Not much is left to be found of the many white establishments built during these times of growth and tumult. In fact any remnants of Fort Ter-Waw washed away with a minor flood that ravaged the banks of the Klamath River in 1969.
I have often wished I could have seen what was left of the old fort before it disappeared.
By 1855, relations between settlers and the Tolowa had deteriorated, and there was a second battle at the village of Yontucket. The village of Howonquet was also sacked and burned, and 70 Tolowa were killed.
Later the same year, white miners and settlers in the Weitchpec area demanded the Indians hand over their firearms. This instigated the Red Cap Indian War.
Its believed the Red Caps were a mixed-group of Native American “vigilantes,” who went to war against settlers and miners. The war nearly brought on the collapse of the Indian settlement plan designed by the government.
The whites made the first move by burning Indian villages and raping the women. When the Indians fought back, military assistance was requested from Fort Humboldt.
This led to the establishment of the Klamath River Indian Reservation November 16, 1855. The Wau-Kell Agency Post was established to oversee the reservation.
Soon after the Army outpost of Fort Ter-Waw was established at what is now the Klamath Glen. It was located six miles from the mouth of the Klamath River.
Over the next two years, more than 600 Indians from the Southern Oregon coast and the Smith River area were rounded up and moved to the reservations. However, many escaped and returned to their homeland.
Between 200 and 500 Tolowa were sent to the Klamath River Indian Reservation in August 1857. In 1860 following the Chetco-Rogue River Indian War, more Tolowa were sent to other reservations outside the area.
Then in the winter of 1861-62 heavy rains flooded the Klamath River and washed away the Wau-Kell Agency and most of the buildings at Fort Ter-Waw. Both the agency and the fort were abandoned soon afterwards
During May of 1862, the Smith River Reservation was created by presidential executive order and between 400 and 500 Tolowa were returned to the reservation. Yuroks, Matolles and Wylackies were also relocated to the Smith River Reservation.
Camp Lincoln was established in September of the same year to oversee the reservation operations. Less than six years later it was closed and the Indians were removed to the Hoopa Valley and Round Valley reservations.
Meanwhile the Klamath River Indian Reservation was still in operation and the Yuroks were allowed to return to their old homes. Here they found for the time being peace and security — at least for a little while.