[From the New York Herald, 1873; story by Edward Fox]
Lava Bed Camp, April 5,
Via Yreka, California, April 7, 1873.
he moral suasion Peace Commissioner has been hard at work since my last despatch, and yesterday the flowery-tongued Meacham discharged a canister of rhetoric in the council; but the aim must have been bad, as Captain Jack and his chiefs did not appear much impressed with its force. As predicted in my last despatch, the Indians decline to leave this country; they relinquish all claim to Lost River, and offer to remain where they are in the Lava Beds.
The conference yesterday lasted several hours, and, at the request of Captain Jack, only Judge Roseb[o]rough, Mr. Meacham and Mr. John Fairchild were present. There were ten or twelve of the leading Modocs with Captain Jack. Judge Roseborough commenced the talk by explaining to the Indians the position they were in, and how he had come from Yreka to try and make peace. Captain Jack and John Schonchin in reply reiterated their determination to remain where they were. They gave up the claim to Lost River and said they would be satisfied to remain in the Lava Beds.
Meacham then made his famous speech, but failed, ingloriously, to produce any more stirring effect than stolid indifference. The Indians before leaving told Judge Roseborough that if they changed their minds they would let him know this morning. As no messenger has arrived their answer of yesterday remains final. The Peace Commission have telegraphed this morning via Yreka to Washington for instructions.
It is to be hoped, for the future peace and welfare of this country, that the government will not be so weak as to allow their peace policy to induce them to give way to these Indians. There are decided objections against their being given the Lava Beds,—
First—They cannot live there without stealing, as their country produces nothing for their support.
Second—If the government intends to feed them it will cost 200 per cent more in the Lava Beds than on any other reservations of a more appropriate nature.
Third—The country will be perpetually disturbed by quarrels between the Oregon settlers and the Indians; and,
Fourth—Such acquiescence to all their wishes, after the United States troops had received a whipping, would be an encouragement to the Snakes and Pitnes [sic], already disaffected, to make war and demand their own terms.
We shall have to wait five or six days for an answer from Washington.