November 12, 2001

Chief Tahre


There was probably no other individual who did so much to bring peace between the Indian people and the whites of Ohio as Chief Tarhe, the Crane.

Chief Tarhe, according to the engraving on his memorial marker was a distinguished Wyandot Chief and Loyal American.

He was the leading spirit at the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, and used his influence with all the tribes to keep the terms of the treaty.
Born in the vicinity of Detroit, Mich. in 1742, he was a member of the Porcupine clan of the tribe, known also as the descendants of the Petuns, or Tobacco Nation, of the Huron Confederacy.

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William Walker says “When in his prime he must have been a lithe, wiry man, capable of great endurance as he marched at the rear of his warriors through the whole of General Harrisons campaign into Canada.

Chief Tahre was an active participant in the Battle of the Thames, although 72 years old. He was a man of mild aspect and gentle in his manners when in repose, but when acting publicly exhibited great energy, and when addressing his people there was always something that to my youthful ear sounded like command.

Chief Tahre never drank spirits, never used tobacco in any form.

Chief Tahre’s Indian name is supposed to mean crane (tall fowl) but this is a mistake.

Crane is merely a sobriquet bestowed upon him by the French, thus: Le Chef Grue, or Monsieur Grue, the Chief Crane or Mr. Crane. The nickname was bestowed upon him because of his height and slender build.

Chief Tahre had no English name but the Americans adopted the French nickname.

Tarhe when critically analyzed means ‘at him’ or ‘at the tree’.

Chief Tarhe married the daughter of Chevalier Durante, a French Canadian. They had a daughter named Myerrah (White Crane).

Myerrah became the wife of Isaac Zane who was the brother of Ebenezer Zane and the historically
well-known Betty Zane. Isaac was the founder of Zanesville, Ohio, in Muskingum County.

Indian villages at this time were not permanent but moved as food and game became scarce. Most of the Wyandot Indian villages or camps were within the Sandusky River watershed.

Before the Greenville Treaty, Tarhe was living at Solomanstown, believed to be in Logan County. He afterwards took his camp to the banks of the Hockhocking River at what is now Lancaster, Ohio.

Chief Tarhe died in November 1816, at Cranetown near Upper Sandusky Ohio. The funeral for this 76 year old man was the largest ever known for an Indian Chief.

Among the Indians coming from great distances was Red Jacket, the noted leader and orator from Buffalo New York.

The mourners were without paint or decorations of any kind and their countenance showed the deepest sorrow. John Johnson gives a vivid description of the Ceremony of Mourning in his Recollections.

The location of the grave of this noble and honored chief is unknown.

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