A Record of Settlement, Organization,
Progress and Achievement
Volume 1
Chicago, Illinois
The Pioneer Publishing Company



Who were the first inhabitants of the American continent? This is a question over which ethnologists and archaeologists have pondered and speculated for at least a century. When Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere in 1492, he believed that he had reached the goal of his long cherished ambitions, and that the country where he landed was the eastern shore of Asia. European explorers who followed him, entertaining a similar belief, thought the country was India and gave to the race of copper colored people they found here the name of "Indians." About a century and a half after the first white settlements were made, indications were discovered that the interior of the continent had once been inhabited by a peculiar people, whose mode of living was different from that of the Indians. These evidences were found in the mounds, earthworks, fragments of pottery, stone weapons and implements, etc. A report of the United States Bureau of Ethnology says: "During a period beginning some time after the close of the ice age and ending with the coming of the white man ‐ or only a few years before ‐ the central part of North America was inhabited by a people who had emerged to some extent from the darkness of savagery, had acquired certain domestic arts, and practiced some well defined lines of industry. The location and boundaries inhabited by them are fairly well marked by the mounds and earthworks they erected."

The center of this ancient civilization ‐ if such it may be called ‐ seems to have been in what is now the State of Ohio, where the mounds are more numerous than in any other part of the country. Iowa may be regarded as its western frontier, though traces of this ancient race have


been noted west of the Missouri River. From the relics they left behind them, archaeologists have given to this peculiar people the name of


Most of the mounds discovered are of conical form, varying in height, and when opened have generally been found to contain human skeletons. For this reason such mounds have been designated by archaeologists as burial mounds. Next in importance comes the truncated pyramid ‐ that is a mound square or rectangular at the base and flattened on the top. On account of their greater height and the fact that on the summits of several of these pyramids have been found ashes and charcoal, the theory has been advanced that they were used as look‐ out stations, the charcoal and ashes being the remains of signal fires. In some parts of the country may still be seen well defined lines of fortifications or earthworks, sometimes in the form of a square, but more frequently of oval or circular shape and bearing every indication that they were erected and used as places of defense against hostile invaders. A work of this character near Anderson, Indiana, was connected by a subterranean passage with a spring on the bank of the White River, some fifty feet below the level of the earthwork. Still another class of relics, less numerous and widely separated, consists of one large mound surrounded by an embankment, outside of which are a number of smaller mounds. The smaller mounds in these groups rarely contain skeletons or other relics, and even in the large mound within the embankment only a few skeletons, implements or weapons have been found. The absence of these relics and the arrangement of the mounds have led antiquarians to believe that such places were centers of sacrifice or religious ceremony of some kind.


Among the first to make a systematic investigation of the mounds were Squier and Davis, who about 1850 published a work entitled "Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley." Between the years 1845 and 1848 these two archaeologists, working together, explored over two hundred mounds and earthworks, the description of which was published by the Smithsonian Institution. Following these pioneer investigators came Baldwin, McLean and a number of other writers on the subject, practically all of whom held to the theory that the Mound Builders belonged to a separate and distinct race and that many of the relics were of great antiquity. Some of these early writers took the view that the Mound Builders first established their civilization in the Ohio Valley, from which region they gradually moved southwestwardly into Mexico


and Central America, where the white man found their descendants in the Aztec Indians. Others, with arguments equally plausible, contended that the people who left these interesting relics originated in the South and slowly made their way northward to the country about the Great Lakes, where their further progress was checked by a hostile foe. Upon only one phase of the subject were these early authors agreed, and that was that the Mound Builders belonged to a very ancient and extinct race. The theory of great antiquity was sustained by the great trees, often several feet in diameter, which they found growing upon many of the mounds and earthworks, and the conclusion that the Mound Builders were a distinct race of people was supported by the fact that the Indians with whom the first white men came in contact had no traditions relating to the mounds or the people who built them.


The United States Bureau of Ethnology, soon after it was established, undertook the work of making an exhaustive and scientific investigation of the mounds and other relics left by this ancient people. Cyrus Thomas, of the bureau, in analyzing and compiling the information collected, has divided the country once inhabited by the Mound Builders into eight districts, each of which is marked by certain features not common to the others. In thus classifying the relics Mr. Thomas evidently did not adhere to any of the proposed theories as to the origin or first location of the Mound Builders, as he begins in the northwestern part of the country and proceeds toward the east and south, to-wit:

1. The Dakotah District, which includes North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the northwestern part of Iowa. 2. The Huron-Iroquois District, embracing the country once inhabited by the Huron and Iroquois Indians, viz: the lower peninsula of Michigan, the southern part of Canada, a strip across the northern part of Ohio, and the greater part of the State of New York. 3. The Illinois District, which includes the middle and eastern portions of Iowa, Northeastern Missouri, Northern Illinois and the western half of Indiana. 4. The Ohio District, which takes in all the State of Ohio, except the strip across the northern part already mentioned, the eastern half of Indiana and the southwestern portion of West Virginia. 5. The Appalachian District, which includes the mountainous regions of Southwestern Virginia, Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee and Northern Georgia. 6. The Tennessee District, which adjoins the above and includes Middle and Western Tennessee, the southern portion of Illinois, practically all the State of Kentucky, a small section of Northern Alabama and the central


portion of Georgia. 7. The Arkansas District, which embraces the state from which it takes its name, the southeastern part of Missouri and a strip across the northern part of Louisiana. 8. The Gulf District, which includes the country bordering on the Gulf of Mexico.

The Dakotah District includes the counties of Emmet and Dickinson and is therefore the only one in which this history is directly interested. As a rule the burial mounds of this district are small, but what they lack in archaeological interest is more than made up by the beautiful effigy mounds ‐ that is, mounds constructed in the form of some bird or beast. Some are of the opinion that mounds of this class were made to represent the totem of some tribe or clan, while others think they are images of some living creature that was an object of veneration. Near Prairieville, Wisconsin, there is an effigy mound resembling a turtle, fifty-six feet in length, and not far from the town of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, is the figure of a man lying on his back, 120 feet long. No mounds have been found in Emmet County, but along the Little Sioux River a number have been explored, and farther south and east, near Lehigh, Webster County, are the remains of an elaborate system of earthworks. The proximity of these relics on either side seems to indicate that, though the Mound Builder established no permanent domicile within the limits of Emmet and Dickinson counties, he doubtless passed back and forth through that region as he made his pilgrimages between the ancient settlements on the Little Sioux River and the old fort near Lehigh. Perhaps he trapped muskrats and hunted waterfowl about Spirit Lake and along the upper Des Moines River centuries before the white man knew that such a country as Iowa even existed.


Going back to the various theories regarding the origin and age of the Mound Builders, it is worthy of note that in the more recent investigations the theory of great antiquity has been discredited. Archaeologists who have made extensive research among the mounds in connection with the work of the Bureau of Ethnology have also come to doubt the separate race theory and are practically a unit in the belief that the Mound Builder was nothing more than the ancestor, more or less remote, of the North American Indian. The principal reason for discarding the great age theory, is found in the records left by the early French and Spanish explorers in the southern part of what is now the United States. These records show that the Natchez Indians always built the house of their chief upon an artificial mound. As eminent an authority as Pierre Margry says: "When a chief dies they demolish his cabin and then raise a new mound, on which they build the cabin of the chief who is to


replace the one deceased in this dignity, for the chief never lodges in the house of his predecessor."

How long this custom prevailed no one knows, but it may account for the large number of small artificial mounds seen throughout the country once inhabited by the Natchez and their ancestors. Through the work of the Bureau of Ethnology it has also been learned that the Yama‐ see Indians of Georgia built mounds over the warriors slain in battle, and Charlevoix found among the Canadian Indians certain tribes who built earthworks similar to those described by Thomas as having once existed in the Huron-Iroquois District.

Early investigators found in many of the small mounds burnt or baked clay and charcoal, for which they were at a loss to account. Subsequent inquiry has disclosed the fact that among certain tribes of Indians, particularly in the lower Mississippi country, the family hut was frequently built upon an artificial mound. This has led Brinton to advance the hypothesis that the house was constructed of poles, the cracks between them being filled with clay. When the head of the family died, the body was buried in a shallow grave under the center of the hut, which was then burned. This custom, which might have been followed for generations, would account for the burnt clay and charcoal, as well as the great number of small mounds, each containing a single human skeleton, the bones of which have sometimes been found charred.

Still another evidence that there is some relationship between the ancient Mound Builder and the Indian of more modern times is seen in the pottery made by some of the southwestern tribes, which is very similar in texture and design to that found in some of the ancient mounds. In the light of all these recent discoveries, it is not surprising that scientists are discarding the theories of separate race and great antiquity and setting up the claim that the Mound Builder was nothing more than the ancestor of the Indian found here by the first white men who came to America. Some archaeologists have even gone so far as to assert that the cliff dwellers of the Southwest are the remnant of the once numerous and widely distributed Mound Builders. However, the discovery of these evidences that the modern Indian is the offspring of the Mound Builder has not caused interest in the aboriginal inhabitant to diminish. Says Thomas: "The hope of ultimately solving the great problems is perhaps as lively today as in former years. But with the vast increase in knowledge in recent years, a modification of the hope entertained has taken place."


The name "Indian," which was given to the natives of North America soon after the continent was discovered, although a misnomer, has


remained to the present time. At first the Indians were regarded as all belonging to one family, but it has since been learned that they were really divided into several groups or tribal confederacies, each of which differed from the others in certain physical and linguistic characteristics.

At the beginning of the Sixteenth Century these groups were distributed over the continent of North America as follows:

In the far North, the country about the Arctic Circle was inhabited by the Eskimo, a tribe that has never played any conspicuous part in history, except as guides to polar expeditions.

The Algonquian family, the most numerous and powerful of all the Indian groups, occupied a large triangle, roughly bounded by the Atlantic coast from Labrador to Cape Hatteras and lines drawn from those two points to the western end of Lake Superior. This group was composed of numerous tribes, the best known of which were probably the Delaware, Ottawa, Miami, Sac, Fox and Potawatomi.

Along the shores of Lake Ontario and the upper waters of the St. Lawrence River, in the very heart of the Algonquian triangle, was the domain of the Iroguoian tribes, viz The Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca, Mohawk and Cayuga. To the early colonists these tribes became known as the "Five Nations." Some years later the Tuscarora Indians were added to the confederacy, which then took the name of the "Six Nations."

South of the Algonquian country was a large region inhabited by the Muskhogean tribes, the principal ones being the Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee. The last named, so far as known, is the only Indian tribe that ever had a written language based upon a regular alphabet ‐ a, fact that bears out Adair^s statement that the Muskhogean stock was the most intelligent of all the North American tribes.

In the Northwest, about the sources of the Mississippi River and extending westward to the Missouri, was the territory of the Siouan family, which was composed of a number of tribes noted for their physical prowess and warlike disposition.

South and west of the Siouan country the great plains and the foot‐ hills of the Rocky Mountains were inhabited by the bold, vindictive Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Pawnee and other tribes, and still farther south, in what are now the states of Arkansas and Louisiana, lay the region occupied by the Caddoan group. Scattered over the country, here and there, were a number of isolated tribes that claimed kinship with none of the great families. Inferior in numbers and often nomadic in their mode of living, these tribes are of little historic significance.

Volumes have been written about the North American Indians ‐ their legends, traditions and customs ‐ and the subject is practically inexhaustible. In a history such as this it is not the design to enter into


any extended account of the entire Indian race, but to notice only those tribes whose history is intimately interwoven with the territory now comprising the State of Iowa, and especially the northwestern part, where the counties of Emmet and Dickinson are situated. These tribes were the Iowa, Sac and Fox, Sioux, Winnebago and Potawatomi.


Although the Iowa Indians were not the most numerous or of the greatest importance historically, they are first mentioned because it was this tribe that gave the Hawkeye State its name, and they were probably the first Indians to establish themselves in the territory included in this history. Ethnologically they belonged to the Siouan group, but, according to their traditions, they became allied at an early date with the Winnebago and lived with that tribe in the country north of the Great Lakes. They are first mentioned in history in 1690, when they occupied a district on the shores of Lake Michigan, under a chief called Man-han- gaw. Here they separated from the Winnebago and with the Otoe, Omaha and Ponca tribes moved toward the southwest. At the time of this separation the Iowa received the name of "Pa-ho-ja," or "Gray Snow Indians." They were also known as the "Sleepy Ones."

Schoolcraft says this tribe migrated no less than fifteen times. After separating from the Winnebago they took up their abode on the Rock River, in what is now the State of Illinois, where they were temporarily affiliated with the Sacs and Foxes. From there they removed to the valley of the Iowa River. In 1848 an Iowa Indian prepared a map showing the movements of the tribe from the time they left the Winnebago nation. Connected with this map was a tradition giving the following account of the occupation of th^ Iowa Valley:

"After living on the Rock River for several years, the tribe left the Sacs and Foxes and wandered off westward in search of a new home. Crossing the Mississippi, they turned southward and reached a high bluff near the mouth of the Iowa River. Looking off over the beautiful valley spread out before them, they halted, exclaiming Ioway! Ioway!' which in their language means "This is the place!' " Following their residence in the valley of the Iowa, they lived sucessively in the Des Moines Valley, on the Missouri River, then in what is now South Dakota, and in what is now Northwestern Iowa, about Spirit Lake and the headwaters of the Des Moines and Big Sioux rivers. As the Indian had no way of keeping an accurate record of time, the dates when these various places were occupied are somewhat problematical. A Sioux tradition says that when that tribe first came to the country about the Falls of St. Anthony they found the Iowa Indians there


and drove them out. Le Sueur found some of them in that locality in 1700 and supplied them with firearms. In his report of the expedition up the Mississippi River, Le Sueur says the principal villages of the Iowa were "at the extreme headwaters of the River de Moyen." In 1707 William de Lisle compiled a map of the northwestern part of Louisiana, on which is shown a traders' trail marked "Chemin des Voyageurs," beginning at the Mississippi River a few miles below the mouth of the Wisconsin and running westward across Northern Iowa to the vicinity of Spirit Lake. There, On the shore of a small lake, the identity of which is rather uncertain, is marked a "Village des Aiaouez." From this village the trail continued almost due west to the Big Sioux River, where two more "Villages des Aiaouez" are shown, one on either side of the river. Jacob Van der Zee, in his "Reminiscences of the Northwest Fur Trade," mentions this trail, and it is also mentioned by Chittenden in his "American Fur Trade." Its existence, coupled with Le Sueur's report, makes it certain that the Iowa Indians once inhabited the country now comprising Emmet and Dickinson counties.

Dorsey divides the tribe into eight gentes or clans, to-wit: Bear, Beaver, Buffalo, Eagle, Elk, Pigeon, Snake and Wolf. They worshipped a Great Spirit and had a tradition of a great flood which destroyed all the animals and people except those who escaped in a great canoe. The Great Spirit then made a new man and a new woman from red clay, and from this couple were descended all the Indian tribes. Hawks and rattle‐ snakes were objects of veneration and were never killed by these Indians.

Mahaska (White Cloud), one of the most noted chiefs of the Iowa tribe, claimed to be a direct descendant of the great chief Man-han-gaw. It is said that during his chieftainship he led his warriors in eighteen battles against the Sioux on the north and the Osage on the south and always came off victorious. Mahaska County, Iowa, bears his name. In 1824, accompanied by his wife, Rant-che-wai-me, he was one of a party of chiefs that visited the Great White Father at Washington. Upon their return Rant-che-wai-me cautioned the women of her tribe against the vices and follies of their white sisters as she saw them in the national capital. The following year the Iowa Indians ceded all their interest in Iowa lands to the United States.


These two tribes, which at one time inhabited practically the entire State of Iowa, are generally spoken of as one people, though as a matter of fact they were two separate and distinct tribes of the great Algon‐ quian family, which formed an alliance for their mutual protection against their common enemies.


The Sacs ‐ also called Sauks and Saukies ‐ were known as the "People of the outlet." Some writers refer to them as "People of the yellow earth." Their earliest known habitat was in the lower peninsula of Michigan, where they lived with the Potawatomi. The name Saginaw as applied to a bay and city in Michigan, means "the place of the Sac" and indicates the region where they once dwelt. According to their traditions, they were here allied with the Potawatomi, Fox, Mascouten and Kickapoo tribes before they became an independent tribe. They are first mentioned as a separate tribe in the Jesuit Relations for 1640, though even then they were confederated with the tribes above mentioned and also with the Miami and Winnebago nations. Father Allouez, one of the early Jesuit missionaries, writing of these Indians in 1667, says: "They are more savage than all the other peoples I have met; they are a populous tribe, although they have no fixed dwelling place, being wanderers and vagabonds in the forest."

Sac traditions tell how they were driven from the shores of Lake Huron by the Iroquois and Neuters before the middle of the Seventeenth Century. Upon being expelled from their hunting grounds there they retired by way of Mackinaw and about the middle of the century found a new abode along the shores of Green Bay, Wisconsin. This portion of their traditions is first told by Father Dablon, in the Jesuit Relations for 1671. Says he: "The Sacs, Pottawatomies and neighboring tribes, being driven from their own countries, which are the lands southward from Michilimackinac, have taken refuge at the head of this bay, beyond which one can see inland the Nation of Fire, with one of the Illinois tribes called Oumiami, and the Foxes."

In the same year that this was written by Father Dablon, the Huron and Ottawa Indians started out to invade the country of the Sioux. On the way they persuaded the Sac and Potawatomi warriors to join the expedition. The allied tribes were defeated by the Sioux and suffered heavy losses. The surviving Sacs returned to the shores of Green Bay, where it seems they were content to remain quiet for several years before making any further warlike demonstrations against their enemies.

According to Dorsey, the tribe was divided into fourteen clans or gentes, to-wit: Bass, Bear, Eagle, Elk, Fire Dragon, Fox, Great Lynx, Grouse, Potato, Sea (or Lake), Sturgeon, Thunder, Trout and Wolf. Ordinarily marriages were made between men and women belonging to different clans, though they were not forbidden between couples of the same clan. Polygamy was practiced to some extient, though in this respect the Sacs were not so bad as some of the other Algonquian tribes. Their religion consisted of a belief in numerous "Manitous" and was rich in myth and fable.

The Foxes were also Algonquian Indians and resembled in many


respects the Sacs, with whom they ultimately became confederated. Their Indian name was Mesh-kwa-ke-hug (nearly always written Musquakie), signifying "People of the red earth." Sometimes they were designated as the "People of the other shore." Their original dwelling place is somewhat uncertain. According to their traditions they lived at a very early date on the Atlantic coast, in the vicinity of the present State of Rhode Island. Subsequently a portion of the tribe occupied the country along the southern shore of Lake Superior, from which they were driven by the Chippewa. In the early part of the Seventeenth Century Nicollet found a band of these Indians living on the Fox river, not far from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and in 1676 Father Allouez found some of them on the Wolf River, in the same state. In his writings of that year he speaks of a "Musquakie village with a population of about five thousand."

The name "Fox" originated with the French, who called these Indians "Reynors" or "Renards." They were regarded by neighboring Indian tribes as "avaricious, thieving, passionate and quarrelsome." With an intense hatred for the French they planned the attack on the post at Detroit in 1712. The timely arrival of reinforcements saved the post and the Indians suffered an overwhelming defeat. Those who took part in this assault on Detroit then went to the village on the Wolf River spoken of by Father Dablon.

About 1730 the English and Dutch traders operating in the country about the Great Lakes, knowing of the hatred of the Foxes for the French, decided to take advantage of it for the purpose of driving out French competition. An alliance was therefore formed with the Fox chiefs, who were incited to make war on the French. In opposition to this movement the French enlisted the cooperation of the Huron, Ottawa, Potawatomi and some minor tribes. In the conflict which ensued the Foxes were defeated and found shelter among the Sac bands in the neighborhood of Green Bay. The French authorities in Canada, thinking the tribe had not been sufficiently punished and desiring to make their victory more complete, sent a detachment of French soldiers and Indian allies, under a Lieutenant-Colonel De Villiers, to the Sac villages to demand the surrender of the fugitives. The demand was indignantly refused by the Sac chiefs, whereupon De Villiers ordered an attack upon the Sac village. A hard-fought battle followed, in which the French were the victors, but the refugees were not surrendered.

This occurred in 1733 and resulted in the alliance between the two tribes, who have since been generally regarded as one people. Their alliance, however, was more in the nature of a confederacy, each tribe retaining its identity, while one chief ruled over both.

Twelve Fox gentes are mentioned by Dorsey in one of the reports


of the United States Bureau of Ethnology, viz: Bass, Bear, Big Lynx, Buffalo, Eagle, Fox, Pheasant, Sea, Sturgeon, Swan, Thunder and Wolf. It will be noticed that nine of these clans bear the name and totem of the same number of the. Sac gentes, which seems to indicate that the two tribes sprang from the same stock. The principal deities worshiped by the Fox Indians were Wisaka and Kiyapata. The former ruled the day and the latter the night. Animal fable and mythology were the leading features of their religion and the tribe had many ceremonial observances. They practiced agriculture in a primitive way, raising corn, beans, tobacco, squashes and some other vegetables. In a few instances some big chief or warrior of note was permitted to have more than one squaw, but as a rule polygamous marriages were discountenanced.

Of all the Indians the Fox tribe was perhaps the only one that had what might be called a "coat of arms." This was a design consisting of an oblique line (supposed to represent a river) with the figure of a fox at each end on opposite sides. After a victory in war this emblem was painted or carved on rocks and trees to tell the story of their valor and at the same time serve as a warning to their enemies.

In 1731 the Sac village of Sau-ke-nuk on the Rock River, in Illinois, was founded. After the expedition of De Villiers the Sacs and Foxes living in Wisconsin were driven from that part of the country by the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, allies of the French, and joined those living at Sau-ke-nuk. At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century there were some eight thousand of the allied tribes living along the Rock River near its mouth. About 1780, or perhaps a few years before that date, some of these Indians crossed the Mississippi River near the present city of Prairie du Chien and took up their abode near the place where the city of Dubuque, Iowa, now stands. In 1788 these Indians granted to Julien Dubuque a concession to work the lead mines and sold him part of the lands claimed by them. Before the close of that year Dubuque established upon his concession the first white settlement in what is now the State of Iowa.


Two of the greatest chiefs in the history of the North American Indians belonged to the allied tribes of the Sacs and Foxes. They were Black Hawk and Keokuk, both born of Sac parents, but recognized as chiefs by both tribes. Black Hawk was a warrior and Keokuk a politician.

Black Hawk, whose Indian name was Ma-ka-ta-wi-mesha-ka-ka, was a member of the Thunder clan and was born at the village of Sau-ke-nuk,


on the Rock River, in 1767. His father, Py-e-sa, was a direct descendant of Nan-a-ma-kee (Thunder), the founder of the clan and custodian of the great medicine bag of the Sac nation, which had been intrusted to him by the Great Spirit. Black Hawk was trained in the arts of war by his father and established his prowess in battle before he was nine‐ teen years old. About that time Py-e-sa was mortally wounded in an encounter with the Cherokees and the custody of the medicine bag passed to his son. This medicine bag represented the soul of the Sac nation and had never been disgraced. To prepare himself for the onerous duty of preserving it unsullied, Black Hawk took no part in the military affairs of his tribe for some five years. During that period he passed his time in praying to the Great Spirit for the necessary strength and wisdom to perform his duty as custodian of the sacred bag. Hour after hour he sat upon the promontory near his home on the Rock River, smoking and meditating. The promontory is still called "Black Hawk's Watch Tower," now a favorite summer resort connected with the city of Rock Island by an electric railway. At the end of his five years he assumed the chieftainship of his tribe and the custody of the medicine bag, and from that time to his death he guarded carefully the sacred relic and the interests of his people according to his view.

By the treaty negotiated at St. Louis in the fall of 1804 between some of the Sac and Fox chiefs and Gen. William H. Harrison, the United States was given permission to build a military post on the west side of the Mississippi River. In 1808 the old post of Fort Madison was established where the city of that name now stands. Black Hawk and some of his followers were dissatisfied with the terms of the treaty and insisted that the building of Fort Madison was a violation of Indian rights. When the relations between the United States and Great Britain became strained in 1812, the British Government took advantage of this dissatisfaction and secured the cooperation of the Black Hawk band. Colonel Dixon, the English officer in command at Green Bay, sent two large pirogues loaded with goods to the Sac and Fox village on the Rock River, and then went in person to superintend the distribution of the goods among the Indians. No better man could have been selected for this purpose. Dixon was naturally crafty and thoroughly understood the Indian character. When he took the hand of Black Hawk he looked straight into the eyes of the chief and said: "You will now hold us fast by the hand. Your English father has found that the Americans want to take your country from you, and has sent me and my braves to drive them back to their own country."

This speech won Black Hawk, who joined the British and was with the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, when the latter fell in the Battle of the Thames. After the close of the War of 1812 a large part of the Sacs


and Foxes entered into a treaty of peace with the United States and agreed to remove to the west side of the Mississippi River. Black Hawk and his immediate followers remained obstinate and their obstinacy finally culminated in Black Hawk's War, in 1832. At the close of that war further negotiations between the allied tribes and the United States were undertaken. In these negotiations the representatives of the Government ignored Black Hawk and recognized Keokuk as the principal chief of the Sac and Fox confederacy. It is said that when the announcement of Keokuk's recognition was made in open council, Black Hawk was so enraged that he jerked off his loin cloth and slapped Keokuk in the face with it. A report of the United States Bureau of Ethnology says: "The act of creating Keokuk chief of the Sacs has always been regarded with ridicule by both the Sacs and Foxes, for the reason that he was not of the ruling clan."

After Black Hawk was thus unceremoniously deposed as chief, he retired to his new village on the Des Moines River, near Iowaville, where he passed his last years in peace. He died there on October 3, 1838. About a year later it was discovered that his grave had been robbed, but through the efforts of Governor Lucas the bones were recovered and sent to St. Louis, where they were properly cleaned and the skeleton was wired together. It was then returned to the governor and the sons of the old chief were content to permit it to remain in the custody of the state. The skeleton was afterward presented to the Burlington Geological and Historical Society and it was among the relics destroyed by fire in 1855. Black Hawk probably was never in that portion of Iowa now comprising Emmet and Dickinson counties, but his people claimed the land in this section of the state. Through the treaty of 1832, which followed immediately after the Black Hawk War, the first land in the State of Iowa was opened to white settlement under the laws of the United States. Gradually the white settlements were extended westward until Emmet and Dickinson counties came within the domain of civilization.

Keokuk (the Watchful Fox) was born near Rock Island, Illinois, in 1788, and was therefore Black Hawk's junior by about twenty years. It has been claimed by some that his mother was a French half-breed. If so he was not a chief by heredity, but won that distinction through his political ingenuity and power of intrigue. One of his biographers says: "He was ambitious and while always involved in intrigue never openly exposed himself to his enemies, but cunningly played one faction against the other for his personal advantage."

It was during the War of 1812 that Keokuk inaugurated the policy that made him a leader among his people and afterward resulted in his being recognized as chief by the United States. While Black Hawk and


some of his warriors were absent from the village on the Rock River fighting on the side of the British, news was received that a body of Federal troops was marching into the Sac and Fox country. Consternation reigned in the village and some of the Indians began making preparations to cross the Mississippi. Keokuk saw his opportunity and was quick to grasp it. Calling the inhabitants of the village together, he addressed them thus: "I have heard with sorrow that you have determined to leave our village and cross the Mississippi, merely because you have been told that the white soldiers are coming in this direction. Would you leave our village, desert our homes and fly before an enemy approaches? Give me charge of your warriors and I will defend the village while you sleep."

This little speech won the confidence of the people and Keokuk was placed in command. The troops failed to appear and many of the inhabitants of the village, with that superstition which formed a part of the Indian character, believed that an attack was prevented through the precautions taken by Keokuk. By the time of the Black Hawk War his influence was great enough to prevent a large number of the young men from taking part. It was chiefly because he was the leader of the peace party that the United States officials recognized him as the principal chief of the allied tribes after the war, and in all subsequent dealings with the Sacs and Foxes.

During the Black Hawk War an incident occurred that illustrates the manner in which Keokuk molded public opinion. A number of warriors grew dissatisfied and wanted to join Black Hawk in the effort to recover the Rock River country. They importuned Keokuk to permit them to take part in the war, and some of them even went so far as to hold a war dance and commence preparations for taking the field. Keokuk apparently acquiesced in the demands and took part in the war dance, at the conclusion of which a council was held. With solemn mien Keokuk arose and addressed the council as follows:

"Warriors: I am your chief. It is my duty to lead you to war if you are determined to go. (Here the speaker made a long pause while a murmur of approbation ran through the council, after which he continued.) But, remember, the United States is a great nation. The great father at Washington has a long arm. Unless we conquer we must perish. I will lead you to war against the white men on one condition. That is we shall first put our old men, our women and children to death, to save them from a lingering death by starvation, and then resolve that when we cross the Mississippi we will never retreat, but perish among the graves of our fathers, rather than yield to the white men."

This speech had its effect, checked the warlike sentiment, and resulted in the abandonment of the expedition. It was a typical instance

This half-tone portrait is from a daguerreotype taken
in 1874, when the great chief was sixty-seven years of
age. This has been generally accepted by historical
writers as a faithful likeness of that celebrated chief.


of the wily chief's method's ‐ deftly raising doubts in the minds of his followers, skilfully interposing objections while, apparently being in sympathy with a movement, until he won a majority over to his view and thus strengthened his position for the next crisis.

After the treaty of 1882 Keokuk lived on a reservation of 400 square miles on the Iowa River. In 1836 this reservation was sold to the United States and he removed to what is now Wapello County. There he lived until the treaty of October 11, 1842, when he removed to a new village, about five miles southeast of Fort Des Moines. In 1845 he went with his tribesmen to Kansas, where he died in April, 1848. In 1883 his remains were brought to Iowa and interred in Rand Park at Keokuk, upon a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. On October 22, 1913, a monument over his grave was unveiled by the Keokuk Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.


Prominent among the Sac and Fox chiefs were Appanoose, Poweshiek and Wapello, each of whom was the leader of a considerable band and stood high in the tribal councils. In the language of the tribe the name Appanoose means "A chief when a child," showing that he was a chief by inheritance. He was a Sac and was a member of the peace party at the time of the Black Hawk War. Poweshiek, a chief of the same rank as Appanoose, escorted Gen. Joseph M. Street through the lands ceded by the treaty of 1837, and after the removal of the Indians to the west of what was called the "Red Rock line" in 1843 he located on the Skunk River, near the present City of Colfax, in Jasper County. When the main body of the tribe removed to Kansas in 1845-46, a portion of Poweshiek's band located in Tama County, Iowa. Wapello was born at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1787, and died near the forks of the Skunk River on March 15, 1842, more than six months before the negotiation of the treaty that forced his people from their hunting grounds in Iowa to a strange land beyond the Missouri River. He was a warm personal friend of General Street, agent of the Sacs and Foxes, and was buried by his side at the Sac and Fox agency (now Agency City, Wapello County). All three of those chiefs were with the party that visited Washington, D. C, in 1837, and the people of Iowa have named counties in their honor.

Matanequa, the last war chief of the Sacs and Foxes, deserves more than passing mention. He was born at Dubuque about 1810 and is said to have been a typical Indian, both physically and intellectually. Like Keokuk, he was not a member of the ruling clan, but won his title of chief through his bravery in battle and his skill in controlling men. His


high order of executive ability was recognized by his people in July, 1857, when he was selected as one of the five men to choose a new place of residence in Iowa for the band. He and his four associates purchased eighty acres of land in Tama County, to which they removed the members of their band. Subsequently other tracts were purchased until they owned about three thousand acres. Matanequa was the last survivor of the five men who selected the location. His death occurred on October 4, 1897, and such was the esteem in which he was held by the white people that many of the citizens of Tama City closed their places of business to attend his funeral. He has been called "The Warwick of the Musquakies" ‐ a man who elevated others to positions of power but was never king himself. ""


This tribe was at one time one of the powerful tribes of the great Algonquian family. They were closely allied with the Sac and Fox Indians and many of the early treaties made with those tribes were approved or ratified by the Potawatomi before they became effective. When the French missionaries and traders first came in contact with the Potawatomi they were living near the northern limits of the lower Michigan peninsula, where they were known as the "Nation of Fire." In 1664 Nicollet met with some of them in Wisconsin, and Bacqueville de la Potherie, an early French writer, says: "In 1665 or 1666 the Potawatomi took the southern and the Sac the northern shores of Green Bay, and the Winnebago who were not fishermen, went back into the forests to live on venison and bear meat."

About the close of the Revolutionary War a part of the tribe moved eastward and in the early years of the Nineteenth Century occupied practically all that part of Indiana north of the Wabash River. On August 24, 1816, this branch of the Potawatomi ceded to the United States the greater portion of their lands about the head of Lake Michigan, including the site of the present City of Chicago, and received in exchange therefor some of the Sac and Fox lands in Western Illinois. In 1833 they ceded all their lands in Indiana and Illinois and received a reservation of 5,000,000 acres in Southwestern Iowa, to which they were removed in 1835. Peter A. Sarpy was one of the first traders among them after they came to Iowa, and in 1838 Davis Hardin opened a farm and built a mill for them near Council Bluffs, which city is the county seat of a county bearing the tribal name, though their agency was located in what is now Mills County. At the time they removed to Iowa the tribe numbered about three thousand people.

By the treaty of June 5, 1846, the Potawatomi relinquished their title to their Iowa lands and received in exchange a reservation thirty


miles square in Kansas. At that time there were some Mormons living in the vicinity of Council Bluffs and on May 8, 1846, one of the Mormon elders wrote: "No game or wild animal of any description is to be seen around here, having been thinned out by a tribe of Indians called Pottawattamies, whose trails and old camping grounds are to be seen in every direction."

By the winter of 1847 all the Potawatomi were removed to Kansas, except a small band which remained to hunt about the headwaters of of the Des Moines River. After the removal to Kansas a few members of the tribe grew homesick for their old hunting grounds in Iowa and wandered back under the leadership of a minor chief known as "Johnnie Green." For several years they hunted, fished and roamed about, unmolested by the white people, until the majority of them died and the remaining few were merged with the Musquakies near Tama City. A remnant of the tribe still lives in Kansas.


Although a tribe of the Siouan family, far back in the past the Winnebago became allied with the Algonquian tribes living about the Great Lakes, and some ethnologists class them as being members of the Algonquian group. As early as 1669 Jesuit missionaries and French traders found them allied with the Iowa, Potawatomi, Chippewa, Sac and Fox and other Algonquian tribes. In the Revolutionary war a large number of Winnebago warriors fought on the side of the British. A portion of the tribe was in the battle of Fallen Timbers against the forces commanded by Gen. Anthony Wayne in the summer of 1794 and again in the battle of Tippecanoe in November, 1811, a number of Winnebago braves were engaged. In 1812 some of them joined the Potawatomi in the assault upon Fort Dearborn (now Chicago). They were friendly to Black Hawk at the time of his uprising in 1832, though it was through the treachery of certain members of the tribe that Black Hawk was captured.

After the Black Hawk war they ceded their lands in Wisconsin and Illinois to the United States and removed to the "Neutral Ground" in Iowa, where they acted as a sort of buffer between the Sioux on the north and the Sac and Fox on the south. In 1846 they were given a reservation near Mankato, Minnesota, where they lived until after the Sioux hostilities in 1862, when they were removed to a new reservation on the Missouri River in South Dakota. One of the Winnebago chiefs was Wee-no-shiek (or Winneshiek), for whom one of the northeastern counties of Iowa was named. Another chief Was De-co-rah, who delivered Black Hawk a prisoner to the Indian agent at Prairie du Chien


at the close of the Black Hawk war. By intermarriage with the Sacs and Foxes they became closely affiliated with the allied tribes and roamed freely all over the State of Iowa. Doubtless some of the Winnebago in their wanderings left their footprints upon the soil of what are now Emmet and Dickinson Counties.


Last, but by no means the least in importance in the history of Northwestern Iowa, were the Sioux or Dacotah tribes, the principal branch of which was the Santee or I-san-yan-ti Sioux ‐ divided into the Mdewa‐ kanton, Sisseton, Wahpekute and Wahpeton bands. T. S. Williamson, who spent several years among the Sioux, studying their language and traditions, says their original habitat was along the shores of the Lake of the Woods and the country north of the Great Lakes. French explorers and missionaries first came in contact with them in 1640, but they are first mentioned in history by Radisson and Grosseliers, who in 1662 held a council with a large number of their chiefs and head men near Mille Lacs, now in the State of Minnesota. When Father Hennepin ascended the Mississippi River in 1680, he found the country now comprising Minnesota and the northern part of Iowa inhabited by the Sioux, whose numerical strength he estimated at about forty thousand. Hennepin and his associates were captured by the Sioux in April, 1680, and held prisoners until the following September, when they were rescued by Du Luth. Says Williamson:

"From what was written on this subject by Hennepin, La Hontan, Le Sueur and Charlevoix, and from maps published under the superin‐ tendence of these authors, it is sufficiently clear that in the latter part of the Seventeenth Century the principal residence of the Isanyanti Sioux was about the headwaters of the Rum River, whence they extended their hunts to the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers and down the latter nearly or quite as far as the mouth of the Wisconsin."


The name of this tribe, or band, was derived from three words in the Sioux language, to wit: Mde "lake," Wakon "sacred mystery," and Otonwe "village." They were therefore known as "The people of Mystery Lake village." The Mdewakanton claimed to be the parent stock, from which all the other Sioux tribes had sprung. When first encountered by the French explorers they were living about Mille Lacs (called by them Knife Lake), in Minnesota. Early missionaries mentioned them as the Nadowessioux. Long described them as "good-looking, straight, not


overly tall and remarkable for symmetry of form." This band did not figure so prominently in the events of Northwestern Iowa as some of the others.


Some ethnologists say the Sisseton was one of the original seven Siouan tribes. Hennepin found some of them in 1680 near Mille Lacs, where thelir hunting grounds adjoined those of the Mdewakanton. Lewis and Clark, when they went up the Missouri River in 1804, met some of the Sisseton chiefs in what is now the southeastern part of South Dakota and estimated the number of warriors belonging to the band at about two hundred. Neill says that in 1850 they could muster twenty-five hundred fighting men. At that time they lived in Western Minnesota and the southeastern part of South Dakota. In their hunting expeditions they came into Northwestern Iowa, but there is no evidence to show that they ever claimed a permanent residence within the limits of the state.


The name of this tribe meant in the Sioux language "Shooters in the leaves," indicating that they were huntsmen and lived in the forests. One of their early chiefs was White Owl, the Chippewa name of whom was "Wa-pa-cut," and some writers claim that the tribal name was derived from this similarity. They had no fixed villages and lived in skin lodges or tepees that were easily transported from one place to another as they roved around on their hunting migrations. In 1766 Carver met them on the Minnesota River. Lewis and Clark found them in 1804 on both sides of the Minnesota, below the mouth of the Redwood, and estimated the number of warriors at less than two hundred. Two years later Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike spoke of them as being "the smallest band of the Sioux, residing generally between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and hunting commonly at the head of the Des Moines."

Pike also pronounced them "the most stupid of all the Sioux," and when Maj. Stephen H. Long made his exploration of the St. Peter's River in 1824 he met some of the Wahpecute, of whom he said: "This tribe has a very bad name, being considered to be a lawless set of men. They have a regular chief, Wiahuga (the Raven), who is acknowledged as such by the Indian agent, but who, disgusted by their misbehavior, withdrew from them and resides at Wapasha's."

At the beginning of the Nineteenth Century they occupied the country of Northwestern Iowa and Southwestern Minnesota. They joined in the treaties of 1830 and 1851, but six years after the latter treaty some


ten or fifteen lodges, under the disreputable chief, Ink-pa-du-ta, committed the Spirit Lake massacre, a full account of which will be found in another chapter.


Students of Indian history and tradition are practically unanimous in the belief that the Wahpeton was one of the seven primary tribes of the great Sioux nation. The name signifies "Dwellers among the leaves." Like the Mdewakanton, the warriors of this tribe were well formed, good-looking men. In 1680 their principal place of residence was near Mille Lacs, but fifty years later they occupied the country along the lower Minnesota River, their headquarters being near the present City of Belleplaine. Long visited the tribe in 1824, and in his report says:

"They wore small looking glasses suspended from their garments. Others had papers of pins, purchased from the traders, as ornaments. We observed one, who appeared to be a man of some note among them, had a live sparrow-hawk on his head by way of distinction; this man wore also a buffalo robe on which eight bear tracks were painted. The squaws we saw had no ornament of value. The dress of the women consisted of a long wrapper, with short sleeves, of dark calico. Others wore a calico garment which covered them from the shoulders to the waist; a piece of blue broadcloth, wound around the waist, its end tucked in, extended to the knee. They also wore leggings of blue or scarlet cloth. Hampered by such a costume, their movements were not graceful."

Chief Other-Day, who played such a conspicuous part in the Indian uprising of 1862, was a Wahpeton. Between the various Sioux tribes and the Sacs and Foxes there was a deadly enmity. The United States government tried to establish a boundary between them that would keep them from being at constant war with each other, but with only partial success. The treaties negotiated for this purpose, as well as those by which the lands of Northwestern Iowa passed into the hands of the white men, are described in the next chapter. R. A. Smith, in his History of Dickinson County says the last hostile meeting between the Sioux and the Sacs and Foxes was in Kossuth County, Iowa, In April, 1852, "between two straggling bands, both of whom at that time were trespassers and had no legal right on Iowa soil. The number engaged was about seventy on each side and the result was a complete victory for the Sacs and Foxes."