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

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 3/13/2003
  • Essay 5402
See Additional Media

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.


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).

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You