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Fort Greene Ville, 1793

Fort Greene Ville, 1793

Fort Greene Ville was built in 1793 during the American Indian Wars in present day Greenville, Ohio. After General Anthony Wayne’s victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the Treaty of Greenville was signed in August of 1795 by both Delaware and Wyandot tribes at the Fort. The treaty marked the end of the Northwest Indian Wars and negotiated the land boundary between the settlers and natives.

The fort was built in 1793 and was one of the largest wooden fortification to have ever been built at the time (Touring Ohio, 2019). The fort enclosed about 55 acres and was surrounded by a 10 foot high fence. There was also 8 block houses built 250 yards outside of the main wall to provide additional defenses. The fort was set up much like a city which was unusual for the time period.General Anthony Wayne named the fort after a good friend of his, the late Nathaniel Greene whom he served alongside in the American Revolution. Nathaniel Greene died a few years before Wayne’s expedition at his Georgia home due to heat stroke (Touring Ohio).

General Wayne used the fort in the winter of 1793-94 until he and his troops moved northward along the Maumee River towards present day Toledo. Along the river Wayne encountered heavy Native resistance by the Northwest Indian Confederation, lead by Little Turtle, which consisted of Shawnee, Delaware, Ottawa, Ojibwa, Miami, and Potawatomi tribes (Michael Ray,2016). During his northward expedition, Wayne used the crushing defeat of Arthur St. Clair and his men just a couple years prior as motivation to squash any resistance. Wayne and his army of 3,000 met with the Confederation near present day Toledo and the Battle of Fallen Timbers ensued. The American forces came out as the victors at Fallen Timbers and subsequently returned to Fort Greene Ville.

Coupled with the American Victory at Fallen Timbers, the immense fort was used as leverage to encourage American Indian tribes in the area to negotiate peace. On August 3, 1795 the Treaty of Greenville was signed at the Fort. The Treaty was signed by General Wayne, Little Turtle, and other tribal leaders for each Confederation Tribe. The Treaty set forth the end of the Northwest Indian Wars and redrew territorial lines between the Tribes and the U.S.. As a result, the U.S. gained much of present day Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, parts of Michigan, and Mackinac Island.

Only a year later in 1796 the military abandoned the Fort until it was briefly used in the War of 1812 as a supply depot and staging area. Shortly after being abandoned in 1796, local townspeople burned portions of the Fort in order to retrieve the nails used in construction to be used in a new settlement nearby.

Secondary Sources

Source 1: The Archaeological Conservancy (2014). “Fort Greenville (Ohio)” Archaeological Conservancy Source 2 : Touring Ohio (2019). “The Encampment called Greene Ville” Ohio City Productions Source 3 : Ray, Michael (2014). “Treaty of Greenville” Encyclopedia Britannica Source 4: Knopf, Richard C. (1954). ” Wayne’s Western Campaign: the Wayne-Knox Correspondence, 1793-1794.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography vol. 78 no.3 pages 298-341 Source 5: Kent, Charles A (1918). “The Treaty of Greenville. August 3, 1795” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984) Vol. 10 no.4 pages 568-584