|Lawyer (Hallalhotcuut) |
Lawyer was the son of Twisted Hair and an unnamed Flathead woman. Lawyer was the leader of the Stites-Kamiah area, but was considered by government officials as "Head Chief" of the Nez Perce people. Lawyer sided with the Americans, as opposed to the British in the days of Joint Occupancy.
Likewise, at the Battle of Pierre's Hole in 1832, he fought along side the whites against their Blackfeet foe. During that particular battle he received a severe wound in the hip, which compelled him to use a cane for the rest of his life. Lawyer also allied himself and sixty men, with Colonel Wright in 1858, where they badly "whipped" the Spokane, Coeur d'Alene, Palouse and Yakama in two battles.
Lawyer always seemed to align himself on the side of survival, despite the expense. During the proceedings at the Walla Walla council, the title of chief was reaffirmed by Isaac I. Stevens, although his leadership was challenged by Apus Weyheyqt (Old Looking Glass) once he arrived with his contingent from "Buffalo Country." Lawyer has often been viewed as one of the most progressive leaders among the Nez Perce during this tumultuous time, in terms of his acceptance of Christianity and American policies toward the Nez Perce people.