Speidel, Sons of the Profits

Speidel, William C.  1967.  Sons of the profits: Or, there’s no business like grow business! / The Seattle story, 1851-1901.  Seattle, WA: Nettle Creek Publishing Company.

An entertaining local history, told with a sense of humor.  (“It took vision–double vision.”  “Only Christ could have walked on half of Maynard’s streets.  They were under water.” — both on page 216.)

I learned a Chinook Jargon name from this book that I hadn’t known of before: Masachie [‘evil’] Jim.  He was a Native man whom some early settlers hanged without a trial in 1854.  His name is the fulcrum of an anecdote about CJ spelling conventions.  Apparently the lynch party were tried for hanging him, but were acquitted on the technicality that the prosecution had misspelled “Masachie Jim”.  (pages 35-38)

I hadn’t known much about John Pinnell’s sporting establishment, “The Illahee” [‘The Place’], either, nor of its connection with Native people (pages 112-114).

There are endless colorful stories in this book, from settlement to the Klondike boom.  You can probably find a copy for half the Amazon.com price, if you live in the Northwest and don’t mind used book stores.  It’s a good read!

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