Chief Seattle wrote nothing down during his life, yet his words—both real and imagined—are known throughout the world. The result is a man made up of both historical and fictional aspects, from which conflicting messages can be gleaned. Duwamish historian David Buerge spent more than 20 years unraveling Chief Seattle’s story. Buerge will talk about his findings in a free event at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2019 in the Everett Public Library auditorium, 2702 Hoyt Avenue in Everett.
Buerge, a biographer and a historian to the Duwamish Tribe, Chief Seattle’s mother’s people, reveals a leader of epic character. Chief Seattle was a warrior, an orator, a benefactor, and a visionary who helped found the city that bears his name. The City of Seattle is the largest named after a Native American. Chief Seattle’s had an ambitious vision of a prosperous, multiracial city. Toward the end of his life, Seattle saw that vision turn to tragedy. In the current century, is Seattle the city edging any closer to the vision of Seattle the man? Buerge explores this complex figure to uncover how one man’s story still shapes the identity of the city.
Buerge, an Everett-based historian, teacher, and writer, has been researching the pre- and early history of the City of Seattle since the mid-1970s. He has published 14 books of history and biography. Buerge’s latest book, “Chief Seattle and the Town that Took His Name,” is the first biography of Chief Seattle intended for adults.
This event is co-sponsored by the Everett Public Library and Humanities Washington. For further information, please call 425-257-8000 or visit www.epls.org.