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The Mingo are an Iroquoian group of Native Americans that migrated west to the Ohio Country in the mid-eighteenth century. Anglo-Americans called these migrants mingos, a corruption of mingwe, an Eastern Algonquian name for Iroquoian groups in general. Mingos have also been known as "Ohio Iroquois" and "Ohio Seneca".


The people who became known as "Mingos" migrated to the Ohio Country in the mid-eighteenth century, part of an influx of Native Americans to a region that had been sparsely populated for decades. There was a well-known confederation of Iroquoian Indian bands drawn from throughout the Northeast that included the Mingo (from the upper Ohio River), Conestoga, Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Onondaga (driven into Ohio by early colonists) and the Seneca of Sandusky (who had lived in New York at the outset of the American Revolution). After the war, the Cayuga moved to Ohio, where they were granted a reservation along the Sandusky River. They were joined there by the Shawnee of Ohio and the rest of the confederacy. Their villages were increasingly an amalgamation of Seneca, Wyandot, Shawnee, Susquehannock, and Delaware immigrants. Although the Iroquois nominally claimed sovereignty over the Ohio country natives, these people increasingly acted independently of them. When Pontiac's Rebellion broke out in 1763, many Mingos joined with other tribes in the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to drive the British out of the Ohio Country, even though the Iroquois were closely allied to the British. The Mingo/Seneca Chief Guyasuta was one of the leaders in that war.

One of the most famous Mingo leaders was Chief Logan, who had good relations with his fellow white settlers. Logan was not actually a chief, but a village leader. In 1774, as tensions between whites and Indians were on the rise due to a series of violent encounters, Logan's family was brutally murdered by a band of white outlaws. Local chiefs counseled restraint, but acknowledged Logan's right to revenge. Logan exacted his vengeance in a series of raids with only about a dozen followers, not all of whom were Mingos. His vengeance satisfied, he did not even participate in the resulting Lord Dunmore's Warmarker, and was probably not at the climactic Battle of Point Pleasantmarker. Rather than participate in the peace conference, he issued Logan's Lament, a speech which was widely printed and is one of the most well-known examples of American Indian oratory.

By 1830, the Mingos were flourishing in western Ohio improving their farms and establishing schools. After the passage of the Indian Removal Act of that same year, however, the Mingos were pressured to sell their lands and migrate to Kansasmarker in 1832. In Kansas, the Mingos joined other Seneca and Cayuga bands and the tribes shared the Neosho Reservation there. The tribes moved yet again in 1869 after the American Civil War to present-day Ottawa County, Oklahomamarker. In 1881, a band of Cayuga from Canada joined the Seneca Tribe in Indian Territory. In 1902, shortly before Oklahoma became a state, 372 members of the joint tribe received land allotments. In 1937, the tribe officially designated themselves the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma. Today, the tribe numbers over five thousand members and continues to maintain cultural and religious ties to the Six Nations of the Iroquois.


  • Cobb, William H., Andrew Price and Hu Maxwell (1921), History of the Mingo Indians, Cumberland, Md.: F.B. Jenvy, printer.
  • Hoxie, Frederick E., editor (1996), Encyclopedia of North American Indians. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 380–381. ISBN 0-395-66921-9.
  • McConnell, Michael N. (1992), A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724–1774. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0-8032-3142-3.

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