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Biographical and statistical history of the city of Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., Wisconsin : its early history, progress, and present condition
(1867)

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


Page 11


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mine, you are as great as if vou had pulled
theirs also; let us shake hands and be friends.'
Pow-wa-ga-nieu, who was a good fellow at bot-
tom, reciprocated the good feelings of the now
friendly chief, and a lasting friendship sprung
up between them and showed itself in the inter-
change of presents every year, as long as they
both lived.
The war-eagle cap which contributed so much
toward this victory is now in the hands of Pow-
wa-ga-nien's, son, and can be seen any time by
those who doubt the truth of the foregoing.'
MISSIONARY TRIALS.
The following account taken from the
history of the "Jesuit Relations" of the
north-west, is but the history of nearly all
of those traders Missionaries and others
in the early discovery and explorations
of this country. It says 'Father Menard
and eight Fremchmen started from
Three Rivers August 1660, and arsived
at their destination (Green Bay) the
15th of Oct. after inconceivable labors,
bad treatment from their boatmen, in
the highest degree inhuman, and an
extreme scarcity of provisions; so much
so, that the "Father" at last could
hardly sustain himself, being beside of
a feeble constitution, and broken down
with toil. But as one travels very far
after being tired, so had he sufficient
courage to reach the wigwams of his
host. One named "Pike" Chief of the
family, a proud and vicious man, who
had four or five wives, treated the 'Holy
Father' very badly and at last compelled
him to withdraw from his wigwam and
build a hut for himself with pine
branches." He continues "0 God! what
a dwelling place to pass the dreary days
of a rigorous winter, which in this
country is almost insupportable. The
nutriment was scarcely better; often
their only food was a miserable fish
boiled in clear water, to be divided
among four or five; and this they owed
to the charity of the Savages ,bestowed
on one of their number waiting for the
return of their canoes as the poor men-
dicant waits for the distribution of alms
at the church doors. A certain moss
that grows upon the rocks, has often
served them for a good repast. They
put a handful of it into their boiler,
which slightly thickened the water,
forming upon it a kind of scum, or
slime similar to that of snails, and
which seemed to nourish their imagin-
ation rather than their bodies. The
fish bones which they carefully pre-
serve when fish are abundant,also served
to amuse the appetite in times of neces-
sity. There is nothing even to pounded
bones, of which these poor starving
creatures cannot make a profitable use.
-Many species of wood also furnish them
with provisions; the barks of the Oak,
the Birch, the Whitewood, and some
other trees, well dried and pounded,
then put into the water in which the
fish have been boiled, or else mixed
with fish oil, furnishe them with ex-
cellent ragouts. They eat acorns with
great relish but their hunger is never
satisfied.
Thus passed this dreary winter. Du
ring the Spring and Summer they fared
better, as they were able to hunt occas-
ionally. They killed a few ducks and
some other birds, which afforded them
a delicious banquet. Raspberries, and
other small fruit of the kind, were to
them most grateful refreshments.
The second winter setting in unex-
pectedly, the Frenchmen having ob-
served the manner the savages took
their fish, resolved to follow their ex-
ample, judging that hunger was more
dfficult to support than the great hard.
ships and risks of these fishing expedi-
tions. It was a sight worthy of pity to
behold, on these great lakes, (probably
Green Bay) rolling sometimes like the
sea, some of these poor Frenchmen in
canoes, through rain and snow, tossed
here and there, the sport of the winds,
often on their return, they have discov-
ered their hands and feet to be frozen;


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