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The Ouiatanon Indians & Fort Ouiatanon History

Compiled & written by Brenda Haffner-Lindley, © 7/24/97

Wea at fort

Wea's waiting to trade at Fort Ouiatenon, © 2005

1658-70 --- Indians living in Wisconsin a large number of different tribes, living together out of fear of the Iroquois Nation. There were WEA/Ouiatanon, Miami, Illinois and eight others.

1642-84 --- Large Indian wars plagued this time period. It mainly was between the Iroquois and the Algonquian Tribes. The Algonquian tribe were made up of the WEA, Miami, Illinois, Potawatomie, Shawnee, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Sauk, Fox, Menominee, Chippewa and the Ottawa's.

1642 --- The French founded Montreal as a outpost for fur trade and military center.

1672 --- Allouez made a third trip to the upper Fox River. This time he listed the amount of Indians living there.
20 cabins of Illinois Indians
30 cabins of Kickapoo Indians
50 cabins of Mascouten Indians
90 plus cabins of Miami Indians
3 cabins of Ouaouiatanoukak Indians

This was the first written spelling of the WEA/Ouiatanon Indians.

1677 --- A man, named Jesuit Claude jean Allouez was part of a missionary group to both the WEA and the Miami, along with the Illinois Indians. His group arrived in Illinois country to take Marquette's place.

1679 --- In the summer, La Salle reports that the WEA, Miami and Mascouten have abandoned one of their villages and went to western New York to join alliance with the Iroquois. Their purpose was to wage war against the Illinois tribe. The out come of all this was really unknown. In December La Salle visited the WEA and the Miami finding them scattered in several villages at the Kankakee portage.

1680 --- The WEA and Miami were living on the ST. Joseph River with some of the groups on the Kankakee and Chicago Rivers. In La Salles' memoir he speaks of Allouez as having already left the Illinois country and being among the WEA and Miami Indians, who the following spring moved south and were the first Indian's to enter the Indiana area.

1683 --- After this time period the WEA and Miami continued their migration into the northern part of Indiana. The Piankeshaw were a clan of the WEA/Ouiatanon. They all use to be together and lived in peace, but as time went on they split and lived separately. La Salle stopped at present day Chicago. He met some of the Peticotia's there which was one of the clans of the WEA.

1670-89 --- Claude Jean Allouiz S.J. was the acting apostle to the Miami and WEA Indians. He died among them in 1689 at his mission on the ST. Joseph River. He was one of the greatest Jesuit missionaries to labor in the New World.

1688 --- The WEA separated into three groups. One party went to the ST. Joseph River, one to the mouth of the Wisconsin River and the third to the Mississippi River. Not earlier than 1691 the WEA left those places and moved to Grand Calumet River (present day Gary Indiana ) and to the forks of the Kankakee River. About 1695 part of the WEA tribe (our Ancestors) moved to the banks of the Wabash River and were still there when he came back in 1705. This was the first reoccupation of the Wabash \valley since the Iroquois cleaned it out 40 years ago. Probably in the area of present day Lafayette, Indiana.

1689-1701 --- Jean Baptiste Bissot de Vincennes operated out of mackinac and the ST. Joseph River trading post, after Detroit was founded in 1701 he shifted his base of operations there.

1701 --- a new influence was introduced, Cadillac founded a new settlement in Detroit.

1702 --- Cadillac who founded Detroit was trying to talk the Miami of the ST. Joseph River to settle in Detroit. The Miami tell him "NO" they won't move with all the other tribes living up their, there would not be enough food.

1704 --- Cadillac finically induced some of the St. Joseph Miami's to settle at Detroit. After the move the WEA of ST. Joseph attacked the Indians at Detroit. The new governor, Vaodreiul sent the Elder Vincennes to the WEA at the ST. Joseph with an ultimatum, either make restitution with the other Indians or there will be a war. Vincennes took with him 400 pots of brandy and three boats of merchandise. It was usually illegal to take that much trade into an interior to trade, but Vincennes claimed it was needed for peace negotiations. However, instead Vincennes traded the merchandise off to the Miami and used the 400 pots of brandy to open up Detroit's first tavern. Back at Versailles, Louis Xiv heard of this and LeGrand Monarque thought that Vincennes should be chastised for his behavior. The king decided to punish Vincennes by withholding his commission as an ensign.

1706 --- A major Indian battle took place around Detroit with the tribes there and the French. The reason was in 1704 the Miami had killed a high ranking Ottawa and never made restitution for it. The Ottawa then attacked the Miami, WEA and the Huron. Vaudruil heard of it and asked the Ottawa to come to Montreal to make peace. This offended the other tribes by not inviting them also. Out of resentment and jealously the three tribes then attacked the Ottawa.The Ottawa finally sent an envoy to the WEA at Detroit to make peace. After the settlement the WEA left and went home to the ST. Joseph River. The Miami also went home.

1711 --- By this year the villages of the WEA, Miami and Potawatomie had reached the Indiana area. The WEA were on the Wabash River (our ancestors) mere present day Lafayette Indiana. They arrived there about 1695 and would stay until about 1806. The Miami on the Maumee River, where they first arrived on 1707 and would remain for the next century and the Potawatomie on the ST. Joseph River from 1711 until about 1800.

1714 --- A rumor was said that the WEA, Mascouten, Kickapoo and the Fox Indians had invited the Iroquois to wage war with them against the French and Ottawa. This was just a rumor; however, the Fox did wage war on everyone else. It got so bad with the Fox's in 1720 that all the other Indian tribes hated them. The Sauk, their own cousins, move away from them to the ST. Joseph River for fear of being mistaken for the Fox.

1715 --- The WEA, Miami and the Illinois Indians made peace among themselves and then all made peace with the French, to wage war on the Fox. On August 10, 1715, they all agreed they would go to Chicago to face the Fox. Then the measles epidemic hit the WEA and five of their people died, including several Chiefs. The two Frenchmen returned to the WEA village and explained what had happened to their men. The measles then hit the WEA village, killing 15-20 persons per day. Rumors were heard that the Iroquois were planning to attack this WEA village. The WEA wanted to skip this entire trip to Chicago but the two Frenchmen, Dudoncour and Maunoir cajoled them into going. The WEA finally agreed to send 20-30 warriors to Chicago with Dudoncour. When they arrived at Chicago to destroy the Fox, no other tribes showed up. So the WEA went home. Maunoir then had to make a mends for the two dead Chiefs to the WEA. So he told them that the governor of France was going to make them, the WEA, his most favored Nation. That they would receive a missionary, trading post, a garrison and a blacksmith. For the next few years the French were trying to get the WEA to move back to Chicago.

1716 --- The WEA sent a message to Montreal to the governor Vaudreuil requesting again their mission. This is the act that brought Fort Ouiatanon into being. By October 1716 Vaudreuil made a decision to establish a post among the WEA Indians. Prior to 1821 no really learned person ever visited the WEA, the Fort or traveled down the Wabash River. No ethnologist or anthropologist ever went there. There is then a serious lack of observational data concerning both the WEA Indians and the Fort. The WEAs' first settled here about 1695 and by 1711 all the WEA from Chicago and the ST. Joseph area had joined them. The village was at the mouth of the Wea Creek on the south bank of the Wabash River, about four mile below Lafayette Indiana. The WEA would go out on war parties as far as Kentucky, however, no enemy tribe ever invaded them and the French and British never sent punitive expeditions against them. When American General Charles Scott destroyed their village in 1791 it was the first attack ever against their homeland. The population of the WEA is always am estimation. That they only list warriors, the total population remains as guesswork. The following are some calculations.....
1715 ------200 warriors
1718 ------1000-2000 warriors
1746 ------600 warriors
1750 ------80 men
1757 ------300 warriors
1765 ------400 warriors
1773 ------260-280 warriors
1778 ------450 souls ??
1788 ------300 men
1790 ------330 men

The Godfroy’s: Wea & Miami Indians & Their French Families; A History & Genealogy Throughout Time. Volume-II History – 2014

Links About Fort Ouiatenon And Much More

Fort Ouiatenon: October 28 To November 28, 1778

Ouiatenon To Vincennes: November 29 To December 17, 1778

French And Indian War Sites (1754-1760) Indiana

Ancient Pipe Found At Fort Ouiatenon

Fort Ouiatenon: Tippecanoe County Historical Association

Feast Of The Hunter's Moon Annually

Ouiatenon – Dr. Michael Strezewski; Professor of Anthropology

Ouiatenon – Dr. Michael Strezewski; Professor of Anthropology-2

Investigations at Fort Ouiatenon and Kethtippecanunk, Two Fur-Trade Era Sites in Tippecanoe County, Indiana

Quiatenon-Kethtippecanunk Study Group: An Experiment in Public-Oriented Archaeology; Neal L. Trubowitz

The Project Gutenberg EBook of - The Land of the Miamis, by Elmore Barce

The Wabash Heritage Trail


© 1997
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This is one of several pieces of my work that have recently been the victim of a plagiarist, aka a copyright infringer and a thief. Unfortunately, I was kind and generous enough to share some of my work with certain distant family members, before it was completely finished or published, who took extreme advantage of the situation and fraudulently published my material on their “new” (As of December 2004) Internet webpage. In fact, three-fourths of the “history” on their website has been directly PLAGIARIZED and STOLEN from me, this website or my book. As anyone can plainly see, the work on this page was created in 1997, and is to be part of my upcoming book volume-two, which was copyrighted in 2000, before it has been published. Isn’t it strange how my EXACT WORDS, PHRASES, and FORMAT can show up on a website that was NOT created until December 2004 !

The historical research on the Wea Indian Tribe that I have done has taken me over twenty (30) years of painstakingly hard work and my father over thirty-five (45) years of research, not to mention my Wea Grandmother and Great Grandmother. How DARE someone have the AUDACITY to not only OUT-RIGHT LIE to the public, but to OUT-RIGHT STEAL and INFRINGE upon someone else work ! I WILL list EVERY incident of PLAGIARISM they commit. I WILL PUT THIS NOTICE ON EVERY PAGE I HAVE, EVERY TIME THAT I FIND THESE PEOPLE HAVE STOLEN MY WORK. If I find that they have put up material belonging to me on their website (or otherwise) that I have NOT yet published for the public, I will put that material on my website here and place THIS NOTICE at the bottom. Please SEE my other pages on this website and NOTICE at the bottom of the pages where they TOO have been PLAGIARIZED by the same family. I apologize, to you; the public for having to read this notice while you are trying to find information you are seeking.


Wea Indian Tribe

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