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 attacked virgin populations of indigenous peoples who for the first time had to contend with new strains of influenza, smallpox, malaria, measles, and other illnesses that carried away millions of people to their graves. The estimated worldwide deaths by epidemics are in the 90 million … Continue reading 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 the Meriam Report, published as, “The Problem of Indian Administration” with the support of Congress. In 1962, John Collier had this to say about his earlier understandings of Indian society. “In those years, I still took for granted our modern fatalism: that the Indian’s spirit, … Continue reading 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 and his interactions with tribes and tribal chiefs, with whom he held councils with. Sacramento Daily Union October 16, 1857 INDIAN AFFAIRS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON TERRITORIES. Our readers will be interested in a perusal of the following account of the present condition of the … Continue reading J. Ross Browne Investigation as Reported to the SF Herald, 1857

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 of southwestern Oregon and northern California was a conflict zone for about eight years by 1856 with settlement and gold mining causing numerous territorial conflicts in the region. Gold miners, in particular, were apt to make a try at gold mining for a year or … Continue reading Ka’hosadi Shasta Peoples of Oregon and California

Joel Palmer Returning Indians and Feeding Natives, Siletz 1871

Joel Palmer was the Indian Agent at the Siletz Agency in 1871 and had responsibilities, as emphasized in his 1871 journal, over continuing to removing Indians from the Southern Coast to the Coast Reservation, some of whom had run away from from the reservation earlier. 1871 removal of Tolowa and Chetco to the Coast Reservation. In November Palmer began to gather the necessary supplies together to remove some few Indian families from the coast. Palmer was also engaged in trying to figure out how to feed the people already on the reservation, these two responsibilities split his time significantly. The … Continue reading Joel Palmer Returning Indians and Feeding Natives, Siletz 1871