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I. THE YUROK in 1886 and 1887

The army throughout Fiscal Year 1886 continued to man the outpost at Requa to "prevent intrusions on the Indians' land," and to protect the redmen in their only industry—salmon fishing. The agent for the Hoopa Valley Reservation, who also had responsibility for the Klamath River Reservation, who also had the responsibility. The captain reported that the 400 Yurok living on the reserve were friendly and well-disposed and maintained "amicable relations." But if the troops were withdrawn, the Reservation would be overrun and the Yurok dispossessed. [54]

Captain Dougherty in 1887 took a census of the Indians living on the Klamath. He found that there were about 1,200 residing in villages along the river. These villages, which were several miles apart, extended from the mouth of the river to well above Weitchpec. The Yurok were "self-sustaining, relying to a great extent for subsistence upon salmon." Of the 1,200, a little over 200 Yurok claimed the Klamath River Reservation as home. About one-half of these were absent from the reserve for part of each year, working on farms in Humboldt County and in lumber camps. They returned to the river during the salmon runs, however.

Within the Klamath River Reservation were eight villages or rancherias, containing about 60 houses, some of which were modern. Not since the destruction of the agency at Wau-Kell by floods in 1861-62 had the Yurok had any schooling. Only when they grew to adulthood did the children learn English. [55]

While the Yurok continued to be on good terms with the whites, Captain Dougherty was concerned with their blood feuds, which all too frequently resulted in murders. The agent had called the civil authorities' attention to this situation. When he replied, the California Attorney General was evasive, while the District Attorney for Del Norte refused to prosecute in any case in which Indians alone were involved. [56]

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004