RECOVERED - Pipe Tomahawk

Tomahawk Stolen from Museum in Walla Walla, Washington, June 4, 2005 Has Been Recovered

In January, 2006 we received the following letter:

Just before Christmas, 2005, the Whitman Mission Tomahawk was returned by mail to the Whitman Mission National Historic Site along with an anonymous letter asking for forgiveness (!).

The investigation is on-going but you can change your web site to indicate that the tomahawk has been recovered. Thanks very much for your organization’s assistance in this matter. It is my opinion that the publicity generated by the theft and the spread of information of the theft (in part due to your organization and its web site) pressured the thief to return the tomahawk.

Thanks again, (Signed) Steve Yu, Criminal Investigator, Yosemite National Park.

Recovered Stolen Pipe Tomahawk, possibly of Hudson Bay Company origin:

Head measures 7 inches with 3-inch blade. Various hand punched designs decorate the head and blade. Handle 12 inches long with 3/4 -inch diameter. The inside of the handle is hollow, making a pipe stem. There are teeth marks located on the lower end of the handle-stem. Nine rows of round-headed tacks encircle the handle. Copper wire is wrapped around the handle in two places. Between the two wire wrappings, a piece of metal in the form of 4 elongated diamonds is fastened around the handle. This weapon was reported to have been used used to kill Marcus Whitman in 1847.

The case number for the tomahawk is PWSA-05-0070. If you have any information about this tomahawk, please contact Steve Yu, Criminal Investigator, National Park Service, (209) 372-0614