Michikinikwa (Little Turtle)
son of the Miami Chief Acquenacke

1752 - 1812

Commanding the confederation of Native American tribes in 1790 and 1791

Michikinikwa (Little Turtle) was born in 1752 near Fort Wayne in Little Turtle Village on the Eel River. He was the son of the Miami Chief Acquenacke and a Mahican mother.

As a young warrior, Michikinikwa participated in the 1780 defeat of a French detachment in defense of his village. He later led a small confederation of Native American tribes in defeating federal army forces led by Gen. Josiah Harmar on the Miami River (1790) and by Gen. Arthur St. Clair at St. Mary's (1791).

Michikinikwa is credited with calling Anthony Wayne the "chief who never sleeps." He urged his people to seek peace prior to the 1794 Battle of Fallen Timbers, in which Wayne's forces defeated the confederated tribes led by Blue Jacket of the Shawnee. Michikinikwa was present, but not in command, at Fallen Timbers.

In 1795, Michikinikwa and others signed the Treaty of Greenville. He kept most of his Miami tribe neutral when Tecumseh of the Shawnee later urged Midwestern tribes to fight against white encroachment. He urged his people to abstain from alcohol, to farm the land and to get vaccinated against smallpox.

Michikinikwa met with George Washington in Philadelphia in 1797 and had his portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart.

Michikinikwa died in Fort Wayne July 14, 1812.

SOURCES: Compton's Encyclopedia Online, 1997; The Native Americans by Turner Publishing, 1993; and Great North American Indians by Frederick J. Dockstader, 1977.
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