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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1879
([1879])

Report of the commissioner of Indian affairs,   pp. [unnumbered]-XLIX PDF (19.0 MB)


Page XVI

XVI   REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS. 
a guard to prevent the excited settlers from killing him, Moses and his 
men were taken to the agency, where they remained for three months 
despite the repeated and strenuous efforts which were: made by the citi-
zens to take Moses out of the agent's custo dy and return him to jail. 
On the 12th of February last the department ordered Moses and his 
party to Washington for a conference. This order was communicate d 
to the Yakama authorities, and upon their agreement not to disturb- or 
arrest him he was allowed to return to his people And make the neces- 
sary arrangements for his journey to Washington. At the expiration of 
ten days he was sent for, and returned word that he would meet the 
agent at the Yakama Ferry in four days. Upon. arrival at the ferry,:. 
the agent found the county sheriff with a posse guarding every crossing 
on the river for twenty miles or more, with a sworn determinatioa to 
take Moses dead or alive. Finding that he 6ould do nothing, the agent 
returned to Yakama City, and the next morning the chief was brought in 
by the sheriff. Court was called, and Moses was arraigned as accessary 
to the murder of the Perkins family, The prosecution, on the plea that 
they were not ready, asked adjoanments, first for twenty-four hours 
and then for eight days. It becoming apparent that delay was asked 
solely for the purpose of preventing MVoses from proceeding to wash- 
ington acm of keeping him in jail until the October term of court, the 
agent proposed to waive preliminary hearing and enter bail for his due 
appearance at court. His proposition was accepted, and Moses came to 
Washington. 
Several conferences were held with him, which resulted in the issuance 
of an executive order dated the 19th of April, 1879, setting apart for him-
self and his people a reservation, called the Columbia reservation, which
adjoins the Colville Reserve in Washington Territory. The delegation 
returned to Vancouver with a special request to the governor of the 
Territory and the general commanding the department to see that they 
were forwarded to their new home without arrest or further interference-
by the whites. Moses has since expressed himself as being perfectly 
satisfied with the location provided. 
It was deemed expedient to accede to the earnest desire of Moses to 
have a new reservation set apart for his occupancy, because of the hard-
ship and unjust treatment to which he had been subjected and in ac- 
knowledgment of his valuable services in controlling the disaffected and
in preserving the peace during the excitement occasioned by the hostil- 
ities of the Bannocks. By this arrangement an expensive war was un- 
doubtedly avoided. 
The Indians concerned in the Perkins murder were tried at the last 
(October) term of the circuit court of Yakama County, Washington Ter- 
ritory, and three of them were Condemned to death. The charge against 
Chief Moses was pressed for days and some sixty or more witnesses 
were examined; but no bill against him could be found. He was there- 
upon discharged and his bondsmen released. 


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