Seattle pioneers petition against a reservation on the Black River for the Duwamish tribe in 1866.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/24/2001
  • Essay 2955
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In 1866, King County settlers petition the Territorial Delegate to Congress, Arthur Denny (1822-1899), against the establishment of a reservation for the Duwamish tribe on the Black River. The Superintendent of Indian Affairs had proposed such a reservation to correct deficiencies in the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855. The pioneer's petition is forwarded to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the reservation is not established. There are about 156 signatures, all or nearly all King County residents, including Chas. C. Terry (first signature), John Denny, D. T. Denny, H. L. Yesler, D. S. Maynard, Chas Plummer, Jacob Maple, and J. P. Pinnell.

The Petition

To the Honorable Arthur A. Denny, Delegate to Congress from Washington Territory:

The undersigned citizens of King County most respectfully suggest that we have heard with surprise and much dissatisfaction that some person has made a representation to Wm. H. Waterman Esq., Superintendent of Indian Affairs, which has caused him to ask of the Home Department that an Indian Reservation be established on Black River, in this county.

We know your familiarity with this section of country, and that you are aware that such a Reservation would do great injustice to this section of country, and is uncalled for, and of little value to the Indians: WE, THEREFORE, have to request that you, at your earliest convenience, call the attention of the Home Department to the facts as you know them to exist, and hope that this will be sufficient to prevent this proposed unjust and unnecessary action of the Government in making a Reservation for the remnant of a band which numbers but sixteen families, and whose interests and wants have always been justly and kindly protected by the settlers of the Black River country; We therefore, most respectfully, but earnestly protest against the injury a Reservation of these Indians would be to the quiet and flourishing settlements upon the Black and Duwamish rivers, -- as being unnecessary to the aborigines and injurious to your constituents of King County.

Most respectfully, your obedient servants,

[Note: Many names are illegible and there are errors]:

Charles C. Terry
D. K. Baxter
Harry Smith
Jeremiah Williams
Richard Wallis
John Welch
William B. Cheney
Joseph Dillon
James Kirch
F.M. Green
D.W. Conklin
T. McNatt
Samuel Alexander
Andrew Beattie
John McCrow
L. B. Abbott
Missel Ryan
E. C. McCoon
H. Breon
W.H. Weight
E. M. Sammis
Gardner Kellog
Hillory Butler
? ? Hinckley
? ? Haines
Franklin Matthias
O. C. Shorey
D. B. Ward
Martin Schmieg
D. H. Hill
John ------
M. R. Maddocks
J. S. Condon
A. Bissel
J. Jacobs
H. L. Yesler
Rickard King
D. T. Denny
Chas. Eagan
G. J. Seerley
John Langston
? Steelman
W. S. Surber
John Ross
J. C. Card
? ? Rabbeson
? Ohm (Dutch Ned slang)
Robt. ------
George Austin
A. H. Gow
C. C. Lewis
Martin Givlar
Henry Adams
John M. Cavanaugh
A--- W------
Arthur Magee
T. M. Stewart
T. Hammond
J. P. Roberts
? A. Neely
Peter Dugon
Theodore Russ
? Jordon
Joseph B--man
? D. Kellog
G. ? Keller
Jefferson Smith
Bernard ------
? ? Cavanaugh
Jacob Maple
John K---cher
J. C. Sherman
H. Van Asselt
J. W. Maple
J.P. Pinnell
? ? Ross
T. Bulfinch
J. ------
G. D. Seelys
Edw. Harney
W. M. -eny
? F. Putnam
? G. Mitchell
? Little
George Taylor

William Bedellian
C. Walsh
Z. M. Keller
A. C. Anderson
? Horton
J. R. Gardner
S. D. Peasley
T. S. Russell
H. McAleer
H.A. Atkins
S. T. B. Andrews
A. Hulbert
P. H. Lewis
H. Smith
Thomas Moss
B. A. Young
David Sires
Soloman Davis
D. S. Maynard
Chas. Plummer
G. W. Harris
Jacob S----y
W. ? Armstrong
David S. Coombs
B. R. St--
S--- Cisco
Preston Roberts
? Pike
John ------
J. B. Jor---
Alonzo Russell
J. Glendenning
Sam'l Wakefield
John Dilling
W. A. Jepson
John Denny
Edmund Carr
David R. McMillan
Seeris McMillan
Richard Jeffs
R. C. Smith
Thos. M. Alvord
W. W. Judd
S. W. Russell
R. Russell
J. P? Crow
L.W. Ballard
J. R. Stark
M. B. Maddocks Patrick O----
L. S. Clark
J. L. Holgate
John Kurins
Patrick Emerson
Saul Grund
D. V. Jost
W. H. Lee
J. G. Ballard

Sources: "Petition: To the Honorable Arthur A. Denny, Delegate to Congress from Washington Territory," n.d., National Archives Roll 909, "Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81"; Pioneer Association of the State of Washington, "A Petition to Support Recognition of The Duwamish Indians as a 'Tribe', June 18, 1988, in possession of Ken Tollefson, Seattle, Washington.

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