Isaac Stevens

Last updated
Isaac Ingalls Stevens
20130214073638!Governor.Gen.Stevens cropped.jpg
Isaac Ingalls Stevens during the American Civil War
1st Governor of Washington Territory
In office
November 25, 1853 August 11, 1857
Appointed by Franklin Pierce
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded by LaFayette McMullen
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington Territory's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1857 March 3, 1861
Preceded by James Patton Anderson
Succeeded by William H. Wallace
Personal details
Born(1818-03-25)March 25, 1818
North Andover, Massachusetts
DiedSeptember 1, 1862(1862-09-01) (aged 44)
Chantilly, Virginia
Resting place Island Cemetery, Newport, Rhode Island
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Margaret Hazard Stevens
Relations Oliver Stevens (brother)
Children5 (including Hazard Stevens)
Alma mater United States Military Academy
ProfessionSoldier
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1861-1863).svg  United States of America
Union
Branch/service United States Army
Union Army
Years of service1839–1853
1861–1862
Rank Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brigadier General
Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Major General (posthumous)
Commands 79th New York Infantry Rgt.
1st Division, IX Corps
Battles/wars Mexican–American War
Yakima War
American Civil War

Isaac Ingalls Stevens (March 25, 1818 – September 1, 1862) was an American military officer and politician who served as governor of the Territory of Washington from 1853 to 1857, and later as its delegate to the United States House of Representatives. During the American Civil War, he held several Union commands. He was killed at the Battle of Chantilly, while at the head of his men and carrying the fallen colors of one of his regiments against Confederate positions. According to one account, at the hour of his death Stevens was being considered by President Abraham Lincoln for appointment to command the Army of Virginia. He was posthumously advanced to the rank of Major General. Several schools, towns, counties, and lakes are named in his honor.

Contents

Descended from early American settlers in New England, Stevens – a man who stood just 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m) tall – overcame a troubled childhood and personal setbacks to graduate at the top of his class at West Point before embarking on a successful military career. He was a controversial and polarizing figure as governor of the Washington Territory, where he was both praised and condemned. He was described by one historian as the subject of more reflection and study than almost the rest of the territory's 19th-century history combined. Stevens' marathon diplomacy with Native American tribes sought to avoid military conflict in Washington; however, when the Yakama War broke out as Native Americans resisted European encroachment, he prosecuted it mercilessly. His decision to rule by martial law, jail judges who opposed him, and raise a de facto personal army led to his conviction for contempt of court, for which he famously pardoned himself, and a rebuke from the President of the United States. Nonetheless, his uncompromising decisiveness in the face of crisis was both applauded by his supporters and noted by historians.

Isaac Stevens was the father of Hazard Stevens, the hero of the Battle of Suffolk and one of the first men to summit Mount Rainier.

Early life and education

Isaac Stevens was born in North Andover, Massachusetts to Isaac Stevens and Hannah Stevens (née Cummings), a descendant of early Puritan settlers from a gentry family that had produced several distinguished members of the clergy and military. [1] As a young man, he was noted for his intelligence, particularly his mathematical acuity. [1] [2] His diminutive stature – in adulthood he stood 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m) tall – has been attributed to a possible congenital gland malfunction. [1]

Stevens resented his father, described by historian Kent Richards as a "stern taskmaster", whose unrelenting demands on his son pushed the young man to his breaking point. While working on the family farm, Stevens once nearly died of sunstroke. [1] After Stevens' mother died in a carriage accident, his widowed father married a woman whom Stevens disliked. According to Stevens, he came close to suffering a mental breakdown in his youth. [1]

Stevens graduated from the male prep school Phillips Academy in 1833 and was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1839 at the top of his class. [1]

Career

Stevens was the adjutant of the Corps of Engineers during the Mexican–American War, seeing action at the siege of Vera Cruz and at Cerro Gordo, Contreras, and Churubusco. In the latter fight, he caught the attention of his superiors, who rewarded him with the brevet rank of captain. He was again cited and breveted for gallantry at the Battle of Chapultepec, this time to the rank of major. Stevens participated in combat at Molino del Rey, and the Battle for Mexico City, where he was severely wounded. [3] He later wrote a book on his adventures, Campaigns of the Rio Grande and Mexico, with Notices of the Recent Work of Major Ripley (New York, 1851).

He superintended fortifications on the New England coast from 1841 until 1849. He was given command of the coast survey office in Washington, D.C., serving in that role until March 1853. [4]

Governor (1853–1857)

Isaac Stevens (c. 1855-1862) Isaac Stevens - Brady-Handy.jpg
Isaac Stevens (c. 1855–1862)

Stevens was a firm supporter of former brigadier general Franklin Pierce's candidacy for President of the United States in 1852, as both men had served in the Mexican–American War. Stevens was rewarded by President Pierce on March 17, 1853 [5] by being named governor of the newly created Washington Territory. (The position also included the title of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for that region). Stevens chose to add one more duty as he traveled west to the territory he would govern: the government was calling for a surveyor to map an appropriate railroad route across the northern United States, hoping that a transcontinental railroad would open up Asian markets. With Stevens' engineering experience (and likely the favor of Pierce yet again, as well as Secretary of War Jefferson Davis), he won the bid. His party, which included Dr. George Suckley, John Mullan and Fred Burr, son of David H. Burr, spent most of 1853 moving slowly across the prairie, surveying the way to Washington Territory. There Stevens met George McClellan's party, which had surveyed the line between the Puget Sound and the Spokane River. He took up his post at Olympia as governor in November that year. [6]

As a result of his expedition, Stevens wrote a third book, Report of Explorations for a Route for the Pacific Railroad near the 47th and 49th Parallels of North Latitude, from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Puget Sound, (commissioned and published by the United States Congress) (2 vols., Washington, 1855–1860).

Stevens was a controversial governor in his time. Historians consider him even more controversial, for his role in compelling the Native American tribes of Washington Territory by intimidation and force to sign treaties that ceded most of their lands and rights to Stevens' government. [6] These included the Treaty of Medicine Creek, Treaty of Hellgate, Treaty of Neah Bay, Treaty of Point Elliott, Point No Point Treaty, and Quinault Treaty. During this time, the Governor imposed martial law to better impose his will on the Indians and whites who opposed his views. The consequent political and legal battles would soon overshadow the Indian war. [7]

Stevens did not hesitate to use his troops for vengeance, and waged a brutal winter campaign against the Yakama tribe, led by Chief Kamiakin. This, along with his unjustified execution of the Nisqually chieftain Leschi, led to widespread pleas to President Pierce to remove Stevens from his post. Two men were particularly vocal in their opposition to Stevens and his policies: territorial Judge Edward Lander and influential private citizen Ezra Meeker. While Meeker was ignored, Lander was arrested by Stevens' forces due to his opposition. Pierce refused to remove Stevens from his position, but eventually sent word to the governor expressing his disapproval. Any opposition eventually died down, as most white settlers in Washington Territory felt that Stevens was on "their side", while they considered Meeker to be too sympathetic to Native Americans. [8]

As a result of this public perception, Stevens was popular enough to be elected as the territory's delegate to the United States Congress in 1857 and 1858. The tensions between whites and Native Americans would be left for others to resolve. Stevens is often charged with responsibility for the later conflicts in eastern Washington and Idaho, especially the war fought by the United States against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce, [9] These events were decades in the future when Stevens left Washington State for good in 1857.

Martial law

In April 1856, Governor Stevens removed settlers whom he believed to be aiding the enemy (in many cases because they had married into local tribes) and placing them in the military's custody. [10] [11] Governor Stevens declared martial law in Pierce County in order to conduct a military trial of those settlers. He next declared martial law in Thurston County. [12] But only the territorial legislature had the authority to declare martial law, and representatives fought Stevens' effort to abrogate their authority. A bitter political and legal battle ensued.

Stevens was forced to repeal the declaration and fight subsequent calls for his removal. His decision to use martial law was the result of his determination to enforce a blockhouse policy in the war against the Indians of the Puget Sound region. Indian raids on scattered settlements and an intimidating attack on the city of Seattle in February 1856 resulted in Governor Stevens concluding that he needed to concentrate on defensive measures, given the limited number of men at his disposal. He determined that the white population should be concentrated at specific strongly protected points. For that reason, the volunteers under Stevens' command built a series of forts and blockhouses along the Snoqualmie, White, and Nisqually rivers. Once completed, Stevens ordered the settler population to leave their claims and take temporary residence in these safer areas.

Once Stevens proclaimed martial law, he raised a new and more significant issue. Stevens' proclamation of martial law in Pierce County stated:

Whereas in the prosecution of the Indian war circumstances have existed affording such grave cause of suspicion, such that certain evil disposed persons of Pierce county have given aid and comfort to the enemy, as that they have been placed under arrest and ordered to be tried by a military commission; and whereas, efforts are now being made to withdraw, by civil process, these persons from the purview of the said commission. Therefore, as the war is now being actively prosecuted through- out nearly the whole of the said county, and great injury to the public, and the plans of the campaign be frustrated, if the alleged designs of these persons be not arrested, I, Isaac I. Stevens, Governor of the Territory of Washington, do hereby proclaim Martial Law over the said county of Pierce, and do by these presents suspend for the time being and till further notice, the functions of all civil officers in said county. [13]

On May 11, 1856, attorneys George Gibbs and H. A. Goldsborough sent a letter to the Secretary of State denying that the war situation throughout the territory, and especially in Pierce County, was as grave as Governor Stevens had declared at the time of proclaiming martial law. They said that Stevens' allegations made against Charles Wren, John McLeod, John McField, Lyon A. Smith, and Henry Smith, were based wholly on suspicion. They asserted that the only factual related evidence was that on Christmas Day, a party of Indians had visited McLeod's cabin and had forced him to give them food. Gibbs and Goldsborough declared that:

The sole object of the proclamation was to get half a dozen obscure individuals into his absolute control, and to demonstrate that he, Isaac I. Stevens, could, on the field offered by a small Territory, enact, at second hand, the part of Napoleon. [14]

The territorial organic act designated the governor as "commander-in-chief of the militia thereof," but there were not a regularly constituted militia. Stevens assumed his powers from his control of local volunteer troops, which had been organized to meet the necessities of the situation. These had not been authorized either by the federal government or by the territorial legislature. Stevens' position as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the territory had a broad administrative responsibility but possessed no direct military power. On May 24, 1856, following a legal opinion rendered by Judge Chenoweth, ruling that Stevens had no legal power to declare martial law, Governor Stevens rescinded his proclamation in Pierce and Thurston counties. [15]

Civil War

After the Civil War began in 1861, and following the Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run, Stevens was commissioned in the Army again. He was appointed as Colonel of the 79th New York Volunteers, known as the "Cameron Highlanders." He was promoted to a brigadier general on September 28, 1861, and fought at Port Royal. He led the Second Brigade of the Expeditionary Forces sent to attack the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina. He led a division at the Battle of Secessionville, where he led an attack on Fort Lamar, in which 25% of his men were casualties.

Stevens was transferred with his IX Corps division to Virginia to serve under Major General John Pope in the Northern Virginia Campaign and the Second Battle of Bull Run. He was killed in action at the Battle of Chantilly on September 1, 1862 after picking up the fallen regimental colors of his old regiment, shouting "Highlanders, my Highlanders, follow your general!" Charging with his troops while carrying the banner of Saint Andrew's Cross, Stevens was struck in the temple by a bullet and died instantly.

He was buried in Newport, Rhode Island at Island Cemetery. In March 1863, he was posthumously promoted to major general, backdated to July 18, 1862. [16]

Stevens had married. His son, Hazard Stevens, had become a career officer and was also injured in the Battle of Chantilly. He survived and eventually became a general in the U.S. Army and an author. Together with P. B. Van Trump, he participated in the first documented ascent of Mount Rainier in Washington State. [17]

Death on the battlefield

Death of General Isaac Stevens, a lithograph by Alonzo Chappel Death of General Isaac Stevens (1818-62) during the attack on Chantilly, Viriginia 1862.jpg
Death of General Isaac Stevens, a lithograph by Alonzo Chappel

A combination of an increasingly violent thunderstorm and unrelenting Confederate fire had slowed the advance of the 79th New York Regiment to a crawl. Five successive regimental color bearers had died leading the line. [18] When Stevens saw that yet another soldier who was carrying the regimental flag had been shot, he raced from his position in the rear, through the panicked body of his men, to wrench the flag from the wounded man's grasp. [18] According to witnesses, the injured color bearer - knowing the regimental flag would be a target - yelled at Stevens "for God's sake, General, don't take the colors!" [18]

Stevens ignored the man's appeal and seized the colors, at which point his own son Hazard – who was serving in the regiment – was shot and injured by a Confederate volley. Hazard Stevens cried out to his father for help, to which the general replied, "I can't attend to you now, Hazard. Corporal Thompson, see to my boy". [19] Stevens turned to his men and yelled "Follow your General!" [18] Facing the Confederate line and waving the recovered regimental colors, Stevens proceeded to charge the Confederate positions, his men following in close order. [18] The renewed advance forced the defending Louisianans to fall back into the woods. [18]

Stevens led his men over the abandoned Confederate ramparts, pursuing the retreating Confederate forces into the forest. [18] At that moment, a Confederate bullet struck Stevens in the head, killing him instantly. [18] As he collapsed, his body twisted, wrapping itself in the flag that he was still carrying and staining it with his blood. [18] According to a period newspaper report, Stevens' body was recovered an hour after his death, his hands still clenched around the staff of the flag. [20]

He was buried in Island Cemetery in Newport, Rhode Island. [21]

Legacy

A monument (pictured, left) marks the approximate place where Stevens died at the Battle of Chantilly. OxHillBattlefieldParkMonuments.jpg
A monument (pictured, left) marks the approximate place where Stevens died at the Battle of Chantilly.
Stevens Hall at Washington State University (2017) Stevens Hall 1.jpg
Stevens Hall at Washington State University (2017)

Reputation

Historians have generally viewed Stevens as a complicated figure. According to historian David Nicandri, the four years in which he ruled Washington "takes up a greater volume of concern and consciousness than the entire balance of the territorial officialdom up until the time Washington becomes a state in 1889". [22] Accounts of Stevens' tenure have been highly polarized. Writing in 1972, Richards observed that nearly all accounts of his tenure have either "condemned" or "uncritically applauded" him. [1] Ezra Meeker, an historian, settler, and contemporary opponent of Stevens, described him as one who would "take no counsel, nor brook opposition to his will". [22]

In 2016, the chairman of the Suquamish Nation, one of the tribes of the region that had made a treaty with Stevens, said that while the governor may "have rushed the treaties and that the process had other flaws, their more positive impacts are felt every day in modern tribal life". [22]

Posthumous promotion

In March 1863, at the request of President Abraham Lincoln, the United States Senate posthumously advanced Stevens to the rank of Major General. [23] According to George Cullum's Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy "at the very hour of his death, the President and Secretary of War were considering the advisability of placing Stevens in command of the Army in which he was serving". [21]

Memorials

A marker at Ox Hill Battlefield Park, site of the Battle of Chantilly, commemorates the approximate place where Stevens fell while leading his men. [24]

In Washington, Stevens County is named in his honor, as is Lake Stevens. [25] Several Washington public schools, including Seattle's Isaac I. Stevens Elementary School, Port Angeles' Stevens Middle School, and Pasco's Isaac Stevens Middle School, are also named in his honor, as is the Washington State University dormitory Stevens Hall. [26] The Washington chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is known as Isaac Stevens Camp No. 1.

In addition, Stevensville, Montana, Stevens County, Minnesota, and Idaho's Stevens Peak, Upper Stevens Lake, and Lower Stevens Lake are named in tribute to Stevens.

The United States Army previously maintained two military posts named after Stevens: Fort Stevens in Washington, D.C., and Fort Stevens in Oregon.

Biographies

Hazard Stevens wrote a biography of his father, The Life of Isaac Ingalls Stevens (1900). Kent Richards' biography, Isaac I. Stevens: Young Man in a Hurry (1979), remains in print as of 2016. [22]

Hall of fame

In 1962, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. [27]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Richards, Kent (July 1972). "Isaac I. Stevens and Federal Military Power in Washington Territory". Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 63 (3): 81–86. JSTOR   40489009.
  2. Wilma, David. "Stevens, Isaac Ingalls (1818–1862)". HistoryLink . HistoryInk. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  3. "Isaac I. Stevens". www.civilwar.org. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  4. "Isaac I. Stevens • Cullum's Register • 986". penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  5. "Newly elected President Franklin Pierce appointed Isaac I. Stevens as Governor of Washington Territory". Territorial Timeline. Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
  6. 1 2 "Stevens, Isaac Ingalls (1818-1862)" . Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  7. Richards, Kent (1979). Isaac I. Stevens: Young Man In A Hurry. Provo UT: Brigham Young University Press. p. 275. ISBN   978-0-8425-1697-6.
  8. "Isaac Stevens". www.webpages.uidaho.edu. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  9. "Nez Perce War and Native Relations · The Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Student Research Projects · Digital Exhibits". digitalexhibits.libraries.wsu.edu. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  10. 1953–, Rowe, Mary Ellen (2003). Bulwark of the republic : the American militia in antebellum West. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. pp. 177–178. ISBN   978-0313324109. OCLC   658058285.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  11. Lokken, Roy N. (1952). "The Martial Law Controversy in Washington Territory, 1856". The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 43 (2): 91–119. JSTOR   40486984.
  12. Evans, Elwood (1889). History of the Pacific Northwest: Oregon and Washington: Embracing an Account of the Original Discoveries on the Pacific Coast of North America, and a Description of the Conquest, Settlement and Subjugation of the Original Territory of Oregon; Also Interesting Biographies of the Earliest Settlers and More Prominent Men and Women of the Pacific Northwest, Including a Description of the Climate, Soil, Productions of Oregon and Washington. Portland, Oregon: North Pacific History Company. pp.  581.
  13. Lokken, Roy N. (1952). "The Martial Law Controversy in Washington Territory, 1856". The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 43 (2): 99. JSTOR   40486984.
  14. Lokken, Roy N. (1952). "The Martial Law Controversy in Washington Territory, 1856". The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. 43 (2): 108. JSTOR   40486984.
  15. Council, Washington Territory Legislative Assembly (1857). Journal ...
  16. United States Senate (1887). "Friday, March 6, 1863". Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America 1862–1864. Government Printing Office. p. 206.
  17. "Ascents of Mount Rainier". National Park Service. October 20, 2001. Archived from the original on September 19, 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Welker, David A. (2007). Tempest At Ox Hill: The Battle Of Chantilly. Hachette Book Group. pp. 223–234. ISBN   978-0306817205.
  19. Storke, Elliot G. (1865). A Complete History of the Great American Rebellion: Embracing Its Causes, Events and Consequences, with Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Its Principal Actors ... Auburn Publishing Co. p. 1574.
  20. "The Death of Gen. Stevens". Berkshire County Eagle. September 11, 1862. Retrieved January 4, 2019.(subscription required)
  21. 1 2 Cullum, George (1879). Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the United States Military Academy. D. Van Norstrand. p. 732.
  22. 1 2 3 4 Banel, Feliks (August 31, 2016). "Remembering Washington's complicated first governor Isaac Stevens". KIRO-FM . Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  23. "Posthumous Honors". Chicago Tribune . March 14, 1863. Retrieved January 4, 2019.(subscription required)
  24. "Sometimes you make the best of what you get: Ox Hill Battlefield". To the Sound of the Guns. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  25. "City History- Lake Stevens WA (city website)". www.lakestevenswa.gov. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  26. "Stevens Hall History – Our Story". wsm.wsu.edu. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  27. "Hall of Great Westerners". National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Retrieved November 22, 2019.

Related Research Articles

John E. Wool Union United States Army general

John Ellis Wool was an officer in the United States Army during three consecutive U.S. wars: the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War. By the time of the Mexican-American War, he was widely considered one of the most capable officers in the army and a superb organizer.

Arizona Territory Territory of the United States from 1863 until statehood attained in 1912

The Territory of Arizona was a territory of the United States that existed from February 24, 1863, until February 14, 1912, when the remaining extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Arizona. It was created from the western half of the New Mexico Territory during the American Civil War.

Confederate Arizona Territory of the Confederate States of America

Arizona Territory, colloquially referred to as Confederate Arizona, was an organized incorporated territory of the Confederate States that existed from August 1, 1861 to May 26, 1865, when the Confederate States Army Trans-Mississippi Department, commanded by General Edmund Kirby Smith, was surrendered at Shreveport, Louisiana. However, after the Battle of Glorieta Pass, the Confederates had to retreat from the territory, and by July 1862, effective Confederate control of the territory had ended. Delegates to the secession convention had voted in March 1861 to secede from the New Mexico Territory and the Union, and seek to join the Confederacy. It consisted of the portion of the New Mexico Territory south of the 34th parallel, including parts of the modern states of New Mexico and Arizona. The capital was Mesilla, along the southern border. The breakaway region overlapped Arizona Territory, established by the Union government in February 1863.

Leschi (Nisqually)

Chief Leschi was a chief of the Nisqually Indian Tribe of southern Puget Sound, Washington, primarily in the area of the Nisqually River.

History of Washington (state) History article

The history of Washington includes thousands of years of Native American history before Europeans arrived and began to establish territorial claims. The region was part of Oregon Territory from 1848 to 1853, after which it was separated from Oregon and established as Washington Territory following the efforts at the Monticello Convention. In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state of the United States.

Yakima War Conflict between the United States and the Yakama

The Yakima War (1855-1858) was a conflict between the United States and the Yakama, a Sahaptian-speaking people of the Northwest Plateau, then part of Washington Territory, and the tribal allies of each. It primarily took place in the southern interior of present-day Washington. Isolated battles in western Washington and the northern Inland Empire were sometimes separately referred to as the Puget Sound War and the Palouse War, respectively. This conflict is also referred to as the Yakima Native American War of 1855.

California in the American Civil War The War effort in the U.S. state of California

California's involvement in the American Civil War included sending gold east to support the war effort, recruiting volunteer combat units to replace regular U.S. Army units sent east, in the area west of the Rocky Mountains, maintaining and building numerous camps and fortifications, suppressing secessionist activity and securing the New Mexico Territory against the Confederacy. The State of California did not send its units east, but many citizens traveled east and joined the Union Army there, some of whom became famous.

Matthew Butler

Matthew Calbraith Butler was a Confederate combatant, an American military commander and attorney and politician from South Carolina. He served as a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, postbellum three-term United States Senator, and a major general in the United States Army during the Spanish–American War.

Puget Sound War

The Puget Sound War was an armed conflict that took place in the Puget Sound area of the state of Washington in 1855–56, between the United States military, local militias and members of the Native American tribes of the Nisqually, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, and Klickitat. Another component of the war, however, were raiders from the Haida and Tlingit who came into conflict with the United States Navy during contemporaneous raids on the native peoples of Puget Sound. Although limited in its magnitude, territorial impact and losses in terms of lives, the conflict is often remembered in connection to the 1856 Battle of Seattle and to the execution of a central figure of the war, Nisqually Chief Leschi. The contemporaneous Yakima War may have been responsible for some events of the Puget Sound War, such as the Battle of Seattle, and it is not clear that the people of the time made a strong distinction between the two conflicts.

Coeur dAlene War

The Coeur d'Alene War of 1858, also known as the Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-Pend d'oreille-Paloos War, was the second phase of the Yakima War, involving a series of encounters between the allied Native American tribes of the Skitswish, Kalispell, Spokane, Palouse and Northern Paiute against United States Army forces in Washington and Idaho.

New Mexico Territory in the American Civil War

The New Mexico Territory, which included the areas which became the modern U.S. states of New Mexico and Arizona as well as the southern part of present-day Nevada, played a small but significant role in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War. Despite its remoteness from the major battlefields of the east and its existence on the still sparsely populated and largely undeveloped American frontier, both Confederate and Union governments claimed ownership over the territory, and several important battles and military operations took place in the region.

The Treaty of Medicine Creek was an 1854 treaty between the United States, and nine tribes and bands of Indians, occupying the lands lying around the head of Puget Sound, Washington, and the adjacent inlets. The tribes listed on the Treaty of Medicine Creek are Nisqually, Puyallup, Steilacoom, Squawskin, S'Homamish, Stehchass, T'Peeksin, Squi-aitl, and Sa-heh-wamish. The treaty was signed on December 26, 1854, by Isaac I. Stevens, governor and superintendent of Indian Affairs of the territory at the time of the signing, along with the chiefs, head-men and delegates of the stated tribes. For the purpose of the treaty, these representatives who signed the treaty were stated to have been, "regarded as one nation, on behalf of said tribes and bands, and duly authorized by them."

Battle of Seattle (1856) 1856 attack on settlers in Seattle, Washington by Native Americans

The Battle of Seattle was a January 26, 1856 attack by Native American tribesmen upon Seattle, Washington. At the time, Seattle was a settlement in the Washington Territory that had recently named itself after Chief Seattle (Sealth), a leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish peoples of central Puget Sound.

Joel Palmer American pioneer, author, politician (1810–1881)

General Joel Palmer was an American pioneer of the Oregon Territory in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. He was born in Canada, and spent his early years in New York and Pennsylvania before serving as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives.

George Gibbs (ethnologist)

George Gibbs (1815–1873) was an American ethnologist, naturalist and geologist who contributed to the study of the languages of indigenous peoples in Washington Territory. Known for his expertise in Native American customs and languages, Gibbs participated in numerous treaty negotiations between the U.S. government and the native tribes.

Hazard Stevens

Hazard Stevens was an American military officer, mountaineer, politician and writer. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Union army during the American Civil War at the Battle of Fort Huger. Stevens and Philemon Beecher Van Trump made the first documented successful climb of Mount Rainier on August 17, 1870.

Plácido was major Native American Chief of the Tonkawa Indians in Texas during the Spanish and Mexican rule, the Republic of Texas era, and with Texas as part of the United States.

Charles H. Mason was the first Secretary of State for Washington Territory and was acting Governor for two and a half years while the territorial Governor, Isaac Ingalls Stevens, conducted railroad surveys and concluded treaties with First Nations tribes and confederations.

Choctaw in the American Civil War

The Choctaw in the American Civil War participated in two major arenas— the Trans-Mississippi and Western Theaters. The Trans-Mississippi had the Choctaw Nation. The Western had the Mississippi Choctaw. The Choctaw Nation had been mostly removed west prior to the War, but the Mississippi Choctaw had remained in the east. Both the Choctaw Nation and the Mississippi Choctaw would ultimately side with the Confederate States of America.

Martial law in Pierce County in the Washington Territory was declared on April 3, 1856 and terminated the following month. It led to a brief, but bloodless, armed conflict between conscripted forces of the Sheriff of Pierce County and the de facto personal army of the territory's leader, Isaac Stevens.

References

Further reading

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James P. Anderson
Delegate to the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington Territory

1857–1861
Succeeded by
William H. Wallace