Wood spear with bone tip.
This is one of two Native American spears that George Turner donated to the APS in 1797 (see also 01.C.70). According to legend, one of the spears was made from a bayonet used in the battle over the Miami tribe's capital of Kekionga (now Fort Wayne, Indiana) on the Wabash River on November 4, 1791. Led by Little Turtle of the Miami and Bluejacket of the Shawnee, the outnumbered Native forces successfully defeated the invading U.S. army. This battle, infamously remembered as General St. Clair’s Massacre, was one of the worst domestic defeats suffered by the United States Army, with more than 600 soldiers killed (about a quarter of the army at the time). The Miamis' luck continued as the bayonet returned to do battle, this time as a spear in the April 1795 fray near Fort Massac in present-day Illinois, where it struck down Colonel Samuel Chew. The bayonet-spear, with its menacing serrated bone blade, reflects the Miamis' powerful presence in early American history.
|Material||Blade: bone; Shaft: wood|
|Dimensions||L-29.5 Cir-1.5 inches|
|Credit line||American Philosophical Society. Gift of George Turner, 1797.|