Chief Slugamus Koquilton

Chief Sugamus Koquilton could have said, “I went to this party once and had a very good time.” But he didn’t.

Glinda, the Good Witch, told Dorothy to tap her heels together three time and say, “There’s no place like home”. Glinda was right.

One of my history buff friends suggested our next guest, Chief Slugamus Koquilton, formerly of Muckleshoot, Washington, USA. It is this blogger’s humble opinion that Chief Slugamus epitomizes the Funny Names Theory: the Outerbridge Horsey Certainty Principle, where we celebrate great people with greater names.

Chief Slugamus holds an unusual distinction in U.S. history. He was the last living person to have seen the Charles Wilkes US EX EX (Exploration Expedition) at the first ever 4th of July celebration held west of the Mississippi in 1841, in the Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River. Try saying that three times fast.

The Wilkes expeditions for those of you not in the know, was the largest scientific undertaking of its time sponsored by the United States. Wilkes reported directly to Congress. Congress only printed 100 copies of his completed findings at the time and kept the knowledge (including extensive maps of the west coast) to themselves. Commodore Wilkes brought back so many specimens from around the world, they created the Smithsonian Institute to house it all. He even weathered a storm in the harbor of my home town during a survey expedition, giving it it’s name, and putting it on the map, literally.

Sixty-five years later in 1906, when the celebration was planned, Chief Slugamus took the party planners to the original site where they erected a monument marking the location near Sequalitchew Lake. (Thank you copy and paste.)

At the celebration, Chief Slugamus was an honored guest and presenter. He described the Wilkes celebration, “They fired the big guns many times . . . . The soldiers marched all step as one man . . . . They carried flags, and had music with fifes and drums and horns . . . . They roast ox . . . . Big dinner . . . . Race horses . . . . A great many Indians from country all about . . . .”

It must have been a sight to see.

Chief Slugamus’s even made it into the “The Fourth of July Encyclopedia”.  How many of us can say that?

Imagine becoming famous because you crashed a party at the right time, and lived long enough to tell about it. And all this before social media.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

Sources: Washington, West of the Cascades, 1917, authors Hunt, Herbert, Floyd C. Taylor; includes photo credit.
The Conquerors, 1907, author Atwood, A.

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About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
This entry was posted in Funny names in History and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Chief Slugamus Koquilton

  1. wdydfae says:

    “. . . Fannie comes out ‘sluggin’ most’–with one knockout of a post . . .”

    “. . . Fannie’s chief distinction is being chief . . . of funny name posting! . . .”

    “. . . some folks make quilts together–it’s called co-quiltin’–but Fannie stitched this magnificent thumbnail together all by herself! . . .”

    • Oh, Wdydfae, that is so funny! You have no idea how the co-quiltin’ cracked me up since my sewing skills produce the fabric equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster.

    • Liz says:

      Hi, Diddy!!!!!! [Liz jumps up and down, waving her arms frantically to get d-man’s attention]

      • wdydfae says:

        Liz, you don’t have to do anything to get my attention but be Liz. And you know it!

        • Liz says:

          Awww shucks. Hey, it just struck me that I have no idea what your avatar photo is about. Care to enlighten? Am certain there is symbolism lurking.

          • wdydfae says:

            It’s some sloppy metaphor about being a vessel, God being the potter, and maybe the vessel’s broken, maybe life is shards of broken, discarded pottery, but the bigger, composite picture makes some kind of sense and has an overall beauty in an abstract arty kind of way . . . Or something like that.

          • Liz says:

            That’s a valid metaphor for sure. We’re all a big hot mess whether it’s visible from the surface or no. I like what you are saying. I try to live my life looking good, but also want to be honest-ish about being human. It’s purely symbolic and shallow now that I think of it, but I purposely have my hair cut an inch or so shorter on one side just to say to the world that life is messed up and ain’t none of us got it together. Better to be honest about it and move on from there than try to fake it. Perfect people make me nervous.

          • wdydfae says:

            I like your style, Mizz Liz! Good on yuh!

            Our Lady is a perfect person that doesn’t make me nervous.

  2. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    Do you remember the first big bash you ever attended? The music? The pagentry? The food? So did Slugamus Koquilton and he made the history books because of it.

    This month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names.

  3. ksbeth says:

    i love this. love him. even love the town he lived in. also am now fascinated by wilkes, but his name is lame, so i’ll give him no further part of my attention.

  4. Liz says:

    that’s a good one, Fannie. Glad to see this blogging train is still chugging along 🙂 Crazy name for sure. And that there is such as thing as The Fourth of July Encyclopedia makes me very happy indeed.

    • Strange, that the comment I typed yesterday is missing. Had it posted it would have said something like, “Thanks, Liz! I love that I discovered the Fourth of July encyclopedia. Chief Slugamus makes his debut on page 324. It has over 400 pages. I had no idea there was that much information associated with the Fourth.”

      Welcome back!

  5. kerbey says:

    I thought I was a good speller, but not with all these crazy letter combinations. Mercy! He looks a bit miffed in the picture. Wouldn’t you be a smidge happier to be privy to history, AND to have enjoyed roast ox??

    • Yes, the spelling on this one was a serious challenge. That said, trying to say it out loud was even harder. Regarding how happy he looks or doesn’t look in the photo, he may have just been following the fashion of photography at the time, or his teeth were so bad from eating too much roast ox it was better not to share.

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