Yakima War (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: A gold strike in north-central Washington caused a major influx of European gold seekers to encroach on the isolated territories of the Yakima tribe, leading to the Yakima War.
The Yakimas lived in an area that was relatively isolated until the mid-nineteenth century—the Columbia River Valley in south-central Washington. Conditions changed suddenly, however, when a gold strike in north-central Washington created an influx of white gold seekers. In general, relations between Indians and European-descended residents in the Northwest in the 1850's were characterized by mutual suspicion and dislike, and the latest arrivals made things worse as isolated attacks and retaliations increased.
Isaac Stevens, the newly appointed governor of the new Northwest Territory, arrived in Olympia in 1853 to take over his duties. Stevens was determined to persuade all the tribes in the territory to give up their lands and accept being moved to reservations. He ordered his treaty commission secretary, James Doty, to organize a grand treaty council in the Walla Walla area. It was attended by about a thousand Yakimas, including Chief Kamiakin, and members of other area tribes and bands. There was a disagreement among the tribes as to whether to agree to the treaty, but most tribes finally did. Kamiakin was among those leaders who refused. A treaty was signed on June 9, 1855. An Indian agent, Andrew Bolon, was killed by a band of...
(The entire section is 507 words.)
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