Text for Letter from J.C. Frémont to Orlando Brown, 1850

              "Washington City, June 17. 1850 


I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 14th. instant, 
and take pleasure in replying to your enquiries, according to my 

Within the State of California, to which exclusively I understand 
your letter to refer, there are probably forty thousand indians. These 
consist of very numerous, and small tribes, speaking many different 
languages and dialects of the same language; are much broken up 

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and probably intermixed; so that, in making a distribution, the agen- 
cies cannot now be assigned to particular tribes. Leaving the tribes 
entirely out of consideration, the country should be divided into sec- 
tions, to be placed under the control of respective agencies. Of these 
there should be three, having at their disposal eight subagents; all 
under the direction of a superintendent, and to be distributed as 
follows, viz: 

The superintendent to reside at Sacramento City, or some other 
central point, from which the agencies could be conveniently fur- 
nished with supplies. 

A principle [sic] agent to be stationed at or near ""Readings rancho"" 
in the head of the lower Sacramento valley, having under his supervi- 
sion the entire Sacramento valley, comprehending all the country 
drained by its numerous branches; and having at his disposal three 
subagents. These could be pushed into the Upper Sacramento valley, 
among the mountains below the Sierra Nevada, and across that range 
into communication with the Indians of the Basin. 

The Indians of the coast country lying north of San Francisco Bay 
might be placed under the care of a subagent, resident at Sonoma, 
and reporting directly to the superintendent at Sacramento City. 

A second agent should be established at or near King's river of the 
Tulare lake, having under his supervision the entire valley of the San 
Joaquin river & the lakes, and including the mountains, within the 
State, on both sides of the Sierra Nevada. Within this section the In- 
dian population is large, and would require that three subagents be 
placed at the disposal of the agent. 

The remaining country, extending to the southern line, should be 
under the supervision of a third agent, resident at Los Angeles, and 
having at his disposal two subagents, with whom he would be able to 
control the strong mountain tribes of that section, and extend his su- 
pervision to the Colorado river & mouth of the Gila. 

For his services the superintendent should receive a salary of three 
thousand dollars, each agent two thousand and upwards, and each 
subagent fifteen hundred dollars. 

These indians are generally docile, in greater part already disposed 
by missionary teaching and their mode of subsisting, to agricultural 
labor. Simple farming materials; grain and other seeds; stock, horses 
& catde; provisions, blankets and light readymade clothing, would be 
among the presents most suitable to them at the present time. 

These suggestions appear briefly to meet the points of your enqui- 


ries. They grow out of my knowledge of the country, and may indi- 
cate to you a plan best suited to the condition of the indians and the 
character of the country. With this note I send you a map ' on which 
you will find marked the boundaries of the state and the sectional 
divisions recommended for the location of agencies. Very respectfully, 
Your obedt. servt. 

J. C. Fremont 
Orlando Brown, Esqre., 
Commissioner Indn. Affairs, Washington City. "