Chief Seattle (Sealth): Inter-Tribal Warfare
There were many disputes, conflicts and inter-tribal warfare amongst the Native Indians. Chief Seattle led his tribe to victory in a decisive battle against the Cowichans of Vancouver Island. The Cowichans had been mounting numerous raids on Duwamish and Suquamish villages. Chief Seattle used his skills as a military strategist to ambush the enemy tribe by tumbling trees across the river where the Cowichans usually sent their raiding warriors. Chief Seattle famously defeated the Cowichans and went on to fight many other battles against different tribes. These included the defeat of a powerful force of S’Klallam who lived in the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula and successful raids against enemy tribes along the Snoqualmie River.
Chief Seattle (Sealth) - Conversion to Christianity
Chief Seattle (Sealth) converted to the Christian religion around 1848 following the death of one of his sons in a battle against the Tsetsibus. He, and his children received baptism in the Roman Catholic Church near Olympia, Washington. His conversion to Christianity marked his emergence as a leader who sought friendship and cooperation with the American settlers. Chief Seattle realized that the advance of the powerful and numerous settlers could not be stopped. This conversion to Christianity marked the end of his fighting days. However his conversion to the Christian faith together with his friendship with the white settlers was received with deep suspicion by many Native Indians.
Chief Seattle (Sealth) - David Swinson "Doc" Maynard
Chief Seattle was intrigued by Europeans and their culture and became close friends with David Swinson "Doc" Maynard (March 22, 1808 – March 13, 1873). Doc Maynard was an American pioneer and doctor, and one of Seattle's primary founders. He also had progressive ideas for the time and became a good friend of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Legend tells that Chief Seattle saved the life of Doc Maynard during an attack by an enemy Indian tribe. Stealth also gave protection to the settlers from enemy tribes. Washington became a territory in 1853 and Doc Maynard was appointed as the man in charge of Indian relations. His relationship with Chief Seattle was extremely important when the Seattle Indian Wars (1854 - 1856) erupted.
Chief Seattle (Sealth) - Seattle Indian Wars of 1854 - 1856
The Seattle Indian Wars (1854 - 1856) broke out as more and more American settlers came to the Puget Sound region. The clash of cultures and the breaking of treaties and land incursions were to blame. Doc Maynard paved the way for peace and in January 1855 Chief Seattle signed the Elliott Point Treaty. However the arrival of the U.S. Navy sloop-of-war Decatur with a crew of 140 arrived in Puget Sound to protect against possible Native Indian threat. Doc Maynard argued that Chief Seattle's tribe was not a threat and was ordered to re-settle many Puget Sound Native Indians on the Suquamish Reservation at Port Madison, Washington. Other tribes continued to attack the settlers but Stealth was responsible for discouraging up to 4000 warriors not to join the conflict. The Seattle Indian Wars ended in 1856 when the Native Indians who attacked Seattle were defeated and their leaders tried, convicted and executed.
The Death of Chief Seattle (Sealth)
Chief Seattle (Sealth) lived his final years in peace and died on June 7, 1866 at the Suquamish Reservation at Port Madison, Washington. In 1890 the citizens of Seattle erected a monument to the memory of this great Native Indian leader for whom the city of Seattle was named.
Famous Chief Seattle Quote
The following authentic quote was made by Chief Seattle (Sealth).
"My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain...There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away
with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory."