History of the Butterfly, Part 113: More Poweshiek Treaties

Sometimes I get ahead of myself and don’t always see the details I should.  That is true when I study nature, and it is true as well when I study history.

I have discovered a couple more treaties that Poweshiek signed.  All were in September of 1836.  The first was signed on September 23, 1836, and it affirms a treaty that signed in Prairie du Chien that ceded land between the State of Missouri and the Missouri River to the United States.  I think that at this time the Meskwaki and Sauk had no claims on that land, but having been displaced from their homelands were reminded by the Indian Agents of this treaty, in order to prevent them from considering that area as an option.

The second and third treaties were signed on September 28, 1836, and ceded the area along the Iowa River, called “Keokuk’s Reserve” that had been carved out of the “Black Hawk Purchase.”

In reality, white settlers rapidly invaded the area ceded by the treaty of 1832, and they also encroached on Keokuk’s Reserve.  The Indians dealt with the white settlers as well as they could, but were soon crowded out.

But they made the best of it. 

Springer, 1912 quotes George Catlin:

“After the treaty was signed and witnessed, the governor addressed a sensible talk to the chiefs and braves and ended by requesting them to move their families and property from this tract within a month, to make room for the whites.  The chiefs and braves broke into a hearty laugh, which one of them explained:  My father, we have to laugh—we require no time to move—we have left our lands already and sold our wigwams to chemokemons (white men)—some for one hundred, some for two hundred dollars, before we came to this treaty.  There are already four hundred chemokemons on the land and several hundred more on their way, moving in; and three days before we came away one chemokon sold his wigwam to another chemokemon for $2,000, to build a great town.”

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About the roused bear

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

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