History of the Butterfly, Part 72: Black Thunder

By September of 1815 William Clark was back, and had signed a number of treaties of “Peace and Friendship” with several of the tribes at Portage des Siouxs.  The treaties reaffirmed the boundaries of the disputed treaty of 1804.  The treaties may not have been fully explained and a number of the individuals were apparently poked and prodded into signing.

Mucketenanamakee, or Black Thunder was a Meskwaki chief.  Not a lot has been written about him, but what has survived suggests that he was a powerful chief and a masterful orator.  Black Thunder seems to have been either the grandfather or the father of Chief Poweshiek.  A speech he gave on the occasion was recorded and printed in the Niles Weekly Register.

“…the good things which men do are often buried in the ground and forgot, while their evil deeds are stripped naked and proclaimed to the world.”

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About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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