The Full Wiki

Shawnee: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

The Shawnee, Shaawanwaki, Shaawanooki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki, are an Algonquian-speaking people native to North America. Historically they inhabited the areas of Ohiomarker, Virginiamarker, West Virginiamarker, Western Maryland, Kentuckymarker, Indianamarker, and Pennsylvaniamarker. Today there are three federally recognized Shawnee tribes: Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, and Shawnee Tribe, all of which are headquartered in Oklahomamarker.


Early history

The prehistoric origins of the Shawnees are uncertain. The other Algonquian nations regarded the Shawnee as their southernmost branch. Algonquian languages have words similar to the archaic shawano (now: shaawanwa) meaning "south". However, the stem shaawa- does not mean "south" in Shawnee, but "moderate, warm (of weather)". In one Shawnee tale, Shaawaki is the deity of the south. Some scholars have speculated that the Shawnee are descendants of the people of the prehistoric Fort Ancient culture of the Ohio country; other scholars disagree. No definitive proof has been established.

Europeans reported encountering Shawnee over a widespread geographic area. The earliest mention of the Shawnee may be a 1614 Dutch map showing the Sawwanew just east of the Delaware River. Later 17th-century Dutch sources also place them in this general location. Accounts by French explorers in this same century usually located the Shawnee along the Ohio River.

According to one legend, the Shawnee were descended from a party sent by Chief Opechancanough, ruler of the Powhatan Confederacy 1618-1644, to settle in the Shenandoah Valleymarker, and led by his son, Sheewa-a-nee, for whom they were named. Edward Bland, an explorer who accompanied Abraham Wood's expedition in 1650 and wrote The Discoverie of New Brittaine, noted that in Opechancanough's day there had been a falling-out between the "Chawan" chief and the weroance of the Powhatan proper (also a relative of Opechancanough's family), and that the latter had murdered the former. Explorers Batts and Fallam in 1671 reported that the Shawnee were contesting the Shenandoah Valleymarker with Iroquois in that year, and were losing. By the time European-American settlers began to arrive in the Valley (c. 1730), the Iroquois had departed. The Shawnee were then the sole residents of the northern part.

Sometime before 1670, a group of Shawnee migrated to the Savannah River area. The English of the Province of Carolina, based in Charles Townmarker, were contacted by these Shawnees in 1674. They forged a long-lasting alliance. The Savannah River Shawnee were known to the Carolina English as "Savannah Indians". Around the same time, other Shawnee groups migrated to Floridamarker, Marylandmarker, Pennsylvania, and other regions south and east of the Ohio country.

Historian Alan Gallay speculates that the Shawnee migrations of the middle to late 17th century were probably driven by the Iroquois Wars that began in the 1640s. The Shawnee became known for their widespread settlements and migrations, and their frequent long-distance visits to other Indian groups. Their language became a lingua franca among numerous tribes. Together with their experience, this helped make them leaders in initiating and sustaining pan-Indian resistance to European and Euro-American expansion.

Prior to 1754, the Shawnee had a headquarters at Shawnee Springs at modern-day Cross Junction, Virginiamarker near Winchestermarker. The father of the later Chief Cornstalk held his court there. Two other Shawnee villages existed in the Valley: one at Moorefield, West Virginiamarker, and one on the North Rivermarker. In 1753, messengers came from Shawnees to the west, inviting the Virginia people to leave the Shenandoah Valley and cross the Alleghenies. The Shawnee migrated west the following year, joining Shawnee on the Scioto River in the Ohio country.

The Iroquois later claimed the Ohio Country region by right of conquest, and treated the Shawnee and Delaware who resettled there as dependent tribes. Many Iroquois also migrated westward, becoming known as the Mingo. These three tribes—the Shawnee, the Delaware, and the Mingo—became closely associated in the Ohio country.

Historic villages

In their movements over the centuries, Shawnee established villages in numerous locations, such as Illinoismarker, New Yorkmarker, Ohiomarker, Kentuckymarker, Pennsylvaniamarker, Virginiamarker, and as far south as Georgiamarker. These included:

Sixty Years' War

After the Battle of the Monongahela in 1755, many Shawnee fought as allies of the French, with whom they had long traded, during the early years of the French and Indian War. In 1758 they settled with the British colonists, signing the Treaty of Easton in 1758. When the British defeated the French in 1763, other Shawnee joined Pontiac's Rebellion against the British, which failed a year later.

The Royal Proclamation of 1763, issued during Pontiac's Rebellion, drew a boundary line between the British colonies in the east and the Ohio Country west of the Appalachian Mountainsmarker. This was an attempt to establish a reserve for the Indians. The Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, however, extended that line westwards, giving the British a claim to what is now West Virginia and Kentucky. The Shawnee did not agree to this treaty: it was negotiated between British officials and the Iroquois, who claimed sovereignty over the land although Shawnees and other Native American tribes also hunted there.

After the Stanwix treaty, Anglo-Americans began pouring into the Ohio River Valley for settlement. Violent incidents between settlers and Indians escalated into Dunmore's Warmarker in 1774. British diplomats managed to isolate the Shawnee during the conflict: the Iroquois and the Delaware stayed neutral. The Shawnee faced the British colony of Virginia with only a few Mingo allies. Lord Dunmore, royal governor of Virginia, launched a two-pronged invasion into the Ohio Country. Shawnee Chief Cornstalk attacked one wing but fought to a draw in the only major battle of the war, the Battle of Point Pleasantmarker. In the Treaty of Camp Charlottemarker, Cornstalk and the Shawnee were compelled to recognize the Ohio River boundary established by the 1768 Stanwix treaty.

Many other Shawnee leaders refused to recognize this boundary, however. When the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, several Shawnees advocated joining the war as British allies to drive the colonists back across the mountains. The Shawnee were divided: Cornstalk led those who wished to remain neutral, while war leaders such as Chief Blackfish and Blue Jacket fought as British allies.

After the Revolution, in the Northwest Indian War between the United Statesmarker and a confederation of Native American tribes, the Shawnee combined with the Miami into a great fighting force. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794, most of the Shawnee bands signed the Treaty of Greenvillemarker a year later, in which they were forced to cede large parts of their homeland to the United States.

Other Shawnee groups rejected this treaty and migrated to Missourimarker, where they settled near Cape Girardeaumarker. By 1800, only the Chillicothe and Mequachake tribes remained in Ohio while the Hathawekela, Kispokotha, and Piqua had migrated to Missouri.

From 1805, a minority of Shawnee joined the pan-tribal movement of Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa. This led to Tecumseh's War and his death at the Battle of the Thamesmarker on October 5, 1813. This was the last attempt by the Shawnee nation to defend the Ohio country from European-American expansion.

After the war

Several hundred Missouri Shawnee left the United States in 1815 together with some Delaware people and settled in Texasmarker, which was controlled by Spainmarker. This tribe became known as the "Absentee Shawnee"; they were expelled in 1839 after Texas had gained its independence three years earlier. They settled in Oklahomamarker, close to present-day Shawnee, Oklahomamarker, where they were joined by Shawnee from Kansasmarker who shared their traditionalist views and beliefs.

In 1817, the Ohio Shawnee signed the Treaty of Fort Meigs, ceding their remaining lands in exchange for three reservations in Wapaughkonettamarker, Hog Creek (near Limamarker) and Lewistownmarker, Ohio (to be shared with the Seneca).

Missouri joined the Union in 1821. After the Treaty of St. Louis in 1825, the 1,400 Missouri Shawnees were forcibly relocated from Cape Girardeaumarker to southeastern Kansas, close to the Neosho River.

During 1833, only Black Bob's band of Shawnee resisted removal. They settled in northeastern Kansas near Olathemarker and along the Kansas Rivermarker in Monticellomarker near Gum Springsmarker. The Shawnee Methodist Missionmarker was built nearby to minister to the tribe. About 200 of the Ohio Shawnee followed the Prophet Tenskwatawa and joined their Kansas brothers and sisters in 1826.

The main body followed Black Hoof, who fought every effort to force the Shawnee to give up the Ohio homeland. In 1831, the Lewistown group of Seneca-Shawnee left for the Indian territory (present-day Oklahoma). After the death of Black Hoof, the remaining 400 Ohio Shawnee in Wapaughkonetta and Hog Creek surrendered their land and moved to the Shawnee Reserve in Kansas.

During the American Civil War, Black Bob's band fled from Kansas and joined the "Absentee Shawnee" in Oklahoma to escape the war. After the Civil War, the Shawnee in Kansas were expelled and forced to move to northeastern Oklahoma. The Shawnee members of the former Lewistown group became known as the "Eastern Shawnee".

The former Kansas Shawnee became known as the "Loyal Shawnee" (some say this is because of their allegiance with the Union during the war; others say this is because they were the last group to leave their Ohio homelands). The latter group was regarded as part of the Cherokee Nation by the United States because they were also known as the "Cherokee Shawnee". In 2000 the "Loyal" or "Cherokee" Shawnee finally received federal recognition, independent of the Cherokee Nation. They are now known as the "Shawnee Tribe". Today, the largest part of the Shawnee nation still resides in Oklahoma.


Before contact with Europeans, the Shawnee tribe consisted of a loose confederacy of five divisions which shared a common language and culture. The division names have been spelled in a variety of ways, but the phonetic spelling is added after each, following the work of C. F. Voegelin.

Membership in a division was inherited from the father. Each division had a primary village where the chief of the division lived. This village was usually named after the division. By tradition, each Shawnee division had certain roles it performed on behalf of the entire tribe. These customs were fading by the time they were recorded in writing by European-Americans. They remain poorly understood. Because of the scattering of the Shawnee people from the 17th century through the 19th century, this role arrangement changed.

Today there are three federally recognized tribes in the United States, all of which are located in Oklahomamarker:

As of 2008, there were 7584 enrolled Shawnee, with most living in Oklahoma. At least four bands of Shawnee: the Blue Creek Band, the East of the River Shawnee, the Piqua Sept of Ohio Shawnee, and the United Remnant Band of the Shawnee Nation reside in Ohio but are not federally recognized.

Flags of the Shawnee

Image:Bandera Absentee Shawnee.PNG|Flag of the Absentee-Shawnee Tribe of Indians of OklahomaFile:Eastern_shawnee_flag.jpg|Flag of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of OklahomaImage:Flag of The Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.svg|Flag of the Shawnee Tribe

Coins of the Shawnee

File:2002 Shawnee Dollar.JPG|First coin issue of 2002 - one dollarFile:Tecumseh Shawnee Dollar.JPG|Tecumseh commemorative dollar

Famous Shawnee

  • Cornstalk (1720-1777), Blue Jacket's most prominent predecessor, led the Shawnee in Dunmore's Warmarker, and attempted to keep the Shawnee neutral in the American Revolutionary War.
  • Blue Jacket (1743-1810), also known as Weyapiersenwah, was an important predecessor to Tecumseh and a leader in the Northwest Indian War. Blue Jacket surrendered to General "Mad" Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. He signed the Treaty of Greenvillemarker, ceding much of Ohio to the United States.
  • Tecumseh (1768-1813), the outstanding Shawnee leader, and his brother Tenskwatawa attempted to unite the Eastern tribes against the expansion of European-American settlement. This alliance was broken up by the Americans, leading to the Shawnee's expulsion to Oklahoma.
  • Black Hoof (1740-1831), also known as Catecahassa, was a respected Shawnee chief and one of Tecumseh's adversaries. He believed the Shawnee had to adapt culturally to the ways of the European-Americans to prevent decimation of the tribe through warfare.
  • Tenskwatawa (1775-1836), Shawnee prophet and younger brother of Tecumseh
  • Chiksika (1760-1792), Kispoko war chief and older brother of Tecumseh
  • Black Bob, 19th c. leader and warrior
  • Tall Eagle (1920-2003), Polish-Shawnee Canadian, fought in WWII, Polish novelist
  • Nas'Naga (1941- ), American Shawnee novelist and poet.

See also


  1. Shawano was an archaic name for the tribes bearing this generic name Shaawanwa lenaki. Reference: Shawnee Traditions.
  2. O'Donnell, James H. Ohio's First Peoples, p. 31. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8214-1525-5 (paperback), ISBN 0-8214-1524-7 (hardcover), also: Howard, James H. Shawnee!: The Ceremonialism of a Native Indian Tribe and its Cultural Background, p. 1. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1981. ISBN 0-8214-0417-2; ISBN 0-8214-0614-0 (pbk.), and the unpublished dissertation Schutz, Noel W. Jr.: The Study of Shawnee Myth in an Ethnographic and Ethnohistorical Perspective, Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, 1975.
  3. Charles Augustus Hanna, 1911 The WIlderness Trail, esp. chap. IV, "The Shawnees", pp. 119-160.
  4. Carrie Hunter Willis and Etta Belle Walker, 1937, Legends of the Skyline Drive and the Great Valley of Virginia, pp. 15-16.
  5. Gallay, Alan. The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670-1717, p. 55. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-300-10193-7
  6. Legends of the Skyline Drive and the Great Valley of Virginia, p. 16-17.
  7. Joseph Doddridge, 1850, A History of the Valley of Virginia p. 44
  8. Oklahoma Indian Commission. Oklahoma Indian Nations Pocket Pictorial. 2008
  9. "Joint Resolution to recognize the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band" as adopted by the [Ohio] Senate, 113th General Assembly, Regular Session, Am. Sub. H.J.R. No. 8, 1979-1980
  10. "American Indians in Ohio", Ohio Memory: An Online Scrapbook of Ohio History, The Ohio Historical Society, retrieved September 30, 2007
  11. Watson cites legal opinions that the resolution by the Ohio Legislature recognizing the United Remnant Band of the Shawnee Nation was ceremonial and did not grant legal status as a tribe.


  • Callender, Charles. "Shawnee", in Northeast: Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 15, ed. Bruce Trigger. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1978. ISBN 0-16-072300-0
  • Clifton, James A. Star Woman and Other Shawnee Tales. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984. ISBN 0-8191-3712-X; ISBN 0-8191-3713-8 (pbk.)
  • Edmunds, R. David. The Shawnee Prophet. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1983. ISBN 0-8032-1850-8.
  • Edmunds, R. David. Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership. Originally published 1984. 2nd edition, New York: Pearson Longman, 2006. ISBN 0-321-04371-5
  • Edmunds, R. David. "Forgotten Allies: The Loyal Shawnees and the War of 1812" in David Curtis Skaggs and Larry L. Nelson, eds., The Sixty Years' War for the Great Lakes, 1754–1814, pp. 337-51. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-87013-569-4.
  • Howard, James H. Shawnee!: The Ceremonialism of a Native Indian Tribe and its Cultural Background. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1981. ISBN 0-8214-0417-2; ISBN 0-8214-0614-0 (pbk.)
  • O'Donnell, James H. Ohio's First Peoples. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 2004. ISBN 0-8214-1525-5 (paperback), ISBN 0-8214-1524-7 (hardcover).
  • Sugden, John. Tecumseh: A Life. New York: Holt, 1997. ISBN 0-8050-4138-9 (hardcover); ISBN 0-8050-6121-5 (1999 paperback).
  • Sugden, John. Blue Jacket: Warrior of the Shawnees. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8032-4288-3.

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address