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April 28, 1863: Tejon Ranch

April 28, 2013

[Today] we started and rode to the Tejon Indian Reservation, about twenty miles, and stopped at the house of Mr. Boschulty, the Indian agent. The reservation is in a corner of the great valley, the extreme southeast corner. The land rises in a gradual slope to the hills, a regular inclined plane, to the height of some 1,800 or 1,900 feet. It is the prettiest spot I have seen in this part of the state, with plenty of water and ample means of irrigation. The grass is green, the water good. The next day we rode up into the Tejon Pass about fifteen miles, a wild pass, but little traveled now. We killed another big rattlesnake, with nine rattles left, the rest broken off. We saw a large wildcat. I ought to have told of the game we saw in the San Emidio. We saw many deer, ten in one group at one time; another time one came so near that we got a shot at it with our pistols.

To return to the reservation. An Indian woman died, and that night the Indians burned her hut, her clothing, and all her things in the fire—for her use in the next world. We stayed at the reservation until Friday and were most hospitably entertained. In the meantime the superintendent of Indian affairs came down with his secretary. His name is Wentworth, and he seems entirely unfitted for his responsible office….

One more item about the Indian reservation. Lieutenant Beale had it placed there; last year he bought up a Spanish claim and now has it confirmed as a Spanish grant—a tract of twenty-two leagues or 87,750 acres, over 137 square miles!—that is the way to get land.

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