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Lot 357

357: An Important Miami Pipe With Ties to the 1795 Trea

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Description

 

delicately carved curly maple stem with engraved bands of German silver and diamond-shaped inlay; brass mouthpiece and German silver tip; stem where silver tip affixed has been whittled to accommodate bowl; elbow-shape catlinite pipe with flared bowl is decorated with bands of concentric circles; the stem of bowl with a pierced crest and semicircular decorations. The interior of the bowl blackened from heavy use. The rim of the pipe on either side of the bowl flattened from repeated use. Surrounding the opening of the pipe bowl where it joins with the stem is the inscription, Nov. 20, 1819 followed with the possible name Hery Dubois.
length of bowl 6.25 in.; length of stem 21 in.; total length 26 in.
late 18th to early 19th century

Collection History

This pipe and stem were collected by Dr. Perry G. Moore (1845-1931) of Wabash, Indiana. Family history indicates that Moore graduated from the Cincinnati Medical College, and began his practice around Wabash in 1860. Wabash sat squarely in the ancestral lands of the Miami Indians, and while most had been “removed” during the first half of the 19th century, a number remained in their traditional homeland and gradually became acculturated. Throughout the last half of the 19th century Moore ministered to a number of these families, and was keenly interested in their history. It was through his practice that he acquired this pipe, as well as a more well-known artifact: the flag given to the Miami tribe by General Anthony (“Mad Anthony”) Wayne at the Treaty of Greenville in 17951.

In an affidavit written in 1923 Moore discusses how he first saw the flag in the summer of 1868, and how he later obtained it from descendants of the Miami chiefs She-Moc-E-Nish and Little Turtle. Moore and learned of its history from Kil-So-Quah (1820-1915) the last of the full-blooded Miami, and the granddaughter chiefs She-Moc-E-Nish of Thorntown and Little Turtle, both signers of the Greenville Treaty. According to the affidavit Kil-So-Quah told Moore, Before the Treaty of Peace was held at Greenville, Ohio, in 1795 George Washington ordered Anthony Wayne to have the flag made, and after the Treaty of Peace was signed, to present it to the Chief of the Miami Nation (She-Moc-E-Nish - spelled Shamekunnesa on the Treaty) and say, “keep this flag in sight and as often as you see it, remember we are friends”. The flag descended in the possession of Kil-So-Quah until it was loaned to a cousin, from whom Moore obtained it sometime prior to 1887.

Though not the pipe and stem offered here are not specifically mentioned in Moore’s 1923 affidavit, the document refers to seeing other items in the possession of Kil-So-Quah’s cousin from whom he obtained the flag, including clothing, parchment manuscripts and silver medals from George Washington. And the last line records a tantalizing, and frustrating clue about the present artifact: “The foregoing items (emphasis added) were all given to me by Kil-So-Quah herself.” One of these “items” may have been the pipe discussed here.

A later affidavit, signed in 1991, by Moore’s grandson, Perry M. Cook provides further history about the pipe. Cook records his childhood memories of the pipe, and how his grandfather Dr. Moore, as well as his mother related that the pipe had been smoked at the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.


The Pipe and Its Similarity to A Greenville Pipe Tomahawk

The Moore pipe stem is finely crafted of highly figured maple decorated with thin pieces of silver cut into diamonds and bands and affixed using tiny silver pins. The style and decoration of the stem is similar to the handle of a pipe tomahawk curated by the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), and in fact, both may have been made by the same hand. The DIA tomahawk was collected in the 1920s by Milford Chandler from Camellius Bundy a Miami Indian living near Peru, Indiana. Bundy was a direct descendant of the Miami Chief She-Buk-O-Nah who was present at the Treaty of Greenville. Bundy related to Chandler that family tradition held that the tomahawk was presented by Anthony Wayne.2

Both the stem and bowl of the present lot clearly date to the late 18th century. The bowl, however, is mismatched with the stem; it is too large and heavy to have been the pipe originally associated with the bowl, though the stem has been modified to fit. While manufactured in the late 18th or early 19th centuries, the stem of the pipe bears the inscription Nov. 20, 1819. This date, 24 years after the signing of Greenville, may point to another important event: the creation of the Big Miami Reserve.

 

Treaty of Greenville and the Big Miami Reserve

The Treaty of Greenville was concluded after several failed attempts by the United States Government to wrest control of the Ohio Country from the Native populations of Miami, Shawnee, and smaller groups. For a sum of $20,000 and other gifts, the Indians ceded a vast tract to the control of the Federal government that included much of Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. The treaty largely put an end to the war in the Northwest Territory, added Ohio to the Union, and created a clear boundary which separated Indian lands from lands available to white settlers.

Like all such treaties that established boundaries between Indian and non-Indian land, it was constantly broken by encroaching whites. On October 6, 1818, the Treaty of Saint Mary's was signed, ceding more land from the Miami Nation to the United States starting at the Wabash River and extending west through central Indiana. Subsequently, the removal of the Miami necessitated a survey to establish the Big Miami Reserve, a new area for the Miami nation. This area was located south of the Wabash River.

In 1819, surveyors Joseph S. Allen and Henry P. Benton were charged with the responsibility of marking the borders of the Big Miami Reserve, located primarily in present day Indiana counties Howard, Tipton, Miami and Cass. After an arduous trip, they, along with their Indian guides, reached the northern corner of the reserve where they began marking the land. Allen, in ill-humor, noted several times that the “Indians held council” over the month of November where My provisions were much wasted here, as we had to accompany their chiefs to the town, where the Indians made free with my bread. On the seventh they added another chief to my party, which I had to support with bread and meat.3 It appears the surveyors continued marking the perimeter throughout November until The Indians told me, in an imperious manner, that I was going wrong, and said that I should go no further that way, saying I was going to their town. 4

While Allen and Benton were in frequent contact – and in the company of – Miami Indians during the entire month of November, 1819, their field reports record nothing occurring on the 20th, the date inscribed on the present pipe.

 

Who Was Henry Dubois?

As noted in the description of the pipe, the possible name Henry Dubois, is engraved around the opening of where the stem is inserted. The Dubois name is well known in Indiana history. The Frenchman Toussaint Dubois (1750-1816 was born in Montreal, and fought with Lafayette in the American Revolution. At war’s end, he emigrated to Vincennes in the Northwest Territory, married in 1788, and became a fur trader. In 1811 he served as Captain of Spies and at the Battle of Tippecanoe, and later, during the War of 1812, served with the Kentucky Militia as a major. Toussaint drowned in 1816, crossing the Little Wabash River in Illinois. Married twice, Toussaint had seven children with his first wife, one of whose name was Henry, born in 1792. Like his father, Henry is also served in the Indiana Militia and is listed as having been present at Tippecanoe in 1811 as part of Captain Benjamin Park’s Company of Light Dragoons.

Less is known of Henry’s history, and he is listed in the 1820 United States census as residing in Lawrenceville, Illinois, across the river from Vincennes, Indiana.

Given this history, it is possible that the pipe might have been collected by Henry Dubois during the sacking of the village of Prophetstown at the conclusion of the battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Alternatively, the pipe may have been collected by his father Toussaint, and then passed down to his son. Neither scenario explains how the pipe was collected by Moore, or how it ended up in north-central Indiana. Its striking similarity to a pipe tomahawk supposedly used at Greenville may also indicate that the Moore family history may have some credence. Unfortunately, the complete history of this remarkable pipe and stem have been lost in the aftermath of the tumultuous frontier years of the Northwest Territory.

 

 

1The Anthony Wayne Flag is currently curated at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana and is property of the State of Indiana.

2 Pohrt, Richard. 1989. “Pipe Tomahawks from Michigan and the Great Lakes Area”. In David W. Penny (Ed.), Great Lakes Indian Art (95-103). Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

3Wilson, Grorge R. “Early Indiana Trails and Surveys”. In Indiana Historical Publications (p433). Vol. 6, 1919 .

4Leiter, Carl Richard. “The Big Miami Reserve. 1818-1840”. M.A. Thesis, Ball State University, 1954 (pg. 28-29).

Provenance: Descended through the Moore Family of Indiana

Condition

Pipe stem missing a few pieces of silver inlay; pipe stem has been broken and repaired.
Buyer's Premium

20% up to 200,000
15% above 200,001

Estimate $20,000 – $30,000
Starting Bid $10,000
live auction started on
Us Auction
7:00 AM - Oct 05, 2012
Ended
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Cowan's Auctions, Inc.

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