Washakie (c.1804[1]/1810 – February 20, 1900) was a prominent leader of the Shoshone people during the mid-19th century. He was first mentioned in 1840 in the written record of the American fur trapper, Osborne Russell. In 1851, at the urging of trapper Jim Bridger, Washakie led a band of Shoshones to the council meetings of the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851). Essentially from that time until his death, he was considered the head of the Eastern Shoshones by the representatives of the United States government. In 1979, he was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Much about Washakie’s early life remains unknown, but some information is revealed. Washakie was born between 1798 and 1810. His mother Lost Woman, was a Tussawehee (White Knife) Shoshoni by birth. His father, Crooked Leg (Paseego), was an Umatilla rescued as a boy from slave traders at Wakemap and Celilo in 1786 by Weasel Lungs, a Tussawehee dog soldier (White Knife) Shoshoni medicine man. Crooked Leg was adopted into Weasel Lungs’ clan. He became a Tussawehee dog soldier (White Knife) Shoshoni and married Weasel Lungs’ eldest daughter Lost Girl, later Lost Woman. His maternal grandmother, Chosro (Bluebird)), was also Tussawehee by birth. Lost Woman’s younger sister, Washakie’s aunt, was Nanawu (Little Striped Squirrel). She was the mother of Chochoco (Has No Horse), a first cousin to Washakie.[3] On September 9, 1860 Settlers under Elijah Utter were killed on the Oregon Trail by Shoshoni and Bannack. Zachias Van Ornum a relative of those killed believed a white boy among the Shoshoni was his nephew Reuben Van Ornum and took him away; the Shoshni protested that the boy was the son of a sister of Washakie and a french trapper.

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