Tarhe, a Wyandot leader, was born near present-day Detroit, Michigan, in 1742. Tarhe was also known by the Anglo-American exonym "The Crane." Some accounts state that this name is in reference to his tall, slender build.
Like most American Indians living in the region, Tarhe opposed increasingly invasive white settlement of the Ohio Country. He fought to prevent the encroachment of new settlers onto American Indian land. In 1763, the British, in the Proclamation of 1763, told their colonists not to move west of the Appalachian Mountains because the land belonged to the American Indians. Of course, few settlers listened. As more settlers moved into the territory, fighting increased between the two groups. In 1774, the governor of Virginia, John Murray, Lord Dunmore, sent troops to attack Ohio Country American Indian groups. Tarhe assisted Cornstalk, a Shawnee leader, against the colonists. The colonists emerged generally victorious from Lord Dunmore's War.
Following Lord Dunmore's War, Tarhe generally supported peace between white settlers and the region's American Indian inhabitants. He eventually led the Wyandot into battle again at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. General Anthony Wayne led the U.S. forces forces and defeated the American Indians. Once again, Tarhe supported making peace with the settlers and signed the Treaty of Greenville. Even after the Treaty of Greenville, other American Indian leaders, including Tecumseh, attempted to establish a united American Indian confederation in the Ohio Country to unite against the settlers. Tarhe, however, advised the Wyandot to honor the treaty that they had signed.
In 1812, the British and the United States went to war again. Although Tarhe was in his seventies, he joined in the conflict as an ally of the U.S. troops and was present at the Battle of the Thames in 1813. After the War of 1812, Tarhe settled near Upper Sandusky and remained there until he died in 1818 at the age of 76.
- Anthony Wayne
- Battle of Fallen Timbers
- Battle of the Thames
- War of 1812
- Shawnee Indians
- Wyandot Indians
- Ohio Country
- Upper Sandusky, Ohio
- Proclamation of 1763
- John Murray
- Lord Dunmore's War and the Battle of Point Pleasant
- Treaty of Greenville (1795)
- Greenville, Ohio
- Appalachian Mountains
- Barrett, Carole, Harvey Markowitz, and R. Kent Rasmussen, eds. American Indian Biographies. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2005.
- Carpenter, Roger M. The Renewed, the Destroyed, and the Remade: The Three Thought Worlds of the Huron and the Iroquois, 1609-1650. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2004.
- Hurt, R. Douglas. The Ohio Frontier: Crucible of the Old Northwest, 1720-1830. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1996.
- Tooker, Elisabeth. An Ethnography of the Huron Indians, 1615-1649. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1991.
- Vogel, John J. Indians of Ohio and Wyandot County. New York, NY: Vantage Press, 1975.