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Treaty of Greenville

The immediate threat of warfare between the white settlers and the native inhabitants of the Ohio Country had been reduced by Anthony Wayne’s victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794. A year later, the former contending forces gathered at Greenville (today in western Ohio) to sign a peace agreement. Wayne represented the federal government and expressed his hope that the treaty would last “as long as the woods grow and the waters run.” The natives were less enthusiastic, regarding the agreement as a forced treaty. They had little choice because of the whites’ advantages in arms and numbers. Tribes represented included the Miami, Chippewa, Wyandot, Shawnee, Pottawatomie, Kickapoo, Delaware, Wea, Piankashaw, Kaskaskia and Eel River. Terms of the Treaty of Greenville included:

  • The tribes agreed to surrender their claims to lands in the southeastern portion of the Northwest Territory (mostly present-day southern and eastern Ohio)
  • The tribes also gave up additional defined areas that were used by the whites as portages and fort locations. This category included Fort Detroit and the site of the future town of Chicago on Lake Michigan
  • The United States government agreed to make an immediate payment of to $20,000 in goods to the tribes, as well as annual payments of $9,500 in goods to be divided among specified tribes
  • The tribes retained the right to hunt throughout the area.
The Native Americans scrupulously abided by the terms of the treaty; American settlers did not. New white settlements outside of the treaty area were established almost immediately. Resistance would emerge in the early years of the next century in lands slightly farther west under the auspices of Tecumseh and his brother, The Prophet.