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Digital Collections at University of Wisconsin

An visitor suggested that I check out the digital collections at the University of Wisconsin. There, I found the full range of Indian Affairs reports all fully downloadable. As I had some spaces in my collection, I began downloading those most relevant. The 1852 and 1855 Indian Affairs reports were first. I then began working on the 1879 and later reports. Interesting that the data is much more detailed for these later years.

1879-reservation-information-oregonThe above Oregon population reports show the church missions assigned to each reservation, tribes assigned, acreage of the reservations and the federal acts and treaties associated. The treaties assigned are imperfect lists. There should somewhere be mention of the Chasta treaty of 1854, the Molalla treaty of 1855, the Cow Creek Umpqua treaty of 1853 and the Rogue River treaties of 1853 and 1854, and the Kalapuya and Umpqua treaty of 1854.

1879-population-numbers-oregon-reservationsThe above population statistics relate directly to the “improvement” of the tribes towards “civilization.” We see population counts and how well they are doing in their improvements. As well there are detailed lists of the tribes associated with each reservation. The last line is interesting, “Indians residing on the Columbia River,” as it is unclear who these people are. I am thinking that these are the people at Celilo, perhaps some Cascades, and perhaps some other lower Chinookan tribes that were not removed to a reservation.

1879-population-statistics-washingtonThere are similar sheets for the Washington territory reservations with very detailed information. Each year of the reports thereafter seem to have a variety of tables for population, health and agriculture.

1881 NW map

1881 NW map

In 1880 and 1881 there are good maps showing the reservations of the United States. The above is the Oregon and Washington Terr. section with reservations appropriately placed. Note the short-lived Malheur Reservation (1880-1885) and the odd shape of the Warm Springs reservation. We also see the much reduced Coast reservation, the last reduction happening in 1875 and its now renamed Siletz Reservation. Some points on the map are oddly placed, look at the placing of Vancouver, which seems out of place, and perhaps should be a bit more eastern.

Categories: Archival Development Native Issues Oregon indians

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Ethnohistory Research, LLC | David G. Lewis, PhD

PhD Anthropology (UO 2009) and Native history researcher. Member of the Grand Ronde Tribe, Takelma, Chinook, Molalla, and Santiam Kalapuya ancestry. Owner of Ethnohistory Research LCC, professional consultant and project researcher.

I teach at local universities and colleges and take contracts with tribes, local governments and nonprofits. I have experience in archival organization, museum development, exhibit curation, traditional cultural property nomination, tribal ethnohistoric research, tribal maps, traditional ecological knowledge, and presentations to large and small gatherings. Contact me for consultation about any of these projects.

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