In this version, there is little fodder for environmentalists to use in a meme, as it was mostly a melancholy submission, mainly focusing on religion, even praising the generosity of the president at times. When the buffaloes are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the views of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires, where is the thicket? Whatever Seattle says, the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. It would have to pass through the hands of the local Indian agent, Col. Their version is very similar to Smith's but there are some differences, possibly due to their having oral traditions in addition to Smith's written account. So, we will consider your offer to buy our land. Of course it matters, because this memorable statement loses its moral force and validity if it is the literary creation of a frontier physician rather than the thinking of an articulate and wise Indian leader.
In quoting the Perry speech we are simultaneously suppressing the Smith version of Seattle's words. There is one problem: A number of historians say Chief Seattle never said most of what he is supposed to have said. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. It's another case of placing Native Americans up on a pedestal and not taking responsibility for our own actions. A version of Seattle's letter inspired a future justice of the U. This is kind of him, for we know he has little need of our friendship in return because his people are many.
Smith did not speak Salish, although he may have known Chinook, a local pidgin language. It portrays Seattle and his fellow Native Americans as loving and respectful of the environment, contrasted with the Europeans who are greedy and look to exploit the environment without care. While they are not exactly the same, these documents seem to give us a good deal of insight into Coast Salish spirituality and into Seattle's sadness at what he saw as the demise of his people. The idea is strange to us. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter. Also, his speech emphasizes a theme that was popular among European Americans in the late 19th century—the inevitable disappearance of American Indians. A year later, the chief signed a treaty with the United States Government, ceding much of the area on which the city of Seattle now stands.
Rich, Seattle's Unanswered Challenge, p. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless—Dead—I say? Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better. All the Indians are of the same mind. Born in 1786, his real name, in the Lushootseed language, was See-ahth, which the whites found nearly impossible to pronounce.
Meeker interviewed Colonel Shaw, the interpreter at the Point Elliott council, so he should have been aware of the speech if it actually occurred. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Unfortunately, no one has been able to locate either the letter or a reliable text of the speech. In a paper presented to European scholars of American history, Dr. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memory and experience of my people.
Chief Seattle died in 1866, more than a hundred years before the words that would be attributed to him were penned. Even the white man, whose God walked and talked with him, as friend to friend, is not exempt from the common destiny. Nothing was known of the consequences for destroying the environment, however the Native Americans had their tradition to respect the environment and preserve it forever however this belief was uncommon to the European settlers. However, your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to the reservation you offer them. The great, and I presume -- good, White Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our land but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably.
Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. . Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Smith is not listed among those present at this council. Their impact was certainly limited by technology compared to the Europeans, but it appears Native Americans were more than willing to alter the environment to meet their needs. Smith´s footnote: 1 The Indians in early times thought that Washington was still alive. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on.
Perry made up became with further embellishments the letter to President Pierce, the source of much of the children's book and the message sent out this week for Earth Day. If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and good will. Many of Perry's words are indeed inspiring, and they would be his alone if they hadn't sometimes been edited by the Baptist filmmakers.