By the Donation law of Congress passed Sept 27th 1850, Government abandoned its former wise and humane policy of recognizing the right of the Indian to the possession of his land, until extinguished by purchase and mutual agreement. The country was opened up to settlement. The whites were not only invited, but encouraged by the offer of so many acres in fee simple, to occupy the same, regardless of the rights of the Indians. It is true that about the same time Congress by law, did authorize a commission to negotiate for these lands, by treaty, but the treaties under that commission, were rejected and those made since, have been permitted to slumber on the table of the Senate, whilst the lands of the poor Savages, are almost entirely occupied by our people, and as a consequence, their means of living by the chase, becoming day by day more and more precarious. We have seen the deleterious [...]
[...] Indians, those of the "Confederated Coast Tribes" very naturally enquire for the goods that were promised them, and it has been impossible to explain the matter in such a way as to relieve their minds from a suspicion of unfairness, and gross partiality on the part of the Government.
Whilst at the Siletz (6th Nov last) I held a council with the chief men of the Coast tribes, with a view to ascertain their wishes and expectations concerning the treaty. I explained the object of my mission and requested them to speak their minds freely; that I would take down what they had to say, and show it to the President, so he might know, as from their own mouths, what their wishes were, and how their hearts were inclined.
Ty-gon-ee-shee (Port Orford Chief) spoke as follows:
"I am tired of talking. More than twelve moons ago, we had a talk with a white chief, who came here with Genl Lane,
(J. Ross Browne). He represented himself as you do; promised to carry our hearts to the President, and send us his in return. He has not done so, and how do we know that you wont lie to us, as he did? My heart is not bad, but we are ashamed because the whites have taken our lands. I have always given my ear to the talk of white chiefs. Genl. Palmer promised that if we would sell our lands, and come here we should have houses and live like white people. We come and have been very poor ever since. I am not the Chief I was, but more like an old woman. There is no blood of the white man on my hands. My heart has always been good. When I see some of the Indians getting goods, and none are given to me or my people, my heart is sick, and I want to go back to my native country. We wont work, and cant stay here."
Here I explained to them, that they could not go back to their former homes, for their lands were now occupied by the whites, and they would be killed if they attempted it. [...]
[...] who would not work. They must work or starve, for our great Chief was unwilling to feed them always. Their land was good, they had farming implements and persons to instruct them, and if they would but work, as the whites do, they could soon have good houses, farms, cattle and everything necessary to their comfort and happiness.
The game was fast disappearing from the neighbouring hills, and no longer afforded a reliable means of support, whilst by cultivating the soil, they could soon have an abundant supply, at all seasons of the year, and become as healthy and prosperous, as the whites in Kings Valley. That if there were no more Indian difficulties, and the President was satisfied from their talk, that their hearts were good, that they were inclined to work, and contented to remain where they were, he would build them mills, and continue to assist them. That he did not intend to keep their lands without paying for them &c &c. The next Chief who spoke, was Ah-chess-ee, of the Euchre band
"I am glad to see you
and here you talk. I want to talk good for it makes me feel better, and I will not say anything about returning to my native land. I have been to Kings Valley and seen how rich the whites were. I know that by working we can have everything like they do. When we get mills we will be white people. If I only had a good house now, and a horse to ride, I would be content. I will keep your talk and not laugh it off. I have as it were forgotten my native land, and thrown away my bad heart. I want all my people to be good and will endeavour to make them so. We will never fight the whites anymore. If any Indian kills a white man, I will tell who did it, and will always shut my ears to bad counsel. I dont want the President to get tired. My talk is done."
Jackson (Coquelle Chief)
"My heart is just like Ah-Chess-ee, his talk is mine. Palmer asked us to sell our land, and we did so. I am willing to give it up, but I am tired waiting for the pay he promised. My heart is good though my clothes are bad. Some get more clothes, than we do, although my people were friends to the white man, we lived
in our native country, and our hearts are all right yet. The land is good here and I am satisfied with it. I am a Chief and dont work myself, but will make my people work. Old Indians dont know how to work and cant learn. The young ones will work, and will soon be like the whites. Tell the President we will always be friendly towards the whites, and we hope he will make Palmers talk good, by building us a mill, and giving us houses to live in. My talk is ended."
The Agent (R. B. Metcalfe) has had much trouble in the management of the Indians upon this Reservation, and it is to be attributed in part, to the fact that some receive annuities and others do not. If these Indians are to be kept together it is absolutely essential for their proper control and the success of the Agency, that the treaty with the Coast Tribes should be ratified and they put upon an equal footing with the Rogue Rivers.
As I did not visit the Indians in charge of Sub Agent [...]