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The Greene Ville Treaty

(Information provided by Jim Sayre)

The Greene Ville Treaty Line established the dividing line between the Indians and whites after General "Mad Anthony" Wayne defeated the Indians at the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers. The 1795 Greene Ville Treaty opened up vast areas of the Northwest Territory to white settlement, leading to statehood for Ohio in 1803.

The treaty line predates establishment of the State of Ohio, but the present boundaries of the State envelop the historical events leading to the treaty between the Indians and the whites. The Northwest Territory was afflicted by Indian warfare until the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers near Maumee, Ohio.

General Wayne and the Indians agreed to the treaty line in 1795 (surveyed several years later); the Indians were to occupy the land north and west of it. That line, running diagonally across Shelby County, opened to whites the 25,000 square miles east and south of it and between it and the Ohio River. "In return for giving up more than two-thirds of present Ohio, the natives were promised that the United States would give each of the twelve tribes $1,666 in trade goods plus $825 in cash once every year" (Howe, Ohio: Our State).

The line contained white encroachment north of the line for a few years. "Partly because of Wayne’s frank and fair methods of treatment, the Indians remained true to their agreement. Indian warfare was now at a close in Ohio, and in the Northwest peace reigned until Tecumseh took the warpath again sixteen years later" (Roseboom and Weisenburger, A History of Ohio).

The meeting at which the Treaty was negotiated was held in Greenville. General Wayne closed the meeting with the Indians with the following words describing the route of the treaty line "The general boundary line between the lands of the United States and the lands of the said Indian tribes shall begin at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and run thence up the same to the Portage between the Tuscarawas branch of the Muskingum, thence down the branch to the crossing place above Fort Laurens, thence westwardly to a fork of that branch of the Great Miami running into the Ohio at or near which stood Loramie’s Store and where commenced the portage between the Miami of the Ohio and St. Mary’s River, which runs into Lake Erie (Maumee River); thence a westerly course to Fort Recovery, which stands on a branch of the Wabash; thence southerly in a direct line to the Ohio, so as to intersect that river (in present Indiana) opposite the mouth of the Kentucke or Cuttawa River."

"A four-mile stretch of road about a mile north of Maplewood designates the location of the Treaty Line as it enters Shelby County at the eastern line," wrote the late Miami County historian Leonard Hill. "The place where it crosses Dixie Highway (25-A) is pointed out by a side road (Harmon Road) to the east about six miles north of Sidney and one-half mile south of Anna. The Anthony Wayne Parkway Board J. Oliver Amos, as its president, would be glad to have some organization sponsor markers at any of the above locations" (Hill, "Tells How Greene Ville Treaty Line Was Surveyed," Local and Regional History, p. 49, 1970).

Two historical markers commemorate the Greene Ville Treaty Line in our area: a metal roadside plaque on SR 235 two miles south of Indian Lake High School in Logan County and an aging, weather-worn metal plaque in the central park area of Ft. Loramie along SR 66. Another roadside plaque just north of Ft. Loramie describes Gen. Wayne’s defeat of the Indians, but does not mention the treaty line.

SR 235 Plaque. This marker, titled Greene Ville Treaty Line, actually says very little about the treaty line, focusing more on land given to Blue Jacket’s daughter in 1813. The marker, in excellent shape and easy to read, was erected by the Logan County Archaeological and Historical Society, apparently in 1949.

Ft. Loramie Plaque. This two-sided plaque, located in the old canal bed park in the center of town, commemorates the Miami-Erie Canal on the east side and the Greene Ville Treaty Line on the west side facing away from SR 66. Text is long, the characters are very small, and the sign is heavily weathered. Erected in 1953 by the Ft. Loramie Business Men’s Association and American Legion Post 355, the marker is part of the Anthony Wayne Parkway series, as is the marker north of town.

The text follows: "This marker is located on the boundary line which was established at the end of the Indian Wars to separate the American settlers and the Indians. It was agreed upon by the United States and the defeated confederated Indian tribes at the treaty of Greene Ville August 3, 1795. Except for the reserved sections shown on the map, including Loramie’s store, and seven other strategic areas in the Northwest Territory, the lands North and West of the treaty line were left to the Indians. South and East, the area, now freed from Indian marauding by Gen. Anthony Wayne’s military success, was opened to settlement. As a result, the greater part of what is today Ohio experienced a rapid growth, and in 1803, qualified as the first state to be formed from the old Northwest. The treaty line was surveyed by Rufus Putnam and Israel Ludlow in 1797-1798."

Reprinted from the "Shelby County Democrat", Aug. 9, 1895

The Greene Ville Treaty

"One hundred years ago Saturday of last week the agreement between General Anthony Wayne on the part of the United States and the chief of the Indians, living in the Northwest Territory, known as the Greene Ville treaty, was signed at Fort Greene Ville. By that agreement the Indians gave up all title to the lands south of what is now known as the old boundary line. This line extended from Fort Laurence (sic), on the Muskingum river, to Fort Loramies, now in this county. East of the latter place this line runs south of a due west course. At Fort Loramies the line changed to a north-westerly course and extended to Fort Wayne. Several pieces of land north of this line around forts and military stations were also ceded by the Indians to the United States.

The centennial anniversary of this important event was very fittingly celebrated at the city of Greenville last Saturday. There were about 30,000 people at the celebration and addresses were made by Governor McKinley, Judges____Hunt of Cincinnati, and W. J. Gillmore, of Columbus. Among the visitors were some of the descendants of the Indians whose ancestors participated in the wars that preceded this treaty of peace and were represented in the treaty. The citizens of Darke county and particularly of Greenville made this the greatest event in the history of the county. This celebration was more than a local event. It was national in its importance, because the treaty of Greene Ville terminated the trouble that had existed with the Indians from almost the beginning of the Revolutionary war. It extinguished the Indian titles to all the southern portions of Ohio and Indiana and opened up for settlement thousands of acres of the finest country on the earth. In its wake came the hardy pioneers who began the labor of civilization that fills all this part of the country with prosperous cities, towns and farms with millions of population and almost untold prosperity and wealth. "

'Indian' segment written in December, 1997 by David Lodge


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