Treaty of Greenville
The Treaty of Greenville was signed at Fort Greenville — now Greenville, Ohio — on August 3, 1795 following the Indian loss at the Battle of Fallen Timbers the previous year. It ended the Northwest Indian War in the Ohio Country. The parties to the treaty were a coalition of Indian tribes, known as the Western Confederacy, and the local frontiermen of the United States.
The treaty established what became known as the Greenville Treaty Line, which was for several years a boundary between Indian territory and lands open to European-American settlers. The latter frequently disregarded the treaty line as they continued to encroach on Indian lands.
The treaty also established the "annuity" system: yearly grants of federal money and supplies of calico cloth to Indian tribes and thus institutionalized continuing government influence in tribal affairs, giving outsiders considerable control over Indian life.
In exchange for goods to the value of $20,000 (such as blankets, utensils, and domestic animals), the Indian tribes ceded to the United States large parts of modern-day Ohio, the future site of downtown Chicago,[nb 1] the Fort Detroit area, Maumee, Ohio Area, and the Lower Sandusky Ohio Area.
The United States was represented by General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, who led the victory at Fallen Timbers.
Indian leaders who signed the treaty included leaders of these bands and tribes: Wyandot Chief Tarhe and Roundhead, Delaware (Lenape; several bands). Shawnee, Chief Blue Jacket, Ottawa (several bands), Chippewa, Potawatomi (several bands), Miami (several bands), Chief Little Turtle, Wea, Kickapoo, and Kaskaskia.
William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was present at Greenville. Years later he met again one of the Delaware chiefs from the conference, and noted in his journal for December 23, 1803: "a raney [sic] day… several Deleaway pass, a chief whome I saw at Greenville Treaty, I gave him a bottle of whiskey."
Nearly twenty years later, on July 22, 1814 General William Henry Harrison and Governor Lewis Cass held a second treaty signing at Greenville, with the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Seneca, Miami and Potawatomi tribes. That treaty brought support from those tribes for the US during the War of 1812.
Treaty line route
The treaty line began at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in present-day Cleveland and ran south along the river to the portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas River, in what is now known as the Portage Lakes area between Akron and Canton. The line continued down the Tuscarawas to Fort Laurens near present-day Bolivar. From there, the line ran west-southwest to near present-day Fort Loramie on a branch of the Great Miami River. From there, the line ran west-northwest to Fort Recovery, on the Wabash River near the present-day boundary between Ohio and Indiana. From Fort Recovery, the line ran south-southwest to the Ohio River at a point opposite the mouth of the Kentucky River in present-day Carrollton, Kentucky.
- Six square miles centered at the mouth of the Chicago River. See Article 3 item 14 within the text of the treaty.
- Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty
- Charles J. Kappler (1904). "TREATY WITH THE WYANDOT, ETC., 1795". U.S. Government treaties with American Indian tribes. Oklahoma State University Library. Retrieved 1 August 2009.
- "Fort Dearborn" in online Encyclopedia of Chicago accessed 2009-08-01
- see Article 3 #8
- see Article 3 #11
- G. Moulton, ed. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Vol. 2, p. 140.
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