PART TWO - DOCUMENTS OF THE FORT
One of the purposes of this collection of materials is to gather in one place as many as possible of the documents Fort Steilacoom. Since the role of the Hudson's Bay Company in Puget Sound and the development of Fort Nisqually, the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, and the several farms belonging to the company are basic to any study of Fort Steilacoom information about them has been included.
The Indian War of 1855-56 has been discussed in many different places and the detailed role of the Fort at Steilacoom is not included in this paper. Some basic documentation has been included in the body of the history of the Fort and will not be reproduced.
Other documents basic to the study of the Fort include the following: The Diary of August V. Kautz contains the best information available about many topics of interest in the area and should be consulted by anyone having interest in the area. The Journal of Occurrences at Nisqually is also a basic resource. Part of it is missing, part of it was published in the Washington Historical Quarterly, and part of it has been microfilmed and is available in that format at several institutions.
Recently the Muck Journal was transcribed by the Tacoma Public Library and is also available for study. The Muck Journal gives an account of the day to day life at a Farm of the Puget Sound Agricultural Company on Muck Creek from 1858 to mid 1859 and contains occasional references to relationships with the military garrison at Fort Steilacoom.
The Kautz Diary was published in part in the Washington Historian in 1900 and 1901 and excerpts of the diary have been published elsewhere from time to time. In the Spring of 1977 the author of this work obtained a microfilm copy of the diary from 1857 to 1861 and over the next few months transcribed it, added footnotes, introductions to chapters, included a bibliography, a list of important individuals and locations Kautz visited while in the Northwest. The three hundred page typescript of the diary itself was expanded to over four hundred fifty pages by these additions.
A number of copies of the edited and annotated diary have been made and are available primarily at the Tacoma Public Library. Kautz was pro Indian, especially towards Leschi and towards his own Indian wife and half Indian children. Kautz worked with William Fraser Tolmie, Chief Factor at Fort Nisqually, to have Leschi warranted executive clemency but was unable to do so.
Many details about life at Fort Steilacoom are contained within the pages of the Kautz diary and use of it is recommended to those who wish to obtain more information than is contained in this short documentary history. Father Louis Rossi who was at Fort Steilacoom off and on for almost seven years wrote of his experiences in America in a book which was published after he returned to Europe. The book, entitled Six Ans en Amerique (Californie et Oregon) was published in Paris in 1863 and has been translated into English with notes to assist the reader in determining who was who since Rossi did not use names in the original.
What follows is a collection of documents concerning the background to the development and establishment of Fort Steilacoom, Washington.
THE TOLMIE JOURNAL
"Thursday, May 30, (1833): AT 5 M and I started in advance at a brisk canter and arrived at Nusqually shortly after noon, having crossed several plains intersected with belts of wood and two steep hills where obliged to dismount. Forded the Nusqually about 3 miles from its mouth, where it is about the breadth of the Leven at Honhill, but rapid and broken.
"Passed some pretty green hills, sprinkled with young oaks and winding away to westward, continued along the same plain which extended still as far as the eye could reach to Northward and descending a steep bank arrived at the proposed site of Nusqually Fort on a low flat about 50 paces broad on the shores of Puget's Sound--the most conspicuous object was a store half finished next a rude hut of cedar boards--lastly a number of indian lodges constructed of mats hung on poles in the shape of a cartshed.
"Welcomed by a motley group of Canadians, Owyees and Indians, and parties of the latter were squatted around the fire, roasting mussels. Entered hut and therein deposited accoutrements, while M. conversed with the servants. Bathed in the sound which was smooth as crystal and bordered by a sloping beach of shinale, behind which a steep wooded bank arises and approaches in some spots very near the high water marker.
"Went up to prairie with M. and saw the proposed site of Fort and Farm. The fort is to be erected along the bank of a streamlet, which in its devious course through plain presents points well adapted for Millseats, and the most fertile spots in the comparatively barren prairie are being ploughed for a crop of potatoes and pease, this season. M. is doubtful whether to erect the store houses at the mouth of the streamlet, or 150 yards to S.ward, where one is already nearly completed.
"If the former site be chosen, the whole establishment would be on the rightbank of stream and therefore more compact, but it would be necessary to cut a platform, or plane from the bank, large enough for the site of stores and the hill behind is more steep than to S. However there is the advantage that Corn and Saw Mills could be placed at only 30 or 40 yards distance from the stores and then only a thrashing mill wd be necessary up at the farm which is about 1/4 mile up the stream.
"If the present site be pitched on, the ascent to prairie is rather easier and the flat beach affords a base for building on, but as the farm, fort, etc. is on the opposite bank of the burn which runs in a pretty deep ravine, a bridge for the crossing of carts etc must be erected."
William Fraser Tolmie, Journals of William Fraser Tolmie. Physician and Fur Trader. Vancouver, Mitchell Press, 1963. p. 195-96.
JOURNAL OF OCCURANCES AT FORT NISQUALLY
"May--30th(1833)--Arrived here this afternoon from the Columbia with 4 men --4 oxen--and 4 horses, after a journey of 14(days) expecting to have found the Schooner Vancouver l(ying here.). She sailed the afternoon of the same day we startled with) trading --Goods--provisions--potatoes--Seed-(etc. bound) for Nusqualley Bay Where we now have(determined) should everything come up to expectation,(to locate our) establishment. While on a trading (expedition down) Sound last Spring with 8 or 9 men. I app(lied about) 12 days of our time to the erecting of sto(re-houses 15 feet) by 20 and left Wm. Ouvrie and two other ha(nds under him in) charge of a few Blankets--a couple kegs po(tatoes) small garden seeds when I returned to the Col(umbia on the) 20th of April--This is all the sembelance of(settlement) there is at this moment; but little as it is (it possesses an) advantage over all the other settlements we have(made) on the Coast.--Mr. Yale--in consequence of a note to that effect sent him from home by Indians six weeks ago, forwarded the other day 4 men out of the 13 left with him at Fort Langley--middle of February--which now makes our total number at Nusqualley House 11 hands.
"I have also this moment with me Doctor William Tolmie, a young Gentleman lately arrived from England as Surgeon for the Company and is bound for the Northern Estate in the Vancouver, but did me the pleasure of his Company across land with us this far.
"31st Friday--No account of Capt. Ryan and the Vancouver--a very unlucky Circumstance--no goods for the Traders--no provisions for the people and above all the Season is getting late for the Seed. --Our people have been put upon various little jobs about the place--the principal one is the building of a small house on the edge of the plain above the high bank which lines the whole of these shores, and must be at least half a mile from the Trading house and Naval depot below--a farm house on the site I speak is indispensable on account of the live Stock and many other Considerations."
Archibald McDonald. Journal of Occurrences at Nisqually House, 1833. Washington Historical Quarterly, VI(July 1915), pp. 179-182.
(Note: interpolations by Edward Huggins who was custodian at Fort Nisqually after William Fraser Tolmie moved to Victoria in 1859).
ACCOUNT OF JOHN FLETT, A RED RIVER SETTLER
"As I am the only surviving member of the married men of the party of emigrants, which under the direction of the Hudson Bay Company left Selkirk's settlement, in the valley of the Red river of the north, and came to Puget Sound in 1841 and as I have often been requested by descendants of other members of that party to leave some account of our journey; and as I also wish to correct some misapprehensions that have arisen concerning that emigration, I have attempted to give a history of that expedition.
"An agreement was entered into by Duncan Fenelon, acting governor of the Hudson Bay Company, on the one side, and a party of emigrants on the other, to the following effect:
"That the company should furnish as captain. James Sinclair, Esq. should also furnish each head of a family 10 pound sterling in advance (which all accepted but A-Buxton and John Flett), also goods for the journey, and horses and provisions at the forts on the route as needed; and on the arrival at Puget Sound the company should furnish houses, barns, and fenced fields, with fifteen cows, one bull, fifty ewes, one ram, and oxen or horses, with farming implements and seed. On the other part it was agreed that the farmers should deliver to the company one-half the crops yearly for five years, and at the end of five years one-half the increase of the flocks ....
"We arrived at Fort Walla Walla on the 4th of October. On the next day the fort was burned. Our party assisted the men of the fort to save their goods. The Indians were so numerous that it was not deemed safe to camp there, but we traveled down the Columbia until midnight. In about four days we arrived at The Dalles, at the Methodist mission, then in charge of D. Lee and Perkins, On the 12th we crossed the river; here one horse was drowned. When we reached the Cascades we found some boats on which the families, with some of the oldest men, sailed down the river, while the horses and cattle at Colville were driven to Vancouver, at which all arrived on the 13th.
"Here we met Sir George Simpson, P. Ogden, John McLaughlin, James Douglas; and here Sir George informed us that the company could not keep its agreement. As I remember this was the substance of his speech: "Our agreement we cannot fulfill; we have neither horses, nor barns, nor fields for you, and you are at liberty to go where you please. You may go with the California trappers, we will give you a fitout as we give others.
If you go over the river to the American side we will help you non--very sickly. If you go to the Cowlitz we will help you some. To those who will go to Nesqually we will fulfill our agreement." Of course we were all surprised and hurt at this speech. After some discussion the party divided; Joseph Cline went to California, Pierra LaRoque, ST. Germain, Berney, Jacques, Geneau, La Blanc and Antoine La Roque went to Cowlitz. The rest came to Nesqually where we arrived November 8, 1841 having traveled nearly 2000 miles without the loss of a single person, while three children were born on the way...
"As the company furnished no houses, each man had to build his own cabin. As no plows could be obtained, John Flett and Charles McKay went to Vancouver after iron to make some plows. They spent Christmas day at the fort, and on their return, turned the first furrows which were plowed this side of Cowlitz. Some seed wheat and some potatoes were furnished the farmers, but no teams nor cattle, although they were greatly needed.
"The writer tried hard to get a cow, either as per agreement or for money, but failed. Some who removed got some wild cows but no sheep. There was much discontent and loud murmurings were heard. Baldrow and Spence at once left the Sound in disgust. The Flett brothers left in June, 1842, for the Willamette, more followed in the fall, and at the end of three years all had left, getting nothing for their labor or their improvements..."
John Flett, "Interesting local history," Tacoma Daily Ledger February 18,1885.
LETTER TO THE EARL OF ABERDEEN FROM SIR GEORGE SIMPSON, NOVEMBER 24,1841
"There is a large extent of fine pastoral land in the neighborhood of Nisqually, covered with a tufty nutricious grass peculiar to the country. The soil, however, being light and shingly, is not so well adapted for tillage, but by proper attention it may be improved.
"On my arrival from the N.W. Coast I found the emigrants from Red River safely arrived at Fort Vancouver, amounting in all to 116 souls. Of these 14 heads of families, amounting in all to 77 souls, principally English half breeds, have located at Nisqually and are to hold their farms under the Puget Sound Company on "halves" being provided with sheep, cattle, etc as per agreement entered into pursuant to the directions contained in a letter I wrote to C.F. (Chief Factor) Finlayson by your Honour's direction under date September 12, 1840.
"The remainder of the party being 7 families containing 38 souls are Canadians and half breeds, who being disinclined to crop the Cowlitz portage to the seaboard, have been placed near the Cowlitz Farm, where advances will be made to them by the Hudson's Bay Company in seed, agricultural implements, etc. instead of their being placed on farms under the Puget Sound Company, in like manner as the other people; as from their previous habits of life, having devoted more of their time and attention to the chase than to agricultural pursuits, it was not likely they would turn to good account any stock that might be placed in their hands.
"C.F. (Chief Factor) Douglas who accompanied some of the settlers in advance of the party for the purpose of examining the country speaks of it in such favorable terms that I have no doubt that there will be many applications from Red River, and likewise from our retiring servants."
Joseph Schafer, "Letters of Sir George Simpson,1841-1843," The American Historical Review XIV (1909), 78-79.
"Life on Puget Sound in the 1840s," The Seattle Times. October 14, 1956.
Joseph Thomas Heath sailed from England on the Hudson's Bay Co. bark, Cowlitz September 20, 1843, arriving at the mouth of the Columbia River June 1, 1844 by way of Cape Horn, the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and Sitka, Alaska.
Heath's brother, William, made the round trip on the vessel as first mate. The next year William had another voyage to the coast in her as master.
Soon after Joseph Heath debarked at Fort Vancouver he was more than likely a passenger on one of four flat-bottomed wheat boats which made a slow trip up the Cowlitz River against high water and strong currents.
June 22, Heath rode horseback from Cowlitz landing to Fort Nisqually in one day. He wrote that this was "a performance of no very frequent occurrence."
The fort stood on the present DuPont Company property, not far west of the main entrance to Fort Lewis. Heath presented a letter of introduction from Dr. John McLaughlin, the Hudson's Bay factor at Fort Vancouver, to Dr. William F. Tolmie. Dr. Tolmie in the previous year had been placed in charge of the Nisqually establishment by the Hudson's Bay organization and had moved it from the original site at the mouth of Sequalitchew Creek.
Heath went on to Fort Victoria (now Victoria, B.C.) to inspect a tract of land on Vancouver Island, but rejected it as a farmsite. He chose instead a farm six miles north of Nisqually which had been abandoned by a colonist from the Red River of the North.
After another trip to Fort Vancouver Heath took a second letter from McLoughlin instructing Tolmie to assist the new settler with "seeds, provisions, salmon, flour, grease and potatoes."
Heath moved December 13 into a crude cabin "to which" as he described it, "the winds from the four quarters of Heaven had free admission." For companionship he began a diary January 1, 1845. Its first entry tells of his riding home with Klapat, an Indian after having dined with Dr. Tolmie.
Heath constructed furniture for his log hut--a rough bed, a slightly rickety table and two stools. A gale had damaged both house and dairy, necessitating repairs. He lined part of his living quarters with cedar bark wainscoting to keep in the warmth from his fireplace.
Seattle Times. October 14, 1956.
HEATH FARM BECAME FORT, HOSPITAL SITE
"Heath Farm Became Fort, Hospital Site," The Seattle Times. December 23, 1956.
Joseph Thomas Heath, English farmer at Steilacoom, did not live to see Indian unrest about which he had written in his diary culminate in the killing of a white man at nearby Fort Nisqually.
The pioneer settler also probably never dreamed that the home he had built laboriously would shelter American soldiers, sent to protect settlers from further depredations of the Puget Sound tribes.
Heath's contract with the Puget Sound Agricultural Co. to improve the property still had some months to run when the illness which had stricken him in October, 1848, took his life.
The entries in his diary became scantier as his health declined.
February 9 .... My voice gone and myself very weak.
One of Dr. Tolmie's letters in the Hudson's Bay Co. Archives in London completes the story. Heath was moved the next day to Fort Nisqually where he died March 7, 1849.
Less than a month passed when Major Hathaway, commander of the 11th Military District, and Capt. Bennett N. Hill, of the First Artillery, arrived to look for a site for a fort to provide protection against the Indians.
Dr. Tolmie showed them the Heath farm and on August 24 arranged to rent the buildings and 20 acres of company land to the United States government for $50 a month. A small detachment of troops moved in four days later.
By October five officers and 75 men were quartered at Fort Steilacoom in the Heath structures, which Dr. Tolmie described as "a comfortable dwelling house, a large barn, a granary and two or three smaller buildings including a smokehouse."
Some structures were still in use in 1854; evidently by 1862 all of the original buildings were abandoned in favor of newer ones.
Seattle Times, December 23, 1956.
THE INDIAN ATTACK ON FORT NISQUALLY
FROM THE NISQUALLY JOURNAL
Tuesday. 1st ... About noon a large party of Snoqualmie and Skeywhamish armed arrived and took up their position before the water-gate, where they had an affray with our people, in which the American, Wallace was killed and Lewis was slightly wounded, one of the enemy was killed and another slightly wounded, the cause and commencement are nearly as possible as follows:
As the horn blew for dinner a large party of Skeywhamish and Snoqualmich were reported to have arrived, our working and the other Indians immediately commenced running into the fort, bringing with them their moveables and when dinner was over a large party of them to the number of about a hundred, were observed advancing across the plain on the N.W. side of the Fort.
When they arrived part went to Lahalet's lodge and the others, the greater part, gathered round the watergate where they were soon after rejoined by the others, on being asked the reason why they came in such numbers, and making such a warlike demonstration they replied that they had heard that young Lahalet, who is married to a daughter of one of their petty chiefs, was beating his wife brutally, and that they did not come with the intention of harming any of the whites, the chief Patakynum was then invited into the Fort, and to the others were given tobacco to smoke in the pipe of peace, for which they retired to one of the deserted lodges ...
We took the precaution of placing two armed men at the gate, Thibeault and Gohome with orders to let none of them in... Soon after four or five of the worst Snoqualmie's came rushing to the gate, provoked no doubt by ... a shot unguardedly fired by Gohome .... I called out to close the gate, which was done, but finding Wren shut out, it was again opened ...
.... a good many shots followed, the gate closed and we took to the bastions, but our people taking some time to get armed, the affair being rather sudden, by the time they were at their stations, most of the enemy were out of shot, running away full speed across the plain to their canoes..
Patakynum who was in the fort at the commencement of the row, escaped after the closing of the gate, unperceived by none of our people, young Lahalet showing him the way. Wallace and Lewis were unfortunately standing outside when the affray commenced, they did not respond to the call of "All hands come in and shut the gate," they perhaps thought themselves secure from harm as they were Americans, and did not belong to the Fort, if this was they were sadly mistaken; They were also beckoned by Simmons and others there at the time but unfortunately they either unheeded or did not perceive them...
We do not suppose that the War party came here with the purpose of attacking us, but think they had some other object in view besides the affair with Lahalet, it was probably their design to kick up a row with the fort Indians and kidnap as many of the women and children as they could catch...
The Snoqualmich and Skeywhamish are the terror of all the tribes South of the Soquamish, and the tribes of the sound would rejoice to see the above chastised by the Whites, and would nearly assist if required. We sincerely hope they will soon get that chastisement they so richly deserve.
Two hours after the affray Bill was dispatched to the Cowlitz with an Express for Vancouver and a message from Mr. Simmons to Gov. Lane. All the plain men came in by order in the evening. Watch kept.
JOSEPH LANE'S REPORT TO THE WAR DEPARTMENT
"Early in the month of May I received information of the murder of Wallace, at Fort Nesqually, on Puget's sound, by the Sno-qualimick and Skey-whamish Indians, and that the few American settlers in that country were much alarmed for the safety of their families, hourly expecting to be attacked by the Indians, who had threatened to destroy the settlements. At that time there were no troops in the country except some eight men under Lieut. G. W. Hawkins, of the Rifles.
"I at once concluded to visit the sound, and assist in putting the settlers in the best possible condition to resist an attack, there being only ten families in that section of the country.
"I accordingly proceeded, in company with Lieut. Hawkins and five men, taking with me muskets and ammunition to place in the hands of the settlers; fortunately, the day after my arrival at the sound I received an express from Major Hathaway, notifying me of his arrival at Fort Vancouver, with two companies of the 1st artillery, and of his readiness to move, if his services were required.
"I hastened to inform the Indians, through Dr. Solmie (Tolmie), who has charge of the Hudson Bay Company Fort at Nesqually, of the arrival of our forces for the purpose of preventing further outrage until the troops could move in that direction.
"A copy of my letter to Solmie (Tolmie) is here given.
William F. Solmie(Tolmie) Esq. Nesqually.
"Sir: I have just learned by express that two companies of artillery have arrived at Vancouver, by the United States steamer, Massachusetts.
"It was my intention to visit you at the Fort; but owing to this fact, I have deemed it necessary to return without delay. I have therefore to make the particular request of you, not to furnish the Indians with ammunition, and to ask of you the favor to cause the hostile tribe, who have committed the outrage, to be informed that any repetition of the like conduct will be visited promptly with their complete destruction: that our force which will be immediately increased, is at this time amply sufficient for an immediate expedition against them, and that the moment I am informed that any injury has been committed by them upon our people they will be visited by sudden and severe chastisement.
"By making this communication to them, you will greatly oblige,
Your obedient servant.
EXTRACTS OF REPORT OF J. QUINN THORNTON TO GOVERNOR JOSEPH LANE AS REPORTED TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR AND THE GOVERNORS COMMENTS.
"On the 7th ult. I arrived at Fort Nesqually. I immediately proceeded to investigate the facts connected with the killing of Mr. Wallace. I sent messengers to Haughtickymm, head chief of the Snoqualimick tribe; I advised him to arrest the offenders and deliver them over to Captain B. H. Hill, and as an inducement offered him eighty blankets as a reward, if this were done in three weeks. I authorized Captain Hill, of the 1st Artillery to double the reward, and to offer it in my name, as sub-agent, if the murderers were not delivered up in the three weeks."
"In my instructions to Mr. Thornton, I said nothing about the murder of Wallace, nor did I intend that he should interfere in the premises, as it was my intention, on the arrival of the troops at Nesqually, to visit the Sound, and demand the murderers, and make the Indians know that they should give them up for punishment, and that hereafter all outrages should be promptly punished; being well satisfied that there is no mode of treatment so appropriate as prompt and severe punishment for wrong doing.
"It is bad policy, under any consideration, to hire them to make reparation for the reasons, to wit: first, it holds out inducements to the Indians for the commission of murder, by way of speculation, for instance, they would murder some American, await the offering of a large reward for the apprehension of the murders; this done they would deliver up some of their slaves as the guilty, for whom they would receive ten times the amount that they would otherwise get for them.
"Second-It has a tendency to make them underrate our ability and inclination to chastise by force, or make war upon them for such conduct, which in my opinion, is the only proper method for treating them for such offences.
"A short time after Mr. Thornton's return to this city, I received a letter from Major Hathaway, informing me that six Indians, charged with being the principal actors in the murder of Wallace, had been brought in by Indians of the Snoqualimick tribe, and delivered to Captain Hill, 1st Artillery, commanding the forces at Steilacoom, near Fort Nisqually.
"Chief Justice Bryant has gone to Steilacoom for the purpose of holding a court for their trial. Although I cannot approve the policy of offering to Indians so large a reward, under any circumstances, yet in this case it has been done...."
REPORT OF WILLIAM P. BRYANT ON THE TRIAL OF THE MURDERERS OF LEANDER WALLACE
"Oregon City, October the 10th, 1849.
His Excellency, Joseph Lane,
"Sir: In compliance with your request to know the result of the trial of six Snoqualimick Indians for the murder of Wallace in April last, I have the honor to inform you that in pursuance of the provisions of an act of the legislative assembly for the territory of Oregon, attaching the county of Lewis to the first judicial district in said territory, and appointing the first Monday in October at Steilacoom as the place of holding the district court of the United States for said county, I opened and held said court at the time and place appointed; Capt. B. F. Hill, of the 1st artillery, U.S.A. delivered to the Marshal of the territory six Indians of the Snoqualimick tribe, given up by said tribe as the murderers of Wallace, namely: Kussass, Quallahwort, Stulharrier, Jattam, Whyerk, and Qualthlinkyne, all of whom were indicted for murder, and the two first named, Kussass and Quallahwort were convicted and executed, the other four were found not guilty by the jury. Those who were found guilty were clearly so; as to three of the others that were acquitted I was satisfied with the finding of the jury. It was quite evident they were guilty in a less degree, if guilty at all, than those convicted. As to the fourth I had no idea that he was guilty at all; there was no evidence against him, and all the witnesses swore they did not see him during the affray or attack on Fort Nesqually.
"It is not improbably that he was a slave whom the guilty chiefs that were convicted expected to place in their stead, as a satisfaction for the American murdered. Two others, Americans, were wounded badly by the shots, and an Indian child that afterward died. The effect produced by this trial was salutary, and I have no doubt will long be remembered by the tribe. The whole tribe, I would judge, were present at the execution, and a vast gathering of Indians from other tribes on the sound, and they were made to understand that our laws would punish them promptly for every murder they committed, and that we would have no satisfaction short of all who acted in the murder of our citizens.
"I learned that this tribe is the most fierce and warlike of any on the sound, and often go through other tribes in armed bands, and commit murders, take slaves and plunder. I could not find that any blame was attachable to the officers at Fort Nesqually, or the American citizens who were present...
"There are not, nearer than this place in the judicial district, the requisite number of lawful jurors to the place appointed to hold the court, (which is the only American fort on the sound,) so sparsely is the country around the sound settled.
"I will be glad to furnish you any further particulars if it be found necessary ...
Your obedient servant.
William P. Bryant."
MILITARY HISTORY OF OREGON 1849-1859
* ... There is little information in the official printed documents to indicate the character or life of the soldiers who made up the companies in the northwest. Throughout the period a number continued to desert, and few were willing to re-enlist. Probably many who entered for the western service came for adventure or in quest of riches or land. When the opportunities of a new country were opposed to the disadvantages of inadequate housing, the scarcity of supplies and clothing at some posts, and the dull routine of the frequently inactive army life, it is not surprising that privates did not become wedded to the military career. Drink and Indian women, it appears, were not infrequently resorted to for escape.
*...Court martials for drinking were not infrequent. One sergeant was demoted to the rank of private for repeated drunkenness and for allowing the fatigue party of which he had charge to get drunk and neglect their work. Two privates were discovered to haven stolen a pair of uniform trousers and sold them to the whiskey dealer. For this they were fined $10 and sentenced to hard labor with ball and chain for a month. A drunken soldier who invaded an Indian hut and maltreated the women (near Fort Hoskins, Oregon) got only 10 days of hard labor and a $4 fine.
*The men were threatened with frequent roll calls if the depredations on neighboring property did not cease. It was made a military offense to enter the garden or orchard of any farmer without the owner's permission. Soldiers could not visit the nearby Indian camp or leave the garrison with fire arms, except with special permission. Strict orders were given in March, 1862, that no non-commissioned officer or private would be allowed to keep squaws in the quarters nor spend the night out of quarters. A few months later it was ordered that any enlisted men found outside quarters after 9:00 o'clock in the evening would be confined for seven days.
"Such a prosaic existence must have disappointed many a young adventurer who sought excitement or opportunity with the government military forces in the Northwest. More than one private stationed in Oregon must have regarded his term of enlistment as a period of mild indentureship, to be endured before he might become a settler with land of his own in the new country.
Robert Carlton Clark, "Military History of Oregon, 1849-59," Oregon Historical Quarterly, XXXVI (March 1935), pp. 55-57.
THE FOUNDING OF FORT STEILACOOM FROM THE NISQUALLY JOURNAL
"Wednesday 22nd Smoky ... Many more Indians arriving, Klalums, Skaywhamish, and others and to these the Sub Indian Agents made present on rather a more moderate scale than those of yesterday, the funds placed at his disposal by Govr. Lane ($400) not admitting of greater liberality...
Thursday, 23rd... In the afternoon Major Hathaway of the U.S. Artillery arrived from Vancouver accompanied by Mr. Lattie, formerly of the H.B. Co.'s marine. Major Hathaway intends proceeding to survey some of the river estuaries and harbours along the continental shore of Puget Sound. About dusk Captain Hill of the U.S. Artillery accompanied by several of the officers of his company arrived from the chartered barque Harpooner which anchored this evening in the roadstead.
Friday. 24th. Smoky. Rode to Steilacoom this morning in company with Major Hathaway, and Captain Hill in order that they might judge for themselves as to whether Steilacoom, or Sequallitchew would form the best winter quarters for the troops. Steilacoom received the preference on account of the number of buildings already erected there.
Saturday 25th. Mr. Tod and I rode out to Steilacoom to see how the Officers were getting on and whether they required any assistance.
Friday 28th (September). Fine Charles Ross, who had been employed since Monday, sent to Steilacoom today with some shingles and wine for the Officers ...
Wednesday 3rd (October). The jury of the Court held at Steilacoom having found a verdict of "Guilty" against two of the Indian prisoners Copass and Qualawout they were sentenced to be hung, which sentence took place...
Saturday 20th. Cloudy. Had a visit from Qmaster Tallmadge and Dr. Haden of the U.S. Troops stationed at Steilacoom. Work as yesterday. Genl. Smith Comr. in chief of the U.S. Troops on the Pacific is soon to visit this quarter."
POSITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE TROOPS IN THE THIRD OR PACIFIC DIVISION, UNDER THE COMMAND OF BREVET BRIGADIER GENERAL ETHAN A. HITCHCOCK, COLONEL 2D REGIMENT OF INFANTRY. NO. 10 (CALIFORNIA)*
MILITARY DEPARTMENT NO. 11 ....
Posts .... Steilacoom, Puget's Sound, Oregon.
Commanding(Permanent commanders) ... Captain Hill.
Regiments ... 1st artillery.
Present and absent ...
Commissioned officers .... 5
Non-commissioned officers, musicians, artificers, and privates..... 54
Total ... 59
Adjutant General's Office
Washington, November 26,1851
R. Jones, Adjutant General U.S. Army
Head-quarters of the Army
Washington, November 26, 1851
U. S. PRESIDENT. Message from the President of the United States to the two houses of Congress at the commencement of the first session of the thirty-second Congress, Washington, 1851, p. 213.
By "General Orders" No 27 of May 17,1851, the commands of the tenth and eleventh military departments for the present are "merged in that of the Pacific Division Headquarters, Sonoma, California."
POSITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE TROOPS IN THE THIRD OR PACIFIC DIVISION, UNDER THE COMMAND OF COLONEL AND BREVET BRIGADIER
GENERAL ETHAN A. HITCHCOCK, HEADQUARTERS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA.
Departments and Posts ....
Steilacoom, Puget's Sound, Oregon.
Commanding Officers ....
Captain and Brevet Major J. S. Hatheway
1st artillery, two companies.
Present and absent ....
Commissioned officers .... 9
Enlisted men ... 91
Total ... 100
Adjutant General's Office.
Washington, November 15, 1852
S. Cooper, Adjutant General
Headquarters of the Army
Washington, November 15, 1852
U.S. PRESIDENT. Message from the President of the United States to the two houses of Congress at the commencement of the second session of the thirty-second Congress. Washington, 1852, part two page 63.
THE UNITED STATES ARMY IN WASHINGTON TERRITORY
"The operations of the United States Army were more extensive and more interesting in the Territory of Washington during the first years after the separation from Oregon than at any period since. They included several years of warfare with the Indians, and in connection therewith required the establishment of a number of military posts ...
"Barracks were built at Steilacoom, Port Townsend, Bellingham, San Juan, Colville and elsewhere at enormous expense, and abandoned after a few years occupancy. Fortifications were erected on San Juan Island, and others were contemplated at Point Defiance and like places.
"Many of the officers at these stations became very prominent during the Civil War ... Grant was at Fort Vancouver in 1853, and Sheridan at the Cascades in 1856, and later at Fort Vancouver and at Fort Hoskins in Oregon. It may be well here to correct a common and oftrepeated misstatement, that these two officers were stationed at Fort Steilacoom, and that they were known to many of the old residents, slept and ate in various public houses, played billiards and did similar and many remarkable things at different places in Western Washington. Neither of these men ever lived on Puget Sound, ever visited it or ever saw it, and the stories told of them so glibly in connection with this part of the country are fiction pure and simple ...
"The forts or posts, their commanders and troops were as here stated for the first eight years of Washington Territory: (Fort Steilacoom only).,,
Fort Steilacoom - two companies of the fourth United States infantry, commanded by Brevet Major Chas. H. Larnard. 1853.
Fort Steilacoom - Two companies of the Fourth Infantry, under Captain D.A. Russell. 1854.
Fort Steilacoom - Two companies of the Fourth Infantry, under Captain M. Maloney. 1855.
Fort Steilacoom - Three companies of the Fourth and Ninth Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Silas Casey. 1856.
Fort Steilacoom - Two companies of the Fourth Infantry, under Captain M. Maloney. 1857.
Fort Steilacoom - Three companies of the Fourth and Ninth Infantry, under Lieutenant-Coloney Casey. 1859.
Fort Steilacoom - Four companies of the Fourth and Ninth Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Casey. 1860.
In 1853 the military establishment was under the command of Brigadier-General Ethan Allen Hitchcock of the Pacific Division of the United States army at Benicia, California. In 1854, 1855, and 1856 the Department of the Pacific was commanded by Brevet Major-General John E. Wool.
The Department of the Pacific was commanded in 1857 and 1858 by Brigadier-General Newman S. Clark. In 1859 the Department of Oregon was created and General William S. Harney commanded it with headquarters at Fort Vancouver. General Harney was replaced by Colonel George Wright in 1860.
It should also be reported that post commanders are listed as of June 30th each year. In the case of Fort Steilacoom Colonel Casey served most often and others usually had temporary command only.
Thomas W. Prosch, "The United States Army in Washington Territory," The Washington Historical Quarterly, II (October, 1907), 28-32.
STEILACOOM, OREGON TERRITORY, June 3, 1851.
Sir: I am directed by Capt. Hill to make to you a report of all moneys expended in erecting buildings at this post.
This not being a permanent station, we have only erected such buildings as were required for present purposes; they are log buildings, put up in a rough and temporary manner, the labor of which has been performed exclusively by soldiers. The lumber used in flooring, etc, is yet available for building purposes, the cost of which was $2,494.65, including that brought around with us. Paid to extra-duty men $727.60 making the whole $3,222.25 expended in erecting buildings at this post.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Second Lieut. 1st Artillery,
Capt. Rufus Ingalls,
Assistant Quartermaster, Columbia Barracks, O.T.
I certify that the above is a true copy.
Captain and Quartermaster.
U.S. PRESIDENT. Message from the President of the United States to the two houses of Congress at the commencement of the first session of the thirty-second Congress. Washington, 1851. p. 331.
STEILACOOM NOTES BY LIEUTENANT WILLIAM PETIT TROWBRIDGE
"August 10. (1853). Reached Steilacomb in time to breakfast with the officers of the garrison. After breakfast, went down to the landing and paid Indians.
"Steilacomb is laid out like most other settlements for a city; owner of the "claim" Mr. Balch appeared to be a very good sort of a man of ordinary intelligence and energy. The place contains only three or four houses.
"Took observations for time after dinner, for the benefit of the garrison.
"The troops stationed here are two companies of the 4 Inf. under command of Maj. Larned. It is an interesting post, and very unfavorably situated: The Maj. intends to move it with the permission of Genl. Hitchcock to some point on Whidbys Id.
"I received much kind attention from all the officers and ladies of the post and quite regretted leaving.
"August 11.(1853). I left Steilacomb for Cowlitz landing in the afternoon about 5 o'clk, taking an Indian for a guide, as far as Fords ...
"Our road from Steilacomb to Fords lay for the greater part of the way across prairie land with pine & oak trees dotted here and there in groves and standing alone--so as to present the most beautiful pictures to the eye that can be imagined; but the poor soil prevents their cultivation, and their beauty is spoiled by the imagination by the knowledge of their worthlessness. Here and there are bottom lands as they are called, or the old beds of rivers, where emigrants are fast making flourishing farms."
William Petit Trowbridge, "Journal of a voyage on Puget Sound in 1853," The Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XXXIII (October, 1942), 404-405 .
Lafayette Balch was a New Englander who arrived in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1850s. He founded Lower Steilacoom and built a store in the area. He was a merchant, ship owner, and shipping agent.
In the fall of 1851 Captain Balch rescued the crew and passengers of the Ship "Georgianna" which sank in a storm on November 18, 1851. Haida Indians had captured the crew and passengers and Balch ransomed them. He was honored by the Canadian Geographic Board in 1946 by their assignment of his name to three islands in the Maude Channel between Maude Island and Lina Island in the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia.
He was on a business trip to San Francisco when he died on November 25, 1862.
Ethan Allen Hitchcock was from Vermont, having been born there in 1798. He graduated from the United States Military Academy on October 11, 1814. He served in the Mexican War and was made a Brevet Colonel for gallantry in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco on August 20, 1847 and a Brig. General on September 8, 1847 for gallantry in the battle of Molino del Ray in Mexico. He commanded the Military Division of the Pacific from 1851 to 1854 and resigned on October 18, 1855. He became a Major General of Volunteers during the Civil War and was mustered out of the Army on October 1, 1867. He died August 5, 1870. (Heitman, Volume I page 532.).
Charles H. Larnard was from Rhode Island and graduated from the Military Academy on July 1, 1827. He was made a Brevet Major on May 9, 1846 for gallantry in the battles of Palo Alto and Resac de la Palma Texas during the Mexican War. He was in command at Fort Steilacoom and was drowned March 27, 1854 when his small boat overturned near Whidbey Island. (Heitman, Volume I page 616.)
Early visitors often stopped at the home of settlers for the night since there was no other accommodation available. Sidney Smith Ford was born in 1801 and came west with his family in 1845. He settled on what became Ford's Prairie and his home was a frequent stopping place for travelers from Fort Vancouver to Fort Steilacoom. He died in 1866.
William Petit Trowbridge graduated from the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1844. He was made a Brevet Lieutenant of Engineers on July 1, 1848 and rose to the rank of First Lieutenant before he resigned from the Army on 1 December 1856. He died August 12, 1892. (Heitman, Volume I, page 971).
After resigning from the Army he was for one year professor mathematics at the University of Michigan. He was vice president of a New York iron works company from 1865 to 1871. He was a professor of engineering in the School of Mines at Columbia College until his death in 1892.
STEEB'S DESCRIPTION OF THE FORT
The John Hancock was constructed at the Boston Navy Yard for a Government tug in 1850. A year later she was sent to Annapolis, Maryland for use as a practice ship for the Naval Academy. She later was used as Commodore Perry's flagship in his famous trip to Japan. The treaty between the United States and Japan was signed on her decks. Upon her return from the Orient she sailed a while on the Pacific Coast. In the Spring of 1856 she visited Fort Steilacoom and her engineer George Tennant Steeb wrote a letter about the Fort on April 22,1856.
"...the other day we went up to Fort Steilacoom after a couple of companies of soldiers. We arrived at the town about sunset and as soon as I was off watch, 8:00 p.m., I went ashore and in company with the Captain's clerk walked up to the Fort, about a mile and a half.
"The fort is built of logs. In fact it is no Fort at all, but a collection of buildings built in the shape of a square, the men's barracks on one side, the officers on the other, store house on another and a row of army wagons on the last side.
"The houses are only one story and doors connect them all ... A short distance from the fort is a burial place, of those who died here. "One grave is quite recent, that of Lieutenant Slaughter, killed while on a scout against the Indians."
THE FOUNDING OF FORT STEILACOOM AS RECORDED IN THE INTRODUCTION TO THE JOURNALS OF AUGUST V. KAUTZ.
Fort Steilacoom was an ex-sheep ranch of the Puget Sound Agricultural Co., an off-shoot of the Hudson Bay Company, which being no longer needed, was gladly leased to the Quartermaster's Department for the use of the troops. Capt. Bennett Hill's Co. of the First Artillery was the first to occupy it, and we were his successors with Company C of the Fourth Infantry. The location was on the plain which is now the site of the Insane Asylum, and has many advantages.
The soil was level and hard and had produced some magnificent oak trees on the edge of the parade ground, overshadowing the officers' quarters. Mount Rainier was in full view. In the vicinity were several beautiful lakes, while we were supplied with water by the springs with which the country was generously irrigated. About a mile distant was the new townsite of Steilacoom, where boats landed and ships anchored and a store had been located.
I became well satisfied with my new station; there was plenty to eat and little to do, and pleasant surroundings. I was appointed adjutant and had to look after the guard and the bakehouse and the drilling of the company. Capt. Jones continued to command; Lieut. Slaughter was quartermaster and commissary, and Mrs. Slaughter, who was the only lady at the post, managed the mess, where we all took our meals. Dr. Haden was the Post Surgeon; he had ridden to meet us before our arrival. He was a courteous and refined Southerner, of blond complexion and affable manners, and not obtrusive in his southern sentiments. There was also a Dr. Wallace, brother of Capt. Wallace, of the Fourth Infantry, who desired to become post sutler.
.... There was a fine post garden, from which we had a large supply of rejected potatoes that we fell heir to, from the artillery. They were too small for our use, but the Indians were fond of them, and brought us all the clams, fish and game we wanted in exchange for the little tubers .... I started a small garden myself on the border of the little lake half a mile south of the post, and when I needed exercise I obtained it there. I rode over the sparsely settled plains in search of grouse and ducks and other game, and went fishing in the Sound or in Steilacoom creek with the officers, but most frequently alone.
Although the embryo town of Steilacoom and Fort Nesqually were our principal resorts the Post was the center of civilization in those parts. It was visited by all who came into the country. There were no hotels at all, so that every house had to entertain, in the manner they were best able, whoever came. Thus we were brought into contact with all kinds of people, and became known to every one in the country, although our acquaintance was necessarily large on this account. The travelers of whom we saw the most were prominent men and officials of the territory.
WASHINGTON HISTORIAN. (April 1900) Volume 1, pages 115-119.
August V. Kautz was born in Ispringen, Baden, Germany, on January 5, 1828. He enlisted as a private in the Untied States Army in June of 1846 but in 1848 entered the United States Military Academy. He fought during the Civil War and his highest rank was Major General of Volunteers. He retired from the Army in 1892 and died September 4, 1895 in Seattle. General Kautz served as a member of the Commission which tried those accused of conspiracy to murder Abraham Lincoln and other governmental officials. (HEITMAN, Volume I page 586.)
Kautz was the first man to attempt an ascent of Mount Rainier. They reached the 14,000 foot level of the mountain on July 15, 1857 but were unable to reach the summit. He was responsible for major reconstruction work at the Fort.
De Lancey Floyd-Jones was a New Yorker who graduated from the Military Academy on July 1, 1841 . He was made a Brevet First Lieutenant for Gallantry in the battle of Molino del Rey during the Mexican War and was made a Lieutenant Colonel for gallantry in the Peninsular campaigns in Virginia on July 4, 1862. He was made a Colonel July 2, 1863 for gallantry and meritorious service during the battle of Gettysburg. He retired on March 20, 1879 and died January 19, 1902. (Heitman, Volume I page 426).
William Alloway Slaughter was from Kentucky and graduated from the Military Academy on July 1, 1844. He was killed December 4, 1855 during the Indian War of 1855. (Heitman, Volume I, page 891.).
EZRA MEEKER'S REACTION TO THE WHITE RIVER MASSACRE
The news of the massacre on White River reached the settlements on the Puyallup and Nisqually plains during the night of October 28th, or rather in the early morning of the 29th .... An Indian express rider had come out during the night, and had given the information to the people on the Puyallup which lay right in the path the Indians would come, and we thought that even at that moment the Indians were upon them, and that those whom we knew so well had yielded up their lives by the frenzied work of our old time friends ....
We could readily see that if the Indians chose to follow their work on White River it would be possible, and highly probable, that none would escape. While in our case we were but five miles from what was called Fort Steilacoom, which was not a fort, but simply an encampment in log cabin and light board houses, yet we would be no safer there than in our own log cabins with our trusted rifles in our own hands, and in fact not so safe.
Captain Maloney, then known to be well on the way, if not actually across the mountains and probably at this time engaged in an active campaign against the powerful tribes east of the Cascades. My brother, O. P. Meeker and myself stoutly contended we had best barricade the cabins and stay where we were, but the father and women of the household said "no" with such emphasis that the conclusion was soon reached that we must fly ...
That was a busy night for all. Teams had to be gathered together, where possible, young stock as well as old turned out on the range to care for themselves, windows and doors barricaded, while what effects and provisions it was possible to care for were hastily loaded into the wagons and the start as hastily made ...
... when we arrived at the Fort the scenes beggared description. Some came on foot and with scant clothing, and no food, some came with wagons piled high with household furniture, some with their chicken coops piled in promiscuously with other effects, some driving cattle, some sheep, some swine, property they could not possibly care for at the fort, some with horse teams, some with oxen, others with pack horses, while many a mother came packing the youngest child on her back and leading others.
All day the never-ending stream came from the prairies near by supplemented in the afternoon and until late in the night, and next day by the contingent from Puyallup and farther outlying settlements.
Small wonder that Lieutenant Nugen should write: "I have nearly all the women and children in the country at the post, and will of course protect them," and that he had detained Captain Wallace's company, just formed, to assist in protecting them.
A sorry mess this, of women and children crying, some brutes of men cursing and swearing, oxen and cows bellowing, sheep bleating, dogs howling, children lost from parents, wives from husbands, no order, in a word, the utmost disorder...
of course, the hard floor of the barracks furnished the bed, supplemented by the bed clothing of the settlers, which too often had gone astray and could not be found by the rightful owners, the whole floor spaced packed closely from end to end of the building. We all soon adjusted ourselves to the new conditions, some building blockhouses, some entering the government service, while others returned to their claims, and were not molested so much by the Indians as they were by the governor.
MEEKER, EZRA. Pioneer Reminiscences of Puget Sound. The Tragedy of Leschi ... Seattle, Washington: Lowman and Handford, 1905. pp. 304-306.
REPORT OF SILAS CASEY REGARDING LOCATIONS OF MILITARY ESTABLISHMENTS
"The war in this district has ceased, and will not be renewed unless induced by the whites. I think the Indians here have an acute appreciation of kind and just treatment.
"Inasmuch as the time has now arrived when a disposition of the troops should be made for the permanent defence and security of this Territory west of the mountains, I will indicate in a brief manner those points which, in my opinion, should be occupied. First there should be a post in this vicinity, of four companies. As regards its exact locality, in my opinion Nisqually would be the most advantageous place . A post could be there erected, within one mile of a landing on the Sound, where a wharf might be built....
"I am not prepared to say that a permanent post will be necessary at the Muckle Shute or vicinity. By keeping a good supply of land transportation at the post in this vicinity,(and especially after the roads shall have become improved), in my opinion, the necessity of a permanent post at or in the vicinity of that point will be obviated.
"It will, however, be prudent to occupy that point and the two neighbouring block-houses for some time yet, while so occupied, they can be considered as dependencies of this post.
"In the next place, I would recommend a post either at Fort Ludlow, Fort Townsend, Port Discovery, or some point in that vicinity, as further examination may determine. This post will have regard to the northern Indians who may come to the Sound for depredating purposes, as well as to the numerous tribes who inhabit between those points and the Pacific.
"The third post should be at Bellingham bay, as near the coal mines as a good location could be found. One important condition in the location of these posts should not be overlooked; they should be at points of easy access for vessels at any time of tide, and at the same time well protected from the winds and waves....
"In the end it will Prove a great extravagance on the part of the general government to neglect in any manner the proper defence of a remote frontier like this; and one chief reason is, that if so neglected, a pretext will always be afforded to a territorial executive to incur an extravagant and unnecessary expenditure of the public money.
"Headquarters, Puget Sound District, Fort Steilacoom, W. T., July 11, 1856.
Silas Casey, Lt. Col. 9th Infantry, Com. P. S. Dist.
To Major W. W. Mackall, A. A. Gen. Dept of the Pacific, Benicia, Cal.
Report of the Secretary of War, War Department, December 1, 1856."
GROWTH OF UNITED STATES MILITARY POWER IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST TO THE CIVIL WAR
"...When Joseph Lane came in March, 1849, to assume his duties as territorial governor he was accompanied by eight soldiers under Lieutenant G. W. Hawkins of the rifles. Before other forces reached the territory Lane had been forced to take these few men, loaded down with muskets and ammunition for the settlers, to quiet a threatened disturbance at Nisqually. No sooner had he arrived at Puget Sound than word reached him that two companies of the first artillery under Major Hatheway had sailed up the Columbia to Fort Vancouver.
"These first companies of United States soldiers to take up residence in Oregon had spent more than half a year in the voyage from New York, through the Strait of Magellan, to Astoria ...
"Sixteen forts or posts had been established in Oregon and Washington territories by June, 1858. At that date eleven were garrisoned. Two of these, Umpqua and Simcoe, were evidently abandoned soon afterward; but another post, Harney Depot in Colville Valley, appeared in the official report of January 3,1859. ... Government forts and soldiers, originally centered about the base on Puget Sound and the Columbia River from its mouth to The Dalles, had spread over the whole northwest....
"Antagonism between civilians and military men early arose over the reservation of certain desirable lands for army purposes. This conflict reached its bitterest intensity during the controversy between the territorials and General Wool over the activities and expenses of the volunteers. However, the significant and fundamental disagreement lay in the question of whether the Indians should be utterly subdued and completely dispossessed. The desires of the land-hungry settlers, not the just and considerate treatment sought by the old General, did prevail. Another episode had been enacted in the tragic drama of the American Indian."
UNITED STATES TROOPS IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON
1850 - 478
1851 – 139
1852 – 655
1853 – 470
1854 – 329
1855 - 741
1856 - 1825
1857 - 1628
1858 - 2280
1859 - 2158
Robert Carlton Clark, "Military History of Oregon, 1849-59, "Oregon Historical Quarterly", XXXVI (March,1935), 19-20, 57-59.
THE LESCHI CASE FROM THE KAUTZ DIARY
December 20th 1858. Sunday. Officer of the day.... I had sent for Leshi to have some quiet conversation in my room with Dr. Tolmie. The Capt. (Maloney) found out that he was there and sent an order for me to have him taken back to the guard house, reprimanding me for taking him out of the garrison which is simply ridiculous. He, of course, can prescribe Leshi's limits but without some order to that effect if I have occasion to communicate with Leshi or any other prisoner of the guard as Officer of the day, I shall send for him to come to my quarters to do so, Capt. Maloney to the contrary notwithstanding...
21st. M. I had promised the Dr. to breakfast with him at Fort Nesqually... I got started about nine o'clock. I went more particularly to see what could be done for Leshi. The Dr. and I sound out various people by the way, and we found them not all inveterate against him and most of the people indifferent. I conversed with others in Olympia and I found a strong feeling against him...
22nd. Tu.... The Dr. and I saw the Governor. He is unwilling to listen to any incidental intercession but will listen to anything that comes in favor. This is virtually giving Leshi a sound hearing, which is all his friends can desire.
28th. M.... I made all preparations to go to Connell's prairie tomorrow to measure the ground where Rabesson says he saw Leshi at the time Moses and Miles were killed. Tolmie will probably go, he wrote me a note to that effect this evening ...
29th. Tu .... We reached Connell's prairie about two o'clock. Dr. Tolmie arrived soon after and we made most of the measurements. It is half a mile that Leshi would have had to go on horseback part of the way and the remainder on foot and Rabbeson had in the same distance only half a mile to go, a good road all the way and he on horseback ....
January 14th. Th. I was quite busy this morning giving orders previous to starting for Olympia ... The feeling against Leshi has rather increased, and remonstrances are going about against Leshi's pardon.
16th. In the evening about five o'clock the Gov. gave Mr. Wallace and Mr. Clarke a hearing in Leshi's case. They talked for about an hour. Clarke presented quite a number of papers among them my survey of Connell's prairie and my affidavit....
21st. Th. We were all much put out by the news today that the Governor has refused the Executive clemency. It seems that when the governor reached Olympia he found a remonstrance awaiting him with about seven hundred signatures and some threats that the people would burn the Gov. in effigy if Leshi was respited decided him...
Tolmie was exceedingly wrought up, he was desirous of entering a final protest. There was one hope and that was that if the Indian who committed the offence was to be found and his confession and voluntary surrender could be obtained Leshi might still be saved. Simmons, Tolmie, Clarke and I rode to the reservation on the Nesqually and had an interview with Pouyon-is. He admitted that he was present when Moses was killed, that he fired but he would not say that his ball had killed Moses ... he would not surrender himself. So we had to return without him.
22nd. F. About twelve o'clock Bachelder place a warrent in Fred's hands for the arrest of Williams, the sheriff, and McDaniel, the dept. and soon after it was served .... Fred to make the arrest was obliged to call McKibben to his assistance. They took the sheriff off to town and by the time an investigation was held the hour for the execution expired .... Judge, Fred, and Col. Simmons remained all night, also Clarke who has much apprehension for his safety. They are having some indignation meetings in town and all of them are generally very drunk...
23rd. S. I rode to town this morning and found considerable excitement revailing ... Men seek the Leshi affair for a vehicle to work out their own private dislikes. The Leshi questions becomes the wire by which many a machine, social and political is pulled into action.
25th. M... The Col., Clarke and Bachelder were hung in effigy at Olympia on Saturday night...
Feb. 3rd. W. A posse has... come down to take up Leshi. He will probably be hanged immediately after being sentenced, as the Legislature at the instigation of the court have so changed the law that he can be led from the court room to the gallows. I was busy all day making a wood cut for the paper giving a plan of Tenalcut prairie ... I...went to town to attend getting out the paper as it is absolutely necessary to have it out tomorrow morning to give it full effect.
4th. ...All parties in the garrison seem to be well pleased with our paper, and I think it will have a great effect in Olympia. They never supposed that we would take such a public stand. I spent the evening at the Cols. quarters where we discussed the paper thoroughly.
19th. F. An order was issued this morning prohibiting any officer or soldier from leaving the garrison without permission from the Commanding officer on account of the execution of Leschi. It appears that the Sheriff of Thurston County has no authority under the law to execute the man... He might have been save as it was by the issuing of a writ against the sheriff under the position that he was about to commit a homicide. But I advised Clark not to do so; Leshi was accordingly taken out and executed about 11 o'clock. He died manfully.