Continued from yesterday’s post.
There were problems with the Klamath location for an Indian reservation, which were pointed out by those outside of Humboldt County.
New Klamath Reservation– We had the pleasure a few days since of perusing a private letter from one of the deputies of the Indian agent of the Northern part of the State, dated at the Indian Reserve, near the mouth of the Klamath River. He thinks the place is a bad selection, and wholly unfit for the purpose intended. This is [not] the first time this opinion has been expressed in relation to the Klamath Reserve. The valley, or rather valleys, are narrow, skirting along the river for several miles, separate by spurs of mountains, intersecting the river at various points. These valley are (unknown word, likely “not” ) adapted to cultivation and game is scarce. If the Indians have to obtain subsistence by fishing, the Government had better leave them… unmolested.–~Trinity Journal
Response from the Humboldt Times…
Will the Journal have the kindness to suggest a better place for the Reservation in this part of the state than the one in question? It is much easier to point out an evil than to provide the proper remedy, and we have here a striking illustration of this aphorism. The Klamath Reservation is not the best that could be desired as far as the valleys for cultivation are concerned, but we would inquire where a better one could be had in this section, that would be quietly yielded up by the white settlers. Valleys are choice spots in this mountainous region, and the settlers would not surrender such places as Hoopa or Eel River peaceably for all the Indians… the mere mention by Col. McKee in 1851 … to select Scott’s Valley for a Reservation came near getting himself into trouble in that section. One great object in selecting a site for the Indians is to remove them as far as possible from the whites. This is effectually done at the Klamath Reservation—it is out of the line of travel , and there is no inducement for the whites to molest the Indians…. it is much easier and less expensive to remove those on the Trinity and Klamath above, on the Reserve, than to transport the whole of them to some distant point. If this could be done… we would not have any objection, but we think it impracticable. The journal is wrong again in supposing that it is better to leave them to take care of themselves, even if they have to subsist on fishing—which ought not be the case—We want an agency at the head of the Reservation, with a military post… for a double purpose; to protect the Indians from unjust treatment by vicious white men, and also to protect the peaceable settlers, miners and traders from depredations by the Indians whenever they may… cause to break out in hostilities. [Humboldt Times, January 12, 1856]
Later, Indian agent D.W. Gilmore wrote to Gov. Johnson, pointing out that many of the Indians placed on the Klamath would need to be fed, as they had no rights to hunt and fish on Klamath Indian property[Indian Agent Correspondence, May 1856].
OK, so there were problems. On the other hand, removing the natives to the reservation left the settlers to use the land as they pleased…
Stock Arriving—About a week ago near two hundred head of cattle arrived in this county from Sacramento Valley, in one drove. The greater number belongs to Mr. Monroe of Weaverville. He intents to put them on the ranch of J.P. Albee, his father in law, at Redwood Creek, on the Klamath trail. The extensive ranges of excellent feed on the Bald Mountains and small valleys of Redwood Creek, Mad River and other portions of this county, will accommodate thousands of stock the year round, without any danger of flood or drought. The advantages of superior feed and mild climate .. are just beginning to be appreciated, and it will not be long before every available tract will be covered with herds of mules and cattle… [Humboldt Times, Aug. 23, 1856]