Our Great Chiefs


Prepared By Charles Aubrey Buser in 1989

 Chiefs shown in the header of this website from left to right, their names and years of service to their people are listed below.

Lawrence Zane – 1953-62 (nine years)
Billy Friend – 2011-present
Irvin Patton Long – 1876-80, 1882-83 (five years)
Matthew Mudeater – 1859-66 (citizen party in Kansas City), 1875-76 (eight years)
Leonard Cotter – 1936-42, 1948-54, 1963-76 (twenty-five years)
Nicholas Cotter – 1880-82 (two years)
Leaford Bearskin – 1983-2011 (twenty-eight years)

DateNameOther Facts
1535DonnaconaChief at Stadacona.
1541 AconaChief at Stadacona.
1609OchastequinChief of the Arendarhonon Hurons at time of Champlain’s attack on the Iroquois.
1615AtirontaOne of several who had the name. Village chief of Arendarhonons at Cahiague’.
1620sOnorotandiQuieunonascaran was a town of the Attignawantan Hurons. Onorontandi (I believe) was a title only and that he was a war chief and not a civil chief.
1620sAnenkhiondicChief of Attignawantan Hurons at Ossossane’.
1623AuoindaonChief at Quieunonascaran.
1624AtirontaChief at Cahiague’. Possibly the same as in 1615, but not necessarily the same man.
1630AenonsChief of Attignawantan. May have succeeded Auoindaon or may have been the same man.
1635SangwatiChief at Ihonatiria.
1635TsondechaouanouanCouncil chief of Huron Confederacy.
1636Taretand’Chief at Ihonatida.
1637TaratouanHe was referred to only as a Huron chief and was killed by the Iroquois. He may have been a war chief.
1637OntitaracSachem of the Hurons per Francis Parkman.
1639OscouenroutChief of Attignawantan.
1640TsondakwaChief at Teanaostaia.
1642Pierre Ondakion Chief at Ossossane’.
1642Barnabe’ OtsinonannhontChief at Scanonaenrat.
1642Jean-Baptiste AtirontaChief at Cahiague’.
1645PieskaretHuron Chief who lead a war party.
1650Pierre OndakionChief of the Hurons in the vicinity of Quebec.
1653AtsinaChief of the Hurons at Three Rivers.
1656Ignace TsaouenhohouhiChief of the Hurons in the vicinity of Quebec and those from Three Rivers who joined in 1654.
1661KondiaronkSastaretsi (Grand Sachem) of the Wyandots and Hurons. He was in Wisconsin for a time and recognized by all bands as the leading man. Not before or since has there been such a universal recognition by all Wyandots and Hurons
1666Pierre AtirontaChief of Hurons near Quebec, but subservient to Kondiaronk.
1670TaondechorenChief at Notre-Dame-De-Foy
1671TonsahotenChief at Saint-Francois-Xavier Mission.
1685-93Ignace StavinenholiChief at Lorette. Hurons are considering themselves separate from Wyandots in the west but continued to honor Kondiaronk who was in the vicinity of Michilimackinac.
1701KondiaronkDied at Montreal.
(From this point. Mr. Buser does not list Huron chiefs)
1701Grandson of KondiaronkThere is some indication that Kondiaronk, who died in August, was succeeded by his grandson as Sastaretsi. The new Sastaretsi died later that same year.
1740UnknownCharlevoix said he saw the young (a minor) Sastaretsi at Detroit.
1740Nicolas OrontonyChief at Sandusky Bay, but not Detroit.
1740Ri-An-TachaA Wyandot chief at Detroit, probably not Sastaretsi.
1742TacharianMay not have been chief, but he was an influential Wyandot at Detroit and had been for over 40 years.
1747 Nicolas and AniotinBoth referred to as Wyandot chiefs from Ohio when they visited the Wyandots at Detroit that year. The Sastaretsi was at Detroit or Flat Rock. One Detroit clan chief (Turtle) was named Saenswat.
1747TaychatinChief at Detroit but second to the Sastaretsi for ceremonial functions. Taychatin was of the Wolf clan. Sastaretsi was of the Deer clan.
1747/50SastaretsiLast full blood Wyandot chief of the ancient line of head chiefs. He died while at Quebec in August and was succeeded by another Wyandot who took the title.
1755CachawatchekaChief at an Ohio Wyandot town called Deonondady.
1755AnastaseA Huron war chief from Lorette. He was the leader of all the Indians who opposed General Braddock, included the Wyandot, Huron, Ottawa, Ojibway and Miami.
1757TahaddyWyandot chief met with Sir William Johnson on Nov. 4th. He was probably from Detroit.
1759AghstaghregckHe was killed in battle at Niagara. Some referred to him as the Principal Chief, others as nephew of the Principal Chief.
1759DiccateaLead a Wyandot delegation at a conference in Pittsburgh.
1761Jacques Duperon BabyA Wyandot of chieftain rank at Detroit named Odinghquanooron who took the name of a Frenchman whom he admired. Some reports referred to Baby as Principal Chief at Detroit.
1763TakayChief of the Detroit Wyandots who favored joining Pontiac.
1763TeataChief of the Detroit Wyandots who opposed joining Pontiac.
1763BabyPrincipal Chief at Detroit who first opposed Pontiac but eventually he and Teata joined.
1763SastaretsiOpposed Pontiac but when most of the tribe came under threat he joined the Ottawas.
1764DowayetitPrincipal Chief at Detroit.
1764Big JawChief at Sandusky.
1766TeataHe attended a very large council with Sir William Johnson at Oswego. Although he was not Principal Chief, he retained considerable influence.
1768AdyughkannorwnListed as a Wyandot Chief from Sandusky.
1772Babie or BabyContinued as Chief at Detroit.
1774ChiyaweeA Wyandot Chief at battle of Point Pleasant. He was not Principal Chief, but influential. Signed the Treaty of Fort Harmar fifteen years later.
1775Half KingPrincipal Chief at Upper Sandusky also named Pomoacan or Too-Dah-Re-Zhlea. Some say he and Da-Wat-Tong were the same man.
1778SastaretsiProbably Da-Wat-Tong who lived near Detroit. Baby was probably Principal Chief at Detroit and Half King at Upper Sandusky.
1779Bawbee or BabyContinued on at Detroit. He may have been called Sarahass at times.
1779DooyantatPrincipal Chief at Detroit. His name was also spelled Duentate.
1780Zhau-Shoo-ToProbably a white man named Kuhn. He gained great reputation as a warrior and village chief, but never became chief of the Nation. He lived around Lower Sandusky. His family was later known as Coon, i.e., Maggie Coon.
Sept. 20, 1780The Wyandots at Detroit ceded some land to Father Potier in appreciation of his many services and kindnesses. The deed was signed by six chiefs and leading men with the Wyandot seal was affixed. The seal was in the form of a turtle with a cross on its back and a cross on its right flipper. The following Wyandots signed: Teguaguiratin, Dawaton (the Sastaretsi), Sindaton, Nonyacha, Sachetotach and Dewatonte (or Duentate).
Note that Half King did not sign and this is just one of several reasons I disagree with other Wyandot historians in that Pomoacan’s authority was great in Ohio, but at no time extended to the entire nation. If Half King and Da-Wat-Tong were the same man, second name above, Dawaton would be Half King.
1781A bewildering number of Wyandots sat in council with British and other tribes. For example, the following names appear in the Council records and probably all refer to the same man: Sindaton, T’Sindatton, Sundinon, Semdinon, Cimrathon, etc.
1782DoyantatePrincipal chief also named Duentate, Dewatonte or Dawatong (the Sastaretsi). Deeded some land to Father Hubert for a new church. These are the same men who had been leading the nation. The spelling of their names continues to change in the records.
1788TarheWhen Half King died, the Wyandots chose Tarhe to replace him. Tarhe, a man of outstanding ability, was never in complete control of the Detroit Wyandots, although is influence did exceeded that of his predecessor. The Sastaretsi continued to live at Detroit as did: Ta-Hou-Ne-Ha-Wie-Tie (Adam Brown), Mondoro (Mondoron), Dou-Yen-tet (Duentate), Walk-In-the-Water, William Walker, Sr., and others of importance.
Zhau-Shoo-To or Kuhn remained in Ohio and usually supported Tarhe. Shendete continued to live near Detroit and was Principal Chief there for a time more or less comparable to Tarhe’s position in Ohio. He was a much-respected tribal elder, sometimes referred to as Shandotto.
1789TawreeGeneral Harmar referred to him as Chief of all the Wyandots and Delawares.
1791Blind ChiefVillage Chief at Brownstown and Dongnagon.
1812Walk-In-The-WaterBy this time there are three main settlements in the Detroit area, including the Canadian side of the river. The three village chiefs were: Walk-In-The-Water, Lame Hand and Splitlog, the brother of Round Head.
All acknowledged Tarhe as Titula, leader of the nation, but at the same times, each went their own way as in the War of 1812. By the end of the war, Warrow had emerged as village chief of the Canadian Wyandots. Isadore Chesne, who was part French, never achieved his ambition to lead the nation but was influential.
There were a lot of chiefs and would-be chiefs. Walk-In-The-Water was a steadying influence that usually supported Tarhe when he could.
1812John HicksJohn is often called the last of the hereditary chiefs. He died in Kansas in 1853. Before moving to Kansas he lived in Ohio and served on Tarhe’s tribal council. There is no record that he or others ever considered himself to be the Sastaretsi. There is some question of his being the “last.” See reference to his son Francis Hicks in 1838. John was also known as Donwattout. His father was a captive of German descent who had once lived in Maryland. John’s mother was Wyandot and it’s said she could trace her lineage back to the Tionontati. John was placed on the tribal council by Tarhe and continued under Da-Un-Quot.
1812MononcueOther leading men at Upper Sandusky in those years were Mononcue, George Punch, Between-The-Logs and Matthew Peacock.
1812Leather LipsLeather Lips lived near present day Columbus and Round Head was in process of moving to Gibraltar near Detroit.
1812Isadore ChesneAlso Shetoon, Chene or Chaine or Ha-Yane-Dac. He made an effort to unite several tribes. Some say Isadore was Wyandot. I side with those who think he was Huron and even so, he was pretty much on his own lacking real strong support from Detroit, Upper Sandusky or Lorette. His father was French, his mother Indian, either Huron or Wyandot. He hoped to succeed Half King, but the tribe insisted on a full blood and chose Tarhe.
1813Round Head Round Head died. Although he was never chief of the nation, he had been a village chief. He was Tarhe’s war chief until he sided with British in the War of 1812. He and his brother, Splitlog, were among the finest warriors of their day. A third brother, John Battise, was killed in battle at Fort Meigs. They were 1/4 Delaware and 3/4 Wyandot.
1816Da-Un-QuotTarhe died and was succeeded as Principal Chief by Da-Un-Quot; however, he was not officially installed until 1820. Although not yet installed he visited Washington DC on tribal business in 1817. He was accompanied by Scotash. Even then the Wyandots on the Canadian side of the Detroit River gave him lukewarm support. His name is sometimes spelled Da-Un-Qua-Et and Da-Un-Quod.
1816SplitlogConsidered Principal Chief by the Canadian Wyandots at Amherstburg with a little over 100 Wyandots in the band.
1820Some say the last full blood Wyandot died. His name was Yan-Nyah-Moh-Deh.
1828Ron-Tun-DeeWhen the Principal Chief died about 1825 the tribal council governed until a new form of government was formed with the first tribal elections being held in 1828. A Principal Chief and seven council members were elected. Ron-Tun-Dee was elected Principal Chief at Upper Sandusky. Approximately 525 Wyandots were at Upper Sandusky and Big Spring.
1828 Solomon WarrowChief at Amherstburg. Chief Isadore died and Solomon Warrow succeeded him.
1829Gabriel Vincent or Wenwadahronhe was not a Chief. He was the last full blood Huron to die at Lorette.
1830Francis WarrowChief Solomon Warrow died at Amherstburg. Francis Warrow succeeded him.
1832Wyandots ceded Big Spring reserve on January 19. One of the leaders who signed was Bearskin.
1833WarpoleAlso known as Ron-Tun-Dee, elected Principal Chief.
1834Henry JacquisElected Principal Chief in January. Defeated Summundewat by 12 votes.
1835SummundewatElected Principal Chief in January at Upper Sandusky. There were about 575 Wyandots then in Ohio.
1835SplitlogChief at Amherstburg.
1836Tom LongPrincipal Chief at Upper Sandusky.
1836 William Walker, Jr.Chief Long died and William completed his term.
1837John BarnettAlso known as Myme Hamkee is Principal Chief at Upper Sandusky.
1838Francis A. HicksPrincipal Chief at Upper Sandusky. Some consider his father John to be the last of the hereditary chiefs as Francis was elected.
1838Joseph WhitePrincipal Chief at Amherstburg who was also known as Mondoron. He remained Principle Chief until his death in 1885.
1839William Walker, Jr.Principal Chief.
1840-41WarpolePrincipal Chief.
1842SummundewatPrincipal Chief. He was murdered in December by white men.
1843-44Henry JacquisThe last Principal Chief of the Wyandots in Ohio and the first Principal Chief in Kansas.
1844-45Francis A. HicksPrincipal Chief.
1845-46James WashingtonPrincipal Chief also known as An-Daw-Yaw- Wa or Peacock.
1847Henry JacquisPrincipal Chief.
1848George I. ClarkePrincipal Chief early in the year.
1848Francis A. HicksPrincipal Chief late in the year.
1849TauromeePrincipal Chief early in the year.
1849George I. ClarkePrincipal Chief late in the year.
1850sThe 1850s were a rather confusing series of years for the tribe and in some years as many as three men served as principal chief. It was always the same group of men; however, the acting chief was invariably one of the following: George I. Clarke, Tauromee, James Washington, Francis A. Hicks or John D. Brown.
1850-51George I. ClarkePrincipal Chief
1852James WashingtonPrincipal Chief until his death. At his death the Beaver Clan became extinct. He is said to have been related to Half King.
1853John D. BrownPrincipal Chief.
1853TauromeeAlso known as John Hatt, served as Principal Chief or acting chief part of the year in addition to John D. Brown and Matthew Mudeater.
1854-55TauromeePrincipal Chief.
1856George I. ClarkePrincipal Chief. Matthew Mudeater also served.
1857Matthew MudeaterPrincipal Chief
1858George I. ClarkePrincipal Chief died in office.
1858Silas ArmstrongCompleted the term of George I. Clarke upon his death.
1858-59John SarahessAlso known as Bearskin, he was elected Principal Chief in August.
1859-60Matthew MudeaterElected Principal Chief late in the year.
1865Silas ArmstrongElected Principal Chief in August and died in December.
1868-70TauromeePrincipal Chief. He died in office on January 15, 1870.
1870John KayrahooServed as acting chief after the death of Tauromee.
1870John W. Greyeyes. Principle Chief. The tribe was now at the Neosho Agency in Oklahoma.
1873Thomas PunchPrincipal Chief.
1875Matthew Mudeater Principal Chief.
1880Irvin P. LongPrincipal Chief. Also known as Ter-Ra-Tu-En. He was probably chief a number of years beginning around 1876.
1880-82Nicholas CotterElected Principal Chief late in 1880.

1882-83Irvin P. LongElected Principal Chief late in 1882. He also served as chairman of the Intertribal Council consisting of the Wyandottes, Senecas, Ottawas, Shawnees, Peorias and Quapaws.
1886 James ClarkChief of Anderdon Band near Detroit on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. James Clark visited Oklahoma on occasion.
1912Silas ArmstrongPrincipal Chief. The second man to serve as chief with the name.
1936Allen Johnson, Jr.Principal Chief early in the year.

1936-42Leonard N. CotterElected Principal Chief late in 1936.

1944-47Sam LongPrincipal Chief.
1947Mont Cotter Became Principal Chief in November.
1948-54Leonard N. Cotter Principal Chief.
1953-62Lawrence ZanePrincipal Chief.
1963-76Leonard N. CotterPrincipal Chief.
1976-78Mont CotterElected Principal Chief late in 1976.
1978-83Phillip PeacockPrincipal Chief
1983-2011Leaford BearskinElected Principal Chief in September of 1983. Leaford died on Nov. 9, 2012.
2011Billy FriendAssumed the office of Principal Chief on June 1, 2011 upon the retirement of Leaford Bearskin on May 31, 2011.

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