The History of the Butterfly, Part 119: A Letter From General Street

The Niles Weekly Register was a newspaper that published information from a number of sources.  On February 4, 1837 it published a letter that had been made available for publication by the Congressional Globe, the official paper of Congress.

This letter was from General Joseph Street, then Indian Agent to the Sacs and Foxes, and it was written to Henry Dodge, who was at that time the Governor of Wisconsin Territory.

Henry Dodge from Wikimedia Commons

Rock Island, Dec. 2, 1836.

Sir:  A young Fox Indian come in from Powsheek’s village on the Red Cedar two days past, and informs me that a large war party of Sioux, on the 19th ult.  surprised five lodges of Foxes on the lower Iowa, fifteen or twenty miles from where the line of the Black Hawk purchase crosses it, at the mouth of a creek on the left bank of the Iowa, and it is believed killed about twenty Foxes.  A young Fox, who was wounded in the neck with a ball, made his escape, and brought the news to Powsheek’s village, from whence the runner brought intelligence to me.  The wounded man says he counted twelve Foxes lying dead before he came off, and the fighting was going on.  The Fox women and children had retreated to an old fort a little way off, where the surviving Foxes may possibly save themselves.

The messenger informed the interpreter, after leaving me, on his way home, that numbers had gone through the country to collect the chiefs, head men and braves of the confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes to council on the subject.  Being asked by the interpreter what the principal men at Powsheek’s village spoke about it, he replied, they said they would take revenge.  That eight were killed last winter, and nothing done; they would not sit still and be killed any longer; they would die in the field of battle, or be revenged on the Sioux.

I sent word to the chiefs to come and see me; but I do not expect to be able to restrain them, under all circumstances, and that they will go to war with the Sioux.  I apprehend the remnant of Wabashaw’s band on the east of the Mississippi will be in extreme danger, as the Foxes know where they have located, and will cross on the ice.  It would be well to have them apprised of their danger, as they have been improperly assigned to me, and my location here precludes the possibility of my giving them any assistance.

Your letter of the 20th ult. Is received.

With high consideration and respect, I am your most obedient servant,


U.S. Indian agent,

His excellency Henry Dodge, gov. Wisconsin territory, and superintendent Indian affairs.


About the roused bear

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s