Gomo

Historical Site Categories: Native American History and War of 1812

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What's The Story

Gomo and his brother Senachwine were orphaned as children and raised by a French trader in Peoria. In time, he returned to the Potawatomi and eventually became the senior chief among the Illinois River villages.

Tension created by expansion of American settlement and Native American resistance led to negotiations between Gomo and Ninian Edwards, the territorial governor. The Americans reminded Gomo of treaty obligations to identify those who violated the law. Gomo wanted peace, but he stressed the inequities of American justice with respect to the treatment of Indians.

Despite numerous conferences among tribal leaders from the Peoria Lake villages and the Americans, Edwards grew increasingly suspicious that villages harbored raiders and that someone in small French community of Peoria may have encouraged Native American resistance.

Gomo’s village was spared when Edwards’ forces in October 1812 destroyed two villages on the east side of the Illinois River. The next year troops under the command of General Howard returned to Peoria, constructed Fort Clark, and burned Gomo’s abandoned village. Gomo died in 1815.

There are many references to the general location of Gomo’s village, but its exact position has not been determined.

To learn more:

Edmunds, R. David 1969. The Illinois River Potawatomi in the War of 1812. Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 62 (Winter 1969): 341-62.

Ferguson, Gillum 2012. Illinois in the War of 1812. University of Illinois Press.

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