Posted By: Ken Wright (email)
Date: 11/15/2008 at 02:14:06
June 9, 1840
Although in the immediate vicinity of the Winnebago Indians we have not, during the last three weeks, heard anything particular respecting the movements of Gen. Atkinson. It appears that the greater part of the troops were taken by the General up the Wisconsin river from Fort Crawford, that they might be in the immediate vicinity of that part of the tribe which has not yet removed to the west side of the Mississippi. About three-fifths of the tribe have already gone over, and are not occupying the neutral ground. Of the remaining two fifths, nearly five hundred men, women, and children, have collected on the Wisconsin river, to be removed. There will be no difficulty. A large number of workmen are not engaged in erecting a fort on the Turkey river, at the forks, about forty-five or fifty miles from Prairie du Chien, and nearly the same distance from Du Buque. This is in the neighborhood of the new location of the Winnebagoes, and will serve as a post of observation as long as those Indians are allowed to occupy the country where they are now to be placed. This country, called the Neutral Ground, lies directly north of the Black Hawk purchase – which includes nearly all of the settlements in the Iowa Territory – and is immediately in the vicinity of Clayton county, which contains a more numerous white population that the country east of the Mississippi from which they are being removed. In two or three years, another removal will be necessary. It is impossible for an Indian and white population to live in immediate contact, without difficulties. The Winnegagoes are perhaps more debased and corrupted by their intercourse with the whites, than any other tribe with which we are acquainted. They are universally drunken, idle, and thievish. The neutral ground will not be sufficiently large to support them as hunters, and as necessary consequence they will be constantly intruding upon their neighbors, staking their corn, hogs, and cattle. We expect they will be a constant nuisance, to which our settlers will not submit quietly.
Clayton Documents maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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