At the end of the Revolutionary War, Britain ceded its control of the northwest territory to the United States. Even though this control was under the treaty, British continued to occupy forts in the area while supporting the Natives that were living in the area. This resulted in centuries of conflict with Natives for control of the territory until the final eviction by General Anthony Wayne and the erection of Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne would establish United States rule past Appalachian Mountains to land as far west as the Mississippi river, opening the door for western expansion.
After the revolutionary war United States faced many struggles maintaining control over the Northwest Territory. President George Washing had sent the army to the area to reinforce US rule over the territory. This would be the start of the Northwest Indian War. This was a war between the United States and a confederation of Native tribes, including the Shawnee, and the Miami Indians with the support of the Birtish. The U.S. army consisted of inexperienced militiamen and would face numerous defeats in the Harmar Campaign and St. Clair’s Defeat. The United States saw many more casualties than the native american opponents. After both of the debacles Washington appointed General Anthony Wayne in 1793 to form a proper army to finally bring the Indian conflict in the area to an end (Hickman, 2018). Wayne led american forces against british soldiers at Stony Points, New York, during the American Revolution. He also played a major role in stopping Benedict Arnold from surrendering the fortifications at West Point to British Forces. He would later serve as a member of the United States House of Representatives before being appointed to the Northwest Campaign by Washington (“Anthony Wayne”). General Wayne would create a militia called The Legion that was put through merciless training and drills to combat the Indian Confederacy. The Legion’s main objective was to protect american settlers in the area and to push natives out of the Ohio area and allow for further western expansions. (“Anthony Wayne”) The Northwest Indian war would be part of the frontier struggle that the United states faced following the American Revolution. General Wayne would play a major role in opening opportunities for western expansion of the country and the protection of American settlers in the Ohio territory. Wayne would order the construction of Fort Recovery, Fort Defiance, and Fort Greene Ville. Seeing the amount of American activity in the area, the Indians would establish Fort Miami on the Maumee River (Brooke, 1895).
The Northwest Indian war would Fort Wayne would become the final fort constructed under the orders of Anthony Wayne following the battle of Fallen Timbers. He ordered it to be built on the Miami capital of Kekoionga to serve as a symbol of the United States supreme rule in the Indian country. Fort Wayne would serve to protect future American settlers from native attacks and would be essential to the western expansion of the United States.
Brooke, John. (1895). “Anthony Wayne: His Campaign against the Indians of the Northwest.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 19(3), 387-396.
Barce, Ellmore. (1915). “Governor Harrison and the Treaty of Fort Wayne, 1809.” Indiana Magazine of History, 11(4), 352-367.
Hickman, Kennedy. (2018). “Northwest Indian War: Battle of Fallen Timbers.” ThoughtCo.
”Anthony Wayne”, Ohio History Central, October 11, 2019.