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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1856
([1856])

[Oregon territory],   pp. 193-224 PDF (12.9 MB)


Page 194

INDIANS IN THE 
tion. Our efforts to establish an encampment at that point, unaided 
by the military arm of the government, under the existing state of 
affairs, would be useless, and no efforts will be made to effect such an
object in that quarter until such-aid can be given. 
The Cayuse reservation is situated about thirty miles southeast from 
Fort Walla-Walla, and upon the Umatilla river, at that point where 
the emigrant wagon road reaches the western slope of the Blue moun- 
tains. It is at this point that I desire to establish an encampment, so 
as to enable us to commence active operations for the permanent loca- 
tion of those tribes. 
Immediately on my return home, I contemplate writing you more 
in detail, giving the condition of affairs in southern Oregon, and the 
progress made in congregating Indians upon the coast reservation. I 
may say now, however, that owing to the extreme inclemency of the 
weather and wretched condition of the roads, it was deemed unadvisa- 
ble by the agent and Captain Smith to attempt the removal of the In- 
dians at Fort Lane before spring, and consequently no escort was ob- 
tained for other bands. 
Application for an escort in the removal of the Umpquas has been 
made, and it is presumed you will be advised through the proper chan- 
nel. Very little good can be accomplished unless I am sustained by 
the troops in the regular service, and I cannot but believe that I shall
receive your co-operation in carrying out the policy of the government, 
a failure to obtain which would subject me to the most humiliating 
mortification, as I should regret very much to see the humane policy 
to better the condition of these Indians frustrated by the interference 
of designing, intriguing, corrupt and vicious demagogues, such as are 
now barking at the heels of every public officer who has the moral 
courage to express his disapprobation of the savage and brutal conduct 
of these miscreants who have provoked this war, or who dare differ in 
opinion upon any subject in which they may figure. This interfer- 
ence on the part of such persons can have no other effect than to 
awaken the fears of the natives, and arouse weak-minded persons to a 
senseless opposition to the measures deemed essential to the efficacy ot
the service; but that opposition is nevertheless effective, if unaided by
a force to awe lawless persons and give confidence to the Indians. 
I have the honor to be, general, most respectfully, your obedient 
servant, 
JOEL PALMER, 
Superintendent Indian Affair8, Oregon Territory. 
Major General JOHN E. WOOL, 
Commanding Pacific Department U. S. Army, 
San Franci8co, California. 
A true copy from my letter book. 
JOEL PALMER, 
Superintendent Indian A4 airs. 
194 


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