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Fallen Timbers, Battle of

FALLEN TIMBERS, BATTLE OF


The battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) and the Treaty of Greenville (1795) that followed it marked the successful conclusion of a long struggle for control over the Ohio countrythe region between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. Since the 1740s, the territory had been the site of numerous battles between Native Americans, French Canadians, and British and Colonial troops. Although the Treaty of Paris (1783) ended the fighting between England and the United States in the American Revolution (17751783), the struggle between the new country and its Native American neighbors continued. Despite the provisions of the Treaty of Paris and the Treaty of Ft. Stanwix (in which the Iroquois Confederacy relinquished its claim on the Ohio country to the United States), Great Britain still wanted the area. Great Britain had excluded its Indian allies from the treaty negotiations that ended the American Revolution. Some British politicians believed the Indians might continue the war on the frontier and bring the area back under British influence. The British built Fort Miami, near modern Toledo, Ohio, to help support the Native American effort in the Ohio country.

Matters came to a head in the early 1790s, in the conflict known as Little Turtle's War (17901794). As more white settlers flooded into the area following its partition under the Land Ordinance of 1785, the Native Americans were forced westward. The Miami commander, Michikinikwa (Little Turtle), led a confederation of tribes against U.S. expeditions led by General Josiah Harmar in 1790 and General Arthur St. Clair in 1791, defeating them both. Both Harmar's and St. Clair's armies consisted largely of untrained militia, frontiersmen with guns but little discipline, who often broke ranks and fled when confronted by Native American warriors.

In late August 1794, Little Turtle and his Shawnee ally, Weyapiersenwah (Blue Jacket), faced a new U.S. Army, including a core of nearly 5,000 professionals trained and led by General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Wayne had spent the better part of two years training and disciplining his troops. On June 30, 1794, Wayne's army drove off a Native American attack from Fort Recovery, the site of St. Clair's defeat three years before. By August 20, his force confronted the Native Americans outside modern Maumee, Ohio. A tornado had recently knocked down many of the trees in the area, and about 2,000 Native Americans used them as cover to attack Wayne's group of 900 (thus the name Fallen Timbers). Within a few hours, however, Wayne's army rallied and drove the Indians from their cover, killing about 200 and forcing the others to seek refuge at Fort Miami. Official American casualties numbered 107 dead.

The battle of Fallen Timbers had ramifications that stretched all the way to Europe. News of the American victory helped negotiator John Jay secure a treaty with the British that promised British withdrawal from the frontier fortssecuring the area for the Americans. The Treaty of Greenville, negotiated between Wayne and Little Turtle the following year, secured most of what is now Ohio for American settlement. The victory calmed the fears of frontiersmen about Indian raids and secured the area's allegiance to the United States. From a long-term perspective, the battle of Fallen Timbers secured American access to the western Great Lakes and the western Ohio River valley, giving farmers in the area access to international markets for their produce.

See also: Land Ordinance of 1785, Ohio


FURTHER READING

Axelrod, Alan. Chronicle of the Indian Wars: From Colonial Times to Wounded Knee. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1993.

DeRegnaucourt, Tony. The Archaeology of Camp Stillwater: Wayne's March to Fallen Timbers, July 28, 1794. Arcanum, OH: Upper Miami Valley Archaeological Research Museum, 1995.

Knopf, Richard C., editor and transcriber. Anthony Wayne, a Name in Arms: Soldier, Diplomat, Defender of Expansion Westward of a Nation; The Wayne-Knox-Pickering-McHenry Correspondence. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1975.

Nelson, Paul David. Anthony Wayne, Soldier of the Early Republic. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1985.

Slaughter, Thomas. The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

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Wayne, Fort

WAYNE, FORT

WAYNE, FORT, located at the joining of the St. Marys and St. Joseph Rivers to form the Maumee River in northeastern Indiana, was an important trade center for the Miami Indians from the 1600s on; they called it Kekionga. The French developed this strategic site into a military post called Fort Miami as early as the late 1680s, and it was occupied briefly by the British in the 1760s. American forces under General Anthony Wayne established Fort Wayne under the command of Colonel John F. Hamtramck on 22 October 1794. The Fort Wayne Indian Factory, a public trading post established at the site in 1802, increased its importance as a center of commerce between Indian fur trappers and American traders. The Treaty of Fort Wayne, signed at the post on 30 September 1809 by the United States and several Indian tribes, ceded about 2.5 million acres of present-day southern Indiana and Illinois to the United States in exchange for goods and annuities. Combined British and Indian forces besieged Fort Wayne during the War of 1812, and fighting continued through late 1813; after the war, Fort Wayne was decommissioned on 19 April 1819. A trading post and grist mill were built later that year, and on 22 October 1823 the U.S. Land Office sold off the rest of the land around the fort.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Cayton, Andrew R. L. Frontier Indiana. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

Madison, James H. The Indiana Way: A State History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.

Rafert, Stewart. The Miami Indians of Indiana: A Persistent People, 1654–1994. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1996.

Timothy G.Borden

See alsoIndian Trade and Traders ; Indian Treaties ; Indiana ; Miami (Indians) ; War of 1812 .

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"Wayne, Fort." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/wayne-fort

Fallen Timbers, Battle of

FALLEN TIMBERS, BATTLE OF

FALLEN TIMBERS, BATTLE OF (20 August 1794). Frustrated by Indian raids and the slow progress of negotiations with the British, Gen. Anthony Wayne marched from Fort Greenville (in what is now Ohio)on 28 July 1794, to expel the British and their Indian allies from the Northwest Territory. In a two-hour battle on 20 August at the rapids of the Maumee River in northwest Ohio, just two miles from the British Fort Miami, Wayne's regulars and Kentucky militiamen routed nearly 800 Indians. To secure the territory, Wayne built a stronghold and named it, appropriately, Fort Defiance. This victory paved the way for white settlement in Ohio.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Nelson, Paul David. Anthony Wayne: Soldier of the Early Republic. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.

Sword, Wiley. President Washington's Indian War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1790–1795. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985.

Thomas RobsonHay/a. r.

See alsoFrontier Defense ; Jay's Treaty .

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Fallen Timbers

Fallen Timbers, battle fought in 1794 between tribes of the Northwest Territory and the U.S. army commanded by Anthony Wayne; it took place in NW Ohio at the rapids of the Maumee River just southwest of present-day Toledo. The Native American defeat hastened the collapse of indigenous resistance in the area, secured the northwest frontier, and demonstrated the strength of the new national government. The battleground is now the site of a state historical monument.

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