Jackson County News: 1853
See also 1853 Rogue River Indian War and the Starvation Winter.Correspondence of the Oregon Statesman.
Agricultural and Lumber Interests in Oregon.
The liberal inducement offered by government to persons settling in Oregon is rapidly drawing to a permanent close, without any probability of being extended. The fact of the discovery of gold, and the rapid and successful development of both agricultural and lumbering interests, within the last few years past are of such vast importance that the government will have no object in extending the time already fixed or prescribed by law, in which persons are permitted to avail themselves of the liberal advantages of the "Oregon Donation Land Law," which expires on the first day of December, 1853, but rather to establish land offices in the Territory and place the unoccupied or unclaimed land in market. Consequently, persons desirous of obtaining claims adapted to agricultural purposes have no time to spare. The season of the year is rapidly approaching when farmers should have their locations selected and preparations made for farming during the coming season.
There is a large and increasing population of farmers, and those too who are undetermined what course to pursue, and wholly unacquainted with the different agricultural localities of the country. The writer feels himself under such circumstances bound to impart all the knowledge relative to the country that he may possess, and all those who wish can be benefited thereby. The writer has passed nearly two years in Oregon, during which time he has traveled over a large portion of the Territory, and by so doing is enabled to speak from actual observation and not from report.
The agricultural pursuits in California are of vast importance, and we would prefer locating in this state, were it not for the difficulty arising from Spanish grants, squatters' rights &c., which will, we apprehend, be a source of continual litigation for many years to come. In Oregon, there is no difficulty of this character. All that a person is compelled to do is to select his claim where he finds the land unoccupied, and then live upon and cultivate the same for four consecutive years, and then he receives his "patent" from government--a title indisputable. There is now a bill before Congress which if passed will modify the "Oregon Donation Land Law" so as to give to settlers the privilege of purchasing their claims at a nominal price instead of living upon them four years, which would greatly enhance the privilege of locating claims in that Territory. This would give the occupant the privilege of disposing of his claim, or the still more advantageous right of a temporary leave of absence without the fear of losing his claim in the occupancy of another person.
We found while traveling through the Territory that all or nearly all of the available lands situated in the valley of the Willamette are now claimed or occupied. This is also the case with Cowlitz Valley and adjacent country. At Puget Sound, there is still a large tract of excellent land unoccupied. It is beautifully located, and would be a desirable locality were it not for the severity of the winter season, although the climate is well adapted to agricultural purposes. The lumbering interests also present some very flattering inducements in that quarter. The valley of the Umpqua is another desirable locality, but in this, like that of the Willamette, the better portion is already taken up. The valley of the Umpqua has a beautiful, healthy and delightful climate.
South of the Umpqua there are still several excellent valleys and several large tracts of prairie lands still unoccupied. The valleys of Coquille River, Floras Creek, Sixes River, Elk and Rogue rivers are all exceedingly rich and productive, and well adapted to grazing and agricultural purposes. There are prairies in this locality (which is termed Southern Oregon) containing from one hundred to two thousand acres of excellent land, and in solid compact bodies. The land is well watered, and surrounded with an immense growth of white fir and white cedar, and in some localities live oak of a good quality is abundant. The white cedar in this vicinity is of a superior quality and will soon take the place in this market of the best quality of white pine, now imported from the Atlantic States.
The lumbering and agricultural interests in Southern Oregon are sufficient in themselves to attract the attention of settlers, to say nothing of the rich and extensive discoveries of gold in the vicinity of Rogue River during the past year, and there is still a large tract of country unexplored on the headwaters of several large streams rising in the Coast Range and emptying into the ocean in the vicinity of Port Orford, the principal seaport town in Southern Oregon, and we have recently learned from a reliable source that a trail is now open from that place to the Oregon trail, intersecting the latter near the crossings of Rogue River. There is a large military post at Port Orford, and we learn that it is the intention of the government to convert the trail that we have spoken of, leading in the interior, into a good and practicable road, and establish another military post at the most convenient point in the interior. This will enable persons who are desirous of exploring the country to proceed without the fear of molestation and a sure guarantee against the attack of Indians. The trail here spoken of leads through a country every way indicative of a rich mining district, and we have no doubt but some vast and important discoveries will be made in Southern Oregon during the coming season.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, January 4, 1853, page 1
(Public Act--Chap. 9.)An Act for the Construction of Military Roads in Oregon Territory.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following sums of money be, and the same are hereby appropriated for the construction of military roads in the Territory of Oregon, to wit: for the construction of a road from Steilacoom, on Puget's Sound to Fort Walla Walla, twenty thousand dollars, and for the construction of a road from the mouth of Myrtle Creek, on Umpqua River, to Camp Stuart, in Rogue River Valley, twenty thousand dollars, the said roads to be constructed under the direction of the Secretary of War, pursuant to contracts to be made by him.
Approved, January 7, 1853.
"Laws of the United States Passed During the Second Session of the Thirty-Second Congress," Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Wheeling, [West] Virginia, June 7, 1853, page 2
From the Mines.
By advices received from Jacksonville, dated Jan. 2nd, 1853, we gather the following news:
Times are getting very hard there. They have had severe weather for the past month, and snow in the valley at one time was three feet deep, but the above dates, the weather was more pleasant. The snow went off with rain, which caused heavy floods in the rivers. There were no provisions of any kind in the market, with the exception of a few potatoes, and a great many are subsisting on beef alone, of which there was an ample supply. There are several thousand pounds of flour within forty miles of Jacksonville, but cannot be carried in on account of high water. A great many immigrant cattle died during the snow storm. The miners who have claims are not discouraged, as they are doing well.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, January 22, 1853, page 1
From the Mines.
Jacksonville, Table Rock Town,Mr. Editor: A mail is expected to run from Canyonville to this place next month. This accommodation will relieve us from an isolated position in Oregon, as a kind of mail or express goes hence to Yreka and back about once a fortnight. There are people now resident here a long time, deserving at least decent treatment as to mail facilities, and the influence of the mines would certainly be no injury to the rest of Oregon, for there may be room for improvement both ways.
December 30th, 1852.
The rain has been quite constant since the first of November. The streams are getting full, and water is running in many gulches. This has the effect of scattering the population into the hills and valleys. Many have gone back to their homes disappointed. Prospecting is too expensive at present high prices. We need a supply of flour; Yreka takes it away as fast as the price becomes as low as 50¢ per lb. The mines at this place pay as well as ever, but too many come for all to obtain a profitable place to work, and the large immigration keeps wages quite moderate, and employment rather scarce. This week the dry gulches will likely be nearly all of them worked, but wages continue quite low, and board very high, because the claims are still so large that they are worked by hired help, and all the gold region of sufficient richness is full of claimants and workmen.
I think this immediate vicinity the richest mining region yet discovered in Oregon. The idea that as good a place is yet undiscovered draws large expenditures from newcomers, old miners and young. It is the chief cause of loss and poverty here. A share in a good claim can be bought for a fair price, and is the best mode of action by far.
This town has increased greatly in people and buildings since my last writing, and the residents would increase very much in number were even the letter communication made more frequent and certain.
A petition goes to the Legislature for a plank road charter for the Kenyon, and a mining representation in the House and Council for the inhabitants. The population is near 1,000 just here. A political meeting was held today to consider the rights of the people, and provide some remedy for the neglect we suffer. A committee of five were appointed, consisting of Dr. Coffin, D. M. Kinney, W. G. T'Vault, Dr. Alexander and W. W. Fowler, to prepare a memorial and resolutions, and report at the adjourned meeting a week from today. The county has a population of from 2 to 5,000, and a single representative, and one-third of a vote in the Council. We have no judges, magistrates or legal redress. Provisions of all kinds are in good demand, and money in firm hands.
Our large building [likely the Robinson House] is in a good situation, and under good progress of erection, to cost $8,000. Other good houses are lately finished, or nearly so. Rents high. Sawed lumber $12 per 100 feet, and very scarce on account of the muddy roads and distance from the mill--18 miles. One 8 miles distant is just in operation. Rogue River is too high to admit of crossing, and the bridges all carried away. The pack train are detained by the high water.
There is much sickness and many deaths at this place. It is said by persons lately in from Port Orford that a good pack trail to this place can be found, and the distance only 120 miles. Some cattle are about being driven through, and good farming land for 500 families lies in the immediate vicinity of the Port.
We have news much earlier by California than Oregon. The roads to the former place are said to be much blocked up with snow. There is a great extent of good farming land in this vicinity on both sides of the river, and beyond on Applegate Creek.
The reservation of mineral land from farming claims throws a shade of doubt in the minds of the residents and others as to being secure in their claims. But unless the land will pay for mining, it is generally believed that no such reservation will apply. A word from the Surveyor General on this subject would be of great interest to the residents of this part of the country.
I remain yours faithfully,
G. S. [George Sherman]
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, January 29, 1853, page 2 Sherman's Jacksonville letter in the March 19, 1853 Times was signed with his full name.
The Columbia had some difficulty on the 20th December in getting out of the Columbia River, on account of ice. The brig Bordeaux was beached near the mouth of the Columbia River on the 13th, and would be a total loss--passengers all saved.
Passengers from Oregon state that when they left the Columbia River [it] was frozen over so that teams crossed on the ice as low down as the mouth of the Willamette, which is less than a hundred miles from the ocean. This is a very extraordinary circumstance, and indicates the commencement of a severe winter. At Vancouver's, six miles above Willamette, on the north side of the Columbia, the snow was near two feet deep, where a winter frequently passes with scarce any snow at all.
The result of the Presidential election was known in Oregon forty days after the day on which the contest took place.
New gold discoveries have recently been made near Table Rock. There are now a large number of miners engaged in working them.
The gold mines of Rogue River Valley, and other localities near the southern boundary of Oregon, are being wrought to considerable profit. Gold in small quantities has been discovered on several small tributaries east of the Cascades. And gold has been found on most of the small streams entering the Umpqua, as well as the main stream. Also, on the south fork of Santiam and on Calapooia Creek &c.
"Oregon," Daily Republic, Washington, D.C., February 1, 1853, page 3
Mr. Hardin presented petition of John Butch, and 379 others, praying for charter for plank road through the canyon.
Mr. Consor presented a petition of A. J. Coin, and other citizens of Southern Oregon, for a charter for a bridge across Rogue River; referred to select committee of Messrs. Consor, Gibbs and Hardin.
"Oregon Legislature," Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, February 5, 1853, page 1
Letter from Oregon.
From a Guilford emigrant in Oregon to his friend in this country.
Jacksonville, O.T., Jan. 22, 1853.Dear A.V.: I have but little of importance to write you, except the distress of the land. The number of overland emigrants who came to Oregon last season are put down in round numbers at 10,000, which I think nearly correct, for an account was kept of all who came down the river in boats, and of those who came over the mountains. Among this number were a great many families, who now cannot get their living except by actual begging. Sir, you have not the most distant idea of the suffering among immigrants. You never saw a single instance in the old North State to compare with it, nor do I suppose you ever saw worse in the northern cities. The beggars here are those who left good homes in the western States [i.e., the Midwest] less than a year ago, where they never knew what it was to want. And those who came out here were not the poorest people of the western States, because it requires an amount of money to get an outfit, which all cannot command.
Indeed, I perceive it is an idea prevalent in the western States that money is the poorest property they can bring to Oregon or California, and for this reason they lay out their last dollar for stock of some kind. This was the case the past season, and after getting here with their stock there came a heavy snow storm in which three-fourths of the stock perished. The snow fell from two to three feet deep in the valleys, depending upon the altitude of the place, and laid on from two to three weeks.
I have just returned from a tour through Oregon, in which I have seen many families destitute of means of support, many being sick, and losing all their stock, and not being able to get work for any price--and worse yet, not for their board.
Many came in [by] the Southern Route into Rogue River Valley about the mining region; here they were compelled to live upon meat alone. Flour has been as high as one dollar and twenty-five cents per pound here, and hardly to be bought at that. Flour at the mills in Oregon for fifty dollars per barrel, wheat six dollars per bushel. This great rise in the flour market was caused by the failure of the Chile market, on account of the revolution in the government, and partial failure of the crops there. Some flour is now coming in from the States, but not enough to fill the demand. It is reported here that there are several cargoes soon to reach the ports.
Unprecedented high water and cold weather in Oregon. The Willamette River has been higher than it was ever known before. Many mills were washed away by the floods, others considerably damaged. The Columbia River was frozen over so that it was crossed on the ice where it was 1¼ miles wide. A great deal of stock was lost by the high water.
I think that pack mules will be very high when spring opens, for a great many Spanish mules started and froze to death during the cold spell.
Some twelve or fifteen men froze to death in the mountains in different parts of the country that we have heard of.
Miners are doing nothing at present, on account of high water and bad weather. I think when good weather comes, about one out of ten will do well. Mining, like all other business, or trades, is crowded. It is like everything else--if a man is lucky and makes a fortune in a short time you see it in every paper, but they don't tell you of the hundreds who don't make more than their support; if this had been case, I don't think there would have been so many here to suffer this season.
Yet I blame no young man that wishes to take "a wild goose chase" for coming to this country. I have done well enough by coming. But they must not set out with the idea of getting along easy, if they come the overland route.
All the provisions we have in the mines are packed from two to three hundred miles on mules' backs. This operation would look rather singular in the old States.
There is scarcely a country that has not its representative in this country. I believe all the European powers are represented; also, the dark Kanaka, and the still darker Hindoo is here.
Greensborough Patriot, Greensboro, North Carolina, March 19, 1853, page 2
At the Jacksonville mines, the times were very hard. They have had severe weather for the past month, and snow in the valley at one time was three feet deep, but since [then] the weather has been more pleasant. The snow went off with rain, which caused heavy floods in the rivers. There were no provisions of any kind in the market, with the exception of a few potatoes, and a great many are subsisting on beef alone, of which there was an ample supply. There are several thousand pounds of flour within forty miles of Jacksonville, but [it] cannot be carried in on account of high water. A great many immigrant cattle died during the snow storm. The miners who have claims are not discouraged, as they are doing well.
"Affairs in Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, February 7, 1853, page 2
News from the South.
(By Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express.)
To the indefatigable agent of this company, Mr. Hereford, we are indebted for late news from Yreka, Jacksonville and Winchester--he having arrived on the 17th.
The mines are yielding well, and a large quantity of gold is being taken out this season. Larger preparations are being made for mining than heretofore. There is supposed to be over 4000 persons engaged in the different locations, mining. Provisions were getting more plenty, with a gradual reduction in prices. The general health of the miners is good. During the flood on Rogue River, a party of seven men were drowned while on an island--the water having overflowed the land they were on. The only name of those reported is George Palmer.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, February 19, 1853, page 2 Chief Taylor was later hung for the deaths of the seven men.
Klamath County Contested Assembly Seat--Minority Report.
J. McMahon vs. Walter Van Dyke.
The undersigned of the Committee on Elections beg leave to submit the following report in the matter of J. McMahon, contesting the seat of W. Van Dyke as a representative from Klamath County[, California].
The contestant alleges that two precincts known as Althouse Creek and Walling's Ranch are within Oregon Territory, and that the votes cast at these precincts were improperly counted in the official returns, according to which Mr. Van Dyke has a majority of sixty-nine votes over Mr. McMahon. If these votes are thrown out, Mr. McMahon has a majority of seven over Mr. Van Dyke.
The depositions of numerous witnesses touching [on] the locality of these two precincts were introduced before the committee and are so voluminous that it would be impossible to give a full and fair statement of their substance within the limits of this report. The testimony was conflicting, and the undersigned are of the opinion that it was at least as favorable to the claims of the incumbent as to those of the contestant. The contestant also introduces a tracing from the map of the state now being prepared by the Surveyor General of the state, according to which the above-named precincts are within the limits of Oregon Territory.
But that officer stated in his testimony that he had never visited this portion of the state and was guided in the preparation of this map by information received from others. On the other hand, the same officer produced a map of this region of country prepared by T. Loring, county surveyor of Siskiyou County, in obedience to the instructions of the Surveyor General, which instructions were forwarded in compliance with the act passed at the last session of the Legislature, "to provide for a map of the State of California." This map locates the precincts in question within the boundary line of Klamath County. The undersigned is of opinion that this map made by the County Surveyor, and accompanied by his assurance that "the position of the various streams &c. are correctly laid down," is more likely to be correct than that prepared by the Surveyor General, who has not been over the ground.
It also appears in evidence that Klamath County has assumed and exercised jurisdiction over this section of the country. At the late election, precincts were regularly established by the Court of Sessions on Althouse Creek and at Sailors' Diggings, and the County Judge attended one of these precincts on the day of election; township and county officers were voted for. It further appears that Oregon has never exercised any jurisdiction over said section, and has never held any election there.
In the fact of the presumption to be derived from these facts alone that these precincts are in Klamath County, positive and direct evidence that they are in Oregon should be required before disenfranchising the number of voters who participated in that election.
Again: It does not appear that the contestant has complied with the provisions of the law in instigating the proceedings preliminary to a contest. The incumbent was not notified of his intention to contest, and a large portion of the testimony introduced by the contestant are ex parte affidavits. The incumbent thus had no opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses, nor to introduce witnesses of his own, except such as happened to be present at Vallejo or San Francisco during the session of the committee, while having the case under consideration.
The undersigned are of opinion that Mr. Van Dyke is justly entitled to the seat now held by him, and respectfully recommend that he be retained in the same.
Sam'l. Flower,Sacramento Daily Union, February 19, 1853, page 1
Thos. R. Walker.
I have had conversation with gentlemen from the Rogue River & Umpqua regions. There are several towns in the former, made by miners--one of a thousand people. They are yearlings now, & it is doubtful how much longer they will live. A few months will determine. The towns in the Umpqua are small yet.
George H. Atkinson to the American Home Missionary Society, letter of March 5, 1853. Congregational Home Missionary Society, Letters from Missionaries in Oregon, 1849-1893.
Very rich diggings were lately discovered upon Althouse Creek, a tributary of Rogue River, distant about 60 miles to the northward of Yreka. The miners are rushing there in great numbers. The diggings about Jacksonville are also very good, and have been so all winter.
A party are out endeavoring to find a trail over the Coast Range from Yreka to the new town just starting on the coast below Scottsburg.
The Indians were perfectly quiet throughout Scotts Valley.
"Yreka," Sacramento Daily Union, March 16, 1853, page 2
From the Southern Mines.Mr. Hereford, of Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express, arrived here on Tuesday last, the 15th--having left Jacksonville on the 5th--to whom we are indebted for many favors and the following items of news:
(By Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express.)
We learn that provisions are plenty, prices about the same as heretofore for merchandise, and large stocks were coming in. The health of the miners is generally good.
Althouse Creek and Sucker Creek were attracting great attention, and are said to be very rich. Althouse Creek is claimed for fifteen miles, and great preparations were being made to realize a golden harvest.
A new harbor on the ocean, south of Port Orford and Rogue River, has been found to be feasible, and is called Paragon Bay, and a city is springing up there called Crescent City. Three vessels had recently been in there with merchandise from San Francisco. This place is forty miles from Sailor Diggings, and seventy-five miles from Jacksonville. It is said gold is found in the immediate vicinity of the new city.
Flour was selling at fifty cents per pound at Jacksonville.
We have been favored by Captain Baker with the perusal of a letter from Wm. McMillen, formerly of this city, dated at Althouse Creek, February 19th, in which he writes that he came near starving to death. Flour was worth from 75 to 80 cents per lb., and the supplies were very limited; beef, 25 to 30 cents per lb., with but little in the market; coffee, $1.00; sugar, 65; tea, $2.50. Vegetables were out of the question, there being none on the creek. There was a scarcity of everything in the market.
Some of the miners were doing very well--others, as usual, not making expenses. There are from 1500 to 2000 men on this creek. The gold taken out on the creek is very handsome. The general opinion of the miners is that as soon as the water falls so that they can reach the bedrock, that there will be rich diggings.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, March 19, 1853, page 2
By Mr. Hereford, of Cram, Rogers & Co. [illegible]. Trade at Jacksonville dull; stock of goods on hand large; prices remaining about the same as at our last advices. The weather remarkably fine. Large parties out prospecting.
The item of intelligence of particular interest is the discovery of a practical wagon road from the valley to the harbor at Paragon Bay. Several enterprising persons, among others Messrs. Steele, Cooke and Cosby, had gone to the bay from Jacksonville and Yreka to establish a trading post in conjunction with a company from San Francisco; others are preparing to follow. The harbor is reported to be safe and convenient. The distance from the new port, called Crescent City, is said to be forty miles to Sailor Diggings and seventy-five miles to Jacksonville. Profitable diggings are reported to have been found in the immediate neighborhood of the new city. If but the half of what we hear be true, a new era of commercial enterprise is just dawning upon Southern Oregon.
CRESCENT CITY.--We find the following in the Placer Times and Transcript:
The expedition which recently sailed to Point St. George, a locality which it is claimed will be the supply point for an extensive range of mining country, returned on the 9th inst. The company have surveyed a town, to which they have given the name of Crescent City. They have also made a survey of the harbor, and find twelve feet of water up to within 200 yards of the shore.
Oregonian, Portland, March 19, 1853, page 2
At Jacksonville and on Rogue River the miners were doing well. Provisions at those places were more plenty than Yreka, supplies being received from Oregon.
"California Mines," Semi-Weekly North Carolina Standard, Raleigh, North Carolina, April 2, 1853, page 3
We have received the Shasta Courier of the 2nd inst., from which we compile the following interesting summary. . . .
A lump of pure gold, weighing over 50 ounces, was recently found in bank diggings on Althouse Creek. It is estimated that near a thousand miners are already on this stream, although so recently proved to be rich. A large portion of them are waiting for the waters to subside, when they expect to take out the gold in tremendous quantities.
"From Shasta, Weaverville, Yreka &c." Sacramento Daily Union, April 7, 1853, page 2
FROM HUMBOLDT BAY.--By the way of Shasta, we have late news from Humboldt Bay and Eureka. A report had reached the latter place that sixteen of the eighteen men who were exploring the road from Paragon Bay to Rogue River Valley had been killed by the Indians.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, April 7, 1853, page 2
FROM ROGUE RIVER.--The following is an extract of a private letter received by Mr. J. C. Holgate, of this place, from a friend in the Rogue River Valley. The letter is dated
"Jacksonville, Feb. 15, 1853."You made the right move I think in quitting this section of country. The Rich Gulch is now Poor Gulch most truly. We are starving and daily growing poorer. Flour sells for 62 cts. per pound; sugar, 50 cts. per lb.; potatoes, 40 cts. per lb.; poor beef, 25 to 30 cts.; pork, 50 cts.
"Stop all from coming this way--there is hardly gold enough to buy our salt."
The Columbian, Olympia, Washington, April 16, 1853, page 2
Delegate to Congress.
Just as we were putting our paper to press we received at the hands of Mr. Hereford, of Cram, Rogers & Co.'s express, the correspondence between a large number of the citizens of Jackson County and Judge Skinner, which we publish, and to which we call the attention of our readers. It will be seen that THE PEOPLE, without distinction of party, have requested Judge Skinner to become a candidate for delegate to Congress, and that he has consented to do so. We shall await the action of other portions of our fellow citizens upon this subject with the single remark that Judge Skinner possesses qualifications infinitely superior to Gen. Lane for that office. He is a bona fide resident of Oregon, and has been for years. Those who know him best acknowledge that he is an upright, honorable man, that he has talents of a superior order, and is well calculated to represent the people of this Territory in Congress. The several counties which hold conventions on the 14th inst. will doubtless take action upon this matter.
Jacksonville, April 25, '53.A. A. Skinner--Dear Sir, We the undersigned citizens of Jackson County, have selected you as our choice to represent us as delegate in Congress. Not having heard you express any opinion on the matter, we take the liberty of addressing you a note, to inquire whether you will consent to submit your name to the public, and become the people's candidate for that office. We feel assured that the announcement of your name as a candidate would meet the approbation of the entire south, as well as your friends in other portions of the Territory. We proffer you our influence and support and promise to use every honorable means to secure your election.
Rogue River Valley,Gentlemen:--I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of the 25th inst., soliciting me to become the "people's candidate" for delegate to Congress.
April 27, 1853.
I am highly flattered by the preference of so large a portion of my fellow citizens, and feel the less hesitation in complying with your request, in view of the position you wish me to occupy, with reference to the questions which divide the two great political parties of the country. I have ever been of the opinion that the organization of political parties, and the introduction of party politics into territorial elections, was only productive of injury to the interests of the people, and I should be unwilling to become a party candidate for any office within their gift. But if the people, without distinction of political parties, wish me to become a candidate for the office of delegate in Congress, and believe my doing so will in the least contribute to the defeat of the nominee of the faction who for the past two years have controlled the legislation of the Territory and misrepresented them in the councils of the nation, I shall most cheerfully permit my name to be used in connection with the office of delegate, and, if elected, I shall endeavor to be the representative of the people of Oregon, and not of a party or faction.
I shall, if possible previous to the June election, visit the different portions of the Territory and make myself familiar with the wants and wishes of the people, and give them an opportunity of becoming acquainted with my own views in reference to the course proper to be pursued by a delegate from a Territory.
With great respect,Oregonian, Portland, May 7, 1853, page 2
I have the honor to be, gentlemen,
Your obt. humble svt.
A. A. Skinner.
The question of establishing a state government was mooted. The smallpox was still raging among the Indians down the coast. The Democratic convention to nominate a candidate for Delegate to Congress was to meet at Salem on the second Monday in this month. There had been much rain, but at last accounts the weather was fine. The miners in Southern Oregon were doing well. The farmers were busily engaged in preparing the ground for seed.
"From Oregon," Weekly Mississippian, Jackson, Mississippi, May 6, 1853, page 2
The first Methodist conference in Oregon was held in Salem on the 17th of March, Bishop Ames presiding. Thirteen ministers present. The conference was divided into three districts, Willamette, South Oregon and North Oregon, and fifteen circuits.
Illinois State Register, Springfield Illinois, May 23, 1853, page 2
Yreka, March 22, 1853.
Dear Bush.--If here, you might see this individual seated in the kitchen of the establishment, clothed with the habiliments of a miner, viz:--blue flannel shirt, a very old pair of pants, the lower extremities of which are thrust into a pair of boots covered with mud from toe to top, and a "shocking bad hat." You may judge from this that I have arrived at my place of destination. Yes, here I am in Yreka City--a city set under a hill, consequently hid from view until you come slap upon it.
I have arrived in this "glorious country" just at the termination, I hope, of what is called starving time. For two months the inhabitants of this valley had to live upon what they termed beef straight--that is, beef alone, without salt or pepper; bread, butter, sugar, tea or coffee, for six weeks. There was not a pound of flour to be had for love or money. The first that came in sold for $1.25 per lb., nominally, but in reality about two dollars, for there was a good share of the flour sticking to the sack, caused by being wet during transportation. Salt has been sold for $4 per oz. The first coffee and sugar for $2 per lb. A merchant from this place went to meet a train for the purpose of making purchases before its arrival, and fell in with it on the top of Siskiyou Mountain, a distance of thirty-five miles from this place, and bought two hundred pounds of tobacco, for which he paid $1,000 cash. It retailed for ten dollars per pound. You may judge how miners have fared, many of them emigrants who came in with their families last fall. It was a long-faced community during the time the snow was on the ground, which fell two and a half feet deep. It was almost impossible to get out of the valley. Beef is thirty-five cents; it is much better than that quarter you saw hanging in the garret at -- --. This is a good grazing country. But to return to the starving subject; we have had no bread today, but not quite as bad as in the winter; there is coffee, sugar, &c. A Spanish train came in this evening loaded with flour, so the prospect is fair for tomorrow; it sells, however, at $1 per pound.
I engaged in "packing" a shovel and pick to the mines--begged and obtained leave from a benevolent individual to throw dirt into his "tom" (a machine used now for washing) for which I receive one-third of the precious metal that may be found in the box at night; consequently I am this evening devilish tired, cursed stiff, and my hands blistered like--.
We have had for the last few days clear, bright weather--broiling hot. I will not tell you how much I have averaged per day since I commenced business--wait until I write again. Miners here are making from their board to sixteen dollars per day; more average the former than the latter. Water is rather scarce; it has been brought in several miles by ditching companies who, as a matter of course, tax the miners for the use of it. There has been considerable excitement about Althouse Creek--new diggings discovered there last winter; there are a great many people there.
Col. Chapman has distinguished himself in this section. You remember a mail contract was made to carry the mail from Canyonville to Yreka, and it seems Chapman put in the lowest bid by some three thousand dollars, which was two thousand dollars--although it is the general opinion by those living along the road that the service cannot be performed for less than three thousand dollars actual cost. Well, Chapman got the contract--re-let it to some poor devil in the valley for $1200, and he [to] furnish his own horse &c. He made one trip, run in debt for his hotel bills on the road--brought the mail to Yreka; found no P.O. (Whose fault is this? Kinney was appointed P.M. at Jacksonville, and received no blanks, instructions or keys) and returned with the bag, which was unopened after he left Dardanelles. He made the trip in about a month's time, although it is a semi-monthly mail route, and then quit; so the people are about as well off as though no contract had been let. I must go to bed. I wish I had a piece of bread, for the infernal greasy meat rises on my stomach as though I had swallowed a sausage shop. Don't fail to write, and send me a package of Statesmans.
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, April 23, 1853, page 2
In Jacksonville, on the 21st instant, by Justice J. H. Knowles, Mr. Thomas Gaffney to Miss Martha A. McCoun.
Sacramento Daily Union, May 9, 1853, page 3
From the South--All Awake!
Mr. Hereford, of Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express, arrived yesterday, the 6th, from Jacksonville. We are indebted to him for special favors. He reports the health in that section to be good. Miners were doing moderately well. Chauncey Nye & Co. had a streak of luck in the shape of an $800 lump, at one pop. Provisions are reported plenty and low. Flour was 20¢ per lb.; sugar 35¢; coffee 40¢; beef 25 to 30¢ per lb. at Jacksonville. At Althouse flour was 18¢ per lb.
The following letter from an esteemed friend will show how political affairs are there:
Jacksonville, OregonEd. Times:--The last express brought us the proceedings of the Democratic Convention, which has produced no little excitement in this vicinity. While the name selected by that convention for the standard bearer of the Democracy of Oregon will receive the most cordial support of the Democracy of this county, it is, I must say, rather unpopular with the Whigs, who are determined to beat him if possible. Accordingly, a letter has already been addressed to a Mr. A. A. Skinner of this county, asking him to become the "people's candidate" against Jo Lane, the Democratic candidate. Who are these men who are so anxious to bring out a people's candidate? They are Whigs to a man! Then why not be honest and call the candidate by the true name--the Whig candidate. This people's ticket is nothing but a gull--but it is too plain a cheat not to be seen. Whigs may bring out as many people's candidates as they please, but few Democrats, I ween, will be caught in the snare. The nomination of Jo Lane is hailed with joy by the Democracy of this county, and he will receive their most cordial and enthusiastic support. The Whigs will vote against him, of course, but he will as surely be elected as the sun will rise on the morn of the first Monday in June and cast its rays o'er Democratic Oregon. Let but the north and the center do their duty, you rest assured the south will not be behind. You may set down this county five hundred majority for Gen. Lane, notwithstanding the people's candidate has his residence here. We are going to work in right good earnest, and if Jackson County don't get the banner I shall be greatly mistaken.
April 25th, 1853
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, May 7, 1853, page 2
Reported Rich Discoveries on the Umpqua [sic].
We learn from Mr. Burke, who came [as a] passenger on the schooner Ortoleon, from Umpqua River, that rich new diggings had been discovered about the 15th of April at Jacksonville and Rogue River Valley, where they have been taking out lumps worth from $300 to $900 each. All the miners in that section of the country are doing very well; many are flocking to the new diggings. Everything is quiet, and no danger apprehended from the Indians, as there are but a few left in that neighborhood. The roads are in good condition and provisions plenty. Flour was selling at Jackson [sic] for 22 cents per pound; beef from 30 to 35 cents. The Ortoleon brought down about $20,000 in the hands of passengers.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, May 13, 1853, page 2
A writer from Jacksonville, O.T., to the Courier says:
Unfortunately in this immediate vicinity water is failing rapidly. In Rich Gulch, where tens of thousands have been taken out this year, and where new and rich diggings have been discovered, miners will not have water over a fortnight. In the new diggings, six men took out on Sunday last within a fraction of $500. What has been taken since is a mystery. Applegate and Althouse creeks and Sailor Diggings are well supplied the year round with water, and you may be on the lookout for many a big lump from these placers, as well as numerous little ones of the same family. I have heard of extensive placer and bank diggings some two days' mule travel north of this, on Grave Creek, yielding from $50 to $200 per day to the tom.
Sacramento Daily Union, May 16, 1853, page 2
The annexed paragraphs are from the Oregonian:
LATE FROM THE MINES.--Mr. Hereford, of Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express, is just in from the mines, and reports that miners are doing well. Provisions are plenty and cheap--flour is selling at 20¢ per lb. in Jacksonville and 18¢ at Althouse. Sugar 35-40¢, beef 25-30¢, pork and bacon 75¢. The health of the country is good. Indians peaceable.
"From Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, May 19, 1853, page 2
FROM THE MINES.--Mr. Hereford, of the Express, just in from Jacksonville, reports that the miners are doing well. One lump of over $800 has recently been taken out. A great reduction had taken place in the price of provisions. Flour was selling at 20 cents per lb. at Jacksonville and 18 at Althouse; sugar 35, coffee 40 &c.--Statesman, May 14th.
"From Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, May 20, 1853, page 2
Miners in Southern Oregon were doing moderately well. Chauncey Nye & Co. had a streak of luck in the shape of an $860 lump. Provisions are reported plenty and low. Flour was 20 cents per lb.; sugar, 35 cents; coffee, 40 cents; beef, 25 to 30 cents per pound at Jacksonville. At Althouse, flour was 18 cents per pound.
"From Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, May 23, 1853, page 2
In Althouse, Jackson County, O.T., lately, Philip K. Althouse, aged 24 years.
Sacramento Daily Union, May 24, 1853, page 2
OREGON.--A correspondent of the St. Louis Republican, writing from Jennyopolis, Oregon Territory, March 22, says the winter has been the hardest ever known in Oregon. It is calculated that over ten thousand head of stock died in Oregon from the severity of the winter. Oregonians never cut hay or save fodder for their stock, consequently there was no such to buy. Provisions were also very high. Flour $50, pork $75 per bbl., bacon 62½¢ per lb., potatoes $5 per bus., beef 25 to 30¢, butter $1, cheese 75¢, eggs $1, oats $5, wheat $8 &c. These were the current prices during December, January and February; all, however, had come down, except beef, which would be very high all the summer, from the want of beef cattle in Oregon. The wheat crop does not promise well, the field mice and wild geese having eaten one-half that was sowed. Flour was selling at $25 per barrel.
The health of Oregon during the winter had been bad from the various diseases of the lungs. The gold mines of Umpqua, Rogue River and Yreka, in South Oregon, were yielding well. Provisions, however, were high and scarce. A mechanic's wages in Oregon, on the average, is $4 per day, day labor $2 per day; many, however, cannot get employment and are offering to work for less. The emigration this year is expected to be large.
Buffalo Commercial, Buffalo, New York, May 27, 1853, page 2
Democratic Convention of Jackson County.
Agreeably to a public notice the Democrats of Jacksonville and vicinity associated at the "El Dorado" this 8th day of May, A.D. 1853.
On motion, A. G. Snider was called to the chair, and Lycurgus Jackson was appointed secretary.
Hon. G. E. Cole addressed the meeting in an able speech, urging the Democracy to unite in the support of Gen. Lane for delegate to Congress. He was listened to with manifest interest by a large and attentive audience.
On motion, a committee was appointed to draft resolutions expressing the sense of the meeting. The chair appointed Messrs. Cole, Frame and Hayden, who after a short absence returned, and through their chairman, Mr. Cole, reported the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
Resolved, That the nomination of Gen. Joseph Lane as candidate for delegate to Congress, by the Territorial Democratic Convention held at Salem on the 11th ultimo, meets with our entire approbation, and we pledge him our cordial and zealous support.
Resolved, That the successful efforts of Gen. Lane in the Congress of the United States, in procuring needful legislation for this Territory, and especially the passage of an act providing for a division of the Territory at the Columbia River--also an act appropriating twenty thousand dollars for the construction of a military road from Umpqua Valley to Rogue River Valley--which acts especially promote the interests of Southern Oregon--claim for him the support of the people of this county.
Resolved, That the Democracy of Gen. Lane is unquestioned, and unquestionable, while his ability is doubted only by those who have ever affected to doubt the ability of the ablest Democrats of the Union.
Resolved, That we consider the cry of "people's party" and "people's candidates" as a mere subterfuge behind which Whiggery seeks to make a successful inroad in our ranks, and to "steal the livery of Heaven to serve the devil in." We therefore warn all Democrats to give no heed to the cry.
Resolved, That the Democracy of this county have undoubted confidence in the ability and integrity of our late representative in the Territorial Legislature, Hon. John R. Hardin, believing that he labored generally to promote the interests of the country.
G. E. COLE,On motion, Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be signed by the chairman and secretary and sent to the Democratic papers of the Territory for publication.
H. P. FRAME,
N. S. HAYDEN, Com.
On motion, The meeting adjourned sine die.
A. G. SNIDER, Ch'n.Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, May 28, 1853, page 1; also Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, May 28, 1853, page 1
LYCURGUS JACKSON, Secretary
Jacksonville, May 8th, 1853.
The opposition candidate, it is conceded, would have got many more votes had he remained quietly at home. Every place he goes he loses votes. Being an amiable man without talents, he is entirely out of his element while canvassing for Congress. Reports say that he hardly says "boo" when with Lane on the stump. The Democracy of Washington County have reason to thank Skinner for his visit here.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, May 28, 1853, page 2
Later from the Mines.
(Correspondence of the Times.)
Jacksonville, May 9th, 1853.
Ed. Times: We had a meeting of the Democracy here yesterday, which passed off to the satisfaction of our friends, but was somewhat displeasing to the "people's party," who thought they had lulled Democrats to sleep by the hypocritical cry of no party. The Whigs had the cards all stacked, but just as they were going to deal themselves four aces a call was made for a new shuffle; the next hand they held "nary par," and so didn't go in. The meeting was large, some three or four hundred being present, and was addressed at length by Hon. George E. Cole, who was listened to with interest and attention. Resolutions were presented approving the nomination of Gen. Lane &c., which you will doubtless receive for publication. The Whigs looked wild at the proceedings, and began to think that when they counted on Jackson County for Whiggery, they had "reckoned without their host." Gen Lane has a host of friends here--even many of the Whigs will vote for him in preference to Skinner. Many of them don't like Skinner's timid course during the Indian difficulties here in July. While many will not vote at all for Delegate, not a few of them will vote for Gen. Lane. This "people's party" don't take well with the honest portion of the Whigs, who declare they had rather be beaten while sailing under their true colors, than succeed under false ones.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, May 28, 1853, page 3
. . . at the general election held on the 6th day of June, A. D. 1853, one William Galley received four hundred and eighty-three votes for the office of sheriff for Jackson County--the relator received four hundred and eleven votes for the same office. Subsequently, the relator contested the election of Galley, under the act of February 3rd, 1851, to provide for and regulate general elections, on the ground that Althouse, Brownsville and Sucker Creek precincts were situated south of the forty-second parallel of north latitude, and consequently not in the county of Jackson. The three justices who by the statute were authorized to decide the contest, determined, on the testimony of a sea captain, that those precincts were south of the forty-second parallel, and gave the office to the relator. The relator was then duly qualified, and entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office. By an act of Assembly, passed on the 31st day of January, 1854, the electors of Jackson County were authorized to elect a sheriff at the next election, on the 6th of June, 1854. At this, the relator and the defendant were candidates for the office of sheriff. Pyle received four hundred and eighty-nine votes; the relator three hundred and twelve votes. Pyle was duly qualified and entered upon the discharge of the duties of the office. This action was then brought by the prosecuting attorney, on the relation of Kennedy, to oust Pyle from the office.
"Territory of Oregon, ex rel. M. G. Kennedy v. Thomas Pyle," Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of the Territory of Oregon, 1862, page 149 The Territorial Supreme Court found for Pyle.
We have upon our table the first number of the long-expected Mountain Herald, published at Yreka, Siskiyou County. It is a small though spirited and in every way creditable sheet, and will prove a valuable auxiliary no doubt to our interior exchange list. It is to be published every Saturday, by Thornbury & Slade. We cordially extend a welcoming hand to our border cotemporary. The number before us contains the following items of news:
ELECTION NEWS.--The following is the result of the election in Jackson County, O.T., as far as heard from at Jacksonville, on Thursday last, at 1 o'clock.
For Delegates to Congress.
RESOURCES OF THE NORTH.--There is not, probably, a country on the face of the earth more fully blessed with resources for the production of affluence than the one in which we live. Northern California and Southern Oregon abound in one succession of mountains and valleys, the former producing auriferous deposits unsurpassed at this time including a vast extent of country north of the Sacramento Valley three hundred miles and west from the Sierra Nevada to the Pacific. The valleys abound in rich pastures whose adaptation to grazing and farming are second to none. To enumerate the different placer and other diggings in the above named district, which have long been worked by miners to handsome profits, or to portray the supreme agricultural resources of the numerous beautiful valleys which are now being so speedily settled, will be a task we will defer for the future.
It appears that, from an observation taken by Capt. Manchester, the Paragon Water Company's buildings at Sailor Diggings are in latitude of 41 deg. 55 min. Cochran's Ranch, 41 deg. 59 min. Browntown, on Althouse Creek, 41 deg. 56 min. The above places have consequently proven to be in Klamath County, California--and not in Jackson County, Oregon, as has heretofore been the supposition of many. We are indebted for this information to a gentleman of reliable integrity.
Preparations are being made by many to leave this place in a short time for the Atlantic States, across the plains, most of whom take with them considerable of the precious metal. Many are going for the purpose of returning with their families. They will also bring with them herds of cattle, horses &c. We are glad to see this--a few more years and our valley will be as thickly settled as the eastern states. Amongst them are some who were with us at the earliest settlement of this part of the country. Success to the old pioneers--all.
A company of U.S. infantry, under the command of Capt. Alden, passed through this place on their way to Scott River one day last week.
We understand that they have had new potatoes in Rogue River Valley for the last fortnight.
Sacramento Daily Union, June 15, 1853, page 2
From the South.
We are indebted to Wm. McMillan Esq. for the first election news from the south. He arrived here on Wednesday evening, seven days from Jacksonville. He reports Jackson Co. 88 maj. for Lane, Douglas 150 for Lane, Umpqua 25 maj. for Skinner. Two Democrats have been elected, certain, to the Legislature, from Jackson Co., Miller and Thorp, while Nye (Whig) and Ambrose (Dem.) are nearly tied.
T. McF. Patton, Esq. (Whig) has probably been elected Probate Judge, and Galley is elected Sheriff. He left Gen. Lane at Winchester, who will be in, probably, today.
Mr. McMillan informs us that Mr. Knott (well known here) was in custody for having, on election day, shot a man in the neck, by the name of Hill. Hill, it was thought, would not recover. The affair was occasioned, it is said, by an old grudge between the parties.
The miners at Althouse were doing very well--better than heretofore. Provisions were plenty--prices reasonable.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, June 18, 1853, page 2
Notice to Settlers in Oregon.
Claiming the benefits of the Donation Law of 27th September, 1850.
Department of the Interior,1. Under the provisions of the act of Congress, approved February 14th, 1853, entitled "an act to amend an act entitled, 'an act to create the office of Surveyor General of the public lands in Oregon, and to provide for the survey, and to make donations to the settlers of the said public lands,' approved September 27th, 1850," the time allowed for making settlements in Oregon, (including the Territory of Washington, since established), under the terms of the fifth section of the act of 27th September, 1850, is extended from the 1st December, 1853, to the 1st December, 1855.
Gen'l. Land Office, April 30, '53
2. The original act provided that a patent shall not be issued to a donation claimant until after he shall have occupied and cultivated the land for a term of four consecutive years; whereas the amended act provides that after having occupied and cultivated the same for two consecutive years, the settler may obtain a patent by paying for the land at the rate of a dollar and a quarter per acre.
3. Settlers on surveyed public lands in the Territories of Oregon and Washington are required to give notice thereof to the Surveyor General, according to the prescriptions in the act of 27th September, 1850, concerning which instructions have heretofore been given; but under the late amended act, settlers on lands not yet surveyed must file their "notifications" of the same with the Surveyor General on, or prior to, the 1st December, 1853; and settlers on surveyed lands, claiming under the provisions of the fifth section of the act of 27th September, 1850, must file their notifications of settlement as aforesaid, on or prior to 1st April, 1855.
Failure to file such notice as aforesaid will, in either case, operate as a forfeiture of the claim.
4. The particular form of settler's notice is not material. Printed blanks, however, will be furnished by the Surveyor General on application. The facts in regard to the settlement are all to be substantially set forth, viz., the settler's name; when he arrived in the Territory; whether a married or single man; if married, the name of his wife, and names of his children or "heirs-at-law," if any; the date of commencement of his settlement; the location, as precisely as it can be described and identified in respect to adjacent natural objects and the claims of others.
5. In case of the death of a settler (a married man), after having filed his "notification" with the Surveyor General, and at any time prior to the expiration of the four years' continued occupation and cultivation of the land, as required by the act of 27th September, 1850, all the rights of the deceased "descend to the heirs-at-law of such settler, including the widow, where one is left, in equal parts, and proof of compliance with the conditions of the act up to the time of the death of such settler shall be sufficient to entitle them to the patent."
6. In the event that the wife of a settler should die after settlement (and notification of her claim has been filed with the Surveyor General) at any time within the four years' continued occupation and cultivation required by law, the right of the decedent inures to the husband and children in equal proportions and in that case the land of the deceased can be paid for at once.
7. The act of 27th September, 1850 (sec.4.), grants to every white settler or occupant of public lands then residing in Oregon, or who shall reside therein before 1st December, 1850, 320 acres to himself, and a like quantity to his wife, if married, and half that quantity is granted by the 5th section to a married man and his wife who settled, or shall settle, between the 1st December, 1850, and 1st December, 1853, since extended to 1st December, 1855. In either case the patent for the wife's share, when liable to be issued by law, will be in her name.
RIGHTS OF WIDOWS CLAIMING IN THEIR OWN RIGHT.8. It has already been decided that a widow being "a settler and occupant" on the public lands, on or prior to 1st December, 1850, is included within the general provisions of the act of 27th September, 1850, made for "every settler or occupant," and that she may therefore claim as such, in her own right, under the terms of the law.
9. The act of 14th February, 1853, however, makes provision for two other classes of widows in the following terms, to wit.
"Section 8. And be it further enacted, That each widow now residing in Oregon Territory, and such others as shall located in said Territory, whose husband, had he lived, would have been entitled to a claim under the provisions of the act to which this is an amendment, shall be entitled, under the provisions and requirements of said act, to the same quantity of land that she would have been but for the death of her husband; and that in case of the death of the widow prior to the expiration of the four years' continued possession required by said act to which this is an amendment, all the rights of the deceased shall inure unto, and be vested in, the heirs-at-law of such widow."
This enactment provides for widows residing in the Territory on 14th February, 1853 (the date of the act), and also for such others "as shall locate" in the Territory, whose husbands, had they lived, would have been entitled to a "claim" under the provisions of the act of 27th September, 1850. In both cases the husband did not live to make a claim; in the first case he is regarded as having died in Oregon; and in the second, to have been in actual course of emigration thither for the purpose of making a claim, and to have died on the way, leaving a wife to enter the Territory as a widow. Had the husband, in either case, lived to make a claim to a quarter section, or 160 acres, in his own right, he would have been entitled to receive a patent for it after having occupied and cultivated the land for four consecutive years; and under the act of 14th February, 1853, he would have had the additional privilege of acquiring title by making payment to the Surveyor General for the land at $1.25 per acre, after having occupied and cultivated it for two consecutive years. All of these privileges are now made to inure to the widow. She may either acquire a patent by occupying and cultivating the land for four years, or by paying for it as aforesaid after two years' occupation and cultivation. After having made known her claim, according to law and instructions, should she die before the expiration of the four years, "all the rights of the deceased shall inure unto, and be vested in, the heirs-at-law of such widow," who may acquire title either by continued occupancy and cultivation, or by payment, as the widow, had she lived, would have been permitted to do. To secure the privilege of making a claim under the law, a woman, alleging herself to be a widow, and so entitled, must file with the Surveyor General her solemn declaration before a magistrate, judge, or other officer, having authority to receive such declaration (or such declaration may be made before the Surveyor General), setting forth circumstantially the facts of her case, to wit, the object her husband had in view in emigrating to Oregon; the particulars attending his death; whereabouts he died; and if on the way to Oregon, how many days' travel from the States; the number and names of her children, if any, and the time when she entered Oregon west of the Cascade Mountains, and any other particulars she may see proper to give; all of which to be sustained by the solemn declaration, oath, or affirmation of such witness or witnesses as she can adduce, and the same to be given with minuteness sufficient to satisfy the Surveyor General; and, in connection with such evidence of right, the widow may be permitted to file her "notification" of claim in the form heretofore prescribed, or indeed, otherwise, if more convenient, in the same manner her husband, had he lived, would have been permitted to do.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, June 25, 1853, page 2
The Mountain Herald of the 18th says that the emigrant road from the Humboldt to Yreka is the nearest and best way into the beautiful valleys of Shasta, Scott and Rogue rivers.
An Indian called Old Taylor, brother to Joe and Sam of Rogue River Valley, was hung lately for assisting in the murder of several white men.
A young man, name unknown, was shot last week by the Indians between Althouse and Jacksonville. The wound, although severe, is not mortal.
"Siskiyou," Sacramento Daily Union, June 27, 1853, page 3
Indian Difficulties in Rogue River.
June 18, '53.
Friend Bush.--The Indians on Grave Creek are hostile and are on the watch for whites along the trails. There is no danger for parties of three and four strong to pass, but for one alone, there is. Old Taylor, the chief, and two others, were hung a few days since. Yesterday another marched up to the rope. There is a party of whites forty strong, under Capt. Bates, in hot pursuit of the villains. The Grave Creek Indians must die.
Taylor and party killed seven whites last winter, and then reported them drowned in Rogue River during the storm, for which a portion of this tribe have paid the popular penalty. One white was slightly wounded.
The rumor of white women being near Table Rock in charge of Indians is generally believed--though nothing of importance has been elicited to place the matter beyond doubt. The party of whites who went out to ascertain who and where they were came back without them, and without any information, other than that concerning their own acts. They killed six Indians when out.
Yours, Z.Oregon Statesman, Salem, June 28, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, June 24, 1853.
Ed. Statesman:--The citizens of the "State of Jackson" have concluded to celebrate the coming anniversary of our national independence, and have selected the following officers: Reader of the Declaration of Independence, Hon. John R. Hardin. Reader of the poem, T. McF. Patton. Orator of the day, Hon. G. E. Cole. President, A. G. Snider, esq. Vice presidents, Chauncey Nye, John F. Miller, George H. Ambrose, Dr. E. H. Cleveland, A. Waterman. Readers of toasts, Hon. E. J. Curtis, T. McF. Patton. Marshals, J. Wells and S. Fargo. Dinner to be prepared by Dr. Robinson, of the "Robinson House." Ball to be given at the Robinson House in the evening.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 5, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, June 23rd.
Friend Bush.--I arrived here last night on my way to Scotts Valley. There seems to be little of interest here. Goods are plenty and low, except whiskey, and that stubbornly refuses to come down, though a goodly quantity of it continues to go down. Miners are doing about as usual--some well, some tolerable, and some nothing at all.
I understand Hardin & Cole ("George") have got up what they style a "4th of July celebration," in which their names will figure prominently, great care being taken to have the "Hon." prefixed, like the pretended "Democratic meetings" in this county before the election, the "proceedings" of which were published in your paper. Like this celebration, they were got up by the aforesaid "Hons." for their self-glorification. They blow each other's horn besides each blowing his own. The old game of "you tickle me and I'll tickle you," with the addition of each tickling himself. Well, it's well they praise themselves, for, from what I hear, they could get nobody else in this region to do it. Though they deserve your praise, for they aid the Statesman as much as possible by abusing and falsifying it and its friends.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 5, 1853, page 2
The Mountain Herald of June 26th furnishes us with the following news from Yreka:
We were shown by a gentleman from Rogue River Valley new potatoes and onions as large as they generally get to be in the States. They will certainly be very large and fine when they are done growing. We are informed that the market in Jacksonville has been supplied with these substantial vegetables for the last three weeks.
The Rogue River Valley is a beautiful country, the mountain scenery is grand and picturesque, and the soil rich and productive. There are many fine and substantial improvements in the way of farming being made, and you can hear the merry glee of the happy and industrious farmer mingled with the sound of the shovel and the pick and the clank of the crowbar as the miner turns over the large boulder in the bed of which he finds the precious ore.
"Yreka," Sacramento Daily Union, July 2, 1853, page 3
The Mountain Herald of the 9th inst. says that the farmers in Rogue River, Applegate, Scott and Shasta valleys have been cutting grain for several days.
"Yreka," Sacramento Daily Union, July 18, 1853, page 2
In Portland, O.T., June 18, by Rev. P. G. Buchanan, Mr. David Birdseye, of Jacksonville, to Miss Clara Fleming, of Portland.
Sacramento Daily Union, July 19, 1853, page 2
(Correspondence of the Oregon Statesman.)
Jacksonville, July 7, 1853.
Happening in here, I will give you an item or two of news. The 4th of July celebration I mentioned before flattened out. The self-dubbed "Hons." couldn't find anybody to attend their demonstration, and hence didn't make any. "George" was repudiated as orator, and not permitted to indulge his itching to "speak in public on the stage." The "reader of the declaration" evaporated, and the renowned "reader of the poem" contented himself with chanting a love lay in private. Thus the bottom fell clean out of this most splendid arrangement. Alas! poor "George"!! When will you become distinguished? Stark promised the time should come ere this when you sold (he was also "sold" in receive you into the Whig style) out to him, but the day of renown to you seems to be farther in the impenetrable future than ever. You never will become noted until you adopt "Looker On's" advice, and turn your attention to peddling tape or teaching urchins. There is no use of working against the designs of nature. It is not unlikely that you mought succeed in those vocations.
The young man ("George") itched dreadfully to get back to the Legislature. I learn from unmistakable sources that he beseeched leading Whigs to support him as a neutral candidate, saying he was not a party man, and that he was down awful on the Durham Democracy. But it was no go. They didn't like so small a pattern in the way of brains as he was, to begin with, and next, they didn't like to trust a traitor. Oh! tenas ["small," "young"] "George" the bright visions of a "splendid future" painted (daubed on) by Stark have all vanished. You sold yourself for a "mess of pottage" (seasoned with a few bottles of Stark's brandy), and those who purchased you paid too high a price at that.
Hardin was not present at the election, and gave Lane a very cold support during the canvass, if any at all.
Mining dull, trade ditto; gambling moderate; drinking brisk; amusements, halo ["none"], unless you call an occasional stag dance amusement.
Yours, QUARTZ.Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 26, 1853, page 2
MINING IN THE NORTH.--We learn from the Yuba Herald that on Althouse Creek, one company had worked one afternoon in the bed of the creek, and found dirt that paid $50 per pan. Other persons are taking out from $3 to $5 per day. At Smith's River the miners were generally doing well. At Democratic Gulch they had struck a new lead, and were making money fast. At Salmon Creek they were doing but moderately well. Quite an immigration had taken place there.
The Shasta Courier learns that new and rich diggings have been discovered on the Umpqua River, about 20 miles north of the town of the same name. They were yielding, according to report, about $1 to the panful of dirt.
THE GOLD DISCOVERIES AT PORT ORFORD.--From information of a private nature which we have received, by a late arrival from Port Orford, we are led to believe that the stories of rich gold discoveries on the seashore at that place are by no means unfounded. We are positively assured that diggings have been commenced and carried on with the most satisfactory results in the sand of the beach at the foot of a bluff near Port Orford. Two men took out seventy-five dollars on the day before our information was posted. The gold is extremely fine, and mixed with platina. How far the diggings extend is not yet ascertained. It appears that several parties are endeavoring to keep down excitement on the subject in this city, in order to prevent goods being shipped until a large stock on hand, at last accounts, could be disposed of.
"Later from California," Albany Evening Journal, Albany, New York, August 24, 1853, page 2
Interesting from Oregon.We have papers from Oregon to the 25th of July.
The official returns of the late election for delegate to Congress show a majority of 1,583 for General Lane. The whole number of votes cast was 7,507. For Prosecuting Attorneys, Sims is elected in the First district by 46 majority; Boise in the Second, by 1,179 majority; and Campbell in the Third, by 20 majority.
RAPID INCREASE OF VOTERS.--In 1849, the total vote cast in the Territory for delegate to Congress was but 981; in 1851 it had increased to 2,532, and in 1853 to 7,507. The following was the total vote cast by the several counties at the election just held:--Linn, 730; Umpqua, 223; Benton, 323; Lane, 389; Yamhill, 616; Clackamas, 898; Marion, 1,010; Clatsop, 202; Jackson, 1,191; Washington, 1,127; Polk, 453; Douglas, 306.
* * *The miners in the southern part of the Territory are said to be generally doing well. Trade at Yreka, Jacksonville and Althouse is very dull. The supply of goods is large, and numerous pack trains are "laying up." The merchants are looking forward to the expected immigration to relieve them.
DISCOVERY OF A NEW BAY--MORE COAL.--A Mr. Sherman, recently arrived at Salem from the south, with a pack train, reports the discovery of a new and important bay, about ten miles north of the mouth of the Coquille River. It is called Coos Bay. Mr. Sherman was employed to pack provisions there, and, with about forty others, made the trip from Grave Creek, finding a practicable route. The Indians reported that a vessel had been in there two days previous to the arrival of Mr. Sherman's party. The most of the party remained for the purpose of making improvements and permanent settlement. A heavy deposit of coal, a specimen of which Mr. Sherman brought in, was discovered a short distance from the bay. It burns freely, and emits no disagreeable odor.
INDIAN DIFFICULTIES ON ROGUE RIVER.--A correspondent of the Statesman, writing from Rogue's River, under date of June 18, says the Indians on
Grave Creek are on the watch for whites along the trails. There is no danger for parties of three and four strong to pass, but for one alone, there is. Old Taylor, the chief, and two others were hung a few days since. Yesterday another marched up to the rope. There is a party of whites forty strong, under Capt. Bates, in hot pursuit of the villains. The Grave Creek Indians must die.
Taylor and party killed seven whites last winter, and then reported them drowned in Rogue River during the storm, for which a portion of his tribe have paid the popular penalty. One white was slightly wounded.
The rumor of white women being near Table Rock in charge of Indians is generally believed--though nothing of importance has been elicited to place the matter beyond doubt. The party of whites who went out to ascertain who and where they were, came back without them and without any information, other than that concerning their own acts. They killed six Indians when out.
New York Herald, August 25, 1853, page 2
YREKA, Aug. 6.--Business has been rather dull during the week. Trains are constantly arriving from Shasta, Red Bluff and other places south, as well as Crescent City and Scottsburg north. Some vegetables have also arrived from Rogue River and Scotts Valley. We understand that oats have been selling in Rogue River Valley at $2.50 per bushel, and potatoes at 8¢ per pound. Flour is advancing. Groceries are on the rise.--Mountain Herald.
"Commercial," Sacramento Daily Union, August 13, 1853, page 2
Yet I often, nay daily, cry to Him for more laborers who can give themselves to the ministry of the Word, in the most liberal sense, to every good work. In this I must not fail to request the Board to appoint Rev. Jas. S. Read their missionary to Table Rock Church and town, more generally known by the name of Jacksonville, the seat of justice for [Jackson] County, lying in Rogue River Valley. This valley contains about the amount of six townships of farming prairie land, about half of which is exceedingly rich and fertile; the remainder is comparatively unfit for cultivation. Portions of the hill and mountain sides afford good grazing six or eight months in the year, while other portions are sterile, except that here and there a solitary, long-leafed pine towers above a scattered growth of chaparral and manzanita, sure index of desert land. But through all these mountains are deposited by the Master hand rich treasures of gold, and thousands of our countrymen are here employed in digging and washing it from the otherwise almost valueless earth. In this place Br. Read found a number of valuable brethren last Oct. or Nov., who solicited his sojourn with them through the winter. In May he organized a church of twelve, including himself. The members of the church, without exception, are among the most influential citizens in the county and seem to understand remarkably well for a new settlement the duties and responsibilities of a church. At present there is no other minister of any order in the county. Br. Read's influence with the citizens and miners is decidedly good. The church are about building a meetinghouse in Table Rock or Jacksonville, as it is called this season. Have agreed to raise $250 for Br. Read's support and say they intend to make it $300. Br. Clinton says he will give him his board and washing and furnish him his horse to ride for the year for his part. The church evinces a true missionary spirit. Were the church supplied with a house of worship and their own houses and barns built, as is the case with churches in older countries, they say they could support their own minister. I think Br. Read needs $700 salary in order to sustain him in the place. Provisions and clothing are at least 50 percent higher than at Oregon City.
I cannot predict what will be the final result of the mining business but it will pay large wages to the laborer for years to come. I think it would be a judicious arrangement to appropriate $300 or $400 to Br. Read's support for one year in Table Rock and vicinity. Our new counties are more fluctuating than older, yet there is an appearance of stability sufficient to warrant the appropriation. The principal drawbacks to the hope of usefulness will be the instability of the mining part of the population. Yet the agricultural interests, and even manufacturing interests, will be stable, should the mines fail.
Letter of Ezra Fisher to Benjamin H. Hill, American Baptist Home Mission Society, August 10, 1853, in Correspondence of the Reverend Ezra Fisher, , pages 402-403
From the Rogue River Country.
Adams & Co.'s messenger, direct from Jacksonville, informs us of a general outbreak of the Rogue River Valley Indians.
On Thursday, the 6th inst., a young man by the name of Edwards was brutally murdered within three miles of the Indian agency. On Friday Mr. Thomas Wills, a highly respected merchant of Jacksonville, was shot by an Indian within half a mile of the town. Several other murders had been committed near the town. The Indians also plundered their victims. A battle had taken place near the Mountain House, between some whites and Indians. Several of the latter were killed. The miners are banding together for protection, and have called upon the troops at Fort Jones to render them assistance.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 13, 1853, page 2
MILITARY ROAD.--Maj. Alvord of the U.S.A., who has been appointed by the Executive of the United States to survey and open the road from the mouth of Myrtle Creek, Umpqua County, to Camp Stuart on Rogue River, has gone to the southern portion of Oregon for the purpose of commencing operations, and will, no doubt, push the work forward with all possible dispatch.
Sacramento Daily Union, August 18, 1853, page 2
From the South.
We learn from Mr. Burpee, lately in from the mines, that the mining business is rather dull just at this time, on account of the great lack of water. Miners are extensively engaged in prospecting for winter diggings. Provisions plenty and health good. The Indians in Rogue River Valley are peaceable and exhibit no inclination to disturb the settlers. But the Grave Creek Indians have lately been guilty of attacking small parties of whites and robbing them of whatever they might have in possession. About three weeks since they fell upon a farm house a short distance south of the Canyon and destroyed it, killing two men whose names we have not learned.
The Grave Creek Indians ought to be exterminated. They consist of the outlawed remnants of the Umpqua, Rogue River and Shasta tribes, who have possessed themselves of the inaccessible mountain bluffs between Rogue River and Grave Creek in the southern part of this territory near the California trail, from whence they descend upon the unarmed traveler or unprotected settler, robbing him of his property and often taking life. Grave Creek received its name from the numerous murders of whites going from Oregon to California to the mines in 1849 and 1850 at the hands of these savages. [Not true.]
They are treacherous, merciless and cowardly, and have always been troublesome. They should be dealt with.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 16, 1853, page 2
Indian War in Rogue River
Threatened Extermination of the Whites in that Quarter--
Several Hundred Indians in Arms--John R. Hardin, Dr. Rose and Several Others Killed--
Dwellings Burned, Stock Killed, and Property Destroyed.
Mr. S. Ettlinger arrived in this place Friday night, four days from Jacksonville, bringing accounts of the general uprising of the Indians of that quarter with the avowed determination to exterminate the whites and regain possession of the country. Several persons have been killed, and others wounded, many dwellings burned, a large quantity of stock killed, and other property destroyed. Among the persons killed are John R. Hardin, last year Representative from Jackson County, and Dr. Rose, generally known to the citizens of this valley. Mr. Ettlinger was formerly engaged in business in Portland, and is well known to the people of this part of Oregon as an entirely reliable gentleman.
He was sent through for aid and has now gone to Fort Vancouver for arms and ammunition. He expects to be here today with two field pieces and such small arms and ammunition as he can procure. He brings letters from Capt. Alden, of Fort Jones, Scotts Valley, now commanding the volunteer forces in Rogue River, Gen. Lane, and others. From Mr. Ettlinger we obtain the following full particulars:
On the 8th inst., Mr. Edwards was murdered in his cabin, four miles from Jacksonville, by the Indians, and this act was followed by general demonstrations of hostility. On the 12th, a small party of men, commanded by Capt. Griffin, were attacked on Applegate Creek by 200 or 300 Indians lying in ambush. After endeavoring for a short time to maintain the unequal contest, Capt. Griffin and his party retreated, with the loss of one man killed and two wounded. They fired upon the Indians in their hiding places, but were unable to see whether with effect or not.
A dispatch was immediately sent to Capt. Alden, commanding at Fort Jones, Scotts Valley, for aid. He hastened to their relief with ten men (U.S. troops), 50 stand of arms, and 600 rounds of cartridges. A considerable number of volunteers have been raised, and placed under the command of Capt. Alden. They are at present encamped near Willow Springs.
The miners who can raise arms and ammunition have gone out hunting Indians. Capt. Lamerick, distinguished informer difficulties, has a company of 10 men.
The Indians are well armed, and have plenty of ammunition. They have long been trading with the miners and emigrants for rifles, muskets, pistols, powder, lead &c. Some 300 or 400 of them are at Table Rock, where young Stuart was killed two years since. They have good natural fortification there, and besides have dug a ditch and constructed a wall of earth and rock. They are headed by "Sam," "Joe" and "Jim," who declare they will fight there till the last Indian is dead, if they are not victorious.
Arms and ammunition are wanted to drive them from this place, and to scour the whole country. The people there now demand an extermination of the hostile Indians, and are resolved not to stop short of it. Indians are shot down wherever they are found. Martin Angel, late of Oregon City, shot one from his door the day Mr. E. left. He says he saw not less than ten or twelve bodies of Indians lying by the side of the road leading from Jacksonville north.
The Indians keep themselves secreted as much as possible, and are never seen in large parties. They lie in ambush, and issue out to attack and murder small parties of whites, burn undefended dwellings, kill stock, destroy crops and other property. It is said the Klamath, Snake, Shasta, Rogue River and Smith River Indians have united for the avowed purpose of exterminating the whites.
The whites stand greatly in need of arms and ammunition. Many of their muskets are required to defend dwellings and families. As soon as a dwelling is left unprotected it is burned and its inmates, if any, murdered. Ten houses were burned between Jacksonville and the Fort [Fort Dardanelles], a distance of ten miles, the night before Mr. Ettlinger left. Many of the families have moved in to Jacksonville.
From 15 to 20 whites had been killed and wounded when Mr. E. left. Mr. Thomas Wills, of the firm of Wills, Kyle & Co., merchants of Jacksonville, was shot just in the edge of the town. A miner by the name of Noland was killed. These, with Jno. R. Hardin and Dr. Rose, are the only names of the killed we can learn.
Hardin and Rose were killed as follows: They belonged to a company of volunteers which had been camped at Willow Springs; towards evening about a dozen of them started for the Fort. Hardin, Rose and one other man were riding by themselves, while T'Vault and the rest of the party had taken another road. About a mile from the Fort, the three were fired on by Indians in ambush, and Rose instantly killed and Hardin shot through the hips with a rifle ball. The third man was not wounded. Hardin kept his horse until the rest of the party, who heard the crack of the rifles, come up, and lived 11 hours, suffering the most intense agony. No Indians were seen by him. The party come in for help, and returning found Dr. Rose's body stripped, his throat cut in two places, one eye gouged out and his person horribly disfigured. He had about 600 dollars, which with his horse was stolen.
Mr. Ettlinger and others went to the camp for assistance the night Hardin and Rose were killed. He says the timber for eight or nine miles was fired along the road, so that it was as light as day. The Indians were secreted behind the burning timber, and occasionally discharged a shower of arrows at them, but hit no one.
Mr. Ettlinger has an order from Capt. Alden for two field pieces, and such small arms and ammunition as can be spared from Fort Vancouver. He says they have men enough, but want arms. Mining is entirely suspended.
A white man named Brown fired on one of "Jim's" Indians (supposed to be a son of that chief), whom he found upon the road alone, and scalped him. The Indian underwent the operation of scalping without flinching or exhibiting signs of life, and was left for dead. But Brown had not got out of sight with his scalp before Mr. Indian jumped up and traveled, having been stunned or playing possum--it was supposed the latter.
T. McF. Patton, late of Salem, was hit in the hat and lapel of his coat, by balls, but not hurt.
Three white men were arrested on Applegate Creek and brought into headquarters charged with furnishing the Indians arms and ammunition for the purpose of attack upon the whites. Three men living with squaws were also brought in charged with furnishing the Indians arms and instructions. They were to be tried soon after Mr. Ettlinger left.
Upon being informed of the difficulties by Mr. E., Gen. Lane instantly resolved to go, and in five minutes was making preparation. He raised a company of about 50 men, and is probably now in Rogue River.
James Clugage came as far as Umpqua with Mr. E. for the purpose of getting the Klickitat Indians to go out and fight the others. It was not decided whether they would go or not.
Mr. E. left the Calapooia Mountains Friday morning, and rode one horse to Salem, a distance of 80 miles, arriving here a little after 5 o'clock the same day. He complains that the people along the road would not furnish him a fresh horse.
The following letter was addressed to acting Gov. Curry:
Headquarters, Commissioners' Office,To his excellency, the Governor of Oregon:
Jacksonville, Aug. 14, 1853.
At a meeting of the board of commissioners, I am instructed to inform you that war exists between us and the Indians of this valley, who are (as we are informed) in league with the Indians of Klamath Lake, Snake River and Shasta Indians, for the purpose, as they affirm, of the extermination of the whites of the Rogue River Valley. They have already killed and wounded several of our citizens, killed our cattle and destroyed our dwellings.
Capt. B. R. Alden, of the 4th U.S. Infantry, from Fort Jones, Scotts Valley, with a small detachment is here by request. Enrolled two companies of volunteers, and in obedience to the wish of our citizens he takes the command. And now a considerable division is encamped on Applegate Creek, where we daily expect an engagement. Another division to reconnoiter and hold in check a large party of the Indians in a camp near Table Rock, with a small party to protect our town. We would request your excellency to procure from Fort Vancouver one small howitzer, together with some small arms, and enroll a sufficient detachment of men to guard them through. These requisitions we hope you will send at once to Capt. B. R. Alden, who is in command with 200 volunteers.
With the greatest respect, yours,On the back of the letter was the following:
Sec., Board of Commissioners.
EDWARD SHEIL, President.
"I would consider it very requisite that a howitzer with ammunition, fifty muskets and some 3000 rounds of ammunition be sent to the valley.
"B. R. ALDEN,By Mr. Ettlinger we receive the following note from Gen. Lane:
"Capt. 4th Infantry."
Winchester, Aug. 17, 1853.Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 23, 1853, page 2
Dear Bush:--At 1 o'clock this morning I received by express per Mr. Ettlinger a letter from Rogue River, confirming the news which recently reached us of war with the Indians in that vicinity, of a more serious character than any heretofore with the tribes of that quarter. Dr. Rose, Jno. R. Hardin and several others have been killed, and a large amount of property destroyed.
It is believed that the Klamath, Shasta and Rogue River tribes have united, determined to destroy the settlements, Jacksonville and all. They are, it seems, well armed, having purchased many good rifles from the miners; they have also a good supply of ammunition, consequently they are formidable. The whites on the contrary are scarce of arms and ammunition. I shall be off for the scene of troubles in a few minutes.
In great haste, your ob't. serv't.
Northern California--Cities on the Coast--Indian War in Oregon.
Crescent City, Aug. 14, 1853.Editors Alta:--Our city is steadily progressing, and whilst building is added to building, the number of our population is gradually increasing. The trail to the interior of this section and into Oregon has been much improved by work accomplished by Mr. Sloan and 12 to 15 hands for some weeks past, and everything now bids fair to continue a business so lately commenced by the merchants who began it as an almost wild tract of country and which has thus far met with almost unprecedented success. Town property is rather upon the rise, although nothing like a speculating disposition exists either with buyers or sellers. Those now in possession being willing to hold property presents one feature which denotes the permanent security of business and the ultimate prosperity of our infant city. The health of the city and vicinity is excellent, and the fresh and invigorating air from the great Pacific adds brightness to the eye and a ruddy, healthy hue to every cheek.
We have had the Active, a U.S. steamer, in our roadstead for the purpose of surveying our coast and bays, and although we have had several surveys made which were reliable, we shall very probably have in a short time an official report from the officers of that vessel.
Late arrivals from Jacksonville, Oregon, bring in intelligence of great disturbances by the Indians. It is said that the Rogue Rivers, Klamaths (of the upper country) and Shastas are combined. A number of the whites have been killed and wounded, among whom are several of my own acquaintances. Mr. Thomas Wills is said to be mortally wounded, Mr. Dunn was shot in the shoulder and wrist, Mr. Rhodes Noland was killed, besides a number of others. Mr. J. Lewis had six mules killed, besides a number of others. The citizens of southern Oregon, so uniformly taking sides with the poor persecuted Indians, have now an opportunity, in the kindness of their hearts, to render a peace offering to different tribes. Some of the Sons of America, believing that the blood of freemen called from the ground for vengeance, took their peace offerings in their hands and went to meet the savages. One of the first votaries offered upon the altar was Sam, one of the chiefs of the Rogue Rivers, and brother to Joe, the head chief. He had fortified Table Rock, and with his band awaited the attack. [Table Rock was not attacked, nor was Sam killed.] The next onslaught was to have been made upon Joe and his warriors. Should the citizens of that lovely country allow it the war will be terminated before the next spring.
This morning, our eighteen-pounder vomiting forth its volumes of fire and smoke denoted the arrival of one of your pretty vessels from San Francisco. Before the reverberations from our rocks and shores had subsided, once more was the iron-throat greeting in thunder tones the appearance of our steamer, the Hunt.
J.S.W.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 1, 1853, page 3
Northern California--Cities on the Coast--Indian War in Oregon.
Crescent City, Aug. 14, 1853.Editors Alta:--Our city is steadily progressing, and whilst building is added to building the number of our population is gradually increasing. The trail to the interior of this section and into Oregon has been much improved by work accomplished by Mr. Sloan and 12 to 15 hands, for some weeks past, and everything now bids fair to continue a business so lately commenced by the merchants, who began it in an almost wild tract of country, and which has thus far met with almost unprecedented success. Town property is rather upon the rise, although nothing like a speculating disposition exists either with buyers or sellers. Those now in possession being willing to hold property presents one feature which denotes the permanent security of business and the ultimate prosperity of our infant city. The health of the city and vicinity is excellent, and the fresh and invigorating air from the great Pacific adds brightness to the eye and a ruddy, healthy hue to every cheek.
We have bad the Active, a U.S. steamer, in our roadstead, for the purpose of surveying our coast and bays, and although we have had several surveys made which were reliable, we shall very probably have in a short time an official report from the officers of that vessel.
Late arrivals from Jacksonville, Oregon, bring in intelligence of great disturbances by the Indians. It is said that the Rogue Rivers, Klamaths (of the upper county) and Shastas are combined. A number of the whites have been killed and wounded, among whom are several of my own acquaintances. Mr. Thomas Wills is said to be mortally wounded, Mr. Dunn was shot in the shoulder and wrist, Mr. Rhodes Noland was killed besides a number of others. Mr. J. Lewis had six mules killed, besides a number of others. The citizens of Southern Oregon, so uniformly taking sides with the poor persecuted Indians, have now an opportunity, in the kindness of their hearts, to render a peace offering to different tribes. Some of the Sons of America, believing that the blood of freemen called from the ground for vengeance, took their peace offerings in their hands and went to meet the savages. One of the first votaries offered upon the altar was Sam, one of the chiefs of the Rogue Rivers, and brother to Joe, the head chief. He had fortified Table Rock, and with his band awaited the attack. The next onslaught was to have been made upon Joe and his warriors. Should the citizens of that lovely county allow it the war will be terminated before the next spring.
This morning, our eighteen-pounder vomiting forth its volumes of fire and smoke denoted the arrival of one of your pretty vessels from San Francisco. Before the reverberations from our rocks and shores had subsided, once more was the iron throat greeting in thunder tones the appearance of our steamer, the Hunt.
J.S.W.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 19, 1853, page 2
The Indian War.
A war between the whites and Indians is now raging on the borders of California and Oregon. Both parties seem determined to make it a war of extermination. Through the Yreka Herald of the 20th, it appears that the whites have a force of 250 men encamped on the 15th, six miles northeast of Jacksonville, a town in the Rogue River Valley in Oregon. It consists of the following companies: Capt. Goodall, 90 men; Capt. Miller, 70; Capt. Lamerick, 40; Capt. Elliff, 25; and Capt. Rhodes, 30. These men are all volunteers and belong to both California and Oregon. The chief in command, as we gather from the Yreka Herald, is Capt. Alden, of the U.S. Army, who is appointed colonel commanding, assisted by Col. John Ross.
The plan of operations is to harass the Indians incessantly and compel them to call in their small parties in order to concentrate. This will, to some extent, check the murderous depredations which have heretofore been carried on by these parties, and when the Indians become concentrated it will be in the power of Capt. Alden to attack them at his leisure and at advantage. Another very wise precaution has been adopted--placing the women and children in secure and well-guarded places, thus relieving the troops from the embarrassing duty of defending single and isolated families, and permitting all the men to remain in one body instead of being constantly engaged in detached service.
In another part of this paper is given the particulars of one battle, in which five gallant fellows perished. Another, and a severe one, may be looked for daily. From the spirit which animates the whites, it need not be expected that they will treat their enemies with any show of mercy. Every Indian, wherever met, will be destroyed, and no propositions of peace will receive any attention.
It is a matter of much regret--though it seems to be an authenticated fact--that several Americans are leagued with the Indians. They are renegade scoundrels, who are actuated by the hope of plunder; perhaps, by a worse passion--revenge!
Daily Evening Herald, Marysville, California, August 26, 1853, page 2
Indian Hostilities at Rogue River.
HON. J. R. HARDIN AND DR. ROSE KILLED!
DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY!
INDIANS WELL SUPPLIED.
The Whites Unprepared!
From Mr. Ettlinger, formerly of this place, who arrived four days from Jacksonville, we learn that several tribes of Indians have united--determined to exterminate the whites. Some 15 or 20 men had been killed--principally waylaid, and shot--among which we lament to learn were our friends Hon. John R. Hardin, and Dr. Rose. They were both killed at the same time--having been waylaid in the evening. Our informant was but a short distance from them when they were shot. Dr. Rose was killed instantly--Hardin was shot through the groins, and lived twelve hours after. Thos. Wills, a merchant at Jacksonville, was killed. The greatest alarm prevailed--families were moving into Jacksonville for safety, and the Indians were burning and otherwise destroying all they could find.
The Indians are well supplied with arms--the whites having unguardedly sold them a large supply of arms and ammunition, and are short of supplies. The Rogue River, Smith River, Klamath, Shasta and Snake Indians have all combined [this seems to be an exaggeration]--and have been threatening for some time--though nothing serious was at the time thought.
The Indians are strongly fortified at Table Rock, with a force of 300 warriors, and have a year's supply of provisions. Mr. Ettlinger procured one field piece, and some 150 stand of arms, at Fort Vancouver. Capt. Lamerick has a company of 50 men in the field, and Capt. Ben Wright, who chastised the Indians last fall in California, was expected in with a company from Yreka. The whites are now determined to exterminate the Indians in that vicinity, and they shoot all that they see.
Judge McF. Patton, formerly of Salem, was shot at by the Indians--one ball went through his hat, one through his coat, and another grazed his nose. He was not hurt. Nothing was being done in the mines.
Mr. Ettlinger called on Gen. Lane in the night--and in less than an hour the "Marion of the Mexican War" was on his way to the scene of trouble. He thought he would be able to raise a company to go with him. He is capable of doing Oregon good service, and his services are given for her good. Mr. Curry, Acting Governor, acted very promptly in the matter, by making requisitions for munitions of war on Fort Vancouver.
P.S.--Since the above was in type a rumor has reached us that Judge Skinner has been killed by the Indians. [Skinner was not killed.]
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, August 27, 1853, page 2
We are sorry to learn that Col. John R. Hardin, who was wounded by the Indians some time since near Jacksonville, died of his wounds on Sunday last. He leaves a young widow, and many friends, who will mourn his loss.--Mountain Herald.
Daily Evening Herald, Marysville, California, August 27, 1853, page 2
Indian Massacre--Further from the North.
The purser from the steamer Thomas Hunt arrived yesterday from Crescent City [and] gives us the following additional intelligence and confirmation of the late Indian outrages in the North:
The Indians and whites have had an engagement in Rogue River Valley, near Jacksonville, and after fighting for over three hours the whites were compelled to retreat. Both parties suffered much loss.
Amongst those that were taken prisoners was Asa Colburn, of Jacksonville, who was butchered in a most horrible manner, his legs being cut off, his entrails taken out, and his body shockingly mutilated.
Reinforcements from all quarters have been sent to the aid of the whites. A company of some thirty left Crescent City on Sunday, the 21st inst., and the citizens are forming another to leave as soon as possible.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 28, 1853, page 2
Within the last fortnight, difficulties of a serious nature have been fomented between the whites and Indians of Rogue River Valley. The Indians of this territory appear to be capable of some organization and strategy, and, on the two occasions of the surprise of an advanced party in Elk Valley, and of the late engagement near Jacksonville, have repulsed the whites with considerable loss. Any alliance which they might effect with the Klamath and Shasta tribes would render them really formidable, in view of the evidences of their exasperation and our ignorance of their interior country and force. About three or four hundred whites are already in the field, are constantly receiving reinforcements from the settlements, and appear to be actuated by the most excited sentiments of revenge, on account of the ruthless massacres and depredations of these Indians.
With the particular facts that have originally called out this expedition of war we are not acquainted, and we should be mortified to have any proof of the surmise which we have heard that its origin is a mere speculative and heartless attempt to repeat those politico-Indian wars which have been a burden to our treasury and a disgrace to the literal humanity of our government. But, apart from any particular facts, we are well convinced that wars must be the continued moral relation between the white and the Indian, and that this is but the succession of the evidence of the incorrigible antipathy of the two races. Occasions of war, we admit, are most frequently taken by the whites without justification and by virtue of their own violence, while the Indians are sometimes the party to be exclusively blamed. The nomadic habits and idle necessities of the aborigines not unfrequently induce them to the outrages of our frontier, while the settler, with a base and cowardly sense of their unprotection, and in the malice of antipathy often gives them cause for revenge and reprisal.
We sincerely trust that the present hostilities are not of that class where a few particular troubles, that would doubtless have soon subsided, or certainly would have been avenged with more discrimination and quietness, have been made occasions of warlike expeditions. We are, however, persuaded that the generality of the Indian depredations do not justify that indiscriminate and excessive punishment which attains no other end than the gratification of passion, and tends eventually to multiply and enlarge our Indian troubles.
The present difficulties in the North were considered so exigent that Gen. Hitchcock, we learn, has seen proper, without any official information of the state of affairs but from the reports in the newspapers, and from having seen in a letter from Crescent City, published yesterday, notice of official dispatches having been forwarded to him requiring assistance, to order sixty men from the Benicia Barracks to be held in readiness to embark for Fort Reading and reinforce the command at that post. These are all the available men at present to be had from the U.S. troops in this territory, though if troubles should continue, other posts will doubtless contribute a few men each to the force in the field. The above detachment will take with them all the arms to be spared, and about two hundred extra rounds of ammunition. They will be conveyed to the seat of difficulty in a day or two.
We cannot suppress a suspicion that, although there may be an inception of a serious war on the Rogue River, that the accounts from the North are to be received with some grains of allowance. Some of the Indians of that region, whom we know to be the most abjectly spiritless and cowardly of the human form, are represented to be uniting in coalitions which we know they do not dare even to contemplate. It can easily be imagined that the situation of affairs is naturally liable to the exaggerations of fear and misconception.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 30, 1853, page 2
The Portland Commercial of the 25th gives the following particulars of the Indian troubles:
The Indian Insurrection in Rogue River Valley--
Consternation Among the Inhabitants!
Late on Saturday evening last, Mr. Ettlinger arrived here direct from Jacksonville, bringing a dispatch announcing that a general outbreak had taken place among the Indian tribes in the vicinity of Rogue River. It appears that for some time past the various tribes in the vicinity of the above-named river have made great complaints, and become generally dissatisfied with the number of Bostons who were congregating on their former hunting grounds, and this dissatisfaction has sprung into a burning desire to exterminate the whites from the region of Rogue River Valley and regain their former footing and reserve that entire valley for their own use. In order the more effectually to carry out these designs, several tribes have joined, among which are the Klamath, Rogue River, Smith River and Shasta, and it is supposed that a large portion of the Snakes had also agreed to cooperate with them.
A portion of each of those tribes, to the number of about three hundred, have established their headquarters and stronghold at a point called Table Rock, said to be one of the most impregnable fortresses in the territory, and about eight miles distant from Jacksonville. If, therefore, any engagement should take place, we may presume that this fortress will be the scene of action. [The battle of Table Rock, so called, was actually fought several miles away on Evans Creek.]
At the time Mr. E. left Jacksonville, nearly twenty persons had been butchered by the Indians. Among them are Dr. Rose, J. R. Hardin, Mr. Wills, Mr. Nolan, and Mr. Smith, and the Indians had burned upwards of a dozen dwellings.
Heretofore the Snake and Rogue River Indians have never amalgamated for the purpose of acting against the whites, and if the report is true that they now have joined, it is a certain evidence that they have determined to carry on hostilities on an extensive scale, and the only effectual mode of putting a stop to their depredations is to apply a desperate remedy and teach them a similar lesson like unto that which the Cayuses have heretofore been taught by the old settlers in this valley.
Like many other tribes, the Rogue River Indians derive their name from their propensity for stealing, and their well-known predatory talents have acquired for them the unenviable title of Rogues.
We learn from the gentleman who brought the news that the Indians, during the past few weeks, killed no less than 20 miners and settlers, and that great excitement exists around and in Jacksonville, in consequence of the citizens not having ammunition enough to warrant them in commencing hostilities. Immediately on the first symptoms of a disturbance, an express was dispatched to Crescent City to procure aid and ammunition, but unfortunately there was but a small amount of the latter on hand, but that was freely given.
Upon the return of the messenger from Crescent City, a dispatch was immediately sent to the Acting Governor, G. L. Curry, praying that one hundred stand of arms and 4,000 rounds of ball cartridge be sent to the relief of the citizens. The steamer Eagle was then chartered and proceeded to Vancouver, where, through the kindness and exertion of Mr. T. J. Eckerson, the keeper of ordnance and stores, the required supplies were obtained and were landed at Oregon City on last Sunday evening. On Monday they were placed on board the Fenix and forwarded to their destination.
We learn that General Lane, at the head of seventy-five volunteers, proceeded to the scene of action immediately upon learning of the outbreak, and great praise is due to the citizens of the surrounding country for the prompt manner in which they responded to the call of their fellow citizens in Rogue River Valley.
The foregoing is all we can learn upon this subject up to the present, and our readers may rest assured that we shall keep them "posted up" in all circumstances attendant upon this outbreak, which will prove disastrous to both the whites and Indians, as it will tend to stop the trade of one party and will stop the breath of many of those engaged with the other.
SECOND DISPATCH.--Since the above was in type we learn that the Indians have added to the aggressions by brutally murdering Judge Skinner, Indian agent in that district. [Judge Alonzo A. Skinner was not murdered, nor even attacked.]
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 30, 1853, page 2
The following dispatch from the office of the Mountain Herald, Downieville, gives other particulars:
On the evening of the 11th inst., Dr. William R. Rose and John R. Hardin, while on their way to Dr. Ambrose's, from Capt. Alden's encampment on Stuart Creek, were waylaid by the Indians, and the former instantly killed and the latter dangerously, if not mortally, wounded. Dr. Rose was horribly mutilated, being found the next morning with his eyes dug out and his nose cut off. The Indians captured his rifle, revolver and clothing, together with $600 in cash.
The Indian chief, John, on Lower Applegate, says that he is backed by the Shasta tribe, and it is known that a large number of the Klamaths are also with him, together with a certain Dr. Osmond, professing to be a white man. He is known to have furnished the Indians with ammunition since hostilities have commenced.
We make the following extracts from a letter received by Mr. F. Rogers, from R. Dugan, Esq., dated Jacksonville, August 13th:
The Indians have burned down the houses of Mr. Patrick, Capt. Jones, and also that of Mr. Anderson, together with his hay and oats. Night before last they burned Mr. Griffin's house and some haystacks; they also shot some of Mr. Griffin's fine American horses. Mr. Bruce had four of his mules shot. There is a great deal of stock killed and driven off.
"From Oregon," Kentucky Statesman, Lexington, October 4, 1853, page 2
Reports and Rumors from Rogue River
Reports are constantly coming in from Rogue River of continued depredations of the Indians in that quarter. Some of them came well authenticated, and others should be received with caution. We give them as they reach us.
On Tuesday a man arrived from the south, reporting that after Mr. Ettlinger left, A. A. Skinner, recent Whig candidate for Congress, Philip O'Reilly, of this place, and several others were killed by the Indians. [They were not.] It is said that Mr. Skinner with O'Reilly went out to meet the Indians and have a talk with a view of obtaining a treaty of peace, and that when they approached within reach of their rifles, the Indians shot them. Another, who arrived on Wednesday, confirmed the statement of the killing of Skinner and others, and also brought accounts of an engagement between a party of whites under Capt. Alden and the Indians at Table Rock, in which the Indians were repulsed, with the loss of several men. [The battle of Table Rock took place near Evans Creek.] It is said that the Indians had some white women and children at Table Rock, and that Capt. Alden's party attempted to rescue them. [They had no white women or children.] We do not place implicit confidence in the above reports, but it is not unlikely that they are in the main correct.
A letter from Hon. Jesse Applegate, dated Yoncalla, mentions a report which had just reached that place of an engagement between the whites and the Indians, in which five of the former were killed, and the party (of whites) forced to retreat. Loss of the Indians not known. This perhaps is the same report, received through another source, of the engagement of Capt. Alden's party. Mr. Ettlinger stated that when he left, Capt. Alden was preparing to attack the Indians on the following day. This tends to give credibility to the subsequent report of a battle.
The gentleman who brought the report of Skinner's death says he met General Lane just at the mouth of the Canyon, with a party of men.
It is certain that a war of extermination is being carried, on both sides. Neither white nor Indian shows any quarter; but either is shot down at sight.
$15.00 [sic] were contributed by citizens of Jacksonville for the purchase of ammunition, and a party went to Marysville, Oregon [Corvallis] and purchased the same and returned.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
NO TREATIES AND NO QUARTER.--The people of the South are so much exasperated against the Indians on account of their recent murders and destruction of property that it is said to be unsafe for a man to talk about treaties in their hearing. The "humane" individual who ventures to do it finds himself roughly treated as a reward. Something of the temper of the people of that section may be gathered from the subjoined extracts from articles in the Yreka Herald; we copy italics and capitals.
"The present outbreak has justly led all to the conclusion that extermination is the only way to secure peace. We have 'drawn the sword, and thrown the scabbard away,' and the tomahawk will no longer be buried, but in the skulls of the red foe.
"Let it be our last difficulty with Indians in this section of the country. They have commenced the work with their own accord, and without just cause. Let our motto be EXTERMINATION! and death to all opposition, white men or Indians!"
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
Trouble with the Indians.By the politeness of M. C. Parkison, of this village, we are permitted to publish the following letter from his brother, now in California, from which it will be seen that the Indians are causing much trouble in that country.
Humbug City, Cal., Aug. 21, 1853.Dear Brother:--Under peculiar circumstances and amid scenes at which humanity even bleeds, I improve the present hour to write you a few lines.
Once more the sound of war is reverberated along the once-tranquil valleys of the far West. Again the blood of the hardy pioneer is indiscriminately commingled with the beautiful streams that so much enhanced our once-happy homes. The Indians of Northern California and Oregon have commenced an open and inveterate warfare. Many of our citizens of the valley of Rogue River, and other sections, have fallen victims to these savages. Some three weeks since, they evinced a hostile appearance, for the first time since about a year ago.
The aspect of the war so far has been one of extermination--killing the whites and driving off horses, mules and cattle, and reducing the fields of newly cut grain and hay to heaps of ashes. It is most astonishing that these Indians procured a good supply of arms and ammunition from the whites in different parts of the country, even without a suspicion of their design.
Thus we have been bestowing (unconsciously) power and favor upon the undeserving, who have perverted our philanthropy to our own destruction. So far, no decided check has been given to these savages. Several skirmishes, and one or two battles, have had as yet a tendency rather to encourage the enemy.
The efforts of our citizens have been much crippled in consequence of an entire want of arms and ammunition at their command. The Indians are much better prepared for the warfare than we are, as our guns had become useless and cumbersome to many, and were sold to the Indians. It is certain, however, that they must yield to the desperate determination of the invincible Californians as soon as they can concentrate their forces and obtain a supply of arms, but as it is at present, the whole country (in a measure) is in a defenseless condition--no class of people can find a safe retreat.
We cannot anticipate the termination of war among us as yet, but if there is so much of a call for assistance as has been, and even is at present, I shall repair to the field of action as soon as I can procure arms.
Yours in haste,Wisconsin Tribune, Mineral Point, Wisconsin, October 27, 1853, page 2
W. T. PARKISON.
Latest from the Seat of War
Table Rock Abandoned by the Indians;
Pursuit of Them by a Large Party of Whites, and Probable Battle.
A Mr. Romaine arrived here Friday evening, eight days from Jacksonville. He states that the Indians were still engaged in active hostilities, murdering citizens, burning dwellings and destroying property. But two houses are standing between Jacksonville and Rogue River--T'Vault's and one other, the last of which was approached by the Indians the night before he passed. But its inmates were too well armed, and they made no assault.
He says about three days before he left the chief "Sam" came out into the valley with his men, from Table Rock, and challenged the whites to give him battle. A considerable party under Capt. Alden was out from camp to meet him, but he was not on hand, according to agreement. Table Rock had been entirely abandoned, not an Indian being found there. Their trail showed that a large force had been collected there. Capt. Alden was of opinion that it was useless to follow them, and prepared to return to camp. A Mr. Goodall thought otherwise, and was anxious to give them a chase. He said he would pursue them if 25 men would join him; some 60 stepped out of the ranks, from which he selected 25, and immediately started out upon the trail. A few miles out they came up with the Indians, and were suddenly surrounded by 600 or 800 of them. The whites took refuge in a patch of timber and bushes, around which were the Indians in open field, but beyond the reach of rifle shot. Capt. Goodall's party having the advantage of the cover afforded by the timber and brush, the Indians were afraid to attack them, but kept them surrounded, with the intention, as was supposed, of starving them out. Two of the party of whites made their way through the Indian lines without being observed and came into Jacksonville for reinforcements, and the day before Mr. Romaine left, Capt. Alden, with 250 volunteers, went in pursuit of the Indians, and [it] was supposed an engagement took place.
A white man who has a squaw wife, and lived among the Indians, says he has seen the chief "Sam" parade 100 men armed with first-class rifles and Colt's revolvers.
Mr. R. discredits the report of Skinner's and O'Reilly's death, as he heard nothing of it at Jacksonville.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
Volunteers for Rogue River.
Gov. Curry issued a proclamation for a company of volunteers to guard the munitions of war now on the road to Rogue River. The following persons enrolled their names:
J. W. Nesmith, L. F. Grover, J. D. Jump, J. M. Crooks, Sam'l. B. Gregg, Benj. McCormack, James Gay, H. S. Young, James Pritchett, R. Woodfin, Francis A. Haynes, S. T. Burch, J. Fortune, G. H. McQueen, F. M. P. Goff, W. E. Clark, J. W. Jones, R. C. Hague, J. A. Millard, Sam. E. Darnes, Wm. K. Beale, Samuel Abbott, James S. Rose, James M. Baldwin, Z. Griffin, J. Jones, Thos. W. Beale, A. A. Engles, James Stanly, Geo. W. Cady, John McAllister, R. C. Breeding, N. F. Herren, John Ragsdale, David Kirkpatrick, Willson Blake, Horace Dougherty, James Daniel, J. M. Case, J. W. Toms.
The following named gentlemen were elected officers:
J. W. Nesmith, captain; L. F. Grover, 1st lieut.; Wm. K. Beale, 2nd lieut.; J. D. McCurdy, surgeon; J. M. Crooks, orderly sergeant.
The company (mounted) left this place Friday morning, in charge of the munitions.
The subjoined orders and instructions were issued to Capt. Nesmith:
TERRITORY OF OREGON,The object of this expedition you command is to get the munitions of war, now in your custody, placed in the possession of the Board of Commissioners at Jacksonville, for the purpose of arming the citizens there and enabling them the more successfully to repel the attacks of Indian hostility. You will therefore proceed with your command, with all possible dispatch, to that place.
Executive Office, Salem, Aug. 25, '53.
You will exercise abundant caution, and use every exertion in your power to get the property in your charge safely to its destination. If, through any unfortunate contingency, you should be unable to do this, or to preserve these munitions of war, you will then, without delay, and at every hazard, utterly destroy them, to prevent them falling into the hands of hostile Indians.
On your line of march through the Indian country, you will do all that may be in your power, without jeopardizing the object of the expedition, towards rendering aid and protection to such of our people as may desire the same.
After the object of the expedition shall have been accomplished, you will send back the wagon and team, with a sufficient escort, to this place, and if the circumstances of the case should warrant it, you can employ your command to the best advantage in chastising the Indian enemy and protecting the lives and property of our fellow citizens.
You have sufficient subsistence for your command until you reach Winchester, at which point you will purchase, with the fund placed in your hands, the necessary subsistence to answer your command until you reach your point of destination.
Upon your arrival at Jacksonville, and the delivery of the property in your charge, you have authority to discharge such of your command as may desire it; and, should the condition of affairs justify it, you are also authorized to reenlist such number of men, and for such period of time as you may think advisable.
GEO. L. CURRY,Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
Acting Governor of Oregon.
More Whites Killed by the Indians in Rogue River Valley!
A General Outbreak!
Again it is our painful duty to record the cold-blooded murder of our fellow citizens in Rogue River Valley. On Thursday last a young man by the name of Edwards was brutally murdered within three miles of the Indian agency. After the red assassins had shot him, they mutilated his body in a horrible manner with an ax. On Friday night, Mr. Thomas Wills, a highly respected merchant of Jacksonville, while returning from Mr. Wagoner's ranch, half a mile north of the town, was shot by an Indian from behind a tree, about ten yards from the road. Mr. Wills' wound is considered mortal. The sudden manner in which the Indians pounced upon him did not allow him time for defense. On the same evening, Mr. Davis' house, about two miles from town, was robbed of gun [sic], & Mr. Davis and Mr. Griffin, his neighbor, attempted to recover the stolen property from the rancherie. Mr. Griffin was shot through the point of the shoulder, and Mr. Davis through the thigh, both arrow wounds. They burned several haystacks the same day, and several men were shot at different places throughout the valley.
Several men are missing at different places--not known whether they are killed or not.
On Saturday morning, August 6.--Mr. R. Noland, a miner, being about one mile from Jacksonville, was shot through the body and killed by some Indians who crept up near his cabin in the bushes. Several other whites were in the cabin at the same time.
Business in the valley has ceased. The miners are farmers are collecting together at different points in the valley for protection.
It is believed beyond a doubt that Rogue River, Cow Creek, Grave Creek, Applegate Creek, Umpqua, Shasta and Klamath Indians, and probably the Pit Rivers and also the Indians about the Klamath and other lakes, have united and declared an open and general war against the whites.
We are indebted for the above information to Mr. Ish and Mr. Davis, who arrived here this morning. They bring a petition to the officer in command at Fort Jones in Scott Valley, signed by a majority of the most respectable citizens of Rogue River Valley, for such aid, either in troops or arms, as can be procured. We understand there are but few troops at the fort, but that they will be able to procure arms and ammunition.
As our informants came up the valley they learned that a battle had just come off near the Mountain House. They killed, they supposed, five or six Indians. Mr. Carter had his arm fractured by a rifle ball, and also received an arrow wound in the shoulder. Mr. Dunn was wounded in the shoulder by an arrow.
Now that general Indian hostilities have commenced, we hope that the government will render such aid as will enable the citizens of the North to carry on a war of extermination until the last redskin of these tribes has been killed. Then, and not till then, is our lives and property safe. Extermination is no longer even a question of time--the time has already arrived, and work commenced, and let the first white man who says treaty or peace be regarded as a traitor and coward.--Yreka Herald, August 7, 1853.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
DISPATCH.--Mr. James M. Fudge, the messenger dispatched by Gov. Curry to Fort Vancouver, with the requisition for arms &c., left Boonville at 4 p.m., and reached the fort at 2 o'clock on the following morning.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Aug. 6, 1853.
Friend Bush:--I presume some intelligence from the south at the present time would be read with interest. You have already chronicled the outrages lately committed south of the canyon, but those which have been committed within the past few days have no parallel in the history of Oregon (in the southern portion at least). On Thursday night, at a late hour, Dr. A. B. Overbeck, coroner of this county, was called upon to hold an inquest over the body of Richard Edwards, who was found dead at his own door, about five miles from this place. A jury of twelve men was duly summoned and upon investigation found that he had been shot near the center of the spine, and that his head was nearly severed in twain with an ax, also an attempt was made to cut his throat with a dull knife.
The verdict of the jury was that he came to death by violence, and that violence was used by Indians.
Resolutions were then passed expressing their feeling towards the outrage, and calling for a meeting of the citizens of the valley at the "Robinson House," the proceedings of which accompanies this communication. Upon looking around a yoke of cattle were discovered dead in the vicinity, belonging to Mr. Miller. On the same day the house of Wm. Kahler was entered and rifled of its contents. On the following morning, the cabin of Mr. Davis was broken open and robbed, and in the evening of the same day, Burrell B. Griffin (our senior county commissioner) and Mr. Davis were fired upon by the Indians and wounded with arrows. The former in the shoulder and the latter in the thigh. About 9 o'clock in the night of the same day a report of a gun was heard and the cry of murder accompanying. Several of our citizens armed themselves and ran to the rescue. Upon arriving at the spot, Thomas J. Wills, merchant of this place, was found shot through the lower part of the body with an ounce ball. Mr. Wills had been out in the country and was returning when attacked and wounded. A guard was chosen and stationed around the town and since that time has been guarded well. On Saturday, Mr. Rhodes Noland was shot dead in his cabin door within a mile of town. The citizens who had been previously preparing for a skirmish, upon receiving intelligence of his murder, immediately started out and in a short time returned with a captive "siwash tyee" ["Indian chief"], who was mustered to an oak tree and there "strung up." During the day three others were hung beside the tyee.
On Sunday morning at a very early hour, intelligence was received from the upper end of the valley that the settlers had had a skirmish with the Indians and that Andrew B. Carter (formerly of Salem) and Patrick Dunn had been wounded. The former had his right arm broken below the elbow, and the latter was maimed in the left shoulder. This news created greater excitement still, and skirmishing parties started out in all directions.
Having a desire to visit my friends, Carter and Dunn, and to make arrangements to have them brought to town for surgical treatment, I started out with the party that intended to skirmish that portion of the valley. By some means or other Dr. A. B. Overbeck and myself became separated from the main party and continued traveling by ourselves until we arrived at the residence of Mr. Carter. As soon as possible we started on our return, and after traveling until within a mile and a half of town without meeting any opposition, we came to an open prairie, and when least expecting an attack were fired upon by three Indians concealed in the grass, within fifty feet of the roadside. The first shot fired by the red devils grazed my "smeller" about one-eighth of an inch below my "peepers." I felt the sting as well as the shock, and placing my hand on that very prominent feature of my phiz, and finding it actually thar, I thought a "miss was as good as a mile," and "a fool for luck the world over." After firing a random shot we made for town at no snail's gait, and in a short time was hailed by the guard and allowed to pass.
After examining my person, I found that one of the balls had passed through my hat crown within half an inch of my head, and the third remaining ball had passed through the lapel of my flannel overshirt.
This convinced me more and more of the old saying "that luck was everything."
I can now speak of my escape rather lightly, but I will frankly confess that I considered it rather scary times, and times when it was absolutely necessary to make myself scarce, provided he considered his scalp worth saving. Now, in regard to the justification of the settlers in killing these Indians wherever they may be found, I will say but one word. There are some who have some doubts as to whether the Rogue River Indians have committed any of the depredations already mentioned. Tyee "Sam" and his Bro. "Joe" have fortified themselves back of Table Rock, and collected upwards of three hundred Indians. Indians have been pursued directly to the camp of these tyees, in the rear of Table Rock, and if they will harbor Indians, who have been through the valley murdering and plundering everything in their course, they must suffer the consequences. If we do not make a clean sweep of them and exterminate every one capable of bearing arms, we will be molested every summer until either the whites or "siwashes" are conquered. They have commenced hostilities--have been preparing for an attack for the last six weeks and are bound to murder every white settler in the valley, provided they can. Some say a treaty had better be made! Well, I am in for a treaty too, but I propose making a treaty with them by means of powder and ball, and I am confident that this is the opinion of almost every citizen in Rogue River Valley. The families throughout the valley have all been collected, and a great many came to town. Those families on lower Rogue River have congregated at Fort Dardanelles (Wm. T'Vault's), also at N. C. Dean's, Willow Springs, at Martin Angel's and Jacob Wagner's. Each of these places are well guarded. A petition was drawn up and signed by over a hundred citizens, requesting Capt. William Alden, commander of Fort Jones, in Scotts Valley, California, to furnish such arms and ammunition as could be spared. This petition was forwarded to Capt. Alden, by a special express, and the prayer of that petition has been granted, and the presence of Capt. Alden himself, together with twelve regulars.
Our express carriers (Messrs. Ish and Davis) report that over a hundred citizens of Yreka and vicinity, well mounted and armed, volunteered and may be expected this evening. This reinforcement will help us considerable.
A company has been duly organized and following officers duly elected and commissioned in accordance with the resolution passed at the mass meeting. John E. Ross, Esq., was unanimously elected commander of all the forces:
Company A.--Benj. Armstrong, Capt.; John F. Miller, 1st Lieutenant; B. B. Griffin, 2nd Lieutenant; A. George, 3rd Lieutenant; T. McF. Patton, Orderly Sergeant; C. S. Drew, Quartermaster.
Other companies have been duly organized and will proceed at once to stir "Injuns up," and "memaloose ["kill"] him." I will inform you, or cause it to be done by every opportunity.
Yours in haste.Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
T. McF. Patton.
The howitzer from Fort Vancouver, accompanied by Lieutenant Kautz and six men, arrived here Friday evening, en route for Rogue River. It is a brass twelve-pounder, and calculated for the throwing of shell. They have also grape and cannister.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 30, 1853, page 2
THE MILITARY ROAD SOUTH.--Maj. B. Alvord, U.S.A., has gone south to survey and locate the military road from the mouth to Myrtle Creek, Umpqua Valley, to Camp Stuart, Rogue River Valley, under instructions from the Secretary of War.
"Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, August 31, 1853, page 3
The Indian outbreaks in the Rogue River Valley, in the North, are becoming serious and threatening. It is not improbable that general hostilities will be the consequence in that part of the state and the southern part of Oregon. The existing troubles, like those that have arisen from time to time in other sections of the state, most probably had their origin in the outrages which some of the more reckless and unprincipled of the white population take so much pleasure in inflicting upon the weak and defenseless, whether civilized or savage. The peaceful and industrious citizens have now to bear the vindictive hostility of the savages, who recognize no distinction between friend and foe among the "palefaces." We fear that a bloody and protracted war will ensue, the frontier citizens defending their lives and their homes, while the unprincipled wretches who kindled the flame are in safety in the less exposed districts. The parties who made such a handsome speculation by the El Dorado and Mariposa wars a few years since, and who came so near making a similar speculation on the pretended war in the South, are on the alert to make something out the Rogue River troubles. Arrangements are in process of formation for the creation of a debt to be assumed by the state to the amount of between one million and fifteen hundred thousand dollars, of which of course the projectors will receive about three-fourths. But as there is a reality in the hostilities, and some actual fighting to be done, the speculators will be a little chary about embarking in the enterprise. In the meantime, Gen. Hitchcock is taking measures for rendering all the protection to the northern frontier that the disposable force under his command will allow.
"Summary of News," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 1, 1853, page 1
From the South.
THE INDIAN HOSTILITIES.
Through Messrs. Burget and Rhinehart, who have just arrived from the seat of war, we are in possession of the following information. They left Jacksonville on Sunday, August 21st, at 12 o'clock.
They report that there had been some 12 or 15 white men killed, and some 8 or 10 wounded. There were about 100 Rogue River Indians well armed. They had abandoned their position at Table Rock--and had retired some fifteen miles from that point to Evans Creek, at which point they had a battle with the whites which lasted over three hours, in which five whites were killed and five wounded. The Indians left the ground.
Gen. Lane arrived at Jacksonville with 25 men on Saturday evening, the 20th of August, without any opposition in passing the Kanyon. He immediately proceeded to Capt. Alden's encampment near Table Rock
Judge Skinner had not been killed at the time our informants left--so the thousand rumors of his being killed is as false as those about Gen. Lane being killed.
It was the general opinion that the Indians would be soon exterminated. There were supposed to be about three hundred hostile Indians. There was but few Indians near Jacksonville, and they were lurking among the hills. They think that the war will be terminated soon. The general cry is extermination to the Indians.
They met the volunteer company under Capt. Nesmith in charge of the munitions of war about fifteen miles the other side of Marysville, on Monday last.
There was no scarcity of provisions at Jacksonville. Maj. Mosher had been shot through the knee by the accidental discharge of his pistol.
P.S.--Mr. Backus from Marysville informs us that he saw the mail carrier from Jacksonville on Tuesday night. He reports that Gen. Lane with 100 men gave the Indians a fight, but their ammunition giving out they retired to Jacksonville with the loss of one man. Capt. Nesmith's company was near the Kanyon with the supplies. The Indians he reports in good heart, and it is thought that a fair field fight could be got out of them.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, September 3, 1853, page 2
Siskiyou.The Mountain Herald of the 27th ult., with Supplement, was received from Adams & Co.'s messenger. The following particulars of still another battle with the Indians are given in the letter of Mr. Dugan:
Jacksonville, Aug. 25, 1853.Another battle was fought with the Indians yesterday. There were 10 Indians killed and 30 wounded. The whites lost 3 men killed and 8 wounded. Among the killed was Captain Armstrong, of Yamhill; the other two men are from Yreka, but I have not learned their names. Col. B. R. Alden is said to be mortally wounded; the ball entered his neck and came out under his arm. Gen. Lane was also wounded in the shoulder, slightly. The battle lasted four hours, at the end of which time Chief Sam proposed an armistice, which was granted; and both armies agreed to meet at Table Rock tomorrow, to have a wawa.
The Indians numbered 250 men, and the whites 96. The battle came off at the head of Evans Creek, in a canyon, about 55 miles [sic--it's about 25 miles to Jacksonville as the crow flies] from here. The whites surprised them. General Lane and Col. Alden were wounded while making a charge. It is generally supposed here that it is the intention of the whites to make a treaty with the Indians, on account of their agreeing to meet them at Table Rock, but for myself I have no such idea, and I think there is some other object in view, as the people of this country would not submit to it for a moment.
Three Spaniards were shot this morning, 8 miles from here, near Applegate Creek. One mule was shot and the cargo carried off by the Indians; the Spaniards were on their way in from Crescent City with a pack train.
Robt. L. Williams arrived here yesterday from Althouse Creek, for the purpose of getting a commission to raise a company of rangers, which was granted him. Capt. Terry arrived last night from Crescent City, with a part of his company, the balance being behind with their provisions, ammunition &c. His company numbers 30 men, well armed and mounted.
We regret to learn that there is much suffering on the plains among parties traveling the northern [i.e., the original] route.
We learn from Mr. J. Heard, who went out to meet the emigration and returned last evening, that there are eighteen families on their way to this place. Mr. Heard reports a great scarcity of provisions and, in fact, by this time actual want in the company. The soldiers will be unable to supply them with anything, as they are also short.
Mr. H. comes in advance of the train for the purpose of getting provisions from our citizens and a small party to meet the sufferers. He is an old resident and well known to many of our people, and we hope our friends will prepare a supply of provisions immediately. The train can be met at or about Klamath Lake. There are about fifty women, young ladies and old in the train. It is highly necessary that they should be met before they come to the forks of the road, in order to give them warning not to take the Rogue River route. Mr. H. passed another train of seven wagons and two families on the Shasta River. They will be in town today or tomorrow.
A company has recently been formed to bring the water of Illinois Creek into the "Sailor Diggings."
An Althouse Creek correspondent writes as follows:
Messrs. More & Co. took out on the 5th ult. one piece of gold weighing five pounds avoirdupois. Mr. Carman took out thirty-two ounces to the one-fourth share, making a total to four persons of one hundred and twenty-eight ounces in one day. New excitement has broke out about new diggings being discovered on Sucker Creek. Sailor Diggings remain deserted on account of the scarcity of water, but the general impression is that those diggings will pay well when water is obtained sufficient to wash. A few companies on Smith River are doing well. Mr. Rice took out $1,300 clear of expenses last week, and continues to do well. This stream and locality will be thickly populated with miners another season. A few persons that have worked on Josephine Creek this season have done well.
Business in Crescent City the past week has been comparatively dull in consequence of the decrease of the influx of pack trains--but it is hoped by the great improvement of trail, which is now pronounced by those who are good judges to be as good a pack trail as there is in California that business will be brisk again. During the week ending 7th ult. two steamers, the J. G. Hunt and U.S. Coast Surveying Steamer Gold Hunter, entered and cleared the harbor--the Gold Hunter having made a complete survey, soundings &c. A political canvass was held on Monday, 8th ult., at Crescent City, for the election of assemblyman &c. The meeting was addressed by Mr. Van Dyke, Mr. Whipple and several others.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 3, 1853, page 2
Portland, Oregon, Aug. 26, 1853.Editor of the Herald:
On Saturday, the 20th inst., we received the first intelligence here of a serious outbreak among the Indians of Rogue River Valley and vicinity. An express arrived direct from Jacksonville of an attack made upon the white settlements in that neighborhood, and some twenty-five whites had been killed. It appears that for some months past the Rogue River, Shasta and one or two other tribes of Indians have been combinedly making preparations for war, and with the avowed object of exterminating the whites from that district. They are said to be well armed and well supplied with ammunition, procured from the whites with whom they have for some time been trading, for rifles, muskets, pistols, lead, powder etc. From their number and evident hostile determination, they are beyond doubt formidable, and great consternation is created throughout the entire settlement. All work has been suspended and preparation made for defense. Capt. Alden, commanding at Fort Jones, Scott's Valley, having been sent for, arrived at Willow Spring, near Jacksonville, with ten United States troops, fifty stand of arms and about 600 rounds of cartridges. Some three or four hundred persons had volunteered under command of Capt. Alden, but are said to be badly off for ammunition and weapons. A requisition has been made by the Governor upon Col. Bonneville, at Columbia Barracks, and some sixty stands of arms and 1,000 rounds of cartridges, with one howitzer, were immediately dispatched.
By the first express received, we have the names of Thomas Willis, John R. Hardin and Dr. Rose, out of about twenty-five, who were killed. Since then another dispatch to Columbia Barracks for more guns and ammunition, arriving here on the 24th, reports the death of Judge A. A. Skinner, our recent candidate for delegate to Congress, who is said to have been attacked from an ambuscade and brutally murdered. This last account described the Indians as quite numerous and active, and effectually prepared for hostility; that they go in small parties, secrete themselves, attack parties inferior in numbers, destroy dwellings, crops and other property, kill cattle, etc.
Gov. Lane is reported to have raised a party of 70 men in the Umpqua Valley, and is now on his way to the scene of strife.
The U.S. surveying steamer Active arrived at Astoria a few days since, reporting that as they left Port Orford, Capt. Smith with his company of dragoons was about leaving that place for the Oregon trail about the 15th of this month. He will probably arrive in the neighborhood of Jacksonville in season to be of some service, although at the time of the departure of the Active news had not been received of the Indian troubles at Port Orford. I must refer you to some of our papers which I send accompanying, for more detailed information.
The want of some harbor near the large mining population of the Rogue River Valley, Shasta, and the neighboring placers, has prompted this season an investigation along the coast from the mouth of the Umpqua to Humboldt Bay. The very great difficulty heretofore, aside from the security of harbor and difficulty of entrance, has been the almost impassable condition of the country between the coast and the mines. The Coast Range of mountains present a barrier for almost its entire length from Humboldt to the Columbia River, that to make even a good mule trail for transportation has been until recently looked upon as impracticable. Within the past few months much interest has been excited by examination of Coos Bay, emptying into the ocean about 20 miles below the Umpqua River. It has always been asserted by persons attached to the Hudson's Bay Company, and other residents of the Territory who are acquainted with the coast, that this bay has a fine and entirely practicable entrance, and a well-sheltered and secure harbor inside.
From recent reports, and they are generally looked upon as reliable, a careful examination shows the entrance to the Coos (or as some call it the Kowes) Bay to be about one and a half miles wide, with from twenty-three or twenty-eight feet water on the bar at low tide. The high bluff land of Cape Arago forms the southern headland of the entrance, and affords in southerly weather an excellent protection to vessels entering. The bay opens out to a width of from four to six miles, with two arms well protected on all sides. On the south or easterly arm, about ten miles from the entrance, a settlement has been made, from which the road to the mines commences. A trail from this point has already been marked out and traveled, striking the Oregon and California road about ten miles below Winchester. It is described as a good mule trail, and along its whole course is well supplied with grass, and comparatively free from mountains. Until the recent Indian difficulties, so favorably have the people of that vicinity been impressed with its eligibility, as a point of entrance and supply for their section of country, that a number of persons have been actually engaged in improving the road, and it is confidently asserted that a good wagon road is entirely practicable. So much attention has this subject attracted in the mines, and in the southern portion of our Territory, that I have no doubt we will soon have correct and detailed accounts thereof.
The immigrants from across the plains are now beginning to make their appearance. A few families have arrived. It is remarked this season better health prevails among those arrived, and their stock is much better conditioned than the early immigration last year. The reports of the number on the way to Oregon and Washington vary from 8 to 12,000. All, however, agree that the immigrants are in better circumstances, and less sickness prevails than previous years.
The agricultural prospects of our Territory give much promise of good for this season. The wheat and oat crops are especially thriving, and it is supposed that quite a large export will be made the coming fall and winter.
Grand River Times, Grand Haven, Michigan, October 12, 1853, page 2
YREKA, Aug. 27.--Our market prices are about the same as last week, business very inactive, and no transactions of importance of any kind going on. There are but few pack trains arriving this week, owing to the Indian disturbances on Rogue River. Most of the packers are unwilling to return to Oregon, on account of the risk in getting through without having their mules shot, or perhaps the whole train taken. Flour 23-25¢; pork 28-32¢; bacon 45-50¢; butter, Oregon, 62-70¢; sugar 27-30¢; coffee 32-35¢; tea 90¢-$1; beans 28-30¢; rice 27-30¢; salt 20¢; potatoes 30-40¢; lard 45-50¢; saleratus 40-45¢; whisky $3.50-$4; brandy $3.50-$6; candles 65-70¢; soap 35-38¢; tobacco 70¢; onions 20¢.--[Herald.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 6, 1853, page 2
Treating with the Rogue River Indians.
By the letter which we publish from Gen. Lane, it will be seen that the hostile Indians have sued for quarter and asked for a general treaty of peace, and that a day was fixed upon to consider their proposition. From Esq. T'Vault's letter, it will be noticed that the Indians were to give up their rifles, as a condition.
In this connection it may be proper to state that when Gen. Palmer left here he was fully of the opinion that no treaty should at any time be made with the southern Indians unless an imperative condition of it was that they should all leave Rogue River and remove east of the Cascades, or to some other country distant from the white settlements. Unless his judgment shall be changed by visiting the scene of difficulties, he will insist upon such a provision as a sine qua non. It is not improbable that the Indians will at present refuse to treat upon such terms, and that the war will be further prosecuted, perhaps to the extermination of the savages.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 6, 1853, page 2
Canyonville, Douglas Co.,Dear Bush:--The company under Major Alvord and Capt. Applegate are just passing through the Canyon. This is the third company that has gone to the seat of war from this vicinity, viz., Gen. Lane's of 18 men (by Table Rock Road), Capt. Martin's of 10 men, via Canyon, and Capt. Applegate's of 20 men. There are now in the field from 350 to 400 men. I have just heard of an engagement which Gen. Lane had with the Indians a few days since near Table Rock. The Indians number about 300 and the whites 200. The Indians were defeated but with what loss the rumors differ. No lives lost upon the part of the whites; a few were slightly wounded. About 6 or 8 days since a company of 21 men from Yreka were surprised upon Evans Creek by the Indians, and lost 5 men in killed and 4 wounded, 18 animals and many revolvers and other arms. On the 24th a company which has been stationed at Bates' on Grave Creek surprised a party of Indians in the mountains and killed 6 of their number. These are all the reliable rumors that I have time to relate at present. The particulars of the different engagements I will give you as soon as I can obtain reliable information.
Aug. 26th, 1853.
There are a thousand rumors afloat, the majority of which are unfounded. The Indians did not attack nor burn Jacksonville. Nor did Gen. Lane shoot or hang any friendly Indians in South Umpqua Valley as has been maliciously reported. There are no two opinions alike in regard to the duration of the war. I think that the Indians will divide into small parties and fight whenever a good opportunity presents until they are exterminated.
Timon.Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 6, 1853, page 2
Latest from the Indian War.
Severe Battles of Several Hours Duration--Nine Men Killed--
Nine Wounded, Two Dangerously--Gen. Lane and Col. Alden Among the Wounded--Pleasant Armstrong, of Yamhill County Shot Through the Heart--Armistice Agreed Upon--Letters from Gens. Palmer and Lane, Esq., T'Vault and Capt. Nesmith.
A messenger, dispatched by Capt. Nesmith, arrived here Friday night, bringing important news from Rogue River. Two severe engagements have taken place between the Indians and the whites, in which nine of the latter were killed, and nine wounded--some of them dangerously. Among the wounded are Gen. Lane and Col. Alden, U.S. Army. Among the killed we notice the name of Capt. Armstrong, of Yamhill County. A full account of the battles, and the subsequent action of parties, will be found in the letters which we publish below:
Yoncalla, August 31st, 1853.Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 6, 1853, page 2
Dear Bush:--Enclosed find a letter to your address and one to me from General Lane, which you are at liberty to publish if you deem it proper to do so. Mr. Nicholas brought the express to this place where he met Agent Culver, and after depositing letters in the post office returned this morning. I arrived here at 12, and have taken the letters from the post office, and send by Mr. Jacobs as messenger.
Capt. Nesmith with a part of his command are encamped for the night awaiting the arrival of Lieut. Kautz with field piece. Lieut. Grover has been ordered to proceed without delay to Jacksonville with ammunition.
I shall start in half an hour and endeavor to reach Table Rock by the expiration of the seven days mentioned in Gen. Lane's letter.
In haste, yours,
JOEL PALMER, Superintendent.
Mountain Camp, Aug. 25, 1853.
Gen. Joel Palmer, Super't. Ind. Affairs
Sir:--Yesterday myself and the men under my command had a fight of four hours with the Rogue River Indians, in the most dense forest in this part of the country. Our loss was three killed and four wounded. Those dead are Capt. Armstrong of your county, a Mr. ---- and Francis Bradley. Those wounded are Col. Alden, dangerously, Charles Abbe, do., and Wm. Fisher, badly, Thos. Hay, shot through the arm, and myself, shot through the shoulder. There were 8 Indians killed and about 20 wounded.
In the afternoon a proposition came from the enemy for a parley, which was granted, they being in such a position that they could not be dislodged without the loss of a great many men.
Today we have arranged terms with them, and have agreed to meet them at Table Rock in seven days from today, to make a general treaty, and your presence is imperatively required as soon as possible. You must not delay one moment in coming, as it is perfectly safe traveling now, and I wish you to bring a sub-agent to remain here, as the presence of an agent is absolutely necessary for the maintenance of friendly relations with the Indians.
I will remain here until you arrive.
Your ob't. servant,
Mountain Camp, Aug. 26, 1853.Mr. Bush--Dear Sir:--I have to inform you of the melancholy news which at this time pervades the entire settlements of Rogue River; that is war with all its horrors, between the whites and the combined Indian tribes of Southern Oregon and Northern California. You have, no doubt, ere this been informed of the Indian depredations up to the murder of Dr. Rose and John R. Hardin. Since that time many of the first men of our country have fallen either by assassination or in open battle. Time and opportunity will not permit me to enter into detail of the many smaller depredations committed by these savages--suffice it to say that for craftiness and bravery, they are equal to the Florida Indians, and their mode of war very similar, using the canyons in the mountains instead of the Florida hammocks.
Sam, the great war chief, with Joe, the civil chief, and Jim, a chief of smaller grade, took a position five or six miles north of Table Rock, in a canyon of dense brush. There they reported that they intended to give battle to our forces under the command of Col. John Ross and Capt. Alden, of the U.S.A. About the 15th August, the forces proceeded to the Indian camp to give them battle, sending an independent detachment under Capt. H. Elliff in their rear to bring on the attack while the main force was to charge them in front. But when they arrived, the Indians were nowhere to be found, having moved their camp several days before. 1st. Lieut. Ely of Capt. Goodall's company, from Yreka, was sent in search of the Indian camp, and the main force returned to headquarters on Stuart's Creek, for the purpose of obtaining supplies to pursue the Indians into the mountains. On the morning of the 17th Lieut. Ely, with 22 men, discovered the Indian camp, some 10 miles north of their former camp, upon the right-hand creek called Evans Creek. We immediately fell back some two or three miles to an open prairie interspersed with small washed gullies and branches of willows and sent two men as an express to headquarters, remaining with 20 men to await the arrival of a sufficient force to attack the Indians; the Indians in the meantime, availing themselves of the advantages of the gullies and brush, crawled up and commenced an attack at a distance of a few yards, say 20 or 30, killing two men at their first fire and causing the small force to make a precipitate retreat to a ridge covered with pine trees, a distance of 250 yards, when they took a position covered in the rear by elevated ground and prairie in front. The Indians flanked and very near if not quite surrounded them. The men were brave and most valiantly sustained their position for three hours and fifteen minutes, when J. D. Carly, Esq., of Yreka, arrived with five other men, in advance of the main force. The Indians, seeing this new arrival, immediately took to flight, carrying off 18 horses and mules with their caparisons together with blankets and camp equipage. The loss on our side was, killed, J. Shane, P. Keath, Frank Perry, A. Douglass, A. C. Colburn, and L. Lockting. Wounded--1st Lieut. Ely, shot through the wrist, John Albin, James Carrol, and Zebulon Schutz, all slightly. The entire forces in the field again returned to headquarters on Stuart's Creek, to complete their supplies.
On the morning of the 21st inst., Gen. Jo Lane arrived at headquarters and joined the army under the command of brevet Col. Alden and Col. Ross, and on Monday morning by sunrise the whole force was en route, the battalion under Col. Ross, consisting of Capts. Miller and Lamerick's company, going down Rogue River and then up Evans Creek till they found the trail of Sam and Joe, or until they met with the battalion of Col. Alden, consisting of the companies of Capts. Goodall and Rhodes, which marched in the direction of the battleground of Lieut. Ely. The orders were that which attachment found the main Indian trail was to pursue it, and the other follow on when they came up, if they did not meet before finding the trail. Gen. Lane and myself joined Col. Alden's command, and late in the evening we found that the Indian trail had taken to the mountains in a north direction from Evans Creek. Tuesday morning we made an early start, pursued the trail all day, passing over the most difficult mountains, as they were barely "passable, not practicable" to pass. Tuesday night we tied our animals to brush with grass, and Wednesday morning was in early march on the Indian trail, ascending a high mountain. Passing along the summit four or five miles, we heard the Indians a short distance ahead in a ravine, at a distance of about six hundred yards.
The order was instantly given to dismount, and Col. Alden, with Capt. Goodall and about thirty of his company, proceeded down the Indian trail to attack them in front. Capt. Rhodes, with some fifteen or twenty men, was sent down a ridge to the left, to attack them on the left and prevent an escape down the canyon. In a few minutes the Indians fired on Col. Alden when within some 30 years of the camp, and the battle commenced, raging with much fury. Col. Alden was badly wounded the first fire, also Pleasant Armstrong, of Yamhill, was shot through the breast, exclaiming as he fell--"a dead center shot." The battle continued raging with great fury, the yells of the Indians, the howling of dogs and the sharp continuous crack of the rifles lasted about one hour, when our pack train arrived and furnishing ten men more, Gen. Lane at the head of those ten, followed down the trail to the battleground, and with brave determination, ordered a charge, leading himself. When he arrived near the camp he received a wound through the right arm. The battle continued for about four hours, and the Indians called for quarter, or a parley. When finding that Gen. Lane was there, they insisted on his coming into their camp. The old hero, although pretty badly wounded, and suffering much, immediately went into the Indian camp (or fortifications, for it was represented to be a stronger place to charge than "Chapultepec") and had a talk with Sam, Joe and Jim. An armistice was agreed upon for a short time. We buried our dead, and in a short time Col. Ross with his command arrived, and a general treaty was talked of, and an armistice with Joe and Sam was agreed upon for seven days, at which time they were to meet Gen. Lane and give up their rifles.
Our loss in battle was three killed on the ground--Pleasant Armstrong, F. Bradley, one name not known. Wounded, Col. Alden, Gen. Lane, ---- Hay and two names not known.
The Indians say 12 killed dead, and 20 wounded--most all mortally. Much talk of a continuous war, and many are anxious for peace. If there is not peace Rogue River will be the grave and resting place of many a brave and good man. The best men generally are the first to fall, and the most clamorous for extermination are not the most interested, yet many good men go for a war of extermination.
On the 25th, I am informed that the Indians attacked Wm. Dunn's house, in the south part of the valley, killed three men, wounded two or three, robbed the house, burnt the hay and grain. On the same day they attacked a pack train, killed 2 men, wounded 2, and captured 2 animals and cargo. This was on Applegate Creek.
I will have to give you more anon.
W. G. T'VAULT.
Camp at Applegate's,To His Excellency G. L. Curry, Gov. of Oregon.
August 31st, 1853.
Dear sir:--I arrived here this evening, and am now waiting for Lieut. Kautz to come up with the howitzer and ammunition. Owing to a heavy rain which fell last night and this morning, the roads are so slippery over the mountain that travel is difficult.
I found that the detention would be so great in escorting the Lieut. and party that I concluded to send a party with the pack trains, loaded with ammunition in advance, and accordingly dispatched Lieut. Grover with 20 men yesterday morning. They will proceed with dispatch to Jacksonville. I have 40 volunteers with me. From the tenor of Gen. Lane's letter to Gen. Palmer I am inclined to think that the difficulties will be settled before we can arrive at the seat of war with the howitzer and ammunition. In that event I shall order back the most of my company, and proceed myself with a few men sufficient to get the munitions through.
Present indications would not warrant the sending of a larger force to the scene of war.
I will write again from Winchester or the Kenyon.
In haste, very truly yours,P.S. At the request of Gen. Palmer I send Mr. Goff express.
J. W. NESMITH
Capt. Comm'd'g. detachment volunteers.
Indian Affairs in the North.
The Yreka Mountain Herald of the 3rd inst. says:
We are glad to say that the difficulties between the whites and Indians in this valley have been amicably settled; consequently there is no danger to be apprehended in traveling to and from or through this valley.
The stipulations of the treaty, as we understand from Esquire Steele, one of the commissioners appointed for the purpose of making a treaty with the Indians, are as follows:
The Indians are to give up all their firearms and ammunition, return the stock stolen from Mr. Price's farm, and pay for the mule killed at the above place. They are to have the privilege of remaining in this, or of removing to Scott Valley, during the excitement in the Rogue River country, and when those of the tribe who are fighting against the whites in Rogue River Valley shall return, they are to be given up to the whites, who shall treat them as the merits of the case may seem to deserve. When the Indians shall have complied with the above stipulations, the horses taken from them during the skirmish on Shasta River are to be returned, or an equivalent for the same.
This treaty we consider to be as fair on either side as could be expected, and it was adopted almost unanimously by our citizens, thus ending a disturbance which, if left alone a few weeks longer, might have been the cause of many of our most intimate friends and valuable citizens losing their lives, besides a vast destruction of property and a great inconvenience to our business and traveling community. It has already been the cause of a feeling of enmity between many of our friends and citizens. This we are sorry to see. Every person should have a right to his own opinions and should be allowed the privilege of free discussion of the same. It certainly speaks anything but favorably for the good order and friendly feelings which should exist among our citizens, when we cannot get up a meeting to make arrangements or adopt measures that are for the interest of all, the whole community, without such strong indications of mobism, and such severe personalities [i.e., aspersions] being passed between them. If we view a subject in a different light from that of our friend, we certainly should enjoy the privilege of doing so, and without causing us to become enemies to each other. We hope we shall have no more such disturbances in our city as we have had concerning the Indians in this valley.
A correspondent of the Herald, writing from Jacksonville, under date of the 29th ult., says:
Since I last wrote to you, we have had two more of our citizens killed, and one wounded, by the Indians near Frizzell's Ferry, on Rogue River. The following are the particulars:
Capt. E. A. Owens has been assigned the duty of keeping the road open between here and the canyon. On the 27th ult. he left here on his second trip out. When he reached Long's Ferry, he left a small detachment of his company for the purpose of looking for some lost horses, and from what I learn of the matter, the detachment divided into two parties: one party consisted of Lieut. Thos. Frizzell, James Mungo, a half-breed, formerly of Scotts Bar, and a California Indian, who were fired upon by some Indians concealed in the bushes, and the two first-named persons were shot dead and the California Indian wounded. The other party, not far from where the murders were committed, came in sight of four Indians, driving off some 40 head of cattle, belonging to persons living near the ferry. They pursued and wounded one of them, and recovered the cattle.
Col. B. R. Alden and some of the others wounded in the last battle reached town yesterday. The Colonel is doing well, and [is] in fine spirits, and I am happy to learn that his wound is not considered dangerous. Gen. Lane and the other wounded soldiers are also doing well.
Major Alvord and suite arrived here today for the purpose of surveying a military road between Stuart's Creek [Bear Creek] and Myrtle Creek. Capt. Lindsay Applegate arrived also today from the Umpqua with 35 men and a supply of ammunition, accompanied by Mr. Snelling.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 11, 1853, page 1
Sept. 7th, 1853All well. Well, here we are in the height of our glory, a clean shirt and a shilling with a crowd that are always willing--to enjoy life, without a wife--and mend their own shirts and stockings. Now the above is a small dash at truth, yet comes very near being poetry, and as you are well aware that I am no poet, I will content myself by going it on prose as plain as your nose--until I come to the close--after which comes blank verse by the acre.
These are some of my first thoughts after sitting down to write. We must have thoughts in order to write, for news is scarce and wants that can be supplied are scarcer. D. R. has been writing for two evenings in succession. He says that I can come in with half a sheet, and as it does not cost anything, I send them along. I do not know what he has written, but suppose it to be rather gassy. HOLD!!--I have got on a new Pair of BOOTS (boots) (beauts). Yes, beauts they are. One No. 10 and one No. 12, average is 11 all right. Have not been a-fishing yet--go a-hunting every Sunday when it does not rain. Rainy season commences next month--then oh H-ll what a wetting we shall get. Can't help it, four dollars and a half per day and found in muckamuck (fodder). That is the kind of music for a miser like myself. Hiyou chickamin (lots of money) in both pockets. Yes, one of these days you may expect a letter from me written in the Indian language. I can talk with the Indians first-rate, though I have not captured a squaw yet for it will not pay unless it is over the left. They have all had or got the smallpox, and if reports be true, they have another kind that is not so small! They have some of the best canoes that float, of all sizes, from 10 to 80 feet in length. Some of them are highly ornamented with shells and stones. Yes! There is a hell of a fight coming off upcountry with the Indians. The Indians have murdered twenty or thirty inhabitants, up on Rogue River. The newspapers will give you accounts of it.
Sept. 12thAll well. The steamer has just arrived bringing a line from T. S. Mc. dated July 31st with fish hooks enclosed, all right and tight, except a little rusty. It really does a fellow good to get a letter now and then to start the scales of recollection and give notion a jog. Please let T.S. see this line. He may expect a small dash in about two weeks. It is my intention to write every mail either to you, John S. or Thos.
In all my letters previous to this, I have been telling you of things that I have seen and the like. And now I will tell you of some things that I have not seen. I have not seen a horse, or wagon, a mule, jackass, pony, cow or cattle of any kind (unless a few individuals that are at work here that came from Pike Co., Missouri can be called such). I have not seen a respectable-looking woman nor a man that I dare trust--with my dinner--I have not seen any frost or snow nor but little rain. No very hot weather nor none cold enough to wear a vest or coat. I have not seen a sick day since leaving old Hebron, nor have not had the horrors, or blues, or homesick in the least. I have not seen a pitchfork, rake or scythe. I have not seen a field of grain of any kind, unless potatoes, turnips, or onions can be called grain. I have not seen any lightning nor heard any thunder since I was in the long to be remembered storm off Cape Hatteras in January last. It never thunders in Oregon. I have not played for any parties or any dances of any kind in Oregon. I have not seen or tasted any pudding and milk or pumpkin pie. I have not written any letters except to you, to Thos. or John S. and I think I shall not for the present. I have not got my tools yet that was shipped around Cape Horn. They are in San Francisco. I am expecting them here soon. I have not had on or leaned against a standup [collar] since leaving Old Hebron. I have not room to go farther on this sheet, nor even room for a name,
Yours, &c. F. A. SmithBancroft Library Mss. 2003-98
A correspondent of the [Yreka] Herald, writing from Jacksonville, under date of Aug. 29, says:
"Since I last wrote to you, we have had two or more of our citizens killed, and one wounded, by the Indians near Frizzell's ferry, on Rogue River. The following are the particulars:
"Capt. E. A. Owens has been assigned the duty of keeping the road open between here and the canyon. On the 27th ult. he left here on his second trip out. When he reached Long's ferry, he left a small detachment of his company for the purpose of looking for some lost horses, and from what I learn of the matter, the detachment divided into two parties. One party consisted of Lieut. Thomas Frizzell, James Mungo, a half-breed, formerly of Scott's Bar, and a California Indian, who were fired upon by some Indians concealed in the bushes, and the two first-named persons were shot dead, and the California Indian wounded. The other party, not far from where the murders were committed, came in sight of four Indians, driving off some 40 head of cattle belonging to persons living near the ferry. They pursued and wounded one of them, and recovered the cattle.
"Col. B. R. Alden, and some of the others wounded in the last battle, reached town yesterday. The Colonel is doing well and in fine spirits, and I am happy to learn that his wound is not considered dangerous. Gen. Lane and the other wounded soldiers are also doing well.
"Major Alvord and suit arrived here today, for the purpose of surveying a military road between Stuart's Creek and Myrtle Creek. Capt. Lindsey Applegate arrived also today from the Umpqua, with 35 men, and a supply of ammunition, accompanied by Mr. Snelling."
The Yreka Mountain Herald extra of the 8th says:
"Yesterday, about noon, the Humbug and Yreka volunteers, under the command of Captains Rhodes and Goodall, who have for some time back been fighting the Rogue River Indians, returned. They inform us that a treaty has been concluded between the Indians and the whites, and that the Indians are giving up their guns and ammunition. We will publish the treaty in our paper Saturday. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon our gallant citizens who rendered such timely and effective aid to our neighbors of Rogue River Valley. They have proven, as our countrymen ever have, the bravery and patriotism of the American people, and that they are ever as ready and willing, however great the sacrifice, to defend the lives and property of their fellows as to avenge the murder of their countrymen."
New York Daily Tribune, October 10, 1853, page 6
Later from the Indian War!
GEN. LANE WOUNDED IN THE SHOULDER.
CAPT. ALDEN DANGEROUSLY WOUNDED!!
INDIANS BEATEN IN TWO BATTLES!
PROSPECT OF A PEACE!!
Correspondence of the Union Weekly Times.Jacksonville, Aug. 26
Friend Waterman:--I take advantage of a private express to send you a hasty account of the Indian difficulties in this valley, which were much more serious than I anticipated when I wrote you last. The rising of the Indians was general, and it was intended, no doubt, to make a simultaneous attack upon the inhabitants of this and the surrounding valleys, and massacre them all before they could prepare for their defense. The murders of Edwards on the 4th, Wills on the 5th, and Noland on the 6th, in the immediate vicinity of this place, together with the fact that all the Indians left the town after the first murder was committed, aroused the people to a sense of their danger. A dispatch was immediately sent to Fort Jones in Scotts Valley for arms, of which there was a great deficiency, many having been sold no doubt to the Indians, who were found to be well armed and supplied with ammunition. The commanding officer (Capt. Alden, 4th U.S. Infantry) immediately came with ten soldiers, all that were able for duty, and thirty stand of arms. He proceeded at once to appoint a commission of Indian affairs for southern Oregon. The commissioners are L. A. Davis, George Dart, Richard Dugan and Dr. Ed Sheil. He then proceeded to muster into service the volunteers. They were composed of Capt. Miller's company of Oregon volunteers--80 men; Capt. Goodall's company of Yreka volunteers--90 men; Capt. Lamerick's company of this place--40 men; Capt. Elliff's--25 men; and Capt. Rhodes' company from Humbug--50 men; under command of Col. John Ross of this place.
The commissioners at once entered upon the discharge of their duty. Charles S. Drew was appointed quartermaster, and measures promptly taken for a vigorous prosecution of the war. On the 11th Lt. Griffin of Capt. Miller's company with 25 men attacked a body of Indians on the east fork of Applegate Creek and forced them to retreat. The whites had one man (Geo. Anderson) severely wounded. In the evening of the same day, John R. Hardin and Dr. W. R. Rose were shot as they were riding along the road in the Rogue River Valley. Rose was instantly killed, and Hardin died a few days after. The next day Lt. Griffin went down Applegate Creek to look for the Indians and fell into an ambuscade and was forced to retreat with the loss of one man (Frank Garrett) killed, and Lt. Griffin wounded in the leg. Reinforcements having arrived, the Indians were pursued on the following day but had made their escape. The troops then returned to their headquarters about nine miles from here in the Rogue River Valley, from which place they were sent out in small parties towards and beyond Rogue River. It was supposed that the Indians were divided into small parties, and news of their depredations reached us from all quarters daily. The farmers were compelled to come into town for security, or collect a number in one house which they turned into a fort, and keep constantly on their guard, leaving their crops, the fruit of their whole year's labor, at the mercy of the Indians. A large amount of grain and many houses have been burned, and stock killed or driven away. The damage done by them cannot be less than a hundred thousand dollars. The miners have been compelled to quit work, and many of them were without means to support themselves beyond a short time. After the troops were withdrawn from Applegate the Indians surprised a camp of the miners and fired one volley and ran. They killed two men (John N. Davis and Asa Prickett) and wounded one other, not dangerously.
On the 17th, Lt. Ely of Capt. Goodall's company, with 20 men, came upon the Indians, about 150 in number, on Evans Creek on the north side of Rogue River, the Indians surrounded them, but they fought nobly for more than three hours, until the arrival of reinforcements forced the Indians to retire. They lost five men killed and three wounded; the killed were Isham P. Keath, Albert Douglass of Ohio, Asa Colburn, Frank Perry and L. Stockling. The Indians retired and the troops were compelled to return to headquarters for provisions.
On the evening of the 20th, Gen. Lane arrived at headquarters with 18 men. The news reached him at his farm on the Umpqua at 12 o'clock at night. With his usual promptness he was in the saddle at daylight, and with what men he could collect on the moment he hastened to the scene of action. At the request of Capt. Alden the General assumed the command, and on the 22nd at two o'clock a.m. the whole force started to the mountains in pursuit of the Indians. At daylight on the 22nd the Indians attacked a house on the road to Yreka, killed three men and wounded three. Two of the killed were immigrants who had crossed the plains this year, whose names I could not learn; the other was ---- Gibbs, who kept the Mountain House. On yesterday the Indians fired into a Mexican mule train coming from Crescent City, on Applegate, wounded three men slightly and killed two mules.
Today we have just heard from Gen. Lane. He came upon the main body of the Indians, about 250 in number, under the command of the chiefs Joe, Sam and Jim, far up in the mountains where they thought themselves safe from pursuit. They surprised the Indians and fought for two or three hours until they cried for a talk; they ceased firing and the Indians agreed to give up their arms and all the captured property, and cease hostilities. A truce was agreed to, and the Indians are to come to Table Rock in six days and conclude a treaty of peace. If this is done the war is at an end. There are men here who are not satisfied with the results, but insist upon extermination. I think, however, that this would be more difficult than anticipated, and that all will coincide in the good policy of a treaty that secures the immediate safety of the valley. The whites lost three men killed--Armstrong of Yamhill, Frank Bradley and ---- Scarborough of Yreka, and five wounded. Gen. Lane was shot through the right arm just below the shoulder, a severe but not a dangerous wound. Capt. Alden is dangerously wounded, a bullet entering on one side of his neck and passing out below his shoulder blade. The Indians had 12 killed and about 30 wounded in the last fight, and eight killed, 12 wounded on Evans Creek. I hope in my next to be able to assure you that the war is finally disposed of and labor resumed. My wound is nearly well, and I shall be able to walk without crutches in a few days.
Yours truly,P.S.--Capt. Owens has just come in and reports having killed six Indians and wounding two more, without loss on his part. M.
L. F. MOSHER.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, September 10, 1853, page 2
Extermination of the Grave Creek Indians.
Messrs. Adams and McCormick, who arrived here a day or two since, give us the following information relative to the Grave Creek Indians. They state that two weeks last Wednesday [on August 17] four Indians were got into Mr. Bates' house, but as yet the women and three others had not come in. The whites waited till the rest of the Indians came up. Mr. Owens was there with a guard to protect the U.S. mail. When the other Indians came in Mr. J. H. McCormick was ordered to take charge of the armed white men, four in number, outside. It was ordered that no firing be done till near enough to make sure shots. The chief and three others were in Bates' house, in charge of Mr. Charles Adams. Mr. McCormick's attack was to be the signal for Adams inside. When the outside signal was given Adams shot a noted Indian named John. Mr. Thomas Frizzell shot at the chief, wounding him. The chief sprang at him with a shovel, aiming at his head, but was warded off, giving a dangerous wound in the hand. The chief then gathered in and threw him, when Adams put two balls through him and he expired. Capt. Owens came in, when an Indian sprang upon and threw him. While down Mr. Adams put two balls through him and he expired. In the melee Owens received two balls through his hat.
The question then arose whether the squaws and children should be put to death. Through Messrs. Adams and McCormick's exertions they were unharmed. The only one left of the male race of this tribe is a young lad some eight or ten years old, a very bright and intelligent boy, whom they brought to this place with them.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, September 10, 1853, page 2
Treating with the Southern Indians.
By the letters which we published last week our readers have learned that the 1st inst. was fixed upon by Gen. Lane to consider a proposition for a treaty of peace made by the Indians, and that Gen. Palmer, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, had been sent for. The time of receiving the dispatch would hardly have enabled him to be there, however.
The result of that contemplated conference we have not heard, but it is quite probable that it resulted in a postponement, on account of the presumed absence of the Superintendent, or in non-action and a consequent renewal of hostilities.
As to the policy of treating with these Indians, we are not prepared to express an opinion, removed as we are from the scene of troubles, and, quite likely, misunderstanding to some extent the causes and nature of the difficulties. Our impulses are, if not for extermination, against a treaty until they have been thoroughly chastised and subdued. And such we apprehend is the case with a great majority of the public. But we have, and we believe all have, unbounded confidence in Gen. Lane's judgment in the matter, and no fear that he will advise a treaty against justice or the interests of the whites. He is on the ground; he understands those Indians and the difficulties existing there, and has been familiar with them for the past three years. Indian fighting with him, if the revenge of wrongs or the safety of citizens demand it, is pastime. And if the southern tribes deserve extermination, or the safety of the inhabitants of that quarter demand it, we know that Gen. Lane will be foremost in the fray, and "in at the death" of the last Indian. If such shall be his conclusion, no treaty has been or will be recommended by him. Or if he shall deem a severe chastisement sufficient, and necessary, treaties will not meet his approbation till they have had it to their thorough subdual. With his superior knowledge of the Indian character, of the character of those particular tribes and the history of this and former difficulties with them, and his oft-tested will to visit their crimes with the most ample vengeance, we are more willing to trust his judgment in the matter and manner of a settlement than our own. And such we believe is the sentiment of Oregon.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 13, 1853, page 2
South Umpqua, Near the Canyon,Dear Bush.--Day before yesterday the Oregon volunteers made the Calapooia Mountains, having been delayed one whole day waiting for the howitzer and ammunition from Fort Vancouver, under command of Lieut. Kautz. Capt. Nesmith, learning that ammunition was much needed in Rogue River, detached twenty picked men under command of Lieut. Grover to escort the pack train of ammunition to Jacksonville, at the shortest notice. The detachment will reach the canyon tonight, and tomorrow we shall pass the line of peace into the enemy's country, hoping to reach Jacksonville Saturday night, if our animals do not give out.
September 2nd, 1853.
If the Indians get notice of our approach the train will be attacked, as they are also in want of ammunition. We are few, but every man is well mounted and armed with rifle, revolver and scabbard knife, and a dead shot at 300 yards. No powder will be wasted.
Gen. Lane fought a battle east of Table Rock a week ago, getting shot in the shoulder. Three men killed, three mortally wounded, and ten or twelve slightly. The Indians had eight or ten killed and 20 wounded. Sam offers to treat, but don't own himself licked. Three days ago there was a fight at Long's ferry, with the lower Rogue Rivers; two whites killed and six wounded. No Indians killed--the whites were surprised. Capt. Alden is reported mortally wounded. [He survived.] Col. Armstrong, of Yamhill County, has been killed.
Capt. Ross, of Jacksonville, with a mounted company of 30 men, were attacked by the lower Rogue Rivers last week; several of his men were killed and most of his animals taken. Six of the Grave Creek Indians were killed last week and the rest of the ranch [village] near the canyon scattered. This is most of the flying news that we can gathered; it is in substance reliable. Gen. Lane is not dangerously wounded. It has rained for two days past and we have had horrid times in camp; being on a forced march we pack nothing except what is necessary to keep body and soul together--a little flour and bread, no tents, no axes, and but few blankets. Sleeping on the wet ground beneath the lowering storm cloud, one often dreams "quam dulcia est pro patria mori," how sweet it is to die for one's country.
Capt. Nesmith aims to make Jacksonville by next Wednesday; our whole company now consists of 60 men good and true, and if peace be not made when we all get to the seat of war, it soon will be.
You will hear from me again when we arrive at Jacksonville, when I will try and give you a true account of things.
Mr. Culver, Indian Agent [not Sam Colver], is expected to meet us at the canyon tonight, and go through with the escort.
Yours in haste,Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 13, 1853, page 2
The following was the vote. . . .
"The Election," Daily Evening Herald, Marysville, California, September 14, 1853, page 2 The first three places were then thought to be in Klamath County, California.
The emigration to California and Oregon the present year is not more than one-third as large as that of last year, while the amount of stock brought across the plains is three times as great.
Mountain Herald, Yreka, September 17, 1853, page 1
ROBINSON HOUSE, JACKSONVILLE.--Our friends who visit Jacksonville remind us that the war has not diminished the worth of this fine establishment. The gentle, manly proprietor, Dr. Robinson, is said to be ever on hand to administer to the comfort of his boarders.
Mountain Herald, Yreka, September 17, 1853, page 2
From the Seat of War.
From Mr. Avery of Marysville, we learn later news from the Indian difficulties. He had seen and conversed with Mr. Foster, who arrived from there in seven days. The chiefs, Sam and Joe, were disposed to make peace, but nothing definite had been concluded upon when he left. The Superintendent, Gen. Palmer, was there and also Gen. Lane. Joe has always been favorable to a peace.
The tribe of Indians on lower Rogue River, led by their chief, Taylor, are yet hostile--and there are circumstances existing at present which preclude a prospect of any immediate treaty with them. They had recently fell upon a party of whites and killed three of them.
Capt. Alden it was thought would recover from his wound--though he was not yet out of danger.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, September 17, 1853, page 2
In Jacksonville, Siskiyou County, Sept. 3, Mr. George Reed, a native of England.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 19, 1853, page 2
TROOPS FOR ROGUE RIVER.--On Sunday last, four companies of U.S. infantry, of twenty men each, passed through this place, en route for the scene of Indian disturbances in the North. Three companies for Benicia, in command of Major Patten, the poet and soldier, the other is from Fort Reading; the whole under command of Col. Wright.--Shasta Courier.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 19, 1853, page 2
SISKIYOU.--The following items are from the Mountain Herald of the 10th inst.:
ARRIVAL OF EMIGRANTS IN ROGUE RIVER VALLEY.--Mr. J. Rogers, of Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express, informs us that 30 wagons arrived in Rogue River Valley on Saturday, the 27th ult., principally families from Illinois and Missouri, and on Saturday last, six wagons and about 600 head of beef cattle.
Trains are now arriving from Crescent City and Scottsburg, the trail being sufficiently guarded for the protection of packers. Goods are also coming in briskly from below. Merchants are laying in winter stocks, and business has resumed quite a lively aspect.
RAIN.--We had quite a heavy rain on Friday of last week. It snowed in the mountains, and the weather has been much cooler since.
We are credibly informed that one hundred and fifty U.S. troops (infantry) will arrive in Scott Valley tomorrow, en route for Rogue River. We are in hopes these troops will hasten to the scene of action, as we fear peace will not be concluded.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 19, 1853, page 2
News from the War.
Below will be found an extract from a letter from Gen. Lane to Gov. Curry, under date of Sept. 5, 1853. It will be seen that a conference with the Indians had taken place, and that Gen. Lane was confident that a treaty of peace would be concluded.
From Mr. J. A. Barrett, who left Jacksonville on the 7th, two days later, we learn that the various tribes of Indians were coming in for the purpose of treating, and that a large number of them had collected. Taylor's band, up to that time, had refused to come in in consequence of the exhibition of bad faith which had been shown them by some whites, referred to in another column [transcribed below]. They said they were afraid to come in, believing it was but a second device to get them together for the purpose of slaughter [see article transcribed above from the Oregon Statesman, September 20, 1853, page 2].
Mr. Burnett informs us that it was understood that the conditions upon which Gen. Lane was willing to assent to a treaty were that the Indians should give up their arms, all stolen property, and all murderers among them, and consent as soon as practicable to leave the valley; and also to pay the expenses of the war from any annuities which should hereafter be given them by the U.S. government.
Gen. Lane was fast recovering from the effects of his wound, though we notice that he is still compelled to employ an amanuensis. Subjoined is the extract referred to:
"I shall not attempt to give you a detailed account of all the incidents of the war, as you will have heard them from reliable sources before this will reach you. The 'talk' has been commenced, and I have no doubt of a treaty being made which will ensure a permanent peace with the main body of the Indians, who are subject to the chiefs Joe, Sam and Jim. No further action is therefore necessary on your part. Gen. Palmer and Mr. Culver arrived yesterday. With many thanks for your kind assistance,
"I am yours respectfully,LATER.--Terms of Treaty Agreed Upon.--T. McF. Patton, of Jacksonville, arrived here Saturday evening. He left on the 11th. He reports that a treaty had been agreed upon, but not formally entered into, in consequence of which Gen. Lane had dismissed most of the volunteers under his command. He states that the Indians did not give up their arms; that they were to be paid $50,000 for their lands, from which sum was to be deducted $15,000 to pay for property destroyed.
From a letter from S. H. Culver, Indian agent, we learn that it was expected that the Indians would sell off their lands but a small tract upon which they were to be located, and an agent situated among them in which way it was thought further difficulty could be prevented.
If the Indians adhered to their agreement, it is probable that a treaty has ere this been entered into. But if they did not it is possible that hostilities have already been renewed.
LATER YET.--Capt. Nesmith's company has been disbanded, and some of them arrived here on Monday. A treaty has been concluded.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 20, 1853, page 2
In Camp, Near Grave Creek,Dear Bush: The advance detachment of Oregon volunteers (Salem company) under Lieut. Grover reached here last night, having now under escort Gen. Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Mr. Culver, Indian Agent, and Judge Deady of the southern judicial district. Notwithstanding incessant rain for three days, our boys are in good spirits and the powder dry. For the last two rations we have changed bacon for bear meat, and feel quite savage. We are now in the enemy's country, but have seen no Indians; tomorrow, if we meet with no opposition, we shall reach Rogue River.
September 3rd, 1853.
As we approach the seat of war, things begin to take form and semblance of reality. Stories that pass current in Willamette Valley go through so many hands that one cannot tell what to believe. Four men from Rogue River Valley camped with us last night, one of whom was in Lane's last battle, says that Capt. Alden will recover; that he met a company of dragoons from Port Orford en route for headquarters; that Lane has now 500 men under his command; that at the expiration of the seven days' cessation from hostilities, which was day before yesterday, the Indians failed to come to a wawa ["talk"] as they have agreed to, and had retired from their former position.
They stand their ground firmly in a fight, and contest the ground inch by inch, and show a good deal of skill in strategy. Now fight is inevitable.
It is reported that 800 Coast Indians are on their way to join the Rogue Rivers. The miners have been driven from Althouse Creek, and all the smaller mining settlements; all the boys are "leaking out," by small parties, so that soon there will be none left except those who came to fight. It looks rather strange that a county lately boasting of 3,000 voters should not have been able to defend themselves against one tribe of Indians.
Item.--A young man came to camp last night with his face horribly gashed, and his whole front covered in blood. An attendant who came with him stated that a few hours previous while on the road, he caught a leading horse by the tail, which being frightened gave him a violent kick in the face, cutting his lips to pieces and badly disfiguring his countenance. Having no surgeon, Judge Deady and Lieut. Grover volunteer their services to bind up his wounds, and succeeded beyond expectation in relieving the poor fellow's distress. He will be attended by tonight by the regular surgeon of the company coming in the main command.
Our detachment containing several of the Salem boys are all well, and all things go on in good order.
Yours in haste,P.S.--A company of 60 men from Jacksonville left here yesterday morning, having come in to escort a train of ammunition from Scottsburg. Had we not been delayed by the Vancouver company, our train would have been the first in.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 20, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Sept. 6, 1853.
Dear Bush:--The advance escort of the Willamette company arrived here last Sunday, and delivered the ammunition &c. to the commissioners of war. Capt. Nesmith is expected here today.
No peace made today. Chiefs expected into headquarters to treat, but I don't believe anything will be done. In the meantime our boys have been notified to hold themselves in readiness to march against the enemy at a moment's notice. Night before last a house was burnt one mile and a half from this place; also, ten tons of hay and oats. Hostilities have in no wise ceased, and we expect some fighting soon. During the armistice the Yreka, Humbug and Crescent City companies have been discharged.
It is going to be very difficult to subdue these savages if they stand out as they have begun; the country is so inaccessible and the many mountain passes so little known that the whites can hardly get at these natives. Besides they fight like demons, are well armed, and from [one] source or other they have got a good supply of ammunition.
I hope soon to give you authentic information of what is to be done here. Much property and many valuable lives have already been destroyed since the opening of these Indian troubles.
Gen. Lane has nearly recovered from his wound. Capt. Alden, I am very sorry to say, lingers still in a low state, but his surgeon says that he has high hopes of his recovery. Other wounded soldiers are doing well.
Judge Deady has just closed the Sept. term of District Court of Jackson Co. with high credit to himself and satisfaction to the citizens.
Yours &c., RANGER.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 20, 1853, page 2
COURT AT JACKSONVILLE.--By our correspondent "Ranger's" letter, it will be seen that Judge Deady held the regular term of the court at Jacksonville. A number of civil causes were tried and seven indictments were returned by the grand jury.
Col. Alden was getting well of his wound. The howitzer was upon the ground, "the wonder of the tillicums ["people"], both Boston and siwash," says a correspondent.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 20, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Sept. 3, 1853.
Friend Bush:--The mail is about leaving, and with it I hasten to send you a line in reference to the Indian hostilities. Depredations are still being continued, and notwithstanding Tyee Sam and Joe both promised Gen. Lane that they would send out runners and collect all the Indians at Table Rock by the 31st ult., they have failed to come in to make the proposed treaty. The conditions of that treaty as stated by Gen. Lane were that they should deliver up all firearms, ammunition, and pay all damages and expenses of the war out of the proceeds which they should receive from Congress for their lands. Orders have been issued by Gen. Lane this morning for the troops to be in readiness to march at 2 o'clock p.m. of this day. Their day of grace is now over. Extermination was their motto at first, but policy induced Gen. Lane after the Indians asked for a conference to make and enter into a treaty, provided they would make the stipulations good. They have failed to comply with any of their promises. James Bruce and Robert Metcalfe were dispatched by Gen. Lane a few days since to go to the Indian encampment and learn if they intended in good faith to come in. They returned in company with Tyee Jim, the chief of the Umpquas, and reported that they would come in, but asked for three more days to come in, owing to so many of their tillicums ["people"] being wounded. Jim returned, as I understand, to the Indians, and has not been seen or heard from since. The b'hoys ["Irish" dialect] have for once in their lives been agreeably disappointed. They were in hopes that the Indians would not comply. They are all for war, now and forever, until every one is exterminated. Gen. Lane remains at camp and attends to his duties like a soldier. He is badly wounded in the right shoulder, but is determined (wounded or not) to give them what they badly need.
Judge Nesmith's escort is expected in tomorrow, and when the Indians hear the report of the [illegible--apparently a Chinook word for "howitzer"] they will surely think the "Bostons" are bound to fight.
The following named persons have been killed:
Francis Garnett, Company "A," Capt. Miller.
John Gills, Jr., Co. Commissioner, Thos. J. Wills, merchant, John R. Hardin, lawyer, Chas. C. Albey (Yreka, Cal.), died from the effects of wounds.
William R. Rose, Thomas Frizzell, farmer, Mungo, half-breed, at Parker's ferry, Capt. Armstrong of Yamhill Co., and Asa Colburn, miner, were shot dead.
Two persons were killed on the Crescent City road, names unknown.
The following is a list of wounded:
Col. B. R. Alden, U.S.A., wounded in the neck; Gen. Jos. Lane, in the right shoulder; Andrew B. Carter, right arm broken; Patrick Dunn in the left shoulder; Lieut. Ely, of Yreka, in the hand; James Carroll in the thigh; John Hillman and A. Adams by accident.
Others whose names are not known to me (several emigrants) are in the hospital, suffering from their wounds. We have two hospitals, both full. A great deal of sickness prevails among the troops--fifty-four cases are reported by Dr. Evans, surgeon. Dr. E. H. C. Carland has been appointed surgeon for the hospital. Dr. Galtby [Gatliff?] of Yreka, Cal. is in attendance, and rendering such professional service as is needed.
Four houses were fired on Applegate Creek yesterday. A Spanish pack train was attacked on Applegate two or three days since, three Spaniards wounded, two mules killed and their cargoes carried off. Mr. Ettlinger arrived at headquarters on Thursday evening and reported that the requisition had been filled, and that firearms and ammunition in abundance would be here in a few days.
Several houses have been fired and burned south of the Canyon. Eighteen out of twenty Indians of "Taylor's" band were killed on Monday. Good licks--lay on, Sal!
Yours in haste,Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 20, 1853, page 2
T. McF. PATTON.
BAD FAITH.--We regret to learn that a number of "Taylor's" Indians were collected together by a party of whites in Rogue River Valley a short time since, under professions of friendship and pretense of making a treaty, and while engaged in eating a roasted ox, which had been prepared for them, were, by preconcert, fired upon by the whites, and eighteen killed. The remainder, but two in number, succeeded in effecting an escape.
Six or eight of the Grave Creek Indians, we are also informed, were enticed into a house under professions of friendship by some whites, induced to give up their arms, and, thus rendered defenseless, tied and deliberately shot.
Such instances of bad faith and barbarity should be left to the savages, and we are sorry to hear that any of our people have been engaged in them. We hope the reports are but correct, and that the facts will show, at least, some mitigating circumstances. If they shall prove to be true, however, we do not believe the people south will justify such conduct, or should, in a body, be held responsible for it.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 20, 1853, page 2
Affairs in the South.
In other columns of this issue of the Statesman will be found an extended account of transactions in Rogue River, subsequent to former advices, including one of the treaties in full, and an explicit synopsis of the other.
From what we have been able to gather from Capt. Nesmith and his company of volunteers, who have returned to this place, it appears that the public have been under some misapprehension in relation to the true condition of things in that region, and that so far from any general combination or well-organized plans on the part of the Indians to exterminate the whites, or drive them from the country, appearances are quite to the contrary. If they have entertained such purpose they have not exhibited the usual art of the savage in their operations.
The condition of the Indians of Rogue River is anomalous; they have suddenly found themselves surrounded by a white population largely exceeding their own in numbers, engaged in the acquisition of gold, with which the country abounds. Some of the whites, to say the least, are imprudent and reckless men, who expected passive submission from the Indians, under any treatment, while the latter have never had any correct idea of the practice and policy of our government in relation to their race, and consequently have regarded all the whites in their country as lawless intruders, endeavoring to despoil them of their property and rights in an irregular manner. With such impressions it is but natural the even slight provocations should have driven the Indians to retaliatory acts and indiscriminate hostilities.
The immediate cause of the recent outbreak does not appear to be well understood. The Indians allege that the principal reason was the abduction of one of their women by a Mexican by the name of Debusha, who threatened violence to the chief "Jim," because he sought to reclaim her, and that they commenced burning houses without discrimination, by way of retort. One act of aggression brought on another, until the two races found themselves in arms.
Thus existed things when Capt. Alden and Gen. Lane arrived at the scene of difficulties, and with praiseworthy patriotism exerted themselves to defend the country and chastise the Indians, and in prosecution of their purpose followed them into the mountains and fought the battle of the 24th, in which both of those officers, together with several others, were severely wounded and three of their party killed. One of the wounded men has since died. The Indian loss was eight killed, and fifteen wounded, seven of whom have since died. It is said that Capt. Alden led on the attack with great gallantry, and had just shot down an Indian as he himself fell badly, as was then supposed mortally, wounded. Gen. Lane, in leading a charge, received a shot through the right arm just below the shoulder, knocking his gun from his hand. After the fight seven bullet holes were found in his coat. The contest lasted three or four hours without either party gaining any advantage from position; neither flank of the enemy could be turned, owing to the natural obstacles presented by fallen timber which extended from the right to the left from their front, affording the most complete protection, and leaving no alternative to the whites but to charge them in front, and in the teeth of a deadly enfilading fire of large-bored rifles and yagers from the right and left.
The Indians finally called to the whites and inquired who their "tyee" was, and upon being told that it was "Jo Lane," asked for a parley, requesting Lane to come into their camp and talk; which he finally did, at the urgent solicitation of all his men; but protesting all the while that he would rather fight than talk, as he had not come for that purpose. The result of this talk was an agreement upon the terms of the treaty which has since been made.
The proposition for a treaty was submitted to all the men present, and unanimously accepted; the terms of the treaty were likewise submitted to them, and sanctioned without dissent. Since that time Gen. Palmer and Mr. Culver have concluded the treaty and purchased the lands of the Indians. What results will follow remain for time to develop. The most substantial settlers of Rogue River Valley, and those who have the greatest interest at stake, we are assured, manifest satisfaction with the treaty, and express a determination to see that its provisions are faithfully executed; while it is said there is another class who have not participated in the battles, but declare themselves "exterminators," and declare that no treaty shall stand, holding themselves in readiness to shoot down the first Indian they see; that this class are clamorous about the Indians giving up their guns in conformity to the terms agreed upon on the battleground. While the Indians on the contrary evince a disposition to hold on to them, until they have some assurance that they will be safe without them.
The "exterminators" attach great odium to Gen. Lane, on account of the treaty, some of the trifling portion of them denouncing him as a coward and old granny, but these have been careful to keep themselves beyond the range of the Indian rifles.
Judging from the results of the war so far, we are forced to conclude that this matter of "extermination" is easier talked of than executed. In the only two battles that have been fought, the loss on each side has been nearly equal. The Indians are no longer armed with "sharp sticks," but on the contrary have the best rifles in the country, and are active and expert in the use of them, and, taking the battles fought as a criterion, we may calculate, in prosecuting the war, on losing nearly as many lives as the Indians do, and those of our best men, an exchange we should not consider desirable, while peace can be obtained and perpetuated upon honorable terms.
We understand that in addition to the men who were engaged in the two battles referred to, several companies have been constantly in pursuit of Indians in different directions. These companies are composed of brave and experienced mountaineers, good Indian fighters, and generally well officered; but their success in finding and killing Indians presents another argument against the clamor for extermination. We learn that Capts. Miller and Lamerick (of whose conduct all speak in the highest terms of praise), and other officers, with good companies, have been constantly in the saddle since the commencement of the war, but have failed to find the enemy and consequently have killed none.
Capt. Owen, with a company, succeeded in decoying five Indians into Bates' house, on Grave Creek, under the pretense of having a talk, and, after disarming and tying, shot them. This act, together with the killing of a defenseless Indian at the "rancherie" on Grave Creek, are believed to be all accomplished by that company during the war. Capt. Williams, who commanded a company of about thirty men, and has been vigilant in search of the enemy during the war, succeeded in decoying "Jim," the young chief of what is known as "Taylor's Indians," into his camp near Applegate Creek, after the treaty had been agreed upon, and tied him to a tree and shot him. This act of Capt. Williams came very near breaking up the treaty, as an Indian runner arrived on the treaty ground on Monday morning, and detailed the outrage to his tribe in the presence of the seven unarmed whites, who came on the ground for the purpose of making the treaty. The Indians complained of it as an act of bad faith, and said they might retaliate by butchering the seven white men then in their power, but were too honorable to kill unarmed men who had come voluntarily into their camp.
If the "exterminators" are to continue the war they cannot safely calculate upon any such successes as those of Capts. Owen and Williams, as the Indians will hereafter probably object to being disarmed or tied.
After a careful examination of the facts, we are satisfied that the general provisions of the treaty are good, and we are told that the Indians manifest a determination to abide by it. If so, it remains for the whites in Rogue River Valley to determine between the observance of the treaty, or the renewal of the war.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Capt. Miller, with a company of about fifty volunteers, left Jacksonville on the 12th inst., under orders from Gen. Lane, to proceed to Klamath Lake for the purpose of affording protection to emigrants on the southern route. It will be recollected that emigrants on that route last year suffered severely from Indian depredations. It is to be hoped that this timely precaution will prevent a recurrence of the kind this year.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Sept. 12, 1853.EDITORS HERALD: Knowing that everything appertaining to the Indian difficulties in this quarter must interest your readers, I thought in the absence of other employment, before leaving myself I would drop you a few lines for old acquaintance' sake.
Well, at last the treaty is made, and the Indians are to be paid $60,000 for the land on this side of Rogue River, and $15,000 of the same is to be withheld and appropriated as an indemnification to some of the citizens of this valley. This treaty, as you are probably aware, has in its present form been pending some four or five days, and as your readers know the particulars of this so-called Rogue River war as well as your humble servant, I shall not attempt to revive the past, for it is neither pleasing nor flattering.
A treaty has been made, and that it was absolutely necessary under existing circumstances no one will attempt to deny. But the general policy pursued previous to its final consummation is very unsatisfactory, and almost universally condemned.
After the last battle, in which Gen. Lane and Capt. Alden were wounded, the Indians were allowed an armistice of seven days, at the end of which time they were to come in and make peace. If they did not do so, they were threatened with the most dreadful consequences. Instead of their coming in at the time appointed, it was the twenty-second or third day before a sufficient number of them could be prevailed on to come in. But they have come at last, and have agreed to remain on the other side of the river, except when permitted to cross by the Indian agent, who is to reside with them. Tipsey's band is still at large, and have thus far refused all overtures. They are still committing their depredations with impunity.
As yet but few guns have been brought in, and some $200 in money. They have made no stipulations, however, for the surrender of any prisoners, and common justice cannot otherwise be satisfied for the murder of some of our most valuable citizens! Five hundred men lay idle and inactive for twelve or fourteen days after the armistice had expired, and it was for this reason that the volunteers of your own city, as also the Humbug and Crescent City companies, became dissatisfied and asked or demanded their discharge.
They came to act, and not tamely await the convenience of a parcel of savages who had repeatedly violated their word, broken their treaties, murdered our citizens and stolen or destroyed our property as fast as their devilish ingenuity could devise, and let those who wish to vindicate the Indian character, and more particularly the conduct of the Rogue River Indians and their confederates, do so as much as they please, and find all the extenuation they can, but they should not close their eyes to the fact that the Indians have been for several months preparing for the fatal demonstration they have made.
Capt. Terry and company asked for and received their discharge before the ratification of the treaty. They left in high dudgeon, declaring their unanimous disapprobation of everything.
The hospital is still crowded with the sick and wounded. Through the streets may be seen men carrying their arms in splints and bandages, while others seem to be materially assisted in locomotion by the use of crutches.
Two deaths in private families, from consumption, have transpired with an interval of only two days.
To say that the town is dull, money scarce, and business nearly stagnant, is only to convey a feeble idea of its general appearance. Merchants, farmers, mechanics and miners have no better employment as yet than to contest the point as to who have suffered the most by the Rogue River war. In a day or two I leave for the coast, and hope to be with you again in the course of three or four weeks and enjoy the rights and privileges of a Yreka citizen.
Supplement to the Mountain Herald, Yreka, September 17, 1853
The wound received by Gen. Lane in the fight on the 24th was on the same arm and just above that received in Mexico.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Gen. Lane was in Rogue River at last dates, endeavoring to effect a treaty with the Taylor Indians, who, in consequence of the bad faith shown them, declined to treat. If he accomplished his object in time, he will pass through this valley to Washington. But if not he purposed proceeding to San Francisco by land.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Incidents of the War.
When Capt. Alden was shot in the battle of the 24th, he fell senseless and was supposed to be dead. While he lay upon the ground the Indians attempted to approach him, probably with the intention of mutilating his body, but the few regulars he had with him protected him and kept them off; one of the soldiers, a sturdy son of Erin, exclaiming to his comrades, "Boys, don't let the bloody redskins have his scalp."
After the armistice was agreed upon the whites and Indians turned their horses loose in a band, and camped together the two succeeding nights upon the battleground, each party having confidence in the other. The Indians, as soon as the firing ceased, carried out water to our wounded men, and furnished a party to assist in conveying the litters with our wounded for 25 miles, through the mountains. This appears to be a new feature in Indian warfare.
Our dead were buried with the honors of war, and when the platoons commenced discharging their rifles over the grave of their fallen comrades, the Indians supposed the armistice broken, and sprang to their rifles, but were quieted upon its being explained that it was our usual custom.
The Indians had news of the approach of the howitzer several days before it reached Rogue River. They said it was a "hyas rifle which required a hat full of powder for a load, and would shoot down a tree." It was an object of great terror to the Indians, and they begged "Jo Lane," as they all call him, not to have it fired!
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Sept. 13, 1853.Mr. Editor:--The attempt of a few persons who were dissatisfied with Gen. Lane's course in relation to the treaty, to get up an indignation meeting here on last evening, proved an entire failure, consequently some of our valiant men in talk were disappointed in not finding an opportunity to let off steam.
A drunken loafer who never saw powder burnt rode through our streets yesterday, bawling at the top of his voice, "Ten dollars reward to the ladies of Jacksonville if they will present Jo Lane with a petticoat." All observers pitied the poor creature and regarded him as a hero who had purchased his patriotism for a quarter at the neighborhood doggery.
The people are becoming satisfied with the treaty and are returning to their homes. There are some suspicions that the Indians have more credit for house burning than they are entitled to. The Indians say that a "Boston" was in their camp a few nights before the battle and furnished them with ammunition and advised them what course to pursue. They refuse to give his name. It will not be healthy for him if he is found out.
Capt. Alden and others who were wounded are fast recovering. Mining business has been entirely suspended, but is beginning to be resumed.
Never having seen Gen. Lane, my curiosity prompted me to visit his camp day before yesterday. Having seen generals in the States togged out in epaulets, gold lace, cocked hats and long, shining swords, I expected to find something of the kind at "headquarters." But fancy my surprise on being introduced to a robust, good-looking middle-aged man, with his right arm in a sling, the shirt sleeve slit open and dangling bloody from his shoulder, his nether extremities cased in an old pair of grey breeches that looked as though they were the identical ones worn by Gen. Scott when he was "exposed to the fire in the rear." One end of them was supported by a buckskin strap in the place of a suspender, while one of the legs rested upon the top of the remains of an old boot. His hair so twisted, tangled and matted that it would have frightened the teeth out of a currycomb, and set all tonsorial expectations at defiance, was surmounted by the remains of an old forage cap, which, judging from its appearance, might have been worn at Braddock's defeat. This composed the uniform of the old hero who never surrendered.
The "quarters" were in keeping with the garb of the occupant, it being a rough log cabin about 16 feet square with a hole in one side, called a door, and destitute of floor or chimney. In one corner lay a pile of sacks filled with provisions for the troops, in another a stack of guns of all sizes, sorts and caliber, from the old French musket down to the fancy silver-mounted sporting rifle, while in the third sat an old camp kettle, a frying pan, a coffee pot minus a spout, four pack saddles, a dirty shirt, one old shoe, and a moccasin. The fourth corner occupied by a pair of blankets said to be the Genl.'s bed, and on a projecting puncheon just over it lay some articles said to be ammunition for the stomach in the shape of a chunk of raw beef and a wad of dirty dough. In the center of the "quarters" was a space about four feet square for the accommodation of guests. Such being the luxuries of a general's quarters, you may judge something how privates have fared in the war.
"SOCKS."Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Headquarters, Camp Alden,Dear Bush.--In my last dispatches I gave you a detailed account of the different engagements which were had with the Indians up to the time the armistice was granted. The armistice has been generally respected in this vicinity by both parties, but the Indians at a distance still continue to commit depredations.
September 2, 1853.
Three Mexicans were shot a few days since and a pack mule captured on Applegate Creek.
Mongo, a half-breed, and Thos. Prewell, were killed and a third man wounded by the Indians near Long's ferry, on Rogue River, on Sunday last, while upon the same day the house of Mr. Raymond, near Jumpoff Joe, was burnt to the ground, consuming with it a great quantity of flour and groceries. Two other houses in the same neighborhood were also burnt.
These outrages were in retaliation for the killing of seven Indians in the house of Mr. Bates, on Grave Creek. A report has just arrived from below that 20 Indians were killed by the whites after they had come in and laid down their arms to treat. Many other rumors are afoot in regard to the acts of the Indians, with which I will not occupy your columns in relating until I ascertain their truth. A few nights ago the people of Jacksonville were greatly alarmed by seeing fires and moving lights quite close to the town. It was supposed that the Indians were about to attack the place and burn it. A strong guard was stationed around the town with orders to fire upon any approaching object. This measure saved the town but--sad to relate--in the morning a white pig was found dead, and a friendly calf seriously wounded, whilst many an unoffending stump gave evidence of the vigilance of the guard and the accuracy of the aim. The sole cause of the consternation was an effort, made by parties unknown, to liberate four squaws who were held prisoners in the town. On the following day the squaws were removed to Gen. Lane's headquarters.
A deputation arrived yesterday, with two flags, presented from the ladies of Yreka, to the two companies of volunteers formed in their vicinity, viz: Capt. Goodall's, of Yreka, and Capt. Rhodes', of Humbug. The flags are alike and each bears the name of the company to which it was presented.
They were wrought by the delicate fingers of the fair lady donors themselves. Dr. Gatliff, of the deputation, delivered the flags to Gen. Lane for presentation.
The ceremony of presentation commenced at 2 o'clock, and was conducted throughout by a spirit of intelligence and patriotism well worthy of the occasion, and which is ever found in any assemblage of Americans.
The companies above named accompanied by the Crescent City Guards--as a guard of honor--having paraded a short time, were formed in line in front of the General's headquarters. Gen. Lane, accompanied by his staff, and Col. Ross, Major Alvord, U.S.A., and the other officers upon the ground, and the deputation from Yreka, advanced and took a position in the center of the line. The General, receiving one of the flags from Dr. Gatliff, advanced and presented it to Capt. Goodall, in a brief but very appropriate address. He complimented the company upon their gallant conduct in the field, and their good behavior on all occasions. He said that the alacrity and zeal manifested by the company in leaving their homes and rushing to the protection of the women and children of this valley were properly appreciated by the ladies of Yreka, and that present was as well deserved by the recipients as it was honorable to the donors.
Capt. Goodall received his colors and replied that the honor conferred was duly appreciated--that gallantry in the field was a soldier's first duty, and was always accompanied by gallantry to the ladies, and that his company would carry their flag untarnished--that the eulogy conferred by the General was in itself a high honor, coming as it did from an old veteran, distinguished in many a well-fought field--that his words should be inscribed upon our hearts, as our own American eagle was upon our banner--that he regretted that sickness and the battlefield had decimated one-third of the company, who, could they be here, would know no greater honor than that conferred upon us this day by our General. On behalf of the company, he returned their heartfelt thanks to the ladies of Yreka.
Capt. Goodall's remarks were received with enthusiastic cheers. His delivery was truly eloquent and impressive.
The General next proceeded to present the flag to the Humbug volunteers. He complimented them also upon their gallant conduct, and said that braver troops he never led to victory.
Mr. Van Wyke, on behalf of Capt. Rhodes and the company, replied, returning thanks for the honor conferred upon them by the ladies of Yreka.
The ceremony being concluded, the troops were formed into a hollow square, when Gen. Lane being in the center, proceeded to address the citizens and soldiers upon the events of the war. He commenced by explaining the disposition of the troops and the arrangements made by Capt. Alden, U.S.A., at the time of his arrival at Jacksonville. At the request of Capt. Alden, and by unanimous consent, he undertook the command in chief. Organizing two battalions, he appointed Capt. Alden in the command of one, and at the same time requested him to act as his adjutant general, which the Capt. complied with, and continued to act in this double capacity until, seriously wounded, he was borne from the field of battle. The General here paid a glowing tribute of admiration to the character and services of Capt. Alden. He said: "His heroic conduct, his unflinching devotion, his ready expedients, and animating presence upon the field of battle, and his untiring zeal and unwearied exertions forming out of the plastic material before him a respectable army, are worthy of the highest admiration, and will be cherished in the grateful remembrance of the people as well as of the soldiers who participated in his toil." The General next proceeded to narrate the prominent events of the campaign. He spoke with much feeling of his interview with the chiefs upon the battleground. When he was seen within their breastworks every lip pronounced his name--Jo Lane, Jo Lane--and every swarthy cheek was bathed in tears. The wounded ceased their groaning and the wild Indian of the mountains slank behind a bush or log in fear and awe. He appeared to them as a savior--in him alone could they confide--only Jo Lane could they trust. Old Joe (tyee) advanced to meet him and tell his story of the war. He said his tribe did not commence the war, on the contrary, when they refused to join the Shastas in their war with the whites, they notified the settlers of their danger; that the murders were committed by the Shastas; that it was not until the whites had shot or hung 11 of his tribe, many of whom were pet servants of the town, who were guilty of no offense, did he consent to the war. He said that he was not able to fight with the whites; that he desired peace and would consent to any terms to obtain it. After consulting with his entire force the General told Old Joe that the whites were disposed to give them peace if they would comply with their conditions. An armistice of eight days was the result of the conference, at the expiration of which time both parties were to meet at Table Rock. Now, said the General, this is the day upon which we were to meet, but a message from the Indians informs us that on account of their wounded they cannot arrive until tomorrow. The General next proceeded to remark upon the threats many were making to kill the Indians, whether a treaty was made or not. He hoped none would be so base as to put that threat into execution. If the Indian would not agree to the strictest terms--give up the murderers, and their arms, &c.--then he would give them war--war to the knife, and that to the hilt; but until these negotiations were finished he implored everyone within the reach of his words to have sufficient respect for himself, his country and his race to restrain him from any act of treachery.
The General concluded by thanking the companies of volunteers from Umpqua and Douglas counties for the promptness with which they came to the aid of the people of this valley.
Major Alvord, being introduced by the General, made a few appropriate remarks, but as I fear I have already trespassed too much upon your space I must defer his speech, together with many other interesting matters, until my next.
Yours,Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Headquarters, Camp Alden,Dear Bush:--On Saturday last Old Joe and Sam (tyees), accompanied by the wise woman of their tribe, arrived at headquarters and held a "wawa" with Gen. Lane, in which the preliminaries of the treaty were concluded. There were present at the council Major Alvord and Capt. Smith, U.S.A., Colonel Ross, Captain Mosher, Capts. Miller, Goodall, Martin, Rhodes and Applegate. Besides those above named the Indians were represented by Ben, the heir apparent and son of Old Joe, four young squaws--hostages--and three warriors.
September 7, 1853.
The General and others, through Mr. Metcalfe, interpreter, closely interrogated the chiefs as to the cause of their hostility. They replied that they were entirely ignorant of the cause of war. That the first news they heard was that the whites were hanging and shooting every Indian who fell into their hands; that if whites were murdered in the first instance, they were innocent of the crime, and it must have been a party of Shastas who were the guilty party. They said they heard that the whites wished to kill them all, and they then thought that their only recourse was to take up arms and fight. They said that before taking up arms they applied to Skinner for protection, but he told them he was tyee no more; that they were glad Jo Lane was here, that they had known him before, and that he had never lied to them, and therefore they would trust in him and make a treaty in good faith.
Not a syllable was elicited implicating either Old Joe or Sam, or any of the Indians under their immediate control, with any of [the] acts which led to the war.
On Sunday Gen. Lane, accompanied by several officers, and Capt. Smith's company of U.S. dragoons, visited Joe's camp some six miles distant, for the purpose of concluding the treaty; but as all the warriors were not yet assembled, three days more were allowed Joe, for the purpose of visiting his people and gathering them in, but he was informed that if at the expiration of that time he was not ready to treat hostilities would recommence.
Nothing of great importance has transpired since my last. The excitement is fast cooling down, and a desire for peace is gradually succeeding the desire for blood. The whites are suffering severely; their homes are deserted, their stock scattered abroad and entire ruin staring them in the face. They see but one alternative--peace, whilst many of those who have come to their assistance from a distance see another alternative--extermination, and in one instance have inscribed it upon their banner, and were they not restrained by the only man in Oregon who possesses the ability, their acts would be in accordance with their motto. There are some respectable men who advocate extermination, but they will live to repent it.
When the excitement shall have passed, I will write you a chapter upon "The Heroes of the War." I will see their acts to the end and should they not receive their due it will not be for the want of candor on the part of
Timon.Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
Camp Alden, Rogue River, O.T.Sir:--I have the honor to report to you of my safe arrival at this camp today, with the greater part of the ammunition and the gun, and take great pleasure in acknowledging the obligation I am under for the assistance you have afforded me through Capt. Nesmith and his company, without which it would have been utterly impossible for me to have gone through in the comparatively short time that I did, and had I been left entirely to my own limited resources, I do not think that I could have got through at all. The Captain was necessarily much detained by his instructions to remain with the gun, and the detention was increased by the bad weather. Had it not have rained, we would have reached our destination in ten days from Salem. It was an arduous task to get the carriages along, and frequently required the twelve mules and all the men that could get round to get one of the wagons up the hills. The men did exceeding good service, and for four days were constantly at the wheel. In the Canyon, they were for the greater part of two days in mud and water, and quite a number of the men were afterwards taken sick in consequence of the exposure thus incurred. Captain Nesmith himself was foremost at the wheel, and his example did much toward contenting the men with their hardships, and everything toward getting the gun through. Nothing has occurred since we started requiring the use of the gun here, except perhaps the moral effect of its presence upon the Indians, in which Gen. Lane seems to have great confidence, and he has expressed himself exceedingly well pleased with its arrival. With many thanks for your kindness and renewed acknowledgment of my obligations, I remain with great respect,
Sept. 9th, 1853.
Your obedient servant,To Hon. George L. Curry,
AUGUST V. KAUTZ,
2nd Lt., 4th Infantry
Acting Governor, O.T., Salem, O.T.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 1
The Statesman has the following:--
Gens. Lane and Alden--Gentlemen,--The undersigned, on the point of being discharged from the service, cannot permit the occasion to pass without taking this public manner of expressing our warmest thanks and profound obligations, for the sympathy and forbearance that you have manifested towards us on all occasions while under your commands; also for the prompt and efficient aid that you rendered us and the citizens of Rogue River Valley, generally, during our late Indian war. May your wounds, honorably gained in the front of the fight, speedily heal, your health restored, and live long to enjoy the society of your families and numerous friends.
Most affectionately yours, &c.,At a meeting of the "Mounted Rangers," at Jacksonville, Sept. 10th, 1853, a copy of the above letter was unanimously voted should be presented to Gens. Lane and Alden, respectively.
Capt. J. K. Lamerick
Gens J. Lane and B. R. Alden--Dear Sirs,--In common with the troops who have so nobly aided us, and the citizens, without exception, permit me to gladly add my hearty concurrence in the above sentiments.
Respectfully your friend,Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, October 1, 1853, page 2
Edward Sheil, M.D.
FROM SISKIYOU COUNTY.--Immigrants have been arriving in large numbers at Yreka of late. None of them have yet experienced any difficulty with the Indians on the trail from Humboldt River to that place. Fears, however, are entertained for the safety of the immigrants and traders who have not yet come in, from the fact that the troops that have heretofore been stationed on the trail have been removed to Rogue River Valley. The Herald censures in strong terms the policy adopted by the officer who issued the order of removal.
Capt. Alden, U.S.A., has been removed to Fort Jones. His general health is restored. One arm, however, seems paralyzed, and fears are felt that it will be useless for life.
Col. Wright, who passed through this place about three weeks since with his command, is stationed at Table Rock. The establishment of a new fort at that point is in contemplation. Health generally prevails among the troops.
Gen. Lane intends visiting Yreka before he returns to his home in Oregon.
In his removal order, disbanding the Yreka and Humbug volunteers, under the command of Capts. Goodall and Rhodes, General Lane took occasion "to testify his admiration of their courage and gallantry in battle, and their energy and general good conduct while in the service."
Improvements in Yreka still rapidly progress.
At Humbug, on the Klamath River, two men recently took out $3,000 in twelve days. They are finding new diggings in that vicinity. Most of the miners there are making very good wages.
Indians in large numbers are seen on and near the trail from this place to Yreka. They are engaged in salmon fishing, and have not been troublesome.
Sacramento Daily Union, October 3, 1853, page 2
The Oregon Statesman says that at Jacksonville, diggings have been discovered which pays $2.50 to the pan. The ground was immediately laid off into claims.
Daily Evening Herald, Marysville, California, October 3, 1853, page 2
There is a wagon road from Yreka to Oregon through the Rogue River country, into the Umpqua and Willamette valleys.
"Yreka," Sacramento Daily Union, October 4, 1853, page 2
FROM ROGUE RIVER--INDIAN TREATY.--The latest accounts from Jacksonville state that the miners had resumed work, and were making $8 and $10 per day. A treaty with the Indians had been concluded, and no further difficulties were apprehended. Capt. Nesmith's company was disbanded.
"Thirteen Days Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, October 4, 1853, page 4
Public Meeting in Rogue River.At a meeting of the citizens of Rogue River Valley, held at the Robinson House, in Jacksonville, on the 24 September, A.D., 1853, for the purpose of adopting such measures as to prevent the trafficking of arms and ammunition with the Indians, the following proceedings were had:
On motion of C. Sims, Col. John E. Ross as called to the chair, and on motion of Dr. Ambrose, C. Sims was chosen secretary of the meeting.
The chairman than proceeded to state the object of the meeting.
On motion of Dr. Ambrose, to appoint a committee of three to draft resolutions expressive of the voice of the meeting, Dr. Ambrose, Capt. John K. Lamerick, and C. S. Drew were accordingly appointed.
During the absence of the committee, the meeting was addressed by Gen. Lane and Col. T. Vault, in an eloquent and forcible manner.
The committee reported the following preamble and resolutions:
Whereas, we the citizens of Jackson County, view with pleasure and delight the restoration of safety and quietude to our valley; and whereas, we confidently believe that our present security and tranquility are the offspring of the vigilant and energetic action of our citizens and California brethren, and of the happy conclusion of the late treaty with the Indians: therefore, be it resolved by the citizens of Rogue River Valley--
1. That we the citizens of Jackson Co., view the late treaty made with the Indians of this valley, as the only effectual mode of restoring friendly relations between the white settlers and the Indians.
2. That it is our sincere desire that the said treaty should remain permanent, and that the right of the Indians under that treaty should be faithfully observed and respected by the citizens of this valley.
3. That we look upon any person who would attempt to violate any of the provisions of this treat, as unworthy of the esteem of his fellow man, and underserving the rights and privileges of citizenship.
4. That we deem the trading of arms, powder or lead or caps to the Indians, as highly improper and injurious; and any person who shall be found trading such articles, shall be deemed guilty of improper conduct, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished with one hundred and fifty lashes, and be made to leave the valley in the space of 24 hours thereafter.
5. That proper steps be taken by the citizens of this valley to form a vigilante committee, whose duty it shall be to carry into execution the punishment mentioned in the 4th resolution, and that the names of said vigilance committee shall never be made public.
6. That we mutually pledge ourselves to sustain the vigilance committee in the performance of their duties.
7. That we tender our heart felt thanks to Gen. Lane and Capt. B.R. Aden, for their valuable services rendered in the late Indian war, and for the deep interest manifested by them for our future welfare and security.
8. That we also tender our thanks to Captains Lamerick, Miller, Goodall, and Rhodes of Yreka, and Capt. Terry of Crescent City, and Williams; also Cats. Applegate and Martin of Umpqua, and Capt. Nesmith, of Willamette.
9. That our best feelings are tendered to our citizen, Col. John E. Ross, who so ably conducted his battalion in the late war.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, October 15, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Sept. 1 [sic], 1853.Friend Bush:--A treaty between the whites and Indians of this valley, after several days wawa, was concluded on the 8th inst., the conditions of which are not generally known, save one, viz: those who have conceded engage to join the whites in exterminating the remainder, or rather those inimical, who do not belong to this valley proper. The general temper with which this treaty is received by the whites is by no means favorable, and fears are entertained that the Indians having had rather the advantage in every conflict, faith will not be kept longer than suits their treacherous nature. For my part, I am certain that, when the facts of the case are properly and generally known, the motives and sound judgment of those whose duty it was to make this treaty on the part of the whites will be appreciated and approved. Several companies have been discharged and returned home: the Yreka, Humbug, Crescent City, Mounted Ranger &c. Capt. John F. Miller and comp. ordered and left this morning for Klamath Lake, to meet and assist the immigrants into our valley. Capt. Nesmith, who arrived here a few days ago, with munitions of war, Captain Wm. Martin (of Winchester), Capt. Bob Williams and Capt. Owens' companies are retained until further orders.
The whole number mustered into service I suppose to be some 500, all of whom will soon be discharged. I should observe that Capt. Smith, U.S. dragoons, and company will remain for cooperation with Mr. Culver, Indian Agent, and I firmly believe that peace and prosperity will again spread their happy influence through this valley.
The Board of Commissioners of Military Affairs were called, just now, to receive a communication from the Indians of Applegate Creek, who have committed much depredation, to the effect that they wished for peace and treaty. Ordered that, if that were really their intention, now was the time, while the big tyee was in the county. This is what I had hoped, and stated before and now feel certain all will soon be right again, though Heaven knows our loss of human life, property, time and expense, special and general has been tremendous.
I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing Gen. Lane, or Capt. Nesmith. My duties in the capital were such that I could not do myself the pleasure of making them a visit to camp, a delightful and highly picturesque situation on Rogue River, near Table Rock, some ten or twelve miles from town. I expect them here, though, in a day or two. Gen. Lane's wound is doing well; the wounded and sick, also.
The U.S. District Court commenced here last Monday, 5th inst., Judge M. P. Deady presiding, and adjourned on the Thursday following. All passed off better under the circumstances than any dared expect at the commencement. Next term, 2nd Monday in November, will present quite a different and superior phase.
A few of this year's immigrants have arrived in our valley, and doubtless many more would be here had they not been deterred by the unfortunate past. Now--Glorious, Halcyons! dreams of certain worthy bachelors I wot of--subject--buxom immigrant girls.
A word on the treaty. The rational and those most interested in the valley have every confidence in the treaty--some deeply grieved for certain losses, and another careless class, though fond of excitement, would prefer and are clamorous for following up the war to the death, but the latter opinion will evaporate shortly, and the treaty become eventually popular. Some wicked punster reported the death, by Indians, of Judge Skinner and Mr. O'Reilly! Bah! the judge is ease and happiness personified.
Very respectfully yours &c.,Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 4, 1853, page 1
Editor Statesman:--The sapient remarks of Toddy, in the last Sewer [the Oregonian], under the head of "Rogue River Indian War," are clearly indicative of his ignorance of the subject upon which he attempts to write. He therefore announces the important fact that "some men's bowels of compassion and feeling for the poor Indians are wonderfully exercised when it is for their political interests that they be so."
Perhaps no men ever gave evidence of more and better-filled "bowels" in the presence of an enemy than Toddy's own friends, Skinner and Gaines. The latter hero intended to have gathered laurels and "political interest" in the late Rogue River war, but was deterred from volunteering by the report that those Indians gave no quarter, which led him to the conclusion that his "bowels" would be unsafe in a surrender. Now that war is over, it is appropriate for such men as Toddy to talk loudly of extermination, and assume all the fierceness of Col. Pluck. If he should ever need any exercise for his own bowels, or legs either, he will be saved the trouble of hunting "poor Indians" by making good his vaunting threat to Lownsdale.
After exhausting the "bowel" question Toddy goes on to say that "there are many things which have recently transpired in connection with this war that have a wonderful squinting towards the manufacture of political capital for some would-be great men." Wonderful discovery, that, for Toddy. With him "distance has lent enchantment to the view," consequently his squinting has made him the victim of an optical illusion. If he had ventured up nearer he would have seen better, and might at the eminent risk of his "bowels" have had an opportunity to squint through the sights of a rifle in place of his political microscope. Poor fellow, since he did not hear the reports of the Indian rifles, he is now anxious to "see the report of the commander in chief," and it is to be hoped when the officers in command have recovered sufficiently from their wounds, that they will furnish Toddy a report as long as the smoke pipe of the
GOLD HUNTER.Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 4, 1853, page 2
NEW PUBLIC ROAD IN SISKIYOU COUNTY.--A new field of enterprise for stage proprietors in Northern California is about being opened. A wagon road from Scottsburg to Jacksonville is nearly completed, and a line of stages is contemplated from the former place to Yreka.--[Union.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, October 7, 1853, page 2
A writer in the Mountain Herald contends that the interests of the people of Northern California and Southern Oregon demand that those sections of country should be united, and a separate state organization formed.
Placer Times and Transcript, San Francisco, October 7, 1853, page 2
Gen. Lane's Report.Jacksonville, Sept. 30, 1853.
George L. Curry, Governor of Oregon, Sir:--I have the honor herewith to enclose a copy of a communication to Gen. Hitchcock, Commanding Military Department, Pacific Coast, detailing operations of forces under my command in the late difficulties with the Rogue River Indians.
I am, sir, with great respect,
Your ob't. serv't.,
Headquarters, Camp Alden,Gen. Hitchcock, Military Dept.
Rogue River, Oregon, Sept. 16, '53.
San Francisco, California.
Sir:--On the 17th of August, I received information at my residence in Umpqua Valley that the Rogue River Indians, assisted by the Klamaths, Shastas, the bands living on Applegate and Grave creeks, had united and attacked the settlements in Rogue River Valley, near Jacksonville--that a number of persons had been killed, a large amount of stock killed or driven off, and houses and grain burned; and that companies were being formed for the defense of the settlements, and for the purpose of a general war upon the Indians. I promptly notified the citizens of the neighborhood, and advised with Maj. Alvord, who was then present engaged in the location of the road from Myrtle Creek to Camp Stuart, and immediately proceeded, accompanied by Capt. Armstrong, Messrs. Clugage, Nichol and some ten others, to the scene of hostilities. On the 21st, I arrived at the headquarters of our forces, on Stuart Creek, where I found Captain Alden, 4th Inf., who had promptly, upon the first information being received by him, at Fort Jones, on Scotts River, repaired to Jacksonville with ten men of his command (all who were fit for duty) and forthwith proceeded to take energetic measures for an active and effective campaign, by appointing four Commissioners of Military Affairs, and mustering into service all the volunteers for whom arms could be procured. His force, on my arrival, consisted of companies under captains Goodall, Miller, Lamerick and Rhodes, commanded by Col. John Ross, the whole under the command of Col. Alden. These troops had been actively engaged in scouring the country in all directions, and had succeeded in driving the main body of the Indians to their strongholds in the mountains; pack trains were being collected in view of an extended pursuit of the Indians, and all other preparations were being made with the utmost dispatch.
At the request of Col. Alden and the troops I assumed the command of the forces, and on the 22nd, at 4 o'clock, a.m., left camp for the mountains, having divided the command into two battalions in order better to scour the whole country. One battalion composed of captains Miller's and Lamerick's companies, under the command of Col. Ross, were directed to proceed up Evans Creek (which empties into Rogue River from the north) and continue on, if no traces of the Indians were found, until the two detachments should meet at a point designated, but if the trail was found, to follow it, and bring the Indians to battle. At the head of the other battalion, composed of captains Goodall's and Rhodes' companies, commanded by Col. Alden, I proceeded by the way of Table Rock in the direction of the point designated on Evans Creek. After advancing about fifteen miles beyond Table Rock, I discovered the trail of the Indians, and encamped upon it. I took up the line of march early the next morning, and followed the trail with great difficulty, the Indians having used every precaution to conceal it; the country was exceedingly mountainous and almost impossible for animals, and as the Indians had fired the country behind them, the falling of the burning timber and the heat delayed our progress, while the dense smoke prevented us from ascertaining with certainty the face of the country. About noon we came to the place at which they had encamped a few nights before, by the side of a stream in a dense forest; here they had killed a mule and a horse they had captured in a battle some days previous, and used them for provisions. From this point we had more difficulty in finding their trail, it having been very carefully concealed and the mountains lately fired, but after some delay we again struck it. Late in the evening we came to the main fork of Evans Creek (now called Battle Creek) where we came to a spot at which the Indians had again encamped. Beyond this all trace of the Indians seemed to be lost; and, after searching in vain for the trail until dark, we were forced to encamp. The valley was very narrow and almost entirely covered with an impenetrable thicket of maple vines, leaving scarcely room for the men to lie down on the bank of the creek. The animals were closely tied to the bushes, there being no grass or forage of any kind. The command was ready to move by daylight; a party on foot early discovered the trail, and after cutting out the brush for nearly a quarter of a mile, we succeeded in reaching it with the animals. About a mile farther up we crossed Battle Creek and ascended a high, steep mountain which forms the dividing ridge of the numerous branches running into Rogue River. This part of the country had not been fired. About 9 o'clock, a.m., we arrived at another Indian camp on the ridge, at a spring, very difficult of access, on the side of a mountain. On leaving this camp, we found that the woods had been recently fired, which induced me to believe that the Indians were not far in advance of us. About a half a mile from the spring, as I was riding slowly in front, I heard the crack of a rifle in the direction of the enemy--without halting I proceeded to a point commanding the rapid descent of the trail from the mountain, and halting, could hear persons talking in their camp about four hundred yards distant, in a dense forest thick with underbrush, which entirely obstructed the view. As the troops came up, they were ordered in a low voice to dismount, tie their animals and prepare for battle. Col. Alden, at the head of Captain Goodall's company, was directed to proceed on the trail, and attack the enemy in front, while a portion of Capt. Rhodes' company were directed to follow a ridge running to the left of their trail, and turn their flank. Col. Alden proceeded to engage them in the most gallant manner, his well-directed fire being the first intimation of our approach. It being found impracticable to turn their flank, Capt. Rhodes proceeded at once engaged them on their right. The men were deployed, taking cover behind the trees, and the fight became general. I was delayed a few minutes on the hill for the arrival of the rear guard; these were dismounted, and all except fifteen men I immediately led into action. On arriving on the ground, I found Col. Alden, who had been shot down early in the fight, dangerously wounded, in the arms of his faithful sergeant, and surrounded by a few of his own men. The battle was now raging with great fierceness, our men coolly pouring in their fire, unshaken by the hideous yells and war whoops of the Indians, or by their rapid and more destructive fire. After examining the ground and finding that the enemy were securely posted behind trees and logs and concealed by underbrush, and that it was impossible to reach them except when they carelessly exposed their persons in their anxiety to get a shot at our men, I determined to charge them. I passed the order, led forward in the movement, and within thirty yards of their position received a wound from a rifle ball, which struck my right arm near the shoulder joint, and, passing entirely through, came out near the point of the shoulder. Believing at the time that the shot came from the flank, I immediately ordered our line to be extended to prevent the enemy from turning our flank, and the men again to cover themselves behind trees. This position was held for three or four hours, during which time I talked frequently with the officers and men, and found them cool and determined on conquering the enemy. Finding myself weak from loss of blood, I retired to the rear to have my wounds examined and dressed. While here the Indians cried out to our men, many of whom understood their language, that they wished for a talk; that they desired to fight no longer; that they were frightened and desired peace. Mr. Tyler was dispatched by Capt. Goodall to inform me of the desire of the Indians to cease firing and make peace. By this time, Robert Metcalfe and James Bruce had been sent into their lines to talk, and having informed them that I was in command, they expressed a great desire to see me. Finding that they were much superior in numbers, being about two hundred warriors, well armed with rifles and muskets, well supplied with ammunition, and knowing that they could fight as long as they saw fit and then safely retreat into a country exceedingly difficult of access, and being desirous of examining their position, I concluded to go among them.
On entering their lines, I met the principal chief, Joe, and the subordinate chiefs, Sam and Jim, who told me that their hearts were sick of war, and that they would meet me at Table Rock in seven days, when they would give up their arms, make a treaty and place themselves under our protection. The preliminaries having been arranged, the command returned to the place where they had been dismounted--the dead were buried and the wounded cared for. By this time Col. Ross with his battalion arrived, having followed our trail for some distance. This gallant command were anxious to renew the attack upon the Indians, who still remained in their position, but as the negotiations had proceeded so far, I could not consent. That night was spent within four hundred yards of the Indians, and good faith was observed on both sides. At the dawn of day, I discovered that the Indians were moving and sent to stop them until a further talk had been held. Accompanied by Colonel Ross and other officers, I went among them and became satisfied that they would faithfully observe the agreements already made. By the advice of the surgeon, we remained that day and night upon the battle ground, and then returned to Table Rock.
Too much praise cannot be awarded to Col. Alden. The country is greatly indebted to him for the rapid organization of the forces, when it was entirely without defense. His gallantry is sufficiently attested by his being dangerously wounded while charging at the head of his command, almost at the enemy's lines. Captains Goodall and Rhodes, with their companies, distinguished themselves from the beginning to the end of the action; for their cool and determined bravery--no troops could have done better. The command of Col. Ross, under Captains Miller and Lamerick, although too late to participate in the action, made a severe march through the mountains and arrived on the ground one day sooner than I expected them--their presence was of great assistance to us.
Our loss in the battle was three killed--Pleasant Armstrong, John Scarborough and Isaac Bradley--and five badly wounded--Col. Alden, myself, and privates Chas. C. Abbe (since dead), Henry Flesher and Thomas Hays. The Indians lost eight killed and twenty wounded, seven of whom we know to have since died.
Soon after my return from the mountains, Capt. A. J. Smith, 1st Dragoons, arrived at camp with his troop from Port Orford--his arrival was most opportune; his presence during the negotiations for a peace was of great assistance, while his troops served to overawe the Indians.
The Governor of the Territory, upon the first information being received by him, promptly ordered out a company under Capt. Nesmith, and sent them as an escort for a large quantity of arms and ammunition which were procured from Ft. Vancouver and purchased elsewhere. Capt. Nesmith arrived after the negotiations had been commenced, but was of great service to me from his intimate knowledge of the Indians and their language. Lieutenant Kautz, 4th Inf., accompanied Capt. Nesmith, and had in charge a twelve-pound howitzer and caisson, which he brought safely into camp, although the road is a very difficult one and seldom traveled by wagons.
A treaty of peace has been made with the Indians, and I have no doubt that with proper care it can be strictly maintained. The tribe is a very large one, and to a great extent controls the tribes in this part of the country--a peace with them is a peace with all. This, in my opinion, can only be perfectly secured by the presence of a considerable military force in this valley. I would therefore most earnestly recommend the establishment of a military post in the Rogue River Valley without delay.
To Robert Metcalfe, who acted for me as scout and guide, I am indebted for the faithful discharge of his duty. John Cosby, James Bruce and George W. Tyler did good service in the same capacity.
On the expedition to the mountains, from the 22nd to the 26th, W. G. T'Vault, Esq., acted as my volunteer aide. At that time, Capt. C. Sims joined the command and handsomely performed the duties of assistant adjutant general until the 29th, when compelled by sickness to resign. Since that time, Captain Mosher, late of the 4th Ohio Vols., has performed the duties of that office.
Dr. Ed. Sheil, Geo. Dart, Richard Dugan and L. A. Davis, the commissioners appointed by Col. Alden, were most active in the discharge of their duties, and kept the command supplied with provisions, transportation and other necessaries for carrying on the war.
Maj. Chas. S. Drew, assistant quartermaster, with his assistants performed their duties with promptness and accuracy.
Dr. E. H. Cleveland, surgeon general, and his assistants were unremitting in their attention to the sick and wounded.
I have the honor to be,Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 11, 1853, pages 1-2. Also printed in the Oregon Weekly Times, October 29, 1853, page 1.
Your obedient servant,
From the Mountain Herald.
Jacksonville, Oregon,Messrs. Editors:--I have to say that Gen. Jo Lane has just returned from a trip to the mountains, having gone out with the guide, Metcalfe, on the 17th, to hold a "talk" with the Indians, in the direction of the Siskiyou Mountains. He informed me (and I hasten to give you the information as correct) that he met Tipsey Tyee, or the bearded chief, and held a talk with him, who represents himself as entirely friendly to the whites, "that he does not wish for war--that he has not committed a single depredation--and that he is afraid of being killed by the whites," which is the reason he has taken his position in the mountains. He further states that "the depredations laid to his charge have been committed by Indians not of his tribe and over whom he has no control." He also states "that when the Rogue River difficulties broke out an Indian came to him and informed him of it, and that he remained at or near a white man's [house] near Cottonwood or Klamath River, and fear of the whites killing him induced him to leave." Gen. Lane found him and his party excessively timid and afraid of treachery, and it was with the utmost caution that he allowed Gen. Lane, who had only two men with him, to approach. The country in the vicinity is very difficult of access.
Sept. 19, 1853, 9 o'clock p.m.
It is the General's intention to go out again in a day or two to hold another talk with him, and to take Capt. Robert L. Williams' company of thirty rifles with him, in which case, if necessary, Capt. Bob will give a good account of himself, for there are no better mountain men than his company, which is the only one not in service.
The muster rolls and other papers of the companies recently engaged in this war are now being made out and arranged for transmission to Washington, the General's desire being to have all such matters settled by the next Congress.
Tomorrow the General goes down to the agency to see Joe, the principal, and Sam and Jim, the subordinate chiefs. It is but justice to say that since Gen. Lane assumed command of the forces, on the 21st ult., every exertion has been used by him (even after a severe wound received on the 24th August) to settle these Indian difficulties, which had stopped nearly all the business of the country. Within eleven days after the action of 24th August a treaty was made, which, if adhered to by both parties, will greatly aid the prosperity of the country. Troops kept in the field at an enormous expense to the country, and who were consuming the subsistence of the settlements, were sent home, and all the necessary steps are taken to protect the valley by keeping in the field a small force to awe the Indians, who cannot always be relied on, the country will settle rapidly and our Indian troubles will cease.
Capt. A. J. Smith, 1st dragoons, with thirty-five men, is at the agency, and Col. Wright, from Fort Reading, is expected soon to take post in this valley with an infantry force.
Col. Alden has so far recovered from his wound that he started from this place for Yreka on the 18th inst., in a carriage accompanied by Doct. Gatliff, to whose care and attention the Colonel is perhaps indebted for his life.
Lieut. Ely is convalescent from a very painful and severe wound, and but two of the Yreka company are now in the hospital--James Carroll and Henry Flesher, who acted so gallantly in our fights with the Indians.
Yours, &c.,Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 11, 1853, page 2
J. P. GOODALL.
Return of Gen. Lane--Matters South.Gen. Lane very unexpectedly returned to this place on Tuesday, and on Thursday proceeded down the valley on his way to Washington. He will leave on the first steamer.
His return through the Willamette was unexpected to himself, expecting to be detained in Rogue River too late to permit him to pass this way, and so advising his friends in the valley. But the arrival of Col. Wright with four companies of U.S. infantry of twenty men each, earlier than was anticipated, induced him to gratify his anxious wish to visit his family and his friends in this part of the Territory. His wound has nearly healed, though he has not yet recovered the use of his arm. In other respects he is in excellent health and spirits.
Col. Wright is preparing winter quarters for his men, and will remain in the country for the present. These forces will do much towards preventing aggressions, and preserving peace. Three of the companies are from Benicia, in command of Maj. Patten, the poet and soldier; the other is from Fort Reading, the whole under command of Col. Wright, an experienced and efficient officer.
Gen. Lane had with him, and will take to Washington, a sprightly Indian lad of sixteen or seventeen years, an only son of "Joe," the head chief of the Rogue River tribes. He was given to him by his father as a hostage and a guarantee that his people should observe the treaty. He said "as proof that I have confidence in you, and that I intend to observe the treaty in good faith, I give you my only son, who is dearer to me than life, to take with you to the States, and if I violate the treaty you have permission to hang him." He will be brought back by Gen. Lane when he returns, and restored to his people, and his visit to Washington and return among the Indians must have a great moral effect upon them.
Before leaving Gen. Lane, accompanied by two men, went into the mountains to have a "talk" with "Tipsey," the chief of the Klamaths, who is supposed to have done much towards inciting the recent hostilities. After much difficulty they found him, among the mountains and in the heart of a dense forest, with forty or fifty warriors of his tribe. They sent a messenger to him, telling him that they had come to hold a "talk" and make peace. He informed them that he would meet them the next day at a place named, and still more strongly guarded against surprise and attack, he fearing that was meditated. After a hard day's ride on the following day they reached the spot designated, and the General and his men approached "Tipsey's" camp. The General asked him if his heart was good, and disposed to peace? He replied that he didn't know, that that depended on their hearts; if their hearts were good, his was good; if theirs were bad, his was bad. The General camped with him during the night, and remained the next day having a talk with him, returning, a day or two after he went back, and a permanent peace was agreed upon. "Tipsey" was very timid, and afraid of being betrayed.
Everything was quiet when Gen. Lane left; the people were fast returning to their employments, and the country resuming its wonted business appearance.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 11, 1853, page 2
THE INDIAN MASSACRE IN OREGON.--It was stated in yesterday's Sun that among those recently massacred by the Indians near Jacksonville, Oregon was Mr. Overbeck. This has given rise to apprehensions among his relatives here that Mr. Overbeck, who formerly kept a confectionery store in Howard Street, in this city, is the person referred to. Mr. O., with his family, left this city a few years ago, and took up his residence in Platte County, Mo., from whence he subsequently emigrated to Jacksonville, Oregon. His daughter married a gentleman named Miller, and we notice by an extract from the Mountain Herald that "the Indians attacked the houses of Messrs. Miller and Stone, on the 8th of August, but the result was not known."
The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, September 28, 1853, page 1
We received by Adams & Co. the Siskiyou Mountain Herald of the 24th ult., in which we find the following items of news: . . .
Col. Wright U.S.A. and command passed through Yreka on the 22nd ult., en route for Rogue River Valley.
MINING.--In the deep diggings above Yreka, Messrs. Stone & Co., four men, took out on the 20th ult. nineteen and a half ounces. One pan of dirt yielded nine ounces and six dollars. The largest piece weighed fifty dollars. The same claim yielded, last week, four hundred dollars. Some others are doing very well near the above claim.
Miners had been much injured by a rise of the waters in Scott River.
At Humbug, on the Klamath River, two men recently took out $1000 in twelve days. They are finding new diggings in that vicinity. Most of the miners there are making very good wages.
YREKA.--The question is often asked in the South, says the Mountain Herald, "where is Yreka?" Persons in Sacramento and San Francisco have but an indistinct idea of the locality of this place. For their information we would state that Yreka is situated about 125 miles north of Shasta City, by a mule trail over a very rough country, through which it is next to an impossibility to make a wagon road without going to the east of Shasta Butte, which route would make the distance from this place to the Sacramento Valley from 150 to 200 miles. We have a wagon road, however, from this place to Oregon, through the Rogue River country, and into the Umpqua and Willamette valleys. The distance, however, to the seaports in Oregon, accessible at this time by wagons, is so great as to preclude all transportation of merchandise whatever.
Merchandise for this place is packed on the backs of mules, either from Red Bluffs or Shasta in the south, or from Crescent City or Scottsburg in the north.
The town is situated in a branch of Shasta Valley, in the midst of a country the resources of which for the production of wealth, both agricultural and mining, are equaled by few, and not surpassed by any on the continent.
"From the North," Democratic State Journal, Sacramento, October 4, 1853, page 2
MORE BAD FAITH.--A few days before Gen. Lane left, a number of Capt. Williams' men commenced firing upon a party of Joe's Indians, men, women and children, who were fishing in Rogue River. They did not return the fire, but sheltered themselves from it by lying upon the ground behind a shelter they had erected. Some ten or twelve rounds were fired without effect. Joe immediately made his way to Gen. Lane's quarters and complained that the whites had violated the treaty. The General explained to him that the act was committed by some irresponsible, bad men and that the white people were not accountable for it. The presence of Col. Wright's command will be likely to put a stop to such conduct.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 11, 1853, page 2
Public Meeting in Rogue River.At a meeting of the citizens of Rogue River Valley, held at the Robinson House, in Jacksonville, on the 24th September, A.D. 1853, for the purpose of adopting such measures as to prevent the trafficking of arms and ammunition with the Indians, the following proceedings were had:
On motion of C. Sims, Col. John E. Ross was called to the chair, and on motion of Dr. Ambrose, C. Sims was chosen secretary of the meeting.
The chairman then proceeded to state the object of the meeting.
On motion of Dr. Ambrose, to appoint a committee of three to draft resolutions expressive of the voice of the meeting, Dr. Ambrose, Capt. John K. Lamerick, and C. S. Drew were accordingly appointed.
During the absence of the committee, the meeting was addressed by Gen. Lane and Col. T'Vault, in an eloquent and forcible manner.
The committee reported the following preamble and resolutions:
Whereas, we the citizens of Jackson County view with pleasure and delight the restoration of safety and quietude to our valley; and whereas, we confidently believe that our present security and tranquility are the offspring of the vigilant and energetic action of our citizens and California brethren, and of the happy conclusion of the late treaty with the Indians; therefore, be it resolved by the citizens of Rogue River Valley--
1. That we the citizens of Jackson Co. view the late treaty made with the Indians of this valley as the only effectual mode of resuming friendly relations between the white settlers and the Indians.
2. That it is our sincere desire that the said treaty should remain permanent, and that the rights of the Indians under that treaty should be faithfully observed and respected by the citizens of this valley.
3. That we look upon any person who would attempt to violate any of the provisions of this treaty as unworthy of the esteem of his fellow man, and undeserving [of] the rights and privileges of citizenship.
4. That we deem the trading of arms, powder or lead or caps to the Indians as highly improper and injurious; and any person who shall be found trading such articles shall be deemed guilty of improper conduct and upon conviction thereof shall be punished with one hundred and fifty lashes, and be made to leave the valley in the space of 24 hours thereafter.
5. That proper steps be taken by the citizens of this valley to form a vigilance committee, whose duty it shall be to carry into execution the punishment mentioned in the 4th resolution, and that the names of said vigilance committee shall never be made public.
6. That we mutually pledge ourselves to sustain the vigilance committee in the performance of their duties.
7. That we tender our heartfelt thanks to Gen. Lane and Capt. B. R. Alden for their valuable services rendered in the late Indian war, and for the deep interest manifested by them for our future welfare and security.
8. That we also tender our thanks to Capts. Lamerick, Miller, Goodall and Rhodes, of Yreka, and Capt. Terry, of Crescent City, and Williams, also Capts. Applegate and Martin, of Umpqua, and Capt. Nesmith of Willamette.
9. That our best feelings are tendered to our citizen, Col. John E. Ross, who so ably conducted his battalion in the late war.
On motion of Dr. Sheil, it was ordered that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Oregon Statesman.
On motion, the meeting adjourned.
JOHN E. ROSS, President.Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 11, 1853, page 2
C. Sims, Secretary.
Arrival of Gen. Lane--The Indian War.
Gen. Lane arrived at Portland on Monday evening last, on his way to Washington, and was saluted by the firing of cannon. Up to this time, Friday noon, the steamer has not arrived--and the General has had an opportunity of paying our city a very good visit. His general health is good, but he bears evidence of fatigue and hardship experienced in the Rogue River War. The delay of the steamer has caused him much anxiety, for fear of not reaching Washington as soon as desirable, as it is impossible for this steamer to connect with the California steamer for Panama on the 16th.
Gen. Lane informs us that the Indian war was very expensive--having cost government not less [than] $250,000--and that it was for the interest of the whites to have the war terminated and treaties entered into. This to all sensible men will appear apparent when they count the cost--both of men and money. The Indians have killed about man for man in the war, and were anxious to treat. Those who continue to preach extermination (thank God they are few) count without the cost. It would take a war of years to exterminate them, at a cost of millions of money and hundreds of valuable lives. Look, for instance, at the Florida war, which lasted for years, among a handful of Indians, and did not exterminate them at that.
Gen. Lane, with two men, visited Tipsey, the chief of the Klamath tribe, before leaving. They found him, after much trouble; and he being very wary, was hard to approach, fearing treachery. Gen. Lane asked him if his heart was good, and disposed to make peace. He said he did not know--it depended what their hearts were. If their hearts were good, his was; if they was for fight he was. The General stayed in his camp overnight, and after a further talk, a few days after a treaty of peace was made.
In making the treaty with Joe, of the Rogue River Indians, Joe gave Gen. Lane his son as a hostage, a very active and intelligent boy of about 16. Gen. Lane intended to take him to the States, but finally changed his mind, and will leave him in care of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
After the treaty was made, some reckless whites fired upon some of his tribe while fishing, without effect; but Lane satisfied the chief that they were bad men, and that the whites did not approve of it. Gen. Lane informs us that Col. Wright, with four companies [of] U.S. troops, will take winter quarters in the Rogue River Valley, and it is to be hoped they will preserve the treaties made. That the treaties are satisfactory to the people there every day brings us abundant proof. The wise and efficient course pursued by Gen. Lane has saved government from a very heavy expense, and restored peace and safety to a large portion of our citizens; and the beauty of the thing is--he did it all "without money and without price"--a fact we did not learn from him, but from another and reliable source.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, October 15, 1853, page 2
MILITARY OPERATIONS--FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.--The Yreka Herald places us in possession of interesting news from the upper portion of the state.
A battalion of the Second Infantry under the command of Major Patten passed through Yreka on the 6th inst., on their return from Rogue River Valley.
Three companies of dragoons, under Capt. Smith, together with Capt. Lyon's company from Benicia, remain in Rogue River Valley, and will form the permanent garrison of Fort Lane, a post recently established in the immediate vicinity of Table Rock. Major Patten, with two companies of infantry, will be stationed for the winter in Scotts Valley, at Fort Jones, twenty miles from Yreka.
A train of immigrant wagons from the plains entered Rogue River Valley on the 3rd, through the pass immediately below the Siskiyou Mountain. Capt. Miller, with a detachment of volunteers from Jacksonville, accompanied the train, and immediately proceeded to Jacksonville to procure provisions for a large number of immigrants whom unfortunate obstacles had detained on the plains, and who were reported to be in a destitute condition.
A correspondence between Capt. Lamerick's Rangers and Gen. Lane is published in the Herald.
Gen. Lane has expressed himself in favor of a continuation of the military road from Myrtle Creek to Scottsburg.
Sacramento Daily Union, October 15, 1853, page 2
FROM OREGON.--The Oregon papers contain no news of especial interest. Complaints are made of the general scarcity of money. Shipments of gold dust from Southern Oregon and Northern California are almost entirely stopped. It comes, says the Oregon City Spectator, principally to the cities of California. The same paper says:
We learned from an immigrant, who came in a few days ago, that it is generally thought that the immigrants are very nearly all in, except about 300 wagons that took the famous cutoff.
Sacramento Daily Union, October 24, 1853, page 2
October 24, 1852
It took me three days to reach Jacksonville, or now called Table Rock City, the most important, or better said, the only town, in the Rogue River Valley. I saw several pieces of land which would have been very suitable for us, but found that the area was too far from Yreka and passing the Siskiyou Mountains between California and Oregon would have made the way there too difficult.
Tom Brodbeck, ed., California Gold Rush: Tales of a Swiss Prospector, J. Christoph Brodbeck, ArtBookbindery.com 2009, page 87
Friday October 28th 1853--We let our stock run at large last night and found them safely this morning, being well filled from their choice repast of the night. All hands being exceedingly tired, our need a full night's rest and it was greatly enjoyed. As we all slept late, we did not get off until 9 o'clock and proceeded towards the valley, the commencement of which is four miles distant, thence to Jacksonville 26 miles, the vicinity of which we expect to reach on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. A number of the relief train overtook us on their return to the valley and furnished provisions to some of our company. Our oldest daughter got separated from us several days ago and is with her young friends in the train from which we ourselves became separated by the delay occasioned by the breaking down of our wagon on the mountain. We hope to meet again this evening or tomorrow. We proceeded on our journey until half past one o'clock and stopped to lunch and graze our cattle, the grass being abundant everywhere and quite green; here we were in the commencement of the Rogue River Valley, the object of many desires and anxieties. At 3 o'clock we continued our journey towards the settlements and drove until dusk and came up with the encampment of Doct. Owens & company, where we also encamped for the night.
Saturday October 29th 1853--Our cattle had wandered so much as to detain us until noon before we got off; we travel a short distance and stopped to lunch; just before starting, two men of the pack train brought in the yoke of oxen which had escaped from us on the night our wagon broke down, also the cow which had strayed the same night. The valley where we entered it is a little over a mile wide; We passed several farms, at one of which we procured some vegetables; potatoes & onions, 10 cabbages 12½ to 25 per head &c. As we descend the valley the country improves in appearance.
Sunday October 30th--We encamped last night in the vicinity of a saw mill on Mill Creek [Ashland] where there are many advantages for a settlement; the land is of good quality and nearly all claimed under the donation law of Congress; our intention was to have remained in camp to spend the Sabbath, but learning that there would be preaching 4 miles on our way, we proceeded on down the valley until we reached the encampment of our friends Gray & Royal and learned that we were too late for preaching. We procured a sack of flour of the relief train. We have been feasting ourselves on vegetables after being deprived of them for so long a time.
Monday October 31st--We continued our journey towards Jacksonville this morning, designing to find a suitable place to graze our cattle until we can find a shelter for our families; at noon we stopped at Mr. Van Dyke's to graze our cattle and lunch; we then proceeded 4 miles across the prairie to Mr. Tucker's, where we encamped to look about for a location.
Tuesday November 1st 1853--We remained in camp today and examined several claims offered for sale; we have not yet decided on one; we shall probably have to build cabins for our families. Tomorrow I expect to go to Jacksonville to see if there is any prospect of getting into business of any kind that would suit me. The prospect for the winter is rather gloomy; the nights are very frosty and cold, the days however are pleasant.
Saturday November 5th--We have been to Jacksonville twice and also examined a number of claims, from which, however, we have made no selection as yet. We expect to look at some more claims today, hoping soon to be "at home." At present we are occupying an old cabin belonging to Mr. Tucker, who has shown us much kindness in supplying us with vegetables from his garden &c.
Monday November 7th--Yesterday afternoon I attended public worship at the house of Mr. Hoxie on Stuart's [Bear] Creek and heard a sermon by Mr. James Royal on Romans 6 & 23. "For the wages of Sin is death &c." There were about 40 persons present, who gave exemplary attention to the truths of the Gospel. We expect to go to see a mill site today in the mountains, 2½ miles from Mr. Tucker's, with a view of erecting a saw mill upon it, if there shall be sufficient water. Mr. Larkin, who is a practical millwright, would be connected in the enterprise. I feel disheartened at the gloomy prospect for the sustenance of my family this winter, and as I write my mind recurs to the admonition "Have faith in God." I trust all will yet be well, notwithstanding the forbidding aspect of my position.
Note: The rainy season set in, in 1853 on the 9th of November. Dr. McK. and myself contracted with Mr. Tucker and his partners for three-quarter section of land for the sum of four thousand and five hundred dollars, on which we paid down twelve hundred dollars and the balance in payments with interest at 35 per month; we also contracted with them to plow and sow forty acres of wheat, for which we were to pay ten dollars for wheat & ten dollars per acre for plowing. The season was so wet that less than half the number of acres were sown and the yield next harvest after scarcely enough to pay expenses; after trying farming a couple of years with like results, and being unable to pay off our indebtedness on the land, we gave it up to the former owners, losing all that we had paid as a forfeiter, besides improvements we had made amounting to two thousand dollars including the amount first paid. I continued to reside on the claim until I could secure the title under the donation law and convey the land back to Mr. Tucker. After struggling with difficulties until the summer of 1855, I was elected County Auditor & Recorder and likewise Justice of the Peace and have held various offices ever since and from that time forward have been greatly prospered in my temporal matters. After a lapse of over eleven years (when the note is written) I have no regrets in having cast my lot in this valley, but on the contrary have much cause for thankfulness to a kind and beneficent Father who has graciously sustained me under my severest trials and who has truly "crowned my life with loving kindness and tender mercies."
Jacksonville March 24th 1865
"Diary of William Hoffman 1853-1865," Rogue Digger, Rogue Valley Genealogy Society, Vol. 32, No. 1, Spring 1997, pages 9-11
The Immigrants and the Indians.
A correspondent of the Yreka Mountain Herald, writing from Jacksonville, says that on the night of Oct. 4, twelve miles beyond the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and two hundred and fifty miles from Jacksonville, the Indians attempted to attack a camp of immigrants under escort of Lieut. George, and were fired upon by the picket guard. The guard hailed the officer and requested his presence, inasmuch as they had an Indian down in the road and another in the brush. Upon looking out for the Indians the party was fired on, and two men (William Duke and Joseph Watt) wounded. Duke was shot through the right arm and right breast with an arrow. Watt was shot with an arrow--it entered his temple and passed out under his ear. One Indian killed. The next morning, shortly after sunrise, they were again attacked by a larger party, numbering near one hundred. The Indians attempted to drive off the stock. They were pursued to the mountains and into the lakes. A large immigration is yet behind, and generally destitute of provisions. The Indians of Lower Rogue River, belonging to Taylor's band, have commenced depredations in Illinois Valley. They have burnt Miller's house (known as Miller's ranch), near Althouse. They also set fire to two other houses in the valley, but the fire was put out by the owners. They drove off several horses and mules. The families of the valley have concentrated at Mooney's ranch.
New York Times, November 30, 1853, page 6
Headquarters Camp Alden,
September 5, 1853.
General Order.Capt. Goodall, of the Yreka Volunteers, and Capt. Rhodes, of the Humbug Volunteers, will march their respective commands to Yreka today, where they will muster them out of the service of the United States.
In taking leave of these troops,the General commanding takes occasion to testify his admiration of their courage and general good conduct while in the service.
JOS. LANE, Gen. Commanding.Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, October 15, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, July 25, 1853.
Editors Mountain Herald--Dear Sirs:--Knowing that you are always ready and anxious to obtain any and all news that may be of any importance or benefit to the people of northern California or southern Oregon, I shall give you the few items of accurate information I possess in reference to "Coos Bay." There are at present located at that place about twenty-four men, who have organized themselves into a joint stock company for the purpose of settling up that country to carry on the commercial, lumbering and coal mining business. That the harbor is a certain and safe one there can be no question at all; since it has been sounded and examined by men who are competent to judge. The neighborhood abounds with coal of the finest quality, and the best timber in Oregon. As a commercial point and depot, it is second only to San Francisco on the Pacific coast. The company is at present making a practical wagon road from there to Grave Creek, which they will have finished, beyond a doubt, in six weeks. This will shorten and make the whole distance to Jacksonville 110 miles.
Yours respectfully,Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 18, 1853, page 1
Jacksonville, Oct. 2, 1853.
Dear Bush:--Lieut. Anderson starts for Fort Vancouver in the morning, and I will send these few lines by him. Business of all kinds in the valley is improving, confidence seems to be restored, farmers have returned to their houses, miners to their work; packers pass without fear two and three together.
The fort just established in the valley is located about one mile below the lower Table Rock, upon the south side of Rogue River. The necessary buildings are being erected rapidly under the superintendence of the enterprising officer in command--Capt. A. J. Smith.
The fort is called Fort Lane, in honor of our distinguished fellow citizen of that name. The garrison consists of three companies of dragoons and one of infantry; two companies of infantry left this morning for Fort Jones. Provisions are falling; flour is arriving in large quantities, but they will find a good market for it before spring.
Yours very truly, S.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, October 18, 1853, page 2
TROOPS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.--A writer in the Mountain Herald, who dates his letters at camp on Lost River, gives accounts of the country about that place, as also particulars relating to the movements of the United States troops stationed there. We extract as follows:
"Lost River is as large as Shasta. It sinks in a tule lake, near our camp, and forms a complete harbor for the Indians. On the 29th ult. Captain Miller and his company surprised a party of the Modoc Indians at Bloody Point, on the east side of the lake. He killed one and probably wounded several others as they fled precipitately into the lake. He also captured two squaws, two children and a canoe loaded with geese, ducks, fish and a large quantity of seeds, which the Indians use for food. He took from them a few bows and arrows and a splendid Indian fishing gig, which he intends sending to Washington City.
"The immigrants are constantly arriving and departing. A great majority are bound for Rogue River Valley. They are generally in good health, but almost entirely destitute of provisions. Some of them have been killing their poor, worn-out cattle that they have worked from the States to get food to sustain animal life. We have seen men, women and little children destitute of bread.
"Lieut. Abel George, with a small party of men, has been constantly on the immigrant road for the purpose of protecting and relieving them. He is now on a tour to Black Rock Springs, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He has great sympathy for the immigrants. He makes an able and efficient officer.
"Capt. Miller has returned to Jacksonville for more supplies. He is doing everything in his power to protect and render the immigrants comfortable.
"We learn that Capt. Alden is getting well."
Sacramento Daily Union, October 22, 1853, page 2
At Crescent City there is new excitement about the "beach diggings" from the mouth of Rogue River to Port Orford. Big strikes are reported--from $25 to $100 per day, all out of the black sand. Quicksilver, is, of course, in great demand.
"Mining Intelligence," Sacramento Daily Union, October 22, 1853, page 2
LETTER FROM THE MINES.
Rogue River Mining Region--Farming--Klamath River.
Marysville, Oct. 17th, 1853.I closed my last by speaking of the mines around Yuba. From this place we took a tramp over to Rogue River; this is an extensive mining country and destined yet to yield many piles of the glittering metal that will make glad the hearts of many a weary and way-worn miner. We mined but little here, but made very fair wages while we were at work. The greatest difficulty with miners here is the great cost of provisions. It is so far from the market that by the time expenses are added to the cost of provisions it puts them nearly out of the miner's reach, but this difficulty will soon be obviated. Many enterprising men are now turning their attention to farming, to which many of those beautiful valley are well adapted. There are many valleys in these mountains as rich as any land in the world, as easy to cultivate, and as productive. I have seen some of the finest vegetables growing here that I have ever seen grow in any part of the world. From here we went to Scotts River, the valleys of which are equally beautiful and productive. Mining is rather dull here for a stranger to do much, but upon the whole the miners and farmers are doing well. The mines and farms are so near together that the miners, in many instances, can board with the farmer, and so help each other. From here we went up the Klamath River. This is beyond a doubt one of the most important mining districts in California. There are bars sufficient in extent to employ fifty thousand men fifty years, and yielding from two to ten cents to the pan of dirt, and a great deal of fine farming land. The miners are doing very well here, having plenty of room. The bed of the river in many places pays well for working. It would be well for many a poor miner roving about from place to place to come here and settle down for a year or two, at the end of which time he would find himself in possession of a handsome little sum. Mining in the future will be more profitably done here than it has ever been, for the reason that provisions will not cost so much, and the mines will pay equally as well as they have ever done. This year they will have an abundance of vegetables, which the miners here have never had before, and at a reasonable price. Many men of good capital are opening large farms here, and some of them will, this year, harvest large crops of barley of as fine a quality as can be grown in any part of the state--and in many of these valleys are to be found as fine grass as can be found in the Sacramento Valley. Hay making is getting to be a profitable business in these valleys; in fact, farming here will be carried on extensively within a few years more. Already this country begins to look like home. On many of these new farms are to be seen cows, hogs, horses and fowls.
J. S. Colby.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, October 23, 1853, page 1
On Sept. 11th, 1853, in Jacksonville, O.T., Mrs. Cynthia, wife of Phillip Derry, aged 30 years and 1 month.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, October 24, 1853, page 2
SHOT.--Mr. James Kyle was dangerously shot last week by the Indians at Willow Springs, in Rogue River Valley. The murderers are arrested and at Fort Lane in irons.
Sacramento Daily Union, October 24, 1853, page 1
In a recent battle with the Rogue River Indians, Gen. Lane was shot through the shoulder. The struggle, being somewhat decisive, induced the savages to sue for peace, which was granted. . . .
Gen. Lane received the son of "Joe," a head chief of the Rogue River tribe, as a hostage for the observance of treaty stipulations. It is his intention to take the boy to Washington City with him, as per suggestion of the father. The moral influence of the act, it is presumed, will be highly useful in keeping down future difficulties.
"Further News from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, October 24, 1853, page 3
We learn from Mr. James Penser, of the Crescent City, that on Monday, the 19th ult., five men left Crescent City in a whaleboat for Rogue River. They got about fifteen miles past the river, when in turning back the boat capsized, and E. Johnson, Peter McCarthy and Captain Walker were drowned.
"Two Weeks Later from California," New York Herald, October 27, 1853, page 1
The Yreka Herald repudiates the accounts given in some of the Bay papers having reference to the Rogue River war, and calls them the misrepresentations and misconstructions of those who know nothing about it. A correspondent of the Herald writing from Crescent City says: "Business is very brisk, and the little city is full of packers and mules. Goods are selling very low: flour 7½-8¢, clear bacon 21-23, clear pork 17-18, other goods about the same as our last quotations.
"Port Orford, or thirty miles this side [sic], is creating a very great excitement. 'Everybody' is going up there. It is reported on good authority that some claims are paying as high as $300 per day to the man." The county seat of Klamath is to be at that locality after the 6th November next. A subscription has been raised for the purpose of building a jail, and securing the county a lot to build a courthouse.
Daily Evening Herald, Marysville, California, October 28, 1853, page 2
THE NORTHERN IMMIGRATION.--The Jacksonville (O.T.) correspondent of the Yreka Herald gives interesting statistical information regarding the immigration which has passed the Clear Lake and Miller's camps this present season.
Lieut. George reports a part of the immigration as being short of provisions, and also having been very much annoyed by the Indians stealing their stock &c. Lieut. George came in for a supply of provisions for their relief. He will start out again in a day or two to meet the immigration with a good supply of provisions.
On the night of October 4th, twelve miles beyond the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and two hundred and fifty miles from Jacksonville, the Indians attempted to attack a camp of immigrants under escort of Lieut. George, and were fired upon by the picket guard. The guard hailed the officer and requested his presence, inasmuch as they had an Indian down in the road and another in the brush. Upon looking out for the Indians, the party was fired on and two men, Wm. Duke and Joseph Watt, wounded. Duke was shot through the right arm and right breast with an arrow. Watt was also shot with an arrow; it entered his temple and passed out under his ear. One Indian killed.
The next morning, shortly after sunrise, they were again attacked by a larger party, numbering near one hundred. The Indians attempted to drive off the stock. They were pursued to the mountains and into the lakes.
A large immigration is yet behind, and generally destitute of provisions.
The Indians of lower Rogue River, belonging to Taylor's band, have commenced depredations in Illinois Valley. They have burnt Miller's house (known as Miller's ranch), near Althouse. They also set fire to two other houses in the valley, but the fire was put out by the owners. They drove off several horses and mules. The families of the valley have concentrated at Mooney's ranch.
Sacramento Daily Union, October 29, 1853, page 3
The treaty with the Rogue River Indians has been published. After the formation of the treaty some of the whites, who disliked the treaty and desired with extermination of the red men, fired upon the Indians.
The cost of the Rogue River war was about $250,000.
"Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 11, 1853, page 1
Sufferings of the Emigrants--Indian Fights--Americans Wounded.
The Statesman contains the following correspondence:
Headquarters--Camp on Lost River,By order of Gen. Lane, Capt. Miller and company left Jacksonville on the 11th of last month for the purpose of protecting and relieving the immigrants on this road. On the 17th we arrived at the south end of Klamath Lake. Soon afterwards three of the Messrs. Shores, formerly of Arkansas, with upwards of 500 head of stock, arrived and camped with us. Capt. Miller learned from them that the Indians, on the night before, stole three head of cattle from them on Lost River, some 12 or 15 miles below our present encampment. Capt. Miller determined immediately to make his headquarters in the vicinity of the place where the cattle were stolen, and early on the evening of the 18th we arrived here. This river rises on the west side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and it runs in a circuitous route north, south, east and west, and then sinks in Tule Lake, 25 or 30 miles southeast of our encampment. The sink resembles the sink of the Humboldt River, on the east side of the Sierra Nevada.
120 miles east of Jacksonville,
Applegate Creek, Oct. 3, 1853.
We have seen the signal fires of the Indians almost every night since we arrived on Lost River. The Captain has made several unsuccessful trips since we arrived here, as the Indians fled from their camps before the troops arrived, but on the morning of the 29th of September last he succeeded in surprising a party of the Modoc Indians at Bloody Point, on the east side of the lake. He fired upon them, killed one, and probably wounded several others as they fled precipitately with their canoes into the middle of the lake. Soon afterwards a small boat with eight men in it, which Capt. Miller had ordered to this point, arrived and captured a large quantity of Indian "muckamuck"--seeds, geese, ducks and fish--together with a splendid Indian fishing gig, a flag and a few bows and arrows. After giving the prisoners some suitable presents, Capt. Miller released them. Lieut. Abel George has been out on the emigrant road ever since we arrived here. He is now on a tour to the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a party of 20 men. Almost every immigrant is entirely destitute of all kinds of provisions. We have seen men, women and helpless children destitute of bread. Some of them have been killing their poor, worn-out cattle to sustain life.
The following is the amount of immigration that have passed this road this season up to this time:
375 time, 112 women, 183 children, 2618 head of cattle, 167 horses, 38 mules and 152 wagons. 36 wagons were bound for Yreka, and the balance for Rogue River Valley.
Headquarters,On the 3rd of October, Lieut. Abel George had a little battle with the Indians beyond Deep Canyon, about 100 miles east of this place.
Camp on Lost River, Oct. 10, 1853.
The Indians came onward trying to steal the emigrant stock before daylight. The picket guard fired upon them and killed one and probably wounded others. The Indians returned the fire and wounded two of our men, J. Watt, of Missouri, and William Duke. Watt was shot in the side of the head with an arrow, not dangerously, and Duke was shot through the breast and left arm, perhaps mortally. Lieut. George says in a letter to Capt. Miller: "We are entirely out of provisions; we are living on poor beef which we get from the immigrants."
This news came by an express last night. They say the Indians in the vicinity of Mud Lake are very bad and very bold, that the Indians shot three head of cattle after daylight, and that they followed them after the fight along the mountains for four or five miles. Capt. Miller has gone to Jacksonville for more supplies. The Indians stole two horses from our camp a few nights ago.
The immigrants are constantly arriving. They are generally living on poor beef, but they are robust and healthy. I never saw a better-looking immigration.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 21, 1853, page 2
FIGHT BETWEEN U.S. TROOPS AND INDIANS.--Mr. Parker, of Rhodes & Lusk's Express just down from Yreka, informs us that a government express arrived at Fort Jones on Monday last, directly from Fort Lane in Rogue River Valley, bearing the intelligence that a company of U.S. dragoons had a very severe engagement with a party of Indians on Deer Creek, some 25 miles from Fort Lane.
It seems that the Indians on the trail between Jacksonville and Crescent City have for some weeks past been very troublesome, having killed one man and robbed numerous trains. For the purpose of chastising the depredators and freeing the road from their further annoyance, Capt. Smith, commander at Fort Lane, sent out Lieut. Radford with a company of 30 dragoons, who met and attacked the Indians on Deer Creek, and after quite a hard fight forced them to scatter into the mountains. The Indians had 10 warriors killed and a greater number wounded. Lieut. Radford had a sergeant and one private killed, and three privates wounded. The Indians in their flight abandoned all of their horses, ammunition, food and indeed nearly all else of their worldly possessions.--Shasta Courier.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 7, 1853, page 2
The Rogue River Indian war, by stopping all mining operations, has had a great tendency to bring about the scarcity of gold dust and coin.
"Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, November 7, 1853, page 2
At Jacksonville, O.T., Mrs. Cyntha, consort of Philip Dairy, formerly of Quincy, Ill.
Sacramento Daily Union, November 7, 1853, page 2
INDIAN FAITH.--Mr. James Kyle, an estimable citizen of Jackson County, and partner of Thomas Wills, who was killed in the war, was recently murdered by some Indians near Willow Springs. Col. Wright immediately demand the murderers of the chief Joe, and they were promptly brought in and delivered up, even before Mr. Kyle died, he not having been instantly killed. The Indians will be tried and punished.
This act shows a disposition on the part of Joe, who is the head chief, to observe the requirements of the treaty. A more particular account of this affair will be found in our Fort Lane letter.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, November 8, 1853, page 2
Fort Lane, Oct. 12, 1853.
Dear Bush:--I take pen this morning to give you a few items though I must be brief.
On the night of the 7th, two Indians shot a man by the name of James Kyle. Mr. K. was a partner of Mr. Wills, one of the persons killed at the commencement of the late war.
It occurred near Willow Springs, at about 10 o'clock at night. The two Indians belong on the Klamath, though they have spent much of the late year with those in this valley. One of them is related by marriage to Tyee Joe, and they both have many friends among the young Indians here. It was a severe test of this tribe's desire for peace, to be compelled to deliver them up. But they did so yesterday morning. They are now in the guard house, where they will be kept until the next term of the district court.
Without doubt peace is more firmly settled now than ever.
In haste, truly yours. H.
P.S. Oct. 13--Kyle died this morning.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, November 8, 1853, page 2
A NEW STATE.--A writer, in the Mountain Herald, a California paper, contends that the interests of the people of Northern California and Southern Oregon demand that these sections of the country should be united, and a separate state organization formed.
Detroit Free Press, November 20, 1853, page 2
LETTER FROM PORT ORFORD.
Mines--Claims--White Cedar Timber--Saw Mills--New Towns--Klamath Mines.
Port Orford, O.T., Oct. 27, 1853.The excitement at this place for several months past, relative to mining, lumbering and claims adapted to agricultural purposes, has been growing steadily and rapidly, and the population of this place and vicinity has increased in a like rate. The indications of the rainy season have caused the miners to discontinue their operations upon the beach and prepare their winter quarters. The mines in the vicinity of the Coquille River have proved to be exceedingly rich, and arrangements will be made during the winter to conduct the water from the neighboring streams, so that a large number of claims will be successfully worked next season that could not be worked during the past, and many of them will prove exceedingly rich. Quite a large number of miners have recently come into these mines for the purpose of taking claims for next season. The mining locality extends along a bluff about three miles, and there is scarcely a claim the entire distance which will not pay more than ten dollars per day, if properly worked.
The mines at or near Rogue River are in great repute, but as to the certainty of their richness I cannot affirm, but judging from the increase of travel between this place and those mines, and the fact of two new towns having been commenced in that locality, we are led to suppose that something of a remarkable character has prompted the projectors to an enterprise of that character--one of which is called Elizabeth City [Elizabethtown, five miles north of Gold Beach], and the other is called Munsonia. It is said that those places already number several hundred population.
Timber claims, embracing the white cedar, have recently been looked for with much interest. There having been a sample of the lumber introduced into the San Francisco market, it caused some excitement among lumber manufacturers, and the result has been the erection of a commodious steam mill by the enterprising firm of Messrs. Neefus & Tichenor, of your city, which will be put in full operation within a very few days. This, together with a small mill driven by water power, will furnish a considerable quantity of a superior quality of lumber for the San Francisco market.
Yours, &c., CLINTON.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 8, 1853, page 3
From the South.
We learn from our Jacksonville correspondent that Sellers was retaken in that vicinity, but set at liberty again. He stole a horse on his way.
The Indians in Illinois Valley, near Althouse, had been troublesome, but a detachment of U.S. troops quieted them by firing on them and killing eight in number. Two of the troops were killed.
There is no mail from Winchester to Yreka at present, the subcontract having run out.
A man was murdered on the road between Yreka and Humbug--said to have had $30,000. Suspicion rests on "Irish Charley" and a Spaniard.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, November 12, 1853, page 3
For the Oregon Weekly Times.
Jacksonville, November 1, 1853.
Friend Waterman,--Agreeable to promise I scratch a few lines to you, although nothing of importance has occurred. Mr. Sellers, who escaped from Portland a short time since, was again taken when in bed on the 30th ult., at the house of Jacob Wagoner. He traveled under the assumed name of Wm. Anderson, was first recognized by a packer, who eying him sharply was asked by Sellers if he knew him. To which he replied he had seen him somewhere. Sellers told him he had a cousin in Yreka and was going to see him, and would stop at Wagoner's, inquiring on the way there. On his way out he stole a horse at Dr. Rose's old place, and traded at Mr. T'Vault's with a Mr. Crocker for one of his own. He was taken at ten, guarded till morning, and strange to tell, let go. He asked them what they wanted with him, as he had been acquitted. He was asked for his papers; said he had got tired of carrying them and thrown them away. The men, fearful of getting in a fix, or thinking $100 reward not enough, let him go. Some folks out here call them decidedly green.
The Indians in Illinois Valley, near Althouse, were quite troublesome about a week ago--driving off stock, burning one house and attempting to burn others. A small detachment of the regulars from Fort Lane went over and routed them from their camp in a thicket, killing eight, wounding some, taking from them some guns and a large quantity of ammunition. Some of the Indians afterward returned, skulking in the bushes, firing upon the soldiers, killing two and wounding others.
The sub-mail contractor under W. W. Chapman, his time being out, it is hard to say when the people of Rogue River will again be blessed with a U.S. Mail, if it can be considered a blessing (which I very much doubt), the manner in which it has been formerly carried, arriving and leaving here at no particular hour, day, nor week; but certain never to come too soon, sometimes losing a whole trip.
Two men were found on Tuesday last on the lower trial from Yreka to Humbug, having been murdered about two weeks previous, a Spaniard and American, one shot, the other stabbed. The Spaniard is said to have had $30,000. Suspicion rests upon a man called "Irish Charley" and a Spaniard. The authorities are now after them.
M.Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, November 19, 1853, page 2
FROM YREKA.--The following items of news are copied from the Mountain Herald of the 12th:
SAILOR DIGGINGS.--They are progressing finely with the canals, and will soon have a plentiful supply of water.
APPLEGATE.--The miners are returning to this stream, and we noticed considerable preparations there for wintering.
The miners in and around Jacksonville are preparing for winter diggings and a supply of water.
Sacramento Daily Union, November 19, 1853, page 2
FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.--We learn from our Jacksonville correspondent that Sellers was retaken in that vicinity, but set at liberty again. He stole a horse on his way.
The Indians in Illinois Valley, near Althouse, had been troublesome, but a detachment of U.S. troops quieted them by firing on them and killing eight in number. Two of the troops were killed.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, November 21, 1853, page 3
Fight with Indians.
Fort Lane, Oct. 28, 1853.
Dear Bush:--I returned last evening from an expedition to the country bordering on Illinois Creek; this stream empties into Rogue River some 75 miles below here. The Indians in that part have been stealing stock for some time. On the 17th, Capt. Smith sent a detachment under Lieut. Radford to the scene of troubles which I accompanied, but on arriving there it was found that much more time and force would be required than was at first supposed. On the 20th Lieut. Radford sent back an express to Capt. Smith asking for more men and provisions. On the 22nd another detachment under Lieut. Caster arrived, and the next day we started into the mountains; by means of my guides we found where they had been living for the last month or two. The Indians had evidently come from the mountains for the purpose of plunder, and had succeeded in making a fine lot of stock. My guides found the trail by which they had left, though the Indians had taken great pains to leave nothing that would indicate the direction they had gone, for instance they started in an opposite direction, then scattered, turned around &c. But we found their trail at last, and followed on the 23rd and 24th till noon, over very high mountains. The trail then turned down a steep mountain to the creek. I sent the guides down to examine. In a short time they returned and reported that they were satisfied the Indians were below a short distance on the creek. Lieut. Radford left a small guard with the horses and went down on foot with the command. The guides took him down so as not to be observed; they jumped into the water, run across and [were] upon them before they knew that we were near. It is not known how many Indians were killed, but from 8 to 15. One ox and 16 horses were taken, also several cans of powder and a quantity of balls and caps, provisions baskets, skins &c.; everything they had was taken and burnt. Two soldiers were wounded in the action, but after we started on our return we were fired upon and two men, Sergeant Day and King, were killed, and two more were wounded.
Most of the Indians now on Illinois Creek belong on the coast and come over at the time of the difficulty near Crescent City last summer, and were getting horses to take back. It was only two short days' march from where we found them to the coast by their trail.
None of the Rogue River Indians were among them. I had two Rogue River Indians for guides, and they would not have tried so hard to find and kill their own people as they did these; neither of them could be restrained from being among the foremost in the charge. Another reason [was that] everything in possession of the Indians was taken, and as the Rogue River Indians have horses they would have been taken with the rest. And another reason, Joe, the Rogue River chief, wanted to accompany us with some of his warriors to fight them, which of course was not accepted. It is very cold this morning. I can hardly hold a pen--have no house yet.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, November 22, 1853, page 2
The beach diggings between Crescent City and Port Orford are reported to be extensive and profitable. A number of prospectors have gone into new districts about Rogue River, and the reports of their discoveries are favorable, but we have no positive information.
"California Intelligence," Washington Sentinel, Washington, D.C., December 15, 1853, page 1
INDIANS.--The Indians in Illinois Valley, near Althouse, had been troublesome, but a detachment of U.S. troops quieted them, by firing on them and killing eight in number. Two of the troops were killed.
"From Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, November 23, 1853, page 2
OREGON.--The Spectator of the 13th inst. says:
Affairs out south, we are sorry to learn, are a little unsettled again. Several murders have been committed by the Indians again, among the whites; we see one by the name of Kyle.
The government troops established in the Rogue River Valley went out to capture some stock and other stolen property. They surprised the Indians, and shot at and wounded several. They fled to the mountains; when the troops turned homeward, the Indians followed stealthily and fired upon them, killing two soldiers and wounding three more. The succeeding night they came to the soldiers' camp and stole all their flour and provisions.
The whites out there are very much dissatisfied with Gen. Lane; we have been told by a reliable person, just from there, that nearly three-fourths of the people denounce him for the course he pursued in reference to making the treaty.
The people there look for a repetition of like scenes to those that have just closed, next summer. And from what we can hear, the miners will pay as little regard to the treaties as the Indians. The whites are very much incensed, and swear vengeance upon the redskins.
Daily Evening Herald, Marysville, California, November 23, 1853, page 2
MINING NEWS.--A correspondent of the Herald writes from Althouse Creek as follows, on the subject of mining:
"Althouse at present is thinly populated with miners. I do not think there is over one hundred persons on the creek. During the last two weeks the population has flown to the Port Orford excitement, Sucker Creek, Illinois River, Jacksonville &c. We hear of persons taking out $100 per day in the vicinity of Port Orford. These operations, with others of a similar character, are generally believed here. It is expected that there will be a great many miners winter at Sailor Diggings."
Sacramento Daily Union, November 26, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, O.T., Nov. 3, 1853.
Friend Bush:--Having just returned from a tour on the immigrant road, on the Applegate route, with Capt. Miller and his company, perhaps a few lines may be interesting to your readers. The result of Capt. Miller's expedition on this road is: He found the Indians very hostile; he and his company succeeded in surprising the Indians at four different times; took nine prisoners, and captured four immigrant horses from the Indians, with the loss of only two men wounded--Joseph Watt and William Duke, who are now nearly well. Perhaps other Indians were mortally wounded, but they made their escape to the mountains. The last Indians the company killed had been shot through the arm, by the guard, a few nights before he was killed [sic].
Capt. Miller will discharge his whole company in a few days. He is one of the members that have been elected from this county to represent us in the next Legislative Assembly. He has done good service in the Rogue River war, and on the immigrant road, and doubtless he will make a good Democratic member in the next Legislature, as he is an energetic man of high moral worth and sterling integrity. His company was the first organized company in the valley, and the last out on duty.
The immigrants are nearly all in the settlements on this route. The following is the amount that have passed Clear Lake this season:
215 wagons--159 to Rogue River and 56 to Yreka; 615 men, 180 women, 232 children, 3970 head of cattle, 1700 sheep, 222 horses and 64 mules.
I will send you a table of the whole in my next. Prices are improving in this place. Flour 20 cents, bacon 50, sugar 30, coffee 30-40, salt 25-30, tea 100-125 and everything else in proportion.
Yours respectfully,Oregon Statesman, Salem, November 29, 1853, page 2
B. F. DOWELL
MILITARY AFFAIRS--Lieut. G. W. Patten . . . furnishes the Express with the following interesting information of the movements of troops in the north:
"The post of Fort Lane, near Table Rock, Rogue River, will be garrisoned for the winter by three companies of dragoons, under Capt. Smith, and the privates of Capt. Lyon's company of 2nd Infantry turned over to the several companies belonging to post of Fort Lane, while Capt. Lyons with his noncommissioned officers proceeds, as soon as practicable, to the General Superintendent of the recruiting service at New York."
Sacramento Daily Union, November 30, 1853, page 2
One hundred and sixty of the Oregon immigrant wagons have gone to Rogue River Valley, and 36 came to Yreka, in this state.
The Indians in Illinois Valley (the extreme south) have been troublesome, but were quieted by a brush with some U.S. troops, in which 8 Indians were killed.
"Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 1, 1853, page 1
FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.
Discovery of Gold--Annexation.
By way of Yreka, we have news from Southern Oregon to the 28th ult.
Rogue River was very high, so much so that it was impossible to ferry animals. The express messenger was obliged to ferry in a canoe, and then came on foot to Jacksonville. Grave Creek was very high. The water in the Canyon was knee deep, and rising.
The road between here and Jacksonville was covered with pack trains freighted for this place.
Some "big strikes" are being made on the coast, at the mouth of the Coquille, on Coos Bay. Two half-breeds have taken out 150 lbs. of the genuine oro, which was weighed at Allan & McKinlay's store in Scottsburg.--Yreka Herald.
The barque Louisiana is at anchor in Coos Bay, loading with coal.
A correspondent writes:--Who says this is not a fast country? Southern Oregon and Northern California are bound to become one of the richest portions of Uncle Sam's dominions. God speed the time when we may be cut off from the "Durham shorthorns" of Oregon, and annexed to Northern California. More anon.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 5, 1853, page 2
At Jacksonville, O.T., Oct. 29, by Judge T. McF. Patton, Mr. G. L. Dean to Miss E. M. Wells, late of Iowa.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 5, 1853, page 2
Fight between United States troops and Indians.--A government express arrived at Fort Jones on the 20th ultimo direct from Fort Lane, in Rogue River Valley, bearing the intelligence that a company of United States dragoons had a very severe engagement with a party of Indians on Deer Creek, some twenty-five miles from Fort Lane.
It seems that the Indians on the trail between Jacksonville and Crescent City have for some weeks past been very troublesome, having killed one man and robbed numerous trains. For the purpose of chastising the depredators and freeing the road from further annoyance, Captain Smith, commander at Fort Lane, sent out Lieutenant Radford with a company of thirty dragoons, who met and attacked the Indians on Deer Creek, and after quite a hard fight forced them to scatter into the mountains. The Indians had ten warriors killed and a greater number wounded. Lieutenant Radford had a sergeant and one private killed, and three privates wounded. The Indians, in their fight, abandoned all of their horses, ammunition, food and, indeed, all else of their worldly possessions.
Washington Sentinel, Washington, D.C., December 22, 1853, page 1
Jacksonville, O.T., Nov. 15, 1853.
Friend Bush--The mail from the Willamette is just in, which confirms the previous reports that Judge Deady is removed. Nothing could have surprised the citizens of the valley more, and it is a subject of universal regret. That it is the result of a mistake, which will be corrected by his reappointment as soon as the facts become known at Washington, no one doubts. The Democracy in this part of Oregon would be satisfied with nothing less. It is generally supposed here that Judge McFadden will resign at once, upon learning the facts in the case.
All is peace and quiet in the valley. The farmers are busily engaged in putting in wheat and plowing ground for spring grain, fencing &c. There will be nearly if not quite enough grain raised to supply the valley with bread next season, which will add much to the prosperity of this part of Oregon.
No one, without witnessing it, can realize the amount of money sent from here to purchase flour. The effect will be to lessen the expense of living to such a degree that mines which cannot now be worked will be made to pay, which, of course, will add much to the amount of mining done.
I notice that the Oregonian is publishing articles from the Umpqua and other parts of the Territory (written in Portland) finding fault with the late treaty. If they can find nothing better than this out of which to make political capital, their prospects are anything but flattering. When it is remembered that by it the farmers will be enabled not only to raise enough for their own consumption but sufficient to supply those engaged in other occupations, thereby placing themselves in easy circumstances, and very much assisting other portions of [the] community, it is not probable that much will be made out of such a hobby. And that without it, this valley would have been kept back at least a year in the way of improvements, or in other words nearly ruined for a time.
It would be strange indeed if farmers could stand it without being embarrassed [financially] to live and support their families another year without raising anything, particularly at the high prices they would have been compelled to pay, and it equally affects those engaged in other pursuits.
The Oregonian seems to be troubled lest Gen. Lane shall receive more credit than his services merited. I had not supposed that the Gen. claimed or received any, except for doing his duty; and there are, doubtless, plenty of others that would have done the same if they had been in his position.
The miners are busily engaged in throwing up dirt and otherwise preparing for their winter's work. It is supposed that there is an abundance of provisions to last during the winter.
Truly yours, H.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, December 6, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Nov. 24, 1853.
Dear Bush:--Your paper, though published a long distance from here, contains so much news from this valley and is as widely circulated in it that it appears to us as a local paper. Therefore I take the liberty of asking the publication of a few remarks upon subjects of deep importance and interest to the people of this valley.
During the late Indian war a volunteer whilst on guard was shot by a comrade, while their company was encamped on Rogue River. The one who committed the deed was arrested and sent guarded to Gen. Lane, who turned him over to the civil authorities for trial. At the September term of the court he was tried before Judge Deady, but the jury disagreeing upon a verdict, he was remanded into custody to await a new trial at the next term of the court, which was to commence on the second Monday in November.
Shortly after the late treaties were made, a murder was committed by the Indians upon James Kyle, one of the most respectable and inoffensive citizens of this valley. This murder created the most intense excitement, and it was with great difficulty that the citizens could restrain themselves from taking the law into their own hands, but not wishing to get into a conflict with the military, and desiring to test the efficiency of the treaty, they finally allowed the law to take its course.
The Indian agent demanded of Joe, the tyee, the delivery of the murderer, which demand was complied with by old Joe, upon the condition that if he was not found guilty at the November term of the court that he should be restored to the tribe. The murderer being great favorites [sic] of the Indians, and they fearing that the people would hang them if they got into their hands, whether guilty or innocent, it was with the greatest difficulty that they could be prevailed upon to give them up, therefore the above promise was made to them, the agent and the officers having no reason to doubt that the regular term of the court would be held at the appointed time.
The second Monday of November has arrived and passed, but no judge has made his appearance to hold a court. The white prisoner demands his trial or release. The Indians are clamorous for the fulfillment of the promises made to them and demand that the whites will try their tillicums now or return him [sic] to the tribe. Everybody is dissatisfied, and all classes are complaining of the injustice which is inflicted upon them by the neglect of the judge to perform the duties for which he is paid.
The papers announce that Judge McFadden, the successor of Judge Deady, arrived at Portland on the 18th of October, and as our Nov. term should commence on the 14th November, he had thus a full month to travel a journey which never occupies more than ten or twelve days. Why has he not come? Like an old fogy with silk gloves, and too delicate to travel in the mist! If he is, why did he not refuse to qualify until Judge Deady had held the court? These are questions that we are anxious to have answered. We have no disposition to keep prisoners at an expense of sixteen dollars per day each for the accommodation of delicate judges.
I wish to call the attention of the Legislature to a subject that is worthy of their earliest consideration, the payment of the volunteer troops of the late Rogue River war. The only action it can take in the matter will be to memorialize Congress praying for the prompt payment of all who were actually engaged in the war and who were mustered into the service of the U.S. The memorial should ask also that the compensation of the soldiers should approximate the ordinary wages of the country, that a citizen whilst bearing arms and risking his life against a savage foe should be entitled to receive payment at least equal to what he would earn at his daily avocation. It is the business of Uncle Sam to defend the frontiers from the depredations of savages, but as he has sadly neglected it in this country, he must not complain now if justice compels him to pay the volunteers a few dollars more than he pays his regular troops. The merchants and others who furnished the troops with clothing, provisions, stock &c. should meet with an early settlement of their accounts and reserve a liberal price for the articles furnished. Many of them furnished supplies to nearly the entire amount of their capital, and as necessarily a long time [will] elapse before they can receive the amount of their claims and their business facilities being thus curtailed, any mean or parsimonious reductions of will be disgraceful and unjust. The Legislature should appoint a commissioner immediately to audit the claims against [the] government.
Yours truly,Oregon Statesman, Salem, December 6, 1853, page 2
INFORMATION WANTED--Of E. S. DAVIS, of Arkansas; he arrived in California in 1849. Any information of him will be thankfully received by his brother, Joseph H. Davis, of the firm of Fowler & Davis, Jacksonville, or by Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express.
JOSEPH H. DAVIS.Jacksonville, Nov. 24th, 1853.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 7, 1853, page 2
MURDERED.--Louis Galice, the discoverer of many rich diggings in the region surrounding Crescent City, on the coast, was murdered by the Rogue River Indians about the 25th ult.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 12, 1853, page 2
Through Cram, Rogers & Co.'s Express, the Herald has news from Southern Oregon.
The express from Scottsburg and Coos Bay had not arrived, owing, it is supposed, to the high water.
Mr. R. also informs the Herald that the two Indians who were prisoners at Fort Lane, for the murder of Mr. Kyle, a short time since, escaped on Tuesday night last.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 12, 1853, page 3
MINES.--Mining at Jacksonville is improving very fast, and many are making good strikes. A great many miners who had left their claims during the summer, on account of the scarcity of water, were daily returning and preparing to operate for the winter.
There is at present a very large number of stock in the Rogue River Valley.
They brag a great deal of the large acquisition of the gentler sex, who arrived across the Plains this season.
On the coast about Port Orford some miners are doing exceedingly well, but a majority of them are not making anything.--Oregonian.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 16, 1853, page 2
FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.
By way of Yreka, we have later news from Southern Oregon.
The little steamer Bully Washington is making regular tri-weekly trips between Scottsburg and Umpqua City, and is fairly coining money.
There are about five hundred mules on the plains near Scottsburg, prevented from traveling by the high water.
S. K. Temple and others have surveyed a road from Coos Bay to Lookingglass Prairie, twenty miles from Canyonville. Distance between Coos and Lookingglass [is] thirty-eight miles, twenty of which can be traveled with wagons, without any improvement.
Mr. Evans, of Rogue River, has taken down his old ferry string, and put [in place] a "rope as is a rope."
Miners down Rogue River are doing exceedingly well.
The intelligence from the mines on the coast above here is encouraging. A gentleman who arrived here on Saturday informed the Yreka Herald that they were making one hundred dollars per day on a claim there belonging to him. He reports but ten or fifteen persons at Coos Bay, and nothing doing there.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 19, 1853, page 2
STATE OF KLAMATH.--The Yreka Herald contains the following communication:
The time cannot be far distant when our Pacific Coast, extending from 32 to 49 deg. north latitude, will have to be subdivided into several states. This coast embraces about 17 degrees, over one thousand miles in a straight line, or, following the meanderings of the ocean, a shore of several thousand miles in extent. The interior is fast filling up, and the necessity for facilities of communication from different points on the coast becomes every day more apparent.
Between San Francisco Bay and the Columbia River, a distance of some six or seven hundred miles, there are places like Humboldt Bay, Trinidad, Crescent City, Port Orford, Coos Bay and Umpqua River, which, as points of communication with the interior, are in a greater or less degree susceptible of improvement. But for the state of California or the Territory of Oregon they are of too secondary a nature to receive any effective support either from the people of Oregon and California, or from their delegations in Congress.
Southern Oregon and Northern California, embracing the range of country east of the coast that stretches from Cape Mendocino [to] the Umpqua heads, presents a country of a uniform character, and distinct from the rest of either California or Oregon. The beds and banks of its streams and its mountains are auriferous, and therein it differs from the remainder of Oregon, which is an agricultural, grain and cattle-growing country. Its intercourse with the Sacramento Valley is barred, or at least greatly impeded, by high mountains, which part of the year are impassable. It presents a system of watercourses and mountain ranges entirely its own, and whereof the Yreka plain is about the center. Though its valleys afford pasture and farming lands, yet its most interesting feature is the gold scattered over its plains, riverbeds and mountains. This it is which ensures a speedily growing population, to whom already the Indians, formerly so formidable in this region, have been forced to submit.
Only lately, Washington Territory has been formed out of the most northern portion of Oregon, with a seacoast of some three degrees, from 49 deg. north altitude to the mouth of the Columbia River. If there is left to Oregon a smaller extent of coast, say from the mouth of the Columbia River to the Umpqua heads, we have from the latter to Cape Mendocino, also three degrees of seacoast, which would be allotted to the new Territory.
To develop properly the resources of the country between Cape Mendocino and the Umpqua heads, and east of them, it is necessary to form it into a Territory by itself and have its interests fairly represented in the U.S. Congress. Its interests are separate and distinct from those of either California or Oregon, and it clogs the administration of both. The little mail communication it now enjoys is very imperfect, and the greater portion of it has none at all. Appropriations by Congress for California or Oregon are of course mainly applied to San Francisco and the Columbia River. We need and are entitled to come help where we are; our bays and rivers are susceptible of improvement; our Coast Range is not impassable for wagon roads. Therefore let the people speak out and unite upon some plan of action for the purpose of forming a new Territory out of Northern California and Southern Oregon. Let our local resources be developed by a government identified with our locality; let us have a voice in the national councils, where we can urge upon Congress our wants. Let us have a new Territory!
S.H.G.Alta California, San Francisco, December 19, 1853, page 2
Crescent City, Nov. 23, 1853.
New States upon the Pacific.
The New York Herald has a leader upon the probabilities of the formation, at no very distant period, of a new territory out of a portion of territory from Southern Oregon and Northern California. It says that many of the ports between San Francisco and the mouth of the Columbia River, a distance of seven hundred miles, are susceptible of improvement, and are necessary as points of communication with the interior country, but while they remain attached to either California or Oregon they will not command that attention they would if they were [the] only outlets of a state or territory. The Herald says that the country contemplated for this new territory differs from the remainder of Oregon and California--that it is mostly a mountainous, auriferous soil, and is rapidly filling up. It is certainly, in our opinion, for the interest of the inhabitants of the Pacific Coast to carve Oregon and California into new states, as fast as the increase of population will permit, that our political influence may be felt in Congress, which, with only two members in each House, is next to nothing. For every new state formed, two additional members will be added to the Senate. At present, Congress doles out everything to California grudgingly. For more than three years California has been a member of the federal union, with a commerce inferior to but two cities of the Union, and yet no lighthouses are upon our coast, no fortifications for the defense of San Francisco. Every dollar appropriated for a custom house, hospital or navy yard comes forth as grudgingly as though it were a donation to California, when in fact it is but a necessary expenditure on the part of the general government to build up her empire on the Pacific Ocean--an empire that commenced with the possession of Oregon, and these improvements are national, and the appropriations should come forth freely and liberally. But such will not be the case while the Pacific Coast has so small a political influence in Congress.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 21, 1853, page 2
FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.--A correspondent of the Yreka Herald, writing from Jacksonville, over date of 14th inst., says that the two Indians who killed Kyle have not yet been retaken. It is supposed they are among the Umpquas. The same writer adds:
"Every movement of the Indians in this whole country, including those on the coast, shows feelings of hostility towards the whites. In the vicinity of Port Orford they are arming themselves with firearms, and if daylight is not made to shine through them between this and spring we may expect trouble of the most serious nature from these enemies of the human family. We can never rest in security until the redskins are treated like other wild beasts of the forest."
----CRESCENT CITY.--A writer from Crescent City to the Yreka Herald says that Louis Galice and a man known as Dutch Philip were recently murdered by the Rogue River tribe of Indians while out on a prospecting tour.
New mines have been discovered and business was represented as being in a flourishing condition generally at the new coast town.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 26, 1853, page 2
One hundred and sixty of the Oregon immigrant wagons have gone to Rogue River Valley, and 36 came to Yreka. . . .
The Indians in Illinois Valley (the extreme south) have been troublesome, but were quieted by a brush with some U.S. troops, in which 8 Indians were killed.
"Oregon," Daily Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia, December 28, 1853, page 1
A NEW TERRITORY.--The following extract is from a lengthy leader in the Yreka Herald:
"We want but to be properly represented in the general government to secure to us the aid to which we are entitled, and which is so necessary to the growth and development of this part of the country.
"We want a new territory. The people of the Umpqua say so! Humboldt, Klamath and Siskiyou are unanimous in favor of it. The Rogue River country join with one unanimous consent. A voice from Mendocino to the Umpqua cries let us have a new territory. It is caught up in the mountains and is resounded from the Trinity to the Calapooia. The people are unanimous."
Sacramento Daily Union, December 28, 1853, page 2
FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.
By way of Yreka, we have later news from Southern Oregon.
The little steamer Bully Washington is making regular triweekly trips between Scottsburg and Umpqua City, and is fairly coining money.
There are about five hundred mules on the plains, near Scottsburg, prevented from traveling by the high water.
S. K. Temple and others have surveyed a road from Coos Bay to Lookingglass Prairie, twenty miles from Canyonville. Distance between Coos and Lookingglass thirty-eight miles, twenty of which can be traveled with wagons, without any improvement.
Mr. Evans, of Rogue River, has taken down his old ferry string, and put a "rope as is a rope."
Miners down Rogue River are doing exceedingly well.
The intelligence from the mines on the coast above here is encouraging. A gentleman who arrived here on Saturday informed the Yreka Herald that they were making one hundred dollars per day on a claim there belonging to him. He reports but ten or fifteen persons at Coos Bay, and nothing doing there.
Alta California, San Francisco, December 31, 1853, page 7
District Courts of Oregon.The following Act, creating the Judicial Districts of Oregon, and assigning the Judges to their respective Districts, has recently passed the Legislative Assembly of this Territory--for a copy of which we are indebted to Hon. Cyrus Olney:
A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR HOLDING THE SUPREME AND DISTRICT COURTS.Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Oregon, That a Supreme Court shall be held in Portland on the second Monday of December in each year.
Sec. 2. The counties of Marion, Linn, Lane, Benton and Polk, shall compose the first judicial district, and George H. Williams, chief justice, is assigned to reside therein.
The counties of Clatsop, Washington, Clackamas and Yamhill, shall compose the second judicial district, and Cyrus Olney, one of the associate justices, is assigned to reside therein.
The counties of Umpqua, Douglas and Jackson, shall compose the third judicial district, and Obadiah B. McFadden, one of the associate justices, is assigned to reside therein.
Sec. 3. District Courts shall be held in the several counties on the following Mondays, to wit:
In Clatsop, the fourth in February and August;
In Clackamas, the first in March and September;
In Yamhill, the third in March and September;
In Washington, the fourth in April and September;
In Lane, the first in May and October;
In Beaton, the second in May and October;
In Linn, the third in April and November;
In Polk, the fourth in May and October;
In Marion, the first in April and November;
In Douglas, the third in May and November;
In Umpqua, the fourth in May and November;
In Jackson, the first in February, May, August, and November;
Sec. 4. When any person shall be detained in prison or custody, charged with a criminal offense, the judge of the district, and in case of vacancy, absence or other inability, then any other judge, may appoint and hold a district court for the indictment and trial of such prisoner, at which term all persons in actual custody shall be tried, who shall have received from the judge ten days notice of the time of holding such court for their trial, and any other business may be done by consent of parties.
Sec. 5. The judges at chambers may hear and decide all causes and matters at law and in equity arising or pending in their respective districts which do not require the intervention of a jury, takin care that the parties have due notice of the times and place of hearing; and at the request of both parties, may hold jury trials, and tax the expense as costs of suite.
Sec. 6. The judges may exchange districts and hold courts for each other at pleasure, and when a vacancy shall happen, or a judge shall be sick, absent or otherwise unable to serve, it shall be the duty of the other judges to supply his place, so far as the same can be done without omitting any regular court in their own districts.
Sec. 7. The county of Tillamook shall be attached to the county of Yamhill for judicial purposes, and the county of Coos shall be attached to Umpqua for judicial purposes.
Sec. 8. This act shall take effect from and after its passage.
Passed Council Dec. 22nd, 1853.
Passed House of Representatives Dec. 23rd, 1853.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, December 31, 1853, page 2
In 1853 went to Jacksonville mines. You went also. Made a big pile. Wife stole most of it; sued for divorce. Went back to Jacksonville in 1854, made well of it & when I saw the Indian war upon us I just got up & got, not 12 hours too soon to save my scalp. The dust of our little party had scarcely settled when two men was killed near the Willow Springs. A party on Rogue River had old Taylor and another Indian strung up to an oak tree. [Taylor was hanged in July 1853, presumably placing these events during the 1853 Indian war.] Passing on near Grave Creek another buck was swinging to a limb. Indians was flying hither and yon with express ponies, and the only thing that saved our party was our quick passage through that country--passing Grave Creek where a female grave had been exhumed by the Indians, 12 buck Indian heads was left to sight. They was all in this grave feet down inwards, only showing their ghastly heads. It was the Grave Creek boys that done this. Passing on through the Kenion to the Kenion House, then kept by the elder Knott, they had a Wascopam devil that I knew. He was one the devils that wanted to kill Waller and family at the Dalles in 1847. He eyed me closely, but I did not let on that I knew him, nor did I tell Knott that I knew him. Our party was too small to punish him. We told Knott to keep him till he could get more reliable protection and then hang him, that we were running a gantlet and on [a] route more exposed than he was. So we passed on to the next house, only to see another red devil swinging to an oak limb. It took place in this way.
The man that kept the station had gone to the Willamette for provisions. The Indian had demanded of the woman his dinner. She gave him his dinner; he then wanted something else. At this juncture a pack team drove up and, learning the state of affairs, swung the Indian up where we saw him and left him.
I was sorry for this poor woman. She begged us to stay and protect her, but we left the poor woman & passed on. This is on South Umpqua, and the last we saw of the oak limb medicine.
We are through the gantlet and no more of note--got home sometime in October '54.
SCRAPSAt Jackson I had sunk on your claim a shaft 12 feet square. It was 32 feet deep, and when the man had got down ½ way he left a step so that at twice [sic] he could throw out the debris. This step was left standing and one day a hired man & myself was in the shaft, he with a wheelbarrow, both of us got the step. I saw it gave way & with a spring & shout to the hired man I jumped out of danger. He stood still and was buried beneath the debris. The only portion of him visible was the back of his neck spouting with blood.
The wheelbarrow was smashed to atoms & yet we got him out alive.
After this I dug a cut 60 feet in the bluff 15 feet wide and braced it with heavy timbers lest it should cave. This we were all hands cleaning out the drift and all day long our timbers kept cracking so at night just as the last man was leaving the drift, down came the whole hill, smashing our timbers as though they were hemp stalks.
I now tell you a funny tale on old Joe Teal, who was one of my company when I left the mines at Jackson the last time. The Indians was thick around us, so after we crossed Rogue River we was afraid to camp on the river and kept on & in the forest about a mile from the river made camp & Teal & myself was detailed to go back to the river for water & when we got through the timber I saw two objects near the river. I took a range & found they was moving towards us & told Joe to stop and convince himself that they were grizzlies making towards us. Down went Teal's bucket and no horse could have kept up with him till he reached camp. Teal jumped a fir log 7 ft. dia. that I had to go around which placed me far in the rear, though I was on the double git myself, for I knew that the grizzlies we had seen was Indians and they was making towards us. A dry camp, no water, that night & Teal lost his bucket and britches.
"Essay of John M. Shively re: Mining Experiences," Oregon Historical Society Research Library Mss 1127, folder 2/1
Capt. Bradford R. Alden, Fourth Infantry, was severely wounded in Oregon in an expedition against Rogue River Indians in August 1853, and resigned a month later. He was one of the first to sink oil wells in Pennsylvania.
"West Pointers of '31," The Evening Post, New York, May 2, 1908, page 10
Last revised June 10, 2018