The Seneca were successful farmers. They petitioned the government to send them west across the Mississippi River. The descendants of the Delaware Chief Captain Pipe joined them on the journey. 340 Seneca and 58 Delaware left for Oklahoma on November 5, 1831. 110 Seneca and all the Delaware went west on horseback; the rest went west by boat. They did not all arrive at their new home in the Indian Territory until July 4, 1832. Upwards of 30 people had died on the long journey west.
The three tribes left on September 18, 1832. They traveled west on horseback. The Shawnee/Seneca (250) went first, followed by the Ottawa (100), and the Shawnee of Wapakoneta came last (450). They ran out of food in Indiana. The Shawnee from Wapakoneta and the Ottawa finally arrived in Kansas on November 30. Some 116 Shawnee and 28 Ottawa had died. The Shawnee/Seneca arrived in Oklahoma on December 18. At least 30 Shawnee and Seneca had died but no one kept count.
While most have heard of the “Trail of Tears,” few realize that the Delaware, Seneca, Shawnee, Ottawa, and Wyandot were also sent across the Mississippi River. Their long forgotten story comes to life in the pages of Mary Stockwell’s The Other Trail of Tears.
The Ottawa were direct descendants of Pontiac. They sold most of their land to the government in 1833 and the rest to a local railroad company in 1835. 174 Ottawa left for Kansas on August 31, 1837. They traveled west on a lake steamer, canal boats, and finally steamboats.
80% were under 25 years old. 170 Ottawa arrived in Kansas on October 11, 1837. Another 108 Ottawa left for Kansas on July 25, 1839. 60% were under 25 years old. Two people died on the trip. The rest arrived safely on August 31, 1839.
Maps created by Roberta Stockwell
Copyright © Roberta Stockwell (all maps)
The Wyandot organized their own removal in 1843. No government agents or soldiers accompanied them. They traveled by wagon train from Upper Sandusky to Cincinnati and then by steamboat to Kansas. Only 20 Wyandot (just 3%) were over 50 years old. Another 150 Wyandot (about 25%) were children under 10 years of age. They arrived in Kansas on July 28, 1843 with no loss of life. The Wyandot bought 24,960 acres on the Kansas River from the Delaware for $46,080 as their reserve.