White Cloud, also known as “No Heart-of-Fear,” was a chief of the Iowa people of the mid-19th century. He father also was known as White Cloud, had been a tribal chief before him. At the time this portrait was made by George Catlin, the Iowas had decreased in numbers from about 1,400 to about 470. White Cloud was trying to raise money for his tribe by taking a small group to London about 1844. There he met Catlin, who had opened an exhibition there. A decade earlier, Catlin had traveled across the American West, recording images of American Indians. He had visited with the senior White Cloud during that journey.
The White Cloud, Head Chief of the Iowas, George Catlin
Afterward, he decided that his father’s death was finally avenged. Mahaska lay down his arms and adopted the lifestyle of the European-American settlers, building a log home and farming. He refused to let his braves avenge the death of an Iowa chief named Crane at the hands of Omaha Indians in 1833. When several Iowa killed six Omaha warriors, Mahaska assisted in their arrest.
The next year one of the Iowa escaped from Fort Leavenworth and killed Mahaska by shooting him in the back as he sat by his campfire. He was buried along the Nodaway River in Edna Township, Cass County, Iowa.