Thomas Henley

Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California



Garrett Matthews (Kevin) : none
Gilbert Warfield (John) : none
Jess Connor (Dave) : none
Jane Wilson (Judi) : INDIFFERENT
John Jost Althaus (Greg) : none
Samuel Davis (Daniel) : INDIFFERENT

Adventure History

Henley appears off-camera as the civilian authority providing legitimacy to the PC’s actions in the investigation of the Mountain Meadows Massacre.


Thomas Jefferson Henley (b. June 18, 1808) was born in Richmond Indiana. He attended Indiana University at Bloomington, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1828.

He worked as a lawyer and banker in his native Richmond Indiana. He became active in local Democratic politics – and was elected to the Indiana State house in 1832 and served as its speaker in 1840-42.

He was elected to U.S. Congress in March 1843 and served three terms representing the Indiana 2nd district (28th, 29th and 30th Congress).

He has one son – Barclay Henry (b. 1843) who is currently living in Indiana attending prep school. He plans to studying law at Hannover College, and join his father back in California (or so says T.J.)


In 1849 he caught gold fever and moved with his family to California. Mining is a young man’s game – so he established a bank in Sacramento.

Once again active in local politics, he was elected to the first California House (1851-53). Afterwards he moved to San Francisco and became involved in federal politics. He was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California in May 1854 – after his predecessor (Ned Beale) resigned to take over the California Militia.

Henley knew almost nothing about the Indians – but quickly dove into the problem. He recommended a policy of forced resettlement and subjugation for all tribes along the San Joaquin and Tulare Lake onto the Tejon Reservation – believing it was the only way to prevent an escalation of violence given the large number of farmers and ranchers filling central California, and diverting water for irrigation projects.

When the Tulare River Indian “War” flamed up in 1856, he saw this as proof of the accuracy of his analysis – and is now a firm believer in resettlement. Unfortunately the U.S. Army failed to respond – and so Governor Johnson sent “Brigadier General” Ned Beale to make peace. Henley objected to the intrusion of the state into what he considered federal affairs – further inflaming the animosity between the two men.

Thomas Henley

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