Readers respond to Robert Herold's column on George Wright's legacy

Readers respond to Robert Herold's column on George Wright's legacy
Caleb Walsh illustration


I read Robert Herold's article that labeled George Wright as a "murdering rat" and pretty much advocated removing his name from places in our area ("Airbrushing History, 3/14/19). Yes, Wright was a "get it done" military commander, but his orders stipulated that he was to come into this area and not only end the Indian War, but to punish the Indians for the route they had gone on Steptoe, just north of Rosalia. George Wright was a slash-and-burn soldier, a remnant of the Civil War with possible PTSD, but he did get the job done.

By capturing the area Indian tribes' horses and slaughtering around 600 out by State Line, he put the Indians afoot and that spelled the end of the war. The hanging of sub-chief Qualchew (Qualchan) and the other sons of the chiefs, while forcing the fathers watch their sons die, took all of the fight out of the chiefs.

I feel the name George Wright is a part of our area history and should be remembered, and reviled for who he was.

Take a drive south of Spokane to historical Mount Hope, then southwest to the Old Kentucky Trail Road and look to the right and you will see the stone monument to Qualchew and the others who were hung on this site. If we erase George Wright, should we erase Qulachew and his history?

James Youngman
Millwood, Wash.

Readers respond to an Inlander article about Spokane's historic landmarks and their tragic memories ("Airbrushing History," 3/14/2019):

Adrina G. Wynecoop: "Qualchan's death was only the beginning of what could be considered a hanging spree by Wright. ... Wright was a busy man for the month of September as he had almost 1,000 horses and at least seven men murdered for the cause of westward expansion." Need I say more. I pass by that street often and am annoyed that it's still there since back six years ago, thought it was going to be changed then.

Lisa Williams: I used to work on the Fort Wright campus. It's an old U.S. military base and Mukogawa is doing a fantastic job taking care of it. Not once in the 15 years I worked at Holy Names Music Center did anyone complain about the name "Fort Wright"... In fact most were amazed to hear its history and that Clark Gable was stationed there! ♦

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