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The Indians Of Idaho Nez Percé And Shoshone Uprisings

Some notice of the original inhabitants of Idaho is due the reader of this book, even though that notice must necessarily be short and its data largely traditional. With-out a written language of any kind, unless it was the use of the rudest and most barbarous symbols, they have passed away and left no recorded history; without architecture, except that which exhausts its genius in the construction of a skin wigwam or a bark lodge, they have died and left no monuments. Traditions concerning them are too confused, contradictory and uncertain to satisfy any who desire reliable history. Any real information at all reliable concerning them began with the publication of the journal of the exploring expedition of Lewis and Clarke in 1804 and 1805. Incidental notices of various tribes have been given to the world by other explorers and travelers, but very much that has been written concerning them was not the ascertaining of patient and continued personal investigation, nor yet the impressions of any extended personal contact, but the chance and hasty gatherings of unreliable traditions, or, what was even less to be depended on than this, the exaggerated recitals of some wild, camp-fire stories. All these, of course, have a value as literature, and occupy an interesting place in romantic story, but their history is not great. When these people were first brought under the study of civilized men two facts distinctly marked them: One was that the tribes east of the Cascade mountains had very different mental and physical qualities from those residing west of that range. The other was, that there was no form...

Bannock Indians

Bannock Indians. In historic times their main center was in southeastern Idaho, ranging into western Wyoming, between latitude 42° and 45° North and from longitude 113° West eastward to the main chain of the Rocky Mountains. At times they spread well down Snake River, and some were scattered as far north as Salmon River and even into southern Montana.

Shoshoni Tribe

Shoshoni Indians. The most northerly division of the Shoshonean family. They formerly occupied west Wyoming, meeting the Ute on the south, the entire central and southern parts of Idaho, except the territory taken by the Bannock, north east Nevada, and a small strip of Utah west of Great Salt lake. The Snake River country in Idaho is, perhaps, to be considered their stronghold. The northern bands were found by Lewis and Clark in 1805, on the headwaters of the Missouri in west Montana, but they had ranged previously farther east on the plains, whence they had been driven into the Rocky Mountains by the hostile Atsina and Siksika, who already possessed firearms. Nowhere had the Shoshoni established themselves on the Columbia, although they reached that river on their raiding excursions. The origin of the term Shoshoni appears to be unknown. It apparently is not a Shoshoni word, and although the name is recognized by the Shoshoni as applying to themselves, it probably originated among some other tribe. The Cheyenne name for the Comanche, who speak the Shoshoni language, is Shǐshǐnoats-hitäneo, ‘snake people’; but they have a different name for the Shoshoni. The term Snake seems to have no etymological connection with the designation Shoshoni. It has been variously and frequently applied to the northern bands of the Shoshoni, especially those of Oregon. By recent official usage the term Snake has been restricted to the Yahuskin and Walpapi of Oregon. Hoffman was of the opinion that the name Snake comes from a misconception of the sign for Snake Indian, made by a serpentine motion of the hand with the index...

Condition of the Idaho Indians in 1890

Early the summer of 1877 troubles arose in regard to the occupancy of the Wallowa valley by white settlers, it having been withdrawn in 1875 as a reservation under treaty of 1873, because of the failure, of the Indians to permanently occupy it. An Indian belonging to a band of non-treaty Indians under Chief Joseph was killed by some settlers; then the Indians insisted upon the removal of the settlers and the restitution of the valley to them. Upon the refusal of the government to do this, and after further efforts to compel all the non-treaty Indians to come into the reservation at Lapwai, an outbreak occurred, under the leadership of Joseph, which resulted in a number of pitched battles, with great loss. He was compelled to retreat, the forces under General Howard pursuing him eastwardly across the headwaters of the Snake River and through the Yellowstone national park, where the pursuit was taken up by the threes under General Terry, resulting finally in the capture of Joseph and his band. On the morning or September 30, 1877, Chief Joseph and his Nez Perces were met and surrounded by Colonel Nelson A. Miles and his command in the valley of Snake creek, northern Montana. On the 4th of October 1877, they surrendered. The length of this raid, the march of the troops, and the tact displayed by Joseph form one of the most extraordinary chapters in the history of Indian outbreaks, Eighty-seven warriors, 184 squaws, and 117 children surrendered. They were sent under guard to Fort Abraham Lincoln, North Dakota, thence to Fort Leavenworth, and afterward located in the...

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