Pawhuska (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Pawhuska participated in 1808, 1818, and 1825 treaties ceding Osage land in Missouri and Arkansas.
Pawhuska is thought to have been born in a Great Osage tribal village located on the Little Osage River in what is now Truman Reservoir in central Missouri. Pawhuska was a tribal leader when Zebulon Pike established Camp Independence in Osage territory in 1806. He later agreed to ceding all Osage lands in Missouri at the Treaty of Fort Clark in 1808.
The name Pawhuska, which means “white hair,” was derived from an incident in which Pawhuska captured the French General St. Clair's wig during a skirmish. From that point on, Pawhuska wore the wig as a medicine symbol. While a young man, he managed to displace the Osage hereditary chief, Tawagahe. Pawhuska retained power through the help of white traders such as Pierre Chouteau. Later, through alliances with other tribal leaders such as Cashesegra, and continued white influence, Pawhuska signed all pivotal nineteenth century treaties ceding Osage land rights.
Pawhuska regarded white traders highly and allowed them to live among the Osage when the need arose. When the United States acquired Osage territory, his advice and counsel was sought by President Thomas Jefferson. As a result of Pawhuska's close relationship with the Chouteau trading family, the Osage, during the War of 1812, remained loyal to the United States.
(The entire section is 252 words.)
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