anticipation of my arrival and that of the Indian superintendents (for whom I had not waited), a large gathering of the Indians of the tribe had occurred, in part also occasioned by the reported murders, which were evidently a cause of as much concern to the Nez Perces as to the whites.
On that day one of the accused, named Wet-too-law-in, an illegitimate son of Pe-pe-mox-mox by a Nez Perce woman, was surrendered by Lawyer to Major Rinearson. He is accused of the murder of Mr. Titus, a citizen of Oro FiNumbers On the 24th I met the Indian chiefs, thirty in number, in a grand council composed of Lawyer, Joseph, Big Thunder, and all the principal chiefs except Eagle of the Light, who has never participated in any of the treaties. A brother of Looking Glass was there. They were assembled to see me, and expected from me a talk. I gave them the talk, a copy of which is herewith inclosed. * I have every reason to believe that it had a happy effect upon them. I dwelt upon their past fidelity, and promised them protection to the extent of our ability, stating that the military whom I should leave in their country would protect them so far as possible under the old treaty, and also under any new treaty which might be formed. Under the operation of the confidence inspired by the establishment of a military post among them, they may by spring be prepared to form a new treaty, surrendering their gold mines to the whites. It appears that all factions of the tribe are pleased with the establishment of a military post, which is to this faithful tribe a harbinger of good. Major Rinearson appears to have discharged his duty with fidelity and discretion, and obtained the good will of the Indians, as Captain A. J. Smith, First Dragoons, did a year ago last summer. The company of Oregon cavalry there is composed of excellent material, who have behaved well and have not been ruined by the temptations of a mining town. The infantry company sent there is composed of the best behaved men in the garrison at Fort Walla Walla. I was desirous, with a view to economy, to leave only an infantry company there this winter; but I am satisfied that it would not answer. The Indians would see no token of good faith or efficiency in such a command. A mounted force inspires their respect, as they rate the consequence of any man by the number and value of the horses he owns, and it isforce which can promptly move for their protection. Their chiefs, to their credit be it said, persistently insist on the removal of whisky-sellers from poinst outside the mining towns and the lines of transit.
I inclose herewith a copy of my instructions of the 7th of September, to Major Rinearson, in reference to the removal of intruders on their farming and grazing lands. + You were furnished at the time with a copy of my instructions of the 18th of July, to which the other is only supplemental. I found onleaving that I had no further instructions to give. One of the Indians accused of murder belonged to the band of big Thunder, who is a leader of the party in opposition to Lawyer, and a rival candidate for the head chieftainship. He and the chiefs in his interest sought an interview with me at Camp Lapwai on the 27th ultimo. He said that he wanted more time to investigate the question of the guilt of the accused. When satisfied of his guild he would surrender him, as required in the treaty. Doctor Newell, Mr. Craig, and Mr. W. H. Rector (the latter superintendent of Indian affairs for Oregon) concurred in advising me to give him more time as he asked. He went on to profess that he was for peace, that he was for peace, that this murder, if it was committed, was the act of a mere boy and no indication
* See p. 192.
+ See p. 103.