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Adoption of the reservation policy in Pacific Northwest, 1853-1855 Coan, Charles F. (Charles Florus), 1886-1928 1922

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 S?Aa^.
The Adoption of the Reservation
Policy in Pacific
Northwest
1853-1855
BY
C. F. COAN
Reprinted from Oregon Historical Quarterly
VOL. XXIII. No. 1,1922
The Ivy Press
Portland, Oregon
1922 The University of British Columbia Library
THE
CHUNG
COLLECTION m
THE QUARTERLY
of the
Oregon Historical Society
Volume XXIII March, 1922 Number 1
Copyright, 1921, by the Oregon Historical Society
The Quarterly disavows responsibility for the positions taken by contributors to its pages
THE ADOPTION OF THE RESERVATION POLICY IN
PACIFIC NORTHWEST, 1853-1855
By C. F. Coan
State University of New Mexico
The Formation of a New Indian Policy for Oregon
Territory.—Anson Dart's failure to secure treaties that the
Senate would ratify resulted in his resignation. Joel Palmer
was appointed March 17, 1853, to succeed him in the work of
forming and administering an Indian policy in Oregon. Palmer
had settled in Oregon in 1845, and had taken an active part in
the Cayuse Indian War. He was generally respected by the
Indians and the stettlers. It was his belief that, since the
settlers had occupied die valley lands, the only means of saving
the Indians was for the government to provide reservations
and assistance for them, in order that they might become a
settled people. This plan was adopted, although not without
an armed effort on the part of the Indians to prevent it.*
At the time Palmer took charge, he stated that the Indians
of the Willamette Valley were restless and in a deplorable
state. The causes for this state of affairs were: the non-
ratification of the treaties, which had been made with them;
the belief among the Indians that the treaties would not be
ratified until they had wasted away; the settling of the lands
which the Indians claimed under the treaties; the decrease
in the supply of roots and game due to the increasing settle-
* Washington Territory was created, March 2, 1853. out of the northern part of
the Oregon country, as limited by the treaty with Great Britain, June 14, 1846.
From 1853 to 1859, the boundary between the Territory of Washington and the
Territory of Oregon Was the Columbia River and the forty-sixth parallel of latitude,
from the Pacific Ocean to the main ridge of the Rocky Mountains. 2 C. F. Coan
ments; and the pauperization of the Indians by unprincipled
whites.1
The Willamette Valley Indians had never made any serious
opposition to the settlement of their country, but the Indians
of the southwestern coast of Oregon, of the upper Rogue
River Valley, of the Klamath Lake region, showed a decided
determination to prevent the settlement of their districts. Offences by the Coquille Indians were committed in 1851, such
as the attack upon T'Vault's party. In the winter of 1853-54,
Indians were killed along the Illinois River, at the mouth of
the Chetco River,2 and at the mouth of the Coquille River.3
According to some reports the settlers were the aggressors.
They claimed that the Indians had threatened to destroy the
settlements. In August, 1853, the Rogue River Indians attacked the settlements in the upper Rogue River Valley.4 (The
mounted rifle regiment had been attacked at the crossing of
Rogue River in the fall of 1851, and there had been trouble in
1852 with these Indians.) After an armed conflict the Indians
sued for peace and agreed to cede their lands. Joseph Lane,
who commanded the volunteers, made a treaty with them that
became the basis for the first treaty made with the Oregon
Indians. Later, during the winter, the Indians were attacked
on Cottonwood Creek on the ground that they were planning
to destroy the settlements.5 The emigrant parties of 1853 and
1854 passed through the Klamath Lake region without being
attacked, due to military protection of the volunteers. In
January, 1854, four men were killed near lower Klamath
Lake, and in May the settlers attacked the Indians at Klamath
Ferry.6 In almost every case the Federal authorities reported
that the whites were entirely responsible for the outbreak, and
that the Indians were being exterminated. These reports of
army and Indian officers, accusing the whites of attacking the
Indians, mark the beginning of the quarrel between the people
i Joel Palmer to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, June 23, 1853, C. I. A.,
A* R., Nov 26, 1853 (Serial 710, Doc. 1), p. 449.
2 Palmer to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sept. 11, 1854, C. I. A., A. R.,
Nov. 25, 1854 (Serial 746, Doc. 1), p. 467.
3 F. M. Smith to Joel Palmer, Feb. 5, 1854, C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 25, 1854
(Serial 746. Doc. j), p. 476.
4 Victor, The Early Indian Wars of Oregon, p. 308.
5 A. J. Smith to George Wright, Jan. 31 ? i854» m Message from the President
. . . communicating . . . the instructions and correspondence between the
government and Major General Wool, in regard to his operations on the Coast of
the Pacific, Dec. 26, 1854 (Serial 751. Doc. 16), p. 18.
6 J. C. Bonnycastle to John E. Wool, May 28, 1854, ibid., p. 76. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 3
of Oregon, and the officers of the military and the Indian
department.
Difficulties with the Indians in the interior were expected
by the military and Indian authorities unless some change was
brought about in their attitude toward settlements that were
being made. Major Rains stated that five Indians had been
killed in the vicinity of Fort Dalles during a short period prior
to January 29, 1854, and that the Indians were so enraged by
the actions of the settlers in taking their lands and committing
crimies that prompt action would be required to prevent an
Indian war, with all the tribes between the Cascade Mountains
and the Rockies united.7 The Indian agent at The Dalles,
R. R. Thompson, wrote that conflicts between the settlers and
the Indians were on the increase caused by; the whites taking
up claims which included the lands actually occupied by the
Indians, the robbing of the emigrants along the trail, and the
presence of whiskey dealers, who under the guise of settlers,
were carrying on their trade.8 The most serious Indian attack, that occurred during the period under consideration,
happened near Fort Boise. The Shoshoni Indians along the
Snake River were said to have threatened to kill all those who
might fall into their hands, and the fate of the Ward party,
and several men of another-party, in the fall of 1854, seemed
to be the carrying out of this threat. Nineteen of the Ward
party were murdered, August 20, 1854, on the Oregon trail,
twenty miles east of Fort Boise.9
It will be seen from this brief survey of the Indian situation,
that difficulties were more numerous, and scattered over a
larger area than in previous years. The obvious reason for
this was the increase of settlements outside of the Willamette
Valley. There were two other causes for the dangerous Indian
situation that existed in the fall of 1854. These were: the
failure of the courts and police to punish offences by the
Indians and the settlers; and the failure of the military department to inspire the Indians with sufficient fear of the Americans, to prevent attacks.
The Indian policy in Oregon which was adopted in 1854
7G J. Rains to E. D. Townsend, Jan. 29, 1854, ibid., p. 16.
8R. R. Thompson to Palmer, Sept.  3,  1854, C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 25,  1854
(Serial 746, Doc. 1), p. 486.
9 Ibid., p. 487* 4 C. F. Coan
was based on the recommendations of agents and the superintendent of Indian affairs, in Oregon, and those of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The formation and the adoption
of the reservation policy in Oregon, and in Washington, was
largely the work of Joel Palmer. The plan of removing the
western Indians to eastern Oregon had failed, and the plan of
extinguishing the title, and leaving the Indians to roam as
they pleased, which had been adopted in the treaties of 1851,
had been rejected by the Senate. In commenting on the Indian
situation in California and Oregon, November 30, 1852, the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs said:
"Regarding the policy of the rejected treaties [in California]
as finally abandoned, and considering the removal of the Indians from the State as impossible, I suggest, as worthy of
consideration, the plan of forming them into two grand colonies, to be suitably located; one in the northern and the other
in the southern portion of the State. Like circumstances rec-*
ommend a like policy in relation to the Indians west of the
Cascade Mountains in Oregon."10
Palmer's first recommendations were made, June 23, 1853,
in which he outlined an Indian policy and suggested a region
which he considered would make a good reservation for the
Indians of western Oregon. He stated that the system adopted
by Gaines and Dart of allowing the Indians to mingle with
the whites would, if put into effect, speedily result in the
extermination of the Indians. He laid down four principles
of policy necessary for the preservation of the Indians, namely:
a home remote from the settlements; laws guarding them from
degraded whites; laws governing the Indians in their relations
with one another; and the aid of schools, missionaries, and
instruction in agriculture.11 jWith the above views in mind,
Palmer proposed that the Willamette Valley Indians be located
in the small valleys along the Pacific Coast between the
Yaquina and the Alsea River. A number of reasons were
given for considering this a favorable location. These were:
the friendliness, free intercourse, and similarity in customs
and languages, of the Indians inhabiting the Coast region and
the Willamette Valley; the abundance of game and fish west
io The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report, Nov. 30, 1852 (Serial
658, Doc. i), p. 301.
n Palmer to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, June 23, 1853, C. I. A., A. R.,
Nov. 26, 1853 (Serial 710, Doc 1), p. 450. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 5
of the Coast Range; the prevalence of small valleys adaptable
to cultivation; the complete separation of the country by the
Coast Range from the Willamette Valley; the uninviting coast
which repelled ingress from the sea, and the unattractiveness
of the small valleys for white settlements. These recommendations were concluded by the following statement which
described the status of the Indian policy in the summer of 1853:
"It is evident that a delay in coming to a full and definite
understanding with the Indian bands residing in the settlements serves greatly to increase the difficulty of final adjustment. In the absence of instructions from the department, I
feel much embarrassed how to proceed in adjusting difficulties. My conviction, from what I have said, may be easily
inferred, that these evils can scarcely be mitigated by any
means in my power, and only abated by the removal of the
Indians. The peace of society, the security of property, the
welfare of the Indians, demand It.12
Further recommendations were made by Palmer, October
8, 1853. They were included in his annual report which was
received by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs too late to
be printed in the annual report of the Commissioner for 1853.
This communication has not previously been printed.12' The
importance of the document is, that the recommendations made
in it became the basis for the reservation Indian policy for
the Pacific Northwest. That thefe were recommendations in
the report.urging that treaties be negotiated for the purchase
of the lands from the Indians of Oregon Territory which
would provide reservations for the Indians, and assistance
to them in establishing themselves as settled peoples, is shown
by the reference to them in a special report of the Commissioner
of Indian Affairs, February 6, 1854, which will be discussed
a little later.13
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, November 26, 1853,
pointed out the necessity of adopting some systematic policy
in dealing with the Indians of the Far West. He stated that
no plan had been decided upon for any part of the region.   It
12 Ibid., p. 451.
12' Joel Palmer to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Oct. 8, 1853. Indian
Office, Archives. (Dr. J. Franklin Jameson procured for the writer photostats of
this report, a copy of which is reproduced in the appendix.)
13 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior, Feb. 6,
1854. Letter from the Secretary of the Interior transmitting a report from the Com-
missioner of Indian Affairs recommending the speedy making of treaties with the
Indian tribes of the Territories of Oregon and Washington, Feb. 9, 1854 (Serial
721, Doc. 55), pp. 1-3. ^
6 C. F. Coan
was recommended that a commission be appointed to report
on the subject of Indian policy in the territories of New
Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and the states of Texas
and California. The reasons for urging the immediate adoption of a plan for dealing with these Indians were: the increase
in the number of depredations committed by the Indians on
the settlers; the losses sustained by the government, which
was responsible to the settlers under the law, since it failed to
restrain the Indians; the necessity for the colonization of the
Indians if they were to be saved from extermination; and the
inexpensiveness1 of the reservation system as compared with
the constant use of the military force to keep the peace. The
Commissioner was, quite evidently, in favor of colonizing
the Indians.14
A special report was submitted to Congress, February 9,
1854, by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in which he
advised that treaties be speedily made with the Indians of
Oregon and Washington, both east and west of the Cascade
Mountains. It was this report, based on Palmer's report of
October 8, 1853, that determined the policy of treaties and
reservations for the Indians of Oregon and Washington. The
report recommended that Congress appropriate $68,000 to
pay the expenses of negotiating the treaties and to pay the
first installment of the annuities. This action.was stated to
be necessary; because the lands of the Indians were being
taken by the whites; because the government had encouraged
the settlement of the region; because the prosperity of the country was delayed by the uncertainty of peace; because an
extensive outbreak was probable unless thb Indians were
pacified; because hostilities were caused by the absence of
treaties; and because it was desirable that there be peace with
the Indians along the routes of the railroad projects.15 This
recommendation led to the decision on the part of the government to make treaties with the Indians of Oregon and
Washington. Later recommendations only tended to strengthen
the belief on the part of the Indian office that the situation
14 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report, Nov. 26, 1853 (Serial
710, Doc. 1), p. 260.
15 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to the Secretary of the Interior, Feb.
6, 1854, op. cit., p. 3. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 7
was serious and that the proper means had been adopted to
remedy it.
J. L. Parrish, the agent for the Oregon coast district, recommended, July 20, 1854, that the Indians be treated as wards,
placed on reservations, protected, and taught the customs of
civilized life; that they be trained to understand the laws of
the land; and that they be persuaded to give up their tribal
relations and customs, in order that they might become capable
of exercising the rights and duties of citizenship.16.
The Indian agent for eastern Oregon, R. R. Thompson,
expressed the belief, July 20, 1854, that the existing unsatisfactory conditions could only be remedied by purchasing the
Indian! title and placing the Indians on reservations.17
Palmer visited the coast district, between the Yaquina and
the Alsea River, in the spring of 1854, and found that it was
less desirable for an Indian reservation than he had supposed. He stated that it would be possible to locate the
Indians in that region if the Indian department would furnish
sufficient employees to manage the Indians in the isolated
valleys which characterized the country.
In the summer of the same year, Palmer visited the Klamath
Lake region and reported that it would be a good location for
the Indians of the Willamette and the Umpqua Valley. The
advantage of this district was its remoteness from other lands
useful for settlements. Objections were found to the plan,
in the cold winters of the Klamath Lake area, and the unwillingness of the Indians to move east of the Cascade Mountains. These, however, were not considered serious 'hindrances to the plan.
Palmer again recommended, September 11, 1854, that
treaties of purchase be made with the Indians of the Territory
of Oregon. This was an unnecessary repetition of earlier recommendations but he had not been informed that Congress
had passed an Act authorizing ihe making of treaties and
appropriating money for that purpose, July 31, 1854.18 The
recommendations, however, were important because the policy
16 J. L. Parrish to Palmer, July 20, 1854, C. I. A., A. R. Nov. 25, 1854 (Serial
746, Doc. 1), p. 498.   ■ gJ
17 Thompson to Palmer, July 20, 1854, tbtd., p. 485- _ _
18 The Indian Appropriation Act, July 31, 1854, Statutes at Large, X, 330.   . —
—r-	
8 C. F. Coan
was not determined in detail by Congress or the Indian bureau
but left to the discretion of the superintendents of Indian
affairs in Oregon and Washington. Palmer advised that the
Indians be placed on reservations where they should be governed, at first, by agents of the government; and later, when
they became capable, by members of their own race under
the laws of the United States.19
Several treaties were made by Palmer before the authorization by Congress, July 31, 1854. After the conflict in the
upper Rogue River Valley during August and September 1853,
Joseph Lane, the commander of the Oregon volunteers, made
a peace treaty, September 8, 1853, with the Upper Rogue
River Indians. It defined the boundaries of the lands claimed
by these Indians, and provided that they should accept a
reservation to be designated in the future. They agreed to
surrender their arms, and pay for the destruction of property
in the late conflict with the whites, out of their annuities.20
Palmer made a treaty with these Indians, September 10, 1853,
one provision of which was that $15,000 was to be retained
for the payment of property destroyed as provided in Lane's
treaty of September 8, 1853. The other provisions of the
treaty were, as follows: the Indians agreed to cede the lands
of the upper Rogue River Valley and accept as a temporary
reserve the Table Rock region, with the understanding that
this reservation might be exchanged for another, or divided
into farms for the Indians. They were to receive, $55,000 in
twenty annual installments—in addition to presents received
at the time the treaty was made—and houses for the chiefs.
The Indians also agreed to protect travelers; restore stolen
property; and to submit their grievances among themselves
and with the whites, to the Indian agent for settlement.21
The Cow Creek band of Umpqua Indians, on account of
having participated in the attacks on the settlements in the
upper Rogue River Valley in August and September, 1853,
were forced to cede their lands, September 19, 1853. The
cession was a small region in the central part of southwestern
19 Palmer to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sept. ii, 1854, C. I. A., A. R.,
Nov. 25, 1854 (Serial 746, Doc. 1), p. 473-
20 C. J. Kappler, comp., Indian Affairs—Laws and Treaties.   (Serial 4624, Doc.
319), II, 1049.
2X Ibid., II, 603-5. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 9
Oregon. The Indians agreed to remove to the temporary reservation at Table Rock. They were to receive in payment for
the cession $11,000 in twenty annual in stallments of beneficial
objects, and $2,000 in presents and buildings. The other
provisions were the same as those of the treaty with the Upper
Rogue River Indians. These treaties were ratified by the
Senate, April 12, 1854, but, due to the Senate amendment which
was not agreed to by the Indians until November 11, 1854,
they were not proclaimed until February 5, 1855.22
The Indian Policy for Washington Territory.—The Indian
policy for Washington was identical with that adopted for the
Territory of Oregon. This was not due to the action of the
government but rather to. the fact that Palmer and Stevens
were, in general, of the same opinion as to the proper manner
of conducting Indian affairs. The situation north of the Columbia River and the forty-sixth parallel of latitude was
similar to that south of the line except that there were fewer
settlements and more powerful Indians, in Washington Territory.
The Indian situation in Washington Territory in 1853 was
more serious east of the Cascade Mountains than west of those
mountains although the settlements were almost exclusively
in the western part of the territory. There was a movement,
in this year, to make settlements in the interior of the territory. The region had been practically closed to settlement
since the Cayuse Indian War. The military commander in the
Puget Sound region stated that the settlers were unjustly
taking lands cultivated by the Indians.23 Colonel Bonneville,
Father Pandory, and Major Alvord, wrote that the Indian
situation in eastern Washington was threatening the peace of
the Pacific Northwest. Bonneville stated, February 23, 1853,
that settlements were to be attempted in the Walla Walla
Valley during the coming summer and that there would probably be trouble with the Indians as they would not peaceably
submit to the occupation of their lands.24 It was stated by
Father Pandory, April 1853, that during the winter of 1852-
22 Ibid., H, 606-7. |r_, „ i       _.    _     ..
23 Floyd Jones to Townsend, Sept. i, 1853. Message from the President . . .
transmitting report in regard to Indian affairs on the Pacific, Feb. 14, 1857 (Serial
006, Doc. 76), p. 9-        .„        __ .  __ . _      .... 3
24 B. L. E. Bonneville to Townsend, Feb. 23, 1853, %b%d., p. 96. —
10 C. F. Coan
53, there had been rumors that the Cayuse and the Nez Perces
were in favor of a war against the American settlers, and that
feasts had been held by the Nez Perces and the Cayuse in the
spring of 1853 for the purpose of uniting all of the interior
Indians against the whites. Places had been designated for
the gathering of the warriors of the various tribes. The reason
for these plans for hostilities was that the settlers were taking
their lands.25 Major Alvord reported, July 17, 1853: that the
Cayuse were afraid that the Americans would dispossess them
of their lands; and that if settlements were attempted in the
Walla Walla country, under the existing conditions, as had
been planned, war would likely result with the Cayuse and
their sympathizers, the Yakima. These men believed that
some provision should be made for the Indians before the settlement of the region was attempted.26 Bonneville advised
that the Indians be given reservations, and that Indian agents
be appointed to look after their interests. Alvord recommended
that the Indian title to the lands along the Columbia River
between The Dalles and the Cascades be extinguished and
reservations provided for the Indians of that region. He also
suggested that the northeastern part of the Territory of Washington—which at that time extended to the main ridge of the
Rocky Mountains!—be reserved as an "Indian Country." These
opinions, with the exception of the last, were in line with the
later policy as developed by Stevens.
It seems evident from the above statements that the Indian
situation in the eastern part of Washington Territory had
reached1 a critical stage in the fall of 1853. The movement of
settlement had started east from the Pacific, and settlers, coming from the "States," were beginning to stop east of the
Cascade Mountains, due to the occupation of all the lands
thought desirable west of those mountains. Isaac I. Stevens,
the governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for the territory, faced, from the beginning of his administration in the
fall of 1853, the difficult problem of adopting measures that
25 Father Pandory to Father Mesplie, April 1853, Letter from the Secretary of
the Interior transmitting . . . the report) of I. Ross Browne, on the subject of
the Indian war\in Oregon and Washington* Territories, Jan. 25, 1858 (Serial 955
Doc. 38), p. 64.
26 B. Alvord to Townsend, July 17, 1853, Message from the President . . .,
Feb. 14, 1857 (Serial 906, Doc. 76), p. 11. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 11
would give the settlers the lands, and that would satisfy the
Indians and thus prevent hostilities. This proved to be an
impossible task.
In the fall of 1853, the Indian service for Washington Territory was organized. The superintendent visited the Indians
under his charge as he proceeded westward as chief of the
Northern Pacific Railroad Survey, and became acquainted with
the tribes which he was to manage until 1857. The Act which
created the territory, March 2, 1853, reserved to the Federal
government the control over the Indians; and to the Indians
all the rights that they had had prior to the formation of the
territory. It provided that the governor should be, ex-officio,
superintendent of Indian affairs.27
The instructions issued to Governor Stevens by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, May 9, 1853, were of a general
nature. The Commissioner stated that the information in the
hands of the bureau concerning the Indians of the new Territory of Washington was of very little value. Stevens was
instructed: to obtain all the knowledge relative to the various
tribes that he could; to report all the informal treaties that
had been made between the Indians and the settlers; to state
the needs of the Indian service in Washington Territory, after
having surveyed the field; to. submit estimates of the expenses
necessary for the efficient conduct of the Indian affairs of the
region; and to make recommendations relative to a change in
the laws regulating trade and intercourse with the Indians.
The Commissioner urged that the report on these matters be
made as soon, and as full, as possible in order that he might
make recommendations to Congress, since no money had been
appropriated for the Indian service in the territory. Economy
was necessary because funds appropriated for other purposes
were being used for the Washington superintendency. Stevens
was authorized to appoint temporary special agents.28
The report of Isaac I. Stevens, December 26, 1853, was
received by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs prior to
the report of the latter of February 6, 1854, and influenced
27 An Act to Establish the Territorial  Government of Washington, Mar.
1853, Statutes at Large, X, 172.
28 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs to I. I. Stevens, May 9, 1853, C I. j
A. R., Nov. 26, 1853 (Serial 710, Doc. 1), p. 453- 12 C. F. Coan
the Commissioner to include Washington in his recommendation that treaties be speedily made with the Indians of Oregon.
As in the case of Oregon, the formation of the Indian policy
was placed in the hands of the superintendent. Recommendations made after the policy of making treaties had been adopted
by Congress, July 31, 1854, were, therefore, important in
determining the policy. In December, 1853, Stevens stated:
the general policy which he believed should be followed in
dealing with the Indians of Washington Territory; the cost
of making the treaties; and a plan for the organization of the
Indian service. It was asserted that it would be impossible
to accomplish anything for the Indians unless they were paid
for their lands and placed on reservations where they could
be cared for. This situation was the result of the "Donation
Act," passed by Congress September 27, 1850, which gave the
lands to the settlers without regard to any claim that the
Indians might have. The superintendent urged that the reservations be made immediately, because suitable lands for this
purpose would be difficult to obtain if the matter was delayed,
particularly west of the Cascade Mountains, as that part of the
territory was rapidly filling up with settlers; and that the
reservations be surveyed at once, in order that land disputes,
a common cause of conflicts, between the whites and the Indians, might be settled more readily. It was estimated that
$30,000 would cover the cost of making the treaties with all
of the Indians of the territory. The superintendent recommended that Washington be divided into five districts for
Indian administration purposes; three of which were to be
agencies, and, two sub-agencies. The agencies were to be
the Puget Sound region, the Yakima and the Spokane country,
and the St. Mary's Valley. The sub-agencies were to be southwestern Washington and the Spokane country. These were
definite opinions as to what should1 be done, and how it should
be done.29
The Commissioner of Indian Affairs recommended, Novem-
20 Stevens to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Dec. 26, 1853, Communication from the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
.   .   .   recommending certain appropriations for the Indian service Feb. 9,
1854 (Serial 698, Doc. 34), pp. 7, 15; Stevens to the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs, Sept 16, 1854, C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 25, 1854 (Serial 746, Doc. 1), pp.
415-63. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 13
ber 26, 1853, that some plan be adopted for dealing with the
Indians of Washington Territory. On the basis of Stevens's
report of December 26, 1853, and the policy outlined by Palmer
for Oregon, the Commissioner urged, February 6, 1854, that
treaties be. made with the Indians of Washington and Oregon.
Congress authorized, July 31, 1854, the negotiation of treaties
in these territories and appropriated $45,000 for the making of
presents to, and treaties with, the Indians of Washington.
Congress, however, did not determine the policy, except to the
extent of authorizing the making of treaties and of providing
the money for accomplishing that work.
In a message to the territorial legislature, February 28, 1854,
Governor Stevens urged that a memorial be addressed to
Congress requesting that treaties be made with the Indians
both east and west of the Cascade Mountains in the Terrritory
of Washington.    Concerning the subject, he said:
"The Indian title has not been extinguished east of the
Cascade Mountains. Under the land law of Congress, it is
impossible to secure titles to land, and thus the growth of
towns and villages is obstructed, as well as the development
of the resources of the Territories."30
The Washington legislature accepted the suggestion of the
governor and memorialized Congress, April 12, 1854, relative
to the situation in eastern Washington. The memorial stated
in part:
["The district east of the Cascade Mountains] is occupied
by numerous tribes of Indians, who, although at present are
on friendly terms with the citizens of this territory, yet are
warlike in their dispositions, and may become still more so
should further settlements be made among them without
previous arrangement, and that the interests of this territory require that its citizens should be allowed at once to
occupy that portion of this territory for agricultural and
especially for grazing purposes, without molestation."31
In a report, September 16, 1854, Isaac I. Stevens laid down
certain principles of Indian policy which he believed should be
followed in making treaties with the Indians. He stated that
the aim of the Indian policy should be to prepare the Indians
30 Stevens to^the Legislative Assembly, Feb. 28, 1854, Washington Legislature,
Feb. 1854, 1 Sess., House lournal, p. 16. m
31 '"Memorial of the Legislature of Washington Territory relative to the extinction of Indian titles to lands in the Territory of Washington," April 12, 1854,
Washington Legislature, Feb. 27, 1854, 1 Sess., House Journal, p. 148.
i 	
14 C. F. Coan
to become citizens of the Ujtiited States. In order to accomplish this they should be provided with reservations of good
lands of sufficient size to allow each head of a family a homestead. The Indians should be supplied with farms, and
farmers to instruct them in agriculture. Many bands should
be concentrated on one reservation in order that the control
of the government over them might be more easily effected.
The authority of the chiefs of the tribes should be increased
so that they could be held responsible to the government for
the conduct of their bands. The Indians should not be excluded from the fisheries. This plan of concentrating- the
Indians was probably the best but was difficult to effect without the use of force, as Stevens must have known.32 In the
previous year, while among the Pend d'Oreille, he had been
told of the effort of the Jesuit missionaries to persuade the
Indians to move to a better region, and of their refusal on
the ground of ancestral ties to their own country.33
Thus, during 1853 and 1854, as a result of the increased
settlements in Washington Territory, the Indian service had
been organized; appropriations had been made for making
treaties with the Indians; and Indian policy recommendations
had been made by the superintendent of Indian affairs for
Washington Territory. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs,
November 25, 1854 and the superintendent of Indian Affairs,
for Washington Territory, February 28, 1854, expressed the
belief that the time had come for the final settlement of the
Indian problem in Washington.34
The Negotiation of the Treaties.—We have seen that during
1853 and 1854 a policy of making treaties with the Indians
had, for the second time, been adopted. The two differences
that marked the later from the early policy were: the absence
of any plan for a general removal of the Indians to an "Indian
Country" and the inclusion of the whole area of the Pacific
Northwest in the plan for the extinguishment of the Indian
title. Between November 1854 and January 1856, fifteen
treaties were made which extinguished the Indian title to all
32 Stevens to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sept. 16, 1854, C. I. A., A. R.
Nov. 25, 1854 (Serial 746, Doc. 1), p. 421^
33 Stevens to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Sept 16, 1854, ibid., p. 450.
34 The Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Annual Report, Nov. 25, 1854 (Seriai
746, Doc x), p. 223; Stevens to the Legislative Assembly, Feb. 28, 1854, ibid.  p. 15. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 15
of the Pacific Northwest except southwestern Washington,
the Okanogan, Spokane, Coeur d'Alene region, and the Snake
country. They were negotiated by Joel Palmer, superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon Territory, and Isaac I.
Stevens, who held the same office, for Washington Territory.
These treaties contained provisions for colonization and management of the Indians. It is hardly necessary to consider the
details of each treaty as the general character of all of them
is the same. This can be shown by an enumeration of the
provisions which the treaties had in common. All of the
treaties included: a cession of lands; payment for the cession in
annuities of beneficial objects; assistance for the Indians in
the form of buildings, mills, instructors, and physicians; a
reservation which the Indians were to occupy within a year
after the ratification of the treaty; provision for the granting
of the reservation lands to the Indians in severalty; compensation to the Indians for granting rights of way for roads or
railroads through their reservations; the acknowledgment by
the Indians of the jurisdiction of the Federal government over
them; the submission of disputes among the Indians of a band,
or with other bands, or with the whites, to the Indian agent
for settlement; the non-payment of the debts of individual
Indians from the annuities; and the reservation of fishing rights
to the Indians. In addition to these, the following provisions
were common to the treaties made with the Indians of the
Puget Sound region: the prohibition of slavery; provisions
for a central agency; and the prohibition of trade with British
Columbia.
The treaties were negotiated in the following order: three
treaties were made by Palmer, west of the Cascade Mountains
in Oregon, prior to June 1855; second, four were made by
Stevens, west of the Cascade Mountains in Washington Territory, prior to June 1855; third, three treaties were made by
Stevens and Palmer jointly, June 1855, east of the Cascade
Mountains, the lands purchased lying partly in each territory;
fourth, two treaties were made by Stevens after June 1855,
one east of the Cascade Mountains, and one west of those
mountains in Washington Territory; fifth, three treaties were 16 C. F. Coan
made by Palmer after June 1855, one east of the Cascade
Mountains, and two west of the mountains in Oregon Territory. The course of the negotiation of these treaties will be
followed according to this grouping.
The first treaty,—exclusive of the Rogue River and the Cow
Creek treaty,—made by Palmer was with the Rogue River
Indians, November 15, 1854, and was supplementary to the
Rogue River treaty, dated September 10, 1853, which, as
we have seen, was made prior to the authorization of the
making of treaties by Congress. It provided that certain bands
of Rogue River Indians, which had not been included in the
original treaty, should remove to Table Rock, and receive
$2,150 in supplies, to be shared with the other bands of that
reservation. In return, the bands of the supplementary treaty
were to share in the provisions of the original treaty. The
above amount was appropriated by Congress, March 3, 1855.35
(The Chasta-Skoton Indians were treated with by Palmer,
November 18, 1854, at the mouth of Applegate creek on Rogue
River. They agreed to cede their lands in the middle Rogue
River Valley and to remove to the Table Rock Reservation.
Congress appropriated $35,780 for the execution of the treaty,
March 3, 1885.   It was proclaimed, April 10, 1855.36
On November 29, 1854, a treaty was made with the Umpqua
and Kalapuya Indians of the middle Umpqua Valley. The
Indians ceded their lands and accepted a temporary reservation
in the Umpqua Valley. Congress appropriated, March 3,
1855, $23,980 for the first annual payments under the treaty,
which was proclaimed March 30, 1855.37
The Willamette Valley Indians were treated with by Palmer,
January 22, 1855, under the title of the Confederated Bands
of the Willamette Valley. The lands of the valley were ceded
and temporary reservations were set aside for them within
the cession. The first appropriation for the fulfillment of this
treaty amounted to $62,260 and was made by Congress, March
3, 1855.38
35 Kappler, comp., Indian Affairs—Laws and Treaties (Serial 4624, Doc  319),
II, 654-55.
36 Ibid., II, 655-57.
37 Ibid., II. 657-60.
38 Ibid.,  II, 665-69;  Civil and Diplomatic Appropriation Act,  Mar.  3,   1855,
Statutes at Large, X, 675. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 17
It will be noticed in these treaties that the reservations were
temporary. Palmer was instructed to make treaties first with
the Indians in the vicinity of the settlements. It was necessary to make the above treaties, therefore, prior to treating
with the Coast tribes, in whose cession the proposed Coast
Reservation was to be located. The temporary reservations
were to continue only until the superintendent was able to make
the treaty with the Coast tribes.
During the winter of 1854-55, Isaac I. Stevens attempted
to make treaties with all the Indians of the western part of
Washington territory. He was successful in purchasing the
Indian title to all the lands bordering on Puget Sound, but
due to the failure of the Chehalis council, the coast district
and southwestern Washington were not ceded. The first
treaty was made with the Nisqually, Puyallup, and others, at
Medicine Creek—now known as McAlister's Creek-^-Decem-
ber 26, 1854. The Indians ceded the lands of the headwaters of Puget Sound, and received three small reservations
which were later changed, with the exception of Squaxon
Island. The treaty was proclaimed March 3, 1855, and Congress appropriated $16,500 for the first payment under the
treaty on the same day.39
The eastern side of the Puget Sound country was ceded
by; the Dwarnish, the Suquamish, and other Indians, January
22, 1855, at Point Elliott. Four reservations were provided
for the Indians. This treaty and those which follow were not
ratified until March 1859, due to the Yakima Indian War.40
The Clallam Indians were treated with at Point-no-Point,
January 26, 1855, for the lands bordering on the western side
of Puget Sound and the southern side of the Strait of Juan
de Fuca.    A reserve was set aside at the head of Hood Canal.41
At Neah Bay, the Makah Indians, January 31, 1855, ceded a
small area in the vicinity of Cape Flattery, and received a
reservation of a part of the cession. This was the smallest
area purchased by any of the treaties in the Pacific Northwest.42
A council was held by Stevens and his assistants with the
39Kappler, oft. cit., II, 661-64.
40 Ibid., Il, 669-73.
41 Ibid., II, 674-77-
42 Ibid., II, 682-84. 18 C. F. Coan
Chehalis, Chinook, Cowlitz, and Quinaielt, February 25, 1855.
It was the aim of this council to extinguish the Indian title
to the coast area and southwestern Washington, and to set
aside a reservation for these Indians between Grays Harbor
and Cape Flattery. The Indians were offered $44,000 in
annuities, and the usual aids of a reservation establishment.
One objection that the interior Indians made was that they
did not wish to occupy a coast reservation, among "canoe
Indians." After the early meetings Tleyuk, a young chief
of the Upper Chehalis, influenced other chiefs to refuse to
sign. Some of the members of the council thought that, had *
the reserve proposed been located upon the lands of the
Upper Chehalis Indians and had Tleyuk been chosen head
chief, he would have agreed to the treaty and it would have
been accepted by the other chiefs. The council broke up without effecting anything definite, but the treaty with the Quinaielt, Quillehute, and others, was a direct result of this meeting, the treaty having been explained to them at this council.43
Stevens and Palmer had thus made noticeable headway
toward the extinguishment of the Indian title west of the
Cascade Mountains in Washington and Oregon during the
winters of 1854-55. In June 1855, all arrangements were
completed for the beginning of treaty making east of the
Cascade Mountains. It was planned to inaugurate the work in
the interior by a council with the principal tribes of that
region, namely: the Yakima, Nez Perces, Cayuse, Walla-
walla, and the Umatilla, to be held by the superintendents
Palmer and Stevens, acting jointly, because the lands claimed
by the Indians were partly north of the Columbia and the
forty-sixth parallel, and partly south of that line.
Three treaties were made at Camp Stevens, June 9 to 11,
1855, in the Walla Walla Valley, which were known collectively as the Treaty of Walla Walla. The original plan
was to create two reservations, but in order to overcome the
objection of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and the Wallawalla, they
were allowed a reserve in the Umatilla Valley. The Yakima,
and other Indians, ceded about one-half of the eastern part
43 Hazard Stevens, Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens, II, 2-8. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 19
of the present state of Washington and received a reservation of fertile lands in the Yakima Valley. The Wallawalla,
Cayuse and the Umatilla ceded lands lying in the northeastern
part of the present State of Oregon, and the southeastern part
of the present State of Washington. They were provided '
with a reservation in the Umatilla Valley. The Nez Perces'
cession included the region of central Idaho, lying between
the Wallawalla cession and the Bitter Root Mountains. The
reservation provided for them in the Clearwater Valley was
one of the largest set aside by any of the treaties made with
the Indians of the Pacific Northwest.
These treaties were not made without the expression of
considerable opposition on the part of the Indians. The
Yakima objected to being limited to a reservation; the Umatilla,
Cayuse, and Wallawalla demanded an independent location;
and a part of the Nez Perces refused, to the last, to sign the
treaty. The Indians were quite generally opposed to selling
their lands, but almost all the chiefs were finally persuaded to
sign the treaties. Just what the plans of some of these Indians
were at the time of signing the treaty, it is difficult to say,
but it is quite possible that the Yakima Indian War was
agreed upon by some of the chiefs at the council.
The first council was held, May 29, 1855, there being five
thousand Indians present. On the first day, a speech was made
by Stevens explaining the purpose of making the treaties,
after which the council adjourned for the day. On the following day, the council was addressed by Palmer, and by
Stevens who gave.the details of the plan that was proposed
in the treaties. On the third day, the superintendents stated
the benefits that the Indians would obtain through the treaties
and the reservations. During the next day, June 1, 1855, the
Indians considered in an Indian council the propositions made
by Palmer and Stevens. The Indians made speeches the
following day in the council. On June fourth, Stevens and
the Nez Perce chief, Lawyer, urged that the treaties be accepted, but the "Council adjourned without having made any
sensible progress." On the following day, Stevens and Palmer
made long explanatory speeches, and June sixth was occupied 20 C. F. Coan
by the Indians in consultation among themselves. The superintendents continued their explanations on the next day.
Speeches were made on June seventh by the Indian chiefs.
Lawyer agreed to accept the treaty for the Nez Perces.
Looking Glass, a Nez Perce chief who arrived after this
agreement by Lawyer, objected strongly and refused to sign.
Young Chief of the Cayuse stated that he could not understand
the treaties; the Wallawalla chief, Piopiomoxmox, said that
he thought that Lawyer had given his lands away. The
Yakima chief, Kamaiakan, when urged to speak, replied, "I
have nothing to say." Owhi, a chief of the Umatilla, said
that his people were far away and, therefore, he could say
nothing. When the council met on the following day, Palmer
urged the Indian chiefs to accept the treaties. It was during
this meeting that Looking Glass created considerable confusion by forcefully objecting to the Nez Perces accepting
the treaty—which had been done by Lawyer. Looking Glass
had not been present at the earlier meetings. These objections were met in part by agreeing to allow the newcomers an
additional reservation. At this stage, all of the chiefs agreed
to accept the treaties except Kamaiakan. The papers were
brought into the council on the following day to be signed.
Stevens explained the reservations which were allowed in the
treaties for the various tribes. This was followed by a speech
from Looking Glass in which he urged the chiefs not to
accept the treaties. The result was that Piopiomoxmox,
Kamaiakan, and Looking Glass refused to sign. When the
council was called together on the following day, these chiefs
suddenly changed their attitude, from what cause it is not
known. After a short speech from Stevens, the chiefs signed
the treaties. That these Indians were unwilling to be restricted to reservations, and were unwilling to have the settlers
occupy the lands, seems evident from their general dissatisfaction with the treaties, their earlier relations with the whites,
and their subsequent hostilities.44
Stevens and  Palmer  separated  after the  signing of the
treaties at Camp Stevens, Palmer proceeding to The Dalles
44 Lawrence Kip, "The Indian Council at Walla Walla," Sources of the History
of Oregon, I, pt. 2, pp. 4-28; Kappler, op. tit., II, 694-98; 698-702; 702-6. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 21
to make a treaty with the Indians of that region under the
title of the Confederated Tribes of Middle Oregon, and
Stevens travelled eastward to make a treaty with the Flathead Indians. The council with the Flatheads and other
Indians was held, July 16, 1855, at Hellgate. They ceded the
region lying between the Bitter Root Mountains and the main
ridge of the Rocky Mountains, and agreed to accept a reservation lying south of Flathead Lake. It was also provided that
a portion of the Bitter Root Valley should be temporarily
withheld from settlement, the Flathead Indians desiring that
this region also be made a reservation, and the superintendent
agreeing to leave the matter open for final settlement at a later
time.45
Stevens negotiated a treaty with the Blackfeet, October 17,
1855, relative to common hunting grounds east of the Rocky
Mountains for the Blackfeet, Nez Perces, and Flatheads. It
was the intention of Stevens to treat with the Coeur d'Alene,
Spokan, Colville, and Okinagan on his return trip to Olympia,
Washington, but when the Indian war broke out he decided
to postpone the negotiation of these treaties, although he
visited the Indians.46
While Stevens was in eastern Washington in the summer
of 1855, the treaty was made with the Quinaielt, and other
Indians, July 1, 1855, by A. J. Cain. These Indians ceded
the lands lying north of Grays Harbor, on the Pacific Coast of
Washington Territory. A reservation was set aside for them
along the Quinaielt River.47
The treaty made by Palmer, at Wasco near The Dalles,
June 25, 1855, with the Confederated Tribes of Middle Oregon provided for the cession of the lands lying between the
Wallawalla cession and the Cascade Mountains. The Warm
Springs Reservation was designated as the future home of
these Indians. It was located about seventy-five miles south
of The Dalles, on the west side of the Des Chutes River, and
was probably the most isolated region designated in the Stevens-
Palmer treaties as an Indian reservation.48
45l6»_?., II, 722-25-
46 Ibid., II, 736-40.
47 Ibid., II, 719-21.
48 Ibid., II, 740-42. 22 C. F. Coan
During August and September, 1855, Palmer treated with
the Indians along the Pacific Coast of Oregon from the mouth
of the Columbia River to the California border. Several
treaties were made by Palmer between August 11, 1855 and
September 8, 1855, which contained a provision for a Coast
reservation, and for the location of the other Indians of
western Oregon upon it. The cession included all the lands
west of the Coast Range in Oregon Territory. Although this
treaty was never ratified, the reservation was set aside by an
Executive Order, November 9, 1855, and the government
took possession of the region.49
The upper Umpqua Valley was ceded by the Molala Indians, December 21, 1855, in a treaty made with them by
Palmer. The Indians agreed to confederate with the Umpqua
and Kalapuya who had ceded the middle Umpqua Valley in a
treaty dated, November 29, 1854. The Indians agreed to remove to the Yamhill encampment and to move later to the
Coast Reservation, as soon as that location should be sufficiently improved to make it possible for them to obtain a
living in that district.50
The treaty with the Quinaielt which has been negotiated by
A. J. Cain on the Quinaielt River, July 1, 1855, was signed by
the Indians and by I. I. Stevens at Olympia, January 25,
1856.51   This was the last treaty made until 1864.
The Genesis of the Yakima Indian War.—During the period
that the superintendents of Indian Affairs for Washington and
Oregon Territory were making the above treaties, that is;
between the fall of 1854 and the fall of 1855, the agents, in
the various districts into which the territories were divided
for purposes of Indian administration, were meeting with
increased difficulties with the Indians. In the Fort Hall district, the agent for the Snake River country found it unsafe
to remain in that area; in southwestern Oregon, the country
was disturbed by continual robberies committed by the Indians; in western Washington, the Nisqually Indians were
dissatisfied with their reservation; and the Chehalis and the
49 C. C Royce, comp., "Indian Land Cessions in the United States," Bureau
of American Ethnology, Eighteenth Annual Report, II, 812-13.
50 Kappler, op. cit., II, 740-42.
51 Ibid., II, 7x9-21. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 23
Cowlitz Indians were restless because settlers were taking their
lands; in eastern Washington, the Klikitat and the Yakima were
preparing to make an attempt to drive all the whites out of
the Pacific Northwest.
Nathaniel Olney, the Indian agent for the Snake River district, accompanied a military expedition which was sent to
punish the murderers of the Ward party and to protect emigrants who were entering the country in the early fall of 1855.
The detachment under Major Haller was in the upper Snake
Valley during August and September. The agent made presents to the Indians in the vicinity of Fort Hall, but returned
to The Dalles with the military force as he considered that
it was unsafe to remain at Fort Hall without military protection.    At The Dalles the Indians were quiet.52
The agent for southwestern Oregon reported that the month
of September 1855 in the Rogue River Valley was passed, "In
one continued series of aggressions." Two men were killed
in the Siskiyou Mountains, September 25, 1855. It was stated
that numerous thefts were being committed by the Chasta-
Skoton bands that had left the reserve at Table Rock, and
taken refuge in the Coast Range. The situation was so serious
that the agent feared that the people would rise against the
Indians unless the thefts were stopped.53
In western Washington, the Chehalis and Cowlitz Indians
were very restless1 and dissatisfied because the settlers were
occupying their lands. Their situation was difficult because
of their location between the Willamette Valley settlements and
those on Puget Sound; and because, on account of the failure
of the Chehalis council, no lands were set aside as a reservation for them. The Nisqually Indians were in an unsettled
state due to the dissatisfaction with their reservation, and the
stories circulated by the Nisqually chief, Leschi. J. Ross
Browne stated that Leschi traveled among the Indians west
of the Cascade Mountains during the summer and fall of
1855 telling them that the whites were planning to gather
the Indians together on reservations in order to destroy them,
52 Nathaniel Olney to Palmer,  Aug.   31,   1855,  Message from the President
communicating information relative to Indian hostthttes in the territories
of Oregon and Washington, April 17, 1856, (Serial 858, Doc. 93), pp. 96-7; Thompson to Palmer, Sept. 28, 1855, ibid., pp. 61-62.
53 G. H. Ambrose to Palmier, Sept 30, 1855, ibtd., p. 62. 24 C. F. Coan
and appealing to the Indians to make a united effort to drive
the whites from the country.
The Klikitat and the Yakima Indians desired to unite the
Indians of. Oregon and Washington in an effort to rid the
country of the American settlers. The Klikitat refused to
participate in the Walla Walla Council of June 1855. A portion of the Klikitat Indians had resided in the Willamette
Valley for many years. These Indians, in the spring of 1855,
were forced by Palmer to return to their own country east of
the Cascade Mountains and north of the Columbia River.
J. Ross Browne stated that from the time of their departure they
were at war with the settlers, and that when the Yakima Indian
war started they joined immediately with the Yakima.54
During September 1855, some miners who were crossing
from the Puget Sound country to the Colville region were
murdered by the Yakima Indians. The Indian agent, A. J.
Bolon, was in the Spokane country at the time arranging for
the council which Stevens hoped to hold with the Indians of
that region on his return from the upper Missouri where he
had gone to treat with the Blackfeet. Bolon returned by way
of The Dalles, to the Yakima Valley where he was murdered
by some of the Yakima Indians. The Yakima chief, Kamaiakan, had been strongly opposed to the Yakima treaty made
in June 1855 at Walla Walla, and was known to be dissatisfied with it. The Catholic missionary in the Yakima country
stated that the Yakima Indians had been talking of nothing
but war with the settlers from the time of their return from the
Walla Walla council until September 1, 1855, after which time
few of the Indians had been near the mission.55 A. J. Bolon
left The Dalles, September 18, 1855, and was not heard from
after that time. Nathaniel Olney, sent out Indian messengers
from The Dalles who brought back the information that Bolon
had been murdered by order of Kamaiakan. About this time,
messengers were sent out by the Yakima Indians to all the
neighboring tribes urging the Indians of the country to join
in the hostilities against the American settlers.56
54 J. Ross Browne to the Commissioner of the Indian Affairs, Dec. 4, 1857,
Letter from the Secretary of the Interior . . ., Jan. 25, 1858 (Serial 955, Doc'
38), p. 11.
55 Palmer to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Oct 9, 1855, Message from
the Preident   .    .    .    ., April 17, 1856 (Serial 858, Doc. 93), p. 56.
56 Palmer to John Cain, Oct 3. 1855, C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 26, 1855 (Serial
840, Doc. x), pp. 514-15. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 25
The Yakima and Klikitat Indians were in arms by October
1, 1855. They were not joined immediately by any of the
other tribes, although individual members of other tribes
probably did join them. Opinions varied as to the cause of
the outbreak. John Cain believed that it was due to rumors
that were current among the Indians that Stevens's party
and Haller's command had been murdered by the Blackfeet and
the Shoshoni, respectively; that the whites were about to be
overthrown in every direction; and that the time had come for
the Indians to gratify their enmity against the whites.57
Palmer believed that the outbreak was due to the dissatisfaction of the Klikitat and the Yakima with the treaty; the
immigration of settlers into the country before the treaty had
been ratified and carried out; the passing of miners through
central Washington on their way to the Colville mines; and
the stories told the Indians of the increasing value of their
lands due to the discovery of gold.58
The immigration into the eastern part of the territories of
Washington and Oregon had been forbidden between 1848 and
1855. Mrs. Victor stated: "From the spring of 1848, when
all the whites, except the Catholic missionaries, were withdrawn from the upper country, for a period of several years,
or until Government had made treaties with the tribes east
of the Cascades, no settlers were permitted to take up land in
eastern Oregon."59
James G. Swan, writing in 1857 stated that the Indian
trouble began on a border where the Indians south of the
line were under the control of a foreign company—by which
was meant the Hudson's Bay Company. He believed that the
under employees and the half-breeds in the pay of the company were guilty of inciting the Indians against the Americans. Upon this point, however, he admitted that there was
no evidence. To what extent the company was guilty of selling ammunition to the Indians after the law was passed forbidding the sale of arms to Indians would be diffijcult, probably
impossible, to determine.   It is probable that Americans were
<7 Cain to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Oct. 6, 1855, ibid., p. 513.
<8 Palmer to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Oct. 9, 1855. Message from
the President   .    .    ., April 17, 1856 (Serial 858, Doc. 93), P- 56.
59 Victor, The River of the West, p. 497- —
26 C. F. Coan
guilty of this same offence. The arms of the interior Indians
were procured from the Hudson's Bay Company in large
measure, but it is rather absurd to blame the company for
having furnished the savages with arms. The fur trading
period was common to all the northern parts of the continent,
and only as a part of the natural course of events did the
fur traders put guns into the hands of the Indians, although
in some cases the guns were largely obtained by theft, as in
the case of the mountain* Snake Indians.60 The Klikitat and
the Yakima Indians were described by Robert Newell, October
13, 1849, as "friendly, warlike and well armed."61 When the
treaties had been made and the settlers began moving into the
country, along with a transient American population of miners^
these Indians became unfriendly, warlike and well armed.
Under such circumstances conflict was inevitable, or practically so. There were only two means of preventing trouble,
namely; the presence of a. strong military force that would
inspire the Indians with a fear for the Americans so complete
that the Indians would realize the futility of resistance; or a
change in the attitude of the Indians through peaceful negotiations. The military force was not large enough to affect
the conduct of the Indians, and the treaty method failed to
prevent the conflict. The result was the Yakima Indian War,
which did not end until the country had been occupied by a
strong military force.
George Gibbs believed that the primary cause was not any
immediate offences or policies, but that at the base of the
whole trouble was the land problem. On January 7, 1857, he
wrote, in concluding a letter on the subject of the Indian
War, as follows:
"What I have meant to show was that the war sprung
partly from ill-judged legislation, partly from previous unratified treaties, and partly from recent blunders. Much is
due to the natural struggle between the hostile races for the
sovereignty of the soil. The land is at the root of the war.
Many outrages have been committed since it begun, it is true,
but it was not private wrongs that led to it.   The numerous
60 Swan, The Northwest Coast, p. 384.
61 Lane to the Secretary of War Oct 13, 1849, C. I. A., A. R., Nov. 27, 1850
(Serial 595, Doc. 1), p. 159.   Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 27
outrages committed by Indians on whites have not been taken
into account by those who bleat about the 'poor Indian'."62
The new Indian policy adopted, in 1854, for the Pacific
Northwest, was thus, put into effect by the negotiation of
fifteen treaties. These provided for the cession of the greater
part of the region; furnished reservations as homes for the
Indians; and supplied twenty annual appropriations of, approximately, five hundred thousand dollars each, for the purpose of aiding the natives in becoming a settled people. This
peaceful method of solving the problem did not satisfy some
of the Indians, who, when settlers began moving into the
interior in the fall of 1855, instigated a war, which, although
it did not change the policy of the government, delayed the
ratification of the majority of the treaties until 1859.
MAP I.
INLAND LAND CESSIONS PRIOR TO THE YAKIMA
WAR, 1855.1
No.    1.   312—Treaty with the Rogue River, 1853; negotiated
September 10, 1853, ratified April 12, 1854.
No.    2.    313—Treaty  with  the  Umpqua-Cow  Creek Band,
1853; negotiated September 19, 1853, ratified
April 12, 1854.
No.    3.    343—Treaty zvith the Chasta, etc., 1854; negotiated
November 15, 1854, ratified March 3, 1855.
No.    4.    344—Treaty zvith the Umpqua and Kalapuya, 1854;
negotiated November 29, 1854, ratified March
3, 1855.
No.    5.    345—Treaty with the Nisqualli, Puyallup, etc., 1854;
negotiated December 26, 1854, ratified March
3, 1855.
No. 12.   352—Treaty with the Kalapuya, etc., 1855;negotiated
January 22, 1855, ratified March 3, 1855.
62 Swan op., cit., p. 429-
Note—The numbers designate either a cession, a region occupied by the government without a cession, a reservation, or a change in a reservation. The first
numbers are consecutive for the Pacific Northwest. The second numbers are those
adopted by Royce, Indian Land Cessions in the United States. 28 C. F. Coan
ANNUAL REPORT OF JOEL PALMER, SUPERINTENDENT OF INDIAN
AFFAIRS FOR OREGON  TERRITORY FOR  1853,  PROPOSING
THE RESERVATION SYSTEM
Copy   Office Supt. Ind. Affairs.
Dayton Oct. 8th, 1853.
Sir, In transmitting my annual report at so late a period,
it is proper that reasons for the delay be given; especially in
view of the positive instructions from the Indian Department
at Washington requiring strict compliance with the 19th paragraph of Revised Regulations No. 3.
This "Circular" however, as you were informed by Mr.
Geary Acting Superintendent during my absence to assist in
quelling the disturbances between our citizens and the indians
in the Rogue River country, did not reach this office till the 13th
Sept.
Although aware of the. importance of submitting my report
at an early day, little toward its preparation was accomplished
prior to my departure to the scene of Indian war in the South,
as I desired to receive the reports of Agents, and Sub and
Special Agents before its compilation. I also desired to visit
the Coast region between Killamook and Umpqua rivers as
was suggested in my letters of June 23 and August 23 in order
to enable me to speak definitely of the propriety of colonizing
the Valley Indians in that district.
On the eve of starting upon this tour, I was arrested in my
purpose, by intelligence of the indian depredations, and imminent peril of our citizens, in the Southern part of the Territory. I at once abandoned the expedition and proceeded to
the scene of difficulties, leaving Mr. Geary to perform the
duties of Acting Superintendent during my absence. But,
unfortunately in a few days after my departure Mr. Geary
was prostrated by sickness and wholly disabled from the performance of duty.
I was detained until the 25th September, and on my return
after spending a week in ineffectual efforts to procure a loan
of funds whereby to meet the current expenses of the Office
and the liabilities incurred in holding treaties with the indians,
I was subpoenaed to attend the Court then in Session in
Oregon City, as a witness in a suit therein pending against
Anson Dart Esq. late Supt. of Indian Affairs where I was
detained till the evening of the 7th! instant.
I very much regret this delay as I fear it will tend much to
the embarrassment of the indian [sic] department in Oregon Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 29
for the ensuing year; and I deeply regret the circumstances
rendering necessary this long apologetic introduction to my
report. I hope the reasons above detailed will prove sufficient
to exhonorate [sic] me from blame in the premises.
Peace at present exists with all the indian tribes in this
Superintendency; but as heretofore intimated a general feeling of anxiety and distrust pervades the tribes and bands
from the sea-board to the Rocky Mountains. This feeling is
more owing to the conduct of evil-minded whites toward them,
than to any desire on their parts to annoy or injure the whites.
The non-ratification of treaties has done much also to destroy
their confidence in the good intentions of the Government, and
I may say, without expressing any opinion as to the provisions of these treaties, will tend much to embarrass the
action of agents of the Government who may hereafter be
designated to enter into treaty stipulations.
This want of confidence in the declarations of Government
Agents, is not confined to the few tribes with whom treaties
have been negotiated; it extends through the entire country
nor is it presumed that even the ratification of those treaties
at so late a day, would relieve the general distrust.
The importance of entering, at an early period, into treaties
to extinguish the indian title to the lands belonging to the
tribes residing along the Columbia River and the Northern
Oregon road, or so much of said country as is within the
Territory of Oregon, has been repeatedly presented to the
attention of the Department. My convictions of the propriety and necessity of this course are daily deepened, and I
am satisfied that unless early steps be taken to effect such
treaties, serious difficulties, if not a general indian war with
some of those tribes will be the consequence.
It is also important that measures to extinguish the indian
title to the country bordering on the Southern Road extending
from the Sierra Nevada to the summit of the Cascade Range
of Mountains and as far north and south as to give security
to our population constantly pouring upon the western shores
of this Continent, should be speedily taken.
If it become the settled policy of the Government to colonize
the tribes residing west of the Cascade Mountains on the
east side of that Range, the necessity of early exploration and
early treaties to extinguish the indian title to extensive tracts
of land, is apparent. The vast district, between the Southern
Oregon Road and the Columbia River—and between the Hum-
bolt and the Cascade Range, is but little known, but is believed 30 C. F. Coan
to contain many valuable tracts of agricultural country of
sufficient extent to invite settlers, and the rapid spread of our
settlements render it more than probable that a brief period
will exhibit those fertile tracts, the seats of a thriving population and blessed with the arts and usages of civilized and
enlightened communities.
Experience moreover has taught us that the settlement of a
country, prior to the extinction of the native title to the soil is,
in most cases attended with serious difficulties and embarrassments to the Government, with annoyance and danger to
the settler; and proves fatal to the best interests, the improvement and civilization, of the natives.
In connection with the subject of exploring the country and
colonizing the tribes I would add that information derived
from a party in search of gold who traversed the mountainous
region in the neighborhood of Pitts' Peak and the country
between Rogue River and middle Oregon between the 43°
and 44° N. L. induced me to believe that quite extensive valleys, fertile, and well suited to the indian population of the
southern part of our Territory, exist in that region. This
, statement is partially confirmed by the Rogue River Chiefs,
who state that persons of their tribe visited some of those
valleys many years ago. It is probable however that the valleys they refer to are east of the summit of the mountains. This
evidence of the existence of such valleys, and of their suitableness to be made the future and permanent home of the tribes
of Southern Oregon would warrant their exploration as well
as those of the interior of middle Oregon above indicated.
A full and complete examination of these portions of Oregon, besides enabling the Government, with a fuller knowledge
of the facts, to fix its permanent policy in regard to the savage
tribes of Oregon, will doubtless tend greatly to bring to light
the vast and various resources of our Territory.
A policy in regard to holding treaties with the Indians of
this Territory, different from that heretofore pursued, seems
called for, not only as a matter of economy, but also oh account of the influence exerted on the indians themselves.
The gathering of different bands and tribes from remote
neighborhoods in mass, to be paraded, petted and feasted at
the public expense, has a decidedly demoralizing influence
on the indians, as it inclines them to indolence and extravagance, gives them an importance in their own esteem to which
they are by no means entitled; and impresses them with the
belief that our Government has a reckless disregard of expenditure. Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 31
At such places many congregate of a class interested in a
large expenditure on the occasion; and for the purpose of
present or ulterior gain, exert an improper influence over
the minds of the indians, disinclining them to treat; or to
demand an exorbitant price for their lands; to refuse to emigrate, and to demand modes of payment, suiting the sharper,
but at variance with their own real interest.
In treating with the Indians, the season of the year has its
influence. At some seasons their wants are so easily and
abundantly supplied, that no proposition for purchasing their
lands, or for their removal however extravagant would would
receive their favorable regard. At other seasons their wants
are so numerous and pressing, that they yield a ready ear to
terms, and comply with such as may be dictated. This remark
applies only to the tribes of the Lower Columbia and of the
Willamette and Umpqua Valleys.
I would only avail myself of their necessities the more effectually to promote their general welfare, thus conforming
to that humane policy which has characterized the history of
our Government, towards the Indians. They must be removed, and instructed in the arts of civilization and brought
under the influence of wise and wholesome laws, in order to
be perpetuated, otherwise they will speedily perish on the
graves of their fathers; in order to make them the recipients
of these benefits, the period of their most pliant mood must be
seized upon, and all engagements made with them, promptly
carried into effect.
As to the better mode of treating. Nothing I apprehend
could be more ridiculous and absurd than pomp and display in
treating with the miserable bands and remnants of tribes in
the region last referred to. The most simple and economical
approach on our part becomes their condition, and will alone
secure the prompt completion of contracts with families, bands
and tribes so feeble and so numerous. Let their usual places
of residence be visited when practicable, and when they are
so isolated and scattered as to render this impracticable, let
them be collected at places as contiguous to their homes as
possible and there treated with, not with a view of indulging
their savage whims and fancies but with an eye to their real
and permanent good and if possible their elevation in the
social scale of humanity.
Much credit is due General Lane for the explicit and fair
dealing which has always characterized his intercourse with
the indians. He has ever scrupulously avoided making them
promises beyond his confidence of being able to perform.   His 32 C. F. Coan
statements are consequently regarded with confidence by the
indians. The beneficial influence of this sentiment among them
was manifest in the late treaty with the Rogue River Tribes.;
the Chiefs the more readily acceding to terms which they
regarded as having his approbation and sanction.
The practice now so general of making presents to indians
has I believe rather an injurious tendency than otherwise, as
it has created the impression extensively among the indians,
that the Government is bound to continue the practice as long
as they remain among us, and while thus supplied they are less
inclined to treat for the sale of their lands and submit to
removal. It also tends to foster indolent habits, as they are
not inclined to industry and economy while their wants can
be otherwise supplied.
Presents in some instances appear necessary and proper to
conciliate the good will of the Indian, reward his good conduct, or incline him to peace; but the practice has evidently
been much abused, and is at best of little utility.
In the selection of a district of country for the colonization
of the various bands and tribes of Indians who inhabit the
country contiguous to the coast attention is required to their
mode of subsistence. They may properly be termed fish-
eaters, and to assign them a country destitute of this this to
them indispensable article of food, would be disasterous to
their existence as a people.
The country between the Killamook and the Umpqua has
already been suggested as among the most desirable locations
for the settlement of the indians of the Willamette and lower
Columbia. Those of the Umpqua may also be added; but it
is somewhat doubtful whether the country is sufficiently extensive for the settlement of the Coast Indians inhabiting the
country south of the Umpqua. The designation of an additional tract may consequently be necessary for the settlement of the Coast Indians, and two or more tracts east of the
Cascade Mountains for the tribes inhabiting the interior.
I regard it as highly important to the successful maintenance of friendly relations with the Indians that in addition to
the Agencies of Rogue River and the Utilla there be an agency
established for the tribes East of the Cascade Mountains to
include the Klamaths, Diggers, or Sho sho nes, the Snakes
residing in this territory, and the Bonaks residing along the
Lewis fork of the Columbia and Boise river; and untill the
extinction of the Indian title to the country and the removal of
the Indians, it is important that in addition to the Sub Agencies
of the Willamette Valley Clatsop Plains and Port Orford there Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 33
be an additional Sub Agency including the Umpqua Valley
and the country along the Co-ose and Coquille Rivers, now
in the care of Special Agent William Martin Esq.
The subject of additional compensation to Agents and Sub
Agents is respectfully submitted. That of Sub Agents is
barely the pay of a common laborer and insufficient to secure
the services of competent and reliable men.
A detailed account of the numbers and condition of the
Indians of the Sub Agency of Port Orford is given in the
report of Sub Agent Culver a copy of which is herewith transmitted. By the judicious and untiring attention of Mr. Culver
supported by the military stationed at Port Orford the indians
of that district though numerous and warlike have been kept
quiet.
The recent discovery of gold in that region has has induced
a large number of persons to congregate in the vicinity of
Port Orford which from the number and character of the
Indians dwelling there, is more than likely without the most
unremitting vigilance and care to result in difficulty and
bloodshed.
Many of the adventurers in the mining region are of the
most reckless and desperate character and affected with such
feelings of hostility to the indians, that military restraint alone
seems adequate to the preservation of peace.
My knowledge of the character and condition of these indians as well as of the character of the country they inhabit
is so limited that I am unable to recommend any measure of
policy to be pursued in regard to them. It is evident, however, that delay in assigning them an abode within fixed limits
remote from the mining districts where they can be protected
from encroachment and violence, must tend to their speedy
extinction. Treaties therefore at an early day for the extinction of title to their lands and provisions for their colonization in a suitable country are of the utmost importance.
My letter of the first September informed you that F. M.
Smith Esq. of Port Orford in the absence of a Sub-Agent,
P. F. Thompson Esq. being on duty at the Utilla Agency, was
appointed Special Agent for the tribes of the Port Orford
district.
No information as to his acceptance or refusal has yet been
received. Mr. Smith is recommended as well qualified for
the duties of the station, and I hope the appointment may meet
your approbation.
On my return from Rogue River to this place I received 34 C. F. Coan
information rendering it necessary to dispatch an agent immediately to visit the Indians residing along the waters of the
Co-ose River and Bay, situated some fifteen or twenty miles
south of the Umpqua River. The necessity of the constant
presence of an agent among the tribes in the Rogue River
country rendered it imprudent to call away Agent Culver from
his post though Co-ose Bay is attached to his district; I therefore deputed William Martin Esq. of Winchester as a special
agent to visit the Indians of Co-ose Bay and on the waters of
the Umpqua River. I transmit a copy herewith of his appointment and instructions.
While on my late expedition I came to the knowledge of the
existence of a tribe of Indians inhabiting the country on the
upper waters of the North and South Forks of the Umpqua^
and the headwaters of the Rogue River called the wild Mo-lal-
la-las. The name so nearly resembles that of the Mol-al-las
of the Willamette that they have been confounded with that
tribe; but the information that I have obtained satisfies me
that they are a distinct tribe, speaking an entirely different
language and having no connection whatever with them.
They have had but little intercourse with the whites, being
located in a remote and mountainous region off the line of-
travel from Oregon to California. They roam sometimes as
far east and southeast as the headwaters of the Des Chutes
and the Klamath Lake. Their subsistence is chiefly wild game
with which their country abounds, while numerous mountain
streams and lakes afford a rich supply of fish. Some of these
lakes are said, to be twenty miles in length, with considerable
margins of fertile land, and surrounded with precipitous mountains. This information though chiefly derived from indians,
is so far corroborated that I put much confidence in its correctness.
The several bands inhabiting the Coast between Killamook
and the Umpqua River, have never been visited by an agent
of the Government. It was indeed represented that but few
Indians dwelt there.
I have however conversed with several of a party who
explored one of the streams emptying into the Ocean on that
Coast, during the summer, who found a village at the base
of the Mountains about 6 miles from the Ocean containing
about two hundred souls.
In the comfort of their lodges and their abundant supply
of provisions they are much in advance of the tribes generally
along the Coast.   They had but little clothing, no fire arms Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 35
and were of a lighter complexion than the Indians usually
are. They subsist on wild game, fish, muscles and clams and
have but little intercourse with the whites. The greater portion of the indians fled on the approach of the exploring party.
No detailed report of the condition of the Indians in the
Utilla agency has been received. A copy of a letter from Sub-
Agent P. F. Thompson accompanying this report will give
some idea of the petty annoyance to which the agent is subjected from that proud and naughty tribe.
No report has been received at this office from the Agency
of Puget Sound. My letter of the 22nd August informed you
of the designation of J. M. Garrison, Esq. to that Agency.
Agent Starling was accordingly informed of the fact by letter
from this office and directed to turn over to Mr. Garrison the
papers and property belonging to the Agency upon his executing to him a proper receipt therefor. This Mr. Starling declined doing, on the ground that he was not subject to this
Superintendency and was acting under instructions from Governor Stephens [Stevens] of Washington Territory. Soon
afterward Mr. Garrison returned to this Territory and on
the 15th instant notified this Office, that he had resigned his
office of Indian Agent to take effect immediately.
No reports have been received from Sub-Agent W. W. Raymond of Clatsop Plains nor from J. L. Parrish of the Willamette Valley; but I believe the bands and tribes of these
districts are at peace among themselves and sustain friendly
relations to the whites.
It may not be improper to state that several letters from
various sources have been received interrogating the Superintendent in regard to funds alleged to be due them for past
services in the Indian Department, including salary, traveling
expenses, etc., the amount of which I have no means of ascertaining as no regular bills have been presented.
Among the number of claimants is H. H. Spalding Esq.
claiming one Quarter's salary. E. A. Starling Esq. for salary
traveling and incidental expenses and pay of Interpreter and
A. A. Skinner Esq. for traveling expenses and pay of Interpreter.
The pay of the salary of Superintendent and Agents, of
Sub- and Special Agents, Interpreters, and all traveling and
contingent expenses since I entered on the duties assigned
me, are unpaid no public funds having been placed in my
hands by which to discharge such liabilities. I will also add
that for the expenses attending my recent trip to Rogue River 36 C. F. Coan
Country and of the treaties with the Rogue River and Cow
Creek Indians, together with all expenses for the transportation of goods promised them, and the expenses incident to the
duties of Superintendent I am now paying at the rate of five
per cent per month interest.
The following estimate of expenses in this department for the
year commencing July 1st, 1854 is respectfully submitted.
Pay of Superintendent, three Agents and four Sub-
Agents $10,000.00
Pay of 10 Interpreters     5,000.00
Clerk hire, Office Rent, fuel and stationery for Superintendent, and house rent for Agents and Sub-
Agents     4,200.00
Traveling expenses of Superintendent Agents and
Sub-Agents, including exploration of country,'in
addition to similar expenses connected with holding treaties   10,000.00
For payment of annuities to Rogue River & Cow
Creek indians and other grants as stipulated in
treaties     7,500.00
Expenses of holding treaties—the purchase of teams
to transport goods and provisions—for presents
and first payment of annuities provided treaties be
ratified  67,350.00
;In the above estimates I have contemplated the appointment
of one additional agent for this territory preserving the original
number, and an additional Sub-Agent as being indispensable
to the maintenance of peace, and to expedite the early extinguishment of the indian title to the country. It also contemplates the employment of one interpreter to each agent and
Sub-Agent, and two for the Superintendent and two for the
Agent stationed East of the Cascade Mountains.
The pay of the Sub-Agents and Interpreters is estimated as
fixed by law, but should the compensation of these officers be
increased, as in justice it should be, an additional amount will
be required.
The amount for travelling expenses is intended to cover the
cost of the purchase of animals and necessary fixtures for
exploring the country with a view to the selection of permanent
homes for the Indian tribes, the pay of employees to accompany those employed in such expedition, and the ordinary
traveling expenses incident to the service.
The amount for the payment of annuities contemplates the
ratification of the treaties of purchase recently entered into
with the Rogue River and Cow Creek indians.   That amount Reservation Policy Pacific Northwest 37
being necessary to carry its provisions into effect, and will be
needed previous to the first of Sept. 1854.
In the estimate for holding treaties is included a sum believed to be sufficient to pay the expenses of holding treaties
for the extinguishing of Indian title to all the land west of
the Cascade Range; and their assent to remove to such points
as may be selected for them, provided a selection be made
west of said mountains; it also includes an amount sufficient
for presents and a first payment on account of purchase provided the treaties be ratified, for which purpose twelve of
fifteen thousand dollars may be applied; it also contemplates
the purchase of teams and animals for the transportation of
Indian goods to such points as may be necessary, as well as
treating with such of the tribes East of the Cascade Mountains
as may be deemed necessary for the preservation of peace, and
give security to our citizens passing from the Eastern to the
Western boundary of this Territory, and open the way for a
continuous chain of settlements upon the routes usually traveled
by our citizens.
The estimates given above are believed to be the lowest possible adequate to accomplish the objects intended in the most
economical manner. In the exploration of the interior a small
military escort will be essential to the safety of the party, or
the appropriation of an additional sum sufficient for the employment of a suitable number of persons for protection.
I would respectfully suggest to the Department the propriety
and importance of placing at the disposal of the Superintendent
in this Territory in addition to the above estimates a sum of not
less than ten thousand dollars designed as a contingent fund to
meet any sudden emergency, like that in the Rogue River
Country, which might occur. Also that the sum of one thousand dollars be placed at the disposal of each agent and half
that sum in the hands of each Sub-Agent as a contingent fund
for similar purposes. This amount on hand to meet emergencies, might when judiciously expended, be the means often
of preventing a protracted and bloody indian war, and the
expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in military
operations.
The system which requires Agents of the Government to
expend their private funds in meeting the current expenses
incident to the duties of their office, upon this Coast, and await
the auditing of their accounts at Washington City previous to
payment, subjects them to great inconvenience and materially
lessens their influence as Agents.   Some arrangement by which 38 C. F. Coan
those employed in the public service may receive their salaries
at the end of each quarter, together with the current expenses
provided for by law, seems called for not only as a matter of
justice to the employees of the Government, but as a means of
insuring energy of action and efficiency in the service. What
may have been the practice heretofore in this Department I
have no means of ascertaining, but as Agents are still claiming
salary due them since the quarter ending September 30th, 1852,
and others claiming traveling expenses for two years past, great
delay in the auditing and settling of accounts, is evident.
As further evidence of this H. H. Spalding Esq. claims one
quarter's salary yet due him as Indian Agent in 1851.
In order that the Department may understand the data on
which is based my estimate of the expense of treating with the
Indian tribes of Oregon generally, I herewith transmit a table
of the estimated expense of treating with the several tribes
East and West of the Cascade Range so far as such treaties
may be deemed necessary.
I am very respectfully,
Your Obt. Servant
Joel Palmer,
Hon. Geo. W. Manypenny Superintendent.
Commissioner of Ind. Affrs.
Washington City D. C.
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