“No country ever produced a greater variety of wild fruits and berries. The wide fertile bottom lands of the Wabash in many places presented one continuous orchard of wild plum, crab apple, wood grapes, wild hops, honeysuckle, crimson plum, yellow crap apple, blue grape, red berries, sweet briar, gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries, dewberries, raspberries, huckleberries, whortleberry, and cranberries at every turn on the paths. No doubt the Indians and French planted many a fine tree for found growing everywhere near the Old Wea Town (Orchard Town/Weauteno) on the north side of the prairie, between Terre Haute and Vincennes (Indiana), and at the mouth of the Wabash were black walnut, butter nut, hickory, hazel nut, simmon bushes, apple trees, pecan, and chestnut.”
“The lower end of the Wea Plain (Ouiatenon Village, Lafayette, Indiana) was the most beautiful and fertile place, which for many years was regarded as the Egypt of Indiana to which the people came to buy corn for fifty miles around. One the north side of the Wea Plain there was a large Indiana and French Town, which extended from the head of the bluff below the mouth of the Wea (Creek), to where the town of Grandville now stands. I heard my grandfather, who was with General Clarke when he destroyed this town in the year 1791, say, that there were at times it was sacked, about forty shingled roof houses, occupied by French Traders and mechanics, besides tents and wigwams in great numbers, which covered the ground for several miles along the prairie, on the south bank of the Wabash River. My father’s farm was on the ground once covered with this Indian Town. In the Fall, after the grass was burnt on the prairie, the boys of the neighborhood used to amuse themselves with hunting up the blades of butcher knives, tomahawks, brass kettles, gun barrels, and etc., and the little girls in picking up beads, which in many places were strewn over the face of the ground, and had been washed up by the rains into gulches along the hillside. I have myself found as high as six or eight Indian knives in a hour’s search, soon after we moved on the farm. After the rust was taken off, these knives proved to be of excellent metal, and had not lost their temper, notwithstanding their long exposure to the prairie fires and the weather. “
“The natural scenery around the town of Williamsport (Indiana) is romantic and beautiful, well worthy the pencil of the painter or the pen of the poet. A range of hills surrounded the original town, on the north and west, crowned with amphitheatre of ranges of trees, whose tops gradually rose above each other in such regular gradations, that in Autumn bedecked with green, scarlet, or yellow. Along the steep cliffs that overhang the south bank of the Fall Branch, a small stream meanders through a narrow and fertile valley which lies on the north side of town. This stream takes the name from a cataract, where its pellucid waters are precipitated over falls some eighty or one hundred feet high, into a deep chasms, resembling the deep, narrow bed of the Niagara River, which is born of the most stupendous and sublime cataract in the world. This little Niagara, when in the spring and fall, the waters of Fall Branch leap and thunder over the rocks, throwing foam and spray that forms a mimic rainbow above heads of the shrubs and bushes. At the Falls, and in the hills around the town, is to be found some of the best sand and freestone in the state of Indiana. (Recollections of the Early Settlement of the Wabash Valley, By: Sanford C. Cox. 1860.)”
1683 --- A man, named La Salle, established his Fort "St. Louis" on Starved Rock.
1683 --- At that time 500 WEA Indian braves came to the Fort. The WEA were settled Northeast of Starved Rock, but in 1688 they moved North on the Kankakee River as Chicago, Illinois. At this time the WEA Indians were the largest village of the Miami Nation.
1700 --- The WEA moved to the Lower tip of Lake Michigan to the ST. Joseph River area. They later moved to a village on the Wabash River, below the mouth of the Tippecanoe River. At this time they were under the leadership of an established village of the Wuyqakeentonwau.
1717 --- Prior to this time the WEA Indians established their own Village on the Wabash River, in the vicinity of Lafayette, Indiana. Fort Post Ouiatanon was built in 1717. Ouiatanon is the French name for the WEA Indians.
1718 --- The WEA's had five villages near Post Fort Ouiatanon. Only four names of the village's have survived over the years. They were Ouiatanon, Piankeshaw, Peticotias and the Gros. During the year 1717 the WEA Indians numbered 1,000 - 1,200 warriors, Plus women and children. In 1717 they lost a great number of their tribe due to measles brought in by the White man.
1719 --- A man, named Vaudreuil sought the removal of the WEA and Miami tribes from the Wabash River area. These Indians promised to return by autumn. The WEA were to take up new quarters again on the Kankakee River.
1720 --- Only a small band of the WEA"s remained. Numbers of 40-50 persons. This small band was persuaded to return to the Kankakee River area. It was now that the WEA's separated from and left the Miami Tribes.
1721 --- The little vanguard of WEA returned to the Wabash River.
1723 --- During this time the WEA were leaving Fort Ouiatanon to establish a town at an old village site called "La Babiche" on the Maumee River.
1726 --- No location of the WEA Indians, except by hearsay or by travelers, is possible until 1726. At Fort Ouiatanon the WEA had 400 braves plus women and children.
1731 --- The French wanted the WEA's to gain revenge against the Chickasaw Indians. A WEA war party went south and struck the Chickasaw Tribe.
1732 - 1733 --- During these years the WEA with the Miami and Piankeshaw tribes warred heavily with the Chickasaw tribes. The WEA's lost many persons due to smallpox, another gift from the White man. The WEA had four villages in these years, 60 braves, the smallest group and combined strength of 700 braves.
1738 --- The WEA Indians sent four war parties to attack against the Chickasaw once again. This time they took prisoners, who were all burned to death in the WEA villages.
1746 --- It was estimated that the WEA's still had numbers of 600 braves, plus women and children. The WEA were loyal to the French at this time. The important Chiefs of this time period were as follows...
1. La Peau Blanch or White Skin
2. La Petite Jarretiere or Little Garter
3. L''Homme or Head Chief
4. Le Commis or The Traveler
5. La Teste Blanche
6. Le Comte or The count
1752 --- The French sent troops into the Wabash River area. This action probably was the cause that made the WEA's side with the British. The WEA then resumed residence at the French Fort.
1761 --- The British assumed command of the Fort Ouiatanon. There were now only 200 braves of the WEA.
1762 - 1763 --- The WEA remained near the Fort Ouiatanon.
1764 --- Some of the WEA went with the new masters of Ouiatanon and joined the French at Fort Chartres in Illinois. The British estimated the WEA numbered 400 warriors plus women and children.
1770 --- There were 1,000 warriors in the WEA and allies settled opposite the outpost. The WEA were living on the left bank of the Wabash River, opposite the Fort Ouiatanon.
1777 --- The WEA Indian warriors of 1,000 remained around the Fort.
1778 --- In June representatives of the WEA, Kickapoo and the Mascouten tribes gathered at Detroit to talk with the British. WEA war Chiefs that attended is as follows....
The village Chiefs of the WEA who also attended was.......
Roger Clark met with many of the Wabash Chiefs at Cahokia and peace treaties followed.
1782 --- January of this year found the WEA tribes quite peaceful. Their numbers were 600 strong along the Wabash. The principal Chief was Crooked Legs. The other Chiefs were as follows........
2. La Poussier
3. La Frambois
Part 3; 1789 – 1826:
1789 --- Rumor of war, with the WEA's planning to attack at Vincennes, was spreading quickly among tribes and whites alike. A man, named John Hamtramck, worked quick and hard and managed to get the WEA divided among themselves. One group of WEA had 80 warriors and they pledged to support the United States.
1791 --- May 23ed, General Charles Scott lead as attack upon the WEA Indians along the Wabash; He defeated them and destroyed their crops.
1792 --- September 27th, General Rufus Putnam made a peace treaty with the WEA and other tribes along the Wabash River.
1809 --- Some of the WEA's were living at the Eel River village. Other tribes admitted the Miami Indians only as their allies, not as part of their tribes, and their title to their lands was not separate in the Wabash area. On October 3rd, 1809 Harrison and the Indians made a treaty at Fort Wayne Indiana. The United States acquired about 2,900,000 acres of land at this time. With the treaty of Greenville Ohio the total land acquired by the United States for this period totaled 29,719,530 acres.
1813 --- After the U.S. Army defeated the British and Indian forces at the battle of Thames on October 5th, 1813, many of the Indian groups wanted peace with the U.S. Harrison and the WEA tribes, Eel River, Miami and the Potawatomis, signed an Armistice on October 14th, 1813.
1814 --- In the summer of this year William Harrison and Lewis Cass gathered with 1,600 Indians, the WEA, Miami, Delaware's, Wyandot’s, Seneca’s, Munsees’ and the Eel River Tribes. By July 1st, 1814 these Indians left for Greenville, Ohio. Some of the main Chiefs refused to sign the treaty of June 22ed, 1814. After the treaty of Greenville, Little Eyes, a WEA Chief, told Joseph Barron, on October 24th, 1814, that Indians were drifting again down to the Wabash River.
The WEA Chiefs, Little Eyes and Ke-ke-qua , with Joseph Barron acquired information that the Kickapoo’s were living in two separate villages by the Royce area and ? . In 1815 the treaty was signed.
1816 --- The WEA's numbered only 460 and agreed to the boundary of land along the Wabash and the White Rivers. Benjamin F. Stickney, an Indian agent at Fort Wayne, Indiana, found that earlier the WEA or a portion of them moved and joined the Eel River and Miami tribes.
David Thomas made a trip up the Wabash River and noted the existence of several small Miami villages on the Eel River, and another some 25 miles farther up the same river. On November 2ed, 1816, Benjamin F. Stickney wrote, “The Indian title"......." Having extinguished to the land on which they, the WEA, resided by the treaty of Fort Wayne of 1809." The WEA, Miami and the Eel River's are all the same tribe and speak the same language now.
1818 --- The treaty of ST. Mary's was negotiated on the ST. Mary's River. It was one treaty to which the WEA supposedly agreed. On October 2ed, 1818 the WEA's ceded the United States all of their lands, "claimed and owned" by the WEA's in the states of Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, except the reservation on the mouth of Raccoon Creek, present day at Parke County, Indiana.
The WEA's ratified the cession of land made by the Kickapoo’s to the U.S. by a treaty on December 9th, 1809, for the cession of their lands. The WEA's were granted $1,850.00 annual annuity. Seven WEA Chiefs, including Ke-ke-qua and Little Eyes, signed this treaty of ST. Mary's. The treaty of Edwardsville in September 25th, 1818, the Peoria were given 640 acres on Blackwater River, MO.
1819 --- It seems that around October the WEA numbered 100 warriors and about 400 persons. Annuity payments were not made to the Miami's and Eel River's until September of 1819. The two groups signed the document for the annuities under treaty of 1818, but signed separated receipts for the money received from treaties in 1795, 1803 and 1809. Wea's were not listed as a group/tribe among these signatures, however, Stone Eater and LaFrambois, well known WEA Chiefs, signed receipts as members of the Eel River Band.
1820 --- A man named, Isaac McCoy found undoubtedly that the Miami's occupied a village near the old site of "Turtle Town" on the Eel River, northeast of Fort Wayne, Indiana. At this time some of the Peoria of the Kaskaskia area left Illinois.
1825 --- On February 2ed, John Tipton had written, "people of the Indiana are anxious for the Indian treaty, and extinguishments of title. If we can get the money we can get most of the land they own in that state. Many of the Indians' are aware of the effect of our liquor on their people and wish to move to a more thinly settled regions. "......
1826 --- This year has many events that were charted in history. Early in 1826 the Americans resumed their efforts to get additional lands from the Indian's.
January 5th, 1826, Lewis Cass wrote in part this letter ........."The Miami's own the country (Indiana) the game in this district is nearly exterminated and the Indian's here are not more than 1,500 persons.".................."Richardville, a Miami Chief, was 1/2 Canadian and knew well of the White man's ways.'........"I think appropriation of $50,000.00 dollars will be necessary to secure the land".
Part 4; 1826 – 1885:
1826 --- May 24th, a letter was sent to John Tipton, Lewis Cass and James B. Ray from the Secretary of War, Barbour, stating.........."These three men are to serve as commissioners for a treaty to be held with the Miami's and Potawatomie Indians. Congress had appropriated $15,000.00 ( not $50,000.00 ) to buy the lands of Indiana with the negotiations to be held on or before November 1, 1826."
The treaty of paradise Springs on September 20, 1826 and October 2, 1826 were to begin talks with the Miami's, Potawatomie, WEA's and the Ottawa. The President wished the Indians to remove themselves from Indiana and go west of the Mississippi. That they would give them residence there to said tribes along with annuities, clothing, provisions, and be provided a means of your removal.
Councils reconvened on October 11, 1826. The war Chiefs and the peace Chiefs did not want to sell any more land to the Whites. The Miami's warned the Potawatomie not to sell any more of their lands. Governor Ray of Indiana, "Denied that the United States desired the Indians to perish."
Council reopened on October 12, 1826. The Potawatiomi's had agreed to part of the land that the U.S. wanted to buy. At this time Governor Ray asked permission of the Indians to build a road from Indianapolis to Lake Michigan. The Miami's still insisted NO land was to be sold. October 12 -16, 1826 a treaty with the Potawatomi's had been worked out. The Indians wanted $100.00 per person and all the goods then on the ground as presents and that the annuity be perpetually paid. However they got 22 years instead.
October 16, 1826 the Potawatomi's signed the treaty of paradise springs and the American's got he land for the road. Seven days later on October 23, 1826 the Miami's, feeling defeated, also signed the treaty. The Miami's gave all the land of Indiana to the United States. Their mixed-bloods to get a certain track of land. They received $31,040.53 in goods at the time the treaty was signed. They also received in the summer of 1827 another $26,259.47 in more goods. Annuities for the Miami's were $35,000.00 in 1827, $30,000.00 in the year 1828 and supposedly $25,000.00 for EVERY year after, if they remained as an "exist together as a tribe".
The Miami's also received 200 head pf cattle, 200 hogs, 2000 pounds of iron, 1000 pounds of steal, 1000 pounds of tobacco and the United States would pay the claims against the Miami's in the amount of $7,724.47. This treaty was signed by at least ONE WEA Chief. But which one? On October 8, 1830 Pierre Menard reported that 500 Miami's from the Mississinewa and Stone Eater's Town were to pause at Kaskaskia, Illinois on their way to new lands beyond the Mississippi.
1827 --- The WEA Chiefs who signed the new treaty of October 23, 1826 were as follows.....
1. Hair Lip
2. Swan or Wa-pa-qa
3. Bull or Ke-she-wa
The WEA left the Wabash under the head Chiefs' leadership, who was Hair Lip. They joined their tribesmen in Missouri. In all, 1,400 WEA Indians had been removed from Indiana and Illinois since the signing of the treaty in 1820.
1832 --- The treaty with the Potawatomi's left the Miami's surrounded by the White's Government lands. Approximately 900 Miami's left their reservation that year and went through Champaign County Illinois on their way west.
The WEA Indians were moved to Kansas. (one group of them did)
1839 --- The WEA were living with the Piankeshaw and the WEA numbered only 363.
1840 --- The last of the Miami's ceded the rest of their land to the United States and agreed to move west of the Mississippi within five years.
1854 --- The WEA were smaller in number and joined with the Piankeshaw along with the remnants of the Iliniwek Indians.
1865 --- The Indian office listed 353 Miami's still in Indiana.
1867 --- The WEA, Peoria, Kaskaskia and the Piankeshaw agreed that the Miami's might join their confederation, but the Miami's must keep their own identity.
1868 --- The Confederacy of Indians moved to Oklahoma.
1885 --- The Confederacy of Indians "THE MIAMI'S NATION" was numbered as just 149 persons.
This information was taken from several of my Father‘s, Max W. Haffner, papers. He has researched the WEA for over 35 years. I composed this short story/outline to make it easier to understand what happened to OUR PEOPLE, THE WEA INDIANS, and the time frame in to which the events of our Ancestors took place. As of 2014 I have Volume-II History of the book on the Wea written and in print for sale, see below to purchase yours now. Brenda K. Haffner-Lindley.
Walk in Peace with the Great Spirit, My Friends.