Office Superintendent Indian Affairs
Salem Oregon, March 28th 1864
In my letter of 5th instant in relation to attempts to trespass upon the Coast Reservation I informed you that the Agent supposed that he would be able to remove the intruder then remaining without the intervention of Military force.
I have since learned that on the 24th with Lieut Wenzer in command at Siletz Block House, upon requisition of Agent Simpson, arrested one Richard Hillyer, Captain of the Schooner Camelia Terry for violation of the intercourse laws.
Having been released upon parole temporarily, Capt. Hillyer went to Corvallis, from which place he communicated by telegraph with parties in San Francisco and the result was an order by telegraph from Asst Agt Genl R. C. Drum ordering his release. A copy of the dispatch marked (`A') is enclosed herewith.
While at Corvallis suit was instituted in the name of A. Ludlow, Richard Hillyer and Richard Harris pltff. against Benjn Simpson and _____ Bensley Defts in the circuit court of Benton County, damages being alleged at $15,000.00, for being interrupted in taking oysters in Aquina Bay. -- The _____ Bensley who is
joined with Agent Simpson as defendant is the Corporal who made the arrest under order of Lieut. Wenzer.
After the release of Hillyer he defied the Agent and his authority, and was turbulent and disorderly, Agent Simpson thereupon called upon Lieut. Wenzer to remove Capt. Hillyer and all persons in his employ from the reservation. A copy of Lieut Wenzer's reply is enclosed herewith marked ("B").
Capt. Hillyer then proceeded to take a cargo of oysters on board and Sailed for San Francisco.
I am unable to say when Hillyer first came upon the Coast reservation, but on 1st April 1863. (the time when Agent Simpson and myself entered upon official duties) he was living in a house upon the North side of Aquina Bay, claiming to have had verbal permission from late Agent Condon and Late Supt. Rector to reside there. Mr. Condon explicitly denies having given any such permission, but says that on the contrary he ordered him in December 1862 to leave the reservation. I have not had opportunity to enquire of Mr. Rector as to this fact, but presume that Hillyers claim is as untrue in regard to him as it is in regard to Mr. Condon. At a later day he Sought permission from Agt. Simpson to erect a larger house at a point lower down on the bay and to plant out some oysters which he had brought up from Tillamook Bay. Mr. Simpson refused to give the permission as to the house, and told him that if the planting of oysters if done
would be at his own risk, would give him no right to remain or return, that the matter had been referred to the Superintendent, and orders were expected to remove all persons from the reservation. Hillyer did however erect a large house, fitting the [illegible] up with shelves and other fixtures suitable for a store, and is said to have at the same time had on board of his schooner the remains of a stock of Clothing and other goods from a store formerly kept by him at Tillamook. He staked off a small tract of land including the building, and put up written notice claiming said tract for himself, Ludlow and Harris. He also subsequently professed to be agent or associate of a large number of persons at San Francisco who designed to settle upon the reservation for mining purposes, and exhibited a paper purporting to be a bill of Sale of Machinery for extracting gold, costing eight thousand dollars. My notice of Nov. 20th (copy of which was transmitted to your office Nov. 21st), was issued mainly with reference to the operations of Hillyer and his gang, and copy of it was served upon him by Agt Simpson and he ordered a leave. The order has subsequently been repeated several times and uniformly disregarded.
On the 17th instant Genl. Wright telegraphed to Genl. Alvord, the officer in command of this military district directing him to give such orders in relation to the Coast
reservation as he thought proper.
After consultation with this officer Genl. Alvord gave the order dated respectively March 18th - March 24th and March 25th copies which are herewith enclosed marked (`C' `D' & `E'). I take this occasion to remark that General Alvord has always exhibited a zealous willingness to assist the officers of this department in controling the Indians and enforcing the laws, and I regard it as fortunate that General Wright has put the matter into the hands of an officer who is not only ready to give the required aid, but has by long residence in this State acquired that local knowledge necessary to an understanding of affairs.
A. Ludlow & Co. in their complaint aver that when arrested they were "in the Bay of Aquina in said county of "Benton in three fathoms of water and about two hundred yard "from the shore, in water at all times navigable from the "sea and within the ebb and flow of the tide", that "the "said Simpson claims to be Indian Agent upon a reservation "near to or adjoining said bay, by virtue of which he "claims this arbitrary control over this arm of the sea", and that the plaintiffs have "never entered upon said reservation "except by his permission".
Also that at the time of arrest they were entirely "outside of the reservation" and "all their "operations were outside of said reserve if any reserve exists "and were confined to the navigable waters of said bay, and
"within the ebb and flow of the tide." I make these quotations not for the purpose of showing the deviations from truth contained therein, but to indicate the line of arguement which the plaintiffs evidently design to pursue, to wit: that the bays where the tide ebbs & flows are not a part of the reservation although the boundaries many include them. The plaintiffs have employed able counsel and a vigorous effort will be made to have this view sustained by the court. Agent Simpson ought also to be reperesented by competent counsel and it is manifestly unjust to require him to bear the expense from his private funds. I respectfully ask therefore that instructions be given me to authorize the employment of counsel and to pay for the same out of the fund for Incidental Expenses.
It is manifest that if the court sustains the positions taken by Ludlow & Co, the reservation may as well be abandoned at once, for if parties are permitted to locate on the numerous bays and inlets of the Coast, and by merely living on the tide water escape the jurisdiction of the Indian Department and liability under the Intercourse laws, this condition of affairs will be practically the same as if the whole district were opened to settlement.
My instructions to Agent Simpson and Subagent Harvey
are to vigorously enforce the laws and expel all persons from the reservation not belonging there, and we now have assurance of military assistance when necessary.
This subject is of sufficient importance to merit careful attention and the necessity for action is immediate. I trust that my action thus far may have your approval and that I may be furnished at an early day with further instructions for my guidance.
I have the honor to be
Hon. Wm. P. Dole
Your Obt Servant
J. W. Perit Huntington
Supt Indian Affairs in Oregon
Washington D. C.
Hon. Wm. P. Dole