1850 June, the First treaty in the North West Coast and West Coast, a Treaty of Peace negotiated with General Joseph Lane and the Takelma- Rogue River Tribes lead by Chief Apserkahar (Chief Jo) at Table Rock.
1851 Anson Dart Treaties, Nineteen Treaties unratified
Champoeg Treaties- Willamette Valley Treaty Commission
The Willamette Treaty Commission, Governor John T. Gaines, Alonzo A. Skinner, and Beverly S. Allen, are assigned the duties of negotiating treaties with the tribes of Oregon on October 25, 1850. Anson Dart at this time is assigned the Duties of the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to manage whiskey trade, aid in the assimilation of the tribes, set up tribal jurisdictions, maintain the peace, and undermine Hudson’s Bay Company (a British company) among the tribes.
1) 1851, April 11 to April 16, Treaty with the Santiam Band of Calapooia,. The first meeting to purchase lands of the tribes in the North West Coast and West Coast, at Champoeg between the Willamette Valley Treaty Commission and the Santiam band of Kalapuyans. They conclude on April 16th. Five days of meetings end with the agreement to the sale of their lands and a small Santiam Reservation between the north and south forks of the Santiam River. [unratified]
2) 1851, April 17 to April 19, Treaty with the Twalaty Band of Calapooia. The Willamette Valley Treaty Commission negotiated the sale of the Tualatin lands and a permanent reservation around Wapato Lake. [Unratified]
3) 1851 April 24 to May 2, Treaty with the Yam-Kill, The Yamhill band negotiates the sale of their lands and a permanent reservation in Gopher Valley east of the Cascade Range. This negotiation is extremely long as the Yamhill do not want to leave the graves of their relatives to be destroyed by the whites. They relent with promises of seven houses, that their graves would be bought by the federal government, that they can still leave the reservation to gather camas and wapatoo. In 1852, they send word that they would also like help with getting agricultural tools and help with farming. [unratified]
4) 1851 April 30 to May 2, Treaty with the Luckamiute. Negotiated the sale of their lands. they refuse to remove beyond the Cascades mountains emphatically. The place they choose for their reservation only had one white man and they agreed he can remain. [unratified]
5) 1851, May 3 to May 6, Treaty with the Molala. At Champoeg the negotiated sale of the northern Molala territory, and the establishment of a large permanent reservation.[unratified]
6) 1851, May 3 to May 7, Treaty with the Santiam Band of Moolala Indians, At Champoeg the negotiated sale of the Molalla lands and establishment of a permanent reservation. This tribe is distinct from the Northern Molalla, south of them, and northeast of the Santiam Band of Calapooians. [unratified]
Tansey Point Treaties- Anson Dart, Superintendent – arrangements by Robert Shortess, sub-Indian agent
Anson Dart takes control of two roles in Indian Affairs after May of 1851. He argues that the Treaty commissioners are not official representatives of the Federal Government so their negotiations may be invalid with regards to the Kalapuyan and Molallan treaties just negotiated. Dart is successful and gets the duties of the treaty negotiations assigned to him as a representative of the Federal government in Oregon. This change alters the way the treaties are negotiated at Tansey Point and at Port Orford. There is not a map created at the negotiations, and Dart hereafter has two budgets to draw from. Robert Shortess made all the arrangements and could speak Chinook Jargon and so could translate. In October 1851 Shortess writes to Dart about how a white settler has claimed the land of a native person, saying the white man should be forced to leave his claim. Dart fires him in next months mailing.
7) 1851 August 4-August 5, Treaty with the Clatsop, Meeting with the Clatsop at Tansey Point with Anson Dart and Henry H. Spalding Indian Agent, and Josiah L. Parrish. Robert Shortess arranges for the meetings with the tribes. Establishes a large reservation on the coast at Point Adams and to the south. The treaty is concluded on August 5th. [unratified]
8) 1851 August 6, Treaty with the Naalem Band of Tillamook Indians. The negotiated sale of their lands. [unratified]
9) 1851 August 7, Treaty with the Tillamook Tribe of Indians, the negotiated sale of their lands. [unratified]
10) 1851 August 7, Treaty with the Nuc-que-clah-we-muck Band of Chinook. There was one man remaining of this tribe, Wallooskee. [unratified]
11) 1851 August 8, Treaty with the Waukikum Tribe of Chinook, The negotiated sale of their land north of the Columbia. They maintain the right to live in their residences, fish, and hunt. [unratified]
12) 1851, August 8, Treaty with the Konnaack tribe of Chinook Indians, Anson Dart negotiated the sale of their lands. This Tribe is also known as the Skilloot tribe and held land on both sides of the Columbia. They maintain the right to live in their residences and hunt.[unratified]
13) 1851, August 9, Treaty with the Lower Chinook Band, Anson Dart negotiate the sale of their lands. They maintain the right to fish, hunt and gather berries, and remain living in their houses. [unratified]
14) 1851, August 9, Treaty with the Kathlamet Tribe of Chinook, negotiate the sale of their lands. They maintain the right to hunt and live in the town called Old Kathlamet town. [unratified]
15) 1851, August 9, Treaty with the Wheelappa and Quillequequa tribes of Chinook Indians. This treaty is a bit more complex, they gain education and a blacksmith, have to retire back to their land cession, and will share their area with the Cheehales tribe. The Quillequequa tribe is added at the end of the treaty. [unratified]
16) 1851, August 9, Treaty with the Klatskania of Chinook Indians. They maintain the right to live in their places of residence and fish and hunt. The Americans appear to have mistakenly added “Chinook Indians” in the title when the tribe was not Chinook Indians but Athapaskan speaking natives. Note that based on the description in the treaty the Clatskanie did have a significant claim to a portion of the southern shoreline of the Columbia River, a fact that has been missed by all previous ethnographers who have drawn tribal maps. [unratified]
Port Orford Treaties- Anson Dart
17) 1851, September 19-September 20, 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. The meeting is held at Port Orford. The tribes are allowed to remain in their houses for the remainder of their lives. [unratified]
18) 1851, September 20, Treaty with the Ya-su-chah band of Indians at Port Orford, began and concluded in the same day. They may keep their houses and fishing rights. [unratifed]
Oregon City- Anson Dart
19) 1851, November 5 – November 6, Treaty with the Clackamas, The last treaty of 1851 in Oregon Territory, Meeting with the Clackamas Tribe and Anson Dart, negotiating the sale of their lands. They are allowed to stay in their houses for the remainder of their lives, and fish in their usual manner, unmolested on the Clackamas River. This negotiation was a continuation of several meetings in which the tribe refused to give up certain properties and then finally decided to cede their lands. This is the most populous area and the most valuable area of Oregon at this time. [unratified]
1851 Treaties Conclusion
The nineteen 1851 Oregon treaties were taken to Washington, D.C. by Anson Dart. Dart never returns to Oregon and remains in the capital for a few years. In 1852, Dart consults extensively with Congressmen about the treaties. Dart supplies an argument for not ratifying them suggesting that the Willamette Valley treaties were illegitimate because the Willamette Valley Commissioners were not appropriately representative of the federal government and that they had allowed for reservations for the tribes in the valley when all of the lands were already claimed by American settlers. It would have then been too costly to buy the land back from the settlers. The treaties are introduced to Congress on August 3, 1852. Dart’s arguments, and complaints by settlers who heard that the reservations that would be established within their area, reach Congress, and the treaties are tabled forever by the Congressmen. Dart is forced to resign as Oregon Indian Superintendent having failed to get any treaties ratified and failed to remove the tribes from the Willamette Valley to East of the Cascade Range.
Joel Palmer’s Western Oregon Treaties 1853-1855, Seven ratified, Two unratified
Joel Palmer is appointed in 1853 as Superintendent and is already a seasoned Oregon Politician. Palmer had already garnered fame for helping establish the Barlow Road and to write a journal of his travels. He later served as a General in the Volunteer Militia, in charge of provisioning. He maintained the title of General Palmer throughout his life. He took well to the role of Indian Superintendent of Oregon, established all of the reservations in western Oregon and those in middle Oregon, was involved with nine ratified treaties, seven from western Oregon and two from middle Oregon, which he worked on with Isaac Stevens. He also helped successfully end the Rogue River Indian War, as well as removed some 4000 Indians from western Oregon to the Grand Ronde and Coast reservations. He is fired in summer in 1856 because of settler criticism of him being sympathetic to the tribes and having removed them north to the reservations, relatively close to American settlements.
1853, September 8, Treaty of Peace with the Rogue River, a Cease Fire, between the Rogue River Bands of Chief Apserkahar (Chief Jo) and Chief Sam and General Joseph Lane.
1853, September 10, Treaty with the Rogue River Tribes, negotiated with Joel Palmer, for the sale of their lands and removal to a permanent reservation, with Table Rock Reservation being temporary. Ratified April 12, 1854 (First ratification date for two treaties on the West coast, Rogue River and Cow Creek.)
1853, September 19, Treaty with the Cow Creek Umpqua tribe, Ratified April 12, 1854, A reservation is established within their territory separate from the Umpqua reservation (inland), the Cow Creek Umpqua Reservation. The Cow Creek people are removed to the Umpqua reservation in 1855 (unknown date) likely due to the Rogue River war. (First ratification date for two treaties on the West coast, Rogue River and Cow Creek.) The Cow Creek Umpqua reservation remains largely a mystery as to how long it existed, with rare records and no map yet found.
1854, November 15, Treaty with the Rogue River, ratified March 3rd, 1855. This is the fourth treaty from this period for the tribe. This treaty allows other tribes, Chasta Costas to share the Table Rock Reservation and respecify that they agree to move to a permanent reservation later.
1854, November 18, Treaty with the Chasta, ratified March 3rd, 1855, the Quil-si-eton and Na-hel-ta bands, of the Chasta tribe of Indians, the Cow-nan-ti-co, Sa-cher-i-ton, and Na-al-ye bands of Scotons, and the Grave Creek band of Umpquas. They move onto the Table Rock Reservation. [ratified]
1854, November 29, Treaty with the Umpqua and Kalapuya, the tribes of the upper Umpqua River (Umpqua) and Yoncalla Kalapuyans sell their lands and remove to the temporary Umpqua reservation (Inland) with an agreement to remove to a permanent reservation later. The treaty is ratified March 3, 1855.
1854, March 25, Treaty with the Tualatin. Joel Palmer negotiates this treaty without instructions to do so by the Indian office. The Tualatin approach Palmer first and they air their grievances against the settlers and their situation. Palmer takes the opportunity to write a treaty but the treaty has little chance of ratification. [unratified]
Willamette Valley Treaty (Kalapuya etc. 1855) [ratified]
1855 January 4, Joel Palmer at Dayton, meeting with the Tualatin, Cheluk-i-ma-uke, Yam Hill, Chep-en-a-pho, Chem-a-pho, Che-lam-e-la bands and signing of the Willamette Valley treaty.
1855, January 9, Joel Palmer at Dayton, meeting with the Molalla band of Molallas, and of the Calapooia band of Calapooias, and signing of the Willamette Valley treaty.
1855, January 10, Joel Palmer at Dayton, meeting with the Win-ne-felly, Mohawk, Chapen, and Te-co-pa bands of Calapooias, Wal-lal-lah band of Tum-waters, and the Clockamus tribe of Indians, and signing of the Willamette Valley Treaty.
1855, January 19, Joel Palmer at Linn City, meeting with the Clow-we-wal-la, or Willamette Tum-water band of Indians, and signing of the Willamette Valley Treaty.
1855, January 22, Joel Palmer at Dayton, meeting with the Santiam Bands of Calapooias, and signing of the Willamette Valley Treaty.
1855, January 23, Willamette Valley treaty is sent to Washington, D.C. to prepare for ratification. Palmer makes notes afterward that he leaves the treaty open for more tribes from the middle Columbia to join, those from west of Sauvie Island to Oak Point. The treaty also does not settle the Multnomah and Cascades claims on the north side of the Columbia
1855, March 3, ratification of the Willamette Valley treaty by Congress.
1855 March 4, removals begin of the tribes of the Willamette and Columbia to temporary reservations (See temporary reservation essays)
Coast Treaty [unratified]
1855, August 11, First Meeting for the Coast Treaty, signed by the Nachesne ( Nechesne, Salmon River), Siletz band of Tillamooks, Alsea band of Tillamooks, Yaquona (Yaquina) band of Tillamooks, negotiated with Joel Palmer and W.W. Raymond.
1855 August 17, meeting with the Umpqua, Siuslaw and Coos Bay Indians, negotiated with E.P. Drew, R. Metcalf
1855 August 23, Meeting with the Na-so-mah or Coquille bands of Indians, negotiated with E.P. Drew
1855 August 30, Meeting with the Tututni and Chetco Bands of Indians, negotiated with E.P. Drew
1855 September 8, Meeting with other bands of the Coquille Indians, negotiated with J. Flett
[Geary notes in his letter of October 3, 1855 that the Upper Tillamooks [Nestucca, and Tillamook proper) and Clatsops had not been party to the treaty, and Geary also notes in 1857, inaccurately, that the treaty begins at the mid-point of the Columbia River]
Coast Treaty Conclusion
The Coast Treaty is never ratified. The treaty areas stretched from the California border to the Nestucca territory. The tribes faithfully honored their words and remove to reservations at Port Orford, Empire, Umpqua, and the Coast Reservation. Most of the southern Coastal tribes remain until 1877 at the coastal estuaries in sub-agencies managed by either Grand Ronde Agency, Siletz Agency, Alsea agency, or Umpqua Agency. After some 17 years of waiting for the Coast Treaty to be signed the tribes are released to return to their lands, only to find their former towns and houses taken over by Americans. Some natives choose to remain at Siletz or Grand Ronde reservations, others leave and integrate, in part, with the American communities. The tribes who lost land without payment sued the federal government in the 20th century and some win their Indian Claims cases and receive payments.
1855, December 21, Treaty with the Molalla. These are the southern Molalla of the Umpqua Valley, this is the last treaty Palmer negotiated which is successful. The Molallans agree to the provisions in the Treaty with the Umpqua and Kalapuya (1854) as well. There is an addendum to this treaty in which the Umpqua and Kalapuyans sign and agree to the new provisions in the Molalla Treaty, which states for the first time that they will be removed to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. The Molallans are then removed to the temporary Umpqua Reservation for less than one month. This treaty is not ratified until March 8, 1859.
1853, September 19, Creation of the Cow Creek Umpqua Reservation which was likely occupied soon after their treaty was negotiated. This was common for tribes to remove to their designated reservation ahead of the final ratification. Ratified April 12, 1854, which then made funding available.
1855, October and November, Indian Agent Mcgruder working to remove tribes to the Umpqua Reservation (inland). (letter of November 7, 1855)
1855 November- Coos and other coastal tribes removed to two temporary reservations, Coos at Empire reservation, and others at Port Orford (inferred from a letter of E.P. Drew November 10, 1858)
1855, November 9, Creation of the Coast Indian Reservation by Presidential Executive Order of Franklin Pierce. 100 miles of the Oregon coast from Tillamook area to just south of Florence, 1.1 million acres.
1855-1856, winter, John Flett has a small encampment of Klickitats at his DLC, Chief Mckay had refused to go to the encampments at Fort Vancouver or Milton and had been living on Sauvie Island with six men and their women. (Oregon Indians are Removed, Tacoma Ledger Sept 11, 1892)
1856, January 8, Palmer requests the Chiefs of the tribes at temporary encampments at Molalla, Spores, Santiam, Corvallis & Tualatin to meet him at his house in Dayton and they will go with him to Grand Ronde valley to inspect the valley so they would agree to removal. Wapatoes will come in the Spring. (Palmer to Flett, 1/8/1855 Bieneke MSS 370)
1856, January 10th –First Trail of Tears-Tribes at the Umpqua reservation (inland) begin walking north to Grand Ronde Reservation. (Report of R.B. Metcalf, 31st March 1856)
1856, February 2, Tribes from the Umpqua reservation (Inland) arrive at the Grand Ronde reservation. (Report of R.B. Metcalf, 31st March 1856)
1856, N.D., Flett is ordered to the encampments at Luckiamuke, Spores, Abiqua to tell natives to remove to Grand Ronde or not get supplies (Palmer to Flett N.D 1856 Bieneke MSS 370)
1856 <Shortly after> February 2, Flett moves the Klickitats at his encampment to Grand Ronde. (Oregon Indians are Removed, Tacoma Ledger Sept 11, 1892)
1856, February 22 –Second Trail of Tears– Tribes at Table Rock Reservation under Chief Sam begin removal to Grand Ronde. (Letter of 1856 (no month or day) George Ambrose, to Joel Palmer, M2, reel 14)
1856, March 25th, Tribes from Table Rock Reservation arrive in Grand Ronde Reservation, (Letter of 1856 (no month or day) George Ambrose, to Joel Palmer, M2, reel 14)
1856 April 13, Joel Palmer ordered the Coos Bay Indians to go to the Umpqua River (coastal) (Palmer letter of April 13, 1856),1856, May 27- 28- battle of Big Bend, fighting for 3-4 days and surrender of 255 Indians. (Palmer letter of 7 3 1856)
1856, May 24, Palmer plans to meet some 600 friendly Indians to arrive at Dayton the next day, from Port Orford, refugees of the Rogue River War. They are en route to the Coast Reservation to be located at the Siletz River. (letter of June 23, 1856, M234)
1856, June 13, begin marching to Port Orford from the Illinois River with 708 Indians for removal. (Palmer letter of 7 3 1856)
1856 June 21- 710 Indians sent by steamer to Grand Ronde (Schwartz, Palmer letter of 7 3 1856)
1856 July 2. Tecumtum surrenders at Fort Orford, marks the end of the Rogue River War (Schwartz marks the end with the removal of the tribes from the region, but this removal went on for another decade) (Schwartz).
1856 July 9, – Coastal Trail of Tears– march of Tecumtum followers, Chetco and Pistol Rivers up the coast to Coast reservation. They arrive about August 9th. (Palmer letter of 7 3 1856)
1856 September 24, Sub-agent Drew reported, fifty-two (52) Coquille Indians arrived onto the Umpqua Reserve (coastal). (letter of 9/24/1856)
1857, June 30, Creation of the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation by Executive Order of James Buchanan. It is located in the Grand Ronde valley, a western offshoot of the Willamette Valley at the edges of the Coast Range, and surrounding mountains and hills, two quadrangles of 60,000 acres.
1856-1860, continuous removals of small bands to the Coast Reservation by either U.S. Army troops or contracted Indian catchers.
1863, June- Closure of the Umpqua Reservation (coastal) and removal of the tribes from the Reservation to estuaries on the Coast Reservation. The Coos go to Yachats.
1865, December 21- the reduction of the Coast Reservation by opening out the Yaquina strip for settlement. This action happened because of Americans called for more land to be available for settlement and for access to Yaquina Bay Oysters. This opening divides the reservation into two parts, the northern area managed by the Siletz Agency, the southerm=n area managed by the Alsea Agency. (Executive Order of December 21, 1865)
1875, March 3 – The reduction of the Coast Reservation by the termination of the Alsea reservation and the territory above the Salmon River. The Reservation is reduced to the area of “Lincoln County” from the Coast to the Siletz Valley. The reservation is also renamed “Siletz Reservation.” (Act of March 3, 1875)
1877, December, Alseas and other tribes at the former Alsea reservation remove to the Salmon River Encampment. They are promised housing and food yet get neither. Coos peoples from Yachats are released to return home but all their lands are taken. They live with the Siuslaw for a few years until they are able to move back to Coos Bay.
There is much more to be included. The result as we can see is the sale or taking of the tribal lands and their disenfranchisement from their resources. The final phase of this was the termination of the tribes in 1954-1956.
Most references Intext
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.