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Yakima Malcontents of 1856

One thing, of course, is to be remembered – there were all degrees of offending, from the active hostile to the almost neutral, just as there are in every Indian war. The worst of them all were Kamiaken, his brothers Skloom and Shawawai, Owhi and his son Qualchian, the Yakima malcontents of 1856, who had been roaming among the tribes, exciting discontent and committing depredations where they could Kamiaken was the most influential of them all. He was a man of unusual stature and remarkable strength. No man in the tribe could bend his bow. He was rated the best orator from the Cascades to the Rockies, and appears to have been inspired by a patriotic hope of throwing off the supremacy of the whites. In later years, when his plans were miscarried and his hopes of a great combination of the Indians against the common foe dashed to the ground, he refused to return to his own country, and, apparently brokenhearted, passed the rest of his days east of the Columbia. The Pelouses were next in culpability. They were a tribe of about five hundred, living along the north side of the Snake River. They were in three bands: Que-lap-tip, with forty lodges, camped usually at the mouth of the Pelouse; So-ie, with twelve lodges, was located thirty miles below on the Snake; Til-co-ax (Tel-ga-wax, Til-ca-icks), with thirty lodges, lived at the mouth of the Snake. The remaining Indians in the country between the Snake and the Columbia, some half dozen bands, were commonly called Spokanes by the whites, but the Indians gave that name only to the...

War with the Spokan, Coeur d’Alene, and Pelouse

While the commissioners were negotiating with the Mormons, an extraordinary outbreak occurred in the eastern part of Washington Territory, which hitherto had been a scene of peace between the red man and the white. It had been the boast of the Spokanes and the Coeur d’Alenes that they had never shed the blood of a white man. In the winter and early spring of 1858, however, it was represented that there was much restlessness among the northern tribes, especially in the neighborhood of the Colville mines, and Brevet Lieutenant colonel Steptoe, who commanded at new Fort WallaWalla, determined to make an excursion in that direction. The new fort, which had been established as a military post after the last war, was on Walla Walla Creek, thirty miles east of the old fort, the latter being now used as an agency by the quartermaster’s department. In addition to looking after the northern inquietude, Colonel Steptoe also desired to investigate the recent murder of two American miners by a party of Pelouse (Paluce, Galousse) Indians, and, if possible, to bring the murderers to justice. These Indians lived just to the north of the Snake River, and were directly in his line of travel. Steptoe left Fort Walla Walla on May 6th with one hundred and fifty-seven men, dragoons and infantry, the latter acting as runners for two howitzers which were taken. They marched across the rolling prairies between the WallaWalla and the Snake to the mouth of the Pelouse, where the crossing of the Colville road was located. From this point they proceeded northward and eastward to the divide between the...

Spokan Indians

Spokan Indians were located on the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers, southward to, and perhaps including, Cow Creek, and northward to include all of the northern feeders of the Spokane in the states of Idaho, Montana and Washington.

Spokan Tribe

Spokan Indians. A name applied to several small bodies of Salish on and near Spokane River, north east Washington.  According to Gibbs the name was originally employed by the Skitswish to designate a band at the forks of the river, called also Smahoomenaish.  by the whites it was extended to cover several nearly allied divisions, which Gibbs enumerates as follows: Sin-slik-ho-ish, Sintootoolish, Sma-hoo-men-a-ish (Spokenish), Skai-schil-t’nish, ske-chei-a-mouse, Schu-el-stish, Sin-poil-schne, Sin-shee-lish.  The last two were claimed by the Okinagan also.  All of them are now held to be separate divisions and not bands of one tribe.  The population was estimated by Lewis and Clark in 1805 at 600 in 30 houses, and by Gibbs in 1853 at 450. In 1908 there were 301 “lower Spokan” and 238 “Upper Spokan” under the Colville agency, Washington, and 95 Spokan on Coeur d’Alene Reservation, Idaho; total 634.  In 1909 the entire number of Spokan in Washington was 509, while those in Idaho numbered 104....

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