Copyright 2000 - 2003 - Janine M. Bork
This page is part of the Union County, OR AGHP
Judge Deady's First Term - The Trial of Joseph Knott - Murderous Savages - Settlers and Miners Assassinated and Robbed - Securing Arms - Direful Fate of White Victims - Volunteers Called For to Protect the Settlements - Heroic Response - The First Skirmish - Jackson County Appeals to the Governor of the Territory - General Lane Besought to Help His Fellow Citizens - His Prompt Response - Nesmith and Grover Volunteer - Indians Captured - Perfidy of Surrendered Savages - Combination of Indian Tribes to Exterminate the Whites - Fortified at Table Rock - Pursuing the Savage Warriors - Fatal Conflicts - General Lane in the Field Ahead of His Commission - Energetic and Successful Prosecution of the War - A Pitched Battle - Colonel Alden and General Lane Wounded - Surrender of the Indians - Flags of Honor - General Smith's Heroic March - Treating for Peace - General Lane and Ten Unarmed Negotiators Threatened with Base Murder - Conclusion and Terms of the Treaty - Retaliatory Depredations - Protecting the Immigrant Trains - Fighting on the Overland Trail - Conduct of the Treaty Indians - Ill Treatment of the Volunteers by the National government - Pony Expresses - Mines and Mining - Other Industries - First Courts in Jackson and Douglas Counties - Murderers Hanged - More Indians Punished - Many Settlers Assassinated by the Savages - Discovery of Gold - The Coos Bay Company and Settlement.
WITH the opening of the spring of 1853, the prospect for the future of Southern Oregon was very encouraging. Settlers had occupied nearly all the valleys in the three counties, and were prepared to put in crops, while the placer mining in Jackson county, as well as in Northern California, yielded large returns. The trade of Scottsburg consequently rapidly increased. On March 29th, the Pacific Mail steamship Fremont entered the Umpqua river, bringing one hundred and fifty tons of freight; and on the same day the schooner Fawn brought two hundred tons. The Fremont was billed for semi-monthly trips.
At the June election in 1853, the vote was as follows: Jackson county: Total vote, 1191. Representatives, George H. Ambrose, John F. Miller, Chauncey Nye; Probate Judge, Thomas McF. Patton; County Commissioners, Martin Angell, B.B. Griffin and John Gibbs; County Auditor, C.S. Drew; Sheriff, William Galley; County Treasurer, Dr. E.H. Cleveland. Douglas county: Total vote, 306. Representative, Wm. J. Martin; Probate Judge, Sol. Fitzhugh; County Commissioner, Sam B. Hadley; Sheriff, Elijah Perry; Assessor, H. Iles; Coroner, R.P. Daniels; Prosecuting Attorney, Columbus Sims. Umpqua county: Total vote, 223. Representative, Dr. L.S. Thompson; County Commissioners, Wm. H. Wilson and Ebenezer Stephens; Probate Judge, Isaac N. Hall; Sheriff, J.A. Knowles; Treasurer, W.W. Wells; Auditor, Jos. L. Gilbert.
The second term of the U.S. District Court was held at Scottsburg on July 29th, Judge M.P. Deady presiding. Mr. Deady had recently been appointed District Judge by President Pierce, and had been assigned to the Southern Oregon District. This was his first term. The occasion was made remarkable from the fact that the first case of homicide in the district was tried at that time, the case of The Territory vs. Joseph Knott. The tragedy occurred at Winchester, upon election day, and produced intense the excitement throughout the thinly settled community. There was even talk of lynching the accused; but this was promptly suppressed by the better class of citizens and the efforts of Sheriff F.R. Hill, who was a brother of the victim. The territory was ably represented by C. Sims, Prosecuting Attorney, B.F. Harding, United States Attorney, and George K. Sheil. On the part of the defense appeared ex-Judge O.C. Pratt, R.E. Stratton, A.C. Gibbs and S.F. Chadwick. The trial resulted in a verdict of acquittal of the defendant. This case proves more strongly than any other circumstances that even at this early day the people of Southern Oregon were a law-abiding people.
The trade from Scottsburg and the Willamette valley with the mines in Jackson county and Siskiyou, which was principally carried on by pack trains, was very profitable during the early part of the summer, and was still further encouraged by the fact that Major B. Alvord was at the time engaged in locating an United States military wagon road from Myrtle creek to Camp Stewart, in the Rogue river valley, upon the completion of which it was confidently expected that the wagon train would supersede the present expensive mode of conveyance. The Indians, since the fight at Big Bar, had been very quiet, with the exception of the Grave creek band, under the command of Chief Taylor. Early in June, it was ascertained that a party of seven men, who were engaged in mining on Rogue river near the mouth of Gallice creek, had mysteriously disappeared. Chief Taylor volunteered the evidence that they had been drowned in the winter's flood; but, as Taylor was found in possession of their gold dust, he and several of his band were arrested by Captain Bates and a company of miners, were duly tried and convicted of murder, and were accordingly executed. Before their execution, the Indians made a full confession of their guilt, and boasted of the manner in which they had tortured their victims. Bates and his company made a war of extermination upon this band, but were only partially successful. The survivors concealed themselves in the mountain fastnesses, from which they could watch the trial, and often murdered and robbed a lone prospector, while they dared not attack a party of three or four. Early in the summer, two miners were killed on Cow creek, and their cabin robbed, probably by these renegades.
Aside from the trouble with the
Grave creek band, which was not formidable, no difficulty was anticipated
with the tribes in the Rogue river valley, who had up to this time professed
the greatest friendship for the Whites. In fact, they had so ingratiated
themselves with the miners and settlers that the latter willingly traded
their arms and ammunition for venison, for which they had no time to hunt.
In all this, the treachery of the blood-thirsty savages was fully disclosed.
Having provided themselves with what they deemed a sufficient supply of
military stores, their conduct suddenly changed; and from being friendly
and subservient, they became sullen and arrogant. Tipsu, the chief of the
tribe at the foot of the Siskiyou Mountains, with whom the settlers had
made a treaty in the previous year, insisted that they must leave his country;
and, as it subsequently appeared, the Klamath, Shasta and Rogue river Indians
had already formed a league for the extermination of the Whites. The settlers
in the upper part of the valley, fearing trouble, were making a hasty organization,
when they were anticipate by a general
outbreak of the Indians. But few men in the country were prepared for such an attack; and a large majority were without arms or ammunition. The first notice the settlers had of the outbreak was the murder, on the 4th of August of a farmer named Richard Edwards, who resided about five miles from Jacksonville. The Indians had entered his cabin in his absence; and upon his return, he was shot with his own gun through the spine, after which his head was nearly severed from his body with an ax, and an attempt made to cut his throat with a dull knife.
Upon the return of the coroner's jury from the scene of the murder, a meeting of the citizens was held at the Robinson House in Jacksonville; and the work of organizing military companies was at once begun. On the day of the murder of Edwards, several haystacks were burned in different parts of the valley, a yoke of oxen belonging to Mr. Miller were killed near Jacksonville, and the house of William Kahler entered and rifled of its contents. On the following morning, the cabin of Mr. Davis was broken open and robbed; and in the evening Mr. Davis and Burrel B. Griffin were fired upon by the Indians and both wounded by arrows, the former in the thigh and the latter in the shoulder. About nine o'clock on the night of the same day, a report of a gun was heard in Jacksonville, accompanied by a cry of "Murder." Several of the citizens armed themselves and rushed to the rescue. Upon arriving at the spot, Thomas J. Wells, a merchant of Jacksonville, was found shot through the lower part of the body, and died shortly after. A strong guard was established around the town to prevent surprise. On the next day, Rhodes Nolan, who had been acting as one of the town guards, was shot and killed as he was entering his cabin on Jackson creek. The citizens, who had been preparing for a skirmish, upon receiving intelligence of his murder, immediately started for the scene, and soon returned with a captured chief, who was quickly mustered to an oak tree; and during the day three others were hung beside him.
On the night of the 5th, W.K. Ish and Mr. Davis were sent to Fort Jones for assistance; and to their appeal Captain Alden and the people of Yreka and vicinity quickly responded. At the same time, August 6th, the settlers in the upper part of the valley went to interview the band commanded by Tipsu. Upon their arrival at the camp, they were met by a volley from the Indians; and a brisk skirmish ensued, in which they were met by a volley from the Indians; and a brisk skirmish ensued, in which Andrew J. Carter and Patrick Dunn were wounded, the former having his right arm broken below the elbow, and the latter receiving a gunshot wound in the should. The loss of the Indians were never clearly ascertained; but it is known that five were killed and several wounded. The Whites captured the women and children of the rancheria, and took them to the farms of Alberding and Dunn as hostages, they having erected a stockade to prevent an assault. The situation of the women and children of the settlers upon the outbreak was really deplorable. Their husbands were all needed for the public defense; and their little accumulations, together with the heirlooms they had brought across the plains, had to be abandoned to the mercy of the savages. Many of the families came to Jacksonville. Those on the lower rogue river congregated at T'Vault's (For Dardanelles), N.C. Dean's, Willow Springs, Martin Angell's, and in the upper part of the valley at Jacob Waggoner's. All of these places were fortified and well guarded.
Captain J.K. Lamerick, with a
company of forty men, was stationed at Willow Springs. On the 7th, several
of the company of forty men was stationed at Willow Springs. On the 7th,
several of the company, about a dozen in number, went to Jacksonville,
and towards evening started to return to camp. John R. Harden, late representative
of Jackson county, Dr. Rose and another were riding by themselves, while
T'Vault and the rest of the party had taken another road. About a mile
camp, the three were fired upon by Indians in ambush. Dr. Rose was instantly killed, and Harden shot through the hips by a rifle ball; but the third man was not wounded. Harden kept his horse until the rest of the party, who heard the firing, came up, and lived eleven hours, suffering the most intense agony. The party came in for help, and upon their return found Dr. Rose's body stripped, his throat cut in two places, one eye gouged out and his person horribly disfigured. He had about six hundred dollars, which with his horse was stolen. As soon as any dwelling was left unprotected, it was burned, and its inmates, if any, murdered. During the first week of the outbreak, ten houses were burned between Jacksonville and Fort Dardanelles.
The promptness which the residents volunteered is deserving of great praise. In Jackson county alone, six companies were raised at once. They were respectively commanded by Captains J.K. Lamerick, John F. Miller, R.L. Williams, E.A. Owens and W.W. Fowler. The latter's company was raised especially for the protection of the women and children who had taken refuge in Jacksonville. The muster-rolls of these gallant soldiers will be published in another volume of this history.
The appeal to Captain Alden, of Fort Jones, and the people of Yreka and Scott's valley, was very promptly responded to. Captain Alden immediately left Fort Jones with ten men, all who were available at the post at that time, bringing fifty muskets and a supply of cartridges. Captain Jas. P. Goodall, of Yreka, with a company of ninety men, and Captain Jacob Rhodes, from Humbug creek, and a company of sixty, followed very shortly after.
The Board of County Commissioners of Jackson county acted as a Committee of Safety, and on the 14th of August directed a communication to the Governor of Oregon, of which the following is a copy:
"At a meeting of the Board of Commissioners, I am instructed to inform you that war exists between us and the Indians of this valley, who are, as we are informed, in league with the Indians of Klamath Lake, Snake river, and with the Shasta Indians, for the purpose, as they affirm, of the extermination of the Whites of Rogue river valley. They have already killed and wounded several of our citizens, killed our cattle and destroyed our dwellings. Captain B.R. Alden, Fourth U.S. Infantry, from Fort Jones, Scott's valley, with a small detachment is here by request. He has enrolled two companies of volunteers, and, in obedience to the wish of our citizens, taken the command. We would request your Excellency to procure from Fort Vancouver one small howitzer, together with some small arms, and enroll a sufficient number of men to guard them through. (Signed.) Geo. Darr, Secretary Board of Commissioners. Edward Shiel, President." On the back of this letter was the following indorsement: "I consider it very requisite that a howitzer, with ammunition, fifty muskets and some three thousand rounds of ammunition, be sent to the valley. B.R. Alden, Captain Fourth Infantry."
This communication was forwarded
by Mr. S. Ettlinger, who made the trip to Salem, on horseback, in four
days. Mr. Ettlinger was accompanied to the house of General Lane, near
Winchester, by I.B. Nichols and James Cluggage, who carried to the general
an urgent appeal for his presence and help. The general received the message
at one o'clock in the morning on the 17th; and before noon he proceeded
to the seat of war, and on his journey secured many volunteers, who were
his old friends, and who had confidence in his military ability. As the
general had just been elected a delegate to Congress, and was at the time
of receiving news of the outbreak preparing for his journey to Washington,
it was not remarkable that the gallant men who accompanied him esteemed
him for his love
of his adopted state, as well as his self-sacrifice. The result of Mr. Ettlinger's mission was very successful. Governor Curry issued a requisition, through General Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, upon Colonel Bonneville, in command of the United States garrison at Vancouver, which was very promptly responded to; and, as an instance of the lack of red tape, it is proper to copy his letter:
"Headquarters Fourth Infantry,
"Columbia Barracks, August 24, 1853.
"Sir: Lieutenant-Colonel Bonneville has this moment received your communication of yesterday, requesting that a howitzer, and a sufficient force to work it, may be sent to the seat of the Indian difficulties. He desires me to inform your Excellency that he has already sent a howitzer with its caisson, containing a good supply of ammunition, under charge of an officer and six men. The men are acquainted with the artillery drill, and are very competent to work the howitzer. Lieutenant Kautz has charge of the party, and will expect a volunteer force to escort him to the seat of difficulties.
"THOMAS R. CONNELL,
"Adjt. Fourth Inf., Brvt. Capt. U.S.A.
"Hon. Geo. L. Curry,
"Acting Gov. of Oregon."
The request for an escort was promptly responded to. Under the proclamation of Governor Curry, a company of forty men at once enlisted, of which the officers were: J.W. Nesmith, Captain; L.F. Grover, First Lieutenant; Wm. K. Beale, Second Lieutenant; Dr. J.C. McCurdy, Surgeon; J.M. Crooks, Orderly Sergeant. These men did gallant service, as will hereafter appear.
In the meantime, the citizens of Rogue river valley were left to defend themselves. About a week after Dunn and Carter, with their party, had captured the women and children of Tipsu's band, Sambo, a son of Tipsu, came with his warriors, numbering about fifteen, into their camp and surrendered. They were received in good faith and provided for. Several families were at this station at this time, including those of Fred Heber, Asa Fordyce, Samuel Grubbe, Isaac Hill and Robert Wright, besides a number of single men. The Indians were not watched, full credit being given to their professions of friendship. On the morning of the 17th, they made an attack upon their protectors, instantly killing Hugh Smith, and wounding John Gibbs, Wm. Hodgkins, Brice Whitmore, Morris Howell and B. Morris, and then made their escape. Gibbs died soon after at the stockade at Waggoner's, where the Whites moved for protection. Hodgkins expired while being moved to Jacksonville, and Whitmore a few days after reaching the hospital at that place.
The first business of the volunteers
was to ascertain the locality of the main body of the Indians. Scouting
parties soon found that their stronghold was their position of the year
before, near Table Rock, to which they had added fortifications with considerable
skill. They numbered at least three hundred warriors, commanded by Joe,
Sam, Jim and several other minor chiefs; and all were defiant and aggressive,
pledging themselves to a war of extermination. The tribes of Chiefs John
and Elijah were known to be somewhere on Applegate creek, to the south
and west of Jacksonville, and therefore very dangerous to the safety of
the town, if an advance was made to Table Rick, which was nearly north.
To ascertain the force of these Indians, and to drive them from their position,
if possible, Lieutenant B.B. Griffin, of Company A, and Captain J.F. Miller,
with a detachment of twenty-five men, were ordered to march on the morning
of June 10th. The Lieutenant
proceeded to Sterling creek, where he destroyed the rancheria of Chief Elijah after a slight skirmish, in which Sergeant George Anderson was wounded in the hip. Following down Sterling creek the next day to the main Applegate, a short distance above the mouth of Williams creek, an Indian trail wa struck, which was vigorously followed up Williams creek until about a mile from its mouth, when the attacking party was suddenly ambushed by the Indians under Chief John. At the first fire, Private Francis Garnett was killed. The company made a gallant fight for some time, but being greatly overmatched, and the Indians being concealed, they were compelled to retreat, leaving the field to their enemies. Lieutenant Griffin was shot through the leg by a rifle ball. The Indian loss was afterwards reported as being five killed and wounded.
Upon the arrival in the valley of Captain Alden with his few regulars, and the California volunteers under Captains Goodall and Rhodes, the Oregon volunteers, by order of Colonel Ross, united with them; and all were encamped on Bear creek, which was called Camp Stuart. At the unanimous request of the volunteers, Captain Alden assumed command of the forces, which numbered about three hundred men. It had already been ascertained that the Indians had abandoned their position on the south of Table Rock and taken another, five or six miles north of the rock, in a cañon of dense brush. About the 15th of August, the forces proceeded to give them battle. Captain hardy Elliff, with his command, was ordered to their rear to bring on an engagement, when the main force was to charge them in front. When the troops arrived on the ground, the Indians were nowhere to be found, having moved their camp several days before.
First Lieutenant Ely, of Captain Goodall's company, with a picked company of twenty-two men, was sent in search of the Indian camp, while the main force returned to Camp Stuart for the purpose of obtaining supplies to pursue the Indians into the mountains. On the morning of the 17th, Lieutenant Ely discovered the Indians about ten miles north of their last camp, upon the right-hand fork of Evans creek. He immediately fell back to an open prairie interspersed with small washed gullies bordered with willows, sent two men to headquarters announcing the situation, and determined to hold his position with his twenty men until the arrival of the main body. In the meantime the Indians, availing themselves of the shelter of the gullies and brush, crawled up and commenced an attack at a distance of thirty yards, killing two men at the first fire. Lieutenant Ely immediately withdrew his men a distance of two hundred and fifty yards to a ridge covered with pine trees, with a prairie in front, but elevated ground in the rear. In this position the Indians flanked and surrounded them. In this position this gallant little band fought, without flinching, an overwhelming number of Indians for three hours and a half, when John D. Cosby, with five men, the advance of Goodall's company, arrived on the ground. On seeing the reinforcement, the Indians precipitately fled, carrying off eighteen horses and mules, with their caparisons, blankets and camp equipage. The loss in Ely's command was: killed, J. Shane, P. Keath, Sergeant Frank Perry, A. Douglass, A.C. Colburn and L. Stuckling; wounded, First Lieutenant Ely shot through the wrist, John Albin, James Carrol and Zebulon Shutz, all slightly. The entire force again returned to Camp Stuart to care for the wounded and to obtain supplies.
On Sunday morning, august 21st,
General Jo Lane, with his friends, arrived in camp, when Captain Alden
at once tendered him the command. Governor Curry had already appointed
General Lane Brigadier-General of the volunteers; but the general was much
line to be extended, to prevent the enemy from turning our flank, and the men again to take cover behind trees. This position was held for three or four hours, during which time I talked frequently with the officers and men, and found them cool, and determined on conquering the enemy. Finding myself weak from loss of blood, I retired to the rear, to have my wound examined and dressed. While here the Indians cried out to our men, many of whom understood their language, that they wished for a talk; that they desired to fight no longer; that they were frightened and desired peace. Mr. Tyler was dispatched by Captain Goodall to inform me of the desire of the Indians to cease firing and make peace. By this time, Robert Metcalf and James Bruce had been sent into their lines to talk, and, having informed them that I was in command, they expressed a great desire to see me.
"Finding that they were much superior in numbers, being about two hundred warriors, well armed with rifles and muskets, well supplied with ammunition, and knowing that they could fight as long as they saw fit and then safely retreated into a country exceedingly difficult of access, and being desirous of examining their position, I concluded to go among them. On entering their lines, I met their principal chief, Joe, and the subordinate chiefs, Sam and Jim, who told me their hears were sick of war, and that they would meet me at Table Rock in seven days, when they would give up their arms, making a treaty and place themselves under our protection. The preliminaries having been arranged, the command returned to the place where they dismounted, the dead were buried and the wounded cared for.
"By this time, Colonel Ross, with his battalion arrived, having followed our trail for some distance. This gallant command were anxious to renew the attack upon the Indians, who still remained in their position; but as the negotiations had proceeded so far, I could not consent. That night was spent within four hundred yards of the Indians; and good faith was observed on both sides. At the dawn of day, I discovered that the Indians were moving, and sent to stop them until a further talk was held. Accompanied by Colonel Ross and other officers, I went among them, and became satisfied that they would faithfully observe the agreements already made. By the advice of the surgeon, we remained that day and night upon the battle-ground, and then returned to Table Rock.
"Too much praise cannot be awarded to Colonel Alden. The country is greatly indebted to him for the rapid organization of the forces, when it was utterly without defense. His gallantry is sufficiently attested by his being dangerously wounded while charging at the head of his command, almost in the enemy's lines. Captains Goodall and Rhodes, with their companies, distinguished themselves from the beginning to the end of the action for their cool and determined bravery; no troops could have done better. The command of Colonel Ross, under Captains Miller and Lamerick, although too late to participate in the action, made a severe march through the mountains, and arrived on the ground one day sooner than I expected them. Their presence was of great assistance to us. Our loss in the battle was three killed: Pleasant Armstrong, John Scarborough and Isaac Bradley, and five badly wounded: Colonel Alden, myself, and privates Charles C. Abbe (since dead), Henry Flesher and Thomas Hays. The Indians lost eight killed and twenty wounded, seven of whom we know to have since died.
"Soon after my return from the
mountains, Captain A.J. Smith, First Dragoons, arrived at camp with his
troops from Port Orford. His arrival was most opportune. His presence during
the negotiations for a peace was of great assistance, while his troop served
to overawe the Indians.
"The governor of the territory, upon the first information being received by him, ordered out a company under Captain Nesmith, and sent them as an escort for a large quantity of arms and ammunition which were procured from Fort Vancouver. Captain Nesmith arrived after the negotiations had been commenced, but was of great service tome from his intimate knowledge of the Indians and their language. Lieutenant Kautz, Fourth Infantry, accompanied Captain Nesmith, and had in charge a twelve-pound howitzer and caisson, which he brought safely into camp, although the road is a very difficult one and seldom traveled by wagons. A commission as brigadier-general, from the governor of Oregon, reached me a few days after I had assumed command at Captain Alden's request. A treaty of peace has been made with the Indians; and I have no doubt that with proper care it can be maintained. The tribe is a very large one, and to a great extent controls the tribes in this part of the country; and a peace with them is a peace with all. This, in my opinion, can only be perfectly secured by the presence of a considerable military force in the Rogue river valley without delay.
"To Robert Metcalfe, who acted for me as scout and guide, I am indebted for the faithful discharge of his duty. John D. Cosby, James Bruce and George W. Tyler did good service in the same capacity. On the expedition to the mountains, from the 22d to the 26th, W.G. T'Vault, Esq., acted as my volunteer aid. At that time, Captain C. Sims joined the command, and handsomely performed the duties of assistant adjutant-general until compelled by sickness to resign on the 29th. Since that time, Captain Mosher, late of the Fourth Ohio volunteers, has performed the duties of that office. Doctor Ed. Shiel, George Dart, Richard Dugan and L.A. Davis, the Commissioners appointed by Colonel Alden, were most active in the performance of their duties, and kept the command supplied with provisions, transportation and necessaries for carrying on the war. Major Chas. S. Drew, Assistant Quartermaster, with his assistants, performed their duties with promptness and accuracy. Dr. E.H. Cleveland, Surgeon-General, and his assistants, performed their duties with promptness and accuracy. Dr. E.H. Cleveland, Surgeon-General, and his assistants, were unremitting in their attention to the sick and wounded.
"I have the honor to be, etc.,
The troops upon their return went into camp ab Bybee's ferry, near Table Rock, which was named Camp Alden, in honor of the gallant officer who had been so severely wounded, the headquarters being established in a small log cabin without floor or door. The quarters were not pretentious, but were in full accord with the command, which was entirely, without tents, which they did not need, especially as they had plenty of commissary stores, the want of which had been very much felt during the campaign in the mountains.
On the 1st of September, a pleasant
episode occurred at the camp. A deputation from Yreka brought two flags
wrought by the women of that place, to be presented to the companies of
Captains Goodall and Rhodes for their gallant conduct. The ceremony of
presentation took place at headquarters The troops were paraded, when Dr.
Gatliff, the leader of the deputation, delivered the flags to General Lane
for presentation. The general, in the performance of this duty, gave great
praise to these companies for their conduct in action, explained the situation,
and warned all the troops to be guilty of no act of treachery pending the
negotiations. General Alvord, U.S. Army, being present, was introduced
by General Lane and made some very happy and appropriate remarks.
The next day, Captain A.J. Smith, First U.S. Dragoons, with one company of his regiment, arrived at Camp Alden from Port Orford. For making this journey, Captain Smith, now General A.J. Smith, on the retired list, has never been given proper credit. From the time of the unfortunate exploration of Mr. T'Vault, several expeditions had been fitted out at Port Orford, some of which were under the charge of the engineers of the United States Army, for the purpose of finding a trail to the Rogue river valley, none of which had been successful. When Captain Smith received his marching orders, he left immediately, and proceeded to the north side of Rogue river at Big Bend. Finding no practicable trail on the north side of the river, he crossed to the south side, intending to follow the first stream that entered Rogue river from the south. The country being all on fire, the smoke was so dense that it was impossible to discover the topography of the country; and the Captain missed the mouth of the Illinois river, and entered a cañon from which it took him three days to extricate himself. Upon getting out, he ascended the dividing ridge between the Illinois and Rogue rivers, and struck Rogue river at Vannoy's ferry without the loss of a man or a horse.
On the fourth of September, Lieutenant L.F. Grover, with a portion of Captain Nesmith's company, as an escort for the ammunition, arrived in camp, accompanied by General Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, S.H. Culver, Indian Agent, and Judge Deady, of the U.S. District Court.
On Saturday, September 3d, Joe and Sam, the principal chiefs, and Mary, the wife of Jim, came to headquarters to hold a talk with General Lane, in which the preliminaries of the treaty were concluded. There were present at the council, Major Alvord, Captain Smith, U.S. Army, Colonel John E. Ross, Captain Mosher, Captains Miller, Goodall, Rhodes, Martin and Applegate. On the next day, Sunday, General Lane, accompanied by Captain Smith and his company of dragoons, with the party recently arrived, visited by Captain Smith and his company of dragoons, with the party recently arrived, visited Joe's camp, some six miles distant, for the purpose of concluding the treaty; but, as all the warriors were not yet assembled, three days more were allowed; and Chief Joe was informed that, if at that time he was not ready to treat, hostilities would recommence. On the 9th, Lieutenant Kautz, with the howitzer, arrived in camp, as well as Captain Nesmith, whose influence was quite as effective as the "big gun." On the morning of the 10th, the parties met according to the previous agreement, which was that only ten unarmed Whites should be present. The Indian chiefs were to be there, with their arms and their warriors within convenient distance to support them, while Captain Smith's company of dragoons should remain at the foot of the hill nearly half a mile away. Captain Nesmith, who of course was invited, not only from his rank, but as an interpreter, objected to trusting himself to the treachery of the savages, as did many of the others; but they went all the same. This incident has been so vividly described by Captain Nesmith, in a communication to the Oregon pioneers at their reunion in 1879, as to be worthy of being reproduced here:
"Early in the morning of the
10th of September, 1853, we mounted our horses and set out for the Indian
encampment. Our party consisted of the following named persons: General
Jos. Lane, Joel Palmer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Saml. H. Culver,
Indian Agent, Captain A.J. Smith, First Dragoons, Captain L.F. Mosher,
Adjutant, Colonel John E. Ross, Captain J.W. Nesmith, Lieutenant A.V. Kautz,
R.B. Metcalf, J.D. Mason, T.T. Tierney. After riding a couple of miles
across the level valley, we came to the foot of the mountain, where it
was too steep for horses to ascend. We dismounted and hitched our horses,
and scrambled up for half a mile over huge rocks and
through brush, when we found ourselves in the Indian stronghold, just under the perpendicular cliff of Table Rock, surrounded by seven hundred fierce and hostile savages, arrayed in all their gorgeous warpaint and feathers.
"Captain Smith had drawn out his company of dragoons, and left them in line on the plain below. It was a bright, beautiful morning; and the Rogue river valley lay like a panorama at our feet. The exact line of dragoons, sitting statue-like upon their horses, with their white belts and burnished scabbards and carbines, looked like they were engraven upon a picture; while a few paces in our rear the huge, perpendicular wall of Table Rock towered frowningly many hundred feet above us.
"The business of the treaty commenced at once. Long speeches were made by General Lane and Superintendent Palmer, which had to be translated twice. When an Indian spoke the Rogue river tongue, it was translated by an Indian interpreter into Chinook, or jargon, to me, when I translated it into English. When Lane or Palmer spoke, the process was reversed, I giving the speech to the interpreter in Chinook and he translating it to the Indians in their own tongue. This double translation of long speeches made the labor tedious; and it was not until late in the afternoon that the treaty was completed and signed.
"In the meantime, an episode
occurred which came near terminating the treaty, as well as the representation
of one of the 'high contracting' parties, in a sudden and tragic manner.
About the middle of the afternoon, a young Indian came running into camp
stark naked, with the perspiration streaming from every pore. He made a
brief harangue and threw himself upon the ground apparantly exhausted.
His speech had created a great tumult among his tribe. General Lane told
me to enquire of the Indian interpreter the cause of the commotion. The
Indian responded that a company of white men down on Applegate creek, under
the command of Captain Owens, had that morning captured an Indian known
as Jim Taylor, tied him to a tree and shot him to death. The hubbub and
confusion among the Indians at once became intense, and murder glared from
each savage visage. The Indian interpreter told me that the Indians were
threatening to tie us up to trees and serve us as Owens' men had served
Jim Taylor. I saw some Indians gathering up lasso ropes, while others drew
the skin covers rom their guns and the wiping sticks from the muzzles.
There appeared to be a strong probability of our party being subjected
to a sudden volley. I explained as briefly as I could what the interpreter
had communicated to me; and, in order to keep our people from huddling
together and thus making a better target for the savages, I used a few
English words not likely to be understood by the Indian interpreter, such
as 'disperse' and 'segregate.' In fact, we kept so close to the savages
and separated from one another, that any general firing must have been
nearly as fatal to the Indians as to the Whites. While I admit I thought
my time had come, and hurriedly thought of wife and children, I noticed
nothing but coolness among my companions. General Lane sat upon a log with
his arm bandaged in a sling, the lines about his mouth rigidly compressing
his lips, while his eyes flashed fire. He asked brief questions and gave
me sententious answers to what little the Indians said to us. Captain A.J.
Smith, who was prematurely gray-haired, and was affected with a nervous
snapping of the eyes, leaned upon his cavalry saber and looked anxiously
down upon his well-formed line of dragoons in the valley below. His eyes
snapped more vigorously than usual, while muttered words escaped from under
the old dragoon's white mustache that did not sound like prayers. His squadron
looked beautiful, but alas! they could render us no service. I sat down
on a log close to old Chief Joe, and having a sharp hunting knife under
undershirt, kept one hand near its handle, determined that there would be one Indian made 'good' about the time the firing commenced.
"In a few moments, General Lane stood up and commenced to speak slowly, but very distinctly. He said: 'Owens, who has violated the armistice and has killed Jim Taylor, is a bad man. He is not one of my soldiers. When I catch him he shall be punished. I promised in good faith to come into your camp with ten other unarmed men to secure peace. Myself and men are placed in your power. I do not believe that you are such cowardly dogs as to take advantage of our unarmed condition. I know that you have the power to murder us, and can do so as quickly as you please; but what good will our blood do you? Our murder will exasperate our friends, and your tribe will be hunted from the face of the earth. Let us proceed with the treaty, and, in place of war, have a lasting peace.' Much more was said in this strain by the General, all rather defiant, but nothing of a begging character. The excitement gradually subsided after Lane had promised to give a fair compensation for the defunct Jim Taylor, in shirts and blankets.
"The treaty of the 10th of September, 1853, was completed and signed, and peace restored for the next two years. Our party wended their way among the rocks down to where our horses were tied, and mounted. Old A.J. Smith galloped up to his squadron and gave a brief order. The bugle sounded a note or two, and the squadron wheeled and trolled off to camp. As General Lane and party rode back across the valley, we looked up and saw the rays of the setting sun gilding the summit of Table Rock. I drew a long breath and remarked to the old general that the next time he wanted to go unarmed into a hostile camp, he must hunt up some one besides myself to act as an interpreter. With a benignant smile he responded, 'God bless you, luck is better than science.' I never hear the fate of General Canby, at the Modoc camp, referred to, that I do not think of our narrow escape of a similar fate at Table Rock."
By the treaty of the 10th of
September, the Rogue river Indians ceded to the Untied States a large amount
of territory to which they had no title, and over which they had no control,
except the right of the robber to collect toll from the passing immigrants.
The cession was bounded as follows: "Commencing on the south side of Rogue
river, one mile below the mouth of Applegate creek, thence southerly to
the highlands dividing the waters of Applegate and Althouse creeks, thence
along said highlands to the summit of the Siskiyou Mountains, thence easterly
to Pilot Rock, thence northeasterly to the summit of the Cascade Range
of mountains to Pitt's Peak, continuing northeasterly to rogue river, thence
westerly to the headwaters of Jump-off-Joe creek, thence down said creek
to the intersection of the same with a line due north from the place of
beginning, thence to the place of beginning." The consideration for this
grant was sixty thousand dollars, from which was to be deducted the sum
of fifteen thousand dollars for damages to the settlers, according to the
preliminary treaty made by General Lane on the 3d of September. The balance
due the Indians was to be paid on the installment plan, in blankets, agricultural
implements, clothing and such other goods as might be deemed proper b the
Indian agent, which an old mountaineer described as "chips and whetstones."
It was further agreed that the treaty Indians should be allowed to occupy
temporarily, as a reserve, the land bounded as follows: "Commencing at
the mouth of Evans creek on the north side of Rogue river, thence up said
creek to the upper end of a small prairie bearing in a northwesterly direction
from Upper Table Rock, thence through the gap to the south side of the
cliff of said mountain, thence in a line to Rogue river, striking the southern
base of Lower Table Rock, thence down said river
to the place of beginning." It was also agreed that the peace thus made should not be violated by the misconduct of individuals of either party, but that any violations of the treaty should be referred to the Indian agent for settlement; that all Indians guilty of any offense should be delivered by the chiefs to the civil authorities for punishment; that the chiefs would guarantee a safe conduct to any white person desiring to cross the temporary reservation. They also surrendered all their guns, except fourteen rifles and ammunition for hunting purposes.
The armistice which followed the negotiations for peace, while generally respected, was on several occasions violated by irresponsible Whites and renegade Indians, but chiefly by the latter. On the 4th of September, a house was burnt within one mile and a half of Jacksonville, with ten tons of hay and oats. Several houses were burned on Applegate creek; and in that vicinity a Spanish pack train was attacked, three of the muleteers wounded and two of the mules with their cargoes captured. Dan Raymond's house on Cow creek was burned, and all his property destroyed. On the 5th of September, Captain Owens made a treacherous raid upon a party of Taylor's band of Indians at Grave creek, which came near producing a catastrophe at the making of the treaty. During the armistice, an attempt was made to prevent the consummation of the treaty by those who advocated the total extermination of the Indians. It is needless to say that those who advocated this course had not met the Indians on the battlefield. On September 8th, General Lane issued an order to Captains Terry and Owens to proceed at once to the ranch recently burned by the Indians, follow their band till they found them, and bring them to battle. Failing to obey this order, these valiant Indian exterminators were immediately discharged from the service, and were heard of no more. The other companies of the command were honorably discharged, with a high compliment to their bravery and good conduct.
Captain John F. Miller, however, was ordered with forty men of his company to proceed without delay to the Southern Oregon trail for the purpose of protecting the incoming immigration. He was given unlimited discretion in the treatment of the Indians. This service Captain Miller performed with credit to himself and the soldiers under his command. The immigration was large, and well-provided with cattle, horses and mules; but their oxen were poor, they were short of provisions, and the Indians were hostile and very bold. Captain Miller saw their signal fires along the whole route, and made several unsuccessful raids upon them; but they fled at the approach of the troops.
On September 29th, he surprised
a camp of Modocs at Bloody Point, killing one and wounding several others.
He made his headquarters at this place, and sent First Lieutenant Abel
George, with twenty men, along the trail to the east. Lieutenant George
proceeded to the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains where, on the third
of October, he met a train of immigrants beyond Deep cañon, one
hundred miles east of Bloody Point, whose train he guarded, as the members
of it were completely worn out. Just before daylight n the morning they
were attacked by the Indians, who were trying to steal the stock of the
train. The Indians were repulsed with the loss of two killed and many others
wounded, while the Whites had two wounded, Joseph Wate, of Missouri, shot
in the side of the head by an arrow, and private Wm. Duke, shot through
the breast and arm by a bullet. The immigration came through with comparatively
little loss and suffering, but this, judged by the present standard, was
such as could never have been endured by men and women in their station
in life. A portion of the new settlers went
to California, but a large part of them settled in the Rogue river valley, where they and their descendants have built up one of the most prosperous and intelligent communities in the state.
After the treaty was made, there was still one element of danger that threatened the much-desired peace. Chief Tipsu, who claimed to own the upper end of Rogue river valley, well known to be a dangerous and treacherous enemy, had not joined in the treaty, and gave out that he was not bound by its provisions. General Lane, before his return to his home in October, wishing to leave nothing undone to secure peace to the valley, went to Tipsu's camp accompanied only by R.B. Metcalfe and James Bruce, and made an agreement with him by which the rights of settlers should be respected. This was an extremely dangerous venture; and no one but General Lane could have returned uninjured from such an interview.
The treaty Indians were located upon the Table Rock reservation, while on the south side of the river Captain A.J. Smith with his dragoons erected a two-company military post built with logs, within easy reach of the reservation, which was properly named Fort Lane. S.H. Culver, who was appointed agent of the Southern Indians, made his headquarters at the fort. This post was abandoned after the removal of the Indians in 1856, and has long since fallen to decay; but it has the distinction of being the school in which many prominent soldiers had their first experience in warfare after leaving the academy at West Point. Among them were General George Crook, General H.B. Gibson, General N.B. Sweitzer, General John B. Hood, of the Confederate army, and several others of lesser fame; but the pride of the post was Dr. Charles H. Crane, late Surgeon-General U.S. Army, who, although a non-combatant, proved himself as gallant a soldier as the best of them.
Congress at the solicitation of General Lane, who was the delegate from Oregon, paid the expenses of the war and assumed the payment of the loss suffered by the settlers, which was to be computed by a commission. The commission when organized consisted of Hon. L.F. Grover, A.C. Gibbs and George H. Ambrose. The award of the commission, after a full examination, was about forty-six thousand dollars, of which only about thirty-three per cent was ever paid.
The business of Jackson county,
although very much impeded by Indian hostilities, went steadily forward.
The first term of the district court was held in Jacksonville, on the 5th
of September, by Judge M.P. Deady. Several civil cases were tried, and
some indictments found by the grand jury, which under the circumstances
could not be tried at that term. The court sat only a few days; and all
the accessories were of a very primitive character. Before the war broke
out, the settlers on the farming lands had sown considerable wheat, the
yield of which was so extravagantly large that the newcomers could scarcely
realize it. In 1852, Dugan & Co. established an express form the Willamette
to the Sacramento valley, which proved very valuable property, as there
was no mail communication at that time. The headquarters were at Jacksonville.
Late in the year the business was transferred to Cram, Rogers & Co.
and was finally absorbed by Wells, Fargo & Co. The express business
was then in its infancy. In the early part of 1853, the miners did remarkably
well. Water was plentiful, and the mines recently opened proved extravagantly
rich. The business of the merchants rapidly increased, so that the business
of the express company became a very important matter. It seems almost
incredible at this time to say that all this treasure was during the most
dangerous portion of the year carried daily between Yreka and Jacksonville
horseback, with relays at convenient stations, by two young men, who, when they left their several offices, in addition to the treasure, took their lives in their hands. They were fortunate then and have been ever since. One of them was Stephen D. Brastow of Wells, Fargo & Co., and the other C.C. Beekman, the banker of Jacksonville, Oregon.
During this year, Major Alvord, U.S. Army, made a reconnaissance, in order to determine the line of the military road from Myrtle creek to Rogue river. Assisted by Jesse Applegate, he examined these different routes, one east of the Umpqua cañon, one following Cow creek and the cañon itself. The route through the Umpqua cañon was finally adopted; and the contract for building the road was let to Jesse Roberts for the distance through the Umpqua cañon, and to Lindsay Applegate for the portion through the Grave creek hills. The road was to be completed by June, 1854; and the work was duly performed with the money available from the appropriation by Congress, - fifteen thousand dollars.
The first term of the district court of the county of Douglas was held at Winchester, on the 19th of September, 1853, Judge M.P. Deady presiding. L.F. Grover, Esq., appeared as United States district attorney and S.F. Chadwick, Esq., prosecuting attorney pro tem. There were eight civil cases on the calendar, and the grand jury found two bills of indictment; but, as none of the cases were ready for trial, the term of the court lasted but three days. During the fall of this year, ten wagons, loaded with immigrants, who had made the overland trip by the southern route, came through the cañon; and their owners made their homes in the Umpqua valley. As an evidence of the increasing prosperity of Douglas county, it may be stated that in the fall of 1853, in addition to other stock, a band of one thousand head of mutton sheep was driven to the mines of Southern Oregon.
After the execution of the treaty with the Rogue river Indians at Table Rock, the settlers of Jackson county relied upon peace being maintained, although, as had been related, there had been several violations of the armistice previous thereto. They were consequently much alarmed to hear that on the night of the 7th of October, about 10 o'clock, James Kyle, a merchant of Jacksonville and a partner of Wills, who was murdered near jacksonville at the commencement of the war, had been shot by two Indians, who were traced to the reservation. Captain Smith, in command of Fort Lane, and Mr. Culver, the Indian agent, took prompt measures to secure the delivery of the murderers. This was a difficult matter, as one of them was a relative of Chief Joe, and both were popular with the young Indians of the reservation. The object was finally accomplished and the two, George and Tom, were given up on the 12th of October, as well as Indian Thompson, the murderer of Edwards. They were tried at Jacksonville by Judge McFadden, at the February term, 1854, of the district court, found guilty, and hanged a few days after. Mr. Kyle died on the 13th of October. The surrender of these Indians did much to restore confidence in the good faith of the Rogue river chiefs.
The Indians living on the Illinois
river owed their allegiance to Chief John. Although desperate fighters,
they were intimidated by the large number of miners then in that section
of the country, did not join in the war, and took no part in the treaty;
but they amused themselves by stealing stock and whatever they could safely
get away with. About the 12th of September, 1853, they attacked two miners,
Tedford and Rouse, several miles below Deer creek bar. Rouse was cut in
the face, and Tedford was shot in the left arm, shattering the bone. The
miners were alone at the time, but were speedily found by the neighboring
miners and taken to a place of safety. Tedford
died within a week. About the middle of October, Alex. Watts and a number of others mining at the mouth of Deer creek, which is a branch of Illinois river, having lost over twenty horses and mules, demanded them from this band of Indians. The Indians replied that the stock had strayed down the Illinois river and that they could come and get them. Accordingly Watts and some twelve men started down the indian trail to recover them. Arriving at a small prairie where they were grazing, they commenced herding the stock, when they discovered that the Indians were attempting to cut off their retreat. They immediately charged through them and reached the trail in safety, Alex. Watts being shot in the leg. A few days after, Mr. Culver, the Indian Agent having been informed of the difficulty, left Fort Lane with a detachment of dragoons under Lieutenant Radford, to punish the Indians and recover the stock. Upon arriving upon the ground, it was found that more force and provisions were necessary. In response to his request, Lieutenant Castor arrived with a reinforcement. The further account of the movement is taken fro the official report of the Indian agent: "On to where my guides wanted us to stop, that they might explore a little. These two Indian guides belonged to Chief Joe's people. In a short time, the guides returned and said they were satisfied the Indians were below on the creek. Lieutenant Radford left a guard with the horses and went down the mountain with the command of foot. The guides took us down so as not to be observed. The men jumped into the water, went across the river and upon them so quickly that they were completely surprised. The Indians made three different stands, though they were short. After the word 'forward' was given the dragoons never stopped, but rushed upon them and chased them until they reached the mountains. From eight to fifteen Indians were killed. It was impossible to tell how many, because the Indians carried off all the killed and wounded they could. There were twenty soldiers in the fight, and we had two men wounded. Just after we had commenced our return, we were fired upon from the bushes. Sergeant Day was killed and private King wounded."
The command returned to Fort Lane in safety. A few weeks after this attack, the miners about the mouth of Deer creek, under the command of Mike Bushey, made another attempt to recover the stolen property. The party was composed of thirty miners, who proceeded by the trail to the Indian rancheria. Upon their arrival, the Indians were very hostile, and in one engagement William Hunter was shot three times with bullets, but finally escaped without serious injury. Captain Bushey and Alex. Watts, however, finally succeeded in patching up a peace which was fairly observed until 1855.
The coast section of Oregon south
of the Umpqua river was rapidly developed during the year 1853, of which
little was known in the interior for the reason that all communication
which the settlers of the coast had with the outside world was by sea directly
with San Francisco, form which port they received all their supplies. The
new settlements were therefore more colonies of California than an integral
portion of the territory of Oregon. The military post at Port Orford was
of little advantage towards the settlement of the country; but the discovery
of gold mines near that place in the summer of 1853 secured a rush of miners,
and brought the locality into prominent notice. The first news of this
discovery was obtained through a San Francisco newspaper, which stated
that about fifty miners were making from seventy to seventy-five dollars
per day to the hand near Port Orford. The mines were on the beach, and
extended nearly thirty miles above and below Port Orford.
Similar deposits were found above and below the mouth of Rogue river, which was properly named Gold Beach. About the same time, two half-breed Indians discovered the placers at the mouth of Whiskey Run, a small creek which empties into the ocean about five miles north of the Coquille river. After working them a short time, they sold them to the Macnamara brothers, it is said, for twenty thousand dollars. It was estimated that more than one hundred thousand dollars was taken from this one claim. the rumor of these rich mines having got abroad, thousands of miners flocked to them, and began prospecting along the coast from Trinidad in California to the Umpqua river. Along the beach near Whiskey Run, not less than a thousand men were congregated. A town sprang up at once, containing stores, lodging houses, saloons, restaurants, tents and cabins in large numbers, which was named Randolph. The beach mining during this season was very profitable, but as soon as the season of high tides, which accompany the rainy season, set in, the work had to stop.
While the gold-mining excitement was at its height, another movement was being made much more quietly, but which proved to be of incalculable value to the people of the coast, and the source of their present prosperity. Perry G. Marple, who was an enthusiast, had been a preacher, and what, in our present vernacular, would be designated as a "crank," conceived the idea of exploring the mouth of Coos river, and establishing a colony there. At that time, the merchants, miners and settlers of Jackson count were anxious to find a seaport through which they could receive their supplies at a less expense than by the way of Scottsburg or Portland. Marple, in carrying his idea into execution, took a party, in the winter of 1852, to the mouth of the Umpqua, and having procured two Indian guides, followed the coast until they arrived on Coose Bay, where Empire City now stands. Having ascertained that the entrance to the harbor was practicable, that the timber was of a fine quality, almost inexhaustible, and that coal was to be found, he returned to Jackson county to organize a colony. In this he was successful. The original members of the Coos Bay Company were: Rolin S. Belknap, James C. Tolman, Elizabeth E. Tolman, Mary Tolman, Freedman G. Lockhart, Esther M. Lockhart, Ella Lockhart, Lillias M. Lockhart, Vestal W. Coffin, Esther J. Coffin, Emma Coffin, Vestal W. Coffin, Jr., Solomon Bowermaster, Jos. H. McVay, James A.J. McVay, Wm. H. Harris, Chas. W. Johnson, Wm. H. Jackson, Perry G. Marple, Andrew B. Overbeck, A.P. de Cuis, Charles Pearcey, Matthias M. Learn, Curtis Noble, Henry A. Stark, Chas. H. Haskill, David Rohrer, Jesse Roberts and Sigismund Ettinger. Perry G. Marple was President, and James C. Tolman, Secretary. The pioneers of the company came to the Umpqua valley, and found a convenient trail by the way of Looking Glass and Camas valley to the middle fork of the Coquille, thence to the ocean. From the mouth of the Coquille, they proceeded up the beach to Coos Bay. W.H. Harris took his Donation claim on the south side of the bay, about five miles from the bar, the site of Empire city. Lockhart took a claim at North Bend, Curtis Noble the Coos City claim, J.C. Tolman the Marshfield site; and the others took the most available claims in the vicinity.
The company, as originally formed,
was on the Fourier system of a community of interest. In December, 1853,
the company, by their president and secretary, sent to General Lane a draft
of a bill which they wished Congress to pass. The fourth section directed
the Surveyor-General of ORegon to survey all the claims then taken, nineteen
in number, giving the names of the claimants, and issue the certificates
for patents to the Coos Bay Company. The bill further provided for a division
of stock and dividends, the duration to be twenty years. It is needless
to say that the bill was never presented. The
settlers held their Donation claims as all other citizens of Oregon, and laid the foundation of one of the most prosperous communities in Southern Oregon.
Induced thereto by the rapid settlement of the country, the legislature of 1853-54, on December 22d, passed an act creating the count of Coos, and defining its boundaries as: "Beginning at a point on the ocean eight miles south of the Umpqua river; thence southeast to the dividing ridge between the waters of the Umpqua, and Coos and Coquille rivers; thence along the summit of the divide to the southwest corner of Douglas county; thence south to the source of the south fork of the Coquille; thence south to the forty-second parallel; thence west to the Pacific Ocean; thence north to the place of beginning."
The first vessel that entered
Coos Bay was a small schooner bound for the Umpqua, which entered their
by mistake in 1852, and remained several weeks, hunting for the settlements
and terrified by the Indians, until P. Flanagan and Pilot Smith, learning
their condition from the Indians at the Umpqua, piloted them out, and into
their destination. The first vessel to bring a cargo to the bay was the
Cynosure, a sailing vessel, commanded by Captain Whippy, which arrived
in 1853, soon after the opening of the Randolph mines. The commerce and
development of this section will be fully shown later.