Chief Little Turtle Biography

Chief Little Turtle was the pride of Miami Indians. His contributions have also made him one of the most famous military leaders of the Native Americans. His greatest fight was against the U.S. Congress. His contribution to the Old Northwest. The way he has defeated the American troops several times has made him worthy of the title Little Turtle Miami Chief. Follows are facts relating to who was Little Turtle.

Chief Little Turtle
Chief Little Turtle

Chief Little Turtle and His Early Life

Chief Little Turtle’s year of birth is somehow still being debated today. Some accounts say he was born in the year 1747 in Indiana, specifically the area near the Devil’s lake, while some say it was 1752. In the chief little turtle family, his parents were Miami chief Acquenacke and a Mahican mother. Prior to being given the name of Little Turtle, he initially held the name Michikinikwa. Chief Little Turtle’s ancestry is also known to be filled with chiefs, with the immediate being his grandfather. The territory of the Miami tribe is known to be the area of the Indiana, Southwest Michigan, and Western Ohio. In contrast to what his chief name implies, Little Turtle was far from being little. He was a big kind of man. Many records also said that he was a bit sarcastic and unpopular. 

Chief Little Turtle VS the Americans

Cheif Little Turtle was clear about his opposition to the domination of the white population. It was around this time that the United States finally acquired their independence as a nation. With this power also comes the whites’ interest of conquering neighboring lands. This is exactly what the tribe fo Chief Little Turtle, and the others, are strongly against of. Little Turtle Native American was highly vigilant in protecting the territories of his tribe. With this, they formed an alliance with the British army to fight against the United States.

After the war, a peace treaty was established. Unfortunately, many parts of the treaty were not exactly well followed, and until the whole matter was settled, parts of Detroit and some other areas were held by the British Army. This move of the British has provided a security for the American Indians as they fear of what the Americans might do to them.

The British said that the Americans have no right over the lands of Ohio. The Indians were more than willing to comply, and they rejected all offers to meet with any American troops. The tribes who participated in creating the barrier across Ohio were the Miamis, the Potawatomis, the Ottawas, the Shawnees, the war Delawares, the Chippewas, the Kickapoos, the Wyandots, and the Senecas. Miami was the center, and this is where Chief Little Turtle practiced his leadership.

Chief Little Turtle’s Leadership

The union of these Native Americans across the land of Ohio was said to be the manifestation of the Western Confederacy. As what confederacies often represent during that time, it was created to stop the white population from dominating their reservations. This particular confederacy was built to keep Ohio free from Americans.Chief Little Turtle was one of the leaders of the tribe who participated. He was said to be at the age of 32 during this time.

Despite the victory of the Americans during the war, many Native Americans, especially those in Ohio, believe that their lands are not yet fully sold as the treaty was not yet fully signed by the significant chiefs. The strategic position of the Miami Villages has made it the ground for several wars.

The leadership of Chief Little Turtle has led to the emergence of the Little Turtle War during 1785. It was also called as the Northwest Indian War. General Josiah Harmar was one of those defeated by the army led by Chief Little Turtle. Josiah Harmar brought thousands of military towards the fort of Chief Little Turtle. The said General has ventured into subduing the Native Americans in the Northwest Territory.

Chief Little Turtle infiltrated the American army through sending a spy. At the same time, the chief was also able to gain the trust of other white people such as Simon Girty, Matthew Elliott, and Alexander McKee. These three Americans, in the end, were hailed traitors by the whites due to their provision of aid to the Native Americans. His connections have made him established the huge army of capable people. He was also able to make the other tribes obey his orders.

Chief Little Turtle's Legacy
Chief Little Turtle’s Legacy

Additionally, the army led by Chief Little Turtle was also able to create havoc to the army of Gen. Arthur St. Clair. Unfortunately, the victories of Chief Little Turtle did not last forever. He was finally defeated upon the arrival of General Anthony Wayne’s army. This defeat has paved a way for Chief Little Turtle’s signing of the Treaty of Greenville, a sign of them surrendering a huge amount of the Ohio Land to the Americans. From then on, the chief has become an advocate of peace.

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