Stevens Treaty Council of 1855 centennial celebration records, 1954-1956

Overview of the Collection

Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce (Walla Walla, Wash.)
Stevens Treaty Council of 1855 centennial celebration records
1954-1956 (inclusive)
0.2 linear feet, (1 box)
Collection Number
This collection contains records from the planning and execution of the 100th anniversary commemoration of the 1855 Stevens Treaty signed at the close of the Walla Walla Council.
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, Room 130
345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
Telephone: 5095275922
Fax: 5095264785
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

In May and June 1855, a treaty among representatives of the Nez Perce, Yakima, Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla tribes and the United States government was negotiated on the present day site of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Isaac Ingalls Stevens, Washington Territorial Governor, and Joel Palmer, Oregon Superintendent of Indian Affairs, represented the interests of the United States government. Native American participants included Lawyer, Timothy, and Joseph (Nez Perce), Kamiakin (Yakima), Peopeomoxmox (Walla Walla), Spokan Garry (Spokane), and Young Chief (Cayuse). The treaty concluded with the establishment of reservations for the Nez Perce, Yakima, and Confederated Tribes (Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla) and was ratified in 1859. The impetus for a public observation of the Stevens Treaty centennial came from Corbett B. Lawyer in 1954. Lawyer solicited the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce to "celebrate" the treaty signing with the Nez Perce Indians of Lapwai, Idaho. Tribal representatives and the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce jointly planned the commemoration under the leadership of Charles F. Luce, a Walla Walla attorney. The Stevens Treaty Centennial Observance ran June 10, 11, and 12 in Walla Walla. The program included a welcome parade, the dedication of a marker commemorating the centennial observance, a barbecue, the "Sacajawea of 1955" contest, a pageant entitled "PE-WA-OO-YIT - First Treaty Council," and a commemorative non-denominational religious service.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains not only the program for the weekend long event, but also a collection of the speeches delivered during the commemoration. Speakers included a representative of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Nez Perce, Yakima, and Confederated Tribes representatives. A draft and final copy of Bill Gulick's pageant script and a transcript of a witness's narrative of the 1855 Walla Walla Council are also housed in this collection. The Correspondence file consists primarily of invitations to and responses from dignitaries invited to attend the event. Correspondence and memos from event planners may be found in the Miscellaneous, Luce Memorandum, and Supporters and Tribal Organizations files. Newspaper clippings about the event and the publicity file provide information about the dissemination of information about the event and its reception. A file on the "Sacajawea of 1955" contest rounds out the collection.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Flat arrangement; files organized alphabetically

Acquisition Information

Collection donated to the archives prior to August 2004. Dr. Ralph Stevens donated the correspondence file. The accession number is retro-0008.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Buttons 1955
1 2 Clippings 1955
1 3 Correspondence 1955
1 4 Dignitaries 1955
1 5 Luce Memorandum 1954-1955
1 6 Miscellaneous 1955
1 7 Program 1955
1 8 Publicity 1955
1 9 "Sacajawea of 1955" Contest 1955
1 10 Script: "PE-WA-OO-YIT - First Treaty Council," by Bill Gulick 1955
1 11 Speeches and Records of the Commemorative Program 1956
1 12 Supporters and Tribal Organizations 1955
1 13 Tax Information 1955
1 14 Transcript of A.B. Roberts's Treaty Narrative 1955
1 15 Photographs

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Personal Names

  • Gulick, Bill
  • Luce, Charles F. (Charles Franklin)
  • Roberts, A. B. (Alvin Brown)

Corporate Names

  • Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce (Walla Walla, Wash.)