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Inaspetsum Tribe

Inaspetsum Indians. One of the tribes included by the early fur traders under he term Nez Perce. They lived on Columbia River, above the mouth of the Snake, in Washington. Perhaps they were the Winatshipum or the Kalispel. (L. F.)

Nez Perce Indian Research

Nez Percé Indians (‘pierced noses’) A term applied by the French to a number of tribes which practiced or were supposed to practice the custom of piercing the nose for the insertion of a piece of dentalium.  The term is now used exclusively to designate the main tribe of the Shahaptian family, who have not, however, so far as is known ever been given to the practice. Read more about the Nez Percé History. Nez Percé Indian Biography Nez Percé Indian Chiefs and Leaders Jackson Sundown Chief Joseph (hosted at Indigenous Peoples History) Chief Joseph – Leader of the Nez Perce and a True American (hosted at Legends of America) Bureau of Indian Affairs A Guide to Tracing your Indian Ancestry(PDF) Tribal Leaders Directory Recognized Indian Entities, 10/2010 Update (PDF) Nez Percé Indian Cemeteries Maggie Williams Cemetery (hosted at Ewanida Rail Records) Native American Cemeteries (hosted at AccessGenealogy) Nez Percé Indian Census Free US Indian Census Rolls 1885-1940 Native American Census Records Indians in the 11th (1890) Census of the United States US Indian Census Schedules 1885-1940 (Ancestry) Nez Percé Indian Culture/Customs Housing types Federally Recognized Tribes Nez Percé Nation P.O. Box 365 Lapwai, ID 83540 Reservation and Location Genealogy Help Pages Proving Your Indian Ancestry Indian Genealogy DNA- Testing for your Native American Ancestry How to Write a Genealogical Query Nez Percé Indian History Nez Percé Indian History Wallowa County, Oregon (hosted at Oregon Genealogy) Nez Percé Indian History (hosted at the University of Idaho) Kate and Sue McBeth, Missionary Teachers to the Nez Perce (hosted at University of Idaho Library) Nez Perce Indian Agency (Idaho) (hosted at...

Nez Percé Indian Chiefs and Leaders

The chiefs and leaders of the Nez Percé tribe that come down to us in history are the tales of two coins. They’re either known for their friendliness to the white race, who came to their land and conquered it away, or their known for their fierce battle skills as they viciously fought for their rights to hold their land. In the end, the names that follow and the biographies they reflect provide an illustrative look into the lives of the Nez Percé Indians.

Nez Perce Tribe

Nez Percé Indians (‘pierced noses’) A term applied by the French to a number of tribes which practiced or were supposed to practice the custom of piercing the nose for the insertion of a piece of dentalium. The term is now used exclusively to designate the main tribe of the Shahaptian family, who have not, however, so far as is known ever been given to the practice. Nez Percé History The Nez Percé or Sahaptin of later writers, the Chopuunish (corrupted from Tsútpěli) of Lewis and Clark, their discoverers, were found in 1805 occupying a large area in what is now western Idaho, north east Oregon, and south east Washington, on lower Snake river and its tributaries. They roamed between the Blue Mountains in Oregon and the Bitter Root Mountains in Idaho, and according to Lewis and Clark sometimes crossed the range to the headwaters of the Missouri. By certain writers they have been classed under two geographic divisions Upper Nez Percé and Lower Nez Percé. The latter were found by Bonneville in 1834 to the north and west of the Blue Mountains on several of the branches of Snake river, where they were neighbors of the Cayuse and Walla Walla. The Upper Nez Percé held the Salmon river country in Idaho in 1834 and probably also at the same time the Grande Ronde valley in eastern Oregon but by treaty of 1855 they ceded a large part of this territory to the United States. The reservation in which they were confined at that time included the Wallowa valley in Oregon, as well as a large district in Idaho....

The Epic of the Nez Percé

Xenophon has chronicled the retreat of the ten thousand; De Quinces has romanced about the migration of the Tartars; a thousand pens have recorded the annihilation of the Grand Army of Napoleon: the story of Joseph and his Nez Pierces is my theme – the story of the bitterest injustice toward a weak but independent people to which the United States ever set its hand. And at the outset let me confess that I am the advocates do the friend of the Indian, at least in this instance! In 1855, Governor Isaac I. Stevens of Washington Territory negotiated an equitable, even a liberal treaty by which the Nez Pierces were confirmed in their undoubted title by immemorial occupancy to the vast region in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, including the valleys of the Snake, the Salmon, the Clearwater, and the Grande Ronde Rivers. The scope of the Steve’s treaty was so extensive and its provisions so fair, that it is probable no question would ever have arisen had not the convention been abrogated in 1863 by a new treaty which materially diminished the Nez Pierce Reservation. This treaty was signed by a majority of the Indian tribes and has been loyally kept by them to this day. Old Joseph and other chiefs declined to sign it, refused to live on the proposed reservation, and continued to occupy the fertile valleys of the Wallowa and Imnaha, tributaries of the Grande Ronde and the Snake respectively. They also refused even to stay on the lands they claimed except when it suited them. As the majority of the Nez Perces had signed the...

Retreat of the Indians under Cover of Night

The Indians claimed after their final surrender that they would have held Gibbon’s command in the timber longer than they did, and would have killed many more, if not all of them, had they not learned that Howard was at hand with reinforcements. They admit that they were warned of impending danger in some form in due time to have avoided a meeting with Gibbon, but did not heed it. They tell us that on the evening before the arrival of Gibbon’s troops at the Indian camp, a “medicine man ” had cautioned the chiefs that death was on their trail. “What are we doing here he asked. ” While I slept, my medicine told me to move on ; that death was approaching us. Chiefs, I only tell you this for the good of our people. If you take my advice you can avoid death, and that advice is to speed through this country. If we do not there will be tears in our eyes.” But the chiefs heeded not his warning. They held a feast and a war-dance that night, and then lay down to sleep, feeling as safe as they ever did on their own reservation. They claim to have received news of Howard’s coming in this way : When the troops retired to the mouth of the gulch on the morning of the 9th, the warriors were examining the dead. Among them they found a white man, a citizen, who was breathing ; his eyes were closed and he pretended to be dead, but they saw that he was not though he was severely wounded....

Stealthy Midnight March

At 10 o’clock at night the officer of the guard spoke to the General in a whisper, and he arose with the alacrity of a youth who goes forth to engage in the sports of a holiday. The men were called at once, and in whispered orders the line of march was speedily formed. All were instructed to preserve the most profound silence from that moment until the signal should be given to open fire on the enemy, and, under the guidance of Joe Blodgett and Lieutenant Bradley, the little band filed silently down the winding trail, threading its way, now through dark groves of pine or fir; now through jungles of underbrush; now over rocky points; frequently wading the cold mountain brook, waist deep, and tramping through oozy marshes of saw-grass; speaking only in whispers; their rifles loaded, eyes peering into the starlit night, and ears strained to catch the slightest sound that might indicate the hiding-place of any lurking foe who might perchance be on an outpost to announce to his followers the approach of danger. Five miles were thus stealthily marched without giving an alarm. Then the valley in which the troops bad been moving opened out into what is known as the Big Hole, that is, the valley of the Big Hole River. This is a beautiful prairie basin, fifteen miles wide, and sixty miles long, covered with rich bunch-grass and surrounded by high mountains. In the edge of this valley the soldiers saw the smoldering camp-fires of the enemy; heard the baying of his hungry dogs responding to the howls of prowling coyotes, and...

Stubborn Resistance of the Indians in the Pine Woods

As soon as the command abandoned the camp, the Indians reoccupied it, and under the fire of the sharpshooters, hauled down several of their teepees, hastily bundled together the greater portion of their plunder, packed a number of horses with it, and, mounting their riding ponies, the squaws and children beat a hasty retreat down the valley, driving the herd of loose horses with them. They had hot work breaking camp, and several of them and their horses were killed while thus engaged. Two of Joseph’s wives and a daughter of Looking Glass were among the slain, who were believed to have been killed at this time. When the command retired into the timber, the Indians followed and surrounded them, taking cover along the river banks below, and behind rocks and trees on the hill-sides above. The men dug rifle pits with their trowel bayonets and piled up rocks to protect themselves as best they could, and a sharp shooting fight was kept up from this position all day. At times, the Indians’ fire was close and destructive, and here Lieutenant English received a mortal wound. Captain Williams was struck a second time, and a number of men killed and wounded. Two large pine trees stand on the open hillside some 400 yards from the mouth of the gulch. Behind one of these an Indian took cover early in the morning and staid there until late in the afternoon. He proved to be an excellent long-range shot, and harassed the troops sorely by his fire until a soldier who had crawled up the gulch some distance above the main...

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