The Table Rock Treaty
See also La Fayette Grover's reminiscences.
Headquarters, Camp Alden,Dear Bush:--On Saturday last Old Joe and Sam (tyees), accompanied by the wise woman of their tribe, arrived at headquarters and held a "wawa" with Gen. Lane, in which the preliminaries of the treaty were concluded. There were present at the council Major Alvord and Capt. Smith, U.S.A., Colonel Ross, Captain Mosher, Capts. Miller, Goodall, Martin, Rhodes and Applegate. Besides those above named the Indians were represented by Ben, the heir apparent and son of Old Joe, four young squaws--hostages--and three warriors.
September 7, 1853.
The General and others, through Mr. Metcalfe, interpreter, closely interrogated the chiefs as to the cause of their hostility. They replied that they were entirely ignorant of the cause of war. That the first news they heard was that the whites were hanging and shooting every Indian who fell into their hands; that if whites were murdered in the first instance, they were innocent of the crime, and it must have been a party of Shastas who were the guilty party. They said they heard that the whites wished to kill them all, and they then thought that their only recourse was to take up arms and fight. They said that before taking up arms they applied to Skinner for protection, but he told them he was tyee no more; that they were glad Jo Lane was here, that they had known him before, and that he had never lied to them, and therefore they would trust in him and make a treaty in good faith.
Not a syllable was elicited implicating either Old Joe or Sam, or any of the Indians under their immediate control, with any of [the] acts which led to the war.
On Sunday Gen. Lane, accompanied by several officers, and Capt. Smith's company of U.S. dragoons, visited Joe's camp some six miles distant, for the purpose of concluding the treaty; but as all the warriors were not yet assembled, three days more were allowed Joe, for the purpose of visiting his people and gathering them in, but he was informed that if at the expiration of that time he was not ready to treat hostilities would recommence.
Nothing of great importance has transpired since my last. The excitement is fast cooling down, and a desire for peace is gradually succeeding the desire for blood. The whites are suffering severely; their homes are deserted, their stock scattered abroad and entire ruin staring them in the face. They see but one alternative--peace, whilst many of those who have come to their assistance from a distance see another alternative--extermination, and in one instance have inscribed it upon their banner, and were they not restrained by the only man in Oregon who possesses the ability, their acts would be in accordance with their motto. There are some respectable men who advocate extermination, but they will live to repent it.
When the excitement shall have passed, I will write you a chapter upon "The Heroes of the War." I will see their acts to the end and should they not receive their due it will not be for the want of candor on the part of
Timon.Oregon Statesman, Salem, September 27, 1853, page 2
The Jacksonville correspondent of the Herald, writing under date of 12th inst., says:
"Well, at last the treaty is made, and the Indians are to be paid $60,000 for the land on this side of Rogue River, and $15,000 of the same is to be withheld and appropriated as an indemnification to some of the citizens of this valley. This treaty, as you are probably aware, has in its present form been pending some four or five days, and as your readers know the particulars of this so-called Rogue River war as well as your humble servant, I shall not attempt to revive the past, for it is neither pleasant nor flattering.
"A treaty has been made, and that it was absolutely necessary under existing circumstances no one will attempt to deny. But the general policy pursued previous to its final consummation is very unsatisfactory, and almost universally condemned.
"After the last battle, in which Gen. Lane and Capt. Alden were wounded, the Indians were allowed an armistice of several days, at the end of which time they were to come in and make peace. If they did not do so, they were threatened with the most dreadful consequences. Instead of their coming in at the time appointed, it was on the 22nd or 23rd day before a sufficient number of them could be prevailed on to come in. But they have come at last, and have agreed to remain on the other side of the river, except when permitted to cross by the Indian agent, who is to reside with them. Tipsey's band is still at large and have thus far refused all overtures. They are still committing their depredations with impunity.
"As yet but a few guns have been brought in, and some $200 in money. They have made no stipulations, however, for the surrender of any prisoners, and common justice cannot otherwise be satisfied for the murder of some of our most valuable citizens! Five hundred men lay idle and inactive for twelve or fourteen days after the armistice had expired, and it was for this reason that the volunteers of your own city, as also the Humbug and Crescent City companies, became dissatisfied and asked or demanded their discharge. . . .
"Capt. Terry and company asked for and received their discharge before the ratification of the treaty. They left in high dudgeon [and] declared their unanimous disapprobation of everything.
"The hospital is still crowded with the sick and wounded. Through the streets may be seen men carrying their arms in splints and bandages, while others seem to be materially assisted in locomotion by the use of crutches.
"Two deaths in private families, from consumption, have transpired with an interval of only two days.
"To say that the town is dull, money scarce, and business nearly stagnant, is only to convey a feeble idea of its general appearance. Merchants, farmers, mechanics and miners have no better employment as yet than to contest the point as to who have suffered the most by the Rogue River war. In a day or two I leave for the coast, and hope to be with you again in the course of three or four weeks and enjoy the rights and privileges of a Yreka citizen."
Sacramento Daily Union, September 26, 1853, page 2
Jacksonville, Sept. 13, 1853.Mr. Editor:--The attempt of a few persons who were dissatisfied with Gen. Lane's course in relation to the treaty, to get up an indignation meeting here on last evening, proved an entire failure, consequently some of our valiant men in talk were disappointed in not finding an opportunity to let off steam.
A drunken loafer who never saw powder burnt rode through our streets yesterday, bawling at the top of his voice, "Ten dollars reward to the ladies of Jacksonville if they will present Jo Lane with a petticoat." All observers pitied the poor creature and regarded him as a hero who had purchased his patriotism for a quarter at the neighborhood doggery.
The people are becoming satisfied with the treaty and are returning to their homes. There are some suspicions that the Indians have more credit for house burning than they are entitled to. The Indians say that a "Boston" was in their camp a few nights before the battle and furnished them with ammunition and advised them what course to pursue. They refuse to give his name. It will not be healthy for him if he is found out.
Capt. Alden and others who were wounded are fast recovering. Mining business has been entirely suspended, but is beginning to be resumed.
Never having seen Gen. Lane, my curiosity prompted me to visit his camp day before yesterday. Having seen generals in the States togged out in epaulets, gold lace, cocked hats and long, shining swords, I expected to find something of the kind at "headquarters." But fancy my surprise on being introduced to a robust, good-looking middle-aged man, with his right arm in a sling, the shirt sleeve slit open and dangling bloody from his shoulder, his nether extremities cased in an old pair of grey breeches that looked as though they were the identical ones worn by Gen. Scott when he was "exposed to the fire in the rear." One end of them was supported by a buckskin strap in the place of a suspender, while one of the legs rested upon the top of the remains of an old boot. His hair so twisted, tangled and matted that it would have frightened the teeth out of a currycomb, and set all tonsorial expectations at defiance, was surmounted by the remains of an old forage cap, which, judging from its appearance, might have been worn at Braddock's defeat. This composed the uniform of the old hero who never surrendered.
The "quarters" were in keeping with the garb of the occupant, it being a rough log cabin about 16 feet square with a hole in one side, called a door, and destitute of floor or chimney. In one corner lay a pile of sacks filled with provisions for the troops, in another a stack of guns of all sizes, sorts and caliber, from the old French musket down to the fancy silver-mounted sporting rifle, while in the third sat an old camp kettle, a frying pan, a coffee pot minus a spout, four pack saddles, a dirty shirt, one old shoe, and a moccasin. The fourth corner occupied by a pair of blankets said to be the Genl.'s bed, and on a projecting puncheon just over it lay some articles said to be ammunition for the stomach in the shape of a chunk of raw beef and a wad of dirty dough. In the center of the "quarters" was a space about four feet square for the accommodation of guests. Such being the luxuries of a general's quarters, you may judge something how privates have fared in the war.
"SOCKS."Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, September 27, 1853, page 2
Capt. Williams, who commanded a company of about thirty men, and has been vigilant in search of the enemy during the war, succeeded in decoying "Jim," the young chief of what is known as "Taylor's Indians," into his camp near Applegate Creek, after the treaty had been agreed upon, and tied him to a tree and shot him. This act of Capt. Williams came very near breaking up the treaty, as an Indian runner arrived on the treaty ground on Monday morning, and detailed the outrage to his tribe in the presence of the seven unarmed whites who came on the ground for the purpose of making the treaty. The Indians complained of it as an act of bad faith, and said they might retaliate by butchering the seven white men then in their power, but were too honorable to kill unarmed men who had come voluntarily into their camp.
"Affairs in the South," Oregon Statesman, Oregon City, September 27, 1853, page 2
I speak of [Joseph Lane's] dauntless courage by the light of experience I had in standing by his side under the frowning shadows of Table Rock on the 10th of September, 1853, when our little party of eleven men, unarmed, and the General, badly wounded, were surrounded by seven hundred hostile and well-armed savages, who threatened our lives in retaliation for the death of one of their tribe. It was then that the eyes now closed in death seemed to emit sparks of fire, and the now-paralyzed tongue poured forth words of natural eloquence, mingled with a haughty and dignified defiance that seemed to inspire our enemies with an awe and admiration due to some superior being. But for the coolness, the defiant courage, evinced by our commander, I believe our little party would have furnished another illustration of the barbarous instincts of the savage for the treacherous shedding of blood.
James W. Nesmith, "Funeral Oration," Transactions of the Tenth Annual Reunion of the Oregon Pioneer Association, 1882, page 86
Capt. Alden of the regular army and Col. John E. Ross of Jackson County joined Genl. Lane and served under his command. Old Jo, John and Sam were the principal leaders of the Indians, aided by such young and vigorous warriors as "George" and "Limpy."
The Indians collected in a large body and retreated northward in the direction of the Umpqua. Genl. Lane made a vigorous pursuit, and on the 24th of August overtook and attacked the foe in a rough, mountainous and heavily timbered region upon Evans Creek. The Indians had fortified their encampment by fallen timber, and being well supplied with arms and ammunition, made a vigorous resistance. In an attempt to charge through the brush and fallen timber, Genl. Lane was shot through the arm, and Capt. Alden received a desperate wound from which he never wholly recovered. Several others of the attacking party were wounded, some of whom subsequently died of their injuries. Capt. Pleasant Armstrong, an old and respected citizen of Yamhill County, was shot through the heart and died instantly.
The Indians and whites were so close together that they could easily converse. The most of them knew Genl. Lane, and when they found that he was in command of the troops, they called out to "Jo Lane" and asked him to come into their camp to arrange some terms for a cessation of hostilities. The Genl., with more courage than discretion, in his wounded condition, ordered a cessation of hostilities and fearlessly walked into the hostile camp, where he saw many wounded Indians, together with several who were dead and being burned to keep them from falling into the bands of their enemy, which clearly demonstrated that the Indians had gotten the worst of the fight.
After a long conference it was finally agreed that there should be a cessation of hostilities, and that both parties should return to the neighborhood of Table Rock, on the northern side of the Rogue River Valley, and that an armistice should exist until Gen. Joel Palmer, then Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, could be sent for, and that a treaty should be negotiated with the United States authorities in which all grievances should be adjusted between the parties. Both whites and Indians marched back slowly over the same trail, encumbered with their wounded, each party keeping a vigilant watch of the other. Genl. Lane encamped on Rogue River, while the Indians selected a strong and almost inaccessible position high up and just under the perpendicular cliffs of "Table Rock," to await the arrival of Superintendent Palmer and Agent Culver. [Please note that Agent Samuel H. Culver was not the same person as Samuel Colver of Phoenix.]
At the commencement of hostilities, the people of Rogue River Valley were sadly deficient in arms and ammunition, many of the settlers and miners having traded their arms to the Indians, who were much better armed and equipped for war than their white neighbors. The rifle and revolver had displaced the bow and arrow and the war club with which the natives were armed when the writer of this knew and fought them in 1848.
Genl. Lane and Capt. Alden at the commencement of the outbreak had sent an express to Governor George L. Curry, then Secretary and acting Governor. Major Rains of the 4th U.S. Infantry, commanding the district, with headquarters at Fort Vancouver, was called upon to supply the threatened settlers of Rogue River with arms and ammunition. Maj. Rains responded to the call for arms and ammunition but was deficient in troops to escort them to their destination at the seat of war. Governor Curry at once authorized the writer to raise 75 men and escort the arms to the threatened settlement. The escort was soon raised in the town of Salem and marched to Albany, where it waited a couple of days for the arrival of 2nd Lieut. August V. Kautz in charge of the wagons with rifles and cartridges, together with a 12-pound howitzer and a good supply of fixed ammunition. Kautz was then fresh from West Point, and this was his first campaign. He subsequently achieved the rank of maj. genl. and rendered good service during the "late unpleasantness" with the South, and is now col. of the Eighth U.S. Infantry.
After a toilsome march, dragging the howitzer and other material of war through the Umpqua Canyon, and up and down the mountain trails made slippery by recent rains, we arrived at Genl. Lane's encampment on Rogue River, near the subsequent site of "Fort Lane," on the 8th day of September. On the same day Capt. A. J. Smith, since the distinguished Genl. Smith of the Union army, arrived at headquarters from Port Orford with Company "C," First U.S. Dragoons. The accession of Capt. Smith's company and my own gave GenL. Lane a force sufficient to cope with the enemy, then supposed to be about 700 strong. The encampment of the Indians was still on the side of the mountain of which Table Rock forms the summit, and at night we could plainly see their camp fires, while they could look directly down into ours. The whole command were willing and anxious to fight, but Genl. Lane had pledged the Indians that an effort should be made to treat for peace. [Indian Affairs] Superintendent Palmer and Agent Culver were upon the ground. The armistice had not expired, and the 10th was fixed for the time of the council. On the morning of that day Genl. Lane sent for me and desired me to go with him to the council ground inside the Indian encampment, to act as interpreter, as I was master of the Chinook jargon. I asked the Genl. upon what terms and where we were to meet the Indians. He replied that the agreement was that the meeting should take place within the encampment of the enemy, and that he should be accompanied by ten other men of his own selection, unarmed.
Against those terms I protested, and told the Genl. that I had traversed that country five years before, and fought those same Indians; that they were notoriously treacherous, and in early times had earned the designation of "Rogues" by never permitting a white man to escape with his scalp when once within their power; that I knew them better than he did, and that it was criminal folly for eleven unarmed white men to place themselves voluntarily within the power of 700 well-armed, hostile Indians within their own secure encampment. I reminded him that I was there as a soldier in command of a company of cavalry and was ready to obey his orders to lead my men into action or discharge any soldierly duty, no part of which was to go into the enemy camp as an unarmed interpreter. The Genl. listened to my protest and replied that he had fixed upon the terms of meeting the Indians and should keep his word, and that if I was afraid to go I could remain behind. When he put it upon that ground, I responded that I thought I was as little acquainted with fear as he was, and that I would accompany him to what I believed would be our slaughter.
James Willis Nesmith
Early on the morning of the 10th of September 1853 we mounted our horses and rode out in the direction of the Indian encampment. Our party consisted of the following named persons: Genl. Joseph Lane; Joel Palmer, Supt. of Ind. Affairs; Samuel [H.] Culver, Ind. Agent; Capt. A. J. Smith, 1st Dragoons; Capt. L. F. Mosher, Adjutant; Col. John E. Ross, Capt. J. W. Nesmith, Lieut. A. V. Kautz, R. B. Metcalfe, J. D. Mason, T. T. Tierney. If you will refer to vol. 10, page 1020 of the U.S. Statutes at Large you will find the most of the above names appended to the treaty that day executed.
After riding a couple of miles across the level valley, we came to the foot of the mountain where it was too steep for horses to ascend. We dismounted and hitched our horses and scrambled up for half a mile over huge rocks and through brush, and then found ourselves in the Indian stronghold, just under the perpendicular cliff of Table Rock and surrounded by 700 fierce and well-armed hostile savages, in all their gorgeous war paint and feathers. Capt. Smith had drawn out his company of dragoons, and left them in line on the plain below. It was a bright, beautiful morning, and the Rogue River Valley lay like a panorama at our feet; the exact line of dragoons, sitting statue-like upon their horses, with their white belts and burnished scabbards and carbines, looked like they were engraven upon the picture, while within a few paces of our rear the huge perpendicular wall of Table Rock towered, frowning many hundred feet above us. The business of the treaty commenced at once. Long speeches were made by Genl. Lane and Superintendent Palmer; they had to be translated twice. When an Indian spoke in the Rogue River tongue, it was translated by an Indian interpreter into Chinook or jargon to me, when I translated it into English. When Lane or Palmer spoke, the process was reversed, I giving the speech to the Indian interpreter in Chinook, and he translating it to the Indians in their own tongue. This double translation of long speeches made the labor tedious, and it was not until late in the afternoon that the treaty was completed and signed. In the meantime an episode occurred which came near terminating the treaty, as well as the representatives of one of the "high contracting parties," in a sudden and tragic manner. About the middle of the afternoon a young Indian came running into camp stark naked, with the perspiration streaming from every pore. He made a brief harangue in his native tongue and threw himself upon the ground, apparently exhausted. His speech had created a great tumult among his tribe. Genl. Lane told me to inquire of the Indian interpreter the cause of the commotion; the Indian responded that a company of white men down on Applegate Creek, and under the command of Capt. Owen, had that morning captured an Indian known as Jim Taylor, and had tied him up to a tree and shot him to death. The hubbub and confusion among the Indians at once became intense, and murder glared from each savage visage. The Indian interpreter told me that the Indians were threatening to tie us up to trees and serve us as Owen's men had served Jim Taylor. I saw some Indians gathering up lass-ropes, while others drew the skin covers from their guns and the wiping sticks from their muzzles. There appeared a strong probability of our party being subjected to a sudden volley. I explained, as briefly as I could, what the interpreter had communicated to me, in order to keep our people from huddling together, and thus become a better target for the savages. I used a few English words not likely to be understood by the Indian interpreter, such as "disperse" and "segregate." In fact, we kept so close to the savages, and well separated from one another, that any general firing must have been nearly as fatal to the Indians as to the whites.
While I admit that I thought that my time had come, and hurriedly thought of wife and children, I noticed nothing but coolness from among my companions. Genl. Lane sat upon a log, with his arm bandaged in a sling, the lines about his mouth rigidly compressing his lips, while his eyes flashed fire. He asked brief questions and gave me sententious answers to what little the Indians said to us. Capt. A. J. Smith
In a few moments Genl. Lane stood up and commenced to speak slowly but very distinctly. He said, "Owen, who has violated the armistice and killed Jim Taylor, is a bad man. He is not one of my soldiers. When I catch him he shall be punished. I promised in good faith to come into your camp, with ten other unarmed men, to secure peace. Myself and men are placed in your power; I do not believe that you are such cowardly dogs as to take advantage of our unarmed condition. I know that you have the power to murder us, and you can do so as quick as you please, but what good will our blood do you? Our murder will exasperate our friends, and your tribe will be hunted from the face of the earth. Let us proceed with the treaty, and in place of war have a lasting peace." Much more was said in this strain by the Genl., all rather defiant, and nothing of a begging character. The excitement gradually subsided after Lane promised to give a fair compensation for the defunct Jim Taylor in shirts and blankets.
The treaty of the 10th of September 1853 was completed and signed and peace restored for the next two years. Our party slowly wended their way among the rocks down to where our horses were tied, and mounted. Old A. J. Smith galloped up to his squadron and gave a brief order. The bugle sounded a note or two, and the squadron wheeled and trotted off to camp. As Genl. Lane and party rode back across the valley, we looked up and saw the rays of the setting sun gilding the summit of Table Rock. I drew a long breath and remarked to the old Genl. that the next time he wanted to go unarmed into a hostile camp he must hunt up someone besides myself to act as interpreter. With a benignant smile he responded, "God bless you, luck is better than science."
I never hear the fate of Genl. Canby at the Modoc camp referred to that I do not think of our narrow escape of a similar fate at Table Rock.
J. W. Nesmith
Dixie, Polk Co., Oregon, April 20th 1879H. H. Bancroft Esq.
In place of attending church today I sat down and wrote the foregoing reminiscence. I have not had time to make a fair copy and send it written in my poor hand. I don't know that it will be of any value to you; you can however rely upon the absolute truth of the narration. I will try to send you something more as soon as time will permit.
Respectfully yoursJames W. Nesmith, "J. W. Nesmith's Statement," MS P-A 53 Bancroft Library, pages 8-22
J. W. Nesmith
On that same Saturday, I rode in the afternoon from Grave Creek to Dr. Ambrose's at the Dardanelles, as it was then called, but now Rock Point, accompanied by a son of Mr. Thomas Stephens of this county, as a guide who then belonged to Captain Lamerick's company. The next morning, Sunday, I rode with Dr. Ambrose to General Lane's headquarters on Rogue River, about twelve miles north of Jacksonville, with the expectation of accompanying him and his party to meet Chief Joseph and his warriors for a "peace talk," as arranged at the truce at Battle Creek, on the 24th of August. When I reached the camp I found the General had gone, but I followed alone and was present at the powwow where the terms of the treaty were settled. The final execution of the instrument was postponed until the 10th, because I informed Lane that I had left the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, General Palmer, at Hardy Elliff's, on Friday, and that he would certainly be up in a few days, and was authorized to make a general treaty, including cession of lands, reservations and the like.
The scene of the famous "peace talk" between Joseph Lane and Indian Joseph--two men who had so lately met in mortal combat--was worthy of the pen of Sir Walter Scott and the pencil of Salvator Rosa.
It was on a narrow bench of a long, gently sloping hill, lying over against the noted bluff called Table Rock. The ground was thinly covered with majestic old pines and rugged oaks, with here and there a clump of green oak bushes. About a half mile above the bright mountain stream that threaded the narrow valley below sat the two chiefs in council. Lane was in fatigue dress, the arm which was wounded at Buena Vista in a sling from a fresh bullet wound received at Battle Creek. Indian Joseph, tall, grave and self-possessed, wore a long black robe over his ordinary dress. By his side sat Mary, his favorite child and faithful companion, then a comparatively handsome young woman, unstained with the vices of civilization. Around these, sat on the grass Captain A. J. Smith--now General Smith of St. Louis--who had just arrived from Port Orford with his company of the First Dragoons; Captain Alvord, then engaged in the construction of a military road through the Umpqua Canyon, and since Paymaster General of the U.S.A.; Colonel Bill Martin of Umpqua, Colonel John E. Ross of Jacksonville, Captain, now Gen. John F. Miller, and a few others. A short distance above us on the hillside were some hundreds of dusky warriors in fighting gear, reclining quietly on the ground.
The day was beautiful. To the east of us rose abruptly Table Rock, and at its base stood Smith's dragoons, waiting anxiously with hand on horse the issue of this attempt to make peace without their aid.
After a proposition was discussed and settled between the two chiefs, the Indian would rise up and communicate the matter to a huge warrior who reclined at the foot of a tree quite near us. Then the latter rose up and communicated the matter to the host above him, and they belabored it back and forth with many voices. Then the warrior communicated the thought of the multitude on the subject back to his chief; and so the discussion went on until an understanding was finally reached. Then we separated--the Indians going back to their mountain retreat, and the whites to the camp.
That evening I rode up to Jacksonville through what I thought was the most picturesque valley I ever saw. The next morning I opened in due form the United States District Court for the County of Jackson--the first court that was ever held in Oregon south of the Umpqua--and the word of the law superseded the edge of the sword.
Matthew P. Deady, Transactions of the Oregon Pioneer Association, 1883, "Southern Oregon Names and Events," page 24
Office of Superintendent of Ind. AffairsSir,
Dayton Oct. 8th, 1853
I have the honor herewith to transmit to the President of the United States, through the Indian Department, the original treaty for the purchase and extinguishment of Indian title to the lands claimed by the Rogue River tribe of Indians entered into on the 10th day of Sept. 1853 by Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs & Samuel H. Culver, Indian Agt., on the part of the United States and Jo, Sam and Jim, principal chiefs, on the part of said tribe, and also a treaty of purchase and relinquishment of title to the lands claimed by the Cow Creek band of the Umpqua tribe of Indians entered into on the 19th day of Sept. 1853 by Joel Palmer, Supt. Ind. Affrs., on the part of the United States and Quin-ti-oo-saw, head chief, Mi-u-e-let-ta and Tom, son of the principal chief on the part of said band.
It is deemed important to state in the transmission of these treaties that the Superintendent and agent have been governed by what they believed to be imperatively demanded in order to restore and preserve peace. The Rogue River tribe of Indians are among the most powerful tribes on this coast, and have been held in great dread by travelers by passing through their country, and as they occupy a country traversed by the trail and road from the settlements in Oregon to California, frequent murders and robberies have been committed by them and the surrounding tribes, rendering it necessary till within the last two years for travelers to assemble in large companies when passing through the country claimed by them.
Upon the discovery of gold in California and more recently in Southern Oregon, great numbers of our citizens have entered their country for the purpose of mining and recently as permanent settlers. This has led to frequent controversies between the settlers and natives in which the lives of many of both parties have been sacrificed.
In 1851 a state of actual war between the whites and Indians existed, and after several skirmishes and battles a treaty of peace was effected
But as our citizens were then crowding into the region, excited by the hope of immediate gain in the pursuit of gold, but little respect was paid to the rights of the Indians. Hence misunderstandings, jealousies, criminations and recriminations followed in rapid succession, until all hope of an amicable adjustment was dissipated and a resort to arms followed as the only means of redressing grievances.
On the 21st of August, I received information that a state of war existed, and as soon as possible with Agent S. H. Culver I repaired to the scene of difficulties. We reached Camp Alden near Table Rock on the 4th of Sept. Gen. Lane, with Major Alden and the troops under their command, had already had a severe engagement with the hostile Indians, in which several on both sides were slain. An armistice for a short time had been agreed on, connected with propositions for a permanent peace, and the time and place designated for the assembling of the chiefs and headmen of the tribe for that purpose. The 4th day of Sept., the day of our arrival at Camp Alden, was the day agreed on for the council. The chiefs with a portion of their warriors were assembled and ready to treat, but preferred to delay till all the tribe should be present and asked till the 8th to collect their people, which was granted them.
On the 8th Sept. Gen. Lane with Capt. Smith's company of dragoons, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs and Agent Culver repaired to the council ground, where we met the chiefs and headmen of the tribe. The terms of a treaty of peace which had been proposed by General Lane on the field of battle on the 24 & 25 of August were fully agreed on, and on the following day signed by the respective parties, a copy of which is herewith transmitted. It is proper however here to state that before signing this it was fully understood that a treaty of purchase for the extinguishment of their title to the lands claimed by them should immediately follow the treaty of peace. And in accordance with this understanding we met in council on the 10th day of Sept. and agreed on the terms of purchase.
It was doubted whether according to an act approved Febry. 27th 1851 providing "that such officers and agents in the Indian Department as the President of the United States may designate shall hereafter hold treaties with the Indian tribes," we were warranted in assuming that power, as no person now engaged in the Indian Department in this Territory has been designated in accordance with this act. But the necessity of some immediate and permanent arrangement by which the citizens as well as the Indians could hope to be secured in the possession of life and property, demanded if not warranted by any existing statute, according to the great law of humanity, in consonance with which our government has ever professed to act in her intercourse with the Indians, an assumption of power somewhere to effect such an arrangement. It was believed that a treaty of peace, without extinguishing the Indian title to the country, would fail to restore and preserve it, as treaties of a similar nature had formerly been entered into with this tribe without any permanent good effect. Nothing short of the purchase of their entire country, and the assigning to them of a certain district for their temporary residence until a permanent home shall be provided for them in common with other tribes, could secure the desirable object. There is no doubt that the failure heretofore on the part of the agents of the government & others assuming to hold treaties with these Indians and other tribes to comply with the stipulations of such treaties has and will do much to destroy the confidence of the Indians in the faith of the government, and has exercised a powerful influence in causing the late difficulties. It is therefore of the utmost importance in order to restore that confidence and good faith by which alone we can hope to maintain friendly relations with the Indian tribes that these treaties be ratified and provisions made for carrying them into immediate effect.
The lands purchased of the Rogue River tribe according to the best information obtained includes about three thousand five hundred square miles--one third of which is well adapted to agricultural purposes and susceptible of a high degree of cultivation, and much of the remainder may be regarded as a pastoral country, but mountainous, abounding in numerous fertile valleys, heavy forests of valuable timber and nearly all rich in gold--being emphatically a gold region. There is little doubt that in some of the gulches near Jacksonville an amount of gold may be taken from 10 rods square sufficient to pay for the entire purchase. The consideration as you will observe for the entire purchase is $75,000, in the event of their removal from their present temporary reserve.
$15,000 of this sum is deducted to indemnify settlers & others for property destroyed by the Indians during the war and $1062.58 to pay claimants on the reserve for their improvements, a bill of appraisement being herewith transmitted, leaving $58,937.22 to be applied according to treaty stipulations for their use. I have not been able to ascertain accurately the number of persons comprising this tribe, but believe it to be about six hundred souls.
In addition to the above amt. granted by the treaty to the Indians, it is stipulated to build three cabins for the three principal chiefs, which will cost about $300 each. Goods were also purchased as presents amounting to $1,189.75/100, a portion of which have been distributed according to agreement.
Should this treaty be ratified by the President and Senate of the United States and observed by the whites, I have good reason to believe that it will be closely adhered to on the part of the Indians.
It may not be improper here to state that the Indians throughout this Superintendency so far as known are fully advised of the failure on the part of the government to fulfill the stipulations of treaties entered into by the commissioners and my predecessor in office, and as they are unable to comprehend the reasons for such noncompliance, they place but little confidence in the promises of the agents of the government.
The temporary reserve secured to the Rogue River Indians in the treaty embraces about 100 square miles, ten or twelve only of which being suitable for cultivation, and the remainder rough and mountainous. The lands around Table Rock upon the reserve abounds in the variety of roots used by these Indians for food, and the mountains are well stocked with wild game, while Rogue River on the west [sic] yields an abundance of salmon and other varieties of excellent fish. The reserve embraces the principal villages of the tribe, and has been occupied by them since their earliest existence as a tribe. The ease with which the greatest abundance of food can be obtained renders it a most desirable location for a people who depend so exclusively on spontaneous productions of nature for subsistence.
With great reluctance they consented to remove from this choice spot, but by explaining to them the great difficulty of maintaining peace between two people whose manners and customs, desires and feelings, are so dissimilar, residing in such intimate neighborhoods, and on being informed that if they desired it they would be furnished, as the treaty provided, with farming utensils such as teams, plows &c. and taught the use of them, and that they should be protected in all their rights from the encroachment of the whites and the invasion of other tribes of Indians, they finally consented, but the head chief expressed a hope that he might be allowed to occupy his old home the remaining days of his life, or till a spot should be found affording equal facilities for the subsistence of his people.
The treaty for the purchase of the country claimed by the Cow Creek band of the Umpqua Indians seemed to be demanded both as a matter of safety to this band and also as security for their good conduct. This band is [in] no ways formidable, consisting only of eighteen warriors, nineteen women and fifteen children. Nor are they warlike or unusually troublesome. But being in the vicinity of the Grave Creek band, who have ever been regarded as the inveterate foes of the whites, thefts, robberies and murders committed on travelers and recently on settlers in the vicinity of the Cow Creeks led many to believe them implicated in these acts, and this feeling was strengthened by the fact that their usual place of residence is along the road leading from the Willamette Valley to Rogue River and California, the principal scene of these atrocities.
The occurrences among the Rogue River Indians and Grave Creeks had so exasperated the whites that reckless persons traveling on this road often committed acts of violence against the Cow Creeks, robbing them of their guns & blankets and whipping them, and in one instance attacking the lodge of an aged Indian who bore an excellent character, whom they killed together with a squaw, at the same time firing several shots at a small boy who made good his retreat to the mountain.
Driven from their homes and continually exposed to similar acts of violence, as they were confounded with the guilty, they were justly much alarmed. In this agitated state of feeling between whites and Indians, the most effectual means of securing the safety of this band and maintaining peace appeared to be to purchase their country and set aside a small district for their temporary residence, a little out of the line of travel and near enough the settlements to secure them from marauding parties infesting that region.
They justly complained that the whites had driven them from their homes and deprived them of their usual means of subsistence, and said if anything was to be paid them as a remuneration for their losses it should be now when they were in need, that in a few years they would all be dead, then the price of their country could profit them nothing.
A treaty of purchase was accordingly agreed on, the tract to which the Indian title was extinguished containing about eight hundred square miles, nearly one half being an excellent farming country and the other portion mountainous, but of good soil, and well timbered. Gold is generally diffused, and at a few points mining has been successfully carried on.
The price of purchase is $12,000, the building of two cabins costing each about $200, and the fencing and plowing of a field of five acres, and the furnishing of proper seeds--all costing about $225.
No presents were made, but clothing and blankets were to be furnished immediately, the cost of purchase to be on account of first payment for their lands.
It is proper to state that all articles purchased for the Rogue River Indians and Cow Creek band are to be delivered on or near their respective reserves, the cost of transportation to be paid by the United States. This though not embodied in the treaties was fully understood by the parties.
Respectfully your obedient servantHonorable George W. Manypenny
Commissioner of Indian
NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 447-455.
My own observation in relation to the treaties which have been made in Oregon leads me to the conclusion that in most instances the Indians have not received a fair compensation for the rights which they have relinquished to the government. It is too often the case in such negotiations that the agents of the government are overanxious to drive a close bargain, and when an aggregate amount is mentioned it appears large, without taking into consideration that the Indians in the sale and surrender of their country are surrendering all their means of obtaining a living, and when the small annuities come to be divided throughout the tribe, it exhibits but a pitiful and meager sum for the supply of their individual wants. The Indians receive so little for the great surrender which they have made [and] begin to conclude that they have been defrauded; they become dissatisfied and finally resort to arms in the vain hope of regaining their lost rights, and the government spends millions in the prosecution of a war which might have been entirely avoided by a little more liberality in their dealings with a people who have no very correct notions of the value of money or property. A notable instance of this kind is exhibited in the treaty of September 10th 1853 with the Rogue River Indians. That tribe has diminished more than one-half in number since the execution of the treaty referred to. They, however, number at present nine hundred and nine souls. The country which they ceded embraces nearly the whole of the valuable portion of the Rogue River Valley, embracing a country unsurpassed in the fertility of its soil and value of its gold mines, and the compensation which those nine hundred and nine people now living receive for this valuable cession is "forty thousand dollars, in sixteen equal annual installments of two thousand five hundred dollars each," a fraction over two dollars and fifty cents per annum to the person, which is the entire means provided for their clothing and sustenance.
When those Indians look back to the valuable country which they have sold, abounding, as it does, with fish and game and rich gold fields, it is but natural that they should conclude that the $2.50 per annum was a poor compensation for the rights they relinquished. It is true that the government can congratulate itself upon the excellence of its bargains, while the millions of dollars subsequently spent in subduing those people has failed to convince them that they have been fairly dealt with.
Annual Report of Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs James W. Nesmith, September 1, 1857, NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 610 Oregon Superintendency 1857, frames 704-741.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER FROM GENERAL LANE
TO SENATOR NESMITH.
ROSEBURG, Monday, April 28, 1879.MY DEAR SIR: Your note of the 23rd instant, enclosing a copy of an article giving an account of our Council or Treaty with the Rogue River Indians on September 10, 1853, was received two or three days ago and would have been answered on receipt, had I not been too feeble to write. I am feeling quite well this morning, though my hand trembles. You will get this in a day or two, and the article will be published in the Star on Friday and will reach you on Saturday.
The article is written in your own free and easy style; Bancroft will doubtless be pleased with it; it will form a portion of his forthcoming book. Dates and incidents given in the article are in the main correct. You could, however, very truly have said that neither you nor myself had a single particle of fear of any treachery on the part of the Indians toward us, and the proof was they did not harm us.
We had at all times been ready to fight them, and to faithfully keep and maintain our good faith with them. We never once, on any occasion, lied to them, and as you know, when the great Indian war of 1855-6 broke out, and you were again in the field fighting them, poor old Jo was dead, and you, or some other commander, at old Sam's request, sent him and his people to the Grand Ronde Reservation.
Old John and Adam, and all others except Jo's and Sam's people, fought you hard, but the Rogues proper never forgot the impression we made upon them in the great Council of September 10, 1853. It was a grand and successful Council; the Rogue Rivers, proper, fought us no more; they did not forget their promises to us.
Very truly your friend and obedient servant,
JOSEPH LANE. .Oregon Historical Quarterly, June 1906, page 213
Colonel [John E.] Ross acted as interpreter, both at the preliminary arrangements for the treaty, and at the treaty itself, although J. W. Nesmith was the appointed interpreter by General Lane, and is so reported by him. The Indians, however, did not know Nesmith, and were acquainted with General Ross, and it was only through him that they would communicate what they had to say in relation to the treaty.
A. G. Walling, History of Southern Oregon, 1884, page 538-539
THE GOLD HILL LEAD.
SOME BITS OF HISTORY GRAPHICALLY TOLD BY A PIONEER.
To the editor of the Oregonian:
Gold Hill, Or., May, 19, '85.Some historical incidents connected with the once-famous Gold Hill mine, situated about two miles from this station, may not be uninteresting to your readers. One morning about 3 o'clock a.m., in the summer of 1853, Col. Wm. Martin, a pioneer of 1845, accompanied by a man named Barnes, rode to the residence of General Joseph Lane, in the Umpqua Valley, near the then-little village of Roseburg, and called out "hallo."
"What is wanted?" replied the general.
Said Col. Martin: "The Rogue River Indians have broken out and are murdering women and children, and we want you, General, to go to the rescue."
In twenty minutes the general was on his horse, along with Col. Martin and Barnes, riding rapidly toward the scene of hostilities. The general commanded every old pioneer whom he met to get their guns and pistols at once. The pioneers needed no persuasion; they had all of them surmounted many privations and dangers; they had good stuff in them; nor would they stand back when the lives of women and children were in jeopardy.
General Lane was soon in command of a volunteer force, together with a few regulars. Nor was he long in ascertaining the whereabouts of the Indians; he traced them to a little creek, now called Battle Creek, that empties into Evans Creek a few miles [above] the little town of Woodville. He effected a complete surprise upon the wily Indians. The first intimation the chief (old Sam) had of danger was a murderous fusillade poured into them by Lane's forces. The Indians, with remarkable self-possession, seized their guns and returned the fire. For awhile the battle waxed fierce and the bullets flew thick, but it was evident and apparent to old Sam that Lane's men were getting much the best of the fight, and his heart began to fail him. [Pleasant] Armstrong, as brave a man as ever breathed, fell, pierced through his noble heart. Gen. Lane was shot through the arm, from which the blood poured profusely. The old chief soon began to beg for quarter. Lane, however, was not inclined to listen to his gibberish. The volunteers, however, noticing that the general was pale and weak from the loss of blood, urged him to treat with the chief. He finally consented. Old Sam ordered the remainder of his warriors to cease firing. Many of his bravest ones had bitten the dust. The two leaders, Lane and Sam, walked out and seated themselves on a log for a pow-wow. Sam's daughter, a most beautiful young squaw, went with her father as a witness of her father's sincerity. A settlement was soon had, and the two chieftains agreed to meet at Table Rock at a given date to ratify the proceedings or agreement made that day. It was further stipulated that General Lane was to bring along a certain number of friends unarmed, and old Sam was to leave an equal number of warriors unarmed to bear witness to the ratification.
General Lane selected Colonel Nesmith, Judge Deady, Colonel Martin, Captain Mosher, Bob Metcalfe and a few others. Nesmith did not approve of the plan, and he accordingly said to the general that he did not propose to go unarmed to the place selected, for the Indians were treacherous, and he thought it was folly to place themselves at the mercy of the savages. "Very well," said the general, "if you are afraid to go you can remain in camp." This nettled Nesmith, who replied, "General Lane, I think I have as little fear as you or any man on the earth, and if you put it on that ground I will go."
When the day arrived Colonel Nesmith and General Lamerick, who was in command of the regulars, held a consultation. Lamerick shared Nesmith's views of the matter. He, too, feared treachery, and accordingly General Lamerick with field glasses went to a commanding mountain overlooking Table Rock, where he could observe the maneuvers of the Indians, who were strung along the ridge, a distance of two miles from Table Rock towards Sams Valley. Finding a shade under a large laurel tree, General Lamerick seated himself on a large quartz rock that stood up some three feet out of the ground, and with his field glasses he watched with great anxiety what was going on across the river. Your readers will soon see what the battle of Evans Creek and the war of '53 had to do with the Gold Hill quartz mine.
It is proper to say that Nesmith was right in his conjectures about the Indians. There was an attempt on the part of the savages to carry out their cowardly, murderous designs, and they were only prevented from doing so by the cool bravery of General Lane, who showed no fear of their treachery. The treaty was completed. And now I will turn to the discovery of the Gold Hill quartz mine. In September of 1859 Dan Fisher went out to kill a deer. He wandered about in the mountains until quite late in the evening; finally he came to a high mountain, and noticed a quartz ledge cropping out for a distance of forty or fifty feet. He merely glanced at it, for it was getting quite late. He, however, was somewhat impressed with its appearance, so much so that he concluded to carve his name on the laurel tree that spread its branches over the ledge, and intended to return in a short time and prospect the lead. However, he failed to go back; hence he missed a fortune. In January 1860, Uncle Tommy Chavner hired a young emigrant, direct from Iowa, to work for him on his ranch. The young man's name was Hayes. One morning Mr. Chavner directed the young man to go out and look after some horses that had strayed off. The young man, in wandering around in the mountains, sat down to rest near the top of a high mountain, and he noticed some beautiful quartz rock that lay scattered around. Upon picking up the pieces he noticed that they were literally covered with gold, and accordingly he filled his pockets and returned to Mr. Chavner's and showed him the specimens. Mr. C., with characteristic cunning, said: "Be quiet about his matter. Say nothing about it, and we will go out and look after this business. I will pay you well," said Uncle Tommy, "if you will show me the place where you found those specimens."
Hayes, however, by this time became excited and could not keep his secret. He sent some of the specimens to Jacksonville. The miners of Jacksonville became intensely excited, and the next day they racked out in every direction to hunt the place where the rich ore had been found. Old George Ish called out to Dan Fisher when he passed Willow Springs, where Fisher was working, "Why ain't you out, Dan, hunting that rich quartz lead?" Fisher replied that he believed he knew where the lead was, and he would tell him right where it was located provided he (Ish) would take him in as a partner. Ish promised he would do so. Mr. Fisher then directed him to the place, and told him that he would find D. F. Fisher's name carved on a large laurel tree that stood in a few feet of the lead.
Ish proceeded to the spot described by Fisher and found the famous ledge. There stood the laurel tree with Fisher's name cut on it. Uncle Tommy Chavner and the emigrants were by no means asleep; on the contrary, they were on the spot where young Hayes had found the specimens the day previous. Ish soon let Chavner know that he had found the lead. They at once located the mine. Chavner gave Hayes $5000 for his interest. The boy took the money and struck a beeline for Iowa.
About this time General Lamerick had occasion to visit southern Oregon on business connected with the army. On hearing the fabulous stories about the Gold Hill mine he concluded to visit the lead. General Lamerick was noted for his profanity. When he arrived at the mine he did some genuine swearing. Said he, "I sat right there on that h--l fired ledge in 1853, when General Lane was treating with old Sam. Little did I know that a fortune was within my grasp." He inquired if there was a laurel tree standing at a given place he pointed to. The miners replied there was; then the general did some more cursing. The unkindest cut of all was the fact that Dan Fisher's name was not included with the locators. Uncle Tommy Chavner got away with about $30,000. He is the only man now who can show any money from what was, as long as it lasted, the richest quartz lead ever discovered on this coast.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 5, 1885, page 1
Gen. Jos. Lane, who had been elected to Congress in June, was at his home in the Umpqua Valley when the news of the outbreak was received, and without delay he hastened with fifty volunteers to the scene of hostilities. Capt. Alden at once tendered him the command, which he accepted, and an aggressive movement immediately ordered. The scouts reported the Indians to have fallen back from Table Rock towards the headwaters of Evans Creek, burning the forest behind them to destroy their trail. Gen. Lane divided his command; the left wing consisting of Miller and Lamerick's companies under command of Col. John E. Ross were ordered to proceed up Evans Creek, while the right wing consisting of Goodall and Rhodes' companies, the Umpqua volunteers and Capt. Alden, under the command of Gen. Lane, moved up Trail Creek to a designated junction near the head of Evans Creek. Each command was ordered to follow the trail, when found, with all speed, and engage the enemy whenever met without waiting for the other command. On the morning of August 23 the troops left camp. The right wing soon struck the trail of the main body of the Indians and followed it all day over a very difficult country and encamped late in the evening. On the next morning it was found that the command was in close proximity with the Indian camp which was in a creek bottom in a dense forest thickly covered with underbrush. Gen. Lane ordered an attack at once. The Indians were taken by surprise, but rallied quickly and made a desperate fight. In the first charge Pleasant Armstrong of Yamhill County was instantly killed; Capt. Alden received a severe wound from a bullet that struck him near the shoulder and passed along his back, as he was in a stooping position, and the General received a ball in his right arm. Gen. Lane refused to leave the field, but pressed the assault on the center of the camp while Capt. Rhodes was crowding them on the flank. In a short time the Indians begged for peace and a truce was granted. A peace talk followed that resulted in an armistice of seven days, at the expiration of which time the Indians were to assemble near Table Rock, deliver up their arms and go upon a reservation. On the same evening the command of Col. Ross arrived on the battle field, having discovered the trail too late to participate in the engagement. The next day the troops returned to the ferry on Rogue River and went into camp to await the result of the negotiations. This was named Camp Alden, in honor of the gallant soldier who was so severely wounded and who, a short time after, died from its effects. [Alden survived.] During the armistice reinforcements arrived from various sources.
CAPTAIN J. W. NESMITH,with La Fayette Grover as lieutenant, led a company of fifty men as an escort to Lt. Kautz, who, with seven regular soldiers, had command of a howitzer and ammunition, Capt. A. J. Smith, with one company of the first dragoons from Port Orford, who had made the trip over a road which, before and since, was deemed impassable for mounted men, even without the additional obstruction of burning forests, and a company of volunteers from Crescent City under the command of Capt. Wm. Terry. The delay in camp was tedious and the cause of much anxiety to the general. Gen. Palmer, the superintendent of Indian affairs, who alone was authorized to make a permanent treaty, had not arrived, and the Indians were by no means unanimous on agreeing to the terms proposed by General Lane on the battlefield. The seven days passed and no Indians came to the treaty ground, making the situation still more critical, but at last an Indian messenger arrived in camp, fixing the date of the treaty on the 10th of September. The terms upon which it was to be held were that only ten unarmed whites should be present; the Indian chiefs were to be there with their arms and their warriors within convenient distance to support them, while Captain Smith and his company of dragoons should remain at the foot of the hill, nearly half a mile away. On the morning of the 10th the parties met at the place and upon the terms agreed upon. The white party consisted of Gen. Lane, Joel Palmer, Indian superintendent, Samuel Culver, Capt. A. J. Smith, First Dragoons, Capt. L. F. Mosher, adjutant to Gen. Lane, Col. John E. Ross, Capt. J. W. Nesmith, Lieut. A. V. Kautz, R. B. Metcalfe, J. D. Mason and T. T. Tierney. The Indian chiefs were in full force, with the exception of John and Tipsey, and were certainly a very formidable band without the addition of the armed warriors on the hill immediately above. The scene was a very striking one and will always be remembered by those who were present owing to a war speech by a chief which came near producing a Canby tragedy and which was only avoided by the coolness and decision of Gen. Lane and his power over the Indians. Col. Nesmith wrote a very graphic description of this event, a copy of which, I regret to say, it is not in my power to present this encampment. The treaty was, however, made and formally executed, and the war of 1853 was practically at an end. By the terms of the treaty, which is too lengthy to be given here, the Indians surrendered their arms and went on the Table Rock reservation temporarily, received $60,000 for their lands, to be paid in annuities, of which $15,000 was to be retained for damages committed by them, and they were to forfeit their annuities in case they again made war.
L. F. Mosher, "Indian Wars: Brief Sketch of the Various Conflicts with the Aborigines," Oregonian, Portland, July 8, 1886
Take, for example, the treaty with the Rogue River Indians in Southern Oregon. After the close of the Rogue River Indian war, on the 10th of September, 1853, Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Samuel H. Culver, Indian agent, under instructions from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, negotiated a treaty with the Indians, which turned out to be ineffectual, if not a fraud on the Indians, and a lasting disgrace to the American nation. It may be briefly summed up thus: By this treaty the Indians sold to the United States the whole of the beautiful valleys of Jump-off Joe Creek, Evans Creek, Stuart's Creek, Applegate Creek, Trail Creek, Little and Big Butte creeks, and Rogue River, and to the tops of the surrounding mountains, extending from east to west a distance of one hundred miles long, and from north to south a distance of fifty or sixty miles wide. It is larger than Vermont and New Hampshire combined. They sold the whole for the pitiful consideration of $60,000, and $15,000 of this was to be applied to the payment of the settlers for the destruction of their property during the war of 1853, and the balance, $45,000, to be paid the Indians in sixteen annual installments, and at the end of sixteen years there was to be $15,000 more paid in the three equal installments; and $1,500 was to be spent in erecting dwelling houses for the chiefs Joe, Sam and Jim; $5,000 was to be spent for blankets and agricultural implements for the use and benefit of the Indians. The first installment was to be paid on or before the 1st of September, 1854, and the three dwelling houses were to be finished and the blankets and agricultural implements were to be delivered to the Indians before the 1st of September, 1854.
Now, this was a very cheap bargain and sale, and the Indians expected and had good cause to believe the terms of this treaty would be faithfully executed by the United States.
The country they had ceded was large. It had, and still has, one of the finest climates in the world. These valleys, before the whites settled among the Indians, were gardens of fruits and flowers. They were truly the Indian's home and happy hunting grounds. Bunchgrass grew upon the sidehills, and at the base of the mountains and in the main prairies red-top clover and blue-joint grew large, tall and in great abundance. On the margins of the creeks and prairies wild gooseberries and plums abounded. Krausse [sic], a large white bulb, constituted the Indians' flour, and camas, another sweet bulb, resembling an onion, was his onion and sugar. The valleys and mountains had plenty of deer, elk and bear, and the branches, creeks and rivers were alive with trout and salmon. It was then producing, and still produces, wheat, rye, oats and barley, from 20 to 60 bushels to the acre. Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, apricots, almonds and the finest grapes in the world now grow in great abundance. Many of its creeks were yellow with pure virgin gold. No spot on the American continent surpasses it in quantity, quality and variety of its productions.
Joel Palmer and Samuel H. Culver, who negotiated this treaty, were backed and encouraged to do it by Gen. Joseph Lane, the Delegate from Oregon to Congress. Messrs. Palmer, Culver and Gen. Lane were all recommended to the Indians as good, truthful men, But, alas! when these poor, destitute Indians were induced to abandon these rich, productive valleys by vain promises of high officials of the government, they were doomed to disappointment. September, 1854, came, but no cabins nor houses had been built for the chiefs [A house was built for Chief Joe, at least, sometime before his death in November 1854.] , no agricultural implements, no money and no blankets had arrived [Blankets, "teams, provisions and farming implements" were furnished the agency for use on the reservation in April 1854.] to shield the Indians from the cold wintry blasts. The great chief of the "Bostons" had heard of them, but had failed and neglected to fulfill the treaty. September, 1855, came two years after this treaty, but five years from the first treaty and no house had been erected for either Sam, Jim or Joe, and scarcely a single promise made in this treaty had been fulfilled. Two years was too long for Indians to live on a small tract of land, guarded by an Indian agent and a company of dragoons under Gen. Andrew Jackson Smith and Lieut. (the late General) Hazen. They must need go into the valley in search of something to steal, fight or starve.
B. F. Dowell, The Heirs of George W. Harris, 1888, pages 10-12
After the memorable battle with the Rogue River Indians, on Evans Creek [in 1853], Captain [John F.] Miller, together with General Joseph Lane, Colonel Ross, interpreter Metcalfe and other volunteer captains, held a preliminary council with the Indians inside the enemy's lines. The meeting place was on a butte near Evans Creek. The whites were supposed to deposit their arms with a detachment of Indians. Captain Miller, suspicious of Indian treachery, crossed the line with a revolver secreted beneath his coat. At the council lodge the whites were assigned places, and the Indian chiefs were surrounded by their armed warriors. During the progress of the council Chief Limpy, less inclined to peace than the rest, delivered an impassioned appeal to his people against the whites. The effect on the Indians was perceptible, and, knowing Captain Miller was armed, one of his companions whispered to him, "Keep your eye on that d--n scoundrel!" General Lane had, however, taken the precaution to secure a son of Chief Jo as hostage, and the party came safely out of a trap similar to the one into which General Canby and his men were led and butchered by the Modocs 20 years later.
"John F. Miller," Oregonian, Portland, January 25, 1899, page 10
Table Rock is a flat-topped mountain overhanging Rogue River, in Southern Oregon. From this watchtower, sweeping the valley for miles, the Indians noted incoming immigrants and the movements of gold-seekers. Thus, with accurate knowledge of their strength and movements, the Indians could swoop down with unerring aim and annihilate whole encampments. They became expert robbers, bandits of as wild exploits as any ever celebrated in song or story. Strangers entering the lovely valley of the Rogue little imagined that picturesque peak of the Table Rock sheltered the deadliest foe of settlement and of civilization.
JO LANE AND THE INDIANS.
In the days of the gold rush, large companies passed in comparative safety, but many a straggler, many a group of three or four, went out never to return.
In the spring of 1850, Governor Jo Lane, the "Marion of the Mexican War," decided to go down and quiet those Indian banditti. With an escort of fifteen men, a pack-train bound for the mines, and a few friendly Klickitats--born foes of the Rogue Rivers--he made a descent on their country. Camping near some Indian villages, General Lane sent word to the principal chief, "I want a 'peace talk.' Come unarmed."
The chief and seventy-five followers came and sat in a ring on the grass around the hyas tyee ["great chief"] of the whites. Lane very flatteringly and with great ado brought the Indian chief into the center with himself. Just behind sat his Klickitat aides. Before the conference began, seventy-five more Indians appeared, fully armed. "Put down your arms and be seated," said Lane to the newcomers. They sat down. General Lane, the hero of many a battle, made a great peace talk. "I hear you have been murdering and robbing my people. It must stop. My people must pass through your country in safety. Our laws have been extended here. Obey them, and you can live in peace. The Great Father of Washington will buy your lands and pay you for them."
He paused for response. The Rogue River chief uttered a stentorian note. His Indians leaped to their feet with a war cry, brandishing their weapons. At a flash from the General's eye the Klickitats seized the chief. Motioning his men not to shoot, with utter fearlessness Lane walked into the midst of the warriors, knocking up their guns with his revolver. "Sit down," he sternly motioned. The astonished chief, with the Klickitat's knife before his eye, seconded the motion, and the savages grounded their arms. As if nothing had happened, Lane went on talking. "Now," he said, "go home. Return in two days in a friendly manner to another council. Your chief shall be my guest."
The crestfallen Indians withdrew, leaving their chief a prisoner with General Lane. At sunrise an anxious squaw came over the hills to find her lord. Jo Lane brought her in and treated her like a lady. For two days Lane talked with that savage chief and won his friendship. When the warriors came a treaty was easily concluded.
"And now bring the goods you stole from my people," said General Lane. The Indians bundled away and soon brought in whatever was left. But the treasures of a recent robbery were gone beyond retrieve. Ignorant of their value, the savages had emptied the precious sacks of gold dust into the river.
"What is the name of this great chief?" asked the Indians of the interpreter. The General himself answered, "Jo Lane."
''Give me your name,'' said the Indian chief. '' I have seen no man like you."
"I will give you half my name," said Lane. "You shall be called Jo. To your wife I give the name 'Sally,' and your daughter shall be called Mary."
General Lane wrote a word about the treaty on slips of paper and signed his name. Giving them to the Indians, he said, "Whenever any white man comes into your country, show him this. Take care of my people.''
As long as those precious bits of paper held together the Indians preserved them. Whenever a white man appeared they went to him, holding out the paper, saying rapidly the magic password, "Jo Lane, Jo Lane, Jo Lane"--the only English words they knew. For about a year Chief Jo tried to keep the peace with the ever-increasing flood of white men.
After a while, when all the other Indians around him were fighting, Chief Jo went again on the warpath. General Lane, no longer Governor, was building a home on his claim in the Umpqua Valley, near the present site of Roseburg, when he heard the news. Hastily gathering a small force, he hurried to the scene of hostility. For a hundred miles up and down the California trail the Indians were slaughtering and burning. Houses were destroyed and the woods were on fire, and a dense smoke hid the enemy's track.
As soon as Lane appeared he was put in command. They traced the Indians, and a great battle was fought at a creek near Table Rock. Chief Jo had been proudly defiant and boasted, "I have a thousand warriors. I can darken the sun with their arrows." But when he saw his warriors falling, and their women and children prisoners, the old chief's feathers dropped. He heard that Jo Lane had come, and sent for a "peace talk." "Jo Lane, Jo Lane," all the Indians began to call--"Jo Lane, Jo Lane"--from bush and hollow.
The General, wounded in the battle, and faint from the loss of blood, ordered a suspension of hostilities. Not wishing them to know that he was wounded, he threw a cloak over his shoulders to conceal his arm, and walked into the Indian camp. His men were amazed, and censured this rash exposure of his life. Par off, as soon as Chief Jo caught sight of Lane approaching, he cried his griefs across the river: ''The white men have come on horses in great numbers. They are taking our country. We are afraid to lie down to sleep, lest they come upon us. We are weary of war, and want peace.''
Lane sat down by his namesake, Chief Jo. "Our hearts are sick," said the despondent chief. "We will meet you at Table Rock in seven days," was the final conclusion, "and give up our arms." Lane agreed to this, and took with him the son of Chief Jo as a hostage.
During the armistice, reinforcements were arriving--among them a howitzer and muskets and ammunition-- in charge of young Lieutenant Kautz, of Fort Vancouver. Also, a guard of forty men, led by Captain Nesmith, from the Willamette Valley. General Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, came, and Judge Deady, who was on his way to Jacksonville to hold court.
The Indians heard of the howitzer long before it arrived. "Hyas rifle," they said; "it takes a hatful of powder, and will shoot down a tree.'' They begged that the great gun might not be fired. The reinforcements were wild to have a chance at those Indians whose campfires nightly shone from Table Rock, but General Lane held them to the armistice.
The day of the council arrived. In the language of Judge Deady, an eyewitness: ''The scene of the famous 'peace talk' between Joseph Lane and Indian Joseph--two men who had so lately met in mortal combat--was worthy of the pen of Sir Walter Scott and the pencil of Salvator Rosa. It was on a narrow bench of a long gently sloping hill lying over against the noted bluff called Table Rock. Lane was in fatigue dress, the arm which was wounded at Buena Vista in a sling, from a fresh wound received at Battle Creek. Indian Joseph, tall, grave and self-possessed, wore a long black robe over his ordinary dress. By his side sat Mary, his favorite child and faithful companion, then a comparatively handsome young woman, unstained by the vices of civilization. Around these sat on the grass Captain A. J. Smith, who had just arrived from Port Orford with his company of the First Dragoons; Captain Alvord, then engaged in the construction of a military road through the Umpqua Canon; and others. A short distance above, upon the hillside, were some hundreds of dusky warriors in fighting gear, reclining quietly on the ground. The day was beautiful. To the east of us rose abruptly Table Rock, and at its base stood Smith's dragoons, waiting anxiously, with hand on horse, the issue of this attempt to make peace without their aid.''
Captain Nesmith, on account of his knowledge of Chinook, was chosen interpreter. "But those Indians are rogues," interposed Nesmith. "It is not safe to go among them unarmed."
"I have promised to go into their camp without arms, and I shall keep my word," said Lane. Nevertheless, one man, Captain Miller, did keep a pistol concealed beneath his coat.
In the midst of the council a young Indian rushed panting in, made a short harangue, and threw himself upon the ground, exhausted. A band of white men, led by one lawless Owens, had that morning broken the armistice, and shot a young chief. Every Indian eye flashed; they began to uncover their guns.
In the face of that band of fierce and hostile savages, every white man thought his time had come, and whispered a prayer for wife and children. Some muttered words that were not prayers. Captain Smith leaned upon his saber and looked anxiously down upon his beautiful line of dragoons, sitting, with their white belts and burnished scabbards, like statues upon their horses in the sun below. And yet no word could reach them of that imminent peril on the mountain side.
General Lane sat with compressed lips on a log. Another and another Indian spoke, belaboring back and forth their anger. As if stopping the mouth of a volcano, General Lane stepped out, calling in a loud tone the Indian murmurs, "Owens is a bad man. He is not one of my soldiers. When we catch him he shall be punished. You shall be recompensed in blankets and clothing for the loss of your young chief.'' The red men caught the winning words. As Lane went on talking the excitement gradually subsided and the conference went on.
The treaty was concluded, the Indians ceding the whole of the Rogue River Valley and accepting a reservation at Table Rock. They were to give up their arms, except a few for hunting; to have an agent over them; and to be paid sixty thousand dollars by the government, to be expended in blankets, clothing, agricultural implements, and houses for chiefs.
When all was over the white men wended their way down the rocks. The bugle sounded, and the squadrons wheeled away. As General Lane and party rode across the valley they looked up and saw the rays of the setting sun gilding the summit of Table Rock.
Nesmith drew a long breath. "General, the next time you want to go unarmed into a hostile camp, you must hunt up somebody besides myself to act as your interpreter. ''
With a benignant smile General Lane responded, "God bless you, Nesmith; luck is better than science." Nevertheless, twenty years later, in just such a case, General Canby lost his life at the Modoc camp.
Wonderful to relate, in all the fierce and frightful Indian wars that followed, the treaty Indians of Table Rock forever kept the peace. When all other tribes around them were on the warpath, they alone remained quiet on their reservation.
Eva Emery Dye, Stories of Oregon, 1900, pages 163-173
United States Senator Nesmith, who met General Lane in San Francisco in February, 1849, and who was his fellow passenger on board the former East India brig Jannett, in speaking of General Lane, says . . . "I speak of [Joseph Lane's] dauntless courage by the light of the experience I had in standing by his side under the shadow of Table Rock in September, 1853, when our little party of 11 men, unarmed, and General Lane, badly wounded, were surrounded by 700 hostile and well-armed Indians, who threatened our lives in retaliation for the death of one of their tribe. But for the coolness and defiant courage of our commander, General Lane, I believe our little party would have furnished another illustration of the barbaric instinct of the Indians for the treacherous shedding of blood."
Judge Matthew P. Deady, in speaking of his friend General Lane, says: "On Sunday, September 10, 1853, I was present when the white chief General Joseph Lane and the Indian chief Joseph, the former with his arm in a sling and the latter in a blanket or toga that would have done honor to a Roman senator, met on the side of the mountain near Table Rock, in the presence of hundreds of Indians and of a few white men and agreed on terms of a treaty of peace. General Lane lived honestly and died poor. He was a man of more than ordinary ability. Generous, affable, brave, gallant and [a] lover of women, a friend of the helpless, we shall not soon look upon his like again."
Fred Lockley, "Oregon: In Early Days," Oregon Journal, Portland, February 20, 1915, page 4
Table Rock Anniversary
To the Editor: Recently I had occasion to walk over to the base of Table Rock. It was a pleasure walk out across the meadow.
I had taken a book from the fine Camp White library and carried it with me on this hike. I was alone--I wanted it that way--just with the book--titled The Empire Builders by Robert Ormond Case, published in 1949.
This afternoon I could visualize General Joseph Lane, and my grandfather, James W. Nesmith, parleying with the Rogue [River Indians at Table] Rock, September 10, 1853--just a few days over 100 years ago.
Upon this occasion there were 700 Indians--Rogues, Klamaths and Shastas--on the rock, a stronghold that seemed impregnable.
The scene was described in Robert Case's book--". . . a rocky slope, at the base of the perpendicular cliffs that comprised the face of the Table Rock. All that night the 250 white men could see the Rogue campfires at the base of the cliff, and 700 painted warriors doing their war dance by the leaping flames."
The next morning, September 10, 1853, General Lane and my grandfather with nine others ascended Table Rock--unarmed --to negotiate successfully with 700 armed Indians, while the soldiers, only 250 strong, deployed in the meadow from where today I am writing. The soldiers would have been of little assistance to the 11 men up on the rock with 700 Indians, had a riot occurred.
Mr. Case further describes the negotiations--"The white men scaled the barrier, and the armed Indians closed in about them, forming a compact circle. Two logs were in the center, and the principals sat down ceremoniously, Chief Joe and his right-hand men on one side and General Lane and his officers facing them."
The parley, which lasted for hours, resulted in the agreement that the Indians retire to the reservation and remain peaceable. They were to receive $40,000 in merchandise over a period of years--no rifles or ammunition--and the Rogues ceded 2500 square miles of the valley to the whites, forever.
So I am living at Camp White today within the scope of that 2500 square miles, and practically at the scene of that treaty-making that my grandfather assisted in securing for posterity.
Linn W. NesmithMedford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1953, page 4
Sergeant, Company 1
Camp White, Ore.
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Stipulations of a treaty of peace made and entered into by Joseph Lane, commanding forces of Oregon Territory, and Joe, principal chief of the Rogue River tribe of Indians, Sam, subordinate chief, and Jim, subordinate chief, on the part of the tribes under their jurisdiction.
Article 1st.A treaty of peace having this day been entered into between the above-named parties, whereby it is agreed that all the bands of Indians living within the following boundaries, to wit: commencing just below the mouth of Applegate Creek on Rogue River, thence to the highlands which divide Applegate from Althouse Creek, thence with said highlands southeasterly to the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains, thence easterly along said range to the Pilot Rock, thence northeasterly following the range of mountains to Mount Pitt, thence northerly to Rogue River, thence northwesterly to the headwaters of Jump-off Joe, thence down this stream to a point due north from the mouth of Applegate Creek, thence to the mouth of Applegate Creek, shall cease hostilities, and that all the property taken by them from the whites, in battle or otherwise, shall be given up either to Genl. Lane or the Indian agent. The chiefs further stipulate to maintain peace and promptly deliver up to the Indian agent for trial and punishment any one of their people who may in any way disturb the friendly relations this day entered into, by stealing property of any description or in any way interfering with the persons or property of the whites, and shall also be responsible for the amount of the property so destroyed . . .
Article 2nd.It is stipulated by the chiefs that all the different bands of Indians now residing in the territory above described shall hereafter reside in the place to be set apart for them.
Article 3rd.It is further stipulated that all firearms belonging to the Indians of the above-named bands shall be delivered to Gen. Lane, or to the agent for a fair consideration to be paid in blankets, clothing &c., except Joe, principal chief, seven guns for hunting purposes, Sam, subordinate chief, five guns, Jim, subordinate chief, five guns.
Article 4th.It is further stipulated that when their right to the above described country is purchased from the Indians by the United States, a portion of the purchase money shall be reserved to pay for the property of the whites destroyed by them during the war, not exceeding fifteen thousand dollars.
Article 5th.It is further stipulated that in case the above-named Indians shall hereafter make war upon the whites, they shall forfeit all right to the annuities or money to be paid for the right to their lands.
Article 6th.It is further stipulated that whenever any Indians shall enter the territory above described for the purpose of committing hostilities against the whites, the chiefs above named shall immediately give information to the agent and shall render such other assistance as may be in their power.
Article 7th.An agent shall reside near the above-named Indians to enforce the above stipulations, to whom all complaints of injuries to the Indians shall be made through their chiefs.
Signed this 8th day of September 1853.
Principal chief Joe, Aps-er-ka-har
Subordinate chief Sam, To-qua-he-ar
Subordinate chief Jim, Ana-chah-a-rah
C. B. Gray )The above stipulations of treaty were entered into and signed by the respective parties in my presence, and with my approval.
R. B. Metcalfe ) Interpreters
T. T. Tierney, Sec.
Joel PalmerNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 28, Records of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Records Pertaining to Relations with the Indians. Copies can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 279-281 and frames 460-463.
Supt. Indian Affairs
Stipulations of a Treaty made and entered into at Table Rock near Rogue River in the Territory of Oregon this 10th day of September A. D. 1853 by and between Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Samuel H. Culver, Indian agent, on the part of the United States; and Jo, Aps-er-ka-har--principal chief, Sam, To-qua-he-or and Jim Ana-chah-a-rah subordinate chiefs and others, headmen of the bands of the Rogue River tribe of Indians, on the part of said tribe.
Article 1stThe Rogue River tribe of Indians do hereby cede and relinquish for the considerations hereinafter specified to the United States all their right, title, interest and claim, to all the lands lying in that part of the Territory of Oregon, and bounded by lines designated as follows; to wit:
Commencing at a point one mile below the mouth of Applegate Creek on the south side of Rogue River; running thence southerly to the highlands dividing the waters of Applegate Creek from those of Althouse Creek, thence along said highlands to the summit of the Siskiyou Range of mountains; thence easterly to Pilot Rock; thence northeasterly to the summit of the Cascade Range; thence northerly along the said Cascade Range to Pitts Peak, continuing northerly to Rogue River; thence westerly to the headwaters of Jump-off Joe Creek; thence down said creek to the intersection of the same with a line due north from the place of beginning thence to the place of beginning.
Article 2ndIt is agreed on the part of the United States that the aforesaid tribe shall be allowed to occupy temporarily that portion of the above described tract of territory bounded as follows to wit: Commencing on the north side of Rogue River at the mouth of Evans Creek, thence up said creek to the upper end of a small prairie bearing in a northwesterly direction from Table Mountain or Upper Table Rock, thence through the gap to the south side of the cliff of the said mountain, thence in a line to Rogue River, striking the southern base of Lower Table Rock, thence down said river to the place of beginning. It being understood that this described tract of land shall be deemed and considered an Indian reserve until a suitable selection shall be made by the direction of the President of the United States for their permanent residence and buildings erected thereon, and provisions made for their removal.
Article 3rdFor and in consideration of the cession and relinquishment contained in Article 1st the United States agree to pay to the aforesaid tribe the sum of sixty thousand dollars, fifteen thousand of which sum to be retained (according to the stipulations of Article 4th of a treaty of peace made and entered into on the 8th day of September 1853 between Genl. Jo. Lane, commanding forces of Oregon Territory, and Jo, principal chief, and Sam and Jim, subordinate chiefs on the part of the Rogue River tribe of Indians), by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs to pay for the property of the whites destroyed by them during the late war, the amount of property so destroyed to be estimated by three disinterested commissioners to be appointed by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs or otherwise as the President may direct, five thousand dollars to be expended in the purchase of agricultural implements, blankets, clothing and such other goods as may be deemed by the Superintendent or agent most conducive to the comfort and necessities of said tribe on or before the 1st day of September 1854, and for the payment of such permanent improvements as may have been made by land claimants on the aforesaid reserve, the value of which to be ascertained by three persons appointed by the said Superintendent. The remaining forty thousand dollars to be paid in sixteen equal, annual installments of two thousand five hundred dollars each (commencing on or about the 1st day of September 1854), in blankets, clothing, farming utensils, stock and such other articles as may be deemed most conducive to the interests of said tribe.
Article 4thIt is further agreed that there shall be erected at the expense of the United States, one dwelling house for each of the three principal chiefs of the aforesaid tribe, the cost of which shall not exceed five hundred dollars each, the aforesaid building to be erected as soon after the ratification of this treaty as possible, and when the tribe may be removed to another reserve, buildings and other improvements shall be made on such reserve of equal value to those which may be relinquished, and upon such removal in addition to the before mentioned sixty thousand the United States agree to pay the further sum of fifteen thousand dollars in five equal annual installments commencing at the expiration of the before named installments.
Article 5thThe said tribe of Indians further agree to give safe conduct to all persons who may be authorized to pass through their reserve, and to protect in their person and property all agents or other persons sent by the United States to reside among them; they further agree not to molest or interrupt any white person passing through their reserve.
Article 6thThat the friendship which is now established between the United States and the Rogue River tribe of Indians shall not be interrupted by the misconduct of Individuals, it is hereby agreed that for injuries done by individuals no private revenge or retaliation shall take place but instead thereof complaint shall be made by the party injured to the Indian agent, and it shall be the duty of the chiefs of the said tribe that upon complaint being made as aforesaid to deliver up the person or persons against whom the complaint is made, to the end that he or they may be punished agreeably to the laws of the United States, and in like manner if any violation, robbery or murder shall be committed on any Indian or Indians belonging to said tribe, the person or persons so offending shall be tried, and if found guilty shall be punished according to the laws of the United States, and it is agreed that the chiefs of the said tribe shall to the utmost of their power exert themselves to recover horses or other property which has or may be stolen or taken from any citizen or citizens of the United States by any individuals of said tribe and the property so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the Indian agent or other person authorized to receive the same that it may be restored to the proper owner, and the United States hereby guarantee to any Indian or Indians of said tribe a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may be stolen from them by any citizen of the United States, provided that the property stolen or taken cannot be recovered and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen or taken by a citizen of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the said tribe engage on the requisition or demand of the President of the United States, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, or Indian agent, to deliver up any white person or persons resident among them.
Article 7thThis treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same shall have been ratified by the President of the United States by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
In testimony whereof the said Joel Palmer and Samuel H. Culver on the part of the United States, and the chiefs and headmen of the Rogue River Indians aforesaid have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year aforesaid.
Signed in the presence of
Joel PalmerNARA Series M2, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 28, Records of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Records Pertaining to Relations with the Indians. A copy can be found on NARA Series M234, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, Reel 608 Oregon Superintendency 1853-1855, frames 464-470. This treaty was amended on April 12, 1854.
Superintendent Indian Affairs
Samuel H. Culver
J. W. Nesmith )
R. B. Metcalfe ) Interpreters
J. D. Mason )
T. T. Tierney ) Secretaries
Joseph Lane )
August V. Kautz ) Witnesses
Amendment to Treaty with Rogue River Tribe of IndiansWe, the undersigned principal chief, subordinate chiefs and headmen of the bands of the Rogue River tribe of Indians, parties to the treaty concluded at Table Rock near Rogue River in the Territory of Oregon on the 10th day of September A.D. 1853, having had fully explained to us the amendment made to the same by the Senate of the United States on the 12th day of April 1854 which is in the following words, viz:
AmendmentMicrocopy of Records in the National Archives No. 2, Reel 28, Records of the Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Records Pertaining to Relations with the Indians.
And the following as a new Article:
"It is agreed between the United States and the Rogue River tribe of Indians that should it at any time hereafter be considered by the United States as a proper policy to establish farms among and for the benefit of said Indians, it shall be discretionary with the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to change the annuities herein provided for, or any part thereof, into a fund for that purpose.
"Change Article 7th to Article 8th"--do hereby accept and consent to the said amendment to the treaty aforesaid, and agree that the same shall be considered as a part thereof.
In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals this [blank] day of [blank] A.D. 1854.
Executed in presence of
Last revised May 28, 2017