Taimah's memorial marker near Kingston, Iowa. The image on the marker incongruously shows Taimah with a stylized Plains Indian headdress. The "Tama Indian Tribe" refers to the Meskwaki who lived at the Meskwaki Settlement.
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|CHIEF TAMA GRAVESITE
|Taimah (1790-1830; var. Taiomah, Tama, Taima, Tiamah, Fai-inah, Ty-ee-ma, lit. "sudden crash of thunder" or "thunder") was an early 19th century Meskwaki (Fox) leader. Often called Chief Tama in historical accounts.
Taimah was the principal leader of a Meskwaki village near Burlington, Iowa, United States. Famous for saving the life of the Indian agent at Prairie du Chien by warning him of an assassination attempt. Signer of the 1824 treaty in Washington. Taimah also maintained a village near Gladstone, Illinois in the 1820s.
Taimah was interviewed in 1820 by Jedidiah Morse at Fort Armstrong:
|The second chief of this [Meskwaki] nation is Ty-ee-ma... about forty years old. This man appears to be more intelligent than any other to be found either among the Foxes or Sauks; but he is extremely unwilling to communicate anything relative to the history manners and customs of his people. He has a variety of maps of different parts of the world and appears to be desirous of gaining geographical information.... He one day informed me when conversing upon this subject that the Great Spirit had put Indians on the earth to hunt, and gain a living in the wilderness; that he always found, that when any of their people departed from this mode of life, by attempting to learn to read write and live as white people do, the Great Spirit was displeased, and they soon died; he concluded, by observing, that when the Great Spirit made them, he gave them their medicine-bag, and they intended to keep it.|| |
|Jedidiah Morse (1822), A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States, on Indian Affairs: Comprising a Narrative of a Tour Performed in the Summer of 1820|
|Taimah is the namesake of Tama, Iowa, and Tama County, Iowa. The modern Meskwaki Settlement is near Tama. Son-in-law of Quashquame, he was mistakenly credited with being the leader of Quashquame's village by Caleb Atwater.
Taimah is buried near Iowa State Highway 99 near Kingston. A memorial stone reads:
|In memory of Chief Taima (Tama) of the Fox Tribe, Thunder Clan. An Indian gentleman and a true friend of the early white settlers. Chief Tama proved proved his devotion to the white man by traveling to Prairie du Chien, Wisc. When a plot had been made by a redman to raid the place and kill the agent. By revealing the plot of his tribe, he saved the agent. Tama, Iowa in Tama County and the Tama Indian tribe all bear his name. His grave is twenty rods east of here."
Dedicated to the pioneer spirit of Martha Haight Stapleton by the Betsy Ross chapter of Daughters of American Colonists. 1954.
|*Partly from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|