Intelligent, dedicated residents in Washington's coastal communities provided the leadership to overcome political inertia and partisan stupidity. The groundwork for safety has been laid, so when the next big wave comes, physical damage will be great, but the horrors recalled in myth and legend need not be repeated.
Originally, the two straits and Puget Sound were known as the Gulf of Georgia, a name given by Captain George Vancouver in 1792 to honor his sovereign and patron, George III. It was a patronizing term then, much as the Salish Sea is now.
In Puget Sound society, if a new and vigorous group showed up, one might have to fight them, but one could also intermarry with them, sharing in their vitality and mitigating violence. Seattle changed his course and set to work immediately to bring this peaceful vision about in his homeland around Elliott Bay.
Historically the Battle of Seattle has been treated as an oddity: an engagement the Indians were bound to lose. In fact, it was a major setback for the settlers. And historians have largely ignored the crucial role played by the Duwamish and Chief Seattle.
The meeting went on until 5:30 pm. To me it was sad and disturbing. Arborists had been called in earlier to determine if trees were healthy or worth saving, and I felt that trees elicited higher regard than neighborhood residents.
Seattle pioneers came intending to found a town and get rich selling lots to subsequent settlers. The last thing Seattle’s white settlers wanted was for land near them withdrawn from the public domain and set up as an Indian Reservation.