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Blue Jacket (1740?–1808?), Shawnee warrior and diplomat, was probably born in Pennsylvania. Originally called Sepettekenathe (Big Rabbit), he changed his name to Waweyapiersenwa (Whirlpool) before 1778 but was generally known as Blue Jacket. He probably belonged to the Pekowi division of the Shawnee tribe. By 1772 he had become a war chief among the Shawnees of the upper Scioto River, where he had a village on Deer Creek. His influence rested upon his prowess as a warrior and his extensive connections and familiarity with whites....

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Dunquat (1740–1789), intertribal leader appointed by the British and the Detroit Hurons in the Ohio country during the revolutionary war and for several years thereafter, was also known as Pomoacan and Petawantakas. Nothing is known about the first decades of Dunquat’s life. Until 1774 he lived in the Hurons’ Brownstown (present-day Michigan) village. He was at first identified as a Huron and later as a Wyandot, although in 1781 he claimed that he was New York Iroquois in origin....

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George, Samuel (1795–24 September 1873), Onondaga chief and Iroquois Confederacy spokesman, was born into the Wolf clan on the Buffalo Creek Reservation in western New York State. This community, which encompassed much of the present-day city of Buffalo, was the cultural, political, and religious center of Indian life in the state in the years after the American Revolution. Although we know nothing about George’s parents, we do know that he grew to manhood during approximately the same period as the spread of a major Iroquois religious revival led by ...

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Guyasuta (1725–1794), Seneca chief and diplomat, was probably born on the Genesee River in New York into the Wolf clan of the Senecas. As Guyasuta grew to adulthood, the western Seneca (those of the Genesee Valley westward into the Ohio country) generally pursued a pro-French policy. Nevertheless, Guyasuta is said to have guided the young ...

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Duane Hollow Horn Bear, Duane Hollow Horn Bear and Duane Hollow Horn Bear

Hollow Horn Bear (1851–15 March 1913), Lakota chief and diplomat, whose Christian name was Daniel, was born in Nebraska Territory, the son of Iron Shell, Sr. (Maza Pankeska), a Lakota chief, and Wants Everything (Wisica Wacin Win). His Lakota name was Mato Hehlogece. Hollow Horn Bear was born in the year the Lakota people (also known as the Teton or Western Sioux) signed a treaty of peace with the United States at Fort Laramie. His family lived among the Sicangu (Brule or Burnt Thigh) division of the Lakota, and his father was the chief of an important family group ( ...

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Hollow Horn Bear Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-102873).

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Pitchlynn, Peter Perkins (30 January 1806–17 January 1881), diplomat and Choctaw chief, was born at Hush-ook-wa, a Choctaw community in present-day northeastern Mississippi. He was the son of John Pitchlynn, an English–Indian trader, and Sophia Folsom, the Metis (mixed-blood) daughter of Ebenezer Folsom. Christened Ha-tchoc-tuck-nee (“Snapping Turtle”) by his fullblood friends, Peter Pitchlynn enjoyed a childhood atypical of his Choctaw companions. The economic success of his father meant that he enjoyed many “civilized” amenities, including the labor of black slaves. Traders, travelers, government officials, and Christian ministers also visited his home. In the 1820s, moreover, he attended two mission schools in Tennessee; the renowned Choctaw Academy in Blue Lick, Kentucky; and the University of Nashville in Tennessee. In 1824 he married Rhoda Folsom, the sister of Choctaw leader ...

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Peter Perkins Pitchlynn. Lithograph, 1842, by Peter S. Duval (after Charles Fenderich). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Sayenqueraghta (1707?–1786?), Seneca leader and diplomat, was born probably in Ganundasaga near present-day Geneva, New York, the son of Cayenquaraghta, a Seneca chief killed during one of the frontier clashes between France and England. His mother’s name is unknown. Variant spellings and translations of his name include Kaien?kwaahton, Kayenquarachton, Smoke, Smoke Vanishes, Old Smoke, Old King, the Seneca King, and the King of Kanadesaga....

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Snake (fl. 1774–1812), Shawnee warrior and diplomat, was also known as Blacksnake and Captain Snake. His Indian name has been rendered as Pataso, Petazo, Peteasua, Patasua, and Ptasua. The name “Snake” was held by at least two Shawnee leaders of the period. Disentangling references to the different individuals is difficult, but the more famous Captain Snake should not be confused with the younger Shemenetoo, or Big Snake, who signed the treaties of Greenville (1814), Spring Wells (1815), and the Miami (1817) and who emigrated from Ohio to territory west of the Mississippi, where he died in the later 1830s. Captain Snake was a notable figure in frontier war and politics during the last quarter of the eighteenth century and evidently died at Wapakoneta on the Auglaize River, Ohio, about 1813....