Today, in 1866, thirteen years after American settlers founded the city named for him, Chief Seattle dies in a nearby village of his people.
Born around 1790, Seattle (Seathl) was a chief of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes, who lived around the Pacific Coast bay that is today called Puget Sound. He was the son of a Suquamish father and a Duwamish mother, a lineage that allowed him to gain influence in both tribes.
By the early 1850s, small bands of Euro-Americans had begun establishing villages along the banks of Puget Sound. Chief Seattle welcomed his new neighbors and seems to have treated them with kindness. In 1853, several settlers moved to a site on Elliott Bay to establish a permanent town–since Chief Seattle had proved so friendly and welcoming, the settlers named their tiny new settlement in his honor.