Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

An important tribe of Salishan linguistic stock, formerly holding the territory along the river of the same name entering near the head of Puget Sound, Washington, and now occupying an allotted reservation, together with several kindred tribes, in the neighbourhood of Tacoma, Pierce County. Their near neighbours, the Nisqually, speak a dialect of the same language. The name is said to mean "shadow", referring to the dense forest shades, and to have been applied originally to the country abut the mouth of the stream.

The tribes of Puget Sound region made acquaintance with Catholic priests and laymen as far back as the advent of the Spanish explorers in 1774-95, and from the accompanying Franciscans obtained rosaries and crucifixes which they still treasured sixty years later. This Catholic memory was kept up through the French Canadians in the service of Mackenzie, Fraser, and the Hudson Bay Company. In 1838, the secular missionaries, Norbert Blanchet and Modeste Demers, arrived on the Columbia from Canada, making headquarters at Fort Vancouver, from which point Father Demers, in 1839-41 visited the tribes northward along Puget Sound, instructing and baptizing many. In 1843 another secular, Father Jean-Baptiste Bolduc, made another successful tour of Puget Sound and lower Vancouver Island. In 1847 arrived the first party of Oblates destined for the same mission, chief among which were the famous Father Casimir Chirouse, the Apostle of Tulalip (d. 1891). In 1854 they joined with other tribes of that region in the Treaty of Medicine Creek, by which they gave up their free range and agreed to come upon the reservation assigned them. In the next year they joined the Nisqually and others in the general outbreak of the Washington tribes, known as the Yakima War, which was not finally brought to an end until 1858, when the work of civilization and Christianization was again taken up; but it had been sadly checked by the demoralization consequent upon the removal of reservation restrictions under the recent individual Allotment Act. Upon this point both official and mission authorities agree. With whiskey and pauperization by white swindlers the end seems not far off. More than half the tribe are classified as Catholic, and besides the Government reservation school, the St. George mission school, established in 1888, and in charge of a secular priest assisted by six Franciscan sisters and a lay teacher, has an attendance of sixty pupils of the several confederated tribes. From perhaps 800 souls sixty years ago the Puyallup Indians have decreased to 556 in 1900 and 466 in 1910. In aboriginal customs and beliefs they resembled the Tulalip tribes.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 4:7-16
7 On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, 'Let us go ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:1-9
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2016 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his ... Read More