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Treaty of Walla Walla

As the rush to California subsided in the early 1850s, eastern settlers shifted their attention northward to the Oregon country. President Franklin Pierce appointed a thirty-five year-old West Point graduate, Isaac Stevens, to be Oregon Territory’s first governor.

In the summer of 1855 Stevens persuaded leaders of the upper Columbia tribes to sell some of their land in exchange for federal subsidies and a guarantee that they could retain smaller homelands and continue to harvest fish from the rivers. Similar agreements were reached at the same time with the Nez Perces, the Middle Columbia groups (including many Chinook speakers), and the Yakamas.

Treaty of Walla Walla link

“Treaty Between the United States and the Walla-Walla, Cayuses, and the Umatilla Tribes and Bands of Indians in Washington and Oregon Territories [Treaty of Walla-Walla],” in Treaties Between the United States and the Indians, 1859.

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