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Cayuse Request for a Material Witness during
the trial for the Whitman Massacre 1851

The United States vs Telokite et al

Telokite one of the defendants makes oath that a certain Indian named Quishem now in the Cayuse country he thinks will be a material witness for the defendants in this case. That the materiality of said witness was not known in time to have him in attendance at this term of the court. He expects & believes that said witness will prove that the late Dr Whitman administered medicines to many of the Cayuse Indians and that afterwards a large number of them died, including amongst them the wives and children of some of these defendants. He expects further to prove by said witness that a certain Joseph Lewis, who resided at Waiilatpu, informed these defendants a few days before the 29 November 1847 that the Cayuse Indians were dying in consequence of poison being administered to them by the late Marcus Whitman and he had heard Dr. Whitman say that he would kill off all of the Cayuse Indians by the coming of the ensuing spring -- that he would then have their horses and lands. Witness will also prove it is the law of the Cayuse Indians to kill bad medicine men.

Source: Echoes of Oregon


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