The early 1820s
The northern half of Indiana had very little non-indigenous settlement.
The Miami and Potawatomie Indians had suffered serious defeats at the hands of General Anthony Wayne along the Maumee River (1794) and William Henry Harrison at the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811). However, they retained the rights to the land in this area.
There was a need for additional land for settlement and the need to establish a canal system along the Wabash River.
In 1826, Congress made an appropriation to hold a Treaty Meeting with the purpose of acquiring additional land from the Indians. Governor James B. Ray of Indiana, Governor Lewis Cass of Michigan, and Captain John Tipton were appointed commissioners to represent the U.S.Government.
Captain Tipton was assigned the task of locating a site for the meeting. This location was chosen as it was centrally located with many favorable natural features. These features included a plentiful spring and enough open land to construct the Treaty Camp.
The Treaty Camp was constructed in the spring and summer of 1826. The Treaty meeting took place in October of 1826 and lasted approximately two weeks. On October 26 1826, the Miami and Potawatomie Indians surrendered the rights to their land in northern Indiana and southern Michigan. The signing of the Treaty of 1826 allowed for settlement of this land and the construction of the Wabash and Eric Canal.
The original Treaty Camp consisted of ten buildings. The construction of the camp began in 1987 and is based on a reliable description provided in the 1836 writings of Elijah Hackleman.
Images: A map of the treaty grounds as they appeared in October 1826.