The Puget Sound Agricultual Company extended across much of Pierce County’s prairie lands. Until 1846, it was considered British Land and was embattled in court through 1869, when it finally was paid and officially transferred. This is why so many 1850 Donation Land Claims were not surveyed until 1871 in the area.
From Steve Anderson, historian of Hudson Bay Company sites in Washington State:
In 1846 right about the first of June the annual sheepshearing hustle and bustle took over the fort’s activities. Tolmie identified 34 Coast Salish laborers who when largely unidentified within the daily work load, typically being referred to as “The Indian Gang” or “Sheep handlers”…..anyhow – rarely did he name them by name…that is until the end of the year, or blotter book, where he kept a detailed record of each person’s “take home pay.” So, in 1846, this was the “Indian gang” presented here courtesy of Dr. Tolmie’s bookkeeping excellence:
In Fort Nisqually’s 1846 shop blotter on 12, December 1846 to Thursday, 31st On 12/31 a list of the fort’s 34 sheep handlers was created for the purposes of “Recapitulation of Payments for Sheepshearing.”
Eh eh wun,
Squintry a Skeywhamish,