THE WORDS OF CHIEF SEATTLE

When the last red man has vanished from this earth, and his memory is only a story among the whites, these shores will still swarm with the invisible dead of my people. And when your children’s children think they are alone in the fields, the forests, the shops, the highways, or the quiet of the woods, they will not be alone. There is no place in this country where a man can be alone. At night when the streets of your town and cities are quiet, and you think they are empty, they will throng with the returning spirits that once thronged them, and that still love these places. The white man will never be alone. Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless.

Speech by Chief Seattle (c. 1786 - 1866) to governor of Washington Territory (c. 1855)

as cited in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, Seventeenth Edition © 2002

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