COUNTY FREE PRESS
DECEMBER 2, 1887
– Renegade Hunting Parties Depredating the Little Salmon Settlements
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
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
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.
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.