Removal of Four Tribes from the Umpqua Reservation 1855-1856

Between the time of the formation of the Umpqua Reservation in the Umpqua basin (1854) and the removal of the four tribes to Grand Ronde Reservation, in late January 1856, Joel Palmer the Indian Superintendent had to make fast and detailed plans. The war of the Rogue River Confederacy was raging in the Siskiyous and the Indian agents for Oregon and California were working with the US Army and the militias of both states to remove the neighboring tribes to temporary reservations to keep them from joining the fight. Tolowa Natives of northern California were imprisoned at Battery Point for … Continue reading Removal of Four Tribes from the Umpqua Reservation 1855-1856

Curry’s Volunteers

This letter from General Wool is remarkable for its transparency in revealing the actions and decisions of Governor Curry of Oregon. General George Law Curry was a two-time governor of Oregon and in control of the territorial militia. Common histories of Oregon suggest that Curry “led” some 2500 of his volunteers in the Yakima Indian war in support of the federal troops. Wool’s letter below reveals this to not at all be the case in December of 1855, instead Curry declines the assign his troops to the federal authorities, has Col. Nesmith command about 350 of them in some sort … Continue reading Curry’s Volunteers

Planning the Reserve on the Sea Coast

The following letters detail one side of the conversation with Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs in Oregon, and John Wool, commander of the Pacific Department. (I don’t yet have Palmer’s letters.) Wool’s assistant Townsend, when Wool was visiting Puget Sound, sent orders to help Palmer move the tribes from Southern Oregon, at the Table Rock Reservation, with troops from Fort Vancouver. There was a shortage of troops at this time because at the same time several companies were deploying into Washington State to encounter the Yakimas and Klickitats who were being hostile. The Yakimas and Klickitats had already forced … Continue reading Planning the Reserve on the Sea Coast

General Wool in California

The following is a series of statements by General John E. Wool and his underlings in the 1850s, from their administrative moorings in Benecia, California, the offices of the Department of the Pacific. General Wool was in this time pacifying California for settlers, working on arrangements with Mexico following the Spanish-America War, and also dealing with the new territories on the west coast, Oregon, and Washington and Utah. In this territory there were innumerable tribes of Native peoples, and a huge number of American immigrants who flooded the territories in the tens of thousands causing numerous conflicts with the tribes. … Continue reading General Wool in California