Tacumwah (c. 1720 – c. 1790), alternate spelling "Taucumwah", aka Marie-Louise Pacanne Richerville (Richardville), was a businesswoman and prominent chieftess of the Miami tribe. She was the sister of Pacanne, a leading Miami chief, and the mother of Chief Jean Baptiste Richardville (or "Peshewa"). The name Tacumwah means "Parakeet" in the Miami language.
Tacumwah married Antoine Joseph Drouet de la Richerville, the son of a French nobleman who was serving as a lieutenant in the French garrison at Fort St. Phillipe, later Fort Miamis. Richerville—who later Anglicized his name as Richardville, the form in which he passed the name to his son—later left the area and became a fur trader in Canada. Tacumwah had three other children. They were all baptised in 1773 by Father Pierre Gibault, but Tacumwah divorced Richerville a year later when he sided with Alexander and Francis Maisonville for control of the Long Portage, an 8-mile strip of land between the Maumee and Wabash Rivers that was controlled by her brother Pacanne. Richerville physically beat Tacumwah in the ensuing argument, and she took refuge with his business rival Charles Beaubien. Pacanne and Beaubien physically threatened Richerville and the Maisonville brothers, and the matter was taken to court at Fort Detroit on 18 September 1774. It was decided that Pacanne would keep control of the portage, and Tacumwah would keep all her property.
Tacumwah married Beaubien, and they had one daughter, Josetta Beaubien Roubidoux. According to custom, Josetta's eldest son should have succeeded his uncle, Chief Richardville, as a chief of the Miami, but Josetta's descendants were repudiated by the tribe and stricken from the Miami roll in 1867.
Tacumwah was a political advisor to her son Peshewa, and sometimes spoke for him in the tribal council. She reportedly once put a knife into Peshewa's hand and told him to free a white captive whom other tribesmen were about to execute.
In her later years, Tacumwah ran a successful trading post. Her son Peshewa inherited her business holdings when she died.
- Edmunds, "Enduring Nations," 96
- Birzer, pg 4
- Birzer, pg 5
- Carter, pg 243
- Birzer, Bradley J. French Imperial remnants on the middle ground: The strange case of August de la Balme and Charles Beaubien. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Summer 2000.
- Carter, Harvey Lewis (1987). The Life and Times of Little Turtle: First Sagamore of the Wabash. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-01318-2.
- Edmunds, Russell David (2008). Enduring nations: Native Americans in the Midwest. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- Edmunds, R. David. "Jean Baptiste Richardville". Encyclopedia of North American Indians, 549–550. Ed. Frederick E. Hoxie. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. ISBN 0-395-66921-9.
- Marrero, Karen. "'She is Capable of Doing a Good Deal of Mischief': A Miami Woman's Threat to Empire in the Eighteenth-Century Ohio Valley". Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History Volume 6, Number 3, Winter 2005.
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