Sample Chapter – Native Leaders Gather at Fort Greenville


Sample Chapter
A Timeline of Indiana History – 1795 – 1800
Chapter title – January 1795 – Native Leaders Gather at Fort Greenville
January 1795 – Native Leaders Gather at Fort Greenville
Sometime in mid to late January three influential Miami chiefs, including Pinšiwa or Jean Baptiste Richardville, and Blue Jacket, arrived at Fort Greenville to discuss peace terms.
Jean Baptiste Richardville (c. 1761 – August 13, 1841)
The son of French fur trader Joseph Drouet de Richardville and a Miami woman, Tacumwah Chief Richardville was a native of the Miami village of Kekionga. Kekionga was on the site of the present city of Fort Wayne. His mother was the sister of Miami chief Pacanne. His mother and sister were chiefs in the Miami tribe, a tribe that used a matrilineal system to trace family lines. A matrilineal system is a female based system. Chief Richardville gained his tribal status from his mother. His name, Pinšiwa, means Wildcat in the Miami language.
He received a good education, learning to speak four languages, English, Miami, Iroquois and French. He was a signer of both the 1818 Treaty of the Miami and the 1826 Treaty of Mississinwas. Though the Miami had lost control of the portage between the Maumee River and Little River as per the Treaty of Greenville in 1795, Richardville managed to acquire a trade license granting him a monopoly over the carry-over trade at the portage. The profits from this license and his acquisition of almost twenty square miles of property along the rivers made him one of the richest men in Indiana at his death in 1841. In 1827 he constructed the Richardville House in Fort Wayne, the first Greek Revival-style in that part of the state. Richardville tendered the use of his lands for the Miami tribe, which allowed almost half the tribe to remain in Indiana when the Federal Government removed the Amerindian from Indiana in 1846.
The Richardville home in Fort Wayne currently serves as a museum and interpretive center for Amerindian culture. It is the oldest Amerindian structure in the Midwest. Listed with the National Historic Landmarks, the home is open to the public. For information, contact:
The History Center
302 East Berry Street
Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46802
260-426-2882 |

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