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“IN SEARCH OF THE HISTORICAL CHIEF LESCHI”


Chief Leschi,
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“A Seattle writer-attorney restores the heroic legacy of Nisqually Chief Leschi in an historical novel about the 1850s wars in Puget Sound. The book also conveys a sense of the amazing culture that was in place when the white man blundered in.”

“In excerpt from Richard Kluger’s latest book, The Bitter Waters of Medicine Creek, explores what we know about the Nisqually leader who stood up for his people and his land in the Indian Wars of the 1850s. He was known for his shrewd intelligence, high loyalty, oratorical power, and a generous heart, and is remembered today as a martyr unjustly hanged.”

By Richard Kluger
“Leschi, a Nisqually leader renowned among both native and immigrant communities for his knowledge, skill, and generosity, traveled to Olympia to protest the treaty. Later, during the war he became a war chief, leading a group of about 300 Nisquallies to conduct a series of raids in the area between the tribe’s ancestral land and the new reservations. After the war ended, Leschi was captured, tried, and hanged for the murder of a white settler. In 2004, a historical court of inquiry cleared him of all charges on the basis that both he and the settler were legal combatants.

Though Leschi is today commemorated in various Seattle landmarks, relatively little is known about his person. The excerpt below is a selection of Klugerman’s research about Leschi and his changing relationship with the new settlers around him.”

“In the warm months the family crossed to the southwest side of the Nisqually to gather roots and berries on Yelm Prairie and fish the heavy summer run of salmon.”

Read more of the full article published last week in Crosscut.

Posted by Steve on August 12, 2011 at 5:49 am | Permalink

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