Ask a question about 'Nonhelema'
Start a new discussion about 'Nonhelema'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Nonhelema was a Shawnee
The Shawnee, Shaawanwaki, Shaawanooki and Shaawanowi lenaweeki, are an Algonquian-speaking people native to North America. Historically they inhabited the areas of Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Western Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania...

 chieftess during the 18th century and the sister of Cornstalk
Cornstalk was a prominent leader of the Shawnee nation just prior to the American Revolution. His name, Hokoleskwa, translates loosely into "stalk of corn" in English, and is spelled Colesqua in some accounts...

, with whom she migrated to Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 and founded neighboring villages.

Nonhelema, known as a warrior, stood nearly six foot, six inches. Some called her "The Grenadier" or "The Grenadier Squaw
Squaw is an English language loan-word, used as a noun or adjective, whose present meaning is an indigenous woman of North America. It is derived from the eastern Algonquian morpheme meaning 'woman' that appears in numerous Algonquian languages variously spelled squa, skwa, esqua, sqeh, skwe, que,...

," due to the large height of 18th century grenadiers.

Nonhelema had three husbands. The first was a Shawnee man. The second was Richard Butler
Richard Butler (general)
Richard Butler was an officer in the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War, who later died fighting American Indians in Ohio.-Early life:...

, with whom she had a son, "Captain Butler" (or Tamanatha). The third was Shawnee Chief Moluntha
Moluntha or Malunthy was a chief of the Shawnee people following the death of Cornstalk.-Struggle for the Old Northwest:Moluntha fought at the Siege of Boonesborough on the side of the British in 1778...


Nonhelema was present at the Battle of Bushy Run
Battle of Bushy Run
The Battle of Bushy Run was fought on August 5-6, 1763, in western Pennsylvania, between a British column under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet and a combined force of Delaware, Shawnee, Mingo, and Huron warriors. This action occurred during Pontiac's Rebellion...

 in 1764. She and her brother, Cornstalk, supported peace with the infant United States. In Summer 1777, Nonhelema warned Americans that parts of the Shawnee nation had travelled to Fort Detroit
Fort Detroit
Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or Fort Détroit was a fort established by the French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701. The location of the former fort is now in the city of Detroit in the U.S...

 to join the British. Following Cornstalk's 1777 murder at Fort Randolph, Nonhelema continued to support the Americans, warning both Fort Randolph and Fort Donnally
Fort Donnally, West Virginia
Fort Donnally is an unincorporated community in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States. Fort Donnally is southwest of Falling Spring.-References:Fort Donnally was the site of attack by a large group of Indians in May of 1778...

 of impending attacks. In retribution, her herds of cattle were destroyed. Nonhelema led her followers to the Coshocton
Coshocton, Ohio
Coshocton is a city in and the county seat of Coshocton County, Ohio, United States. The population of the city was 11,682 at the 2000 census. The Walhonding River and the Tuscarawas River meet in Coshocton to form the Muskingum River....

 area, near Lenape
The Lenape are an Algonquian group of Native Americans of the Northeastern Woodlands. They are also called Delaware Indians. As a result of the American Revolutionary War and later Indian removals from the eastern United States, today the main groups live in Canada, where they are enrolled in the...

 Chief White Eyes
White Eyes
White Eyes, named Koquethagechton , was a leader of the Lenape people in the Ohio Country during the era of the American Revolution. Sometimes known as George White Eyes, his given name in Lenape was rendered in many spelling variations in colonial records...

 In 1780, Nonhelema served as a guide and translator for Augustin de La Balme
Augustin de La Balme
Augustin Mottin de la Balme was a French cavalry officer who served in Europe during the Seven Years War and in the United States during the American Revolution...

 in his campaign to the Illinois country.

In 1785, Nonhelema petitioned Congress for a 1,000 acre grant in Ohio, as compensation for her services during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

. Congress instead granted her a pension of daily rations, and an annual allotment of blankets and clothing.

Nonhelema and Moluntha were captured by General Benjamin Logan
Benjamin Logan
Benjamin Logan was an American pioneer, soldier, and politician from Shelby County, Kentucky. As colonel of the Kentucky County militia of Virginia during the American Revolutionary War, he was second-in-command of militia in Kentucky. Logan was a leader in Kentucky's efforts to become a state...

 in 1786. Moluntha was killed by an American soldier, and Nonhelema was detained at Fort Pitt
Fort Pitt
Fort Pitt may refer to:*Fort Pitt , on the site of present-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States*Fort Pitt, Kent, in the United Kingdom*Fort Pitt , a trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company in Canada...

. While there, she helped compile a dictionary of Shawnee words
Shawnee language
The Shawnee language is a Central Algonquian language spoken in parts of central and northeastern Oklahoma by only around 200 Shawnee, making it an endangered language. It was originally spoken in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania...

.. She was later released, but died in December 1786.

Nonhelema is the subject of Warrior Woman, a novel authored by James Alexander Thom
James Alexander Thom
James Alexander Thom is an American author, most famous for his works in the Western genre and colonial American history; known for their historical accuracy borne of his painstaking research. Born in Gosport, Indiana, he graduated from Butler University and served in the United States Marine Corps...