At treaty ground (two blocks east) in October, 1826, Potawatomi and Miami tribes signed treaties with the United States ceding lands north of the Wabash River. Ther treaties included provisions for land for a canal and the Michigan Road.
The treaty between the United States and the Miami tribe of Indians was held near this spring October 23, 1826 U.S.Commissioners Louis Cass, James B. Ray and John Tipton.
Erected Indiana Centennial Year 1916
Donated to the citizens of Wabash
In Memory of Dallas L. Winchester
1984 - 1994
In the early 1820's, the Northern half of Indiana had very little white settlement.
The Miami and Potawatomie Indians had suffered serious defeats at the hands of General Anthony Wayne along the Maumee River (1794) and William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811), however, they still held the rights to the land in this area.
There was a need for additional land for white settlement and the need to establish a canal system along the Wabash River.
In 1826 congress made an appropriation to hold a treaty meeting with the purpose of acquiring additional land from the Indians. Governor James B. Ray of Indiana, Governor Lewis Cass of Michigan, and Captain John Tipton were appointed commissioners to represent the U.S. Government.
Captain Tipton was assigned the task of locating a site for the meeting. This location was chosen as it was centrally located with many favorable natural features.These features included a plentiful spring and enough open land to construct the treaty camp.
The treaty camp was constructed in the spring and summer of 1826, the treaty meeting took place in October of 1826 and lasted approximately two weeks. On October 26, 1826 the Miami and Potawatamie Indians surrendered the rights to their land in Northern Indiana and southern Michigan.
The signing of the Treaty of 1826 allowed for white settlement of this land and the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal.
The original treaty camp consisted of ten buildings. The reconstruction of the camp began in 1987 and is based on a reliable description provided in the 1836 writings of Elijah Hackleman.
The Jim Smith Cook House
Meals for the treaty participants wre prepared in the cook's cabin.
While the exact number of participants is not known, it is documented that the Potawatomie and Miami tribes camped on both sides of the Wabash River, numbered in the several hundreds.
The spring, reported sufficient to meet the needs of three thousand persons, ran through a ravine west of the cook's cabin.
Quarters of the Governors & High Ranking Officers
Quarters of James B. Ray
Governor of Indiana (1825 - 1831)
Born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, Governor Ray studied law at the University of Cincinnati and established a practice in Brookville, Indiana.
Prior to being elected Governor, he served one term as a state representative and two erms as a state senator.
He later became a major supporter of railroad development and visioned Indianapolis with railroads radiating from its center.
Quarters of Lewis Cass
Governor of Michigan
Born in New Hampshire and a veteran of the war of 1812, Governor Cass was a skilled maker of treaties.
In 1831 President Andrew Jackson appointed Governor Cass Secretary of War. He later served as Minister to France.
In the mid 1840's, he was elected to the United States Senate. He was the Democratic party nominee for president in 1848, but lost to Zachery Taylor.
In 1857 President Buchanan appointed Cass Secretary of State. His public service ended when he resigned in 1860 and returned to Michigan.
Quarters of Major General John Tipton
A veteran of the Battle of Tippecanoe, General Tipton was apointed to the Indian Agency located in Ft. Wayne Indiana, by President Monroe.
John Quincy Adams appointed Major General Tipton Indian commissioner to oversee treaties with the Indians located in his jurisdiction. He served in this capacity until 1831.
He was elected to the United States Senate in 1831 and distinguished himself by working for the good of the nation without reference to politics.
Quarters of Captain Frederick R. Kintner
Head of the Military Guard
Druing treaty negotiations, military guards stood around-the-clock watch. Captain Kintner was the Officer In Charge of these men.
Guards were provided shelter when in camp, sufficient rations of beef and bread or flour with salt, and one gill (one-fourth pint) of liquor per day.
They were compensated for their services a sum of money not less than fifty cents and not more than one dollar per day of service.
In the Fall of 1827, Kintner and his
brother James Kintner located a saddle and harness making business on the north side of the Wabash River. It was located near a small stream that is presently known as Kintner Creek.
The council house was used by the commissioners during negotiations and preparation of the treaty of 1826. Following th ecompletion of the treaty signing, it continued to play an important role in the development of the area.
In the spring of 1827, the Samuel McClure Sr. family relocated from Ohio and lived a short time in the council house. They are regarded as the first permanent settlers in Wabash County.
In 1830 the first post office in Wabash County was established in this building with David Burr as post master.
In 1832 David Burr utilized the council house to award contracts for the construction of the Wabash and Erie Canal. In 1834 Mr. Burr and Hugh Hanna platted Wabash Town at this site.
For a short time in 1834, the council house was used for a school.
Following the establishment of Wabash in 1834, David Burr and Hugh Hanna began holding meetings and strategy sessions in this building in an attempt to get Wabash designated as the county seat.
In 1835 Wabash won a close race with Lagro and was designated the County Seat.
The original treaty camp had four storage cabins. In addition to storing goods and supplies for the camp, they also stored items for Indian trade.
Traders were instructed to arrive with an attractive selection of items to be used in the treaty negotiations.
These items inluded brilliantly colored cloth and blankets, items of clothing, furs, guns, glittering ornaments, barrels of whiskey and tobacco.
The first settlements in Wabash County soon followed the treaty of 1826. The treaty grounds became known as the headquarters for new comers.
The Samueal McClure, Sr. family moved to the treaty grounds in January, 1827. They later built a log cabin on the North Bank of the Wabash River, three miles below the treaty grounds. They are regarded as the first settlers in Wabash County.
Samuel McClure, Jr. soon located an Indian trading business adjacent to the family cabin. He, along with his brother Robert McClure, constructed the first state highway through Wabash County in 1833. They were compensated $7.58 per mile.
The Wabash River
The Wabash River begins as a small stream near Fort Recovery, Ohio and passes through 16 Indiana counties on its 500 mile journey to its confluence with the Ohio River.
The river was named Wah-bah-shi-ka, meaning "water over the white rocks" by the Miami Indians. The French named it Quabache, from which the modern day name of Wabash is derived.
Created by the run-off from receding glaciers, the Wabash River is rich in history. It served as a major transportation route for indians, explorers, canal barges and river boats.
In 1872, the Cincinnati, Wabash and Michigan Railroad was bult through Wabash County. It later became the Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati and St. Louis Railroad, also known as the Big Four.
The Big Four maintenance shops were constructed on this site. Remnants of the roundhouse wall and the outline of the turntable remain.
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