Agent of Rebirth, Kalapuyan Culture in Linn County

The Kalapuyans, for their part, accepted the settlement of the whites at first, as they saw the great wealth in new things brought to them, metals, fabrics, weapons, and beads for jewelry were much sought after. But as always, there was settlement which brought came diseases, competition for food and land, and competing cultural worldviews. Tribal people would see the Whitemen, “Bostons,”  first as wealthy neighbors, where they could count on them in times of need, while the white settlers saw the tribes mostly as a nuisance, and would not share their property, food, or goodwill with the Indians. The … Continue reading Agent of Rebirth, Kalapuyan Culture in Linn County

Eliza Young: Brownsville Basketweaver

  Eliza Young (Indian Eliza, Liza), was a native of the Mohawk Valley. The Mohawk Indians, were originally called the Peyu (Pee-you, Pe-u) Kalapuyans and were re-named by settlers after the river was renamed by early settler Jacob Spores. The Spores family had come from New York in 1847, the original homeland of the Mohawk Seneca peoples, and brought that name with him. It was a practice for settlers to  rename their new settlements with names they brought from their original settlements from the east. Eliza appears to have been orphaned, likely as a result of the epidemics, perhaps malaria, … Continue reading Eliza Young: Brownsville Basketweaver

Encroachment of Americans into Brush Creek Valley

The following contains sections of an essay in the 1903 Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society, that lays out some important narratives of the Santiam and Calapooia Indians in the late 1840s. Since 1843, American pioneers were coming into western Oregon on wagon trains to settled in the Willamette Valley. These settlers took advantage of the previous decade’s horrendous illnesses, likely malaria, that caused the death of some 90-97% of most tribes. The Kalapuya tribes were much reduced by the epidemics and could no longer protect their territorial rights from encroaching settlers or other tribes. Like the Americans, and French … Continue reading Encroachment of Americans into Brush Creek Valley

Travels, Campmeetings, and Off-Rez Settlements of the Western Oregon Tribes

In recent years, histories of the Indians of Oregon have come under scrutiny by a cadre of historians and anthropologists. Questioned now are events that took place in Oregon, how the events unfolded and some of the “facts” of native history that most people have come to assume are the only history of Native peoples in Oregon. My investigation into possible mis-characterizations of Native history in Oregon has led to numerous new discoveries about native history in the historic era. These discoveries place much of the written Native history from 1850 to 1970 in doubt.  One of the most egregious problems is … Continue reading Travels, Campmeetings, and Off-Rez Settlements of the Western Oregon Tribes

The Tekopa Band of Calapooias Reservation 1855

In 1855, the Kalapuyans of the Willamette Valley signed a treaty with Joel Palmer at his land claim in Dayton. This treaty ceded the whole of the Willamette Valley to the United States. American farmers wanted the tribes removed from the valley as soon as possible as they did not want to live near Indians. There were numerous conflicts in the region caused by the encroachment of Americans onto Indian lands and the atmosphere was especially toxic in southern Oregon and on the Columbia River.  Americans, insisting that they deserved landclaims, took land from the tribes and completely disrespected previous … Continue reading The Tekopa Band of Calapooias Reservation 1855