The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Correspondence of the Oregon Superintendency
News articles and Southern Oregon-related correspondence with the Oregon Superintendency for Indian Affairs.

Click here for Superintendency correspondence 1844-1900.

    Died at Siletz Indian Agency, May 5, 1887, old man Joshua, head chief of the Joshua tribe of Indians, age about 90 years.
    Tyee Joshua was one of the noted chiefs that took an active part in the Rogue River war of 1855-6. He and his warriors fought long and terribly for their homes and country, but were finally overpowered and conquered by the white man, and compelled to surrender and submit to his control. Joshua, with his people, were present at a great council, held in a beautiful valley of the Rogue River, which lasted ten days. At this council Joshua advised his people to surrender and go upon the reservation. For two years they had fought with all the power of their wild and savage nature, their signal fires of war had blazed upon almost every mountaintop in all that country; the war whoop and war dance were heard to resound through the valleys and around the grand old mountains of Rogue River, making the scene grand and imposing, and never to be forgotten by those who took part in that memorable war. The Indians knew that when they gave up the struggle they would lose their nationality and everything they held sacred. This seemed to crush their proud spirits, and they have been a sad and despondent race ever since. The few old Indians that still remain on the reservation complain and brood over the wrongs done them by the whites in taking their country from them and compelling them to go on reservations, where the process of civilization has well nigh exterminated the race.
    In his younger days, Chief Joshua was a fine specimen of his race; a fine form, sturdy, supple and strong in war, and the proud possessor of ten wives, all of whom have long since passed to the "happy hunting grounds," and in his old age he was blessed with a young wife, whom he had bought while on the reservation. Old Joshua was quiet, peaceable, industrious, and gave the authorities no trouble during his long stay upon the reservation.
    This makes three noted Indians that have died during the winter, viz: Tyee Joe, old man Shellhead, and Joshua. They have gone to take up their positions as tyees in the happy hunting grounds, where they will not be troubled with the white man and his reservations.--Yaquina Post.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 3, 1887, page 1

    The contract for surveying the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation and allotting it to the Indians has been let by the government to J. D. Fenton, of McMinnville, and H. S. Mahoney, of Sheridan.
"Oregon News," The Eye, Snohomish City, Washington, August 13, 1887, page 2

Last revised May 19, 2023