War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0161 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE--UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records



San Francisco, October 9, 1862.

Brigadier General G. WRIGHT:

SIR: I am just in receipt of two letters from the supervisor of the Indian reservation at Round Valley, and two letters from other persons corroborating his statements, informing me that some of the settlers in that valley have in a clandestine manner from time to time during the growing season opened the fences on the Indian farms and turned in their cattle, hogs, and horses, until the entire crop of corn (over 100 acres) and nearly all the wheat, oats, and barley have been destroyed except about 500 bushels, whereas there should have been more than that many thousand in the aggregate. He informs me also that the settlers told the Indians that they had not provisions now to last them through the winter, so that they must steal or starve, and if any of their stock was missing they would kill every Indian; thus alarmed, they induced two entire tribes to leave, the Con Cows and Hat Creeks, and went with them part of the way. The supervisor had no troops to assist him, and consequently was compelled to submit, and he now expects every day they will drive away the remainder of the Indians. The settlers now propose furnishing me with supplies for the winter if our Congressmen will guarantee them assurances of payment for them and also for their land claims in the valley, so that they may remove and give up the entire valley for a reservation. Whether they have destroyed our crops in order to sell us their own surplus the facts and circumstances can only determine. I shall endeavor to get either Mr. Phelps or Sargent to visit the valley and see for themselves what is actually needed, that when in Congress they may govern themselves accordingly.

My policy heretofore recommended to the Indian Commissioner I have again urged in my last report, viz, to abandon and sell the lands of Nome Lackee and Mendocino Reservations, which are entirely unsuited to the Indian service, and enlarge Round Valley Reserve so as to include all the forks of the Eel River, thereby givan extent of mountain territory of twenty-five by thirty miles for hunting and fishing purposes, and pay the white settlers for every legitimate land claim they have in the valley, removingj them entirely beyond the line of the reservation. The mountain district included in the enlargment is entirely unsuited to white settlers' use and will give general satisfaction to the Indians. This enlargement would be locating the reservation in the northeast corner of Mendocino County and adjoining Tehama, where the Indians would be protected against the trespasses of white settlers hereafter by interminable mountain barriers, and upon this reservation could be collected and subsisted all the interior Indians of the northern district. The same can be said of Smith's River Valley for the use of every coast Indian. Ranges of mountains on its north and east which can never be settled by white men, only suited for Indian hunting grounds, constitute a barrier for the protection and safety of both races, with the Pacific Ocean on the west and south affording an entrance at Crescent City. The troops under Major Curtis, at Camp Lincoln, stationed midway between the settlements of whites and Indians.

The settlers' farms of this valley have also to the paid for, and the money arising from the sale of Mendocino and Nome Lackee Reservations will nearly or quite refund the money thus expended, and one-half the expenses of keeping up these reservations thereby reduced. It has

11 R R--VOL L, PT II