NADP Homepage
Sykes to Geary, 16 November 1960, in United States, Office of Indian Affairs, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880, National Archives Microcopy 234, Roll 612, NADP Document D65.
[Page 1]

Alcea Ind Sub Agency Og'n
November 16th 1860.

Sir
     I have the honor to inform you that I have succeeded in removing the Coose and Umpqua Tribes of Indians to the Alcea Sub Agency Coast Indian Reservation Oregon, and I would also state that they would have been removed sooner had I not have been interfered with by unprincipled white men. I would here mention the names of some, one Hebrew (an alias) perfectly worthless Cur who lived with the Indians above Scottsburg, one Hastings who formerly carried the mail from Port Orford. These men and many others were constantly annoying me, by talking to the Indians and telling them not to go, that the President had not given orders to move them and that I was taking responsibility on myself advising them to hide in the mountains &c, and I am so informed by the Indians and have every reason to beleive that E. P. Drew the former Sub. Agt. at Umpqua pursued the same course in regard to the matter.
     At Coose bay I have also had


[Page 2]

trouble, there lived a band of men of just such stamp most of them living with Squaws, the better citizens were most all in favor of the removal of the Indians. Those that opposed it were persons, who if living in a City would be arrested under the Vagrant law they would work a few days in the Coal Bank, obtain a few dollr then spend it with the Inds giving them Liquor &c. They not only advised the Indians to hide but hid some Squaws themselves, and carried to them their daily Subsistence. I endeavoured to find where the squaws were hid, but was unable to do so and as I had but a limited number of men and no funds on hand, I was obliged to relinquish the search for the present. I left about Twenty souls in the mountains at Coose, but as the troops have returned to Umpqua I shall in a few weeks make a requisition on the Commanding Officer for some men proceed to Coose Bay and try to arrest the remaining Indians and carry them to the Reservation, I can assure you Sir there were times during the trip when I heartily wished myself anything but a Sub. Agent.
     On my return to Umpqua


[Page 3]

after receiving the goods shipped from Portland I found but few Inds at the Agency most of them having gone to Coose bay and the mountains, I immediately proceeded with one employee to a point above Scottsburg and got all the Indians stopping there started to Umpqua but not without great difficulity and much exposure one night in an open boat travelling down river, raining all the time, also on my trip to Coose bay and up Coose River in an open boat and out for days and nights in the worst of weather.
     After collecting nearly all the Indians at Coose bay & returned to Umpqua and sent back the train of mules to bring those left the day previous one of my employees according to instruction from me crossed the bay in order to ascertain if possible the whereabouts of the hidden Squaws, he found where they were hidden. They were in the house of a County Official and were secreted by the said Official and a young man named Wm Luce but he was unable to obtain possession of them.
     When the employee arrived in Empire City he found a gang of rowdies drunk and waiting for him.


[Page 4]

They first attacked an Indian and the Employee interfering they all started towards him with the intention of beating him but as he did not run from them they concluded it best not to try it on, they then ordered him to cross the river that night if he wished to avoid being hurt, which he refused to do, saying he sought no affray, but was attending to his business and warned them not to molest him.
     Such are the men and obstacles with which I have had to battle all through the removal of these Indians, camping out at night in inclement weather, riding over mountains, fatigue of body, as well as mind has well nigh wrn me out.
     The expenses proper to date of the removal of these Indians amounts to within a few dollars of Thirty five hundred. The Indians complained much of leaving their Canoes. I promised to represent the matter to the Dept and endeavour to have them paid for. The value of them will be about Nine hundred Dollars and Justice demands that they should be paid for them.
     I would say in conclusion


[Page 5]

that the Indians are better satisfied at present, with their new home than I had any right to expect.
     All of which is respectfully submitted.

Verry Respty
Your Obdt Servt
J B Sykes
Ind Sub. Agt.

To Edwd. R. Geary Esq.
Supt Ind Affrs
Portland Oregon