EDITOR STATESMAN: In your issue of Oct. 26th, reference is made by the publication of a part of an interesting letter from J.J. Winant, of S. F., on the "destitute condition of the Alsea Indians." And you also state that you referred the matter to Col. E.C. Watkins and P.B. Sinnott, Esq., "who unhesitatingly pronounced the statements made by Capt. Winant as untrue," and that "Col. Watkins and P. B. Sinnott had visited these Indians." I was at Siletz Agency during Col. Watkins' stay there, and witnessed the inspection made by him, and was well pleased with the candor and honesty of purpose in dealing with the Indian question, to my certain knowledge, however, neither Col. Watkins, Capt. Wilkinson or P. B. Sinnott ever visited the Alsea Indians at Yaquina Bay, and from the favorable opinion of the gentleman named, I concluded your reporter did not state the case clearly, and located the Indians, referred to by Capt. Winant at Siletz, instead of Yaquina Bay. Col. Watkins informed me that owing to his prolonged service in the Nez Perces country, his time was limited, and he regretted his inability to visit the Alsea, Coos, Umpqua and Siuselaw Indians, which several tribes once constituted the Alsea Agency. The condition of the Indians mentioned by Winant, has been fully corroborated by citizens of this place, and I am at a loss to understand why such hasty and uncalled for remarks should be made by newspapers, concerning a matter in which every good citizen must feel an interest. Capt. Winant is a resident of S. F., where twenty years of honest dealing and gentlemanly deportment, characterized by many acts of generosity, will be all the answer necessary to the criticism of "grievances, jobs," etc. Capt. W. received from the charitable people of S. F., several packages of old clothes, which he is distributing among the needy and destitute Indians.
You will do a simple act of justice to all parties interested by publishing this brief article.
R. A. BENSELL.
Newport, Or., Nov. 5th, 1877.