Today in History:

98 Series I Volume L-II Serial 106 - Pacific Part II



Olympia, Wash. Ter., September 3, 1862.

General ALVORD, Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter.:

SIR: I am in receipt of information from Charles Hutchins, esq., Indian agent, lately in charge of the Nez Perce Indians, that the officer in command of the troops now stationed on the reservation has declined repeatedly to furnish the agent with the aid required by him to protect the Indians under his charge, according to treaty stipulations and to preserve the faith of the Government. The present agent, J. W. Anderson, esq., has also written to me on the same subject, and informs me that he has an interview with Major Rinearson on this subject, who informs him, as he had previoulsy informed the former agent, that under the instructions which he had received from you he did not consider himself authorized to interfere with anyparties who might be eighter trespassing upon the agricultural or grazing lands of the Indians or engaged in introducing intoxicating drinks at numerous points along the various streams, roads, and by-ways within the bounds of the reservation. I feel satisfied that you instructions in these respects must have been misunderstood, and I have respectfully to ask that you will without delay issue such orders and give such instructions as will secure the speedy removal of every trespasser upon the agricultural and grazing lands of these Indians, and the enforcement of the intercourse act outside of Lewiston and the mining towns, these having been expected from the strict privisions of the treaty by consent of the Indians themselves. Inclosed is a copy of amendment* to the intercourse act, passed at the late session of Congress, tow hich your attention is respectfully asked. I have also inclosed a copy of notice which has been posted at various points on the reservation besides being published in nearly all the papers of the Territory. The importance of energetic and speedy action in the premises I doubt not will be apparent to you in view of the proposal to make a new treaty with these Indians. If the Government does not keep faith under the present treaty, but permits them to be robbed and murdered with impunity, what inducement is there for them to trust in the future? What evidence can we furnish of our intention to comply with our solemn engagements? I am so thoroughly convinced of the necessity and importance of immediate and energeteic action that I have further to ask that you would consider the propriety of strengthening the command by the addition of another company. Without some positive and speedy action in the premises there is reason to fear the enactment of a similar tragedy to that which has just occurred in Minesota. There are traitors to the Government in that region who are only waiting a fit opportunity to create isurrection and raise the rebel standard. If your views in regard to duty do not correspond with those which I have herein expressed, or a sufficient force to carry out the intentions of the treaty and the law cannot be furnished, I have to ask of you tl of the troops now there from the bounds of the reservation, feeling assured that their continuance as at present will have a most demoralizing effect. I have forwarded copies of the correspondence of Agents Hutchins and Anderson to the Department at Washington, that it may be seen upon whose shoulders these continued and outrageous violations rest.

I remain, sir, your obedient servant,


Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Washington Territory.


*Not found as an inclosure.