Wichita Agency-Tonkawa Massacre, 1862

During 1862 seventy Delawares and twenty-six Shawnee from Kansas led by the Delaware Ben Simon, arrived at the Wichita agency and began stirring up trouble. Added to the mix was a rumor circulating among the reservation Indians that the hated Tonkawa had killed a Caddo boy and were preparing to eat him. Just after dark on October 23 they were joined by warriors from other tribes as they surrounded the agency headquarters. After a Delaware was killed and a Shawnee wounded, the four whites inside were slain and the building ransacked and burned. Hearing the gunfire, the Tonkawas became frightened and fled from the agency. Their trail was discovered the next morning and followed to a grove of trees where the Tonkawas had attempted to conceal themselves. In the ensuing slaughter, all but about 150 of the 390 Tonkawa men, women and children managed to escape. Among those killed was Chief Placido.


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