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.
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.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.