The Sacajawea State Park area saw a lot of change between the surrender of Chief Joseph and the revelation of the Hanford nuclear operations only a century later: railroads, dams, and plutonium replaced trade and family.
The site of Sacajawea State Park had been important for trade and kinship. The Corps of Discovery were led there by Sacajawea in 1805. By the 1870s, settlers took the land and local tribes were sent off to reservations.
This article contains excerpts from an essay published by Lieutenant C.E.S. Wood, an army officer who watched the Nez Perce and had a personal relationship with Chief Joseph in 1877, on the “Indian Question.”