Elijah White Romanticizes Oregon Tribal Peoples

Dr. Elijah White was a missionary and the first Indian sub-Agent of the Oregon territory. He was then (1837) part of Jason Lee’s Methodist Mission but had a falling out with Lee and left Oregon for the east. White returned in 1842 leading the first wagon train on the Oregon Trail. He was then appointed by the War Department to be a sub-Indian agent of the Oregon Territory. The Indian Office was transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1848 which caused a change in policy regarding the tribes. No longer were they first to be treated as an … Continue reading Elijah White Romanticizes Oregon Tribal Peoples

Ancient History of the Molala (La’tiwi)

The Molala (Mollala, Molalla, Molele, La’tiwi) are a tribe of Western Oregon. They lived on the eastern periphery of the Willamette and Umpqua Valleys. There were at least five concentrations of them: The Northern Molalla were situated in Dickie Prairie on the other side of the ridge from the contemporary town of Molalla, their village called Mokanti; the Crooked Finger Molalla, situated in Crooked Finger Prairie southeast of Scotts Mills; the Santiam Molalla, situated on the southern side of the Santiam River near the town of Stayton; the Tufti Band of Molalla, situated east of Springfield near the town of … Continue reading Ancient History of the Molala (La’tiwi)

Methodists in Oregon

Reverend Jason Lee established the first Methodist Mission near Champoeg in 1835. By 1839 the mission had been damaged by flood waters and Lee established another farm and school in what is now downtown Salem. Lee had the sawmill built first, and with the sawed timbers built first the grist mill then his house on Broadway at the Liberty interchange along Chemeketa Creek (Mill Creek)( the house is now situated at Willamette Heritage Center) and then the mission school, at what is now Willamette University. Many of the students at the first mission were taken off of the French Prairie and … Continue reading Methodists in Oregon

Dart’s Instructions of Colonization and Assimilation in 1850

In 1850, the United States passed The Oregon Donation Land-claim Act. This act gave American men 640 acres, one square mile of free land in Oregon, allowed other claims by wives (160 acres), and children, and proved up on the previous land claims of other Americans. A recent manuscript by Julius Wilm (2017) points out that the United States, previous to the Treaty of Oregon (1846), sidestepped the issue of claiming full ownership to Oregon, and risking the ire of Great Britain, and instead tried to pass an act to  “secure the persons and property of American Citizens”  which were … Continue reading Dart’s Instructions of Colonization and Assimilation in 1850

The 1851 Treaty Commission: the Ya-su-chah at Port Orford

This second treaty at Port Orford was with a tribe south of the Rogue River, likely the Chetleshin tribe. This is another athapaskan speaking tribe that already had several problems with miners on the coast. The emphasis on maintaining the peace and access of Americans across their lands suggests there were many problems in the area. With these two Port Orford Treaties, the entrance to the Rogue River, and the potential settlements on the coast would be assured. Access to the Rogue River was important to get to the gold region of Oregon, and the future coastal downs at the … Continue reading The 1851 Treaty Commission: the Ya-su-chah at Port Orford