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Biographical and statistical history of the city of Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., Wisconsin : its early history, progress, and present condition

Oshkosh,   pp. [3]-76 ff. PDF (21.6 MB)

Page 5

Had the voyageures given to the world a
complete diary of every day's trials and
dangers it would be a record of most
thrilling interest. In 1680, this same
party passed through this country re-
turning over the same route to the
lakes. In 1689 another party passed
westward over this route; and thence
onward, for many years this became the
favorite route for all those who from
love ot adventure, or incited by the
lucrative trade with the Indians, sought
to find the great river. The trade in
furs was immense, hut there is no data
at hand to give the amount yearly taken
out of the country. So profitable was
it that many of those engaged in it were
men of great wealth; many of them
reared to luxury and ease, chose to
forego all the comforts of civilization
and spend a life of hardship and ad.
But the great and most beneficial
result of this Fur trade with the Indians,
was the settlement, though not till
after many years,of this western country.
It was to this inviting traffic that the
great west, particularly Wisconsin, to a
large extent, owes its settlement. Thus
passed many years of adventure, of
traffic with the red man, and many stir-
ring scenes, the recital of which can
only be found in traditionary stories, or
the wild legendary tales of the Indian.
The Fox and Wisconsin rivers with
the easy portage of Ft. Winnebago, now
Portage City, was the most convenient
passage to the western country and
hence became the great highway of the
adventurers   of  different  nations.
What is now Winnebago county,
by the beauty of its scenery, salubrity of
climate and its broad and deep rivers,
did not fail to attract the notice of these
early visitors. It was for many years
their favorite resting place, and where
the city of Oshkosh now stands, many
are the French and English traders who
delighted to sojourn for awhile. And
here alliances, offensive and defensive,
were formed, with the savage tribes in
order to facilitate their trading expedi-
tions. It was the focal point of numer-
ous tribes of Indians. They had their
villages in this neighborhood: their
council fires, their talks and their
treaties; their corn huskings, and their
war dances, and for many years these
rivers drew to their banks many power-
fil and often antagonistic tribes. And
thus many difficulties sprung up, in
which the Frenchman was a participants
and in his alliances with the Indian,
had ever a purpose to subserve. in one
of his efforts to push on through the
country of the Sacs and Foxes, these
powerful and war-like nations opposed
him, when he allied himself to a large
band of the Menomonce and Chippewa
Indians and attacked the Sacs and Foxes
at Butte des Morts, where they were
strongly   defended    by    ditches
and three rows of palisades. This was
about the first of the last century. It
was headed by De Lovigny and wad
one of the most sanguinary conflicts of
which we have any record in Indian
warfare. So strongly were they forti-
fied that the French leader deemed it
imprudent to attempt to carry their
works by assault, and so commenced a
regular seige, and not until hie had
blown up some part of their works, and
great slaughter had taken place on both
sides, that the beseiged consented to
surrender; the terms of surrender being
faithfully carried out, and the captives
protected. Here were several hundreds
of the savages slain and buried, the
mounds covering the dead are yet promi-
nent, giving to the spot the name of
"Butte dee Morts," (Hills of the Dead)
Another version which conflicts some-

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