Curry’s Volunteers

This letter from General Wool is remarkable for its transparency in revealing the actions and decisions of Governor Curry of Oregon. General George Law Curry was a two-time governor of Oregon and in control of the territorial militia. Common histories of Oregon suggest that Curry “led” some 2500 of his volunteers in the Yakima Indian war in support of the federal troops. Wool’s letter below reveals this to not at all be the case in December of 1855, instead Curry declines the assign his troops to the federal authorities, has Col. Nesmith command about 350 of them in some sort … Continue reading Curry’s Volunteers

Major Benjamin Alvord discusses Eastern Oregon Settlement, 1853

In 1853, the former Superintendent of Indian Affairs of Oregon Anson Dart had been forced to resign as none of his nineteen treaties with the tribes were ratified. Joel Palmer took this position in late May. Palmer was already a well-healed politician, and probably knew most people in Oregon at the time, and had previously had many dealings with the tribes. In the summer of 1853 Palmer was engaged with trying to get a  handle on the many issues with the tribes, mainly those in Southern Oregon captivated his attention. The months before his appointment the US Army was the … Continue reading Major Benjamin Alvord discusses Eastern Oregon Settlement, 1853

Ancient History of the Molala (La’tiwi)

The Molala (Mollala, Molalla, Molele, La’tiwi) are a tribe of Western Oregon. They lived on the eastern periphery of the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys. There were at least five concentrations of them: The Northern Molalla were situated in Dickie Prairie on the other side of the ridge from the contemporary town of Molalla, their village called Mokanti; the Crooked Finger Molalla, situated in Crooked Finger Prairie southeast of Scotts Mills; the Santiam Molalla, situated on the southern side of the Santiam River near the town of Stayton; the Tufti Band of Molalla, situated east of Springfield near the town of … Continue reading Ancient History of the Molala (La’tiwi)

Joe Lane 1849 : Report of the Tribes and Bands of the Oregon Territory

General Joe Lane was an early politician and war hero for Oregon. He served as the Indian Superintendent for Oregon as well as Governor of the territory in 1848 and 1849, and in 1850 participated in battles and conflicts in southern Oregon, famously making peace with the Rogue River Confederacy in the first agreement of Southern Oregon, a treaty of peace.  In 1853, he leads another battle with the Rogue River tribes, at Evans Creek and forms another peace agreement with the confederacy at Table Rock. Previously, Lane had been engaged as an officer in the U.S. Army during the … Continue reading Joe Lane 1849 : Report of the Tribes and Bands of the Oregon Territory

Warm Springs Speeches 1876

It is well known that the Coast Reservation was reduced in 1865 and 1875 to make way for white settlement. A similar threat was posed by the federal government in 1876 to the tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation.  In the following speeches, they clearly did not want to remove, again. The speeches are remarkable in that they reveal that not everyone agreed with the hereditary chief of the reservation. They reveal that at least one chief colluded with the Indian agents to disempower the tribe. This would have been very easy to do in the early reservation system because … Continue reading Warm Springs Speeches 1876