The Pacific Northwest Forum
Volume 8, Number 4, Pages 17-28
by Lenore Ziontz
Lenore Ziontz is a free lance writer living in Mercer Island Washington.
The woman known in the annals of the city of Seattle as "Princess Angeline" was the first child and cherished daughter of the man for whom Seattle is named, Chief Sealth. Sealth was a Suquamish Indian. His first wife, Angeline's mother, was a Duwamish. Sealth, too, was the child of a Suquamish chief and a Duwamish woman. These two native groups had always had close ties. Sealth was born when familiar customs and predictable futures in the Northwest were about to disappear. He lived during a period in which the Indian seemed doomed to vanish from the earth.
Sealth was a remarkable man in many ways. His efforts to bridge the chasm which separated the Indian from the newly arrived white civilization almost succeeded. Sealth was baptized after being converted by the Catholic missionary Father Demers in 1841. On that occasion, Sealth selected for himself the European name, "Noah." But unlike Noah who brought his family safely through flood and destruction to a happier new world, Sealth ended his days in despair. His efforts to keep the peace and build friendships between his people and the white settlers in Puget Sound only resulted in the demoralization, disinheritance, and scattering of his own kind.
This story is not about Sealth but about Angeline, his daughter. However, her tragic life was a direct result of her father's respect and affection for the white man.
There is no certain year for Angeline's birth. 1811 is the earliest year mentioned but other authorities maintain she was born as late as 1830. Her baby name was Wee-wy-eke and later she was called Ka-ki-is-i1-ma. Her mother was a lovely Duwamish woman, perhaps from the village know as "King Salmon's House" on the Black River and Sealth was reported to have loved his wife dearly. She died when Wee-wy-eke was a very small child and her body was wrapped in blankets and placed in a canoe for her voyage to the Land of the Dead, in accordance with Indian tradition. Angeline always maintained that she remembered nothing of her mother. Like most children Angeline was very attached to her father. She idolized him and followed him everywhere.
The home Ka-ki-is-il-ma grew up in was the pride of Puget Sound: Ol-e-man House. It was the largest longhouse by far of any in the entire Sound area. It stood on what is now the Suquamish Reservation, just across Agate Pass from Bainbridge Island. Ten acres of land lay beneath its roof. The floor was covered with cedar bark mats and the walls were hung with them to keep out drafts. It was the home of many families. A Thunderbird was painted on the front side which faced the water.
This god gave the inhabitants of the house power, courage, and good fortune. It is generally believed that this building was the largest Indian longhouse ever built anywhere in the Puget Sound region.
Ka-ki-is-il-ma was a pampered child, both because she was Sealth's daughter and because she was motherless. All Indian children were disciplined very lightly until they were at least five or six years old. They were thought to understand very little until then. Furthermore, Indian people in the Northwest believed that until children reached the age of five or six, their souls were not firmly attached to their bodies. It was felt to be unwise to make little children unhappy since that might cause them to prefer to go back to the place where they had been before they were born.
When children lived beyond the years of their early childhood and their souls were more firmly attached to their bodies, they could be gradually introduced to the sterner realities of life. It was necessary for all children to learn the tasks of survival and also what training was required in order to receive their spirit help. In order for a person to be successful in whatever he wished to do in life he needed the direct assistance of a friendly spirit. The way in which to achieve a meeting with a personal spirit helper was through the medium of hunger, pain, bathing, and cold.
It was vitally important for a Northwest Coast person to be clean. Bathing was for the purpose of removing human odors which the spirits found offensive. Children awaiting their "helper" were encouraged to bathe two and three times each day. The settlers' perception that the Indians were dirty may have stemmed from the fact that clothing was seldom washed, but beneath their garments Indian bodies were kept conscientiously clean. In Indian society, those who allowed themselves to stay dirty were seen as suffering from spiritual loss and indeed, with the introduction of alcohol to the Indian and the destruction of his way of life, there were many who were indeed spiritually destroyed. They allowed themselves to become unclean.
Angeline recalled that when she was a child she had three robes. One was beaver fur, another was deerskin, and the third was woven from mountain sheep's wool and goat hair. She was brought up, as were all Indian children, to be honest, trusting and self-confident. All Indian girls were taught how to preserve fish and clams and how to weave watertight baskets from grass and rushes.
Indian women grew up economically self-sufficient and not dependent on men. Rather, they were the providers. They gathered most of the foodstuffs; the clams, oysters, and mussels. They learned when and where the camas bulbs grew, and where the berries and roots were, elderberry were a plentiful favorite. Each woman developed her own collection of smooth, round rocks for making water boil in their baskets. Everyone knew how to shred cedarbark for use as toweles, clothing and other necessities of life. Angeline learned how to weave using goat's wool, and how to pad the wool out with dog fur shorn from the wooly breed indigenous to the Northwest Coast. These fur-bearing dogs belonged exclusively to women and a woman's wealth was measured by the number of such animals she owned.
Years later, white citizens of Seattle thought Angeline eccentric because in her old age she kept a large number of pets in her shack on Seattle's waterfront. They had no notion of the fact that to Angeline, her dogs represented wealth and prestige.
Dogs had been an important economic asset and while their value was diminished when the native peoples began wearing European-style clothing, the habits of judging wealth according to old standards remained. Angeline retained her dignity because in many ways incomprehensible to the Seattle settlers, she was a wealthy woman.
In 1841, Father Demers, a Catholic priest, came to the British trading post at Fort Nisqually which lay just to the east of the present location of Olympia. He took pains to learn some Indian languages beyond the Chinook jargon. Sealth, and many other Indian people, despised Chinook and never spoke it. Chinook was a jargon suited for commercial purposes but unexpressive of anything except the simplest ideas. Demers was a man of great charisma and many Indian people were drawn to him. Sealth and Angeline were captivated by a white man who spoke their own tongue. Father Demers taught religion in part through music. The Indian people had always had a great musical tradition and loved to sing. Sealth was charmed by the musical qualities of the Catholic liturgy.
Demers taught many Indians, including Sealth and Angeline, the history of the world as revealed in the Bible. He illustrated his narrative with what was called the "Catholic ladder." The ladder was a long scroll covered with pictures and mnemonic devices which recapitulated the history of the world in the Biblical version. He found his Indians attentive students. Father Demers was reputed to have converted seven hundred children to Catholicism in the year of his visit. It is likely that Angeline was among those. In any event, Angeline and Sealth both became Catholics and they both adhered to their new faith for the rest of their lives.
In those days, one of the major fears of the Indian people of Puget Sound was the slave raids carried on by the fierce tribes of the north. The various peoples of Nootka Sound, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and Vancouver Island all would occasionally attack the more peaceable Puget Sound groups. A swarm of raiders would appear with appalling swiftness, traveling in huge canoes which carried twenty to forty men. Their combined paddle-power propelled their canoes through the water at speed faster than the white steamers of the day. The local Indians would race for hiding places far up the Duwamish River, out of sight from the open water.
One of the major reasons Chief Sealth and his people were so cordial to the settlers was that they felt the white people would offer protection against these fearsome raiders. Angeline, as the daughter of an important chief, was particularly vulnerable as she would be worth a huge ransom if she were ever captured. This may partly explain why she preferred the company of her white friends in Seattle to her more exposed home at Suquamish.
Early contact with the North West Trading Company brought beads from China and rolled copper fishhooks manufactured from sheet copper to the native peoples. When the Hudson Bay Company which took over from the North West Trading Company began trading woolen blankets for the beautiful furs of the region, the production habits of the Indians of the Northwest changed. Formerly the Indians had made a portion of their clothing out of animal skins as well as pounded cedar bark and other materials but now those furs became far too valuable for their own use. The people preferred to trade their furs for tools, rifles, alcohol and blankets. The entire Indian society was turned upside-down because the fur trade was so interesting. Every economic and social activity suffered as the hunt for animal skins absorbed more and more native time and attention. By 1850, before there was a white settlement in Seattle, Indians near the rivers and harbors of Puget Sound had stopped manufacturing their own tools, weapons, and clothing and relied to a very large extent on commerce with the newcomers. As white society and technology became more and more influential in the region, the Indian culture underwent substantial change. Very shortly, ideas and customs more central to the Indian way of life than any technology began to suffer from their dealing with the Europeans.
From the very first, contacts between whites and Indians resulted in intermarriage. To white men far from home, there were few barriers and many strong attractions to Indian women. In the early days, travelers through the region were generally treated as honored guests by the Indians. The sight of some young Indian woman bent over good, hot food as it sizzled and steamed tended to capture the heart and stomach simultaneously of many an adventurer. Indian women found both the appearance and wondrous possessions of these men strange and attractive.
Some Indian women married well when they married white men. They were loved and respected by their husbands. Some had servants, the finest homes and clothing, and learned to speak and read English. These young Indian women took up the manners and customs of white society. One of the by-products of Indian-white intermarriage was restraint on Indian hostility toward the greatly outnumbered whites. For a time, until the exploitation of their women became clear, Indian fathers saw white men as potential son-in-laws and the bearers of the seed of their grandchildren. However, it soon became obvious that happy and enduring relationships between white men and Indian women were the exception rather than the rule. For every Indian-white marriage in which there was felicity, there were many more in which the women were used, brutalized, and abandoned.
Another reason Angeline and her fellows felt it unnecessary to resist white encroachment of their lands was that they fully believed that nature would punish the whites for their self-aggrandizing habits. White people ignored the fact that the animals and fish willingly sacrificed themselves for the benefit of man. The "First Salmon Rites" were intended to repay nature for its generosity and failure to practice these sacraments would surely insult the animals. The settlers would lose all their crops and fail in all their hunting. The consequent inability to feed themselves would cause the whites to leave the Puget Sound area as suddenly as they came.
In addition, the Indians felt that the settlers, as a people, were doomed to starve because of their unnatural beliefs about what constituted private property. Indian children were taught that all gathered food is to be shared and that selfishness about food results in reduced future catches and finds. The Indian people were mystified when the settlers objected to their taking potatoes from fenced fields. The whites perceived such behavior as stealing, the Indians were sure such an abundance of potatoes meant that they were for everyone.
Angeline was raised in an Indian world but by the time she was an adult, her world had been largely eclipsed. While still a child, Angeline gained a reputation for being very headstrong. She earned that reputation again among Seattle's white population. Angeline did change her dress and her religion to accommodate to the ways of her father's friends but she was uncompromising in her adherence to customs and practices she felt were required of her as a noblewoman and her father's daughter. There was no spirit helper who might be reached through ritual bathing after the acceptance of Christianity but as Angeline descended into old age and uncleanliness, she never abandoned her independence and dignity. Her way of life may have disappeared but certain cultural patterns and practices persisted.
Before the coming of the white man, Indian children of high birth were married to suit political purposes, much as the royalty of Europe. These marriages were arranged to cement political alliances and therefore, the young couple involved were generally of different and distant groups. In the northern region among the Northwest Indians, the custom was that the new husband lived with his wife's family. However, around Puget Sound, the wife was obliged to join her husband in a place foreign to her and live among strangers. Although Sealth was the son of a Duwamish woman and a Suquamish father and his first wife was also Duwamish, there remains considerable evidence that comfortable relations never developed between the Duwamish and Suquamish peoples. A woman might eventually become fond of her husband and vice versa, but love was rarely achieved within the marriages of high-born Northwest Coast Indians. Throughout life therefore, the natal family was the single most important, enduring emotional attachment. This is why, to some extent, we can never appreciate the depth of Angeline's feelings for her father and her lack of commitment to her husbands.
There are as many stories about Angeline's marital history as there is confusion about the year of her birth. She could not have been born in 1811, as one author has written because this would have made her twenty-seven years old when she first married. The author of that information claims that Angeline married the Skagit chief, Dokub Cud in 1838. It was far more common for Indian girls in the Pacific Northwest to marry at fourteen or fifteen than at twenty-seven. Marriage usually occurred two or three years after the onset of the menses. Therefore, it is much more likely that Angeline was born around 1822.
One of the more inventive versions of Angeline's life story has it that rather than marry a Snoqualmie chief with whom her father had arranged an advantageous union, she ran away with a French-Canadian fur trader named Henri. Together they fled to Canada from Sealth's displeasure. There, so the romance goes, Angeline gave birth to a daughter named Therese who learned to speak English. Perhaps Therese acquired her English from her French-Canadian father; her Suquamish mother never learned to speak it. Henri turned out to be a heavy drinker and a brutal husband and fortuitously, was killed in a tavern brawl. Angeline was then free to return to her home with her little daughter. Sealth forgave Angeline for her headstrong behavior because of his deep affection toward her and once more took her under his protection. No one, other than the author of the foregoing story has ever heard of Henri.
Later, still according to this legend, Angeline's half-Indian daughter married a white man and gave birth to a small son. Therese's husband was cruel to her. She tried to leave him several times but he always forced her to return to him. Soon after the birth of her child, Therese hung herself and escaped in death.
Other, more reliable sources reveal that Angeline's first husband was Dokub Cud and that with him she had two daughters; Betsey, also called Lizzie on occasion, and Mary. It was Betsey who made the unfortunate marriage and who committed suicide some time after the birth of her son. Suicide was then, and remains to this day, more common among Indians than white society.
In any event, and whatever the name, after her daughter's death Angeline took the little boy and raised him as her own. His name was Joseph Foster, Jr. They lived with Sealth at the Suquamish village site on the Post Madison Indian Reservation although Sealth and many other Suquamish alternated living between Suquamish and the beach at Seattle. Many different local Indian groups camped around Seattle because of curiosity about the strangers and the wonderful trading opportunities they presented. One of the most sought-after items was the wonderful shiny tin pails the settlers had. To a people who had always boiled water in tightly woven baskets by dropping hot rocks into them, those pails seemed nothing short of miraculous. When Sealth died in 1866, Angeline and Joseph moved to Seattle in order to live permanently among her white friends and protectors.
Other fictions about Angeline have it that at the time that Sealth wanted Angeline to make an appropriate marriage to Dokub Cud, a Skagit nobleman, Angeline already had a Suquamish lover. Rather than marry Dokub Cud, she tried to run away. However, Dokub Cud found her and abducted her to his home in British Columbia, leaving Sealth to guess what had happened to his child. Dokub Cud was a severe man and forced his headstrong wife to perform labor ordinarily relegated to slaves. She was beaten and reduced to gathering wood, cooking, and carrying heavy burdens. Many times Angeline tried to run away, just as her ill-fated daughter did only a few years later. Each time Angeline was caught, beaten, and returned to her husband's home. After ten years of misery, Dokub Cud was killed when he was stabbed in a fight and Angeline was then free to return to her father and Puget Sound.
Soon afterwards, still in this romanticized version of Angeline's life, Sealth married his daughter to a Duwamish chief named Talisha. Talisha was awarded the honor of being the father of Betsey, Mary, and a baby who died. By this timetable, Angeline would have been thirty-seven years old before ever giving birth to a living child. Her daughter, Betsey would have been no more than five years old when she committed suicide after having been married and given birth to a baby boy. One of the few dates that is certain is that Betsey died in 1854.
Catherine Blaine, wife of the first Christian minister to settle in Seattle, wrote about the "Betsey incident" in letters she sent home that year. She described the debate that resulted from the desire of some Seattle citizens to bury Betsey in the white cemetery since she had been married to a white man. But Catherine was adamant along with her minister-husband that Betsey could not be buried in a Christian cemetery since she had never been legally married. It is likely that Betsey's death by suicide was also a factor in the Blaine position although that aspect of the situation was not discussed in the correspondence.
S.1. Crawford interviewed Angeline in 1891 and at that time she stated that she was widowed from Dokub Cud (sic) in 1853. Therefore, Talisha could not have been the father of Angeline's children.
Indian people did not keep the same name throughout their lives as is the custom in our society. Names were changed in connection with various life passages and were therefore appropriate only to certain periods in a person's life. Angeline was known as Wee-wy-eke when she was a baby and Ka-ki-is-il-ma as she grew older. Catherine Maynard and her husband, universally known as "Doc," were early settlers in Seattle and true friends to the Indians. The Indians were in dire need of white medicine because their doctoring was ineffective against white diseases. Since the 1820s, succeeding waves of small pox, malaria, and measles had been decimating the Indian population.
Catherine Maynard's brother was Michael Troutman Simmons, who came with the George Bush party to Washington in 1844. Catherine also had a sister who was married to James McAllister, another member of the Simmons-Bush party. James McAllister was the first white man to be killed in the Indian War of 1855-56.
Chatherine Maynard found Ka-ki-is-il-ma too big a mouthful for someone who was a constant friend of the whites and impulsively renamed her "Angeline." It is impossible to know what Ka-ki-is-il-ma thought at the time but it would not be inconsistent with Indian tradition for her to have believed that the giving of the name meant that she had taken on an additional role. Now that Angeline had a white name, she was obliged to try to behave like a white person. In any event, the name stuck and Ka-ki-is-il-ma retreated into historic mist and "Princess Angeline" became a classic Seattle character. Many of the recollections of her were unfavorable but none deny she was a person of great integrity and dignity. Mr. W. W. White said of her, "I came to Seattle in 1858 and have known Angeline ever since that time, and she is the only Indian woman I have ever known whose morals were above reproach."
Both prior to and during the early settling of Seattle, the local Indians were very ill. Wherever the white man settled in North America, his diseases preceeded him. The isolation of the American continent from the rest of the world meant that the Indian people were unusually susceptible to the various plagues and illnesses to which the white man had built up some immunity over many centuries. An important reason why pioneers sometimes had little difficulty with the Indian people in the regions where they settled was that the Indians were decimated by small pox, measles, and in the Northwest, malaria as well. In this part of the country they were reduced by eighty to ninety percent of their original populations within a generation. The monumental disaster of that kind of mortality rate left the survivors so numbed with grief and despair that they had little will nor social organization left to resist. In 1852 and 1853 small pox raged among the Puget Sound Indians.
After the large number of deaths which resulted from these diseases, traditional distinctions between high and low class Indian people disappeared. There were no longer any social or economic justifications for such distinctions. By the late 1850s, the Puget Sound people lived mostly in wooden shacks along the beach on Seattle's waterfront. the economic system which in the past had given people's lives purpose and meaning, was an irrelevancy. They spent their time in drink and gambling.
It was necessary for the settlers to deny any guilt as messengers of disease and death and indeed, they were unwitting carriers. However, they could not absolve themselves from the obvious damage the introduction of alcohol had caused. It had not been the intention of any settlers, anywhere on the continent to so decimate the native population but it did simplify acquiring the land. Peculiar notions such as this by S.J. Kavanaugh, a United States Marshall and sheriff of Whatcom County were offered, "It is not the white man's diseases which has caused the rapid population decline of the red man. It is the separating of them from their fathers and making them live civilized." Kavanaugh was married to a Swinomish woman named Tal Stoia but he was not an astute observer of life around him. His assessments of situations led him to make this remark, "I am of the opinion that this country will soon have to be abandoned and left to the Indians and wild fowl for whom it is admirably adapted. No white man can succeed amid so much rainfall."
While the white man busied himself building a city in spite of the rain, the namesake of that city, Chief Sealth stalked the Seattle scene. Wrapped in his blanket, his "speaking stick" in hand, he watched in dismay at his people's disintegration. He saw how bad alcohol was for his people. He himself had not had a drink since his conversion to Catholicism. The whiskey boats plied the Sound, carrying on their illicit trade with the Indians. The owners and captains of the whiskey boats were rarely apprehended in the proscribed act of actually selling alcohol to the Indians and the few who were, were never convicted. Sealth raged inwardly at the unfulfilled promises of Governor Isaac Stevens and the United States government. In 1858 the treaty which had been concluded in 1854 was still unsigned and the meager sum of money that was to have been paid to the Indians for ceding their lands remained unpaid. The Indians wanted the treaty ratified not only so that they would have their money but also so that they would know where they might plant some potatoes and have control of the land where they were planted long enough to harvest them.
Sealth suffered because of the neglect on the part of the United States seemed the only reward the Suquamish and Duwamish had garnered as a result of their friendship towards the whites and their neutrality in the Indian War of 1855-1856 in Seattle. He had argued with his people for peace above all.
A legend developed that just before the outbreak of the Indian War, Angeline paddled a canoe across the Sound from her Suquamish village to warn the town of Seattle of an imminent attack. Even if, as is now presumed, it never really happened that way, the telling of the story satisfied the romantic notions of many Seattlites. As a result, and for other reasons as well, Angeline ranked high in the affections of the Seattle settlers. However, this did not result in any benefit to the native people who were alternately romanticized and reviled.
On a more pleasant note Emily Inez Denny in her book, Blazing The Way describes an incident which took place during the early 1860s. This prosaic little adventure involved Angeline and her younger daughter Mary, or Mamie as she was variously known and Louisa Boren Denny and some of her family. It is illustrative of the happier side of Indian-white relations on Puget Sound.
Inez Denny tells us about one August day when Louisa Denny took several of her children and she and another pioneer woman and her children went blackberry picking along with Angeline and Mamie. While they were absorbed in picking, the tide came in and their canoe which had been beached when they landed was now far out in the Sound. Seeing that they were all stranded, Mamie took off her shoes, dove into the water and swam to the canoe. She dove underneath it in order to grab the anchor out of the mud. Then she would be able to push the boat to shore and enable the group to get home. It took many tries to release the anchor and before it was done, Mamie became exhausted. Angeline was deeply upset and concerned for her daughter's safety. Eventually however, Mamie accomplished what she had set out to do. All those present that day were very impressed with her courage and skill. The white women were reminded of the common humanity of all people because of the affecting demonstration of an Indian mother's love and fear for her child.
Chief Noah Sealth died in June of 1866 and was buried near his home with dual Catholic and Indian ceremonies. Angeline's half-brother, one of Sealth's sons, gave the eulogy. It was more prophetic than anyone present might have guessed. Jim Sealth was reported to have said in the address he made over the grave, "We know that my father was the last great chief of the Seattles." What was no doubt meant by the usage of the term "Seattles" was the union of the Duwamish, Suquamish, and other south Sound peoples. From time immemorial, they had been the human sovereigns of all the land in the vicinity of Seattle. As Sealth once said about the land Seattle rests on, "Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than to yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch."
Angeline grieved for her father a great deal, both when he died and afterward, for the rest of her life. Sealth had once sat for a portrait. Many years after his death, Angeline was taken to see the portrait. On seeing her father's likeness, she broke down and wept for a long time. She returned again and again to gaze at it for long periods of time, mourning the loss of the most important person in her life.
"Princess Angeline" was the name selected for the role of the white man's last Indian princess. Her existence had become an anachronism. She was princess of the dirty, demented and ridiculous. How that soothed the collective conscience! Angeline played out the role without reproach to anyone. She had accepted the name but before she understood what the part required. Perhaps in the end she did come to really comprehend her significance but now the role was hers and that being the case, she played it with her characteristic ironic defiance.
Angeline and other Indian women sat on street corners in Seattle selling hand-made baskets, other craft items, fish, and clams. A whole salmon could be purchased for between ten and twenty-five cents and no Indian ever undercut another. Many Indian women did laundry and cleaned house for white families. Angeline supported herself and her orphaned grandson, Joe Foster, Jr. in all these ways. If people thanked her for labor she accepted her wages but if they had any criticism, she refused payment. She was, after all, a princess.
Angeline had adopted white dress but as time went on, she took to wearing five or six skirts, one on top of another. Angeline's appearance became dirtier and dirtier. The spirits who might be offended by the odor of an unwashed human body had lost their power. Angeline was a familiar sight to all; hobbling Seattle's streets, leaning on her cane, wearing her taffeta skirts and fringed shawl. Her head was always covered with a scarf and she was often barefoot. Little boys threw rocks at her because she was so ugly. White people photographed and painted her portrait because she was a symbol of how low the "noble savage" had fallen. Unconcerned, she continued to earn her living selling clams and kindling door-to-door, scrubbing floors and doing laundry.
Angeline lived on the waterfront with her grandson, the child of poor Betsey. Her daughter Mary was gone now too. Mary had married a white man named William Deshaw.
Deshaw was a man who understood and appreciated Indian people and culture. He had grown up in Arizona and New Mexico and had been acquainted with Indians throughout his life. Mary's marriage was a far happier one than her sister's had been but she died without ever having children. Angeline kept her grief over her daughters' deaths private. However, Seattle citizens did know that she was deeply saddened when her good friend "Doc" Maynard died in 1873. With him died whatever small amount of trust she had in white medicine.
Many Indian women were skilled midwives. In 1875, Angeline's talent for midwifery was called on. She was the midwife in attendance when Mary Jane McMillan Ross had a child. When Elizabeth Maple, the wife of John Maple gave birth to identical twin girls, many Indian women came to offer their skills in preserving the tiny babies. Indians have had a long-standing special interest in twin births. Each baby weighed no more than three and a half pounds so Angeline and some of the other Indian women came and repeatedly rubbed fish oil all over the bodies of the infant girls. This, together with the cotton batting in which the babies were wrapped helped retain their body heat and make it possible for them to survive. The little girls were christened by the Reverend Daniel Bagley. Dr. Charles A. Smith, for whom Smith Cove is named, was the doctor who attended the twins as they grew. The combination of Indian and white nursing skills preserved these two little children and surely, others as well.
As Angeline's grandson Joe grew older, he fell heir to all the evils that many of the Indian people did. He drank to excess and was often jailed for drunkenness. Angeline would bail him out. She herself always followed her father's injunction not to consume alcohol, yet she was not insensitive to the injustice of the white man supplying whiskey to the Indians and then throwing them in jail for over-indulging. Despite his drinking, Joe was a good grandson. He lived with Angeline in her shack at the foot of Pike Street and they looked after each other until her death.
Angeline's part in the drama of the settlement of the Northwest was drawing to a close. In 1892, her only remaining "true" friend, Henry Yesler died. Later Ol-e-man House was deliberately burned down by the white citizens over Angeline's strenuous protests. The building was burned because it was decrepid and seemed to stand in the way of progress. When her famous old home was no more and her last link to her former life destroyed, Angeline told her old and dear friend, Catherine Maynard, the woman who had named her, that she wished to be buried in a canoe in the white man's cemetery with a green tree at her head. All people of the Northwest love trees but perhaps Angeline felt that a green tree was especially appropriate for her. She remembered her father's words to the white man, Chief Sealth had once said in an appeal for compassion and respect, "My people are few, They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain." The single tree at the head of her grave might have been for Angeline the symbol of her lonely role.
Princess Angeline was a very old woman when she was taken ill with her final illness. Some of the kinder Seattle citizens had her taken to a hospital but without her old friend, "Doc" Maynard, the hospital held only terror for Angeline. She begged to be allowed to return home and there she died on May 31, 1896. Her funeral was held in a Catholic Church, the "Church of Our Lady of Good Help." It stood on Third Avenue South and Washington Street. She was buried in Lake View Cemetery in Seattle among her pioneer friends.
Angeline's life spanned an era which began when Seattle's shore was an Indian campground on the fringe of the forest and ended when a city of 60,000 people served by electricity and telephones stood on the same ground. In 1891 Angeline met the then President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison. When she was born there had been no white man for within one hundred and fifty miles of her home. If, in the latter part of her life she did go a trifle mad, which one of us confronted by the changes, losses, and personal suffering she endured could do any better?
In the year of her death, 1896, a song was written about Angeline and published by Sherman Clay and Company. It was called the "Princess Angeline Two-Step." Many Seattle pioneers who remembered the old days and the many kindnesses the Indians had showed the early settlers objected to this mockery of her. They were embarrassed and angered by the way so many whites flattered themselves by defaming the Indian race. Good people felt they must surely bear the burden of introducing the Indians to alcohol and so degrading them even if they could not accept responsibility for the near-destruction of the Indian people. It is possible Angeline's mind was broken by the vicissitudes of her life but the ridiclue which was implied by the title "Princess Angeline" was lost on her, In Ka-ki-is-il-ma's heart, she really was a princess.