SOU-NEH-HOO-WAY (To-oo-troon-too-ra; baptized Thomas Splitlog), Wyandot chief; d. in the spring of 1838 probably in Essex County, Upper Canada.
Sou-neh-hoo-way’s boyhood or common name was To-oo-troon-too-ra which, translated as Splitlog, provides the appellation that is invariably used in documents. He was a younger brother of Roundhead [Stayeghtha*], a leader of the Wyandots from the Sandusky region of Ohio, and is sometimes confused with Tau-yau-ro-too-yau (Between the Logs), who was also from Sandusky and was the main adviser to Tarhe (Crane), principal chief of the American Wyandots.
With Roundhead, Splitlog opposed American expansion into the Ohio valley after the revolution and he fought at Fallen Timbers (near Waterville, Ohio) in 1794. Subsequently he, Roundhead, and their younger brother Warrow resettled with their families at Brownstown (near Trenton, Mich.), where they were drawn into the movement led by Tecumseh* and the Prophet [Tènskwatawa]. On the outbreak of the War of 1812, Splitlog became one of the most active and steadfast of Britain’s Indian allies. In September 1812 he served with Adam Charles Muir*’s force moving toward Fort Wayne (Ind.), and personally scouted entirely around the advancing American army. On 14 Nov. 1812, mounted on a white charger, he led an attack on enemy troops at the rapids of the Miamis (Maumee, Ohio), where American observers incorrectly reported him killed or seriously wounded. With Roundhead and Myeerah*, he was prominent in the defeat of the Kentucky militia at the battle of Frenchtown (Monroe, Mich.) on 22 Jan. 1813 and aided in capturing the American commander. He participated in the retreat of Henry Procter*’s troops up the Thames valley and fought at the battle of Moraviantown. In May 1814, joining the dissident Potawatomi chief Mkedepenase (Blackbird), he abandoned active operations in protest over the short rations allocated to their warriors. After a time, however, he returned to the field, and in early November he played a spirited part in the resistance made at the Grand River to a large American force under Brigadier-General Duncan McArthur that had advanced from Detroit. In February 1815 Lieutenant-Colonel Reginald James was counting on his assistance against a body of American infantry and cavalry said to be on the road to the village of Delaware.
After news of the Treaty of Ghent reached the colony, Splitlog and his followers settled in Essex County, on lands commonly known as the Huron Reserve. There he became recognized as the leader of a minority faction known as the Splitlog party. A full-blood, Catholic, traditional group opposed to the acculturated Methodist majority, the Splitlog party was adamantly against the surrender of parts of the reserve and the allocation of the remaining lands to individuals – the post-war panacea for “the Indian problem.” Although Splitlog boycotted treaty councils and regularly protested to the Indian Department and the lieutenant governor, his objections were ignored and the government’s negotiations were conducted with the Methodist group. In 1835 it was arranged that a portion of the reserve would be turned over to the crown and the remainder subdivided among band members. Splitlog’s requests that the agreement be revoked were to no avail. None the less, because of his long and honourable service in war he was recognized as the most distinguished of the chiefs until his death in the spring of 1838. In 1843 many of the Methodist faction voluntarily joined the Ohio Wyandots and resettled in what is now eastern Kansas. The remainder of the band continued to dispose of its lands, until in 1892 the last pieces of the Huron Reserve were surrendered.
PAC, RG 8, I (C ser.), 260: 306; 677: 97; 683: 218; 687: 114, 136; RG 10, A2, 29:17347–49; A3, 489: 29582–84; A4, 60: 60711–13; 62: 61508–11. Wis., State Hist. Soc., Draper mss, 11U97, 11U116. Messages and letters of William Henry Harrison, ed. Logan Esarey (2v., Indianapolis, Ind., 1922), 2: 220. Mich. Pioneer Coll., 16 (1890): 50. Weekly Reg. (Baltimore, Md.), 3 (1812–13): 217. P. D. Clarke, Origin and traditional history of the Wyandotts . . . (Toronto, 1870).