History Record View

Title: Indian Occupancy and First White Men
File Attachment:
Attachment Type:

For a number of centuries prior to the occupancy of this country by the white race, the Indians had lived here; how much longer, cannot be determined. Where and how they originated is unknown. Whether they were especially created for this continent, or whether, as many have held, they came originally from Asia and were from among the "lost tribes of Israel," is still an unsettled question and is interwoven with the uncertainties of their connection with the so-called Mound Builders. As far back as there is any reliable account the tribe of Indians known as the Miamis occupied the following country: From Detroit south to the Ohio river; thence down the same to the mouth of the Wabash river, thence up the same stream to about the boundary between Vermillion and Warren counties, thence north to the southern extremity of Lake Michigan, thence east to Detroit. This is quite certain, coming as the information did, at first, from the noteworthy and highly intelligent Mish-e-ken-o-quah, or Little Turtle, a Miami Indian who lived in northern Indiana during the latter years of the eighteenth century, and into the nineteenth century. Warren county was thus on the boundary between the Miamis and the famous Kickapoos of Illinois. This was the condition of things previous to about one hundred and thirty-five years ago. From 1780 to the war of 1812, so great was the rush of settlers into eastern Ohio, that the Indian residents there were compelled to abandon their ancient home and seek a new one in the farther West, and thus numerous other tribes began to invade the domain of the Miamis. Soon the Pottawatomies occupied almost all of the present state of Indiana north of the Wabash river, while the Miamis retired to the south of the river. Hence Warren county was so situated that Miamis and Pottawatomies and the Kickapoos were found within its borders by the early French traders who began to come up from Vincennes on the waters of the Wabash, in canoes loaded with whisky and trinkets to trade with the Indians at least as early as 1800. The Wabash had been the highway of travel for the early explorers and missionaries between Detroit and the French settlements at Vincennes, and at several points in Illinois since the latter decades of the seventeenth century, and it is not improbable that temporary trading posts were established in Warren county at a very early period. But after the battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, 1811, and the war of 1812, following that battle, which virtually opened up the Northwest Territory to settlement, the Indians were all removed to beyond the confines of the territory, many being taken to the Mississippi and the far West, where remnants of the tribes once known to have dwelt in Warren county may still be found, partly civilized, but still a burden to themselves and the United States government.

[Page 205-206.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00001556
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Willaimsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

Information in this record is provided for personal research purposes only and may not be reproduced for publication. If you have questions about copyright issues contact the archive source listed above.