In 1856, Indian Agent George Ambrose led Indians from the Table Rock Reservation on a forced march 263 miles to the Grand Ronde Reservation. Ambrose kept a diary of the 33-day march, his deadpan notes recording deaths, illness and hardships.
When they arrived at Grand Ronde, he dispassionately wrote, “Started with three hundred and twenty-five Indians. Eight deaths and eight births, leaving the number the same as when we started.”
The Indians worried they were being led to their deaths. A settler named Timoleon Love who stalked the march heightened their anxiety when he allegedly shot and killed an Indian in pursuit of a wandering horse.
Ambrose recorded that he had Lieutenant Underwood arrest Love. When a writ of habeas corpus questioned the legality of the detention, Love was left under guard at Winchester, Ore., to be turned over to the proper civil authorities. The next day Ambrose convinced a judge to issue an arrest warrant “for the murder of a friendly Indian,” but by then Love had fled.
Historical documents recorded a gold miner named Timoleon Love living in Canada and Alaska, but it’s not certain he was the same man accused of shooting the Indian.
Sources: Trail of Tears, 1856 Diary of Indian Agent George Ambrose, Summer Oregon Heritage, Summer 1996, v. 2, no. 1