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Catlin: Part 4, Section D - Stevens Perfidy - Old Joseph's Map - Colville Gold - Yellow Serpent Killed - Battle of Seattle - Sheridan's Report - White Savagery - 2nd. Council - Bloody Cloth - Spokane Wars

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STEVENS' PERFIDY - OLD JOSEPH’S MAP

In, Let Me Be Free, author David Lavender wrote that Old Joseph had recognized the prospect of losing his coveted Wallowa Valley during the treaty process. He had prepared “a parchment map, sixteen by eighteen inches, drawn in pale green ink that delineated the Wallowa country. He devised his own set of symbols: a drawing of a fish indicated Wallowa Lake; figures of deer indicated mountains; almost microscopic images of horseshoes showed main trails. His reason for making the map was implied in an earlier remark to Stevens. It was for his children. He showed the map to them. Their home, forever. The government of the United States had promised.” (p. 154)

At age fifteen, Young Joseph may not have completely understood the implications of what had just occurred. Eventually, he would.

What soon followed the 1855 Walla Walla council did not reflect well on Governor Izaac Stevens. Lavender wrote that Stevens’ actions quickly tainted the peace process: (pp. 155 - 56)

“Restlessness, indecision, prejudice, fear, anger, and eventually violence shook the Northwest during the latter part of the 1850s as the two races struggled for control of the country. Much of the turmoil was precipitated by the perfidy of Governor Isaac Ingalls Stevens. Stevens knew perfectly well that the Indians of the interior would continue to hold possessory rights to all their accustomed homelands until the treaties negotiated at Walla Walla had been ratified by the Congress and the president of the United States. Entry before then, unless the Indians granted permission, was trespass. Stevens, however, needed an influx of settlers for the sake of his railroad. (He did not believe that the tensions between the American North and South over routes would continue to stall it for long; he had a marvelous ability to see things the way he wanted to see them.) So when Palmer and he sent copies of the treaties from the council ground to their territorial legislatures, they included notices to the newspapers that land east of the Cascades was now available for homesteading and mining. The disgruntled tribes of the Columbian Plateau would not like that, but he’d handle them. Then off he rode, across the Continental Divide...

Other angers and uncertainties about the future contributed to the Indian’s malaise. Many small tribes that had not been represented at Walla Walla suddenly found they had already been “documented” out of their lands and were expected to crowd onto the severely shrunken Yakima reservation. Hot words were thrown at the tall, smoldering Yakima chief, Kamiakin: He had sold them out. Kamiakin denied the charge with equal vehemence: He had not signed the treaty. The whites were the false ones and must be resisted.

Kamiakin occupied a strategic base for spreading his war propaganda. His lands commanded the eastern approaches to the passes that crossed the Cascade range. He was related to influential tribesmen both on the Pacific side of those mountains and in the country that swept from the eastern banks of the Columbia River up to the Bitterroot Mountains. With grim diligence he set about putting those advantages to work...

The whites’ lust for gold provided unexpected substance for his rhetoric. For several years, traders, explorers, and Catholic missionaries had known that the rivers of the Colville, Spokan, and Pend d’Oreille country contained small, shallow, scattered deposits of placer, or “float,” gold. Obstacles to mining were great, however. Transportation of supplies up the Columbia River was expensive because of the roaring rapids at The Dalles and the Cascades, and the rugged horse trails across the mountain passes and through the country of the Yakimas did not offer an attractive alternative—until 1854. Late that year an economic depression spread gloom across the Northwest. When Stevens illegally announced that, thanks to his treaties, the interior was open for exploitation, scattered groups of desperate and unencumbered men began crossing the passes and trickling through Yakima territory on the way east.

COLVILLE GOLD – PLATEAU VIOLENCE

In June 1855, The Portland Oregonian newspaper announced that gold had been discovered in the Colville region. News of the gold discovery by Hudson’s Bay agent Angus McDonald had been reported to Governor Stevens as he moved east to treat with the Flatheads. Before long even more groups of miners were trekking through Yakima country. 

Hostilities spread as Plateau Indians attacked the settlers and miners who ventured into their country. In September 1855 a group of six miners were killed near the Yakima River. Andrew Bolon, a reservation agent, was killed by a group of Yakimas as he tried to investigate the trouble. Reports of his killing prompted the post commander at The Dalles, Major Haller, to march after the assailants with more than 100 troops. He planned to meet with Lieutenant W. A. Slaughter as he marched from Fort Steilacoom [near Lakewood, Wa.] with a small troop of men. Yakimas promptly attacked Haller on Simcoe Creek and five soldiers were killed. Governor Stevens was absent in Montana and in his stead, the acting governor, Charles Mason, solicited volunteers. Two volunteer companies were raised in Washington Territory and ten were mustered in Oregon. More companies were raised in Washington Territory and were reserved as home guards.  The Indians were now attacking settlers on the coast as well.

As the strife began to swell, acting Governor Mason was informed that the Yakimas and Walla Wallas - with Kamiakin, Yellow Serpent, and others - planned to waylay members of the Stevens expedition as they returned from their treaty endeavors on the plains with the Blackfeet. Messengers representing these chiefs had already purportedly visited with the Nez Perces to enlist their support in a plan to surprise and kill Stevens. While the Nez Perce demurred, agent William Craig arrived at Lapwai from the east with news that Stevens was now informed of Kamiakin’s plot.

In late October, while he was not far from Fort Benton, word reached Governor Stevens that the Yakimas were attacking the whites. Anxious to return to quell the outbreaks, Stevens quickly marched to the Bitterroot, near Missoula, leaving behind his supply train. There he met with a group of Nez Perces who were also returning from the Blackfoot council. Among them were Looking Glass and Spotted Eagle. These Nez Perces agreed to accompany Stevens over the Coeur d’Alene pass enroute to their reservation.

When Stevens arrived at the Coeur d’Alene mission a council was held that included the Spokanes and Colvilles. The reception was not favorable and they too warned that his party would be in danger as it moved west. Stevens had already sent agent William Craig on the mission to persuade the Nez Perce to support him and to enlist their help in his march back through their territory to Olympia.

Meanwhile, the Nez Perces held a council to discuss Stevens’ request and also to assess whether to join Kamiakin and the Cayuses and Walla Wallas in battling the whites. Lawyer spoke convincingly against joining Kamiakin in his war against the whites and Old Joseph supported Lawyer. Stevens arrived at Lapwai on December 11, 1855.  Here, he found the support he wanted and a promise of 250 Nez Perce warriors if they were needed. A contingent of Nez Perce, including Old Looking Glass, Old Joseph, and Spotted Eagle then accompanied Stevens from Lapwai to Walla Walla.

YELLOW SERPENT KILLED

At Walla Walla Stevens learned that Peo-Peo-Mox-Mox (Yellow Serpent) had been killed. A group of five hundred volunteers had defeated his band in a three-day battle along the Walla Walla River. Yellow Serpent’s death was forever controversial, as word spread that, while surrendering, he had been taken hostage and then killed as he tried escaping. News of this affair was particularly gruesome, as it became known that volunteers had desecrated his body and taken pieces of his skin home – enough to make a razor strap.

On February 12, 1856, in a letter to Governor Stevens, General Wool wrote:

In regard to the operations east of the Cascade mountains, if Gov. Curry’s volunteers have not driven the friendly Cayuses and Nez Perces into the ranks of the hostile tribes, and they should be withdrawn from the Walla Walla country, I have great hopes that I shall be able to bring the Indians in that region to terms, notwithstanding the volunteers killed the chief, Peu-peu-mox-mox, scalped him, cut off his ears and hands, as reported by volunteers, and sent them to their friends in Oregon. All this too, after he met them with a flag of truce, declaring he ‘was for peace – that he did not wish to fight – that his people did not wish to fight,’ and that if any of his young men had done wrong, he would make restitution, while he at the same time offered the volunteers cattle for food. Such conduct may have caused feelings difficult to overcome. I trust, however, I will be able to do it.

BATTLE OF SEATTLE


Conflicts were not limited to the interior. In January 1856, a large band of Klikitats and others attacked a rough stockade of settlers in what became known as the Battle of Seattle. Described as a nothing more than a hamlet logging camp, Seattle had a population of less than a hundred people. Only a few days before the attack, Governor Stevens had visited Seattle and delivered a speech mocking the settlers’ fears, saying, “I have visited many tribes on the way, both going and coming, and I tell you there are not fifty hostile Indians in the Territory, and I believe that the cities of New York and San Francisco will as soon be attacked by Indians as this town of Seattle.”

Yet, a few days later a group of hostile Indians planned to attack the settlement and then feint away, luring the settlers into an ambush. When they did attack, on January 26, a warship moored close by in Elliott Bay (The Decatur) fired grape and shot on the attackers with its 14 artillery guns, killing many of them. Defending themselves in their hastily built stockade, complete with 12-foot square blockhouses, the settlers and a complement of soldiers from the Decatur repelled an onslaught that might have become a massacre. Estimates of the number of Indians involved in this attack varied widely, from 200 to 2000. This skirmish later received a wider notice when Governor Stevens accused a Nisqually Chief, Leschi, of complicity, despite the protestations of local settlers. Leschi was tried and hanged at Fort Steilacoom in 1858.

In March 1856, Yakima, Klickitat, and Chinook Indians attacked both settlers and soldiers at the Middle Cascades on the Columbia River, killing seventeen whites. They then encircled a small group of soldiers who had forted themselves in a small blockhouse built near the river. The following day a company of dragoons under Lieutenant Phil Sheridan arrived at the Lower Cascades on a steamer from Fort Vancouver. Fighting their way through Indians intent on blocking them, Sheridan’s men relieved the soldiers at the blockhouse the next day. A force of 200 dragoons and infantry under Lieutenant Colonel Edward Steptoe steamed down the Columbia River from Fort Dalles and arrived at nearly the same time that Sheridan did. As the Indians scattered a group of them were caught on Bradford’s Island and arrested. While protesting their innocence, eight of these Indians were tried by a military commission under Colonel George Wright and hanged at the Upper Cascades.

PHIL SHERDAN’S REPORT – WHITE SAVAGERY – VOLUNTEERS ‘RAVEN’

Steptoe gave special mention of the gallant conduct of 2nd Lieutenant Phil Sheridan in his official report of this incident. In addition to his own report on the skirmish, Sheridan boldly wrote an account of the killing of a well known peaceful Chinook Indian named Spencer and his family:

In my experience I have been obliged to look upon many cruel scenes in connection with Indian warfare on the Plains since that day, but the effect of this dastardly and revolting crime has never been effaced from my memory. Greater and more atrocious massacres have been committed often by Indians; their savage nature modifies one’s ideas, however, as to the inhumanity of their acts, but when such wholesale murder as this is done by whites, and the victims not only innocent, but helpless, no defense can be made for those who perpetrated the crime, if they be civilized beings. It is true the people of the Cascades had suffered much, and that their wives and children had been murdered before their eyes, but to wreak vengeance on Spencer’s unoffending family, who had walked into their settlement under the protection of a friendly alliance, was an unparalleled outrage which nothing can justify or extenuate. With as little delay as possible after the horrible discovery, I returned to camp, had boxes made, and next day buried the bodies of these hapless victims of misdirected vengeance. (See: Memoirs of General Sheridan, V.1, Pt 1, Ch 6 - http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4362/4362-h/p1.htm#ch5 )

Colonel Steptoe is also notable in that after serving under General Franklin Pierce in the Mexican War, President Pierce offered him the governorship of Utah in 1855, in succession of Brigham Young – a position he declined. 

Oregon and Washington Territorial volunteers under Colonel Thomas Cornelius spent the spring of 1856 campaigning throughout Yakima country, striking wherever they could find Indians. A contingent of Nez Perces even joined these volunteers, enlisting under Henry Chase and attached to Washington Volunteers under Company ‘M’. Their mission was allegedly to keep escaping war parties away from Nez Perce territory. Both Old Joseph and Spotted Eagle participated and would come to regret it.

David Lavender wrote that, “As they [volunteers] marched, they ravened. Their indiscriminate shootings and illegal appropriations of livestock so frightened the Indians that many fled for refuge among the Nez Perce farther west—exactly what Stevens had not wanted. Crowning the atrocities—if ‘crown’ is the right word—was the hanging of an inoffensive Nez Perce whom Cornelius wrongly suspected of being a spy.” (Let Me Be Free p. 164)

A second incident further disrupted Nez Perce equanimity when a group of volunteers, led by B. F. Shaw, decimated a camp of Cayuses in the Grande Ronde Valley on July 17, 1856. Many old men, women, and children – the actual number unknown, but dozens – were slaughtered in a spectacle that Oregon history would like to erase. The group of Nez Perce volunteers accompanying Colonel Shaw’s expedition furnished reports of it to the Indian world. Accounts of the attack later given by Shaw’s volunteers, however, alleged a heavy fight by a large force of Indians. A diary written by one participant, Montana pioneer Captain W. W. De Lacy, vividly supported Shaw’s account of the fight. Shaw volunteers then removed to the Walla Walla valley.

SECOND WALLA WALLA COUNCIL – STEVENS RETREATS

Sensing that the whole territory might unravel if the Mill Creek treaties could not be upheld, in September, 1856, Stevens organized a second council with the Nez Perces and as many other tribes as would come. The Spokanes and Coeur d’Alenes refused to attend, as did Kamiakin. While he traveled to this council Stevens asked for a military escort from Colonel Wright at Fort Vancouver. Colonel Wright had already ordered Lieutenant Colonel Steptoe to engage four companies of the 9th. U. S. Infantry and travel to the Walla Walla where he would establish the first military fort at Walla Walla in September. Stevens expressed his dissatisfaction when he learned that Steptoe’s orders were not exclusively to provide him an escort. 

Stevens had already succeeded in damaging his relationship with the regular military when he too organized volunteers and sent them throughout the Territory - disdaining the advice of General Wool. By the time of the council Governor Stevens and Wool were completely at odds. In a letter to Stevens, written in February 1856, General Wool made his hostility clear: (See - John E. Wool at Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John E. Wool)


With the additional force which recently arrived at Vancouver and the Dalles, I think I shall be able to bring the war to a close in a few months, provided the extermination of the Indians, which I do not approve of, is not determined on, and private war prevented, and volunteers withdrawn from the Walla Walla country.

Whilst I was in Oregon, it was reported to me, that many citizens, with due proportion of volunteers, and two newspapers, advocated the extermination of the Indians –This principal has been acted on in several instances without discriminating between enemies and friends, which has been the cause, in Southern Oregon, of sacrificing many innocent and worthy citizens, as in the case of Maj. Lupton and his party of (volunteers) who killed 25 Indians, eighteen of whom were women and children. These were friendly Indians on their way to the reservation, where they expected protection from the whites. This barbarous act is the cause of the present war in the Rogue River country...

By the same mail which brought me your communication, I received one, now before me...which informs me that the friendly Cayuses are every day menaced with death by [Oregon] Gov. Curry’s volunteers. The writer says that they have despoiled these Indians – who have so nobly followed the advice of Mr. Palmer, to remain faithful friends to the Americans – of their provisions. Today, he says, these same volunteers, without discipline and without orders, are not satisfied with rapine and injustice, and wish to take away the small remnant of animals and provisions left. Every day they run off the horses and cattle of the friendly Indians. They have become indignant, and will not be much longer restrained from resisting conduct unworthy of the whites, who have made them so many promises to respect and protect them if they remain faithful friends. The writer further says, if the volunteers are not arrested in their brigand activities, the Indians will save themselves by flying to the homes of their relatives, the Nez Perces, who have promised them help, and then all Indians of Oregon and Washington will join in the common defense...

I need not say, although I had previously instructed Col. Wright to take the Walla Walla country at the earliest moment practicable, that I directed him to give protection to the Cayuses from the depredations of the volunteers. It is such conduct as here complained of, that irritated and greatly increases the ranks of the hostile tribes, and if the Nez Perce join in war against us, which I hope to prevent, we shall require a much larger force than we now have in Washington and Oregon Territories to resist savage barbarities and to protect the whites.

Stevens and Wool would continue jousting almost to the point where others considered their actions absurd. General Wool had advised his officers “not to recognize the volunteer forces in any way,” and also to: “Warn Colonel Shaw and his volunteers to leave the country; and, should they fail to comply, arrest, disarm and send them out.”

In counterpoint, Stevens viewed his own authority as superior to that of General Wool, organizing and dispatching volunteers wherever and whenever he liked. Things later became even more farcical when Stevens enacted martial law in a dispute with a Circuit Court Judge, Edward Lander. Lander had entered a dispute with Stevens regarding disposition of five Hudson’s Bay men, known as the Muck Creek five, who had settled with Indian wives and who were arrested and charged with aiding hostile Indians. When the judge ordered the men released, Stevens declared martial law and had the men, as well as Judge Landers, arrested.  When a tribunal of volunteers appointed by Stevens found no merit to this, charges against the men were dismissed. Nevertheless, a civilian court with a prosecuting attorney later held a hearing, but still found no case against the men and they were released. Lander would later see Stevens convicted of contempt of court and fined him. The affair would eventually result in a Presidential censure for Stevens.

The second Walla Walla treaty council began on September 11, 1856, again near Mill Creek in the Walla Walla valley. That it began at Colonel Shaw’s volunteer camp could not have been an invitation to success. One of Stevens’ pack trains had already been attacked a few miles from the camp. Only a few days prior to this Colonel Steptoe, with four companies, had arrived at a point about four miles below the Shaw camp and began constructing a temporary fort. Even the Indians must have recognized that something was not right between these two camps.

Stevens began the council intent on a repetition of the first council where the flash of his oratory and personal persuasion would mesmerize the Indians. It didn’t work this time. Old Joseph, Looking Glass, and others avowed that Lawyer did not speak for them and had no right to bargain away their land in the first treaty. They demanded the treaty be canceled. Still, Stevens remained adamant that his Treaty was law and could not be revoked. In summary, Stevens later wrote that his propositions to the tribes were “unconditional submission to the justice and mercy of the government, and the surrender of murderers for trial.”


After two days in council it became apparent to Stevens that even elements of the Nez Perces were becoming hostile and he subsequently sent an urgent letter to Colonel Steptoe requesting help. Steptoe wrote back that Stevens should move his camp back to Steptoe’s: “I regret extremely that you think a company of my troops to be ‘essential to the safety’ of your camp. In a previous communication, I suggested that, if you distrusted the safety of your position, the council might be adjourned to a more convenient time and place. As you know my camp for the winter is in preparation.” 

Fearing for his life, Stevens then began moving his entourage to Steptoe’s camp. While doing so unfriendly Indians attacked him, reputedly led by Kamiakin. In his official report Stevens described a gallant battle in which Colonel Shaw’s men cut their way through charging Indians; Stevens losing one man, while the Indians had thirteen killed or wounded. Stevens then retreated to the Dalles under the protection of Steptoe’s soldiers.

COLONEL WRIGHT AND THE BLOODY CLOTH

Many bands of Plateau Indians continued to attack anyone who traveled through the region. The Stevens treaties were not having their desired effect.

In a letter to Colonel Wright on August 2, 1856, General Wool ordered whites out of the Washington Territorial Indian country, infuriating the Stevens camp:

 “No Indians or whites, except the Hudson Bay Company, or persons having ceded rights from the Indians, will be permitted to settle or remain in the Indian Country, or on lands not ceded by treaty, confirmed by the Senate, and approved by the President of the United States.”

“These orders are not however to apply to Miners engaged in collecting gold at the Colville mines.” 

 “The miners will however be notified, that, should they interfere with the Indians or their [women], they will be punished and sent out of the country.”

“It appears that colonel Shaw from Puget Sound, with his volunteers has gone to the Walla Walla country. His men can only be subsisted by plundering the Indians in that country. Col. Wright will order them out of the country by way of the Dalles. If they do not go immediately, they will be arrested, disarmed, and sent out.”
(See – Mackall Letter http://stories.washingtonhistory.org/treatytrail/aftermath/mackall-letter)

 

In, History of The Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington Vol 1, author Elwood Evans wrote of Colonel Wright's further attempts at calming the conflict : (pp. 616-17)

On the 19th of October [1856], General Wool directed Colonel Wright to proceed in person to Walla Walla as soon as possible, to attend to the establishment of the post...“It is also of the highest importance that you, the senior officer (the chief man), should see and talk with all the tribes in that region, in order to ascertain their wants, feelings and disposition toward the Whites. Warned by what has occurred, the general trusts you will be on your guard against the Whites, and adopt the most prompt and vigorous measures to crush the enemy before they have time to combine for resistance, and also check the war, and prevent further trouble by keeping the Whites out of Indian country.”

On the 31st of October, Colonel Wright reported: “I have selected the position on Mill creek, six miles above its junction with the Walla Walla river, for the post.” The Indians dispersed after Governor Stevens’ abortive attempt to treat with them in September. About forty attended a council convened by Colonel Wright, among whom were the chiefs Red Wolf, Eagle from the Light, Howlish-wampum, Tinton-metey, Stickus, two sons of Looking Glass, besides several sub-chiefs and head men of the Nez Perces and Cayuse nations. They all inveighed against the treaty of 1855, and denounced Lawyer as having sold their country. Eagle of the Light said: “I understand that Colonel Wright came here to straighten out things, and to know whether the bloody cloth was to be washed and made white, and all that is past is forgotten, or whether the war was to be continued between the Whites and red men. For my part I am for peace. I desire to see the good talk of the white chiefs and the Indians planted in good soil and grow up together. I desire to live in peace and harmony with the white people.”

Colonel Wright replied: “The bloody cloth should be washed; and not a spot should be left upon it. The Great Spirit who created both the Whites and the red men, commanded us ‘to love one another.’ All past differences must be thrown behind us. The hatchet must be buried; and for the future, perpetual friendship must exist between us. The good talk we have this day listened to should be planted and grow up in our hearts and drive away all bad feelings, and preserve peace and friendship between us forever. Put what I say in your hearts; and when you return to your homes, repeat it to all your friends.”

In reporting the proceedings of that council to the commanding general, Colonel Wright also added: “I am fully satisfied that, with all that has been said, peace and quiet can easily be maintained. The Indians are perfectly satisfied with the establishment of a military post here (Walla Walla). All they want is quiet and protection. I must express my decided opposition to the Treaty of Walla Walla, and pray it may never be confirmed [emphasis added]. All the chiefs in this and the Yakima country whom I have seen are violently opposed to it. Give them back those treaties and no cause of war exists. They claim that unfair means were used; whether so or not, they will not be contented until those treaties are restored.”

On the 21st of November [1856], Governor Stevens, when he had been advised of the action of Colonel Wright, in treating with the party of hostiles who but a short time before had attacked him when returning from a council held by him as superintendent of Indian affairs for Washington Territory, made this earnest protest to the Secretary of War: “It seems to me that we have, in this territory, fallen upon evil times. I hope and trust that some energetic action may be taken to stop this trifling with great public interests, and to make our flag respected by the Indians of the interior. They scorn our people and our flag. They feel that they can kill and plunder with impunity. They denominate us a nation of old women. They did not do this when the volunteers were in the field. I now make direct issue with Colonel Wright, that he has made a concession to the Indians which he had no authority to make...”

Despite Colonel Wright’s attempts at peace making, hostilities resumed after a short hiatus. Next, the war department acted to quell the prevalent turmoil that had become embarrassing.

In a politically inspired move, General Newman S. Clarke replaced Major General Wool in the summer of 1857. Stevens’ supporters won this battle. However, the erratic nature of the government’s Indian policy during this period led to even more conflict and hostility. General Clarke finally ordered Colonel Wright to put an end to it.

THE SPOKANE WARS

Bancroft’s, History of Oregon, summarized the events following General Wool’s removal: (See - History of Oregon 1848 - 1888 Vol. 2, by Hubert H Bancroft, 1888) (pp. 460-61)


In the summer of 1857 General Wool, who was so much at variance with the civil authorities on the Pacific coast, was removed from this department, and the command given to General Newman S. Clarke. The reader will remember that Colonel George Wright had been left by Wool in command at Vancouver in the spring of 1856. Not long after, on account of the hostilities of those tribes which had taken part in the Walla Walla treaties of 1855, Wright was removed to The Dalles, and Colonel Thomas Morris took command at Vancouver. In the mean time two new posts were established north of the Columbia, one in the Yakima country, and another in the Walla Walla Valley; and for a period of two years Wright, embarrassed by the policy of the commanding generals, outnumbered and outwitted by the Indians, was engaged in a futile endeavor to subdue without fighting them. The Indians being emboldened by the apparent weakness of the army, in the spring of 1858 the troops under Colonel Steptoe, while marching to Colville, were attacked by a large force of Spokanes and Coeur d’Alenes, and sustained a heavy loss. Awakened by this demonstration of the hostile purposes of the confederate tribes, Clarke prepared to inflict condign punishment, and in September of that year Wright marched a large force through their country, slaying and destroying as he went. This chastisement brought the treaty tribes into a state of humility. [Armed with repeating rifles, on Sept 1, 1858 Wright defeated Kamiakin and about 500 hostiles near Spokane at the Battle of Four Lakes.] In the mean time E. R. Geary had been appointed superintendent of Indian affairs in Oregon and Washington, and in the spring of 1859, congress having ratified the treaties of 1855, he made arrangements with them for their permanent settlement on their reservations, four in number, namely: Simcoe, Warm Spring, Umatilla, and Lapwai; but unfortunately for the credit of the government with the Indians, no appropriation was made by congress for carrying out its engagements until the following year; nor was any encouragement given toward treating with other tribes in the eastern portion of the state.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 03 February 2012 15:56