Saturday, March 28, 2009

Descendants of King Ben

When I'm not blogging, I work as a librarian. As it is with other professions, we librarians share tips of the trade with each other over the internet. One librarian, Bob from the public library in Lincoln, Nebraska, told the group

"There's a lot of bad genealogy out there, and people need to be aware of the pitfalls.
When we lead people to a source, we need to tell them that there may be other sources they need to check, and that even the most authoritative sources may have errors."
That comment began an active thread of messages and everybody seemed to feel Bob had made an important point.

<---The gravesite of Hannah Chicks (Since there were two Hannah Chickses, the stone clarifies that this was the wife of John Chicks) Stockbridge Indian Cemetery, Stockbridge, WI.

I know a member of the Chicks family who has done some really good genealogical work. However, he has shared his family tree only with people he knows and not publicized it.

On the other hand, my acquaintance from the Chicks family met with another genealogist who was doing Stockbridge Mohican genealogy poorly. The other man's family tree had already been circulating over the internet by the time "Mr. Chicks" told me about their meeting. He said that the other fellow was doing an ambitious tribal genealogy by getting names and dates of the ancestors of people that he came in contact with. Apparently he was accepting input from a number of people and adding it to his database or family tree uncritically.

Since I have two printouts of that family tree, and since it has circulated over the internet, misleading who knows how many people, I feel no qualms about criticizing it now.

Several years after the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts was established, the Chief Sachem of the Mohican nation came to town and made Stockbridge the main council fire or capital city of the once-mighty nation. That Chief Sachem was Benjamin Kokhkewenaunaunt, or King Ben for short. Patrick Frazier tells us that King Ben was David Naunauneekanuk's father (see pages 55 and 254). Naunauneekanuk was John W. Quinney's grandfather (Quinney said so in front of the United States Congress).

Another one of King Ben's sons was Joseph Shauquethquet. According to Lion Miles, his descendants took on the the surname of "Pye," which was certainly easier to pronounce than Shauquethquet. In the 1800's there were three Benjamin Pyes. (Duplicate names are another thing about Stockbridge genealogy that is problematic. There were also three Levi Konkapots.)

The gravesite of Lucy Pye. Stockbridge Indian Cemetery, Stockbridge, WI. ----->

The document that I somehow got ahold of a few years ago is called
"The Descendants of Benjamin Kokhkewenaunaunt."

Although I noticed a number of (arguably) relatively minor errors in this family tree, I will focus on one particularly significant error. This error is the kind of thing that sometimes results when people who speak only English may run into when they read names in another language. The genealogist who circulated his family tree on the internet listed one person as "Mary Waunquauwasquoh Naukhaunuhoshuoh." Maybe "Waunquauwaquoh" and "Naukhaunuhoshuoh" seem to be quite similar to us, but a big mistake was made in assuming that this was one person.

Based on that assumption, The Quinneys are related to the Chickses. If that were true, it would give new significance to the Citizen vs. Indian conflict. (For a number of years, the Citizen party was commonly known as the "Chicks party," and the Indian party was commonly known as the "Quinney party.") If the author of "The Descendants of King Ben" was correct, the longstanding intertribal feud would have been a feud within one extended family.

The member of the Chicks family who does good genealogy talked to Lion Miles, a current resident of Stockbridge, Massachusetts who has studied the Mohican language. According to Miles, Mary Waunquauwasquoh and Mary Naukhaunuhoshuoh are two diferent people, and, as a result, it cannot be said that the Chicks family and the Quinney family are closely related.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Establishment of the Shawano County Reservation

New York Indian Removal, Part XVIII:
Establishment of the Shawano County Reservation

In authorizing Superintendent Francis Huebschmann to make the treaty of 1856, Commissioner of Indian Affairs George Manypenny noted that attempts at a compromise to somehow re-create the Stockbridge reservation on the east shore of Lake Winnebago had proved futile. Manypenny decided there should be a new reservation which would "be a home alike for the Stockbridges, whether known as 'citizens' or 'Indians,' and the Munsee parties to the treaty of September 3rd, 1839, wherever they may now be"(letter from Manypenny to Huebschmann of January 7, 1856, in the John C. Adams Papers).

The new reservation would essentially be purchased with proceeds from the 1848 sale of the old reservation. As a result, the Indian party objected to the idea of sharing a new reservation with members of the Citizen party, Munsees, and those who left for Kansas after the treaty of 1839 was signed. They were splitting the new reservation among 409 people instead of the 177 Indian party family members recognized in the 1848 census. The Indian party argued that members of the Citizen party had already taken allotments or payment for their land and that the federal government only had an obligation to treat with their relatively small party.

Many Indian party members, led by Austin E. Quinney, refused to move to the new reservation until 1859. The Arvid E. Miller Memorial Library/Museum (the Stockbridge-Munsee Community's tribal museum) in Shawano County possesses a large peace medal which was given to Austin E. Quinney by the federal government. Although the museum staff told me they have no idea why it was awarded to Quinney, my guess is that he received it after he gave up his protest and showed up at the new reservation.

Anyway, the "Citizen vs. Indian" conflict truly was a bitter one - and a complicated one. But the establishment of the new reservation in Shawano County is about more than that.

Shawano County, Wisconsin: The treaty of 1856 established a new reservation for the Stockbridge and Munsee Indians in the townships of Red Springs and Bartelme.

By 1856 Jeremiah Slingerland was one of the Stockbridge Mohicans' most powerful leaders. Slingerland and Superintendent Francis Huebschmann butted heads over exactly where the new reservation would be located. (In fact, they accused each other of being dishonest. I prefer to think they just misunderstood each other, and I doubt that enough written evidence exists for any solid conclusions to be made.)

As Oberly points out (on page 89), the treaty of 1856 didn't actually define where the new reservation would be located (nor even how large it would be). As a result, it was largely up to Superintendent Huebschmann to determine where the Stockbridge Indians would wind up. While Huebschmann may have been honest, he stuck the tribe with a reservation on the swampy and sandy land of the Wolf River Batholith. How could he have justified that?

The Indians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and their descendants in New York and Wisconsin had made the transition to an agricultural economy much like that of white Americans. It was one of the things they were supposed to do to become "civilized." But after the treaty of 1856, those who wanted to continue farming showed up on the reservation to get their annuity payments and rented better land in nearby counties. Others did their best on the new reservation, trying to make a go of it by some combination of farming, logging, trapping, berry picking, hunting and fishing, and seasonal labor.

*An "Indian Party Brief," (as reprinted in the Concordia Historical Quarterly).
*James Oberly, A Nation of Statesmen. University of Oklahoma Press, 2005.
*The John C. Adams Papers. Wisconsin State Historical Society, Madison, WI.
*Joseph Schafer, The Winnebago-Horicon Basin, (see especially page 75).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Muhheconnuck, Wisconsin

This map of Wisconsin Counties has arrows pointing to places where the Stockbridge Mohicans have lived.

was their settlement (on the Fox River's large rapids known as Grand Kawkawlin) in the 1820's. (See red arrow that points to Outagamie County.)

In the 1830's the tribe moved to what would soon become Calumet County. The English name of their town there was Stockbridge. (See red arrow that points to Calumet County.)

The black arrow points to the location of what is legally known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. The Shawano County reservation was carved out of the neighboring Menominee Resevation in 1856 while that reservation was still new. (See black arrow that points to Shawano County.)

In the Mohican language, Muhheconnuck is the name of the Mohicans' homeland. Although the tribe moved there after the treaty of 1856 and also live there now, the land wasn't theirs during all the years in between. Why not? You'll find out in future posts.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Mission House at Stockbridge, Wisconsin

If you look at the picture of the church building from this post which I blogged on February 28th, 2009, you'll see that the artist of that drawing labeled his or her work as the "Stockbridge Indian Mission," the "First Congregational Church in Wisconsin," and finally asserted that it was "Built in 1829." I questioned that date when I first saw the drawing and now I can show you why I questioned it. The evidence is in this painting. Obviously the same building is pictured in both pieces of art. The dispute is over the date and location.

The painting you see above is from the front cover of The Stockbridge Story. I have already written a post about the book.

Take a look at the white man in the painting. Based on a photo I've seen, it is a good likeness of Rev. Cutting Marsh. Since Marsh ministered to the Stockbridge Mohicans both at Grand Kawkawlin/Statesburg, and at Stockbridge, his presence in the painting will not tell us the location of the building.

The artist of the painting above is LuLu [Doxtator] Mattson, the sister of the book's co-author, Elaine Doxtator Raddatz. Both are enrolled members of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. Both LuLu Mattson and the artist of the drawing in my February, 28, 2009 post were using the same photo as a model. (I've seen that photo in the print version of the Wisconsin Historical Collections, but couldn't locate it on the web.)

Elaine Doxtator Raddatz and her sister LuLu Mattson are possibly the last of their kind: Stockbridge Indians born in Stockbridge, Wisconsin. The treaty of 1856 sent most of the tribe to the current reservation in Shawano County, but there were a handful of Indians who were acknowledged as legitimate landowners by the federal government and allowed to stay in Calumet County/the town of Stockbridge, known informally to Shawano County Indians as "down below."

Anyway, on the issue of which church building is pictured, I side with Elaine and LuLu (I've communicated with both of them, but not met either in person). I believe the painting above (and the drawing featured in my post of February 28, 2009) is of the mission house at Stockbridge, Wisconsin, and not Statesburg/Grand Kawkawlin. the evidence is found in the photo you see below.
This is a photo of that same building. Sometime after this building was last used as a church/school/courthouse, it was converted into a blacksmith shop. Look at the church in the painting and then imagine the same building with the front steeple-part knocked out. The blog format tends to shrink most graphics somewhat which may make it harder to see the similarities in the painting and the photo, but if you ask me, it clearly is the same building: The Stockbridge [Wisconsin] Mission House, built in 1834.

Read about the last sermon preached in the old building.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Potawatomi Trail of Death

<--The original homeland of the Potawatomi Indians is in red. Cities like Milwaukee got their names from Potawatami (Algonkian) words.

I first learned of the Potawatami Trail of Death while visiting the Forest County Potawatami's museum (which is several miles east of Crandon, just off of Highway 8) in Forest County, Wisconsin. In my opinion, it is an above-average tribal museum.

While not as infamous as the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the Potawatomi Trail of Death was arguably an even more severe atrocity. Here are some relevant links and graphics that I found on the web:

Read about the Potawatomi Trail of Death:

The Potawatomi bands in Kansas and Oklahoma are the survivors of the Trail of Death. Other bands, such as the Forest County Potawatomi, are Indians that escaped the forced migration by running off into the woods.

When the Forest County Band was just wandering and starving in northern Wisconsin, a Lutheran missionary named Erik Morstad helped them obtain their own land (by taking advantage of the Homestead Act). Morstad's son wrote about his father's work for the Norwegian-American Historical Association.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Jotham Meeker and the Two Minute Books

New York Indian Removal, Part XVII:
Jotham Meeker and the Two Minute Books

Maybe you're wondering if we have any record of the Indians who left Cutting Marsh's church and then left Wisconsin after signing the treaty of 1839. The answer is: do we ever!...thanks to a Baptist missionary named Jotham Meeker....who owned a printing press!

Meeker learned a number of Algonkian languages and printed various scriptures, hymns, and other religious works in many small books during his career. Another Baptist missionary, John G. Pratt, also knew the printing trade. It seems Pratt was more directly involved in what we might call the church of the Hendricks-Konkapot faction.

As you may have already figured, having two missionary-printers around in a small church community meant that our old friends from "the Disaffected party" may have gotten a little more exposure than they should have. Actually, I don't know if church minutes were ever actually printed (or 'published') by Meeker or Pratt, but it seems that the preservation of Meeker's body of work led to the publication of "Two Minute Books of Kansas Missions in the Forties" in the Kansas Historical Quarterly (August 1933, Vol 2, no. 3), and it is now online.

As the Kansas Historical Society described it, the Minute Books "show that faith was weak at times, and temptation strong, but zeal burned like a bright white flame."

The last page of the Two Minute Books lists the members of the congregation as of 1848 (although some were recently deceased or excluded).
The Baptist contingent of Algonkian church history:

Stockbridge Mohicans: Hannah Konkapot, Eli Hendrick, Sally Hendrick, Jacob Littleman, Nancy Konkapot, Louisa Littleman, Susan Charles, Cornelius Charles.

Munsee Delawares: Joseph Killbuck, Abigail Killbuck, James Rain, Susan Killbuck, Sally Johnnycake, Charles Johnycake, Jane Johnycake, William Kaleb.

Other church members (tribal affiliation and, in some cases, race, is unknown): Betsy Ziegler, Francis Pokelas, Eunice Eaton,
Ar-nark-tun-dut, Wul-lun-da-nat-o'kwa, Hipelas, Hannah Hipelas, Macharch, Mrs. Jacob Skicket, E.S. Morse.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mountain Wolf Woman

March is Women's History Month.
The book I chose to read to observe the month is
Mountain Wolf Woman, Sister of Crashing Thunder:
The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian.

I started to write that Mountain Wolf Woman was "ordinary," but I'm not so sure about that.

Much of her life was about staying with relatives, and some weren't even blood relatives. After a period of time living among the Sioux (I think in South Dakota), Mountain Wolf Woman became active in the Peyote religion (aka the Native American Church). As I understand it, this is essentially Christianity with the added sacrament of consuming the Peyote cactus which leads to visions. For Mountain Wolf Woman, the cactus resulted in a vision of Jesus, for instance. She was instrumental in bringing the Peyote religion back to the Wisconsin Winnebago/Ho-Chunk people and tells of being ostracized by the more traditional or "conservative" people.

An earlier photo.

As far as "Women's History" per se, it is remarkable that Mountain Wolf Woman was made to quit school (where she was happy) to marry a man who did her brother a favor while the brother was drunk. Despite what some have tried to tell me, I'm still not convinced that Indian men always treated women better than white men treated their women.

Here's two more anecdotes I thought were remarkable:

A member of the tribe came back from World War II with a German scalp. The tribe held a scalp dance and the blond German soldier (whose scalp it was) appeared to the middle-aged Mountain Wolf Woman in a vision.

When Mountain Wolf Woman was still a girl she took pity on an old man who was dying. According to the book, some of the last things he said were:

But nothing can be done to help me, so I am going away. At one time there was a certain food of which I was fond, skunk meat. If you should kill a skunk, cook it and think of me as you do so (pages 16-17).

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ian Chadwick's Henry Hudson Site

The thing that surprised me about this photo of the replica of the Half Moon was its size. It must have been a real accomplishment to sail across the Atlantic in something like this---->

This is a big year for history buffs in New York State. Henry Hudson sailed up the river that was later named for him in 1609. So he 'discovered' the Mohican Indians 400 years ago this (coming) September.

A few years ago, during a visit to the Arvid E. Miller Memorial Library/Museum on the Stockbridge Mohicans' reservation in Shawano County [WI], I overheard a tribal member read an account of the arrival of European ships from an Indian perspective. The phrase I remember was "winged canoes." That was the Native way of describing a ship with sails. I was trying to locate that account on the net, but now I'm doubting that it was about Henry Hudson's appearance, because Steve Comer just told me that Hudson came in only one boat.

For Algonkians, the 400th anniversary of Hudson's arrival really isn't anything to celebrate, but it is, nevertheless, something to commemorate. Anyway, what I have for you in this post is not from a Native perspective, it is from the perspective of the whites or invaders, explorers, or whatever you want to call them.

Ian Chadwick has created an excellent website on Henry Hudson. I encourage you to read his timeline of the 1609 voyage yourself, but the following quotes (and the map below them) are a preview:

September 18th: Hudson accepted an invitation from a chief to eat with him and went ashore. The natives "killed a fat dog and skinned it in great haste" for dinner. Hudson was invited to stay overnight, but was suspicious. Sensing his discomfort, the natives broke their arrows and threw them into the fire to indicate their good intentions. But Hudson returned to the ship anyway. He wrote, "The land is the finest for cultivation that I ever in my life set foot upon."
September 21st: The crew got some natives drunk on wine and Aqua Vitae -"hooch," from the Indian word "hoochenoo" for the hard liquor Hudson and his crew plied them with. One passed out and slept aboard the ship. The natives returned the next day and were relieved to find him unharmed.
You can read more about the Half Moon replica at the Hudson River Maritime Museum site.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

On to Minnesota?

New York Indian Removal, Part XVI
On to Minnesota?

Before we can wrap up the New York Indian Removal Series, treaties made between the United States and the Stockbridge Mohicans in 1848 and 1856 should be addressed. I would be the first to tell you that you aren't going to fully appreciate those treaties unless you understand the Indian party vs. Citizen party controversy. But at the same time, I don't feel obligated to flesh out that controversy here because James Oberly handled it very well in A Nation of Statesmen (see pages 71-78).

Nevertheless, I'll give you the basics. Members of the Chicks family and their political allies petitioned the government to be made citizens and the request was granted in an act of Congress in 1843, not only to those who wanted it, but to all the Stockbridge Mohicans. The reservation was allotted and Indians began selling land to whites. But lobbying by John W. Quinney and his allies resulted in an 1846 act of Congress, which reversed the act of 1843. Now the Stockbridges were recognized as Indians once again by the federal government. Then in 1848, the government recognized only the members of the Indian party in making a treaty that was to send them on to Minnesota.

<---Edward Thomas's painting of Fort Snelling, near today's "Twin Cities" of Minnesota.

In 1849 Jeremiah Slingerland, Austin E. Quinney, Elisha and Joel Konkapot, Moses Charles, and Thomas Snake visited the area around Fort Snelling (Jones, page 114). Electa Jones asserted this would be the location of the tribe's "Last Removal" in her 1854 book.... But here's what really happened: The Federal government and the Indian Party never came to an agreement as to where specifically the new reservation would be located (see Oberly, 79-82).

The Signing of the Treaty of Traverse de Sioux. This painting by Francis Millet was done in 1905, based on sketches made by an artist present at the signing of the treaty in 1851.

In 1851 the United States acquired land from the Dakota Sioux. They expected the Stockbridge Mohican signers of the treaty of 1848 to make their new reservation on that land. But the Indian Party refused to move. According to an "Indian Party Brief" that was later printed in the Concordia Historical Quarterly (page 121, volume unknown), the Indian party claimed that the treaty of 1848 required that their new land should have been made available to them sooner.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Scott's Family Bible

Do you remember that the Stockbridge Mohicans attempted to settle at Indiana's White River before they came to what is now Wisconsin?

Do you remember that John Metoxen was the leader of the band that left New Stockbridge, New York in 1818 and settled at Wisconsin's Fox River in 1822?

Do you remember that they worshipped with a white congregation at a stop along the way?

Some have called Metoxen's band the Stockbridge Christian Party. Although no missionary traveled with them, they still kept the Sabbath in the old Calvinist way. On Sunday mornings, John Metoxen would read from Scott's Family Bible. I was able to find photos of the six-volume set online. (Use this link if you want to buy a copy in good condition, for less than $600.)

On page 129 of An American Bible, Paul Gutjahr tells us that Scott's Family Bible was "immensely popular" and "helped shore up Calvinist Orthodoxy."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The "Indians of North America" Series

I've been aware of the Indians of North America series since before I really got interested in Algonkian church history. The books in the series are illustrated and readable enough to be classified as "Juvenile Literature," but I recommend them for adults as well as teens. Titles in the series include the following Algonkian nations: The Ojibwa, The Narragansett, The Menominee, The Nanticoke, The Wampanoag, The Chipewyan, The Cheyenne, The Potawatomi, the Abenaki, and today I'll be quoing from The Lenape (The Delaware [including Munsee] Indians were known by that name prior to white contact). Other titles of interest in the series include The Aztecs, Federal Indian Policy, The Iroquois, The Maya, Urban Indians, and Women in American Indian Society.


The yellow part of this map is Lenapehoking, or the land of the Lenape (you can see that it makes up what is now New Jersey, plus parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New York State


I do recommend The Lenapes. That doesn't mean that it is without errors, but I think errors will result when anybody tries to tackle the pre-contact culture and 400 years of history of a major Indian nation in roughly 100 pages. Anyway, the anecdote I'm going to quote for you is from page 63. I'll call it

The Conversion of Glickhican

In 1771, in what is now Ohio, the Delaware Indians made their main council fire, or capitol city at Newcomer's Town (it is known as Newcomerstown to this day). The newly formed government included Chief Netawatwees of the Turtle clan and he was advised by a Great Council which was made up of representatives of all the Delaware towns - except for the Moravian Delawares.

Only the Moravian Delawares were denied representation in council deliberations, because their Christianity made them suspect to their fellows. Most chiefs at Newcomer's Town tolerated the Moravians in the area. Many, however, neither fully accepted nor entirely trusted them, and several sought to drive them away altogether. At one point, these chiefs convinced the Great Council to send the noted warrior Glickhican (Gun Sight) to force the Moravians to leave. Engaging him in discussion, the missionaries talked Glickhican into joining their community instead.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Broken Claw's "History of the Kansas Munsee"

Broken Claw's web logo --->

With the possible exception of my own posts, the only history of the Munsee Delaware (Lenape) Indians that I've seen anywhere that focuses specifically on the Kansas Munsees (that is, the ones that stopped off at the Stockbridge reservation in 1837), is online and written by a Kansas Munsee descendant. His screen name is Broken Claw and he has a pretty extensive website. You can expect me to say a few more things about his site in future posts, but the main thing right now is that you read Broken Claw's "History of the Kansas Munsee."

I believe that if you combine my posts with Broken Claw's article, you'll have better information about the Munsee Indians than you can find in any book.

An artist's conception of Moravian Missionary David Zeisberger's preaching to the Munsee People.

I'll leave you today with a comment, it isn't a criticism of Broken Claw, nor a criticism of his grandma, just an example of how confused most people are about the Munsee Indians. In his "Kansas Munsee" article, Broken Claw states:

"My Grandmother always made it clear that her family was Canadian Munsee, and not Stockbridge."
You know what was happening? People had heard of the "Stockbridge-Munsee" Indians but didn't realize there was a hyphen between "Stockbridge" and "Munsee." They [the people Broken Claw's grandmother was talking to] must not have known that the Stockbridges were (largely) Mohican Indians. [My guess is/was that is why Broken Claw's grandmother felt compelled to clarify that to people.] That is [was] my take on it anyway. If I missed something there, I'll expect Broken Claw to try to set me straight. [If you read the comments below, it seems that Broken Claw thought I was accusing his grandmother of being ignorant - not so. The commentary written in brackets was added on March 25, 2009.]

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

To Live Upon Hope

The seventh post in Algonkian Church History was about Rachel Wheeler's PhD. thesis, Living Upon Hope. This, my 107th post, is about her 2008 book with a slightly different title.

To Live Upon Hope: Mohicans and Missionaries in the Eighteenth Century Northeast (Cornell University Press), is written for a more academic audience than this blog, but if you like Algonkian Church History, there's a good chance that you'll also like Wheeler's book.

Wheeler succeeds in showing the contrast between the Moravian Mohicans and their neighboring tribesmen, the Calvinist Mohicans at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Remarkably, the two types of mission communities were so different that the nature of what was recorded for posterity didn't allow Wheeler to make direct comparisons.

The Moravian Mohicans at Shekomeko practiced a syncretic religion, as Wheeler states on page 95:

Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca prophets inspired new religious movements that often blended rejection of European goods and the creation of a pan-Indian identity. Adaptation of European-style agriculture and Christianity was another option, as exemplified by the Mohicans of Stockbridge. Somewhere in between was the path chosen by Abraham and Johannes and other Indians of Shekomeko, who found in the blood of Jesus a new source of spiritual power, or manitou, which could be deployed to address the problems brought with colonialism.

Monday, March 2, 2009

They Left on the Sabbath

New York Indian Removal, Part XV:
They Left on the Sabbath

Andrew Jackson's plans to remove all Indians westward were not abandoned by his successor, Martin Van Buren.

The treaty of 1839 may have been written up in good faith. Half of the reservation was sold to the U.S. because Thomas Hendricks and Robert Konkapot had convinced federal officials that about half of the tribe wanted to remove to the Little Osage River in what is now Kansas. Instead we have reports that "70 or 80" Stockbridge Mohicans separated from the tribe (Jones, 106). James Oberly (page 67) also quotes Cutting Marsh as saying that the remaining Canadian Munsees went with them (but it is not clear where he gets that quote).

Although the federal government did a miserable job of implementing the treaty of 1839, the emigrants appear to have added to the problem by ignoring instructions to wait until the treaty was approved by the president and ratified by the Senate. Oberly describes the result:

Unfortunately the Emigrants lacked enough money and supplies to reach their destination.... At St. Louis they became public charity cases and had to be rescued by the U.S. Indian agent there.
Writing from Stockbridge, Massachusetts fifteen years later, Electa Jones was getting her information about the Emigrant party second-hand from Chauncey Hall, an ABCFM schoolteacher. Furthermore, she had no sympathy for the Emigrant party, pointing out "it has been creditably reported that they started on the Sabbath"(emphasis is Jones', page 106). My response is that maybe Chauncey Hall never told Electa Jones that the Hendricks-Konkapot faction left Cutting Marsh's Calvinist (that is, Sabbath-observing) church and started their own Baptist church.....or, from a modern perspective, maybe Ms. Jones was too much of an ideologue to be writing history "creditably."

Those of the so-called Disaffected party who made it safely to the new reservation continued to worship in the Baptist way. Meanwhile, the payments promised in the treaty of 1839 didn't come until after "a tedious delay of between 2 & 3 years"(Cutting Marsh in Wisconsin Historical Collections, XV, page 180).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Treaty of 1839

New York Indian Removal, Part XIV:
The Treaty of 1839

This modern map of Calumet County, Wisconsin, shows that the eastern half of the Stockbridge Mohicans' two-township reservation became the township of Chilton after the tribe sold it to the federal government in the treaty of 1839.

Not being in the decision-making loop, people like Robert Konkapot may not have really known the things that were going on in the Stockbridge Mohicans' tribal government. The allegations he made (see my previous post) against tribal officials and Rev. Cutting Marsh aren't necessarily accurate. Nevertheless, a deal to sell a township (or one-half of the Stockbridge Reservation), did occur. Ironically, when the actual deal was made with the federal government, the Hendricks-Konkapot faction were involved in the negotiations and it was agreed that the proceeds of the sale of that good land would go towards the moving expenses of their "Emigrant" party.

We would assume that losing half of their good land would be highly upsetting to the Stockbridge Mohicans. However, I have seen no evidence that they were forced into the treaty of 1839. Rather the treaty was something that the two rival factions had negotiated for. As James Oberly (page 66) notes, Austin E. and John W. Quinney spent time in Washington D.C. in 1838 and their visit prompted Thomas Hendricks to tell the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, "Whatever Quinney proposes, we oppose."

So is it true that the two factions wanted to be rid of each other so badly that they voluntarily made a treaty which gave up half (the better half) of their reservation? Not exactly. If the treaty would have been properly implemented by the federal government, the emigration to what is now Kansas could have been successful. As it was, however, at least some and possibly many Indians died along the way and others eventually found their way back to Wisconsin. Others succeeded amongst other tribes in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Further reading:
Read the treaty online.
See pages 66-67 of James Oberly's A Nation of Statesmen.