The Second Plague: Indian Reservations

Much has been written about the impact of pandemics on indigenous populations. Columbus and his exploratory contemporaries brought slavery (some tribes had slavery already) and conquest to the new worlds, and that conquest was greatly aided by the fact that the conquistadores passed on numerous illnesses, diseases and viruses, to these new worlds. These illnesses … More The Second Plague: Indian Reservations

John Collier and Indian Termination Policy

As Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier was a long-term advocate for Indian tribes. In the 1920s, John Collier, a trained sociologist, led efforts in Washington, D.C. to repeal the Dawes Indian Allotment Act (1887) and its overt attempt to assimilate Indians. John Collier was very critical of the Indian Office and in 1928 wrote … More John Collier and Indian Termination Policy

J. Ross Browne Investigation as Reported to the SF Herald, 1857

Special Indian Agent J. Ross Browne famously came to the Northwest reservations in 1857 and wrote reports of the conditions of the tribes on the reservations. The following appears to be the results of Browne speaking with a reporter in San Francisco for the Herald in October 1857. Revealed are additional details of the reservations … More J. Ross Browne Investigation as Reported to the SF Herald, 1857

Petition to Survey the Reservation and to Live in Peace, September 20, 1869

Previous essays have addressed the poor treatment of the tribes on the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation into the late 1860s. In 1869 during his inauguration speech, newly elected President U.S. Grant stated that he would support a path to citizenship for tribes that became civilized. (In this essay I will not quibble with the idea … More Petition to Survey the Reservation and to Live in Peace, September 20, 1869

Ka’hosadi Shasta Peoples of Oregon and California

Chief John, Tecumtum, was the leader of the Rogue River Confederacy for over a year in southwestern Oregon. The Confederacy formed when tribal bands on the Table Rock Reservation were attacked by Americans seeking to punish and exact retribution on the Indian there for previous battles, skirmishes, and petty thefts in the region. The region … More Ka’hosadi Shasta Peoples of Oregon and California