Treaty Rock

Also known as: Pe-Wa-Oo-Yit
Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA

Granite stone marking the location of the Treaty Council of 1855 placed in 1930


Treaty Rock

Photo taken by Richard Doody in May 2010



Governor Isaac Stevens of Washington Territory, Superintendent of Indian Affairs Joel Palmer of Oregon Territory, and many of the upper Columbia and Snake River Indian tribes met in a treaty council at Walla Walla between May 29 and June 11, 1855.

Several thousand Indians were present, as well as Stevens’ and Palmer’s supporting staff, a detachment of soldiers, and a number of whites living in the area.The council resulted in the signing of three treaties, establishing the Yakama, Nez Perce, and Umatilla Indian Reservations, and the ceding of all remaining tribal lands to the United States.

The location of the exact grounds of the Treaty Council of 1855 has been a topic of considerable controversy over the years. The treaty rock at the entrance to the Whitman College amphitheater placed there in 1930 has two inscriptions. The first is by the class of 1930 which donated the rock, and reads in part, “Here were camped from May 24 to June 12, 1855, two thousand Indians of the Nez Perce Tribe, with their famous chief, Hol-Lol-Sote-Tote, Lawyer, attending the Great Council called by Governor Stevens.”

Update Log 

  • December 1, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • December 1, 2018: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody