Fort Miami (Ohio)

Fort Miami (Miamis) was a British fort built in spring 1794 on the Maumee River in what was at the time territory of the United States, and designated by the federal government as the Northwest Territory. The fort was located at the eastern edge of present-day Maumee, Ohio, southwest of Toledo. The British built the fort to forestall a putative assault on Fort Detroit by Gen. "Mad" Anthony Wayne's army, then advancing northward in southwestern Ohio

Fort Miamis Site
Fort Miamis earthworks.jpg
Earthworks at the site
Fort Miami (Ohio) is located in Ohio
Fort Miami (Ohio)
Fort Miami (Ohio) is located in the United States
Fort Miami (Ohio)
LocationAlong the Maumee River in Maumee, Ohio
Coordinates41°34′21″N 83°37′34″W / 41.57250°N 83.62611°W / 41.57250; -83.62611Coordinates: 41°34′21″N 83°37′34″W / 41.57250°N 83.62611°W / 41.57250; -83.62611[2]
Area3.7 acres (1.5 ha)
NRHP reference No.75001466[1]
Added to NRHPJune 18, 1975


Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris (1783) that ended the American Revolutionary War the region south of the Great Lakes and between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers was assigned to the United States. The British, however, refused to evacuate their troops from their forts in the region, claiming that the U.S. had not complied with portions of the treaty – pre-Revolution debts owed to British merchants and subjects had not been paid, and confiscation of Loyalist properties continued.

In the early 1790s, the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe, made an aggressive effort to aid the "Western Confederacy" of Native American tribes (the Shawnee, Miami, Wyandot, and others) in the Maumee and Wabash River watersheds in their ongoing war with American settlers.[3] His ultimate goal was the establishment of an Indian barrier state in the region, as a way to protect Britain's North American fur trade ventures, and to block anticipated American attacks upon their remaining North American possessions.[4][5]

Fort historyEdit

In spring 1794 the British built Fort Miami to forestall U.S. Gen. Anthony Wayne's advance on Britain's Fort Detroit, and to encourage the confederated tribes in their war of resistance. The fort was a log stockade, which had four bastions, each capable of mounting four cannon, a river battery, barracks, officers' quarters, supply buildings, and various shops. A defensive ditch, 20 to 25 feet deep, ran along the land side of the fort.

In July 1794 General Wayne and his troops marched northward toward Fort Miami from Fort Recovery. Just south of Fort Miami, encountering a barricade erected by the Native Americans and a small party of Canadian militia, he ordered a charge and dispersed his adversaries in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. The Native Americans fled to the fort, but the commander shut them out. Beaten and disillusioned, the Native Americans dispersed and one year later their tribal elders gathered at Fort Greenville to negotiate with Wayne. The Treaty of Greenville opened most of the present State of Ohio and part of Indiana to United States settlement. In 1796, under the terms of the Jay Treaty (1794), the British abandoned Fort Miami – along with their other forts on American soil. Wayne occupied and garrisoned it, but about 1799 it was abandoned.

The British again occupied the site during the War of 1812, which at the time was opposite the American Fort Meigs. During the War, Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief, and British officials maintained headquarters at the fort, from where they moved against Gen. William Henry Harrison at Fort Meigs.

Abandoned again in 1814, the fort was eventually demolished. Afterward, the site reverted to agricultural and, later, public park use.

Present-day siteEdit

Today, the site of Fort Miami sits as a small enclave within a residential development. Nothing remains of the original structure except parts of the earthworks.

In 1942 several Ohio civic and patriotic organizations acquired a part of the fort site. In 1953 the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society conducted preliminary excavations, and in 1957 the Historical Society of Northwestern Ohio placed a marker at the site, which remains undeveloped. In 1975, the site of the fort was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

The site of the fort was incorporated into Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site in 1999, under Public Law 106-164. The site is managed by the Metropolitan Park District of the Toledo Area (Metroparks), in partnership with the Ohio Historical Society, and is an "affiliated unit" of the National Park System.[6]

A state memorial has been created at the site.[7] Also, Ft. Miami Elementary School of the Maumee City School District is five/ six blocks away and named after the fort.



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fort Miami (Ohio)
  3. ^ Robert F. Berkhofer, "Barrier to Settlement: British Indian Policy in the Old Northwest, 1783-1794." in David Ellis, ed. The Frontier in American Development: Essays in Honor of Paul Wallace Gates (1969) pp: 249-276.
  4. ^ Ibbotson, Joseph D. "Samuel Kirkland, the Treaty of 1792, and the Indian Barrier State." New York History 19#.4 (1938): 374-391. in JSTOR
  5. ^ Dwight L. Smith, "A North American Neutral Indian Zone: Persistence of a British Idea." Northwest Ohio Quarterly 61#2-4 (1989): 46-63.
  6. ^ Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site Management page, National Park Service
  7. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fort Miamis State Memorial

External linksEdit