Removal – Day 9

October 14, 1846 The Kaanseenseepiiwi ‘Ohio River’

On the third day of the journey on the Ohio River, Myaamiaki on the steamboat Colorado passed what has come to be known as Angel Mounds, a group of structures built from soil. Angel Mounds was built and occupied by people of the Mississippian culture between 1000 and 1450 A.D. By the end of that time period, the ancestors of Myaamiaki were in what is now Indiana and may well have encountered the people who lived at Angel Mounds. If the Myaamiaki on the steamboat Colorado remembered stories of encountering those mound builders, the stories have been lost to us today.

Ariel view of Angel Mounds
This aerial photo shows Angel Mounds, a group of mounds as it looks today. If the trees along the Ohio River were present in 1846, Myaamiaki on the steamboat Colorado may not have been able to see the mounds as they passed.

Just past Angel Mounds, the Colorado came to Evansville, a city two or three times the size of Fort Wayne at the time.

Today, Removal Agent Joseph Sinclair sent the Commissioner of Indian Affairs “a List of such of the Miamies as are removing to the lands assigned them west of the Mississippi, together with lists of such others of the Tribe as are not permitted … to remain in Indiana and receive their annuities there.” This was one of several lists of Myaamia families who were on Removal or were supposed to have been on Removal. Unfortunately, the list only named the heads of families and did not provide the names of every individual on the boats. Later this month, we will see a compilation of those lists.

In his letter, Sinclair also noted that the Removal contractors had hired a trader named Ezekiel French to find and capture those Myaamiaki who had fled and take them to the new reservation. Sinclair noted that he had little “hopes in success for Mr French” and that if the Myaamiaki were able to join the Potawatomi, “it would be much better to let them remain there than to throw them again with the Miamies.”

Myaamiaki on the steamboat Colorado would continue on the Kaanseenseepiiwi for another three days before reaching the Mihsi-Siipiiwi ‘Mississippi River.’

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 14, 1846
This map shows the Removal route of the Miami Tribe. The black line identifies the approximate distance traveled by this day. 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 18, we find Myaamiaki on the steamboat Colorado on the Mihsi-Siipiiwi ‘Mississippi River.’


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


One Comment Add yours

  1. Tamzen Godfroy says:

    So very interesting, as I continue to read this series! Thank you so much, Diana Hunter for all of your hard work!!

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