Guide to the Cayuse, Yakima, and Rogue River Wars Papers
1847-1858

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Overview of the Collection

Title: Cayuse, Yakima, and Rogue River Wars papers
Dates: 1847-1858 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet (1 container)
Collection Number: Bx 047
Summary: The Cayuse War (1847-1855), the Rogue River War (ca. 1855-1857) and the Yakima War (1856-1858) all resulted in losses for the Oregon and Washington Indians. Many tribal members succumbed to either military attack or disease, and most of the remaining population were sent to live on reservations. Additionally, a great deal of tribal land was taken by the U.S. government in the aftermath of these wars. The Cayuse, Yakima and Rogue River Wars Papers include letters, official reports, general orders, petitions, and miscellaneous papers relating to Indian wars in Oregon and Washington. Among the correspondents are: George Abernethy, Jesse Applegate, William Craig, Alanson Hinman, Berryman Jennings, H. J. G. Maxon, Robert Newell, Joel Palmer, John Mix Stanley, Elkanah Walker, and Ralph Wilcox.
Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon, 97403-1299
(541) 346-3068
spcarref@uoregon.edu

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

The Cayuse War:

After years of simmering tensions between white settlers and Indians, a small band of Cayuse warriors killed 14 whites and held 53 others captive in the Whitman Massacre of November 29, 1847 (so called because the targets were the Whitmans, a missionary couple living among the Cayuse). A large band of self-organized white settlers marched through Cayuse territory and demanded the surrender of the warriors responsible for the massacre. Some Cayuse continued to raid settlements, and US troops and militiamen from the Oregon territory were called in to suppress them. Skirmishes continued through 1855, when the Cayuse were defeated. They had lost much of their population to both the war and to diseases brought by the white settlers. Most of their tribal lands were taken, and the surviving Cayuse were sent to live on the Umatilla reservation.

The Rogue River War:

Throughout the 1850s Governor Stevens of the Washington Territory clashed with the US Army over Indian policy: Stevens wanted to displace Indians and take their land, but the army opposed land grabs. White settlers in the Rogue River area began to attack Indian villages, and Captain Smith, commandant of Fort Lane, often interposed his men between the Indians and the settlers. In October 1855, he took Indian women and children into the fort for their own safety; but a mob of settlers raided their village, killing 27 Indians. The Indians killed 27 settlers expecting to settle the score, but the settlers continued to attack Indian camps through the winter. On May 27, 1856 Captain Smith arranged the surrender of the Indians to the US Army, but the Indians attacked the soldiers instead. The commander fought the Indians until reinforcements arrived the next day; the Indians retreated. A month later they surrendered and were sent to reservations.

The Yakima War:

Although the Yakima had signed a treaty with the United States ceding their lands and agreeing to be placed on a single, large reservation, some tribes people joined forces under Yakima chief Kamaikan and fought with U.S. troops with some success from 1856 through 1858. Skirmishes continued until the Battle of Four Lakes (near Spokane, Washington) in September 1858, at which the Indians were defeated. Kamaiakan fled to Canada, but 24 other chiefs were captured and executed. Remaining Yakima tribe members were placed on a reservation.

Content Description

The Cayuse, Yakima and Rogue River Wars Papers include letters, official reports, general orders, petitions, and miscellaneous papers relating to Indian wars in Oregon and Washington. The documents are arranged chronologically. Among the correspondents are: George Abernethy, Jesse Applegate, William Craig, Alanson Hinman, Berryman Jennings, H. J. G. Maxon, Robert Newell, Joel Palmer, John Mix Stanley, Elkanah Walker, and Ralph Wilcox.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Cayuse, Yakima and Rogue River Wars Papers, Bx 047, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Alternative Forms Available :  

Collection is available on microfilm.

Administrative Information


Detailed Description of the Collection

Box
Folder
1 1 Alanson Hinman to George Abernethy
Letter written from Fort Vancouver
Describes how he left The Dalles for Fort Vancouver for medicine, and heard, en route, of the Whitman massacre. Hears a party of Indians has started for Spaulding's mission, and for The Dalles. Is sure Abernethy will send men to relieve him, and Spaulding. Knows God will protect him, but wants some small force sent immediately
3 leaves
November 4, 1847
1 2 James Douglas to George Abernethy
Letter written from Fort Vancouver
Sends particulars of destruction of missionary settlement at Wai-ilatpoo, and death of Marcus Whitman. Reports Mr. Ogden leaving for Walla Walla with strong party against the Indians, and suggests that measures be taken to protect Rev. Spaulding at Clearwater.
3 leaves, handwritten copy
December 7, 1847
1 2 Jesse Applegate (and others) to James Douglas
Letter written from Fort Vancouver
Says they (Applegate, A.L. Lovejoy, George Curry) have been asked to raise money to pay for Cayuse war. Asks Hudson's Bay Co. for help, assuring him that United State government will stand back of any war claims that might arise. [Note appended states that Douglas was obliged to refuse advance of money under proposed terms, but on security of governor and two commissioners advanced enough to equip 1st Co. of Oregon Riflemen]
4 leaves, handwritten copy
Dec. 11, 1847
1 2 George Abernethy to the Commissioners appointed to treat with the Nez Perces and other tribes
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Instructs them in their duties to avert a general Indian war, and prevent union of the tribes in the upper country. Says murderers of Whitman must be given up, property returned. Suggests they confer with army in, the field regarding proper peace moves, and make necessary treaties with responsible Indian chiefs.
3 leaves, handwritten copy
Feb. 3, 1848
1 2 Albert E. Wilson to George Abernethy
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Transmits reports of amounts due to the various companies of the lst regiment of Oregon Rifleman. [Two reports appended.]
7 leaves, handwritten copy
Dec. 1, 1848
1 2 Asa L. Lovejoy to Oregon Legislature
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Gives report of Adjutant General on the Cayuse war.
6 leaves, handwritten copy
Dec.?, 1848
1 2 Jesse Applegate to the Oregon Legislature
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Gives report of Commission to obtain loan for Cayuse war operations. [Jesse Applegate, A.L. Lovejoy, and Gecrge L. Curry.]
4 leaves, handwritten copy
Dec.? 1848
1 2 Joseph Lane to Oregon Legislature
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Has information that Indian murderers of Wallace are now confined at Steilacoom, Lewis county. Believes that trial and punishment of the Indians among their people will have good effect, and asks immediate passage of act attaching Lewis County to 1st Judicial district, and authorize holding of special term of district court there next October.
1 leaf
Sept. 12, 1849
1 2 Jesse Applegate [and others] to The Merchants and Citizens of Oregon
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Calls on merchants and citizens of Oregon to support the war against the Cayuse Indians, both as a measure of patriotic duty, and a means of self-defense.
5 leaves, handwritten copy
Dec. 13, 1847
1 3 George Abernethy to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Fort Vancouver, Oregon
Orders him, with company of Oregon Riflemen, to proceed to the Dallas on the Columbia and occupy mission station there, Orders him not to molest Indians, but keep them at distance, and take from them only that property stolen from the whites. [General orders No. l]
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Dec. 11, 1847
1 3 George Abernethy to Cornelius Gilliam
Letter written from The Dalles, Oregon
Has had word from Major Lee of skirmish with small party of Indians. Orders Gilliam to scour Deschutes river country if he has reason to think hostiles are there. Cautions him to be careful to distinguish between friendly and hostile Indians. Says the nine pounder has been sent to the Cascades. Reports companies being formed, and will be sent as ready.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Jan. 29, 1848
1 3 George Abernethy to Cornelius Gilliam
Letter written from The Dalles, Oregon
Gives him power to act as situation requires. Asks him to stay at The Dalles to wait for companies being formed, and for commission being sent to Indians. Lists terms under which Indians may have peace.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Jan. 29, 1848
1 3 George Abernethy to Cornelius Gilliam
Letter written from The Dalles, Oregon
Has appointed Major Henry Lee and Robert Newell to act with Joel Palmer as peace commissioners. They are to confer with field officers before acting. Suggests he march to Waiilatpu, and erect a fort.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Feb. 3, 1848
1 3 George Abernathy to Cornelius Gilliam
Letter written from Waiilatpu
Acknowledges receipt of Gilliam's letter of Feb. 29. Regrets casualties among his men, but hopes the determined resistance will bring the Indians to peace, and prevent them from uniting against the whites. Has made no further requisitions for men, there being no money to pay them. Believes legislature will have to lay direct property tax, unless war ends now.
2 leaves, handwritten copy
March 17, 1848
1 3 George Abernethy to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Refers him to instructions given peace commissioners and superintendent of Indian affairs, and Col. Gilliam. Says if the murderers are scattered, to make peace on the premise that the chiefs will be responsible for safety of emigrants. Suggests that if the murderers have gone to Salt Lake, they might be followed by a few men.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
April 18, 1848
1 3 George Abernethy to James Waters
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Acknowledges letter of may 14, and is pleased to believe the Indian war is about over. Is sending his commission As colonel of the regiment. Asks him to meet with superintendent of Indian affairs concerning number of men needed in the upper country. Suggests composition and disposition of the regiment. Comments on lack of funds; will call legislature to session if necessary.
2 leaves, handwritten copy
June 15, 1848
1 3 George Abernethy to A.T. Rogers
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Suggests disposition of troops remaining after Volunteers are dismissed. Hopes The Dalles can be garrisoned, and that troops will yet arrive from the states.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Sept. 8, 1848
1 4 George Abernethy to Richard B. Mason
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Sends papers explaining present Indian situation. Says Oregon legislature has drawn up memorial to congress, to be sent expeditiously by Joseph L. Meek, via California. Asks that Meeks journey be hastened. Hopes that war vessel may be sent to help, and has addressed letter to Commodore Shubrick, which he asks to be laid before him.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Dec. 28, 1847
1 4 George Abernethy to Richard B. Mason
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Sends duplicate of letter of Dec. 28, 1847. Informs him that Joseph Meek has gone east via Fort Hall. Is sending another messenger with this letter in hopes of getting a sloop of war sent to Oregon. Asks for what field pieces can be spared. Hopes to avert general Indian war.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Jan. 26, 1848
1 4 George Abernethy to Richard B. Mason
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Sends letters of Dec. 28, 1847, and Jan. 6, 1848, with copy of Spectator. Hopes that the commission will be able to detach various tribes from Cayuses. Asks that letter to the Commodore be forwarded immediately, and that copy of memorial to congress be forwarded.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
March 11, 1848
1 4 George Abernethy to Edward O.C. Ord
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Acknowledges receipt of ordnance and ordnance stores per Brig Henry.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Sept. 16, 1848
1 4 George Abernethy to Edward O.C. Ord
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Acknowledges receipt of ordnance and ordnance stores per Brig Henry.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Sept. 16, 1848
1 4 George Abernethy to Edward O.C. Ord
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Acknowledges receipt of ordnance and ordnance stores per Brig Henry.
1 leaf, handwritten copy
Sept. 16, 1848
1 4 George Abernethy to Richard B. Mason
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Has received ordnance, and has stored them in Oregon City against the day they need to be used. Is pleased to report cessation of Indian troubles in upper country. Fears later outbreak of tribes, particularly considering the exodus of Oregon males for California mines. Expects not less than 3,000 to leave Oregon.
3 leaves, handwritten copy
Sept. 18, 1848
1 5 George Abernethy to Henry A.G.Lee
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Hears Joe Meek leaves for the states via the Columbia river, and sends this by him. Has heard all buildings at The Dalles destroyed, and property removed. Informs him of his election as Major of the regiment, with Gilliam Colonel, and Waters Lt. Col. Says 500 men are to be called, and Gilliam will start when two companies are mustered. Regrets absence of accurate news.
3 leaves
Dec. 30, 1847
1 6 Ralph Wilcox to Asa L. Lovejoy
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Sends list of officers and privates of 1st Company, 1st Regt., Oregon Riflemen, as of Feb. 6, and report of operations since arrival at Wascopam. Gives details of casualties. Has sold the property obtained from the enemy, because of the difficulty of keeping it safe. Says Meek is in a "hell of a stew" since hearing that the express was dispatched to the states. Has comforted Meek by saying he will make the best show, even if the express beats him.
4 leaves
Feb. 7, 1848
1 7 Joel Palmer [and others] to William McBean
Letter written from Camp on John Day River
Describes object of commission to treat with friendly Indians, and composition of expedition sent against the Cayuses. Asks that McBean inform the command of the disposition of the Nez Perces and other friendly Indians, and try to arrange a council at Walla Walla. [Signed by Joel Palmer, Robert Newell, H.A.G. Lee.]
2 leaves
Feb. 19, 1848
1 8 Asa L. Lovejoy to [whom it may concern]
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Asks safe passage to bearer, Indian, John, a Spokane, who wishes to return to his own country.
1 leaf
Feb. 22, 1848
1 9 H.J.G. Maxon to Asa L. Lovejoy
Letter written from Fort Lee
Lists three deserters, and asked they be sent back to save them from disgrace. Reports 190 men at Ft. Lee, and 160 at Ft. Waters. Hears Indians expect to get away without giving up stolen property, and suggests that a copy of the treaty be supplied the army. Expects to stay in the army as long as necessary, even if he has to live on horse meat. Complains about lack of ammunition. Hears war is getting unpopular, and asks who dares raise his voice against this just cause. Asks that ammunition be hurried to him.
2 leaves
March 1, 1848
1 10 Robert Newell to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Champoeg, Oregon
Acknowledges his letter, and regrets he did not know of his appointment sooner, so he could come to Willamette Falls. Agrees with Lee that the Indians have the best of the fighting up to now, and that Lee's job will be a hard one. Believes Lee will succeed, and says he told several of the Indians that Lee would be in command soon. Regrets Joel Palmer's resignation, because it makes the whites appear changeable to the Indians. Has seen McKay, and says he is going back to upper country, and so are others. Says they have no reason to go but for love of their country. Regrets difficult position of the half-breeds. Says McLoughlin thinks well of Lee, and he hopes Lee will see him. Reminds Lee that McLoughlin's support is worth 200 men in the field. Says he cannot leave his family to go to the upper country himself.
4 leaves
April 12, 1848
1 11 [Joel Palmer and others?] to George Abernethy
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Gives report of activities of the Commissioners appointed to visit the several Indian tribes east of the Cascade mountains. [Incomplete]
4 leaves
March 25, 1848
1 12 Peace treaty with Nez Perces
Treaty concluded at Waiilatpu
Treaty of peace between the Americans and Nez Perces concluded at Waiilatpu by Joel Palmer, Robert Newell and H.A.G. Lee, commissioners on the part of the Oregon government, and Chiefs of the Nez Perces, this day of March A.D. 1848. [Note Appended: “Per prof. Stern: written by Palmer rather than Newell. 9/4/87”]
2 leaves
March 7,1848
1 13 [Unknown] to [George L. Curry]
Letter written from [Unknown]
[fragment] Describes activities of peace commission, interception by the Cayuses of message sent to the Nez Perces. Sends him latest news from the army for the Oregon Press, which he understands is about to be published.
2 leaves
[April 1848]
1 14 Leven N. English [to whom it may concern]
Letter written from Wascopam
Certifies that F.M. Munkers has 20-day furlough to accompany N.G. McDonald home to Willamette.
1 leaf
March 29, 1848
1 15 William Craig to Joel Palmer
Letter written from Whitman Station
Complains of difficult situation of friendly Indians, their stock being taken by the whites, and their trouble getting powder and shot. Reports whereabouts of Cayuse, Walla Walla and Nez Perces, and probability of another fight.
2 leaves
April 4, 1848
1 16 S. H. Goodhue to Joel Palmer
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Asks him to make final big effort to get the people in the Willamette Valley to support the war, at least to the extent of sending ammunition. Says appointment. of H.A.G. Lee has given general satisfaction, and that troops leave tomorrow to relieve Col. Waters. Gives news of Indian movements.
2 leaves
April 8, 1848
1 17 H.J.G. Maxon to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Reports forces from Ft. Waters four miles from Wascopam, and that the Wascopam forces mill be ready to leave in the morning - some by persuasion. Will relieve Col. Waters. Is pleased to serve under Lee. Would like to see Dr. Wilcox in the field again. Pleads for ammunition.
2 leaves
April 8, 1848
1 18 John Mix Stanley to Robert Newell
Letter written from Fort Vancouver
Thanks him for letter with particulars of the "Klamett Butchery." Regrets the wanton attack, and fears Indians will retaliate indiscriminately. Congratulates him on his speech as member of Commission. Suggests much could be accomplished by holding council with the Indians in the settlements, and by appointment of a sympathetic agent. Wonders how the Indians in the upper country will react to death of Col. Gilliam. Says his portrait of Ogden is progressing well, and is the best thing he has done in Oregon so far.. Has had visit from Major Hardie and Woodworth. Would not be surprised if Major Hardie returned for recruits to occupy some of the southern ports. Hopes the troops can be supplied with some of the percussion muskets, as their long range would be very effective. Says court is meeting today, with no cases of importance.
3 leaves
April 9, 1848
1 19 M. B. Otey to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Describes stolen watch, which he believes may be in the possession of one of the men in the army. Asks help in finding it.
1 leaf
April 17, 1848
1 20 J. M. Garrison to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Upper Willamette
Regrets he cannot arrange matters so as to leave his family, and asks that new captain be elected in his place. Will not be able to leave until at least the middle of May. Reminds Lee that the men of the seventh company were promised leave to return in time to harvest their crops.
1 leaf
April 17, 1848
1 21 William Craig to Joel Palmer
Letter written from Whitmans Station
Reports on condition and disposition of the upper country tribes, and says no tribes are joining the Cayuse against the whites. Complains that the soldiers are taking, without compensation, the horses of the friendly Indians. Adds postscript that he is leaving because of the row about horses.
2 leaves
April 19, 1848
1 22 Berryman Jennings to Joel Palmer
Letter written from Wascopam
Reports measures taken to replace saddles: Says regiment is out of flour. Reports various transactions with Indians. Hears rumor of troops arriving from the states.
2 leaves
April 29, 1848
1 23 John B.A. Brouillet to Joel Palmer
Letter written from Oregon City, Oregon
Thanks Palmer and other commissioners for assistance during journey.
1 leaf
March 24, 1848
1 24 William Craig to Joel Palmer
Letter written from Whitmans Station
Reports Nez Perces pleased with treaty, and wishing to have a new head chief appointed among them. Reports no danger they will join the Cayuses.
2 leaves
May 2, 1848
1 25 [Berryman Jennings] to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Reports McKay's men unable to get through mountains because of snow, and that they doubt Palmer will get through for same reason. Says McKay believes 30 or 40 days will pass before cattle can get through.
1 leaf
May 5, 1848
1 26 H.J.G. Maxon to Asa L. Lovejoy
Letter written from Fort Waters
Has arrived in eight days from The Dalles, without serious mishaps. Says Indians avoided a fight. Says 100 Nez Perces are at Wascopam, some of them willing to fight on the side of the troops. Blames failures of campaign on the commander. Has written his wife description of last battle, and refers him to that letter in case he should be killed. Believes Gilliam's reputation should not be protected. Feels able and willing to meet any number of Indians.
4 leaves
May 5, 1848
1 27 Berryman Jennings to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Reports Capt. Martin failed to get through on the Barlow road, and that McKay's men have returned, and got through on the old trail north of Mt. Hood. Believes Palmer also got through on that route. Expects second boat of provisions shortly.
1 leaf
May 9, 1848
1 28 Elkanah Walker to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Fort Colville
Concurs in communications between Lee and Myron Eells. Regret his own illness prevented direct participation. Has been given shelter by the Chief Factor at Ft. Colville, and reports Indians not hostile. Has used what influence he could to prevent the Spokanes from union with the Cayuses. Is uncertain as to the future of the mission station, but hopes to be able to continue among the Indians.
4 leaves
May 16, 1848
1 29 Berryman Jennings to Joel Palmer and Asa L. Lovejoy
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Has had nothing but "native intelligence" on the moves of Col. Lee. Says the Indian Sklo is offering horses in lieu of cattle stolen from emigrants. Has given McKay a paper attesting his friendship for Americans, and fears other Indians will want the same. Regrets difficulty of dealing with Indians via the Jargon. Remarks on the problem of who is to be head chief.
2 leaves
May 17, 1848
1 30 Henry A.G. Lee to Robert W. Morrison
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Places him in charge of Ft. Wascopam, and the forces in it. Lists his duties and responsibilities. ["Special order."]
2 leaves
[May? 1848]
1 31 Christopher Taylor to Joel Palmer
Letter written from Fort Wascopam
Finds things quiet at Wascopam. Reports arrival of 112 head of cattle. Suggests flour shipments be investigated, the barrels being adulterated with bran and shorts. Believes that the governor is ignorant of the fact, though the flour comes from his mill. Says Hudson's Bay Co. flour is satisfactory. Lists supplies sent to Ft. Waters. Leaves for Vancouver for stationery and supplies. Says Kennings is anxious for Indian trade material to be sent, and that Jennings is laboring under great difficulty, without proper forms and instructions. Lists persons to whom tobacco was issued, 15 plugs each. Asks for election returns. Complains of fleas and lice.
3 leaves
June 2, 1848
1 32 "Petitioners" to George Abernethy
Oregon Territory, Place Unknown
Petition to Gov. George Abernethy to call the Oregon legislature into session to deal with problems of the Indian war, particularly the levying of taxes, and organization of militia of the Territory.
1 leaf
1848
1 33 Perrin B. Whitman to Henry A.G. Lee
Letter written from Fort Waters
Describes 4th of July celebration at Ft. Waters. Has news that Nez Perces and Snakes are at the point of war. Hears that remains of two Indians, supposed to be the companions of Lewis, were found on Boise River.
1 leaf
July 4, 1848
1 34 John P. Gaines to Edward Hamilton
Letter written from Jesse Applegate's home, Umpqua
Has been at Applegates two days, organizing party to go with him to Rogue River, and will leave tomorrow. Has heard that Major Kearney has fought Indians near Table Rock. Is pleased to have evidence of Kearney's determination. Will join Kearney soon.
2 leaves
June 24, 1851
1 35 H.J.G. Maxon to [whom to may concern]
Place Unknown
Attests that Indian Thomas was employed during Cayuse war to collect stolen property, and take care of stock, that one of Thomas' cows was killed, and he was promised another American now. [Note by Berryman Jennings is added to the effect that Thomas rendered much valuable courier service from The Dalles to Vancouver]
1 leaf
April 26, 1852
1 36 G. H. Abbott to [George L. Curry]
Letter written from Port Orford
Reports details of attack by party of Volunteers on Indian villages near the mouth of the Coquille River, on Jan. 28, and of subsequent peace negotiations.
6 leaves
February 2, 1854
1 37 George L. Curry to W.A. Cason
Letter written from Salem, Oregon Territory
Orders him to stop enrollment of volunteers for expedition to Snake country. Says the military at Ft. Vancouver refuses to cooperate, and he cannot, therefore, be assured of making 'an effective campaign before winter.’
1 leaf, handwritten copy
September 22, 1854
1 38 George L. Curry to President Franklin Pierce
Letter written from Salem, O.T.
Informs him of massacre of party of immigrants near Ft. Boise on Aug. 20 by band of Snake Indians, and his subsequent attempts to send out Volunteers, with cooperation of U.S. troops. Complains of lack of cooperation by the Commander at Ft. Vancouver. Suggests that either a military post be established near Ft. Boise, or that the troops now at Vancouver and The Dalles patrol the emigrant trails during the open season. Believes present garrison at Vancouver entirely unsuited to Indian warfare.
4 leaves, handwritten copy
September 25, 1854
1 39 Joel Palmer to [Special agent for Indian tribes in Eastern Oregon]
Letter written from Dayton, O.T.
Orders him to inquire into condition, attitude, number, and state of Indians in Eastern Oregon, particularly the Snakes, to cooperate with the military in location and punishment of guilty Indians, to protect Indians from cupidity of whites, to enquire into relations between Indians and Hudson's Bay men at Fort Boise, and to examine the country.
5 leaves, handwritten copy
September 28, 1854
1 40 G.J. Rains to Ed. D. Townsend
Letter written from Fort Dalles, O.T.
Troops investigated site of massacre near Fort Boise, buried bodies. Discovered the Sawyers, an immigrant family, in the area and brought them to the fort. Asks what to do with Artillery Company that is soon to arrive at the fort, as quarters are limited.
3 leaves, typewritten copy
October 20, 1854
1 41 Joel Palmer to George L. Curry
Letter written from Dayton, O.T.
Suggests that the law prohibiting sale of arms and ammunition to Indians ought to be repealed so far as Indians west of the Cascades are concerned. Gives reasons.
2 leaves, handwritten copy
January 12, 1855
1 42 G. W. Vaughn [and others] to George L. Curry
Letter written from Portland, O.T.
Calls his attention to reports of serious Indian outbreaks on the Columbia, and measures taken to prepare for defense. Urges him to take proper, prompt action. [Petition with 15 Signatures]
2 leaves
October 2, 1855
1 43 Gabriel J. Rains to Robert Newell
Letter written from Camp Yakima
Asks his assistance in raising a company of a hundred or more men from the Canadians and half-breeds of French Prairie, mounted and equipped for service. Asks him to bring the company to the Dallas as quickly as possible for use against the Yakimas.
1 leaf
October 22, 1855
1 44 Mark A. Chinn to James K. Kelly
Letter written from Fort on Umatilla
Reports on activities of his two companies from Nov. 9. Finds his force too small to attack the Indians at Walla Walla. Has erected fort to serve as supply base, and awaits developments. Asks for supplies.
5 leaves
November 21, 1855
1 45 James K. Kelly to William N. Farrar
Letter written from Camp on Walla Walla River
Describes two-day running battle with Indians along the Walla Walla river. Needs ammunition and supplies. Says Peu Peu Mox Mox was killed, trying to escape. Appends list of killed and wounded.
4 leaves
December 8, 1855
1 46 Narcisse Raymond to John Noble
Letter written from Pashresh
Says she saved the property belonging to him, and buried it in a cache, safe from Indians, but rifled by Volunteers. Comments on the robbing and stock-killing habits of the Volunteers
2 leaves
December 22, 1855
1 47 E. Steele to C. S. Drew
Letter written from Hermitage, Scotts Valley, O.T.
Gives his recollections of the history of northern California and Southern Oregon, with particular emphasis on the relations between Indians and whites, 1850-1854.
24 leaves
November 15, 1857
1 48 Narcisse Raymond to John Noble
Letter written from Mission Claim
Says he cannot gather his stock, and keep it safe because of the marauding Volunteers. Says the only thing safe now are his three dogs, and that she is in as much danger from the Volunteers as she was from the Indians. Asks him to use his influence at headquarters.
2 leaves, handwritten copy
January 13, 1856
1 49 Laban Buoy to John K. Lamerick
Letter written from Fort Martingdale, O.T.
Acknowledges receipt of order to go to Coos Bay. Describes chase of band of Indians on March 24, 3 killed, several wounded. Hopes to be able to obey Lamerick's order soon.
4 leaves
March 24, 1856
1 50 G.G. Blevans to John K. Lamerick
Letter written from Camp on Ten Mile
Complains of lack of blankets, clothing, food, and other. supplies. Asks what is the matter with the commissary. Reports scouts finding some Indian sign. Says captain has resigned, and gives list of new officers.
1 leaf
April 14,1856
1 51 A. M. Roseborough to C.S. Drew
Letter written from Yreka, California
Gives information concerning evidence of a combined outbreak of the Indians of the Pacific coast against the whites in the year 1854.
4 leaves, handwritten copy
November 23, 1857
1 52 Joel Palmer to B. F. Dowell
Letter written from Dayton, O.T.
Gives history of Indian depredations along southern route into Oregon. Agrees that Capt. Walker's expedition in 1854 did much to promote safe conduct of emigrants along that route.
3 leaves
December 17, 1857
1 53 Ralf Bledsoe to John K. Lamerick
Letter written from the mouth of the Rogue River
Gives report of activities of Co. K., 2d Regiment, Oregon Mounted Volunteers for February 23, 1856
6 leaves
June, 1856
1 54 Thomas Van Pelt to John K. Lamerick
Letter written from Crescent City, California
Lists recant Indian depredations in mountains between Port Orford and Crescent City. Offers to raise company of men to clean out all Indians, if he is appointed officer. Says his style of Indian fighting is successful, and his treaties with Indians permanent.
4 leaves
July 15, 1856
1 55 Robert E. Buchanan to the Adjutant-General
Place unknown
“Extract of a letter of Col. Robert E. Buchanan to the Adjutant-General, concerning measures taken to secure the safe keeping of the Indians recently removed by me from Southern Oregon to the 'Coast Reservation.'"
3 leaves, handwritten copy
September 1, 1856
1 56 Report of the Committee on military affairs
Place unknown
Report of the Committee on military affairs concerning the number, date, places and names of persons killed by Oregon Indians and their allies in times of peace, and those killed in times of war by Indians supposed to be friendly. [signed by Nathaniel Fords]
9 leaves
February 3, 1858
1 57 Unidentified man to his brother
Letter written from Lauderdale Town
Acknowledges receipt of brother’s letter. In response to brother’s inquiry, includes a description of several slave children. Expresses uncertainty as to whether he will remain in Lauderdale, because the local economy has collapsed and he wishes to go to a cotton state to make a living. Is sure that his brother’s affairs can be settled in 6 months.
2 leaves
November 5th, 1842
1 58 [Joel Palmer?] to “Fellow Citizens”
Place unknown
Urges citizens of Oregon to provide supplies for the army in the field, especially powder and lead. Mentions recent legislation to increase funding for troops, but fears that it will not be enough without support from common citizenry. Says few tribes have joined the rebels as yet, but many would do so if soldiers were not in a position to intimidate them. [Perhaps response to April 8, 1848, Goodhue to Palmer]
3 leaves
[April, 1848?]
1 59 Anonymous “Dreamer” to Editor of the Oregon Spectator
Letter written from [place]
Describes a “dream” of the night before in which he observed a buffoonish orator, probably Jesse Quinn Thornton, give a 4th of July address in which he plagiarized wholesale from famous speeches. Author had decided to allow the pitiful man to bask in the praise of the ignorant crowd when he awoke.
6 leaves
Date unknown
1 60 Abram Fleet [and others] to George L. Curry
Place unknown
Committee reports to Governor Curry that settlements along the Rogue River in Josephine County suffered depredations from hostile Indians last July, with valuable property stolen. Reminds the Governor of rich mineral resources in the area, and petitions him to protect the lives and property of local settlers.
3 leaves
Date unknown
1 61 Benjamin Reynolds [and others] to George L. Curry
Place unknown
Petition from landowners on 15 Mile Creek complaining that soldiers under Major Armstrong have stolen guns and stock from local farmers and harassed whites and friendly Indians alike. Request that a new officer be sent who can better control the men.
2 leaves
Date unknown
1 62 Unnamed settlers to The Citizens of the United States
Letter written from [Oregon City, O.T.?]
An address to all citizens concerning the advantages and disadvantages of Oregon. Advantages are good soil and moderate climate, disadvantages are lack of commerce and infrastructure. Some advise given on best way to travel to Oregon.
2 leaves
Date unknown
1 63 Henry Stenton to Hugh O’Neil
Place unknown
Details of engagement with Indians on March 23 in vicinity of Illinois Valley. Two men killed. Many horses wounded and much equipment lost.
2 leaves
March, 1856
1 64 Unknown to “Master Goodhue”
Place unknown
Suggests that Goodhue first secure Teloquait’s horses and cattle, and then his person. Suggests Indian guides who could take him to Teloquait. Mentions that Mr. Starter took articles without anyone’s knowledge. Finally, suggests that Indian named Patatis can tell him where the murderers are.
1 leaf
Date unknown
1 65 [fragment] “Duties of leaders of men”
Place unknown
Briefly details general responsibilities of a military officer.
1 leaf
Date unknown

Subjects

  • Personal Names :
  • Abernethy, George, 1807-1877--Correspondence
  • Palmer, Joel, 1810-1881--Correspondence
  • Walker, Elkanah, 1805-1877--Correspondence
  • Subject Terms :
  • Cayuse Indians--Wars
  • Indians of North America--Northwest, Pacific--Government relations, 1789-1869
  • Pacific Coast Indians, Wars with, 1847-1865
  • Rogue River Indian War, 1855-1856
  • Yakama Indians--Wars, 1855-1859

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