The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath—the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.
Attributed to Seattle (c. 1784–1866), Native American chief of the Dwamish, Suquamish, and allied tribes. Letter, 1854, to President Franklin Pierce. Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message from Chief Seattle (1990).
The letter, in which Seattle pleaded that his name should die with the ceding of the Washington State territories, was shown in 1992 to have been largely a forgery devised by Ted Perry, a television scriptwriter, for an historical epic in 1971.