Satanta, a member of the Kiowa tribe, was born in about 1830. He was also known as Settainte (White Bear). He developed a reputation as an outstanding warrior and in his twenties was made a chief of his tribe.
Satanta negotiated several treaties with the American government including Little Arkansas (1865) and Medicine Lodge (1867). Satanta agreed that the Kiowas would live on a Indian Reservation. However, when they delayed their move Satanta was seized by General George A. Custer and held as a hostage until the migration took place.
In 1871 Satanta led several attacks on wagon trains in Texas. He was arrested at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and at his trail he warned what might happen if he was hanged: " I am a great chief among my people. If you kill me, it will be like a spark on the prairie. It will make a big fire - a terrible fire!" Satanta was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death, but Edmund Davis, the Governor of Texas, decided to overrule the court and the punishment was changed to life imprisonment.
Satanta was released in 1873 and was soon back attacking buffalo hunters and led the raid on Adobe Walls. He was captured in October, 1874. Unwilling to spend the rest of his life in prison, Satanta killed himself on 11th October, 1878, by diving headlong from a high window of the prison hospital.