Gary C. Collins, "Indian policy, government treaties and the Chehalis Treaty Council," Pacific Northwest Forum. Second Series. V (Summer-Fall, 1992) p. 17-36.
On March 2, 1853, two years following negotiation of the aborted treaties negotiated by Anson Dart, Washington became a territory. Simultaneously, the government appointed Isaac I. Stevens governor and superintendent of Indian affairs. As superintendent, Stevens assumed responsibility for conducting Indian policy in the territory and negotiating treaties with the numerous Washington Indian tribes.
Soon after his appointment, Stevens recommended that the government immediately, due to the rapid increase in settlement in western Washington, endeavor to establish reservations for the Indian tribes living in the territory. In an address to the citizens of Thurston County on December 19, 1853, Stevens stated that "Indian title must be extinguished throughout the length and breadth of the Territory ... and you may rely on it that this fact is well understood at home."
On July 31, 1854, Congress, on Stevens' advice, appropriated $45,000 for the purpose of negotiating treaties in Washington Territory. A month later, on August 30, Acting Commissioner of Indian Affairs Charles Mix advised Stevens of the government's policy regarding his treating with the Indians of Washington Territory.
The superintendent, Mix asserted, should place the Indians "on a limited number of reservations, or on contiguous reservations in a limited number of districts of the country apart from the settlements of the whites." Mix's instructions to Stevens further recommended that he negotiate no more than six treaties with the tribes living in Washington Territory.
The acting-commissioner's recommendations to Governor Stevens typified United States Indian policy in the 1850s. Thomas Jefferson's belief that the Indian population could be educated, cultivated, and assimilated into white civilization had been succeeded by Andrew Jackson's policy of removal in the 1830s. Increasing westward expansion in the 1840s, however, proved the concept of an Indian frontier impractical. In the words of Stephen Douglas, the notion of an Indian barrier "had become so ludicrous that [he was] amazed that wise and patriotic statesmen ever cherished the thought."
Partly in response to expansionism and partly from an increasing belief that the policy of removal dealt inhumanely with the Indians, the reservation system emerged in the 1840s and 1850s. The idea of placing the Indian tribes on reservations was based on the belief that "the work of 'uplifting' the natives would go on faster, or begin better in the case of the wild tribes, if the Indians were contained within smaller territories under closer supervision, and thus unable to harm either the whites or each other." To assist the Indians in the civilization process, the government would provide the reservations with agents, teachers, farmers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and implements.
Stevens' views concerning Indian policy correlated closely with the principles embodied within the reservation system. On September 16, he informed the commissioner of Indian affairs, George W. Manypenny, of his ideas regarding the establishment of reservations. Stevens suggested that several reserves be created, each "large enough to give each Indian a homestead, and land sufficient to pasture their animals." The Indians would maintain exclusive use of the land, with the government providing each reservation with a farmer to assist them in their agricultural pursuits.
Control over the Indians, Stevens believed, could be best maintained by uniting several small tribes onto a single reservation, since "in large bands it is always in the power of the government to secure the influence of the chiefs, and through them to manage the people." Stevens summarized his recommendations to Manypenny by stating that "The great end to be looked to is the gradual civilization of the Indians of the Territory, and their ultimate incorporation with the people of the Territory."
In his message to the Washington Territorial Legislative Assembly on December 6, 1854, the governor expressed his views regarding treating with the Indians by stating that he "believe[d] the time [had] now come for their final settlement." To achieve this end, Stevens declared, "I throw myself unreservedly upon the people of the territory, not doubting that they will extend to me a hearty and generous support in my efforts to arrange, on a permanent basis, the future of the Indians of this territory."
In Olympia the following day, Stevens "organized a commission to hold treaties with the Indian tribes in Washington Territory and the Blackfeet Country." The five man commission comprised of James Doty, secretary; George Gibbs, surveyor; H.A. Goldsborough, Commissary; B.F. (Frank) Shaw, interpreter; and, Michael Simmons, now the Indian agent for Puget Sound discussed "the necessity of speedily concluding Treaties with them [western Washington tribes] and placing them on Reservations."
Using the treaties recently concluded by the commissioner of Indian affairs with the Omaha and Oto-Missouri tribes as a model, the commission directed Gibbs to prepare a specimen treaty to be used in treating with the Indians living west of the Cascade Mountains.
On December 10, the commission reconvened to consider Gibbs' draft treaty. After some discussion and making a few modifications, the commission adopted their surveyor's treaty "as the basis of the Treaties to be held with the Tribes upon the Sound and the Pacific Coast."
The document stipulated that the Indians cede their lands to the United States government; that the Indians maintain the right to fish at usual and accustomed places; that the Indians relocate to the reservation within one year following the ratification of the treaty; that the government compensate the tribes monetarily for their lands; that the "President be authorized to divide their land and assign lots to heads of families;" that the government maintain an agricultural school on reservation lands; that the Indians and whites maintain friendly relations; that whites not be allowed to reside on the reservations; that liquor be excluded from the reservations; that the Indians emancipate all slaves; and that apprenticeship programs be instituted on the reservations.
The commission further determined, in light of Mix's recommendations, that the number of reservations created be limited to the greatest extent feasible. It was decided, therefore, that the Indians should be divided among no more than ten reserves with the Cowlitz and Upper Chehalis tribes consolidating onto a single reservation and the Chinook and Lower Chehalis tribes merging on a tract of land located "on [the] north side of Grays Harbor."
Eventually, the commission hoped to consolidate the Chehalis and all western Washington tribes onto a single reservation.
On December 26, Stevens held council with 630 members of the Puyallup, Nisqually and Squaxon tribes. By the end of the day, the Indians had ceded "the lands of the headwaters of Puget Sound" in exchange for the right to occupy three small reservations. That evening, Stevens assembled his treaty commissioners to develop a modus operandi for conducting future treaty councils.
On the all important question of how many reservations to create, the commission was divided. Gibbs and Simmons believed "that several Reserves would be necessary for the remaining Tribes on the Sound" due to the degree of variance in the Coast Indians' language, disposition and fishing scales.
Stevens and Doty, on the other hand, adopted the position that all the remaining tribes living on Puget Sound could be brought together under a single treaty and, hopefully, onto a single reservation. Not surprisingly, Stevens' program prevailed when, after much discussion and "considerable argument," the decision was made "to bring all the Indians [living] upon the East side of the Sound and the Islands into one Treaty to be held at the mouth of the Snohomish River on the 21st of January 1855."
A week following the completion of this council, Stevens would treat with the tribes residing west of Puget Sound and, at a time not yet determined, with the tribes living on the straits. The commissioners busied themselves the next three weeks surveying reservations and making preparations for the upcoming treaty councils.
On January 22, 1855, Stevens concluded the Point Elliot council which, attended by some 2,300 Indians representing more than twenty-three tribes, ceded to the United States government the lands of eastern Puget Sound. The treaty provided the Indians with four reservations, monetary compensation amounting to $150,000 dispersed over a twenty-year period and an agricultural and industrial school.
The Indians raised few objections during the negotiations, apparently satisfied with Stevens' proclamation that he wished "to place [them] in homes where [they could] cultivate the potatoes and other articles of food ... pass in canoes over the waters of the sound and catch fish, and [travel] back to the mountains to get roots and berries."
Even as Stevens and his treaty commissioners negotiated the Point Elliot treaty, western Puget Sound tribes began arriving at Point Gamble in preparation for treating with the governor. On January 26, Stevens opened negotiations with 1,200 Indians representing the Clallam Indians and several other tribes. As opposed to the easily concluded treaties at Medicine Creek and Point Elliot, the Point No Point council proved slightly more difficult for Stevens to complete.
The Chemakum tribe, at variance with the Clallam and Skokomish Indians, possessed little desire to consolidate on a reservation with them. Other Indians expressed concerns and fears regarding the selling of their land. Che-law-tchtat, a senior member of the Skokomish tribe, told Stevens that if he moved to the reservation he might "become destitute and perish for want of food." Besides, he continued, "I don't like the place you have shown for us to live on." L'Haii-atschauk, a To-an-hooch Indian, asserted great reluctance to leaving his home and burying grounds while Hool-hol-tan, believing most of the Indians to be afraid of expressing their true feelings toward the treaty, proclaimed he was "not pleased with the idea of selling [his land] at all.
Stevens responded to the Indians' reluctance to sign the treaty by delivering a commanding, if not threatening speech. In his address, Stevens emphatically demanded of the Indians, "What are you now?" "What were you formerly?" "Have you not already been driven from Your burial grounds?" The governor continued his lecture by restating the benefits derived from accepting the government's terms.
"The Great Father," Stevens said, "besides giving you a home will give you a school, protect you in taking fish, break up your land, [and] give you clothes and seed."
The Indians immediately expressed a change in attitude in regard to selling their land and relocating to a reservation.
Che-lan-teh-teel stated to Stevens, "What I want to say is to thank you ... I have changed my mind." A Clallam Indian named Spote-Keh said, "I have become satisfied since I have heard you." Seconding this opinion was Kahts-ass-mehtt, a Clallam sub-chief who declared, "I am willing to submit ... such is my mind now and I don't think I will change it."
The following morning the treaty was signed, extinguishing Indian title to lands west of Puget Sound and south of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Three days later, on Monday, January 29, 1855, Stevens held his fourth treaty council in Washington Territory with 600 members of the Makah tribe at Neah Bay. Voicing objections similar to those raised at Point No Point-a reluctance to leave familiar lands, homes, and fishing and hunting grounds-the Indians initially appeared hesitant to enter into the treaty. The Indians quickly acquiesced, however, after Stevens explained the reality and inevitability of white settlement.
"The whites," the governor asserted, "are crowding in upon you [but] the Great Father wishes to give you your homes." In other words, the purpose of the treaty, as accurately conveyed to the Indians by Stevens, was an attempt by the government to alleviate the tribes' predicament of being the unwanted occupants of soon to be, if not already expropriated lands. The Indians, apparently viewing the treaty as their best alternative, assented to its terms that same day.
In a little over a month, Stevens and his treaty commissioners had successfully conducted four treaty councils and concluded four treaties. The Olympia Pioneer and Democrat expressed its approval of the resolved treaties by praising the "energetic character of Gov. Stevens," and labeling it a "consummation devoutly to be wished [for]," since now, "the settler can enter his land with a knowledge as to what he is doing, and without the fear of conflict or trouble thereafter."
What few objections the Indians had raised in regard to the Treaties - negotiations at three of the councils took a single day and Point No Point two days - Stevens easily surmounted by portraying the government as the benevolent Great Father who, if only allowed to do so by the Indians, would adopt them more or less as children, tend to their wants and assist in resolving their problems.
Gary C. Collins, "Indian policy, government treaties and the Chehalis Treaty Council," Pacific Northwest Forum. Second Series. V (Summer-Fall 1992) p. 17-36.
POINT ELLIOTT TREATY
Joseph T. Hazard, "The Point Elliott Treaty," Companion to Adventure. Portland: Binfords and Mort, 1952 p. 127-131.
The Point Elliott Indian Treaty was the second. It was negotiated at today's Mukilteo, a few miles south of Everett, Washington. The treaty negotiated at Point Elliott was more picturesque than the one at Medicine Creek, but not so pressing.
The Nisquallys lived around Tacoma and Olympia, and down-Sound to Seattle. Settlements were encroaching severely upon them, and, because so many of these Indians were in direct contact with the warlike Yakimas, either through common trails or relationship, they were dangerous. In contrast, the Indians north of Seattle were more under the influence of Catholic Missions, always an influence for peaceful ways.
The Point Elliott Council was more picturesque because of the stupendous scenes that faced Point Elliott from sunrise to sunset and into the dusk. The "Point" was a bold headland. It was backed by dim aisles with massive and lofty forest; it hovered over the inviting waters of Puget Sound with their water lanes south and north past a tangle of islands lifting headlands to dark green verdure. Beyond, when clear skies opened distant panoramas, were the snowy Olympics lifting fantastic
The other contrast from Medicine Creek was in the assembling of 2300 Indians instead of a mere 650. They had followed the water lanes from Seattle north, from the mountain-born rivers plunging from the fastness of the eastern Cascades Ranges to tidewater. They had paddled up-sound from the distant borderlands near Canada, and from the island labyrinths between.
The Indians began to gather from the nearer south, the far north, the shoreline openings of rivers, islands, and east Sound beaches between, for they were canoe Indians, never dwelling far back in forest or fastness. They came in as early as the twelfth of January, finding luxury by their standards at the treaty grounds, and a warm welcome. The whole 2300 had been assembled by January 21.
Two days before word had gone to the "White Chief" at Olympia that all was waiting for him. He reached the council grounds on the 21st, having steamed down-Sound with visitors, interested settlers, and the rest of the Treaty Corps. He went into an immediate huddle with both white and red council leaders, about fair reservations, reactions of the tribes as judged by the preliminary work of his special service experts, Simmons, Shaw, and Cushman, and treaty terms.
Both he and they had learned many things at the white-hot forges of the Medicine Creek counsellings.
Both the sailing schooner Sarah Stone, and the steamer Major Tompkins lay at anchor below, havens for the whites, palaces to visiting braves.
The Indians were all assembled for counsellings on the morning of January 22, 1855.
There were four Head Chiefs: Seattle, Chief of all the tribes within twenty miles of the city afterwards named after him; Pat-Kanim, a dangerous Indian, but Chief of the Snohomish tribes around Everett's Gardiner Bay, and Delegate for the Snoqualmies; Goliah, Chief of the Skagits, around Rosario Strait, islands and nearby mainlands east; Chow-its-hoot, Chief of the most northern Washington canoe Indians, dwelling on the Canadian border islands, and the lands bordering and inland from Bellingham Bay.
The negotiating of this treaty had been made simple because so many of the 2300 Indians had received Christian training from the Catholic Missions. Colonel Mike Simmons helped, too, by making a speech in the Chinook jargon.
The Governor's opening address placed strong stress upon Christian implications, then continued with equal emphasis of the temporal advantage of treaty benefits:
" I saw among you yesterday the sign of the cross, which I think the most holy of all signs. I address you therefore mainly as Christians, who know that this life is a preparation for the life to come...
"The Great Father, [Franklin Pierce, President], thinks you ought to have homes, and he wants you to have a school where your children can learn to read, and can be made farmers and taught trades. He is willing that you should catch fish in the waters, and get roots and berries back in the mountains. He wishes you all to be virtuous and industrious, and to become a happy and prosperous community. Is this good, and do you want this?"
There was not one opposing voice. All the 2300 Indians answered with strong fervor, "We do!"
After eloquent and friendly speeches in response by Chiefs Seattle, Pat-ka-nin, Goliah, and Chow-its-hoot, the treaty was read, interpreted, phrase by phrase, and promptly signed. The terms were liberal. Four Indian reservations that exist today were created: the Lummi, west and north from Bellingham Bay; the Swinomish, east and south from Anacortes; the Tulalip, north from Gardiner Bay and Everett; and the Port Madison, north from Pt. Madison Bay and northwest from Seattle.
The Tulalip Indian Reservation, a whole waterfront township today, is one of the finest nooks with natural beauty and outdoors prodigality, in the Nation. It fronts, too, the most popular annual fishing derby water lanes of the modern whites.
A sturdy monument stands upon the southwest corner of the Mukilteo Public School grounds, Point Elliott having been named "Mukilteo." Under the official seal of the Daughters of the American Revolution, are these words:
"At this place on January 22, 1855, Governor Isaac I. Stevens concluded the Treaty by which the Indians ceded the lands from Point Pully to the British Boundary. Of the one hundred signatures, eighty-two were by Indian Chiefs, Headmen, and Delegates of numerous tribes.
"The first four recognized as leading chiefs of their own and allied tribes were Seattle, Patkanim, Goliah and Chow-Its-Hoot. The United States Senate ratified the treaty on March 8, 1859.
Erected by the Marcus Whitman Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution of Everett, Washington."
Joseph T. Hazard, "The Point Elliott Treaty," Companion to Adventure. Portland: Binfords and Mort, 1952, p. 127-131.
POINT ELLIOTT COUNCIL
Kent D. Richards, "The Point Elliott Council," Isaac I. Stevens, young man in a hurry. Provo: Brigham Young University, 1979. p. 202-204.
The only sour note came from the Duwamish Indians, who insisted upon meeting on their land east of Seattle. Simmons and Gibbs concluded that "cultus [evil] whites" were exerting a bad influence on this tribe. The influence of half-breeds and disaffected whites upon Indian relations was nothing new in American history, but in the Northwest the long period of the fur trade and many years of miscegenation made this group one of unusual size and potential power.
When the governor and his agents spoke of "cultus whites" they clearly had two groups in mind. One group consisted of French Canadians (who might have Indian blood or Indian wives) most of whom had been employed by the Hudson's Bay Company. To many Americans these men were doubly suspect because of their relationship with the British.
Their power may have been exaggerated or their motives misread, but there is little doubt that many did have influence, even if it might have been only to the extent of spreading rumors among the tribes. Some half-breeds wished to prevent the Indians in Washington Territory from making the same mistake as other Indians who had signed treaties only to regret it later; others sought to increase their power and wealth.
The second group consisted of liquor dealers who might or might not also belong to the first group. Their motivation was clearer: absence of a reservation system made it easier to ply their trade with a minimum of risk, and they worked to diminish the authority and credibility of territorial officials in order to keep a disorganized political and social system.
In mid-January many of the Indians began to gather at Point Elliott. The Snohomish and Snoqualmie Indians welcomed newcomers with impressive ceremony as they lined up on the beach in single file and greeted each man with the sign of the cross. After dark there was continuous singing and preaching, and George Gibbs commented, "They did very well as regards tune and in the open air their hymns or rather canticles have quite a good effect.
"The Indians are all at present in an exceedingly pious frame of mind and are evidently brushing up their religion for a grand display on the Governor's arrival." On January 17 the Duwamish Indians made their appearance, and four days later Stevens arrived. Gibbs drew up a draft incorporating the same general provisions as the Medicine Creek treaty with the reservations based on investigations Gibbs had made the previous week.
Of 3,000 Indians covered by this treaty about 2,300 were on the treaty grounds; those missing were mainly children and old people-and the Nooksack Indians, who were not contacted because of cold weather and frozen rivers. On January 22 the council began with the four chiefs whom the whites considered most important seated in the front rank: Seattle (Duwamish League), Patkanim (Snoqualmie), Goliah (Skagit), and Chow-its-hoot (Lummi).
The subchiefs were seated next and the rest were grouped behind without specific order. Stevens, as usual, opened the council with an address. He began, "My Children! You are not my children because you are the fruit of my loins, but because you are children for whom I have the same feeling as if you were the fruit of my loins. You are my children for whom I will strenuously labor all the days of my life until I shall be taken hence."
The father-child analogy became a favorite with Stevens, and he stressed it in subsequent councils on the Sound. Whatever reactions the Indians may have had, it is the key to understanding Stevens' view of the Indians. He believed that they, like children, had not yet reached the status of adulthood with its rights and responsibilities, and that they needed care and guidance until they achieved full growth and maturity.
He did not assume that they were inherently inferior, but that they had not yet reached the full potential of human development. Also, like children, they should obey their father which meant that good behavior should be rewarded and bad conduct punished. As at Medicine Creek, Stevens carefully explained the desires of the "Great Father," the provisions of the treaty, and the necessity to send the treaty to the nation's capital for final approval before it could take effect .
After the governor finished, each of the four chiefs spoke, and all indicated their approbation. The commissioners went through the treaty item by item, and before evening the document had been signed. The next morning the governor's men distributed presents while Chief Seattle in return presented a white flag to Stevens and declared, "Now by this we make friends and put away all bad feelings if we ever had any. We are the friends of the Americans. All the Indians are of the same mind. They look upon you as our father. We will never change our minds."
Kent D. Richards, "The Point Elliott Council," Isaac I. Stevens, young man in a hurry. Provo: Brigham Young University, 1979, p. 202-204.
POINT ELLIOTT TREATY.
Clinton Snowden, "The Point Elliott Treaty," History of Washington. The Rise and Progress of An American State. New York: Century History Company, 1909. Volume III p. 276-77.
(After the completion of the work of the Medicine Creek Treaty governor Isaac I. Stevens dispatched Simmons, Shaw, Cushman, Cock and Ford to assemble the remaining tribes of the Nisqually Nation at Point Elliott for a second council.).
This was assembled on January 12th and continued until the 21st. No special difficulty was encountered in the negotiations, but nearly 2,300 Indians were present, and many speeches were made. The governor first explained the purpose of the council as before, and was followed by Colonel Simmons, who spoke the Chinook jargon, a language which they nearly all understood, and by Secretary Mason.
The Indians then sang a mass, after the Catholic form, and recited a prayer, after which the treaty was read and interpreted sentence by sentence by Colonel Shaw. When the reading was concluded the chiefs were invited to express their opinions, and to suggest any modifications they might wish to have made.
Seattle, chief of the Duwamish tribes, Patkanim, the chief of the Snoqualmies, who had been present at, and is supposed to have planned the attack on Fort Nisqually in which Wallace was killed a few years earlier, Chow-it-hoot, Goliah and others expressed themselves, generally approving what was proposed, and when all had finished the treaty was signed, first by Governor Stevens, and then by the chiefs, headmen and witnesses as before.
This treaty provided for the payment of $150,000 in annuities and $15,000 for improving the reservations and removing the Indians to them, and for two reservations of two sections each, one near Port Madison, and one on the east side of Fidalgo Island; also for one comprising the peninsula at the southeastern end of Perry Island, and another occupying the delta formed by the Lummi, or Nooksack River.
A special reservation of a whole township, of thirty-six sections, was also made on the north side of the Snohomish River at its mouth, "for the purpose of establishing thereon an agricultural and industrial school, and with the view of ultimately drawing thereto, and settling thereon, all the Indians living west of the Cascade Mountains in said territory.
Clinton Snowden, "The Point Elliott Treaty," History of Washington. The rise and progress of an American State. New York: Century Publishing Company, 1909. Volume III, p.276-77.
THE POINT ELLIOTT TREATY
Clarence Bagley, "The Point Elliott Treaty," Washington Historical Quarterly. XXII (October, 1931) p. 247-250.
Samuel F. Coombs, of Seattle, between whom and their warm friendship existed from the year 1860 down to the time of Seattle's death, among many reminiscences of early days gave this one of Chief Seattle:
"The first time I ever saw Sealth was in the summer of 1860 shortly after my arrival, at a council of chiefs in Seattle. At that time there was an unusually large number of Indians in town over one thousand being congregated on the sandy beach.
Most of the Indians were standing around or talking in groups or listening to the deliberations of the council of about twenty of the oldest Indians seated in a circle on the ground. The chief figure was venerable looking old native, who was apparently acting as judge as all who spoke addressed themselves to him.
I learned from an intelligent looking Indian who could speak English, that the old judge was Chief Sealth.
"With this young man as interpreter I interviewed several of the oldest natives as to how Sealth became head chief of the many tribes. They said that about fifty years before that time, when Seattle was twenty or twenty-two years old, news reached the various tribes in this vicinity that a large number of mountain or Upper Green and White Rivers Indians were preparing to make a raid upon the saltwater tribes.
General anxiety was felt among the latter, as the mountain tribes were redoubtable warriors, and had, on several previous occasions vanquished them and carried off many of their people to slavery.
"A council of war was held, composed of the chiefs of the leading tribes expecting to be attacked. After the old men had presented their plans, none were satisfactory, and the younger men were called upon for suggestions; then young Sealth presented a well laid plan, which was adopted, and he himself was appointed leader of the expedition."
He was to take with him a large number of warriors who were to ambush themselves at a bend in the River and wait for the canoes of the enemy as they came down. This he did. To further facilitate his plan a large tree was cut down and placed across the river just beyond the bend so as not to be visible to the oncoming canoes.
Then his warriors waited. Presently several large canoes of the enemy came down with the current, unaware of the danger. They swiftly made the bend and came suddenly on the log which was to obstruct their passage. As was expected, the canoes plunged into the log and the occupants were cast into the stream and there were quickly set upon by Seattle's warriors and slain.
Their companions further up stream heard their cries and made for the shore where they hastily debarked and spread the woeful intelligence of the disaster to their people, with the result that the premeditated attack was abandoned.
Seattle was victorious and after returning he was chosen head chief of the six tribes. So far as known this leadership was never afterward questioned.
Of those who were assembled at Point Elliott or Mukilteo in January, 1855, at the time of the treaty making there, about two thousand three hundred, the largest concourse of natives ever seen here by the whites. At this council the following head chiefs were present: Seattle, chief of the Suquamish, Duwamish and other tribes; Patkanim, chief of the Snoqualmie, Snohomish and other tribes; Goliah, chief of the Skagit and allied tribes; Chowitshoot, chief of the Lummi and other tribes in what is now Whatcom county.
Gravely these chiefs took seats on the ground, behind them the sub-chiefs, and the various tribes behind them in separate groups. Governor Stevens, Secretary Mason, Col. Michael T. Simmons, who became Superintendent of Indian Affairs, represented the government, while Col. B. F. Shaw served as interpreter. Doctors David S. Maynard and Henry A. Smith were also present.
As was the custom in all of the treaty making in the Oregon country, the document was prepared in advance, and, although there was always a lot of talking, about all that was expected of the Indian Chiefs was "To Sign on the Dotted Line."
Before the treaty was read to the Indians, they sang a song after the Roman Catholic form and recited a prayer. Then Governor Stevens asked, "Does any one of you object to what I have said?"
Chief Seattle is credited with the following response: "I look upon you as my father. All of the Indians have the same good feeling toward you and will send it on the paper to the Great Father in Washington. All of them, men, women and children, are glad that he has sent you to take care of them. My mind is like yours; I don't want to say more. My heart is always good toward Doctor Maynard; I want to get medicine from him."
Governor Stevens then said, "My friend Smith has put me in mind of something which I had forgotten. You shall have a doctor to care for your bodies. Now, my friends, I want you as Doctor Smith has well said to give three cheers." This was done; also the other chiefs made short talks.
The treaty was then read and interpreted to them and the Governor asked them if it was satisfactory. No objections were offered, so the Governor then signed, followed by the chiefs and sub-chiefs.
The next day they were assembled for the purpose of receiving presents. Prior to their distribution, Seattle presented a white flag to the Governor and made a speech which has been reported as follows:
"Now, by this we make friends and put away all bad feelings, if we ever had any. We are the friends of the Americans. All of the Indians are of the same mind. We look upon you as our father; we will never change our minds; as you have seen us we will always be the same. Now, now, do you send this paper of our hearts to the Great Father. That is all I have to say."
This treaty was of great importance to the whites of that period as it enabled them to peacefully settle upon the lands relinquished by the Indians, which was immediately done all over the Sound region.
As its terms were the same in general, as the treaties made in Oregon and Washington, it has a historical value worth preserving. A condensation of it follows:
Article 1. The Indians cede the land to the United States, comprising the present counties of King, part of Kitsap, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, Island and San Juan.
Art. 2. Reserves the amount of two sections, or twelve hundred and eighty acres, surrounding the small bight at the head of Port Madison, called by the Indians Nooschkum; two sections on the east side by Fidalgo Island; the island called Chah-choosen, situated in the Lummi River.
Art. 3. Reserves one township of land on the northeastern shore of Port Gardner, for the purpose of establishing thereon an agricultural and industrial school.
Art. 4. Specifies that within one year after the ratification of this treaty, the said tribes agree to remove and settle upon the reservations, or sooner if means are furnished them.
Art. 5. Gives them the right of fishing at any accustomed place, provided that they shall not take shell fish from any beds staked or cultivated by citizens.
Art. 6. In consideration of the above cession, the United States agrees to pay to the said tribes and bands the sum of one hundred fifty thousand dollars, in the following manner-that is to say: For the first year after the ratification hereof, fifteen thousand dollars; for the next two years, twelve thousand dollars each year; for the next four years, seven thousand five hundred dollars each year; for the next five years, six thousand dollars each year; and for the last five years, four thousand two hundred and fifty dollars each year.
Art. 7. The President may hereafter, when in his opinion the interests of the Territory shall require and the welfare of the said Indians be promoted, remove them from either or all of the special reservations herein are made to the said general reservation, or such other suitable place within said Territory as he may deem fit, on remunerating them for their improvements and expenses of such removal, or may consolidate them with other friendly tribes or bands.
Art. 8. The annuities of the aforesaid tribes and bands shall not be taken to pay the debts of individuals.
Art 9. The said tribes and bands acknowledge their dependence on the government of the United States, and promise to be friendly with all the citizens thereof, and they pledge themselves to commit no depreciations on the property of said citizens. Nor will they make war on any other tribe except in self-defense, but will submit all of matters of difference between them and the other Indians to the government of the United States or its agent for decision and abide thereby.
Art. 10. The above tribes and bands are desirous to exclude from their reservations the use of ardent spirits, and to prevent the people from drinking the same. If any one trespasses, his or her proportion of the annuities will be withheld from him or her for such time as the President may determine.
Art. 11. The said tribes and bands agree to free all slaves now held by them and not to purchase or acquire others hereafter.
Art. 12. The said tribes and bands further agreed not to trade at Vancouver's Island or elsewhere out of the dominions of the United States nor shall foreign Indians be permitted to reside in their reservations without consent of the superintendent or agent.
Art. 13. To enable the said Indians to remove to and reside upon their aforesaid reservations, the United States agrees to them the sum of fifteen thousand dollars.
Art. 14. United States further agrees to establish at the general agency for the district of Puget Sound, within one year from ratification hereof, and to support for a period of twenty years agricultural and industrial school, providing it with suitable instructors; and also to employ a physician to reside at the said central agency.
Art. 15. This treaty shall be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same shall be ratified by the President and Senate of the United States.
In later years much has been written about the injustice of these treaties to the Indians; they gave up what has become an empire and received little in return, but, at that period the lands and the timber upon them were worth little or nothing to the Indians.
About all of their subsistence came from the waters of the rivers and the Sound. In turn, the United States government gave these lands to the white settlers, who, surrounded by dangers and privations, with arduous and unremitting toil brought some worth to their lands, but usually disproportionate to what had been expended upon them.
The United States Senate did not ratify the treaty until in March, 1859, on account of the Indian war, and because of false charges of hostilities against these Indians. No appropriations were made of money with which to carry out its terms.
In May, 1858, more than three years after the treaty was signed, Superintendent Simmons visited several of the reservations, with the endeavor to disburse some of the annuities and give needed food to the Indians.
The first place he visited was Fort Kitsap, where some four hundred were gathered to meet him. The use of liquor had become quite prevalent among the natives, as debased white men were ever ready to supply them with it, so Col. Simmons spoke feelingly on that subject.
Seattle is credited with the following response: "I am not a bad man; I want you to understand what I say; I do not drink rum nor does New-enchis, and we continually advise our people not to do so.
"I am and always have been a friend to the whites. I listen to what Mr. Page says to me, and I do not steal, nor do any of my people steal from the whites.
"Oh, Mr. Simmons why do not our papers come back to us? You always say they will come back, but they do not come. I fear that we are forgotten or that we are to be cheated out of our land.
"I have been very poor and hungry all winter and am very sick now. In a little while I will die. I should like to be paid for my lands before I die. Many of my people died during this cold winter without getting their pay. When I die my people will be very poor-they will have no property, no chief and no one to talk for them. You must not forget them, Mr. Simmons, when I am gone.
"We are ashamed when we think of the Puyallups, as they have got their papers. They fought against the whites whilst we, who have never been angry with them, get nothing. When we get our pay we want it in money. The Indians are not bad. It is the mean white men that are bad to them. If any person writes that we do not want our papers they tell lies.
"Oh, Mr. Simmons, You see I am sick; I want you to write quickly to the Great Chief what I say. I am done."
Nearly all of the Indians in Western Washington made their homes on the shores of Puget Sound or the bays of the ocean, and were classified by the names of the rivers and bays where they lived.
At the time of the treaty with them in 1855, there were listed on the Sound 42 bands or lesser tribes, all of the Salish race. The total number then given was 6200. Although Seattle was not recognized as the head chief of all of these, at any large gathering of them he was the acknowledged leader.
Clarence Bagley," The Point Elliott Treaty," Washington Historical Quarterly. XXII (October, 1931) p. 247-250.
Point Elliott and Other Treaties.
Ezra Meeker, "Point Elliott and Other Treaties," Pioneer Reminiscences of Puget Sound. Seattle: Lowman and Hanford, 1903, p. 263-270.
The second treaty concluded with the Indians, that at Point Elliott, gave more general satisfaction, though it contained the germ out of which grew the worst outbreak of the war, the White River massacre.
George Gibbs there acted as secretary. He had taken a census, reporting 3,959 Indians within the district described in the treaty, less than two-thirds of whom were present.
The Governor and his party were taken to the treaty grounds by the large steamer Major Tompkins, which the settlers of that day looked upon a marvel in luxurious appointments and safety. It certainly was a great improvement over the quite recent mode of travel by canoe in the absence of any other method other than by oars, paddle or sail.
The point selected for the main reservation, Tulalip, a township of six miles square, 23,040 acres is a beautiful spot fronting on the Sound, with low shores adjoining, with some arable land and good fisheries, and was as well suited to the wants of the Indians as any one location that could be found.
Three other smaller reservations were set apart for some of the smaller tribes, two sections at Port Madison, an island at the mouth of the Lummi River near our northern boundary, and two sections at the southeastern end of Perry's Island. These small reservations were set out to placate bands which either from fear or jealousy refused to be moved to the large central location, Tulalip.
But Governor Stevens made the fatal mistake of ignoring the wishes of the very tribe whose name the treaty bears, the Duwamish, and the allied or adjoining bands or tribes inhabiting the upper rivers that form the Duwamish.
These Indians were in deadly fear of the more powerful and allied tribes, the Snoqualmies and Snohomishes near whose places of abode the large reservation was made, and where all the Indians were required, under the terms of the treaty, to remove within a year.
The rascally chief, Pat Kanim, who had given the white settlers much trouble and had, in 1849, even attacked Fort Nisqually, was at the head of these two powerful tribes, and not only gave trouble to the whites, that domineered over the weaker bands as no other chief dared do that had permanent location on the Sound.
These Indians of the up-river country of the Duwamish were very much dissatisfied. They were required by the terms of the treaty to remove from their place of abode from time out of memory to a new district, among strangers whom they feared, give up all their associations, their hunting grounds, their fisheries to go where they were to be herded, as they thought, until some final disposition could be made of them.
So pronounced did their discontent become that Acting Governor Mason found it necessary to visit them during the summer of 1855 to try and quiet their fears. He really had no power, Governor Stevens, the superintendent, the only man who could treat with them, was a thousand miles away beyond the Rocky Mountains, on the upper waters of the Missouri River, where he had gone to assist in treating with the Blackfeet Indians.
It was on this trip of Mason's that Leschi and his brother, Quiemuth, accompanied him as interpreters; but they had grievances of their own, and it is not to be doubted that they added fuel to the burning discontent that possessed these Indians.
The instruction from the Department of the Interior was:
"Endeavor to unite the numerous bands and fragments of tribes into tribes, and provide for the concentration of one or more of such tribes upon the reservations set apart for their future homes."
The system as applied to these Indians was positively vicious, cruel and unnecessary and if rigidly applied was certain to bring trouble. However, if there had been a superintendent who had taken the pains to inform himself and the time to have intelligently applied his knowledge, and had been in condition of mind to have patiently investigated their grievances and exercised that sound discretion authorized by the letter and spirit of the instructions there need not have been any difficulty with them.
Governor Stevens possessed none of the necessary qualifications, nor did he observe any precautions that should have been taken.
Governor Stevens always laid great stress upon the charge of perfidy on the part of the Indians for not obeying the treaties, when, as a matter of fact, there were none except the treaty concluded at the Medicine Council that had been ratified by the United States Senate prior to the outbreak of the war.
It must also be borne in mind that our government reserved the right, to repudiate the action's of its agent in making these treaties and did so for years after they were signed, yet proceeded at once to appropriate the land, as though a binding treaty had been concluded and ratified.
None of the names of the head men of the upper White River Indians appear on the treaty, and it means they were ignored altogether, as no provision whatever was made for them other than to require their removal to a distant reservation on the Sound.
They had no interest in common with the tribes on the Sound with which, under the terms of the treaty, they were bound to assimilate. Their habits of life and consanguinity both ran upon lines distinctly different; they lived by the chase, the natural production of the soil, and the river fisheries in close proximity to their place of abode.
The gap of the mountains, the Natchess Pass gave them ample opportunity to extend their field of exploration to the east side of the great range, and had resulted in intermarriage, which brought about a semi-community of interest with the powerful tribes of the interior.
Their relatives to the east had finally engaged in open warfare. Agent Bolon had been killed and Major Haller of the regulars had been driven back to The Dalles with his forces completely demoralized.
Slaughter, who had gone forward to meet Haller had retreated and Maloney of the regulars with Hays of the volunteers, sent to support a second expedition from The Dalles under Major Rains, were still in the pass and retreating. Both these west of the mountains expeditions passed through the country occupied by the upriver bands, the Muckleshoots and allied tribes, on White and Green Rivers.
The consequence was that with these tribes there came to be a regular hotbed of discontent, which was fanned into a flame when they saw the troops marshaled and traversing their country on the way to make war on their relatives just beyond the mountains. They were ripe for war by mid-summer of 1855, but could get no allies west of the mountains; and besides, a winter campaign was what they sought.
But when the second expedition under Captain Maloney and Captain Hays, with both regulars and volunteers passed through their country and the Eaton rangers had driven or frightened Leschi and the disaffected Nisquallies to their vicinity they could be restrained, no longer, and the outbreak came like a clap of thunder out of a clear sky.
It was doubtless precipitated in part like the firing upon Fort Sumter to move the South to action. So with these Indians they rightly judged active hostilities on their part would draw to their stand the wavering bands which they knew were in sympathy with them, and that once the war torch was lighted it could not be extinguished.
Settlements had been made throughout most of this district, and as with the Indians in other districts already described, the settlers had been living in peace and neighborly friendship with them. There had been really but one disturbance, and that where the Indians alleged a settler had wantonly ploughed over some of the graves of their ancestors at which they were greatly incensed.
But as a general rule there had been no discontent until the treaties were made.
In the light of what is known, the neglect of the superintendent, or if not the neglect the mistake of that person not exercising his authority to give these people homes in their own country, came from the fact that either he did not know or did not care for the wants of these Indians.
His action in either case was extremely reprehensible, especially so where the lives and fortunes of so many people of his own race were jeopardized, as well as those of whom he assumed the role of a ward over their destinies.
Two other treaties were made to complete the work on the Sound, one with the Clallams, reported by Gibbs 926 strong, the other the Twanas set down as 290-a total of 6,068 Indians in the four treaties.
Ezra Meeker, "Point Elliott and Other Treaties," Pioneer Reminiscences of Puget Sound. Seattle: Lowman and Hanford, 1903, p. 263-270.
POINT ELLIOTT TREATY.
Lottie Roth, "The Point Elliott Treaty," History of Whatcom County. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Publishing Company, 1926. Volume One, p 973-79
Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian affairs for Washington territory, on January 22, 1855, at Point Elliot (Mukilteo), made a treaty with five chiefs representing the Dwamish, Suquatnish, Nuh-lummi, Skagit, and other allied tribes.
By the terms of this treaty virtually all of the land between Olympia and the Canadian boundary line was ceded to the whites, for a consideration. The text of this treaty appears at the conclusion of this chapter.
The Government promised to pay annual sums of money for lands ceded, to protect certain hunting and fishing rights, to furnish implements, smithys, carpenters, doctors, schools and instructors. The Indians agreed to keep the peace, trade exclusively in the United States, free their slaves, live on the reservations set apart for them, and to keep whiskey from them.
Article 2 of the treaty provided, among other things, that the Government reserved for the use and occupation of said tribes or bands of Indians certain tracts of land, and among others the following:
"The island called Chah-choo-sen, situated in the Lummi River at the point of separation of the mouths emptying respectively into Bellingham Bay and the Gulf of Georgia."
Said Article 2 further provided that said tract should be set apart and as far as necessary surveyed and marked out for the exclusive use of said Indians.
Chow-its-hoot, the recognized head of the Nuh-lummis, was one of the five chiefs to sign the treaty. He was accompanied to Mukilteo by his two nephews, Whilano (Davy Crockett) and Henry Kwina, both of whom were later chiefs of these tribes and both of whom have left descendants living upon the reservation.
It was several years before the tribes actually confined themselves to their reservation. Indeed, there were some families who refused entirely to live there. The particular territory called Chah-choo-sen (sometimes referred to as Co-hohass-en) had for some time been recognized as the home of the Lummis. It now became the home of several tribes, known collectively as the Nuh-lummis, but after a time the Nooksack tribe went back to the Nooksack valley, where they were permitted to acquire land as the whites did.
The Semiahmoos went north of the Canadian boundary line. It had been said that the different tribes did not agree well together, partly because their languages differed to some extent, and that that was the reason for the separation, but some of the local Indians say that all of them considered that this territory belonged to the Lummis, and that the other tribes were not willing to trespass.
According to Mr. McCluskey, who is always willing to furnish any information he can, it was about 1859 when Whilano, a nephew of Chow-its-hoot, known to the whites as David Crockett, was chosen chief by the Lummis, after he had embraced the Catholic religion. Some two years later Chief Chow-its-hoot died, and Whilano became head chief of all the Lummis.
He chose his brother, Kwina, for sub-chief in 1865, and upon the death of Whilano, in 1874, Kwina in turn became head chief. He, too, was a Catholic. It must be said of him that during the fifty years of his leadership of the tribe his influence always fostered law and order.
To any one who studies the map it will be apparent that the present bounds of the reservation are materially different from what they were when it was first set apart. The turbulent Nooksack River was the chief cause. The western channel of this river emptied into the Gulf of Georgia through what is now called Lummi River.
The old Indians say that during a fresher about a hundred years ago a new outlet was formed, the one which cuts diagonally across what is now section 7 of Lummi reservation, flowing southwesterly into Bellingham Bay. These two channels made an island of the area called Chah-choo-sen in the Treaty.
Near the mouth of this eastern channel, across the river and almost directly west of the present town of Marietta, was the old Lummi village. Many Indians lived there, and not only the Indians, but also the settlers up the river patronized the postoffice called Lummi and trading post, under the management of B. M. McDonough.
It was there that Father Chirouse and the Indians built the first little mission church about the year 1861. In 1881 Father J. B. Boulet, who had succeeded Father Chirouse, commenced the work of building the new church, the one still in use, and this was finished by William McCluskey near the end of the year 1882. A picture of this old village and the church was painted by E. T. Coleman, the first white man to climb Mount Baker. It is in the possession of R. W. Greene of Bellingham.
About thirty years ago the logs of the Bellingham Bay Boom Company formed a jam, and a third and more easterly outlet to the bay was made by the Nooksack, which meandering south and then west, emptied near the mouth of the second channel. It brought disaster to the little village. Some of the buildings were toppled into the river. Some of them were saved and moved to Fish Point. Only a few years ago the church was moved to its present site on higher ground.
The change in the Nooksack River channels led to no end of controversy about the boundaries of the reservation, so, on November 22, 1873, for the purpose of defining and establishing boundaries of said reservation, U. S. Grant, the then president of the United States, issued the following proclamation:
EXECUTIVE MANSION, Nov. 22, 1873.
"It is hereby ordered that the following tract of country in Washington Territory be withdrawn from sale and set apart for the use and occupation of the Dwamish and other allied tribes of Indians, viz: Commencing at the eastern mouth of Lummi River; thence up said river to the point where it is intersected by the line between sections 7 and 8 of township 38 north, range 2 East of the Willamette Meridian; thence due north on said section line to the township line between townships 38 and 39; thence west along said township line to the low water mark on the shore of the Gulf of Georgia; thence southerly and easterly along the said shore, with the meanders thereof, across the western mouth of Lummi River, and around Point Francis; thence northeasterly to the place of beginning, so much thereof as lies south of the west fork of the Lummi River being a part of the island already set apart by the second article of the Treaty with the Dwamish and other allied tribes of Indians, made and concluded January 22, 1855. U. S. GRANT."
This proclamation established the boundaries as they are now shown on the map.
There has been much dissatisfaction and some litigation over the ownership of the rich delta land at the eastern mouth of the Nooksack. Some years ago a group of local men formed a company for the purpose of reclaiming and improving some of this land and paid the state a sum of money for it, but the United States Government, as guardian of the Indians, claimed it, and it was finally awarded to the Indians.
The Lummi reclamation bill passed by Congress in April, 1926, is designed to reclaim approximately four thousand acres in and adjacent to Lummi reservation, at the western mouth of the Lummi River. When dyked this will make valuable farm land.
There has been a great deal of agitation among the Indians of Puget Sound for a final settlement with the Government, and an allotment of the land to individual Indians. The Northwest Federation of American Indians, meeting in Bellingham in June, 1923, elected delegates to go to Washington, D. C., to press their claims. Peter James was the delegate from Lummi reservation.
Altogether there were seven elected, and they spent the winter of 1924 in Washington, but a settlement of their claims is still delayed.
In 1924 all Indians of the United States were enfranchised, and with this change new problems, social and political arise.
TEXT OF THE TREATY OF 1855
Articles of Agreement and Convention Made and Concluded at Aluckl-Te-Oh, or Point Elliott, in the Territory of Washington, this Twenty-Second Day of January, Eighteen Hundred and Fifty-five, by Isaac Stevens, Governor and Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Said Territory, on the Part of the United States, and the Undersigned Chiefs, Head-Men and Delegates of the Dwamish, Suquamish, Sktahl-Mish, Sam-Ahmish, Smalh-Kamish, Skope-Ahmish, St-Kah-Mish, Snoqual Moo, Skai-Wha-Mish, N'Quentl-Ma-Mish, Sk-Tah-Le-jum, Stoluck-Wha-Mish, Sno-Ho-Mish, Skagit, Kik-l-Allus, SwinA-Mish, Squin-Ah-Mish, Sah-Ku-Mehu, Noo-Wha-Ha, Nook-Wa-Chah-Mish, Mee-See-Qua-Guilch, Cho-Bah-Ah-Bish, and Other Allied and Subordinate Tribes and Bands of Indians Occupying Certain Lands Situated in Said Territory of Washington, on Behalf of Said Tribes, and Duly Authorized by Them.
ARTICLE 1. The said tribes and bands of Indians hereby cede, relinquish and convey to the United States all their right, title, and interest in and to the lands and country occupied by them, bounded and described as follows: Commencing at a point on the eastern side of Admiralty Inlet, known as Point Pully, about midway between Commencement and Elliott Bays; thence eastwardly, running along the north line of lands heretofore ceded to the United States by the Nisqually, Puyallup, and other Indians to the summit of the Cascade range of mountains; thence northwardly, following the summit of said range to the 49th parallel of north latitude; thence west along said parallel to them, middle of the Gulf of Georgia; thence through the middle of said gulf and the main channel through the Canal de Arro to the Straits of Fuca, and crossing the same through the middle of Admiralty Inlet to Suquamish Head; thence southwesterly, through the peninsula, and following the divide between Hood's Canal and Admiralty Inlet to the portage known as Wilkes' Portage; thence northeastwardly, and following the line of lands heretofore ceded as aforesaid to Point Southworth, on the western side of Admiralty Inlet, and thence round the boot of Vashon's Island eastwardly and southeastwardly to the place of beginning, including all the islands comprised within said 'boundaries and all the right, title and interest of the said tribes and bands to any lands within the territory of the United States.
ARTICLE 2. There is, however, reserved for the present use and occupation of the said tribes and bands the following tracts of land, viz.: the amount of two sections, or twelve hundred and eighty acres, surrounding the small bight at the head of Port Madison, called by the Indians Noo-sohk-um; the amount of two sections, or twelve hundred and eighty acres, on the north side Snohomish Bay and the creek emptying into the same called Kwilt-seh-da, the peninsula at the southeastern end of Perry's Island, called Shais-quihl, and the island called Chahchoo-sen, situated in the Lummi River at the point of separation of the mouths emptying respectively into Bellingham Bay and the Gulf of Georgia. All of which tracts shall be set apart, and so far as necessary surveyed and marked out for their exclusive use; nor shall any white man be permitted to reside upon the same without permission of the said tribes or bands, and of the superintendent or agent, but, if necessary for the public convenience, roads may be run through the said reserves, the Indians being compensated for any damage thereby done them.
ARTICLE 3. -There is also reserved from out of the lands hereby ceded the amount of thirty-six sections, or one township of land, on the northeastern shore of Port Gardner, and north of the mouth of Snohomish River, including Tulalip Bay and the before-mentioned Kwilt-seh-da Creek, for the purpose of establishing thereon an agricultural and industrial school, as hereinafter mentioned and agreed, and with a view of ultimately drawing thereto and settling thereon all the Indians living west of the Cascade Mountains in said Territory. Provided, however, That the President may establish the central agency and general reservation at such other points as he may deem for the benefit of the Indians.
ARTICLE 4. The said tribes and bands agree to remove to and settle upon the said first above-mentioned reservations within one year after the ratification of this treaty, or sooner, if the means are furnished them. In the mean time it shall be lawful for them to reside upon any land not in the actual claim and occupation of citizens of the United States, and upon any land claimed or occupied, if with the permission of the owner.
ARTICLE 5. The right of taking fish at usual and accustomed grounds and stations is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the Territory, and of erecting temporary houses for the purpose of curing, together with the privilege of hunting and gathering roots and berries on open and unclaimed lands. Provided, however, That they shall not take shell-fish from any beds staked or cultivated by citizens.
ARTICLE 6. In consideration of the above cession, the United States agree to pay to the said tribes and bands the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in the following manner-that is to say: For the first year after the ratification hereof, fifteen thousand dollars; for the next two years, twelve thousand dollars each year; for the next three years, ten thousand dollars each year; for the next four years, seven thousand five hundred dollars each year; for the next five years, six thousand dollars each year; and for the last five years, four thousand two hundred and fifty dollars each year. All of which said sums of money shall be applied to the use and benefit of the said Indians, under the direction of the President of the United States, who may, from time to time, determine at his discretion upon what beneficial objects to expend the same; and the superintendent of Indian affairs, or other proper officer, shall each year inform the President of the wishes of said Indians in respect thereto.
ARTICLE- 7. The President may hereafter, when in his opinion the interests of the Territory shall require and the welfare of the said Indians be promoted, remove them from either or all of the special reservations hereinbefore made to the said general reservation, or such other suitable place within said Territory as he may deem fit on remunerating them for their improvements and the expenses of such removal, or May consolidate them with other friendly tribes or bands; and he may further at his discretion cause the whole or any portion of the lands hereby reserved, or of such other land as may be selected in lieu thereof, to be surveyed into lots, and assign the same to such individuals or families as are willing to avail themselves of the privilege, and will locate on the same as a permanent home on the same terms and subject to the same regulations as are provided in the sixth article of the treaty with the Omahas, so far as the same may be applicable. Any substantial improvements heretofore made by any Indian, and which he shall be compelled to abandon in consequence of this treaty, shall be valued under the direction of the President and payment made therefore accordingly.
ARTICLE 8. The annuities of the aforesaid tribes and bands shall not be taken to pay the debts of individuals.
ARTICLE 9. The said tribes and bands acknowledge their dependence on the Government of the United States, and promise to be friendly with all citizens thereof, and they pledge themselves to commit no depredations on the property of such citizens. Should any one or more of them violate this pledge, and the fact be satisfactorily proven before the agent, the property taken shall be returned, or in default thereof or if injured or destroyed, compensation may be made by the Government out of their annuities. Nor will they make war on any other tribe except in self-defence, but will submit all matters of difference between them and the other Indians to the Government of the United States or its agent for decision, and abide thereby. And if any of the said Indians commit depredations on other Indians within the Territory the same rule shall prevail as that prescribed in this article in cases of depredations against citizens. And the said tribes agree not to shelter or conceal offenders against the laws of the United States, but to deliver them up to the authorities for trial.
ARTICLE 10. The above tribes and bands are desirous to territory from their reservations the use of ardent spirits, and to prevent their people from drinking the same, and therefore it is provided that any Indian belonging to said tribe who is guilty of bringing liquor into said reservations, or who drinks liquor, may have his or her proportion of the annuities withheld from him or her for such time as the President may determine.
ARTICLE 11. The said tribes and bands agree to free all slaves now held by them and not to purchase or acquire others hereafter.
ARTICLE 12. The said tribes and bands further agree not to trade at Vancouver's Island or elsewhere out of the dominions of the United States, nor shall foreign Indians be permitted to reside in their reservations without consent of the superintendent or agent.
ARTICLE 13. To enable the said Indians to remove to and settle upon their aforesaid reservations, and to clear, fence, and break up a sufficient quantity of land for cultivation, the United States further agree to pay the sum of fifteen thousand dollars to be laid out and expended under the direction of the President and in such matter as he shall approve.
ARTICLE 14. The United States further agree to establish at the general agency for the district of Puget's Sound, within one year from the ratification hereof, and to support for a period of twenty years, an agricultural and industrial school, to be free to children of the said tribes and bands in common with those of the other tribes of said district, and to provide the school with a suitable instructor or instructors, and also to provide a smithy and carpenter's shop, and furnish them with the necessary tools, and employ a blacksmith, carpenter, and farmer for the like term of twenty years to instruct the Indians in their respective occupations. And the United States finally agree to employ a physician to reside at the said central agency, :who shall furnish medicine and advice to their sick, and shall vaccinate them said expenses of said school, shops, persons employed, and medical attendance be defrayed by the United States, and not deducted from the annuities.
ARTICLE 15. This treaty shall be obligatory on the contracting parties as soon as the same shall be ratified by the President and Senate of the United States.
NOTE: Ratified April 11, 1859, and signed by the following Chiefs:
Chief Seattle for Dwamish and Suquamish.
Chief Pat-Ka-nam for Snoqualmie.
Chief Chow-its-hoot for Lummi and other Tribes.
Chief Goliah for Skagit.
Lottie Roth, "The Point Elliott Treaty," History of Whatcom County. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Publishing Company, 1926. Volume One, page 973-79.