Ohio History Journal

218 Ohio Arch

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Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen of Darke County, Fellow


One hundred years have passed since that eventful day in

August when the treaty of Greenville was signed. The different

nations of Indians present and parties to the treaty consisted of

one hundred and eight Wyandots, three hundred and eighty Del-

awares, one hundred and forty-three Shawanese, forty-five Otta-

was, forty-six Chippewas, two hundred and forty Pottawattomies,

seventy-three Miamies and Eel Rivers, twelve Weas and Pianki-

shaws, and ten Kickapoos and Kaskaskias - making a total of

eleven hundred and thirty chiefs and warriors.

The Indians active in the Council were Little Turtle, chief

of the Miamies, Blue Jacket and Massas, chiefs of the Shawanese,

Te-ta-bosksh-ke, king of the Delawares and Buck-on-ge-he-las

and Pe-ke-te-le-mund, chiefs of the Delawares, Sun and New

Corn and Asi-me-the, chiefs of the Pottawattomies, Mash-i-pi-

nash-i-wish, or Bad Bird, chief of the Chippewas, Kick-a-poo

and Kee-a-hah, chiefs of the Kickapoos, Little Brave, chief of

the Weas, Tar-ke, or Crane, chief of the Wyandots, Black Hoof

and Ah-goosh-a-way, chiefs of the Ottawas. Every chief and

warrior who participated in that Council has passed to the land

of the Great Spirit. General Wayne died on Lake Erie; and,

doubtless, the dying hero saw in its turbulent waters, at times,

something of his own unconquerable will, and, at others, that

quiet which would come at last to his restless soul.

The influence of the Treaty still remains. It saved defense-

less settlements from the tomahawk and scalping knife of the In-

dian, and opened up to immigration and settlement the limitless

West. It is the testimony of history that the Confederate tribes

kept the faith pledged at Greenville, and never violated the limits

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            219


established by the Treaty. The writer of the article on Ohio in

the American Commonwealth says that it was a grand tribute to

General Wayne that no chief or warrior who gave him the hand

at Greenville ever after lifted the hatchet against the United

States. There were malcontents on the Wabash and Lake Mich-

igan who took side's with Tecumseh and the Prophet in the war

of 1812, perhaps for good cause, but the tribes and their chiefs

sat still. Tecumseh himself, with his brother, the prophet, re-

sided at Greenville from 1805 to 1808, and the Shawanese, when

moving from their reservation on the Auglaize in 1832, encamped

on Tecumseh Point and remained a day or two to take a last


We have gathered to-day on this historic ground, and under

the genial skies of this delightful summer afternoon, to com-

memorate the most important civic event - next to the adoption

of the ordinance of 1787 - in the history of the Northwestern

territory. It was the beginning of an era of prosperity, and the

tide of immigration at once set in for new homes and new settle-

ments. The future now lay in the direction of peace and the

cultivation of the arts of peace. The pioneers began to come

to the valleys of the Miamies, the Scioto and the Muskingum.

The population of the Northwest at the close of the year follow-

ing the Treaty of Greenville has been estimated at five thousand

souls. The stillness of the forest was now broken by the sound

of the woodman's axe.



In October, 1792, a great Council of all the tribes of the

Northwest was held at Au-Glaise - now the city of Defiance.

It was the largest Indian Council of the time. The Confederated

Tribes of the Northwestern territory were represented in the

Council at the confluence of Au-Glaise and the Miami of the

Lakes. Even the representatives of the Seven Nations of Can-

ada were present. Corn Planter and forty-eight chiefs of the

Six Nations of New York were present. "Besides these," said

Corn Planter, "there were so many nations that we cannot tell

the names of them. There were three men from the Gora Na-

tion; it took them a whole season to come; and twenty-seven

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nations from beyond Canada." The question of peace or war

was earnestly discussed. The chiefs of the Shawanese insisted

upon war, while Red Jacket, the chief of the Senecas, declared

for peace.

It is interesting to follow the report of their mission made

by the chiefs of the Six Nations to the Indian agent at Buffalo.

The Indians had been informed that "the President of the United

States thinks himself the greatest man on this island, but they

wished it understood that they had this country long in peace

before they saw a person with a white skin; and that when Gen-

eral Washington sent out an army into their country, with orders

to proceed as far as the Miami towns and on to the Glaize, it fell

into their hands." This referred to the defeat of General St.

Clair on the site of Fort Recovery, then a part of Darke county,

on November the 4th, 1791. If, however, the white man wished

to hold a council - General Washington being the head man -

they would treat with him at the Rapids of the Miami "at the

time when the leaves are fully out."

The armistice, however, which the hostile Indians promised

to observe "until the leaves were fully out," was not faithfully

kept, for on the sixth of November following, the Kentucky

Mounted Infantry, under Major Adair, was attacked by a body

of Indians, in the neighborhood of St. Clair, a post recently es-

tablished about twenty-five miles north of Fort Hamilton, and

near the present site of the neighboring town of Eaton.




The President of the United States, on the first of March,

1793, appointed Benjamin Lincoln, Beverly Randolph and Tim-

othy Pickering as commissioners to attend the proposed meeting

at the Rapids of the Miami (Maumee) "when the leaves were

fully out." The place of conference was afterwards changed to


The commissioners received their instructions on the 26th

of April of the same year, and on the 27th General Lincoln left

Philadelphia for Niagara by way of New York. Pickering and

Randolph left on the 30th by the route through Pennsylvania

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.           221


which led up the valleys of the Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Lycom-

ing and Coshocton across to Genessee. The commissioners on

reaching Niagara, about May 17th, were invited at once by Lieu-

tenant Governor Simcoe to take up their residence at his seat,

Navy Hall, with which invitation they complied. The commis-

sioners, on the 7th of June, addressed a communication to Gov-

ernor Simcoe that reports had been spread among the Indians

by which their prejudices had been excited. As an instance of

such unfounded reports, the commissioners had noticed the dec-

larations of a Mohawk, from Grand River, that Governor Sim-

coe advised the Indians to make peace, but not to give up their

lands. The commissioners called the attention of the Governor

to the fact that the sales and settlements of the lands over the

Ohio, founded on the treaties of Forts McIntosh and Harmar

would render it impossible to make that river the boundary.

The reply of Governor Simcoe was to the effect that ever

since the conquest of Canada it had been the principle of the

British Government to unite the American Indians so that all

petty jealousies might be fully extinguished and the real wishes

of tile Confederated tribes find full expression. This was desired

to the end that all the treaties made with them might have the

most complete ratification and universal concurrence, but

a suspicion of a contrary conduct on the part of the agents of

the United States had been deeply impressed upon the minds of

the Confederacy.





It was now the 26th of June and no news had been received

from Sandusky. The commissioners themselves prepared to

embark for the mouth of the Detroit river, but on July 15th,

while still detained by head winds, Colonel Butler, the com-

mander of the Tories at Wyoming, with Captain Brandt and

some fifty warriors, arrived from the mouth of the Maumee, and

two days afterwards, in the presence of the Governor, Brandt

declared that the Indian nations who owned the lands north of

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the Ohio river as their common property were all of one mind

and one heart on that subject.

They wished to say that the warriors of the white men in

their neighborhood prevented the meeting at the appointed place,

and to know whether the commisioners had authority to run a

new boundary line between the lands of the United States and

the Indian nations?

The Indians were assured that there need be no apprehen-

sion of hostile incursions into the Indian country, north of the

Ohio river, during the treaty of Sandusky. The Great Chief,

General Washington, was so anxious to prevent anything which

could obstruct the treaty and prolong the war that he had given

orders of that character to the Head Warrior, General Wayne,

and had informed the governors of the several states adjoining

Ohio of the treaty to be held at Sandusky. They had been re-

quested to unite with the Federal power to prevent any hostile

attempts against the Indians north of the Ohio until the result

of the conference should be made known. The governor of

Pennsylvania and Virginia had accordingly issued their orders,

and if, after all these precautions, any hostilities should be com-

mitted north of the Ohio, they must proceed from a few disor-

derly people, whom no considerations of justice or public good

can restrain.



In April, 1792, General Wayne was appointed by President

Washington Commander-in-chief of the army of the United

States. The troops under General St. Clair had been almost

annihilated in the famous defeat and were completely demoral-

ized. Indeed the Secretary of War, at parting with General

Wayne in May, 1792, expressly enjoined upon him "that another

defeat would be inexpressibly ruinous to the reputation of the


General Wayne reached Fort Washington - now Cincin-

nati- in April 1793, and commenced at once the organization

of the army, and to forward supplies to Fort Jefferson and to cut

military roads through the Indian country. These movements

of a military character awakened a distrust among the Indians

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            223


on the borders of the Maumee, and certainly were regarded by

the commissioners as calculated to endanger the success of the

negotiations. When negotiations for peace are conducted by

the Indians the whole body of the nations assemble, and not a

few counsellors. The negotiations must necessarily be delayed

if the warriors are called to watch the movements of their ene-

mies. The Mohawk chief referred to the movements of General


"The Indians have information," write the commissioners

to the Secretary of War under date of July 12, 1793, "confirmed

by repeated scouts that General Washington has cut and cleared

a road straight from Fort Washington into the Indian country,

in a direction that would have missed Fort Jefferson, but that

meeting with a large swamp, it was of necessity turned toward

that Fort, and then continued six miles beyond it; that large

quantities of provisions are accumulated at the forts, far exceed-

ing the wants of the garrison, and that numerous herds of horses

are assembled beyond Fort Jefferson, guarded by considerable

bodies of troops. With these preparations for war in their

neighborhood, for it is but three days' journey from thence to

the Glaize, they say their minds cannot rest easy. The distance

here mentioned is from Captain Brandt's information, and is, no

doubt, exact. We suppose that from twenty to twenty-five miles

may be deemed a day's journey."

The declaration of Corn Planter made to General Wayne in

his tent at Legionsville, on his way from Pittsburg to Fort

Washington, in 1793, that the Ohio river must be the boundary

between the Indians and the white people, impressed that officer

that any attempt at pacification by treaty were useless. The Sec-

retary of War advised him that the sentiment of the citizens of

the United States was adverse to an Indian war, and that a Com-

mission had been named to treat with the Indians in the hope

of securing peace. No effort was spared in the meantime to se-

cure the efficiency of the army, and Wayne even sent to Ken-

tucky for mounted volunteers. Subsequent events vindicated the

soundness of his judgment as well as his knowledge of the people

of the frontier whom he was to defend, and of the foe whom he

was commissioned to subdue.

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The commissioners left Fort Erie on the 14th of July and on

the 21st of July arrived at the mouth of the Detroit river. The

British authorities prevented any further advance, and they took

up their quarters at the house of Matthew Elliott, the famous

renegade, then a subordinate agent in the British Indian De-

partment. Colonel McKee, the Indian agent, was in attendance

at the Council, and the commissioners addressed him a note,

borne by Elliott, to inform the Indians of their arrival and ask

when they could be received. Elliott returned on the 29th of

July, bringing with him a deputation of twenty chiefs from the

Council. On the following day Sa-waghda-munk, chief of the

Wyandots, submitted the action of the General Council at the

foot of the Miami Rapids on the 27th of July, 1793, in behalf of

the whole Confederacy, and signed by the Wyandots. Delawares,

Shawanese, Miamies, Mingoes, Pottawattamies, Ottawas, Con-

noys, Chippewas and Munsees, Seven Nations of Canada, Sen-

ecas of the Glaize, Nanticohees, Mohicans, Creeks and Cher-


The Council declared that the boundary line run by the

white people at Fort Stanwix was the Ohio river, and if the white

men desired a firm and lasting peace they must immediately re-

move all their people from this side of the river.

The Indians were reminded that while at the treaty of Fort

Stanwix, twenty-five years before, the river Ohio was agreed on

as the boundary line between them and the white people of the

British colonies, that seven years after that boundary was fixed

a quarrel broke out between their father, the King of Great

Britain, and the people of the Colonies, who are now the people

of the United States. The quarrel was ended by the treaty of

peace made by the king, about ten years ago, by which the Great

Lakes, and the waters which unite them, were by him declared to

be the boundaries of the United States.

The attention of the Indians was called to the fact that peace

having thus been made between the king of Great Britain and

the United States, it remained to make peace between them and

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            225

the Indian nations who had taken part with the king; for this

purpose commissioners were appointed, who sent messengers to

all those Indian nations, inviting them to come and make peace.

The first treaty had been held about nine years before, at Fort

Stanwix, with the Six Nations, which had stood firm and unvio-

lated. The next treaty was made about ninety days after at Fort

McIntosh, with the Half-King of the Wyandots, Captain Pipe,

and other chiefs, in behalf of the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa

and Chippewa nations. Treaties were made afterward witch di-

vers Indian nations south of the Ohio river; and the next treaty

was made with Ka-ki-pila-thy, then present, and other Shawanese

chiefs, in behalf of the Shawanese nations, at the mouth of the

Great which which runs into the Ohio river.

The Great Council of the United States -  referring to

Congress - had disposed of large tracts of land thereby ceded.

and a great number of people had removed from other parts of

the United States and settled upon them. Many families of their

ancient fathers, the French, came over the waters and settled

upon a part of the same lands. This had reference to the French

settlement at Gallipolis.

When it appeared that a number of the Indians were dis-

satisfied with the treaties of Fort McIntosh and Miami, the Great

Council of the United States had appointed Governor St. Clair

Commissioner, with full powers, for the purpose of removing all

causes of controversy, regulating trade and settling boundaries

between the Indian nations in the northern departments and the

United States. Governor St. Clair sent messengers to all the

nations concerned to meet him at a Council fire which he kindled

at the falls of the Muskingum. The fire was put out and so

another Council fire was kindled at Fort Harmar, when near

six hundred Indians of different nations attended. The treaty

of Fort Stanwix was then renewed and confirmed by the Six

Nations, and the treaty of Fort McIntosh was renewed and con-

firmed by the Wyandots and Delawares. Some Ottawas, Chip-

pewas, Pottawattamies and Sacs were also parties to this treaty

at Fort Harmar.

It was explicitly declared that it would be impossible to

make the river Ohio the boundary line between their people and

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the United States. The United States only wished to have con-

firmed all the lands ceded to them by the treaty of Fort Harmar,

and also a small tract of land at the Rapids of Ohio, claimed by

General Clark for the use of himself and warriors. The United

States offered to give, in consideration of the same, such a large

sum in money or goods as was never given at one time for any

quantity of Indian lands since the white people first set their

foot on this Island.



The commissioners of the United States had formerly set

up a claim to their whole country, southward of the Great Lakes,

as the property of the United States. It was now conceded that

the right of soil of all this country from the Great Lakes south-

ward was in the Indian Nations so long as they desired to occupy

the same. The only claim now made was that to the particular

tracts and the general right of preemption, or the right of pur-

chasing of the Indian Nations disposed to sell their lands - to

the exclusion of white people whatever.

The Indians denied that the treaties of Fort Stanwix, Beaver

Creek (Fort McIntosh) and other places were not complete, and

insisted that the Ohio river had been fixed as the boundary by

Sir William Johnson, and that they would not give up the land.

It was agreed between those deputed by the confederated In-

dians and Governor St. Clair that no bargains or sale of any

part of these Indian lands would be considered as valid or bind-

ing unless ratified by a general council of the confederacy, and

yet the treaty for the cession of an immense country was held

with a few chiefs of two or three nations, who were in no man-

ner authorized to make any grant or concession whatever. It

is now expected that since their independence is acknowledged

they should, in return for the favor surrender to their country.

The Indians, with surpassing eloquence, resisted the con-

tention that they had ever made any agreement with the king,

or with any other nation, to give to either the exclusive right of

purchasing their lands, and declared that they were free to make

any bargain or cession of lands whenever and to whomsoever

they pleased. If the white people made a treaty that none of them

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.           227

but the king should purchase the land of the Indians, and had

given the right to the United States, it is an affair that concerns

the king and the United States. The power yet remains to be

exercised by the Indians. They would retreat no further, and

had resolved to leave their bones in the small space to which

they were confined. Justice alone would be done by permitting

the boundary line of the Ohio river to remain between the In-

dians and the whites, and without such consent no conference

would be held.




The commissioners who were still at Captain Elliott's, at

the mouth of the Detroit river, sent the word to the chiefs and

warriors of the Indian nations assembled at the foot of the

Maumee Rapids, on the 16th day of August, 1793, that since it

was impossible to make the river Ohio the boundary between

the lands of the Indians and the lands of the United States the

negotiations were at an end. It was a matter of much regret

that peace could not be obtained, but knowing the upright and

liberal views of the United States, which had been explained so

far as an opportunity had been given, impartial judges would

not attribute the war to them.




All negotiations with the Indian tribes of the Northwest to

secure a permanent and lasting peace were now terminated.

There was nothing left but the arbitrament of battle. The con-

federate tribes would not lay down their arms except on the one

condition that the Ohio river should forever be the boundary

line between their people and the United States. No thought-

ful student can read the proceedings and declarations of these

great councils of the Confederated tribes without being pro-

foundly moved by the high patriotism and lofty devotion of these

statesmen of the wilderness. The Confederacy which the great

Pontiac had formed thirty years before to protect his race had

perished under an advancing civilization, and they now deter--

mined to stake their all for the hunting grounds of their fathers

and for the inheritance of their children. The wiser policy would

228 Ohio Arch

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have been to have accepted the liberal terms offered by the

Federal Government, and to have made concessions which pru-

dence dictated from the very circumstances of the respective

treaties. The river Ohio could no more be fixed as the boun-

dary line between the Indian tribes and the United States in

August, 1793, than the Ohio river could be fixed as the boundary

line between the two sections of this Union in April, 1861. The

hand on the dial plate of progress could not go backward.

The Indians were doubtless emboldened by the defeats of

Harmar and Arthur St. Clair, and could have no adequate idea

of the power and resources of the Federal Government. It is in

evidence, too, that they had hope of British as well as Spanish

aid in this struggle with the whites. This will be found in the

declarations of the Indians themselves, and in the recorded

speeches and messages of the British and Spanish emissaries.

Stone, in his life of Brandt, quotes that warrior as saying that

they were engaged in forming a confederacy, and these endeav-

ors enabled them to defeat the American armies. The purpose

of the conference at the Miami (Maumee) river in the summer

of 1793 was, to first act as mediator in bringing about an honor-

able peace, and in the event of failure to join the western breth-

ren in the fortunes of war. The entering upon a treaty with

the commissioners of the United States was opposed by those

acting under the British Government, and hopes of further as-

sistance were given to encourage them to insist on the Ohio

river as the boundary line between them and the United States.

(Stone II, 358.) This confidence in British aid was excited

among the Indians before the final refusal of the generous terms

offered by General Washington, and they realized the helpless-

ness of such aid when they were refused refuge under the guns

at Fort Miami, and found the gates of the fort itself closed

against their dusky warriors in their retreat from the fatal field

of the Fallen Timbers.



The position to which General Wayne was now called re-

quired military and diplomatic skill of the highest order. It

seemed that the government was about to be engaged in an inter-

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.           229

minable war, while hostilities with Great Britain appeared inevit-

able because of the refusal of the British to comply with the treaty

of 1783, and especially that part which provided for the evacuation

of the forts northwest of the Ohio. There was no other course but

to advance into the Indian country and bring them into submis-

sion by the strong arm of military power. In September, 1793,

the Secretary of War wrote to General Wayne: "Every offer

had been made to obtain peace by milder terms than the sword.

Every effort had failed, under circumstances which leave noth-

ing for us to expect but war."

The army of General Wayne, some twenty-five hundred

strong, began its forward movement in the wilderness on Octo-

ber the 7th, 1793. The army marched to Fort Hamilton on the

first day, and finally encamped October 13th, at a post six miles

in advance of Fort Jefferson, which was named Fort Greenville,

in honor of Nathaniel Greene, with whom he served in the army

of the revolution. General Wayne passed the winter of 1793-94

at Fort Greenville, and months elapsed without any communica-

tion with the government at Philadelphia. He was left to his

own resources. Convoys of provisions for the camp were fre-

quently intercepted and their escort murdered by the Indians.

In December, 1793, General Wayne sent forward a detachment

to the spot of St. Clair's defeat. The command arrived on the

ground on Christmas day and pitched their tents on the battle-

field. After the melancholy duty of burying the bones of the

dead had been performed a fortification was built called Fort

Recovery, in commemoration of the recovery of the ground from

the Indians, who had held possession since the defeat in 1791.

It was the fortune of the speaker to deliver the centennial oration

ever the bones of the gallant dead, which had been exhumed for

a final resting place in a cemetery provided for the purpose.

While the army of General Wayne was encamped at Fort

Greenville a severe and bloody engagement took place on the

30th of June, 1794, under the very walls of Fort Recovery. The

assaulting party was repulsed with a heavy loss, and was finally

driven away on the next day. It appears from the official report

of Major Mills, Adjutant-General of the army, that twenty-two

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officers and non-commissioned officers were killed in that ac-

tion, including Major McMahon himself.



General Wayne, having been reinforced on July 26th, 1794,

by sixteen hundred mounted men from Kentucky, under the

command of Major-General Scott, with whom he had served at

the battle of Monmouth, left the encampment at Greenville on

July 28th, 1794, and advanced seventy miles northward into

the very heart of the Indian country. He wrote to the Secretary

of War on August 14th, 1794, that he had constructed a fort

which was named Fort Adams, and was completing a strong

stockade fort with four good blockhouses, by way of bastions,

at the confluence of the Auglaize and the Miami, which was

called Fort Defiance. He thought it proper to offer the Indians

a last overture of peace, but said: "Should war be their choice,

that blood be upon their own heads. America should no longer

be insulted with impunity." He committed himself and his gal-

lant army to an all-powerful and just God. "The Indians were

driven with a great loss on the morning of August 20th, 1794,

under the guns of Fort Miami - then occupied by Major Camp-

bell and a garrison of British soldiers. The victory was com-

plete, and the military power of the Indian tribes of the North-

west was broken forever. General Wayne remained below the

Rapids with his army for three days. The object of the cam-

paign against the Indians of the Northwest having been fully

accomplished by the decisive battle of the Fallen Timbers on

August 20th, 1794, the army of General Wayne returned to Fort

Defiance, laying waste the villages and corn fields of the Indians

for many miles. The Indians, defeated and utterly disheartened,

retired to the borders of the Maumee Bay. General Wayne, on

the 14th of September, marched toward the Miami villages, and

just below the confluence of the St. Mary's and the St. Joseph

rivers built a strong fortification, which, on October the 22d,

1795, was occupied by Colonel Hamtranck.  After a salute of

fifteen guns, it was named Fort Wayne - the site of the present

prosperous city of that name. The army began the march from

Fort Wayne on October the 25th, 1794, and on the evening of

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            231

November the 2d, 1794, reached Fort Greenville, where it was

saluted with thirty-five guns from a six-pounder. The army had

marched from Fort Greenville for the campaign of the North-

west on July 28th, 1794, and now returned to winter quarters"

after an arduous and fatiguing expedition of ninety-seven days.

It had marched and counter-marched during that time upwards

of three hundred miles through the enemy's country, cutting a

wagon road the entire distance, besides constructing three forti-

fications - Fort Adams, at the St. Mary's, Fort Defiance, at the

Auglaize, and Fort Wayne, at the Miami villages. The Indians

of the Northwest had not only been completely subdued but a

lasting peace had been accomplished. The arms of the United

States, too, had been vindicated from the shame of defeat and



It was reported to General Wayne that the chiefs and na-

tions were much divided as to peace or war. The Shawanese,

the Tawas, and Indians near Detroit, were for war; the Wyan-

dots, of Sandusky, were for peace; the Delawares and Miamies

were about equally divided; while the Pottawattamies and the

Chippewas were greatly disheartened over the battle. It soon

became evident that the Indians desired peace. Intelligence

came from the West that the Indians were crossing the Missis-

sippi. A new treaty had been made with the Iroquois on the

11th of November; while but few Indians were seen lurking in

the neighborhood of Fort Wayne and Fort Defiance. They

were impressed with the force of General Wayne after the en-

gagement at the Fallen Timbers. The Pottawattamies called

him "The Wind," because, as they said, "he was exactly like the

hurricane which drives and tears everything before it." He was

known as "The Blacksnake" among the other tribes.



While the army was in winter quarters at Fort Greenville,

General Wayne was constantly receiving communications from

the chiefs of the tribes - some being of a friendly and others

of a hostile character. As early as the 28th and 29th of Decem-

ber, 1794, the chiefs of the Chippewas, Ottawas, Sacs, Pottawat-

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232       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


tamies and Miamies, came with messages of peace to Fort

Wayne; while on January 24th following, these tribes, together

with the Delawares, Wyandots and Shawanese entered into a

preliminary article with General Wayne at Greenville, looking

to a permanent and lasting peace. Tar-ke, or Crane, chief

Sachem of the Wyandots, entreated the Americans to listen to

the chiefs and warriors of his tribe, and referred to the Council

and treaty made with General St. Clair at Muskingum in 1789.

The Wyandots wrote that they wished for peace, and had deter-

mined to bury the hatchet and scalping knife deep in the ground.

General Wayne at once responded to these appeals, and

sent word to Tar-ke, or Crane, and to all the chiefs and warriors

of the Wyandots, and to all other tribes and nations of the In-

dians in the Northwest, that they should no longer suffer them-

selves to be imposed upon by the bad advice of unscrupulous

men who had often betrayed them by fair and plausible, but false

promises of assistance in fighting the fifteen fires of the United

States. He said to them, that it was nearly six years since the

Sachems and warriors of the Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas,

Chippewas, Pottawattamies and Sacs concluded a treaty at the

mouth of the Muskingum with General St. Clair for removing

all causes of controversy, and for determining the questions of

boundary between the Indian tribes and the United States. He

contended that that treaty was founded upon the principles of

equity and justice, and proposed it as a basis upon which a last-

ing and permanent peace could be established. They were all

invited to come to Fort Greenville, and were assured of a cordial

welcome and a safe conduct for all the chiefs and warriors who

might attend. An ardent desire was expressed that the Great

Spirit would incline their hearts and words to peace, and that

they soon might all meet in council.



It was the policy of General Wayne to create a division of

opinion and thus prevent unity of action among the tribes, at

least until his garrison could be strengthened. It was said that

many of the Indians, true to the instincts of pride and ambition,

had determined to remove their families far beyond the Missis-

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            233


sippi, rather than submit to the humiliation of suing for peace

from the white man. Rumor had already reached General

Wayne that more than one hundred of the warriors of the Sha-

wanese were then hunting on the head-waters of the Miamies of

the Ohio, and of the Scioto, who intended to steal as many horses

as would be necessary to carry them and their families to the

Mississippi, where several of their nation and many of the Dela-

wares had already settled, rather than make peace



In the beginning of June, 1795, the Indians began to collect

at Greenville, apparently without any concert of action, and gave

notice as they arrived that they had come to negotiate a peace.

On the 16th of June, 1795, a number of the Delawares, Ottawas,

Pottawattamies, and Eel River Indians having arrived, General

Wayne caused them to be assembled on that day, and for the

first time met them in general council. After they had received

and smoked the calumet of peace, he said that he took them by

the hands as brothers assembled for peace; that he had that day

kindled the council fire of the United States, and then delivered

to each tribe a string of white wampum as an evidence of the

friendship thus commenced.

General Wayne said: "The Heavens are high, the woods

are open, we will rest in peace. In the meantime we will have a

little refreshment to wash the dust from our throats. We will,

on this happy occasion be merry, but without passing the bounds

of temperance and sobriety. We will now cover up the council

fire and keep it alive till the remainder of the different tribes

assemble and form a full meeting and representation."



The next day New Corn, one of the old chiefs of the Potta-

wattamies, with several warriors arrived. He said that they had

come from Lake Michigan, and that after the treaty was over

they would exchange their old medals for those of General Wash-

ington. They wanted peace.

Buck-on-ge-he-las, with a party of Delawares came soon

afterward, and also As-i--me-the, with a party of Pottawattamies.

234 Ohio Arch

234      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


They were received at the Council House. The Delaware king

told Wayne that his forefathers used soft cloth to dry up their

tears, but that they used wampum, and hoped by its influence to

do away with all past misfortunes. The Pottawattamie chief said

that they were all there - the remainder were dead - and as

a proof of their good wishes they had brought with them two pris-

oners - all in their possession.

General Wayne welcomed them to Greenville; told them

that the great council fire had been kindled and the pipe of peace

had been smoked. When the Wyandots from Sandusky and De-

troit, and the tribes in that quarter would arrive, fresh wood

would be added to the fire, and business would be postponed

until then. In the meantime, he would give them something

which would make their hearts glad, and also distributed some




The celebrated Little Turtle, chief of the Miamies, came on

the 23rd of June. Little Turtle was the noblest Roman of them

ali. He commanded at the defeat of Harmar and St. Clair. He,

like Pontiac, thirty years before him, was the soul of fire, and

every one who reads of the treaty of Greenville will be impressed

with his high courage and the manly stand which he took for his

race and the hunting grounds of his fathers. It has been said

that the sun of Indian glory set with him, and when Little Turtle

and Tecumseh passed away the clouds and shadows which for

two hundred years had gathered around their race closed in the

starless night of death.



The Indian chiefs and warriors who had gathered at Fort

Greenville were all present on the 25th of June, when General

Wayne addressed them as to the arrangements he had made for

their comfort during the council. The exterior redoubts were

given up to accomodate the different nations with council houses.

He desired them to retire to their quarters like his own men at

the firing of the evening gun. If any of his foolish young men

were found troubling their quarters he wished the Indians to tie

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.             235


them and send them to him, to be dealt with according to cir-

cumstances of the case.

It seems that there had been an accident the day before, in

the explosion of some fireworks prepared for the 4th of July,

and that the soldiers immediately rushed to their posts, to the

astonishment of the Indians, who feared an attack. The Gen-

eral assured them, that this was the order of the camp. They

were present at his invitation and were not more secure in their

own villages. He humored the Indians by telling them that

General Washington and his great council had sent them large

presents which he soon expected; - their friends, the Quakers,

had also sent them messages and some small presents. Bad

Bird, a Chippewa chief, thought that was all very right and very


Little Turtle made a short speech on the 30th of June to the

Chippewas, and said that when brothers meet they always ex-

perienced pleasure; and as it was a little cool, he hoped they

would get some drink; and that they expected to be treated as

warriors. He wanted some fire-water, and would like to have

some mutton and pork occasionally. New Corn was most happy

to be in accord with the sentiments of Little Turtle; but their

hearts were sorry, and it grieved them to have seen the graves of

their brothers who fell there last winter.

The Sun, chief of the Pottawattamies, complained of the

allowance of food. They ate in the morning and became hungry

at night. The days were long and they had nothing to do.

They became weary and wished for home.



General Wayne was the real diplomat. He was prudent in

council as well as brave in war. Warriors from all the Indian

tribes of the Northwest had gathered in council, and while those

were present who had defied and even defeated the whole armed

power of the United States, yet they were as little children. He

explained that they had no pork, and but few sheep, which were

intended for the use of the sick, and occasionally for the officers.

He promised that the sick should share with his own sick in the

comforts of the camp, and that he would divide with the officers.

236 Ohio Arch

236      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


The graves of which New Corn spoke could not be remedied

and grief was unmanly. He gave each of the chiefs a sheep for

their own use, and some drink for themselves and their people,

to make their hearts glad and to dry up their tears; and then

suggested, by way of parenthesis, that they all take a glass


General Wayne having now waited as long as was deemed

expedient called the council together July 15th, 1795, and un-

covered the council fire, and had the interpreter sworn. He

presented the Calumet of Peace of the fifteen fires (fifteen states)

of the United States of America. He showed the Indians pres-

ent the commission he held from General Washington and the

Council of the fifteen fires, appointing him Commander-in-chief

of the American Legion, and then the commission which he had

received from the same authority on the 4th day of April, 1794,

for settling a peace with all the Indians northwest of the Ohio.

He impressed the chiefs and warriors assembled with the

great importance of the interests at stake, and that they were

now called upon to determine questions which involved the hap-

piness of the United States and the Indian nations. He invoked

the blessing of the Great Spirit upon their deliberations.



General Wayne then referred to the treaty which had been

concluded by Governor St. Clair at Fort Harmar at the mouth

of the Muskingum, which had removed all controversy for the

time, and had clearly defined the boundaries between them and

the United States. He urged them to think coolly of these

matters, and having raked up the council fire, invited them all

to have some drink.

Little Turtle several days afterward replied with much

warmth to General Wayne: "We have heard," said he, "and

considered what you have said to us. You have shown, and we

have seen, your powers to treat with us. I came here for the

purpose of hearing you. I suppose it to be your wish that peace

shall take place throughout the world. When we hear you say

so we will be prepared to answer you. You have told me that the

present treaty should be founded upon that of Muskingum. I

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.          237


beg leave to observe to you that that treaty was effected alto-

gether by the Six Nations, who seduced some of our young men

to attend it, together with a few of the Chippewas, Wyandots, Ot

tawas, Delawares and Pottawattamies. I beg leave to tell you

that I am entirely ignorant of what was done at that treaty. I

hope those who held it may give you their opinion whether or

not is was agreeable to them."

Massas, a celebrated Chippewa chief, arrived on the 18th

with Blue Jacket of the Shawanese and participated in the Coun-

cil. The speech of Massas is interesting in that it gives an ac-

count of the celebrated Muskingum Treaty from the Indian

standpoint. He was at the Treaty of Muskingum and held a

copy in his hand. He admitted that the treaty had not been

faithfully followed, but said in extenuation that the waters in their

woods were not deep, and that some foolish young men with

long arms had reached into the bottom and taken their toma-


Little Turtle demanded to know what lands had been ceded

by the Treaty of Muskingum. "I expect," said he, "that the

lands on the Wabash and in this country belong to me and my

people. I now take the opportunity to inform my brethren of

the United States and others present that there are men of sense

and understanding among my people as well as among theirs,

and that these lands were disposed of without our knowledge

and consent. .... You have pointed out, he continued, the

boundary line between the Indians and the United States; but

I now take the liberty to inform you that that line cuts off from

the Indians a large portion of country which has been enjoyed

by my forefathers from time immemorial without molestation or

dispute. The prints of my ancestor's houses are everywhere to

he seen in this portion. I was a little astonished at hearing you

and my brethren who are present telling each other what busi-

ness you had transacted together at Muskingum concerning this

country. It is well known by all my brothers present that my

forefather kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he ex-

tended his lines to the head-waters of the Scioto; from thence

to its mouth; from thence down the Ohio to the mouth of the

238 Ohio Arch

238      Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


Wabash, and from thence to Lake Michigan. At this place I

first saw my elder brothers, the Shawanese. I have now in-

formed you of the boundaries of the Miami Nation, where the

Great Spirit placed my forefather a long time ago, and charged

him not to sell or part with his lands, but to preserve them for

his posterity. This charge has been handed down to me. I

was much surprised that my brothers differed so much from me

on this subject; for their conduct would lead me to suppose that

the Great Spirit and their forefathers had not given them the

same charge that was given to me, but, on the contrary, had

directed them to sell their lands to any who wore a hat as soon

as he should ask it of them."




On the 17th day clay of July, 1795, General Wayne fixed the

general boundary line that should divide the United States, or

the fifteen great fires of America, from the lands belonging to

the Indian nations. He explained to them the several articles

of a treaty upon which a permanent peace could be established

between the United States and the Indian tribes northwest of

the Ohio. The third article, which should define the boundary

reads that "The general boundary line between the lands of the

United States and the lands of the said Indian tribes shall begin

at the mouth of the Cuyahoga river, and run thence up the same

to the portage between that and the Tuscarawas branch of the

Muskingum; thence down that branch to the crossing place

near Fort Laurens; thence westwardly to a fork of that branch

of the great Miami river running into the Ohio river, at or near

which stood Loramie's Store, and where commenced the portage

between the Miami of the Ohio and St. Mary's river, which is

a branch of the Miami which runs into Lake Erie; thence a wes-

terly course to Fort Recovery, which stands on the bank of the

Wabash; thence southerly in a direct line to the Ohio, so as to

intersect that river opposite the mouth of the Kentucky or Cut-

tawa river."

There were certain reservations granted to the Indians in

this treaty. The treaty provided for a lasting peace, and stipu-

lated that all the prisoners then held should be restored. Little

The Treaty of Greenville

The Treaty of Greenville.            239


Turtle insisted that the line should run from Fort Recovery to

Fort Hamilton, on the Great Miami, and assured the whites of

the free navigation of that river from thence to its mouth



The treaty was signed by the various nations, and dated

August the 3d, 1795. It was laid before the Senate December

9th, 1795, and was ratified December 22d, 1795. This closed

the old Indian wars of the West.

General Wayne in declaring the Council at an end, said: "I

now fervently pray to the Great Spirit that the peace now estab-

lished may be permanent; and that it may hold us together in

the bonds of friendship until time shall be no more. I also pray

that the Great Spirit above may enlighten your minds and open

your eyes to your true happiness, that your children may learn

to cultivate the earth and enjoy the fruits of peace and industry."

By the treaty the Indians ceded about 25,000 square miles

of territory to the United States, besides sixteen separate tracts

including lands and forts. The Indians received in considera-

tion of these cessions goods of the value of twenty thousand dol-

lars as presents, and were promised an annual allowance of

ninety-five hundred dollars to be equally distributed to the par-

ties to the treaty.

A second treaty was concluded at Greenville, July 22, 1814,

with the Wyandots, Delawares, Shawanese, Senecas and Mi-

amies, by General William Henry Harrison and Governor Lewis

Cass, commissioners on the part of the United States, by which

the tribes engaged to aid the United States in the war with

Great Britain and her savage allies.



General Wayne sent a proclamation to the Cherokees, then

settled on the head-waters of the Scioto, of the treaty, and invited

them to come forward and enter into similar articles of peace.

Most of them promised to hunt peaceably on the Scioto until

their corn was ripe, and then they would quit this side of the

Ohio forever and return to their own country.

240 Ohio Arch

240       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.


Burnet in his Notes, speaks of a party of Shawanese war-

riors, some sixty or seventy in number, who had been hostile,

bringing four prisoners to Greenville, three of whom they had

captured on the 13th of July, 1795, in Randolph county, Virginia.

Puck-se-saw, or Jumper, one of their chiefs, said that as soon as

he received the belt which General Wayne had sent by Blue

Jacket, he concluded to surrender the prisoners and promised to

do no more mischief.



The blessings of liberty, law and order crown the century

which has passed since the signing of the Treaty of Greenville.

The harvests are peacefully gathered to their garners, the valleys

rustle with standing corn and the songs of our homes are unin-

vaded by the cries and terrors of battle. The soil itself was dedi-

cated to human freedom, and has never been cursed by the unre-

quited toil of the bondman. The institutions and laws of five

great Republics are founded on the imperishable principles of the

Ordinance of 1787. It established a code of law for an imperial

territory. That great instrument enjoined the utmost good faith

toward the Indians in their liberty, their lands and their property,

and in the enactment of laws founded on justice and humanity.

The treaty of Greenville, following the spirit of its imperishable

principles, extended the hand of friendship toward the Indian, re-

spected his liberty, paid full compensation for his lands and pro-

tected his property. It established a code of morals for a free

people. When some future Bancroft shall write the history of

this people he will speak of the great Ordinance as the first at-

tempt to establish civic government in the Northwestern States,

and then of the Treaty here proclaimed, which supplants the

harsher tones of military strife with the softer syllables of charity

and love. If, too, the victories of peace are not less renonwned

than those of war, then the day will surely come when a grateful

people, revering their traditions, and conscious of the maxims

imperial of their glory, will erect on this historic ground a majes-

tic monument, having an outstretched hand rather than a fixed

bayonet, and with the simple yet immortal inscription, "The

Treaty of Greenville."