Mischecanocquah/Meshekinoquah (Little Turtle): (1752 - 1812)
     Little Turtle was a Miami Nation Chief [he suceeded Pacane/"The Nut" as Chief and was in turn suceeded by Jean Baptiste Richardville], born & died near Ft.Wayne. In 1790 & 1791 Little Turle fought in the defeats of both General Josiah Harmar's & General Arthur St.Clair's American army. In 20 August 1794 he was apart of the combined Native forces, brought against General Anthony Wayne's American army, when the confederation of tribes were defeated at Fallen Timbers (near Toledo, Ohio), which brought him along with the other defeated Chiefs to sign the Treaty of Greenville.
     The following is in part, Little Turtle's address to Thomas Jefferson &  Henry Dearborn (U.S. Sec.of War) in council (4-7 January 1802) at Washington D.C. (interpreter - Captain William Wells, son-in-law of the Miami chief, Little Turtle): "Father you have heard the observasions of my Brother Chief Pottawottama. It gives us great pleasure that the Great Spirit who made us both has permitted us to take you by the han[d] at the Great Council of the sixteen fires. Father, we have confidence, in our Interpreter, he is a great advantage both to us and to you, as through him we have themeans of communicating with, and perfectly understanding each other. Father, it has again fell to my lot to make known to you the wish of your children. I was in hopes that my brethren the Great Chiefs would have spoken for themselves, but by their desire I have undertaken to speak for them. Father, A Treaty was made six years since at Greenville between the President of the United States and your children the People. Father, I with some of my Brethren made certain objections [at?] that Treaty, but finally thought it best is should be signed, an[d] we wish to adhere to it, and hope our white brethren will do so... My Father, and Brothers, by the Treaty it was mentioned that certain reservations should be made for the white people in our Country that the white people should not settle over the line described by the Treaty, that no individual of the white people should be allowed to purchase any land of the Indians, nor any Indians to sell to individuals of the White people, but that when your children were willing to sell any of their lands it should be sold to the United States, which we think a very happy circumstance, because the United States will not allow their Red Brothers to be cheated...Father, we think some of the white people are settling over the line and we are fearful some of our young men may interrupt the harmony which prevails between the Red and White people, as the white people are considered out of the protection of the United States, when they settle over the line, and as the Chiefs cannot be at all places to watch over their young men...Father, by the Treaty of Greenville your children were promised a certain quantity of goods and money should be paid them annually, and this they expected would have been done. Father, when the goods arrive your Children meet with pleasure to receive them, but father we are sorry to mention that the goods do not come in good order, that more or less of our annuities have always been unfit for use and particularly the powder, we believe it is your wish that they should be delivered in good order. Father, the chiefs, your children knowing the route by which the goods come, are not surprised that they got damanged. We have twice received our annuities by the way of Cincinnati at which times they arrived in good order. Once they came by Presque Isle to Miami where we went to receive them concerning which complaints were made to Governor St. Clair. Father, it is my opinion and the opinion of the Pottawottama, Miam[i], Delaware, Shawanesis, Eel River, Weas, Kickapoos, Peankashaws, and Kaskaskais, that Fort Wayne is the best place for distributing their annuities, and that it would be best for the Chipaways, Ottoways and Wyando[ts] to receive their annuities at Detroit. Father, your children wish to know your opinion relative to these things. The United States are indebted to us one hundred dollars for the year 1800 we were also promised several horses which we never receiv[ed.] Of the annuity of Five hundred dollars promised to the Eel River Indians only seventy five dollars worth of brass Kettles have been receive[d] and we do not know what has become of the remainder of the annuity. Your children expect that the deficiencies of their annuities will be made up to th[em. ?]...Father, we are sorry to trouble you so much; but these things are of consequenc[e] to us. We are imposed upon by the British traders, who ask very dear for their goods, when we ask them why they demand so much they reply it is owing to the taxes the American Government lay on their goods and that we never shall get them cheaper. We are of opinion that if a trading house was established in our Country this imposition would be remidied...Father, I was requested by my children before I left home to ask you to place a Blacksmith at Fort Wayne to repair our  different Tool[s] we cannot have it done now without going to Cincinnati or Detroit. Father, we wish to reap advantages from cultivating the Earth as you do, and request ploughs and other necessary tools may be put into the hands of the Interpreter at Fort Wayne to be dealt out to any who will receive and make use of them for the purposes intended. Father, Should this request be granted nothing shall be wanting on the part of your children the Chiefs, to introduce husbandry among their children, if the United States will furnish them with the proper utensils. But Father nothing can be done to advantage unless the great Council of the Sixteen fires now assembled, will prohibit any person from selling any Spiritous Liquors among their Red Brothers. Father, the introduction of this poison has been prohibited in our camps, but not in our Towns, where many of our Hunters, for this poison, dispose of not only their furs &ca, but frequently of their guns & Blankets and return to their families destitute. Father Your children are not wanting in industry, but it is the the introduction of this fatal person, which keeps them poor. Your children have not that command over themselves you have, therefore before any thing can be done to advantage this evil must be remedied. Father, When our White Brothers come to this land our forefathers were numerous and happy; but since their intercourse with the white people, and owing to the introduction of this fatal poison we hav become less numerous and happy..."
     Thomas Jefferson's response on 7th January 1802: - "Brothers and Friends of the Miamis, Pottowattama and Weas. I receive with great satisfaction the visit you have been so kind as to meete us at this place, and I thank the Great Spirit who had co[n]ducted you to us in health and safety, it is well that friends should some times meet open their minds mutually and renew the chain of affection, made by the same great Spirit, and being on the same lan[d] with our brothers the red men we consider ourselves as of the same fa[m-]ily, we wish to live with them as one people, and to cherish their interests as our own. The evils which of necessity accompanied the life of [?] are sufficiently numerous, why should we add to them by voluntari[ly] distressing and destroying one another? peace brothers is better than war, in a long and bloody war, we lose many friends and gain nothi[ng]  let us then live in peace and friendship together doing to each other all the good we can, the wise and good on both sides desire this, and we must take care that the foolish and wicked among us shall not prevent it, in our part we shall endeavour in all things to be just and generous towards you, and to aid you in meeting those difficulties which a change of circumstances is bringing on, we shall with great pleasure see your people become disposed to cultivate the earth, to raise herds of the useful animals and to spin and weave, for their food and clothing, these resources are certain, they will never disappoint you, while those of hunting may fail, and expose your women and children to the miseries of hunger and cold, we will with pleasure furnish you with implements for the most necessary arts, and with persons who may instruct how to make and use them. I consider it as fortunate that you have made your visit at this time when our wise men for the sixteen States are collected together in council, who being equally disposed to befriend you can strengthen our hands in the good we all wish to render you. The several matters you opened to us in your speech the other day and those on which you have since conversed with the Secretary at War, have been duly considered by us he will now deliver answers & you are to consider what he says, as if said by myself, and that what we promise we shall faithfully perform."
     In December 1808, Thomas Jefferson writes to Little Turtle, from Washington D.C.  - "My Son, Little Turtle, Chief of the Miamis. It is always with pleasure that I receive you here and take you by the hand, and that to the assurances of friendship to your nation. I can add those of my personal respect and esteem for you-- Our confidence in your friendship has been the stronger as your enlarged understanding could not fail to see the advantages resulting to your nation as well as to us from a mutual good understanding...You inform, me, my Son, that your nation claims all the land on the Wabash and the Miami of the Lake and their waters: and, that a small portion of that which was sold [treaty with William Hull, governor of Michigan Territory at Brownstown on November 25, 1808] to us by the Ottaways, Wiandots and other tribes of Michigan belonged to you: my, Son, it is difficult for us to know the exact boundaries which divide the lands of the several Indian tribes: and indeed it appears, often that they do not know themselves, or cannot agree about them. I have long thought it desirable that they should settle their, boundaries with one another and let them be written on paper and preserved by them and by us, to prevent disputes among,themselves. The tribes who made that sale certainly claim the lands on both sides of the Miami some distance up from the,mouth as they have since granted us two roads from the rapids of the Miami, the one Eastwardly to the line of the treaty of Fort Industry and the other South Westwardly to the line of the treaty of Greenville. I observe moreover that in the late conveyance, of lands on the White River branch of the Wabash, to the Delawares, the Poutewatamies join you in the conveyance, which is an,acknowlegement that all the lands on the waters of the Wabash do not belong to the Miamis alone. If however the Ottaways &,others who sold to us had no right themselves they could convey none to us, and we acknowledge we cannot acquire lands by,buying them of those who have no title themselves this question cannot be determined here, where we have no means of,enquiring from those who have no knolege of the facts. We will instruct Governor Hull to collect the evidence from both parties,and from others and to report it to us, and if it shall appear that the lands belonged to you and not to those who sold them, be,assured we will do you full justice we ask your friendship and confidence no longer than we shall merit it by our justice. on this,subject therefore, my Son, your mind may be tranquil. You will have an opportunity of producing before Govr Hull all the,evidences of your right and they shall be fairly weighed against the opposite claims. My Son, I salute your nation with constant friendship & assure you of my particular esteem."
     Jefferson apparently blamed William Wells for Little Turtles dissatisfation with the land transfer, for on January 27, 1809, Henry Dearborn wrote a letter to John Johnston, - "The President of the U S has deemed it expedient to appoint you Indian Agent at Fort Wayne in the place of William Wells whose letter of discharge is enclosed to you,-- which you will please to deliver to him-- The duties attached to the Indian Agency are so fully known to you as to supercede the necessity of giving particular instructions. Mr Wells has been directed to deliver over to you all the public property in his hands and such general instructions as he may have received from this department in regard to the duties of his Agency: you will please to receipt for them and to take charge of them accordingly. You will let it be known to the Indians generally that you are the Agent: and it may be prudent to use some address with the Little Turtle and such others as may feel any particular attachment to Mr Wells. Your compensation under the commission of Indian Agent which is enclosed, will be four hundred and fifty dollars (in addition to what you now receive as Agent to the Trading house) with allowance of $150 annually for subsistence..."
      The U.S. response to this land transfer problem came in a treaty between the United States of America, and the tribes of Indians called the Delawares, Putawatimies, Miamies and Eel River Miamies. James Madison, President of the United States, by William Henry Harrison, governor and commander-in-chief of the Indiana territory, superintendent of Indian affairs, and commissioner plenipotentiary of the United States, at Fort Wayne on September 30, 1809. This treaty was signed by William Henry Harrison, Little Turtle, John Johnston & William Wells (Interpreter).