Photographs (left to right): Niagara Falls Consecratory, Northern Tennessee; Mohave Desert, California

Wampum Belt Archive


1808 Treaty Belt

Reproduction (R .D. Hamell June 29 2015

Original Drawing Francis Gore Belt 1808


Original Size:

Length: not given. Width: not given. Est 52 inches by 7.2


Beaded Length: est 76 inches. Width: 10 inches. Total length with fringe: 100 inches.


Rows: 22 wide by 458 long. Total 10,076.


Warp: Leather. Weave: Artificial Sinew.


Prelude to the War of 1812

The River-Raisin Militia took action to defend the community in the event of Native-American hostilities.

6 June 1806 – The officers of the Second Regiment of the River-Raisin militia held a meeting to decide on defensive measures to guard the community in the event of Native-American hostilities. They decided that all of the residents who were willing to fight for the Americans in the event of war would wear an eagle emblem and feather in their caps. The officers also decided to ask the Michigan Territorial Government to help them construct a stockade and two blockhouses, known as the Wayne Stockade, in the center of the community.

William Hull ordered the assembly of militia companies and legionary corps in the Michigan Territory:

23 April 1807 – William Hull, Territorial Governor of Michigan, ordered the militia companies and legionary corps to assemble on 2 May when Hull would read the Act of Congress authorizing the acceptance of 30,000 volunteers in militia companies.

Hull made preparations for war: 22 June to December 1807

Following the 22 June 1807 attack of HMS Leopard on the USS Chesapeake, Hull called out 100 members of the militia to improve the stockade and blockhouses in Detroit, as well as establish batteries on the bank of the River.

Throughout the summer and fall, Hull reported to Henry Dearborn, American Secretary of War, the British and Native-American activities and defenses. He also requested 500 militia from Ohio as reinforcements for those in Michigan Territory. In December, following receipt of Dearborn’s, orders, Hull called out for constant duty three companies of militia under the command of Captains William McDowell, Harris Hampden, and Jacob Visger, who commanded the volunteers. The members of the militia were housed in the three blockhouses in Fort Lernoult until late March 1808 when the threat of war between the United States and Great Britain diminished.

The “Detroit Treaty”: 17 November 1807 – The Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandotte, and Potawatomi signed the “Detroit Treaty” which ceded at least 6,000,000 acres in southeastern Michigan and northeastern Ohio, to the United States. The land ceded in Ohio included most of the land remaining in Native-American control after the Treaty of Greenville.

The Upper Canada Militia Act: 16 March 1808 – Francis Gore, Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (present-day Ontario), signed the Militia Act which consolidated the previous laws dealing with the militia. This act required all males between the ages of 16 to 60 who were capable of bearing arms to enroll in the militia company in the area where he lived.

Tecumseh met with the British Indian Department: 13 June to 11 July 1808 – Tecumseh’s first documented conference with the British Indian Department at Fort Amherstburg/Fort Malden occurred on 13 June 1808 when Tecumseh met with William Claus and Matthew Elliott.

Tecumseh informed the officials that he was gathering a confederacy into one settlement to defend their lands. He also informed them that the Native Americans would not take part in a war between the British and the Americans, but added that “if their father the King should be in earnest and appear in sufficient force they would hold fast by him.” On 11 July, Gore met with 1,000 Native warriors, including the Shawnee, Potawatomi, Wyandot, and Mohawks at Fort Amherstburg/Fort Malden, to renew the alliance between the British and Native Americans.

Although he warned the Natives against those who would interfere with American officials, Gore also hinted that the British did not recognize any of the northwestern land purchases, informing them that the King held the Ohio boundary of 1768 sacred. At the conclusion of his speech, Gore presented a wampum belt to the warriors and asked the Natives to circulate the belt to remind them of the King’s friendship and the Native-British alliance.


White, Richard. Cambridge University Press; Anniversary edition (November 1, 2010)

Tecumseh sought to restore a confederation that was a league of villages. He wanted to attach the western villages to the old Brownstown confederation, which the British began to reinvigorate in 1808, The Wyandots entrusted him with a huge belt with which the British asked the Brownstown council to communicate to the west. And in 1810, Tecumseh and his brother persuaded the Wyandots to bring the great belt of the old confederation on to Prophetown. Nor was Tecumseh's eventual attempt to unite the northern and southern Indians unique to him. It was an old Shawnee ambition, and recently as of 1808, Blackbeard, a Shawnee chief, had gone south 'to feel the pulse" of the Cherokee and determine their stance in case of war. Tecumseh explained all this to Harrison with an irony derived from the middle ground: "The White people were unnecessarily alarmed at his (Tecumseh) measures - that they really meant nothing but peace - the U. States had set him the example by forming a strict union amongst all the fires that compose their confederacy." (p.215)


Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. 2019. Historical Collections (Lansing, Michigan: 1929), Vol. 40, 109-111

White, Richard. 2010. Cambridge University Press; Anniversary edition (November 1)

Wikipedia Commons. 2013.

Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company, 2nd edition, 1909), hereafter MPHSC, Vol. 15, 41-43.