Treaty Trail: Collections
In this gallery, you may view several of the sketches and artworks produced by Gustav Sohon while traveling on the 1855 Treaty Trail. Sohon, an army private, witnessed and contributed to some of the most important events in the history of the Northwest. Because of Sohon's artistic talent, Governor Isaac Stevens asked him to document events of the journey and treaty council with Native American tribes. Sohon learned the languages of the native peoples and many allowed him to draw pictures of them. In many cases, these are the only remaining visual records of these individuals.
Council in the Bitterroot Valley, July 1855
A scene at a treaty council between Isaac Stevens and the Flathead Indians. This Council convened with 1200 Indians present on July 9.
Arrival of the Nez Perce at Walla Walla Treaty
This painting, “Arrival of the Nez Perce at Walla Walla Treaty”, was created by Gustav Sohon on May 24, 1855. Isaac Stevens
stands with a group of other Euro-Americans at the center of the scene. To the left of them, a group of Indians stands next to their horses. The Nez Perce are riding in a long curving line around the central group.
Washington State Historical Society, 19188.8.131.52.
This image of Toowe-tak-hes (also known as Chief Joseph) was created by
Gustav Sohon on May 29, 1855.
Detail of portrait. Washington State Historical Society, 19184.108.40.206
This portrait by Gustav Sohon shows Kamiakin, Head Chief of the Yakamas.
He was six feet or greater in height and athletically built. Many perceived
Kamiakin, accurately or not, as the most powerful leader of the Yakama.
Detail of portrait. Washington State Historical Society, 19220.127.116.11.
Hallalhotsoot ("Chief Lawyer")
Hallalhotsoot, or “Chief Lawyer”, was portrayed as the Nez Perce leader at
the Walla Walla Council by artist Gustav Sohon. Lawyer is pictured here
wearing a silk top hat, decorated with ostrich plumes held in place by
Peo Peo Mox Mox
This portrait of Peo Peo Mox Mox was created on June 7, 1855 by Gustav Sohon. The clothing, as depicted by the artist, shows adaptation to EuroAmerican fashions. Around his neck, he wears a tomahawk pipe.
Detail of portrait. Washington State Historical Society, 1918.104.22.168
William "Bill" Craig
Gustav Sohon created this portrait of William “Bill” Craig on June 4, 1855. Craig served as interpreter for the Nez Perce people at the Walla Walla and Blackfoot Councils.
Detail of portrait. Washington State Historical Society, 1922.214.171.124.
Spokan Garry was sketched on May 27, 1855 by Gustav Sohon.
Detail of portrait. Washington State Historical Society, 19126.96.36.199.
Weahtenatemany ("Young Chief")
This portrait of Weahtenatemany (also known as “Young Chief”) depicts one
of the head chiefs of the Cayuse. This title was inherited from his uncle, the
former headman. Gustav Sohon created this illustration on June 8, 1855.