A Letter on Behalf of Leschi’s Widow, 1915

Introduction: In 1915 the Superintendent of the Nisqually Agency appealed to his superiors to provide a modest income to Leschi’s Widow. His letter appears below.


Cushman Indian School.
Tacoma, Wash. Feb. 3, 1915.

The Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
Washington, D. C.


I have the honor to invite attention to the enclosed affidavit of Mary Stillman, who says she was formerly the widow of Chief Leschi of the Nisqually Tribe of Indians, who was killed by United States Soldiers about 1854.

The killing of this Indian is a matter of history which has caused a great deal of comment by some of the older citizens of this state and by nearly all of the Indians in Western Washington, who believe that Leschi was murdered for the treason that they do not think he was guilty of the crimes to which he was charged.

There is on file in the Indian Office a report regard to the killing of Chief Leschi.

Mr. Ezra Meeker who has written a book concerning the early history of Washington wrote several letters to the Office requesting a copy of this report and was several times advised that it could not be found, but when he made a trip in his ox wagon over the Oregon Trail to Washington, D. C., about 1908, I made a thorough search of the old records from the State of Washington, and found the report for him, and I would be very glad to have this report considered in connection with this affidavit. If there is any way possible to render this old lady assistance, I hope the Office will do so at an early date because she is in very destitute circumstances, and in fact is living on the charity of another Indian.

If the Office could find some way to furnish such things that will make her few remaining days more pleasant I believe it will have a good influence among the Indians who regard the killing of Leschi by the soldiers as unwarranted.

Very respectfully,


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