ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

William Wells - The White Indian

Updated on March 8, 2015
William Wells
William Wells | Source

Wells County in northeastern Indiana is named for William Wells, the "White Indian." Wells was born in Pennsylvania in the year of 1770. Wells and his family moved to Kentucky, and his parents died shortly thereafter. He was captured by Miami Indians at the age of 14 while hunting by Indians. He was taken to an Indian village near present day Logansport in northern Indiana. He was adopted into a Miami Indian tribe and given the name "Wild Carrot." He married Sweet Breeze, daughter of Miami war chief Little Turtle. Wells was located by his brothers who visited him in 1788-1789, but he continued to live with the Miami Indians.

Little Turtle's War

Little Turtle's War is also known as the Northwest Indian War. After the American Revolution, the present day states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin were known as the Northwest Territory. By the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War in 1783, the British ceded the territory to the United States. The Indians living there had no intention of ceding the territory to anyone. At the start of this war, William Wells sided with his father-in-law and fought with the Indians.

Initially things went well for the Indians. The campaign by General Josiah Harmar in 1790 was a disaster for the United States. Harmar had about 300 regular troops and 1,100 militia, who were poorly trained. After his defeat, President Washington ordered General St. Clair to attack the Indians. St. Clair started out in 1791 with about 2,000 soldiers, including 600 regulars. Desertion and disease took their toll, and his troop strength dropped to about 1,000. Near present day Fort Recovery Ohio, which is very close to the Indiana state line, they camped without constructing any defensive barriers.

The Indian warriors included Miami led by Little Turtle, Shawnee led by Blue Jacket and Delaware led by Buckongahelas. They totaled about 1,000. After the Americans stacked their muskets for breakfast, Little Turtle then led the initial attack. Many of the militia simply fled, while the regulars formed a battle line. General St. Clair tried to rally his troops, and three horses he was riding were shot. Eventually the American position collapsed and the remaining troops fled. Over 600 soldiers were killed or captured, and over 250 were wounded, During the fighting William Wells led a successful attack on St. Clair's artillery.

Little Turtle, Miami War Chief
Little Turtle, Miami War Chief | Source

Battle of Fallen Timbers

After St. Clair's defeat, he was fired by President Washington, who ordered General "Mad" Anthony Wayne to build an army that could crush the Indians. Washington realized that training was needed before any more campaigns were initiated. In 1793, William Wells met with his brother, who survived St. Clair's Defeat. He decided to switch sides, and became a captain in General Wayne's new army. Due to his knowledge of the Indians, he was primarily a scout and interpreter.

Wayne moved north from Cincinnati in 1794 to confront the Indians. In the Battle of Fallen Timbers (named for trees that were toppled by a storm), his forces outnumbered the Native Americans two to one. Casualties were relatively light as the battle was short and the Indians quickly fled. Wells was wounded during the battle. In 1795 the Treaty of Greenville was signed, which relinquished most of Ohio to the United States.

General "Mad" Anthony Wayne
General "Mad" Anthony Wayne | Source

Fort Dearborn Massacre

After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, Little Turtle concluded that war with the United States was not a good idea. He requested William Wells as the United States Indian Agent to the Miami tribe, which was granted. There were some complaints that Wells was more concerned about the well-being of the Indians that with the interests of the United States. He did, however, keep the Miami from joining Tecumseh's Indian confederation. The Miamis did not participate in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Once the War of 1812 started, the British quickly captured Fort Mackinac. After the loss, General William Hull thought it would be impossible to hold Fort Dearborn (present day Chicago) and ordered the garrison to abandon it. Captain Wells assembled a group of 30 Miamis to travel from Fort Wayne to Fort Dearborn and aid in its evacuation. The Americans left the fort on the morning of August 15, 1812. They were ambushed by a much larger force of Potawatomi Indians. 38 soldiers were killed and 28 were captured. Captain Wells was among the dead.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)