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Living History: Governor Isaac Stevens

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

Meet Washington Territory's first governor Isaac Stevens, who served from 1853 to 1857. Stevens was a very controversial figure during his lifetime as well as after.

Isaac Stevens was most often the center of activity, providing leadership, spewing out orders and ideas, or creating controversy. He was a man either loved or hated.
— Kent Richards, historian

During his tenure as territorial governor, he believed that he could successfully quell the problems between the white settlers and the Indian people by negotiating treaties. The Treaties of 1855 with the Yakama, Umatilla, Nez Perce, Walla Walla and Cayuse Indians were negotiated in Walla Walla. These treaties established many important rights for Indian people and helped them maintain their traditions and culture. In addition they led to the territory outside of reservations being populated by white settlers from the eastern part of the United States.

Governor Stevens is portrayed by Ron Klicker.

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.