I’ve reread Stephen B. Emerson’s essay at Historylink.org about the Mashel Massacre about five times. Each time I’m fascinated by his treatment of otherwise respected historic figures, most prominently Ezra Meeker.
Meeker’s description of the Mashel Massacre, in which up to 30 Nisqually tribal members were slaughtered by Washington territorial volunteers, is one of the popularly cited resources of the event. But, Emerson questions the honest of Meeker and another historian in the late 19th century James Wickersham. He calls them “men of questionable integrity.”
Emerson goes into detail taking apart Wickersham’s admittedly shaky proof and Meeker’s less questionable motives. He also does a pretty good job presenting the tribal oral histories about the massacre.
Where Emerson falls short is other references to the massacre in contemporary media. While he cites this April 11, 1856 story on volunteer maneuvers in the upper Nisqually around the Mashel, he misses this one from April 25.