The 1851 Treaty Commission: Coquille, Euchre, and Tototan at Port Orford


The Coquille are a Miluk speaking tribe and the other tribes, Euchre Creek and To-to-tan, are athapaskan speaking tribes that already had several problems with explorers and miners on the coast. In fact, T’Vault, who had a role in this treaty, had the majority of his exploratory party killed when he first encountered the Coquille Indians at their village near the present site of Bandon, OR. This had caused retribution on the Coquille by the Army out of Fort Vancouver. The Army they set up a detachment of troops at Fort Orford, near the port, to keep the peace. 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 getting 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.


Port Orford Treaties

Proceedings of a council held at Port Orford O.T. by Anson Dart Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Henry H. Spalding Indian Agent and Josiah L. Parrish Sub Indian Agent with the Chiefs and headmen of the You-quee-chae, Qua-tou-wah and To-to-tan (or Rogue River) bands of Indians. September 19th 1851.

[Euchre Creek, Coquille and Tututni Indians, or Lower Rogue River]

Superintendent- are you ready to talk about making a treaty with us and selling your lands.

Answer- our hearts are all united and good towards the whites. We have received from you coats, jackets, pantaloons, blankets, etc. and if you want our land you can have it. In securing food and presents we have done the same as promise you our land.

Supt. Are you willing to unite in one treaty and sell us your land from midway between the Kah-oose and Coquille rivers to the To-to-tan river. When you have sold us your land we in tend to take care of you and guard & protect you from injury.  You will be allowed to fish & hunt as you always have without molestation.

[area between the Coos river and the Rogue River]

Answer- We are willing to sell you our land- which extends from the Coquille river to the To-to-tan- We are ashamed to acknowledge that we have no presents to make you, but if you remain here the game we obtain shall be free to you. Our hearts are good and we are all united in this feeling.

Supt. We will now tell you what articles of clothing etc. we propose to give you each year for ten years to come, provided we buy your country. No matter how many of your number die in that time or how few remain to receive them the payments will still be made as agreed. Here the articles are enumerated to them and they were reassured they would be given for ten years. During the enumeration of the articles to be given in payment from these Indians were so elated or scarcely to be able to contain themselves.

Supt. Do you desire to remain where you now are or to remove to some other point?

Answer- We would like to remain where we are, or change residence, just as you please. We would like to have the privilege of moving when we desire to.

No objection was made to this, and the proceedings necessary in connection with the signing and ratification of the treaty, were then explained to them.

The interpreters were directed to urge upon them the necessity of their abandoning entirely their habits of stealing, and in every case to show to whites whom they found in misfortune in their country, kindness and every attention in their power.

An article of the treaty was then explained to them relative to the care which would always be taken of them by the U.S. Government.

[perhaps not necessary as they are already willing to sell, but this is a completely untrue according to what actually occurred]

Another article of the proposed treaty was also explained to them relative to the respect, protection and acre they must show to any agent of the Government visiting or passing through their country. They were told that the treaty bound them to deliver up any white offender who might be concealed among them.

They were assured that the goods that had been given them formed no part of the payment for their land but were given as present.

They were told to come together again in the morning of the next day when the treaty would be drawn up and ready for signing. Whereupon the council adjourned to tomorrow morning.

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.

[negotiations with the Ya-su-chalis follow]


To-to-tans You-quee-chees & Qua-tou-wahs

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 fo the United States, and the undersigned chiefs and headmen of the To-to-tan, You-que-chae and Qua-tou-wah bands of Indians of the other part.

Article 1

The To-to-tan, You-que-chee, and Qua-tou-wah bands of Indians do hereby cede and relinquish to the United States all their right, title, interest and claim to lands lying within the territory of Oregon and bounded as follows to wit: beginning at the mouth id the To-to-tan or Rogue River, running thence northwardly along the Pacific coast sixty five miles to the mouth of the Qua-tou-wah of Coquille River. Thence up said river to the summit of the Coast Range of Mountains. Thence southwardly along the summit of the said Coast Range of mountains to the aforesaid To-to-tan 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 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, said privileges shall be extended beyond the expiration of the aforesaid ten years.

Article 3

In consideration of the cession and relinquishment aforesaid, the United States do hereby agree to pay to the said bands of Indians yearly and every year for ten years from the date of these presents, the sum of Twenty five hundred dollars on the following articles, to wit: Seventy five vests, one hundred shirts, Seventy five pairs of shoes, Fifty hats or caps, Thirty paid linsey dresses (ready made) Forty calico dresses (ready made) One hundred blankets, Two hundred yards of domestic cotton, Two hundred pounds tobacco, Ten barrels hard bread, Two hundred pounds of soap, Fifty knives, Twenty kettles, Twenty pint cups, Ten chopping axes, said articles to be delivered at Port Orford, on the first of said annuities to be paid in the month of June­ next.

Article 4

It is admitted by the said bands of Indians that they reside within the limits of the territory of the United States, acknowledge then supremacy and claim their protection. The said tribe also 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 bands 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 abd seem just and proper to the President of the United States.

Article 6

The said bands 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, nor will they while on their distant excursions molest or interrupt any American citizen or 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 To-to-tan, You-que-chae and Qua-tou-wah bands 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, complaints shall be made by the party injured to the Superintendent or agent of Indian Affairs or other person appointed by the President, and it shall be the duty of the chiefs of said bands, 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 violence, robbery, or murder shall be committed on any Indian or Indians belonging to the said bands: the person of persons so offending shall be tried, and if found guilty shall be punished in like manner as if found guilty shall be punished in like manner as if the injury had been done to a white man. And it is agreed that the chiefs of the said bands shall, to the utmost of their power exert themselves to recover horses or other property which may be stolen or taken from any citizen of citizens of the United States by any individual or Individuals of said bands; and the property, so recovered shall be forthwith delivered to the agents or other person authorized to receive it, that it may be restored to the proper owner. And the United States hereby guaranty to any Indian or Indians of the said bands, a full indemnification for any horses or other property which may be stolen from them by any of their citizens: provided that the property stolen cannot be recovered, and that sufficient proof is produced that it was actually stolen by a citizen of the United States. And the said bands of Indians engage, on the requisition or demand of the President of the United States or of the agents, to deliver up any white men resident among them.

Article 8

This treaty shall take effect and be obligatory on 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 To-ta-tan, You-quee-chae, and Qua-tou-wah bands of Indians aforesaid, have hereunto set their hands, this day and year aforesaid.

Signed Anson Dart {L.S.}

Henry H. Spalding {L.S.}

Josiah L. Parrish {L.S.}

Chalnae his x mark {L.S.}

Tutlahultusen his x mark {L.S.}

Quutltus his x mark {L.S.}

Yutlhahchahnae his x mark {L.S.}

Signed and Sealed in presence of

Geo. Wygant Secretary

N. O. Parrish Interpreter

Chileman his x mark Do.{interpreter}

William G. T’Vault



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