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The Infamous Black BirdSouthern Oregon History, Revised


Southern Oregon Indian War Casualties
The white ones, of course.


Vancouver 15 Nov. 1843
    Having perused Captain [Josiah] Spaulding's report on this country and seen, with surprise and indignation, the false and outrageous statements made by that gentleman in relation to our proceedings towards the Indian population of Oregon, I will subjoin, to the best of my recollection, a rapid sketch of the several hostile collisions that have occurred at different periods of time between the whites connected and unconnected with the Hudson's Bay Company, and the Indian population inhabiting the country south of the Columbia through which the direct route to California passes, that appearing to be the district specially referred to by Captain Spaulding as having been fearfully visited by the depredations of our servants. Captain Spaulding has a manifest advantage on his side, as the bold assertions put forth by him are so indefinite and vaguely stated, that we cannot reply to them distinctly, & moreover have so little real connection with the known events of our history that it is difficult to believe they form part of it, or in fact have had a real existence.
    In 1820 Mr. Thomas McKay was sent with a party to explore the country south of the Willamette. A quarrel arose between his party and the natives, in which some lives were lost, but I cannot say how many--but peace was restored, and a good understanding has subsisted between those Indians and the whites from that time to this.
    In 1829 Mr. Jedediah Smith, an American citizen unconnected with the Hudson's Bay Company, who was traveling with a party of hunters towards the Columbia, at the mouth of the Umpqua left sixteen of his men with his property and about 300 horses, while he went up the river to endeavor to find out a place to ford his horses. During his absence his camp was attacked, and 15 of his men out of 16 murdered. The one who escaped made his way from tribe to tribe, till he came to the Killemaux, who dwell on the coast about thirty miles to the south of Fort George. These brought the man (Black was his name) to Vancouver, who said that on the party arriving at the entrance of the Umpqua, the Indians stole the only axe the party had, and as they absolutely required it, after doing all they could in vain to get it from the Indians, they had recourse as a last alternative to tying the chief, on which the axe the restored. The day following Smith started with two men in search of a ford, and told the people to allow no Indian to enter the camp, but instead of doing so the Indians were allowed to come in the camp and go about as they pleased. On a shout being given, four or five Indians got hold of each white man, threw him down and murdered him. Four or five Indians got hold of Black, but as he held his rifle in his hand and being a strong man, he extricated himself, and by striking on the Indians right and left escaped into the woods, where the Indians would not follow him. Mr. Smith had taken an Indian with him to pilot him up the river. On his way back to the camp, he was met by a band of Indians, who called out to the Indian with Mr. Smith. The Indian seized on Mr. Smith's rifle, threw it in the river and dived in himself also, and at the same time the Indians from the shore discharged a volley of arrows at Mr. Smith, who, to save himself, paddled off as fast as he could to the opposite shore, and when he came in sight of his camp, seeing neither men nor horses, he was convinced that his people had been murdered--landed on the north bank of the river, and (though he never was there before) came through the woods to the Willamette Valley; from whence the Indians conducted him and his two men to Fort Vancouver; he met at the waterside, as he was disembarking from his canoe, a party of the Hudson's Bay Company's people who were on their way to the Willamette in search of him.
    A few days after his arrival Mr. McLeod was dispatched with sixty men to the country where Mr. Smith's party had been destroyed, to compel a restitution of his property. He was two months on his journey, and collected property to the amount of about three thousand dollars, which was restored in full to Mr. Smith, who accompanied Mr. McLeod in the expedition without any charge or deduction whatsoever.
    Mr. McLeod then proceeded on his voyage to California and returned the following year without having had any quarrel with the Indians, except at Rogue River, which owes its name to the conduct of the natives, who were very impudent and troublesome, and went so far as to take the people's kettles from the fire and help themselves to the contents; and when the men proposed to drive them out of camp and then punish them for their impudence, Mr. McLeod from motives of humanity would not allow them, but made them give the contents of their kettles to the Indians, saying to his men, "Take pity on the Indians and give them food." From Mr. McLeod's humanity and forbearance those Indians took a footing, and have been troublesome to the whites ever since. However as the H.B. Co.'s people were in large parties and knew their character they never had any rupture with them--
    But a party of seven Americans and Englishmen coming from California in 1832 were treacherously attacked by these Indians, two of them murdered, and the remaining five robbed of their horses and property. After enduring great suffering and privation as may well be imagined from their being wounded and naked, some only with a shirt on their back, starving, and walking two hundred miles through a woody country, they reached the Willamette settlement in a most miserable plight, their wounds in a dreadful state; one man, in particular, had his lower lip cut to the chin, with several of his teeth broken.
    These must be the five men whom Captn. Spaulding says had been so kindly treated by the Indians, as no other five came that way. But these men were not in the H.B. Company's service, but entirely free and uncontrolled by the H.B. Co.
    A few years after, in a party who went from this by sea with Mr. Slacum (and who were unconnected with the H.B. Co.) to California, there were two or more of these men, and in passing the place, one of them shot an Indian in the camp before the others could interfere, and at which one of the party expressed the utmost indignation, but he could neither prevent the deed nor punish the delinquent. Two years subsequently to the event related, a party composed of 16 white men from the Willamette settlement accompanied by a number of Indian followers, in traveling towards California, were waylaid and attacked in a difficult mountain pass by these Indians, who having the advantage of the ground, repulsed and drove them back with the loss of one man killed, and they were discouraged to such a degree by this check that they did not prosecute their journey but returned immediately to their homes.
    The above is a brief and hasty outline of the different affrays that have occurred between the whites of this quarter and the Indian tribes inhabiting the district of country extending from the Columbia to the Bay of San Francisco in California.
    I will not take upon myself to assert that our trapping parties have in no instance exceeded the bounds of moderation in punishing acts of aggression committed by the Indian tribes through whom they passed, nor even that individuals of these parties have not indulged in acts of private revenge when not under the eye of their leader, but this fact I may fearlessly assert, that we have taken every means that could be devised for the prevention of crime, by having these parties well organized, commanded by efficient persons of trust and confidence, by maintaining the strictest discipline among the men, and by punishing every known offense committed; every man in these parties was also directed to be kind and forbearing towards the Indians, and fully understood that any act of wanton murder would expose him to the penalties of a capital indictment in the criminal courts of Canada.
    As to the story "The following winter the notorious Juman went through the district with the Company's trappers committing all sorts of inhuman depredations and marking every step of his way with violence, blood and murder," it is a gross fabrication. I know of no man of the name of Juman in the country, and no party of ours was ever sent out with such instructions, or ever acted in such an atrocious manner.
    It may be seen by a perusal of Washington Irving's "Astoria" that on the first settlement of the country the Columbia Indians were exceedingly troublesome, and in fact until 1834 it was not considered safe to travel up or down this river with less than 60 men, armed with muskets and fixed bayonets. Now even strangers can come down the river from the Snake Country by twos and threes. It is true, it is improper and imprudent for strangers to do so, and they ought not, as it will lead to trouble; but it is a proof the Indians have not been butchered in the way Captn. Spaulding represents, and we brought them to this state by prudent, forbearing conduct joined with firmness. The very nature of the Hudson's Bay Company's business of itself ought to protect them from such foul aspersions. We are traders, and apart from more exalted motives, all traders are desirous of gain. Is it not self-evident we will manage our business with more economy by being on good terms with Indians than if at variance. We trade furs; none can hunt fur-bearing animals or afford to sell them cheaper than Indians. It is therefore clearly our interest, as it is unquestionably our duty, to be on good terms with them, and the Indians of the Columbia are not such poltroons as to suffer themselves to be ill-treated, particularly when the disparity of numbers is so great as to show but one white man to 200 Indians; and to conclude, I will observe that I have been in charge of this department since 1824, and I am convinced that none of our proceedings can justify the slightest reflection being cast on the H.B. Co., and I am also satisfied that in every respect our conduct can bear the closest investigation. Capt. Spaulding has bestowed upon me a more flattering character than I desire, and it is somewhat inconsistent in him to suppose that a person deserving of such high commendation should have permitted the H.B. Co. servants who are under his order to commit the worst crimes that have disgraced the history of man.
John McLoughlin
    Chief Factor, H.B. Co.
John McLoughlin, The Letters of John McLoughlin: From Fort Vancouver to the Governor and Committee, Champlain Society 1943, pages 113-119

    Joint Resolution relative to the payment of the volunteers called into service for the protection of the emigrants in 1854.
    Resolved, by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Oregon, that the secretary of the territory be and he is hereby requested to transmit copies of His Excellency the Governor's annunciation of the 18th of December last and the accompanying documents, and copies of this resolution, to His Excellency James Buchanan, President of the United States, and to Hon. James B. Floyd, Secretary of War; also, to send copies of the same to Hon. Joseph Lane, delegate in Congress from Oregon, and that he be requested to present the same to Congress and urge an appropriation to pay the Oregon volunteers who were called into service for the protection of the emigrants in eighteen hundred and fifty-four, and all just and necessary expenses.
    Adopted in the Council
        February 3rd 1858,
                                                Ira F. M. Butler
                                                    Speaker of the House of Representatives
    Adopted in the House
        February 3rd 1858
                                                H. D. O'Bryant
                                                    President of the Council
A true copy.
   

Your committee to whom was referred the Governor's message and resolution No. ____ relative to the protection of emigrants in 1854, with instructions to report as far as practicable the number, date, places and names of persons killed by Oregon Indians and their allies in times of peace, and those killed in times of war by Indians supposed to be friendly, submit the following report. The deadly hostility of the Indians inhabiting the extreme northern and southern portions of our Territory may be traced back to a very early period:
    As far back as 1834, a party of about thirty persons under the control of a Captain Smith were massacred near the mouth of the Umpqua River.
    In June 1835, George Gay, Daniel Miller, Edward Barnes [sic], Dr. Bailey, Mr. Sanders, John Turner, John Woodworth and an Irishman called Tom. were attacked by Rogue River Indians near where Mr. Birdseye now lives in Rogue River Valley and Mr. Miller, Mr. Burns [sic], Mr. Sanders, and Tom. were killed. The other four were badly wounded, but made their escape.
    In August, 1838, as a party of citizens of Oregon were driving the first cattle from California to this Territory, they were attacked near the same spot where the party was attacked in 1835, by the same Indians, and Mr. Gay, who was of the party of '35, was again wounded.
    In the fall of 1846, a sick immigrant was killed on the southern Oregon emigrant road, near Lost River, by Modoc Indians.
    On the 29th Nov. 1847, Dr. Whitman, a Protestant missionary, his wife, two orphan children, a Frenchman, and about eleven emigrants were massacred at and near the mission in Walla Walla Valley by Cayuse Indians. This was the commencement of the Cayuse War.
    In 1851, an exploring party of eight or ten men were attacked near the mouth of the Coquille River, in Southern Oregon, and six of the number killed.
    Early in the spring of 1851 two men were killed on Grave creek and one or two more on Rogue River, by Rogue River Indians, for which they were chastised by Maj. Kearny, U.S. army. It was in some of Maj. Kearny's engagements with those Indians that Capt. Stuart, U.S. army, was killed.
    In May 1851 Mr. Dilley was killed near Camp Stuart, in Rogue River Valley, by R.R. Indians.
    In October, Mr. Moffitt was killed near the same place and by the same Indians.
    In June 1852 Calvin Woodman was killed in Scotts Valley, California, by R.R. Indians.
    In June 1852 James L. Freaner, John Brando, "Cayuse" Jackson and "Adobe" John, a Mexican, were killed by Pit River Indians, in the valley of that name, while viewing a wagon road from Sacramento Valley to the southern boundary line of Oregon.
    In August 1852 Mr. Coats, John Ornsby, James Long and thirty-three immigrants were murdered by the Modoc Indians on the southern Oregon emigrant road.
    In December 1852 William Grendege, Peter Hunter, James Bacon and brother, Mr. Bruner, Mr. Allen, and Mr. Palmer were massacred by Rogue River Indians on Rogue River near the mouth of Galice Creek.
    In 1853, Aug. 4th, Edward Edwards was killed by Rogue River Indians in his own house on Stuart Creek.
    Aug. 5th, Thomas Wills was mortally wounded by Rogue River Indians within three hundred yards of the town of Jacksonville.
    Aug. 6th, 1853, Richard Nolan was killed by Rogue River Indians on Jackson Creek, one mile from the town of Jacksonville.
    Aug. 17th, 1853, John Gibbs, William Hudgins, and three others whose names are not known, were killed in Rogue River Valley by Rogue River Indians.
    Oct. 6th, 1853, James C. Kyle was killed by Rogue River Indians two miles from Fort Lane and about six from Jacksonville. The actual murderer of Mr. Kyle, and those who murdered Edwards and Wills, were subsequently arrested, and were tried for their offenses before the Hon. O. B. McFadden, in the spring of 1854, and were convicted and hung. These three Indians, with those chastised by Major Kearny in 1851, are the only ones ever punished for crime by either the civil or military authorities in southern Oregon.
    In January 1854 Hiram Hulen, John Clark, John Oldfield and Wesley Mayden were killed between Jacksonville and Yreka by Rogue River, Shasta and Modoc Indians.
    April 15th 1854 Edward Phillips was killed on Applegate Creek, near Fort Lane, by Rogue River Indians.
    June 15th 1854 Daniel Gage was killed while crossing the Siskiyou Mountains between Jacksonville and Yreka.
    June 24th 1854 Captain McAmy was killed at DeWitt's ferry, on Klamath River, by Shasta and R.R. Indians.
    August 20th Alexander Ward, his wife and seven children, Mrs. White and child, Samuel Mulligan, Dr. Adams and brother, William Babcock, John Fredrick, and Rudolph Schultz, Mr. Amens and a Frenchman, name unknown, were massacred by Snake Indians on the northern Oregon emigrant road near Fort Boise.
    September Mr. Stewart was killed by Indians on the middle route to Oregon, via the plains.
    May 8th 1855 Mr. Hill was killed on Indian Creek by Rogue River Indians.
    June 1st 1855 Jerome Dyer and Daniel McKew [were] killed by Rogue River Indians on the road between Jacksonville and Illinois Valley.
    June 2nd 1855 Mr. Philpot, killed in Deer Creek Valley by the same Indians next above mentioned.
    July 27th 1855 Mr. Peters was killed on Humbug Creek by Klamath, Shasta and R.R. Indians.
    July 28 1855 William Hennessey, Edward Parrish, Thomas Grey, Peter Highnight, John Pollock, four Frenchmen and two Mexicans, names unknown, were killed by the Indians next before referred to, at Buckeye Bar, on Klamath River.
    September 2nd Mr. Keene, killed by Modoc Indians on the southern Oregon emigrant road, near Rogue River Valley.
    September 1855 Mrs. Clark and a young man were killed in Yamhill County by Coast Indians.
    September 1855 Elisha Plummer and four others, names unknown, were killed at Grand Ronde, east of the Blue Mountains, by Cayuse and Walla Walla Indians.
    September 1855 Indian Agent A. J. Bolon, ____ Matteese and two others, names unknown, were killed by the Yakima Indians east of the Cascade Mountains.
    September 24th 1855 Fields and Cunningham were killed by Rogue River Indians on the Siskiyou Mountains between Jacksonville and Yreka.
    September 25th 1855 Samuel Warren, killed by the same Indians next above referred to.
    October 9th 1855 Mrs. J. B. Wagoner, Mary Wagoner, Mr. & Mrs. Jones, Mr. & Mrs. Haines and two children, George W. Harris, David W. Harris, F. A. Reed, William Gwin, James W. Cartwright, Mr. Powell, _____ Bunch, _____ Fox, _____ Hamilton and _____ White were killed by Umpqua and Rogue River Indians near Evans ferry on Rogue River. This is known as "the Wagoner Massacre."
    October 10th 1855 Messrs. Hudson and Wilson, killed by Rogue River and Klamath Indians on the road between Crescent City and Indian Creek.
    October 16th 1855 Holland Bailey was killed by Umpqua and Cow Creek Indians in Cow Creek Valley.
    November 6th 1855 Charles Scott and Theodore Snow, killed on the road between Yreka and Scotts Bar by messengers from the Rogue River to the lower Klamath Indians.
    February 23rd 1856 Capt. Benj. Wright, Capt. John Poland, H. Braun, E. W. Howe, Mr. Wagoner, Barney Castle, George McClusky, Mr. Lara, W. R. Tullus, James Seroc and two sons, Mr. Smith, Mr. Warner, John Geisel and three children, S. Heidrick, Pat. McCullough and four others whose names are unknown were killed by Indians in charge of agent Capt. Benj Wright near the mouth of Rogue River.
    March 26th 1856 George Griswold, Norman Palmer, Mr. & Mrs. Brown, William Watkins, James St. Clair and eleven others, names unknown, were killed by Cascade Indians.
    This is known as "the Cascade Massacre."
    June 1856 Charles Green and Thomas Stewart, killed on McKinneys Creek near Fort Jones by Shasta Indians.
    Jany or Feby 1857 Harry Lockhart, Z. Rogers, Adam Boles, D. Bryant, and John, a German, killed in Pit River Valley, by Pit River Indians.
    It will be seen from the foregoing list that prior to 1851, upwards of fifty citizens were murdered by Oregon Indians. Since 1851 upwards of one hundred and forty citizens have been murdered by the Indians of Southern Oregon and their immediate allies; and about fifty by the Indians of Northern Oregon and their allies, since 1851. Many more names could be obtained from papers and living witnesses, but your committee have not time to investigate any farther.
   

Recapitulation
Killed in 1834, thirty              30
Killed in 1835, four                  4
Killed in 1846, one                   1
Killed in 1847, sixteen           16
Killed in 1850, six                     6
Killed in 1851, six                     6
Killed in 1852, forty-seven    47
Killed in 1853, eight                 8
Killed in 1854, twenty-seven  27
Killed in 1855, fifty-one         51
Killed in 1856, forty-three     43
Killed in 1857, five                   5
Total, two hundred and forty-five
    Your committee report the resolution back without amendment, and recommend that it be adopted. All of which is respectfully submitted.
                        Nathaniel Ford
                        Chairman Military Affairs
Feby. 3rd 1858.
   

Endorsed Report of the Committee on Military Affairs. Adopted February 3rd 1858.
Territory of Oregon
    I, B. F. Harding, Secretary of the Territory of Oregon, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and perfect copy of the original, now on file in my office.
    In testimony whereof I have hereunto signed my name and affixed the seal of the Territory this 21st day of February, A.D. 1858.
   

Salem O.T.       
February 14th 1858.       
Messrs Miller & Brandenburg--
    Dear Sirs: I send you by this mail a copy of a joint resolution of the Legislative Assembly and the report of the committee on military affairs thereon including as far as they could collect them the names of whites killed by Indians in times of peace and those killed in times of war, by Indians supposed to be friendly.
    It is a good document to show the necessity for all the Oregon volunteers and to contradict General Wool's falsehoods about the citizens of Oregon.
    Press the claim before Congress and get at least commissioners appointed to audit the accounts, and if possible get an appropriation to pay the claims. I sent you by last mail several copies of the Governor's message referred to in the enclosed resolution. The Secretary says he will send Genl. Lane a certified copy by next mail. Write and direct to Jacksonville, Oregon. Give me all the news. What is the prospect of Congress paying the Oregon war debt? What is the auditor doing with the spoliations of 1853? Give me a minute [omission?] of the prices recommended by the commissioners on the late war claims &c; you can get them from some of the clerks that have the papers in charge.
                    I remain yours very respectfully
                        B. F. Dowell
Jo Lane Letters


Camp Baker, Oregon
    March 8th, 1863.
Dear Sir:
    I take the liberty to send you a few extracts from my report to General Wright--20th ultimo--relative to the necessity for a military post in the Klamath Lake country, the disposition of the Indians, &c., &c.
    "With regard to the necessity for, and the location of, a military post in the Klamath Lake region, I have to report that I deem it indispensable to the public safety in this vicinity that a post should be established there at the earliest date practicable, whether a treaty with the Indians--the authority for which is now pending in Congress--is effected or not. . . .
    "The section of country I propose for the Indian reservation borders on and lies due west of Upper or Big Klamath Lake and extending westward to the summit of the Cascade Mountains. This would give the Indians (Klamaths & Modocs) all the hunting ground they now use, and their usual advantages for fishing. . . .
    "The Klamath Lakes, Modocs and Piute Indians, so far as relates to their general character, are virtually one tribe, and none of them are in the least reliable for any good whatever. On the contrary it is susceptible of the clearest demonstration that they are a horde of practical thieves, highwaymen and murderers--cowardly sycophants before the white man's face, and perfidious assassins behind his back.
    "Their history, so far as generally known, begins with the summer of 1846--the date of the first overland emigration via what is now known as the southern Oregon emigrant road. Their operations that year were mainly of a thieving character--the emigration having been a surprise to them, and allowing no time to mature a concert of action for more bloody purposes, such as they adopted in subsequent years. They made a beginning, however, by murdering one--if not more--of that year's emigration, and committing many thefts and robberies.
    "The following year--1847--Levi Scott, of Oregon, and of the emigration of the previous year, returned with a small party along this route to make further explorations, but on arriving at Goose Lake was attacked by the Indians, wounded, and had one of his party--Garrison--killed. About the same time a train of twenty-three persons was massacred at Bloody Point.
    "In 1849, another train--about eighteen persons--were massacred at the same place, and
    "September 26, same year, Captain Warner, U.S. Engineer Corps, and several of his party were murdered east of Goose Lake.
    "In 1851, Charles Smith, Reason Haines and ------ Terwilliger were murdered near the head of Deschutes River.
    "In August 1852, John Ormsby, James Long, Felix Martin, Mr. Coats, Mr. Wood and thirty-four of the overland emigration were murdered at Bloody Point.
    "Ormsby, Long and Coats were citizens of Yreka, and in company with several others had gone out to protect some friends whom they expected overland against the identical Indians by whom they themselves were murdered. Martin and Wood were of the emigration, as were the thirty-four not accounted by name. It is very evident, however, that the murders here reported fall far short of the actual number committed. Such was the opinion at that time of those who visited the scene and buried such of the bodies as they happened to find.
    "These companies (from Yreka & Jacksonville) found and buried thirty-nine bodies. The body of one female only was found, and none of children, though evidences that numbers of each had been murdered were numerous.
    "It was the belief of the relieving parties, and of many of the emigration who had any opportunity to know much about it, that as many or more persons than are here reported were murdered whose bodies were not found, and it is more than probable that this estimate is not more than correct. If so the total is at least seventy-eight.
    "In 1853, the Indians were anticipated in their designs by a volunteer force being sent to meet the emigration before its arrival at the usual points for attack. The result was [that] it passed in unharmed. . . .
    "In 1854, January, Hiram Hulen, J. Clark, J. Oldfield and Wesley Mayden, of Shasta Valley, were murdered near Lower Klamath Lake while in pursuit of horses, which the Indians had stolen and were driving away.
    "June 15--The pack train of Gage & Claymer was attacked
and captured on the post road over the Siskiyou Mountains, between Jacksonville and Yreka, and Mr. Gage was killed. The main object of the attack was to obtain ammunition, of which the Indians secured an ample quantity. The designs of these Indians to again waylay the emigration was frustrated by another volunteer force being sent there by the governor of Oregon, and it came safely through.
    "September 2, however, on the middle Oregon route, Stewart, of Corvallis, was murdered while going out to meet some friends whom he desired to have come in by that road.
    "In 1855, September 2, Granville M. Keene was murdered near the mouth of Applegate Pass, while, with others, he was in pursuit of horses the Indians had stolen.
    "[September] 24th the Indians again waylaid the post road over the Siskiyou Mountains, and murdered Calvin M. Fields and John Cunningham, and next day--25th--Samuel Warner, near the same place. No military force being provided for the southern Oregon emigrant road this year, it was effectually blockaded, and no emigration allowed to pass over it.
    "In 1856 a volunteer force was sent into the Klamath Lake country by the governor of California, and the emigrant route fully protected.
    "In 1857, no force of any kind being sent there, the road was again effectually blockaded.
    "In 1858--about September15--Felix Scott and seven other persons were murdered near Goose Lake, and several thousand dollars' worth of blooded horses captured. Other parties were also robbed of much valuable stock at the same time.
    "In 1859 the Piutes turned their attention towards the settlement of Honey Lake Valley, and 'Gravelly Ford,' on the Humboldt. Of the depredations they committed there I have no accurate memoranda. That they were considerable, however, both upon life and property, cannot be questioned.
    "In 1860--August--Eli Ledford, Samuel Probst, James Crow, S. F. Conger, and James Brown were murdered in Rancheria Prairie, thirty-five miles east of Jacksonville, and close upon the eastern border of the settlements of Rogue River Valley. This is wholly chargeable to the Klamath Lake Indians. . . .
    "In 1861 Lieut. Alexander Piper, third United States artillery, with 62 men, was stationed for a few months in the Klamath Lake country, and they relieved the people of Rogue River Valley and Siskiyou County, California from apprehension of Indian forays for that season. But the result was less beneficial beyond the point where Lieut. Piper was stationed, for near Goose Lake Joseph Bailey, Samuel Evans and Edward Simms were murdered, John Sheppard and others wounded and nine hundred and ten head of fine cattle taken. . . .
    "The aggregate of these murders is one hundred and twelve, exclusive of the estimate for the year 1852--thirty-nine--and the number of Captain Warner's party, who shared his fate. Assuming this estimate to be correct, and it is very evident that it is not any too large, and independent of Warner's party, for which I have no data for an estimate, and the aggregate is increased to one hundred and fifty-one.
    "How many were wounded during the commission of these murders and escaped, some mortally, and others maimed for life, it is impossible to say. Two for every one killed is probably a fair estimate. This would give three hundred at least, and a total of killed and wounded [of] four hundred and fifty-one--equal to twenty-eight per annum for the last sixteen years.
    "The value of property destroyed during this period cannot fall short of three hundred thousand dollars, probably.
    "All of these murders and depredations have been committed without the least provocation, and in no instance have the Indians been punished. Success has rendered them more and more insolent and defiant, and consequently the more dangerous and formidable enemies."
    I have been as thorough in making up my report as the occasion would justify, exceeding to a very considerable extent the limit of the department commander's inquiry. I deemed such a course necessary because it has always suited the purpose of bad men to so misrepresent Indian matters here as to create abroad an incurable prejudice against the state and the belief at Washington and at department headquarters, and even in Oregon outside of this particular locality, that the service I have recommended is wholly unnecessary. Of these matters, however, you are conversant.
I am, very respectfully,
    Your obedient servant,
        C. S. Drew
            Major 1st. Cav. O.V.
Hon. J. W. P. Huntington
    Superintendent Indian Affairs
        for Oregon
Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 20; Letters Received, 1862, No. 63.  The full letter is online.


THE MODOC LAMBS.
A Partial List of Murders Perpetrated by Indians in Southern Oregon--
The Harmless and Injured Lambs Who Are to Be Met by Our Peace Commission.

Portland, February 14, 1873.
    Editors Bulletin: As the engrossing topic of the day, especially in the eastern states, seems to be the Modoc War, possibly you will permit me to give through your paper a few historical items pertinent to the subject. I hope if this should reach the eagle eye of my old friend "'Lish" [Elisha Applegate] that it will bring back to his overstocked memory a vivid recollection of the days when he "strict vigils kept" behind the stockades of his own private fortress on the bloody banks of Evans Creek. Those who have never lived in Southern Oregon can but feebly appreciate the Indian outrages settlers have withstood, and I might add, the official indignities to which they have had to submit from those who should have been their protectors. Time and space will not permit at present of any dwelling on the latter proposition. I propose, however, to give, as briefly as possible, a historic list of the murders and depredations by the Indians of Southern Oregon. You will see that the Modocs have not been the least conspicuous in these transactions. I shall commence my list with the year 1850, as I have no data at hand prior to that time.
    1850--Early in this summer eleven men, names unknown to me, were murdered at the present site of Port Orford. They were a portion of an exploring expedition who landed at this point to make a cursory examination of the adjacent country. They had scarcely set foot on the land when they were attacked and every man killed. [Sutton confabulates the 1851 Battle Rock and T'Vault Expedition stories.] These Indians were never called to account.
    August--Spink and Cushing, packers, were murdered, and their train and loading destroyed by Klamath Indians, near the line of Oregon and California. There was no provocation given, and the murderers were never punished.
    1851, January--Near the last-named place, at Blackburn's Ferry, on the Klamath River, James Sloan, Janalshan, Bender and Blackburn were killed by Indians, and several thousand dollars' worth of property destroyed. These Indians were not punished.
    May--Four men, miners, names unknown, were murdered, two at a time, and at two different places on the road between Rogue River and Grave Creek. The murderers were not punished. Near Yreka, in the same month, by the same Indians, Wm. Mosier and a man by the name of Reaves (or Reavis) were murdered. Said Indians were not punished. About this time Dilley, a packer, was murdered on the site of the town of Phoenix, eight miles from Jacksonville, and his flour poured on the ground--his load consisting of this commodity. Dilley's murderers were never punished.
    August--Cornelius Doherty, of Texas, Jeremiah Ryan, of Maryland, John Holland, of New Hampshire, J. P. Pepper and P. Murphy, of New York, were murdered by Rogue River Indians, and three men were wounded. An attempt was made to chastise these Indians by a force of United States troops, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Casey, but the action of these troops did little more than excite the contempt of the "red brothers."
    October--Mr. Moffit, a drover, was mortally wounded by Rogue River Indians, near the present site of Phoenix. About this time came Major Kearny on a visit to these murdering brothers, adopting the "powwow" and jawbone policy of the Emigration Commission, and obtained a promise from the Indians that they would commit no more depredations. [Kearny burned villages and killed dozens during his campaign in the Rogue Valley, then moved on. Governor Gaines then informally treated with the Indians.]
    [1852], June 2--Calvin Woodman, a miner, was murdered by Rogue River Indians in Scotts Valley. The Indian who fired the fatal shot and his accomplice were afterwards captured by a company of volunteers from Yreka. They were tried before citizens. Their guilt being established beyond a doubt, the principal was hung, but as it was difficult to make the Indians understand why an accessory should suffer, he was permitted to go free. Mr. Woodman was a native of Maine. In the same month Colonel James L. Freaner (the "Mustang" of Mexican War notoriety), ------ Jackson, ------ Warren and a Mexican called Adobe John were murdered in the Pit River Valley by Indians of that name. Their actual fate was not known until about four years afterwards, when the Indians boastingly disclosed the particulars. They, of course, were not punished.
    August--Mr. Coats, John Ormsby, James Long, Felix Martin, ------ Wood and thirty-four others, names not known, were murdered by the Modocs and other tribes in the vicinity, on the emigrant road.
    December--Wm. Grendage, Peter Hunter, Mr. Bruner, Mr. Palmer, Wm. Allen, two brothers (Bacon) and one other, name unknown, were murdered near the mouth of Galice Creek by Rogue River Indians. [Usually the total victims is given as seven.]
    1853, May or June--An American and a Mexican, miners, were murdered near Cow Creek by Rogue River Indians. No punishment. [The 1853 murders were the cause of a general war against the Indians.]
    August 4--Edward Edwards, a farmer residing six miles from Jacksonville, was murdered at noonday by Rogue River Indians. The Indians had secreted themselves in some brush nearby, and shot him on his return home. The Indians' right to do this act not (officially) questioned. About this time a half-witted boy, some 18 years old, by the name of Miller, was sent to the penitentiary for killing an Indian.
    August 5--Thomas Willis, a merchant of Jacksonville, was shot and mortally wounded just as he was entering the town. No attempt at punishment.
    August 6--Richard Noland and another person, name not known, were murdered at their claim one mile from Jacksonville.
    August 17--John Gibbs, William Hudgins, ------ Whittier, and two others, were murdered by a band of Rogue River Indians who were professedly friendly and who, at the time, were being wholly subsisted by Mr. Gibbs and other citizens at private expense.
    October 6--Jas. C. Kyle, a merchant of Jacksonville, and partner of Thos. Willis, above named as being wounded, was killed six miles from home and two miles from Fort Lane by Rogue River Indians belonging to the Table Rock Reservation. About this time Mr. Ball and partner, and a man called Jack, were murdered by the Rogue River Indians.
    1854, January--Hiram Hulan, J. Clark, J. Oldfield and Wesley Mayden were murdered by a band consisting of Rogue River, Shasta and Modoc Indians while looking for stock which these Indians had stolen. Distance from Fort Lane about 25 miles. The Indians were not punished. Edward Phillips, a miner, on Applegate Creek, was murdered at his own house, 14 miles from Fort Lane, by Rogue River Indians. As usual, no attempt was made to punish the murderers.
    January 15--Daniel Gage was murdered by Rogue River Indians on the road between Jacksonville and Yreka, about 20 miles from Fort Lane. The Indians destroyed most of Mr. Gage's (and Claymer's) pack train and a valuable lot of merchandise. Indians not punished.
    June 24th--Mr. McAmy killed by Rogue River and Shasta Indians near the line of California and Oregon, on the Jacksonville and Yreka road. No punishment inflicted on the Indians. About this time Thomas O'Neal was murdered near the same place by the same Indians. Punishment same as above.
    September--Stewart, of Corvallis, was murdered by the Klamath Indians on the emigrant road en route to meet some friends who were coming overland. Strange to say, the Indians were not punished.
    November 2--Alfred French was murdered by Indians of Southern Oregon near Crescent City, California. A number of the Indians were arrested in this case, which led to the discovery of Mr. French's body and the hanging of the principal. Mr. French was formerly connected with the Independence Chronicle, at Independence, Missouri.
    1855, May 8--Hill a miner, murdered by the Rogue River Indians; Indians unpunished.
    June 1--Jerome Dyer and Daniel McKew were murdered on the road from Jacksonville to Illinois Valley by Rogue River Indians from the Table Rock Reservation. The field of his murder was only sixteen miles from Fort Lane. The Indians were returned to the reservation by the troops without punishment.
    June 2--Philpot murdered by last-named Indians; punishment of Indians, do., do. ["ditto"]
    July 27--Rogue River Indians murdered a miner named Peters; no punishment.
    July 28--Wm. Hennessey, Edward Parrish, Austin W. Gay, Peter Highnight, John Pollock, four Frenchmen and two Mexicans, names unknown, were murdered on Buckeye Bar, on Klamath River, by Rogue River Indians from Table Rock Reservation, assisted by a few of the Shastas; massacre fourteen miles from Fort Jones. In this case a company of volunteers was raised and followed the Indians through the mountains, returning from the place of this tragedy direct to the Table Rock Reservation, and demanded of the commander of Fort Lane the surrender of the murderers, with the assurance that they would be handed over to the proper civil authorities for trial. Captain A. J. Smith (brigadier general in the late Civil War), commander of the post above named, positively refused to surrender the culprits. His refusal was also accompanied with the threat that in case any attempt was made to molest these desperadoes he would turn the guns of Fort Lane on the volunteers. Had not the wise counsel and cool deliberation of the more considerate citizens prevailed, a general uprising of the citizens would have culminated at this juncture, who would have attacked not only the Indians on the reservation, but the very garrison in its stronghold, which had so long shielded these savage butchers in their fiendish work. I have not time or space in this communication to enter into details of the actions of the authorities, Indian Agent Ambrose and Captain Smith, commander of Fort Lane. In another letter, if you desire, I will speak of this subject.
    September 2--Granville M. Keene was killed by Modocs near the head of Rogue River Valley, while in pursuit of a horse stolen by them. No punishment.
    September 24--Calvin M. Fields and John Cunningham were murdered on the road between Jacksonville and Yreka by Rogue River Indians from the reservation, aided by a small band of Modocs who were prowling in the vicinity at that time. Still no punishment.
    September 25--Samuel Warner was murdered by the same Indians near the same last above-named. Indians' right to do this still unchallenged, although only twenty-five miles from Fort Lane.
    October 9--Mrs. J. B. Wagoner, Mary Wagoner, Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Harris and two children, G. W. Harris, D. W. Harris, F. A. Reed, Wm. Gwin, J. W. Cartwright, ------ Powell, ------ Bunch, ------ Fox, ------ Hamilton, ------ White, and probably several others, were killed between Rogue River and Grave Creek by a combination of Rogue River Indians from the reserve and a few Umpquas. Same day, ------ Hudson and ------ Wilson, packers, were murdered on the road between Crescent City, California, and Indian Creek, by Rogue River Indians. Still no attempt at punishment by the regular military.
    October 16--Holland and Bailey were murdered on Cow Creek.
    I shall have to bring my list to a close, not because the subject is exhausted. I could yet give scores of names of men, women and children who fell by the hands of these fiends incarnate. I could also give many horrifying particulars of the murders I have already recounted, as well as those which occurred afterwards. But I must desist. My object in writing the foregoing is twofold:
    First, to preserve for the information of the public historical data, which I assure you have taken months of inquiry and investigation to obtain, information which at the present writing is nowhere accessible to the public.
    Second, I wish to show how persistently the Indian sympathizers and scandalmongers have used every opportunity to misrepresent the people of Southern Oregon since the earliest settlement of that country. After the settlement of Fort Lane and Table Rock Reservation, I assert without fear of contradiction that much of the bloodshed that followed must be charged to the omissions and influences of the authorities of these places. Notwithstanding the almost daily murders occurring, and that for months prior to the actual outbreak the ominous war fire blazed nightly from every visible mountaintop in the land, the solemn significance of which could not be misinterpreted by the early settlers; notwithstanding the urgent petitions of the most respectable citizens, the authorities not only continued to ignore the fearful signs of the times, but continually declared that there was no danger. Many settlers residing in dangerous localities were often warned by citizens to prepare for the worst, but choosing rather to confide in the officers of the fort and reservation, fell by merciless savages.
    All the victims of the bloody 9th of October, 1855, were of this class, and only the day before [they] were assured by Captain Smith that there was no danger. Then forbearance could no longer be endured; the citizens arose, and on the morning of the 8th of October, 1855, attacked a band of Rogue River Indians, the same band that had committed the murders on Klamath River, at the head of the valley, and after a hard-fought battle of eight hours, and the loss of two men killed and twelve wounded, succeeded in making a total rout of the Indians. This band was composed of the most desperate and murderous Indians in Southern Oregon, who despite the feeble efforts of the Agent could not be induced to go on the reservation, and were, at the time of the attack, outside the limits of the reservation. The volunteers who attacked them were for the most part the most respectable citizens of the country.
    I mention this to show the official indignity and misrepresentation the people of Southern Oregon had to endure even at that early date, as will appear from what follows. The commander of the United States troops, at Fort Lane, seeing his mistake, undertook to shield himself by making it appear that all the trouble was caused by the volunteers, and at the time, not knowing that on the day there had been a general outbreak of the Indians from Northern California to the British Possessions, he made the following infamous report, which I give in his own language as near as memory serves me, to wit:
    "On the 8th day of October a band of armed and lawless men went on the reservation and attacked a band of friendly Indians, consisting of a few squaws and decrepit old men, killing them without regard to age or sex." The italics are my own and intended to show at a glance the amount of willful falsehood in the report. [Contemporary apologists don't deny that there were no young men present, only that the village was on the reservation.]
    In concluding this over-long letter I will add that no people on the Pacific Coast have suffered so severely by Indian depredations as those of Southern Oregon, and yet no people have ever been more willfully and persistently misrepresented by Indian sympathizers and notoriety-hunters. This we see daily illustrated in the course of certain newspaper correspondents and would be notables throughout the land, when speaking of the Modoc war.
Yours, very respectfully
    J. M. SUTTON.
Portland Bulletin, February 15, 1873, page 4


Contest of Races in Western Oregon
    There probably never has been a valuable country passed from one race of men to another with less strife and bloodshed than that of western Oregon. Taking from the Columbia River south and west of the Cascade Range to the Rogue River Valley. It is not known of more than two white men that received their deaths at the hands of Indians. There is a story told of a 3rd killed in the days of trappers and traders, but I cannot vouch for its truth, nor have I ever seen any person that could. The following is the story as I have heard it. A party of trappers were operating in the upper or southern end of the Willamette Valley near the isolated central mountain, called Spencer's Butte. Here they struck camp and a young Englishman, Spencer by name, went up on the mountain in search of game, where he was beset by a number of Indians and killed with arrows. The next in order of time and well authenticated was the death of Mr. LeBreton, who received an arrow wound, whereof he died, in a fracas with a Molalla Indian at Oregon City in 1844. It does not appear that there was more than one Indian that occasioned the disturbance. The next in order of time was the murder of Mr. Newton by two Indians in Umpqua Valley. It was simply an act of murder and robbery. Mr. Newton had separated himself from the rest of his traveling companions except his wife and had camped for the night a short distance north of where the present town of Roseburg now stands when two Indians visited his camp, seemingly in a friendly way. With few other effects Mr. Newton had a good rifle. The Indians after a short stay went away but were gone but a short time until they returned, saying in signing they had seen a deer and proposed to kill it and divide the meat with him if he would loan them the gun. This he injudiciously did (probably impelled by hunger) and was shot with his own gun. The Indians then took some of the blankets and left Mrs. Newton with her dead husband, showing by so doing that the property was the object that induced the killing, and that they thought they could not get it without killing Mr. Newton. [Click here for another telling of the Newton murder.]
    There was only two other cases of trouble with Indians that I know of in these early days. The first in point of time was the so-called Battle of Battle Creek, which closed in 1846 between a party of Indians from east of the Cascades (Wascopams, I have reason to believe they were) and a portion of Capt. Charles Bennett's company of Oregon Rangers, and occurred in the following manner. I cannot give dates, but it was near midsummer 1846.
    The band of Indians (strangers to the locality, supposed to be Wascos for the reason that the one wounded in the affair was afterward seen at The Dalles by N. R. Doty, who was one of the rangers) first attracted the notice of the settlers of the Santiam Valley below where Jefferson is now located. They had undoubtedly crossed the Cascades via the natural pass formed by the Santiam River. Their movements occasioned some alarm amongst the settlers, and a messenger was sent to inform Capt. Bennett, whose company was that day met for drill at the farm of Mr. Daniel Waldo some 12 miles in a northeast direction from where the alarm existed. Capt. Bennett was not with his company that day, but A. A. Robinson, the second officer, on learning the facts and apprehension detailed by the messenger, ordered his troop to march to where the Indians were camped. This proved to be in the valley of a small stream that has its source in the hills that divide the valley of the Santiam and that of Mill Creek, at the mouth of which Salem is located, and about 5 miles south of the city. The rangers thus had not more than 8 miles to ride to meet the Indians, who had moved their camp northward that same day. The whites, with their horses somewhat blown, and themselves somewhat excited, dashed into the Indian camp without notice or parley of any kind. The Indians quite naturally took alarm and broke for the cover of brushwood fringing the creek, from which the firing was commenced by seemingly a lack of presence of mind on the part of their officers, as one of the rangers without orders fired, which was returned by a desultory fire by the Indians. The whites, seeming to realize that they were in a dangerous place, with the odds against them, wheeled their horses and galloped back up the side of the hill they had just a few moments before ridden down and halted at long rifle shot, and some of them emptied their guns into the brush at random. During this firing one of the whites fell from his horse in a swoon, and the desultory fire having ceased because the whites could see no enemy and really did not know whether the Indians were inimical or not, a parley now ensued, and the whites learned that one of their shots had taken effect by passing right through both thighs of an Indian. Meantime, the fainting white soldier had been taken to the creek and bathed (his comrades in derision said "washed"), and thus ended the battle of Battle Creek. The subsequent results were the payment to the wounded Indian of a horse and pair of blankets by the rangers or their officers. There was none of the whites injured bodily, but the battle killed the company as a military organization.
    Another affair between the races with worse results to the Indians occurred on the Abiqua Creek on the east edge of the settlements of Marion County in 1848.
    During the winter of 1847-8, while the white settlers of western Oregon were engaged in the prosecution of the war against the Cayuses for the murder of Dr. Whitman and others, a strong party of Klamath Indians, about 60, of both sexes but mostly men, were found to be lodged in the northeast corner of Marion County where the Abiqua Creek debouches from the Cascade Mountains. Part of these Klamaths claimed to be friends and visitors of Koosta, chief of the Molallas, whose favorite wife at that time was a Klamath. For this reason part of the Klamaths camped with the Molallas and the rest, the greater portion, nearby. The Molallas themselves were a bold and impudent set, and as the first alarm was given by the Indians entering rifling the houses of single men amongst the settlers near their camp and were traceable to parties in that direction, the causes of alarm became greater as the Indians began to demand beef cattle to eat in addition to the food that was often given them when they entered the houses of settlers as not very welcome guests. The Indians at last one day gathered around the house of a prominent settler named Miller (Uncle Dicky Miller he was familiarly called). Many of the Indians were in war paint and on horseback and careered 'round in a demonstrative way, even trying to ride down and cut off Mrs. Whitlock, a neighbor of Miller's, who went to his house for safety. While this was going on a Mr. Knox (who had settled upon and gave his name to Knox Butte in Linn County) was passing Miller's house with (probably the first) U.S. mail matter going up the Willamette Valley. Mr. Knox took in the situation at a glance. He gave notice of what he had seen as he traveled southward, and a boy, T. B. Allen, a son of another settler, Samuel Allen, was sent out through the neighborhood to give the alarm. Early next morning about sixty men and boys capable of bearing arms were going about Miller's house. Officers were chosen and a hasty organization effected, Mr. Daniel Waldo being chosen Col. and Miller, Allen and R. C. Green captains. The whites divided their forces, and those on foot were ordered up the north side of Abiqua to place themselves in some brushwood opposite to the camp, which was in a little open plain on the south side. After these had time to place themselves, in anticipation that the Indians if they retreated would do so by crossing the creek into that brush, the men on horseback moved up on the camp in open view, and as soon as they were seen by the Indians the latter began to cross the creek to the brush, as had been anticipated. As soon as they found there was whites in the brush they began to shoot their bows, which the whites of course returned with their rifles. The Indians, however, immediately commenced retreating up the creek, all except one, who attempted to recross the creek to the camp on a footlog and was shot and fell into the stream. The whites did not pursue, but after consultation those who had families returned to their homes that night. The single men and boys went into camp at the farm of John Warner nearby.
    Next morning, early in the day, these young men with a few of the married men who lived near the scene of action started up the creek in search of the Indians and soon found where they had camped during the night. They commenced to follow their evidently recent-made trail up the creek, and soon began to receive arrows aimed at them by the retreating Indians. One of their number (James Stanley) received one square in the breast, which passed through the double thickness of his coat and vest and just touched the skin. The whites soon saw these arrows were shot by one particular Indian, who constituted himself apparently the rear guard of his party, and he was soon shot dead by one of the whites, who kept up the pursuit through timber and vine maple undergrowth until the Indians were stopped by a ledge of precipitous bluffs which closed in on the river on the side they were on. There they made a stand, as they could not get further without swimming the river, which was both swift and deep at this point. All the advantage of the situation was now with the whites, and though some of their guns were wet and useless, there was enough that was usable to kill seven of the Indians and wound two more (both women). The weather was very cold and disagreeable (in early March); the first day had been one of cold drizzling rain, the second one was mixed snow and rain, the snow predominating where the last fighting took place. The whites took the two wounded squaws and carried them out to the edge of the timber and built them a fire and left them, supposing their own people, who had evidently scattered in the vicinity, would find and succor them. The young men and boys constituting the largest portion of the whites in this day's engagement dispersed to their several homes, many of them 15 or 20 miles distant. The wounding of the squaws and the supposition that one of the killed was said by some of the party to be a woman (found dead with a drawn bow in her hand and lying immediately behind a man in such a manner as to cause the belief that both were killed by one ball) was one of the reasons why those who knew most of the facts did not care to talk of them. They were subjected to the jeers of their associates, and some of them so sallied about "fighting squaws" that they were soon sick of the word Abiqua. There was also another reason why the older men engaged did not talk much about it. None of them were quite certain whether the Indians killed were of those that should have been killed. Indeed, killing the Indians was not the object so much as driving them off to their own country, which was done most effectually, as the signs of their retreat were traced to the Santiam River 20 miles south on the second day afterwards, that distance seemingly having been passed in the night. It is impossible to say with certainty how many Indians were killed, as the whites were much divided. From all that I can gather at this date after conversing with many yet alive who were there I am led to believe that two were killed the first day and eight the second. Since the question of whether any of this ever occurred was started a few years ago by the late ex-Gov. Geo. L. Curry, and Col. J. W. Nesmith (neither of whom heard of it at the time it occurred), I have even sought and found Indian testimony in regard to it. Margaret, the wife of Jo Hutchins, son of the Indian chief Santiam, is now living with her husband on the farm of Rev. J. L. Parrish adjoining this city. She appears to be about 38 years of age; she is a daughter of the Molalla chief Koosta by the Klamath wife I have spoken of. She recollects the wounded women and one wounded man being brought to her father's camp, where the woman died and the man got well. She does not know of any men being killed. She says that two Indians from east of the Cascades, who were supposed by the whites to be Cayuse emissaries, were from Warm Springs (Wascopam) and that the portion of the Klamaths who camped with her father were her mother's kindred and took no part in the killing of the cattle of the "Bostons" (Americans) done by the main band of the Klamaths, who she recollects as being "bad" people who never that she knew of came back again. I regard it as quite natural that Margaret should recollect distinctly about the wounded that were brought to her father's camp where she as a child would be in close contact [with] them from day to day and remember also the impressions she received as to the cause of the trouble, and it [is] quite possible that she saw none of the dead men. She believes the wounded man that got well was the one that was shot from the log and fell into the river, but I think [that] can hardly be so, as many I have talked with say they saw the body apparently quite dead floating down the stream. So ended what I believe is the most important occurrence between the races that took place between the races in the Willamette Valley.
    Of the Rogue River War of 1855 I feel incompetent to give the leading facts, but can only say that from the time that Ewing Young and his party of free rovers and traders operated in that valley (about 1834), those Indians omitted no favorable opportunity of attacking white men until the mines of Southern Oregon and Northern California seemed for a time to overwhelm them with a sense of the number and power of the whites until their familiarity with mining life and the injustice of the miners' nature exasperated and drove them mad.
John Minto, "Early Days of Oregon," 1878, pages 37-46, MS PA-50, Bancroft Library


A Bloody List, or the Sacrifice That Brought Peace
to Southern Oregon and Northern California.
    We give below the list of murders so far as we have any account of them, giving names and dates where we have them. It will be seen that many murders are referred to without names or dates. Persons knowing particulars in references to any name or names, or dates or circumstances attending any of these murders or any murders not herein enumerated, would confer a favor by forwarding an account of the same to this office, where they will be put in a shape for permanent preservation.
    In 1834, Capt. Smith's party of thirty men, killed near the mouth of Umpqua River.
    In June 1835, Geo. Gay, Dan'l. Miller, Ed. Barns, Dr. Baily, Mr. Sanders, John Turner, John Woodworth and "Irish Tom" were attacked near the mouth of Foots Creek, on Rogue River, and Miller, Barns, Sanders and "Tom" were killed, and the other four wounded.
    In August 1838, a party of "Oregonians" driving cattle from California were attacked on the same place above named, and Mr. Gay was wounded.
    In the fall of 1846, a sick immigrant was killed near Lost River.
    In the summer of 1850, eleven men were attacked at Port Orford and ten of their number killed. A brief account of this affair has already been given in the Tidings.
    In August 1850, Sprink and Cashing were murdered on Klamath River.
    In January 1851, James Sloan, ------ Janalshan, ------ Bender, and Blackburn were killed at Blackburn's ferry, Klamath River. The death of the latter has been disputed.
    In May 1851, four miners, names unknown, were murdered at different times between Rogue River and Grave Creek, and Wm. Mosier and ------ Reaver or Reavis were killed near Yreka.
    On June 13th, 1851, ------ Dilley, a packer, was killed near the present site of Phoenix. His companion, Virgil Quivy, made his escape.
    In August 1851, Cornelius Doherty, Jeremiah Ryan, John Holland, J. P. Pepper and P. Murphy were murdered near the mouth of the Coquille River. A graphic account of this affair has already been given in the Tidings, from the diary of Capt. L. L. Williams, one of the survivors.
    In October 1851, ------ Moffit, a drover, was killed near Willow Springs.
    On June 2nd, 1852, Calvin Woodman was killed in Scott's Valley, an account of which has recently been given in the Tidings.
    In the same month, Col. James L. Freaner ("Mustang" of Mexican War notoriety), John Brando, ------ Jackson, ------ Warren and a Mexican known as "Adobe John" were murdered in Pit River Valley.
    About the same time, a man supposed to be one Lockwood, and three Mexicans, all packers, were killed near Sugar Loaf Mountain, on the old trail between Yreka and Shasta City. A German was murdered at the same place, two days after, and his partner escaped to Yreka.
    In August 1852, ------ Coats, John Ormsby, James Long, Felix Martin, ------ Wood, and thirty-four others, whose names are unknown to the writer, were murdered on the southern Oregon immigrant road by Modoc Indians.
    In December 1852, Wm. Grendage, Peter Hunter, ------ Bruner, ------ Palmer, Wm. Allen, two brothers Bacon, and one other, whose name is unknown, were murdered near the mouth of Galice Creek.
    In May or June 1853, an American and a Mexican, miners, names unknown to the writer, were murdered near Cow Creek.
    On Aug. 4th, 1853, Edward Edwards, a farmer living within six miles of Jacksonville, was killed.
    On Aug. 5th, 1853, Thos. Willis was murdered just as he was entering Jacksonville.
    On Aug. 6th, 1853, Richard Nolan and another man, whose name is unknown to the writer, were killed on Jackson Creek.
    On Aug. 17th, 1853, John Gibbs, Wm. Hodgings, Brice Whitmore and Hugh Smith were killed by Rogue River Indians. This affair occurred within the farm of Judge Tolman, four miles above Ashland.
    On Oct. 6th, 1853, Jas. Kyle was murdered within two miles of Fort Lane.
    In June 1854, Hiram Hulon, J. Clark, J. Oldfield and Westly Maden were murdered in the Siskiyou Mountains.
    On April 15th, 1854, Edward Phillips was murdered on Applegate.
    On June 15th, 1854, Dan'l. Gage was murdered in the Siskiyou Mountains.
    On June 24, 1854, ------ McAmy was killed near DeWitt's ferry, on Klamath River.
    Thos. O'Neal was killed about the same time as McAmy.
    Sometime in June, or the first of July, John Crittenden, John Badger, Alexander Sawyer and ------ Wood were killed at Gravely Ford, on the southern Oregon immigrant road.
    In September 1854, ------ Stewart, of Corvallis, was murdered on the middle immigrant road.
    On Nov. 2nd, 1854, Alfred French was murdered near Crescent City. Mr. French was at one time connected with the Chronicle at Independence, Mo.
    On May 8th, 1855, ------ Hill, a miner on Indian Creek, Siskiyou County, Cal. was killed.
    On June 1st, 1855, Jerome Dyar and Daniel McKaw were murdered on the road between Jacksonville and Illinois Valley.
    On June 27th, 1855, ------ Philpot was murdered near the place last mentioned.
    On July 28th, 1855, ------ Peters, a miner, was killed near Yreka.
    On July 28th, 1855, Wm. Hennessey, Edward Parrish, Austin W. Gay, Peter Hignight, John Pollock, four Frenchmen and two Mexicans, names unknown, were killed on Buckeye Bar, Klamath River.
    On Sept. 2nd, 1855, Granville M. Keene was killed near the head of Rogue River Valley. About this time, Mrs. Clark and her son, of Yamhill County, were killed by Tillamook Indians.
    On September 24, 1855, Calvin Fields and John Cunningham were killed on the road between Jacksonville and Yreka.
    On Sept. 25th, 1855, Samuel Warner was killed not far from where Fields and Cunningham were.
    On Oct. 9th, 1855, the bloodiest day in the history of Rogue River Valley, Mrs. J. Wagner, Mary Wagner, Mr. and Mrs. K. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Hines, their two children, Geo. W. Harris, Frank A. Freed, Wm. Gwin, Jas. W. Cartwright, ------ Powell, Bunch, ------ Fox, ------ Hamilton, ------ White and probably several others were killed between the mouth of Evans ferry and Grave Creek. On the same day, Hudson and Wilson, packers, were killed between Crescent City and Indian Creek.
    On Oct. 16th, 1855, Holland Baily was killed on Cow Creek.
    On Nov. 16th, 1855, Chas. Scott and Theodore Snow, miners, were killed on the road between Yreka and Scott's Bar.
    On Feb. 23rd, 1856, Indian Agent Ben. Wright, John Poland, H. Brown, E. W. Howe, ------ Wagner, Barney Castle, Geo. McClosky, ------ Lara, W. R. Tulus, Jas. Seroc and two sons, ------ Smith, ------- Warner, John Geisel and three children, S. Heidrich, Pat McCullough and four others whose names are unknown to the writer were murdered near the mouth of Rogue River.
    On March 21st, 1856, Whiting and Bell, traders, were murdered near Port Orford.
    In June 1856, Chas. Green and Thos. Stewart were murdered on McKenzie Creek, near Fort Jones.
    In Jan. 1857, Harry Lockheart, Z. Rogers, Adam Boles, D. Bryant and a German called "John" were murdered in Pit River Valley.
    That the foregoing is but a partial list is evident when it is known that only a few persons have ever interested themselves in procuring it.
Ashland Tidings, August 30, 1878, page 1


ORIGINS OF THE ROGUE RIVERS' HATRED.
    Rev. J. L. Parrish came to Oregon by the ocean route in 1839, and arrived in 1840. He came as blacksmith to the Methodist mission and remembers many interesting incidents. His account of the first overland expedition from California to Oregon differs somewhat from Dr. McKay's, and we will give both for what they are worth. Even if they disagree, they are valuable and only need some little correction of dates. Mr. Parrish says that in 1833 or 1834 a party came overland, composed of Webly Hawkshurst, Canady and Ewing Young. There were eight or ten in all, but he cannot recall their names [listed here]. They had horses to ride and also pack animals. When they reached Rogue River they found the Indians very numerous and exceedingly friendly. Some of the party were taken ill on Rogue River and they stopped there to recruit, moving their stock onto an island in the river, thinking they could not get away and the Indians would not be so apt to steal them, or anything else. One day they received a visit from two friendly Indians who remained a considerable time. They held a council and considered the danger of their position. They were so weak that they could make no strong defense if attacked, as the whole company was then down with the chills and fever and some were very low with it. In this state of body and mind they came to the despicable and cowardly conclusion that their own safety lay in killing their visitors to prevent them from betraying their weakness to their people. The harmless savages were killed and their bodies buried or concealed, and as soon as possible they started on their northward journey. The Indians of course missed their companions, and on searching the abandoned camp found traces of them and at all events became satisfied of their untimely ending. Thus their first meeting with whites, that commenced in all friendliness, ended in their incurring an unending and well-grounded hatred. To them all white men were the same, and they considered it legitimate vengeance to slay them wherever they could be found.
    This tragedy he 
[Webly Hawkshurst--identified in the Oregonian of June 28, 1885, page 1] kept secret and told to Mr. Parrish in confidence, not to be repeated during his lifetime. The men who committed this dastard deed may have been actuated by the supreme motive of self-preservation, and some excuse must be made for their weakness, helplessness and timidity consequent thereon, but they greatly erred, and their crime reacted on numerous travelers who fell victims to the desire for vengeance that never died away. Hundreds were slain, the valley of Rogue River was devastated, wars succeeded wars, until the peoples wronged were finally subdued and conquered, but that generation and its succeeding one never forgave the crime that turned their proffered friendship into gall. Other outrages were perpetrated by the rude men of early days that fed the flame. Wherever you may find a history of Indian savageness and terror, you will generally find some act by ruthless white men to kindle the savage nature into vindictive hate.
    Not long after this there came another expedition through from California, in which were Dr. W. J. Bailey of Champoeg, and George Gay. Mr. Parrish thinks John Turner came with it, though Dr. McKay says Turner came with Jedediah Smith. [Turner was on both expeditions.] There were many others on the start, but three were all that lived to make the finish. The Rogue River Indians beset them, and all the rest fell victims to their hate, caused by the incident above narrated. George Gay pushed on to Vancouver, but the others reached the mission, weary and worn, nearly starved and nearly naked. They had lived on snails and crawling things. They came with a pitiful tale of suffering and murder and of Indian treachery. There was no recognition of the outrage that had provoked the savage nature and had burned intending friendship into vindictive hate. The Hawkshurst and Ewing Young expedition was the first they had ever met of white men, and had circumstances been more favorable, instead of unceasing hate, the whites might have had the perpetual friendship of that race, and that beautiful river and valley not forever bear an upbraiding name.
JEDEDIAH SMITH'S EXPEDITION
OPENING THE ROAD TO CALIFORNIA.

    The removal of the headquarters of the fur trade from Astoria to Vancouver was attended with important results for the Indians of that part of Oregon. Up to that time there had been no horses west of the Cascades save the five head Dr. McLoughlin had at Astoria and brought to Vancouver. Now the fur company bought large bands of horses and fitted out important expeditions with them. It was natural enough that the natives should do the same, and soon the Indians of the Willamette had large bands of them. Vancouver became a great center for trade at that time, and the operations of the company were greatly extended. Not having horses, they could not go far to secure furs where there were not navigable waters. Their operations had not gone farther south than Eugene, but an important incident occurred that led to extensive results.
    In 1832 Jedediah Smith undertook to go overland from California [along the coast] to Oregon with a company of trappers and hunters. His company were all murdered in the Umpqua, except Smith himself and two men named Turner and Black. These escaped with severe wounds and pushed through as they could to Vancouver, enduring in over two hundred miles of travel untold hardship and suffering. They reached Vancouver, were received with the greatest kindness, and everything that was possible was done for them; that, too, when they belonged to a rival fur company.
    The next spring Dr. McLoughlin fitted out an expedition to go south and see what could be done there. He knew that Smith was making a fine hunt north when the massacre occurred, and he was disposed to make the most of all such opportunities. So he sent out a strong company of experienced men and instructed them to recapture all that was possible of the property taken from Jedediah Smith's company. Some time before McLoughlin had purchased of Chief Keane two slave boys captured from the Umpquas. These lads were much attached to the whites, but fortunately they had never forgotten their native language, which they always spoke when together. This fact made them useful as interpreters, so they accompanied the new expedition that was commanded by Robert McLeod, with Thomas McKay second in rank. They took with them John Turner, who escaped with Jedediah Smith the previous year.
    When this expedition reached the Umpqua the two lads were used in good service. McKay, who conducted the negotiations, told the chiefs that the white men demanded all the property they captured from Smith's company. They assumed a very bold position from the start, and threatened to come there with a large force and bring guns that could make thunder and lightning to annihilate the whole tribe. This bold attitude had its effect. They got back some of the horses (they had eaten some and had hidden others), some arms, most of the furs, and sent them back to Vancouver. It has been said that McLoughlin sent three slaves there to incite the Umpquas against the Smith company, but there is no evidence that the doctor knew anything of their coming, and it is certain the boys only went to Umpqua with the McLeod expedition. So far from intimidating them, haven't they treated them with every possible kindness? Smith was the first white man who ever went from California to Oregon overland, and there was no way to know he was coming as he did. An inventory was made of all the property regained from the Umpqua Indians and their full value computed, and the same remitted to Jedediah Smith in a draft on London. He had no reason to expect anything of the kind and must have been astonished to receive such remarkable proof of Dr. McLoughlin's generous nature. But all Oregon early history confirms that fact, and true history must extol the Christian benevolence that characterized the course of the H.B. Co. officials toward other white men.
    McLeod's expedition established a post in Umpqua Valley and personal intercourse made the Umpquas a friendly tribe, but the Rogue River Indians maintained their warlike and treacherous nature to the very end. How Smith escaped is strange, but his company maintained the greatest vigilance when passing Rogue River Valley. Considerable rumor is wasted concerning the way Rogue River got its name. It is even said that iron ores with a red cast caused the early French Canadians to call it Rouge River, or red, but that is not correct. The Canadians experienced so much rascality and thieving there that they called the natives coquins (rogues), and the translation holds good as the name of that country until this day. Rogue River it is and always must be.
    The expedition met with fair success and went as far south as Northern California. Strange to say, they had no definite idea of their locality. They wintered on McLeod River, named after the commander of the expedition, which is near the base of Mount Shasta and has a very cold winter climate at times. It proved to be a very severe winter, and one result was that all their horses died. All did not starve, for when they saw starvation imminent they killed what were in good order and dried the meat. Game abounded, but often men have starved who depended on game, so they dried their horse meat to be on the safe side. They were actually within a few days' journey of the Sacramento Valley, where horses and supplies could be had in abundance, but they did not know it, and hadn't studied geography enough to comprehend the fact. They asked Turner where they were and he wouldn't tell. Turner was 5 feet and 6 inches tall, good-hearted and all that, but he didn't care about going to California just then. It is said that a few of them joined Jedediah Smith's company with more horses than they paid for. If that was so he was excusable for not caring to return "just at that time." He afterwards did return, and died in California.
    So, when spring came, McLeod had no horses to transport his furs, and fitted out three men to journey 400 miles afoot to Vancouver. They were McKay, Depuy and Jean Baptiste Perrault, who afterwards started the G. B. Davidson orchard at the mouth of the Yamhill River. These three went back to Vancouver to get more horses, when 100 miles south they could have found settlements in California. It was a tedious journey, and they had to stand guard against the Indians, but in due time they made it, and fresh animals were sent to McLeod. The Rogue River country proved good trapping ground, and the Canadians would try to be sly about setting out their traps, but the coquins, as they called the Rogue Rivers, were sharply on the lookout, and thus, next morning, the beaver traps and all would be missing. The rogues had made away with the whole outfit, which was not usual with the Indians.
    McLeod's expedition opened a great extent of new country to the operations of the fur company. Jedediah Smith was the first white man who made the overland journey, and not even the hunters and trappers of that age had ventured south of the California range. The Willamette Valley was the limit of operations. The Rogue Rivers were warlike and dangerous, and that character was maintained until they were thoroughly subdued. It is remembered that their great war chief, Sam, and a few who were considered troublesome and feared as likely to stir up rebellion on the Coast Reservation, in Yamhill County, where they were finally located, were sent to Alcatraz. Old Sam actually tried, with partial success, to capture the steamer he went on. {The author is confusing Sam with Chief John, Tecumtum.] I remember that he got possession of the deck, but he couldn't spread himself around quite enough to keep the crew subdued and finally had to give it up when rifles and revolvers were brought to bear on him from different directions. At one time a large number left the reservation and found their way back to their native land and were recaptured with difficulty. The story of the Rogue Rivers is one of war and treachery or of heroic defense of native land, just as you choose to look upon it.
    That first expedition to California gave names to certain places that they retain today. It may be they did not all occur then, but we will give the origin of certain names. The Siskiyou Mountains got their name from the fact that McLeod's company had a horse stolen that belonged to Perrault. It was an old bobtailed white cayuse that the Indians of Rogue River, true to their reputation, drove off up the mountain and made meat of. All the use they had for horses then was to eat them. Pursuit was made and the bones of the old bobtail were found halfway up the mountain. So they named the mountain Siskiyou, the meaning of which is a bobtailed horse.
    One afternoon they camped on a stream in Rogue River Valley, but Jo McLoughlin, who was out hunting, did not make camp until after dark had come down on all things. They camped near the stream so well known as Jump-off Joe, and so named because Jo, not knowing the camp was on a bluff, stepped over the edge of it in the darkness and fell quite a distance into the creek below. He climbed out on the other side with assistance, but received internal injuries that could not be cured. He died within a few years. He is described as a young man of many good traits, who would have distinguished himself if he had lived to make a record.
    McLeod's company named Mt. Shasta "McLoughlin," but the Indian name has held its own, though the grand old man deserved that some great natural monument or landmark should bear his name for all time.
Samuel A. Clarke, "Pioneer Days: Some Interesting Facts Relating to the Languages of the Indians," Oregonian, Portland, April 26, 1885, page 2  Compare these accounts of early Indian-white encounters with those here.





Last revised February 28, 2017