What is known about Poweshiek?

Poweshiek was a leader of the Meskwaki from his appointment as chief in about 1830 until his death in 1854.  At some point, probably in the 1850’s, he relenquished his position as chief to another individual, Ma-Me-Nwa-Ne-Ke. 

Poweshiek died in 1854 from a fall from a pony.  The Meskwaki were allowed to  return to Iowa and purchase land for a settlement in 1855.  Although Poweshiek was not part of the return, I think he prepared the way in a number of his actions.

I can find Poweshiek’s name on four treaties.  Perry Armstrong’s history of the Black Hawk War has a section of about 15 pages on the life of Poweshiek.  There are quotations from him in the some eastern newspapers from the 1837 visit to Washington, D.C.  A number of historical accounts from early Iowa settlers mention Poweshiek.  There is a fairly extensive section in a report of the war department in some congressional publications.

There is even mention of Poweshiek in the writings of Brigham Young.

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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