northeastern Hillsdale and northwestern Lenawee counties, Michigan.166 The Miamis in Richardville's (Pacane' s) village, by 1795, had moved southwest from Ft. Wayne to a location near the mouth of the Mississinewa River, near present-day Peru, Indiana.167
Although representatives from both Miami villages attended the Treaty of Greenville of August 3, 1795 (7 Stats. 49), only two Miami chiefs- Le Gris and Little Turtle, both from the same village- spoke at the Treaty conference. Le Gris confined his remarks to words of greeting, to statements of friendship for the United States, and to requests for food and drink. Little Turtle, however, was more vocal and expressed himself strongly as to the reservations and boundary lines proposed by Wayne.
One oft-quoted speech by Little Turtle is that in which he delimited "the boundaries of the Miami nation."168 However, as often as this speech has been quoted, just as often has it been ignored that Little Turtle prefaced his remarks by stating to Wayne, "I wish to inform you where your younger
168. Little Turtle delimited the boundaries thus: "My forefather kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence, he extended his lines to the head waters of Scioto; from thence, to its mouth; from thence, down the Ohio, to the mouth of the Wabash, and from thence to Chicago, on lake Michigan" (American State Papers, Indian Affairs, vol. 1, pp. 570-571; Dft. Ex. 96).
brothers, the Miamies, live, and, also, the Pattawatamies of St. Joseph's, together with the Wabash Indians."169 However Little Turtle did not delimit any specific area for either the Potawatomi of St. Joseph or the "Wabash Indians." All the Wabash Indians - i.e., Wea, Eel River, Kickapoo, Mascouten, and Piankashaw- and the Potawatomi of St. Joseph had lived for over 65 years in the area Little Turtle claimed for "the Miami nation." In his reply to Little Turtle's speech Wayne questioned Little Turtle's claim, observing that Little Turtle's
boundaries enclose a very
large space of
In 1795 Little Turtle made two other statements concerning what lands belonged to the Indians. In June, prior to the Greenville Treaty negotiations, he told an army officer stationed at Fort Defiance, an American fort at the junction of the Au Glaize and Maumee rivers, that the land there "was once his own property."171 The other statement was made near the end of the proceedings of the Treaty of Greenville. After Wayne had delimited the proposed reservations and boundaries
170. Ibid., vol. 1, p. 573; Dft. Ex. 96. Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, vol. 17, p. 222; Dft. Ex. 64. Indiana Historical Society Publications, vol. 3, pp. 311-312; Dft. Ex. 79.
Little Turtle strenuously objected to the proposed western boundary of the main cession, which ran in a straight line from Fort Recovery, in western Ohio, southeastward to the mouth of the Kentucky River. In the name of almost all of the tribes in attendance at Greenville, Little Turtle stated that such a line gave the Americans "the greater and best part" of the Indians' hunting ground, and he again reiterated the Miamis' claim to lands in western Ohio. Little Turtle proposed that the boundary be moved eastward, to run from Fort Recovery to Fort Hamilton in southwestern Ohio, and from thence to the mouth of the Great Miami River. Wayne objected, however, to Little Turtle's proposal, and in his answer, which he directed to the Miamis, stated that all the other Indian groups assembled at Greenville had accepted the boundary line proposed by the United States. He therefore refused to agree to Little Turtle's alternate boundary.172
The location of Little Turtle's village on Bean Creek in southern Michigan was a temporary one. After the close of the Greenville Treaty proceedings proper Little Turtle held a private conference with Wayne, in which he assured the General that he would live near the newly built Fort Wayne. This promise did not necessarily mean that Little Turtle would return to the site of his and Le Gris' former village, since by this time Fort Wayne had been built on the
site. Later statements indicate that after 1795 Little Turtle and Le Gris moved their village to the head of Eel River, probably near the site of Columbia City, Indiana, about 18-20 miles north of the forks of the Wabash, or junction of the Little Wabash and Wabash. This was the location of their village in 1804.174
By the beginning of the 19th century, then, both the Miami villages which formerly were located at the head of the Maumee River were in new locations- the Le Gris-Little Turtle village was probably near Columbia City, Indiana, 20 miles west of Fort Wayne, and the Pacane-Richardville village was near the mouth of the Mississinewa River, 50 miles west and south of Fort Wayne.175 The two Miami chiefs who in 1790 had gone west of the Mississippi had returned to northern Indiana. A discussion of what resulted from their return, and of the attitudes of the various Miami chiefs during the period 1800-1805 is contained in the chapter on the Treaty of Grouseland in Volume 2 of this Report.
Summary and Conclusions. At the opening of the period 1710-1805 the indications are that the Miami proper were probably living in northern Indiana, on or near the headwaters of the Maumee River. By 1718 we know with certainty that the
174. Maryland Historical Magazine, vol. 4, p. 16; Dft. Ex. 114.
Miamis' village was located at Kekionga or present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana, at the head of the Maumee. Efforts of the French, who for several years had been trying to persuade the Miamis to move from the Maumee to the St. Joseph River of Michigan, were only partially successful. For more than 70 years, from at least 1718 up to 1790, present Fort Wayne and its immediate vicinity was a focal village-location point for most of the Miamis most of the time. Other Miami village locations during the period 1718-1790 were mainly temporary locations, and were as follows:
a) In 1733 the Miami deserted Kekionga, due to a smallpox epidemic in their village, and went to southeastern Ohio and northern Indiana. They returned to Kekionga the next year.
b) In 1749 La Demoiselle, leader of the pro-British faction of the Miami, left Kekionga to be nearer the English traders in Ohio. He established his village of Pickawillany at present Piqua, Miami County, Ohio. Pickawillany grew rapidly, but was burned by the French in 1752, at which time all except a few of its Miami inhabitants moved back to Kekionga.
c) In 1749 another pro-British Miami chief, Le Baris, had a small village on the Little Miami River, 7.5 miles from its mouth. What happened to the Miamis in Le Baris' village we do not know, but probably this village did not remain in existence for long, since there are no notices of it in post-1749 lists of Miami villages.
Continuation of Chapter II
Go to Chapter III
Return to Anth. Rep. Docket 317 Volume I Table of Contents
Go to Anth. Rep. Docket 317 Volume II Table of Contents
Return to Ohio Valley - Great Lakes Ethnohistory Archive Menu
Return to Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology List of Publications
Return to Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology Home