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Way Back Wednesday's, "The Shawnees"

By: Audrey Schiesser | Local Happenings

Stories Inspired from, "A History of Scioto County"

Hello and welcome to our latest blog series, “Way Back Wednesday’s”. We are so excited to welcome you back to historical stories about Scioto County. This latest series is based off of the book, “A History of Scioto County”. It was published in 1986 by The Portsmouth Area Recognition Society and they have graciously allowed us to write about their stories.

This first story we are taking a look at is “The Shawnees”. For many years there were battles between the Shawnee Indians and the settlers. They battled over the north bank of the Ohio River in pursuit of the promising and fertile land of the Northwest Territory known as Ohio.

The Shawne’s seldom fought alone. They were often seen fighting alongside the Wyandots, Delawares, Mingoes, Miamis, and others. They fought in battles on land and in water.

When the settler traffic was light on the river, the Shawnees would go over to Kentucky passing through present day Scioto County. According to some historians, on one of their travels over the Ohio river, they captured Daniel Boone, who escaped and passed through Scioto County on his way home to Kentucky.

During the mid 1700s, the Shawnees inhabited a little village known as Lower Shawnee Town or Lowertown. This village was on the west bank on the mouth of the Scioto River. A french explorer named Caleron brought 200 of his men to Lowertown in an effort to try to get a pledge of loyalty from the Indians. This failed as the British were already in agreement with the British.

The Shawnees were the tribe to most stifle the settling of the Ohio River. They were considered the bravest, craftiest, and most dedicated to the cause of fighting against the settlement of their land.

Originally they came to Ohio from North Carolina, Tennessee, and a few other areas in the south. They travelled the Scioto river and ventured out into the heartland of Ohio. That had been pushed out of their homes so many times that when they settled here, they decided to firmly defend it with their lives.

Overtime, however, they were pushed further and further north. Unauthorized leaders in the tribes were selling off lands to the settlers. After this, few Shawnee’s came back to visit their once beloved land.

While you are out hiking in the woods or taking a stroll through the Boneyfiddle, try to remember how these lands were once running rampant with fierce, brave, and strong warriors determined to protect their lands.

Check back with us next week as we talk about the early transportation of our county!



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