California H109 Thomas J. Henley Wash. April 14. '56
Statement rel. to the claim of Wm. McDaniel for professionial services, in prosecutting Mexicans for kidnapping Indians, pay recommending by Cal. delegation--Enc. letter of Judge R. N. Wood.
Recd April 14. '56 Ansd April 23 '56 Cir
Washington City March 18/56
Thomas J. Henley Esq
Your favor making enquiries of no relations to the professional services rendered by Wm McDaniel as atty in certain causes wherein the U.S. new prosecutors of various persons for Kidnapping Indians in California. In reply it affords our pleasure to state that Mr. McD appeared before the Court of Sessions of Contra Costa County, of which I was presiding judge - I successfully prosecuted to commition several persons who violated the laws of U.S. & of Cal in Kidnapping Indians, that those causes were tried before I'm on change of venue. & that Mr. McD services were well worth five hundred dollars, that those prosecuting were
2 the immediate direct means by which the Kidnapping of Indians in that section of Cal was broken up - & that Mr. MD is not only entitled a fair compensation in the thanks fo all good citizens - I am pleased to add from actual knowledge that his efforts were held in high estimations by the people. [Illegible] I [indicate?] for professional services, is [illegible] of a minimum amount. It should be paid him at once.
Very respy &c R. N. Wood
Washington April 14th 1856
Hon. Geo W Manypenny Comr of Indian Affairs
Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith a communication of the Hon R N Wood. Judge of the Court of Sessions of Contra Costa County Cal, in relation to the compensation which ought to be allowed to Maj Wm McDaniel for conducting certain prosecutions in this state for the offence of kidnapping Indians and selling them into servitude. It was agreed between Maj McDaniel and myself at the time he was employed in that service, that he should receive for his services in bringing to trial persons guilty of this offence, One hundred dollars per month [all work?] fee for conducting the prosecutions as should be approved by the Comr of Ind Affs. It was deemed by me absolutely imperative upon the Department to take such decisive steps as would speedily put an end to this infamous practice. The trafic [traffic] was conducted by Mexicans desperate in their characters and difficult to arrest. They resided at remote points in the vicinity of the Indians and were strongly banded together by the [heartbeats?] of gain in this inhuman trade. Their character for desperation, wickedness and ravage being so
2 well known, there was but few men who were willing to risk their lives, in prosecuting them. It would have been utterly useless to depend for one moment on the district attorney of each county to conduct these prosecutions. Being liable to the midnight assaults of these desperadoes, they shrank from the duty of executing the laws and there was no alternative but to employ counsel or fail entirely in the object of suppressing this crime. His paper say that this practice had been carried to an extraordinary extent. I have undoubted evidence that hundreds of Indians have been stolen and carried into the settlements and sold; in some instances entire tribes were taken, en masse, driven to a convenient point and such as were suitable for servants selected from among them, generally the children and young women, while the old men and the infirm were left to starve or make their way back to their mountain homes as best they could. In many of the cases it has come to my knowledge that the fathers and mothers have been brutally killed when they offered resistence to the taking away of their children. One instance of this kind came under my own observation.
I recommended that in the cases alluded to by Judge Wood, as they had been tried twice in Solano county where the jury failed to agree, the account of