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The territory comprised within the purpose of our review was occupied by a band of the historic Shawnees at the advent of the whites. Belonging to the great Northwest, this section was the central point amidst various famous Indian tribes. The Shawnees never failed to make their influence felt, for they were a nation of warriors and orators, and possessed a spirit of adventure, wild enough to transfer its seat from the extreme north to the extreme south, for the Algonquins occupied New York, but were found in their descendants in Florida, and even here transmitted that tribe's unrest which urged the band to the Mad and Miami, and finally to the Auglaize River in Ohio. In all their migrations they preserved their peculiarities, for their asserted superiority was a shield against contamination. Tribal traits, customs, and beliefs were fostered with all the tenacity of heredity. Their home was wherever unrest might lead them, for was not the unbounded wilderness their possession? At home in New York, at home in Georgia, a last remnant entered Ohio, and here too they were at home.
From Florida they migrated to the Mad River of Ohio, under the leadership of Blaokhoof, whose life was spent in this adopted country. They were ever the same restless, brave, nomadic Shawnees of tradition, whether viewed in the East, the South, or the West.
It cannot be determined with precision when they located at Wapakoneta, but it probably arose through the indulgence of some native tribes, as it appears by the various treaties to which they were parties that they had been entirely disinherited of lands. Still, the tribe or band which participated in the Kentucky wars, occupied villages on the Mad and Miami Rivers, and it is probable that from these points came the band which settled on the Auglaize and founded the Indian village Wapakoneta, about the year 1782. Here they established their council house, which became the Indian capital of the northwest, as will be seen hereafter. This building was still used at the advent of the whites, but was finally removed, and some of the timber used in the construction of other buildings. One of the logs, after having served over thirty years under water as a sill in an old mill, was recently removed, and has been divided and largely distributed throughout the community. A block from this sill found its way to the writer's desk, through the courtesy of J. C. Edraiston.
The first land-title given by the government to this tribe which possessed any clearness, was granted by the treaty of 1817. The conference was held and the treaty entered into at the foot of the Maumee Rapids, near Lake Erie, by Lewis Cass and Duncan McArthur, commissioners for the United States, and several Indian tribes, among which were the Shawnees. In this treaty no provision was made for the band of Tecumseh, as no names of that band are found in the schedule specifying the receivers of grants at Wapakoneta. This treaty is a novelty in comparison with most of the Indian treaties of modern times, as it sets out in an entirely different strain. The commissioners say, "That in consideration of the faithful services of the Shawness in the late war with England, and for divers other considerations, the government of the United States settle on the Shawnees an annuity of three thousand dollars, to be paid annually, forever, to them at Wapaughkonnetta.
"The United States also agree to grant, in fee simple, to Blackhoof and other chiefs of the Shawnee tribe, for the use of the persons mentioned in the annexed schedule, a tract of land, ten miles square, the centre of which shall be the council house at Wapaughkonnetta.
"The United States also agree to grant, in fee simple, to Peaitchtha and other chiefs of the Shawnee tribe residing on Hog Creek, for the use of the tribe there, to the persons mentioned in the annexed schedule, a tract of land containing twenty-five square miles, which is to join the tract granted at Wapaughkonnetta, and to be laid off in a square form."
It may be interesting to many, and particularly to young persons, to have the entire schedule of names inserted here. These were probably written by Gen. Cass or the agent, John Johnston, either of whom well understood the Indian orthography. Among these may be found the names of great men, such as Blackhoof and Wayweleapy, great as speakers, and Peaitchtha, great as leader in the agricultural arts. Several others on this list were men of strong minds and remarkable for honest, upright integrity.
Schedule.—"The tracts at Wapaughkonnetta to be equally divided among the following persons, namely: Blackhoof, Pamthe, or Walker; Weaseca, or Wolf; Shemanita, or Snake; Athelwakesecah, or Yellow Clouds; Pemthewtew, or Perry; Cacalawa, or End of the Tail; Quelawee, War Chief, Sacachewa, Werewela, Wasawetah, or Bright-Horn; Otharasa, or Yellow; Tepeteseca, Newahetucca, Caawaricho, Thacatchewa, Silochaheca, Tapea, Mesherawah, Toleapea, Pochecaw, Alawemetahuck, Lollaway, or John Perry; Wawelame, Nemecashe, Nerupeneshquah, or Cornstalk, Shi She, Shealawhe, Naruskaka, Thacaska, or David MeXair; Shapukoha, Quacowawnee, Necoshecu, Thucuscu, or Jim Blue Jacket; Chowelaseca, Quhaho, Kayketchheka, or William Perry; Sewapeu, Peetah, or Davy Baker; Skapoawah, or George McDougal; Chepocuru, Shema, or Sam; Cheahaska, or Captain Tommy; General Wayne, Thaway, Othawee, Wearecah, Captain Reed, Lawaytucheh, or John Wolf; Tecutie, or George; Skekacumpskekaw, Wishemaw, Muywaymanotreka, Qnaskee, Thoswa, Baptiste, Maywealinpe Perea Cumne, Chochkelake, or Dam; Kewapea, Egatacumshequa, Walupe, Aquashequah, Pemata, Nepaho, Tapesheka, Lathowaynoma, Sawacota, Memhisheka, Ashelukah, Ohipwah, Thapaeca, Capawah, Ethewacase, Quahethu, Chucatuh, Nekakeka, Thithueculu, Pelaculhe, Pelaske, Shesholou, Quanako, Halkoota, Laughsliena, Capia, Thucatvouwah, or the Man going up Hill; Magathu, Tecumtequa, Tetecopatha, Kekusthe, Sheatwah, Shealewarron, Haghkela, Akapee, Lamatothe, Kesha, Panhoar, Peaitchthamtah, Peter Cornstalk, Metchepeta, Capea, Shuagunme, Wawalepeshecco, Calequa, Tetotu, Tashishee, Nawebeshcco, or White Feather; Sheperkiscoshe, Notekah, Shemakih, Pesheto, Tlieatsheta, Milhametche, Chacoa, Lawathska, Pachetah, Awaybariskecaw, Hatocumo, Thomasheshawkah, Pepacoshe, Oshashe, Quelaoshu, Mewithaquiu, Aguepeh, Quellime, Peartchtha, Onawaskine, Pamathawah, Wapeskeka, Lethew, Pahawesu, Shinagawmashe, Nequakabuchka, Peliska, Ketuchepa, Lawetcheto, Epaunnee, Kanakhih, Joseph Parks, Lawnoetuehu, Shawnaha, Waymatalhaway, Ketoawsa, Shesliecopea, Locuseh, Querlaska.
The above contains the names of all the males belonging to the Shavvnees who resided at Wapakoneta, over the age of twenty-one years, in 1817.
In order to avoid repetition as much as possible, we introduce biographical sketches of the prominent Indian chiefs of this and other tribes, since the history of a chief is in a significant measure the history of his band. Thus the sketch of a warrior will exhibit the warlike actions, while a sketch of an orator will reveal the belief and diplomatic character of the whole tribe. The warrior was the representative in battle, as the orator was the spokesman in council, and through these agencies we are enabled to view the life, manners, traditions, and characteristics of the nations they represent. In this list of chiefs, men of diverse character are presented which serve to show the many-sided life of the Indian race. Thus is presented Blackhoof, of lofty honor; the Turtle, "the gentleman of his race;" Tecumseh, the ambitious zealot; the Prophet, a frenzied fanatic; Logan, a man of fidelity; Captain Johnny, a friend of the Americans; and Blue Jacket, of rash and violent character.
From "History of Auglaize County, Ohio, with the Indian History of Wapakoneta, and the First Settlement of the County", Robert Sutton, Publishers, Wapakoneta, 1880