Book recounts trial of first Nisqually chief

LaceyJune 29, 2012 

The first and only chief of the Nisqually Indian Nation, Leschi, along with 17 other American Indians, died by hanging, after an unfair trial by the U.S. court system in the 1850s (the Nisqually now have a council and a chairman/chairwoman).

His first trial resulted in a hung jury, but the relentless determination of the first Washington territorial governor, Isaac I. Stevens, to eliminate Leschi and other American Indians, led to that sad result. The crime had been to resist Stevens’ treaty to transfer native lands to the U.S. government, and to confine the 600 Nisqually to a two-acre rocky, forested reservation.

In the resistance, Leschi was accused of killing two U.S. soldiers. This sad history is poignantly detailed in the book, “The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek: A Tragic Clash Between White and Native America” by Richard Kluger.

Don’t take my word for and about this historical injustice. Read about it yourself.

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