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Was the Indigenous Wyandotte Nation of Ohio Forced Out or Paid to Leave?

Updated on December 12, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

A descendant of Mohawk Nation and trained in anthropology, Patty has researched and reported on indigenous peoples for over four decades.

This marker text is about only the Sandusky Wyandot and a few Anderdon Wyandottes/Wyandots who went to Kansas. There were and are other groups as well.
This marker text is about only the Sandusky Wyandot and a few Anderdon Wyandottes/Wyandots who went to Kansas. There were and are other groups as well. | Source

Controversy In Native American History: Ohio, Michigan, and Canada

A controversy began in Ohio newspapers during August 2013 about some former residents, the Wyandotte or Wyandot (in Ohio) Nation.

An argument began between two sides of the question concerning whether the Wyandotte group of Native Americans that were living in Ohio were forced out by the Indian Removal Act or not:

  • One side was sure that these Indigenous People were forced out of what is now the Buckeye State in 1843 during Indian Removal. This was reported by a long time weatherman, historian, and reporter emeritus, John Switzer.
  • The other side was sure that the people were enthusiastic about leaving the Ohio Territory and that they were peid well for their ceded lands.

An error was made by the second side, represented by one person in a Mail Bag letter in the Columbus Dispatch on August 20, 2013. He lumped all of the Wyandotte bands together as one unit, not realizing that the Anderdon band and the Sandusky band both lived in Ohio as well as farther north, but fought on opposing sides during major wars involving the British, the French, and Americans. At the same time, Mr. Switzer seems to have done the same thing, but he had spoken with people - even some county historians - who believed the Wyandottes to be only a single large band.

Ask the Wyandotte and read the documents written by historians at the time of the events. Look for discrepancies in research and writings and find out their origins.
Ask the Wyandotte and read the documents written by historians at the time of the events. Look for discrepancies in research and writings and find out their origins. | Source

Wyandotte groups maintain websites with their histories visible, and people call various Ohioans to ask questions about them.

Our Mail Bag writer copied an error-ridden, non-sourced article and used it to tell Mr. Switzer that the reporter could "not be further from the truth" and that no Wyandottes were forced out. Why don't people ask the Wyandottes themselves?

The opposing Wyandotte bands were handled differently after the wars mentioned above, specifically by the British in Canada and by the Americans, evidenced in the treaties written.

At first, the Anderdon people received land by treaty in Canada, Michigan, and Ohio.

After their defeat by the Iroquois, many Wyandotte (Huron) fled to Quebec with the French.
After their defeat by the Iroquois, many Wyandotte (Huron) fled to Quebec with the French. | Source

Even though siding with the British, land was taken away from the Anderdon in bits through sucessive treaties. They received payment only for one section of land amounting to about 1/3 of the originally granted lands of 1836; and finally suffered removal of ownership of all of their lands from 1877 to 1892. Those - and only those - who accepted citizenship as Canadian Native Americans could each buy back a 50-acre parcel of their own land.

The Wyandotte Anderdon Nation was thus forced from Ohio, especially after 1877, with a small payment being received back in 1836 for 1/3 or less of their land. Many went back up into Canada and stayed where they remain today instead of being forced to move to Oklahoma. Many refused to leave, just as many Acadians also refused to leave Canada before, in the 1700s.

From actual Wyandotte histories, it seems that only the band of Sandusky Wyandottes (or Wyandots) who lived about 50 miles south of Lake Erie received some money for properties ceded and moved willingly to Kansas, although this action was still under the Indian Removal Act. They were removed, but given some money. However, the Kansas group is building its own hotel resort-casino in the 2010s, with high revenues expected.

Last Wyandot in Ohio

Memorial in Upper Arlington (Columbus) OH to Bill Crowfoot Moose (1837 - 1937), the last Wyandot in Ohio. He moved to Columbus and wandered around the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers. He had a shack at the corner of Morse and Indianola.
Memorial in Upper Arlington (Columbus) OH to Bill Crowfoot Moose (1837 - 1937), the last Wyandot in Ohio. He moved to Columbus and wandered around the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers. He had a shack at the corner of Morse and Indianola. | Source

Wyandotte Nation Business Increase

The Wyandottes in modern times are headquartered in their namesake city in Oklahoma, where they operate a large hotel and resort casino.

In 2013, their businesses and jobs increased as they became future operators of a new Sonic Drive In. The ground breaking was scheduled for 10:30 AM on August 26 in Seneca, Missouri, just 10 miles east of Wyandotte, Oklahoma.

The dining location and the tribal headquarters are both found along Route 60, a historic east-west highway in America. Another important section of the highway is the Midland Trail Byway in West Virginia.

Smaller groups of Wyandotte are located in Kansas, a few in Missouri, and in Michigan - the latter refused to be removed to the American West.

How did the Wyandottes arrive in Oklahoma?

Wyandotte, Oklahoma

Wyandotte, Oklahoma:
Wyandotte, OK 74370, USA

get directions

Seneca, Missouri:
Seneca, MO, USA

get directions

Who Are the Wyandotte?

History exained in this article is from Wyandotte reports on the Oklahoma and Anderdon tribal websites and historical texts:

Butterfield, C. W. An Historical Account of the Expedition Against Sandusky Under Col. William Crawford In 1782. Ppg 164-5.Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co, 1873.

Wynadotte Anderdon Nation ( Retrieved August 20, 2013.

According to the Wyandotte Nation themselves, they were not historically part of the Wendat Confederacy or of the Huron Nation, as several writers and a Wikipedia article have stated. I believe the Wyndotte's own history. Although they had connections with the founders of the Huron tribe, the Wyandottes state that they were largely of the Tionontati people.

The modern Wyandotte include remnant bands of the Tionontati, Attignawantan and Wenrohronon (Wenro) people. They united in 1649 and 1650 after defeat in conflicts with the Iroquois Confederacy, which is the first representative democracy in North America. Thus, the Wyandoote are the original Tionontati, joined together with other remnant bands. Further, the Wyandoote people did not come together as a nation until after the Huron Nation (Wendat Confederacy) fell.

In 1999, a new Wendat Confederacy was instituted, with the Wyandoote a major member in the group. Altogether, the refurbished confederacy includes the Huron Wendat and Wyandotte units in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and the Wyandotte Anderdon Nation in Michigan and Canada, who refused to leave under President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal Act.

Coverage of Wyandotte Anderdon Nation Lands

Georgian Bay:
Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada

get directions

Detroit, Michigan:
Detroit, MI, USA

get directions

Amhurstburg, Ontario (formerly Anderdon):
Amherstburg, ON, Canada

get directions

Maumee, Ohio:
Maumee, OH, USA

get directions

Straits of Mackinaw

St. Ignace, Michigan:
St. Ignace, MI, USA

get directions

Mackinaw City, Michigan:
Mackinaw City, MI, USA

get directions

The Anderdon Nation people tell us that they have lived for hundreds of years along most of the rivers in southeastern and eastern Michigan.

They were once also found on Georgian Bay (formerly Huronia) in Canada; and across to the St. Lawrence River Valley and southward. They also inhabited the islands in the Detroit River and the islands of Lake Erie and land in Northern Ohio at least as far south as Wyandot County.

The Wyandotte Anderdon people were Wendat in the 1600s and eventually became the Huron. Today, they call themselves Wyandotte Anderdon Nation.

These Huron wore the hairstyle of the Mohawk warrior and were called savages by European fur traders and Jesuit priests. The people were attacked and defeated by the Mohawk and Seneca nations, hid with the Putin tribe, joined them, and together became the Wyandotte. From there, they migratedd to Mackinac, Michigan, which was then called Michilimackinac, into Wisconsin, and back to St. Ignacem across from Mackinac.

The Anderdon people traded with the French, and later the British, siding with the British in the French and Indian War. British protection was lost after the Ameerican Revolution. The 1785 Treaty of Fort McIntosh included the stipulation that the Wyandotte give up some of their lands in Northern Onio Territory as well as part of Michigan holdings. Additional treaties affected land holdings, which became smaller for the Wyandotte. The 1795 Treaty of Greenville in Northern Ohio allowed all people living in the US and its terriroties to freely travel through Wyandotte-owned lands. The Indigenous People were losing control of their holdings.

Uncomfortable about acknowledgement of their real ownership of lands granted to them in 1795, the Anderdon people sided with the British and against the US and another Wyandott group - the Sandusky - in the War of 1812 - 1814.

Street Named For the Huron-Wendat

Huron-Wendat Nation, Quebec:
Rue Huron Wendat, Quebec City, QC, Canada

get directions

The Wyandottes Move

By 1836, the British government in Canada had divided the Anderdon Reservation into three sections, of which the government sold most of two sections. The Anderdon people received money for only one section and were allowed to live on the middle section.

In 1842, Some of the Anderdon people moved to Kansas when the Sandusky moved, but several others stayed in Anderdon.

From 1853 to 1876, much more of the Anderdon lands were taken by the British government.

By 1892, all of the Anderdon Reservation was gone, but some members of the tribal unit were allowed to become citizens as "Canadian Native Americans" and could each purchase back 50 acres of their land for $1.00.

The town of Anderdon became Amhurstburg and the Wyandotte Anderdon Nation moved its headquarters to Trenton, Michigan near Detroit in Wayne County, part of their original lands. The Huron-Wendat headquarters are in Quebec.

Other Wyandotte groups inhabit Kansas and Missouri, but the largest is in Oklahoma. All of the groups dispersed from Ohio to live elsewhere.

Modern Wyandotte Nation, Oklahoma - a Clean Community

© 2013 Patty Inglish MS


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    • Ira Mency profile image

      Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 

      19 months ago from Hedgesville, WV

      Thanks for this also. I commented on your other post as well. I live in Hedgesville, WV and my whole area was inhabited by the Tuscarora, some of which joined the Iroquois as the Sixth nation but some stayed behind under Cornstalk and the Shawnee. Unfortunately today I find that the local Wikipedia doesn't even mention them when some of the streets are named after them. Really burned me up. Even my own road is in their honor. So I hope that my addition to wiki doesn't get altered by the close minded people of this town! Thank you so much for writing this. Much love to indigenous people.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Nice to meet you, Gary! Your family history is very interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • profile image

      Gary W Hall 

      6 years ago

      A great, well researched article! My direct ancestor was Chief Joseph S. White of the Anderdon Band. His Wwendat Name "Mondoron" is a contraction of the Wendat phrase "yah men do ron" meaning One who argues!!

    • tamron profile image


      7 years ago

      How offal what they did to Wyandotte and many other tribes. How can human beings treat each other so badly? Great Hub & Shared

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      Patty, for starters, great writing and reporting. This is a tribe that I wasn't aware of, so it's always great to learn something new. The Wyandotte and many other tribes suffered through this time period and I can only imagine how negative this was to them all. It's really sad, forced to leave your only known home. As you mentioned, they were never paid for most of their land. I watched a program and I forget the names, but a family moved in on Native lands and acquired much of their property. The white man went as far as naming all his children Indian names as each child acquired land. I imagine that this happened a lot and it had to be a terrible time for all tribes. Great article as always Patty, well done. Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That is all good to know, Shyron E. Shenko!

      You know, if you're Cherokee, you're related to Elvis Presley at least distantly, as am I. Since the Cherokee are related to the Mohawk and other Iroquois, then you and I are connected somewhere back in time as well.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Patty, this is fascinating information.

      My ancestors were from the Cherokee, and the Oglala Sioux (which are also Cherokee,) I would send you pictures but they are not to clear.

      Voted-up, useful, awesome, and interesting. Shared.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you very much, dahoglund! I agree that there are so many things to learn! And thanks for Sharing. This history is fascinating and I'll be looking at other bands around North America.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Well researched article about the Wyandotte Nation. There are so many aspects to American Indian History that it is hard to follow it all. Sharing.


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