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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1863
([1863])

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [5]-40 PDF (14.2 MB)


Page 11

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
11 
longer desirable for the purposes for which they were established. Were it
pos- 
sible to rid them of the presence of white settlers, I should still favor
their aban- 
donment, for the reason that the country immediately adjacent is occupied
by 
whites. The constant collisions that have occurred between the two races
since 
the settlement of the State by the whites, and the measures of retaliation
adopted by each, have engendered such a feeling of hostility and vindictiveness
as to render it in the highest degree improbable that the Indians would be
per- 
mitted to live in peace upon these reservations, however much they might
be 
disposed so to do. 
In obedience to a resolution passed at the second session of the thirty-seventh
Congress, inquiries were instituted as to the propriety of reducing the number
of Indian reservations within this State, the proper locations for such as
might 
be retained, &c. The result of this investigation was such as to induce
me in 
making my last annual report to strongly recommend the enlargement of the
Round Valley reservation, and the establishment of another at Smith's river.
The reservation at Round Valley, could it be enlarge4 in the manner then
re- 
commended, and all the white settlers removed therefrom, would in my opinion
become by far the most eligible location for Indian purposes within the limits
of 
the northern district. It is in the interior of the State; it is not adjacent
to the 
mineral regions. Enlarged in the manner proposed, It would be so completely
shut in by mountains as to be almost inaccessible; its area would be ample
for 
the accommodation of all the Indians in the interior and northern portions
of the 
State. Its climate is delightful and healthy. It has some six or eight thousand
acres of arable land; is well watered and timbered. The three forks of Eel
river would supply an abundance of fish, and the adjacent mountainous regions
would furnish the "hunting grounds" so essential to the wants of
the Indian 
while uncivilized. The only objection to the immediate enlargement of this
reservation and its occupation by the Indians is the presence of white settlers,
many of whom have doubtless just and equitable titles to the homes they have
acquired. From information derived through late Superintending Agent Hanson,
I have no doubt that such of the settlers as have just titles to their claims
could 
be induced to sell the same to the government upon fair terms ; nor have
I any 
doubts that the purchase of these claims, the enlargement of this reservation
as 
suggested, and the removal therefrom of all whites, except such as are required
to conduct the official business of the government with the Indians, is a
part of 
the only feasible plan which has yet been suggested for reducing our relations
with the Indians of California to an economical and satisfactory system.
I regard it as essential to a proper location of the Indians of the northern
district that there should be two reservations, one to be located in the
interior, 
and the other upon the Pacific coast. It is said to be a fact, notorious
to all ob- 
servers, that Indians reared in the interior, and accustomed from childhood
to 
its products, cannot be induced to remain upon the coast; and that those
raised 
on the coast, and accustormed to sea-fish and weed, cannot be induced to
remain 
in the interior. For the former, Round Valley is a suitable home; and for
the 
latter, Smith River valley, or some other location, should be had. 
Smith River valley is in the extreme northwest corner of the State ; on its


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