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Wilhautyah: A Brief Summary Of Blowing Wind

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The next day, Findley and McNall returned to the hunting camp and watched from a distance for 90 minutes until three Nez Perce men came to the camp. Wilhautyah, “Blowing Wind,” the shortest of the three men, was selected amongst the three by reason of his small size to be the one to climb the tree and retrieve the deer hanging there. Wilhautyah was a close friend of Chief Joseph and was very well respected by the tribe.
What happened next is debatable. “The white version runs like this: the white men demanded the Indians come into the settlement to discuss the stolen horses. The Indians refused. The white men disarmed the Indians and insisted again. A struggle over McNall’s rifle then occured between McNall and Wilhautyah, and Findley shot Wilhautyah. The Nez Perce version was this: They came to the camp and Wilhautyah went up the tree to loosen the ropes holding the deer aloft. While he was in the tree working with the ropes, the two Indians on the ground saw “two white men coming at full speed. A little way off they stopped and got off their horses and shot Wilhautyah.” …show more content…
When word spread of the killing, many white settlers feared retaliation by the Nez Perce. Some locked themselves into McNall’s cabin. On June 24, 1876, the settlers persuaded McNall to ride to the county seat of Union to report the incident to County Judge E.C. Brainard. Unsure of how to handle the situation, Brainard wrote a letter to Colonel Elmer Otis, the commander of Fort Walla Walla. ‘More trouble in the Wallowa,’ Brainard wrote, ‘one Finley and McNall accuse the Indians of stealing horses, and have managed to kill one of Joseph’s band. The settlers are sufficiently alarmed to mass in the

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