Monday, September 12, 2005

Horse Slaughter Monument

Within the history of the Spokane Tribe resides one dark chapter from the days of Colonel George Wright...who in retribution for resisting the hostile advances of the United States of America, slaughtered over 800 horses belonging to Native People. Today, a granite slab marks the location for all generations to see. It reads:

In 1858 Col. George Wright with 700 soldiers was sent from Walla Walla to suppress an Indian outbreak. After defeating the Indians in two battles, he captured 800 Indian horses. To prevent the Indians from waging further warfare, he killed the horses on the bank of the river directly north of this monument.

The slaughter of Indian horses was itself a terrorist act, designed to cripple the economy and morale of the People.

I heard about this place years ago, but did not visit in person until I made pilgrimage today. The sky was grey and drizzly, casting a somber mood over the river. A bald eagle flew overhead and perched along side a second bald eagle in a dead tree. I hear the sound of passing trucks on Interstate 90, just a few hundred yards away. The monument itself reminds me of a passing footnote along the Centennial Trail...hardly worth remembering in mainstream and orthodox history, except today I feel the pain of animals and men, subjugated by a spirit of vengeance; humiliated by one nation's desire to dominate the continent.

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