Miami people

The Miami (Miami-Illinois: Myaamiaki) are a Native American nation originally speaking one of the Algonquian languages. Among the peoples known as the Great Lakes tribes, it occupied territory that is now identified as Indiana, southwest Michigan, and western Ohio. By 1846, most of the Miami had been removed to Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is the only federally recognized tribe of Miami Indians in the United States. The Miami Nation of Indiana is an unrecognized tribe.

Kee-món-saw, Little Chief, a Chief (George Catlin)
Kee-món-saw, Little Chief, Miami chief, painted by George Catlin, 1830
Total population
3,908 (2011)[1]
Regions with significant populations
United States
Oklahoma and Indiana
English, French, Miami-Illinois
Christianity, Traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
Peoria, Kaskaskia, Piankashaw, Wea, Illinois, and other Algonquian peoples


The name Miami derives from Myaamia (plural Myaamiaki), the tribe's autonym (name for themselves) in their Algonquian language of Miami-Illinois. This appears to have been derived from an older term meaning "downstream people." Some scholars contended the Miami called themselves the Twightwee (also spelled Twatwa), supposedly an onomatopoeic reference to their sacred bird, the sandhill crane. Recent studies have shown that Twightwee derives from the Delaware language exonym for the Miamis, tuwéhtuwe, a name of unknown etymology.[2] Some Miami have stated that this was only a name used by other tribes for the Miami, and not their autonym. They also called themselves Mihtohseeniaki (the people). The Miami continue to use this autonym today.

Name Source[3] Name Source[3]
Maiama Maumee later French
Meames Memilounique French
Metouseceprinioueks Myamicks
Naked Indians Nation de la Grue French
Omameeg Omaumeg Chippewa
Oumami (or Oumiami) Oumamik 1st French
Piankashaw Quikties
Tawatawas Titwa
Tuihtuihronoons Twechtweys
Twightwees Delaware Wea band



Known locations of the Miami during the Iroquois War years
1654Fox River, southwest of Lake Winnebago
1670–95Wisconsin River, below the Portage to the Fox River
1673Niles, Michigan
1679–81Fort Miamis, at St. Joseph, Michigan
1680Fort Chicago
1682–2014Fort St. Louis, at Starved Rock, Illinois
1687Calumet River, at Blue Island, Illinois
c. 1691Wabash River, at the mouth of the Tippecanoe River

Early Miami people are considered to belong to the Fischer Tradition of Mississippian culture.[6] Mississippian societies were characterized by maize-based agriculture, chiefdom-level social organization, extensive regional trade networks, hierarchical settlement patterns, and other factors. The historical Miami engaged in hunting, as did other Mississippian peoples.

During historic times, the Miami were known to have migrated south and eastwards from Wisconsin from the mid-17th century to the mid-18th century, by which time they had settled on the upper Wabash River in what is now northwestern Ohio. The migration was likely a result of their being invaded during the protracted Beaver Wars by the more powerful Iroquois, who traveled far in strong organized groups (war parties) from their territory in central and western New York for better hunting during the peak of the eastern beaver fur trader days. The Dutch and French traders and, after 1652, the British fueled demand. The warfare and social disruption contributed to the decimation of Native American populations, but the major factor were fatalities from infectious diseases for which they had no immunity.

Historic locations[3]

Year Location
1658 Northeast of Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin (Fr)
1667 Mississippi Valley of Wisconsin
1670 Head of the Fox River, Wisconsin; Chicago village
1673 St. Joseph River Village, Michigan (River of the Miamis) (Fr),
Kalamazoo River Village, Michigan
1703 Detroit village, Michigan
1720–63 Miami River locations, Ohio
Scioto River village (near Columbus), Ohio
1764 Wabash River villages

European contact

Little Turtle
Lithograph of Little Turtle is reputedly based upon a lost portrait by Gilbert Stuart, destroyed when the British burned Washington, D.C. in 1814.[7]
Miami chief Pacanne

When French missionaries first encountered the Miami in the mid-17th century, the indigenous people were living around the western shores of Lake Michigan. The Miami had reportedly moved there because of pressure from the Iroquois further east. Early French explorers noticed many linguistic and cultural similarities between the Miami bands and the Illiniwek, a loose confederacy of Algonquian-speaking peoples.

At this time, the major bands of the Miami were:

  • Atchakangouen, Atchatchakangouen, Atchakangouen, Greater Miami or Crane Band (named after their leading clan, largest Miami band - their main village was Kekionga / Kiihkayonki ("blackberry bush") at the confluence of the Saint Joseph (Kociihsa Siipiiwi) (″Bean River″), Saint Marys (Nameewa Siipiiwi/Mameewa Siipiiwi) (″River of the Atlantic sturgeon″) and Maumee River (Taawaawa Siipiiwi) (″River of the Odawa″) on the western edge of the Great Black Swamp in present-day Indiana - this place was although called saakiiweeki taawaawa siipiiwi (lit. ″the confluence of the Maumee River″); Kekionga / Kiihkayonki was although the capital of the Miami confederacy)
  • Kilatika, Kilatak, Kiratika called by the French, later known by the English as Eel River Band of Miamis; autonym: Kineepikomeekwaki (″People along the Snake-Fish-River, i.e. Eel River″, their main village Kineepikwameekwa/Kenapekwamakwah/Kenapocomoco ("Snake-Fish-Town" or "Eel River Village") moved its location from the headwaters of the Eel River (Kineepikwameekwa Siipiiwi) ("Snake-Fish-River") (near Logansport, Indiana) down to its mouth into the Wabash River (Waapaahšiki Siipiiwi) (″Shining White River/Bright Shiny River″) (near Columbia City, Indiana) in northern Indiana; the Kilatika Band of the French years had their main village at the confluence of the Kankakee River and Des Plaines Rivers to form the Illinois River about 16 km southwest of today's Joliet, Illinois)
  • Mengakonkia or Mengkonkia, Michikinikwa ("Little Turtle")' people
  • Pepikokia, Pepicokea, later known as Tepicon Band or Tippecanoe Band; autonym: Kiteepihkwana (″People of the Place of the buffalo fish″), their main village Kithtippecanuck / Kiteepihkwana (″Place of the buffalo fish″) moved its location various times from the headwaters of the Tippecanoe River (Kiteepihkwana siipiiwi) (″River of the buffalo fish″) (east of Old Tip Town, Indiana) to its mouth into the Wabash River (Waapaahšiki Siipiiwi) (near Lafayette, Indiana) - sometimes although known as Nation de la Gruë or Miamis of Meramec River, possibly the name of a Miami-Illinois band named Myaarameekwa (″Ugly Fish, i.e. Catfish Band″) that lived along the Meramec River (″River of the ugly fish″)[8][9]
  • Piankeshaw, Piankashaw, Pianguichia; autonym: Peeyankihšiaki (″those who separate″ or ″those who split of″) lived in several villages along the White River[a] in western Indiana, the Vermilion River (Peeyankihšiaki Siipiiwi) (″River of the Peeyankihšiaki/Piankashaw″)[10] and Wabash Rivers (Waapaahšiki Siipiiwi) in Illinois and later along the Great Miami River (Ahsenisiipi) (″Rocky River″) in western Ohio, their first main village Peeyankihšionki (″Place of the Peeyankihšiaki/Piankashaw″) was at the confluence of Vermilion River and the Wabash River (near Cayuga, Indiana) - one minor settlement was at the confluence of the main tributaries of the Vermilion River (near Danville, Illinois), the second important settlement was named Aciipihkahkionki / Chippekawkay / Chippecoke (″Place of the edible Root″) and was situated at the mouth of the Embarras River in the Wabash River (near Vincennes, Indiana), in the 18th century a third settlement outside the historic Wabash River Valley named Pinkwaawilenionki / Pickawillany (″Ash Place″) was erected along the Great Miami River (which developed into Piqua, Ohio)[b][11]
  • Wea, Wiatonon, Ouiatanon or Ouaouiatanoukak; autonym: Waayaahtanooki or Waayaahtanwa (″People of the place of the whirlpool″), because their main village Waayaahtanonki (″Place of the whirlpool″) was at the riverside where a whirlpool was in the river, under the term "Ouiatanon" was both referred to a group of extinct five Wea settlements or to their historic tribal lands along the Middle Wabash Valley between the Eel River to the north and the Vermilion River to the south, the ″real″ Quiatanon at the mouth of the Wea Creek into the Wabash River was their main village[c][12][13]

In 1696, the Comte de Frontenac appointed Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes as commander of the French outposts in northeast Indiana and southwest Michigan. He befriended the Miami people, settling first at the St. Joseph River, and, in 1704, establishing a trading post and fort at Kekionga, present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana.[14]

By the 18th century, the Miami had for the most part returned to their homeland in present-day Indiana and Ohio. The eventual victory of the British in the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War) led to an increased British presence in traditional Miami areas.

Shifting alliances and the gradual encroachment of European-American settlement led to some Miami bands merging. Native Americans created larger tribal confederacies led by Chief Little Turtle; their alliances were for waging war against Europeans and to fight advancing white settlement. By the end of the century, the tribal divisions were three: the Miami, Piankeshaw, and Wea.

The latter two groups were closely aligned with some of the Illini tribes. The US government later included them with the Illini for administrative purposes. The Eel River band maintained a somewhat separate status, which proved beneficial in the removals of the 19th century. The nation's traditional capital was Kekionga.


French years[4][5]

British years[4][5]

  • 1763 Captured British at Fort Miami (1760–63) as a part of the Pontiac's Rebellion
  • 1774 Warriors participated in Lord Dunmore's War in Ohio
  • 1778 Kenapacomaqua, Wabash at the mouth of the Eel River, Logansport, Indiana
  • 1780 October — Agustin Mottin de La Balme (French, from St. Louis) headed a raid of Detroit. Stopped and destroyed Kekionga. La Balme withdrew to the west, where Little Turtle destroyed the raiders, killing one third of them, on the 5th of November.

United States and Tribal Divide

Indiana Indian treaties
Miami treaties in Indiana

The Miami had mixed relations with the United States. Some villages of the Piankeshaw openly supported the American rebel colonists during the American Revolution, while the villages around Ouiatenon were openly hostile. The Miami of Kekionga remained allies of the British, but were not openly hostile to the United States (US) (except when attacked by Augustin de La Balme in 1780).

The U.S. government did not trust their neutrality, however. US forces attacked Kekionga several times during the Northwest Indian War shortly after the American Revolution. Each attack was repulsed, including the battle known as St. Clair's Defeat, recognized as the worst defeat of an American army by Native Americans in U.S. history.[15] The Northwest Indian War ended with the Battle of Fallen Timbers and Treaty of Greenville. Those Miami who still resented the United States gathered around Ouiatenon and Prophetstown, where Shawnee Chief Tecumseh led a coalition of Native American nations. Territorial governor William Henry Harrison and his forces destroyed Prophetstown in 1811, then used the War of 1812 as pretext for attacks on Miami villages throughout the Indiana Territory.

The Treaty of Mississinewas, signed in 1826, forced the Miami to cede most of their land to the US government. It also allowed Miami lands to be held as private property by individuals, where the tribe had formerly held the land in common. At the time of Indian Removal in 1846, those Miami who held separate allotments of land were allowed to stay as citizens in Indiana. Those who affiliated with the tribe were moved to reservations west of the Mississippi River, first to Kansas, then to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.

The divide in the tribe exists to this day. The US government has recognized the Western Miami as the official tribal government since the forced divide in 1846. Migration between the tribes has made it difficult to track affiliations and power for bureaucrats and historians alike.[5]:XXV Today the western tribe is federally recognized as the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, with 3553 enrolled members.

The Eastern Miami (or Indiana Miami) has its own tribal government, but lacks federal recognition. Although they were recognized by the US in an 1854 treaty, that recognition was stripped in 1897. In 1980, the Indiana legislature recognized the Eastern Miami and voted to support federal recognition.[5]:291 In the late 20th century, US Senator Richard Lugar introduced a bill to recognize the Eastern Miami. He withdrew support due to constituent concerns over gambling rights. In recent decades, numerous federally recognized tribes in other states have established gambling casinos and related facilities on their sovereign lands.[5]:292 Such establishments have helped some tribes raise revenues to devote to economic development, health and education. On 26 July 1993, a federal judge ruled that the Eastern Miami were recognized by the US in the 1854 treaty, and that the federal government had no right to strip them of their status in 1897. However, he also ruled that the statute of limitations on appealing their status had expired. The Miami no longer had any right to sue.[5]:293


Miami Chief Francis Godfrey's grave at Chief Francis Godfroy Cemetery, Miami County, Indiana - Stierch A
The grave of Miami Chief Francis Godfroy, located at Chief Francis Godfroy Cemetery, Miami County, Indiana

United States years[4][5]

  • 1785 – Delaware villages located near Kekionga (refugees from American settlements)
  • 1790 – Pickawillany Miami join Kekionga (refugees from American settlements)
  • 1790 Gen. Harmar marches on Kekionga to punish the Miami, Delaware, and Shawnee villages. On October 17, Harmar found the seven villages deserted. The rear guard, left to destroy the returning villagers, was defeated by Little Turtle's warriors.
  • 1790 – Mississinewa (Mississinewa River below the Wabash, southeast of Peru, Indiana)
  • 1791 Gen. Arthur St. Clair moves on Kekionga. Little Turtle destroys the US Army (1400) near the future Fort Recovery.
  • Kentucky Militia destroy Eel River villages.
  • 1793 December — General Anthony Wayne moves to Fort Recovery to prepare to destroy Kekionga.
  • 1794 August — Fort Defiance (Defiance, Ohio) built on the Maumee River, site of deserted Shawnee village of Blue Jacket. 20 August Battle of Fallen Timbers, Blue Jacket loses to Wayne.
  • 1794 – Kekionga site abandoned
  • Mississinewa towns become the center of the nation.
  • 1809 – Gov. William Henry Harrison orders destruction of all villages within two days' march of Fort Wayne. Villages near Columbia City and Huntington destroyed.
  • 17 December – Lt. Col. John B. Campbell ordered to destroy the Mississinewa villages. Campbell destroys villages and kills women and children.
  • 18 December, at second village, Americans repulsed and return to Greenville.
  • 1810 July – US Army returns and burns deserted town and crops.
  • 1817 Maumee Treaty — loose Ft. Wayne area (1400 Miami counted)
  • 1818 Treaty of St. Mary's (New Purchase Treaty) - lose south of the Wabash — Big Miami Reservation created. Grants on the Mississinewa and Wabash given to Josetta Beaubien, Anotoine Bondie, Peter Labadie, Francois Lafontaine, Peter Langlois, Joseph Richardville, and Antoine Rivarre. Miami National Reserve (875,000) created.
  • 1818 Eel River Miami settle at Thorntown, northeast of Lebanon).
  • 1825 1073 Miami, including the Eel River Miami
  • 1826 Mississinewa Treaty — loose between the Eel and the Wabash to create a right of way for the canal. Eel River Miami leave Thorntown, northeast of Lebanon, for Logansport area.
  • 1834 Western part of the Big Reservation sold (208,000 acres (840 km2))
  • 1838 Potawatomi removed from Indiana. No other Indian tribes in the state. Treaty of 1838 made 43 grants and sold the western portion of the Big Reserve. Richardville exempted from any future removal treaties. Richardsville, Godfroy, Metocina received grants, plus family reserves for Ozahshiquah, Maconzeqyuah (Wife of Benjamin), Osandian, Tahconong, and Wapapincha.
  • 1840 Remainder of the Big Reservation (500,000 acres (2,000 km2)) sold for lands in Kansas. Godfroy descendants and Meshingomesia (s/o Metocina), sister, brothers and their families exempted from the removal. 800 Miami
  • 1846 – October 1, removal was supposed to begin. It began October 6 by canal boat. By ship to Kansas Landing Kansas City and 50 miles (80 km) overland to the reservation. Reached by 9 November.
  • 1847 Godfroy Reserve, between the Wabash and Mississinewa
  • Wife of Benjamin Reserve, east edge of Godfroy
  • Osandian Reserve, on the Mississinewa, southeast boundary of Godfroy
  • Wapapincha Reserve, south of Mississinewa at Godfroy/Osandian juncture
  • Tahkonong Reserve, southeast of Wapapincha south of Mississinewa
  • Ozahshinquah Reserve, on the Mississinewa River, southeast of Peoria
  • Meshingomesa Reserve, north side of Mississinewa from Somerset to Jalapa (northwest Grant County)
  • 1872 Most reserves were partially sold to non-Indians.
  • 1922 All reserves were sold for debt or taxes for the Miamis.

Places named for the Miami

A number of places have been named for the Miami nation. However, Miami, Florida is not named for this tribe, but for the Miami River in Florida, which is in turn named after the Mayaimi people.

Towns and cities




Bodies of water and geographical locations


Sports teams

Notable Miami people


  1. ^ West Fork of the White River was known to the native Miami-Illinois peoples as Wapahani, meaning ″white sands″ or Waapi-nipi Siipiiwi, meaning ″white lake river″.
  2. ^ Both the Piankashaw and the Wea are known in historic sources as Newcalenous because of their close relationship.
  3. ^ The common tribal name Wea was shortened from Wiatanon by the British. The spelling Ouiatanon was used by the French with the letters "Ou" representing the sound of "W".


  1. ^ 2011 Oklahoma Indian Nations Pocket Pictorial Directory. Archived 2012-05-12 at the Wayback Machine Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. 2011: 21. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  2. ^ Costa, David J. (2000). "Miami-Illinois Tribe Names". In Nichols, John (ed.). Papers of the Thirty-first Algonquian Conference. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba. pp. 30–53.
  3. ^ a b c Kubiak, William J. (1970). Great Lakes Indians; A Pictorial Guide. Baker Book House Company.
  4. ^ a b c d Tanner, Helen Hornbeck (1987). Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 9780806120560.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Rafert, Stewart (2016). The Miami Indians of Indiana: A Persistent People, 1654–1994. Indiana Historical Society. ISBN 9780871951328.
  6. ^ Emerson, Thomas E.; Lewis, R. Barry (2000). Cahokia and the Hinterlands: Middle Mississippian Cultures of the Midwest. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-252-06878-2.
  7. ^ Carter, Life and Times, 62–3.
  8. ^ REVISED-2003 Updates on River and Place Names Origins, Plus Meramec River Source
  9. ^ "Meramec River Name Origin - Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  10. ^ Torp, K. "piankeshaw Indian Village of Vermilion County, IL". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  11. ^ Baxter, Nancy Niblack (1987). The Miamis!. Emmis Books. ISBN 0-9617367-3-9.
  12. ^ "Walking Myaamionki: Quelle für Siedlungs-, Flüsse, Orts- sowie Eigennamen der einzelnen Bands".
  13. ^ Anson, Bert (2000). The Miami Indians. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. p. 13. ISBN 0-8061-3197-7.
  14. ^ "Vincennes, Sieur de (Jean Baptiste Bissot". The Encyclopedia Americana. 28. Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier. 1990. p. 130.
  15. ^ Sisson, Richard; Zacher, Christian; Cayton, Andrew, eds. (2007). The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia. Indiana University Press. p. 1749. ISBN 0-253-34886-2.
  16. ^ a b Drury, Augustus Waldo (1909). History of the City of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, Volume 1. S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. p. 57.
  • Magnin, Frédéric (2005). Mottin de la Balme, cavalier des deux mondes et de la liberté (in French). Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 2-7475-9080-1.

External links

David Fairchild

David Grandison Fairchild (April 7, 1869 – August 6, 1954) was an American botanist and plant explorer. Fairchild was responsible for the introduction of more than 200,000 exotic plants and varieties of established crops into the United States, including soybeans, pistachios, mangos, nectarines, dates, bamboos, and flowering cherries. Certain varieties of wheat, cotton, and rice became especially economically important.

Eel River

Eel River may refer to:

RiversEel River (California), which flows into the Pacific Ocean near Eureka, United States

South Fork Eel River, which flows into the Eel near Weott, California

East Branch South Fork Eel River

Eel River (Wabash River), in northern Indiana, United States

Eel River (White River), in southern Indiana, United States

Eel River (Massachusetts), which flows into Plymouth Harbor, United StatesOther usesEel River, Clay County, Indiana, United States, an unincorporated community

Eel River Crossing, New Brunswick, Canada, a village in Restigouche County

Eel River tribe, a sub-set of the Miami people of Indiana, United States

Eel River Athapaskan peoples, a group of closely related tribal peoples in California, United States

Eel River (Wabash River tributary)

The Eel River is a 94-mile-long (151 km) tributary of the Wabash River in northern Indiana in the United States. Via the Wabash and Ohio rivers, its waters flow to the Mississippi River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. The Eel River rises southeast of Huntertown in Allen County and flows southwest through Allen, Whitley, Kosciusko, Wabash, Miami, and Cass counties to join the Wabash at Logansport. The river was called Kineepikwameekwa Siipiiwi - "river of the snake fish" by the Miami people, who inhabited the area at the time of European contact, the English rendered it as Ke-na-po-co-mo-co.

Emanuel Papper

Emanuel Martin Papper (July 12, 1915 – December 3, 2002) was an American anesthesiologist, professor, and author.

Frances Slocum

Frances Slocum (March 4, 1773 – March 9, 1847) (Ma-con-na-quah, "Young Bear" or "Little Bear") was an adopted member of the Miami people. Slocum was born into a Quaker family that migrated from Warwick, Rhode Island, in 1777 to the Wyoming Valley in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. On November 2, 1778, when Slocum was five years old, she was captured by three Delaware warriors at the Slocum family farm near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Slocum was raised among the Delaware in what is now Ohio and Indiana. With her marriage to Shepoconah (Deaf Man), who later became a Miami chief, Slocum joined the Miami and took the name Maconaquah. She settled with her Miami family at Deaf Man's village along the Mississinewa River near Peru, Indiana.

In 1835 Slocum revealed to a visitor that she was a white woman who had been captured as a child, and two years later, in September 1837, three of Slocum's siblings came to see her. They confirmed that she was their sister, but Slocum chose to stay with her Miami family in Indiana. Slocum fully assimilated into the Native American culture and was accepted as one of its members. On March 3, 1845, the United States Congress passed the joint resolution that exempted Slocum and twenty-one of her Miami relatives from removal to Kansas Territory. Her Miami relations in Indiana were among the 148 individuals who formed the nucleus of the present-day Miami Nation of Indiana. She is buried at Slocum Cemetery in Wabash County, Indiana. Tributes named in her honor include Indiana's Frances Slocum Trail; the Frances Slocum State Recreation Area on the banks of the Mississinewa Lake near Peru, Indiana; and Frances Slocum State Park in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

Francis Godfroy

Francis Godfroy (Palaanswa, 1788–1840) was a chief of the Miami people. He negotiated treaties with between his tribe and the United States.

François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes

François-Marie Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes (17 June 1700 – 25 March 1736) was a French explorer and soldier who established several forts in what is now the U.S. state of Indiana, including Fort Vincennes.

François-Marie Bissot was born in Montreal to Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes and Marguerite Forestier on June 17, 1700. He was named François Margane after his godfather and uncle. In 1717, he joined his father at Kekionga, a village of the Miami People near present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana in northeastern Indiana. His father was in charge of promoting loyalty to the French among the Miami Indians. By 1718 Vincennes was working among the Ouiatenon Miamis on the upper Ouabache River. When his father died in 1719, François seemed to be the natural replacement.

In May 1722, Vincennes was commissioned an Ensign and took control of Fort Ouiatenon near present-day Lafayette, Indiana. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1730 and was made commandant in what is now southern Indiana. The area became increasingly important to New France in keeping their connection to Louisiana open and keeping British traders out. Vincennes was central to this endeavour and also became increasingly attached to the Louisiana contingent. He was commissioned to build a trading post on the Wabash River and established Fort Vincennes where the modern city of Vincennes, Indiana is located. Although the colonial government of Louisiana did not support him, Vincennes convinced local Piankeshaw to establish a village at the post.

In 1733, he married the daughter of Philippe Longpré of Kaskaskia. They had two daughters, Marie Therese and Catherine, the first children of his new village.On 25 March 1736, François-Marie Bissot de Vincennes was burned by the Chickasaw Indians along with other captive French at the village of Ogoula Tchetoka, near the present site of Fulton, Mississippi, though the historical marker in Vincennes (pictured in this article) gives the location as Fulton, Tennessee. They were captured as the result of ill-advised raids in coordination with Pierre D'Artaguiette. The raids are now known as the Chickasaw Campaign of 1736 of the Chickasaw Wars.

Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes

Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, (19 January 1668 – 1719) was a Canadian soldier, explorer, and friend to the Miami Nation. He spent a number of years at the end of his life as an agent of New France among the Miami.

Vincennes was born in Quebec on 19 January 1668. His father, tanner François Byssot de la Rivière, was granted a seigniory for his tannery on the St. Lawrence River in 1672. Later, he became a ward of his brother-in-law, Louis Joliet, who entered him in the seminary at Quebec.

Vincennes married Marguerite Forestier in Montreal in 1696. They had four daughters and three sons, including François-Marie.

Through the efforts of his godfather, Jean Baptiste Talon, he secured a commission as ensign in the French marine. In 1696, the Comte de Frontenac appointed him as commander of the French outposts southeast of Lake Michigan (in present-day northeastern Indiana). Here he became good friends with the Miami people, settling first at the St. Joseph River, and, in 1704, establishing a trading post and fort at Kekionga, the location of present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana. The same year, the current governor-general of New France, Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil, wrote the French court to emphasize the importance of Bissot's services to New France among the Miami people.

In 1712, Vincennes served as second in command at Fort Detroit. In this position, he resided with the Miami to keep them from falling under the control of the British. He helped defeat the forces of the Fox Nation and acquired a young Fox slave, whom he named François-Michel. This slave eventually was owned by his son, François-Marie Bissot.He died in 1719 at Kekionga and was succeeded by his son as commander of the French in Miami country. After his death, a permanent garrison was established in the Maumee River area by Jacques-Charles Renaud Dubuisson.

Jean Baptiste Richardville

Jean Baptiste de Richardville (c. 1761 – 13 August 1841), known as Pinšiwa in Miami (meaning Wildcat, also spelled Peshewa) and John Richardville, was the last akima (civil chief) of the Miami people. He was a signatory to the Treaty of Greenville (1795) and later treaties with the United States through the Treaty of Mississinewas (1826). A fur trader who controlled an important portage connecting the Maumee River to the Little River, by his death in 1841 he was considered the wealthiest man in Indiana. He had acquired more than 20 square miles of property along the rivers.

In 1827 he completed construction of a treaty house partially funded by the United States. The Richardville House is the first in northeastern Indiana to be built in the Greek Revival style, the oldest Native American house in the state, and one of the few surviving treaty houses in the United States. It was designated in 2012 as a National Historic Landmark.

Little Turtle

Little Turtle (The Smallest of them all), (Miami-Illinois: Mihšihkinaahkwa) (c.1747 — July 14, 1812), was a Sagamore (chief) of the Miami people, who became one of the most famous Native American military leaders. Historian Wiley Sword calls him "perhaps the most capable Indian leader then in the Old Northwest," although he later signed several treaties ceding land, which caused him to lose his leader status during the battles which became a prelude to the War of 1812. In the 1790s, Mihšihkinaahkwa led a confederation of native warriors to several major victories against U.S. forces in the Northwest Indian Wars,sometimes called "Little Turtle's War", particularly St. Claires Defeat in 1791, wherein the confederation defeated General Arthur St. Clair, who lost 900 men in the most decisive loss by the U.S. Army against Native American forces.


Kokomo, whose name is also sometimes given as Koh-Koh-Mah, Co-come-wah, Ma-Ko-Ko-Mo, or Kokomoko, was a Native American man of the Miami tribe who lived in northern Indiana at some point probably in the early nineteenth century. The city of Kokomo, Indiana is named after him. David Foster, the founder of the city of Kokomo, is widely quoted as having said, "It was the orneriest town on earth, so I named it after the orneriest Indian on earth—called it Kokomo," but this anecdote may be apocryphal and it is unclear whether Foster was the one who proposed the name for the city at all.

The etymology of Kokomo's name is unknown and none of the numerous explanation that have been put forward are viable. According to one sets of legends, Kokomo was the "lasting of the fighting chiefs" of Miami, a seven-foot-tall man of immense physical strength and great cunning under whose leadership his tribe flourished. Another set of legends, however, portrays him as not a chief at all, but an ordinary, lazy, dishonest, wife-beating drunkard of such despicable reputation that the Miami disowned him. His putative remains are buried in Pioneer Cemetery, where a monument stands in his honor.


Metromover is a free mass transit automated people mover train system operated by Miami-Dade Transit in Miami, Florida, United States. Metromover serves the Downtown Miami, Brickell, Park West and Arts & Entertainment District neighborhoods. Metromover connects directly with Metrorail at Government Center and Brickell stations. It also connects to Metrobus with dedicated bus loops at Government Center and Adrienne Arsht Center station. It originally began service to the Downtown/Inner Loop on April 17, 1986, and was later expanded with the Omni and Brickell Loop extensions on May 26, 1994.

The Metromover serves primarily as an alternative way to travel within the greater Downtown Miami neighborhoods. The system is composed of three loops and 21 stations. The stations are located approximately two blocks away from each other, and connect near all major buildings and places in the Downtown area. Together with Metrorail, the system has seen steady ridership growth per annum, with an average combined ridership of 105,500 weekday passengers in 2013.

Out of only three downtown people movers in the United States, the other two being the Jacksonville Skyway and the Detroit People Mover, the Metromover is by far the most successful in terms of ridership, the only completed system of the three, and considered to be a catalyst for downtown development.


Pacanne (c. 1737-1816) was a leading Miami chief during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Son of The Turtle (Aquenackqua), he was the brother of Tacumwah, who was the mother of Chief Jean Baptiste Richardville. Their family owned and controlled the Long Portage, an 8-mile strip of land between the Maumee and Wabash Rivers used by traders travelling between Canada and Louisiana. As such, they were one of the most influential families of Kekionga.

Pacanne (P'Koum-Kwa) was probably the nephew of Cold Foot, the Miami Chief of Kekionga until a smallpox epidemic took his life in 1752. One of the earliest references to Pacanne comes from Captain Thomas Morris, who had been sent by the British to secure Kekionga, Ouiatenon, Vincennes, and Kaskaskia following Pontiac's Rebellion. In 1764, at Fort Miamis, near Kekionga, two Miami warriors dragged him to the village and tied him to a pole with the intent of executing him. According to his report, Pacanne, still a minor, rode up and released him. This may have been a staged event, signalling Pacanne's assumption of leadership.As a chief and businessman, Pacanne travelled extensively, visiting villages as distant as Vincennes, Fort Detroit, Quebec City, and Fort Niagara. While gone, Kekionga was managed by Tacumwah and her son, as well as by nearby chiefs Little Turtle and Le Gris. Pacanne's frequent absence led to some misunderstandings that Le Gris was his superior.In Autumn of 1778, during the American Revolution, Pacanne accompanied British Lt-Governor Henry Hamilton down the Wabash River to recapture Vincennes. There, he told Piankeshaw chiefs Young Tobacco and Old Tobacco- who had supported the rebelling Americans- to pay attention to Hamilton.Following a November 1780 raid on Kekionga by a French colonial militia under Augustin de La Balme, he openly declared support for the British. Referring to the colonial French, Pacanne said, "You see our village stained with blood, you can think that we are not going to extend the hand to your friends who are our enemies. You can understand that if we find you with them that we will not make any distinction." Following up on this threat, the Miami of Kekionga requested aid in attacking Vincennes; the attack never occurred because the British aid never came. British commander Arent DePeyster singled out Pacanne's loyalty, saying they shared the same mind regarding the war.

After the American Revolution, Pacanne worked as an emissary between the new United States and the Miami Confederacy. He was a guide for Colonel Josiah Harmar and worked with Major Jean François Hamtramck. In August 1788, however, a band of Kentucky men led by Patrick Brown attacked a Piankeshaw village near Vincennes and escaped. Although Major Hamtramck promised to punish the invaders, he was powerless to actually do so. When Pacanne returned to Vincennes and learned of the attack, he broke off communications with Hamtramck and returned to Kekionga.The next several years saw many major battles between the United States Army and the native nations in what has become known as the Northwest Indian War. Kekionga was the base of many raids against American settlers. Consequently, it was the target of American expeditions, leading to Hardin's Defeat, Harmar's Defeat, and St. Clair's Defeat. These conflicts ended with the Battle of Fallen Timbers and the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. Miami war chief Little Turtle attended and signed the treaty on behalf of the Miami, but Pacanne did not attend, instead sending his nephew, Chief Richardville. When approached later, Pacane still refused to sign. Even so, the chiefs encouraged compliance with the treaty, and opposed younger leaders- specifically Tecumseh- who continued to lead resistance against the Americans. Pacanne moved to a village near the mouth of the Mississinewa River, near present-day Peru, Indiana.

He actively sought better relations with the new United States, and remained neutral at the onset of the War of 1812. But after American retaliation for the Fort Dearborn Massacre, Pacanne again allied with the British.

Pacanne died in 1816 and was succeeded by his nephew, Jean Baptiste Richardville.


Papakeecha or (Pa-hed-ke-teh-a) meaning "Flat Belly" was the most influential Miami chief in the region around Lake Wawasee, in what is now Kosciusko County, Indiana, United States leading his people from 1820 until 1837. Lake Papakeechie was named after him.

Papakeecha was about 60 years old when white men entered the area. He was described as dark copper in color with a silver ring through his nose. Historical accounts have him weighing 300 pounds. He claimed to have participated in the Battle of Tippecanoe. In 1828 he was given reservation land totalling 36 square miles (93 km2) which nearly bisected Lake Wawasee north to south. He was the brother of Miami chief Wawasee (Wau-wa-aus-see), who Lake Wawasee was named after.His reservation town was located near present-day Indian Village in Noble County and had some 75 residents. The United States government built him a one-story brick house in 1827 for $562, located in the southeast corner of his village, which was later destroyed by a tornado or "great wind" as the historical marker indicates. This marker was erected in 1967 by the Noble County Historical Society.Another marker by the Indiana Historical Society 1962 states: You are now leaving Papakeechie's Reservation, 36 square miles (93 km2). This Miami Chief, also known as Flat Belly, held this land from 1828 to 1834 when it was returned to the National Government in the Treaty at the Forks of the Wabash. It was later owned by the Wabash & Erie Canal.In 1834, Papakeecha's reservation land was included in a 1,500,000-acre (6,100 km2) land deal benefiting the Wabash and Erie Canal.

Papakeecha died in 1837. His burial place is with a number of his villagers on the northeast side of Lake Papakeechee.(see Find A Grave).


Tacumwah (c. 1720 – c. 1790), alternate spelling "Taucumwah", aka Marie-Louise Pacanne Richerville (Richardville), was a businesswoman and prominent chieftess of the Miami tribe. She was the sister of Pacanne, a leading Miami chief, and the mother of Chief Jean Baptiste Richardville (or "Peshewa"). The name Tacumwah means "Parakeet" in the Miami language.

Tacumwah married Antoine Joseph Drouet de Richardville, the son of a French nobleman who was serving as a lieutenant in the French garrison at Fort St. Phillipe, later Fort Miamis. Richerville—who later Anglicized his name as Richardville, the form in which he passed the name to his son—later left the area and became a fur trader in Canada. Tacumwah had three other children. They were all baptised in 1773 by Father Pierre Gibault, but Tacumwah divorced Richerville a year later when he sided with Alexander and Francis Maisonville for control of the Long Portage, an 8-mile strip of land between the Maumee and Wabash Rivers that was controlled by her brother Pacanne. Richerville physically beat Tacumwah in the ensuing argument, and she took refuge with his business rival Charles Beaubien. Pacanne and Beaubien physically threatened Richerville and the Maisonville brothers, and the matter was taken to court at Fort Detroit on 18 September 1774.

Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial

Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, at 301 Pine Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, preserves the home of Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Kościuszko. The life and work of the Polish patriot and hero of the American Revolution are commemorated here.

Kosciuszko returned to the United States in August 1797 to a hero's welcome after his wounding, capture, imprisonment, and banishment from his native Poland occupied by Russia. Kosciuszko's secretary, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, having been instructed to find "a dwelling as small, as remote, and as cheap" as possible, chose Mrs. Ann Relf's boarding house at the corner of 3rd and Pine Streets in Society Hill. Here, where Kosciuszko recuperated from his wounds while rarely leaving the house, he was visited by numerous luminaries of the day, including Vice President Thomas Jefferson, architect Benjamin Latrobe, William Paterson (a signer of the US Constitution), Chief Little Turtle of the Miami people, and Chief Joseph Brant of the Mohawk nation. He returned to Europe the following June to support the restoration of a divided Poland.

The home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 18, 1970. The National Memorial was authorized on October 21, 1972. It is administered under Independence National Historical Park but is counted as a separate unit of the National Park System. At 0.02 acres (0.0081 ha) 0.02 acre (80 m²), the memorial is America's smallest unit of the National Park System.

The site is currently open for touring, Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. No fees, tickets, or reservations are required to visit this site.

Tippecanoe County, Indiana

Tippecanoe County is a county located in the west central portion of the U.S. state of Indiana about 22 miles east of the Illinois state line. As of the 2010 census, the population was 172,780. The county seat and largest city is Lafayette. It was created in 1826 from Wabash County portion of New Purchase and unorganized territory.Tippecanoe County was formed March 1, 1826, and named for the anglicization of "Kethtippecanoogi", a Miami people term meaning "place of the succor fish people." (Kriebel, Robert C. - Tippecanoe at 2000: A Hoosier County Recalls Its Past). The county is best known for Purdue University, the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe, and the Tippecanoe County Courthouse, a structure built in 1881 and included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Tippecanoe County is part of the Lafayette, Indiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Wawasee or Wawaausee often contracted into Wawbee and known as ("Full Moon") was a Miami chief who lived in what is now Kosciusko County, Indiana, in the United States. He was brother to Miami chief Papakeecha.

Wawasee was a signatory to the Treaty of Mississinewas and in the mid-1830s, Wawasee was allotted a small village where the town of Syracuse currently is — situated near the southeast corner of Lake Wabee, approximately two and one-half miles southeast of Milford including the eastern shores of Lake Wabee.

Chief Wawasee, like his brother, was big and strong. He was a minor leader in the Miami tribe but was somewhat significant as brother of Papakeecha. Wawasee dressed up for special occasions by wearing a large silver ring that hung from the cartilage of his nose. He sometimes substituted a fish bone for the ring. Turkey Lake became Lake Wawasee in his honor.

Wawasee is the namesake of both Wawasee, Indiana and Wawasee Village. The high school Wawasee High School located in and serving Syracuse and the surrounding area is also named in Wawasee's honor.

William Wells (soldier)

William Wells (c. 1770 – 15 August 1812), also known as Apekonit ("Carrot top"), was the son-in-law of Chief Little Turtle of the Miami. He fought for the Miami in the Northwest Indian War. During the course of that war, he became a United States Army officer, and also served in the War of 1812.

Tribal languages
(still spoken)

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