The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1855

See also my pages on the 1855-56 Rogue River Indian war.

    The following is an extract from a letter received from the Hon. A. C. Gibbs, dated Jacksonville, 10th Jan., 1855:
    "The merchants here are generally 'down on' Crescent City, and will ship all their goods to Gardiner next spring. They say they will contract for their freight from San Francisco, if to be done at reasonable rates. At all events they will send their goods by the Umpqua in the spring, and we must make it so easy for them as to keep the trade, which can be done.
    "I think plenty of teams can be got to haul at low rates. I heard of a large number wishing to go on the road, both in this county and in Douglas. The farmer must do something, and the days of big prices are passing away."
Umpqua Weekly Gazette,
Scottsburg, January 27, 1855, page 2

    By reference to an extract from Mr. Gibbs' letter, which we publish in another column, it will be seen that the enterprising merchants of Jacksonville are already turning their attention towards this place. They find that they cannot afford to pay from 12 to 15 cents for damaged goods (by way of Crescent City) when by transporting them through this place they can have them delivered in good order at greatly reduced rates.

"Keep It Before the People," Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, January 27, 1855, page 2   Goods from Crescent City came by pack train; a wagon road from Scottsburg to Jacksonville had been recently completed.

Correspondence of the Weekly Gazette.
Jacksonville, Jan. 24, 1855.
    Dear Boyd:--I turn from the press of business for a moment to write you and say that trade is slower than ever--flour is down to six, eight and ten cents--it is hard to cash a [check of a] large amount at any price; in consequence of this state of things, and the unabated demand for water to work out the "dust," every branch of industry is knocked very nearly dead.
    The committee on the Indian spoliation appropriation, now sitting here to receive and adjust claims against [the] government, are progressing, and will rise and go to their several homes about the 15th of February.
    Yours,                            H.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, February 10, 1855, page 2

    The gold mines of Southern Oregon and Northern California are now yielding fair profits to the miners, with a prospect of doing better when it rains more and affords more water. There is a brisk and a heavy trade now going on between the farming section of Oregon and the mines, in the way of flour, beef, pork, bacon and goods and groceries of every variety. The entire supply of these mines are now taken from Oregon.
Benjamin Cleaver, February 5, 1856, "Letter from Oregon," Daily Alton Telegraph, Alton, Illinois, March 31, 1855, page 2

Correspondence of the Weekly Gazette.
We Were Blind--Now We See!
    The experience of the last year has convinced us that Scottsburg is the point to which we should ship our goods. The wagon road is now opened from Jacksonville to Scottsburg, and there is fifteen thousand dollars of government money to be expended on the road between this and June next, which will make a first-rate wagon road. Farmers along the route are preparing to put teams on the road in the spring, and are willing to contract for the delivery of goods at Jacksonville for six cents a pound. Packers are throwing away their pack saddles and purchasing wagons, well knowing that they can haul cheaper than they can pack.
    All charges from San Francisco to this place will not exceed eight dollars a hundred--responsible men are now willing to contract for that price. We have been shipping to Crescent City till we are sick of it. Sometimes our goods are carried to Portland, then back to San Francisco--up and down again--because the harbor is so dangerous they cannot be landed. While Umpqua is acknowledged to be the best winter harbor from San Francisco to Puget Sound, and perfectly safe in the summer for all classes of vessels on this coast.
    Goods are frequently damaged in being landed at Crescent City through the surf. And to cap the climax, after all our winter goods had been landed there, those of us who had no mules were obliged to pay seventeen cents, and over, per pound for packing; as the saying is, they had the deadwood on us, and we were obliged to weigh out.
    Some say: "The wagon road will be opened to Crescent City next summer" Bah! It will cost one hundred thousand dollars, and all that can be raised is thirty thousand. Foreign capital cannot be obtained to open a road over a mountain so high that the snow falls ten feet deep on it in the winter, when the holders of the same can get 3 percent a month for their money, and good security.
    Again, there is a scarcity of feed on the route. Packers have to purchase hay, at over one hundred dollars a ton for the same, while the Scottsburg route is over the finest grazing country in Oregon.
    The Southerner is reported lost, north of the Columbia--what of that? A better steamer will gladly take her place. The advantages of the Umpqua are known, and a revolution of the trade of Southern Oregon and Northern California is at hand. Goods brought in wagons to this place, in original packages, are worth two cents per pound more than if packed.
    We now see--and our goods will be shipped to Scottsburg, and wagons will bring them here.
    Jan. 26, 1855.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, February 10, 1855, page 3

    This is to certify that W. C. Myer, of Ashland precinct, Jackson County, O.T., brought before me, a Justice of the Peace, in and for said county, a cayuse horse, sorrel with a bald face, and three white feet, as an estray to be appraised, valued at $40--this 16th day of January, 1855.
S. H. Taylor, J.P.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, February 24, 1855, page 3

    JACKSONVILLE.--The Mountain Herald has the following extract from a letter of Mr. Dugan:
    "Business is on the improve. Dust will begin to come in soon. Miners are making some big strikes at the new diggings (Sterling). Three miners took out of their claims three days ago $1360."

Crescent City Herald, March 7, 1855, page 3

    JACKSONVILLE, O.T., March 1.--No run has been made on either Cram, Rogers & Co. or Rhodes & Co. at this place, all persons having perfect confidence in the house.

Crescent City Herald, March 14, 1855, page 2  Adams & Co. had failed in February.

    SAILOR DIGGINGS.--According to previous notice a sparring competition came off on Sunday, the 1st of April. Lots of gentlemen took part in the sport and proved themselves "no muggings" at all, but stood up boldly, even under occasional trickling of "claret" [blood]. All was taken in good part, however, and done for the sake of science. The closing scene was a set-to between the landlord of one of the hotels and the butcher boy; the latter came off victorious and "beef" rose accordingly.
Crescent City Herald, April 4, 1855, page 2

    JACKSONVILLE.--We understand that steps are being taken immediately for the erection of a building for the use of the university which has been located at this place by the Legislative Assembly of Oregon.
    Great hopes are also entertained of concerting appropriate measures for bringing the waters of Applegate to the neighboring diggings.

Crescent City Herald, April 4, 1855, page 2

    FROM JACKSONVILLE.--We learn from a gentleman who has arrived from Jacksonville that the miners in the vicinity of that place, and at Sterling, have been doing well for some time past. The weather was dry, and the miners apprehended that water would soon be scarce if rain did not fall again this spring. Business was rather dull.

Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, April 14, 1855, page 2

    THE CROPS.--We are pleased to learn that the crops in the Umpqua and Rogue River valleys look very promising. Persons say that they have never saw them better at this season of the year. We believe that the above-named valleys will produce sufficient grain for the consumption of the inhabitants, and probably a large overplus.

Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, April 14, 1855, page 2

Jackson Co., O.T. Democratic Convention.
    The proceedings of the Democratic Co. Convention of Jackson County is published in the Yreka Herald of the 31st ult., and we take the liberty of transferring them to our columns. We hope our friends in Jackson County will not be offended at us for so doing. It has been our earnest desire to cooperate with the Democratic Party throughout the Territory, and we would have been pleased to receive a copy of the proceedings of the Jackson County Convention for publication. We have no comments to make on the proceedings, for we hold that any person or portion of the Democratic Party have the right to express his or their preferences for candidates for any office whatever, from the President of the United States down to a supervisor of a road district.
    The Democratic Convention to elect eight delegates to represent Jackson County in the Territorial Convention was held at the courthouse, in Jacksonville, on the 24th March 1855.
    The convention was organized by appointing D. Newcomb, president, L. F. Mosher and A. J. Kane, secretaries.
    John F. Miller, S. H. Taylor and James Tatem were appointed a committee on credentials, who reported the following delegates present:
    Ashland--Jas. H. Russell, Thos. Smith, Jas. Kilgore.
    Applegate--G. B. Davidson.
    Butte Creek--D. Newcomb, Jas. Tatem, F. O'Neil.
    Dardanelles--Geo. H. Ambrose, A. J. Kane, John Benjamin.
    Canon Creek--A. P. Turner, H. W. Wixem.
    Jacksonville--S. H. Taylor, J. F. Miller, L. F. Mosher.
    Sterling--Geo. Manville, David Powell, Isaac Skeeters.
    Eden--S. D. VanDyke, Geo. Vining.
    The report was adopted.
    The present having stated the object of the meeting, the convention proceeded to an election, which resulted in the choice of the following persons as delegates: George H. Ambrose, Richard Dugan, John F. Miller, Jas. H. Russell, David Powell, James Kilgore, A. P. Turner, L. F. Mosher.
    The following resolutions were unanimously adopted.
    Resolved, That the delegates be instructed to cast their votes in convention in favor of Gen. Joseph Lane, as the choice of Jackson County for Delegate to Congress.
    Resolved, That in case of the absence of any of the delegates, the balance be entitled to cast the whole eight votes of this county.
    On a motion of Mr. Smith it was:
    Resolved, That a central committee of five be appointed to apportion the number of delegates to each precinct, and to call together the county convention on the 21st of April next.
    S. H. Taylor, Geo. H. Ambrose, A. P. Turner, Thos. Smith and D. Newcomb were appointed said committee.
    On motion of Mr. Taylor,
    Resolved, That the delegates from each precinct to this convention act as precinct committee until others are appointed by the people.
    The convention then adjourned.
D. NEWCOMB, Prest.
L. F. Mosher and A. J. Kane, Secretaries.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, April 14, 1855, page 2

    LETTER FROM GEN. LANE.--We find in the
Yreka Herald of the 31st the following letter from Gen. Lane, which we publish for the benefit of all who are interested in the Rogue River war claims:
Washington City, Feb. 18.
    G. W. Tyler, Esq.--Dear Sir: You will not think hard of me for not writing. I am and have been constantly busy.
    I have finally succeeded in procuring an adjustment of the expenses of the Rogue River war. Some vouchers have been returned for certificate and proper authentication. By this mail drafts for a considerable amount will go out to the care of the Governor of Oregon for the benefit of the parties concerned. By next mail the balance will go out, except such as have, as above stated, been returned. In a few days the rolls for payment will be forwarded to a paymaster, who will proceed to Jacksonville and Yreka and pay the troops, officers and men.
    This matter has been a most troublesome affair, but I have at last succeeded in obtaining justice, and the people will ere long have their pay.
    Your friend,
        JOSEPH LANE.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, April 14, 1855, page 3

    NEW MINES.--Diggings of coarse gold are reported to have been discovered sixty miles further up Rogue River. The beach diggings have in a great measure been abandoned for the new placers.

Crescent City Herald, April 18, 1855, page 2

    By a letter received from Jacksonville we learn that Col. T'Vault, and a man by the name of Mason had a fight recently. Mason stabbed T'Vault, and it was supposed he would not recover from the wound.

Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, April 28, 1855, page 2

    NEW MINES.--The correspondent of the Yreka Herald says that extensive mines have been discovered on the North Fork of Applegate Creek. 1500 persons have already taken claims, and it is asserted that 5000 could find claims paying from $8 to $50 per day. Water abundant. These mines are about 75 miles from Crescent City and on the main route to Yreka.

Crescent City Herald, May 2, 1855, page 4

The New Mines on Applegate--Necessity of a Geological Survey.
    From a correspondence we find in the Yreka Herald and dated Jacksonville, April 21, we extract the following:
    The miners are doing well in most quarters, and new diggings have recently been discovered on the upper portion of Applegate, which promise to pay well. But in order to develop our mining resources, it is highly necessary that the proposed ditch from Applegate should be speedily completed, and it is to be hoped that a portion of the moneys received from government for Indian depredations may be applied to this end, for it will yield more ample profits to the holder thereof in this manner than by any other investment. Farmers hold most of this fund, and to ensure the sale of their produce, they must assist the miners. The ditch is the mainspring to develop these mutual benefits. The mining region here has never been prospected, and where it has been worked will now pay as well as ever. Neither science or energy have yet, to any extent, been applied to the Jacksonville mines and its vicinity. If a thorough geological survey was ordered and paid for by government, some strange accounts of the real mineral riches of this beautiful valley would be disclosed which even its most sanguine friends do not now dream of. Whoever makes this survey must be a scientific man, and with the broad aegis of the U.S. over his operations, so as to give him a credence which any private communication can never do. Northern California is in need of such a survey as much as this Territory, and why cannot this be procured in the next Congress?
Yours truly,                R. d'C.
Crescent City Herald, May 9, 1855, page 1

    ROGUE RIVER WAR PAY.--A letter from a friend in Salem, O.T. informs us that a small portion of the Treasury warrants for the payment of subsistence, foreign and other supplies furnished on account of the Rogue River War of '53 will arrive in the course of a week. Governor Curry will make arrangements to forward them to the proper persons at an early day. The payment for services rendered will be made in money by Major Alvord, U.S.A., at Yreka City, Jacksonville and Salem. It will probably be three or four months before the proper arrangements can be made to do so.--Mountain Herald.

Crescent City Herald, May 9, 1855, page 4

Bounty Lands
In the Rogue River or Cayuse Wars

    The undersigned will attend to the procuring of bounty lands, under the new act of Congress, for persons who have been regularly mustered into the United States service for the term of fourteen days or more. Persons who were engaged in either of the Indian wars in this country, and all widows and orphans of such persons, are entitled to 160 acres of land, and by forwarding the necessary proof of their service to the undersigned, the official forms will be made out and forwarded to the proper department at Washington, which will ensure the return of a
For the applicant.
    Having a competent agent at Washington, it enables me to transact this kind of business with great efficiency and dispatch. Charges moderate.
G. D. R. BOYD,
    Scottsburg, O.T.
Umpqua Weekly Gazette, Scottsburg, May 12, 1855, page 3

For the Oregonian.
Port Orford Mines.
PORT ORFORD, April 3, 1855.
    Editor Oregonian, Sir: Hoping my letter may do some good to some of the unemployed men in your vicinity, and some information to your numerous readers, I send you this line. I fear that the letter-writers from this place, last year, caused so much trouble that I fear there will be some that may think I have some design in writing, but I have no other than this: Myself and several others want men to work, and are willing to pay good wages for them. Upon Cape Blanco beach there are wanted from 35 to 50 men to work by the mouth at from $40 to $60 per month, mining, and their pay sure. I will give you a statement of the diggings there. The beach is about one mile long that has been prospected, and will pay from $5 to $50 per day to the man, every foot. (Don't anyone start thinking to get a claim, for they are all claimed now and have been for a year.) Claims are held at from $50 to $1,000. There have been but four claims worked this winter, and they have paid very well. The tides have prevented the rest from working, but as they are getting less every day, as soon as men can be had every claim will be worked. Cobern & Backenstow's claim is paying $16 per day to the hand; they work five men. Mr. Blakely's has paid all winter, and is paying now  $25 per day to the man. He works two and three men. He has taken out $3,600 since last fall, and says that had he have had the drop riffle he would have taken out $1,000 more. Mr. Worden & Co. have water about three hours each day, and take out from $10 to $20 per day. Mr. Coffee and his two boys, the youngest is about ten years old, pump their water and take out about $40 per day, and have done the same all winter. Above here there is a large amount of the beach that will pay with the drop riffle. This is a new method for saving gold with quicksilver, and by far the best that has ever been used here. It was got up and brought to its present perfection by the miners on the beach in this vicinity, and is no patent and can be had for the making. If there are any men that are out of employment in your vicinity, they, as I said before, can get employment, and as there are claims for sale, they can buy by paying a good price. By the way, I have no claims for sale. There is about a mile of beach below Port Orford that will pay from $3 to $5 per day; but little of it is taken. But it costs something to get started. No one can begin at all without getting a tom and drop riffle, shovel and quicksilver. The miners on the beach at Rogue River are doing well; some of the claims are paying as high as $50 per day to the man. At Coquille, those that are working are doing well, and many more of the miners will be at work in the course of this month. We have had no new diggings struck, nor any excitement this winter, and I hope we will not have any of the latter again.
Yours, respectfully,
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, May 12, 1855, page 1

    ROGUE RIVER VALLEY.--The other day we had the pleasure of examining some flour from the Eagle Mills, owned by Messrs. Thomas Bros., 15 miles from Jacksonville. The flour is of the whitest and finest quality and cannot be excelled by any manufactured in Oregon or California. These mills are fast becoming very popular throughout the northern mines, and their product commands readily one or two cents more per pound than any other flour.
    The best qualities of butter and cheese are also produced in abundance through this extensive valley. Some of the cheese we received from there is tiptop, and fit to grace a king's table.
Crescent City Herald, May 16, 1855, page 2

Correspondence of the Gazette.
Sterling, April 26, 1855.
    Editor: Push along, just keep moving, has been our maxim for life, and obeying the mandate we have found ourself snugly stored away for the night in the big house with heaven for a roof, near Sterling, On every hand it is dig! dig! dig! and all for gold. Thank God (if it be not profanity) that there is something that will induce men to work. The miners are doing well; the greatest cry is water--water to cool--to fill our toms and no coin for the dust. Once in a while we have a row to keep up excitement, now and then an accident to keep up sympathy, a horse or two stolen for talk's sake or to help some poor devil off to parts unknown. The roads are bad, the Grave Creek Hills and on to Rogue River absolutely dangerous; they steal flour from widow women, threaten to kill calves, run off horses, occasionally hang a man, pickpockets, no telling, while Judge Lynch quietly leans against the old pine with the lasso in one hand and the cowhide in the other, around him the pick-and-shovel men in humble attitude watching the proceedings of the civil law. Ah me, how times have generated. No more till I get another sharp stick to write with.
    Yours,                N.T.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, May 19, 1855, page 2

For the Umpqua Gazette.
    On hearing Miss Susan Sniggs say she thought the bachelors of Oregon the best-natured, industrious and contented class of people she ever [did] see.
    Humph! I guess, Miss Susan, you don't know much about them. You haven't been here long, just come across the Plains. I thought so. By the time you have summered and wintered near them, had them for your nearest neighbors, you could find out the difference. Good-natured: You haven't seen them in the morning when they was building fire curse and swear, throw the wood helter skelter, because it was green and would not burn? You haven't seen them when a log fell and tipped over the coffee pot, kick the inoffensive coffee pot until it was more battered than a drunkard's hat? Or seen them wring the neck of a neighbor's pet chicken, because it hopped onto the table and broke a plate? Or seen them kick the dog until it became a cripple, because it stole a paltry piece of meat from the spider? Or seen them take the cat by the nape of the neck and sling her out of the window because she lapped their gravy? You haven't seen them, huh? Well, I have.
    Now what do you call industrious? Lying in bed until eleven o'clock a cold morning because it saves firewood? Or letting the weeds grow and choke the corn because it makes the back ache to weed it? Or refusing to plant a garden because it is some work to fence it? Do you call that industrious? Contented: Oh, Susan, if you had seen them after sauntering through the day, sitting at eve, hovering over a few dying embers, smoking a nasty black pipe, heaving sigh after sigh, enough to rend the heart of an oak, you would exclaim--"Contentment would ne'er dwell in a bachelor's hat."
    Now, Susan, you are young and pretty, with a heart as tender as a young chicken's; beware, never marry an Oregon bachelor; better take a widower with nine children. How would you like, after being married a month or so, if your bread was a little heavy, have your husband ask you, why you do not make as good bread as he used to, or have him
tell you your pots and kettles were not in good order. Or, after doing a hard day's work, you say you are tired, he says he would like to know what has tired you, for he used to do the work in the house and out of doors too. You would not like it, would you. Then be careful. For after they have had their liberty, or you may say run wild for a year or two, they are no more fit to become the partner of a loving and gentle woman than the Oregon panther.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, May 19, 1855, page 3

    ILLINOIS VALLEY, O.T.--Some apprehensions are entertained of another Indian war in that section of country. The Indians have again taken to stealing cattle and [have] committed other outrages upon the property of the whites. The Indian agent, it is reported, is actively engaged in the endeavor to effect an amicable settlement of the difficulties and thus prevent an outbreak. An Indian boy, while riding the bell mare of a pack train, was recently killed by the Indians in the neighborhood of Mooney's ranch (Deer Creek Valley). The murderers of Jas. B. Hills, of Indian Creek, have not yet been discovered.
Crescent City Herald, May 30, 1855, page 2

    NEW TRAIL TO CRESCENT CITY.--Messrs. Jackson and others of Buckeye Bar contemplate starting to cut a new trail from that place to Illinois Valley, thence to Crescent City. Mr. J. says that they have a low pass in the Siskiyou, nearly north from the mouth of McKinney Creek on the Klamath, and that a good trail can be got, and that it will shorten the distance between Yreka and Crescent City some 30 or 40 miles and represents the grass on the route as good. From the Klamath to Yreka the trail is already tolerably good, and with a slight improvement in places could be made an excellent pack trail.

Crescent City Herald, May 30, 1855, page 2

    There are apprehensions of serious Indian difficulties on Rogue River.

Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, June 2, 1855, page 2

    ILLINOIS VALLEY, O.T.--The Indian troubles in that section are far from being settled. The Indian agent, Dr. Ambrose, we are informed is using every exertion to concentrate them on the reservation on Rogue River. Tuesday before last, some of them drove away Reef's cattle, and a party of volunteers in pursuit of them surprised, on Tuesday, four Indians supposed to be their scouts. Firing, they killed one Indian and wounded the others, who retreated into the bushes.

Crescent City Herald, June 6, 1855, page 2

    ALTHOUSE CREEK.--There are reported to be from three to five hundred miners working on this creek with very good success.

Crescent City Herald, June 6, 1855, page 2

From Illinois Valley.

    As we finish writing the above, we learn from packers just arrived that on Saturday last, the Indians killed four white men (travelers, as far as we could ascertain) and two Chinese, in Illinois Valley, O.T. (some 50 miles distant from here). Wm. Shelly is reported to have been severely wounded.
Crescent City Herald, June 6, 1855, page 2

    ROGUE RIVER WAR PAY.--The Mountain Herald publishes the following order:
"War Department, Jan. 2nd, 1855.
   "The Auditor will state the accounts for payment allowing to officers and men the rates received by dragoons in California and Oregon, in the Army Appropriation Act of Sept. 28, 1850, and allowing further to the mounted men, commissioned officers and privates of the mounted companies pay for the use of their horses at the rate of $4 per day for the time they were in service, but limiting the amount to be paid for the use of the horse so that it shall in no case exceed twice the appraised value of the animal.
    "Secretary of War."
    And adds in explanation:
    "The act of 1850 above referred to gives double the pay of the regular soldiers to the rank and file, and an additional allowance of $2 per day to the officers. This was a law which ceased in its operation in favor of the regular army on the 1st of March, 1852. The addition was given for service upon this coast. This, together with the allowance for the use of horses, makes the pay received by the volunteers of the Rogue River war the best ever given to any troops in the United States. Besides the pay each man can get 160 acres of land by the present Bounty Land Law."

Crescent City Herald, June 13, 1855, page 1

    MAIL ROUTE FROM CRESCENT CITY TO JACKSONVILLE, O.T.--We have been often complaining of the want of mail facilities in Northern California, and are the more pleased to learn now from J. J. Arrington, our late member of Assembly, that proposals had been invited by the Post Office Department during the past winter, and were published in the Washington Globe, for a semi-monthly mail route from Crescent City to Jacksonville, touching at Sailor Diggings and other intermediate points. We are further informed that several bids for the route had been sent in, and that in all probability the next U.S. mail may bring out the award of the Department.

Crescent City Herald, June 13, 1855, page 2

    ILLINOIS VALLEY, O.T.--Our correspondent from Sailor Diggings, whose letter will be found in another column, gives a succinct account of the situation of Indian affairs in that section. By later advices we learn that the Indians are congregated in the neighborhood of Deer and Slate creeks, that the volunteers have been within sight of them, but found their own number too small to attack them with success. On Saturday last the Indians robbed the house of Mr. Chapman.

Crescent City Herald, June 13, 1855, page 2

    CONTRACT.--We learn that the contract for forwarding supplies from San Francisco to Fort Lane, O.T., via Crescent City, was awarded to Col. A. J. Butler, at what rates we could not ascertain.

Crescent City Herald, June 13, 1855, page 2

Indian Affairs in Illinois Valley.
    Up to the time of our last issue the Indian difficulties in that section had progressed to an alarming extent. Volunteer companies were in search of the Indians, who had all left the reservation on Rogue River. Judge Peters, Mr. Rosborough and others on their way to this city were induced to return to Jacksonville. Mr. T. A. Jackson came through accompanied by a guard a short distance of the route, and two days after his arrival a letter was received, written by Mr. Shoudy, and dated Applegate, June 10th, from which, by permission, we make the following extract:
    "Yesterday Mr. Jackson got Mr. J. Dyer and Mr. D. McHues to guard him over to Mooney's ranch. On returning home they were waylaid by the Indians and both killed, one having received seven balls and the other ten through the body in various places. Some soldiers who passed along this morning found the bodies and buried them. This of course causes considerable excitement, and families are obliged to move to places of safety. Travel has for the moment almost ceased, and there is but little doing in the diggings here or at Jacksonville. It has rained all this afternoon and two or three trains have just come through without experiencing any trouble."
    These statements are fully corroborated by Mr. Cornwall, the expressman, who came in a few days after.
    THE INDIAN DIFFICULTIES IN ILLINOIS VALLEY SETTLED.--From G. S. Rice, of Sailor Diggings, we learn that news had been brought in of the adjustment of the Indian troubles, it being reported that the Indians returned to the reservation after having given up six of their number concerned in the murder of J. B. Hill on Indian Creek and also in the murder of Dyer and McHues on Applegate.
    P.S.--Mr. B. F. Dorris of this city returned last evening from Yreka; he passed through Illinois Valley on Sunday, reports everything quiet and confirms the statement that the murderers of Hills, Dyer and McHues were given up to the Indian agent. Some soldiers and volunteers, however, are still out.
Crescent City Herald, June 20, 1855, page 2

Correspondence of the Crescent City Herald.
Althouse Creek, June 7, 1855.
    Eds. Herald--Having become very well acquainted with the diggings in this region, I offer this for insertion in your columns, hoping it may prove valuable to the wandering yeomanry at least, not that I do not sympathize with the legals, the faculty and particularly the one-horse politicians, but being of the digging class myself, it is but natural that "birds of a feather flock together." I can cheerful concur with "G. T." in his report, yet I know he underrates the products of Althouse; so far as he states is true enough, but still he knows very well that there are companies who are doing a bigger business in digging than he is, and I will take the liberty to assert, from personal knowledge, that he realizes at least forty dollars per day to the man in his claim, consisting of 250 yards.
    There is about 14 miles of diggings known as Althouse diggings, consisting of the South and Southeast Forks, and I cannot hear of a single company who are washing that are not making at least five dollars to the man per day, and occasionally very large strikes. "G. T's" claim, I hear from a reliable source, yielded 104 oz. in one week. The number of men employed I don't know. Many others are doing a big business.
    Sucker Creek, I am told, is entirely abandoned in consequence of the hostilities of the Indians.
    There are some two or three companies running drifts in the low hills near Democratic Gulch who are striking rich leads of coarse gold. There is plenty of room for many more. Come ahead all who desire to fulfill the mandates of the good book (by the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat bread). We red-shirted, gum-booted, long-whiskered fellows won't turn our backs even to ye hawkers of popcorn, pill-peddling quacks, shenanigan legals, nor even the assuming codfish aristocracy. Come right along, and if you are verdant we will show you the modus operandi of getting ripened.
Yours,                 KENTUCK.
Crescent City Herald, June 20, 1855, page 2

    JACKSON COUNTY ELECTION.--From a brief synopsis of the election returns from Jackson County, Oregon, which reached us just as we were going to press, we learn that Gen. Lane's majority over Gov. Gaines at the recent election in the county was 142. Geo. E. Briggs, Whig, M. C. Barkwell, Dem., J. A. Lupton, Dem., and Thomas Smith, Dem., were elected members of the House by about the same majorities. The vote on the convention question stood 312 for and 734 against a convention to form a state constitution. The following county officers were elected: W. G. T'Vault, Prosecuting Attorney; ----- Hoffman, Auditor; G. T. Vining, Assessor. The largest vote cast was for Delegate to Congress, which was 1,496.
Crescent City Herald, June 27, 1855, page 2

Statistics of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
    An acquaintance of ours, for several years a resident of this section of country, and whose varied and somewhat extensive business relations enable him to judge correctly in such matters, estimates the population of those parts of Northern California and Southern Oregon which are more immediately connected with the trade of Crescent City, as follows:
ILLINOIS VALLEY, O.T. (Jackson County)
    Sailor Diggings, mining population 100
Althouse, mining population 500
Farming population scattered through the valley,
    and miners on Josephine Creek 400
ROGUE RIVER VALLEY, O.T. (Jackson County)
    Sterlingville, mining population 500
Applegate, mining population 100
Jacksonville (county seat) 500
Rogue River Valley, farming population 1,500
UPPER KLAMATH, CAL. (Siskiyou County)
    Cottonwood Creek, mining population 300
Yreka (county seat) and Shasta Valley,
    mining and farming population 1,500
Humbug, mining population 500
Greenhorn, mining population 500
Deadwood, mining population 200
Scott Valley, mining and farming population 800
Scott's Bar, mining population 1,000
Hamburg Bar, mining population    100
    Happy Camp, mining population 100
Indian Creek 450
Other localities down to the mouth of Salmon 250
Salmon River 1,200
To which we may add--
Gold Beach, O.T. (Coos County), mining population 200
Smith River Valley, Cal. (Klamath County),
     mining and farming population 200
Crescent City (county seat) 500
    TOTAL 11,400
    The same gentleman estimates the number of acres in wheat, now ripe or nearly so:
    In Rogue River Valley, O.T. 5,000 acres
In Shasta Valley, Cal. 1,500 "
In Scott's Valley, Cal. 3,000 "
    TOTAL 9,500 "
    Owing to the ravages caused by the grasshoppers in Rogue River and Shasta valleys, and to lateness of the crops in Scott's Valley, he calculates but an average yield of 15 bushels per acre, or a sum total of 142,000 bushels of  wheat, which will make about 30,000 barrels of flour.
    There are two flouring mills in Rogue River Valley and a third one is building.
    Scott's Valley has two mills; in Shasta Valley a mill is in course of construction and another one at Yreka.
    Taking the population of this section of country to be 12,000 (in round numbers), our home produce of wheat this year will furnish each inhabitant with 1¼ of a pound of flour per day for the space of one year.
Crescent City Herald, July 18, 1855, page 2

    AFFRAY IN JACKSONVILLE.--Death of Dr. Alexander.--On the occasion of a horse race, which came off over Hall's race course near Jacksonville, on the 7th inst., a considerable crowd had gathered in a barroom. Mr. Jas. S. Oldham and Dr. [Charles] Alexander, who for some time past had not been on speaking terms with each other, met there and the former invited the Dr. to drink, which was refused in rather harsh terms. Sharp words ensued, when Mr. O. drew his revolver. The Dr., unarmed as he was, dared him to shoot. But upon being called on to arm himself, the Dr. procured a revolver. Then several shots were fired, and a ball struck the Doctor through the abdomen, shattering the backbone very much. It is said the Dr.'s pistol snapped the first cap and would not revolve afterwards.
    As soon as it became evident that Dr. Alexander was dangerously wounded, his antagonist was taken in charge by the Sheriff. Dr. Alexander died on the following day and was buried on Monday. This sad occurrence created great excitement at Jacksonville, the Dr. having been an old resident in the neighborhood, where Mr. Oldham was comparatively a stranger.
Crescent City Herald, July 18, 1855, page 2

    THE FOURTH IN ILLINOIS VALLEY.--Our Althouse correspondent, "Gus" (whose letter will appear in our next issue), says:
    Many went from this creek to attend a ball given at the house of Reuben Olds, some eight or ten miles distant from this place, where we had a splendid dinner, consisting of all the good things found in any country, after which the Declaration of American Independence was read by Dr. Watkins and a speech delivered by Mr. Sprague, of Sailor Diggings. Then came horse racing and foot racing. Upon the arrival of all the ladies, to the utter astonishment of those interested, they numbered eleven; fortunately they possessed strong constitutions and held out to the last. Upon the whole we had a fine time, as well as a civil one.
Crescent City Herald, July 18, 1855, page 2

    THE FOURTH IN ROGUE RIVER VALLEY.--The birthday of our country's independence was celebrated with all due ceremony at Jacksonville. During the evening there were no less than three balls in different portions of the valley, one at the "Robinson House," Jacksonville, another at the "Mountain House" and a third on Butte Creek.

Crescent City Herald,
July 18, 1855, page 2

    ARRIVED.--On Saturday the 14th inst., Schr. Exact, Capt. H. B. Congdon, with 130 tons of assorted merchandise and government freight for Fort Lane, O.T., and Fort Jones, Cal.
Crescent City Herald, July 18, 1855, page 2

    We regret to hear of the death of Dr. Alexander, of Jacksonville. From private letters we learn that Dr. A. was shot by a man named Oldham, at a race course near Jacksonville on Saturday, July 7, and died the next day. Dr. Alexander was from Virginia. He sustained the reputation of being a scientific physician and a gentleman possessing those qualities which make the man. His untimely end--thus cut down in the prime of life by violence--will be mourned by numerous acquaintances beyond his immediate neighborhood.
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, July 28, 1855, page 2

    The rapid strides of these pestiferous marauders have not yet slacked. In the upper part of this valley everything in the way of vegetables has been entirely destroyed. Every day brings us news of their work of devastation. Farmers have had to resort to covering their fruit trees in order to save them, while those who have failed to do so have witnessed the destruction of many valuable trees, which they had tenderly nourished for many years. In the Rogue and Klamath River valleys their ravages have been worse if possible than here, as there they commenced earlier and destroyed the greater portion of the wheat and oats. In this valley it is estimated that about one-fourth of the wheat and oat crop has been destroyed--while corn, vegetables &c. will prove to be not worth gathering. We shall continue to publish everything that will tend to enlighten the farmer as to the best means of preventing their destructions another year. The editors of that excellent agricultural journal, the California Farmer, are in pursuit of knowledge upon this subject at present, and we shall continue to give our readers the benefit of their views and investigations upon the subject.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, August 2, 1855, page 2

    At the Willow Springs, Rogue River Valley, on the 7th ult., by Rev. T. F. Royal, S. F. Van Choate, Esq., formerly of the Yreka Herald office, and Mrs. R. A. Huston, of the former place.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, August 16, 1855, page 3

Rev. John Flinn.
    From the proceedings of the Oregon Annual Conference of the M.E. Church, we observe that Mr. Flinn, of this place, has been transferred to Jacksonville. While we regret very much the departure from our midst of no inestimable citizen, yet we are gratified to know that he carries with him the best wishes of all who know him for his future happiness and prosperity. Mr. Flinn is one of the few professed ministers of the Gospel, in these "degenerate days," who does not pollute his high calling by meddling in the exciting political strifes of the day, by turning his pulpit into a political rostrum from which to preach political sermons. From his consistent course in this particular, his honest, upright bearing and Christian devotion, he has won the respect and esteem of all who know him. May his efforts in his new field of labor, in the cause in which he is engaged, be crowned with much success.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, August 23, 1855, page 2

Correspondence of the Umpqua Gazette.
Jacksonville, O.T.,
    August 17, 1855.
    Editor Gazette--Dear Sir:--The present term of the U.S. District Court for this county is one of unusual interest. Last week several important cases were disposed of, and the greater portion of this week has been consumed in empaneling a jury in the case of Jas. S. Oldham, who is now on trial under an indictment for the murder of Dr. Alexander. Quite an array of counsel has been retained, both on the part of the prosecution and the defense. W. G. T'Vault, Esq., Pros. Atty., is assisted by L. F. Mosher, P. P. Prim and S. F. Chadwick, Esq., of your place. W. H. Farrar, Esq., of Portland, Cook & Cosby, of Yreka, Cal., and Kenny, of this county, are counsel for the defendant.
    Business of all kinds is dull in this valley at the present time, nor do we see any indication of improvement for several months to come. Nothing happens to arouse our citizens from their usual quiet, save the arrival of the mail from the north with the Gazette and the latest news from the Colville gold mines. Many of our miners have already left for these new diggings, and others are preparing to follow.
    Since the last election, we have been free from political excitement. The old Whig dynasty, once so powerful in Jacksonville, has fallen--completely caved in--the high "places" of trust which "they once filled will know them no more." A change has come over Jackson County. From this time forward, her citizens will be found ready to cooperate with other portions of the Territory in all matters pertaining to the common good of Oregon. Recent developments have shown such an amount of corruption on the part of the late Whig office holders in this county as its honest citizens never dreamed of. We hesitate not in affirming that in no part of our whole Territory is there is a better prospect for the Democracy than in this valley. The Democrats have selected good and honest men for places of trust and responsibility, and I doubt not they will maintain the honor of the party. Those demagogues in the Know Nothing-Whig ranks, who have hitherto lived by keeping alive sectional prejudices and by appeals to the lowest passions and the most selfish interest, have been forced to retire to that obscurity from which they have shown themselves unworthy ever to have arisen. It is unnecessary to name those who formerly composed the Whig regency in this county. We will be magnanimous and leave our prostrate adversaries to their fate--believing that their history and present position will furnish a warning example of the inevitable fate of all unscrupulous demagogues.
    By the late mail arrangements between this place and Scottsburg, the time of transporting the mails between the two points has been reduced from twelve days to six. We regret very much to learn that no service is to be placed on the route from San Francisco to Puget Sound, including the delivery of the mails at Umpqua by ocean steamers. Gen. Lane will undoubtedly be unremitting in his exertions to procure service on this new route. We still think that upon proper representations the Department will advertise proposals to receive bids for the service, and feel assured that our Delegate will spare no efforts to obtain a delivery of the mails at Umpqua, under the act of last session of Congress. You must not be discouraged, nor despair of Scottsburg. It must ultimately come out. If you had regular communication, direct by ocean steamers, with San Francisco, it would be the best point in Oregon for the publication of a good Democratic newspaper. This you must have. Your paper has done good service to the party and the Territory during the year. The success of the Democratic Party in Southern Oregon, and the prosperity of this portion of the Territory imperatively demands that it shall be sustained.
    Yours,                Candor.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, August 23, 1855, page 2

For the Umpqua Gazette.
Jacksonville, Aug. 17, '55.
    Smiley Harris, a very worthy gentleman of this place, was shot a few evenings since by a man by the name of W. H. Mitchel. Mitchel was drunk, and discharged his pistol at any and every object he saw, without reference to what it was, and before he could be arrested he shot Mr. Harris. Had his pistol gone off at the first attempt to discharge it, Mr. H. would have been killed. Mr. Flanagan (whose brother lives at Coos Bay), whom you say was killed by the Indians, is living. I have met him several times since his death was published, therefore it is a mistake, and please correct it. The several hundred of volunteers from Yreka and thereabouts, who have been here after the Indian murderers of Klamath, have returned--not, however, until arrangements were made to secure the prisoners. The volunteers have behaved well and complied with the suggestions of Capt. Smith, of Fort Lane, and Dr. Ambrose, Indian agent, which could only secure peace with the Indians in this valley. The Indian troubles are quite settled. The Indian murderers are to be delivered up to the authorities of Yreka.
    Yours,                Jackson.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, August 23, 1855, page 2

U.S. District Court--Jackson County--August Term, 1855.
    Hon. M. P. Deady, Judge.
    W. H. Farrar, Esq., U.S. Dist. Atty.
    W. G. T'Vault, Esq., Pros. Atty.
    J. W. Drew, Dep. U.S. Marshal.
    T. Pyle, Sheriff.
    S. H. Taylor, Clerk.
    Attorneys present--Messrs. Farrar, Mitchell, Chadwick, Cook, Crosby, T'Vault, Kenny, Prim, Brenan, Mosher, Reed, Colver and Stearns.
    Grand Jurors.--U. S. Hayden (foreman), W. W. Fowler, Jas. R. Davis, H. W. Nixon, Woodford Reams, Jas. Barrett, Isaac Woolen, Rowland Hall, John Kennedy, George Ross, James Poole, N. B. Evans, Eber Emery, B. B. Griffin, N. W. Fisk, Wm. Ducker, E. B. Ball, Thomas Bailey, Clifton Riley, Granville Lewis, Benj. Armstrong.
    The grand jury presented 15 true bills of indictment, viz.: 1 indictment for murder, 1 for assault with intent to kill, 3 for selling liquor to Indians, 10 for selling liquor without license.
    Twenty-eight cases on the civil docket.
    Trials have been had in the following criminal cases continued from the May term, A.D. 1855:
    Territory of Oregon vs. James Hamlin. Indictment for assault with intent to commit murder. Prim for Territory. T'Vault for deft. Verdict--Not guilty of assault with intent to commit murder, but guilty of assault. Sentenced to pay a fine of $250 and costs of prosecution.
    Territory of Oregon vs. Horace Ish. Indictment for assault upon Francis Ball by shooting with a pistol with intent to kill. T'Vault and Colver for Territory. Farrar, Cook, Mosher and Kenny for deft. Verdict--Not guilty.
    Territory of Oregon vs. George Livingston. Indictment for assault upon E. H. Day by shooting with a pistol with intent to commit murder. Prim for Territory. Cook, T'Vault and Kenny for deft. Verdict--Not guilty of assault with intent to kill, but guilty of assault. Sentenced to one year's imprisonment in Linn County jail, and to pay costs of prosecution.
    Notice of an application for modification of the sentence has been given.
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, August 23, 1855, page 2

    The Surveyor General of Oregon Territory has transmitted to the General Land Office twelve maps of the surveys completed in the Rogue River Valley, in that Territory. From these maps it appears that the country is very mountainous; in fact, it is so much so that portions of the valley could not be surveyed at all.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser, Buffalo, New York, September 29, 1855, page 2

    We are indebted to Mr. Beekman's Express for the receipt of a prospectus of a newspaper to be started in Jacksonville, O.T. on the 25th inst., by Messrs. Taylor, T'Vault & Blakely. It is to be weekly, independent in religion and politics. Of the contemplated name we are not informed by the prospectus. It is to be the size of the Yreka Union. The interests of Rogue River Valley and Southern Oregon have long since demanded the establishment of a press at Jacksonville, and under the management of the above-named gentlemen we cannot think otherwise than that success will attend their new undertaking. From our slight knowledge of the proprietors we are led to believe that in them will be found will and capacity to render every satisfaction to the people of Jacksonville and vicinity. We wish them every prosperity.
Crescent City Herald, October 17, 1855, page 2

    By Mr. Brunner, who arrived in town last evening, we learn that on Thursday, the 25th inst., at 11 o'clock p.m., a fire broke out in Jacksonville, and consumed eight buildings. The fire started in the upper story of Little's saloon, on Main Street, spread rapidly and was only stopped by the brick buildings belonging to Messrs. Maury & Davis and J. A. Brunner & Bro., the former suffering considerable damage. The fire lasted two hours. The losses are estimated as follows:
    Maury & Davis, $1000; Stearns & Green, $5000; Baker, late of N.O., $1000; Little & Co., $2,500; P. Levy & Bro., $500; P. J. Ryan, $8000.
    In the late Indian affray in Deer Creek Valley--as published in another column--two Spaniards were killed and another wounded--28 mules found dead--two Spanish trains containing some 48 mules has been recovered.
    On the same day (23rd) the Indians drove off all the cattle of Mr. Northcutt (7 head) from the yard. The people in the neighborhood of Deer Creek Valley have gathered at D. Smith's ranch, which has been fortified. Sam Fry's company ranges through that section and escorts the trains.
    Mr. Hart, the expressman, had returned to Sailor Diggings, but was unwell.
"The Latest from the Interior," Crescent City Herald, October 31, 1855, page 2

    FIRE AT JACKSONVILLE.--We learn from Mr. B. B. Jackson, who left Jacksonville on last Monday, that the Thursday night previous a fire broke out which consumed about one-fourth of the town. It originated in a saloon in the western portion of the town, and spread rapidly to the adjoining buildings. All the buildings from Davis & Maury's up, on that side of the street, were consumed. The loss is very heavy. The fire is supposed to be the work of an incendiary.
"Latest from the South,"
Oregon Statesman, Corvallis, November 3, 1855, page 2

    Alex. McIntyre, a member of the Oregon Legislature and a native of Leesburg, Va., died at Jacksonville, Oregon, recently.
The Daily Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia, December 18, 1855, page 2

    JACKSONVILLE, O.T.--Jacksonville
was located by miners and traders in the month of February, 1852, and contains a population of about 800 souls--about one-tenth of the population of Jackson County--eight dry goods and grocery stores, three blacksmith shops, two livery stables, one hotel and several boarding houses, one brewery, one stove and tin shop, one boot and shoe store, one millinery shop, two bakeries, one market house, two cabinet shops, two or three drug stores, billiard saloon, one tobacco and cigar store, practicing physicians, four lawyers.
    J. A. Brunner & Bro. and Maury & Davis have each built large and extensive fireproof brick stores and have them well filled with a good assortment of goods suitable for the consumption of the country.
    The Territorial University is located at Jacksonville.--Table Rock Sentinel.
Crescent City Herald, December 26, 1855, page 2

Last revised October 2, 2017