TEKANOET (Tegannehout, Cannehouet, Cannehoot, Tegancouti, Tagancout, Tegancout, Téganeout), a Seneca war chief; fl. 1680–1701.
Tekanoet figures in the hostilities between the Iroquois and the French and their Indian allies in the two decades prior to the general peace of 1701. He was one of the leaders of the Iroquois war party which attacked an Illinois village near Le Rocher (Starved Rock) in September 1680. By wearing clothing that made him appear to be a Jesuit, Tekanoet led the Illinois scouts to believe that the attackers were accompanied by some Frenchmen. When Henri Tonty, in an attempt to negotiate a peace on behalf of the Illinois, was wounded by an Iroquois brave and held captive, Tekanoet strongly urged that he be burned; the pro-French Onondaga chief, Agonstot, interceded, however, and persuaded the other Iroquois to set Tonty free.
In July 1684 Tekanoet was taken hostage at Fort Frontenac by Le Febvre* de La Barre. However, with his forces beset by disease and unable to withstand an attack La Barre was forced to treat Tekanoet well. Le Barre sent Tekanoet to the Onondagas laden with gifts and accompanied by Charles Le Moyne* de Longueuil. When he arrived Tekanoet was full of praise for La Barre. Still a hostage, he went with Otreouti* to the negotiations with La Barre at Anse de La Famine (Mexico Bay, near Oswego), where his release was obtained.
At the general council of the Iroquois at Onondaga in January 1690, Tekanoet presented the terms of a treaty concluded with the Michilimackinac Ottawas the previous year. It was ratified by the council despite the presence of a delegation from Peter Schuyler with instructions to dissuade the Iroquois from thinking about peace.
In July 1701 Tekanoet was in Montreal at the peace negotiations between the French and Iroquois as the leader of the Seneca delegation, and is described by La Potherie [Le Roy] as the superior chief of the Senecas. One of the bases of the peace was the exchange of prisoners between the Iroquois and the western tribes. The latter had brought their captives, but the Iroquois had brought none. Tekanoet explained that most of their captives had lived so long among the Iroquois that they had been successfully assimilated into their way of life. This explanation was regarded with suspicion.
After this conference, Tekanoet disappears from view and probably died shortly thereafter.
[Claude-Charles Le Roy de Bacqueville de La Potherie], Voyage de l’Amérique (4v., Amsterdam, 1723), IV, 216–19, 238. Colden, History of the Five Nations (1727), 62–63, 108–9. NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), III, 451–52; IX, 236–39, 242–43, 252–59. Relations et mémoires inédits pour servir à l’histoire de la France dans les pays d’outre-mer, éd. Pierre Margry (Paris, 1867).
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