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Ottawa Indians

The Ottawa Indians originally lived along the Ottawa River in eastern Ontario and western Quebec at the time when European settles first arrived in the early 1600s. They moved into northern Ohio around 1740. They were part of the Algonquian Indians and are thus related to the Delaware Indians, the Miami Indians, and the Shawnee Indians. They were enemies of the Iroquois Indians and never really trusted the Wyandotte Indians because they were related to the Iroquois.

Ottawa comes from the term commonly used by several Native American peoples meaning 'to trade', `to buy and sell.' and applied to the Ottawa because in early traditional times they were noted among their neighbors as intertribal traders and barterers, dealing chiefly in cornmeal, sunflower oil, furs and skins, rugs or mats, tobacco, and medicinal roots and herbs.

In 1615 Samel de Champlain describes meeting 300 men of a tribe which he said that their arms consisted only of bow and arrow, a buckler of boiled leather, and the club. They wore no breechclout, and their bodies were extensively tattooed. Their faces were painted in diverse colors, their noses pierced, and their ears bordered with trinkets—pretty much what you might expect walking down the street of any large metropolitan city today.

During the American Revolution, the Ottawas fought for the British against the Americans. When the British surrendered to the Americans, the English turned their backs on their Indian allies. The Ottawas continued to fight the Americans.

General Anthony Wayne defeated the Ottawas and other Ohio Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. They surrendered most of their lands in Ohio with the signing of the Treaty of Greeneville.

Ottawa is the county seat of Putnam County, Ohio. Residents named the town, which was founded in 1833, in honor of the Ottawa Indians, who once had a village at the site of modern-day Ottawa.

Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer and navigator who mapped much of northeastern North America and started a settlement in Quebec. Champlain also discovered the lake named for him (Lake Champlain, on the border of northern New York state and Vermont, named in 1609) and was important in establishing and administering the French colonies in the New World.