Correspondence of the Oregon Superintendency
Southern Oregon-related correspondence with the Oregon Superintendency for Indian Affairs.
Click here for Superintendency correspondence 1844-1900.
CORRECTION.--We have been shown a letter to Col. H. P. Culver, of this town, from his son, Chas. Culver, in Oregon, enclosing a slip from the Oregonian, containing the reply to the letter from our Oregon correspondent dated May 2nd, and published here July 24th, 1852, censuring some of the officers of that territory, with editorial comments, charging the authorship of that letter upon Mr. Culver. The letter in question was written by Mr. C. P. Crandall, and signed by him. Why such a charge should be made against Mr. Culver we do not know, the latter gentleman having never written to the Gazette, and being in no way involved, to our knowledge, in the controversy originating from Mr. Crandall's letter. If the matter is of any moment to our Oregon friends, Mr. Culver ought to bear nothing for which he is not responsible.
Janesville Gazette, Janesville, Wisconsin, January 15, 1853, page 4
House of Reps.Hon. Commr. of Indian Affrs.
January 28th 1853.
You will please inform me whether, in your opinion, you are authorized by any law now in force to settle with Gov. John P. Gaines and Courtney M. Walker Esq. of Oregon and pay them what in such settlement might be found to be due them for expenses incurred by them in the settlement of the Rogue River Indian difficulties of 1851? And, if not, will you be good enough to address a note to the chairman of the House Com. on Indian Affairs (Hon. R. W. Johnson) recommending the passage of an act authorizing such settlement?
It seems to be the opinion of the committee I have named that your department already have the power of adjusting these claims, and in order to settle that question I have thus to solicit your opinion in the matter.
Your early attention and answer is respectfully requested.
I am very respectfullyP.S. Will you please have the kindness to furnish to me a copy of your note to Hon. R. W. Johnson, Chm. &c.?
Your obt. servt.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 88-90.
Oregon Indian SuperintendencyTo / Hon. Luke Lea
January 31st 1853
of Indian Affrs.
Yours of the 17th December 1852, enclosing the copy of a letter from Mr. E. Wampole and also copy of one from a man by the name of Bulford, is this day received.
I have only to say at this time that these slanderous charges are extremely annoying, being entirely destitute of truth, emanating as they undoubtedly do from the same source as those made against me last winter while in Washington--using, however, another agent, turned out of office as a cat's paw.
I will by the next mail endeavor to forward such evidence as will fully satisfy you of my entire innocence of the charges referred against me.
Very respectfully your obedientNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 18-19. See the Bulford letter on the 1852 page, under date of October 15, 1852.
Oregon City O.T. 1st Feb. 1853.Sir
I acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 17th December last, requesting me to give you all the information in my possession touching the illegal issuing by Dr. Dart of the public money in his hands for the purpose of private gain and touching also his character for licentiousness and immorality.
In reply I have to say that of my own knowledge I know nothing affecting Dr. Dart in respect to either of the charges made against him.
I have heard through Mr. Holbrook (the Dist. Attorney) of some transaction of the Dr. not creditable to him as an officer or as a man. How much reliance is to be placed upon these hearsay statements I do not undertake to say. There is, no doubt, ill blood between those gentlemen. Whilst I do not undertake to say that Dr. Dart is innocent of the charges laid to him, I will also add that I have no such knowledge or information on the subject as in my opinion would warrant me in giving currency to them.
Respectfully yoursNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 94-95.
Oregon City 1 Feb. 1853Sir
I yesterday received a letter from you asking information regarding Dr. Dart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
I cannot say whether Dr. Dart used the public money in his hands for the purpose of private gain or not, as it would be hard for me to tell public money from his private funds. He received a large amount of goods per ship M. Howe from New York and sold them to merchants here, but they may have been purchased with his own funds. With regard to his character, from all I can learn he now has living at his house a woman in the capacity I understand of housekeeper. At San Francisco my partner then Mr. Clark informed me he introduced her as his niece and requested the proprietor of the hotel (the Oriental) to let them have adjoining rooms that connected--that a person in the next room informed the proprietor that they occupied the same room, and had he believed. Dr. Dart introduced this woman to Mr. Clark and other ladies and I know Mr. Clark felt it very much when he afterwards learned her character. The general impression here is the Doctor is guilty, yet of my own personal knowledge I can say nothing. I never saw the woman.
I have rather unwillingly answered your letter, as it is one of those questions in which the least said the better.
I have the honor to remainL. Lea Esq.
Your obdt. servant
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 4-6.
Oregon Indian SuperintendencyTo Hon. Luke Lea
10th February 1853
Commissioner of Ind. Affrs.
Since writing you on the 31st ult., replying to yours of the 17th December last on the subject of certain charges preferred against me, I have learned beyond a doubt that a gross imposition has been practiced upon you in connection with the said charges.
The letter signed "Josiah Bulford" is a spurious invention, and since it is from this letter that you base your inquiries of Judge Nelson, Wm. B. Preston and others, I have taken pains to obtain evidence to accompany this letter to show the truth of my statement. Besides the certificates of the postmasters at Portland and at Oregon City, I have made inquiries of a number of the old settlers here, who, without exception, inform me that no such person is known to them, nor have they ever heard of such a name in Oregon! In my own mind there remains no doubt as to who perpetrated the act, and in conclusion upon the subject of the letter I have only to say that the statements contained therein are base, cowardly and false.
I come next to notice the invictive and foolish letter of Mr. E. Wampole: I would not, however, have replied to it, except that you gave it some consideration.
Mr. Wampole says that when he was in charge of my office he sold stoves. How came he to have charge of my office while I was in the upper country and had never seen the man? The office, during my absence, was left in charge of sub-agent J. L. Parrish, and I deny that Mr. Wampole ever sold stoves or other property of mine at that or at any other time.
Quoting from Mr. Wampole's letter, "I was informed he had goods in almost every store in Oregon City." To this I reply that I had not a dollar's worth of goods in any store in Oregon Territory, if I except a few goods, remnants of family supplies bought for my own use and left with Messrs. Allan McKinlay & Co., as I was about to start for Washington in the fall of 1851, and amounting in all to about three hundred dollars.
Again, Mr. W. says, "He must have taken government money &c." This is a kind of sweeping charge and comes from a man too irresponsible to entitle it to any notice except to say it is false.
Next comes the charge of buying blankets from Messrs. Allan McKinlay & Co. and furnishing the same to the commissioners treating with the Indians. To answer this I will refer you to the letter from Messrs. A. McK. & Co. marked "A" herewith.
I will here refer to the letter from Mr. W. DuBois--my former secretary--and marked "B" to disprove a statement in Mr. Wampole's letter where he refers to this gentleman's name.
"When he sent me to my charge he did not furnish me one cent of money &c." Please see voucher No. 32, second quarter 1851, also voucher No. 25 third quarter 1852. Mr. Wampole went to the Dalles of the Columbia in company with a Mr. Craig, an Indian trader residing there, and Mr. C. proposed in my presence to furnish Wampole with as many pack and riding horses as he might require, and that he would send his bills to this office for payment.
"Dart seized this in my absence and acted upon it." The facts seem to be a little different.
Wampole, Jackson and the person to whom Wampole had sold a license (taking twelve head of cattle as security) came together to my office, and it was in Mr. Wampole's presence that the charges were made against him; he made no denial but pled ignorance of the law and his duty.
"His not informing me of the usage of this Department in regards to vouchers &c." On this subject please see copies of letters sent him from this office marked "C" and "D" herewith.
"When on my return home I had arrived in the valley below, I found one general burst of indignation against the Doct." Please see the notice of my resignation, published in the Oregon newspapers forwarded herewith.
"Common rumor" not having a responsible name attached will not be noticed except by reference to the letter from the Secretary of the Territory, marked "E" accompanying this. In conclusion about Mr. Wampole's letter, I have to say that his statement about having been detained here--my informing him that I had nothing to do with his incidental account--that he would have to go to Washington &c. is sheer fabrication, entirely false.
I have the honor to remain
Your obedient servant
Oregon City, Oregon TerritoryDear Sir
4th February 1853
Having been shown a letter written by Mr. Elias Wampole to the Hon. Luke Lea, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, dated the 27th October 1852, in which it is stated that you had left with us or sold to us large quantities of blankets, and that during the treaty negotiations at Champoeg blankets were bought back from us at high prices for the use of the Indian commissioners, we have to state that at no time did we ever buy blankets from you, nor did you ever leave any with us for sale. In your absence Mr. Agent Skinner purchased from us one bale containing twenty-five pairs, which were sold to him at our usual wholesale price.
In regard to the other statements made by Mr. Wampole, we have no knowledge that they are correct.
You are at perfect liberty to make whatever use you see proper of this communication.
And with sentiments of esteem & respectTo
We subscribe ourselves
Your very obd. servts.
Allan McKinlay & Co.
Anson Dart Esq.
Superintendent of Indian Affairs
Milwaukie O.T. Feb. 5th 1853Dear Sir
I have just read a letter written by Elias Wampole to Hon. Luke Lea, Commr. of Indian Affairs, dated October 27th 1852.
That part of the letter which says you "also told Mr. N. DuBois, your clerk, in charge of your office in your absence that you were prejudiced against him" (Wampole) I would state is false and entirely without foundation.
Having been intimately acquainted with you for many years, and having been engaged for some eight or nine months in your office as secretary, I would freely and cheerfully state that I have never seen or known anything to justify or give rise to any of the charges made in Mr. E. Wampole's letter.
I am sirAnson Dart Esq.
Your obt. servt.
U.S. Sur. & Inspt.
for the Port of Milwaukie
Supt. Indn. Affrs.
Oregon City Feb. 9, 1853.Dr. Anson Dart Superintendent Indian Affairs
I have looked at the letters sent you by the Hon. Luke Lea, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and am surprised that he should deem them of such significance as to notice them at all--one being from a discarded sub-agent, displaced for improper conduct, the other from nobody here knows who, and both marked by such features as are not usually found in communications from reliable or honorable men. With respect to that portion implicating your official conduct, I have no doubt the files of the Department show its falsity; as to the rest it is surely made of stuff too low for grave inquiry.
Should the replies of the gentlemen to whom Mr. Lea has referred raise a doubt in his mind as to the correctness of your official conduct, he will then present the charges against you in a proper form, and you will have the advantage of a responsible accuser.
I have been aware of the existence of a bitter personal hostility to you with two persons here, arising out of difference of opinion as to your management of your department with one and with another from causes I could never ascertain, but I should think from these letters that nothing but a malignant hatred to all mankind in general, and to you in particular, could have given birth to such abominable stuff as facts the letters contain.
Wishing you a speedy deliverance from such annoyances
I remain very respectfully
Your obt. servt.
Oregon City 5 Feb. / 53Sir
I do not know a man in Oregon City by the name of Josiah Bulford.
I have resided here since 1845.
Wm. W. BurkAnson Dart Esqr.
Post Office PortlandI hereby certify that I have no knowledge of any man in this place by the name of Josiah Bulford. I have lived in this place since December 1849.
Feb. 7th 1853
E. B. ComfortNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 20-40. The "Bulford" letter can be found here, under date of October 15.
Oregon CityHon. L. Lea
20 February 1853
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 17th Dec. last making inquiries about Doct. Dart, Supt. of Indian Affairs in Oregon.
In answer to your inquiry about Doct. Dart illegally using the public money I have to say that I have no knowledge of his using any public money in an improper manner.
To your other inquiry "and that his character is that of a licentious and immoral man," I have to answer that I know nothing of my own knowledge, but that general rumor and talk would indicate that he had acted very indiscreetly if not improper and not as a moral man, a good citizen, would. Of the truth of these rumors & talk I do not decide. I have tried to keep out of the quarrel and not get mixed in it in any way. This is a prolific country for gossip.
I am very respectfullyNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 97-98.
Your obedient servant
Jno. B. Preston
Milwaukie 1st March 1853Lot Whitcomb Esq.
Bought of Anson Dart
Supt. Ind. Affairs for Oregon
Recd. payment by draft of W. P. Doland on Charles Hopkins of San Francisco payable 26th July next.
(signed) Anson Dart
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 115-117.
The United States to
A. A. Skinner
The United States
to A. A. Skinner Dr.
Dayton Yamhill CountySir
May 4th 1853
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 18th March enclosing my commission as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the tribes residing within the Territory of Oregon, and also the form of a bond.
The latter has been executed according to your instructions and is herewith transmitted.
I shall immediately proceed to the Superintendency near Milwaukie and enter upon the duties assigned me.
I have the honor to be veryTo the Honorable Commissioner
Respectfully your obedient servant
Superintendent Indian Affairs
of Indian Affairs Wn. City
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 99-100.
Department of the Interior,Sir:
Office Indian Affairs,
May 5, 1853.
Samuel H. Culver, Esq. of Port Orford, and Robert R. Thompson, Esq. of Oregon City, having been appointed by the President Agent for the Indians in Oregon, in the places of A. A. Skinner and E. A. Starling, respectively, I have directed them to report to you for instructions in the discharge of their official duties.
Before taking the oath of office and filing their bonds, duly executed in the penal sum, each, of $5000, certified by a United States judge or district attorney, you will direct their respective predecessors to turn over to them all money and other public property in their hands, upon their executing receipts for the same, to be used as vouchers in the settlement of their accounts.
Very respectfully,Joel Palmer Esq.
Your obt. servt.
Geo. W. Manypenny
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 25.
Office Superintendent Indian AffairsHon. George W. Manypenny
Milwaukie Oregon May 27th 1853
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Having executed my official bond, which I herewith transmit, I immediately repaired to Milwaukie, and on my arrival learned that Dr. Dart, the late incumbent, had left the Territory about two weeks previously. The Superintendent's House was in the occupancy of Mr. Lot Whitcomb, who stated that he was requested by Dr. Dart to occupy the building and take charge of the government property there until the arrival of his successor in office, and presented me a paper purporting to be a copy of a receipt given by him to Dr. Dart which is marked "A" and herewith transmitted. A similar copy postmarked San Francisco and addressed to "the successor of Anson Dart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs Oregon," by whom sent I know not, was received by the last mail. The articles mentioned in the receipt above referred to comprise the sum total of government property found on the premises.
In consequence of not obtaining the key to the desk containing the books and papers of the Department until the 13th inst., I was unable to transact any business of the office prior to that date, which is my apology for not at an earlier date transmitting you a statement of the condition of the office as I found it. The key was in the custody of Mr. DuBois, the former clerk, from whom it was received.
The accounts as found in the books of the Department are in an imperfect state and present several discrepancies, which however may all be made clear to the Indian Department at Washington by vouchers now, or to be hereafter placed, in your possession. A number of the entries both in the ledger and day book are interlined and in pencil mark. The entries in the day book show the entire amount of monies received by the Superintendent to be $67,383.40, and the disbursements $67,127.12, leaving a balance in favor of the government of $256.28.
The Superintendent's acct. in the ledger exhibits a balance in his favor of $94.58. This discrepancy is evidently caused by the omission to carry into the ledger the sum of $350.87 received from Governor Gaines and in the day book placed to the cr. of the United States. This said sum of $350.87 was a part of an appropriation of Congress to defray the expenses of treaties made with the Indians by the commissioners for that purpose, yet it is not credited to the government in the account of receipts and disbursements under the head of Indian Treaties; the only credit to the United States in this account being the sum of $6000 appropriated for carrying on treaties with the Indians of Oregon by the act of Congress of July 21st, 1852.
Under the several heads of Appropriations to "Superintendent's and Agents' Houses," "Pay of Superintendents and Agents," "Pay of Sub-Indian Agents & Interpreters," "Office Rents, Fuel, Lights, Stationery & Clerk Hire," "Presents, Contingencies and Traveling Expenses" & "Indian Treaties" the aggregate amt. of receipts is $67,032.53 and the aggregate amt. of disbursements $59,290.89 showing an excess of receipts over disbursements of $7,741.64. In the above amount of disbursements is included the sum of $707.75, the amount of two entries under the head of "Superintendent's and Agents' Houses," in pencil mark, evidently made after the other entries, though first in order on the page. The state of the above accounts will more fully appear in the accompanying abstract marked "B."
I deem it my duty to call your attention to the following matter which my predecessor will possibly be able to explain satisfactorily. In a communication of the late Superintendent to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs dated January 10th 1853 transmitting his quarterly report of receipts and disbursements for the 4th quarter 1852, an allowance of $1,000 is claimed for the furniture of Superintendent's House.
By reference to Mr. Whitcomb's receipt marked "A" you will see the whole amount of the furniture turned over. These articles at the highest Oregon prices are not worth more than $210, viz. walnut desk $130, cooking stove & furniture $68, four office chairs $12. The office table is made of rough boards and is of no value.
I find among the papers a bill of furniture &c. sold by Anson Dart, Superintendent, to Lot Whitcomb Esqr. amounting to $1135.61, a copy of which accompanies this communication, marked "C." In the absence of other furniture I have thought that this is probably that for which the late Superintendent claimed the allowance referred to above.
It appears from a rapid review of the acts of Congress touching Indian affairs in Oregon that the aggregate of appropriations to this object does not fall short of $125,000, and it is naturally a subject of much interest to the people, here and elsewhere, to know, if possible, what disposition has been made of this large Indian Fund so munificently and justly provided by Congressional enactments. This consideration will, I hope, be regarded as a sufficient apology for calling the attention of the Indian Bureau to this topic of inquiry. But little appears as yet accomplished by this large expenditure to improve the condition of the warring tribes of Oregon or meet the just expectations of the government.
There is reason to believe that claims to a considerable amount for past services remain unpaid--the salaries of all the employees of the Department for the present quarter will soon be due, besides a variety of contingent expenses; several distant points among the tribes especially on the different routes of emigrations should be visited to conciliate the minds of the Indians, now much excited by not receiving the long-delayed presents that have been promised them, and other causes, yet to meet these just and pressing demands and to accomplish these important purposes there is not one dollar of funds in my hands. Unless speedy remittances be received the most mortifying embarrassments must ensue.
The encroachment of the whites upon their land, the growing impression that the government is delaying to make permanent provision for them till they have dwindled away & the mortality that has attended diseases brought among them by the whites, have generally aroused the apprehensions of the Indians, and serious difficulties among the more warlike tribes of the Upper Columbia can only be prevented by prompt and efficient measures to conciliate or intimidate them. I have learned that it has been deemed advisable to send a small detachment of troops from Fort Vancouver to the Dalles.
The smallpox has made fearful ravages among the Indians south of Clatsop Plains and north of the Columbia River as far as Puget Sound--entire families have been cut off and whole villages depopulated, destroyed. Late accounts are received that it has made its appearance at the Dalles and is making fearful progress in its fatal work among the Indians of that vicinity. The only hope of arresting the ravages of this terrible disease among the unfortunate natives appears to be vaccinations, and I would respectfully and earnestly press upon your consideration the propriety of authorizing the Superintendent and agents to appoint physicians to meet the Indians at suitable points and vaccinate the remaining tribes.
A new wagon road will soon be opened from the Santiam Valley across the Cascade Mountains to the vicinity of Fort Boise. This road, leading through a country inhabited by tribes unaccustomed to the usages of the whites, and of hostile character, will be traveled by a large portion of the emigration who will settle in the southern portions of Oregon. I think it very important that an agent be sent to that region as early as possible to secure the friendship and good conduct of the Indians and guard the interests of the passing emigrants.
These Indians have never, I believe, been visited by an officer of this Department, and I would respectfully suggest that a sub-agent be appointed to reside, if practicable, at least temporarily in that part of the Territory.
In view of the large emigration expected this season overland to Oregon & California, and the difficulties heretofore frequently occurring between the emigrants and Indians, I shall deem it necessary to direct the agent in Middle Oregon to visit in person the Indians along the road between the Blue Mountains and Fort Hall, and by a few presents, judiciously bestowed, and wholesome advice, restrain the thievish propensities of these Indians & preserve peace.
Your attention is respectfully invited to the following suggestions in regard to the Superintendent's House.
Since the erection of the new Territory of Washington, the present location of the Superintendency is within fifteen miles of the northern boundary of Oregon. The larger portion of the Indian tribes under our supervision, and all except those tribes immediately along the Columbia River, reside south of the present location. The distance to the California boundary approaches three hundred miles. The goods destined for the Indians along the Columbia River, Middle and Upper Oregon, should not be brought up as far as Milwaukie, but could be conveniently shipped from the eastern ports of the United States direct to Vancouver on the Columbia, where government is already possessed of suitable storehouses. This indeed is, at present at least, the proper point to which to direct all goods needed by the Indian Superintendency in Oregon, whence those needed for the Indians of the Upper Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue River might be conveyed to some convenient depot accessible by boats in the direction of those tribes. At this depot the larger portion of the goods would be stored, and there would be the proper place, because more central, for the Superintendent to reside.
The present building at Milwaukie in construction and style of finish is fitted only for a private residence and possesses none of the conveniences suitable for an office, that apartment now occupied as such being the hall, which is the common thoroughfare of the house. This house, too, is so constructed as to require in order to furnish it suitably an outlay of means, unwarranted by the limited salary of the Superintendent, and the contingent tenure by which his office is held.
I feel quite confident that a location more central, and much more convenient for the Superintendent, agents, and Indians who may visit the Superintendency, can be made, and that the necessary buildings--dwelling house, office, warehouse and other conveniences--can there be erected at less cost than that here incurred in the erection of the dwelling house alone. I therefore respectfully suggest the propriety of selling the building at Milwaukie, which may be effected on terms, I believe, not disadvantageous to the Department.
It will be exceedingly inconvenient for me to occupy this building, either as a dwelling or an office; I therefore ask permission to hold my office temporarily at Dayton, a point almost daily visited by steamboats from Oregon City, situated on the Yamhill River in Yamhill County about thirty miles southwest from Milwaukie, until, in the event of the approval of suggestion for the sale of the present house, a suitable location be made and the necessary buildings erected.
I am very respectfullyNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 101-110.
Your obedient servant
Superintendent Indian Affairs
There has lately been much interest manifested by the citizens of Jacksonville relative to the white woman supposed to be a prisoner among the Indians. It is believed that she has been detained among them since 1851. A party of 25 men, some days since, started out with the intention of recovering her if possible. They arrived at the Indian camp on Butte Creek, some 40 miles from Jacksonville, and on demanding the woman were shown an old squaw. The party then removed to the opposite side of the creek, and camped for the night. On the morning following, they were visited by eight or ten Indians, who were informed that unless they delivered up the woman at once they would be killed. At this the Indians became frightened, and attempted to make their escape, when six of them were shot down, and the others wounded. The party then returned to Rogue River for provisions. Some fifteen of them have again gone on the search, determined to risk their lives to rescue her from her horrible situation.
"From Jacksonville and Yreka," Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, June 11, 1853, page 2
Superintendency Indian AffairsSir
Milwaukie June 15th 1853
I have the honor to inform you that a note has been received at this office from Agent Skinner enclosing a copy of a letter to His Excellency President Pierce, tendering the resignation of his office of Indian agent for Oregon Territory, and dated May 1st, 1853.
Very respectfullyHon. George. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servt.
Supt. Ind. Affrs.
Commissioner Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 118-119.
Milwaukie June 15 1853
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the third ultimo, informing me of the appointment of Messrs. Joseph [sic] L. Parrish, Philip F. Thompson and W. W. Raymond sub-Indian agents for Oregon, vice Messrs. Samuel Culver, Lewis H. Judson and Josiah L. Parrish [omission], which letter is placed on the files of this office.
I am sir
Very respectfullyHon. Geo.. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servant
Ind. Affrs. O.T.
Commissioner Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 120-121.
Oregon June 23rd 1853
Being informed that a party of thirty or forty men was about to set out in a few days along the route of the new road from the Willamette Valley to Fort Boise for the purpose of completing that work, yet in an unfinished state on the eastern end, I have availed myself of this safe and economical escort to send Agent Garrison to visit the Indian tribes through whose country the road pases.
The consideration that these Indians have never been visited by a government officer, that they have repeatedly evinced hostility to white men passing through their country, and that a large portion of the emigration of the present season will pass that way to their destination in the southern part of our Territory, who will be subject to annoyance and injury, if not destruction, from those savages unless they are speedily conciliated or intimidated, has induced me, without awaiting the instructions of the Indian Department at Washington which could not be obtained in time to meet the emergency, to assume the responsibility of the step referred to above, which I trust will meet your approval. I have directed Mr. Garrison to call the chiefs of the tribes together as opportunity may offer for conference and have supplied him with a few Indian goods as presents. I have also directed him to take notes on all topics of interest respecting the country and its inhabitants for the use of the Department, all of which will more fully appear by reference to the copy of his instructions which I herewith transmit. Owing to the absence of funds I am compelled to purchase the goods and outfit of the expedition on credit till the appropriate remittance is made.
No official information of the appointment of Indian agents, except that of I. M. Garrison Esq., has been received. I have however seen a notice of the appointment of Messrs. Samuel H. Culver and Robert R. Thompson in the New York Herald.
The agency in the southern part of the Territory being vacated by the resignation of Mr. Skinner, and the interests of the Department demanding the early presence of an agent in that quarter, presuming on the accuracy of the statement in the Herald, I have assigned Mr. Culver to it and have written to him at his post at Port Orford (a point with which communication is slow and difficult), directing him immediately on receiving his commission to proceed to this office for instructions preparatory to his entering on duty in that field.
Mr. R. R. Thompson is said to be on his way over the plains and will probably arrive in September. The presence of an agent is pressingly demanded in Middle Oregon, and I have proposed the matter to Mr. Philip F. Thompson, one of the recently appointed sub-agents. He is, however, unwilling to go unless allowed the pay of a full agent, and in view of the state of affairs in that quarter, which you will have learned from my former letter, the long acquaintance of Mr. Thompson with Indian character, and his well-attested integrity, I have determined to locate him temporarily at the Utilla Agency till the arrival of Mr. R. R. Thompson, and earnestly recommend that the Department comply with his terms in regard to salary.
I at first intended to assign Agent Garrison temporarily to the Utilla Agency, but on reflection deemed that the service would not be promoted by doing so.
Had Isaiah L. Parrish Esq. received the appointment of agent, his long service in that Department, intimate acquaintance with Indian character, and business tact, would have ensured a favorable result in his assignment to the duty of visiting the Indians on the new route from the head of the valley to Fort Boise, but as sub-agent, the meager salary of $750 per year, scarcely equal to that of a common laborer, is wholly inadequate. I would respectfully recommend that, in the event of a vacancy, Mr. Parrish be appointed to a full agency.
I would call the attention of the Department to the fact that a general restlessness and dissatisfaction exists among those tribes with whom treaties were negotiated, on account of their non-ratification.
They have become distrustful of all promises made them by the United States, and believe the design of the government is to defer doing anything for them till they have wasted away. The settlement of the whites on the tracts which they regarded as secured to them by solemn treaty stipulations results among the Indians of the valley in frequent misunderstandings between them and the settlers and occasions and augments bitter animosities and resentments. I am in the almost daily receipt of complaints and petitions for a redress of wrongs from both parties.
The increasing settlements are rapidly diminishing the roots and game on which the Indians of the valley mainly subsist, and the increasing difficulties in obtaining subsistence, in the absence of moral restraint, impels them to the frequent commission of petty thefts, a source of annoyance, loss and irritation to the settlers.
A few of the Indians are inclined to industry and are useful as laborers; but the mass are exceedingly indolent and improvident, and the propensity to gamble, so strong and universal in the red man, exists in all. Advantage is often taken of this habit by unprincipled whites to strip the Indians of their horses, blankets and other property, to absolute destitution. The same hand, despite of every effort to prevent it, and regardless of the heavy penalty of the law, often introduces ardent spirits into their lodges, where the savage is still further degraded by intoxication and polluted by other vicious indulgences.
This is a dark picture, and strikingly in contrast, I admit, with some that have been drawn of the social condition of these tribes and bands, but I believe none of its lines are too darkly traced, and other not inviting or redeeming features might be added.
That these Indians cannot long remain on the reserves in the heart of the settlements granted them by treaty, even though Congress should confirm those treaties, is too clear to admit of argument. Vice and disease, the baleful gifts of civilization, are hurrying them away, and ere long the bones of the last of many a band may whiten on the graves of his ancestors. If the benevolent designs of the government to preserve and elevate these remnants of the aborigines are to be carried forward to a successful issue, there appears but one path open--a home remote from the settlements must be selected for them. There they must be guarded from the pestiferous influence of degraded white men and restrained by proper laws from violence and wrong among themselves. Let comfortable houses be erected for them, seeds and proper implements furnished, and instruction and encouragement given them in the cultivation of the soil. Let school houses be erected teachers employed to instruct their children; and let the missionaries of the gospel of peace be encouraged to dwell among them. Let completeness of plan, energy, patience and perseverance characterize the effort, and if still it fail, the government will have at least the satisfaction of knowing that an honest and determined endeavor was made to save and elevate a fallen race.
Should the government adopt the plan of colonizing these tribes, the selection of a proper territory in which to place them is an important consideration, and the selection should only be made after extensive and careful exploration. With this view I have given special instructions to Agent Garrison in regard to the country through which the expedition on which he is now entering will pass.
The Cayuses, Nez Perces and other tribes of the middle region express much opposition to having the coast and valley Indians colonized in their territories, as they dread with good reason indeed the introduction of a people among them with whom diseases loathsome and fatal, contracted by their intercourse with white men, have become hereditary. Nor do the coast and valley Indians in general feel less reluctance to being removed east of the Cascade Range, and most probable, should it be deemed best to place them in that region, it would be necessary to give them military protection from the Indians now inhabiting them.
The habits and languages of the Indians of the valley are, for the most part, more coincident with those of the coast tribes than those of the interior, and they are generally on terms of friendship and free intercourse. It has on this account been suggested that a portion of the Pacific coast might be designated as the future home of the Indians of the Willamette Valley.
On the coast generally, game, such as elk, deer, bear, pheasants and waterfowl, abounds; the numerous small streams in the proper season are crowded with salmon, and the rocks and beach afford a variety of clams and mussels.
There are many small valleys well adapted to the culture of grain and vegetables, especially the potato; while the tide meadows near the streams and the hills on the coast are covered throughout the year with luxuriant grass. Wholesome berries and roots are also abundant.
Rugged mountains separate this tract from the valley of the Willamette. The want of safe entrances at the mouths of the rivers and of harbors repel ingress from the sea; the valleys, though numerous, are too small to invite for many years the settlement of the whites. These features seem peculiarly to mark this region as the proper retreat of the waning Indian tribes.
This description, derived from reliable sources, refers to that part of the coast between the Yaquina and Alsea rivers. During this summer, if the duties of the Department permit, I intend to explore this region and other parts of the coast, and my personal examination will enable me to speak more certainly of the adaptation of the coast region to be made the future home of the Indians of the valley.
It is evident that delay in coming to a full and definite understanding with the Indian bands residing in the settlements serves greatly to increase the difficulty of final adjustment. In the absence of instructions from the Department, I feel much embarrassed how to proceed in adjusting existing difficulties. My conviction from what I have said may be easily inferred, that these evils can scarcely be mitigated by any means in my power, and only abated by the removal of the Indians. The peace of society, the security of property, the welfare of the Indian, demand it. I would, therefore, respectfully request your early consideration of the subject, and instruction in the premises.
In consequence of the increasing violations of the laws prohibiting the giving and selling of spirituous liquors to the Indians, and the great difficulty of convicting persons so engaged, I have deemed it advisable to appoint a special agent to visit the different points where this traffic is most extensively carried on, and collect such information as would enable the agents of the Department more effectually to break up these establishments and bring the violators of the laws to justice. I have appointed Mr. Cris. Taylor to this service, and information is already obtained deeply implicating several persons heretofore not suspected.
Washington Territory being no longer within the Superintendency, yet in an unorganized state, many persons have established themselves for the sale of spirituous liquors on the north side of the Columbia River and hope thus to violate the laws with impunity. The special agent above alluded to has placed in my possession information which will enable the proper officers of that Territory to bring those persons to justice.
It may be proper to state that I have employed Mr. Edward R. Geary as clerk in this office, at a salary of eighteen hundred dollars per annum. This is the amount of salary allowed to the clerk of my predecessor, and the services of a competent and reliable person could not be secured for a smaller sum.
His services commenced on the 28th May last.
I beg leave to call the attention of the Department to the propriety of removing a band of the Klickitat Indians, who have been roaming through the Willamette and Umpqua valleys for a few years past, to their proper country, north of the Columbia. This band consists of about thirty warriors, with their families. Being more warlike and better armed and mounted than the Indians on this side of the river, and of predatory habits, they often with impunity appropriate the horses and other property of weak and scattered bands, and are an annoyance and terror to all, nor has the property of the white settlers always been respected by them. They have not the least show of claim to any portion of country in these valleys.
I am sir very respectfullyHon. George W. Manypenny
Your obedient servant
Ind. Affairs O.T.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs, Reel 11, Instructions and Reports 1853-1855, pages 84-90.
Rogue River ValleyDear Sir
June 24, 1853
The salary of the interpreter at the Rogue River Agency since his appointment in Jany. 1852 is unpaid, as also my last quarter's salary as Ind. Agent.
A short time previous to the resignation of Dr. Dart I sent down for the money and was informed by him that the last appropriation had not then been forwarded to him. I should be much obliged if you would inform me when you are in funds for the payment of salaries, as I am greatly in want of the money, and the interpreter is anxious to leave for the States this summer.
Very respectfullyJoel Palmer Esquire
Your obt. servt.
A. A. Skinner
Supt. Ind. Affairs
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 33.
Superintendency of Indian AffairsSir,
Milwaukie July 8th, 1853
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the sixth May informing me of the appointment of Messrs. Samuel H. Culver and Robert R. Thompson to be agents for the Indians in Oregon.
Very respectfullyHonorable Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obedient servant
Indn. Affairs O.T.
Commissioner Ind. Affairs
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 139-140.
Indian Superintendency Oregon Tery.Sir
Milwaukie July 8th 1853
The attention of the Department is respectfully requested to the following extract of a letter received from Josiah L. Parrish Esq. of Salem, Marion county, O.T., viz:
"Allow me to inform you that the commission of Joseph L. Parrish as sub-Indian agent has come to this post office, and the postmaster has forwarded it to me. Should I continue to serve in the Indian Department, I presume it will not be proper to serve under the commission, and the attention of the Secretary of the Interior should be called to the matter at an early day with an explanation how the mistake occurred."
The commission under which Josiah L. Parrish has acted for several years as sub-Indian agent was originally made out in the name of Joseph L. Parrish, and as no person was known in Oregon of that name, and as the application had been made in the name of J. L. Parrish, Josiah L. Parrish was presumed to be the person indicated, and he acted accordingly. But inasmuch as W. W. Raymond is appointed vice Josiah L. Parrish, and Joseph L. Parrish appointed vice Samuel H. Culver, Mr. Parrish apprehends it was designed to remove him. Hence his desire to have a correct understanding of the matter. Mr. Parrish is willing to serve as sub-agent in this valley, but alleges the compensation would not warrant him in leaving his home to locate in so remote a place as Port Orford.
Similar difficulties occur in assigning other agents & sub-agents to their respective districts. As instances, Mr. Philip F. Thompson resides in Yamhill County, while the district of Mr. Judson, in whose place he is appointed, is at the mouth of the Columbia River about 150 miles from Mr. Thompson's residence. Mr. W. W. Raymond resides on Clatsop Plains in Mr. Judson's district, while Mr. Parrish resides (as already stated) at Salem about 200 miles from Clatsop.
Mr. R. R. Thompson's appointment seems to be designed for Washington Territory, as Mr. E. A. Starling, in whose place he is appointed, is located on the north side of the Columbia River.
In the present state of Indian affairs the services of Mr. R. R. Thompson will be much needed within the present limits of the Territory of Oregon, and I respectfully request the early instruction of the Department as to my authority to assign him to duty within my Superintendency.
Until further advices from the Department, Mr. Josiah L. Parrish will continue to act as sub-agent in this valley, the services of an active and experienced person being indispensable to ferret out and break up the numerous whisky establishments among the Indians. At no time since the organization of the Territory has this illegal and ruinous traffic been carried on with the Indians so exclusively as at present. The difficulty of procuring testimony in such cases, chiefly arising from the aversion of the Indians to testify against persons who minister to their appetites & the length of time intervening between the regular terms of the courts, together with the great difficulty and expense of retaining the perpetrators in custody from the want of jails in most of the counties, render conviction even in the most palpable cases almost impossible. The chief scene of these illegal operations is the north side of the Columbia River from its mouth to the Cascades.
Being beyond the jurisdiction of this Superintendency, and the agency at Olympia being remote, these liquor dealers increase in numbers and boldness from the hope they have of escaping with entire impunity. Early instructions from the Department in regard to the course to be pursued in this matter will relieve me from much embarrassment, and may secure the peace and safety of many settlers, now constantly subject to annoyance and apprehension.
The attention of the Department is solicited to the fact that the 46th degree of north latitude--the designated boundary between Oregon & Washington territories--traverses the territories of several Indian tribes--the Walla Wallas, Cayuses, Nez Perces and others east of these, thus placing a portion of each tribe in different superintendencies.
It is probable that the greater part of the Cayuse country is south of the territorial boundary while a large part of that of the Walla Wallas is north. The location of the country of the Nez Perces is not well ascertained, some contending that their whole territory is north of the 46th parallel, and others that a considerable part is on the south side. Such instructions from the Department are requested as may prevent a conflict of jurisdictions in the premises between this Superintendency & that of Washington Territory.
The boundary between the Cayuses and Walla Wallas is not well defined, and a misunderstanding exists between them in regard to a considerable tract of country within the limits of this Territory. The interposition of the government to adjust this difficulty may be called for at an early day.
I would suggest the importance of early negotiations with the Walla Wallas, Cayuses, Nez Perces, Wascopams and Deschutes or Fall River Indians for the extinguishment of their titles respectively to the territory held by them which lies within this Territory. This would secure to us the country traversed by the route of emigration and include extensive tracts of country well adapted to pasturage and agriculture, which already attract the notice [of], and will soon be occupied by, our enterprising citizens. The settlement of the whites there without the consent of the Indians would inevitably provoke their hostility, and legislation to provide for treating with those tribes on the subject of ceding these lands will claim the early attention of Congress.
In view of the increase of military force in Oregon I would suggest that a detachment be stationed (during the arrival of emigrants at least) on the Utilla River at the western base of the Blue Mountains. It is feared that unless some power beyond that of an agent be placed in that vicinity, serious difficulties may occur between the emigrants and Indians. A general feeling of excitement exists among all the more powerful tribes of the interior arising in part from the fatality recently attending the smallpox among them, and a mere trifle may impel them to hostilities.
It is well known that in the emigration of every year there are reckless and evil-minded persons ready and anxious to commit violence upon all Indians they meet, and the Indians have already learned that they have nothing to expect from their justice or humanity. The presence of a small but efficient military force will probably be the most effectual barrier to violence and outrage both on the part of the whites and Indians. A company should also be in readiness to protect the emigrants expected on the new road from Fort Boise to the head of the valley. They may not be needed, but it may be well to be prepared to meet the emergency should it occur.
Much excitement exists in the Rogue River country in consequence of the alleged murder of a party of white men by the Indians. My information is that during last winter a party consisting of seven white men and an Indian woman, the wife of one of the men, were encamped about twenty miles below the lower crossing of Rogue River engaged in mining. There was but little intercourse between the settlements and parties so low down, but after the melting of the snow and the subsiding of the waters, which had risen to an extraordinary height, information was brought by the Indians that these seven men had been drowned by the overflow of an island on which they were said to be encamped, and that the Indian woman had saved herself by climbing a tree.
Events during the spring and summer occurred to create suspicion that the seven men had been murdered by the Indians, and at length it became so strong that an Indian chief named Taylor was arrested, who confessed the crime and gave the particulars of the massacre. He stated that about thirty Indians participated in the deed, coming stealthily upon the party by night while they were asleep in their cabin, and that the bodies of the murdered persons were thrown into the river. This was during the period of high water. Taylor gave the names of the Indians engaged with him in perpetrating the murder, several of whom were well known to the whites. The Indian woman also confessed her knowledge of the transaction and confirmed the statements of Taylor. This chief and three of his associates have been hung and two others shot, while a close watch is kept for the others implicated. It is supposed by some that the two head chiefs of the Rogue River Indians, Jo and Sam, were so far implicated as to receive a portion of the money taken from the murdered persons, which is supposed to have amounted to several thousand dollars.
I have the honor to beHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Very respectfully your
Superintendent of Ind. Affrs.
Commissioner of Ind. Affairs
Washington City D.C.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 133-138.
Indian Superintendency OregonSir
Milwaukie July 12 1853
I enclose herewith a letter from C. M. Walker Esqr. respecting the pay of himself and party for services rendered on Rogue River in the year 1851.
As I have not been able to see the act of Congress referred to in his letter, I have thought it best to refer the subject to you for information as to the steps necessary to be taken to enable the claimants to realize their respective portions of the appropriation for their benefit.
I am sir very respectfullyJoel Palmer Esqr.
Your obt. servant
Superintendent Ind. Affairs
June 9, 1853
I notice through one of the authorized journals that the U.S. Congress has made an appropriation for paying myself & party for services rendered on Rogue River in the year 1851. As the amt. appropriated has not been forwarded by the authorized officer at Washington City, will you do me the kindness to address that functionary on the subject and have the money forwarded to yourself, or whomsoever that officer may decide to be the proper person, at the earliest convenient period, and oblige
Dr. sirJoel Palmer Esqr.
Your obt. svt.
C. M. Walker
Superintendent Ind. Affairs
in Oregon Territory
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 154-157.
Report of Sub-Agent Culver.
Port Orford Sub-Agency O.T.Sir
July 12th 1853.
I have the honor in accordance with instructions to forward to you for use of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs my first annual report.
I entered upon the discharge of my duties as sub-agent for this district on the 5th day of August 1852, and arrived at this place on the 11th day of September following, and found the Indians in the immediate vicinity of this point quiet and generally friendly, though complaining very much of the delay in the reception of annuities stipulated to be paid in the treaties made with them by Dr. Dart. It was not without difficulty I made them understand the cause of this delay, but have reason to think I finally succeeded in doing so. The bands with which treaties were made by him are the Quar-toes, U-que-ches ["Euchres"] and Tututnis, whose country is situated contiguous to this town.
Within the limits assigned for this sub-agency there are eleven 11 bands of Indians. Commencing on the north are the Na-sast, who inhabit the country bordering on the Coquille River, and distant from this place about thirty miles. They are at this time friendly to the whites, although they were not so until since March last at which time in company with a small detachment of U.S. dragoons, Lieut. Stanton in command, I visited them, and succeeded in forming a peace with the band, which has up to the present time been strictly observed, and has the appearance of being permanent. They number about eight hundred.
Next south upon the coast are the Quartoes. Their country embraces this sub-agency (Port Orford). They are friendly and have but few bad habits, as is the case with all the bands in my district. The one most to be dreaded is the use of ardent spirits, but they have not as yet acquired it, nor have any of the Indians within this district. I have not seen or heard of an intoxicated Indian among them since my residence here, although there have been considerable supplies of liquor in the country during all this time. They have not been permitted to cultivate a taste for it. They number about two hundred.
Next south are the U-que-ches. They are friendly and appear to be well disposed towards the whites, and peaceable among themselves, as are all the bands of whom I shall speak in this report. They number about two hundred & fifty.
Next south, and at the mouth of Rogue River, are the Ja-shoes. This band has been unfriendly and hostile to the whites, although they have at times permitted parties to pass through their country unmolested, but as they admitted to me, only when the party was too strong to attack, or so small as to make the booty not worth the trouble and risk.
Their principal village is located at the mouth of Rogue River, and they number about four hundred.
Following this stream next above are the Tututnis, distant about twelve miles from the Ja-shoes. This band also number about four hundred. They have been from the first commencement of the settlement here uniformly friendly to the whites, which when it is considered that the bands immediately above and below them on the river have been hostile cannot but be considered as quite remarkable.
Next above on the river is what has been called the Upper Ja-shoes, but more properly and as they term themselves the Mikonotunnes. Their principal village is about twenty miles above the Tututnis, and they number about three hundred. This band, like the Ja-shoes at the mouth of the river, have not heretofore been friendly with the whites, but on the occasion of a visit I made to the adjoining band, of which I shall speak hereafter, I succeeded in making a peace with them, which has since been observed.
Still following up the river, we next reach a band which has also been called the Upper Ja-shoes, but their proper name and the one by which they call themselves, and are known to the other tribes, is the Cis-ti-coas-tas ["Shasta Costas"], distant about twenty miles above the Ma-qui-no-tons. The two last mentioned bands have been called branches of the Ja-shoes, because of their having heretofore acted in council against the whites. They number about six hundred. Their principal villages are located near the Big Bend of Rogue River. After having made several fruitless efforts to induce the unfriendly bands above named, that is, the Ja-shoes, Ma-qui-no-tons and Cis-ta-coas-tas, to come into the agency for the purpose of making or endeavoring to make a peace, and becoming daily more and more assured of the necessity of something being done to prevent hostilities between them and the parties of whites frequently passing through their country, and others engaged in mining within and above its borders, I without further delay started on the first of April in company as before with a detachment of dragoons, Lieut. Stanton in command, for their country, or rather for their village occupied by the Tututnis, deeming it best to visit their village, because of them I could obtain messengers (this band as aforesaid being friendly) to send both above and below to these bands with whom I desired a council. On the third day after setting out we reached the village, and as anticipated had no difficulty in obtaining messengers to send to the Ja-shoes below and the Ma-qui-no-tons and Cis-ta-coas-tas above, and they were dispatched accordingly in their canoes, bearing an invitation to them to meet us at the village of the Tututnis, but as before they all declined doing so, and sent word in reply that "if the Bostons wanted to fight to come on." Upon receipt of a second reply similar to the above Lieut. Stanton started down to the Ja-shoes village and made a rapid march upon it, and when he arrived near them, they immediately manifested a desire for peace. A short parley followed, and I had but little further difficulty in making a treaty with them, which they have to this time observed with apparent good faith.
The Ma-quo-no-tons and Cis-ta-coas-tas above, upon learning the result with the Ja-shoes (who had been the principal cause of the hostility of the other two bands to the whites) immediately sent in deputies with intentions to make a treaty of peace, and one was made with each of these bands, which they have since adhered to.
Since the above treaties were made the chief men of all these bands have frequently visited me at the agency, and as often made, I believe, sincere professions of friendship.
Next south of Rogue River upon the coast, and on a small stream known as Ford River [Pistol River?], is located a small band that call themselves Uhe-cin-nat-tins, distant from Rogue River about ten miles. They number about two hundred, are peaceable among themselves and friendly to the whites.
South ten miles further on Rock Creek are the Nat-te-na-tons. This band numbers about the same as the one [on] Ford River and are equally well dispersed.
Located adjoining to the last described band on the south are the Chetcoes, about three hundred in number, also friendly.
Next south twelve miles on Illinois River are the Whoa-quits, a large band containing some seven or eight hundred members, whose country I suppose extends to the line between this county and California. There is no other band in this territory west of the Coast Range south of these, and whether they occupy any portion of the country south of the forty-second degree of north latitude, I am unable to state.
It will be seen that there are few bands south of Rogue River. I have not been able to visit either of their villages, through I desire to do so, but have frequently seen some of the chiefs, and others belonging to the three first bands south of the river, and they uniformly professed friendship to our people, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. I have not seen any of the Indians belonging to the most southern band. There has been no difficulty between them and the whites, or with the other bands of Indians since my residence here, that has come to my knowledge, and my means of obtaining information has been such that a misunderstanding or meditated attack could hardly exist among them without information of it coming to me at an early moment. There has in fact been no serious difficulty between the whites and Indians, or amongst the Indians themselves, since my residence at this point, and although slight misunderstandings have from time to time arisen, I have succeeded by prompt attention, aided by the forbearance of our citizens, and when necessary assistance promptly given by the officer in command of this post, in bringing about, without delay, an amicable settlement of all matters in contention.
A part of the Indians in this district, previous to my arrival here, and for some time afterwards, were hostile to the whites, and it was not without difficulty and danger that parties traveled through their country. The bands occupying the district bordering on the Coquille had committed serious depredations upon exploring and other companies of our citizens passing through this country, the history of which is familiar to the public. After making treaties of peace with the unfriendly bands, which was done at as early a moment as possible, I was compelled being without any goods at my disposal for distribution among them in case of necessity, to use every exertion by frequent conferences with them, and otherwise to maintain the friendly relations established, and have the satisfaction of stating that so far I have been able to do so.
The country occupied by the various bands of Indians in this district lies upon the western slope of the Coast Range of mountains, and extends from the seaboard to their summit, a distance on the average of some forty or fifty miles. It is generally mountainous, though not precipitous, and small valleys between the hills, well watered and timbered, and offers many inducements to the settler. A few claims have already been taken in the vicinity of this place, with the view of permanent settlement and cultivation. The streams I have mentioned in describing the location of the different bands of Indians all empty into the ocean but afford no harbors, nor with the exception of the Coquille are they navigable.
From the best information I have been able to gather a small light draft steamer might run up the Coquille some forty or fifty miles. The country on both sides of the stream is represented as generally very good farming land, so far as it has been explored, which is some sixty miles.
The ascent from the coast to the summit of the mountains is generally gradual, and hence the difficulty of crossing them is not as great as has been represented.
The whole number of Indians in this district I estimate at about five thousand. Their principal food consists of the ordinary kinds of fish found in the streams in this country, including most varieties of shellfish, which are obtained by them along the seacoast bounding on one side of their country in great abundance, together with elk and deer meat procured by their hunters, with the aid of the bow and arrow, to the extent of all their wants and with little difficulty.
There is no season of the year during which any of the bands in this district meet with the least difficulty in obtaining abundance of foods. I am not acquainted with any tribe of Indians in Oregon, or elsewhere, whose country affords so abundant, and at all times reliable, supply as this, and they live with ease and apparent contentment. Cheerful among themselves and to all appearances happy, they exhibit little of the moody and morose disposition so frequently manifested amongst Indians roaming, with a few exceptions, throughout any part of this large extent of territory at will, without hindrance or fear from other bands.
A report has been for some time current among the miners and others in this vicinity, and more particularly in the Rogue River Valley, that two white women were in captivity among some of the Indians in the southern part of the territory. It has been said that they were taken some years ago from some of the immigrants who traveled the southern route to Oregon, and at the time [were] supposed to have been killed. Various rumors have been afloat with regard to the matter, and some to the effect that indications have from time to time been discovered along the trail over which parties of Indians had recently passed, confirming the suspicion that white women are among them.
I first heard this rumor during the summer of 1851 in the Rogue River Valley, and inquiries were then made of the Indians by Gen. Lane relative to it, but without any satisfactory result, either as to the truth or falsity. Upon arriving at this place and finding the same suspicion quite prevalent, and knowing the hindrances in the way of obtaining any reliable information from the Indians in the Rogue River Valley by reason of the frequent difficulties arising between them and our own people in this section, I determined to use every exertion with the Indians in this district to learn the probable facts in the case. To this end suitable rewards were offered, and other inducements held out, to Indians in whom I placed most confidence, for any information which would lead to their discovery if held in bondage, as was reported, either among the Rogue Rivers or any other Indians in this part of the Territory. But I have not been able to ascertain anything going to confirm the suspicion, and the result of several subsequent efforts were equally against the report.
The communication between the Indians in the valley of Rogue River in the east, and those in this district in the west of the Coast Range, though not very frequent, is sufficient to give them, at least, a general knowledge of the facts in a case of this nature. I am therefore of the opinion that if there are white women among any tribes in Southern Oregon they are held by Indians east of the Rogue River Valley.
Sometime in the latter part of April last discoveries of gold were made at this point. It has since been found north and south of here, for a distance each way of some twenty or thirty miles. It is mixed with large quantities of black sand, and is very fine, the particles of gold being nearly as small as those of the sand itself. Some five percent of platinum is also found mixed with the gold, which by using quicksilver is easily separated from it. The diggings have up to this time been mostly confined to the beach, commencing in the sand above on a level with the water at high tide, and running back nearly on the same level, finding gold in the sand as far back as they have been worked, paying the miner from five to twenty-five dollars per day, and in some instances more. Exploring parties have recently visited the interior for the purpose of "prospecting" "coarse gold" and they have, I believe, in every instance succeeded in finding it, but to what extent is now unknown. How much these mines will be worked hereafter, and what returns will generally be obtained from them, is uncertain, but the district has every appearance of being a good gold country.
I have the honor to remainGen.Joel Palmer
Your obt. servant
S. H. Culver
Superintendent Ind. Affairs
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 7; Letter Books F:10, pages 10-14. The original letter is found in NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 28. Another copy can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 227-240.
INDIAN BATTLE.--The Marysville Express states that there was a fight between the Indians at the Empire Ranch, a few days since. They were drawn up on a plain, in regular battle array, the chiefs mounted, and all the rules of war observed. Some three or four hundred were engaged in the fight. There were three killed and seventeen wounded, when victory perched on the banners of one of the parties, who remained on the battle field, built fires, sang, danced, and evinced many other signs of joy over their triumph. The weapons chiefly used were bows and arrows, but there were a few guns brought into requisition.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, July 30, 1853, page 2
Department of the InteriorSir:
Office Indian Affairs
August 1 1853.
Your letter of the 15th June ultimo, informing this office of the resignation of Agent Skinner, has been received.
Very respectfullyJoel Palmer, Esq.
Your obt. servt.
Geo. W. Manypenny
Supt. Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 46.
Superintendency of Indian AffairsSir,
Milwaukie O.T. Aug. 18th 1853.
I have the honor to inform the Department of Indian Affairs that the official bond of Samuel H. Culver Esq. as Indian agent, duly executed and approved, has been filed in this office. Mr. Culver has been assigned to duty in the agency of the Rogue River Valley, and a copy of the instructions furnished him for his direction in the discharge of the duties of his office is herewith transmitted.
Very respectfullyNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 191-192.
Your obedient servant
Instructions to S. H. Culver Sub-Agt.
Superintendency of Indian Affairs O.T.Sir
Milwaukie Aug. 22nd 1853
In accordance with the regulations of the Indian Department, the following instructions are prepared for your guidance in the discharge of your duties in the agency of the Rogue River Valley to which you are assigned.
Your knowledge of the character and condition of the Indians of this coast, derived from your official experience in the service of the Department, and your acquaintance with the laws of Congress regulating intercourse with the Indian tribes, render minuteness and detail in the instructions from this office superfluous.
In general, the instructions furnished your predecessor will regulate your course except as you may be now or hereafter otherwise advised.
The late agent has been instructed to turn over to you the property of the Department in your agency upon your executing to him the proper receipt therefor.
This office has just received reliable intelligence that the difficulties for some time existing between the Rogue River Indians and the whites have assumed a formidable aspect, that several of the settlers have been killed by the Indians and their property stolen or destroyed, and that an extensive combination of the tribes of the southern part of the Territory is believed to exist with a view to cut off the whites. The citizens of Jackson County are in arms in cooperation with a detachment of United States troops from Fort Jones under Capt. Alden, and it is probable that a decisive blow has been struck ere this.
A requisition for arms and ammunition has been made by the acting Governor of this Territory on the military authorities at Columbia Barracks, and sixty rifles and four thousand cartridges are now in progress of transmission to the seat of hostilities.
In this state of affairs no other than general instructions directing your prompt and prudent cooperation with the military authorities for the suppression of hostilities and the early restoration of peace can be given. Keeping in view the regulations of the Indian Department, you will govern yourself as in your judgment the exigencies of the occasion may demand, being careful to keep this office duly and fully apprised of your proceedings.
In the event of the submission of the Indians, every exertion should be made to ferret out and bring, after fair trial, to exemplary punishment such Indians as have perpetrated murders and other injuries on our citizens.
The greatest care should be taken in such proceedings to avoid all excitement and appearance of retaliation and revenge, and to impress on the minds of the Indians that the punishment inflicted is an act of justice for the wrongs they have done.
The Indians should also be instructed that in case of injuries sustained by them from the whites the proper mode of redress is through the Indian agent, and that in no case are they to take the matter of redressing their injuries into their own hands. On your part you will endeavor in all cases wherein you deem it proper, by a prompt and fearless interference in their behalf, and by bringing the wrongdoers among the whites, if possible, to justice, to convince the Indians that their reliance on you for protection and redress of injuries is well placed.
In order that you may be properly sustained in the discharge of your duties--that the Indians may receive proper impressions of respect for the authority of the United States--and for the more efficient protection of the white inhabitants, I have some time since addressed a communication to Bvt. Brig. Genl. Hitchcock, commanding in the Military Department on the Pacific Coast, requesting him to place a detachment of soldiers at some proper point or points in the Rogue River region.
In the event of the arrival of those troops, you will observe all due care to secure the harmonious and efficient cooperation with the military arm of the public service, so far as occasion may require.
It has long been reported that two white women have been held in bondage by these Indians since 1846. Many efforts have heretofore been made by yourself and others to discover these captives, if really existing, and obtain their rescue. These efforts have resulted in no discoveries confirmatory of these reports, but the reverse. Yet it may be well to persevere in your inquiries respecting those captives, if such there be, or till you have the fullest assurance of their nonexistence.
In view of the early authorization by Congress of treaties with the Indian tribes of this Territory, you will endeavor as soon as the state of affairs will permit to sound the Indians of Rogue River and Umpqua on the subject of selling their lands to the United States, and report thereon as early as practicable to this office. You will also furnish such data as will aid me in making an estimate of the probable expense of the treaties necessary to secure the above named object. In doing this you will have regard to the cost of assembling the different tribes and bands, their subsistence while assembled, and all contingent and incidental expenses; also, you will ascertain as far as practicable the location and extent of each tract of land to be treated for, the probable value they will place on those lands, the kind of payments likely to suit them, and whether they can be prevailed on to remove east of the Cascade Mountains.
These matters if practicable should be reported at an early day so as to enable me to submit an estimate to the Department of Indian Affairs at Washington in time for the action of Congress at its next session, as early treaties with those and other Indians of the Territory are pressingly demanded by the general interests of the people, and as nothing in the premises can be done unless authorized by Congress and the proper appropriations made.
The boundaries of your agency will hereafter be as follows: Beginning at a point on the coast of the Pacific Ocean due west of the highlands dividing the waters of the Umpqua and Systicum rivers; thence easterly along the Calapooya Mountains to the summit of the Cascade Range; thence southerly along the summit of said range to the 42nd degree of north latitude; thence west to the summit of the Coast Range of mountains; thence along the summit of said range to the summit of the ridge dividing the waters of the Coquille and Coos rivers, and thence westerly along said ridge to the ocean.
You are authorized to make a selection of a site for the erection of the agency building in such locality as you may judge most conducive to the good of the service, and report thereon to this office. In the meantime, till the erection of the agency house, you will procure a suitable building by rent or otherwise.
Blank forms of a comparative view of the languages of the Indian tribes and a schedule for statistics are herewith transmitted, which you will fill up and return to this office.
I am sir respectfullySamuel H. Culver Esq.
Your obt. servant
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs, Reel 11, Instructions and Reports 1853-1855, pages 96-99. A copy of the document can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 193-196.
Superintendency of Indian AffairsSir,
Milwaukie O.T. Aug. 23rd 1853
In pursuance of the intention expressed in my letter of the 23rd June last I will in a few days set out to explore the country west of the Coast Range of mountains which lies between Tillamook and Umpqua rivers with a view to find in a portion of this region a home and asylum for the Indian tribes of the Willamette Valley.
Sub-agent Parrish, who speaks the Indian jargon with facility and can act as interpreter, and Mr. E. R. Geary, clerk of the Superintendency in the capacity of draftsman to delineate a map of the country, will accompany me. I will also take with me three white men to perform the duty of packing and other manual service of the expedition.
The Indians of the valley seem much interested in this matter, and I have resolved to permit several of the chiefs and headmen to accompany me to act as guides and perform the duties of herdsmen.
I expect to be absent about four weeks and will leave Charles P. Culver Esq. in the temporary charge of the office of the Superintendency.
I am sir very respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obedient servant
Commissioner of Ind. Affrs.
Washington City D.C.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 187-188.
Superintendency of Indian AffairsSir,
Milwaukie O.T. Aug. 24th, 1853
It becomes my painful duty to inform you that the difficulties so long existing between the white inhabitants and Indians of Rogue River Valley have eventuated in a state of actual war. Several persons have been murdered by the savages, among them the Hon. John B. Hardin and Dr. Rose; the settlers have taken refuge in forts, and business is generally suspended in that part of the Territory.
An express arrived at the capital on Friday last with a request from the Commissioners of Jackson County to the Actg. Governor that a requisition be made on the Ordnance Department at Columbia Barracks for arms and ammunition to be forwarded with dispatch to the scene of hostilities. The clerk of the Superintendency proceeded immediately to Columbia Barracks with the Acting Governor's letter and obtained sixty rifles and four thousand cartridges, which are already well advanced toward their destination.
When the messenger left Jacksonville a small body of regulars from Fort Jones had arrived and with two hundred volunteers were under the command of Capt. Alden, 4th Infantry.
General Lane is also said to have marched with a company of volunteers from Umpqua Valley.
There was a gathering of the Indians some short time since at Table Rock, and several hundred warriors are now believed to be in that vicinity. Many of the Indians are well armed, having obtained guns and ammunition by trading with the miners, and it may require considerable effort to subdue them.
In view of the then existing difficulties in the Rogue River Valley and in apprehension of those of a more serious nature I addressed a letter to Bvt. Brig. General Hitchcock requesting him to station additional troops in that region, a copy of which is herewith transmitted.
I am sir very respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servt.
Commissioner Ind. Affrs.
Washington City D.C.
CopyNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 204-208.
Office Superintendent Indian AffairsBvt. Brig. General Hitchcock
Milwaukie Oregon Territory August 11th 1853
I am constrained from a sense of public duty to call your attention to the necessity of aiding us, as far as the force of your disposal will permit, in the promotion of peace between the whites and Indians in the southern part of the Territory. In this communication I have especially in view that part of Oregon known as the Rogue River Valley and its vicinity.
As you doubtless know, numerous bands, mostly wild and in many instances hostile, hover about the settlements and mining places through all that region and give rise not only to a general state of insecurity and alarm, but to feuds ending in bloodshed. The last two years have furnished quite too many atrocities of that kind to have escaped your attention and hence details are unnecessary. In many of them there is just reason to believe that the timely presence of an efficient Indian agent supported by a small military force would have averted the calamities which followed. An agent near and on the ground has not been wanting, but his efforts to maintain tranquility have proved of little avail in the absence of immediate and continued assistance from the military.
Without the presence of troops in the Rogue River Valley, it would seem of little good to keep an Indian agent there at all, for judging from past experience the efforts of an officer of that kind to maintain friendly intercourse with the tribes in that quarter, unsupported by the strong arm of the military, would seem to be more than useless; thereby comes mortification to the faithful Indian agent when he is unsustained, repeated outrages without the means of redress and punishment, and a general contempt by lawless whites of public authority, regulating trade and intercourse with Indians.
Cannot this state of things be remedied? Is it not possible that a company or part of a company of troops can be stationed in some part of the Rogue River Valley country to aid the Indian Department of this Territory to maintain peace in that neighborhood and stop the shedding of blood?
No other part of Oregon so much demands the presence of soldiers, and while I make this appeal to you most earnestly allow me to hope that it may not be in vain.
The barbarities committed almost daily in that quarter by Indians on whites, and in return by whites on Indians, loudly call for something to be done at once, and I lose no time in urging you, if deemed compatible with other pressing demands upon your Department, to send a small force and permanently station it at the point above indicated.
I doubt not your willingness to aid to the utmost of the means at your command, consistent with the just wants of other parts of your military division, and beg you therefore to let me hear from you at an early moment, to the end that we may know what to rely on and take other steps, if necessary, to meet the emergency.
With great respect I am dr. sir
Yours very respectfully
Supt. Ind. Affrs. Oregon Territory
Indian Difficulties.It will be seen by the news which we publish this morning from the war now waging between the whites and Indians in Rogue River Valley, that there seems, at present, even less probability of a cessation of hostilities than at the time of our previous dates. In every instance where the two parties came to an engagement the whites met with a reverse. Of course this but adds to their exasperation, while it correspondingly elevates the spirits of the savages, and thus both way tends to lessen the chance of a speedy and peaceful settlement of the difficulties. Indeed we apprehend that the war has already progressed too far--too many lives have been sacrificed--too much suffering endured and too great an amount of property destroyed, to justify even the privilege of hoping that peace will be secured without further bloodshed. When Californians see their brothers shot down by the savages, and behold the women and children flying to the towns for protection, they are apt to do as their fathers did before them on the other side of the mountains--wage an exterminating war. They usually make the savages pay terribly for their outrages before they give them peace. And we knew that the people of Northern California and Southern Oregon in this case are not likely to pursue a different course.
The Mountain Herald says: "Let extermination be our motto! It must be our motto in all opposition." To those who are distant, and have never lived where they were liable to be shot down by the lurking savage any moment that they stepped beyond the threshold, this may seem semi-barbarous, unchristianlike. But, we surmise, it will matter little to the people of the North what persons wholly disqualified to judge may say of their mode of securing a lasting peace with the Indians. The men of the North know that the Indians can be induced to preserve a state of friendship by superior force alone, and the only possible way to convince them that the white people possess that superior force is to destroy the greater number of their warriors. It would be folly in the extreme--folly amounting to criminality--for the whites to attempt to settle their difficulties with the Indians at this stage of the game by forming treaties. Treaties indeed! humbugs!--and most stupid ones too. Away with all treaties, say we. The Indian Chief Sam, and his numerous well-armed, well-mounted, and well-provisioned warriors, must be ousted from their stronghold on Table Rock, and the greater number of them destroyed before the men of Rogue River Valley can return to their ranches in any sort of safety with their wives and little ones.
In this connection we may state that a numerous body of Pit River and Trinity Indians--some 500 strong--are now congregated on Trinity River, near Vary's Ranch--less than a day's travel from this place. The express messengers inform us that they are growing more insolent every day--a never-failing sign of an approaching outbreak. At present they are industriously engaged in securing a winter's supply of salmon. These are the same Indians who infested the Sacramento trail last winter, and killed and robbed a number of white men. That it is their intention to renew those hostilities the approaching fall and winter, no one acquainted with them can doubt. This being as certain as any future event can well be, men naturally ask what should be done? Shall they be permitted thus, right in our midst, in time of peace to prepare for war against us--or should they be destroyed or run off? Is it not rendering "aid and comfort" to the enemy thus to permit them to furnish themselves with the very means necessary to enable them to war against us--to destroy our property and kill our people?
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, August 27, 1853, page 2
Superintendency of Ind. Affrs.Sir,
Milwaukie O.T. Sept. 1st, 1853
Since S. H. Culver Esq., now agent for the Rogue River Valley, left Port Orford there has been no one in charge of that sub-agency, the sub-agents appointed feeling reluctant to go to that remote and expensive part of the field on the limited salary allowed them, and their services being pressingly needed in other quarters.
In view of the hostilities existing in the neighboring tribes of Rogue River Valley and the importance of maintaining friendly feelings among the numerous tribes of our southwestern coast, especially at this juncture of affairs, I have appointed F. M. Smith Esq. of Port Orford special agent to take charge of the business of said sub-agency temporarily, with the salary of a sub-agent.
I have the honor to beHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Respectfully your obt. servt.
Superintendent Ind. Affrs.
Commissioner Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 211-212.
THE INDIAN WAR IN THE NORTH--CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS.--An appeal is made by Mr. McMahon, in behalf of the citizens of the northern section of the state now exposed to the immediate danger of extermination by the Indians. There must be those who have the humanity and the opportunity to extend succor in this extremity. It is most important that relief should be extended at once.
TO THE PEOPLE OF SAN FRANCISCO.--By the arrival of the steamship Thomas Hunt at this port on Saturday last, you have received intelligence of the resumption of hostilities by the Pit River, Klamath and other tribes of Indians against the white settlers in the Rogue River Valley. The Indians are bent upon an indiscriminate massacre of the whites, and they have sworn to drive them from the northern portion of California or to die in the attempt. All who are familiar with the character of Indians inhabiting that region know that this is no vain boast. They know that in battle there are no more resolute or desperate savages on the continent of America.
I am and have been for many years a citizen of the county of Klamath, and represented that county in the last Legislature.
From the period of the earliest settlement of Northern California by the whites the Indians have waged an incessant warfare upon them. They seem now to have concentrated their forces, and to have suddenly formed the desperate resolution of utterly expelling the whites from that portion of the country.
The steamer Thomas Hunt will return to Crescent City, near the scene of hostilities, on or about Thursday next, the first proximo. The settlers in Rogue River Valley have appealed and are appealing to us to aid them in protecting their property and their lives. Language would be inadequate to describe the losses which they have sustained, in life and in property, by the hands of these infernal savages; it is sufficient to say that women and children are butchered with the same indifference as men. I therefore announce to the citizens of San Francisco that I am anxious to raise sixty volunteers to accompany me to Crescent City, and to render to the people of Rogue River Valley such aid as their necessities require. To all who are able and willing to join me in this expedition, I can truly say that their aid and cooperation will be gladly received, and gratefully acknowledged. I desire to raise a company of sixty men; each man to have $200, and to be armed with a rifle--a Colt's pistol (if possible) and a Bowie knife. I am poor, and can promise no pay to volunteers; their passage in the steamer, which will probably be reduced, and their other incidental expenses must be borne by themselves until such time as provision made for their compensation by the state or federal government.
It must be remembered that Northern California is thinly settled by whites, and that a war of extermination has been commenced against them by several powerful and warlike tribes of Indians. This call is therefore only made upon those who are ready and willing to undergo the privations of a frontier life, and to fight when it is necessary. Should a company volunteer they will, of course, elect their own officers.
Volunteers are respectfully requested to register their names at Daly's Mountaineer House, corner of Commercial and Kearny streets, where a muster roll will be in readiness.
Editors of newspapers who are willing to aid me in carrying out the object indicated in the foregoing communication are respectfully requested to publish the same.
JAMES MCMAHONSan Francisco, August 29, 1853.
Placer Herald, Auburn, California, September 3, 1853, page 3 A treaty was signed before any volunteers could have reached the Rogue Valley. The only women and children butchered were those of the natives.
Washington Sept. 5th 1853Sir
I am informed by what appears to be a reliable source that Gov. Joseph Lane while canvassing for reelection as Delegate to Congress stated publicly both at Salem and Albany in Oregon in May last that I was guilty of having used government money for private purposes, and that I was a defaulter to the govt. for a large amount &c.
Will you please to inform me whether Gov. Lane derived information from the Indian Office that would warrant the above statements, if not whether there is any evidence of the truth of such a statement in your office.
I have the honor to remain veryThe Hon. Commissioner
Respectfully your obt. servt.
Late Supt. of Indian Affairs, Oregon
of Indian Affairs
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 64-65.
Superintendent Dart--A Lie Nailed.
The following correspondence will explain itself. The opponent of Gov. Lane was Mr. Skinner, an agent of Supt. Dart, and hence the slander against the latter-named worthy officer. Sat. Clark, during the session of the late legislature in this state, retailed similar slanders against Mr. Dart. Owing to their origin, however, little or no credit was attached to them.
Mr. Dart, we learn, is about sailing for Europe.
Washington, Sept. 5, 1853.Sir--I am informed from what appears to be a reliable source that Gov. Joseph Lane while canvassing for reelection as delegate to Congress stated publicly both at Salem and Albany in Oregon in May last that I was guilty of having used government money for private purposes, and that I was a defaulter to the government for a large amount &c.
Will you please to inform me whether Gov. Lane derived information from the Indian Office that would warrant the above statement? If not, whether there is any evidence of the truth of such a statement in your office?
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obt. servt.
Anson DartThe Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington.
Late Supt. of Ind. Affrs. Oregon
----Watertown Chronicle, Watertown, Wisconsin, September 28, 1853, page 3
Department of the Interior,Sir--In reply to your letter of the 5th inst. I have to state that I have no knowledge of the charges which you state were made against you by Gov. Joseph Lane during his recent canvass for election as delegate to Congress from Oregon.
Office of Indian Affairs,
September 12, 1853
I am not aware to what extent Gov. Lane obtained information in relation to the state of your accounts with the government before left here for Oregon. He was probably aware of the amount of public money charged to you, for which you had not then accounted, and also of charges which had been made against you of misapplication of public money, and other acts of malfeasance. Information was sought by this office as to the truth of these charges, but that obtained, it is due to you to state, did not sustain them.
A person in your position cannot properly be called a defaulter until his accounts have been finally settled and he fails to pay over such balance as is found against him. Yours have not yet been finally settled, and I am not yet able to say what will be the result as between you and the government. The balance, however, either way will be but a small one.
Very respectfully, your obt. servant,
Charles E. Mix,Anson Dart, Esq., late Supt. &c.
Stipulations of a treaty of peace made and entered into by Joseph Lane, commanding forces of Oregon Territory, and Joe, principal chief of the Rogue River tribe of Indians, Sam, subordinate chief, and Jim, subordinate chief, on the part of the tribes under their jurisdiction.
Article 1st.A treaty of peace having this day been entered into between the above-named parties, whereby it is agreed that all the bands of Indians living within the following boundaries, to wit: commencing just below the mouth of Applegate Creek on Rogue River, thence to the highlands which divide Applegate from Althouse Creek, thence with said highlands southeasterly to the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains, thence easterly along said range to the Pilot Rock, thence northeasterly following the range of mountains to Mount Pitt, thence northerly to Rogue River, thence northwesterly to the headwaters of Jump-off Joe, thence down this stream to a point due north from the mouth of Applegate Creek, thence to the mouth of Applegate Creek, shall cease hostilities, and that all the property taken by them from the whites, in battle or otherwise, shall be given up either to Genl. Lane or the Indian agent. The chiefs further stipulate to maintain peace and promptly deliver up to the Indian agent for trial and punishment any one of their people who may in any way disturb the friendly relations this day entered into, by stealing property of any description or in any way interfering with the persons or property of the whites, and shall also be responsible for the amount of the property so destroyed . . .
Article 2nd.It is stipulated by the chiefs that all the different bands of Indians now residing in the territory above described shall hereafter reside in the place to be set apart for them.
Article 3rd.It is further stipulated that all firearms belonging to the Indians of the above-named bands shall be delivered to Gen. Lane, or to the agent for a fair consideration to be paid in blankets, clothing &c., except Joe, principal chief, seven guns for hunting purposes, Sam, subordinate chief, five guns, Jim, subordinate chief, five guns.
Article 4th.It is further stipulated that when their right to the above described country is purchased from the Indians by the United States, a portion of the purchase money shall be reserved to pay for the property of the whites destroyed by them during the war, not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars.
Article 5th.It is further stipulated that in case the above-named Indians shall hereafter make war upon the whites, they shall forfeit all right to the annuities or money to be paid for the right to their lands.
Article 6th.It is further stipulated that whenever any Indians shall enter the territory above described for the purpose of committing hostilities against the whites, the chiefs above named shall immediately give information to the agent and shall render such other assistance as may be in their power.
Article 7th.An agent shall reside near the above-named Indians to enforce the above stipulations, to whom all complaints of injuries to the Indians shall be made through their chiefs.
Signed this 8th day of September 1853.
Principal chief Joe, Aps-er-ka-har
Subordinate chief Sam, To-qua-he-ar
Subordinate chief Jim, Ana-chah-a-rah
C. B. Gray )The above stipulations of treaty were entered into and signed by the respective parties in my presence, and with my approval.
R. B. Metcalfe ) Interpreters
T. T. Tierney, Sec.
Joel PalmerNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 28, Records of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Records Pertaining to Relations with the Indians. Copies can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 279-281 and frames 460-463.
Supt. Indian Affairs
Stipulations of a Treaty made and entered into at Table Rock near Rogue River in the Territory of Oregon this 10th day of September A. D. 1853 by and between Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Samuel H. Culver, Indian agent, on the part of the United States; and Jo, Aps-er-ka-har--principal chief, Sam, To-qua-he-or and Jim Ana-chah-a-rah subordinate chiefs and others, headmen of the bands of the Rogue River tribe of Indians, on the part of said tribe.
Article 1stThe Rogue River tribe of Indians do hereby cede and relinquish for the considerations hereinafter specified to the United States all their right, title, interest and claim, to all the lands lying in that part of the Territory of Oregon, and bounded by lines designated as follows; to wit:
Commencing at a point one mile below the mouth of Applegate Creek on the south side of Rogue River; running thence southerly to the highlands dividing the waters of Applegate Creek from those of Althouse Creek, thence along said highlands to the summit of the Siskiyou Range of mountains; thence easterly to Pilot Rock; thence northeasterly to the summit of the Cascade Range; thence northerly along the said Cascade Range to Pitts Peak, continuing northerly to Rogue River; thence westerly to the headwaters of Jump-off Joe Creek; thence down said creek to the intersection of the same with a line due north from the place of beginning thence to the place of beginning.
Article 2ndIt is agreed on the part of the United States that the aforesaid tribe shall be allowed to occupy temporarily that portion of the above described tract of territory bounded as follows to wit: Commencing on the north side of Rogue River at the mouth of Evans Creek, thence up said creek to the upper end of a small prairie bearing in a northwesterly direction from Table Mountain or Upper Table Rock, thence through the gap to the south side of the cliff of the said mountain, thence in a line to Rogue River, striking the southern base of Lower Table Rock, thence down said river to the place of beginning. It being understood that this described tract of land shall be deemed and considered an Indian reserve until a suitable selection shall be made by the direction of the President of the United States for their permanent residence and buildings erected thereon, and provisions made for their removal.
Article 3rdFor and in consideration of the cession and relinquishment contained in Article 1st the United States agree to pay to the aforesaid tribe the sum of sixty thousand dollars, fifteen thousand of which sum to be retained (according to the stipulations of Article 4th of a treaty of peace made and entered into on the 8th day of September 1853 between Genl. Jo. Lane, commanding forces of Oregon Territory, and Jo, principal chief, and Sam and Jim, subordinate chiefs on the part of the Rogue River tribe of Indians), by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs to pay for the property of the whites destroyed by them during the late war, the amount of property so destroyed to be estimated by three disinterested commissioners to be appointed by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs or otherwise as the President may direct, five thousand dollars to be expended in the purchase of agricultural implements, blankets, clothing and such other goods as may be deemed by the Superintendent or agent most conducive to the comfort and necessities of said tribe on or before the 1st day of September 1854, and for the payment of such permanent improvements as may have been made by land claimants on the aforesaid reserve, the value of which to be ascertained by three persons appointed by the said Superintendent. The remaining forty thousand dollars to be paid in sixteen equal, annual installments of two thousand five hundred dollars each (commencing on or about the 1st day of September 1854), in blankets, clothing, farming utensils, stock and such other articles as may be deemed most conducive to the interests of said tribe.
Article 4thIt is further agreed that there shall be erected at the expense of the United States, one dwelling house for each of the three principal chiefs of the aforesaid tribe, the cost of which shall not exceed five hundred dollars each, the aforesaid building to be erected as soon after the ratification of this treaty as possible, and when the tribe may be removed to another reserve, buildings and other improvements shall be made on such reserve of equal value to those which may be relinquished, and upon such removal in addition to the before mentioned sixty thousand the United States agree to pay the further sum of fifteen thousand dollars in five equal annual installments commencing at the expiration of the before named installments.
Article 5thThe said tribe of Indians further agree to give safe conduct to all persons who may be authorized to pass through their reserve, and to protect in their person and property all agents or other persons sent by the United States to reside among them; they further agree not to molest or interrupt any white person passing through their reserve.
Article 6thThat the friendship which is now established between the United States and the Rogue River tribe of Indians shall not be interrupted by the misconduct of Individuals, it is hereby agreed that for injuries done by individuals no private revenge or retaliation shall take place but instead thereof complaint shall be made by the party injured to the Indian agent, and it shall be the duty of the chiefs of the said tribe that upon complaint being made as aforesaid to deliver up the person or persons against whom the complaint is made, to the end that he or they may be punished agreeably to the laws of the United States, and in like manner if any violation, robbery or murder shall be committed on any Indian or Indians belonging to said tribe, the person or persons so offending shall be tried, and if found guilty shall be punished according to the laws of the United States, and it is agreed that the chiefs of the said tribe shall to the utmost of their power exert themselves to recover horses or other property which has or may be stolen or taken from any citizen or citizens of the United States by any individuals of said tribe and the property so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the Indian agent or other person authorized to receive the same that it may be restored to the proper owner, and the United States hereby guarantee to any Indian or Indians of said tribe a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may be stolen from them by any citizen of the United States, provided that the property stolen or taken cannot be recovered and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen or taken by a citizen of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the said tribe engage on the requisition or demand of the President of the United States, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, or Indian agent, to deliver up any white person or persons resident among them.
Article 7thThis treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same shall have been ratified by the President of the United States by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
In testimony whereof the said Joel Palmer and Samuel H. Culver on the part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the Rogue River Indians aforesaid have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year aforesaid.
Signed in the presence of
Joel PalmerNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 28, Records of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Records Pertaining to Relations with the Indians. A copy can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 464-470. This treaty was amended on April 12, 1854.
Superintendent Indian Affairs
Samuel H. Culver
J. W. Nesmith )
R. B. Metcalfe ) Interpreters
J. D. Mason )
T. T. Tierney ) Secretaries
Joseph Lane )
August V. Kautz ) Witnesses
Answers to Remarks on Special Account for August & Sept. 1851
Voucher 3rd is undoubtedly an error in calculating.
Voucher 9th. This bill of particulars is at the Superintendent's office in Oregon. I purchased these groceries myself; they consisted of sugar, molasses, tea, coffee & tobacco, all of which were consumed by the Indians while engaged in treaty at Tansy Point. No part of this bill was for liquor.
Voucher No. 10. This bill of particulars is also at the Supt.'s office in Oregon. It consists mostly of the hire of Indians to carry him (Parrish) from place to place at & near the mouth of the Columbia River & their expenses while so doing, to which is added his steamboat fare.
Voucher 11 is undercharged.
Voucher 15. The same remarks applies to this as to Voucher 10.
Voucher 18. The same remarks applies to this as are made to Voucher 9.
Voucher 19 is for interpreters. There was no two tribes of Indians treated with at Port Orford that spoke the same language. This bill was paid by Mr. Hubbard, the purser of the steamer Sea Gull that conveyed us to Port Orford & back.
Very respectfullyHon Commissioner of Ind. Affairs
Yours, Anson Dart
Late Supt. Ind. Affairs Oregon
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 66-67. Undated, but received in Washington September 16, 1853.
We, the undersigned, appointed & sworn by Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to appraise the property of claim holders on Table Rock Indian Reserve for Rogue River Indians, do affix the value as follows.
John J. Cook's claim
William Hutchinson's claim
David Kennedy's claim
Robt. B. Metcalfe's claim
Daniel Hayward's "claim"
James Lesley's "claim"
T. T. Tierney
J. D. Mason
John B. Wrisley
John E. Ross
We, the undersigned, certify that the annexed list covers the whole amount of property now on the Indian reserve for the Rogue River Indians. The total amount being one thousand & sixty-two 78/100 dollars.
T. T. Tierney
J. D. Mason
John B. WrisleyNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 276-278. A copy can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 730-732.
John E. Ross
Superintendency of Indian AffairsSir,
Milwaukie Sept. 13, 1853.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 1st August last directing the attention of this office to the 19th paragraph of Revised Regulations No. 3.
Gen. Palmer is now absent in the southern part of the Territory for the purpose of aiding in quieting the Indians and effecting, if possible, a treaty of peace with them.
I am sir very respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servt.
Edward R. Geary
Actg. Supt. ad int.
Commissioner Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 213-214.
Indian Affairs.Oregon Spectator, Oregon City, September 16, 1853, page 2
Nothing of importance has transpired out at the mines since our last, at least nothing has come to hand. That the matter will be speedily settled on the ground assumed by the Superintendent, viz: that the Indians be immediately removed to some other portion of Oregon such as may be assigned them by government, we think extremely doubtful. They contend strongly and earnestly for the ground of their nativity, and say too that they will fight to the last man for their hereditary rights. They are a bold, intrepid and revengeful race. This sort of prejudice is by no means confined to that particular tribe or the tribes engaged in the war, but the same feeling is prevalent among all the tribes inhabiting the Willamette Valley, and in other portions of the Territory. They cling with great tenacity to their old fishing and hunting grounds. To get rid of them, compulsion will be necessary. They are a nuisance to the white settlers wherever they live in close proximity. Their limits have been circumscribed, and their chances for obtaining a living lessened, and all the best lands, particularly of this valley, occupied by white settlers. To them there appears to be no other alternative left but to steal. Petty thefts are becoming quite frequent. Their wants are not many, and their thefts are confined principally to articles of food and wearing apparel. If the citizens in the mining country had their full swing, and the power to do it, they would soon provide everlasting homes for the Indians in that quarter. No treaty with the southern Indians can be entered into that the whites will feel safe under after it is made. There is trouble in the future, no matter whether the war is at an end or not.
William J. Martin [Special Agent & Sub-Agt.]
property account for distribution
[William J. Martin] Special Agent & Sub-Agt.
Cow Creek band of Umpquas
Stipulations of a treaty made and entered into on Cow Creek, Umpqua Valley, in the Territory of Oregon, this 19th day of September, A.D. 1853, by and between Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, on the part of the United States, and Quin-ti-oo-san, or Bighead, principal chief, and My-u-e-letta, or Jackson, and Tom, son of Quin-ti-oo-san, subordinate chiefs, on the part of the Cow Creek band of Umpqua tribe of Indians.
Article 1stThe Cow Creek band of Indians do hereby cede and relinquish, for the consideration hereinafter specified, to the United States, all their right, title, interest and claim to all the lands lying in that part of the Territory of Oregon bounded by lines designated as follows, to wit: Commencing on the north bank of the south fork of Umpqua River, at the termination of the highlands dividing the waters of Myrtle Creek from those of Days Creek, thence running easterly along the summit of said range to the headwaters of Days Creek, thence southerly, crossing the Umpqua River to the headwaters of Cow Creek, thence to the dividing ridge between Cow Creek and Grave Creek, thence southwesterly along the said divide to its junction with the ridge dividing the waters of Cow Creek from those of Rogue River, thence westerly and northerly around on said ridge to its connection with the spur terminating opposite the mouth of Myrtle Creek, thence along said spur to a point on the same northwest of the eastern line of Isaac Bailey's land claim, thence southeast to Umpqua River, thence up said river to place of beginning.
Article 2ndIt is agreed on the part of the United States that the aforesaid tribe shall be allowed to occupy temporarily that portion of the above-described tract of territory bounded as follows, to wit: Commencing on the south side of Cow Creek, at the mouth of Council Creek, opposite Wm. H. Riddle's land claim, thence up said creek to the summit of Cañon Mountain, thence westerly along said summit two miles, thence northerly to Cow Creek, at a point on the same one mile above the falls, thence down said creek to place of beginning. It being understood that this last described tract of land shall be deemed and considered an Indian reserve until a suitable selection shall be made by the direction of the President of the United States for their permanent residence and buildings erected thereon and other improvements made of equal value of those upon the above reserve at the time of removal.
Article 3rdFor and in consideration of the cession and relinquishment contained in Article 1st, the United States agree to pay to the aforesaid band of Indians the sum of twelve thousand dollars, in manner to wit: one thousand dollars to be expended in the purchase of twenty blankets, eighteen pairs pants, eighteen pairs shoes, eighteen hickory shirts, eighteen hats or caps, three coats, three vests, three pairs socks, three neck handkerchiefs, forty cotton flags, one hundred and twenty yards prints, one hundred yards domestic, one gross buttons, two lbs. thread, ten papers needles, and such other goods and provisions as may be deemed by the Superintendent or agent most conducive to the comfort and necessities of said Indians, on or before the first day of October, A.D. 1854. The remaining eleven thousand dollars to be paid in twenty equal annual installments of five hundred and fifty dollars each, commencing on or about the 1st day of October 1854, in blankets, clothing, provisions, stock, farming implements or such other articles, and in such manner as the President of the United States may deem best for the interests of said tribe.
Article 4thIn addition to the aforesaid twelve thousand dollars there shall be erected for the use of said tribe, at the expense of the United States, two dwelling houses, the cost of which shall not exceed two hundred dollars each, and a field of five acres fenced and plowed, and suitable seed furnished for planting the same.
Article 5thThe said band of Indians agree to give safe conduct to all persons passing through their reserve, and to protect in their person and property all agents or other persons sent by authority of the United States to reside among them.
Article 6thThat the friendship which is now established between the United States and the Cow Creek band of Indians shall not be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed that for injuries done no private revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead thereof complaint shall be made by the party injured to the Indian agent, and it shall be the duty of the chiefs of said band of Indians, upon complaint being made as aforesaid, to deliver up the person against whom the complaint is made, to the end that he may be punished agreeably to the laws of the United States; and in like manner if any violation, robbery or murder shall be committed on any Indian belonging to said band, the person so offending shall be tried, and if found guilty, shall be punished according to the laws of the United States. And it is further agreed that the chiefs shall, to the utmost of their ability, exert themselves to recover horses or other property which has or may hereafter be stolen from any citizen of the U.S. by any individual of said tribe and deliver the same to the agent or other person authorized to receive it. And the U.S. hereby guarantee to any Indian or Indians of said band a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may be stolen or taken from them by any citizen of the U.S. provided the property stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen or taken by a citizen of the U.S. And the chiefs further agree that upon the requisition of the President of the U.S., Superintendent of Indian affairs or Indian agent, to deliver up any person resident among them.
Article 7th[It is agreed between the United States and the Cow Creek band of the Umpqua tribe of Indians, that, should it at any time hereafter be considered by the United States as a proper policy to establish farms among and for the benefit of said Indians, it shall be discretionary with the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to change the annuities herein provided for, or any part thereof, into a fund for that purpose.
This treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
In testimony whereof the said Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, on the part of the United States, and chiefs of the Cow Creek band of Umpqua Indians, before named, on the part of the same band have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year aforesaid.
Signed in presence of
Joel PalmerNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 28, Records of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Records Pertaining to Relations with the Indians. A copy can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 469-474.
Superintendent Indian Affairs O. T.
I. B. Nichols )
E. Catching ) Interpreters
Theodore T. Tierney, Sec.
John V. Bown )
W. Starr ) Witnesses
Son of Quin-ti-oo-san
Department of the InteriorSir:
Office Indian Affairs
September 20 1853.
Your letter of the 12th July last, enclosing one from C. M. Walker, respecting the pay of himself and party for services rendered on Rogue River in 1851, has been received.
In reply, I have to state that the only paper discovered of file in this office having reference to the claim of Mr. Walker is a letter from himself to H. H. Spalding, Esqr., late agent &c. of Sept. 22 1851, in which he gives a list of the cost of supporting himself and party in the Rogue River country from the 15th July to the 10th Sept. 1851. He states in this letter, "The papers &c. connected with this business are in my possession, which I will take down when I hear from you."
Congress having, by an act approved 3rd March last, made provision "for the payment of the accounts of Gov. Jno. P. Gaines and Courtney M. Walker, for expenses incurred by them in quelling the difficulties with the Rogue River Indians of Oregon, in the year eighteen hundred and fifty-one," it will be necessary that Mr. Walker shall furnish this office with the accounts and vouchers
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 63.
Winchester Sept. 21st 1853William Martin Esqr.
You are hereby appointed a special agent for the Indian tribes residing upon the waters of the Umpqua and Coos rivers and around Coos Bay. Your salary will be that of a sub-agent and commence from date.
Instructions for your guidance will be given you from time to time.
A bond conditioned for the faithful performance of your duties will be forwarded, which you will have executed and returned to the office of Superintendent of Indian Affairs immediately.
I am sirNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 247-.
Supt. Indn. Affairs O.T.
Instructions to Spl. Agt. Martin
Winchester Sept. 21st 1853Dear sir
As you have been appointed a special agent for the Indian tribes residing in the country drained by the Umpqua and Coos rivers, I desire that you will meet the various bands and tribes at as early a day as practicable, ascertain as far as you can their condition, numbers and feelings towards the whites, the extent of country to which they lay claim to, as also their means of subsistence and whether any portion of them have adopted the manners and customs of the whites, particularly the cultivation of the soil, or whether they are inclined to do so. Learn also whether they are disposed to sell to the United States the country claimed by them and remove to such parts as may be designated for a permanent home. You can inform them should they agree to do so that they will be aided and protected by the government in all their rights.
This information, and such other as you may deem of importance to the better knowledge of the condition and wants of this unfortunate people who are so rapidly passing away, you will gather and report to this office at the earliest moment practicable.
I desire that you will visit the Indians on Coos River and around Coos Bay immediately and endeavor to peaceably incline them, and if necessary to preserve peace make them a few presents.
A treaty has been concluded with the Cow Creek band of Umpqua Indians by which that band have ceded to the United States all the land claimed by them, and a part of the purchase money is to be expended in the erection this winter of two log cabins, the cost of which is not to exceed two hundred dollars each.
The cabins should be built in a cheap manner, and about twenty-five feet square on the ground, to be erected on a small piece of bottom land opposite W. R. Riddle's upon the temporary reserve to which they have been assigned. A few articles of clothing are to be sent them, which will be forwarded to you for distribution among them as per agreement. As soon as you return from Coos Bay you will visit those Indians and cause the cabins to be erected, the expense of which will be paid so soon as funds are remitted.
Additional instructions will be given you from time to time.
I have the honor to beTo
Dear sir respectfully yours
Supt. Ind. Affairs O.T.
Wm. J. Martin Esq.
Special Ind. Agt.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs, Reel 11, Instructions and Reports 1853-1855, pages 100-101. A copy can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 244-246.
S. H. Culver, Indian agent, has gone to Rogue River, under instructions from Gen. Palmer.
Shasta Courier, Shasta, California, September 24, 1853, page 4
THE OFFICE of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs will be temporarily moved to Dayton, Yamhill County, to which place correspondents will direct their communications till further notice is given.
JOEL PALMER, Supt. Ind. Affairs.Milwaukie, Sept. 28, 1853.
Oregon Spectator, Oregon City, October 20, 1853, page 3
Fort Lane O.T.Dear Sir,
Sept. 29, 1853.
In the hurry of departure you omitted to leave with me an abstract of articles delivered (as presents) to the Indians by yourself, or I have misplaced it, which is quite probable. If you will have a copy made & sent to me you will oblige, also a copy of the treaty for the purchase of their land & Gen. Lane's treaty of peace.
Gen. Lane will give you the reasons for purchasing some presents for Tipcue's ["Tipsy's"] band in addition to those obtained heretofore.
It will require two pieces of prints, eight pieces domestic & another box of tobacco (same size) to go around.
It would be well to hold in reserve two or three hundred dollars, in money, of the amount to be paid to the Indians this winter to pay damage in case of thefts by them. This will be necessary to preserve peace. There has been one instance of the kind already, of course others will occur.
I think that it will be very necessary to buy two or three tons of flour to be distributed to the Indians this winter. They must necessarily suffer without it & hunger may drive them to rob when otherwise they would not.
Very respectfullyJoel Palmer, Supt. Ind. Affrs.
Saml. H. Culver
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 58.
Jacksonville Rogue River ValleySecretary of the Interior
O.T. Oct. 1st 1853
On the 8th Sept. 1853 a treaty of peace was concluded between Gen. Joseph Lane and the Rogue River Indians wherein it was stipulated among other things that whenever the government of the U.S. should purchase the lands from the Indians that a sum not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars should be deducted from the purchase money to pay for depredations committed by them during the late war.
On the 10th of Sept. 1853 Gen. J. Palmer, Supt. of Indian Affairs for Oregon, concluded a treaty for the purchase of their lands, the board of commissioners of military affairs consisting of Doct. Edward Sheil, Rich. Dugan, Geo. Dart and L. A. Davis at the suggestion of Gen. Lane appointed three appraisers to ascertain the amount of property destroyed and which was to be paid for under the provisions of the two treaties above mentioned. The appraisers, Col. John E. Ross, Doct. George H. Ambrose and W. W. Fowler, were sworn on the 15th day of September 1853 and at once entered on the discharge of their duty. They made a personal inspection of all the premises and took testimony and ascertained the value of the property destroyed to be thirty-seven thousand four hundred and twelve dollars and ninety-eight cents ($37,412.98).
Secretary George Dart, Edward Sheil PresidentNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 312-314.
Port Orford O.T. Oct. 1st 1853
I accept of the office you have tendered me and shall immediately enter upon the duties thereof. Mr. Culver took with him all the papers belonging to the office, so that I am wholly without guide or precedent in the performance of the requirements of the office. Will you please instruct me fully by return mail--also please forward me all the papers belonging to the sub-agency, such as duplicate returns &c. &c.
A few days since I had occasion to visit one of the tribes located near the mouth of Rogue River. My talk with them was productive of much good. They are desirous of peace and expressed a determination to deal with "good heart" toward all "Americans." If our people will but do the same, our difficulties with the Indians would soon cease. There is more necessity for a military force here to restrain the white man than to subdue the Indians.. I hope to hear from you soon.
Your obt. servantNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 4; Letter Books C:10.
F. M. Smith
Port Orford O.T.Dr. Sir
Oct. 4th 1853
I accept of the appointment you have tendered me and shall immediately enter upon the duties thereof. Mr. Culver took with him all the papers belonging to the office, so that I am wholly without guide or precedence in the performance of the requirements of the office. Will you please instruct me fully by return mail, also please forward me all the papers belonging to this sub-agency, such as duplicate returns &c. &c.
A few days since I had occasion to visit one of the tribes located near the mouth of Rogue River. My talk with them was productive of much good. They are desirous of peace and expressed a determination to deal with "good heart" toward the "Americans." If our people will but do the same our difficulties with the Indians would soon cease. There is more necessity for a military force here to restrain the white man than to subdue the Indian. I hope to hear from you soon.
Your obt. servantNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 88.
F. M. Smith
Dayton O.T.P. Clayton Esqr.
5 Oct. 1853
Your favor of 12 August last came to hand a few days ago. It surprises me that the accounts have not been handed to the proper department. And it now places me at a loss to know how to act. I shall herein give you the amount & will also enclose to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs all the papers relating to that expedition. That this will be of any useful avail is also with me a doubt. Since the payment of these debts has been made a subject of special legislation, having had the refusal of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to liquidate, I will get ex-Gov. Gaines to write you at this time.
In the account I send I have given what is due each individual, although much of it has been paid by me. And should you remit a draft or drafts to any person to settle these several accounts I can then draw from them, or if the whole amount is sent to me for distribution I can then adjust them myself.
Hoping that this may meet your earliest convenient attention
Your obt. humble svt.
C. M. Walker
An account of expenses incurred by Capt. C. M. Walker in quelling difficulties of the Indians on Rogue River in the year 1851.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 327-331.
Fort Lane, Jackson Co. O.T.Sir
Oct. 6, 1853.
I have this moment completed the census of the Rogue River tribe of Indians, those that inhabited the country embraced in the late purchase.
I have not had sufficient time to be as particular about it as I would desire, but it is not far from correct.
Very respectfullyJoel Palmer
Your obt. servt.
Saml. H. Culver
Supt. Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 65.
Dayton O.T.To the Hon.
5 Oct. 1853
the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Washington City D.C.
Accompanying this I send you all the papers and documents relating to my course on Rogue River in the year 1851. I do this that the amount due myself & party may be forwarded us, as is provided by an act of Congress of last session. As the 2nd auditor of [the] Treasury Dept. says to me, he cannot forward the amount until accounts are presented.
I remainP.S. I have asked the Hon. Mr. Benton and the Hon. J. R. Underwood to introduce my name to you as a petitioner for the appointment of Indian agent at Puget's Sound in Washington Territory. I am aware Mr. Garrison has been placed at that station, but I know that my experience & knowledge of Indian character and language besides other qualifications are superior to those of Mr. G. or in fact any other agent in the Territory, having been a resident in this Territory since the year 1834 and my business being almost entirely with the Indians & commanding from them the highest respect. I refer you to Col. Benton, Mr. Underwood & Genl. Joseph Lane for a knowledge of my competency & character & hope you will give my petition your kind consideration.
Your obt. svt.
C. M. Walker
Your obt. svt.
C. M. Walker
Dayton O.T.Genl. Joel Palmer
8 Oct. 1853
Per last mail I received a letter from P. Clayton Esq., 2nd auditor at Treasury Department at Washington City, in reply to a letter of mine addressed to Mr. Guthrie, Secy. of Treasury at Washington, asking for a remittance of the amount due me from the government, to which Mr. Clayton replies--that no account of mine has been recd. at the office is the reason why the money has not been forwarded, and as soon as the account is forwarded he will immediately remit the amount. I have again written him & said you would write to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs enclosing the papers & accounts I hold against the government.
I have left with this a letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, which will you do me the kindness to envelope with the papers &c. I left with you. And perhaps 'twould be as well to send this letter or a copy to show the authority of your acting in these premises. I am compelled to be absent from here today & perhaps all next week & cannot see you again in time to speak to you upon the subject, as I desire the letters shall leave the ensuing mail.
Particularly inasmuch as I have written letters that I desire to arrive simultaneously with the one & the papers from you.
Hoping this may meet your prompt attention
Very respectfully yours
C. M. Walker
Dayton O.T.To the Hon.
10 Oct. 1853
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs
I addressed a letter to you a few days since which you will perhaps receive by the same mail you will receive this.
I enclose the transaction of myself on Rogue River, being the only evidence remaining with me as evidence of my right to pay as provided by act of Congress at its last session. I have requested the Superintendent of Indian Affairs (Genl. Palmer) to write you upon the subject as an identity of my person &c., which I hope will be done.
I am very respectfullyNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 285-291.
Your obt. servant
C. M. Walker
Office of Superintendent of Ind. AffairsSir,
Dayton Oct. 8th, 1853
I have the honor herewith to transmit to the President of the United States, through the Indian Department, the original treaty for the purchase and extinguishment of Indian title to the lands claimed by the Rogue River tribe of Indians entered into on the 10th day of Sept. 1853 by Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs & Samuel H. Culver, Indian Agt., on the part of the United States and Jo, Sam and Jim, principal chiefs, on the part of said tribe, and also a treaty of purchase and relinquishment of title to the lands claimed by the Cow Creek band of the Umpqua tribe of Indians entered into on the 19th day of Sept. 1853 by Joel Palmer, Supt. Ind. Affrs., on the part of the United States and Quin-ti-oo-saw, head chief, Mi-u-e-let-ta and Tom, son of the principal chief on the part of said band.
It is deemed important to state in the transmission of these treaties that the Superintendent and agent have been governed by what they believed to be imperatively demanded in order to restore and preserve peace. The Rogue River tribe of Indians are among the most powerful tribes on this coast, and have been held in great dread by travelers by passing through their country, and as they occupy a country traversed by the trail and road from the settlements in Oregon to California, frequent murders and robberies have been committed by them and the surrounding tribes, rendering it necessary till within the last two years for travelers to assemble in large companies when passing through the country claimed by them.
Upon the discovery of gold in California and more recently in Southern Oregon, great numbers of our citizens have entered their country for the purpose of mining and recently as permanent settlers. This has led to frequent controversies between the settlers and natives in which the lives of many of both parties have been sacrificed.
In 1851 a state of actual war between the whites and Indians existed, and after several skirmishes and battles a treaty of peace was effected
But as our citizens were then crowding into the region, excited by the hope of immediate gain in the pursuit of gold, but little respect was paid to the rights of the Indians. Hence misunderstandings, jealousies, criminations and recriminations followed in rapid succession, until all hope of an amicable adjustment was dissipated and a resort to arms followed as the only means of redressing grievances.
On the 21st of August, I received information that a state of war existed, and as soon as possible with Agent S. H. Culver I repaired to the scene of difficulties. We reached Camp Alden near Table Rock on the 4th of Sept. Gen. Lane, with Major Alden and the troops under their command, had already had a severe engagement with the hostile Indians, in which several on both sides were slain. An armistice for a short time had been agreed on, connected with propositions for a permanent peace, and the time and place designated for the assembling of the chiefs and headmen of the tribe for that purpose. The 4th day of Sept., the day of our arrival at Camp Alden, was the day agreed on for the council. The chiefs with a portion of their warriors were assembled and ready to treat, but preferred to delay till all the tribe should be present and asked till the 8th to collect their people, which was granted them.
On the 8th Sept. Gen. Lane with Capt. Smith's company of dragoons, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs and Agent Culver repaired to the council ground, where we met the chiefs and headmen of the tribe. The terms of a treaty of peace which had been proposed by General Lane on the field of battle on the 24 & 25 of August were fully agreed on, and on the following day signed by the respective parties, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. It is proper however here to state that before signing this it was fully understood that a treaty of purchase for the extinguishment of their title to the lands claimed by them should immediately follow the treaty of peace. And in accordance with this understanding we met in council on the 10th day of Sept. and agreed on the terms of purchase.
It was doubted whether according to an act approved Febry. 27th 1851 providing "that such officers and agents in the Indian Department as the President of the United States may designate shall hereafter hold treaties with the Indian tribes," we were warranted in assuming that power, as no person now engaged in the Indian Department in this Territory has been designated in accordance with this act. But the necessity of some immediate and permanent arrangement by which the citizens as well as the Indians could hope to be secured in the possession of life and property, demanded if not warranted by any existing statute, according to the great law of humanity, in consonance with which our government has ever professed to act in her intercourse with the Indians, an assumption of power somewhere to effect such an arrangement. It was believed that a treaty of peace, without extinguishing the Indian title to the country, would fail to restore and preserve it, as treaties of a similar nature had formerly been entered into with this tribe without any permanent good effect. Nothing short of the purchase of their entire country, and the assigning to them of a certain district for their temporary residence until a permanent home shall be provided for them in common with other tribes, could secure the desirable object. There is no doubt that the failure heretofore on the part of the agents of the government & others assuming to hold treaties with these Indians and other tribes to comply with the stipulations of such treaties has and will do much to destroy the confidence of the Indians in the faith of the government, and has exercised a powerful influence in causing the late difficulties. It is therefore of the utmost importance in order to restore that confidence and good faith by which alone we can hope to maintain friendly relations with the Indian tribes that these treaties be ratified and provisions made for carrying them into immediate effect.
The lands purchased of the Rogue River tribe according to the best information obtained includes about three thousand five hundred square miles--one third of which is well adapted to agricultural purposes and susceptible of a high degree of cultivation, and much of the remainder may be regarded as a pastoral country, but mountainous, abounding in numerous fertile valleys, heavy forests of valuable timber and nearly all rich in gold--being emphatically a gold region. There is little doubt that in some of the gulches near Jacksonville an amount of gold may be taken from 10 rods square sufficient to pay for the entire purchase. The consideration as you will observe for the entire purchase is $75,000, in the event of their removal from their present temporary reserve.
$15,000 of this sum is deducted to indemnify settlers & others for property destroyed by the Indians during the war and $1062.58 to pay claimants on the reserve for their improvements, a bill of appraisement being herewith transmitted, leaving $58,937.22 to be applied according to treaty stipulations for their use. I have not been able to ascertain accurately the number of persons comprising this tribe, but believe it to be about six hundred souls.
In addition to the above amt. granted by the treaty to the Indians, it is stipulated to build three cabins for the three principal chiefs, which will cost about $300 each. Goods were also purchased as presents amounting to $1,189.75/100, a portion of which have been distributed according to agreement.
Should this treaty be ratified by the President and Senate of the United States and observed by the whites, I have good reason to believe that it will be closely adhered to on the part of the Indians.
It may not be improper here to state that the Indians throughout this Superintendency so far as known are fully advised of the failure on the part of the government to fulfill the stipulations of treaties entered into by the commissioners and my predecessor in office, and as they are unable to comprehend the reasons for such noncompliance, they place but little confidence in the promises of the agents of the government.
The temporary reserve secured to the Rogue River Indians in the treaty embraces about 100 square miles, ten or twelve only of which being suitable for cultivation, and the remainder rough and mountainous. The lands around Table Rock upon the reserve abounds in the variety of roots used by these Indians for food, and the mountains are well stocked with wild game, while Rogue River on the west [sic] yields an abundance of salmon and other varieties of excellent fish. The reserve embraces the principal villages of the tribe, and has been occupied by them since their earliest existence as a tribe. The ease with which the greatest abundance of food can be obtained renders it a most desirable location for a people who depend so exclusively on spontaneous productions of nature for subsistence.
With great reluctance they consented to remove from this choice spot, but by explaining to them the great difficulty of maintaining peace between two people whose manners and customs, desires and feelings, are so dissimilar, residing in such intimate neighborhoods, and on being informed that if they desired it they would be furnished, as the treaty provided, with farming utensils such as teams, plows &c. and taught the use of them, and that they should be protected in all their rights from the encroachment of the whites and the invasion of other tribes of Indians, they finally consented, but the head chief expressed a hope that he might be allowed to occupy his old home the remaining days of his life, or till a spot should be found affording equal facilities for the subsistence of his people.
The treaty for the purchase of the country claimed by the Cow Creek band of the Umpqua Indians seemed to be demanded both as a matter of safety to this band and also as security for their good conduct. This band is [in] no ways formidable, consisting only of eighteen warriors, nineteen women and fifteen children. Nor are they warlike or unusually troublesome. But being in the vicinity of the Grave Creek band, who have ever been regarded as the inveterate foes of the whites, thefts, robberies and murders committed on travelers and recently on settlers in the vicinity of the Cow Creeks led many to believe them implicated in these acts, and this feeling was strengthened by the fact that their usual place of residence is along the road leading from the Willamette Valley to Rogue River and California, the principal scene of these atrocities.
The occurrences among the Rogue River Indians and Grave Creeks had so exasperated the whites that reckless persons traveling on this road often committed acts of violence against the Cow Creeks, robbing them of their guns & blankets and whipping them, and in one instance attacking the lodge of an aged Indian who bore an excellent character, whom they killed together with a squaw, at the same time firing several shots at a small boy who made good his retreat to the mountain.
Driven from their homes and continually exposed to similar acts of violence, as they were confounded with the guilty, they were justly much alarmed. In this agitated state of feeling between whites and Indians, the most effectual means of securing the safety of this band and maintaining peace appeared to be to purchase their country and set aside a small district for their temporary residence, a little out of the line of travel and near enough the settlements to secure them from marauding parties infesting that region.
They justly complained that the whites had driven them from their homes and deprived them of their usual means of subsistence, and said if anything was to be paid them as a remuneration for their losses it should be now when they were in need, that in a few years they would all be dead, then the price of their country could profit them nothing.
A treaty of purchase was accordingly agreed on, the tract to which the Indian title was extinguished containing about eight hundred square miles, nearly one half being an excellent farming country and the other portion mountainous, but of good soil, and well timbered. Gold is generally diffused, and at a few points mining has been successfully carried on.
The price of purchase is $12,000, the building of two cabins costing each about $200, and the fencing and plowing of a field of five acres, and the furnishing of proper seeds--all costing about $225.
No presents were made, but clothing and blankets were to be furnished immediately, the cost of purchase to be on account of first payment for their lands.
It is proper to state that all articles purchased for the Rogue River Indians and Cow Creek band are to be delivered on or near their respective reserves, the cost of transportation to be paid by the United States. This though not embodied in the treaties was fully understood by the parties.
Respectfully your obedient servantHonorable George W. Manypenny
Commissioner of Indian
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 447-455.
Superintendency of Indian AffairsSir,
Dayton O.T. Oct. 8th 1853
In transmitting my annual report at so late a period it is proper that reasons for the delay be given, especially n view of the positive instructions from the Department at Washington requiring strict compliance with the 19th paragraph of Revised Regulations No. 3.
This circular, however, as you were informed by Mr. Geary, Acting Superintendent during my absence to assist in quelling the disturbances between our citizens and the Indians of the Rogue River country, did not reach this office till the 12th ultimo.
Although aware of the importance of submitting my report at an early day, little towards its preparation was accomplished prior to my departure to the scene of Indian war in the south, as I desired to receive the reports of agents and sub and special agents before its compilation. I also desired to visit the coast region between Tillamook and Umpqua River, as was suggested in my letters of June 23rd and August 23rd in order to enable me to speak definitely of the propriety of colonizing the valley Indians in that district.
On the eve of starting upon that tour I was arrested in my purpose by intelligence of the Indian depredations and imminent peril of our citizens in the southern part of the Territory. I at once abandoned the expedition and proceeded to the scene of difficulties, leaving Mr. Geary to perform the duties of Acting Superintendent during my absence. But unfortunately in a few days after my departure Mr. Geary was prostrated by sickness and wholly disabled from the performance of duty.
I was detained until the 25th September, and on my return, after spending a week in ineffectual efforts to procure a loan of funds whereby to meet the current expenses of the office, and the liabilities incurred in holding treaties with the Indians, I was subpoenaed to attend the court then in session in Oregon City as a witness in a suit there pending against Anson Dart Esqr., late Supt. Indian Affairs, where I was detained till the evening of the 7th instant.
I very much regret this delay as I fear it will tend much to the embarrassment of the Indian Department in Oregon for the ensuing year, and I deeply regret the circumstances rendering necessary this long apologetic introduction to my report. I hope the reasons above detailed will prove sufficient to exonerate me from blame in the premises.
Peace at present exists with all the Indian tribes in this Superintendency, but as heretofore intimated a general feeling of anxiety and distrust pervades the tribes and bands from the seaboard to the Rocky Mountains.
This feeling is more owing to the conduct of evil-minded whites towards them than to any desire on their part to annoy or injure the whites. The non-ratification of treaties has done much also to destroy their confidence in the good intentions of the government, and I may say, without exposing my opinion as to the provisions of these treaties, will tend much to embarrass the action of agents of the government, who may hereafter be designated to interpret treaty stipulations.
This want of confidence in the declarations of the officers of government is not confined to the few tribes with whom treaties have been negotiated; it extends through the entire country, nor is it presumed that even the ratification of those treaties at so late a day would relieve the general distrust.
The importance of entering, at an early period, into treaties to extinguish the Indian title to the lands belonging to the tribes residing along the Columbia River and the north Oregon Road, or so much of said country as is within the Territory of Oregon, has been repeatedly presented to the attention of the Department. My convictions of the propriety and necessity of this course are daily deepened, and I am satisfied that unless early steps be taken to effect such treaties, serious difficulties, if not a general Indian war with those tribes, will be the consequence.
It is also important that measures to extinguish the Indian title to the country bordering on the Southering Road, extending from the Sierra Nevada to the summit of the Cascade Range of mountains, and as far north and south as to give security to our population constantly coming upon the western shores of this continent should be speedily taken.
If it becomes the settled policy of the government to colonize the tribes residing on the west side of the Cascade Mountains on the east side of that range, the necessity of early explorations and early treaties for extensive tracts of Indian country is apparent.
The vast district between the Southern Oregon Road and the Columbia River and between the Humboldt and Cascade Range is but little known, but is believed to contain many valuable tracts of agricultural country, of sufficient extent to incite settlers, and the rapid spread of our settlements renders it more than probable that a brief period will exhibit those fertile tracts seats of a thriving population and of the arts of civilized and enlightened communities. Experience moreover has taught us that the settlement of a country prior to the extinguishment of the native title to the soil is in most cases attended with serious difficulties and embarrassments to the government, with annoyance and danger to the settlers, and prove fatal to the best interests--the improvement and civilization of the natives.
In connection with the subject of exploring the country and colonizing the tribes, I would add that information desired from a party in search of gold, who traveled the mountainous region in the neighborhood of Pitt's Peak and the country between Rogue River and Middle Oregon between the 43 and 44 degrees of N.L. induce me to believe that quite extensive valleys, fertile and well suited to the Indian population of the southern part of our Territory, exist in that region. This statement is partially confirmed by the Rogue River chiefs, who state that persons of their tribes visited some of those valleys many years ago. It is probable, however, that the valleys they refer to are east of the summit of the mountains.
This evidence of the existence of such valleys, and of their suitableness to be made the future and permanent home of the tribes of Southern Oregon, would warrant their exploration, as well as those of the interiors of Middle Oregon above indicated. A full and complete examination of these portions of Oregon, besides enabling the government, with a fuller knowledge of the facts, to fix its permanent policy in regard to the savage tribes of Oregon, will doubtlessly tend greatly to bring to light the vast and diversified resources of our Territory.
A different policy in regard to holding treaties with the Indians of this territory, from that heretofore pursued, seems called for, not only as a matter of economy, but on account of the influence exerted on the Indians themselves.
The gathering of different bands and tribes from remote neighborhoods in mass, to be paraded, petted and feasted at the public expense, has a decidedly demoralizing influence upon the Indians, as it inclines them to indolence and extravagance, gives them an importance in their own esteem to which they are by no means entitled, and impresses them with the belief that our government has a reckless disregard of expenditure. At such places many congregate of a class interested in a large expenditure on the occasion, and for the purpose of present or ulterior gain, exert an improper influence over the minds of the Indians, disinclining them to treat, or inciting them to demand modes of payment suiting the sharper but at variance with their own real interest.
In treating with the Indians the season of the year has its influence. At some season their wants are so easily and abundantly supplied that no proposition for purchasing their lands or for their removal, however extravagant, would receive their favorable regard. At other seasons their wants are so numerous and pressing that they yield a ready ear, and comply with such terms as may be dictated.
This applies only to the tribes of the Lower Columbia and of the Willamette and Umpqua valleys.
I would only avail myself of their necessities the more effectually to promote their general welfare, thus conforming to that humane policy which marks the history of our government towards the Indians. They must be united, instructed in the arts of civilization, and brought under the influence of wise and wholesome laws, in order to be perpetuated, otherwise they will speedily perish on the graves of their fathers. In order to make them the recipients of these benefits, the period of their most pliant mood must be seized upon, and all engagements made with them promptly carried into effect.
As to the better mode of treating, nothing I apprehend could be more ridiculous and absurd than pomp and display in treating with the miserable bands and remnants of tribes in the region last referred to. The most simple and economical approach on our part becomes their condition, and will alone secure the prompt completion of contracts with families, bands and tribes so feeble and so numerous. Let their usual places of residence be visited when practicable,
Much credit is due General Lane for the explicit and fair dealing which has always characterized his intercourse with the Indians. He has always scrupulously avoided making promises to them beyond what he was sure of being able to perform. His statements are consequently regarded with confidence by the Indians.
The beneficial influence of this statement among the Indians was manifest in the late treaty with the Rogue River tribe, the chiefs the more readily acceding to terms which they regarded as having his approbation and sanction.
The practice now so general of making presents to Indians has I believe rather an injurious tendency than otherwise, as it has created the impression extensively among the Indians that the government is bound to continue the practice as long as they remain among us, and while thus supplied they are less inclined to treat for the sale of their lands and submit to removal. It also tends to foster indolent habits, as they are not inclined to industry and economy while their wants can be otherwise supplied.
Presents in some instances appear necessary and proper to conciliate the good will of the Indian, reward the good conduct or incline him to peace, but the practice has evidently been much abused, and is at last of little utility.
In the selection of a district of country for the colonization of the various bands and tribes of Indians who inhabit the country contiguous to the coast, attention is required to their mode of subsistence. They may properly be termed fish eaters, and to assign them a country destitute of this to them indispensable article of food would be disastrous to their existence as a people.
The country between the Tillamook and Umpqua has already been suggested as among the most desirable locations for the settlement of the Indians of the Willamette and Lower Columbia.
Those of the Umpqua may be added, but it is somewhat doubtful whether the country is sufficiently extensive for the settlement of the Coast Indians inhabiting the country south of the Umpqua. The designation of an additional tract may consequently be necessary for the settlement of the Coast Indians, and two or more tracts east of the Cascade Mountains for the tribes inhabiting the interiors.
I regard it as highly important for the successful maintenance of friendly relations with the Indians that in addition to the agencies of Rogue River and Utilla, there be an agency established for the tribes east of the Cascade Mountains to include the Klamaths, Diggers and Shoshones, that portion of the Snakes residing within this Territory, and the Bannocks residing along Lewis Fork of the Columbia and Boise River. And until the extinction of the Indian title to the country and the removal of the Indians, it is important that in addition to the sub-agencies of the Willamette Valley, Clatsop Plains and Port Orford, another sub-agency be established including the Umpqua Valley and the country bordering on the Coos and Coquille rivers, now in the care of Special Agent W. J. Martin.
The subject of additional compensation to agents and sub-agents is respectfully submitted. That of sub-agents is barely the pay of a common laborer, and is insufficient to secure the services of competent and reliable men.
A detailed account of the numbers and condition of the Indians of the sub-agency at Port Orford is given in the report of Sub-Agent S. H. Culver, a copy of which is herewith transmitted.
By the judicious and untiring attention of Mr. Culver, supported by the military stationed at Port Orford, the Indians of that district, though numerous and warlike, have been kept quiet.
The recent discovery of gold in that region has induced a large number of persons to congregate in the vicinity of Port Orford, which from the number and character of the Indians dwelling thus is more than likely, without the most unremitting vigilance and care, to result in difficulty and bloodshed.
Many of the adventurers in the mining region are of the most reckless and desperate character, and affected with such feelings of hostility to the Indians that military coercion alone seems adequate [sic] to the preservation of peace.
My knowledge of the character and condition of those Indians, as well as the character of the country they inhabit, is so limited that I am unable to recommend any measure of policy to be pursued in regard to them. It is evident however that delay in assigning them an abode within fixed limits, remote from the mining districts, where they can be protected from encroachment and violence, must tend to their speedy extinction. Treaties therefore at an early day for the extinction of title to their lands, and provisions for their colonization in a suitable country, are of the utmost importance.
My letter of the first September informing you that F. M. Smith Esq. of Port Orford in the absence of a sub-agent, P. F. Thompson Esq., being on duty at the Utilla Agency, was appointed special agent for the tribes of the Port Orford district. No information as to his acceptance or refusal has yet been received. Mr. Smith is recommended as well qualified for the duties of the station, and I hope the appointment may meet your approbation.
On my return from Rogue River to this place I received information rendering it necessary to dispatch an agent immediately to visit the Indians residing along the waters of Coos River and Bay, situated some fifteen or twenty miles south of Umpqua River. The necessity for the constant presence of an agent among the tribes in the Rogue River country renders it imprudent to call away Agent Culver from his post, though Coos Bay is attached to his district. I therefore deputed William J. Martin Esq. of Winchester as a special agent to visit the Indians of Coos Bay, and on the waters of Umpqua River. I transmit a copy herewith of his appointment and instructions.
While on my late expedition I came to the knowledge of the existence of a tribe of Indians inhabiting the country on the upper waters of the north and south forks of the Umpqua and the headwaters of Rogue River, called the wild Mo-lal-la-las. The name so nearly resembles that of the Mo-la-las, of the Willamette, that they have hitherto been confounded with that tribe, but the information I have obtained satisfies me that they are a distinct tribe, speaking an entirely different language, and having no connection whatever with them.
They have had but little intercourse with the whites, being located in a remote and mountainous region, off the line of travel from Oregon to California. They roam sometimes as far east and southeast as the headwaters of Deschutes and the Klamath Lake. Their subsistence is chiefly wild game, with which their country abounds, while numerous mountain streams and lakes afford a rich supply of fish.
Some of these lakes are said to be twenty miles in length, with considerable margins of fertile, level land, and surrounded with precipitous mountains. This information, though chiefly derived from Indians, is so corroborated that I put much confidence in its correctness.
The several bands inhabiting the coast between Tillamook and the Umpqua River have never been visited by an agent of the government. It was indeed represented that but few Indians dwelt there. I have however conversed with several of a party who explored one of the streams emptying into the ocean on that coast during the summer who found a village at the base of the mountains about six miles from the ocean, sustaining about two hundred souls. In the comfort of their lodges and their abundant supply of provisions they were much in advance of the tribes generally along the coast. They were poorly clothed, had no firearms, and were of a lighter complexion than the Indians usually are.
They subsist on wild game, fish, mussels and clams, and have but little intercourse with the whites. The greater part of the tribe fled on the approach of the exploring party.
No detailed report of the condition of the Indians in the Utilla Agency has been received. A copy of a letter from Sub-Agent P. F. Thompson accompanying this report will give you some idea of the petty annoyances to which the agent is subjected from that proud and haughty tribe.
No report has been received at this office from the agency at Puget Sound. My letter of the 22nd of August informed you of the designation of J. M. Garrison Esqr. to that agency. Agent Sterling was accordingly informed of the fact by letter from this office and directed to turn over to Mr. Garrison the papers and property belonging to the agency upon his executing to him the proper receipt therefor. This Mr. Sterling declined doing, on the ground that he was not subject to the control of this Superintendency, and was acting under instructions of Governor Stephens of Washington Territory. Soon after, Mr. Garrison returned to this Territory, and on the 10th instant notified this office that he had resigned his office of Indian agent to take effect immediately.
No report has been received from Sub-Agent W. W. Raymond Esqr. of Clatsop Plains, nor from J. L. Parrish Esqr. of the Willamette Valley, but we believe the tribes and bands of those districts are at peace among themselves and sustain friendly relations to the whites.
It may not be improper to state that several letters from various sources, interrogating me in regard to funds alleged to be due them for past services in the Indian Department, including salary, traveling expenses &c., have been received, the amount of which claims I have no means of ascertaining, as no regular bills have been presented. Among the number is Agent H. H. Spalding claiming one-quarter salary yet due him, E. A. Sterling for salary and traveling and incidental expenses, J. L. Parrish traveling expenses and interpreter's salary and A. A. Skinner Esqr. for traveling expenses and salary of interpreter.
The salary of Superintendent and agents, sub and special agents, interpreters and all traveling and contingent expenses since I entered on the duties assigned me are unpaid, no public funds having been placed in my hands by which to discharge such liabilities.
I would only add that for the expenses attending my recent trip to Rogue River and the treaties with the Rogue River and Cow Creek tribes, together with all expenses for the transportation of goods promised them, and the expenses incident to the duties of Superintendent, I am now paying at the rate of five percent per month interest.The following estimate of expenses in this Department for the year commencing July 1st 1854 is respectfully submitted.
In the above estimates I have contemplated the appointment of one additional agent for this territory and an additional sub-agent as being indispensable to the maintenance of peace and the early extinguishment of the Indian title to the country. It also contemplates the employment of one interpreter to each agent and two for the Superintendent and two for the agent stationed east of the Cascade Mountains.
The pay of sub-agents and interpreters is estimated as fixed by law, but should the compensation for these officers be increased, as in justice it should be, an additional amount will be required.
The amount of traveling expenses is intended to cover the cost of the purchase of animals and the necessary fixtures for exploring the country with a view to the selection of permanent homes for the Indian tribes, the pay of employees to accompany the officers of government in such explorations and the ordinary traveling expenses incident to such service.
The amount for the payment of annuities contemplates the ratification of the treaties of purchase recently entered into with the Rogue River and Cow Creek Indians, that amount being necessary to carry its provisions into effect, and will be needed previous to the 1st Sept. 1854.
In the estimate for holding treaties is included a sum believed to be sufficient to pay the expenses of holding treaties for the extinguishment of Indian title to all the land west of the Cascade Range, and their assent to remove to such points as may be selected for them, provided a selection be made west of said mountains; it also includes an amount sufficient for presents and a first payment on account of purchase, provided the treaties be ratified, for which purpose twelve or fifteen thousand dollars may be applied; it also contemplates the purchase of teams and animals for the transportation of Indian goods to such points as may be necessary, as well as treating with such of the tribes east of the Cascade Mountains as may be deemed necessary for the preservation of peace, and to give security to our citizens passing from the eastern to the western boundaries of this Territory, and open the way for a continuous chain of settlements upon the routes usually traveled by our citizens.
The estimates given above are believed to be the lowest possible adequate to accomplish the objects intended in the most economical manner. In the exploration of the interior a small military escort will be essential to the safety of the party, or the appropriation of an additional sum sufficient for the employment of a suitable number of persons for protection.
I would respectfully suggest to the Department the propriety and importance of placing at the disposal of the Superintendent in this Territory in addition to the above estimates a sum of not less than ten thousand dollars, designed as a contingent fund to meet sudden emergencies like that in the Rogue River country, which might occur. Also the sum of one thousand dollars be placed at the disposal of each agent, and one half that sum in the hands of each sub-agent as a contingent fund for similar purposes. This amount, on hand to meet emergencies, might when judiciously expended be the means of preventing a protracted and bloody Indian war and the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in military operations.
In order that the department may understand the data on which is based my estimate of expenses of treating with the Indians in Oregon generally, I herewith transmit a table of the estimated expenses of treating with the several tribes east and west of the Cascade Mountains, so far as such treaties may be deemed necessary.
I am sir very respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servant
Supt. Indian Affairs. O.T.
Commissioner Ind. Affrs.
Fort Lane O.T.Sir,
Oct. 12, 1853
On the night of the 7th two Inds. shot a man by the name of Kyle, who was a partner of Wills, one of the persons shot at the commencement of the late war.
It occurred near Willow Springs at about 10 o'clock at night.
The two Inds. belong on the Klamath, though they have spent much of the last year with those in this valley. One of them is related by marriage to Tyee Jo & they both have many friends among the young Indians here. And it was a severe test of the Inds. desire for peace to be compelled [to] deliver them up. But they did so yesterday morning. They are now in the guard house, where they will be kept until the next term of the dist. court.
I think peace now more firmly settled than ever.
Very respectfully,Joel Palmer Supt. &c.
Your obt. servt.
S. H. Culver
Oct. 13. P.S. Kyle died this morning.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 66.
Port Orford O.T.Dear Sir,
Oct. 12th 1853
The first of this month I acknowledged the receipt of my appointment to the office of sub-agent of Indian affairs at this place. I beg to inform you that I am without law or semblance of law appertaining to the duties of my office. My attention never having been directed to Indian matters, I am to a great extent ignorant of the service required of me, and know but little of the powers invested in me. I hope therefore to receive from you, as soon as possible, full and complete instructions, that I may attend to the duties of the trust reposed in me to your satisfaction and to the satisfaction of the general government. Mr. Culver, on leaving here, took with him all the papers belonging to the office, such as vouchers of money expended, duplicates of quarterly reports &c. &c., thus leaving me to act upon my own judgment without the aid of instruction or even precedent. I would respectfully return you my thanks for the appointment, and beg to assure you that I shall attend to the duties of the office to the best of my ability.
RespectfullyNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 89.
Your obt. servant
F. M. Smith
Winchester Oct. 14th / 53Mr. Joel Palmer
Supt. of Indian Affairs O.T.
Sir, on my arrival at Coos Bay I proceeded to ascertain the disposition of the Coos Indians. I found them entirely friendly with the whites. I could talk but little with them on account of none of them being able to speak the jargon. The Coos Bay Company deserves much credit for the good judgment that they have shown in their proceedings with those Indians never promising them anything which they have not performed.
The Coos Indians are all enjoying fine health. They are stout, robust men. I was not able to ascertain their number on account of not being able to talk with them as I would like to have done. I made them no presents, as I thought it was not necessary until such a time as I would be able to talk with them. I have found an Umpqua Indian which speaks the Coos and jargon well. All that is wanted is some goods, shirts, blankets and a few pieces of calico. They are anxious to sell their lands and make a small reserve to live on. They live entirely by fishing, don't wish to move at present. They claim all of the country commencing at Ten Mile Creek ten miles north of the mouth of the Umpqua down the coast to near the Coceal [sic] River, then back to the summit of the Coast Range of mountains, which will include all of the Coos Bay country. The country is mostly level and covered with spruce, pine and white cedar and contains an immense quantity of fine stone coal. The Coos country in my opinion will make one of the largest and richest countries in Oregon. The soil is as rich as any land in the Territory.
The bay is a beautiful sheet of water running back into the country some twenty-five miles completely landlocked, as I could not learn the depth of the water in the bar at the mouth of the river.
I would propose buying the land of the Coos Indians as soon as possible, for the sooner the better for both whites and Indians, as it will be no doubt save both trouble and expense. There is no doubt but all of our Indian difficulties in this country have their origin in behalf of the Indian believing that the whites intends taking their lands from them without paying them for it, but when they find that not to be the case they at once have the most implicit confidence in the white people. After their lands are bought all that is needed is to never deceive them in the first instance, for if they ever lose confidence in the whites it is a very hard matter to get them to replace the same confidence again. I have just let out the building of those two houses for the Cow Creek Indians to J. B. Nichols for the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars.
On my way back from Coos I saw the Lower Umpqua Indians, those at the mouth of the Umpqua River, and some at the great fishing near Scottsburg. They are all willing to sell their lands to the United States and make a small reserve. They claim to be Umpquas and always have been willing for the whites to have all of their land except a small piece covering their fishery. The Indian here in the valley says that the Indian below the old H.B. fort is a different people from them, but I have no doubt but they are all the same people. Those here in the valley say they do not want to sell their land but wants the white to have it to take and settle on all of it as they have no use for the land and only wish to live among the whites. I told them that the President did not want to cultus iscum ["take for nothing"] their land but wanted to pay them for it, which pleased them very much. All the Umpqua Indians live by fishing and digging roots.
I have not been able to find out their number, as they are scattered all over the country in small bands. From all I could gather from both whites and Indians I will set the Coos Indians down 200, the Lower Umpquas from the H.B. fort down 200, and from the fort up on the waters of the Umpqua 150, supposing them to be in all this amount 550. It would be well to have some presents to give to all of those people. They are anxious to have some goods as the winter is now approaching and take these as part pay for their lands. It will be no trouble to call all of them together at about three or four places.
I may perhaps come down to see you about some goods for the Indians. In the meantime I will leave Mr. Magruder, my interpreter, here to figure out all the Indians in this valley and their numbers. I find it quite a job to get things straightened and in proper shape. I feel confident of being able to accomplish much with those Indians after I shall get them to understand what I want.
Yours with due respectGen. Joel Palmer
Wm. L. Martin
Special Ind. Agent
Supt. Ind. Affrs.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 61. A copy can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 272-275.
Port Orford O.T.Sir,
Oct. 14th 1853
Enclosed is bill of purchase for my office, being articles actually necessary. I have ventured the conviction that government will not repudiate such purchases. Am I right in my conclusions? When I shall receive full and complete instruction of the duties of my office and the power invested in me by virtue of the office, I shall then be able to conform to the strict letter of the law. Until then I shall act only upon mature reflection and with great caution.
I hope to hear from you by return mail.
RespectfullyNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 90.
Your obt. servt.
F. M. Smith
THE office of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs will be temporarily removed to Dayton, Yamhill County, to which place correspondents will direct their communications until further notice is given.
JOEL PALMER, Supt. Ind. AffairsOregon Statesman, Salem, October 18, 1853, page 2
Milwaukee, Sept. 28, 1853.
Office of Supt. Ind. AffairsSir
Dayton October 28th 1853
Enclosed are letters from C. M. Walker Esqr. and a memorandum book and journal kept by said Walker, who claims that the amounts contained in said memorandum are due him and others mentioned therein severally. The memorandum book is the only evidence in this office giving any information on the subject, and it is transmitted with accompanying papers.
I am satisfied that his claim is a just one, as well as those of others named in the accompanying abstract of accounts.
I am sir yourHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 283-284.
Office Indian Affairs
Novr. 1st 1853
I have to acknowledge the receipt of three letters from you: one dated Sept. 1st last, enclosing a list of the persons employed within your Superintendency, one dated same day, requesting a few copies of the laws and regulations of this bureau to supply your Superintendency, and the other dated Septr. 13th stating that in view of the hostilities existing among the Indian tribes of the Rogue River Valley, you had appointed F. M. Smith Esqr. special agent for that valley, temporarily, with the salary of a sub-agent.
In accordance with your request I herewith transmit to you four copies of the laws and regulations of this bureau.
In view of the circumstances mentioned in your letter of the 13th Sept., your appointment of Mr. Smith as special agent for the Rogue River Valley is approved, but it is expected that his employment in that capacity will be discontinued as soon as the relations of the Indian tribes in that vicinity will allow his services to be dispensed with.
Very respectfullyJoel Palmer Esqr.
Your obt. servant
Charles E. Mix
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 72.
Port Orford O.T.Dear Sir
November 8th 1853
I reached my home and post of duty on the 3rd inst. Soon after my return news was brought me by a gentleman residing near the mouth of Rogue River of the manifestation of hostility on the part of the Cis-ti-cos-ta Indians. Benj. Wright and party of four men were up at the "big bend" of Rogue River a few days since, making exploration for coarse gold. They were there met by the Cis-ti-cos-tas and ordered to immediately leave their country.
Wright endeavored to convince them that they were there only for peaceful purposes and wished to meet with their people as friends, but no overtures of peace or good will would be received. Wright was told by the chief that he would not allow white men to live or even pass through his country--that his people were strong, had good arms, and were willing to fight. Wright and party left with all possible speed, so apprehensive were they of an attack at that time. I am impressed with the belief that there exists an actual necessity of this post's being strongly garrisoned immediately. I am told that there are now at "Table Rock," "Fort Lane" three companies of troops under command of Capt. Smith. I hope you will deem it advisable to urge upon Gen. Hitchcock the necessity of removing to the "big bend" of Rogue River a portion of the troop now stationed at "Table Rock." The necessity of this appears to me to be imperative, particularly if this post is to remain in its present feeble state. At present I am powerless to do good. There are but seven men in the garrison of Fort Orford, a force totally insufficient for any purpose incident to my duties as sub-Indian agent. We are daily receiving accession to our population, and many of those arriving are of the most reckless character, having no regard for law, order or life. I need the protecting arm of a military force to prevent outrages being committed upon the Indians by lawless whites. I propose to visit the Cis-ti-cos-tas immediately and shall do all in my power to establish friendly relations with the tribe. On my return I will at once acquaint you with the result of my efforts.
Your obt. servt.NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 91.
F. M. Smith
Office Supt. of Indian AffairsSir,
Dayton O.T. Nov. 9, 1853
In view of the enormous charges made for transporting freight I would suggest that the Superintendent be allowed to purchase and retain in the service teams and pack animals with the necessary fixtures for transporting goods and supplies to those parts of the Superintendency for which they are intended. I would also recommend that the Superintendent be allowed to purchase for the service three or four horses or mules and each agent and sub-agent be allowed to purchase or be furnished by the Superintendent with two or three each as circumstances may require to be used as saddle animals in traveling.
As a matter of economy, these arrangements seem necessary in order to avoid the extravagant charges of public conveyance. At most points the cost of forage for animals while not in actual service may be avoided and also frequently while in service, as the country abounds in nutritious grasses. When the service requires dispatch and in traversing the settled portions of the country forage of course will be requisite.
The same is required for hired animals since the price of hire would in most cases more than meet the expense of forage, nor is it presumable that the animals would depreciate materially in value.
The sub-agent at Tansy Point should be allowed a rowboat, as most points he will be required to visit can only be reached in that way.
I am very respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servant
Commissioner Ind. Affairs
Washington City D.C.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 502-504.
Office Superintendent of Indian AffairsSir,
Dayton O.T. Nov. 9th, 1853.
I respectfully request instructions on the following points connected with the duties of my office.
Am I warranted to pay the salaries of agents and sub-agents in any case in advance, or the salaries of their respective interpreters, before the salary account is passed on and approved in your office?
Is the payment of house and office rent of agent and sub-agents provided for by the regulations of the Department? If so, is it proper to pay said accounts before they are passed on and approved as above stated, and are the traveling and incidental expenses of agents and sub-agents only to be paid after the accounts are approved in your office and ordered to be paid?
In an emergency requiring the employment of persons on special service, is the Superintendent authorized to pay for such service and the expenses incident thereto before the accounts of said persons are approved in your office and their payment ordered?
I would also ask instructions in reference to the mode of purchasing goods designed as presents to the Indians.
Is it expected that the Superintendent should make all purchases for this purpose in this Superintendency, and when so purchased and turned over to agents should a bill of purchase and a duplicate receipt of said agent be forwarded to the Department at Washington?
I am sir respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servant
Commissioner Ind. Affrs.
Washington City D.C.
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 505-507.
1853Mr. Palmer dear Sir
November the 12
I have lately learned that a treaty and purchase has been made with the Indians on Rogue River, Oregon T. I have an account against those Indians. I think mine was the first that was legally proven up against those Indians. I will state some of the particulars and desire to call your attention to it--on the last day of August 1849 I was robbed by Indians on Rogue River 3 miles above the point of rock on the road of money and property the amount of 24 hundred dollars. It was principally gold, a little silver and two horses. I went directly to Governor Lane, at that time the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, [to] complain to him and agreeable to his direction proved my account before Judge Bryant and was told by him and Gov. Lane that when the government made a treaty with those Indians I would get my money.
I grew tired waiting [for] the treaty and believing I was entitled to my money by the provisions of the 17th section of the act of Congress of the 30th June 1834 and accordingly I wrote to Judge Skinner, but he screwed and twisted for a year. When I asked Dr. Dart to call on him to do his duty in the matter he, Dart, equivocated nearly another year and at last he wrote that [the] case had been neglected and he would send my account to Washington to our delegate in Congress. I wrote him not to do it and then I wrote to the President politely asking him to dismiss them both. To this I got an answer from Mr. Lea Secretary of the Interior. [Luke Lea was Commissioner of Indian Affairs.]
Sir, you will please inform me whether my account is of that class that is paid out of the first annuity and in fact you will oblige me very much by inform[ing] me all about my claim on those Indians. It would suit me remarkably well to learn that my money was ready for me.
Sir, I remain yoursNARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 609 Oregon Superintendency, 1856..
Office Superintendent of Indian AffairsSir
Dayton O.T. Nov. 12th 1853
Frequent applications have been made to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs by citizens of this Territory for information as to the mode of procedure to enable them to recover for losses sustained by Indian depredations, and as I am so frequently importuned upon this subject, and the amounts involved in many instances being large, I would ask instructions to enable me to give the required information.
These applications are likely to become quite numerous, and if a policy be adopted encouraging the presentation of all claims for injury or loss of property to act retrospectively with a view of being deducted from the amount allowed the Indians for their country, it is believed that in many cases the entire amount of the value of their possessions would be thus absorbed, as claims would doubtlessly be raked up, real or factitious, commencing as early as 1843. It is very likely there are instances in which the persons designated to negotiate treaties with the Indian tribes in Oregon would be warranted in pressing claims against them, but if the relinquishment of Indian title to their lands, and their consent to remove to such points as may be selected for them, rests upon the contingency of their agreement to allow such claims to be deducted from the price of purchase, it will inevitably be a serious obstacle to the accomplishment of that object.
I am sir very respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obedient servt.
Commissioner Indian Affairs
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 483-484.
Indian Agency Rogue River ValleySir
Nov. 13th 1853
Since mine to you of Oct. 6th there has been good feeling between the whites and Indians with whom the treaty was made in Sept. last. But I regret to say that some other bands have displayed a disposition that looks far from encouraging to lovers of peace.
I fear that there are some bad men belonging to Tipcue's band who are disposed to pilfer and do other mischief.
The Indians on Illinois Creek display the same disposition, in fact the last named band are & have been since June last at war with the whites.
I went to this creek on the 17th Oct. with an escort consisting of two companies dragoons furnished me by Capt. Smith in hopes of reaching a treaty of peace with them, but was not able to hold any communication with them. Lt. Radford took 16 horses and one ox, all of which the Indians had stolen within the six weeks previous.
I am now trying (through Tyee Jo) to get them to come in and have a talk. If I can get them to meet me I have no doubt but I can make a peace with them, which I am in hopes to be able to do in a short time.
I start in the morning to try to recover stolen property from Tipcue's band.
I am suffering great inconvenience for want of funds to defray the expenses of the Agency. I have been compelled to be constantly moving from one point to another to settle difficulties between Indians and whites, sometimes matters serious, at others trifling. But it is at this time necessary that I should see to the settlement of all differences, as one rash step or hasty act might involve the whole community in another war.
That traveling is expensive in this part of Oregon is sufficiently within your knowledge; your experience is quite ample.
A lack of the necessary funds to defray the expenses of the Agency might be productive of the most serious consequences, and that perhaps which could not be repaired at any cost.
Permit me to hope then that my present embarrassment will be relieved soon.
Respectfully yourTo Joel Palmer Supt. &c.
Saml. H. Culver
Dayton, Yamhill Co.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 67.
The Indians of the North.We have from the first doubted the wisdom of the treaty recently negotiated by Gen. Lane with the Indians of Rogue River Valley. We were firmly impressed with the belief that the treaty would be productive of no lasting benefit to the whites, but, on the contrary, would ultimately result disastrously to the welfare of the citizens of Rogue River Valley. It is perhaps useless for us to state the reasons that impressed these convictions upon our mind. They may be incorrect. We trust they are. We trust that time will prove our fears baseless and without foundation, and vindicate the superior wisdom and farsightedness of Gen. Lane.
Nevertheless, we must be permitted to doubt the correctness of the policy of making treaties with California or Oregon Indians, unless we stand in the position of the superior or victorious party.
Our whole intercourse with the Indians teaches us that they cannot be won over to friendship by moral suasion, and that superior physical force can alone keep them in check. They are taught from infancy to look upon the white man as their natural enemy, and those of their warriors who are most successful in injuring him are honored as the "braves" of the tribes. Hence when it is to their interest to violate a treaty, it is not inconsistent with their code of morals to consider it more honored in the breach than the observance. And hence we thought, and still think, the treaty made by Gen. Lane impolitic and unwise. Gen. Lane did not occupy the position of the stronger or victorious party. On the contrary the whites had been worsted in every engagement, and the Indians knew the fact and boasted of it. When the treaty was formed the Indians were almost wholly without ammunition, and hence arose their singular willingness to make a treaty in the midst of their victories. Would it not have been wise at this time to have waged hostilities with increased energy, until the enemy was weakened and cowed into terms of our own dictation, rather than treat with them uncrippled, unwhipped in a single instance? What security have the citizens of Rogue River Valley that there will not be another outbreak just so soon as the savages have again accumulated a sufficiency of ammunition? Their experience of the two years previous must or should have taught them to place but little confidence in the stability of Indian treaties. No one, so far as we know, has remained for any considerable length of time unbroken. It may be that bad white men are frequently more to blame than the Indians, but that is no reason that they shall waylay and murder the peaceable traveler or packer in the mountain paths, or chase the farmer from his ranch and destroy his houses and produce. The Indian should he taught to discriminate between good and bad white men, and not visit the sins of the latter upon the heads of the former.
We are induced to make these remarks by recent advices from the North--published in another column [transcribed below]--and which tend in no slight degree to convince us of the correctness of our want of confidence in the wisdom of the treaty referred to.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, November 5, 1853, page 2
Fight Between U.S. Troops and Indians.Mr. Parker of Rhodes & Lusk's Express just down from Yreka informs us that a government express arrived at Fort Jones on Monday last, directly from Fort Lane in Rogue River Valley, bearing the intelligence that a company of U.S. dragoons had a very severe engagement with a party of Indians on Deer Creek, some 25 miles from Fort Lane.
It seems that the Indians on the trail between Jacksonville and Crescent City have for some weeks past been very troublesome, having killed one man and robbed numerous trains. For the purpose of chastising the depredators and freeing the road from further annoyance, Capt. Smith, commander at Fort Lane, sent out Lieut. Radford with a company of 30 dragoons, who met and attacked the Indians on Deer Creek, and after quite a hard fight forced them to scatter into the mountains. The Indians had 10 warriors killed and a greater number wounded. Lieutenant Radford had a sergeant and one private killed, and three privates wounded. The Indians in their fight abandoned all of their horses, ammunition, food and, indeed, all else of their worldly possessions.
A few instances of this style of diplomacy will do more--according to our thinking--towards securing peace with the savages than a thousand treaties, even though negotiated by Gen. Lane.
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, November 5, 1853, page 2
Winchester Nov. 27th 1853Supt. of Indn. Affrs.
Genl. Joel Palmer
Sir, Mr. Hubbard reached this place last night, having left the wagon on Pass Creek at the sawmill and brought the goods on pack mules, having engaged to pay for the use of the animals at $1.50 per day and the men $3.00 per day. I have concluded to send the goods on to Rogue River by the same man at the rates agreed on by Mr. Hubbard. It is as cheap as it can be hired here.
The amount to be paid as soon as the money is received from Washington City. Mr. Hubbard will take the man's receipt for the team, which he will take to you, and as soon as possible I will have the team brought to this place. Mr. Barnes will go with Ben and the goods to Fort Lane on Rogue River, believing it not safe to trust Ben with strangers, knowing that Mr. Barnes will see Ben safe to the fort.
Mr. Hubbard and Bell [sic] don't wish to go any farther and I think it would be of no use for them to go on as it would but make more expense as it is already costing a great deal to get the goods out.to Cow Creek and Rogue River.
I have assumed the responsibility of sending the goods on as as I think I have no want for further instruction than knowing it is absolutely necessary for the articles to go on and feeling certain it would be right. I have received the goods as per Bill [sic] for the Cow Creek Indians.
And all for Mr. Culver's agency on Rogue River and will send them forward in the morning. As soon as I return from Cow Creek I will send you the abstract of articles delivered to the Cow Creek Indians and all other information that I may have and likewise the cost of forwarding of the goods to Fort Lane as nearly as possible
YoursNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 75.
Wm. J. Martin
Spl. Ind. Agt.
Dayton O.T.To the Hon.
2nd Decr. 1853
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Washington City D.C.
I recd. from the Genl. Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs of this Territory, a letter containing a copy of a letter from you, speaking of the mode by which I am to proceed in order to obtain my pay from the government for services rendered on Rogue River in 1851.
You say proper vouchers should be forwarded to your office to authorize the sending of the money to me. I am at a loss to ascertain how I am to proceed in this matter unless a filing of my account alone is sufficient.
All the papers &c. connected with that expedition have been delivered to Mr. Palmer with the exception of what I herein enclose to you. I hope you may find them sufficient to justify you in forwarding the amount due me. As for the members of my party & other claimants, I do not know where they are; they all, however, except Perkins and James P. Day, have certificates from me, which upon presentation will I hope be sufficient to enable them to draw their money upon.
Should you be in any doubt about myself being the proper person I refer you to the Hon. Joseph Lane, our Delegate to Congress, for information & particulars.
I remainP. S. If necessary I authorize the Hon. Joseph [Lane] to recpt. to you for the amount you send me (should you send the money).
C. M. Walker
Courtney M. WalkerNARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 744-746. Palmer had sent copies of Walker's accounts to Washington; they can be found here under date of January 26, 1854.
3rd Decr. 1853
It will be probably satisfactory to you to hear that the Indians to whom I distributed the goods sent by you were very well satisfied with them, and that the other Indians present at the distribution also expressed themselves anxious to sell their land as soon as it might be desired. I feel convinced that the whole of the Indians of this district are disposed to part with their land on such terms as may be dictated.
I omitted in my report to mention that during my stay at Coos I was informed on good Indian authority that during the war in Rogue River, Joe, the chief there, sent runners to the coast Indians as far north as to the Siuslaw requesting them to join him in hostilities against the whites, and the speedy termination of the war alone prevented their joining them. I mention this to show the extent of the influence of the Rogue River chiefs.
I enclose a bill of expenses I have incurred by traveling &c. and submit the same for your approbation. I shall have the pleasure of being at your house about Christmas when I attend the Legislature.
Nothing of importance has transpired otherwise. The Indians remain peaceful and likely to be so. We have never had or anticipated any disturbance in this vicinity.
Yours &c. &c.Genl J. Palmer Supt. of Ind. Affrs.
Wm. J. Martin, Specl. Agt.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1853, No. 74.
The Indians on Applegate Creek are exceedingly troublesome; they are constantly stealing stock from the settlers, as well as from those on Cottonwood. Messrs. Cram, Rogers & Co. and M. B. Morris have had several fine horses stolen by these "red devils," which have been recovered from them by R. B. Metcalfe, Esq., the well-known and popular mountain guide in the late Indian war. A petition is in circulation and being universally signed by the citizens of this county, asking Congress to appoint him Special Indian Agent for Southern Oregon. From his thorough knowledge of the Indian character, and of the country which they inhabit, together with his influence with the several tribes who infest this valley, as well as that of Shasta, he would no doubt make an efficient officer.--Mountain Herald.
"From Yreka,"Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, December 10, 1853, page 2
Indian Agency Rogue River ValleyDear Sir
Decr. 14 1853
Yours of Nov. 4th enclosing bill of articles sent to this agency per Mr. Hubbard was received on the 29th Nov. Also another of the same date informing me that you had appointed Mr. Martin special agent for Umpqua &c. Also one of Nov. 4 enclosing copies of the several treaties made with Indians in this part of the Territory during the last summer, and also another containing a copy of a circular regulating the manner of paying annuities.
The goods spoken of as sent by Mr. Hubbard arrived while I was about at Illinois Creek. They are in fair condition. The boy (Indian) Ben reached here safely and I think it has been productive of the best results, for if his people did not know the strength of the whites before, they of course know it now and from one of their own number.
I have already issued part of the blankets. They are a thing most needed by the Indians at this time, in fact they are suffering from want of them. They have not now the same opportunities of getting clothing as formerly, because they are not permitted to mingle with the whites, as formerly many of them worked for whites and obtained clothing in return. Some of the Indians do not reside on the reserve this winter. As the war prevented them from laying up food for winter, they are compelled to get it along from day to day. This they cannot do so well in a comparatively strange country. Of course it would be folly to think of making them stay on it to starve. But for them to go there in the spring and have the whole season to lay up food, they can live on the reserve and have an abundance of food for the winter season. But they all hold themselves ready to go on the reserve at any time I may direct. If I see any danger of trouble they must all go upon it, but it would be necessary to furnish them some provision. They show the best possible disposition & I think that with prudent management there is no chance of another war.
The two Indians that murdered Mr. Kile made their escape on the night of the 29th Nov. The Indians immediately commenced searching for them and on the 12th December they found and delivered them up again. They have done as well in every instance as could be asked.
I returned a few days since from Illinois Creek where they were recently hostile and am happy to be able to say peace reigns in that quarter. I effected it through these Rogue River Indians.
I remain respectfullyJoel Palmer
Your obt. servt.
S. H. Culver
Ind. Agt. Rogue River Valley
Supt. Ind. Affrs. O.T.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 4; Letter Books C:10. The original letter can be found on Reel 13; Letters Received, 1854, No. 2.
The Indians of California and Oregon are numerous and warlike, but as they were divided into small independent bands, having no general head, and were in a great measure destitute of firearms, their hostilities in previous years were not important. Now, however, that the rapidly extending settlements of those countries are driving the Indians from their accustomed haunts and crowding them into narrower limits, they are forced into combinations both formidable and frequent. Within the past three years their hostilities--the result in many instances of the intrusion and aggressions of the whites--have been almost uninterrupted, and it is officially known that, in Northern California and Southern Oregon alone, within this period, the lives of more than a hundred whites and several hundred Indians have been sacrificed in collisions between the two races. The force in that country is not now, and never has been, sufficient, and, impressed with the idea of its entire inadequacy, the Department some time since ordered a regiment of artillery to the Pacific, and it was designed to send there an additional regiment of infantry, but it was found that the state of the service would not then, nor does it yet, admit of it. The first mail from the Pacific, subsequent to the issuing of this order, brought intelligence of renewed hostilities, in which more than forty lives were lost. By the zeal and activity of General Lane (delegate from Oregon Territory), in command of a volunteer force, aided by the few regular troops that were in the neighborhood, hostilities were suppressed, and the Indians compelled to sue for peace. These operations appear to have been conducted with great energy and judgment, and, in the final conflict, General Lane and Captain Alden (the latter in command of the regular troops) were both severely wounded while gallantly leading a charge against the Indians. There is, however, no assurance that peace can be maintained, unless a force adequate to the control of the Indians is stationed in their midst. It is the intention of the Department that this shall be done, and as soon as possible a considerable additional force will be sent to the Pacific, and one of the brigadier generals of the army ordered there to command.
"Report of the Secretary of War," National Intelligencer, Washington, D.C., December 24, 1853, page 6
Indian Agency Dec. 17, 1853Dear Sir
Enclosed you will find a receipt, in duplicate, for the goods sent by you to this agency, except two items 6½ lbs. baling rope $3 25/100 and 1 bale sewing twine $25/100. These I suppose were used in baling the goods.
I have just asked Capt. Smith what is the custom in the Quartermaster's Department when, say, a lot of clothing is sent by the quartermaster to him and in so doing it is necessary to put it in bales or packages, whether he or the person sending it expends the articles used in packing it. He says that the person who first sends it returns these items as purchased for the purpose of baling the other goods, & that he does not receipt for it.
I will do so in this case, but if you desire that I should expend them let me know & I will receipt for them.
But my present impression is that it ought to be as an item of expense incurred in transporting the goods to this agency, and as I have had nothing to do in bringing the goods, of course I would have no account upon which to show how they were expended.
I also send duplicate receipt for the camp furniture turned over to me by Mr. McDonald. Some of it was sold, so Mr. McDonald told me.
Respectfully your obt. servant[Joel Palmer Supt.]
S. H. Culver
Ind. Agent Oregon Ty.
[Ind. Affrs. Oregon Ty.]
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 4; Letter Books C:10. The original letter can be found on Reel 13; Letters Received, 1854, No. 1.
Umpqua Valley Dec. 17 '53General Palmer
I would be much obliged to you if you could send the money to me for packing Indian goods, the amount for packing 432 dollars--expenses and ferriage coming back 20 dollars. One axe $2 50/100, $3 paid for supper and breakfast for me and Bill Hash. If you could send the money or some way I could get it without much trouble; if you can send it to Yoncalla Post Office, for I want it very much. By so doing you will oblige me.
I remain your obt. servantNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 4; Letter Books C:10.
HUMBUG.--Some individuals are traveling through the Eastern States engaged in exhibiting a parcel of Indians, one of whom, a chief by the name of Ksaw-shaw-gance. is represented to hail from the Walaitpu tribe, in Southern [sic] Oregon. We have heard of the Cayuse, the Walla Walla, the Clatsop, the Chinook, the Tualatin, the Umpqua, the Rogue River, the Clackamas, the Shasta, and about fifty other tribes in the territory of old Oregon, but never before heard of the Walaitpu tribe
Shasta Courier, Shasta City, California, December 17, 1853, page 2 People from Washington Territory considered anything south of the Columbia as Southern Oregon.
Office Superintendent Indian AffairsSir,
Dayton O.T. Dec. 20th 1853
A sense of official duty impels me to press upon your consideration the importance of early measures, either legislative, or in the form of instructions, specifically applicable to the difficulties embarrassing the administration of Indian affairs in this Superintendency.
It is plain from the instructions heretofore emanating from the Indian Bureau that the 20th Section of the Act of June 30th 1834 has there been regarded as applicable to, and in full force and effect within this Territory, so also has it been uniformly regarded by the courts in Oregon, as appears from the records of their decisions.
At the recent term of the District Court in Clatsop County, Judge Olney presiding, charged the grand jury that Oregon is not an Indian country within the meaning of the 20th section of the Act of 30 June 1834, and consequently the provisions of that act are inapplicable and not in force.
In a case recently before the District Court in Clackamas County, Chief Justice Williams & Justice Olney on the bench--the opinions, the substance of which is contained in the enclosed copies, were given by said judges. Chief Justice Williams decided the section of the law in question applicable and in force, while Judge Olney reiterated his former views. Both judges, however, concur in the opinion that Oregon is not, within the contemplation of the law of 1834, an Indian country.
The Chief Justice based the applicability of the said 20th section thereof on entirely different ground, and moreover lays down a rule for the interpretation of the Act of 1834, by which to determine its vitality and force in this Territory, which we cannot but regard as of very uncertain application, to wit:
"That whatever in said law militates against the true interests of the white population is inapplicable," since different minds may come to different conclusions as to what are the true interests of the white population, and while their true interest may be clear in the instance considered, it may be quite otherwise as to other features of the law. From this rule of interpreting the act, we find Judge Olney dissenting. Thus we see the applicability of the law of 1834 so uncertain that it is doubtful whether we have any law operative here to protect the savages from the terrible effects of rum, and the wives and children of our citizens from their drunken fury, or to punish the callous-hearted persons who for lucre minister to their depraved appetite, and transform them to incarnate demons.
Two other matters of much importance to the peace of the country and the general welfare of the whites and Indians, to which I have intended to call the attention of the Department at an early day, are incidentally touched upon in the enclosed judicial opinions, and the views of the judges in regards to the law of 1834, in the premises, foreshadowed.
One of these is in regard to the free occupation and use of the country by the whites; the other refers to the "rights (under the laws of the United States) to import and sell to all classes of customers, goods of every description."
The right to the free occupation and use of the country by the whites is very often considered in the most latitudinous and aggressive manner.
The rapid increase of population has caused the returning wave of immigration to roll back over the Cascade Range and meet the immigrant from the States beyond them on the plains of Middle Oregon, and although the restriction of surveys and treaties with the Indian tribes for the extinguishment of their title to their lands, to the western side of the Cascade Mountains, seem to indicate that the country east of this range is not yet regarded by our government as open to settlement by the whites, many already have marked out their donation tracts on that side and hold them not only without the consent of the Indians, but in the face of their strong remonstrance. The same is true of the lands reserved for the Indians in the late treaties. To these reserves, often including their ancient encamping and root grounds, the Indians have clung in the hope that the treaties may yet be ratified. The whites nevertheless now occupy nearly these entire reservations.
It is expressly provided in the "Organic Act" that nothing therein "shall be construed to impair the rights of person or property now pertaining to the Indians in said Territory, so long as such rights shall remain unextinguished by treaty &c."
Yet not infrequently the land in actual cultivation by the Indians is seized, and the wretched savages driven from the huts that shelter them. Some have by threatened or actual violence been compelled to leave the spots designated for their huts, fields and fishing stations by the agents of this Superintendency.
I will state a fact lately brought to my knowledge. An Umpqua Indian [Dick Johnson], tired of the idle and vagrant habits of his tribe, withdrew with his wife and children to a small cove, remote at the time from the settlements, where he built his cabin, enclosed a field, and began the cultivation of the soil; for a time his peaceful possession was unmolested, but unfortunately for the poor Indian, a white man saw and coveted this remote spot, included it in his survey and bade the Indian remove.
The copy of a letter from a Wascopam Indian, William Chin-mich, presents a picture of Indian wrongs, no less true than sad and painful.
No danger attends these encroachments of the whites in the more populous portions of one territory, where the tribes are dwindled to a few harmless numbers; but in southwestern, Middle and Upper Oregon, where the Indians are numerous and warlike, these wrongs are keenly felt and arouse the vindictive spirit of revenge, and in all probability without some prompt and efficient intervention of the government war will result, to quell which, besides the sacrifice of human life, will require an expenditure many times greater than is at present necessary to obtain their lands by treaty and secure their lasting gratitude and friendship. I should feel myself recreant to the sentiments of humanity and justice did I forbear to press the subject earnestly upon your consideration.
The occupation of the plains of Middle Oregon by our citizens at an early day is as certain as any future event depending on human volition, and the question is now fairly before us, shall it be with outrage and blood, or with peace and good will? Early treaties with the tribes of that region will prevent the former and secure the latter--to be secured, I believe, in no other way.
The right to import, and sell to all classes of customers, goods of every description, is, I have reason to believe, practically exercised by some in unlicensed traffic among the Indians, and the opinion abroad under high official sanction that the law of 1834 is without vitality in this regard also, and the hope of impunity will induce others to seek the emoluments of this trade.
If all classes of persons "may trade with the Indians in all sorts of goods, liquors and wines included" in all parts of Oregon, and hold unrestricted intercourse with them, and if there is no authority under the Act of June 30th 1834 as extended to Oregon vested in the Superintendent in this Territory to regulate or prevent this traffic, or to remove persons of improper character and aims from among the Indian tribes--if this act is a dead letter here, it is certainly high time that Congress should enact the proper statutory provisions to protect the Indians from wrongs of no feeble die, to secure peace and safety to our citizens, and save our country from reproach. Or if the existing laws are adequate to prevent the evils, and secure the benefits they are designed to promote, I ask respectfully, but earnestly, that the hands of the agents of the government in this Superintendency may be strengthened by such authoritative interpretation as will put doubts to flight, give dignity and power to the statute, and secure the peace, order and general welfare of both whites and Indians.
I am sir very respectfullyHon. Geo. W. Manypenny
Your obt. servant
Supt. Ind. Affrs.
Washington City, D.C.
NARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 4; Letter Books C:10.
Last revised December 29, 2021