Tribal Reactions to the 1851 Treaties

In the history of treaty making , there were two treaty periods for western Oregon, 1851, and 1853 to 1855. The 1851 treaties, 19 of them, were negotiated with tribes in four locations, Champoeg, Tansy Point, and Port Orford were the sites of the main negotiations, The final location, Oregon City, was where the Clackamas treaty was negotiated twice and finally agreed to by the tribe in late 1851. Anson Dart, the Indian Superintendent of Oregon then takes the treaties to Washington, DC and there, in 1852 they died in Congress, Dart finally advising Congress to never ratify them because … Continue reading Tribal Reactions to the 1851 Treaties

Camas Journal 2023: Baby Camas, Mowing, Cultural Fire

This year I tried to get out there into the field when the camas is beginning to erupt from the ground. I am not sure I have seen the baby camas when it just erupts before, only when it is already in full leaf. It helps that I transplanted some camas, and seeded camas some years ago at my home so I can see on a daily basis the progress of camas in my area of the Willamette Valley. When I saw it erupt in my well-managed and weeded garden, I then knew I needed to get out into the … Continue reading Camas Journal 2023: Baby Camas, Mowing, Cultural Fire

Reconstructing the Willamette Valley Camas Swales

In recent work I have begun to document the various wetlands of the Willamette Valley from before settler changes took effect. Our best, and most complete set of records of this early period are the General Land Office (GLO) Maps housed now online at the Bureau of Land Management’s Land Status and Cadastral Survey Records website. The earliest surveys were in 1851 up near the Columbia and most begin in 1855 or 1856 in most areas of Oregon. The maps are a series of quadrangle maps that are coded east or west depending on where the land lies in reference … Continue reading Reconstructing the Willamette Valley Camas Swales

Palmer Strategizes Treaty-Making, 1853

In 1853 Joel Palmer, newly appointed Indian Superintendent of Oregon, was working to keep the peace between the tribes and settlers in Oregon. The plan was to remove the tribes and allow the settlers to take their lands so that the natural resources may be better used. Palmer was in full agreement of his role to help colonize the Indians and in his many letters philosophized extensively about the benefits of assimilating the tribes to civilization. But Palmer was also a humanist and wanted to tribes to be fairly dealt with by the white Americans. He saw them as people … Continue reading Palmer Strategizes Treaty-Making, 1853

Teasel Adventure

The European Teasel was brought to Oregon in the 19th century. It is a hugely invasive plant that has a habit of taking over large areas of the prairie. The reason it was brought here was to provide teasels for the carding of wool. The dried teasels would be mounted in a large machines and raw wool would be ran over them to straighten out the fibers and soften up the wool. the wool would later be turned into wool blankets, like those originally produced at the Mission Mill in Salem, and Pendleton Woolen mills.  There may be other uses … Continue reading Teasel Adventure