Indiana tribes, Native American history in Indiana, Native American culture, diplomacy, land cessions, removal, war. Free online books & articles. Also see the links at the bottom of the page for more collections about the history of Native Americans in each of the five states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, the Great Lakes region, and for the rest of the United States.
Find the Directory for 90+ pages in this collection at History of the Great Lakes States.
Fowler, IN: 1919
“The Fort Wayne Manuscript: An Old Writing Found Containing Indian Speeches and a Treatise on the Western Indians“
Fergus’ Historical Series No. 26-29 No. 26-29, pp 54-95
Beckwith, Hiram W. ed.
Chicago: Fergus 1883
The Indian speeches here were delivered in two councils held Sept 4 and Oct 2, 1811 at Fort Wayne, IN. These were addressed to General Harrison, who had recently called upon Indian tribes to disavow connections to the Prophet. Speeches in this collection were delivered by:
– Laprusieur, from the Weas, a branch of the Miami tribe
– Silver Heels, a Massassinway chief
– Oseemit, a Pottawatomie chief
– Charley, an Eel River chief, a subdivision of Miami tribe
– Little Turtle, a Miami chief
– Five Medals, a Pottawatomie chief
The second document here is “The Manners and Customs of the North-Western Indians”. Beckwith, the editor, wrote that the author of the two documents was unknown. For a recent article on the document that identifies the author, see Heath, William, “Re-evaluating “The Fort-Wayne Manuscript”: William Wells and the Manners and Customs of the Miami Nation” in Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 106, 2010, Issue 2, pp 158-188, which is also on this web page.
Beckwith, Hiram W.
Chicago: Fergus 1884
The author wrote in the introduction that this account of the Indians was condensed from a previous volume, with some new matter added. “It is mostly the result of his gleanings over a wide field of antiquated books of travel and maps long since out of print, or copies of manuscript-correspondence of a private or official character, little of which is accessible to the general reader.”
Over 100 magazines free and online, from the early 1800s to today, at Read Old Magazines Online
Indiana Magazine of History, Vol 107, Issue 1, March 2011, pp 32-62
Campion, Thomas J.
Indiana University 2011
“This article looks at the process of dispossession and removal in northern Indiana, focusing on the three million acres ceded by the Potawatomi in 1832. The cession began a transformation of the area from communally held tribal land to private property through the mechanism of federal land policy. The success of the process required close connections between the U.S. representatives who negotiated land cessions and distributed annuity payments, the traders upon whom Indians depended for the manufactured goods that had become necessities, and the speculators who bought up cheap land. The areas wrested from the Indians, including McCutcheon’s rural Indiana, were integrated into white America.” -Author
Dunn, Jacob Piatt
Indianapolis: Sentinel 1909
Author Jacob Piatt Dunn (1855-1924) was a journalist, ethnologist and historian who grew up in Indiana and published his first book on history in 1886. Among his publications were a history of Indianapolis and a dictionary of the Miami language. He served as the recording secretary of the Indiana Historical Society for over 35 years, and served four years as the state librarian of Indiana.
One of Dunn’s objectives for this book was to track down and preserve Indian place names in Indiana. Another objective was, “to give some illustrations of the contest [between Indians and settlers in the period of the Revolutionary War], of battles and massacres, of hardships, of white and Indian captivity.”
Contents: -Introducing the Indians -The Little Turtle -The Death of the Witches -Why Tecumtha Fought -The Fall of the Prophet -William Wells -The Defense of Fort Harrison -The Pigeon Roost Massacre -The Service of Logan -The Walam Olum -The Tragedy of the Falls -The Lost Sister of Wyoming -The Trail of Death -Index: Glossary of Indiana Indian Names
Collection of Indiana Biographies & Memoirs
Gipson, Lawrence H., ed.
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau 1938
Diaries and letters that chronicle the experiences of three missionaries from the Moravian Church in America who worked with the Delaware Indians in the Indiana Territory from 1801 to 1806. Translated from the German of the original manuscript. Includes the autobiography of John Peter Kluge (p. 581-593) and Abraham Luckenbach (p. 594-639)
“Re-evaluating “The Fort-Wayne Manuscript”: William Wells and the Manners and Customs of the Miami Nation”
Indiana Magazine of History Volume 106, Issue 2, 2010, pp 158-188
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
“The Fort Wayne Manuscript” (also on this web-page) was a 28-page handwritten manuscript received in the mail in 1882 by Hiram Beckwith of Illinois. Part of the manuscript contains speeches made in 1811 by Indian chiefs in councils at Fort Wayne, IN. Beckwith had the manuscript published in the Fergus Historical Series in 1883, without knowing who the author was. The author of this article (Heath) identifies the original author of the article as Indian Agent William Wells. A brief biography of Wells is included along with two documents authored by Wells; “Indian Manners and Customs” and “Indian History”; both about the Miami tribe.
Find 14 more subject pages of books and articles about Indiana at the History of the Great Lakes States Directory.
Hodge Frederick Webb, ed.
Washington D.C.: Govt Printing Office 1907
This handbook “…contains a descriptive list of the stocks, confederacies, tribes, tribal divisions and settlements north of Mexico, accompanied with the various names by which these have been known, together with biographies of Indians of note, sketches of their history, archaeology, manners, arts, customs, and institutions, and the aboriginal words incorporated into the English language.”
The Handbook was the result of years of work by numerous staff members of the Federal Bureau of Ethnology, with assistance from the Office of Indian Affairs and of various other specialists. It is organized like an encyclopedia, with many short dictionary-like entries of Indian words, and some long essays on topics such as Mythology. An extensive bibliography can be found at the back of Vol. 2, and just before it is a long list of Indian words with alternate spellings.
To Fort Wayne, in 1804 compiled by Tyson, Martha in 1862
Hopkins, Gerard T.
Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Zell 1862
Quakers George Ellicott, Gerard T. Hopkins, and Philip Denis, representing a Quaker group in Baltimore, traveled to Fort Wayne in 1804 to establish a program of Quaker assistance to Indian nations in the region. This is a journal of that expedition, written by Gerard Hopkins.
The first 45 pages describe the long journey by horseback of the author and colleagues across frontier country from Virginia to Fort Wayne. Once at the Fort the author narrates in detail their meetings with Little Turtle and Five Medals, chiefs of the Pottawatomie and Miami nations, and follow-up meetings with other chiefs. It was the goal of the Quakers to persuade the Indians to farm, and adopt some other practices of the white settlers. The remainder of Hopkins’ 120-page journal covers time spent with Indians at their villages, and more meetings and discussions.
The remaining 75 pages of the volume consists of an appendix which is a collection of other journal entries and documents that Hopkins considered to be of interest to his audience because they were related to the Quakers’ goals of assisting Indians in Indiana country.
Connersville, IN: 1910
About 15 pages of this 25-page volume are devoted to the ‘journal’ of Peter Jones, Secretary to Governor William Henry Harrison, narrating events of September and October 1809 in connection with the Treaty of Fort Wayne. In those treaty negotiations, chiefs representing several tribes agreed to sell land amounting to about 3 million acres in present-day Indiana and Illinois. Although it is termed a Journal, this does not resemble a diary, but appears to be a single comprehensive report of all Harrison’s meetings with the chiefs, written afterward.
Also within the volume are accounts of Harrison’s meetings with Tecumseh after the treaty-signing, when Tecumseh informed Harrison that the purchase of land was unacceptable, and warned against Americans settling the land. This treaty is generally understood to be one of the main events that drove Tecumseh to decide on war against the U.S.
Books and articles on Exploration & Travel in Historic Indiana
Kappler, Charles J., comp.
Washington: Govt Printing Office
Volume I (Laws, Compiled to Dec. 1, 1902)
Volume II (Treaties, 1778-1883)
Volume III (Laws, Compiled to Dec. 1, 1913)
(4 more volumes, compiled through 1971 to keep the laws up to date, are also at this site)
An historically significant, seven volume compilation of U.S. treaties, laws and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes. The volumes cover U.S. Government treaties with Native Americans from 1778-1883 (Volume II) and U.S. laws and executive orders concerning Native Americans from 1871-1970 (Volumes I, III-VII). The work was first published in 1903-04 by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Enhanced by the editors’ use of margin notations and a comprehensive index, the information contained in Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties is in high demand by Native peoples, researchers, journalists, attorneys, legislators, teachers and others of both Native and non-Native origins.”
– Summary from Oklahoma State University Kappler Project web site.
Books and articles on War in historic Indiana
A description of the more notable earthworks, mounds, implements and ceremonial objects left in Indiana by our predecessors, together with some information as to their origin and antiquity, and the prehistory of Indiana
Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society 1937
Indiana Magazine of History Volume 9, Issue 3, 1913, pp 187-194
Line, Sarah Jane
Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
embracing also a brief statement of the Indian policy of the government, and other historical matter relating to the Indian question
Plymouth, Ind: McDonald 1899
This 60-page booklet is a review of the history of Pottawatomie occupancy of land in northern Indiana and Michigan, and of the treaty agreements of the 1830s between the Pottawatomie and U.S. Government representatives that gradually ceded all their land. It also contains excerpts from presidential speeches and other official statements of U.S. policy, illustrating how government policy toward treatment of the Indians evolved during the period 1800 to 1840.
Please visit our collection of 2,000+ selected online magazine and newspaper articles on 40 subjects, plus online map & vintage photo collections, at Century Past History Resources
Cessions of Land by Indian Tribes to the United States: Illustrated by Those in the State of Indiana
Royce, C. C.
Washington: Government Printing Office 1881
This document of under 15 pages – the First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1879-80 – has two purposes.
First, it contains a short discussion of the extent to which the U.S. Government had recognized Indian title to lands they occupied, and how that recognition was reflected in the many treaties that were negotiated for Indian lands, beginning with the formation of the U.S. Government and progressing through the first quarter of the 19th century. Second, the document contains a map of Indiana with 54 land cessions by Indian tribes marked upon it, and short descriptions within the document of each of those cessions.
University of Oklahoma 1985
Contains new research and narrative about Tecumseh and his Indian forces in the Battle of the Thames, otherwise known as the Battle of Moraviantown.
Contents: August and September, 1813 — The painful decision: September, 1813 — From Sandwich to Moraviantown: September 27 to October 5, 1813 — The battle of Moraviantown: October 5, 1813 — Who killed Tecumseh? — The dispute over Tecumseh’s burial.
Washington: GPO 1904
Articles of a treaty between the United States and the Miami tribe of Indians, concluded at the Forks of the Wabash, in the State of Indiana, on the 23d day of October, 1834, by and between William Marshall, commissioner of the United States, and the chiefs and warriors of said tribe.
For works about prominent Native American leaders in the Old Northwest, see:
– Various books and articles on Tecumseh, The Prophet, Logan, Cornstalk, Bluejacket and Joseph Brant in Biographies & Memoirs in Great Lakes History;
– Thwaites, Reuben Gold, “Logan, The Mingo Chief 1710-1780″ in Biographies & Memoirs in Ohio History;
– Cole, Cyrenus, I am a Man: the Indian Black Hawk in Biographies & Memoirs in Illinois History;
– Quaife, Milo Milton, ed., The Life of Black Hawk; Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak in Biographies & Memoirs in Illinois History;
– Ellis, Edward S., The Life of Pontiac, the Conspirator, Chief of the Ottawas in Native Americans in the History of the Great Lakes;
– Turner, F. N. (Dr.), “Chief Okemos” in Native Americans in Michigan History;
– Matson, Nehemiah, “Sketch of Shau-be-na, a Pottawattamie Chief” in Native Americans in Wisconsin History;
You can find more works like these at our other ‘Native American’ pages.