Ohio History Journal

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VOLUME 66 ?? NUMBER 2 ?? APRIL 1957





The Removal of the Wyandots from Ohio




The history of the removal of the Woodland Indians of the

eastern half of the United States to new        homes in the West in

the 1830's and 1840's under the auspices of the United States

government was a significant phase of the westward movement

of the white man across the continent--if only for the fact that it

was one solution employed in answering the complex problems

involved in the clash between two seemingly incompatible cultures.

Although the removal idea dated from the time of the Louisiana

Purchase in 1803,1 the formulation of a definite removal policy

did not emerge until the administration of President James Monroe.

On January 25, 1825, President Monroe submitted to congress a

special message in which he proposed "the removal of the Indian

tribes from the lands which they now occupy within the limits of

the several States and Territories to the country lying westward

and northward thereof, within our acknowledged boundaries."2 In

* Carl G. Klopfenstein is professor of history and chairman of the department of

history at Heidelberg College, Tiffin.

His article was read as a paper at a meeting of the American Indian Ethnohistoric

Conference which was held in Columbus, November 2-3, 1956, under the joint sponsor-

ship of Ohio State University and the Ohio Historical Society.

1 The first direct and official proposal for Indian removal appears as the central idea

in the rough draft of a constitutional amendment drawn up by President Jefferson in

July 1803 to allay his qualms on the constitutionality of the purchase of Louisiana.

Annie H. Abel, "The History of Events Resulting in Indian Consolidation West of the

Mississippi," Annual Report of the American Historical Association for 1906 (Wash-

ington, 1908), I, 241-242.

2 James D. Richardson, ed., A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the

Presidents (Washington, 1896-99), II, 280-282.