Native American Relations in Texas

Plácido, A Tonkawa Chief

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An illustration of Plácido, a Tonkawa chief

Plácido, known in his own language as Ha-shu-ka-na ("Can't Kill Him"), was the major chief of the Tonkawas during the early 19th century. He befriended Stephen F. Austin and assisted him in his fights against the Comanches. After the Texas Revolution, he enlisted as a scout with the Texas Rangers. At the Battle of Plum Creek, Plácido's warriors killed a great many Comanches and captured hundreds of horses.

After Texas became a state, white settlers increasingly trespassed on Tonkawa land. Plácido tried unsuccessfully to keep the peace. In 1859, he and his people were removed to a reservation in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The Tonkawas sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War; in October 1862, pro-Union Indians attacked the Tonkawa reservation and killed over half the tribe's members, including Plácido .

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Plácido, a Tonkawa Chief. Indian Depredations in Texas, by J.W. Wilbarger, 1890. Illustration by T.J. Owen (a pseudonym for William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry). Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Page last modified: July 10, 2017