Today in Texas History

From the Annals of the Indian Wars –  In 1874, Lt. Francis D. Baldwin and three army scouts captured the Kiowa Indian known as “Tehan.”  Tehan was a white captive of the Kiowa Indians taken when he was a child, perhaps between five and ten. The Indian name Tehan was their version of Texan likely from the Spanish which many Indians spoke on some level.  He was adopted by the Kiowa medicine man Maman-ti and became a respected and fierce warrior.  He was in striking contrast to the Kiowa with his red hair, fair skin, and thick neck. Tehan was about eighteen when the Red River War broke out in the summer of 1874. He was among those who fled the Wichita Agency in late August and camped near the upper Washita River while traveling west toward Palo Duro Canyon.  While looking for stray horses, he was captured by Baldwin. Although Tehan pretended to be grateful for his “deliverance,” his captors took no chances and kept a rope tied about the prisoner’s neck to prevent any escape attempt.  Tehan escaped during a subsequent skirmish with the Kiowas.  He rejoined his adopted tribe, sporting a suit of clothes the troops had given him.  In later years several men claimed to be Tehan.  His actual fate will likely remain a mystery.

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