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Answering Chief Seattle

Albert Furtwangler

Publication Year: 2012

This book traces the origins of one of the most famous speeches in American history and how our responses to it, over more than a century, show the changing tide of Native-white relations.

Published by: University of Washington Press


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Title Page, Copyright

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p. v

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pp. vii-xi

THE CHAPTERS THAT FOLLOW attempt to probe, weigh. stretch. and reconsider a literary and historical puzzle. In 1887 a columnist in a Seattle newspaper published a long speech by the Indian leader after whom the city...

The Speech and Its Setting

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pp. 1-69

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1. The Legendary Tableau

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pp. 3-17

CHIEF SEATTLE has become world famous in this century for a long and moving speech he made in the 1850s. just before his lands were taken from him and his people. According to a printed account that appeared...

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2. The Vanishing Text

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pp. 19-46

THE SOURCE WE HAVE JUST SURVEYED, Henry Smith's column of 1887, has long seemed to be a confirmed historical document. Compared to the other versions of the Seattle speech, it claims a number of distinct advantages...

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3. The Vanishing Setting

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pp. 47-69

SO FAR WE HAVE TRACED a literary or textual problem and arrived at a tenuous conclusion. There is a very thin thread of possibility that Henry A. Smith actually heard and recorded some kind of speech...

America's Reply

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4. Answers from Afar

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pp. 73-97

THE SPEECH OF CHIEF SEATTLE must, by now, seem barely credible as an event in history. Corruptions of text, extravagances of language. distortions of translation, and inconsistencies of meaning all stand...

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5. The Answers of Governor Stevens

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pp. 99-136

ISAAC STEVENS is a thorny character in the history of Washington Territory. To some he was a hero a dynamic, decisive leader who outlined far-seeing policies and followed through with sensible force and persistence...

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6. Remembered Places, Remembered Voices

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pp. 137-155

AT THIS POINT it may seem that the answers to Seattle's speech are overwhelming. It may be a touching speech of protest. but the world it addressed was prepared to cut it down. or, worse. absorb it into the massive...


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pp. 157-163


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pp. 165-167

E-ISBN-13: 9780295800387
E-ISBN-10: 0295800380
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295976334
Print-ISBN-10: 0295976330

Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 778433440
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Answering Chief Seattle

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Puget Sound Region (Wash.) -- History.
  • Suquamish Indians -- History.
  • Speeches, addresses, etc., Suquamish.
  • Seattle, -- Chief, 1790-1866 -- Oratory.
  • Human ecology.
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