Ancestors of Chief Tarhe
Chief Tarhe


Family Links


Chief Tarhe

  • Born: 1740, Near Detroit, Michigan
  • Marriage: Unk
  • Died: Nov 1816, Cranetown, Ohio at age 76

bullet  General Notes:

TARHE Mrs. Thelma Marsh Upper Sandusky Ohio

Chief Tarhe, according to the engraving on his memorial marker was "A distinguished Wyandot Chief and Loyal American." There was probably no other individual who did so much to bring peacebetween the Indian people and the whites of Ohio as Chief Tarhe, the Crane. Hewas the leading spirit at the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, and used hisinfluence with all the tribes to keep the terms of the treaty Born in the vicinity of Detroit, Mich. in1742, he was a member of thePorcupine clan of the tribe, known also as the descendants of the Petuns, or"Tobacco Nation," of the Huron Confederacy. William Walker says "When in his prime he must have been a lithe, wiryman, capable of great endurance as he marched at the rear of his warriorsthrough the whole of General HarrisonĘs campaign into Canada. He was an activeparticipant in the Battle of the Thames, although 72 years old. He was a man of mildaspect and gentle in his manners when in repose, but when acting publiclyexhibited great energy, and when addressing his people there was always somethingthat to my youthful ear sounded like command. he never drank spirits, never usedtobacco in any form. His Indian name is supposed to mean crane (tall fowl) but this is amistake. Crane is merely a sobriquet bestowed upon him by the French, thus: LeChef Grue, or Monsieur Grue, the Chief Crane or Mr. Crane. The nickname was bestowedupon him because of his height and slender build. He had no English name butthe Americans adopted the French nickname. Tarhe when critically analyzedmeans "at him" or "at the tree". Chief Tarhe married the daughter of Chevalier Durante, a French Canadian.They had a daughter named Myerrah (White Crane). Myerrah became the wife ofIsaac Zane who was the brother of Ebenezer Zane and the historically well-knownBetty Zane. Isaac was the founder of Zanesville, Ohio, in Logan County. Indian villages at this time were not permanent but moved as food and gamebecame scarce. Most of the Wyandot Indian villages or camps were within theSandusky River watershed. Before the Greenville Treaty, Tarhe was living atSolomanstown, believed to be in Logan County. He afterwards took his camp to the banksof the Hockhocking River at what is now Lancaster, Ohio. Chief Tarhe died in November 1816, at Cranetown near Upper Sandusky Ohio.The funeral for this 76 year old man was the largest ever known for an IndianChief. Among theIndians coming from great distances was Red Jacket, the notedleader and orator from Buffalo New York. The mourners were without paint ordecorations of any kind and their countenance showed the deepest sorrow. John Johnsongives a vivid description of the Ceremony of Mourning in his recollections. The grave of this noble and honored chief is unknown.

TarheAddress of Tarhe, Grand Sachem of the Wyandot Nation to theassemblage at the Treaty of Greenville July 22,1795 Isaac Zane, interpreter

Editor's note: Tarhe was the first chief to sign the Treaty of Greenvilleas chief of the tribe that headed the Northwest Confederacy. As keepers ofthe Camulet, the Wyandots were entrusted with the Indian copy of the treaty.

"Elder brother! Now listen to us. The great Spirit above has appointedthis day for us to meet together. I shall now deliver my sentiments to you, thefifteen fires. I view you, lying in a gore of blood. It is me, an Indian whocaused it. Our tomahawk yet remains in your head- the English gave it to me to placethere.

"Elder brother! I now take the tomahawk out of your head; but with somuch care you shall not feel pain or injury. I will now tear a big tree up by theroots and throw the hatchet intothe cavity which they occupy; where the waterswill wash it away to where it can never be found. Now, I have buried thehatchet, and I expect that none of my color will ever again find it out. I now tellyou that none in particular can justly claim this ground- it belongs in common toall. No earthly being has an exclusive right to it." (Spoken on a blue belt.) "Brothers, the fifteen fires, listen! You now see that we have buried the hatchet. We still see blood around, and in order to clear away all grief,we now wipe away the blood from around you, which together with the dirt thatcomes away from it, we bury with the hatchet in the hole we have made for them,and replace the great tree, as it stood before, so that neither our children,nor our children's children can ever again discover it." (Spoken on a bluestring attached and both delivered.) "Brothers, listen! I now wipe your body clean from all blood with thiswhite, soft linen (a white wampum) and I do it with asmuch tenderness as I amcapable of. You have appointed this house for the chiefs of the different tribesto sit in with you, and none but good words ought to be spoken in it. I haveswept it clean- nothing impure remains in it. "Brothers, listen!We are both placed on this ground. I now wipe thetears from your eyes and open your ears. I see your throat is so stopped that youare nearly suffocated- I now open your throat and make it quite clean, thatwhatever the Great Spirit may think proper for you to swallow may go down withoutany obstruction. I see also that your heart is not in its true situation- Inow place it in its proper position, that anything you may hear from us, your brothers, may descend directly to it, and what you shall say may comewith truth and ease from it. "Brother! I clear away the hovering clouds that we may enjoy a clear,bright day; and easily see the sun which the Great Spirit has bestowed on us, torise and set continually." (A white string.) "Brother! Listen to us Indians, who now speak to you. The bones which lie scattered of your ancient warriors who fell in defense of the presentcause, we gather all together, and bury them now, and place this white board overthe, that they may never again be seen by our posterity." (A white belt andstring.) "Brother warrior! Listen to us. The great chiefs are about to speak toyou. Your chiefs and warriors present, listen also. "Brother! We speak not from our lips, but from our hearts,when we areresolved upon good works. I always told you that I never intended to deceive you,when we entered upon this business. It was never the intention of us Indians todo so. I speak from my heart what I now say to you. The Great Spirit is nowviewing us, and did he discover any baseness or treachery, it would excite his justanger against us. "Brother! Listen to me. We are all of one mind, who are here assembled.This is a business not to be trifled with- it is a matter of the utmost concernto us. We happily so far agree in handling our ancestors' records, who alwaysworked for peace. "Brother! You have proposed to us to build our good work on the treaty of Muskingum. That treaty I have always considered as formed upon thefairest principles. You took pity on us Indians- you did not do as our fathers,the British, agreed you should. You might by that agreement, have taken allour lands; but you pitied us, and let us hold part. I always looked upon thattreaty to bebinding upon the United States and us Indians. "Brother! Listen to us Indians- I told you just now that we were uponbusiness of the greatest moment. I now conclude the great work we have beenemployed in, and with this, I cover the whole earth,that it may appear white, andshine all over the world. I hope the Great Spirit will have pity on us, and makethis work lasting." (Four large mixed belts presented.) "Brother! I am going to relate to you the treaty made at Muskingum in afew words. I have not forgotten that treaty; neither have you. At that timewe settled a peace between the Delawares, Six Nations, Ottawas, Chippeways, Potawattamies, and us Wyandots. It is very true there were not so manydifferent nations then assembled as are now present. We now establish a general, permanent, and lasting peace, forever. "Brother! We are all sensible that when you struck the boundary, at thattime, it ran from Tuscarawas to a little way below Loramie, where the fortstood, which was destroyed in 1752. I understand the line has since been moved alittle toward us. Be strong, brothers, and fulfill your engagements. "Brothers, listen! I have told you that I speak from my heart- you seethe speeches I have delivered. Peruse them and see whether or not I havespoken with sincerity. This is all your brothers of the different nations presenthave this day to say to you."


Chief married Unk, daughter of Chevalier Durante and Unknown.

Home | Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 21 Mar 2006 with Legacy 5.0 from Millennia