Report of the speeches made by the Chiefs and Head Men of the different Indian Tribes before Wm H. Rector Supt Indian Affairs Oregon on the 24 & 21st days of May while on a visit to Siletz Agency.
Sixes George. addressed the Superintendent as follow.
"We look upon you as our leader and friend. We are glad to see you, and talk with you. I do not wish to offend you, but I must talk straight. (Truth). Palmer was the first "Ty-ee" (Supt Ind Affrs) I ever saw. He gave me good advice and I have obeyed it. Our country was on the Sixes River. We were in three tribes, and each tribe had their own chief. Our Country bordered on the Coquille River. We made a treaty with Palmer and sold our Country to the White people and came here. Since then we are told that the President had to approve the Treaty, and that he has not done so yet. I want to know what you have to say about it. If the President does not approve our Treaty, then we have not sold our Country, and wish to go back to it again. Your people have got the gold of our country. Will they pay us for it? We have never been at war with the Whites, and never killed anybody. The Indians that have killed the Whites, have had their treaty ratified and ours is not.
I think our people have improved some, and would become like white people if they had any help. Palmer told me that I would be a white man in two years. I have been here five years and am not a white man yet. I dont know but I will soon be a horse as I am eating oats.
Do you know of any Country where white people eat oats like horses? Our people have had to eat frozen potatoes that are rotten, and the carcasses of dead horses. They are dying very fast, and my heart is sick. I think rotten potatoes are not good for any people. I can eats oats but dont like them.
My people complain of hunger and want to go back to the Sixes River again. I would rather have our Treaty ratified, and have the things we bargained for and Stay on the resrevation. Do you think you are paying us for our Country by giving us one blanket to every four or five Indians, and giving us such things as oats and rotten potatoes to eat?
If I was allowed again I could kill some elk. I never did kill any white man, you should not be afraid of me. When we started to come here our guns were taken from us, and we have not seen them since. They promised to give them back when we got to the Reservation. I dont know that I
will ever see you again, and I talk plain, as I would if the President was here. I have never this to the Agent, -- because I knew he had nothing to do with the treaty. I have told the truth & am not ashamed.
Old Bill of the Rogue Rivers
I have not much to say to you more and will talk after a while. I will say a few things and talk straight (Truth) I will say that the Indians here are used like Slaves, and have been ever since Metcalf left. We have but little to eat and sometimes nothing at all. Potatoes that are rotten, are not good for any people to eat. Many of our people have no clothes. We have suffered much and many have died if you will let us go back to our country, we can do better. Metcalf gave us Beef and flour, when we first came here, and we want it now, or if you cannot give it to us let us go home and provide for ourselves. We were promised by Major Buchanan that we should return after four years, and we want to go now or have better treatment.
This is my mind.
William. Chief of the Chetcoes
I say what old Bill has said. He is old and talks straight (Truth) We are treated like Slaves and not as we were promised. We want to go home or have what was promised. The goods you to us in the little ship was not given to us. I dont know what became of them. We get one cup full of flour for our days work. We are Slaves. Nine of my people have died last winter from hunger and cold. I do not like the Agent to abuse my people. We are willing to stay here and believe we can make our own living if we are furnished with things to work with. We should have one wagon and two yoke of cattle for each tribe. Our women are packed like mules. They haul all the potatoes and pack all the wood. They packed most of the things the ship brought from the Depot to the agency (a distance of Six Miles) and get one cup of flour for a days work.
We do not want to be slaves. We want to work for ourselves.
This is my mind.
Es ches-see Chief of the Sixes
I want you to write my words and send them to the President. I dont want to offend you, but I want to talk straight to you. It may be the last chance that I will ever have. If the President was here, I would talk to him as I do to you. I am an old man and not ashamed to talk. Mr. Geary promised to write to the President, but that is the last I have heard about it. I dont want to be an Indian any longer. We were told that we would soon be like white men if we come to the Reservation. My people have lost all confidence in the white men but I have not. I want you to give us all the help you can. I fear when I die my people will scatter like birds. I have no confidence in Mr. Biddle. I want another agent that will give us what you send here for us and not sell it and abuse us. I know that you sent the ship here with flour and clothes for the Indians. I know that some of my people have died from hunger and cold. Do you think one blanket is enough for four or five Indians, and that one shirt or pantaloons will last all year. If you want us to live like white men you must help us, as we want all the help we can get. We want carts to haul our potatoes and wood in. Our women pack everything now.
Is that the way white people do? I want a gun. If I had a gun I could kill some Elk. I want my people to be permitted to go outside to work for clothes. I want something done with the mills. I have never received any good from them. My people want camp kettles, and other things to cook in. We want to live like white people and we look to you for help. I hope that you will let me have a gun.
I hope Mr. Megensin (This is the farmer) will not leave us. We could not live without him.
This is my mind. I am done.
Joe Lane Chief Too Too te nays
I have not much to say. I agree with all that has been said. I will ask you for some things to cook with, camp kettles and frying pans. I fear that we will suffer next winter because there is no grain growing on the farms, none saved last fall and but little oats this Spring. I want permission to go with some of my people and work for clothes.
I am done.