Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Underground Railroad in Eastern Wisconsin

Much detail is lost in the forms of history that usually play to a nationwide audience. I'm sure many people that have seen the map below would be surprised to know that it isn't quite accurate; in addition to the routes you see below, the Underground Railroad also ran through eastern Wisconsin - and not just through the Kenosha/Racine area as the map suggests, but up to Fond du Lac, Sheboygan County, Calumet County, and at least as far north as Green Bay.

Being the secret and illegal organization that it was, there are gaps in our knowledge of the Underground Railroad in eastern Wisconsin, but here's the data I've gathered:

***Fond du Lac: The Octogon House on Linden Street is now a tourist attraction. It features "fascinating underground tunnels" that were used to hide escaped slaves (it was featured on The History Channel).

***Sheboygan County:
Jonathan Walker's main claim to fame was that his hand was branded "SS" for "slave stealer" after he was caught sailing away from the coast of Florida with several escaped slaves on board. Years after that (in 1852), Walker and his family moved to Wisconsin and eventually to Sheboygan County. After Walker moved again, it was reported that there had been a trench on his property, covered with boards and "deep enough for a man to stand"(according to Dennis McCann's article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel March 22, 2000).

***Stockbridge/Chilton/Calumet County :

1) Lemuel Goodell, a white resident of Stockbridge, delivered escaped slaves from Calumet County to a church in Green Bay. Nevertheless, there were escaped slaves who felt they were safe enough in rural Calumet County and settled there. One built himself a small dwelling (J.N.Davidson referred to it as a "shanty"), and upon realizing that his former master had learned of his whereabouts, he fled to the town of Stockbridge. There he was befriended by Indians and whites who told the former master to leave the area. Unfortunately, another slave who later moved into the same dwelling was tracked down and returned to slavery (Davidson, 1897, 66). The last page of J.N. Davidson's (1893) Muh-He-Ka-Ne-Ok, includes this sentance, "Fugitives from slavery found shelter in their [the Stockbridge Mohicans'] settlement." This is built on in the addendum (page 58):
"The slaves whom the writer had in mind were brought by a Mr. Goodell to Green Bay and hidden there in the belfry of the church by Pastor and Mrs. Porter. That was probably in 1855."

2) Moses Stanton's father was black and his mother was a Narragansett. (He wasn't technically a Brothertown Indian, but associated with that tribe informally.) He was the founder of Chilton (now the seat of Calumet County) and also a participant in the Underground Railroad, as the newspaper article below attests. (It was written by Kara Patterson for the Oshkosh [WI] Northwestern where it appeared on February 23, 2005):

John Clark and Daniel Adams

While they were still in New York State, the Oneidas split into factions over the issues of religion, culture and emmigration. Since the Oneidas are an Iroquois nation, I don't claim to know all their splits and reconciliations. Nevertheless, some of it is relevant here.

According to J.N. Davidson, the first Oneidas to emmigrate to what is now Wisconsin were from the First Christian party. Meanwhile, back in New York, a faction of the Second Christian Party broke off and became known as the Orchard party. The Orchard party aligned itself with the Methodist church and headed west. Davidson tells us about one of their missionaries:

"In 1832, July 21st, there arrived among them a man of fervent spirit, Rev. John Clark, a member of the New York conference of the Methodist Episcopal church."

Within two months, an "unpretentious structure of logs" was built to serve as "a combined church-and-school." The day after that building was dedicated, September 17, 1832, marked the first day of school for this party of Oneidas. Their teacher was Electa Quinney.

After some time, John Clark decided to move on to other mission fields. Taking his place was a Mohawk preacher (who also, of course, came from New York), Mr. Daniel Adams (Davidson, In Unnamed Wisconsin, page 66).

As Marty Zank pointed out in a recent comment, Dan Adams and Electa Quinney were married and eventually had a son. After only a few years with the Oneidas, Mr. Adams was called to serve the Senecas on their new reservation west of the Mississippi.

What kind of relationship did John Clark and Daniel Adams have? All I can say about it is that it must have been positive. Why else would Dan and Electa Adams name their son John Clark Adams?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Stockbridge Bible and the Lost Tribes Theory

Have you seen the earlier posts in this series?:
Introduction to the Stockbridge Bible
From Generation to Generation
A Summary of 50 Years at the Massachusetts Mission Town

I've had the opportunity to deal with some things in detail here in Algonkian Church History that I just summarized in my article about the Stockbridge Bible ["From Generation to Generation," in The Book Collector, Spring, 2007, pages 49-66]. That, of course, includes U.S. Indian Policy, removals, tribal in-fighting and even the lost tribes theory.

The story of the Stockbridge Bible as it relates to the lost tribes theory is both unique and remarkable. This episode begins in the 1780's as the Stockbridge Mohicans are preparing to leave the mission town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. "They built a chest of oak to transport the two-volume Bible that they cherished"(p.53).

Beginning in the late 1600's, many Europeans believed the American Indians were the ten lost tribes of Israel. The Stockbridges themselves appear to have accepted this 'lost tribes theory' for many years. The oak chest that carried the two-volume Stockbridge Bible was compared to the ark of the covenant which the Israelites carried in the book of Exodus [Calvin Colton made the comparison in 1830] (pages 53-54).
J.N. Davidson and church historians that came after him believed that that Deacon John Metoxen, read aloud from the Stockbridge Bible as he led his band from New York State to Indiana's White River and on to what is now Wisconsin. Since a minister that met Metoxen's band in what is now Ohio mentioned Scott's Family Bible and not the Stockbridge Bible, I agree with Lion Miles that the Stockbridge Bible left New York with a different band.

But the similarities remain. Instead of wandering in the wilderness for forty years with an ark that protected two stone tablets (containing the Ten Commandments), the Stockbridge Indians trekked the American frontier carrying an oak chest that protected their two-volume Stockbridge Bible.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Electa Quinney

It would not be difficult for me to write up a timeline of the succession of Calvinist (Congregational and Presbyterian) ministers serving the Stockbridge Mohicans from the first John Sergeant to well into the 1900's. On the other hand, although notable schoolteachers also served the tribe, their comings and goings are not nearly as well documented. One reason for this is that teachers weren't always paid out of the same pot. Sometimes the mission society would hire a teacher, but at other times funds came from the federal government or from the tribe's own treasury. That increased the level of turnover.

I can remember the names of a few of the tribe's teachers: Timothy Woodbridge, John Konkapot (son of the first Konkapot), Daniel Simon (a Narragansett), Jedidiah Stevens, Chauncey Hall, Jeremiah Slingerland, Sarah Slingerland, and, of course, Electa Quinney.

Electa Quinney is relatively well-known as the first schoolmistress of what is now Wisconsin. It is generally believed she took on the job for the children of her tribe beginning in 1828. Within about two years after that, Jedidiah Stevens was hired to teach. But it seems that Stevens' teaching was somewhat sporadic because he was busy farming at certain times of the year - something the mission societies appear to have been in support of.

J.N. Davidson appears to have been the first to proclaim Electa Quinney as Wisconsin's first schoolmistress. I really don't know how he determined that she was the tribe's schoolteacher in 1828. Nevertheless, I've never come across anything that would prove him wrong on that point and I hope I never will.

However, in the early days of Cutting Marsh's ministry with the Stockbridges, Jedidiah Stevens was the schoolteacher. Since Stevens also farmed, his teaching was rather sporadic. In the ABCFM records Cutting Marsh noted - circa 1831 - that Stevens wasn't teaching and the tribe went ahead and hired one of their own members (a woman, and I'm not aware of any other Stockbridge woman from that era who was qualified to teach). What may have happened was that Electa Quinney taught from 1828 to about 1830 and then Stevens taught for a while and then Ms. Quinney taught again.

More than any other author, we have J.N. Davidson to thank for recording Electa Quinney's career:

Miss Quinney, Wisconsin's first school mistress, was educated at Clinton, New York, and at Cornwall, Connecticut. At the latter place she spent six years. It was in 1828 that she began to teach the mission school at Statesburg, probably, as I have said, the first free school in Wisconsin.

The [Judge] E. S. Miner of Necedah, one of her [former] pupils [and son of the missionary Jesse Miner], says that she was a better teacher than the average of teachers to-day [the 1890's]. Her methods, many of them, were similar to those of the present day. The pupils were mostly Indian children, but the language used was English.... She rarely whipped; opened her school with prayer. It was modeled after the best public schools of New England at that time.
The quote is from Muh-He-Ka-Ne-Ok, pages 56-57.

Addendum of June 17, 2009: An article from 1888 appears to be Davidson's source.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Stockbridge Bible Series: A Summary of 50 Years at the Massachusetts Mission Town

Here's a quote from my paper ("From Generation to Generation: The Story of the Stockbridge Bible") that was printed in the Spring, 2007 issue of The Book Collector. It summarizes the roughly fifty-year period in which the Stockbridge Mohicans lived at the mission town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts:

Although Stockbridge, Massachusetts was originally envisioned as a town for Indians with four English families to model 'civilized' Christian living, rules designed to protect the Indians from losing their land were bent by an increasing number of white settlers. Some of the land was taken by fraud. Trying to get their land back motivated the Stockbridges to fight against the British in the Revolutionary War. However, when many of them died and compensation from the United States was minimal, widows were left with no choice but to pay thier debts by selling more land. By the 1780's, the Indians felt compelled to leave the town that was set up for them. Although they had essentially been pushed out of their land and pushed out of their church, nobody at that time questioned their ownership of the Stockbridge Bible.
1)Hopkins' Historical Memoirs (p.20)
2)Frazier's Mohicans of Stockbridge (p.18-19)
3) Thelma Putnam's Christian Religion (p.46-47)
4) Shirley Dunn's Mohican World (p. 206, 213).

Friday, April 24, 2009

From Generation to Generation

"From Generation to Generation" is the title of the paper I wrote about the Stockbridge Bible that appeared in the Spring, 2007 issue of The Book Collector. I introduced that paper in my previous post and described John Sergeant's ordination in a much earlier post. While I may have mentioned that Stockbridge, Massachusetts was established as a town in 1739, I haven't said a lot about education there. All you need to know as background for the Stockbridge Bible is that there was a "day" school for both boys and girls, taught by Timothy Woodbridge, and also a boarding school for boys in which one donor (Isaac Hollis from Britain) supported. It was the hope of John Sergeant [Sr.] to start a boarding school for girls that brought Thomas Coram [pictured], a retired sea captain, into the picture.

The rest of this post is quoted from the paper that appeared in The Book Collector:

Coram sought a donation for the Stockbridge boarding schools from the Prince of Wales, first making contact with Francis Ayscough, D.D., Clerk of the Closet, essentially the personal chaplain or spiritual advisor of the Prince. One hearing of the mission town across the Atlantic, Rev. Ayscough was moved to give the Indian congregation a magnificent two-volume Bible, the same edition that the Prince would later use in his coronation.

Ayscough ordered the 1717 edition of the Bible to be bound. On the cover he had lettered "The gift of the Rev. D. Francis Ayscough to the Indian Congregation at the Housatonnic in New England. MDCCXLV" in gold embossed letters. (The Roman numerals give 1745 as the date.) Captain Coram also wrote an inscription in each volume:

This with another volume, containing the Holy Bible, is the pious gift of the Reverend Doct. Francis Ayscough, Clerk of the Closet to his Royal Highness Frederick, Prince of Wales, To the use of the Congregation of Indians at or near Housatonic, in a vast wilderness, part of New England; who are, at present, in the voluntary Care, and instructon, of the Learned and Religious Mr. John Sergeant, and is to remain to the use of the Successors of those Indians from Generation to Generation; as a testimony of the said Doctor's Great Regard for the Salvation of their souls - and is over and above other Benefits, which he most cheerfully obtained for the encouragement of the said Mr. Sergeant, and in favor of the said Indians,
At the request of their hearty frined and well-wisher,
Thomas Coram
London. 31st day of December, 1745.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Introduction to the Stockbridge Bible

Above: the title page from one of the existing "Vinegar Bibles."

Before we get too much into politics or other issues, it is time to get back to the basics of Algonkian Church History. Starting with this post, I'm going to share excerpts from my paper about the Stockbridge Bible that appeared in the Spring, 2007 issue of The Book Collector:

If there is one book in the United States today that could be said to have significance beyond the words it contains, it might be the Stockbridge Bible. The Stockbridge Bible belongs to the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians and is kept in a museum on their reservation in northern Wisconsin. It is an exemplar of the two-volume folio edition of the Bible printed by John Baskett at Oxford in 1716-1717.... In this article I will explain the relationship the Stockbridge Bible has with its owners, a Native American tribe with an over 250-year association with Christianity. I will explain how the Stockbridge Indians acquired their tribal Bible, how they carried it with them in their migrations, how it wound up in a museum run by whites for about sixty years, and, finally, how it was returned to the tribe in 1991.
The edition is known as the Vinegar Bible because of a typographical error in which the 'parable of the vinyard' became 'the parable of the vinegar.' For more technical and typographical information about the Vinegar Bible, please see B.J. McMullin's article "The Vinegar Bible," in The Book Collector Vol 33, Spring 1984,pages 53-65.

Here's a brief description of the Vinegar Bible.

The Stockbridge Bible is also known as "The Mohican Bible," or simply "The Bibles" (the plural form being used becuase the Vinegar Bible is a two-volume edition).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fallout From of the Act of 1871

The act of 1871 was complex, much more complex than I let on in the last post. Under the act of 1871 the Citizen party, aka the Chicks party, became known as the "Old Citizen party," or the "Chicks party of 1843," and a "New Citizen party" emerged. This new Citizen party consisted of 142 members who took payments for their land and gave up their right to live on the Shawano County reservation. So when the reservation decreased by 75% it doesn't mean that the wealth of the tribe decreased by nearly that much (but I still think the act of 1871 was a raw deal). After the act of 1871 was passed, the Indian party was down to 112 members - this was now the entire Stockbridge nation.

When members of the Old Citizen party learned of the act of 1871 they were understandably upset. However, their efforts to nullify the legislation were of no use: the bill had already passed. They appear to have known, however that Jeremiah Slingerland and Chief Sachem Darius Charles had made a trip to Washington D.C.. One fall day Slingerland returned home to find his barns were burned down. In a letter to his Aunt Electa, he blamed it on members of the Citizen party:

The barns were evidently set fire by the Gardners, as they have been threatening all along to do something by way of revenge.

Jeremiah Slingerland's barns in 1871 might have looked something like this barn that was owned by a white family from Shawano County in 1911.

On more than one occasion, letters were written by the tribal (that is, Indian party) government requesting the removal of members of the "Old Citizen" party from the reservation. One letter described the Citizen party members as "intruders" whose "pernicious ways and evil example" had a "demoralizing influence upon the peace and prosperity" of the tribe. An 1873 letter accused Old Citizen party members of being a "Sabbath-breaking band." The authors of that letter further alleged that members of the Old Citizen party were trespassing upon the Indian party's timber and cutting it down. Finally, another important reason was given for the removal of members of the Old Citizen Party:

If these were of real Indian Blood, we might bear with them a little longer, but when we see they are of African and White extraction and those forced upon us by the treaty of 1856...we feel more and more that they ought to be ordered away at once by our agent.

*A letter from Jeremiah Slingerland to Electa [Quinney] Candy of October 7, 1871, and
*A letter from Darius Charles, Ziba T. Peters, Aaron Konkapot, Jeremiah Slingerland, Albert Miller, and Samuel A. Miller to a Mr. T.S. Chase, Indian Agent, of September 11, 1873.
Both letters are part of the John C. Adams Papers.

Sawyer, Slingerland, and The Act of 1871

I began researching the political history of the Stockbridge Mohicans before James Oberly's A Nation of Statesmen was published in 2005. Before his book came out I had a good understanding of how each successive treaty or act of Congress was supported by one tribal faction but almost always seemed to wind up hurting the tribe as a whole. But what Oberly's book got me to understand was the mechanism driving all the political tinkering: the United States federal government. The tribal factionalism often wasn't dealt with locally. Instead, it was very much about the Citizen Party allying itself with the Democrats in Washington D.C. and the Indian Party allying themselves with Republican legislators.

Many partisan letters and lobbying trips to Washington were needed to accomplish the following:
* The act of 1843 which made the Stockbridge Mohicans "citizens" (it is possible that white Democrats initiated the process that led to this act).
* The act of 1846 which reinstated the tribe to federal recognition.
* The treaty of 1848 in which the Indian Party were to get a new reservation in what is now Minnesota.
* The treaty of 1856 which established a new reservation in Shawano County.
*And, now, the act of 1871.

Essentially what happened in the act of 1871 is that the Shawano County reservation was shrunk to one-fourth of its original size. Leaders of the Indian party engaged in closed-door negotiations with Republican leaders, especially with Wisconsin Congressman Philetus Sawyer (pictured), a lumber-barron from Oshkosh who coveted the White Pine in Shawano County (and elsewhere).

What did the Indian party want so badly that they were willing to give up three-fourths of the reservation for? They wanted the Citizen party to be disenfranchised. In 1871 the Indian party didn't want Citizen party members to have a share of the annuity payments they were getting and they didn't want them to live on the reservation or cut its timber. (I will support this statement with data from primary sources in future posts.)

When I started my research, I wanted Jeremiah Slingerland to be a hero since he was both a Stockbridge Mohican and a minister. But Slingerland was also a very partisan political leader. He didn't act alone, so maybe I shouldn't single him out, but his closed-door negotiations with Philetus Sawyer are just one of the things he did that were good for his own faction but not good for the ancestors of all of today's Stockbridge Mohicans.

Friday, April 17, 2009

NY Indian Removal Wrap-up

New York Indian Removal, Part XX:
New York Indian Removal Wrap-up

It is time to put an end to the New York Indian Removal Series in Algonkian Church History. Most of the scholarship related to the New York Indians is primarily about the Iroquois tribes and there's a good reason for that - the Iroquois nations occupied more land than the Algonkians when the state was working to rid itself of the Natives. This series of posts points the way to existing Iroquois-focused resources and features my own research about the New York Algonkians. Let me give you a summary of the series:

Part I: The Stockbridges Attempt a Move to Indiana. A letter from Thomas Jefferson is not honored by officials of later administrations.

Part II: Eleazar Williams. A missionary among the Oneidas (see photo above), of mixed race (part Mohawk), is hungry for power, and envisions being the leader of a grand confederacy in the west.

Part III: Why did They Leave? (The answer, of course, has a lot more to do with the intentions of white Americans than with the Indians themselves.)

Part IV: Conspiracy of Interests. A book by Professor Laurence Hauptman describes the factors that led to the removal of New York Indians - he doesn't, however, have a lot to say about the Algonkians.

Part V: Jedidiah Morse. A Congregational minister has some influence in Washington D.C.

Part VI: Negotiations and Arrivals. Good historians have gotten some of this wrong. If you need to know what-happened-when vis-a-vis the negitiations and arrivals of the New York Indians in Wisconsin, this is an important post.

Part VII: Metoxen Takes Center Stage. The New York Indians were set up against the Wisconsin Natives. This post includes a link to a remarkable speech John Metoxen made at the Council of 1830.

Part VIII: The Disaffected Party. Are the New York Indians going to be pushed further west? This question and other issues arouse tribal factionalism for the Stockbridge Mohicans.

Part IX: Ellis Describes More Negotiations. If Andrew Jackson (pictured above riding a horse) wanted the Stockbridge, Munsee, and Brothertown Indians to move to some swampy land, how did they wind up on the good farmland east of Lake Winnebago?

Part X: The Need for a Constitution. Seeing how the U.S. government handles other tribes appears to have motivated John W. Quinney to write a tribal constitution for the Stockbridge Mohicans.

Part XI: Munsee Removal and the Quinney's Perspective. The arrival of roughly 200 Munsees prompt John W. and Austin E. Quinney to write a letter to the U.S. Secretary of War.

Part XII: The First Permanent Split in the Stockbridge Tribal Church. The Disaffected Party beaks away from Calvinist missionary Cutting Marsh's church. They hold their own Baptist services.

Part XIII: More About the Munsees. The "partnership" between the Stockbridges and the Munsees is an on-again-off-again kind of thing.

Part XIV: The Treaty of 1839. Half the Stockbridge reservation in Calumet County is sold to the federal government. Members of the Disaffected party and the Munsees head to what is now Kansas.

Part XV: They Left on the Sabbath. Puritan author Electa Jones describes the emmigration to Kansas.

Part XVI: On to Minnesota? The treaty of 1848 was supposed to provide a new reservation to a faction of the Stockbridge Indians - but details were never agreed upon.

Part XVII: Jotham Meeker and the Two Minute Books. We find members of the Disaffected Party and Munsees continuing on in the Baptist faith west of the Missouri River.

Part XVIII: Establishment of the Shawano County Reservation. The treaty of 1856 established a new reservation - but the land is not good for farming.

Part XIX: The Munseees: According to an Indian Party Brief. Munsee Indians came and went. How many Munsees were with the Stockbridge Indians in the late 1800's? (hint: count them on your fingers).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Munsees: According to an Indian Party Brief

New York Indian Removal, Part XIX:
The Munsees: According to an Indian Party Brief

I've made some references to an "Indian Party Brief" in past posts. It is a document that was once written up on behalf of the federally recognized faction of the Stockbridge Mohicans, more commonly known as the Indian Party. I am not aware of the "Indian Party Brief" existing anywhere today aside from the source I got it from, which is the January 1932 issue of Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly. The authors of the document appear to be Edwin Willits, J. H. McGowan, Samuel Shelleboyer, and Jeremiah M. Wilson (McGowan was a member of the U. S. House of Representatives in the 1890's).

Here is what they have to say about the Munsees:

Under...[the] Treaty of 1856...there was an enrollment of 409 souls, of whom 58 were of the Munsees of New York, included in the Treaty of September 3, 1839, who had never emigrated from New York to Wisconsin and whose connection with the tribe had from that time been declared sundered by the Stockbridge tribe....
and here's another quote that will give you an idea of which Indians lived on the Shawano County reservation at certain points in time:

The Indian Party, not having removed until 1859, were paid nothing until after their removal, and the withholding of the payment was one of the strong inducements that led them to acquiesce in the removal. After these moneys had been paid, and about in the years 1859 and 1860, the Citizen's Party as a body (with one or two exceptions),and the Munsee Party, a few of whom came West to receive their money (with the exception of one family), abandoned the reservation, leaving on it the Indian Party family of Munsees, and two of the Citizen Party, to wit, Stephen Gardner and his father, William Gardner....
There will be more about the Gardners in future posts, but in regards to the vast majority of the 58 New York Munsees, the best guess I have is that they went back to where they came from. (For a number of years, but not "permanently.")

I've also found a government document from 1875 that confims that the remnant of Munsees living among the Stockbridge Mohicans numbered "About a half dozen" at that time. (Source: Records of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1875, you'll have to scroll a long way to get to "Munsees").

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

William Gardner: Mohican or Narragansett?

The State Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin --->

A document that I found in the John C. Adams Papers (box 1, folder 1) at the State Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin, a few years ago, says something in its own right, but I think I also learned something about "Mohican" identity when I shared it via an online community.

Since the document I found is basically a handwritten copy of an earlier document, the quotation marks you see are as they appear in the original. Due to the nature of blogger technology, I had to add the three lines on the bottom in order to indent those lines. Otherwise, I consider this to be a faithful transcription:

"At a legal council called and [illegible] by the inhabitants of the Town of Stockbridge, this 4th day of April, A.D. 1825, at the School House near Capt. Hendricks[;]
In the first place unanimously voted to adopt William Gardner of the Narragansett Tribe of Indians, he is hereby adopted into the Stockbridge Tribe of Indians conditional for him to go with our people to Green Bay this ensuing season and there to enjoy Equal privilege of said Tribe."
A true copy of the "Town Records"
________________John N. Chicks
________________Secretary of the Stockbridge
________________Tribe of Indians
Wis. Ter.
Oct. 1839
Let me explain the context of this document. As James Oberly has noted, the "Quinney Constitution" of 1837 put an end to adopting into the tribe Indians that weren't from the Stockbridge community. Therefore, the "Town Records" from 1825 had become relevant because there was apperently some controversy over whether or not William Gardner and his descendants belonged to the Stockbridge or Mohican nation.

Ethnically, nobody questioned the facts. Gardner was a Narragansett. Oh yeah, he had African-American blood too and that may have been part of the controversy. But my point here is that William Gardner had no "Mohican" blood. But he was a full-fledged Stockbridge Indian, or Stockbridge Mohican, if you prefer.

I subscribe to an online community, a Yahoo newsgroup, called The Mohican 7. It was founded by a descendant of William Gardner who I have not met in real life. Several weeks ago, the Gardner descendant who founded the Mohican 7 sent a message out to the group rejoicing that she had located some documentation of the fact that her ancestor, William Gardner, was a "real" Mohican.

At that point I sent out a message which included the same transcription of the document I quoted above and I told the Gardner descendant that I thought she was wrong, because my document clearly said that her ancestor was a Narragansett. But she came back with another message saying that the document I found proved that she was right, because it said that William Gardner was adopted into the Stockbridge Mohicans.

There are still members of the tribe who prefer to abbreviate the name of their tribe to "Stockbridge" rather than "Mohican," because "Stockbridge" makes more sense from a historical perspective. But right now more people are proud to call themselves "Mohicans."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Weequehela and his Descendants

A document which I consider to be "good" genealogy is The Descendants of Weequehela by Caroline Andler, the tribal genealogist of the Brothertown Indians of Wisconsin. Weequehela's descendants belong to the interconnected Brotherton, Stockbridge, and Brothertown Indian tribes. (Intermarriage between the Stockbridge, Brotherton, and Brothertown Indians occurred when they lived as neighbors in New York State and Calumet County, Wisconsin.)

It seems that it was Rich Walling who put something up about Weequehela, a very prosperous New Jersey Delaware Indian, on the net a few years ago. Use this link to read about Weequehela's crime and apparently unlawful execution.

Weequehela and his wife, Sarah Store, had a daughter who was also named Sarah Store. The younger Sarah Store was (according to a statement her son made to Rev. Cutting Marsh) brought to the Christian faith by the mission work of David Brainerd. Use this link to read about the Brainerd brothers.

The younger Sarah Store married the Brotherton interpreter and schoolmaster, Stephen Calvin (the surname of Calvin was common among Presbyterians/Congregationalists/Puritans at that time). Stephen and Sarah had at least two children, Hezekiah, and Bartholomew.

Bartholomew S. Calvin's Indian name was Shawuskhkung, which is interpreted either as "Wilted Grass," or "Place of the Wilted Grass."

I will have more about Bartholomew Calvin and his descendants in future posts. But for now, I'll leave you with part of the statement he made to the New Jersey legislature. As a relatively old man living in Stockbridge, Wisconsin, Bartholomew Calvin went back to New Jersey to collect $2000 that the state owed the remnant of his people for their treaty rights, and made a speech to their lawmakers with this rather often-quoted line:

"Not a drop of our blood have you spilled in battle; not an acre of ground have you taken but by our consent. These facts speak for themselves and need no comment. They place the character of New Jersey in bold relief and bright example to those states within whose territorial limits our brethren still remain. Naught save benisons can fall upon her from the lips of a Lenni-Lenape."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Tribal Reorganization of the Stockbridge-Munsee

If you've read about how the Stockbridge Mohicans were left for dead, you can appreciate their tribal resurrection. Although James Oberly did a good job of writing about the tribal comeback (with a politcal focus), I really like the broader focus of John Savagian in his article that appeared in the Autumn, 1993 issue (v.77, n.1) of the Wisconsin Magazine of History. The full title of that article is "The Tribal Reorganization of the Stockbridge-Munsee: Essential Conditions in the Re-Creation of a Native American Community, 1930-1942." (Incidentally, Savagian is a history professor at Alverno College in Milwaukee and he's also a reader of Algonkian Church History.)

As Savagian points out, the Stockbridges saw their land base in Shawano County go from over 40,000 acres in 1856 to less than one hundred acres by the 1930's. He observed that the strong-willed Carl Miller (probably a Quinney descendant) began corresponding with Franklin D. Roosevelt's Commissioner of Indian Affairs, John Collier, early in 1934. Collier was seeking Indian support for the Wheeler-Howard bill and he got it from the unofficial leaders of the Stockbridge Mohicans.

The Wheeler-Howard bill, after being gutted of the funding that was intended to go with it, was passed into law and became known as the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934. In some of the reading I've done, the IRA is bashed because it didn't prove helpful to some tribes, but that same law gave the Stockbridge Mohicans the opportunity they needed.

As Savagian tells it, eleven families [Oberly says it was twenty families] were chosen to settle on the submarginal land purchased from the Brooks and Ross Lumber Company. Carl Miller and Superintendent Ralph Fredenberg from the Bureau of Indian Affairs picked the first families based on their willingness to "make a good showing." The work of their hands in their first harvest in the fall of 1937 proved their industrious nature:

"They gathered 500 bushels of potatoes, 500 bushels of corn, fifty bushels of rutabagas, twenty bushels of beets, fifteen bushels of carrots, and 300 squash and pumpkins. They prepared 500 quarts of fruit preserves, gathered thirty tons of hay and corn fodder, and raised eight cows, nine horses, eight hogs, and 125 chickens" (Savagian, 56).
Much of Savagian's article is about how the Stockbridges ironically benefitted from the Great Depression. Only because the economy of the whole country needed a boost were New Deal programs available for the tribe to use in the re-establishment of their reservation.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Given Up for Dead

Does the Good Friday/Easter theme of death and resurrection occur in an episode of Algonkian Church History? You bet it does!

While I'd be setting myself up for some angry comments if I said that the Stockbridge Mohicans had actually "died," there was a time when they were given up for dead. In 1915, an amateur historian from Massachusetts concluded his version of the history of the Stockbridge Indians with this statement:

"The tribe organization, so far as the United States takes cognizance has been abandoned, though it is said that some kind of tribal organization is recognized by the Indian descendants of to-day. Thus ends the strange and pathetic story of the 'friends of our fathers' with whom the history of Stockbridge [Massachusetts] begins"(Bowker, page 62).
Twenty-two years later, a Wisconsin historian made a similar statement:

"Stockbridge history, from the year 1843, tends more and more toward the ruin of that interesting tribe"(Joseph Schafer, 58).
As I'll explain in future posts, the partisan in-fighting between the Citizen party and the Indian party really took its toll on the Stockbridge Mohicans. In 1895 U.S. Secretary of the Interior Hoke Smith wrote a directive which abolished the Stockbridge-Munsee tribal government and set up a business committee to replace it. Smith really didn't have the legal authority to dissolve the tribe, but that was the point of his directive. In 1910 and 1915 the last of the plots on the dwindling reservation were allotted and payments were made to individuals.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An Unusual Event: Ourada Tells the Menominee Conversion Story

The conversion story of the Menominees was my first exposure to Algonkian church history. Many years ago, my third grade teacher had us watch a weekly series about the history of Wisconsin. As you might imagine, I remember very little about that television series, but I never forgot the story that I will pass on to you in this post.

Patricia Ourada, who also wrote a Menominee tribal history aimed at a more "adult" audience, is the author of The Menominee , a title that is part of the Indians of North America series which I introduced a few weeks ago.

The map above, taken from page 23, shows how the French fur traders and missionaries were able to come as far as what is now Green Bay, Wisconsin as early as the 1600's.

The map below, taken from page 61, shows the current Menominee Reservation.

Here's the Menominee conversion story as told by Patricia Ourada on page 27:

In 1671, Father Louis Andre' came to minister to the Indians and lived among the Menominee until 1684. Andre' gained the trust of the tribe through an unusual event. In 1673, the Indians believed that the sturgeon run had bypassed the Menominee River. Fearing the loss of a major source of their food, they begged the priest to help them. He said, 'Take down your sun symbol from the high pole. We will raise a great cross instead.' The Indians did as the priest advised. The next morning, for whatever reason, the fish returned to the river. The grateful Menominee thanked Father Andre' and pledged their life to God forevermore.
In the next paragraph (pages 27-28) Ourada explains how far the conversion actually went:

During his stay with the tribe, Andre' baptized children and adults and persuaded them to abandon their worship of animal gods and the sun. However, the priest's attempt to make the people give up their traditional dances and magic was less successful. He also scolded the people for wearing what he deemed as too little clothing in the summertime, but this only made the Menominee laugh. Nevertheless, relations between Andre' and the Indians were generally good, and his work made many Menominee loyal converts to the Catholic faith.
According to Ourada, at the time her book came out (1990), "80 percent of the Menominee people [were] Roman Catholics."

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rich Walling's New Jersey Delaware Site

I've met Rich Walling and seen some of his research in print form, but I was not aware of his website until today. He claims that it is a "new site and still under construction," but it is already loaded with material.

The title of the site is:
Brotherton and Weekping Indian Communities of New Jersey.

The purpose of the website, as Walling makes clear, is to put primary source documents related to the New Jersey Delaware Indians online. The bulk of those documents, are from a "hitherto untapped archival source," from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Other documents came from the Quaker Collection at Haverford College, PA, and the New York Historical Society.

This sign, although accurate in what it says, neglects to point out that, by moving to the Oneida's land, the Brotherton Indians were also joining the Stockbridge Mohicans' church.

The Brotherton Delawares in New Jersey were not cut off from other Christian Algonkians. See, for example, these documents in which Rev. Samson Occum is called to be the Brotherton's minister. Included farther along under that link are journal entries from Occum's travels among the New Jersey Indians and some other material related to Captain Hendrick Aupaumut and other Stockbridge Mohicans.

I wholeheartedly recommend Rich Walling's Brotherton and Weepking site.

See my post introducing the Brotherton Delaware Indians.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dr. John Peter Quinney

As you may remember from my post of 3/25/2009, the treaty of 1856 had the Stockbridge Indians moving from Calumet County to Shawano County (use this link to see a Wisconsin map) but since the land wasn't well-suited to farming, not all of them made the move. John Peter Quinney was one Stockbridge Mohican who was living in Calumet County in 1850 but never showed up in any Shawano County census. Instead, he moved to Dodge County (see map at right) where he lived first in Beaver Dam and later moved to Watertown. Somewhere along the way he married a woman who was a native of Prussia, Germany.

John P. Quinney was a physician by trade. Several decades after he died, a ledger and a small notebook in which he wrote down some of his treatments were copied and those typed copies were mailed to the Wisconsin State Historical Society where they are preserved to this day. (Here's a link to the record for the John Peter Quinney Papers, the document itself is not currently online.)

Some of his treatments and even some of the names of symptoms and illnesses which he discusses are difficult for me to make out, maybe the best I can do here is to quote the document - which claims to be verbatim, spelling included:

"Receipt for Hair Growing"
Take fine Salt, rub over the head briskly,
[Then] make a decoction of burdock root, And
Sage equal quantity, To rub over the head three times
a day.
When the hair is coming on, Shave it in order to increase its groth.

Above: Burdock root.

Right: Prickly Ash berries

Here's another one:

"Bidders [Bitters?] for a Weak Constitution"
Best rye whiskey pint
water one pint
Best underground Peruvian Bark 1 oz.
Columbo root 1 oz.
Prickly Ash berries 1 oz.
Black Cherry bark 1 oz.
Poke or Skoke root 1/4th oz.
Mandrake Root 1/4th oz.
Cloves 1/4th oz.
Of all to be dry articles and pulverized
before puting into Spirits.
Doz. Tea Spoon full to begin with. incrase
dayly untill to one table Spoon full no more.

Above left: Mandrake root
Above right: Cherry bark

John P. Quinney's medicine wasn't completely herbal, here's an example of his kind of "western medicine":

"Rumatic Latiner Linement"
1 Z Muriatoc acid
1 Z Spirits Turpentine
bathe with this on the afflicted part three or four times a day

Quinney even used fried "Rabbits liver" as an ingredient for spasms. Unfortunately, the rest of that treatment, "about seven short lines, is illegible," according to the man who borrowed the original manuscript from Quinney's grandson.

Below right: Rabbit's liver