Removal – Day 5

October 10, 1846 Dayton, Ohio

Content Warning: This post discusses specific names of Myaamia people impacted by Removal. It is possible that you may have a personal connection with some of those individuals.

On this day at 11 a.m., Removal Agent Joseph Sinclair wrote from Dayton, Ohio, “I have just reached this place with the emigrating party of the Miamis, and shall proceed without any delay to Cincinnatti [sic], which place we shall reach some time during the day tomorrow.” Did he tell Myaamiaki that they only had one more day on the canal boats? They surely would have appreciated knowing that this sickening canal boat ride would soon be over.

Drawing by Thomas F. Wharton of a canal boat in the Miami-Erie Canal in 1831
This image shows a canal boat at the head of the Miami & Erie Canal in Dayton in 1831. It is a photo of a drawing by Thomas F. Wharton that was available at the New York Public Library. Photo courtesy of the Dayton Metro Library.

Based on an item in the Cincinnati Gazette newspaper, we know that Principal Chief Toohpia ‘Francis LaFontaine,’ several members of the Miami National Council, and their families must have been in the lead canal boat. At the same time that Sinclair and the boats with other Myaamiaki are in Dayton, these leaders are arriving in Cincinnati. The article reported,

“Lafontaine, Chief of the Miamis, with his wife and children, and several of the head men of the Tribe and their families, arrived in this city Saturday evening, on their way to their “new home,” on the Osage river. Between three and four hundred of the tribe, we understand, are now en route from the Wabash to this city, for the purpose of embarking on an early St. Louis boat for the above destination. They are to join Lafontaine here, and are expected in to-day or to-morrow. This ‘removal,’ we believe, is under charge of Messrs. Ewing and [Sinclair], agents. Lafontaine and his friends are at the Mansion House.”
Principal Chief Toohpia ‘Francis LaFontaine’ and other members of the Miami National Council arrived in Cincinnati the same day that other Myaamiaki on Removal had reached Dayton. They stayed at the Mansion House, a hotel and boarding house, near the canal. This advertisement for the Mansion House was published in the Robinson & Jones’ Cincinnati directory for 1846. From the Collection of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

From this article, we know that LaFontaine and his party arrived in Cincinnati on Saturday, October 10, 1846, and that the others were a day behind them. We also know that they stayed at the Mansion House, a small hotel/boarding house located on West Main between Court and Canal streets. We do not know how they spent the day waiting for the others to arrive, but we can imagine they were grateful to be off the canal boats.

A map highlighting the Myaamia Removal Route from Indiana into Ohio and out to Kansas and Oklahoma that is annotated to mark the progress as of October 10, 1846
This map shows the Removal route of the Miami Tribe. The black line identifies the approximate distance traveled by this day. Based on subsequent research, the dates for Miami Land (Sugar Creek) should be November 4-5.
Map by Kristina Fox with annotations by Diane Hunter from George Strack, et al., myaamiaki aancihsaaciki: A Cultural Exploration of the Myaamia Removal Route (Miami, OK: Miami Tribe of Oklahoma, 2011), which was supported by a National Park Service Historic Preservation Grant (#40-09-NA-4047)

In the next installment, to be posted on October 11, we will continue to follow this story of the Myaamia Forced Removal.

Post written by Diane Hunter, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. Diane can be contacted at

One Comment Add yours

  1. Tamzen Godfroy says:

    This series is very interesting! It is also an extremely important effort to tell this story for others to read and know.

    Thank you so much, Diana Hunter!

    God’s blessings,

    Tammy Godfroy (Granddaughter of Victor Gabriel Godfroy)

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