Little Turtle

Little Turtle or "Michikinaquah" in the Illini tongue.
Little Turtle.jpg
This lithograph of Little Turtle is reputedly based upon a lost portrait by Gilbert Stuart, destroyed when the British burned Washington, D.C. in 1814.[1]
Chief of the Miami people
Personal details
Whitley County, Indiana, now United States
DiedJuly 14, 1812
Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Military service
AllegianceMiami people
Battles/warsNorthwest Indian Wars

Little Turtle, or Mihšihkinaahkwa (in Miami-Illinois) (c.1747—July 14, 1812), was a chief of the Miami people, and one of the most famous Native American military leaders of his time. Historian Wiley Sword calls him "perhaps the most capable Indian leader then in the Old Northwest."[2] Mihšihkinaahkwa led his followers in several major victories against United States forces in the 1790s during the Northwest Indian Wars, also called Little Turtle's War. In 1791, they defeated General St. Clair, who lost 900 men, the most decisive loss by the US against Native American forces ever.

In historic records, his name was spelled in a variety of ways, including Michikinikwa, Meshekunnoghquoh, Michikinakoua, Michikiniqua, Me-She-Kin-No-Quah, Meshecunnaquan and Mischecanocquah. Mihšihkinaahkwa is the correct phonemic spelling of the name in the Miami-Illinois language.


The name 'Little Turtle' is an English translation of his name in the Miami-Illinois language, mihšihkinaahkwa. In his language, the word names a species of terrapin, probably the Midland Painted Turtle. There is no diminutive on this name in the original Miami-Illinois.[3]

Other Languages
català: Little Turtle
Deutsch: Little Turtle
español: Michikinikwa
français: Michikinikwa
한국어: 미시키나카