take hold of Tom's horse, the horse threw his head up, and hit Tom on the face, making his nose bleed. When I caught Tom by the shoulders, I pulled him off his horse. I did not tear Tom's shirt when I pulled him off. I did not tear that shirt. (Note: The shirt mentioned was McKay's shirt and was produced for this investigation.) Tom told the Indians to let him go; they could get behind him and he would go in front of them; he was no slave and would go with them. Captain said, 'We won't let you go. You done it yourself and not us.' I walked and led Tom's horse to the agency. Tom left his old shirt at the agency and bought a new one at the store there. An Indian, Bob, got the old shirt. Charlie Moore at the store saw Tom throw the shirt off and the Indians all said, 'Take that shirt, take that shirt, we want to show it to Captain Adams.'"
    Half Nigger's statement: "Sunday morning I met Tecumseh's loose horses coming down the road. I came along about two (2) hundred yards and saw Tecumseh's horse tied to a tree. I was on the other side of the little creek next the mountain, between here and the agency. Me and another Indian come on up pretty near the fort to where his mother was, and stopped there to have something to eat, and then come on to the store. I first saw Tom McKay and his brother George McKay and Cook coming up the road to the store. Tom was on his horse; George and Cook were walking. Tom rode down to the creek and tied his horse, and after this I saw George and Tom and Cook and a soldier, going around to the end of the store and have a great deal of talk there. Toward evening met the other Indians, started back. We got as far as the first bridge when I met Tecumseh's loose horses coming back and Tecumseh's horse was still tied at the same place. When he saw the horse tied he said to the other Indian, 'Maybe someone has killed Tecumseh; let us go and see.' I found the horse tied by the bridle and the rope done up on the saddle the same as if he had been riding. I looked around then for tracks, and then looked in the creek to see if I could see him there. I couldn't see him in the creek and then got on my own horse and called twice, 'Hallo! Tecumseh! Tecumseh! Where are you?' I then went on to the agency and Tecumseh's mother came after that to the agency and asked them where Tecumseh could be, that he had went off to get her horses and was in a great hurry to get back, as he wanted to start to where they were going to get roots. I told her I had seen his horse twice, where it was tied, but did not know where Tecumseh was. Tecumseh's mother said perhaps some Boston had tied him and took him off in a wagon and killed him. She told me first to go and get the horse and look and see if there was any wagon tracks. I said I did not see any wagon tracks and did not go after the horse. Tecumseh's mother went and got the horse. I looked at the saddle on Tecumseh's horse, but did not see any blood or anything. It had been raining."
    Captain's statement: "I saw Tom McKay just before they arrested him. When I saw him first the shirt was torn before any of the Indians put their hands on him. I wondered if he had a fight at the fort or what tore his shirt that way and what could be the reason of his going off that way with a torn shirt. I saw the shirt torn as it is. What was the reason Tom didn't want to come back to Mr. Dyar for? Then I wondered what was the reason Tom came to be afraid of me. I thought we were friends and both of the same color; then I saw that Tom got afraid and wanted to go to Linkville, that Tom's heart was afraid about this affair. When I saw Tom going to get the pistol I thought he wasn't doing right and I told them all to take hold of him. The law of Mr. Dyar and of white men here is that if a man would go to get a pistol you would arrest him, and they done the same. Then I hurried up and went to Mr. Dyar and told him about the thing, also about the shirt. I also made known to the chiefs that Tom's shirt was torn. Mr. Dyar told me that Tom was scared of me for no cause. I said then to Mr. Dyar that Tom wasn't afraid of me. Tom knew the heart of the whites and wasn't afraid."
    Hood's statement: "I was coming from Williamson River up to the agency on Monday. I was coming along near Pit River Charlie's house when I saw Tom coming down the road. I was a little piece from Tom and asked Tom where he was going. Tom said he was going to Linkville. Tom and I stopped to talk; his horse and my horse had their heads turned toward each other. I saw then that Tom's shirt was torn in the breast. Tom turned around to try and secrete the shirt where it was torn and asked me where Mr. Dyar or Sykes Warden was. Then I came on and Tom went on his way. I came on about sixty or seventy yards and Tom was about the bridge near Pit River Charlie's, then I saw the Indians come running after Tom. I stopped when I saw the Indians coming. Then a little Indian came to me and told me to come on. I said, 'What will I go for?' Then they ran on. I then turned round and followed on after them and came up to where Tom and the other Indians were and Indian Jackson took hold of Tom's horse's bridle. Then I saw Ball take hold of Tom by the shoulders and I asked what they were going to do to Tom, what they were catching him for. They told me and I saw the shirt where it was torn. Then Captain went up to Tom's horse and took hold of the cinch strap and went to tighten it and Tom didn't offer to do anything or offer any resistance anymore. Then they took Tom on."
    Ex-Chief Allen David's statement: "I saw Tom's shirt with a tear in it, and then we found the little piece there, near where Tecumseh was found. When I found Tecumseh was killed I couldn't think who it was that done it, whether it was a Pit River Indian, a soldier, or who it was. I thought first I would go to where he was killed and see if I could find any tracks. While doing this I found the piece of a shirt, which was Tom McKay's, and I thought Tom killed him. I then went to Mr. Dyar and told him I thought Tom killed him, and Mr. Dyar said I must be crazy for thinking Tom killed him. Mr. Dyar said he knew Indians well enough. If I had found this piece of a shirt first, he would have believed it. I found the piece of shirt after we had been up here to the fort. I told the Indians at the agency store after we had gone back from the fort not to go back to Williamson River, for Mr. Dyar told me the Indians lied, and we wanted to have it all straight before they left the agency. I was asking the Indians at the agency store what they thought about it, and they said Mr. Dyar thought a horse had kicked him. The Indians all made up their minds at the store that Tom killed him because they found that piece of a shirt there. It was only Mr. Dyar that didn't think so. This was at the agency store in the afternoon, after going back from the post. All the chiefs and the officers know Tom is a bad man, beats and nearly kills his wife."
    Chief of Klamaths Blow's statement: "It was my mind that Tom killed Tecumseh, and when we found the price of a shirt then it made my mind stronger. It was my mind that Tom killed him, that it was nobody else, not [a] soldier, not anyone else. It is not my mind that the horse killed him, or that it was a stone, for if it had been we would have found him on the ground where the horse killed him. They know that it was not the Indians done it, for it would soon come out, they are all black skin and one color, and I know it wasn't the Indians done it. It was Sunday that Tom got whiskey, and it was Sunday that he wanted to go to Linkville. The soldiers know that Tom was here (Fort Klamath) on Sunday, and got whiskey and was drunk and that it was but a little way and it would take but a little while to go there and kill Tecumseh and come back."
    (Note: Celia is Tom McKay's wife.)
    Kitty Brown's statement: "Celia was stopping at my home about a year ago, and Tom came one morning and had a great deal of talk, and wanted to take Celia back to the fort with him. I left them both in the house and went off to get a bucket of water to cook dinner. I came back and sat down outside the tent and Tom and Celia was in the tent, and Celia asked Tom why he didn't bring her horse down. Tom said it was no use to bring one from the agency; if she wanted, he would bring her one from the fort. Celia said what do you talk that way for, you got my horse all the time. Celia wanted to know if he had got the horse for all the time, and Tom said he was going to keep that horse. 'You think you are a good man. I have known you a long time.' Tom said, 'What am I bad about?' Celia said, 'If you think you are a good man I will tell all the tyees and Mr. Dyar. If I told on you they would soon make law on you.' Then I came into the house and there was nothing more said. Then Tom went out and then I asked Celia, 'What is that you said, did you say that Tom has killed a little girl or anybody at any place.' Then I said to Celia, 'You tell me the truth, what Tom had done.' Celia said, 'No, I will not. Tom might kill me, or Che-kas-ka-ne, or Toby Kelly. Celia said, 'Kitty, don't you tell Dave Hill, he might be vexed over it and kill Toby Kelly or me for helping Tom.' 'Well, tell me, I will not tell Dave Hill.' 'After I will tell you that Tom killed that little girl, but you must not tell, as Dave might kill some of my friends, Toby Kelly or some of them.' Celia said, "Well, I will tell you now. Tom was at Linkville and got a bottle of whiskey. He came home and he heard his little girl crying. He went out where his little girl and the other one was and took up a stick of wood and hit the other little girl on the head and killed her.' Celia went out and saw the little girl about as far off as that tree out there (pointing out of the window). She didn't say anything and went back into the house. After she went into the house, Tom took the little girl and perhaps he throwed her into the creek. She went out afterwards and didn't see her where she was first. I told this all to my own man, but not to anyone else."
    Blow says: "This is the first I have heard what Kitty says. A long time ago, Tecumseh told me something about it, and Dave Hill. Then after Dave Hill and Tecumseh went east, I went to Mr. Dyar and told him, and Mr. Dyar sent a letter to Dave Hill, telling him that it was so, that Toby Kelly knew it. Then when Dave Hill came back he told me that Toby had told him that she knew it, and I came and told Mr. Dyar."
    Allen David says: "I didn't see them, both Kitty and Celia, having the conversation. If I had seen them both together talking I would know it was so. I see straight. I think I can see good when I am talking. There is just three tyees here. One Klamath, Mr. Dyar, and soldier tyee. We heard what Kitty said and can judge whether it was correct or not. I don't know anything about that other affair, but only have an opinion from what I hear them say. All I thought about it, Tecumseh had become a Boston, had a house and wagon and other things, the same as any Boston, and I did not like to see him go in that way. See, the Big Tyee in Washington has paid to me so many thousand dollars to have become Boston. The Big Tyee is all the same as my father. If I am killed it would be the same as any other Boston killed. Long time ago my brother was killed at Gasburg. I didn't do anything. My mind was the same as any white man's after my brother was killed. I wasn't chief then. Lalake was chief and George his brother was chief. They were big men. I was the same as a little boy. You see me here today. I want to see this whole thing straightened up. I don't want to get mad over it or anything of that kind. See! Lalake is dead a long time ago. He was a big chief. Now Tecumseh is dead. I don't want to do anything."
    Blow says: "We have all talked a good deal and whatever Tom may say, I shall still believe that he killed Tecumseh. I saw Tecumseh was dead, found him in the creek. If I had found him off in the woods dead, then I would still think Tom killed him; finding him as we did we think Tom killed him. When this paper goes to Portland and you (Capt. Adams) hear what they say about it I want to talk more and know what Big Tyee says. Boston law is slow, and I want to proceed the same as Boston law, take plenty of time. What I have been saying in this matter is no small thing, it is strong talk, for several days now. I don't know what the decision of the tyee at Portland will be, but maybe he may make a mistake, may miss it. I think we have made it plain that Tom committed the deed. We all know, Bostons and soldiers, that Tecumseh is dead. When the tyee learns all that has been said, I think he will make it all straight. I don't want to talk any more. I know Tecumseh is dead and don't want to talk anymore."
    All the evidence on the part of the Indians having closed, the defense submitted the following:
    Mr. Dyar's statement:
    "While I was eating breakfast Sunday morning about eight o'clock--possibly as late as half past eight--Tecumseh came to my house on a little matter of business; he stopped a few minutes and went out. After I got through breakfast I went over across the creek of the saw mill and I saw Tecumseh riding up this way toward the fort in the road. I saw and heard no more of him until sometime in the afternoon, when one of the Indians told me that Tecumseh's horse was a little ways toward the fort and had been there most all day and wanted to know what I thought about it. I told the Indian I didn't know, though they had better search for him. I heard nothing more about it till a little after sunset when Indian George came to me again and asked what I thought about Tecumseh; I inquired more particularly about it and the Indians said they had searched and could not find him. I asked the Indian particularly where the horse was tied; he told me the horse was tied by the little creek or spring near the bridge. I told the Indian to go to where the horse was tied and look closely in the creek; maybe Tecumseh had been sick and fainted and fallen in there. The next I heard about it was early next morning, when I saw some Indians riding up that way and asked if they had seen Tecumseh; they told me that they had found him that morning in the creek. I then told the Indians to go up and bring the body down to the agency. In the course of an hour or so they brought him to the agency. With some of the employees I examined the body--found no marks of violence except a cut on the chin and lip. I thought it was done with a sharp stick or stone, and not with a knife--was talking with the Indians about how it could have been done and they thought Tecumseh had been murdered; they thought he had been choked to death, strangled, by twisting a handkerchief around his neck; they were much excited. They were talking and much excited, asking who I thought had done it and telling me who they thought had done it. Some said they thought Tom McKay had done it. While we were talking some Indians came in, riding very fast, and said Tom McKay was just passing down the road past the agency toward Linkville, and wanted to know what I thought about arresting him. I asked them (the chiefs Allen David and Blow) what they thought about it; they said it was just as I said--they thought well of it, if I thought so. I thought it would be better that Tom should come back as there was such strong suspicion of him, and have the matter fixed right up. I told them to have their watchman to go and tell Tom to come to the agency. They asked what they should do if Tom resisted and wouldn't come; I told them I thought Tom would come; if Tom wasn't guilty he would come right along without any trouble. It was all done in a hurry, and in a short time Tom was brought back with them.
    "As he rode up to near where the body was, when we were all gathered, McKay asked what was up. I told him Tecumseh was dead and the Indians thought he (Tom) had killed him, and thought it was better for all concerned for Tom to come right back and fix the matter up. Tom said: 'How can that be, Tecumseh was one of the best friends I had among them.'
    "I asked Tom if he could prove where he was yesterday, all day--He said he could--said he was at the fort, at the store, or about the store all day. I told Tom we had better go right up to the fort and straighten it out. Tom agreed to it. My attention was called to it by the Indians that Tom's shirt was torn. I think some of the Indians asked Tom how his shirt got torn. Tom said the Indians tore it in arresting him. The Indians said they didn't, and commenced some dispute about it, when I stopped them and told them not to talk about it anymore. I then sent an Indian to catch my horse, and while waiting Tom went into the store and changed his shirt for a new one. I sent word to Tom that I was ready to go and Tom came out; we came up to the fort. I with one or two Indians rode on ahead to where the body was found to see what we could discover, and the Indians showed me where the horse was tied.
    "The ground was tramped around where the horse was tied, and the grass trampled down; there had been a good many Indians there, and tramped around so much that I could form no opinion as to how it appeared at first.
    "I asked some of the Indians to show me how it appeared where the grass was trampled down when they first found the body. The way they represented it, it was trampled down only to a short distance away from the horse. They showed me where it looked when they found it as though a body had been dragged to the bank of the creek. I examined the ground and found at the edge of the creek a little blood on the weeds; they thought that was the place where the body was thrown into the creek. I thought it was probable from the appearance that it fell in or was dragged and thrown in there. They pointed out the place where the body was found, which was about twenty feet downstream below. It appeared to me that it might have floated down and lodged against some brush in the creek, and under some slimy mossy substance that was on top of the water lodged against the brush.
    "I then told Blow that he better have one of the Indians take off his clothes and go in the water and search around under the brush and see if he could find anything there; they wanted to know 'Find what.' I told them 'a piece of clothes, shirt or anything.' The Indians had said they thought Tecumseh had had a squabble with Tom McKay and that was why Tom's shirt was torn--that Tecumseh had torn it.
    "I told them that if they should find a piece of cloth, or a piece of that shirt, it would indicate that Tecumseh did tear it. One of them took a pole and poked around for some time, but didn't find anything. I examined the ground around for some distance, and looked around considerable, but found nothing that would give any clue whatever to Tecumseh's death.
    "We then came on to the fort and went into the sutler store. I told Tom McKay that he could send for any persons he wanted, and to prove where he was the day before. He (Tom McKay) had quite a number of men called and proved to my satisfaction that he was at the fort from seven o'clock in the morning until ten or later, and from what I could gather from the Indians and knew personally, Tecumseh must have died somewhere between seven and ten on Sunday; furthermore I didn't think the wounds found on Tecumseh indicated murder. I told the Indians the same--that I thought Tom had proved himself at the fort at the time Tecumseh was killed, and told McKay that he was at liberty to go on to Linkville and vote. Before getting through with the investigation at the sutler store, some of the Indians went out and started back toward the agency. After getting through with the investigation I rode along down toward the agency; when I came to near where the body was found, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, I found Indians there, and stopped a little distance from where they were to examine the ground and some brush about there and small stubs where brush had been cut, to see if Tecumseh had been thrown on any sticks or anything of that kind. The Indians then called me to them. I rode up where they were and they showed me a piece of checked cotton drilling, and said that was a piece of Tom's shirt and showed where they found it. It was about forty feet from where the grass was trampled down, and where they first thought Tecumseh and Tom had a fight. I told the Indians that was not good evidence; if they had found that piece of shirt there when we first went up it would have been evidence--that they had Tom's shirt in their possession, that I thought some Indian had torn off that piece and gone and put it there as they came back from the fort.
    I talked to them but little--told them that I didn't want to act foolishly about it in prosecuting Tom; if Tom didn't kill Tecumseh I didn't want to have him prosecuted; I wanted everything straight, no underhanded work about it. I then rode on toward the agency. In a short time the Indians came to my office and wanted to talk more about it. They brought Tom's shirt and the piece they had found. I found it was a piece of the shirt and thought I found the place where it came off. I still told them it was not good evidence and wouldn't be taken in any court, because they had the shirt in their possession, and whether they did or not they could have put it there.
    They told me they were not satisfied with my decision--with what I had done--they wanted the officers at the fort to take hold of it and wanted me and them to look into it further. I told them all right, if they wished it we would come right up to the fort and see Captain Adams, commander of the fort. We did so, and it was arranged that the fort physician should go down the next day and hold a post mortem examination on the body, the agency physician being away to the election at Linkville.
    "Circumstances having transpired, I judged it best to turn the whole matter over to the post commander."
    Mr. Powell's (citizen blacksmith) statement):
    "I met Tom McKay about half past seven o'clock Sunday about a mile west of the post. Tom's wife and his children were with him; he was coming this way, toward the post."
    Sergeant Cahen's (commissary sergeant) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay Sunday morning before inspection between eight and nine. Tom was with Mr. Cooke and Mr. Lewis in front of the sutler store. After that I saw him between nine and ten about the sutler store; then I saw him just before dinner going past Mr. Lewis' house. I saw him several times between the hours of two and four in the afternoon."
    Farrier Quinn's ("B" Company 1st Cavalry) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay Sunday morning a little before inspection. Then after inspection at the store, quarter past nine: I left there at half past ten o'clock and he was there yet."
    Private Ryan's ("F" Company 21st Infantry) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay Sunday morning between seven and half past seven up at the hospital; I saw him again at nine o'clock, or a little after guard mount at the store. About half an hour after I saw him walking toward the commissary, and going back again toward the store."
    Hospital steward Schaefer's (U.S. Army) statement:
    "I first saw Tom McKay Sunday morning about fifteen minutes past nine at the sutler store; he was there about fifteen minutes. In the afternoon about fifteen minutes before one I saw him coming from the sutler store going toward the stables on foot."
    Private Colvin's ("F" Company 21st Infantry) statement:
    "I first saw Tom McKay Sunday morning about half past seven coming past the hospital on his horse. He went from the hospital down to the store. I saw him at the store about an hour afterwards."
    Private Shaw's ("F" Company 21st Infantry) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay pass the hospital about half past seven Sunday morning, accompanied by his wife and two children. I saw him again twenty minutes past five in the afternoon sitting on the steps of the sutler store."
    Private Courandy's ("B" Company 1st Cavalry) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay and his wife pass the hospital Sunday morning about thirty or forty minutes past seven. I saw him again between ten and eleven at the sutler store. Him and Barnhart were talking about the election at Linkville."
    Private Bowers' ("F" Company 21st Infantry) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay between nine and ten Sunday morning going from Fields' house over to the store."
    Mr. Cooke's (clerk at store) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay the first time between eight and nine o'clock Sunday morning; I was on the outside of the store at the time. I unlocked the store and entered. He was anxious that I should wait on him, stating that he was in a hurry and was going to take breakfast with Mr. Fields. He remained in the store probably ten minutes or thereabouts. About an hour afterward he returned to the store accompanied by his wife and two children. He was in and around the store until 12 o'clock; at that time I closed the store and went to dinner. On returning to the store about half an hour afterward, I remained but a few minutes and then went to Mr. Fields' house. A few rods north of said house, Tom McKay was standing leaning on his horse--his hand on the saddle and his back to the north. I asked him what the chance was to borrow a horse. He said he thought it would be good, but did not propose to loan me one. I then went over to the quarters of 'B' Company, then to the cavalry stables, then returned to the store. As I passed Corp'l. Stewart's house, Tom McKay was seated on a log at the north end of that building. I went on to the store and into the billiard room--locked the door--nobody was with me--I read for some time, probably fifteen minutes, looked out the window and saw Tom McKay on his horse. I next saw him about half after six in the evening; that was all I saw of him that day. Between 11 and 12 Sunday Tom wanted to buy a coat, put on one but it didn't suit him. He tried on another; it didn't suit him. My impression is the shirt he had on was not torn. I do not know whether it was 'this' shirt he had on or not. I saw Tom in the store Monday morning; I don't think his shirt was torn either time."
    Citizen Fields (citizen wheelwright) statement:
    "The first I saw of Tom McKay Sunday morning was between seven and eight o'clock. He came to my house, himself and wife and two children. He said he came to take one of his children to the Doctor--it was sick. I told him he would have to wait till guard mount, as the Doctor would not be up till about that time. Tom said he would have to wait then. About fifteen minutes after that he went out and said he was going to the sutler store. I think he was away about ten or fifteen minutes and then returned to my house and said he wanted some breakfast and waited in the house till about guard mount. He asked me if it was about time the Doctor was up; I told him it was. He took his wife and children and went to the Doctor's; he was gone about fifteen or twenty minutes and returned by my house going toward the sutler store with his family. He said he would go to the sutler store and send his family home and then get Barnhart and George, his brother, and go to Linkville and wanted me to go with them. I went to work about the carpenter shop and I think about 11 o'clock he came back to my house and said he had been trying to buy a coat at the store to wear to Linkville and said he couldn't get one to suit him. I looked at his coat and told him I didn't think he needed one; his coat was good enough to wear anywhere. He said then he would get his brother and Barnhart and start right away for Linkville. I saw him walking around the sutler store several times after that. About half past twelve he came back with his horse to near my house. He stayed there about ten minutes and then said he thought Barnhart had hid somewhere and didn't want to go to Linkville; he would go and find them and start right away. I didn't see him again for about half an hour when I met him near Stewart's house; he said he couldn't find Barnhart and said he would wait till he found him, for he didn't want to go without him. I didn't see him again till about five o'clock, when he came to my house and said he had given up going to Linkville that night, but would start very early in the morning. He wanted to go to the sutler store a few minutes and would come back to get some supper if I would let him have it. He came to my house again about 6 o'clock, brought Barnhart with him and both eat their supper. He arranged with Barnhart to stay with him all night and they were to start at daylight for Linkville. McKay got on his horse and rode around on the further side of the parade ground and Barnhart went across and met him, and the last I saw of them they were going toward Wood River--Tom and Barnhart together. That is the last I saw of him till Monday morning, when he came in my house before sunrise and said he was going to Linkville to vote and would have to ride pretty fast. He then left. I did not see him any more till I saw him in the store with Mr. Dyar."
    Mr. Lewis (citizen) statement:
    "I first saw Tom McKay Sunday morning over at Sam Paine's shop. Tom, Mr. Cooke and myself went over to the store. I left him at the store and went home. It was fifteen minutes before nine when we went into the store. Fifteen or twenty minutes later I left. I saw Tom and his wife going into Mr. Fields' house--afterward, a few minutes before twelve, he was sitting on my porch.
    Private Hughes ("B" Company 1st Cav.) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay Sunday morning between seven and eight o'clock about half a mile west of the post. He was coming toward the post."
    Private Lewis ("B" Company 1st Cav.) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay Sunday morning about two hundred yards this side of Wood River bridge about half past seven o'clock; he was coming toward the post."
    Barnhart (citizen) statement:
    "Between seven and eight Sunday morning Tom and his wife and two children come on horseback and stopped by Mr. Fields, got breakfast there and went to the Doctor with his children. I told Tom, 'I will go along with you.' I went into the Doctor's kitchen, asked the Chinaman if the Doctor was up. Chinaman said, 'No.' I went out and told Tom the Doctor wasn't up. Tom and his wife & children went into Mr. Fields' house and I left them there. About 10 o'clock I saw Tom again at the store. I went back from the store with Tom to Mr. Fields' house and then he said he wanted to go to Linkville to vote. I told him if he would furnish me with a horse I would go 'long with him; he said he would. I felt as if I didn't want to go. I went then over to the hotel and stayed till dinner was ready. Between two and three I went home--saw Tom lying asleep about Beach's stable, his horse tied alongside of him and his dog alongside of him. I went home and as I came back Tom was gone from where he was asleep. I found his horse again tied up behind Beach's corral. I found Tom behind the store sleeping, and his dog. I went there to the hotel for my supper and went then to Mr. Fields' house. I saw Tom with Mr. Fields at his house. Fields got supper for Tom and his wife. Tom had some whiskey, about a quart, in a vinegar bottle. Tom, Fields and myself took a drunk. I stayed then till about nine o'clock and Tom all the time wanted to go to Linkville. I told him it was too late and he better wait till tomorrow morning. Next morning he came to my house with two horses. I was asleep; it was very early. I told him I did not feel like going; I had to go to work. Tom sat down in my house about ten minutes and then went off with his two horses to the store. That was the last I saw of him till Mr. Dyar sent for me. I think that is Tom's shirt; when I saw him in the store Sunday trying on a coat the shirt was not torn as much as it is now. Monday morning I did not notice his shirt."
    Charles Moore (clerk at agency store) statement:
    "On Monday morning I went out to the creek in front of the store to get a drink. The Indians were there talking to Tom. I then went into the store and Tom came along behind. As soon as we got into the store, he asked me if I had any shirts. I said 'Yes' and went around the counter to get the shirts to show him. While I was getting the shirts Tom took up his shirt and dropped it on the floor. He then found a shirt that suited him and put it on. While he was putting it on Indian Bob picked up the old shirt and walked out of the store with it. Tom then waited in the store till Mr. Dyar called for him. This is the same shirt that Tom pulled off in the store." Witness, asked by the Indians, states: "When Tom took off his old shirt I noticed three or four drops of blood on Tom's undershirt. There was also blood on Tom's nose."
    Private Miller ("B" Company 1st Cav.) statement:
    "I saw Tom McKay Sunday morning about half past seven going towards Mr. Fields' house; saw him again an hour after taking a drink of water at Mr. Fields' water barrel; saw him again about 10 o'clock talking to some soldiers near the buzz saw--saw him again at five in the afternoon near the sutler store."
    George McKay (Tom's brother) statement:
    "Sunday morning about seven o'clock I saw Tom at Paul's house across Wood River. I came over here at half past nine and saw him at the store, then I saw him every few minutes till about one o'clock, then he went to sleep above the sutler store. About two or three o'clock I went home and Tom came home after sundown. I did not notice the shirt he had on Sunday particularly, but it was not torn."
    Celia (Tom's wife) statement:
    "You all know how the women talk that run around the fort. I did not tell Kitty that Tom got whiskey at Linkville or that he killed that half-breed girl. I saw Kitty and talked with her, but I never told her any such thing as that. Chiloquin is here, he knows, and Chiloquin Mose, that she did not want to take that little girl in the first place, because she was a bad girl. 
Che-kas-ka-ne's mother told this little girl's mother that I did not want to take the girl with me, then the little girl's mother said to this old woman, 'What, will she eat anything?' 'No, she won't eat much. I want you to take her with you as she will be with you and keep you from being lonesome.' When she was ready to start in the morning, this little girl's mother put on the saddle for her, got a dress and gave it to the girl. She wanted her to go with me and I told the little girl's mother all right and I gave the little girl a blanket. I took this little girl with me and slept about four miles from Linkville on [the] west side of the lake. Next day went to Bob Whittle's and camped there; the little girl said she did not want to go on. It would be lonesome down there. After I got where we were going to in three or four days I had a little baby born. Next morning Frank Picard come up to the house to get some venison. The little girl was in the house that day. Tom told Frank that he was going out to hunt and would be gone all next day. Tom went off hunting; the little girl was in the house when he left. The little girl was swinging her bonnet around, and I told her not to do that, because the dog might bite her and she went outside. I went out a little after and called for the little girl, but no answer. Pretty near sundown I heard Tom shooting on the opposite mountain. The little girl hadn't been back all day. Tom came back after sundown. I told him the little girl had been gone all day. Tom asked me what I had been doing to her. Tom said maybe you have been scolding her. Tom got up in the morning and did not wait for breakfast, went off to hunt a horse. Tom found Lee Bird's horse and fetched him in. It was near noon and he wanted to start off to hunt this little girl. Tom went off on the road and found tracks on the road, but did not find the little girl. Tom said that was a poor horse he had. He didn't look all day, for he couldn't get the horse along. Tom hunted for several days and sent word in different directions but did not find the little girl. This is the same shirt Tom had on Sunday morning about ten o'clock. When I left Tom at the store the shirt was not torn. It was not torn Monday morning when Tom left home; if it had been I would have asked him how it got torn. Since Tecumseh was dead, Ally (Tecumseh's brother) sent Che-kas-ka-ne to me to tell me that Ally said he would give me three horses if I would lie a little in their behalf. I told Che-kas-ka-ne I did not want to do that, that God would see me, but if Tom had done anything I would tell it. I told Che-kas-ka-ne I did not want to lie about Tom and have him hung as Captain Jack was. I told Che-kas-ka-ne to tell Ally not to talk that way. I did not want to see everybody laughing about such a thing as being hung like Captain Jack on account of my lying."
    Che-kas-ka-ne's statement:
    "Ally told me to tell Celia that he would give her three horses if she would tell everything she knew about Tom straight. I don't know anything Tom has done. If I knew anything I would tell."

Statement of the Accused
-- Tom McKay --
    "On Monday morning on my way to Linkville, after I had got about a mile beyond the agency I saw a lot of Indians behind me running towards me, and when they came up to within a hundred yards or so of me they were running so fast I thought they were running a race amongst themselves. I was going in a fast lope then, and I struck out. I thought they were running races and I would see how far I could go before they could overhaul me. While we was running I heard my name mentioned two or three times and I checked up. I asked the nearest one to me if they were running after me or running races. One of them spoke up and said, 'Dyar wants you to come back.' I asked if Dyar was coming; they said he wasn't coming. I said, 'What does he want me to turn back for,' and they wouldn't tell me. I told them if they wouldn't tell me I would go on.
    "As I turned my animal, they gathered around and two or three got hold of her and she went to bucking. There was a fellow pulling on my clothes and my saddle turned. I had a pistol in a scabbard fast to the horn of the saddle by a string. As my saddle turned they gathered on to the pistol as quick as they could. The animal knocked the blood out of my nose with her head, I suppose in turning over of the saddle. My animal's head was towards Linkville, and the Indians were behind me except two or three that had hold of the animal. In the scuffle they tore my shirt. I then came back to the agency with them. If they had told me what was up and what they wanted with me, I would have come back. I thought it was some of their foolishness and I wouldn't stop.
    "My child was sick and I told my wife I was coming back Monday evening, is the reason I was traveling so fast."
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Headqrs. Fort Klamath Ogn.
    June 14th 1876
Asst. Adjut General
    Department of the Columbia
        Portland, Oregon
    Enclosed I have the honor to transmit the proceedings in the investigation of the death of Tecumseh, a Klamath Indian. I consented to make this investigation at the request of Mr. Dyar, the Indian agent, and commenced by having a post mortem examination of the body, a report of which is submitted with the proceedings. I found the Indians in a very excited state over the death of Tecumseh, who was a prominent Indian among them. The deceased was one of the Indians taken east about a year or so ago by Mr. A. B. Meacham. I was satisfied that in the enraged and excited condition of the Indians at the time Mr. Dyar requested me to investigate the matter, and take it off his hands, if I refused to do so, the result would be that Tom McKay would be killed the first time he appeared amongst them, which event would in all probability lead to further acts that would require a strong military force to suppress.
    At the beginning of the investigation the Indians were informed that anything they wished to say and all that Tom McKay would say would be put in writing and submitted to the Department Commander for his decision that unless this was perfectly satisfactory to them and unless they would abide willingly and peaceably by such decision I would have nothing to do with it. They expressed themselves as being perfectly satisfied with this arrangement.
    By the time these proceedings can receive a reply their angry and revengeful state will have in a measure subsided, the delay to effect this is about the only good result expected from the investigation. The opinion of the Department Commander in the premises is respectfully requested and also instructions concerning future proceedings if any are considered necessary.
I am, sir,
    Very respectfully
        Your obdt. servant
            Jno. Q. Adams
                1st Lieut. 1st Cavalry
A True Copy.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Fort Klamath, Oregon
    June 14, 1876
    At the request of Lieutenant John Q. Adams, 1st U.S. Cavalry, commanding post of Fort Klamath, Ogn., on the 6th instant I made a post mortem examination of the body of Tecumseh, a Klamath Indian. The examination was made on the second day after the body had been found and was held at the house where the Indian had formerly lived, a few miles below the Indian agency. I was assisted in the examination by Doctor Quivey, physician at the agency, who arrived from Summerville just as I was commencing the examination. Lieut. Adams, Mr. Dyar, Indian agent, and the Indian chiefs were present in the room during the examination.
    The only marked lesion found sufficient to account for death was excessive engorgement of both lungs. The substance of the lungs when cut into gave exit to a frothy fluid. There was considerable emphysema of both lungs but no ecchymosis of either organ, such as usually accompanies death from strangulation. There was some hypostatic congestion of the brain.
    There were two cuts about the face. One had irregularly divided the upper lip a little to the right of the median line. The edges of this cut were ragged. Neither the teeth nor gums beneath the cut were in any injured. The other cut was through the integument fascia and muscles about an inch and a half in length along the border of the chin to the right of the median line. This cut was also somewhat irregular in form and had ragged edges.
    Although carefully sought for, the skin being dissected up for the purpose, no traces of any marks or contusions could be discovered about the neck.
    From the results of this post mortem examination I am of opinion that this Indian, Tecumseh, came to his death by drowning, and this opinion was concurred in by Doctor Quivey.
Henry McElderry
    Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A.   
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

June 15th 1876
Hon. J. Q. Smith Comr. of Indian Affairs
    Washington D.C.
Dear Sir: Won't  you please instruct Agent Bagley of Siletz Reservation to haul in the grist mill machinery from Corvallis with the government teams. There are two good horse teams and wagons on the reservation that are now idle, and six yoke of work cattle. He has all the facilities on the reservation necessary to haul in the machinery, and there is no reason why it should not have been hauled in long ago. But he will not haul any machinery without implicit instructions. If the government part of the contract had been complied with, my work would now all be completed.
    Agents Fairchild and Bagley have made a large indebtedness at the sutler's store, and there is no money that they can pay it out of, except the mill money. They have managed so as not to haul the machinery in, which prevents me from completing my contract.
    If the machinery had been hauled in as per contract the grist mill would now be running and the mill money paid me as per contract.
    They have not hauled in the machinery on purpose to prevent me completing my contract till after July. Which would enable them to use the mill money in paying old debts. Agent Bagley informed me that he would telegraph to you for instructions to allow him to pay out the mill money on old debts. As I understand if any part of the mill money is misapplied there is not any money to replace it, and it would require an appropriation to be made before I could get my pay. I hope you will take immediate steps to relieve me of this unpleasant mill affair and enable me to complete my work. Please answer as soon as possible. The grist mill structure is up, enclosed, floors laid, grist mill work nearly all completed ready to put the machinery in place when it comes. It will take about 20 days to complete the mill after the machinery arrives at the mill.
    I think that I am clearly entitled to a payment of $2000 dollars as per contract.
    I hope you will order that amount paid to me.
    Please answer as soon as possible; address me at Toledo, Benton Co., Oregon.
Yours respectfully
    H. W. Shipley
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Portland Oregon
    Aug. 5th 1876
Rev. F. N. Blanchet
    Archbishop of Oregon
        Rev. Sir
            Yours of recent date is received and contents noted.
    In reply I have to say that as one of the U.S. comrs. appointed to treat with the Nestucca Indians then residing on Nestucca River and now pursuant to treaty being located at the mouth of Salmon River, that there was no definite understanding in the treaty as to what reservation or agency they were desired to belong to. They were informed, however, that the place designated for their location was at the mouth of Salmon River on Siletz Reservation, to which they finally agreed. They were promised a school for their children under the appropriation for that purpose at Siletz Agency and also that they would have the privilege of sending their children to Grand Ronde school if they desired. I also promised them to use my influence to have them allowed the privilege of settling their difficulties at Grand Ronde Agency, as it is much easier of access than Siletz Agency, and I presumed that matters could be arranged by the two agents in charge.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servant
        Ben Simpson
            Late Ind. Commissioner
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

The Nestucca Indians assembled at Grand Ronde Indian Agency, Or. Aug. 11th 1876 represent that at a council held in their country in the month of September 1875, at which council the United States was represented by Benj. Simpson, they agreed to and did vacate their country and locate at the mouth of Salmon River. As an inducement to their speedy and peaceable abandonment of their country the following promises were [made] to them by said Benj. Simpson on behalf of the United States.
    That as the country they were to move to was within the boundaries of the Siletz Indian Reservation and as an appropriation had been made by Congress, to be expended for their benefit in their new location by that agency, they were promised that the agent of the Siletz Reservation should have the supervision of them; that carpenter, lumber, nails, etc. etc. would be furnished forthwith; that oxen, plows & seed would be given to them in the spring. They were also promised that after these promises had been fulfilled the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde Indian Agency, Or. should be extended over them for the following reasons: Their new location at the mouth of Salmon River is but six or eight hours' drive at all seasons of the year over a good wagon road, when to reach the Siletz Agency they have ten miles to go to the Siletz River, thence by canoe forty miles to the agency, a journey of two days, and during the winter months very dangerous. That since the establishment of the Grand Ronde Agency they have been accustomed to go there, are acquainted with the Indians and now have to go there to get their supplies and find a market for their products. They now state that none of these promises have been fulfilled, that they waited patiently for the aid promised them in building their houses but none came; that they suffered all winter from exposure and want of food, & that at the time they left their country each family was provided with comfortable board houses which they were obliged to abandon, that in their new location they have no shelter but that afforded by the bushes. They represent that they are willing and anxious to follow the pursuits of civilized industry but are without implements of agriculture or means to buy & are dependent upon the promises made by the United States for both; when these are provided & they are properly instructed in their uses they will try and support themselves without the aid of the government.
    They now respectfully petition that the promises made them be fulfilled so that they may have means provided them to live during the approaching winter without exposure and hunger, and as one of the strongest incentives to their acceptance of their new location was that the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde Indian Agency should be extended over them, they urgently request that they be placed under the supervision of that agency.
Signed in the presence of: Nestucca Bill his X mark
    A. J. Croquet, Cath. Mry.* Priest Dick his X mark
    Alex Day George his X mark
    C. D. Folger Big John his X mark
    P. B. Sinnott, U.S. Ind. Agent Baxter his X mark
William his X mark
Old Man Dick his X mark
Sam his X mark
Culler his X mark
for and in behalf of themselves and all Nestucca Indians

    I hereby certify that I interpreted the foregoing petition to the parties signing the same and that they fully & plainly understood it & that they signed it voluntarily.
    Witnesses: C. D. Folger Dan Holmes
P. B. Sinnott     his X mark
    U.S. Ind. Agent     Interpreter
    Sworn to and subscribed this 11th day of August A.D. 1876 before the undersigned.
H. C. Rowell
    Justice of the peace

We the undersigned Salmon River Indians respectfully petition that the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde Indian Agency be extended over us for the same reason as those given in the petition of the Nestucca Indians this day executed.
Grand Ronde Ind. Agency, Or.
    Aug. 11, 1871
  Signed in presence of Signed
    A. J. Croquet, Cath. Mry. Priest     Salmon River John, chief
    Alex Day         his X mark
    C. D. Folger     Utica [?] John
        his X mark
for and in behalf of all Salmon River Indians.

Regarding the conditions under which the Nestucca Indians agreed to leave the country occupied by them and locate at the mouth of Salmon River, as an incentive to their removal.
    1st. That the jurisdiction of Grand Ronde Agency should be extended over them.
    2nd. That they should have the benefits of the schools of Grand Ronde Agency.
    2rd. That they should have the same privileges of the saw & grist mills of Grand Ronde Agency as the Indians of Grand Ronde.
    4th. That they should have their troubles settled at Grand Ronde Agency by the same laws that govern the Indians of that agency.
    The undersigned certify that they were present at a council held with the Nestucca Indians at Nestucca, Oregon, Sept. 12, 13 & 14th 1875, at which council the United States was represented by Hon. Benj. Simpson, Special Commissioner, and the Indians were promised by him that if they would vacate the Nestucca country and locate at the mouth of Salmon River, the above-mentioned stipulations should be granted to them.
  Grand Ronde Ind. Agency, Or. P. B. Sinnott
    August 7, 1876     U.S. Ind. Agent
C. D. Folger
Alex Day
    I certify that I was present at the council referred to, employed as interpreter, and that the foregoing stipulations were demanded by the Indians before giving their consent to removal, and that the same was promised to them.
  Witness: Loui Lipisink, Indian
    A. J. Croquet, Cath. Mry. Priest     his X mark
    P. B. Sinnott
        U.S. Ind. Agent
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.  *Missionary

    By request of the chiefs of the various tribes of Indians on Siletz Reservation a council was held at the agency, the object of which being to give an expression of the feelings of the Tribes in regard to their lands. After opening of council the first to speak was George Harney, Chief of the Rogue Rivers and Head Chief of all the Indians on this reservation.
    He spoke as follows: To the Commissioner Ind. Affairs, and to the President of the U.S., Our Fathers in Washington. We are now happily enjoying the homes you gave us on this reservation when some of us laid down our arms in our native country and by your request came here. We gave up the land of our natural fathers in exchange for this.
    Now we desire to keep this. Here, most of our people who were once enemies of the white man have died and are buried. We have given up our old ways of getting our living and many have their teams, plows, wagons & tools. We do not want our old homes and hunting grounds that are now occupied by whites. Our people know how to work, and all they ask is that they may have their papers for their lands and some of them will want seeds to sow and some tools, harness, teams &c. and then we can live.
    We are glad you are making our mills, so that we can have flour to eat all the time.
    We want schools for our children and we want them all to learn the ways of the white people, and, become Christians. We want you to help us in this.

    Coquille Charlie, spoke as follows:
    Harney has told you what he thinks and I think the same as he has told. I have my own team, wagon, plows, harrow and plenty of wheat, oats, apples, potatoes etc.
    I want but little from you as a gift but would like for you to give me a paper for my farm so I will not be afraid the whites will get it away from me. And I would be glad if you would send clothing, and such food as I cannot raise, so that I could work for it, or buy it with wheat and oats.
    I want all my people to work and get independent so that they will not have to beg for anything.

    Aleck Ross Chief of the Naltunnetunnes said,
    I will say but little. I am glad you are writing it down to send to the great Chief. The whites at Yaquina say some of our people want to leave Siletz.
    (Addressing his people) How many of you want to go to another country? Is there one man, woman or child? If so, tell us, I want to say to the President that I have not two hearts or two tongues so as to talk two ways. I want to keep my home here and don't want any other home while I live, and my people are all alike. I do not believe you want us to to give up our homes. You have given us our saw mill & the grist mill is now in Corvallis, and I think they are intended for us. I beg you, do not grant the petition of those who would drive us from our homes. I am trying to be a Christian and I believe God will take care of us and let us keep our homes.

    Old Arjesse Chief of the Euchres,
    It is hard for me to hear any of my people talk of such things as this you are talking about.
    Most of my people are dead, and buried here, and here I want to die and be buried. I am now an old man and do not expect to live long.
    There are but few of my people now, but we will try to do all the work we can, and want our papers for our homes.

    Old John Chief of the Shasta Costas
    Who says I or my people want to leave our homes? I want you to write to President. I want to live and die here. Our younger men are raising hay, grain and gardens, and we have houses, barns and some of us good orchards. Why should we be asked to leave them? I am happy to see the mills being built here so we will soon be able to get all our subsistence here, and not go outside to work. We are happy when we can live at home all the time.

    Jack, Chief of the Mikonotunnes,
    When I first came to this country, it was not a good country, there were no houses, barns, orchards, fields, or other improvements. We have helped to make this change, and now we want to keep them. Why has the mill been built? Is it for the whites? I think not. No, I once left my home and came here, and now I want to stay here while I live, and when I die, I want my children to have my home.

    I go outside to work for subsistence, clothing, horses, wagons &c., not to quit my home. I do not want to be driven away from my home.

    William Strong Chief of the Tututnis.
    I have just arrived from the funeral of another of my people. We have been burying them here for 20 yrs. past and want to continue to do so. When we are all dead we want our children to live here. I exchanged the home of my fathers for this when we quit fighting the white soldiers. I am now glad I did so. I cannot go outside and buy land of the white man. I am glad government has given me my home. I want to improve it. Bad white men are always trying to get our land away from us. I wish they would quit going so, as it makes our people unhappy. What our agent is trying to do for us is right, and I hope the President will help him. Our children want to go to school and we want them to go. We want to be Christians all the time. When I was outside some white men wanted me to give up Siletz and come outside and be a citizen. I do not want to do so. I want to educate my children here, and let them be citizens when they can get homes like the whites. Now we have a good school house, and hope we may soon have it made larger and filled with our children with Brother Royal as our teacher. We have many good Christians, and I hope soon all our people will become such. And now I want to say to our High Chief at Washington, we do not want to give up our lands.

    Joe, Chief of the Klamaths:
    White men want to take our homes from us. I told Mr. Fairchild I did not want them to talk that way. The white people of Oregon did not give the lands to us. We exchanged our fathers' lands with the Great Chief of the white men for this home, and now we have lived here more than twenty years.
    I am ready to do what the Great Chief tells me, but I don't want to leave my home. My people all want to live and die here, I don't care what the Oregon whites say about getting our land and driving us to another place if the Great Chief will not hear them.
    He was followed by Coquille Jim, Evans Bill, 
Naltunnetunne Captain, Ben Harding, Old Klamath John, Long Prairie Charley, Mister Charley, Jim Meacham, Jerry Cass & others, when George Harney Head Chief arose and very eloquently urged his people to work to improve their places, and thus convince the President of their determination to be civilized.
    He reviewed the past, showing them how different their circumstances are now from what they were when they were dressed in skins and many of them were entirely naked.
    Now they were clothed, most of them were in their right mind, and he hoped they would all soon see that it was best to send their children to school and church where they might improve faster than they had ever done before.
    His speech is too long to copy.
    The Council then discussed the best plans for the completion of the mills, harvesting the crops, improving the road etc. etc.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876-77.  Not dated, but stamped as received in Washington August 23, 1876.

Portland Oregon
    August 29th 1876
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. Indian Affairs
        Washington D.C.
    After an apology to you for this intrusion, I will say, entertaining as I always have a deep feeling of interest in the success of the Indian service, I would most respectfully suggest the consolidation of the Siletz and Alsea Indians reservations at the mouth of Salmon River, such of them, at least who are incompetent to become citizens or unable to support themselves--without aid from the general government, and place them under the control of the agent at Grand Ronde, and those of them that are eligible to citizenship or are self-sustaining should be given homesteads where they are if they desire. And I am satisfied a large number of them would take the benefit of this proposition, and also that they are fully capable of taking care of themselves. I am aware, however, that this proposition would meet with some opposition from the church now having the religious care of these reservations referred to, as they are under the control of the M.E. Church, and the Grand Ronde under the Catholic. There is already a contention going on between these denominations as to who shall control the few Nestucca Indians, now located at the mouth of Salmon River. I have frequently been called upon by both parties to make statements as to what was promised the Nestuccas in the late treaty made with them prior to their removal, the substance of which I give here before proceeding further with the proposition of consolidation.
    By reference to my instructions from the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, it will be seen that I was instructed in negotiating a treaty with these Indians to procure their consent to removal to the mouth of Salmon River, which is on the Siletz Reservation, or to the Grand Ronde Agency. But it was particularly desired that they should be located at the mouth of Salmon River. They were informed by me of the facts set forth in my instructions; some of them suggested that they would prefer going to Grand Ronde. This the Agent Mr. Sinnott, who was present at the council with me, informed them that this was impracticable, as there were no vacant lands on the reservation suitable for them for settlement. The question of schools was then raised, and I informed them that if they went to the mouth of Salmon River that a good school would be provided for them there out of the fund for schools provided for Siletz Reservation, and they were further informed by Mr. Folger, Chief Clerk of Agent Sinnott, who was there at the time representing Mr. Sinnott, that if they desired they could send their children to the Catholic school at Grand Ronde, and furthermore he informed them that they would have free access to the Grand Ronde flouring mills, with free passage over the toll road from the mouth of Salmon River to the Grand Ronde Agency. They then wanted to know where they were to settle their local difficulties, which are very frequent. I told them that I would see Agent Fairchild and gain his consent to their referring these matters to the agent at the Grand Ronde if they desired. As it was easier of access, I supposed at the time this arrangement could be made by the mutual consent of the two agents, and it no doubt could have been done without difficulty, were it not for the religious prejudices existing between the two agencies, which I am sorry to say is greatly detrimental to both the Indians and government. An important argument in favor of my proposition of consolidation is that it would do away with two agencies and the expense of their machinery, and the government aid would be greatly facilitated by being concentrated at one place, and owing to the compelled economy of the service I should regard this as a very important item. I am confident the consent of the Indians to this place could be obtained by a proper commissioner being appointed to negotiate with them. And I have no hesitation in saying that it would result greatly to the benefit of both the Indians and government.
    Referring to the proposition of consolidation, I would make the south boundary of the Salmon River Reservation an east and west line, starting at a point on the ocean two miles south of mouth of Siletz River where it empties into the ocean, and from thence a due east course to the eastern boundary of the present Siletz Reservation. You will see by the rough diagram which I forward here with this that it would give for the permanent Salmon River Reservation a distance of eleven miles along the coast, and include for fishing purposes the bays of the two rivers Salmon and Siletz and would also--see diagram--give them some 17 or 18 sections of good open land, the principal portion of which is suitable for cultivation. Trout Lake is a beautiful sheet of pure, clear water, which abounds with excellent fish. At this point should be established a good manual labor school for the benefit of all Indians located on the proposed reservation and should be under the supervision of the Grand Ronde Agency. The distance from the mouth of Salmon River to Grand Ronde Agency is about thirty miles, over which there is a good wagon road.
    Let me say in conclusion that in submitting this letter I do it from the most uninterested motives except for the best interest of all concerned. All of which is most respectfully submitted.
Very respectfully
    Your obedient servant
        Ben Simpson
            Late Special Ind. Comr.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Office Grand Ronde
    Agency Oregon
        Oct. 2, 1876
    In discharging my employees I cannot in justice to the Indians refrain from remonstrating against the wrong done them and the service, as I am confident that unless I can be permitted to employ two persons, one to run the grist mill and saw mill, and another to instruct the Indians in their farming operations, to repair tools, machinery &c. and to do office duty during my necessary absence, the efficiency of the service will be so crippled and the Indians become so discouraged that the good work, well begun, will be entirely lost and the Indians wander away from their homes and by becoming so disheartened entirely relinquish their agricultural pursuits and permit their farms to become waste and desolate.
    I earnestly ask that if not an absolute impossibility I be furnished from the appropriation for contingencies of the Indian service &c., page 3 of "Appropriations," at least two two thousand dollars for employees as above and five hundred dollars to enable me to make some very necessary repairs of agency buildings, and if with this I can secure a small sum to purchase food for the old and helpless and crippled among the Indians, I can keep the Indians from suffering during the present year and prevent their deserting their homes.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. sert.
        P. B. Sinnott
            U.S. Ind. Agent
Hon. J. Q. Smith
        Ind. Affairs

NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81,
Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Grand Ronde Indian Agency
    Oregon, Oct. 26th 1876
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    U.S. Indian Commissioner
        Washington, D.C.
    I would respectfully call your attention to the probable suffering among the old, blind and infirm Indians of this agency during the coming winter. We have at this agency about one hundred very old Indian men and women, utterly unable to provide for themselves, and mostly blind. Hitherto we have been able to assist these old people by issues of food. The crops this fall have proved a comparative failure--not yielding half an average crop--this renders the young men less willing than ever to assist the old, and they have never rendered them much aid. I have already, daily, urgent appeals for assistance, and then old Indians declare that unless the government renders them some assistance this winter, they will starve, and I am myself fearful of the consequence should we be unable to afford them any help.
    Under these circumstances I feel it my imperative duty to urge the Department to furnish me with the means of keeping these old people from starvation, and I would say that with the sum of one thousand dollars the greater part of this distress could be averted.
Very respectfully
    Your obedient servant
        P. B. Sinnott
            U.S. Indian Agent
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Oregon Cir. W.B.H.
Depart. of the Interior
    Office Indian Affairs
        Nov. 1876
The Honorable
    The Secretary of the Interior
            I have the honor to submit herewith copy of a letter from Hon. John H. Mitchell, dated Sept. 28th ultimo, relative to certain Indians now at Salmon River, who were removed last year from the Nestucca River, then that land north of the former river was thrown open for settlement.
    The Indians referred to, numbering about 200, are embraced in the Siletz Agency, and the proposition is made to have them brought under the charge of the agent for the Grand Ronde Agency. The reasons therefore are that they are located much nearer the Grand Ronde than to the Siletz Agency, which from that there is a good road from the mouth of Salmon River to Grand Ronde, and that in all seasons the journey can be made by the Indians from their homes to the Grand Ronde Agency in five or six or eight hours, while on the other hand they have no way of communication with the Siletz Agency except by a trail, and to accomplish the journey requires two days; moreover their removal from north of the Salmon to their present home, made necessary by the opening of that portion of the country for settlement, was conditioned that they should be included under the Grand Ronde Agency.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.  Apparently a first draft.

Jacksonville Oregon
    Nov. 22, 1876
W. H. Bell Esq., Capt. & C.S. U.S.A.
    Inspector Indian Supplies
    I propose to transport Indian supplies from Portland to Klamath Agency, Oregon, as per advertisement dated Portland Nov. 11/76 for the winter months November, December, January, February, March, April & May at (15 cents) fifteen cents per pound.
    For the summer months June, July, August, September & October at (6 cents) six cents per pound.
Louis Solomon
    We the undersigned guarantee the responsibility of L. Solomon for the faithful performance of the contract if bid be awarded to him.
John Orth
Newman Fisher
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.  Bond and articles of agreement not transcribed.

Grand Ronde Indian Agency
    November 26th 1876
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner of Indian Affairs
        Washington, D.C.
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a communication, dated "Washington Oct. 14th 1876," and marked "L," enclosing a copy of a letter from Gen. Benj. Simpson (dated "Portland, Oregon Aug. 29th 1876" and relating to the consolidation of the Indians belonging to the Alsea and Siletz reservations with those of Grand Ronde) and calling for a report of my views thereon.
    My views on this subject have already been, in a measure, made known to the Department in a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, dated Nov. 14th 1874, but on receipt of your communication and copy of Gen. Simpson's letter I have given this matter my most thorough attention, and after mature deliberation am fully prepared to endorse the views of Gen. Simpson relative to the consolidation and boundary lines of the proposed addition to the Grand Ronde Reservation.
    This change will give a sufficiency of good, arable land for apportionment to the Indians of the Alsea and Siletz reservations, and a fine grazing range for their stock, and will secure to them a most valuable fishing ground on the coast or western boundary.
    The consolidation of the three agencies will also prove a great economy to the government.
    At present the Siletz Reservation is divided by a rugged spur of the Coast Range of mountains, running east from the mouth of the Siletz River, and completely cutting off the buildings of the Siletz Agency from the land now proposed to be retained for the benefit of the Indians. This spur of mountains is densely timbered, covered with a thick undergrowth, and exceedingly broken and rugged, and impassable even for a horseman. The Indians located north of Siletz River have to ascend the Siletz River in canoes, about 40 miles, to reach the Siletz Agency, and at certain periods of the year even this mode of travel is altogether impracticable. On the other hand there is a wagon road--traveled by white people every summer, who visit the seaside--from the coast between Salmon and Siletz river to the Grand Ronde Agency, a horseman being able to make the trip in a few hours.
    An important advantage to be driven from this consolidation would be the fact that by the change, and the adoption of the boundary lines proposed by General Simpson, the Indians on the consolidated reserve would be almost completely cut off from communication with white settlers, except on the eastern boundary of the present Grand Ronde Reservation, and the Indians in order to leave the reservation would be almost necessitated to pass through the Grand Ronde Agency, and thus be held continually under the eye of their agent. This, in my judgment, will be of great advantage to the moral and social progress of the Indians, as there are always many whites who, when settlement is practicable on the boundaries of an Indian reservation, locate there for purposes working great injury to the advancement of the Indian race.
    Further the Indians on the Grand Ronde reserve will hail the consolidation with joy, as they are intermarried and very friendly with the Indians on both the Siletz and Alsea reservations, and by the consolidation communication with their relatives and friends will be rendered far more easy.
    As to the Alsea and Siletz Indians, I do not consider that there will be any difficulty in obtaining their ready consent to the proposed change, for many of the Alsea Indians have expressed a strong desire to be associated with this agency, and have voluntarily stated to me that they were willing to place themselves under the control of this agency whenever desired to come, and some of the Siletz Indians have also intimated a wish to be nearer to their friends on this reservation. As an illustration of this feeling: I had to send our Indian sheriff last winter to drive between twenty-five and thirty Indians belonging to the Siletz Agency off of the Grand Ronde reserve and compel them to go home.
    It may be in place here to remark that the Indians on the Grand Ronde reserve have formed a local government of their own, making their own laws and electing their own representative and executive officers, which laws are most rigidly enforced, and doubtless should the proposed consolidation be consummated they would induce the other Indians to join with them in this matter, and thus teach them one of the most important lessons they can receive, viz: that of self-government.
    All of which is respectfully submitted, by
Your obedient servant
    P. B. Sinnott
        U.S. Indian Agent
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.  A typewriter copy of the letter is also on the reel, along with maps of the mouths of Salmon and Siletz rivers.

Klamath Agency Or.
    Dec. 25, 1876
    In obedience to instructions given in the last paragraph of your letter dated on 9th inst. I have the honor to submit the following statement.
    I was born in Phillips, Franklin Co., Maine. Was appointed from Grand Ronde Ind. Agency, Oregon, as sub-Ind. agent for the Inds. at Klamath Agency, and took charge on May 1st 1872, my commission bearing date of Dec. 29th 1871.
    On Aug. 21st 1872 my salary as agent commenced, and my commission as agent bearing date of July 23, 1872--this having been made a full agency about that time. I was reappointed for four years from Dec. 13th 1872.

Very respectfully
    L. S. Dyar, U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. E. P. Smith
    Comr. Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.

Last revised February 18, 2019