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.
David M. Buerge, a biographer and a historian to the Duwamish Tribe, Seattle’s mother’s people, spent more than 20 years exploring the man from a variety of sources to reveal a leader of epic character. He was a warrior, an orator, a benefactor, and a visionary who helped found the city that bears his name, Seattle, the largest city in the world named after a Native American.
Chief Seattle’s vision was ambitious: a prosperous, multiracial city. But toward the end of Seattle’s life, he saw that vision become a 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, a historian, teacher, and writer, has been researching the pre- and early history of the City of Seattle since the mid-1970s. He has published fourteen 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.
Buerge lives in Everett.
- 1:00 pm, Saturday,
April 4, 2020
- Museum of Northwest Art
121 1st St
La Conner, WA 98257 United States
- 6:30 pm, Wednesday,
May 13, 2020
- Jefferson County Library
620 Cedar Ave
Port Hadlock, WA 98339 United States
- 1:00 pm, Sunday,
June 7, 2020
- Shoreline Library
345 NE 175th St
Shoreline, WA 98155 United States
For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact Hannah Schwendeman at (206) 682-1770 x101 or by email.