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100 Years Ago

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Chief Blackhoof

Born in Florida circa 1722, his Indian name was Catahecasa and Quaskey. After he moved to this area, he led the Shawnee attack on Fort Piqua in 1763 (site of the present day Johnston farm) during the French War, and participated in all the Ohio wars up to the signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville. Tecumseh, with his fine oratorical skills was unable to convince Blackhoof and his followers to join the Indian coalition against the white man, even though Blackhoof had been an ardent opponent to white expansion prior to the Greene Ville Treaty. Reconciled to peace, he visited Fort McArthur in 1813 and was shot in the face by a miscreant, causing a serious injury, from which he made a full recovery.

In Sutton’s "History of Shelby County", it records that Blackhoof visited Washington and Philadelphia, and was the bearer of the celebrated letter of Thomas Jefferson, written to the Shawnee in 1802. Sutton goes on to say that in 1831 a proposition was made by the government to purchase the land of the Shawnee about Wapakoneta. The Indians accordingly held a council, and prepared a petition to Congress, setting forth their grievances and asking additional compensation. The Indians formed a committee of four, including Blackhoof, to present the petition to the government. The deputation set forth on this mission in December, 1831. These negotiations resulted in the surrender of the Ohio lands held by the Shawnee nation. An anecdote is told of the celebrated chief, touching this sale of land.

He was asked if he agreed to the sale, at which he replied: "No." "Why then did you sell?" "Why," he replied, "because the United States Government wanted to buy and possess our lands, and remove us out of the way. I consented because I could not help myself, for I never knew them to undertake anything without accomplishing it. I knew that I migblackhoofmarkerwapak.gif (31407 bytes)ht as well give up first as last, for they were determined to have our lands."

Blackhoof died shortly after the ceding of the Shawnee’s last lands in Ohio at the advanced age of 109 years. There is a monument at the corner of St. Rt 65 and US Rt. 33 in St. Johns, 4 miles east of Wapakoneta, Ohio (shown at right).


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


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