Indiana Indians – Native Americans in Indiana History

The free online books and other resources below are about Indiana Indians, or Native Americans. See the right column for more info about this website.

The Land of Potawatomi

Fowler, IN: 1919
Barce, Elmore Go to Book

Potawatomi, Free ebooks, Pottawatomie tribe, Native American history, Native American culture, Wabash River Valley, U.S. history, Native Americans in Indiana

Indiana Indians

“The Fort Wayne Manuscript: An Old Writing Found Containing Indian Speeches and a Treatise on the Western Indians”

Fergus’ Historical Series No. 26-29 No. 26-29, pp 54-95

Chicago: Fergus 1883
Beckwith, Hiram W. ed.Go to Article

The Indian speeches here were delivered in two councils held Sept 4 and Oct 2, 1811 at Fort Wayne, IN. These were addressed to General Harrison, who had recently called upon Indian tribes to disavow connections to the Prophet. Speeches in this collection were delivered by:
– Laprusieur, from the Weas, a branch of the Miami tribe
– Silver Heels, a Massassinway chief
– Oseemit, a Pottawatomie chief
– Charley, an Eel River chief, a subdivision of Miami tribe
– Little Turtle, a Miami chief
– Five Medals, a Pottawatomie chief

The second document here is “The Manners and Customs of the North-Western Indians”. Beckwith, the editor, wrote that the author of the two documents was unknown. For a recent article on the document that identifies the author, see Heath, William, “Re-evaluating “The Fort-Wayne Manuscript”: William Wells and the Manners and Customs of the Miami Nation” in Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 106, 2010, Issue 2, pp 158-188, which is also on this web page.

Some Account of the Indian Tribes formerly Inhabiting Indiana and Illinois

Chicago: Fergus 1884
Beckwith, Hiram W.Go to Book

The author wrote in the introduction that this account of the Indians was condensed from a previous volume, with some new matter added. “It is mostly the result of his gleanings over a wide field of antiquated books of travel and maps long since out of print, or copies of manuscript-correspondence of a private or official character, little of which is accessible to the general reader.”

Native Americans in Illinois, Native Americans in Indiana, American Indian history, geography, online book

True Indian Stories; with glossary of Indiana Indian names

Indianapolis: Sentinel 1909
Dunn, Jacob Piatt Go to Book

Author Jacob Piatt Dunn (1855-1924) was a journalist, ethnologist and historian who grew up in Indiana and published his first book on history in 1886. Among his publications were a history of Indianapolis and a dictionary of the Miami language. He served as the recording secretary of the Indiana Historical Society for over 35 years, and served four years as the state librarian of Indiana.

One of Dunn’s objectives for this book was to track down and preserve Indian place names in Indiana. Another objective was, “to give some illustrations of the contest [between Indians and settlers in the period of the Revolutionary War], of battles and massacres, of hardships, of white and Indian captivity.” Chapter headings are:

-Introducing the Indians
-The Little Turtle
-The Death of the Witches
-Why Tecumtha Fought
-The Fall of the Prophet
-William Wells
-The Defense of Fort Harrison
-The Pigeon Roost Massacre
-The Service of Logan
-The Walam Olum
-The Tragedy of the Falls
-The Lost Sister of Wyoming
-The Trail of Death
-Index: Golossary of Indiana Indian Names

Indiana place names, Native American history, Indiana geography, Indiana Native Americans, online books, Fort Harrison, Indiana Indian names

Indiana Indians

The Moravian Indian Mission on White River: diaries and letters, May 5, 1799, to November 12, 1806

Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau 1938
Gipson, Lawrence H., ed.Go to Book

Diaries and letters that chronicle the experiences of three missionaries from the Moravian Church in America who worked with the Delaware Indians in the Indiana Territory from 1801 to 1806. Translated from the German of the original manuscript. Includes the autobiography of John Peter Kluge (p. 581-593) and Abraham Luckenbach (p. 594-639)

Moravian Indians, Moravian church, Delaware tribe, John Peter Kluge, Abraham Luckenbach, Indian history

“Re-evaluating “The Fort-Wayne Manuscript”: William Wells and the Manners and Customs of the Miami Nation”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 106, Issue 2, 2010, pp 158-188

Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
Heath, WilliamGo to Article

“The Fort Wayne Manuscript” (also on this web-page) was a 28-page handwritten manuscript received in the mail in 1882 by Hiram Beckwith of Illinois. Part of the manuscript contains speeches made in 1811 by Indian chiefs in councils at Fort Wayne, IN. Beckwith had the manuscript published in the Fergus Historical Series in 1883, without knowing who the author was. The author of this article (Heath) identifies the original author of the article as Indian Agent William Wells. A brief biography of Wells is included along with two documents authored by Wells; “Indian Manners and Customs” and “Indian History”; both about the Miami tribe.

Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico 2 vols.

Washington D.C.: Govt Printing Office 1907
Hodge Frederick Webb, ed.Go to Vol 1|Go to Vol 2

This handbook “…contains a descriptive list of the stocks, confederacies, tribes, tribal divisions and settlements north of Mexico, accompanied with the various names by which these have been known, together with biographies of Indians of note, sketches of their history, archaeology, manners, arts, customs, and institutions, and the aboriginal words incorporated into the English language.”

The Handbook was the result of years of work by numerous staff members of the Federal Bureau of Ethnology, with assistance from the Office of Indian Affairs and of various other specialists. It is organized like an encyclopedia, with many short dictionary-like entries of Indian words, and some long essays on topics such as Mythology. An extensive bibliography can be found at the back of Vol. 2, and just before it is a long list of Indian words with alternate spellings.

North American Native Americans, Native American tribes, ethnology, biographies, American Indian customs, Indian languages, books free

Indiana Indians

A Mission to the Indians, from the Indian Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting …

Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Zell 1862
Hopkins, Gerard T. Go to Book

(title continued) ” …to Fort Wayne, in 18O4 compiled by Tyson, Martha in 1862″

Quakers George Ellicott, Gerard T. Hopkins, and Philip Denis, representing a Quaker group in Baltimore, traveled to Fort Wayne in 1804 to establish a program of Quaker assistance to Indian nations in the region. This is a journal of that expedition, written by Gerard Hopkins.

The first 45 pages describe the long journey by horseback of the author and colleagues across frontier country from Virginia to Fort Wayne. Once at the Fort the author narrates in detail their meetings with Little Turtle and Five Medals, chiefs of the Pottawatomie and Miami nations, and follow-up meetings with other chiefs. It was the goal of the Quakers to persuade the Indians to farm, and adopt some other practices of the white settlers. The remainder of Hopkins’ 120-page journal covers time spent with Indians at their villages, and more meetings and discussions.

The remaining 75 pages of the volume consists of an appendix which is a collection of other journal entries and documents that Hopkins considered to be of interest to his audience because they were related to the Quakers’ goals of assisting Indians in Indiana country.

Quaker missionaries, Fort Wayne history, Pottawatomie, Miami tribe, Native American life, free ebook, Native American culture, Native American history, Indiana country, history of Indiana, Gerard T. Hopkins, George Ellicott

Journal of the Proceedings : Indian Treaty, Fort Wayne, September 30th, 1809

Connersville, IN: 1910
Jones, Henry Go to Book

About 15 pages of this 25-page volume are devoted to the ‘journal’ of Peter Jones, Secretary to Governor William Henry Harrison, narrating events of September and October 1809 in connection with the Treaty of Fort Wayne. In those treaty negotiations, chiefs representing several tribes agreed to sell land amounting to about 3 million acres in present-day Indiana and Illinois. Although it is termed a Journal, this does not resemble a diary, but appears to be a single comprehensive report of all Harrison’s meetings with the chiefs, written afterward.

Also within the volume are accounts of Harrison’s meetings with Tecumseh after the treaty-signing, when Tecumseh informed Harrison that the purchase of land was unacceptable, and warned against Americans settling the land. This treaty is generally understood to be one of the main events that drove Tecumseh to decide on war against the U.S.

Treaty of Fort Wayne, Indiana history, William Hnery Harrison, Chief Tecumseh, Shawnees, ebooks online

Indiana Indians

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties

Washington: Govt Printing Office
Kappler, Charles J., comp. Go to Book

Volume I (Laws, Compiled to Dec. 1, 1902)
Volume II (Treaties, 1778-1883)
Volume III (Laws, Compiled to Dec. 1, 1913)
(4 more volumes, compiled through 1971 to keep the laws up to date, are also at this site)

An historically significant, seven volume compilation of U.S. treaties, laws and executive orders pertaining to Native American Indian tribes. The volumes cover U.S. Government treaties with Native Americans from 1778-1883 (Volume II) and U.S. laws and executive orders concerning Native Americans from 1871-1970 (Volumes I, III-VII). The work was first published in 1903-04 by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Enhanced by the editors’ use of margin notations and a comprehensive index, the information contained in Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties is in high demand by Native peoples, researchers, journalists, attorneys, legislators, teachers and others of both Native and non-Native origins.”
– Summary from Oklahoma State University Kappler Project web site.

U.S. treaties, Native American treaties, U.S. law Native Americans, Indian affairs, books online free, American history, American Indian history

Prehistoric Antiquities of Indiana

Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society 1937
Lilly, Eli Go to Book

(title continued) ” … A description of the more notable earthworks, mounds, implements and ceremonial objects left in Indiana by our predecessors, together with some information as to their origin and antiquity, and the prehistory of Indiana”

“The Indians on the Mississinewa”

Indiana Magazine of History Volume 9, Issue 3, 1913, pp 187-194

Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
Line, Sarah Jane Go to Article

Miami tribe, Mississinewa River, Indian wars, Indiana Territory, Indiana history, books online

Removal of the Pottawattomie Indians from Northern Indiana …

Plymouth, Ind: McDonald 1899
McDonald, Daniel Go to Book

(title continued) ” …embracing also a brief statement of the Indian policy of the government, and other historical matter relating to the Indian question”

This 60-page booklet is a review of the history of Pottawatomie occupancy of land in northern Indiana and Michigan, and of the treaty agreements of the 1830s between the Pottawatomie and U.S. Government representatives that gradually ceded all their land. It also contains excerpts from presidential speeches and other official statements of U.S. policy, illustrating how government policy toward treatment of the Indians evolved during the period 1800 to 1840.

Pottawattomie, Pottawattomi, government Indian policy, Indian treaties, ebooks free, Native American history, Indiana history

Indiana Indians

Cessions of Land by Indian Tribes to the United States: Illustrated by Those in the State of Indiana

Washington: Government Printing Office 1881
Royce, C. C. Go to Book

This document of under 15 pages – the First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1879-80 – has two purposes.

First, it contains a short discussion of the extent to which the U.S. Government had recognized Indian title to lands they occupied, and how that recognition was reflected in the many treaties that were negotiated for Indian lands, beginning with the formation of the U.S. Government and progressing through the first quarter of the 19th century. Second, the document contains a map of Indiana with 54 land cessions by Indian tribes marked upon it, and short descriptions within the document of each of those cessions.

Indian treaties, land cessions, First Nations, Native American history, Indian lands, online book, U.S. history

Treaty with the Miami 1834

Washington: GPO 1904
Go to Book

Articles of a treaty between the United States and the Miami tribe of Indians, concluded at the Forks of the Wabash, in the State of Indiana, on the 23d day of October, 1834, by and between William Marshall, commissioner of the United States, and the chiefs and warriors of said tribe.

For works about prominent Native American leaders in the Old Northwest, see:
– Various books and articles on Tecumseh, The Prophet, Logan, Cornstalk, Bluejacket and Joseph Brant in Biographies & Memoirs in Great Lakes History
– Thwaites, Reuben Gold, “Logan, The Mingo Chief 1710-1780″ in Biographies & Memoirs in Ohio History;
Cole, Cyrenus, I am a Man: the Indian Black Hawk in Biographies & Memoirs in Illinois History;
Quaife, Milo Milton, ed., The Life of Black Hawk; Ma-Ka-Tai-Me-She-Kia-Kiak in Biographies & Memoirs in Illinois History;
Ellis, Edward S., The Life of Pontiac, the Conspirator, Chief of the Ottawas in Native Americans in the History of the Great Lakes;
Turner, F. N. (Dr.), “Chief Okemos” in Native Americans in Michigan History;
Matson, Nehemiah, “Sketch of Shau-be-na, a Pottawattamie Chief” in Native Americans in Wisconsin History;

Miami Indians, Treaty with the Miami, Indiana history, free ebooks, indigenous

See other Indiana pages on this website for works about Native Americans, especially the pages entitled “Biographies & Memoirs”, “General History”, “Religion”, “Fiction”, and “War & Military”.


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