- A western tribe associated with the Nez Percé and Wallawalla Indians,
formerly ranging the territory at the heads of the Wallawalla, Umatilla,
and Grande Ronde Rivers from the Blue Mountains to the Deschutes River
in Washington and Oregon. The Cayuse were brave and warlike and considered
great horsemen. Cayuse ponies were highly prized by cowboys, and
in Texas a pony was called a "cayuse."
The Cayuse became notorious during the
early days of the settlers in Washington. They were unfriendly to
the white man, and when smallpox struck their tribe in 1847, they blamed
the white man and murdered Marcus Whitman, a missionary, and several other
settlers at what is now Whitman, Washington.
A town in Oregon is named Cayuse.
within this Site
][ Nez Percé ]