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Patkanim, Snoqualmie Indian Chief

This famous chieftain was the hereditary ruler of the Snoqualmie tribe, and also the ruling spirit of the Indians in general on the eastern shore of the Sound between the border of British Columbia and the present northern boundary of King county. He was noted for shrewdness and cunning; and at the first coming of the Whites he was hostile to them. While thus opposing the settlers, he kept on good terms with the officials of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His cunning, not to say duplicity, is shown by his conduct during the attack on Fort Nisqually in October, 1849. While Cussass, his brother, was heading the attack on the outside, he was quietly sitting inside smoking the pipe of peace; and, when the time came for him to leave, friendly Indians helped him escape.

On the breaking out of the Indian war in 1855, successful efforts were made to prevent his joining the hostiles. Governor Stevens authorized him to raise a company of Indian scouts. These co-operated most effectively with the volunteers in the northern campaign. During that war he brought to Olympia the heads of two alleged hostile chiefs, as an evidence of his loyalty.

It has been questioned whether this Snoqualmie diplomatist was really friendly to the Whites; but, whatever his real sentiments, he was cunning enough to see which way lay the path of safety for himself. After his first effort in 1848 to excite war against the settlers, he was thoroughly opposed to hostilities. He lived to a great age.

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 29 August 2016.
- Last updated on Sep 27th, 2013

This page is part of a larger collection. Access the full collection at Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico.

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