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STIGWANISH

STIGWANISH, also known as Stigwandish, Stigonish, or Seneca, a prominent Indian chief in the early years of Cleveland's settlement whose name translates Standing Stone, was chief of the Seneca Indians remaining in Ohio after "Mad" Anthony Wayne's 1794 victory at Fallen Timbers. He helped the first survey party of the WESTERN RESERVE in 1796, and remained in the settlement, helping JOB STILES and his wife, Tabitha Cumi, and others survive the winter of 1796-97. Edward Paine, Jr., whose family settled Painesville, wrote, "Seneca has the dignity of a Roman Senator, the honesty of Aristides, and the philanthropy of William Penn." Stigwanish continually traveled to Cleveland, Painesville, Ashtabula, and his wintering residence near the CUYAHOGA RIVER in Streetsboro Twp.

Stigwanish moved to Seneca County (named after him) in 1809. Before the start of the WAR OF 1812, most Indians in northeast Ohio left for Canada to aid the British and plan raids along Lake Erie's south shore. Stigwanish warned that the British were inciting the Indians. When the British finalized their plans, Stigwanish warned settlers, so that most women and children were evacuated from lakeshore settlements. However, spies alerted the British, who canceled their plans. Stigwanish died in 1816. Three versions of his death exist; in all three, a white man whose family had been murdered and scalped by Indians killed him. The Northeast Ohio Council of the BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA named their camp in Madison Stigwandish in the chief's honor.