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Bensell to Hays, 28 May 1879, in United States, Office of Indian Affairs, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880, National Archives Microcopy 234, Roll 627, NADP Document D109.
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Newport Ogn
May 28 1879

To his Excellecy
Hon R B Hays President of the United States

Sir
      A few days ago at the earnest solicitation of leading Indians in the Siletz Reservation I wrote the Hon Com of Ind Affairs a letter of the usual course – adopted a copy of the letter will send to the Agent at Siletz, and there the matter will end, fearing this and realizing this great and urgent importance of immediate action I send you some further reasons. The Corvallis & Yaquina Wagon Road Co. have a land grant of 3 miles north and south of their road, running parallel with this Agency. This Co have sold to an English firm who are building a R.R. nearby in the site of this Wagon road – this compy have extended there survey &c as to include a considerable part of the Agency in fact takes in the Agents dwelling. This RR will be completed in a year or so [illegible]


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the [illegible] to the Agency will settle and [illegible] is settling rapidly [illegible], [illegible] any for the lands at the Agency so near a railroad will be [illegible] than ever. This alarms the Indians and it is this that makes a demand for the strip of land referred to in my letter to the Commissioner. It seems to me inasmuch as the Gov has had all this agricultural lands on the Agency surveyed for the purpose of alloting said lands to such Indians as desire the same and that such allotment with deeds inalienable signed by yourself, such as were offered to the Indians as Grand Ronde would satisfy, in fact gratify all the Indians of industrious habits, on the Reserve that before the demand grows any stronger for while occupancy, these lands thence be alloted, and satisfy the Indians of character and independance and all possibility of future trouble vanishes The Indians are very restless, and of course little disposed to improve their homes until this vexed question is settled, and my opinion is every Indians desiring land on that Agency can [illegible] made


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happy & contended in less than six months if the Dept will at once carry into effect its oft repeated recomendations. The Alsea Indians often in some cases building houses on the Siletz, fearing they would lose their labor have returned to this Alsea & are locating homesteads on the land now being surveyed at that place. This shows how anxious these Indians are to obtain land. I trust you will give this matter your consideration it may save trouble, and certainly no greater act of justice could be rendered these deserving Indians.

I am Very Respectfully
Your Obt Sevt
R.A Bensell

To his Excellancy
The President of the United States

Refer to Col E.C.Watkins Inspector of Ind Agencies

A.B. Meacham
Hon G.H. Williams and any permanent [illegible] in Oregon.