History of Oregon (Bancroft)/Volume 2/Chapter 16

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
3277125History of Oregon, Volume 2 — Chapter 16Frances Fuller Victor




Grande Ronde 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 opposition 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,[1] recommending the establishment 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.[2]

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.[3] At the same time Palmer gave notice that he intended to carry out his first design of removing all the other tribes whenever the necessary preparations had been made for their reception;[4] a 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;[5] though in reality it was a political dodge; and his removal was accomplished before he had fairly finished the work in hand.[6]

Immediately after the massacre of Whaleshead Governor Curry issued still another proclamation, calling for another battalion for service in the south.[7] 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. 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, reënlisted.[8] 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.[9] Colonel Williams had resigned on account of the strictures passed upon his official management,[10] and Lieutenant-colonel Martin had resigned for a different reason.[11] By election on the 19th of March, 1856, Kelsey was made colonel, Chapman lieutenant-colonel, and Bruce and Latshaw 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.

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.[12] 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 reënforce 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;[13] and a 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. 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.[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] 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 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.[17]

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 manœuvring, during which the 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.[18] 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, 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,[19] Rogue River George, Limpy, 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.[20]

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 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 reënforcements, 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 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.[21] Another taunt was that they had ropes to hang every trooper, not considering them worth ammunition.[22]

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 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 halfway 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.[23] Augur lost two men killed and three wounded, making the total loss of troops twenty-nine.[24] 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 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 march 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 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, without 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.[25]

Early in May 1865 most of the Rogue River 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.[26]

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.[27] 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. '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.
  2. 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.
  3. The Indians were moved in a heavy storm of rain and snow, Capt. Bowie 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.
  4. 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.
  5. '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.
  6. E. R. Geary was not his successor, but A. F. Hedges, an immigrant of 1843.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Martin was appointed receiver of the new land office at Winchester. Or. Statesman, March 11, 1856.
  12. '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 coöperate with any volunteers under my command.' Or. Statesman, April 22, 1856.
  13. '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.
  14. 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 Hartness, 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.
  15. H. C. Huston, in Brown's Miscellany, MS., 49.
  16. Rept of Lamerick, in Or. Statesman, June 24, 1856.
  17. 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.
  18. J. C. F., in Or. Statesman, June 10, 1856; Cram's Top. Mem., 50; Crescent City Herald, June 4, 1856.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Grover's Public Life, MS., 49; Or. and Wash. Scraps, 23; John Wallen, in Nichols' Ind. Aff., MS., 20; Cram's Top. Mem., 53; Volunteer, in Or. Statesman, June 17, 1856; Crescent City Herald, June 11, 1856.
  23. 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 reënforcements on first receiving John's challenge, and had stationed himself where he could run away if he wished.
  24. Cram's Top. Mem.; Rept of Major Latshaw, in Or. Statesman, June 24, 1856; Rept of Palmer, in Ind. Aff. Rept, 1856, 215.
  25. 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.' Trans. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.