Colorado College Tutt Library

Helen Hunt Jackson 1-2-8 transcription

Helen Hunt Jackson Papers, Part 1, Ms 0020, Box 2, Folder 8: 10 drafts of letters from HHJ to various people.
Transcribed by Irene Draper, 2013.

[some envelopes interspersed in the folder. Many of these letters are drafts, with crossed-out sections and are quite difficult to read.]


[April 1883]

Col F. C.

Pres. of the So Pac. R.R.—

Dear Sir—

Having been appointed by the Sec of the Interior to investigate the condition of the Mission Indians & their but wary of providing [the written request homes?]. We have been writing the various reservations already made for them [inserted: “in So Cal.”]. We find that some of them are written the R.R. [got?] & [crossed out: “have been” inserted: “were”] resumed subsequent to that grant.

To the odd[…] in [….] this might therefore be subject to the [departure?] of the R. R. Co- Should the Co. take possession of these […] it would [render?] the reservations [one word] abandon them [crossed out: “for the Indians are”] & would probably lead to [collisions?] between the Is. & white settlers of the reservations which we have visited it is a moderate statement to say that not more than one acre out of twenty is available for either pasture or tillage= the greater proportion being either [oak?] or scrub and some of it unsurveyed.

we send you herewith a bit of the [reservations?] in which the R. R. […] lie.

We have heard from Capt. John Morongo the [Army?] interpreter that, at one time when he spoke to Pres. Crocker about the coming in of white men on the sections near his (Morongo’s) home, the President told him not to be disturbed, that the R. R. would not take [Indian?] lands. [crossed out: “ we do not know whether this were your … or you] we [crossed out: “have”] hoped [inserted: “very much”] that this [crossed out: “might” inserted: “may”] be the kindly purpose of the R. R. Company : &

We would be glad to hear from you in regard to [crossed out: “the R. R.”] its policy in this matter—

yrs respectfully—

[on opposite leaf:]

March 5. 1883- At dawn!-

The Mute Witness of the Painters vindication—

A deaf and dumb painter around of a vile [criminal?]—[…]—to be tried except denial—refused—made no defence—but then […] to have caused [need?] for him—him into [union?]—said he would stay there & prepare his vindication—all he asked was food & his paints & canvas.

At end of that time, he had painted a picture of Truth—an exquisite female-figure draped in celestial blue, grey eyes, golden hair, in her hand a white lily which she holds high & gazes at it with worship in her look. She stands by a […] piled high with scarlet pomegranates, golden blossoms, flower blooms, grapes, gorgeous tropical blooms- but she turns from it & takes the one white lily—

The “twelve of his peers” looked at the picture—discussed it—all but one were [impressed?] by it—said this man never did a vile thing—this is his trial of truth – the twelfth man [sneered?] at first but gave in—



Hon. H.M. Teller
Sec. of the Interior


[attached note: HH. Letter to Agent Lawson written June, 1883 in reply to his letters of June 6 & 7 to HH found in folder 2-4 (letters of June 6 & 7 in HH’s handwriting & presumably are copies) Valerie Shathes]

[this letter is a draft with several crossed out sections. The following transcription is what seems to be the final draft]

Dear Sir-

Your letters of June 6th- & 7th- are both at hand today & contents noted.—

In letter of the 6th there are several [slights?] to show a [misunderstanding?] on your part.

You speak of the threat of reporting the matter to the Dept. being held [over?]. You, to [indict?] you to cause immediate [relegation?] on Mr. [Queili?]’s part—”

I cannot see in one letter to you in regard to A. Q. any expression which suggests the idea of a threat. Certainly nothing was further from our intention. As I have already stated in my letter of the 31st our sole motive in treating the matter as we did was to have it [one word?] in the way [one word?] to [if] & most satisfactory to you.

You also say “it was clearly not the duty of the [Commissioner?] to assume authority in the goal or [andrent??] of the Agency.”—

You will see on looking back at our 2nd letter that we expressly disclaimed having any authority whatever in the matter except to report to the Dept.—which we very much wish to avoid doing-

You say

“Capt. Walter informed me that when you inquired of him, he said [Queili?] was a good man so far as he knew—but that you seemed to doubt whether he was telling the truth & that you insisted that he must tell everything implying that he was holding back something.”—

I have no recollection of and Capt. by that name. If it is the Railways Capt—I have only to say that I never saw him at all. He was ill in bed. I have also to say that I did not hear any Indian say that A. Q. was “a good man—so far as he knew” nor have any [enumeration?] whatever of the [six words]. This is probably an illustration of the misrepresentation which it has apparently been somebody’s intent to make.—

You say that “Mrs [Real?] & Mrs Wolfe? took a conspicuous interest in giving information about Mr. Q.

This is not true. Both of those women were comparatively [one word] & cautious in their speech in regard to his character.

You say “I requested him by letter of the […]th to resign [one word] I believed your authority to be trustworthy. Leaving subsequently the source of your information I gave it no credence.”—

But—your letter of the – which we told you our authority. You said “the statement —&c—

In regard to Jesus Lopez’ character I can only say that if I had [thought] he’s a notorious liar I should never for one moment thought of employing him as an interpreter;

either what we said to the Is of what they said to as.—

Referring to what you now state of J.L’s [Jesus Lopez] character, I can only report what I said before that we employed him as a interpreter on your recommendation—

I believe these are all the parts in your letter of the 6th [pending?] reply.—

In regard to the letter of the 7th I have only to say that it fills me with surprise—So far from ever having said to any of the I[ndian]s that their Agent was not working for their interests I in several instances explained to them that I had myself had three years reports of his in which he had told the govt. about [their?] [one word]. I explained to them over & again that it all depended on the Great Council--& what all the Agent—or we—could do, was to tell the secretary & the Secretary could ask the Great Council. I spent much time there [parts?] — & the Indians in Several places explained themselves greatly pleased & satisfied— & said it had never been so well explained to them before — There was however no conversation of this sort, so far as I recollect at Pechanga I[ndian]s

We saw very few of the P[ACHANGA] I[ndian]s — The Capt was ill in bed — we [kindly?] went in & spoke to him for a few minutes—I am totally at a loss to imagine how the confusion & ill feeling you described as existing there has come about. —

As to my having given “Jose Pacluito a Commission as as [sic] general,”—I am still now at a loss to know what that means—

All of the Captains & I believe two or three Generals begged us for “papers” to show to the white men— to keep the white men off their lands &c.

is the best of all resolutions they had already papers signed by you. or by some one else, saying that this were Capts—or Gens. as it might be—

In view of the constant trespassing by whites on their lands filing on their villages &c. — & of the new & decided stand now taken by the Int. Dept. in respecting their wishes ordering the Land office to receive no [Indian?] filings — & we thought there might be some protection for the poor creatures in a paper, signed by us.

[Their?] facts — we accordingly gave to every Capt that asked for it the following paper—which is as you will see, simply & solely for the whites — in no way purporting to control the I[ndian]s. —

If you had seen one of the papers you would have understood it at once— & have been saved this annoyance— which I would not say that I greatly regret. —

Most certainly we should never have thought of giving such a paper to any Indian not already commissioned & recognized as Capt or General— You were quite right in feeling as you say, that neither we, Kinney, nor I would “so far [disregard?] the claims of official courtesy.” —

In fact so anxious were we to avoid even the appearance of any such thing, that when the Young General at Santa Ysabel – (who by the way, seemed very right minded & current in his care for his people) – asked us to have a copy of his paper ported up in San Diego, for his Indians there to see, we refused, telling him that the paper was not for the Indians at all, only for him to show to the whites. In every instance we had the paper carefully read & explained to the Indians— & I can only say that the possibility of its being misunderstood never occurred to me.

In conclusion I can only add that it is [even?] yet inexplicable to me how all this confusion and misrepresentation have arisen. & that I am very sorry for the trouble & annoyance they have caused you—



[Letter to Price May 5]

[this letter is a draft with several crossed out sections. There is a transcription of the final sent letter in The Indian Reform Letters of Helen Hunt Jackson 1979-1885; the original sent letter is in the National Archives.]

Letter to Price with affidavits

May 7th—

Dear Sir—

I found herewith affidavits in regard to Indians lands in Capitan Grande- and at Pala. Both of these cases are as alarming instances of fraud & [cruelty?] as the one of the San Y. Canyon- in which the land office has recently taken such prompt action. I earnestly trust that these men will be as derisively dealt with as were Cloos & Helm.-

If the patents of Strong and Knowles can be vacated it will be no more than simple justice. Both Strong & Knowles went in to the Canyon recognizing the Indians ownership of the lands, by asking their permission to establish [bee?] ranches there & agreeing to pay rent for the privilege.—

At the end of the first year when the Indians asked if they wished to rent the [bee?] portion again, they replied that they intended to stay & had filed on the land.—

The Capitan Grande reservation portion appears to have been surveyed with a careful eye to the intents of these squatters, or any others who might follow them— like several other reservations we have visited, either a deliberate fraud- incriminable stupidity, or unpardonable [conclusion?].

It did not take in the chief settlement, or cultivated fields of the I[ndian]s.—& as its [lines?] were never pointed out to the I[ndian]s & appears to be imperfectly marked by the squatters- but it did not take in the chief settlement & on the greater proportion of it is steep & stony rock walls of the Canyon.—

I enclose a copy of the order of Col. Magruder [endorsing?] these I[ndian]s in the Capitan Grande canyon.—

In the matter of Arthur S. Golsh- I would say that the Indians showed to us a letter written to them by Agent Lawson, saying that it was “a mean trick on Golsh’s part,” but he knew no way to help them, & advised them to accept $10 each & move off quietly, rather than be put off by force. This money was paid to them by a trader in the vicinity on a written order from Lawson- but the Indians signed no paper of any sort whatever.—

I would suggest that – incase the Land office decision vacates these patents, & cancels their homestead entries Agent Lawson be instructed to see to it that the squatters are turned out & Indians reinstated in their old homes.—

May 5.




[This letter is a draft with several crossed out sections. The following transcription is what appears to be the final draft. There is an alternate transcription of this letter in The Indian Reform Letters of Helen Hunt Jackson 1979-1885]


To Lawson

May 8th –

Dear Sir-

In the course of our investigations at Pala & the neighborhood we heard some facts in regard to Arthur Golsh which we think will be a very painful surprise to you.—

He is known to have had improper relations with an Indian girl at Pauma & he is the father of an I[ndian] child now being brought up by its mother’s brother at Pala.— We also heard that he drove off four families of Indians from these lands in Pala. & patented these lands himself. would seem to be [of a mind?] like calling the [waif?] to take care of the baby- these facts calling for his removal from his present position necessary.

Except for our great respect for his sister who is teaching at Agua Caliente, we should report these things to the Dept.—but out of consideration for her, we have decided to first make the suggestion to you, that he be requested if you think it advisable to do this—to resign. You are at liberty to send him a copy of this letter, as your reason for making the request. If he will immediately resign, we will make no further allusion to him. We do this solely out of regard for his sister.

It is far better that the Pachanga children should be for a time without teaching than that the young girls should be exposed to the dangers of this man’s association with them. There are already rumors of the frequent presence in the school building of an Indian woman of notoriously bad character.

In view of the well known laxity of the morals of these Indian communities it appears clear that young men should never be appointed as teachers, certainly in such isolated Indian villages as these, only women should be employed.

Please let us know at once what course you will take in this matter, as we wish to send a letter to Miss Golsh informing her ourselves of the action we so much regret being obliged to take in regard to her brother—


Copy of Letter sent to Pres. Crocker—
April 18

[This is a copy of a letter sent to Indian Commissioner Hiram Price. There is a transcription of the actual sent letter in The Indian Reform Letters of Helen Hunt Jackson 1979-1885; the original sent letter is in the National Archives.]

Los Angeles.

May 9. 1883

Com. Price

Dear Sir.

We earnestly recommend the selling off immediately by Executive Order as a reservation for Indians the following tracts.

in T.4.S.R.1.E. {S.B.M. Lechs. 28.31.N1/2 of 33. & Tract. Sect. 31.

in T.5.S.R.1.E. {S.B.M.S ½ Sect. 3.-S ½ Sect 4. N ½ Sect 10. Tract N.E. ¼ Sect 9. & Sect. 2.

This tract will include the Indian Canyon, and other tracts adjacent tot eh Indian village of Saboba in the San Jacinto valley. We think that in case those Saboba Indians are finally ejected from their village, it might be best to put them on this tract. Some of them are already living in the Canyon.

Yours respectfully

Helen Jackson.



[this letter is a draft with several crossed out sections. The following transcription is what seems to be the final draft]

May 9th 1883-

[Mr?] Teller

Dear Sir-

in I. 10. S.R. 4E. Sec. 13.- it being a land of I[ndian]s 82 on the land, the Los Coyotes.—Their village is marked only by a rough trail 5 miles up from the S. I. Canyon it is in a small valley high up in the mts [cooling?] down with the desert 80 acres good land […] -13 houses of hewn pine lumber- […] they say they have been there always—raising corn –beans—wheat barley- [some?] 25 head of cattle – some horses The Agent has never visited them, on the 16th of May Mr. Kinney went there.

The I[ndian]s were much disturbed by the presence of a white man named Fane [sic—actual spelling Fain], who had been there a short time before & offered them $200 for their valley- & on their refusing to sell, told them he should stay in any event- & he had preempted the land.—Mr. Kinney saw this Fane -& explained to him that by the decree of the Dept, lands thus owned by I[ndian]s were not open for entry.

Fane then signed a paper saying he would take $75 for his improvements. Later in the day however, he came down to Helm’s (the man who had patented the lands of the San Ysidro Indians[)] & after talking with Helm, with drew this paper.

Immediately on our return to Los Angeles, Mr. K. inquired of the receiving of the L. O. here as to this Fane’s filing.

No record of it could we find. he then made a [fool?] notification of the Indians occupation of the tract—Today, the receiver informed Mr. Kinney that the filing just arrived—having been sent back to Fane for correction,- it was not all right- & the receipt for the money had been sent to Fane— & Mr. Kinney’s notification of the Indian occupancy of the part had been forwarded to the Dept. “to show how absurd it was.”—

“You approve this of Fane’s filing in these Indians villages do you?” said Mr. Kinney—

Certainly was the reply- the lands are in [receipt?]”.—

You can see for this, the animus of this Land office towards Indians. It appears to us that they had no right after the Depts recent order, to send the receipt to Fane at all- that they should have returned his money, notifying him that his entry was illegal.

We have received a letter from the Capt. of the Coyotes, saying that Fane is cutting down their trees- & building a corral.

I hope you will think it wise to have this land immediately set off by Ex. order for the Coyotes- & have Agent Lawson directed to see to it that Fane is driven off: — if necessary, by a sheriffs posse, one such action as this would convince these thieves that the govt. is in earnest.—


[attached note: 1883

H.H letter, May 31st to Lawson in reply to his May 21st letter,

Info on date obtained from her undated letter (16 page) to Lawson in folder 2-8

Valerie Shathes (June 30, 1979)]

[attached envelope: Reply to Lawson letter of 21st May 1883—

Sun Jun 1st]

[this letter is a draft with several crossed out sections. The following transcription is what seems to be the final draft]

On returning home last night I find your letter of the 21st.—

Of course I would not say that its contents were a surprise to me-- & that I exceedingly regret that the affair has taken such shape.—

I was very glad when in your letter of the 9th (in reply to my suggestion that, in case Miss Golsh had to know our action in the matter, I would prefer writing to her myself about it)

You said

“As to informing his sister of your action I think this quite unnecessary. It would only reflect an ill will toward the Commissioner. We have the sole rights to bring such information to the notice of an agent as any one else intended in the good of the Indians & it will be no detriment to the service if she remains ignorant of the cause why we [bother?] is not [contained?] in the service. So, far as I am concerned it shall not appear that his removal if this results from further investigation is on account of any action but by you. In such cause I assume the responsibility myself.”—

“You also said, that it had been your purpose to relieve Mr. Golsh at the close of the past quarter for other good & sufficient reasons”

In this letter of the 21st you say you requested him to resign “for the reasons set forth in our complaint”—

I do not doubt that you must have some strong & sufficient reasons for thus changing your plan of proceeding— & you were of course at peaceful liberty to give him all your reasons & the sources that which your information came. —

I am sorry that the young man thinks that we had any hostile animus towards him in the matter— So far from that being the case, our sole motive is treating it in the way we did, by private letter to you, & the suggestion of his resigning, were kindly. his annoyance & resentment it is perhaps only natural that he should think this—but our correspondence with you which you have of course preserved showes [sic] the contrary.

We would have been both for her sake & his sake exceedingly glad to have done any testimony on which could have [one word] him. — As the charge that we only sought the testimony from his enemies is absurd on the face of it, for we did not know beforehand any one’s position in regard to him

I am very sorry to hear what you have of Jesus Lopez’s [one word]. You [remember?] at the time we left Sa B. you said we could not have a better one to go with us-- & he certainly appeared so far as we could [ponder?] from first to last to act honestly as Interpreter—I should be much disappointed in him if it were to turn out that he had in any way been unfaithful in that capacity—

As to the Suit which you say Mr. Golsh propous to being against Mr. Kinney & myself for defamation – of course I have nothing so say until we are called into court.

We did what we thought was right -- & in the line of our official duty. – we tried to do it in the kindest way—our information was sent in a private letter to you, in your official capacity—moreover, the matters of which we spoke were matters of public & general mention & therefore found upon were not matters that we [supplied?] knowledge. I hardly think that lawyers of the “best legal talent” would be found ready to [indict?] any such suit, if the parts are fairly truthfully laid before them—Mr. Golsh’s sole basis for action with us –our letters to you, will speak for themselves.


I was very sorry not to be able to visit the Dent Indians [possibly referring to the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians], but I was exceedingly unwell the last week of my stay in S. A.- & dared not undertake the trip. Chief Cabezon sent two delegations begging me to come out, —& expressing so much chagrin at not seeing me, that I was really grieved not to be able to go—but I asked an old agent to find of their Capt. Stanley, when I went to S. A.—to go out & see them, & convey to them my good wishes & requests & make a report which I could append to ours.



May 13—

Jerome M. Madden

Land Agent –H.-

Dear Sir

We have received a letter from C. S. [Jort?] of Banning stating that there are in T2. in San G. Pass, 7 different locations of Settlers under R. R. permission -- & that his own R. R. permission to settle on this land dates back 2 years before the Indian reservation was made.

We understand that these settlements are on reserved land, within the lands of the I. reservation – & we should be glad to know from you whether the R. R. has given them permissions or not.—



May 9th

Don Juan [G?]

We are informed that in the question into a combination with one reservation—(or subject of in such the Indian village) a [porter train?] comes to seize on the fields of the Indian village—

Section 2117- of U.S. Revised Code provides- that all stock drivers on to Indian lands for pasturage is subject to the damages of $1.00 per animal—also call your attention to Sect 2154—et Sequitur of the same code—provides that all trespass or damage done to Indians on their lands shall be held in double the amount—

Sent with letter to Chauncey Hayes



[this letter is a draft with several crossed out sections. The following transcription is what seems to be the final draft]

Dear Mr. T.-

We have decided to provide to you- in advance of our Gov Report and the recommendations it contains hoping it can be immediately acted upon.

The purpose with which the Dept. of Indian affairs in Helm’s point, gives us very much hope this also will be done [one word] duly.

If their [attgs?] can be [two words] expressed to all, I have great confidence that the Saboba village can also be [… s…] disposed of without a lawsuit-- & that this can of the other I[ndian]s own grants will be favorably determined.

We never came to the conclusion think on further inquiry that it would be unwise to leave the Saboba cause in the hands of this Mr. Wilson of which I first wrote to you—He is a warm friend of the I[ndian]s as goes without saying since he offered to defend their case free of fees—

But he is an eccentric man – very much away in the country alluding to bee ranches &c.—It is certain that it would be trouble for him to do the best that can be done for this cause.—

It seems clear that the Govt. should defend their I[ndian]s rights.

It would be inhuman to expect the poor creatures to do it themselves: they are to [sic] ignorant to do it: they are too poverty stricken to pay for it, — And so far as experience is concerned, it will be far cheaper for the Govt. to do this then to move all the villages & establish them in a new place.

But it is not a question of comparative cost- nor of expediency. It is a question of right & obligation—As I believe I wrote to you [all?] before, there is something radically wrong in our law & in our Republic, if a whole village of industrious praisable farming people, like these Saboba I[ndian]s, cannot be protected by [the] Govt. in their right to lands they have lived on & tilled over 100 years.

I know if you could see the village, you would say, it shall be protected.—

I am sure if Attorney Genl. Brewster could see it, he would say the same thing: & if he would see & hear one half of the things we have seen & heard in the last five weeks, he would not lose a day in appointing legal counsel for these oppressed & helpless people.-

For […] is the plan to have all their […] [hired?]. S. F. is too far off in the first place: in the second place, too busy. This would really be in one […] The people [blame?] for the Agents [hand quarterly?]—The Land office is here- & 2/3rd of the troubles to be settled are land troubles, all the liquor claims are brought here before the U. S. Com.—

If he is authorized by the Dept. to bring the patents before the U. S. Courts to be reopened on the grounds that the I[ndian]s residing on the grant were not [saved?] in this issue for as the Mexican law required, & for other reasons—he will go to inform the various parties now included in the ranch—of this proposed action—He is confident that under their circumstances the owners would prefer to [make?] a […], securing to the Indians the few acres their village covers- rather than indicate the [court?] in law.—

If no such compromise is made, he is ready to indicate the defense of the 1st against any such ejectment that can be brought against them—



Dear Mr. Teller,

I believe the Saboba village can yet be saved.

I have tonight had a long talk with a lawyer, a Mr. Wilson, who is ready purely for love of the Indians, to indicate their cause in the State Courts here.

He believes that under the old California law of which I enclose a copy, these Indians right to their farms can be established.—

Mr. Wilson is the man who twelve years ago compelled the registration of two Indians here as voters—Simply to establish the fact that they are citizens 1st under the 14th amendment—

2nd under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo—

He has been the friend & counselor of the Indians in many difficulties—was with Whitney at Pala, at the hour of the insurrection there in 1871—

He is clear-headed—determined- & full of sympathy—I believe he would win the case. At any rate- it throws the burden of proof on Byrne—(the man who assumes to own the Saboba trail, under the patent of the San Jacinto colony. —)

Byrne cannot drive the Indians off without bringing a suit of ejectment.— This suit Mr. Wilson says he will be glad to have the opportunity to contest.—

If it is won, it will cut the Gordian knot in other cases.—For instance, on one part owned by Gov. Downy of this [town?], there are four Indian villages. He has been for some time demanding their removal.—If the Saboba Indians can be proved to have a right to their lands, -all these other villages have the same.—Land owners will not be ready to bring suits of ejectment.—

If you will withdraw the order suit to Lawson to move the Saboba Indians.—leaving the matter to await Byrne’s bringing the ejectment suit,- one of three results will follow—

1st the Indians will win- which will be a glorious triumph—

2nd or they may lose- in which case they are no worse off than now-- & time has been gained—

3rd- Byrne rather than have a lawsuit hanging over his land, may offer to sell the little part at a low price.—

I most earnestly trust that it will seem to you wise to revoke this order & let the matter come to a legal [suit?].

Yours truly


[written on the side of the back:]

Dear Mr. Teller-

If you will revoke the ord

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