Excerpt from Chief Seattle's speech
Every part of this country is sacred to my people.
Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove
has been hallowed by some fond memory
or some sad experience of my tribe.
Even the rocks,
which seem to lie dumb as they swelter in the sun
along the silent shore in solemn grandeur
thrill with memories of past events
connected with the fate of my people.
The very dust under your feet
responds more lovingly to our footsteps than to yours,
because it is the ashes of our ancestors,
and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch,
for the soil is rich with the life of our kindred.
The sable braves, and fond mothers, and glad-hearted maidens,
and the little children who lived and rejoiced here
and whose very names are now forgotten,
still love these solitudes
and their deep fastnesses at eventide grow shadowy
with the presence of dusky spirits.
And when the last Red Man shall have perished from the earth
and his memory among white men shall have become a myth,
these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe
and when your children's children shall think themselves alone
in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway,
or in the silence of the woods,
they will not be alone.
In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude.
At night, when the streets of your cities and villages
shall be silent and you think them deserted,
they will throng with the returning hosts
that once filled and still love this beautiful land.
The white man will never be alone.
Let him be just and deal kindly with my people,
for the dead are not powerless.
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