Tosawa (variously spelled Tasawi, Toshewi, etc.) White Knife or Silver Brooch aka Turtle/White Dove
Tosawa in the 1860s and 70s was the most influential chief of the Peneteka Comanches. He is well known for surrendering in 1867 at Fort Cobb and having that famous conversation with General Philip Sheridan. It is said that Tosawa declared to him in approximate English: “Tosawi, good Indian”. Sheridan retorted while saying: “Only the good Indians whom I ever saw had died” (The only good Indians I ever saw were dead).
I compiled some info from Thomas Kavanagh´s “The Comanches” (Univ. of Nebraska Press):
Before 1852 Tosawa was a war chief of great influence (Agent H. Capron, see page 333). He signed the “Rollins-agreement” in 1850. He signed the “Rogers-agreement” in 1851. He signed Confederate Treaty as 2nd chief of Penetekas in 1861. He was recognized as the Peneteka principal chief from 1865 to 1875. He was present at the Medicine Lodge Treaty council in 1867 and signed the treaty. He surrendered at Ft. Cobb and agreed to move to an agency. He went to Washington as a delegate in 1872 with wife his Onaweah and a daughter. On his return from Washington he moved from Ft. Sill to the Wichita reservation. In 1873 he signed a petition for the release of Satanta and Big Tree.
Portrait (Front) of To-Sho-Way (Silver Knife) or Brooch 1872 (SIRIS)
Portrait (Front) of Wife of To-Sho-Way (Silver Knife) or Brooch, in Blanket 1872 (SIRIS)
Last Edit: Feb 10, 2012 13:52:42 GMT -5 by Dietmar
Another portrait of Tosawa, I think it is a Soule photo, isn´t it?:
I believe this old photo card also shows Tosawa. The inscription says "Tashaway Chief Comanches". It was auctioned yesterday at Ebay. Unfortunately I had no luck, so I only can post these small samples:
-It’s PenA, not PenE. (actually, phonetically it should be pihnáa.)
I’ve been wondering if there were not several individuals who have become confused (a la the various Comanche “Iron Shirt”), e.g.:
* The paraivo Tosawi (in various spellings), tosa ‘white’, wi ‘knife’ [which Agent Tatum, in 1869, said referred to a knife he had when he was a boy, but it is also an old Shoshonean name, e.g. the White Knife Shoshone)], who Tatum also said wanted to be called ‘Turtle Dove’ (see next), but apparently never was.
*a youngish man, who Joe A said was named Kuewóotosavit (kuewóo ‘dove, tosavit ‘white’), nephew of Pianahutsama (pia ‘big’, nahutsama ‘saddle blanket’) and who was one of the scouts with the Texas Rangers at the Battle of Little Robe Creek in 1858.
*Tosawecut (-cut ‘possessor’), who Joe A said was on the other side of that battle
-“He is well known for surrendering in 1867 at Fort Cobb”, -“He surrendered at Ft. Cobb and agreed to move to an agency.”
Yes, he went south from the Medicine Lodge treaty grounds in Kansas, but he was no stranger to the Ft Cobb area. He was there from at least 1859, when the Texas Reservation Indians were moved north, thru its occupation by the Confederates and later abandonment by them in 1862. He had a ‘house’ there and probably stayed in the vicinity. Thus I wouldn’t call his movement to the area called a “surrender”: he was going home. [And remember, Comanches had been living in that part of Oklahoma since the 1750s.]
Meanwhile, after the Confederate abandonment, Cobb was not re-established as either a Federal military post or as an Indian agency. In 1868, Agent Leavenworth established his agency at nearby Eureka Valley, and the military presence was established at Fort Sill about 50 miles south. The agency was moved there shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, the Wichitas, Caddos, and Delawares [WCD] had re-established their presence along the Washita at Anadarko, down river from Cobb, and equidistant from Sill.
-“Tosawa in the 1860s and 70s was the most influential chief of the Peneteka Comanches.”
That would have been not without political contention from Asehabit, Kababbywite (aka Carawa, etc), and the others. Indeed, his December 1871 move from Sill to Anadarko was probably as much to establish a distinct political existence for himself and his people as to get away from the other “wild Comanches.” In February 1872, claiming to be “head and controlling chief” of the Penatekas, he asked agent Richards that the other Penateka local bands still at Fort Sill be transferred to his jurisdiction. To this, Tatum responded that not only did two of those bands not want to go north, but that the “bands of Comanches have no head and controlling chief . . . each one acts independently . . . so far as it suits him.” The importance of this incident is not that Tatum was accurately describing the existing Comanche political organization, but rather that he was influencing the direction it would take in the future. By denying the existence of a “head and controlling chief,” a status which had existed in the past, he was ensuring that there would be none in the future.
Tosawa and his people remained in the north. Thus their descendants have allotments in the northern part of the old reservation south of the Washita River.
It was perhaps his funeral in 1883 of which Hermann ten Kate caught a glimpse.
-the cdv from eBay is probably not Soule, but rather may be a Bliss image.
The correct date ( year ) of Tosawa`s surrender at Fort Cobb
I am a little confused about the year of Tosawa`s surrender at Fort Cobb. Above is written twice, the surrender year was 1867. Many years ago, I read in >Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee< by Dee Brown, Tosawa came to the Fort Cobb to surrender after the Washita battle ( 27. November 1868 ) . Probably, Tosawa came to Fort Cobb in very late December 1868
If my guess is correct ( 1868 ) , there is another question.
On December 25 in 1868, a comanche village was attacked by troops ( Third Cavalry ) at Soldiers Spring, more then twenty warriors were killed. Was this battle an additional reason for Tosawa`s surrender ?
Please excuse my bad English, all text by translation program
"... he was no stranger to the Ft Cobb area. He was there from at least 1859, when the Texas Reservation Indians were moved north, thru its occupation by the Confederates and later abandonment by them in 1862. He had a ‘house’ there and probably stayed in the vicinity. Thus I wouldn’t call his movement to the area called a “surrender”: he was going home.
A german edition of this book - this would be a blessing. Regrettable, that the project was not realized.
Meanwhile I was reading in this book on pages 399 - 428 and various other pages - very informative. I have found too information about the name change. Tosawa changed his name to White Dove, either in 1869 or earlier ( if before 1869, the reason was the killing of a Comanche named Tosawecut )
That book sounds very interesting, was ordering today a copy. So far I have only Wallace and Hoebel, Rollings and Fehrenbach in my collection about Comanches. I´m real sceptic about Fehrenbach though. I learned only recently about tk´s valuable books, glad to get a copy now of the one mentioned by cinemo.