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Chapter 12

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Old Fort Crawford
and the Frontier

by
Bruce E. Mahan

The State Historical Society of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa, 1926

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!


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Chapter 14
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

p201 XIII
The Fort and Indian Affairs 1834‑1840

In the treaty with the Winnebago made near Fort Armstrong in September following the close of the Black Hawk War, these Indians agreed to give up their land east of the Mississippi and to move to a new home in the Neutral Ground on or before June 1, 1833. At the same time the United States government promised to erect a school for the Winnebago, with a farm attached, somewhere near Fort Crawford or Prairie du Chien.477

Shortly after the ratification of this treaty in the spring of 1833, Agent Street at Prairie du Chien received the first year's appropriation of $7500 for these purposes with instructions from Elbert Herring, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, to locate the new buildings west of the Mississippi. But before anything of consequence had been accomplished this order was countermanded by the Secretary of War. Street claimed that the agent and traders of the American Fur Company were opposing every effort to move the Winnebago west of the Mississippi, and were in fact trying to get him removed. Efforts were also being made to get the instructions relative to building the school changed so as to transfer the project to the Winnebago sub‑agency at the Portage. Street protested vigorously against the alleged interference of the traders and the scheme to place the school on the Wisconsin with the result that the suspension order was countermanded. Winter, however, had set in and it was too late to begin building operations that season.478

p202 In the spring of 1834 Street let the contract for the erection of the school. He had planned for stone buildings, but the Secretary of War refused to approve anything other than "plain, comfortable log structures at small expense." Street succeeded, however, in securing consent for the main building to be of stone, plans for which called for a substantial two‑story structure with a chimney about ten‑foot square up the center, and a great fireplace in every room. The site selected for the school was a location on the Yellow River in Iowa, about six miles up that stream from the Mississippi, and approximately ten miles from Fort Crawford. At this point there was a small rich prairie suitable for farming operations, and a spring in the adjoining timber. The surrounding country was mostly woodland interspersed with prairie. The site was a few miles above the sawmill which had been used to make lumber for Fort Crawford, and in order to facilitate the erection of buildings for the Winnebago school Colonel Taylor offered to transfer this mill to Agent Street.479

Shortly after Street had let the contract for the erection of the buildings he was ordered to take charge of the Sauk and Foxes with headquarters at Rock Island, leaving the supervision of Winnebago affairs in the hands of the commanding officer at Fort Crawford. Street opposed this change vigorously on the grounds that no public or private benefit could result from his removal. There were no Indians within fifty miles of Rock Island, he said, nor would they visit that place until the spring after the winter's hunt. Furthermore, his removal at this time would cause an extensive derangement of the plans for the Winnebago school and farm. The commanding officer at Fort Crawford, capable as he was, p203did not have the necessary leisure from military duties to give the proper attention to the project. Colonel Taylor, too, felt that Prairie du Chien was the logical place for the agency and that Street should remain there. In spite of protests, however, the contemplated change was made, and in accordance with orders Street turned over to Taylor all public property at the Prairie du Chien Agency and removed to Rock Island.480

Colonel Taylor continued as commandant of Fort Crawford until October 4, 1834, when he turned over the command of the post to Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.E. A. Hitchcock, and departed on a sixty day furlough. The garrison at Fort Crawford during the year, 1834, consisted of four or five companies of the First Infantry. From eight to thirteen officers and from one hundred and ninety‑one to two hundred and fifty-seven men, comprised the garrison from time to time during the year. An examination of the ordnance department at Fort Crawford in 1834 would have revealed an amazing array of materials for frontier defense. Among the equipment reported one reads of two iron twelve-pounders and one iron six‑pounder of the field type artillery with carriages for each. There was also equipment for this artillery — sponges and rammers, ladles and worms, sponges,º tompions, buckets, gunners' belts and haversacks, linstocks, portfire stocks, cases and clippers, priming horns, sponge covers, ladles for hot shot, sets of harness, and artillery saddles. There was on hand ready for service two hundred and seventy‑six rounds of fixed strap shot for the twelve-pounders, ninety rounds of the same for the six‑pounders, and fifty-three pounds of cannon powder. Two hundred and ten rounds of canister shot for the twelve-pounders and thirteen rounds for the six‑pounders were p204also available. For the infantry there were 1023 flint muskets, three new Harpers Ferry half-stocked rifles, six pistols, 600 pounds of powder, 5820 blank cartridges, and 17,243 ball and buckshot cartridges. In addition to these, a large quantity of miscellaneous stores completed a well-stocked storehouse.481

Under Colonel Taylor's supervision workmen constructing the Winnebago school made satisfactory progress. Meantime Street at Rock Island made strong appeals to be restored to Prairie du Chien. In a letter to Secretary of War Cass in September he complained that the agency buildings at Rock Island were uninhabitable, and could not be repaired except at an unjustified expense. So far he had enjoyed the hospitality of Colonel William Davenport at Fort Armstrong, but hoped that Cass would order him to return to Prairie du Chien "where from the state of the country and residence of the Indians there is constant intercourse with the Indians demanding vigilant and unremitted attention on the part of the Agent." The Sauk and Foxes were now too far distant in Iowa to make an agency at Rock Island necessary. The Winnebago and Wabasha's band of the Sioux wanted him to return, he said, and in support of his contention that Prairie du Chien would remain the center of Indian affairs for a number of years he enclosed a letter from Colonel Taylor.482

Taylor declared that he considered the location of an Indian agent at Prairie du Chien "now and for a number of years to come as of more importance than at any other point on the Mississippi". In the first place, Indians could visit Prairie du Chien from the west without passing through white settlements — this was not true at Rock Island. Again the Winnebago passed through Prairie p205du Chien in going from one part of their land to the other and would continue to do so for some time. Moreover, Prairie du Chien was convenient to the Sioux nation. It was the great thoroughfare for the Winnebago, the lower band of the Sioux, and occasionally for the Foxes. A resident agent could do more good here in his opinion than at any place on the Upper Mississippi.483 Apparently this letter as well as others of like import from his influential friends had its effect, for Street was ordered back to Prairie du Chien late in the year.484

In the meantime another bloody massacre had taken place on an island in the Mississippi near Fort Crawford. The Winnebago Indians had gathered at Prairie du Chien for the annuities which were paid in 1834 during the first week in November. As was usually the case the money was out of their hands and in the pockets of the traders within a few hours after it had been distributed. The Indians had lingered at the Prairie, drinking and dancing, and were making preparations to cross into Iowa and join Wabasha's band of Sioux for the winter's hunt. On the night of November 6th, while the Winnebago slept, unconscious of any danger, a band of Sauk and Foxes crept upon them and began their ghastly work of slaughter. Ten braves, three or four women, and a number of children were horribly mangled by the murderers in a swift orgy of destruction. A little boy, about twelve years of age, who brought word of the massacre to the fort, said he fired at the attacking party before he ran, and thought he saw a fellow fall. It turned out that he had shot a Fox Indian through the heart. On the next day he was all decked out with the usual badges of a brave and held as cherished trophies of his exploit the scalp, rifle, and tomahawk of the vanquished Fox.

p206 As soon as he heard of the affray Captain Hitchcock sent Lieutenants Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.G. H. Pegram and Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.J. H. La Motte to the scene of the massacre. They reported appearances on the island shocking in the extreme. Captain W. R. Jouett was sent with a detachment down the Mississippi in pursuit of the murderers, while Lieutenant Pegram with another detachment scoured the region above Prairie du Chien, and up Turkey River. Demoralized by the massacre, the Winnebago changed their plans for the winter's hunt, and much alarmed came flocking to Prairie du Chien from every quarter. Rolette declared that the American Fur Company would lose at least $5000 by the breaking up of the hunt.485

An exterminating war was expected to result from this bloody deed, but prompt efforts on the part of the officers at Fort Crawford and Agent Street prevailed upon the Winnebago to let their Great Father punish the Sauk and Foxes. Taylor returned to the command of Fort Crawford in December, and assumed the task of adjusting the difficulty. The Sauk and Foxes were summoned to a conference at Prairie du Chien to make restitution and to bury the tomahawk. They came finally in May, 1835. In the presence of Colonel Taylor and Agent Street a treaty was negotiated between the Menominee and Winnebago on the one hand and the Sauk and Foxes on the other whereby all concerned agreed to forgive each other for past offenses, and to live in peace in the future. Six of the chiefs and braves including the principal sufferers were among the signers. The council was conducted with much ceremony. Forty horses were presented to the Winnebago by the Sauk and Foxes as full compensation for the loss of about half that number of people who had been murdered in cold blood. The indemnity p207was accepted, belts of wampum were given by the friends of the offenders, and the pipe of peace was smoked. Mutual assurances of peace and harmony concluded the council. But "Wakaun Haka", who had lost a wife and several children in the massacre, stood aloof, disdaining the compromise, and refusing to share in the presents or to shake the hands of his enemies.486

When Street returned to Prairie du Chien late in 1834 he turned his attention to the task of starting the Winnebago school and farm. It was too late in the season for active operations on the new farm, but the school was begun as soon as the building, a good, plain, stone structure of permanent and useful character, was ready. In the meantime Reverend David Lowry, a Presbyterian minister, who had been appointed by President Jackson as a teacher for the Winnebago, had arrived at Prairie du Chien. Early in 1835, he opened the school, with his wife, Mary Ann Lowry, acting as his assistant. Street employed hands for the farm and set them to work on the experimental plot near the school. Through a friend in Illinois he procured four yoke of oxen and two horses, but he had scarcely paid for them and placed them on the farm before he was again peremptorily ordered to move to Rock Island.

At first few pupils came to the new school, but when Street inspected the institution on April 30, 1835, he found six pupils attending regularly, and Indians were visiting the place daily, showing a lively interest in both the school work and the adjoining farm. In May three new pupils enrolled. "Everything now", said Street, "bids fair for the entire success of these interesting experiments".487

Despite Street's protests against being transferred to p208Rock Island the order remained unchanged. Consequently on March 30, 1835, he again turned over to Colonel Taylor the supervision of Winnebago affairs at Prairie du Chien. To add to his troubles H. L. Dousman, the American Fur Company manager at Prairie du Chien, wrote to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs claiming that Street had employed the Winnebago blacksmith for two months in erecting the school on Yellow River. The blacksmith's son received pay from the government as a striker but did no work. The blacksmith himself, it was claimed, often closed his shop to erect houses for people in the village. Meantime, when the Winnebago needed new axes, hoes, or spears they were compelled to purchase them. The American Fur Company's smith had done much work for the Winnebago without pay, and as a result both the Fur Company and the Indians were the victims of Street's alleged neglect and mismanagement. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs ordered Colonel Taylor to investigate the charges. Street's reply and Taylor's statement of the situation indicated that Dousman's charges were unjust and unfounded. The removal of Street to Rock Island, however, was thoroughly satisfactory to the representatives of the American Fur Company.488

During the late spring and summer of 1835 troops from Fort Crawford were engaged in a new enterprise — that of constructing a military road from Fort Crawford to Fort Winnebago. This was the culmination of a plan that had been inaugurated as early as 1830 when Congress made an appropriation to build a military road from Chicago to Green Bay and from Green Bay to the Portage.489 In November, 1831, Quartermaster General Jesup reported to the Secretary of War that "in consequence p209of the reduction of the force at Green Bay, and the employment of the garrison at Fort Winnebago in the erection of barracks, the road between those places has not been commenced. The necessary arrangements will not be completed during the winter, and this object will receive early attention on the opening of the next season."490 A year later he notified Cass that an additional appropriation had been made to extend the road from Fort Winnebago to Fort Crawford and that Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.A. J. Center had begun the survey of the route on October 21, 1832.491 In November, 1833, Jesup reported, "the road from Fort Howard, Green Bay, to Fort Crawford, on the Mississippi river, has been surveyed and located during the present season. This is an important military communication, intended to connect three of the exterior posts on the northwestern frontier. To complete the work a further appropriation will be necessary."492 Another year passed without any progress being made on the project, and in November, 1834, Jesup wrote, "The appropriations for the road from Fort Howard to Fort Crawford not being sufficient to carry on the work with advantage by means of hired laborers or by contract, and the troops at both posts being engaged in building, nothing has yet been effected except the survey of the route."493

But in May, 1835, three companies from Fort Crawford began the task of constructing the road from Prairie du Chien to Fort Winnebago. The garrison at the fort which in April consisted of ten officers and two hundred and twelve men was now reduced to five officers and ninety‑two men. All the rest were employed on the road. By August the soldiers of Colonel Taylor's command had completed their section of the military highway, but the troops from Fort Howard and Fort Winnebago, who had p210to clear a track through dense timber, had not finished their section by the end of the year.494 The road as constructed by the soldiers was a crude affair. The work was done by setting mile stakes on the prairie, making corduroy crossings of logs in the marshes, constructing rude bridges across streams, and cutting a track some two rods wide through the timber. "It was a poor excuse for a road, according to present day standards", says a recent writer, "and could be used only in the winter when the ground was frozen or when the weather was dry in the summer." Downpours often flooded great sections of it and made other parts "as slippery as noodles on a spoon."495 Nevertheless, this highway was an important adjunct to the three military posts which it connected. It was at least one‑third less in distance than the Fox‑Wisconsin waterway which heretofore had been the only means of communication between Fort Howard, Fort Winnebago, and Fort Crawford; and poor as it was, this road was a great advance over no highway at all.496

About the time the soldiers returned to Fort Crawford from their road building operations a distinguished visitor came to the Prairie. George Catlin, who had spent several months at Fort Snelling, left that post for Prairie du Chien on July 27th, accompanied by a soldier.497 Catlin was an artist who made a specialty of Indian scenes, and at Prairie du Chien he expected to have "new subjects" for his brush and "new themes" for his pen. He was not disappointed. While he was there Wabasha's band of the Sioux came to Prairie du Chien and remained several weeks to get their annuities. The money as usual fell far short of paying their debts to the traders, but the Indians had no difficulty in getting enough whisky for a "grand carouse and a brawl". At the end of a spree p211when the men had a surfeit of whisky and wanted a little more amusement, they announced that the squaws were going to have a "ball play".498

As prizes for the contest the braves laid out a great quantity of ribbons, calicoes, and ornaments calculated to appeal to the women. These presents were hung on a pole resting on crotches, and guarded by an old Indian who was to be judge and umpire of the play. The women were divided into two equal parties and the contest began. In this game two balls were attached to a string about a foot and a half long. Each woman held a short stick in each hand on which she endeavored to catch the string with the two balls and throw them over the goal of her own party. The men were more than half drunk, and took pleasure in rolling about on the ground and laughing while the women were tumbling about and scuffling for the ball. Often the contest, waxing hot, brought the struggling women over the heads of the men, who "half from whisky, and half from inclination" were lying in groups flat on the ground.499

No unusual Indian problems demanded the attention of Colonel Taylor or the garrison at Fort Crawford during the rest of 1835 or in 1836. In the latter year the first census of the newly created Territory of Wisconsin of which Iowa was a part revealed the presence of two hundred and sixty officers and men at Fort Crawford, thirteen women, twenty-three children, and seventeen slaves of both sexes.500

An inspection of Fort Crawford in October, 1836, indicated the character of Taylor's supervision of the post. The inspector declared that the mess rooms of Fort Crawford were roomy and convenient, clean and neat. No neglect on the part of the cooks was ever tolerated and p212the abundant rations were properly cooked and served. Arms and equipment, bunks, armracks, and clothing of the men were in proper condition, while the regimental and company books of the officers were correctly kept. Although the hospital was badly arranged, this malarrangement would not inconvenience the surgeon or his patients so long as the health of the post continued as good as it was at the time of inspection. The supply of stores and medicine was abundant and neatly arranged. Sutlers at the fort gave satisfaction and sold goods to the soldiers at prices much below the rates in the village of Prairie du Chien. Although no positive fault could be found with the instruction of the troops and their performance of evolutions their perfection in drill was not equal to the record of the regiment in 1828. This, however, in view of the type of service in which the troops had been employed was not surprising. As to discipline, the utmost pains had been taken by the officers to carry into effect the wholesome regulations of the post, but the nearness of dram shops, which were open to the soldier at all hours, made the task difficult. The administration of the post was correct in every particular. Rations in the subsistence department were abundant enough to supply the garrison until the next delivery in May, but to provide for the anticipated arrival of recruits the commissary at St. Louis had been called upon to furnish an additional supply of pork and flour both for Fort Crawford and Fort Snelling. The stores were properly arranged with care taken to insure their preservation. In the ordnance department the powder and ammunition were in good order and of sufficient quantity to answer all probable wants of the garrison. "No post", declared the inspector, "whether on the sea board p213or the interior is provided with a better magazine and gun house than Fort Crawford, nor at none can greater pains be taken to secure the article in store from waste or damage."501

In the meantime Agent Street at Rock Island had been striving with all his might to be reassigned to Prairie du Chien. He recommended to George W. Jones, then Delegate in Congress from Michigan Territory, that the Sauk and Fox Agency should be moved from Rock Island to the Des Moines River, as the Indians, passing through settlements of whites in coming to Rock Island, always caused trouble and annoyances. He complained that he was at great expense as he had to maintain his family at Prairie du Chien. There was no school, no church, and no fit quarters on Rock Island. But his complaints went unheeded. The Commissioner of Indian Affairs declared in April, 1836, that it was inexpedient to transfer the agency to Prairie du Chien, but gave Street permission to occupy quarters vacated by military officers at Fort Armstrong.502

In the absence of Colonel Taylor at Jefferson Barracks in November and December, 1836, Captain W. R. Jouett assumed command of Fort Crawford. He fully sympathized with the attempt to educate the Winnebago and in coöperation with Street measures were taken to carry out fully the provisions of the Treaty of 1832 as to the school and farm. Additional farm hands were hired and more oxen purchased.503 On January 14, 1837, Brevet Major Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Gustavus Loomis relieved Captain Jouett in command of Fort Crawford, and remained as commandant until Taylor's return in May.504

In a letter to his father, dated February 16, 1837, Thomas P. Street told of a recent visit of Governor p214Henry Dodge, who in his capacity as Commissioner of Indian Affairs for Wisconsin Territory had come on an inspection tour to Prairie du Chien. Young Street entertained the Governor and took him and Major Loomis in a sleigh to visit the Indian school on Yellow River. Dodge expressed much satisfaction at the manner in which the school and farm were conducted, and promised to support it notwithstanding efforts to put it down. He said that he had given Agent Street the choice of staying at Rock Island or of returning to Prairie du Chien. Major Loomis at once expressed his desire for Street's return, saying that he knew "but little of Indians" and wanted "to know less."505 Street, of course, returned to Prairie du Chien as soon as he received permission from Governor Dodge.506

Through opposition of the traders, the natural habits of idleness on the part of Indians, and a distaste for any restraint the progress of the Indian school had been slow. With the return of Street to Prairie du Chien in 1837, however, he exerted himself in coöperation with Reverend Lowry, the superintendent, to put the school in full operation. By December, 1837, the enrollment had increased to forty‑one pupils — fifteen boys and twenty‑six girls. Eleven of these boarded and lodged at the school while the remainder lived in the teepees of their parents to which they returned at the close of the school day taking with them rations of pork, salt, and meal which they added to the potatoes and corn of the family larder. The institution furnished clothing to all the pupils, supplying each boy and girl with new garments whenever they were needed. The increased enrollment necessitated a larger teaching staff, and accordingly Bradford L. and Patsey Porter of Kentucky were appointed p215to assist Reverend Lowry and his wife. Superintendent Lowry received $500 as his yearly wage, while each of his assistants drew an annual income of $300 for their services in attempting to bring the white man's learning to the children of the red men.507

A year later the attendance had fallen to thirty‑six — fourteen girls and twenty‑two boys. This number, however, was as many as the yearly appropriation would adequately care for, and, although the superintendent felt that he could secure more pupils, he had neither the money nor the room to provide for them.

Progress in education, too, was not as rapid as the promoters of the school desired. Reverend Lowry attributed the retardation of the pupils not to lack of intellect, but to ignorance of the English language and to lack of coöperation on the part of the parents. The unsympathetic attitude of the parents made it difficult to enforce discipline, and irregularity of attendance also retarded the progress of the children. Two and a half years after the school opened, however, several pupils were spelling words of three or four syllables, and they had made some progress in writing, in translating Indian words into English, and in counting. The girls had learned to sew and the boys to farm.508 A granddaughter of Reverend Lowry thus described the conditions in the school at this time: "My grandmother was quite successful in handling the little savages and when they got unruly with the other teachers they were sent to her. They all loved her and sometimes her room would be so crowded with Indian children sitting on the floor and everywhere there was scarcely room to walk."509

Street's active support of his project to civilize the Winnebago, however, was destined to be short-lived. In p216the fall of 1837 he was required to take a delegation of Sauk and Foxes to Washington, D. C., where the government acquired by treaty a triangular strip of the Iowa country west of the Black Hawk Purchase. In 1838 Street was ordered to select the site for the Sauk and Fox agency on the Des Moines River. Early in 1839 he moved his family to the new agency and gave up all supervision of the Winnebago.510

The year 1839 marked the peak of attainment for the school on Yellow River. A report in December showed an enrollment of seventy-nine pupils — forty-three boys and thirty‑six girls. During the year the girls had made two hundred garments — all the clothing, in fact, required by the pupils in the school. Another building had been erected to care for the increased enrollment, and changes had been made in the teaching staff. In July, 1839, when Lowry became sub‑agent for the Winnebago, he turned the supervision of the school over to John Thomas; later in the year Abner McDowell became superintendent of the school while Thomas devoted his time to the supervision of the adjoining farm. Joseph Mills and his wife Evelina taught during part of the year, and other new teachers were Minerva and Lucy Brunson and Nancy McDowell.511

A visit to the school in August, 1840, by J. H. Lockwood and B. W. Brisbois, prominent citizens of Prairie du Chien, caused them to exclaim in surprise that they had never seen a more orderly or ambitious school even of white children. They were astonished at the progress made by the children in the three years interval since their previous visit. But the days of the Indian school on Yellow River were numbered. On October 1, 1840, the p217teachers were notified that their services would be needed no longer. Sub‑agent Lowry had received orders to sell the buildings preparatory to reëstablishing the agency and school at a new location farther west in Iowa, somewhere on Turkey River in the Neutral Ground.512

In the meantime repeated efforts had been made to induce the Winnebago in Wisconsin to remove to the Neutral Ground in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of 1832. But fear of collisions with the Sioux and Sauk and Fox war parties then scouring the Neutral Ground in search of one another, as well as the influence of the traders had blocked all efforts to place the Winnebago in the Iowa country. On November 1, 1837, a deputation of Winnebago chiefs and braves journeyed to Washington to make another treaty with the government. The Indians surrendered their right to hunt upon a twenty-mile strip at the east end of the Neutral Ground, and agreed to move into the Iowa country within eight months after the ratification of the treaty. Time passed, and still Winnebago clung to their old haunts in Wisconsin, annoying the pioneer settlers by the theft of stock and other property. By the autumn of 1839 a few bands had crossed over to the west side of the river, but most of them clung to their old homes. Winneshiek's band had located on the Upper Iowa River some fifty miles from Fort Crawford; Two Shillings' band dwelt near the Winnebago school on Yellow River; while Little Priest's and Whirling Thunder's bands were living on a farm some fifteen miles west of the school. All the other Winnebago bands — those under Big Canoe, Waukon, Yellow Thunder, Caramanee, Dandy, Little Soldier, Decorah, and Big Head still dwelt in Wisconsin.513

Finally the patience of congressmen familiar with the p218situation became exhausted, and a resolution was passed by the Senate in March, 1840, asking the Secretary of War to explain why the Winnebago had not been removed to their reservation in Iowa. He replied that part of the delay was due to an effort to induce the Winnebago to accept a new home in Missouri, but as this proposal had not met with success, General Henry Atkinson had already been instructed in February, 1840, to remove the Winnebago to the Neutral Ground by force if necessary.514

As long as the Winnebago Indians remained in Wisconsin there was need of a garrison at Fort Crawford, but with the departure of Colonel Taylor with a detachment for the Seminole War in July, 1837, the number of troops at the post was greatly reduced. Brevet Brigadier General George M. Brooke assumed command of Fort Crawford on July 18, 1837. The Post Returns for that month show a garrison of nine officers and only forty men — Companies B and C of the Fifth Infantry. On September 4, 1837, Captain William Alexander relieved Brooke, and remained in command until July 1, 1838, when Brooke returned. During this interval there were from four to six officers at the post and from forty-nine to fifty‑six enlisted men. General Brooke remained as commandant throughout the rest of the year except temporarily in November when he was absent at Galena establishing a recruiting rendezvous for the regiment. There was little change during these months in either the number of officers or men.515

Brooke likewise remained in command of Fort Crawford throughout 1839 except for short intervals, once when he journeyed to Fort Winnebago in June to inspect the troops at that post, and again in October when he p219went to St. Louis to inspect the recruiting rendezvous there. During his absence in June, Lieutenant Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.C. C. Sibley commanded Fort Crawford, and during Brooke's visit to St. Louis, Captain Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.A. S. Hooe had charge of the post. In May, 1839, the arrival of several companies increased the garrison from a total of seventy to one hundred and seventy-five officers and men. By the end of December the garrison had been increased through new arrivals to almost two hundred.516 Early in 1840 a newspaper editor wrote "The U. S. Fort (Crawford) under the able command of the talented and experienced Brooke, at present contains upwards of 200 men, all in fine spirits and anxiously waiting an opportunity for trying their skill in 'trailing the ribs' of their old friends, the Winnebagoes."517

During the late thirties the tasks of the soldiers at Fort Crawford as far as Indian affairs were concerned had been light. No Indian war or uprising had called them into active service. But in 1840 the task of moving the reluctant Winnebago from their old homes in Wisconsin to the Neutral Ground brought a measure of relief from the dull routine of garrison life.


The Author's Notes:

477 United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII (Indian Treaties, 1778‑1842), p371.

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478 Street to Montfort Stokes, August 26, 1833, in the Street Papers, No. 33; Street to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, in the Street Papers, No. 59.

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479 The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. XIII, pp341, 342; Senate Documents, 23rd Congress, 1st Session, Vol. X, pp651, 653; Annals of Iowa (Third Series), Vol. III, pp613, 614, 615.

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480 Statement of Indian Affairs in 1834 in the Street Papers, No. 41; Street to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, in the Street Papers, No. 59.

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481 Post Returns, Fort Crawford, 1831‑1856, January to December, 1834, in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C.; American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. V, pp853‑870.

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482 Street to Cass, September 12, 1834, in the Street Papers, No. 43.

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483 Taylor to Street, September 6, 1834, in the Street Papers, No. 35.

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484 Street to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, in the Street Papers, No. 59.

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485 Hitchcock to Davenport, November 7, 1834, in the Street Papers, No. 40.

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486 Street to Clark, May 9, 1835, in the Street Papers, No. 49; McKenney's History of the Indian Tribes of North America, Vol. II, p117.

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487 The The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. XIII, pp342, 343; Annals of Iowa (Third Series), Vol. III, pp616, 617; Street to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, and Street to Clark, May 25, 1835, in the Street Papers, Nos. 56, 59.

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488 Street to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, Dousman to Herring, March 26, 1835, Clark to Street, May 30, 1835, Clark to Street, September 26, 1835, in the Street Papers, Nos. 59, 55, 53, 52.

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489 American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. IV, p815.

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490 American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. IV, p748.

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491 American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. V, p41.

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492 American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. V, p183.

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493 American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. V, p384.

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494 Post Returns, Fort Crawford, 1831‑1856, April to August, 1835, in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C.; American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. V, p643.

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495 Cole's The Old Military Road in the Wisconsin Magazine of History, Vol. IX, pp50, 51.

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496 American State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. IV, pp815, 816. Quaife's Wisconsin Its History and Its People, Vol. I, pp382, 383.

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497 Hansen's Old Fort Snelling, pp163, 164.

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498 Catlin's Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians, Vol. II, pp616, 617.

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499 Catlin's Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians, Vol. II, p617.

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500 Thwaites's The Territorial Census for 1836 in the Wisconsin Historical Collections, Vol. XIII, p254.

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501 Inspection Reports, Fort Crawford, Vol. V (October 11, 1836), pp124‑129, War Department, Washington, D. C.

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502 Street to Jones, January 25, 1836, Herring to Street, April 12, 1836, in the Street Papers, Nos. 71, 74.

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503 Post Returns, Fort Crawford, 1831‑1856, November and December, 1836, in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C.; Street to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, in the Street Papers, No. 59.

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504 Post Returns, Fort Crawford, 1831‑1856, January to May inclusive, 1837, in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C.

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505 Thomas P. Street to J. M. Street, February 16, 1837, in the Street Papers, No. 82.

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506 Street to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, in the Street Papers, No. 59.

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507 Street to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, January 8, 1838, in the Street Papers, No. 59; Mahan's The School on Yellow River in The Palimpsest, Vol. V, pp448, 449.

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508 Van der Zee's The Neutral Ground in The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. XIII, p343; Annals of Iowa (Third Series), Vol. III, p617; Senate Documents, 25th Congress, 3rd Session, Vol. I, No. 1, pp477, 519‑522.

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509 The Minneapolis Journal, April 15, 1923; The Palimpsest, Vol. V, pp449, 450.

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510 C. A. Harris to Street, March 10, 1838, in the Street Papers, No. 87; Annals of Iowa (Third Series), Vol. II, pp100, 101.

Thayer's Note: For the remainder of Street's career, at the new agency until his death (and a portrait of him) see History of Wapello County, pp24‑31.
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511 The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. XIII, pp344, 345; The Palimpsest, Vol. V, pp450, 451.

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512 Executive Documents, 26th Congress, 2nd Session, Vol. I, No. 1, pp251, 337, 338, 366‑369.

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513 The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. XIII, pp323‑327; Senate Documents, 26th Congress, 1st Session, Vol. I, No. 1, p487; United States Statutes at Large, Vol. VII (Indian Treaties, 1778‑1842), pp544‑546.

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514 The Iowa Journal of History and Politics, Vol. XIII, pp326, 327; Senate Documents, 26th Congress, 1st Session, Vol. VI, No. 297.

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515 Post Returns, Fort Crawford, 1831‑1856, July, 1837, to December, 1838, inclusive, in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C.

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516 Post Returns, Fort Crawford, 1831‑1856, January to December inclusive, 1839, in the Adjutant General's Office, War Department, Washington, D. C.

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517 The North Western Gazette and Galena Advertiser, February 10, 1840.


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