Imagining the American Nation, and Ignoring the Tribes

In the early nineteenth century, the United States assumed ownership of all of the Oregon Territory through “right of discovery”, first adjudicated in the United States Supreme Court in 1823 in Johnson v. M’intosh (Supreme Court of the United States 1823).[i] This ownership remained tenuous as it relied on the European protocols of exploration and … More Imagining the American Nation, and Ignoring the Tribes

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 … More Curry’s Volunteers

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 … More Planning the Reserve on the Sea Coast

Rector Responds to the Catholic Boarding School Proposal, 1862

In 1862 the Catholic Church of the United States made a proposal to open boarding schools to serve all of the Indian reservations primarily served by their own Catholic Missionaries. This proposal would then have the church build boarding school facilities on the reservations under their ministry and then satisfy and unmet needs of the … More Rector Responds to the Catholic Boarding School Proposal, 1862

Dave Yachkawa becomes Tualatin Chief 1864

Information about the inner lives of the tribes in the 1860s is very sparse. A few federal reports exist but not a whole lot of information about the lives of the tribes besides a few complaints and details about food supplies and weather. But a few years ago a document surfaced at the Oregon Historical … More Dave Yachkawa becomes Tualatin Chief 1864