The History of the Butterfly, Part 74: Ty-ee-ma

In the summer of 1820 the Reverend Jedidiah Morse conducted a tour of a number of the Indian villages and submitted a report to the Secretary of War.  In the appendix of that report was a letter from “M. Martson, Bt. Maj, 5, Infy, Commandant.”

The following is a quote from that letter:

            “The principal chief of the Fox nation, is Wah-bal-lo.  He appears to be about thirty.  He is a man of considerable capacity, and very independent in his feelings, but rather unambitious and indolent.  The second chief of this nation, is Ty-ee-ma, (Strawberry,) about forty years old.  This man appears to be more intelligent than any other to be found, either among the Foxes or Sauks; but he is extremely unwilling to communicate any thing relative to the history, manners, and customs of his people.  He has a variety of maps of different parts of the world, and appears to be desirous of gaining geographical information, but is greatly attached to the savage state.  I have frequently endeavored to draw from him his opinion, with regard to a change of their condition, from the savage to the civilized state.  He one day informed me, when conversing upon this subject, that the Great Spirit had put Indians on the earth to hunt, and gain a living in the wilderness; that he always found, that when any of their people departed from this mode of life, by attempting to learn to read, write, and live as white people do, the Great Spirit was displeased, and they soon died; he concluded, by observing, that when the Great Spirit made them, he gave them their medicine-bag, and they intended to keep it.”

From Morse, 1822.

From McKenny, 1872.

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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