Native American tribes sign Point Elliott Treaty at Mukilteo on January 22, 1855.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 3/13/2003
  • Essay 5402
On January 22, 1855, Chief Seattle joins 81 other leaders of Puget Sound tribes in signing a treaty with Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens (1818-1862) at Point Elliott (now Mukilteo). Tribes including the Duwamish and Suquamish surrender their lands for cash, relocation to reservations, and access to traditional fishing and hunting grounds. Four days later, tribal leaders from Hood Canal and the upper Puget Sound sign a similar agreement at Point-No-Point (near Hansville on the Kitsap Peninsula).

Governor Stevens later enumerated 9,712 Native Americans living west of the Cascade Range. Only a few hundred white settlers occupied Puget Sound when the treaties were concluded. Seattle Indian Agent Dr. David S. Maynard (1808-1873) played a major role in securing tribal concessions.

The agreements did not secure a durable peace, and the Puget Sound area experienced several bloody clashes over the next few years. Nine settlers were killed in the White River valley in October 1855 and Seattle itself was attacked on January 26, 1856.

Sources: Clarence Bagley, History of Seattle (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916); Bagley, History of King County, Washington (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929); Murray Morgan, Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle (New York: Viking Press, 1951); Edmond Meany, History of the State of Washington (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909).

Related Topics:   Northwest Indians | War & Peace

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