Siletz Ind. Agency Or.
August 4, 1877.
I have the honor to report for your consideration my action in relation to the removal of the Alsea Indians.
Believing it to be to the interest of the Department and Indians as well as of the settlers on the Alsea Country, I have endeavored whenever an opportunity has been presented to pursuade them to come here; but until the 7th of July 1877 have never been able to obtain from a majority of them an expression of willingness to come upon any terms whatever.
In a visit to their former country (Alsea) in June 1877 I persuaded them to visit this Agency on the 4th of July to unite with the Indians on the Agency
in the celebration of the day. While here they formed more favorable opinions of this country than ever before, and on the 7th of July they desired to talk with me about making this a permament home; their only objection to coming, being their want of teams, seed, farming implements &c. Add to this the fact that in leaving their former homes, they leave their comfortable houses and in some instances gardens, which had been cleared of timber by their own labor.
Were their parents either white or Black, it would almost be robbery to take this property from them without remuneration; but being Indians who have never taken up arms against the Whites, and who have ever occupied this country as fishing and hunting ground, until taught by the whites to till a small portion in order to obtain subsistance
The natural hatred of our superior race for the Indian prevents the possibilility of remunerating them for the
sacrifices they have made.
However relying on the humanity of our Government and acting on suggestions contained in your letter of Apr 28. 1876 I promised to give them the property formerly belonging to the Alsea Agency, including the stock; and also promised to furnish transportation for their goods and effects, from Alsea River to Yaquina Bay and also from Depot Slough to this Agency.
On their return home from this Agency after consulting with all the members of their tribe who were not present in council when the above promises were made, they sent a messenger for me, requesting me to meet them at Alsea for another and final talk.
Accordingly on the 24th ultimo I proceeded to Alsea and there in council, all agreed to remove at once, giving up all claim to their former lands, ("Land of their Forefathers") on the following conditions,
Viz: That all property
including the stock, formerly belonging to the Alsea Agency should be given to them in severalty that the expenses of removal of their goods and effects from Alsea to Yaquina Bay 15 miles should be paid by me; also the expense of transportation across the portage from Depot Slough to this Agency a distance of six miles; that their ferriage accross Yaquima Bay also be paid by the Department, and subsistance furnished them while inroute.
They are to come to Siletz Agency and be on the same footing in relation to supplies as other Siletz Indians, also to be permitted to select homes for themselves, the land to be allotted them in severalty at the pleasure of the Government or; in case of the abolition of this Agency, they desired to be shown how to secure their lands as citizens of the United States, and state of Oregon.
They have selected that part of the reserve lying between the mouth of
Siletz and Salmon Rivers, as their future home, and beg me to furnish them with a Farmer and School Teacher; which promise I could not make, unless funds for their payment could be secured from the Indian Department.
As they were desirous of immediate removal, and owing to the excited state of feeling among white settlers on account of the alleged understanding among all the tribes of the West, concerning a general uprising against the whites, and fearing that by some overt act on the part of lawless whites would be glad to see an Indian war, which might result in, the extermination of all the male Indians, I deemed it both prudence & economy to comply with their wishes at once, and making arrangements for transportation of their goods &c, took the Government stock with the assistance of the Indians, and drove them to this Reservation. I
am aware of the fact that in ordinary circumstances I should have received more direct authority from you in the matter but am satisfied that by this prompt action on my part, I have saved much expense to the Department, and I hope to receive your approval of my action in the matter.
I will say however, that had there been a prospect of an early visit from Inspector Watkins, I should have waited to consult him before acting.
Knowing through the newspaper telegraphic reports of his whereabouts and how occupied, I could not hope for an early visit from him.
As soon as the work of removal is accomplished, I will forward to you a full statement of the expenses incurred, and would respectfully ask that you will if possible furnish me with funds and supplies necessary for the payment of these expenses,
necessarially incurred, and for the settlement and subsistance of these Indians on this Reserve. It will require the utmost energy on my part to keep and provide for them with the amount asked for in the accompanying estimate
Your Obt. Servant
U.S. Ind. Agent
Hon J. Q. Smith
Commissioner Ind. Aff