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Sunday
Dec022012

Fort Jones

1853 Nov 1, Daily National Intelligencer, INDIAN TROUBLES IN CALIFORNIA - A letter from Yreka, California dated 19th September, to a gentleman in New York says:

"The recent skirmishes had with the Indians in this vicinity can hardly be dignified with the name of war, although several struggles have taken place of a nature disastrous both to the Indians and the Whites. It is a matter still of speculation in what manner the affair will end.  Many of the volunteers have returned to their homes, some in apparent disgust and others seemingly under the impression that the difficulty is over. The treaty, however, it is hardly thought will be ratified, and will probably be broken by the Indians themselves, many of whom seem quite unwilling to accede to terms. As yet no regulars have appeared in the field except Capt Alden, with some fifteen soldiers from Fort Jones about sixteen miles distant. *I hear, however, that Col. Wright, from Fort Reading, has recently arrived at Fort Jones with a Battalion of the 21 Infantry, under Major Patten from Benicia, and also that a company of the Infantry from Fort Reading is enroute for the same station. Should these troops not be required to take to the field, their presence at this period in our vicinity will doubtless expedite the settlement of the difficulties. Capt Alden is doing well. His wound, although severe, is not dangerous."~

1853-54, Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54, Edited by Robert W. Frazer. 1963. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma

Fort Jones is well located in Scotts Valley on a reservation of 640 acres on Scotts River, in latitude 41* 35' 56" and longitude of 122* 52', and 18 miles from the junction with the Klamath. It is 120 miles from Fort Reading over a mule trail, 150 miles over a mule trail to Fort Humboldt, 15 miles from the town of Yreka, [and] 84 miles from Fort Lane [Oregon] over a good wagon road.

There is abundant grazing, wood, water, tillable land for gardens, oats, barley, wheat and vegetables in the immediate vicinity, and grist mill and saw mill convenient. All other supplies have been heretofore received via Shasta City and Fort Reading but in my opinion should hereafter come from San Francisco, over the wagon road thro' Fort Lane to Scottsburg, 224 miles.

This is an important post from its vicinity to the Trinity and Klamath rivers, and the number of Indians on and about them, and should be maintained till the population becomes sufficient to protect themselves beyond doubt and be secure against massacre. The Indians within 30 miles number about 100 warriors, and are armed with good rifles and guns; and this post, in conjunction with Fort Lane on the Rogue River, exercises a constraining influence over say 1,000 warriors within 250 miles. The American population within 30 miles, including the town of Yreka, may be put down at 2,000, scattered as miners and traders and farmers.

This is a beautiful valley about 30 miles long and about 10 broad and is fast filling up with American farmers. The small grains grow extremely well here, and the mountains afford abundant timber for lumber. There is a semi-weekly stage line from this valley to Jacksonville in Oregon over the Siskiou [Siskiyou] Mountains.

In the spring of 1853, Colonel Joseph K. F. Mansfield was ordered to inspect the Department of New Mexico; the following year, he inspected the Department of the Paciifc. This is his report on Fort Jones.

Fort Jones was established on 16 October 1852, and abandoned on 25 June 1858. Its location was the same as that of the present town of Fort Jones.~

1873 December 27, San Francisco Bulletin- Washington, Dec 26 - Luttrill will, after the holidays, introduce a bill granting two sections of land per mile to the State of California, to construct a military road from Etna Mill, Siskiyou County, via Sawyer's Bar and Arcata, to Ukiah, Mendocino County; and also a branch from Fort jones, via Happy Camp, Del Norte County, to intercept the main road at Orleans Bar, Klamath County. Precedents for such a grant are found in legislation for Oregon, Washington Territory and Wisconsin.~

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