[The Editor of The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical
Quarterly has often received inquiries as to sources of information con-
cerning Tarhe, the famous Wyandot chief, and also the "Half King,"
Pomoacan. Mr. Basil Meek, the historical writer and a frequent con-
tributor to the columns of the Quarterly, has had occasion to gather
these sources and we herewith publish them for the benefit of any student
desiring to avail himself of these valuable references.-EDITOR.]
Please find a few facts, concerning Tarhe-the Crane, some
of which may shed light upon his residence and also upon his
life and character. The "Half King", Pomoacan, seems never
to have been located at Lower Sandusky. Attention is called
to Half King's various Indian cognomens, given below.
TARHE, OR THE CRANE.
In the Spring of 1782, according to Homer Everett in his
History of Sandusky County, p. 43, citing for his authority
"Heckewelder's Indian Nations," without giving page, claims that
Crane rescued a young man-captive, at Lower Sandusky, after
the captive had been sent by him to Half King at Upper San-
dusky to be adopted, but having been rejected by Half King's
wife, was returned to Lower Sandusky for burning. Thereupon
Crane, he says, after an appeal to his vanity by the English
traders, Robbins and Arundel located there, he rescued the
But I believe the chief, who rescued this captive was not
Crane, but Abraham Kuhn, the War Chief, who commanded the
Lower Sandusky Wyandots at Crawford's defeat. I have not
seen Heckewelder, cited by Everett. See History of the Girtys,
by Butterfield, pp. 149, 150, 151.
In 1785 Tarhe's name does not appear to the treaty of
Ft. Mcintosh. It was signed for Wyandots of Lower Sandusky
by Abraham Kuhn. Half King's name is not attached to same
unless by the name, Daunghquat, which is probable.
Tarhe-The Crane. 65
U. S. Statutes at large, Vol. 7, pp. 16, 18.
In 1786, his name appears, with Half King's as a witness to
the treaty of Ft. Finney at the mouth of the Great Miami.
U. S. Statutes at large, Vol. 7, pp. 26, 27.
Taylor's Ohio, p. 449, quoting from Butler's Journal, says:
"The Wyandot Camp was on the banks of the Miami * * * *
Thenceforth, private interviews, accompanied by presents, fre-
quently occurred with Half King and Crane of the Wyandots."
In 1789 his name appears with that of Doneyenteat and
others, to the treaty of Fort Harmar.
U. S. Statutes at large, Vol. 7, pp. 28, 32.
Col. E. L. Taylor, Vol. 6, Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society, Pub.,
p. 80, says:
"The Chief Sachem of the Wyandots as far back as * * *
June 9, 1789, was Tarhe," and on page 90, quotes from the
"Freeman's Chronicle" of June 25, 1813, reporting the Harrison
Council as follows: "But Tarhe (The Crane) who is the prin-
cipal Chief of the Wyandots, and the oldest Indian in the western
wilds appeared to represent the whole assembly."
In 1790, Tarhe rescued Peggy Fleming, a female captive,
from a band of Cherokee Indians at Lower Sandusky, where
it would appear, from the circumstance, that he then lived. The
account of this rescue is exceedingly interesting, and is given
fully in Narrative of Charles Johnston.
Drake's Indians of N. A., p. 568.
Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society Pub. Vol. XVI, p. 97.
Tarhe lived at present site of Lancaster, prior to the Green-
ville treaty of 1795, according to Gen. Sanderson, in an address
at Lancaster in 1844, Tarhe's abode was with the Wyandots at
"Tarhe Town" the present site of Lancaster in Fairfield County;
after the treaty, Sanderson says, Tarhe settled at Upper San-
Howe's Hist. Coll., Vol. 1, p. 589.
James Taylor's Ohio, pp. 160, 161.
"Tarhe, or The Crane, said to be the oldest Indian at this
time in the Western Country. He lived at Upper Sandusky,
about one hundred miles from the mouth of Detroit River, and
66 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
was principal chief of the Porcupine Wyandots, who resided at
Thatcher's Indian Biography, Vol, 2, p. 198.
The Crane was wounded at Fort Miami.
Page 220, same work.
North American Review, Vol. 29, p. 216.
Essay on the late war, by Governor Cass.
The Malden Council.
In 1795 Gen. Wayne addressed a letter as follows: "To
Tarhe, and all other Sachems and Chiefs at Sandusky," and then
goes on to promise the erection of a fortification "at the foot of
the rapids at Sandusky, on the reserved lands" for their pro-
tection against the Indians who adhered to the British cause.
Note, that the proposed fortification, was to be erected on
"reserved lands", which indicates the locality to be Lower San-
dusky, that place then having "reserved lands" and the upper
town had none.
While the above may not shed light upon Tarhe's residence,
it does indicate that he was first in importance, in the Sandusky
region, which included all the river valley, under the Indian
government, known as "Sandusky."
In 1794, he was at the battle of Fallen Timber, where he
was wounded. At the council previous to the battle he favored
peace. He does not seem to have been the chief in command
for the Wyandots, in that engagement. In fact there is no men-
tion in history that I can find, of any Chief Commander of this
nation, there; but there were a dozen Wyandot chiefs there;
all were killed but Tarhe, and he was wounded. The Com-
manders of the other tribes are specially mentioned in the his-
tories relating the facts of that engagement.
In 1794, in the Narrative of Jeremiah Armstrong, he says:
"On arriving at Lower Sandusky, before entering the town, they
halted and formed a procession * * * * to run the gaunt-
let. They pointed to the home of their chief, Old Crane, about
100 yards distant, so signifying that we should run into it. We
did so and were received very kindly by the old chief. He was
a very mild man, beloved by all."
Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society Pub. Vol. XVI, p. 42.
Tarhe-The Crane. 67
In 1795 his name appears at the head of the list for the
Wyandots to the treaty of Greenville, August 3rd. The Half
King's son's name also appears, but the Half King's name is not
signed to the same, unless he was "Daugh-shut-tay-ah," which is
probable, as one of his Indian aliases.
U. S. Statutes-at-large, Vol. 7, pp. 49, 53.
It is probably worthy of mention, that the facsimile of this
treaty as published in Vol. XII, Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society
Publications, pages 145, and 148, shows two separate groups of
Wyandots, Tarhe and others in one group, and Daugh-shut-
tay-ah in another, which may indicate a separate supervision
as to upper and lower territory.
In 1799, according to Dr. Slocum, he resided at Upper
Sandusky, and was not a very good Indian. But see the tes-
timony of Gen. Harrison and others to the contrary.
Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society Pub. Vol. XVI, p. 314.
Harrison's Address, INFRA, p. 39.
In 1800, Tarhe, at Lower Sandusky, entertained over night
Rev. J. B. Finley, according to Emil Schlup in article on "Tarhe:
The Crane." He entrusted at the time, valuables to his care,
which were honestly accounted for to Finley on leaving Tarhe's
Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society Pub. Vol. XVI, p. 133.
In 1806 he was the principal Chief of the Wyandots accord-
ing to Moorehead in Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society, Pub. Vol. VII,
p. 99, also see Gen. Harrison's address in "Aborigines of the
Ohio Valley," Fergus Historical Series Number Six, p. 39, who
speaks of him as the Grand Sachem of the Wyandots and of
his high character.
He seems to have lived at Lower Sandusky in 1806, accord-
ing to the diary of Rev. Joseph Badger, a Missionary, among
the Indians at Lower Sandusky. Under date of May 14, 1806,
on his return to Lower Sandusky, from a visit to Michigan
he says that here he found the Indians gathered together attend-
ing to their prophet, who was pointing out several of their
women to be killed as witches, and that he got Crane, the Chief,
to stop the prophet, and wait for an interpreter and the women
68 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
were saved. I am not quoting literally, but substantially from
In the winter of 1812, Jacob B. Varnum, Indian Agent at
Lower Sandusky, having been appointed Postmaster, went to
Bloomville, Huron County, to a Justice of the Peace to be
sworn in. While there he suggested to the Justice, Israel Har-
rington, who was afterwards associate judge of Sandusky
County, that he, at once, remove to Lower Sandusky, for the
safety of himself and family, in the war soon to occur (1812)
and said: "Tell the Crane you come from me."
Tract 51 W. R. His. Society.
In 1812, 1813 and 1814, he was at Upper Sandusky.
Drake's Indians of N. A. p. 626.
McAfee's History of Late War (1812) pp. 353. 445.
Contract in Birchard library hereto attached.
He died at Upper Sandusky in 1818, according to Emil
Schlup. Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society Pub. Vol. XIV, p. 134.
Also Howe's Coll. Vol. 2, p. 894.
But see schedule, Treaty of 1817, parcelling Wyandot res-
ervation, where "Yourowquaws, or the widow of the Crane," is
mentioned. Tarhe, the Crane, must, therefore, have died before
1818. His name is not to the treaty of 1817.
U. S. Statutes-at-large, Vol. 7, pp. 160, 168.
He was alive in 1815, however, for he signed with Walk-
in-the-Water, the treaty at "Spring Wells," near Detroit, Sept.
U. S. Statutes-at-large, Vol. 7, pp. 131, 132.
In 1814, he had signed treaty at Greenville of July 22,
same Vol., pp. 118, 119.
We know that the Wyandot was the leading nation in the
Western confederacy, and held the grand Calumet, and that
Tarhe the Crane, became the Grand Sachem, and leader of this
Nation before the Tecumseh uprising, and so continued until his
death, but just when he became such, is hard to tell. He cer-
tainly was ever held in high esteem, in the Councils of the tribes
as before mentioned. After the treaty of Greenville in 1795
and probably about 1800, his permanent abode seems to have
been at the Upper town, with a shifting or temporary abode or
Tarhe-The Crane. 69
lodge, at the lower town, where we find him before then, occa-
sionally, as early as 1790 and probably earlier, and at the later
dates mentioned, in the interests of his people, at the lower
town. See copy of Contract of 1814, in Birchard Library, in
regard to lands, doubtless held by him in trust, as Grand Sachem
for his nation.
It may here be noted, that after the cession of the two-
mile square tract at the lower rapids--especially after the
Greenville Treaty in 1795, when dispute ended, no "official" In-
dian residence there, would of right, have been recognized by
Tarhe, probably, was not distinguished so much as a war
chief, though a brave warrior in time of war, in battle, as he
was for his dignity of character as a wise head of his nation,
and chief of the confederacy, during his day, while holding the
grand Calumet. In this respect he was regarded with much
reverence, similar probably, to that bestowed by the Six Na-
tions upon the Atarto of the Onondagas of that confederacy.
In the Six Nations there were 50 Sachems or principal chiefs,
who formed the government, all equals, but a peculiar dignity
was ever attached to the Atarto of the Onondagas, which nation
in that confederacy was not unlike that of the Wyandots in the
Parkman's Jesuits; Introduction LIV, LVII.
It would seem that taking the war matters and the treaties
mentioned together, up to, or shortly after the close of the
Wayne Campaign, and the interval of peace that followed, that
there was "Half King" by his various Indian names of Pomoa-
can, Doonyoutat, Doanquod, Dunquat, Daunghquat Zhaus-sho-
toh, and probably other aliases, acting for the Upper Sandusky
Wyandots, while Tarhe and Abraham Kuhn specially repre-
sented the Lower Sandusky Wyandots. That Zhaus-sho-toh
was one of Half King's names. See Crawford's campaign by
Butterfield, pp. 166, 172, 184, 206, 207. Especially p. 194.
"Zhaus-sho-toh, or Half King."
The name Pomoacan was given the Half King by the Del-
Drake's Indians of N. A. note to pp. 531.
70 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
It may not be amiss to here state that the Half King men-
tioned in the text of Drake, pp. 531, 532, died in 1754. See
same author, p. 747, Title "Half King." See letter herewith
from American Bureau of Ethnology as to name of that Half
King. Also Irving's Works, Life of Washington, Part One,
pp. 147, 148, and foot note citations.
The name "Sandusky" was generic, and sometimes used
with reference to forts and localities along the waters of the
Sandusky River and Bay, by historians, without designation as
to whether upper or lower rapids, or the bay were intended.
Fort Stephenson was known as Fort "Sandusky" until occupied
by Col. Stephenson. Other forts on these waters were thus
named. The medals voted to Croghan are stamped "Sandusky."
Traders and others in their correspondence, sometimes used
"Sandusky" only, when upper or lower was evident from the
See Meek's History of Sandusky County, p. 76. "Inter-
esting old Letters."
(Literal Copy from Original, in Birchard Library, Fremont.)
"Conditions of an agreement between the Wiandot Chief
(Crain) under the immediate directions of William Walker sub
Indian agent at Upper Sandusky and Morris A. Newman at
Lower Sandusky made the twenty-second day of October 1814
as follows (towit) the said Indian Chief (Crain) hereby con-
stitute and appoints the said Morris A. Newman his agent to
act and to dispose of timber and stone (& for other purposes)
upon the lands belonging to the said Nation of Indians in the
vicinity of Lower Sandusky, Ohio, on the following conditions
towit: for stone by the Load or pearch at twelve and half
cents each and all timber on the following conditions or rates,
that is, for Cabin Logs fifteen feet square, a sufficient number
to raise it one story high three Dollars eighteen feet one story
and half four dollars and twenty feet square (five dollars) one
story and half; and all timber for clabboards punchons and
shingles and for such purposes is hereby left to said Newman's
own Judgment as to their value What grass that may be cut
on the lands aforesaid shall be at One dollar per acre and all
Tarhe-The Crane. 71
wood used for the burning of lime at twenty five cents per cord
It is also the further conditions of said agency that said New-
man will not suffer any trespass on the Land aforesaid with-
out giving information thereof to the chief aforesaid the said
Newman agrees that all the monies arising under said agency
he will punctual pay over to said Chief.
In testimony whereof the said parties have hereunto set
their hands the day and year before mentioned."
"TARHA X ALIAS CRAIN"
CHIEF WIANDOTT NATION"
THE HALF KING--POMOACAN.
We know that the principal seat of the Wyandots upon
their return about 1700, from exile, was near Detroit; and the
Sandusky and other settlements were, in the nature of Colonies.
James Taylor's Ohio, p. 38.
When the war upon the frontiers began to assume a serious
aspect, their Half King (Pomoacan) took up his temporary
abode at Upper Sandusky.
Butterfield's Crawford-Campaign, pp. 161, 162, 168, 190,
Pomoacan was then a great chief, usually called "Half
Same work, p. 180, and foot note, and p. 190.
In 1782 he was Half King; same work, pp. 190, 191, 194.
Washington-Irvine Correspondence, Note 6, page 18.
Heckewelder's Narrative p. 235, note.
James Taylor's Ohio, pp. 339, 340, 351, 352, 421.
Under his Indian aliases (See them mentioned above) he
must have occupied the Upper town during the Revolutionary
War and Border War Periods, and exercised his jurisdiction
from there over the Sandusky Valley region, until the close of
the wars. Lower Sandusky at the head of navigation for large
72 Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.
water crafts, was a place of strategic importance; hence the
war chief, Kuhn, was most probably located there during the
same periods. As to this Chief, see
James Taylor's Ohio, p. 352, et seq.
Heckewelder's Indian Nations, pp. 162, 163.
History of the Girtys, pp. 149, 150, 151.
Furthermore,-if this confederacy was similar in its form
to that of the six Nations, which is probable, as has been men-
tioned, two war chiefs might be chosen with equal powers to
conduct wars. Here, presumably, one at the Upper waters, and
one at the lower waters of Sandusky.
Ohio Arch. & Hist. Society Pub. Vol. XVI, p. 431, and
notes -"Propositions" IX and X.
It seems that the peace Sachem, was subject to these war
chiefs, except in the matter of making peace.
"Half King" seems to have disappeared from historic men-
tion in 1812 or that war, and Tarhe, the Crane, appears to the
front, with the Sandusky Wyandots siding with the Americans.
The Detroit Wyandots with Walk-in-the-Water sided with
Tecumseh and the British
Drakes N. A. Indians, pp. 626, 627.
See page 12.
BUREAU OF AMERICAN ETHNOLOGY.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
OCTOBER, 24, 191O.
DEAR SIR:-Your communication of October 7 has been re-
ferred to Mr. J. N. B. Hewitt of this Bureau, who states, in
answer thereto, that
"The designation of 'Half King' had its origin in the
colonial policy of the Six Nations who placed in con-
quered territories subject tribes under the viceregency of
an officer, i. e., a chief, who presided over the local affairs
of the said subject tribes; but who referred all matters of
a federal nature to the great federal Council of the Six
Nations at Onondago. The Six Nations had subject
Tarhe--The Crane. 73
tribes on conquered lands in the Susquehanna valley and
in the Ohio valley; and they placed Shikillimus as the first
viceregent over the tribes of the Susquehanna, and at his
death, he was succeeded by his son. In the Ohio valley,
Tanacharison* was the first viceregent, and when he died
he was succeeded by Scarroyadi. These, in view of the
fact that the colonists and interpreters were accustomed
only to imperial titles, were designated by the name of
'Half King.' The French and Indian war and the Revolu-
tion resulted in the practical independence of the subject
tribes who were not absorbed into the organization of the
Six Nations, and so the colonial organization came to
naught. The Wyandot 'Half King' was so called from
analogy with the officer so-called in the Ohio valley, be-
cause he ruled over several remnants of tribes in the ter-
ritory of the state of Ohio."
Very truly yours,
J. W. HODEL,
MR. BASIL MEEK,
Secretary, Sandusky County Pioneer and Historical Associa-
tion, Fremont, Ohio.
* Death of Tanacharison. - See Drake's Indians of N. A. Notes,
etc., page 747, "Half-King."