The Hoh originally spoke the Quileute language and were at one time a village among several Quileute villages in Washington State. The Hoh, Quileute and Quinault met with territorial governor and Indian supervisor Isaac Stevens to negotiate the Quinault River Treaty on July 1, 1855, by which the natives would cede lands to the government in turn for reserved tracts of land for their exclusive use. The parties signed the document on Jan. 25, 1856; it was ratified March 8, 1859, then proclaimed on April 11, 1859. Article I stated:
The said tribes and bands hereby cede, relinquish, and convey to the United States all their right, title, and interest in and to the lands and country occupied by them, bounded and described as follows: Commencing at a point on the Pacific coast, which is the southwest corner of the lands lately ceded by the Makah tribe of Indians to the United States, and running easterly with and along the southern boundary of the said Makah tribe to the middle of the coast range of mountains; thence southerly with said range of mountains to their intersection with the dividing ridge between the chehalis and Quiniatl Rivers; thence westerly with said ridge to the Pacific coast; thence northerly along said coast to the place of beginning.The treaty also provided $25,000 compensation for lands ceded to the United States, which tribal members think was insufficient. More than three decades later, the Hoh Indian Reservation, amounting to less than a square mile, was established at the mouth of the Hoh River by a presidential executive order on September 11, 1893. The Hoh acreage was logged in 1954. Several decades remain before the new growth will be commercially attractive. The Hoh were officially recognized as a tribe by the federal government in 1960. Then the Indian Claims Commission awarded them and the Quileutes compensation for ceded lands in the amount of $112,152.60 on April 17, 1963. On May 24, 1969, the Hoh people adopted a constitution. The tribe also formed a government that allowed an enrollment of tribal members. A tribal business committee is the governing unit. The committee is elected by balloting every two years in November.