| River Road at Michigan Street | This is the site of the first fort established by whites on the Maumee River. This area was known primarily for trading purposes until the British fortified the area during the Indian Wars of the early 1790's. On August 20, 1794, General “Mad Anthony” Wayne defeated a confederation of Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers about two miles up river and the retreating Native Americans were refused entry to this fort by the British. The native Americans moved on down river to the confluence of the Maumee and Swan Creek, in what is now downtown Toledo, to lick their wounds while Wayne tried to convince the British to come out of the fort and fight. After spending a day exchanging insults with the British, he moved on.
Wayne was so impressed by Fort Miamis, he returned up river to the confluence of the Maumee and Auglaze to reinforce the fort he had built there earlier and renamed it Fort Defiance. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, the Native Americans had no where else to turn and they were forced to sign the Treaty of Greenville on August 3, 1795, setting the stage for eventual statehood of Ohio and the westward expansion of the United States. The British eventually surrendered Fort Miamis to the United States in 1796 but returned to use it again in 1813 during the two sieges of Fort Meigs.
The hills you see today are part of the original fortification. This is the site of the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh’s famous exchange with British General Proctor. After an American detachment was surprised and captured during the first siege at Fort Meigs – we’ll talk about this when we arrive at the library in Maumee – the Native Americans commenced to kill and torture the prisoners here at Fort Miamis while General Proctor looked on. Tecumseh rushed to the scene, furious at what was happening. Defending the prisoners with knife and tomahawk, he sprang for the British general and asked. "Are there no men here?" Proctor replied, "Sir, your Indians cannot be controlled." Tecumseh roared his famous retort; “You are not fit to command; go and put on your petticoats!" A serious slam to a man’s character even by 1813 standards.