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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Benjamin Franklin Dowell

See also his diary.

B. F. Dowell, 1910, History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon

    B. F. DOWELL.--Benjamin F. Dowell was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, October 31, 1826. He was named in honor of the great philosopher, Ben Franklin, who was an uncle to his grandmother. The parents of the subject of this sketch were both natives of the state in which their son was born--both having been born within a mile of each other. Mr. Dowell's mother, originally Miss Fannie Dalton, was a lady of culture and refinement and was of Scottish descent, while the Dowells are traced back to English nativity. When but a child young Benjamin, with his parents, moved to Shelby County, Tenn., where he acquired a liberal education at the male academy. After having finished his academic studies, he returned to Virginia and entered the state university, where he graduated in law in 1847, before he was twenty-one years old. After completing the course young Dowell went back to Tennessee, where he practiced his profession with good success until 1850, when he was imbued with the spirit "Westward the course of empire takes its way," and accordingly followed the human tide into the gold regions of California. Having taken the cholera soon after his arrival in Sacramento, he was advised by his physician to go north. Mr. Dowell started for Portland, Oregon, in a small schooner, which after being driven back to sea from the mouth of the Columbia finally reached its port, seriously damaged, after thirty-five days' sailing. Mr. Dowell stopped in the Willamette Valley a short time, and then moved, in 1852, to Southern Oregon. Here he engaged in trading and packing until 1856. In 1857 he again resumed the practice of law, settled in Jacksonville, where he still resides, and is one of the most widely known attorneys in the state. In 1861 our subject married Miss Anna Campbell. They have now a family of three children, Fannie, Annie and B. F. Jr. In 1862 he was elected prosecuting attorney. In 1865 he bought the Oregon Sentinel, which, under his administration, was the first Pacific Slope paper to advocate the enfranchisement of the negroes, and the first to nominate General Grant for the Presidency.
A. G. Walling, History of Southern Oregon, 1884, page 525-526


    Mr. B. F. Dowell and family have removed to Portland with the intention of permanently residing there. Mr. Dowell is one of the pioneers of Southern Oregon, and he, with his very excellent wife and accomplished daughters will be sadly missed by a large circle of friends. The Silver Cornet Band serenaded them at their residence on the eve of their departure. We congratulate Portland on this worthy acquisition to its society.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 9, 1885, page 3


MARRIED.
LOVE-DOWELL--In Portland, at Trinity Church, by Rev. Dr. Foot, May 12, 1885, George M. Love and Miss Fanchon Dowell.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 16, 1885, page 3

    George Love and wife have returned from Portland and are at present residing at the home farm near town. They will soon make their home in B. F. Dowell's brick residence in Jacksonville.

"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 23, 1885, page 3


    FOR SALE.--The undersigned, having moved to Portland, offers all his household and kitchen furniture for sale at reasonable figures. For further particulars apply to G. A. Hubbell.
B. F. DOWELL.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 13, 1885, page 3


    Thos. Paulsen, a former resident of Jacksonville, and a brother-in-law of B. F. Dowell, is now the editor of the Farmer and Dairyman, published at Portland. He makes it a very interesting paper.

"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, June 27, 1885, page 3


    DOWELL, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, is a native of Albemarle County, Va., where he was born, October 31st, 1826. His grandmother on the paternal side was a niece of the celebrated Benjamin Franklin, statesman and philosopher. Mr. Dowell's mother was a Virginian and a woman of education and refinement. Her maiden name was Dalton, and her people came originally from Scotland. The Dowells were of English extraction. During childhood Benjamin removed with his parents to Shelby County, Tenn. Here he was sent to the Academy, and received the foundations of a good mental training. Having concluded his studies, he returned to Virginia and entered the State University. He read law books and listened to lectures with great diligence and success, graduating in law in 1847, before he was twenty-one years old. His university career was in every particular distinguished. Going back to Tennessee, he opened a law office at Raleigh, and afterward at Memphis. His success in his profession was immediate, but, like most young men possessing the spirit of enterprise and adventure, he desired to travel and see the great outside world for himself. When the California gold fields were discovered, he determined on trying his fortune beyond the Rocky Mountains. Forming a sort of partnership with three young men of his own caliber, he went up the river to St. Joseph, Missouri, and from that point commenced the long journey to the Pacific coast in the spring of 1850. After experiencing the usual vicissitudes associated with travel on the plains in those days, he arrived at Sacramento, Cal. Here he was attacked by cholera, and on his partial recovery the doctors advised him to move northward. On October 5th he left San Francisco for Portland, taking passage on a small schooner. When the mouth of the Columbia was reached a violent storm arose, and the little vessel was driven out to sea, almost a wreck. Finally a safe landing was effected at Astoria, the entire voyage from San Francisco covering a period of thirty-five days. In 1852 Mr. Dowell was engaged in packing and trading in Southern Oregon, a business which he followed with success until 1856, when he determined on going back to the old profession. Accordingly, he opened a law office in Jacksonville, in 1857, and speedily had all the work that he could attend to. From 1852 to 1885 Mr. Dowell resided in Jacksonville. Since the latter date he has made Portland his home. Though a man who could earn an honorable livelihood in almost any field of exertion, he is a lawyer through and through, and delights in the practice of his profession. He has never hankered after public position, and though many times elected to local offices, he has preferred the work of a private lawyer to any distinction that his fellow citizens could bestow on him. He was at one time appointed District Judge by the Governor of Tennessee, and for brief periods he served as Prosecuting Attorney of the First Judicial District of Oregon, and as United States District Attorney; but, as a rule, he has declined political honors. For fourteen years, from 1865, he was owner of the Oregon Sentinel. He employed editors and compositors to do the practical work of the paper, continuing the practice of the legal profession all the time. While in Washington he sent some vigorous communications to the Sentinel, but when at home he rarely contributed to the columns of the journal. Though Mr. Dowell voted for Breckinridge in 1860, he did it in order to keep peace between North and South. A Whig by training and conviction, he strenuously opposed the dismemberment of the States, and when the war began he naturally fell in with the Republicans, and did all he could to make sure that the rebels got a good whipping. He was the first man west of the Rocky Mountains to bring forward the name of General Grant as candidate for the Presidency of the United States, and he also strongly advised the nomination and helped to secure the election of Benjamin Harrison. A sketch of Mr. Dowell's career would be incomplete if it did not include the narration of certain romantic events associated with his early manhood. During the Indian outbreak in Oregon, forty years ago, he operated a pack train which carried merchandise from the Willamette Valley, Scottsburg, and Crescent City to the mines in Jacksonville, Ore., and Yreka, Cal. He voluntarily placed at the disposal of the military authorities himself and his train as long as they might be required. The historian of the Pacific States, Mr. Bancroft, highly lauds Mr. Dowell for his patriotic conduct during those troubled times. He was in the quartermaster's department in 1853, when a detachment of soldiers, under the command of Lieutenant Ely, was detailed to discover the camp of the Indians. Though not called upon to engage in active hostilities, he volunteered to join the expedition. They found the savages on Evans Creek, and then went down to a place about five miles distant, where wood, water, and grass were easily procurable. The commanding officer, lacking experience, failed to post sentinels around the temporary camp. The result was that the Indians surprised and fired upon the detachment, killing one-fourth of the command and wounding as many more at the first fusillade. All the animals, except one, were captured by the enemy. The beast that escaped was ridden by a man who made for headquarters, distant about thirty-five miles. Meanwhile, the soldiers took to the timber, and from early morning until late in the evening gallantly contended against five hundred ferocious savages. Mr. Dowell was in the thick of the fight, and to this day asserts that it was about the hottest position he was ever placed in during his life. Finally reinforcements arrived, and the Indians were driven back. Mr. Dowell was in Colonel Kelly's four days' fight on the Walla Walla, in 1855. The volunteers secured two four-pound howitzers, with which they proposed to play havoc with the Indians. Two officers took charge of one piece, while Mr. Dowell took control of the other. On the second day the first-mentioned gun was overcharged and went to pieces. Mr. Dowell, thus placed in supreme command of the artillery, invented there and then a gun-carriage, and placed it on the back of one of his best mules. The invention was a complete success, and not only astounded the Indians, but contributed much to their defeat. Mr. Dowell was married to Miss Anna Campbell in 1861. They have two daughters and one son. The elder daughter married Mr. G. M. Love, and the younger, Annie E., has studied law, and is thoroughly posted in her profession.

Julian Hawthorne, The Story of Oregon, vol. II, 1892, pages 217-223  The mention of Dowell's gun carriage has engendered a myth that the howitzer while on the mule's back.


    DOWELL, BENJAMIN F., was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, October 31, 1836. The family soon after moved to Shelby County, Tennessee. He graduated in law at the State University of Virginia in 1847, and practiced in Tennessee. In 1850 he went to California and the same year came to Oregon. In 1852 he engaged in trading and packing in Southern Oregon. In 1857 he resumed the practice of law in Jacksonville, and in 1862 was elected prosecuting attorney. In 1865 he purchased the Oregon Sentinel, of Jacksonville, and was the first Pacific Coast editor to advocate the enfranchisement of the negro and the nomination of General Grant for the presidency. Of late years he has spent a great deal of time in pushing Indian war claims at Washington, and is located in his practice in Portland.

Republican League Register, Portland, 1896, page 202


    Benjamin Franklin Dowell was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, October 31, 1826. During childhood his parents removed to Shelby County, Tennessee, where he received his early education, prior to his entering the University of Virginia, from which he graduated in the law course in 1847. After graduation he returned to Tennessee and started in the practice of his profession, first at Raleigh, later at Memphis. In 1850 he gave up his practice in Tennessee and started for the gold fields of California, but being attacked by the cholera, he left for Oregon as soon as he was able, settling at Jacksonville, where he resided from 1852 to 1885. In 1856 he opened a law office in Jacksonville and built up one of the largest private practices in the state. Although actively practicing his profession, he was for fourteen years owner of the Oregon Sentinel and controlled the destinies of this well-known publication. He was a Republican, but never aspired for office, nevertheless he held several local offices and was at one time District Judge in Tennessee; also Prosecuting Attorney of the First Judicial District of Oregon and United States District Attorney for  brief periods.

History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon, 1910, page 265


    Benjamin Franklin Dowell arrived in California Aug. 7th, 1850, arrived in Oregon Nov. 27th same year. On account of sickness came to Oregon, by physician's advice. Spent winter in Portland and Oregon City. In the spring of '51, taught school 3 months in Polk Co. Summer, fall & winter of '52, in Marion Co. in the Waldo Hills neighborhood. He commenced trading from Salem to Jacksonville in the spring of '52 with [a] pack train. While in Portland [he] practiced law, but with very little to do, which with poverty was compelled to teach school being then reduced to 7.50. In the spring received a small amount of money from home, bought a pack train and commenced packing and trading from Salem & Crescent City, Cal. Followed it very successfully for four years. In the winter [of] '52 and '53 bought 4500 [lbs. of] flour of Hon. J. W. Nesmith's in Polk Co. at his mill, at 10 cts. per lb. and transported on pack train to Jackson Co. and Yreka and sold it from $1.00 to 1.25 a pound. He had all 500 lbs. of butter, bought at .50 sold at 1.50 per lb. 500 lbs. of salt, paid 15 cts. and sold for $2 and $3 a lb. Others had sold as high as $16 a lb. at Yreka--before I came with this quantity. 200 lbs. of onions for .25 sold at 2.00 a lb. Coffee, sugar etc. in proportion. For tobacco .50 a lb. sold for $5.00. Paid common laborers 4.00 a day for assisting him. In the winter of '53 he made a trip to Scottsburg in Douglas Co. buying supplies similar to those bought before, averaging .50 a lb. profit at sale in Jacksonville. In March and April '53 made a trip to Crescent City, bought 10,000 lbs. bacon at 10 cts. lb. at auction; transported to Jacksonville and sold it within a month of time of having left the place for 75 cts. a lb. Not having money enough to pay the total amt., he borrowed money at 5 cts. a month, but soon canceled that debt. He had previously bought nearly cargo enough to load the mules, and had difficulties in transporting this extra cargo. He did very little business through the summer, but engaged in the Rogue River War in Aug. & Sept. & Oct. & Nov. of '53. He was one of the first in it & last out.
    The severest trial of Mr. Dowell's life was during this war. Lt. Ely from Yreka called for some volunteers to go out and hunt the Indians; he raised a company of 22. They proceed[ed] about 20 miles north of Jacksonville to what is known as Evans Creek--we found the Indians in full force--their party thought they were unobserved by the Indians, and returned to the Meadows on Evans Creek, turned out our horses and began getting breakfast at 10 o'clock. It was an open prairie; the first thing the whites knew then was a volley fired by the Indians. Four or five were killed; they retreated to the timber, 300 yards distant, on foot as the Indians had taken all their horses--here the little band remaining fought the whole Rogue River Indians from 10 o'clock until four in the evening, only eleven escaped unhurt. It seemed death to leave or death to stay. About four o'clock, Capt. Alden with two companies came to their relief and the Indians disappeared. This was the hardest battle ever fought in this section of country, in proportion to size--with the exception of the encounter in beginning, war of 1855-56, that Mistress Mary Harris and Sophia Harris fought (the same band of Indians) nearly all day, alone. The Indians stopped at the house of Mr. Harris, called for him, he went to the door and opened it and was instantly shot mortally, falling dead into the arms of his wife and daughter. Their son had gone out to hunt cattle, and never was heard of again. Mrs. Harris at once closed the door and made it a fortification; they remained in it a long while until the house was fired when they retired into the brush, taking the gun with them which they had fired from the house. Immediately after the wounding of Mr. Harris, they had dragged him into the house, and taking his gun and loading it. The body was burned up with the house. Miss Harris was shot but not mortally. They defended themselves in the brush until troops came to their relief from Jacksonville 25 miles distant. Mrs. Harris still living. She afterwards [married] a Mr. Aaron Chambers. Miss Harris married John Love of Jacksonville, but died in '69 of smallpox.
    The Rogue River War was commenced by Shasta Indians who had been driven from Shasta Valley. They killed a man named James Kyle, within hearing of the center of the town on the road coming from Yreka Sat. night Aug. 2nd, '53.  This fired the citizens & miners acting made indiscriminate war on the Rogue River Indians. A meeting of the citizens were called that night. They slaughtered indiscriminating war on Rogue River or Shasta Indians, though of the latter there were but few, and so those most guilty suffered the least. Two Indians were captured on Applegate, which is a tributary of Rogue River, lying 8 miles south of Jacksonville. These Indians had on the war paint; they were brought to Jacksonville and in a few hours hung by the citizens and probably justly. But the saddest part of the tale remains to be told. About four o'clock in the evening, two farmers from Butte Creek brought in town a little Indian boy 8 or 9 years old. The cry was Hang him! exterminate the Indian! The miners put a rope around his neck & led him towards the tree where the others were hung. B. F. Dowell mounted a log in the vicinity, made a brief speech to the excited crowd of 1000 men, in behalf of the Indian & humanity. Someone cried out what will you do with him? I replied "Take him to the tavern and feed him at my expense." The excitement subsided & they gave me the Indian. Mr. Dowell removed the rope from his neck & led him toward the tavern. At this moment Martin Angel, an old citizen & brave soldier, rode up in an excited manner, cried out, "hang him! hang him! we've been killing Indians all day!" The excited mob rushed and took the Indian from Mr. Dowell, and in a moment had the boy hanging from the same tree from which the two men were suspended. Mr. Dowell resisted after the rope was placed the second time and cut the rope, but the crowd seized him and held him until the execution occurred. Less than a year and a half after in Jany. '56 Martin Angel paid the forfeit of his crime by being assassinated by the Indians on the road above Jacksonville leading to Crescent City. This boy had been employed with the farmers on Butte Creek--farming. During the Rogue River War Mr. Dowell carried the mail between Cañonville and Yreka as mail contractor, and never was molested by the Indians. After the war, Chief Limpy told him that he could have killed him several times, but that he wouldn't hurt a paper man and one who had tried to save a "tenas tillicum," little papoose.
    Near the close of the Rogue River War after the treaty there were hostile Indians east of the mountains on the emigrant road. Mr. Dowell went to them [the emigrants] with his pack train to supply them with provisions. There was nothing of special interest, except that the emigrants were destitute and the Indians hostile and the company guarded the road until the emigrants came in--they provided the emigrants with food. The Modocs were not subdued, and a portion of the Rogue River that adjoined them [sic]. The year following, early in the summer, they were killing stock on the Siskiyou Mts. ([named for] a dead horse) and as soon as the emigration commenced coming in, large bands collected together on Lost River on the southern emigrant road near the dividing line between Oregon & Cal. Gov. John W. Davis issued orders to Col. John E. Ross to call out a company for the protection of the emigrants. A company was organized of 72 men rank and file by the election of Jesse Walker as Capt. who immediately moved to the scene of Indian hostilities. He fought and whipped the Modocs & made peace with them which lasted until 1872. He then moved against the Piutes in the vicinity of Goose Lake, Oregon and Surprise Valley, Cal. A detachment of the company went as far as Humboldt River and returned with the last emigration in Nov., discharged, being out 96 days.
    I should have mentioned that before making the treaty with the Piutes, Capt. Walker was four or five days treating with them, both afraid of the treachery of the other. The Indians retreated to an island in Tule Lake, which is a sink of Lost River. (This river rises in a mtn. west of Goose Lake & runs N.E. & southwest and sinks in the sand near Klamath River--a singular freak of nature, it has since become famous for the lava beds of the Modoc War of '72.) Communication was kept up by 2 or 3 squaws who could speak jargon distinctly. By entreaties & threats & promises, they finally agreed never to fight the whites any more, and as a token of their good behavior, they agreed to eat & camp with us, and 50 or 100 did so. After this emigrants passed through the country without any guard. In every Indian war Mr. Dowell took an active part with his pack train.
    Mr. Dowell emigrated here as a Whig, acting with it [the party] as long as it was in existence. In the election of Lincoln the first time, was opposed to it to the bitter end, voting for Breckinridge & Lane, the only vote Mr. Dowell ever gave Mr. Lane or any of his family. After the war was begun joined the Republicans continuing with [them] until the present time. Purchased the Oregon Sentinel in '63, and was the proprietor of it until Feb. '78 when he sold it out to a Republican. It has been one of the leading papers of Oregon, leading the Republican Party to victory with a Democratic majority against us.
    Grave Creek was named from the following circumstance. In the fall of '47 a Miss Leland of the emigrant train died and was buried beside the creek, close to where the blacksmith's shop now stands, on the present main traveled stage road. The Indians opened the grave & disinterred her for her clothes, leaving the grave open. The open grave & the remains were visible to every traveler passing by from 1847 to '55--during the war of '55 a party of volunteers, commanded by Twogood and Bates, they killed a number of Indians and threw their bodies into the grave which was then finally closed and made level with the rest of the ground. The Oregon Legislature passed an act naming the creek Leland, but the citizens had known the old name too long to accept the change, and it has never been recognized. The P.O. & stage stand near the [blacksmith] shop is named Leland. Rogue River, by the same Legislature, had its name changed to Gold River, but the effort was futile. Custom is stronger than legislative assemblies. The name originated from two causes. The Indians called it when Mr. Dowell was here in '52 "Logue Liber." The Indians stole the stock of the first emigrants who passed this way, & from these two circumstances the whites named it Rogue River.
    Goose Lake near the Sierra Mts. is situated about half way between Oregon & Cal. near the eastern boundary of Oregon. It derives its name from the first emigrants finding immense droves of wild geese.
    The origin of the name Klamath will be found in Fremont's travels, published by the Senate in '52.
    Siskiyou Mtns. was named by the first emigrants finding a dead horse, which in Indian language is Siskiyou.
    In 1851 in Polk Co., Oregon there was a man killed on the Rickreall River; he had been robbed of his watch; he accused the murderer of the theft, who to save his honor maliciously shot him in the field while plowing. The murderer & his brother and R. S. Dunlap was indicted for the murder in Polk Co. At the first court, his brother was convicted as an accessory after the fact. The murderer was condemned to be hung, and the brother sentenced to the penitentiary for three years. The jury [was] hung as to Dunlap--the trial of Dunlap was removed to Yamhill Co. He was convicted & sentenced to be hung, but afterward pardoned. He is living and for many years has been a good citizen of Jackson Co., Oregon. When on the gallows the murderer confessed the theft & murder & told where the watch was concealed.
    There being no penitentiary & no county jail, the co. court ordered the brother who was condemned to be sold to the highest bidder & James Prater became the purchaser for $100. The time of his sentencing, three years, was faithfully served out first in Polk Co. and then in Douglas Co., on Deer Creek, where Mr. Prater still resides. Mr. Dowell will supply all the names.
    At the close of the Oregon territorial career, an act of the Legislature required all indictments to be found at Roseburg, but the trial sittings were held in each county. By some mishap an indictment was left at Roseburg, in place of sending to Josephine at Kerbyville, and he was placed upon his trial by then-Judge M. P. Deady, upon the affidavit of the prosecuting attorney of W. G. T'Vault, and tried by a jury of the county and acquitted. That was almost equivalent to a mob, and yet the man who tried him is one of the ablest & best judges of the Pacific Coast. The judge when upbraided by the attorney upon his injudicial act, said it was done by the consent of the criminal, and that he was sure he would be acquitted and that it might be as well ended then as kept on hand.
    In 1861, in the case of Allen Farnham against the Eagle Mill Co. (the property in contention cost about $80,000) J. H. Reed & B. F. Dowell were opposing attorneys in the case, the former in the closing of the speech on some dilatory motion remarked that he intended to will this lawsuit to his son. At this time Judge Reed had three children, one a son, while Mr. Dowell was a bachelor. In Mr. Dowell's reply, he said he jocularly said he would get married and get a boy that would beat his in a lawsuit. This was all in open court. Not long after Mr. Dowell married and the first issue was a daughter. At the close the first term of court, the judge, clerk & the attorney proposed to try Mr. Dowell for not keeping his agreement in regard to the boy. The clerk, Wm. Horton, who was a strict elder in the Presbyterian Church, was induced by the judge & lawyer to issue a writ, had him arrested on the complaint of the district attorney; they all came to Mr. Dowell's office with their charge and sheriff. He asked for adjournment & time to reply, and in the reply he confessed and avoided it, that there was time enough yet to get the boy. When they returned, I told them they would find the testimony in an adjoining [room, in] which was a basket of champagne. It [is] needless to say that continuance was granted, and he now has as promising a boy as there is in Southern Oregon. The lawsuit is long since ended in favor of Mr. Dowell's client.
Bancroft Library MSS P-A 26


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[From the Oregon Statesman.]
The "Expedition to Fight the Emigrants"
Deer Creek, Douglas Co.,
    July 5, 1855
    A. Bush, Esq.--Dear Sir: In the last Oregonian I notice a letter from B. F. Dowell, commonly known in the southern country as "collar-mouthed Dowell" (horse collar) or the "man with the cracked voice." It is said that Dowell ruined his voice in the winter of 1852-53 while he was crying, four for sale at a dollar and a quarter per lb. During those memorable starvation times, Dowell arrived in Jacksonville with a load of flour, and commenced to sell it out at fifty cts. per lb., but soon increased his extortionate demands until he raised it up as high as a dollar and [a] quarter, when he broke down; his voice failed him, and he has not recovered it to this day.
    In the recent political canvass, Dowell stated in a speech in Jacksonville that the "time had been when a Whig daren't open his mouth in this Territory," which was true so far as he was concerned, for until he became sanguine of the Know Nothings and the election of Gaines, he was professedly neutral in politics, but like many other neutrals, he claimed to be as good a Democrat as could be found in Oregon.
    Last summer when Chas. S. Drew, then Quartermaster General of the Oregon Militia, was organizing his expedition to "fight the emigrants" on the southern road, Dowell was among the first to invest in that infamous speculation. It is now generally conceded that this expedition was unnecessary and wholly uncalled for--no hostility existed on the southern route--indeed the whole affair was gotten up for the purpose of speculating off the general government. The greater portion of the forage, transportation, provisions, hospital and ordnance stores &c. for the expedition were furnished either by the quartermaster himself or some of his partners in business, or relations. Indeed, the report of Gen. Drew shows that he has allowed the claim of his brother, B. J. Drew, for the use of pack mules in that service, amounting to the enormous sum of $9,876! No more than thirty pack mules belonging to B. J. Drew were ever in the service at any one time, and consequently the claim amounts to more than $250 per animal. Again, Drew claims and is allowed $2,360 for flour furnished for that service at the low rate of forty cents per lb., while 75 cts. is allowed for coffee, and the same for bacon; 50 cts. per lb. is charged and allowed for sugar and salt. Yet Chas. S. Drew, quartermaster, "certifies that all these articles were purchased at the lowest market price, and that he was in no way interested in the purchase." Messrs. Pearson and Hunter, supposed partners of the quartermaster, have also large claims of a similar character.
    It appears that Mr. Pearson was paid and is allowed $50 per month for rent for four months of office for the quartermaster, while it is well known in Jacksonville that C. S. Drew kept his office in his own house, and that Pearson owned no interest in the house unless by virtue of his copartnership with Drew.
    Mr. Hunter, another partner in this enterprising firm of Drew, Dowell & Co., is allowed $3 per lb. for powder, 50 cts. per lb. for lead; 75 cts. for shot; $10 per thousand for percussion caps &c. Dr. Cleavland, late of the council and as a member of which body he voted for the resolution asking Gen. Lane to get an appropriation to pay these bills, another personal and political friend of the distinguished Gen. Drew, is allowed $20 per oz. for quinine, also $2 per oz. for cubebs, copaiba and paregoric; charges for other hospital stores furnished by Dr. Cleveland are of a similar character. Among the rest, $8 per gallon is allowed for brandy. The miscellaneous items of the expenses of this service include many very singular and interesting stores for a campaign in the mountains--$12 per ream is charged for foolscap paper; $4 per bottle for ink; large amounts are allowed for soap, candles and other extras.
    Perhaps Dowell's bill is a fair specimen of the rest, and for the edification of the good Democrats who read the Statesman, and believe in the economical administration of the government, we will subjoin Dowell's account against the United States in full. Comment is unnecessary when we consider that Quartermaster General Drew has certified that all these extravagant demands are just--that the articles furnished were purchased at the lowest market price, and that he is in no way interested in the purchase.
B. F. DOWELL'S ACCOUNT:
    30 animals 90 days at $4.00 each p. day
80 lbs. lash rope, at 1.50 per lb.
2 black rasps, 3.00 apiece,
1 hatchet, 4.00
4 balls twine, 1.00 apiece,
2 sail needles, 0.50      "
2 saddler's awls, 0.50      "
3 axes with helves, 10.00      "
1 coffee mill, 5.00      "
2 camp kettles, 6.00      "
28 frying pans, 4.00      "
13 bread pans, 3.00      "
20 tin cups, 1.00      "
33 saddle blankets, 4.00      "
6 lbs. powder, 3.00      "
18 lbs. lead, .50      "
10 lbs. shot, .75      "
3 boxes percussion caps, 5.00 per box,
1 box steel pens, 4.00
1 bottle ink, 3.00
4 quires of paper, 1.00 apiece,
1-2 dozen pencils 1.30      "
1 spring balance, 4.00
50 lbs. loaf sugar, .75 per lb.
25 lbs. rice, .62½      "
34 lbs. soap, .75      "
70 lbs. beef, .30      "
269 lbs. pork, .75      "
3650 lbs. flour, .40      "
75 lbs. sugar, .50      "
329 lbs. coffee, .75      "
116 lbs. beans, .50      "
5 gals. vinegar, 6.00 per gal.
    I would like to accompany the above with some extracts from the quartermaster's report to Gov. Curry. It is a rich specimen of military eloquence, and taken in connection with the accompanying accounts is quite an amusing production indeed; it is touched in the latest style of official reports, and is such a model of its kind as you have never before met with. But I will not trespass farther upon your space at this time.
WM. J. MARTIN.
    The Statesman editor comments as follows upon the above communication:
    In the letter of Capt. Martin, which we publish today, and to the astounding disclosures of which we invite the attention of the public, and the authorities at Washington, will be found the bill of Mr. Dowell, on account of the "expedition to fight the emigrants." The items of this bill, as given, are correct, for we have caused them to be compared with the bills on file in the Governor's office, made out and certified by C. S. Drew, late Quartermaster General. The other bills on file there, on account of this scheme to "fight the emigrants" and plunder Uncle Sam, are of the same character, exorbitant beyond degree or parallel. We subjoin a few items which we have copied ourself from the report of the late Quartermaster General Drew. We copy from the medicine bills:
    Capsules, per oz., $1
Balsam Copaiba, per oz.,   1.50
Cubebs, per oz.,   1.50
Sweet Spirits of Nitre, per oz.,   1
Blue Mass, per oz.,   3
Chelagogue, per bottle, 10
Quinine, per oz., 20
Seidlitz Powders, per box,   2
Paregoric, per oz.   2
    Some of these are queer articles for an expedition of that kind, unless they expected to take sick Indians prisoners. And those prices are all rather refreshing for hard times and dull sales. All these articles Gen. Drew certifies "on honor were purchased at the lowest cash price"--sometimes at the "lowest market price."
Umpqua Gazette, Scottsburg, August 9, 1855, page 2  Martin's letter above was printed in the Statesman of July 21, 1855, on page 2.


Sam'l. Dowell, Esq.
Stony Point P.O.
Albemarle, Va.
Salem, O.T.               
Jan. 31st, 1856.               
Dear Brother,
    The only subjects of conversation at the capital of Oregon are Gen'l. Wool, Palmer and the present Indian war. General Wool charges the whites with commencing the war for the purpose of plundering the treasury of the U.S., that the govts. of Oregon & Washington territories have called out volunteers unnecessarily, that the Oregonians barbarously murdered Pu-pu-mox-mox, the head chief of the Walla-Walla Indians. Every newspaper in these territories and the citizens generally denounce Gen'l. Wool and he in return calls the Oregonians little dogs barking at his heels. Gen'l. Wool has not condescended to visit the scene of hostilities, and the whole of the regular army under his command are now safely housed in their winter quarters at the military post, within the settlement, while the volunteers are occupying Walla Walla Valley, poorly clad and almost without tents and destitute of bread, upwards of 150 miles from the white settlements. He either has bad advisors or he is wholly ignorant of the numbers, resources, tact, intelligence and deadly hostility of our enemy, or he is a great Indian sympathizer and wholly regardless of the interest of Oregon and Washington territories. I have resided in Southern Oregon in the midst of the Indians for the last five years, and since my arrival in Oregon I have frequently traveled from one end of the settlements to the other, so I have had a good opportunity to know the causes of the war, and the strength of our enemies. I would be the last man to aid and assist to prosecute an unjust war, but I have been from the commencement and am now actively engaged in this war. I verily believe that it is absolutely necessary it should be vigorously prosecuted to a successful termination. In Southern Oregon alone, upwards of [thirty of] our citizens were waylaid and barbarously murdered before the Oregonians organized a single company to chastise the Indians. A friend from Jackson Co. gave me a copy of a letter written by the Indian agent Ambrose to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs which I enclose to you. This letter was written only eight days before the commencement of the war, from which you can form some idea how an Indian war is commenced and you will see that the whites are not wholly to blame for our present difficulties. The most of the facts and circumstances detailed in this letter I know to be true, but I am of the opinion Limpy and George deceived the agent, and that they were hostile at the time his letter was written, for they refused to reside in the Indian reservation, and eight days later they joined the Scotans and Shastas in open hostilities against the whites. I am as much opposed to extermination of the red race as Gen'l. Palmer or Gen'l. Wool, but the war is now being waged by our enemy against friend and foe, against innocent men, women and children. These Indians must be taught the power of the Americans, and the utter folly for them to take up arms against us, and it is the imperative duty of Gen'l. Wool and every good citizen to aid and assist in doing it, and to close the war. The Legislative Assembly yesterday passed unanimously a joint memorial condemning Gen'l. Wool for his inactivity and for trying to destroy the credit of Oregon, and the memorial politely asks the President of the U.S. to remove him from the command of the Pacific Division. In every war in which we have ever been engaged, from the Revolutionary War to the present time, there has always been a party, a small, narrow, contracted, contemptible party, against each war, and Gen'l. Wool has always opposed the volunteer force, but I believe this is the first time he or any other commander has kept the regular army inactive and out of the Indian country during the winter in time of an Indian war. A timid woman would have done better, for she is always patriotic and for her country, right or wrong.
    It is also said that Gen'l. Palmer, the Supt. of Indian Affairs, has taken sides with Gen'l. Wool and our enemies, and the members of the Legislative Assembly have politely asked the President to remove him from office. How Gen'l. Palmer could report against the war I am at a loss to know, for the letter of Agent Ambrose was directed to him, and was doubtless in his possession when the war commenced, and he to my knowledge was present and advised Gov. Curry to call out 1000 volunteers to march up the Columbia River to the relief of our citizens in the vicinity of The Dalles, and before the volunteers left the Willamette Valley he subscribed $100 to assist [to] arm and equip the volunteers; he even advised his own son to join the Oregon volunteers, and seemed deeply to regret the insufficiency of the available transportation animals belonging to the volunteer command; yet I am credibly informed he has reported to Gen'l. Wool that the war was commenced by the citizens of Oregon, and that they consider the treasury as a legitimate subject of public plunder, and that Gen'l. Wool has reiterated the charge publicly again and again. We have a few vagabonds, not citizens, that are outlaws and refugees from justice, but probably in proportion to population there are as few here as there are in Washington City, the metropolis of the nation. The great body of resident citizens of Oregon are as true, honest and as law-abiding citizens as any in America, who are now engaged in the war, and who believe the war to be a great national calamity, and who look upon Gen'l. Wool and Gen'l. Palmer as base slanderers and calumniators of their good name. Did the Supt. expect to plunder the Treasury of the U.S. himself by advising a volunteer force to be called out, and by furnishing money to prosecute the war? Did he expect his own son to join the army and divide the plunder? Or did he do all this from a sense of duty, for the purpose of suppressing Indian hostilities, and to restore peace and happiness to his adopted country? If Gen'l. Palmer and Gen'l. Wool had been in the late battle of Walla Walla and seen with their own eyes the gallantry of the Oregon volunteers, we surely never should have heard of their traducing the good name of the Oregon volunteers. The truth is the good citizens of Oregon not only in this war, but in all our own Indian wars have risen en masse from a sense of justice, against the Indians for self-protection, without inquiring who should or would pay them, and they are truly unfortunate in having the commander of the U.S. forces taking sides with the enemy and refusing to prosecute the war. The sooner he is removed and the sooner the regular army takes the field the better for California, Oregon, Washington territories, and the better for the U.S. Treasury.
    I was present at the commencement of the Rogue River War in 1853, and not one, at the commencement, expected a dollar for his services, nor did they expect to ask for pay, until after the arrival of the U.S. officers who advised over 200 men that were then in the field bearing arms in defense of their own lives and property, to be mustered into U.S. service and apply for pay. Their whole and sole object was to protect the settlements and punish a treacherous, perfidious and common enemy to the white race.
    The Cayuse War was long before my arrival in the territory and before the U.S. had organized our territorial government, and a variety of opinions exist here as to the cause of that war. Some contend the Indians killed Dr. Whitman & his whole family because he was unsuccessful as a physician among them, others that it was caused by undue influence of the Catholic missionaries and their deadly hostility to the Protestant religion, while the great body of the old settlers believe the war was caused by the great emigration across the plains to Oregon and by the officers and servants of the Hudson's Bay Co. teaching the Indians that the Americans were intruders upon the rights of the English and Indians, that the Americans would occupy their lands without remunerating them for the homes of their fathers, the Indians thus foreseeing the natural encroachments of the whites determined to meet the crisis and decide their fate by the force of arms. Our government did wrongly to encourage our citizens to emigrate to Oregon before purchasing the land of the natives. But this was done as far back as 1842 not for the purpose of doing injustice to the Indians but to extinguish the pretended claim of England to Oregon. England, at the same time, was alive to her interests, and was giving her citizens great encouragement to settle and occupy the same country, and at the time of the first American emigration across the plains to Oregon there was a large Hudson's Bay settlement on the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Soon after our emigrants arrived here, there was a great rivalry between the English and Americans. The Cayuse War served to increase the natural antipathy of the Oregonians against the Hudson's Bay Co. and against the Indians. Dr. Whitman, a pious American Protestant missionary, his wife and children and a large party of emigrants camped at his house were barbarously murdered, without cause or provocation. He had done more to Christianize and civilize the Indians than any other man in Oregon. He had taught them to plant, cultivate, reap and use corn, wheat and potatoes, which the Indians continued to raise in abundance up to the time of the commencement of the present war. He had taught some of them to read and write and several, from the fruits of his labor, are now better writers than I am. He and Mr. Spalding had translated the New Testament into the Nez Perce language, and many can read it to this day. In truth and in fact Dr. Whitman was one of the best of missionaries and the "poor Indians'" best friend and greatest benefactor; yet he was the first white man that fell a victim to their treachery and barbarity. The emigrant men shared the same fate, but some of the women were taken prisoners and forced to become the unwilling wives of their bloodthirsty captors. The facts stand out in bold relief; the emigrants were not to blame; Dr. Whitman and his family were not to blame, yet the Americans had war, the English had peace, and notwithstanding the American settlements were very weak and needed assistance the Hudson's Bay Co. was then opposed to the war, like Gen'l. Wool is now, and this powerful company then refused to assist the Oregonians and to prosecute the war.
    Gen. Wool has reported to the Secty. of War again and again that the regular army under his command was wholly inadequate to protect the settlements, yet he has always reported against the volunteers. He reported long ago that the company called out by orders of Gov. Davis in 1854, was unnecessary, and that it was done for speculation. Yet the same time he urges the department to send more forces to the Pacific, and beautifully describes his district as extensive and "an empire within itself"; but now in the midst of the most destructive war that has ever scourged Oregon he says there are plenty of regulars, no war, no necessity for his command to leave their good comfortable houses and take the field.
    It is true the enemy has not recently done any great damage, and they have been driven beyond the settlements by the volunteers, but unless they are pursued and whipped they will return to the frontier settlements, and again massacre whole families.
    Gen'l. Palmer's & Wool's opposition will tend to prolong the war, increase the high prices, and prevent the speedy settlement and payment of the expenses of the war, but notwithstanding all this, the legislatures of Oregon and Washington have both determined to continue to bark like dogs at the heels of Wool, and vigorously prosecute the war to a successful termination.
    Washington is sparsely populated but Oregon has wealth, resources, [and a] vigorous, hardy and large population. She has the very best material in America to prosecute an Indian war successfully. Civilization has always trampled over savage barbarity. So, in this instance, notwithstanding Wool's and Palmer's opposition, and notwithstanding at present the plow has to be abandoned for the rifle and gloom and lowering clouds hang over the future destiny of Washington and Oregon, yet finally the savages will be compelled to sue for peace and the clouds of darkness will disappear and peace and happiness will be restored to the Pacific Coast.
    In relation to Pu-pu-mox-mox, I wrote for the full particulars of his death on the 25th of last month. At the time he was killed I was untying a rope to tie him with to prevent him from making his escape. I saw it all with my own eyes, and I was within three ft. of him when he breathed his last. He certainly was not murdered but was killed by one of the guard while he was trying to take the gun of the other. According to the most rigid rules of civilized warfare, the guard was not to blame. Officers and soldiers have frequently been complimented for killing prisoners under similar circumstances. Doubtless it was the intention of Pu-pu-mox-mox and his comrades to get the guns of the guard and then make their escape. Even Gen. Wool himself commends Major Haller and his men for killing an Indian prisoner at Fort Boise in 1854 trying to make his escape from the regulars of the U.S. Army. The acts of the regulars, in the estimation of Gen'l. Wool, deserve commendation, but the same act performed by volunteers only twelve months afterwards is severely and bitterly condemned as murder in the first degree. Pu-pu-mox-mox was a rich, proud, haughty, cunning, treacherous, bitter and dangerous enemy and those who think the whites are wholly responsible for this war and that Indians can do no wrong may truly sympathize with the Indians and deeply regret his death. To those who prefer Negroes and Indians to whites, and a vast, howling wilderness inhabited only by coyotes, wolves, panthers and living beings in human shape more savage still, to beautiful cultivated fields, and large, flourishing commercial cities inhabited by intelligent, civilized man, have great cause to grieve over the loss of Pu-pu-mox-mox. But if the cultivation of the soil, and the cultivation of the arts and sciences, be the will of the maker of the heavens and earth, it may be just cause for the Oregonians to rejoice that this daring chief and champion of the savages attempted to escape and drew down destruction upon his own head. As for scalping and cutting of Pu-pu-mox-mox' ears, this is a relic of barbarism which the Americans learned from the savages, and the practice is very common among the whites and Indians. I have no taste for such barbarity. The whites sometimes scalp the Indians before they are scarcely dead, and the Indians scalp all who fall into their hands. There are a few whites back in the volunteer and regular army who pride themselves upon showing such worthless trophies. The only excuse is offered is the Indians would scalp you, and the Indian will never bury, burn or touch an Indian that has his hair mutilated. If an Indian is killed and not scalped and the Indians get a chance they will remove the body as quick as a white man would, but if he is scalped you can always find the body afterward. The Indians are superstitious and will not touch the mutilated dead body.
    I have just brought from the First Regiment of volunteers on the Columbia River an express to the Gov. of Oregon. I came the whole route with only one man with me. Since my arrival in Oregon my life has frequently been exposed, and the road before me is beset by hostile bands of roving reckless savages, yet I am not afraid to go wherever duty calls me, regardless of consequences.
B. F. Dowell.               
Bancroft Library MSS P-A 25. This version (transcribed from a typescript) deletes several paragraphs, restored in the version below, transcribed from a copy in Dowell's hand at the University of Oregon.


Salem O.T.
    Jan. 31st 1856
Dear Brother:
    The only subjects of conversation at the capital of Oregon are the present Indian war, Genls. Wool and Palmer. Genl. Wool charges the whites with commencing the war for the purpose of plundering the Treasury of the United States, that the Governors of Oregon and Washington territories have called out volunteers unnecessarily, that the Oregonians had barbarously murdered Pu-pu-mox-mox, the head chief of the Walla Walla Indians, and every newspaper in these territories and the citizens generally have denounced Genl. Wool, and he in return calls the Oregonians like dogs barking at his heels. Genl. Wool has not condescended to visit the scene of hostilities, and the whole of the regular army, under his command, are now safely housed in their winter quarters, at the military post, within the settlements, while the volunteers are occupying Walla Walla Valley, poorly clad, and almost without tents and destitute of bread, upwards of a hundred and fifty miles beyond the white settlements. He either has bad advisors, or he is wholly ignorant of the numbers, resources, tact, intelligence and deadly hostility of our enemy, or he is a great Indian sympathizer and wholly regardless of the interest of Oregon and Washington territories. I have resided in Southern Oregon in the midst of the Indians for the last four years, and since my arrival in Oregon I have frequently traveled from one end of the settlements to the other, so I have had a good opportunity to know the causes of the war, and the strength of our enemies. I would be the last man to aid and assist to prosecute an unjust war, but I have been from the commencement, and am now actively engaged in this war. I verily believe that it is absolutely necessary it should be vigorously prosecuted to a successful termination. In Southern Oregon alone, upwards of
thirty of our citizens were waylaid and barbarously murdered before the Oregonians organized a single company to chastise the Indians. A friend from Jackson County gave me a copy of a letter written by the Indian agent Ambrose to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, which I enclose to you. This letter was written only eight days before the commencement of the war, from which you can form some idea how an Indian war is commenced, and you will see that the whites are not wholly to blame for our present difficulties. The most of the facts and circumstances detailed in this letter I know to be true, but I am of the opinion Limpy and George deceived the agent, and that they were hostile at the time his letter was written, for they refused to reside on the Indian reservation, and in eight days after they joined the Scotans and Shastas in open hostilities against the whites. I am as much opposed to extermination of the red race as Genl. Palmer or Genl. Wool, but the war is now being waged by our enemies against friend and foe, against innocent men, women and little children. These Indians must be taught the power of the Americans, and the utter folly for them to take up arms against us, and it is the imperative duty of Genl. Wool and every good citizen to aid and assist to do it, and to close the war. The Legislative Assembly yesterday passed unanimously a joint memorial condemning Genl. Wool for his inactivity and for trying to destroy the credit of Oregon, and the memorial politely asks the President of the United States to remove him from the command of the Pacific Division. In every war in which we have been engaged, from the Revolutionary War to the present time, there has always been a party--a small, narrow, contracted, contemptible party--against each war, and Genl. Wool has always opposed the volunteer force, but I believe this is the first time he or any other commander has kept the regular army inactive and out of the Indian country during the winter in time of an Indian war. A timid woman would have done better, for they are always patriotic and for their country, right or wrong.
    It is also said that Genl. Palmer, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, has taken sides with Genl. Wool and our enemies, and the members of the Legislative Assembly have politely asked the President to remove him from office. How Genl. Palmer could report against the war I am at a loss to know, for the letter of the Agent Ambrose was directed to him, and doubtless was in his possession before the war commenced, and he to my own knowledge was present and advised Governor Curry to call out a thousand volunteers to march up the Columbia River to the relief of our citizens in the vicinity of the Dalles, and before the volunteers left the Willamette Valley he subscribed a hundred dollars to arm and equip the volunteers; he even advised his own son to join the Oregon volunteers and seemed deeply to regret the insufficiency of the available transportation animals belonging to the volunteer command; yet I am credibly informed he has reported to Genl. Wool that the war was commenced by the citizens of Oregon, and that they regard the treasury as a legitimate subject of public plunder, and that Genl. Wool has reiterated the charge publicly again and again. We have a few vagabonds, not citizens, that are outlaws and refugees from justice, but probably in proportion to population there are as few of them here as there are in Washington City, the metropolis of the nation. The great body of the resident citizens of Oregon are as true, honest and as law-abiding citizens as any in America, who are now engaged in the war, and who believe the war to be a great national calamity, and who look upon Genl. Wool and Genl. Palmer as base slanderers and calumniators of their good name. Did the Superintendent expect to plunder the Treasury of the United States himself by advising a volunteer force to be called out, and by furnishing money to prosecute the war? Did he expect for his own son to join the army and divide the plunder? Or did he do all this from a sense of duty, for the purpose of suppressing Indian hostilities, and to restore peace and happiness to his adopted country? If Genl. Palmer and General Wool had been in the late battle of Walla Walla and seen with their own eyes the gallantry of the Oregon volunteers, we surely never should have heard of their traducing the good name of the Oregon volunteers. The truth is the good citizens of Oregon not only in this war, but in all our own Indian wars have risen in mass from a sense of justice, against the Indians for self-protection, without inquiring who should or would pay them, and they are truly unfortunate in having the commander of the United States forces taking sides with the enemy and refusing to prosecute the war. The sooner he is removed and the sooner the regular army takes the field the better for California, Oregon and Washington territories, and the better for the United States Treasury.
    I was present at the commencement of the Rogue River War in 1853, and no one at the commencement expected a dollar for his services, nor did they intend to ask for pay, until after the arrival of the United States officers, who advised over two hundred men that were then in the field bearing arms in defense of their own lives and property, to be mustered into the service of the United States and apply for pay. Their whole and sole object was to protect the settlements and punish a treacherous, perfidious and common enemy to the white race.
    The Cayuse War was long before my arrival in the territory and before the United States had organized our territorial government, and a variety of opinions exist here as to the cause of that war. Some contend the Indians killed Dr. Whitman and his whole family because he was an unsuccessful physician among them, others that it was caused by undue influence of the Catholic missionaries and their deadly hostility to the Protestant religion, while the great body of the old settlers believe the war was caused by the great emigration across the plains to Oregon and by the officers and servants of the Hudson Bay Co. teaching the Indians that the Americans were intruders upon the rights of the English and Indians, that the Americans would occupy their lands without remunerating them for the homes of their fathers; the Indians thus foreseeing the natural encroachments of the whites [illegible] determined to meet the crisis and decide their fate by the force of arms. Our government did wrong to encourage her citizens to emigrate to Oregon before the government had purchased the land from the natives. But this was done as far back as 1842, not for the purpose of doing injustice to the Indians, but for the purpose of extinguishing the pretended claim of England to Oregon. England, at the same time, was alive to her interest, and she was giving her citizens great encouragement to settle and occupy the same country. At the time of the first American emigration across the plains to Oregon there was a large Hudson Bay settlement on the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Soon after our emigrants arrived here there was a great rivalry between the English and Americans. The Cayuse War served to increase the natural antipathy of the Oregonians against the Hudson Bay Company and against the Indians. Dr. Whitman, a pious American Protestant missionary, his wife and children and a large party of emigrants camped at his house were barbarously murdered, without cause and without provocation. He had done more to Christianize and civilize the Indians than any other man in Oregon. He had taught them to plant, cultivate, reap and use corn, wheat and potatoes, which these Indians continued to raise in abundance up to the time of the commencement of the present war. He had taught some of them to read and write, and several of them from the fruits of his labor are now better writers than I am. He and Mr. Spalding had translated the New Testament into the Nez Perce language, and many of them can read it to this day. In truth and in fact Dr. Whitman was one of the best of missionaries, and the "poor Indians'" best friend and greatest benefactor; yet he was the first white man that fell a victim to their treachery and barbarity. The emigrant men shared the same fate, but some of the women were taken prisoners and forced to become the unwilling wives of their bloodthirsty captors. The facts stand out in bold relief. The emigrants were not to blame. Dr. Whitman and his family were not to blame, yet the Americans had war, the English in the vicinity had peace, and notwithstanding the American settlements were very weak and needed assistance the Hudson Bay Company were then opposed to the war, like Genl. Wool is now, and this powerful company then refused to assist the Oregonians and to prosecute the war.
    Gen. Wool has reported to the Secretary of War again and again that the regular army under his command was wholly inadequate to protect the settlements, yet he has always reported against the volunteers. He reported long ago that the company called out by orders of Governor Davis in 1854 was unnecessary and that it was done for speculation. Yet at the same time he urges the department to send more forces to the Pacific, and beautifully describes his district as extensive and "an empire within itself"; but now in the midst of the most destructive war that has ever scourged Oregon he says there is plenty of regulars, no war, no necessity for volunteers and no necessity for his command to leave their good comfortable houses and take the field.
    It is true the enemy has not recently done any great damage, and they have been driven beyond the settlements by the volunteers, but unless they are pursued and whipped they will return to the frontier settlements, and again massacre whole families.
    Generals Palmer's and Wool's opposition will tend to prolong the war, increase the high prices, and prevent the speedy settlement and payment of the expenses of the war, but notwithstanding all this, the legislatures of Oregon and Washington have both determined to continue to bark like dogs at the heels of Wool, and vigorously prosecute the war to a successful termination.
    Washington is sparsely populated, but Oregon has wealth, resources, a vigorous, hardy and large population. She has the very best material in America to prosecute an Indian war successfully. Civilization has always trampled over savage barbarity. So, in this instance, notwithstanding Wool's and Palmer's opposition, and notwithstanding at present the plow has to be abandoned for the rifle and gloom and lowering clouds hang over the future destiny of Washington and Oregon, yet finally the savages will be compelled to sue for peace, and the clouds of darkness will disappear and peace and happiness will be restored to the Pacific Coast.
    In relation to Pu-pu-mox-mox, I wrote you the particulars of his death on the 25th of last month, which letter I hope you have received. At the time he was killed I was untying a rope to tie him with to prevent him from making his escape. I saw it all with my own eyes, and I was within three feet of him when he breathed his last. He certainly was not murdered but was killed by one of the guard while he was trying to take the gun of the other. According to the most rigid rules of civilized warfare, the guard was not to blame. Officers and soldiers have frequently been complimented for killing prisoners under similar circumstances. Doubtless it was the intention of Pu-pu-mox-mox and his comrades to get the guns of the guard and then make their escape. Even General Wool himself commends Major Haller and his men for killing an Indian prisoner, at Fort Boise in 1854, trying to make his escape from the regulars of the United States Army. The acts of the regulars, in the estimation of Genl. Wool, deserve commendation, but the same acts performed by volunteers only twelve months afterwards is bitterly called murder in the first degree. Pu-pu-mox-mox was a rich, proud, haughty, cunning, treacherous, bitter and dangerous enemy, and those who think the whites are wholly responsible for this war and that Indians can do no wrong may truly sympathize with the Indians and deeply regret his death. To those who prefer Negroes and Indians to whites, and a vast, howling wilderness inhabited only by coyotes, wolves, panthers and living beings in human shape more savage still, to beautiful cultivated fields, and large, flourishing commercial cities inhabited by intelligent, civilized man, have great cause to grieve over the loss of Pu-pu-mox-mox. But if the cultivation of the soil, and the cultivation of the arts and sciences, be the will of the maker of the heavens and earth, it may be just cause for the Oregonians to rejoice that this daring chief and champion of the savages attempted to escape and drew down destruction upon his own head. As for scalping and cutting off Pu-pu-mox-mox' ears, this is a relic of savage barbarism, which the Americans learned from the savages, and the practice is very common among the whites and Indians. I have no taste for such barbarity. The whites sometimes scalp the Indians before they are scarcely dead, and the Indians scalp all that fall into their hands. There are a few whites back in the volunteer and regular army who pride themselves upon showing such worthless trophies. The only excuse that is offered for such barbarity is the Indians would scalp you, and they will never bury, burn or touch an Indian that has his hair mutilated. If an Indian is killed and not scalped and the Indians get a chance they will remove the body as quick as a white man would, but if he is scalped you can always find the body afterwards. The Indians are superstitious and will not touch the mutilated dead body.
    I have just brought from the First Regiment of volunteers on the Columbia River an express to the Gov. of Oregon. I came the whole route with only one man with me. Since my arrival in Oregon my life has frequently been exposed, and the road before me is beset by hostile bands of roving, reckless savages, yet I am not afraid to go. I go wherever business and duty calls me, regardless of consequences. If I survive and see peace once more restored to Oregon I intend to return to my native Virginia. Write and give me all the news in Albemarle. Remember me kindly to my old college mate Ham Michler [Michier?] and my schoolmates generally.
Yours affectionately
    B. F. Dowell
Samuel Dowell Esq.
    Stony Point
        Alb. Va.
B. F. Dowell Papers, University of Oregon Special Collections Ax031



Jacksonville Oregon
    April 4th 1856
Sir:--
    Congress made an appropriation of fifteen thousand dollars in 1854 to pay the Indian spoliations during the Rogue River Indian War of 1853, and Ambrose the Indian agent and two other gentlemen were appointed commissioners to audit the claims soon afterwards, yet up to this time not a dollar has been paid the claimants.
    I wish to know the reason why these claims have not been paid, and when the claimants may expect to be paid.
    Would drafts drawn on the auditor by the claimants be paid like drafts drawn by contractors for services on mail routes?
Yours very respectfully
    B. F. Dowell
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 609 Oregon Superintendency 1856, frames 122-123.


(For the Sentinel.)
Washington City,
    March 4, 1857.
    Col. W. G. T'Vault--Dear Sir:--Notwithstanding the press of business, according to promise I drop you a few lines. Nothing has been done by this Congress for the benefit of Oregon. The Black Republicans used every exertion to defeat every measure that they thought would advance the interest and popularity of Gen. Lane. The bill making appropriations to pay the expenses of the Oregon Indian wars was objected to in the House by five majority. The bill to pay for the Indian spoliations was killed in the committee. There was no vote on the bill to pay the expenses of Captain Walker's company. Yet I am bound to say Gen. Lane, I believe, did everything in his power to get all of these bills passed, and that he did as much as any delegate could do during this session of Congress. Gen. Wool has written volumes against the good citizens of Oregon. He charges Gen. Lane, Gov. Stevens and Gov. Curry with combining together to plunder the treasury of the United States. However, it took California six or seven years to get their Indian war debt assumed by Congress, and every member of Congress that I have had any conversation with upon the subject admits that all just claims of the expenses of the Oregon Indian war will be eventually paid by Congress.
    A bill passed both houses last night making an appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars to pay the expenses of surveying the ship canal route across the Isthmus of Darien somewhere in or near the Republic of Grenada. The probability is it will go up the Nicaraguan river.
    Gen. Joel Palmer denies having any intention of trying to get an office. He says he came here solely to get his accounts righted, but I think Gen. McCarver has fine hopes of getting an appointment soon.
    Yours, in great haste,            B. F. D.
Clipping from the Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, B. F. Dowell papers Ax031, University of Oregon Special Collections. No complete issue of this newspaper is known to survive.



Washington City,
    May 15, 1857.
    Sentinel:--Notwithstanding the names of the hands employed by the quartermaster and medical director in the Rogue River war do not appear upon the abstract of the expenses of the war, the Secretary of War decided on the 25 ult. to pay me eight dollars per day for my services and four dollars per day for the use of my riding animal, that being the total amount claimed by me. This decision will enable all the packers and hands in the Jacksonville hospital to get the full amount of their wages, upon their making proof of their services, prices &c., and the same reason which I gave for these claims not appearing upon the abstract of the expenses of the war. Gen. Drew has done everything he can do towards getting the packers paid, but Dr. Cleavland died at St. Louis without making out full records according to the requirements of the rules and regulations of the Treasury Department. Therefore, the hospital hands will have to be very particular in making out their proof, and the rules of the Department require each claimant to present his own claim in person, or by a legally authorized agent. If the proof is made out correctly, there is no doubt of the payment, for the present Secretary, in deciding my case, remarked that under a liberal act of Congress, like the one to pay the expenses of the Rogue River war, that technical rules of the Treasury Department should not prevent him from doing justice. Gen. Lane acted in the triple capacity of commander, Delegate and agent in prosecuting the claims in the Rogue River war, without receiving a dollar from any individual for his services. I can assure you he deserves great credit for his services--much more than the citizens ever gave him for getting the great body of their claims paid without expense. I have it from the best authority that he visited the departments daily for months, pressing the settlement and payment of the expenses of the Rogue River war of 1853. He did everything he could to get Congress to assume the payment of the late war. Under these circumstances, I am for him for delegate or Senator. With the information I have, I would be delighted to see Hon. L. F. Grover Representative, Col. Kelly and Gen. Lane Senators.
    Under our present circumstances, I verily believe they could and would do more good for Oregon than any other three men in Oregon. Next winter Gen. Wool's influence will be felt more in the Senate than in the House, but with the quick tact, energy and untiring industry of Col. Kelly and Gen. Lane they would get the approbation. And Mr. Grover's connection with the claim commissioners will give him invaluable information upon the subject, which will enable him to press claims through the departments, without expense to the claimants. Claim agents here charge from 10 to 25 percent upon the best of claims for their services before the Treasury Department. Therefore, the saving of this expense alone is no small item to the citizens of Oregon. By the time the commissioners make up their report, in my opinion, no one will be better acquainted with each and every account than Mr. Grover, and no one could or would explain them better to the accounting officers than he would. I can assure the claim holders that the labor in getting their money is not half performed even when Congress makes an appropriation to pay the whole expenses. I have been here pressing as just claims as any that ever was before the Treasury Department for more than two months, and, even now, two-thirds of the claims will have to be returned to Oregon for additional testimony.
    I have not seen an Oregon paper since Gen. Lane left. They are as scarce here as honest politicians. So I don't know what the Oregon politicians are doing. I am politically opposed to Black Republicanism, alias Negro-ism, in all its shapes and forms, but in other respects I am in favor of those representing Oregon in the next Congress who can and will do the most for Oregon, irrespective of old party issues and old party names, quarrels and fights. Therefore, my advice to each and every good citizen of Oregon is to send Mr. Grover, Col. Kelly and Gen. Lane here to represent them in the next Congress.
    There is an excited contest going on in Virginia relative to the distribution of the proceeds of the sales of public lands. Under the distribution acts of Congress there are at this time forty thousand dollars in the Treasury of the United States due Virginia, which she has refused to receive. Every other state in the Union have received their proportional part of the distribution fund. The election comes off on the 28th of this month. We will see if she loves money.
    I remain, very respectfully,
        Your obt. servt.,
            B. F. DOWELL.
Clipping from the Oregon Sentinel of July 4, 1857, Jacksonville, B. F. Dowell papers Ax031, University of Oregon Special Collections. Dowell dated the clipping, but no copy of this newspaper is known to survive.



Jacksonville Oregon
Sept. 20th 1858.
Genl. Joseph Lane--
    Dear Sir:    I received, by last mail, Mr Nicholas Klopfenstein's treasury warrant for seventy-nine dollars and ten cents for his spoliation claim of 1853. He requests me to say to you he is under many obligations to you for procuring it for him.
    You have secured his vote for life. He says it has been so long that he never expected to get a dollar.
    There is another subject that deeply interests me. I have reference to the expenses of Capt. Walker's company of 1854. I drew up a petition to Congress last fall, and had it left in Jacksonville with Mr. Burke to be signed by the claimants, and caused a notice to that effect to be published in the Sentinel. It was numerously signed and forwarded to you, but I have not heard whether you ever received the petition. I wish you to present it at the commencement of next Congress, if you did not present it last Congress. It will prevent members of Congress from opposing it on the ground of lapse of time without passing it, even if nothing is done but to refer the petition and documents to an appropriate committee. I think the committee at least would authorize the appointment of a commission to investigate these claims. If the same commission could be appointed it would be satisfactory to me, or if Mr. Grover goes out of the commission on the ground of his being a member of Congress, if Oregon should be admitted; then in that event I would be in favor of a new commission. As it is well known, Capt. Smith has spoke and wrote against the expedition. Capt. Engles has not been connected in Southern Oregon with the army in any way and I had as soon see him on the commission as any man in Oregon, and Mr. Gibbs, Judge Williams or any other good, sensible man that is unprejudiced would be very acceptable to me and I have no doubt they or any of them would give general satisfaction to the claimants.
    Write and let me know if you have received the petition, and if you presented it what was done with it. I am here practicing my profession, and I am willing to get you any documents that would assist you to get these claims paid off.
I remain yours very respectfully
    B. F. Dowell
Joseph Lane Papers


Washington D.C.
    1st February 1867.
To the Commissioners of
    Indian Affairs:    About 8 or 9 years ago I made proof of a lost mule which was killed by the Rogue River Indians in the fall of 1855, and I filed the proof with John F. Miller, Indian agent at the time. Please furnish me with a copy of these affidavits and what action has been taken by the Department to secure the same and the reasons why the claim cannot be paid.
Yours very respectfully
    B. F. Dowell
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 615 Oregon Superintendency, 1866-1869, frames 389-390.



Washington D.C.
    9th April 1867.
N. G. Taylor
    Commissioner of Indian Affairs:
        Sir:    Enclosed I send you the claim of P. W. Stowe of $450 under the treaty with the Rogue River tribe of Indians made at the close of the war at Table Rock, Oregon in 1853. Please audit as soon as practicable, as I wish to start home to Oregon soon.
Yours very respectfully
    B. F. Dowell
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 615 Oregon Superintendency, 1866-1869, frames 391-392.



Washington City D.C.
    8th July 1867.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
    Washington D.C.
        Enclosed I send the claim of O. D. Hoxie for spoliations for the Indians in the Rogue River Indian War of 1853. Please audit as soon as practicable.
Yours very respectfully
    B. F. Dowell
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 615 Oregon Superintendency, 1866-1869, frames 393-394.


Department of the Interior.
    Office Indian Affairs.
        Washington, D.C. 27 July 1867
N. G. Taylor Commissioner
    Dear Sir:    Enclosed you will find the claim of James Leslie for improvements on the [reservation of the] Rogue River tribe of Indians known as Table Rock. It is for the sum of $300. Also a power of attorney to me to collect. Please audit &c.
Yours very respectfully
    B. F. Dowell
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 615 Oregon Superintendency, 1866-1869, frames 397-398.


    The route from Eugene through Southern Oregon was little traveled and not very well known. B. F. Dowell agreed to guide Colonel Kelly and myself to the end of the journey in Jacksonville. We gladly accepted his escort. The clique candidates had already started upon the journey, two days in advance. The canvassing party consisted of Delazon Smith, Lafayette Grover, Asahel Bush and Lucien Heath. Colonel Kelly and I were joined on the first day from Eugene by John Whiteaker, clique candidate for Governor, who continued in our company the remainder of the way into Jacksonville. Dowell was a trusty and invaluable guide. He thoroughly knew every cutoff and byway. Where the road was difficult from rains and deep mud he led us direct routes over adjacent hills and by circuitous meandering as though ours was a surveying party. He had traveled the route many times, was conversant with its every feature, had scraped or formed acquaintance with every dweller. All the old folks knew him the moment he spoke, the young folks hailed him, the youngsters rushed to or ran from him, agreeably as he had impressed them. His was not, as the churchly member of the Oregon assembly remarked to James D. Fay in the session of 1862, a "Christly voice," but no sane mortal lives who ever failed to recognize the organ of speech of the indomitable, almost ubiquitous and irrepressible B. F. Dowell, attorney at law and indefatigable pursuer of claims in Washington for Oregon and Washington Indian war services for damages or losses, and the never-let-go agent of kindred claims. Colonel Kelly and I will forever owe the obligation incurred on that memorable journey to Jacksonville, to B. F. Dowell, guide and entertainer as he was throughout.
James O'Meara, "Our Pioneer History," Oregonian, Portland, November 9, 1890, page 16


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN DOWELL
    Many fields of activity contribute to the development, upbuilding and prosperity of a community. A city government has its various departments, but none is more essential to the well-being of a community than the fire department, which furnishes adequate protection to the homes and business enterprises which go to make up a municipality. In this connection there has been no more prominent figure than Benjamin Franklin Dowell, who was familiarly and affectionately termed "Biddy" by his associates in the fire department and by his countless friends throughout the city. He was of the stuff of which heroes are made. Fearlessness and courage were among his dominant qualities, and he never considered a personal risk if he could protect or save his fellow members of the fire department. His qualities were such as won for him the love of all who were connected with him in this branch of city service, and his memory will be enshrined for years to come in the hearts of those who knew him.
    Mr. Dowell was born in Jacksonville, Oregon, March 22, 1870, and was a son of Benjamin Franklin and Nancy A. (Campbell) Dowell. The father crossed the plains in 1850, with San Francisco as his destination, but after a short time there passed went to Jacksonville, Oregon, making the trip by steamer to Astoria. The boat was an unseaworthy vessel and in severe storms which they encountered was nearly lost. So great was the delay occasioned in reaching port that passengers and crew lived for days on hardtack, but at length Astoria was reached and from that point Mr. Dowell walked the entire distance to Portland through the wilderness, enduring many hardships because of the unsettled condition of the country. From Portland he walked to Waldo Hills, where he taught school for a year, after which he became owner of a mule pack train and packed goods from the valley to Jacksonville. In the Cow Creek Canyon he was once attacked by Indians and had a narrow escape. He was a man of liberal culture who had graduated in law from the University of Virginia. In Jacksonville he engaged in the practice of law, becoming one of the leading attorneys of his day. He had much to do with framing many of the early laws of the commonwealth, and he gained notable distinction as a successful criminal lawyer. He erected the second brick house in Jacksonville, and it is still standing. In the community he exerted a widely felt influence that resulted in substantial progress and development there. On the 24th of October, 1862, he wedded Nancy A., a daughter of Joseph and Rachel Campbell, whose people were from Ohio, and her father served as a colonel under William Henry Harrison in the War of 1812. Abraham TenBrook, an uncle of Mrs. Dowell, lived in Jacksonville, Oregon, and she came to the West to join him, but her parents never settled in this section of the country. A year later she became the wife of Benjamin F. Dowell, Sr., and for many years they figured prominently in the social life of their community. Mr. Dowell was made prosecuting attorney of Jackson County, and later he became collector in connection with Indian depredations. This required that he spend much of his time in Washington, D.C. Later he settled in Portland, where he devoted much of his time to government work. At an earlier period he owned and edited the Oregon Sentinel at Jacksonville, continuing in the journalistic field for thirteen years. He contributed in large measure to the upbuilding, advancement and development of the state and passed away March 12, 1897, honored and respected by all who knew him.
    Benjamin F. Dowell, whose name introduces this review, was the youngest of a family of three children. He pursued his education in the public schools of Jacksonville, where he won the well-merited reputation of being the most honest and truthful boy in the school. He had reached the age of thirteen when his parents removed to Portland, after which he attended the old Couch School. In early life he became a professional ball player, associated with the Portland team in the early '80s. He learned the carpenter's trade in young manhood and assisted in building the Taylor Street Methodist Episcopal Church and also engaged in boat building. Much of his life, however, was devoted to service in the fire department, and during the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905 he was in charge of fire details and equipment at the fair grounds. He was recognized as the originator of the present method of fire prevention enforced by the bureau of Portland. When he entered the department its equipment was horse-drawn and very crude as compared to that of the present day. He lived to see the motorization of the apparatus, with the introduction of every modern appliance used in fighting fire. He always gave careful consideration to the welfare of his men and introduced the system of calisthenics practiced now by firemen to keep them in physical trim. Many times he narrowly escaped with his life when burning floors fell beneath him and walls collapsed about him. Having worked his way steadily upward from the ranks of fire-fighters, it was his supervision of the rescue of twenty-five or more of his comrades who had been buried by a falling wall at the Union Oil Company fire of June 26, 1911, that led to his appointment as chief, succeeding David Campbell, who was killed in that fire. He was also the hero of numerous other spectacular rescues and following the death of Chief Campbell was made temporary chief, while on the 31st of  October, 1911, he received the appointment of chief and served in that capacity until August 1, 1920, when he retired on a pension. No man of the department has ever received in greater degree the confidence, friendship and love of fellow members, and not long before his demise he was called upon by a large delegation of his former associates in the fire bureau, many of whom owed their lives to his work in directing rescues and who presented him with a memento of their esteem and affection on the 22nd of March, 1928, in honor of his fifty-eighth birthday. He presented to the Bungalow fire station an interesting fountain which was from his old home at Jacksonville.
    Mr. Dowell was united in marriage to Anna (Hedermann) Lauder, a daughter of David and Johanna Hedermann, who came from Germany to the new world and settled in Portland in the early '70s. The father is still living at Boring, Oregon, where he early took up the occupation of farming but is now retired. Mrs. Hedermann passed away September 22, 1923. By a former marriage Mrs. Dowell had two children, Clifford Lauder and Mrs. Ellen Leeding, both residents of Portland.
    Mr. Dowell was a prominent Mason, having attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, and was a past master of his lodge. He was accorded the jewel of the fraternity, and he belonged to the Mystic Shrine. He was also very prominent in
the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and for sixteen years was a member of the Portland lodge, which attended his funeral services in a body. Because of the extensive circle of his friends his funeral services, following his demise in Portland on the 26th of April, 1928, were held in the auditorium. On all hands men paid tribute to his worth and ability, and Captain W. R. Kerrigan, fire bureau veteran, said of him: "I had known him for thirty-five years and had worked with him much of that time. Portland owes much to Biddy Dowell, as he was affectionately called. He was one of the finest men and fellow workers I have ever known." This sentiment was expressed by all who were associated with him in the department and many who knew him in social and fraternal connections. Perhaps the outstanding feature of his career was his fidelity to duty, as expressed in a loyalty to his men that led him to display unfaltering courage in the face of danger. The history of Portland's fire bureau contains no more illustrious name than that of Benjamin Franklin Dowell.

Fred Lockley, History of the Columbia River Valley from The Dalles to the Sea, volume III, Chicago, 1928, pages 674-676.



Last revised June 6, 2017