Inland Northwest History and Culture  >  Indian-White Encounters  >  Spokane: 1877-1890

Fatal Affray

A Noble Red Man Sent to the Happy Hunting Ground

An Eighteen-Year Old Lad Does The Shooting

Source: The Morning Review (Spokane Falls), Jan. 12, 1886, page 4

Subject: Fort Spokane Soldier Shoots Indian

Synopsis: A Soldier kills one of two Indians allegedly trying to steal a ferry boat from Fort Spokane.


FORT SPOKANE, Jan. 11 – One the evening of the 9th (Saturday), Chas. Allen, a young man eighteen years of age, shot and killed an Indian, belonging to Chief Moses’ band.

The Indian who was killed, was accompanied by a companion of his own color, attempted to get possession of the ferry boat which is used for the purpose of crossing the Columbia River three miles above Fort Spokane, and which had been left in charge of a boy.

Young Allen told the Indians to let the ferry boat alone. Supposing the boy to be running a bluff, one of the Indians said “He only meant to frighten us,” whereupon they proceeded to take possession of the boat, when young Allen fired twice, shooting one of the Indians through the heart and again through the shoulder as he was in the act of falling. The other Indian fled.

Allen immediately proceeded to the post and gave himself up to the military authorities, by whom he was placed in confinement to await his preliminary examination. The coroner’s examination was held yesterday afternoon, when the above facts set forth were elicited.



Transcribed by: Troy Kirby, Graduate Candidate, Department of Physical Education, Eastern Washington University, December 2005