Ohio History Journal

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We have a few original sources of information about the

Indians of the Northwest in and about Kekionga, now Fort

Wayne, at the time of Harmar's expedition in the fall of 1790.

George Croghan in 1765 traveled the length of the Wabash to

Kekionga and gave an excellent report to his superiors in the East.

In the winter of 1789-90 Henry Hay, representing British mer-

chants in Detroit, visited Kekionga and kept a diary of his stay

in the Miami village, and of his visits roundabout. In the spring

of 1790 Colonel Hamtramck, commander at Vincennes, sent

Antoine Gamelin, a Frenchman, with a message of good will to

the Indians along the Wabash and to Kekionga. One of the finest

of recent histories reviewing all this and adding much information

is the book, The Land of the Miamis, by Judge Elmore Barce.

The leading tribe was that of the Miamis, with several divi-

sions. Their chief town and capital, if it may be so called, was at

Kekionga. There were strong divisions of this tribe along Eel

River and the Mississinewa, called Eel Rivers and Mississinewas,

the Weas at Ouiatenon near the present Lafayette, and the Pianka-

shaws near Vincennes. The Miamis, who once claimed all of

Indiana and western Ohio as their ancient domain, still held the

Wabash and the strategic center here at the junction of the St.

Mary's and the St. Joseph. To the north in the Michigan penin-

sulas were the tribes composing "The Three Fires," the ancient

Chippewa with their kindred, the Ottawa and the Potawatomi.

The Potawatomi had spread over northern and western Indiana,

where they were closely connected with the Kickapoo from Illinois.

The Ottawa had spread over northwestern Ohio, north of the

Maumee. The Hurons, or Wyandots, were masters of the land

east of the Auglaize and south of Lake Erie. South of them were

the ancient Delawares. The Shawnees, having been driven from

their former homes in the South, had settled chiefly in southern