The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Jackson County News: 1863

    . . . A rampant secesher of Jackson County, named Dunlap, got on a bender at Phoenix on Christmas and let himself out in extravagant praise of Jeff. Davis & Co., and then denounced the United States government in such terms that the commanding officer at Camp Baker thought it best to cool him off in the guard house. He was kept in confinement a couple of days, and then marched out in the presence of the soldiers drawn up in line and obliged to take the oath of allegiance, which a correspondence says he took "with fear and trembling." Upon being released he left, on 2:40 time, and has not been heard of since.--Served him right.
    . . . The wire for the Oregon telegraph was shipped from New York, July 25th, but has not yet arrived. The southern part of the line cannot now be put up before the snows leave the Crescent City mountains, in the spring.
"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, January 5, 1863, page 2

    . . . A man by the name of Reese was shot on Butte Creek, Jackson County, on the 29th day of December, by a man unknown--supposed to have been a crazy man named "Dutch Henry." Reese it is supposed will die.
    . . . The Sentinel says there have been twenty-eight marriages in Jackson County during the past year, and one hundred and eighty-eight marriages recorded since the organization of the county in 1853. The Sentinel estimates that from 2,000 to 5,000 offers of marriage have been refused since that time.
"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, January 12, 1863, page 2

    . . . The wire for the Oregon telegraph was lost with the ship Noonday, which as wrecked near the Farallon Islands, by striking on a sunken rock. Wire must be reordered for at least a portion of the line. This will delay the construction of the telegraph for four or five months.
    . . . During the last year, according to the Sentinel, five men have been killed in Jackson County, out of a voting population of one thousand.
"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, January 19, 1863, page 2

    Three hundred miles of wire for the Oregon telegraph has arrived at San Francisco. Two hundred miles were lost on the Noonday.

"Domestic Items," Oregon Statesman, Salem, January 26, 1863, page 2

    TOBACCO CULTURE IN OREGON.--We take the following extract from the Bulletin's Oregon correspondent:
    "There is something of a ferment among the agriculturists of this state about raising tobacco. A few experiments were tried last year, and the result is claimed to have been very satisfactory. The proceeds of a large crop on paper have been ciphered up, and the product, compared with other crops, is astonishing. Before the advent of California gold and Atlantic trade, there was but little tobacco to be had in Oregon, except the 'Scotch twist,' nicknamed by the settlers 'trail rope.' It was kept by the Hudson Bay Company for their employees and the Indian trade, and was the vilest trash a man ever put in his mouth. Dislike to it, and the want of money, drove many of the American settlers to attempt to raise their own tobacco. They succeeded very well, so that in 1848 and 1849 much of the chewing and smoking was of the home production. War and high tariffs will probably drive us back to where we left off, 12 years ago, and I think we will be none the worse for it. 'Sweet are the uses of adversity.'"
Daily Appeal, Marysville, California, February 1, 1863, page 2

    "A MURDEROUS ATTACK AND ROBBERY."--The Jacksonville Sentinel of the 11th says that "a daring and cold-blooded attempt at assassination was made by some inhuman villain upon the person of an Italian miner in his cabin on Rich Gulch on Monday last. The following are the particulars, as related to us: The robber entered the Italian's cabin between the hours of one and two o'clock on Monday morning and immediately attacked him while lying in bed, with a large bowie knife, and at the same time demanding his money. The assassin dealt blows thick and fast, aimed at the miner's throat and breast. The miner, while warding off the blows from the vital parts with his hands and arms as best he could, received a number of severe gashes on the hands and face. On the victim promising to give up his money, the murderer desisted. The Italian then handed over his purse containing $65, with which the villain departed, but apparently not satisfied with the amount he again returned and threatened instant death to the man if he did not 'fork over' all his money. The miner persisted that the purse contained all that he had, and the villain again went grumbling away. The robber wore a mask, and was otherwise disguised. The wounded man says the robber was an American. Dr. Ganung dressed the wounds of the unfortunate man. He reports the wounds as severe, though not dangerous. The Italian is known as a hard-working, economical, honest man."
The Semi-Weekly Union, Yreka, California, February 14, 1863, page 2

The Jacksonville (Oregon) Intelligencer, of Sept. 19th, has the subjoined remarks, going to show the interest taken in the above project in Oregon:
    "In our remarks, heretofore, in relation to the project of a railroad passing through our valley, we must confess a want of confidence in the success of the enterprise. This, we believe, has been the case with a great portion of our community. At the same time we do not believe that there is one intelligent man living in Rogue River Valley but wishes the project well, and what is necessary at the present time is to convince them of the probability of the success of so great an undertaking. During the past week Mr. Elliott has succeeded in extending the line of the survey up to this place. His party passed through town on Thursday, and camped at the ranch of Mr. Miller, one mile from town. From a personal examination of the maps and profiles of the route surveyed, together with our knowledge of the country over which the line passes, leads us to the conclusion that the only serious difficulty which presents itself to our people, and which was the main cause of the want of faith in the project, viz: the crossing of the Siskiyou Mountains, has been removed, and we are free to acknowledge our delight at so bright a prospect in the future for our beautiful valley. It must appear evident to every sane man that in this day of railroads with so favorable a line together with the vast resources of the country through which the line passes, when properly presented will not only secure all the necessary legislation from Congress, but will call the attention of capitalists to the Pacific Coast, who, when once acquainted with our true position, will bring millions of dollars with them, all of which will find its way into the pockets of our enterprising farmers, merchants, and mechanics. In view of so bright a future let our people wake up and give the project that encouragement which its great merits demand, and the known liberality of the people of this valley would seem to indicate.
Shasta Courier, Shasta, California, October 3, 1863, page 1

    TELEGRAPH INTEREST TRANSFERRED.--We learn from the Jacksonville Intelligencer that the California State Telegraph Company have bought the interest of Mr. Strong in the line from Yreka, California, to this city. Mr. Whittlesey, the agent of the company, has been preparing the poles to receive the wires between Jacksonville and Yreka, and it is reported that some fifteen thousand pounds of the wire has already arrived at Yreka. The general belief is that the line will be completed to Jacksonville by the first of December.
Oregonian, Portland, October 29, 1863, page 2

California and Oregon Railroad.
    Mr. Elliott, who is superintending the preliminary survey of a route for a railroad between the Sacramento Valley and some suitable point for a northern terminus in Oregon, arrived here on Monday, and informs us that his party in now in Douglas County, coming toward the Willamette Valley as rapidly as is consistent with a thorough exploration of the route. We also learn from him that steps have been taken by some of the most enterprising citizens of Southern Oregon to effect the organization of a company, in this state, to operate in connection with that which is to be formed in California, for the purpose of securing the favorable action and patronage of Congress, and if obtained, of immediately commencing the building of the road. A meeting of stockholders has been called at Jacksonville, to be held on the 7th of November, for the election of directors, and the California stockholders will meet at Yreka, on the 9th of November, for the same purpose; after which, doubtless, both companies will harmoniously cooperate for the accomplishment of the magnificent and most important work which they take upon themselves.--Portland Oregonian, Oct. 4th.
Placer Herald, Auburn, California, November 14, 1863, page 1

    PROGRESS OF THE TELEGRAPH.--By telegram from Yreka, Nov. 18th, we receive the following: The Oregon line is now completed from this place to the upper portion of Rogue River Valley. The work is going on at the rate of about five miles per day.
"Oregon Items," Daily British Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, December 2, 1863, page 6

    THE CALIFORNIA TELEGRAPH LINE.--The operator at Yreka, under date of Dec. 15th, in a private letter to us received last night, says: "I should have notified you some time since of the condition of affairs down this way, but [I] have been out working on the line for [the] past week. On the 6th inst. commenced a very heavy storm in this section, which almost entirely demolished about 80 miles of the telegraph line between this place and Shasta. Snow fell to the depth of 3½ feet, making it slow and difficult work repairing in mountains. We will, however, in a few days be going again. Supt. Whittlesey is busy putting in [a] new section of 33 miles in [the] worst part of [the] line. He will have it done in a few days, and then we expect to keep the line in order all the time. If, in the meantime, I get any news in advance of mails, will forward it to you. It will not be long now before the line is up clear through, unless the weather is very bad. It is up nearly to Jacksonville, and over 100 miles of wire is now lying in that place, besides what has been sent to Portland. I think in ten days they will resume work on this end of the line."
    The Jacksonville Sentinel of the 12th says: "The recent heavy snow storm on the Siskiyou Mountain has displaced and broken in many places the wire lately stretched on the telegraph line between this place and Yreka. The wire had been stretched to within about twenty miles of this place, but the storm will probably delay the work a month or more."
    The Democrat says "the workmen engaged in putting up the telegraph passed through town this morning, going south, having completed the work of stretching the wire between Albany and Salem."
Oregonian, Portland, December 22, 1863, page 2

Last revised March 10, 2021