The Culture Committee has recently obtained digital copies of the 1795 Treaty of Greenville. Text of the treaty has been posted on our website for several years, but photographs of the original treaty have proven difficult to obtain. Knowing what the treaty says has not been an issue; however, seeing the “marks” of our Chiefs has been impossible as they can only be represented by a simple “X” when transcribed. The X is supposed to be representative of their mark or signature. Since we now have photographic copies of the original treaty, we want to encourage everyone to take a look on the bottom right of page two of the treaty. Here we can plainly see the “marks” of Tarhe, Leather Lips, Roundhead, Walk-In-The-Water, Half King and a few others. Seeing their signature is a thrill! It gives life, and a face to the names we revere, and read about in printed books.
The committee has noticed something very interesting, Tarhe’s mark is not all that impressive. Compared to Walk-In-The-Water, who’s mark we have adopted as our Committees emblem, Tarhe’s mark doesn’t live up to the legacy of the man. I think this in part is what makes it so wonderfully special. Tarhe, as seen on the right side of our websites header, is arguably one of the three greatest Chiefs in the history of the Wyandotte Nation. His influence and prominence while serving as Grand Sachem is nothing less than legendary. General William Henry Harrison, a personal friend of Tarhe’s, after the War of 1812 eulogized him as “…a venerable, intelligent and upright man,” and of the many Indian chiefs whom he had met, he designated Tarhe as “… the noblest of them all.” Today when we look at the simplicity of Tarhe’s mark it profoundly illustrates his humility, and servants heart, which is a necessary trait of any great leader of people.
Click here to see page two of the treaty.