Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sharitarish - Pawnee Chief

Chief Sharitarish

Sharitarish was of noble form and fine bearing; he was six feet tall, and well proportioned; and when mounted on the fiery steed of the prairie, was a graceful and very imposing person age. His people looked upon him as a great brave, and the young men especially regarded him as a person who was designed to great distinction.

The chief of the Pawnee before Sharitarish was Tarecawawaho.  When Tarecawawaho was invited to visit the President of the United States, he refused to do so, upon the ground that it would be too great a condescension. The Pawnees, he asserted, were the greatest people in the world, and himself the most important chief He was willing to live at peace with the American people, and to conciliate the government by reciprocating their acts of courtesy. But he argued that the President could not bring as many young men into the field as himself; that he did not own as many horses, nor maintain as many wives; that he was not so distinguished a brave, and could not exhibit as many scalps taken in battle; and that therefore he would not consent to call him his great Father. He did not object, however, to return the civilities of the President, by sending a delegation composed of some of his principal men; and among those selected to accompany Major O'Fallon to Washington on this occasion, was,  Sharitarish.

After his return from Washington the popularity of Sharitarish increased so greatly as to excite the jealousy of his elder brother, Tarecawawaho, the head chief, who, however, did not long survive that event. Tarecawawaho died a few weeks after the return of Sharitafrish, who succeeded him, but who also died during the succeeding autumn, at the age of little more than thirty years.
 Sharitarish was succeeded by his brother Ishcatape, the wicked chief, a name given him by the Omaha, or Pawnee Mahas, and which also has been applied by some to the subject of this notice.