Little Turtle

Little Turtle or "Mihšihkinaahkwa" (in Miami-Illinois language)
Little Turtle.jpg
Lithograph of Little Turtle, reputedly based upon a lost portrait by Gilbert Stuart that was destroyed when the British burned Washington, D.C., in 1814.[1]
War chief of the Miami people
Personal details
Whitley County, Indiana, United States
DiedJuly 14, 1812
Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States
Military service
AllegianceMiami people
Battles/warsNorthwest Indian Wars

Little Turtle, or Mihšihkinaahkwa (in the Miami-Illinois language), (c.1747 — July 14, 1812), was a war 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 a confederation of native warriors in several major victories against U.S. forces in the 1790s during the Northwest Indian Wars, also called Little Turtle's War. In 1791 the confederation defeated General Arthur St. Clair, who lost 900 men in the most decisive loss by the U.S. Army against Native American forces (St. Claires Defeat).

Little Turtle's native name in historic records 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.


Little Turtle is an English translation of mihšihkinaahkwa, the phonetic spelling of his name in the Miami-Illinois language. 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 language.[3]

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