The Ohio State University


Shawnee Names and Migrations in Kentucky

and West Virginia

Mahr, August C.

The Ohio Journal of Science. v60 n3 (May, 1960), 155-164

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Ohio Journal of Science (Ohio Academy of Science) Ohio Journal of Science: Volume 60, Issue 3 (May, 1960)




Department of German, Ohio State University, Columbus 10

The name "Shawnee" is an English adaptation of the term Shaawana, by

which the Shawnee Indians named themselves in their own language. Voegelin

(1938-40: 318) lists "saawanwa 'Shawnee (tribe or individual),' adding saawanwaki

beside saawanooki 'the Shawnee (plural).' Another white adaptation is Savannah,

name of both the city and the river in Georgia, where, in the 1600's, Shawnee

Indians were first encountered by Whites. Eastern Shawnee, that is. A western

portion of the tribe lived, entirely separate from the eastern one, along the Cumberland

River in Kentucky and Tennessee. Within only a few years o jeach other,

before 1720, both halves of the Shawnee nation, hard pressed by warfare with other

Indians allied against them, started to migrate. The eastern Shawnee wandered

north, settled in Pennsylvania for a while, but, uprooted again, traveled westward

and finally reached the Ohio country. Here, about 1750, they were united, for

the first time in their history, with the western half of their tribe (Hodge, 1907,

1910: 535).

After 1720, these western Shawnee had migrated from the mouth of the Cumberland

River in a general NEE direction, all over Kentucky, while some of their

bands had crossed the Ohio and had occupied the entire stretch between the mouths

of the Great Beaver River in western Pennsylvania and of the Scioto River. It

had been known for a long time that the latter migration tended toward the east,

but much had remained uncertain, if not entirely unknown, about the regions in

Kentucky, through which these western Shawnee had passed, or where they had

temporarily settled. In these pages, I will try to remove some of those uncertainties.

The first impulse for an approach to the matter came from Kentucky. Dr.

Thomas P. Field, Department of Geography, The University of Kentucky, at

Lexington, Ky., mailed to me a list of place and neighborhood names found in

Kentucky, with the request to identify those of assured Indian origin. In the

process, a few white adaptations of Indian names turned up, among them Eskippakithiki

(Clark Co.), Eskalapia (Lewis Co.), Tywhapita (Hancock Co.), another

Tywhapita (Hopkins Co.), and Tyewhoppety (Todd Co.), a white variant of

Tywhapita. Even in English transcription, their language structure clearly marked

them as Shawnee. Eventually, their true Shawnee forms will be presented

and semantically analyzed in order to show their real English meanings.

According to Dr. Field's reliable Kentucky sources, the names here given

name neighborhoods rather than places, with the exception of Tywhapita in

Hopkins County. A hundred-year-old woman stated that, a long time ago, her

village, Manitou in Hopkins County, had been called Tywhapita. Since there

also exists a place called Tywhapita in Missouri, it is likely that the name was

transferred by white settlers from the northern Tywhapita, in Hancock County,

to their village in Hopkins County, and eventually to their new settlement in

Missouri. That disposes of Tywhapita in Hopkins Co., Ky., as an area named by

the Shawnee directly, but not of Tywhapita in Hancock Co., nor of Tyewhoppety

in Todd Co.

The geographic situation, throughout Kentucky, of those Shawnee-named

areas led me to assume that all of them had been stopping points for the western

Professor Mahr has been emerited since 1956. Mailing address: 2079 West 5th Avenue,

Columbus 12, Ohio.

THE OHIO JOURNAL OF SCIENCE 60(3): 155, May, 1960.

156 AUGUST C. MAHR Vol. 60





ber╗ona River

FIGURE 1. Map showing Shawnee migrations and place names.

Shawnee on their eastward migration through Kentucky when, after 1720, they had

definitely moved out of their old home territory along the Cumberland River.

(See fig.)

This opinion was strengthened by the striking fact that in their neighborhood

late-prehistoric sites had been discovered, not only in Kentucky, but also east of

it, at the Great Kanawha River, in West Virginia. Apart from a linguistic clue


which will be discussed later in this paper (page 162), Shawnee presence at the

mouth of the Great Kanawha, in 1749, clearly shows that some bands of the

western Shawnee must have continued their migration toward the Ohio country

as far east as the Great Kanawha River.

Dr. W. S. Webb, emerited Professor in the Department of Archaeology and

Anthropology, of the University of Kentucky, at Lexington, Ky., who himself


had excavated some of the Kentucky sites, has made the following statements

about them.

Of the prehistoric site not far from Tyewhoppety in Todd Co., Ky., Dr. Webb

has this to say (letter, April 1.7, '59):

The Williams Site in Christian Co., Ky., 4 and x/i miles northwest of Trenton and about

half way between Trenton and Pembroke may be a "Fort Ancient" site. The Todd

Co. line runs within 300 yards of this site.

(See Webb et al., 1929). By "Fort Ancient," Dr. Webb seems to indicate the

culture of the people who, between A.D. 1200 and 1600, placed their late-prehistoric

village within the Hopewellian defense works of Fort Ancient in SW Ohio.

In a letter of April 23, '59, Dr. Webb states that he does not know of any Fort

Ancient sites which have been reported from Hancock County. He adds that the

University of Kentucky has done very little field work in Hancock Co., and that,

consequently, it is not possible to say what might be found there. That makes

Tywhapita in Hancock Co. the only one of the Kentucky localities along that

migration route of the western Shawnee about which we possess no prehistoric

data (see fig.).

With regard to Eskippakithiki (Clark Co., Ky.), Dr. Webb refers to Beckner

(1932). He further comments (in the aforementioned letter) that he does not

know of any archaeological investigations "of a scientific kind," that have been

done there, "but such evidence as has been published may indicate Fort Ancient

type of culture"; cf., Beckner (1932: 376-380) (see fig.).

It is most likely that, by way of the Eskalapia area (Lewis Co., Ky.), a Shawnee

trail led from Eskippakithiki northeast to the Ohio River, whose south bank it

reached at present South Portsmouth, just opposite present Portsmouth, Ohio.

Here at the Fullerton Field, in Greenup Co., Ky., according to Dr. Webb (ibid.),

". . . a cemetery and village were excavated in 1926. The village was a Fort

Ancient site. . . . " (cf. Webb et al., 1928: 106).

Where, at the lower course of the Great Kanawha River, the western Shawnee's

other migration trail, from Eskippakithiki eastward, ends in western West Virginia

(see fig. 1), there are late-prehistoric "village sites and small mounds whose occupants

had a material culture closely related to that of the Fort Ancient Aspect"

(Griffin, 1943: 240). J. B. Griffin (ibid.) regretted that

. . . not a single one of these has been thoroughly excavated, and information regarding

this area is based upon the work of the Bureau of American Ethnology in the latter part

of the nineteenth century and upon reports given by amateurs who have collected in

the area.

In no event, however, do I consider it a mistake to connect these finds, or the "Fort

Ancient" sites near those Kentucky localities, with the Shawnee nation and its

migration westward through Kentucky toward their historic territories along the

Cumberland and the Savannah Rivers, respectively, at about A.D. 1600. In fact,

this may lend considerable support to the supposition, already widely accepted,

that the late-prehistoric (or early-historic) Fort Ancient-Village people were


It appears far from accidental that such 'prehistoric' sites of the "Fort Ancient"

type have turned up along the route of the wes/erw-Shawnee's migration eastward

through Kentucky and the Great Kanawha area of West Virginia, which I am

discussing in these pages; that is, near Tyewhoppety (Todd Co.); possibly, near

Tywhapita (Hancock Co.); near Eskippakithiki (Clark Co.); near the point where

the Eskalapia trail (Lewis Co.) reached the Ohio River in Greenup Co., in northeastern

Kentucky; and, finally, in the Great Kanawha region of West Virginia

(see fig.)

Tribal traditions, more than a century old but not forgotten among the eastern

or the western half of the nation, appear to have irresistibly driven the Shawnee


back to the Ohio country, from whence warfare with relentless opponents once

had forced them to migrate. The endlessness of the return, and the time to

accomplish it, were irrelevant: the final goal, and the direction toward it, remained

unaltered throughout half a century and longer. That is true for both the western

and the eastern Shawnee, who returned to Ohio by widely separate roads but at

about the same time. So it was hardly fortuitous that, about 1750, the two

halves of the nation were united, 'for the first time in their history,' in the Ohio

country. They were not merely united, but reunited.

As far as the western Shawnee are concerned, the general trend of the 'prehistoric'

migration was merely reversed: this time, they wandered east, towards

Ohio, rather than west, away from Ohio. But, as the prehistoric sites near the

way-points indicate, through the same regions and by the same trails: they were on

familiar ground (see fig.).

Apart from the prehistoric evidence, there are two main reasons for assuming

that the locality names here mentioned marked the eastward migration route of

the western Shawnee, through Kentucky, from the Cumberland to the Scioto.

One of them is the occurrence of Tywhapita and Tyewhoppety in western Kentucky

regions not too distant from the Cumberland River. The other is a historical

fact, not significant in itself but essential for both the course and the chronology

of that migration: the birth of the later Shawnee Grand Chief Catahecassa (Black

Hoof) near present Winchester, Ky. (Hodge, 1907, 1910: 535), about 1740 (ibid.:

212). Later on, the Catahecassa story will be taken up again at greater detail.

Marking important points on that migration route, the names Tywhapita and

Tyewhoppety make particularly good sense because of the original Shawnee name

which underlies both the English adaptations: * Tdw/haap/ite. It is a combination

of Shawn, tdw- 'quitting' (Voegelin, 1938-40: 140); -haap- 'returning (from activity

far from home)' (ibid.: 426); and -ite 'vague locus' (ibid. 151), approximately

meaning 'somewhere around here.' Collectively, the compound signifies: 'somewhere

around here {-ite), one quits (tdw-) returning home (-haap-).' Or, in better

English, 'this is a point of no return.' But where is 'the home' to which there was

no return from either Tywhapita, in the north, or Tyewhoppety, farther south?

Most probably, it was the familiar settlement region of the western half of the

Shawnee nation along the Cumberland River, flowing north from about present

Nashville, in Tennessee, to its confluence with the Ohio at Smithland in Kentucky.

It cannot have been a question of excessive distance since the straight line from

Tywhapita to the nearest point on the lower Cumberland measures only 85 miles

while the straight-line distance between Tyewhoppety and the nearest Cumberland

point is only 50 miles. Not knowing the actual length of the trails used by the

migrants, I cannot be more accurate. Of one thing we may be sure: neither

measured by straight line nor by length of trail was either distance great enough

to justify the name Tdwhaapite, 'point of no return home' (see fig.).

So there must have been a more compellent reason for it, and there was, indeed:

warfare with the Chickasaw, their old and relentless enemies. According to the

late James Mooney (Hodge, 1907, 1910: 534-535), the Chickasaw, allied with

the Cherokee, pressing against the Shawnee and their territory from the south,

persistently pushed the Shawnee north in the Cumberland valley and, by 1720,

had succeeded in forcing them out of it. Seeing the future of their nation in the

east rather than in the west the western Shawnee began to migrate gradually, in

bigger and smaller bands, away from the Cumberland region, mainly in a general

easterly direction. Some, however, must have turned north, and settled on the

Illinois side of the Ohio, near the site of present Shawneetown, 111. Evidently,

they stayed there long enough to imprint their name on the neighborhood, but it

is not exactly known what became of them.

Although the western Shawnee definitely did not migrate eastward in one

column, yet their individual bands apparently operated under the directions of

160 AUGUST C. MAHR Vol. 60

one man, a Chief, or even a Grand Chief, for it is most unlikely that they moved

along with no instructions from some sort of headquarters. Tdwhaapite, 'here

one quits returning home,' for instance, appears like a message from one in command

to his tribesmen on the march, issued to two migrating bands wandering away,

one delaying in the north, and one, farther south. It sounds like a definite order

not to return 'home1 from the place where they happened to stay. They saw the

point and wandered eastward.

A migration of that kind imposed no particular hardships upon these Shawnee,

who, in true Algonkian style, were on the march anyway most of the time. They

roamed their hunting-grounds, hunting and fishing, and whenever the need arose,

they stopped over at a given place long enough to plant their maize and raise a

crop, or, if there were reasons, even longer. To have these rights to the use of their

hunting-grounds go uncontested by any other Indian tribe was their brand of

'security.' 'Time' was not of the essence; they had all the time they wanted and

needed: days, weeks, months, years, decades, generations (Loges, 1956): 58).

To be more to the point, it should be said that in 1714 Charleville, a French

trader, established himself among the western Shawnee on the Cumberland, near

present Nashville, Tennessee. He reported that, even then, they had begun to

abandon their settlements and to move down the Cumberland valley toward the

north, hard pressed by a war with combined Chickasaw and Cherokee forces

(Hodge, 1907, 1910: 535). Rather than engage in battle with the enemy's superior

field strength, the Shawnee, certainly not cowardly but with their effective

Algonkian strategy, fought a clever withdrawing action, northward first along the

Cumberland as far as the river mouth, and then, moving away from it toward

the heart of Kentucky, in an eastern direction (see fig.).

Everything points to a communication between the western Shawnee and the

eastern half of the nation in Georgia, in those years, for it cannot have been merely

incidental that slightly earlier, about 1707, the eastern portion of the Shawnee

had likewise begun to abandon their territory in the south, and to migrate north

toward Pennsylvania. Here, they eventually allied themselves with the Delaware,

their Algonkian cousins, for combined action against the Cherokee (ibid.). Much

as they hated the Whites, both the eastern and western half of the Shawnee, being

seasoned diplomats, had never been scrupulous about the sources of their tribal

security, whether Indian or white. In 1715, at a treaty, at Philadelphia, between

the Pennsylvania government and the eastern Indians, the western Shawnee were

represented by delegates. At a council, held with the Delaware, they asked the

friendship of the Pennsylvania government for the western Shawnee, "who live

at a great distance" (ibid.). It must have taken these delegates considerable

time to travel to Philadelphia from the Cumberland region, which in 1715 was

still western-Shawnee territory. Only on a map as late as 1720 (Moll, 1720) is

the mouth of the Cumberland marked as Cherokee territory, and an Indian

settlement there, as 'Savannah Old Settlement'; indicating that the Shawnee have

definitely left (Hodge, 1907, 1910: 535). As the future bears out, the Ohio country

was the eventual goal of both the western and eastern Shawnee migrations.

It had been emphasized before that those people on their wanderings were

concerned with nothing but the direction of their travel, time being utterly insignificant.

Thus, it happened that, about 1730, some of the migrating bands of

the western Shawnee appeared along the Ohio, in the southwest of western Pennsylvania,

and in the southeast of present Ohio. Here, they stayed with the consent

of the Wyandot, whose territory it was. Other western Shawnee, as it is known,

according to Hodge, " . . . probably wandered for some time in Kentucky, which

was practically a part of their own territory and not occupied by any other tribe.

Blackhoof (Catahecassa), one of their most celebrated chiefs, was born during

this sojourn in a village near the present Winchester, Ky" (ibid.)-

This man was called 'Catahecassa' by the Whites. Probably, his true Shawnee

name was *M?kateewi/ka?$d, meaning 'black/hoof (Voegelin, 1938-40: 359:


300[?]). As the time of his birth, 'about 1740' is given (Hodge, 1907, 1910: 212).

But what is "this sojourn," during which the future Grand Chief was born "in a

village near the present Winchester, Ky."? Fortunately, there exists reliable

information on the area where this village was situated. The neighborhood name,

unmistakably Shawnee, is Eskippakithiki, in Clark Co., Ky., 11 miles southeast

of Winchester (see fig.). On the Topographic Maps of the region, it appears as

"Old Indian Fields" over an area of about two square miles.

The site is of relatively low relief and appears to the eyes as a valley when in fact it

is a divide between the west flowing Howards Creek and the south flowing Lulbegrud

Creek. The T. Pownall map [Pownall, 1776] gives an accurate location at an early

date, possibly 1755. This location was occupied by a band of Shawnees in 1745-1748

and was last occupied by similar Shawnees in 1755 (Dr. T. P. Field; pers. letter, Nov.

18, '58)

Obviously, these Shawnee bands had settled there in order to raise their crops in

that fertile region; also cf. Beckner (1932), a publication which not only demonstrates

the pristine significance of Eskippakithiki as an agricultural Indian settlement,

but also provides a clue to the probable "Fort Ancient" character of the

prehistoric Eskippakithiki site and, thereby, to its early-Shawnee past.

Indirectly, the agricultural importance of Eskippakithiki, especially as a

stop-over for western Shawnee on their migration to the east, is likewise confirmed

by the semantic analysis of the Shawnee name form on which it is based:

*Skipak/e6i/?ki. As no Shawnee term starts with a vowel, the name is to be

regarded as a polysynthetic compound of Shawnee skipaky- 'blue, green' (Voegelin,

1938-40: 314); -edi- 'all over' (ibid.: 335); and locative word-final -?ki 'place where

it is' (ibid: 330). Composite meaning: 'where it is green all over.' It perfectly

fits that fertile blue-grass area which the white settlers later called "Old Indian

Fields." Temporarily, the migrant Shawnee established village settlements in

the region for planting and harvesting their maize. In one of them, so we are

told, Chief Catahecassa was born. No Shawnee-named area is known between

either Tywhapita or Tyewhoppety, the two 'points of no return home' in the west,

and Eskippakithiki, the blue-grass region in east-central Kentucky; that is, on a

straight-line distance of about 150 miles (see fig.). What trails the migrants used,

and where or how long they stopped over, nobody knows. One fact is certain:

western-Shawnee bands appeared about 1730 on the Pennsylvania and Ohio side

of the Ohio River. So they must have covered the stretch comparatively fast, in

about ten years (Hodge, 1907, 1910: 535). Others seem to have wandered, and

stayed, in Kentucky a much longer time, twenty years or more. So long as the

trend of their migration was to the east, time did not matter. The later 'home

settlement' along the Scioto did not become a real fact until about 1750, after the

western and the eastern Shawnee had united in the Ohio country. In 1748, the

western Shawnee on the Scioto numbered only "162 warriors or about 600 souls"

(ibid.). Thus, it is possible that the Shawnee bands who settled at Eskippakithiki

in 1745 to 1748, and even as late as 1755 (Pownall, 1776), were still members of

that long-drawn west-east migration. But this is undoubtedly true for those who

had arrived there about 1740, when Catahecassa was born in the Eskippakithiki

region, near present Winchester, Ky. (ibid.).

It is not known how long the band to which Catahecassa and his parents

belonged delayed at Eskippakithiki. Probably, their migration proceeded in a

general NE direction to a point on the Ohio where, across the river, at the mouth

of the Scioto, other western Shawnee, since about 1730, had established a settlement.

On a much later map (W. S[cull ?] 1765), it is shown as 'Shawnee Town

formerly' (see fig.). The area through which that trail led was known to traveling

Shawnee as *Skaalaappiye. Today, a white-man's transcription of the Shawnee

name still exists in Lewis Co., Ky., as a neighborhood name, Eskalapia, surviving

in Eskalapia Mountains, Eskalapia Hollow, etc. Folklore even has tried to connect

162 AUGUST C. MAHR Vol. 60

Eskalapia with Aesculapius, the Roman god of healing, for there also^ occur Esculapia

Springs and Esculapia neighborhood. A semantic analysis of *Skaa/laap/

piye reveals the real meaning of Eskalapia. It is a combination of Shawn, "skaa-

'raw, soft, wet' (Voegelin 1938-40: 314), with -laap- 'the same repeated,' that is,

'over and over' (ibid.: 345), and -piye 'long-extended area' (ibid.: 101). Composite

meaning: 'long-extended area {-piye), over-and-over {-laap-) raw, soft, wet

{skaa-).' It indicated to the migrants that the trail, at a long stretch, traversed a

weed-covered, soggy terrain; in brief, that the land was unfit for a stop-over and

the planting of corn.

There is evidence, however, that some western Shawnee bands of about 1740

continued their migration from Eskippakithiki in a general NEE direction as far

east as the Great Kanawha valley in present West Virginia; that is, for a distance

of roughly another 130 miles, straight line (see fig.). Only indirectly has it to do

with the fact that Catahecassa later fought as a Shawnee war captain, in 1774,

by the side of Grand Chief Cornstalk at Point Pleasant, at the mouth of the Great

Kanawha, valiantly but unsuccessfully, for the Shawnee concerns against Col.

Lewis, subcommander under Lord Dunmore.

In 1749, when Catahecassa was still a youngster, the western Shawnee appear

to have occupied the fertile blue-grass bottom land near the mouth of the Great

Kanawha river, to the equal annoyance of the Virginians and the French. Celoron,

Sieur de Bienville, had been dispatched to North America by the King of France

in order to claim the eastern Ohio valley for the French crown. Celoron believed

that he had done that very thing when, in 1749, he had a few lead plates, declaring

the conquest, buried near certain river-mouths at all four corners of the Ohio

country. In 1846, one of these plates was unearthed at the mouth of the Great

Kanawha, on the Virginia bank of the Ohio (Hatcher, 1940: 43). Eventually,

it helped to confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that, in the days of Celoron's

visit, western Shawnee had possessed the territory at the lower Kanawha.

As one of the confines of the French conquest, there is inscribed on the Kanawha

lead plate the name Chinodahichetha, preceded by the French word Riviere, indicating

that here the Great Kanawha is meant. Written according to English

phonology, it would read Chinotahishetha. Its ending, -tha, strongly points to

Shawnee origin. Most probably, it derives from Shawn. *Ci/noota/his'i/d&, a

compound of the personalizing prefix ci-, marking 'an individual' (Voegelin, 1938-

40: 143); -noota- 'guarding something (for someone else)' (cf., ibid.: 377); -hiU-

'belonging to self, matter-of-course possession' such as head, arms, legs, etc.

(cf., ibid.: 457); and personalizing final -da, approximately 'person acting, or being,

as indicated' (ibid.: 335). Composite meaning: 'he who guards that which belongs

to him.' As Celoron's Riviere clearly shows, the Shawnee term is part of a river

name and, therefore, must receive the addition diipi?ki 'river (plus locative final

-?&;,-ibid.: 330).'

But is it really meant to be the name of the Great Kanawha, from the Shawnee s

point of view? According to the principle of practical purpose, such as strictly

followed by Algonkian Indians giving names to streams and localities (Mahr,

1957; 1959), it certainly is not. The term *Cinootahisida contains no practical

'hint' of any sort, be it to travelers by canoe and trail or to migrants in quest for

other Indian essentials.

It rather brings to mind Rev. John Heckewelder's high opinion of the Indians'

sense of humor. He was a Moravian missioner who, since about 1760, had been,

off and on for sixty years, in live contact with Indians, mainly Delaware, but also

with their Algonkian cousins, the Shawnee, in the Ohio country. He credited

them with being "ingenious in making satirical observations, which though they

create laughter, do not, or but seldom give offense." In addition, he stated that

"genuine wit, which one would hardly expect to find in a savage people, is not

infrequent among them," citing, moreover, an excellent example for it (Heckewelder,

1881: 103-104).


All this considered, it appears reasonable that, in 1749, those western Shawnee

near the Kanawha mouth, although earnestly bent upon maintaining their recent

settlement area along the river, were even more inclined to smile at the ludicrous

ceremonial of Celoron and his French companions than was the British colonial

government. The chances are that the Shawnee, when asked by the visitors what

they called that river, sternly answered, "Cinootahisidd." Indian sense of humor

had found the proper reply for the pale-faces: "He, the Shawnee, is guarding that

which is his"; a political declaration rather than the river name for which it passed.

Carefully written down according to French phonology, it was inscribed on

Celoron's lead plate as 7a- Riviere Chinodahichetha.

In conclusion, an epilogue of a sort is permitted. There is no evidence to

show that bands of western Shawnee have ever crossed the Great Kanawha on

an eastweard migration. Later events, though, make it all the more clear that

the eastern and western Shawnee, when united, since the 1750's, in their new

territory along the Scioto and northwest of it, had formed a mighty bulwark

against white encroachments of any kind. More than three decades after Celoron's

visit to the Great Kanawha in Virginia, they still proved in dead earnest about

their political credo as they had once professed it to the Frenchman in a halfhumorous

vein: Cinootahisidd, 'he, the Shawnee, is guarding that which is his.'

The Shawnee nation and its leader, Great Chief Cornstalk, were fiercely determined

to defend at all cost their old east boundary south of the Ohio against the landhungry

Virginians, the Great Kanawha River. They felt strong and were full of

hope to succeed. In 1774, the ominous year of Lord Dunmore's War, Chief

Cornstalk, equally outstanding as a political and a military leader, came south

from the Scioto and across the Ohio with about a thousand warriors. Throughout

an entire day, they fought a battle, finally lost, against 1,100 Virginians under

Col. Lewis, a lieutenant of the Earl of Dunmore, on the flats between the Great

Kanawha in the east and the Ohio in the north, near Point Pleasant. While the

Shawnee withdrew to the Scioto, Col. Lewis, after his costly victory, marched to

the Muskingum and destroyed the Shawnee settlements at Wakatomika, near

present Dresden, Ohio. Lord Dunmore's treaty with Chief Cornstalk put an

end to the war and, lastingly, to all Shawnee aspirations south of the Ohio. Although

Cornstalk conscientiously adhered to the treaty, he was assassinated by

Virginians in 1777 (Hodge, 1907, 1910: 350).

In 1774, when Shawnee war captain under Chief Cornstalk, Catahecassa

presumably was in his middle thirties (ibid.: 212; Beckner, 1932: 364; 379). Eventually,

he himself was made Great Chief and later led his warriors against U.S.

Generals Harmar and St. Clair. After Anthony Wayne's final victory and treaty

in 1795, Catahecassa, realizing the hopelessness of the Indian cause against the

Whites, definitely laid down the battle-axe. As a wise ruler of his Shawnee, he

died in 1831, at Wapakoneta, in Ohio, deeply respected by Indians and Whites

(ibid.: 212).

About not quite a century before, Eskippakithiki, where he had been born

during the sojourn of a hopeful west-Shawnee migrating band, lay in the middle

of an unclaimed territory which only much later was named 'Kentucky.' In

1831, when he died, a frustrated old Indian, Kentucky and Ohio had long been

states of the Union. Denizens from a foreign world had ruthlessly stepped over

him and his people.

The sad migrations of the Shawnee and other Indians from east to west, such

as inevitably followed, belong to the less glorious features of American history.


While the northward migration of the eastern Shawnee from Georgia through

the American east, which started about 1710, took place in the full light of the White

Man's history, very little had been known about the simultaneous wanderings of

164 AUGUST C. MAHR Vol. 60

the western half of the Shawnee nation from the Cumberland river eastward

through the wilderness later called 'Kentucky.'

Not until quite recently could a few Kentucky neighborhood names be identified

by me as unmistakably Shawnee. Their semantic analysis, in conjunction

with historic clues, one of them from West Virginia, led to the inference that the

localities, thus named, and their geographic sequence, from west to east throughout

Kentucky, might be marking the hitherto unknown route of the western Shawnee's

migration south of the Ohio.

My opinion was further strengthened by the fact that, in the past, prehistoric

sites, most of them certainly, and others probably, of the Fort Ancient culture

type, had been found near these places, in both Kentucky and West Virginia. It

suggests that, at roughly 1600, the same route, along the same places, had been

traveled by the Shawnee, on their east-west migration to their historic territories

on the Cumberland and in Georgia.

My sincere thanks go to Professor Thomas P. Field, of the Department of

Geography in the University of Kentucky, at Lexington, Ky., for his untiring

cooperation. Not only did Dr. Field's list of Indian names in Kentucky spark

off this research, but Dr. Field, an expert cartographer, also has designed and

provided the figure which accompanies these pages. Further, to Dr. William S.

Webb, emerited Professor in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology,

in the University of Kentucky, at Lexington, Ky., for his kind and expert help in

Kentucky archaeology. And, last but by no means least, to Mr. Raymond S.

Baby, Curator of Archaeology, in the Ohio State Museum, at Columbus, 0., for

his friendly advice in things archaeological.


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