The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The Dead Indian Country

Of Jackson County, Oregon. Where the name came from.

    It was known that there was a small band on Butte Creek, under the Chief, Jake; and a party was sent to hunt them out. They were found in a state of great destitution, having previously had all their winter provisions and camp utensils destroyed. They were taken prisoners; but the victors not agreeing how to dispose of them, they were allowed to go.
    The same party found, in one place, evident signs of its having been the scene of an Indian battle. Among other things, they found two dead Indians, over whom was spread a wagon cover, known to have belonged to the teamsters who were killed in the fall, as has been already related. It was afterward ascertained that the tribe just liberated, hoping to conciliate the favor of the whites, had made war, and killed all who had been engaged in that affair. It was said they were actually on their way to give themselves up, when they were met by the same company of volunteers who had captured and released them a few days previous. As it had become unpopular to kill women, they ordered the females aside while they shot the men, numbering eighteen. This cruel and deliberate butchery occupied the space of two hours--a period of inconceivable horror and anguish both to the waiting victims and their friends who were kept within reach of their struggles and cries.

John Beeson, A Plea for the Indians, 1858, pages 76-77

Last revised April 14, 2018