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

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. … Continue reading Grand Ronde Chiefs Statements About Agriculture, 1862

Removal of Four Tribes from the Umpqua Reservation 1855-1856

Between the time of the formation of the Umpqua Reservation in the Umpqua basin (1854) and the removal of the four tribes to Grand Ronde Reservation, in late January 1856, Joel Palmer the Indian Superintendent had to make fast and detailed plans. The war of the Rogue River Confederacy was raging in the Siskiyous and the Indian agents for Oregon and California were working with the US Army and the militias of both states to remove the neighboring tribes to temporary reservations to keep them from joining the fight. Tolowa Natives of northern California were imprisoned at Battery Point for … Continue reading Removal of Four Tribes from the Umpqua Reservation 1855-1856

Influenza on the Reservation

The tribes removed to the Grand Ronde Reservation in 1856 never realized the safety and security of a reservation they were promised in seven treaties. They were forced into poverty, living on whatever the federal government was able to send to them from the east coast. The first years were full of starvation deprivation, and death as hundreds of traumatized people from more than 2 dozen tribes were forced to live in federal confinement. The tribes from the Rogue River area had been preyed upon for over a decade by white settlers and gold miners, and after having enough had … Continue reading Influenza on the Reservation

Planning the Reserve on the Sea Coast

The following letters detail one side of the conversation with Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon, and John Wool, commander of the Pacific Department. (I don’t yet have Palmer’s letters.) Wool’s assistant Townsend, when Wool was visiting Puget Sound, sent orders to help Palmer move the tribes from Southern Oregon, at the Table Rock Reservation, with troops from Fort Vancouver. There was a shortage of troops at this time because at the same time several companies were deploying into Washington State to encounter the Yakimas and Klickitats who were being hostile. The Yakimas and Klickitats had already forced … Continue reading Planning the Reserve on the Sea Coast