Among the Oregon Indians
Capt. Wm. Tichenor
Capt. Wm. Tichenor
October 29, 1883.I was born in New Jersey, in June, the 13th of June, 1813. I spent most of my boyhood days in that place. I sailed to Europe on the 23rd day of May out of New York in the brig Martha. She belonged to the Dutch Consul, the Holland Consul there. I remained abroad--I left her in Amsterdam, and I returned--I think it was in September--the first of October--in the ship Nimrod, Captain William Allen, the same year. Then I sailed for Marseilles, France. I had a midshipman's warrant, but I was disgusted, and I preferred the merchant service. I was designed for the sea altogether. I have, off and on, till 1868 commanded three steamers out of this port, the Sea Gull, Quickstep and the Potoma. I think two of these steamers were five hundred tons each. The Sea Gull was two hundred tons, and I think the Quickstep was the other, eight hundred tons. I plied between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. I also sailed the ship Anniston. I took my family--I owned five-eighths of the ship. I was in the Quickstep--I mean the Sea Gull. I wrecked her in 1852, January 26th, in Humboldt Bay. I had a good many persons on board, but there were no lives lost, and I saved the whole of the cargo. The cause of it was a defective engine, and a very heavy sea--southwest gale of wind I went to sea in. The cylinder was so elevated that the pipe connecting with the steam chest by the collision of the sea collapsed, and burst the engine. I was driven back then inside of the bar. The seas drove me back in, and the tide had just an hour and forty minutes to ebb--an hour and forty minutes to ebb still, and if I could weather the first seas the ship would be able to go through. Yet the seas just swept her decks over for an hour and forty minutes. Finally, we went ashore on the north shoals, and every time the seas would raise her a little higher, and landed at low tide. At low tide the sea would recede very near to the forward gangway. So, I ran out a boat then, and the men would pass the women and children to me, I believe I took them all out. This is a watch I was presented with. The inscription reads as follows: "Presented to Captain William Tichenor, as an expression of esteem and regard of the passengers of the steamer Sea Gull, wrecked in Humboldt Bay, January 26th 1852." I have carried it ever since, and it has been wrecked with me, too. In 1849 and 1850 I sailed my own vessel, on my own private account, along the coast to select a locality for my permanent residence for myself and family. The name of the vessel was the J. M. Rierson. I paid forty-two pounds of gold for her. She was a fore-and-aft schooner. She was the first vessel that ever entered Eel River. She was the second vessel in Humboldt Bay. I
I went down in a launch that had been wrecked once, and she--a friend of mine had bought her, and I said I would take her down, and took her and a cargo that was for Trinidad[, California]. Some merchants had considerable goods aboard of her. She carried about seven tons, and I ran with one cook, one sailor, and myself to sea. The next morning I got into Trinidad and there I discharged. I think it was Adams Express Company had a large quantity of gold and wanted me to take it, and also wanted a receipt for it, but I told them I would not do it. I wouldn't give them a receipt for it, but they could put it themselves. We have a good deal of superstition about that, you know, and I said, "If it goes through, all right; if not, all right. I won't receipt for it." We came into port all right, but there was no ballast in her. We left Trinidad on Friday morning, and got into San Francisco on Monday morning. That same week the Quickstep was given me by Griswold & Alsop--belonged to them--Griswold, Alsop & Company--very wealthy men. Well, if she was sufficiently fast she was going to be continued in the trade, and they asked me to take her on a sort of a trial trip, and tell them whether she was or not. She was a new steamer, but she hadn't the power; she had new engines, but she hadn't the power for these strong northern gales, and I told them so when I came back. I told them she was not fit for the trade; she hadn't sufficient power to force herself against the heavy seas. I then bought the ship Anniston, and my family arrived about that time in 1852. This was--January 26th I lost the Sea Gull and took the Quickstep right at once, and it was in April I went in the ship Anniston, and I took her down to the Isthmus. I had a very long passage to Panama. When I arrived there I took my family aboard the ship and took them to Alliston, Port Alliston. Fowler Brothers, Livingston & Company in New York built the Columbia for a man named Head, and he couldn't pay for her, and forfeited the money he had paid. A gentleman here chartered her to take lumber. I only made one voyage in that ship. She went to China after that. Finally, she capsized, and was lost. In December I went in the employ of Williams. He urged me to go in his employ. I had settled down, and didn't want to go to sea, but he urged me. He wanted to run opposition with the ship Potoma. I agreed to go and made four voyages in her. I made the quickest voyage was ever made in her to Portland from Pacific Street Wharf here in San Francisco--seven minutes short of fifty-two hours, by a chronometer. I say it is the fastest time ever made between those ports. That was the Potoma. She was sold to the Peruvian government after that. She is there now, she and her sister ship Plinksha (?). The Potoma was the largest ship of the two. She was built in [blank]. She was eight hundred tons burden, with the Quickstep five hundred tons and the Sea Gull five hundred tons, as near as I can remember. But the Potoma was eight hundred tons. She was a very good ship. I then was in different small vessels running up north trading, buying furs and like that along the coast, and I built the schooner Alaska and sailed her in 1868. I quit going to sea then. I was in the Calumet supplying the Indians with flour. I was with General Ainsworth, and Jennings, and Pope. They all had an interest in her, and gave me a fifth interest if I would take and sail her. I did. I told them they had signed a contract they couldn't fulfill without wrecking her. It was a very valuable contract. I wouldn't take it unless it was in black and white on paper. I said she had to be wrecked to fulfill it, and they told me to wreck her. I sailed the 4th day of September, 1856, and I wrecked her on the 9th. I saved her on the 27th, got to sea again, refitted her, put in new spars in her, got to sea again, and then we filled out the balance of the contract. My family joined me in May. I sent them back in the steamer, and I went home overland, through the mountains, and then [Absalom F. Hedges] employed me. He was the Superintendent of Indian Affairs at that time. That was the reason I went overland. He wanted me to gather the Indians up. Then I went into the government service. No men were furnished me by the government. I used to employ sometimes four or five men. I captured all of fifty-six. I should have stated it before. Before I took command of the Calumet I went up with some persons to Portland. Then General Nesmith employed me next. Then I went overland, and General Nesmith told me to get the Indians. I told him I should. I meant to quiet them, if I had to kill the last one of them, for they were desperadoes of the worst kind. I went in the mountains right after the fourth of July. I left Port Orford immediately after the Fourth. I got out of the mountains the following February. I had one hundred and fifty-two Indians. I had to kill one of the chiefs in a single-hand fight. I had to do it. He came three times to murder me. The whites gave them the idea if they would only murder me--get me out of the way--they need not go to the reservation. They came three times. The last time there were nine of them. I killed one of them, the chief. I wounded another. I took those through and delivered them at the Indian agency. Then I went across to Salem to attend the convention that was held there. Then General Nesmith in the interval received word that two young men had been killed right close to town. The Indians had killed them. So, he sent me right back immediately to go and wind it up. I went in June, and I captured seventy-one. Lieutenant [George P.] Ihrie came from Crescent City to aid in the matter, but he wouldn't give me any aid or any guard over my prisoners at all. There were nine bucks with their families. They were a terrible set. I could have got them if I had had my way, but I would have had to kill them, but I would get them. Lieutenant Ihrie, the man who was sent from Crescent City to aid me, had his band of mules hamstrung by not acting by my advice. I offered to let him have four of my Indians to accompany the train he wished to send to Crescent City for supplies, but he thought they would be safe without any escort, and, contrary to my advice, he allowed them to go. They had a packer named Baker killed, and a whole train of mules hamstrung he gave me for assistance. I had no guard with me. I had to travel on with seventy Indians that way. They were armed. I couldn't disarm them. I got them north of Rogue River. There was two white men gave me trouble. I came into camp about twelve o'clock at night. It was very dark. I was approaching the camp when my mule threw me. I was satisfied that it was Indians that were in the path that caused the mule to do as he did. I didn't try to get the mule. I crawled to a covering that was near, and I approached the camp, and I hadn't been there long before a woman that wished to be liberated, and thought that I might liberate her, came and told me that the Indians intended to escape--told me they were getting the children away--they were getting the baskets out of the camp, which meant that they were getting the children away to make their escape. These fellows hadn't been disarmed. They were miserable wretches, a miserable sort of fellows. Then, I got word to one of my men. I spoke to them. Some of them understood English, and I told him to go to town, and tell them to come to my assistance in the morning--that my Indians were going to break in the morning. Some citizens came up and started in the morning. I put one white man in advance, and I was in the rear. I watched them until the place came where they were to break, where the woman told me the women to break one way and the men another way. There were two roads branching off at this place, and these citizens were in ambush, and the fight commenced man to man, but we killed seventeen, wounded two boys about sixteen [years] old. I wouldn't allow them to be killed. One was shot through the neck. One was shot through the hand also. I took them right on. I let the women stay behind and bury the dead. They rejoiced at it, because the women were in a terrible condition with cracked feet. Their feet were cracked open and bleeding. All I had to assist me that time was five men. That was all I had to guard these Indians, and after that I had no trouble, of course. I took them to the reservation, and turned them over to the government. The reservation was five miles north of Rogue River. That settled all the trouble. We have never had any trouble since that time. That was in June, June 1857.
I then went to sea off and on, and built the vessel called the New York, built her in 1854. I carried the treaty goods in , the time of the death of these men, James Buford, Watt Hankton and Michael O'Brien. The treaty was made in September . The treaty was made by General Palmer. The tribes of Indians that the treaty was made with are named as follows:
Tu-tu-tana, Mac-nu-tana, Hous-taa, Jos-shu-tana, Ches-les-tana, Chas-ta-cos-tana, Quar-to-tana, Oo-ka-tana, Not-a-no-tana, Chet-ko-tana, Hor-zon-ta-tana.
Those are the tribes we had the treaty with. All of the tribes are embraced in those names. They were all on the treaty ground. I was chartered by General Palmer to bring the goods from Portland, Oregon, which I did. I think we arrived in the river the night before the occurrence. It might have been the day before. I don't remember, really, but my impression is it was the very next day or night the murder occurred. An Indian boy, a young man, had shot a man named Buford [recorded on the ms. as "Pluford"] from a bluff. The ball passed right through the flesh in the shoulder--a flesh wound, though it was a pretty good wound, and report was at once made, and Ben Wright went for the Indian, and got the Indian, got this boy, and I sent word up at once for the troops under the command of Lieutenant Rodge. He was at Port Orford, and he didn't arrive there until the next day. Palmer sent these soldiers down--I think five--to bring the Indian up there to the treaty grounds, and some of the men, miners there, they went to the window at dusk in the evening, and shot through the window--shot the Indian through the window, and broke his wrist, instead of going and killing him, as they should have done--that would be the best way to do. They then took him--the soldiers did--took him in a canoe--had an Indian to steer. The corporal was in the boat, or canoe, and had the prisoner between his legs, and a white man told him to go and kill the Indian while he was taking him up, and the soldiers, I am induced to believe, had given the white man to understand that they were not going to defend any Indian. That was what I got from good, reliable authority, at the time, and I think probably it was so. Anyway, one Mackay said he would go. He was in one canoe with one or two other men, one white who had escaped from the massacre at Booker Creek, he was one in Mackay's boat. It was a beautiful full moon, it was a lovely night, and the canoes had arrived at the head of the bar--well, it may be a bar, very nearly a mile below the treaty ground, where the treaty was to be held. [The moon was full on August 7, 1855.] The canoe with Watt Hankton, and the other men, paddled alongside of this canoe the soldiers were in and the prisoner. Watt Hankton must have stood up and shot and killed the Indian--the Indian who was between the legs of the corporal, Buford, in all probability killed the man that was steering, which was wrong, because he was an agent Indian, and shouldn't have been killed, one sent down by General Palmer for the express purpose of steering the canoe. Watt Hankton fell overboard and the soldiers took him up with the two dead Indians. I went over and told Chris Haley, the secretary of General Palmer, that there was trouble there, and he said they were just firing off the guns, and General Palmer urged me to go down and see what was the matter. Just after I started I met them with the dead bodies of Watt Hankton and two Indians in the soldiers' canoe. I then pulled down to the bar. There was the canoe floating. The water was as smooth as glass, and the canoe was floating there with the body of Jas. Buford. His body was literally floating in blood. I took it up to where the other dead ones were. General Palmer then urged me to go at once to prevent an outbreak of the whites, which he imagined would be the result of it. I found that O'Brien had escaped. He jumped out of the canoe and ran. General Palmer imagined that O'Brien would give the alarm, and that they would come and make trouble with the Indians, and he told me to get a couple of men, and I did get a couple of men to accompany me. They wished to get arms to take with them. I told them they could not get in that boat with arms, that I was not going to kill white men, and was not afraid of being killed myself. They had to leave the arms behind them, but I think there was a six-shooter smuggled on board. I pulled down to the north of the town and--I never saw them again, the men I had taken with me. The last I saw of them--I went into a place, and I went and told them we must rouse up the people and suppress any outbreak. I started back at dawn of day. I found the body laid down at the head of the bar. The tide had drifted him around to the head of the bar. He was also taken up to town, and an inquest was held on him. I was foreman of the jury, and the verdict was rendered as being justifiable, in view of the fact [of] the Indian being in charge of troops. These men were the aggressors.
A treaty was held that day, and all the gewgaws, and all such things were exhibited, and the Indians signed the treaty. We called it signing. They never calculated to abide by anything that was named there, and stated to me repeatedly they wanted the things that were exhibited, the pretty things--beads, and one thing and another. They were very fond of fancy articles. They didn't understand the purport of it, and it was the grand air of the government to give the Indians a knowledge of vested rights. They just believed that might was right. That was their only law.
During the interval from the treaty to the fall of 1855, I was engaged in trading in a small vessel along the coast, and I was frequently in Rogue River. In the fall of 1855, being a member of the legislature, I was desirous of attending it. Prior to that I was at Rogue River, and hostilities were evinced by all the Indians I had anything to do with. In the first part of November, I went up with Enos, a great renegade proved afterwards, hunting in the Indian country. Every Indian village and camp we came to they were busy making arrowheads and arrows, and they could not conceal that they were asking for a war. An Indian always has to work himself up in a frenzy before he fights, and you can always tell the hostile feeling, because they cannot conceal it. They are not good at that. They can't hide anything of that kind. When I returned I told the people to prepare at once, and that they had better fort [up] at once. I advised them to have pickets on the bank of Rogue River, to set pickets out for a fort, which they set to at once accomplish. They had not made any preparation on the north side of the river, but there was a better place on the flat there at Ellensburg. I then went through from there to Fort Alliston, and think it was on the 21st of November the Columbia came in, showed herself off the offing, wanting a pilot, and Captain [A. V. H.] Leroy, who was commander of the steamer, knew I was a member of the legislature, and also that I was a pilot, was well acquainted with the coast. I was Pilot Commissioner, state commissioner over the pilots in the Territory. I then gave the boys a large sum to put me aboard--had a very fine boat, and finally I got aboard of the Columbia, and Captain Leroy had command of her. He then requested me to take command at once--asked me if I would do it--and I told him I would if he wished to, and I took command of the steamer. We had a terrible time. We reached Tillamook Rock about two o'clock in the morning, and we were compelled to heave to. She had only light coal--not very much coal. She had been sent off on account of the California supposing to have been lost, and she had been sent off light, had only been supplied for the trip up, and therefore obliging our heaving her to. She broke all her glassware, and I thought she would capsize, but we got her heaved to, and laid there until just the dawn of day. Then, we had some experience again getting her before the seas, a very heavy sea running, and it looked to everybody as though she could not outlive the gale, and the heavy sea that was running, and the only real safety was to run the gantlet in crossing the bar. I told Captain Leroy the condition of affairs. Said he, "You use your judgment." I did. I advised the passengers, all of them, to go below, and the purser to take everything valuable below decks, and batten down everything as close as possible. Mr. Bryant, who was the chief engineer of her, was requested to get all the steam he wanted as soon as he could. He said, "All right." I stood for the south channel, the sea breaking terrifically, and the second mate at the wheel, named Mitchell. I was on the bridge. Two quartermasters were at the helm. This Mitchell's business was to see that my orders were executed, and they were executed at the helm. He neglected his duty, and did not attend to the helm properly, and the heavy sea came, and the ship swept around, and away this sea came--it swept everything away--just buried the ship, and I sung out to Captain Leroy, "For God's sake, right that helm!" He jumped from the bridge, and right[ed] the helm, and got the lead. We had three and a half fathoms under the lee. We were saved, but she was terribly dilapidated. I told Captain Leroy, "Mitchell isn't a competent man for mate." He said, "He is the only one I have." Mr. Tyler, who was lost in the Central America, was the mate of her. He was a brave fellow--very brave, indeed. At the time of his death on the Central America, when they had given up all hope, he went in the stateroom there in the Central America, himself and another, took a basket of champagne, and they sat down drinking the champagne, and went below in that manner. [No one named Tyler is listed on the crew of the Central America. A John C. Taylor is listed a passenger.] Mitchell was an old man, and he was one of these undecided men, in resolution. When Captain Leroy found we were safe, he just embraced me, hugged me, when I said, "Your ship is saved." I said, "Let it blow, you are saved now." If there hadn't been any other resort I wouldn't have attempted it, but I was forced. I was the first one that crossed the Columbia in the nighttime. I was made a branch pilot of it in 1851. Captain Leroy is a tip-top man. We sailed together. Captain Lotridge [Lottritz?] here was a mate with him for a long time. He lives here on Valencia Street. He is the best mate I ever saw. He has commanded these steamers that run between here and Panama for years.
After the adjournment of the legislature I returned to Port Orford in the steamer Columbia, and arrived on the 19th day of February, 1856. On the morning of the 22nd the massacre occurred. Governor George L. Curry had given me a muster roll, to muster in the service of Captain Pope a company of volunteers, and these forces started on the 20th or 21st for Rogue River. On the night of the 23rd my vessel, the New York, which was made out in Oregon River, arrived at Port Orford. She had escaped from a massacre which occurred in the morning of the 22nd. Simon Loudry, my Indian boy, a Modoc Indian, went to sea with her and E. A. Lane. They arrived at eight o'clock on the night of the 23rd. Major Ruckles, who was afterward of the firm of Ruckles Brothers, was in command at the port. He thought it would be better for me to go to Rogue River, and I went aboard immediately, and got her in as good order as I could, and before daylight I sailed and saw the mouth of Rogue River before the break of day. It was blowing a very strong north wind at the time. I stood off and on, trying to get some signal from those ashore, having no arms but a six-shooter. It was not safe to run in the river, but I determined finally I would run in the river. I stood up for the bar, when I discovered the Indians behind the driftwood, lying in wait for me. I had then orders from General Ruckles to go down to Crescent City to notify Captain Jones of the condition of affairs up there, and finally seeing I could not enter Rogue River--the north gales were blowing very heavily--I cleared away at eleven o'clock, and before night was in Crescent City and delivered the letters from General Ruckles to Captain Jones. All along the coast was nothing but a blaze; wherever there was a log [house] but it was in flames or in smoldering ruins. Then I had letters for General Wool, commanding the Pacific Coast at San Francisco, and requested that I send my vessel to them at once with the news--with the news of the war. I was desirous of returning home as soon as possible from the fact of not having informed my family that I would go on any expedition that would last such a long time, on account of the war and state of affairs in the country. So I placed men in command of her and sent her to San Francisco, with the message of General Wool. She made a quick run down and delivered the message to General Wool. She had no papers on board. Her license hadn't been renewed. She was seized, and that was the last of my vessel. I lost her--never got a dollar for her. When I applied for my license, the officer said he had no blanks. I never got a cent, either, for the service I rendered the government, or for the vessel which I lost.
I at once went to work raising a company of volunteers to go by land right up the coast. I designed waiting for the Columbia and going up in her. I kept my Indian boy with me all the time. The Columbia arrived with General Wool on board, and with troops. I went on board to return, and Captain [William] Dall was in command of the Columbia. He told General Wool that I was aboard. General Wool came to me then, and said, "I want you to go ashore and go with General Buchanan, and stay with him." So I sent my Indian boy on the Columbia up home, and as soon as the troops could arrange with the pack trains, everything would start. This was along in March. The volunteers started above Crescent City and they camped there--started two days in advance of us, when they shouldn't have started more than one day in advance, but the regulars didn't have anything to do with that. General Buchanan was fearful it would spoil all his chances to fight. He started--I forgot to state that during the legislature there was a joint resolution censuring General Wool, which I objected to at the time as being an imprudent course to follow, but General Curry and the majority of he members were in favor of passing it, so I finally concurred, and General Buchanan, knowing I had been a member of the legislature and all, of course I had to come in for my share of the censure. I told him at the start if he gave me his compliments, I would give him my compliments. It appeared to me [that] he put upon me right from the start hard labor, for certainly when I came to Whale's Head Mountain, I had a very hard day of it, getting the troops along, and he put extra service on them, and he ordered me back with the mules to look for a camp. I went up the mountains, I didn't go very far, though, and found a very fine camping place. There was no wood there--a very wild country. When I got in with our recruits someone--some camp follower--had told him that it was twelve miles to Pistol River, and Colonel Buchanan said to me that he understood by a man there that it was twelve miles to where they were fighting--Pistol River, and I said, "Employ someone else, General Buchanan, you don't seem to want me--consulting everybody else." "Here," said he, "Captain, don't lose your temper, take a glass of whisky." There was a blue keg on the rock. Says I, "That is the first sensible remark you have made today." You ought to have seen the officers look at me. The next day we started. I described to him the position of the Indians--their position--and told the Colonel how they were situated, and to come with me, and I would show him, and he said "by the powers" he didn't believe he could see an Indian. I told him to come with me, and I would show him that he could see an Indian, and we rode to the brow of the mountain, and there was a lot of Indians. We could see--I could see them with the naked eye, and they had eyeglasses, and couldn't see them. Said I, I could see them with the naked eye. Of course, I was guide. I consequently was supposed to give advice. So I told him he had better unlimber his howitzer, and he wouldn't do that, and I said, "Let's get under the shelter of the mountains," but as we got down at the foot of the mountain, one of the advance guard sung out "Indians!" and Colonel Buchanan, because he didn't see an Indian, he was going to have the fellow tied to the gun, and I led Colonel Buchanan ahead a little ways, and said I, "There is a camp of Indians, and there are the Indians." Said he, "By the power," said he, "I wish my howitzer was here now." Said I, "Why didn't you have it? This is the only good fight you will have during the war." He could have swept the beach, but he was too late. Mr. Indian was on the alert. The Colonel didn't go very far ahead until the troops came. We went there, and we found that we had the ground to ourselves. The Indians had fled upon the approach of the troops. One man, named Miller, was shot right in the front of the neck. We camped there that night, and buried Buck Miller, and the next morning we had to get an early start, and we almost lost in the surf our animals and howitzers, and General Ord got a good ducking. I said, "Hold on, you are going to be caught in the sea," but he went on, and he thought the seas would recede from him, but the seas are not very apt to recede, as he found out, and under he went. When we got to Whale's Head I was about two hundred yards in advance of the guard, and I came upon an Indian scout--nine Indians in all--and one of them was about eighty yards from me, raised upon a flat, level table, upon the top of a knoll--a little hill. I saw him first, and I had my right foot on the ground just as he saw me, and I pulled. I meant to have shot him between the shoulders, but he jerked a little and I shot him through the coupling, and cut this big artery here. He stuck to his animal, with the blood flowing, and reached his comrades on the flat below as he fell. They rushed up the beach as hard as they could go. They were all mounted, and escaped. That was the first blood drawn by us.
We advanced then to the mouth of the Rogue River, the advance guard leading and I leading the advance guard--guiding them. We ascended about half a mile to a small bluff on the table land which had on the south side a ditch cut by the miners and in which the Indians were ambushed, Colonel Buchanan in command--he accompanied us to that point--and I discovered the Indians were in ambush in this ditch about forty rods up and also found that we were enclosed in a crescent by them where they had every opportunity of pouring it into us without any return. I informed the Colonel of the fact and advised them not to look at the ditch at all--pay no attention to it--and he ordered me then to lead the men off. We descended the bank without being molested. As we were passing along I saw a very fat pig--this pig has a very hard story attached to him--I drew up my rifle to shoot the pig and the colonel forbade me doing so, saying, "You may have better use for your fire." We then went to the mouth of the Rogue River about half a mile from there where we found a large extensive flat where the command would be free from the attack of Indians, and there the main camp was made. I was then ordered to scout and ascertain the true position of the Indians, which I did by getting in their rear and seeing their situation. I came and reported the same to him and requested men that I might lead them and make an attack without the Indians being aware of it, which I had every opportunity of doing. He would not consent to that but ordered me to fire the caches--to destroy them--and while I was engaged at that Dr. [C. A.] Hillman, who was our surgeon--he died in the Mint employ here, afterward a prominent man. He came to me where I was firing the ranches and said to me, "Cap, let's go and get the pig." I said we might lose our lives if we would try that, that the Indians were all in the ditch and that they would cut us off. He said, "If you are a coward, don't go." I said it was not fair for him to talk in that manner to me and he said he would go and I said, "Wait till I have all the ranch fired and I will go with you and by doing what I tell you one of us might escape," I said. "You look out for the pigs and I will look out for the Indians," and he said, "No, I will look out for the Indians and you look out for the pigs," and we were then approaching the point then were the pig had been seen before, and I told him to hug the bank and take the fire in the end which meant to expose nothing but one part of the body to them. I had observed again, "Hug the bank." All at once they began to fire. He kept staggering off from the bank, and all at once they opened fire upon us. He ran from the bank then as hard as he could. They shot the hat off his head and put two holes in his coat, but drew no blood. They then cried out, "Come back and get your hat," and I told him--they said this in their own language--I told him what they said and this is the language he used: "Shove it up, damn you," and ran as hard as he could--ran to the verge of the river. I then ran about forty yards and tried to look around and as I turned to run I stubbed my toe against a grub and fell. Then they gave a terrific yell, thinking they had shot me. I sprang to my feet and ran to where a kind of a fort was which had been built for the protection of the people during the time the Indians were working themselves up for a fight. There I reloaded my rifle and the Indians were trying to cut me off. He said, "Run, they are flanking you." I did not, but when I got ready I stepped out from behind the fence and the Indians were about fifty feet from me. I think not more than that. I drew on one Indians and made a pretense of firing, knowing that he would fire at random as soon as he saw me do that to keep me from killing him. He did fire first. I then fired and gave him his dose. Captain Jones, Colonel Buchanan and the troops could see the whole of it. They ordered a march at once. Most of the troops we had were green recruits and there was about as much danger in the rear as there was in front, at least I considered so, and one of them did pull the trigger and shoot with the rifle over his shoulder and hit a man in the boot, but fortunately did no injury to the man. They then marched--the Indians fled when they saw the forces marching over. Then the troops were all recalled and got into camp and the Captain ordered them to use the howitzer, which we did, but I don't know whether it did any harm or not. It didn't quite reach the place where it should have. We camped there that night. That night was a very foggy night. The commander gave orders to the sentry that there was to be no hailing but to shoot at once anyone approaching the lines. That night the corporal of the guard in relieving the guard was shot by one of the sentries. He died in a few hours afterwards. On the north [sic] side of the river the families had been removed from the surrounding country and they had built a fort on the north side of the river in an extensive flat with mud walls around it. On the inside of the walls were the houses which were divided with partitions for the families. The ferry boat had been burned, that is, about one half of it had been burned. Of course there was part of it still left but that would not do without being repaired, and then it could only carry some three or four persons at a time. We managed to cross the river in that way and the whole command got over by those means--together with rafts and that end of the boat. We then went up to relieve the fort, and while there two white men, one by the name of Charles Brown, who had a squaw that he was living with and probably one child--he got married to her--and these white women of the fort complained of this, and there was another man by the name of Jack Smith whose alias was E. A. Lane--that was [his] proper name--E. A. Lane--he had another squaw. Then I was called upon to unite them being--I think I was only a notary public at the time. I might have been a justice of the peace at that time, but I don't remember whether I was or not, but I married the two couples in the presence of Colonel Buchanan, the officers and the whole fort. This Brown has since raised a very respectable family and has children grown up. The other one had no children. He [Brown] was a Russian sailor. The other one is dead. He died after the close of the War of the Rebellion, died after peace had been declared. I then told Colonel Buchanan that I could furnish him with a boat by which he would be able to cross the river whenever he was prepared. He ordered me then to go to Point Orford with written instructions to the quartermaster there to furnish me with everything necessary for the construction of a boat which I immediately did accompanied with an escort at that time--the only time I had an escort. I then constructed that boat, the canvas boat which Colonel Buchanan--I gave him the privilege of getting a patent for it. Colonel Buchanan obtained the patent. It is now and has been called "Buchanan's patent," and they used it a great deal in the Rebellion for pontoon bridges. I didn't think at the time that I had done anything very extra. We generally used to use mules in packing it on land. It was composed of heavy canvas. We returned across the river using this boat of mine, and after that we had no trouble in crossing streams. I constructed it altogether myself. I made the canvas myself, that is, I sewed it. I returned to Rogue River then and there were several small expeditions out at the time scouting. We had arrived at Rogue River on the 20th of March and in the middle of May one expedition started on the south side of the river, started to ascend the mountain and the snow fell the night they started eight inches. That was probably in the middle of May. Captain Ord went with one expedition to Mikonotunne and the sergeant was shot. Sergeant Nash was wounded and probably there might have been one or two Indians killed. There was one shot through the thigh. That was Enos the renegade. He was afterwards hanged on Battle Rock after the war. I continued as guide during the whole of the war and led in a great many Indians. I led in a main body [of] nearly sixteen hundred. John was the last to surrender. He surrendered at Oak Grove to General Ord. John the great Shasta chief and his band, probably the most warlike Indians there were among the whole of them. The Indians, a great many of them, were at Orford from where they were shipped by the steamer Columbia by Portland and that route to the Yamhill reservation. I remained until the last Indian had been removed. The Chetcos, John's band, Sam's, George's band--these I was ordered to guide to the reservation by the coast route. I led them as far as the Siletz River. They were turned over to General Palmer. We were then ordered to return to Port Orford and were discharged from service. I then went from there to Portland and Oregon City and at Oregon City the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Mr. Hedges, employed me and requested me to return and gather some of the remaining--all of the remaining Indians that were yet free, a number of them who had not surrendered. I proceeded immediately and gathered ninety-eight at the mouth of the Rogue River, one of whom, three of whom had escaped from the reservation and had come right down the coast--had not remained at the reservation at all. He had threatened to run away at the time of the surrender and I told him if I ever caught him away I would kill him, for it would be a nucleus for the other Indians to gather around. I had two men in my employ. One escaped at the massacre of the 22nd of February. I ordered him to shoot him--this Indian. They clinched and had a scuffle and I couldn't tell which had the knife in his hand, the knife was flying through the air so rapidly, and I was a considerable distance off on a bluff from there and I told him to shove the Indian from him and I shot and struck him in the forehead but the bullet went high up and only cut the scalp--didn't kill him. He fell to his knees. I shot again and shot him this time in the right nipple and it came out in the back. That night I turned this wounded one and the two women over to two white men with orders to take them to Port Orford until I returned. They traveled twelve miles that night with the wounded Indian and the women and that night they all escaped--three of them escaped that night from the guard I sent with him. The ninety-eight I think I took up myself to Portland. Then it was getting late in the fall and General Ainsworth and Mr. Pope of Oregon City entered into a contract--and Mr. Jennings--entered into a contract to furnish the Siletz--entered into a contract to furnish them with flour and provisions. Mr. Jennings had established a sutler store at the main agency of the Grand Army. They had a vessel which was built in Portland called the Calumet, and she was loaded and ready for sea when I arrived with the Indians. The Superintendent ordered me to take them as far as Corvallis and then turn them over which I did. I returned immediately to Portland. They gave me an interest in the contract if I would take the command of the vessel to supply the Indians with provisions. The vessel was then lying at Astoria ready for sea with the master aboard of her. I displaced the master, whose portion I took, by written instructions. I sailed on the 4th day of December with instructions to wreck her, as the contract could not be fulfilled without wrecking the vessel (there being no wharf at Yaquina, the place where the provisions were destined. L. J. Gievim [?] and I had written orders therefore to wreck her so as to fulfill the contract and I took the flour to the point agreed upon. This agreement had been entered into without knowing the character of the place where it was to be delivered. On the 9th day of December I reached Siletz and at the mouth of the river I wrecked her at the same, managing to secure the cargo which was taken that night by the Indians--probably two thousand of them--who carried it ashore, took out everything from the vessel. I had a six-pound howitzer on board which was saved, in fact everything was stripped from her--everything except her rigging. It was storming and blowing heavily at the time--southwest wind. The cargo had been receipted for by General [blank]. After seeing that everything was saved we camped in a--that is after everything had been placed away above high water mark--we camped in a protection there we had made by means of the flour and canvas spread over it, and the next morning, the gale having increased and the seas running very heavy--I think it must have been a tidal wave that accompanied it. It was the highest wave I ever saw, nearly twenty feet high the sea came. I heard it coming. I ordered the men to save themselves. I ran to the bluff carrying my instruments and leaving my shoes and stockings behind. We had to run up this bluff to save our lives. The sea came and swept away every bit of flour, cleared the beach of our beds and everything else. We had two good beds. They were swept away and destroyed. The vessel came in--away in. It carried her flutes (?) away. She got in the inside where a vessel had never been before and where a vessel has never been since probably. It carried away her spars just above the deck and drove nine holes in the bottom and left us entirely without clothing, provisions or anything else. We had to dig a hole in the bluff in order to protect ourselves--save ourselves from perishing. First the weather continued to increase in severity and as all of our clothes had been carried off to the ocean, we felt it very much. I made a trip across the mountains to the agency at Grand Ronde at the head of the Yamhill River and sent an order to Portland for canvas and rigging--all that was necessary for me to repair the vessel. I hauled her up in a small creek and we lived there that winter very much exposed to the cold. We rigged up the vessel. This--There was a ship carpenter brought from Grand Ronde by the name of Thomas [Snee]. He made all the new spars, repaired the bottom, caulked her and fixed her all up. On the 27th day of February while throwing sand ballast into the vessel I observed the breeze freshening off the mountains, Mary's Peak, which lies at the head of the Siletz River and I ordered them to knock off throwing in ballast--sand--and to jump aboard at once and get under way and get out to sea. There was a high tide and a very heavy sea running at the time, but there was a good strong breeze off the land and I attempted it. We were an hour and a half getting through the sea. The sea would drive us back repeatedly. We were about an hour and a half in getting clear of those seas, and I think there has never been a vessel in that far since in that place. The next morning at daybreak I was off Columbia bar, ninety-three miles north. I there spoke the Columbia and inquired for news of my family, who were in Port Orford, as the steamer had stopped there coming up. He gave me the news and then I stood in across the bar. There was a heavy sea but we got in and anchored at Sandy Island--got in as far as Sandy Island. The next morning I ran for Astoria. There I discharged all hands and paid off my crew, kept in tow of the steamer and went up to Portland. In four or five days she was ready again. The contract having been changed, I sailed immediately on the 1st of March--on the 3rd or 4th of March for Yaquina. We had heavy gales of wind when I got to sea and I could not relieve the ship on account of her being so deeply laden. When I made the land I made it at Tillamook and row[ed] in there to settle the rigging, which was all hanging from the height. New rigging was fixed in forty-eight hours and I ran down that day to Yaquina Bay and General Sheridan and Wheeler (?) were there to protect me on my arrival from the Indians. I discharged my cargo and sailed again for Portland and took another cargo there and came back to Portland, but in the interval my wife and daughter had arrived. I had sent for them and they had been there during my last voyage. I remained at Portland and Oregon City until June. I sent my family back in the steamer to Port Orford and then was employed by General Nesmith to go and get the balance of he Indians--the hostiles--as he had received intelligence of their murdering the inhabitants in the vicinity of Oregon City--those that still remained out. That was why I went overland. I arrived at Port Orford about the 1st of July. I spent the 4th there and prepared to start immediately into the mountains. I employed four men, two riding animals and two pack animals. I left Port Orford immediately after the 4th of July. I examined through the mountain to ascertain where I could find any sign of the Indians, where they had been recently. That was the object in taking the route I did. I crossed at the Big Bend, struck the Rogue River at the Big Bend of the Rogue River and crossed the Illinois River, ascended the dividing ridge between the Pistol River and crossed the Chetco at a place called Mislaatan. This was a country without trails and I had to make my routes to a great extent. We had an abundance of game--all the meat we wished during the drip. I descended the Chetco and crossed at the forks and descended to the mouth of it and two miles above the mouth I made a permanent camp. There I observed a great many signs of Indians. It proved afterward that I had went away in the rear of all the Indians or the major portion of them and had therefore been outside of their trails, discovering which gave me a knowledge of what I had to do. I there erected a fort, a blockhouse, as a base for my operations. I then commenced getting the Indians as fast as I could. I collected quite a number of them in my fort and as it was getting along in September, late in September, I gathered a good many Indians there and it happened that salmon season was on and they promised me faithfully they would all be sure to surrender and come in of their own accord providing I would let them gather their salmon. The Superintendent was informed of the state of affairs at an early opportunity and he requested me to pursue the course I thought most feasible to get them in. I thought the most prudent course for me to take was to prevent them murdering people and devastating the country as they had been doing. The white men who were connected--living with squaws--gave me a great deal of trouble also. I continued there and some of the Indians would come into the fort occasionally and some of their families were made permanent at the fort but the larger number of them were engaged in gathering their acorns which is their chief article of food, they making their bread from them. They began to steal away their families then and to secrete them in the forests high in the mountains and I concluded that I would get them out of that. I didn't leave until the 1st of December, taking with me two of my men, but two of them, and I was determined that I should bring them in or that I would pursue a more vigorous course with them. I went then as far as the Illinois River and there was one band which I never had in my possession which was the most desperate band of wretches in the country, going through the valley murdering Chinamen, and they had in their possession a large lot of Chinese hats and clothing of all descriptions. This was the Sobenda band. Sobenda means something connected with stone, but I can't give the English of which it does mean exactly. The whites called them the Seven Devils. There were seven bucks with their families in the band, and they were a most murderous set. I had written to the command at Fort Umpqua to send troops to my assistance. Just before the troops arrived my Indians scattered--all of them ran away except a few families, and some decrepit persons who did not care about getting away were left. There were nine Indians who had come at different times to consult with me in regard to having their time extended for staying out, but their real purpose was to murder me, I ascertained afterward. These white men whom I spoke of before as living with the squaws seemed to think I was rather a thorn in their side and they had some--these Indians, probably by their suggestion to murder me, but I was prepared for them and was always on the alert knowing the Indian character, but the last time they came in they had rather the advantage of my men. The pack train had been sent from Umpqua. Mr. Flanagan, now the owner of some coal mines at Coos Bay, had come down with a pack train to assist me in removing the Indians and this pack train was encamped above us. My men were up the Whale's Head mountain to watch the movements of the Indians so that there were but three of us in the camp when they came. I had a fire in the middle of the enclosure and on the south side I had a porthole made which was about ten by twelve or something like that, but not large enough for an Indian to crawl through. These Indians--nine of them--had an immense dance that night, calling upon all their demons to kill me, make war with me. They had this big dance there that night and we could do nothing but stand in the fort armed all night ready for their assault, we calculating that they would assault us at the dawn of day. I went out at the dawn of day, took my rifle and told the men to look out for themselves and went to the foot of the bar to hail two white men at the foot of the bar, to get them up to assist me in taking those nine Indians prisoners, which was my intention. Well, these white men made almost every excuse they could think of so as not to assist me--said they had no balls [i.e., bullets] and all that sort of thing. Both of them were good shots, being good hunters. I told them that I didn't want them to shoot, that I would do all the shooting if any was to be done. All I wanted with them was simply to come with me. I came up and went in the fort, and this young man I had ordered to be shot at the mouth of the Rogue River on a previous occasion, he was there. He had come out with his brother-in-law, a sailor named Bob Smith. This Bob Smith has raised a good family too. This Smith had come to me at Rogue River and said if I would not kill Charlie that he would surrender him to me and I told him I wouldn't kill him, that there was no object for me to kill him and this Charlie was then as true to me as an Indian ever was to a white man. I went in and saw that his appearance indicated trouble and I asked him where those Indians were and he said they were in their little houses on the second bench. There were four Indians I had in there then. I said to my men, "Now, you guard these Indians that are here and I will go out and attend to the others." I left them and went down to where these little houses were and there was a little place right below it that was filled with salmon brush, and I came in front of these little Indian houses and I saw that the Indians all stood in a row on the bank above me. I said, "Now, you go to house or I will kill you. You have either got to kill me or I will kill you." There was a man there who was a noted character among them and the other Indians spoke to him and told him to jump onto me and they would fill me with arrows. Well, he sprang from the bank down and was about ten feet away from me, and I said if he came another foot I would kill him. He had his hand under his blanket and had a knife concealed in his hand, the blade of the knife being about twelve or fifteen inches long made out of the iron hooks [sic--hoops?] of water casks. I think they were made out of that at that time. I saw his features working savagely and they were talking to him all the time and finally he sprang for me. I hadn't the trigger of my gun set--the gun got caught and I had no time to shoot, so I struck him with the rifle, which weighed fourteen pound, rifle right above the ear. He dropped right down like a log. I jerked up my rifle to shoot those on the bluff and found my bridge was broken and the cock would not strike. I threw it down then and jerked out my six-shooter and I slapped a ball from the six-shooter through this noted character's head who was on the ground, and then went for the others. They commenced to fire arrows, none of them striking me, however. I didn't care for the arrows at that time; I wasn't thinking of the arrows. They ran at once and I followed them and a Scotch sailor whom I had with me--a very brave man--he had a double-barreled gun and also a billy. He never thought of this double-barreled gun when he heard the firing, but he ran with this billy and they escaped, of course--got away. I went to the fort and I said to the other men, "Why didn't you come when you heard the firing? They said they were afraid to leave the fort for fear the Indians they were told to guard [would escape]. "Well," said I, "you were guarding these Indians," said I, "where are your Indians?" And we looked, and to be sure there was not an Indian in the place. They were so excited they had allowed them to escape. There were some old people and young children left in the camp. I left the camp guarded a day or so after that. I knew pretty well where I would find these Indians as I had overheard some of them talking. I went up to the Whale's Head mountain then waiting for Lieutenant Luraine who had been sent to aid me in removing these Indians. I remained there a few days and Luraine came with fifteen or sixteen soldiers. He was quite a young man at this time. He was afterwards wounded at the Battle of Bull Run in the foot. He is in the army now. At that time he was inexperienced and knew nothing about fighting and nothing whatever about the Indians and I told him about the condition of affairs and he seemed dissatisfied about it. I told him I would have Indians enough [for him] before he was much older, and the snow was very deep on the mountains then where I was--the snow was a foot deep. We laid there until I thought the weather was about right for me to proceed. That was a day or two afterwards. I led him then through the mountains, where the route crosses the country which is in the mountains. The Indians had erected fires on a peak about five miles to the east of us where they had stopped, I suppose, to watch us. In the daytime I wouldn't allow them to use any fire at all for fear the Indians would see the smoke, which would notify them of our whereabouts. The Indians always select the most elevated peaks they can find for outlook purposes. I told Lieutenant Luraine, "We will leave our men here and we will go on a little scouting expedition in the mountains." We went across to a mountain that I had observed when I was there before in September. I could tell from there whether there was a trail or not. I led them north through the woods and we went to a place where I thought we would find the Indians--I took an Indian who had been wounded in the war named Jack, and he was disposed to act providing I would keep him with me--well, we descended to the river and discovered in scouting up the river--I went up and scouted and discovered a wigwam on the opposite side of the river. The ice was running in the river and it was very cold. I saw they had a little canoe along the bank. They had a little cabin there also. I told Jack to swim and get that canoe, and he said they would kill him. I said they would not so he swam over and got that canoe and he came back to me, and I just jumped in the canoe at once and paddled the river. The Indian was shivering on account of the water which was cold enough to have killed anyone else. I went over to the bank and stood at the cabin before the inmates knew it with my rifle cocked and there were seven Indians in the cabin. They had been prisoners of mine before. I sent out for the troops to come. Luraine came across himself and two of my men came across. I left the soldiers to take these prisoners up to the camp, all except one woman. I made her guide us to where these same houses were on the Chetco River. The others were taken across by Jack, when the soldiers took charge of them. I then descended the north side of the river, Luraine accompanying me with his saber and high-heeled boots, which were bad things to assist him in climbing over the mountains. He would slip and it was with the utmost difficulty he kept from falling. He became very vexed and pulled out his watch and said, "I will give you twenty minutes to find those Indians in." I said, "You can go back if you wish. I never hunted Indians by the watch yet," I said; "you stay here until I return," and I told a man to peek over the brow of the hill and see what was going on. I went down and right on the opposite side of where their stone houses were, there was one cavern there. That is what they all really were--caverns--though they called them stone houses. It is a place where they kept their wives and children during the war. On the opposite side I saw an Indian that had once been my prisoner, and I sang out to him, "Come over." He had a small canoe there which they brought on a portage and he jumped in that canoe and paddled over to me without ever thinking, I guess, or supposing I would kill him if he didn't come. Right opposite to where I landed there was an Indian I had never seen before, an old Indian, and he had his bow drawn to his shoulder ready to shoot as I went up to him. I said, "Don't you shoot," and reached over and caught that bow just in time. Well, I felt just as though the arrow had really gone through me. A moment later and he would have killed me. I went down in this cavern--I took forty-two prisoners out of this cavern. I would disarm them as they came out of the hole which was used for an entrance. We then caught for the first time the murderer of Mr. Geisel and his boys. The Indian's name was Hightlee. As soon as he came out I knew him and knew he was destined to die sometime before a great while. After I got them all out they ascended a place that beat everything I ever saw in my life for steepness. It must have been nearly four hundred feet perpendicularly. The women would have their baskets on their heads in which they carried the children and they would climb up that place. It was the only place to get out unless they went away up to the head of the river where we came in. These high walls are frequently met with up that way, but that is the highest I ever saw. We got them into camp before night. I took these right to my fort, and in three days' time I had a hundred and fifty Indians. Still I hadn't nearly all of them because there were some desperate chaps I had and who escaped that I didn't have then, but I knew I had enough to take away. It was better to get them away at once so we marched immediately. I think that day I got a pair of boots. I had been in moccasins all that winter and hadn't had a chance to get a particle of woolen clothing. I suffered a great deal from the cold but these Indians had said I couldn't get them out of the country and I was determined to show them I would get them out of the country, and I did it. We started with them. We had no trouble but got along first rate. They were very footsore from marching however; their feet were all bleeding--had no shoes or moccasins or anything else, most of them, and some of them were but half clad. I got to Euchre Creek and I told them they might stay there a few days to recruit and Lieutenant Luraine said he was anxious to go on and I said it was useless to take the people on as they were not able to proceed. We had some words. I told him I thought I had command, so Lieutenant Luraine left me and I brought the Indians along. I crossed the Umpqua and delivered them at the mouth of the Yaquina Bay to the agent. I went to Salem then to see the Superintendent on some other business and during this time after my leaving news came that some Indians had gone right close to Ellensburg and murdered two men, and here the tidings of the same met me of the same, when I went to see the Superintendent. He wanted me to go and get these Indians and I told him I would do so. It was the last of May when I started them; all the families up that way became so alarmed that they insisted on being protected out of the country. I protected them to the California line, where they were safe to go on alone to Crescent City, and I immediately went to my old fort and made my headquarters there. I then began to scout the country to ascertain where these Indians were located. I knew where part of them were, but whether I could get hold of them or not I did not know. I took with me three men, ascended to the Chetco and a man--I can't think of his name--was there with his family and I told him I was going to take the Indians dead or alive. I also told him to take his family away from there. Said I, "They might spare you now, but they won't in a short time." I found tracks of the Indians right close by there but he said he hadn't seen any that morning but had seen some the day before. I found a canoe hid away under the bank and I told some of my men to go up along the river and I would go up the other way. I went as far as I could with my animal that way and found that the Indians had divided; part of them had gone up the mountain to cross over to the coast, but one track was leading to Winchuck. I therefore followed the others to the ridge and got on top of the mountain and it was flat, grassy land and it was very foggy. I rode along and I thought I had discovered something ahead in the fog, and sure enough, I had discovered the Indians. Tautilagus, one of the prominent Indians, was with them--the very one I wished. He begged hard for his life, but I did not design killing him. I wanted to make better use of him. I took him with me at once to the camp. His wife and children were with him when I captured him--I told him I would give him three days to bring in the balance of those Indians and if he didn't do it in that time at the end of three days I would hang his wife and children. At the end of three days he came in with every one of that Chetco band. There was not one that had been left behind. These same Indians had killed the Seven Devils band, that is, they had killed all the males, both men and boys, and kept the women. They told me how the boys struggled when they threw them in the river and stoned them. They told me all about that. They had killed off all the males.
(The next page contains an episode which happened in bringing in the 152 Indians and which Capt. Tichenor forgot to narrate in its regular order.)
Well, in going up with the hundred and fifty-two Indians at the mouth of the Rogue River, Mrs. Geisel, the mother of the children and the husband [sic] of the man who had been murdered by this Indian Hightlee, came in and was determined to put a knife in this Hightlee who was a prisoner with me. I had to have her put out of the camp by the troops. They served a warrant on me--there for the surrender of Hightlee. I paid no attention that but told them when I got to Port Orford I would deliver Hightlee to them. I knew him to be the murderer, but I wanted to deliver them all up so I took him on to Port Orford, and when we reached that place I put him in jail. There was a jail there. The morning that we left Port Orford to start north I told the Indians that springing Shrananga would be there shortly and that he could look right into his heart and see if he was guilty and if so he would hang him; if not guilty he would send him right up to join them. This satisfied them, but they all at once said, "We will never see Hightlee again"--they knew him to be guilty. I then started the Indians on and I went back to the jail, gave the officers the key that took him out, took him right down to Rogue River and gave him a hearing and hanged him to a tree. That was the last of the murderer of Geisel and his child.
I then ordered my men to go and look after my pack animals that were running around on the south side of the river and if they saw an Indian, male or female, young or old, to bring them in and if any white man interrupted them to bring him in also. They returned a little before dusk with an Indian boy about sixteen years of age, I should judge, that belonged to the Hor-zon-ta-tana tribe, which was afterward called by the whites Winchuck. Well, they brought him in and I asked him where those Winchuck Indians were. The boy refused to answer any questions for a long time. I finally threatened to hang him if he didn't tell me where they were, which he then did. It was an ugly evening, and just at dark I took two of my own men and three of Luraine's men and Luraine and myself started immediately, I leading them. I went to this Winchuck River and it was very dark and therefore it was very difficult traveling. It was five miles to go. We arrived there late. When we got there I concluded I could find canoes where the boy said. I could [hardly] find them, but eventually we found them. Luraine and myself took three canoes and the three soldiers took another canoe. I ordered my men to follow. We ascended the river and it was a very foggy night. The moon rose between one and two o'clock. We ascended the river and I discovered on the right bank of the river, up a bluff, a light. I landed there and ordered the men to follow me, make fast the canoes and follow immediately and follow in my track. I then commenced the ascent of the bank. It was probably two hundred feet high and very steep, and of course we wished to go there without their hearing us and the mountainside was covered with brush and roots and it appeared to me that this brush could make more noise than any I ever struck before or since in my life, but fortunately they didn't hear me. I went to where there was a wigwam which was all closed up, but a light gleamed through the crevices which gave me the bearings. I pushed aside the covering to the entrance and jumped right in among the inmates. There were nine male and female together in the wigwam together with the children. I left the three soldiers in one canoe in charge of the prisoners, to guard them. Luraine, Murphy--a soldier--and myself went down a trail which they were evidently accustomed to use in going down the bluff, and there we discovered some canoes belonging to them--two canoes. We took one of them and ascended the river still farther. After going some ways farther I saw the glimmer of a light in the spruce bottom, but it being so dark we could see nothing, only a certain shade or shadow occasionally. We struck right in among a whole lot of canoes and made a terrible racket--striking against these hollow canoes. It made an awful noise and I felt in along the bank to see if there was anything I could get hold of that would assist me in climbing it, and I managed to get up without any difficulty with the assistance of some spruce roots. Right back of the bank was an Indian and an Indian woman lying in a blanket. I stooped down and happened to catch him in the arm--happened to catch hold of his bow, which I jerked from him. By this time Murphy and Lieutenant Luraine came up, upon which I took a glance around and discovered right back of a log of wood where they had their fire I found a whole batch of Indians. Lieutenant Luraine and myself--all this had been done in a minute. I heard the report of Murphy's gun just to our left. He had fallen down into a deep ravine that came through the camp and he was crying out after this shot was fired, "I have killed an Indian; I have killed an Indian." I took from out of my shot pouch a small piece of candle which I generally carried for making fires in the mountains and lit it. I went to see what was the matter. He was down in the bottom of the gulch and an Indian had passed down a trail they had been leading down and as he went along he shook the brush--which was rather dry and made considerable noise, so Murphy had fired at the noise more than at any particular object he could see. he couldn't see but he heard the noise. He had shot him and he was dead. I turned him over to see if I knew him, with my light in my hand, and I saw he was very badly shot. We went back to the Indian camp there. Three minutes had not probably elapsed altogether from the time we ascended the bluff in the first instance. There was an Indian there who jerked out a knife and I said, "Give me your knife" and went up to him and jerked the knife away from him. I then went to work and disarmed the whole of them. I took twenty-two prisoners in that camp in one of their large canoes and gave Lieutenant Luraine and Murphy their canoes full. When we came to the other place we met the soldiers with the nine prisoners that had been taken before. I captured that night fifty-two Indians and got into camp before daylight too. I had the last one of that whole tribe. We were then ready to start with the hundred and fifty-two Indians--that made a hundred and fifty-two Indians I had obtained altogether.
While I was there in camp before we started Lieutenant Ihrie, who had been sent to assist me in getting out the Indians from Crescent City, he collected his animals and we camped at Whale's Head, at the foot of the mountain. He then asked me to permit some of my Indians to go out and tell the Indians that they would be protected by the regular troops. He thought that might have a good effect in bringing the Indians into camp. I told him that my Indians would not tell the truth, that they [were connected] with the other Indians by marriage ties and I knew they would come back with a lie in their mouth. I said, "If you let me plan it I will get them." I said, "You will never get them in that way." Finally, however, I allowed him to have two Indians who had families with me and who I knew would return on that account. They went out--started out in the evening and they returned the next morning bringing a young mule and an old woman with them. They had of course a very long story to tell. I told them I did not want to hear it then. I went to Lieutenant Ihrie and said, "I want to show you how they are going to lie. There is something in this bringing in an old woman and a mule." I would not allow but one Indian to come in at a time into the tent. The first Indian went on to state how he had found them and how they wanted to fight and kill them and they had brought in also a big batch of tin pans which they had got at David Daly's ranch--the Indians had--some time before this. They also hamstrung a lot of beeves for him. Well, these two Indians told contradictory stories--right opposite to one another. They were lies from the beginning to the end. Says I, "Here is the whole amount of it. They of course are not going to surrender at all." One said that they had tried to kill them both and the other said that they had been into camp and that the Indians were very friendly. We proceeded that day and reached the mouth of the Pistol River and finally camped on the north side of the river and Lieutenant Ihrie on the south side. He was not authorized to give me any guard or any escort, therefore we acted separately that night. He sent for me that evening and he said he would like to send out Indians again and try once more if he couldn't persuade those Indians to surrender. I said it was wasting time. I said, "If you want them killed I will see that they are killed, though I can't get them otherwise. They never were caught any other way." I finally yielded and told him they could go and let him have four men, I think it was, to go. I started them off--gave them hard bread. Lieutenant Ihrie said he had to send to Crescent City for supplies and I told him by no means to send the train over the mountains without an escort and he said he would send an escort. Well, after I started the Indians off that morning it appears he did start it off without an escort except Baker, a packer, and Whitman. They were the only ones. When they reached a place near the summit of the mountains and the Indians attacked them and shot Baker off the pack mule. The others escaped. Whitman came riding down the mountain as hard as he could. John Walker, the other man who was with the train, stayed to fight. After Whitman reported that Baker had been shot I went over there to Lieutenant Ihrie's camp. I said, "You sent the train off without an escort did you?" and he said yes. I said, "You have done wrong. I advised you to send an escort." I went up the mountain and there were all the animals hamstrung and the Indians were trying to cut off John Walker, who was fighting them, but they could not do it. There was the whole train of mules hamstrung and the packer, Baker, shot and mutilated in a most shocking manner. Two bullets went through his heart. Lieutenant Ihrie then begged some mules of me, but I had no mules to spare and so said no. I had to push forward and so I left immediately for Rogue River after giving Lieutenant Ihrie all the hard bread I could spare. I arrived at Rogue River that night. My Indians were yet armed. I had not the power to disarm them and Lieutenant Ihrie refused to act in consort with me in that respect. He had no order to do so. I moved them the next day five miles north on the Indian trail where I thought they would be less liable to escape. While I attended to two white prisoners I had taken the next morning after I had captured that Indian boy. I had taken them prisoners and placed them in irons and taken them up with me. I had to return to the camp five miles up the river to attend the examination of those men. I did not wish to keep them prisoners except to keep them away from the Indians to whom they were likely to give bad advice. I didn't care anything about them. They were released.
From the time I was discharged from the regular army until I went after those Indians, the Superintendent of Indian Affairs employed me to get in some Indians who were creating disturbances around the country, plundering and one thing and another. The people in their vicinity were very much alarmed at the actions of these savages, so the Superintendent employed me to go and bring them in. I gathered them all up, every one--I took the whole lot of them. He employed me to get in the Klickitats, which I did, and took them all to the head of the Yamhill River to the Grand Ronde Indian Agency there. General A. J. Smith was in command of this agency. He was called Major Smith at that time. He was the one who got the whipping at the Big Bend.
In 1851 I bought in a large band of cattle and turned them on the extensive flats on the Illinois River. I was in very bad health at that time and was for two years which was brought about by exposure in the mountains when after these Indians I had rheumatism, and various other complaints and was disqualified from doing anything else. When the Rebellion broke out I was elected to the first senate that met in Oregon from Coos, Curry and Umpqua counties. I offered my services to the government but the physician advised me to remain at home. Then the Collectorship of Port Orford was sent to me. I was appointed Collector of Customs there. During all these years the the lumber merchants were trying to rob me of my rights by taking my lands at Port Orford. My lands were despoiled of the best timber upon it. There was no course by which I could obtain redress. They were protected while doing this by the soldiers placed at the garrison and my lands were being denuded of the most valuable timber there was on the Pacific Coast. On the 26th day of May, 1864, General McDowell sent troops and turned me out of my home and ruined everything I had there. I think I had about the finest garden in Oregon--everything growing. They sent over and ejected my wife, my daughter, the present Mrs. A. W. McGrath of this city, and myself from the premises. I went to Governor Gibbs of Oregon and stated my grievances and asked for redress. He said he did not wish to come in collision with the military. I returned home and my wife was living in an old house about a quarter of a mile from the place we had been ejected from and which was my donation land, being the first settler. I employed sixty-seven men out of my own pocket to protect the country when there was no military there. The last of September of 1864 when I returned from the valley I had a large band of cattle there and found that my cattle had been turned adrift--fifty-five head I have never seen since nor received one dime for them. They were destroyed by anyone who thought proper to do so. My gardens were despoiled and I was ejected. On the 8th day of October the Lieutenant of the troops, acting, I suppose, by the orders of the commanding officers, placed R. W. Dunbar in charge of my property. My wife went up to the place to save some vegetables with one of the citizens and they came back and informed me that this agent and a man named Joseph Ney were there gathering my produce. I went up there but they ran as soon as they saw me. I was in my house the next day alone. My wife was up at the place. There was a knock at the door, and I, thinking it was somebody on business, opened the door when I was confronted with a rifle. They dragged me out in the yard and were assisted by a miserable, low, Irish sheriff, in taking me, who was not even a citizen of the United States. I made no resistance but they pulled me out in
[page missing]had enough to attend to in repairing him of the wound I had inflicted on him. They put me in jail but they didn't dare put irons on me. My son and myself were placed in jail. The next day my head was so swollen I could not wear a hat or anything else. I had no time to prepare myself for my abduction, for such it was in fact. There was no cause for it at all. I was on my own premises. They put me on horses and took us to Rogue River that night. There there were two or three persons who acted like men but most of them were overawed by the military, though I wasn't. Of course they hurt me. I told him when he presented the six-shooter at my head it was a good thing he had the drop on me, for if he hadn't I would have killed him. If I had any chance I know I could have killed the whole four of them who captured me. Those were the sheriff, two soldiers and lieutenant. They brought me to a camp above Crescent City where I was laid on the hard logs with very scanty covering. I was there several days and then marched like a criminal with my son to Crescent City, put aboard the steamer, and in Humboldt Bay I was placed among the prisoners there--cutthroats and robbers--and I was paraded among that gang of miscreants and every indignity which could be offered was offered to me. From Humboldt Bay I was brought here to San Francisco to the foot of Market Street and given in charge of the provost marshal until General McDowell could be consulted. Orders then came that I should be taken to Alcatraz. That was on the 18th of October. I demanded nearly every day for an investigation to know what I was incarcerated for. They put me in a dungeon fifteen or sixteen steps below the battery. I could get no hearing--obtain no redress--until the 3rd day of November, when I was taken to the headquarters on the hill. I demanded then to know what I was accused of; I could obtain no satisfaction. That evening an order came for my discharge from General McDowell. When I read it I told them I wouldn't receive it as my son's discharge was not embraced in that--he was imprisoned with me. It was sent back to San Francisco and returned late in the day with my son's name on it. We were then turned adrift on Meiggs' Wharf--turned right out in the night. I found my way to the American Exchange Hotel, where we were very kindly received. Some friends there furnished me with whatever I asked for. I called on General McDowell the next day to know what I had been imprisoned for. He said I was a desperate man. I asked him what business that was to him--that we had a state that was not in rebellion and had courts there that could attend to desperate men. He said, "You were on public domain." I said, "That is not so, it is my property and I am going to have it." I returned him the 25th of November by way of Crescent City and was in very bad health the whole of that following year and this without any redress--to a man whose neighbors thought enough of to send to the legislature five times. On the 5th of Jan. following, my patent was signed for the selfsame land. These men burned my farming utensils on a public fire. They ordered me to take them off the land and I wouldn't do it--said it was my land--so they burned them. They quartered troops on me and destroyed my house and I have not had any redress for it--not one cent and never saw that matter settled till they instituted another suit in 1880--another suit to set aside my rights prompted by the same set. General McDowell had a hand in that matter, as I believe. I believe him to be anything but a gentleman and a true soldier and on even ground he wouldn't wish to meet me. If it was tomorrow I would give him satisfaction. I said he has never shown himself to be a gentleman nor a soldier, but instead an infamous usurper of men's right. In June, 1872, the case came up for hearing in the District Court under Judge Sawyer and Judge Deady, District Judges. Their decisions were a scathing rebuke to General McDowell--gave him his true character. It was a very scathing rebuke to him.
Bancroft Library P-A 84. Parenthetical question marks are transcriptionist's comments in the original. Many names are unconfirmed.
Jennie Tichenor, a native of Curry County, died at her home in Squaw Valley Saturday. She was one of the few remaining Rogue River Indians, and was a girl about 8 years old when the whites killed a band of Indians that were being taken to the Siletz Reservation in 1857. She escaped, was brought up by a white family and became a useful and respected citizen of the community.
"Escaped the Massacre," Oregon Journal, Portland, May 10, 1914, page 10
NOTED INDIAN WOMAN DEAD.
Mrs. Jennie Tichenor passed away at her home in Squaw Valley, Saturday, after a lingering illness of several months duration. The remains were laid to rest in the Rumley grave yard near the Bagnell ferry, beside those of her husband, who had preceded her several years. Deceased leaves two sons and many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren--Gold Beach Globe.
Newspaper clipping, findagrave.com
Last revised September 21, 2019