Walla Walla Council (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: The resulting treaty drastically reduced the area of Indian lands, marking the end of a centuries-old era and forcing Native Americans to make a radical adjustment to white civilization.
The westward migration of settlers and immigrants reached the Northwest by the mid-1800's. In 1848 about five thousand immigrants and one thousand wagons arrived in Oregon, more than the combined population of the Nez Perce, Cayuse, and Walla Walla tribes.
In 1855 Isaac Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs of the Washington Territory, took steps to implement treaties with the Indians to acquire their land (to provide room for white settlers) and preclude hostilities with the increasingly anxious and angry Indians. He also sought to clear the way for a northern route for the Pacific Railroad. The resulting council was one of the largest tribal gatherings in the United States. Negotiations were carried on in an atmosphere of suspicion, fear, and mistrust of the white negotiators, acrimony between factions of Indians, and even an aborted plan by the Cayuse to massacre all the whites. It was not until between June 9 and 11 that three treaties were finally agreed upon and signed by the Indians, under considerable duress and pressure as well as recognition of the inevitable.
Under the treaties the Indians ceded about 30,000 square miles of land in eastern Oregon and east-central Washington. In return...
(The entire section is 323 words.)
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