Red Jacket Return to Assignments
Portrait of Red Jacket, 1828
John L. D. Mathies
Oil on canvas
30 in. x 25 in. (76.2 cm x 63.5 cm)
Memorial Art Gallery
University of Rochester
Red Jacket (c.1756 – January 20, 1830) known as O-te-ti-ani or “always ready” in his youth was a Native American Seneca orator and chief of the Wolf clan.
Red Jacket enters the historical record around the time of the American Revolution (1777-1783) when he is said to have habitually worn a red coat provided by the British, who employed him as a messenger, thus the origin of his English name. The Senecas took the British side during the American Revolution, a costly mistake, since their ally lost. In the War of 1812, Red Jacket supported the American side.
Red Jacket was an influential leader of the Seneca people with the U.S. government and the Iroquois confederation from the 1770s until the 1820s. Upon his election of Sachem, in 1780 he assumed the name Sa-go-ye-wat-ha, sometimes rendered “he keeps them awake" or "the cause of a wakeful spirit”. He was present in negotiations at the Canandaigua Treaty of 1794 and Agreement with the Seneca in 1797 when major portions of Seneca land in upstate New York were ceded or partitioned into smaller reservations.
New World Encyclopedia
Brief biographical outline with other paintings and some local connections.
The Life and Times of Red Jacket
Biography of Red-Jacket, or Sa-go-ye-wat-ha by William Leete Stone published 1841 on Google Books.
The Canandaigua Treaty
This 1794 treaty is usually called the Pickering Treaty and remembered annually each November 11.
Agreement with the Seneca, 1797
This treaty primarily documents the sale of much of the Seneca's territory to Robert Morris.