Weekly Corvallis Gazette
(Corvallis, Oregon), 2 November 1877, 2, NADP Document D171.
THOSE "STARVING INDIANS."
Some time since we published a communication from George Harney, stating, in substance, that some of the Alsea Indians, en route to the Siletz reservation were in a suffering and starving condition. In reply to that communication we published a letter from Indian Agent Bagley, denying Harney's allegations. About that time Capt. Winant published letters in some of the San Francisco papers, stating that those Indians were in a destitute and starving condition, which appealed to the charity of the citizens of that city. Dispatches from Portland contradicted the "starving" reports, and yet the Captain maintains that he spoke from actual observation, and gives the names of prominent citizens on the Bay to corroberate his statements.
While it may be true that some few of the Indians referred to are in the condition Captain W. represents them, or was, when he was at the Bay, we cannot think that many could "starve and die" without the knowledge of Mr. Bagley, the humane and Christian gentleman who has charge of the Siletz agency. That extreme cases of proverty and desitution occur among the whites, occasionally, we all know but these are exceptional cases, and it may be so with those Indians.
We saw Mr. Bagley, last week, and he said nothing about the "starving Indians." Col. E. C. Watkins, Inspector of Indians on this coast, recently made an offical visit to the Siletz, and it was his business to find out the exact condition of these wards of government. If they had been dying from starvation, at that time, he ought to have found it out. For the good of the Indians, and for the sake of all interested, we hope a thorough investigation of the whole affair will be made, at an early day.