War of the Rebellion: Serial 106 Page 0539 Chapter LXII. CORRESPONDENCE - UNION AND CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

of any false impression you may have, and would say, in conclusion, that if you had not referred to it in the letter by inclosing it in brackets, I should not have thought of mentioning it to you.

I remain, sir, very respectfully, yours,


Superintendent Indian Affairs, Washington Territory.


Fort Vancouver, Wash. Ter., July 22, 1863.

His Excellency W. H. HALLECK.

Governor of Idaho Territory and

Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Lewiston, Idaho Ter.:

GOVERNOR: I instructed Major S. Truax, First Oregon Cavalry, commanding at Fort Lapwai to call upon and give you a copy of my instructions of the 3rd instant, directing him to co-operate cordially with the Indian Department in the protection of the Indians, in the enforcement of the Indian intercourse acts, and in securing to the Indians their rights. I also quoted to him the language of C. H. Hale, esq., superintendent of Indian affairs for Washington Territory, in his letter to me of the 29th ultimo, that "I submit that the latter part of the second article of the treaty contemplates the permission for the whites to occupy up to the new boundaries. " I have this moment received letters from Mr. Charles Hutchins, one of the commissioners who negotiated the treaty, and from Dr. Robert Newell (who was by order from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs employed to aid in its negotiations and was strongly instrumental in effecting it), saying that they placed at the time no such interpretation on the treaty, and that the Indians did not so understand it. By the messenger who carries this I send instructions to the commanding officer at Fort Lapwai rescinding those instructions, and he is directed to be governed by your interpretation of said treaty. I inclose herewith a copy of said instructions, and I trust he will promptly co-operate with you in preserving the peace. Mr. Hale is no longer superintendent of Indian affairs for that region. You can fill that office, and your views must govern. If, as those gentlemen say, no such understanding existed with the Indian chiefs, we must endeavor tot he extent of our ability to protect themin their rights. Certainly no right can exist to remove or oust the Nez Perces from their lands or improvements prior to confirmation by the Senate, and not then except in the mode pointed out in the treaty, giving at least one year subsequent notification for their removal. Nor do I see any warrant for the whites being allowed to settle on wild lands outside the new boundaries not occupied by the Indians. The only question is whether under the latter part of the second article the whites can now purchase, with the consent of the superintendent or Indian agent, the improvements of the Indians before confirmation by the Senate and occupy the land. Mr. Hutchins thinks not. Certainly no right to the soil can be obtained before confirmation by the Senate. I am quite surprised to get these letters speaking of the disturbed condition of the Indians. I think you will agree with me that it will be well for you to see the chiefs and assure the Indians that they will not be disturbed, unless with their consent, in their lands or improvements until the treaty is ratified, and then agreeably to the terms of that treaty.