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1880 History
Indian Wars in the Northwest, Indians and Indian Affairs, Indian Incidents and Reminiscences

Indian Wars in the Northwest

Almost every advance of civilization on the American continent has been made at the expense of more or less conflict and bloodshed at the hands of the savage tribes who were the occupants and owners of the soil prior to the advent of the white man. Passing over the conflicts of the colonists in the early settlements of the East, the later struggles of the pioneers of the "Dark and Bloody Ground," and the Indian wars of the South, we shall briefly refer to some of the troubles with the aborigines in the Northwest. With the opening of the new country to white settlers it was necessary to establish military posts for the protection of the pioneers against the attacks of the Indians. In 1790, all paciflc means having failed with the tribes north of the Ohio, President Washington sent Gen. Harmar with a military force against them. After destroying several of their villages, he was defeated in two battles near the confluence of the St. Joseph's and St. Mary's rivers, and not far from the present city of Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1781 Gen. Arthur St. Clair was promoted to the rank of major general, and was entrusted with a command against the hostile Miamis. On assuming his command, the last admonition of Washington was, " Beware of surprise." Gen. St. Clair marched with his troops to the vicinity of the Miami villages on the Maumee.  On the 4th of November, 1791, he was surprised in camp on the St. Mary's river, and his force of 1400 ill disciplined men was cut to pieces. He soon after resigned his commission. In this defeat St. Clair's loss was about 600 men. The savages were greatly emboldened by their successes, and it was soon found that more vigorous measures were necessary. The Indians continued to commit outrages against the infant settlements. In some cases, doubtless, the whites were the aggressors, for Washington in his annual messageof November 6, 1792, recommended more adequate measures "for restraining the commission of outrages upon the Indians, without which all pacific plans miist prove nugatory." Attempts were made to treat with the Indians, but the attempted negotiations proved unsuccessful.

After the unsuccessful and disastrous campaigns of Generals Harmar and St. Clair, General Anthony Wayne, who had won distinguished laurels in the war of the Revolution, was, in April, 1792, promoted to the rank of major general and made commander-in-chief in the war against the western Indians. In August, 1794, he gained a signal victory over the Miamis, near the rapids of the Maumee, and compelled them to sue for peace. In the same year a fort was erected by his order on the site of the old "Twightwee Village of the Miami tribe, where the city of Fort Wayne is now located. It continued to be a military post until 1819.

After his successful campaign of 1794, Gen. Wayne was appointed sole commissioner to treat with the Indians, and also to take possession of the forts still held by the British in the Northwest. He negotiated the treaty of Greenville which was signed by all the principal chiefs of the Northwest. By this treaty the Indians relinquished their title to a large tract of country. That characteristic determination which, during the war of the Revolution,  had gained him the sobriquet of "Mad Anthony," impressed the hostile tribes with a dread of him which operated as a wholesome restraint. Gen. Wayne also took possession of the British posts in the Northwest, which were peaceably surrendered, in accordance with Jay's treaty, and from this time there was assurance of peace on the frontier. He died in the garrison at Presque Isle (Erie), Pa., December 14, 1796.

From the date of Wayne's victory up to 1809 the whites maintained comparatively peaceable relations with the Indians. During this year. Gen. Harrison, then Governor of Indiana Territory, entered into a treaty with the Delawares, Kickapoos, Pottawattamies, Miamis, Eel Eiver Indians and Weas in which these tribes relinquished their title to certain lands on the Wabash river. About this time the noted chief Tecumseh comes into prominence as the bitter opponent of any more grants of land being made to the whites.

Tecumseh was a chief of the Shawnees, bom on the Scioto river near Chillicothe', about the year 1770. It was said that he was one of three brothers who were triplets. The other two brothers were named Kumshaka and Elskwatawa. Kumshaka is believed to have died while young, but Elskwatawa became the Prophet who co-operated with the chief in all his plans. His father, Puckeshinwa, had risen to the rank of chief, but was killed at the battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. In 1795 Tecumseh was declared chief at or near where Urbana, Ohio, is now located. In 1798 he went to White river, Indiana [with] his brother, the Prophet, to a tract of land on the Wabash. Tecumseh, by reason of his oratory, had great influence over the savage tribes, and his plan was to unite all of them against thewhites in a conspiracy, similar to that of Pontiac nearly half a century before. For this purpose he visited all the tribes west to the Mississippi, and upon Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan. At the same time his brother, the Prophet, pretended to be directed by the Great Spirit to preach against the influence and encroachments of the white men. Their efforts to incite the Indians to hostilities were successful, and they gathered a large force of warriors, making their headquarters at a stream they called Tippecanoe, near the Wabash river.

Meantime Gov. Harrison was watching the movements of the Indians, and being convinced of the existence of Tecumseh's grand conspiracy, had prepared to defend the settlements. In August, 1810, Tecumseh went to Vincennes to confer with the Governor in relation to the grievances of the Indians, but demeaned himself in such an angry manner that he was dismissed from the village. He returned to complete his plans for the conflict. Tecumseh delayed his intended attack, but in the meantime he was gathering strength to his cause, and by the autumn of 1811 had a force of several hundred warriors at his encampment on the little river called by the Indians Keth-tip-pe-ce-nink, or Tippecanoe. Harrison, with a force of eight hundred men, partly regulars and partly volunteers, determined to move upon Jthe Prophet's town, as it was called. He encamped near the village early in October, and on the night of the 5th of November his camp was furiously but unsuccessfully attacked. On the morning of the 7th he was again attacked by a large body of the Indians, but Tecumseh's warriors were completely routed, but not without a severe and hotly contested battle, and the loss of about 200 of Harrison's men.

President Madison, in a special message to Congress of December 12, 1811, speaking of this engagement, says:

"While it is deeply lamented that so many valuable lives have been lost in the action which took place on the seventh ultimo, Congress will see with satisfaction the dauntless spirit and fortitude victoriously displayed by every description of the troops engaged, as well as the collected firmness which distinguished their commander on an occasion requiring the utmost exertions of valor and discipline. It may reasonably be expected that the good effects of this critical defeat and dispersion of a combination of savages, which appears to have been spreading to a greater extent, will be experienced, not only in the cessation of murders and depredations committed on our frontier, but in the prevention of any hostile excursions otherwise to Iiave been apprehended."

The result of the battle of Tippecanoe utterly ruined the plans of Tecumseh, for his arrangements with the different tribes were not yet matured. He was greatly exasperated toward the Prophet for precipitating the war. Had Tecumsen himself been present it is likely the attack would not have been made. The defeated Indians were at first inclined to sue for peace, but Tecumseh was not yet conquered. The breaking out of the war with Great Britain at this time inspired him with new hope, and his next endeavor was to form an alliance with the English. In this he succeeded, and was appointed a brigadier general. He was entrusted with the command of all the Indians who co-operated with the English in the campaigns of 1812-13, and was in several important engagements.

After the surrender of Detroit by Gen. Hull, August 18, 1812, Harrison was appointed to the command of the Northwestern frontier, with a commission as brigadier general. As this was in September, too late in the season for a campaign, he did not assume active operations until the next year, by which time he was promoted to the rank of major general. After Commodore Perry won his signal victory on Lake Erie in September, 1813, Harrison hastened with his command to capture Malden. On arriving there late in September he found that Proctor, the British general, had retreated. About the same time Gen. McArthur took possession of Detroit and the Territory of Michigan. Pursuing the British army into the interior of Canada West, Harrison overtook Proctor at the Moravian settlements, on th« river Thames, on the 5th of October. The British general had an auxiliary force of two thousand Indians under the command ot Tecumseh. The battle was opened by the American cavalry under the command of Col. Richard M. Johnson, afterward vice-president of the United States. Early in the engagement Tecumseh was killed at the head of his column of Indians, who, no longer hearing the voice of their chief, fled in confusion. It has been claimed by some authorities that this celebrated chief was killed by Col. Johnson, who fired at him with a pistol. This, however, will remain one of the unsolved problems of history. The result of the battle was a complete victory for the Americans, with the capture of 600 prisoners, six pieces of cannon, and a large quantity of army stores.

This decisive victory over the combined forces of the British and Indians practically closed the war in the Northwest, and as a consequence peace with the Indian tribes soon followed. Other treaties were negotiated with the Indians by which they gave up their title to additional large tracts of territory. The settlement of the country progressed rapidly, and again an era of apparent good will prevailed between the whites and Indians. By the end of the year 1817, the Indian title, with some moderate reservations, had been extinguished to the whole of the land within the State of Ohio, to a great part of that in Michigan Territory, and in the State of Indiana. In 1817 Gov. Cass, of Michigan, in conjunction with Gov. McArthur, of Ohio, obtained a cession of most of the remaining lands in Ohio with some adjoining tracts in Indiana and Michigan, amounting in all to about 4,000,000 of acres, and in 1819 Gov. Cass met the Chippewas at Saginaw and obtained a cession of lands in the peninsula of Michigan to the extent of about 6,000,000 of acres. The next year a treaty was made at Chicago, then nothing but a military post called Fort Dearborn, with the Chippewas, Ottawas and Pottawattamies, by which a large additional tract was obtained, which completed the extinguishment of the Indian title to the peninsula of Michigan south of the Grand river. By 1820 a namber of military posts were established far in the interior, and among them was one at Belle Point on the Arkansas, at Council Bluffs on the Missouri, at St. Peters on the Mississippi, and at Green Bay on the upper lakes.

During the month of June, 1823, Gen. Ashley and his party, who were trading under a license from the government, were attacked by the Ricarees while trading with the Indians at their request. Several of the party were killed and wounded, and their property taken or destroyed. Col. Leavenworth, who commanded Fort Atkinson at Council Bluffs, then the most western post, took immediate measures to check this hostile spirit of the Ricarees, fearing that it might extend to other tribes in that quarter and endanger the lives of traders on the Missouri. With a detachment of the regiment stationed at Council Bluffs, he successfully attacked the Ricaree village. The hostile spirit, however, still continued and extended to the tribes on the upper Mississippi and the upper lakes. Several parties of citizens were plundered and murdered by those tribes during the year 1824. An act of Congress of May 25th of this year, made an appropriation to defray the expenses of making treaties of trade and friendship with the tribes west of tiie Mississippi, and another act of March 3, 1825, provided for the expense of treaties with the Sioux, Chippewas, Menomonees, Sacs and Foxes, and other tribes, and also for establishing boundaries and promoting peace between them. These objects were in the main accomplished, and by the treaties made the government secured large acquisitions of territory. Gov. Cass, in conjunction with Gov. Clark of Missouri, attended a grand council of the tribes this year at Prairie du Chien to carry out the purposes of the act of Congress last mentioned. During his continuance in office as Governor of Michigan Territory, Gov. Cass made or participated in the making of nineteen treaties with the Indians, and by them acquired lands in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, to an amount equal to one-fourth of the entire area of those States.

During the summer of 1827, when the commissioners appointed to carry into execution certain provisions of a treaty, made August 19th, 1825, with various northwestern tribes, were about to arrive at the appointed place of peeting, several citizens were murdered, and other acts of hostility were committed, especially against the miners at Fever river, near Galena, by a party of the Winnebago tribe, which tribe was one of those associated in the treaty. To quell these outrages the governors of the State of Illinois and the Territory of Michigan, made levies of militia. These forces, with a corps of seven hundred United States troops, imder the command of General Atkinson, repaired to the scene of danger. The Indians, overawed by the appearance of the military, surrendered the perpetrators of the murders, and gave assurances of future good behavior.

For many years it had been the policy of the government to obtain a relinquishment of the title of the Indians to all lands within the limits of the States, and as rapidly as possible cause the removal of the tribes to territory beyond the Mississippi. In 1830 the Chickasaws and Choctaws, occupying portions of the States of Alabama and Mississippi, agreed to remove, and in due time carried out their agreement in good faith. The same year, a treaty was made with the Sacs and Foxes, by which they agreed to cede their lands to the United States, and remove beyond the Mississippi. The principal village of these united tribes was located at the mouth of Rock river,  on the east side of the Mississippi, near where the city of Rock Island now stands. Here had been an Indian village, according to tradition, for one hundred and fifty years. These tribes had owned and occupied the country bordering on the Mississippi, to an extent of seven hundred miles, from the mouth of the Wisconsin almost to the mouth of the Missouri. The Indians did not seem disposed to comply promptly with the terms of the treaty, and one band, under the noted chief Black Hawk {Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak), evinced a determination to keep possession of their old village. John Reynolds, Governor of Illinois, construed their continued residence in the ceded territory as an invasion of the State, and under his authority to protect the State from invasion, ordered out seven hundred militia to force their removal, according to the treaty. This interference of the governor of Illinois with the duties belonging to the Federal Government, obliged the commander of United States troops in that quarter to co-operate with him, in order to prevent a collision between the State militia and the Indians.

Fort Armstrong, on Rock Island, had been established as early as 1816, and when the Black Hawk trouble commenced, was in command of Gen. Atkinson. The Indians were overawed by this imposing military force, and yielding to necessity, crossed the Mississippi. Black Hawk, feeling exasperated at the harsh treatment his people had received, resolved to prosecute a predatory war against the white settlements. He united his band of Sacs and Foxes with the Winnebagoes, under the command of the Prophet Wabo-ki-e-shiek (White Cloud), and in March, 1832, recrossed to the east side of the Mississippi. They murdered a number of defenseless families and committed many outrages upon the settlers. The whole frontier became alarmed and many of the settlers fled for safety. The governor of Illinois ordered out the State militia, which being joined by four hundred regular troops constituted a force of about one thousand under the command of Gen. Atkinson. They pursued the Indians, and after a campaign of about two months, during which two engagements were fought, the war was brought to an end.

The last, and the decisive battle of the war is known in history as the battle of Bad Axe, being fought on a small tributary of the Wisconsin of that name. This battle took place August 2d, 1832, and the force against Black Hawk was commanded by Gen. Henry Dodge, of Wisconsin. The Indians lost forty of their braves, and Gen. Dodge one. The Indians made but little further resistance, and Black Hawk's "British Band," as it was styled, became demoralized and fled. They reached the Mississippi and were making preparations for crossing when they were checked by the captain of the steamboat "Warrior" who discharged a six-pounder at them, although they had displayed a flag of truce. The next morning Gen. Atkinson arrived with his army and made an attack which the Indians were now powerless to resist. Black Hawk escaped but was taken by some treacherous Winnebagoes and delivered along with the Prophet, on the 27th of August, to Gen. Street at Prairie du Chien. Two of Black Hawk's sons, the Prophet and other leaders were also taken, and by order of the government were conveyed through the principal cities and towns on the seaboard in order that they might be impressed with the greatness and power of the United States. For some time Black Hawk was held as a captive, and then through the intercession of Keokuk, who had been opposed to the war and had not participated in the hostilities, he was allowed to return to Rock Island, and permitted to join his people.

Treaties were made with the oflending tribes by which they agreed to compensate for the expense of the war, by ceding a valuable part of their territory on the west side of the Mississippi and to immediately remove from the east side. The United States stipulated to pay to the three tribes annually thirty thousand dollars for twenty-seven years, and also to make other provisions for their improvement. By this treaty the United States acquired the first territory in Iowa which was opened to settlement. It is what is known as the "Black Hawk Purchase" and embraced a strip of territory extending from the northern boundary of Missouri to the mouth of the IJpper Iowa river, about fifty miles in width, and embracing an area of about six millions of acres. This treaty was made on the 21st day of September, 1832, at a council held on the west bank of the Mississippi river, where the city of Davenport now stands. Gen. Winfield Scott and Gov. John Reynolds of Illinois represented the United States, and on the part of the Indians there were present Keokuk, Pashepaho, and about thirty other chiefs and warriors of the Sac and Fox nation. Within the limits of this purchase was reserved a tract of 400 square miles situated on Iowa river and including Keokuk's village. This tract was known as "Keokuk's Reserve" and was occupied by the Indians until 1836. when it was ceded to the United States. This treaty was negotiated by Gov. Henry Dodge, of Wisconsin Territory, and on the part of the Indians Keokuk was the leading spirit. This council was also held on the banks of the Mississippi, near the site of the present city of Davenport. The treaty stipulated for the removal of the Indians to another reservation on the Des Moines river. On this an agency was established, where the present town of Agency City, in Wapello county, is located. Out of the "Black Hawk Purchase" was conveyed to Antoine Le Claire, who was interpreter, and whose wife was an Indian, one section of land opposite Rock Island, and another at the head of the first rapids above the Island.

General Joseph M. Street, the agent with the Winnebagoes at Prairie du Chien, was transferred to the Sac and Fox agency on the Des Moines river, and in 1838 took meaisures for building and making the necessary improvements. In April of the next year, he removed with his family from Prairie du Chien. His health soon began to fail, and on the 5th of May, 1840, Gen. Street died. Wapello, a prominent chief of the Sac and Fox nation, died in 1842. His remains were interred near those of Gen. Steeet. The stone slabs placed over their graves soon after, are inscribed as follows:

In Memory of
Son of Anthony and Molly Street.
Born Oct. 18th, 1782, in Vvrgima;
Died at the Sac and Fox Agency,
May 5th, 1850.


In Memory of
Bom at
Prairie du Chien, 1787:
Died near the Forks of Skunk,
March 15th, 1842 - Sac and Fox Nation.

Wapello had requested that at his death his remains be interred near those of Gen. Street.

After the death of Gen. Street, Maj. John Beach, his son-in-law, received the appointment as agent for the Sacs and Foxes, and filled the position to the satisfaction of the government. Major Beach was bom at Gloucester, Massachusetts, Feb. 23d, 1812. After a course of study at Portsmouth Academy, in New Hampshire, he received at the age of sixteen, the appointment of cadet at the West Point Military Academy, graduating in the class of 1832. Receiving his commission as Second Lieutenant by brevet in the First U. S. Infantry, of which Zachary Taylor was then colonel, he was ordered to duty on the frontier and was alternately stationed at Fort Armstrong, Fort Crawford, Prairie du Chien, and Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis. His hearing having partially failed, in 1838, he resigned his commission in the army, and was, at the time of his appointment as Indian agent, engaged in the U. S. Land Office at Dubuque. He remained at Agency City, engaged in mercantile and literary pursuits until his death which occurred August 31st, 1874.

At the time of Gen. Street's death, the Indians were occupying their reservation with their permanent, or spring and summer villages, as follows: Upon the banks of the Des Moines, opposite the mouth of Sugar Creek, was the village of Keokuk, and above were those of Wapello and Appanoose. The village of Hardfish, or Wish-e-co-me-que, as it is in the Indian tongue, was located in what is now the heart of Eddyville, whore J. P. Eddy was licensed by Maj. Beach, the agent, in the summer of 1840, to establish a trading post. Not far from the "Forks of Skunk " was a small village presided over by Kish-ke-kosh, who, though not a chief, was a man of considerable influence, Poweshiek, a Fox chief of equal rank with Wapello, still had a village on the bank of Iowa river.

It has been reimarked above that Keokuk, who was the chief next in authority and influence to Black Hawk, was opposed to the war against the whites, and persistentljr refused to take part in the hostilities. When Black Hawk's attempt to defy the power of thie United States resulted so disastrously to the Indians, and they were obliged to cede still more territory, his influence among his people declined, and that of Keolcuk increased. Black Hawk, however, retained a party of adherents, and for some time a sort of rivalry existed between tlie two chiefs, and this feeling was shared to some extent by their respective friends in the tribes. An incident is related by Maj. Beach to show how the traders were ready to take advantage of this state of things for their own mercenary purposes.

When Gen.Harrison became President in 1841, John Chambers, an ex-congressman of Kentucky, was appointed Governor of the Territory, succeeding Gov. Robert Lucas. The governor was ex-officio superintendent over the Indians and their agencies. Gov. Lucas had favored the Black Hawk band, whose chief was Hardfish. Accordingly when the new governor was appointed, both Keokuk and Hardfish felt that it would be something of an object to gain his favor. The latter desired the new governor to pursue the policy of his predecessor, while Keokuk wished at least an impartial course. Keokuk requested the consent of the agent for him and his principal men to visit the governor at Burlington. As it was the policy of the government to discountenance such pilgrimages of the Indians, Maj. Beach suggested that Gov. Chambers might see proper to visit them at the agency. With this expectation Keokuk chose to wait. The Hardfish band, under the influence of some of the traders, were less patient. They hastened to Burlington in a large body, and on their arrival encamped near the town, sending to the governor a written notice of their presence, and a request for supplies. The governor answered, declining to accede to their request, or to hold a council with them. Hardfish and his men returned over their weary journey of seventy miles to the agency, very much disappointed. In the meantime the governor communicated with Major Beach, informing him that he would visit the agency soon, and requesting him to use his influence to prevent the Indians from making incursions through the white settlements. When the governor fixed his time to be present, the bands were all informed, and it was arranged that a grand council should be held. When the day arrived all the Indians, except the Poweshiek band of Foxes, who were so far away on the Iowa river, were encamped within a convenient distance from the agency. Long before the hour fixed for the meeting, the Hardfish party, arrayed in all their toggery and displaying their richest ornaments, came in grand procession upon the ground. Having dismounted from their ponies, they formed in file on foot and marched into the agency headquarters, where the governor was to receive them. Hardfish and some of his principal men shook hands with the governor and then sat down.

The reader will remember that at this time the nation was in mourning for the sudden loss of a President by death, and that Gov. Chambers had been one of the warmest and most devoted friends of Gen. Harrison, a fact of which Keokuk was fully advised. Chambers had been aid-de-camp to Gen. Harrison in the war of 1812, and they had ever after been as father and son. Keokuk was shrewd enough to make the most of this.

The appointed hour for the meeting had passed, and the governor began to become impatient for the appearance of Keokuk. At last the soimds of the approaching bands were heard faintly floating upon the breeze. After a time the procession marched with slow and solemn tread into view, not arrayed in gaudy feathers, ribbons and trinkets, like the Hardfish band, but with lances and staves wrapped around with wilted grass. No sound of bells responded to the tramp of their ponies, and instead of being painted in Vermillion, their faces presented the sombre hues produced by a kind of clay they were wont to use on occasions of solemnity or mourning. Their appearace betokened sadness and affliction. Mr. Josiah Smart, the interpreter, informed Gov. Chambers that this was a funeral march, and that some one of their principal men must have died during the night. Even Hardfish and his men were at a loss to account for what they saw and wondered who could have died. At last Keokuk and his men dismounted and filed slowly and solemnly into the presence of the governor. Keokuk signed to the interpreter, and said :

"Say to our new father that before I take his hand, I.will explain to him what all this means. We were told not long ago that our Great Father was dead. We had heard of him as a great war chief, who had passed much of his life among the red men and knew their wants, and we believed that we would always have friendship and justice at his hands. His death has made us very sad, and as this is our first opportunity, we thought it would be wrong if we did not use it to show that the hearts of his red children, as well as his white, know how to mourn over their great loss; and we had to keep our father waiting while we performed that part of our mourning that we must always attend to before we leave our lodges with our dead."

At the conclusion of this speech, Keokuk steppped forward and extended his hand. The hearty grasp of the governor showed that the wily chief had touched the proper cord. The result was that the Hardfish band received no special favors after that, at the expense of the other bands.

Indians and Indian Affairs

Until the year 1837 the Indians held undisputed possession of the territory now included in Keokuk County. The Indians who dwelt in this particular locality were the Sac and Fox tribe. They held unquestioned sway across the western boundry of the Black Hawk purchase, westwart to the Missouri river, and northward to the neutral territory which divided them from the Sioux. The eastern boundry was fifty miles this side of the Mississippi river and neutral ground, stretched east and west near where the Illinois Central railroad now extends. (This was in 1880). These Indians had no right to invade the territory ceded to the government at the time of the Black Hawk purchase, and it was certain death to be caught in the territory of the Sioux, and extremely hazardous to venture upon the neutral ground. Few if any white people in those days ventured as far west as this, and the country was comparatively unknown except as reports were brought to the frontier by roving bands of Indians intent on barter. In the main the Indians subsisted upon the wild animals then inhibiting this country. Occasional patches of Indian corn were cultivated, which furnished them scanty food during a portion of the year; but wild turkeys, pheasants, deer, fish and muskrats formed the chief articles of diet. This was prior to the year 1837. In this year a new treaty was made whereby the Indians ceced additional territory westward. This new territory ceded included a small portion of this county.

Nearly all of what is now Richland township and small portion of Clear Creek, Jackson and Lafayette were included in it. As soon as this treaty went into effect the whites rushed in and the Indians were compelled to retire further west.

It was in October, 1837, that the red man first parted with his title to certain lands now comprised in the limits of Keokuk Ckounty, and the white man first obtained the right to gain permanent foothold. By far the larger part of the county , however, remained in the hands of the Indians. It was not till October,1842,that the orgininal possessors of this soil parted with their right to occupy it, and turned their unwilling steps to the far off and unknown regions west of the Missouri. This last treaty was made at the govenrment agency, now Agency City, in Wappello County.

S. A. James, Esq., of Sigourney, was present at this treaty, and gives a very graphic description of the affair. The deliberations, he says, lasted about a week. A number of chiefs were present, the principal of whom were Keokuk, Appanoose, Poweshiek and Panassa. The commissioner on behalf of the United States was the Hon. John Chambers, of Iowa Territory. The question of reservations was the most perplexing one to dispose of. The commissioner had been instructed not to grant any. reservation, and the Indians had coine to the council fully determined to exact a reservation in the interests of certain heirs of Gen. J. M. Street, for whom they always manifested the greatest reverence, and in whom they had the utmost confidence, growing out of his honorable and liberal dealings with them while acting as government agent. It appears, that on the death of Gen. Street, in 1840, his family procured an air-tight coffin, intending to remove the body to Prairie du Chien, where some of his relatives had been previously buried. The chiefs thereupon held a council and remonstrated, offering any part of their country which might be chosen for a burying ground, and adding that if their wishes were complied with, they would give to the widow of Gen. Street a section of land, and a half section to each of her children. Accordingly Gen Street's remains were interred near the Agency, and no reference was made to the land promise until the time of the treaty. On the evening of the second day of the treaty, council one of the government officials came to Gen. Street's son, VVm. B. Street, now of Oskaloosa, at that time employed at the Agency, and said: " I do not think we will sxicceed in making a treaty because the chiefs demand the reservation of one section for Gen. Street's widow, and a half section for each of her ten children, and also a half section for each of Smart's children, who were half breeds." Mr. Street held a conversation with several of the chiefs, telling them he did not care for any reservation, and as his brothers and sisters were in another territory he thought they would not be particular in having the Indians carry out their contract. Keokuk and some others reluctantly consented, but old Poweshiek remonstrated and insisted upon the reservations first demanded. Mr. Street portrayed the results which would follow a failure of the treaty, and again remarked that he did not care for the land. " Wiiat, do you decline the gift?" said the indignant old chief—for refusing a gift was regarded as a great insult among the Indians. Mr. Street says that Poweshiek refused to speak to hfm for six months thereafter, when one day Poweshiek, being very merry under the influence of whisky, Street presented him with a pony, and thereafter they were again good friends.

At last the Indians agreed to take a reservation of one section to be given Mrs. Street. The commissioner would not consent. Then old Keokuk arose and made a speech. Mr. James heard this speech and the impression which Keokuk made upon his auditors is graphically portrayed in an article from the pen. of Mr. James, which appeared some time ago in the local papers, an extract of which will be found in the life of Keokuk, farther on. Among other things, the speaker said, pointing to the place where Gen. Street was buried : " There lies the body of our father, the best white man that ever lived, and the best friend we ever had, and without this reservation, this laud shall never be sold while a single one of our tribe remains."

On the next day Governor Chambers agreed to the reservation of one section and directed the Indians to make a choice. They selected that upon which the Agency buildings were situated and including General Street's grave. The government had spent some $4,000 in improving this section and the commissioner was loth to part with the land and its improvements. Tlie Indians then proposed to pay for the improvements, which they finally did, paying therefor the sum of $2,500. Tluis was effected a treaty by the provisions of which the white man acquired a right to settle a tract of land comprising the greater portion of Iowa, and in which is included the greater fiortion of Keokuk county. In consideration of the land thus ceded the ndians were to receive $800,000 on good State stocks upon which the government guaranteed the payment of five per cent interest per annum. In the words of the treaty, they "ceded to the United States all their lands west of the Mississippi river to which they had any claim or title." It was stipulated that they were to be removed from the country at the expiration of three years, and all who remained after that were to remove at their own expense. Part of them were removed to Kansas in the fall of 1845, and the remainder in the spring of 1846.

The treaty was signed on the 11th day of October 1842, but before it was binding it had to be ratified by the United States Senate. After, signing the treaty Keokuk remarked to the commissioner that if the Senate changed it by (sven so much as a scratch of the pen it would not be observed by the Indians. It was laid before the Senate for approval or rejection. A motion was made to strike out the reservation clause. The Senate was reminded of Keokuk's remark. After some discussion the treaty was approved and its ratification was officially proclaimed by the President on the 23d of March, 1843. This is said to have been the only Indian treaty ever made by the United States which did not subsequently undergo some alteration. The treaty had now been signed by the commissioner and the Indian chiefs, had been approved by the Senate and the proclamaton made by the President, and yet tlie white people had no riglit to settle on the lands as the Indians according to a provision of the treaty had three years in which to give possession. It was subsequently arranged that the Indians were to give possession of all that part lying east of Rod Rock, now in Marion county, on the 1st of May, 1843. This last date is, therefore, tlie period when the whole of Keokuk county was thrown open to white settlement. The excitement which prevailed along the borders during the last days of the preceding April, and the great rush of people across tlie boundary line, which occurred at midnight, furnish a chapter of amusing and thrilling incidents. They will be treated of at another place. right here

As a result of this peacable arrangement and the earnest efforts of the government to carry out, to the letter, the provisions of the treaty, the early settlers of Keokuk county experienced none of the hardships which fell to the lot of the early settlers in other parts of the country, where misunderstanding about the ownership of the soil gave rise to frightful massacres and bloody wars. The Indians gave no serious difficulty, and seldom, if ever, disturbed the early settlers of this county after they had rightfully came into possession of it.

By the various treaties made with the Sac and Fox Indians, the government paid these $80,000 per year by families. Mr William B. Street, of Oskaloosa, was disbursing clerk for John Beach, Indian agent during the year 1841, and still retains in his possession the receipts for the part payment of the annuity, in his own hand-writing, and the marks of the chiefs in signing. We give an extract, including the names of part of the Indians who were at that time living at Kish-he-kosh's village, in what is now the eastern part of the county, west of Keokuk county:

"We, the chiefs, warriors, heads of families and individuals without families, of the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians, within the same agency, acknowledge
the receipt of forty thousand dollars of John Beach, United States Indian Agent, in the sums appended to our names, being our proportion of of the annuity due said tribe, for the year 1841.

"We certify that we were present at the payment of the above mentioned amounts, and saw the amounts paid to the several Indians, in specie, and that their marks were affixed in our presence this 19th day of October, 1841.


JNO. BEACH,                              
U. S. Indian Agent       
THOMAS McCRATE,                
Lieut. 1st Dragoons    
JOSIAH SMART,                        

"We, the undersigned chiefs of the Sac and Fox tribe of Indians, acknowledge the correctness of the foregoing receipts."

KEOKUK, his X mark.               
POWESHIEK, his X mark.        

Kish-ke-kosh means "The man with one leg off."
Much-e-min-ne means "Big-man."
Mus-qua-ke means "The fox."
Wa-pes-e-qua means "White eyes."
Wa-pe-ka-kah means "White crow."
Keokuk means "The watchful fox."
Poweshiek means "The roused bear."

Among the old settlers of the southeastern part of the county who, prior to May 1, 1843, had the Indians for near neighbors, the names of Keokuk and Wapello are the most noted and familiar. These two illustrious chiefs live not only in the recollections of these early settlers, but in the permanent history of our common country. Short biographical sketches of these two noted characters, therefore, will be of great interest to the people of this county, and peculiarly appropriate for a work of this kind. To the school-boy who has frequently read of these Indians, the fact that they roved around on this very ground where their feet tread, and that in their hunting excursions these Indians crossed the same prairies where now they gather the yellow eared corn, will give to these sketches intense interest. While the early settler who talked with Wapello and Keokuk, ate with them, hunted with them and fished with them, cannot fail to find in these brief and necessarily imperfect biographies something fascinating - as they are thus lead back more than a quarter of a century, to live over again the days of other years, and witness again the scenes of early days when the tall prairie grass waved in the autumn breeze, and the country, like themselves, was younger and fresher than now.

Indian Incidents and Reminiscences

During the visit of Keokuk, Wapello and their party at Boston, which has already been referred to, there was a great struggle between the managers of the two theaters of that place to obtain the presence of the Indians in order to "draw houses." At the Tremont, the aristocratic one, the famous tragedian, Forrest, was filling an engagement. His great play, in which he acted the part of a gladiator, and always drew his largest audiences, had not yet come off, and the manager was disinclined to bring it out while the Indians were there, as their presence always insured a full house. General Street, who, as before remarked, was in charge of the party, being a strict Presbyterian, was not much in the theatrical line, hence Major Beach, to whom we are indebted for the facts of this incident, and who accompanied General Street at the time, took the matter in hand. He knew that this particular play would suit the Indians better than those simple declamatory tragedies, in which, as they could not understand a word, there was no action to keep them interested, so he prevailed upon the manager to bring it out, promising that the Indians would be present.

In the exciting scene, where the gladiators engage in deadly combat, the Indians gazed with eager, and breathless anxiety, and as Forrest, finally pierced through the breast with his adversary's sword, fell dying, and as the other drew his bloody weapon from the body, heaving in the convulsions of its expiring throes, and while the curtain was descending, the whole Indian company burst out with their fiercest war whoop. 'It was a frightful yell to strike suddenly upon unaccustomed ears, and was immediately followed by screams of terror from the more nervous among the women and children. For an instant the audience seemed at a loss, but soon uttered a hearty round of applause as a tribute to both actor and Indians.

During the same visit to Boston, Major Beach says that the Governor gave them a public reception at the State House. The ceremony took place in the spacious Hall of Representatives, every inch of which was jammed with humanity. After the Governor had ended his eloquent and appropriate address of welcome, it devolved upon one of the chiefs to reply, and Appanoose, in his turn, as, at the conclusion of his "talk," advanced to grasp the Governor's hand, said: "It is a great day that the sun shines upon when two such great chiefs take each other by the hand!" The Governor, with a nod of approbation, controlled his facial muscles in a most courtly gravity. But the way the house came down "was a caution," all of which Appanoose doubtless considered the Yankee way of applauding his speech.

The Indians seldom occupied their permanent villages except during the time of planting or securing  their crop, after which they would start put on a short hunt, if the annuity-which was usually paid within six weeks from the 1st of September-had not been received. Immediately after payment, it was their custom to leave their village for the winter, hunting through this season by families and small parties, leading the regular nomad life, changing their location from time to time, as the supply of game and the need—so essential to their comfort—of seeking places near the timbered streams best protected from the rigors of winter, would require. It was, doubtless, one of these tours through the country that Kish-ke-Kosh once stopped over night at the house of a white man. He was accompanied by several companions, who slept together on a buffalo hide within view of the kitchen. In the morning when he awoke Kish-ke-Kosh had an eye on the culinary preparations there going on. The lady of the house-it is possible she did it intentionally, as she was not a willing entertainer of such guests- neglected to wash her hands before making up the bread. Kish thought he would rather do without his breakfast than eat after such cooking, and privately signified as much to his followers, whereupon they mounted their ponies and departed, much to the relief of the hostess. When they arrived at a house some distance from the one they had left, they got their breakfast and related the circumstance.

This Kish-ke-Kosh previous to 1837 was simply a warrior chief in the village of Keokuk. The warrior chief was inferior to the village chief to which distinction he afterward attained. The village presided over by this chief is well remembered by many of the early settlers of Richland township. It was located, some say, just over the line in what is now White Oak township, Mahaska county. Major Beach thus describes it: "The place cannot be located exactly according to our State maps, although the writer has often visited it in Indian times; but somewhere out north from Kirkville, and probably not twelve miles distant, on the banks of Skunk river, not far above the Forks of Skunk, was a small village of not over fifteen or twenty lodges, presided over by a man of considerable importance, though not a chief, named Kish-ke-kosh. The village was on the direct trail-in fact it was the converging point of two trails, from the Hardfish village, and the three villages across the river below Ottumwa to the only other permanent settlement of the tribes, which was the village of Poweshiek, a Fox chief of equal rank with Wapello, situated upon the Iowa river."

Here the squaws, after grubbing out hazel brush on the banks of the creeks or the edge of the timber, unaided by either plow or brave, planted and tended their patches of corn, surrounding them by rude fences of willow, which were renewed each year. Here the men trained their ponies, hunted, fished and loafed, until the 1st of May, 1843, when they bade adieu to their bark covered huts. The following incident is located at this point:

Some time about 1841 Major Beach, Indian agent, in company with W. B. Street and others, came up from Agency City on some business with Kish-ke-kosh. Arriving late in the evening they encamped near the village, and on the following morning Kish-ke-kosh with his assistants came over to the camp to receive them. The pipe of peace was lighted and passed around, and the business transacted. After the council the whites were invited to come over in the evening to the feast which the Indians proposed having in honor of their visit. The invitation was accepted, and presently the whites heard a great howling among the dogs, and looking in the direction of the village they could plainly see the preparations for the supper. A number of dogs were killed and stretched on stakes a few inches above the ground. They were then covered with dried grass, which was set on fire and the hair singed, after which, after the dogs had passed through the  scraping process, they were cut up and placed in pots along with a quantity of corn. The whites were promptly in attendance, but on account of their national prejudice they were provided with venison instead of dog meat. After the feast dancing was commenced: first, the Green Corn dance, then the Medicine dance, and closing just before morning with the Scalp dance. Kish-ke-kosh did not take part in this Terpsichorean performance, but sat with the whites, laughing, joking, and telling stories.

On another occasion, Kish-ke-kosh and his suit, consisting of several prominent personages of the tribe, being then encamped on Skunk river,. went to the house of a Mr. Micksell on a friendly visit, and he treated them to a feast. Besides Kish-ke-kosh and his, wife, who was a very lady like person, this party consisted of his mother (Wyhoma), the son of Wapello,. and his two wives; Mashaweptine, his wife, and all their children. The old woman on being asked how old she was, replied: "Mach-ware-renaakwe-kauh" (may be a hundred); and indeed her bowed form and hideously shriveled features would justify the belief that she was that old. The whole party were dressed in more than ordinarily becoming style; probably out of respect for their hostess, who, knowing something of their voracious appetites, had made ample preparations for them. When the table was surrounded, Kish-ke-kosh, who had learned some good manners, as well as acquired cleanly taste, essayed to perform the etiquette of the occasion before eating anything himself. With an amusingly awkward imitation of what he had seen done among the whites, Kish-ke-kosh passed the various dishes to the others, showing the ladies special attention, and helped them to the best of everything on the table; with much apparent disinterestedness. But when he came to help himself his politeness assumed the Indian phase altogether. He ate like a person with a bottomless pit inside of him for a stomach, taking everything within his reach, without regard to what should come next in the course, so only that he liked the taste of it. At last, after having drank some five or six cups of coffee and eaten a proportionate amount of solid food, his gastronomic energy began to abate. Seeing this, his host approached him, and with apparent concern for his want of appetite, said: "Why, Kish, do you not eat your dinner? Have another cup of coffee and eat something." In reply to this hospitable urgency Kish-ke-kosh leaned back in his seat, lazily shook his head and drew his finger across his throat under his chin, to indicate how full he was. Of course, the others had eaten in like proportion, making the most of an event that did not happen every day.

The Indians in this region had a novel way of dealing with drunken people. When one of them became unsafely drunk he was tied neck and heels, so that he could be rolled about like a hoop; which operation was kept up till the fumes of liquor had vanished, when he was released. The sufferer would beg for mercy, but to no avail. After he was sobered off he showed no marks of resentment, but seemed to recognize the wisdom of the proceeding.

The Sacs and Foxes, like all other Indians, were a very religious people in their way, always maintaining the observance of a good many rites, ceremonies and feasts in their worship of the Kitche Mulito or Great Spirit. Feasts did not seem to be prescribed in any of their missals, however, because, perhaps, forced ones, under a scarcity of game or other eatables, were not of impossible occurrence among people whose creed plainly was to let tomorrow take care of itself. Some of the ceremonies bore such resemblance to some of those laid down in the books of Moses, as to have justified the impression among Biblical students, that all the lost tribes of Israel might have found their way to this continent, and that the North American Indians are the remnants of them.

During the few years previous to the treaty of 1842, when the boundary line between the white settlements and the reservation ran across the southeastern corner of the county, it was not of unfrequent [sic] occurrence for whites to come across the line and "squat" on the forbidden ground. Under these circumstances it became necessary for the Indian Agent to drive them back and burn their dwellings. Major Beach, to whose published notes we are indebted to many of the foregoing incidents, relates the following: "A proclamation had been issued by the Governor of the Territory to remove by military force all trespassers, who having received a reasonable notice had not retired by a certain day. Such military expeditions would of course abound with incidents sometimes amusing, sometimes exciting and sometimes disagreeable and embarrassing. We would frequently find the men gone and the premises in charge of the women and children, under the belief that they would in some way or other get over the trouble. Excuses would be various, mostly of wagons broken in the very act of starting, or of oxen strayed or horses lost or stolen just a day too soon; sometimes of sickness, although we failed of observing signs of it. On one occasion, a soldier over-heard a well grown girl tell a bright-eyed junior one not to cry, for 'Pap' was just gone down the branch, and would come back as soon as the soldiers were gone. And sure enough when the smoke of the burning cabin curled above his hiding place, convincing him that his plan had proved abortive, 'Pap' came rushing around a point of the grove, apparently out of breath, with a long story of his strayed horses that he had hunted till the last day, and then gone to some kindred, some six or eight miles across the line, who were then on the road with their wagons; and that he having heard the bugle, had left them, that in order, by short cuts across the timber and hollows, to get home in time to save his 'plunder'. Well, the Lieutenant told him, that it was all safe, the soldiers had set it out carefully, without giving his family any trouble to help them; and if only he had time, he would be glad to remain till his friends arrived and help him load up. The mansion being now burned beyond salvation, the bugle sounded to mount and the troop resumed its march.

The next amusing incident was in our encounter, soon after the troop had resumed its march, with an old fellow whom we met coming up the somewhat dim road, just along the edge of the timber, on this side of the river. The troop was of between thirty and forty men with a lieutenant, the captain having stayed at the agency, with the rest of his company to take care of his supplies in camp. The lieutenant and writer were comfortably walking their nags along the said road, the troops at some distance in the rear, following the same easy gait with their two six-mule wagons behind when we espied a wagon coming around the point of the road not far ahead of us. The team soon showed itself to be a span of black sleek horses, and the entire outfit indicated that the old chap in charge of it was not as hard up as his personal look would have lead one to believe. He was for giving us the entire right-of-way, but as we turned off to face him as if we intended to collide, bowed to him, he reined up.

According to his story he was out for just a pastime drive up the the ridge, without much object or motive of any kind; but he had a scythe to cut grass, a good lot of oats and shelled corn in sacks, an extra wagon sheet that would have improvised a tolerably comfortable tent in short order, a plentiful supply of 'grub' for himself and a boy he had with him, thirteen or fourteen years old, and a forty gallon empty barrel, all suggestive of a contemplated raid upon the bee trees. After some parley, the lieutenant turned him over to the sergeant, who had, in the meantime come up with his men, who in his turn placed him with a file of trooper as a guard of honor between the two baggage wagons. The old fellow soon got the hang of what was up, from the soldiers, and as misery loves company, he soon seemed to lose sight of his own disgust in contemplating that of the inmates of the two squatters' cabins we had yet to visit. We soon reached the nearest one and found it abandoned, though very recently, as all signs proved. Stopping long enough to burn the cabin, we then kept on our way to the only remaining trespasser who had put up his cabin on that side of the ridge we were descending. As we turned off to cross the ridge our former captive, whom we now released, seemed for awhile as if disposed to relieve himself from the engagement of our society as soon as possible. But in a short time he changed his mind, for long before he had traveled the half mile across the ridge we saw that he had turned off and was in pursuit of us. He reached the house almost as soon as we did, and in full time to say to the lieutenant and myself what could not have been less than an unpleasant feeling of personal sympathy for the family we were about to dislodge. As in several previous instances, the man had gone off, leaving the woman to give reasons and offer excuses for his absence. It was very near night and not less than five miles to the nearest house in the direction in which the woman desired to go. She had several children, of whom not the largest even was yet of an age to be other than an encumbrance at such a time; nor was there team, wagon, or other means of transportation to be seen. While she was bitterly complaining of her cruel fate in thus being turned out of her house to see it consumed, with herself children and chattels all night under the open heavens, our lately made acquaintance came to a halt among us, the expression of his features indicating a much more enjoyable expectation of witnessing the scene ahead than was ever felt by any among us whose duty it was to bring it into action.

   We accordingly concluded to press him into service, soothing by that proposal much of the distress of the materfamilias, who appeared to be a person rather superior to the ordinary glade of squatters. The soldiers set about the work of removing her property from the house, and loading such portions of it as she was least disposed to abandon for the night into the old fellow's wagon, and comfortably stowing herself and children on the load, we started him off as soon as she was ready to leave, after having placed the rest of her effects in as secure a condition as we could. To guard against any possible treachery on the part of the old bee hunter, as well as in view of any break down before he could strike a smoother road, the lieutenant took the precaution to detach a corporal with a half dozen men to act as an escort over the three miles; or so to the Indian boundary, beyond which our jurisdiction ceased.

The house with its combustible appendages having been set on fire, we continued our march to a point a mile or two within the civilized part of Iowa Territory, where a well fixed, thrifty settler supplied our commissariat, as well as our forage department, with sundry items that a three days expedition through the brush had made acceptable, if not actually needful. Night had fairly set in. The corporal had rejoined the command, and reported the bee-hunter and his cargo to be making satisfactory and apparently friendly progress at the point he was ordered to leave them. Our camp fires were soon blazing and the tents pitched, and in a short time a good supper increased the contentment which the lieutenant and agent could not fail to enjoy over the final conclusion of a most unpleasant duty. An early reveille, and the next day at noon found us at the agency."

Some years ago Mr. A. C. Romig delivered an address before the Sigourney Literary and Historical Society, in which he gave an account, by Mr. William Scearcy of a drunken revel he once witnessed among the Indians who resided in his neighborhood:

"The village consisted of about forty wigwams or lodges, built of poles and bark, and contained about seven hundred inhabitants-Indian squaws, papooses, dogs and all, under the chieftainship of the memorable Wapello. This band of Indians lived, as Indians usually do, by hunting, fishing, and cultivating a few acres of corn, or Indian, maize, rudely enclosed by a miserable excuse of a fence, consisting of stakes driven into the ground and light poles secured by bark. Their flimsy enclosures were a poor protection, and offered but little resistance to the cattle and stock of the neighboring white settlers, that continually broke into their fields and destroyed their crops. The natural result of all this was to embitter the feelings and excite the hatred of the savages, whose natural thirst to revenge their wrongs, either real or imaginary, was not ameliorated in the least; but on the contrary it was vastly increased and irritated by the use of ardent spirits, which they obtained a short distance down the river at a mill, and which they used to great excess.

"I have been a frequent witness," continues Mr. Scearcy, "of their drunken carousals, and saw at one time not less than five hundred drunken Indians and squaws upon the ground at once, presenting a scene of squalid wretchedness, and human degradation painful to behold. There, a squad of stalwart Indians, drinking, carousing, quarreling and fighting, while close at hand were a squad of fifty, perhaps a hundred, squaws in alike unenviable condition, chattering, drinking, quarreling and pulling each other's hair, scratching, biting, gouging, crying, laughing, yelling, and making all sorts of hideous noises-the scene relieved occasionally by a member of the sterner sex: pitching in to display his superior qualities, while to add comicality to the affray the dusky mother might be seen with papooses strapped upon their backs, and safely screened by some friendly tree, or other shelter, quietly contemplating the scene, but, like Falstaff, taking good care to keep out of harm's way. We stood and gazed in mute amazement upon this living, revolving, squirming mass of human flesh and hair, utterly unconscious of any danger to ourself [sic] until approached by the chief, Wapello, and admonished by the friendly word, puck-a-chee, which signifies you had better leave, and then deeming discretion the better part of valor we gave them 'French leave' and turned our faces homeward.

During sickness there was usually great attention given to the comfort of the Indians, and diligent efforts to cure the patient, but when it became apparent that recovery was impossible, the patient, while still alive, was dressed in his best attire and painted according to the fancy of the relatives present, ornamented with all the trinkets, jewels and badges, dressed in his best attire, and then placed upon a mat or a platform to die. The guns, bows, arrows, axes, knives and other weapons, were all carried away from the house or lodge and concealed. They alleged that these preparations were necessary to evince their respect to the Great Spirit who, at the moment of death, visits the body of the dying, receives the spirit, and carries it with Him to Paradise, while the concealment of all warlike implements shows their humble submission to, and non-resistance of, the Divine will.

Dead bodies were sometimes deposited in graves; others placed in a sitting posture, reclining against a rock or tree; others, again, were deposited in boxes, baskets, or cases of skins, and suspended in the branches of trees, or upon scaffolds erected for the purpose. Elevated parcels of dry ground were usually selected as burial places, and not so much regard was had for the cardinal points of the compass as to the relative position of some neighboring object. The graves were arranged usually with reference to some river, lake or mountain. Where it was convenient, the grave when enclosed was covered with stones and under other circumstances it was enclosed with wooden slabs, upon which were painted with red paint certain signs or symbols commemorative of the deceased's virtues. The death of a near relative was lamented with violent demonstrations of grief. Widows visited the graves of their deceased husbands with hair disheveled, carrying a bundle composed of one or more of the deceased's garments, and to this representative of her departed husband she addressed her expressions of grief and assurances of undying affection, and extreme anxiety for the comfort and well being of the departed.

Source: The History of Keokuk County, Iowa, A History of the County, Its Cities, Towns, &c., Illustrated, 1880