Miami Indian Tribe

The Miamis were called Twightwees by the Early English writers. They were sometimes spoken of as the Crane people. Little Turtle, their chief, replied when asked the bounds of his country by “Mad” Anthony; “My forefather kindled the first fire at Detroit; from thence he extended his line to the headwaters of the Scioto; from thence to its mouth; from thence to the mouth of the Wabash; and from thence to Chicago, on Lake Michigan. These are the boundaries within which the prints of my ancestors’ houses are everywhere to be seen.”

The Miamis were an important tribe in the Ohio Valley, where they bore a part in all the border wars. They are of the Algonquian stock and have the social organization of that family. There are ten clans in the tribe:

  1. Wolf.
  2. Loon.
  3. Eagle.
  4. Buzzard.
  5. Panther.
  6. Turkey.
  7. Raccoon.
  8. Snow.
  9. Sun.
  10. Water.

By the time of general treaty-making to divest the Indians of their land east of the Mississippi, the Miamis were mostly in Indiana. By the treaties of 1839 and 1841 they were possessed of a reservation adjoining the State of Missouri, immediately north of the land of the New York Indians, south of the country of the Weas, and east of the Pottawatomies. Miami County was made from a portion of this reservation. They arrived and began a settlement on Sugar Creek in 1846. By the end of 1847 there were eleven hundred of them on their reservation, but half of them died the following year. Many of them returned to their old homes east of the Mississippi. The remainder moved to the Marais des Cygnes, in the south part of Miami County, where they established what was called Miami Village. The Baptists and Catholics had missions among the Miamis in Kansas.

The Miami reservation contained about five hundred thousand acres. The land was as good as can be found in Kansas. The land-stealers soon came to demand it. A treaty was concluded June 5, 1854, by which the reservation was sold to the United States for two hundred thousand dollars. There was excepted a tract containing seventy-two thousand acres. This tract was later secured by the  white settlers by the usual methods in use for getting possession of Indian land. In 1871 the Miamis removed to a reservation on the Spring River, in what is now Oklahoma.

Additional Miami History


1 thought on “Miami Indian Tribe”

  1. Can anyone tell me who was Chief White Wolf, was he Robert Cole? Was Shumaka his mother and Roscoe Cole his father? I know he was born around 1774 to 1798. I believe he is my 6th / 7th Gen. Great Grandfather. My Father was Florian James White from Minnesota 1/4 Miamian. My name is Lyle w. Boldt Thank you for your help.

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