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Washington Territory Gold Rush

In February 1860, Elias Pierce, a veteran of the California gold rush, discovered gold on a sand bar in the Clearwater River near where the Corps of Discovery had built its canoes in the fall of 1805. Within a year, thousands of miners were streaming onto Nez Perce lands. Published at the height of the excitement, this map failed to mention the Nez Perces or to indicate that the new mines were located on tribal land.

Unwilling to force miners from tribal property, federal officials convened a treaty council in May 1863 and pressured a group of Nez Perce chiefs to accept a 90 percent reduction of their homeland.

Daniel W. Lowell & Co. Map of the Nez Perces and Salmon River Gold Mines in Washington Territory. Compiled from the Most Recent Surveys, 1862.

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