- Alfred B. Meacham
Alfred B. Meacham (1826–1882) was an American
reformerand historianwho served as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the state of Oregon.
Meacham was born in
Indiana, where his family had moved from North Carolinabecause of their objection to slavery. He traveled to Californiaduring the 1849 gold rush and then settled in northeast Oregon near the future Umatilla Indian Reservationin Meacham, Oregon.
Meacham became a prominent figure in Oregon politics and supported
Ulysses S. Grantin the presidential election of 1868. Appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, Meacham was instrumental in persuading the Modoctribe to relocate to the Klamath Reservation. Although severely injured while negotiating peace terms during the Modoc Warof 1872–73, Meacham organized a lecture tour for Modoc and Klamathtribal representatives to inform the public of problems relating to Indian relocation. In 1874, Meacham and delegation members spoke before a group organized by social activist and reformer Wendell Phillips. In 1875, the delegation addressed Alfred Henry Love's Universal Peace Unionin Philadelphiaand a meeting of Peter Cooper's U.S. Indian Commission in New York City. In 1879, Meacham brought Chief Josephand other Nez Perceto Washington, D. C., to speak to government officials. During the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes, Meacham served on a 1880 commission with George Manypennyand Otto Mears. The commission was charged with overseeing the relocation of the Colorado Ute tribe, led by Ouray, to a new reservation in Utah.
In addition to public speaking, Meacham publicized Native American issues by issuing a journal called "Council Fire," with
Thomas A. Bland, in 1878. He wrote two books dealing with Indian affairs. "Wigwam and Warpath," a history of the Modoc War, was published in 1875 and "Wi-ne-ma" (The Woman-Chief) was published in 1876.
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