23 February 2020

Peace Talk Progress [guest post by Edward Fox, 23 February 1873]

[From the New York Herald, 1873; story by Edward Fox]
esterday Captain O. Applegate and Captain Free left for Yainax reservation in order to attend to the delivery of some supplies to their Indians. Lalake, a Klamath chief, John Parker, Klamath Indian, and Modoc Sally, arrived from the reservation per order of the Peace Commissioners. They will be used in the negotiations with Captain Jack’s Indians, as Modoc Sally speaks tolerably good English. At eleven o’clock P.M. Bob Whittle and his [wife Matilda] returned from Captain Jack’s camp, bringing with them a Modoc named Dave, who had been sent by Captain Jack to hear what the Commissioners had to say. Bob Whittle says that the Indians appear willing to talk and that he thinks Captain Jack is still in power. They asked him how many citizens had been whipped in the fight, meaning how many were killed. Whittle told them, and then asked how many Indians had been whipped. Captain Jack said none, He thought white man no try to kill Indian; lay on back and fire in air. Whittle said he counted between forty-two and forty-three bucks present at the talk, which will verify their statement, as that is about the number the settlers thought were in the fight.
A telegraphic despatch was received yesterday from Secretary Delano stating that Judge Rosborough, of Yreka, had been appointed on the Commission. There are fears, however, entertained here that, as the Judge is now on the Circuit, he will be unable to come. His presence would certainly be of material benefit, as the Indians have confidence in him and would believe any promise he made. At present there is no man on the Commission in whom they have confidence.
The Peace Commission met this morning and heard Whittle’s report. The [women] Matilda and Artena and the Modoc Indian Dave were present. Mr. Whittle stated that when he got within a mile and a half he saw some mounted Indians riding along the crest of a hill. I then saw about twenty Indians on foot, who stopped when one hundred yards distant. I got off my horse, and Long Jim and Steamboat Frank came up and I shook hands with them. They then laid down their guns, and the rest of the Indians on foot then came up and I shook hands with them. Captain Jack then rode up with his party, dismounted and shook hands. They all sat down, Captain Jack in the centre, John Schonchin on the left and the Curley-Headed Doctor on the right. I told them what Mr. Meacham had said about his trying to get them that land on Lost River, and also that he was away when they were put on the reservation, and was not responsible for their treatment when there.
Captain Jack remembered his meeting with Jesse Applegate and Judge Rosborough and their talk about the Lost River land. I then told them about the other Commissioners, and they said they were glad they had come, as they wanted to talk. They said they were willing to meet on the Platte [flat in other accounts], about twenty-one miles distant from Van Bremer’s, and have a talk on Tuesday at noon. They would all come, as they wanted to hear what the Commissioners had to say. They wanted to talk to their friends, Fairchild, Steele or Rosborough; did not know these Commissioners, whether their hearts were good. Wanted especially to see Fairchild.
… Matilda then pointed out to the Indian Dave who the Commissioners were, and he went back to-day, bearing the instructions that Fairchild, Whittle and the two [women] would come to see them to-morrow and have a talk and make arrangements for the grand meeting.
Mr. Meacham and the Commissioners appear to be throwing every obstruction in the way of a public investigation of this matter, and ordered Whittle and Fairchild on no account to allow any reporters to go with them. This is not the first attempt that has been made to prevent the press from obtaining direct information, as we were excluded from the examination of … Matilda after her return from the first visit to the lava beds.

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