On December 26, 1854, at a meeting at Medicine Creek in present-day Thurston County, 62 leaders of major Western Washington tribes, including the Nisqually and Puyallup, sign a treaty with Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens (1818-1862). The tribes cede most of their lands in exchange for $32,500, designated reservations, and the permanent right of access to traditional hunting and fishing grounds.
This pact was followed in January 1855 with the signing of treaties at Point Elliott (now Mukilteo) and Point No Point (near Hansville on the Kitsap Peninsula), which relocated the balance of Puget Sound tribes to reservations. The agreements did not secure a durable peace, however, and the new Territory experienced several bloody clashes over the next four years.
Nisqually Chief Leschi (d. 1858) later claimed not to have signed the treaty and fiercely resisted confinement on a reservation. He allegedly led an attack on Seattle on January 26, 1856, and was hanged in 1858 on unrelated (and, in the opinion of many pioneers, false) charges of murder and rebellion.
Clarence Bagley, History of Seattle (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916); Bagley, History of King County, Washington (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929); Edmond Meany, History of the State of Washington (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909).
Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that
encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both
HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any
reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this
Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For
more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact
the source noted in the image credit.
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided
The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins
| Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry
| 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle
| City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach
Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private
Sponsors and Visitors Like You