Skip to main content

Miami Chief Little Turtle collection

 Collection — Folder: S1417
Identifier: S1417

Scope and Contents

There are two items in this collection and both are copies of the same undated letter.

The text of the letter is thus: "Louisiana. St. Louis west of the Mississippi. My Friend and Brother, Whatever may be my distance from you, I always keep you in my heart. Our Father, the President, having appointed me Governor of the country on this side [of] the Great River, I have pitched my camp on the Bank of the Missouri with my warriors, about twelve miles from this place, where I should be happy once more to take you by the hand, and hold a long talk about the strange things which have happened since we parted, and of those things which may come to pass hereafter. I have some things in mind which I wish to communicate to you, and this cannot be done before we stand face to face. Rise up then my Brother, forget that you are an old man, take the path with a strong step, and let me embrace you on the 20th Sept. next at this place, where I shall wait for you. I hold you by the hand and am your Friend and Brother, Johni Killjoy. The Great Miami Chief called Little Turtle."

"The Great Miami Chief called Little Turtle" is written on the far left side of the letter and has a bracket at the right side.


  • circa 1747-1812


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Little Turtle or Michikinikwa (in Miami-Illinois) was born about 1747 and died on July 14, 1812, in the home of his son-in-law, William Wells (soldier), near Kekionga. Little Turtle's tribe selected him as their war chief during the American Revolution because of his military prowess. When construction workers were digging in Fort Wayne in 1912, they accidentally disturbed his grave, in which they found a sword and other artifacts buried with him. There is now a marker at the site on Lawton Place in Fort Wayne, which states: "He is held in the hearts of his people, allies, and foes with the greatest of honor and respect for his courageous valor and peacemaking."


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from George R. Wilson in 1925.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2015/04/16 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Miami Chief Little Turtle collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.