Description: Reproduction of a portrait of Mishikinakwa, also known as Little Turtle, a war chief of the Miami Tribe, ca. 1790-1812. Little Turtle and Shawnee chief Tecumseh led the Miami and Shawnee people in their resistance against white settlers in the western part of Ohio. They successfully defeated United States soldiers led by Josiah Harmar in October 1790, and soldiers led by Arthur St. Clair in 1791. After an attack on Fort Recovery failed in 1794, Little Turtle recommended negotiation with the settlers while other chiefs wanted to continue fighting. The American Indians lost at the Battle of Fallen Timbers and in 1795 they signed the Treaty of Greenville, ceding most of the territory of Ohio to the settlers. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AL02985 Subjects: Little Turtle, 1747?-1812; Miami Indians; American Indian history and society; Ohio History--Settlement and Early Statehood; Places: Ohio
Description: This photograph of a hand-drawn military map shows the encampment and disposition of forces during St. Clair's Defeat on November 4, 1791, near the future Fort Recovery, Ohio. St. Clair's Defeat is also known as the Battle of the Wabash and the Battle of Kekionga. The sketch shows the battle lines and location of battalions, artillery, the American Indian forces, and line of retreat. A handwritten caption reads: "The light I am in will not give me time fully to explain this plan of the action of the [indecipherable]."
In November 1791, Arthur St. Clair, the governor of the Northwest Territory, led a U.S. military force against the Miami tribe in the area of the Wabash River in western Ohio, near several Miami villages. On the morning of November 4, under the leadership of Shawnee chief Weyapiersenwah (Blue Jacket) and Miami chief Mishikinakwa (Little Turtle), a large alliance of seasoned volunteer warriors moved against the attacking forces. The American Indians engaged in the battle came primarily from nine different tribes, including the Wyandots, Seneca, Cherokee, Ojibwe, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Delaware, and Miami.
Many of the militiamen under St. Clair immediately fled as the American Indians surrounded their’ camp. After three hours of fighting, the remaining U.S. soldiers fought their way out and began a lengthy retreat. The survivors reached Fort Jefferson late that afternoon and evening. Facing limited quantities of food and supplies at Fort Jefferson, St. Clair ordered his forces to Fort Washington. Of the 1,400 men who served under St. Clair, 623 soldiers were killed and another 258 wounded. One of the survivors stated, "The ground was literally covered with the dead." The American Indians had soundly defeated St. Clair's army; this loss, one of the worst defeats of the American military at the hands of the American Indians, would come to be known as "St. Clair’s Defeat."
View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AL06996 Subjects: Military maps; Military encampments; Kekionga, Battle of, Ohio, 1791; St. Clair, Arthur, 1734-1818; Little Turtle, 1747?-1812; Miami Indians; Fort Recovery (Ohio); Places: Fort Recovery (Ohio); Mercer County (Ohio)
Description: This hand-colored lithograph of the celebrated Miami Chief Francis Godfroy is based on a painting by James Otto Lewis, ca. 1827. Francis Godfroy (1788–1840) was born and lived in what is now the state of Indiana; his Miami name was Palaanswa. He was the son of a French trader and a Miami woman. Godfroy, along with other Miami leaders, used his status as a trader and negotiator to secure higher payments for Miami lands ceded through treaty, and to delay the forced removal of his people for longer than many other Midwestern tribes.
This portrait appeared in Lewis's book "Aboriginal Portfolio," published in ten parts beginning in 1835. Lewis painted from life, generally finding his subjects gathered for treaty negotiations with the United States government. He was paid for these portraits by the War Department, which at that time had control over all federal relationships with American Indians. Godfroy's clothing choice in this portrait reflects both his mixed heritage and contemporary use of European clothing by American Indians. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: OVS3309 Subjects: American Indian tribal leaders; Myaamia Tribe (Miami); American Indians--Portraits; Treaties; Places: Fort Wayne (Indiana)
Description: Engraved portrait of Colonel John Johnston (1775-1861), who helped negotiate the Treaty of Upper Sandusky in 1842 and was a strong advocate of the Whig party. President James Madison selected Johnston as the Indian Agent overseeing the native reservations in northwestern Ohio. Johnston helped found Kenyon College and also served on the board of trustees of Miami University, in addition to publishing one of the earliest histories of the Native Americans that once called Ohio home. The portrait is taken from "Howe's Historical Collections of Ohio" by Henry Howe, 1907. View on Ohio Memory. Image ID: AL03983 Subjects: Piqua (Ohio); Ohio History--Presidents and Politics; Wyandot Indians--History; Miami University; Kenyon College Places: Piqua (Ohio); Miami County (Ohio)
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