Letters of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1849-1880, California Superintendency

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Sonoma California October 28th. 1852

Sir In your reply of the 7th August 1851 to me of the 1st June you encourage me to further communication with your department and would have cheerfully availed myself thereof ere this, but nothing of possible interest had occurred in this district respecting Indians but as some recent events threaten some disagreement between the white population and the Indians and [illegible] like similar acts heretofore terminate in loss of life as well as serious expenses to the government which if taken in time as easier prevented than remedied. I take the liberty once more of addressing your honorable department-There are to be found in every [Clinic?] and Society some sordid base and unchristian beings who value the dollar gained no matter how dishonorably, more than the tranquility and happiness of a nation. And it is with regret that I have to say there are many such in California. The Indian chiefs are complaining to me [illegible] of certain depredations committed on them by the white population, and although I still retain the office of a justice of the peace, and that the legislateers [legislators] in one of its acts gave Magistrates some power to act abjudicate between white people and Indians, nevertheless it is very unpleasant for one individual to make himself officious in a district inhabited chiefly by Missourians and originians [oregonians] [between?betwixt?] whom and the Indians there seems to exist a perpetual feud of the cause I am not aware

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[Left] I have got much ill will heretofore on account of being the only justice of the peace in this district who took any measures to tranquilize the hostilities existing between the white population and the Indians and particularly as I issued warrant against the men who murdered the Indians in [Napa?] and Sonoma Valley , about two years since and which required the military to settle the difficulty by killing a number of the Indians at Clear Lake of which your department is already aware. it seems as if Indians were shut out from the benefit of any law here their afficavits are not taken [against?] a white and (perhaps very justly) they are very often maltreated and ill used, cheated and driven almost to desperation. One have found to expanse their part as to punish the offenders, and being so destitute of cash they are unable to employ a lawyer to obtain for them justice or redress and California lawyers will not work without money, and if any one is found humane enough to take part in obtaining for them justice he is [cried?] down as a friend to Indians and an enemy to Americans. Now see if this increasing evil is not shortly removed several lives will be lost and enormous expenses will be incurred by government and the satisfactory conclusions which might be obveated obviated if some prudent measures were taken by the government. those very Indians to whom I located some lands lats year in Russian River complains that last season in order to learn husbandry and to acquire some grain for their support the chiefs made an agreement with some Americans to permit them to occupy the land, that the Indians would work, and receive a share of the crop- besides some clothing but that now when they demand their share they receive nothing under a pretense that the Indians had stolen some barley from them. The Indians declare that the few bags of barley which was found in their possession was [spared?] by the squaws and children and not stolen.

[Right]

now they are left destitute of any means of support for the winter being too late to plant, or gather acorns or other vegetables and [illegible] and they have no alternative but steal or else go to the mountains and clear lake to encroach on the wild Indians and being so many near seventy families and as formerly perhaps avenge their [illegible] on the innocent- there are another rancherio of Indians due west from here in Bodega to whom I located a mile of land and lately some covetous individuals built a house close to their village and is occupying the land they heretofore [illegible]. They applied to me but our laws are as yet insufficient to expel squatters till the final decision of the land commissioners. Now sir in cases like these there should be some provision made by government for the protection of these children of nature and [illegible]- them being [illegible] thus inhumanely. In addition I will insert a presentment made by the grand jury of the court of [illegible] in los Angeles County October 9th- Instant [she?] [illegible] that among other grievances many difficulties arise with the Indians for want of a proper person to listen to their complaints and redress their grievances. They seem to be [illegible] from law and justice, and we would suggest that a competent person skilled in the Spanish language be appointed to superintend the Indian Affairs generally, to settle the difficulty between them and their employers, as also among themselves with power to inflict moderate chastisement, such an approvement would furnish the Indians some securiy from oppression, and would relieve them from taking law and punishment in their own hands. Now sir if a part of the power now conferred on the Indian commissioners agents and sub agents who are chiefly occupied in the mountains and mines at great expense

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and little benefit to government were conferred on resident citizens, say one in each county or perhaps in some locations one for two or three counties, defining their power and duties allowing them a moderate compensation and placing a certain sum in some fund for the benefit of the Indians and to [defray?] law expenses where extremely necessary, would in the opinion of many, tend more towards securing peace and harmony between them and the white population. Then all the armies sees against them on the confines, or all the enormous sums of money said to have been expended in giving presents to the wild Indians +c to these half civilised [civilized] and exasperated Indians such as I have described leaving their settlement and going among the wild Indians full of wrath against the white population, will excite more hostilities in one day than otherwise occur from the wild Indians in a year as if some measure similar to that I have proposed be not immediately taken, the consequences may be deplorable as some conciliatory means would be preferable to warfare from the extent of frontier [illegible], the act of sending the military the thousands of opportunities afforded the Indians of committing [horrid?] [cruelties?] [on the?] emigrant, miner and land prospectors &c as well as the unthinking travellor [traveler]; So that it behoves [behooves] government to adopt some measures in the mean time, besides pacifying them with presents or punishing them with hostilities, either or both being so expensive to the treasuryI hope Sir you will excuse the foregoing liberty I have taken in proposing any measures to a department so eminent for wisdom &c

I remain very respectfully your most obedient servant Peter Campbell

[Written on lefthand margin] C381 J

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San Francisco March 1. 1852 Hon. Luke Lea Commnr Indn Affiars Washington City Sir, My last letter of 17th[ ulto?]. accompanied my account as disbursing Agt., vouchers &c. My previous letter of 12th Feb per Col. J. B. Weller acknowledged rept of your circular of 8th Jany--which is the last communication, I have had from your office. Since I wrote, I have recd from Mr. Geo Gibbs his report or journal, of the expedition to Northern California, accompanied by a very beautiful map of the country traversed, and sundry vocabularies of the languages spoken by the tribes we visited. These I designed sending to you by the mail which takes this,--but our friend Genl S. D. King of the Land Survey Department, is making a copy of the map, & the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, desires me to afford them a reading of Mr. Gibb's views as to the reservations made for the Indians, at a meeting appointed for the 4th inst. I think you will find the journal interesting, and the map, only Correct Deliniation of the country, [instant?].-- Mr. Gibbs has presented me a bill for the latter of $500; which [s?Name] thinks himself fairly entitled to, for the extra labor he has bestowed upon it.- As which, I have not felt myself at liberty to approve, without instructions-- Then you will please 225 [check]

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give me after you see it,- I shall pass to transmit all by the next steamer.

Nothing definite has been done by the Legislature in opposition to our Treaties, and I hope nothing shall be done, tending to influence or instruct the Senator, in Congress. Enclosed in this, I will send you another article [over?] the Signature of Shasta from the Alta California of the 24th" and one signed Reserves from the [Evening Picayans?] of 27th inst. A friend at Sacramento [illegible] me that both have attracted attention there, and seems to have produced [illegible].

Both [horses?] are expected to adjoint by the 15th or 20th inst.--

I am very respy Yr mo ob st. Redick McKee

P. S. Mr. Gibbs having forwarded some sketches to Mr. Schoolcraft-- by the last mail, I will with this, send the vocabularies, R McK 226 [check]

(Written on rightside margin vertically:) vocabularies [illegible] under Schoolcraft Cir

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California Supy M 170 Redick McKee San Francisco. Cala 15 March '52

Has forwarded a map &c of Geo Gibbs and minutes &c of his secretary- not in his power yet to send estimate regard for Treaties- mentions good conduct of the Indians with whom treaties have been made -- refers to opposition of some members of Legislature to the ratification of the treaties, [us and our (illegible?)] expects to have an interview with the Legislature of State -- Enclosing a slip from the "Heralds" which will [give?] some idea of affairs.

Asks for copies of annual [report?] [illegible]

(Faintly written: Copied for Beale)

Recd " 21 April 52 [check] File

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San Francisco 13th March 1852

Hon Luke Lea Commr Indian Affairs Washington City

Sir,

My last dispatch was dated 1st [Jan?] and accompanied a sealed package of vocabularies prepared by Mr. Geo Gibbs-- I have deposited with Post Office to go with this letter, Mr. Gibbs map of my route through Northern California, and his [M..S.? illegible] journal, of the expedition. This journal, the map, and the sketches forwarded by last steamer to Mr. Schoolcraft, will I hope be [readily?] & carefully published. They will throw some additional light upon a part of this state not previously explored.

On this subject I enclose letters from Mr. Gibbs, to the Hon. Senators Hamilton Fink, & Truman Smith and to H R Schoolcraft Eqr which you will please read, and then deliver.

I also send in a separate envellope [envelope], a copy of the daily notes, w minutes, kept by my secretary, up to the [dessolution? (dissolution?)] of our party in Scotts Valley, with some additional memos of my subsequent movements.

I regret that it is not yet in my power to send you estimates of the amount of funds which will be required in Carrying out the Treaties made, & yet to be made in Northern California. The Reports which I expected would have reached me have, as to the number of Indians on Russian & Eel Rivers, have not been received. If by an Early mail I shall not receive orders to visit Washington I shall send you the best rough estimates I can make.----

I have received reports from my secretary

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and special agent in Scotts Valley, to the 18th ulto-- Some 2 or 3 cases of difficulty & disturbances have occurred since I left, resulting in the death of two Indians, and threatening much trouble, but through his exertions, & those of a few friends, they were amicably arranged, and all is again quiet.

It is matter of the highest gratification to myself, and indeed to all the friends of the Red man in California, that not a single outbreak, or serious disturbance, has occurred among the Tribes with whom we have Treated. The accounts you occasionally see in the papers of Indian murders robberies &c, are all, without exception, in parts of the country which we have not been able to visit- and this fact I submit, speaks volumes as to the general character and policy, of our treaty arrangements.--

I have made two journeys recently, to Sacramento City, to meet Commissioner of the Legislation in reference to the continued opposition of some of the would be trading, to the ratification of our treaties. Since I last wrote the attacks upon us, your policy, or the Assembly, have been quite Savage, but I hope to show the public in a few days,--that they are as unjust & unfounded, as [illegible]-- The late sudden overflow in the Sacramento, having deluged the city again, led to an adjustment till next Monday, and rendered my last visit unavailing. I suspect to [illegible] again next week, to have a public [illegible] with all the [?ac??ns] of State. The Enclosed slip from the

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"Herald" of this city, will give you some idea of the present position of affairs. There are some men in the Assembly too fully committed to [read?] and they will have no effort untried to ensure the Legislature to send instructions to the Senators Gwin & Mallory. The note was written in haste, and is perhaps, as the Editor says, "a sharp letter,"-- but considering the prevention [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] . -- The [palates?] of some of these political [epicures?] can be excited by nothing less [pungent?] than [Cayenne?], or Camphor! There is some danger from partisan organization, still I do not believe the present [Legislature?] will place the State in a position so antagonistic to the the general government.

I will thank you to send me 1/2 doz copies of your last report and a like no. of the last edition of the Laws & Regulations of the Indian Department.

I am very respy Your mo obt Sv Redick McKee

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Disbursing Agency Indian Department in Califa, San Francisco July 20, 1852 Hon Luke Lea Comanr Indn Affairs Washington, Sir: On the 1st inst. &, I acknowledged the receipts of your favor of 17th May, Enclosing extracts from Genl Hitchcocks letter to Adjt Genl Jones, dated 31 March, My former report on the same general subject dated April 1 '52, tho' not yet acknowledged has I hope, reached your office, and makes it unnecessary to enter again into details. You do me bad justice in refusing to believe that, the imputations contained in the reports made to the War Department, touching the matters in question, are forwarded in any thing but misapprehension, & "prejudice", I am still utterly at loss to account for the representations originally volunteer'd by Maj. Wessells, and subsequently Endorsed by Genl. Hitchcock. That both of these Gentlen [Gentlemen] have acted under an erroneous [illegible] of public duty. --While traveling beyond their appropriate sphere, to retail ungenerous imputations, and speculations,-- upon the official conduct of a fellow officer in another Department, may be alledged [alleged], and probably, is the most available apology, that can be suggested. With the conjectures, and speculations, and special pleadings, and logical conclusions, of Genl Hitchcocks last letter, I will have no controversey [controversy]. I think I can afford to let them all pass,--for just what they may be worth. With

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