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 <I>Scarlet Otter</I> Ptan Duta

Photo added by Cindy K. Coffin

Scarlet Otter Ptan Duta

  • Birth unknown
  • Death 26 Dec 1862 Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, USA
  • Burial Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, USA
  • Memorial ID 47605477

One of the 38 Sioux condemned to death for his role in the Dakota War of 1862. He was also known as "Tazoo". Before the war, he was a professional juggler and medicine man. He apparently had an eye condition that made his eyes feel sore and made it difficult to see.

Victims Mattie Williams and Mary Schwandt testified against him at his trial. He was tried for repeatedly raping Mattie Williams. He was convicted of rape based upon the testimony of the victim, Mattie Williams, which was corroborated by Mary Schwandt. He was also convicted of participating in the murder of "Patville" [Francis Patouile], based upon the testimony of Joseph Godfrey who referred to him in his account of the murder.

He answered the charges against him by saying he had very sore eyes at the commencement of the outbreak, and was at that time opposite Fort Ridgely. He said he was with the party that killed Patville [Patouile] and others, but that Maza-bom-doo killed Patville {Patouile]. He himself took Miss Williams [Mattie Williams] captive. He said he would have violated the women, but they resisted. He thought he did a good deed in saving the women's lives.

Following is a transcription of Ptan Duta's testimony:

I have had sore eyes for two years, and am not able to shoot at any thing. I was camped 3 miles below the Fort this side of the River – I am a professional Juggler and a young girl came to me – I am not able to hunt any and on this account have been planting. All the settlers around New Ulm have kept me from starving. Some young Indians came down there the morning after the outbreak and told me that the Indian traders at the Lower Agency had been killed and I followed them down towards New Ulm.

On the way down I saw two loads of Indians going towards New Ulm and when I went as far as the [??]. I met 3 wagon loads of Indians coming back. When they met me they told me to get in, and I got in. I came along with them, and when they got opposite La Framboise house, met these ladies (Miss Williams and Miss Swan [Schwandt]). I heard the Indians say there was a load of white men and women coming down and I jumped off. I ran towards the others and I heard a shot and saw them running off. There were 3 ladies running off and others and I told them to stop firing – that if they killed white women I would kill one of them – that they should take them prisoners – saw 2 Indians catch hold of Miss Williams and one hold of Miss Swan [Schwandt]. If it hadn't been from [for] me, these young ladies would have been killed.

Ma-zee-ba took Miss Swan [Schwandt] by the arm. He is here: one of the Indians who had hold of Miss Williams was killed at the last battle. The name of the other is Hepan, (the son of Ea-chan-Woan-me). This is all I know. I was blind and I didn't go anywheres. I know this woman (Miss Williams). If this woman is living now and is about to see her relatives I am the cause of it. I ravished her. She was not willing and I desisted. I tried to sleep with her twice, but she was too young. The Negro was in the middle wagon with my party.


Whiting-Ruggles Report, Case No. 4. Tazoo, alias Plan-doo-ta. Convicted of participating in the murder of Mr. Patville, and of ravishing a young girl.

Additional resources:

For the most complete information online about Ptan Duta's trial, see the web page "1862 Trial 4: Tazoo" on the web site "A Thrilling Narrative of Indian Captivity: Dispatches from the Dakota War of 1862,"





  • Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
  • Added: 5 Feb 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 47605477
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Scarlet Otter Ptan Duta (unknown–26 Dec 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 47605477, citing Dakota (Sioux) Memorial - 1862, Mankato, Blue Earth County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Cindy K. Coffin (contributor 47084179) .