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Early history of Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
(1965)

The great Indian scare,   pp. 5-12


Page 6

The Great Indian Scare
which eisted between settlers and Indians in this state. Had it succeeded
here, the same strategy might have ben repeated elsewhere.
The first rumors began to spread during the closing days of August. A
Captatn Harriman, who was sent to inestigate them, reported to Governor
Salomon on August 31, "So far as I can judge, the fear is mutual, and the
Indians and Whites are striving to outdo each other in conceding territory--
that is, while the Whites are running in one direction, the Indians are running
in the other."
In spite of the captain's sensible appraisl of the situation, the panic
continued, sweeping form the western portion of the state into the eastern.
People loaded stoves, pots, kettles, food supplies, and furniture into wagons
and plunged headlong into disorganized flight. In many cases they destroyed
all the property they were unable to take, not watiUng to leave anything of
yalue to the Indians. Flour was dumped in the rivers, whiskey poured on the
und, and the pigs and other livestock turned into houses and barns to feast
on precious stores, One person later wrote that they were "ridiculous,
qightenedj #eoperate, foolish, cowardlyl.,"
"Manitowoc is in ashes!" "Ohebopygn plundered and burning: "Centerville
destroyed!" "Three thousand Indians adysacing qn New Holstein!" So the
messages ran,
Aqtually, the only victim near Manitowoc w" an ox which was slaughtered
by some hungry Indians, Nevertheless, the women of Manitowoc gathered in the
courthouse with vessels of boiling water ready to throw on the invaders. What
di the men of Manitowoc do? One hid in a featherbed. What the rest did is
npt recordedq In fact, all down the line, if reports are to be believed, it
was mainly the women who rose to the 4efense of their homes and the men who
fled.


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