“Take only memories, leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle
About Chief Seattle
Chief Seattle (c. 1786 – June 7, 1866) was a Suquamish Tribe. A prominent figure among his people, he pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with “Doc” Maynard. The city of Seattle, in the U.S. state of Washington, was named after him. A widely publicized speech arguing in favor of ecological responsibility and respect of Native Americans’ land rights had been attributed to him. However, what he actually said has been lost through translation and rewriting.
Seattle was born around 1780 on or near Blake Island, Washington.
Seattle earned his reputation at a young age as a leader and a warrior, ambushing and defeating groups of tribal enemy raiders coming up the Green River from the Cascade foothills, and attacking the Chimakum and the S’Klallam tribes living on the Olympic Peninsula. Like many of his contemporaries, he owned slaves captured during his raids. He was tall and broad for a Puget Sound native, standing nearly six feet tall; Hudson’s Bay Company traders gave him the nickname Le Gros (The Big Guy). He was also known as an orator; and when he addressed an audience, his voice is said to have carried from his camp to the Stevens Hotel at First and Marion, a distance of 3⁄4 mile (1.2 km).
For all his skill, Seattle was gradually losing ground to the more powerful Patkanim of the Snohomish when white settlers started showing up in force around 1850.
When his people were driven from their traditional clamming grounds, Seattle met Doc Maynard in Olympia; they formed a friendly relationship useful to both. Persuading the settlers at the white settlement of Duwamps to rename their town Seattle, Maynard established their support for Chief Seattle’s people and negotiated relatively peaceful relations with the tribes.
Seattle kept his people out of the Battle of Seattle in 1856. Afterwards, he was unwilling to lead his tribe to the reservation established, since mixing Duwamish and Snohomish was likely to lead to bloodshed. Maynard persuaded the government of the necessity of allowing Seattle to remove to his father’s longhouse on Agate Passage, ‘Old Man House’ or Tsu-suc-cub. Seattle frequented the town named after him, and had his photograph taken by E. M. Sammis in 1865. He died June 7, 1866, on the Suquamish reservation at Port Madison, Washington. (Source – Wikipedia)