Washington, July 10. The Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs today received a telegram from Agent [...], of the Klamath (Oregon) Agency, dated July 6, in which he says "No Indians are off reservation without authority. All my Indians are loyal and peaceable, and doing well. During the unnecessary excitement there may be 600 hostiles in the field. There seems to be a determination on the part of many white people to have war here, cause or no cause. The agent also states that the encroachment by white settlers upon the reservation and the grant by Congress of about 12,000 acres of the Indians lands to aid the construction of a military road through the reservation without any compensation to the Indians, constitute grievances of which they complain, but they nevertheless remain peaceable.
A dispatch received at the Indian Office to-day from Agent Rhinehart reports, under date of Cañon City, Oregon, July 7: "All the Indians belonging to the Malheur Agency are with the hostiles, except 40 of [Winnemucea's] band, now at Camp McDermitt, Nev. Gen. Howard's scouts report 1,000 hostiles 60 miles north of here, moving toward the Columbia River, and 600 troops four miles behind. The hostiles killed four settlers, wounded five, and burned seven houses while passing 20 miles west of here a week ago. Their grievances are scant supplies, too much work, the appropriation of their land by white settlers for herding purposes, and the grant by Congress for a military road of about 6,000 acres for which they have received no compensation."
The total number of the Klamath Reservation Indians, according to the department records, is 807 and the Malheurs 759 including in both cases women and children.
Agent Bagley of the Siletz Agency Oregon, in reply to a telegraphic inquiry of the 3d inst. reports to the Indian Office, under date of July 9, that there are 380 of his Indians off their reservatons working for white settlers. Seven hundred remain. He adds: "I hold the Nastucea Indians here and ask that I may purchase supplies for the indigent and those who are at work to the amount of $500 I can keep the Indians peaceably employed. There are no Siletz Indians hostile." The desired authority to purchase supplies was communicated by telegraph to-day. The cause of the presence of the Nastuceas on this reservation and some interesting details suggestive of the causes of some of the Indian difficulties in the North-west are set forth in the following letter which was also received from Agent Bagley today.
UNITED STATES INDIAN AGENCY. TOLEDO.
BENTON COUNTY. OREGON, June 21, 1878.
Hon. E A. Hoyt, Commissioner of Indian Affairs:
SIR: I desire respectfully to report that on Monday morning, at an early hour, Sam Chief of the Nastuceas of Salmon River came to the agency and reported that one of his men had been shot and killed by a white man, and that in turn one of his men, a brother to the one killed, had shot and killed the white man. The Indian was much excited and seemed to fear an attack from the friends of the white man. He said he had been to Grande Rounde Agency, and informed Agent Sinnott before coming here. I proceeded with haste to the scene of the difficulty, arriving there on Tuesday morning. I found Agent Sinnott at or near Sam's house, and in company with Mr. Sinnott went to the house of Mr. Elon Dodson, a brother of Perry Dodson, who had been killed, also to the houses of some of the Indians, and to the ground upon which fight had occurred. making all possible inquiries concerning the affair, with the object of learning its cause and probably final termination, from which I obtained the following information. vix.
First That the Dodson brothers were and had been, much prejudiced against Indians, though they were their nearest neighbors, with whom they had been trading and trafficking for two years past. From Elon Dodson I learned that the Indians were not human but brutes, and incapable of improvement, hence had no rights in land which ought to be respected, though he claimed to be law-abiding man, and would treat the Indians well, because the laws of our country required it. He thought the Indians came to kill his brother, though he admitted his brother commenced the combat which resulted in his death. He had many friends who would render assistence, but had sent to Salem for a warrant to arrest the Indians who had been guilty of murder. He was well armed and prepared to defend himself, and intended to do so. He went with me to the place where the fight occurred and showed me the positions of the combatant where they fell, &c.
Second From the Indians I learned that the Messrs. Dobson had ever been overbearing in their manner toward them, and that their lives had been repeatedly threatened by them: that on Friday, the 14th last, Sam had been informed that two bulls belonging on the reserve and placed in the hands by me for Indians who were here as the agency were being driven off the reserve by the Dobson brothers, and that he proceeded forthwith to endeavor to prevent their being driven off, and that when he pretented and attempted to return them Messrs. Dobson swore at him and threatened his life if he did not go away, and he returned without them.
Saturday morning Sam and two other Indians went across Salmon River to see Messrs. Dobson about the cattle, met the Dobson brothers and another white man. Hard words passed between them for some time. When Perry Dobson drew a revolver from his pocket and shot him through. He fell and called to his friends to kill Dobson, as he had shot him. An own brother of the wounded and dying Indian went to his relief and struck Dobson three blows with a hatchet: then, seeing a gun in the hands of another Indian, took it and shot Dobson. There were at the time a few camps of settlers in the Willemetta Valley, who had come to the West for health or pleasure, who were immediately informed by the Indians of what had occurred, and assured that no danger attended their remaining in their camps, as the Indians did not, nor had they at any time desired to fight. Knowing violence might be attempted, I deemed it prudent to bring the leaders near the agency, where I may prevent further trouble. When an effort is made to arrest them by legal process, I will render assistence to the officers making the attempt, but should mob violence be attempted, I cannot restrain the Indians from defending themselves on their own soil. To subsist these Indians I must make some purchases not authorized by you, but required by the exigency above shown. While these Indians are kept here they will be required to work for themselves, driving lumber we insue to them down the river, to be used in building their houses at Salmon River. In my telegram of this date I have requested you to order a survey of the north line of the reserve, and in relation to this matter, would respectfully say that until we know positively where the territory of the reserve terminates and that of citizens begins it will be impossible to prevent collisions.
Very respectfully your
United States Indian Agent
James S. Patten, United States Indian Agent at the Shoshone and Bannock Agency, Wyoming, wrote under date of July 2, 1878, asking authority to increase the Indian Police force on his reservation from 10 to 20 men, and states as reasons for this request, that there are a "great number of scallawags, rum dealers, and horse and cattle thieves inhabiting the southern boundary of the reservation, and that there is very strong suspicion of a regularly organized band in that region carrying on illicit traffic with Indians, trading them whiskey and other offensive articles, or stealing a horse as opportunity offers."