Gard, Robert Edward / My land, my home, my Wisconsin : the epic story of the Wisconsin farm and farm family from settlement days to the present
[The land, the land, and the people coming], pp. [unnumbered]-18 PDF (11.9 MB)
Breaking home ties. French and English, the first white men who occupied Wisconsin, contributed little to agriculture, but much to exploration and description of the coun- try and relationships with the Indians. From the earliest times of human habitation in Wisconsin, the Fox and Wisconsin rivers constituted the main route between Lake Michigan and the Mis- sissippi River. According to the lore of the Winne- bago, Iroquois, Huron, Menominee, Potawatomi, Sauk, Fox, Chippewa, and Sioux, all used the waterway and crossed between the Fox and the Wisconsin at the Portage. This highway of water became a great meeting ground of the early whites-explorers such as Nicolet, Marquette, and Joliet, fur traders, the military, and settlers. The prehistoric peoples and the later Indians, before contact with whites, had their own kind of agriculture*, It was very primitive, but old Indian corn fields have been identified. Stone implements and arrowheads are still turned up in fields by plows or after a rain; occasionally a knife or a spearhead of copper is found. Some of the older scholars like Henry Schooleraft knew a lot about the routes the ancient Indians traveled and how the copper objects got scattered over this Wis- consin country. On the Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan the white people rediscovered those copper mine pits dug by some mysterious people ages ago. How many thousand years before the white man were the Indians mining copper? Grandfather found a piece of copper shaped like , spearhead in our south field, back in the 1880s. Even then there were collectors around who were searching for the old relics. Grandfather saw an ad in a Milwaukee paper and sold the copper spearhead for seven dollars. After that he kept looking for other pieces but the one was all he ever found. The State Historical So- nut ang augu, ana i saw granalatner-s spearhteat It had several indentations in the flat base that ti might mean the number of large animals, or n spear had killed. Anyway, our farm has been a pa that lore. We have one Indian mound on a flat be, river. It was made in the shape of a big bird. Oi have always wondered who the people were who i When the white settlers came in the 183 1840s, they found no comfort in close asso wtn thneir red brotners, and little by little the dians in southern Wisconsin were crowded out dispersed in forced migrations west and north i Iowa or Minnesota or the Dakotas. Narcisse, the s( of the famous Milwaukee pioneer Solomon June& led an early migration of Winnebago from the Hot con Marsh area to a reservation in Iowa. They di not want to leave, and some drifted back, but t! Wisconsin country of plenty was never theirs agai The Black Hawk War in 1832 was the politica military event that resolved the problem of red ms versus settler in southern Wisconsin. The conflict i self was hardly a war, though a few whites and mol Indians were killed. It was important because it ha tened white settlement. Treaties to gain cession of Indian lands were b ing constantly negotiated. Before 1832, white settl, ment in Wisconsin was mostly limited to son patches along the Lake Michigan shore, along ti Mississippi at Prairie du Chien, and in the soul where some Welsh and Cornish and native Amel cans were mining lead. Miners and such farmers I there were in the region joined Henry Dodge al other military leaders to chase out the Indians. The whole sad story of how Black Hawk led h ragged band out of Illinois and into Wisconsin, fie 2 ( ^ q
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