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Living History: Suzanne Cayuse Dauphin, Cayuse Tribe Frenchtown Wife

  • Fort Walla Walla Museum 755 Northeast Myra Road Walla Walla, WA, 99362 United States (map)

Suzanne Cayouse Dauphin was born in 1825 in the land of the Cayuse, one of this region’s homeland tribes. In 1840, she married Mathieu Dauphin, a free trapper of St. Louis, Missouri. Mathieu and Suzanne traveled to Fort Hall in Utah Territory (near present day Pocatello, Idaho). The first two of their seven children were born there. Subsequent travels took them to the California gold fields in the Yuba River area and French Prairie on Pudding River near Gervais, in Wasco County, Oregon, before finally homesteading near Frenchtown, a French Metís community located just west of Walla Walla. Their 160 acre donation claim encompassed the present town of Lowden. Mathieu died in 1867 and was buried north of the family home on their land claim. Upon his death, Suzanne became one of the first Indian land title holders in the Northwest. Suzanne died in 1876 and was buried in St. Rose of Lima cemetery at Frenchtown.

Suzanne Cayouse Dauphin is portrayed by Judith Fortney.

A Living History performance at Fort Walla Walla Museum brings history to life with reenactors portraying real people from the area's past. This year’s schedule continues the company’s tradition of 2 pm presentations every Sunday from April through October, and also on Saturdays from June through August.