PerraultCurotMalhoitNelson

Click to enlarge (it can only be read when the image is full size).

UPDATE MAY 16, 2014: This map is updated with additional names from John Sayer’s journal in this post.

I’ve been getting lazy, lately, writing all my posts about the 1850s and later.  It’s easy to find sources about that because they are everywhere, and many are being digitized in an archival format.  It takes more work to write a relevant post about the earlier eras of Chequamegon History.  The sources are sparse, scattered, and the ones that are digitized or published have largely been picked over and examined by other researchers.  However, that’s no excuse.  Those earlier periods are certainly as interesting as the mid-19th Century. I needed to just jump in and do a project of some sort.

I’m someone who needs to know the names and personalities involved to truly wrap my head around a history.  I’ve never been comfortable making inferences and generalizations unless I have a good grasp of the specific.  This doesn’t become easy in the Lake Superior country until after the Cass Expedition in 1820.

But what about a generation earlier?

The dawn of the 19th-century was a dynamic time for our region.  The fur trade was booming under the British North West Company.  The Ojibwe were expanding in all directions, especially to west, and many of familiar French surnames that are so common in the area arrived with Canadian and Ojibwe mix-blooded voyageurs.  Admittedly, the pages of the written record around 1800 are filled with violence and alcohol, but that shouldn’t make one lose track of the big picture.  Right or wrong, sustainable or not, this was a time of prosperity for many.  I say this from having read numerous later nostalgic accounts from old chiefs and voyageurs about this golden age.

We can meet some of the bigger characters of this era in the pages of William W. Warren and Henry Schoolcraft.  In them, men like Mamaangazide (Mamongazida “Big Feet”) and Michel Cadotte of La Pointe, Beyazhig (Pay-a-jick “Lone Man) of St. Croix, and Giishkiman (Keeshkemun “Sharpened Stone”) of Lac du Flambeau become titans, covered with glory in trade, war, and influence.  However, there are issues with these accounts.  These two authors, and their informants, are prone toward glorifying their own family members. Considering that Schoolcraft’s (his mother-in law, Ozhaawashkodewike) and Warren’s (Flat Mouth, Buffalo, Madeline and Michel Cadotte Jr., Jean Baptiste Corbin, etc.) informants were alive and well into adulthood by 1800, we need to keep things in perspective.

The nature of Ojibwe leadership wasn’t different enough in that earlier era to allow for a leader with any more coercive power than that of the chiefs in 1850s.  Mamaangazide and his son Waabojiig may have racked up great stories and prestige in hunting and war, but their stature didn’t get them rich, didn’t get them out of performing the same seasonal labors as the other men in the band, and didn’t guarantee any sort of power for their descendants.  In the pages of contemporary sources, the titans of Warren and Schoolcraft are men.

Finally, it should be stated that 1800 is comparatively recent.  Reading the journals and narratives of the Old North West Company can make one feel completely separate from the American colonization of the Chequamegon Region in the 1840s and ’50s.  However, they were written at a time when the Americans had already claimed this area for over a decade.  In fact, the long knife Zebulon Pike reached Leech Lake only a year after Francois Malhoit traded at Lac du Flambeau.

The Project

I decided that if I wanted to get serious about learning about this era, I had to know who the individuals were. The most accessible place to start would be four published fur-trade journals and narratives:  those of Jean Baptiste Perrault (1790s), George Nelson (1802-1804), Michel Curot (1803-1804), and Francois Malhoit (1804-1805).

The reason these journals overlap in time is that these years were the fiercest for competition between the North West Company and the upstart XY Company of Sir Alexander MacKenzie.  Both the NWC traders (such as Perrault and Malhoit) and the XY traders (Nelson and Curot) were expected to keep meticulous records during these years.

I’d looked at some of these journals before and found them to be fairly dry and lacking in big-picture narrative history.  They mostly just chronicle the daily transactions of the fur posts.  However, they do frequently mention individual Ojibwe people by name, something that can be lacking in other primary records.  My hope was that these names could be connected to bands and villages and then be cross-referenced with Warren and Schoolcraft to fill in some of the bigger story. As the project took shape, it took the form of a map with lots of names on it.  I recorded every Ojibwe person by name and located them in the locations where they met the traders, unless they are mentioned specifically as being from a particular village other than where they were trading.

I started with Perrault’s Narrative and tried to record all the names the traders and voyageurs mentioned as well.  As they were mobile and much less identified with particular villages, I decided this wasn’t worth it.  However, because this is Chequamegon History, I thought I should at least record those “Frenchmen” (in quotes because they were British subjects, some were English speakers, and some were mix-bloods who spoke Ojibwe as a first language) who left their names in our part of the world.  So, you’ll see Cadotte, Charette, Corbin, Roy, Dufault (DeFoe), Gauthier (Gokee), Belanger, Godin (Gordon), Connor, Bazinet (Basina), Soulierre, and other familiar names where they were encountered in the journals.  I haven’t tried to establish a complete genealogy for either, but I believe Perrault (Pero) and Malhoit (Mayotte) also have names that are still with us.

For each of the names on the map, I recorded the narrative or journal they appeared in:

JBP=  Jean Baptiste Perrault

GN=  George Nelson

MC=  Michel Curot

FM=  Francois Malhoit

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Red Lake-Pembina area:  By this time, the Ojibwe had started to spread far beyond the Lake Superior forests and into the western prairies.  Perrault speaks of the Pillagers (Leech Lake Band) being absent from their villages because they had gone to hunt buffalo in the west.  Vincent Roy Sr. and his sons later settled at La Pointe, but their family maintained connections in the Canadian borderlands.  Jean Baptiste Cadotte Jr. was the brother of Michel Cadotte (Gichi-Mishen), the famous La Pointe trader.

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Leech Lake and Sandy Lake area:  The names that jump out at me here are La Brechet or Gaa-dawaabide (Broken Tooth), the great Loon-clan chief from Sandy Lake (son of Bayaaswaa mentioned in this post) and Loon’s Foot (Maangozid).  The Maangozid we know as the old speaker and medicine man from Fond du Lac (read this post) was the son of Gaa-dawaabide.  He would have been a teenager or young man at the time Perrault passed through Sandy Lake.

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Fond du Lac and St. Croix: Augustin Belanger and Francois Godin had descendants that settled at La Pointe and Red Cliff.  Jean Baptiste Roy was the father of Vincent Roy Sr.  I don’t know anything about Big Marten and Little Marten of Fond du Lac or Little Wolf of the St. Croix portage, but William Warren writes extensively about the importance of the Marten Clan and Wolf Clan in those respective bands.  Bayezhig (Pay-a-jick) is a celebrated warrior in Warren and Giishkiman (Kishkemun) is credited by Warren with founding the Lac du Flambeau village.  Buffalo of the St. Croix lived into the 1840s. I wrote about his trip to Washington in this post.

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Lac Courte Oreilles and Chippewa River:  Many of the men mentioned at LCO by Perrault are found in Warren.  Little (Petit) Michel Cadotte was a cousin of the La Pointe trader, Big (Gichi/La Grande) Michel Cadotte.  The “Red Devil” appears in Schoolcraft’s account of 1831.  The old, respected Lac du Flambeau chief Giishkiman appears in several villages in these journals.  As the father of Keenestinoquay and father-in-law of Simon Charette, a fur-trade power couple, he traded with Curot and Nelson who worked with Charette in the XY Company.

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La Pointe:  Unfortunately, none of the traders spent much time at La Pointe, but they all mention Michel Cadotte as being there.  The family of Gros Pied (Mamaangizide, “Big Feet”) the father of Waabojiig, opened up his lodge to Perrault when the trader was waylaid by weather.  According to Schoolcraft and Warren, the old war chief had fought for the French on the Plains of Abraham in 1759. 

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Lac du Flambeau:  Malhoit records many of the same names in Lac du Flambeau that Nelson met on the Chippewa River.  Simon Charette claimed much of the trade in this area.  Mozobodo and “Magpie” (White Crow), were his brothers-in-law.  Since I’ve written so much about chiefs named Buffalo, I should point out that there’s an outside chance Le Taureau (presumably another Bizhiki) could be the famous Chief Buffalo of La Pointe.

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L’Anse, Ontonagon, and Lac Vieux Desert:  More Cadottes and Roys, but otherwise I don’t know much about these men.

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At Mackinac and the Soo, Perrault encountered a number of names that either came from “The West,” or would find their way there in later years.  “Cadotte” is probably Jean Baptiste Sr., the father of “Great” Michel Cadotte of La Pointe.

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Malhoit meets Jean Baptiste Corbin at Kaministiquia.  Corbin worked for Michel Cadotte and traded at Lac Courte Oreilles for decades.  He was likely picking up supplies for a return to Wisconsin.  Kaministiquia was the new headquarters of the North West Company which could no longer base itself south of the American line at Grand Portage.

Initial Conclusions 

There are many stories that can be told from the people listed in these maps.  They will have to wait for future posts, because this one only has space to introduce the project.  However, there are two important concepts that need to be mentioned.  Neither are new, but both are critical to understanding these maps:

1)  There is a great potential for misidentifying people.

Any reading of the fur-trade accounts and attempts to connect names across sources needs to consider the following:

  • English names are coming to us from Ojibwe through French.  Names are mistranslated or shortened.
  • Ojibwe names are rendered in French orthography, and are not always transliterated correctly.
  • Many Ojibwe people had more than one name, had nicknames, or were referenced by their father’s names or clan names rather than their individual names.
  • Traders often nicknamed Ojibwe people with French phrases that did not relate to their Ojibwe names.
  • Both Ojibwe and French names were repeated through the generations.  One should not assume a name is always unique to a particular individual.

So, if you see a name you recognize, be careful to verify it’s reall  the person you’re thinking of.  Likewise, if you don’t see a name you’d expect to, don’t assume it isn’t there.

2)  When talking about Ojibwe bands, kinship is more important than physical location.

In the later 1800s, we are used to talking about distinct entities called the “St. Croix Band” or “Lac du Flambeau Band.”  This is a function of the treaties and reservations.  In 1800, those categories are largely meaningless.  A band is group made up of a few interconnected families identified in the sources by the names of their chiefs:  La Grand Razeur’s village, Kishkimun’s Band, etc.  People and bands move across large areas and have kinship ties that may bind them more closely to a band hundreds of miles away than to the one in the next lake over.

I mapped here by physical geography related to trading posts, so the names tend to group up.  However, don’t assume two people are necessarily connected because they’re in the same spot on the map.

On a related note, proximity between villages should always be measured in river miles rather than actual miles.

Going Forward

I have some projects that could spin out of these maps, but for now, I’m going to set them aside.  Please let me know if you see anything here that you think is worth further investigation.

 

Sources:
Curot, Michel. A Wisconsin Fur Trader’s Journal, 1803-1804. Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites. Wisconsin Historical Collections, vol. XX: 396-472, 1911.
Malhoit, Francois V. “A Wisconsin Fur Trader’s Journal, 1804-05.” Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Ed. Reuben Gold Thwaites. Vol. 19. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1910. 163-225. Print.
Nelson, George, Laura L. Peers, and Theresa M. Schenck. My First Years in the Fur Trade: The Journals of 1802-1804. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society, 2002. Print.
Perrault, Jean Baptiste. Narrative of The Travels And Adventures Of A Merchant Voyager In The Savage Territories Of Northern America Leaving Montreal The 28th of May 1783 (to 1820) ed. and Introduction by, John Sharpless Fox. Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections. vol. 37. Lansing: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck, Crawford Co., 1900.
Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe. Information Respecting The History,Condition And Prospects OF The Indian Tribes Of The United States. Illustrated by Capt. S. Eastman. Published by the Authority of Congress. Part III. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & Company, 1953.
Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, and Philip P. Mason. Expedition to Lake Itasca; the Discovery of the Source of the Mississippi. East Lansing: Michigan State UP, 1958. Print.
Warren, William W., and Theresa M. Schenck. History of the Ojibway People. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 2009. Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Official railroad map of Wisconsin, 1900 / prepared under the direction of Graham L. Rice, Railroad Commissioner. Library of Congress.Check out Steamboat Island in the upper right.  According to the old timers, that's the one that washed away.

Official railroad map of Wisconsin, 1900 / prepared under the direction of Graham L. Rice, Railroad Commissioner. (Library of Congress)  Check out Steamboat Island in the upper right. According to the old timers, that’s the one that washed away.

Not long ago, a long-running mystery was solved for me.  Unfortunately, the outcome wasn’t what I was hoping for, but I got to learn a new Ojibwe word and a new English word, so I’ll call it a victory.  Plus, there will be a few people–maybe even a dozen who will be interested in what I found out.

Go Big Red!

First a little background for those who haven’t spent much time in Cornucopia, Herbster, or Port Wing.  The three tiny communities on the south shore have a completely friendly but horribly bitter animosity toward one another.  Sure they go to school together, marry each other, and drive their firetrucks in each others’ parades, but every Cornucopian knows that a Fish Fry is superior to a Smelt Fry, and far superior to a Fish Boil.  In the same way, every Cornucopian remembers that time the little league team beat PW.  Yeah, that’s right.  It was in the tournament too!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, my sympathies lie with Cornucopia, and most of the animosity goes to Port Wing (after all, the Herbster kids played on our team). That’s why I’m upset with the outcome of this story even though I solved a mystery that had been nagging me.

“A bay on the lake shore situated forty miles west of La Pointe…”

This all began several years ago when I read William W. Warren’s History of the Ojibway People for the first time.  Warren, a mix-blood from La Pointe, grew up speaking Ojibwe on the island.  His American father sent him to the East to learn to read and write English, and he used his bilingualism to make a living as an interpreter when he returned to Lake Superior.  His mother was a daughter of Michel and Madeline Cadotte, and he was related to several prominent people throughout Ojibwe country.  His History is really a collection of oral histories obtained in interviews with chiefs and elders in the late 1840s and early 1850s.  He died in 1853 at age 28, and his manuscript sat unpublished for several decades.  Luckily for us, it eventually was, and for all its faults, it remains the most important book about the history of this area.

As I read Warren that first time, one story in particular jumped out at me:

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Warren, William W. History of the Ojibway Nation. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1885. Print.  Pg. 127  Available on Google Books.

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Pg. 128

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Pg. 129 Warren uses the sensational racist language of the day in his description of warfare between the Fox and his Ojibwe relatives.  Like most people, I cringe at lines like “hellish whoops” or “barbarous tortures which a savage could invent.”  For a deeper look at Warren the man, his biases, and motivations, I strongly recommend William W. Warren:  the life, letters, and times of an Ojibwe leader by Theresa Schenck (University of Nebraska Press, 2007)

I recognized the story right away:

Cornucopia, Wisconsin postcard image by Allan Born. In the collections of the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHI Image ID: 84185)

This marker, put up in 1955, is at the beach in Cornucopia.  To see it, go east on the little path by the artesian well. 

It’s clear Warren is the source for the information since it quotes him directly.  However, there is a key difference.  The original does not use the word “Siskiwit” (a word derived from the Ojibwe for the “Fat” subspecies of Lake Trout abundant around Siskiwit Bay) in any way.  It calls the bay Kah-puk-wi-e-kah and says it’s forty miles west of La Pointe.  This made me suspect that perhaps this tragedy took place at one of the bays west of Cornucopia.  Forty miles seemed like it would get you a lot further west of La Pointe than Siskiwit Bay, but then I figured it might be by canoe hugging the shoreline around Point Detour. This would be considerably longer than the 15-20 miles as the crow flies, so I was somewhat satisfied on that point.

Still, Kah-puk-wi-e-kah is not Siskiwit, so I wasn’t certain the issue was resolved.   My Ojibwe skills are limited, so I asked a few people what the word means.  All I could get was that the “Kah” part was likely “Gaa,” a prefix that indicates past tense.  Otherwise, Warren’s irregular spelling and dropped endings made it hard to decipher.

Then, in 2007, GLIFWC released the amazing Gidakiiminaan (Our Earth):  An Anishinaabe Atlas of the 1836, 1837, and 1842 Treaty Ceded Territories.  This atlas gives Ojibwe names and translations for thousands of locations.  On page 8, they have the south shore.  Siskiwit Bay is immediately ruled out as Kah-puk-wi-e-kah, and so is Cranberry River (a direct translation of the Ojibwe Mashkiigiminikaaniwi-ziibi.  However, two other suspects emerge.  Bark Bay (the large bay between Cornucopia and Herbster) is shown as Apakwaani-wiikwedong, and the mouth of the Flagg River (Port Wing) is Gaa-apakwaanikaaning.

On the surface, the Port Wing spelling was closer to Warren’s, but with “Gaa” being a droppable prefix, it wasn’t a big difference.  The atlas uses the root word apakwe to translate both as “the place for getting roofing-bark,” Apakwe in this sense referring to rolls of birch bark covering a wigwam.  For me it was a no-brainer.  Bark Bay is the biggest, most defined bay in the area.  Port Wing’s harbor is really more of a swamp on relatively straight shoreline.  Plus, Bark Bay has the word “bark” right in it.  Bark River goes into Bark Bay which is protected by Bark Point. Bark, bark, bark–roofing bark–Kapukwiekah–done.

Cornucopia had lost its one historical event, but it wasn’t so bad.  Even though Bark Bay is closer to Herbster, it’s really between the two communities.  I was even ready to suggest taking the word “Siskiwit” off the sign and giving it to Herbster.  I mean, at least it wasn’t Port Wing, right?

Over the next few years, it seemed my Bark Bay suspicions were confirmed.  I encountered Joseph Nicollet’s 1843 map of the region:

Nicollet

That’s clearly Bark Bay being fed by the Apakwa River. (Library of Congress)

Then in 2009, Theresa Schenck of the University of Wisconsin-Madison released an annotated second edition of Warren’s History.  Dr. Schenck is a Blackfeet tribal member but is also part Ojibwe from Lac Courte Oreilles.  She is, without doubt, the most knowledgeable and thorough researcher currently working with written records of Ojibwe history.  In her edition of Warren, the story begins on page 83, and she clearly has Kah-puk-wi-e-kah footnoted as Bark Bay–mystery solved!

But maybe not.  Just this past year, Dr. Schenck edited and annotated the first published version of The Ojibwe Journals of Edmund F. Ely 1833-1849.  Ely was a young Protestant missionary working for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in the Ojibwe communities of Sandy Lake, Fond du Lac, and Pokegama on the St. Croix.  He worked under Rev. Sherman Hall of La Pointe, and made several trips to the island from Fond du Lac and the Brule River.  He mentions the places along the way by what they were called in the 1830s and 40s.  At one point he gets lost in the woods northwest of La Pointe, but he finds his way to the Siscoueka sibi (Siskiwit River).  Elsewhere are references to the Sand, Cranberry, Iron, and “Bruley” Rivers, sometimes by their Ojibwe names and sometimes translated.

On almost all of these trips, he mentions passing or stopping at Gaapukuaieka, and to Ely and all those around him, Gaapukuaieka means the mouth of the Flagg River (Port Wing).

There is no doubt after reading Ely.  Gaapukuaieka is a well-known seasonal camp for the Fond du Lac and La Pointe bands and a landmark and stopover on the route between those two important Ojibwe villages.  Bark Bay is ruled out, as it is referred to repeatedly as Wiigwaas Point/Bay, referring to birch bark more generally.  The word apakwe comes up in this book not in reference to bark, but as the word for rushes or cattails that are woven into mats.  Ely even offers “flagg” as the English equivalent for this material.  A quick dictionary search confirmed this meaning.  Gaapukuaieka is Port Wing, and the name of the Flagg River refers to the abundance of cattails and rushes.

My guess is that the good citizens of Cornucopia asked the State Historical Society to put up a historical marker in 1955.  Since no one could think of any history that happened in Cornucopia, they just pulled something from Warren assuming no one would ever check up on it.  Now Cornucopia not just faces losing its only historical event, it faces the double-indignity of losing it to Port Wing.

William Whipple Warren (1825-1853) wrote down the story of Bayaaswaa from the oral history of the chief’s descendents.

So what really happened here?

Because the oral histories in Warren’s book largely lack dates, they can be hard to place in time.  However, there are a few clues for when this tragedy may have happened.  First, we need a little background on the conflict between the “Fox” and Ojibwe.

The Fox are the Meskwaki, a nation the Ojibwe called the Odagaamiig or “people on the other shore.”  Since the 19th-century, they have been known along with the Sauk as the “Sac and Fox.”  Today, they have reservations in Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Warfare between the Chequamegon Ojibwe and the Meskwaki broke out in the second half of the 17th-century.  At that time, the main Meskwaki village was on the Fox River near Green Bay.  However, the Meskwaki frequently made their way up the Wisconsin River to the Ontonagon and other parts of what is now north-central Wisconsin.  This territory included areas like Lac du Flambeau, Mole Lake, and Lac Vieux Desert.  The Ojibwe on the Lake Superior shore also wanted to hunt these lands, and war broke out.  The Dakota Sioux were also involved in this struggle for northern Wisconsin, but there isn’t room for them in this post.

In theory, the Meskwaki and Ojibwe were both part of a huge coalition of nations ruled by New France, and joined in trade and military cooperation against the Five Nations or Iroquois Confederacy.  In reality, the French at distant Quebec had no control over large western nations like the Ojibwe and Meskwaki regardless of what European maps said about a French empire in the Great Lakes.  The Ojibwe and Meskwaki pursued their own politics and their own interests.  In fact, it was the French who ended up being pulled into the Ojibwe war.

What history calls the “Fox Wars” (roughly 1712-1716 and 1728-1733) were a series of  battles between the Meskwaki (and occasionally their Mascouten, Kickapoo, and Sauk relatives) against everyone else in the French alliance.  For the Ojibwe of Chequamegon, this fight started several decades earlier, but history dates the beginning at the point when everyone else got involved.

By the end of it, the Meskwaki were decimated and had to withdraw from northern Wisconsin and seek shelter with the Sauk.  The only thing that kept them from being totally eradicated was the unwillingness of their Indian enemies to continue the fighting (the French, on the other hand, wanted a complete genocide).  The Fox Wars left northern Wisconsin open for Ojibwe expansion–though the Dakota would have something to say about that.

So, where does this story of father and son fit?  Warren, as told by the descendents of the two men, describes this incident as the pivotal event in the mid-18th century Ojibwe expansion outward from Lake Superior.  He claims the war party that avenged the old chief took possession of the former Meskwaki villages, and also established Fond du Lac as a foothold toward the Dakota lands.

According to Warren, the child took his father’s name Bi-aus-wah (Bayaaswaa) and settled at Sandy Lake on the Mississippi.  From Sandy Lake, the Ojibwe systematically took control of all the major Dakota villages in what is now northern Minnesota.  This younger Bayaaswaa was widely regarded as a great and just leader who tried to promote peace and “rules of engagement” to stop the sort of kidnapping and torture that he faced as a child.  Bayaaswaa’s leadership brought prestige to his Loon Clan, and future La Pointe leaders like Andeg-wiiyaas (Crow’s Meat) and Bizhiki (Buffalo), were Loons.

So, how much of this is true, and how much are we relying on Warren for this story?  It’s hard to say.  The younger Bayaaswaa definitely appears in both oral and written sources as an influential Sandy Lake chief.  His son Gaa-dawaabide (aka. Breche or Broken Tooth) became a well-known chief in his own right. Both men are reported to have lived long lives.  Broken Tooth’s son, Maangozid (Loon’s Foot) of Fond du Lac, was one of several grandsons of Bayaaswaa alive in Warren’s time and there’s a good chance he was one of Warren’s informants.

Caw-taa-waa-be-ta, Or The Snagle’d Tooth by James Otto Lewis, 1825 (Wisconsin Historical Society Image ID: WHi-26732) “Broken Tooth” was the son of Bayaaswaa the younger and the grandson of the chief who gave his life.  Lewis was self-taught, and all of his portraits have the same grotesque or cartoonish look that this one does.

Within a few years of Warren’s work, Maangozid described his family history to the German travel writer Johann Kohl. This family history is worth its own post, so I won’t get into too much detail here, but it’s important to mention that Maangozid knew and remembered his grandfather.  Broken Tooth, Maangozid’s father and Younger Bayaaswaa’s son, is thought to have been born in the 1750s.  This all means that it is totally possible that the entire 130-year gap between Warren and the Fox Wars is spanned by the lifetimes of just these three men. This also makes it totally plausible that the younger Bayaaswaa was born in the 1710s or 20s and would have been a child during the Fox Wars.

My guess is that the attack at Gaapukuaieka and the death of the elder Bayaaswaa occurred during the second Fox War, and that the progress of the avenging war party into the disputed territories coincides with the decimation of the Meskwaki as described by the French records.  While I don’t think the entire Ojibwe expansion of the 1700s can be attributed to this event, Ojibwe people in the 1850s, over a century later still regarded it as a highly-significant symbolic moment in their history.

So what’s to be done?

[I was going to do some more Port Wing jokes here, but writing about war, torture, and genocide changes the tone of a post very quickly.]

I would like to see the people of Cornucopia and Port Wing get together with the Sandy Lake, Fond du Lac, and Red Cliff bands and possibly the Meskwaki Nation, to put a memorial in its proper place.  It should be more than a wooden marker.  It needs to recognize not only the historical significance, but also the fact that many people died on that day and in the larger war.  This is a story that should be known in our area, and known accurately.

If Cornucopia still needs a history, we can put up a marker for the time we beat Port Wing in the tournament.

Sources:
Ely, Edmund Franklin, and Theresa M. Schenck. The Ojibwe Journals of Edmund F. Ely, 1833-1849. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2012. Print.
Gidakiiminaan = Our Earth. Odanah, WI: Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, 2007. Print.
Kohl, J. G. Kitchi-Gami: Wanderings round Lake Superior. London: Chapman and Hall, 1860. Print.
Loew, Patty. Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal.
Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society, 2001. Print.
Nichols, John, and Earl Nyholm. A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1995. Print.
Schenck, Theresa M. The Voice of the Crane Echoes Afar: The Sociopolitical Organization of the Lake Superior Ojibwa, 1640-1855. New York: Garland Pub., 1997. Print.
———— William W. Warren: The Life, Letters, and times of an Ojibwe Leader. Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2007. Print.
Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe. Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1853. Print.
Warren, William W., and Edward D. Neill. History of the Ojibway Nation. Minneapolis: Ross & Haines, 1957. Print.
Warren, William W., and Theresa M. Schenck. History of the Ojibway People. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 2009. Print.
White, Richard. The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. Print.
“Wisconsin Historical Images.” Wisconsin Historical Society, n.d. Web. 30 Mar. 2013.
Witgen, Michael J. An Infinity of Nations: How the Native New World Shaped Early North America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2012. Print.