Portion of 1857
"Map of the Indian Nations and Tribes of the Territory
by Isaac Stevens.
Courtesy of The University of Montana Mike and Maureen
Mansfield Library, Map Collection.
of J.G. Swan's Map of the Western Portion of Washington
the Treaty of
Olympia, courtesy of the NWIFC website.
|July 1, 1855, on Qui-nai-elt River, and on Jan 25, 1856,
at Olympia, the Treaty of Olympia is negotiated. Ratified in 1859, this treaty
a 10,000 acre tract of land set aside for the Quinault tribe.
July 8, 1864, Secretary of the Interior J. P. Usher
creates the Chehalis Indian Reservation, using the authority of articles
Treaty of Olympia.
September 22, 1866 Executive Order establishes the tiny
320 acre Shoalwater Bay Reservation for Willapa Bay Chinook, also under
authority from the Treaty of Olympia.
November 4, 1873 Ulysses S. Grant's Executive Order
expands the Quinault Reservation from 10,000 acres to 220,000 acres. This
order sets apart land
for the use of "Quinaielt, Quillahute, Hoh, Quit, and other tribes
of fish-eating Indians on the Pacific Coast". This is the basis under
which the Chinook and other tribes were later (1931) allotted lands on
the Quinault Reservation.
|Fort Clatsop > Culture > Making Treaties
|1851 Anson Dart Treaties
"The first of the treaties were called
the Anson Dart Treaties in 1851, and there was a whole
series of them written with the different tribes. Each
of the five groups that now make up the lower Chinook
Indian nation, signed a treaty, and the United States
Senate never acted on, or signed or ratified those treaties
" (Gary Johnson interview: 2002).
Anson Dart negotiates 19 treaties in August of 1851, on treaty grounds at
Tansy Point, on the south shore of the Columbia at the mouth of Lewis & Clark
River (see map below). Treaties are drawn up with the Clatsop, Wau-ki-kum,
Konnaacc, Kathlamet, Klatskania, Wheelappa, and Lower Chinook bands of the
Chinook peoples, as well as the Tillamook and other bands. None of these
is ratified by the Senate. (Beckham 1987:7)
Section of 1887 Army Corps
Engineers map showing location of
Tansy Point, 1851 treaty grounds.
University of Washington Archives
#UW128. -- University of Washington
Archives Website, 2002
Adapted from portion
of 1881 Symons
map to show approximate boundary of
as described in Anson Dart
treaty at Tansey Point in 1851.
The geographical area described in the treaty for the cession of the Lower
Band of the Chinook Tribe to the United States was as follows:
“Beginning at the mouth of a certain stream entering Gray’s
Bay on the north side of the Columbia River which stream forms the western
boundary of lands ceded to the United states by the Waukikum band of
Chinooks, running thence northeroly on said western boundary to lands of
and of Indians thence westerly along said lands of the Wheelappa band
to the Shoalwater Bay, thence southerly and easterly following the Coast
the Pacific Ocean band the northern shore of the Columbia to the place
of beginning, the above description is intended to embrace all the lands
or claimed by said Lower Band of Chinook Indians. [See Chinook Tribe
and Bands of Indians v. United States, 6 Ind. Cl. Comm. 177, 184 (1958))].
of Indian Affairs 1851: 32-35, Ex. 9). (Beckham 1987:8)
Anson Dart's 1851 letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Courtesy of the Center for Columbia River History.
1855 Chehalis River
on the Treaty Ground. James G. Swan sketch (Swan:1857).
Courtesy of The University of Montana, K. Ross Toole
Archives, Special Collections.
“Then there were further treaty negotiations
that went on as Washington became a territory, the Chehalis
River Treaty in 1855.
"With the early treaties, the U.S. first wanted
to push or send all the Indian people to eastern Washington,
which is a totally different climate, without the rivers
and the water of our homeland. This was asking people
to leave their ancestors and their villages, and people
wouldn't go, didn't want to go. So the second treaty,
this Chehalis River Treaty, they asked people to go
up north and they didn't specify an area, and it turned
out to be near the Quinault Indian Reservation. Multiple
tribes attended and none of them would agree to the
terms. Governor Isaac Stevens, the person in charge,
left the treaty grounds and everyone went home without
a treaty signed" (Gary Johnson: 2002).
Washington Territory is created in 1853, and now the U.S. government wants
to include the Chinook in negotiations with tribes to the north and east of
them, and not their relatives across the river in what is now Oregon Territory.
Isaac Stevens is the new governor of Wash. Terr. and is anxious to establish
treaties with all of the tribes.
Indian Agent William H. Tappan reports in 1854: “It is a great misfortune
that a treaty was made with these people some years ago and not being ratified
by Congress the payments were not made as promised. This has given rise to
a feeling of distrust" (Tappan 1854b, Ex.458, in Beckham 1987:23). And
in January of 1855: “ At Chenook I found the Indians sullen and not willing
to talk to the purpose (of disposing of their lands)... they would be afraid
to live there [north, in the country of the Quinaults]...In short they were
not willing to go far from home into a strange land" (Tappan 1855a, Ex.498,
in Beckham 1987:23).
Swan reports that 843 Indians representing the Upper and Lower Chehalis, Queniults,
Chenooks and Cowlitz are in attendence on the Chehalis River treaty grounds(Swan
1857:346). Interpretation at the treaty council on the Chehalis was a challenge,
with several languages and cultural understandings present. After Gov. Stevens
expressed the intentions of the proposed treaty to move all of the tribes attending
to one reservation in the Quinault homelands,
“Several of the chiefs spoke, some in Jargon
and some in their own tribal language, which would be
interpreted into Jargon by one of their people who was
conversant with it; so that, what with this diversity
of tongues, it was difficult to have the subject properly
understood by all. But their speeches finally resulted
in one and the same thing, which was that they felt
proud to have the governor talk with them; they liked
his proposition to buy their land, but they did not
want to go on to the reservation. The speech of Narkarty,
one of the Chenook chiefs, will convey the idea they
all had" (Swan 1969:345).
“When you first began to speak,"
said he to the governor, “we did not understand
you; it was all dark to us as the night; but now our
hearts are enlightened, and what you say is clear to
us as the sun.
“We are proud that our great father in Washington
thinks of us. We are poor, and can see how much better
off the white men are than we are. We are willing to
sell our land, but we do not want to go away from our
“Our fathers, and mothers, and ancestors are
buried there and by them we wish to bury our dead and
be buried ourselves. We wish, therefore, each to have
a place on our own land where we can live, and you may
have the rest; but we can’t go to the north among
the other tribes. We are not friends, and if we went
together we should fight, and soon we would all be killed"
(Narkarty in Swan 1969:345).
"This same idea was expressed by all, and repeated
every day. The Indians from the interior did not want
to go on a reservation with the Coast or Canoe Indians.
“The governor certainly erred in judgment
in attempting to place these five different tribes on
the same reservation; but his motive was, that as they
were so few, being mere remnants of once powerful bands,
it would be better to have them concentrated at one
point. They, however, did not think so; their ancient
prejudices were as strong as ever, and they well knew
that they never could agree to live together. They were
willing to concentrate at a given place on their own
lands, and it is a pity the governor did not see the
benefit that would arise to them by so doing. A hundred
Indians, all that remained of the Chenook tribe, if
located at any one point, would be in nobody’s
way, and certainly there is plenty of room in their
possessions. So of each of the other tribes" (Swan 1969:345).
“The Chehalis River Treaty Council proved a disastrous event. Unlike
prior treaty councils in western Washington...the conference on the Chehalis
River included many disillusioned Indians...Discontent also mounted when Stevens
named ‘chiefs’ and tried to force all of the bands...onto a single
reservation. The conference erupted in angry exchanges and Stevens stormed
from the session" (Beckham 1987:24).
|Treaty of Olympia
"The government negotiated what was called the Treaty of Olympia,
establishing a reservation within the homeland of the Quinault Tribe.
This treaty was signed only with the Quinault and Quilliut tribes, and
of the lower Columbia river tribes signed that.
“By Presidential Proclamation, that reservation was expanded from
ten thousand acres to two hundred and twenty thousand acres. The Chinooks
and the Cowlitz and Chehalis, Shoalwater, and many other tribes were
then given land on the expanded reservation.
“An interesting point is that people were given 80 acre allotments,
and the Chinooks were given about 54 percent of them, because there
were so many Chinook people. The Quinaults were a smaller tribe, and they
received six percent. This distribution of land has resulted in a lot
of, a lot of controversy and debates and court rulings.
"We have court rulings that give us treaty rights on the Quinault
Indian Reservation, as one of the tribes of the Quinault, and this
speaks to our acknowledgement also. People cannot be given land allotments
an Indian reservation unless they are an Indian of a federally recognized
tribe. All of our families were given allotments on that reservation,
so this is another example of our recognition. And there's a Supreme Court
case called the Halvert Decision that confirmed Chinook allotments
So it's been to the Supreme Court and the rulings have always been
favorable for the Chinook people" (Gary Johnson interview: 2002).
| 1864 Ruling
"The next extremely important government action,
to us, was in February of 1864, when Secretary of Interior,
John P. Usher, just wrote out a ruling of taking all
of Chinook territory for the United States. This was
an illegal action. Nowhere in the Constitution of the
United States does the Secretary of Interior have that
power to take land. In international law, there's no
provision for any country to take land in that way,
so it was clearly an illegal action.
"The illegal taking of our land in 1864 probably
remains a concern of the U.S. to this day, of what to
do with the Chinook. If we are formally recognized and
acknowledged by the government, will they have to return
our land" (Gary Johnson interview: 2002)"
Portion of 1881 Symons map “Department of the
Courtesy of the University of Oregon Library Map and
Arial Photography collection.