May 1, 2010

Nevada's Online State News Journal

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Regional History:

 

[From Bancroft's History of Oregon, vol. 2 (1890)]

 

CHAPTER VII.

INDIAN AFFAIRS.

1851.

 

POLITICS -- ELECTION OF A DELEGATE -- EXTINGUISHMENT OF INDIAN TITLES-- INDIAN SUPERINTENDENTS AND AGENTS APPOINTED -- KINDNESS OR THE GREAT FATHER AT WASHINGTON -- APPROPRIATIONS OF CONGRESS -- FRAUDS ARISING FROM THE SYSTEM -- EASY EXPENDITURE OF GOVERNMENT MONEY -- UNPOPULARITY OF HUMAN SYMPATHY -- EFFICIENCY OF SUPERINTENDENT DART -- THIRTEEN TREATIES EFFECTED -- LANE AMONG THE ROGUE RIVER INDIANS AND IN THE MINES -- DIVERS OUTRAGES AND RETALIATIONS -- MILITARY AFFAIRS -- ROGUE RIVER WAR -- THE STRONGHOLD -- BATTLE OF TABLE ROCK -- DEATH OF STUART -- KEARNEY'S PRISONERS.

            LANE was not a skilful politician and finished orator like Thurston, though he had much natural ability,[1] and had the latter been alive, notwithstanding his many misdeeds, Lane could not so easily have secured the election as delegate to congress. It was a personal rather than a party matter,[2] though a party spirit developed rapidly after Lane's nomination, chiefly because a majority of the people were democrats,[3] and

206 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

their favorites, Thurston and Lane, were democrats, while the administration was whig and not in sympathy with them.

            The movement for Lane began in February, the earliest intimation of it appearing in the Spectator of March 6th, after which he was nominated in a public meeting at Lafayette. Lane himself did not appear on the ground until the last of April, and the news of Thurston's death arriving within a few days, Lane's name was immediately put forward by every journal in the territory. But he was not, for all that, without an opponent. The mission party nominated W. H. Willson, who from a whaling-ship cooper and lay Methodist had come to be called doctor and been given places of trust. His supporters were the defenders of that part of Thurston's policy which was generally condemned. There was nothing of consequence at issue however, and as Lane was facile of tongue[4] and clap-trap, he was elected by a majority of 1,832 with 2,917 votes cast.[5] As soon as the returns were all in, Lane set out again for the mines, where he was just in time to be of service to the settlers of Rogue River Valley.

            Immediately upon the passage of an act by congress, extinguishing Indian titles west of the Cascade Mountains in 1850, the president appointed superintendent of Indian affairs, Anson Dart of Wisconsin, who arrived early in October, accompanied by P. C. Dart, his secretary. Three Indian agents were appointed

SUPERINTENDENT AND AGENTS. 207

at the same time, namely : A. G. Henry of Illinois,[6] H. H. Spalding, and Elias Wampole. Dart's instructions from the commissioner, under date of July 20, 1850, were in general, to govern himself by the instructions furnished to Lane as ex-officio superintendent,[7] to be modified according to circumstances. The number of agents and subagents appointed had been in accordance with the recommendation of Lane, and to the information contained in Lane's report he was requested to give particular attention, as well as to the suppression of the liquor traffic, and the enforcement of the penalties provided in the intercourse act of 1834, and also as amended in 1847, making one or two years imprisonment a punishment for furnishing Indians with intoxicating drink.[8] A feature of the instructions, showing Thurston's hand in this matter, was the order not to purchase goods from the Hudson's Bay Company for distribution among the Indians, but that they be purchased of American merchants, and the Indians taught that it was from the American government they received such benefits. It was also forbidden in the instructions that the company should have trading posts within the limits of United States territory,[9] the superintendent being required to proceed with them in accordance with the terms of the act regulating intercourse with the Indians.

208 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

            As to the attitude of government toward the Indians there was the usual political twaddle. An important object to be aimed at, the commissioner said, was the reconciling of differences between tribes. Civilized people may fight, but not savages. The Indians should be urged to engage in agricultural pursuits, to raise grain, vegetables, and stock of all kinds; and to encourage them, small premiums might be offered for the greatest quantity of produce, or number of cattle and other farm animals. With regard to missionaries among the Indians, they were to be encouraged without reference to denomination, and left free to use the best means of christianizing. The sum of twenty thousand dollars was advanced to the superintendent, of which five thousand was to be applied to the erection of houses for the accommodation of himself and agents, four thousand for his own residence, and the remainder for temporary buildings to be used by the agents before becoming permanently established. The remainder was for presents and provisions.

            There were further appointed for Oregon three commissioners to make treaties with the Indians, John P. Gaines, governor, Alonzo A. Skinner, and Beverly S. Allen; the last received his commission the 12th of August and arrived in Oregon in the early part of February 1851. The instructions were general, the department being ignorant of the territory, except that it extended from the 42d to the 49th parallel, and was included between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The object of the government it was said was to extinguish the Indian titles, and remove the complaint of the settlers that they could acquire no perfect titles to their claims before the Indians had been quieted. They were advised therefore to treat first with the Indians in the Willamette Valley, and with each tribe separately.[10]

LAND TITLES. 209

            They were to fix upon an amount of money to be paid, and agree upon an annuity not to exceed five per cent of the whole amount. It was also advised that money be not employed, but that articles of use should be substituted; and the natives be urged to accept such things as would assist them in becoming farmers and mechanics, and to secure medical aid and education. If any money remained after so providing it might be expended for goods to be delivered annually in the Indian country. The sum of twenty thousand dollars was to be applied to these objects; fifteen thousand to be placed at the disposal of Governor Gaines, at the sub-treasury, San Francisco, and to be accounted for by vouchers; and five thousand to be invested in goods and sent round Cape Horn for distribution among the Indians. The commissioners were allowed mileage for themselves and secretary at the rate of ten cents a mile, together with salaries of eight dollars a day during service for each of the commissioners, and five dollars for the secretary. They were also to have as many interpreters and assistants as they might deem necessary, at a proper compensation, and their travelling expenses paid.[11]

            Such was the flattering prospect under which the Indian agency business opened in Oregon. Truly, a government must have faith in its servants to place such temptations in their way. Frauds innumerable were the result; from five hundred to five thousand dollars would be paid to the politicians to secure an agency, the returns from which investment, with hundreds per cent profit, must be made by systematic peculations and pilferings, so that not one quarter of the moneys appropriated on behalf of the Indians

210 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

would be expended for their benefit. Perhaps the public conscience was soothed by this show of justice, as pretentious as it was hollow, and the emptiness of which was patent to every one; but it would have been in as good taste, and far more manly and honest, to have shot down the aboriginals and seized their lands without these hypocrisies and stealings, as was frequently done.

            Often the people were worse than the government or its agents, so that there was little inducement for the latter to be honest. In the present instance the commissioners were far more just and humane than the settlers themselves. It is true they entered upon their duties in April 1851 with a pomp and circumstance in no wise in keeping with the simple habits of the Oregon settlers; with interpreters, clerks, commissaries, and a retinue of servants they established themselves at Champoeg, to which place agents brought the so-called chiefs of the wretched tribes of the Willamette; but they displayed a heart and a humanity in their efforts which did them honor. Of the Santiam band of the Calapooyas they purchased a portion of the valley eighty miles in length by twenty in breadth; of the Tualatin branch of the same nation a tract of country fifty miles by thirty in extent, these lands being among the best in the valley, and already settled upon by white men. The number of Indians of both sexes and all ages making a claim to this extent of territory was in the former instance one hundred and fifty-five and in the latter sixty-five.

            The commissioners were unable to induce the Calapooyas to remove east of the Cascade mountains, as had been the intention of the government, their refusal resting upon reluctance to leave the graves of their ancestors, and ignorance of the means of procuring a livelihood in any country but their own. To these representations Gaines and his associates lent a sympathizing ear, and allowed the Indians to select reser-

TREATIES. 211

vations within the valley of tracts of land of a few miles in extent situated upon the lower slopes of the Cascade and Coast ranges, where game, roots, and berries could be procured with ease.[12]

            As to the instructions of the commissioner at Washington, it was not possible to carry them out. Schools the Indians refused to have; and from their experience of them and their effects on the young I am quite sure the savages were right. Only a few of the Tualatin band would consent to receive farming utensils, not wishing to have habits of labor forced upon them with their annuities. They were anxious also to be paid in cash, consenting reluctantly to accept a portion of their annuities in clothing and provisions.

            In May four other treaties were concluded with the Luckiamute, Calapooyas, and Molallas, the territory thus secured to civilization comprising about half the Willamette Valley.[13] The upper and lower Molallas received forty-two thousand dollars, payable in twenty annual instalments, about one third to be in cash and the remainder in goods, with a present on the ratification of the treaties of a few rifles and horses for the head men. Like the Calapooyas they steadily refused to devote any portion of their annuities to educational purposes, the general sentiment of these western Indians being that they had but a little time to live, and it was useless to trouble themselves about education, a sentiment not wholly Indian, since it kept Europe in darkness for a thousand years.[14]

212 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

            In order to give the Indians the reservations they desired it was necessary to include some tracts claimed by settlers, which would either have to be vacated, the government paying for their improvements, or the settlers compelled to live among the Indians, an alter native not likely to commend itself to either the settlers or the government.

            A careful summing-up of the report of the commissioners showed that they had simply agreed to pay annuities to the Indians for twenty years, to make them presents, and to build them houses, while the Indians still occupied lands of their own choosing in portions of the valley already being settled by white people, and that they refused to accept teachers, either religious or secular, or to cultivate the ground. By these terms all the hopeful themes of the commissioner at Washington fell to the ground. And yet the government was begged to ratify the treaties, because failure to do so would add to the distrust already felt by the Indians from their frequent disappointments, and make any further negotiations difficult.[15]

            About the time the last of the six treaties was concluded information was received that congress, by act of the 27th of February, had abolished all special Indian commissions, and transferred to the superintendent the power to make treaties. All but three hundred dollars of the twenty thousand appropriated under the advice of Thurston for this branch of the service had been expended by Gaines in five weeks of absurd magnificence at Champoeg, the paltry remainder being handed over to Superintendent Dart, who received no pay for the extra service with which to defray the expense of making further treaties. Thus ended the first essay of congress to settle the question of title to Indian lands.

ANSON DART. 213

            Dart did not find his office a sinecure. The area of the country over which his superintendency extended was so great that, even with the aid of more agents, little could be accomplished in a season, six months of the year only admitting of travel in the unsettled portions of the territory. To add to his embarrassment, the three agents appointed had left him almost alone to perform the duty which should have been divided among several assistants,[16] the pay offered to agents being so small as to be despised by men of character and ability who had their living to earn.

            About the 1st of June 1851 Dart set out to visit the Indians east of the Cascade Mountains, who since the close of the Cayuse war had maintained a friendly attitude, but who hearing that it was the design to send the western Indians among them were becoming uneasy. Their opposition to having the sickly and degraded Willamette natives in their midst was equal to that of the white people. Neither were they willing to come to any arrangement by which they would be compelled to quit the country which each tribe for itself called its own. Dart promised them just treatment, and that they should receive pay for their lands. Having selected a site for an agency building on the Umatilla he proceeded to Waiilatpu and Lapwai, as instructed, to determine the losses sustained by the Presbyterians, according to the instructions of government.[17]

214 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

            The Cayuses expressed satisfaction that the United States cherished no hatred toward them for their past misdeeds, and received assurances of fair treatment in the future, sealed with a feast upon a fat ox. At Lapwai the same promises were given and ceremonies observed. The only thing worthy of remark that I find in the report of Dart's visit to eastern Oregon is the fact mentioned that the Cayuses had dwindled from their former greatness to be the most insignificant tribe in the upper country, there being left but one hundred and twenty-six, of whom thirty-eight only were men; and the great expense attending his visit,[18] the results of which were not what the government expected, if indeed any body knew what was expected. The government was hardly prepared to purchase the whole Oregon territory, even at the minimum price of three cents an acre, and it was dangerous policy holding out the promise of something not likely to be performed.

            As to the Presbyterian mission claims, if the board had been paid what it cost to have its property appraised, it would have been all it was entitled to, and particularly since each station could hold a section of land under the organic act. And as to the claims of private individuals for property destroyed by the Cayuses, these Indians not being in receipt of annuities out of which the claims could be taken, there was no way in which they could be collected. Neither was the agency erected of any benefit to the Indians, because the agent, Wampole, soon violated the law, was re moved, and the agency closed.

A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE. 215

            Concerning that part of his instructions to encourage missionaries as teachers among the Indians, Dart had little to say; for which reason, or in revenge for his dismissal, Spalding represented that no American teachers, but only Catholics and foreigners were given permission to enter the Indian country.[19] But as his name was appended to all the treaties made while he was agent, with one exception, he must have been as guilty as any of excluding American teachers. The truth was that Dart promised the Indians of eastern Oregon that they should not be disturbed in their religious practices, but have such teachers as they preferred.[20] This to the sectarian Protestant mind was simply atrocious, though it seemed only politic and just to the unbiassed understanding of the superintendent.

            With regard to that part of his instructions relating to suppressing the establishments of the Hudson's Bay Company in Oregon, he informed the commissioner that he found the company to have rights which prompted him to call the attention of the government to the subject before he attempted to interfere with them, and suggested the propriety of purchasing those rights instead of proceeding against British traders as criminals, the only accusation that could be brought against them being that they sold better goods to the Indians for less money than American traders.

            And concerning the intercourse act prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors to the natives, Dart remarked that although a good deal of liquor was con-

216 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

sumed in Oregon, in some localities the Indians used less in proportion than any others in the United States, and referred to the difficulty of obtaining evidence against liquor sellers on account of the law of Oregon excluding colored witnesses. He also gave it as his opinion that except the Shoshones and Rogue River Indians the aborigines of Oregon were more peaceable than any of the uncivilized tribes, but that to keep in check these savages troops were indispensable, recommending that a company be stationed in the Shoshone country to protect the next year's immigration.[21] Altogether Dart seems to have been a fair and reasonable man, who discharged his duty under unfavorable circumstances with promptness and good sense.

MORE PROMISES. 217

            On returning from eastern Oregon, Dart visited the mouth of the Columbia in company with two of his agents, and made treaties with the Indians on both sides of the river, the tract purchased extending from the Chehalis River on the north to the Yaquina Bay on the south; and from the ocean on the west, to above the mouth of the Cowlitz River. For this territory the sum of ninety-one thousand three hundred dollars was promised, to be paid in ten yearly instalments, in clothing, provisions, and other necessary articles. Reservations were made on Clatsop Point, and Woody and Cathlamet islands; and one was made at Shoalwater Bay, conditioned upon the majority of the Indians removing to that place within one year, in which case they would be provided with a manual labor school, a lumber and flouring mill, and a farmer and blacksmith to instruct them in agriculture and the smith's art.

            Other treaties were made during the summer and autumn. The Clackamas tribe, numbering eighty-eight persons, nineteen of whom were men, was promised an annuity of two thousand five hundred dollars for a period of ten years, five hundred in money, and the remainder in food and clothing.[22] The natives of the south-western coast also agreed to cede a territory extending from the Coquille River to the southern boundary of Oregon, and from the Pacific Ocean

213 INDIAN AFFAIRS. 

to a line drawn fifty miles east, eighty miles in length, covering an area of two and a half million acres, most of which was mountainous and heavily timbered, with a few small valleys on the coast and in the interior,[23] for the sum of twenty-eight thousand five hundred dollars, payable in ten annual instalments, no part of which was to be paid in money. Thirteen treaties in all were concluded with different tribes, by the superintendent, for a quantity of land amounting to six million acres, at an average cost of not over three cents an acre.[24]

            In November Dart left Oregon for Washington, taking with him the several treaties for ratification, and to provide for carrying them out.

            The demand for the office of an Indian agent in western Oregon began in 18 49, or as soon as the Indians learned that white men might be expected to travel through their country with horses, provisions, and property of various kinds, which they might be desirous to have. The trade in horses was good in the mines of California, and Cay use stock was purchased and driven there by Oregon traders, who made a large profit.[25] Many miners also returned from California overland, and in doing so had frequent encounters with Indians, generally at the crossing of Rogue River.[26] The ferrying at this place was performed in canoes, made for the occasion, and which, when used and left, were stolen by the Indians to compel the next party to make another, the delay affording opportunity for

LANE AT ROGUE RIVER. 219

falling on them should they prove unwary. After several companies had been attacked the miners turned upon the Indians and became the assailants. And to stop the stealing of canoes, left for the convenience of those in the rear, some miners concealed themselves and lay in wait for the thieves, who when they entered the canoe were shot. However beneficial this may have been for the protection of the ferry it did not mend matters in a general way. If the Indians had at first been instigated simply by a desire for plunder,[27] they had now gained from the retaliation of the Americans another motive revenge.

            In the spring of 1850 a party of miners, who had collected a considerable sum in gold-dust in the placers of California and were returning home, reached the Rogue River, crossing one day, toward sunset, and encamped about Rock Point. They did not keep a very careful watch, and a sudden attack caused them to run to cover, while the Indians plundered the camp of everything of value, including the bags of gold-dust. But one man, who had his treasure on his person, escaped being robbed.

            It was to settle with these rogues for this and like transactions that Lane set out in May or June 1850 to visit southern Oregon, as before mentioned. The party consisted of fifteen white men, and the same number of Klickitats, under their chief Quatley, the determined enemy of the Rogue River people. Quatley was told what was expected of him, which was not to fight unless it become necessary, but to assist in making a treaty. They overtook on the way some cattle-drivers going to California, who travelled with

220 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

them, glad of an escort. All were well mounted, with plenty of provisions on pack-horses, and well armed. They proceeded leisurely, and stopped to hunt and dry venison in the valley of Grave Creek. About the middle of June they arrived at Rogue River, and encamped near the Indian villages, Lane sending word to the principal chief that he had come to talk with him and his people, and to make a treaty of peace and friendship. To this message the chief returned answer that he would come in two days with all his people, unarmed, as Lane stipulated.

            Accordingly, the two principal chiefs and about seventy-five warriors came and crossed to the south side, where Lane's company were encamped. A circle was formed, Lane and the chiefs standing inside the ring. But before the conference began a second band, as large as the first, and fully armed with bows and arrows, began descending a neighboring hill upon the camp. Lane told Quatley to come inside the ring, and stand, with two or three of his Indians, beside the head Rogue River chief. The new-comers were ordered to lay down their arms and be seated, and the business of the council proceeded, Lane keeping a sharp lookout, and exchanging significant glances with Quatley and his party. The occasion of the visit was then fully explained to the people of Rogue River; they were reminded of their uniform conduct toward white men, of their murders and robberies, and were told that hereafter white people must travel through their country in safety; that their laws had been extended over all that region, and if obeyed every one could live in peace; and that if the Indians behaved well compensation would be made them for their lands that might be settled upon, and an agent sent to see that they had justice.

            Following Lane's speech, the Rogue River chief addressed, in loud, deliberate tones, his people, when presently they all rose and raised the war-cry, and those who had arms displayed them. Lane told Quat-

A HOSTILE CONFERENCE. 221

ley to hold fast the head chief, whom he had already seized, and ordering his men not to fire, he sprang with revolver in hand into the line of the traitors and knocked up their guns, commanding them to be seated and lay down their arms. As the chief was a prisoner, and Quatley held a knife at his throat, they were constrained to obey. The captive chief, who had not counted upon this prompt action, and whose brothers had previously disposed themselves among their people to be ready for action, finding his situation critical, told them to do as the white chief had said. After a brief consultation they rose again, being ordered by the chief to retire and not to return for two days, when they should come in a friendly manner to another council. The Indians then took their departure, sullen and humiliated, leaving their chief a prisoner in the hands of the white men, by whom he was secured in such a manner that he could not escape.

            Lane used the two days to impress upon the mind of the savage that he had better accept the offered friendship, and again gave him the promise of government aid if he should make and observe a treaty allowing white men to pass safely through the country, to mine in the vicinity, and to settle in the Rogue River Valley.[28] By the time his people returned, he had become convinced that this was his best course, and advised them to accept the terms offered, and live in peace, which was finally agreed to. But the gold- dust of the Oregon party they had robbed in the spring was gone past all reclaim, as they had, without knowing its value, poured it all into the river, at a point where it was impossible to recover it. Some property of no value was given up; and thus was made the first

222 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

treaty with this tribe, a treaty which was observed with passable fidelity for about a year.[29]

            The treaty concluded, Lane gave the Indians slips of paper stating the fact, and warning white men to do them no injury. These papers, bearing his signature, became a talisman among these Indians, who on approaching a white man would hold one of them out exclaiming, " Jo Lane, Jo Lane," the only English words they knew. On taking leave the chief, whose name hereafter by consent of Lane was to be Jo, presented his friend with a boy slave from the Modoc tribe, who accompanied him to the Shasta mines to which he now proceeded, the time when his resignation was to take effect having passed. Here he dug gold, and dodged Indian arrows like any common miner until the spring of 1851, when he was recalled to Oregon.[30]

            The gold discoveries of 1850 in the Klamath Valley caused an exodus of Oregonians thither early in the following year; and notwithstanding Lane's treaty with Chief Jo, great vigilance was required to prevent hostile encounters with his tribe as well as with that of the Umpqua Valley south of the cañon.[31] It

UPRISING OF THE MINERS. 223

soon became evident that Jo, even if he were honestly intentioned, could not keep the peace, the annoying and often threatening demonstrations of his people leading to occasional overt acts on the part of the miners, a circumstance likely to be construed by the Indians as sufficient provocation to further and more pronounced hostility.

            Some time in May a young man named Dilley was treacherously murdered by two Rogue River Indians, who, professing to be friendly, were travelling and camping with three white men. They rose in the night, took Dilley s gun, the only one in the party, shot him while sleeping, and made off with the horses and property, the other two men fleeing back to a company in the rear. On hearing of it thirty men of Shasta formed a company, headed by one Long, marched over the Siskiyou, and coming upon a band at the crossing of Rogue River, killed a sub-chief and one other Indian, took two warriors and two daughters of another chief prisoners, and held them as hostages for the delivery of the murderers of Dilley. The chief refused to give up the guilty Indians, but threatened instead to send a strong party to destroy Long's com-

224 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

pany, which remained at the crossing awaiting events.[32] It does not appear that Long s party was attacked, but several unsuspecting companies suffered in their stead. These attacks were made chiefly at one place some distance south of the ferry where Long and his men encamped.[33] The alarm spread throughout the southern valleys, and a petition was forwarded to Governor Gaines from the settlers in the Umpqua for permission to raise a company of volunteers to fight the Indians. The governor decided to look over the field before granting leave to the citizens to fight, and repaired in person to the scene of the reported hostilities.

            The Spectator, which was understood to lean toward Gaines and the administration, as opposed to the Statesman and democracy, referring to the petition remarked that leave had been asked to march into the Indian country and slay the savages wherever found; that the prejudice against Indians was very strong in the mines and daily increasing; and that no doubt this petition had been sent to the governor to secure his sanction to bringing a claim against the government for the expenses of another Indian war.

            One of Thurston's measures had been the removal

REMOVAL OF SOLDIERS. 225

from the territory of the United States troops, which after years of private and legislative appeal were at an enormous expense finally stationed at the different posts according to the desire of the people. He represented to congress that so far from being a blessing they were really a curse to the country, which would gladly be rid of them. To his constituents he said that the cost of maintaining the rifle regiment was four hundred thousand dollars a year. He proposed as a substitute to persuade congress to furnish a good supply of arms, ammunition, and military stores to Oregon, and authorize the governor to call out volunteers when needed, both as a saving to the government and a means of profit to the territory, a part of the plan being to expend one hundred thousand dollars saved in goods for the Indians, which should be purchased only of American merchants in Oregon.

            Thurston's plan had been carried out so far as removing the rifle regiment was concerned, which in the month of April began to depart in divisions for California, and thence to Jefferson Barracks;[34] leaving on the 1st of June, when Major Kearney began his march southward with the last division, only two skeleton companies of artillerymen to take charge of the government property at Steilacoom, Astoria, Vancouver, and The Dalles. He moved slowly, examining the country for military stations, and the best route for a military road which should avoid the Umpqua cañon. On arriving at Yoncalla,[35] Kearney

226 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

consulted with Jesse Applegate, whom he prevailed upon to assist in the exploration of the country east of the cañon, in which they were engaged when the Indian war began in Rogue River Valley.

            The exploring party had proceeded as far as this pass when they learned from a settler at the north end of the cañon, one Knott, of the hostilities, and that the Indians were gathered at Table Rock, an almost impregnable position about twenty miles east of the ferry on Rogue River.[36] On this information Kearney, with a detachment of twenty-eight men, took up the march for the Indian stronghold with the design of dislodging them. A heavy rain had swollen the streams and impeded his progress, and it was not until the morning of the 17th of June that he reached Rogue River at a point five miles distant from Table Rock. While looking for a ford indications of Indians in the vicinity were discovered, and Kearney hoped to be able to surprise them. He ordered the command to fasten their sabres to their saddles to prevent noise, and divided his force, a part under Captain Walker crossing to the south side of the river to intercept any fugitives, while the remainder under Captain James Stuart kept upon the north side.

            Stuart soon came upon the Indians who were prepared for battle. Dismounting his men, who in their haste left their sabres tied to their saddles, Stuart made a dash upon the enemy. They met him with equal courage. A brief struggle took place in which, eleven Indians were killed and several wounded. Stuart himself was matched against a powerful warrior, who had been struck more than once without

BATTLE OF ROGUE RIVER. 227

meeting his death. As the captain approached, the savage, though prostrate, let fly an arrow which pierced him through, lodging in the kidneys, of which wound he died the day after the battle.[37] Captain Peck was also wounded severely, and one of the troops slightly.

            The Indians, who were found to be in large numbers, retreated upon their stronghold, and Kearney also fell back to wait for the coming-up of lieutenants Williamson and Irvine with a detachment, and the volunteer companies hastily gathered among the miners.[38] Camp was made at the mouth of a tributary of Rogue River, entering a few miles below Table Rock, which was named Stuart creek after the dying captain. It was not till the 23d that the Indians were again engaged. A skirmish occurred in the morning, and a four hours battle in the afternoon of that day. The Indians were stationed in a densely wooded hummock, which gave them the advantage in point of position, while in the matter of arms the

228 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

troops were better furnished. In these battles the savages again suffered severely, and on the other side several were wounded but none killed.

            While these events were in progress both Gaines and Lane were on their way to the scene of action. The governor's position was not an enviable one. Scarcely were the riflemen beyond the Willamette when he was forced to write the president representing the imprudence of withdrawing the troops at this time, no provision having been made by the legislature for organizing the militia of the territory, or for meeting in any way the emergency evidently arising.[39] The reply which in due time he received was that the rifle regiment had been withdrawn, first because its services were needed on the frontier of Mexico and Texas, and secondly because the Oregon delegate had assured the department that its presence in Oregon was not needed. In answer to the governor's suggestion that a post should be established in southern Oregon, the secretary gave it as his opinion that the commanding officer in California should order a reconnoissance in that part of the country, with a view to selecting a proper site for such a post without loss of time. But with regard to troops, there were none that could be sent to Oregon; nor could they, if put en route at that time, it being already September, reach there in time to meet the emergency. The secretary therefore suggested that companies of militia might be organized, which could be mustered into service for short periods, and used in conjunction with the regular troops in the pursuit of Indians, or as the exigencies of the service demanded.

            Meanwhile Gaines, deprived entirely of military support, endeavored to raise a volunteer company at Yoncalla to escort him over the dangerous portion of the route to Rogue River; but most of the men of Umpqua, having either gone to the mines or to re-enforce

ACTION OF THE GOVERNOR. 229

Kearney, this was a difficult undertaking, detaining him so that it was the last of the month before he reached his destination. Lane having already started south to look after his mining property before quitting Oregon for Washington arrived at the Umpqua cañon on the 21st, where he was met by a party going north, from whom he obtained the news of the battle of the 17th and the results, with the information that more fighting was expected. Hastening forward with his party of about forty men he arrived at the foot of the Rogue River mountains on the night of the 22d, where he learned from an express rider that Kearney had by that time left camp on Stuart creek with the intention of making a night march in order to strike the Indians at daybreak of the 23d.

            He set out to join Kearney, but after a hard day's ride, being unsuccessful, proceeded next morning to Camp Stuart with the hope of learning something of the movements of Kearney s command. That evening Scott and T'Vault came to camp with a small party, for supplies, and Lane returned with them to the army, riding from nine o clock in the evening to two o'clock in the morning, and being heartily welcomed both by Kearney and the volunteers.

            Early on the 25th, the command moved back down the river to overtake the Indians, who had escaped during the night, and crossing the river seven miles above the ferry found the trail leading up Sardine creek, which being followed brought them up with the fugitives, one of whom was killed, while the others scattered through the woods like a covey of quail in the grass. Two days were spent in pursuing and taking prisoners the women and children, the men escaping. On the 27th the army scoured the country from the ferry to Table Rock, returning in the evening to Camp Stuart, when the campaign was considered as closed. Fifty Indians had been killed and thirty prisoners taken, while the loss to the white warriors, since the first battle, was a few wounded.

230 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

            The Indians had at the first been proudly defiant, Chief Jo boasting that he had a thousand warriors, and could keep that number of arrows in the air continually. But their pride had suffered a fall which left them apparently humbled. They complained to Lane, whom they recognized, talking across the river in stentorian tones, that white men had come on horses in great numbers, invading every portion of their country. They were afraid, they said, to lie down to sleep lest the strangers should be upon them. They wearied of war and wanted peace.[40] There was truth as well as oratorical effect in their harangues, for just at this time their sleep was indeed insecure; but it was not taken into account by them that they had given white men this feeling of insecurity of which they complained.

            Now that the fighting was over Kearney was anxious to resume his march toward California, but was embarrassed with the charge of prisoners. The governor had not yet arrived; the superintendent of Indian affairs was a great distance off in another part of the territory; there was no place where they could be confined in Rogue River valley, nor did he know of any means of sending them to Oregon City. But he was determined not to release them until they had consented to a treaty of peace. Sooner than do that he would take them with him to California and send them back to Oregon by sea. Indeed he had proceeded with them to within twenty -five miles of Shasta Butte, a mining town afterward named Yreka,[41] when Lane, who when his services were no longer needed in the field had continued his journey to Shasta Valley, again came to his relief by offering to escort the prisoners to Oregon City whither he was about to return, or to deliver them to the governor or super-

THE GAINES TREATY. 231

intendent of Indian affairs wherever he might find them. Lieutenant Irvine,[42] from whom Lane learned Kearney's predicament, carried Lane's proposition to the major, and the prisoners were at once sent to his care, escorted by Captain Walker. Lane's party[43] set out immediately for the north, and on the 7th of July delivered their charge to Governor Gaines, who had arrived at the ferry, where he was encamped with fifteen men waiting for his interpreters to bring the Rogue River chiefs to a council, his success in which undertaking was greatly due to his possession of their families. Lane then hastened to Oregon City to embark for the national capital, having added much to his reputation with the people by his readiness of action in this first Indian war west of the Cascade Mountains, as well as in the prompt arrest of the deserting riflemen in the spring of 1850. To do, to do quickly, and generally to do the thing pleasing to the people, of whom he always seemed to be thinking, was natural and easy for him, and in this lay the secret of his popularity.

            When Gaines arrived at Rogue River he found Kearney had gone, not a trooper in the country, and the Indians scattered. He made an attempt to collect them for a council, and succeeded, as I have intimated, by means of the prisoners Lane brought him, in inducing about one hundred, among whom were eleven head men, to agree to a peace. By the terms of the treaty, which was altogether informal, his commission having been withdrawn, the Indians placed

232 INDIAN AFFAIRS.

themselves under the jurisdiction and protection of the United States, and agreed to restore all the property stolen at any time from white persons, in return for which promises of good behavior they received back their wives and children and any property taken from them. There was nothing in the treaty to prevent the Indians, as soon as they were reunited to their families, from resuming their hostilities; and indeed it was well known that there were two parties amongst them one in favor of war and the other opposed to it, but the majority for it. Though so severely punished, the head chief of the war party refused to treat with Kearney, and challenged him to further combat, after the battle of the 23d. It was quite natural therefore that the governor should qualify his belief that they would observe the treaty, provided an efficient agent and a small military force could be sent among them. And it was no less natural that the miners and settlers should doubt the keeping of the compact, and believe in a peace procured by the rifle.

 

 

 

CHAPTER VIII.

PLAUSIBLE PACIFICATION.

1851-1852.

 

OFFICERS AND INDIAN AGENTS AT PORT ORFORD -- ATTITUDE OF THE COQUILLES -- U. S. TROOPS ORDERED OUT -- SOLDIERS AS INDIAN-FIGHTERS -- THE SAVAGES TOO MUCH FOR THEM -- SOMETHING OF SCARFACE AND THE SHASTAS -- STEELE SECURES A CONFERENCE -- ACTION OF SUPERINTENDENT SKINNER -- MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING -- SOME FIGHTING – AN INSECURE PEACE -- MORE TROOPS ORDERED TO VANCOUVER.

            GENERAL HITCHCOCK, commanding the Pacific division at Benicia, California, on hearing Kearny's account of affairs between the Indians and the miners, made a visit to Oregon; and having been persuaded that Port Orford was the proper point for a garrison, transferred Lieutenant Kautz and his company of twenty men from Astoria, where the governor had declared they were of no use, to Port Orford, where he afterward complained they were worth no more. At the same time the superintendent of Indian affairs, with agents Parrish and Spalding, repaired to the southern coast to treat if possible with its people. They took passage on the propeller Seagull, from Portland, on the 12th of September, 1851, T'Vault's party being at that time in the mountains looking for a road. The Seagull arrived at Port Orford on the 14th, two days before T'Vault and Brush were returned to that place, naked and stiff with wounds, by the charitable natives of Cape Blanco.

            The twofold policy of the United States made it the duty of the superintendent to notice the murderous

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conduct of the Coquilles. As Dart had come to treat, he did not wish to appear as an avenger; neither did he feel secure as conciliator. It was at length decided to employ the Cape Blanco native, who under took to ascertain the whereabouts, alive or dead, of the seven men still missing of the T'Vault party. This he did by sending two women of his tribe to the Coquille River, where the killing of five, and probable escape of the rest, was ascertained. The women interred the mangled bodies in the sand.

            The attitude of the Coquilles was not assuring. To treat with them while they harbored murderers would not do; and how to make them give them up without calling on the military puzzled the superintendent. Finally Parrish, whose residence among the Clatsops had given him some knowledge of the coast tribes, undertook to secure hostages, but failed.[44] Dart returned to Portland about the 1st of October, leaving his interpreter with Kautz.

            Between the visits of Governor Gaines to Rogue River and Dart to Port Orford, disturbances had been resumed in the former region. Gaines had agreed upon a mutual restitution of property or of its value, which was found not to work well, the miners being as much dissatisfied as the Indians. From this reason, and because the majority of the Rogue River natives were not parties to the treaty, not many weeks had elapsed after Gaines returned to Oregon City before depredations were resumed. A settler's cabin was broken into on Grave Creek, and some travellers were fired on from ambush;[45] rumors of which reaching the superintendent before leaving the Willamette, he sent a messenger to request the Rogue River chiefs to meet him at Port Orford. Ignorance of Indian ways, unpardonable in a superintendent, could alone have caused so great a blunder. Not only did they refuse thus to go into their neighbor's territory,

AFFAIRS AT PORT ORFORD. 235

but made the request an excuse for further disturbances.[46] Again, there were white men in this region who killed and robbed white men, charging their crimes[47] upon the savages. Indian Agent Skinner held conferences with several bands at Rogue River, all of whom professed friendship and accepted presents;[48] in which better frame of mind I will leave them and return to affairs at Port Orford.

            When intelligence of the massacre on the Coquille was received at division headquarters in California, punishment was deemed necessary, and as I have before mentioned, a military force was transferred to the Port Orford station. The troops, commanded by Lieutenant-colonel Casey of the 2d infantry, were portions of companies E and A, 1st dragoons dismounted, lieutenants Thomas Wright and George Stoneman, and company C with their horses. The dismounted men arrived at Port Orford October 22d, and the mounted men by the next steamer, five days later. On the 31st the three companies set out for the mouth of the Coquille, arriving at their destination November 3d, Colonel Casey and Lieutenant Stanton leading the mounted men, with Brush, a survivor of the massacre, as guide, and a few stragglers. The Coquilles were bold and brave. One of them meeting Wright away from camp attempted to wrest from him his rifle, and was shot by that officer for his temerity. On the 5th the savages assembled on the

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north bank to the number of one hundred and fifty, and by their gesticulations challenged the troops to battle. The soldiers fired across the river, the Coquilles returning the fire with the guns taken from T'Vault's party ;[49] but no damage was done. Constructing a raft, the main body crossed to the north side on the 7th in a cold drenching rain, while Stanton proceeded up the south side, ready to cooperate with Casey when the Indians, who had now retreated up the stream, should be found. It was soon ascertained that a campaign on the Coquille was no trifling matter. The savages were nowhere to be found in force, having fled toward head waters, or a favorable ambush. Marching in order was not to be thought of; and after several days of wading through morasses, climbing hills, and forcing a way among the undergrowth by day and sleeping under a single wet blanket at night, the order to retreat was given. Nothing had been met with on the route but deserted villages, which were invariably destroyed, together with the winter's store of provisions -- a noble revenge on innocent women and children, who must starve in consequence. Returning to the mouth of the river, Casey sent to Port Orford for boats to be brought overland, on the arrival of which the campaign was recommenced on a different plan.

            In three small boats were crowded sixty men, in such a manner that their arms could not be used; and so they proceeded up the river for four days, finding no enemy. At the forks, the current being strong, the troops encamped. It was now the 20th of November, and the weather very inclement. On the 21st Casey detailed Stoneman to proceed up the south branch with one boat and fourteen men; while Wright

FIGHT WITH THE COQUILLES. 237

with a similar force ascended the north branch, looking for Indians. After advancing six or eight miles, Stoneman discovered the enemy in force on both banks. A few shots were fired, and the party returned and reported. In the course of the afternoon Wright also returned, having been about eighteen miles up the north branch without finding any foe. On the 22d the whole command set out toward the Indian camp on the south branch, taking only two boats, with five men in each, the troops marching up the right bank to within half a mile of the point aimed at, when Stoneman crossed to the left bank with one company, and the march was resumed in silence, the boats continuing to ascend with equal caution. The Indians were found assembled at the junction. When the boats were within a hundred and fifty yards of them the savages opened fire with guns and arrows. Wright then made a dash to the river bank, and with yells drove the savages into concealment. Meanwhile Stoneman was busy picking off certain of the enemy stationed on the bank to prevent a landing.

            The engagement lasted only about twenty minutes, and the Coquilles had now scampered into the woods, where it would be useless to attempt to follow them. Fifteen were killed and many appeared to be wounded. Their lodges and provisions were burned, while their canoes were carried away. Casey, who was with Wright on the north bank, joined in the fighting with enthusiasm, telling the men to take good aim and not throw away shots.[50]

            The troops returned to the mouth of the river, where they remained for a few days, and then marched back to Port Orford, and took passage on the Columbia for San Francisco, where they arrived on the 12th

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of December.[51] This expedition cost the government some twenty-five thousand dollars,[52] and resulted in killing a dozen or more Indians, which coming after the late friendly professions of Indian Agent Parrish, did not tend to confidence in the promises of the government, or increase the safety of the settlers.[53]

            I have told how Stanton returned to Oregon with troops to garrison Fort Orford, being shipwrecked and detained four months at Coos Bay. He had orders to explore for a road to the interior, in connection with Williamson, who had already begun this survey. The work was prosecuted with energy, and finished in the autumn of 1852.

            The presents distributed by Skinner had not the virtue to preserve lasting tranquillity in the mining region. In the latter part of April 1852, a citizen of Marion county returning from the mines was robbed of his horse and other property in the Grave Creek hills by Rogue River Indians. This act was followed by other interruption of travellers, and demand for pay for passing fords.[54] Growing bolder, robbery was followed by murder, and then came war.[55]

            On the 8th of July, a Shasta, named Scarface, a

TROUBLES WITH THE SHASTAS. 239

notorious villain, who had killed his chief and usurped authority, murdered one Calvin Woodman, on Indian Creek, a small tributary of the Klamath. The white men of Shasta and Scott s valleys arrested the head chief, and demanded the surrender of Scarface and his accomplice, another Shasta known as Bill. The captured chief not only refused, but made his escape. The miners then organized, and in a fight which ensued the sheriff was wounded, some horses being killed, Mr. E. Steele was then living at Yreka. He had mined in the Shasta valley when Lane was digging gold in that vicinity. The natives had named him Jo Lane's Brother, and he had great influence with them. Steele had been absent at the time of the murder, but returning to Scott Valley soon after, found the Indians moving their families toward the Salmon River mountains, a sign of approaching trouble. Hastening to Johnson s rancho, he learned what had occurred, and also met there a company from Scott Bar prosecuting an unsuccessful search for the savages in the direction of Yreka. Next day, at the request of Johnson, who had his family at the rancho and was concerned for their safety, Steele collected the Indians in Scott Valley and held a council. The Shastas, to which nation belonged the Rogue River tribes, were divided under several chiefs as follows: Tolo was the acknowledged head of those who lived in the flat country about Yreka; Scarface and Bill were over those in Shasta Valley; John of those in Scott Valley; and Sam and Jo of those in Rogue River Valley, having been formerly all under one chief, the father of John. On the death of the old chief a feud had arisen concerning the supremacy, which was interrupted by the appearance of white men, since which time each had controlled his own band. Then there were two chiefs who had their country at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains on the north side, or south of Jacksonville, namely, Tipso, that is to say, The Hairy, from his heavy beard, and Sullix, or the Bad-tem-

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pered, both of whom were unfriendly to the settlers and miners.[56] They also had wars with the Shastas on the south side of the Siskiyou,[57] and were altogether turbulent in their character.

            The chiefs whom Steele induced to trust themselves inside Johnson s stockade for conference were Tolo, his son Philip, and John, with three of his brothers, one of whom was known as Jim. These affirmed that they desired peace, and said if Steele would accompany them they would go in search of the murderers. Accordingly a party of seven was formed, four more joining at Shasta cañon.[58] Proceeding to Yreka, Steele had some trouble to protect his savages from the citizens, who wished to hang them. But an order of arrest having been obtained from the county judge, the party proceeded, and in two days reached the hiding-place of Scarface and Bill. The criminals had fled, having gone to join Sam, brother of Chief Jo, Lane's namesake, who had taken up arms because Dr. Ambrose, a settler, had seized the ground which was the winter residence of the tribe, and because he would not betroth his daughter to Sam's son, both children being still of tender age.

            Tolo, Philip, and Jim then withdrew from the party of white men, substituting two young warriors, who were pledged to find Scarface and Bill, or suffer in their stead. A party under Wright then proceeded to the Klamath country. Steele went to Rogue River, hearing on the Siskiyou Mountain confirmation of the war rumor from a captured warrior, afterward shot in trying to effect his escape.

            Rumors of disaffection reaching Table Rock,[59] seven-

PARLEYS. 241

ty-five or eighty men, with John K. Lamerick as leader, volunteered to go and kill Indians. Hearing of it, Skinner hastened to prevent slaughter, but only obtained a promise not to attack until he should have had an opportunity of parley. A committee of four was appointed by the citizens of Table Rock to accompany the agent. They found Sam at his encampment at Big Bar, two miles from the house of Ambrose, and at no great distance from Stuart's former camp. Sam did not hesitate to cross to the south side to talk with Skinner. He declared himself for peace, and proposed to send for his brother Jo, with all his band, to meet the agent the following day; nor did he make any objection when told that a large number of white men would be present to witness the negotiations.

            At this juncture, Steele arrived in the valley with his party and two Shastas, Skinner confessing to him that the situation was serious. He agreed, however, to Steele s request to make the delivery of the murderers one of the conditions of peace.

            At the time appointed, Skinner and Steele repaired to Big Bar with their respective commands and the volunteers under Lamerick. One of Steele's Shastas was sent to Sam with a message, requesting him to come over the river and bring a few of his warriors as a body-guard. After the usual Indian parley he came, accompanied by Jo and a few fighting men; but seeing Lamerick's company mounted and drawn up in line, expressed a fear of them, when Skinner caused them to dismount and stack their arms.

            The messenger to Sam's camp told Steele that he had recognized the murderers among Sam's people, and Steele demanded his arrest; but Skinner refused, fearing bloodshed. The agent went further, and ordered the release of two prisoners taken by Steele on the north side of the Siskiyou Mountains, Sam having first made the demand, and refused to negotiate until it was complied with. The order was accom-

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panied with the notice to Steele that he was within the jurisdiction of the person giving the command. But all was of no avail. Steele seemed as determined to precipitate war as was Skinner to avoid it. Finally Skinner addressed himself to the prisoners, telling them they were free, that he was chief of the white people in the Indian country, and they should accept their liberty. On the other hand, Steele warned his prisoners that if they attempted to escape they would be shot, when Skinner threatened to arrest and send him to Oregon City. The quarrel ended by Steele keeping his captives under a guard of two of his own men, who were instructed to shoot them if they ran away, Sam and his party being informed of the order. His six remaining men were stationed with reference to a surprise from the rear and a rescue.

            The conference then proceeded; but presently a hundred armed warriors crossed the river and mixed with the unarmed white men, whereupon Steele ordered his men to resume their arms.

            The council resulted in nothing. Sam declined to give up the murderers, and the talk of the chiefs was shuffling and evasive. At length, on a pretence of wishing to consult with some of his people, Sam obtained permission to return to the north bank of the river, from which he shouted back defiance, and saying that he should not return. The white forces were then divided, Lamerick going with half the company to a ford above Big Bar, and his lieutenant with the remainder to the ford half a mile below, prepared to cross the river and attack Sam's camp if any hostile demonstrations should be made at the council ground. But the agent, apprehensive of an outbreak, followed the angry chief to the north side, the Indians also crossing over until about fifty only remained. Becoming alarmed for the safety of Skinner, Steele placed a guard at the crossing to prevent all the Indians returning to camp before the agent should come back, which he did in company with one

THE BATTLE BEGINS. 243

of the Shastas, who had been sent to warn him. Though the agent was aware that this man could point out the murderers, he would not consent, lest it should be a signal for battle.

            By the time Steele had re-crossed the river, a fresh commotion arose over the rumor that Scarface was seen with two others going over the hills toward the Klamath. The Rogue River warriors, still on the south side, observing it, began posting themselves under cover of some trees, as if preparing for a skirmish, to prevent which Steele's men placed themselves in a position to intercept them, when an encounter appearing imminent, Martin Angell,[60] a settler, proposed to the Indians to give up their arms, and sheltering themselves in a log house in the vicinity, to remain there as hostages until the criminals should be brought back by their own people. The proposition was accepted; but when they had filed past Steele s party they made a dash to gain the woods. This was the critical moment. To allow the savages to gain cover would be to expose the white men to a fire they could not return; therefore the order was given, and firing set in on both sides.

            It should not be forgotten that Steele's men from the California side of the Siskiyou, throughout the whole affair, had done all that was done to precipitate the conflict, which was nevertheless probably unavoidable in the agitated state of both Indians and white men. The savages were well armed and ready for war, and the miners and settlers were bent on the mastery. When the firing began, Lamerick's company were still at the fords, some distance from the others. At the sound of the guns he hastened up the valley to give protection to the settlers' families,

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leaving a minority of the volunteers to engage the Indians from the north side should they attempt to cross the river.[61]

            The fighting lasted but a short time. The Indians made a charge with the design of releasing Steele's prisoners, when they ran toward the river. One was shot before he reached it, the other as he came out of the water on the opposite bank. Sam then ordered a party of warriors to the south side to cut off Steele, but they were themselves surprised by a detachment of the volunteers, and several killed,[62] the remainder retreating. Only one white man was wounded, and he in one finger. The Indian agent had retired to his residence at the beginning of the fight. That same night information was received that during the holding of the council some Indians had gone to a bar down the river, and had surprised and killed a small company of miners. Lamerick at once made preparations to cross the river on the night of the 19th of July, and take his position in the pass between Table Rock and the river, while Steele's company moved at the same time farther up, to turn the Indians back on Lamerick's force in the morning. The movement was successful. Sam's people were surrounded, and the chief sued for peace on the terms first offered, namely, that he should give up the murderers, asking that the agent be sent for to make a treaty.

            But Skinner, who had found himself ignored as

TRUCE AND REENFORCEMENT. 245

maintainer of the peace, and was busy preparing for the defence of his house and property, was slow to respond to this request. A council was appointed for the next day. In the explanations which followed it was ascertained that Scarface had not been with Sam, but was hiding in the Salmon River mountains. The person pointed out as Scarface was Sullix of Tipso's band, who also had a face badly scarred. The real criminal was ultimately arrested, and hanged at Yreka. A treaty was agreed to by Sam requiring the Rogue River Indians to hold no communication with the Shastas.[63] For the remainder of the summer hostilities on Rogue River were suspended, the Indian agent occasionally presenting Sam s band with a fat ox, finding it easier and cheaper to purchase peace with beef than to let robberies go on, or to punish the robbers.[64] Such was the condition of Indian affairs in the south of Oregon in the summer and autumn of 1852, when the superintendent received official notice that all the Indian treaties negotiated in Oregon had been ordered to lie upon the table in the senate; while he was instructed by the commissioner, until the general policy of the government should be more definitely understood, to enter into no more treaty stipulations with them, except such as might be imperiously required to preserve peace.[65] As if partially to avert the probable consequences to the people of Oregon of this rejection of the treaties entered into between Governor Gaines, Superintendent Dart, and the Indians, there arrived at Vancouver, in September, 268 men, rank and file, composing the skeleton of the 4th regiment of infantry, under Lieutenant-colonel Bonneville.[66] It was now too late in the season for

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troops to do more than go into winter quarters. The settlers and the emigration had defended themselves for another year without aid from the government, and the comments afterward made upon their manner of doing it, in the opinion of the volunteers came with a very ill grace from the officers of that government.[67]

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XII

ROGUE RIVER WAR,

1853-1854.

 

IMPOSITIONS AND RETALIATIONS -- OUTRAGES BY WHITE MEN AND INDIANS -- THE MILITARY CALLED UPON -- WAR DECLARED -- SUSPENSION OF BUSINESS -- ROADS BLOCKADED -- FIRING FROM AMBUSH -- ALDEN AT TABLE ROCK -- LANE IN COMMAND -- BATTLE -- THE SAVAGES SUE FOR PEACE -- ARMISTICE -- PRELIMINARY AGREEMENT -- HOSTAGES GIVEN – ANOTHER TREATY WITH THE ROGUE RIVER PEOPLE -- STIPULATIONS – OTHER TREATIES -- COST OF THE WAR.

            NOTWITHSTANDING the treaty entered into into; as I have related, by certain chiefs of Rogue River in the summer of 1852, hostilities had not altogether ceased, although conducted less openly than before. With such a rough element in their country as these miners and settlers, many of them bloody-minded and unprincipled men, and most of them holding the opinion that it was right and altogether proper that the natives should be killed, it was impossible to have peace. The white men, many of them, did not want peace. The quicker the country was rid of the redskin vermin the better, they said. And in carrying out their determination, they often outdid the savage in savagery.

            There was a sub-chief, called Taylor by white men, who ranged the country about Grave Creek, a northern tributary of Rogue River, who was specially hated, having killed a party of seven during a winter storm and reported them drowned. He committed other depredations upon small parties passing over

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the road.[68] It was believed, also, that white women were prisoners among the Indians near Table Rock, a rumor arising probably from the vague reports of the captivity of two white girls near Klamath Lake.

            Excited by what they knew and what they imagined, about the 1st of June, 1853, a party from Jacksonville and vicinity took Taylor with three others and hanged them. Then they went to Table Rock to rescue the alleged captive white women, and finding none, they fired into a village of natives, killing six, then went their way to get drunk and boast of their brave deeds.[69]

            There was present neither Indian agent nor military officer to prevent the outrages on either side. The new superintendent, Palmer, was hardly installed in office, and had at his command but one agent,[70] whom he despatched with the company raised to open the middle route over the Cascade Mountains. As to troops, the 4th infantry had been sent to the north west coast in the preceding September, but were so distributed that no companies were within reach of Rogue River.[71] As might have been expected, a few weeks after the exploits of the Jacksonville company, the settlements were suddenly attacked, and a bloody carnival followed.[72] Volunteer companies quickly gathered up the isolated families and patrolled

GATHERING OF VOLUNTEERS. 313

the country, occasionally being fired at by the concealed foe.[73] A petition was addressed to Captain Alden, in command of Fort Jones in Scott Valley, asking for arms and ammunition. Alden immediately came forward with twelve men. Isaac Hill, with a small company, kept guard at Ashland.[74]

            On the 7th of June, Hill attacked some Indians five miles from Ashland, and killed six of them. In return, the Indians on the 17th surprised an immigrant camp and killed and wounded several.[75] The houses everywhere were now fortified; business was suspended, and every available man started out to hunt Indians.[76]

            On the 15th S. Ettinger was sent to Salem with a request to Governor Curry for a requisition on Colonel Bonneville, in command at Vancouver, for a howitzer, rifles, and ammunition, which was granted. With the howitzer went Lieutenant Kautz and six artillerymen; and as escort forty volunteers, officered by J. W. Nesmith captain, L. F. Grover 1st lieutenant, W. K. Beale 2d lieutenant, J. D. McCurdy surgeon, J. M. Crooks orderly sergeant.[77] Over two hundred volunteers were enrolled in two companies, and the chief command was given to Alden. From Yreka there were also eighty volunteers, under Cap-

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tain Goodall. By the 9th of August, both Nesmith and the Indian superintendent were at Yoncalla.

            Fighters were plenty, but they were without subsistence. Alden appointed a board of military commissioners to constitute a general department of supply.[78] Learning that the Indians were in force near Table Rock, Alden planned an attack for the night of the 11th; but in the mean time information came that the Indians were in the valley killing and burning right and left. Without waiting for officers or orders, away rushed the volunteers to the defence of their homes, and for several days the white men scoured the country in small bands in pursuit of the foe. Sam, the war chief of Rogue River, now approached the volunteer camp and offered battle. Alden, having once more collected his forces, made a movement on the 15th to dislodge the enemy, supposed to be encamped in a bushy cañon five miles north of Table Rock, but whom he found to have changed their position to some unknown place of concealment. Following their trail was exceedingly difficult, as the savages had fired the woods behind them, which obliterated it, filled the atmosphere with smoke and heat, and made progress dangerous. It was not until the morning of the 17th that Lieutenant Ely of the Yreka company discovered the Indians on Evans Creek, ten miles north of their last encampment. Having but twenty-five men, and the main force having returned to Camp Stuart for supplies, Ely fell back to an open piece of ground, crossed by creek channels lined with bunches of willows, where, after sending a messenger to headquarters for re-enforcements, he halted. But before the other companies could come up, he was discovered by Sam, who hastened to attack him.

            Advancing along the gullies and behind the willows, the Indians opened fire, killing two men at the first

BATTLE NEAR TABLE ROCK. 315

discharge. The company retreated for shelter, as rapidly as possible, to a pine ridge a quarter of a mile away, but the savages soon flanked and surrounded them. The fight continued for three and a half hours, Ely having four more men killed and four wounded.[79] Goodall with the remainder of his company then came up, and the Indians retreated.

            On the 21st, and before Alden was ready to move, Lane arrived with a small force from Roseburg.[80] The command was tendered to Lane, who accepted it.[81]

            A battalion under Ross was now directed to proceed up Evans Creek to a designated rendezvous, while two companies, captains Goodall and Rhodes, under Alden with Lane at their head, inarched by the way of Table Rock. The first day brought Alden's command fifteen miles beyond Table Rock without having discovered the enemy; the second day they passed over a broken country enveloped in clouds of smoke; the third day they made camp at the eastern base of a rocky ridge between Evans Creek and a small stream farther up Rogue River. On the morning of the fourth day scouts reported the Indian trail, and a road to it was made by cutting a passage for the horses through a thicket.

            Between nine and ten o clock, Lane, riding in advance along the trail which here was quite broad, heard a gun fired and distinguished voices. The troops were halted on the summit of the ridge, and

316 ROGUE RIVER WAR.

ordered to dismount in silence and tie their horses. When all were ready, Alden with Goodall's company was directed to proceed on foot along the trail and attack the Indians in front, while Rhodes with his men took a ridge to the left to turn the enemy's flank, Lane waiting for the rear guard to come up, whom he intended to lead into action.[82]

            The first intimation the Indians had that they were discovered was when Alden's command fired into their camp. Although completely surprised, they made a vigorous resistance, their camp being fortified with logs, and well supplied with ammunition. To get at them it was necessary to charge through dense thickets, an operation both difficult and dangerous from the opportunities offered of an ambush. Before Lane brought up the rear, Alden had been severely wounded, the general finding him lying in the arms of a sergeant. Lane then led a charge in person, and when within thirty yards of the enemy, was struck by a rifle-ball in his right arm near the shoulder.

            In the afternoon, the Indians called, out for a parley, and desired peace; whereupon Lane ordered a suspension of firing, and sent Robert B. Metcalfe and James Bruce into their lines to learn what they had to say. Being told that their former friend, Lane, was in command, they desired an interview, which was granted.

            On going into their camp, Lane found many wounded; and they were burning their dead, as if fearful they would fall into the hands of the enemy. He was met by chief Jo, his namesake, and his brothers Sam and Jim, who told him their hearts were sick of war, and that they would meet him seven days thereafter at Table Rock, when they would give

ARMISTICE. 317

up their arms,[83] make a treaty of peace, and place themselves under the protection of the Indian superintendent, who should be sent for to be present at the council. To this Lane agreed, taking a son of Jo as hostage, and returning to the volunteer encampment at the place of dismounting in the morning, where the wounded were being cared for and the dead being buried.[84]

            The Ross battalion arrived too late for the fight, and having had a toilsome march were disappointed, and would have renewed the battle, but were restrained by Lane. Although for two days the camps were within four hundred yards of each other, the truce remained unbroken. During this interval the Indian women brought water for the wounded white men; and when the white men moved to camp, the red men furnished bearers for their litters.[85] I find no mention made of any such humane or Christian conduct on the part of the superior race.

            On the 29th, both the white and red battalions moved slowly toward the valley, each wearing the appearance of confidence, though a strict watch was covertly kept on both sides.[86] The Indians established themselves for the time on a high piece of ground directly opposite the perpendicular cliffs of Table Rock, while Lane made his camp in the valley, in plain view, from the Indian position, and about one mile distant, on the spot where Fort Lane was afterward located.

318 ROGUE RIVER WAR.

            The armistice continued inviolate so far as concerned the volunteer army under Lane, and the Indians under Sam, Jo, and Jim. But hostilities were not suspended between independent companies ranging the country and the Grave Creek and Applegate Creek Indians, and a band of Shastas under Tipso, whose haunts were in the Siskiyou Mountains.[87]

            A council, preliminary to a treaty, was held the 4th of September, when more hostages were given, and the next day Lane, with Smith, Palmer, Grover, and others, visited the Rogue River camp. The 8th was set for the treaty-making. On that day the white men presented themselves at the Indian encampment in good force and well armed. There had arrived, besides, the company from the Willamette, with Kautz and his howitzer,[88] all of which had its effect to obtain their consent to terms which, although hard, the condition of the white settlers made imperative,[89] placing

COUNCIL AND TREATY. 319

the conquered wholly in the power of the conquerors, and in return for which they were to receive quasi benefits which they did not want, could not understand, and were better off without. A treaty was also made with the Cow Creek band of Umpquas, usually a quiet people, but affected by contact with the Grave Creek band of the Rogue River nation.[90]

320 ROGUE RIVER WAR.

            On the whole, the people of Rogue River behaved very well after the treaty. The settlers and miners in the Illinois Valley about the middle of October being troubled by incursions of the coast tribes, who had fled into the interior to escape the penalty of their depredations on the beach miners about Crescent City, Lieutenant R. C. W. Radford was sent from Fort Lane with a small detachment to chastise them. Finding them more numerous than was expected, Radford was compelled to send for reinforcements, which arriving under Lieutenant Caster on the 22d, a three days chase over a mountainous country brought them up with the marauders, when the troops had a skirmish with them, killing ten or more, and capturing a considerable amount of property which had been stolen, but losing two men killed and four wounded.

            After this the miners hereabout took care of themselves, and made a treaty with that part of the Rogue River tribe, which was observed until January 1854, when a party of miners from Sailor Diggings, in their pursuit of an unknown band of robbers attacked the treaty Indians, some being killed on both sides; but the Indian agent being sent for, an explanation ensued, and peace was temporarily restored.

            The Indian disturbances of 1853 in this part of Oregon, according to the report of the secretary of war,[91] cost the lives of more than a hundred white persons and several hundred Indians. The expense was estimated at $7,000 a day, or a total of $258,000, though the war lasted for little more than a month, and there had been in the field only from 200 to 500 men.

            In addition to the actual direct expense of the war

COST OF FIGHTING. 321

was the loss by settlers, computed by a commission consisting of L. F. Grover, A. C. Gibbs, and G. H. Ambrose[92] to be little less than $46,000. Of this amount 17,800, including payment for the improvements on the reserved lands, was deducted from the sum paid to the Indians for their lands, which left only 29,000 to be paid by congress, which claims, together with those of the volunteers, were finally settled on that basis.[93]

 

* * * * * * * * * *

INLAND NAVIGATION. 341

* * * * * * * * * *

            In July 1854 there was a raid in Rogue River Valley by the Shastas; unattended, however, by seri-

342 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

ous damage. The treaty Indians of Rogue River sickened in the reservation, and the agent permitted them to roam a little in search of health. Some of them being shot by white men, their chiefs demanded that the murderers be brought to justice, as had been promised them, but it was not done. Few of such cases ever came into the courts,[94] and it was as rare an occurrence for an Indian to be tried by process of law.[95]

            So great had been their wrongs during the past five years, so unbearable the outrages of the white race, that desperation seized the savages of the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta valleys, who now took the war-path toward the country of the Modocs, to join with them in a general butchery of immigrants and settlers.

            In the absence of a regular military force, that at Fort Jones, consisting of only seventy men, wholly insufficient to guard two hundred miles of immigrant road, the governor was requested to call into service volunteers, which was done. Governor Davis also wrote to General Wool for troops. Meanwhile a company was sent out under Jesse Walker, who kept the savages at bay, and on its return received the commendations of Governor Curry, Davis having in the mean time resigned.

            This expedition was used by the dominant party for many years to browbeat the influential whigs of southern Oregon. The Statesman facetiously named it the "expedition to fight the emigrants;" and in plainer language denounced the quartermaster-general and others as thieves, because the expedition cost forty-five thousand dollars.[96]

INDIAN DISTURBANCES. 343

            Drew in his report seemed to apologize for the great cost, and pointed out that the prices were not so high as in 1853, and that many expenses then incurred had been avoided; but he could not prevent the turning into political capital of so large a claim against the government, though it was the merchants of Yreka and not of Jacksonville who overcharged, if overcharging there was.[97] The attacks made on the whigs of southern Oregon led to the accumulation of a mass of evidence as to prices, and to years of delay in the settlement of accounts. On the side of the democrats in this struggle was General Wool, then in command of the division of the Pacific, who wrote to Adjutant-general Thomas at New York that the governor of Oregon had mustered into service a company of volunteers, but that Captain Smith was of opinion that they were not needed, and that it was done on the representations of speculators who were expecting to be benefited by furnishing supplies.[98]

            There was a massacre of immigrants near Fort Boise in August, that caused much excitement on the Willamette. The party was known as Ward's train, being led by Alexander Ward of Kentucky, and consisting of twenty-one persons, most of whom were slain.[99] Not only was the outrage one that could not be overlooked, or adequately punished by civil or military courts, but it was cause for alarm such as was expressed in the report of Quartermaster Drew, that a general Indian war was about to be precipitated upon the country, an apprehension strengthened by reports from many sources.

            In order to make plain all that followed the events recorded in this chapter, it is necessary to revert to

344 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

statements contained in the correspondence of the war department. That which most concerned this particular period is contained in a document transmitted to the senate, at the request of that body, by President Pierce, at the second session of the thirty-third congress. In this document is a communication of General Wool to General Cooper at Washington City, in which is mentioned the correspondence of the former with Major Rains of the 4th infantry, in command of Fort Dalles, and of Major Alvord, U. S. paymaster at Vancouver, who had each written him on the subject of Indian relations. As the report of Rains has been mentioned in another place, it is not necessary to repeat it here. Colonel George Wright had contributed his opinion concerning the "outrages of the lawless whites" in northern California, and to strengthen the impression, had quoted from the report of Indian Agent Culver concerning the conduct of a party of miners on Illinois River, who had, as he averred, wantonly attacked an Indian encampment and brutally murdered two Indians and wounded others.[100] The facts were presented to Wool, and by Wool to headquarters at Washington. The general wrote, that to prevent as far as possible the recurrence of further outrages against the Indians, he had sent a detachment of about fifty men to re-enforce Smith at Fort Lane; but that to keep the peace and protect the Indians against the white people, the force in California and Oregon must be increased. This letter was written in March 1854.

            On the 31st of March, Wool again wrote General Scott, at New York, that the difficulty of preserving

ATTITUDE OF THE ARMY. 345

peace, owing to the increase of immigration and the encroachments of the white people upon the Indians, which deprived them of their improvements, was continually increasing. There were, he said, less than a thousand men to guard California, Oregon, Washington, and Utah, and more were wanted. The request was referred by Scott to the secretary of war, and refused.

            In May, Wool sent Inspector-general J. K. F. Mansfield to make a tour of the Pacific department, and see if the posts established there should be made permanent; but expressed the opinion that those in northern California could be dispensed with, not withstanding that the commanders of forts Reading and Jones were every few weeks sending reports filled with accounts of collisions between the white population and the Indians.

            At this point I observe certain anomalies. Congress had invited settlers to the Pacific coast for political reasons. These settlers had been promised protection from the savages. That protection had never to any practical extent been rendered; but gradually the usual race conflict had begun and strengthened until it assumed alarming proportions. The few officers of the military department of the government, sent here ostensibly to protect its citizens, had found it necessary to devote themselves to protecting the Indians. Over and over they asserted that the white men were alone to blame for the disturbances.

            Writing to the head of the department at New York, General Wool said that the emigration to California and Oregon would soon render unnecessary a number of posts which had been established at a great expense, and that if it were left to his discretion, he should abolish forts Reading and Miller in California, and establish a temporary post in the Pit River country; also break up one or two posts in northern California and Oregon, which could only mean forts Jones and Lane, and establish another on Puget Sound,

346 LEGISLATION, MINING, AND SETTLEMENT.

and, if possible, one in the Boise country; though his preference would be given to a company of dragoons to traverse the Snake River country in the summer and return to The Dalles in the winter.

            Governor Curry, on learning that the expedition under Haller had accomplished nothing, and that the whole command numbered only sixty men, and thinking it too small to accomplish anything in the Snake River country should the Indians combine to make war on the immigration, on the 18th of September issued a proclamation calling for two companies of volunteers, of sixty men each, to serve for six months, unless sooner discharged, and to furnish their own horses, equipments, arms, and ammunition; the companies to choose their own officers, and report to Brigadier General Nesmith on the 25th, one company to rendezvous at Salem and the other at Oregon City.

            Commissions were issued to George K. Shell, assistant adjutant-general, John McCracken, assistant quartermaster-general, and Victor Trevitt, commissary and quartermaster. A request was despatched to Vancouver, to Bonneville, to ask from the United States arms, ammunition, and stores with which to supply the volunteer companies, which Bonneville refused, saying that in his opinion a winter campaign was neither necessary nor practicable. Nesmith being of like opinion, the governor withdrew his call for volunteers.

            When the legislative assembly convened, the governor placed before them all the information he possessed on Indian affairs, whereupon a joint committee was appointed to consider the question. Lane had already been informed of the occurrences in the Boise country, but a resolution was adopted instructing the governor to correspond with General Wool and Colonel Bonneville in relation to the means available for an expedition against the Shoshones. The total force then in the Pacific department was 1,200, dragoons, artillery, and infantry; of which nine compa-

WAR FORCES. 347

nies of infantry, 335 strong, were stationed in Oregon and Washington, and others were under orders for the Pacific.

            Governor Davis had written Wool of anticipated difficulties in the south; whereupon the latter instructed Captain Smith to re-enforce his squadron with the detachment of horse lately under command of Colonel Wright, and with them to proceed to Klamath Lake to render such assistance as the immigration should require. About a month later he reported to General Thomas that he had called Smith's attention to the matter, and that he was informed that all necessary measures had been taken to prevent disturbances on the emigrant road.

            In congress the passage of the army bill failed this year, though a section was smuggled into the appropriation bill adding two regiments of infantry and two of cavalry to the existing force, and authorizing the president, by the consent of the senate, to appoint one brigadier general. It was further provided that arms should be distributed to the militia of the territories, under regulations prescribed by the president, according to the act of 1808 arming the militia of the states. No special provision was made for the protection of the north-west coast, and Oregon was left to meet the impending conflict as best it might.

* * * * * * * * * *

INDIAN AFFAIRS. 359

* * * * * * * * * *

            I have already spoken of the round of visits which Indian Superintendent Palmer made in 1854, about which time he concluded some treaties none of those made by Gaines ever having been ratified with the Indians of the Willamette Valley.[101] It was not until October that he was able to go to the Indians of south-

360 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

ern Oregon with the assurance that congress had ratified the treaties made at the close of the war of 1853, with some amendments to which they consented somewhat unwillingly,[102] but were pacified on receiving their first instalment of goods. S. H. Culver was removed, and George H. Ambrose made agent on the Rogue River reservation.[103] By the 1st of February, 1855, all the lands between the Columbia River and the summit of the Calapooya Mountains, and between the Coast and Cascade ranges, had been purchased for the United States, the Indians agreeing to remove to such localities as should be selected for them, it being the intention to place them east of the Cascades. But the opposition made by all natives, to being forced upon the territory of other tribes, or to having other tribes brought into contact with them, on their own lands, influenced Palmer to select a reservation on the coast, extending from Cape Lookout on the north to a point half-way between the Siuslaw and Umpqua rivers, taking in the whole country west of the Coast Range, with all the rivers and bays, for a distance of ninety miles, upon which the Willamette and coast tribes were to be placed as soon as the means should be at hand to remove them.

            No attempt to treat with the Oregon tribes east of the Cascade Mountains for their lands had ever been made, and except the efforts of the missionaries, and the provisional government, for which White may be considered as acting, nothing had been done to bring them into friendly relations with the citizens of the United States. The Cayuse war had left that tribe

TREATIES AND PURCHASE OF LANDS. 361

imbittered toward the American people. Governor Stevens of Washington Territory, when exploring for the Pacific railroad, in 1853, had visited and conferred with the tribes north and east of the Columbia concerning the sale of their lands, all of whom professed a willingness to dispose of them, and to enter into treaty relations with the government.[104] Stevens had reported accordingly to congress, which appropriated money to defray the expense of these negotiations, and appointed Stevens and Palmer commissioners to make the treaties. But in the mean time a year and a half had elapsed, and the Indians had been given time to reconsider their hasty expressions of friendship, and to indulge in many melancholy forebodings of the consequences of parting with the sovereignty of the country. These regrets and apprehensions were heightened by a knowledge of the Indian war of 1853 in Rogue River Valley, the expedition against the Mo-docs and Piutes, and the expedition of Major Haller then in progress for the punishment of the murderers of the Ward company. They had also been informed by rumor that the Oregon superintendent designed to take a part of the country which they had agreed to for a reservation for the diseased and de graded tribes of western Oregon, whose presence or neighborhood they as little desired as the white inhabitants. At least, that is what the Indians said of themselves.

            Aware to some extent of this feeling, Stevens sent in January 1855 one of his most trusted aids, James Doty, among the Indians east of the mountains, to ascertain their views before opening negotiations for the purchase of their lands. To Doty the Indians made the same professions of friendship and willingness to sell their country which they had made to Stevens in 1853; and it was agreed to hold a general council of the Yakimas, Nez Perces, Cayuses, Walla

362 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

Wallas, and their allies, to be convened in the Walla Walla Valley in May. The place of meeting was chosen by Kamiakin, head chief of the Yakimas, because it was an ancient council-ground of his people, and everything seemed to promise a friendly conference.

            A large amount of money was expended in Indian goods and agricultural implements, the customary presents to the head men on the conclusion of treaties. These were transported above The Dalles in keel boats,[105] and stored at Fort Walla Walla, then in charge of James Sinclair of the Hudson's Bay Company. A military escort for the commissioners was obtained at Fort Dalles, consisting of forty dragoons under Lieutenant Archibald Gracie,[106] the company being augmented to forty-seven by the addition of a detachment under a corporal in pursuit of some Indian murderers whom they had sought for a week without finding.

            On the 20th of May the commissioners, who had hastened forward, arrived at Walla Walla, and proceeded to the council-grounds about five miles from Waiilatpu,[107] where the encampment was made before the escort arrived.[108] The Indians, with their accus-

A GRAND POWWOW. 363

tomed dilatoriness, did not begin to come in until the 24th, when Lawyer and Looking Glass of the Nez Perces arrived with their delegation, and encamped at no great distance from the commissioners, after having passed through the fantastic evolutions, in full war costume, sometimes practised on such occasions.[109] The Cayuses appeared in like manner two days later, and on the 28th the Yakimas, who, with others, made up an assemblage of between four and five thousand Indians of both sexes. An attempt was made on the day following to organize the council, but it was not until the 30th that business was begun.

            Before the council opened it became evident that a majority of the Indians were not in favor of treating,[110] if indeed they were not positively hostile to the people represented by the commissioners; the Cayuses in particular regarding the troops with scowls of anger, which they made no attempt to conceal. Day after day, until the 11th of June, the slow and reluctant conference went on. The chiefs made speeches, with that mixture of business shrewdness and savage poetry which renders the Indian s eloquence so effective.[111]

364 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

            The commissioners exhausted their store of logic in convincing their savage hearers that they needed the benefits of the culture which the white race could impart to them. Over and over again, the motives of the treaties and the treaties themselves were explained in the most painstaking manner. The fact was patent that the Indians meant to resist the invasion of their lands by the people of the United States. The Cayuses were against any sale. Owhi, chief of the Umatillas, and brother-in-law of Kamiakin, was opposed to it. Peupeunoxmox, usually so crafty and non-committal, in this matter was decided; Kamiakin would have nothing to do with it; Joseph and Looking Glass were unfriendly; and only Lawyer continued firm in keeping his word already pledged to Stevens.[112] But for him, and the numerical strength of the Nez Perces, equal to that of all the other tribes present, no treaty could have been concluded with any of the tribes. His adherence to his determination greatly incensed the Cayuses against him, and some of his own nation almost equally, especially Joseph, who refused to sign the treaty unless it secured to him the valley which he claimed, as the home of himself and his people.[113] Looking Glass, war chief

RETIRING ABORIGINALS. 365

of the Nez Perces, showed his opposition by not coming to the council until the 8th, and behaving rudely when he did come.[114] Up to almost the last day, Palmer, who had endeavored to obtain the consent of the Indians to one common reservation, finding them determined in their refusal, finally offered to reserve lands separately in their own country for those who objected to going upon the Nez Perce reservation, and on this proposition, harmony was apparently restored, all the chiefs except Kamiakin agreeing to it. The haughty Yakima would consent to nothing; but when appealed to by Stevens to make known his

366 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

wishes, only aroused from his sullen silence to ejaculate, "What have I to say?" This was the mood of the Indians on Saturday, the 9th; but on Monday, the 11th, every chief signed the treaties, including Kamiakin, who said it was for the sake of his people that he consented. Having done this, they all expressed satisfaction, even joy and thankfulness, at this termination of the conference.[115]

            The Nez Perces agreed to take for their lands outside the reservation, which was ample, $200,000 in annuities, and were to be supplied besides with mills, schools, millers, teachers, mechanics, and every reasonable aid to their so-called improvement. The Cayuses, Walla Wallas, and Umatillas were united on one reservation in the beautiful Umatilla country, where claims were already beginning to be taken up.[116]

            They were to receive the same benefits as the Nez Perces, and $150,000 in annuities, running through twenty years. The Yakimas agreed to take $200,000, and were granted two schools, three teachers, a number of mechanics, a farmer, a physician, millers, and mills.[117] By an express provision of the treaties, the country embraced in the cessions, and not included in the reservation, was open to settlement, except that the Indians were to remain in possession of their improvements until removed to the reservations, when they were to be paid for them whatever they were worth. When the treaties were published, particular attention was called to these provisions protecting the Indians in the enjoyment of their homes so long as they were not removed by authority to the reserves.

GOOD BARGAINS. 307

            And attention was also called to the fact that the Indians were not required to move upon their reserves before the expiration of one year after the ratification of the treaties by congress; the intention being to give time for them to accustom themselves to the idea of the change of location.

            As soon as these apparently amicable stipulations were concluded, the goods brought as presents distributed, and agents appointed for the different reservations,[118] the troops returned to The Dalles. That night the Indians held a great scalp-dance, in which 150 of the women took part. The following day they broke up their encampments and returned to their several habitations, the commissioners believing that the feelings of hostility with which several of the chiefs had come to the council had been assuaged. On the 16th Stevens proceeded north-eastward, toward the Blackfoot country, being directed by the government to make treaties with this warlike people and several other tribes in that quarter.

            Palmer in the mean time returned toward The Dalles, treating with the John Day, Des Chutes, and Wascopan Indians, and purchasing all the lands lying between the summit of the Cascade Range and the waters of Powder River, and between the 44th parallel and the Columbia River, on terms similar to those of the treaties made at Walla Walla. A reservation was set apart for these tribes at the base of the Cascades, directly east of Mount Jefferson, in a well watered and delightful location,[119] including the Tyghe Valley and some warm springs from which the reserve has been named.

            Having accomplished these important objects, the superintendent returned home well pleased with the results of his labor, and believing that he had secured the peace of the country in that portion of Oregon.

368 GOVERNMENT AND GENERAL DEVELOPMENT.

            The Nez Perces afterward declared that during the council a scheme had been on foot, originating with the Cayuses, to massacre all the white persons present, including the troops, the plan only failing through the refusal of Lawyer's party to join in it, which statement may be taken for what it is worth. On the other hand, it has been asserted that the treaties were forced;[120] that they were rashly undertaken, and the Indians not listened to ; that by calling a general council an opportunity was furnished for plotting; that there were too few troops and too little parade.[121] However this may be, war followed, the history of which belongs both to Oregon and Washington. But since the Indians involved in it were chiefly those attached to the soil and superintendency of the latter, I shall present the narrative in my volume on Washington.

 

 

 

CHAPTER XV.

FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

1855-1856.

 

INDIAN AFFAIRS IN SOUTHERN OREGON -- THE ROGUE RIVER PEOPLE -- EXTERMINATION ADVOCATED -- MILITIA COMPANIES -- SURPRISES AND SKIRMISHES -- RESERVATION AND FRIENDLY INDIANS PROTECTED BY THE U. S. GOVERNMENT AGAINST MINERS AND SETTLERS -- MORE FIGHTING -- VOLUNTEERS AND REGULARS -- BATTLE OF GRAVE CREEK – FORMATION OF THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN BATTALIONS – AFFAIR AT THE MEADOWS -- RANGING BY THE VOLUNTEERS -- THE BEN WRIGHT MASSACRE.

            BEFORE midsummer, 1855, war was again brewing in southern Oregon, the Applegate Creek and Illinois Valley branches of the Rogue River nation being the immediate cause. On one pretence or an other, the former spent much of their time off the reservation, and in June made a descent on a mining camp, killing several men and capturing considerable property; while the murder of a white man on Indian Creek was charged to the latter, of whom a party of volunteers went in pursuit.

            On the 17th of June a company styling themselves the Independent Rangers, H. B. Hayes, captain, organized at Wait's mills in Jackson county, reporting to Colonel Ross for his recognition,[122] this being

(369)

370 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

the first movement toward the reorganization of military companies since the treaties of September 1853.[123] Knowledge of these things coming to Ambrose, in charge of the reservation Indians, Smith of Fort Lane started off with a company of dragoons, and collecting most of the strolling Indians, hurried them upon the reservation. Those not brought in were pursued into the mountains by the volunteers, and one killed. The band then turned upon their pursuers, and wounding several horses, killed one man named Philpot. Skirmishing was continued for a week with further fatal results on both sides.[124]

            A party of California volunteers under William Martin, in pursuit of hostile Indians, traced certain of them to the Rogue River reservation, and made a demand for their surrender, to which Commander Smith, of Fort Lane, very properly refused compliance. Let the proper authorities ask the surrender of Indians on a criminal charge, and they should be forthcoming, but they could not be delivered to a mere voluntary assemblage of men. Afterward a requisition was made from Siskiyou county, and in November two

ROGUE RIVER TROUBLES. 371

Indians were arrested for murder on the reservation, and delivered up.[125]

            On the 26th of August, a Rogue River Indian shot and wounded James Buford, at the mouth of Rogue River in the Port Orford district, then in charge of Ben Wright, who arrested the savage and delivered him to the sheriff of Coos county. Having no place in which to secure his prisoner, the sheriff delivered him to a squad of soldiers to be taken to Port Orford ; but while the canoe in which the Indian was seated with his guard was passing up the river to a place of encampment, it was followed by Buford, his partner, Hawkins, and O'Brien, a trader, who fired at and killed the prisoner and another Indian. The fire was returned by the soldiers, who killed two of the men, and mortally wounded the third.[126]

            The excitement over this affair was very great. Threats by the miners of giving battle to the troops were loud and vindictive, but the more conservative prevailed, and no attack was made. The savages were aroused, and matters grew daily worse.[127]

            Agent Ambrose wrote several letters which appeared in the Statesman, over the signature of A Miner, in one of which, dated October 13th, he declared that no fears were to be entertained of an outbreak of the Rogue River Indians, affirming that they were peaceably disposed, and had been so

372 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

throughout the summer. " God knows," he said, " I would not care how soon they were all dead, and I believe the country would be greatly benefited by it; but I am tired of this senseless railing against Captain Smith and the Indian agent for doing their duty, obeying the laws, and preserving our valley from the horrors of a war with a tribe of Indians who do not desire it, but wish for peace, and by their conduct have shown it."

            To prevent the reservation Indians from being suspected and punished for the acts of others, Superintendent Palmer issued an order October 13th that the Indians with whom treaties had been made, and who had reservations set apart for them, should be arrested if found off the reservations without a permit from the agent. Every male over twelve years of age must answer daily to the roll-call. Early in October it became known that a party of wandering Indians were encamped near Thompson s Ferry, on Rogue River, and that among them were some suspected of annoying the settlers. A volunteer company of about thirty, under J. A. Lupton, proceeded at a very early hour of the morning of October 8th to the Indian camp at the mouth of Butte Creek, and opened fire, killing twenty-three and wounding many. The Indians returned it as well as they were able, and succeeded in killing Lupton, and in wounding eleven others.[128] When daylight came it was found by the mangled bodies that they were mostly old men, women, and children, whom these brave men had been butchering! The survivors took refuge at the fort, where they exhibited their wounds and made their lamentations to Captain Smith, who sent his troops to look at the battle-field and count the slain. It was a pitiful sight, and excited great indignation among the better class of white men.[129]

SOUTHERN OREGON ABLAZE. 373

            On the morning of the 9th of October the Indians appeared in the upper part of the Rogue River Valley in considerable numbers. They were first seen at Jewett s ferry, where during the night they killed two men in charge of a train and wounded another. After firing upon Jewett s house, they proceeded to Evans ferry about daybreak, where they mortally wounded Isaac Shelton of the Willamette Valley on his way to Yreka. Pursuing their way down the valley to the house of J. K. Jones, they killed him, wounded his wife so that she died next day, and burned the house after pillaging it. From there they went to Wagoner s place, killing four men upon the way. Wagoner had a short time before left home to escort Miss Pellet, a temperance lecturer from Buffalo, New York,[130] to Sailor Diggings, where she was to lecture that evening. Mrs. Wagoner was alone with her child four years of age, and both were burned in the house. They next proceeded to the house of George W. Harris, who seeing their approach, and judging that they meant mischief, ran into the house, seized his gun, and fired two shots, killing one and wounding another, when he received a fatal shot. His wife and little daughter defended themselves with great heroism for twenty-four hours, when they were rescued by Major Fitzgerald. And there were many other heroic women, whose brave deeds during these savage wars of southern Oregon must forever remain unrecorded.[131]

            As soon as the news reached Jacksonville that the Rogue River settlements were attacked, a company of some twenty men hastened to take the trail of the Indians down the river. An express was despatched

374 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

to Fort Lane, to Captain Smith, who sent a detachment of fifty-five mounted men, under Major Fitzgerald, in pursuit of the savages.[132]

            The volunteer and regular forces soon combined to follow, and if possible to have battle with the Indians. Passing the bodies of the slain all along their route, they came to Wagoner s place, where thirty of the savages were still engaged in plundering the premises. On the appearance of the volunteers, the Indians, yelling and dancing, invited them to fight,[133] but when the dragoons came in sight they fled precipitately to the mountains. After pursuing for about two miles, the troops, whose horses were jaded from a night march of twenty-five miles, being unable to overtake them, returned to the road, which they patrolled for some hours, marching as far as Grave Creek, after which they retired to Fort Lane, having found no Indians in that direction.[134] The volunteers also returned home to effect more complete organization before undertaking such arduous warfare against an implacable foe who they now were assured was before them. There were other parts of the country which likewise required their attention.

            About the 10th of October, Lieutenant Kautz left Port Orford with a small party of citizens and soldiers to examine a proposed route from that place to Jacksonville. On arriving at the big bend of Rogue River, about thirty miles east from Port Orford, he found a party of settlers much alarmed at a threatened

NOTABLE SAVAGES. 375

attack from Applegate Creek. Kautz returned to the fort for a better supply of arms and ammunition, intending to resist the advance of the hostile party, should he fall in with it. A few days after resuming his march he was attacked by a portion of the band, losing five of his men, two soldiers and three citizens. The Indians were only prevented from securing a considerable amount of ammunition by the precaution of Kautz in unloading the pack-mules at the beginning of the battle. He was able to secure an orderly retreat with the remainder of his party.[135] The only Indians in the whole country, from Yreka to the Umpqua cañon, who could be regarded other than enemies were those under Rogue River Sam, who since the treaty of 1853 had kept faith with the white people; the Shastas, the natives of Scott Valley, and many of the people about Grave and Cow creeks, and the Umpquas being concerned in the war, in which the Shastas were principals, under the leadership of Chief John. The Klamaths were also hostile.[136]

            To meet a savage enemy, well armed and prepared for war, knowing every mountain fastness, and having always the advantage of chosen positions, was not practicable with anything like equal numbers. Estimating the fighting men of the enemy at no more than 400, it would require three or four times that number to engage them, because of their ability to appear un expectedly at several points; at the same time to disappear as rapidly; and to wear out the horses and men of the white forces in following them. The armed men that were mustered in Rogue River Valley between the 9th and 11th of October amounted to only about 150, not from any want of courage, but from want of arms.[137] No attempt at permanent organiza-

376 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

tion was made by the territorial militia before the 12th, the armed companies being governed by the apparent necessities of the case.[138]

            On the 12th of October Colonel Ross began the organization of a volunteer force under the laws of the territory[139] by ordering James H. Russel, major of the 9th regiment, to report to him immediately. Some of the captains of the militia were already in the field; other companies were headed by any one who had the spirit of a leader. These on application of the citizens of their neighborhoods were duly commissioned.[140]

GENERAL UPRISING. 377

            Where the people in remote or isolated situations asked for armed guards, a few men were despatched to those localities as soon as they could be armed.[141] Two young women, Miss Hudson and Miss Wilson, having been murdered[142] while travelling on the Crescent City road, October 10th, A. S. Welton was assigned the duty of keeping open a portion of that highway, over which was carried most of the goods which entered the Illinois and Rogue River valleys at this time ; guards being also afforded to pack-trains on the various routes to prevent their capture by the Indians. Considering the obstacles to be overcome, and the nature of the service, the organization of the 9th regiment was remarkably expeditious and complete, and its operations were well conducted.

            The first engagement between the volunteers and Indians was on Rogue River, where W. B. Lewis of company E was encamped on Skull bar, a short distance below the mouth of Galice Creek. Scouts reported the enemy near, and evidently preparing an attack. In camp were all the miners from the diggings in the vicinity, including nine Chinamen, who had been robbed and driven from their claims, and several Indian women and boys who had been captured.

            The bar is on the south side of the river, with a high mountain in the background, covered with a dense growth of hazel and young firs. Around the camp for some distance the thickets were cut away, so as to afford no harbor for lurking savages, and a

378 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

breast-work of logs thrown up on the side most exposed to attack.

            On the 17th of October the bushes were found to be alive with savages. J. W. Pickett made a charge with six men, who were so warmly received that they were glad to retreat, Pickett being killed. Lieutenant Moore then took a position under a bank, on the side attack was expected, which he held four hours, exposed to a heavy fire; he and nearly half of his men were wounded, when they were compelled to retreat. One of the men, being mortally shot, fell before reaching the shelter of the camp, and a comrade, Allan Evans, in the effort to bring him in, was severely wounded. Captain Lewis was three times struck.

            The Indians, discovering that the weak point of the volunteer force was on the left, made a bold attack, in which they lost one of their most noted Shasta warriors. Finding they could not dislodge the volunteers with balls, they shot lighted arrows into their camp. All day the firing was kept up, and during the battle every house in the mining town of Galice Creek was burned except the one occupied as the company's headquarters. By night one third of the company of thirty-five were killed and wounded.[143] Thereupon the enemy retired, their loss not ascertained.

            "I am proud to say," wrote Lewis to his colonel, "that we fought the hardest battle ever fought this side of the Rocky Mountains. More than 2,500 shots from the enemy, but every man stood his ground, and fought the battle of a lover of his country."

            On the day of the battle Ross wrote Smith, at Fort Lane, that Chief John of Scott Valley had gone up Applegate Creek with eighty warriors; and that Williams was in that vicinity with a limited

STRUGGLES AGAINST DESTINY. 379

force;[144] also that J. B. Wagoner[145] and John Hillman had on the 19th been despatched to Galice Creek.

            It was all of no use. Let them kill and steal and burn never so bravely, the fate of the savages was fixed beforehand; and that not by volunteers, white or black, but by almighty providence, ages before their appearing, just as we of the present dominant race must fade before a stronger, whenever such a one is sent.

            The red men continued their ravages, and the white men theirs, sending their bands of volunteers and regulars hither and thither all over the country in constantly increasing numbers; and to the credit of government officers and agents, be it said that while the miners and settlers were seeking the shortest road to end the difficulties, they interposed their strength and influence to protect innocent red men while defending the white.

            Meantime, those who had in charge the duties of providing subsistence and transportation for the volunteers were not without serious cares. Assistant quartermasters and commissaries were appointed in different sections, but owing to their inexperience or inability, the service was very unsatisfactory. Fifteen companies[146] were in the field by the 20th of October, but the Indians kept them all employed.

380 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

            Not a pack-train could move from point to point without a guard; not a settlement but was threatened. The stock of the farmers was being slaughtered nightly in some part of the valley; private dwellings were fortified, and no one could pass along the roads except at the peril of life. I might fill a volume with the movements of the white men during this war; the red men left no record of theirs.

ROGUE RIVER AND UMPQUA VALLEYS [click on image to enlarge].

            While both regulars and volunteers were exploring the country in every direction, the Indians, familiar with trails unknown to the white men, easily evaded them, and passed from point to point without danger. At the very time when Judah of the regulars, and

FITZGERALD AT GRAVE CREEK. 381

Bruce and Harris of the volunteers, had returned exhausted from a long and fruitless pursuit, and when Ross expressed the opinion that the main body of the enemy was still in the vicinity of The Meadows, and below Galice Creek on Rogue River, the Indians suddenly appeared October 23d in the Cow Creek valley, and began their depredations. Their first act of hostility in this quarter was to fire upon a party of wagoners and hog-drovers at the crossing of Cow Creek, instantly killing H. Bailey of Lane county, and wounding Z. Bailey and three others. The remaining men retreated as rapidly as possible, pursued by the savages, who followed and harassed them for two or three hours. The same day they attacked the settlements on Cow Creek, burning the houses of Turner, Bray, Redfield, Fortune, and others.

            On the 28th of October Fitzgerald being in the vicinity of Grave Creek discovered Indians encamped a few miles south of Cow Creek in the Grave Creek hills,[147] and determined to attack them. Ross, on receiving a despatch from Fitzgerald, set out on the 29th for the rendezvous, having sent to captains Harris, Welton, George, Williams, and Lewis. Bruce and Rinearson, who had but just come in, were directed to join the combined forces at Grave Creek, where were concentrated on the 30th about 250 volunteers[148] and 105 regulars, only a portion of Fitzgerald s troop being available on account of the illness of its commander. Two companies of a battalion called out by Governor Curry were lying at a place about a day s march south of Umpqua cañon, under the command of captains Joseph Bailey and Samuel Gordon.

            When Ross reached the rendezvous late at night, he found the captain of the 1st dragoons awaiting him, impatient for an attack.[149] Spies from his own

382 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

and Captain Bruce s company had reconnoitred the enemy's position, which was found to be on a hill, well fortified, and extremely difficult of approach. A map of the country was prepared, and a forced march determined upon. Orders were issued to be ready to march at eleven o clock, though it was already half- past ten. The plan of attack was to plant howitzers upon an eminence three fourths of a mile from that on which the Indians were encamped, and after having divided the companies into three columns, so stationed as to prevent the escape of the Indians, to open upon the enemy with shell and grape-shot. It was hoped by this night march, which was continued till morning with occasional halts, to surprise the enemy, but some one having set fire to a tree, that idea was abandoned. On arriving at the edge of a ravine in front of their position, instead of planting the howitzers and shelling the Indians as was intended, a charge was made, in which Rinearson and Welton led with their companies, augmented by portions of several others, and a part of the regulars rushing in disorder down into the ravine, through the thick bushes, and up the ascent on the other side, volunteers and regulars all eager for the first shot. The Indians occupied a mountain, bald on the side by which the troops were approaching, and covered with heavy forest on the opposite or north side. Ross had directed Bailey and Gordon to flank on the north, that when the men in front should drive the Indians to this cover, they might be met by them and engaged until the main force could come up. The attempt was made, but they found it impossible to pierce the tangled undergrowth which covered the steep acclivity, with the Indians fortified above them,[150] and after having had several men wounded, returned to the point of attack. Bruce and Harris lay concealed a few hundred yards to the south of the attacking party, to be in readiness to in-

BATTLE AND RETREAT. 383

tercept the enemy in that quarter; but finding that no enemy came their way, they too joined the army in front. In the mean time the Indians had retreated, as was anticipated, to the cover of the woods, and could not be approached without great peril from the open ground. The day wore on with vain endeavors to get at them; and at 3 P. M. Smith made a charge with a small force of dragoons, who after firing several rounds with musketoons, utterly useless against the rifles of the Indians, and having several killed and wounded, fell back to their first position.

            When darkness ended the firing, the troops were encamped a short distance from the battle-ground, at a place called by them Bloody Spring, where the wounded were cared for. At sunrise next morning the camp was attacked from all sides, the Indians engaging the troops until about the middle of the forenoon, when being repulsed they withdrew, and the troops took up their march for Grave Creek and Fort Bailey, carrying their wounded on litters. As to the results of the battle, the white men had little cause for congratulation. The volunteers had twenty- six killed, wounded, and missing; and the regulars four killed, and seven wounded, including Lieutenant Gibson, who was hit in the attack on the camp on the morning of the 1st of November.[151] The number of Indians killed was variously estimated at from eight to twenty. The number of Indians engaged in the battle was also conjectured to be from 100 to

384 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

300. Such was the unfortunate termination of a combined effort on the part of the regular and volunteer troops to check the war in its incipiency, and signified that time, money, and blood must be spent in bringing it to a close. "God only knows," writes a correspondent of the Statesman, "when or where this war may end . . . These mountains are worse than the swamps of Florida."

            Immediately upon information reaching the Umpqua of the onslaught of the 9th of October, 1855, at Rogue River, a petition was forwarded to Governor Curry, asking for five hundred volunteers for defence. The messenger, S. B. Hadley, giving notice en route, among other places at Eugene City, a request was sent the governor to permit Lane county to organize a company for the war. The effect of such petitions, and of the letters received from Rogue River, was to cause a proclamation by the governor, October 15th, calling for five companies of mounted volunteers to constitute a Northern battalion, and four companies of mounted volunteers to constitute a Southern battalion, to remain in force until discharged; each company to consist of sixty men, with the usual complement of officers, making a total of seventy-one, rank and file; each volunteer to furnish his own horse, arms, and equipments, and each company to elect its own officers, and thereafter to proceed without delay to the seat of war.

            The proclamation declared that Jackson county would be expected to furnish the number of men required for the southern battalion, who would rendezvous at Jacksonville, elect a major to command, and report to headquarters. The northern battalion was to consist of two companies from Lane, and one each from Linn, Douglas, and Umpqua counties, to rendezvous at Roseburg. At the same time an order was issued from the office of E. M. Barnum, adjutant-general, leaving the movements of the two battalions to the discretion of their respective commanders, but

A DEMOCRATIC WAR. 385

directing that all Indians should be treated as enemies who did not show unmistakable signs of friendship. No other instruction was given but to advise a concert of action with the United States forces which might be engaged in that section of the territory.[152]

            Meanwhile, communications from democrats at Rogue River had reached the capital, and immediately the war became a party measure. It was ascertained that Ross in calling out the militia had made several whig appointments contrary to the will of the ruling party, which had attacked the governor for appointing whig surgeons in the northern battalion; so paramount were politics in ministering to the wants of wounded men! The governor, unfortunately for his otherwise stainless record, was unable to stem the tide, and allowed himself to become an instrument in the hands of a clique who demanded a course of action disgraceful to all concerned. Five days after issuing the proclamation, the governor ordered disbanded all companies not duly en rolled by virtue of said proclamation, information having been received that armed parties had taken the field with the avowed purpose of waging a war of extermination against the Indians without respect to age or sex, and had slaughtered a band of friendly natives upon their reservation, despite the authority of the agent and the commanding officer of the United States troops stationed there.[153] The immediate effect of the proclamation was to suspend volunteering in Douglas county, to which Ross had written to have another company raised,[154] and to throw discredit on those already in the field.

386 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

            The first companies enrolled under the governor s proclamation were the two called for from Lane county,[155] one of which, under Captain Bailey, was present at the action of October 31st and November 1st, as already stated. The next companies to respond to the governor s call were those from Linn, Douglas, and Umpqua counties.[156] These constituted the northern battalion. The companies contained from 87 to 111 men each, and were quickly organized, William J. Martin being chosen major.

            On the 7th of November Colonel Ross ordered the assembling of the 9th regiment at Fort Vannoy, in order that all who desired should be mustered into the territorial service as members of the southern battalion. On the 10th captains James Bruce, R. L. Williams, William A. Wilkinson, and Miles F. Alcorn offered and were accepted, in the order named, and an election for major resulted in the choice of Bruce. [157] Complaint reaching the governor that by disbanding

MILITARY ORGANIZATION. 387

the 9th regiment several sections were without defence. Curry, with Adjutant General Barnum, answered in person, arriving on the field about the last of November. The only change made, however, by the governor's visit was the consolidation of the northern and southern battalions into one regiment, to be called the 2d Regiment of Oregon Mounted Volunteers. This change necessitated an election for regimental officers, and R. L. Williams was chosen colonel, while Martin was obliged to content himself as second in command.

            Immediately after the battle of Grave Creek hills, Major Fitzgerald proceeded to Fort Vancouver and thence to The Dalles, and his troops remained in garrison during the winter. This reduced the regular force on Rogue River to Smith's command. An agreement was entered into between the regular and volunteer commanders to meet at the Grave Creek house about the 9th of November, prepared to pursue and attack the Indians. In the mean time a scouting party of Bailey's company was to find the Indians, who had disappeared, according to custom, from their last battle-ground.[158]

            On the 17th of November Bruce, learning that a number of houses on Jump Off Joe Creek had been burned, sent a request to Martin to join him there. Communications were also sent to the commanders at Fort Lane and Fort Jones, and Judah with a small force joined in pursuit of the savages. Shortly after, Williams fell in with a small band at the mouth of Jump Off Joe Creek and killed eight.[159]

388 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

            The 21st saw the white men in full force en route down Rogue River, some on one side and some on the other. After four days, and encountering many difficulties, they came upon the enemy at The Meadows and found them well fortified. While preparing to attack, on the 26th, the Indians opened fire from a dense covert of timber bordering the river, which caused them to fall back. Being short of food and clothing for a winter campaign, they determined for the present to abandon the enterprise.

            While the southern army was returning to head quarters, roving bands of Indians were committing depreciations in the Umpqua Valley. On the 3d of December a small party of the Cow Creek Indians attacked the settlements on the west side of the south Umpqua, destroying fifteen houses and much other property, compelling the settlers to shut themselves up in forts. On the 24th Captain Alcorn found and attacked a camp of Indians on the north branch of Little Butte Creek, killing eight warriors and capturing some animals. About the same time Captain Rice, hearing of another camp on the north bank of Rogue River, probably driven out of the mountains by the weather, which was exceedingly severe that winter, proceeded with thirty men to attack them, and after a battle lasting for six hours killed the most of them and took captive the remainder.[160]

            About the 1st of January, 1856, it was ascertained that a party of Indians had taken possession of some deserted cabins on Applegate Creek, and fortified them. Major Bruce immediately ordered Captain Rice to proceed to that place and attack them. Others joined. About two miles from Jacksonville they were fired on

FIGHTS ON APPLEGATE CREEK. 389

and one man killed.[161] On arriving at the cabins, three of which were occupied by the Indians, late in the after noon of the 4th, the howitzer was planted and a shell dropped through the roof of one, killing two of the inmates. The white men had one killed and five wounded. There matters rested till next morning, when the cabins were found to be empty, the Indians of course having found means to escape. These savages made good shots at 400 yards.

            Toward the middle of the month Bruce's command had a fight with one hundred natives on a branch of Applegate Creek, the latter retreating with four killed. And thus the winter wore away, a dozen bands each of white men and red, roaming up and down the country, each robbing and burning, and killing as best they were able, and all together accomplishing no great results, except seriously to interfere with traffic and travel. Exasperated by a condition so ruinous, the desire to exterminate the savages grew with the inability to achieve it. Such was the nature of the conflict in which, so far, there had been neither glory nor success, either to the arms of the regular or volunteer service; nor any prospect of an end for years to come, the savages being apparently omnipresent, with the gift of invisibility. They refused to hold any communication with the troops, who sought sometimes an opportunity to reason with them.

            The men composing the northern battalion having no further interest in the war than at first to gratify an evanescent sympathy, or a love of adventure, were becoming impatient of so arduous and unprofitable a service, and so demanded and received their discharge. General Wool was then petitioned for aid, and he immediately despatched two companies under Colonel Buchanan. In the mean time the legislative assembly had elected J. K. Lamerick brigadier-gen-

390 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

eral of Oregon territory; and in conformity with a proclamation of the executive, he issued a call for four companies of mounted volunteers to supply the place of the northern battalion,[162] who were ordered to report to Lieutenant-colonel Martin at Roseburg. These companies were enrolled more rapidly than might have been anticipated, after the tedious and fruitless nature of the war had become known.[163]

            Captain Buoy's company remained in the field under the command of its former 2d lieutenant, P. C. Noland, now its captain. The southern companies were recruited, and kept the field; so that after a month of suspense, during which many of the inhabitants who up to this time had remained at their homesteads unwilling to abandon all their property, left their claims and removed to the Willamette Valley, or shut themselves up in fortified houses to await a turn in events. That turn it was hoped General Lamerick, being a good democrat and an experienced Indian-fighter, would be able to give, when spring made it possible to pursue the Indians into the mountains. It has been said that Williams was incompetent; but Lamerick was not guiltless of a blunder in ordering all the new companies concentrated in the Umpqua Valley; and the headquarters of the southern companies changed from Vannoy Ferry to Forest Dale, a place not in the line of the hostile incursions. Taking advantage of this disposition of the forces, Limpy, one of the hostile chiefs, with a party of thirty warriors, made a visit to Fort Lane, bearing a flag of truce; the object of the visit being to negotiate for the release of some of the women held as prisoners at the fort.

THE COAST TRIBES. 391

            Following the outbreak in October, the agents on the coast, at Port Orford, the mouth of Rogue River, and the mouth of the Umpqua, used many precautions to prevent the Indians in their charge from be coming infected with the hostile spirit of their brethren of the interior. The superintendent sent his agents a circular containing regulations and precautions, among which was the collecting of the Indians on the several temporary reserves, and compelling them to answer to roll-call.

            The agent in charge of the Indians below Coos Bay was Ben Wright, a man admired and feared by them. Learning that overtures had been made to the Coquilles and other coast tribes to join the hostile bands, Wright hastened to visit those under his charge, who lived up about the head waters of the several small rivers emptying into the ocean between the mouth of the Rogue and the Coquille rivers. He found, as he expected, emissaries of the hostile bands among these on the lower Rogue River, who, though insolent, took their departure when threatened with arrest; and he was able, as he supposed, to put a stop to further negotiations with the enemy, the Indians promising to follow his advice.

            On returning to the mouth of the river, he found the people alarmed by rumors of anticipated trouble with the Coquilles, and again hastened to arrest any mischief that might be brewing in that quarter. He found these Indians quiet, and expressing great friendship, but much in fear of an attack from the settlers of the Umpqua Valley, who they had been told were corning to kill them all. Their uneasiness appeared to be increased by discovering in their neighborhood a large camp of the families, women and children, of the hostile bands, with a few men to guard them, knowing that such a circumstance would be liable to be construed against them. They were promised an agent to remain with them and ward off trouble until the excitement should have abated.

392 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

            Returning to the coast, Wright fell in with a party of armed men from Coos Bay going toward the Indian camp with the determination to destroy it. To these men he represented that the Coquilles were friendly, and returned with them to their camp, where he succeeded in convincing each that neither had any occasion to fear the other; and appointing one of their number sub-agent on the spot, again returned to the coast with the others. At Randolph he found the settlers greatly excited by the news from the interior. Having concealed their portable property, they were removing to Port Orford for safety. At the mouth of Rogue River defences had been built, and in their wrath the white men were threatening to kill or disarm all the Indians in the vicinity. A few cool and reflecting minds were able, however, to maintain a more prudent as well as humane policy, the excitement on both sides seemed gradually to abate,[164] and Wright believed that with the assistance of the troops at Port Orford he should be able to preserve the peace and secure the public good.

            About the middle of November Agent E. P. Drew, who had in charge the Coos Bay and Umpqua Indians, became convinced that the former were in communication with those at war, and hastily collecting the Umpquas on the reservation at the mouth of the river, and placing over them a local agent, went to Coos Bay. At Empire City he found congregated the settlers from the upper Coquille and Coos rivers, in anticipation of an outbreak. A company was formed and the savages attacked at Drolley s, on the lower branch of the Coquille, four being killed, and four captured and hanged. There were few troops at Port Orford when the war broke out, and these would have been removed to the north on the call of Major

MASSACRE AT WHALESHEAD. 393

Raines had not Wright represented so powerfully to Major Reynolds, who came to take them away, the defenceless condition of the settlements in that event, that Reynolds was induced to remain. Still feeling their insecurity, the white inhabitants of Whaleshead, near the mouth of Rogue River, as I have mentioned, erected a rude fort upon an elevated prairie on the north bank of that stream. A company of volunteers was also organized, which had its encampment at the big bend of Rogue River during the winter; but on the proclamation of the governor in February, calling for new companies to reorganize, the 1st regiment of Oregon Mounted Volunteers had moved down near the settlement in order to fill up its ranks to the standard fixed by the proclamation, of sixty privates and eleven officers.

            The conduct of the Indians under Wright had been so good since the punishment of the Coquilles in the early part of the winter that no apprehensions were felt beyond the dread that the fighting bands might some time make a descent upon them; and for this the volunteers had been duly watchful. But what so subtle as savage hate? On the night of the 22d of February a dancing-party was given at Whaleshead in honor of the day, and part of the volunteer company was in attendance, leaving but a few men to guard the camp. Early on the morning of the 23d, before the dancers had returned, the guard was attacked by a large body of Indians, who fell upon them with such suddenness and fury that but two out of fifteen escaped. One, Charles Foster, concealed himself in the woods, where he remained an undiscovered witness of much that transpired, and was able to identify the Indians engaged in the massacre, who were thus found to be those that lived about the settlement and were professedly friendly.

            While the slaughter was going on at the volunteer camp some Indians from the native village on the south side of the river crossed over, and going to the

394 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

house of J. McGuire, where Wright had his lodgings, reported to him that a certain half-breed named Enos,[165] notoriously a bad man, was at the village, and they wished the agent to arrest him, as he was making trouble with the Tootootonies. Without the slightest suspicion of treachery, Wright, with Captain Poland of the volunteers, crossed the river to look into the matter, when both were seized and killed.[166] The bodies were then so mutilated that they could not be recognized.

            The death of Wright is a sad commentary on these sad times. He was a genial gentleman, honest, frank, brave, the friend and protector of those who slew him. It is a sad commentary on the ingratitude of man, who in his earlier and lower estate seems fitted to be ruled by fear rather than by love. During these troublous times in southern Oregon, I am satisfied that the United States government endeavored to do its best in pursuing a moderate and humane policy; and it was singularly fortunate about this time in having as a rule conscientious and humane men in this quarter, determined at the peril of their lives to defend their charge from the fury of the settlers and miners, who were exasperated beyond endurance by having their houses burned and their wives and children captured or slain. And to none is the tribute of praise more justly due than to Benjamin Wright, who died at his post doing his duty.

EFFORTS FOR RELIEF. 395

            Nor did this horrible and dastardly work end here. Every farmer in the vicinity of Whaleshead was killed, every house burned but one, and every kind of property destroyed. The more distant who escaped the massacre, to the number of 130, fled to the fort, but being poorly armed, might still have fallen a prey to the savages, had they not with their customary want of persistence, drawn off after the first day s bloody work. At nightfall on the 23d a boat was despatched to Port Orford to inform Major Reynolds of the fate of the settlement. But Reynolds could not go to the relief of Whaleshead without leaving exposed Port Orford, that place containing at this period but fifty adult male citizens and thirty soldiers. A whale-boat was, however, despatched for the purpose of keeping open communication with the besieged ; but in attempting to land, the boat was swamped in the surf, and the men in it, six in number, were drowned, their bodies being seized by the savages and cut in pieces. Captain Tichenor with his schooner Nelly went to bring off the people of Whaleshead, but was prevented by contrary winds from approaching the shore. On the morning of the 24th the schooner Gold Beach left Crescent City with a volunteer company, whose design was to attack the Indians. They, too, were prevented from landing, and except at the fort the silence of death covered the whole country.

            When the facts of the outbreak came to light, it was ascertained that the Indians attacked no less than seven different points within ten or twelve hours, and within a distance of ten miles down the coast on the south side of Rogue River, and also that a general fresh uprising occurred at the same time in other localities.[167]

396 FURTHER INDIAN WARS.

            Those who took refuge in the fort were kept besieged for thirty-one days, when they were rescued by the two companies under Colonel Buchanan sent by General Wool, as before mentioned. A few days after the arrival of the troops a schooner from Port Orford effected a landing, and the women and children at the fort were sent to that place, while Buchanan commenced operations against the Indians, as I shall presently relate more in detail.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVI.

EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

1856-1857.

 

GRAND ROND MILITARY POST AND RESERVATION -- DRIVING IN AND CAGING THE WILD MEN -- MORE SOLDIERS REQUIRED -- OTHER BATTALIONS -- DOWN UPON THE RED MEN -- THE SPRING CAMPAIGN -- AFFAIRS ALONG THE RIVER -- HUMANITY OF THE UNITED STATES OFFICERS AND AGENTS -- STUBBORN BRAVERY OF CHIEF JOHN -- COUNCILS AND SURRENDERS -- BATTLE OF THE MEADOWS – SMITH'S TACTICS -- CONTINUED SKIRMISHING -- GIVING-UP AND COMING-IN OF THE INDIANS.

            WHEN Superintendent Palmer determined to remove from the Rogue River and Umpqua reservations the Indians who had observed the treaties, to an encampment in the small and beautiful valley on the western border of Yamhill and Polk counties, known as the Grand Rond, so great was the anger and op position of the white people of the Willamette in thus having these savages brought to their door, so loud their threats against both Indians and agents, that it was deemed prudent to ask General Wool for an escort and guard. Palmer wrote Wool that he believed the war was to be attributed wholly to the acts of the white population, and that he felt it his duty to adopt such measures as would insure the safety of the Indians, and enable him to maintain treaty stipulations,[168] recommending the establishment

(397)

398 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

of a military post, and asking that a competent officer be directed to assist him in locating the proposed encampment, and making the improvements designed for the benefit of the Indians. Having once conceived the idea of removing the Indians from the southern reservations, Palmer was not to be deterred either by the protests of the people or the disapprobation of the legislative assembly.[169]

            About the last of January 300 Umpquas and 200 Calapooyas were brought from the south and placed upon the Grand Rond reservation. As these bands had not been engaged in the recent hostilities, the feeling of alarm was somewhat softened, and much as their presence in the valley was deprecated, they were suffered to go upon the reserve without molestation, although no troops were present to intimidate the people.[170] At the same time Palmer gave notice that he intended to carry out his first design of re moving all the other tribes whenever the necessary preparations had been made for their reception;[171] a

MORE TROOPS CALLED FOR. 399

promise which was partly carried out in March by the removal of the Rogue River Indians from Fort Lane to the Grand Rond, none of that resistance being offered which had been feared. Preparations were then made for bringing all the tribes from Coos Bay south to the California line upon the coast reservation selected in 1854. The legislature had asked for the removal of the superintendent on this ground ;[172] though in reality it was a political dodge; and his removal was accomplished before he had fairly finished the work in hand.[173]

            Immediately after the massacre of Whaleshead Governor Curry issued still another proclamation, calling for another battalion for service in the south.[174] The governor also sought to modify his error in disbanding all unauthorized companies, by advising the organization in all exposed localities of new companies of minute-men, the captains of which were ordered to report to the adjutant-general, and recognizing those already formed as belonging to this branch of the service.

400 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

            Under the new call two companies were raised; some who had served in the first northern battalion, after remaining at home long enough to put in a few acres of grain, reenlisted.[175] These were still at Eugene City waiting for arms when April was half gone.

            The intermission of aggressive operations greatly emboldened the Indians. The 2d regiment was scattered, guarding isolated settlements.[176] Colonel Williams had resigned on account of the strictures passed upon his official management,[177] and Lieutenant-colonel Martin had resigned for a different reason.[178] By election on the 19th of March, 1856, Kelsey was made colonel, Chapman lieutenant-colonel, and Bruce and Lat-shaw majors of their respective battalions. The southern companies were ordered to rendezvous at Vannoy Ferry, and the northern at Grave Creek, to be in readiness to advance on The Meadows, the stronghold of the enemy, and toward which all the trails seemed to lead. At length, on the 16th of April, Chapman and Bruce moved with the entire southern battalion down the south side of Rogue River toward the supposed camp of the enemy, the northern battalion on the 17th passing down the north side under Lamerick, each division with, supplies for twenty-five days. Three detachments were sent out to drive the Indians to their retreat, and Lamerick announced his intention to the governor to stay with the enemy until they were subdued or starved out.

WOOL'S CAMPAIGN. 401

            At the same time there was on foot a movement on the part of the regular forces to close the war by a course independent of that of the volunteer generals, and directed by General Wool, who by the aid of maps and topographical reports had arranged his proposed campaign.[179] The secretary of war had deemed it necessary to administer a somewhat caustic reproof, since which Wool had three several times visited Vancouver, though he had not made a personal inspection of the other forts. He came in November 1855, and returned without making his visit known to the governor of Oregon. He came again in midwinter to look into the conduct of some of his officers in the Yakima war, and to censure and insult, as they thought, both them and the governors of Oregon and Washington. And in March he once more returned; this time bringing with him the troops which were at once to answer the petition of Jackson county, and to show volunteers how to fight. On the 8th of March, while on the way to Vancouver, he left at Crescent City Lieutenant-colonel Buchanan, with officers and men amounting to 96 rank and file, the same who relieved the besieged settlers at the mouth of Rogue River. On arriving at Vancouver he ordered to Port Orford Captain Augur, 4th infantry, to re-enforce Major Reynolds, 3d artillery, who was directed to protect the friendly Indians and the public stores at that place. Captain Floyd Jones, 4th infantry, of Fort Humboldt, was instructed to repair to Crescent City to guard supplies and protect friendly Indians at that place, in compliance with the request of the superintendent. Captain Smith of Fort Lane was directed to repair to Port Orford with 80 dragoons, to make a junction with Buchanan;[180] and a

402 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

general rendezvous was ordered at the mouth of the Illinois River, where Palmer was to meet in council the Indians who were being pursued by the volunteers, and lead them to the reservation on the coast west of the Willamette Valley. Smith moved from Fort Lane about the 13th of April, a few days earlier than the volunteer army began its march on The Meadows.

            On the 27th the two battalions were ready to attack. A reconnoissance by General Lamerick in person had discovered their camp on a bar of Rogue River, where the mountains rise on either side high and craggy, and densely timbered with manzanita, live-oak, chinquapin, and chaparral, with occasional bald, grassy hill-sides relieving the sombre aspect of the scene. A narrow strip of bottom-land at the foot of the heights, covered with rank grass and brambly shrubs, constituted The Meadows, where all winter the Indians had kept an ample supply of cattle in good condition for beef. Upon a bar of the river overgrown with willows the Indians were domesticated, having their huts and personal property.

            The morning was foggy, and favorable for concealing the approach of the volunteers. Colonel Kelsey with 150 men reached the north bank of the river opposite and a little below the encampment without being discovered, while the southern battalion took position on the south bank, a short distance above the encampment. When the fog lifted a deadly volley from both sides was poured into the camp from a distance of no more than fifty yards, killing fifteen or twenty before they could run to cover, which they did very rapidly, carrying their dead with them.

FIGHTS AT THE MEADOWS. 403

            When they had had time to recover from the first recoil, the battle fell into the usual exchange of shots from behind the rocks and trees. It was prolonged till late in the afternoon, with considerable additional loss to the Indians, and two white men wounded.[181]

            Next day Lamerick attempted to send across twenty-four men in two canvas boats, but was prevented by the shots of the enemy. And the day following the Indians could be seen through the falling snow wending their way over the mountains with their effects, while a few warriors held the white men at bay; so that when on the 29th Lamerick's army finally entered their camp, it was found deserted. All that remained was the offal of slaughtered oxen, and two scalps of white men suspended to a limb of a tree.[182] Fortifications were then erected at Big Meadows, eight miles below, and called Fort Lamerick, where part of the force remained, while the rest returned to headquarters, two companies disbanding. A month later Major Latshaw led 113 men on the trail of the Indians, and on the 28th of May a few were overtaken and killed by a detachment under Lieutenant Hawley; while Captain Blakely in a running fight of four miles down the river killed half a dozen, and took fifteen prisoners, two Rogue River chiefs, George and Limpy, narrowly escaping.[183] Skirmishing continued, but I have not space for the multiplicity of detail.

            The Indians lost in the spring campaign fifty warriors killed and as many more wounded, besides being

404 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

greatly crippled in their resources of provisions, ammunition, and gold-dust by the destruction of their caches. Many of them were tired of being driven back and forth through the mountains, and would have sued for peace but for the indomitable will of their leader, John. That warrior was as far as ever from being conquered, and still able to cope with either volunteer or regular armies.[184]

            Let us turn to the operations of General Wool's army. Buchanan had been more than a month at the mouth of Rogue River endeavoring to induce the Indians to go quietly on a reservation, but without success. After some manoeuvring, during which the

ORD'S EXPEDITION. 405

troops stood on the defensive, Ord was sent with 112 men, on the 26th of April, to destroy a village of Mackanootenais, eleven miles from Whaleshead, as a means of inducing them to come to terms, which was accomplished after some fighting, with the loss of one man. On the 29th Ord moved from his encampment to escort a large government train from Crescent City to the mouth of Rogue River. His command of sixty men was attacked at the Chetcoe River by about the same number of Indians. In the skirmish he lost one man killed and two or three wounded, and slew five or six of the enemy, the attacking party being driven from the field.[185] And there were a few other like adventures.

            In the mean time the volunteer companies on the coast were not idle. The Coos county organization under captains W. H. Harris and Creighton, and Port Orford company under R. Bledsoe, harassed the Indians continually, with the design of forcing them into the hands of the regulars. The Coquilles at one time surrendered themselves, and agreed to go on the reservation, but finally feared to trust the white man's word. Lieutenant Abbott surprised two canoes containing twelve warriors and three women, and killed all but one warrior and two women.

            Again the Indians gave signs of yielding, and many of the Coquilles who had been gathered on the military reservation at Port Orford by the Indian agents, but who had run away, returned and gave themselves up. These declared that Enos and John had deceived and deserted them. They had been told that the white people in the interior were all slain, and that if they would kill those on the coast none would be left.

            Early in May Buchanan moved his force to the mouth of the Illinois River. With him were several Indians who had surrendered, to be used as messengers to the hostile bands. These, chiefly women,

406 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

were sent out to gather the chiefs in council at Oak Flat on the right bank of the Illinois River, not far above the mouth. In this mission the messengers were successful, all the principal war-chiefs being in attendance, including John,[186] Rogue River George, Lirnpy, and the chiefs of the Cow Creek and Galice Creek bands. The council was set for the 21st of May. On that day the chiefs came to the appointed place as agreed, and all, with the exception of John, consented to give up their arms on the 26th, at The Meadows, and allow Smith to escort a part of them to the coast reservation by the way of Fort Lane. Others were to be escorted by different officers to Port Orford, and taken thence to the reservation by steamer. John, however, still held out, and declared his intention not to go on the reservation. To Colonel Buchanan he said: "You are a great chief; so am I. This is my country; I was in it when these large trees were very small, not higher than my head. My heart is sick with fighting, but I want to live in my country. If the white people are willing, I will go back to Deer Creek and live among them as I used to do ; they can visit my camp, and I will visit theirs ; but I will not lay down my arms and go with you on the reserve. I will fight. Good-by." And striding out of camp, he left the council without hinderance.[187] On the day agreed upon for the surrender, Smith was at the rendezvous with his eighty men to receive the Indians and their arms. That they did not appear gave him little anxiety, the day being rainy and the trails slippery. During the evening, however, two

SMITH AND CHIEF JOHN. 407

Indian women made him a visit and a revelation, which caused him immediately to move his camp from the bottom-land to a position on higher ground, which he imagined more secure, and to despatch next morning a messenger to Buchanan, saying he expected an attack from John, while he retained the Indian women in custody. Smith also asked for reinforcements, and Augur was sent to his relief.

            The position chosen by Smith to fight John was an oblong elevation 250 by 50 yards, between two small streams entering the river from the north-west. Between this knoll and the river was a narrow piece of low land constituting The Meadows. The south side of the mound was abrupt and difficult of ascent, the north side still more inaccessible, the west barely approachable, while the east was a gentle slope. On the summit was a plateau barely large enough to afford room for his camp. Directly north of this mound was a similar one, covered with a clump of trees, and within rifle-range of the first.

            On the morning of the 27th, the men having been up most of the night and much fatigued, numerous parties of Indians were observed to gather upon and occupy the north mound. Soon a body of forty warriors advanced up the eastern slope of Smith's position, and signified their wish to deliver their arms to that officer in person. Had their plan succeeded, Smith would have been seized on the spot; but being on his guard, he directed them to deposit their arms at a certain place outside the camp. Thus foiled, the warriors retired, frowning upon the howitzer which had been so planted as to sweep the ascent from this side. Lieutenant Sweitzer was stationed with the infantry to defend the crest of the western acclivity; the dragoons were expected to take care of the front and rear, aided by the abrupt nature of the elevation on those sides.

            Seeing that the troops were prepared to fight, and that they would not be permitted to enter Smith's

408 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

camp under any pretence with arms in their hands, about ten o clock the Indians opened fire, charging up the east and west slopes at once. The howitzer and the rifles of the infantry repelled them, and they fell back to cover. Then was heard the stentorian voice of John issuing his orders so loud and clear that they were understood in Smith s camp and interpreted to him. Frequently during the day he ordered charges to be made, and was obeyed. Some of his warriors attempted to approach nearer by climbing up the steep and craggy sides of the mound, only to be shot by the dragoons and roll to the bottom. Nevertheless, these continued attempts at escalade kept every man sharply at his work. In the matter of arms, the Indians had greatly the advantage, the musketoons of the dragoons being of service only when the enemy were within short range; while the Indians, being all provided with good rifles, could throw their balls into camp from the north mound without being discovered. Thus the long day wore on, and night came without relief. The darkness only allowed the troops time to dig rifle-pits and erect such breastworks as they could without proper implements.

            On the 28th the Indians renewed the battle, and to the other sufferings of the men, both wounded and unwounded, was added that of thirst, no water being in camp that day, a fact well known to the Indians, who frequently taunted the soldiers with their sufferings.[188] Another taunt was that they had ropes to hang every trooper, not considering them worth ammunition.[189]

            Up to this time Augur had not come. At four o'clock of the second day, when a third of Smith's command were dead or wounded, and the destruction

AUGUR RELIEVES SMITH. 409

of the whole appeared but a matter of time, just as the Indians had prepared for a charge up the east and west approaches with a view to take the camp, Smith beheld the advance of Captain Augur's company, which the savages in their eagerness to make the final coup had failed to observe. When they were half way up the slope at both ends, he ordered a charge, the first he had ventured, and while he met the enemy in front, Augur came upon them in the rear. The conflict was sharp and short, the Indians fleeing to the hills across the river, where they were not pursued, and Smith was rescued from his perilous situation.[190] Augur lost two men killed and three wounded, making the total loss of troops twenty-nine.[191] The number of Indians were variously stated at from 200 to 400. No mention is made by any of the writers on the subject of any loss to the enemy.

            This exploit of John's was the last worthy of mention in the war. With all his barbaric strength and courage, and the valor and treachery of his associates, his career was drawing to a close. His resources were about exhausted, and his people tired of pursuing and being pursued. They had impoverished the white settlers, but they had not disabled or exterminated them. The only alternative left was to go upon a reservation in an unknown region or fight until they died. John preferred the latter, but the majority were against him. Superintendent Palmer presently came, and to him the two chiefs George and Limpy yielded, presenting themselves at camp

410 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

on the 30th with their people and delivering up their arms.

            During June a mild species of skirmishing continued, with a little killing and capturing, some of the Indians surrendering themselves. Smith s forces on their inarch down the river destroyed some villages, and killed and drove to their death in the river some forty men, women, and children. Even such a fate the savage preferred to the terrors of a reservation. By the 12th over 400 had been forced into the regular camp, which was slowly moving toward Fort Orford. As the soldiers proceeded they gathered up nearly all the native population in their line of march. Similar policy was pursued in regard to the Chetcoe and Pistol River Indians, and with like results.

            Deserted by other bands, and importuned by his own followers to submit, John finally, on the 29th of June, surrendered, and on the 2d of July arrived with his people at Fort Orford. He did not, however, surrender unconditionally. Before agreeing to come in, he exacted a promise that neither he nor any of his band should be in any wise punished for acts they had committed, nor compelled to surrender the property taken in war. On the 9th, with the remnant of his band, he was started off for the southern end of the coast reservation. Under the same escort went the Pistol River and Chetcoe Indians, or such of them as had not escaped, to be located on the same part of the coast, it being deemed desirable to keep the most war like bands separated from the others. George and Limpy with the lower Rogue River people were carried by steamer to Portland, and thence to the northern part of the coast reserve.

            To prevent the Indians from fleeing back to their old homes, Reynolds was ordered to the mouth of the Siuslaw, and shortly afterward a post was erected on the north bank of the Umpqua, about four miles below Gardiner. Captain Smith stationed his company at

END OF THE WAR. 411

the pass in the Coast Range west and a little north of the town of Corvallis, which post was named Fort Hoskins. Throughout these troubles considerable jealousy between the volunteers and the regulars was manifested, each claiming the credit of successes, and in reverses throwing the blame upon the other.

            The war was now considered as ended in southern Oregon, although there was still that portion of the Chetcoe and Pistol River bands which escaped with some others to the number of about 200, and about 100 on Rogue River, who infested the highways for another year, compelling the settlers again to form companies to hunt them down. This created much dissatisfaction with the Indian superintendent, with out any better reason apparently than that the patience of the people was exhausted.

            With regard to Palmer's course, which was not without some errors, I cannot regard it in the main as other than humane and just. His faults were those of an over-sanguine man, driven somewhat by public clamor, and eager to accomplish his work in the shortest time. He had vanity also, which was offended on one side by the reproof of the legislature, and flattered on the other by being associated in his duties with an arbitrary power which affected to despise the legislature and the governor of Oregon. He succeeded in his undertaking of removing to the border of the Willamette Valley about four thousand Indians, the care and improvement of whom devolved upon his successors. For his honesty and eminent services, he is entitled to the respect and gratitude of all good men.[192]

            Early in May 1865 most of the Rogue River

412 EXTERMINATION OF THE INDIANS.

people and Shastas who had been temporarily placed upon the Grand Rond reserve were removed to Siletz, Sam and his band only being permitted to remain as a mark of favor.

            I will not here discuss further the reservation system. It was bad enough, but was probably the best the government could devise, the settlers being determined to have their lands. In theory, the savages thus became the wards of the United States, to be civilized, christianized, educated, fed, and clothed. In reality, they were driven from their homes, huddled within comparatively narrow limits, and after a brief period of misery they were swept from the earth by the white man's diseases.[193]

            In March 1857 congress united the superintendencies of Oregon and Washington, and called for an estimate of the unpaid claims, which were found to aggregate half a million dollars, and which were finally allowed and paid.[194] On the Siletz reservation many Indians had farms of their own, which they worked, and many were taught the mechanic arts, for which they exhibited much aptitude; the women learning housekeeping and the children going to school by the advice of their parents; considerable progress having been made in the period between 1878 and 1887. It is also stated that their numbers increased instead of diminished, as formerly.

 


 

[1] Gen. Lane is a man of a high order of original genius. He is not self- made, but God-made. He was educated nowhere. Nobody but a man of superior natural capacity, without education, could have maintained himself among men from early youth as he did. Graver's Pub. Life, MS., 81. We may hereby infer the idea intended to be conveyed, however ill-fitting the words.

[2] Says W. W. Buck: Before 1851 there were no nominations made. In 1851 they organized into political parties as whigs and democrats. Before that men of prominence would think of some one, and go to him and find out if he would serve. The knowledge of the movement would spread, and the foremost candidate get elected, while others ran scattering. Enterprises, MS., 13.

[3] Jesse Applegate, who had been mentioned as suitable for the place, wrote to the Spectator March 14th: The people of the southern frontier, of which I am one, owe to Gov. Lane a debt of gratitude too strong for party prejudices to cancel, and too great for time to erase. . .Rifle in hand he gallantly braved the floods and storms of winter to save our property, wives, and daughters from the rapine of a lawless soldiery, which statement, howsoever it pictures public sentiment, smacks somewhat of the usual electioneering exaggeration.

[4] He had a particularly happy faculty for what we would call domestic electioneering. He did not make speeches, but would go around and talk with families. They used to tell this story about him, and I think it is true, that what he got at one place, in the way of seeds or choice articles, he distributed at the next place. He brought these, with candies, and always kissed the children. Strong's Hist. Or., MS., 41.

[5] Lane's Autobiography, MS., 62; Or. Spectator, July 4, 1851; Amer. Almanac, 1852, 223; Tribune Almanac, 1S52, 51; Overland Monthly, i. 37.

[6] Thurston, who was much opposed to appointing men from the east, wrote to Oregon: Dr Henry of Illinois was appointed Indian agent, held on to it a while, drew $750 under the pretence of going to Oregon, and then resigned, leaving the government minus that sum. Upon his resigning Mr. Simeon Francis was nominated, first giving assurance that he would leave for Oregon, but instead of doing so he is at home in Illinois. Or. Spectator, April 10, 1851.

[7] 31st Cong., 1st .Sess., S. Doc. 52, 1-7, 154-80.

[8] It should be here mentioned, in justice to Thurston, that when the Indian bill was under consideration by the congressional committees, it was brought to his notice by the commissioner, that while Lane had given much information on the number and condition of the Indians, the number of agents necessary, the amount of money necessary for agency buildings, agents, expenses, and presents to the Indians, he had neglected to state what tribes should be bought out, the extent of their territory, what would be a fair price for the lands, to what place they should be removed, and whether such lands were vacant. Thurston furnished this information according to his conception of right, and had the bill framed for the extinguishment of titles in that part of Oregon, which was rapidly filling up with white settlers. See Letter of Orlando Brown, Commissioner, in Or. Spectator, Oct. 31, 1850.

[9] 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 149.

[10] The maximum price given for Indian lands has been ten cents per acre, but this has been for small quantities of great value from their contiguity to the States; and it is merely mentioned to show that some important consideration has always been involved when so large a price has been given. It is not for a moment to be supposed that any such consideration can be involved in any purchases to be made by you, and it is supposed a very small portion of that price will be required. A. S. Loughery, Acting Commissioner, in 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 147.

[11] 31st Cong., 2d Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, 145-51; Hayes Scraps, iv. 9-10.

[12] No mention is made of the price paid for these lands, nor have I seen \these treaties in print.

[13] This is the report of the commissioners, though the description of the lands purchased is different in the Spectator of May 15, 1851, where it is said that the purchase included all the east side of the valley to the head-waters of the Willamette.

[14] The native eloquence, touched and made pathetic by the despondency of the natives, being quoted in public by the commissioners, subjected them to the ridicule of the anti-administration journal, as for instance: In this city Judge Skinner spent days, and for aught we know, weeks, in interpreting Slacum's jargon speeches, while Gaines, swelling with consequence, pronounced them more eloquent than the orations of Demosthenes or Cicero, and peddled them about the town. . .This ridiculous farce made the actors the laughing stock of the boys, and even of the Indians. Or. Statesman, Nov. 6, 1852.

[15] Report of Commissioners, in 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex, Doc. 2, pt. iii. 471.

[16] Dart complained in his report that Spalding, who had been assigned to the Umpqua country, had visited it but twice during the year, and asked his removal and the substitution of E. A. Starling. The latter was first stationed at the mouth of the Columbia, and soon after sent to Puget Sound. Wainpole arrived in Oregon in July 1851, was sent to Umatilla, and removed in less than three months for violating orders and trading with the Indians. Allen, appointed after Henry and Francis, also finally declined, when Skinner accepted the place too late in the year to accomplish anything. A. Van Dusen, of Astoria, had been appointed subagent, but declined; then Shortess had accepted the position. Walker had been appointed to go among the Spokanes, but it was doubtful if $750 a year would be accepted. Finally J. L. Parrish, also a subagent, was the only man who had proven efficient and ready to perform the services required of him. 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. iii. 473; U. S. Ev. H. B. Co. Claims, 27; Amer. Almanac, 1851, 113; Id., 1852, 116; Dunniway's Capt. Gray's Company, 162.

[17] The claims against the government for the destruction of the missions was large in the estimation of Dart, who does not state the amount.

[18] There were 11 persons in Dart's party -- himself and secretary, 2 interpreters, drawing together $11 a day; 2 carpenters, $12; 3 packers, $15; 2 cooks, $6. The secretary received $5 a day, making the wages of the party $50 daily at the start, in addition to the superintendent's salary. Transportation to The Dalles cost 8400. At The Dalles another man with 20 horses was hired at $15 a day, and 2 wagons with oxen at $12; the passage from Portland to Umatilla costing $1,500 besides subsistence. And this was only the beginning of expenses. The lumber for the agency building at Umatilla had to be carried forty miles at an enormous cost; the beef which feasted the Cayuses cost $80, and other things in proportion. 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. iii.

[19] This charge being deemed inimical to the administration, the President denied it in a letter to the Philadelphia Daily Sun, April 1852. The matter is referred to in the Or. Statesman, June 15th and July 3, 1852. See also Home Missionary, vol. lxxxiv. 276.

[20] In 1852 a Catholic priest, E. C. Chirouse, settled on a piece of land at Walla Walla, making a claim under the act of congress establishing the territorial government of Washington. He failed to make his final proof according to law, and the notification of his intentions was not filed till 1860, when Archbishop Blanchet made a notification; but it appeared that whatever title there was, was in Chirouse. He relinquished it to the U. S. in 1862, but it was then too late for the Catholic church to set up a claim, and the archbishop's notification was not allowed. Portland Oregonian, March 16, 1872.

[21] Eighteen thousand dollars worth of property was stolen by the Shoshones in 1851; many white men were killed, and more wounded. Hutchison Clark, of Illinois, was driving, in advance of his company, with his mother, sister, and a young brother in the family carriage near Raft River 40 miles west of Fort Hall, when the party was attacked, his mother and brother killed, and Miss Grace Clark, after being outraged and shot through the body and wrist, was thrown over a precipice to die. She alighted on a bank of sand which broke the force of the fall. The savages then rolled stones over after her, some of which struck and wounded her, notwithstanding all of which she survived and reached Oregon alive. She was married afterward to a Mr. Vandervert, and settled on the coast branch of the Willamette. She died Feb. 20, 1875. When the train came up and discovered the bloody deed and that the Indians had driven off over twenty valuable horses, a company was formed, led by Charles Clark, to follow and chastise them. These were driven back, however, with a loss of one killed and one wounded. A brother of this Clark family named Thomas had emigrated in 1848, and was awaiting the arrival of his friends when the outrages occurred. Or. Statesman, Sept. 23, 1851. The same band killed Mr. Miller, from Virginia, and seriously wounded his daughter. They killed Jackson, a brother-in-law of Miller, at the same time, and attacked a train of twenty wagons, led by Harpool, being repulsed with some loss. Other parties were attacked at different points, and many persons wounded. Or. Spectator, Sept. 2, 1851; Barnes' Or. and Cal., MS., 26. Raymond, superintendent at Fort Hall, said that 31 emigrants had been shot by the Shoshones and their allies the Bannacks. Or. Statesman, Dec. 9, 1851; S. F. Alta, Sept. 28, 1851. The residents of the country were at a loss to account for these outrages, so bold on the part of the savages, and so injurious to the white people. It was said that the decline of the fur-trade compelled the Indians to robbery, and that they willingly availed themselves of an opportunity not only to make good their losses, but to be avenged for any wrongs, real or imaginary, which they had ever suffered at the hands of white men. A more obvious reason might be found in the withdrawal of the influence wielded over them by the Hudson's Bay Company, who being now under United States and Oregon law was forbidden to furnish ammunition, and was no longer esteemed among the Indians who had nothing to gain by obedience. Some of the emigrants professed to believe the Indian hostilities directly due to Mormon influence. David Newsome of the immigration of 1851 says: Every murder, theft, and raid upon us from Fort Laramie to Grande Ronde we could trace to Mormon influences and plans. I recorded very many instances of thefts, robberies, and murders on the journey in my journal. Portland West Shore, Feb. 1876. I find no ground whatever for this assertion. But whatever the cause, they were an alarming feature of the time, and called for government interference. Hence a petition to congress in the memorial of the legislature for troops to be stationed at the several posts selected in 1849 or at other points upon the road; and of a demand of Lane's, that the rifle regiment should be returned to Oregon to keep the Indians in check. 32d Cong., 1st Sess., Cong. Globe, 1851-2, i. 507. When Superintendent Dart was in the Nez Perce country that tribe complained of the depredations of the Shoshones, and wished to go to war. Dart, however, exacted a promise to wait a year, and if then the United States had not redressed their wrongs, they should be left at liberty to go against their enemies. If the Nez Perces had been allowed to punish the Shoshones it would have saved the lives of many innocent persons and a large amount of government money.

[22] Or. Statesman, Aug. 19, 1851; Or. Spectator, Dec. 2, 1851.

[23] 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. iii. 483.

[24] After his return from his expedition east of the Cascade Range, Dart seemed to have practised an economy which was probably greatly suggested by the strictures of the democratic press upon the proceedings of the previous commission. All the expense, he says, referring to the Coquille country, of making these treaties, adding the salaries of the officers of government, while thus engaged, would make the cost of the land less than one cent and a half per acre. 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. iii. And in the California Courier he says the total cost of negotiating the whole thirteen treaties was, including travelling expenses, about $3,000. Or. Statesman, Report, Dec. 9, 1861.

[25] Honolulu Friend, Aug. 24, 1850.

[26] Hancock's Thirteen Years, MS.; Johnson's Cal. and Or., 121-2, 133.

[27] Barnes' Or. and Cal., MS., 13. Says Lane, speaking of the chief at Rogue River, over whom he obtained a strong influence: Joe told me that the first time he shed white blood, he, with another Indian, discovered late in the afternoon two whites on horseback passing through their country. At first they thought these might be men intending some mischief to their people, but having watched them to their camp and seen them build their fire for the night, they conceived the idea of murdering them for the sake of the horses and luggage. This they did, taking their scalps. After that they always killed any whites they could for the sake of plunder. Autobiography, MS., 148.

[28] The morning after the chief had been made a prisoner his old wife (he had several others, but said he only loved his first wife) came very cautiously to the bank of the river opposite, and asked to come over and stay with her chief; that she did not wish to be free while he was a prisoner. She was told to come and stay, and was kindly treated. Lane's Autobiography, MS.. 94-95.

[29] Like many another old soldier Lane loved to boast of his exploits. He asked the interpreter the name of the white chief, says the general, and requested me to come to him as he wanted to talk. As I walked up to him he said, " Mika name Jo Lane?" I said, " Nawitka," which is " Yes." He said, " I want you to give me your name, for," said he, I have seen no man like you." I told the interpreter to say to him that I would give him half my name, but not all; that he should be called Jo. He was much pleased, and to the day of his death he was known as Jo. At his request I named his wife, calling her Sally. They had a son and a daughter, a lad of fourteen, the girl being about sixteen. She was quite a young queen in her manner and bearing, and for an Indian quite pretty. I named the boy Ben, and the girl Mary. Lane s Autobiography, MS., 968.

[30] Sacramento Transcript, Jan. 14, 1851. Lane had his adventures in the mines, some of which are well told in his Autobiography. While on Pit River, his Modoc boy, whom he named John, and who from being kindly treated became a devoted servant, was the means of saving his life and that of an Oregonian named Driscoll. pp. 88-108.

[31] Cardwell, in his Emigrant Company, MS., 2-11, gives a history of his personal experience in travelling through and residing in Southern Oregon in 1851 with 27 others. The Cow-creek Indians followed and annoyed them for some distance, when finally one of them was shot and wounded in the act of taking a horse from camp. At Grave creek, in Rogue River Valley, three Indians pretending to be friendly offered to show his party where gold could be found on the surface of the ground, telling their story so artfully that cross-questioning of the three separately did not show any contradiction in their statements, and the party consented to follow these guides. On a plain, subsequently known as Harris flat, the wagons stopped and 11 men were left to guard them, while the rest of the company kept on with the Indians. They were led some distance up Applegate creek, where on examining the bars fine gold was found, but none of the promised nuggets. When the men began prospecting the stream the Indians collected on the sides of the hills above them, yelling and rolling stones down the descent. The miners, however, continued to examine the bars up the stream, a part of them standing guard rifle in hand; working in this manner two days and encamping in open ground at night. On the evening of the second day their tormentors withdrew in that mysterious manner which precedes an attack, and Cardwell's party fled in haste through the favoring darkness relieved by a late moon, across the ridge to Rogue River. At Perkins ferry, just established, they found Chief Jo, who was rather ostentatiously protecting this first white settlement. While breakfasting a pursuing party of Indians rode up within a short distance of camp where they were stopped by the presented rifles of the white men. Jo called this a hunting party and assured the miners they should not be molested in passing through the country; on which explanation and promise word was sent to the wagon train, and the company proceeded across the Siskiyou Mountains to Shasta flat, where they discovered good mines on the 12th of March.

[32] Or. Statesman, June 20, 1851; Or. Spectator, June 19, 1851.

[33] On the 1st of June 26 men were attacked at the same place, and an Indian was killed in the skirmish. On the 2d four men were set upon in this camp and robbed of their horses and property, but escaped alive to Perkins ferry; and on the same day a pack-train belonging to one Nichols was robbed of a number of animals with their packs, one of the men being wounded in the heel by a ball. Two other parties were attacked on the same day, one of which lost four men. On the 3d of June McBride and 31 others were attacked in camp south of Rogue River. A. Richardson, of San José, California, James Barlow, Captain Turpin, Jesse Dodson and son, Aaron Payne, Dillard Holman, Jesse Runnels, Presley Lovelady, and Richard Sparks of Oregon were in the company and were commended for bravery. Or. Statesman, June 20, 1851. There were but 17 guns in the party, while the Indians numbered over 200, having about the same number of guns besides their bows and arrows, and were led by a chief known as Chucklehead. The attack was made at daybreak, and the battle lasted four hours and a half, when Chucklehead being killed the Indians withdrew. It was believed that the Rogue River people lost several killed and wounded. None of the white men were seriously hurt, owing to the bad firing of the Indians, not yet used to guns, not to mention their station on the top of a hill. Three horses, a mule, and $1,500 worth of other property and gold-dust were taken by the Indians.

[34] Brackett's U. S. Cavalry, 129; Or. Spectator, April 10, 1851; Or. Statesman, May 30, 1851; 32d Cong., 1st Sess., H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. i. 144-53.

[35] Yoncalla is a compound of yonc, eagle, and calla or calla-calla, bird or fowl, in the Indian dialect. It was applied as a name to a conspicuous butte in the Umpqua Valley, at the foot of which Jesse Applegate made his home, a large and hospitable mansion, now going to ruin. Applegate agreed to assist Kearney only in case of a better route than the cañon road being discovered, his men should put it in condition to be travelled by the immigration that year, to which Kearney consented, and a detachment of 28 men, under Lieutenant Williamson, accompanied by Levi Scott as well as Applegate, began the reconnoissance about the 10th of June, the main body of Kearney s command travelling the old road. It was almost with satisfaction that Applegate and Scott found that no better route than the one they opened in 1846 could be discovered, since it removed the reproach of their enemies that they were to blame for not finding a better one at that time. None other has ever been found, though Applegate himself expected when with Kearney to be able to get a road saving 40 miles of travel. Ewald, in Or. Statesman, July 22, 1851.

[36] Table Rock is a flat-topped mountain overhanging Rogue River. Using the rock as a watch-tower, the Indians in perfect security had a large extent of country and a long line of road under their observation, and could deter mine the strength of any passing company of travellers and their place of encampment, before sallying forth to the attack. Or. Statesman, July 22, 1851.

[37] Brackett, in his U. S. Cavalry, calls this officer the excellent and beloved Captain James Stuart. The nature of the wound caused excruciating pain, but his great regret was that after passing unharmed through six hard battles in Mexico he should die in the wilderness at the hands of an Indian. It is doubtful, however, if death on a Mexican battle-field would have brought with it a more lasting renown. Stuart Creek on which he was interred camp being made over his grave to obliterate it and the warm place kept for him in the hearts of Oregonians will perpetuate his memory. Cardwell's Emigrant Company, MS., 14; Or. Statesman, July 8, 1851; 8. F. Alta, July 10, 1851; State Rights Democrat, Dec. 15th and 22, 1876.

[38] Cardwell relates that his company were returning from Josephine creek named after a daughter of Kirby who founded Kirbyville on their way to Yreka, when they met Applegate at the ferry on Rogue River, who suggested that it would be proper enough to assist the government troops and Lamerick's volunteers to clean out the Indians in Rogue River Valley. Thirty men upon this suggestion went to Willow Springs on the 16th, upon the under standing that Kearney would make an attack next day near the mouth of Stuart's creek, when it was thought the Indians would move in this direction, and the volunteers could engage them until the troops came up. At day light the following morning, says Cardwell, we heard the firing commence. It was kept up quite briskly for about fifteen minutes. There was a terrible yelling and crying by the Indians, and howling of dogs during the battle. Emigrant Company, MS., 12; Crane's Top. Mem., MS., 40. The names of Applegate, Scott, Boone, T'Vault, Armstrong, Blanchard, and Colonel Tranor from California, are mentioned in Lane's correspondence in the Or. Statesman July 22, 1851, as ready to assist the troops. I suppose this to be James W. Tranor, formerly of the New Orleans press, an adventurous pioneer and brilliant newspaper writer, who was afterward killed by Indians while crossing Pit River. Oakland Transcript, Dec. 7, 1872.

[39] 32d Cong., 1st Sess. H. Ex. Doc. 2, pt. i. 145; Or. Spectator, .Aug. 12, 1851.

[40] Letter of Lane, in Or. Statesman, July 22, 1851.

[41] It is said that the Indians called Mount Shasta Yee-ka, and that the miners having caught something of Spanish orthography and pronunciation changed it to Yreka; hence Shasta Butte city became Yreka. E. Steele, in Or. Council, Jour. 1857-8, app. 44.

[42] Irvine, who was with Williamson on a topographical expedition, had an adventure before he was well out of the Shasta country with two Indians and a Frenchman who took him prisoner, bound him to a tree, and iiiflicted some tortures upon him. The Frenchman who was using the Indians for his own purposes finally sent them away on some pretence, and taking the watch and valuables belonging to Irvine sat down by the camp-fire to count his spoil. While thus engaged the lieutenant succeeded in freeing himself from his bonds, and rushing upon the fellow struck him senseless for a moment. On recovering himself the Frenchman struggled desperately with his former prisoner but was finally killed and Irvine escaped. Or. Statesman, Aug. 5, 1851.

[43] Among Lane's company were Daniel Waldo, Hunter, and Rust of Kentucky, and Simonson of Indiana.

[44] Or. Anecdotes, MS., 58-61.

[45] Or. Statesman, Sept. 2, 9, 16, and 30, 1851.

[46] Two drovers, Moffat and Evans, taking a herd of swine to the Shasta mines, encamped with two others near the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains, their hogs eating the acorns used as food by the natives, who demanded a hog in payment. One of them pointed his gun at a pig as if to shoot, whereupon Moffat drew his pistol, and accidentally discharging it, hurt his hand. Irritated by the pain, Moffat fired at the Indian, killing him. Another Indian then fired at Moffat, giving him a mortal wound. In the excitement, Evans and the Indians exchanged shots, wounds being received on both sides. Moffat was from Philadelphia, where he had a family. Or. Statesman, Nov. 11 and 25, 1851; Or. Spectator, Jan. 6, 1852.

[47] There was at this time on the southern border of Oregon an organized band of desperadoes, white men, half-breeds, and Indians, who were the terror of the miners. See Popular Tribunals, this series, passim.

[48] U. S. Sen. Doc., 32d cong. 2d sess., i. 453.

[49] T'Vault says there were eight rifles, one musket, one double-barrelled pistol, one Sharp's patent 36 shooting-rifle, one Colt's six-shooter, one brace holster pistols, with ammunition, and some blankets. Here were fourteen shooting-arms, many of them repeating, yet the party could not defend themselves on account of the suddenness and manner of the attack. Or. Statesman, Oct. 7, 1851.

[50] The above details are mostly from the letter of a private soldier, written to his brother in the east. Before the letter was finished the writer was drowned in the Sixes River near Cape Blanco, while riding express from Port Orford to Lieut. Stoneman s camp at the mouth of the Coquille. The letter was published in the Alta California, Dec. 14, 1851. It agrees with other but less particular accounts, in the S. F. Herald of Dec. 4, 1851, and Or. Statesman, Dec. 16 and 30, 1851. See also Davidson s Coast Pilot, 119.

[51] Cal. Courier, Dec. 13, 1851.

[52] Report of Major Robert Allen, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 2, vol. ii. part 1, p. 150, 32d cong. 1st Sess.

[53] The commanders went without an interpreter to the Coquille village, and just banged away until they gratified themselves, and then went to Port Orford and back to San Francisco. Parrish's Or. Anecdotes, MS., 66. See also Alta California, Dec. 14, 1851.

[54] Hearne s Cal. Sketches, MS., 2.

[55] In the early spring of 1852 a party of five men, led by James Coy, left Jacksonville to look for mining ground toward the coast. Having discovered some good diggings on a tributary of Illinois River, now called Josephine Creek, they were following up the right branch, when they discovered, three miles above the junction, the remains of two white men, evidently murdered by the Indians. Being few in number, they determined to return and reenforce. Camping at night at the mouth of Josephine Creek, they were attacked by a large force. They kept the enemy at bay until the next night, when one of the men crowded through their lines, and hastened to Jacksonville for aid. All that day, and the next, and until about ten o clock on the third, the besieged defended their little fortress, when a party of 35 came down the mountain to their relief; and finding the country rich in mines, took up claims, and made the first permanent settlement in Illinois Valley. Scraps Southern Or. Hist., in Ashland Tidings, Sept. 20, 1878.

[56] See Cardwell's Em. Co., MS., 15, 7.

[57] Id., 15-21; Ashland Tid., Dec. 2, 9, 1876, and Sept. 20, 1878.

[58] The Scott Valley men were John McLeod, James Bruce, James White, Peter Snellback, John Galvin, and a youth called Harry. The four from Shasta were J. D. Cook, F. W. Merritt, L. S. Thompson, and Ben. Wright, who acted as interpreter.

[59] Jacksonville was at this time called Table Rock, though without relevance. The first journal published there was the Table Rock Sentinel. Prim's Judicial A/airs in S. Or., MS., 3.

[60] Angell had formerly resided at Oregon City. He removed to Rogue River Valley, participated in the Indian wars, and was killed by the savages of Rogue River in 1855. He was regarded as a good man and a useful citizen. His only son made his residence at Portland. Lanes Autobiography, MS., 107.

[61] Before we reached the place where the battle was going on, we met a large portion of the company coming from the battle as fast as their horses could run. The foremost man was Charley Johnson. He called to me to come with him. I said, "Have the Indians whipped you?" He said nothing, but kept on running, and crying, "Come this way." We wheeled, and went with the crowd, who went to the house of Dr. Ambrose. The Indians had started toward the house, and it was supposed they meant to murder the family. Cardwell's Emigrant Company, MS., 24.

[62] Steele says sixteen, including the prisoners. Cardwell states that many sprang into the water and were shot. Skinner gives the number as four; and states further that a man by the name of Steel, who pretended to be the leader of the party from Shasta, was principally instrumental in causing the attack on the prisoners, which for a time produced general hostilities. U. S. Sen. Doc., i., 32d cong. 2d sess., vol. i. pt i. 457. Cardwell's Emigrant Company, MS., 25; California Star, Aug. 7, 1852.

[63] Sullix was badly wounded on the day of the battle. See Cardwell's Emigrant Company, MS., 25-6.

[64] The expenses of Steele's expedition were $2,200, which were never reimbursed from any source.

[65] Letter of Anson Dart in Or. Statesman, Oct. 30, 1852. Dart resigned in December, his resignation to take effect the following June.

[66] A large number of the 4th reg. had died on the Isthmus. Or. Statesman, Sept. 25, 1852.

[67] Further details of this campaign are given in Lane's Autobiography, MS.; Cardwell's Emigrant Company, MS.; and the files of the Oregon Statesman.

[68] Drew, in Or. Jour. Council, 1857-8, app. 26; Or. Statesman, June 28, 1853; Jacksonville Sentinel, May 25, 1867; Dowell's Nar. , MS., 5-6.

[69] Let our motto be extermination, cries the editor of the Yreka Herald, and death to all opposers. See also S. F. Alta, June 14, 1853; Jacksonville Sentinel, May 25, 18G7. The leaders of the company were Bates and Twogood.

[70] This was J. M. Garrison. Other appointments arrived soon after, designating Samuel H. Culver and R. R. Thompson. J. L. Parrish was retained as sub-agent. Rept. of Supt Palmer, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc., i., vol. i. pt. i. 448, 33d cong. 1st sess.

[71] Five companies were stationed at Columbia barracks, Fort Vancouver, one at Fort Steilacoom, one at the mouth of Umpqua River, two at Port Orford, and one at Humboldt Bay. Col. Mil. Aff. Scraps, 13-14; Or. Statesman, Sept. 4, 1852.

[72] August 4th, Richard Edwards was killed. August 5th, next night, Thomas J. Mills and Rhodes Noland were killed, and one Davis and Burril F. Griffin were wounded. Ten houses were burned between Jacksonville and W. G. T'Vault s place, known as the Dardanelles, a distance of ten miles.

[73] Thus were killed John R. Hardin and Dr Rose, both prominent citizens of Jackson county. Or. Statesman, Aug. 23, 1853.

[74] The men were quartered at the houses of Frederick Alberding and Patrick Dunn. Their names, so far as I know, besides Alberding and Dunn, were Thomas Smith, William Taylor, and Andrew B. Carter. The names of settlers who were gathered in at this place were Frederick Heber and wife; Robert Wright and wife; Samuel Grubb, wife and five children ; William Taylor, R. B. Hagardine, John Gibbs, M. B. Morris, R. Tungate, Morris Howell. On the 13th of Aug. they were joined by an immigrant party just arrived, consisting of A. G. Fordyce, wife and three children, J. Kennedy, Hugh Smith, Brice Whitmore, Ira Arrowsmith, William Hodgkins, wife and three children, all of Iowa, and George Barnett of Illinois. Scraps of Southern Or. Hist., in Ashland Tidings, Sept. 27, 1878.

[75] Hugh Smith and John Gibbs were killed; William Hodgkins, Brice Whitman, A. G. Fordyce, and M. B. Morris wounded.

[76] Duncan's Southern Or., MS., 8, says: The enraged populace began to slaughter right and left. Martin Angell, from his own door, shot an Indian. Or. Statesman, Aug. 23, 1853.

[77] Graver's Pub. Life in Or., MS., 29; Or. Statesman, Aug. 23, 30, 1853.

[78] George Dart, Edward Shell, L. A. Loomis, and Richard Dugan constituted the commission.

[79] J. Shane, F. Keath, Frank Perry, A. Douglas, A. C. Colburn, and L. Locktirg were killed, and Lieut. Ely, John Albin, James Carrol, and Z. Shutz wounded. Or. Statesman, Sept. 6, 1853; S. F. Alta, Aug. 28, 1853.

[80] Accompanying Lane were Pleasant Armstrong of Yamhill county, James Cluggage, who had been to the Umpqua Valley to enlist if possible the Klickitat Indians against the Rogue Rivers, but without success, and eleven others. See Lane s Autobiography, MS., 63.

[81] Curry had commissioned Lane brigadier-general, and Nesmith, who had not yet arrived, was bearer of the commission, but this was unknown to either Alden or Lane at the time. Besides, Lane was a more experienced field-officer than Alden; but Capt. Cram, of the topographical engineers, subsequently blamed Alden, as well as the volunteers, because the command was given to Lane, while Alden, an army officer, was there to take it. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 114, p. 41, 35th cong. 2d sess.; H. Ex. Doc., i., pt ii. 42, 33d cong.,  1st sess.

[82] In this expedition, W. G. T'Vault acted as aid to Gen. Lane, C. Lewis, a volunteer captain, as asst adjutant-gen., but falling ill on the 29th, Capt. L. F. Mosher, who afterward married one of Lane's daughters, took his place. Mosher had belonged to the 4th Ohio volunteers. Lane's Rept. in U. S. H. Ex. Doc. i., pt ii. 40, 33d cong. 1st sess.

[83] They had 111 rifles and 86 pistols. S. F. Alta, Sept. 4, 1853.

[84] See Or. Statesman, Nov. 15, 1853. Among the slain was Pleasant Armstrong, brother of the author of Oregon, a descriptive work from which I have sometimes quoted. The latter says that as soon as the troops were away the remains of his brother were exhumed, and being cut to pieces were left to the wolves. Armstrong's Or., 52-3. John Scarborough and Isaac Bradley were also killed. The wounded were 5 in number, one of whom, Charles C. Abbe, afterward died of his wounds. The Indian loss was 8 killed and 20 wounded.

[85] Lane's Autobiography, MS., 96-7.

[86] Siskiyou County Affairs, MS., 2, 4-5; Minto's Early Days, MS., 46; Gro- ver's Pub. Life, MS., 28-51; Brown's Salem Dir., 1871, 33-5; Yreka Mountain Herald, Sept. 24, 1853; Or. Statesman, Oct. 11, 1853; U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 114, p. 41-2, 35th cong. 2d sess.; Jacksonville Sentinel, July 1, 1867; Meteorol. Reg., 1853-4, 594; Nesmith's Reminiscences, in Trans. Or. Pioneer Asso., 1879, p. 44; Or. Statesman, Sept. 27, 1853.

[87] R. Williams killed 12 Indians and lost one man, Thomas Philips. Owens, on Grave Creek, under pledge of peace, got the Indians into his camp and shot them all. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 90, p. 4, 33d cong. 1st sess. Again Williams surprised a party of Indians on Applegate Creek, and after inducing them to lay down their arms shot 18 of them, etc.

[88] The Indians had news of the approach of the howitzer several days before it reached Rogue River. They said it was a hyas rifle, which took a hatful of powder for a load, and would shoot down a tree. It was an object of great terror to the Indians, and they begged not to have it fired. Or. Statesman, Sept. 27, 1853.

[89] The treaty bound the Indians to reside permanently in a place to be set aside for them ; to give up their fire-arms to the agent put over them, except a few for hunting purposes, 17 guns in all ; to pay out of the sum received for their lands indemnity for property destroyed by them ; to forfeit all their annuities should they go to war again against the settlers; to notify the agent of other tribes entering the valley with warlike intent, and assist in expelling them ; to apply to the agent for redress whenever they suffered any grievances at the hands of the white people; to give up, in short, their entire independence and become the wards of a government of which they knew nothing.

                The treaty of sale of their lands, concluded on the 10th, conveyed all the country claimed by them, which was bounded by a line beginning at a point near the mouth of Applegate Creek, running southerly to the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains, and along the summits of the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains to the head waters of Rogue River, and down that stream to Jump Off Joe Creek, thence down said creek to a point due north of, and thence to, the place of beginning a temporary reservation being made of about 100 square miles on the north side of Rogue River, between Table Rock and Evans Creek, embracing but ten or twelve square miles of arable land, the remainder being rough and mountainous, abounding in game, while the vicinity of Table Rock furnished their favorite edible roots.

                The United States agreed to pay for the whole Rogue River Valley thus sold the sum of $60,000, after deducting $15,000 for indemnity for losses of property by settlers; $5,000 of the remaining $45,000 to be expended in agricultural implements, blankets, clothing, and other goods deemed by the sup. most conducive to the welfare of the Indians, on or before the 1st day of September 1854, and for the payment of such permanent improvements as had been made on the land reserved by white claimants, the value of which should be ascertained by three persons appointed by the sup. to appraise them. The remaining $40,000 was to be paid in 16 equal annual instalments of $2,500 each, commencing on or about the 1st of September, 1854, in clothing, blankets, farming utensils, stock, and such other articles as would best meet the needs of the Indians. It was further agreed to erect at the expense of the government a dwelling-house for each of three principal chiefs, the cost of which should not exceed $500 each, which buildings should be put up as soon as practicable after the ratification of the treaty. When the Indians should be removed to another permanent reserve, buildings of equal value should be erected for the chiefs, and $15,000 additional should be paid to the tribe in five annual instalments, commencing at the expiration of the previous instalments.

                Other articles were added to the treaty, by which the Indians were bound to protect the agents or other persons sent by the U. S. to reside among them, and to refrain from molesting any white person passing through their reserves. It was agreed that no private revenges or retaliations should be indulged in on either side; that the chiefs should, on complaint being made to the Indian agent, deliver up the offender to be tried and punished, conformably to the laws of the U. S.; and also that on complaint of the Indians for any violation of law by white men against them, the latter should suffer the penalty of the law.

                The sacredness of property was equally secured on either side, the Indians promising to assist in recovering horses that had been or might be stolen by their people, and the United States promising indemnification for property taken from them by the white men. And to prevent mischief being made by evil-disposed persons, the Indians were required to deliver up on the requisition of the U. S. authorities or the agents or sup. any white person residing among them. The names appended to the treaty were Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian affairs; Samuel H. Culver, Indian agent; Apserkahar (Jo), Toquahear (Sam), Anachaharah (Jim), John, and Lympe. The witnesses were Joseph Lane, Augustus V. Kautz, J. W. Nesmith, R. B. Metcalf, John (interpreter), J. D. Mason, and T. T. Tierney. Or. Statesman, Sept. 27, 1853; Nesmith s Reminiscences, in Trans. Or. Pioneer Asso., 1879, 46; Portland West Shore, May, 1879, 154-5; S. F. Alta, Sept. 24, 1853; Palmer s Wagon Trains, MS., 50; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1856, 265-7; and 1865, 469-71.

[90] The land purchased from the Cow Creek band was in extent about 800 square miles, nearly one half of which was excellent farming land, and the remainder mountainous, with a good soil and fine timber. The price agreed upon was $12,000, two small houses, costing about $200, fencing and plowing a field of five acres, and furnishing the seed to sow it; the purchase money to be paid in annual instalments of goods. This sum was insignificant compared to the value of the land, but bargains of this kind were graded by the number of persons in the band, the Cow Creeks being but few. Besides, Indian agents who intend to have their treaties ratified must get the best bargains that can be extorted from ignorance and need.

[91] U. S. H. Ex. Doc., i., pt ii. 43, 33d cong. 1st sess.

[92] Portland Oregonian, Dec. 30, 1854; U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 65, 43d cong. 2d sess.

[93] The names of the claimants on account of property destroyed, on which the Indian department paid a pro rata of 34.77 per cent out of the $15,000 retained from the treaty appropriation for that purpose, were as follows, showing who were doing business, had settled, or were mining in the Rogue River Valley at this period: Daniel and Ephraim Raymond, Clinton Barney, David Evans, Martin Angell, Michael Brennan, Albert B. Jennison, William J. Newton, Wm. Thompson, Henry Rowland, John W. Patrick, John R. Hardin, Pleasant W. Stone, Jeremiah Yarnel, Wm S. King, Cram, Rogers & Co., Edith M. Neckel, John Benjamin, David N. Birdseye, Lewis Rotherend, Mary Ann Hodgkins, George H. C. Taylor, John Markley, Sigmond Eulinger, James C. Tolman, Henry Ham, William M. Elliott, Silas and Edward Day, James Triplett, Nathan B. Lane, John Agy, James Bruce, James B. Fryer, Wm. G. F. Vank, Hall Burpee, John Penneger, John E. Ross, John S. Miller, D. Irwin, Burrell B. Griffin, Traveena McComb, Wm N. Ballard, Freeman Smith, Nicholas Kohenstein, Daniel F. Fisher, Thomas D. Jewett, Sylvester Pease, David Hayhart, McGreer, Drury & Runnels, James Mooney, John Gheen, Theodosia Cameron, James Abrahams, Francis Nasarett, Galley & Oliver, T. B. Sanderson, Frederick Rosenstock, Dunn & Alluding, Asa G. Fordyce, Obadiah D. Harris, James L. London, Samuel Grubb, Wm. Kahler, Samuel Williams, Hiram Niday, John Anderson, Elias Huntington, Shertack Abrahams, Thomas Frazell, Weller & Rose, Robert B. Metcalf, Charles Williams, John Swinden, James R. Davis, Isaac Woolen, Wm. M. Hughs. Of the settlers on the reservation lands who brought claims were these: David Evans, Matthew G. Kennedy, John G. Cook, William Hutchinson, Charles Grey, Robert B. Metcalf, Jacob Gall, George H. C. Taylor, John M. Silcott, James Lesly. Report of Supt Palmer, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 52, p. 3-5, 38th cong. 2d sess.

[94] In Judge Deady's court the following year a white man was convicted of manslaughter of an Indian, and was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary. Or. Statesman, June 2, 1855.

[95] The slayers of Edward Wills and Kyle, and those chastised by Major Kearney in 1851, are the only Indians ever punished for crime by either civil or military authorities in southern Oregon. U. S. H. Misc. Doc. 47, 58, 35th cong. 2d sess.

[96] Grasshoppers had destroyed vegetation almost entirely in the southern valleys this year, which led to a great expense for forage.

[97] The merchants and traders of Jacksonville, who were unable to furnish the necessary supplies, which were drawn from Yreka, testified as to prices. U. S. H. Misc. Doc. 47, 32-5, 35th cong. 2d sess.

[98] Message of President Pierce, with correspondence of General Wool, in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 16, 33d cong. 2d sess.

[99] For particulars see California Inter Pocula, this series, passim.

[100] U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 16, 14-15, 33d cong. 2d sess. Lieut. J. C. Bonnycastle, commanding Fort Jones, in relating the attack on some of the Shastas whom he was endeavoring to protect, and whom Captain Goodall was escorting to Scott's Valley to place in his, hands, says: Most of the Indians having escaped into the adjacent chapparal, where they lay concealed, the whites began a search for them, during which an Indian from behind his bush fortunately shot and killed a white man named McKaney. In the same report he gives the names of the men who had fired on the Indians, the list not including the name of McKaney. U. S. .Sen. Ex. Doc. 16, p. 81, 33d cong. 2d  sess.; U. S. H . Ex. Doc. 1, 446-66, vol. i. pt i., 33d cong. 2d sess.

[101] A treaty was made with the Tualatin band of Calapooyas for their land lying in Washington and Yamhill counties, for which they received $3,300 in goods, money, and farm tools; also provisions for one year, and annuities of goods for twenty years, besides a tract of 40 acres to each family, two of which were to be ploughed and fenced, and a cabin erected upon it. Teachers of farming, milling, blacksmithing, etc., were to be furnished with manual-labor schools for the children. The provisions of all of Palmer's treaties were similar.

[102] The amendment most objected to was one which allowed other tribes to be placed on their reservation, and which consolidated all the Rogue River tribes.

[103] Palmer appears to have been rather arbitrary, but being liked by the authorities, in choosing between him and an agent whom he disliked, they dismissed the agent without inquiry. Sub-agent Philip F. Thompson of Umpqua having died, E. P. Drew succeeded him. Nathan Olney superseded Parrish. There remained R. R. Thompson, W. W. Raymond, and William J. Martin, who resigned in the spring of 1855, and was succeeded by Robert B. Metcalfe. These frequent changes were due, according to Palmer, to insufficient salaries.

[104] I. I. Stevens, in Ind. Aff. Rept, 1854, 184, 248; U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 55, 2, 33d cong. 1st sess.

[105] Stevens speaks of this as the opening of navigation above The Dalles. They were succeeded, he says, by sailing vessels of 60 tons freight, and soon by a steamer. Pac. R. R. Rcpt, xii. 196-7.

[106] Lieut. Lawrence Kip, of the 3d artillery, who accompanied Gracie on this occasion as a guest and spectator, afterward published an account of the expedition and transactions of the commission, under title of The. Indian Council at Walla Walla, San Francisco, 1855, a pleasantly told narrative, in which there is much correct information, and some unimportant errors concerning mission matters of which he had no personal knowledge. He gives pretty full reports of the speeches of the chiefs and commissioners. Lieut. Kip also wrote a little book, Army Life on the Pacific Coast, A Journal of the Expedition against the Northern Indians in the Summer of 1858, New York, 1859, in which the author seeks to defend the army officers from aspersions cast upon them in the newspapers, and even in speeches on the floor of congress, as the drones of society, living on the government, yet a useless encumbrance and expense.

[107] Kip speaks of visiting some gentlemen residing on the site of the old mission, who were raising stock to sell to emigrants crossing the plains, or settlers who will soon be locating themselves through these valleys. Indian Council, 16.

[108] Kip also describes the council-ground as a beautiful spot, and tells us that an arbor had been erected for a dining-hall for the commissioners, with a table of split logs, with the flat side up. The troops, too, were sheltered in arbors, and but for the showery weather the comfort of the occasion would have equalled its picturesqueness.

[109] See Hist. Or., i. 130-1, this series.

[110] Kip's Indian Council, 21.

[111] The chief of the Cayuses thought it was wrong to sell the ground given them by the great spirit for their support. I wonder if the ground has anything to say? I wonder if the ground is listening to what is said. . .I hear what the ground says. The ground says, " It is the great spirit that placed me here. The great spirit tells me to take care of the Indians, to feed them aright. The great spirit appointed the roots to feed the Indians on." The water says the same thing. The great spirit directs me, " Feed the Indians well." The grass says the same thing, "Feed the horses and cattle." The ground, water, and grass say, " The great spirit has given us our names. We have these names and hold these names. Neither the Indians nor the whites have a right to change these names." The ground says, "The great spirit has placed me here to produce all that grows on me, trees and fruit." The same way the ground says, "It was from me man was made. " The great spirit in placing men on the earth desired them to take good care of the ground, and do each other no harm. The great spirit said, "You Indians who take care of certain portions of the country should not trade it off except you get a fair price." Kip's Indian Council, 22-6. In this argument was an attempt to enunciate a philosophy equal to the white man's. It ended, as all savage arguments do, in showing the desire of gain, and the suspicion of being cheated.

[112] I think it is doubtful, says Kip, if Lawyer could have held out but for his pride in his small sum of book lore, which inclined him to cling to his friendship with the whites. In making a speech, he was able to refer to the discovery of the continent by the Spaniards, and the story of Columbus making the egg stand on end. He related how the red men had receded before the white men in a manner that was hardly calculated to pour oil upon the troubled waters; yet as his father had agreed with Lewis and Clarke to live in peace with the whites, he was in favor of making a treaty!

[113] Concerning the exact locality claimed by Joseph at this time as his home, there has been much argument and investigation. At the beginning of this history, Joseph was living near Lapwai, but it is said he was only there for the purpose of attending Spalding's school; that his father was a Cayuse, who had two wives, one a Nez Perce, the mother of Joseph, and the other a Cayuse, the mother of Five Crows; that Joseph was born on Snake River, near the mouth of the Grand Rond where his father lived, and that after the Lapwai mission was abandoned he went back to the mouth of the Grand Rond, where he died in 1871. These facts are gathered from a letter of Indian Agent Jno. B. Monteith to H. Clay Wood, and is contained in a pamphlet published by the latter, called The Status of Young Joseph and his Band of Nez Perce Indians under the Treaties, etc., written to settle the question of Joseph's right to the Wallowa Valley in Oregon, his claim to which brought on the war of 1877 with that band of Nez Perces. Wood's pamphlet, which was written by the order of department commander Gen. O. O. Howard, furnishes much valuable information upon this rather obscure subject. Wood concludes from all the evidence that Joseph was chief of the upper or Salmon River branch of the Nez Perces, and that his claim to the Wallowa Valley as his especial home was not founded in facts as they existed at the time of the treaty of 1855, but that it was possessed in common by the Nez Perces as a summer resort to fish. As the reservation took in both sides of the Snake River as far up as fifteen miles below the mouth of Powder River, and all the Salmon River country to the Bitter Root Mountains, and beyond the Clearwater as far as the southern branch of the Palouse, the western line beginning a little below the mouth of Alpowa Creek, it included all the lands ever claimed by the Nez Perces since the ratification of the treaty, much of which was little known to white men in 1855, and just which portion of it was reserved by Joseph is a matter of doubt, though Superintendent Palmer spoke of Joseph's band as the Salmon River band of the Nez Perces. Wood's Young Joseph and the Treaties, 35.

                Joseph had perhaps other reasons for objecting to Lawyer's advice. He claimed to be descended from a long line of chiefs, and to be superior in rank to Lawyer. The missionaries, because Joseph was a war chief, and because Lawyer exhibited greater aptitude in learning the arts of peace, endeavored to build up Lawyer s influence. When White tried his hand at managing Indians, he appointed over the Nez Perces a head chief, a practice which had been discontinued by the advice of the Hudson's Bay Company. On the death of Ellis, the head chief, whose superior acquirements had greatly strengthened his influence with the Nez Perces, it was Lawyer who aspired to the high chieftainship, on the ground of these same acquirements, and who had gained so much influence as to be named head chief when the commissioners interrogated the Nez Perces as to whom they should treat with for the nation. This was good ground for jealousy and discord, and a weighty reason why Joseph should not readily consent to the advice of Lawyer, even if there were no other.

[114] Cram says that Lawyer and Looking Glass had arranged it between them to cajole the commissioners; that the sudden appearance and opposition of the latter were planned to give effect to Lawyer s apparent fidelity; and at the same time by throwing obstacles in the way, to prevent a clutch upon their lands from being realized. In these respects events have shown that Lawyer was the ablest diplomatist at the council; for the friendship of his tribes has remained, and no hold upon their lands has yet inured to the whites. Top. Mem., 84.

[115] Kip's Army Life, 92; Stevens, in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 66, 24, 34th cong. 1st sess.

[116] One Whitney was living about a mile from the crossing of the Umatilla River with William McKay, on a claim he was cultivating, belonging to the latter. Kip's Indian Council, 29. This William McKay was grandson of Alexander McKay of Astor's company. He resided in eastern Oregon almost continually since taking this claim on the Umatilla.

[117] Palmer s Wagon Trains, MS., 51; Or. Statesman, June 30 and July 21, 1855; Puget Sound Herald, May 6, 1859; Wood's Young Joseph and the Treaties, 10-12; Pendleton Tribune, March 11, 1874; S. F. Alta, July 16, 1855; Sac. Union, July 10, 1855.

[118] R. R. Thompson was appointed to the Umatilla reservation, and W. H. Tappan for the Nez Perces.

[119] Ind. Aff. Rept, 1857, 370; Letter of Palmer, in Or. Statesman, July 21, 1855; Puget Sound Herald, May 6, 1859.

[120] Wood's Young Joseph and the Treaties.

[121] Tolmie's Hist. Puget Sound, MS., 37; Roberts Recollections. MS., 95.

[122] The original copy of the application is contained in the first volume of Dowell's Oregon Indian Wars, MS., 1-3. This is a valuable compilation of original documents and letters pertaining to the wars of 1855-6 in southern Oregon, and furnishes conclusive proof of the invidious course of the Salem clique toward that portion of the territory. Dowell has taken much pains to secure and preserve these fragments of history, and in doing so has vindicated his section, from which otherwise the blame of certain alleged illegal acts might never have been removed. Then there are his Indian Wars; Scrap-Book; Letters; Biographies, and various pamphlets which contain almost a complete journal of the events to which this chapter is devoted.

                Benjamin Franklin Dowell emigrated from New Franklin, Mo., in 1850, taking the California road, but arriving in the Willamette Valley in Nov. He had studied law, but now taught a school in Polk county in the summer of 1851, and afterward in the Waldo hills. It was slow work for an ambitious man; so borrowing some money and buying a pack-train, he began trading to the mines in southern Oregon and northern California, following it successfully for four years. He purchased flour of J. W. Nesmith at his mills in Polk county at 10 cents per lb., and sold it in the mines at $1 and $1.25. He bought butter at 50 cents per lb., and sold it at $1.50; salt at 15 cents per lb., and sold it at $2 and $3 per lb., and other articles in proportion. When Scottsburg became the base of supplies, instead of the Willamette Valley, he traded between that place and the mines. When war broke out, Dowell was the first in and the last out of the fight. After that he settled in Jacksonville, and engaged in the practice of law and newspaper management.

[123] Or. Argus, June 16, 1855; Sac. Union, June 12, 1855; S. F. Chronicle, June 15, 1855; S. F. Alta, June 18, 1855.

[124] A bottle of whiskey sold by a white man to an Indian on the 26th of July caused the deaths, besides several Indians, of John Pollock, William Hennessey, Peter Heinrich, Thomas Gray, John L. Fickas, Edward Parrish, F. D. Mattice, T. D. Mattice, Raymond, and Pedro. Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., 39; Or. Argus, Aug. 1855, 18; S. F. Alta, Aug. 13 and 31, 1855.

[125] These particulars are found in a letter written by William Martin to C. S. Drew, and is contained in Dowell's collection of original documents of the Or. Ind. Wars, MS., vol. ii., 32-9.

[126] Letter of Arago, in Or. Statesman, Sept. 22, 1855; Sac. Union, Sept. 12, 1855; Coos Bay Mail, in Portland Standard, Feb. 20, 1880; Id., in S. F. Bulletin, Feb. 6, 1880.

[127] See Nichols Rogue River War, MS., 14-15. On the 2d of September, Granville Keene, from Tenn., was killed on the reservation while assisting Fred. Alberding, J. Q. Taber, and a fourth man to reclaim some stolen horses. Two others were wounded and obliged to retreat. About the last of the month, Calvin Fields of Iowa, and John Cuningham of Sauvé Island, Oregon, were killed, and Harrison Oatman and Daniel Britton wounded, while crossing the Siskiyou Mountains with loaded wagons drawn by eighteen oxen, which were also killed. An express being sent to Fort Lane, Captain Smith ordered out a detachment of dragoons, but no arrests were made. Of the Indians killed in the mean time no mention is made.

[128] Among them Shepard, Miller, Pelton, Hereford, Gates, and Williams. Letter of C. S. Drew, in Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., 29; Nottarts, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 27, 1855; Nichols Ind. Affairs, MS., 20.

[129] Cram's Top. Mem., 44; Letter of Palmer to General Wool, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc, 93, 112, 34th cong. 1st sess.; Sober Sense, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 27, 1855; Letter of Wool, in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 66, 59; 34th cong. 1st sess.

[130] Or. Argus, Sept. 29, 1855.

[131] See California Inter Pocula, this series, passim. It was stated that Mrs. Harris, when relieved, was so marked with powder and blood as to be hardly recognizable. Or. Statesman, March 3, 1856. Mrs. Harris afterward married Aaron Chambers, who came to Oregon in 1852, was much respected, and died in 1869. Jacksonville Or. Sentinel, Sept. 18, 1869.

[132] At that very moment an express was on its way from Vancouver to Fort Lane, calling for Major Fitzgerald to re-enforce Major Haller in the Yakima country Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1855. Peupeumoxmox was threatening the Walla Walla Valley, and the Indians on Puget Sound preparing for the blow which they were to strike at the white settlements two weeks later, a coincidence of events significant of combination among the Indians. Dowell's Letters, MS., 35; Graver's Pub. Life, MS., 74; Autobiog. of H. C. Huston, in Brown s Or. Misc., MS., 48; Dowell's Or. Ind. War, MS., 33-9; Or. Argus, Oct. 27; Evans Fourth of July Address, in New Tacoma Ledger, July 9, 1880.

[133] Hayes Ind. Scraps, v. 145; Yreka Union, Oct. 1855.

[134] Three men were killed on Grave Creek, 12 miles below the road, on the night of the 9th. J. W. Drew, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1855.

[135] Henry's Rogue River War Speech, 14.

[136] Letter of Ambrose to Palmer, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc. 93, 62-65, 34th cong. 1st sess.

[137] Says Ambrose: As in the war of 1853, the Indians have all the guns in the country. Those Indians have each a good rifle and revolver, and are skilful in the use of them.

[138] A company under Rinearson was divided into detachments, and sent, on the eveningof the 10th, ten to the mouth of the Umpqua cañon, five three miles south to Leving s house, five to Turner's seven miles farther south, six to the Grave Creek house. On the next day thirty men made a scout down Grave Creek, and down Rogue River to the mouth of Galice Creek, the settlers placing at their disposal whatever supplies of blankets, provisions, or arms they were able to furnish; yet twelve of Rinearson s company had no other weapons than pistols. A. G. Henry, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1855. The troops in southern Oregon at this time were two full companies of dragoons at Fort Lane under Smith and Fitzgerald, and sixty-four infantry at Winchester, in the Umpqua Valley, under Lieut Gibson, who had been escorting Williamson on his survey of a railroad route from the Sacramento to the Willamette Valley, and who now retraced his steps to Fort Lane. The small garrison at Fort Orford was not available, and Fitzgerald s company was during the month ordered to re-enforce Major Rains at The Dalles; hence one company of dragoons and one of infantry constituted the regular force which could be employed in the defence of the south country during the coming winter.

[139] The original orders are to be found in Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., vol. i. 45, 47, 53.

[140] M. C. Barkwell wrote Ambrose that at his request R. L. Williams would raise a company for the protection of that locality. The settlers about Althouse, on Illinois River, petitioned to have Theoron Crook empowered to raise a company to range the mountains thereabout; signed by Hiram Rice, J. J. Rote, Frederick Rhoda, Lucius D. Hart, S. Matthews, Charles F. Wilson, Elias Winkleback, S. P. Duggan, John Morrow, Allen Knapp, W. H. B. Douglas, Wm Lane, J. T. Mann, Geo. H. Grayson, R. T. Brickley, J. H. Huston, L. Coffey, H. Kaston, John Murphy, B. B. Brockway, A. L. Scott, Geo. W. Comegys, James C. Castleman, D. D. Drake, John R. Hale, E. R. Crane, Alden Whitney, Joshua Harlan, S. H. Harper, M. P. Howard, R. S. A. Colwell, George Lake, Thomas Lake, George Koblence, Jacob Randbush, Peter Colean, U. S. Barr, William Lance, Robert Rose, N. D. Palmer, James Hole, E. D. Cohen, Sigmund Heilner, Wm Chapman, John E. Post, John W. Merideth, A. More, Thos Ford, and Gilharts. Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., vol. i. 33-5.

                The white men of Phoenix mills, Illinois Valley, of Deer Creek, and Galice Creek also petitioned for permission to raise companies for defence, and the outlying settlements prayed for armed guards to be sent them. The petition from Phoenix mills was signed by S. M. Waite, S. Colver, Joseph Tracy, Jarius F. Kennedy, M. M. Williams, and J. T. Gray; that from Illinois Valley and Deer Creek by John D. Post, William Chapman, G. E. Briggs, J. N. Knight, A. J. Henderson, William B. Hay, L. Reeves, Joseph Kirby, R. T. Olds, Samuel White, William E. Randolph, Frederick Rhoda, L. D. Hart, Alexander McBride, C. C. Luther, S. Scott, O. K Riley, J. T. L. Mills, and Coltinell. On the 26th a company was organized in Illinois Valley. Orrin T. Root was chosen captain, and sent to Jacksonville for his commission. In this way most of the companies were formed.

[141] On the 5th of Nov. Ross ordered (Gardner with 10 men to protect Thompson's place on Applegate Creek. F. R. Hill was ordered to raise a company for Grave Creek, etc.

[142] Evans' Protection to Immigrants, 59. This is a compilation of documents on the subject of the protection afforded by Walker's company in 1854, with statistics of Indian outrages. The same matter is in U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc. 46, 35th cong. 2d sess.

[143] Killed, J. W. Pickett, Samuel Saunders; mortally wounded, Benjamin Taft, Israel D. Adams; severely wounded, Lieut. Wm A. J. Moore, Allan Evans, Milton Blackledge, Joseph Umpqua, John Ericson, and Captain W. B. Lewis. Report of Capt Lewis, in Dowell's Or. Ind. War., MS., ii. 18.

[144] Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., i. 57.

[145] J. B. Wagoner was employed as express rider from Oct. 13th, five days after the murder of his wife and child, as long as first volunteer service lasted a service full of danger and hardship. See instructions in Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., i. 63.

[146] Report of Capt. Rinearson, in Dowell's Or. Ind. War, MS., i. 77. I can name 12 of them. Co. A, T. S. Harris capt. ; Co. B, James Bruce capt.; Co. C, J. S. Rinearson capt., lieuts W. P. Wing, I. N. Bently, R. W. Henry; Co. D, R. L. Williams capt., E. B. Stone 1st lieut, sergeant E. K. Elliott; Co. E, W. B. Lewis, capt., lieuts W T . A. J. Moore, White; sergt I. D. Adams; Co. F, A. S. Welton capt.; Co. G, Miles T. Alcorn capt., lieut J. M. Osborne; Co. H, W. A. Wilkinson capt; Co. I, T. Smith capt.; Co. K, S. A. Frye capt. ; Co. L, Abel George capt. ; Co. M, F. R. Hill capt. The names of T. J. Gardner, Orrin Root, M. M. Williams, Hayes, and M. P. Howard appear in the official correspondence as captains; Daniel Richardson, Morrison, and H. P. Conroy as lieutenants; and W. M. Evans as orderly sergeant. C. S. Drew was appointed adjutant; C. Westfeldt quartermaster and commissary; and C. B. Brooks surgeon.

[147] This band had attacked Kautz and his surveying party a few days previous, killing two soldiers and three settlers. This band had attacked Kautz and his surveying party a few days previous, killing two soldiers and three settlers.

[148] Letter of L. O. Hawley in Or. Statesman, Nov. 24, 1855. Another gives the number at 387. Dowell s Or. Ind. Wars.

[149] Letter of John E. Ross to C. S. Drew in Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., i. 93.

[150] Lieut. Withers says the Indians had cut down trees to form an obstruction to any attack on that side. U. S. Sen. Ex. Doc., 26, 34th cong. 1st sess.

[151] Capt. Rinearson's co., killed, Henry Pearl, Jacob W. Miller; missing and believed to be killed, James Pearsy; wounded, Enoch Miller, W. H. Crouch, and Ephraim Yager. Capt. Gordon's co. , wounded, Hawkins Shelton, James M. Fordyce, William Wilson. Capt. Bailey's co., killed, John Gillespie; wounded, John Walden, John C. Richardson, James Laphar, Thomas J. Aubrey, John Pankey. Capt. Harris' co., wounded, Jonathan A. Petigrew, mortally, Ira Mayfield, L. F. Allen, William Purnell, William Haus, John Goldsby, Thomas Gill. Capt. Bruce's co., wounded mortally, Charles Godwin. Capt. Welton's co., wounded mortally, John Kennedy. Capt. William's co., killed, John Winters; wounded, John Stanner, Thomas Ryan. Of the regular troops three were killed in action on the field, and one by accidentally shooting himself; among the seven wounded was Lieut. Gibson. Report of A. G. Henry in Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., i., 169-71; Or. Statesman, Nov. 17, 1855; Ashland Tidings, Nov. 2, 1877.

[152] See proclamation and general order, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1855; Or. Argus, Oct. 20, 1855.

[153] Grover in the legislature of 1856-7 found it necessary to explain the course of Governor Curry by saying that news was brought to him of the slaughter of Indians by a rabble from the neighborhood of Yreka; which information proved incorrect, some of the best citizens being engaged in the affair out of self-defence. Or. Statesman, Jan. 27, 1857. This explanation referred to Lupton s attack on the Indians. Cram's Top. Mem., 44; Dowll's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., i. 117.

[154] See Letter of Capt. F. R. Hill, in Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, 177-8, vol. 1. MS., where he says: I was just on the eve of getting a company to make a start, when the word was out that it was not legal, and the governor s proclamation did not call for but one company from Douglas and one from Umpqua.

[155] Co. A, North Battalion O. M. Vols, Lane county, enrolled Oct. 23d: capt., Joseph Bailey; 1st lieutenant., Daniel W. Keith; 2d lieut., Cyrenus Mulkey, resigned Dec. 30th; Charles W. McClure elected in his place. Co. B, Lane county, enrolled Oct. 23d: capt., Laban Buoy; 1st lieut, A. W. Patterson, resigned and transferred to medical department, L. Poindexter being elected in his place, 2d lieutenant P. C. Noland, Ore. Journal House, 1855-56, app. 145.

[156] Co. C, Linn county, enrolled Oct. 24th, capt. Jonathan Keeney, 1st lieut, A. W. Stannard; 2d lieut, Joseph Yates. Co. D, Douglas county, enrolled Oct. 25th: capt., Samuel Gordon; 1st lieut, S. B. Hadley; 2d lieut, T. Prater. Co. E, Umpqua county, enrolled Nov. 8th: capt., W. W. Chapman; 1st lieut, Z. Dimmick; 2d lieut, J. M. Merrick. Or. Jour. Council, 1855-6, ap. 146.

[157] Co. A: capt., James Bruce; 1st lieut, E. A. Rice, who was elected capt. after the promotion of Bruce; 2d lieut, John S. Miller; 2d lieut, J. F. Anderson. Co. B: capt., R. L. Williams; 1st lieut, Hugh O Neal; 2d lieut, M. Bushey. Co. C: capt., Wm A. Wilkinson; 1st lieut, C. F. Blake; 2d lieut, Edwin Hess. Co. D: capt., Miles F. Alcorn; 1st lieut, James M. Matney; 2d lieut, John Osborn. Or. Jour. House, 1855-6, ap. 146-7. The militia organization as it now stood comprised the following officers: A. P. Dermison and Benj. Stark, aids de camp to the gov. ; John F. Miller, quarter master gen. ; A. Zeiber and S. S. Slater, asst quartermaster general; M. M. McCarver, commissary gen.; B. F. Goodwin and J. S. Ruckle, asst com. gen.; Wm J. Martin, maj. north bat.; J. W. Drew and R. E. Stratton, adj. north bat.; Wm G. Hill and I. N. Smith, aids to major north bat.; James Bruce, maj. of south bat.; 0. D. Hoxie, adj. south bat.; J. K. Lamerick, mustering officer for southern Oregon. Or. Jour. House, 1855-6, ap. 143-7.

[158] Just before they took their departure they went on the reserve, burned all the boards and shingles there, and every article of value belonging to chief Sam's people; a temporary house I had erected for the accommodation of persons laboring on the reserve, shared the same fate; they also killed or drove away seven of the cattle belonging to the agency. Agent Ambrose to Supt. Palmer, Nov. 30, 1855, in U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 93, p. 119, 34th cong. 1st sess.

[159] Or. Statesman, Dec. 1, 1855; Rept. of Major Martin, Dec. 10, 1855, in Or. Jour. House, 1855-6, ap. 122.

[160] These two fights have blotted out Jake s band. Corr. Or. Statesman, Jan. 15, 1856. General Wool, in his official report of May 30, 1856, calls Jake a friendly old chief, and says that his band comprising 30 or 40 males was destroyed by the volunteers, with all their huts and provisions, exposing the women and children to the cold of December, who in making their way to Fort Lane for protection, arrived there with their limbs frozen. See Cram's Top. Mem., 45.

[161] Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., ii. 19; Lane's Autobiography, MS., 107; Brown's Autobiography, MS., 40-1.

[162] The enrolling officers appointed by Lamerick were Wm H. Latshaw, A. W. Patterson, Nat. H. Lane, Daniel Barnes, James A. Porter, for companies to be drawn from Lane, Benton, Douglas, and Linn counties. Or. Statesman, Feb. 12, 1856.

[163] Wm. H. Latshaw was elected capt. of the Lane county co. ; John Kelsey of the Benton county co. ; and Daniel Barnes of the Douglas county co. Or. Statesman, Feb. 19, 1856 Of the co. of 50 raised at Deer Creek (Roseburg) in February, Edward Sheffield was elected capt.; S. H. Blunton 1st lieut; Elias Capran 2d lieut. Id.

[164] Collector Dunbar at Port Orford wrote to Palmer that there was no doubt that Wright could maintain peace in his district. Ben is on the jump day and night. I never saw in my life a more energetic agent of the public. His plans are all good, there can be no doubt of it. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 93, 127-9, 34th cong. 1st sess.

[165] This half-breed Enos was formerly one of Fremont's guides, and is spoken of by Fremont as a very brave and daring Indian. Corr. Or. Statesman, March 11, 1856; Indian Aff. Kept., 1856, p. 201-2; Crescent City Herald Extra, Feb. 25, 1856. He was hanged at Fort Orford in 1857, for his part in the massacre. Or. Statesman, March 31, 1857; Tichenor s Historical Correspondence, MS.

[166] Parrish, Or. Anecdotes, MS., 81-3, says that Wright was at a dance in a log cabin on Rogue River, about Christmas 1854! and that with others he was killed for his treatment of the women. Dunbar and Nash state that the agent kept a native woman, Chetcoe Jennie, who acted as interpreter, and drew from the government $500 a year for that service, and who betrayed him to his death, and afterward ate a piece of his heart. Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., ii. 27; Ind. Aff. Rept., 1856, 201-2; Or. Statesman, March 11, 1856; Crescent City Herald, Feb. 26, 1856; U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 39, p. 47-8, 35th cong. 1st sess.

[167] The persons killed in the first attack were Benjamin Wright, John Poland, John Idles, Henry Lawrence, Patrick McCullough, George McClusky, Barney Castle, Guy C. Holcomb, Joseph Wilkinson, Joseph Wagner, E. W. Howe, J. H. Braun, Martin Reed, George Reed, Lorenzo Warner, Samuel Hendrick, Nelson Seaman, W. R. Tulles, Joseph Seroc and two sons, John Geisell and four children, Mrs Geisell and three daughters being taken prisoners; and subsequently to the first attack, Henry Bullen, L. W. Oliver, Daniel Richardson, George Trickey and Adolf Schmoldt -- in all thirty-one. Warner was from Livonia, N. Y., Seaman from Cedarville, N. Y. The drowned were H. C. Gerow, a merchant of Port Orford, and formerly of N. Y. ; John O Brien, miner; Sylvester Long, farmer; William Thompson and Richard Gay, boatmen; and Felix McCue. Letter of James C. Franklin, in Or. Statesman, March 18, 1856; Crescent City Herald, Feb. 25 and May 21, 1856; Corr. Coos Bay Mail; Dowell's Or. Ind. Wars, MS., ii. 27; Or. Argus, March 8, 1856; Or. Statesman, April 29, May 13 and 20, 1856; S. F. Alta, March 4, 1856; S. F. Bulletin, March 12, 1856; Cong. Globe, 1855-6, pt i., 780, 34th cong. 1st sess.; Sac. Union, March 1, 1856.

[168] The future will prove, said Palmer, that this war has been forced upon those Indians against their will, and that, too, by a set of reckless vagabonds, for pecuniary and political objects, and sanctioned by a numerous population who regard the treasury of the United States a legitimate subject of plunder. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 93, 24, 34th cong. 1st sess. See also Dowell's Letters, MS., 42. Dowell takes a different view.

[169] During the debate over Palmer s course in the legislature, Waymire accused Palmer of being the cause of the war, and willing to bring about a collision between the United States troops and the citizens of the Willamette valley. Not only that, . . .but he actually proposes to bring 4,000 savages, red from the war, and plant them in one of the counties of this valley, with a savage and barbarous foe already upon its borders. "I will do it," said he, "and if you resist me, I will call upon General Wool for soldiers to shoot down the citizens." Or. Statesman, Jan. 15, 1856. And on the hesitation of Colonel Wright, who was first applied to to furnish it without the sanction of General Wool, then in California, Palmer thus wrote Commissioner Mannypenny : To be denied the aid of troops at a critical moment, upon flimsy pretences or technical objections, is to encourage a spirit of resistance to authority and good order, and effectively neutralize all efforts to reduce the Indians and lawless whites to a state of subordination. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 93, 131-2, 34th cong. 1st sess.

[170] The Indians were moved in a heavy storm of rain and snow, Capt. Buoy of the northern battalion with 20 men being ordered to escort Metcalfe and his charge. At Elk Creek the Indians were seized with a panic on account of rumors of the removal of Palmer from the superintendency, and refused to go farther. Palmer called upon Colonel Wright for troops, and was referred, as I have said, to General Wool, when, without waiting, Metcalfe proceeded alone to the reservation, having quieted the fears of the Indians.

[171] The opposition of the white population was not all that was to be overcome, as Palmer had been warned by his agents. In order to induce the Umpquas to leave their homes, it was agreed by treaty that each Indian should be given as much land as he had occupied in the Umpqua Valley, with a house as good or better than the one he left, with pay for all the property abandoned, and clothing and rations for himself and family until all were settled in their new homes; nor were any of these things to be deducted from their annuities. Grande Ronde reservation contained about 6,000 acres, and was purchased of the original claimants for $35,000. Letter of citizens of Yamhill county in Or. Statesman, April 29, 1856.

[172] We the undersigned, democratic members, etc. Then followed charges that Joel Palmer had been instrumental in provoking the Indian war; and what was more to the point, while representing himself as a sound national democrat, he had perfidiously joined the know-nothings, binding himself with oaths to that dark and hellish secret political order. They asked for these reasons that Palmer be removed and Edward R. Geary appointed in his place. Signed by the speaker of the house and 34 members of the house and council. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 93, 133-5, 34th cong. 1st sess.

[173] E. R. Geary was not his successor, but A. F. Hedges, an immigrant of 1843.

[174] There was at this time a regiment in the Walla Walla Valley, and one in southern Oregon, besides several companies of minute-men for defence. The proclamation called for three new companies, one from Marion and Polk counties, one from Benton and Lane, and one from Linn. The enrolling officers appointed for the first named were A. M. Fellows and Fred. Waymire; for the other two E. L. Massey and H. L. Brown. Waymire wrote the governor that Polk co. had sent over 100 men to the Walla Walla Valley, 76 to Rogue River, 22 to fill up a Washington regiment; that Polk co. was willing to go and fight, but since the importation of southern Indians to their border they felt too insecure at home to leave, and solicited permission from the executive to raise a company for defence against the Indians brought to their doors. Or. Statesman, April 1, 1856.

[175] H. C. Huston's autobiography, in Brown's Miscellany, MS., 48-9. Linn county raised one company of 65 men commanded by James Blakely; Lane and Benton, one of 70 men, D. W. Keith captain.

[176] In the latter part of Feb. they reappeared in the Illinois valley, killing two men and wounding three others. Soon after they killed one Guess while ploughing Smith's farm, on Deer Creek. Guess left a wife and two children. The volunteers under O'Neil pursued the Indians and rescued the family, of which there is a circumstantial account in a series of papers by J. M. Sutton, called Scraps of Southern Oregon History, many of which are dramatically interesting, and extend through several numbers of the Ashland Tidings for 1877-8.

[177] R. L. Williams was a Scotchman, impetuous, brave, and determined. It was said that when he joined in the yells which the volunteers set up in answer to those of the savages, the latter hung their heads abashed, so successful was he in his efforts to outsavage the savages.

[178] Martin was appointed receiver of the new land office at Winchester. Or. Statesman, March 11, 1856.

[179] I have good reason to believe, wrote Lamerick to the governor, that General Wool has issued orders to the United States troops not to act in concert with the volunteers. But the officers at Fort Lane told me that they would, whenever they met me, most cordially cooperate with any volunteers under my command. Or. Statesman, April 22, 1856.

[180] Our company, says one of Smith's men, was obliged to take to the mountains on foot, as we had to climb most of the way where our horses could not go. We crossed Rogue River on a raft last Easter Monday, fought the Indians, drove them from their village, and burned it. . . We suffered great hardships on the march; there was a thick fog on the mountains, and the guide could not make out the trail. We were seven days straying about, while it rained the whole time. Our provisions ran out before the weather cleared and we arrived at Port Orford. This was the kind of work the volunteers had been at all winter, with little sympathy from the regulars.

[181] Elias D. Mercer, mortally. He was a native of Va., and resided in Cow Creek valley; was 29 years of age, and unmarried; a member of Wilkinson's company; a brave and worthy young man. Or. Statesman, May 13, 1856. On the day before the battle McDonald Bartness, of Grave Creek, and Wagoner were riding express from Fort Leland to Lamerick s camp, when they were shot at by Indians in ambush. Wagoner escaped, but Hartness was killed, cut in pieces, and his heart removed. He was from Ohio, but had lived on Grave Creek about a year, and was a man of excellent character. Volunteer, in Or. Statesman, May 20, 1856; Portland Oregonian, May 17, 1856; S. F. Bulletin, May 19, 1856; Or. and Wash. Scraps, 31.

[182] H. C. Huston, in Brown s Miscellany, MS., 49.

[183] Rept of Lamerick, in Or. Statesman, June 24, 1856.

[184] About this time a person named John Beeson, a foreigner by birth, but a naturalized citizen of the U. S., who had emigrated from Ill. to Rogue River in 1853, wrote letters to the papers, in which he affirmed that the Indians were a friendly, hospitable, and generous race, who had been oppressed until forbearance was no virtue, and that the war of 1853 and the present war were justifiable on the part of the Indians and atrocious on the part of the whites. He supported his views by quotations from military officers and John McLoughlin, and made some good hits at party politics. He gave a truthful account of the proceedings of the democratic party; but was as unjust to the people of southern Oregon as he was censorious toward the governor and his advisers, and excited much indignation on either hand. He then began writing for the S. F. Herald, and the fact becoming known that he was aiding in the spread of the prejudice already created against the people of Oregon by the military reports, public meetings were held to express indignation. Invited to one of these, without notification of purpose, Beeson had the mortification of having read one of his letters to the Herald, which had been intercepted for the purpose, together with an article in the N. Y. Tribune supposed to emanate from him, and of listening to a series of resolutions not at all flattering. Fearing violence, he says, I fled to the fort for protection, and was escorted by the U. S. troops beyond the scene of excitement. Beeson published a book of 143 pages in 1858, called A Plea for the Indians, in which he boasts of the protection given him by the troops, who seemed to regard the volunteers with contempt. He seemed to have found his subject popular, for he followed up the Plea with A Sequel, containing an Appeal in behalf of the Indians; Correspondence with the British Aboriginal Aid Association; Letters to Rev. H. W. Beecher, in which objections are answered; Review of a Speech delivered by the Rev. Theodore Parker; A Petition in behalf of the Citizens of Oregon and Washington Territories for Indemnity on account of Losses through Indian Wars; An Address to the Women of America, etc. In addition, Beeson delivered lectures on the Indians of Oregon in Boston, where he advocated his peculiar views. At one of these lectures he was confronted by a citizen of Washington territory, Sayward's Pioneer Reminiscences, MS., 8-10; and at a meeting at Cooper Institute, New York, by Captain Fellows of Oregon. Or. Statesman, Dec. 28, 1858. It was said that in 1860 he was about to start a paper in New York, to be called the Calumet. Rossi's Souvenirs. In 1863 Beeson endeavored to get an appointment in the Indian department, but being opposed by the Oregon senators, failed. Or. Argus, June 8, 1863.

[185] J. C. F., in Or, Statesman, June 10, 1856; Cram's Top. Mem., 50; Crescent City Herald, June 4, 1856.

[186] I have before me a photograph of John and his son. John has an intelligent face, is dressed in civilized costume, with the hair cut in the fashion of his conquerors, and has much the look of an earnest, determined enthusiast. His features are not like those of Kamiakin, vindictive and cruel, but firm, and marked with that expression of grief which is often seen on the countenances of savage men in the latter part of their lives. In John's case it was undoubtedly intensified by disappointment at his plans for the extermination of the white race. His son has a heavy and lumpish countenance, indicative of dull, stolid intelligence.

[187] Or. Statesman, July 15, 1856; Ind. Aff. Rept, 1856, 214; S. F. Alta, June 13, 19, 22, 1856; S. F. Bulletin, June 14, 28, 1856.

[188] They taunted them with the often repeated question, Mika hias ticka chuck? You very much want water? Tieka chuek? Want water? Halo chuck, Boston! No water, white man! Cor., Or. Statesman, June 17, 1856.

[189] Graver's Public Life, MS., 49; Or. and Wash. Scraps, 23; John Wallen, in Nichols Ind. Aff., MS., 20; Oawi x Top. Mem., 53; Volunteer, in Or. Statesman, June 17, 1856; Crescent City Herald, June 11, 1856.

[190] Cram is hardly justified in calling this, as he does, a victory for the troops. Brackett's U. S. Cavalry, 171. Smith was a brave officer, but he was no match for Indian cunning when he took the position John intended, where he could be surrounded, and within rifle-range of another eminence, while he had but thirty rifles. This fighting in an open place, standing up to be shot at, at rifle-range, was what amazed, and at last amused, the Indians. The well conceived plan of the crafty chief failed; but it would have failed still more signally if Smith had sent for reinforcements on first receiving John's challenge, and had stationed himself where he could run away if he wished.

[191] Cram's Top. Mem.; Rept. of Major Latshaw, in Or. Statesman, June 24, 1850; Rept. of Palmer, in Ind. Aff. Rept, 1856, 215.

[192] Deady says: Few men in this or any other country have labored harder or more disinterestedly for the public good than General Palmer. A man of ardent temperament, strong friendships, and full of hope and confidence in his fellow-men, he has unreservedly given the flower of his life to the best interests of Oregon. Tram. Or. Pioneer Assoc., 1875, 37-8. Palmer ran for governor of Oregon in 1870, but was defeated by Grover. He died in 1879 at his home in Dayton.

[193] It was the unpopular side to defend or protect the Indians during this war. There were many among the officers and servants of the United States brave and manly enough to do this. On the other hand, the government has made many bad selections of men to look after the Indians. Out of an appropriation by congress of $500,000, if the Indians received $80,000 or $100,000 they were fortunate.

[194] See letter of Nesmith, in Or. Statesman, Oct. 20, 1857. The estimated expense of the Indian service for Oregon for the year ending June 1858 was $424,000, and for Washington $229,000. U. S. H. Ex. Doc., 37, 1-27, 129-40, 34th cong. 3d sess., and Id., 76, vol. ix. 12, 22, 28; Id., 93, vol. xi. 1-40, 54-73, 84-96. A special commissioner, C. H. Mott, was sent to examine into the accounts, who could find nothing wrong, and they were allowed, and paid in 1859.