INTRODUCTORY NOTE. — At the Instance of the Historical Society, I made a visit to the venerable Capt. Augustin Grignon, at his residence at the Butte des Morts, on Fox river, and spent a couple of weeks with him, from May 26th to June 8th, 1857, in obtaining the following narrative. It is here presented just as I noted it down from his lips at the time, all simple and unadorned — characteristic of the aged chronicler, whose narrative it is of a life time's recollections. It is true, that while the facts and statements are essentially his, the language, order and arrangement are mine, as are sometimes the Inferences and deductions, but in all cases with his approval and adoption.
Mr. Grignon, though now seventy-seven years old, is robust and healthy; the hardy life he has led as a trader in the wilderness, with the simplicity of his habits, seems to have toughened his constitution, so that old age does not appear irksome to him. He is cheerful, pleasant and communicative. Intelligent and well read. I was pleased to observe, that he was familiar with that rare and sterling old work, Charlevoix's Histoire de la Nouvelle France, published in three quarto volumes, in 1744. He spends his time mostly between fishing, smoking, and reading the papers, of which one is Le Courier des Stats-Unis.
I have taken great pains to elicit from Mr. Grignon a narrative, as replete as possible, of the men, events, habits, and life of the olden time. I felt that another such opportunity of securing a full account of the early settlement and early men of Eastern Wisconsin, would never again occur; a native of the country, and an intelligent descendant, as he is, of the Sieur Charles De Langlade, emphatically the Father of Wisconsin, and personally acquainted with him, as well also as with Glode, Tomah and other noted Menomone chiefs; and with Reaume, Porlier, Lawe and their fellow pioneers, a participant in the war of 1812, and in the Black Hawk war; with a retentive memory, in no wise disposed to exaggerate, filled with a just and discriminating knowledge of the men and events of Wisconsin for the past seventy-two years, and by tradition for the forty years preceding — such a living chronicle we may never expect to see again in Wisconsin. Very much of this information he alone possessed — the last of the grand-children of Charles De Langlade; and
196his narrative is all the more precious, as it covers a period when there were no newspapers in Wisconsin, as there now are, to chronicle the occurrences of each passing day, no diaries kept, and but two or three casual travelers who have left us any memorials of their observations, and those exceedingly meagre. I may over-estimate the historic value of Mr. Grignon's narrative, but I think not; if this generation cannot appreciate it, those who come after us will do so. I cannot but think, that the time will come, when some gifted son or daughter of Wisconsin will weave the interesting story of the Sieur Charles De Langlade into an historic romance or epic poem, that will impart an enduring charm to the wild nomadic times of an hundred years ago on the far-distant shores of the beautiful la Baye des Puants.
Capt. Grignon, now somewhat bent with the weight of almost tour score years, must in his prime have been nearly six feet in height, with a manly, well-proportioned form, an expressive, benignant, hazel eye, a full and pre-possessing countenance. When about twenty-five, he married Miss Nancy McCrea, daughter of a trader of the name of McCrea, and of a Menomonee woman, one of la noblesse — a near relative of the Old King, Tomah, I-om-e-tah and Oshkosh. Six children were the fruit of this marriage, three of whom survive. Mrs. Grignon died at the Butte des Morts, October 24th, 1842, at the age of fifty-three years.
To Mr. Grignon's son-in-law, Louis B. Porlier, a son of the late Judge Porlier, one of the pioneers of the country, I desire to express my grateful acknowledgements for his generous and constant assistance in the procurement of this narrative, and whose intimate knowledge of the Menomonees enabled him to render both Mr. Grignon and myself essential aid. L. C. D.
Seventy-two Years' Recollections of Wisconsin
The Sieur Augustan De Langlade and his son Charles, may be regarded as the founders of the first permanent settlement in Wisconsin. Augustin De Langlade was a native of France, where he was born about 1695. His family were of the nobility, and had their castle, and it is believed that Augustin served awhile, in early life, in the French marine. He had several relatives in Canada, among them a cousin, named Celleberre, a colonel in the French service; and these probably had some influence in turning his attention to America. New France, as all Canada and the immense North-West were then called, was the great field of enterprise for the young men of France, and especially for the younger nobility, whose inheritance was limited, and whose desire for fame or wealth prompted them to seek their fortunes in the New World. De Langlade must have been quite a young man when he arrived in Canada, and soon engaged in the Indian trade; his first known locality was among the Ottawas, near Mackinaw, as early as about 1720. It is very likely that he accompanied De Lignery's expedition against the Foxes up Fox river, in 1728, as the expedition passed by Mackinaw, and a body of Ottawas joined the French, and De Langlade had then been several years located as a trader among them.
While at Mackinaw, he was, so far as I know, only engaged as a trader, and had probably the entire control of the trade
198at that point, as it was customary to obtain a license from the French government of Canada for that purpose. At Mackinaw, he married the sister of the head Ottawa Chief, King Nis-so-wa-quet, or, as the French called him, La Fourche, or The Fork; and this connection must have largely added to his influence among that nation. Their eldest child was a daughter, named Agate, who was born about 1722, and married for her first husband a Mr. Souligny, who is represented as a man of severity and cruelty, which he had probably learned while an officer in the French service; and he dying, she married Amable Roy, and lived to a great age, and died at Green Bay, having never had any children. Their second child, Charles De Langlade, was born at the Ottawa village at or near Mackinaw, in 1724. There were two younger sons, whose names are not recollected, and a daughter, who married a Mr. De Verville, and had one son, Gautier De Verville. Charles received such an education as the missionaries near Mackinaw could impart. When he was ten years of age, the Ottawas were engaged in a war against some allied tribe of the English, who aided to interrupt the French communication with Louisiana, and whose main village was under the rule of a squaw chief. This village was located on a prairie, protected by such defences as Indians were able to make; and twice had the Ottawas attacked the place, and twice been discomfitted. When urged by the French Commandant, probably at Mackinaw, to make a third attempt upon the enemy's stronghold, they declined; but at length King Nis-so-wa-quet and his brothers, prompted by some superstitions dream, whim, or prestige, said they would again make the trial, provided, they could be accompanied by their young nephew Charles De Langlade and would go on no other condition. The Commandant went to the Sieur Augustin De Langlade, and made known the requirement of the chiefs; and, surprised at the request for such a mere lad to accompany them, and thinking perhaps it was a plan which
199the youth had formed, and had desired his uncles to put into effect, M. De Langlade went to his son and asked him concerning the matter, when Charles frankly assured his father that it was no plan or wish of his. "Well," said the father, "you must go with your uncles; but never let me hear of your showing any marks of cowardice." Reaching the place, young Charles and some other lads, also taken along, were placed in the rear, in full view, but out of danger of the attack, which was soon made; and, after a severe assault, the place was taken. Viewing the conflict, Charles used to relate to me, in his old age, that it then seemed like a ball-play to him. Ever after, when the Ottawas went on war expeditions, they were invariably accompanied by young Charles De Langlade.
At an early age, Charles De Langlade had a son, by an Ottawa Woman at Mackinaw, whom he named after himself, and who, at a proper age, was sent to Canada and educated, and returning, joined his Indian kindred at Mackinaw, and lived to a good old age. He was in the British Indian service at the capture of Mackinaw, in 1812, and acted as interpreter for the Ottawas. Late in life he married an Ottawa woman, by whom he had two sons and two daughters; one of the sons, Louis Langlade, was living eight years since, then a lieutenant in the British service, and stationed at Toronto, unmarried; of the daughters, one was married to one Abram La Brun, and when last heard from, was residing at the Lake of the Two Mountains; the other was living last year, at Mackinaw, with her husband, Francis Luzienias.
About 1745, the Sieur Augustin De Langlade and his son Charles, left Mackinaw, and migrated to Green Bay, where they became the principal proprietors of the soil. They settled on the east side of Fox river near its mouth, somewhat above and opposite the old French post, and about
200where Judge Arndt now resides, at the upper end of Green Bay. I do not remember whether my grandfather, Charles De Langlade, made any intention to me as to whether the old French fort was garrisoned when he and his father came there, but presume it was; nor do I remember any particular reasons that induced their settlement at the Bay. It was probably made in consequence of the Sieur Augustin De Langlade either accompanying De Lignery's expedition against the Foxes in 1728, or hearing the officers, soldiers and Ottawas who served under De Lignery, on their return, speak highly of the country, or from being invited to locate and trade there by the surrounding Indians, who may have traded with him at Mackinaw. And it is quite likely that my grandfather, who seems from early life to have been engaged by the Government in the Indian Department, was directed to locate west of Lake Michigan, the better to attend to the interests of the Indians in that quarter, and also to have command of the militia, when the settlement should be made.
As the date of the first permanent settlement made in Wisconsin may be regarded, as important by the present and future generations, I will state the circumstances upon which I found my belief that the De Langlades commenced their settlement at the period indicated. My grandfather told me he was in the battle with the Sauks (for the Sauks and Foxes were allies,) at Green Bay, which occurred in or shortly before 1746, as stated by Hon. Morgan L. Martin in his Historical Address,
201Bay, somewhere between 1744 and 1746; and as the engagement with the Sauks may not have occurred quite so late as 1746, the year in which the Sauks and their allies, the Foxes, were finally driven, from the Fox River Valley, I have concluded the settlement was made, as already stated, about 1745.
With the De Langlades, probably, came but a few settlers, beyond their own family. M. Souligny, the son-in-law of Sieur De Langlade, with his wife; and either then or soon after they were joined by Mons. Carron, who had been many years engaged, in the Indian trade, and had fully twenty years before been among the Menomonees, and he continued to reside at the Bay the remainder of his days. If others then came, their names are not now known; so probably not more than eight persons formed the little colony who commenced the permanent settlement of Wisconsin. That their reception by the Indians inhabiting Green Bay was pleasant, was distinctly told me by my grandfather; but the band of Te-pak-e-ne-nee, or The Night-Man, living about two miles up Menomonee river, at their village of Min-ne-kau-nee, or Pleasant Town, where Marinette or Menomonee City is now located, used to come down, and make their threats that they would take by force Indian goods from Augustin De Langlade's store, or the Government stores in charge of Charles De Langlade, calculating to intimidate, in order to get credit for goods, or have some given to them; but Charles De Langlade would pleasantly say to them, "Well, my friends, if you have come here to fight, we can cross to the prairie on the other side of the river, and have a little fun." But they knew too well his reputation as a soldier even from his boyhood, and declined his invitation, and be had no more difficulty with them. But some time afterwards, Te-pak-e-ne-nee got into a quarrel with a trader named St. Germain, at the mouth of the Menomonee river, and fatally stabbed him. While yet a youth, I remember seeing Te-pak-e-ne-nee,
202then an old man. He went with his people to the Upper Mississippi on a hunt, and there fell very sick, and a Chippewa medicine-man, after his incantations, said he would get well, but that he had killed a man, and would die in the same way. Not long after his return, Te-pak-e-ne-nee got into a fight with another Indian at Red River of Green Bay, and worsted him, when the latter, piqued at his discomfiture, took his gun and shot old Te-pak-e-ne-nee dead.
Sometime about, this period, a blacksmith of the name of Lammiot came from France, and located himself at Green Bay, and worked at his trade. An Indian, named Ish-qua-ke-ta, left an axe with him to be repaired. At length the Indian came for his axe, and threw down a skin as the price for the work, and took his property; when Lammiot, whose memory was very poor and treacherous, replied that it was not his axe — that he had none, and bid him be off. High words followed, and Lammiot seized the Indian by the neck with his hot tongs, both burning and choking him, when Ish-qua-ke-ta struck Lammiot a heavy blow over the head with the axe, and knocked him down senseless. The Indian hastened to Charles De Langlade, and frankly said, "I have killed the blacksmith." "What did you do that for?" "Why," said the Indian, "look here — see how he choked and burnt me; I had to do it in self defence." De Langlade went and found Lammiot, carried him to his bed, and employed an Indian doctress to take care of him. When nearly recovered, an elder brother of Te-pak-e-ne-nee called, and asked to see the blacksmith, as he wanted to see how he was getting along. Upon entering the room, and walking up to the bed, he stabbed him with a knife, and killed him instantly. When asked by the attendant squaw why he killed, Lammiot, he said he pitied the blacksmith, and wished to put an end to his sufferings. The murderer fled to some distant region, and remained till the excitement against him had cooled down, when he returned, and thus escaped a merited punishment. But he
203was not long after killed by an Indian in a drunken brawl, while his murderer was at the same time fatally stabbed by another.
Of the legend of the Red Banks, narrated in the 2d vol. of the Society's Collections, as related by O-kee-wah, I may add, that I have known O-kee-wah from my childhood, when her mother used to winter in the Green Bay settlement. O-kee-wah was frequently at my father's house, and I am confident that instead of being over one hundred years of age, she is only about six years my senior — or, in other words, is now about eighty-three years old. I have always regarded her as a good woman, and very industrious; but have my doubts about the correctness of her narrative. In the first place, O-kee-wah is no Menomonee, as she represents herself to be, for nationality is reckoned on the mother's side. Her mother, Non-non-ga-nah, was early captured by the Ottawas from the Pawnees or Osages, or some other Western tribe, and a year or two after being brought to Green Bay had O-kee-wah, some said by Charles De Langlade, and she subsequently had four husbands, all Ottawas except the last, who was a Menomonee, and had children by them all; and O-kee-wah herself has had three husbands, the two former were Chippewas, and the latter a Menomonee — so in no literal sense can she claim to have received such a tradition from her Menomonee grandfather. Besides, the narrative itself is evidently given in an exaggerated style — too many canoes, and the blood ankle deep in the ditches, would remind one of Waterloo or some other sanguinary battle on a large scale. Yet, after all, O-kee-wah may have heard such a tradition from the father of one of her mother's husbands, or the grandfather of one of her own, of whom she was perhaps in the habit of speaking as her grandfather.
I remember, very many years ago, having an aged Ottawa relate to me, as a tradition he had heard in his younger days, from aged people, of his tribe, that the Ottawas used to make
204war upon the Winnebagoes, who had their village on the elevated ground, spoken of in O-kee-wah's narrative as the Red Banks, but which has been always known by the French as Le Cap des Puants; that while an Ottawa war party was on the way there, their leader became impressed, from some wrangling between two of his young warriors respecting some fish they had caught, with a presentiment that some misfortune would befall them. But they went on in their canoe, and disembarked at a place called the Maniste river, and pursuing their route by land, they were discovered by the Winnebagoes, who went forth stealthily and way-laid them, and quickly defeated the whole, making the leader of the Ottawas their prisoner, whom they took to their village and tortured to death.
As the details of the war which eventuated in the expulsion of the Sauks and Foxes from the Fox River Valley in 1746, are of much interest, I shall give them as fully as I have learned them from the lips of my grandfather, Charles De Langlade, who took an active part in some of the occurrences narrated, and from other ancient settlers and Indians.
The Outagamies or Foxes were at this time located at the Little Butte des Morts, on the western bank of Fox river, and some thirty-seven, miles above Green Bay. Here they made it a point, whenever a trader's boat approached, to place a torch upon the bank, as a signal for the traders to come ashore, and pay the customary tribute which they exacted from all. To refuse this tribute, was sure to incur the displeasure of the Foxes, and robbery would be the mildest punishment inflicted. This haughty, imperious conduct of the Foxes, was a source of no little annoyance to the traders, who made their complaints to the Commandants of the Western posts, and in due time these grievances reached the ears of the Governor of Canada.
Captain De Velie was at this time Commandant of the small garrison at Green Bay. He was relieved by the arrival of a new officer whose name I have forgotten, and the new
205Commandant brought with him demands for the Sauks of the village opposite the fort, who had hitherto demeaned themselves well, to deliver up the few Foxes living among them, in consequence of intermarriages or otherwise. All were readily given up, except a Fox boy, who had been adopted by a Sauk woman. De Velie and his successor were dining together, and becoming somewhat influenced by wine, some sharp words passed between them relative to the tardiness of the Sauks in surrendering the Fox boy; when De Velie arose, and taking his gun and a negro servant, crossed the river to the Sauk village, which was surrounded with palisades or pickets. He found the Sauks in council, and was met by the Sauk chief, of whom he demanded the immediate surrender of the remaining Indian. The chief said he and his principal men had just been in council about the matter, and though the adopted mother of the youth was loth to part with him, yet they hoped to prevail upon her peaceably to do so. The chief proceeded to visit the old woman, who still remained obstinate, and De Velie renewing his demands and immediate compliance, again would the chief renew his efforts; and thus three times did he go to the sturdy old woman, and endeavor to prevail upon her to give up the boy, and returning each time without success, but assuring De Velie that if he would be a little patient, he was certain the old squaw would yet comply with his demands, as she seemed to be relenting. But in his warm blood, the Frenchman was in no mood to exercise patience, when he at length drew up his gun and shot the chief dead. Some of the young Sauks were for taking instant revenge, but the older and wiser men present begged them to be cool, and refrain from inflicting injury on their French Father, as they had provoked him to commit the act. By this time De Velie, whose anger was yet unappeased, had got his gun re-loaded by his servant, and wantonly shot down another chief, and then a third one; when a young Sauk, only twelve years of age, named Ma-kau-ta-pe-na-se,
206or The Black Bird, shot the enraged Frenchman dead.
The garrison was too weak to attempt the chastisement of the Banks, but upon the arrival of a reinforcement joined by the French settlers, Charles De Langlade among them, the Sauks were attacked at their village, when a severe battle occurred, in which several were killed on both sides, and the Sauks finally driven away. In this Sauk battle, two of my father's uncles were among the slain on the part of the French. The Sauks now retired to the Wisconsin river and located themselves at Sauk Prairie, where they still resided, and had a, fine village, with comfortable houses, and apparently doing something in mining lead, when Carver visited the country in 1766, but which appeared to have been several years deserted when I first saw the place, in 1795, as there were then only a few remains of fire-places and posts to be seen. The brave young Sauk, Black Bird, became a distinguished chief among his people, and Mr. Laurent Fily, an old trader, told me many years since, that he knew Black Bird well at the Sauk village at the mouth of Rock river, and that he lived to a good old age — and Fily added, that he was the same person who in his youth had so fearlessly shot De Velie.
Capt. Morand, a native of France, and a prominent trader among the Sauks, and the Indians on the Mississippi, had a place of deposit on the bank of the Mississippi, I think on the eastern bank of the river, and about eight or nine miles below the mouth of the Wisconsin, called Fort Morand. He had another depot, nine miles west of Mackinaw, also known as Fort Morand. The repeated exactions of the Foxes in the shape of tribute, while prosecuting his trade between Mackinaw and the Mississippi, through Green Bay and Fox river, so vexed Morand, that he resolved on driving them from their position; and raising a small volunteer force at Mackinaw, increased doubtless at Green Bay, and by the friendly Indians,
207and though I have heard my grandfather repeatedly speak of this expedition both with others in whose day it had occurred, and to his family, yet I cannot positively say that he accompanied Morand — but judging from his military character, the numerous services of the kind in which he participated, and his familiarity with the details of this war, I doubt not he was of the party, and served in all of Morand's expeditions.
Morand's force was deemed sufficient, and his fleet of canoes started from Green Bay up the river — each canoe having a full complement of men, well armed, and an oil-cloth covering large enough to envelop the whole canoe, as was used by the traders to shield their goods from the effects of the weather. Near the Grand Chute, some three miles below the Little Butte de Morts, and not yet within view of the latter, Morand divided his party, one part dis-embarking, and going by land to surround the village, and attack the place when Morand and his water division should open their fire in front. The soldiers in the canoes, with their guns all ready for use, were concealed by the oil-cloth coverings, and only two men were in view to row each canoe, thus presenting the appearance of a trader's fleet.
In due time the Foxes discovered their approach, and placed out their torch, and squatted themselves thickly along the bank as usual, and patiently awaited the landing of the canoes, and the customary tribute offering. When sufficiently near to be effective, the oil-cloth coverings, were suddenly thrown off, and a deadly volley from a swivel-gun, loaded with grape and canister shot, and the musketry of the soldiers, scattered death and dismay among the unsuspecting Foxes; and this severe fire was almost instantly seconded by the land party in the rear, and quickly repeated by both divisions, so that a large number of the devoted Foxes were slain, and the survivors escaped by rapid flight up the river. As there is a mound here, some six or eight rods in diameter,
208and perhaps some fifteen feet high, this may be the burial-place of the Foxes slain in the battle, though I never heard any thing stated to that effect.
The Foxes next took post about three males above the Great Butte des Morts, on the southern or opposite bank of the river, on a high sandy point of land, with a marsh on its eastern border. Here Morand the same season followed them, but of course could not have resorted to his old ruse, and must have approached the town in the night or just before day-break; at all events, according to the general statement given me by my grandfather and aged Indians, another severe battle ensued, and many Foxes were killed, though not so many as at the Little Butte des Morts, and again they were forced to fly. The Indians always spoke of this place as the locality where Morand's second battle with the Foxes took place; and is the spot where Robert Grignon has for the past ten or twelve years resided. My half brother, Perrish Grignon, informed me, that he had seen many years ago, in a crevice or cavity on the rocky shore of Lake Winnebago, some six or eight miles south of Oshkosh, near the old Indian village of Black Wolf, a large number of skulls and other human remains; and I have thought, that perhaps when the Foxes fled from the Little Butte des Morts, they may have passed around the head of Lake Winnebago; and thinking themselves safe from, pursuit, tarried at this point, and gave attention to their wounded, and that the remains of those who died were placed in this cavity. I know of no other explanation for these human remains.
The surviving Foxes located themselves on the northern bank of the Wisconsin, twenty-one miles above its mouth, and some little distance below the creek next below the mouth of Kickapoo river; when I first passed there, in 1795, I saw some crude remains of this village. As soon as the enterprising Morand heard of the new locality of his determined enemies, who still seemed bent on obstructing his great
209trading thorough-fare, he concluded it would be unsafe for him to suffer them to remain there, and consequently lost no time, even though winter had commenced, to collect his tried and trusty band of French and Indians, and make a distant winter expedition against the Foxes. Perhaps he thought, as he had once defeated them by stratagem, and then by the usual mode of Indian warfare, that it would now be policy to push his fortunes by a winter campaign, and fall upon his inveterate foes, and strike a fatal blow, when they would least expect it. Capt. Morand pursued on foot with his troops up Fox River and down the Wisconsin, taking with them snow shoes to meet the exigencies of the season, and pursue their tedious march over the snow for a distance of fully two hundred miles. The Foxes were taken completely by surprise, for Morand's men found them engaged in the amusement of jeu de paille, or game of straw; and surrounding the place, and falling suddenly upon them, killed some, and captured the others. So well planned was Morand's attack, and so complete was the surprise, that not one of the Foxes escaped. Only twenty Fox warriors were taken, with a large number of women and children.
It must have been on the return of this winter expedition of Capt. Morand's, that the following incident occurred, as related by Capt. Carver, on the authority of an Indian: "On the return of the French," says Carver, "to Green Bay, one of the Indian chiefs in alliance with them, who had a considerable band of the prisoners under his care, stopped to drink at a brook; in the meantime his companions went on, which being observed by one of the women whom they had made captive, she suddenly seized him with both her hands, while he stooped to drink, by an exquisitely susceptible part, and held him fast till he expired on the spot. As the chief, from the extreme torture he suffered, was unable to call out to his friends, or give any alarm, they passed on, without knowing what had happened; and the woman, having cut
210the bands of those of her fellow-prisoners who were in the rear, with them made her escape. This heroine was ever after treated by her nation as their deliverer, and made a chieftess in her own right, with liberty to entail the same honor on her descendants — an unusual distinction, and permitted only on extraordinary occasions."
I had been, told that Capt. Morand, having fully conquered the Foxes, and having the last remnant of them in his power, concluded to give them their freedom, but probably required them to retire over, the Mississippi; and that he liberated them at their town where he took them. But from the anecdote preserved by Capt. Carver, and several particulars mentioned by him of Morand's expedition, so well corresponding with the traditionary account I have derived from my grandfather and others, I must conclude that only a part — probably the larger part — of the prisoners were liberated at the place where they were captured; while some friendly chief may have claimed a few to carry back, of whom to make slaves. And it may further be added, that as it was now in winter, and Morand very likely but illy provided with supplies, it would not probably have been practicable to have conveyed all the prisoners so long a distance to Green Bay. And in concluding my reminiscences of this war with the Foxes, I must say, that this tribe appears to me to have shown more warlike spirit and love of martial glory than any other of the Wisconsin tribes; they would, when necessitated to do so, make peace one day, and unhesitatingly break it the next.
Of Captain Morand, I know nothing further. The trader of that name among the Wisconsin Indians, mentioned in Gorrell's Journal, of 1763, in the First Vol. of the Historical Society's Collections, and who was then living, and at the
211head of an extensive company of traders, was doubtless the same person who, as a trader, had been so severely taxed in the way of tribute by the Foxes, and whom he had so completely humbled and driven from the country. Now that the field was clear, and he had established a high reputation among the savages for great bravery and enterprise, how natural he should vigorously prosecute his plans of commerce, as we see he was doing in 1763, seventeen years after the final expulsion of the Sauks and Foxes from Wisconsin. My old friend, Mr. Fily, many years ago told me that he had become acquainted with the wife of the celebrated chief Ke-o-kuk and her mother, and that the latter was the daughter, by a Sauk mother, of the same Capt. Morand who had led the early expeditious against the Foxes. But within the next twenty years after 1763, he must have paid the debt of nature, or retired from the Indian trade, or I should have seen or known something more of him.
Capt. Morand's severe chastisement of the Foxes, had the effect to keep the Wisconsin tribes on friendly terms with the whites for many years. Meanwhile the little settlement at Green Bay appears to have increased very slowly, and the little garrison to have been withdrawn at some period after the termination of the Sauk and Fox war, and prior to the commencement of the old French and Indian war of 1754. Augustin De Langlade continued in the Indian trade, and Charles De Langlade as Indian agent, and no event of importance occurred to them, or their little settlement, at this period.
We do not discover that the progress or result of that long contest, known as the French and Indian war, had any special influence for weal or woe upon the Green Bay settlement, as it was too remote to feel any sensible effects from the operations of the combatants. But it opened a new field for the enterprising spirit of Charles De Langlade. At the breaking out of this war, he was but thirty years of age, in the
212prime of life, and full of vigor and activity. He had been raised on the extreme frontiers, and though half Indian, yet his educational advantages had been fair; and he had been for many years employed by the Government in the Indian Department. Thus he combined the skill and strategy of the borderer and Indian, and had had much experience in Indian warfare from the tender age of ten, when he accompanied his uncle, King Nis-so-wa-quet, on a war expedition; though unfortunately the details are lost in the long lapse of years, and the general character only, as both numerous and full of intrepidity, are left indelibly impressed upon my memory. I know that while yet a mere youth, and not very far from the time when he first went upon the war-path under Nis-so-wa-quet, his father purchased for him a commission in the French marine, and though he retained this commission many years, I have no evidence or tradition that he was ever actually engaged in the naval service.
Such was the high standing and reputation of the Sieur Charles De Langlade, his long experience in border service, his personal relationship to the powerful Ottawas, his thorough knowledge of their language and that of the other neighboring tribes, and his great influence over them, that he was at once pointed out to Vaudreuil, the Governor-General of New France and Louisiana, as admirably fitted to head the partisan forces of border French and Indians of the North-West, in the terrible conflict about to commence.
The first service I remember of my grandfather's in this war, was to raise the tribes of the North-West, I think the Ottawas, Chippewas, Menomonees, Winnebagoes, Pottawottamies, Hurons or Wyandotts, and perhaps others, and repair with their chiefs, to Fort du Quesne, for its defence against the English, and also to carry the war against the frontier settlements and forts of the British Colonies. This was in 1755. What particular chiefs were along, I do not remember hearing my grandfather state, but I doubt not that La Fourche
213or Nis-so-wa-quet and Pontiac were of the number; nor do I know how large a band my grandfather led from, the North-West; but I remember his saying, that when they assembled at Fort Du Quesne, the total number of French and their Indian allies amounted to not far from fifteen hundred; and my strong impression is, that nearly all the Indian force was composed of the bands led forth by my grandfather, the Sieur Charles De Langlade. Among his party, who served under him on this and most of his subsequent campaigns during the war, were his brother-in-law Souligny, his brave nephew Gautier De Verville, Pierre Caree, La Choisie, La Fortune, Amable, De Gere, Philip De Rocheblave, Louis Hamline, and Machar. The latter was my father's uncle, and the grandfather of the present Mrs. Rosalie Dousman, of Lake Shawanaw.
Upon their arrival at Fort Du Quesne, spies were sent out to discover the enemy's approach, and they soon returned, reporting that Braddock's army was within a half a day's march of the Monongahela, cutting a road as they advanced. It was determined that M. Beaujeu, with what French could be spared, and the Indian force under De Langlade, should go out and meet the enemy at the Monongahela, and attack them while crossing that stream. The English got to the south bank of the Monongahela about noon, halted and prepared for dinner; while the French and Indians were secreted on the other shore. De Langlade went to Beaujeu and told him no time should be lost, but that the attack should be at once commenced. Beaujeu, made no reply. De Langlade then called the chiefs together, and desired them to go to Beaujeu, and demand orders to commence the battle. No reply was made to this demand. Then De Langlade went himself, and urged the necessity of at once attacking the English, saying to Beaujeu, that if he did not intend to fight at all, then it was well to act as he did, but if fighting was to be done, then was the time to do it, while the English were eating,
214their army laid aside, or while attempting to cross the river; that no other so good an opportunity could occur, and that the English were too powerful to be met in open battle. Beaujeu was evidently disheartened, seeing the strength of the English, and seemed in great doubt what to do, but at length gave orders to commence the attack. The action was at once commenced, and the English officers, who had their little towels pinned over their breasts, seized their arms and took part in the conflict; and a good many of them were killed with these napkins still pinned on their coats — showing how suddenly they rushed into the battle. The English occupying the lowest ground, almost invariably over-shot the French, and their cannon balls would strike the trees half way up, among the branches. In the battle, Beaujeu was killed, but the French and Indian loss was very small; and the most who were killed and injured, were not hit by the bullets of the enemy, but by the falling limbs cut from the trees by the over-shooting of the English cannon.
The English being defeated, and driven back with heavy loss, the first thing to claim De Langlade's attention was, to cause the immense stores and supplies which the English had abandoned, to be searched, and all the liquors poured upon the ground, lest the Indians should indulge so freely in potations as to render them dangerous to the French and to each other. While the Indians looked with sorrow upon this apparent waste of what, in their estimation, is generally regarded as the greatest of worldly comforts, they did not venture to interfere with any directions of their venerated leader. They found enough of excitement, however, at the time, in searching and stripping the bodies of the slain. Most of the British officers were superbly clothed, this being their first campaign since their arrival from Great Britain, and their clothing and equipage were objects of interest and value to the Indians. Nor were the Indians alone engaged in securing the plunder, for the French, or many of them, were also
215eagerly employed in this manner. La Choisie, a young man of De Langlade's party, of much enterprise and promise, discovered the body of an English officer, richly dressed, and Philip De Rocheblave, almost at the same moment, claimed to have discovered it, but La Choisie managed first to get hold of the well-filled purse. Rocheblave stoutly contended for a part of the prize, and they parted in no friendly way. The next morning La Choisie was found assassinated, and his purse of gold missing; and while there was no evidence of De Rocheblave's guilt, he was strongly suspected of the crime. I know nothing further of Philip De Rocheblave, but personally knew two of his nephews, Pierre and Noel De Rocheblave, both engaged in the Indian trade, and Pierre became first a clerk and then a member of the N. W. Fur Company.
After Braddock's repulse, I do not know whether my grandfather returned home, or remained at Fort du Quesne to engage in the partisan service. We find Dumas, the Commandant of Du Quesne, giving him orders, on the 9th of August, 1756, to go with a party of French and Indians and make a strike at Fort Cumberland, and make discoveries whether the English were making any movements in the direction of the Ohio; to guard strictly against being surprised or ambuscaded; and if the Indians should take any prisoners, to use his best efforts to prevent their torturing them.
Of De Langlade's partisan services, while at Fort du Quesue, I can only mention one incident which he narrated to me. The Commandant gave him orders to take a party of French and Indians, and go to a certain part of the frontiers, and endeavor to capture a prisoner, from whom to gain information. Reaching a frontier fort, which must have been in Pennsylvania, Maryland, or Virginia, he managed to seize a sentinel in the night; and from him learned that an officer or paymaster
216was expected to arrive at that fort at a certain time with a large supply of money for public purposes. So De Langlade took a proper number with him, and among them a French officer who had a little dog along, and they ambuscaded the road upon which the expected prize was to pass. It was good sleighing in winter. At length the small English foot guard preceding the sleigh passed the ambuscade, and soon the sleigh passed by De Langlade who rushed out in the rear of the sleigh, when the French officer was to head the team, but his dog gave the alarm a little too soon, when the English officer suspecting some trap set for him, instantly turned his horses about and commenced retracing his trail, when De Langlade dashed behind, seized hold of the back part of the sleigh; but the officer within, used his whip freely upon his horses, and at the same time drew his pistol, when De Langlade snatched it before he could use it, and then the Englishman used his whip so nimbly and alternately upon his horses and upon De Langlade, that the latter finally gave up any further attempt, and thus lost the much coveted prize. The pistol was his only trophy. To the premature barking of the little dog, he attributed the miscarriage of his scheme; and he used to repeat, with great pleasantry, the incident of his whipping and the exciting race. The English foot-guard were captured. My grandfather, after the war, frequently met this English officer in Canada, and they would rehearse the exploit with much good feeling.
The year 1757, M. De Langlade was employed in Canada, and served under Montcalm in the capture of Fort William Henry at the head of Lake George. At the close of the campaign, he received the following order:
"PIERRE RIGAUD DE VAUDREUIL, Governor and Lieutenant-General for the King of all the Country of New France and Louisiana: — "We order the Sieur Langlade, Ensign of the Troops, detached from the Marine, to start from this city immediately for the post of Michillimackinac, there to serve in the capacity of second in command under the orders of M. De Beaujeu, Commandant at that post.
"Done at Montreal, Sept. 8th, 1767. VAUDREUIL."
De Langlade, the following year, again wended his way to Canada, at the head of his French and Indian force, and shared the dangers and services of that hard campaign. He was among the troops stationed in Fort Ticonderoga — located on a hill, from the top of which down its sides they felled the trees, with the tops downwards, with the ends of the limbs sharpened so as to obstruct the approach of an enemy. When the British under Gen. Abercrombie came, and undertook to drive the French, they failed after much very severe fighting. He took part also in saving Crown Point from falling into the hands of the English. There is reason to believe, from what my grandfather told me, that after the hard service of beating back the English at Ticonderoga, he repaired with his trusty band to Fort du Quesne, which was then threatened by the enemy. If there, he must have had a hand in defeating Col. Grant; and he spoke of the French being too weak to withstand the well-appointed troops coming against them, and therefore set fire to the fort, and retired in canoes and batteaux, down the Ohio — my grandfather probably returning home, as it was then late in the autumn.
I have no distinct recollection about my grandfather being at Fort Niagara in 1759, but presume he was, as he served on every campaign; and I dare say he took part with his French and Indian force in the fighting, that transpired a little distance above the fort; and when there was no longer a prospect of usefulness, retired with his Indians from the fated place.
I know full well that he participated in the great battle before Quebec, on the Plains of Abraham, when his great commander, Montcalm, was killed. I have heard him speak of the battle, as well as Amable De Gere and some aged Menomonees who served under him, there — among them Globe, son of old Carron, O-sau-wish-ke-no, or The Yellow Bird,
218Ka-cha-ka-wa-she-ka, or The Notch-Maker; the old Chief, Carron, was also there, but I never saw him, as he died before my recollection.
De Gere used to say, that he never saw so perfectly cool and fearless a man on the field of battle as my grandfather; and that either here, at Monongahela, or at Ticonderoga, I have forgotten which, he saw my grandfather, when his gun barrel had got so hot, from repeated and rapid discharges, that he took occasion to stop a little while that it might cool, when he would draw his pipe from his pouch, cut his tobacco, fill his pipe, take a piece of punk-wood, and strike fire with his steel and flint, and light and smoke his pipe, and all with as much sang froid as at his own fireside; and having cooled his gun and refreshed himself, would resume his place, and play well his part in the battle. He mourned the loss of his two brothers, who fell in this desperate conflict. The engagement over, and the surviving French commander resolving to surrender Quebec, De Langlade was among the number who thought there was yet no real necessity for such a measure, and believing it was effected through bribery, retired from, the place with his chosen followers in disgust.
During this year, 1759, and probably in the autumn, my grandfather De Langlade was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte Bourassa, a daughter of Laurent Bourassa, a prominent merchant of Montreal. He had probably become acquainted with this lady either on some visits to Montreal, to purchase goods for the Indian Department, or when stationed there while in the service. He took her immediately to his home at Green Bay. She knew nothing of border life, and had a mortal fear of the Indians. On one occasion, some mischief-maker circulated a report that the Indians were coming there with evil designs, when she ran to the next house and told the alarming news, and then hid herself under a board-pile, where she was found, not by the Indians, for none came, but by her friends, snugly stowed away, almost
219half demented with fear. At another time, seeing a number of Menomonee Indians come into the store and house, which were adjoining, and had a connecting door, my grandmother fled to her room, and fastened the door; but her curiosity prompted her to open the door ajar, and peep out, when she discovered all the Indians seated around the room, except one, Pack-kau-sha, who, having no seat, was standing up near her door. She at once concluded he was watching his chance to destroy her, and in her frenzy, without knowing what she was doing, snatched a dull round-bladed case-knife, dashed open the door, and seized the Indian by the collar, and making an effort to stab him, exclaimed, "Pack-kau-sha, you rogue, you are a dead man!" The Indians at once discovered that she was greatly excited with fear, and all united in hearty laughter and strong assurances of friendship. Her good husband would quietly say, "What are you doing, my wife? Go back to your room, and don't disturb us here." When she would see a canoe of Indians coming, she would open the door, and exclaim in the most forlorn manner — "They are coming! they are coming! Now we shall be massacred!" It was some time before she got the better of her foolish whims and fears about the Indians.
Early the next year, 1760, Charles De Langlade again repaired to Canada, and found a commission of Lieutenant awaiting him, from the King of France, dated the 1st of February of that year, which evinced in a high degree the confidence of his King and Government. But while he served during the war under commissions of Ensign and Lieutenant, he appears to have held commands quite equal to that of Captain. This year's service must have been very severe and trying, demanding unusual care and anxiety to oppose a much superior force. When all hope of much longer being able to maintain possession of Canada had ceased, Gov. Vaudreuil gave specific directions to Charles De Langlade, at Montreal, on the 3rd of September, 1760, to take charge of
220and conduct the troops under his command to Mackinaw, and the Indians to their villages, and to see that the latter should not plunder nor insult the voyageurs they might meet by the way; and that if the fortune of war should place the Colony in possession of the British, that peace might soon be hoped to follow; and also directing him to take charge of two companies of English deserters, and send them forward to Louisiana — where, we may infer, they would be beyond the reach of the English, into whose hands all New France would soon fall.
Six days after the date of these instructions, Vaudreuil sent a despatch to Charles De Langlade, notifying him, that in consequence of the great diminution of his troops, and the exhaustion of his means and resources, he had been compelled to surrender all Canada to the British, under Gen. Amherst; that Gen. Amherst came in view of that city on the 6th, three days after he, De Langlade, had taken his departure; that the conditions of the capitulation are advantageous to the colony, and particularly to the inhabitants of Michillimakinac, who have liberty to enjoy their religion, remain in possession of their real and personal property, and their peltries, and to enjoy the privileges of trade the same as the proper subjects of Great Britain; that the same conditions are granted to the military, who may designate some one in their absence to act for them in their behalf, and both the military and citizens in general may sell to the English or French their property, or send it abroad to France or elsewhere, if they see proper to do so; they may keep their negro and Pawnee slaves, but must surrender all those taken from the English; that the English General has declared, that the Canadians becoming subject to His Britannic Majesty, shall not be denied the privileges of the Coutume de Paris, the old French code long in force; the troops are not to serve during the present war, and are to give up their arms before returning to France; that you will assemble all the officers and soldiers at your post, and make them
221lay down their arms, and will accompany them to such seaport as may be most convenient for their departure for France; that the citizens and inhabitants of Michillimakinac will consequently be under the command of the officer whom Gen. Amherst may order to that post; that you will send a copy of my letter to St. Joseph, and to the posts of that region, presuming that there may be some soldiers there, that they and the inhabitants may conform to it; and I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you, in France with all your friends.
Thus ended the long contest between France and Great Britain for American dominion and supremacy. None could have felt more keenly the downfall of France, and the transfer of the government of New France to the British, than did Charles De Langlade. Raised on the frontiers, and having spent his life in the wilderness, he was fond of the unrestrained freedom he enjoyed in common with his border countrymen, and he and they probably dreaded more a change of laws and customs than of rulers; but in this, their fears were groundless, for their conquerors proved quite as lenient and paternal in their government as had the French before them. At this day, we can scarcely realize the hardships attendant on such a partisan service as that in which De Langlade was engaged, with such long and constant marches of thousands of miles through a wilderness country, relying mainly upon wild game for a sustenance. I remember he told me, that on one occasion, when he and his party were nearly starved, they discovered some live rattlesnakes, and by means of forked sticks placed on their necks, severed their heads from their bodies, dressed the meat and made a most savory meal.
I think I may in truth say, that in all this protracted war — a war emphatically of herculean efforts on both sides, for the
222prize at stake was immense, — no officer in the French service could have traveled so many miles, suffered so many privations and hardships, or taken part in so many services and conflicts, as my grandfather, the Sieur Charles De Langlade. Had the French been successful, his name and fame would doubtless have been better known to history; but the departure of the French leaders, immediately after the war, to their native land, and the natural dislike of the discomfitted party to publish accounts of their deeds and services, however meritorious, together with the far-off and secluded region where De Langlade resided, and the change of Government in his country, must all have contributed to the silence of history in failing to proclaim his distinguished merits and services. I cannot but believe, that Vaudreuil, Montcalm, Dumas, De Beaujeu, and other French leaders, made full reports of my grandfather's arduous and persistent services to the King and Government, for the King must have been made fully aware of his services, or he would not have sent him a commission; and this prompts me to express the hope, that the Legislature of Wisconsin, as other States have wisely done, will, at an early day, authorize the procurement from the archives of both France and Great Britain, a faithful transcript of all documents, not only relating to my grandfather, but to the early expeditions of De Louvigny, De Lignery, and Morand, and all that is preserved of the French and English regime in Wisconsin. They should be procured, and published in the volumes of the Historical Society's Collections.
I do not remember to have heard any thing of the Green Bay land grant of an extensive territory, with the exclusive right of the Indian trade, made by Gov. Vaudreuil, in October, 1759, to Rigaud Vaudreuil and wife, and confirmed by the French King, in January, 1760, at a critical period, just before the subjugation of Canada by the British, and which was in 1766, transferred to William Grant. If any knowledge of it came to the ears of the settlers here at that period, it must
223have made them not a little uneasy, and its early rejection had so quieted the matter, that nothing was said of it in my early day.
When Mackinaw passed into the possession of the British, Capt. George Etherington, its Commandant, sent word to the principal French settlers of the neighboring settlements dependent upon that post, to report themselves in person at Mackinaw, probably to take the oath of allegiance to the British Government, and advise with reference to the proper persons in their respective settlements to fill the local offices under the new order of things. This was all very proper, and was not only designed to make the British Commandant better acquainted with the condition of things, within the sphere of his command, but was most likely designed to give him an opportunity of assuring the French people of the solicitude of the British Government to consult their wants and feelings, and promote their interests and prosperity. This was both wise and politic on the part of the British authorities, and had a happy effect in winning the affection and confidence of their new subjects. Among those who repaired to Mackinaw, in obedience to this invitation, were the Sieur Augustin and the Sieur Charles De Langlade. They took their families with them, and probably took that occasion to convey to Mackinaw, to exchange for goods for the Indian trade, whatever furs and peltries they had gathered in barter, for they had several Indian servants with them, probably as boatmen and voyageurs. The visit to Capt. Etherington was pleasant, and it may be safely presumed that the British captain took special pains to ingratiate himself into the good graces of so prominent men among both the French and Indians as the De Langlades; and either at this time, or not very long after, Charles De Langlade was re-appointed to superintend the Indians of the Green Bay Department, and re-instated in his
224command of the militia. The following permission to return and reside at Green Bay, is among the very few papers of my grandfather now preserved:
"MICHILLIMAKINAC, April 13, 1763.
"I have this date given permission to Messrs. Langlade, father and son, to live at the Post of La Baye, and do hereby order that no person may Interrupt them in their voyage thither with their wives, children, servants and baggage.
GEO. ETHERINGTON, Commandant."
We soon find Charles De Langlade back at Mackinaw, I suppose to purchase goods for his father, or for the Indian Department, and perhaps had to wait there awhile for the arrival of such goods from Montreal. A part of the Ottawas and Chippewas had espoused the cause of Pontiac, and formed the design of surprising the garrison, while the others were opposed to this new attempt to embroil the Indian tribes in difficulties with the English. De Langlade learned the condition of things from his Indian friends who were not a party to the scheme, and went to Capt. Etherington and told him of the designs against the fort. Etherington would then summon before him Match-i-ku-is,
225"Capt. Etherington," said De Langlade, "I will not trouble you with any more of these old women's stories, as you call them, but I beg you will remember my faithful warnings." Etherington was obstinate — the ball-play was had on the Queen's birth-day — he was a spectator — the ball was every now and then purposely knocked over the picketing into the fort, and thrown back to them by the garrison, when at length Etherington ordered the gate to be opened so the Indians could get it themselves. The next time they knocked the ball into the fort, they all rushed in, and commenced to massacre. It was quick work, and soon over; and though M. De Langlade was there, he had no time nor opportunity to be of any service.
Capt. Etherington and Lieut. Leslie, who were among the survivors, and now in the hands of the Indians, came near being burned at the stake; the wood was all ready, and the prisoners pinioned, and the torch would soon have been applied, when M. De Langlade arrived with a party of friendly Indians, and he at once stepped up to the prisoners and cut the cords from their arms, and then, in a firm, determined manner, told the hostile Indians, "If you are not pleased with what I have done, I am ready to meet you;" but none came forward; they saw too plainly that he and his friends were well prepared to fight, and they knew that Charles De Langlade was a stranger to fear. Now that he had saved Etherington and Leslie from the stake, he turned to the former and said, "Now, Capt. Etherington, if you had listened to the old women's stories, of which I timely warned you, you would not now be in your present humiliating situation, with your men nearly all slain." The surviving officers and soldiers were sent, under an escort of friendly Indians, to Montreal.
Pontiac's plan of surprising all the British posts in the West, included Green Bay; and the capturing of this fort was confided to the mixed band at Milwaukee, composed mostly
226of Pottawottamies and Ottawas, with some Chippewas and Menomonees. The Menomonee nation were friendly to the English, and their head chief at this time was Cha-kau-cho-ka-ma, or The Old King,
227and a party of Menomonees; and for his faithful adherence to the English, and rejection of the counsels of Pontiac, Carron was subsequently presented with a large silver medal by the British authorities, with a certificate of his chieftainship and good services. The tradition mentioned by Judge Lock-wood, in the 2nd volume of the Society's Collections, relative to the abandonment of Green Bay, is without foundation. Tomah, the son of Old Carron, instead of then being at the head of the Menomonees, was a mere child; and nothing transpired, as the tradition represents, that could be construed into the Menomonees disarming, or attempting to disarm, any part of Gorrell's party. It may here be stated, that no more British troops were sent to garrison Green Bay.
Pontiac, who was the prime-mover of these troubles at Mackinaw, Green Bay and elsewhere, was always represented to me as a chief of the Hurons, not of the Ottawas, and my grandfather, who knew him personally, spoke of him as an Indian of great intelligence and shrewdness; but I remember nothing further of his history, character or family. Of old Carron's services, I know nothing further with any certainty, though I think he must have served during nearly all the old French and Indian wars under my grandfather, as he was invariably spoken of as being always ready. He died at the old Menomonee village, a short distance above Fort Howard, called the Old King's Village, about the year 1780, about sixty years of age. By his wife, he had seven children, Glode, Tomah, She-qua-ne-ne, I-om-e-tah, and three daughters; I-om-e-tah, a chief, born about 1772, and his younger sister, are yet living at Lake Shawanaw. Old Carron had two children each by two other women — one of them, a Sauk woman, with whom he became acquainted while on a war expedition against the Osages or Pawnees. He was regarded as the handsomest man among the Menomonees; I remember seeing his aged widow at the Bay when I was twelve or fifteen years of age. Of Wau-pe-se-pin, or The Wild Potatoe,
228who endeavored to embroil the Menomonees in Pontiac's war, I can say I knew him well; he was no chief, and there was nothing in his career worthy of special note. He died at the Big Kau-kau-lin, about 1805.
After the Pontiac war, Augustin De Langlade for several years continued in the Indian trade at Green Bay. My mother, who was born in 1763, related to me, that when she was about seven years of age, she was once in the store, when an Indian came in, and expressed a desire to purchase a small Indian axe, when her grandfather, Augustin De Langlade, handed out one from under the counter; when the Indian inquired if he had any more? M. De Langlade bent down to get some others, and as he arose, the Indian, in mere sport, made a motion as if to strike the old gentleman on the head with the first axe handed out, when my mother exclaimed, "Grandpa, he is going to cut your neck!" He arose quickly, and, with one of the small axes, knocked the Indian over. Picking himself up, the Indian apologized to M. De Langlade, that he only intended it for a joke. He was told in reply, that such things were too serious for rude sport, and there the matter ended. This is the latest, occurrence of which I have any knowledge, concerning the Sieur Augustin De Langlade, and hence infer that he died not very long after — say about 1771, at the age of about seventy-five years, and his remains were interred at the old cemetery at Green Bay. He has been represented to me as a very good man, quiet in his demeanor, hut quick to resent an injury. I have no personal knowledge of the Ottawa wife of Augustin De Langlade, and suppose after his death she may have returned to her Indian friends near Mackinaw; but on the 14th September, 1782, Lieut. Gov. Sinclair, of Mackinas, gives "Madame Langlade permission to go to Green Bay, and enter into possession of her houses, gardens, farms and property, and to take a hired man with her."
229permission, as I was then over two years of age, and have no recollection of ever having seen her. But for this written permission of Gov. Sinclair's, I should have thought that my great grandmother had died before her husband, as I never remember to have heard my mother speak of her.
Upon the breaking out of the Revolutionary war, Charles De Langlade, who was then fifty-two years old, was persuaded by Capt. De Peyster, commanding at Mackinaw, to take an active part in the war should his services be needed; and this, as De Peyster remarks in his Miscellanies, was equivalent to "securing all the Western Indians in our interest." He was soon required to raise an Indian force, and repair to Canada for its defence, and with a large body of Sioux, Sauka, Foxes, Menomonees, Winnebagoes, Pottawottamies, Ottawas and Chippewas, he marched for Montreal. Upon their arrival there, a grand council was held, a large ox was roasted whole, and served up to the Indians at a war-feast; and when La Rock, the Sioux interpreter, failed to perform his duty, De Langlade supplied his place by having the Sioux render their speeches into the Chippewa tongue, which was pretty generally known among the Indians in the North-West, when he could render it from the Chippewa into French. While in Canada on this service, I remember he served under Gen. Campbell, but forget his particular services rendered. My recollection is, that as occasion required, he went to Canada with his Indian force several times during the war, but I can give no particulars. I presume he was there at the time Gov. Haldimand gave Cha-kau-cha-ka-ma, or The Old King, the great medal and certificate, the latter of which, dated Aug. 17th, 1778, has been deposited in the Cabinet of the Historical Society.
After Col. George Rogers Clarke had conquered the Illinois country, the British Lieut. Gov. Hamilton, of Detroit, planned an expedition, in the winter of 1778-79, against Clarke; but, though so far successful as to re-possess Vincennes,
230Hamilton and his forces were suddenly attacked in turn by the gallant Clarke, and made prisoners of war. It had been Hamilton's plan, as the summer of 1779 should roll around, to re-conquer the rest of the Illinois country; but his hopes were suddenly blasted by the daring and gallantry of his wily antagonist. Without, however, knowing anything of Hamilton's misfortune, Capt. De Peyster called a grand council of the North-Western tribes to assemble at l'Arbre Croche, near Mackinaw, early in the summer, for the purpose of embodying an Indian force to make a diversion towards Fort Chartres, in favor of Gov. Hamilton.
Pierre Caree had been sent to Milwaukee to invite the Indians there to attend the grand council; and failing of success, Gautier De Verville, De Langlade's nephew, who had served with him during the old French war, and thus far in the Revolutionary contest, and was thoroughly acquainted with the Indians, next went; but he returned, reporting that he had met with no better success — that the Indians had laughed at him.
231bravery, that if they possessed brave hearts themselves, they would follow his example, and accompany him to war. They could not resist this ancient and superstitious custom; and so one after another joined in the war song and tasted the dogs' hearts, till all had become followers of De Langlade, and he led them; forth to the grand council at l'Arbre Croche. After the grand council was held, and brave speeches made, the Indian force, under De Langlade and De Verville, embarked upon Lake Michigan; and upon arriving at St. Joseph's, they learned of Hamilton's surrender, and returned much dissatisfied.
My grandfather, De Langlade, remained in service in the Indian Department till the end of the war; and he and his faithful companion and nephew, Gautier De Verville, both serving as captains. As there were no expeditions by the Americans against the North-West, there was no active service for them to perform.
I will mention what little I know of an event at this period, but in which, however, my grandfather had no part. Jean Marie Ducharme, a trader from Montreal, had wended his way up the Missouri river with goods, and carried on a profitable trade with the Indians, but without license or permission of the Spanish, authorities at Pancore or St. Louis; and the consequence was, that as he descended the Missouri with his boat of furs and peltries, a band of Spaniards intercepted him; the most of his party, when they saw the Spaniards approaching, fled and left him, when he had only a young man whom he had raised, and a Pawnee Indian, remaining with him, who fired upon their assailants. They were too weak, however, to make any successful resistance, and finally fled, and though the Spaniards endeavored to take Ducharme, he eluded them and escaped. His goods were seized and confiscated, to the value of four or five thousand dollars.
Making his way back to Mackinaw, with no very amiable feelings towards the Spaniards at Pancore, he soon managed to get up quite a large expedition, in the spring of 1780, for their chastisement. It appears to have been almost entirely, if not exclusively, a volunteer affair, yet my recollection is that my grandfather told me, that Lieut. Gov. Sinclair, of Mackinaw, gave it his countenance and encouragement The numbers engaged I do not remember, but it was pretty large, and they were mostly Indians. The bold Ottawa chief Match-i-ku-is had the chief command of the Indians, and was honored with the title of General. They came by the way of Green Bay, where they were joined by Po-e-go-na, or The Feather-Shedder, Mu-wa-sha, or The Little Wolf, Le Baron, and other noted Menomonee warriors, and some Winnebagoes. From Green Bay, they took the usual route up Fox river to the Wisconsin Portage, and thence down the Wisconsin and Mississippi. The expedition, however, accomplished but little; they killed a few innocent people around Pancore or St. Louis, and were foiled in their chief design, and returned dissatisfied. About the year 1788, I saw General Match-i-ku-is at Green Bay, who seemed to appreciate the importance of his title, for he wore a bright red British dress coat, with epaulettes, and cut quite a figure. He was then getting old, and was a tall, large-sized Indian. Young as I was, he attracted my attention, and my grandfather told me about him; and his Pancore expedition, otherwise I should not probably have known anything of it. My grandfather had a dislike towards General Match-i-ku-is, and remarked that he was unreliable and treacherous, brave and sanguinary, and probably had more special reference to his treacherous conduct at the surprise of Mackinaw in 1763. I may add, that I am quite confident that my grandfather did not accompany the Pancore expedition, nor do I think any whites at Green Bay joined it.
I do not know much of Jean Marie Ducharme — never
233having seen him; but he was many years engaged in the Indian trade, and finally retired to Lachine, near Montreal, his native region, where he had a fine property, and died there about 1800 to 1805. He had three sons in this country, Joseph, Dominick, and Paul — the former of whom, I remember, went to Lachine to settle his father's estate; and Paul Ducharme yet survives, at about eighty years of age. I have heard that, about 1782, Jean Marie Ducharme once left Mackinaw on a trading expedition, without obtaining the necessary written license or permission from Lieut. Gov. Sinclair, who, on his return, required him, for his disobedience, to provide fifteen hundred bundles of wild hay, weighing some fifteen pounds to the bundle, for the King's public supplies, and paid the penalty. About the same time, one St. Paul De La Croix, a trader, also departed on a trading voyage without permission, and, like Ducharme, was directed to pay the same penalty, for disobedience of a well-known order. But De La Croix, who was rather a hard case to manage, said that the King lived over the ocean, and he didn't believe he needed any hay; if he thought, he really stood in need of any, he would procure some for him; but as it was, he shouldn't get any. Sinclair could not, or did not, enforce the fine. I can only further say of Jean Marie Ducharme, that he had a brother Dominick Ducharme, and a cousin Laurent Ducharme, the latter of whom was at Mackinaw when surprised in 1763, and both were many years engaged in the Indian trade in the North-West.
In or about 1782, Lieut. Gov. Sinclair gave to my grandfather a grant to all his lands at Green Bay, including his improvements and such prairies as he may have used for meadow, and wood lands used for wood, or sugar-making; this document I confided to Col. Isaac Lee, the U. S. Commissioner, in 1820, to examine into the land titles at Green Bay and Prairie du Chien, and he took it to Detroit with him, and dying soon after, I never was able to reclaim it.
After the Revolutionary war, my grandfather, De Langlade, remained in his Indian agency at Green Bay, having the general superintendence of the Indians in this quarter, and also continued in command of the militia. It was an ancient custom among the Canadians, on the 1st of May in each year, to have a holiday, raise a flag-pole, and salute it with vollies of discharges, well blackening it over, and all these demonstrations were designed as complimentary to their militia, Commandant; and thus was Charles De Langlade most affectionately reverenced and honored by the simple-hearted people of the settlement.
Mr. De Langlade, by his marriage with Miss Bourassa,
235had two children, Lalotte, born in 1760 or 1761, who was married to one Barcellou, but, died the next year childless; and my mother Domitelle, born in 1763, who was united in marriage to my father, Pierre Grignon, Sr., in 1776, when she was thirteen years of age. My grandfather spent the remainder of his days at Green Bay, occasionally making a journey to Mackinaw or Toronto on public or private business, for he continued to attend to his Indian agency, and the command of the militia, as long as he Jived. He had a farm which was managed by my father, Pierre Grignon, Sr., and received an annuity of eight hundred dollars while he lived, as half-pay, from the British Government, for his services during the American Revolution, and he also received for those services a grant of 3,000 acres of land on the La Trenche river in Canada. He now felt the weight of years, and in January, 1800, after an illness of two weeks, he died, at the age of seventy-five years, and his remains were buried beside those of his father in the cemetery at Green Bay.
Thus passed away the Sieur Charles De Langlade, whose long life was one of varied excitement, replete with martial deeds, and scenes of deepest interest in the forest and among the savages. He had, as he often stated, been in ninety-nine battles, skirmishes, and border forays, and used to express a desire in his old age that he could share in another, so as to make the number one hundred. He was mild and patient, but could never brook an insult; friendly and benevolent in his feelings, and was devotedly loved by all classes of his acquaintances. He was very industrious, and always employed in some useful occupation, often chopping his own wood, and hewing timber for houses. His integrity was proverbial; once, under the old French regime, he made out his account of goods purchased for the Indians in his department, when the French Commissary returned it to him, and suggested that he make it over again; he did so, when it was again handed
236to him with the same request, and thus repeated four times, and each time, though he made a new transcript, it was precisely the same. At length the Commissary intimated to him, that he had returned it to him, as he saw it was very moderate in size, and the King of France could very well pay it if it were four or five times as large. He simply replied, that that was all just, and he could claim nothing more. He never used his position or opportunities to plunder the public, and died as he had lived, an honest man. The name given him by the Indians, is expressive of their idea of the leading trait of his character — A-ke-wau-ge-ke-tau-so, or He-who-is-fierce-for-the-land, that is, a military Conqueror. Like his father before him, he was un bon Catholique.
He was of medium height, about five feet nine inches, a square built man, rather heavy, but never corpulent. His head was bald, and in his old age the hair on the sides of his head had a silvery whiteness; his eyes were large and deep black, with very heavy eye-brows grown together. His face was round and full, and he presented altogether a fine appearance. When dressed, as I have often seen him, in his British scarlet, uniform, his military chapeau, his sword and red morocco belt, he exhibited as fine a martial appearance as any officer I ever beheld. The silver buckle of his sword-belt which he used in all his military services in two years, I take pleasure in presenting to the State Historical Society for its Cabinet, and hope it may be long preserved as a personal memorial of the early founder and father of Wisconsin.
My grandmother, the widow of Charles De Langlade, was a woman rather tall and portly in her old age with a mild, brows eye. She was regarded as quite handsome in her day. After her husband's death, she made her home with her daughter, and died at Green Bay in 1818, at about the age of seventy-five years.
It is creditable to the intelligence and cultivation of the De
237Langlades and other early settlers at Green Bay, that a distinguished French nobleman, upon visiting the country many years ago, should express his surprise, at hearing from the natives of the country, the French language spoken with the same purity and elegance, to which he was accustomed to hear it in Paris.
I will now make some mention of such of my grandfathers old companions in arms, as were known to me. I have already said that Gautier De Verville was his nephew, a native of Mackinaw. I can state no specific services of his beyond what I have given in connection with my grandfather's; but I know that he was my grandfather's constant companion in all, or nearly all, his services during the old French and Revolutionary wars, and had a captain's commission during the latter service. He was a tall, spare man, rather full face, brown eye, not handsome, but yet pleasant in all his intercourse. After the war, he continued to make Mackinaw his home, had a farm, and sometimes acted as Indian interpreter for the British Government. He married a Miss Chevallier, of Mackinaw, a tall and handsome woman; they had two daughters, the eldest of whom became the wife of Capt. Henry Monroe Fisher, a reputed nephew of President Monroe, who came to the North-West as a clerk for an English trader named Todd, with whom he remained three years, and then located himself as a trader at Prairie du Chien, where he resided when I first visited the place in 1795. That year Michael Brisbois married the youngest daughter of Gautier De Verville, and the next year, Capt. Fisher went to Mackinaw and married the eldest. Gautier De Verville and his wife went to Prairie du Chien, about 1798, to live with Michael Brisbois; and De Verville died there about 1803, at about the age of sixty-five; his widow survived him several years. Both Fisher and Brisbois were prominent and useful men at Prairie du Chien, and have left worthy descendants, so that the descendants of Sieur Augustin De Langlade,
238through De Verville, are among the most respectable in the country.
Amable De Gere, who was commonly called La Rose, a native of Montreal, early wended his way to Mackinaw, and took part as we have seen, in the old French and Indian war. He was a part of the time employed in the Indian trade for himself, and a part for others. He made Green Bay his home for several years, when not in the Indian country, and finally left for his native region, about 1790, and never returned to the West. He was then getting quite old, was unmarried, and was well regarded by my grandfather and all who knew him.
Another of the brave and hardy band who served under my grandfather, was Pierre Caree, a native of Canada. Like
239De Gere, he was sometimes a clerk for other traders, and sometimes trading for himself. During the war of 1812-15, he acted as interpreter for the British Col. Robert Dickson. In the fall of 1812, Col. Dickson started from Mackinaw with government goods for the Indians around Prairie du Chien, taking with him Carce as interpreter; but winter overtaking them at Winnebago Lake, they became frozen in, and spent the winter on Garlic Island, between the present Oshkosh and Neenah; in the spring they continued on to Prairie du Chien, distributed the goods, and started on their return journey. At the mouth of the Manisle river,
Louis Hamline, a native of Canada, and also one of De
240Langlade's old soldiers, lived at Mackinaw, where he had a family. He was once setting trout-lines under the ice on the border of Lake Michigan, when a heavy wind blew a large body of ice, where he was, quite a distance into the Lake, upon which he remained nine days, without food, when the wind veered about and drove the ice on shore again. He must have died at Mackinaw many years ago.
La Fortune was another of my grandfather's war followers, a hardy Canadian; he had an Ottawa wife, and lived with the Indians near Mackinaw, among whom he was noted as a great hunter.
Machar, another of the party, was an uncle to my father, and was the grandfather of Mrs. John Dousman, of Lake Shawanaw. He was a native of Canada, a man of great fearlessness, and was long a trader in the North-West. Once when he had his trading post at the Falls of the Chippewa river, with three men with him in his employ, he persuaded a band of Chippewas, encamped some distance above him, and a party of Sioux below, to meet at his post and make a treaty of peace and friendship, for they had been implacable foes from time immemorial. They accepted the invitation, met, and smoked the pipe of peace, with many a pledge of friendship. The Chippewas first took their departure, when the treacherous Sioux managed to get around and then ahead of them, and killed one of their number. The Chippewas then returned to Machar's trading post, and lingered around there till they had exhausted their own supplies, and nearly all the provisions of the traders. They then applied to Machar for further aid, when he gave them ammunition, and bid them go the next morning to hunt for deer, and not fail to bring him all the deer they should kill. The next night they brought in thirty deer. Machar then supplied them with powder, lead, and other necessary articles, and bid them return home and go to hunting, to pay their credits and support their families. They obeyed his directions. And this
241is only one instance of his influence with the Indians; his firmness and fearlessness always made him respected among them. Machar had three children, two sons and a daughter; he went to Detroit in his old age, to live with one of his sons, and died there, more than fifty years ago.
The Green Bay settlement, from its inception in 1745 to 1785, a period of forty years, had made but little progress. At my earliest recollection, say 1785, there were but seven families, who with their engages and others did not exceed fifty-six souls; and I feel quite certain, that at no anterior date, did the actual residents amount to more. It may be interesting to preserve the names of the early settlers, with the number of their families, and so I will give them: Charles De Langlade, wife, two Pawnee servants, and three engages; Pierre Grignon, Sr., wife, six children, two Pawnee servants, and twelve engages; Lagral and wife; Baptist Brunet, wife, three children, and one engage; Amable Roy, wife, two Pawnee servants, one engage, and Baptist La Duke, an old trader, living with them; Joseph Roy, wife, five children, and one engage; a young man named Marchand, the agent of a Mackinaw trading company, having a store of Indian goods at the Bay, with four engages — making fifty-six the total population. Of those families, Brunet, Lagral and Joseph Roy, resided on the west side of the river, and De Langlade, Grignon, Amable Roy and Marchand, on the east. As Mr. Grignin and Marchand kept the only trading stores, we see the business was transacted on the cast side of the river. At this time there were no settlers at Depere, nor indeed anywhere on Fox river, except those here mentioned at the Bay.
The first settler who arrived after my recollection, was Jacques Porlier, from Montreal, in 1791. It was not till the next year, 1792, that Charles Reaume arrived, and took up his residence at the Bay. About this period others began to arrive, almost invariably from Canada — among them, John
242Lawe, in the summer of 1797; so that prior to the commencement of the war of 1812, the following persons, heads of families, had arrived and settled, mostly at the Bay, and from the Bay up as far as Depere; M. Duchano, Louis Gravel, Bartinme Chevalier, Pierre Chalifoux, Pierre Houlrich, Jacob Franks, Yout Brisque, Jacques and Nicholas Vieau, Baptist Cardronne, John Dousman, Pierre Carbonneau, John Vann, Joseph Houll, John Jacobs, Alexander Garriepy, Louis Bauprez, Joseph Duchanne, John Baptist Langerin, who married my mother, Prisque Hyotte, Amable Norman, John Baptist Lavigne, Augustin Bonneterre, Joseph Boucher, Antoine Le Boeuf, Augustin Thibeau, Alexander Dumond, George Fortier, Basil La Rock, Dominick Brunet, and Joseph Jourdin, the father-in-law of Ezekiel Williams; and the following natives of Green Bay had become heads of families prior to 1812, viz.: Perrish Brunet, my half-brother Perrish Grignon, and my brothers, Pierre, Charles, Louis and Baptist Grignon, and myself, and probably a few others. I have no definite idea of the total population at this period, but should think it was not less than two hundred and fifty.
Of some of the early settlers at Green Bay, I must make a more particular mention. My father, Pierre Grignon, Sr., was born Montreal, and early engaged as a voyageur with traders in the Lake Superior country, and having saved his wages, he after awhile engaged as a trader on his own account, and located at Green Bay prior to 1763. He had served on some expeditions, probably during the old French war, but I remember no particulars. By his first wife, a Menomonee woman, he had three children; one of them died young from an injury by a fall, another died while at school at Montreal, and the other, Perrish, grew up, and raised a family. By his marriage with my mother, he raised nine children,
243died in November, 1795, just before the birth of his youngest, at about the age of fifty-five or sixty years. He was a spare man, six feet in height, of light complexion; a man of bravery, and full of animation, but by no means quarrelsome. He was highly esteemed, and was regarded as strictly upright in all his dealings. He was particularly hospitable, and no year passed but he entertained many of the traders going to, or returning from, their winter trading posts.
Baptist Brunei, from Quebec, must have come to Green Bay about 1775, and at first, for a year, engaged in my father's employ; the next year married a natural daughter of Gautier De Verville by a Pawnee servant woman of Chas. De Langlade. He was only a farmer, but a very good one, and died at Green Bay about 1815.
Amiable and Joseph Roy, brothers, and natives of Montreal, found their way to Green Bay not very long after the old French war. Amable Roy married Agate, the daughter of the Sieur Augustin De Langlade, and the widow of M. Souligny; previous to which, he had done something in the Indian trade, and after his marriage, turned his attention to farming. He had no children; his wife died about 1801, willing him all her property, and he died about a year afterwards, and gave his property to young Louis Grignon, who had lived with him from childhood. Joseph Boy had been employed as an engage, and married a Menomonee woman, and raised two sons and four daughters, and survived some years after the war of 1812-15, and his very aged widow was still living but a very few years since. Of Lagral, I need only remark, that he came from Canada with his wife, and settled at the Bay about 1785, or a very little before, for I remember their coming, and remained only about four years, when they sold their place to my father, and left the country.
James Porlier, who came to Green Bay, as already stated, in 1791,
It was while on the St. Croix, in 1793, that he married Miss Marguerite Griesie, whose father was a Frenchman, the first clerk Pierre Grignon, Sr., had at Green Bay, where he married a Menomonee woman, and afterwards left the country, abandoning his wife and child. Mr. Porlier found Miss Griesie and her mother with a band of the Menomonees spending the hunting season on the St. Croix.
In January, 1815, Mr. Porlier was commissioned by Gov. George Prevost, of Canada, a Justice of the Peace, and Captain of the militia of Green Bay, under the British Government, which commission was certified by Lieut. Col. McDonall, Commandant at Macknaw; and it would appear from a
245memorandum among Mr. Porlier's papers, that he had been commissioned a Justice of the Peace, by the British in 1812; but I have no recollection of his having acted under these commissions.
Judge Porlier was about five feet, ten inches in height, of medium size, of light complexion, a little bald, very mild, and invariably pleasant to all. The public positions he filled so long and so well, are the best evidences of the esteem for his character, and the confidence reposed in him. Such was his solicitude to fit himself for his judicial position, that he patiently translated from the English, and left in manuscript, the Revised Laws of Michigan Territory, in the French language. His widow survived him about five years; they had several children, three of whom are still living.
Charles Reaume was, I dare say, as my old departed friend Solomon Juneau has stated, a native of La Prairie, nearly
246opposite to Montreal. His family was very respectable, and he enjoyed good educational advantages. He appears early to have left Montreal, and went to Detroit, where he had relatives, among them a nephew named Alexander Reaume, a trader, but if I ever knew; the particulars of his career there, I have forgotten.
He was a singular man — vain, pompous, and fond of show; and his sense of honor and justice was not very high. He led a jolly, easy life, always getting his share of good things whenever within his reach, and never seemed to have a care or thought for the morrow. I think the published anecdotes related of him are correct, and truly represent the character of the man.
When on the St. Croix with Mr. Porlier, he was trading in a small way for his own benefit. One day he invited Mr. Porlier, Laurent Fily, and two or three others wintering there, to dine with him. His guests appeared at the proper time, and Reaume had prepared some dried venison, pounded finely, and cooked in maple sugar and bears' oil, making really a very fine dish. A half-breed, Amable Chevalier, happened to make his appearance, and observed to Reaume, that he had not plates enough on the table, as there was none for him. "Yes, there are enough," said Reaume gruffly, when the Indian snatched from Reaume's head his red cap, and spreading it upon the table, took both his hands and scooped from the dish of cooked venison, called; by the Indians, pe-we-ta-gah, or prepared in oil, as much as he could, and dashed it into the cap. This was all the work of a moment, when Reaume followed suit, by seizing a handful of the meat, and throwing it in the Indian's face. Quite an exciting scene now ensued in the way of a personal recontre, which the guests terminated by separating the angry combatants. Not to be foiled in this way, when the Indian was sent off, and things re-adjusted, Reaume and his friends partook of the feast, such as it was, with doubtless a regale of the trader's wine-keg, which each trader was sure to take with him for his winter's supply.
On this same trading voyage, Reaume had with him his cousin, Noel Reaume — a crack-brained fellow, who once refused to work a year as a voyageur for seven hundred francs, but would do so for a hundred dollars, and though this was
248considerably less, he never could be made to comprehend it. Having occasion to use their canoe in the winter, this Noel Reaume cleared out the snow, and brought a shovel full of live coals to place in the bottom of the frail bark craft, when his cousin Charles asked him what he was going to do? "Why," said the other, "these coals are to keep my feet warm; do you think I am going to freeze my feet to make you laugh?"
Reaume would often say, that the next spring his wife was coming from Montreal to join him at Green Bay, and he had said the same thing so repeatedly, year after year, that even the Indians made sport of him about it. One day meeting an old Menomonee named Wau-tau-se-mo-sa, or One-that-is-coming, Reaume asked him when he was going to get married, remarking to him that he was getting old. "O," said the Indian, "you have been telling us that Mrs. Reaume is coming out this spring, and I am waiting for her arrival, intending to marry her." This little sally very much stirred up Reaume's anger, when he sent back a volley of sacres, very much to the Indian's amusement.
A Mr. Rondel, of the Illinois country, who knew Reaume either in Canada or at Detroit, recommended him to Gov. Harrison, of the Indiana Territory, as a suitable person for a Justice of the Peace at the Green Bay settlement, when a commission was filled up and sent to him four or five years before the commencement of the war of 1812. This was the first officer of the kind at Green Bay; and marriages were previously entered into by contract and witnesses, disputes were settled by arbitration, and criminals were sent to Canada for trial. I am not certain, but presume Reaume kept something of a docket, and probably some record of such marriages as he solemnized, for some still adhered to the ancient custom, and dispensed with Reaume's services; but I have no recollection of his having a single law book or statute of any kind. His were equity decisions, but his ideas of equity were often very queer and singular. I never understood that he had any
249commission from the British authorities, nor do I think his commission from Gov. Harrison was ever renewed, but he continued to act under its authority until the organization of Brown county, by Gov. Cass, in 1818, — a period of about eleven years.
The late John Dousman related to me a case tried before Reaume, of which he was personally cognizant Joseph Houll was the complainant, and his claim; which was a just one, was for labor rendered the defendant. It was a plain ease, and Reaume decided in favor of Houll, and dismissed the parties. Dousman having heard so much about Reaume's singular decisions, concluded he would test the good Justice; and observed, with assumed sincerity, "Mr. Reaume, now that you have decided the case, I must say, I am very much surprised at your decision — you ought, in justice, to have decided in favor of the defendant." "Ah," replied Reaume, "you did not understand me aright;" and then stepping to the door, he called Houll back, and asked him how he understood the decision? Houll, of course, said that he understood that he had won. "Yes," said Reaume, "you have won to pay the costs!" This is only one instance in many of a similar character, showing a very facile conscience, and a mind easily changed by caprice or interest.
After Reaume disposed of his little stock of goods, he secured him: a farm on the west side of the river, about four miles above Green Bay. Probably from the savings of his store, he obtained some cattle and horses, and soon had a very fine farm, with a comfortable house, and, many comforts around him. He had a dog named Rabasto, whom he had trained to go and drive away the thieving black-birds whenever they would appear in his fields. Not very long after Col. John Bowyer came to Green Bay in 1815, as American Indian Agent, he purchased Reaume's farm at less than half its value, when the latter made his home with Judge Lawe about a year. He then obtained a claim for
250some land at the Little Kau-kau-lin, ten miles above Green Bay, on which he erected a comfortable house, and moved there, but he kept no liquor or other articles to sell to the Indians, as I was there frequently, and should have known it if it had been so. There he sickened and died, in the spring of 1822, somewhere, I should think, from sixty-five to seventy years of age. Judge Reaume was rather tall, and quite portly, with a dark eye, with a very animated, changeable countenance. Like the Indians, his loves and hates were strong, particularly the hates. He was probably never known to refuse a friendly dram of wine, or of stronger liquors; and he was, in truth, very kind, and very hospitable. With all his eccentricities, he was warmly beloved by all who knew him.
John Lawe, another early settler, was a native of York, England. His father was a captain in the English army, and his mother an English Jewess, a sister of Jacob Franks, who had come to the Bay as early as 1795, as a clerk in the trading establishment of Ogilvie, Gillaspie & Co., of Mackinaw, who had a store at Green Bay. John Lawe was educated at Quebec, and Joseph Rolette, so well known as a trader and early settler at Prairie du Chien, was one of his school-mates. When his uncle, Mr. Franks, had been about three years with Ogilvie, Gillespie & Co., he ceased serving as clerk, and went to Canada and obtained a stock of goods. He returned to the Bay and opened a store, bringing his nephew, John Lawe, with him, then a young man of sixteen years. This was in the summer of 1797. Lawe engaged in his uncle's employ, and the following winter was sent with a supply of Indian goods, accompanied by Louis Bauprez, to Fond du Lac river, which was then known among the French and traders by that name; and took possession of the old trading post, about a mile and a half above the mouth of that stream, on its eastern bank. This had been a winter trading post for many years; Laurent Ducharme, who one year caught a large number of ducks there, by means of a net, which
251be salted and preserved for winter's use, was about the earliest trader at that point; then one Ace, a Spaniard, and subsequently one Chavodriel, and still later Michael Brisbois, and I wintered there two winters. The Indians whose trade was here sought, were the Winnebagoes, who had a village where Taycheedah now is, three miles east of Fond du Lac City, and had other villages along Rock river. Mr. Lawe afterwards spent several winters at different points, among the Indian hunting bands, between Green Bay and the Mississippi, and up to the time when his uncle left the country, and went back to Canada, which was about the commencement of the war of 1812, leaving Mr. Lawe as his successor as a merchant and trader, and he continued more or less in the Indian trade as long as he lived.
During the war, Mr. Lawe was a Lieutenant in the Indian Department, under the British, and the only active service I remember of his, was his going, under Col. Robert Dickson, near the close of the war, to Mackinaw, my brother Louis Grignon being also along, and taking part in the repulse of the American Col. Holmes, at Mackinaw. Sometime after the organization of Brown county, he was commissioned an Associate Judge of the county. His death occurred at Green Bay, February 11th, 1846, in his sixty-sixth year. When twenty years of age, he was married to Miss Therese Rankin, whose father was an Englishman, and her mother of the Chippewa band, who wintered on the Pishtego river, and were frequently at Green Bay. Several children were the fruit of this marriage. Judge Lawe was a man of ordinary height, but became very portly; he was possessed of great enterprise, and was shrewd and successful in his business operations.
I will now notice some matters connected with the Green Bay settlement. We have seen how slow was the progress of the settlement, from its origin to the war of 1812. Carver, who visited the settlement in September, 1766, states that
252there was then no garrison there, nor had the fort been kept in repair since its abandonment by Lieut. Gorrell, three years previously; that a few families lived in the fort; and opposite to it, on the eastern side of the river, there were a few French settlers, who cultivated the land, and appeared to live comfortably. Carver was plainly a man of observation and foresight, for he remarks: "To what power or authority this new world will become dependent, after it has risen from its present uncultivated state, time alone can discover. But as the seat of empire, from time immemorial, has been gradually progressive toward the West, there is no doubt but that, at some future period, mighty kingdoms will emerge from these wildernesses, and stately palaces and solemn temples, with gilded spires reaching the skies, supplant the Indian huts, whose only decorations are the barbarous trophies of their vanquished enemies." What was almost prophecy to Carver, fourteen years before my birth, I have lived to see literally fulfilled.
At my earliest recollection, say about 1785, or a little before, we still find the settlement small, containing only seven families, and fifty-six souls; with two trading establishments, my father's, and Marchand's as the agent of a Mackinaw house. Reaume, as we have seen, had a small store, which, had only a short-lived existence. The Mackinaw establishment, after three years' operations, was at length purchased out, about 1788, by my father; and about 1794, the trading house of Ogilvie, Gillaspie & Co., was established, which three years after gave place to Jacob Franks', of which, after a career of many years, John Lawe became the proprietor. After my father's death, in 1795, my mother continued the store a couple of years, when my brother Pierre and myself took it in charge, and continued the business some twenty-eight years, and until my brother's death. These were all the stores at Green Bay prior to the war of 1812.
I can say but little of the early mechanics of Green Bay.
253My father always kept a blacksmith employed making traps, and doing other smith work; and he also kept a tailor at work. Jacob Franks established a smith-shop, and employed one Gallarno a couple of years to manage it, when Gallarno went to Prairie du Chien; and then, about 1798, Joseph Jourdin arrived from Canada, and carried on the blacksmithing business for Franks, for some tame, and then for himself. Jourdin married a daughter of Michael Gravel, whose wife was a daughter of a Menomonee chief; and the celebrated Ezekiel Williams married a daughter of Jourdin. Mr. Jourdin is still living in the country. I remember an Englishman, came to the Bay in my father's time, who was a hatter; and winter setting in, he remained till the next spring, working for my father, and then pursued his journey to St. Louis. There were no established carpenters and joiners, and masons, until the advent of the Americans in 1816, except Augustin Thibeau, a carpenter and joiner, who came from Quebec about 1800, and engaged for some time in the employ of Mr. Franks. When my father erected a new house, about 1790, he had to send to Montreal for a carpenter and mason; his house was a hewed log building, and at that time was regarded as altogether the best at Green Bay.
Prior to the arrival of the Americans, in 1816, there was no physician at Green Bay, the nearest was Dr. Mitchell, at Mackinaw, who was too far distant ever to have been sent for. We had no early schools — none till after the coming of the American troops. The year Mr. Porlier lived in my father's family, he gave some instructions to myself, brothers and sisters; but in those early times, all who were favored with an education, were sent either to Mackinaw or Canada to obtain it.
The earliest mall erected in the country, was by Jacob Franks, about the year 1809. He first built a saw-mill, and then a grist-mill; they were located on Devil river, two or three miles east of Depere, and were erected for Mr. Franks
254by an American named Bradley; the grist-mill had one run of stone, and was very serviceable for many years. Previous to this, grinding was done by hand-mills, with a double crank, for two persons to turn, and which held about half a bushel. Not long before Franks built his mill, my brother, Pierra Grignon, jr., erected a horse-mill, of about four horse power, by which about fifteen bushels of grain could be ground a day, but it was a slow and tedious process, and was abandoned after about a year as being too expensive to keep in operation. This proving a failure, my brother, not very long after Pranks had erected his mill, built a small mill near the Adams street bridge, in Green Bay, with a run of stones, only three feet in diameter, which were made at the Bay; but his reliance for water was the little stream upon which it was erected, and which proved insufficient for any practical purpose.
Horses, cattle, hogs, and fowls were plenty as far back as I
255can remember; and they must have been common in the settlement for many years before my day. The earliest horses were brought from Detroit, of the small, hardy, Canadian breed. There were no sheep till shortly after my father erected his new house, about 1790, when he purchased seven head, at Mackinaw, and brought them home in a barge; and by carefully watching them, but few were lost by wolves, and they soon increased till they became numerous.
The early commerce of the country deserves a passing notice, The chief articles of export were, of course, furs and peltries, which served as the chief medium! of exchange for the goods brought into the country. There was some considerable quantity of deer's tallow, saved by the Indians and sold to the traders, taken to Mackinaw, and some maple sugar; I remember that one year, about 1806, between Mr. Franks and myself, we sent to Mackinaw one hundred and twenty kegs of deer's tallow, weighing about 10,000 pounds. But as there was much sugar manufactured around Mackinaw,
256then a large bearing tree, a foot in diameter, and currants were then plenty; and these were the only cultivated fruits till after the arrival of the Americana, in 1816, when a man brought from the Detroit region a lot of apple trees, and since then cherries and plums have been introduced.
During the constant wars of the Indians, several of the Wisconsin tribes were in the habit of making captives of the Pawnees, Osages, Missouries, and even of the distant Mandans, and these were consigned to servitude. I know that the Ottawas and Sauks made such captives; but am not certain about the Menomonees, Chippewas, Pottawottamies, Foxes and Winnebagoes. The Menomonees, with a few individual exceptions, did not engage in these distant forays. The Menomonees, and probably other tribes, had Pawnee slaves, which they obtained by purchase of the Ottawas, Sauks and others who captured them; but I never knew the Menomonee's to have any by capture, and but a few by purchase. For convenience sake, I suppose, they are all denominated Pawnees, when some of them were certainly of other Missouri tribes, as I have already mentioned, for I have known three Osages, two Missouries, and one Mandan, among these Indian slaves. Of the fourteen whom I have personally known, six were males and eight females, and the most of them were captured while young. I have no recollection as to the pecuniary value of these slaves or servants, but I have known two females sold, at different times, each for one hundred dollars.
The two Indian slaves of my grandfather, were given to him by the Ottawas, and both were Osages; they made good servants, were happy and contented. A portion of these servants were after a while given their freedom, either for, their good conduct or some other cause; and it does seem to me as if there was some requirement or obligation on the part of the white owners to liberate them after a specified period of servitude. One of those of my grandfather, died
257while living with him; and the other, Antoine, must have remained as his servant not less than ten years, when he gave him his freedom, and then employed him as an engage. Antoine subsequently hired himself successively to several different persons, and finally got back among the Osages, when he was recognized by his mother, from whom he was taken when a mere child; his brother was a chief among the Osages, and he was soon raised to the chieftainship.
One of my father's Indian servants was named Jocko; he was a great thief, and in every sense a bad youth. He drank hard whenever he could get liquor, and when my father gave him his freedom, he remained a long time at Green Bay, and finally went off to the Mississippi country. His mother was owned by Kat-teesh, a half-sister of the Menomonee chief, Tomah; but was so great a thief, and otherwise objectionable and troublesome, that she was sent back to the Sauks from whom she was purchased. My father's other servant, Collo, was a very clever fellow, and proved himself quite useful; when freed at the same time with Jocko, he went off among the Chippewas, by some one of whom he was killed in a fit of jealousy. One of Amable Boy's servants, after gaining his freedom, was killed at the Wisconsin Portage in a drunken brawl by a Menomonee Indian. The only others of the Pawnee slaves in the Green Bay settlement, for there were, within my knowledge, but seven in all, were two females, both of whom after a few years were given their freedom; one remained, and lived to a good, old age, and died at the Bay; the other was married to a Frenchman named Paptist Cardornne, and remained in the settlement as long as they lived. There were several Pawnee slaves owned by the whites at Mackinaw, some of whom were repeatedly sold. I remember of a Frenchman there of the name of Augustin Bonneterre purchasing a Pawnee woman, and marrying her; they removed to the Bay, and raised a large family of girls, some of whom are still living.
When these Pawnee slaves had Indian masters, they were generally treated with great severity. Once the Sauks had a Pawnee female, and treated her so like a dog, that a Mr. Geory, a trader, purchased her from feelings of humanity. A female slave owned by a Menomonee woman, while sick, was directed by her unfeeling mistress to take off her over-dress, and she then deliberately stabbed and killed her; and this without a cause or provocation, and not in the least attributable to liquor. It should also be mentioned, on the other hand, that Mascaw, a Pawnee among the Menomonees, was not treated or regarded as a slave, and married a chief's daughter, and lived with them till his death, and has now a gray-headed son living at Lake Shawanaw.
It has already been related, that Capt. De Velie, who was early killed by the Sauks at Green Bay, had a negro servant, who I presume was a slave. I know of but one other African slave at Green Bay, and he was a mere lad, not over half a dozen years of age, when purchased by Baptist Brunei of one Masshasho, a St. Louis Indian trader, giving one hundred dollars for him. The boy was probably at times very provoking, but Mr. Brunet was inexcusably severe in punishing him; he had a staple overhead in his house, to which he would tie the lad's hands, and then whip him without mercy. Thus things went on for about eight years, till about 1807, when Mr. Campbell, who had been a trader among the Sioux, was appointed the first American Indian Agent at Prairie du Chien, and who in some way heard of Brunet's undue cruelty, came and took the negro away, and what was further done with him I do not know.
259Campbell got into some difficulty with one Crawford, at Mackinaw, which eventuated in a, duel, near that place, in which Campbell fell.
It has been stated, that from the death of Father Allouez, at the close of the seventeenth century, until 1820, the small colony was without a visit from any of the French missionaries. I think this is not strictly correct, and will adduce a little narrative in illustration. In my boyhood days, there was an aged Chippewa woman, named O-cha-own, residing at the Little Kau-kau-lin, where she had a wigwam and a garden-patch. She was tall and sinewy, and quite masculine in her appearance. Her husband had died early, and she had no children; she lived all alone, save having half a dozen dogs of one kind, each of which she had taught to eat his food only in his own particular dish. She was a great huntress, and spent each winter with her dogs in the woods the same as any Indian hunter, and was quite as successful in killing bear, raccoon and other game. Beside a gun, which I presume she used, she had a lance, with which, with the aid of her dogs, she would fearlessly attack bears, and make them her victims. She would have made a fit companion for Nimrod of old. She was, withal, a great miser; for she would sell her furs and skins, and invest the proceeds in clothing and other articles, which she would never wear or use; if there had been gold and silver currency in the back woods in those days, which there was not, she doubtless would have hoarded her wealth in the precious metals, instead of goods and fine clothing. She usually wore, in cold weather, an old coat, which she had used so long, almost from time immemorial, that it had been patched and re-patched all over with bits of cloth of every hue and quality till it was fully two inches in thickness. She wore an old chapeau on her head,
260which well corresponded with her unequalled coat; and in her chapeau, a plume — not indicative of the warrior, and the pomp and circumstance of war, but it was a simple talisman in which she trusted for success in the chase.
In her latter years, when getting quite old, she used to pitch her wigwam frequently near my father's; and I remember that my father once, out of mischief, cut off the old woman's plume from her chapeau. She got very vexed, and reproached him for so sacrilegious an act; said he must be a fool, as he did not seem to know for what purpose she wore it. The plume, of course, which was so superstitiously regarded, soon re-occupied, its place of honor. At another time, one of her dogs happened to kill one of Madame Amable Roy's hens, when O-cha-own, as she caught the culprit and tied him up, thus addressed him, with as much earnestness and sincerity as though he understood every word: "You are a fool — you have killed a hen — this is not the way I taught you to behave; didn't I always tell you never to do any mischief? Now since you have been guilty of committing murder, you must die, and follow the one you have slain." So suiting the action to the word, she knocked the dog on the head with an axe and killed him, and wrapping his body in cloths, dug a grave and buried him.
Old O-cha-own, about 1790, when seventy-five or eighty years of age, died in her wigwam, near Joseph Roy's on the west side of the river, at Green Bay, and her clothing and other property which she hoarded up, were distributed, among the poor Indian families of the neighborhood. But the fact I design to bring forward by the introduction of this narrative is, that my grandfather, Charles De Langlade, when told that O-cha-own was very low, and near her end, made her a visit, and as the Catholic laity, when necessity seems to demand it, perform the rite of baptism to the dying, asked her if she had ever been baptised? "Oh," she promptly replied, "the Fathers long ago baptised me at Depere." So from this
261fact, and the age of O-cha-own, it would seem to me, that there must have been missionaries at Depere as late as 1710 to 1720; though it is barely possible, that she may have been ninety or one hundred years of age, and have been baptised by father Allouez or Father Enjalran.
I am very confident there could have been no missionaries at Green Bay from its settlement, in 1745, until Father Gabriel Richard, of Detroit, visited the Bay in 1820 — Father Richard was afterwards the delegate of Michigan Territory in Congress. About 1784 or 85, my father was at Mackinaw, and as Father Payet had just arrived there, he concluded it was a good time to have his children baptised; so he sent a messenger, and my mother and her children were conveyed in a bark canoe to Mackinaw, then called two hundred and forty miles from Green Bay, and when the wind and weather were favorable, the voyage could be made in five or six days. There we were baptised by Father Payet; I have a perfect remembrance of the trip. The garrison at Mackinaw was then, commanded by an officer named Robinson, or some such name.
The traders and settlers, as a general thing, lived on very friendly terms with the natives. No doubt, these amicable relations were much promoted by the intermarriages of the early French and Indians. But it is natural, that among a half-civilized people, there should be some exceptions. I will give some few instances in which lives were sacrificed. A French trader named Pennesha Gegare — the same spoken of as Pennensha in Gorrell's Journal of 1763, accompanied
262by Baptist La Duke, had located their trading house near the Lower Rapids of Chippewa river. This was at some period previous to 1784. They had just finished their house, when Pennesha said he would go out hunting, and obtain a supply of meat. La Duke opposed his going; said he had had, the previous night, a dream ominous of evil; but Pennesha scouted the idea, and started — La Duke, the while, warning him that he would come back a great deal quicker than he went away. So confident was La Duke of Indian troubles, that he with the engage went to work, brought their canoe into the house, and filled it with water; then after making some port-holes in the chinking between the logs of the house, opened a box of guns, and loaded them all, and had them placed in convenient readiness for use. It was not long before they saw Pennesha coming over the prairie at the top of his speed. He had discovered a large party of Chippewas, and to hasten back and outstrip them, had thrown every thing away that would retard his flighty even to his breech-clout.
Arriving, nearly out of breath, at the trading house, Pennesha exclaimed, "We are all dead," and then reported about the large Indian party. "Not quite all dead yet," said La Duke, "but we should have been in a fair way for it, if I had done as you did; but see here — we are prepared for them; let them come." Pennesha now loaded his own gun with a ball, contrary to the advice of La Duke to load, as he had done, with buck-shot. The Indians soon surrounded the cabin, and fired upon the house, when Pennesha fired, and broke the jaw of an Indian, while La Duke's single fire of buck-shot killed two of the assailants. The surviving Indians, finding they had approached too near, now retired to a Safer distance, and kept up the attack, but the traders were busy in discharging their musketry, and killed some others of the Chippewas; when the latter, thinking the whites must be numerous, retreated and disappeared. La Duke took an early
263occasion to impress upon Pennesha the superior success of his first fire of buck-shot over Pennesha's single bullet. The scalps of the two Indians killed near the house were now obtained; and thinking it dangerous to remain where they were, after what had happened, packed up their goods as quickly as possible, and hastened to the Sioux, and made the two Chippewa scalps serve as a recommendation to the favor and good graces of the Sioux, as the two tribes had carried on an interminable war between them. The traders were very kindly received by the Sioux, who complimented them with presents, and patronized them liberally.
It was not long before Pennesha had some difficulty with a Sioux, killed him, took his scalp and fled to the Chippewas with his trophy, which he made use of in securing the friendship, favor and patronage of his new friends. But this sort of conduct was not always to prove successful, for by some turn of fortune, Pennesha fell into the hands of the Sioux, who at once prepared to bum him. Pennesha saw plainly there was no hope for him, except in his wits; so he asked one favor of the Sioux — to let him have the distance of an arrow shot the start of them, and then all their young men, mounted on their fleetest horses, might pursue him, and shoot at and torture him to death with their arrows. This was in itself fair, besides it would give them additional sport; and they readily acceded to it. But they reckoned without their host, for Pennesha, who prided himself on his fleetness of foot, quickly out-stripped them, and escaped. He now left the country west of Lake Michigan, and went to the Mackinaw region, where it is believed he lived to a good old age. La Duke came to Green Bay, and was living at my earliest remembrance in the family of Amable Roy, and died at the Bay about 1790, quite advanced in years.
About 1788, one Ace, called by the Indians L'Espaniard, indicative of his nationality, was trading at the old trading-house, about a mile and a half up Fond du Lac river, at the
264head of Lake Winnebago. Several Winnebagoes, belonging to the White Dog's band, residing on Rock river, and regarded as the outlaws of the nation, came to Ace's trading establishment. One of the Indians approached, and told Ace's engage, that there were some ducks a little distance off, and suggested that he should go and shoot them; and he went, and while on the look-out for game, was shot down; by one of the concealed party. An Indian now ran to Mr. Ace and told him his man was killed, when he went out to see, and was himself shot down by Pakan, who seemed to be the leader of the Indians. Mrs. Ace, with the help of a gun, kept the enemy at bay, and preserved herself and children, until some friendly chiefs of the neighboring village, located where Taycheedah now is, came to her relief, and drove off Pakan and party. I am not aware of the motive that prompted this treacherous double murder, but supposed it was revenge, or a desire to obtain Ace's goods; if the latter, the Indians were foiled in their purpose. Mrs. Ace, with her family and goods, were brought to Green Bay by the friendly Winnebagoes, and thence went to Mackinaw.
I saw Pakan in 1801, at Fond du Lac, where I was spending the winter as a trader; he was a small, homely man, with one defective eye, and quite old. A year or two afterwards, a son of Pakan's got into a quarrel with his brother-in-law, a young chief who had married his sister, which resulted in the latter's having his nose bitten off. To revenge himself for such an irreparable injury, he killed his father-in-law, old Pakan. I never heard of any other Indian of this name, and as his band was notorious for their quarrelsome propensities, I dare say he was the Pakan who early annoyed the American settlements in Illinois.
About the time that Ace was killed, a little before or a little after, one Chavodreuil, a Canadian trader, with one or two engages, selected the old trading post on Pond du Lac river for his winter's quarters. He engaged a Menomonee, called
265the Thunder, to be his hunter, and furnish a constant supply of meat. Thunder had his wife with him, and made his wigwam not very far from the trading-house; and becoming jealous of Chavodrueil, shot and killed him. I do not remember any further particulars of this occurrence.
Two negro traders from Mackinaw, about the year 1791 or 92, established a trading-house at the mouth of the Menomonee river, where Marinette now is, Te-pak-e-ne-nee's old village, where St. Germain was many years previously killed. Here the negroes, by some slight-of-hand performances, impressed the Indians with the belief that they were medicine-men, and held communications with the spirit world. Some of the Indian children dying at this time, the Indians charged the cause upon the negro necromancers; and one Menomonee and several Chippewas attacked the negroes in their house, killed one, and shot the other as he was endeavoring to escape from the window. Three of the murderers were sent to Mackinaw, and thence to Montreal, and kept in confinement three years, and then returned to their people.
I never understood that the Folles Avoines or Menomonees came from the Niagara Falls region, as did the Foxes and, I presume, the Sauks also, as they seem long to have been intimately associated together, possessing an affinity of language. The earliest locality of the Menomonees, at the first visits of the whites, was at Bay de Noque and Menomonee river; and those at Bay de Noque were called by the early French, Des Noques or Des Noquia. It has already been elsewhere stated, that the Menomonees were less warlike than the Sauks and Foxes; they, at least, did not get embroiled in wars with other Indian nations as much as the other tribes. I have, however, previously mentioned that Old Carron, or Vieux Carron, as the French called him, once took the war-path against the Pawnees or Osages, but became smitten by some fair Sauk woman by the way, which circumstance probably diverted him from his warlike purpose.
266I remember hearing some of the aged Menomonees speak of having gone on expeditions against the Pawnees and Osages, but I know of no particulars; and from the fact that the Menomonees had no Pawnee slaves, within my remembrance, but a few purchased ones, I concluded they could not have carried on any lengthy or persistent warfare against the western tribes. We have seen the readiness of the Menomonees to join the standard of Charles De Langlade in the old French and Indian war, and the services of Old Carron and his son Glode and others, on the Plains of Abraham and elsewhere. My grandfather remarked, that he regarded the Menomonees as the most peaceful, brave, and faithful of all the tribes who ever served under him. This was a high compliment, but in my opinion richly merited. They have ever proved, as a nation, friendly to the whites; and in the general Indian plot of Pontiac, in 1763, the Menomonees alone kept aloof, and rendered signal services to Lieut. Gorrell and party at Green Bay.
I have already said of Old Canon what I know of him. After his death, about 1780, he was succeeded by his eldest son, Glode — a French name, but without signification, and which the Indians pronounced Con-note. Besides being in the great battle at Quebec, when Wolfe and Montcalm fell, and which in effect decided the fate of Canada, I have no doubt he was much in service during that war under my grandfather. De Peyster, the British Commandant at Mackinaw until 1779, speaks of Glode in such a way as to convey the idea, that he took an active part in the war of the American Revolution. About the fall of 1803, Glode went on a winter's hunt, taking his two wives and five or six children with him, and somewhere on or near the Menomonee river of Chippewa, the chief and all his family, save two children by another marriage, sickened and died during the ensuing winter. Glode was then not very far from sixty-four years of age. He was a tall and well-proportioned man, of great personal
267prowess; sometimes at a ball-play, when two or three would pitch on to him to keep him back, he would dash ahead, not seeming in the least to mind them. As the orator of his nation, he was a fine speaker, and his speeches were sensible and to the purpose. He was a very successful hunter and trapper, — accomplishments quite as popular with the Indians, as to be able to speak well on, public occasions. The present chief, Carron, now fifty-seven years of age, is the only surviving son of Glode.
Tomah was several years younger than his brother Glode. He was born at the Old King's village, opposite to Green Bay, on the west bank of Fox river, about the year 1752. I know of no early military exploits of his, and as a hunter he was fully the equal of Glode, and that is high praise. I spent the winter of 1795-96 on Black river, in company with Jacques Porlier, and traded there with the Menomonees, who were there making their winter's hunt. Glode and Tomah were both there, and I remember they got into a contention as to which of them, was the best hunter, Tomah claiming to excel his brother in deer hunting. They agreed to go out the next day and put their skill to the test; they started by day-light, and returned in the evening, Tomah having ten deer's tongues, and Glode nine. Tomah admitted that Glode was a better bear-hunter than himself, but contended that he could kill the most deer, and that they were equally good in trapping beaver.
Tomah was in early life regarded as a chief, and from my earliest recollection, he seemed to be as much respected, and as influential, as Glode, though the latter as his father's successor as chief speaker or orator of the nation, really held the highest rank; and upon Glode's death, in 1804, he became practically the head of the Menomonees, though Cha-kau-cho-ka-ma, or The Old King, was nominally the head chief, and out-lived Tomah. Neither Tomah nor any part of the Menomonees took any part in the Indian campaigns against
268Harmar, St. Clair and Wayne. In 1810, messengers arrived among the Menomonees with war-belts from Tecumseh and the Prophet, inviting them to join their Indian Confederacy against the Americans. I was then at Mackinaw on business, but well remember hearing it, and am confident neither Tecumseh nor the Prophet ever came in person; but I doubt not that a council was called, that the Shawanoe emissary made his harangue, and that Tomah made the reply, as mentioned by Mr. Biddle, in the 1st Vol. of the Society's Collections. But though Tomah's judgment may have been for peace, yet he and his people actively joined the British in the war that ensued.
A part of Tecumseh's plan was to make proselytes to the Prophet's new religion, and one thing that was strongly impressed upon the Indians was, that they should furnish no meat to the whites; but if they should, to be certain that the meat was separated from the bones, and the bones unbroken to be buried at the roots of some tree; and that the Indians should not break any bones of the deer they should kill for their own use, and to bury them as already indicated. Quite a number of the Menomonees embraced the new faith, and were careful not to let the whites have meat, except it was boned; and the Winnebagoes pretty generally obeyed the Prophet's injunctions, and refused to furnish the whites any meat. Louis Bauprez wintered on the Lemonweir, trading with the Winnebagoes, in the winter of 1810-11, and nearly starved, as the Indians refused to furnish him any meat, and he had some of the time to cook and eat hides. I spent that winter on Pine river, and had much trouble to get meat of the Menomonees and Winnebagoes, and by refusing to sell them ammunition until they should supply me with meat, finally constrained them to compliance.
Early in 1812, Col. Robert Dickson arrived at Green Bay with a party of about one hundred Sioux, and were joined by Tomah, and probably a hundred of his Menomonees — I
269think Oshkosh was along, very young, and under the care of Tomah; Souligny, I-om-e-tah, the Grizzly Bear, and others. A still larger body of the Winnebagoes also joined Dickson at the Bay, under the Teal, One-Eyed Be Kau-ry, and other chiefs. The whole body moved forward to Mackinaw, and all took part in the capture of the fort from the Americans, in July, 1812, though without any fighting. The Sioux and Winnebagoes first returned, and Tomah and his Menomonees in the autumn. I do not remember of any whites going with Dickson from Green Bay, though a very few may have gone. In the massacre at Chicago, in 1812, the Menomonees were not a party; the PottaWottamies were the principals in that affair.
Early in the spring of 1813, the Menomonee chief Souligny started at the head of a band of perhaps fifty warriors, and with him was Op-po-mish-shah, or The White Elk, a chief of considerable distinction; they reached the theatre of war in season to join Tecumseh in the hard fighting at Fort Meigs, in May. Tomah starred later, with a party of warriors, and accompanied Col. Dickson; Tomah's party may have numbered fifty, and among them were the chiefs Grizzly Bear, I-om-e-tah, and Oshkosh. When they reached Fort Meigs, there was little to do, and after some slight skirmishing, Dickson, Tomah, and their followers retired to Detroit Fully one half of the Menomonees thence returned home, but Tomah and all the chiefs just named remained, and went under Proctor and Dickson to Sandusky, and attacked the fort which was so gallantly defended by Maj. George Croghan. The Indians did not suffer much loss in this attack. A large band of the Winnebagoes were engaged in this campaign under their chiefs Old De Kau-ry, Car-ry-mau-nee, Win-no-sheek, Pe-sheu, or The Wild Cat, Sau-sa-mau-nee, Black Wolf, Sar-cel, or The Teal, and Ne-o-kau-tah, or Four Legs; Michael Brisbois was their interpreter, while Aeneas La Rose and Perrish Grignon acted in the same capacity
270for the Menomonees, and Ravel for the Sioux. There was a large party of the Sioux, under their chiefs Wau-ba-shaw, Red Wing, Little Crow, Red Hawk, and "The Sixth." There were none of the Green Bay militia, engaged in this campaign. All the Menomonees, except the Yellow Cloud, with a small band of eight or ten of his own relatives, returned home, and took no part in Proctor's defeat at the Thames.
The only active service of Tomah, in 1814, was to accompany Col. Dickson, with about eighty of his Menomonees, to Mackinaw. There were but a few of the whites of Green Bay along — Jacques Porlier, Lieut. John Lawe, Louis Grignon, Louis Bauprez, Stanislaus Chappue, and nearly all the Green Bay traders, perhaps some ten or a dozen in all. With Tomah's party were the chiefs Souligny, Grizzly Bear, O-shaw-wah-nem, or The Yellow Dog, L'Espagnol, Wee-kah, Pe-wau-te-not, and Oshkosh. The Menomonees took an efficient part in the battle at Mackinaw, in which the American commander, Maj. Holmes, was killed. Maj. Holmes was shot by L'Espagnol and Yellow Dog simultaneously, and each claimed the honor of his fall. The Menomonees lost Wee-kah, a chief high in their esteem, who was killed near the same spot where Maj. Holmes fell.
While Dickson, Tomah and their forces were at Mackinaw ready to repel any attack, an expedition was planned to go against Prairie du Chien, and recover that post from the Americans. The command of this expedition was confided to Lieut. Col. Wm. McKay. He had been originally a trader, and subsequently became a member of the North-West Fur Company. The first time he engaged in the Indian trade was about the year 1793, under Dominick Ducharme, at the mouth of the Menomonee river, where the two negro traders had previously been killed. McKay was in danger of losing his life in consequence of the imprisonment of the murderers of the negroes, and left there, and went to Green Bay and staid
271with my father till spring. He then returned to Mackinaw, and subsequently traded several years on the Upper Mississippi, and then became a member of the North-West Company. He was a man of intelligence, activity and enterprise, and well fitted to command the contemplated expedition against Prairie du Chien.
Col. McKay came with his force in boats to Green Bay, where he tarried awhile to increase his numbers, and make all necessary preparations. A company of the Green Bay militia, of about thirty persons, and many of them old men unfit for service, was raised; of which Pierre Grignon was the captain, and Peter Powell and myself the lieutenants. At the Bay, James J. Porlier, a youth of some eighteen years, and son of Jacques Porlier, was commissioned a lieutenant
272in the regulars, and joined Pohlman's company.
At length the expedition moved forward up Fox river, the whites in six boats or barges, and the Indians in canoes, and carrying their craft over the Portage, they descended the Wisconsin. Reaching the old, deserted Fox Village, on the Wisconsin, twenty-one miles from Prairie du Ohien, the force stopped, while Michael Brisbois, myself, a Sioux and a Winnebago Indian were despatched to Prairie du Chien in the night to obtain a citizen, and bring him to Col. McKay, front whom to obtain intelligence. Descending the river to where the Ferry has since been located, some five or six miles from Prairie du Chien, we went thence across by land, and reached the place without difficulty. We saw the sentinel on duty at the fort. We went to Antoine Brisbois, the uncle of Michael Brisbois, of our party, who lived three miles above the town, and took him to where we left our canoe at the Ferry place, then called Petit Gris. There we awaited the arrival of Col. McKay and his force, and they made their appearance the next morning, when the sun was about an
273hour high. Antoine Brisbois reported the American strength in the garrison at sixty. We then continued down to the mouth of the Wisconsin, and thence up almost to Prairie du Chien through a channel or bayou between a continuous number of islands, and the Mississippi. We reached the town, about ten o'clock, unperceived.
As this was Sunday, and a very pleasant day, the officers of the garrison were getting ready to take a pleasure ride into the country, and had McKay been an hour or two later, the garrison would have been caught without an officer.
274family and valuables to the gun-boat for safety. All the citizens now left their houses and fled from the impending danger, some to the fort, but mostly to the country.
Upon arriving at the town, making a very formidable display for that quiet place, Rolette and Anderson, with their companies, the Sioux and Winnebago Indians, were directed to take post above the fort, while Col. McKay himself, with the Green Bay company, the regulars, the Menomonees and Chippewas, encompassed it below. A flag was sent in, borne by Capt. Thomas Andersen, demanding the surrender of the garrison, with which demand Lieut. Perkins, the Commandant of the post, promptly declined to comply. The six-pounder, under the management of the regulars, was now brought to bear on the gun-boat of the Americans; the first shot, however, fired by the six-pounder, was a blank charge, intended as a sort of war-flourish or bravado. But our men did not take a very near position; I should say they were half a mile from the gun-boat, if not more, and hence the firing upon the boat by the cannon, and the firing by the guns or cannon from the boat, was generally ineffectual. When the firing first commenced on the gun-boat, Capt. Grignon, with a part of his company and several Menomonees, some thirty or forty altogether, were directed to cross the river in two boats, and take a position on land so as to annoy, and aid to drive off, the gunboat, the position of which was at first near the middle of the stream, but when fired upon, had moved over nearer the western shore. During the day, the gun-boat was at least once or twice struck by the balls of the six-pounder, and caused a bad leakage, which, when the sun was about half an hour high, induced its Commander to move down stream. Seeing this movement, the Americans in the fort called out to them not to go off; but this being unheeded, they fired their cannon at the boat, to stop it. Meanwhile Capt. Grignon and his party over the river
275the boat passed down the river, our six-pounder was made three times to hit her, twice on the side, and once in the stern, but it soon got beyond our reach. Had we manned some of our boats and pursued, we could undoubtedly have taken it, as we afterward learned that it leaked so badly, that the Americana had to stop at the mouth of the Wisconsin and repair it. The only injury the firing of the gun-boat did, was a ball, before noon, striking a fence-post, some of the slivers of which inflicted a flesh wound in the thigh of one of the Menomonees.
While this contest was progressing with the gun-boat, McKay's party of whites and Indians, on all sides of the fort, kept up an irregular firing of small arms, which, from their great distance from the fort, was harmless; and thus if they did no harm, they were out of the way of receiving any in turn. At length towards noon, Col. McKay ordered his men to advance over the Marais St. Freol, a swampy spot, and take position much nearer the fort — not more than a quarter of a mile distant. This was obeyed by those on the lower side of the fort, who had a sufficiency of houses to shield them from the guns of the garrison. From this new position, the firing was somewhat increased. But the men under Rolette and Anderson, with the Sioux and Winnebagoes, on the upper side of the fort, kept at a safe distance, fully half a mile off, but they really needed no protection, at that distance, against small arms. In the fort were four iron cannon, somewhat larger than six-pounders, and these were occasionally fired.
276men! — Down!" A couple of Winnebagoes discovering that there were same hams in a house, which had been deserted, and to which they could not gain an entrance, mounted upon the roof, intending to tear off some shingles, when they were espied from the fort, and each wounded in the thigh, when they quickly retreated from their exposed situation.
The second day the men and Indians amused themselves with some long shooting, but Col. McKay and his officers spent the day in counselling as to the best course of procedure. It was pretty much resolved to make an assault, and towards evening assembled the leading Indian chiefs, and laid the plan of an assault before them, when the Winnebago chief Sar-cel, or The Teal, remarked, that he and his people remembered too well taking part with the Shawanoes in assaulting an American fort, and were beaten back with terrible slaughter — probably alluding to the attack on Fort Recovery,
Nothing of moment occurred the third day — as usual some little firing was done. Col. McKay sent into the country about three miles for a load of straw, which was made up into small bundles to have in readiness to place in the darkness of night, with kegs of powder, near the fort, and fire
277a train of straw leading to the powder, and thus make a breach in the enclosure. But this was only designed as a dernier resort. During this day, or the preceding one, a Fox Indian received a spent ball which lodged between his scalp and skull; it was cut out, and the wound was so slight as to prove no obstacle to his sharing in the further events of the siege.
The fourth day Col. McKay resolved to accomplish something more decisive. About three o'clock in the afternoon, with his troops properly stationed, and cannon balls heated red hot in a black-smith's forge, I was sent to go around and specially direct the interpreters to order the Indians not to fire on the fort till the cannon should commence playing the hot shot, and the fort should be set on fire; then to use their muskets as briskly as possible. Scarcely had these directions, been given, when the Americans, probably seeing from indications that a severe assault of some kind was about to be made, raised the white flag. Two officers now came out and met Col. McKay — strict orders having been given to the Indians not to fire on these Americans, on the pain of being themselves fired on by the British troops. The result was, a surrender was agreed on; Col. McKay should have possession of the fort and public stores, and the Americans be permitted to retire unmolested in boats down the river. By this time it was too late to go through with a formal surrender, which was postponed till the next morning.
A little before the appointed time to give up their arms, one of the Winnebagoes seeing a soldier in the fort, made a motion to him to shake hands; the soldier reached his hand through a port-hole, when the Winnebago seized it, and cut off one of his fingers, and ran off with his singular trophy. As Lieut. Perkins and his men marched out from the fort to lay down their arms, a Sioux warrior attempted to strike one of the soldiers, when a chief, a son-in-law of Wau-ba-shaw, knocked down his treacherous countryman
278with his war-club. Col. McKay had given such strict orders to the Indians against massacring or molesting the Americans, and to the regulars and militia to keep the Indians in awe, that nothing more, so far as I know, transpired, that had the least appearance of treachery on the part of the Indians.
When the American flag was hauled down. Col. McKay was the first to observe the singular fact, that though it was completely riddled elsewhere with balls, the representation of the American eagle was untouched. The Indians during the whole four days had directed many shots at the flag, and had shot off one of the cords, which let the banner part way down the flag-staff, and there it remained till the surrender. The flag-staff was planted near the center of the fort.
Several days elapsed before arrangements were completed by which to send the prisoners down the river. When they took their departure, they were escorted by Michael Brisbois, with a suitable guard, but I do not know how large a guard, as I had previously left. I understood Col. McKay gave the Americans their arms as they started down the river; but I have no knowledge of their being followed by the Indians.
Capt. Pohlman, with his regulars, remained in command, with the two Mackinaw companies under Capt. Anderson and Lieut. Duncan Graham, who was now promoted to the captaincy of his company, as Capt. Rolette had been sent with despatches to Mackinaw immediately after the surrender.
McKay had much difficulty in managing his Sioux and Winnebago allies, particularly the latter. At the first investment of the place, when these Indians were placed with the Mackinaw militia above the fort, they had, in the most wanton manner, shot down a number of horses and cattle belonging to the citizens, much to the regret and vexation of the British commander; and after the surrender, the Winnebagoes swarmed around among the settlers, to openly plunder them of anything they might desire; and McKay was under the
279necessity of threatening to turn his troops against them, if they did not instantly desist, and go off home. The Indians once off, Col. McKay, the Green Bay troops, Menomonees and Chippewas took their departure.
Capt. Rolette at length with his boat hove in sight of Mackinaw. Large numbers thronged the shore, anxiously waiting to learn the tidings from Prairie du Chien. Capt. Rolette, what is the news? "A great battle — a sanguinary contest," responded Rolette, with an air of great solemnity and importance. How many were killed? None! How many wounded? None! "What a bloody contest!" vociferously shouted the crowd, as they escorted the hero from the boat to the garrison.
Capt. Pohlman continued in command at Prairie du Chien till after the peace, which ensued the following year, when the fort was evacuated. I may mention one incident of the winter after my departure. A couple of Frenchmen, named Dubois and Chaupanie, the former a half-breed Sioux, and brother-in-law of Capt. Rolette, were sent to a Sioux camp to obtain some venison for Rolette. While at the camp, a Sioux Indian demanded first a gun, and then some ammunition, which being refused, he concluded to accompany them on their return to Capt. Rolette, saying that Rolette would let him have what he wanted. While the two men were asleep before their camp-fire in the night, the Sioux, who lay on the opposite side of the fire, got up, took the only gun, and shot them both at the same discharge, killing Chaupanie on the spot, and mortally wounding the other. The Indian now ran off, and Dubois, though distant a day's journey, reached Prairie du Chien, and died shortly after. The Sioux chief of that band was taken and detained, till the murderer was brought in, who was tried and shot. He was a bad Indian, and was much feared by his own people.
Of Col. McKay, I can only state, in addition, that after the war he retired to Montreal, where he long since ended his
280days. He was a fine looking, tall, well proportioned man, but was regarded as strict, and sometimes severe over those in his employ in the Indian trade. I knew Col. Robert Dickson from his first coming from England, as I think, and engaging in the Indian trade. He commenced his career as a trader about the year 1790, and traded principally with the Sioux, and continued till the war; after the war ha did not renew the business. He was very humane to American prisoners during the war, rescuing many from the Indians; and, in after years, he several times received letters from such, enclosing presents of money, as tokens of their gratitude. He was a large man, of full face, tall and commanding. He had a Sioux wife and four children.
I can throw no light upon the pretended "exploits" of We-cha-ne-qua-ha, called by the whites, The Rubber, in behalf of the people of Green Bay during the war of 1812-15.
281Col. Dickson for a British medal; which, upon the arrival of Col. John Bowyer, the first American Indian Agent at Green Bay, he found it convenient to re-exchange for an American one.
In the summer of 1816, I went to Mackinaw with two boats, and the furs and peltries of my winter's trade; and at the same time Stanislaus Chappue conducted a boat there belonging to John Lawe. Arrangements were making to convey a body of American troops to Green Bay to establish a garrison, there. Maj. Charles Gratiot came to me, and asked if I could not come up with them as pilot? I said I could not, as I had come to Mackinaw with two boats, designing to take back a supply of goods for the trade of the ensuing winter. Maj. Gratiot said he thought it could be arranged satisfactorily, and then, went to Col. Miller, who commanded the detachment destined for the Bay; it was arranged to put the goods on board the schooners, of which there were three, getting in readiness to convey the troops, and tow the boats back. To this arrangement, I readily consented. I was pilot on the Washington; Chappue and John B. Labord were the pilots of the other schooners, one of which was the Mink — the name of the other I have forgotten. Nothing material happened, except that the Washington had to wait four days in Washington Harbor, near the mouth of Green Bay, waiting for the others which had missed their route. We at length reached the Green Bay settlement, a little after mid-day, about the 16th of July to the great wonder and surprise of the people. These were the first vessels at Green Bay. The troops pitched their tents near where the fort was subsequently erected; and it was about two months before they got houses and barracks ready for occupation, having had to get out timber, and saw out lumber with the whip-saw.
Col. Miller, the very day of his arrival, accompanied by Col. Chambers, Maj. Gratiot, Capt. Ben. O'Fallon and other
282officers, visited Tomah at his village, less than half a mile distant. Col. Miller asked the consent of the Menomonees for the erection of a fort. Tomah said:
"My Brother! How can we oppose your locating a council-fire among us? You are too strong for us. Even if we wanted to oppose you, we have scarcely got powder and shot to make the attempt. One favor we ask is, that our French brothers shall not be disturbed or in any way molested. You can choose any place you please for your fort, and we shall not object."
Col. Miller thanked him and his people for their friendly consent to his request, and added that he had some spare provisions, and supposed a little pork and flour would not hurt him, as they seemed to be scarce articles with the Indians, and invited him to call on him and get a supply. Some of the Indians prompted Tomah to ask their new father for a little broth, also. Tomah expressed his thanks for Col. Miller's kind offers, and added that he and his people would be very glad to have, if possible, a little troth to use with the pork and flour. Col. Miller said, that although it was contrary to orders, he would take it upon himself to give them a little — enough for a dram apiece, and hoped they would be moderate in its use.
The people of Green Bay were generally well pleased with the advent of the Americans. A home market was furnished for their surplus provisions, and a new impetus was given to the settlement. Vessels now began to arrive with supplies for the garrison, and we began to experience the benefits and convenience of Lake commerce and navigation. The soldiers were, however, oftentimes great pests, and annoyed the inhabitants by their constant thefts and robberies. The Commandants too, were sometimes arbitrary and exacting. Yet the settlement slowly prospered; in 1813, I settled at the Great Kau-kau-lin, and the settlers on the south-east side of the river had extended up to Depere. The spring succeeding
283the arrival of the troops, the Bay Settlement was commenced eight miles below Green Bay.
It was in the summer of 1817, the next year after the arrival of the Americans, that Tomah died at Mackinaw, at the age of about sixty-five years. I fully agree with Mr. Biddle, that it was in 1817 that he died. He was about six feet in height, spare, with a dark-colored eye, and handsome features, and very prepossessing; he was, in truth, the finest looking chief I have ever known of the Menomonees or any other tribe. His speeches were not lengthy, but pointed and expressive. He was firm, prudent, peaceable and conciliatory. He was sincerely beloved alike by whites and Indians. Tomah had three wives, by the first of whom he had three children; then separating from her, he married two sisters and lived with both at the same time as long as they lived, by one of whom he had four children, and none by the other. He out-lived both of these wives. Two sons by his first wife became chiefs, Mau-kau-tau-pee and Josette Carron, and Glode of his second family, Mau-kau-tau-pee, who served on McKay's Prairie du Chien expedition, died in, or shortly after, 1820. Josette Carron died early in 1831; and Glode, who spoke the French language well, and had no love for public affairs, died about 1848. Two grandsons of Tomah, sons of Josette Carron, are now prominent chiefs, Show-ne-on, or The Silver, now thirty years of age, and Ke-she-nah, about twenty-seven.
I-om-e-tah, the only surviving brother of Toman, was born about 1772, and is now consequently about eighty-five years of age. That he was upon the war-path during the war of 1812-15, has already been shown. He has been a very good, hunter in his day. Of three children, but one survives. He is among a very few Menomonees who contract debts, and pay them as they promise. He is the oldest chief of his nation, being now about eighty-five; his hunting days are past, his sight is growing dim, and his manly form and benignant countenance we shall soon see no more.
Kaush-kau-no-naive, or The Grizzly Bear, long exerted much influence among the Menomonees. His father was called by the name of Grizzly Bear, and though not really a chief, was yet regarded as such. His son, Kaush-kau-no-naive served under the immediate directions of Tomah during the war of 1812-15; and after Tomah's death, he and Josette Carron were chosen the orators of the nation. He served with the Memomonees, under Col. Stambaugh, against the Sauks and Foxes in 1832, and died about two years after, at the age of about fifty-two years. He left several children, his son Wau-pa-men, or The Corn, succeeded him; and he dying several years since, his brother Ok-ke-ne-bo-way, or The Standing Land, now thirty-nine years of age, became his successor.
Souligny, now seventy-two years of age, is the head war chief of the Menomonees. His grandmother was the reputed daughter of Souligny, the son-in-law of the Sieur Augustin De Langlade, and hence the name of this chief. His services
285during the last war have been mentioned, and he served on Stambaugh's expedition. Among his nation he ranks high. He is a stout, good-looking man, and has lost one of his eyes.
Osh-kosh, and his brother Osh-ka-he-nah-niew, or The Young Man, are grandsons of Gha-kau-cho-ka-ma, or The Old King, so long the grand chief of the nation, and whose place Osh-kosh, by inheritance, has possessed since 1827. As we have seen, Osh-kosh was upon the war-path in 1812-14, under the special superintendence of Tomah, and under Stambaugh in 1832. The word Osh-kosh signifies brave, and such this chief has always proved himself. He is now sixty-two years of age, while his brother, The Young Man, whose name begins to be a misnomer, is now fifty-one. Osh-kosh is only of medium size, possessing much good sense and ability, but is a great slave to strong drink, and two of his three sons surpass their father in this beastly vice.
I can say but little of the Winnebagoes, with whom I have been less intimate than with the Menomonees. I have spent several winters trading among them, and while I knew many of their chiefs and leading men, I cannot enter into the details of their respective careers. The Winnebagoes call themselves the Wau-chon-gra,
286and their name of Winnebagoes seems to have been given them by the Menomonees — Win-ne-pa-go, or Filthy, expressive of their filthy habits, and which characteristic led the early French to denominate them les Puants, or The Stinkards. The Winnebagoes have called the French, ever since they came to the country, Mau-quo-pin-e-no, or Good Spirits, as if they regarded the French as a higher order of beings than themselves.
When I spent my first winter at Wisconsin Portage, in 1801-02, the De Kau-rys were among the most influential of the Winnebagoes. Chou-ga-rah, or The Ladle, the son of a French trader named De Kau-ry, and the sister of the head chief of the nation, was then the head chief. He was at this time an old man, and died at the Portage about 1808, and, by his request, was placed in a sitting posture in a coffin, and the coffin placed on the surface of the ground, with a small cabin erected over it, and that surrounded with a fence. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Ko-no-kah De Kau-ry, or The Eldest De Kau-ry, who lived to a great age.
287Jean Lecuyer. There was another De Kau-ry family, cousins of those just named, one of whom was One-Eyed De Kau-ry, and another was Wau-kon De Kau-ry; their elder brother, Mau-wah-re-gah, killed his own, father in a drunken broil, and ever after the Indians were afraid of and despised him, saying that he was possessed of a bad spirit — "Who," said they, "would not fear such a man? He is like a dog; he has killed his own father."
Car-ry-mau-nee, the chief who served in the last war, was a son of a chief of the same name, who was a very worthy man. The younger Car-ry-mau-nee was also a chief of good character, and migrated, with his people, beyond the Mississippi. Win-no-sheek, the elder, was a good chief. He once told me that he never got angry but on a single occasion; that he and his people had gone to Prairie du Chien, when his Indians indulging too freely in liquor, he left them to their orgies. At length a messenger came and told him that his brother had been killed by one of the Indians; at first, he said, he was not angry, but coolly loaded a pistol, put it under his blanket, and repaired to the place. He was shown his brother's corpse; when he ascertained the murderer, he had him placed beside his victim, and though some efforts were made by the doomed man's friends to redeem him, the preliminary lighted pipe was rejected by Win-no-sheek, whose anger was fast rising, and he pulled out the pistol and shot the culprit dead. Such was Indian justice. Yet Win-no-sheek was greatly beloved by his people, and reverenced by his children — one of whom, the younger Win-no-sheek, the present head chief of the Winnebagoes, was, in his younger days, a very worthy man — of late years, I have known but little of him.
Pe-sheu, or The Wild Cat, lived at Pesheu village, on Garlic Island, in Lake Winnebago. Some of his war services have been mentioned. His hasty temper often got him into difficulties; he was found dead, in a sitting posture, under a
288tree, at what is now Oshkosh, not very long after the Black Hawk war. Sar-cel, or The Teal, resided at the Winnebago village at Green Lake, in Marquette county; in his younger days his reputation was not good, but he afterwards became a very good Indian. I have already adverted to his war services. I think he died at Green Lake, before the emigration of his people west of the Mississippi. Another active chief was Sau-sa-mau-nee, and his elder brother Ne-o-kau-tah, or The Four Legs, who lived at Four Legs' village, on Doty's Island, at the mouth of Winnebago Lake; both served under the British in the war of 1812-15. Four Legs was a very worthy Indian, but Sau-sa-mau-nee was less respected; when in liquor, he was troublesome and given to pilfering. They both died before the migration of their people over the Mississippi.
Black Wolf, another chief, had a village on the western bank of Lake Winnebago, a few miles above Oshkosh. He too died before the removal of the Winnebagoes from the State. Sar-ro-chau, one of the best of Indians, had a village which bore his name, where Taycheedah now is; I remember he served on Col. McKay's expedition to Prairie du Chien, and died not long after the war; after his death, his village was called by the name of his son, whose Indian appellation I have forgotten, but its English signification was The Smoker.
Laurent Barth, a trader from Mackinaw, wintered on the St. Croix river, at the same time, and in the same neighborhood, with Jacques Porlier and Charles Reaume, in 1792-93. On the return of the traders in the spring of 1793, Barth stopped at the Portage, having his family with him. He purchased from the Winnebagoes the privilege of transporting goods over the Portage. This was the commencement of the settlement at that point. The elder De Kau-ry soon after arrived there with a few of his people from Lake Puckawa, and commenced the Indian settlement on the
289Wisconsin, about two miles above the Portage; others came down from Lake Puckawa, and the village increased in size and importance. When Earth, first located, he built a house at the Portage, but finding the water overflowed the locality, he removed the next year to the high ground half a mile above. The next settter was Jeam Lecuyer, a brother-in-law of the chief De Kau-ry, who went there in 1798, and who also obtained permission to transport goods over the Portage. The goods were hauled over in carts. Earth had only a single horse cart; but when Lecuyer came, he had several teams and carts, and had a heavy wagon, with a long reach, constructed by a wagon-maker he had brought there, so as to transport barges from river to river. About 1803, Mr. Campbell, who was afterwards the first American Indian Agent at Prairie du Chien, purchased Earth's right of transportation. Campbell, soon after he purchased Barth's right, sold out his fixtures to Lecuyer, who sup-posed Campbell was thereby relinquishing all further intentions of the business; but Campbell placed his son, John Campbell, and afterwards his son Duncan Campbell, at the east end of the Portage, and had several teams to convey goods, and a large wagon to transport barges. After he sold out his transportation right, Earth removed to Prairie du Chien, where he died before the war of 1812. After Campbell's death in a duel, as already related, about 1808, his business was closed up; and about two years afterwards, Lecuyer sickened and died, leaving several children. After Lecuyer's death, his widow employed Laurent Fily to continue the business in her behalf, and he continued till about the commencement of the war, when Francis Roy, a son of Joseph Boy of Green Bay, married Therese, daughter of Mrs. Lecuyer, and took charge of the business, and continued in it many years. Mr. Roy is still living, I believe, at Green Lake. Awhile after the war, Joseph Rolette commenced the transportation business at the Portage, employing Pierre Poquette to manage the business for
290him. Barth kept no goods for sale to the Indians, after he sold the balance of his stock brought from the St. Croix. Lecuyer always kept a large assortment of goods, and his widow also kept some, as did Roy, but in a much smaller way. John Campbell had goods one year. Several traders at different times, after Barth's settlement, wintered there, and traded with the Winnebagoes; I spent two winters there, the first in 1801-02, and the other the winter succeeding; Jacques Porlier early spent two or three winters there; and Laurent Fily, who was first a clerk for Lecuyer, was located there several years as a trader; Mr. Fily, a native of Mackinaw, whose mother was a sister of the early French trader De Kau-ry, died at Grand Kau-kau-lin, in the autumn of 1846, at the age of eighty-three years, active and erect to the last. Such was the early growth and progress of Portage; since the location of the fort there, in 1828, its history is better known.
I must state what I know of Milwaukee. I was once told by an old Indian, that its name was derived from a valuable aromatic root used by the natives for medical purposes. The name of this root was man-wau; and hence Man-a-wau-kee, or the land or place of the man-wau. The Indians represented that it grew no where else, to their knowledge; and it was regarded as very valuable among them, and the Chippewas on Lake Superior would give a beaver skin for a piece as large as a man's finger. It was not used as a medicine, but was, for its fine aroma, put into almost all their medicines taken internally. I have also understood, though without placing so much confidence in it as in the other definition, that Milwaukee meant simply good land.
The earliest chief I personally knew who lived there was a Menomonee named O-nau-ge-sa, who had married a Pottawottamie woman living there, took up his residence at Milwaukee, and became the head chief of the village. He was a brother of Mrs. Joseph Roy, of Green Bay, and would
291often pay her visits. I remember seeing him there when I was not more than four or five years of age, say in 1784 or '85. I do not know how long he had been a chief. Unlike the most of his Milwaukee band, he was a kind and worthy Indian, and died there a year or two before the removal of his band to the West.
It has been already intimated, that the Milwaukee band were regarded as a bad set of Indians, and difficult to manage. Yet traders ventured there. The first I know anything of was Alexander Laframboise, from Mackinaw; he was located at Milwaukee with a trading establishment at my earliest recollection — say 1785. At first he went there himself, and after a while he returned to Mackinaw, and sent a brother to manage the business for him, who remained there several years, and raised a family. By mismanagement of this brother, Alexander Laframboise failed, and his trading post was closed, I should think about the year 1800, or not very long thereafter. About this time another trader, whose name I have forgotten, established a trading post there, and employed as clerk Stanislaus Chappue, who had previously been clerk for Laframboise, and who, many years later, was one of Col. Miller's pilots from Mackinaw to Green Bay. About this time, John B. Beaubien also established a trading post at Milwaukee.
While Chappue wad clerking for the successor of Laframboise, Wau-she-own, a bad Indian and noted horse-thief, came to the stove, and demanded some liquor as a gift. An employee in the store advised Chappue to let him have it, or his life would be the forfeit. But Chappue, who was a large, stout, fearless man, peremptorily refused, and said if Wau-she-own made much more trouble, he would go out and whip him. The Indian had been accustomed to bullying traders, and so commenced operations to break into the store, when Chappue issued forth, and gave him so severe a drubbing that he had to be carried home on a blanket. After he recovered,
292he was ever after a devoted friend of Chappue. Chappue died about three years since, on the Menomonee river a few miles above Marinette, where he was engaged in farming and trading.
About 1804 or 05, Laurent Fily was sent with a supply of goods, by Jacob Franks, of Green Bay, to carry on a summer trade at Milwaukee, buying deer skins in the red. With Mash-e-took and other troublesome Indians, he came near getting into difficulty, but was befriended and protected by Match-e-se-be, or Bad River, a brother of the chief O-nau-ge-sa. The trading-house for which Chappue was employed either failed, or abandoned Milwaukee, somewhere about 1805; but previous to this, Jacques Vieau, of Green Bay, commenced trading there, and continued it regularly every winter, except that of 1811-12, till 1818, when his son-in-law, Solomon Juneau, went there, first as his clerk, and then on his own account. After the war, James Kinzie was sent there with a stock of goods by the American Fur Company, but I do not know how long he staid there; and my brother, Hypolite Grignon, wintered there as a trader about the time Mr. Juneau went there.
Chicago means the place of the skunk. I understood these animals were very plenty there. At a very early period, there was a negro lived there named Baptist Point De Saible; my brother, Perrish Grignon, visited Chicago about 1794, and told me that Point De Saible was a large man; that he had a commission for some office, but for what particular object, or from what Government, I can not now recollect; he was a trader, pretty wealthy, and drank freely. I know not what became of him.
La Pointe, on Lake Superior, was early visited by a Mr.
293Caddott, a trader, I think before my day, who there founded a settlement. I saw his son, Michael Caddott, who was several years my senior, and he had a brother Baptist older than himself. They had both been educated at Montreal.
Of the antiquities of Wisconsin, I can say but little. Hon. M. L. Martin, in his Historical Address, speaks of "Fort Gonville," located on the northern shore of Lac de Boeuf, or Buffalo Lake, in Marquette county, represented as having been a Spanish fort. My father, Pierre Grignon, Amable Roy, and others who knew him, told me about Gonville, originally from Montreal, who took up his abode among the Indians, and adopted their habits; and among other things, assumed to be a great medicine man; and once when in a lodge playing his assumed character as a grand medicine, Amable Roy, his cousin, was so vexed at his folly, that he kicked him out of the lodge. Gonville had his cabin on Lac de Boeuf, and the traders in derision used to point to it, as they passed, as Gonville's Fort, or Fort Gonville. This I fully believe to be its origin. Respecting the mounds and mound builders; and what is apparently anciently ploughed land at the Red Banks near. Green Bay, on the east side of Lake Winnebago, near the Great Butte des Morts, I have no traditions from the Indians or others. I never heard of any battle being fought at the Great Butte des Morts; and the little hillocks or graves there, are, so far as I know, but ordinary burial places — there is no large mound, as many seem to suppose. I have already mentioned, that Capt. Morand, about the year 1746, signally defeated the Sauks and Foxes on the opposite or southern side of the river.
I will close my reminiscences of olden times by giving an account of Col. Samuel C. Stambaugh's expedition against the Sauks and Foxes. Col. Stambaugh had previously been the Menomonee Indian Agent, but had been superseded by Col. Boyd, who had been directed to raise a party of the Menomonees to serve against the hostile Indians. Col. Boyd
294gave the command of the expedition to Col. Stambaugh. The Menomonees rendezvoused at Green Bay early in July, 1832. There were over three hundred, all Indians except the officers, about nine in number. Osh-kosh, Souligny, I-om-e-tah, Grizzly Bear, Old Pio-e-go-nah, Wau-nau-ko, Pe-wau-te-not, Osh-ka-he-nah-niew, or The Young Man; La Mott, Carron, and indeed all the principal men of the Menomonees, were of the party. Alexander Irwin was commissary and quarter-master. The Indians were arranged into two companies; I commanded one, having my son Charles A. Grignon, and my nephew Robert Grignon, for lieutenants; George Johnston, of Green Bay, was chosen to the command of the other company, with William Powell and James Boyd, a son of Col. Boyd, for lieutenants. George Grignon served as a volunteer. With a few pack-horses, and each man a supply of provisions, we started from the Bay, and proceeded to the Great Butte des Morts, and there crossed over to the present place of Robert Grignon. Went to Portage, and the next day renewed our march, and the first night camped on Sugar Creek, some half a dozen miles short of the Blue Mounds, and the second night at Fort Dodge, then to English Prairie, thence with one other camping we reached Prairie du Chien; before reaching which, Grizzly Bear, his son, and two or three others, descending the Wisconsin in a canoe, discovered a Sank girl on an island alone. The Grizzly Bear's son went and took her, and found her half starved. She was about ten years old, and on the return of the party, Col. Stambaugh took her to Green Bay, and placed her in the Indian Mission School; and the next year when Black Hawk reached Green Bay on his way home, he took her with him.
From Col. Wm. S. Hamilton we learned, at Prairie du Chien, that a trail of Sauks had been discovered down the river. Fully one half of our party, with Geo. Grignon and Wm. Powell, remained at Prairie du Chien, while Oshkosh, I-om-e-tah,
295Souligny, Carron, Pe-wau-te-not, with their warriors, proceeded by land, accompanied by Col. Hamilton. We stopped at Brunet's Ferry, on the Wisconsin, and started early the next morning, and about noon struck the Sauk trail, and pursued it till the sun was about an hour and a, half high, when we discovered the smoke of the Indians encamped in a low spot beside a small stream in the prairie. There were only two men, and a youth about twelve years old, three or four women, and as many more children. We at once surrounded them, and rushed upon them, with orders to take them prisoners; but the Menomonees were fierce for a fight, and killed the two men, and took the others prisoners. They fired a volley at the two Sauks, and when they fell, they were riddled with bullets by those coming up, who wished to share in the honor of having participated in the fight. In the melee, one of the children was wounded, and died the next day. Lieut. Robert Grignon was badly wounded in the side with a buckshot, and coursing around the back, lodged. He thought he was shot by the Indian lad, but I think it was quite as likely to have been by some of our own party, firing, as they were, in every direction. This little affair occurred not far back from the Mississippi, and some ten or fifteen miles north of Cassville; Col. Hamilton participated in it.
We camped on the battle ground that night, and next day went to Cassville, carrying Robert Grignon on a litter; and thence to Prairie du Chien he was conveyed in a canoe, while we returned by land. We delivered the prisoners at Prairie du Chien; we had to leave Robert Grignon there, the shot could not be extracted, and was not able to return till in the autumn. We commenced our return home in three days, and nothing happened on our march worthy of particular notice. All our surviving party have received bounty land warrants, which the Menomonees have generally sold; and Robert Grignon, in consequence of his wound, receives a pension.
He had long been engaged in the Indian trade in the North-West, conveying his goods from Lachine and Montreal, and making Mackinaw his chief trading post. In 1778 or 1779, he had ventured high up the Missouri river with his trading boats, and the Spaniards getting jealous of his trade, took his goods, and if they did not capture him, as it seems they did not, he must have gone to St. Louis to obtain indemnification. He was there thrown into prison, and kept in confinement a year. He had been so successful in his Indian trade up the Missouri, that the Spanish traders united in making representations against him, as not only interfering with their trade, but as getting too much influence over the Indians, for a foreigner. He was in danger of being executed, but at length proved that he had, in more than one instance, at a heavy ransom, redeemed Spanish captives from the Indians, and saved their lives; whereupon he was liberated. Indignant at the loss of his property and his long imprisonment, he led an expedition against St. Louis, to chastise the Spaniards and make reprisals, but his son could not recall the details. He often heard his father speak of Match-i-ku-is as a brave chief; he must have lived and died in the Mackinaw region.
Jean Marie Ducharme died at his residence at Lachine, about the year 1803. He was then nearly blind his head all white, but he walked erect, and was perhaps nearly eighty years of age. L. C. D.
"So far as I can find out, his parents were Scotch, or of Scotch descent; and he was born near Lake Champlain, not far from the line separating the State of New York from Lower Canada, or Canada East; that he came from Canada by way of Mackinaw and Green Bay, somewhere about 1790. He carried on a very extensive trade with the Indians in the Prairie du Chien region, and furnished out-fits to other traders, some of whom traded above, and others below that place. The Sauks, Foxes, Sioux, Winnebagoes and Menomonees then resorted there in great numbers for the purpose of procuring supplies of clothing, ammunition, &c. He continued in trade at Prairie du Chien until 1815, when he left, in company with his son, and a son of the late Michael Brisbois, to join the Hudson Bay Company, as trader on the Red river of the North, and continued in the service of that Company until 1824. When I first saw him, in 1826, he had just returned from Lac Traverse, the head water of the Minnesota river, where he had passed two years in the employ of the American Fur Company. He then gave unmistakable evidences of a man of extraordinary activity and vigor for his age. He died at Prairie du Chien, in 1827. He was a tall, well-built, athletic man, and capable of enduring hardships and fatigue, and of course well calculated for a frontier life of those times. He was easily excited, and possessed indomitable courage and perseverance. The only public office that I can learn that he ever held, was that of Justice of the Peace, at Prairie du Chien, before the last war with Great Britain; his commission being from the Governor of Illinois Territory, as this part of the country was then attached to, or formed part of that Territory."
It may be added here, that in Capt. Z. M. Pike's visit to Prairie du Chien, In September, 1805, he speaks of Captain and Judge Fisher — "the Captain of Militia and Justice of the Peace." As Illinois Territory was not organized till 1809, Capt. Fisher must have received his commissions from Gov. Harrison, of Indiana Territory, which was organized in 1800, or from Maj. Amos Stoddard, the First Civil Commandant of Upper Louisiana, since Missouri, when that country passed into possession of the Americans, in 1804.
Besides Mrs. Gen. Dousman, another daughter of Capt. Fisher is Mrs. Henry S. Baird, of Green Bay. L. C. D.
"The Otchagras," says Charlevoix in his Historical Journal, in 1721, "who are commonly called the Puans, dwelt formerly on the borders of the Bay, in a very delightful situation. They were attacked here by the Illinois, who killed a great number of them; the remainder took refuge in the river of the Outagamis which runs into the bottom of the Bay. They seated themselves on the borders of a kind of Lake [Winnebago Lake]; and I judge it was there, that living on fish which they got in the Lake in great plenty, they gave them the name of Puans, because all along the shore where their cabins were built, one saw nothing but stinking fish, which infected the air. It appears at least, that this is the origin of the name which the other savages had given them before us, and which has communicated itself to the Bay, far from which they never removed. Some time after they had quitted their ancient post, they endeavored to revenge the blow they had received from the Illinois; but this enterprise caused them a loss, from which they never recovered. Six hundred of their best men were embarked to go in search of the enemy; but as they were crossing Lake Michigan, they were surprised by a violent gust of wind, which drowned them all." Charlevoix adds, "the Ochagras have lately come and seated themselves near us, and have built their cabins about the Fort" at Green Bay. L. C. D.