History
 

Alsea Sub-Agency cont.

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Joe Scott, Umpqua Chief:
We do not ask the government to give us things, but to fulfill their promises made a long time ago. The old agents used to make us promises and not keep them,”

John, Siuslaw Chief:
“If I was to talk for several days, I should talk the same way all the time. It was not my mind to come where I am now living, but the will of the government. This country where I now live I will never give up. General Palmer gave it to us.”

Albert, Chief of Alsea:
“I very much want to tell this man my heart. This is my heart. I very much want to remain in my country. . .When we die we want it to go to our children, and for them to give it to their children,”

George Cameron, Coos:
“My heart is full and sick with this talk of leaving this country. It seems as though bad white people took us away from our old home and brought us to this country. Today I do not want to be removed again. How long is it to be before we are like the whites, to be improved as we have been promised? We received this country from the Washington chief a long time ago. The treaty made with General Palmer was never carried out and that is one trouble with us today. The whites don’t lie to each other when they make a treaty. Why do they lie when they make a treaty with Indians? When they owe one another they pay. Why don’t they pay us? I want to hear no more of their promises, nor do I want to hear of our leaving our country. Our chief never received any benefits from the treaty. He has been dead several years. I don’t want to give up my country anymore.”64

Not one Coos, Umpqua, Alsea or Siuslaw consented to the removal. Yet former Siletz Agent Simpson (who then was the federal surveyor general of Oregon), falsely reported that the Indians of the Alsea Sub-Agency did give their consent. (Simpson was the same agent promoting the 1865 reduction from south of Siletz to the Alsea River). In 1875, the United States Government violated their own laws and disbanded the Alsea Sub-Agency.65

When it was time to be removed, many of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, Alsea, were not to be found by the United States Army. By 1877, a number of Alsea continued to stay in the Alsea Bay area. Finally some Alseas were located and forcibly marched to Siletz. Agent Bagley stated the transfer went smoothly and all had enough to eat. However, this account does not correlate with the observations of sea captain J.J. Winant, who, upon returning from Yaquina Bay, saw 70-80 starving Alsea and also noted many new graves.66

The Coos, Lower Umpqua, Alsea, and Siuslaw Indians spent fifteen years of hard labor and the cost of many lives to re-establish a homeland. However, they only made the lands valuable for white settlements, including a trail up the Yachats River that made easy access for homesteaders. These Native people again had everything taken away and received nothing in return.

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