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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Alonzo A. Skinner


    Alonzo A. Skinner, formerly of this village, has been elected circuit judge of the Territory, for the next two years--salary $800 per annum.
"Oregon," Kalida Venture, Kalida, Ohio, August 17, 1847, page 2


    Judge Skinner (Alonzo) went to the mines last fall, and had not returned when Mr. R.'s letter was written.--Lima [Ohio] Argus.
"Gold Digging," Portage Sentinel, Ravenna, Ohio, July 16, 1849, page 2


     NEW INDIAN AGENTS.--Judge Skinner has been appointed Indian agent in place of Col. Allen, declined. Edward A. Starling Esq., of this city (late of Kentucky), has also been appointed in place of Rev. H. H. Spalding, removed.
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, September 30, 1851, page 2


    For Delegate to Congress, there are two candidates, Gen. Lane and "Judge" Skinner. Gen. Lane is a Democrat, undisguised; the nominee of the Democratic Party, and runs as the exponent of their principles. He shows no false colors, and attempts no deception. He is a man of affirmative character, of great mental and physical energy--full of life and vigor--Whatever he does, he does "with all his might," and whatever he undertakes, he performs. He knows "no such word as fail." He has a reputation as a spotless Democrat and an honest man, as wide as the extent of our nation. He is the warm personal and confidential friend of the President, and of many if not all the heads of departments. All have unbounded confidence in his political and general integrity. He is the political friend of the ruling party in Congress, and the valued personal friend of many of the individual members. He has had much legislative experience in Indiana, and represented Oregon in the last Congress--has thus become familiar with her wants, and the means of obtaining them. He knows the members of Congress--knows who are the earnest friends of the Territories, who indifferent, and who hostile.. In the last Congress he accomplished more for Oregon than did the delegates from all the other Territories for their constituencies. No well-informed man can doubt that he can accomplish far more in the next.
    Opposed to him is A. A. Skinner, a clever
man, in the American sense of the word. A harmless, inoffensive citizen, against whom, as such, nothing can be said; far is it from our wish that anything should be. His is a negative character, so far as he has any, which makes neither warm enemies or friends. Men have little for or against him. His mental capacity is, to say the most, extremely moderate, and his mind, like his body, having for a lifetime remained dormant, has in a great degree become torpid, and to some extent ceased to function. He is an embodiment of idleness, inertness, and inefficiency, and he is as much distinguished for either, as for his proverbial cleverness. He is as destitute of resolution, life, or energy, as men "ever get to be." An effort of mind or body is made with reluctance, made seldom, and not long continued. . . . His own impulses and motives are honest enough, but he has not the courage and firmness to resist the influences which surround him and carry out his convictions of right. Thus he can be and has been made the passive instrument of wrong. When, in times past, he attempted to act the "judge," this defect in the man, we are told, was often remarked. And later, Gaines availed himself of it, and made him the passive participant in the corrupt squandering of $40,000 in the Indian treaty swindle.
"The Interests of Oregon,"
Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, May 21, 1853, page 2


    STILL LIVING.--Some time ago we announced the death of Judge Alonzo A. Skinner, formerly of this place, but for a number of years past a resident of Oregon. The account stated that he was brutally murdered by the Indians, in the Rogue River difficulty. We are happy to learn that his relations here have received, within the past week, a letter from him, bearing date of 10th of September last, which was mailed on the 16th of the same month, contradicting the report, saying that he had suffered nothing at the hands of the Indians, and that for the coming two year he designed to devote himself to agricultural pursuits.
Portage Sentinel, Ravenna, Ohio, December 7, 1853, page 2



    SKINNER, HON. ALONZO A., deceased, was born in Huron County, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar before coming to Oregon in 1845. In 1846 he was made a judge of the provisional government. From 1851 to 1853 he was Indian Agent in Rogue River Valley. Originally a Whig,  he became a Republican upon the organization of that party. He was the Whig candidate for Congress in 1853. In 1862 he was elected Clerk of Lane County by the Republicans.
Republican League Register, Portland, 1896, page 266




Last revised June 12, 2017