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In the fall of 2001, representatives of the Miami Tribe came to Miami University for a program. They described the forced exodus of the Tribe from Ohio, some traveling down the Great Miami River around 1846, when Miami University was about 25 years old.
Upon hearing this presentation, Dr. Gene E. Willeke (Director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at Miami U.) realized that the Tribe had been forced to leave the area when debating and literary societies were still very popular at the university. Dr. Willeke was curious - surely the campus community took notice of the emigration, so what did they discuss, and what conclusions did they come to?
No one seemed to know. Phil Shriver said the question had never come up to him before, and he didn't know where to find the information. Newspaper archives might have something; maybe the Middletown Journal or a Cincinnati paper. Mr. Shriver didn't recall ever seeing anything in the university archives about such discussions, but agreed that a search for topics of the debating societies and of visiting speakers at that time would be a very worthwhile project. Curt Ellison and Allan Winkler agreed.
If anyone has information on how to find out about the content of early debates at Miami University on this topic, please contact either Dr. Willeke at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nancy Sween at Sftrail@aol.com
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