The Sequalitchew

May 23, 2010

Fourteenth Edition

President: Roger Newman
Vice President: Judy Smith
Secretary/Treasurer: Roxanne Woodruff
Webmaster: Greg Hitchcock

Spring Meeting

Our meeting this fall is scheduled for Sunday May 23rd, 2010 at a new location located at the Steilacoom Public Library — 2950 Steilacoom Blvd, Steilacoom, WA 98388. The doors will be open to us around 12:30 pm, bring a sack lunch. Our speaker this will be all our members. His topics will be many and varied

At our Break time there will be snacks and a raffle for any donated items brought in. Bring your thoughts, ideas, and histories and join us for a wonderful afternoon. Due to the new location we will need to close our meeting at 4:30 pm.

We had been meeting bi-annually (May and October generally) at the DuPont City Hall and on occasion at the DuPont History Museum 207 Barksdale Ave DuPont, WA 98327 We have lost our place at the Old City Hall as the old one has closed and a new one has not provided us a place to meet.Our $5.00 dues are collected each spring, but this past Spring we were unable to gather due to the lack of a meeting site. If you know someone who might be interested in joining, please pick up an application.

Our Business meeting Officers are as follows:

Roger Newman, President
Judy Smith, Vice President & Members Chair
Roxanne Woodruff, Secretary Treasurer

Queen Victoria’s Birthday Celebration May 22nd 11am-5pm

Step back in time, to the mid 1800’s as the royal subjects of Ft. Nisqually celebrate the birthday of her majesty Queen Victoria with volleys of muskets and birthday toasts. Following the special flag raising ceremony, cookies and tea will be served. There will be a variety of hands-on activities to try and special firings of the fort’s cannon throughout the day!

For Ticket Information contact Fort Nisqually (253) 591-5339 or check their website

May 2010

I am too late to catch most of the Cowlitz events. It seems most of their activities were earlier on this month. The only things I saw on the Calendar were for the Drum Circle and Book Reading and Discussion.

The last item I received from Rod states,
“Please note and spread the word to other members that we expect the Spring 2010 Tribal Newsletter to be mailed out on May 21st. This is much later than usual. It was held up for an important report and also for a change in how we handle the printing and mailing.

We now have our own nonprofit bulk mail permit, which will significantly reduce the Tribes’s postage costs. We also changed to a “web press ” printer, so even though the newsletter will now look and feel more like a regular (non-glossy) magazine, it will cost much, much less to print even though it will also be the longest, most comprehensive newsletter, ever.

More details will appear in the Fall 2010 issue. But for now, we apologize for the delay, thank you for your patience, and look forward to seeing you at the June 5th General Council meeting.”

Rod Van Mechelen, Chair
Communications Committee

St. Mary’s Center 107 Spencer Rd Toledo, WA 98591

Cowlitz PowWow Logo

Contact: Suzanne Donaldson-Stephens (360) 280-2321 on by Helene. Peter is alive and about 7 yrs old and his full brother, Jules is about 8, but they are the sons of Marie Walla Walla), a smart boy of 5 years old, not expected to live. The weather clearing up.”

“May 13th 1837 — Saturday — Sin-ne-tre-aye off to the Depot this morning at ½ past six for assistance in this dreadful desease. My boy much worse. The weather fair.” (note: throughout the journal William is very good at naming all the men who are at the Fort, Native, French, Scot , British or whomever)

“May 14th 1837 — Sunday — This morning at ¾ past nine o’clock my dear Boy breathed his last after suffering excruciating pain for at least the week past and though only a young Boy, met his fate with the greatest fortitude, hoping the reward of a better world. This a most sever blow to Jesse’s (the deceased boy) & Kit’s (Kit being a nick name for Caroline) Mother and the loss will be long remembered by us. God be praised. He alone is the sole Father of those that died in His Name. Everyone present were much affected and I must say every kindness was shown him both in and without. The weather is clear.”

“May 15th 1837 — Monday — This day at ½ past two o’clock we buried our only departed son. The men and many Indians were present at the reading of the prayer for the Dead. No work for the men.” The remainders of the entries for that month were very sad as well. William tells of himself and others becoming terribly ill and then on the 17th Dr. Tolmie arrived for a few days to help with those who are ill and a gradual change for the better begins for a very short while.

From June 22nd to 27th 1837 things get worse again for the Kittson’s as William begins to note the severe illness of his daughter Caroline and her impending death.

“June 28th, 1837 — Wednesday — About twenty minutes of nine this morning my Daughter, Caroline, breathed her last at the age of 3 years, 3 months, and 2 days. This is a second severe blow, and Grant me oh Providence a more fortunate turn for the rest of my family. Several Indians sick around us. It rained a little this morning. Cloudy rest of day.”

“June 29th 1837 — Thursday — At three o’clock the remains of my dear lamented Child were consigned to the earth near those of her Brother.”

Here I would like to note that both Jesse and Caroline were buried at the old cemetery near the 1833 Fort site. This is further shown and documented in a letter from Edward Huggins to Clarence Bagley written January 22nd 1905. Quoting from the paper,

“I think I’ve told you of the pretty little graveyard near the old fort. Two of Mr. Kittson’s children, and a child of William Packwood, one of Squally Bottoms first settlers, a Mrs. Stratford (a runaway wife of an Englishman from Victoria) and two British sailors, one the Purser of the Man-o-war the steam sloop Cormorant who died from the effect of sickness, the other a musician from the frigate Fisgard, who was drowned crossing, on horseback the mouth of Steilacoom creek.

A very neat enclosure surrounded these two graves with two well preserved headboards. In, or about 1892, I took some friends to see this pretty little historical cemetery (other graves were there without any headboard’s) when to my grief I found that fire had destroyed the first grave yard, estabilished by white people in the country.

The remains of the enclosure around the graves of the sailors are still to be seen there, and a piece of the Musicians oak headboard, with the mark of the coronet upon it, is lying upon the ground. Two good size fir trees are growing from the graves of the two sailors.

Something ought to be done to show where the graveyard is, perhaps a fence around it, with a board giving the names, as far as known, of the people there buried would be the best thing to do.

The little cemetery is on the top of the north side of a deep basin (dry) contiguous to the site of the old fort. At the bottom of this declivity, the company, in the thirties dug a hole about 100 feet deep to find water, but finding no signs, gave it up and they had to haul their water from the Sequallitchew Creek, at a point about half a mile from the fort and at a crossing place made, and used by the Richmond Mission people.

Talking about graves, when I first came here early in 1850, quite a number of Indian Graves were to be seen dotting the side of the steep bluff. Some in Canoes on the surface of the ground, with a slight fence around, and others would be buried in very shallow graves, with a rough fence around them.

These graves are completely obliterated, not a sign is to be see now of a grave, and the Indian graveyard at this place has entirely disappeared, with the exception of a little rotten fence rail and the bones of horses killed over the graves of the defunct Indians.“

On this paper there is again a list of those believed to be buried at this old cemetery near the 1833 Fort site. They are shown as:

  1. Charles Forbes
  2. William Legg (Tacoma Daily Ledger, April 21, 1912, p. 17)
  3. John Edgar (Cecelia Carpenter has added this name)
  4. Kittson Child (Jesse d.5/14/1837, buried 5/15/1837 Journal of Occurrences)
  5. Kittson Child (Caroline d.6/28/1837 buried 6/29/1837 Journal of Occurrences)
  6. John Chudley from the Fisgard
  7. A purser from the Fisgard
  8. Mrs Stratford
  9. Packwood Child
  10. Framton, Christopher (Heath)

As for a monument or a type of recognition I would like to suggest that a similar memorial be done at both the little cemetery and at the 1833 Fort Nisqually first Site as was done down in St. Paul, Oregon for their Old Cemetery. As not all were known for certain who and where all were buried a brick wall was placed between the old cemetery and the new developments. On the brick wall there were markers noting the year and the names of those who had died. The information was derived from the Old Catholic Church Records. The names ran on to a dozen different plaques or more. Like our war memorials of today space could remain for those who still might be identified at later times. There was a beautiful ceremony on Memorial Day a couple of years ago to mark the wall. I took pictures of all the plaques on the wall as it was a perfect sunny day and all of these could be read clearly. That cemetery had the names of 5 of my grandfather’s siblings who died in a similar break out of small pox as what occurred at Ft. Nisqually. If time permits when I finish writing this I will try to also send a copy of one of those plaques as an example. Again, some members have been down there and might have pictures as well.

Joe McKay at St. PaulSt. Paul Cemetery

Note Wall of Remembrance behind Joe McKay’s wife & sons. There are 2 plaques on each section. There are a dozen plaques in all, plus a center plaque having the name of the cemetery. The Wall separates the old cemetery from the new development.

At one of our meetings, Lorraine Overmeyer mentioned a trail following around to the different sites with markers. This would really be wonderful allowing visitors to walk more easily from one site to another and be told about the areas being viewed. In this day, these could be audio and or visual and on special occasions as at the 3rd Site, re-enactors could pass along in part some of this history. I am aware from the beginning of our visits here that some concerns of monuments are thieves who remove such items for cash. I have more concern for opponents set against preserving any of the history of this area or moving it elsewhere to make bigger bucks on the land and plans for golf courses or other developments rather than preserving what is unique to the area and to all those of Washington rather than to just a few.

pathwalkFt. Nisqually Granery

Signs could be placed at historic sites like the 1833 Ft Nisqually site, the cemetery, Lt Wilkes landing and others. (Yes I know this granary was at the 1843 site, but it is the symbol for our group)

I have touched on only a piece of the history that is here and only that, that pertains to the Kittson family history. There were many, many more families here and each has their history here.

What is more important about this site to our family is that this is a place my mother had looked for, for some time. Our family had moved back up to Oregon from California after a number of years there. We (my mom, sister Sandra, and myself, Roxanne) were thrilled to come back closer to our history to pick up where we left off so many years before. Sadly though, mom came down with Cancer. One of her last trips with dad, she made up here to try to find where the old 1833 Fort Nisqually was at. She did not realize just how close she had come to finding it. She was at the entrance of DuPont and had found Cecelia’s (Carpenter) book on Fort Nisqually with so many of William Kittson’s words in it. I could see that mom was sad that she was unable to find the site, but she was encouraged when she wrote to Cecelia and she responded in kind. It was not much later that she did become too weak to write. After she passed away we received an invitation to attend the ceremony for the 1843 2nd Site of the Fort. It turned out to be one month to the day and hour of mom’s passing so became like a memorial to us. Mom spent her life spoon feeding her daughters their Kittson history. Since we were small she would read to us aloud from books and say listen to what this book says or that book says. Dad too had heard her stories and coming to the meetings that developed from the 1843 dedication helped to ease his loss and hear once again these same stories that others too had read. Then as time went by he too had cancer. The last trips he was able to make up here helped him to get out of the house and do something different. He had started to use a cane and the one meeting we were at half the members had canes. At break time he had a chance to talk with Judy Bridges’ dad Hughie St. Martin. This had become a place where dad could socialize with others who shared similar stories as those he heard from mom, so you see there are so many reasons why these places are so important. It all began with the history and the history still remains, but grows in different ways.

William Kittson & Helene McDonald Kittson had more memories there at Fort Nisqually. A year before he died they had one more boy, Edwin Kittson. His birth was no doubt noted in the missing pages of the Journal of Occurrences. Edwin was a small toddler when his father died and later when his mother remarried to Richard Grant. They moved on to Fort Hall and later to Montana. As a young man he came through Ft. Nisqually again with his brother-in-law, William Sinclair III. He also corresponded with the Tolmie’s and asked for the return of a couple of bibles that might have had some of the Kittson History.

Our Great grandfather Peter Kittson (born 2/18/1830 at old Fort Walla Walla) had another full brother Jules Kittson who seems lost in the history. The Church recognizes his baptism (which was obscured making it unreadable, but it is believed he was born maybe 2 yrs before Peter, thus maybe 1828 or 29) and our older aunts and uncles knew him, but this is all we can find.

Peter Kittson

Peter Kittson tells of his own history in the Spokane Spokesman Review in an article in the paper on October 4th 1904. His photo was taken by Lee Moorhouse who like Curtis tended to dress his clients in period costumes. He remembers the bellowing voice of Dr. John McLoughlin and his God father, Peter Skene Ogden. The picture and the story I added into my web pages which were lost when geocities closed down, but another site is trying to bring them and others back up. The location is now at

Roxanne Woodruff, Secretary/Treasurer
Descendants of Ft. Nisqually Employees Assn.
Portland, OR