Ohio History Journal

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Today we stand in the heart of the historic Maumee Valley.

Long before any written records chronicled the story of the region,

French traders moved up and down the river in the long journey

between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Basin. To the

French, the site of Defiance was known as Au Glaize or Grand

Glaize. Among the Indians it was the site of the Tu-en-da-wie

village of the Wyandots and the En-sa-woc-sa of the Shawnees.1

Here, too, according to the tradition handed down by the great

chief, Richardville,2 was the birthplace of Pontiac, the masterful

leader of the Ottawas.3

During the eighteenth century, when France and Great Britain

were struggling for control of the region west of the Allegheny

Mountains, Celeron de Blainville was sent to claim the Ohio coun-

try for the King of France. In 1749 he buried leaden plates in the

Ohio Valley as a means of asserting the rights of the French king.

On the return journey, Celeron's French army traveled down the

Maumee on its way to Detroit.       The chaplain of the expedition

tells us in his journal that as the troops came through the Defiance

region (about October 1, 1749) "at almost every instant we were

stopped by beds of flat stones, over which it was necessary to drag

our pirogues by main force. I will say, however, that at intervals

were found beautiful reaches of smooth water, but they were few

and short."4 Three years later (1752) Charles de Langlade, rep-

1 Henry Howe, Historical Collections of Ohio (Norwalk, 1896), I, 542.

2 Jean Baptist Richardville or Peshewah, was the son of a French trader and

Tecumwah, sister of Little Turtle. Born in the vicinity of Fort Wayne about 1761,

he died there in August, 1841. From 1812 until his death he was head chief of the

Miamis and apparently one of the richest Indians in North America. Bert J. Gris-

wold, ed., Fort Wayne, Gateway of the West, in Indiana Historical Collections. XV

(Indianapolis, 1927), 29-30.

3 Horace S. Knapp, History of the Maumee Valley (Toledo, 1876), 585.

4 Reuben G. Thwaites, ed., The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, 1610-1791

(Cleveland, 1896-1901), LXIX. 191.