A woman tavern keeper on Applegate Creek in Jackson County wrote to her niece in 1854: "Em, I should like to have you here, but a young lady is so seldom seen here that you would be in danger of being taken by force."
Federal Writers Project, Oregon: End of the Trail, 1940, page 6 I've been unable to locate the source of the letter. Anyone?
DIVISION OF THE TERRITORY.--We have been shown letters received by the southern members, urging upon them the necessity and expedience of making a move for the division of the Territory. A convention is to be held on the 25th of this month in Jacksonville, for the furtherance of this object. It is contemplated to make a new Territory out of that portion of California north of the Trinity Mountains and of that portion of Oregon south of the Calapooias. This question and the one in regard to the relocation of the public buildings have been prolific of considerable outdoor discussion. A majority of the members are opposed to a division of the Territory at the present time, but are willing to give the south the university if the southern members can agree on the location, but there seems to be but little probability of this, as the members of Umpqua and Douglas desire its location at Winchester, and the members of Jackson County at Jacksonville.
"Legislative Summary," Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, January 24, 1854, page 2
Items from the South.Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, January 24, 1854, page 2
Capt. Miller, of Jackson County, has permitted us to make the following extracts from a letter received from one of his constituents:
Yreka, January 1, 1854.Hon. John F. Miller--Dear Sir:--Being weary with the monotony of Jacksonville, and having the temporary contract for carrying the mail between here and Canyonville, I determined to spend a part of the Christmas holidays in the queen of the mining towns. Everything is brisk and lively here at this time. Provisions and dry goods plenty and cheap. The tavern tables are loaded with the necessaries and luxuries of life. This time last year the citizens could scarcely get a pound of bread to eat at any price. What a contrast. Now 50 or 60 thousand pounds could be had at 25 or 30 cents per pound. Flour sold yesterday, by the trainload, at 20 cents.
There are 7 stores or brick business houses on Main Street, 12 on Miners Street, and 4 more in different parts of town. There was a ball given at the Yreka Hotel, last Monday. It was the most brilliant affair that has ever taken place in Northern California. The citizens of Jacksonville, Jackson County, O.T., intend having a Jackson ball at the Robinson House on Monday, the 9th of this month, in honor of the Jackson victory over Packingham, on the 8th of January, 1815. Success to the Jackson jubilee.
The first thing that took place of interest after your departure was the marriage of Hardy Elliff to Miss Melvina Baker, on the 15th ult. Good, better, best! If Hardy could get as young, beautiful, amiable and accomplished a girl as Miss Baker, what may not nika do? I am informed a correspondent of the Times heralded the marriage in it a week before it took place, while Hardy was compelled to remain a bachelor a week longer, much against his will. We would have had a good joke if the lady had told him afterwards you kant kome it quite. By the by, Mr. Elliff kept a good house at the east end of the Canyon, before he was married, for the accommodation of travelers, and now as he has a "live woman" at the head of the table, you may expect something extra. Call and see.
I was at church this morning, and heard quite an animated sermon. I, however, could not learn his name nor the denomination to which he belonged, from his discourse, but I am informed that the is the Rev. Sutton, from Michigan, and that he and others have formed a new church here called the Yreka Union Church, which is a union of the scattering Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopalians, and Christians. He appeared to be in good earnest, and he is probably a very good fellow, as he sent us neither to hell nor heaven.
The snow in the trail on the Trinity Mountains is 4 and 5 feet deep between here and Shasta City, and the snow and mud almost intolerable. Trains have recently been upwards of 35 days on the road from Crescent City to Jacksonville. The snow is now only 8 or 10 inches deep on the Siskiyou Mountains, which is as deep as it has been at any time this winter.
From the best information we have there is a good harbor at Coos Bay, and plenty of water at all seasons of the year for the largest class vessels to enter the harbor with safety. Recently a road has been viewed from Coos Bay to Lookingglass Prairie, and they report that it is only 60 miles to Coos Bay from the west end of the Canyon, and that a wagon can now travel the route three-fourths of the way without any trouble. This will make Jacksonville only 125 miles from one of the best harbors in Oregon. If a good wagon road was made to Coos Bay, prices would change materially in Rogue River Valley. Flour would sell for 8 and 10 cents, and other freight would cost not more than 6 or 7 cents from San Francisco to Jacksonville while at present we pay 15, 20, 30 and 40 cents per pound even from Scottsburg and Crescent City.
The citizens of this place and Jacksonville are in good, cool earnest about a new Territory, to be formed out of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Mass meetings are advertised to be held in a few days in Jackson, Umpqua, Douglas, Klamath and Siskiyou counties, to elect delegates to attend a general mass meeting to be held at Jacksonville, on the 25th of this month. This is right. I wrote and spoke three years ago that nature and nature's God had divided California and Oregon into 7 or 8 separate and distinct states. Then let one be made north of Columbia River and east of the Cascade Mountains, one south of the Columbia and north of the summit of the Calapooia Mountains, one including Umpqua, Rogue River, Shasta and Scotts valleys, one or two out of the balance of California, and in time three or four east of the Cascade Range of mountains. The sooner these divisions are made the better for Southern Oregon, yea, the better for every citizen of the Pacific Coast. Make each and all of these divisions, and then each state and Territory will have as many square miles as two-thirds of the states of this Union, and it would give us a respectable influence in the American Congress. If we had been represented by two or three delegates in Congress in place of one, our wants would have been better known in the States, and if our wants had been well known long ere this time we should have had a weekly mail between Oregon and California, which would have saved Southern Oregon and Northern California an enormous tax, which is weekly paid the express companies. But as it is, up to this good hour there is no mail carried between here and Shasta City, a distance of only 125 miles, and the officers of the post office department think 500 dollars sufficient to pay the expenses of carrying the mail on this route for 12 months, when in truth and in fact the actual cost would be four times five hundred. It only wants a few more members and delegates in Congress to let the members of the Atlantic States know what it costs to live in a gold country, for us to get justice done. The express companies bring 500 or 600 letters to this place every week and get two dollars for each letter, yet our government neglects, fails and refuses to pay more than five hundred dollars annually for transporting the mails from Shasta to this place, while the citizens pay double that to expresses every week. We have a good and generous government, that would scorn to neglect any of her citizens like Southern Oregon and Northern California have been neglected, if the members of the American Congress knew their true condition. Then let us have another Territory and another delegate to represent our interest; then, and not until then, may Southern Oregon and Northern California expect to get their proportional part of the distribution of the funds in the national treasury.
Another Indian War.It will be seen by the following letter, just received, that the Indians in the neighborhood of Coquille are not inclined to remain peaceable only while they have the fear of powder and American promptness and bravery before their eyes. We are rather inclined to think this the shortest Indian war on record.
Randolph City, Coquille MinesMr. Bush--Dear Sir:--We have had a difficulty with the Indians, the details of which may be interesting to your numerous readers.
January 29, 1854.
The Indians located at the mouth of the Coquille have repeatedly warned the people residing here, and the miners scattered along the beach, that if they did not leave they would compel them to, or kill them. They have also committed several thefts, breaking into the houses of miners when they were absent at work, and stealing their provisions, ammunition &c. Two days since a messenger arrived together with an interpreter from the Indian agent at Port Orford and requested the Chief to come in and have a talk. He replied that he did not want to talk, that he wanted to fight, that he was an enemy to the whites and always would be an enemy. He also said that the Bostons were gone (meaning the soldiers) and that the rest of the Americans were all women and could not fight and that he intended to kill them all.
Yesterday morning a small party from this place and vicinity together with a few resident at the Coquille attacked them at their rancharee and killed fifteen Indians; the rest fled--they then burnt the rancharee. The Chief was wounded, being shot through the shoulder. Two squaws were killed by accident. Eight squaws were taken prisoner. Later in the day the Chief came in and gave himself up. He said he was sorry that he was hostile to the whites and promised to behave better in future, that his heart was now changed. He also said that he had thought that it was only the soldiers who could fight, but that he had now found out his mistake. After some talk the prisoners were all set at liberty, some provisions were given them, and they were told that as long as they remained friendly and did not steal or molest the whites in their avocations they should be unmolested, and that if any white men injured them they should come in and make it known and have the matter investigated, and if wronged they should receive reparation.
So the matter stands--war was declared, the enemy conquered, and peace restored in less than twelve hours. How long they will remain peaceable time will show.
There was one thing which happened at which humanity shudders, but it is believed on all hands to have been purely accidental. After the firing had ceased a squaw was found in a swamp shot dead with her helpless infant lying by her side, so young as to be unconscious that its mother had ceased to live; she was endeavoring to get away with her child when a ball struck her which was intended for a man. Before the attack it was expressly agreed and understood that no women or children should be killed, and I repeat that it was purely accidental and is deplored by all. In connection with the case above named allow me to record an act of humanity: the men endeavored to persuade the squaws who were taken prisoners to go and bring in the child which lay by its dead mother, but they positively refused, saying that their chief would kill them if they touched it. One of the company then went out and brought the child in his arms and pulled off his shirt and wrapped it in it and gave it to one of the squaws and compelled her to nurse it. To the honor of the men concerned, be it recorded that there were none of those barbarous scenes enacted which make civilization blush for its name! No scalping or other desecration of the dead. They turned away feeling that they had performed a melancholy duty and sick at heart at the blood they shed. The people here are very poorly armed.
A meeting was held in this place yesterday, the proceedings of which were ordered to be published, which I expect you will receive in due time. I will, however, give a copy of one resolution which was passed with but one dissenting voice.
"Resolved, That if any person or persons shall sell, give, barter, or in any manner dispose of any gun, rifle, pistol, carbine or other firearms, or any powder, lead, caps or other ammunition, to any Indian or Indians, such person or persons so offending shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and for the first offense shall receive thirty-nine lashes upon the bare back, and for the second offense shall suffer death."
Yours, respectfully,Undated Oregon Statesman clipping, NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frame 562.
Wm. J. Berry.
Valuable Claims in Rogue River Valley.
OUR CLAIMS, adjoining each other, comprising a section in one body, about three miles from Jacksonville, about one hundred acres in timber (oak, ash, pine &c.); the remainder the best of prairie land. The improvements are a good two-storied new frame House, with hewn log back building, and a log cabin; about sixty acres are fenced, mostly under cultivation with wheat.
There are several fine springs on the claims, and a branch running through them; besides the fine range on the premises for stock, there are several thousand acres this farm will always have the advantage of. Wishing to devote our whole attention to a flouring mill, we will sell a bargain, and will, if desired, take stock in part payment. Travelers through the territory say this is one of the best farms in it.
Address "McKinnell and Hoffman," Jacksonville.
This house is on the road to Yreka, and would be an excellent stand for a tavern.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, February 21, 1854, page 3
NEW TERRITORY.--A resolution was introduced today in the House of the Legislative Assembly, requesting our Delegate in Congress to use his influence to form a new Territory out of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Every member south of the Calapooya Mountain voted for the resolution, and every one north of this mountain against it. So the resolution was lost, there being only five members south of the proposed northern boundary line of our new Territory. The northern portion of Oregon seems determined to hold on to the south, and compel her to pay taxes without an equal representation.
Mr. Jackson, from Clackamas County, then introduced a resolution requesting our Delegate to use his influence to prevent the formation of a new Territory, which passed by a large majority; however, every member south of the Calapooya Mountain voted against it. This vote will be an advantage to the friends of the new Territory, as it shows that the whole southern delegation are united, and determined to have a new Territory. The votes of the members north of the Calapooya Mountain, during the whole session, have been oppressive to the south, and well calculated to compel the people to form a new Territory, and set up for themselves.
Mr. Martin from Douglas County introduced a bill sometime last week, locating the University of Oregon at Winchester. This bill was summarily laid on the table. Soon afterwards, a bill was introduced in the Council, moving the whole of the public buildings farther south, locating the Penitentiary at Oregon City, the Capitol at Corvallis, late Marysville, and the University at Winchester, for the purpose of doing the southern part of Oregon ample justice in the distribution of the public buildings. But this bill was too just and equitable to pass this august and selfish body. So it was indefinitely postponed yesterday, which gives it a quietus this session.
Southern Oregon has now nothing to expect from the Legislative Assembly of Oregon, and a division is inevitable. Southern Oregon has more than one-third of the population of the Territory, yet she has only five members in the House out of twenty-six, and only one member in the Council out of nine. As five is to twenty-six, or one to nine, so are the rights, privileges and interests of Southern Oregon respected in this Legislative Assembly. She will pay one-third of the taxes of the Territory, yet she is denied the location of the University, notwithstanding not a dollar has yet been expended at Corvallis. What then has she to expect from the Territorial Legislature? Nothing. But we have one consolation left. We can and will have a new Territory, without their assistance. Northern California and Southern Oregon have the resources within themselves to make a large, respectable and wealthy state. The proposed new Territory has fertile valleys, rich mines and good harbors that is equal to any on the Pacific Coast, and she has at this time population enough to support a respectable state government. The sooner a new Territory is formed, the sooner Northern California and Southern Oregon will become a prosperous, wealthy and happy state of the American Union. I have the honor to remain, yours respectfully,
B.F.D. [B. F. Dowell?]"Late and Interesting from Oregon," San Francisco Evening Journal, February 21, 1854, page 2
--[Cor. Yreka Her.
The cost of the Rogue River War, exclusive of the pay of soldiers, is said to have been $93,511.25.
The Legislature has changed a number of the names of rivers and towns: for instance, Rogue River is now Gold River; Grave Creek, Leland Creek; Albany, Takenah; Marysville, Corvallis &c.
A law has been passed prohibiting labor and public amusements on Sunday.
Further difficulties had occurred with the Indians on Coquille River. Some alleged outrages by the red men were avenged by a party of fifty miners, who attacked an Indian village and killed 16 of the aborigines.
"Oregon," New York Times, March 13, 1854, page 3
There has been a movement in Southern Oregon of some significance, working to the erection of a new state in that quarter. Meetings and conventions have been held, and memorials will go forward to Washington urging the proposition.
Charters have been granted for a railroad from Umpqua to Portland, and for two roads around the Clackamas Rapids.
There are favorable reports from the mines in the south. The miners about Jacksonville have commenced a canal to bring Applegate Creek to that town, through a rich mining district. The canal will be fourteen miles long.
"Oregon Territory," New York Daily Herald, March 26, 1854, page 2
The agitation in the north for the formation of a new territory out of the Klamath country still continues. Another convention had been called for, to meet at Jacksonville, O.T., on the 7th of April.
"Two Weeks Later from California," Putnam County Courier, Carmel, New York, April 1, 1854, page 2
Letter from Oregon.
Randolph City, Oregon Territory,Messrs. Editors: I will give you some few items as they have transpired here. I wrote you last fall giving you the general news up to that time (November). Since which time nothing of importance has taken place of a general character, except we have had quite a severe winter for Oregon; snow fell about Christmas to the depth of two feet upon a level about the seashore, and a great deal deeper back in the mountains. I was on Cape Blanco at the time; this is the most westerly point of land on the Pacific Coast in the boundaries of the United States, and about two hundred feet above the level of the sea. While there the Indians gave us some trouble. (And this brought to my mind what my father had often told me, that I would keep going west until I come to the jumping-off place. I thought then I had found it.) There is at present a great deal of mining done on the seashore. Miners could do but little during the winter months on account of high tides caused by the southwest wind and a current in the ocean, that sits down the coast or south, but during the summer months the prevailing wind is from the northwest and blowing with the current causes much lower tides than in winter. These beach diggins are the best I have seen since I have been in this country. Miners make from one ounce ($16.00) to four hundred dollars per day (but few of the latter, I understand). All the mines are full and hundreds prospecting for new diggins and many young men preparing to go to Sonora and Lower California, and if the United States does not purchase the above places, I do not know where we will tramp to next. We all like traveling, but we want the protection of Uncle Sam.
April 29, 1854.
I expect to quit mining after the summer and return to the old North State; times are getting quite dull in Oregon; wheat is only worth $2 per bushel; butter 3½ per pound; beef 12 to 16; potatoes 3 cents per pound; lumber will not pay for sawing, &c.
There are several new towns springing upon on the coast of Oregon, at Port Orford, Paragon Bay, Coos Bay, &c.
There is but little doing in politics except President Pierce's trouble to get judges in Oregon to suit him; he first appointed Judge Deady, and then thought he would not do; removed him and appointed C. B. McFadden of Penn. to fill his place. Some of the unwashed Democracy here did not like this and wrote to Gen. Lane and Pierce; they then removed McFadden and appointed Deady again his place. I suppose by this time he has the latter removed again.
I occasionally come across a stray Carolinian; I saw yesterday Mr. James Bynum, whose father lives near Germanton in Stokes County. I will close for the present, but I will write you occasionally while here. I remain yours, &c.
BUNKUM.The Greensborough Patriot, Greensboro, North Carolina, June 17, 1854, page 3
MARRIED.In Alfred, April 27, by Eld. N. V. Hull, Mr. Clark Rogers, of Jacksonville, Oregon, to Mrs. Emma S. Stillman, of Alfred.
"Summary," Sabbath Recorder, New York City, May 4, 1854, page 187
On Tuesday, April 27, by Rev. T. F. Royal, Dr. Jesse Robinson of Jacksonville, to Miss Lutitia [sic] Constant, of Jackson Co.
On the 9th inst., by Judge T. McF. Patton, Mr. J. H. Russell, to Miss Ann H. Hill, all of Jackson County.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, May 30, 1854, page 3
LETTER FROM EMPIRE CITY.
(LELAND & McCOMB'S EXPRESS.)
Yield of Coal at Coos Bay--Harbor Advantages--Gold Diggings--Coquille Region.
Empire City, O.T., May 6, 1854.Mr. Editor.--A few weeks ago, when in San Francisco, I promised to write to you by the first opportunity on my arrival home. Having now this opportunity, I will not delay in giving you and your numerous readers a few items touching this new region, called Coos Bay. The steamer Crescent City, which has been loading here with coals, will leave this city tomorrow, for San Francisco. Her officers have met with a favorable reception, and, so far as I have heard from them, they are well pleased with the harbor, and with the prospects of the surrounding country and especially with the coal mines, which are indeed very extensive. The steamer has taken her load from Mr. Marple's mines, one mile from the bay, and is the first yield of the banks. We are anxious to learn the result of this experiment upon its qualities for steam purposes.
The coal mines belonging to Coos Bay Company are more convenient for shipping, as they are immediately on the river, and are generally supposed to be much more valuable and extensive. They have been tested already, and pronounced good in every instance. Perhaps the wealth of this new region may be said to consist in its extensive beds of coal, although it has many other advantages.
The Randolph gold diggings are situated only twenty-five miles south of this place, on the coast. At low tide they are worked extensively, and pay not less than $16 to the man per day. The gold is very fine, and is secured by using quicksilver to part it from the sand. There are now about five hundred miners at work, and room sufficient for five thousand more.
The mines are on the coast, extending from this bay south to Crescent City, and I have no doubt but this summer, the tide not being as high as it has [been] during the winter, there will be many thousand miners at work on this coast, near Randolph, and who will have to draw their principal supplies from this bay, it being accessible for ships at all seasons of the year.
New placers have also been lately discovered on Coquille River, running parallel with the bay, and but twenty miles up the bay. With one and a half miles land travel you reach the Coquille River, about 20 miles from its mouth, thence travel up the river about 20 miles further, you reach the forks of the Coquille, where there are quite a number of miners at work on the bars of the river. Many of them are making good wages. The gold on this river is coarse, and from its appearance I should judge it to yield as much as the best gold in California. It is said by many that the coast and Coquille mines will prove as rich as any mines yet discovered on the Pacific.
The Legislature of this territory, knowing the importance of this harbor and surrounding country, and of its commercial facilities, has, at its last session, passed an act to establish a territorial road from Coos Bay to Jacksonville, which town is situated on Rogue River, in the southern part of Oregon--a large and extensive mining and agricultural district. The commissioners appointed to survey and locate the road will proceed without delay. The road may be expected open for traveling about the last of this summer, which will connect us with the whole of Southern Oregon, consisting of the counties of Umpqua, Douglas, Jackson and Coos, and also with Shasta and Scott valleys--the most northern part of California. With these prospects before us, we cannot but expect this bay to become the largest commercial emporium north of San Francisco.
The facilities for lumbering purposes are as good as in any part of the world, consisting of spruce, fir and white cedar. The cedar equals the eastern white pine for finishing purposes. Empire City is located about five miles from the entrance, and has already quite the appearance of a town. The city site is well located, and gives a good view of the harbor and bay, which is about 15 feet above the level of the river--the usual rise and fall of the tide being left. The width of the river fronting the city is about two miles, and the length, which is navigable for steamers, is 30 miles. I would blow this a little more, but am afraid you would get tired reading and would never again ask for communications.
Yours &c. E.Daily Alta California, San Francisco, May 12, 1854, page 2
NEW PAPER IN OREGON.--The Umpqua Weekly Gazette is published at Scottsburg; D. J. Lyons, editor, and Wm. J. Beggs, publisher.
Indian difficulties, says the Oregonian, are not at an end in the Rogue River country. It seems that nothing short of extermination will suffice to prevent Indian murders and thefts.
New York Times, June 24, 1854, page 2
Jacksonville, O.T., May 5th, 1854.
Mr. Editor:--A few days since, information was received here that the Gazette would make its appearance on the first of May. Presuming that to have been the case, I venture to give you an item or two concerning matters here.
Our valley, for the past year, has been seriously affected by the Indian war--so much so that a great pressure has been felt during the past winter, throughout the entire valley, both in money and in merchandise, but at this time things are improving, and will, if they continue, soon be placed upon the same footing as they were in the prosperous days of Jacksonville. The valley never looked finer, and in no part of Oregon does there appear to be an equal amount of enterprise, and, considering the destruction of property the last year, great credit is due to the residents here, for the spirit and determination manifested.
The Indian troubles are no doubt at an end, and the efforts of our efficient Indian agent, Mr. Culver, are untiring to keep them so.
Our merchants are much encouraged by the appearance of miners, who are daily returning to their old but never-failing field of labor, with strong hopes of success in the mines about here.
The present week has been one of some little interest, it being court week. Yet I believe that but little business of importance was transacted. One Patrick Starr, a soldier, shot David Harris, with intent to kill him, in February last. The grand jury found an indictment against him, at this court, upon that charge, upon which he was tried, convicted and sentenced by Judge Deady to hard labor in the penitentiary for ten years. Starr was defended by S. C. Graves, Esq., and Messrs. Brenan and Prim. The prosecution was conducted by S. F. Chadwick, Esq., Prosecuting Attorney, assisted by L. F. Mosier, Esq.
Lieut. Ogle, after ten days' search for Tyee Tipsey, returned without finding him. The continuance of peace depends in a great measure upon the death of this rascal Tipsey, who is the perpetrator of nearly all the thefts in the valley. Capt. Smith, of Fort Lane, is very mindful of his duty, and the settlers have full confidence in him, and believe him equal to their demands at any moment.
The political conventions have met, and for district offices nominated the following gentlemen. The Democrats nominated R. E. Stratton, Esq., of Douglas, for Prosecuting Attorney. The Whigs nominated Mr. Prim, of Jackson, for the same office. Ex-Judge McFadden received the nomination for councilman at the Democratic convention. This was intended as a mark of respect to Judge McFadden, with the understanding, as I am credibly informed, that when made the Judge would resign in favor of another gentleman of his party, Capt. Mosier, which was accordingly done, and Capt. Mosier is in the field. The Whig convention nominated Dr. Cleveland, a gentleman of ability and standing, who, it is said, will decline to run, should Judge McFadden change his mind. A committee of Dr. Cleveland's friends have waited on Judge McFadden to receive an answer from him on the subject of his running.
There will be a ball at the Robinson House on the 10th inst., which no doubt will prove a good one. It is regretted very much that it could not have come off during the session of the court, thereby giving our friends from abroad an opportunity to enjoy themselves. Mr. Ives, Deputy Surveyor, has arrived in our valley, and began his work on the meridian line. Yours,
Z.Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, May 12, 1854, page 2
J. Applegate and party will leave about the 20th inst. to explore a road from the south fork of the Coquille to the Rogue River Valley, which, from all accounts, will be found practicable. A party from San Francisco [illegible] a railroad to connect the south pass with the Coquille, which can be done at little expense, as it will not exceed four miles over level ground or nearly so; the greatest rise does not exceed 30 feet, and width 300 yards--I have been over the route myself.
Nathaniel Crosby, Jr., Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, May 12, 1854, page 3
U.S. District Court, May Term.
Jackson County, O.T.HON. M. P. DEADY, Judge.
J. W. DREW, Esq., U.S. Marshal.
R. E. STRATTON, Esq., U.S. Attorney.
S. F. CHADWICK, Esq., District Attorney.
ATTORNEY IN ATTENDANCE--Messrs. T'Vault & Kinney; Messrs. Graves & Pierson; Messrs. Brenan & Prim; R. E. Stratton, Esq.; S. F. Chadwick, Esq.; T. F. McPatton, Esq., and S. F. Mosier, Esq.
Territory of Oregon vs. Thomas Anderson. Indictment for rape. Not found. Discharged.
Territory of Oregon vs. Isaac Constant. Recognizance discharged.
Territory of Oregon vs. Jacob Dobson. Indictment for murder, alias bench warrant.
Territory of Oregon vs. Rouse. Indictment for maliciously killing hogs; alias bench warrant.
Territory of Oregon vs. Mitchell. Indictment for murder; alias bench warrant.
Territory of Oregon vs. Patrick Starr. Indictment for shooting with intent to kill. Tried. Verdict, guilty. Sentenced to ten years' hard labor in the penitentiary.
Territory of Oregon vs. Samuel Kinney. Indictment for aiding and abetting. Continued.
Samuel Smith vs. P. U. Stowe. Motion to quash suit. Allowed.
Samuel Kincaid vs. Morgan W. Davis. Judgment for plaintiff, $61.80.
T. S. Harris vs. James Rostel. Continued.
Samuel Weeks vs. John F. Miller. Continued.
Wm. Yates vs. Daniel Langdon. Assumpsit. Defendant withdrew plea and demurrer. Damages assessed by Clerk of the Court.
R. W. Shockley vs. John Huber. Dismissed.
Avery Stearns was admitted to the bar upon certificate.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, May 12, 1854, page 2
The Spirit of Southern Whigs.The following is clipped from the Yreka, California Herald, of April 16, purporting to be from the hand of a correspondent in Jackson County, Oregon, signing himself "Philom." It reveals a combined action of the Whigs everywhere, to defeat the early formation of a state government, and to secure a division of our Territory, and leave Oregon in a state of colonial vassalage for ten or fifteen years longer, while she ought, for her own good, and the development of the Pacific Coast, to be exerting an influence, and taking an active part as a sovereign state of our Union:
"Our annual election takes place in June--this county is entitled to four members of the Legislative Assembly, and one councilman--no candidates are yet in the field, and it is hoped by many that none of our citizens will degrade themselves by asking this community to elect them to a legislature in which they have no voice; they can vote, 'tis true, but their votes avail nothing so long as we are attached to this walla-walla nation. If any candidates do present themselves for any office whatever, to ensure success, they must be with us on the new Territorial question.
"To give you some idea of Oregon misrule, I will only cite one act of those who have held absolute sway over Oregon the last few years. They (the Durhams) have not been content with opposing every matter of interest to Southern Oregon, at all times and on all occasions; they have even gone so far as to insult our representatives in the legislative chambers, and that, too, within the past winter--yet they are not satisfied! They have now aimed their poisoned arrows at the appointees of the present administration, and through intrigue and misrepresentation, no doubt, have effected the removal of Hon. O. B. McFadden from the district judgeship of the first judicial district of this Territory, and have secured the reappointment of M. P. Deady to that office, from which he was sometime since removed.
"Of M. P. Deady, as a private citizen at home (in Willamette Valley), we have nothing to say, but that he should hold such a responsible position among us while he is yet subservient to the will of our enemies we have serious objections, for it is a well-established fact that M. P. Deady, as a member of the Durham clique before alluded to, has opposed every measure of importance to Southern Oregon, while on the other hand Judge McFadden, though but a short time amongst us, has made for himself many warm and true friends from the fact that he has identified himself with the interests of this county, and of this section of Oregon generally; we trust he may yet spend many happy days among us, notwithstanding the hostility of the 'Durham Democracy.'
"The question is, how long shall we be the unwilling servants of this certain clique styling themselves the 'Democracy of Oregon.' Let the ballot box answer on the 9th of June next, when it is hoped that every voter who feels an interest in Southern Oregon will see that 'against convention' is on his ticket before casting his vote. More anon.
Yours,Saying nothing of the bad spirit of the above article, there is a want of truth, as usual, in Whig productions, in the material allegations. Jackson County, in proportion to its population, has the largest representation in our Legislature of any county in the territory. This cannot, and will not, be denied. The delegation from that county last winter were men of character and influence in the Assembly. They obtained the passage of every single measure they claimed for Southern Oregon, with the one exception of the location of the university south of the Calapooia Mountains. And they had the strength to effect this, but the members south could not agree among themselves where it should be located. As to insults to those gentlemen, we will only say they were men who did not take insults.
Judge McFadden was transferred to Washington Territory at the solicitation of his own friends in Pennsylvania, as he himself intimates in his note [below] to the Democratic convention in Jackson County declining a nomination for the council, published in today's paper, and not through the "intrigue" of "Durhams," as this owl-eyed critic imagines.
Judge Deady purchased a farm and became a substantial citizen of Douglas County, in the center of the Southern Judicial District, before entering upon the important duties of his office as judge of that district, and long before Judge McFadden ever came to Oregon. The injustice of this absurd attack upon Judge Deady is palpable.
The whole object of this scribbler is by low appeals to the prejudices of the people, created and led by willful misrepresentations of facts, to defeat a vote for convention in order to strengthen his disunion project. We hope our citizens of the south, as well as the north, will look at this matter in its true light.
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, May 23, 1854, page 2
Jackson County Democratic Convention.
According to previous notice the Democracy of Jackson County assembled at the Eldorado, in Jacksonville, on Wednesday, May 3rd, 1854, for the purpose of organizing the Democratic Party, and nominating suitable candidates for offices to be filled at the next June election:
Whereupon the meeting was called to order by Col. W. G. Pierson.
S. H. Taylor was called to the chair, and Lycurgus Jackson was appointed secretary.
The chairman stated the object of the meeting, and
On motion of W. G. T'Vault resolutions were adopted in favor of organizing the Democratic Party in Jackson County, and nominating candidates to be supported at the next June election.
On motion of Dr. Geo. H. Ambrose, the convention proceeded to the nomination, which resulted as follows:
For the Territorial Council--O. B. McFadden.
The following letter was addressed to Judge McFadden informing him of his nomination:
Jacksonville, May 3, 1854.Dear Sir:--I have the honor to inform you that at the Democratic County Convention, held at this place today, you were declared the unanimous nominee of the Democratic Party of Jackson County for the office of Territorial Council of Oregon, to be supported at the approaching general election. With an expression of the general anxiety for Democratic friends that you will be pleased to accept favorably this evidence of the confidence reposed in you by the Democratic Party, I trust you will also accept the assurance of the high regard of your friends,
S. H. TAYLOR, Chairman.
LYCURGUS JACKSON, Sec'y.
Jackson County, May 3, 1854
Dear Sir:--Your kind favor of the 3rd instant is now before me, informing me that the Democratic Convention which assembled in Jacksonville on today have nominated me as their candidate to represent Jackson County in the Territorial Council, and asking my acceptance of the same.
This manifestation of kind regard on the part of my Democratic fellow citizens of Jackson County is as flattering to my feelings as it was unexpected. It is to me a most gratifying circumstance that during my short sojourn amongst you, I have been able to receive the friendship and confidence of the entire Democratic Party of this county. A representative may well be proud of such a constituency as Jackson County presents. I would desire no more glorious position than to be your standard bearer in this your first effort for the organization of the Democratic Party of this district. In accepting the nomination which has been so generously tendered to me for the first and most honorable position in your gift, I feel that no personal sacrifice on my part would be too great, but I feel that I would be placing my friends at home in a position not warranted by their repeated acts of kindness to me. For reasons which at the time were entirely satisfactory to me, I requested my Pennsylvania friends to ask President Pierce, if compatible with his views, to transfer me in my official position to the Territory of Washington. The President has been kind enough to accede to the request, and has honored me with a judicial position in Washington Territory. The acceptance of the nomination which you have so kindly tendered me might seriously embarrass me in my future movements. I must therefore decline the proffered honor; whether I remain in Jackson County or seek my future home in our sister Territory, believe me, sir, I will ever cherish the friendship which I have made in Oregon, and more especially the kind regards which have ever been manifested to me by the generous and big-hearted citizens of Jackson County--a county new in her settlements, but rich in the good fellowship of her citizens, and destined to a glorious future. The nominees of the Convention will most assuredly receive the cordial support of the entire Democratic Party. In the accomplishment of this very laudable purpose will the labors of your humble servant be directed--I have the honor to be very truly your friend,
O. B. McFadden.Thereupon L. F. Mosher was nominated for that office.
For Representatives--Patrick Dunn, Jesse Walker, Martin Angel and Daniel Newcomb.
For Sheriff--Thomas Pyle.
Prosecuting Attorney--E. R. Stratton.
Judge of Probate--S. C. Graves.
County Treasurer--Lycurgus Jackson.
County Commissioner--Henry Rowland.
Assessor--A. J. Kane.
Superintendent of Common Schools--T. F. Royal.
Colonel--John F. Miller.
Lieut. Colonel--Thomas Smith.
Major--James H. Russell.
On motion of W. G. T'Vault, resolutions commendatory of the judicial course of judges McFadden and Deady were adopted.
On motion of S. C. Graves, the chair appointed the following gentlemen a Central Committee:
George W. Parson, John F. Miller, Dr. George H. Ambrose, Samuel Culver, G. H. Davidson.
On motion of Major J. A. Lupton, the Convention adjourned.
SYLVESTER H. TAYLOR, PresidentOregon Statesman, Oregon City, May 23, 1854, pages 2-3
Lycurgus Jackson, Secretary
We have had dates from Portland up to the 15th of May.
The Applegate and Rogue River Indians were about going to war with each other at the last accounts, and Gen. Palmer, Indian Superintendent, has gone tot he southern portion of this Territory to effect a peace, if possible, and induce the Indians to take to agriculture.
The coal of Coos Bay and Bellingham Bay, in Washington Territory, is found to be of very good quality, and preparations are being made at both places for extensive mining.
New York Herald, June 9, 1854, page 2
THE WAGON ROAD.--The work on this road is still progressing, and each day we hear of its rapid advancement. We prophesy that in a few years the trail will cover a portion of this road, and heavy trains, laden with produce and provisions, be running from Scottsburg to Portland. This prophecy to many may appear chimerical, and savor a little of gas. Nevertheless it is sure to come to pass, as the Umpqua Valley is the only natural outlet from the interior of Southern Oregon to the Pacific Ocean.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, May 26, 1854, page 2
C. S. Drew, Esq., Jacksonville, is authorized to act as agent for the Gazette.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, May 26, 1854, page 2
Jacksonville, O.T., May 10, 1854.Mr. Editor: Permit me to tender you my acknowledgments for the receipt of the first number of your paper--The Umpqua Weekly Gazette.
This portion of Oregon, since its early settlement, has labored under very many serious disadvantages for the want of a medium through which its citizens might advocate their own rights and make their wants known to the world, and to this object I have no doubt you will lend a helping hand, inasmuch as such a course, if properly pursued, would prove of vital importance to every citizen of Southern Oregon, to say nothing of its beneficial results to the northern counties of California. It is true the Mountain Herald has generously espoused our cause, and has at all times and on all occasions used every exertion to promote the best interests of this section of the country. Yet from the fact of that valuable sheet being located south of the forty-second parallel, in a country of more than ordinary interest, whose citizens are noted for their enterprise, industry and generosity, we must not claim nor expect to receive the boon to which they are justly entitled.
Southern Oregon and Northern California possess superior advantages over any other portion of the Pacific coast, and in view of its agricultural and mineral resources, its metes and boundaries fixed by the God of Nature, together with the general good feeling existing among all classes of its citizens towards each other, it seems to be almost a Nation of itself.
Nothing can appear more beautiful to the eye than a glance over our exceedingly rich and fertile valleys--to gaze with wonder and delight at the permanency of our improvements, which have sprung into existence in the short space of three years--the indomitable energy of our citizens in securing to themselves homes, not inferior to those they left behind them--while on our placers and in our ravines and mountain gorges you behold the "hardy miner," toiling on, toiling ever--constantly looking for his "pile," which will enable him to return to his loved ones at home, or perhaps furnish the means of bringing them to their future home in this land of gold.
With my best wishes for your success in your laudable undertaking, I remain
Respectfully yours, Philom.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, May 26, 1854, page 2
THE INDIAN DIFFICULTIES IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--The Oregon Statesman of the 9th inst. says: The latest intelligence of the Indian difficulties in Southern Oregon say that Capt. Smith's party of U.S. Dragoons had engaged Tipsy's band of 120 Indians, but the result of the battle was not known. A general Indian war is not expected. The wagon road from Scottsburg to Winchester is being pushed vigorously.
FROM CRESCENT CITY.--Business continues brisk. Three buildings are being erected, which will be occupied by J. W. Stateler, and Friedman, Ottenheimer & Co. The schooner Laura, that was blown ashore some time since, has been gotten off and [has] taken in a cargo of timber and sailed for this port. The brig Kate will be launched in a few days, and will also be loaded with timber for this port. Miners at Althouse Creek, Sailors' Diggings, Smith's River and its tributaries are doing well. The diggings discovered at Myrtle Creek, within ten miles of Crescent City, prove to be rich, and a large number of men are now employed at that point.
'Oregon," New York Daily Tribune, June 24, 1854, page 5
Oregon Intelligence.A correspondent of the Statesman, writing from Jacksonville under date of May 5th, furnishes various interesting items from that section of the Territory. Crops look lively in the Valley; the late rains are highly favorable to late sown wheat. It is estimated that three thousand acres have been sown in the valley the present season. Two flouring mills are in process of erection and will be ready to manufacture good flour before Christmas.
A May ball came off at Jacksonville on the 10th inst.
Business was more lively, and as the miners were returning, new discoveries were anticipated.
The Umpqua academy has commenced its first session under the superintendence of Rev. J. H. Weibur. The following graphic description of its location, surrounding scenery &c. is from the pen of the same correspondent:
"The location which he has chosen for the academy is a most charming, romantic spot. It is in an angle of two public roads, equidistant from each about two hundred yards. Luxuriant shade trees all around--tastefully arranged just as nature planted them. The background is a low mountain covered with pines, firs, laurel and oaks. It commands a fine view of a lovely valley in front several miles in extent, with a succession of hills on the right and left of the main valley, rising as they recede in the distance one above another in majestic grandeur. One half of the farther end of the view is closed up by a high mountain with a perpendicular front, along the base of which flows the beautiful North Umpqua, running out through the right-hand corner of the landscape, and so winding its way down through the hills and smaller valleys westward to the Coast Range; which stands out prominent above all the rest, with its brown forests, numerous peaks and snow banks, forming a dark rich evergreen border and variegated fringe to this picturesque scene.
"A healthier location perhaps has never been found this side of Eden. The base of the mountain on which it stands can never be wet or muddy--being hard and gravelly--this making beneath those shade trees the most delightful play and promenade grounds. The water, as pure as ever gushed from mountain rocks, rises just high enough above to be easily conveyed in pipes to every part of the building. It is far remote from stagnant pools and marshes. The streams of the surrounding country are all 'just such as they have in Umpqua,' rapid, clear, cool and as pure as melting snow. In the heart of midsummer the air is modified by the fresh, wholesome breezes from the ocean and snowy peaks.
"In short, the proprietors, the location, the air, the water, the scenery and all the circumstances combined are well calculated to make this everything that parents could desire as a suitable place to send their children to receive an education. Everything connected with it is wisely arranged, and this spot is pointed out by the finger of God as the radiating point of light, and sanctified learning for all Southern Oregon. So may it be."
Sacramento Daily Union, June 1, 1854, page 2
THE WAGON ROAD.--This work is nearly completed. All the bridges along the line, with the exception of the Elk Creek bridge, will be finished in a very few days. Come on, then, with your wagons, gentlemen! There is in Scottsburg a good supply of groceries, provisions and merchandise, which can be had on reasonable terms.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, June 9, 1854, page 2
More Indian Difficulties.
On Wednesday evening last, a gentleman of reliable veracity informed us that on the night previous five fine American horses, and one mule, had been stolen by the Indians near the Siskiyou Mountain, from some gentlemen who were driving them through from Oregon to the Sacramento. They were run off during the night. The Indians stopped within one-half mile of the camp of the whites, killed the mule, built a fire, roasted and ate part of his carcass, and left the remainder. The horses were choice American stock.
Late in the evening, a gentleman arrived from Cottonwood with the melancholy information that the train of Messrs. [Gage] & Claymer had been taken. Mr. Claymer arrived at Cottonwood in the evening. He stated that he was at the head of his train of fourteen pack mules, on the way from Crescent City--that the Indians attacked them near the top of the Siskiyou Mountain--that he saw his partner, Mr. [Gage], fall. They then fired at him. He fled, his mule fell, and he escaped to a log in the thicket, behind which he concealed himself until the Indians passed, when he made his escape to Cottonwood. He saw two men coming up the hill, and afterwards heard them hallo, and heard several reports from guns, which he supposes was the Indians killing them.
On receiving this information from our Indian agent, Mr. Rosborough, [he] repaired to the camp of Charles Adams--who is a resident amongst the Deschutes Indians now on the war path against the Shastas. Adams informed him that the Deschutes Indians had removed their camp down the Shasta River to the crossing, in accordance with the request or orders of Lieut. Bonnycastle, now in command at Fort Jones.
Mr. Rosborough informs us that Lieut. Bonnycastle was encamped between the Shasta and Klamath rivers on the evening of the day of this sad event, and that upon being informed of the same promised to proceed to the Siskiyou Mountain for the purpose of protecting the trail.
Thursday Evening.--Lieut. Hood arrived, and reports that the Indian sent to the Cave by Lieut. Bonnycastle, to demand the perpetrator of the late crime on Shasta River, had not returned. The Deschutes Indians join Lieut. Bonnycastle on Friday and proceed against Tipsey and Bill, who are supposed to be combined. Lieut. Hood takes a plentiful supply of ammunition.
Friday Morning.--The old Indian who was sent by Lieut. Bonnycastle to the Cave returned this morning. Tyee Bill came with him as far as Mr. Price's ranch, and says he is ready to give up the Indian who committed the depredation on the river to Lieut. Bonnycastle at any moment. He states that it was Tipsey's band who committed the recent murders and robbery on the mountains, and that Tipsey has been trying to persuade him to join against the whites, but that he wishes to be friendly.
We believe it is the intention of Lieut. Bonnycastle to take the track of Tipsey where the recent murder was committed on the mountain, which he will be able to follow by the aid of the Deschutes Indians.
Yesterday, about noon, Mr. Sanbauch, who resides at the Mountain House, on the new trail over the Siskiyou Mountain, arrived. Mr. S. says they found the body of Mr. Gage, and twelve of the sixteen mules which were stolen, with the greater portion of the cargo, a part of which only was destroyed. The Indians, it appears, were in search of some particular article, ammunition, perhaps. Mr. S. thinks the Indians went up the Klamath, and that they were part of Tipsey's band.
A gentleman residing on the Shasta River has also arrived, who says some Indians came to his house and threatened his life last evening. Some excitement prevails amongst the people of our place, a party of whom, we believe, will accompany him to his house for the purpose of removing his effects to town and chastising the Indians if they remain in that neighborhood.--Yreka Herald.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, June 9, 1854, page 3
A company sent out from Crescent City to survey a road to the interior report that they have found a route for a wagon road to Sailor Diggings. If this be so it will
give importance to Crescent City, for it is impossible to make a wagon road to the mines in the interior from any other point on the coast. . . .
An important canal, costing $100,000, has just been completed, to bring the fork of the Illinois River into Sailor Diggings, which include an extensive tract very
rich in fine gold. These diggings have paid well heretofore without water; it is supposed they will pay much better with it. . . .
From Oregon we have dates to the 10th. The returns of the election on the 5th are not all in, but enough is known to show that the Legislature is Democratic and the proposition to form a state constitution rejected. Eighteen miners are washing gold on the Yakima, in Washington Territory. It is reported that a quicksilver mine has been discovered in Rogue River Valley. The military road from Willamette Valley to Rogue River is soon to be opened. . . .
It is reported that those engaged in opening a trail for pack animals from Port Orford to Jacksonville have found rich gold mines on Galice Creek, a tributary of
"Two Weeks Later from California," New York Daily Tribune, July 10, 1854, page 5
According to the statements which appear in the Oregon papers, the extent of the Indian disturbances in that territory has been greatly exaggerated. We make the following extract:
"Gen. Palmer, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon and Washington, has just returned from a visit of near two months [to] the Indians. He informs us that he succeeded in getting all the Indians in the Rogue River vicinity to go on to the reserves under the treaty, with the exception of Tipsu's band. From Deer Creek and Illinois River the Indians have all removed, and there is now no tribe or band between Jacksonville and Crescent City. He found the Indians on the coast rather quiet. On the Coquille River, however, there had been some disturbances, in which two whites and several Indians were killed. The real murderers were afterwards found, and after trial, hung. He left Mr. Parrish, Indian agent, with his party at Port Orford. He met two hundred Port Orford Indians in council. The chief complained that the whites ill treated their women, by coming about their lodges in the night, and, in case of denial, the whites would threaten to shoot them. At Gen. Palmer's request, Wool has detached twenty-four men for Port Orford to keep the rowdies quiet. He thinks the number of Indians in the Port Orford district does not exceed two thousand."
Evening Star, Washington, D.C., July 11, 1854, page 2
D. B. BRENAN P. P. PRIM
BRENAN & PRIM
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, June 16, 1854, page 3
Letter from Gen. Lane.
Washington City, April 29, 1854.My Dear Ladd:--
I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 10th March, and am much obliged to you for much interesting news and information.
I am glad to learn that gold is found, or is likely to be found, [in] plenty on our coast near us, and am also happy to know that vessels have found a good entrance to Coos Bay.
Some time since I wrote a letter for publication in relation to the division of Oregon Territory, as proposed by the people of Jacksonville and Yreka, in which I gave my views in opposition to such division, and urged the establishment of a state government, for reasons that I think will be considered legitimate and proper. A new Territory cannot be made as proposed. The delegation from California don't think of entertaining the idea of clipping their state.
Now, my dear friend, you may rely on my doing for Scottsburg all that mortal man can do. I feel the importance of that point, and the wants, necessities, interests and wishes of the people of Scottsburg, and all Southern Oregon, and I am as anxious as a man can be to procure such legislation as may be necessary for the advancement of their interests. I have a bill now pending for continuing the military road from Myrtle Creek to Scottsburg, and have the promise of the Postmaster General that the mail steamers shall stop and deliver the mail at Scottsburg, and in addition to this we have a bill pending for separating our services (that is mail service from the company's line at San Francisco and for letting all north of that point to an independent company, to stop at Port Orford, Coos Bay, Scottsburg and Astoria, and deliver the mail going and returning. Indeed everything has been and is being done that can be, for the promotion of our interests in your section, and all others of our Territory, and you may rest assured that I shall not neglect any portion of my duty, or of the Territory.
Our Territorial business has been made the special order for the first week in May. I feel confident of success in most matters pending. I will give you the result. . . .
Your obdt. servt.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, June 23, 1854, page 2
We have files of the Umpqua Gazette to June 16.
A good wagon road from Scottsburg to Umpqua Valley has been nearly completed by the inhabitants.
A correspondent says the average depth of water on the bar at the mouth of the Umpqua, at low water, is 21 feet. The distance across the bar is only 350 feet. The steam tug R. B. Forbes of Boston could cross the bar, in or out, 345 days out of the 365. He thinks the Umpqua is bound to be the chief commercial point between the mouth of the Columbia and San Francisco. The Gazette of the 16th says business in Scottsburg has been increasing for the last three weeks. We understand that business at Empire City is very dull at present, and that the Coos Bay Company is about to be dissolved. The news from Randolph is quite favorable. Many of the claims that were deserted early in the spring are now paying well, and there is a fair prospect of a brisk trade during the summer.
A new and valuable coal mine has been discovered at Coos Bay.
"Oregon," New York Daily Tribune, July 24, 1854, page 3
Military Road South.
Major B. Alvord, of the army, has just arrived in our city from an inspection of the military road in Southern Oregon. He reports that it will be completed in about ten days. The appropriation has been expended in improving the road from the mouth of the Umpqua Kanyon to the summit of the hills south of Grave Creek. It was located over new ground, avoiding a majority of the vexatious crossings in the Kanyon, and the steepest portions of the Grave Creek Hills. A good practical wagon road is opened, but the travel by pack mules over it this spring has made it very rough. On the 20th of May, a wagon with a load of 3,000 pounds passed through the Canyon [sic]. It contained iron castings for a mill in Rogue River Valley. The people of Scottsburg are opening a wagon road from Winchester to that place, and by August it is believed, wagons will travel between Scottsburg, Jacksonville and Yreka. Oregon Times.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, June 23, 1854, page 2
"Late and Interesting from Port Orford."
This is the caption of a letter from Port Orford to the San Francisco Sun, dated June 1st, and if one-half of it was true, there would be no other town between San Francisco and the mouth of the Columbia River. We extract the following paragraph to show how things may be exaggerated:
"Rich and extensive mines have been found on 'Galice Creek,' directly upon the trail which leads from this place to Jacksonville. There are now about six hundred men there, averaging from eight to ten dollars per day to the man, while some are making 'big strikes.' The distance from Port Orford to Galice Creek is about 75 miles, over a most excellent road. . . . The trail from Port Orford to Jacksonville is now completed--entire distance ninety-five miles. It is said to be the best trail on the coast leading to the interior."
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, June 30, 1854, page 2
FROM CRESCENT CITY.We have the Crescent City Herald of June 24. . . .
A line of coaches is about to be put upon the route between Crescent City and Jacksonville, in Oregon.
DISPUTED TERRITORY TAKEN FROM CALIFORNIA.--The Herald says the surveying party under T. P. Robinson, County Surveyor, who was commissioned by the Governor to survey the boundary line between California and Oregon, report that the disputed territory belongs to Oregon, and not to California, as was generally supposed. This territory includes two of the finest mining districts in the country, Sailor's Diggings and Althouse Creek, besides some other minor places, not of much importance to either.
The announcement has caused some excitement in that neighborhood, as the miners do not like to be suddenly transported from California to Oregon. They have heretofore both voted in California and Oregon--although in the former state it has caused several contested election cases--and refused to pay taxes to either. It is also rumored around the city, for which we will not vouch, that Yreka is in Oregon. But we hardly think it possible, from the observations heretofore taken by scientific men, which brings Yreka fifteen miles within the line.
New York Daily Tribune, July 24, 1854, page 3
INDIAN AFFAIRS.--Gen. Palmer, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs of Oregon and Washington, has just returned from a visit of two months among the Indians. He informs us that he succeeded in getting all the Indians in the Rogue River vicinity to go onto the reserves under the treaty, with the exception of Tipsey's band. From Deer Creek and Illinois River the Indians have all removed, and there is now no tribe or band between Jacksonville and Crescent City. He found the Indians on the coast rather quiet. On the Coquille River, however, there had been some disturbance, in which ten whites and several Indians were killed. The real murderers were afterwards found, and after trial hung. He left Mr. Parrish, Indian agent, with his party, at Port Orford. He met two hundred Port Orford Indians in council. The chief complained that the whites ill treated their women, by coming about their lodges at night, and in case of denial would threaten to shoot them. At Gen. Palmer's request, Gen. Wool has detached twenty-four men for Port Orford to keep the rowdies quiet. He thinks the number of Indians in the Port Orford district does not exceed 2,000.
Clearfield Republican, Clearfield, Pennsylvania, August 2, 1854, page 3
RECENT GOLD DISCOVERIES AT PORT ORFORD.--We have reliable information from private letters that the recent gold discoveries within 25 or 30 miles of Port Orford are yielding well, and are as rich as the best mines in California. Mr. Arnold, purser of the steamship Peytona, brought up a quantity of dust from these new gold mines, which resembles the coarse gold from Feather River, Cal.
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, July 15, 1854, page 2
The steamship Peytona leaves for San Francisco and intermediate points this p.m. at 7 o'clock. This is a favorable opportunity for those who desire to visit Port Orford and the new gold fields to take passage.
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, July 15, 1854, page 2
The company owning the new ditch in Sailor Diggings have completed it, and the water had been turned in, but at the time I passed had not reached the principal mines. Everything connected with the enterprise promises well.
"Success on the Klamath Mines," Albany Argus, Albany, New York, July 25, 1854, page 2
DISCOVERY OF COAL ON THE COAST.--The Umpqua Gazette publishes a letter from the Empire City, which says:
"I notice in your late issue that two coal claims have recently been discovered at Coos Bay--one belonging to Mr. Coffin, and the other to Dr. Boatman. This is true, but it is not the whole truth. There is here an extent of coal lands which would surprise even a Pennsylvania collier. The experiment made by P. B. Maple on the banks has proved successful; they are now in an active process of working, and the coals are delivered at Empire City. The above list does not include the nineteen Coos Bay Company claims, in most of which, if indeed not all, coal is known to exist.
"COAL.--That article, so long needed, has at last been found in inexhaustible quantities on the Pacific Coast. A rich vein, of the bituminous nature, has been discovered on the coast near Rogue River. It has been thoroughly tested in this place, and pronounced by competent judges to be a superior article for welding and steam purposes. Messrs. Thorp, Regan & Co. have recorded some ten or twelve hundred acres of land on which the vein runs. We understand they propose to raise a joint stock company and work the lead, which we think, from the nature of the coal, they can easily do."--[Herald.
Washington Sentinel, Washington, D.C., August 10, 1854, page 2
GOLD IN THE CASCADE RANGE.--We are hearing confident opinions expressed of the existence of gold in the Cascade Range.
The Umpqua Gazette contains the following extract from a private letter on the prospect in the Cascade Mountains:
"I have just returned from a three weeks' exploration in the Cascade Mountains, and am happy to say that the result of our trip has developed the hidden treasure of gold buried in the mountains, which will beyond a doubt pay better than any mines of recent discovery. I start back tomorrow in company with the Hon. B. Simpson and others, with the necessary outfit to test the matter fully. It is the opinion of Mr. Simpson that those mines will pay double those of Coos Bay."
SALT SPRINGS.--At the Camas Swale, near Winchester, in Southern Oregon, there are twenty-four large salt springs. Sixteen quarts of the water produce one quart of excellent salt.
MELANCHOLY ACCIDENT.--On Sunday, Mr. J. McLaughlin, one of the proprietors of the Yreka line of stages, was thrown from the seat of one of the coaches while going down a steep hill a few miles west of this city, and instantly killed. His fall was occasioned by one of the wheels pitching into a hole while he was in the act of putting on the brakes, and throwing him off on the left side of the coach, the hind wheel passing over his head, fracturing the skull very badly. He was from Springfield, Ohio, and about twenty-three years of age.
Mr. McLaughlin was formerly a resident of Marysville, in this state.
From the Umpqua Gazette of June 23rd we extract the following with regard to the news of Southern Oregon.
SCOTTSBURG.--Business at this place continues brisk, and heavy sales of groceries and provisions have been made during the past week.
MEAT MARKET.--Fresh beef is selling at from 15 to 20 cents per lb.; mutton 25 cents; venison 15 cents; bear meat 10 to 15 cents.
Rich Diggings on the Coquille--Great Excitement at Port Orford.The most important news by this arrival is the reported discovery of exceedingly rich diggings on the Coquille River.
The Democratic Standard extra says:
Miners are making from $20 to $150 per day. The character of the gold is much the same as the coarse gold of California, and is said to assay equally as well. One party of four men are said to have taken out some $6000 in the short space of two weeks. About $1000 of the gold from the new discovery was on exhibition at Port Orford when the Columbia was there.
These diggings are to be found on the South Fork of the Coquille River. The distance on the road now traveled is 50 miles from Orford, but a more direct trail will be made, reducing the distance to 30 miles. The diggings are to be found in the bed of the river, which will have to be flumed, and the greatest obstruction will be the heavy boulders, rocks &c.
Messrs. Leland & McComb, who have a regular messenger to these diggings on the arrival of every steamer, have favored us with the following letter, which we print as we get it, with fair notice that one or two of the irreverent expressions are to be charged solely to the account of the writer.
Port Orford, July 11th, '54.Messrs. Leland & McComb:--I got here several days since, and so far have not been able to get off. Harry is to pay here now, in consequence of the reported discovery of rich diggings about 45 miles east of this, on the waters of the Coquille River. Several had been in from there during last week, and brought quantities of gold, but nothing positive was heard until the day before yesterday, when Tichenor arrived. He went out with Dr. Allen. According to his account they are the best diggings in the world, and in consequence of his report almost everyone here left yesterday. The balance that can go will leave today, consequently the place will be almost deserted until newcomers arrive. Caldwell is here, and is off immediately. He was on his way to Coos Bay to qualify as a county commissioner, but the golden tale took him off. All the county officers in this section now have declined serving, consequently there will be no organization.
[unsigned]"Important from Oregon," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, July 15, 1854, page 2
CROPS.--The Oregonian says the wheat, oats, potatoes, onions &c. will be abundant the present year in Oregon and Washington Territories. The wheat crop is now being harvested, and from all we can learn is abundant. It is said that in Southern Oregon the smut will injure the present wheat crop considerably.
"Additional from Oregon," New York Herald, August 26, 1854, page 2
In the autumn of 1854, while on a business trip to southern Oregon, I was overtaken by ex-Judge [Oliver C.] Pratt, on his way to Jacksonville to get acquainted with the people, as he intended to become a candidate before the Democratic convention to be held in the following spring to nominate a delegate to Congress. As I was for Lane and knew pretty well how he stood in the estimation of the people in the southern counties, I ventured to suggest to him that he would encounter much opposition in that section. He, however, nothing daunted, believed that he could readily overcome it. He was a man of rare qualities, a good lawyer and a learned judge. He was very proud and dignified, a fine talker and a very entertaining man. He was readily the peer of the foremost men of the Territory, and by many regarded the superior of all. We stopped at the Robinson House, kept at that time by its proprietor, Dr. Robinson, who was a Whig. He treated his guests with great courtesy and much consideration, as his name was well known, and he had been much in evidence in the papers of that day.
I left the judge with the host, with the request that he introduce him to persons who might come into the hotel, which he promised to do, and I went out to see some people on business. On returning to the hotel later, I found the judge busily engaged in "making his canvass." He stood before the bar, a thing he was never known to do before in Oregon. He was arrayed in a faultless suit, including a silk hat and a high shirt collar. In the parlance of the times, he wore a "stovepipe hat" and a "biled shirt with a stake-and-ridered collar." His boon companions were miners in their rough garb, ranged along the bar on both sides of him. The judge was a good talker, and he was giving them the best he had for the occasion, and they were listening with apparent interest. As soon as they caught his drift, however, they looked at each other knowingly, as they were ardent admirers of General Lane, having met him during the Indian war of the year previous. One tall miner reached down to his boot, drew out a long knife and took the silk hat off the judge's head, saying, "This stovepipe is too high by a j'int." Suiting the action to the word, he slashed it into two parts, and slapping the parts together, put it back on the judge's head. Pratt took this all in good part and set up the drinks, which at this juncture was the only thing in order.
Pratt had long, curly hair, black and glossy. The miner's next performance was to cut off a lock, saying as he did so that it was the "puttiest ha'r he had ever seed," that he must have just one lock for a keepsake, and that he hoped no offense to him, as he loved him. With that he threw his arms around the judge and gave him a good hug. With a wonderful exhibition of good nature and tact, Pratt took it all pleasantly. This somewhat nonplussed the miner, and if he had any further designs upon his victim he evidently abandoned them, as he remarked, on putting away his knife, that he would not take off the top rail of his "stake-and-ridered" collar.
They bade each other good-night, and parted, apparently the best of friends. The next morning I complimented the judge upon his successful entrance upon his canvass, and he seemed to be very well satisfied with the outcome of it. He had seen much of the world, but this was the first time he had seen this corner of it. He went over to Sterling the next day and then returned to the Willamette Valley.
George E. Cole, Early Oregon: Jottings of Personal Recollections of a Pioneer of 1850, 1905, pages 66-68
INDIAN AFFAIRS.--Gen. Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon, has lately returned from the south, where he has been visiting the various tribes in that direction. At present, all is quiet and peaceable, but there are some slight indications of a rupture with the Upper Rogue Indians.
The extent of country along the coast susceptible of cultivation is not large; it is mostly covered with a dense growth of fir and cedar. The Indians are comparatively few in number, healthy, sleek and indolent, subsisting mostly on berries and fish.--Statesman.
THREATENED INDIAN DIFFICULTIES ON THE SOUTHERN EMIGRANT TRAIL.--Gov. Davis has lately received a dispatch from C. S. Drew, Q. M. General, resident at Jacksonville, stating that apprehensions are entertained in Southern Oregon and Northern California of Indian hostilities of a serious character on the emigrant trail leading into that section of country from the South Pass via Klamath and Goose lakes. Last spring several Indians of various tribes in these regions during difficulties in Siskiyou County were killed, for which these tribes, including the Applegates, Klamaths, Shastas and those in Scott's Valley, have left their usual haunts and retired into the mountains in the direction of the Modoc country. The Modocs also suffered the loss of two or three of their tribe in the Siskiyou difficulty.
COQUILLE MINES.--The Spectator says: The Coquille mines are all a humbug. The Peytona brings back a large number of the disappointed gold-seekers--just as we expected.
WAGON ROAD FROM SCOTTSBURG TO GREEN VALLEY.--The Umpqua Gazette expresses the expectation that the Scottsburg and Umpqua wagon road will be in good order before and during the next winter.
SCOTTSBURG AND PORT ORFORD EXPRESS.--Mr. .Shorters has written to the Umpqua Gazette that he has stopped his express, having come to the conclusion that the muskrat and coonskin aristocracy of Scottsburg do not wish to support his express.
"Arrival of the Peytona," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 3, 1854, page 2
ROGUE RIVER AND JACKSONVILLE.--We learn that the crops in the Rogue River Valley do not turn out as well as we anticipated. The wheat crop, however, is generally good. The new mines near Jacksonville are paying pretty well, and give profitable employment to a large number of miners.
There is not much apprehension of difficulty with the Indians this fall.
DOUGLAS COUNTY.--The farmers are busily engaged in harvesting. The crops turn out well this season.--Umpqua Gazette.
NEW LINE OF STAGES.--We are happy to learn, says the Gazette, that subscriptions to the stock of the new line of stages between Jacksonville and Scottsburg are rapidly coming in, more than half the shares being already taken. The stages will soon be placed on the road and, running in connection with the steamship America, will afford unsurpassed facilities for travel between San Francisco and Yreka, Jacksonville and other parts in the interior.
NEW TERRITORY.--The Crescent City Herald says that on the 17th there was a political discussion between the county candidates, and that during the evening the organization of a new territory, to be formed out of the northern part of this state and Southern Oregon, was incidentally touched upon. The manner in which the sentiments of the speakers were received by the large assemblage present is but a slight indication of the deep enthusiastic feeling pervading our entire community in favor of the measure.
"Arrival of the America," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 23, 1854, page 2
A Ball Ticket.
"IT IS PRESENTED MERELY THROUGH RESPECT."
A ball ticket lately presented to a young lady in Oregon met with the following reception. At first she thought she would return it, but, on more mature reflection, she concluded, as it was sent to her through one of her scholars, and known to all of them, she would write a short essay expressive of her sentiments with regard to such tokens of friendship and respect, and read it before her school on next composition day. The following is what she read:
"This ball ticket was placed in my hands, with the apology, 'It is presented merely through respect.'
"This new and unexpected mark of 'respect' suggests to my mind the following query: Why am I entitled to 'respect,' expressed in this form? Is it on account of any rare attainments I have made in the art of dancing? I made no such pretensions. I never was in a ballroom or a dancing school in my life, and never have learned the first principles of this branch of education and, therefore, deserve no 'respect' on that account.
"Or is this tribute offered to the position I occupy as a teacher of the youth--most of whom are young ladies and little girls, whose parents have confidingly entrusted them to my care and guardianship, expecting me to teach them lessons, not only from books, and by precept, but by example?
"Then, is it for my family's sake? True, my parents are worthy of the greatest respect, and I hope to honor them while I live, for my mother is a devoted Christian, and my father is a minister of the gospel. My brothers are all pious, and members of the Church of God, and two of them are preachers.
"Certainly, it is not because of my religion, for I profess to be a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus, who teaches me to 'put on the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,' to 'shun the least appearance of evil,' and to 'come out from among the world, and be separate.'
"From hence I conclude that this ticket has either missed its way or was directed wrong, and, therefore, return it to its proper owner, hoping no offense will be given, as I have no reason to accept or right to retain it.
M.E.F.R. " [Mary E. F. Royal]To maintain a position like this, in a place where the popular influence is in an opposite direction, requires decision of character, but where all the influence, and all the inducements, and glittering rewards the world can command are presented to allure the young Christian to the paths of pleasure and amusement, it requires much grace and Christian fortitude to resist, and such an example is worthy of imitation.
T. F. ROYAL.Vermont Christian Messenger, Northfield, Vermont, August 23, 1854, page 4
Western Chris. Advocate.
The Yreka Herald states that the people in Rogue River Valley are anticipating another outbreak of the Indians in that vicinity. It says:
On Monday and Tuesday nights of last week, signal fires were seen in the neighborhood of Table Rock. On Wednesday a man was shot at by the Indians on Bear Creek, about six miles from Jacksonville, and a week ago last Tuesday they stole four animals from a packer, near the Mountain House, on the other side of the Siskiyou. Culver, the Indian agent, on receiving information of the above, proceeded to the Cave, found the animals, and told the Indians if they did not give them up he would send the troops and whip them. They delivered the animals up on Wednesday evening last.
Oneida Weekly Herald, Oneida, New York, August 29, 1854, page 2
NORTHERN MINES.--These, says the Mountain Herald, are attracting more attention than ever before. Miners come amongst us who are prepared to settle down and work a few years for a reasonable compensation, with the chances of a fortune. They find the diggings in Northern California and Southern Oregon ample for years of enterprise before they are stripped to a level with the present state of the southern mines, and new discoveries being made every day. This is now the best field for the enterprise of California--and they are commencing to find it out.
Business in Yreka shows a weekly increase. Other places of minor importance in Northern California are picking up with equal rapidity. Our town is now the finest-looking place north of Marysville.
Jacksonville, in Southern Oregon, is also looking up, and is destined to become a fine place of business. The new diggings in that vicinity, and the fine crops in Rogue River Valley, have had a fine influence on business in that quarter, which is beneficially felt by all.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 3, 1854, page 2
THE OREGON BOUNDARY LINE--WHERE YREKA IS.--Mr. S. H. Marlette, Surveyor General, publishes in the State Journal a letter from Mr. Robinson, engaged in the northern survey, from which we learn that Yreka is situated about 18 miles south of the boundary line. Mr. Robinson writes June 10: "We are now encamped near a house on the trail from Crescent City to Sailor Diggings, about thirty-five miles from the former, and fifteen from the latter place. The line crosses this trail about three-quarters of a mile to the north of our camp on a high spur of the main divide, between Illinois and Smith's River, which divides the branches of the west forks of the Illinois. The work up to this point had proved very satisfactory; I think we are now nearly thirty miles from our starting point on the coast. The country over which we have passed up to this point is broken, barren and worthless, covered with rocks, bushes and burnt and falling timber; it is cut up into deep and ragged ravines by the water of Trinity and the North Fork of Smith's River, so that there is not an acre of level land on the whole line. I will give you a more accurate description of the country at some other time. The question with regard to the position of Sailor Diggings is now settled. The line from this on the summit of Siskiyou crosses all the sources of the Illinois, and will leave Sailor Diggings some three or four miles to the north."
New York Times, October 7, 1854, page 9
NORTHERN MINES.--These, says the Mountain Herald, are attracting more attention than ever before. Miners come amongst us who are prepared to settle down and work a few years for a reasonable compensation, with the chances of a fortune. They find the diggings in Northern California and Southern Oregon ample for years of enterprise before they are stripped to a level with the present state of the southern mines, and new discoveries [are] being made every day. This is now the best field for the enterprise of California--and they are commencing to find it out.
Business in Yreka shows a weekly increase. Other places of minor importance in Northern California are picking up with equal rapidity. Our town is now the finest-looking place north of Marysville.
Jacksonville, in Southern Oregon, is also looking up, and is destined to become a fine place of business. The new diggings in that vicinity, and the fine crops in Rogue River Valley, have had a fine influence on business in that quarter, which is beneficially felt by all.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 9, 1854, page 3
THREATENED INDIAN DIFFICULTIES.--Gov. Davis has lately received a dispatch from C. S. Drew, P.M. General, resident of Jacksonville, stating that apprehensions are entertained in Southern Oregon and Northern California of Indian hostilities of a serious character on the emigrant trail leading into that section of country from the South Pass via Klamath and Goose lakes. Last spring several Indians of various tribes in these regions, during difficulties in Siskiyou County, were killed, for which these tribes, including the Applegates, Klamaths, Shastas and those in Scott's Valley, have left their usual haunts and retired into the mountains in the direction of the Modoc country.
The Modocs also suffered the loss of two or three of their tribe in the Siskiyou difficulty. They therefore join with the other tribes, and breathe retributive vengeance on all whites who shall be so unfortunate as to pass through the infested district. Gov. Davis, in answer, has authorized Col. Ross, of the 9th regiment, to enlist a company of volunteers, and order them to protect the immigration, in case it is deemed necessary. He has also directed a communication to General Wool, asking his prompt attention to our Indian relations in that direction.
We learn from Messrs. Leland & McComb's Express that their messenger reached Crescent City on the 30th July from Althouse. He stated that it was currently reported at Sailors' Diggings and through the Illinois Valley that the Indian agent had sent in word to the whites to be prepared for an outbreak of the Indians at the above settlements, as they had warned him unless Bob Williams (the mountain ranger who shot one of their number a little while since) is given up to them, they will break out and revenge themselves. They have collected on Desert Creek to some extent, and have sent their squaws into the mountains. Great excitement prevails in the valley.--Oregon Standard, July 25.
THE CROPS.--Harvesting is going on in the south. Some of the fields of wheat sown late, on account of the Indian difficulties last summer, will not be worth cutting. Some smut in that direction, but wheat is not seriously injured. The farmers of the Willamette Valley are now in the midst of harvest, which will be abundant.
PORT ORFORD GOLD MINES.--The accounts in regard to these mines are entirely contradictory--some representing them as very rich, and others as valueless.
"Oregon," Buffalo Daily Courier, September 12, 1854, page 2
A great difference of opinion exists with regard to the Port Orford mines, recently discovered. On one side it is asserted that they are extremely rich, and that the miners are making fabulous wages, while others assert that they are all a humbug. One thing is however certain, and that is that the crowds who left San Francisco for the new diggings returned very soon with their visages considerably elongated. All the Oregon papers agree that the money market is tight, and that the times are hard, and they all with one accord ascribe it to the laziness and Micawber propensities of the people in neglecting to raise enough of money to pay for what they import. Apprehensions are entertained in Southern Oregon and Northern California of Indian hostilities of a serious character, on the emigrant trail from the South Pass via Klamath and Goose lakes. More disturbances were expected in the Illinois Valley.
New Orleans Crescent, September 11, 1854, page 2
The following items are from the Umpqua Gazette:
ROGUE RIVER AND JACKSONVILLE.--We learn that the crops in the Rogue River Valley do not turn out as well as was anticipated. The wheat crop, however, is generally good. The new mines near Jacksonville are paying pretty well, and give profitable employment to a large number of miners. There is much apprehension of difficulty with the Indians this fall.
Daily Crescent, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 23, 1854, page 2
SAILOR DIGGINGS.--A correspondent writes: There is every reason to congratulate those who have secured claims at Sailor Diggings upon their having done so, and as the rainy season is fast approaching, all who have not done so should be on the alert. All who are at work are making from ten to fifteen dollars per day. The influx of miners to this section is great.--San Francisco Herald, Sept. 16.
New York Times, October 9, 1854, page 1
I have just taken from the office a letter from Bros. Tobin, Seivers & Bryan. They seem to enjoy the spirit of promise where they are, although in a secluded spot, shut out from the rest of the world. Bro. Tobin said he had just come out of the hospital after an illness of 50 days. They were kept in hourly apprehension from the constant depredations of the Indians, with whom they often had to fight. He said they had written several times to the valley, but as yet had recd. no answer. They send their love to you all and especially to the girls. If you should write to them address John Tobin, Comp. E 1st Dragoons, Fort Lane, Oregon Territory.
Daniel Smith Mills to Joshua K. Whitney, letter of October 31, 1854, BYU Harold B. Lee Library
New diggings have been discovered on a fork of Applegate Creek, a tributary of Rogue River, and a new town named Sterlingtown had sprung up there.
"From Crescent City," Morning Courier and New York Enquirer, November 15, 1854, page 3
Proposed Telegraph in Oregon.--The Portland Times says: "Messrs. Chas. F. Johnson and E. D. Tousley, who arrived in this city by the last steamer, propose a joint stock company for the construction of a telegraph line from Portland to Salem. The work is proposed to be finished by within eight months after the company shall have been formed. This line is intended to connect with San Francisco, by way of Southern Oregon and Northern California."
"Oregon," Daily Free Democrat, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 30, 1854, page 2
COOS BAY.--We understand that our neighbors at Coos Bay are making extensive preparations for working the coal mines at that place during the present winter. Several vessels have been chartered by persons of that place for carrying the coal away. We learn that one of these vessels had arrived off the bar. The opening of these extensive coal banks, added to other commercial facilities which she possesses, is destined to make Coos Bay a place of considerable importance, and that at no distant day. May success attend her and her enterprising citizens.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, December 9, 1854, page 4
NEW DIGGINGS.--We learn that on Ash Creek, about two miles from this side of Jacksonville, on a place that had been prospected and abandoned some two years ago, about one hundred miners are now at work and doing very well.--Crescent City Herald.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, December 9, 1854, page 4
California and Oregon Military Road.The imperious necessity of the establishment of a post and military thoroughfares in a state like California is too apparent to every reflecting mind to admit of doubt, and their usefulness in other portions of this widespread republic, has been time and again satisfactorily demonstrated. The grand enterprise of opening a wagon road through to Oregon, from the head of the Sacramento Valley, was commenced, if not conceived, by James L. Freaner, who obtained from the legislature of 1851-2 the passage of an act which would have secured its certain success, had not the violent death of Col. Freaner at the hands of hostile Indians while engaged in prosecuting his labors rendered the operations of the act nugatory. There have been, ever since the first settlement of the northernmost portion of the territory of this state by the whites, constant depredations committed by the aboriginal inhabitants, and they have been carried on with perfect impunity, owing to the great difficulty of reaching them in the fastnesses of the mountains, and the sparsely settled state of the country.
The attention of our representatives in Congress to the importance of the establishment of military roads in the interior is urged with zeal by our mountain cotemporary the Siskiyou Herald. It truly says that our inland communications on the Pacific in the present aspect of affairs demand immediate attention. A wagon road between California and Oregon can be made practicable for a trifling sum, and bat a few miles of road are needed to connect the Sacramento and Shasta valleys.
The Herald estimates that an appropriation of between fifty and one hundred thousand dollars would be amply sufficient to open that part of the road now impracticable, and would so improve the Siskiyou Mountain as to render the whole road entirely useful. The route is the most important on the Pacific, and is one over which vast amounts of goods consumed by nearly ten thousand people now pass, all of which is packed on mules, with the exception of a few wagonloads which arrive in the fall from the valleys in Oregon.
Over this road, says the Herald, would be hauled goods from the head of navigation on the Sacramento, on the south, and from Crescent City, Scottsburg, and all the rich and extensive valleys in Oregon on the north, and more closely connecting the interests of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
In the event of a war with any of the European powers this road would be indispensable, as troops, stores &c. could be forwarded inland from San Francisco to the Columbia River over this route in from twelve to twenty days. It is in fact the only practicable inland route from San Francisco to the Columbia River, and must eventually be opened and improved, if not by the general government, by individual enterprise, which most assuredly will, in case of lethargy and tardiness on the part of the government in this affair, take hold of and complete the work with true American enterprise and dispatch.
Sacramento Daily Union, December 21, 1854, page 2
Lieut. Withers, U.S.A., was in Portland, in company with Lieut. Hodges, U.S.A. Lieut. Withers has recently returned from the survey of the military road in Southern Road. He has performed his duty ably and impartially, we are satisfied. He could not have suited all the settlers, in any event, but in his survey he saved some ten miles in distance by going another than the ordinary route. The contracts (seventeen in number) have been let in $1,000 each.
"Twenty-Three Days Later from Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, December 22, 1854, page 1
Correspondence of the Weekly Gazette.
Messrs. Editors:--Having read several communications in the Gazette relative to the course pursued by Lieut. John Withers and Jesse Applegate in locating the military road from Myrtle Creek to Scottsburg, I venture to submit a few facts concerning the expenditure of the appropriation to construct the road from Myrtle Creek to Jacksonville.
Maj. Benj. Alvord was detailed to survey and locate the above road, and on the suggestion of the Secretary of War, Maj. Alvord employed Jesse Applegate to assist him. Gen. Lane and Gen. Adair had recommended Jesse Applegate to the Department as admirably qualified by his extended knowledge of the country and scientific attainments for such a service. Although the military road was located on the old and usually traveled route, yet the survey cost little less than five thousand dollars, or one-fourth of the whole appropriation. It seems almost incredible that so large a sum should have been squandered in locating and surveying a road only about 80 miles in length, but it must be recollected that the work was performed under direction of an officer of the army, and that the money belonged to Uncle Sam. The large company of men employed by Maj. Alvord "to drive the enemy from the route" must have drawn heavily upon the funds which should have been expended in the construction of the road. After the completion of the survey only about $15,000 remained to construct the road; $5,000 of this sum passed into the hands of Mr. Lindsay Applegate on a contract to complete the road through the Grave Creek Hills. What were the precise terms of the contract with Mr. Applegate is not known, but everyone who has passed over the new road during the past season must have been at a loss to conceive how a contract could be so worded as to obligate the contractor to do what Mr. Applegate performed and to do no more. If the road was to be cleared of timber a width of thirty, or even twenty feet, it most assuredly has never been so completed. The track was neither graded nor cleared of stumps, rocks, or other impediments--indeed, in the estimation of persons living on the route, who have enjoyed the best opportunity for knowing the facts, not more than $1,200 was ever expended by Lindsay Applegate under the contract for which he obtained $5,000. It is not the purpose of the writer of this communication to declare who is the most guilty in this odious transaction--suffice it to say that a large part of the appropriation intended for the construction of a road leading from Umpqua Valley to the mining regions was squandered, and Maj. Alvord and his adviser, Jesse Applegate, and the contractor, Lindsay Applegate, should each and all be held responsible for the manner in which that money was expended.
When Col. Mansfield, the Inspector General of the Army, passed over the road last August, his attention was called to the scandalous condition of the work, and the people were promised that the whole affair should be investigated, and that justice should be administered to the parties in fault. Under a Democratic administration these things ought not to exist; sober-minded, honest, well-meaning Democrats will be led to believe that "all is not sound in Denmark," when all the appropriations of public money in this section of Oregon are placed under the control of leading and influential Whigs, to be squandered among their favorites and relatives. The undersigned regrets that information, from a reliable source, should not have reached Gen. Lane in time to have prevented the last appropriation from passing into the same hands. We cannot believe that the Department at Washington have acted advisedly in this matter. It must be recollected that Gen. Lane is far removed from his constituents, and cannot be presumed to know of all that transpires here in his absence. Although it is said that reliable Democrats forwarded intelligence to Washington of the conduct of Maj. Alvord and Jesse Applegate in the construction of the road to Jacksonville, yet we are of the number who refuse to credit such a report. We still think the whole affair will admit of a satisfactory explanation, and that this appropriation is the last to be expended in Oregon under the supervision of Whigs during this administration.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, December 23, 1854, page 2
Dr. Henry of Yamhill is likely to become the leader of the Whigs in the House, though it is said that the party are relying much upon Gen. Drew of Jackson County, whose fame as a tactician and party manager has preceded him.
"Correspondence of the Weekly Gazette," Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, December 23, 1854, page 2
TURNPIKE ROAD.--The Herald says that in all probability three wagon roads will be simultaneously constructed, and perhaps as early as next spring, from the south or Shasta City, from the north or Scottsburg, and from the coast or Crescent City, all aiming to reach and pass through Jacksonville and Yreka, to claim the trade and intercourse of those regions. It will be seen that the capital stock is fixed at $85,000, divided into 850 shares of $100 each, on which an assessment of 10 percent will be called in after the stock is all subscribed for, and the company ready to commence work. $18,500 of the stock has been taken already.
THE MILITARY ROAD.--We learn from the Times that Lieut. Withers has recently returned from the survey of the military road in Southern Oregon. Some of the settlers were dissatisfied, and petitioned Judge Deady for an injunction to stay work upon the road, but he properly declined for want of jurisdiction. The contracts have been let in sums of $1000 each, seventeen in number.
Alta California, San Francisco, December 27, 1854, page 2
Last revised November 24, 2018