** / 1673 -- The Wea had separated from the Mascouten and moved south to start their own village near Chicago Illinois.
20 / 1670 -- Jean Claude Allouez, a Jesuit, wrote on May 2, 1670, “I felt certain that these Indians, Miami and Ouiatanon were descendants of one of the “lost tribes” mentioned in the Old Testament in the Bible.”
40 / 1675-95 -- The Ouiatanon were the first Indians to re-occupy Northern Indiana. The Ouiatanon’s and the Miami’s were related to the Illinois, Kaskaskia and the Peoria Tribes. 37, 39 / Some were related to the Kickapoo and the Mascouten as well. Mostly an agricultural tribe the Ouiatanons raised 39 corn, squash, melons, and pulse. They had 200 acre of corn fields. By 1791 they were riding and kept horses. Their winter living quarters were about 120 miles from Fort Ouiatanon, along the White River in Southern Indiana.
31 / 1695-- The Ouiatanon’s were the first to occupy the Wabash River by Lafayette, Indiana. They remained there for over 90 years.
57 / 1669 -- The Saint Francis Xavier Mission House was founded by Father Jean Claude Allouez S.J. on Lake Superior, along Greenbay Michigan.
26 / Pierre Francois Pinet S.J. started the “Mission of the Guardian Angels” among the Ouiatanon at Chicago Illinois. The Mission was abandoned in early 1700. 57 / There were some Ouiatanon living with the Mascouten’s on Greenbay during 1669-70.
60 / 1678 -- The Ouiatanon, Miami and Mascouten Tribes were all living in a village together.
20 / 1679 -- The Kankakee Portage had several Indian villages around it. The Ouiatanon were on the upper St. Joseph River, while the Miami had moved south to reoccupy Indiana. 56 / LaSalle found villages of Wea and Miami at the Kankakee Portage in Northwestern Indiana.
21 / 1680 -- Pierre Deliette discovered that the Ouiatanon’s were at the old Fort St. Louis near present day Peoria, with them was also the Miami Tribe. 61 / Early in the year LaSalle built a Fort near present day Peoria. 62 / In the summer the Miami and Ouiatanon finally succeeded in provoking war with the Iroquois. LaSalle named his ruined post on the Illinois River, “Fort Crevecoeur”, Fort Broken Heart.
63 / 1682-83-- The French Traders built a fort at Starved Rock on the Illinois River, just below the mouth of the Fox River.
22 / 1687 -- The Ouiatanon Tribe split into 3 groups. One clan went to the St. Joseph River, one clan to the mouth of the Wisconsin River, and the last clan to the upper Miss issippi River. The Miami were also on the St. Joseph River during these days.
23 / 1688 -- The Mississippi and Wisconsin River Clans of the Ouiatanon’s moved to the Grand Calumet River near Gary Indiana and to the forks of the Kankakee River.
23 / 1690-91 -- LaPotherie mentions that the Ouiatanon’s were visiting Nicolas Perrot’s Trading Post at Greenbay. During the visit Perrot was attempting to persuade them to fight the Iroquois Indians. The Ouiatanon’s (Wea’s) asked Perrot to make a Fort near the Wisconsin River so they could trade their furs there.
24 / 1695 -- The Wea on the Kankakee River decided to move south to settle on “leBord de Ouabache” or the Banks of the Wabash River, near Lafayette Indiana. They remained here in 1705. Between 1691-1705 there was a clan of the Wea still living by Chicago Illinois.
27 / 1700 -- The Wea and Miami were in several villages on the south end of Lake Michigan. Part of the Wea were still at Chicago Illinois, and a clan remained on the St. Joseph River.By the 18th Century a number of Indian Tribes were lump- ed together because of their alliances with one another and the fact that they lived in close proximity of each other. They were called the WABASH TRIBES and included; Wea, Mascouten, Piankashaw, Miami, and the Vermillion Kickapoo.
** / 1701 -- The Mascouten of the Ohio River area in Southern Illi- nois moved north to the middle Wabash Valley area and formed an alliance with the Wea and Piankashaw.
29 / 1704 -- The Wea attacked the Indians at Chicago. They made peace with the Huron at Detroit Michigan. The Miami killed a high ranking Ottawa man and the Ottawa attacked them along with the Wea and Huron’s. The Wea again attacked the Ottawa. Finally the Ottawa sent an “envoy” to the Wea at Detroit to make peace with them.
65 / 1701-05 -- Pierre Deliette lived with the Chicago clan of the Wea for 4 years. He wrote an exceedingly valuable account of both the Wabash River and of the Wea Indians.
31 / 1708 -- The St. Joseph River Clan of Wea moved with their families to the Wabash River area.
26 / 1710 -- The Wea were driven eastward as a result of the Fox Indian Wars.
36 / 1711 -- The Ouiatanon’s lived at the mouth of the Wea Creek, on the south bank of the Wabash River, 4 miles below Laf- ayette Indiana.(possibly where my Jacco Godfroy was born, or at Fort. Ouiatanon)
65 / 1712 -- Jean Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes (1668-1719) in June visited the Wea in the Wabash Valley.
33 / 1714 -- Ensign Dupuy was sent to the Wea with presents to persuade them to make peace with the Miami and Illinois, and then he wanted all 3 Tribes to wage war on the Fox. 69 / Elder Vincennes visited the Wea again in the autumn and brought them presents in order to talk them into peace with the Illinois Indians, and then he wanted the Illini and the Wea to wage war on the Fox Tribe.
69-70 / 1715 -- Ensign Dupuy returned to Detroit with 2 Wea Chiefs who then died of measles. In August Dudoncour led a war party of 20-30 Wea warriors to Chicago to attack the Fox.
16 / 1716 -- The Ouiatanon’s sent a messenger to the Governor of Canada asking that a post be established among them along the Wabash River. ( later this turns out to be Fort Ouiatanon.)
92 / 1717 -- Nicolas LaDouceur served as interpreter at Fort Ouiatanon until 1722. There were 4 French soldiers and 3 French Traders and a Detroit Blacksmith at the fort.
93 / 1720 -- Cadet Francois Marie Bissot de Vincennes (1700-1736) was commandant of Fort Ouiatanon and he remained here until about 1730. There had been 40-50 Wea who were talked into moving to the Kankakee River area, thinking that the rest of the Tribe would be joining them later. But by 1721 the rest didn’t show up, so they moved back home to the Fort. At this time the Wea planted maize and squash and hunted beaver and buffalo. They traded at Fort Ouiatanon.
94 / 1718 -- The Wea kept their Fort very clean and did not even allow a blade of grass to grown there. The whole Fort was strewn with sand. The surrounding village are wrapped by over 2 leagues of open fields.(12 leagues = approx.36 miles,1 league is about 3 miles) There was limitless buffalo on the prairies.
98 / 1730 -- War broke out among the Fox, Potawatomi, Mascouten,Kick- apoo and the Illinois. All these tribes were against the Fox’s migration into their lands in Northern Indiana. By August, Lieutenant Nicolas Coulon and Sieur de Villiers arrived with the Saux and more Potawatomi to help. No one had invited the Wea, yet. Two Fox warriors went to the Wea village with a wampum collar and a calumet to beg assistance from them. The Fox had never bothered the Wea or invaded their territory before. 99 / The Wea Chiefs held a council and decided to join the Fox. Two days later the Wea showed up at the scene bringing with them on of their Clans, the Piankashaws. However, upon arrival they broke their promises to the Fox and joined sides with the others. The Fox suffered a disastrous defeat.
99 / 1731 -- The Wea and Miami were trading furs with the English.
102 / 1733 -- The Chickasaw are becoming more troublesome again.
101 / 1734 -- A fight broke out at Fort Ouiatanon between a Frenchman and a Wea warrior. The Frenchman won. The Wea warrior left and went and got his friends and they ransacked the fort. The Wea had control of the fort at this time. No one wanted to miss out on the action, so 120 French, 115 Huron and 98 Ottawa arrived at the Fort to see what was going on. But the Commandant de Villemure sent them away for everything was all right now. The Wea had smoked the calumet and returned the stolen goods.
101 / 1735 -- Commandant of Fort Ouiatanon, Cadet Francois de L’Epervanche de Villemure was replaced by Louis Godfroy de Normanville. 103 / Some of the Kickapoo and Mascoutens came to settle in near Fort Ouiatanon. The Kickapoo made a village 18 miles from the Wea, but later moved closer to them. By 1741 each of the 3 groups had 200 warriors plus women, children and the elderly. This made the total Indian population around Fort Ouiatanon 3000 persons.
103 / 1736 -- The Chickasaws killed Vincennes in March.
103 / 1738 -- Four separate groups of war parties of Wea, as well as the Piankashaws attacked the Chickasaw over their beloved friend Vincennes.
106 / 1750 -- LaDemoiselle sent a war belt of wampum and English flag to the remaining Indians at Fort Ouiatanon, and to Illinois Indian country. He wanted them to attack the French. Wea Chief LaGraine felt inclined to follow LaDemiselle’s plan.
107 / By May 1750 the Wea people had dwindled by more than half in population due to the epidemic. Some of the Wea with the Piankashaw Clan moved to the Great Miami River. The rest of the Wea under Chief Les Grandes Ongles stayed at Fort Ouiatanon and remained faithful to the French.
108 / 1751 -- A party of Wea killed a Shawnee and the Shawnee blamed the French and Illinois Indians for it. But the Command- ant of the Illinois managed to clam everything down. Chief La Mouche Noir of the Wea at Ouiatanon was turning more and more against the French. Never before have the English probed so far into the Wabash Valley and French Territory as they did this year. 109 / The Algoniquian Families joined forces; the Wea, Miami, Illinois, Piankashaw, Delaware, Shawnee and Iroquois. In the spring of 1752 they received a war wampum from the Miami.
109 / 1752 -- The Indians on the Great Miami River were hit with the smallpox epidemic. In May the French made their strike with a war party of 260 Ottawa and Chippewa from Mackinac. They attacked Chief LaDemoiselle’s village and seized all English merchandise.
110 / September, a great part of the Wea were still on the Great Miami River. Only one band was left at Fort Ouiatanon.
111 / 1756 -- A few Wea participated in a French raid in the central Appalachians.
** / 1757 -- Fort Ouiatanon was commanded by Ensign Pierre Audet, Sieur de Bailleul Canut.
** / 1759 -- Commander at Fort Ouiatanon was Bailleul.
113 / 1761 -- Lieutenant Edward Jenkins and 20 English soldiers occupied Fort Ouiatanon. French settlers still remained.
132 / November, the English arrived at Fort Ouiatanon. General Jeffery Amherst of Albany issued orders that the Fort would require a garrison.
113 / 1762 -- Dozens of families were now living at Fort Ouiatanon. 133 / The Seneca Iroquois of New York decided that Fort Ouiatanon should be wiped out, and they sent a war belt of wampum to the Wea Village asking them to rise up and kill all the English there. The Seneca also sent a belt to the Delaware Indians, who then sent it to the Shawnee The Shawnee passed it to the Miami, but the Miami wanted gunpowder, knives and war paint so they could go wage war on the Cherokee. So the Miami gave the wampum to the English hoping to get these things.In August Thomas Hutchins visited Fort Ouiatanon. At This time there were 200 Wea, 180 Kickapoo, 100 Pianka- shaws and 90 Mascouten with their families.
134 / 1763 -- Jenknins was at Fort Ouiatanon on March 30th. He reported a war belt was sent to the Miami and Wea. On May 10th, Fort St. Joseph of the Miami fell, it was overcome by the British. Fort Ouiatanon waited their turn. 163 / June 1st the Indians at Fort Ouiatanon took Jenkins prisoner along with the rest of the English there. The Wea said that the rest of the tribes had pressured them to do it. At 8:00p.m. the principle war belt arrived with orders to kill all the English. French settlers Alexander Maisonville and Lorrain gave the Wea some wampum and talked them into letting the English go. But the Wea retained them for 2 more months. Then the English prisoners from Fort Miami were brought to Fort Ouiatanon.The Indians decided to take the prisoners to the Illinois country. In December they let them all go free.
38 / 1765 -- The Mascouten and Kickapoo Indians were living on the North bank of the Wabash Fort, across from the Wea.
139 / 1766 -- Joseph Pallier was on English patrol at Fort Ouiatanon. French families remained there but the region was law- less and in control of the Indians. 113 / George Croghan said that 14 families were living at Fort Ouiatanon at this time. ** There is a 1769 census, some- where, that list the names of the families who were living there. 137 / The English sent Indian Agent George Croghan to make peace with the Wea and Pontiac. However, he was attacked by a party of Kickapoo and Mascouten, and someone bashed him in the head with a hatchet. The Indians decided to take Croghan to their village at Cautonan. Croghan spent from June 23ed to July 25th at Fort Ouiatanon making peace settlements with the neighboring Indians. He met with the Wea, Piankashaw, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Miami, Delaware, Shawnee and the Iroquois. 138 / On July 18th Pontiac himself met with Croghan to make peace. This peace settlement stopped the Pontiac up- rising and was on of the most important historic events at Fort Ouiatanon.
** / 1769-71 -- The Wea, Piankashaw, and Miami sent out war parties against the Cherokee in Kentucky.
140 / 1773 -- Fort Ouiatanon now contained 280 Wea, 250 Kickapoo, and some French families.
114 / 1778 -- Henry Hamilton was at Fort Ouiatanon. Hutchins published a manuscript telling of salt springs coal, lime, and clay in the upper Wabash region. 140 / September, Helms and Lieutenant John Bailey sent a party of 100 Frenchmen with war belts and speeches to the Wea at Fort Ouiatanon. Helms and his men captured the Indians there. Then he made a peace treaty with them. Helms gave the Wea an American Flag to hang at the Fort. This was the first such flag to fly in Lafayette Indiana 141 / Henry Hamilton visited Fort Ouiatanon on November 30th. There were almost 900 Indian people living here then.
142 / 1779 -- Clark’s Agent Daniel Maurice Godefroy de Linctot went to the Illinois River and to the Wabash River. Godefroy de Linctot then headed for Fort Ouiatanon. He reached the Fort at the end of August 1779. The Indians were uneasy and low on provisions.
169 / 1780-91 -- It was commonplace for the Wea and Miami to send out war parties that would roam over 200 miles into Kentucky to attack American settlers there. Prisoners captured were brought back to the villages and were usually burned to death.
** / 1780 -- Several French families abandoned the Fort and moved to Vincennes Indiana. (Jacco’s group?) 171 / These French families were Fur Traders who married with the Indian women for the last 20-30 years.
44 / 1781 -- The Wea decided to favor the English over the Americans.
171 / The Wea decided to wage war against the Americans. They attacked Captain Richard McCarty’s party in the Wabash Valley.
** / 1782 -- August, a band of Wea and English broke in Vincennes and captured Commander Captain Valentine J. Dalton. In ex- changed for the Wea’s help the English supplied them with goods.
172 / 1783 -- The Wea held William Johnston (an Indian Agent) prisoner and John Baptise managed to secure his release from them.
** / 1786 -- The French permanently left the Fort. Sometime between 1786-90 the Indians burned Fort Ouiatanon to the ground. 172 / This date was the final abandonment of Ouiatanon by the French. The Wea were now becoming hostile to the English.
112 / 1789 -- Indians of the Wabash were related heavily with the French. No settler at Fort Ouiatanon was ever known to marry any European women. 173 / The Potawatomi and Wea were now waging war in Kentucky against the American Settlers. This summer the Indians burned American captives at Fort Ouiatanon.
114 / 1789-91 -- Several French settlers at the mouth of the Tippicanoe River were in the French village called “Petit Piconne”. Wilkinson destroyed this town in 1791. The town contained houses, gardens, books and a tavern.
174 / 1790 -- The US Government was powerless to do anything about the Indian attacks. Secretary of War Henry Knox admitted that there was not enough money to send out troops against the Wabash Indians. In March Pierre Gamelin accomplished nothing with is talks with the Wea. On April 14th Antoine Gamelin spoke to the Wea and Kickapoo again settling nothing. By May 22nd Major Hantramck announced the situation hope less. The Wabash Indians would NEVER make peace with the USA. 175 / In fact he received word that all the Indians had gone to war in Kentucky. 179 / Wilkinson and Scotts army attacked and destroyed the Kethtipecanunk Village, Petit Piconne (the French Village) and the Ouiatanon Village. They left the Village of the Kickapoo unharmed. Indian prisoners were taken to Fort Steuben.The Army then proceeded to destroy the Village of Kenapacomaqua on the Eel River. In almost every Village Wilkenson fought against mainly women, children and old men. The warriors were out on hunting parties. He burned down the village homes and all their crops. 133 / Lieutenant Edward Jenkins set off to take possession of Fort Ouiatanon.
42 / 1791 -- The Wea lived in absolute peace on the Wabash River near Lafayette Indiana. No one, Indian or otherwise, ever molested them prior to this date. Still, they spent a great deal of their time sending out war parties to attack whoever lived in Kentucky. Warfare was their nature and they were mighty fine at it.The presence of a woman in a traveling group of warriors was to signify that it was not a war party as they went through hostile Iroquois lands. The woman was their passport to go through peacefully. 56 / Independent French Fur Traders came to be known as “Coueurs de Bois.”
39 / 1803-05 -- The Ouiatanon Indians abandoned their village on the Wabash where they had lived since 1711 and moved to the Terre Haute Indiana area. (It was about this time that my Jacco Godfroy became Chief of the Wea. He was said to have taken the people to a new place right below Terre Haute. This village was his principal village, and He called it Weautenon (Rising Sun, know by others as “Old Orchard Town”, also known as “Jacco’s Village/Towne”.) 183 / After 1791 the Wea Indians suffered the fate of all their race. Their culture declined, their lands were taken away from them ( STOLEN ) and they were pushed westward onto reservations in a region strange to them. Very little is heard about the once Great Wea Nation after this date.
182 / 1792 -- The Wabash Tribes signed the Putnam Treaty this year. September 27th, the Treaty of Vincennes was signed by Wea, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Potawatomi, Eel Rivers, Miami, Kaskaskia, and the Peoria Tribes. But it did not bring any peace.
184 / 1793 -- A party of Ouiatanon Chiefs were taken to visit in Philadelphia and New York City. They met the Government officials. Most of the Chiefs caught smallpox and died.
183 / 1794 -- General Anthony Wayne on August 20th defeated Miami Chief Little Turtle and his warriors at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo Ohio. He then destroyed the British post on the Maumee River. In October he built a post and garrison there and named it Fort Wayne.
183 / 1795 -- On August 3rd the Treaty of Greenville Ohio was signed by the Wea, Miami, Eel Rivers, Piankeshaw, Kickapoo, Kaskaskia, Potawatomi, Shawnee, Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa, and the Chippewah. The Indians ceded away half of Ohio and a thin section in Southeast Indiana. Also ceded by Article 3 of the Treat was 16 small tracts of land scattered throughout the Northwest Territory, which included Chicago Illinois.The Wea ceded a 6 mile square section of land at the Ouiatanon Village and the US gave them $500.00 worth of goods.
** / 1800-09 -- Treaties signed during this time took away the southern third of Indiana from the Wea Nation. The Treat of St. Mary’s, signed October 2ed, 1818 deprived the Wea of all their lands in Indiana, except for a reservation at the mouth of Raccoon Creek on the Wabash River.
184 / 1802 -- There were still a group of Wea living at their old village near Lafayette Indiana. The Potawatomi had now begun to move into the area. Sometime between 1802 and 1806 the Wea abandoned their village and moved down the Wabash River to a site near Terre Haute Indiana. Their principal village was reported in 1806 as being near Terre Haute, and in 1816 they were still there on what became known as the Lower Wabash Tribe. ( Chief Jacco Godfroy’s Village was called Weauteno, Old Orchard Town. He became Chief in 1805 and it was most likely his decision that moved the Tribe.
184 / 1820 -- A further Treaty signed at Vincennes Indiana on August 11, 1820 STOLE the Raccoon Creek Reservation from them. They were now left homeless. Some of the Wea moved to Illinois and Missouri with the Piankashaws, while others moved up to the northern third of Indiana to live with the Potawatomi there.(Jacco was said to have taken some of his Band and went to live/hide in the forest of southern Ohio.)
** / 1826-32 -- The northern third of Indiana was taken from the Indians and they were crowed into reservations around present day Kokomo Indiana.
** / 1838 -- This year the government decided that the presence of the Indians was a detriment to the growing nations and all Indians in Indiana were forcibly expelled from the state. They were herded like cattle on foot to northeastern Kansas, where they joined the remaining Wea and Piankashaws who had moved there in 1832 from Illinois. They died off quickly. By 1854 the Wea, Piankashaw, Kaskaskia, and Peoria together numbered only 259 persons.
185 / 1868 -- The State of Kansas was deemed too valuable for the Indians to live there, and they were again herded like cattle south to the Neosho River in northeast Oklahoma.
MORE ABOUT FORT OUIATENON & THE WEA INDIANS
Chief Pontiac's siege of Detroit 1
Chief Pontiac's siege of Detroit 2
Wea Chief Jacco’s Historical Markers at Indiana Historical Bureau
Indiana Historical Society
Vermillion County Indiana Historical Society
Vigo County Historical Society