This information is a very small bit of history on the Wea.  It would be an
overwhelming feat to compile in one site the history of this area and the events that
took place of the many Indigenous people here before, during and after removals.   
We have only covered our history in brief form from the 1600s to 1800s.   

The below is from a Book entitled
The Last of the Miamis by Otho Winger
And is retyped here in its exact form
What the reader has to realize is that there were also the influence of the British,
French and Americans during this time.
This explains a little of where the Weas came from and what Nation we where a part

The Miami Nation of Indians (Wea, Miami proper, Piankashaw, and Eel
River) was at one time one of the largest and one of the most powerful
Indian tribes of North America.  They formed one of the leading families of
the great Algonquin race.  When the white man first heard of them they were
living in the vicinity of the great lakes.  Father Marquette paid them a high
tribute.  LaSalle described them in this way:  “The Miamis are the most
civilized of all nations of Indians - - neat of dress, splendid of bearing,
haughty of manner, holding all other tribes as inferiors.”
At one time they must have ruled a great inland empire.  Their great chief,
Little Turtle, at the treaty of Greenville, said to Gen. Wayne:  “The prints of
my ancestors’ houses are everywhere to be seen in this region.  It is well
known to all my brothers present that my line to the head waters of the
Scioto; from thence to its mouth; from thence down to the Ohio to the mouth
of the Wabash and from thence to Lake Michigan - - I have now informed
you of the boundary of the Miami Nation where the Great Spirit placed my
forefathers a long time ago and charged him not to sell or part with his land

but preserve it to his posterity.”
A study of the map (see below) will show that Little Turtle claimed For the

Miamis an Immense territory including all of the present state of Indiana, the
western part of Ohio, and the eastern part of Illinois.  Gen. William Henry
Harrison, who knew the Miamis well more than a century ago once wrote
that the Miamis were the most extensive land owners in the northwest.  The
historian, Bancroft, makes the same claim for them.  To say the least they
possessed a great inland empire.
Some early writers tell us that the Miami Confederacy was the most powerful
in North America, rivaling that of the Iroquois Confederacy of New York.  It is
said that they could place in the field an army of five thousand warriors.  An
early account tells us of great chiefs who never went forth to war except
surrounded by a body guard of forty warriors.  So great was their influence
that delegations from Indian tribes beyond the Mississippi came to gain
At an early date the chief village and the capital of the Miami nation was
Kekionga, where the city of Fort Wayne now stands.  It was Located well
near the center of this great empire and commanded the trails and river
highways in all directions to other Miami centers at Chicago, Miami on the
St. Joseph, Detroit, Miami on the Lakes, Ouiatanon, the Mississinewa and
the villages on the rivers of southern Ohio where the Miamis have left their
names.  It has been said the Kekionga at times was a collection Indian
villages totaling a population of ten thousand people.
The accompanying map shows the wide domain once claimed and ruled
over by the Miamis.  It also shows how, in later times, other Indian tribes
entered this territory, either by invitation from the friendly Miamis or by
forcibly taking possession if the Miamis opposed.  
This golden age of the Miami Nation was back in the seventeenth century
and earlier.  From all that we know of them in the eighteenth century they
were much weaker and were a declining nation.  A number of things brought
this about, chief of which was their conflict with other Indian tribes.
The fierce Iroquois, “The savage Romans from the east” made inroad after
inroad into the land of the Miamis and drove them westward and into
alliance with the Illinois Indians.  This must have greatly weakened the
proud Miamis,  though under the leadership of the great Aquenackque, the
father of Little Turtle, and with the aid of western allies they drove the
Iroquois back eastward until them came no more.
Following this war with the Iroquois, the Miamis engaged in another conflict
even more disastrous with the tribes of the west.  Tradition says that the
Sioux Indians treacherously fell upon the Miamis and massacred thousands
of them.  Another account, more reliable, says that after the Miamis had
united with the Potawatomies and other tribes to exterminate the Illinois

Indians, the allies fell out and the Miamis were disastrously defeated by the
Potawatomies and Kickapoos.  They not only lost their lands in Illinois but
the Potawatomies and the Kickapoos took possession of all northern Indiana
as far east and south as the Wabash river and her tributaries.
Other Indian tribe made inroads into the ancient domain of the Miamis.  The
fierce Shawnees, driven out of the south by other Indians made settlements
in southern Ohio, and there, on Mad river, near where Springfield now
stands, their greatest warrior, Tecumseh, was born.  They came as far north
as Wapakoneta and Kekionga.  The Ottawas from the north came down into
northern Ohio and where Defiance now stands, at the junction of the
Auglaize and Maumee rivers, their great warrior, Pontiac, was born.  The
ancient Delawares driven westward by the whit man made settlements in
central Ohio and extended their claims to central and southern Indiana.  The
Hurons, or Wyandottes, also driven westward by pressure of the white man,
settled in northern Ohio.  Other tribes had helped themselves to certain
lands which the Miamis once claimed.  So even in 1795, when Little Turtle
made his wide claims to General Wayne, there were a number of other
Indian tribes to dispute with the Miamis their claim to the territory of which
they were once masters.
A few tribes were so closely related to the Miamis that they formed what is
known as the Miami Confederacy.  The Weas had a great village known as
Quiatanon near the present Lafayette.  It became on of the great trading
posts for the French and Indians.  The Piankeshaws had an important
village near where Vincennes was built.  The Shockeys had a settlement
near the mouth of the Vermillion river.  The Eel River Indians are mentioned
in many of the Indiana treaties, but they were so closely related to the main
body of the Miamis that they are generally considered with them.  By forming
a close confederacy with these related tribes, the Miamis greatly
strengthened their position in later times.  
Other enemies had greatly reduced the once powerful Miamis.  Disease,
especially small pox, had carried them off by the thousands.  But the worst
enemy of all was that of drink.  Had the white man deliberately planned to
exterminate the Miamis he could have done so in no more effective way then
by selling them whiskey.  Little Turtle declared that whiskey had killed more
of his people than all of the wars in which they had ever engaged.

1600s - 1800s
Complied from Various Sources


One of the earliest record of the Wea Tribe was In 1672 were Jesuit Claude
Allouez, a part of a missionary group, found the Wea living along the Upper
Fox River were there were 3 cabins of Ouaouiatanoukak (Wea) Indians.  La
Salle reported that in the summer of 1679 that the WEA, Miami and
Mascouten went to New York to join in alliance with the Iroquois.  We do not
know exactly what came out of this alliance. In December of that year he
again visited with the Wea and Miami and found them in several villages at
the Kankakee portage.   By 1680 both the WEA and Miami were living on the
ST. Joseph River and also on the Kankakee and Chicago Rivers.   La Salle
mentions in his memoir that Allouez already left the Illinois country and was
among the WEA and Miami Indians, who the following spring moved south
and was the first Indian's to enter the Indiana area. A 1682 letter from La
Salle describes the newly-moved Miamis near Ft. St. Louis, located four
leagues from a party of the Emissaries, the Penguichias, Kolatica
Mengancockia making together a village of from two to three hundred fires
and have made their fields four leagues from the Fort. The Ouiatenon, to the
number of a hundred and twenty huts and are there now having come away
from their village with me. Several of these tribes have given me children to
be brought up in the French manner. Already there are some who speak
French who belong to the more distant tribes. They will be well suited for
serving as interpreters, and for making peace.  Around the 1683 time period
the WEA and Miami continued their migration into the northern part of
Indiana and some were settled Northeast of Starved Rock and visited Ft. St.
Louis.  About 1685 the French recognized six bands, or sub tribes, in the
tribe, but politically each of the six individually named groups constituted an
antonomous unit, as far back as we know their history and did not, as we
have seen, weld the six groups into a single political unit, or "Miami tribe."  
They consolidated at a later period into three, namely: Atchatchakangouen,
"crane people", or Miami proper; Ouiatanon, "whirlpool people", or Wea; and
Pianguichia, "separators" (?), or Piankishaw.   The United States
Government recognized these as three distinct tribes.  In 1688 the WEA
separated into three groups. One party went to the ST. Joseph River, one to
the mouth of the Wisconsin River and one to the Mississippi River. Sometime
after 1691 the WEA left those places and moved to Grand Calumet River
(Gary Indiana) and to the forks of the Kankakee River (Chicago, Ill). About
1695 some of the tribe returned to the Wabash River and established a
village near the area of present day Lafayette, Indiana where they remained


By 1711 all the WEA from Chicago and the ST. Joseph area moved to
Wabash River area. The WEA would go out on war parties as far as
Kentucky, but no other tribes or British and French sent expeditions against
them. In 1716 they were told that the governor of France was going to make
them, the WEA, his most favored Nation and they would receive a
missionary, trading post, a garrison and a blacksmith by a Frenchman named
Maunoir.  The WEA sent a message to governor Vaudreuil in Montreal,
requesting again their mission. He made that decision to establish a post
among the WEA Indians and built Fort (Post) Ouiatanon.  By 1718 there
were a total of five villages there, four that are known are the Ouiatanon,
Piankeshaw, Peticotia’s and the Gros.  In 1723 some started leaving Fort
Quiatanon and went to an old village site on the Maumee River called "La
Babiche". They were loyal to the French at that time and in 1731 Sieur de
Vincennes brought a group of Piankeshaw from the Vermilion River to his fort
at Vincennes where the Piankeshaw established a village called
Chippekawkay.  August 1732 Simon Reaume, commander at Ouiatenon,
made an attempt to remove other groups from the Vermilion to his own fort. In
May 1736 Sieur de Vincennes was killed while fighting with these southern
tribes, and the Piankeshaw abandoned Chippekawkay, which was also
called “Little Ouiatenon.”  By 1737 there were only 15-25 Piankeshaw
braves living at Vincennes Indiana, the remainder of the tribe had journeyed
up the Wabash and joined the Vermilion Piankeshaw. In 1761 the British
assumed control of Ft Ouiatanon. The Wea lived on the opposite side of Fort
Ouiatanon. It was also found that there were 400 braves plus women and
children with the French at Ft. Chartres in Illinois in 1764.  June of 1778 the
tribes of the WEA, Kickapoo and Mascouten traveled to Detroit to talk with
the British. Five war Chiefs and three village chiefs attended.  They were
Mau-wee-shinga, Au-qua-sa-ca, Nee-mee-ca, Packing-qoi-shinga, Cha-ha,
Oui-qua-po-quiois, Me-lou-e-son-ata, and Ta-pa-tia.  George Roger Clark
was also holding peace treaties with many of the Wabash Chiefs at
Cahokia.  In January of 1782 the Wea were peaceful and numbered around
600 braves along the Wabash. In 1791 General Charles Scott was appointed
to proceed against the Wea on the Wabash, he defeated the villages and
destroyed the villages and crops at Ft. Quiatanon.  On November 4, 1791
Little Turtle, with a force of 3000 from 12 different Tribes encountered
American forces near present day Ft. Recovery, Ohio.  This defeat of the
Americans is the largest in any Indian warfare encounters. The American
casualties were 832 regulars of the 1st and 2nd infantry regiments and
Kentucky and Pennsylvania militiamen and 200 camp followers, the estimate
of Indians killed were 66 warriors. This is known as St. Clair Defeat and also
was known as one of four of the Old Northwest wars.  This defeat caused
the very first Congressional hearings and it took four years for the Americans
to rebuild their forces.  It was the greatest defeat in any battle the Americans
suffered in their revolution.    September 27, 1792 General Rufus Putnam
made a treaty of peace with the Wea and other Indians of the Wabash area
at Vincennes Indiana.  On August 3, 1795 the Wea along with the many other
tribes signed the great
Treaty of Greenville Ohio.


A number of Indian Tribes were lumped 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. In 1806 the main village of
Wea was at Terre Haute Indiana.  This territory of the Wea extended from
Vincennes to the Vermilion River.  In October 3, 1809 a treaty was signed at
Ft. Wayne Indiana.  After the British and Indian forces were defeated at the
battle of Thames, October 5, 1813 they wanted peace.  At the treaty of St.
Marys on October 2, 1818 the Wea ceded to the United States all of their
lands, "claimed and owned" in the states of Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, except
for a reservation on the mouth of Raccoon Creek, where Parke County,
Indiana is now located.   A treaty at Vincennes Indiana August 11, 1820
ceded the all the lands reserved by the St. Marys Treaty.  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. Most of the Wea left and joined their tribesmen in Missouri.  In
1854 the Wea west of the Mississippi were joined with the Piankeshaw,
Peoria and Kaskaskia to become the Confederated Peoria, in 1868 they
were again removed to Oklahoma as was many other tribes.

According to some language experts we spoke and still speak the
same language.  This is not true, and although many will debate this
we may never really know the whole story.  But as we all know
everyone in the world today has different dialects so it is only to
reason that we would also have our different dialects.   As you can
see by just one historical document that is quoted in part here:   


APRIL, 1938

Trowbridge, C. C.
Meearmeear Traditions
pp. 2-3.

A recent visit from Le Gros has enabled me to obtain some further
information from him on the several subjects mentioned in the
letters from you with which I have been last honored; and I have
annexed to my observations upon the Miami language a tabular list
of the names, in that dialect, of the surrounding nations, and also a
statement exhibiting the affinities of other languages to the Miami.
With respect to the latter, I take the liberty to suggest for your
consideration, the opinion that according to your scale, the degrees
of affinity are graduated, not more by the absolute and original
similarity of dialect, than by the opportunities of the respective tribes
for conference and association. I mean that this is the case between
those tribes which are not connected by the ties of blood. For
instance, the Miamies understand perfectly the Kaskaskias, Peorias,
Weas & Piankeshaws, because those tribes have all descended from
them. And the difference of dialect is scarcely more than between
the present Parisian and the Canadian french. They understand the
Kickapoos tolerably well, because, although originally of the
Shawnee stock (
and possessing in common with them and the Sacs,
the th as in Teekumthe)
they have become incorporated with the
Miamies by intermarriages and have greatly assimilated to them in
manners and language. They did not understand the Delawares,
Shawnees, Ottawas, Potawatamies, Chippeways, Sacs & Osages,
until their occupation of hunting, trading, making war and treaties
brought them into contact with each other and they acquired by
practice, the art of speaking the different languages which
possessed many similarities enabling them to catch the words and
sounds with facility. And finally, they do not at all comprehend the
Iroquois, Wyandot, Wineebaagoa, Sioux Minoaminee, Creeks,
Choctaws or Cherokees- either because their languages are
"radically different", or because they have had little connection with

I am aware that this militates against the grand, the sublime
proposition, that all the Indian languages are derived from the same
common stock; yet I have deemed it my duty to submit the
observations as the substance of the Miami account. When your
letters arrived I had closed that part of my report which described
the successive migrations of the Miamies, and as nothing is therein
said of their having once resided upon Fox river or at Detroit, I will
here mention, that upon subsequent enquiry Le Gros told me that a
vague and indefinite tradition existed of their once having lived in
the north, but supposing it to be an unfounded tale he had forborne
to mention it to me. It is possible that much has been lost from the
great lapse of time, and it is cause of regret that many of their
accounts on this subject want that perspicuity and minuteness of
detail which would render them valuable.
The Wea Indian Tribe today are proud of their
heritage and culture.  With the spirit of our
ancestors we are working towards
establishing a cultural center to share our
tribes history and culture with all walks of
life. This will be for
everyone to learn and
enjoy. If you are interested in helping us to
achieve these goals please click on the red
hand symbolizing our hands joining.
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