Nez Perce Treaty Council of 1855

held near Fort Walla Walla





Lawyer ("head chief" as designated by Rev. Spalding and Gov. Stevens), Looking Glass ("chief"), and Timothy (headman of Alpowai Band), among 48 Nez Perce signers of the Treaty of 1855, negotiated by the 37-year-old Washington Territorial Governor, Isaac Stevens.  For other biographies of Nez Perce leaders.  It was Looking Glass, who arrived late, at the head of twenty warriors and entered the treaty grounds, stating, "My people, what have you done? While I was gone, you have sold my country. I have come home, and there is not left me a place on which to pitch my lodge. Go home to your lodges. I will talk to you."  He eventually signed the treaty.


First of four signature pages of the hand-written, 17-page treaty.   To view map.


Illustrations by Gustav Sohon.   He was born in 1825, educated in Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1842 and enlisted in the U.S. Army. One of his first assignments was with Lt. John Mullan surveying the country between the Rocky and Bitterroot  Mountains for the Isaac Stevens led survey of a northern railroad route to the Pacific.  Sohon was transferred to Stevens command, where he served as a Flathead interpreter, recorded of meteorological observations, and illustrator at the important 1855 Council with the Nez Perce, Walla Wallas, Yakimas, Cayuse and Umatilla Indians.  These illustrations, as well as many more, are located at the Washington State Historical Society.  Sohon was honorably discharged in 1857.  He served a time as a civilian guide/interpreter for the Mullan road building crew.  He married in 1863 and spend much of the remainder of this life in Washington D.C. where he died in 1903.


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