The 1851 Treaty Commission: the Ya-su-chah at Port Orford

This second treaty at Port Orford was with a tribe south of the Rogue River, likely the Chetleshin tribe. This is another athapaskan speaking tribe that already had several problems with miners on the coast. The emphasis on maintaining the peace and access of Americans across their lands suggests there were many problems in the area.

With these two Port Orford Treaties, the entrance to the Rogue River, and the potential settlements on the coast would be assured. Access to the Rogue River was important to get to the gold region of Oregon, and the future coastal downs at the estuary would have transported the gold out. This was also the reason that Port Orford was initially established.


Saturday September 20th 1851

The Council met in pursuance of adjournment and after the treaty was fully interpreted and explained to the Indians it was signed, sealed and {embossed?} in due form.

Meanwhile messengers had been dispatched to the Ya-su-chah tribe or band, living south of the Tototan or Rogue River requesting their attendance, for the purpose of concluding a treaty with them also.

[Likely Chetleshin tribe]

Several of the chiefs and headmen of this band arrived in the morning, and a council was immediately held with them; the terms of the treaty concluded with the other bands explained to them; the intentions and wishes of the Government towards them fully made known; and they were inquired of as to the boundary of the lands claimed by them.

They stated that their country extended from the To-to-tan River south one days travel; (which as they travel on foot, was understood to be about twenty miles), that they approved of the terms of the treaty entered into by the other three bands, and were ready to sell their country upon the same terms.

A treaty was accordingly drawn up differing from the other only in the 7th article and in the amount paid for the land which of course was assured in accordance with the size of the tract purchased.

The terms of the treaty, the amount of the annuities etc, etc. were again explained to the Indians, and they being perfectly satisfied therewith, the treaty was signed and concluded in due form, and being late in the evening the council adjourned. [illegible]



Articles of a Treaty

Made and concluded at Port Orford on the Pacific Ocean, and in the Territory of Oregon, this twentieth day of September A.D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty one, between Anson Dart Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Henry H. Spalding, Indian Agent, and Josiah L. Parrish, Sub Indian Agent, on the part of the United States; and the undersigned chiefs and headmen of the Ya-su-chah band of Indians, of the other part.

Article 1.

The Ya-su-chah band of Indians do hereby cede and relinquish to the United States all their right, title, interest and claim to the lands lying or supposed to lie, within the Territory of Oregon, and bounded as follows, to wit: Beginning at the mouth of the To-to-tan or Rogue river- Running thence southwardly along the Pacific Coast twenty miles- Thence east in a direct line to the summit of the coast range of mountains- thence northwardly along the summit of the said Coat range of mountains to the said Tototan or Rogue river- Thence down said river to the place of beginning.

Article 2

It is agreed that the said band of Indians shall have free and unmolested possession of the ground now occupied by their houses, and upon which they now reside, during the ten years in which they receive their annuities, and that they shall also be free to fish as they have heretofore done, and it is further agreed that, with the consent of the President and privilege shall be extended beyond the expiration of the aforesaid ten years.

Article 3

In consideration of the cession and relinquishment aforesaid, the United States hereby agree to pay to the said band of Indians, yearly, and every year for ten years from the date of these presents, the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars, in the following articles, to wit: Twenty blankets, Ten woolen coats, Ten pairs of woolen Pantaloons, twenty shirts, Ten Plaid Lindsey dresses, Fifty yards of domestic cotton, Ten hats or caps, Ten pairs of shoes, Twenty pounds of tobacco, Fifty pounds of soap, Two barrels of hard bread and Five kettles/ said articles to be delivered at Port Orford, and the first of said annuities to be paid  in the month of June next.

Article 4

It is admitted by the said band of Indians that they reside within the territorial limits of the United States, acknowledge their supremacy and claim their protection. The said band admit the right of the United States to regulate all trade and intercourse with them.

Article 5

The United States agree to receive the said band into their friendship, and under their protection, and to extend to them from time to time, such benefits and acts of kindness, as may be convenient and seem just and proper to the President of the United States.

Article 6

The said band of Indians further agree to give safe conduct to all persons who may be legally authorized by the United States to pass through their country, and to protect in their persons and property, all agents or other persons sent by the United States to reside temporarily among them, now will they, while on their distant excursions, molest or interrupt any American citizens who may be passing through their country, in travelling to or from California.

Article 7

That the friendship which is now established between the United States and the Ya-su-chah band of Indians shall not be interrupted by the misconduct of individuals, it is hereby agreed that of injuries done by individuals, no private revenge or retaliation shall take place, but instead thereof, complaints shall be made by the party injured to the Superintendent of agent of Indian affairs, or other person appointed by the President, and it shall be the duty of the chiefs of the said band, 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.

Article 8

This treaty shall take effect and be obligatory over the contracting parties, as soon as the same shall have been ratified by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate of the United States,

In Testimony whereof, the said Anson Dart, Henry H. Spalding, and Josiah L. Parrish and the chiefs and Headmen of the Ya-su-chah band of Indians have hereunto set their hands & seals this day & year aforesaid.

(Signed) Anson Dart {L.S.}

Ne-clat-wah (his x mark) {L.S.}                    H.H. Spalding {L.S.}

Ya-ktcha-matin (his x mark) {L.S.}               Josiah L. Parrish {L.S.}

Nah-lin (his x mark) {L.S.}

Mis-tah-tae (his x mark) {L.S.}

Usah-it-lahem (his x mark) {L.S.}

Signed & sealed in presence of

Theo. Wygant Secretary

Norman A. Parrish Interpreter

Chileman (his x mark) do. (Interpreter)

S.W. Childs




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