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The Oneidas, in the north-eastern part of the State, the
Brothertowns, residing in Calumet county, and also the
Stockbridges, who once resided in the same county, immi-
grated from the State of New York, having previously pur-
chased their lands from the Menomonees and Winnebagoes,
about the year 1822. They were induced to remove west-

'2:8 AViscoxsix State Histoi{R'al Society.

ward, mainly through the inliuence of the Rev. Kleazer
Williams, who has, siiico that time, claimed to bo the
Dauphin, or lawful heir to the crown of France, and who
had pieviously been a missionary of the Episcopal church
among the Oneidas for some live or six years. As these In-
dians were partially Uhristianiz.;,!, Mv. Williams claimed,
that, by intermingling with the wild men of the West, they
might be the means of converting the latter to the principles
of Christianity. It has, however, been asserted, that there
had been chartered a powerful land company in the State of
New York, whose pre-emption attacheil to the lands occu-
pied by these bands, as soon as they might leave that State;
and that this com})any operated in a quiet way upon ]\lr.
Williams and the agents of the (ieneral (fovernment, to
bring about their removal. They did not, however, all c(;me
to Wisconsin immediately after tlieir new purchase, but im-
migrated at intervals for several successive years. After
coming West, there was quite a lengthy negotiation among
the parties, before they were peacefully and permanently

In the year ISoI), the Brothertovvns sent a petition to Con-
gress, to be recognized as citizens of the United States.
Their request was granted. They, therefore, alolished their
tribal government, and became subject to the laws of the
United States and of Wisconsin. They exercise the elective
franchise, by virtue of our State Constitution, which confers
that right upon " persons of Indian blood, who have once
been declared, by law of Congress, to be citizens of the
United States." In the year 1813, the Stockbridges were,
also, by act of Congress, admitted to the rights of citizen-
ship. They subsequently, however, became divided upon
this subject, and a majority of them returned to their old
form of government. ( )n coming to their now lionies, these
two tribes settled in what has become Calumet county,
though since that time some of the Stockbridges have re-
moved farther to the north. They built comfortable homes,
and erected saw and grist-mills. It is claimed by the Broth-
ertowns, that they built the first steam -boat which ever
plied upon Lake Winnebago, called by them the Alanchester.


Early Wisconsin Explokation and Settlement. ;2?9

In the year IS.'JS, tlie Oiicidas, acting under the advice of
their missionary, Kev. Solomon Davis, resolved to sell a
portion of their lands, for the purpuse of obtaining money
with which U) make some needed improvements on their
domain; and, for this i)ui-pose, sent ]\lr. Davis with some of
their chiefs, to AVashington. A treaty was accordingly
signed, which was ratified by the United States Senate. By
the terms of this treaty, they sold to the United States all
their lands, except a piece situated on Duck Creek near
Green Bay. These Indians have never been declareil b}'
act of Congress, to be citizens of the linited States, and are
not, therefore, entitled to the rights of State citizenshi]).
They maintain their own foi'm of government.

Tlio Indians now residing in the State of Wisconsin, are
the following:

Several bands of the Chippeways, who are a part of the
original and war-like tribe better known as Ojibwas, whose
territory originally extended along the shores of Lakes
Huron, Superior, and the northern shore of Lake Michigan,
and as far west as the ^lississippi river. They number
something over 1,-iUU.

There are about the same number of Menomonees, who
have a reservation mainly in Shawano county, of some
i!;K),0(Ji» acres. A considerable portion of the ]\lenoinonees
have made substantial advancements in civilization, and are
engaged in the pursuits of agriculture. That portion of the
Stockbridges who separated from their brethren in Calumet
county, and whose numbers are now less than 300, are loca-
ted on a reservation near the oMenomonees.

The Oneidas number some l,5uo, and have their reserva-
tion of over 00,0(10 acres, located near Green Bay. They are
also engaged mainly in the cultivation of the soil. There
are also some stray bands of the Winnebagoes and Potto-
watamies, numbering nearly 1,000, who did not remove with
their respective tribes west of the ?tlississippi, or who re-
turned soon after their removal, and who are now scat-
tered through the central and northern portions of the State.
They subsist mainly by cultivating small patches of ground,
and by hunting and fishing.

rij '1

a.P '.:'> ;'•

280 Wisconsin State Histokical Society.

All not admitted to citizenship, excepting: the roving bands,
have their tribal govcraments. Of the ;i')3,0i);) Indians now
inhabiting the States and Territories of the United States,
only about 5,(kX) of them make their homes within the State
of Wisconsin.

When the Europeans tirst landed on the AVestern conti-
nent, the character of the Indian was far different fi'om
what it is at the present time. Tiien he was temperate,
strong, and brave. He walked with majestic mein — -was
proud, bold and independent. Now, we tind him weak,
deceitful, intemperate, and filthy. All the once noble char-
acteristics of liis soul seem to have vanished by contact
with the vices which have followed the train of civilization.
The governmetits then existing among the various tribes,
were patriarchal in character. At a remote period, each
tribe must have been few in numbers, forming no more
than a family or clan. Same one from age, superiority in
wisdom or in war, or because of parental authority, was
designated as chief. As but little progress was made in a
written language, among any of them, wiiat are called the
'• laws " of a tribe, may be considered as nothing more than
customs and practices, which had been handed down by
tradition. These became sacred and binding, like the com-
mon law among civilized nations from long usage. There
were, in some instances, several clans existing among the
same general tribe or nation, whose principal or leader was
also denominated a sachem or chief. Hence we account
for the fact, that several persons in the same tribe bear the
title of " chief." These minor chiefs, however, held only
subordinate positions. Indeed, the leading chief, in time of
peace, was not invested with any extraordinary powers. All
matters of importance had to bo settled by the tribe, in gen-
eral council. When a chief died, his position was claimed,
as a general rule, by his son, or some kinsman, as a heredi-
tary right; but oftener, perhaps, the succession was in tiie
female line. In some instances, when this right fell to one
who was judged unworthy to possess it, the tribe chose their
own chiefs. As instances of this kind; Brant of the Mo-

.!:!(( I, i-'/

Early Wisconsin Exploration and Settlement. 281

hawks, and Tomah of the Menomonees, were pkiced in that
position, for their superior wisdom and valor.

All of the tribes had some kind of religion. They gener-
ally believed in a God, wliom tliuy called the IManitou or
"Great Spirit."' Some of them believed in the existence of
inferior deities. They also entertained some ideas of a fu-
ture state of existence. Their heaven, however, was not
like that of the enlightened Christian, spiritual and- holy;
but it was a repetition of their earthly existence, where
game and all earthly comforts existed in great plenty.
Perhaps the Indians' views and hopes of the future were
never more beautifully expressed than in the oft-repeated
stanzas of Pope's J'Jssaij on Man :

" Lo, the poor Indian, whose untulured mind,
Sees God in clouds, tind hears him in the wind.
His soul, proud science, never taught to stray.
Far us the solar walk, or »nilky way;
Yet, simple nature to liis hope has given,
Behind thu cloud-caj^ped hill, an humbler heaven,
Some safer world, in depth of woods embraced.
Some hai)pier island in tiie watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native laud behold,
No fiends torment, no Christian thirsts for gold-
To be, contents his natural desire —
lie asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire —
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company."

The earliest civilized explorers of the country now known
as Wisconsin, were either immigrants from France, or the
descendants of the French, who had originally settled in
Canada. They did not come among the natives like the
Spanish adventurers, who first explored Mexico and Peru,
as plunderers and murderers. They came rather as breth-
ren, professing to teach the arts of peace, and the way of a
higher life. They were generally of that order of the Cath-
olic church called Jesuits, whose office is the reverse of that
of monks and friars; for while these latter seclude them-
selves from the world, holding little or no intercourse with
it, the Jesuit goes out and mingles with his kind, for the

19-11. C.

282 Wisconsin State ITisroRitAL Society.

purpose of extending the dominion of the Pope, and strength-
ening the churcli lie hokis most dear.

Jean Nicolet was the exploi-er to wliom history aserihes
the honor of hrst visiting tlic^ territojy n(;vv known as AVis-
consin. He had emigrated fi'om France to Canada, as eaily
as the year KilS. Here his associations were mainly Vv'ith
the natives. He learned tlioir languages, studied thoii" man-
ners and customs, ami so far adopted their habits of life,
the better to ingratiate himself into their confidence, that
he almost became an Indian himself, all which well-iitted
him to become a useful intcrpi-eter. lie was honored by
his CfOvernment as its agent in negotiating all the treaties
made in that region with the Indians during tliat early
period. In his intercourse with tho^se who came from the
Far West and South-West, he obtained a faint idea of the
great inland seas and rivers. After establishing the mission
at Sault Ste. Marie, between Lakes Huron and Superior, he
determined on a voyage to the country of which he had
heard; and accordingly passed through the straits of ^lack-
inaw, whence he i)roceeded around the northern and west-
ern shores of Lake jNIichigan, until he entered Green liay.

This was in the year Kiol," only four years after the land-
ing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock. Here Nicolet held
a council with some four or five thousand warriors, who as-
sembled to see the strange white man, who had ventured
upon their far-distant territory. They informed him further
about the great river of the West, and gave him a descrip-
tion of the route thither. He therefore determined ui)on a
yet further voyage of discovery. After leaving Green Bay
he passed uj) the Fox river to the villages of the 3fascou-
tins; but, wearying of his journey, or from some other cause,
he did not reach the AVisconsin, nmcb less desciMided any
portion of it, but returned to (Jreen Bay, and thence to (j)ue-
bec. In the year 1GI>, while on a mission to deliver one of
his countrymen, who had fallen a prisoner into the hands of
the Indians, his canoe was upset in a stream, and he
drowned. Thus perished the noble and adventurous Nicolet,

Wis. Hist Colls., viii, ISS etseq.; Suite's Melanges; ButterHcld's Nicolet.

Eakly Wisconsin Exploration and Settlement. 283

who was the first civilized explorer of the territory which
makes a part of the present State of Wisconsin.

The next similar adventurer upon our soil was Father Me-
nard, a French Catholic missionary, who had heen laboring
to the eastwai-d amon;^ the llurons, for many years, lie
established, in the year lGt;o, a mission on the souihwcstern
shore of Lake Superior, at a place he called La Pointe. lie
was far advanced in life, at this time, and it is staled that
ho soon after perished in the ^Menomonee river, which foi'ms
the north-eastern boumlary of the State.

Claude Allouez was the first of the Jesuit missionaries
who explored exttinsively the shores of Lake ^Michi^an.
lie came to Green Lay in the year IGii'.). The next Spring
he passed up the Fox river, then i)art way down the Wis-
consin, when he also returned to Green Lay. This was some
thirty-five years after Nicolefs aborlive effort to reach the
Wisconsin, and the Great Father of Waters, lie subse-
quently established amission amony the Illinois Indians,
which was at length broken up, and the remainder of his
history is clouded in obscurit3^

On the i;5th of May, 10r;J, Father James IManiuette, a
Jesuit missionary, and Joliet, an enterprising fur-trader, a
resident of (j)uebec, accompanied by five other persons, left
the mission on the St. .Atary's river, in two birch- bark
canoes. They passed up through the straits of Mackinaw,
and coasted around the shores of Lake Michigan, until they
entered Green Lay. They then passed up the Lay until
they came to the Fox river. Journeying up that stream
some distance, they came to an Indian village. Here they
held a consultation with these villagers, and acquainted
them with the objects of their voyage, which were to pass
on to the great river of the West, of which they ha<l heard,
and to prepare the way for the introduction of civili/alion,
and the religion which they professed. They requested that
guides might accompany them a part of the way, which
was readily granted. On the iOth of June, of the same
year, they left this Indian village, in their canoes, with their
two guides, and renewed their journey up the river. After
passing through Lake Winnebago and the upper Fox river,

' -1 :' J • •, ' ■ ■ I :

' •• , I. 1 < ,.:';] >;:i(^(.

284 Wisconsin State Htstorioal Socim^v.

they came to the portage between it and the Wisconsin,
over which they carried their canoes, wlien tlioir Indian
guides returned to their homes. Here these stron<^-liearted
men, nothinj^- daunted by the uncertainties and dangers
wliich hiy before them, hiunched their canoes njjon the
lonely waters ot the Wisconsin. They passed with the cur-
rent down to its entrance into the Mississippi.

One great object of their journey was now accomplished.
They then descended tlie Great lliver to within a few hun-
dred miles of tlieOulfof IMexico, wluMi they concludetl to
retrace tiieir route, and ])addlod up that turbuh^nt stream to
the Illinois, which they ascended, and probably the Des
Plains, crossing over to the Cliicago, and down that water-
course to Lake ]\Iichigan, and thence to Green Bay. Here
Joliet sei)araced from jMarcjuette, and embarked for Canada.
Before reaching Jiis destination, his canoe was upset in a
storm, when he lost all his papers containing a narrative of
his voyage, lie barely escaped witli his life, and subse-
quently dictated from memory a concise account of his
adventures. It is, therefore, mainly to tlie journal of i\lar-
quette, as published in France, that we are indebted fur a
full account of this first great journey through the territory
of Wisconsin, and upon the Mississippi river. This faith-
ful missionary, after preaching to various tribes for some
two years subsequent to liis great voyagu, desired one day
of his companions to be left alone for prayer. And going
from them a short distance, he was soon after found dead.
His remains have until within a few years, supposed to have
been interred near the eastern shore of Lake I\Iichigan, on
the bank of a river which yet bears the name ]\Lar(]Uette;
but it is now (juite apparent* that Marquette died some sev-
enty miles furtlier north, a little below wliat is known as
Sleeping Bear Boint, in Lecdenaw county, ]\Iichigan, in ^May,
1G75; and the next Spring, his remains were removed by a
band of Indians to tlie church at Boint St. Ignace, opposite
the Island of i\[ackinaw. Kesearches made in October, 1877,
were successful in discovering at that place the remains of
the great explorer, and early missionary of the North-West.

In the year JC79, Robert De La Salle, a French Jesuit, who

Early Wisconsin Exploration and Settlement. ;^85

had left his native country in early lite, and sought a home
in New France, built upon the up]>L!r part of the Nia(>ara
river a vessel of some sixty tuns burdens, which he called
the Griffin. It was doubtless the first considerable craft
which sailed upon the Upper Lakes. On the seventh of Au-
gust of that year, the vessL'l was launched, and her (sails
spread to the breeze. Passing up through the great chain
of lakes and rivers, and having erected a trailing houhc at
Mackinaw, we at length tind him casting^anchur at the vil-
lage of Green Bay. Here he opened up a trade with the na-
tives; and having loaded his vessel witli furs and peltries,
he dispatched her, under command of his crew, back to

With La Salle was Louis Hennepin. The spirit of enter-
prise prompted these bold explorers to coast the western
shore of Lake of Michigan, to where'Suuth Bend is now lo-
cated; and passing over the portage of the Kankakee, they
descended that stream and the Illinois to Peoria Lake,
where La Salle erected a fort, and dispatched Hennepin
with a single companion on a voyage of discovery to the
Upper Mississippi. I\leanwhile La Salle re-visited Green Bay,
and then made his adventurous descent of the Misisissippi.
He eventually lost his life in an attempt to reach the Eldo-
rado in ^Mexico, in ^larch, 1(187.

Hennepin was more fortunate. He had continued his
voyage up the ^Mississippi, to tiie great falls, wiiich he
named St. Anthony, by which they have ever since been
known. Here he and his companion were captured by the
Sioux Indians, and detained as i)risoners for a few months.
After their release, they returned to Canada, cia the Tilissis-
sippi, the Wisconsin and the Pox rivers, and tiie lakes.
From the conflicting statements given by him of his jour-
ney, his exaggerated account of the height of the falls of
St. Anthony, which he stated was from liity to sixty feet
and from his efforts to rub La Salle of the laurels he had
won as an explorer, we are led to the conclusion that he was
not possessed of much veracity and integrity as the Jesuit
adventurers generally. However, much honor justly at-

280 Wisconsin State Histokkjal Society.

taches to his name, as an early and intrepid explorer of the
wilds of the West.

Let us now ail vert, very brielly, to the wars which oc-
curred l>etween the English colonists, on the one side, and
the French and Indians on the other. Though these con-
flicts at arms were in the l*]astern portion of our country,
yet as our territory was partly the inciting cause, it is
proper in this connection to make some mention of them.
The English colonists held possession of all the country
along the Atlantic coast, and as far AVest as the Alleghany
mountains. They claimed generally a right, by virtue of
their charters, to all the country west to the i'acific
Ocean. The French had taken possession of the country
along the borders of the St. Lawrence river, and the great
chain of lakes, and had also established various settlements
and trading-posts throughout the ^Mississippi valley, and
they in turn, claimed the country by virtue of their discov-
eries. It was evident from this conflict of claims, that a
clash of arms would ultimately ensue. Frequent wars
broke out across the ocean, between England and !<' ranee,
during the latter part of the 10th century, and much of the
17th. The colonists very naturally took sides with their
respective parent countries, and thus the spirit of war was
kindled in the New World. AVhen the conlli.ct was once
commenced here, the parent countries sided with their
respective colonies, and furnished material aid for carrying
it on. The English colonists, with the aid of the mother
region, were finally victorious:-; and our territory, as well
as all others which had been held by the French in this
region, fell to the English, and the former lost all claims
to the country ever after. The martial spirit awakened,
and the partial union effected for prosecuting these wars,
doubtless had much to do in leading the colonies subse-
quently to declare their independence of the mother country.

A brief reference will now be made to a few of the ear-
liest permanent white settlers of Wisconsin. About the
year 1745, Augustus De Langlade, a native of France, but
who in early life had taken up his abode in Canada, and

Early Wjsconsin Explokation and Settlement. ;.'S7

became an Indian trader, with his son Charies— the first
born by his marriage with an Indian woman. Accompanied
by a few others, the Langki,dots left the settlement which
had been formed at Mackinaw, and elTected a loilgment at
Green Bay. They located upon the south-east side of Fox
river, just above the present site of the city of Green Bay.
Here they constructed homes, and arc generally regarded as
the first permanent whitt; settlers in the country.

Charles Do Langlade took an active part in the war be-
tween the French and Euglish Colonies. I [e marched at
the head of several bands of warriors of various tribes, in
the North-AVest, accompanied by several distinguished
chiefs — among those who joined him on the way was the
noted Pontiac — to aid the French at Fort Du Quesne, now
Pittsburgh. It is claimed that he was one of the piincipal
commanders in the battle which resulted in the defeat and
death of General Praddock. He was also at the battle of
Quebec, in the year 17o;), when the city fell into the posses-
sion of the English; and took part in several other engage-
ments during the French and English wars. When the
country passed into the possession of the British, he en-
gaged in their service, and sided against the Americans in
the war of the lievolution. He lived to an advanced age,
and boasted of having been in ninety-nine battles and skir-
mishes, regretting that he could not fight one moi-e to
round out the number to an even hundred.

From the commencement of the permanent settlement in
Green Bay, in 174."), up to 1 ',S5, a pei'iod of forty years, there
was but little increase in the number of its permanent set-
tlers, as at that time there were not in all more than six or
seven families residing there, which, with the persons in
their employ, amounted in all to about fifty iiulividuals.
From the year 1791, up to the year ISVi, several other set-
tlers, principally from Canada, took up their residence there,
making the number of families, at this latter date, about
thirty, with a population of some two hundred and fifty

Among the inhabitants of Green Bay. at this time, was
the rather notorious Charles Reaume, who subsequently be-

288 Wisconsin State Historical Society.

came known as Jud-e Reaume. This le^ral title was ac-
quired from having been commissioned, in the year 1808, a
justice of the peace, by General llarri.son, then Governor of
the North-West Territory. He was a native of Canada, and
had received in early life more than an ordinary education
for that day. He subs(.'<iuently en-aged in the mercantile
business; but, being unfortunate' in that pursuit, he aban-
doned his early home and friends, and .sought a refuge in
less civilized society. He was a proud, pompous man,^vho
generally managed, by fair means or foul, to live as well as
the country could afford. A red coat, which he wore, to
distinguish himself from the more common citizen, may
now be seen in the cabinet of the State Historical Society at
Madison. A variety of anecdotes are related in the earlier
volumes (jf this Society, of the queer modes of practice in
his court, and of his quaint judicial decisions. He was the
lirst commissioned civil ohicer in Ureen Bay, and in the
country whicii at present makes up the State of Wisconsin.
Though his commission was never renewed, he continued
to act under it, until the organization of Hrovvn county, by
the Territorial Legislature of Michigan, in the year ISJS; a
period of ten or eleven years. His library did not contain
even so much as the statutes of the Territory. It is not
known that he ever kept docket. After the organization of
Brown county, which embraced ab(jut one half of Michigan
Territory west of Lake .ALchigan, Judge Ueaume sold his
possessions near Green liiy, and settled al)out ten miles
above, on the river, where he lived until the >ear l&l-i,
when he died at the age of some sixty live or seventy years.

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