[The following old newspaper article contains many errors,
all of which have been repeated herewith.]
O.C. Applegate, agent at the Klamath agency, Oregon, was in charge of these same Indians 33 years ago,
and in his report submitted to the commissioner of Indian affairs gives some interesting facts concerning the
history of the tribes on this reservation which has probably been nearly forgotten by some older residents of the
state, and which some of the newcomers do not know anything about. Mr. Applegate says:
"I am convinced, however, by the wide acquaintance with Indian tribes, that the Klamath and Modoc Indians are a
superior aboriginal race, more readily taken up with white man's civilization then have many other Indian tribes."
"The Klamath and Modocs being naturally of the same blood have almost blended into one tribe, and it is almost impossible
to number them seperatly. The whole number of Indians on the census now in preparation, amounts to approximately 1,072
individuals. Of this amount 487 are Modocs and Piutes, and 585 Klamath; 488 approximately are males and 584 females.
"The Klamath, before taken over by government authority, were formidable people, and with their allies the Modocs were masters
of all surrounding tribes, among them the Snake (or Piutes) Shastas, Pit Rivers, and the warlike Rouge River Indians,
formerly occupying the fertile valleys of south western Oregon."
"The nomadic Snakes (or Piutes) though quiet and docile, do not advance rapidly in industrial pursuits, and the representatives of
this tribe we have on the reservation are quite poor, and I think they may need a little help in subsistence this winter. I intend
making special effort to get them to work in cultivating their lands in the spring, and I am quite certain it will be necessary to
furnish them with seed grain and to detail an experienced man to assist them in seeding the ground."
"The Pitt Rivers (or Mo-at-was) now on the reservation consist of former slaves and their descendants. Many Pitt Rivers were
originally held in servitude by the Klamath, having been captured during warlike forays into the Pitt River country,
a district lying in California, south of the Klamath basin. Sometime after the treaty of October 01, 1864 was concluded with the Klamath,
Modocs, and Ta-hoos-kin Snakes, the Mo-ta-was slaves were given their freedom, and were adopted into the Klamath
tribe. Although possessing distinct tribal characteristics, these people have become practically Klamaths, having married with them and became
fully assimilated, a few of them are now prominent, and even wealthy men. Henry Jackson, for instance, formerly held as a slave by
a chief now living, owns 500 or 600 head of cattle, and his sale of beef animals amount to from $3,000 to $4,000 a year. As a tirbe, the Klamaths
have always been friendly to the whites, and assisted us as allies during both the Sake and Mococ wars.
"The Indians now usually known as the Piutes were treated with as Snakes, and were originally nomadic bands of roaming over the plains of
Eastern Oregon and Nevada. Of these, the Ya-hoos kin band, under Chocktoot and Kile to-ik, was treated with in 1864, in connection with the
Klamath and Modocs; the Wall-pab-pe band, under the war chief Po-ni-on at Yainax Butte, August 12, 1865. Ochebo's band, after the termination
of the Sake Indian war, was brought from Camp Harney to Yainax, near the eastern border of the Klamath reservation, and established there in
the autumn of 1869. They have many of them wandered away during the last twenty Years, and the once powerful chief Ocheho, now old and
blind, resides with the remnant of his people near fort Bidwell, in California. There they have had lands allotted to them, and patronize
the Bidwell Indians school. Where found they are quite and peaceable and their children are easily controlled as pupils."
©1998 Roxann Gess Smith
All Rights Reserved
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