Chief John Fights to Stay on His Homeland

May 5, 2014

 A year after defeating the U.S. Army in the Battle of Hungry Hill in 1855, Tecumtum, the Indian leader known as Chief John, declared he wanted to live in peace with the white man, but would fight rather than be forced onto a reservation.

 True to his word, Chief John led his warriors against Army regulars and militia in May 1856 on the lower Rogue River. It was the final battle of the Rogue Indian Wars.  Victorious, the Army several weeks later captured Chief John, the final Rogue chief to surrender to the U.S. Army. Chief John and his people were force-marched up the coast to the Grand Ronde and Siletz reservations. A special government agent who visited the reservations in 1857 noted they held 900 Rogue Valley Indians.  Chief John told the agent he would consent to live there for only one more year. Accused later of plotting an uprising, Chief John and his son Adam were sent to Alcatraz Prison in California, where the chief served three years before being returned to the reservation. The chief died an old man on the Grand Ronde reservation on June 6, 1864. 

  Source: Fattig, Paul. "The long fight for 'our country'." Mail Tribune 26 Dec. 2011 [Medford, Ore.] . Web. 18 Apr. 2014.