Indifference to the Needs of the Tribes: Testimony of William Miller, Physician at Grand Ronde, 1862

In 1862, there remained many problems at the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation. Problems of food and shelter, medicine and education where not solved yet. The seven treaties of western Oregon were ratified by 1856 (Molalla treaty is an outlier at 1859), and they all promised services for the tribes who removed, including education, food, shelter, and other services. In fact, the ratification of the treaties provided directed funds for just these purposes. Education had its own line item in the annual budgets for each treaty. Yet the Agents at the reservation were unable to get a school or adequate medical facilities operating for at least 6 years. While staff were hired, a doctor, bookkeeper, farmer, miller, interpreter, and others, their equipment suffered greatly. Much of the problem revolved around the Indian agents and their commitment to help the Indian people. In most cases that commitment was not apparent or realized. The follow testimony is given by William Miller, a doctor

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The Mills, Second Buildings at Chemeketa-Salem

In the earliest lore of the City of Salem, the location was an Indian village named Chemeketa, next to Chemeketa Creek. Before this village was known by Americans, by this name, in 1812, William Wallace and others of the Pacific Fur Traders built a trading post just north of the village of Chemeketa which they called Wallace house. The fur trading post allowed the fur traders to trade furs from local tribes, trap the area about the fort, and hunt about the fort for deer and elk to be taken by canoe to Astoria. The other fur traders at Astoria, for their own reasons, did not like the native foods of the coast and desired deer and elk meat. For two years the Wallace house was used until it was abandoned with the dissolution of the Pacific Fur traders by being sold to North West Fur Traders just before British warships arrived in the Astoria harbor to forcefully take the

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Conditions of the Alsea Indians and the Salmon River Encampment 1876-1878

As addressed in previous essays, in about 1875, most Indian annuities for the Western Oregon tribes ended because the 20 year payments were exhausted. This is true for the Siletz Reservation, for the handful of tribal people who could claim a ratified treaty, and for the Grand Ronde Reservation, where nearly all of the people fell under a treaty. The Molala treaty had not been ratified until 1859 so they have payments until 1879, while all of the Coastal Tribes did not have a ratified treaty and so they had no annuities. Because of this, the southern portion of the Coast reservation (1855-1875) named the Alsea Reservation, had contained a number of tribes from the southern and central coast that did not fall under any ratified treaty. Their Coast Treaty was never ratified despite many promises from Indian Agents. These tribes settled at the Yachats, Yaquina, and Alsea estuaries had continued to subsist and care for themselves. The Alsea reservation

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Siletz Tribal Council 1876

  The year 1876 appears to have been a key year to discuss further reductions of the Siletz Reservation. The original Coast reservation was a 1.1 million acre expand from near the Nestucca to just south of Florence, a 100 mile stretch of land, extending 20 miles inland to the east. In 1865 the removal of the Yaquina tract was done to appease white Americans wanting to harvest oysters in the coastal bays. In 1875 a further reduction of the southern Alsea Reservation, and the area north of the Salmon River caused a retraction of the reservation to only that tract between the Salmon River and south to Newport. The Coast Reservation was administratively closed and renamed as the Siletz Reservation. But the greed of the White Americans was yet to be appeased. Whites wanted all of the land, and so there was much talk in the region that they would have all the land soon. Petitions, some fake, were

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The Significance of Salmon River Encampment in 1875

In 1875, the United States Congress passed an act, March 3, 1875, to reduce the Coast Reservation. This act, terminated the Alsea Reservation, that section on the south, and opened that section to white settlement. The previous act in 1865 (President Andrew Johnson signing the Executive Order of December 21, 1865) had eliminated a section in the north and a section in the center, in part because of the Yaquina Bay oyster rush. This last southern section held the encampments at Alsea and Yachats. The tribes here were the Alsea, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw and Coos Bay peoples. Federal records had many of these peoples on the Umpqua reservation, on the coast just south of the Coast Reservation, for 6 or 7 years until they were all removed to the Alsea Sub-Agency in about 1861. In 1865, when the Coast reservation was divided in half by opening lands for settlement, the Alsea sub-Agency was then called the Alsea Reservation. The 1875

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