James Longmire, "The death of Quiemuth," as quoted in Herbert Hunt, History of Tacoma. Chapter four.

Chief Leschi had surrendered to the military forces and was placed in the guardhouse at Fort Steilacoom. The federal soldiery had permitted him to believe that if he came in, be would be treated as a prisoner of war. His brother Quiemuth surrendered to Mr. Ogle and Mr. Longmire. Mr. Longmire's account of that affair and subsequent events says:

"Quiemuth and Leschi had separated; for what reason I never knew. The former grew tired of fighting and came to Ozha, a Frenchman, who lived on the Nisqually River, near the crossing of the Northern Pacific Railway bridge, and asked him to come and see me and learn if I would take him to Governor Stevens safely, as he wanted to surrender, and would risk his life with the Governor.

"I told Ozha to bring Quiemuth to me after dark, for if he were seen some one would surely kill him. I was glad he had surrendered, as he was the only chief left on our side of the river whom we feared; but I hardly knew why be came to me, unless he thought, as I was a friend of Governor Stevens, it would make his sentence lighter.

"It was early in the summer of 1856 when he came one night with Ozha into my house, unarmed, shook hands with me and my wife, as friendly as if he had not been fighting us and our friends for months and months, rendering life a burden to us. I got my horse, and taking Van Ogle, George Braile, Ozha and Betsy Edgar, a squaw and friend of Ozha's, we started to Olympia, Quiemuth riding close to me, talking freely all the way, telling me if the Governor did not kill him he would show me where there was lots of gold, as he knew where it was.

"It was a gloomy ride that night through the rain, and when we reached Olympia, between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning, we were wet, muddy and tired. I wakened Governor Stevens and told him I had Quiemuth, who wanted to see him. He got up and invited us in, then ordered luncheon, of which we partook heartily, as we were hungry as well as tired. Ozha, Van Ogle, and George Braile went to the stable with our horses, while I stayed with Quiemuth.

"The Governor handed our prisoner a pipe of tobacco, which be smoked a few minutes, telling me between puffs that he thought the Governor was a good man and would not hurt him that he was a good 'tillicum.' The Governor offered me a bed, which I declined, as I was wet and muddy, and told him to give me some blankets and I would lie down by the fire in the office.

"Blankets were brought for me and Quiemuth and we lay down, one on either side of the fireplace, I being next to the door. In the meantime news of the Chief's surrender must have been circulated, although I had intended it should be kept secret.

"The Governor left lights burning in the office, bade us good night, and again retired, and I was soon in a deep sleep, from which I was aroused by a great noise, I hardly realizing what it was or what caused it. I sprang to my feet, and as I did so I noticed the sound as of persons running out of the house, and the lights were out.

"I saw by the dim firelight a man fall and heard a groan and, rushing to the falling man, I found it was Quiemuth, speechless and dying.

"At this moment Governor Stevens rushed in, saying, as he saw the dead Chief, 'Who in the h-I has done this?' "I replied, 'I do not know.'

'In my office, too!' he added; 'this is a club for General Wool.'

"General Wool had disapproved the policy of Governor Stevens, as well as that of Governor Curry, of Oregon, in the prosecution of the Indian war. Before the Governor reached the office I ran to the door, and by the dim morning light I saw eighteen or twenty men outside the door.

"I never in my long and intimate acquaintance with Governor Stevens did I ever see him so enraged as he was that night; and justly, too, it seems to me, for even after all these years it kindles my wrath when I think of the cowardly deed.

"It being nearly daylight, the body of Quiemuth was left on the carpeted floor of the office until the coroner's inquest was had, which brought out the fact that Quiemuth had been shot with a pistol, the ball taking effect in the right arm and right side, which Doctor Willard, Sr., declared never could have killed any man; but a closer examination showed the Chief had been stabbed with a very fine blade, which had penetrated the heart, causing instant death.

"One Joe Bunton was arrested during the inquest, on suspicion. Elwood Evans, of Tacoma, then a young lawyer of Indiana conducted the prosecution, B. F. Kendall the defense; the result being the acquittal of Bunton, though many believed him to be the guilty party."

David Longmire, one of the sons of James', is a prosperous and well known citizen of Yakima County, and has spent much effort in investigating the Quiemuth killing, as well as other matters of history, and he is positive that Joe Bunton was the guilty man, and he says that the knife with which the Indian was stabbed is now in the custody of one of Bunton's kinsmen in North Yakima.

James Longmire, "The Death of Quiemuth," in Herbert Hunt, History of Tacoma. Chapter four. (excerpts).


Sarah McAllister Hartman, "Settlers kill Quiemuth,"
The Tacoma Ledger. February 20, 1893.

The Indians who killed father were killed by law, but they did not escape justice. Little pitchers have big ears, and one night when we were living in town I was awakened by the deep baying of our faithful hound. Presently I heard a tap on the window and it softly opened, and a voice from the darkness said, " I am going to kill the old dog." A voice replied, "Kill the old dog, but don't kill the young one."

Then a hand came in at the window and picked up a pistol that lay on the stand as it generally did. The window then closed. In a short time (I had not gone to sleep) the window opened, and a voice said, " I shot the dog." The hand entered and laid the pistol on the stand. I worried about the old dog, he being my favorite. The next morning, I rose early to see about my dog.

While I was in the yard one of our neighbor's boys came running down the street catching his hat as it fell, shouting as he ran, "Good, good, Old Quiemuth is dead and in his shell!" Quiemuth was the Indian who shot father, and he was brought to town to stand his trial, being promised his freedom if he would come. Quiemuth, Leschi, and Stahl were brothers. Owing to his guilty conscience he would not come to town in daylight, and they brought him at midnight, promising to take him out at three o'clock in the morning. So he came and stood trial.

During his trial he confessed that he and another Indian, Topitor, killed father. He gave up the pistol and knife he had taken from father, and the Judge pronounced the Indian "not guilty." The lights were extinguished and a shot was heard. When they were relighted, Quiemuth was found shot and stabbed. I regret to say they did not take him out at three o'clock.

They cleared those Indians who killed father, but they tried every way to kill those who killed father's murderers. Topitor was killed while resisting arrest, but it was no fault of the law that those Indians received their just dues.

Sarah McAllister Hartman, "The Settlers kill Quiemuth,"
The Tacoma Ledger. February 20, 1893. (excerpts).



Myron Eells, "Quiemuth", Indians of Puget Sound,
Seattle: University of Washington, 1985 p. 352-53.

Quiemuth. On October 20, 1855, Quiemuth visited Secretary Mason, then acting governor at Olympia, soon after hostilities had begun, and assured Mason again and again of his friendship. Mason told him to get his brother Leschi and their families and come to Olympia where he would give them food and shelter. 

This Quiemuth agreed to do, but failed to keep his promise, for when he met Leschi they went to the hostiles at Puyallup. As they did not come the next day, according to promise, Mason sent Charles Eaton and twelve men to go and invite the chiefs to come to Olympia. 

They crossed the Puyallup river, when they learned that about two hundred Indians had collected farther on. This, Eaton said, meant war, and they must not go on. Two men, McAllister and Connell, did not believe it and said they would go on and have a friendly talk; but they were soon killed. James McAllister, it is said, being killed treacherously by Quiemuth. 

The rest of the whites were soon besieged in a house near by, but defended themselves so that the Indians at last drew off.

Quiemuth, after the war closed, went east of the Cascades, but grew tired of the war and separated from Leschi. Stories here conflict. Evans in his history says that he was taken there and delivered with the other chiefs to Governor Stevens. 

James Longmire, in a Pioneer story in the Tacoma Ledger, August 22, 1892, says that after the separation, he came to Ozha, a Frenchman on the Nisqually river, and asked to see Longmire. Ozha took him to Longmire and said he wished to surrender to Governor Stevens, if Longmire would take him there. 

He did so, with a few friends in the night, and delivered him to the Governor in Olympia. The rest of the night Longmire stayed there and went to sleep, but it had been told that he was there and a company of eighteen or twenty persons gathered and Longmire was awakened to find Quiemuth falling and dying with a pistol shot and stab to the heart (November 7, 1856). 

It was believed that a son-in-law of the McAllister whom Quiemuth had murdered killed him, and he was tried for it but acquitted. Governor Stevens was very angry when he found that the chief, then under his protection, was killed in his office. He was to his brother what the Prophet was to Tecumseh.