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staid all night, all tJie next day & night, for the wind blew so that
we could not proceed.

We kept close to the shore of the lake quite into Chicago &
most of the way it is prairie. To the left of us which is south, this

Letters of George B. Smith 405

[is] one vast sea of Prairie, as they say here we were out of site of
land — and withall it is very low, not much above the level of the
Lake — but in the summer when the grass is green & the flowers
are in bloom, it must look beautiful for they tell me that in the
summer tlie prairie is literally covered with beautiful flowers of
many varieties — but now it looks cheerless & gloomy enough &
here I would not stay.

We arrived in this city March 23d & we are stopping at the
American Temperance House kept by C. W. Cook. He formerly
kept the Cleveland House at Cleveland, where I boarded with
him. The weather is still cold & sleighing good the snow is so
deep between here & Wisconsin that we cannot proceed. We
may stay here 3 or 4 weeks — at all events I will write you again
in a few days, when I will tell you about this "far off" City.

Dear J. — Chicago April — 1843

I promised in my last to tell you about this City. There is a
wide expanse of sparsely settled country between us, which on
the whole is capable of maintaining a dense & prosperous popula-
tion, and all around Chicago there is a fine but yet uncultivated
country, and yet Chicago is a city now much larger than Cleve-
land, with a business many fold greater than is done at that
place. It is situated just at the head of Lake Michigan & on
ground that seems scarcely above the lake, and now that spring
begins to unfold its beauties, and Jack frost is leaving for parts
unknown, we begin to feel as well as see that this great city in
embrio is in a mud hole. The name denotes either a mud hole or
sckunks den & I am not certain which. The Indians are remark-
ably cute in giving the right name to anything. Nevertheless it
is a city — a thriving, prosperous busy city — it is just beginning
to recover from the effect of the bubble of 1836 — at which time
the prices of property were perfectly fabulous but the traces of
those days are fast passing away & a healthy & profitable state of
things reigns here instead. The prices of property are not high
for the business advantages and future prospects of the place, for
notwithstanding it is in the mud it must from its very situation be
in time a City of very considerable business & large population.

■t06 Document!^

There are men here, sensible reflecting men who affect to
believe that in a few years it will he one of the great citys of the
Union. They are men who have an abiding faith in the growth
& prosperity of what they call the "Great Northwest." You
never heard much about it nor I either until now, and they regard
Chicago as the Great Commercial Center of the Great \Yest —
perhaps they are right. We shall see.

Father has rented a house on Clark St not far from the main
st of the city which is Water St.* & we shall stay here 3 or 4 weeks
until the roads become settled so that we can jog on to South-
port' Racine Co Wisconsin our place of destination.

I would like to stop here, but Father is not so enclined, and
I must not leave him yet — his health is improving, still he is but
the wreck of a man, & I must not leave him. ]My health has
greatly improved since I left home, but still it is poorly & I am
not more able to apply myself to my profession, & I have fears
that I may never be able to do so, but I will not dwell upon a
subject so painful to me & in no wise interesting to you. I have

written today to E & enclose the same to you please

see that it is delivered. I shall hereafter write directly to E .

I will write again in few days.

Dear J. — Chicago April 1843

We are still here waiting for the snow to go oflf & the roads
to settle, so that we can move on to Wisconsin. The snow is
slowly melting away but the roads are horrid, even the streets of
Chicago are almost impassible. Our jieople are all well but we
are all impatient to leave here & be settled in our future home.

My health I think is improving, and it has been from the day
I left. I now look forward with some ho[)e of being able to per-
form a part in the great world, for a while I feared that my time
was short, then my ambition was correspondingly weak, but now
a light glimmers in the future & hope revives. I pray that it
may not be a delusion.

While waiting here we have but little to do. I have nothing
to do, but read the newspapers. J. Y. Sanger you may remember

* This was South Water Street, then the business center of Chicago.
' -Modern Kenosha.

Letters of George B. Smith 407

him has a hat & cap store here, & he is also interested in business
in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I repair to his store every day to read
the newspapers of that state, several of which he takes. I feel
more interest in these papers, because Wisconsin is to be my
future home, and besides there is a very interesting contest going
on there just now between the Gov. James I). Doty, and the
Legislature. The Legislature & the people all seem to be against
Doty, but Doty seems to be ahead.

The difficulty as I gather it is this — The Legislature met
without being called by the Gov. & he refused to cooperate with
them, because he says that Congress has not made an approjjria-
tion for that purpose. The Legislature undertook to go on with-
out him, & although almost every member is against the Gov.
they make very bad work in their opposition — somehow he con-
trives to head them at every turn. There is great excitement there
& some here about it. I cannot learn enough to decide which is
right, though I can clearly see that the Gov is ahead. All of the
papers that I read are against the Governor & they abuse him
roundly, & I hear that the people are against him too, but I don't
know how that is. There is no party politics in the matter that
I can learn, but it is Doty and anti Doty, & Doty is ahead. I
will keep track of the fight & tell you how it comes out.



I would like to have you give me all the information possible in
regard to the different visits of Abraham Lincoln to Milwaukee. I under-
stand he made one or two speeches in Milwaukee and I would like to
have you give me all the particulars pertaining to them.

W. W. Laxge, Milwaukee

There is a strongly supported tradition that Lincoln went to
Port Washington at a very early day, and planned to settle there.
At that time he must have passed through Milwaukee. See an
article by Julius Olson in Wisconsin Magazine of History, iv,

In 1859 Lincoln spoke at the state fair on September 30. See
same article, and Wis. Hist. Colls, xiv, 13-1-135. TheMilwaukee
Sentinel for Friday, September 30. 1859 announced: "The Pro-
gramme of ToDay At 10 o'clock today Hon. Abra'm Lincoln of
Illinois will deliver the Annual Address before the State Agri-
cultural Society on tlie Fair Grounds. Immediately after the
address the awards of premiums will be announced. " Then were to
follow a hook and ladder company contest and other attractions.
It is stated in the Sentinel that the day was windy and dusty, and
that the crowd was not as large as it would have been but for the
disagreeable weather. The speaker was delayed, and did not
begin his address until nearly noon.

The address is printed in the Sentinel for October 1, 1859. It
is also in Tran.sacfions of tJie Wisconsin Agricultural Society for
1858-59, 287-299. It was in no sense a political address, but was
concerned with the development of agriculture, and a discussion
of the relation of labor to capital and the importance of education
to labor.

So far as we can ascertain, these were Lincoln's only visits to

]VIien Did ihr Use of Bows and Arrows Cease? 409


The finding, this summer, of a flint arrow-head at the north end
of the Dells of the Wisconsin River raised the question of its probable
age. Some of the residents state that a great Indian battle occurred
at the spot where the arrow-head was found, sometime about 1820,
and suggested that it was a relic of that fight; others, however, did not
believe that bows and arrows were used in that part of the country
after about 1800, and thought it antedated that year.

This is a question to which I am wondering whether an authorita-
tive answer can be given. Were not firearms in general use among the
Indians of central Wisconsin after the beginning of the nineteenth

J. M. W. Pkatt, Milwaukee

Wisconsin Indi.ins began to obtain guns from the French as
early as 1670, but they by no means abandoned their primitive
weapons for firearms. Many settlers as late as tJie 1840's testify
to having seen the tribesmen using bows and arrows. The guns
were poor, made for the trade, easily got out of order, and the
Indians themselves could not repair them. Every agency main-
tained a blacksmith, whose chief work was the repairing of Indian
guns. Thus bows and arrows were much used for hunting, and
part of an Indian boy's education was the accurate shooting of
small game with arrows. This answers your question concerning
the modern use of arrow-heads.

We have no tradition of an Indian battle at the Dells in 1820.
The W^isconsin River Indians were in peaceful relations with one
another. The Chippewa occasionally came down the stream, but
its lower waters were Menominee territory and so far as we know
there were no hostilities between these tribes except at a much
earlier period.


I have heard different explanations of the meaning of the name
"Winnebago." Please give me your definition.

Does "Neenah" mean "laughing water," or "running water"?
I have heard that "Minnehaha" means "laughing water."

John P. Shiells, Neenah

The word "Winnebago" was the name of an Indian tribe
whose early habitat was around the lake of that name. The word
really means "filthy" or "ill-smelling." It did not mean that this

410 Tlie Question Box

tribe was more uncleanly than their neighbors, but that they
lived in a land of ill-smelling waters. The Indians used the same
word for the salt water of the sea.

"Neenah" means "water" only, nothing more. That is the
Winnebago term. It is said that an early traveler pointing to
the stream asked an Indian what was its name. The Indian
thought he meant the element water, and said, "Neenah." The
traveler thought it was the Indian name of Fox River.

"Minnehaha" is supposed to mean "laughing water."
"Minne" is the same word in Sioux as "neenah" in Winnebago.


I am preparing a paper on the life of Waubunsie, chief of the Pota-
watomi, and desire all the information I can gain concerning him. We
own property on a creek named for Waubunsie, as he used it as a favor-
ite camping ground while traveling along Fox River, into which the
creek empties. We have built a cottage and fixed up a small park here,
and are making a collection of Indian relics to keep in the cottage, which
we have named Waubunsie Lodge.

Mrs. R. H. Johnston, Osicego, III.

We find the following concerning the career of Chief ^Yau-

His name was spelled in several ways: Waubunsee, Wauban-
sia, Waupan-eh-see, Waubunsie, and so forth. He signed the
treaties of 1826, 1828, and 1829, as well as that of 1814 after the
battle of the Thames, in which he was engaged on the British
side. He was always a friend of the whites; nevertheless he is
said to have urged that his tribe support Black Hawk in 1832,
but was oA^erruled [Wis. Hist. Colls, vii, 419). A letter from a
man named McCarty says (Draper MSS. 9YY69) that he and
his brother founded Aurora in 1836, although they owned the
land as early as 1834. Waubunsee was head chief of the tribe on
Fox River and spent his summers there, removing to the reserve
on Kankakee River in the winter. He ultimately removed to
Kansas, where he died.

McKenney and Hall, History of the Indian Tribes (Phila.,
1855), iii, 31-35, say he was head war chief of the Prairie band
of Potawatomi, residing originally on Kankakee River. Though
a warrior of daring and enterprise, he was cool and sagacious, and

Early Pierce County 411

a bold orator. An anecdote is told of liis feud with the Osages
who had slain one of his friends. He finally met a party of that
tribe near an American fort. The Osages trusted to the protec-
tion of the garrison, but ^Yaubunsee scaled the fort at night,
despatched a sleeping Osage, tore the scalp from his head, and
leaped the wall just as the alarm was given. By sunrise he and
his band were far away. At the treaty of the Wabash in 1826,
near Huntington, Waubunsee was accidentally wounded by a
friend in a drunken frolic. The agent Tipton kept Waubunsee
witJh him until he was cured. In the spring Waubunsee paid a
visit of ceremony to thank the agent for his kindness. The latter
tried to reconcile the cliief with his quondam friend. Waubunsee
said, "You may tell him to come back. A man that will run off
like a dog with his tail down for fear of death is not worth killing.
I will not hurt him."

He was at the treaty of Chicago in 1833, when the tribe sold
all their lands. In 1835 he visited Washington to see his "great
father," the president. He went West about 1836, and was
living in 1838 at Council Bluffs. Later he removed to Kansas.


Our school would like to know a few things about early Pierce
County. What Indian tribes lived here? Were there any trading posts
in the county; if so, where? Who was the first white visitor to this
vicinity? How did Maiden Rock get its name? Any other information
about our early history will be appreciated.

Margaret Henn, Maiden Rock

Pierce County is tlie scene of some of the most interesting
historical events in western Wisconsin. It was the home of the
Sioux tribe of Indians, or more properly the Dakota division of
the great Siouan family. The Dakota were divided into the Sioux
of the Plains, and those of the River. Those who occupied
Pierce County were of the latter division. Their territory was
encroached upon by the Chippewa from Lake Superior, and a
state of war was almost continuous between these two great tribes
until 1837, when the Sioux ceded all their lands on the east hank
of the Mississippi and withdrew, the next year, to the west bank.
The site of Prescott is the traditional site of a great battle between

412 The Question Box

the Sioux and the Chippewa, in which the latter were victorious,
carrying off over three hundred scalps.

The legend of Maiden Rock is very old, and has many forms.
The simplest form is told by Bunnell, in Winona and Its Environs.
A maiden daughter of Wabasha, great chief who lived at Winona,
Minnesota, was named Wee-no-nah, or eldest daughter. She had
a young lover of her tribe, whom she wished to marry, but her
parents desired to give her hand to an older, experienced warrior
who had many Chippewa scalps to his credit. Weenonah
objected and was separated from her young lover. One day, on a
hunting expedition near Lake Pepin, the older lover pressed his
suit. Again refusing, .she bounded away from her friends and
family, rushed to the heiglit of a great rock, and recounting her
sorrows and her undying love for her first lover, threw lierself
over the cliff and perished. We have never heard of any other site
for this legend than the so-called jNIaiden Rock bluff, on the east
bank of Lake Pepin.

The question of early posts in your vicinity is an interesting
and a difficult one. In the Wisconsin Historical Society Pro-
ceedings, 1915, 117-123, you will find this subject di.scussed. Fort
St. Antoine, where Perrot took possession in 1689 of the Sioux
country, i.s thought to have been just below Stockholm in Pepin
County. Fort Beauharnois was built in IT^T opposite ]Maiden
Rock, near Frontenac, Minnesota. If you will get Wis. Hist.
Colls., xvii, 22-28, you will find an interesting description of this
post, and of the celebration with fireworks which terrified the
Indians. Fort St. Pierre was also built in your vicinity; just where
has not been determined. These were all official French forts,
but they were also trading posts. Carver mentions Fort St.
Pierre in his journey of 1766 — the first Englishman in Pierce

The first white men to pass up the river were Father Louis
Hennepin and two French companions, Antoine du Gay and
INIichel x\ccault, in the year 1680. They were taken prisoners by a
band of Sioux. Daniel Duluth came from Lake Superior down
the St. Croix, rescued tliem.and took them east over the Wiscon-
sin-Fox route to Green Bay. If you have Kellogg, Early Narra-
tives of the Northwc-it, j'ou can read Duluth's own account of this

The Uoricon Marsh 413

adventure. After this, French travelers came and went con-
stantly until the downfall of New France after Montcalm's
defeat by Wolfe near Quebec in 1759. Then Engli-sh traders
came in, and occupied this region until after the War of 1812.
Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike in 1805 carried the first United States
flag along the upper Mississippi. In 1819 a post was built at
Fort Snelling, and in 1827 a group of officers at the fort formed
a company to buy the land at the mouth of the St. Croix. This
was Indian land, so they could not obtain it until after the treaty
of 1837.

St. Croix County was organized in 1840, and embraced what
is now Pierce County. In 1849 a town called Elizabeth was laid
off, comprising most of what is now Pierce County. This was
perhaps named for Eliza Shazer, thought to be the first white
child of American parents born in the present Pierce County.
In 1853 Pierce County was erected and named for the president
of the United States, Franklin Pierce. The first school was
opened in 1851.


We are making a study of the Horicon Marsh, and want iuformation
upon the subject. If you have any, would you kindly send it so we may
use it in our high school work?

Adeline Kross, Horicon

This region was at first known as the Winnebago Marsh, and
the town at its southern end was called Hubbard's town, for
Governor Hubbard of Vermont, who had bought the land there.
Governor Hubbard sold the land to Preston and Larrabee, who in

1845 had a dam begun at this place. This dam was completed in

1846 by Martin Rich from Vermont, who suggested the name
Horicon for the slowly rising lake. The dam was originally built
for water-power purposes, but soon the lake was utilized for the
transport of timber to run from Chester down the Rock to Janes-
ville and Rockford. In 1867 a decision of the supreme court
abolished the dam, and Horicon Lake became Horicon Marsh.
Soon the hunting and shooting clubs began to utilize this marsh.
The Diana Shooting Club in 1883 leased ten thousand acres for
twenty-five years. The later history covers an attempt to drain

414 The Question Box

the marsh by the Rock River Valley Company, organized in


Our class in the Milwaukee State Normal School is studying the
geography of Wisconsin, and is desirous of knowing what the Welsh
people brought to Wisconsin. We know that the German people brought
brewing and the sugar-beet industry, but we have been unable to find
what the Welsh people brought.

Ellen C. Williams, Milwaukee

The Welsh in Wisconsin have been for the greater part
farmers, and have contributed by their industry and thrift to
building up the agricultural interests of the state. In some
portions, such as Racine and Waukesha counties, they have con-
tributed to stock breeding and the dairy interests. In the western
part of the state some Welshmen were miners, and others engaged
in the manufacture of shot. See Wis. Hist. Coils., xiii, ."57-360.
Their best contributions to our Wisconsin life have been immate-
rial rather than material. The sober, religious character ofmany
of the Welsh, their devotion to church life, especially their inter-
est in church and other mu.sic, have been of benefit to the higher
life of the state.

A Welsh Musical Union was organized in 1865, according to
an account jiublished March 3, 1869, in the Racine Journal. Each
year the Welsh people held their musical convention, a great fes-
tival in itself. The Union also promoted church music and other
forms. They offered prizes for musical compositions — a most
unusual thing in the early history of the state, as it is still unusual.

The Welsh people, especially the rural folk, lived lives of
great frugality, industry, and self-sacrifice, so that we may per-
haps look upon their church and community singing as their
characteristic form of recreation, and it was a most admirable


I would like to know to what nationality the Stockbridges of Wis-
consin belong, and where they came from. Are they a mixed race of
people? H. C. Keck, Welcome, Minn.

The Stockbritlge Indians originally came from Stockbridge,
Massachusetts, where a mission for Indians was established early

The Story of the Stockbridges 41. '5

in the eighteenth century and a school maintained for the educa-
tion of Indian boys. The tribe tliat formed this mission was a
branch of the Mahican or Mohegan tribe, called by the Dutch
the "River Indians," because they dwelt along the Hudson River.
That portion of the tribe living in the Housatonic Valley was
the part that removed to Stockbridge, where in time they became
known as the Stockbridge Indians. They always called them-
selves Mo-he-con-new, or Mohegan, and when John Metoxen,
their chief, died in Wisconsin, he was spoken of as the "last of
the Mohicans."

In the course of their removals, first to New York after the
American Revolution, then to Wisconsin about 1825, remnants
of other tribes became mingled with the Stockbridges, notably
the Munsee, the Wolf clan of the Delaware tribe. These two
bands came together to Wisconsin, most of them from Stock-
bridge, near Oneida, New York. One portion of the tribe had in
1818 removed to White River, Indiana, among some of the Dela-
ware. Upon arrival there, they found the land had been ceded
to the United States; so after a few years they joined their breth-
ren in Wisconsin. Their first home was at Statcsburgh, now South
Kaukauna, on Fox River. In 1832 they ceded this region for a
reservation on the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago, and founded
there a new Stockbridge. The Brothertown Indians lived with
the Stockbridges at this place. They were kindred tribes, but in
reality the small remnants of southern New England tribes— the
Pequot, Montauk, Narragansett, and so forth, that gathered
at a mission in New York and took the title of Brothertowns.
These Indians have become citizens, and their descendants still
live in Calumet County. The Stockbridges, however, declined
in 1846 the offer of citizenship, and in 1852 ceded their lands in
Calumet County for a reservation near the Menominee in
Shawano County. There they and the Munsee still live; prac-
tically all of them, however, have become citizens and accejited
lands in allotment.

416 The Question Box


Please send me any information you may have on the early history
of Rhinelander and Oneida County.

Miss B. Simmons, Rhinelander

Your community is so new that your local history may be
obtained from persons now living in it. It would be wise to
gather in the reminiscences of the pioneers before it is too late.

Oneida County was organized in 1885 from Lincoln County.
Consult Wisconsin Historical Society Proceedings, 1908, on Oneida
County organization and the changes in its boundary. This
region had been for hundreds of years the home of the Indians,
those of the Chippewa tribe having lived there from the seven-
teenth century. Wis. Hist. Colls, xix, IQ-l, gives an account of a fur
trader among these Indians in 1804. All these traders were
French-Canadians, who came and went and left little trace, yet
they may be called the first white men in Oneida County.

Rhinelander was, like most northern Wisconsin towns, the
child of the railway. The Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western
Railway was organized about 1870; it was foreclosed under a
mortgage in 1875 and bought in by a group of New York capital-
ists headed by Mr. F. W. Rhinelander. Mr. Rhinelander had
great faith in the future possibilities and present resources of
northern Wisconsin. His company began building north. By

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