Chief Seattle

Powerful Essays
Chief Seattle

When stories are told about the American Indian it is usually the Indians that are looked upon as the heathens. They are portrayed as savages who spent most of their time raiding wagon trains and scalping the white settlers just for fun. The media has lead us to believe that the American government was forced to take the land from these savage Indians. We should put the blame where it belongs, on the U.S. Government who lied, cheated, and stole from the Indians forcing many Indian leaders to surrender not only their tribes but their nation in order to save the lives of their people.

Among the Indians of the Pacific Northwest, perhaps the best known may be Chief Seattle. Chief Seattle (more correctly known as Seathl or Sealth) was born sometime between 1786-1790 on Blake Island at the campsite of his ancestors. Blake Island lies south and a little east of Bainbridge Island and west and a little south of Seattle. Seattle was the son of Suquamish leader named Schweabe and a Duwamish woman named Scholitza. He became Chief of the Suquamish, Duwamish, and allied Salish speaking tribes by proving his leadership qualities in a war that pitted his and other saltwater tribes against those of the Green and White Rivers. (1) He was considered to be Duwamish since his mother was the daughter of a Duwamish chief and the line of descent passed matrilineally. This was sometimes the case when fathers died while their son's were was still young and the mother would return to her tribe to raise the children. The Duwamish lived on the Duwamish River and various islands across the Puget Sound. Seattle was married twice, his first wife Ladaila, died after bearing one daughter, Kiksomlo, known as "Angeline". His second wife, Oiahl, had three daughters all of whom died young and two boys, George and Seeanumpkin. (2)

In 1792, Captain George Vancouver anchored off Restoration Point on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound. Seattle, according to the recollections of various old-timers, often spoke of seeing the ship and being impressed with the guns, steel, and other goods. Seattle was known for his courage, daring and leadership during his youth. Throughout the violent periods, Seattle remained a steadfast and loyal friend of the settlers and encouraged the Indians to remain peaceful. He gained control of six of the local tribes and continued the friendly relation...

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... the two teams that didn't have any uniforms. Now I look back and for all I know maybe they couldn't afford any. While I was in high school I remember driving with my friends to the Indian reservations to buy illegal fireworks. I never really gave it much thought beyond the fact that they were places to get illegal fireworks. Anyway, like I wrote earlier "this is just two examples that I have experienced while growing up in Washington State". This class truly has been a learning experience.

Works Cited

(1) Ells, Myron. The Indians of Puget Sound. University of Washington

Press: Seattle, 1985

(2) Jeffers, Susan. Brother Eagle, Sister Sky. Dial Books: New York, 1991

(3) Sturtevant, William. Handbook of North American Indians. Smithsonian Institution: Washington, 1990

(4) Dockstader, Frederick. Great North American Indians. Litton Educational Publishing: New York, 1977

(5) Ruby, Robert. Indians of the Pacific Northwest. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, 1981

(6) Deloria, Vine. Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Double Day And Company: New York, 1977

(7) Schwantes, Carlos. The Pacific Northwest. University of Nebraska Press: Lincoln, 1989
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