Palmer Strategizes Treaty-Making, 1853

In 1853 Joel Palmer, newly appointed Indian Superintendent of Oregon, was working to keep the peace between the tribes and settlers in Oregon. The plan was to remove the tribes and allow the settlers to take their lands so that the natural resources may be better used. Palmer was in full agreement of his role to help colonize the Indians and in his many letters philosophized extensively about the benefits of assimilating the tribes to civilization. But Palmer was also a humanist and wanted to tribes to be fairly dealt with by the white Americans. He saw them as people … Continue reading Palmer Strategizes Treaty-Making, 1853

Near Extinction of the Grave Creek Band

The experiences of the Grave Creek Indians of southwestern Oregon mirror those of the other tribes in the region. They however hardly survived the 1850s as most of their people were exterminated by settler and militia before they could be saved by federal Indian policies of removal. Hardly anything is known of the Grave Creeks, because few of these people lived to talk to anyone of their culture. Their area was south of the Cow Creek Umpqua basin and north of the Rogue River. They were related to and likely spoke the Takelma language like their neighbors. They wee never … Continue reading Near Extinction of the Grave Creek Band

Forced to Pay for the Rogue River 1853 War

One of the most egregious of acts against the Rogue River tribes in southern Oregon was making them pay for the destruction of the property of the American squatters out of their treaty payments, after years of illegal and poor treatment at the hands of the settlers. The Americans began traveling through and prospecting in southern Oregon in the late 1840s following the California Gold rush. During the rush and the Oregon gold rush two years later, many thousands of miners invaded the territory and began having conflicts with the tribes. The Rogue River people gained a reputation for being … Continue reading Forced to Pay for the Rogue River 1853 War

Missing Pages: Additional Signatory Tribes to the Willamette Valley Treaty

For more than 166 years the following pages were missing from the history and legal record of the Grand Ronde Tribe. It appears that sometime in early March 1855 Joel Palmer secured additional signatories to the Willamette Valley Treaty from two Molalla tribes and two other tribes on the Columbia River, The Klatskania tribe (Clatskanie) and the Ne-pe-chuck band. These additions were hinted at in a letter from Palmer on January 9th of 1856. “One village of Indians in the vicinity of St. Helens have not yet signed the treaty of the 10th January 1855 but are ready to do … Continue reading Missing Pages: Additional Signatory Tribes to the Willamette Valley Treaty

Waukikum Treaty of 1851

Treaty between the Waukikum tribe and the United States, negotiated by Anson Dart, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The treaty negotiations at Tansey Point on the Columbia River were all arranged by Robert Shortess who was appointed special subagent. Dart was assisted by Henry Spalding agent, and Josiah Parrish sub-agent. The treaty was among 19 treaties negotiated by Dart and the Willamette Treaty Commission in 1851. None of these treaties were ratified by Congress. Dart accompanied the treaties to Washington, D. C. and gave the Senate a means of moving forward, by notifying them that all lands in the Willamette Valley … Continue reading Waukikum Treaty of 1851