After Halting Native Burning, Came Grasshoppers

Barely ten years following the stopping of tribes setting fires in the Willamette and Umpqua valleys, signs of the change visited the settlers. Settlers saw scourges of mice, lice, and grasshoppers in numbers they could not control. These insects and rodents would have been annually controlled by tribal traditional ecological stewardship practices of the Kalapuyans and other tribes. Recordation of the anthropogenic fires of the valley tribes begins with that of Jesse Applegate in his Boyhood Times book where he recalls native women setting fires on the grassy plains in the fall in the area of Salt Creek west of … Continue reading After Halting Native Burning, Came Grasshoppers

A Policy of Forfeiture of Rights and Annuities under the Peace Treaty of 1853

In numerous essays on this blog I have noted that many of the tribes considered the most violent, and those who had participated in the wars in southwestern Oregon were placed on the Coast Reservation. This was not an arbitrary decision because in 1856 the tribes on the Oregon coast and from the Rogue River basin had participated in numerous conflicts and wars. The Rogue River Confederacy were considered one of the most violent groups of tribes, having participated in at least three wars in southern Oregon, in 1850-51, in 1853, and 1855-56. The Coquille tribes were also considered violent … Continue reading A Policy of Forfeiture of Rights and Annuities under the Peace Treaty of 1853

Forced to Pay for the Rogue River 1853 War

One of the most egregious of acts against the Rogue River tribes in southern Oregon was making them pay for the destruction of the property of the American squatters out of their treaty payments, after years of illegal and poor treatment at the hands of the settlers. The Americans began traveling through and prospecting in southern Oregon in the late 1840s following the California Gold rush. During the rush and the Oregon gold rush two years later, many thousands of miners invaded the territory and began having conflicts with the tribes. The Rogue River people gained a reputation for being … Continue reading Forced to Pay for the Rogue River 1853 War

Champinefu Temporary Reservation at Corvallis

In about March 1855 there was formed a temporary reservation, or encampment, for the Champinefu Kalapuyans at Corvallis. This was one of over a dozen such temporary reservations, sometimes called encampments for the Kalapuyans, Molallans, and Chinookans created at this time to hold about 1000 native peoples who were party to the Willamette Valley Treaty. The Champinefu, also called Mary River Kalapuyans, were held in the care of Dr. Thomas J. Wright (1799-1875), a Benton County physician (some records list his birth date as 1808, including his headstone, but this does not match his census records). Dr. Wright (many times … Continue reading Champinefu Temporary Reservation at Corvallis

Yamhill Dogs Chase Comegys’ Hogs

A letter was delivered in person to Joel Palmer, Indian Superintendent of Oregon, in 1855 of a complaint of Jacob Comegys about his pigs being chased and killed by Yamhill Kalapuyans and their dogs. Jacob had sold his lands in Missouri and moved his whole family to Yamhill Oregon where he took up a land claim in 1847. The claim was certified by the Land office in 1851 after the Oregon Donation Land Claim Act was passed. This was part of the purpose of the Act, to certify the previous claims of settlers even though the previous claims were not … Continue reading Yamhill Dogs Chase Comegys’ Hogs