(Maumee, Twightwee)


A group of Native Americans of the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock.

They shared the cultural traits of the Eastern Woodlands area and the Plains area, hunting the buffalo that ranged through much of their territory.

The Miami, whose name comes from the Chippewa "omaumeg", or 'people who live on the peninsula,' first came into contact with white men in 1658 near Green Bay, Wisconsin, but they soon withdrew to the headwaters of the Fox River and later to the headwaters of the Wabash and Maumee rivers.

In the mid-17th cent. the Miami held land in W. Wisconsin, N.E. Illinois, and N. Indiana.

In the mid-18th cent., however, the invading northern tribes drove the Miami to N.W. Ohio.

The Miami occupied this territory until the treaty of 1763, when they retired to Indiana.

They then numbered some 1,700.

The Miami had aided the French in the French and Indian Wars, and they helped the British in the American Revolution.

They were also closely associated with the Piankashaw, who were once thought to be part of the Miami tribe.

With their chief Little Turtle, the Miami were prominent in the Indian wars of the Old Northwest.

By 1827 they had ceded most of their lands in Indiana and had agreed to move to Kansas.

Most of them went (1840) to Kansas and then moved (1867) to Oklahoma, where they were placed on a reservation.

Since then the land has been divided among them.

There is also a group of Miami in Indiana. See Bert Anson, The Miami Indians (1970).




Meshekinoquah aka Little Turtle


1752-1812, Chief of the Miami, born in a Miami village near present-day Fort Wayne, Ind.

He was noted for his oratorical powers, military skill, and intelligence.

He was a principal commander of the Native Americans in the defeat of Gen. Josiah Harmar on the Miami River in 1790 and of Gen. Arthur St. Clair on the Wabash River in 1791.

After several attacks on the forces of Gen. Anthony Wayne, he counseled peace but was overruled.

Consequently he was not in command at Fallen Timbers.

He reluctantly signed the Treaty of Greenville (Ohio) in 1795, ceding a great part of Ohio to the whites, and he also signed several subsequent treaties.

Later he refused to join Tecumseh's confederacy against the whites.

He persuaded many of the Miami to turn to agriculture and appealed to the government to halt the liquor trade among his people.

ME-SHE-KIN-O-QUAH or Chief Little Turtle was War Chief of the Miami Nation.

He led the confederation of Indians that defeated General Arthur St. Clair, at Fort Recovery on November 3, 1791.

His force inflicted the worst defeat ever suffered by the U.S. Army at the hands of Native Americans.

St. Clair's army consisted of 1300 soldiers.

In the battle, 602 were killed and about 300 wounded.

The Indian force consisted of approximately 1000 warriors.

Only 66 Indians were killed in this battle!

It was the greatest defeat the Americans ever suffered at the hands of the Indians.

Even worst than the loss suffered at the Battle of Little Big Horn or Custer's Last Stand.

Custer only lost about 210 men compared to St. Clair's loss of 602 killed!

Me-she-kin-no-quah lived the village of Ke-ki-ong-a'. Kekinonga means blackberry patch.

This was the Miami capitol (Ft. Wayne, IN).