TAREHA (Atarhea, Tarrigha, Tarsha, Tharca), an Oneida chief; fl. 1691–95.
On 10 June 1693, according to Father Charlevoix*, Tareha reached Montreal, bringing with him Saint-Amour, who had been a captive of the Iroquois for four years. He wanted to exchange him for his nephew, who was a prisoner at the Saint-François-Xavier mission at the Saint-Louis (Lachine) rapids. Immediately the Chevalier de Callière* sent Tareha to Quebec, where Frontenac [see Buade] consented to the exchange. As proof of his sincerity the Indian had presented to the governor a letter from the Jesuit Father Millet*. He warned Frontenac that the French should be on the look-out at harvest-time. The Indians wanted peace, he added, and if he succeeded in reconciling his canton with the French, he would come and spend the rest of his days at the Saint François-Xavier mission. Through him the Comte de Frontenac asked each of the Five Nations to send him two ambassadors in September, among whom he wished to see Teganissorens*, the famous Onondaga orator.
Towards the end of September Tareha returned to Quebec, accompanied only by Gouentagrandi*, a woman from his lodge who had always shown kindness to the French prisoners; she had been baptized by Father Millet a few years earlier and given the name Suzanne. The count was affable. Tareha apologized for not being surrounded by the delegates from his canton and cast all the blame on the English. As Benjamin Fletcher, the governor of New York, had suggested, the Indian advised Frontenac to send a representative to Albany, where it was said, the English wanted to negotiate with the French and the Indians. Frontenac was indignant; he dismissed Tareha, but not without giving him the customary presents.
Teganissorens and eight delegates finally appeared at Quebec in the month of May 1694. Tareha and the two Oneida ambassadors did not arrive until 1 November, after Millet’s liberation; they were badly received by the irascible Frontenac, who however calmed down on receiving the Jesuit’s testimony, to whom Tareha had “rendered good services during his captivity.”
According to the Oneidas, who recalled his memory in 1757, Tareha lived until the time of Philippe de Rigaud* de Vaudreuil and always proved himself to be the ally of the French.
Charlevoix, Histoire, II. Correspondance de Frontenac (1689–99), APQ Rapport, 1927–28, 211. NYCD (O’Callaghan and Fernow), III. W. M. Beauchamp, A history of the New York Iroquois, now commonly called the Six Nations (New York State Museum Bull., 78, Albany, 1905). E. J. Devine, Historic Caughnawaga . . . (Montréal, 1922), 112–15.