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Port Townsend in Jefferson County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)
 

Hudson Beach / Big Heart

The čičməhán Trail Stop 2

 
 
Hudson Beach / Big Heart Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 2, 2021
1. Hudson Beach / Big Heart Marker
Inscription.  

Chetzemoka's Big Heart, a story by Mary Ann Lambert (1879-1966, also the author of The 7 Brothers of the House of Ste-Tee-Thlum) of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe's Lambert/Reyes family, illustrates Chetzemoka's heart, and the power and respect he commanded. Below is an abbreviated version of her story.

In 1856, a U.S. Army garrison was built at Fort Townsend to quell any uprising that might occur among the Indians in the Port Townsend vicinity. However, the soldiers were known to frequent the saloons of Port Townsend and overindulge. One day two drunken soldiers, realizing they had overstayed their leave, stole an Indian canoe from the S'Klallam village at Point Hudson, and subsequently drowned when a southeast squall arose across the bay.

Townspeople assumed that the soldiers had been killed by Indians, and when a youth named Tommy Shapkin found one of the soldier's bodies on the shoreline and donned his cap and jacket, he was accused of murder. He was jailed and a hanging scaffold was built. When the youth was brought to the platform, another S'Klallam youth ran to find Chetzemoka. "Forcing his way through the dumbfounded
Hudson Beach / Big Heart Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., August 2, 2021
2. Hudson Beach / Big Heart Marker
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crowd, Chetzemoka approached the scaffold. Without a word he mounted the steps and reaching into his belt the Duke of York withdrew a knife, reached up and cut the knotted noose and threw it upon the ground below. Then removing the blindfold from the boy's eyes, he said "Go, my kinsmen. You are free!"

"Turning and facing the astonished crowd, Chetzemoka said (in Chinook), "Friends, this is Indian Country, our country. There never was a time when it was not our country. We are Klallams. Once we were strong, proud people. Because of sickness and death, we have diminished in numbers until now we are no longer a strong people. But we are a proud people. We will not be the first to spill Boston blood upon our beloved land. You Bostons are a strong people. Do you wish to be the first to spill Klallam blood upon this soil which once belonged to us? Have you no pride?"

"Bostons," he continued, "We have been friends. Let us remain friends. If this unwise act which you were about to commit is what you call civilization, then given us back our way of life. Oh, White People, our brothers under the skin, do not let this happen again."


 
Erected 2019 by Native Connections Action Group of the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, and Others.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic
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lists: Native AmericansPeaceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
 
Location. 48° 7.115′ N, 122° 45.055′ W. Marker is in Port Townsend, Washington, in Jefferson County. Marker is along the Rotary Centennial Beach Trail, near the intersection of Jefferson and Hudson Streets. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 375 Hudson Street, Port Townsend WA 98368, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Point Hudson History (within shouting distance of this marker); Point Hudson Shoreline (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Coast Guard Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Korean War Memorial (about 300 feet away); Point Hudson (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Point Hudson (about 700 feet away); Sailing Ships (approx. 0.2 miles away); Honoring Eleanor Stopps (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Townsend.
 
Also see . . .
1. The čičməhan trail. (Submitted on August 18, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. The čičməhan trail on YouTube. (Submitted on August 18, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 18, 2021, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

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Nov. 28, 2021