Indian removals in Indiana
Indian removals in Indiana followed a series of the land cession treaties made between 1785 and 1846 that led to the removal of most of the native tribes from Indiana. Some of the removals occurred prior to 1830, but most took place between 1830 and 1846. The Lenape (Delaware), Piankashaw, Kickapoo, Wea, and Shawnee removed in the 1820s and 1830s, but the Potawatomi and Miami removals in the 1830s and 1840s were more gradual and incomplete, and not all of Indiana’s Native Americans voluntarily left the state. The most well-known resistance effort in Indiana was the forced removal of Chief Menominee and his Yellow River band of Potawatomi in what became known as the Potawatomi Trail of Death in 1838, in which 859 Potawatomi removed to Kansas and at least forty died on the journey west. The Miami were the last to remove from Indiana, but tribal leaders delayed the process until 1846. Many of the Miami were permitted to remain on land allotments guaranteed to them under the Treaty of St. Mary's (1818) and subsequent treaties. Under the terms of the Treaty of Greenville (1795), the Shawnee agreed to remove east to Ohio. Between 1803 and 1809 William Henry Harrison negotiated more than a dozen treaties on behalf of the federal government that purchased nearly all the Indian land in most of present-day Illinois and the southern third of Indiana from various tribes. Most of the Wea and the Kickapoo removed west to Illinois and Missouri after 1813. The Treaty of St. Mary's led to the removal of the Delaware, in 1820, and the remaining Kickapoo, who removed west of the Mississippi River. After the United States Congress passed the Indian Removal Act (1830), removals in Indiana became part of a larger nationwide effort that was carried out under President Andrew Jackson's administration. Most of the tribes had already removed from the state. The only major tribes remaining in Indiana were the Miami and the Potawatomi, and both of them were already confined to reservation lands under the terms of previous treaties. Between 1832 and 1837 the Potawatomi ceded their Indiana land and agreed to remove to reservations in Kansas. A small group joined the Potawatomi in Canada. Between 1834 and 1846 the Miami ceded their reservation land in Indiana and agreed to remove west of the Mississippi River; the major Miami removal to Kansas occurred in October 1846. Not all of Indiana’s Native Americans left the state. Less than one half of the Miami removed. More than a half of the Miami either returned to Indiana or were never required to leave under the terms of the treaties. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians were the only other Indians left in the state after the end of the removals. Native Americans remaining in Indiana settled on privately owned land and eventually merged into the majority culture, although some retained ties to their Native American heritage. Members of the Miami Nation of Indiana concentrated along the Wabash River, while other Native Americans settled in Indiana's urban centers. In 2000 the state's population included more than 39,000 Native Americans from more than 150 tribes.