This hand-colored lithograph of the celebrated Miami Chief Francis Godfroy is based on a painting by James Otto Lewis. Francis Godfroy was born near Kiihkayonki (now Fort Wayne, Indiana) in 1788, the son of a French trader and a Miami woman. Though active in the War of 1812, after the war he turned to trade, in partnership with the Miamis' principal chief, Jean Baptiste Richardville. In 1823 he had a two-story trading post built at the mouth of the Mississinewa. As a trader of mixed descent he was aware of the value of land and merchandise and became influential in brokering the sale of tribal land at treaty councils held in 1826, 1834, and 1838. Along with Richardville, he was able to stall the efforts of General John Tipton, Governor Lewis Cass, and various Indian agents to rapidly cede land and remove the Miami. They were able to negotiate much larger payments for land and to postpone removal longer than most other mid western tribes. Godfroy, Richardville, and another Miami chief named Meshingomesia were able to get exemption from removal for their families. These small family groups of Miamis became the main population of today's Indiana Miami tribe. This portrait from 1827 shows his mixed descent through his mix of Miami and French dress. Ohio Historical Society Image TAH0454.
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