On This Day in History -
De la Balme's men moved north toward Fort Detroit and when they arrived in Kekionga (modern day Fort Wayne, Indiana), they found an unoccupied British and Indian trading post, the British and their Miami Indian allies having left the post, apparently on a hunting mission. De la Balme occupied the post and began to raid other British posts in the area. On the 5th, De la Balme set out for a post along the Eel River.
In the meantime, a group of Miami hunters returned to Kekionga, killed the 20 men De la Balme had left there and spread the word among the local Indians. Chief Little Turtle, who lived on the Eel River nearby, attacked De la Balme's party before he could reach the trading post. de la Balme's men entrenched themselves along the river, but were eventually overcome. De la Balme and most of his men were killed, with only a few escaping to tell the tale.
Chief Little Turtle would go on to become a successful war chief against the Americans in the Northwest Indian Wars of the 1790s and, in spite of De la Balme's failure, the British would post a group of Rangers at Kekionga to protect it from further attack. Fort Detroit would remain in British possession until the signing of the Jay Treaty in 1794.
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