Indian Reserves, Part 1


After the Indian Island Massacre,    the surviving natives living along the bay were forced to abandon their homes and walk miles over rough terrain to the Klamath Reservation,   where they would be “safe” and out of the way.

 The reservation system in Humboldt County was initially developed to separate the “troublesome” natives from the white settlers.  Actually,  it was more to remove the indigenous people from rich agricultural land so that the whites could have full reign of the resources, but I want to believe that not everyone was motivated by greed. It seems at least some were convinced that forced isolation was the only way to protect the Indians.   The problem was that few people were willing to give up any valuable real estate to save them…

 Humboldt Times, April 28, 1855-Against a Hoopa Reservation –Indian Reservation—A correspondent made an inquiry of us as to the object sought to be gained by the establishment of an Indian Reservation in Hoopa Valley.  We do not know what the special agent has done or intends to do… There are fine locations to the north of us, at or near the mouth of the Klamath, or south of us on the Mattole, both far away from the whites, while a reservation in Hoopa is in the midst of what will be, in a year of two, a dense population both of farmers and miners. Hoopa is, and will always continue to be the great thoroughfare hence to the Salmon, and consequently there will always be difficulties between the Indians and whites.  The Indians will steal and white men will punish them. Bad whites are always to be found who cannot be prevented from maltreating them.  They will be only ten miles from the scene of their murders and butcheries, which are not forgotten or forgiven.  The two races cannot live together and they should be taken away from any association with white men…. we cannot believe that the agent will commit himself to a measure calculated to be so unpopular with the people and at the same time so expensive, as it will ultimately be to the United States, in keeping soldiers to protect the Indians.


To be continued…


4 Responses to Indian Reserves, Part 1

  1. kathy Dowd says:

    I like to read about northern California history. While you are reading the articles during you research I was wondering if during your readings if you find any information on an incident that over a killing that took place around 1890’s on the Hoopa Valley Reservation in which one Indian killed another in which the case went all the way to Supreme Court court United States vs. Kagama. I am more interested in the people. Pectah Billie (Kagama) was my great grandfather. I really don’t know how to do research. Just a thought. ANd one of the response to your blog had a 1890’s censuse listing in which I seen Ben Billie and his wife Annie Billie name on it I was wondering if you had a copy of that listing.

  2. lynette77 says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I’m not familiar with that name, but will definitely keep a look out… I just checked with no luck.

    Ah ha !
    You may have already seen this, but it is the court transcripts of the case. I’ve only skimmed, but this looks fascinating !

    Darn, it doesn’t look like it has much about the people involved, more the question of law and jurisdication on reservations.

    I have found Eliza (Billie) Dowd and others in census records… all post 1900 though.

    If you can give me all the info you have on Pectah Billie, Ben Billie, etc., including birthdates, etc., I’ll see what else I can find.

    You can post the info here, or send to with your e-mail and I’ll send you copies of whatever I get.



  3. […] well have indentured George to keep him from being exiled to the Klamath reservation  (see post one, two , & three  for more on the […]

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