University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States

Butterfield, C. W.
III.--Pre-territorial annals of Wisconsin,   pp. 29-41 PDF (6.5 MB)

Page 29

 Indian nations of Wisconsin. A striking episode in their subsequent history
--the Black Hawk
 War--comes in, notwithstanding, as a part, incidentally, of the-annals of
the State.
     Deserving a place in a notice of the Indian tribes of Wisconsin is the
nation known as the
 POTTAWATTAMIES. As early as 1639, theywere the neighbors of the Winnebagoes
upon Green
 bay. They were still upon its southern shore, in two villages, in 1'670;
and ten years subsequent
 to that date they occupied, at, least in one village the same region. At
the .expiration of the
 first quarter of the eighteenth century, a part only of the nation were
in that vicinity -upon the
 islands at the mouth of the bay. These islands were then known as the Pottawattamie
 and considered as the ancient abode of these Indians. Already had a large
portion of this tribe
 emigrated southward, one band resting on the St. Joseph of Lake Michigan,
the other near Detroit.
 One peculiarity of this tribe- at least of such as resided in what is now
Wisconsin - was their
 intimate association with neighboring bands. When, in 1669, a village of
the Pottawattarnies,
 located upon the southeast shore of Green bay, was visited by Allouez, he
found with them Sacs
 and Foxes and Winnebagoes. So, also, when, many years subsequent to that
date, a band of
 these Indians were located at Milwaukee, with thlem were Ottawas and Chippewas.
 "united tribes " claimed all the lands of their respective tribes
and of other nations, giving the
 United States, when possession was taken of the western country by the General
 no little troilble. Finally, by a treaty, held at Chicago in 1833, their
claims, such as they were,
 to lands along the western shore of Lake Michigan, within the present State
of Wisconsin,
 extending westward to Rock river, were purchased by the United States, with
permission to
 retain possession three years longer of their ceded lands, after which time
this " united nation
 of Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottawattamies"-began to disappear, and soon
were no longer seen in
 southeastern Wisconsin or in other portions of the State.
     Besides the five tribes - Menomonees, Winnebagoes, Chippewas, Sacs and
Foxes, and
 Pottawattamies -many others, whole or in part, have, since the territory
now constituting the
 State was first visited by white men, been occupants of its territory. Of
these, some are only
 known as having once lived in what is now Wisconsin; others - such as the
Hurons, Illinois,
 Kickapoos, Mascoutens, Miamis, Noquets, Ottawas and Sioux, are recognized
as Indians once
 dwelling in this region; yet so transitory has been their occupation, or
so little is known of their
 history, that they scarcely can be claimed as belonging to the State.
     Commencing in 1822, and continuing at intervals through some of the
following years, was
 the migration to Wisconsin from the State of New York of the remains or
portions of four tribes:
 the Oneidas, Stockbridges, Munsees and Brothertowns. The Oneidas finally
located west of
 Green Bay, where they still reside. Their reservation contains, over 6o,ooo
acres, and lies
 wholly within the present counties of Brown and Outagamie. The Stockbridges
and Munsees,
'who first located above Green Bay, on the east side of Fox river, afterward
moved to the east
side of Winnebago lake. They now occupy a reservation: joining the southwest
township of the
Menomenee reservation, in Shawano county, and are fast becoming citizens.
The Brothertowns
first located on the east, side of Fox river, but subsequently moved to the
east side of Winnebago
lake, where, in 1839, they broke up their tribal relations and became citizens
of Wisconsin
     When, in 1634, the first white man set foot upon any portion of the
territory now consti,
 tuting the State of Wisconsin, the whole country was, of course, a wilderness.
Its inhabitants,
 the aboriginal Red men, were thinly but widely scattered over all the country.
 a Frenchman, who had been in Canada since 1618, and had spent several years
among the

Go up to Top of Page