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The 45th Congress, however, failed to take action. In June and again in November 1878, the grace period was extended another six months. The final extension ended on May 27, 1879. [43] The Adjutant General accordingly on May 22 issued instructions for General McDowell to see that the trespassers were evicted from the Klamath River Reservation. [44] General McDowell delegated responsibility for seeing that this order was carried out to his commander in northern California, Col. Henry R. Mizner. The colonel in turn contacted the officer in charge at Fort Gaston, Capt. E. B. Savage of the United States Infantry.

Captain Savage, accompanied by 11 men armed and equipped for field service, left Fort Gaston by boat on June 11. His orders were: To suppress all fishing by whites and require all citizens residing on the Reservation to leave without delay with all property belonging to them. [45] The troops reached Requa on the 16th and called on the five squatters (Martin Van Buren Jones, Morgan G. Tucker, Robert Gibbs, James Pryor, and John M. Harrington) living in and around the village. Written notices to remove their property and vacate the reserve were served on these trespassers. On June 18 similar notices were served by the military on P. D. Holcomb near Requa; Henry K. Pilgrim of Wau-Kell, with a copy to his partner James Isle who was not at home; while a notice was left at George Richardson's house. Two days later notices were served on Benjamin Coy of Turwar, George Parker, and Joseph Ewing of Hoppaw, and Charles Jones of Requa. Savage, on inspecting the property, found that all the interlopers had horses, cattle, and crops under cultivation, which because of the rugged configuration of the terrain and lack of roads they would be compelled to abandon. [46]

The whites were unanimous in stating that they would ignore the order to get off the reserve, but their resolve weakened when Captain Savage, pointing to his armed men, warned that he was ready to use force. After Gibbs, Holcomb, and Pryor were placed under arrest and ejected from the Reservation, Harrington and Martin Jones complied with the eviction order. It was necessary to make a show of force to start Ewing, Coy, and Pilgrim packing. Soldiers were turned to breaking up Martin Jones' fishery and Tucker's trading house. Three infantrymen were posted at Hoppaw with orders to visit Wau-Kell and Turwar once every two days to see that those residing on those flats left and stayed off the Reservation. [47]

Savage by July 2 was able to report that all squatters had been ejected or had complied with the orders to move off the Reservation. Buildings and crops had not been removed, only portable property. The majority of the trespassers had expressed a desire to be forcibly evicted, as they believed "their claims to property upon the Reservation would be improved thereby." [48]

Martin Jones had raised a question which Captain Savage was unable to answer. He wished to know if he would be permitted by the military to anchor boats in mid-channel of the Klamath and take salmon with gill nets, provided he did not land them on the Reservation. Jones argued that the river was navigable, as it had 31 feet of water where he would anchor, and there the Klamath was one-half mile wide. Also, if he took fish above the reserve would he be permitted to ship them down the Klamath and across the bar by boat. [49]

Colonel Mizner, Savage's superior, could make decisions. He notified Savage that Jones' request could not be entertained. In his opinion, it would constitute an "erosion of the spirit of the orders." Under no circumstances, he warned, must the Yurok be "deprived of the Salmon as it is their main subsistence." In addition, claims by the squatters for buildings, crops, and gardens would not "be entertained, as the parties were in unlawful possession of the same & had acquired no right to the land and are liable to prosecution for trespass." [50]

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004