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California H393 F103
Geo M. Hanson San Francisco, Cal Feb 28, '62 Entd
Submits statement and enc. newspaper Slips rel. to the establishment of an Indian Reservation at the Smith River Valley
See Report to Secy of Int. April 9, 1862
Respectfully referred in the Report to Secretary of the Interior April 9, 1862
[stamp] RECEIVED AT THE Apr 7 1862 INDIAN BUREAU
OFFICE INDIAN AFFAIRS, NORTHERN DISTRICT, CALIFORNIA. San Francisco, Feb. 28th 1862
Hon Wm. P. Dole
Sir You will see from my Special Report on the establishment of an indian Reservation at the Smith River Valley, in the County of Del Norte, dated 14th instant, together with the accompanying Map, that the most of the lands are mountainous, nevertheless to prevent parties from entering any of said lands in view of speculating off the indian department I have to request that you cause notice to be given the Register of the Land Office in Humbolt District, Cal. to withhold those lands disignated for an indian reservation, from sale for the present —
I am very truly &c G. M. Hanson Suptg Agt. &c N. Dist
Klamath Indian Reservation Destroyed. A New Reservation Proposed—Its Effects on Del Norte County.
Crescent City, Feb. 2d, 1862. Ed. Sentinel: Sir—The late freshet has completely demolished the Klamath Indian Reservation, and now Mr. Hanson, the Indian Agent, proposes to establish a new Reservation in this county, to embrace all the land along the coast from the Oregon and California boundary line south to within about five or six miles of Crescent City, and as far east as the top of the first range of coast mountains, making the eastern boundary the Humboldt meridian, which will contain about 40,000 acres of land, 12,000 acres of which are suitable for agricultural and grazing purposes, 500 [crossed out] 2000 [written in] acres being now under cultivation.
Negotiations are now pending between the Agent (for the Government) and the settlers for a portion of these lands, lying in the very heart of this beautiful Valley, the Major Bradford Farm being about the center. Prices have been agreed upon for near 6,000 acres, 2,000 acres of which are under cultivation, for the sum of $58,000. This sum will not pay for the improvements thereon.
Strange as it may seem, there is hardly a dissenting voice in the whole territory proposed to be purchased against this movement; on the contrary, the settlers are ready and really anxious to accept of the various prices offered for their lands. The Agent, I am told, has authority [cross out starts] from the Indian Department [cross out ends] to provide a new home for the Indians in this division of the district. Should the Department approve of this purchase, Congress could hardly refuse to make an appropriation to purchase the whole of the proposed tract, when they take into consideration that there is not less than 10,000 Indians to be provided for by this Reservation.
Every one concedes the fact that the location selected is well adapted to every particular for the purposes contemplated, and that none better can be found, if the interests of the Government and the wants of the Indians are only to be consulted. I think it may be looked upon as a fixed fact that the Reservation will be established there, although there is a good deal of opposition to it outside.
This will not be wondered at after taking a peep into the internal condition of Del Norte, and its effects upon the revenue of that county. The whole amount of property, real and personal, in the county, in 1861, was about $480,000. The tract proposed for a reservation contains about one-fifth of the whole amount of the taxable property in the county. The agricultural lands of a county being always the most reliable and permanent basis of revenue, the loss of the 12,000 acres out of 19,186 acres, which is the whole amount of lands taxed in the county in 1861, cannot but be seriously felt in the future revenue of the county. The loss by the late freshet cannot be less than $10,000 along Smith's river alone; the losses on the Klamath and tributaries, in this county, are equal, if not greater; and over one-half of our population will leave in the Spring for the new mines, taking with them a large amount of movable property. Deprive the county of all this property, together with the general depreciation in the value of the remaining, and it will reduce the amount of taxable property of this county, in 1862, to probably less than $250,000.
There is another source of revenue of some importance about to be cut off. Heretofore quite a large amount of taxes and local assessments have been paid by non-residents. Independent of these, voluntary subscriptions, in large amounts, have been paid by them for public improvements, with a view of enhancing the value of their property. The Assessor's list never failed to give them convincing proof of its rising value it had to them a prospective [transcription of this column continues on next page (4)]
[right column, a continuation of the article from the next page (4)] the existence of the county—but very fortunate in being the means of calling out some true and loyal sentiments from some of our prominent citizens. A resolution was introduced at the meeting, and advocated strenuously, urging violent resistance by armed force to the landing of Indians (from Humboldt county) from the steamer at Crescent City, en route to the new Reservation. The author of the resolution no doubt thought, from the large McConnel vote received there, and the loud Secession talk (for talk sake) in that locality, that the sentiments contained in that resolution would not "grate harshly upon their ears." In that he was mistaken; they wanted no "Star of the West" affair there. It called out from even the McConnel men the bitterest denunciations; they pronounced the sentiments of that resolution, carried into practice, as being identical with those that brought our country into its present lamentable condition. The resolution was defeated by an overwhelming majority. So let it be recorded to her credit let her existence be long or short, prosperous or struggling against adversity, that, notwithstanding her former "Dixie-Constitutional-McConnel Democratic" proclivities, the latest public expression of Del Norte showed that she was loyal. L.
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of its rising value. It had to them a prospective value, and they paid their money liberally to cover all expenses on it. Now, strange as it may appear, the suicidal act is attempted to cut off this large source of revenue, by a little trick of legislation—a proposition that even a California legislator ought to blush at, and certainly none other would entertain for a moment. Like the goose that laid the golden eggs, it, too, must be killed, not because it failed to produce the golden egg when required, but from a misguided avariciousness, or to gratify a malignant and wanton spirit to destroy, to injure somebody or something, without conferring a corresponding benefit on any other person or thing. We must set this down as the work of old Busybody, who always prefers mischief to letting "well enough" alone.
These facts, of the condition of the county, being thus stripped of all these sources of revenue, naturally excites an alarm among the bond-holder, scrip-holders, and, I presume, office-holders, too (if they are not made of sterner stuff than mortal flesh is heir to), and the question among them and others is seriously considered, "Can Del Norte, in this condition, maintain her county organization, and provide for the payment of her debt, amounting to not less than $30,000, after paying her State and Federal tax, which will probably be not less than one dollar on the hundred in 1862?"
It is well to consider, in the event that she cannot what is her fate and where is her destiny. Bordering as she does on the Oregon line, she cannot, of course, seek affiliation with her Oregon neighbors. Her only California neighbors are Siskiyou and Klamath counties. Siskiyou is connected by a narrow strip on the east, but ours would give an ill-shaped, gourd-like form, addition to that county, and whether Siskiyou would consider Del Norte a very valuable acquisition, with her enormous debt of $30,000, is a question. Her next neighbor is Klamath county, of which Del Norte was once a part. A proposition for an affiliation there would be a humiliating concession; for, after a separation without her consent, and a trial of five years to maintain a separate existence, to return, like the prodigal son, and acknowledge our inability to do so, with a large additional debt for her to assume, would, we think, be received by Klamath with some hesitation.
Hence, no wonder that some should feel alarmed at the establishment of an Indian Reservation on the most valuable agricultural lands in the county, and the attempt to hoodwink the legislature into the proposed act for the confiscation of the property of non-residents, thereby cutting off, as they do, the principal sources of our revenue. It is virtually severing the main arteries of the county's existence.
A meeting was called in Crescent City recently, to get some expression from the people upon this subject; but the discussion took an unfortunate turn. I mean unfortunate, in not getting at what was most desirable at that time—the views of the people of the county in relation to the propriety, or impropriety, of having an Indian Reservation established in Smith River Valley, as a matter threatening [transciption of next column appears on previous page (3)]
H393 The Daily Appeal.
Northern California Indian Reservation.
We must refer once more to some facts connected with the California Indian Reservations, that a fair and impartial understanding of these too much neglected interests may obtain. The Legislature, especially, ought to know more of the real state of the case respecting the California Reservations than it is likely to learn from interested parties, who, soujourning near the reserves, cannot avoid having their prejudices biased and warped by influcence which bear upon their own immediate and selfish interests. Much of the misapprehension which has gone abroad in regard to the Indian Affairs in this State is undoubtedly due to the one-sided representations and distorted statements of interested persons, who either have an ax to grind at the expense of Government, or are thwarted in their designs upon the interests of the unfortunate aborigines by the management of those who have the Indian affairs in charge.
Lately there has been a prolonged growl from some of the carping Democratic papers of Southern Oregon and Northern California respecting the change of the Klamath Indian Reservation from Humboldt to Del Norte county. In consequence of the former reservation being completely ruined by the floods, something must be forthwith done for these Indians, suddenly stripped of every means of supporting life, and confined by the boundaries of their reservation to a tract of once fertile but now barren soil. The Government, in reply to the application of Superintendent Hanson, allowed him a relief of $3000, for immediate emergency, and he at once began to cast about for a suitable spot to which to remove the Indians, and fixed upon Smith's Valley, a retired nook in the extreme Northwestern corner of the State, in Del Norte county, as the most proper place for such a reservation as would be acceptable to the Indians to be removed.
Straightway those who were deriving benefits from the trade which the reservations create, and others who are always ready to raise a howl against any measure of governmental policy, began to charge extravagance and visionary scheming upon the Northern Indian Agent, one paper, the Oregon Gazette, asseverating that he "actually proposed to govern the Indians by moral suasion!" as though a dire chimera had seized upon the mind of the worthy and humane Superintendent; though the same sheet also insinuates that because Del Norte county is Democratic in character it has this undesireable addition to her borders; that admission may serve as a reason to believe that somebody fears too much Republican influence in Democratic Del Norte.
But aside from all these local and partisan objections, we cannot but conclude that the course of Mr. Hanson has been a humane and judicious one, and one which will not fail to receive the approbation of [trancription of this column continues on next page (6)]