News release from the History Center:
April Mather Lecture Series at the History Center
“William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest”
A lecture and book signing with William Heath
Sunday, April 12, 2015, 2:00pm
Free to the public
William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest is the first significant biography of Indiana’s most prominent frontiersman, who played a key role in the early history of Fort Wayne. Well Street and Spy Run are named for him. Captured by the Eel River Miami in 1784, he grew up to be a Miami warrior named Blacksnake. He fought for his father-in-law, Little Turtle, at Harmar’s defeat (1790) in Fort Wayne (Kekionga) and at St. Clair’s Defeat (1791) at present day Fort Recovery, Ohio, which was the biggest victory the Native Americans ever won against the US Army. Wells then switched allegiances and became the head scout for Anthony Wayne at the battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) and the interpreter at the Treaty of Greenville (1795), in which the Native Americans ceded most of Ohio. For much of the rest of his life Wells was the “Indian Agent” at Fort Wayne, where his career was mired in controversy. He was one of the first to warn about the Shawnee Prophet and his brother Tecumseh’s growing militancy. Wells died a martyr at the Fort Dearborn Massacre in Chicago.
William Heath is also the author of a highly praised novel about Wells, Blacksnakes Path: The True Adventures of William Wells, as well as an award-winning novel, The Children Bob Moses Led.
Sponsored by the Dunsire Family Foundation, this year’s Mather Lectures are featuring biographies of persons important in Allen County and Fort Wayne history. Several of the lecturers are authors presenting on their most current books.
The George R. Mather Lecture Series was founded by the Rev. Mather in 1993. In the early 1990s, while serving as a member of the History Center’s board of directors, Mather proposed a series of free Sunday afternoon lectures so that everyone would have the opportunity to learn more about history that played a significant role in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Those lectures have been a staple of the History Center’s programming ever since.
Books featured in the Mather Lecture Series are available at the History Center or on line at www.fwhistorycenter.com.