Soule Photograph
Wilber S. Nye Collection


As a leader of the Ponetaka band, Tosawi engaged in many raids in the American Southwest in the 1860s. When the U.S. Army retaliated for these depredations in 1867-1868, Tosawi was the first Comanche leader to surrender to the military at Fort Cobb in the Indian Terretory. When he spoke to General Philip H. Sheridan, saying "Tosawi, good Indian," the general responded with an oft-misquoted statement: "[T]he only good Indians I ever saw were dead." (Sheridan's infamous reply is often mistankenly restated as "The only good Indian is a dead Indian.") Tosawi and Ten Bears of the Yamparika band of the Comanches journeyed to Washington D.C., in 1872 along with other tribal leaders seeking peace..

Copyright, 1998-2006

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