Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Members of a delegation from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians read names of the signers of the Treaty of Fort Wayne of 1809 as the museum prepares to place the treaty on exhibit. From left: Tribal Council Member Wayne (Alex) Wesaw, Council Chairman John P. Warren, Council Elders Representative Judy Winchester, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer; Jason S. Wesaw, and Council Vice Chairman Robert (Bob) Moody, Jr. National Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C., September 2017. (Kevin Wolf/AP Images for National Museum of the American Indian)

The Treaty of Fort Wayne, 1809—a treaty that led to war—goes on exhibit

In 1809, nearly 1,400 Potawatomi, Delaware, Miami, and Eel River Indians and their allies witnessed the Treaty of Fort Wayne, ceding 2.5 million acres of tribal lands in present-day Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio in exchange for a peace that did not last. This September, representatives of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi saw the treaty go on view at the National Museum of the American Indian. “It is an honor to come full circle to an article that our ancestors signed,” Tribal Chairman John P. Warren said. “I hope we are fulfilling their hopes and dreams by being here.”