Remarkably Good Health … except for the deaths; Siletz Health report 1863

Reservation Health Reports previous to the 1870’s are fairly rare. there are about two reports a year for each reservation. The annual reports also have some health information, but its generally very brief. The best indicator for the first two decades of the reservations are the census reports. there as a dramatic decline in population for about 15 years. In other essays on this blog I have noted that its likely that some tribes, those from southern Oregon, were insulated from some diseases, being remotely located in the mountains, and only when they removed to the reservations, and began regularly interacting in close proximity with whites and other tribes that they began getting ill and dying of common diseases.  tribes for the Columbia and Willamette valley would get many diseases early in settlement because they were the first encountered and first areas settled. Tribes on the coast had much more maritime visitation and interaction and so they too caught illnesses

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We are Treated like Slaves and are Starving: Siletz Chiefs send their Remarks to the President 1862

  In the 1860’s the western Oregon reservations were still struggling with feeding all the Indians despite promises by Indian agents, and the treaties, that when they removed, there would be plenty of food. This was a persistent problem that was not solved until at least the 1870’s. As mentioned in other essays, Grand Ronde likely had a little bit better situation, as they had secured treaty payments from 7 ratified treaties. While at the Siletz Reservation, the tribes removed there did not have claims to all of these treaties, as suggested in annual allocations of funding. Regarding one large part of the population at Siletz, the Rogue River people who perhaps could have claimed the southern Oregon treaties, many, went to war against the U.S. settlers (for good reasons, which were ignored) and as such they were disallowed from treaty payments (I have not found the exact statement that is is so, but annual appropriations suggest this.). Regardless whether

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Meacham’s Final Appeal to Fairly Pay the Tribes Removed to the Coast Reservation.

Albert B. Meacham was an Indian agent in the 1860’s and 70’s and oversaw some changes in the reservations. He attempted to give the tribes some voice in this situation, worked to get the tribes to adopt western medicine, and began warning the tribes that their treaty funding was about to end. In short, he seemed to care about the tribes and his reports suggest that he deeply cared about what the tribes had gone through for some 16 years.  He even wrote a book of his experiences, Wigwam and Warpath, which addresses nearly all of the tribes in Oregon. The appendices of the book contain many of his best reports. The following section of a 1871 report is directly related to the Coast Treaty and the fact that it was never ratified. The tribes of the southern Oregon coast were removed beginning in 1856 to the Coast Reservation, and the Umpqua temporary reservation, as a way to eliminate conflicts

read more Meacham’s Final Appeal to Fairly Pay the Tribes Removed to the Coast Reservation.

Did the non-ratification of the Coast Treaty cause Grand Ronde to become permanent?

The Grand Ronde Indian reservation was a sudden change in plans for Joel Palmer in 1855. The original plan was to concentrate all tribes on the Coast Reservation within four years, or by 1859. The Coast Reservation, established in 1855 by presidential executive order, was completely undeveloped, with few or no roads, an intractable wilderness with few settlers and a few Indian tribes on the coast. It was not prepared to serve some 4,000 Indians removed from their homelands and under the administration of the federal Indian agents.  So, when the Rogue River war began later in 1855, and other conflicts with tribes north of the Columbia were warming up, Palmer had to initiate a faster removal to save the lives of the remaining tribal peoples, rather than wait for the Coast Reservation to be ready. Palmer worked with the Army to buy the Grand Ronde Valley and move all of the tribes there. The valley had a  developed infrastructure

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Oregon Native Place Names in the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Part 1

In the map collections of Oregon Historical Society there is a selection of Coast Survey maps. Most of these maps date from 1874 and there are some later. They are blueprint copies of the original maps, which are likely in College Park, Maryland in the NARA Cartography collection center. These maps I had found and photographed some five years previously (very badly). Then I “discovered” that a couple of the maps had some Native Place names. It is on maps # 770 b & c where there is documentation of the survey from Siletz to the Tillamook area. The maps give the common river and lake place names and the Native place names. When I first found the maps I was interested in the Salmon River place name, Nechesne. After encountering that name, I researched further and found it to be commonly known in various ethnographic sources. These last few months I have been engaged in more research directly within

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