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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Correspondence of the Oregon Superintendency
1877
Southern Oregon-related correspondence with the Oregon Superintendency for Indian Affairs.


Office Grand Ronde Agency
   Oregon Jan. 8th 1877
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner of Indian Affairs
        Washington, D.C.
Sir:
    I have the honor to transmit herewith "Estimate of Funds" for the 1st and 2nd quarters 1877.
    The total amount asked for is only $7,000.00 including pay of agent and fulfillment of treaty with Molel Indians.
    I have asked for the very smallest amount with which this agency can be managed in any way satisfactorily, knowing the smallness of appropriations and the economical tendency of the present Congress.
    But I feel it my duty to urge upon the Department the filling of this requisition.
    The progress made by the Indians at this agency has, I believe, been in no way inferior to that of any other. At present the Indians are fairly advanced. But this end has only been attained by years of patient and persistent labor. This good work, so well commenced, should certainly be continued. And it seems both the reverse of economy and wisdom to jeopardize a retrogression into the old state of affairs for the want of the small expenditures that would enable the agent to go on with the work of instructing these tribes in the arts of civilization and industry.
    Not only is a miller and sawyer, farmer, blacksmith and carpenter needed here, to teach their trades to the young Indian boys and men, but they are actually needed for the preservation of the government property at this place. For it will be readily
understood that since the removal of all employees at this agency it is utterly beyond the power of the agent, unassisted, to overlook the Indians, make out his own papers, take charge of the government stock and cattle, repair buildings & fences, cut hay necessary for winter, and perform the numerous other offices needed for the maintenance in good order of the property of the United States on an Indian reservation.
    I have asked for $1,000.00 for the aid of the old and infirm, many of whom are suffering from want of sufficient food and clothing, while the houses in which several of them are living are badly in need of repair.
    I ask also for $1,000.00 for the purchase of seed. This would enable me to induce the Indians to cultivate more than twice the land that will otherwise be cultivated this year.
    I have asked, too, for $500.00 more than the "treaty" allowance, for the support of the school. This is not as much as is really needed. Many more pupils could be obtained if there was a sufficiency of funds to clothe and feed them. For many of the Indians will not send their children to school at all unless they are lodged, boarded and clothed. The teachers are unremitting and unbounded in their devotion to their work, and have effected wonders, but find themselves fearfully hampered for want of the funds necessary to carry it on successfully.
    I do hope that the Department will be pleased to give this statement of facts its serious consideration, and that it will see the necessity of, and find the means to, fill the endorsed "Estimate."
    There is yet one other matter in this connection to which I am desirous of calling the attention of the Department. The Indians are beginning to ask what advantage it is to them to remain under the control of the agent, and why it would not be better to entirely ignore his authority. They say that they are receiving nothing from the government, that they are locked up, as it were, on the reserve, with a very small allowance of land, away from mills, shops and market; that in consequence of this they are in a worse condition than they would be if they were to leave the reservation and refuse to acknowledge the agent's authority. And while I have, thus far, been able to maintain this authority, it is impossible to say how long this can be done, unless I am possessed with the means of reopening the "shops & mill," and of thus making the advantage of obedience and submission more evident.
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 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.


Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions
    Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 1877
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. of Indian Affairs
        Sir:
            In your communication of July 12th 1876, in answer to my letter of March 24th 1876, in which I ask that the Nestucca Indians be placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. agent at Grand Ronde, you say that you had referred the matter to the agent at the Siletz Agency and to Special Commissioner Simpson, and that from their reports and from all you can learn in regard to the matter, you are unable to find--
    1st. Evidence that these Indians were promised that they should be under the Grand Ronde agent's jurisdiction, or
    2nd. That said Indians desire the fulfillment of said promise, if made,
    3rd. That it is less difficult for the Nestucca Indians to reach the Grand Ronde Agency than it is to reach their present agency--i.e., the Siletz, and therefore you say, "As present[ly] advised I see no reason for attaching the Nestucca Indians to the Grand Ronde Agency."
    It is certainly true that, if you are properly advised, your reasons are sufficient for not making the change I have asked, and it is equally true that, if you are not properly advised in the premises, and if the facts are in truth the exact reverse of what you are led to believe, they are sufficient to make it your duty to make the change I have requested. That you have not been properly advised, and that the facts are with perfect exactness just the reverse of what you have been led to believe, I am abundantly able to prove.
    As to the first point, Were the Nestuccas promised that they would be placed under the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde agent? Agent Bagley and Special Commissioner Simpson advise you that they were not. As against this evidence I submit the following:
    1st. A petition of the nine leading men among these Indians, signed on the 11th Aug. 1876, certified to by the U.S. interpreter and U.S. Agent Sinnott, and verified before a justice of the peace. In this petition these head men, in substance, say that when they agreed to settle on Salmon River, the U.S. promised that as money had been appropriated, and placed in the hands of the Siletz agent to be expended for them, he would have jurisdiction of them until the following summer, when the Grand Ronde jurisdiction should be extended over them. (See Ex. "A")
    2nd. A certificate, signed by U.S. Indian Agent Sinnott, C. D. Folger and Alex. Day, in which they state that the first condition agreed to by Special Commissioner Simpson was that the Nestuccas should be under the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde agent. And to this the interpreter, Loui Lipisink, certifies that this was the first condition demanded by the Nestuccas. (See Ex. "B")
    3rd. Letter of Special Comr. Simpson to Bishop Blanchet, in which he does not deny that these Indians were promised the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde agent, but says that there was "no definite understanding in the treaty." "I also promised them to use my influence to have them allowed the privilege of settling their difficulties at the Grand Ronde Agency &c." (See Ex. "C")
    4th. Report of Agent Sinnott (Rpt. Ind. Affrs. for 1875, p. 346). He says that he was present at the treaty, and that "the Indians first desired to come here (Grand Ronde Agency); if not, and they located at Salmon River, they wanted the jurisdiction of this agency extended over them. Before their consent was obtained, they were promised that they could have the benefit of the schools of this agency; have the same privileges of the saw and grist mill as the Indians living here; have their troubles settled here by the same laws that govern the Indians here; and that efforts would be made to have that portion of the country to be occupied by them attached to this agency."
    5th. In his Report for 1875 the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, on page 58, says: "The opening of this portion of Oregon to settlement has made their (the Nestuccas') removal necessary, and through the efforts of Special Comr. Simpson they have reluctantly consented to remove to the mouth of Salmon River, on the Siletz Reserve, on the condition that they shall be included under the Grand Ronde Agency, from which they are only eight hours distant by a good road."
    I have here submitted sufficient evidence to prove that you were misled in your first conclusion, and that in truth these Indians were promised that they should be under the Grand Ronde agent's jurisdiction. It is true that Comr. Simpson says that it was not definitely named in the treaty, but no one has asserted that it was; it is only claimed that the promise was made by the U.S. Commissioner. He says that he only promised that he would use his influence to have this done--but he must be mistaken in this, for the Indians, the interpreter, the whites present and U.S. Agent Sinnott testify that he promised that it should be done after the Siletz agent had expended for them the money he had received. But granting that all these men are mistaken in this, and that Simpson really did only promise to use his influence to have this thing done, one thing is perfectly certain, and that is that the Indians and all present understood him to promise the jurisdiction absolutely, and further that the Indians would not have made the change otherwise. If then it is necessary on any score to keep good faith with so insignificant a lot of human beings, the U.S. must return them to their old haunts, or place them under the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde agent.
    The second question is, Do these Indians still desire the fulfillment of this promise? You have been advised that they do not; but as a conclusive answer to the question, I refer to the petition of the Nestuccas herewith, made in August last, in which they pray and insist that the promise on which they consented to remove to Salmon River to fulfill, by placing them under the jurisdiction of the Grand Ronde agent. I therefore give you the fact itself, and it certainly proves that you were misinformed when you were led to believe that it did not exist.
    The third and last question is, Whether the Siletz Agency is more accessible from Salmon River than the Grand Ronde. You have been led to believe that the Siletz is much more accessible, and that in point of fact, so the agent at Siletz says, that it would require a greater outlay to make the road to Grand Ronde passable the greater part of the year, and then, too, they would have to cross the Coast Range of mountains.
    The fact is that in order to reach the Siletz Agency, the Nestuccas are forced to make a journey of ten miles to the Siletz River, and thence by canoe a further journey of forty miles, occupying two days; whereas the Grand Ronde Agency is reached by a journey of eight hours over a good road..
    As to this point, Special Comr. Simpson says (Ex. "C") he promised the Nestuccas to use his influence to have them allowed the privilege of settling their difficulties at Grand Ronde Agency, as it is much easier of access than Siletz.
    The Nestuccas, in their petition (Ex. "A") say, "The mouth of Salmon River is but six or eight hours' drive from Grand Ronde 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."
    In view of the evidence herein cited, I respectfully submit that I have proved--
    1st. That the U.S., by its duly authorized representative, did promise the Nestucca Indians that they should be placed under the jurisdiction of the agent at Grand Ronde.
    2nd. That the Nestucca Indians have ever since, and do now, insist that they should be placed under their jurisdiction--and,
    3rd. That the Grand Ronde Agency can be reached in one sixth of the time, and with less danger, from Salmon River than can the Siletz Agency, and I am therefore, in all fairness, entitled to the order I have asked.
    This little handful of ignorant, helpless men believe that you are doing them an injustice in this matter; the order they ask is of no earthly consequence to you--it can't possibly work the least possible injury or loss to the service or the U.S., but it will be of much value to the poor people who ask it.
    You want to make them contented by all legitimate and proper means, and I therefore hope that you will grant the prayer the Nestuccas make in the petition herewith filed.
I am, very respectfully,
    Your obedient servant
        Charles Ewing
            Comr.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Klamath Agency Or.
    Feb. 3rd 1877
Sir
    In reply to inquiries made in your letter of 15th ultimo I have to say that the no. of scholars given in my monthly school reports as "Day Scholars" are, as you infer, identical with the "Boarding Scholars," and not in addition thereto.
    In my annual report I gave 27 as the average attendance for the year closing with the date of my report, which is correct. The reason for a reduction in numbers has been fully explained to you in my monthly reports for August and September, and my letter dated Oct. 7th 1876. The no. will be increased to about 20 in a few days.
    Hereafter the school reports will be made out as you require.
Very respectfully
    L. S. Dyar
        U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Office Siletz Agency Or.
    Feb. 12th 1877
Sir:
    I have the honor to report that H. W. Shipley has returned to this agency to complete his contract, the erection of a grist mill for the use of this agency. He does not consent to the proposition contained in your letter of Oct. 1876, but says he has a proposition from your office, which being satisfactory will now complete the mill.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servant
        William Bagley
            U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner
         Washington
             D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Office Siletz Agency Or.
    Feb. 12th 1877
Sir:
    I am credibly informed that many of the Alsea Indians have expressed a desire to locate at the mouth of Siletz and Salmon rivers, and at other points on the reservation, and are only awaiting transportation. Could it be possible to comply with their wishes now, it would be a great saving to the Department, as they (the Indians) could plant gardens &c., which would provide food for another year.
    If this matter is delayed until after seeding time this opportunity to retrench will have passed.
    John, Chief of Salmon River Indians, has just visited this agency, and says his people are very anxious to know where they belong and are awaiting the action of the Great Father at Washington to determine.
    Says they prefer this agency but the agent at Grand Ronde desires them to choose him as their agent, also says they are willing to do what the Great Father requires of them.
    He was accompanied by his two boys, of the ages of 9 & 11 yrs. respectively. They are very bright boys, and he very much desires them to be in school here. But on account of lack of funds and my inability to provide for them they were compelled to return with sad hearts.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servant
        William Bagley
            U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner
         Washington D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.


Klamath Agency Or.
    Feb. 17, 1877
Sir
    Under date of Nov. 29, 1876 I forwarded to your office certain papers relating to the appointing of Indian traders for the Inds. of this reservation, but have received no reply. If they were not sufficient please instruct me further as to my duty in the premises.
    There is no trading post within the limits of the reservation, and the amount of business will not warrant the establishing of one. What will be required in this case?
Very respectfully
    L. S. Dyar
        U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Office Siletz Indian Agency
    Toledo Benton Co. Or.
        Mch. 7th 1877
Sir
    I have the honor to inform you that the grist mill being built for use of this agency is drawing near to completion, and circumstances exist which seem to require a special report in relation to its construction &c.
    On the 14th day of September 1875 my predecessor, J. H. Fairchild, entered into a contract with H. W. Shipley for the construction of a grist mill at this agency and a bridge across Siletz River on the road leading to Yaquina Bay. Under the provision of this contract the Department were required to furnish all timber, lumber &c. for the construction of both mill and bridge, also to furnish transportation for all machinery, nails, windows, doors, bolts, spikes &c. necessary for its construction and also to furnish all the labor necessary for the excavations and for raising the bridge. The contractor was to furnish all the machinery, nails, doors, windows &c. for the mill and the bolts, spikes &c. for the bridge, the latter to be substantially built, capable of resisting the high water, and all to be completed by the 14th day of Sep. 1876.
    The resignation of Mr. Fairchild took effect on the 29th day of February 1876, and on the following day I assumed charge under my commission. The funds allotted this agency for that fiscal year being at that time nearly all expended, it was not possible for me to fully comply with the requirements of the contract without violating instructions contained in your office letters of March 15th, Apr. 27, Apr. 28, August 21st and telegrams of April 18th and August 21st 1876.
    The bridge was completed about the last of October, and after doing service about two weeks, during a rise in the river on the night of Nov. 14th was carried away and went to sea. Before this occurrence, however, I received your office letter of Oct. 23rd instructing me on condition of Mr. Shipley's acceptance of the proposition contained therein to issue to him certified vouchers for the amount due on his contract when the work shall have been completed. Although I have repeatedly asked Mr. Shipley to accept your proposition, he has not yet signified his intention to do so but on the contrary has said he is completing the contract on a proposition received by him direct from you. During the past week, however, he has presented a bill for labor performed and material furnished amounting in the aggregate to over two hundred dollars, for which he demands certified vouchers. A portion of this work has been done by Indians who claim they have not received pay for the same from Mr. S. He also demands certified vouchers for the amount he claims to be due on his contract and which I am unable to do without violating your instructions as above stated. I am desirous that Mr. S. shall receive every dollar justly due him and just as desirous that every Indian who has labored for him shall receive his pay. Now in view of the fact that the bridge is not here, and that Mr. Shipley has shown himself unfriendly to me, and desiring that strict justice may be done him I would respectfully ask that you authorize General O. O. Howard, commanding Military Department of Columbia, to select two or three competent persons to inspect the work done by Mr. Shipley, and if they under oath shall find the same to comply with the requirements of the contract, upon such statement being made by them to me I be authorized to issue certified vouchers for the same. I would further ask that if this request be granted by you in view of the importance of an early adjustment of the matter Gen. Howard be requested by telegraph to select the inspectors at once, and that he notify Mr. Shipley at what time the inspection will be made so that he may be present to explain &c.
Very respectfully
    Your obedient servant
        William Bagley
            U.S. Indian Agent
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner of Indian Affs.
         Washington
            D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Prescott Arizona
    March 31st 1877
Sir
    I am in receipt of a letter from Mr. William Chambers, enclosing one from Wm. Bagley, Esq., U.S. Indian Agent at Siletz, Oregon, making some inquiries relative to the license formerly given Mr. Chambers as sutler at Siletz Reservation, and requesting me to furnish the Department all the facts in my knowledge on the subject.
    At this late date I am unable to say more than [that] when I assumed charge of the Siletz Reservation Apr. 1st 1873, the Indians generally requested the appointment of Mr. Chambers as sutler--no objection was made by any--accordingly he was appointed and my recollection is that the license was renewed as often as required by law.
    With reference to the payrolls for Indian labor paid by Mr. Chambers, I have to say--that it had been customary, when funds for the agency were not at hand, to permit those Indians who were employed about the agency and who needed the amount due them to purchase provisions for their families, to draw from the sutler such amounts, and when funds arrived payment was made to the sutler with the consent of the Indians.
    When the impaired state of my health made it evident that a much longer residence at Siletz would be probably fatal, I sent the Hon. Commissioner my resignation, with the request that if deemed disadvantageous to the service to make a change at that time, leave of absence be granted me for two months--subsequently I forwarded a request to be relieved on account of the state of my health and recommended Mr. Bagley as my successor. To this I received official notification that my resignation was accepted, to take effect Nov. 1st 1875. I had previously received notice that leave of absence would be granted, with authority to place Mr. Bagley in charge of the reservation. I accordingly placed Mr. B. in charge Nov. 1st, turning over to him what funds were on hand, and fully informing him of my plans for the future. The amount allotted Siletz for the 2 first qrs. of 1876 I felt confident would be sufficient, with economy, to meet all expenses. As my resignation had been accepted to take effect from that date, I did not feel justified in dictating the line of policy proper for him to pursue but suggested the necessity of reducing the number of Indian laborers, unless further appropriations could be procured.
    The point I wish to make is--that my resignation having been accepted to take effect Nov. 1st 1875, I considered myself relieved from responsibility as to the management of the agency, and clothed my successor, Mr. Bagley, with full power to contract or increase the expenditures as his judgment should dictate, he having been nominated my successor.
    All expenditures after Nov. 1st should certainly be charged to his administration.
Very respectfully
    Your obedient servant
        J. H. Fairchild
            Late U.S. Indian Agent
Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs
    Washington
        D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



U.S. Senate Chambers
   Washington, April 9, 1877
 Hon. John Q. Smith
   Comr. Indian Affairs
     Sir:
       I desire to be a
dvised as to what is being done if anything at time time, or what has been done heretofore in regard to the allotment of lands in severalty to the Indians in the Siletz Agency, Oregon. I earnestly hope and recommend that this may be done as rapidly as possible. Please advise me in reference to the matter.
Very respectfully
   John H. Mitchell
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.



Oswego Oregon
    April 12th 1877
Sir
    When authorized to do so by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, please issue a certified voucher for one half the amount due me from the United States on contract for building grist mill and bridge on Siletz Indian Reservation and deliver the same to the order of L. S. Shipley. You will also please deliver to his order a voucher for one half the balance claimed by me as expense incurred in building bridge when the same shall have been allowed by the Commissioner of Ind. Affairs.
To William Bagley, Ind. Agent
    Siletz Indian Agency
(Signed) H. W. Shipley
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




Exchange & Banking House of John Conner
Albany, Oregon May 12th 1877
Commissioner of Indian Department
    Washington D.C.
        Dr. Sir
            Permit me to call your attention to this fact: That the agents of Siletz and Grand Ronde in this state have for years, and are now, giving permits to their Indians to leave their reservations and camp around this and other places in Oregon. It is a nuisance that ought to be abated. They steal, more or less, will get whiskey and have fights, and one murder here in this co. a few years ago & cost this co. quite an amt. It serves for licentious purpose, enticing our young men & even married men. Their dances & pow wows at night are disturbances, and in behalf of all our best citizens we ask, as a favor and a right, that you demand of your agents to keep their Indians on their reservations. One ignorant German just arrived happened to give an Indian a drink of whiskey, and at once has to pay the penalty.
Respectfully yours
    Jno. Conner
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Office Siletz Indian Agency
   Toledo Benton Co. Or.
 
   June 4th 1877
Sir
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 15th ult., marked F, and enclosing copy of a letter to you from Lin Starr in which he alleges that he has been in the employ of the Indian Dept. under an agreement made with me in September 1876, since that time, and asking how he should receive pay for his services &c. In reply I have to say that I know of no such man as Lin Starr, though a man by the name of Linton Starr, who resides at the mouth of the Alsea River, who had in charge the govt. scow when I received the govt. property from Agent Geo. P. Litchfield in Sep. 1876, who has been engaged in his own private business, though I have at different times asked him to notice the govt. stock as he was passing among them and informed me by letter if anything was wrong with them. On one occasion I got him to drive a team up the back and at another time to castrate some bulls, and for all he has done I have repeatedly asked him to present his bill for payment which he has failed to do, and when offered money has refused to receive it, saying that when I got ready to move the stock if I could employ him to help me, that was all he wanted. Immediately on the receipt of your letter as above I went to Alsea to see him concerning the matter and found him not, as he had gone down the coast with a pack train, engaged as he has been all the time in his own business excepting a few instances where I have requested him to do a few hours or [a] few days labor. I left at the former agency a note again requesting him to send in his bill for adjustment and payment. I will pay him as Lin Starr alleges all that is right. When I hear from him again I will confer with you further in this matter.
Very respectfully
   Your obedient servant
     William Bagley
       U.S. Indian Agent
 NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




Siletz Indian Agency
    Toledo Benton Co. Or.
        June 26 1877
Sir
    I am in receipt of your telegram of 23rd inst. to which I have briefly replied by telegraph today and now respectfully desire to report more fully than could be sent by such mode of transmission without incurring too much expense. In relation to Grist Mill built by H. W. Shipley under contract of September 14th 1875 with J. W. Fairchild, U.S. Indian Agent, I have to say that I have no hesitation in certifying as it its being in accordance with the requirements of said contract and would be willing to issue a certified voucher for $1684 5/100 for same. In relation to Bridge built under same contract, I have to say that the 4th article of said contract requires the said bridge to be a good strong structure capable of resisting the winter freshets, and at the time of its completion I believe it to be capable of such resistance, but after doing service a very short time a very sudden rise in the river bringing a great amount of driftwood swept it away and thus failed to be built in strict accordance with the requirement of the contract. As proof of the strength of the structure I will say that from Indians living at the mouth of the river a distance of fifty or sixty miles from where it started, I learned that the main span reached that point unbroken. From all who saw the structure while standing I hear not an expression of doubt as to its capability of resisting high water but on the contrary heard from bridge builders who saw it expressions of doubt as to the necessity of so heavy and thus expensive a bridge at this point. I will further state that during a residence of nearly four years at this Agency I had never known so sudden a rise or such a run of driftwood as at the time the bridge was carried away. Owing to all these facts in connection with the fact that the work was done by Mr. Shipley in good faith I would recommend that if it is possible to do so without conflicting with law, his claim be allowed and paid.
Very respectfully
    Your obedient servant
        William Bagley
            U.S. Indian Agent
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. Indian Affairs
        Washington
            D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




Office Siletz Indian Agency
   Toledo Benton Co. Or.
 
   June 28th 1877
Sir
    Permit me to respectfully present for your consideration a brief statement of the general condition of this agency (financially and otherwise) since October 1875 when my predecessor J. H. Fairchild left the agency in my charge as Farmer.
    The steam sawmill being erected was in position in the open air ready to saw lumber for a house to cover it, but the dam erected to furnish the means of transportation of logs to the mill was gone and the only means of supplying the necessary logs was by hauling them over very rough roads to the side [sic] of the mill and rolling them in on skids, which was very expensive. The rainy season was upon us, the machinery exposed to the storm and must be covered to protect it from damage.
    H. W. Shipley, contractor with Agent Fairchild for the construction of a grist mill and bridge for the agency, was here ready to commence work, and in order to comply with the requirements of the contract the agent must furnish the lumber, timber &c. The grist mill machinery, ironwork for the bridge &c. was in Corvallis, sixty miles from the agency. A stipulation in the contract required the agent to transport the same at govt. expense to the agency, but the roads had become impassable for loaded wagons. There were an unusual number of destitute Indians on the reserve (including the Tillamooks & Nestuccas, who had been induced to come here by the efforts of the Hon. Benj. Simpson, acting under instructions from your office) to be provided for. All this was in addition to the usual expenses of the service here, and to meet it there was not a dollar of govt. funds and but very little subsistence or supplies of any kind. During the winter through rain, snow and sleet the work was prosecuted, employees & Indians vying with each other to secure the protection of machinery and completion of the work. Dams were constructed, logs cut and delivered, lumber manufactured for both sawmill and grist mill structures, and in February we were able to report the sawmill completed and the contractor at work on the grist mill structure. During this month also by your order I received from Agent Litchfield of Alsea Agency one thousand dollars, and now our attention was turned to the farms. Preparations were made to plant good crops, and if possible bring the Indians into a condition of self-support. We had been compelled to issue to destitute Indians much of our seed grain, which we hoped to replace by purchase, verbally entering into arrangements with parties to furnish all that was necessary. Fences were repaired and rebuilt, ground prepared and some grain sown, when on the 8th day April 1876 I was instructed by you to stop all work, discharge all employees and incur no expense. The funds received for balance of fiscal year being barely sufficient to pay employees and for supplies that had been purchased, nothing more could be done before July 1st, at which time work was resumed in the way of repairing roads, transporting machinery &c., furnishing material for bridge, excavating &c. as required by the above contract with H. W. Shipley, harvesting hay for the Dept. and assisting Indians in their harvest. During the entire present fiscal [year] we have been compelled to practice the closest economy in order to report the agency clear of debt on the 30th inst. Though your allotment for this agency for the time has been very liberal when compared with the small appropriations made by Congress, it has nevertheless been inadequate to the actual wants of the agency, and hence I have thought proper to offer a few suggestions relative to the continuance or discontinuance of the agency which are herewith enclosed for your consideration.
    In relation to the claim of Linton Starr, of which mention is made in your letter of 15th ultimo, I have to say that this claim being neither correct nor just, and having reported the facts to you in my letters of 4th and 19th inst., I have not considered the claim as indebtedness of this agency.
Very respectfully
   Your obedient servant
     William Bagley
       U.S. Indian Agent
 Hon. J. Q. Smith
   Comr. Indian Affs.
      Washington
         D.C.
 
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




Office Siletz Agency Oregon,
    June 30, 1877.
Hon. J, Q. Smith
    Commr. Ind. Affs.
        Washington
            D.C.
Sir:
    I desire to respectfully offer a few suggestions relative to the continuance or discontinuance of this Agency.
    By the general review of the financial condition of this Agency from the time (Oct. 1875) Agent J. H. Fairchild left the Agency in my charge as Farmer to the close of the present year you will see that I have at all times been short of funds to conduct its affairs as they should be conducted, for the good of the Department and Indians.
    While I fully believe that there is not a place to be found west of the Cascade range of mountains so well calculated for a permanent home for all the Indians formerly occupying the coast country of California, Oregon and Washington Ter. as is the Siletz River under its present boundaries.
    I am compelled to admit that if the appropriations for incidental expenses cannot be so increased, that there can be a good corps of employees engaged at all times, and the Indians who are able and willing to work, given employment by which they might obtain subsistence and necessary clothing, or furnished with teams, agricultural implements, building material, seed &c. that they might cultivate the lands that rightfully belong to them, it would be better to abolish the Agency, giving to such as are willing to become citizens one hundred sixty acres each, and remove the helpless or those dependent to some locality where they could be provided for at government expense, concentrating all such at one point and let all the money appropriated for this portion of country be used for the benefit of all the Indians at one point. In other words I believe it would be better to have one reservation with one agent and fourteen employees than fifteen reservations with fifteen agents and few or no employees and no funds for support of Indians.
    I am aware that this partially agrees with your recommendations as given in your report for 1876, differing only in one particular. I would suggest the propriety of keeping the Indians who are accustomed to obtain their food in part from the ocean and bays on or near the coast, while those who have formerly occupied the interior should be taken to the east of the Cascade range where they could keep as many horses as they choose.
    This Reservation contains sufficient good agricultural land to supply all the coast Indians with as much as they could or would cultivate. It is bounded on the N.E. & S. by mountains, on the W. by the ocean. It is isolated from the White settlements and always will be so until the Agency is abolished and the country opened to settlement.
    Could there be found another place on the coast better suited to the wants of the Indians than this I would favor their concentration there, but in any event there should be a sufficient sum of money appropriated to keep them on the Reservation.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servant
        William Bagley
            U. S. Ind. Agent
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.



Office Grand Ronde Agency
    Oregon July 9, 1877
Sir
    In reply to your favor of the 28th May 1877, marked "C," enclosing a copy of letter from Jno. Conner of Albany, Oregon, asking for the removal of Indians from Albany and elsewhere in this state to their respective agencies and that they be compelled to remain on the agencies, I will say:
    At my request the Indian sheriff of this agency went to Albany and could find no Indians belonging to the Grand Ronde Agency, nor could he hear of any who had been there.
    I have never made a practice of giving passes to go to the towns and remain, yet some may at times do so without my knowledge or consent.
    It would, if practicable, certainly be a great injustice to the Indians who are industrious, and have worked faithfully in putting in their crops, and now at the written request of farmers who desire them to come, are anxious to go outside the agency limits and work for means to purchase food & clothing, and after we have been for years bringing every influence to bear upon them to induce them to become industrious, honest and self-supporting and when we have no funds to employ them nor to purchase supplies for them, to insist upon their remaining at home in idleness when good opportunities are offered them to work. I am this day in receipt of a note asking me to send Indians off the agency to cut two hundred cords of wood, and in fact I am almost daily in receipt of requests for passes to allow Indians to go off the agency to work.
    The Indians are a harmless people among the whites and of great benefit to perform very hard and laborious contracts, such as grubbing and making rails, and I am prone to think if greater efforts were put forth by white citizens in assisting to capture and prosecute these worthless whites who are continually violating the "Indian liquor law" there would be less necessity for asking the favor of having all the Indians kept upon the agencies & allowed to suffer for want of food and clothing because a few whites are prejudiced against them, while many of the best farmers of the land are asking that they be allowed to come among them and work.
    As to the crimes the Indians are accused of committing, since my assuming charge of this agency some five years ago, there has been no case reported to me of any Indian of this agency committing any crime against a white man.
    At this time and under the existing circumstances, I am of the opinion that to attempt to compel the Indians to all remain upon the agency would soon create discord and insubordination while at the present time there is good feeling among them towards the whites.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servant
        P. B. Sinnott
            U.S. Indian Agent
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner
        Indian Affairs
            Washington
                D.C.

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




Office Grand Ronde Agency
    Oregon July 10, 1877
Sir
    I have the honor to inform you of the building at this agency by the Catholic Mission of a fine large school building for a boarding, lodging and industrial school for the Indians, the construction of which was referred to in my last annual report. This building is large enough to accommodate all the Indian children now on the agency, or who may be brought here with the necessary board, lodging and school room. The main building is in size thirty by seventy-five feet, two full stories high, with thirteen feet ceilings, with two wings, each thirty by forty-six feet in size, each one story and a half high with the necessary attachments of wood, vegetable & other houses.
    The building is a good, solid frame structure, weatherboarded on the outside and painted, is covered, & when finished will be ceiled with dressed lumber and painted on the inside.
    At the present time the building is up, weatherboarded and painted, with the windows and doors in, the cover on, and a portion of the floors laid, but unfortunately for the agency the mission have exhausted their funds, while at least one thousand dollars is yet required in putting up partitions, doors &c., ceiling and painting and furnishing some necessary school furniture &c. to complete the building.
    I would respectfully ask that the Department allot to this agency the sum of one thousand dollars out of the fund "For the support of schools, not otherwise provided for, for the support of industrial schools and for other educational purposes for the Indian tribes" to enable me to employ mechanical labor and to purchase the necessary material for the furnishing of the building, which will, when so completed, furnish the necessary room for all school purposes at this agency for many years to come.
    The actual value of the building, when completed, will be about four thousand dollars and is one of the most important improvements to the agency and Indians that has yet been accomplished upon the agency and can now be completed at a cost to the Department of only one fourth its value.
    I would respectfully ask the early and favorable consideration by the Department of this matter, that we may complete the building, ready for occupancy, before the rainy season.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servt.
        P. B. Sinnott
            U.S. Ind. Agent
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner
        Indian Affairs
            Washington
                D.C.

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



North Yamhill
    July 14th 1877
To Com. of
    Indian Affairs
        Washington D.C.
            Dear Sir
                I write to you upon this occasion for the purpose of informing you that I was associated with Father in his contract to build a grist mill & bridge in the Siletz Reservation, and for the services rendered by me in fulfilling that contract Father gave me an order on the agent, William Bagley, for one half the amt. yet due on contract. And the order directs that whenever the agent shall be directed by you to issue vouchers for any sum whatever that he shall divide the amt., giving vouchers for one half the amt. to me. Mr. Bagley accepted the order in this way. He said he was willing to divide the vouchers and fully comply with the orders unless your Department interposed objections or gave instructions that would prevent his doing so. I will send you a copy asking that whenever you shall instruct Mr. Bagley to issue vouchers that he may issue them, as that order may directs. And that if your Dept. should see fit to settle the matter without Mr. Bagley's assistance that you will recognize the order and that it may have the same effect with you that it has had with Mr. Bagley. I wish also to state that I spent over sixteen hundred on the reservation in order to complete the contract, and as yet have not received a single dollar as compensation for it. And the only way I have to get any pay for my labor is to get it out of what is yet to be paid. There seems to be a question with your Dept. as to whether the government ought to pay for the bridge, it having been washed away soon after it was completed. And the question hinges upon the stipulation in the contract that the bridge was to be secure against winter freshets. We spent one winter on the Reserve before we built the bridge and watched the river constantly during any storms and wet weather we had, for the purpose of being better able to select a good location for the bridge and to be able to design a structure that would be serviceable and lasting. And from all we saw and from all we could learn from the agent and others, with the Indian testimony concerning the character of the stream, we believed the bridge we built ample for any service that might be required of us. We used all the information obtainable and after we made our plan, located the bridge and had commenced work upon it. Mr. Bagley and others who were far better able to tell what the stream required than us expressed themselves satisfied that the bridge would be a good and serviceable one. I do not believe that there is an engineer in the service of the government that could have done better, as he would have been compelled to have been governed by the character of the country through which the stream runs and by the best obtainable information as to how the stream acted and was affected by winter freshets. In making plan we were governed to a great extent in building the bridge by what the agent said and by his suggestions. And I know that he was satisfied from the time the bridge was begun until it was swept away and in fact expressed himself proud of having as fine a structure on the reserve. And it seems to me as Mr. Bagley as agent was the only person authorized to act in conjunction with us in building the bridge, and he being pleased with it, he being willing to accept the work and being willing to use it in government service, that we were relieved of any responsibility in the matter. It seems to me that the bridge was washed away as government property and not as property of H. W. Shipley. And if your Dept. is not willing to pay for it it seems to me that Mr. Bagley is responsible to us for it, as his acceptance of it and use of it prevented our taking any precautions or using any means for protecting the bridge against driftwood. I spent more hard work more time and more means to complete the contract than anyone connected with it, and as yet have had nothing in return for it. And I earnestly hope that some of the statements I have made you will have consideration enough for to give a decision at an early day as to what the government will do. As I am anxious to get my money from some source as quickly as I can, you will confer a great favor by giving this com. your earnest and early consideration. And in conclusion permit me to be
Your most respectfully [sic]
    And obedient servant
        L. S. Shipley
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.



Office Grand Ronde Agency
    Oregon July 20, 1877
Sir.
    I have to report the burning at the agency on the 15th inst. of the agent's residence.
    The house took fire in the kitchen, between the ceiling and roof, and in spite of the efforts of myself and several white men who were present & some Indians, the fire increased steadily from the beginning, and in a half hour from the first alarm the building began falling in. We however saved the school building, which stood nearby, and the greater portion of the government property which happened to be in the house at the time. There was one cooking stove and some smaller articles destroyed.
    There is no other building on the agency belonging to the Department suitable for a residence at the present time, they having been turned over to the Indians at the time the employee force was reduced. There is one building here that can be made comfortable and safe, by recovering it and putting in new sills, and putting up some partitions &c. I would respectfully ask the Department to allot to this agency at least a sufficient sum to enable me to repair this building out of the fund for "Buildings at agencies & repairs of the same" which can be done with five or six hundred dollars.
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servant
        P. B. Sinnott
            U.S. Ind. Agent
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Commissioner
        Indian Affairs
            Washington
                D.C.

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




Bureau of
Catholic Indian Missions
Washington, D.C. July 30, 1877
Sir:
    I have the honor, herewith, to submit for your consideration the following proposition with reference to conducting and carrying on the Industrial Boarding School at the Grand Ronde Agency, Oregon, for the scholastic year ending June 30, 1878, to wit:
    For the sum of $1000 in addition to the $3000 now allowed under treaty stipulations, I will contract to conduct and carry on the said Industrial Boarding School, with an average attendance of not less than thirty (30) boarders as pupils, and as many day scholars as can be induced to attend, during the fiscal year ending June 20, 1878, and will furnish the necessary and suitable teachers, clothing, school appliances and fuel for the boarders, and will contract to complete the school building, now erected, but incomplete.
I am, sir, very respectfully
    J. B. A. Brouillet
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. Indian Affairs
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Siletz Ind. Agency Oregon
   Aug. 1st 1877
Sir
    I have the honor to report that on the 28th ult. the sawmill, after a few days repairing, was ready for use.
    During the the month of July I secured the services of A. F. Peterson to assist the carpenter on the repairs of the sawmill.
    The structure has been thoroughly braced and stayed with strong timbers, and everything is in fine working order.
    Being entirely without lumber in the shop, not having even enough to make coffins for the deceased, I found it necessary to start the sawmill on the 30 ult., as the exigencies of the services absolutely required it.
    I called into this service all employees that could be spared.
    The Carpenter acted as sawyer, the Physician as screen tender, and the Clerk as engineer. They cheerfully "took hold," and with the assistance of three Indians succeeded in sawing out 4,000 ft. of beautiful fir lumber, which will last but a short time, there being so great a demand, both by Department and Indians, and I hope that before long I may be able to start the sawmill again to saw two weeks in succession and obtain lumber for the many Indians waiting to build houses and barns upon their places.
Very respectfully
   Your obt. servant
     William Bagley
       U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. J. Q. Smith
   Commr. Indian Affs.
      Washington
         D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




Siletz Ind. Agency Or.
     August 4, 1877
Sir:
    I have the honor to report for your consideration my action in relation to the removal of the Alsea Indians.
    Believing it to be to the interest of the Department and Indians as well as of the settlers on the Alsea country, I have endeavored whenever an opportunity has been presented to persuade them to come here, but until the 7th of July 1877 have never been able to obtain from a majority of them an expression of willingness to come upon any terms whatever.
    In a visit to their former country (Alsea) in June 1877 I persuaded them to visit this agency on the 4th of July to unite with the Indians on the agency in the celebration of the day. While here they formed more favorable opinions of this country than ever before, and on the 7th of July they desired to talk with me about making this a permanent home, their only objection to coming being their want of teams, seed, farming implements &c. Add to this the fact that in leaving their former homes they leave their comfortable houses, and in some instances gardens, which had been cleared of timber by their own labor.
    Were their parents either white or black, it would almost be robbery to take this property from them without remuneration, but being Indians who have never taken up arms against the whites, and who have ever occupied this country as fishing and hunting ground, until taught by the whites to till a small portion in order to obtain subsistence.
    The natural hatred of our superior race for the Indian prevents the possibility of remunerating them for the sacrifice they have made.
    However, relying on the humanity of our government and acting on suggestions contained in your letter of Apr. 28, 1876, I promised to give them the property formerly belonging to the Alsea Agency, including the stock, and also promised to furnish transportation for their goods and effects, from Alsea River to Yaquina Bay and also from Depot Slough to this agency.
    On their return home from this agency after consulting with all the members of their tribe who were not present in council when the above promises were made, they sent a messenger for me, requesting me to meet them at Alsea for another and final talk.
    Accordingly, on the 24th ultimo I proceeded to Alsea and there in council all agreed to remove at once, giving up all claim to their former land. ("Land of Their Forefathers") on the following condition, viz: That all property including the stock formerly belonging to the Alsea Agency should be given to them in severalty, that the expenses of removal of their goods and effects from Alsea to Yaquina Bay 15 miles should be paid by me, also the expense of transportation across the portage from Depot Slough to this agency, a distance of six miles, that their ferriage across Yaquina Bay also be paid by the Department, and subsistence furnished them while en route.
    They are to come to Siletz Agency and be on the same footing in relation to supplies as other Siletz Indians, also to be permitted to select homes for themselves, the land to be allotted them in severalty at the pleasure of the government, or, in case of the abolition of the agency, they desired to be shown how to secure their lands as citizens of the United States and state of Oregon.
    They have selected that part of the reserve lying between the mouth of Siletz and Salmon rivers as their future home, and beg me to furnish them with a farmer and school teacher, which promise I could not make, unless funds for their payment could be secured from the Indian Department.
    As they were desirous of immediate removal and owing to the excited state of feeling among white settlers on account of the alleged understanding among all the tribes of the West, concerning a general uprising against the whites, and fearing that by some overt act on the part of lawless whites who would be glad to see an Indian war, which might result in the extermination of all the male Indians. I deemed it both prudence & economy to comply with their wishes at once and, making arrangements for transportation of their goods &c., took the government stock, with the assistance of the Indians, and drove them to this reservation. I am aware of the fact that in ordinary circumstances I should have received more direct authority from you in the matter, but am satisfied that by this prompt action on my part I have saved much expense to the Department, and I hope to receive your approval of my action in the matter.
    I will say, however, that had there been a prospect of an early visit from Inspector Watkins, I should have waited to consult him before acting.
    Knowing through the newspaper telegraphic reports of his whereabouts and how occupied, I could not hope for an early visit from him.
    As soon as the work of removal is accomplished, I will forward to you a full statement of the expenses incurred, and would respectfully ask that you will if possible furnish me with funds and supplies necessary for the payment of these expenses, necessarily incurred, and for the settlement and subsistence of these Indians on this reserve. It will require the utmost energy on my part to keep and provide for them with the amount asked for in the accompanying estimate.
Very respectfully
   Your obt. servant
     William Bagley
       U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. J. Q. Smith
   Commissioner Indian Affs.
      Washington
         D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




Klamath Agency
    Linkville Oregon
        August 11th 1877
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. Ind. Affairs
        Sir,
            I have the honor to herewith transmit my estimate for supplies for Klamath Agency for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1878. Their estimate has been made under difficulties, and while I cannot hope that it is perfect, yet I feel conscious that I have done the best I could under the circumstances. I have asked permission and authority to purchase in open market such articles as are needed for immediate use, and which can be bought to advantage in Rogue River Valley, thus saving the expense of transportation for 300 miles.
    The price of wheat in that valley is so steady and uniform that nothing is gained in regard to price by advertising, while much is lost in regard to time. Considerable delay would render it difficult and expensive to get the wheat over the mountains this season.
    The blankets can be bought at Ashland Mills, Oregon (about 100 miles distant) at from 1½ to 2 dollars less than these recently bought at Portland, besides being superior in quality and quantity. I refer to the blankets purchased under contract made by Lieut. Boyle.
    The reasons for purchasing beef in open market are equally good. There are but few cattle dealers in this section, thus enabling them to combine and bid above a fair purchase price. Besides, we are in pressing want of beef at the present time.
    With regard to the purchase of annuity supplies I will now frankly state that the Klamath and Modocs desire me to represent to you that they wish that the annuity fund due them, amounting to $3000, be spent equally in the purchase of wheat and oxen. They suppose that it would buy over 2000 bush. of wheat and not less than 12 yoke of good work oxen. You will observe that my estimate does not entirely correspond with their desire. I am not sure but that there ought to be less spent in the articles they name and more in a general way. The school fund is inadequate to support a school of the number of pupils that can be obtained. The 500 dollars allowed for that purpose will not with the most rigid economy clothe, feed and care for over 15 regular attendants. The expense per week for all such purposes would even then be less than 70 cts. per pupil. With 25 pupils, which is only a reasonable number, the weekly average would be only 50 cts. for each pupil.
    I am in doubt whether I have the right to use the annuity or other funds for school purposes. Please inform me if so and what amount.
    We have also a building suitable for hospital purposes. There are several infirm and sick persons who need to be there to be cared for, but we have no fund for that purpose.
    Is there not a remedy for this difficulty? Please give me the needed information. In conclusion I desire to call your attention to the fact that there are about 1000 Indians on this reservation, many of whom are destitute, and some of whom are invalids. The agency is remote from settlements of enterprising citizens, so that there is very little opportunity for the Indians to secure employment except for a short time during the furnishing of wood and hay at Fort Klamath. To their credit I will say that they are very anxious to work and thus earn their own living.
    These disadvantages make it more difficult to manage the service and call for large supplies and constant labor and care on the part of the agent and employees.
    I have made these statements for the purpose of paving the way to say most emphatically that we need all the supplies which the most liberal appropriations and allowances will procure.
Yours very truly
    J. H. Roark
        U.S. Ind. Agt.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Bureau of
Catholic Indian Missions
Washington, D.C. August 20th 1877
Sir:
    I have the honor to submit for your consideration the following proposition in reference to the Industrial Boarding School at the Grand Ronde Indian Agency, Oregon, to wit:
    I will contract to conduct and carry on the Industrial Boarding School at said agency during the scholastic year ending June, 1878, for a compensation of $100 for each boarder, the average number of such boarders not to be in excess of forty, and I will agree to furnish sufficient and suitable teachers, books, board, lodging and clothing for said boarders, and in addition to take as day scholars such pupils as are offered by the agent or as may be induced to attend such day school.
I am, sir, very respectfully
    J. B. A. Brouillet
Hon. J. Q. Smith
    Comr. Indian Affairs
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Roseburg Augt. 21 '77
Hon. J. H. Mitchell
    U.S.S.
        Dear Sir
In behalf of one of your constituents I address you upon a matter which is not only important to him, but to the whole Umpqua Valley.
    William Rose is engaged in fishing at the forks of the Umpqua about 7 miles west of here, and furnished this market with fish and a little later in the season furnishes the most of the trout for the Portland market. There are other fisheries, but this example will do for all.
    For two or three years past an Indian called Joe, who belongs as I am informed to the Siletz Reservation, has been permitted by the agent to come to the Umpqua to fish. He does this by erecting a dam at a narrow place on the rapids a few miles above Scottsburg, thereby preventing the run of salmon almost entirely. Two years ago I issued a warrant under the state law. The Indians took to the brush and the
Sheriff could not arrest them. He tore down the dam, but it was built again in a day. The nuisance has become unbearable, for the reason that it is not only the loss of one man, but, if the fish cannot go up the river to spawn there will be no return. The cannery recently started at Gardner had no fish for this reason. You will see the necessity of removing the obstruction at once, and I think you will agree with me in thinking that it can be more easily done through the Indian agent than by making "good Indians" of them, which will be done if this goes on much longer.
    While it costs large amounts on the Columbia and other streams to establish fish breeding places, we cannot afford to have ours destroyed by a band of diggers already fed at the expense of the government.
    I have the honor to be
Very respectfully
    Your obt. servt.
        L. F. Mosher
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.




Office Siletz Indian Agency
    Toledo Benton Co. Oregon
        Aug. 27th 1877
Sir
    I have the honor to herewith transmit a letter from Hon. L. F. Mosher of Roseburg Or. which has been kindly sent me by Hon. John H. Mitchell U.S.S. [letter of August 21, above].
    I think the Indian complained of is one of those formerly belonging to the Alsea Agency who have not yet signified their willingness to remove to the agency. These Indians should by all means be brought on the reserve and provided with work by which to earn their subsistence.
    I am powerless to do anything in the matter unless provided with funds with which to pay expenses. It is very important that I soon go to the Umpqua and to Coos Bay to see and if possible persuade these Indians to come on the reserve. Such as belong here and are without leave of absence should be compelled to return and provided with employment by which to earn their subsistence. Should have their land allotted to them in severalty and be required to remain here. I respectfully ask that you will fully consider the importance of this matter, and if it be possible to do so, send us all the funds we have asked for in our estimate.
Very respectfully
   Your obedient servant
     William Bagley
       U.S. Ind. Agt.
Hon. J. Q. Smith
   Comr. Indian Affs.
      Washington
         D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




Portland Oregon
    Sept. 8th 1877
Hon. J. H. Mitchell
    My Dear Sir
        I desire to call your attention and through you the attention of the Ind. Department at Washington to some matters relative to the Indian service in our state. I noticed yesterday in the Corvallis Gazette a letter written over the signature of George Harney--an Indian chief at Siletz Agency. The letter states that those Indians, namely the Alsea and Nestucca Indians, that were brought over to the Siletz Reservation two years ago, are many of them dying with starvation and bitterly complaining that promises made to them had not been complied with on the part of the government. I am satisfied that to some extent this is true. I did under the direction of the Department treat with, remove and locate at the mouth of Salmon River some sixty-five Indians of the Nestucca tribe. I promised them assistance in farming &c. and that they would be furnished seed for the first crop. This I am told was not done. The letter I referred to I presume had more reference to those Indians that were from the Alsea Agency than those from the Nestucca. I am satisfied that the whole affair is in bad condition, and something should be done immediately to relieve them. My proposition is to get them together as quick as possible at the mouth of Salmon River, such of them as are not capable of taking care of themselves, and put some person in charge of them there to act as a sub-agent and let the government assist them in preparing houses &c. for their accommodation. I am fully satisfied from what I hear since you left here that if something is not done soon that there will be trouble that may cost the government millions, besides the loss of many lives. I do know that when an Indian feels that he is outraged that he will become desperate in the extreme. I believe they should have fair dealing and then compel them to perform their part. I assure you they are the last people in the world that it will do to tamper with, and it does seem to me that our great nation can afford to be just if not generous.
    I send you by this mail a map or diagram of the proposed reservation at the mouth of Salmon River where the Nestucca Indians and a part of the Alseas are now located. You will see that it contains 110,080.00 acres, which is ample for all the Indians that are now on the Siletz and Alsea reservations that are not capable of taking homesteads and becoming citizens. The inspector Col. Watkins is not here or I should present this subject to him at once. I am satisfied that if all those Indians were consolidated as before mentioned, and some suitable person placed there in charge of them, that it would not be long until they could be self-sustaining. They should have a well-organized manual labor school established at that point where the boys, young men and girls could be taught to work as well as read--no other kind of a school is worth anything among Indians. While I fully believe that the Indians should be taught the Bible and Christianity, I believe they should be taught to obey one of the first injunctions of the Bible, and that is that they should get their living by the sweat of their own brows.
    I wish before closing this letter to call your attention to another forcible argument in favor of consolidation. That is that we have too many Indian reservations, and those we have are too large. Our Indians are really like some of [the] Oregonians; they are land poor. They depend upon their large acres for a support without cultivating the soil.
    You will please pardon me for the intrusion and believe me
As ever yours
   Ben Simpson
Hon. J. H. Mitchell
    U.S. Senator
        Washington City
            D.C.

NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.



Los Angeles California
    September 22nd 1877
Sir
    Enclosed I have the honor to transmit the explanations to exceptions taken to my accounts from Siletz Agency for the 3rd and 4th qrs. 1875.
    In making these explanations I have been somewhat embarrassed through the absence of many documents to which I should like to refer. As stated in the explanations, ill health has rendered a residence in Oregon inexpedient, and I have been compelled to make these explanations assisted only by copies of the vouchers to which exceptions have been taken, and have not had the letters, instructions, telegrams &c. sent me by the Hon. Commissioner for my guidance, as also the contracts, schedule of prices &c. under which many of the expenditures were incurred to refresh my memory. Consequently these explanations are somewhat more imperfect than would be the case had I the necessary data to refer to.
    I trust these circumstances may be taken into consideration in adjusting my accounts. Not an expenditure has been made that was not necessary for the interest of the Department and the welfare of the service, and in those cases where departure has been made from the ordinary methods, such departure has been rendered necessary by unavoidable circumstances. I venture to hope that my accounts may meet with speedy and favorable consideration.
I have the honor to be
    Very respectfully
        Your obedient servant
            J. H. Fairchild
                Late U.S. Indian Agent
                    Siletz Agency Oregon
The Hon. Commissioner [of] Indian Affairs
    Washington
        D.C.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.




Sulphate Cinchonidia
    It is very difficult to get the specific effect of a remedy in the treatment of disease among the Indians especially when left to their own direction whether to take it or not. They frequently lay the medicine aside and do not take it at all. But so far as I have been able to ascertain the difference in the effect of the two remedies (sulphate quine [sic] and cinchonidia) is not generally of a marked character. Cinchonidia in its action upon the nervous system is less marked than those resulting from the use of quine when there is brain trouble, ringing in the ears, deafness, disturbance of vision and vertigo. In some persons quine produces muscular prostration, coldness of the surface and in very large doses mental derangement and collapse. Cinchonidia is more mild and does not produce such results.
    In the treatment of malarial fever, we found that when the disease was disposed to run into the chronic form, cinchonidia was a more effective remedy to check it than quine.
    In the treatment of delicate individuals whose systems were full of malarial poison, their vital forces depressed, their secretions deranged, their powers of assimilation and disintegration below par, their nervous systems depressed, and their livers engorged, in such cases cinchonidia is a much better remedy than quine and certainly so to the patients from its affecting less the nerves of special senses as referred to above.
    In cases where intermittents are disposed to assume a masked form, cropping out under the guise of neuralgia, rheumatism &c., cinchonidia has some advantages over quine.
    I have learned by experience that all alkaloids act more rapidly than the agents from which they are taken.
Respectfully submitted
    F. M. Carter, Physician
Siletz Agency
    Sept. 29, 1877
   

    The hygienic condition of the Indians is improving, and they are gaining confidence in the agency physician. They always call upon him instead of relying on their native medicine men in case of sickness or accident.
    The Indians have almost entirely abandoned their ancient mode of curing the sick by singing, dancing and various peculiar contortions and incantations in which they call upon their "medicine gods" to help them, and are adopting the white man's medicine and the palefaced doctor to cure them when sick.
    The most intelligent of them see that all die who are treated by their doctors, consequently they lose faith in them. Extermination or civilization are the only alternatives left for the Indian, and they are compelled to choose the latter. In the race of life they cannot compete with the white man while their ignorance superstition and old ways clings to them, so they are forced by circumstances over which they have no control to leave them off.
    Their people are rapidly passing away, and something must be done or a few more years will find them beneath the clods of the valley.
    The white man is increasing, advancing and populating the country, and if they expect to cope with him they must adopt his way of doing business and seek a higher state of civilization. Therefore they are building houses, cultivating the soil, raising stock and in every way trying to improve themselves and elevate their race. The result is they are more healthful, intelligent and neat in their houses, persons &c. than ever before. The Indians on this reservation are slowly but certainly advancing in the arts of civilized life.
    Some disease among them is absolutely incurable, especially tertiary syphilis, and the most that can be done for that class is to properly take care of them as long as they live.
Respectfully submitted
    F. M. Carter
        Resident physician
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 624 Oregon Superintendency, 1877.




October 7th 1877
To the Hon. Indian Comr.
    Washington D.C.
Sir, what I wish to know is whether there is any law prohibiting Indians of the Klamath Indian Reservation running at large or not, as the Indians says that all of Sprague River belongs to them, and have told the settlers on Sprague River to leave there or they would fight, but still we do not care for that, but then they are running among our stock and hunting all over our hunting grounds. Also, we cannot leave anything out of doors with safety, and they come to the houses when the menfolks is away from home and frighten the women, and if I understand rightly, the reservation is 46 miles square, and a space of 30 miles north of the reservation that there is no settlers and there is just as much game there as here and what I have said I can prove by the settlers.
    Wishing to hear from you soon I remain your most humble and obedient servant
Jacob Buckmaster
    Bonanza
        Lake Co.
            Ogn.
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Department of the Interior,
U.S. Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region,
J. W. Powell, Geologist in Charge.
Klamath Agency, Oregon
    October 13, 1877.
To the Hon. the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
    Washington, D.C.
        Sir,
            In conformity with the instructions received there since my last, [I] continued to investigate the Klamath tribe of Indians, including Modocs, with respect to their ethnology, language and present social status, endeavoring also to get glimpses at their mythology, migrations and history. As language is now my principal object of research, I have been at great pains to collect from every reliable source texts, songs, sentences and vocables, and of the latter I have now secured nearly five thousand. The language has kept itself pretty free from foreign influence, and comparatively only few English terms or terms from other Indian tongues have found their way into that interesting idiom. I have already collected many of the most necessary elements to compose a grammar of the language, and when I had opportunity to do so, I also took note of words from the neighboring idioms of the Shastas, Wascoes and especially of the Pit Rivers.
    After the first of November, please direct any of your favors to my address; Post Office, Sacramento, Cal., whence my mail will reach me though I may have gone to other places in Oregon state. The appropriation of $525 for the 4th quarter of 1877 hasn't reached me yet through Major J. W. Powell, but I recd. with thanks your circular letter to the Ind. agents.
I remain, sir, most respectfully yours
    Albert S. Gatschet
        Special Agt. for Ethology & Linguistics
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 623 Oregon Superintendency, 1876.



Last revised June 25, 2019