Leatherlips lived from 1732-1810 and was a Wyandot American Indian leader of the late 18th and early 19th century. Decimated by disease and a war with the Five Nations of the Iroquois, the Wyandot were forced out of their homeland near Lake Superior and moved to the Iroquois hunting ground in Ohio. Leatherlips encouraged cooperation with white settlers near the end of his life. This policy condemned Leatherlips to death for signing away native lands. Six Wyandots traveled to what is now Dublin, Ohio and announced the death sentence. Although white settlers led by Benjamin Sells pleaded for the chief’s life, the trial and sentencing were swift and Leatherlips was killed by tomahawk in 1810. Leatherlips was so named by white settlers because of “his admirable trait of never breaking a promise.”
A monument to Leatherlips and a memorial art sculpture was dedicated in Scioto Park on July 1, 1990 in Dublin, Ohio. The monument is a twelve-foot high portrait, the chief’s hair blown back and receding into the hillside. Limestone slabs are mortared together to form the head, which gazes west towards the Scioto River. Easy access to the back of the chief allows visitors to pose on the Chief’s head.
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