Pekowi was the name of one of the five divisions (or bands) of the Shawnee, a Native American people, during the 18th century. The other four divisions were the Chalahgawtha, Mekoche, Kispoko, and Hathawekela. Together these divisions formed the loose confederacy that was the Shawnee tribe.

All five Shawnee division names have been spelled in a great variety of ways. Variations of the name "Pekowi" are reflected in many place names in the United States, including Piqua, Pickawillany, Pickaway, and Pequea.

Traditionally, Shawnee ritual leaders came from the Pekowi patrilineal division.[1]

From 1737 to about 1750 the Pekowi were led by Peter Chartier (born Pierre Chartier), a fur trader of Pekowi and French colonial parentage. He was recognized as a leader and rose to be chief of the band. Through his mother's line, Chartier was the grandson of chief Straight Tail Meaurroway Opessa. In 1710 he married his cousin, Blanceneige-Wapakonee Opessa and they had three children: two sons and a daughter.

Chartier opposed the sale of rum in Shawnee communities in Pennsylvania, and this brought him into conflict with other traders and the provincial governor, Patrick Gordon.[2] Shawnee and other Native American chiefs had long complained about the sale of alcohol, and had given the colonial government a list of traders they wanted banned because of their actions.

In 1745 Chartier accepted a French commission and left Pennsylvania, leading some 400 members of the Pekowi to Lower Shawneetown. They moved on to modern Kentucky, where they founded the community of Eskippakithiki. Pekowi warriors led by Chartier fought on the side of the French against the English at the Battle of Fort Necessity in 1754 during the French and Indian War.[3]

The Peckuwe and Kispoko divisions of the Shawnee Tribe lived in the Shawnee village of Peckuwe, which was located at39°54.5′N 83°54.68′W / 39.9083°N 83.91133°W / 39.9083; -83.91133 near modern Springfield, Ohio, until the Battle of Piqua, August 8, 1780, during the American Revolutionary War.

The Piqua Sept of the Ohio Shawnee Tribe have placed a traditional cedar pole in commemoration of their history here. It is located "on the southern edge of the George Rogers Clark Historical Park, in the lowlands in front of the park's 'Hertzler House.'"[4]


  1. ^ John E. Kleber (18 May 1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky. p. 815. ISBN 978-0-8131-2883-2. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  2. ^ Stephen Warren, Worlds the Shawnees Made: Migration and Violence in Early America, UNC Press Books, 2014ISBN 1469611732
  3. ^ Charles Augustus Hanna, The Wilderness Trail: Or, The Ventures and Adventures of the Pennsylvania Traders on the Allegheny Path, Volume 1 The Wilderness Trail: Or, The Ventures and Adventures of the Pennsylvania Traders on the Allegheny Path, Putnam's sons, 1911
  4. ^ "Peckuwe Shawnee Memorial Marker". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 2013-02-17.

Further reading

  • Don Greene, Shawnee Heritage II: Selected Lineages of Notable Shawnee ( Fantasy ePublications, 2008), Fantasy ePublications, 2008; pp. 44-45 and 70. (Self-published, per Wiki MOS cannot be used as RS)

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