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Iowa, whence they were finally transferred to the Indian Territory, and in 1850 numbered some 1600 souls.
The early traditions of the Winnebagoes fixes their ancient seat on the west shore of Lake Michigan, north of Green Bay. They believed that their ancestors were created by the Great Spirit, on the lands constituting their ancient territory, and that their title to it was a gift from their Creator. The Algonquins named them after the bay on which they lived, Ween-ni-ba-gogs, which subsequently became anglicized in the form of Winnebagoes. They were persons of good stature, manly bearing, had the charcteristic black circular hair of their race, and were generally more uncouth in their habits than the surrounding tribes. Their language was a deep gutteral, difficult to learn, and shows that they belonged to the great Dacotah stock of the West. Anciently, they were divided into clans distinguished by the bird, bear, fish, and other family totems.
How long they resided at Green Bay is not known. Father Allouez states that there was a tradition in his day, that they had been almost destroyed in 1640, by the Illinois. They had also, in this connection, a tradition that their ancestors built a fort, which Irwin and Hamilton, missionaries among them, think might have been identical with the archeological remains of an ancient work found on Rock river. Coming down to the era of authentic history, Carver, in 1766, found them on the Fox river, evidently wandering from their ancient place of habitation, and approach ing southern Wisconsin and the northern part of Illinois and Iowa, where portions of the tribe subsequently settled. The Illinois portion occupied a section of country on Rock river, in the county which bears their name, and the country to the east of it. In Pontiac's war, they, with other lake tribes, hovered about the beleaguered fortress of Detroit, and made the surrounding forests dismal with midnight revelry and war-whoops. English agents, however, succeeded in molifying their resentment, and when the new American power arose, in 1776, they were subsequently arrayed on the side of the British authorities in regard to questions of local jurisdiction at Prairie du Chien, Green Bay and Mackinaw. In the war of 1812, they still remained the allies of England, and assisted in the defeat of Col. Croghan, at Mackinaw; Col. Dudley, at the rapids of the Maumee; and General Winchester, at the river Raisin. In the Winnebago war of 1827, they defiantly placed themselves in antagonism to the authority of the general government, by assaulting a steamboat on the Mississippi, engaged in furnishing supplies to the military post on the St. Peters.
The Kickapoos, in 1763, occupied the country southwest of the southern extremity of Lake Michigan. They subsequently moved southward, and at a more recent date dwelt in portions of the territory on the Mackinaw and Sangamon rivers, and had a village on Kickapoo creek, and at Elkhart Grove. They were more civi. lized, industrious, energetic and cleanly than the neighboring tribes, and it may also be added more implacable in their hatred of the Americans. They were among the first to commence battle, and the last to submit and enter into treaties. Unappeaseable enmity led them into the field against Generals Harmar, St. Clair and Wayne, and first in all the bloody charges at Tippecanoe. They were prominent among the northern nations, which, for more
than a century, waged an exterminating war against the Illinois confederacy. Their last hostile act of this kind was perpetrated in 1805, against some poor Kaskaskia children, whom they found gathering strawberries on the prairie above the town which bears the name of their tribe. Seizing a considerable number of them, they fled to their villages before the enraged Kaskaskias could overtake them and rescue their offspring. During the years 1810 and 1811, in conjunction with the Chippewas, Potawatamies and Ottawas, they comunitted so many thefts and murders on the frontier settlements, that Governor Edwards was compelled to employ military force to suppress them. When removed from Illinois they still retained their old animosities against the Americans, and went to Texas, then a province of Mexico, to get beyond the jurisdiction of the United States. They claimed relationship with the Potawatamies, and perhaps the Sacs and Foxes, and Shaw. nees. The following tradition respecting the origin of this tribe was related in 1812, at the Indian Superintendency at St. Louis, by Louis Rodgers, a Shawnee:
“ It is many years ago since the number of the Shawnees was very great. They were, on an important occasion, encamped together on the prairie. At night one-half of them fell asleep, the others remained awake. The latter abandoned the sleepers before morning, and betook themselves to the course where the sun rises. The others gradually pursued their route in the direction where the sun sets. This was the origin of the two nations, the first of which was called the Shawnees, and the other the Kickapoos. Prior to this separation these nations were considered one, and were blessed with bounties above any blessings which are now enjoyed by any portion of mankind; and they ascribe their pres. ent depressed condition, and the withdrawal of the favor of Providence, to the anger of the Great Spirit at their separation. Among the many tokens of divine favors which they formerly enjoyed was the art of walking on the surface of the ocean, by which they crossed from the East to America without vessels. Also the art of restoring life to the dead, by the use of medical art, continued for the space of six hours. Necromancy and prophecy were with them at their highest state, and were practiced without feigning; and, in fine, such were the gifts of heaven to them that nothing fell short of their inconceivable power to perform. And after the Shawnees have wandered to the remotest West, and returned East to the original place of separation, the world will have finished its career. It is believed by the Shawnees that the consummation of this prophecy is not far distant, because they have, in fulfillment of it, reached the extreme western point, and are now retrograding their steps."
A fragment of the Shawnee nation, in early times, dwelt in the southeastern part of Illinois, in the vicinity of Shawneetown, which bears their name. The nation, bold, roving and adventur
. ous, originally inhabited the Atlantic seaboard, between the Altamaha and James rivers. Becoming embroiled in wars with the Iroquois, to save themselves some took refuge in the Carolinas and Florida. True to their native instincts, in their new location they soon came to blows with the owners of the soil, and about the year 1730 removed to the Sciota, in the present State of Ohio. About 1750, a discontented fraction broke off from the rest of the nation and went to East Tennessee, and thence to their location on the Ohio, at Shawneetown. Here, in common with neighboring tribes, they regarded Illinois as sacred ground, and during Pontiac's war assisted in repelling the attempts of their English enemies to get possession of the country in the present limits of the State. Here, too, both themselves and their brethren on the Sciota, obtained arms from the French, for whose supremacy they deluged the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia with blood. Such had been the atrocity of their conduct, when the war was over they at first supposed they were excluded from the general amnesty extended to other western tribes, and even prepared to murder their prisoners and resume hostilities. After having, a short time before the conquest of Clark, destroyed the Tamaroas in battle, they rejoined their kindred on the Sciota.
The Mascoutins were a tribe holding friendly relations with the Nlinois, and are supposed by some to have constituted a sixth tribe of their confederacy. The name, “Mascoutin,” is synonymous with prairie, and was applied to this tribe from the circumstance of their dwelling on the great grassy plains east of the Mississippi. The first European who mentions them is Father Allouez, who found them, in 1669, on the Wisconsin river. Marquette saw them in 1673, near the portage of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. Marest states that they had formed settlements in 1712 on the Wabash, and in subsequent times they ranged over the prairies between the Wabash and the Illinois. They were also intimately associated with the Foxes and Kickapoos, whom they resembled in deceit and treachery. Charlevoix states that the Mascoutins and the Kickapoos united with the Foxes in a plot of the latter against the French, but were surprised by the Ottawas and Potawatamies and 150 of them cut to pieces. After the cession of the French possessions to the English, Col. Croghan was sent to conciliate the western tribes. Having descended the Ohio to the site of Shawneetown, they, with the Kickapoos, attacked and made him and his men prisoners. Under the name of Meadow Indians they are mentioned by Gen. Clark, whom, in 1778, they endeavored to cut off by treachery. Subsequently they appear to have been absorbed by the Kickapoos and Foxes.
The Piankishaws occupied the lower Wabash country on both sides of that stream, and west into the Illinois territory as far as the dividing ridge between the sources of the streams flowing into the Wabash and those falling into the Kaskaskia. They were one member of the Miami Confederacy. This nation, in early times, resided on Fox river, Wisconsin, where they were visited, in 1670, by Fathers Allouez and Dablon. The latter is lavish in his praise of their chief, stating that he was honored by his subjects as a king, and that his bearing among his guests had all the courtly dignity of a civilized monarch. They were also visited the same year by St. Susson, who was received with the honors of a sham battle and entertained with a grand game of ball. He likewise speaks in glowing terms of the authority of the chief, who was attended night and day by a guard of warriors. The nation shortly afterward removed to the banks of the St. Joseph, and thence found their way to the Wabash and Maumee. They were more largely represented in La Salle's colony, at Fort St. Louis, than any other tribe, and were active participants in the con
spiracy of Pontiac. The confederacy, like that of the Illinois, was reduced to the last extremity by repeated attacks from the Iroquois. But they fill a considerable space in western annals, and gave birth to Little Turtle, who commanded the Indians at St. Clair's defeat. The Piankishaws, after their removal from Ilinois, were transferred to the Indian Territory, and in 1850 were reduced to 107 persons.
The Potawatamies are represented on early French maps as inhabiting the country east of the southern extremity of Lake Michigan. At the mouth of the St. Joseph, falling into this part of the lake, the Jesuits had a missionary station, which, according to Marest, was in a flourishing condition as early as 1712. Here, an immeasured distance from civilization, for more than half a century the devoted missionaries labored for their spiritual wel. fare. These years of toil and self-denial were, however, little appreciated, for in Pontiac's war they proved themselves to be among the most vindictive of his adherents. Disguising their object under the mask of friendship, they approached the small military post located on the same river, and having obtained ingress, in a few minutes butchered the whole of the garrison, except three men.
From this locality a portion of the tribe passed round the southern extremity of the lake, into northeastern Illinois. Time and a change of residence seems not to have modified their ferocious character. Partly as the result of British intrigue, and partly to gratify their thirst for blood, they perpetrated, in 1812, at Chicago, the most atrocious massacre in the annals of the northwest. After their removal from Illinois, they found their way to the Indian Territory, and in 1850 numbered 1,500 souls. The following legend of the tribe gives their theology and origin:
«They believe in two great spirits, Kitchemonedo, the good or benev. olent spirit, and Matchemonedo, the evil spirit. Some have doubts which is the most powerful, but the great part believe that the first is; that he made the world and called all things into being, and that the other ought to be despised. When Kitchemonedo first made the world he peopled it with a class of beings who only looked like men, but they were perverse, ungrateful, wicked dogs, who never raised their eyes from the ground to thank him for anything. Seeing this the Great Spirit plunged them, with the world itself, into a great lake and drowned them. He then withdrew it from the water and made a single man, a very handsome young man, who as he was lonesome, appeared sad. Kitchemonedo took pity on him and sent him a sister to cheer him in his loneliness. After many years the young man had a dream which he told to his sister. Five young men, said he, will come to your lodge door' to-night to visit you. The Great Spirit forbids you to answer or even look up and smile at the first four; but when the fifth comes, you may speak and laugh and show that you are pleased. She acted accordingly. The first of the five strangers that called was Usama, or tobacco, and having been repulsed he fell down and died; the second, Wapako, or a pumpkin, shared the same fate; the third, Eshkossimin, or melon, and the fourth, Kokees, or the bean, met the same fate; but when Tamin or Montamin, which is maize, presented himself, she opened the skin tapestry door of her lodge, laughed very heartily, and gave him a friendly reception. They were immediately married,
and from this union the Indians sprang. Tamin forthwith buried the four unsuccessful suitors, and from their graves there grew tobacco, melons of all sorts, and beans; and in this manner the Great Spirit provided that the race which he had made should have something to offer him as a gift in their feasts and ceremo. nies, and also something to put into their akeeks or kettles, along with their meat."*
Portions of the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes were associated with the Potawatamies in the northeastern part of the present limits of Illinois. They were among the most energetic and powerful nations of the northwest, and fought with great ferocity in most of the wars caused by the westward advance of civilization. In the conspiracy of Pontiac they were the immediate followers of the great war chief, and impelled by his imperious will, at Detroit, Mackinaw and other British posts, they were without rivals in the work of carnage and death. The Sauteaux, a branch of the Chippewas, dwelt on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, and had villages on the sites of Rock Island, Quincy and other adjacent places. They were driven west of the river by the Sacs and Foxes, after which their principal town was Davenport.
All these tribes have now passed beyond the limits of the State. Some long since were exterminated, while the degenerate offspring of others are found in the Indian Territory and other parts of the west. Inflexible as if hewn from a rock, they were unable to adapt themselves to the requirements of civilized life, and could but flee before it or perish. Their fast disappearing graves, and the relics occasionally turned up by the plow, are now the only melancholy vestiges of their former existence in Illinois.
In common with the whole Indian race, their most exalted conception of glory was success in war, and a knowledge of its arts the most valuable attainment. The aged chief looked back to his exploits in battle as the crowning acts of his life, while the growing youth looked forward to the time when he would be able to win distinction by like feats of prowess. Civilization offers to the rotaries of ambition not only the sword but the pen, the forum, the paths of science, the painter's brush and the sculptor's chisel; the savage has only the triumphs of the war path. The war parties of the prairie tribes consisted of volunteers. The leader who attempted to raise one must have previously distinguished himself in order to be successful. He first appealed to the patriotism and courage of the warriors, and was careful to intimate that the Great Spirit had made known to him in dreams the success of his enterprise. Then, painted with vermillion to symbolize blood, he commenced the war dance. This performance expressed in pantomime the varied incidents of a successful campaign. The braves entering upon the war-path, the posting of sentinels to avoid surprise, the advance into the enemy's country, the formation of ambuscades to strike the unwary foe, the strife and carnage of battle, the writhing victim sinking under the blow of the warclub, the retreat of the enemy, the scalping of the slain, the feasting of vultures on the putrid bodies, the triumphant return of the war party to their village and the torturing of prisoners, were all portrayed with the vividness and vehemence of actual" warfare. Warrior after warrior, wishing to volunteer for the expedition, rap