EDO-EETTE (Big Tree)
Big Tree was a major Kiowa war chief late in the nineteenth century. Throughout
the 1850s and 1860s, when Big Tree was young, the Kiowas raided the Texas Plains
until their chief, Dohosan, died in 1866. Dohosan was succeeded by a new chief,
Lone Wolf, who also resisted white settlement on their lands.
Reared in this pattern of resistance, it is not surprising that in May 1871,
Big Tree, Satanta, and Satank, along with a force of over three hundred, struck
a wagon train in Young Country, Texas, taking its mules and leaving seven men
dead. Upon their return, the leaders bragged about the deeds in front of the
agent and General Sheriman, who promptly arrested the three most prominent,
Set-angya (Satank, ‘Setting Bear'), Set-T'ainte (Satanta, ‘White Bear') and
Edo-eete (Big Tree).
The three were sent to Texas to stand. On the way to Texas, Satank attempted
to flee his captors and was killed. Big Tree and Satanta were tried and sentenced
to death, but the protests of sympathetic whites over the harsh sentences deterred
their execution; their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment at Huntsville,
Texas. The Bureau of Indian Affairs argued that the two men should not be released
since their raid was an act of war.
Two years later in 1873, Big Tree and Satanta were paroled on assurances of
good behavior and confined to Indian Territory.
In 1874-1875, violence erupted once again when the army confiscated
some Kiowa horses. Consequently, the government became alarmed when Quannah
Parker, Big Tree, and Satanta left Indian Terretory while on a hunting expedition
to Kansas. The army contingent of three thousand men pursued them until they
surrendered at the Cheyenne Agency. Big Tree was briefly incarcerated at Fort
Sill for violating parole, while Satanta was jailed in Huntsville, where he
Big Tree, when he was released in 1875, settled down to a peaceful
life on the Kiowa Reservation, operating a supply train from Anadarko to Wichita.
Wedding a Kiowa woman, Omboke, he became a Christian and attended the Rainy
Mountain Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school and was deacon for over
thirty years. Farming his allotment near Mountain View, Kiowa Country, Oklahoma,
he became a model and peaceful citizen in his later years. He died on November
13, 1929, at Fort Sill.
In 1888, Big Tree was a delegate to the intertribal council that met in Fort
Gibson because the question of railroads through the reservations, allotments
and the ultimate opening of the Indian Territory to white settlement. They were
Information from "The Ten Grandmothers" by Alice Marriott, published by
University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1945; and "Calender History of the
Kiowa Indians" by James Mooney, published by Smithsonian Institution Press,
Washington, D.C. from reports, 1895-1896.
Turn to Next Page
Return to Kiowa Photo Album
Return to Kiowa Page
This information compiled, prepared and submitted to this site by Ethel Taylorand remains the property of the
NOTICE: Ethel Taylor grants that this information and data may
be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all
copied material, for personal and genealogical research. These electronic pages
cannot be reproduced in any format for profit, can not be copied over to other
sites, linked to, or other presentation without written permission of Ethel Taylor.