The historic Indians of Ohio!

The historic Indians of Ohio!

The historic Indians of Ohio—those we know about from written records—moved into Ohio in the early and mid-eighteenth century. This is in contrast with neighboring states where historic tribes were established earlier!

The late arrival in Ohio lands is usually attributed to the fierce Iroquois, who swept westward from their New York villages to devastate lands from Ohio westward. The Iroquois claimed sovereignty over the conquered lands and other tribes were not strong enough to overcome them!

Therefore, for nearly three-quarters of a century, the Ohio lands were largely uninhabited, creating a social vacuum that ultimately would be filled after 1730 by tribes seeking new hunting grounds!

Of the many historic Indian tribes that had some presence in Ohio, only six—Miami, Wyandot, Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and Ottawa—maintained more or less permanent villages! From their post in Detroit, French traders and soldiers claimed hegemony over these tribes during their earliest years in Ohio!

The Miami, whose home villages centered around modern Ft. Wayne, Indiana, established Pickawillany on the headwaters of the Great Miama to encourage British traders. This challenge to French hegemony resulted in the French destroying Pickawillany in 1752, but the Miami remained important in Ohio Indian affairs to come!

The Wyandots, a branch of the Huron people, moved first into Ohio in 1739 and, after many wanderings, settled primarily in the Sandusky River Valley and in central Ohio. Ottawas migrated from the overpopulated Detroit region to settle along the fringes of northwestern Ohio's Great Black Swamp!

The Mingo built villages in eastern and central Ohio. Delaware, driven from Pennsylvania by both white and Indian pressure located on or near the Tuscarawas–Muskingum waterway. Shawnees also left Pennsylvania in the mid-eighteenth century, and reinforced by fellow tribesmen from other regions, built villages and later in the upper reaches of the Great Miami!🏜🐎 🏹🌤

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