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last time the inhuman custom will be attempted in the tribe. 6. The origin of this sanguinary sacrifice is unknown; probably it existed previously to their intercourse with the white traders." * They believed that the success of their enterprises, and all undertakings, depended upon their faithfully adhering to the due performance of these rites.
In his way to Washington, he staid some days in Philadelphia, where Mr. Neagle had a fine opportunity of taking his portrait
, which he performed with wonderful success. It was copied for Dr. Godman's Natural History, and adorns the second volume of that valnable work.
METEA, chief of the Pottowattomies, is brought to our notice on account of the opposition he made to the sale of a large tract of his country. In 1821, he resided upon the Wabash. To numerous treaties, from 1814 to 1821, we find his name, and generally at the head of those of his tribe. At the treaty of Chicago, in the year last mentioned, he delivered the following speech, after Governor Cass had informed him of the objects of his mission.
“My father,—We have listened to what you have said. We shall now retire to our camps and consult upon it. You will hear nothing more from us at present. [This is a uniform custom of all the Indians. When the council was again convened, Metea continued.], We meet you here to-day, because we had promised it, to tell you our ninds, and what we have agreed upon among ourselves. You will listen to us with a good mind, and believe what we say. You know that we first came to this country, a long time ago, and when we sat ourselves down upon it, we met with a great many hardships and difficulties. Our country was then' very large ; but it has dwindled away to a small spot, and you wish to purchase that! This has caused us to reflect much upon what you have told us; and we have, therefore, brought all the chiefs and warriors, and the young men and women and children of our tribe, that one part may not do what the others object to, and that all may be witness of what is going forward. You know your children. Since you first came among them, they have listened to your words with an attentive ear, and have always hearkened to your counsels. Whenever you have had a proposal to make to us, whenever you have had a favor to ask of us, we have always lent a favorable ear, and our invariable answer has been 'yes. This you know! A long time has passed since we first came upon our lands, and our old people have all sunk into their graves. They had
We are all young and foolish, and do not wish to do any thing that they would not approve, were they living. We are fearful we shall offend their spirits, if we sell our lands; and we are fearful we shall offend you, if we do not sell them. This has caused us great perplexity of thought, because we have counsellod among ourselves, and do not know how we can part with the land. Our country was given to us by the Great Spirit, who gave it to us to hunt upon, to make our cornfields upon, to live upon, and to make down our beds upon when we die. And he would never forgive us, should we bargain it away. When you first spoke to us for lands at St. Mary's, we said we had a little, and agreed to sell you a piece of it; but we told you we could spare no more. Now you ask us again. You are never satisfied! We have sold you a great tract of land, already; but it is not enough! We sold it to you for the benefit of your children, to farm and to live upon. We have now but little left. We shall want it all for ourselves. We know not how long we may live, and we wish to have some lands for our children to hunt upon. You are gradually taking away our hunting-grounds. Your children are driving us before them. We are growing uneasy. What lands you have, you may retain forever; but we shall sell no more. You think, perhaps, that I speak in passion; but my heart is good towards you. I speak like one of your own children. I am an Indian, a red-skin, and live by hunting and fishing, but my country is already too small; and I do not know how to bring up my children, if I give it all away. We sold you a fine tract of land at St. Mary's. We said to you then it was enough to satisfy your children, and the last we should sell: and we thought it would be the .ast you would ask for. We have now told you what we had to say. It is
* Long, ut supra, 357–3.
KEEWAGOUSHKUM.-AN HISTORICAL SPEECH.
what was determined on, in a council among ourselves; and what I hare spoken, is the voice of my nation. On this account, all our people bave come here to listen to me; but do not think we have a bad opinion of you. Where should we get a bad opinion of you? We speak to you with a good heart, and the feelings of a friend. You are acquainted with this piece of land—the country we live in. Shall we give it up? Take notice, it is a small piece of land, and if we give it away, what will become of us The Great Spirit, who has provided it for our use, allows us to keep it, to bring up our young men and support our families. We should incur his anger, if we bartered it away. If we had more land, you should get more, but our land has been wasting away ever since the white people became our neighbors, and we have now hardly enough left to cover the bones of our tribe. You are in the midst of your red children. What is due to us in money, we wish, and will receive at this place; and we want nothing more. We all shake hands with you. Behold our warriors, our women, and children. Take pity on us and on our words.".
Notwithstanding the decisive language held by Metea in this speech, against selling land, yet his name is to the treaty of sale. And in another speech of about equal length, delivered shortly after, upon the same subject, the same determination is manifest throughout.
At this time he appeared to be about forty years of age, and of a noble and dignified appearance. He is allowed to be the most eloquent chief of his nation. In the last war, he fought against the Americans, and, in the attack on Fort Wayne, was severely wounded; on which account he draws a pension from the British government.*
At the time of the treaty of Chicago, of which we have made mention, several other chiess, besides Metea, or, as his name is sometimes written, Meeteya, were very prominent, and deserve a remeinbrance. Among them may be particularly named
KEEWAGOUSHKUM, a chief of the first authority in the Ottowa nation. We shall give a speech which he made at the time, which is considered very valuable, as well on account of the history it contains, as for its merits in other respects. Indian History by an Indian, must be the most valuable part of any work about them. Keewagoushkum began :
“My father, listen to me! The first white people seen by us were the French. When they first ventured into these lakes, they hailed us as children; they came with presents and promises of peace, and we took them by the hand. We gave them what they wanted, and initiated them into our mode of life, which they readily fell into. After some time, during which we had become well acquainted, we embraced their father, (the king of France,) as our father. Shortly after, these people that wear red coats, (the English) came to this country, and overthrew the French; and they extended their hand to us in friendship. As soon as the French were overthrown, the British told us, “We will clothe you in the same manner the French did. We will supply you with all you want, and will purchase all your peltries, as they did.? Sure enough! after the British took possession of the country, they fulfilled all their promises. When they told us we should have any thing, we were sure to get it; and we got from them the best goods.—Some time after the British had been in possession of the country, it was reported that another people, who wore white clothes, had arisen and driven the British out of the land. These people we first met at Greenville, [in 1795, to treat with General Wayne,) and took them by the hand.—When the Indians first met the American chief, [Wayne,) in council, there were but few Ottowas present; but he said to them, When I sit myself down at Detroit, you will all see me.' Shortly after, he arrived at Detroit. Proclamation was then made for all the Indians to come in.-We were told, [by the general,] «The reason I do not push those British farther is, that we may not forget their example in giving you presents of cloth, arms, ammunition, and whatever else you may require. Sure enough! The first time, we were clothed with great liberality: 'You gave us strouds, guns, ammunition, and many other things we stood in need
* Schoolcraft's Travels.
of, and said, “This is the way you may always expect to be used.'. It was also said, that whenever we were in great necessity, you would help us.When the Indians on the Maumee were first about to sell their lands, we heard it with both ears, but we never received a dollar.—The Chippewas, the Pottowattomies, and the Ottowas were, originally, but one nation. We separated from each other near Michilimackinac. We were related by the ties of blood, language and interest; but in the course of a long time, these things have been forgotten, and both nations have sold their lands, without consulting us.”—“Our brothers, the Chippewas, have also sold you a large tract of land at Saganaw. People are constantly passing through the country, but we received neither invitation nor money. It is surprising that the Pottowattomies, Ottowas, and Chippewas, who are all one nation, should sell their lands without giving each other notice. Have we then degenerated so much that we can no longer trust one another?—Perhaps the Pottowattomies may think I have come here on a begging journey, that I wish to claim a share of lands to wbich my people are not entitled. I tell them it is not so. We have never begged, and shall not now commence. When I went to Detroit last fall, Governor Cass told me to come to this place, at this time, and listen to what he had to say in council. As we live a great way in the woods, and never see white people except in the fall, when the traders come among us, we have not so many opportunities to profit by this intercourse as our neighbors, and to get what necessaries we require ; but we make out to live independently, and trade upon our own lands. We have, heretofore, received nothing less than justice from the Americans, and all we expect, in the present treaty, is a full proportion of the money and goods.”
“A series of misfortunes,” says Mr. Schoolcraft, “ has since overtaken this friendly, modest, and sensible chief. On returning from the treaty of icago, while off the mouth of Grand River, in Lake Michigan, his canoe was struck by a flaw of wind and upset. After making every exertion, he saw his wife and all his children, except one son, perish. With his son he reached the shore; but, as if to crown his misfortunes, this only surviving child has since been poisoned for the part he took in the treaty."
The result of this treaty was the relinquishment, by the Ottowas, Chippewas, and Pottowattomies, of a tract of country in the southern part of the peninsula of Michigan, containing upwards of 5,000,000 acres, and for which they received of the United States, in goods, 35,000 dollars; and several other sums were awarded to the separate tribes, to some yearly forever, and to others for a limited term of years. Some of the chiefs who attended to the treaty were opposed to this sale, and hence the reason that Keewagoushkum's son was poisoned.
BLACK-HAWK's war-Historical account of the tribes engaged in it-Treaty between them— Murders among the Siour and Chippewas—RED-BIRD—Taken for murder
- Dies in prison-Trial and execution of Indians-BLACK-HAWK- The Sacs murder 28 Menominies—Indians insulted— Their country sold without the consent of a large party—This occasions the war-Ordered to leave their country-General Gaines drives them beyond the Mississippi-Conclude a Treaty-Treaty broken-Sacs return again to their village-Determine on war-General Atkinson marches against them- They retreat up Rock River.
It will be necessary, in this chapter, to give some account of such tribes of Indians as will often be mentioned as we proceed. We shall, however, confine ourselves to such tribes as took part in the late war in the neighborhood of the Lakes Michigan and Superior, more especially; and firstly, of the Winnebagos. This tribe inhabit the country upon the Ouisconsin, a river that rises between the Lakes Superior and Michigan, and which disembogues itself into the Mississippi, near the S. W. angle of the N. W. territory. They were found seated here when the country was first visited by whites, about
150 years ago, and here they still remain. In 1820, they were supposed to number 1550 souls, of whom 500 were men, 350 women, and 700 children, and lived in ten towns or villages.* A body of Winnebago warriors was in the fight at Tippecanoe, under the impostor Ellskwatawa. Sanamahhongth, called Slone-eater, and Wapamangwa, or White-loon, were leaders of the Winnebago warriors. The latter was one that opposed General Wayne in 17994, but was reconciled to the Americans in 1795, by the treaty of Greenville. He also treated with General Harrison, in 1809, at Fort Wayne, and again at Greenville in 1814; but he was active in the war of 1812, and on the British side. Winnebago Lake, which discharges its waters into Green Bay, was probably named from this tribe of Indians, or, what is quite as probable, they received their name from the lake.
Secondly, the Menominjes. This tribe inhabits a river bearing their name, and is situated about one degree north of the Winnebagos, from whom they are separated by a range of mountains. They numbered in 1820, according to some, about 355 persons, of whom not more than 100 were fighters; but this estimate could apply only, it is thought, to the most populous tribe.
Thirdly, the Pottowattomies, or Pouteouatamis. This nation was early known to the French. In the year 1668, 300 of them visited Father Allouez, at a place which the French called Chagouamigon, which is an island in Lake Superior. There was among them at this time an old man 100 years old, of whom his nation reported wonderful things; among others, that he could go without food 20 days, and that he often saw the Great Spirit. He was taken sick here, and died in a few days after.f
The country of the Pottowattomies is adjacent to the south end of Lake Michigan, in Indiana and Illinois, and in 1820 their numbers were set down at 3400. At that time the United States paid them yearly 5700 dollars. Of this, 350 dollars remained a permanent annuity until the late war.
Fourthly, the Sacs and Foxes. These are usually mentioned together, and are now really but one nation. They also had the gospel taught them about 1668, by the Jesuits. They live to the west of the Pottowattomies, generally between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, in the state of Illinois. The chief of the Sauks, or Sacs, for at least 14 years, has been Keokuk. Of him we shall particularly speak in due course. The Sacs and Foxes were supposed to amount, in 1820, to about 3000 persons in all; one fifth of whom may be accounted warriors.
Thus we have taken a view of the most important points in the history of the tribes which were engaged in the late border war under Black-hawk, and are, therefore, prepared to proceed in the narration of the events of that war. It will be necessary for us to begin with some events as early as 1823; at which period a chief of the Winnebagos, called Red-bird, was the most conspicuous. This year, the United States' agents held a treaty at Prairie du Chien, with the Sacs, Foxes, Winnebagos, Chippeways, Sioux, &c., for the purpose, among other things, of bringing about a peace between the firstnamed tribe and the others, who were carrying on bloody wars among themselves; the treaty stipulated that each tribe should confine itself to certain boundaries, which were designated; and as parties from them all were constantly visiting the United States' forts, upon business, or various other occasions, it was agreed that any party should be protected from insult or injury from any other Indians while upon such visits. It would not seem, however, that the makers of the treaty could have supposed that any such agreement would avail much, where deep hatred existed between any of the parties; for the very circumstance of protection being offered, would lead directly to difficulty, by placing one party in a situation exactly to accommodate another, in their peculiar method of surprise; nor could any one have supposed that any fear of punishment from the whites would have been equal to the gratification of revenge. Yet the motives of the whites were good, however little was effected by them.
As was expected, frequent murders happened among the Indians; and it was
* Dr. Morse rated them at 5000. Ind. Report, Ap. 362 + Carlevoir, Hist. de la Nouv. France, i. 395.
not often that those guilty of them could be found or recognized. At length, in the summer of 1827, a party of 24 Chippewas, on a tour to Fort Snelling, were surprised by a band of Sioux, who killed and wounded eight of them. The commandant of Fort Snelling captured four of them, whom he delivered into the hands of the Chippewas, who immediately shot them, according to the directions of the commandant. A Sioux chief, named RED-BIRD, resented the proceedings of the commandant, and resolved upon a further retaliation upon the Chippewas. Accordingly, he led a war party against them soon after, but was defeated; and upon his return home from the expedition, his neighbors derided him, as being no brave.
What were the grounds of Red-bird's enmity in the first place is now unknown, nor is it important to be inquired into in our present business; but certain it is, he had, or conceived that he had, just cause for his attack upon the Chippewas; his last and unsuccessful expedition against them, however, was to revenge the execution of those at Fort Snelling, who, he had been told, were executed for the murder of a family of seven persons, named Melhode, near Prairie des Chiens. This, however, was not very likely the
As he could not get revenge of the Chippewas, Red-bird resolved on seeking it among the whites, their abettors; therefore, with two or three other desperadoes, like himself, of whom Black-hawk was probably one, he repaired to Prairie des Chiens, where, on the 24 July, 1827, they killed iwo persons and wounded a third. We hear of no plunder taken, but with a keg of whisky, which they bought of a trader, they retired to the mouth of Bad-axe River. Six days after, July 30, with his company augmented, Red-bird waylaid two keel-boats that had been conveying commissary stores to Fort Snelling. One came into the ambush in the day time, and, after a fight of four hours, escaped with the loss of two killed and four wounded. It was midnight before the other fell into the snare, and, owing to the darkness, escaped without ·much injury.
Notice has probably been taken by Black-hawk, in his narrative, of these events; but as he relates every thing without any regard to dates, it is impossible to assign some of his incidents to their proper places in history.
Not long after these events, in September, 1827, General Atkinson marched into the Winnebago country, with a brigade of troops, regulars and militia, and succeeded in making prisoners of Red-bird, and six other Winnebagos, who were held in confinement at Prairie du Chien until a trial could be had on them. On the 25 October, 1828, at a special term of the United States' Circuit Court, they were tried, all except Red-bird, who had died in prison. Waniga or the Sun, and Chik-hong-sic, the Little-bull, were each tried on two indictments; one for the murder of Registre Gagnier, as accomplices of Red-bird, in the murder of which mention has already been made. On the second indictment, Chikhong-sic was tried for the murder of Solomon Lipcap; and Waniga on the same, as his accomplice. On the third indictment, Waniga was tried for scalping Louisa Gagnier with intent to kill. On the first indictment, both were brought in guilty. On the second, Chik-hong-sic was brought in guilty, and Waniga was acquitted. On the third, Waniga was found guilty, and Chik-hong-sic was acquitted. They were sentenced to be executed on the 26 of the following December.
The two charged with the murder of Mr. Methode and family were acquitted by a nolle prosequi. Black-hawk, or Kara-zhonsept-hah, as his name was then written, and Kanonekah, the Youngest of the Thunders, were among the prisoners charged with the attack on the boats the preceding year; but the charge not being sustained for want of evidence, they were discharged, as was also a son of Red-bird. Thus it
appears a year bad passed since these Indians were captured, before they were brought to trial. Such a delay of justice was to the friends of the imprisoned Indians ten times as insufferable, if possible, as any punishment could have been, inflicted in any reasonable time after a crime had been committed. They cannot understand why, if one be guilty, he should not at once be punished, as it seldom happens, with Indians, that they deny an ecl when guilty: the most of them scorn to do it. Hence, the white people's