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ERIC Number: EJ920728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0095-182X
Chief Seattle's Speech Revisited
Krupat, Arnold
American Indian Quarterly, v35 n2 p192-214 Spr 2011
Indian orators have been saying good-bye for more than three hundred years. John Eliot's "Dying Speeches of Several Indians" (1685), as David Murray notes, inaugurates a long textual history in which "Indians... are most useful dying," or, as in a number of speeches, bidding the world farewell as they embrace an undesired but apparently inevitable exile or demise. In this article, the author considers Chief Sealth's "farewell" speech as a formal statement of exile and ending. Chief Sealth, or Seattle, was born about 1786 at Old Man House, the winter village of his Suquamish (the name means "people of the sheltered salt water") nation, on Bainbridge Island in what is now Washington State. His father, Schweabe, was Suquamish, and his mother, Scholitza, was a Duwamish woman from the area of present-day Kent, Washington. Sealth is said to have attained chiefly status as a result of his initiative in defending his people against an attack from upriver tribes, the sort of career success expected at one time or another for a young man of his noble lineage. There are various monuments to him in Seattle and the state of Washington, but his national and international renown derives from a speech he is usually said to have given in 1854 or 1855. The author first determines whether the speech does in some substantial measure represent things Sealth might have said or whether it is largely a fabrication. This is especially important in that there are three versions of Sealth's speech that were indeed fabricated to serve various environmental and ecological ends. The author asserts that it will not be possible to determine with any certainty exactly what may have come from Sealth. (Contains 1 figure and 66 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington