Jackson County News: 1856
See also my pages on the 1855-56 Rogue River Indian war.
THE JACKSON COUNTY ELECTION.--Contrary to our expectations, Gen. Miller was beaten for the council. John E. Ross, Whig, or K.N., was elected by a vote of 305 to 181 for Miller. We have not heard the particulars, but we think that Gen. Miller was deserted by a portion of the Democrats. Is it not a little singular that in these war times, the patriotic Know Nothings should have brought out a candidate? Oh, hypocrisy! The Know Nothings are opposed to "party" when out of power, or in the minority, but uncompromisingly in favor of it where they are in power, or in the majority.For the Oregonian.
The election for representative resulted in the election of Hale, Democrat. He received 307, and T'Vault 132.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, January 1, 1856, page 2
The Democracy and the War at the South.
Jacksonville, Dec. 19, 1855.
Editor Oregonian--Dear Sir: Through the kindness of a messenger from the department at Roseburg, we have been favored with a perusal of late issues of the Oregonian, Statesman, Argus &c. The action of the troops here, commanded as they have been by a few lickspittles, would afford sufficient material for a communication, without referring in a single instance to the hashed-up mess which is prepared and dished out to the people by the Statesman in the shape of communications from southern Oregon. In each of my former communications I charged Bush-whacker of the Statesman of having published willful and malicious falsehoods respecting our Indian difficulties. I did not, however, expect, at so early a day, to have the declaration from his own mouthpiece that he lied, or published, as he terms it, an "incorrect statements." It will be remembered that sometime in October a certain communication appeared in the Statesman, signed "Sober Sense," containing a tissue of falsehoods from beginning to end. This "Sober Sense" hombre is a no less personage than the celebrated Dr. Andrew Jackson Kane (no connection, by the by, of Dr. Kane of the Arctic expedition), who is somewhat noted for his feats of courage and strength performed in our streets, but of late has retired from the ring, and is now playing second fiddle to those whom he conquered.
This pliant tool for any purpose whatever was induced by Bush-whacker to prepare a communication--or rather father one already prepared--in unison with Bush-whacker's already expressed sentiments, and those of his correspondents from Rogue River, though properly speaking, from Douglas and Umpqua counties. But upon his return from the Willamette he was called to account for the "deeds done in the body," and, Catholic fashion, made a clean confession, which you have already seen in the Statesman in the shape of a card under his proper signature, attested by witnesses, admitting that he lied. This is one of Bush's "reliable correspondents from Southern Oregon"!
Another hombre is entitled to a passing notice. This is Dr. Edgar Buckf--t [sic--apparently "buckfart"] Stone, a California emigrant, a fourth-class quack, who for want of business in Crescent City, California, came up here, and offered his services as a "physician and surgeon"--bah! This valiant hero has come out in flaming tones in a communication for the Statesman (the receptacle of filth) under the name of "Edgar," and if I were to make any prediction whatever I would say that he would be called upon in due course of time to take back his statements, and, like his "illustrious predecessor" and "brother chip" in the practice of surgery, Dr. Kane will be glad to comply. If his reputation for medical skill was one-sixteenth part as great as that for lying, he might feel proud, for it certainly would be enviable in this one particular, by those who make pretensions that way. His character for truth and veracity, both at home and abroad, is certainly below par. And I will here take the responsibility of informing both him and his friends (if any he has) that he is a willful and malicious liar, and the truth is not in him--never was--nor never will be; and if he or his friends have any doubts upon this score, I will prove it to their entire satisfaction. If such scavengers as the two quacks above mentioned are classed among Bush's "reliable correspondents," I would ask what position would he assign an honest and truth-stating correspondent?
In the issue of the Statesman of Nov. 24th, I find two communications purporting to have been written in southern Oregon--one dated at "Headquarters, Six Bit House, Nov. 12th, '55," without any signature, and the other, at Jacksonville, Nov. 10th, signed "Wallace." Neither of these letters were written from the place at which they were dated. Their authors are as base as either of the quacks, and to pen such communications ill becomes them in their elevated positions. The "Six Bit" communication says: "At the time of the outbreak in Rogue River, Col. Ross, Drew and some others of that clique wrote to Curry requesting that Col. Ross be authorized to call out the militia of Jackson County." Now this is a sheer fabrication of his own begetting. Ross, Drew and others of the clique (unless it was of the "unwashed") never forwarded any such communication. To write for authority to call out the militia!--a Colonel, duly elected, commissioned and qualified, to write for authority to call out the militia in cases of Indian outbreaks similar to what we have! It may be the practice in Missouri, but not in Jackson County.
Again, the author says that "Martin employed Danforth out of courtesy to Gov. Curry." This is, without doubt, a rich specimen of "Paice" politeness. For a subordinate officer to "employ out of courtesy" a surgeon already commissioned by the commander-in-chief of the forces and executive of the Territory is truly a new streak in military practice. The remainder of this communication was full of interesting yarns concerning Major "Bills," attacks on Dr. Henry, and "Bills'" letter to Col. Ross--a strange medley which the author ought to be ashamed of when he sees it in print. Words are inadequate to express the contempt which I entertain for the man who would willfully pervert the truth to further his own and others' base designs. Since Bush-whacker of the Statesman commenced his attacks on Gov. Curry concerning the know-nothing appointments, every nincompoop in the Territory must send in their endorsements "of the early and fearless stand which Bush has taken against them." But "Wallace" embraces an extensive scope in his communication. His imagination is very fertile, and if he would devote more time to studying intricate law points, he would perhaps make it "pan out" better. He says that he is informed "that recent acts on the part of his premiership, Charley Drew, develops some strange and astonishing transactions." Mirabile dictu!! "Strange and astounding transactions! Now what are they? Can you tell me from the tenor of his communication? His aim is to drag Charley Drew before the public gaze, and, as heretofore, to brand him as a villain of the deepest dye. He boldly charges Charley of the immediate agency in bringing about our Indian disturbances solely to get a little office. Listen what he says: "He knew that if he (Charley) could bring about hostilities that Ross was Colonel, and he could be Adjutant. That Charley and others who had figured at the head of a party in this county had lost their grip, and something must be done to save them. Circumstances and the acts of certain hostile bands of Indians on the Klamath and Siskiyou mountains favored their plans, and the idea was conceived that by throwing the fire-brand among the Indians, the entire blame could be saddled on the Democracy." O "Wallace"! thou base and perjured wretch! Depraved and vicious must be the mind that could conceive such thoughts, and utterly reckless and wholly lost to shame or honor must be the man who dare utter them. In no country or land beneath the starry decked heaven, either in a republican, where the stars and stripes are the emblem of freedom, or in a monarchical, where tyranny prevails, can be found a man so debased, depraved, corrupt, reckless and malicious as to charge a fellow being with such crimes as he ("Wallace") has Charley Drew, and all for or through political motives. If this communication should meet the eyes of "Wallace," I would ask him to ponder over his assertion in that communication of his, and then answer me if he has a conscience void of offense toward God and man.
Time will not warrant me commenting further, for I well know that the people of Oregon do not believe any of his correspondents out here, for they are undoubtedly "bogus" and won't pass.
PHILEMON.Oregonian, Portland, March 1, 1856, page 1
STERLING is a pretty little mining town, situate about eight miles from Jacksonville, on one of the tributaries of Applegate River. Sterling gold diggings were discovered about the 1st of June 1854. This village has grown beyond all precedent--containing a population of five or six hundred--amongst whom are some of the most energetic and enterprising spirits in the country, well calculated to build up a town and keep matters and things ahead.--Table Rock Sentinel.
Crescent City Herald, January 9, 1856, page 2
By this you will see that the work of death continues, and that too within the confines of the town of Jacksonville, and upon every trail and road south. All business has stopped and almost closed, except that on the part of the [federal Military and Indian] Departments. Communication has stopped between different points, except that which is performed on the main road by expressmen, and the army, in short the country generally, has been desolated by the existence and continuance of this war. The army south is without supplies, without clothing, without ammunition, and almost, if not quite entirely without the faintest prospect of receiving for a long time to come, the actual and necessary supplies which the army ought to have at this moment. The office at Jacksonville is without supplies, at Deer Creek it is the same, and almost every office is destitute of the means necessary to carry on the war. Yet what is to be done? Every effort has been made by the officers of the Departments to obtain these things from merchants in this section, and have succeeded well, but this source has now dried up.
"Umpqua Correspondence of the Statesman," Oregon Statesman, Salem, January 1, 1856, page 2
THE WINTER IN THE INTERIOR.--During Christmas week, we are informed, Illinois and Rogue River valleys were covered with 18 inches of snow, which afforded fine sleighing, and was taken advantage of by numerous parties. Ice formed in many places a foot thick in a single night. At Jacksonville parties were busy to lay in a supply for use in the coming summer. At Vannoy's, Rogue River was for several days frozen over from bank to bank, and travelers crossed it on the ice with their animals.
Crescent City Herald, January 16, 1856, page 2
NEW YEAR AT JACKSONVILLE.--It is reported that "our neighbors over the mountain" had a grand time of it on New Year's Day. Sixty ladies attended a ball at Badgers' for which 116 tickets had been sold at $10 apiece.
Crescent City Herald, January 16, 1856, page 2
MAILS.--The Jacksonville Sentinel of the 19th ult. complains again of the irregularity or failure of the mails:
"As usual, we have had no mails this week. Travelers from different directions say, 'No news--nothing of any consequence occurring--nothing doing,' &c. Were it not for Beekman's Express, we should get no information of less than a month old from beyond our valley--and as it is, get nothing later from Oregon. When the express comes in it brings news from Oregon via San Francisco and Yreka in time to publish it in advance of the mails that come direct. The mail has become of no account whatever to the country, and it is not worth while to inquire into its failures."
Crescent City Herald, February 6, 1856, page 2
Lately the Yreka Union has ably urged the subject of a division, and the Jacksonville Sentinel (O.T.), under date of the 19th ult., says:
"The new State of Shasta will be formed. It will not be long before the question will be put whether the country between the Siskiyous and Calapooyas will remain attached to Oregon, or connect itself with Shasta. That question is already virtually before the people. The action of the California Legislature precipitates upon the country the whole subject in such a form that it must be disposed of. The discussion that has commenced will be continued until the question is fully settled. New boundaries are to be formed, and of this region every locality must have the opportunity to decide for itself and choose its relation on its own view of interest."
Crescent City Herald, February 6, 1856, page 2
JOSEPHINE COUNTY, O.T.--Mr. J. R. Hale introduced a bill into the Legislative Assembly of Oregon to divide Jackson County and form of the southern [sic] part of it Josephine County.
Crescent City Herald, February 6, 1856, page 2
For the Oregonian.
Letter from Jack Downing, Jr.
Jaxonville [sic], Feb. 20th, 1856.
Dear Sir: Mr. Bush has sent me the litle book he has printed about the northern and southern war. It was clever in him, and I spose he sent it with the idee that if he was perty polite I mite rite a kind of puff tu make it sell; but a litary man, I aint to be bamboozled, I'm bound to du my duty and kritisize the book upon its merits.
Thar seems much inconsistensy betwixt the title and the contents, and I have been at sum loss tu decide whether it was intended tu pas for a histerick romance, or a romantik histery. The name of the book is "Report of the Adjutant General of the Territory of Oregon." Now if it is intended fur a histery it oughtent tu be called a report, fur reports are hardly fit to be put in newspapers let alone histeries. Thar, fur instance, was Wigin's "report of the masacre," and which this same author made a kind of history of, tu make his paper sell, and which turned out to be a hoax, so this cant be a history. Ef it's intended as a pur work of genus or fixin, I don't think he has picked the best man for his hero, and the pilot is jinerally defishent in all of the requisites of beginnin and end. Ef he is tu be konsidered merely as an auther, he ought to be handled purty ruff fur trying to make a hero of Major Billy Martin, when sich men as Kurnel Kelly, Kurnel Ross and me had just cum from the war all kivered with laurels and lice. But I intended tu make a book about all this myself.
Mr. Bush, unfortunately fur a riter of history, has no fax to comment on which reflect any credit on his politikle frends, and he dont chuse tu menshun his enemies in the same book fur fear of kontrast; fur Mr. Bush is a "loriate," that is he is payed fur riten and prayzen the goverment just as Tenison is in England, and of korse it wodent du fur him tu menshun Kelly, as that would be prayzen him, fur he went aginst the guverment in makin a law haf a yard long, just tu get two or three Whigs out of their places, and as fur Kurnel Ross and me, we were out and out Whigs, and it wodent du no how to print our names in a Democratic book.
The object of the work as near as I can se is to make a hero of Major Billy Martin. The natrel history of his compane is put in the middle of the book betwixt a list of killed and wounded on wun side, to make it look bloody, just as an Indian paints his face before goin tu battle; and a string of orders on the other tu make it look dignified; just as Lawyer Squirt used to wear a quill behind each ear. Billy Martin drest up this way reminds me of an injun I saw down on Roge River dressed up in a blew broad cloth claw-hammered kote, and a tall crown hat like yu and I used to wear; he was strutten round so pompus that he leaned back, and when he cum up lookin orfully grand, and I codent have helped lafin rite out if Id node hed tomahawked me the next minit; he was dredful rathy, and I codent make him understand no how that a man looked funny even with such a good kote and hat on, providen he hadent no britches. Now a gang of naked injuns would scarsely draw our attenshun, but when sum of them puts on beaver hats, and claw-hammered kotes, we perseve he is naked. Bush when he put his hero betwixt that list of killd and wounded, and that string of ginnaral orders, dident desine we spose to make him the lafin stock like that injun. So much for the way our awther has made his hero look. Now let us see how far he has made his acshuns and words corespond with his figer, fur this is an important pint in considerin the merits of a riter of fixshun; and here we must do the credit to acknowledge that he has made his hero so consistent that we hav almost thawt Billy Marting was a trew karacter, and that the report was his Awtybigraphy edited by Bush. He is very akurate in his list of forces, which we spose was in imitashun of Homers list of ships, which we kriticks tawk so much about. He also is particular about dates. On the hole, the preperations in its minusha wil kumpare favorably with that of the "Iliad" previous to the sege of Troy. And Billy talks like a book about how he marched thru the medows, over mountings and logs, and them brush and bryers, tarin thar hans and klose; in the language of the Major, "determined to push forard tu the pint, notwithstanding the shortness of our supplies, for tu resons: the hope of soon faling in with the injuns, and the surance of our gides that an abundance of gras wood be found thar fur our animals." And we see him pushin on in spite of every difficulty till they cum to the enemy sure enuf; when they held a konsil just like Agamemnon king of the Greex did, and desided all the detales of the fite, hu wuz to be on the rite and hu on the left. After redin all about what the Major wuz goin tu du, and seein the masterly disposition of his 432 men; how Bruce wuz to kros Roge River belo, with Williams' kumpany on his rite, an Kuny on his left, tu turn the injines left flank; an how Capting Judy wuz to bring his kannon to bare on the injines from a pint opposite, whilst the Major himself wuz tu kros under the kiver of the kannun, and turn the rite flank, thus completely hemin them in. After redin all this I say the reders admiration has richt the highest pint, an he is in lew with the hero who has got all his savage foe in his power by his sientifick manuverin, and is goin to end the war by killin the last wun of them insted of letin them go as the Whig Kurnel Ross did the same injines, with his 324 men without any kannon.
Ef the remainder of the wark was equal to this, it wood be a thrillin book, but here Bush's genus druped her wing, and in kumpany with his hero ritched a "krisis" and sum move wuz to be made, and be made quickly; either tu make another attempt tu dislog the enemy, or retire tu sum pint in retch of supplies. "And besides he now diskivers: 1st, That tha hav but three days grub. 2nd, It looks like rain. 3rd, They had furgot thar tents and kamp ekwipage in thar hurry to git in the fite. 4th, The men were tyred. 5th, They hadent enuf blankets. 6th, Theyd worn out thar shoes." And no dout notwithstandin all this he would have done what he sed he wood, but fur the humane and sojer-like konsideration that tu du it, "under the most favorable sirkumstances, and with the greatest posable suksess that we kood anticipate, wood in any event thro upon our hands from 50 to 75 wounded men. The transport then akrost the mounatins wuz imposible."
I used to no an old maide hu was dredful nice about a little dirt. Wun day she got her finger all nasty, and after reflectin a good deal she konkluded to kut it off, so she lade it on the block and razen the hatchet, and no dout she would have done it, ef she hadent of thawt as she wus goin to strike, how bloody it wood look, and how it wood hurt; the konsequence wuz, a cold chil run over her, and she klapped the nasty finger into her mouth. So with our hero, after marchin four days, and maken all the preparation necessary tu exterminate the injins, he sudenly remembered that sum body might get hurt, and so he marches back home again.
MAJOR JACK DOWNING, Jr.Oregonian, Portland, April 19, 1856, page 1
For the Statesman.
Roseburg, March 18, 1856.
Editor Statesman--For want of time and opportunity I have not written to you as often as I desired, but now as a citizen I will commence unfolding a few of the many mysteries which seem to arrest the considerations of political enemies, and I want my enemies to understand, once [and] for all, I hold myself responsible for any assertion found over my signature, and can be found, ready, able and willing to be consulted either at this place or Winchester. It will be remembered that the highest position I have held in the army has been Lt. Col. subservient to a Col. prejudiced and persuaded by a clique of uncompromising Know-Nothings. However, in justice to Col. Williams, I will say, had he discharged his duties unpersuaded, the condition of affairs would have been different. I have obeyed his orders on all occasions, which his reports will show, but for political aggrandizement it appears that G. Greenwood, Jr. has made a public endeavor to saddle me with all deference of military actions.
I hope the Statesman will pardon me, likewise its numerous readers, for even briefly replying to the Oregonian communicant, headed Douglas County, O.T., Feb. 14, 1856.
It may appear, and I admit it is unqualified fallacy for me to notice such epithets; still I intend to investigate some things that may not eventually prove conducive to K.N. interests.
Mr. Greenwood, allow me, sir, to brand you as a liar whose tarnished veracity is only equalled by your cowardice. "Col. Martin is the cause why the Indians were not whipped at the Meadows." Subject to counsel, Capt. Judah of the regular forces presided, and it was agreed to withdraw for want of supplies, from the Meadows, by Majs. Bruce and Martin, Capts. Williams, Buoy, Alcorn, Rice, Wilkinson and Keeney. Still I was the cause why the Indians were not whipped. "I learn that Col. M. has given an order that no man should proceed with their companies who was not under his command." Such is false, as a public exposition of my orders will show in future.
I, too, was the cause of the Indians not being whipped at the Big Bend of Cow Creek. I was not there myself, but the commandS of Capts. Chapman, Bally and Gordon and Lieut. Noland were, and by counsel the affair terminated as it did.
"Why it can be proven that he said this was the first time he ever got a chance to bleed Uncle Sam, and he intended to make good use of it." I dare him upon half-way ground, if he is anything in the shape of a gentleman, to prove it, or to make the statement in my presence.
"Who is Col. Martin? Why, he is a traitor to our country, and he is a man that would build up a few on the ruins of many." My former life, as my present, has been a public one, to some extent. Let my neighbors and my constituents answer.
"Two-thirds of the people in the south and nearly the whole army are against him, and have sent petitions to the Governor for his removal." If two-thirds are Know-Nothings of the Drewed order, I don't doubt it, nor would I desire it otherwise.
"It is probable that they will be routed in a short time, as we have a new company in the field commanded by Edward Sheffield, and also several independent companies, ready to start in a few days to give battle to the Indians." There never have been any independent companies numbering over ten fireside fighters who wanted to be supported by the government and stay at home. Capt. Sheffield has a company from Douglas. I hope he may, as a military man, gain for himself laurels that he will never find in K.N. associations.
W. J. MARTIN.Oregon Statesman, Salem, April 8, 1856, page 1
On the 12th May, Mr. A. J. Rockfellow to Miss Sarah B. Myers, all of Jackson County, O.T.
New York Herald, May 17, 1856, page 1
Letter from Oregon.The following letter from our Oregon correspondent represents the unhappy condition the settlers of that territory are driven to in consequence of Indian hostilities; also refers to the position of the pro-slavery Democrats to make it a slave state:
Cow Creek Valley, Douglas Co.Editor Hornellsville Tribune,
Oregon, April 1st, 1856.
Sir--We are on the eve of an election for or against a convention to form a constitution for a state government, as per act of the Legislative Assembly of Oregon. It is a leading measure of the Democratic pro-slavery party in this Territory, in hopes to make it a slave state before the repeal by Congress of the Kansas and Nebraska act. The reasons urged for a state government are the "dignified position" of a state, a vote in Congress, and the donation of 500,000 acres of land whenever it becomes a state, while the real reason is to hurry it in as a slave state. Tomorrow will tell the tale, so far as the convention is concerned. Many of the best informed think it will become a slave state.
The war is no nearer a close than six months ago. In five battles in Southern Oregon the Indians have been victorious. The settlement at the mouth of Rogue River is a mass of smoking ruins. Capt. ----- of the regulars was defeated, with a loss of 26 men killed (number of wounded unknown). The command of Capt. Smith of Ft. Lane fared still worse in the Illinois Valley a few days since, and a company of volunteers (south side of Rogue River) a few days since, with the loss of an entire pack train, and 40 of their saddle horses.
Jacksonville is menaced by 250 warriors. In short, the Indians have it all their own way in the field. Gen. Wool has spent the winter in a state of "masterly inactivity," while the Indians have been killing, burning and plundering. More than 300 of the whites have been killed and wounded, and some few women and children taken captive. Immense quantities of ammunition have fallen into the hands of the Indians, and there is no probability of the Indians being subdued and peace restored, at least for a year to come. The regulars are totally unequal to the task, and a force of 10,000 men are required to give security to the Territory. The agricultural and mining interests of Southern Oregon are suffering immensely. No man dare work in his field unarmed. There is no safety in traveling, even with an armed escort. Cattle and horses are not safe outside of a fort. The war debt already reaches $2,000,000. Cascade City fell into the hands of the enemy, who took large quantities of government stores. Rumor says it has been retaken.
I am sorry I cannot give dates [i.e., copies of newspapers], but news coming by express riders passes through so many hands it is difficult to obtain them. I fear Gen. Wool's Mexican laurels will degenerate into Oregon willows before the "sere leaf of autumn again denotes a winter's coming reign."
The prospect is good for millions of grasshoppers this summer. Health of the country is good.
I. A. Flint.Hornellsville Tribune, Hornellsville, New York, July 3, 1856, page 3
Pursuant to call, the delegates from the different precincts of Jackson County met at Jacksonville, on the 1st day of May, 1856, James Kilgore being called to the Chair and T. X. Clark appointed Secretary.
Committee on Credentials--Capts. T. Smith, J. Newcomb and J. F. Miller.
A call for a speech from Col. W. G. T'Vault was responded to by a few very pertinent and appropriate remarks.
On motion, Mr. Young was appointed delegate from Sterling.
On motion, the convention proceeded to vote by ballot.
Committee on Nominating Candidates--J. F. Miller, W. Songer, Capt. Newcomb, J. C. Duncan, G. B. Davidson and J. McDonough.
The following candidates were nominated:
FOR REPRESENTATIVE, JACKSON COUNTY.Capt. Thomas Smith.
Capt. John S. Miller.
For Representative, jointly with Josephine--A. M. Berry.
For Sheriff--Thomas Pyle.
For County Commissioners--Frederick Heber, G. B. Davidson.
For Assessor--G. T. Vining.
For Treasurer--David Linn.
For Superintendent of Schools--Wm. Hoffman.
County Commissioner for the Ensuing Year--John F. Miller, James Kilgore, G. B. Davidson, L. Zigler and D. S. Kenyon.
On motion, it was resolved that the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Sentinel.
On motion, the meeting adjourned.
JAMES KILGORE, Chmn.T. X. Clark, Secy.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, May 20, 1856, page 1
MINING NEWS.--Mr. Brastow, of the Express, says the Shasta Republican, has favored us with some news items from the north. He left Yreka on Monday morning last.
More than the usual number of travelers are now upon the northern trail. Many are on their way down for the purpose of visiting the Atlantic States, and an equal number are on their way to the Siskiyou mines and Rogue River Valley. At least one hundred footmen were met between Yreka and this place.
A few days since a party left Jacksonville and vicinity for the Atlantic States, with "piles." The party consisted of twenty-one persons, and they took with them the sum of $140,000, being the result of several years' industry as miners, merchants, mechanics, etc. They passed through this place on Thursday last.
A sham duel was fought near Yreka on Sunday last. Of course, one party was killed on the first fire, and greeny was compelled to fly for dear life.
The great Yreka ditch is now delivering a few sluice heads of water on the Yreka Flats. It will be some time before it will be of any general advantage to the miners of that locality.
Indian troubles no longer exist in any portion of Siskiyou County or the Rogue River country.
Business is improving in Yreka, population is on the increase, and the late rains have put a considerable amount of gold dust in circulation.
New Orleans Daily Crescent, May 28, 1856, page 1
THE GRASSHOPPERS AGAIN.--Fears continue to be expressed in the north that the country is likely to be again overrun by these pests. They have, says the Yreka Union of May 3rd, already begun to make their appearance in great numbers in some localities, and unless the late cold rains have the effect of killing them off, they will destroy the larger part of the crops in Rogue River Valley and prove a serious injury to our farmers in this county. It will be recollected that nearly all the crops in the vicinity of Table Rock were destroyed by these unwelcome visitors last year.
Sacramento Daily Union, May 9, 1856, page 2
Jacksonville, O.T., May 8, 1856.
A. Bush, Esq.--Sir: The Statesman says that a large number of the votes cast against [a constitutional] convention by the southern regiment were cast by two companies from California, who had no right to vote. This is the idea, and it is true, but those companies acted probably at the time as they thought proper. How it happened was in this way. The election was progressing, when a fellow by the name of Brenan popped up and began to harangue the volunteers; he stated that the Oregonians were a damned mean set, and didn't deserve a state or anything else &c., and finally satisfied his conscience by stating that all he was in the service for was his four dollars a day as a volunteer, and when that ended Oregon might go to h-ll. He felt quite gracious to the great commander of all the armies because he was not of the Walla Walla nation. At the close of his wild effort, his invaluable talent was turned to the voters. The two companies from Yreka had refused to vote in this Territory, but at the instant that a wag named Brenan, "Lawyer" Brenan, gave his opinion upon the act of the Legislature permitting volunteers to vote in the field, and said that all men in the service were entitled to a vote, no matter where they came from &c.; upon which opinion elaborately and ingeniously set forth those companies came in and gave convention a slap in the face. You know now how it was done, and who it is that is responsible. This chap Brenan is a very innocent and harmless youth wherever he is known, a man in whose declaration none but a stranger would place much confidence. The conduct of volunteers from a neighboring state who came into this Territory and voted against a state organization under the circumstances I will leave to their own consciences, for serious and candid disposal.
Respectfully Yours,Oregon Statesman, Salem, May 20, 1856, page 3
Later from Oregon.
THE ELECTION.--We have received the Jacksonville (O.T.) Sentinel, of the 7th June, which contains some news not heretofore published: Jackson and Douglas counties have elected the entire Democratic tickets. In Douglas, Aaron Rose is elected Representative by six majority. In Jackson County there were about 700 votes polled. There were three tickets, and the Democratic majority overall was about 120 votes. The Whig ticket was next, and the Republican candidates for the various offices polled from 17 to 30 votes.
The following are the principal officers elected: Joint Representative, A. M. Berry; Representatives, John S. Miller, Thos. Smith; Sheriff, T. Pyle; Probate Judge, N. D. Smith; Treasurer, David Linn; Assessor, J. Q. Tabor; Commissioners, F. Heber and G. B. Davidson. Corvallis received a majority for county seat.
MINING.--Miller & Co., on the left-hand fork of Jackson Creek, with four hands, had taken out $200 a day. A visitor with a pick, one day, accidentally turned up a ten-dollar lump, and in working the spot in fifteen minutes nearly $300 were obtained. At the Sterling mines, Star Gulch, Palmer's Creek and Applegate, the miners are represented to be doing well.
THE WEATHER.--Previous to the 7th, the weather had been cool, and within two weeks much rain had fallen. The Sentinel remarks:
"It is thought by some that the wet weather will retard the growth of the grasshopper and cause them to be less destructive. The rains will hasten the oats crops to ripen, and the farmers will be able to harvest them before the grasshoppers are large enough to do any harm."
Sacramento Daily Union, June 21, 1856, page 3
JACKSON CO.--OFFICIALWe are indebted to the Pacific Express for a copy of the Table Rock Sentinel, printed at Jacksonville, of the 16th August, from which we extract the following:
VOTE UPON SEAT OF GOVERNMENT.
We republish the above, with a few corrections.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 8, 1856, page 2
Below we give the substance of the extra [of the Yreka Union] of July 8th:
"We have just been informed by the Rev. Mr. Stratton, who last night arrived from Jacksonville, that an intense excitement prevailed in Rogue River Valley on Sunday, in consequence of word having arrived that a packer had been shot that morning near the summit of Siskiyou Mountain, by the Indians. It appears that Messrs. Taylor & McDermit, in company with a hired man, started to cross Siskiyou Mountain for Jacksonville with their pack train of twenty-five mules, and upon arriving at the point some forty rods beyond the summit, the scene of the 'ox team tragedy,' they were fired upon by a party of Indians concealed in the brush at the side of the road. One ball took effect upon the hired man, killing him instantly--the ball entering underneath the right arm and coming out under the left. Taylor & McDermit then fled down the mountain.
"A party of about twenty men, from the upper part of Rogue River Valley, started immediately in pursuit. Upon returning to the scene of the murder, they found the body of the deceased, which had been dragged about sixty rods down the mountain by the feet, the effect of which was to render it a most hideous sight to behold. They also found three mules that had been killed. Thirteen were driven off and nine recovered. Mr. Stratton has also shown us a couple of arrows which were extracted from the dead animals; they are Tule Lake arrows and are such as are used by the Modoc tribe. This circumstance, connected with the fact that the Indians fled towards Klamath Lake, would seem to settle the question as to what tribe did the deed.
"The pursuing party, while following on the trail of the murderers, found a newly shod gray horse, saddled and bridled. The inference is that these same Indians have murdered the rider.
"Thus it seems that as the war closes in Oregon it commences in our own immediate vicinity.
"The Modoc tribe, which has, heretofore, during the war in Oregon, maintained, as is supposed, neutral grounds, are now, without a doubt, in arms against us, and there is no telling after this successful result of their first effort what they may next contemplate doing. We deem our citizens in Shasta Valley in imminent peril. Generals Cosby and Colton, can no steps be taken, can no effort be made to chastise these treacherous devils?
"Nothing has been heard as yet from the party in pursuit; it is composed, however, of sterling men, and it is confidently believed that they will give a good account of themselves when they return."
Sacramento Daily Union, July 14, 1856, page 3
Rogue River Correspondence of the Statesman.
Jacksonville, July 7, 1856.News of rather an exciting nature reached this place yesterday from Yreka.
It appears that during the day of the 4th of July many of the parties participating in the festivities of the day had imbibed rather too freely of the ardent, and were rather noisy and otherwise disturbed the peace and quiet of the city, some of whom deputy sheriff White thought proper to arrest. In attempting to do this resistance was made and a general row ensued, which terminated in the death of one man and the wounding of two others by White. It is thought the end is not yet.
News has just reached town that the Indians have again commenced hostilities up on the Siskiyou Mountain. A pack train comprising two men and fifteen mules was attacked sometime yesterday. One of the men named Ogle was killed and the entire train taken by the Indians. They are supposed to have been the Modocs.
WADS,Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 15, 1856, page 2
FROM SOUTHERN OREGON.--We have received the Jacksonville (O.T.) Sentinel, of July 12th. In addition to the murder committed on Siskiyou Mountain, we learn from it that several Indians entered the house of Jacob Mendenhall, in Illinois Valley, while the men were in the field harvesting, and carried off five guns, without committing any other depredations.
The Chinese are flocking into Southern Oregon in great numbers, and are working those mines which the Americans will not. The Sentinel expresses the hope that the next Legislature will impose upon them a tax, but thinks it should not be so heavy as the California tax. It would greatly aid in relieving that country from the existing heavy debt. Altogether it is thought the Chinese will be an advantage to the country.
The accounts from the mines are said to be quite cheering--miners having done better than they did during the past spring. Since the conclusion of peace with the Indians, miners have gone in great numbers down Rogue River to the Meadows, where rich prospects were discovered last winter. It is thought that in a few months some thousands will be at work, and that before a year a town larger than Jacksonville will spring up.
A number of the volunteers were taken sick at the Meadows, and had been removed to Roseburg and Grave Creek House for medical treatment.
A flouring mill has been erected on Butte Creek, near Jacksonville, and it is expected it will be in operation by the first of September.
Sacramento Daily Union, July 23, 1856, page 2
Shocking Murder at Siskiyou Mountain.The Yreka Union of Thursday, July 31, gives the following particulars of a revolting murder, in which the wife of the murdered man participated, and the facts of which were singularly elicited by the confession of the murderer:
"A most foul and unnatural murder was committed at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountain on Thursday last, the 24th July. The victim is Mr. [Joel] Perkins, who has been, so far as we can learn, an estimable and respected man. The murderer is one John Malone. On the morning of the day when the foul deed was committed, Perkins started from his house before breakfast to hunt up his horses. About fifteen minutes after he left, Malone took his rifle and started out after him in the same direction. Perkins found his horses, and after discovering them, started out to kill a deer. He had not been long gone when Malone also reached the horses, and finding that Perkins had gone, and suspecting that he had gone after deer, started to overtake him--taking a cutoff in the direction where he supposed he would meet him. Malone, after going a short distance, met Perkins on the public road, at the foot of the mountain. When Malone, who was in the employ, or living in the family, of Perkins, met him, Perkins asked him why he did not drive the horses farther down, saying that it was dangerous to come so far up the mountain, because of the Indians. Malone said in reply, "G-d d--n you, I don't want you to say anything more about the horses." Malone had his rifle on his shoulder cocked, and without saying anything farther, drew up and fired at Perkins, the ball striking him in the breast in the region of the right nipple. When Perkins received the shot, he threw up his rifle and fired at Malone, but missed him. After he had shot, he said to Malone, "John, don't kill me, it is all about the woman, I know." The parties then came together, and had a short struggle, in which Perkins received several severe blows on the head, and one on the neck, supposed, from the appearance of them after death to have been inflicted by Malone with the barrel of his rifle. Perkins fell dead from his wounds, and Malone, placing his handkerchief over his face, left him. He took a direction along the foot of the mountain, and went towards the upper Mountain House, kept by Mr. Samuel Hughes, and from thence proceeded to the house of Perkins. When he arrived there, a boy who had been raised by Mr. and Mrs. Perkins observed Mrs. Perkins meet him, throw her arms about his neck, kiss him and ask whether it was all right, to which Malone replied, "It is all right."
Shortly after this time Mr. Thomas Ireland called at Perkins' house to see him upon business, but Perkins not returning he started to go away, when the boy before mentioned went to him and asked him not to leave. Ireland asked why he wished him to stay. The boy replied that he thought Malone had killed Perkins. The suspicions of the boy were communicated to some persons living nearest about, and when Perkins did not arrive at home as was usual with him it was determined that the matter should be ferreted out. Accordingly a number of men were sent for, who came and after consultation determined to take Malone into custody. They told him their suspicions, and asked him to point out the direction which Perkins had taken when he went to look for his horses; he did so, but the company believing him to be guilty, and that be would mislead them, took exactly the opposite direction. During the first part of the hunt for Perkins, he displayed a great deal of indifference and bravado. After some time, during which they had passed within fifty yards of where the body of Perkins was lying, the company came to the conclusion that they would try the force of hemp. They told Malone if he did not make a clear breast of the matter, they would hang him and that if he did, they would see that he had a fair trial by the law; that Mrs. Perkins had told them that he had shot Perkins. But Malone remained obstinate. They put him on horseback, rode him under the limb of a tree, put the rope around his neck and gave him several elevations. Malone, thinking that he had been betrayed by Mrs. Perkins, and that it would not be well for his soul if he should go off without absolution, determined to confess. As soon as he was let down, and could speak, he said: " Be Jasus give my respects to Mrs. Perkins and tell her that she told me to do it." After confessing to the murder he pointed out the place where the body of Perkins lay, and detailed to his captors the minutiae of the murder. They took up the corpse, carried it home, and afterwards buried it. They charged a participation in the murder upon Mrs. Perkins, but she stoutly denied it. Malone was carried to Jacksonville and there given to the legal authorities of Oregon Territory.
The murdered man kept a ferry on Rogue River in 1852. He was from Yamhill County, Oregon Territory, and generally esteemed.
P.S.--Since writing the above we have been informed that Malone committed suicide by hanging himself, shortly after his incarceration in the Jacksonville jail.
Sacramento Daily Union, August 4, 1856, page 1
THE SISKIYOU MURDER.--We gather from the Chronicle the following additional particulars of the above tragedy:
The wife of Perkins, it appears, had been in criminal intimacy with Malone, and aided and encouraged the latter in killing her husband. When they passed Cottonwood Creek, Malone procured a supply of liquor to stimulate him to the deed, and when they arrived at the mountain he induced Perkins to go out with him hunting, and shot him dead. Perkins had been seen in company with Malone, and when the latter arrived in the valley with the wife of the murdered man, this fact, with other suspicious circumstances which came to light, gave rise to the belief that Perkins had been murdered. The suspected murderer had been caught by a number of men, and hung by spells to the limb of a tree until he finally confessed his guilt, stating that he had been urged to the deed by the wife of Perkins. He led the way to where Perkins' body was concealed, and both he and the woman are now in the hands of the sheriff of Jackson County, Oregon. It has since been announced that Malone committed suicide in prison, by hanging himself. Having fastened one of his chains to a beam in the building, and then around his neck, he got upon his bed and jumped off, and was found hanging in that position by the authorities shortly after. Mr. Pyle, the sheriff, was absent from the jail only about fifteen minutes when the affair took place.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, August 8, 1856, page 2
MURDER.--From the Yreka Union we have an account of a most foul murder committed at Siskiyou Mountain, on the 24th ult. The victim was one [Joel] Perkins and the murderer John Malone. Malone being suspected, was subjected to a lynch examination, whereupon he confessed that he shot Perkins, but said that Perkins' wife urged him to do the deed. Malone, who was turned over to the authorities, has since committed suicide. Perkins and his wife were but recently from Oregon Territory.
Sonoma County Journal, Petaluma, August 9, 1856, page 2
THE MURDER AND SUICIDE IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--About a week since we published, from the Yreka Union, an account of the murder of Joel Perkins by John Malone, in Southern Oregon, and the suicide of the latter after his arrest. The Table Rock Sentinel of August 2nd, printed at Jacksonville, in reference to the suicide, says:
"The Sheriff passed out of the jail for about twenty minutes, during which time Malone succeeded in loosening the chain from the ring in the floor to which he had been fastened, and slipping the chain over a joist, fastened it, then slipped the chain at the other end through the ring, making a noose; then, putting the noose over his head, jumped off the bedstead, having a fall of about three feet, which broke his neck. The Sheriff arrived while he was yet swinging and his heart had not ceased beating, but the deed was done. Thus ended the life of a young man created for nobler and better purposes."
It was supposed that the wife of Perkins had been accessory to his murder, and in another article the same paper says:
"Laura Perkins, the widow of Joel Perkins, who was murdered on the 24th ult., on the southern slope of the Siskiyou Mountain, by John Malone, was arrested as an accessory to the murder of her husband, and was discharged yesterday, as there was no testimony against her but the confession of Malone. The examining court ruling that the confession of the principal, after committing the act, could not be offered as evidence against an accessory, and the prosecuting attorney having no further testimony, she was discharged."
Sacramento Daily Union, August 13, 1856, page 2
Mrs. Perkins, the wife of Joel Perkins, was acquitted, at Jacksonville, of the charge of being accessory to the murder of her husband.
Malone murdered Perkins by first shooting him, and then beating in his skull.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, August 19, 1856, page 2
INDIANS WHO HAVE REFUSED TO TREAT AND ARE STILL HOSTILE.--We are informed that there are on the Pistol and Chetco rivers about one hundred warriors who refuse to treat, that the whites have sent word to them to come in and treat and go upon the reserve or they will have to fight. The Indians in return send back that they will not go upon the reserve, that they are ready for a fight, and for the whites to come in and they will give them battle.
It appears that Old John, when he came in to treat, was induced to do so on account of presents given him and his warriors, that all his best rifles and all his six-shooters were cached in the mountains, and that a part of his band, of about twelve or fifteen warriors, are still on Illinois River with their squaws and children, committing depredations, robbing houses, killing stock and watching their cached guns. There is but little doubt of a telegraphic line being established between the Indians on the reserve and those hostile Indians in the mountains.
We are informed that a company of whites are organizing near the mouth of Rogue River, and were obtaining supplies from Crescent City for the purpose of attacking those Indians on Pistol and Chetco rivers.
MILITARY MOVEMENTS.--On yesterday Capt. A. J. Smith, commanding Fort Lane, left with Company C, First Dragoons, for Yamhill reservation, at which place we are informed, it is the intention of the government to erect a fort. Capt. Underwood remains at Fort Lane with one company of infantry. In all probability Fort Lane will be vacated during the present season.
NATURAL RESOURCES.--The farmers of this country have finished harvesting and are now busily engaged in threshing. Many who are running threshing machines labor under quite a disadvantage, as when certain parts of the machine break or give way, there is no supplying the defect without sending to San Francisco. Cannot this delay and expense be avoided? We have iron ore in abundance; why not apply some of the energy and capital of the south to the erection of machinery that will manufacture such articles as are required by the agriculturalist?
THE CHINESE IN THE MINES.--We are informed that from one to two thousand Chinamen are mining on a small creek on the Table Rock Reservation, some two or three miles from the Big Bar on Rogue River. Our informant says they are doing well, washing with the cradle in many places from eight to ten dollars a day to the hand.
There is good diggings on the creek or in the neighborhood. Several miners done well there as early as 1852, since which time little or nothing has been done at mining on the reserve.
"Later from Southern Oregon," Sacramento Daily Union, August 23, 1856, page 2
John Malone, the murderer of Joel Perkins, of Yamhill County, committed suicide in the jail at Jacksonville on Sunday, the 27th ult., by hanging himself with the chain with which he was fastened to the floor. A few moments before he ended his existence, he made the following statement to the sheriff in relation to the murder of Perkins: That he murdered Joel Perkins, who had been for the last two years past his best friend; that he had been prompted to do the deed by the wife of Perkins; that from the time of his forming her acquaintance, something near two years since, she not only urged him to murder her husband, but on one occasion attempted herself to poison him by putting arsenic in his coffee, which by some means he failed to drink.
Perkins with his wife and two children, accompanied by Malone, were en route from his ranch, near Los Angeles, Cal., to his former residence at Lafayette, Yamhill County, O.T. Malone stated that his connection and illicit intercourse with the woman placed him under her control almost entirely; that she was continually urging him to murder her husband; that he had attempted or laid in wait several times, but his heart failed him up to the morning of the 24th of July last. While he was in company with Perkins hunting horses, being prompted by the devil, as well as the woman, and stimulated with liquor, he committed the murder by shooting Perkins through the body and beating him over the head with a gun. He expressed his willingness to die; said he was guilty.
Oregonian, August 23, 1856, page 2
MALONE THE MURDERER AND SUICIDE.--From the Oregonian we derive the following further particulars in relation to this miserable creature, who, it will be remembered, killed his benefactor, Perkins, while crossing the Siskiyou Mountains, and subsequently hung himself in the jail at Jacksonville, with the chain that fastened him to the floor. It appears that Perkins, with his wife and two children, had been residing on his ranch, near Los Angeles, and when killed was on his way to Yamhill, Oregon. Malone, who was a very inferior man, had for the last two years been in his employ. The wife of Perkins having, by some strange infatuation, become enamored of this fellow, frequently prompted him to take her husband's life, which, he not having the courage to do, she undertook on one occasion to accomplish herself, by putting poison in his coffee. This, through accident, he failed to drink, and thus saved his life. Malone says he several times laid in wait to kill Perkins, but his heart always failed him until the fatal morning, when, being excited by liquor, and prompted by this infamous woman, he stole upon him while they were out hunting horses, and having first shot, afterwards beat him over the head with his gun until life was extinct. The wretch continued the illicit intimacy which had for some time been going on with the unworthy wife, after the death of the husband and father, until he fell into the hands of avenging justice. The woman was also arrested, and held for a time, but as there was no evidence of her guilt other than the confessions of Malone, she was afterwards discharged. We should like to know what sort of a time she will have with her conscience for the remnant of her miserable existence.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, September 1, 1856, page 1
JACKSONVILLE.--This town, in Southern Oregon, has recently been greatly improved in buildings.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 19, 1856, page 1
SHOT AT.--One day last week a man was fired upon by Indians at Evans' Creek, in Southern Oregon, but managed to escape. Several balls passed through his clothing.
Sacramento Daily Union, September 19, 1856, page 2
HORRIBLE MURDER.--The Oregon Statesman says:
"Joel Perkins, proprietor of the town of Lafayette, Oregon, was murdered in the southern part of the Territory, near the California line, on the 24th ult., by a man named John Malone. Malone was arrested and confined in the Jacksonville jail, where he hung himself with the chain with which he was secured. Perkins' wife was charged with being accessory to the murder, and had been taken into custody, and was undergoing an examination when our informant left. The report is that Malone murdered Perkins for his wife."
Washington Union, Washington, D.C., September 30, 1856, page 3
Rumors which reach us from the north raise a possibility that the Indian disturbances in Southern Oregon, so recently terminated, may again be shortly renewed. They are to the effect that the Indians who were removed from the Rogue River Valley to the reservation, having become dissatisfied, had left in a body for their old haunts. If this information be confirmed, it is altogether likely many weeks will not pass before we have information of another general outbreak. The winter is approaching and, destitute of the necessaries of life, these savages will be driven to pillage and other depredations calculated to excite the ire of their white neighbors. Even were they not prompted to such acts by hunger, it is highly probable they would be impelled to the commission of every species of crime by the oppression of their neighbors. Such has been but too frequently the history of the manner in which Indian disturbances commence. On this side of the Oregon line, we perceive that the work of exterminating the natives of the soil progresses. In a couple of engagements recently fought at Clear Like between them and the volunteers, several of the savages were killed, including one woman. She, however, is reported to have been killed by accident. It is, however, somewhat remarkable that females fall in nearly every engagement with the savages--thus materially aiding the work of extermination.
"News of the Morning," Sacramento Daily Union, October 8, 1856, page 2
Thousands of Chinamen are mining in Southern Oregon, extracting from the mines immense quantities of gold--in fact, literally skimming the mining districts of their wealth that would otherwise furnish employment and a reward for labor for many years. Is this right, that a foreign people shall be permitted to drain our country of its wealth, and that, too, by a race of beings that are incapable of becoming citizens, or of exercising the functions of our government?
The state of California has imposed a tax on "John," which is one of the causes that drives them to this district of country, as they are often heard to say "Taxes no good for John." It then becomes the duty of the representatives of the people from Southern Oregon to use their efforts to obtain the passage of such laws as will best protect the interests of the country.
A law authorizing the county courts to levy and collect a monthly tax from "John" would create a revenue that would in part repay for the large amount of gold they obtain from our mines, and that, too, without contributing one cent to the government.
The Legislature of Oregon is now in session, and it is proper that they should set upon the subject. We make the foregoing suggestion because duty and the best interests of the country require it.
Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 6, 1856, page 2
Between Columbia River and Fort Lane, in Rogue River Valley, the Calapooya Mountains, the Umpqua Mountains, and the Grave Creek Hills are the chief obstruction to the construction of a railroad. An excellent pass through the first, and a difficult but practicable pass through the second, were surveyed. The Grave Creek Hills, it is thought, can be turned.
Information respecting a pass from Rogue River Valley to the plateau east of the Cascade Mountains makes it probable that an easy connection with the first route examined may be made, and they will be especially important should the obstacles encountered between Fort Lane and Fort Reading be shown by further examination to be insurmountable.
The pass examined through the Siskiyou Mountains, which separate Rogue River and Shasta valleys, was very unfavorable to the construction of a railroad.
"Annual Report of the Secretary of War," Daily Union, Washington, D.C., December 10, 1856, page 2
Last revised February 12, 2018