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Many stories about the American Frontier were adapted into dime store novels that were adapted on actual events, including those tales of famous heroes of the American Frontier.[1] As such the entire history and the existence of a warrior named Red Hawk should be considered suspect.


Red Hawk was the chief of a tribe of Apaches that lived during the days of the American Frontier. According to most texts he was responsible for the upbringing of the warrior known as the Apache Kid, although the accounts of these events are marred with inconsistencies when compared to actual events.

In one account, Red Hawk's people were at war with white settlers over being pushed off their land. Red Hawk had obtained firearms for his tribe through a gun dealer named Fannin. During a raid of a wagon rain, Red Hawk and his men slaughtered every man, woman and child they found, but some escaped. Following after the survivors they came across a young boy named Alan Krandal, whose family was slaughtered by the Apaches. When Red Hawk's warrior Brown Toad threatened the boy with death if he did not reveal what he knew about the settlers, Red Hawk saw some bravery in the boy. Instead of killing him, Red Hawk decided to take him in and raise him as his own son and teach him in the ways of the Apache in the hopes of grooming him into a spy to use against the white settlers in the area. He also had Fannin teach the boy how to shoot. As the boy was being groomed, Red Hawk found that the boy still had the heart of a white man, but still had aspirations for the boy, and that he would someday take his place as chief of the tribe much to Brown Toad's chagrin.

Dubbed the Apache Kid, Krandal became an adept warrior but could not bring himself to believe that his own people were capable of evil against the Apache. This all changed when out on a hunting party with Red Hawk and they were attacked by white settlers. When they returned to camp they found that it was attacked and that many people were killed, including Red Hawk's sister. Apache Kid realized that both sides of the conflict were capable of evil and agreed to be Red Hawk's spy on the condition that he would divert war between the near by US Army base so that the Apaches could relocate. In his alter ego of roving cowboy Aloysius Kare, the Apache Kid managed to route the army long enough for the Apache to relocate, killing both Brown Toad and Fannin -- who had tried to stop Apache Kid for their own gain -- in the process. Red Hawk accepted the Apache Kid's new mission, and allowed him to strike out on his own effort to bridge peace between white settlers and the Native Americans.[2]

In another account, Red Hawk himself was about to kill Alan Krandal, but stopped when he saw the boys bravery. In this account, Red Hawk was stopped from shooting a white man with a bow and arrow by Apache Kid during his training. This incident helped Apache Kid realize his mission, and Red Hawk accepted it.[3]

Red Hawk continued to lead his tribe, often calling on the Apache Kid for aid whenever they were in trouble.

"Father" of the Apache Kid

When the Apache people were being inflamed by alcohol sold to them by the Wolf, Red Hawk dispatched the Apache Kid to stop the flow of alcohol. However, the Wolf tricked Red Hawk into thinking that the Kid was responsible for the sale of alcohol. Furious, Red Hawk had ordered the Apache Kid to be burned at the stake, the hero however was rescued by White Swan and eventually cleared his name. Soon after, Red Hawk was pressured into joining his people with the Comanche tribe led by Grey Wolf. When Red Hawk initially refused, his niece White Swan was kidnapped to force compliance. Red Hawk had no choice but to lead people into battle until the Apache Kid put a stop to Grey Wolf and his plans.[3] The Apache tribe was later framed for the theft of a stagecoach, Red Hawk and his people defended themselves from attack until the Apache Kid could expose the real thief. Later, Apache Kid's nemesis Running Moose attempted to lead the Apache Kid into a death trap disguised as a challenge. When the Apache Kid survived and exposed Running Moose's treachery, Red Hawk had him exiled from the tribe. However, Running Moose vowed to get revenge on the entire tribe.[4]

Soon after, Red Hawk defended his tribe and it's lands from such a purchase by lawyer Marcus Bascomb.[5] Shortly thereafter, Red Hawk was tricked into going to war against the soldiers at Fort Madison by the vigilante named Larson Meads until this plot was exposed by the Apache Kid.[6] Not long after, Red Hawk led his people in defense of the Fort when it was under attack from Black Cougar's Croyo tribe. Later, Red Hawk signed a treaty with the state governor to establish a mutual enforcement agreement between his Apaches and the soldiers at Fort Madison.[7] Running Moose returned and framed Apache Kid for robbing a stagecoach. However, when Red Hawk refused to believe the claim, Running Moose usurped control of the tribe and had Red Hawk imprisoned until the Apache Kid could clear his name. When Running Moose was ousted from control of the tribe, Red Hawk stripped him of his manhood, forcing the renegade to wear women's clothing and carry out the same tasks as the women in the tribe.[8] When the military had pinned Wyatt Coon's men in Rustler's Canyon, Red Hawk lent his warriors to help in their capture.[9]

When it appears that the Cougar is attacking their livestock and horses, Red Hawk leads a band of warriors to capture and kill the beast, unaware that the attacks are the work of Black Cougar a man he exiled many years earlier. When he returned from the hunt empty handed, Red Hawk was horrified to find that his niece White Swan was kidnapped by Black Cougar. She was eventually rescued thanks to the Apache Kid.[10] Soon after, Bald Eagle, the "father" of all the local Native American tribes came to Red Hawk demanding that he join his army in an attack on Fort Madison. Red Hawk gave into this pressure until Apache Kid refused to join the battle. When the Kid fled capture, Red Hawk was even more reluctant to go to war, and Bald Eagle had Red Hawk and his warriors imprisoned as a result. However, Red Hawk and his men broke free from their bonds and came to the assistance to the soldiers of Fort Madison, driving Bald Eagle and his army away.[11] Soon afterward, Red Hawk and his warriors worked with the army to try and prevent Gunner Simmons and his gang from fleeing across the state line. Soon after, Running Moose was brought to trial and Red Hawk was shocked when the Apache Kid vouched for his future compliance. However, this was all part of a plan to force Running Moose into making another attempt on the Apache Kid's life. Red Hawk and his people watched as the Apache Kid slew Running Moose in combat. Soon after a drought plagued the Apache lands, bringing with it a famine. When Red Hawk could not provide a solution to this problem a brave named Big Thunder convinced malcontents in the tribe to band together. Big Thunder then reminded the Apache people of a tribal law that demanded the sacrifice of their tribal leader if he should fail to bring rain, an offering to the gods. However, Big Thunder's only intent in this regard was to take control of the tribe. Red Hawk surrendered himself, but White Swan soon took his place -- citing a clause that allowed for a woman to be sacrificed in the place of their tribal leader. When Apache Kid attempted to stop Big Thunder and his followers from burning White Swan at the stake, he too was captured and put on a stake to burn along with her. Seeing the two people he loved most about to be sacrificed, Red Hawk appealed to the rain gods and seemingly succeeded in calling the rain, putting out the fire and saving the lives of the Apache Kid and White Swan. The Kid then forced Big Thunder to confess his motivations and face justice.[12]


Old Age

As the years progress, Red Hawk began to show physical signs of aging, but despite this he continued to lead his tribe.

Red Hawk and his people were later taken prisoner by Tall Beaver and his tribe of Blackeagles. He was later freed by the Apache Kid and helped wipe out the tribe of renegades.[13] Soon after, Red Hawk fell ill and the tribal medicine man attempted to call to the gods for a cure. However, the medicine man's son tricked them into thinking the gods wanted the Apache Kid sacrificed to cure him. This was all a plot to removed Red Hawk and Apache Kid and take over the tribe. However, the Apache Kid returned with a doctor from Fort Madison who cured Red Hawk, and the medicine man's son was killed battling his Kid.[14] Red Hawk was next targeted by outlaw Blackjack Dillon, who sent the renegade Native American named Long Panther to murder Red Hawk. This was a means to follow the funeral procession to the site of a secret Apache burial ground so he could pilfer the treasures hidden there. The Apache Kid uncovered the plot and saved Red Hawk's life. Red Hawk then pretended to be dead so that the Apache Kid could lure Dillon into a trap. At the burial ground, Dillon was driven insane when he saw Red Hawk alive and well, thinking him a spirit risen from the grave.[15] Later, Red Hawk was deposed as leader of his tribe by the superstitious Dragon Face, who attempted to sacrifice Mary Gregory to his gods. The Apache Kid slew Dragon Face, leading to Red Hawk being restored as leader of the Apaches.[16]

When Red Hawk fell ill, the totems of the tribe changed to call out for war. The Apache people almost went to battle against the soldiers at Fort Madison and the rival Coho tribe, but the Apache Kid thwarted this conflict and Red Hawk eventually recovered.[17] Later when the Croyos came to ask Red Hawk to allow their tribe to pass through Apache land to go to war against Fort Madison, Red Hawk refused, leading to a battle between the Apache Kid and and Croyo leader Yellow Feather, a battle the Apache Kid won.[18] When the Apache village was being destroyed by fire, Red Hawk presumed that it was the soldiers at Fort Madison and ordered his men to prepare for war. When the Apache Kid refused to join the battle, Red Hawk ordered him sequestered while the battle went on. However the warpath was soon ended when Aloysius Kare exposed an outlaw named Buzz as the real perpetrator. Not long after this, Red Hawk had to be saved during a buffalo stampede showing the tribe he was too old to protect himself. As was the law he had to walk the "sunset trail" in exile. Not wishing his adopted father to be removed from the tribe, the Apache Kid orchestrated a battle between himself and Red Hawk. Red Hawk won the fight by his own skill and was reinstated as leader of the Apaches.[19]

Red Hawk was later convinced by the Apache Kid to join forces with the US Army in stopping Swift Buffalo and his tribe of Sioux who were going on the warpath. Fighting the Sioux in battle, both Red Hawk and Apache Kid were defeated and taken prisoner. The Apaches, losing faith in their leader then joined with the Sioux and prepared for war. However the war was called off when Red Hawk and the Apache Kid managed to break free and escape and later the Apache Kid was able to defeat Swift Buffalo in single combat, winning back the tribe for Red Hawk. Shortly thereafter his tribe suffered a drought that was believed to have been a sign that the gods were angry. Despite this Red Hawk protested when the Apache Kid attempted to brave the so-called "River of No Return" as a plea to make it rain. However the Apache Kid managed to survive the rapids and by either miracle or coincidence it began to rain soon after.[20] Later, Red Hawk was tricked by a warrior named Flying Eagle into believing that the United States Army was no longer honouring the Apaches right to their hunting ground and called his people to war. However, the Apache Kid managed to keep the peace by revealing that Flying Eagle was working with a man named Mr. Jennings in a complex plot to have the Apaches wiped out so they could both profit from using the Apache hunting grounds. In his last recorded appearance, Red Hawk briefly hid his followers from the Army when the Apaches were framed by Joe Moss and his gang who ransacked an entire town disguised as the noble Native American tribe.[21]



Red Hawk might have some mystical affinity, as he was seen in at least one instance as calling to the Native American gods to bring upon rain.[12]



Red Hawk had access to weapons that were common among the Apache people during the American Frontier: Bow and arrow, tomahawks, knives, spears. At one point his tribe had access to rifles provided to them by Fannin, but it appears that they stopped using such weapons following the discovery that Fannin was profiteering from their war with white settlers and was subsequently killed by the Apache Kid.


Red Hawk rides a horse.


It has since been revealed that many of Apache Kid's early adventures were really dime story western novels that were fictional stories adapted from real life events.[22][1] Thus, the history of Red Hawk -- if he ever truly existed -- could be vastly different than what is depicted here.

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