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.
II.--The indian tribes of Wisconsin, pp. 21-29 PDF (4.5 MB)
THE INDIAN TRIBES OF WISCONSIN. changed their place of abode. Their number, all told, is less than twenty-five hundred. When the territory, now constituting the northern portion of Wisconsin, became very generally known to the civilized inhabitants of the eastern part of the United States, it was found to be occupied by Indians called the CHIPPEWAS. Their hunting-grounds extended south from Lake Superior to the heads of the Menomonee, the Wisconsin and Chippewa rivers; also farther eastward and westward. At an early day they were engaged in a war with the Sioux- a war indeed, which was long continued. The Chippewas, however, persistently maintained their 'position - still occupying the same region when the General Government extended its jurisdiction over the whole country south of the Great Lakes and west to the Mississippi. By treaties with the Chippewas at different periods, down to the year 1827, the General Gov- ernment had recognized them as the owners of about one quarter of which is now the entire State. The same policy was pursued toward this tribe as with neighboring ones, in the purchase of their lands by the United States. Gradually they parted with their extensive possessions, until, in 1842, the last acre within what is now Wisconsin was disposed of. It was the intention of the General Government to remove the several bands of the Chippewas who had thus ceded their lands to a tract reserved for them beyond the Mississippi; but this determination was afterward changed so as to allow them to remain upon certain reservations within the limits of their old- time hunting grounds. These reservations they continue to occupy. They are located in Bay- field, Ashland, Chippewa and Lincoln counties. The clans are known, respectively, as the Red Cliff band, the Bad River band, the Lac Courte Oreille band, and the Lac de Flambeau band., Of all the tribes inhabiting what is now Wisconsin when its territory was first visited by white men, the SACS (Sauks or Saukies) and FOXES (Outagamies) are, in history, the most noted. They are of the Algonquin family, and are first mentioned in 1665, by Father Allouez, but as ,separate tribes. Afterward, however, because of the identity of their language, and their asso- Iciations, they were and still are considered as one nation. In December, 1669, Allouez found upon the shores of Green bay a village of Sacs, occupied also by members of other tribes; and early in 167o he visited a village of the same Indians located upon the Fox river of Green bay, at a distance of four leagues from its mouth. ' Here a device of these Indians for catching fish arrested the attention of the missionary. "From one side of the river to the other," he writes, "they made a barricade, planting great stakes, two fathoms from the, water, in such a manner that there is, as it were, a bridge above for the fishes, who by the aid of a little bow-net, easily take sturgeons and all other kinds of fish which this pier stops, although the water does not 1cease to flow between the stakes." When the Jesuit father first obtained, five years previous, a knowledge of this tribe, they were represented as savage above all others, great in numbers, and without any permanent dwelling place. The Foxes were of two stocks: one calling themselves Outagamies or Foxes, whence our English name; the other, Musquakink, or men of red clay, the name now used by the tribe. They lived in early times with their kindred the Sacs east of Detroit, and as some say near the St. Lawrence. They were driven west, and settled at Saginaw, a name derived from the Sacs. Thence they were forced by the Iroquois to Green bay; but were compelled to leave that place and settle on Fox river. Allouez, on the twenty-fourth of April, 167o, arrived at a village of the Foxes, situated on Wolf river, a northern tributary of the Fox. "The nation," he declares, "is renowned for being numerous; they have more than four hundred men bearing arms; the number of women and children is greater, on account of polygamy which exists among them-each man having commonly four wives, some of them six, and others as high as ten." The missionary found that the Foxes had retreated to those parts to escape the persecutions of the Iroquois. Allouez established among these Indians his mission of St. Mark, rejoicing in the fact that in less than 27
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