Chief Seattle dies on June 7, 1866.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 11/04/1998
  • Essay 171

On June 7, 1866, Chief Seattle, the leader of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes in whose honor Seattle was named, dies in north Kitsap County at Old Man House.

Chief Seattle (178?-1866), or si?al in his native Lushootseed language, led the Duwamish and Suquamish Tribes when the first Euro-American settlers arrived in the Puget Sound region in the 1850s. Baptized Noah by Catholic missionaries, Seattle was regarded as a "firm friend of the Whites” (Perry, 129).

He was a respected leader among Salish tribes, signing the Point Elliott (Mukilteo) Treaty of 1855, which relinquished tribal claims to most of the area, and opposing Native American attempts to dislodge settlers during the "Indian Wars" of 1855-1856. The settlers responded by naming the region's future central city in his honor.

Chief Seattle retired to the Suquamish Reservation at Port Madison, and died there at 1 p.m. on June 7, 1866.


Fredi Perry, Port Madison, Washington Territory 1854-1889 (Bremerton, WA: Perry Publishing, 1989).

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