Letters about white incursions onto Indian lands in 1827
@ Wisconsin Historical Society
DescriptionJoseph Street arrived in Prairie du Chien late in 1827 as the new Indian agent, and was immediately disturbed by the way miners and other white settlers had ignored U.S. treaties and occupied Indian lands. Since one of his main duties was to preserve peace, Street was worried about a full-scale war (which ultimately broke out five years later), and in these four letters he describes why the patience of the Indians was wearing thin. In the first three letters, to his political patron Ninian Edwards, he describes the situation in the closing weeks of 1827. In the fourth, a long manuscript letter to the U.S. War Dept., he describes the tensions caused by the flood of white squatters and his fears that the situation will grow violent. In this fourth letter Ho-Chunk elders are quoted at length, the illegal occupation of Indian land by Henry Dodge is detailed, and the so-called Winnebago War of 1827 is reviewed in detail, including the surrender of Red Bird. At the end of this manuscript let
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