History of the Butterfly, Part 51: How Poweshiek Became a Chief

Poweshiek became a civil chief of the Meskwakie by default, in a way.  He was of the wrong clan to inherit the position.  He was recommended for the position by his sister after most of the council died.  He became more powerful because the U. S. Government made him a “money chief”—one of the chiefs that received the annuities.

This quote from Hagan, 1958 tells the story:

“…the stupidity of Captain Wynkoop Warner, the newly appointed subagent to the Foxes at Dubuque’s mines, endangered the whole project.

            When a Fox delegation, because of overindulgence, failed to present themselves for a scheduled council at Prairie du Chien, Warner neglected to inform them that the meeting had been cancelled.  Recovering from their drinking bout the principal Fox chiefs and braves, with the exception of Morgan, left the village at the mines for Prairie du Chien.  En route, the unarmed party of sixteen men and one woman was surprised by a war party of more than one hundred Sioux and Menominees.  All the Foxes but one were slaughtered.  He was allowed to escape because he was half Winnebago.”

(additional information from Green, 1996)

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in American Indians, Fox tribe, Powasheek, Poweshiek, The History of the Butterfly and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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