Selected Newspaper Coverage
of the
Southern San Joaquin Valley, and Vicinity

Daily Alta California February 14, 1851 Page 2
Los Angeles, February 4, 1851
News has reached us that the Tulare Indians have killed Danton's party and Captain Dorsey's party. Don Henrique himself was here at the time after more horses and provisions, as his horses had failed, and he was under the necessity of making a corral at the Four Creeks. There seems no doubt of his vaqueros together with Captain Dorsey and his party who corralled with Dalton, or near by having all been killed and the cattle dispersed. French's was attacked by the same Indians, who appear to have been several hundred strong, armed with bows and arrows. Fortunately, an emigrating party of 40 Americans were at the ranch at the time. The Indians were repulsed with the loss of about 40 killed. A dispatch reached us the past week from French, asking arms and cartridges; they were immediately forwarded by on of his partners, who was in the city at the time. Why cannot a [military] post be established there? It is highly important for the trade of this valley and Stockton, Sacramento, and San Francisco. Thirteen men in all are reported to have been massacred at the Four Creeks. Captain Dorsey is from San Jose. You can rely upon this news as it comes to us in a veritable form. Don Henrique is now on his return to the Four Creeks, with a party of about a dozen men, hoping to form a connection with the emigrants who are at French's

Yours, Very Respectfully,

Lewis Granger.
Daily Alta California March 20, 1851 Page 2, Col 2.

Head Quarters, near Mariposa

March 9, 1851

Gov. John Mc Dougal:

Sir: - I have the honor here with to report to you by express, such matters as my duty would seem to require, under existing circumstances. Since the departure of Col. J. Neely Johnson, I have as near as possible had the battalion under my command disposed of agreeable to his orders. I have also kept up a regular correspondence with the U.S. Indian Commissioners, fro the time Col. Johnson left to this time, in all cases conforming my movements to their views and wishes.
I am happy to be justified in the remark, that I have found those gentlemen, in whom the U. S. Government has placed so much confidence, to be men worthy of the high trust awarded them, as well as men of cool and deliberate reflections. Those gentlemen are using every effort and means in their power to effect a peace with those wild and hostile tribes of Indians, at the earliest possible period, and will no doubt succeed with a portion of several tribes, which are now coming in for that purpose. I am of opinion that they have already become satisfied that there will remain in the mountains a large majority of the most hostile and dangerous Indians who will keep up a predatory warfare with the citizens of this section of the country, which will, if not soon arrested, prove effectually ruinous to this community.
There has been recently eight men killed and six wounded in this vicinity, at the different periods and different places to wit:

On the waters of the river Mercede, about the 15th of Feb. ULT., there were two men severely wounded, one of whom has since died, and the other slowly recovering. On the 25th or 26th of February, ULT., Mr. Cassidy was cruelly murdered, on the left bank of the San Joaquin, about two and a half miles below this place, and his body found by Captain John J. Kerkendall, commanding company A in my battalion, on the 6th inst. His tongue was cut out and pinned to his left side with four arrows, which passed through into his heart; his right leg cut off and gone, with twenty-eight arrows in his person.

March 1st, inst., one man killed and four wounded, on the road leading from Stockton to San Joaquin, between the Chowchillas and Mariposa; one of the wounded soon died. There were eight men in the party, leaving three unhurt who succeeded in making good their escape. From this party the Indians got five mules, two horses and one Jack.

March 2d, two men wounded on Greaser Gulch, some eight miles west of Agua Fria.

March 3d, four men killed near the Fine Gold Gulch. From this party were taken twelve oxen; they were pursued and eleven of the oxen retaken.

By this it well be seen, there have been killed in this section of country, in a few days, eight men and six wounded, all of which lives might have been saved, had it not been for the fact that my command was refrained from acting, lest we might thwart the mission of the Indian Commissioners, and incur the displeasure of the General Government.

All of this bloodshed has come withing the knowledge of the Commissioners, who I am satisfied have the same views of the present alarming condition of affairs in this section of the country, that I have. I shall no doubt, in a few days, have the entire approbation of the Commissioners, to proceed with my command to the vicinities of the remaining hostile tribes, with the view of chastising them well for their former cruelties.

The work will then commence, which we are badly prepared to carry out. The Legislature having taken no definite action in relation to the pay of the volunteers under my command, has caused in the minds of the men a want of confidence in the disposition of the Governor to act; which circumstances have a tendency to produce dissatisfaction among the men, and places me in an unpleasant situation, taking into consideration the importance attached to my immediate service. Thee is also some fear entertained lest our movements should be retarded for the want of provisions, ammunitions, and means of transportation. I sincerely hope you will believe the emergency of the case such as will justify you in calling the immediate attention of the Legislature to this subject; otherwise the Southern mines will have to be abandoned the results of which will be in a pecuniary point of view, as well as in many other ways, sincerely felt.

I have the honor to be,

Very Respectfully Yours,

Your most ob't serv't.,

N.B. Lewis, Agent

By Order of James D. Savage, Maj. Com'd. Battalion.
Daily Alta California April 1, 1851 Page 2, Col. 2
Summary of Events:
Governor McDougal has been appealed for his aid in suppressing the Indian depredations in the Mariposa region, and the Legislature responded to his call upon them, by granting him authority to call out five hundred men for that purpose. Taking a tour for the purpose of acquiring information upon the subject, he came to conclusion that the men were not needed, and has not called them into service. One of the Indian Commissioners has recently been in this city bringing one of the friendly chief's with him, and reports rather favorably of the chances of forming treaties with the most of the tribes in the vicinity of the Merced, Mariposa and Fresno. But he thinks that two or three tribes, one of which is the Chowchilla, will have to be soundly drubbed, ere they will enter into treaties or keep them when formed.

Daily Alta California May 10, 1851 Page 2, Col.1
Treaties with the Indians.
Two of the U.S. Indian Commissioners for California are now in this city, as previously announced, having quite effectively accomplished the object of their mission. They have completed treaties with sixteen tribes of mountain Indians besides the five tribes on the Mercedes Rive twenty one tribes in all. The names of the mountain Indian tribes are, How-ech-eis.

Chuck-chau-es, Chou-chil-lies, Pono-nach-es and Nook-choos, five tribes subject to the Grand Chief Nai-yak-qua, who is represented by the commissioners as a brave warrior and wise man.

The Pit-cach-es, Cas-soes, Toom-nas, Tal-lin-ches and Pas-ke-sas are subject to the Chief Ton-quit. The Wa-cha-hets, l-tech-es, Cho-e-nim-nis, Cho-ki-me-nas, No-to-no-tos and We-mal-ches are under a Grand Chief called Pas-quesl. There are parts of two or three tribes which would not come into treat. Some of these are it is understood, fractions of the Chow-chil-lies. The Commissioners finding it impossible to treat with them, Major Savage with three companies moved against them, came up with them with only a river between and had a skirmish, killing two or three of them.

It was his opinion that they would come in and treat. If they do not, he will pursue and whip them into terms. This is their destiny. The terms of the treaty are inpart as follows: They are to have a space of country about fifty miles square, for the Chowchille river to the Cowire [Kaweah] river, commonly called the Four Creeks. This portion of country is intersected by various streams of water, and embraces good fishing grounds and excellent tillage land, and is situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada.

Each chief is to have a gardener furnished him to instruct him and his people in gardening and agriculture; is to be furnished with seeds, with breed mares, certain quantities of beeves and flour, and several other items. They express themselves will satisfied with the conditions of the treaty. Our only fear is that the commissioners will find themselves unable to meet their engagements, in consequence of the extremely meager appropriations made by Congress for the purpose of quieting the tribes. If these treaties fail from such a cause, the U. S. Government will be put to an expense of millions in carrying on a war for which there existed no real necessity.

The commissioners have agreed upon a course of future action. Each of them is to take a certain section of the State. Col. Barbour's embraces the southern portion, Dr. Wozencraft's is the whole Sacramento Valley, and Col. McKee taking all that portion to the north of it. Not having received the acts of Congress in full it is not possible to say whether any general or special appropriations have been made beyond the $25,000 which were furnished the Commissioners when they first entered upon service.

It would be a cause of serious regret if the object of their mission should fail through want of a few thousand dollars. It would cost more in a month to fight them than the cost of the treaties for a year. For they are a different set of men from the mission Indians who have become enervated and worthless by contact and intercourse with the whites. Dr. Wozencraft esteems them as brave as any on the eastern side of the mountains, and says that all they need is experience and arms to become, if hostile, extremely troublesome. Aside, however from the mere cost of a war, the interest of the State and of its citizens would greatly suffer. It would be next to impossible to subdue them if once united and in arms in the fastness of the mountains.  

Daily Alta California May 24, 1851 Page 2, Col 1.
The Indian Commissioners
Col. McKee has received a letter from his colleague, Col. Barbour, dated at Camp Belton, Kings River, 16th inst. Announcing the intelligence that another treaty has been concluded with twelve more of the mountain tribes - leaving only three small tribes to be concitiated (sic), and these promise to meet the Commissioners on Kearn's River, and treat. The whole frontier from Stanislaus to the plains south of Tulare Lake, a distance of some 200 miles, and where the chief difficulties have heretofore existed, is now enjoying peace and tranquility. This makes in all thirty-three tribes which have ben treated with, withdrawn from the mountains and happily settled on the plains
We understand that while Col. Barbour continues on south, Dr. Wozencraft will leave in a day or two for the Sacramento Valley, and Col. McKee for the country above Humboldt Bay, to visit and endeavor to settle all Indian difficulties in those districts. It is also understood that the Commissioners will have for this summer's expedition but $25,000 instead of the $75,000 the amount asked for by the Department f Indian Affairs.

Daily Alta California May 29,1851 Page 2, Col. 2
Indian Commission

Camp Belt, Kings River, May 23, 1851
Messrs Editors: - The escort to the Indian Commission for the Southern District is now here, on the left bank of the river, and about six miles below the old ford. The camp is named in honor of Judge Belt, of Stockton, who paid us a visit while on the San Joaquin. The treaty, before coming here, was made on the San Joaquin with all the tribes living between the rivers Cho-chil-la and Kings.
The Commission and it escort now stand, Col. G. W. Barbour, Commissioner; Mr. Kit Barbour, Secretary, Captain E. D. Keyes, 3d Infantry; commanding escort; Captain H. S. Burton, 3d Artillery; Captain E. K. Kane, A.Q.M. B'vt. Captain J. Lendrum, 3d Artillery; Lieuts; J. Hamilton and H. G. Gibson 3d Artillery; with companies M and F, 3d Artillery Captain Vincent Haler is our guide.
The territory set apart for the Indians is as follows commencing at the bottom of the foot hills on the Chow-chilla, running southeasterly in a straight line near along them to the Table Mountain on the San Joaquin; from thence, a straight line runs nearly in the same direction by the eastern base of Lost Mountain a pilot knob on the left bank of the Kings river, till it intersects the Kaweeah; all lands between this line, the last two rivers and the Tache Lake, and all southwest of the line to points 21 miles distant on the river's Kings, San Joaquin, Fresno, and Chowchilla.

As soon as we receive supplies from Stockton, we are off for the south via Kern's river and the Cajon Pass to Los Angeles. It is not yet determined where we will treat with the Indian tribes to the south.

Daily Alta California May 31, 1851 Page 2, Col 1.

United States Indian Policy

The treaties contracted with them as yet have cost the United States Government less each than any treaty among the eastern tribes. This policy should be continued, not only for the sake of economy, but also for the love of humanity towards both races. This is the only policy which will stand the test of time, and receive the approval of posterity.

The plan of the Commissioners is to locate the tribes at the base of the foothills, which will bring them outside of the principal mining region, thus placing a cordon of miners between them and the Sierra Nevada. In such situations, protected in their rights, guaranteed in their occupancy of certain lands appropriated to their use, encourage by being furnished with brood cattle, farming tools, seeds, and persons to instruct them, possessing fisheries acorn orchards etc., they will be pleased beyond much temptation of stealing and almost entirely deprived of the chance of escaping with plunder.

Every thousand dollars widely spent in pacifying and enlightening these savages, will save a million which must otherwise be spent in maintaining a war of interminable duration.

Daily Alta California June 29,1851 Page 2, Col. 2

From the South: The Steamer Goliah arrived from San Diego and the intermediate ports yesterday forenoon. She brings dates from the south up to the 21st of June. The Goliah brought up companies "F" and "M", of the 3d U.S. Artillery, who have for several months been attached to the Indian Commission. The Indian Commission which arrived at Los Angeles on the 17th of June treated with the Indians at Four Creeks, Paine's Creek, and Texon Pass. At Four Creeks Col. Barbour treated with 4,200 warriors. Col. Barbour was to leave for Los Angeles on the 27th for the Rancho del Chino and Cahon Pass for the purpose of making treaties with the Indians and to return by way of the Tulare Valley to the military post of the San Joaquin. Col Barbour will leave for the Colorado in September, and will probably be escorted by Gen Bean and his volunteer command. The Indian Commission is entirely out of funds.

Daily Alta California August 2,1851 Page 2, Col. 3

The Indian Commissioners

....It is true that in the spring any part of California looks beautiful, but I will ever remember the suffering sustained by man and beast, in traveling from the Tejon Pass to the Merced River, in the middle of July. Every spear burnt up by the sun or fires except on the immediate banks of the streams. The portions of the rivers Mariposa, Chowchilla, Fresno, and Tule, lying in the Indian Territory, are all dry, and you have to dig to procure water at one miles distant from the bottom of the foot hills, at this season of the year, and in some cases even sooner.

It had the honor to be one of the escort accompanying Col. Barbour through his whole tour.
To return to the statement of facts. There is gold in the Indian territory on the Merced, next on Fresno and San Joaquin, that has been worked before the disturbances. It is in small quantity, and generally fine, according to the present idea of miners wages; there is said to be none at all on King's River, none on the Kaweea, at least in the Indian territory, nor on the Tule. On Kern's a large prospecting party, which followed immediately after the commission left and had returned disappointed and disgusted before our return down the valley from Los Angeles. At the Tejon, mining has no show, either form the absence of metal or want of water.
Daily Alta California May 29,1851 Page 2, Col. 5
San Joaquin Intelligence:
The Indians: We learn from Judge Marvin, who has just returned from the mines, that the Indians in the neighborhood of Four Creeks, are in a somewhat dissatisfied mood, as of several of the tribes under the control of Pasqual, the head chief of the southern Indians, are holding a council, on the Four Creeks, to determine there future polity. So far they have fulfilled their part of the treaty entered into with the U.S. Commissioners, and they think it hard that, while other tribes further north, receive rations, they should of late be entirely neglected. They are now left o the alternative of staring or violation the treaty. It is unfortunate that Congress has been so dilatory in furnishing the means of fulfilling the treaty. SO far the Indians on the Stanilaus and Tuolumne have received their rations, and are well satisfied. Savage has fortified himself well for winter. His Indians are now our gathering acorns. A company who were about making a settlement of Four Creeks, have been deterred, for the present, from carrying out that enterprise through fear of the Indians.
Daily Alta California November 17,1851 Page 2,
Important from the Indian Country
We stated a short time since, that the Indians in the neighborhood of Four Creeks were dissatisfied on account of not having received rations, as the other tribes had further north, and were about to hold a council, to determine on their future policy. What conclusion they had come to is not as yet known, but it is feared that mischief is brewing. Yesterday a merchant of this city received a letter from Major Savage, dated "November 8th, in which he remarks: "Indians affairs look rather dark at the present time; what will be the result, time will only determine." The man who brought this letter informs us that the Major had been on a visit to San Francisco, and had just returned home. He found on his arrival, that three of his squaws had left (a sure sign of danger or difficulty) and those that remained informed him that it was well he returned as mischief was meditated by the Indians. During his absence, some Indians from the lower country arrived on the reservation on the Fresno where Savage's store is, and it is supposed that they instigated Savage's Indians to revolt. We are told that on the Fresno the Indians are better fed and better clothed than they ever were before. They get rations of beef from government, and they have a good supply of acorns for winter. There are placers upon the Fresno, where they can dig gold, and Savage is now getting up a supply of goods to sell them during the winter.

Daily Alta California December 8, 1851 Page 2, Col. 5
A correspondent writing in the San Joaquin Republican, from the headwaters of the river San Joaquin, states that the Indians are peaceable and well-disposed in the vicinity of Fort Washington. He thinks that so long as the Government supplies of beef are regularly furnished, they will continue in and honest and quiet life. The quantity of cattle distributed amongst the tribes on the King's River and Four Creeks, since the middle of August, has been 1180 head.

Daily Alta California (Evening Edition) January 5, 1852 Page 3, Col. 1
The Tulare Indians
Captain Vincent Haler, who accompanied the Indian Commissioners at the time they were engaged in making treaties with the Tulare Indians, has arrived in this city from the Tulare Valley. Capt. Haler has visited all the rancherias between the Merced and the Tejon Pass and he reports the Indians throughout the whole of that section of country of being friendly and manifesting every disposition to abide by the treaties which have been established.
Savage and company have about 6,000 Indians at work at the reservation at the Frezno. Affairs are remarkably quiet in that region.
Some few weeks ago a delegation of Indians from the Southern portion of the State visited the Tulare Valley and endeavored to arouse the Indians to unite in an insurrection against the whites, representing theat twenty Californians would join them. The Tulare Indians gave a decided negative reply to the invitation, and expressed their determination not to verge from the treaties they had made with the United States.
Daily Alta California May 2,1852 Page 2, Col. 2

NOTE: Entire article not transcribed
The Indians on the Fresno.
We are indebted to Dr. Wozencraft for a copy of a letter received by him from a gentleman in whom confidence can be placed. The letter is dated Hailer's Ranch, Fresno, May 9, and commences as follows:
"Since the arrival of their cattle (provided by the Government) they appear to be satisfied. The Major [Major Savage] has dispatched couriers to bring the Four Creeks Indians o the San Joaquin, which circumstances will be very gratifying to a large number of citizens of this country, who are very desirous to locate that country.
Daily Alta California June 8, 1852, Page 2, Col. 3
INDIAN TROUBLES - Under this head, a correspondent of the Star thus writes from Santa Barbara:
On the 9th of May about 100 Indian warriors, from the Tulares with fire-arms etc, came into the mission of San Buenaventura. The news was immediately sent up to this place, purporting that two Americans had been taken prisoners by the tribe, and a party numbering 18 persons, commanded by Valentine Hearne, the Sheriff of the county, and nearly all Americans, immediately arming themselves and proceeded to San Buenaventura the same night; traveling all night and arriving there in the morning.
Among the Indians were two who had escaped from jail at this place about two weeks previous having both been committed to await their trail for the murder of a peddler.
The Indians had a pass from the U.S. Indian Commissioner to come to the mission and returns to the plains. Many of their horses were recognized as those stolen by the Indians on some previous visit.
The story of the two Americans who were supposed to be prisoners of the Indians proving false, and the Indians exhibiting no hostile inclinations, the Sheriff and his party returned.
On the 10th instant, Mr. John Powers of this city, having lost some horses again went down to the mission, but the Indians had robbed two travelers on the road of their horses, saddles and bridles, leaving them to proceed on foot. Powers, with 25 men pursued and overtook them a few miles this side of the Don Carlos Carrillo's rancho, and by representing to them that he had an armed force of 150 Americans, succeeded in getting three of his horses and the two escaped prisoners. He then returned to the mission.

The Indian prisoners were tried by the people for the murder of the peddler, convicted and hung on the 11th ult. Previous to their death, they confessed the murder, and proved themselves to be the leaders of a regular gang of horse thieves.  

Daily Alta California August 7,1852, Page 3, Col. 2
We learn that the various tribes of Indians occupying the region of country between San Bernardino and the Mercede River, having become very uneasy in consequence of the violation of the promises made in treaty stipulations, have signified their desire to have another grand "talk;" and Dr. Wozencraft, the Indian Agent, has agreed to meet them, in council, on the 15th instant, at Four Creeks, in Tulare County. Major G. W. Patten, with several companies of U. S. Troops, will also be present. An earlier day had been appointed, but in consequence of severe illness, Dr. Wozencraft was unable to attend.
Full supplies as agreed upon, had not been furnished, nor wee the Indians allowed the exclusive occupancy of the Reserve, as stipulated; but those violations of the treaty entered into at a former council, the Indians were disposed to overlook. The cause of their recent disaffection, is the late attack made upon the tribe on King's River by a party of whites under Major Harvey. They have lost confidence in the whites, and are at present greatly incensed and disturbed. We understand that Dr. Wozencraft, although in very feeble health, will at all hazards attend the Council and use every endeavor to restore confidence and peace. His promise to this effect, has averted an outbreak which was meditated immediately after the commission of the outrage above alluded to. We look upon this as the most difficult undertaking he has had to encounter. It has been an easy matter heretofore to secure the fidelity of the Indians, but where he sees that there is no confidence to be placed in the white man, the establishment of peaceful relations becomes a difficult matter.
It is understood that there will be a large attendance of Indians at the gathering on the 15th instant.