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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

John K. Lamerick
Click here for more about his Indian war service.


JOURNEYMAN CARPENTERS.
ATTENTION!
ALL strange carpenters coming into this place are hereby notified that the system of labor in this place is ten hours per day. This is practiced and strictly adhered to by all GOOD WORKMEN. Should they be offered work by any employer on any other terms, they make take it for granted there is something wrong, and the man has evil designs against their interests as journeymen. The Journeymen Carpenters' Society hold their meetings at the White Mansion, corner of Third and Market sts., every Saturday evening, where we will be happy to greet all strangers with a hearty welcome.
    This is addressed to FREE journeymen carpenters. SLAVES, and mere BUTCHERS OF WOOD! are advised to call on the bosses who oppose the ten-hour system, as we have no use for such. By order of
C. L. STANCLIFF, Pres't.
J. K. Lamerick, Sec'y.
Geo. W. Reid, Cor. Sec'y.
Louisville Daily Courier, Louisville, Kentucky, June 26, 1844, page 4


Correspondence of the Oregon Statesman.
Salem, July 30, 1852.
    Friend Bush--Believing that information from any and every portion of Oregon is at all times acceptable with you, I send you an item of news just received by me from the Rogue River country, from S. B. Marye, Esq.
    It appears that for several days previous to Friday, the 16th of July, there had been some misunderstanding between the whites and Indians, growing out of unfriendly demonstrations by Sam, the war chief, towards Dr. Ambrose, a settler of the valley, which indicated a disposition upon the part of the Indians to hostilities. That on Friday the whites turned out, to the number of from one to two hundred, under the command of J. K. Lamerick, Esq., who marched his men to what is known as the Big Bar on the river, where a fight ensued, in which the Indians sustained considerable loss, there being from 20 to 30 killed--a portion of whom were boys--and one white man wounded in the hand. On Sunday night following, Capt. Lamerick, or a portion of his forces, made an attack upon a ranch near Evans' ferry, some twenty miles below Jacksonville, and killed a number of squaws through mistake, not being able in the darkness of the night to distinguish them from men. By this time Sam had collected the main body of his forces near Table Rock, upon the old battleground where the fight took place between himself and Maj. Kearny, something over a year ago, and which is considered by the Indians as an impregnable position, but it appears that Capt. Lamerick and his men took a little advantage and surrounded them in the night, before they were aware that the whites were near, and when they were apprised of the fact it was only to see that fight was useless--that they would, to a man, have been cut off, unless they surrounded on any terms that Capt. Lamerick might dictate. They did surrender, and an agreement was made and signed, which runs something after this manner:
    That the Rogue River Indians should have no communication with the Shasta Indians, who are in the habit of committing depredations upon the whites by stealing horses and other property and running them over into the Rogue River Valley and securing succor and protection from the Rogue Rivers; that they should expect no more presents from the hias Boston tyee ["great white chief"] unless he wanted to do so; that the Bostons have the right to settle where they pleased and be secure and protected by the chiefs and their counselors in their person and property; that all cattle in the valley belonging to the whites are to be safe from molestation by the Indians; that if any property, of any kind or description, belonging to the Bostons is stolen or destroyed by the Indians, and Sam, the chief, does not produce it in a given time, that he is to be surrendered up into the hands of the Bostons, to do with him as they think proper, even to the taking off of his head.
    There is no paying and suing, you will observe, on the part of the whites, in these stipulations.
Yours,            J. R. HARDIN.
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, August 7, 1852, page 2


Public Dinner at Rogue River.
    Mr. Editor--I send you a copy of the proceedings at a public dinner tendered to Capt. Lamerick and company of volunteers, on Sunday, July 25th, 1852, at the town of Table Rock, Jackson County, O.T. Present, twenty-two ladies and about one hundred soldiers, officers and citizens. At 3 o'clock Capt. Lamerick marched his company to the table, where they were welcomed by the following tender by D. M. Kenny, one of the committee of arrangements:
    CAPT. LAMERICK'S OFFICERS AND COMPANY OF VOLUNTEERS IN THE LATE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE INDIANS:

    Sirs--Allow me, in behalf of the citizens of this place and vicinity, to tender to you and comrades in arms, this collation, as a public demonstration of gratitude and respect so well merited by you for your undaunted and persevering management, which has inevitably been the cause of so speedy a termination of hostilities and conclusion of peace unrivaled in the history of Indian warfare. Accept, through me, the heartfelt thanks of the citizens of this place and surrounding country.
CAPT. LAMERICK'S REPLY.
    MR. SPEAKER, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN--The very flattering manner in which the citizens of this town and the surrounding country tender their thanks to myself and the volunteers under my command are as warmly appreciated as they are hospitably offered.
    The manner in which you welcome us here--the pleasant and intelligent faces that we see around us, the favorable manner in which you are pleased to mention our humble efforts in bringing the war to a speedy close, contribute to make such a lasting impression on our memory as will only be erased when life is extinct, and the ruby drops cease to warm our heart.
    You, my comrades in arms, I can never speak too highly of. A more valuable or orderly set of men I have never seen. For, to their promptness in obeying orders, their coolness and intrepidity in action, is mainly to be attributed the speedy termination of hostilities. You may rest assured, sir, that, should occasion require, and war again show his hostile front amongst us, either by Indians or whites, the Table Rock volunteers shall not be found wanting, and more especially where the ladies require our protection.
    For the very flattering tokens of your esteem and regard this day offered to my comrades and myself, by the citizens of this town and surrounding country, receive, for yourself and them, the lasting and heartfelt thanks of the Table Rock volunteers.
Indian Agency, Sunday morning,               
July 25, 1852.               
    GENTLEMEN--It is with extreme regret that, in consequence of the state of my health, and other circumstances beyond my control, I am under the necessity of declining your polite invitation to be present at the public dinner tendered to Captain Lamerick and his company of volunteers, who, by their energy, perseverance and gallantry, have so speedily and successfully terminated the hostilities in which we were recently engaged with the warlike and wily savages of this valley. And although I cannot be present, permit me to assure you, and through Capt. Lamerick and his brave companions in arms, of my sympathy with patriotism and valor wherever exhibited.
    And allow me to propose the following sentiment.
    The citizens and miners of Rogue River Valley--Quick to discover, and prompt to repel, danger. Worthy descendants of the heroes and patriots of '76.
            Very respectfully,
                your ob't. serv't.
                    A. A. Skinner.
Messrs. Fowler, Kinney and Miller, committee, &c.
REGULAR TOASTS.
    That the true sons of Ireland may never be wanting in courage and strength to protect the citizens of this great republic, and to oppose all savages and tyrants, who would oppose her constitution and laws.
Thomas McNamara.               
    The American Flag--The only thing that is American which will never have a stripe.
Lady Stacton               
    Here are the boys that are honored by the American Eagle--May they ever be able, with their rifles on their shoulders, to bring both the heathen world as well as the civilized world to quarters.
M. Davis.               
    The Sons of Freedom and the Daughters of Liberty--May their progeny never be the slaves of tyrants or the tools of demagogues.
J. K. L. [John K. Lamerick?]               
    For the Ladies--Though their numbers are small among us, yet their influence is mighty.
Maria Tully.               
    Judge Skinner--A gentleman worthy of the position he occupies--that of Indian Agent of this valley--and the respect and confidence of all.
Dr. McKinney.               
    In behalf of those who contributed to this dinner--May your generous acts on this occasion be honored throughout this valley; may its emblematical influence excite the independence of our Union, and may you live to see the time when the Indians of Rogue River are extinct.
J. W. Davenport.               
    Our Captain, our guest--A man in whom we had confidence before the late campaign and since, a man who has but to command and receive our services when necessity shall require.
James Stewart.               
    Capt. Lamerick's Company of Volunteers--The nerve and sinew of the country, the ladies' guards, undaunted by numbers, know no fear, and fatigue is but pleasure when fighting for their rights.
    The Citizens of the Valley--Noble, manly and grateful; whenever necessity calls, their purse strings are loosed.
    The following song was sung by Mrs. Appler:
    SONG . . . By W. H. Appler.
Columbia's sons' adopted daughters
Shriek aloud o'er land and waters
The Indians have come to quarters.
CHORUS.
Rise, rise, ye Oregon's rise,
Rise, rise, ye Oregon's rise,
Hark, hark, hark, how the eagle cries
Rise, rise, ye Oregon's rise on the Indians, rise.
   
Sam, he was a great warrior,
He was corralled between two waters,
Capt. Lamerick brought him to quarters.
                Rise, rise, rise, &c.
   
Table Rock is a pretty elevation,
A splendid view o'er the Indian nation,
The place where the chieftain took his station.
                Rise, rise, rise, &c.
    The Indians now are in subjection,
Old Sammy made a bad selection,
His chaparral was no protection.
                Rise, rise, rise, &c.
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, August 14, 1852, page 1


    The bill to authorize J. K. Lamerick and others to build a road through the canyon was read a second time and referred to a select committee.
"Proceedings of Oregon Legislative Assembly," Weekly Oregonian, Portland, March 5, 1853, page 1


    When the massacre commenced [in 1853] Captain Alden was one hundred miles off. . . .  All the people, or nearly all in Rogue River Valley, capable of bearing arms, were organized into companies, two under Captains Miller and Lamerick for active service, and one under Captain Fowler, for the protection of the town of Jacksonville. The two companies under Captains Miller and Lamerick were organized into a battalion, and placed under the command of Colonel Ross.
Joseph Lane, "Thirty-Third Congress," Daily Globe, Washington, D.C., May 6, 1854, page 4


Roseburg Oct. 29th / 55
To Genl. E. M. Barnum
    Respt. Sir--Enclosed you will find a letter from Capt. Gordon, the commander of the Douglas County volunteers. By the politeness of his orderly I am enabled to forward to you this copy. You will perceive from this the condition of this country; you will also see I am unable to muster some of the companies into the service before they take the field. For this reason I am unable to forward to you the muster rolls at present. Last night there was considerable excitement--some of the citizens from below Winchester came to this place with the news thus--some forty to fifty Indians encamped on the reserve 15 miles below Winchester were about to break out. By request of the citizens I took the responsibility to order thirty men from the Linn County company to proceed immediately to this place to protect the families and if possible bring the Indians to this place. I am happy to inform you they have acted promptly & well. They returned about three o'clock this evening bringing with them ten warriors, leaving all the old men, children & w. at that camp. Those prisoners were promptly turned over to Capt. Martin, the Indian agent at this place, who has taken proper care of them, & they are now under guard in the courthouse of this place. Both the Lane County companies as well as the Linn County company have arrived at this place. Capt. Bailey's company are now at the Canyon or perhaps on the other side. The Douglas County company was at the Canyon this morning. You will see by the enclosed communication the condition of things on the other side. At daylight tomorrow one hundred men well armed will start from this place to the relief of Major Fitzgerald. The troops here are short of ammunition. Genl. McCarver is making every exertion to procure a sufficient to supply all the troops possible. He is a very energetic officer. I am most anx. to receive more blank muster rolls; at present I have only one for each company called out by the Governor's proclamation. I also am informed there is at this time nine companies in the service in Jackson County. What is to be done with more than four of them I do not know. Please give me information on this subject.
    The Umpqua County company have not reported themselves yet, but are to do it tomorrow or next day. The citizens down on the Umpqua River say that the Indians down as far as Scottsburg are showing signs of war & that the company will be required to protect the citizens in that part of Oregon. From appearances the war is likely to be a longer one than a good many think for, and I think it would be well enough to post the officers up as to the extent of their duties as I am Damned Sure some of them would not be set back any by a few general rules by way of enlightening them in their duties.
Very respty. your
    Obedient servant
        John K. Lamerick
            Mustering Officer
Oregon State Archives, Yakima and Rogue River War, Document File B, Reel 2, Document 526.


Jacksonville Dec. 13th 1855
To E. M. Barnum
    Adjt. Genl.
        Portland
           Respt. sir
                Enclosed I send you a copy of two orders issued by Col. Ross, the tenor & inconsistency of which I leave you to form your own opinion. I am informed this has [been] secretly circulated amongst those who wish to remain at home and protect their own interest and get Uncle Sam to pay for it. The quantity of men now in the field is quite sufft. to kill all of the Indians in this Territory providing they are properly managed, which under the present organization will be done. I have the fullest confidence in him (Maj. Bruce) being actuated by the proper motives that of patriotism he has issued his orders yesterday, a copy of which I will forward lest his should be mislaid or lost.
Yours respt.
    John K. Lamerick
        Mustering Officer
To
    Genl. E. M. Barnum
Oregon State Archives, Yakima and Rogue River War, Document File B, Reel 2, Document 522.


Birography of Brigadere Gineral Lamrick.
    General Lamrick, commander-in-cheef of the Oregon Volunters, is a resident of Northern California an Jackson County Oregon, as the [illegible] of [illegible] places will testifie.
    Last Oktobar, howsumever, he declared he wood no longer remane a citizen of this long hared Walla Walla cuntry and started fur Yreka in disgust. Howsumever he sune arter cum to Umpqua an to Ugene City to run his [illegible], an thereby recev'd the appintment of assistent adjutent gineral. Whereupon he returned to Rogue River, wher he fased the devil, genraly to grate advantage.
    His professhun is the practise of faro, monte, chuckaluck and roulette, also hoss racing; he is supposed to hav "attaned eminense in his professhun," kan drink hiu liker and sware a blu streak.
    Having precured satesfactery pruff for the Statesman offise that he wood mak an eligent kats pau fur Boosh; that he was the man to bully Whig [illegible] inter
[illegible], and that he was a damphool anihow, and havin showd his profishunsy in the [illegible] he wus elected, and prumished to teech the armie to [illegible]. Grate is Boosh frum Chickopee--the [illegible] Guvener of Oregon, and hoo keapeth the keis of the plase whur [illegible] an uther Durhams will settle when they git throo [illegible] Oregon.
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, February 16, 1856, page 2

For the Statesman.       
Starr's Point, O.T.
    Feb. 26th, 1856.
    SIR--I saw an article in the Oregonian of last week headed "the biography of Brigadier General Lamerick." The writer of that is ignorant of the facts. I don't know who he is, nor do I want to know, but I know John K. Lamerick, and of his official acts as captain of our company in the Rogue River war of 1853. He was a first-rate captain then, and done his duty to his fellow soldiers, and is a gentleman of integrity and truth. He said that Capt. Lamerick left Oregon in disgust last fall, which I don't believe. Lamerick has been in Oregon since 1852; he was captain of a company in 1852, and corralled old Sam's band of Indians behind Table Rock, and there had a dead thing on them, but for one Whig Indian agent that was out south then, and the Indians calling for quarter, a treaty was effected. In 1853, Lamerick was again elected captain, unanimously, and done southern Oregon good service again; he kept his company on the march night and day until he drove the Indians out of the settlements, so that the people could get their effects together, and save their property and their lives. No women and children were murdered then either, nor was his men Drewed out of all their pay when Maj. Alvord went to pay them, for Capt. Lamerick happened to have a retained muster roll, which was correct, and he stood by his men and saw that they had their rights, and I think that he will look out for the soldiers and see that there is no more Drewin'  going on in the war of 1856. Now, my friend, whoever you are, you would sign no name in the Oregonian, so that I think you are small fry, and not hardly worth notice, you had better Dryer up your little member, and not utter such untruths again. You and the Oregonian have shot your gun too high, so that you have hurt nobody, which is the case with the Oregonian man up this way. They have no respect for bell-crown beavers, no more than they have out at Jacksonville. Know-Nothingism won't win up here. So there is no use of your trying to put down Brig. Gen. Lamerick, for he has proved himself worthy of the position he occupies in the service of the Territory.
SARGENT.                   
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, March 25, 1856, page 1


    Gen. J. K. Lamerick has changed the name of the winning horse, "Gabriel," to "Salem Clique."--Herald.
    The General understands the appropriateness of names. We will "go our bottom dollar" on the "bottom" of his "Salem Clique." All the distanced horses should be called "National-Democratic-Black-Republican."
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, March 25, 1856, page 1


    IN SOUTHERN OREGON.--A dispatch from Gen .Lamerick says:--Old John's Indians have gone to the Meadows, their stronghold. I have ordered Lieut. Col. Chapman and Maj. Brace to move with the entire strength of the Southern Battalion. They will leave with tools and provisions sufficient to besiege the Indians in their fortress, if it should be necessary. The troops take with them twenty-five days' rations. They are in fine health and under good discipline. I am now making preparations to move with the Northern Battalion, to meet the Southern Battalion at the Meadows. The Southern Battalion will go down on the south side of Rogue River. The Northern Battalion will march by way of Hungry Hill and Whisky Creek. I will accompany this battalion myself. I do not intend to come back until we can completely conquer the enemy, or until we have to return for provisions or supplies. Everything seems to bid fair for a successful campaign. I have good reason to believe that General Wool has issued orders to the U.S. troops to act in concert with the volunteers. The officers at Fort Lane told me they would, wherever they met, most cordially cooperate with any volunteers I had command of. There is now under command of Col. Kelsey sixty men scouring the country form Hungry Hill to the Meadows. There is also a detachment of thirty men, under command of Capt. Sheffield, scouring the country from Hungry Hill to the Big Bend of Cow Creek.
San Francisco Bulletin, May 5, 1856, page 3


THE WAR IN SOUTHERN OREGON.
    Gen. John K. Lamerick writes to Gov. Curry from Fort Leland, on March 31, as follows:
    On the 22nd March I gave orders to Major Bruce to move with his command to Illinois Valley to scour that part of the country, and, if possible, to find Old John's band of Indians. Bruce immediately repaired to the headquarters of the Southern Battalion, and gave the necessary orders for a march. His men moved on the 23rd inst. As they were about starting, news came into camp of John's band being on the trail to Crescent City, and had that day killed three men, and that they were then attacking the house of a Mr. Hay. Capt. O'Neil's company hastened to the assistance of Mr. Hay, and, in getting there, had to run through the whole of the enemy's line, some 200 strong. As soon as Bruce came up the Indians retreated to the mountains. Major Bruce, with his command, assisted the families in that section in putting themselves in a condition to protect themselves. In the meantime the enemy were endeavoring to kill all the mules and horses they could find, on their retreat. Major Bruce pursued the Indians some five miles, fighting all the way. Three of his men were killed, and some ten or twelve Indians were killed. Night coming on, the men drew off, the enemy still retreating toward the Meadows.
    On the 22nd inst., also, I ordered a detachment, consisting of 100 men of the Northern Battalion, under the command of Major Latshaw, to go down Cow Creek. On the 23rd, they fell in with from 75 to 80 Indians six miles below Fort Smith. The fight here commenced--the men pressing forward and the enemy retreating. Some thirty Indians were collected on a hill to the right of the battleground at this time, and one of the spies, looking through a glass, discovered a white man among the enemy on the hill. First Lieut. Combs of the Benton County Company was ordered to take thirty men and charge the Indians on the hill, which he did in gallant style--killing one Indian and capturing a mule, saddle blankets and a pair of boots. The volunteers drove the enemy right and left, scattering them in all directions. The Indians left four killed, and many wounded. Four mules and two horses were captured. One white man only was killed (of Sheffield's company), and one of the spy company wounded. Great credit is due to these volunteers, who have driven the Indians from the trail, and are still in pursuit of them.
    Capt. Laban Buoy's command had a fight with some 75 Indians six miles south of Camas Valley. The enemy came into the valley, it appears, to sweep the settlements. Upon hearing it Capt. Buoy, with 35 men, started in pursuit, and came up with the enemy on the mountain leading to the meadows from the north. As soon as Capt. Buoy came up with the Indians, he immediately divided his command and charged them right and left, and completely routed and defeated them, killing three Indians, which they found on the ground, one with a navy-sized pistol still tightly grasped in his hand, though dead. The command followed the Indians about a mile, until the men were completely exhausted for want of water. They were then ordered to return to camp.
    I have ordered 60 men from Capt. Buoy's company to follow the Indians, and if possible to fall in with Col. Kelsey and Major Latshaw at the Big Bend of Cow Creek.
New York Daily Tribune, May 17, 1856, page 6


Roseburg May 7th 1856
To Geo. L. Curry
    Gov. of Oregon
        Respected sir I have bored you with a longer report than perhaps were necessary but the circumstances required it. Something must be done immediately in raising a battalion of troops for Southern Oregon to be under the same discipline of the U.S. army. All of the commissioned officers to be appointed by you & your staff. Electing army officers by the soldiers will not do, the officers will be too much depending on the men. If you had seen what I have seen on this trip you would be sick of volunteer service. Half of the men will do if properly disciplined. I would propose to muster them in for twelve months or sooner discharged. Make the captains & lieutenants the recruiting or enrolling officers and allow the commissioned of the respective companies to appoint their noncommissioned officers per the Articles of War, read to them when mustered. If this can be done the war in Southern Oregon would soon be brought to a close and it would keep treason out of camp, which now almost reigns supreme. Should you conclude to do this I would suggest the following officers: For major, the present Major James Bruce; for captain of spies, Captain James Barnes, Captain Danl. P. Barnes; for another, J. B. Sykes of Althouse Creek. This will make four, & the present Major Latshaw would make the five, which would be sufficient. For First Lt. Wm. G. Hill, Jonathan L. Moore, Isaac Boyle, the present Sergeant Major Dorse. These I know to be good men. Most of the present volunteers will soon be out of service, and the above is the only way of getting clear of the bad men. I hope you will give it the weight of your consideration and that of Genl. Barnum. I am most anxious that this war should be brought to an honorable close under your immediate control, but it almost seems impossible to do so while those disorganizers in Jackson County can get into the army. It is not so much the harm they can do themselves as the effect they have on good men by their insidious wireworking among the troop and finding fault with every movement of their superior officers.
    General Drew is going down and can give you the facts more in detail for the above recommendations or scheme just as you may call it. The volunteers, most of them, abuse me; the thinking portion of them praise me, and the citizens generally are satisfied at present movements & prospects. Col. Kelsey has sent an express down, perhaps to you. Should he do so I feel assured you will send it back to him and not encourage him in unbecoming conduct, as he does his men, but send it back to be sent through the proper channel. He has encouraged his men to find fault with me for not having my dispatches published, giving the boys as he calls them due credit for their gallant exploits, especially on Cow Creek. Several charges could be preferred and sustained against him, but he would be compelled to be tried by those who are party subscriminous and would of course be acquitted, the effect of which would only reflect on those who brought the charges against him.
    Trusting you will give the above suggestions your earliest attention,
I am dear sir your
    Constant friend & servant
        John K. Lamerick
            Brig. Genl. O.T.
To Geo. L. Curry
    Gov. of Oregon
        Salem
Oregon State Archives, Yakima and Rogue River War, Document File B, Reel 3, Document 857.


Headquarters
Southern Army
Fort Leland May 26th 1856
To His Excellency
    Geo. L. Curry
        Respected Sir
            I have duly recd. yours of May 12th from Portland and note from you of May 17th. The instructions in both I will strictly comply with, as I am now on my way to the Meadows. I will from Roseburg send the express desired.
    I would suggest to you the propriety of withdrawing from the field in Southern Oregon myself, Col. Kelsey and Lt. Col Chapman, as the present majors Bruce & Latshaw would be sufficient to attend to all the duties that now remain to be done. This will prevent the enemies of the Territory & the war from using the argument that there is a lot of large officers in the field and a small army, and for other reasons I can better inform you orally than in writing. I will however attend to the harassing [of] the enemy until I can hear from or see you.
    I intend to visit Salem as soon as I can send the proper instructions to the officers in command at the Meadows and the coast.
    The country is at present in a good state of protection as the number of troops now at my command will admit of and leave enough at the Meadows to conquer the Indians at any place they may meet with them. Genl. Palmer is at Port Orford and has sent for a man by the name of Busum who has been corresponding with the San Francisco Herald or New York Tribune all winter, calling the war inhuman & aggressive
on the part of the whites. He passed here today with an escort of U.S. troops from Fort Lane. This man kept a depot on one of the lines of underground railroad for stealing Negroes in the state of Illinois and is an Englishman and not naturalized. What Palmer wants with him is a query amongst the [illegible] ones to be solved hereafter. He has not been two years in this country, if that, and he is a leading politician amongst Negro worshipers. At present every portion of the valley is peaceable; not an Indian sign has been seen on my trail since the fight at the Meadows.
    Col. Kelsey is now in command of the troops from Vannoy's to Illinois Valley, and in that section of country. Lt. Col. Chapman had gone to the coast; Major Bruce at present has a furlough of ten days; Major Latshaw is in command at the Meadows.
    Major Bruce is an uncommon personage and good officer; he deserves well from his country, and Major Latshaw also. I will write you from Roseburg if the express has not started before I get there.
With great respect I am
    My dear sir
        Your obdt. servant
            John K. Lamerick
                Brig. Genl. O.T.
Oregon State Archives, Yakima and Rogue River War, Document File B, Reel 3, Document 823.


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RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED AT A CONVENTION HELD BY THE PEOPLE OF JOSEPHINE COUNTY, O.T.
    Resolved, That as we are one people with like interests, and like dangers, that political contentions and rivalries shall be entirely abandoned in time of public calamity and war.
    Resolved, That the proper domain of politics is the direction of our internal policy, and that in war we should be united by the common miseries which the people suffer, and that no man should be selected for high positions upon any other grounds than peculiar qualifications for the duties thereof,
    Resolved, That the appointment of M. C. Barkwell Surgeon General, despite the protest of the officers and soldiers in the field, and the appointment of John K. Lamerick Brigadier General, a man bankrupt in character and destitute of ability or honor, was an act of atrocity language cannot describe,
    Resolved, That upon this issue we go before the people, and that in the present contest our motto shall be: "That it is time to make rules to live by when we are sure to live."
Crescent City Herald, June 4, 1856, page 2


Head Qrs. Big Meadows, June 6, '56.
To His Excellency Geo. L. Curry, Governor of Oregon.
    DEAR SIR--Enclosed I send the report of the expedition under the command of Maj. Latshaw down Rogue River. You will see by it that the troops are doing good service to the country, and rendering themselves worthy of being citizen-soldiers of Oregon. The prisoners taken have been most kindly treated, and on yesterday I had them delivered to the Indian agent, Mr. Metcalfe, who came to this place with me and will start today with the command in pursuit of Applegate John, or any other hostile Indians we may fall in with. Should Col. Buchanan, of the U.S.A., act in concert with the command under myself, we will soon bring the war to a close; should he not, I will leave him to reconcile his acts to his country, and shall do the best I can with such troops as are still left, subject to my order.
    All the forces now in the field will be out of the service on the 28th of this month, and we must move with alacrity to accomplish anything. Nevertheless, I shall leave nothing undone to bring peace to the country. I shall move in about one hour, with the force now under my command, amounting to 150 men, down to the Big Bend of Rogue River, where we shall be likely to fall in with Capt. Bledsoe's company of 50 men. Hoping to render good service to the country, I have the honor to remain,
Very respy. your obdt. servt.
    JOHN K. LAMERICK,
        Brig. General, O.T.
"Official Report of the Fight South," Oregon Statesman, Salem, June 24, 1856, page 1


Headquarters, Big Bend,
    Rogue River, June 9, '56
To His Excellency, Geo. L. Curry,
    Governor of Oregon;
        Dear Sir--On the 4th inst. I moved with my command from our camp at the Meadows.
    It was quite rainy on our first day's march, and on the second some of our men were sick and could not be moved, but with Capt. Keith's company and Capt. Barnes' company of spies I proceeded to the Big Bend, where we found Lieut. Col. Buchanan and the U.S. troops.
    On the day we left the Meadows, Capt. Bledsoe's company of volunteers, with two companies of U.S. troops under Capts. Ord and Augur, moved from this place to the mouth of Illinois River to attack a ranch of hostile Indians. About four miles below this station Capt. Bledsoe, being in the advance, fell upon some Indians who were coming up the river and killed five of them. The command camped at the mouth of Illinois River. That night or the next morning Capt. Bledsoe with his command of volunteers crossed the river to the south side--the U.S. troops on the north about 3 miles below the mouth of Illinois River. Both parties made an attack upon a very large ranch, which they did very successfully, scattering and driving them in every direction, killing 14 on the ground; 8 on the volunteers' side of the river, and 6 on the side of the regulars.
    These were the same Indians that had assisted John's tribe to surround Capt. Smith. During the action some 25 Indians were killed and drowned in the river by the upsetting of some canoes on the rapids. Capt. Bledsoe's command took 6 prisoners, who will be turned over to the Indian agent Mr. Metcalfe, who is here, and also Gen. Palmer, the Supt. Indian Affairs.
    Great credit is due to Capt. Bledsoe's command. That company have done excellent service at all times and under all circumstances. Capts. Augur's and Ord's commands of U.S. troops have also acted most gallantly since they came into the field.
    The Indians are coming in very fast--the losses they have sustained up the river from the volunteers have accelerated their movements to peace. I intend to move with the command under me down to the mouth of the river. All of the Indians who will not come to terms, we will soon compel to sue for peace. I understand from Col. Buchanan he will receive all who will deliver up their arms and go to the reserve. There are now some 260 Indians at this camp. As I have no provisions to feed them on, I turn them over to the Indian ag't., who gives them in charge of the U.S. troops.
    I am of the opinion that we will conquer a peace on this trip to the mouth of the river, with all the Indians except John's. He still refuses to be removed to the reserve, but is anxious to make peace and remain on the river. He has got about 30 warriors, and I think is now trying to make his way to Illinois Valley or that section of country, as all of his old allies have come into camp. George, Limpy and the Cow Creeks, as well as the Galice Creek Indians, have surrendered unconditionally.
    The scarcity of troops on the trails in Southern Oregon makes it quite unsafe, in case old John with his tribe goes out in that direction.
In haste,
    Your obedient servant,
        JOHN K. LAMERICK,
            Brig. Gen'l. O.T.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 1, 1856, page 2


OFFICIAL REPORT OF TRANSACTIONS SOUTH.
Headquarters, Port Orford
    June 25th, 1856.
To His Excellency Geo. L. Curry:
    SIR--Since my last, from the Big Bend of Rogue River, my command has completed the campaign of Rogue River, Pistol and Chetco rivers, and I am happy to inform you that the command has met with complete success, and that the war in Southern Oregon is now ended, with much credit to those who so nobly endured the hardships and privations of so arduous a campaign.
    On the 10th of June, my command took up its line of march from the Big Bend to the mouth of Illinois River, where Major Reynolds was camped with a command of U.S. troops. On the 11th we crossed to the south side of Rogue River and camped at [the] volunteer camp, fifteen miles from the crossing of the river. On the 13th, I ordered a detachment of 75 men, under the command of Major Latshaw, to move down the river to its mouth and meet my command. The command under Major Latshaw was composed of detachments from the companies of Capts. Bledsoe, Blakely, Keith, Noland and Capt. Barnes' spy company. The orders given them were completely executed--burning all the Indian villages, capturing forty canoes (twenty of which were left for the use of Lt. Sweitzer in bringing his wounded men to the mouth of the river), and destroying a great number of caches of the enemy.
    I then sent out an expedition under Maj. Bruce to Pistol River, to drive those Indians into the camp of the regulars, who arrived at the mouth of the river on the evening of the 13th, and took up their camp on the north side, where they remained some four or five days. I procured the services of Mr. McGuire, special Indian agent, to go with the command under Maj. Bruce, and take one of Chief Joshua's boys with him to notify all those who wished to come in and deliver up their arms that they would be received as prisoners of war. Maj. Bruce sent an express to my camp, on the night of the 14th, to inform me that he had sent the Indian boy out, and that he had a talk with the Pistol River and Chetco River Indians--that they said they would not come in, but would kill all the whites who came into their country, and also all the Indians who came to talk for the whites. On the 15th, I sent a command of 40 men with six days' rations to the assistance of Maj. Bruce, with orders to scour the country of Pistol and Chetco rivers and drive into the camp of the regulars all of the Indians they could not capture. By moving in the night, they succeeded in surprising a band of Indians on Pistol River, where they killed two and captured some fifteen or more. On the 16th the command proceeded to Chetco, where, on the night of the 17th and the morning of the 18th, they surprised a band of Chetco Indians, killing one and capturing over twenty others. These eight movements have had the desired effect and compelled the Indians to come to terms. All of them are now in, or are coming in, to camp daily. On the 20th and 21st, the command of Maj. Bruce reached my camp and brought with them thirty-one prisoners, leaving two men and one woman to notify the others Indians to come in, or the volunteers would again be sent out against them.
    I have ordered Maj. Latshaw to take the companies of Capts. Noland, Blakely and Keith, and proceed to the military station at the Big Meadows and attend to moving all government property from there and deliver it over to the proper officers at Roseburg, and on his way up, if he can fall in with old John's band of Indians, to drive them into the camp of Col. Buchanan, as that is the only safe place for them to remain, all the others having come to terms. Maj. Latshaw has orders, so soon as he shall have performed those duties to proceed with his command to Eugene City, and there to have his men honorably discharged. The spy company, under Capt. James Barnes, came to this place with me. I have ordered them to proceed to Roseburg, and there to be honorably discharged. Capt. Bledsoe's company will arrive here today from the mouth of Rogue River, with some prisoners, amongst whom is the noted Chetco chief. His people will soon follow, as most of his leading warriors have been either killed or captured. The captured are now at this place.
    I have not had means to feed and transport the prisoners captured by my command, and I have turned them over to the different Indian agents, whenever it was most convenient for safety as follows: To Mr. Metcalfe, at the Big Meadows, 19; to Mr. McGuire, at the mouth of Rogue River, 32; to Mr. Olney, at Port Orford, 33, and a number will be in soon, with Capt. Bledsoe's command. These do not include 32 which were taken by Capt. Bledsoe, prisoners, [up] to this time, 20 of which were turned over to Gen. Palmer, at Port Orford, and 12 to Major Reynolds, at the confluence of Illinois and Rogue rivers. This he was bound to do, as the service at that time required prompt and rapid movements.
    I am happy to state that every time the volunteers have met the Indians they have completely routed them, killing and capturing them at all times, under circumstances even the most disadvantageous. Great credit is due to both officers and men for their gallantry, and the manner in which they have endured fatigue--having to march a good portion of the time, both day and night, over the roughest country on the Pacific Slope. Some of the men were frequently without boots or shoes, and going on half rations, on account of the long night marches, when it was not possible for us to take our pack animals with us.
    I understand that Gen. Wool has given Col. Buchanan orders not to act in concert with the territorial troops, but the manner which the U.S. troops were dealt with, at the Big Bend of Rogue River, convinced the Colonel that the volunteers were superior to even his best troops--especially for Indian fighting.
    I am most happy to bear testimony to the gallant bearing of the officers under Col. Buchanan. They have rendered the country eminent service. And, from what I can learn, would have acted more cordially with the volunteers, had it not been, perhaps, for superior orders. Still the U.S. troops were of some advantage to us, as they kept their net open, as it were, and the volunteers drove the Indians into it--for they had not a prisoner in their camp until Maj. Latshaw's command made the attack upon the bands of Limpy and George, on the 28th of May--and in fact the only prisoners taken during the war have been taken by the volunteers.
    In the late campaign, I am under many obligations to the officers and men of the command. Majors Bruce and Latshaw were as usual always ready whenever duty called. Adjutant Munson has also rendered efficient aid in the discharge of his duties, and is a most excellent officer. Capts. Keith, Blakely and Noland have been prompt and efficient in the discharge of their duties--both officers and men of these companies have rendered the country distinguished service, and have nobly represented the counties from which they came as citizen soldiers. To Capt. Bledsoe's company this section of the coast as well as the whole Territory are under many obligations. The officers and men of this company deserve the highest commendation for their zeal and promptitude in bringing about a speedy peace. The spy company under Capt. Barnes has acted with the utmost alacrity, and have rendered a great deal of service both night and day, being always ready at a moment's notice. The men of this company deserve well of their country. My present aide, Lieut. Hawley, has rendered me important assistance, as well as the command under me, and as he is well known to the Department, it is not necessary for me to say any more.
    I was agreeably surprised to find one of the finest grazing countries I have ever seen on the western coast during our last expedition from the Big Bend to the mouth of Rogue River. On this trail there are numerous bald hills covered with grass and clover of the richest growth, and to the height of three feet in some places. There is also a large belt of country along the coast which is better adapted to stock-growing than any other portion of Oregon Territory. For forty miles up the Coquille River from the coast, we also found beautiful pasturage for stock. There are great inducements here to persons engaged in stock-growing.
    During our last campaign we have passed over a vast extent of country fraught with every indication of gold, and I have no doubt that there will be extensive gold discoveries made in this region so soon as a permanent peace is restored to this portion of the country. There is quite a large extent of country at the mouth of Rogue River which is susceptible of cultivation, and there will be heavy settlement here soon, as the landholders will always find a ready market for the products of their labor on Gold Beach, the mines of which are very extensive.
    This war will be a benefit to Oregon in some respects--it will be the means of opening the resources of the country, and it has given hundreds of men a more extensive knowledge of Southern Oregon than would have been gained for years without it.
    I will leave tomorrow for Salem. I can there give you things more in detail.
    I am, respectfully, your obdt. servt.,
JOHN K. LAMERICK
     Brig. General Commanding the Vols.
Luther C. Hawley, Aide-de-camp.   
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 22, 1856, page 2


Salem Sept 22nd / 56               
To Hon Jos. Lane
    My dear Genl. I have recd some favors from you by last mail, for which I thank you. I only wonder how you can remember so many of your constituents. I see by some of the late papers that Genl Wool has been giving you & the citizens of Oregon another of his grape & canister fires in the way of lying. He seldom writes or publishes anything but what is filled with untruth. His authority principally is rumor and I see he quotes John Beeson, a man who was drove out of Rogue River Valley for his lying. This man Beeson is an Englishman not naturalized, settled in Oregon in '53. He at one time of his life kept a station in Illinois in the Underground Railroad for negro stealing from Missouri to Canada. He is a monomaniac on the subject of slavery, considers the negro or Indians better than the whites. So much for Genl Wool's truthful informants.
   
The war north is not ended yet. The regulars are endeavoring to coax them into a treaty with success the future will show. They have been tampered with by the policy of Genl Wool that even if a treaty is made they will break out again as soon as they rest a while and get more ammunition. There is yet some few scattering Indians in the vicinity of Rogue River Valley who are committing depredations on the settlers, and the army officers are making no efforts to bring them to terms. The citizens are trying to get up a purse and offer a reward for scalps. They are forced to do this to protect themselves & families. I have been on the Grand Ronde Reservation twice since the war south has been ended, and I have talked with all the chiefs from R. River, and they are very much dissatisfied. They say Genl Palmer told them lies. Old Sam & Ben told me that Palmer told them that as soon as old Chief John & his people came down that he would let them (Sam & Ben) and their people go back again to the reserve at Fort Lane. So you see I expect an outbreak amongst Indians on the Grand Ronde reserve next spring or as soon as they can rest and get a little ammunition from the regulars. It will require great prudence and energy as well as firmness in the agents to keep the Indians peaceable and on the reserve. I am boring [you] with a long letter, which I hope you will excuse.
                    Respt. Yours
                        John K. Lamerick
Joseph Lane Papers


Jacksonville Nov. 13th / 57
To Genl. J. W. Nesmith
    Friend Nesmith
Since I came to this place I have had considerable information from men who have been out prospecting the mountains about Goose & Klamath lakes. All of them report a large quantity of Indians in that vicinity, one tribe known as Modocs and a tribe known as Lalakes. The latter consist of over seven hundred warriors, all of whom are in Oregon Territory as well as some of the former. All of them at present are friendly and are well disposed to the whites, but as yet no treaties have been made with them, and they are not willing for the whites to come amongst [them] and settle in their country.
    This country is very extensive and abounds in great quantities of fish & game of various kinds. Those Indians are living in two large valleys about one hundred miles & due east from Jacksonville. They have a fine country of good land equal if not superior to any in Oregon. There is also two large lakes, running north and south from seventy-five to one hundred [miles] long, and about twenty wide. The land bordering on these lakes is very fine and covered with the best kind of bunchgrass. It is also well watered with small streams emptying into those lakes from the adjacent mountains.
    La Lake
[also written Leylek or Lalek] is the chief of seven hundred warriors. He has lived at Oregon City and speaks the jargon well. Mr. Kershaw and Judge Snelling conversed with him and he informed them he would resist the attempt of the whites to settle on his lands until some kind of a bargain was made for his land by the Big Chief of whom he seems to have a tolerable fair idea of. Mr. Snelling thinks that a large emigration will most likely settle out at those lakes next summer, and is also of the opinion that gold will be found on the streams emptying into the lakes.
    I give you those items so that if it is in your power to prevent another Indian war next summer you can do so, for I am damned sure I am tired of them, for as sure as the whites begins to go in amongst those Indians there will be a big war.
    Your own good judgment will suggest what could be done to save a row next summer so I shall say nothing further on this subject.
    The election in this county went off quite quietly. This county will [give] a pro-slavery majority of about seventy and about thirty or less for the [state] constitution. The returns are not quite all in or I would send you them.
Yours &c.
    J. K. Lamerick
That letter to the Tribune has played hell here with the B. Republicans. They are all sore as hell about it.
Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 15; Letters Received, 1857, No. 289.


Jacksonville, May 9th, 1858
To Genl. Jos. Lane
    My Dear Genl.
The news has just reached here of the rejection of the Kansas Bill in the House. By the adoption of the Crittenden Amendment, every true Democrat here feels a just depression on the account of it; not only as it places the administration in an awkward position, but it prevents other business from engaging the attention in Congress. Still, I think the President  will yet turn out like Jackson and ride the storm triumphantly. So mote it be. Amen.
    We also see by the papers that the Committee on Territories has at last reported on the Oregon Constitution and by this time I doubt not will have acted upon it. Some men, enemies to Oregon and not friends of yours, would like to see it rejected, as also the defeat of the bill to defray the expenses of our war, but in both cases, I feel confident they will be disappointed.
    The Democrats of this county held their convention last Saturday and nominated their ticket, which on the main I think is very good, the convention instructed for you for Senator. The resolutions I drew myself. They are also some of them privately pledged to the Hon. D. Smith as the Senator north of the Calipooia Mountain.
    My opinion is there will be enough of good Democrats elected at this coming election to elect you and whoever they conclude to send with you upon the first ballot, but should the Nationals carry one or two counties and, with the Blacks, hold the balance of power in joint ballots, then their cupidity might be made to answer a good account and made to serve honest men. As the Bible says, "The wrath of man shall praise the Lord and the remainder of his wrath shall be restrained." Should there not be a majority on joint ballots of good old line friends of yours, would your presence not be of some service; you will have time enough as soon as you hear the returns of the election to come and be at the organization of the Legislature. I merely suggest this to your better understanding. You know what Shakespeare says, "The presence of the King is a host within itself." By the time this reaches you, Oregon will I hope be admitted as a State and your bill to pay the expenses of the war passed. As I have bored you with a long, foolish letter, I will conclude by subscribing myself, as ever, your friend,
J. K. Lamerick
   
I forgot to thank you for public docs., which if not too much trouble, please continue and I in return for your good service will send a long letter of nonsense.
Again yours,
    Lamerick
Joseph Lane Letters

Jacksonville June 10th 1858
To Genl. Jos. Lane
    My Dear Sir our election is over and the full returns of this county have just been made out by Wm. Hoffman. The Democratic state & county ticket have run ahead with but one or two exceptions. Grover leads Kelly 385 majority, Bush is behind O'Meara 185 in this county, we also elect three out of the four members to the state Legislature, H. H. Brown being defeated by Doctr. McCully, who ran as an independent Democrat. McCully is pledged and the others are instructed to go for you for the U.S. Senate. Josephine County has given a large majority to the regular Democratic ticket, Bush beating O'Meara some over 200 votes, the balance of the state ticket running even ahead of Bush, the Nationals had made calculations to go north through [the] Canyon with five hundred majority but how will they be disappointed when they hear the news. My own opinion is Bush will pass north over the Calapooia Mountain with over three hundred majority over O'Meara, and the rest of the state ticket still larger majorities.
    The defeat of Biggs for county judge may be attributed to himself more than to politics.
    You will see by the papers that the Indian war north has commenced again and I fear will not soon end. For particulars see Oregon papers.
    I am also apprehensive that there will be trouble with our Indians out on the Klamath Lake country. A part of surveyors are now in that country under a Mr. Thompson. Some of them came in to town last week who said the Indians were very troublesome. A military post and agency should be established out there as soon as possible which would prevent collisions between the whites & Indians and encourage emigration coming in at the head of R. River Valley.
    The citizens of this part of Oregon are under many obligations to you for many favors of pub. doc., amongst them is your humble servant. The speeches on the Lecompton constitution and more especially your own have been favorable & well received by the whole community.
    Hoping soon to hail you as a Senator from the new State of Oregon, I am as ever
Your Friend
    J. K. Lamerick
We have rec'd. the news last Saturday of the admission of the Lecompton constitution which caused the hearts of many to rejoice I can assure you
Yours
    J. K. Lamerick
To Gen. Jos. Lane
Washington City D.C.
Joseph Lane Letters


    On Saturday last the closing race of a half mile was well contested by Gen. Lamerick's b.g. [bay gelding] "Salem Clique," known as "Gabriel," and Mr. Whitman's gray filly.
"The Jacksonville Races," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 26, 1858, page 2


    Gen. J. K. Lamerick has changed the name of the winning horse, "Gabriel," to "Salem Clique."--Herald.
    The General understands the appropriateness of names. We will "go our bottom dollar" on the "bottom" of his "Salem Clique." All the distanced horses should be called "National-Democratic-Black-Republican."
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 20, 1858, page 2

Feb 5th Sunday. [1860] I went to Gassburg on old Jim to mail the letters. I heard there that Gunsmith Berry had of Jacksonville shot General Lamerick through the head, for intimacy with his wife Lamerick is not expected to live and I am not sorry. O Meara the Editor of the Sentinel and Pat Ryan are under arrest for challenging each other to a duel, and it is against the statutes of Oregon to duel. So that is three fights that took place yesterday "and it was no good day either for fighting." This is a beautiful moon light night but the wind blows from the East very strong.

Diary of Welborn Beeson


    SHOOTING AFFAIR AT JACKSONVILLE.--A telegram from Yreka mentions that Gen. J. K. Lamerick was shot by a Mr. Berry, a gunsmith at Jacksonville, Oregon, on Sunday, 5th February. It appears that there had been an old quarrel between the parties. Lamerick went to the house of Berry, and, it is said, insulted Mrs. Berry. She immediately sent for her husband, who, upon entering the house, fired upon Lamerick. The ball entered below the left eye, and passed out at the right ear. Berry was arrested, and gave bail in the sum of $2,000. Lamerick was armed with a Deringer pistol, but did not draw. At last accounts he was sensible, conversing with his friends, and did not wish to have Berry prosecuted. No hopes were entertained of the recovery of Lamerick.
San Francisco Bulletin, February 10, 1860, page 2


    Gen. Lamerick was shot in the face at Jacksonville by W. J. Berry on the 3rd inst., in a drinking house. The wound is severe but not mortal.
Weekly Oregonian, Portland, February 18, 1860, page 2


    A dispatch from Jacksonville, Oregon, dated Feb. 7, says that General J. K. Lamerick, a prominent politician in that state, was mortally wounded by a man named Berry, a gunsmith. It appears that there had been an old quarrel between the parties. Lamerick went to the house of Berry, and, it is said, insulted Mrs. Berry. She immediately sent for her husband, who, upon entering the house, fired upon Lamerick. The ball entered below the left eye and passed out at the right ear. Berry was arrested, and gave bail in the sum of $2,000. Lamerick was armed with a Deringer pistol, but did not draw. At last accounts he was sensible, conversing with his friends, and did not wish to have Berry prosecuted. No hopes are entertained of the recovery of Lamerick.
New York Herald, March 10, 1860, page 2


    Lamerick is thought to be recovering; if he gets well, I think the affair will pass by without much noise.
Letter dated February 26, 1860, Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, March 27, 1860, page 1


    General J. K. Lamerick, of Oregon, a delegate to the Charleston Convention, has arrived at Yreka, on his way to the Atlantic States.
San Joaquin Republican, March 17, 1860, page 4


    1914 Plymouth St.
Philadelphia March 22nd 60
Hon Joseph Lane
    Washington
        Dear Sir
            The following is a copy of a dispatch from Oregon in the New York Herald of the 10th inst. [see above]
    "Gen. J. K. Lamerick a prominent politician in this state was mortally wounded by a man named Berry on the 7th Feby. There had been an old quarrel between the parties. Berry shot Lamerick, the ball entering under the left eye & passing out the right ear. Berry was held in $2000 bail although Lamerick did not wish him to be prosecuted Lamerick was armed with a Deringer pistol but did not draw. At last accounts Lamerick was sensible, conversing with his friends, but no hopes are entertained of his recovery."
    My object in trespassing upon you is to know if you have any later news from Oregon & if my poor brother is still alive. I looked for him to be on at [sic] meeting of the Charleston convention. We have not met for twenty-four years.
    I recd. two papers from him dated Jacksonville Feby. 4th three days before the sad occurrence. I would also like to know if my brother had any property in Oregon, or held any of the war scrip &c &c. This may seem primitive on my part, but my intention is to leave for Oregon should I not hear from him by next mail or the one after.
    I am the only brother he has in the U.S. & the only one he ever corresponded with. I had always 4 papers from him by every mail & looked forward to our meeting in April with a pleasure that only long parted brothers can feel. Any information you can give me will at this sad juncture be gratefully remembered by me. You were kind enough to answer a letter addressed some two years ago by me, to you. Hoping you will be no less kind on this sad occasion as I know my poor brother was your political friend. Awaiting your reply with much anxiety I am, dear sir, very truly
Thos. K. Limerick           
P.S.
    address
        1914 Plymouth St.
                Philadelphia
My brother spells his name Lamerick but our family name is Limerick.
Joseph Lane Papers


    Gen. J. K. Lamerick, Democratic delegate from Oregon, goes to New York with this steamer [the Sonora], as also Joel Burlingame, Esq., the father of Anson G. Burlingame, member of Congress from Massachusetts.
"Our Aspinwall Correspondence," New York Herald, April 11, 1860, page 4


    FROM THE HERMITAGE.--By last States mail we received a letter from General J. K. Lamerick, one of the delegates from Oregon to the Charleston Convention, dated at New Orleans, May 18th. The many friends of this gentleman will be glad to learn that he was gradually improving in health--that he was in fine spirits, and resolved to return to Oregon at an early day. In his travels through the South, since the adjournment of the national convention, among other places, he paid a visit to the Hermitage, where reposes all that is mortal of the great Democratic chief, the patriot and hero--Andrew Jackson. He tarried at this revered resting place for a day, and did true homage to the memory of the illustrious dead. He plucked from near the tomb of the mighty departed some leaves and flowers of the honeysuckle, which were kindly sent to us. They reached us safely. We have them in excellent preservation, and [as] well as the art of man through life can stay the waste of time upon these tender, precious gifts, they shall be preserved. Were they imperishable as the glorious memory and pure fame of him whose body rests beneath the sacred sod from which they sprung, and eternity ours, through all they should be preserved. With heartfelt emotions we thank General Lamerick for sending them to us.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 23, 1860, page 2


SHERIFF'S SALE.
Reoffered for non-compliance.
IN DISTRICT COURT--State of Louisiana--Parish of Caddo, No. 5500. ELIJAH STEEL vs. JOHN K. LAMERICK. By virtue of a writ of fieri facias to me directed by the Hon. District Court of the parish and State aforesaid, in the above entitled suit, I will reoffer for sale (on account of the failure of the purchaser at a sale made by me on the 4th day of August, 1860, to comply with the terms of the sale), at public auction, at the courthouse, in the city of Shreveport, parish and State aforesaid, to the highest bidder, on
Saturday, the 6th day of October, A.D. 1860,
between the hours of 11 o'clock a.m. and 4 o'clock p.m. the following described property, seized as that of the defendant, John K. Lamerick, and to be sold to pay and satisfy the writ above mentioned, to wit:
    The undivided one-half of lot No. thirteen (13) in block No. thirty-two (32) with one-half of the buildings and improvements, on said lot, situated in the city of Shreveport, parish of Caddo.
    Terms of sale--Cash, with the benefit of appraisement.
NATHAN HOSS, Sheriff.   
    Shreveport, Aug. 29th, 1860.
The South-western, Shreveport, Louisiana, September 5, 1860, page 3


    John K. Lamerick, Brigadier Gen. under Curry, was in Washington last winter disposing of scrip to the best advantage, and that being done, we learn he has turned up as a commissary in the secession army. Whether he can balance his invoice of whiskey is very questionable. He went out to stand at Charleston.

"Oregonians in Dixie's Land," Oregon Statesman, Oregon City September 16, 1861, page 2


    ACCESSION TO JEFF DAVIS' ARMY FROM OREGON.--John K. Lamerick (Gov. Curry's Brigadier-General) is now a Commissary in Jeff Davis' army. Adolphus Hanna, late Marshal of the State, it is said, has gone in the same direction. J. B. Sykes, late Indian Agent, has seceded for the same point. Never a word has been uttered by Gov. Curry against these movements of his political friends. We shall not be surprised at any morning to hear that he has gone to join his old companions with a major-general's commission in his pocket.--Oregonian, September 14th.
San Francisco Bulletin, September 21, 1861, page 3


    John K. Lamerick, of Jacksonville, one of the Lane faction delegates in the Charleston convention from Oregon, is commissary of a Louisiana rebel regiment. In June last he was in Washington endeavoring to get his [Indian war] scrip paid, professing great loyalty but opposed to "coercion." We thought then the government ought to have been advised of his proclivities and his bonds withheld. He pretended he was coming to Oregon when he got his money. Sykes is quartermaster of a Virginia regiment, and the diminutive little Hoff Hannah is a lieutenant or captain in the rebel army. John Lane is somewhere in North Carolina, a lieutenant. Bob Metcalfe is in Texas. The commissions of all these worthies were issued on the Pacific Coast by an agent authorized by Jeff Davis. It is worthy of notice that every "peace" man who has sneaked out of Oregon has joined the rebel army--Sykes, Metcalfe, Hannah, Lamerick and Lane. That exquisitely Democratic and eminently "peace" ticket which the Oregon traitors will run in June loses just five votes by the sloping of these beauties.--Statesman.
Oregonian, January 31, 1862, quoted in "Half a Century Ago," Oregonian, Portland, January 21, 1912, page 10

John K. Lamerick, enlistment in CSA Army
John K. Lamerick, enlistment in the army of the Confederacy

STATE OF LOUISIANA, TOWN OF MONROE
    I, John W. Lamerick, born in Bedford County in the state of Tennessee, aged thirty-nine years, and by occupation a mechanic, do hereby acknowledge to have voluntarily enlisted this [left blank] day of
[left blank] 1862, as a soldier in the Army of the Confederate States of America, for the period of twelve months, unless sooner discharged by proper authority; do also agree to accept such bounty, pay, rations and clothing as are, or may be, established by law. And I, John K. Lamerick, do solemnly swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Confederate States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whomsoever; and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the Confederate States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the rules and articles of war.
    Sworn and subscribed to at Monroe, La., this 6th day of April 1862, before [illegible signature].
    I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, that I have carefully examined the above named soldier and that in my opinion he is free from all bodily defects and mental infirmity, which would in any way disqualify him from performing the duties of a soldier.
    
[same illegible signature], Examining Surgeon.
    I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, that I have minutely inspected the soldier, [John K. Lamerick], previously to his enlistment, and that he was entirely sober when enlisted; that to the best of my judgment and belief he is of lawful age; and that in accepting him as duly qualified to perform the duties of an able-bodied soldier I have strictly observed the regulations which govern the recruiting service.
    The soldier has blue eyes, gray hair, dark complexion, is five feet 6½ inches high.
   
[same illegible signature], Recruiting Officer.
    RECEIVED OF
[left blank] of the Confederate States Army, this [left blank] day of [left blank] 1862, FIFTY DOLLARS, being by way of bounty for enlisting in the army of the Confederate States for THE WAR.


CONSTABLE'S SALE.
    In Justice Allen's court--State of Louisiana, parish of Caddo--City of Shreveport vs. Lot No. 13 in Block No. 57--owners unknown. By virtue of a writ of sale issued from the honorable the Justice's Court for Ward No. 4, parish of Caddo, State of Louisiana, and to me directed, I will sell at public auction, at the Market House, in the city of Shreveport, parish and state aforesaid, on
Saturday, the 3rd day of August, 1867,
between the hours of 10 o'clock a.m. and 4 o'clock p.m., the following described property, to wit:
    Lot No. 13 in block No. 57, situated in the city of Shreveport. Seized and to be sold to pay the city taxes for the year 1866, with all costs
    The above described property was offered and bid off to Thomas Byland and J. K. Lamerick on Saturday, the 22nd day of June, who refused to comply with the terms of their bid, it is hereby offered at their risk.
    Terms of sale--CASH, without benefit of appraisement.
ANDY CURRIE, Constable.       
    Shreveport, July 3, 1867.
The South-western, Shreveport, Louisiana, July 10, 1867, page 3


    On motion of Gen. Lamerick, it was resolved that the president appoint a committee of three to draft rules and regulations for the government and proceedings of the club, and report the same at next meeting. The chair appointed on this committee Gen. Lamerick, C. C. Henderson, and W. H. Wise.
"The Central Democratic Club," The South-western, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 4, 1868, page 2


SHERIFF'S SALE.
IN DISTRICT COURT--State of Louisiana--Parish of Caddo, No. 7547. LAMERICK & WALDRAN vs. SCHOOL DIRECTORS, District No. __, parish of Caddo. By virtue of a writ of fieri facias, issued from the honorable the District Court of the parish of Caddo, and to me directed, I will sell at public auction, at the courthouse door, in the city of Shreveport, parish and State aforesaid, on
Saturday, the 2nd day of May, A.D. 1868,
between the hours of 11 o'clock a.m. and 4 o'clock p.m. the following described property, to wit:
    The buildings known as the Male and Female Academies, situated in the town of Greenwood, parish of Caddo.
    Seized as the property of the defendants, and to be sold to satisfy the writ in the above entitled suit, with all costs.
    Terms of sale--On a credit of twelve months. Purchasers to give notes with approved security, bearing eight percent, per annum interest from day of sale, with mortgage retained on the property sold to secure payment of the purchase money.
JOHN J. HOPE, Sheriff.   
    Shreveport, April 8, 1868.
The South-western, Shreveport, Louisiana, April 29, 1868, page 3


    We acknowledge the receipt of an invitation to be present at the dedication of the new synagogue, on Friday next, and shall certainly avail ourselves of the opportunity, so kindly proffered, of witnessing the interesting ceremony. As we have before said, this building is a credit to the architects, to our Israelitish citizens and to the town. George Cole and J. K. Lamerick had the contract, and certainly have carried it out to the satisfaction of the building committee.

The South-western, Shreveport, Louisiana, May 25, 1870, page 2


Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana:
J. K. Lamerick, 49, carpenter, born in Ireland, owns $800 worth of real estate
United States Census, enumerated June 3, 1870


   
The Daily Gazette, of yesterday, furnishes an abstract of a scene in [Judge Crowell's] court, in which Gen. Lamerick was the hero. I give it to you as a law example. By the way, as we are not acquainted with the General, will you oblige us to look in your dictionary of "Distinguished American Citizens," or Harper's catalogue of "Self-Made Men of Our Times," and let us know who Lamerick is, and how he came. The General was up for disorderly conduct, says the Gazette, and fined for the breach with costs. In default of paying, he was to go down. The General said he preferred settling, so he approached the seat of justice, drew a Deringer, and presented it, cocked, in the face of the Recorder. The court adjourned, took a recess, went in, and Lamerick, as he was much agitated, went down, supported on either side by our brass-fronted gens d'armes.
Letter from Shreveport signed "P.A.G.,"
The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, October 16, 1870, page 15


Suicide.
    J. K. Lamerick, a carpenter of this place and one of the oldest of our citizens, committed suicide sometime Monday afternoon, by cutting his throat in his shop on Fannin Street. A colored woman noticed him lying under his work bench on that evening but could only see his feet projecting from beneath the bench, and supposed he was intoxicated. The horrible truth was not known until yesterday morning, when, upon examination, it was found that he was dead, literally weltering in his own blood. He was lying on his back with both arms raised and stiffened in death. The fatal instrument, an ordinary clasp-knife, was lying by him in a pool of blood, and on further examination it was found that the unfortunate man had cut the right carotid artery, and gashed the side of the neck. How long he had been dead could not, of course, be accurately determined.
    That the act had for some time been meditated was evident from the following letter, which was found among his papers.
Shreveport, Feb. 2, 1873.
To G. W. Leopard:
    Friend George--I am tired of living and wish to quit life. This is to request you to see me buried and to see to the settlement of my affairs, so far as you can. You will take possession of my house and lot and either keep them in your own possession or sell and distribute it as you see fit, to make it pay the expenses. I have been so much deceived that I am disgusted.
    You will see Geo. Cole, and if there is room in the lot where Tom Collins is buried, place me there. However, I have no objections where I am laid.
    Having the above to attend to will put you to some trouble, but I have confidence in your kind generosity, and that you will attend to it. I am thinking my house and lot will bring in enough to pay all expenses. My debts do not amount to much, which I hope you will attend to. To Geo. Zoder I owe six weeks' board, and think I owe John Dillon $15 bar bill. This is about all. May every good wish attend you,
J. K. LAMERICK.
The Times, Shreveport, Louisiana, April 2, 1873, page 2


Succession Sale.
SUCCESSION OF J. K. LAMERICK.
    By virtue of a writ of sale to us directed from the honorable parish court of Caddo Parish, we will sell, at public auction to the highest bidder, at the markethouse, Shreveport, La., on
Thursday, April 17, 1873,
at 11 o'clock a.m., the following described property belonging to said succession, to wit, a lot of personal property consisting of carpenter's tools, bedding, furniture, etc., as per inventory.
    Terms--cash, subject to appraisement.
LEWIS & LEONARD, Auctioneers.
The Times, Shreveport, Louisiana, April 11, 1873, page 4


    My impression is that sometime during 1858, John K. Lamerick, of Jacksonville, had a controversy with some person in that locality, growing out of his (Lamerick's) conduct as commanding officer at the battle of Hungry Hill in the Rogue River war with the Indians; and that a duel came out of it. But whether blood was shed or not, deponent saith not. But one thing is certain, a pair of eight-inch pistols was selected in San Francisco for Lamerick to fight somebody. Perhaps it ended with the coffee.
"Some Notable Duels," Oregonian, Portland, August 13, 1882, page 1


    LIMERICK.--On the 4th of March, 1883, THOS. K. LIMERICK.
"Died," Philadelphia Inquirer, March 7, 1883, page 5


    In 1855 Col. [W. W. ] Chapman lived in Umpqua, having temporarily removed from Portland and taken up his residence in Southern Oregon, where he is engaged in practice of law. It was while Judge Deady was holding court that news was brought to Roseburg of massacre and devastation in Rogue River Valley. A company was immediately raised between Winchester and the mouth of the Umpqua. Winchester was where Wilbur now is. Col. Chapman was chaplain of this company--in fact, raised it--and when a regiment was organized he was elected lieutenant colonel and discharged his military duties with honor to himself under as great disadvantages as could possibly exist, the greatest of which was a mistake made by the territorial legislature in appointing as brigadier general in command a worthless fellow, who was so unfit and incompetent that whatever success was accomplished in the campaign was achieved rather in spite of his pusillanimity and inanity rather than under his direction. As it was, the officers of the regular forces were hindered rather than helped, and such men as Col. John Kelsey, Lieut.-Colonel Chapman and Major James Bruce were made victims of a do-nothing policy that looked more like playing into the hands of speculators on the outside than a practical attempt to quell an Indian uprising. The rank and file of the volunteers were brave men, who raged and fumed at the incompetence of this legislative-made general. They cursed Lamerick in the plainest language for balking their wishes and not letting them get at the Indians. The Indians even made sport of the whites and offered insults to the whole command, well warranted by the misconduct of the war. It is only necessary to say that Col. Chapman incurred the enmity of the commander because he continually proposed to move on the enemy and end the war. But all such misconduct comes to a finality, and after a time the volunteers got a chance at the Indians and in a single battle gave them a quietus. So the war ended, in spite of the inefficiency of a worthless commander.
Samuel A. Clarke, "Pioneer Days: Some Chapters from the Early History of the City of Portland," Oregonian, Portland, May 31, 1885, page 2


    General Lane and Judge Stout were in Washington and sent to Oregon word that they would attend the convention. Judge Deady declined to go--his judicial duties prevented his going. General Lamerick was his alternate. He had resolved to go. On Saturday afternoon, February 3, in Jacksonville, while seated on a sofa in the room of a dwelling room occupied by a man named Berry and his wife, Lamerick was shot by the infuriated husband, who had suddenly entered the room, pistol in hand, with deadly intent. It was a navy-size Colt's revolver. The ball entered near the inside of Lamerick's left eye, close to the nose, penetrated the head and made exit just behind the lower part of the right ear. It was thought he was killed, but he was living and able to talk. He was taken to a convenient room over John Hillman's saloon and surgeons Brooks and Thompson quickly attended him. His face was terribly powder-burned, but it was found that his sight was not destroyed in either eye. Almost his first words, after the surgeons had dresses the fearful wound, were: "See here; I am going to Charleston to that convention." Dr. Thompson humored him with "Yes, yes," in response. Actually the surgeons expected a fatal result. They feared hemorrhage and that meant death. During the night Lamerick asked for a drink of water. Dr. Brooks said to him water was likely to cause hemorrhage, and intimated to him the probable consequence; it would cause him to cough and coughing would provoke hemorrhage. He was refused the water. Soon he began to slightly cough. The surgeons besought him to cease it if possible. His response was, "You won't give me a drink of water, and I'll cough until I get a drink." The water was given him--a teaspoonful. It had good effect, he coughed no more and no hemorrhage followed. The night was passed better than the surgeons had expected. But the next morning I was called from home by a messenger dispatched in haste by Dr. Brooks. On going to the room he whispered to me that death was imminent, and it would be advisable to speak to Lamerick in relation to the disposition of his property. A cloth saturated with soothing liquid covered his eyes as he rested in bed. I asked: "Do you know me, Lamerick?" Quick and characteristic came the response: "Know you? Hell, yes; you're O'Meara." I spoke cheeringly and encouraging as I could, but went on to remark as to his condition and the probable consequence. He replied: "O, hell, I'm going to the Charleston convention, to be there in time. Now, one thing; I don't want to have Berry put in trouble for shooting me; bear that in mind." He told me of his different pieces of property, in land and lots, in various places, and wished them to go to his brother in Philadelphia in the event of his death, giving the brother's address. Last I asked him with reference to the services of a clergyman, of which denomination, should the worst befall. His response to this was: "Well, come to think that over, the fact is that since I was a boy I've never had much to do with the clergy, and to call them in now would be sort of cowardly and hypocritical; don't you think so?" I made brief reply, and the subject was discontinued. The occasion for a clergyman happily did not occur; Lamerick recovered. The last Saturday of March I rode with him on the outside front seat of the stage, alongside of the driver, from Jacksonville to Yreka; we remained there Sunday, and early Monday morning I saw him off by stage for Sacramento. In a few days I got a letter from him at San Francisco. He had called on Dr. Cooper, a noted surgeon of his time, who expressed his astonishment at Lamerick's recovery from such a wound. Again he wrote to me, from Charleston, April 14. He had reached there in time for the convention sure enough. A few weeks afterward he sent to me, from Nashville, sprigs from the hickory trees of the Hermitage, and a few of the hickory nuts from the favorite trees of the venerated warrior-sage, whose memory Lamerick worshiped. He had made the visit as the devoted Mohammedan makes the pilgrimage to Mecca. General Lamerick joined the Confederate army early in the war, and was killed in one of the desperate engagements.
James O'Meara, "The Pioneer Days," Morning Oregonian, Portland, November 30, 1890, page 16


    Made necessary by an epidemic of yellow fever, the Shreveport Medical and Surgical Infirmary opened late in 1866, in a building which may have been built by the city. The city contracted with Lamerick and Waldron to build a hospital for $27,730 on 4½ acres of land purchased from B. F. Logan.
"Early 'Pest Houses' Gave Way to a Modern Hospital System," The Times, Shreveport, Louisiana, September 16, 1895, page 105



Last revised May 16, 2017