Word Origin & History
chief of an Amer. Indian tribe, 1622, from Narragansett (Algonquian) sachimau "chief, ruler," cognate with Abenaki sangman, Delaware sakima, Micmac sakumow, Penobscot sagumo (source of sagamore, 1613). Applied jocularly to a prominent member of any society from 1684; specific political use in U.S. is
from 1890, from its use as the title of the 12 high officials of the Tammany Society of New York.