INDIANS – Renegade Hunting Parties Depredating the Little Salmon Settlements

THE INDIGNANT SETTLERS  - Are Swearing Vengeance Against Indians Hunting Without An Agent’s Permit

From time to time we have heard from the Salmon river region, and particularly from the Little Salmon, rumors and complaints of the conduct of the numerous bands of straggling Indians from the Nez Perce reservation, who, under the name of hunting parties are permitted or take the permission of roving over the entire region of the Salmon river country from Lemhi to Snake.  We have refrained from commenting on the matter heretofore, thinking the reports were perhaps magnified, or the result of prejudice.  But personal observation and the statements of the best and most reliable citizens of that region have convinced us that the subject is too serious to be neglected, and we therefore present the following statement of facts for the information of our readers in general, and the authorities is particular who are charged with the care of these Indians.

Large parties of the Indians known as the returned hostiles of Chief Joseph’s band, have been roving the past summer over the whole of their former territory.  Lest there should be any doubt about their being these hostiles, we will state that the testimony on this point is universal.  They have been seen and recognized by many of the residents as the identical Indians who were engaged in the massacres of 1877.  They have almost completely terrorized the few isolated residents of the little Salmon country by their insolent and hostile treatment.  They have stolen and robbed and appropriated by force just what they pleased.  They have wantonly butchered cattle on the range, and the new beef hides have been seen in their possession by responsible men, who have also seen the bones and other evidences of slaughtered stock in and around deserted Indian camps.  They robbed the premises of Messrs. McLee & Hickey in open daylight, and unblushingly helped themselves to the garden produce.  They robbed and insulted old Mr. Colemant, at Squaw creek, took 300 pounds of onions from his garden, and finally demanded his money, which the frightened old man gave up; as the sum was only $2.80, the Indian said it was “No Good” and contemptuously threw it back to him.

In the absence of Mr. McGlinchy on the Little Salmon Meadows, they went to his house and demanded tobacco, sugar and cartridges, and so frightened Mrs. McBlinchy, who was alone, by insolent behavior, that she escaped by the back door, waded the river, and in the night, walked to the nearest neighbors, some miles distant.  A number of them met Dave Lewis on the Boise trail, near the Crooks corral, and when he laid down his gun to tighten his pack, an Indian picked it up and made off with it, and it was not until Daye pulled his revolver and threatened to kill him that the gun was restored.  This same Dave Lewis also had his camp robbed by Indians and a fine sixty dollar gun, and traps and peltries of the value of $200 stolen therefrom.  Johnny Wilson’s house was robbed in his absence, and various articles taken, some of which were subsequently seen in the possession of Indians by other parties.  Louis Bocher, of White Bird, is also a victim to their thieving habits.

These are only a few instances of their conduct while on their annual hunting trip or properly speaking a robbing and plundering raid.  The settlers are determined to tolerate these proceedings no longer, and trouble will surely come of it if they are continued next season.  It will be well for the reservation authorities to investigate this matter and see  that these Indians are either kept on the reservation, or else not permitted to leave it without a written permit from the agent, which the Indian can produce when called upon to do so by white men, and which will enable us to identify them in the event of their transgressing the laws.  These Indians have already cost this country much suffering and money and the lives of many brave men, and we are in no mood to stand idly by and see them rampaging around the graves of their victims, whose blood is not yet dry.  The friends of the Indians will do well to keep them on the reservation where they will be out of danger.




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