had photographs of Red Tomahawk, who shot Sitting Bull,
in other threads.
have often seen him identified as Yanktonai, but now I have
found information on him in the Walter Campbell research
notes. The information was recorded by A.B. Welch:
– "We found a dead Indian in a log house winter."
My winter count shows this to have been 1849-1850
– “I was 16 years of age when we run off the beef herd from
Fort Rice.” (This was in 1866 – Welch)
– Maka Opape – “Strikes the Earth” (A Sihasapa Sioux, Blackfeet)
– Was Hunkpapa Sioux.
– Was among the first to be a U.S. Indian Police at Fort
Yates. Continued as police until 1895.
– First wife was Maka Towin (Blue Earth Woman), a Hunkpapa.
She belonged to the family of Rain in the Face (Ito Magaju),
being a daughter of his youngest sister. Father of Maka
Towin was Wahkiya Luta (Red Thunder). This man was not however,
the famous Red Thunder who led the Yanktonaise [sic] to
Detroit during the War of 1812.
– Thirteen children by at east three wives. Francis, a Carlysle
[sic] graduate, now living, was the son of Maka Towin. At
this date, AUGUST 7th, 1931, there are three sons and three
– At Cannon ball, Standing Rock reservation, N.D., Aug.
– At cannon Ball Catholic cemetery, July 11th, 1931. The
Riders of the White Horse Society were in charge. Speech
was made by A.B. Welch.
seem to be a confusion with the dates, but that's exactly
how it was recorded in the Walter Campbell notes. I guess
that 11th August 1931 is more likely the date of burial.
I am also a descendant of Red Thunder who was the brother
of Rain in the Face, Their father was Bear Face. The Red
Tomahawk family still live in the area of Cannon ball.
Red Tomahawk Family was given allotment in Cannon Ball.
— LaDonna Brave Bull Allard
Red Tomahawk´s profile is indeed on the road signs.
He had a son called Joe Tomahawk, who shot himself in 1909,
according to the Ring Bull wintercount at Buechel museum.
The son of Maka Towin was called Francis. He was
at Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania.
is a photograph of Francis Red Tomahawk in Sprague´s
"Standing Rock Sioux", page 113. In the same photo
are Peter Red Tomahawk and his wife Edna Windy (Red Tomahawk),
and Florence Melvin. Other descendants/relatives of Red
Tomahawk shown in this book are Barney Red Tomahawk, Brenda
Red Tomahawk, Kathleen (Vetter) Red Tomahawk and Ernestine
(Huravitch) Red Tomahawk.
1921, Marshal Foch, commanding general of the Allied Forces
during the Great War, was invited by the American Legion
to participate in their annual conference in Kansas City
between November 1 and November 3. A few days later, he
took part in the consecration of the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier in Arlington, where he certainly met Chief Plenty
Coups. Then the war hero went West, having previously expressed
his desire to see Indian tribes. At Bismarck, North Dakota,
he was welcomed by Red Tomahawk. Dressed in full war regalia
in honor of his visitor, Red Tomahawk made an eloquent speech
and gave Foch an Indian name¬"Charging Thunder."
Marshal Foch then visited the Crow Indians in Montana where
Plenty Coups met him and smoked the "traditional pipe
of peace with him." A headdress, a shirt, and another
name¬Napoleon-of-Napoleons¬were given to Foch. —
Volume 13 Number 18
FORT YATES, SIOUX COUNTY, NORTH DAKOTA
THURSDAY, DEC 29, 1927
TOMAHAWK by Frank Fiske
Dec. 15, 1890, just before daybreak, thirty-nine Sioux Indian
policemen entered the camp of Sitting Bull, on the Grand
river, with orders to arrest the Chief and bring him to
the crossing of Oak Creek, about fifteen miles to the north
where they were to meet two troops of cavalry. From here
the Prisoner was to be escorted to Fort Yates.
Bull was the virtual leader of the so-called ghost-dancing
Sioux who believed that all white man were about to be exterminated
and the good old hunting grounds restored to the Indians
so they would be free to hunt, dance and make war on their
old enemies, the Rees, forever unmolested by the white people
wh wanted them to farm and draw rations instead of drawing
the bow for a living.
Head, Shave Head and Red Tomahawk were the ranking members
of the police force, and they were bringing Sitting Bull
from his cabin when they were attacked by nearly two-hundred
hostile Sioux. Bull Head and Shave Head fell at the first
shot, but as he went down Bull Head fired into Sitting Bull's
side. Red Tomahawk was directly behind the group and carried
a small revolver that he had taken from the chief. With
this he shot Sitting Bull in the head. Thus Red Tomahawk
is given the credit for killing the most famous of Sioux
Chiefs, and ending for all time the long standing warfare
between the Indians and the white people.
Red Tomahawk enlisted as a policeman, the government gained
a valuable man for in his younger years he had won for himself
glory in meeting the hereditary foes of the Sioux far out
on the prairies to the west and north. But with the end
of Sitting Bull a permanent peace came to abide in the Sioux
country and fighting became a lost art.
near Cannon Ball, N D Red Tomahawk often meets famous personages
who visit the state before whom he is called to represent
his people as a prominent type of the old time Sioux. The
silhoette of his profile adorns the road markers of the
state in honor of the man who served the government magnificiently.
these reasons the Hokanson's Store at Fort Yates, N. Dak
present this calendar that we may not forget that to be
brave, competent and faithful is a trait exemplflied as
of the Sioux by Red Tomahawk - who killed Sitting Bull.
Dakota Datebook: "Red Tomahawk and Hoover"
here is an article where Red Tomahawk´s son is mentioned:
big pow-wow was being held in the heart of the Black Hills.
A pale-face was explaining a new deal the Great White Father
was preparing in Washington. It was to be a Bill of Rights
for the Indians. They were to get back the land they had
lost to the dispossessor during the last fifty years. The
Great White Father and his chief aide in the new plan, John
Collier, who is white of skin but Indian at heart, had decided
that, after all, it was better to make an Indian a good
Indian rather than a poor white man and that the way to
help him was to put him back on the land and restore to
him his tribal rights and customs.
Here were Flatheads, Crows, Cheyennes, Black feet from Montana,
Chippewas from Turtle Mountain, near the Canadian line;
Arapahoes, Mandanes and Shoshones from Wyoming; Winnebagoes
from Iowa, Sioux from the Dakotas. Young Red Tomahawk, son
of the Indian who killed Sitting Bull, acted as Sioux interpreter.
Red Tomahawk and family, 1908
above photograph has been sent by Wakalapi.
— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring
Red Tomahawk-born 1849
–Peter Iron Tail-Yanktonais
Spouse: Marcella Red Tomahawk: born 1866
Spouse Catherine born 1853
Spouse Winona Black Bear born 1848
Francis Red Tomahawk born 181879
Catherine Red Tomahawk born 1883
Joseph Red Tomahawk born 1887
Henry Red Tomahawk born 1891
Barnard Red Tomahawk born 1894 died 1977
Red Tomahawk- Spouse Lucy
Barnard Red Tomahawk-Spouse Louise Blackhoop
Henry Red Tomahawk-Spouse Annie and Maggie.
— Ladonna Brave Bull Allard
a few additional notes a friend of mine found at familysearch.org:
marriage: 1878 Standing Rock, Ft. Yates
Francis RT born 1879
Barnabas RT born 1894
Catherine Upiwastewin Pretty Skirt
marriage: 30. Aug. 1903 St. Eliz Can Ball, North Dakota
mother: Bowlder Tunkanla
also was Red Tomahawk family at Rosebud.
— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring
Minnesota Historical Society
workshop, Standing Rock, North Dakota; Red Tomahawk on horse
Photographer: George W. Scott
Cabinet photograph ca. 1891
Library of Congress:
— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring
detail, that of the Crow loop necklace...I suppose such
items became quite popular among the Lakotas by the end
of the 19th century - I remember having seen at least two
pictures of Lakota women wearing the traditional elk-teeth
dress. — jinlian
I have read that Marcellus Red Tomahawk was the Captain
of Police at Standing Rock in 1892, 1893 & 1894. Also,
David Standing Soldier succeeded Marcellus Red Tomahawk
in 1895 as Captain of Police at Standing Rock. David Standing
Soldier supposedly remained as Captain from 1895-1902. —
(in The Lance and the Shield) describes the Indian
Policeman Red Tomahawk who assisted in the arrest of Sitting
Bull in 1890 as "a mixed Yanktonai-Hunkpapa who lived
on the Cannonball north of the agency and was unfamiliar
with the people or the country to the south." (p. 298)
If he was unfamiliar with Sitting Bull and his people, this
would imply that he was not at the Little Bighorn.
Red Tomahawk is listed in the 1900 census for Standing Rock
Agency in the northern part of the agency in North Dakota,
age 47 (born about 1853) and married 25 years (about 1875).
His name is given as Yacaurpeduta, written in the
Dakota dialect, not the Lakota dialect of the Hunkpapa.
He is not listed with the Hunkpapa surrendering at Standing
Rock in 1881. — Ephriam
was probably the Red Tomahawk who spoke at the 1926 anniversary
of the LBH.
Archives, Kansas City, Standing Rock Agency Records: Copies
Received and Copies Sent: Box 27, contains enlistment of
Indian Police at Standing Rock, reported by Agt J.A. Stephan
on July 1, 1881.
Afraid of Bear
Lt. Crazy Walking
Sgt Crow Feather
2nd Sgt Iron Eye
3rd Sgt Eagle Man
4th Sgt Fool Bear
5th Sgt Standing Soldier
Keep the Eagle
White Black Bird
Afraid of Anything
White Weasel Bear
Takes the Gun
What I can offer you on the identity of the family of Red
Tomahawk taken 1908 would be information from the census
From left to right:
Henry Red Tomahawk born 1891 and son of Marcella and Marcellus
Catherine Pretty Skirt born 1854 wife
Louise Red Tomahawk born 1905 daughter of Catherine and
Marcellus Red Tomahawk;
Marcellus Red Tomahawk born 1852 died Aug 11, 1931;
Catherine Red Tomahawk born 1882 daughter of Marcella and
Marcellus Red Tomahawk.
Source is the 1892 census and the 1908 census.
— Jean Sweeney
The following publications contain information about Red Tomahawk:
Article: "Red Tomahawk Back from East; Is Guest of Lions Luncheon" • The Bismarck Tribune • June 24, 1929 • Page 7.
Article: "Custer's Revenge" by Joseph Mizrahi • There was a time for peace and a time for war. The Sioux had fought and won at Little Big Horn, but the Red Man's defeat of Custer had enraged Washington. Fourteen years later, the end of the Indian had come • Oldtimers Wild West • No. 1 • February 1977.