Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. (noun) A chief among a Native American tribe or confederation, especially an Algonquian chief.
- n. (noun) One of a body of high officials in the Tammany Society of New York City. The sachems proper number twelve, and the head of the society is styled grand sachem.
'Sachem' comes from the Narragansett (Algonquian) 'sachimau,' chief, ruler.
“That Algonquin word 'sachem,' so seldom used, so difficult of pronunciation by the Iroquois, was never employed to designate a councilor in council; there they used the title, Roy-a-neh, and to that title had I answered the belt of the Iroquois, in the name of Kayanehenh-Kowa, the Great Peace.”
“A Seneca sachem of the highest class, he was born at the Indian village of Ga-no-wau-ges, near Avon, about the year 1735, and died at Onondaga in 1815, where he happened to be on one of his pastoral visits.”
“Chloe was affiliated with the Democratic party, and had been chosen one of the captains of its citadel, a sachem of Tammany.”