Satanta White Bear

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Satanta White Bear (Teepee)

Also Known As: "White Bear"
Death: October 11, 1878 (57-58)
Huntsville, Walker County, Texas, USA
Place of Burial: Fort Sill Post Cemetery, Fort Sill, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Chief Red Tipi and Spanish captive Tipi
Husband of (No Name); Mother of Mark Auchiah White Bear and Mother of Sau-To-Pa-To White Bear
Father of Ahtoneah; Mark Auchiah and Sau-To-Pa-To Sahmaunt
Half brother of Jack Bointy

Managed by: William Owen "Bill" Irwin
Last Updated:

About Satanta White Bear

Kiowa Sub-chief.

Born Set-tain-te which roughly translates to White Bear.

From the 1830s to the 1850s he participated in campaigns against the Cheyenne and Ute and rose to become an important sub-chief among the Kiowa. He, along with Gotebo, Kicking Bird. and Dohäsan, the principal chief of the Kiowa, negotiated the Treaty of the Little Arkansas.

When Dohäsan died in 1866, Kiowa unity dissolved and several subchiefs, including Satanta, competed for prominence. He represented the Kiowa at the Medicine Lodge Treaty council in October 1867 where he was dubbed ‘the Orator of the Plains.'

The failure of the Medicine Lodge Treaty by early 1868 sent the Kiowa back to raiding homesteader settlements. The US Army's winter campaign of 1868 against the southern plains Indians resulted in a series of military engagements designed to force the tribes to return to the reservations.

Satanta and a co-chief surrendered to Col. Custer on December 17, were arrested, taken hostage, and held for nearly three months.

In February 1869 their freedom was granted with the promise of a Kiowa return to the reservation and a cessation of hostilities.

On the reservation, the leadership of the Kiowa fractured and factions lead by various sub-chiefs surfaced.

Satanta broke out of the reservation with some one hundred tribesmen. They attacked the Warren wagon train on May 18, 1871 killing seven teamsters. After the raid, Satanta and his followers returned to Fort Sill to claim their rations where he was turned over to the Army to stand trial for murder.

Found guilty, a death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment for fear of Kiowa retribution. He was paroled in August 1873, and began raiding again a year later. In the fall of 1874 he was rearrested and was returned to the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville.

In October 1878, he jumped to his death from the second story of the prison hospital. His remains were buried in the prison cemetery until 1963, when he was re-interred in the cemetery at Fort Sill.

Satanta White Bear (ca. 1820 – October 11, 1878) was a Kiowa war chief. He was a member of the Kiowa tribe, born around 1820, during the height of the power of the Plains Tribes, probably along the Canadian River in the traditional winter camp grounds of his people.

One of the best known, and last, of the Kiowa War Chiefs, he developed a reputation as an outstanding warrior and in his twenties was made a sub-chief of his tribe, under Dohäsan, as Chief. He fought with him at the First Battle of Adobe Walls, and earned enduring fame for his use of an army bugle to confuse the troops in battle.

Satanta was born the son of Chief Red Tipi and a Spanish captive and spent his youth south of the Arkansas River enjoying the peaceful alliance between the Kiowa and Comanche tribes.

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Satanta White Bear's Timeline

Oklahoma, USA
Oklahoma, USA
October 11, 1878
Age 58
Huntsville, Walker County, Texas, USA
Fort Sill Post Cemetery, Fort Sill, Comanche County, Oklahoma, USA