Removal – Day 7

October 12, 1846 Cincinnati, Ohio

Content Warning: This post discusses how Myaamia people were discussed by the residents of Cincinnati and the local newspaper.


This morning, Myaamiaki disembarked from the canal boats. Many were still sick but probably glad to get off the boats. The Cincinnati newspapers reported that as Myaamiaki marched down Main Street, Cincinnati residents “saw a number of the women laughing and chatting with great vivacity, seemingly separating from the home without any regret.” How little they understood about what they were seeing. After a week on the canal boats, Myaamiihkwiaki ‘Miami women’ may have felt almost giddy to be able to walk on solid land again. They would not have been in a city like Cincinnati before and were likely amazed by that busy and noisy town with so many people, horses, and activity.

Image of Cincinnati Public Landing from 1848
This image of the Cincinnati Public Landing was taken in 1848, less than two years since Myaamiaki were there on their Removal journey. This area probably changed little between October 12, 1846 and the day in 1848 when the photo was taken. To the east (left) of the front row of buildings is the end of Main Street, along which Myaamiaki walked from the canal to the Public Landing. The steamboat Colorado may have looked similar to the steamboats in this picture. Photo from the Collection of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library.

Main Street took them to the Public Landing. To Myaamia men, this was a familiar place that they knew as the Kaanseenseepiiwi ‘Ohio River.’ The older men would have remembered coming there to hunt and hearing their grandfathers tell stories of the glory days of crossing the Kaanseenseepiiwi to fight against the Mihši-maalhsaki ‘Americans.’ By 10 a.m., they were loaded onto the steamboat Colorado.

Contemporary photo of milkweed growing at the Cincinnati Public Landing
Myaamiaki have used milkweed for food and other purposes since time immemorial. Seeing milkweed growing at the Cincinnati Public Landing, the place where Myaamiaki boarded the steamboat Colorado on their Removal journey, was bittersweet. Photo courtesy of John Bickers.

Every day, the Cincinnati newspaper included the shipping news, listing items that had come into the city by the canal and items leaving the city by steamboat. The shipping news for October 12, 1846 was very revealing.

The Daily Receipts from the Miami & Erie Canal that day included “…8 [barrels] Varnish, 2 Indian Ponies, Miami Indians 225 over and 78 under 8 years old, 49 perch Stone, 4 Pigs….”

Clipping from the Daily Receipts section of the Cincinnati Gazette on October 13, 1846
Clipping from the Daily Receipts section of the Cincinnati Gazette on October 13, 1846. The highlighted section refers to the Myaamiaki traveling on the canal boats. From the Collection of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

The Shipments that day to St. Louis by the steamboat Colorado included “30 tons Dry Goods, 32 casks Government Stores, 350 Indian, with their Baggage.”

Clipping from the Shipments section of the Cincinnati Gazette on October 13, 1846
Clipping from the Shipments section of the Cincinnati Gazette on October 13, 1846. The highlighted section refers the Myaamiaki boarding the steamboat Colorado. From the Collection of Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library

The steamboat Colorado had a passenger list, but Myaamiaki were not on it. We were listed with the dry goods and the pigs. It is obvious that we were cargo on these boats. We were not treated as or perhaps not considered human beings.

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 12, 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 13, we will begin to learn of the journey west on the steamboat Colorado.


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


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