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The Killing of Chief Joe White, 1894: articles & court documents

@ Wisconsin Historical Society


Treaties signed in 1837, 1842, and 1854 guaranteed the Ojibwe the right to hunt and fish without restriction on their ceded lands in northern Wisconsin. During the 1880s and 1890s, the State of Wisconsin enacted wildlife conservation laws that limited hunting and fishing, and applied them to the Ojibwe as well as to white settlers regardless of federal treaty stipulations. On Dec. 13, 1894, chief Joe White (ca. 1838-1894) was met at Long Lake, in Washburn Co., by a local game warden and law officer, who arrested him for hunting deer out of season. Although White agreed to come with them peaceably, they attempted to handcuff him and a scuffle broke out. The only eyewitness accounts, forensic analysis, and ballistics evidence show that the game warden clubbed White in the head with his rifle and that, as he ran away from his assailants, the deputy shot him at a distance of nearly 30 yards. Chief White died two hours later. An inquest was held on Dec. 21, and the Washburn Co. d
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Wisconsin Historical Society

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Recollection Wisconsin