Ohio History Journal

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The name "Maumee" is a variant of Miami, and comes from

the Miami Indian tribe. When the French first came into the

Northwest they found the Miami living in eastern Wisconsin.

Following LaSalle's advent in the Illinois country they moved

southward around Lake Michigan and for many years (c. 1690-

1702) one of their important towns was located in the present-

day Chicago Loop. Eventually they journeyed eastward to the

Maumee, with villages at Fort Wayne, Defiance, and other points,

and their name became permanently identified with the beautiful

river and valley they had appropriated.

In the era when wilderness was king and practically all travel

was by water, the Maumee and Wabash rivers constituted one of

the chief highways of travel between the Great Lakes and the

Mississippi River system. For this reason the Maumee Valley is

associated with the earliest activities of the French in the western

country. Over its possession red race and white, and French,

British, and American nations for generations contended. Before

the white man arrived the lovely valley, "fair as a garden of the

Gods," was the highway of uncounted war parties from the Great

Lakes journeying southward to wage against the southern tribes

the long warfare which made of Kentucky a vacant wilderness

and won for it a name which means "the dark and bloody ground."

In 1749 the French army of Celoron from distant Montreal, re-

turning from its mission of warning the English out of the Ohio

Valley, descended the Maumee from Fort Wayne to Lake Erie

and Detroit, and a memorial of this expedition still remains in

the name of Celoron Island, lying in the mouth of Detroit River.

In 1752, young Charles de Langlade led his Ottawa warriors from

Mackinac up the Maumee on his mission of vengeance against

Pickawillany, and the chief, Old Britain, for the crime of showing