TONATAKOUT (Tiwatacout, Tehastakout), Seneca chief, fl. 1700–34.
On 18 July 1700 Tonatakout arrived in Montreal with Aouenano and two other Seneca chiefs and the Onondagas Aradgi and Ohonsiowanne. They had come to ask Governor Callière to bring to an end the attacks that the western tribes, who were allied to the French, had been making on the Iroquois. These attacks, which were made in retaliation for an Iroquois raid on the Miami tribe, had resulted in the death of 55 or more Iroquois. The Seneca and Onondaga envoys also asked that Father Jacques Bruyas, Chabert de Joncaire, and Paul Le Moyne de Maricourt return to their villages with them as envoys of the governor. These envoys arrived in the Onondaga country in early August and began discussions with Teganissorens and other chiefs of the four western Iroquois tribes which laid the foundations for the general peace treaty of 1701 at Montreal. Tonatakout was elected Joncaire’s “father” and protector among the Senecas to replace an earlier “father” who had died. Tonatakout is described as the latter’s “nearest blood relation.”
Tonatakout may have been still alive in 1734. At that time the Senecas protested that they had learned from the Indians living at the Lac des Deux Montagnes that the French had been wrongly told by the Onondagas that Tonatakout was a trouble maker who worked against French interests and who should be killed. The French and the Onondagas denied that such a charge had ever been made. The genesis of this accusation is unclear. In the records recounting this incident there is also an obscure reference to Tonatakout, “whom you [the French] made chief.”