Old West History Archives

Lindsey Applegate, Indian Agent

 Indian Agent Lindsey Applegate

Indian Agent Lindsey Applegate was born in Kentucky in 1808, later moving to Missouri. In 1822, fur trader William Ashley advertised for 100 “enterprising young men” for a fur trading expedition to Yellowstone. Even though he was just 14, Lindsey joined the expedition. After the expedition Lindsey came back to Missouri and worked in various businesses with his family.

           
At the age of 35 Lindsey, along with his two brothers migrated to Oregon, eventually moving to southern Oregon near present-day Salem. When the Rogue River War broke out in 1853, Lindsey formed a company to fight in the war. Following the war a treaty with the Umpqua Indians was developed and signed in Lindsey Applegate’s cabin. This, incidentally, was the only treaty signed with the Umpqua, and was not violated by either side.
               
In 1864 the Klamath and Modoc Indians signed a treaty with the government establishing the Klamath Reservation. Because of Lindsey’s favorable treatment of Indians, the tribes requested him to become the Indian agent for the reservation. This almost never happened in the Old West.
 
Unfortunately, Lindsey only served four years in this ill-fated post. Although the Klamath and Modoc Indians spoke a similar language, they were in no way friends. The Modoc, being the smaller of the two in size had a tough time. And when a group of them under the leadership of Captain Jack left to go back to their traditional grounds in California, Lindsey felt he was a failure and resigned his duties as an Indian Agent.
 
Lindsey Applegate died 27 years later on November 28, 1892. He always regretted not being successful in getting the Klamath and Modoc Indians to live peacefully on the same land, a failure that was more the result of the government’s lack of understanding of the Indian’s tribal differences.   

Santee Sioux Hanging

Execution of 38 Santee Sioux IndiansFor almost 50 years the Santee Sioux, located in Minnesota, were mistreated by almost everyone with whom they came into contact. First, white settlers invaded the Minnesota Valley where they traditionally lived. With pressure both from settlers and the army, they relocated to a reservation. On the reservation they came under the authority of corrupt Indian Agents. The agents demanded a kickback on all the rations they distributed. When the Sioux realized they couldn’t live on what was left of the rations and refused to give them the normal kickback, the agents withheld all food distribution. On the verge of starvation, the Indians sought help. But no one came to their aid.
Reaching the limits of endurance, the Santee Sioux left the reservation, and started killing settlers and taking women and children as hostages. It was called the “Minnesota Uprising,” and was part of the battles that affected the area for much of the last half of the 1800’s. The army took off after the Sioux, and underestimating their fighting ability, 13 soldiers were killed, with another 45 wounded. Finally, General Sibley, with a large force of soldiers defeated the Sioux, forcing most of the Indians to surrender, and recovering the hostages.
The captured Sioux were tried. The abuse piled upon the Indians was not a factor in the trial. And on November 5, 1862, 300 Santee Sioux were found guilty of raping and murdering white settlers. They were all sentenced to be hanged.
But the mass hanging didn’t take place… because President Abraham Lincoln heard about the trial and the conditions that caused their crimes, and commuted the sentences of 262 of the Sioux. But in December 38 of the leaders were hanged in mass.

Camillo Orlando Hanks and Barbed Wire

Barbed WireBarbed wire had encircled the cattle. So, cowboys weren’t needed to ride the line, making sure cattle didn’t wander away. The railroads had been built down to Texas, so cattle drives weren’t necessary anymore. And many of the large ranches were being purchased by eastern conglomerates looking for a quick return for their money, or the ranches were simply broken up. So, many cowboys had to look for other means of employment.
           
One such cowboy was Camillo Orlando Hanks, also known as Deaf Charley. Deaf Charley was born in Texas in 1863. As a young man, he cowboyed, accompanying a herd of cattle up to Montana and stayed on several years until he could no longer find work. So Deaf Charley decided to take up another profession… that of a train robber. Unfortunately, he didn’t do too well at that profession, and he was captured. In 1892, he was sentenced to ten years in the pen.                 
Getting out in April of 1901, within three months he had hooked up with Butch Cassidy and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. In spite of his hearing loss, Deaf Charley’s job was keeping an eye on the train passengers while Butch, Sundance and the others stole their possessions. The gang got about $30,000 in bank notes from a train robbery in Montana. Wishing to spend his share of the money elsewhere, Deaf Charley went down to San Antonio, Texas. On October 22, 1902, Deaf Charley was in a saloon in San Antonio when the local law, Pink Taylor, confronted him. Guns were drawn, a shot was fired, and Deaf Charley was no more.           

Hop Alley Riot

Hop Alley RiotAs the West entered into the 1880’s there was a tremendous amount of prejudice against the Chinese who had been brought to the West to build the railroad. Ten years earlier Denver, Colorado had encouraged the Chinese to come there in the hopes of relieving the labor shortage conditions. Because of the access to drugs in the Chinese district, cowboys would often visit there. The main area of this district was appropriately called Hop Alley.
           
Although by 1880 there were less than 300 predominately male Chinese in Denver, The Rocky Mountain News maintained that because of their ever growing numbers, “white men would starve and women would be forced into prostitution.”  
 
On the evening of October 30, 1880 some drunken cowboys assaulted a Chinese. Another Chinese man in the process of defending his friend fired a shot from his gun, hitting no one. But, like that “telephone game” you played as a kid, it was no time before the story had mutated to “a Hop Alley resident had killed a white man.”
 
Mobs gathered. Windows were shattered, and many queues were clipped from Chinese heads. One group lynched an elderly man. Unfortunately, no one was held accountable for the tragedies.
 
However, as with all tragedies, there were bright spots of heroism. Desperado Jim Moon was in a Chinese laundry retrieving some shirts when a mob came in with the objective of lynching the owner of the laundry. Pulling his pistol, Moon yelled at the crowd, “If you kill Wong, who will do my laundry?”
 
Moon was credited with not only saving Wong, but also an additional 14 other Chinese hiding in the back.           

As the West entered into the 1880’s there was a tremendous amount of prejudice against the Chinese who had been brought to the West to build the railroad. Ten years earlier Denver, Colorado had encouraged the Chinese to come there in the hopes of relieving the labor shortage conditions. 

           
Although by 1880 there were less than 300 predominately male Chinese in Denver, The Rocky Mountain News maintained that because of their ever growing numbers, “white men would starve and women would be forced into prostitution.”  
               
Because of the access to drugs in the Chinese district, cowboys would often visit there. The main area of this district was appropriately called “Hop Alley.”
 
On the evening of October 30, 1880 some drunken cowboys assaulted a Chinese. Another Chinese man in the process of defending his friend fired a shot from his gun, hitting no one. But, like that “telephone game” you played as a kid, it was no time before the story had mutated to “a Hop Alley resident had killed a white man.”
 
Mobs gathered. Windows were shattered, and many queues were clipped from Chinese heads. One group lynched an elderly man. Unfortunately, no one was held accountable for the tragedies.
 
However, as with all tragedies, there were bright spots of heroism. Desperado Jim Moon was in a Chinese laundry retrieving some shirts when a mob came in with the objective of lynching the owner of the laundry. Pulling his pistol, Moon yelled at the crowd, “If you kill Wong, who will do my laundry?”
 
Moon was credited with not only saving Wong, but also an additional 14 other Chinese hiding in the back.           
 

As the West entered into the 1880’s there was a tremendous amount of prejudice against the Chinese who had been brought to the West to build the railroad. Ten years earlier Denver, Colorado had encouraged the Chinese to come there in the hopes of relieving the labor shortage conditions. 

           
Although by 1880 there were less than 300 predominately male Chinese in Denver, The Rocky Mountain News maintained that because of their ever growing numbers, “white men would starve and women would be forced into prostitution.”  
               
Because of the access to drugs in the Chinese district, cowboys would often visit there. The main area of this district was appropriately called “Hop Alley.”
 
On the evening of October 30, 1880 some drunken cowboys assaulted a Chinese. Another Chinese man in the process of defending his friend fired a shot from his gun, hitting no one. But, like that “telephone game” you played as a kid, it was no time before the story had mutated to “a Hop Alley resident had killed a white man.”
 
Mobs gathered. Windows were shattered, and many queues were clipped from Chinese heads. One group lynched an elderly man. Unfortunately, no one was held accountable for the tragedies.
 
However, as with all tragedies, there were bright spots of heroism. Desperado Jim Moon was in a Chinese laundry retrieving some shirts when a mob came in with the objective of lynching the owner of the laundry. Pulling his pistol, Moon yelled at the crowd, “If you kill Wong, who will do my laundry?”
 
Moon was credited with not only saving Wong, but also an additional 14 other Chinese hiding in the back.           

Natural Gas is Giving Out

The Supply Cannot Be Depended Upon, and Must Be Abandoned

April 30, 1892, Bee, Sacramento, California – The days of natural gas are numbered.  There is surprising unanimity among the mining engineers on this point.  They agree that more gas can be found, and that wells may continue to flow to some extent, but they say that experience has proven that the supply cannot be depended upon for manufacturing or for heating purposes.  The amount of natural gas reached its maximum two years ago.  It has fallen off each year since, notwithstanding the large number of new wells bored.

natural gas drillingSaid a Pittsburg engineer:  “We have had a pretty bad time this winter in Pittsburg.  The flow has given out repeatedly just at the time, perhaps, when most needed.  People who had no coal in their houses have had the gas go out on them in some of the very coldest weather.  Manufacturers who depended on gas for fuel have had to shut down, business has been deranged, and home life has been made miserable.  Some people are still boring wells and trying to keep up a supply by tapping places, but with only partial success.  One after another the wells give out.  When they cease flowing the only thing to be done is to turn the valve and leave them alone.  Sometimes a well will start up again and flow gas after it has been idle for some time, but all the same to reach a state of exhaustion sooner or later.  Manufacturers are going back to coal again, and householders are agreeing that it will not do to depend upon natural gas.  One thing has been made certain, the theory that this manufacture of gas is going on fast enough to supply the flow is all wrong. It is a slow process.   We have already bored holes enough to overtask Nature.”

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