EARLY INDIAN WARS
FROM THE OREGON ARCHIVES AND OTHER ORIGINAL SOURCES
FRANCES FULLER VICTOR
FRANK C. BAKER, STATE PRINTER
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1894 by
FRANCES FULLER VICTOR,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 22.
Introduced by Hon. Wm. Armstrong.
Whereas the early history of the territory of Oregon is in a chaotic state as regards the early pioneers, those noble men and women who braved the perils and sufferings incident to a long and tedious journey over the then trackless and uninhabited desert; and whereas there still remains a full and varied record of the heroic deeds of those brave men and noble women, in the office of the secretary of state, the compilation, tabulation, and publication of which would redound to the honor of this patriotic people, worthy of adorning the brightest page of American history, and thereby transmit to posterity the fortitude and sacrifices of the men who saved this state to the United States,—a state that today is the brightest gem in the galaxy of our glorious constellation; and whereas many of those early pioneers have passed that bourne from whence no traveler returns, and Time has laid his heavy hand on the hoary heads of those that remain, let us join with them in erecting to their memory a monument that will stand in the solitude of time, beneath whose shadow nations may crumble, and around whose summit generations yet unborn may linger, by the publication of those records, now resting in oblivion, in the archives of the state; therefore be it
Resolved, That the secretary of state be and he is hereby instructed to cause to be compiled, tabulated, and published, as far as is possible from the material in his possession, a complete record of the early Indian wars of Oregon, including the wars of 1855 and 1856, and a brief sketch of the pioneer history preceding such wars and connected therewith, and that he be instructed to expend not to exceed the sum of fifteen hundred dollars out of any moneys not otherwise appropriated, for the compilation and tabulation of such historical record, and such other information as will preserve the names and incidents connected with the Indian wars of Oregon; such historical work to be compiled under his direction.
Be it further resolved, That the unexpended balance, if any, shall be returned to the state treasury. The secretary of state is hereby appointed custodian of such book when published, and he is hereby authorized and directed to sell such book at the actual cost of compilation and publication, and to report to the legislative assembly of 1893 the amount of money received by him as the proceeds of such sales. The secretary of state is further instructed to compile statements showing services of the soldiers of the Indian wars of Oregon, and to publish the same in pamphlet form for distribution among the veterans of said wars.
Adopted by the house, February 18, 1891.
T. T. GEER,
Speaker of the House.
Concurred in by the senate, February 19, 1891.
President of the Senate.
Having been entrusted by the legislature of Oregon with the duty of recording the history of the early wars of the white race with the Indians of the northwest, it appeared to me eminently proper to set forth the causes in detail which led to those race conflicts. In doing this I have endeavored to "nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice," but rather to give a philosophical view of the events recorded. This is the more important because fiction and sentimentalism on one hand, and vengeful hatred on the other, have perverted the truth of history.
The Indian is a wild man; it would only be a fact of evolution to call him a wild animal on his way to be a man, provided the proper environments were furnished him. While the instincts and perceptions are acute, the ethical part of him is undeveloped, and his exhibitions of a moral nature are whimsical and without motive. Brought into contact with white men, whether of the lowest or of the highest, he is always at a disadvantage which is irritating, and subject to temptations which are dangerous. On the other hand, the white man is subject to the more subtle temptation to abuse his superiority for selfish purposes; he being in selfishness often but little, if at all, removed from the wild man.
One point to be brought out in these pages is the accountability of the government in our Indian wars, and its indebtedness to the pioneers of every part of the country: first, in inviting settlement, and then in not properly protecting settlers. The policy of the government for a hundred years has been to throw out a vanguard of immigration, and when these had fallen victims to savage cupidity or hatred, to follow with a tardy army and "punish" what it should have prevented. The Spaniards did better than this, for they sent a garrison out with every colony and "reduced" the native population with comparatively little bloodshed.
If this record of the first ten years of Indian warfare in Oregon presents this subject fairly to the reader, it will have achieved the purpose for which it was written.
Salem, July 30, 1893.
THE CAYUSE WAR.
Policy of the United States Regarding the Pacific Coast—Temper of the People—Congress Seeking Information—Early Fur-Trading Expeditions—Effect of Congressional Inquiry on the Public Mind—Floyd's Schemes for the Settlement of Oregon—Petitions to Congress to Pass a Bill to Occupy the Columbia Region—Troubles of Joint Occupation—Indian Call for Teachers—Mission Effort, and its Result in the Wallamet Valley—Hostility of the Mission Colony to the British Occupants—Secret Aid from the Government—Hudson's Bay Company Introduce Settlers—United States Naval Expedition—First Actual Settlers from the United States—Elijah White's Immigration—First Conflicts Between the Indians and Americans in Western Oregon—Jedediah Smith and John Turner—Black, Gay, Bailey—A Rogue River Indian Shot—Lee and Hines' Visit to the Umpquas—The Dalles Indians—The Clatsops—Puget Sound Tribes—Conclusions Drawn from the Foregoing
Presbyterian Missions in Oregon—Dr. Whitman—H. H. Spalding—A. B. Smith—W. H. Gray, Cornelius Rogers—Dr. Parker's Mission to Oregon—Heroic Women—Characteristics of the Flatheads, Cayuses, Walla Wallas, and Nez Perces—Bonneville's Present from a Cayuse—Their Religious Observances—Taught by Pambrun—Missionaries Unable to Understand the Indians—Their Demands—Spalding's Troubles—The Fate of Hat—Attitude of Ellis—Efforts at Agriculture—Mrs. Spalding—Chemekane Mission—Catholic Influence—Blanchet and Demers—The Root of the Troubles with the Indians—Cayuses Assault Dr. Whitman—Assistants Refuse to Remain at the Mission—Gray's Indiscretion—Troubles of Spalding—Demands of the Home Board—Order to Discontinue Waiilatpu and Lapwai Missions—Arrival of White's Immigrant Party—Whitman's Plans, and His Sudden Journey East—Oregon Affairs in Congress—Whitman's Bill, and What it Asked For—The Failure of His Mission to the East—Conclusions
Dr. White Called to the Cayuse Country—Disturbances Among the Indians—Personnel of the Party—White's Policy—Council with Nez Perces—Speeches of White, McKinlay, Rogers, and McKay—Replies of Five Crows, Bloody Chief—Dr. White's Code—Its Acceptance—Election of a High Chief—Advice to the Nez Perces—Spalding's Report—Talk of the Cayuses—A Council Appointed—Return of White to The Dalles—Trouble at Clatsop—Fresh Alarms in the Spring of 1843—Brewer's Letter—White's Embarrassment—Memorial Against Dr. McLoughlin—How he Repaid the Memorialists—Complaints of The Dalles Indians—White Proceeds to Waiilatpu—Effect of His Visit—The Cayuses Show Him Their Farms—White Goes to Lapwai—Nez Perces Received Into the Church—Joseph Welcomes Ellis—Effect on Their Guests—Lawyer—The Nez Perces Accompany White to Waiilatpu—Grand Reception—Council—Speeches of the Chiefs—Laws Accepted—White Returns to The Dalles to Teach the Indians—Mrs. Whitman Leaves Waiilatpu
Two Important Events—White's Caution to the Immigrants—Pilots of 1843—Indians Troublesome—Trading for Cattle—The Dalles Mission Abandoned—Misbehavior of Chief Cockstock—The Affairs at Oregon City—Cockstock and Two Americans Killed—Hunger and Thieving in the Wallamet Valley—The Oregon Rangers and Their Exploits—The Indian Cattle Company—Killing of Elijah Hedding—Alarm in Oregon—White's Departure for Washington—Peu-peu-mox-mox in California in 1846—New Indian Agent—Immigration of 1845—Road Making—Politics and the Southern Route—Immigration of 1846—Treatment of the Indians by the Colonists—Immigration of 1847—Neglect of Oregon by the Government—Threats of Independence—Apprehensions—The Blow Falls
Causes of the Cayuse Hostilities—Dr. Whitman Warned—Immigration of 1847—Americans at Waiilatpu—Arrival of Catholic Priests—Whitman's Fears—Sickness Among the Indians—Whitman and Spalding at Umatilla—The Massacre at Waiilatpu—Death of Dr. and Mrs. Whitman and Seven Others—Escapes, and Captives—Rev. J. B. A. Brouillet—Escape of Mr. Spalding—Canfield Reaches Lapwai—Courage of Mrs. Spalding—Conduct of the Nez Perces—Spalding's Letter to Brouillet—A Council Held at the Catholic Mission—Indian Manifesto—Ogden's Arrival at Fort Walla Walla—Another Council—Ransom Paid for the Captives—Anxiety of Ogden—Departure for Vancouver—Horrors of the Captivity—Suspicions and Mistakes of Captives—Subsequent Controversies—Ogden Delivers the Released Americans to Governor Abernethy—Endless Discussion of Causes—The Real Cause
The Legislature of 1847–8—Recepit of the News of the Massacre at Waiilatpu—Letter of McBean—Letter of James Douglas—Message of Governor Abernethy—Condition of the Treasury of the Provisional Government—Efforts to Procure the Means to Put Troops in the Field—The Hudson's Bay Company Decline to Furnish Money—Commissioners Borrow a Small Amount on the Faith of the Oregon Government—The Legislature Authorizes the Raising and Equipping of a Regiment of Riflemen—Officers Appointed—A Messenger Dispatched to Washington, and Another to California—Failure of the Latter
Election of Army Officers by the Legislature—Appointment by the Governor of a Peace Commission—Its Object—The Sale of Firearms to the Indians Prohibited—Attitude of the Settlers Towards the Indians—Feeling Towards the Hudson's Bay Company—Complaint Against Ogden—Attitude of The Dalles Indians—Fort Gilliam—First Skirmish With the Enemy—Condition of Public Sentiment—Colonel Gilliam's Hostility to the Fur Company—Letter of James Douglas—Reply of Governor Abernethy—Departure for the Seat of War—General Orders—The Commissary-General and Peace Commissioner at Fort Gilliam—Arrival at The Dalles—Gilliam Displeased—Orders the Army Forward—The Cayuses Attack, and Oppose the Crossing of the Umatilla—Arrival at Waiilatpu—Avoidance of the Indians by the Commander—Departure of Meek's Party for Washington—A Council Held With the Indians—Battle of the Touchet—Death of Gilliam—Promotion of Lee to the Command of the Army
Abernethy's Letter to Gilliam—Condition of the Army—Appeal of Maxon—Efforts of the Women of Oregon City—Compact of Fifteen Young Ladies—The Governor's Proclamation—Lee's Appeal—More Companies Raised—Difficulty of Sending Men to the Front Without Money—Applegate's Letter to Palmer—Letter to Lee—Affairs at The Dalles—En Route to Fort Waters—Condition of Commissary Stores—Indians More Friendly—Lee Finds the Regiment Improved, and Resigns His Commission—Accepts Another—Instructions of the Governor to the Superintendent of Indian Affairs—Overtures of the Yakimas and Other Tribes—Lee's Charge to Them—Fruitless Pursuit of the Cayuses—Agreement With the Nez Perces—Offer of a Reward for the Capture of the Cayuses—Results of the Campaign—Cayuse Lands Confiscated—Withdrawal of Army—Forts Waters and Lee Held Until September—Army Discharged—Lee's Resignation and Explanation—Suspected Priests—Fourth of July at Fort Waters—Raids in the Wallamet Valley
Correspondence of Abernethy with United States Officers and Others Concerning the Condition of Oregon—Letters to Shubrick—Letter of Governor Mason to Abernethy—Abernethy to Mason—Ogden to Abernethy, One and Two—Abernethy to Ogden—Abernethy to Hardie—Reply of Hardie—Abernethy to President Polk—Appointment of Pickett Indian Agent—United States Commissioner at Hawaii Receives a Letter—Munitions of War Arrive After Peace is Restored—Gold Discovered—Messenger Meek Reaches Washington, and the Territorial Act is Passed—Lane Appointed Governor and Meek Marshal—Indian Trouble on the Sound—Arrival of the Massachusetts with Two Artillery Companies—Sub-Indian Agent Services of Dr. Tolmie—The Mounted Rifle Regiment—Desertion of Men—Surrender, Trial, and Execution of the Murderers—Faithful Discharge of Duty by the Regimental and Accounting Officers of the Provisional Government—Reports of the Loan Commissioners, Adjutant-General, and Commissary and Quartermaster-General—Settlement of the Cyuse War Debt
ROGUE RIVER WARS.
Rascalities of the Rogue-river Indians—Lane's First Effort to Treat With Them—Naming a Chief—Appointment of an Indian Commission to Make Treaties—Extravagant Expenditure—Dart Made Superintendent—Outrages by Snake Indians—Causes—Troubles With the Rogue-river Indians—The Murder of Dilley—Travelers Attacked—Kearney's Skirmish, and Death of Captain Stuart—Volunteering—Lane Appears Again—Kearney's Final Battle—Indian Prisoners Delivered to Governor Gaines—The Port Orford Settlement Attacked—Massacre on the Coquille—Escape of T'Vault and Others—Troops and Indian Agents—Gaines and Skinner—Colonel Casey's Operations—Arrival of Fresh Troops—Camp Castaway—Renewal of Troubles in the Rouge-river Valley—Elisha Steele and Agent Skinner—Fight at Big Bar—Treaty Made With Chief Sam—Neglect of the Federal Government—Murders by the Modocs—McDermit's and Ben Wright's Campaign—Expedition of John E. Ross—Punishment of the Modocs
Weakness of Treaty Obligations—Renewal of Hostilities in Rogue-river Valley—Absence of Authorized Agents—The August Outbreak—Petition to the Commander of Fort Jones—Aid from Fort Vancouver, and a Volunteer Company from the Wallamet—Alden Takes Command—Volunteers from Yreka Join the Regulars—Forces Organized—Skirmish on Evans' Creek, and Death of Lieutenant Ely with Six Men—Lane Appears on the Scene—Is Offered the Command—Takes It—Alden and Lane Wounded—Cessation of Hostilities—Arrangements for a Treaty—Its Terms—The Indians go Upon a Reservation, with S. H. Culver, Agent—Troubles with the Coquilles—Their Punishment by Volunteers—The Murders of the Year—Attitude of General Wool Towards Civilians—The "Expedition to Fight the Immigrants"—The Ward Massacre—Haller's Expedition to Boise—Curry's Action—The Proclamation Withdrawn
Small Military Force of the Pacific—Affairs of the Indian Superintendency—The Treaty of Walla Walla—Conduct of Chiefs at the Council—Speech of Cayuse Head Chief—The Influence of Lawyer—The Opposition of Kamiakin—The Treaty Signed—Renewal of Troubles in Southern Oregon—Murders—Volunteer Companies and Regulars Disagree—Troubles on the Coquille—Murder of Travelers in Rogue-river and Umpqua Valleys—The Lupton Affair—The Massacres of October Ninth—Death of Mrs. Wagoner—Bravery of Mrs. Harris—Arming of the People—Hostilities General—The Ninth Regiment—The Battle of Skull Bar—More Murders—Guarding Roads and Settlements—Battle of Hungry Hill—Conduct of Indian Affairs by the Superintendent—The Governor Calls for Volunteers—Ninth Regiment Disbanded—Northern and Southern Battalions—Consolidation Into the Second Regiment of Oregon Mounted Volunteers—Regulars Assist the Territorial Forces—Attempt to Capture "The Meadows"—Fight of Alcorn on Little Butte Creek—The Fight of Rice on Rogue River—Battle of "The Cabins"—Fight on Applegate Creek by Bruce, O'Neal, and Alcorn—The Thankless Service—The Northern Companies Discharged—Recruits Called For
Troubles in Wright's Sub-Agency—The Coquille Guards—Their Operations in Coquille District—Letter of Captain Packwood to Governor Curry—Poland's Gold Beach Company—The Massacre of February Twenty-third—Killing of Wright and Poland—Long Siege of Those who Escaped—Loss of a Party of Rescuers from Port Orford—Fears of a Famine—Timely Arrival of Regular Troops Under Colonel Buchanan—Organization of Minute Men—Abbott's Company Attacked—Indifference of the Regular Troops to their Sufferings—Petition of Jackson County to General Wool—His Attitude Towards the Civil Authorities—Re-organization of the Second Regiment—Extract from the Writings of J. M. Sutton—Extracts from the Reports of Captains O'Neil, Bushey, Buoy, George, Sheffield, Wallen, Creighton, Harris, and Colonel Kelsey—Attack on The Meadows—The Indians Dislodged—Plans of the United States Officers for Peace—A Fight and a Council—John Determined to Continue Hostilities—Smith Attacked Near The Meadows—The Battle and Relief—Movements of Volunteers—Surrender of the Indians—They are Taken to the Coast Reservation—Discomfort and Discontent—Military Establishment—Final Close of Indian Wars in Southwestern Oregon—Present Condition of the Indians
THE YAKIMA WAR.
Extent of the Hostile Conferation in Oregon and Washington—The Yakimas Murder Miners—Death of Bolan—Kamiakin's Confession to a Spy—The Preparations for War—Acting Governor Mason of Washington Territory Makes a Requisition Upon the United States Forts—Major Haller is Ordered Into the Yakima Country—His Battle and Defeat—Comments of General Wool—Re-enforcements and Volunteers are Called For—Action of Governor Curry—A Regiment Called Out by Proclamation—Major Rains' Campaign—Kamiakin's Letter—Rains' Reply—Wool's Remarks on Rains' Campaign—Indifference of the Regular Army to the Peril of Governor Stevens—Olney's Futile Attempt to Prevent the Walla Wallas and Cayuses joining Kamiakin—His Order to the Settlers—Raymond's Letter to the Volunteer Commander—Fort Walla Walla Destroyed With all its Contents—Curry's View of His Duty—Organization of the First Regiment of Oregon Mounted Volunteers—Occupation of Walla Walla Valley by Oregon Forces—The Battle of Walla Walla—Killing of Peu-peu-mox-mox—Indignities Inflicted on His Body—End of Four Days' Fighting—The Indians Retire—Losses on Both Sides—Fort Bennett Erected—Safe Arrival of Governor Stevens at the Fort—His Course With the Cœur d'Alenes, Spokanes, Nez Perces—Looking Glass Treacherous—Successful Councils—Resignation of Nesmith—Thomas Cornelius is Chosen Colonel—The Regiment Recruited—Hard Fare—Fight With the Yakimas—Loss of Mounts—Regimented Disbanded—A Battalion of Oregon Rangers Organized
Arrival of Colonel Wright with Ninth Infantry—Posts Garrisoned—Importance of the Cascades—Error of General Wool—Attack on the Cascades by the Yakimas—The Long Siege of Bradford's Store—Appearance of the Troops—Volunteers and Regulars from Vancouver and Portland—Sheridan's Plight—Steptoe's Error—List of Killed and Wounded—Trial and Punishment of the Cascade Indians—Wright's Campaign in the Yakima Country, and Its Results—Course of Governor Stevens—Washington Volunteers Take the Place of the Disbanded Oregon Mounted Volunteer Regiment—Letter of Indian Agent Craig—Battle of Grand Rond—Effect of Shaw's Policy—Stevens' Remarks Upon the Policy of Colonel Wright—Fort Walla Walla Established—The Oregon and Washington Superintendencies United—General Wool Recalled, and General Newman S. Clarke Succeeds Him—Slight Changes at First—Steptoe's Disastrous March—Clarke and Wright at Last Aroused—Wright's Campaign—Battle of Four Lakes—The Troops Victorious and the Indians Subdued—Kamiakin's Flight—Wright's Heroic Treatment of the Indian Question When the Army the Hurt