Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana

The January 26, 1856 Battle of Seattle

In their desperation the Anishinabek may have (there are two accounts for this battle at Seattle) agreed to send their brave soldiers over the Cascade Mountains to attempt to destroy the American settlement of Seattle. This battle arose as a result of treaty’s made between the native Indians (the Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla and Yakima tribes), which were made in 1855 which legally ceded their land to the United States, and set up Reservations for them. What followed after the treaty was signed, was approved of by the above mentioned tribes, but some Anishinabe Nation refused to recognize the treaty. The Battle of Seattle is mysterious, because one account says that the local natives of the Seattle region were responsible for the battle, while another says that the Indians of central and eastern Washington, were responsible for fighting the battle. Since we have two accounts of this battle, we will concentrate on the one account which claims that anywhere from 250 to 500 Anishinabe soldiers from central and eastern Washington, crossed over the Cascade Mountains, to attack the white American settlement of Seattle. However, the Anishinabe Army from the east of Washington likely merged with a smaller Anishinabe Army in the Tacama-Seattle region.

Before the Anishinabe soldiers reached the Seattle region, they were snitched on by a native Indian of the Seattle region, who was possibly paid by the whites for the espinage work, which only helped the cause of the evil white race. After reaching the Seattle region, they commenced to attack the white settlers, white soldiers, and white sailors, and in fact, from reading the descriptions of the battle, the battle was fiercely fought but led to few casualties, which means both sides were using defensive protection. White casualties were only two killed, while the casualties of the Indians was unknown, but some estimated that as many as 108 with 28 of them killed. If that estimate for Indian casualties was correct, it means the whites were using their latest new guns against the Indian military force, as well as their howitzers. Great changes in firearms was occurring then, which the Indians eventually learned about and greatly feared.

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