Battle at Fallen Timbers

We stopped in Maumee, near Toledo, Ohio for the night. The Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site is near our hotel.

The monument inscription reads: “To General Anthony Wayne who organized the “Legion of the United States” by order of President Washington and defeated Chief Little Turtle’s warriors here at Fallen Timbers August 20, 1794. This victory led to the Treaty of Greenville, August 3, 1795, which opened much of the present state of Ohio to white settlers.”

According to Wikipedia and History.Com, General Anthony Wayne (1745-96), was honored because of the success of the Battle of Fallen Timbers and fighting the British earlier in the Revolutionary War. There are several cities and towns named after him and/or his family including Fort Wayne, IN, Wayne, NJ and Waynesboro, GA. I question whether he deserves these accolades given that he has quite a few skeletons in his closet and his overall character and integrity could be questioned. His father immigrated to Pennsylvania from Ireland and Anthony was born to privilege in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He was educated at his uncle’s private academy, then the College of Philadelphia, which later became U Penn. As an adult he moved to Georgia, where he had a large plantation with slaves. He was known as “Mad Anthony” because of his temper management issues. His marriage was rocky because of his infidelity. While Wayne did successfully lead the newly commissioned U.S. Army into battle at Fallen Timbers and defeated the Northwestern Confederacy, an alliance of Native nations, there is more to the story of the Northwestern Confederacy and what happened prior to the Battle at Fallen Timbers.

A Native American alliance was established at a Confederate Council Fire at the Huron Village, near the mouth of the Detroit River on December 18, 1786. This alliance called the Northwestern Confederacy or more formally, the United Indian Nations was to represent a united front in negotiating peace and resisting encroachment on their lands by European settlers. The Nations present were: the Five Nations (Iroquois), the Cherokee, the Huron, the Shawnee, the Delaware, the Ottawa, the Pottawattomi, the Twitchee, Joseph Brant and the Wabash Confederation. They sent a very moving letter (worth a read) to the Congress of the United States, asking them to respect the boundary of the Ohio River as the border of the United States and not allow settlers and surveyors to cross the river into Indian territory and they would do the same until further negotiations could be conducted. Their requests for peace were ignored by the U.S. This confederacy was very powerful and American expansion resulted in the Northwest Indian War (1785–1795), in which the Confederacy won significant victories over the United States. Some of these defeats were the worst ever suffered by the U.S Army. Perhaps Chief Little Turtle (Mihsihkinaahkwa) should be commemorated as well.

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