Little Turtle portrait   Save
Little Turtle portrait
Description: Color portrait of Miami chief Mishikinakwa (Little Turtle). Little Turtle was a war leader of the Miami tribe. He was born in about 1752, twenty miles northwest of modern-day Fort Wayne, Indiana. Little is known of his life before the 1790s, although he did help the British in the American Revolution. With the Treaty of Paris (1783), England gave up all claims to the Ohio Country. Settlers rapidly came across the Appalachian Mountains to the Northwest Territory. Little Turtle played a leading role in American Indian resistance to the encroaching European populations. In 1790, General Josiah Harmar led 1,400 soldiers into land claimed by the Miami and the Shawnee. In October of that year, Little Turtle and his followers, including the future Shawnee chief Tecumseh, succeeded in driving out Harmar's men. This battle became known as Harmar's Defeat. In 1791, General Arthur St. Clair led 2,000 U.S. soldiers against the American Indians in western Ohio. Once again, Little Turtle, along with Shawnee chief Weyapiersenwah (Blue Jacket), led a large alliance of American Indians to victory at a battle known as St. Clair's Defeat--one of the worst defeats ever sustained by the U.S. military in their conflicts with Americans Indians. After failing to to seize Fort Recovery in 1794, Little Turtle encouraged his followers to negotiate with the United States. Other native war leaders refused to listen, and insisted that Wayne's army must be fought. Shortly after rejecting Little Turtle's call for peace, American Indian forces lost the Battle of Fallen Timbers. In 1795, American Indians living in western Ohio sent representatives to Fort Greene Ville where they met in council with the U.S. After lengthy discussion, they signed the Treaty of Greenville. The natives, including Little Turtle, agreed to give all but the northwestern corner of modern-day Ohio to the United States. Little Turtle refused to take up arms against the United States ever again. He became a celebrity among the United States public, visiting many eastern cities and even meeting George Washington in 1797. He urged his fellow American Indians to keep the peace and also encouraged them to give up alcohol. He died on July 14, 1812, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL07056
Subjects: Ohio History--Settlement and Early Statehood; American Indian tribal leaders; Miami Tribe
Places: Ohio