Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cream City (Amusement) Park, Lyons, Illinois. (1905-1908)

Cream City Park at 7601 W. Ogden Ave, Lyons, Illinois was built in 1905, only 15 miles from Downtown Chicago, on property that was previously the Fred Schultz quarry. The 45 acre site along the Des Plaines River was financed and controlled by wealthy Bohemian businessmen and a group of investors as a competitor to Chicago's White City Amusement Park. Joseph F. Klapka was chosen as the park’s general manager and promoter.
Cream City Amusement Park Entrance.
The park’s name was derived from the fact that all its buildings and towers were painted with a crème tint. Its main feature covering 15 acres was a reproduction of “Old Bohemia” (Czechoslovakia), featuring a Bohemian village with its picturesque streets, shops, modes of transportation, churches, theaters, natives, dancers, acrobats, musicians and mountain backdrop. Its large music hall seated 4,500 people and its dance pavilion held up to 1000 people, where live bands performed on weekends.
Bird's Eye View of Cream City Park.
Its entrance had five Grecian towers nearly 100 feet high flanked by eight massive arches in the center. Beyond was a natural lagoon, beautifully illuminated at night. At the far end along the Des Plaines River were facilities for bathing and boating.

There is little known about the rides and game attractions, but an advertisement in "Amusement Business Billboard Publications: gives some hint. It wasn’t unusual for parks to seek independent concessionaires because only large well financed parks owned all their own rides and concessions. Cream City sported an Old Mill, Merry-Go-round, Roller Coaster, Circular swing, Cave of the Winds, Billiard and Pool Hall, Illusion Shows, Pony Track, Skating Rink, a Ferris Wheel, An Electric Theater, Penny Arcade, Gypsy Camp, Katzenjammer Castle, Photo Gallery, Shooting Gallery and Japanese Tea Garden. 
Cream City survived only a few years, thanks in part to intense competition from White City Amusement Park, and it is believed, the beginnings of sewer work on Ogden Avenue that made reaching the park difficult.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The History of the Mesquakie (Fox) Indian Tribe and the Search for their Fort du Renards (Fort Fox) built in 1730.


In historical writing and analysis, PRESENTISM is the introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. I believe presentism is a form of cultural bias, and it creates a distorted understanding of the subject matter. Reading modern notions of morality into the past is committing the error of presentism. I'm well aware that historical accounts are written by people and can be slanted, so I try my hardest to present articles that are fact based and well researched, without interjecting any of my personal opinions.


This Indian society is known to itself as the Mesquakie or "People of the Red Earth." While there are variant spellings of the name, it is pronounced "Mus-quak-kie." Neighboring Indian tribes referred to them as the “Outagami.” The French more commonly employed the name “Renard,” which in English becomes Fox.
The Mesquakie (Fox) Indian Tribe.
The Mesquakies originally lived in the lower peninsula of Michigan, but in 1656, when the first direct French contact with the Mesquakie is recorded by Father Gabriel Druillettes, they were occupying villages along the Fox and Wolf rivers, near Lake Winnebago, in east-central Wisconsin.

Father Druillettes reports that "The two Frenchmen who have made the journey to those regions say that these people are of a very gentle disposition." At the time of contact there may have been 1000 warriors with a total population of perhaps 2500. The French trader and adventurer Perrot was perhaps the only Frenchman to successfully interact with the Mesquakie. The exploitive and unscrupulous actions and sense of superiority of the French permanently disaffected them from French culture.

Mesquakie hunting parties ranged into northern Illinois, however, and in 1669 Jesuit priests reported that Mesquakie hunters encamped along the Des Plaines River in western Cook County had been mistaken for a Potawatomi tribe and had been attacked by a war party of Iroquois. Although they continued to reside in Wisconsin, by 1700 Mesquakie hunters frequently descended the Fox River Valley to hunt bison on the prairies of northern Illinois. Large numbers of Mesquakies also passed through the Chicagou region in 1710 when part of the tribe temporarily moved to the Detroit region.

In the first half of the eighteenth century the Mesquakie became embroiled in at least three major periods of conflict with the French. From the French perspective the Mesuqakies consistently blocked French economic interests and spread dissention and conflict among the Indians of the region.

A military confrontation between the Mesquakies and French at Detroit in 1712 ushered in a quarter century of Mesquakie-French warfare, and although the Mesquakies returned to Wisconsin in 1712, Mesquakie warriors continued to scour the Chicago region attacking French traders, woodsmen and French-allied Indians. After the defeat of the Mesquakie at Detroit they preyed upon the French and their Indian allies throughout the upper Illinois country for four years.

On December 1, 1715 a Mesquakie war party led by Pemoussa (He Who Walks) attacked a French expedition led by Constant Le Marchand de Lignery and in a series of skirmishes along the lakefront drove the French and their allies back toward Michigan. The warfare between the Mesquakies and French flared intermittently for over a decade, but Mesquakie war parties so disrupted the French fur trade in northern Illinois and Wisconsin that the French sent several additional expeditions against the Mesquakie villages.

During the period from 1719 to 1726 the Mesquakie were again at war with the Illiniwek and, by virtue of this, the French. Their raids extended as far as Fort de Chartres in southern Illinois. In 1726, in spite of a confused response on the part of the French, a formal peace was concluded.

By 1727 the French were again expanding trade with the Sioux and other societies of the upper Mississippi basin. French success in this venture depended on water routes cutting through central Wisconsin and hence the heart of the Mesquakie homeland. The Mesquakie resisted this incursion. The French response during this final period of conflict was attempted genocide. This policy culminated with the Mesquakie defeat on the prairies of east-central Illinois after a twenty three day siege.

The French campaigns achieved some success, and during the summer of 1730 some of the Mesquakies attempted to abandon their villages in Wisconsin and pass through northern Illinois enroute to joining the Senecas in New York. These Mesquakies descended the Fox River Valley just west of Chicago, crossed the Illinois River near Starved Rock, and traveled southeastward across the prairies in early August.

Over the course of several days the Mesquakies built a defensive fort in the middle of a small grove of trees along the bank of the Sangamon River surrounded by nearly two miles of open prairie.The fort was about 150 feet wide and 350 feet long.There were three walls with the Sangamon River side left open. They believed they had ample supplies of food and gunpowder and that the native tribes would not want to engage them in a long siege.

The French and their allies came upon the Mesquakies by the vicinity today’s Village of Arrowsmith, formerly known as "Smith's Grove," in McLean County and not near Starved Rock as many historical accounts claim. The Mesquakies took refuge in their new Fort, and after a 23 day siege, they broke through the French lines but were attacked and defeated by their enemies. They lost two hundred warriors and about three hundred women and children. This was the only battle ever fought in McLean County, Illinois.
Map of Mesquakies Conflict.
McTaggart (1973) relates part of the Mesquakie oral tradition recalling this event. It provides some sense of the Mesquakie people and is recounted here in this spirit:
It was back about the same time that White Robe lived; it happened in 1732 in Illinois when the Mesquakies were surrounded in the forest. We were surrounded on all sides by other Indian tribes and by the French and we couldn't get away.
There were two leaders. And they took the sacred bundle and started leading a song, a sacred song. And they drummed and they sang and they chanted until the other side all fell asleep. 
We had two runners, what you might call messengers. We don't have them any longer. And these two runners took a sacred wolf skin down to the river. And they were supposed to drag it lightly across the river to produce a fog.
But I guess they got overanxious in their duty and they dipped it in the water, dipped it in so that it was all covered up with water. On the top of it: they dunked it in the water. I guess they wanted to be sure that it would work. But instead it produced too much fog - a lot of rain and a lot of moisture in the air.
So while these people were all sleeping, the Mesquakies were to crawl away through this fog. As we were crawling over these sleeping bodies, we were being led by these two men who had taught us how to get away. One man's name was Mamasa: he was the drummer who had helped put the enemy to sleep. And the other man's name, I can't remember. 
But as our people were crawling over the sleeping bodies, the fog was so thick that we couldn't see each other. So in the middle of the line, somebody lost a hand hold and we couldn't see each other, so one group went in one direction and the other group went in the other direction. And the other group got lost from us.
While this narrative does little to pinpoint the location of Mesquakie Fort, it is intriguing in its own right. During this period the Mesquakie were surrounded and heavily out numbered by the French four times. On three of these occasions they were able to employ the weather (a fog, a rainstorm, and a snowstorm) to escape and survive. Moreover, all of the French accounts of the siege remark on the singular nature of the storm that struck on the night September 8, 1730. De Villiers states that it suddenly began an hour before sunset and lasted into the night "...so that, in spite of all I could say to our savages, I was unable to make them guard all the outlets." Reaume's narrative adds that the Mesquakie "...made a large fire... " inside their fort that night and thus forewarned him of their escape plans.

Following additional attacks upon their remaining villages in Wisconsin, in 1732 the Fox refugees established a new, heavily fortified village on Pistakee Lake, northwest of Chicago, astride the modern boundary between Lake and McHenry Counties. In October 1732, led by the war chief Kiala, the Mesquakies successfully defended this village against a large war party of French-allied Indians, but during the following spring they abandoned the village and returned to Wisconsin, where they sought sanctuary among the Sacs at Green Bay.

By 1733 fewer than 100 Mesquakie remained alive.

After 1733 the Mesquakies and Sacs lived together, first in Wisconsin, then in the lower Rock River Valley of northwestern Illinois, and finally in Iowa. A small village of Mesquakies reoccupied the Chicago region during 1741, but one year later they rejoined their kinsmen near Rock Island.

Today, tribespeople from the Mesquakie settlement near Tama, Iowa, form part of the modern Indian community clustered in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.

French Accounts
While several documents which make reference to the siege are available in the published literature, only two may be properly considered primary accounts. One is the official report filed by Lieutenant Nicolas-Antoine Coulon de Villiers, Commandant at the River St. Joseph and commander of the French forces. The other is an unattributed narrative authored by a Fort de Chartres source under the direction of Lieutenant Robert Groston de St. Ange. De Villiers' account is dated September 23, 1730. It was carried to Quebec by his son, Louis Coulon de Villiers, and the interpreter, Jean-Baptiste Reaume. They delivered it to Charles de La Boische de Beauharnois, Governor of New France. The Fort de Chartres version is dated September 9, 1730 and was issued in New Orleans.

In the spring of 1989 a third narrative of the battle was identified in the Archives Nationales in Paris, France. The existence of the document had been suggested in a letter to the Minister of Marine from Giles Hocquart, Intendant of New France. It is dated November 14, 1730. In the missive, Hocquart indicates an "annexed relation" of the siege based upon his interview of Jean-Baptiste Reaume, de Villiers' interpreter. Hocquart even allows that he had "...retained the expressions of the Sieur Reaume which are according to Canadian usage." Hocquart's suggestion that it "...contains some details omitted by Monsieur Devilliers," but is accurate from the perspectives of both history and archaeology.

The document is dated November  7, 1730 and was issued from Quebec. It thus precedes Hocquart's letter by a week. From the first paragraph it is apparent that the informant and central character in the narrative is Jean-Baptiste Reaume, "...interpreter for the savages that dwell along the River St. Joseph." The account was transcribed by D'Auteuil de Monceaux. The document had been filed under a misspelling of his name. Auteuil, in a 1722 letter from Vaudreuil, Governor of New France, is accused of being an immoral consort to the marriage of Jean-Baptiste Reaume's brother, Simon. Both Jean-Baptiste and Simon play major roles in the account.

The three accounts agree in general chronology, offer useful detail on the natural setting of the site and the architecture of the fort, and the strategy and internal politics of the allied forces. In July, the Mesquakie had captured several Cahokias near Fort St. Louis Le Rocher (Starved Rock) on the Illinois River and had burned the son of one of their chiefs. Angered, the Cahokias sent runners to Fort de Chartres seeking support. The Potawatomies, Kickapoos, Mascoutens, and Illiniwek had also been attacked by the Mesquakie.

The Illiniwek had pursued the Mesquakie and found them marching east, in the direction of the Ouiatanons (west-central Indiana). Upon contact the Illiniwek engaged the Mesquakie who took possession of a small grove of trees and therein fortified themselves. (The Reaume narrative is the only one to provide a distance and direction reference to the fort. The interpreter places the site 50 leagues [1 League = 3.45 Miles] southeast of Fort St. Louis Le Rocher.) The next day runners were sent to the Miami post and to the St. Joseph command to report the fort's location and direct their support. The Fort de Chartres account indicates that the allied Indian forces had been awaiting aid for a month prior to the arrival of the French.

By August 10th St. Ange was moving north with 500 men and de Villiers southwest with 300. They joined with the 200 already present at the site. Another group of 400 Ouiatanons and Peanguichias under the command of Simon Reaume (Reaume Narrative) arrived the same day as de Villiers, bringing the total to about 1400 men at arms. St. Ange was the first to arrive (August 17th) with the rest of the forces arriving shortly after on August 20th.

According to the Fort de Chartres narrative the Mesquakie fort was in:
...a small grove of trees surrounded by a palisade situated on a gentle slope rising on the west and north west side on the bank of a small river, in such manner that on the east and south east sides they were exposed to our fire. Their cabins were very small and excavated in the earth like the burrows of the foxes from which they take their name. 
For his part de Villiers offers the following description of the enemy's position:
The Renards' fort was in a small grove of trees, on the bank of a little river running through a vast prairie, more than four leagues in circumference, without a tree, except two groves about 60 arpents {an old French unit of land area equivalent to about 1 acre} from one another.
He also adds that the Mesquakie had ditches on the outside of their fort.

The Reaume account adds little to the description of the natural environment, suggesting only a woods located in a "...prairie as far as the eye could see." However, it provides some interesting detail on the fortification:
The Renards fortified themselves in their woods and the allies in the prairie a half a league from each other. The Renard fort was of stakes a foot apart, crossed at the top, all joined together and filled in with earth between them as high up as the crossing. On the outside a ditch ran around three sides with branches planted to hide it, with pathways of communication for the fort in the ditches and others that ran to the river. Their cabins were complete with joists covered with decking, commonly called straw mats (natter de paille). On top of this there was two to three feet of earth, depending on the cabin. They were covered in ways such that one could see only an earthwork (terrasse) that would cast a shadow in the fort.
The main encampment of St. Ange was to the south of the river. This group positioned three redoubts and attendant trenches so as to command the river and deny the Mesquakie access to water. De Villiers' primary encampment was to the northeast or north of the Mesquakie fort. His forces constructed two cavaliers on the high ground overlooking the fort, as well as an attack trench from which he hoped to set fire to the fort.

During the ensuing siege the allied forces were plagued with internal intrigues, shifting sympathies, and intertribal conflicts. The French alliance was a fragile one. On September 1st, Nicolas des Noyelles arrived with 100 men from the Miami post. On September 7th, 200 of the Illiniwek deserted.

On the eighth of September a terrible storm blew up and as the Fort de Chartres narrative records "...interrupted our work." The night was rainy, foggy, and very cold. The allied Nations refused to man their posts. Seizing this opportunity, the Mesquakie escaped from their fort. However, the crying of the children alerted the French sentries and their flight was discovered. Fearful that in a night engagement their own allies would fire upon them, the French command determined to wait until daybreak before launching their assault. At dawn, some eight leagues from the fort (Reaume narrative), they rushed the exposed Mesquakie. Their ranks were immediately broken and defeated. The Reaume account further states that 500 were killed and 300 captured and that forty of the captured warriors were "burned." The Fort de Chartres narrative adds that not more than 50 or 60 unarmed men escaped.

Maps and Sketches
At least six maps of the siege are known to survive, as well as a plan view of the fort with a number of appended details. The official map of the battle camp (there are two drafts) and the plan of the fort with the appended details are signed by Chaussegros de Lery (respectively titled Blocus du Fort and Plan du Fort des Sauvages). De Lery was the chief military engineer of New France and as such had responsibility for the official documents. De Lery's informants were de Villiers' son, Coulon, and the interpreter, Jean-Baptiste Reaume. These interviews occurred in Quebec when the two reported de Villiers' victory. The documents are variously dated November 10, 11, and 15 of 1730.
Bastioned plan close-up
Digrams of house, parapet, and fosse construction.
The Fort de Chartres narrative is associated with two maps (one a copy of the other) produced in New Orleans. They are titled Carte du Fort and are dated March 26, 1731. The legend indicates that it was based upon the officers reports. Nothing else is known about the production of this document, although it may have been generated by a royal engineer of Louisiana. Engineers doing this type of work at the time include Pierre Baron, Ignace Francois Broutin, and Francois Saucier.

Peyser (1987) has offered an extensive analysis of the two remaining charts. In light of the Reaume account, Fort des Renards and Sauvages Renards Attaques seem circumstantially associated with it. The references in the narrative correspond to those of the maps, placing as they do a singular emphasis on the roles of the Reaume brothers. It should be noted, however, that while the Hocquart communication makes reference to an appended narrative it makes no mention of a map. Neither is signed or dated. Consequently, how these maps found their way to the records of the Minister of Marine remains open.

The present author has previously discussed the enigmatic variation found between these several drawings with regard to the basic geometry of the fort (Stelle 1989). In further addressing this difficulty some new perceptions and possibilities have emerged. The Fort des Renards and the Sauvages Renards Attaques (Map 1 and Map 2 respectively) appear related not only in historical perspective but also with regard to artistic representation.
CLICK MAP 1 FOR A FULL SIZE VIEW. 
Fort Des Renards. Note the generally primitive quality of the drawing and the absence of a north arrow and scale. The present author argues that it was the model upon which Sauvage Renards Attaques was constructed.
CLICK MAP 2 FOR A FULL SIZE VIEW.
Sauvages Renards Attaques. Undated and unsigned, it is attributed to the Reaume Narrative by the present author.
Peyser (1987) views the Fort des Renards as the simpler, less complex document. Expanding on that observation, it could be that it is the original drawing and Sauvages Renards Attaques is an edited, more detailed, and more stylized rendering. In the absence of historical information to the contrary, one might speculate that the original may even have been produced at the site. In any event, it is clearly a model for the Sauvages Renards Attaques. To observe these similarities one must first properly orient the Fort des Renards document by turning it upside down (north is not indicated) and secondly, the Sauvages Renards Attaques must be enlarged by 122% (no scale is indicated on either drawing). By then superimposing the two documents one discovers that (1) the positions of the St. Ange battlements are plotted in the same exact positions relative to the river, (2) the encampments of de Villiers, des Noyelles, and Simon Reaume are in the same exactlocations, (3) the encampment of St. Ange has been shifted up approximately 1/2 inch  to accommodate the space reserved for the key, and (4) the renderings of the fort proper display a fundamental coincidence, one neatly tucked within the other. Additionally, while the author(s) of the documents remain unidentified there is an unmistakable similarity in drawing style, layout, and technique of the key.

In spite of the intriguing linkages suggested in the foregoing discussion, which representation of the fort is correct remains unknown. The methods of historiography fail to provide an answer to this critical issue. The real promise of archaeology for history is that answers to questions of historical speculation are potentially available in the ground and can be determined upon the application of proper archaeological technique. In this case, the validity of the drawings has potential for empirical determination.

Proposed Locations
The same consideration applies to the actual location of the fort. As previously indicated, the poverty of colonial cartography and the absence of useful landmarks on the prairie has left the answer to this question problematic. At least ten tracts are offered in the literature as the site of the fort. Authors have chosen their locations on the basis of their perceptions of the veracity of the historical documents and their interpretation of distance and direction measurements. All of the distance and direction references are generalized and presumably reflect surface rather than statute distances. This ambiguity has left much room for historical speculation.

Of the three narratives, only the newly surfaced Reaume Narrative provides a distance and direction reference. The other two are surprisingly silent with regard to this central fact. Reaume indicates that the Mesquakie were found "...50 leagues (173 miles) southeast of Fort St. Louis Le Rocher."
CLICK MAP FOR FULL SIZE VIEW
CLICK MAP FOR FULL SIZE VIEW
CLICK MAP FOR FULL SIZE VIEW
The three statements that researchers have relied upon are:

(1) the legend of de Lery's Blocus du Fort and Plan du Fort des Sauvages. 

(2) a letter from Hocquart to the French Minister of Marine, dated January 15, 1731. 

(3) a detail in the map Sauvages Renards Attaques. De Lery indicates that the fort was located 50 leagues east southeast of Fort St. Louis Le Rocher.

Hocquart's report states "...in a plain situated between the Wabache and the Illinois rivers, about 60 leagues to the south of the extremity or foot of Lake Michigan, to the east-south-east of Fort St. Louis Le Rocher in the Illinois Country."

Lastly, the detail on the Sauvages Renards Attaques chart indicates that the fort was located on the River of the Renards or the Beiseipe River which flowed into the Mabichi River. The Mabichi, in turn, emptied into the greater Wabash River. The detail further adds that this river system extended to within 40 leagues of Fort St. Louis Le Rocher and was located to the southeast.
De Lery's Map (Translated). The French map shows the fort in the hill and the Sangamon River..
What seems consistent about these descriptions is a location southeast or east southeast of Fort St. Louis Le Rocher some 40 to 50 leagues in a then unmapped region of Illinois. With river systems uncharted at the time and river names unrecognizable today, these referents are of little direct use.

An article in the May 18, 1897 Pantagraph Newspaper confirms the outlines (breastwork) of a fort still existed. The October 9, 1901 Daily Bulletin reports a few miles west of Cheney's Grove and southeast of the Village of Arrowsmith on a small tract of land, not over ten acres evidence was found of an early battlefield.
Brass metal fragments found on battlefield.
Fort du Renards Battle Site after Two Hundred Years.
A group of historians visited the scene of the old battlefield near Fort du Renards breastwork and made a number of excavations. Musket pits were found containing scraps of human bones, ashes, the barrel of a small pistol, bullets and other evidences of the struggle.
An engraved boulder was unveiled Sunday on the Roy Smith farm near the Village of Arrowsmith, Illinois, marking Etnataek, the site of a bloody Indian-French battle in 1730. Etnataek is Algonquin for “where fight, battle or clubbing took place.” William Brigham of Bloomington (above) Historian and former superintendent of schools, definitely established the battle site in the Arrowsmith area after extensive historical study. The French term Etnataek is no longer used by modern historians and archaeologist to describe the site. 1951
This peaceful landscape in eastern McLean County was the scene of a bloody 1730 siege of Fox Indians by the French and their Indian allies. Photo shot in 2007.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Kickapoo and Mesquakie (Fox) Tribes History in the Illinois Country.


In historical writing and analysis, PRESENTISM is the introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past. I believe presentism is a form of cultural bias, and it creates a distorted understanding of the subject matter. Reading modern notions of morality into the past is committing the error of presentism. I'm well aware that historical accounts are written by people and can be slanted, so I try my hardest to present articles that are fact based and well researched, without interjecting any of my personal opinions.


According to the statements of a Kickapoo band now living in Mexico, their name in English translation means "Walking Indian." The Kickapoo are of Algonquian stock and their language is very similar to Sac (Sauk) and Mesquakie (Fox) and but slightly different from Shawnee. Several Miami Indians told one investigator that the Kickapoo were originally a part of the Shawnee group until they separated and then associated, to some degree, with the Miami. Chief Wah-bal-Io, a Fox Indian, related in 1820 that the Kickapoo were related to the Sauk and Fox by language and that the manners and customs of the three nations were alike.
The Mascouten have long been a problem to the historian, anthropologist, and ethnologist because: the early explorers or missionaries misunderstood their name; they frequently lived or associated with other tribes; and they signed no treaties with the United States where a study of their names and language could be made. One Jesuit reported in 1669 that the Mascoutens' name meant "Nation of Fire," but the following year another priest corrected this report and translated the word as meaning "a treeless country." He explained that "mascouten" had been misunderstood and confused with another word which meant fire. Later, a Miami confirmed the second priest's translation and declared that in the Mascouten tongue "m'skoataa" is a prairie while "skoataa" is fire. The Mascouten, said this Miami informant, were a division of the Kickapoo and were known as the "People of the Prairie." But Alanson Skinner, who based his conclusion mostly upon the translation of "mascouten" as fire, insisted that the Mascouten were merely the Prairie Potawatomi since the latter name also meant “Nation of Fire.” Sometime ago, Indiana University completed a study of this problem and report that the language of the Mascouten was understood by the Sauk-Fox-Kickapoo group whereas Potawatomi is much different from these three dialects. Therefore, they conclude, "If the Mascouten were linked with anyone during their known history, they were linked with the Kickapoo.” It was said by the early Jesuits that the Mascouten also understood the Illiniwek tongue probably as a result of their association with the Miami while in Wisconsin. {{NOTE: For simplicity, the Illiniwek Confederacy will be referred to as the "ILLINI."}}

Jean Nicolet referred to the Mascouten in 1634 and located them near what is thought to be the present town of Berlin, Wisconsin, in the Fox River Valley. About 1657 the Jesuits said that the Mascouten were a three days' journey by water from Green Bay, and in 1669 they were placed near the Miami. At this same time, the Kickapoo were living within 4 leagues of the Fox Indians and in the same general area. By 1670 the Jesuits had discovered that the Mascouten and the Miami were living together in a palisaded village which numbered 3,000 persons, of whom 400 were warriors. Thus it can be seen how the Mascouten obtained a working knowledge of the Miami language which is nearly the same as that of the Illini. Probably because of the close connection between the Mascouten and Miami at this time, confusion arose in one instance concerning the identity of a chief named Monso. He came to Lake Peoria in January of 1680 and René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (or: René-Robert de La Salle) said that he was a Miami chief while Father Membre called him a Mascouten chief. La Salle also declared on August 22, 1682, that the Illini had previously forced the Miami north into the country of the Mascouten.

A 1670-1671 Jesuit map showed the Mascouten on the Fox River southwest of Lake Winnebago, and Father Allouez, who was at the Saint Jacques mission in August of 1672, said that there were fifty large lodges (longhouses) of Mascouten, thirty of Kickapoo, and numerous Miami as well as some Illini near his chapel. The following year, Marquette is said to have found the Mascouten, Kickapoo, and Miami at this same location. Near the southern tip of Lake Michigan in 1674 there were eight or nine lodges of Mascouten who were hunting in this area.13 Soon after this time, it would appear that the Mascouten were breaking up into various groups and living with their allies. In 1679 La Salle and Hennepin visited a group of Mascouten, Miami, and Wea near the portage from the St. Joseph to the Kankakee and in the same year there were Mascouten and Fox villages in the vicinity of Lake Winnebago or Green Bay.
Longhouses of many Farming Indian Tribes. Hunters/wariors would used Wigwams when traveling.
Although the Kickapoo were said to be a small nation and living in the neighborhood of the Winnebago, they were migrating down into the Illinois Country to hunt game or enemies in 1680. In October of that year some Kickapoo killed Father Gabriel below the junction of the Illinois and Kankakee rivers, and La Salle discovered during the following month that a party of 200 had camped at the mouth of the Iroquois River. Upon reaching Starved Rock in December, La Salle observed that this same party of Kickapoo had moved into the Illini village (which had been destroyed by the Iroquois in September) and rebuilt the houses after their own manner of construction. Some Mascouten had also moved south in 1680 and were seen near the Chicagou portage and also at the Milwaukee River with a band of Fox. The area along the Chicago River was pointed out two years later as being the country of the Mascouten.
Mascouten Indian Tribe Wigwams.
About the year 1683 the Iroquois made an attack upon the Mascouten who were in the Lake Michigan area and carried off a number of them as prisoners. The remainder of the Mascouten and Kickapoo fled to escape further slaughter although the Fox were induced by the Iroquois to remain where they were. Perhaps this attack marks the beginning of their migration into the Illinois Country since the Franquelin map of 1684 shows the Rock River of Illinois as the "River of the Kickapoo." Minet's map of 1685 also places the Kickapoo here, and Homan's map of 1687 shows the Mascouten to be between the Rock River and the Wisconsin River. Coronelli's map, drawn the following year, indicates that the Mascouten were living south of the Wisconsin River and gives a clue to the identity of this elusive nation. They were, said Coronelli, a group composed of Mascouten, Miami, and Kickapoo.
A portion of the Franquelin map of 1684, in French, showing the Rock River in Illinois as the "River of the Kickapoo."
Henri de Tonti stated that the Kickapoo and Mascouten were 15 leagues inland from the Mississippi River, near the Wisconsin River, and in 1690 there were still some Mascouten on the Chicago River. In 1695, Antoine Laumet de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac (or: Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac - sometimes spelled: Motte) reported that the Kickapoo and Mascouten were west of Lake Michigan's southern tip where they were able to hide from the Iroquois. Father Julien Binneteau said in January of 1699 that the Kickapoo had migrated south near the country of the Illini in order to raise better corn. There were still some Kickapoo living above the Wisconsin River in 1700, but by this time they and the Mascouten had become acquainted with the Michigamea and joined them in war upon the Iowa River. Since the Illini had abandoned their northern lands, the Kickapoo and Mascouten were moving into the vicinity of the Illinois River and its tributaries by 1702. In this year, Pierre LeMoyne, Sieur d'Iberville related that the Kickapoo and Mascouten could muster 450 warriors and they sometimes attacked French canoes on the Mississippi River (the Indians pronounced "Mississippi" River as "Sinnissippi;" meaning "rocky waters") although their main purpose was to catch beaver which they sold at Green Bay or to traders in the Illinois Country. For a time, the Mascouten had a village near the mouth of the Ohio River, but the missionaries could not convert them even though they understood the Ilini language.

It seems reasonable to suppose that the Kickapoo and Mascouten used the Illinois Country more as a hunting area than as a permanent habitat since in 1703 these two tribes still had villages on the Fox River near De Pere, Wisconsin. Two years later they were along the Wisconsin River and numbered approximately 400 braves. Some of these Mascouten seem to have joined the Miami on the Wabash River before 1711 and the following year a group also joined the Fox at Detroit where they and the Fox were nearly all destroyed. There was also a settlement of Kickapoo on the mouth of the Maumee River and thirty Mascouten moved there, probably for defense against the angry French. Soon after 1712 the Kickapoo and Mascouten withdrew to the Illinois Country and again settled upon the Rock River where they continued their war with the Illini.

The White Robe is said to have been the principal chief of the Kickapoo in 1720 and their country, as well as that of the Mascouten, was between the Fox and the Illinois rivers. But on September 15, 1720, two Mascouten chiefs appeared at the St. Joseph River and asked permission to live near the Potawatomi, saying that they could no longer live in peace with the Fox. In May of the following year some Mascouten, together with a group of Kickapoo led by the White Robe, established a village on the St. Joseph. Their hunting grounds seem to have been down the Wabash River although these tribes wandered about from one region to another, as did most of the other neighboring tribes. Pierre Francois Vaudreuil, writing on October 11, 1723, declared that the Mascouten had been incorporated into the Fox tribe, indicating that the former had moved toward the Mississippi River again, and by October of 1728 both the Kickapoo and Mascouten were living just north of the Illini on the Mississippi River. The center of their activities was the Rock River where the Kickapoo chiefs Pechicamengoa and White Robe had established villages. During the year 1728 the Fox killed a few Kickapoo and a rupture occurred between these two tribes, enabling the French to deal severely with the Fox who were now largely without allies. The Kickapoo, greatly enraged, sprung upon the Fox, killed two of their great chiefs (Pemoussa and Chichippa), and made peace with the Illini. It appears that some of the Mascouten had also abandoned the Fox, because by 1729 they were again allies of the Kickapoo and aiding the French, whom they had previously fought against.
Both the Kickapoo and Mascouten were living in the area between the Illinois and Rock rivers in 1730, but during the winter of 1734-1735 at least some of the Kickapoo and Mascouten moved back to the Wabash River and settled within 6 leagues of Ouiatanon (a post which was near the present city of Lafayette, Indiana). However, the Kickapoo and Mascouten did not "harmonize" with the Wea who were settled there. Nevertheless, the newcomers remained near Ouiatanon and the French made an unsuccessful attempt to settle them on the mouth of the Tennessee River as a buffer against the Cherokee in 1736. It is evident that at this time there was a split in the Kickapoo and Mascouten tribes because in 1736 there were eighty Kickapoo braves and sixty Mascouten still on the Fox River - either in Illinois or Wisconsin. But in April of 1741 those Mascouten who had been living in the direction of the Wisconsin River arrived at Ouiatanon and joined the Mascouten chief already there. These new arrivals filled eight lodges and it appears that all the Mascouten were now together, but no mention is made of the other Kickapoo group taking part in this migration.

Although they expressed a desire to leave the Wea and settle in the "meadow of the Maskoutins" in 1742, the Kickapoo remained at Ouiatanon and two years later the French again attempted to settle them on the Ohio River. By 1746 they finally agreed to move to the projected fort on the Ohio River, but no evidence has been found which indicates that they actually moved there. As the French became more interested in these tribes, mention is made of their chiefs and in 1746 several are identified. Among the Mascouten were Le Temps Clair (Unclouded Weather); his brother, Pacanne (Pecan) ; La Noix (Walnut); Le Brave (Brave One); Mirraquoist; and La Mauvais Jambe (Bad Leg). The last two were war chiefs and La Mauvais Jambe was in charge of thirty warriors. Chiefs of the Kickapoo were Deaux Visages Plats (Two Flat Faces) ; Mainbas (Bad Hand) ; and Le Petit Bonheur (Little Good Luck).

Envoys from the Kickapoo and Mascouten visited the French at Montreal on April 24, 1748, but it is not stated where their villages were. Unless they were from the Wisconsin River, their homes were on the Wabash River since it is known that the Kickapoo settlements remained along this river for many years. The Wabash Kickapoo had established a village at Terre Haute, Indiana, but in 1752 the French called them back to Ouiatanon in order to make the Wea jealous and secure their return from the British controlled areas along the Ohio River. Other Kickapoo were allied to the Sauk and Fox who remained on the Wisconsin River and made raids upon the Illini. As a result of the French and Indian War, the British assumed control of Post Ouiatanon and enumerated the Indians living in the surrounding territory. This census disclosed 180 Kickapoo and 90 Mascouten, all of whom were probably braves since the Europeans were mainly interested in the fighting strength of the Indians. Thomas Hutchins found the same number of Kickapoo and Mascouten at Ouiatanon in 1762 and said that his count was only of the warriors, thus confirming the earlier account. Yet all of the Mascouten did not live at Ouiatanon; a village of twenty families was discovered in 1763 up the Kankakee River sixty miles from the confluence of that river with the Des Plaines.

Even though the British were in control of the Wabash Country, the Kickapoo and Mascouten professed friendship for the French, who still retained control of Fort de Chartres in Illinois, and on June 26, 1764, a group of Kickapoo visited the commandant there. At this time the British estimated that the Kickapoo could muster 300 braves; the military authorities made no mention of the Mascouten. They were, however, still united with the Kickapoo and on June 8, 1765 George Croghan was captured by a mixed party of Kickapoo and Mascouten, who were hunting near the mouth of the Wabash River, and taken to Ouiatanon. The following year these tribes were observed living near Vincennes, Indiana, and by 1767 the Kickapoo had made peace with the Kaskaskia, probably because they too favored the French. Both the Kickapoo and Mascouten continued to kill stray Britishers and when Fort de Chartres hoisted the British Union Jack, a Kickapoo war party raided the village itself. Across the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri, the Spanish maintained cordial relations with the Kickapoo and Mascouten who traveled all the way from the Wabash River to receive presents.


At the time of the American Revolution there was a Mascouten village of fourteen lodges at the confluence of the Iroquois and Kankakee rivers; the Kickapoo resided mainly about Post Ouiatanon, but in later years William Henry Harrison (the future 9th U.S. President) recalled that some Kickapoo had moved north at this time to establish a village on the Vermilion River. These tribes sided with the British in the Revolution and remained near Vincennes. The Spanish learned that the Kickapoo had 300 warriors and had for their principal chief a man who had the same name as a previous Mascouten leader, Pacanne (Pecan); within a mile of their village was a Mascouten settlement which could raise 200 warriors and had for their principal chief El Tander. A delegation of Kickapoo, Mascouten, and Wea held a council with the British at Detroit on June 29, 1778, and declared falsely that they never traded with the Spanish at St. Louis. Although no Mascouten chiefs were listed, the Kickapoo war chiefs present at the conference were Egh-kee-too-wa and Miquetto; the village chiefs were Mahinamba and Pi-e-mash-kee-canny. However, when the Kickapoo observed the success of the Americans and received a message from George Rogers Clark - delivered by Captain Leonard Helm - they sued for peace.

After the American Revolution, the Mascouten and Kickapoo seem to have moved farther up the Wabash River and spread out into the Illinois Country. By 1781, reports place them south of Lake Michigan and Tanclel was said to be the principal Mascouten chief, a man who thoroughly hated the Illini. John Armstrong's map of 1790 calls the Desplaines River the "Kickapoo River" and when surveyors moved up the Kaskaskia River to its source, they were attacked by the Kickapoo who resided in the prairies of north-central Illinois. There also was a Kickapoo village, called "Kikapouguoi," on the Wabash River below the Vermilion River where Chief "Les Jambes Croches" (probably La Mauvais Jambe or Bad Leg) resided. Another of their main villages was in the prairie near the northern part of the Sangamon River. When Gen. Anthony Wayne called the Indians to a treaty council at Greenville, Ohio, on August 3, 1795, the Kickapoo were represented, but no location of their villages is given.

By 1800 the Prairie Band of the Kickapoo was living north and east of Springfield, Illinois, and in the area around Bloomington. This group hunted down the rivers and into southern Illinois where they sometimes killed the peaceful Kaskaskia. Since they received no annuity payments, these Kickapoo stole horses without fear because they had nothing to lose. As a result, these several hundred Kickapoo committed many depredations against the white settlers living in Illinois. Because there had been difficulty in defining and determining the boundaries of the land purchased from the Indians in 1795, several of the Wabash tribes were called to a council at Fort Wayne on June 7, 1803. The Kickapoo were represented by Nah-mah-to-hah (Standing) and Pas-she-we-hah (Cat) and after the Indians had talked the matter over among themselves, another council and treaty resulted on August 7 whereby the Indians agreed to a land cession in Illinois as well as Indiana and granted the government the right to erect stations along the road  [now known as the Buffalo Trace] from Vincennes to Kaskaskia. At this second meeting, the Kickapoo were represented by the Eel River Miami.

A second large group of Kickapoo lived on the Vermilion River and were called the Vermilion Band. Although they generally kept to themselves, Michael Brouillette obtained a license to trade with them in 1804. Chief Pemwatome (The Swan that Cries) was an influential leader of these Kickapoo. Other little bands seem to have moved west to the Illinois River, and Zebulon Montgomery Pike (Pike was an American brigadier general and explorer for whom Pikes Peak in Colorado was renamed) announced in 1805 that some Kickapoo had a summer village on the little peninsula that was formed by the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. This western movement of the Kickapoo alarmed the officials and an attempt was made in 1807 to remove them to the Wabash River. Yet on December 9, 1809, the United States persuaded the Kickapoo to cede even these lands along the Vermilion River from Danville eastward. Their chiefs and principal braves who agreed to this cession were Joe Renard, Nemahson (Man on His Feet), Knoshania (Otter), Wakoah (Fox Hair), Nonoah (Child at the Breast), and Moquiah (Bear Skin).

As the war clouds gathered just prior to the War of 1812, the Kickapoo became restless and carried out raids into southern Illinois. Part of the tribe traveled east to join the Shawnee Prophet's band on the Wabash River, but many remained along the Sangamon River as late as November of 1810. Those who had joined the Prophet fought against the forces of Gen. Harrison on November 7, 1811 and Mengoatowa, a Kickapoo, served as one of the war chiefs. Harrison estimated that half of the total Kickapoo strength had aided the Prophet. Soon after this important battle of Tippecanoe the Kickapoo moved their villages from the Sangamon River to Lake Peoria where Pemwatome established his band of 100 braves in a village twenty-four miles north of Peoria. Little Deer's group of seventy settled across the lake from Gomo's Potawatomi village, and the third band of Kickapoo - without a chief - took up quarters on the Mackinaw River with some Potawatomi, Chippewa, and Ottawa making a little village of sixty braves. The rest of the Kickapoo remained with the Shawnee Prophet. In an effort to prevent further hostilities, Governor Ninan Edwards [Edwards was Governor of the Illinois Territory from 1809 to 1818] held a council with the Kickapoo and others at Cahokia on April 16, 1812, but that autumn the Kickapoo raided Peoria. Pemwatome explained the action of the Kickapoo by saying that the whites had killed one of their chiefs who was hunting near the Kaskaskia River.
Major Thomas Forsyth, Indian Agent, who was living at Peoria, informed Gen. Benjamin Howard in September of 1812 that the Kickapoo who had formerly lived near Portage des Sioux, Missouri, were planning an attack upon the frontier settlements. Without waiting for this to happen, the Americans marched north to the Kickapoo towns on Lake Peoria and burned them, causing the Kickapoo and Miami to seek protection among the Sauk on Rock River. Just a month or so later, troops also marched north into the stronghold of the Shawnee Prophet in Indiana and not only destroyed his town but also that of the Wabash Kickapoo; the latter numbered 160 houses and was located nearby. Those Kickapoo who joined the Sauk remained with them until the spring of 1813 and then established their own village six miles up the Iroquois River from the Kankakee. There were 200 warriors in this settlement and Thomas Forsyth speculated that the other group of Kickapoo living with the Shawnee Prophet might join them. Little Deer was the most influential Kickapoo chief and fought stubbornly against the Americans, but Pemwatome engaged in the war against his wishes and better judgment.

Although the Mascouten are mentioned in 1812 as a separate tribe, there are no further reports about this little-known tribe and one observer declared to Thomas Jefferson in 1813 that they had been absorbed into the Kickapoo nation. Other scholars have agreed with this explanation, but more research among the surviving Kickapoo groups must be done before a definite answer can be given.

After the War of 1812, the Kickapoo were said to have 400 braves, but they were widely separated as a result of several American attacks which killed eighty of their warriors. Gomo, the Potawatomi chief declared to Thomas Forsyth at Peoria that the Kickapoo had asked to camp with him on Lake Peoria, but they dispersed instead to different sections of the country. Some had gone to live with the Sauk on Rock River where the British were distributing free gunpowder. Among this group was Pemwatome's band who had established a village on the Illinois River portion of the Pecatonica River. Little Deer was also encamped somewhere in Illinois although his location is not known; perhaps it was his group of 200 braves who were living on the Vermilion River. In the fall of 1814 some of the Kickapoo assembled at the mouth of Rock River and then established their winter hunting village on the Iowa River with a band of Fox. Another village of Kickapoo took up their winter quarters on the Kankakee with Neshkagenaymain (Bad Sturgeon), a Potawatomi chief.

When the Kickapoo of the Rock River area learned that the war was terminated with Great Britain, they informed the Americans that their party would leave the Rock and return to their villages in central Illinois. One of these villages was on Kickapoo Creek, near Lincoln, and the Old Kickapoo Town was near the headwaters of the Sangamon River. Those Kickapoo who had joined the Potawatomi on the Vermilion River remained there in 1815, and Ninan Edwards confidently informed the secretary of war that all of the Kickapoo were in Illinois. Yet many of the Kickapoo who had fought with the British were still living in Canada as late as October of 1815. However, two groups did return to their former haunts the following month. One band settled on the Embarrass River and the other on the Sangamon River, but in 1816 there were still 161 Kickapoo in Canada: forty-three men, sixty-seven women, and fifty-one children. Another little group of Kickapoo were along the Illinois River with the Potawatomi in 1816, and there were several lodges near Skunk River, Iowa in addition to twenty lodges of Pemwatome's band who were living on the banks of the Mississippi River. Altogether, the Kickapoo nation consisted of 1600 persons of whom 440 belonged to the Vermilion Band.

On June 4, 1816, Kickapoo chiefs and braves gathered at Fort Harrison in Indiana to confirm the land cession of 1809. Representing the Kickapoo were Sheshepah (Little Duck); Kaanehkaka (Drunkard's Son); Skekonah (Stone); Mahquah or Moquiah (Bear); Penashee (Little Turkey) ; Mehtahkokeah (Big Tree) ; Keetahtey (Little Otter) ; Nepiseeah (Blackberry); Pehsquonatah (Blackberry Flower); and Tecumthena (Track in Prairie). Although it is not stated where the Kickapoo resided, those who signed the treaty were certainly from the Vermilion River. Later that year a delegation of the Kickapoo band who were living among the Potawatomi went to St. Louis, Missouri, where they witnessed "The Council of Three Fires" land cession on August 24. The Kickapoo chiefs who signed this treaty were Katasa, Tapema, Sakappee, Kenapoeso, Pawanaqua, Ancowa, Mackkattaoushick, and Shaquabee.

Since the Kickapoo continued to hunt through the lands along the Sangamon River, Gov. Edwards was determined to remove them at once. He claimed that these Kickapoo had occupied this section of Illinois only since about 1800 and had formerly lived on the Wabash River until smallpox forced them to leave these villages. After much effort, the Indian agents finally persuaded the Prairie Band of Kickapoo to come down to Edwardsville, on July 30, 1819, where they ceded their holdings to all of central Illinois as far west as the Illinois River. In return, the Kickapoo received a grant of land upon the Osage River and promised to go there immediately. Among the signers was Pemwatome, the celebrated chief. One month later the Vermilion Band of Kickapoo agreed to this same land cession and also agreed to leave Illinois immediately, but much trouble took place and some time passed before the Kickapoo were finally removed. When an attempt was made to gather them together for the long journey west, only Waw-pee-ko-ny-a (Blue Eyes) could be found - the remainder were hiding. Pemwatome (The Swan that Cries) and Pacanne (Pecan) quickly moved north, with about 200 of their followers, and established a village near the mouth of Rock River. Major Marston observed this group near Rock Island in November of 1820 and declared that Pemwatome was an old man while Pacanne was about forty years of age.

Many of the Kickapoo refused to leave Illinois in 1820, but between the years 1821 and 1822 some of them did cross the Mississippi River. Among those who remained was Little Duck who had his permanent village on the Wabash River one mile above the mouth of Pine Creek. His braves caused the Illinois settlers trouble as late as October of 1823. There was also a band of Kickapoo living near the Rock River and the Sauk allowed them to hunt on the Iowa River. The Potawatomi had also formed an alliance with the remaining Illinois Kickapoo who, it was said, numbered 600 persons. Charles Christopher Trowbridge, an explorer, learned in 1823-1824 that there were still Kickapoo living between Terre Haute and the Illinois River. These villages contained approximately 400 persons and in 1823-1824 the Kickapoo of the Wabash Valley wintered on the Kaskaskia, but during the next two years some of them moved west to Missouri.54 A few Kickapoo were still living within the boundaries of Illinois in 1824: a group on the headwaters of the Little Wabash River and another on the Vermilion River. Of the latter group, Wagoa and Oquid were the chiefs.

Thomas Forsyth learned in May of 1825 that there was a Kickapoo village thirty or forty miles south of Rock Island and other informants reported that Macena's band was on the north fork of the Sangamon River, Pemwatome's on the Embarrass, and Little Thunder's and Kanakuk's (The Kickapoo Prophet) on the Mackinaw River. From 1825 to 1827 about 25 lodges of Kickapoo moved to Missouri and one group of thirty drew attention when it arrived at St. Louis on June 29, 1826. The destination of this party was the James Fork of the White River. On June 6, 1827, the Black Buffalo led his little family across the Mississippi River and headed for the Osage River reservation, but other small groups of Kickapoo remained in Illinois. The village on the Mississippi River below Rock River was still occupied in 1827 and Macena clung tenaciously to his hunting grounds on the Sangamon River. It was said in November of 1827 that fifty lodges were still in Illinois, but in the spring of 1828 several small parties of Kickapoo left their villages and moved west. Even Wagoa had gone to the White River by the year 1828. Of the prominent chiefs, only Kanakuk (The Kickapoo Prophet) remained at his village on the Mackinaw and he promised William Clark on May 25, 1828, that he would move out of Illinois by May of the following year. His little village numbered approximately 200 souls.

Those Kickapoo who resided near the Sauk of Rock River agreed with Black Hawk in 1829 and spoke against the white settlers. One Kickapoo band from the Mackinaw River migrated to the Rock River in May of 1830 and joined their friends there. This village of 100 warriors and twenty long-houses was just south of the Rock River's mouth. In October of that same year the Vermilion Band was encamped near Chicago on their winter hunt. This was certainly the village ruled by Kanakuk. William Clark ordered this chief to leave the state in 1831, but Kanakuk replied to the messenger, Augustus Kennerly, on August 4 that "God has not told me to go on the other side of the Mississippi River; but to stay here and mind my Religion." Clark had told him to move out by October 1st at which time the corn and pumpkins would be harvested at his village on the Vermilion River. The other band of Kickapoo - who were living along the Mississippi - followed the Sauk into Iowa in the fall of 1831 for their winter hunt.

In the spring of 1832 some of the Kickapoo returned to Illinois from hunting lands west of the Mississippi River, and in April there were 100 lodges of Kickapoo and Sauk encamped at the point where the Lewistown road crossed the Rock River (near Prophetstown). Citizens of Pekin reported in May that there were 380 warriors assembled at the Kickapoo town on "Money Creek, within twenty-five miles of Bloomington," and some of these were Kickapoo. They remained in the vicinity of Mackinaw River and some joined Black Hawk's hostile band of Sauk and Fox. When his rebellious force was defeated by federal and state troops, one little group of Kickapoo fled to a Potawatomi village near Chicago only to be placed under arrest by the Indian agent there, Thomas J. V. Owen, and delivered to Fort Dearborn. This little band consisted of nine men, eleven women, and seventeen children.''

A federal official, on October 11, 1832, instructed the governor of Illinois that he might negotiate a treaty for the final removal of the Kickapoo, and Kanakuk (The Kickapoo Prophet) led his band of about 250 Kickapoo and 150 Potawatomi from the Vermilion River to Castor Hill (near St. Louis) where they signed a treaty with William Clark on October 24 that year. By the 31st, Clark informed the Illinois governor that all the Kickapoo had left his state except those who had been incarcerated by Owen at Fort Dearborn in September."

The Kickapoo reservation was four miles north of Fort Leavenworth. Kanakuk became associated with the Methodist missionaries and was licensed to preach. Others followed the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1836 it was stated that there were 470 Kickapoo living on the reservation. By 1865 there were 344 Kickapoo still in Kansas and an undetermined number living in Texas near the Mexican border. Shortly after this date, the Kickapoo in Texas migrated across the border and frequently made raids into the United States until Col. H. M. Atkinson removed them to their reservation in 1875. 
Kickapoos pushed from the Great Lakes into Mexico, then Texas and Oklahoma. The Suke Jimenez family in their longhouse on March 2, 1986.
However, many of these Indians later fled back across the border into Mexico where they still reside today in their own village which is approximately 125 miles south of Eagle Pass, Texas (by road), and in the state of Coahuila, Mexico, near the town of Muzquiz. Some settled in Texas, The remainder of the Kickapoo are mostly in Oklahoma.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.