California M99 J.Y. McDuffie San Francisco, Cal October 18, '59
Enc. letter from Agent Geiger in reply to one from J. Ross Brown rel to grain sold by him for his individual benefit &c.
Rec'd. Nov'r 16, '59
Finance & 16 Land Fill
Respectfully referred to the Secretary of the Interior for his information.
A. B. Greenwood Comm'sr. Off. Ind. Affr. November 17/59.
Rec'd & returned to Indian Office. Nov 18/59 GB
Rec'd 17 Nov. '59 Wm. Bailey
Office Supt Ind Affs San Francisco Oct. 18 1859
Hon. A. B. Greenwood Commissioner of Indian Affairs
I have the honor to enclose herewith a communication from V. E. Geiger Esq. Agent from Nome Lackee Indian Reservation, in reply to a letter addressed to the Department by J. Ross Brown Special Agent of the Department of the Interior. A copy of which was furnished here-
I am sir Very Respectfully Your Obdt Svt J Y McDuffie Supt. Ind Affs for California
Nome Lackee Reserv. Oct, 12th, 1859
Mr. J. Ross Browne, special agnet of the Interior Department, has furnished me with a copy of a communication addressed by him to you, dated Oct. 3d 1859, relative to some grain claimed by me and also as to the use of government oxen for my private purposes. By the courtesy of Mr. Browne I am enabled by the same mail to make a statement of my own relative to the matters.
When the proclamation of the President appeared, authorizing and directing the sale of the public lands in this district, all the lands embraced in this reservation were offered, which necessarily attracted attention to this part of the state. Many persons examined the line of the survey, and were anxious to become purchasers. Believing that the lands of this place were properly reserved, I wrote to the then Supt. of Indian Affairs on the subject and also protested with the Register of the land office against such sale. Persons, however, anxious to purchase, continued their examinations, and after investigating the survey of the Reservation, discovered that a portion of the lands claimed to belong to this reserve and which had been used for agriculture and other purposes, were not included in the survey and hence became subject to entry or purchase. Prior to this, however, and and before I was aware of the fact that any of the land claimed as belonging to this reservation were outside of the survey line, a gentleman by the name of Greene, county surveyor of the County of Colusi, ascertained that such was the fact, and by virtue of a law of this state, under which
the 500,000 acres of land, donated by the general government could be located under the school land warrants system of this state, located these hundred & twenty acres of the land in question. He made his location, and it was confirmed to him as I understand, after the Register of the US land office had communicated with commissioner. Hendricks at Washington on the portion of this land grain were growing at the time, and shortly after the location he has been visited this place, for the purpose of taking possession of his land, to the end that he might put it into the market, he being a speculation in such property. He informed me that he had already several offers for it, and I knew personally that the [illegible] had been here to examine the land with a view of purchasing it. Mr. Greene intended that he was entitled to the land and everything growing on it, and consequently placed an additional value thereon, because of the [them?] growing crops. After some delay I made a bargain for the purchase and agreed in connection with another person, who may not then nor since under my employ, to pay him at ninty days (90) for the land, at the advanced value of five dollars & twenty five cents per acre, he having paid $25/00. It may be proper for me to state here, that I have no personal acquaintance with Mr. Greene [illegible] to the transaction, and further that the just knowledge I had of his whereabout, was throughthe Register of the U.S. Land office- responsive to some enquiries of [illegible] relative to land locations in the vicinity of this reserve.
As Mr. Browne does not seem to object to my purchase of this land, I do not deem it necessary, unless asked for, to furnish copies of the warrant located, and of the [illegible] of the Receiver & Register of the U.S. Land Office at May [illegible] for other lands purchased rendered by me. If the [illegible] denied, I will furnish them on request-.
In view then of the fact that I have purchased this land, a portion of it, from Mr Greene, after he had located it, in conformity with the laws of this state and the United States. And the balance having been purchased at the public land sales, or entered in the land office, in [illegible] of the law. I deemed that I was entitled to the land and the [establishment?], at the time of the location and the purchase at the land sales, it was well known by all, that there was a growing crop on portions of this land, and this fact being known induced bidders at the sale, to bid up the land to $1.75/100 or $2.00/100 per acre. Having made all these purches in good faith, without collusion, agreement, understanding or encouragement with any one, to conceal or misrepresent the condition of the land. I was satisfied in my own mind that all belonged to me, the grain as well as the grass timber &c growing on it. It was sold without any reservation whatever & I looked upon it throughout as a bona fide transaction. It is true that the grain was put in by the Government, with it teams & implements. But it was not harvested entirely by the "Labor And Rations" furnished by Government. Under the authority & supervision of the Agent I furnished an equal amount of White help with the Government, not only to gather & thresh this grain but the entire crop belonging to the Government. The number of employees allowed by the Government was not sufficient to superintend the harvest work. & so while it furnished one man at the Thresher, I furnished another And while it furnished one man in the field to superintend the hauling, I furnished another. And had it not been done in this way, I feel afraid that the Government would have been the sufferer. I am not disposed to [prate?] about in detail the various steps that had to be taken during the troubles recently & at that time existing in the Indian Department by individuals to carry on the work of this place