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Blue Jacket

Blue Jacket was born around 1745, but it is not known where as there is no record of him until around the 1790s. His Indian name was Weyapiersenwah, although there is conjecture by many historians that he was actually Marmaduke Van Swerangen, a Virginia white boy captured by the Shawnee during the Revolutionary War. The Indians were so impressed with his skills they eventually made him a chief. There is no conclusive evidence to support this contention, however, and because almost nothing is known, his origin may always be open for discussion. It is not known where he was born or exactly when, and what he did for almost the first fifty years of his life.

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Blue Jacket

It is known that he was active under Little Turtle in the fight against American expansionism after the end of the Revolutionary War, including Little Turtle’s unsuccessful assault on Ft. Recovery on June 30-July 1. 1794. He was undoubtedly at Harmar’s defeat (1790) and St. Clair’s Shame (1791). When General Wayne was sent by President Washington to resolve the Indian uprising, Wayne took two years to train his army before committing them to battle. Little Turtle was obviously impressed, and began to support peace in the region. His followers branded him a coward and chose Blue Jacket to lead them in the Battle of Fallen Timbers (August 20, 1794). The Indian defeat ended in the signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville where Blue Jacket was a signatory. He also signed the Treaty of Fort Industry (American fort built by General Wayne in 1794 on the present day site of Toledo) in 1805, after which, he disappeared from historical records forever.

Historian Hill recounts the memoirs of Thomas Morrow (born 1804) in an article in the November 24, 1966, edition of the "Piqua Daily." Morrow talks about his childhood years in the Piqua area and the school he attended that was located in Colonel John Johnston’s cemetery. Hill sights an unknown source that indicated that one of the school’s scholars at that time was George Blue Jacket, son of the Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket.

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


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