Presentation on theme: "Leschi: Justice In Our Time Produced by the Committee to Exonerate Chief Leschi, in cooperation with the Leschi Descendants, Nisqually Tribe and the Washington."— Presentation transcript:
Leschi: Justice In Our Time Produced by the Committee to Exonerate Chief Leschi, in cooperation with the Leschi Descendants, Nisqually Tribe and the Washington State Historical Society
Chief Leschi “Leschi's people believed that a star rose over the Nisqually Plains on the day of his birth in But ironically the title of Chief would be bestowed upon him by the first Territorial Governor, Isaac Stevens, who would later unjustly demand his life on the gallows.” Leschi: Last Chief of the Nisquallies by Cecelia Svinth Carpenter
Goals of the Committee to Exonerate Chief Leschi ^ Exonerate Leschi of the crime of murder ^ Correct the historical record of this injustice ^ Obtain an apology to Leschi’s people
Leschi, the Man “Leschi was known as a man of great intelligence with superb oratorical abilities. His wisdom was often sought by his tribesmen to settle disagreements. His father was Nisqually and his mother Yakima. This mixed heritage provided him with a tall agile body and strong heavy shoulders. It was said that his most distinguishing feature was his alert, penetrating eyes.” Leschi: Last Chief of the Nisquallies by Cecelia Svinth Carpenter
Nisqually Territory, 1855
Washington Territory On March 2, 1853, the United States Congress officially declares Washington Territory separate from Oregon Territory
Governor Isaac Stevens President Franklin Pierce appoints Isaac Ingalls Stevens Territorial Governor of Washington
Treaty Commission Created Stevens sets up a Treaty Commission and divides western Washington into five treaty districts
Treaty Commission Reservations The locations of the Reservations are determined at the discretion of the Treaty Commission
Medicine Creek Treaty Site The treaty is explained to the Nisquallies, Puyallups, Squaxins and other tribal bands present in Chinook jargon
Acting-Governor Charles Mason Early in 1855, Leschi meets with Acting- Governor Charles Mason and tells him that the Nisquallies want peace
Nisqually Fish Weir Muck Creek is no longer to be available to the Nisquallies
Washington Militia Stevens, fearing the Indians will resist the treaty, secures Territorial Legislative approval for a volunteer militia
Quiemulth, Leschi’s Brother By October 1855, Acting Governor Mason orders Eaton's Rangers, a detachment of the militia, to arrest Leschi and his brother Quiemulth
Gen. John E. Wool General John E. Wool, Commander of the US Army's Pacific Division, sharply criticizes this action
Connell’s Prairie Leschi and Quiemuth flee northeast towards the White River, while other warriors ambush the pursuing Eaton's Rangers at Connell's Prairie, killing two men
Leschi’s Orders Leschi’s instructions are clear - the "war is with the troops and not the settlers".
White River Massacre View from Brannan Homestead A renegade war party loots and burns the homes of three white families, killing nine people who settled on the White River
Naches Trail On October 31, 1855, a vanguard of militia returning home through the Naches Trail passes through an Indian encampment
Eradicating the Indians Governor Stevens hears of the Green River battle and gives a speech to the territorial legislature promising the "eradication of hostile Indians”
Military Blockhouse Stevens asserts that the Militia will provide blockhouses for settler protection
Leschi, the Chief Leschi again attempts to make peace and ask for a reasonable land base for his people
Governor Stevens & the Indian War Council Stevens refuses and maintains that all hostiles must be put in jail and stand trial. The Indian War Council disagrees.
The Settlers Most of the settlers remain safe, including those who leave their claims to go to the blockhouses. Leschi's order to make war on the troops, not the settlers is stringently obeyed
Mashel Massacre Early April 1856, under orders from Stevens, the militia attacks the Mashel Indian village by Leschi's home, killing all the families in residence
Martial Law Declared April 3, 1856, Stevens declares Martial Law, relieving the civil courts of their jurisdiction, and suspending the civil practice of trial by jury
A Presidential Reprimand Stevens’ actions result in a Congressional investigation and reprimand from President Franklin Pierce
General Wool Disagrees General Wool, who sharply disagrees with Stevens, believes the regular Army troops in the district to be sufficient to handle whatever emergency that might arise
Stevens Relents Under pressure from the President, Stevens agrees to change the location of the Puyallup and Nisqually Reservations
Dr. William F. Tolmie Leschi asks Dr. Tolmie to negotiate with the Americans; under the new treaty agreement Leschi will now make peace
Stevens’ Refusal Stevens refuses to negotiate with Leschi. Stevens considers him a criminal and intends to charge him with the murder of A. Benton Moses.
Col. George Wright “The assurances I gave to all the chiefs…including Leschi, were full and complete…as to their personal safety”
Leschi Imprisoned On November 13, 1856 Leschi is captured and imprisoned at Fort Steilacoom
Trial Testimony ^ Rabbeson knew Leschi by sight only, not by name ^ Distance from victim at time of shooting is unclear – conflicting testimony ^ Smoke from guns obscured view ^ Leschi not identified as the man who fired the fatal shot
A Hung Jury Trial results in a hung jury. Ezra Meeker is one of the jurors, and his is one of two “not guilty” votes.
The U. S. Army Position Acts of violence during a time of war should not result in either side being held personally accountable.
New Jury, New Instructions Pierce County The jury in the first trial is instructed to consider the Act of War circumstance. Thurston County The jury in the second trial is not told to consider the Act of War circumstance.
Verdict in Olympia On March 18, 1857, Leschi is found guilty and sentenced to hang on June 10, 1857.
Attorney Frank Clark Defender of Leschi “(Leschi) entered into a truce with a high military authority…I hardly think it will be disputed, that the Indian and his people adhered to the conditions of the truce.”
Lt. August Kautz “…A survey of the ground in the vicinity of where Moses was killed, has been made by a highly intelligent and competent gentleman, Lieut. A.V. Kautz, US Army “
Kautz’s Map X X First Meeting Leschi Route Militia Route
Leschi’s Execution Stevens directs the erection of a scaffold a mile east of Fort Steilacoom where the execution of Leschi is held. Site of Leschi’s death
Leschi Remembered Leschi is remembered today by American Indian Nations, the Washington State Community and Historians as an honored Chief wrongly executed – especially judging by the astonishing number of public places named for him.
Leschi’s Washington Legacy
The Committee to Exonerate Chief Leschi of the Nisqually asks for your support to insure that: ^ Leschi is exonerated of the crime of murder, ^ that the historical record is corrected, and ^ an apology is made to his people.