Yakima War

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Yakima War (1855-1858) - The Yakima (Yakama) Indians lived along the Columbia and Yakima Rivers in Washington Territory, on land desireable for white settlement and mining. With great difficulty, US officials negotiated a treaty with the Yakima and 13 other Indian tribes, all of whom ceded their lands and agreed to be placed on a single, large reservation. Some of the tribes decided to resist their removal and joined together under the leadership of Yakima chief Kamaiakan (fl. 1850s), whose forces successfully repulsed US troops for about three years. Other Indians in the territory rose up in rebellion, following the lead of the Yakima, and many skirmishes, raids, and battles took place. Finally at the Battle of Four Lakes, near Spokane, Washington, the Indians were decisively defeated (September 1858) and afterward placed on reservations, although a few tribes remained outside them. Kamaiakan fled to Canada, but 24 other chiefs were captured and hanged or shot. The Yakima tribe was put on a reservation south of the present city of Yakima.

Sources:

  • Converse, George L., A Military History of the Columbia Valley: 1848-1865, Pioneer Press Books, Walla Walla, Washington, 1988, ISBN 0-936546-16-6

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