Blue Jacket was a leader of the Shawnee Indians. The date of his birth is unknown, but it was probably in the early 1740s. His Native American name was Weyapiersenwah (also spelled Wehyehpiherhsehnwah). Historians know very little of his early years. In 1774, Blue Jacket participated in Lord Dunmore's War. In this conflict, militiamen from Pennsylvania and Virginia hoped to force the Ohio Country natives to accept the Treaty of Fort Stanwix (1768) and leave much of what is now the State of Ohio. The major battle in this war was the Battle of Point Pleasant. The English succeeded in defeating a force of Shawnee Indians led by Cornstalk. Blue Jacket participated in the battle. During the American Revolution, Blue Jacket, like most Shawnees, fought with the British. By the war's conclusion, Blue Jacket had settled along the Maumee River.
During the early 1790s, Blue Jacket and Little Turtle of the Miami Indians were the major leaders of the natives in the Ohio Country. They led their people against American settlers in western Ohio as the whites moved into the area. The Native Americans defeated an army led by General Josiah Harmar in 1790 and another one led by Arthur St. Clair in 1791. St. Clair's Defeat was one of the worst losses ever suffered by the American military at the hands of the Indians. Following St. Clair's Defeat, Little Turtle called for negotiations between the Indians and the Americans. The natives' British ally had failed to support the Indians fully during the past several years against the Americans. Little Turtle believed that, without England's help, the natives had no serious chance against the Americans. Blue Jacket then assumed control over native attempts to stop the influx of settlers. In 1794, he led the Native Americans against an army led by General Anthony Wayne. The two sides met at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Wayne emerged from the battle victorious. Blue Jacket's men fell back to Fort Miamis, a British stronghold. The British refused to assist the natives. At this point, Blue Jacket and his followers agreed to negotiate with the Americans.
Results of DNA testing of Blue Jacket and van Sweringen heirs published in 2006 showed no relationship between the families tested.
[[Category:Exploration To Statehood]]