Menomonie, Wisconsin History/Steelek96

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This project is under construction by ENGL 101_033, 020, and 045 at UW-Stout. Contact user emistuemke for information.

The Dakota-Sioux and Ojibwe tribes(two confederacies of the larger tribes) in the Dunn County area have been at war since the late 1600's(Earliest existing record is 1671.)[1] How this rivalry began is suspected to originally fester when pressure for hunting territory was fierce and caused many wars between tribes.[1] The bloodiest of all these skirmishes was the battle fought in the Chippewa Basin in the year of 1765. 10 years before the Revolutionary War, Captain Jonathon Carver witnessed this battle raging in Chippewa Falls at the Red Cedar otherwise known as the Road of War.[2][3]The last notable war was fought in the fall of 1855. Survivors of this battle told stories of the bloody fight as their chief allowed it.[4] August 19th, 1825, 140 Indian chieftains gathered in Prairie du Chien to establish boundaries of claimed land. This proclamation was final on February 6th, 1826.[3]

The Tribes[edit | edit source]

A picture relating to the Ojibwe Tribe. The Thunderbird is a symbol for the Ojibwe people. The text beneath it is Ojibwe Text. The pinwheel of colors stands for heart(white), mind(black), body(yellow), and spirit(red) surrounding a healthy community(the blank inner circle only slightly visible behind the ThunderBird.)

Ojibwe[edit | edit source]

The name Ojibwe is said to have many different meanings. Though the term "puckered up" come up more often. One of the theories behind this term is for the puckered seams on the traditional moccasins that they wore. Another idea is that they are named after the way they tortured their enemies captured from war. The Ojibwe people burned their victims alive and when the skin "puckered" is how they are believed to get their name.[5]

Dakota Sioux[edit | edit source]

The United Sioux Tribes Flag

The Sioux nation is made up of three divisions: Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota. The term "sioux" isn't actually a tribe name. Though Sioux is an abbreviation of the word Naudouessioux. This translates to means 'enemy'. Some 18th century French fur traders asked the Ojibwe's what kind of people lived to the west and the they said "sioux." Which in the Ojibwe tongue means "enemy." Lakota really means "ally."[6]

Skirmishes/Feuds[edit | edit source]

Battles of the Ojibwe and Dakota-Sioux[edit | edit source]

The pressure for hunting territory began wars among the tribes. This violence was encouraged by the white allies.[7] In 1671 the Sioux tribes were attacked at the head of Lake Superior and were defeated by the Algonquins and Hurons. In 1702 the Fox and Sac tribes were unsatisfied with the Chippewa tribes so they made peace and joined the Sioux. This created a great war that became known as "The Hereditary War between the Sioux and the Chippeways.”[1]

The Ojibwe Indians were constantly at war with those of their own race. Though they never had an issue with the whites around them. But at one time there was a rumor going around that the Ojibwe were going to attack the white residents (this caused a great panic until put to rest of the false claim.)[1] Out of the many bloody feuds that occurred, the bloodiest battle took place in the Chippewa basin. There were many ambushes here along the Chippewa and Red Cedar rivers, otherwise known as the "Road of War."[2]

During Battle at St. Croix Falls in 1770, the Ojibwe defeated the Santee Dakota (Dakota-Sioux) which ended any further important Santee presence in northwestern Wisconsin.[8] The last important battle was fought in the fall of 1855. The stories of this battle were told by the survivors of this bloody battle just south of Prairie Farm.[9]

Tribes of Wisconsin[edit | edit source]

Wisconsin was home to more than 30 American Indian tribes in the history of the United States. No other states come close to that number nor the complications that arose from these tribes. There were at least three linguistic stocks, a parent language and all its derived dialects and languages; Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Siouan. A majority spoke Algonquian. Some of the tribes that spoke this language were the Ojibwe, Kickapoo, Illinois, Munsee, Mahican, Menominee, Laml, Peoria, Mascouten Noquet, Potawatomi, Sauk, Stockbridge, Wyandot, and some sub-divisions. Those which spoke Siouan included the Iowa, Missouri, Ottawa, Dakota, Santee Dakota, Winnebago, which has been known today as the Hochunk. Tribes whom spoke Iroquoian were the Oneida, Seneca, and Huron.[3]

By the mid-1700’s in Wisconsin there were five basic territories of Dunn County. Said territories were maintained by the following tribes; the Chipeway, the Monomonie, the Ottigaumies, the Saukeis, and the Winnebago, also known as the Ho-Chunk tribe.[3]           

One of these territories included the area of the Chippewa and Red Cedar Rivers (Road of War), where many of the battles between the Santee Dakota (Dakota Sioux) and Ojibwe tribes took place. It's been siad there have been numerous battles between the tribes at this location. Over 20 miles of the land between the two rivers was known as the “Road of War." Almost fifty years later in 1825 it was decided by the white advisors that the two tribes should meet to determine the borders of their territories.[3]           

Treaty[edit | edit source]

When/How the Treaty Happened[edit | edit source]

On August 19th, 1825, 140 Indian chieftains representing the; Sioux, Sac, Fox, Menominee, Ioway, Winnebago(Ho-Chunk), and the Anishinaabeg(Ojibwe), the Council of Three Fires of Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi, gathered at Prairie du Chien to establish the boundaries declaring their territory. It was finalized on February 6th, 1826. Because of this treaty white opportunists had the chance to purchase land from the tribes. The need arose for Indian Reservations to preserve the ownership of what was left of the traditional lands.[3]

External Links[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

Chippewa Falls

"Road of War"



Prairie du Chien

St. Croix Falls, 1770

Fox and Sac Tribes



Dunn County



Ho-Chunk Tribe




Indian Reservations

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 History, Tradition, and Adventure in the Chippewa Valley by Bartlett, William
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Odd Indian Boundary Found at Last" by Bartlett, William. Found in the Milwaukee Journal, pg. 37
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Scenes of Yesteryear: 1825 Treaty
  4. "Indians Form Society Here" The Superior Telegram, February 14, 1925
  5. Ojibwe History Indian Country Wisconsin
  6. The Meaning of the word Sioux What's your sign
  7. Ojibwe History pt 2.(.pdf) Minnesota Historical Society
  8. Indians, Europeans, and Americans 1700-1800 (.pdf)
  9. Chippewa Chief..(.pdf) Dunn County News