[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
mail:
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]
Italiano

[Link to a series of help pages]
Help
[Link to the next level up]
Up
[Link to my homepage]
Home

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Chapter 3

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Ioway to Iowa

by
Irving Berdine Richman

published by
The State Historical Society of Iowa
1931

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]
Chapter 5

This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p45 The Red Barrier

Mascoutins
Foxes and Sauks
The 'Faroshas' Ioways

p47 Mascoutins: Nation of Fire

'Bind your hatchet to the sun!' So spake Nicolas Perrot to the Mascoutins.

So we praise thee

Swelling Apple

Gourd of Promise

Mighty Melon

Sun and Spirit

Lord of Morning

To the principal tribes of the Indians who, 'painted' and 'in a row', hunted in Ioway the buffalo and made a 'show' so 'gallant', there may be added the Omahas, the Osages, the Otoes, and the Missouris.

The Indians of Ioway belonged to two cultures, two cultures that clashed: Siouan and Algonquian; nomad and sedentary. The most important tribes of the two cultures were (Siouan) the Ioways and the Sioux proper; and (Algonquian) the Foxes, the Sauks, and the Mascoutins. Of the other tribes, the Otoes and the Missouris (Siouan) made no great figure. As for the Winnebagoes (Siouan) and the Potawatomi (Algonquian), their identification with Ioway was slight yet significant.

p48 First as to the Mascoutins. Like other things Iowan, the Mascoutins (whose name is borne by the island, the county, the township, and the town of Muscatine) were met by Jolliet and Marquette. On a hill in Wisconsin not far west of Lake Winnebago there stood in 1673 a palisaded village — the village of the Mascoutins.13 Hither came our explorers on their way to the 'Great Water', the Mississippi. Father Marquette records that this people are called the 'Fire Nation'. Here, says the Father, 'is the limit of the discoveries which the frenchº have made'.14

As early perhaps as 1659 Radisson and Groseilliers had visited the Mascoutins,15 and of them Radisson says that they are 'called Escotecke [Ishkote], which signified fire . . . They are tall and bigg and very strong. . . . They have never seen men with beards, because they pull their haires as soone as it comes out'.

Says Nicolas Perrot, master wood-ranger of the Northwest, 1668‑1670: 'War is odious when you fight against the Maskoutech; he is brave, and will slay your young men. . . . He has arrows and war-clubs, which he can handle with skill'. He can go great distances, for his moccasins are cunningly wrought.

By 1728 the Mascoutins, who with the Kickapoo had been thrust from Wisconsin by the French, had p49crossed the Mississippi and planted a village in Ioway16 — presumably at the mouth of the Iowa River.

It was October. Down the Mississippi from Lake Pepin, between banks aglow with the reds of the bitten leaf; past a phantom McGregor, Dubuque, Clinton, and Davenport; past the island of Rock Island festooned with the wild grapevine; past the island of the Mascoutins, its tall grass blazing, its wild life terror stricken and in flight; past these Ioway scenes came, one day, three canoes with a party of Frenchmen bound for Canada by way of the Illinois River and Detroit. 'Let us seize these French!' whisper the Mascoutins to the Kickapoo. In light floats they put out into the river and bring the French to shore.

The Indians have made a ten strike; the captives are worth while. They are Father Michel Guignas, the merchants Jean Baptiste Boucher de Montbrun and François Boucher de Montbrun, and an officer, Pierre Boucher, Sieur de Boucherville. Will the captives be spared? They proffer gifts. But gifts, too, are proffered by the Foxes, enemies of the French and eager to make the captives their own.

Winter falls: first snow, then cold. Snow, white, soft, beguiling; cold, turning the Mississippi to rigor in a night. Saison insupportable, laments Boucher de p50Boucherville. By dint of the rigored river two of the captives (the merchants Montbrun) escape to Kaskaskia where, as allies of the French, the Illinois are quartered. 'We are lost!' wail the Foxes. However, they prevail upon the Mascoutins and the Kickapoo to call a council. 'All being assembled', writes Boucher, 'the Renards [Foxes] began to weep for their dead [dead at the hands of the French], making the air resound with their cries, and spreading out a bloody robe, a shell [belt of wampum] all reddened with blood, and a red calumet [pipe] with feathers all dripping blood' — blood which, in the words of Boucher, 'called most eloquently for ours'.

It did.

But the Mascoutins and the Kickapoo, fearful now of French vengeance at the hands of the Illinois, stood fast. They even dispatched Boucher himself to the Illinois to bespeak peace. In 1729 the ice left the Mississippi on March 1st. Promptly Boucher (back now from among the Illinois and attended by Father Guignas) took canoe for Kaskaskia. 'I started from the Illinois country on May 2', writes Boucher, 'with a young Kikapou, a nephew of the great chief, and a little slave for Monsieur the governor-general of Canada'.

To‑day in Kansas, on the Potawatomi reservation in p51Jackson County, there dwells a people — the 'Potawatomi Prairie Band'. Less in number than the Potawatomi proper, they long antagonized the latter in the tribal councils. Their aim was to withstand civilization. They bobbed their hair, but the scalplock they sedulously kept. They painted their faces; and their garb was fantastic. 'The Band', says the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1907, 'have shunned work, despised education, and flouted Christianity'. 'We as red men', say their medicine men, 'were born red men and ought to remain such. . . . We would be jolly fellows, without laws and without prayers. We require two wives and an occasional jug of whiskey'.

Now this Prairie Band, thus archaic and known as Potawatomi, what do they call themselves? Not Potawatomi, but 'Potawatomi-Mascoutins'. Why? Were the original Mascoutins (they of Wisconsin whom Jolliet and Marquette visited) Potawatomi? And are the Mascoutins of Kansas their descendants?

In the opinion of the writer, the Mascoutins of Kansas (the Potawatomi-Mascoutins), while Mascoutins in the sense that they are a prairie people (as any prairie people are mascoutins), are not therefore of the stock of the original Mascoutins of Wisconsin.17 But granting that they may be of this stock, what then? Why, that our story book Mascoutins (they of the p52Iowa River in 1728 and later of Muscatine Island)18 are after all the 'Fire Nation'. For the name 'Potawatomi', what means it but 'People of the Place of the Fire'? In all of which, for the Mascoutins, but glory the more!

'Bind your hatchet to the sun!' So spake Nicolas Perrot to the Mascoutins.

p53 Foxes and Sauks: Peoples of the Sunset

'These Sacs and Foxes have more character than any tribes we have within this superintendency', declared General William Clark in 1830.

The Foxes

The Foxes, or Meskwaki, (People of the Red Earth)19 stood the white man at bay. They would kill a Frenchman, it was said, because of his mere hairiness — his bearded condition. Hairiness meant outlander; and outlander, who was he but barbarian intruder!20

It is 1734‑1735. Just as by 1728 the Mascoutins had put between the French and themselves the Mississippi River, so by 1733 had the Foxes done. By 1734 they are withdrawn inland to the river Des Moines; for hard upon them are the French, eighty strong with some two hundred Indian auxiliaries, all led by Nicolas Joseph des Noyelles, Sieur de Fleurimont. 'On the 12th of March [1735]', writes Noyelles, 'we reached the Renards' [Fox] fort where we found Nobody'. Scouts being sent out report 'smoke'. The smoke proves to be from Fox huts, fifty-five of them just beyond Des Moines. The river p54is wide, rapid, and 'full of floating ice'. A few French and Indians cross the Des Moines on a jam of driftwood, but are forced back. Two or three French officers fall. Matters come to a stand and then to a parley. What the French gain is a promise by certain Sauks, who are with the Foxes, to abandon the latter and return to Wisconsin, their ancient abode.21

The Foxes were against the French and against every tribe; and the French and every tribe were against them — every tribe save the Mascoutins and the Kickapoo, and in part the Sauks. Yet in their isolation they were shrewd. They looked to their flanks. On the east they cultivated an understanding with the wild Iroquois, and on the west with the Ioways and the Sioux.

It was in 1721, at Detroit, that the struggle of the French with the Foxes had begun. Under a great chief, Pemousa, they in that year had, with the Mascoutins, beleaguered Detroit; whereupon a concourse of tribes had straightway beleaguered them. Stricken in defeat, Pemousa, green with paint, had voiced to the victors a prophetic warning. 'Know ye', he had said, 'that the Foxes are immortal!'

In 1736, after the fight on the Des Moines, Le Chat Blanc (great chief of the Sauks) told Father Guignas p55that 'as for Him [self] and His people, they had Resolved to separate from that desperate nation [the Foxes]'. Before 1739 the separation seems to have taken place; for in the year on October 12th Governor General of New France, writing to Pierre Paul Sieur Marin at the Wapsipinicon (River of the Swan), spoke of the Fox chiefs as 'on his [Marin's] side of the Mississippi', that is, the Ioway side.

In Ioway the Foxes were in a measure safe from the French; but they were desperate. It was their decision to break up into several war parties, attack on all sides, and perish. This decision, under the counsels of Le Chat Blanc and Marin, was given over. Instead, they in part wandered back to Wisconsin. But now it was Ioway rather than Wisconsin that for the Foxes was the homeland. 'The country toward the south', runs a Fox legend, 'is too warm in summer. . . . The country at the north is better than that at the south. . . . But the winters are too cold. The land westward is too much prairie. . . . We have reason to be satisfied with the place [Ioway] where we now dwell. . . . Winters are never too cold, and the summers are always pleasant. It is our wish to dwell here always'.22

And in Iowa they dwell to‑day. 'The Foxes', Pemousa had said, 'are immortal'.

p56 The Sauks

The Sauks (People of the Outlet, or People of the Yellow Earth)23 were less arrogant than the Foxes. More pliant, they were more amenable to authority. 'The Sauk Indians', wrote Thomas Forsyth, Indian Agent in 1827 at Fort Armstrong on Rock Island, 'pay great respect to their chiefs when assembled in council, but the Fox Indians are quite to the contrary, they pay no respect to their chiefs at any time, except necessity compels them'.

The Sauks, after fleeing from Wisconsin in 1733 with the Foxes, were loath to return. 'The soil', they said, 'can no longer produce anything, being stained with French blood and with our own'. In part, however, they did return, and by 1742 (?) had built the village of Prairie du Sac. But in Illinois, meantime, they had founded a village on Rock River near the present Rock Island — the village Saukenuk which at the time of the Black Hawk War had become the chief settlement of their nation.

Unlike the Mascoutins, neither Foxes nor Sauks wore the hair clustered becomingly about the ears, but in a defiant crest — a crest high, narrow, bristling.

The Foxes and Sauks were indeed 'peoples of the sunset'. Each day at the setting of the sun they p57with their videttes the Mascoutins (beyond whom no explorer save perhaps Radisson had ever fared), gazed into the Hereafter — the Hereafter of the red sky

And the sun falling through it.

p58 The 'Faroshas' Ioways

The Foxes and the Sauks dwelt near the sunset. Nearer the sunset dwelt the Ioways.

'This year', wrote Father Louis André on April 20, 1676, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, 'we have among the puants [Winnebagoes] 7 or 8 families from a nation who are neutral Between our Savages and the nadoessi [Sioux], who are at war. They are called aiaoua [I′uhwuh] or nadoessi mascouteins [prairie Sioux]. Their village, which lies 200 leagues from here Toward the west, is very large, but poor; for their greatest Wealth consists of ox [bison]-hides and of Red Calumets. . . . I preached Jesus Christ to them. They say that they have no knowledge of the Western sea, although they live at a distance of 12 days' journey beyond the great River called Missisipi; but they assert that they have seen Savages who say that they have beheld a great lake very far away Toward the Setting sun'.24

Now these Aiaoua, soon to be called Ioways, who were they? To begin with, they were Siouan (nomad)' and next they were Winnebago in culture. Had they been Algonquian (sedentary) they would have been planters

p59 Tall rows of corn,

Beans, I am planting;

Squash seeds I am planting

— but, being Siouan, the Ioways were hunters.

Separating in the seventeenth century from the Winnebagoes in Wisconsin, the Ioways would seem to have gone west across the Mississippi into what is now southern Minnesota. Here they brought themselves close to the future Iowa by settling on the Blue Earth River not far from the headwaters of the river Des Moines. They were here in 1676 when Father André preached to them; and here they were in 1700, for in that year Le Sueur was told by the Sioux that the Blue Earth was 'the country of the Scioux of the West, and of the Ayavois' (I′uhwuh) and 'of the Otoctatas [Otoes]'.

The Ioways were poor. Their village in Minnesota was 'very large, but poor; for their greatest Wealth consists of ox-hides and of Red Calumets'. Red calumet (red pipestone) was sacred. 'My friends', said an Indian to George Catlin, the artist, 'we love to go to the Pipe Stone, and get a piece for our pipes; but we ask the Great Spirit [Wakanda or Mystery] first'. The Ioways were poor, but what was striking about them was not poverty so much as rusticity — a riotous crudeness and rudeness.

p60 Indeed the Ioways were a close counterpart of the Yanktons, of whom the Connecticut trader, Peter Pond, observes: They are 'faroshas [ferocious] and Rude in thare Maners Perhaps Oeing in Sum masher to thare Leadig an Obsger [obscure] life in the Planes. . . . They Seldom Sea thare Nighbers. Thay Leade a wandering Life in that Extensive Plane Betwene the Miseura & Missicippey'.

Like the Yanktons Ioways were of enormous physique — fairly herculean — 'deep voiced and dark colored'. In 1685 Nicolas Perrot pitched at or near Trempealeaux on the Mississippi (perhaps with a base at Prairie du Chien) a trading camp, and here the Ioways sought the French. Their approach was heralded by 'shouts and yells'. Once arrived they wept copious and salty tears — tears of joy. Years earlier Radisson and Groseilliers had in the case of the Sioux felt such tears. Said Radisson, 'we were wetted by their tears'. In Perrot's case the Indians let their tears drip 'into their hands along with saliva, and with other filth which issued from their noses'. With the lotion gathered 'they rubbed the heads, faces, and garments of the French' until the stomach revolted.

Perrot failed to understand the rude Sioux dialect of the Ioways; whereupon they yelled more.a But placated by gifts, they sped madly away to their villages p61to return anon with an Indian interpreter. Through him the French learned that the Ioways dwelt on the banks of a river (the Blue Earth), and thither Perrot repaired. The Ioways, so runs the account, 'are never more delighted than when they are entertaining strangers'. They have 'a very artless manner. . . . They are extremely courageous and good-hearted. . . . They are howlers; they eat meat raw, or only warm it over the fire'. To Perrot they fed morsels of buffalo tongue so bloody that he could but spit them forth.25

When passed the Ioways into Ioway? Before 1700 perhaps. Perrot speaks of a river of the Ayoës (Upper Iowa River) frequented by the tribe as early as 1653‑1655.26 And in 1680 Father Louis Hennepin indicates that the Ioways may then have been in Ioway, for he speaks of a visit made to La Salle at the present Peoria by the nations of the Metontonta (the Des Moines), namely the Otoes and the Ioways who lived but ten days' distance by water. Yet in 1700 when Le Sueur undertook, as he did, to find the Ioways on the Blue Earth, he failed and was told by the Sioux that the Ioways and the Otoes had gone to station themselves on the west side of the Missouri near the Maha (Omaha) nation.

On the Des Moines, in 1749, there befell the Ioways p62an experience which served to bring them to the notice both of the Governor General of New France and of the gallant, the illustrious Louis Marquis de Montcalm. 'The Ayoüas', wrote the French government in 1750, 'were [last year] guilty of the murder of a Frenchman'. In 1755 they were thus guilty again; and in 1757 the Governor General wrote: 'The commandant of La Baye [Green Bay] had occasion to see these Ayoouois. He spoke to them in my name with such firmness that 10 savages of the same nation came to Montreal expressly to deliver the murderers to me'.

The coming of the ten Ioways to the seat of government was noteworthy — noteworthy for the ten and noteworthy for Montreal. To Montreal no Ioway had ever come before. Princely Potawatomi, resolute Ojibway, bartering Ottawa, placid Menomonee, comely Illinois, suave Miami, reflective Sauk, dour Fox, hardy Winnebago, crafty Kickapoo and Mascoutin, these had come to Montreal. They had come thrice and again. But never before an Ioway. The Ioways lived far away: west of the Mississippi; west of the Des Moines; west at times of the Missouri. Yet mere remoteness need not have stayed them. Osages and Missouris had long before visited the East — Detroit, Montreal. Why not an Ioway?

In any event Ioways were in the East now — ten of p63them. 'They presented them [the two murderers] to me in the name of their nation', writes the Governor General, 'with great submission and resignation that I might have their heads broken if such was my intention. They nevertheless earnestly begged me to pardon them and assured me that they themselves would avenge the death of the two Frenchmen and would compensate me for their loss by the blows they would strike against the English'.

Montcalm found Montreal zestless. The period was that of the Pompadour. The Marquis himself was not ungallant; but dining and even dancing wore upon him. Wednesday: an assembly at Madame Varins. Friday: a ball by the Chevalier de Lévis. 'As for me', he writes, 'I went to bed'.

Then, amid it all, something new, a diversion — the Ioways!

The capitol was filled with Indians for the campaign to be waged against the English. Indians from the West — Winnebagoes, Foxes, Sauks, Ioways. And the Ioways bore the bell. Not only were they from the West, but from the Far West — a West so far that nobody (least of all their fellow savages, unless it were the Winnebagoes) could understand a word they uttered. A West farther than that of the Peoples of the Sunset (the Foxes and the Sauks). A West so far that, p64as therefrom, the Ioways were from the Western Sea itself — the sea which spake of Japan and China.

Awaiting the fate of their two 'feather-pates' the Ioways danced. They danced 'western style', and Montcalm and the ladies were 'enchanted'. Heads shaved, bodies painted and greased, drums beating, they bent their bodies forward, leaped up with both feet at once and stamped loudly, perspiring violently, singing hi, hi, hi — so danced the Ioways.

'There occurred here, yesterday', writes Montcalm, 'the grand ceremony of pardoning two Iowas who had killed two Frenchmen, two years ago. They smoked the peace calumet; the murderers were brought out, bound, with the emblem of a slave [prisoner] in their hands, singing their death song as if they were to be burned'. Ioways 'have never appeared before at Montreal'.27 So the pardon was earned, and the 'Wild West', a full long century before the day of the Iowan 'Buffalo Bill', afforded to the East 'enchantment'.

In 1845 the Ioways fared East again. They were still 'poor' — poorer in fact than ever. 'Strictly migratory'; 'diminished in physique'; 'ugly'; 'few, even of the men, with aquiline noses; none with heads shaved'; 'scarred by small pox'; many with but one eye; branded by the English 'a vile set'; known to Lewis and Clark as 'Abusive of traders'; pronounced by the Missouri p65Fur Company 'faithless'; so thievish that the name 'Thief' for one of their chiefs was passed in pride from sire to son. Such, in general, in 1845, were the Ioways.

Mr. Disraeli

Not that all Ioways were as above described. Some had kept their pristine state; and from these an American exhibitor had, with the consent of the United States government and of local powers, recruited in Nebraska a party for the East, this time a Far East — London and Paris. Fourteen in all, the visiting Ioways, escorted by George Catlin, had at their head Chief White Cloud. Next to him were warriors Roman Nose and Little Wolf and the war leader Walking Rain. As in 1757 so in 1845, Ioways danced. 'Painted and greased' they danced; but they knew that in dancing the French excelled. 'The French, we are told', said Walking Rain, 'dance the best of any people'.

In both London and Paris the Ioways met notable members of the white race — Benjamin Disraeli, Baron von Humboldt, Victor Hugo, George Sand, King Louis Philippe. Of these, facile princeps was Disraeli. Disraeli was not European. He did not paint his face; but he did (and that obviously) grease his coal black hair. He wore no blanket; but he had been known to p66flout convention in a black velvet coat lined with satin, purple trousers with a golden band down the outside seam, a scarlet waistcoat, long lace ruffles falling to the tips of his fingers, and white gloves with the fingers encircled by rings.

Amongst the first invitations to the Ioways, writes Catlin, 'was one from Mr. Disraeli, M. P., for the whole party to partake of breakfast at his house, in Park Lane'.28

The Park Lane visit was for the Ioways a departure. Into the presence of Montcalm, a warrior, they had come with satisfaction. But Park Lane? There they must meet ladies; sit with them at meat. Most perturbing! Contrary altogether to the etiquette of the Des Moines and the Iowa. One thing appealed to them. They might don their best attire. Of a particular warrior, dressing for Park Lane, Catlin notes that he held in his hand his 'little looking glass, which was always suspended from his belt'. By its aid he arranged his beautiful feathers and contemplated his patches of red and yellow paint. Was he not going to meet the ladies?

Apart from Mr. Disraeli, the London sight which intrigued the Ioways most was the markets stocked with fresh meat. They lived by the chase. They thought, says Catlin, that in London there would be p67little doubt of their getting enough to eat. Utterly American, the Ioways abroad grew homesick. Their criteria were those of their native land. In Hyde Park the banks of the Serpentine reminded them of the prairies on the shore of the Skunk and the Cedar rivers. Some parts, they insisted, 'were almost exactly the same'.

In Iowa to‑day no Ioways dwell. All have been removed, or have removed themselves, to Kansas or Oklahoma. The Kansas contingent show a strong infusion of white blood. Of lessened physique, they are reticent of manner. On the other hand, the Oklahoma Ioways still bear the primitive stamp. Their build is herculean; their color dark; their bearing that of hearty good will. The women are not ugly; some of them are even 'handsome'.

All Ioways are intelligent. They are Siouan and of a keen mentality. Long they worshiped Wakanda the Mystery (the Manitou of the Algonquian) — a deity-complex comprehending the sun, the moon, the morning star, the thunder bird. 'I asked an Ioway the other day', writes a missionary in 1837, 'how many gods the Ioways had and he promptly replied "seven"!' Wakanda worship was not without beauty. It was performed, as was the worship of the sun by the Peouarea, by elevating the arms with the palms of the hands p68outward and then passing the hands downward toward the ground.

In 1845 the Ioway was still pagan. In Europe he treated the white man's faith (often obtruded upon him, but never, we may be sure, by Mr. Disraeli) with amused contempt. To‑day Wakanda for the Ioway is no more. Nearly every Ioway speaks English and reads and writes it. As far back as 1820 an Ioway chief (Hard Heart) startled an Indian agent by asking whether it were true that the earth moved round the sun.

The sphericity of the earth, thrust upon the Ioways while abroad, was to them a thing of infinite jest. So inherently absurd did they consider the idea, so deliciously and peculiarly a crotchet of the white mind, that one of their number, 'Jim', proposed for the white man's totem a globe with an elephant (elephants had intrigued Jim at the London zoo) topside down on the nether curve.

Ioways and Otoes: Unity for Ioway

Before setting out with Jolliet down the Wisconsin and the Mississippi rivers, Father Marquette, as we know, gathered materials for a map elucidating the route. On this map (1672‑1673) there is indicated the river Iowa, confounded, it would seem, with the Des Moines. Along the Iowa-Des Moines stream, beginning at its outlet into the Mississippi, p69three tribes appear: the Peouarea (Peoria), the Moingouena (Des Moines), and the Otontanta (Otoes). In line with the stream but westward beyond its source appear the Pahoutet (Pähutch'ae) or Ioways.29

A second map of authority (Jolliet's of 1674) shows the tribes of the Marquette with additions.30 As on the Marquette map, so here the Pahoutet (Ioways) are the outermost (the most westerly) of the group.

Then in 1681 the Jesuits sponsored a map.31 This bit of work delineates streams at about the positions of the Iowa and the Des Moines, and on these streams places the Peouanca-Illinouek (Peouarea), the Mouningouena, and the Otontanta. The Pahoutet (Ioways) are not shown, but the Otontanta, who were next of kin to the Ioways and not seldom mistaken for them, are placed outermost.

Jolliet and Marquette in their maps gave unity to Ioway. This they did by including with the peoples of the eastern or Mississippi border (whom they personally knew) those of the western or Missouri border of whom they had but heard — peoples beyond whom, for many a day, lay naught but the Western Sea.


The Author's Notes:

13 Proceedings of the Wisconsin Historical Society, 1906, p168. It is the opinion of Louise Phelps Kellogg, in The French Régime in Wisconsin and the Northwest, pp129, 161, that this village in 1668 had been recently erected. Its location was probably near Berlin, Green Lake County, Wisconsin.

[decorative delimiter]

14 Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. LIX, p101. But, writes Father Claude Dablon, Mascoutin should be spelled 'Maskoutenech, which means "a treeless country".' By changing a few letters (muskuta or mashcode to ishkote), 'this word is made to signify "fire," therefore the people have come to be called the Fire Nation'. — Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. LV, p199.

[decorative delimiter]

15 Benj. Sulte's Découverte du Mississippi en 1659 in the Proceedings (p412)and Transactions of the Royal Society of Canada, Series 2, Vol. IX. Miss Kellogg is inclined to date the journey on which Radisson met the Mascoutins as between 1654 and 1656. — Kellogg's Early Narratives of the Northwest, p34.

[decorative delimiter]

16 At what date the Mascoutins first removed to Ioway is a matter of conjecture. Miss Kellogg, in The French Régime in Wisconsin and the Northwest, pp99, 129, says that the Mascoutins, like the Illinois, had been driven into Ioway by the Iroquois. This would determine their appearance as between 1656 and about 1676. That they ultimately returned to Wisconsin seems not improbable. The opinion of Alanson Skinner that 'after the downfall of the Illinois Confederacy, the southern division of the Potawatomi, even then called Mascoutens, and the Kickapoo . . . moved southward in a body to the prairies of Illinois and Indiana. . . . Here, over the protest of the surviving Illinois, the Miami, and the Peoria, they took over large sections of the country'. — The Mascoutens or Prairie Potawatomi Indians in the Bulletin of the Public Museum of the City of Milwaukee, Vol. VI, Part I, p11.

[decorative delimiter]

17 No special significance attaches to the term 'mascoutins' as such. The term is purely descriptive and was commonly used by missionaries and map makers of the seventeenth century to designate Indian prairie peoples — the prairie people of any Indian nation, Sioux, Potawatomi, or what not. Thus, in 1676 Father Louis André, in Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. LX, p203, calls the Ioways nadoessi mascouteins (Sioux of the Little Prairie); and J. B. Louis Franquelin in his maps of 1684 in Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. LXIII, and of 1688 in Kellogg's Early Narratives of the Northwest, p342, designates the Ioways of a certain river, to the north of the St. Peter's or Minnesota, as people of the 'river of the Mascoutens Nadouessioux'.

Truman Michelson, of the Bureau of American Ethnology, says that in his opinion there were two sets of Mascoutins: one the Peoria and the other the Prairie Potawatomi (alone or associated with the Kickapoo) now of Kansas.

Truman Michelson in American Anthropologist, New Series, 26, 1924, p94, presents fact, newly discovered by him, that the Fox word Mäskōtäwa means 'Peoria'. An argument therefore would lie that the Mascoutins of Muscatine Island were Peoria, for the (p413)Peouarea of Jolliet and Marquette were found at the mouth of the Iowa River near the island of the Mascoutins.

It is not without interest that Catlin terms the Mas-co-tins 'Illinois' (Peoria ?) — Catlin's North American Indians, Vol. II, pp153‑155.

[decorative delimiter]

18 Mascoutin (Muscatine) Island is heard of as early as 1805 when Lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike ascending the Mississippi, made camp, as he notes, August 25th, on la Grande Prairie des Mascoutins (marked on his map 'Grant's Prairie' — a misnomer probably for Grande Prairie). Then in 1819 United States Agent Thomas Forsyth, voyaging up the Father of Waters, notes on June 21st: 'Encamped at upper end of Grand Mascoutin'. Following Pike and Forsyth, the artist George Catlin stopped at Mascoutin Island not long prior to the founding of the town of Muscatine.

[decorative delimiter]

19 Handbook of American Indians (Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part I).

[decorative delimiter]

20 'In that new world [America], a beard is the greatest disfigurement that a face can have. . . . Some time ago a Savage, looking into a Frenchman's face with most extraordinary attention and in profound silence, suddenly exclaimed . . . "Oh, the bearded man! Oh, how ugly he is!" ' — Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. XLIV, p287.

[decorative delimiter]

21 French Expedition Against the Sac and Fox Indians in the Iowa Country, 1734‑1735, in The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. XII, pp24 et seq.

[decorative delimiter]

22 The Foxes were familiar with Ioway, or parts of it, long before 1733‑1735, not as dwellers therein, but as sojourners, hunters, and raiders. As early as 1688 Baron Lahontan took with him as guides down the Mississippi and up the Des Moines (River of the Otentas) ten Foxes. — Lahontan's New Voyages to North-America (Thwaites edition), Vol. I, pp189, 200, 201.

[decorative delimiter]

23 Handbook of American Indians (Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part II), p471.

[decorative delimiter]

24 Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. LX, pp203‑215.

There are varying traditions respecting the movement of the Ioways from Wisconsin into Ioway. One tradition (followed in the text) (p414)is that the Ioway tribe, together with their kindred the Otoes, moved west across the Mississippi into southern Minnesota. But there is a rival tradition, to wit: that the Ioways did not at once cross the Mississippi but went south, either by that stream or by Rock River, until they reached the mouth of the latter stream, whence they wandered to the mouth of the Des Moines and up the Des Moines to the Missouri. — Handbook of American Indians (Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 30, Part I), p612.

In 1848 an Ioway drew with a black lead pencil on a large sheet of paper a map of the supposed wanderings of the tribe. This map was sent to the United States Indian Bureau, but can not now be found.

With regard to the Ioway tribe, see further, W. H. Miner's The Iowa (Little Histories of North American Indians, No. 2); Schoolcraft's Indian Tribes of the United States, 1853, Part III.

In 1671 Father Dablon observes that west (beyond the Mississippi) is another nation of unknown tongue (the Ioway), after whom is the Mer du Couchant (Western Sea).

[decorative delimiter]

25 E. H. Blair's Indian Tribes of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Vol. I, pp367 et seq.

[decorative delimiter]

26 E. H. Blair's Indian Tribes of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Vol. I, p159.

[decorative delimiter]

27 Wisconsin Historical Collections, Vol. XVIII, pp195, 196; Lettres du Marquis de Montcalm à M. de Bourlamaque, 1756‑1759 in Maréchal de Lévis's Manuscrits, Vol. V, Québec, 1891.

[decorative delimiter]

28 Catlin's Adventures of the Ojibbeway and Ioway Indians in England, France, and Belgium, London, 1852, pp27‑46.

[decorative delimiter]

29 The name 'Pahoutet' in relation to the name 'Ioway' is considered in note 145 below.

[decorative delimiter]

30 Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. LIX, p86.

[decorative delimiter]

31 Thwaites's Jesuit Relations, Vol. LIX, p154.


Thayer's Note:

a A universal human trait — as anyone will attest who has watched, say, British or American tourists in Italy or France.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 11 Mar 13