Tag Archives: Tehan

Today in Texas History – September 8

From the Annals of the Indian Wars –  In 1874, Lt. Frank Baldwin and three army scouts captured the “white Indian” known as “Tehan” in what is now Hemphill County during the initial phases of the Red River War.  His anglo name is unknown as he was taken by the Kiowas when he was a child and given the name Tehan (“Texan”). He was adopted by the medicine man Maman-ti and grew up to become a fierce warrior. He was completely assimilated as a Kiowa and was striking for his red hair, fair skin, and bull-like neck.  As an apprentice brave, Tehan took part in several raids during the early 1870s.  When captured, Tehan made a show of being grateful for his delivery from the Kiowa.   Baldwin met up with Captain Wyllys Lyman train of supply wagons, and transferred custody of Tehan to Lyman.   Indian scouts sent out to look for Tehan discovered Lyman’s wagon train.  The Kiowas besieged the train from September 9 to 14, during which time Tehan escaped and rejoined his adopted tribe, sporting a suit of clothes the troops had given him.  The ultimate fate of Tehan is unknown.

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.