Grand Ronde Chiefs Statements About Agriculture, 1862

An investigation at Grand Ronde and the agent precipitated this meeting of the chiefs. The Indian Agent was asking for them to produce their own food and was demanding half of what they raised to feed the elderly. They produce a long list of problems and other information. The tribes they oversee were much reduced from 1856, and it’s clear the tribes have not been given the allotments they were promised in the treaties. The land is nearly unworkable for agriculture and is low-producing soil. The lack of food and resources is a problem since the beginnings of the reservation. They still do not have guns for hunting, and many of the employees are not very motivated to do their jobs. It is very rare to have a transcript of what people said on the reservation.

RG 75 M2, Rec. of the Oregon Superintendency, 1862

Grand Ronde April 17th 1862; At the meeting of the chiefs on the following

John, Tumwater Chief (Likely John Apperson)

10 in the tribe, Each family has land

Can’t raise enough food could raise enough if had team

has no seed has asked many times for seed

The agent promised seed when it comes

Has nothing to eat and can’t raise anything has nothing to do with

My people are well, am well satisfied with the medical treatment of my family

Thinks the employees have done as well as they could have had nothing to do with

Watcheno, Clackamas Chief (likely Old Wacheno)

My people all here about 30 adults men & all

Some have no land

One ox to the tribe

No seed

Get their food outside

one wagon

Tribe healthy thinks the employee have done the best they could except the Blacksmith, he has some times postponed their work.

Jake- Cowcreeks (Cow Creek Jake)

33 persons in my tribe

Has been two agents here and neither have told him if he could have land for a home nor his tribe

Has asked for land and has not got and don’t want to stay

has no team and never has had

would try to raise grain if has anything to do with

not no team no seed, no farming utensils

Have all been well since this doctor (Dr Miller) has been here but there are two that the Dr. thinks will not live long

Provisions out two months

Have been working round for a subsistence

One cow to the tribe, seven horses

Would like to adopt the habit of the whites but have nothing to start with

Am satisfied with the manner in which the employees have performed their duties

I do not expect them to do when they have nothing to do with

I have as for thing to be done and could not get it there was nothing to do with

Tom and John Chamberlain, Rogue River Chiefs

35 men about

Know how many women about 40 children

Have land for the tribe given by Palmer

Don’t want to stay here but if have to stay we want our divided among us

Have no team

Have one wagon, Borrow oxen of the government

Farm no grain sowed no seed

No ground plowed has not asked for team, knew he could not get one

Wants to go to Rogue River but if had team and seed would put in all the grain he could

Considerable sickness

As far as he knows the employees have done their duty as well as they could in the circumstances

Quakata, Chief of Molallas

14 men 16 women 17 children

Some have land and some have not, most have no land

Would be glad if all his people had land and would work

Have three yoke of oxen

The 1st & 2 Chief have some grain sowed

Have no seed

Have not plowed any, the oxen are not able to plow

Would plow and sow if had learn [learned how] and seed

The tribes is healthy

Have not seen anything wrong in the employees

Peter, Yamhill Chief (Peter Selkiah)

8 men 3 women 15 children

We live on borrowed ground, no ground we call our own

Would like a place of my own but don’t know how I would get one without the government will give it to me

My people would work better if they had homes of their own

Have 3 yoke of oxen but they can’t work, no seed, no ground plowed

Could raise all we want to eat if we had team and seed and land

Are about out of provisions

The tribe are healthy

3 old men too old to labor

The employees have done as well as they could and all they could

Kiakuts, Twalatis Chief

30 men more women than men but don’t know how many, good many children

Some have lands and some have none, would be glad if all had land

They all want to work

some have no land and some no team, have 5 yoke of oxen, no able to work, no seed

have had nothing to eat for some time but the cattle that have dried

now live on camas

Fed all their grain to their stock

The tribe are well

A good many all men but would work if they had anything to work with

Knew the employees did what they could in their respective places

Condon told him he wanted half of what he raised

told Condon he did not want to do that way

He had a large family and would want it all himself and did not think it was right anyhow

Has ground plowed and has asked for seed and can’t get any

Condon told all the Chiefs they must give him one half of all the grain

Says Condon want this share to feed the old and poor but he don’t want Condon to feed his father and mother because feed his own father and mother

Jo Hutch, Santiam (Alquema, Halquema, Joseph Hutchins)

About 20 men & 14 children and more children than women

Have lands & no teams and no tools

It don’t do them any good they have nothing to work with

A spoon full of wheat and a spoonful of oats

Has two yoke of oxen

Tried to plow yesterday, the oxen fell down and he told them to turn them out

Did not ask the agent for seed or team

The agent ought to know he wanted them

He say the agent tell him to plow and he has about 2 or three acres and it has been plow so often it will yield nothing and is now under water and he can’t work it

Is very much bothered by Babcock who drive his cattle off out of range

Thinks the employees are all good men and have done all they can, they could not do much

There was one man right (Wright?) who worked all the time

There is one man Magoun who is away all the time, he don’t think he ought to be here, says their guns are out of order

They can’t hunt they have nothing to hunt with

Summer is coming and they will have to hunt for a living

Wants a man who will do as he says for agent

Says Condon says one thing and does another

He never knows whether he will do as he says or not

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