Frank Weinhold, "Black Otter's Narrative: Wisconsin Native Recollections Relating to Pre-History of the Lewis-Clark Expedition," 1-27, in The Encyclopedia of Hocąk (Winnebago) Mythology.

Stable URL: (to be supplied after Nov. 11, 2020).


Introduction: The Chandler-Green Recordings | Who Made the Wax Recordings? | What was Recorded on the Cylinders, How Were They Transcribed, and Where Are They Now? | How Was the War-Bundle Narrative Recovered? | What is the Story of Black Otter's War Bundle? | When and Where Did These Events Occur? | How Do These Events Relate to the Lewis and Clark Expedition? | Who Were the Missouria People, and How Did They Come to be Associated With This Central Missouri Region? | Synopsis: Black Otter's Eyewitness Account of the Missouria Village Raid | Can the Oral Tradition be Verified by Independent Historical, Archaeological, and Ethnographic Evidence? | Conclusion | Acknowledgments | References |


Figure 1. Milford G. Chandler | Figure 2. Mark Green with Sam Blowsnake Carley | Figure 3. Forrest Green (with author's wife) at the Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial, mid-1990s; Monte Green at Louis' Bluff, 2007 | Figure 4. William Hall Jr. and family, about 1920 | Figure 5. Abel Green with wife Nina (“Sunshine”) and baby son Mark, about 1930 | Figure 6. Mitchell Red Cloud Sr. of Black River Falls/Hatfield. He was a World War I veteran and father of famous Korean War Medal of Honor winner Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. | Figure 7. Rachel S. Commons with father John R. Commons and brother Jack at their Madison home Hocheera (Ho-Chunk “abode”; “lodge”) about 1920 | Figure 8. The Lewis and Clark Expedition in Missouri, “The Departure from the Wood River Encampment, May 14, 1804” | Figure 9. Map of the Missouria Village site and other locations near the mouth of Grand River, comparing present and former river boundaries | Figure 10. Current topography of Chariton Co. MO, showing Cutoff Lake that marks the approximate location of Three Point Island in the former river channel | Figure 11. Winnebago war dance, by Peter Rindisbacher | Figure 12. Siouan scalp dance, by Karl Bodmer | Figure 13. Dog Head's signature on the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, August 19, 1825. The portrait of Dog Head, also known as “Little Duck”, painted at the treaty of Green Bay, 1827. Entitled, “She-Sheba or The Little Duck: A Celebrated Winnebago Chief”, by J. O. Lewis. | Figure 14. Near-contemporary portraits of Winnebago, Sauk-Fox, and Missouri warriors (possible participants in the battle). Winnebago warrior Hoowanneka (“Little Elk”), by George Cook; Sauk-Fox warrior Powasheek, by George Cook; Missouri chief Haw-che-ke-sug-ga (“He Who Kills the Osages”), by George Catlin | Figure 15. Archaeological display at the Visitor's Center of Van Meter State Park, Missouri | Figure 16. Black Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak), by Charles Bird King |


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Black Otter's Narrative: Wisconsin Native Recollections
Relating to Pre-History of the Lewis-Clark Expedition

Frank Weinhold

Introduction: The Chandler-Green Recordings

Shortly before his death in 1920, an aged Winnebago (now Ho-Chunk) in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, sat before an ornate Ediphone recording cabinet and began speaking into a trumpet-shaped horn, recounting the ancestral Worâk tradition of his family's sacred war bundle while his second-born son listened attentively:

Higû ́hayninegì hap'énîk wa'û ́âhírejè.
Hirarextcîgàdjâ wirá haghép hujé.
Égi Pû ́zakexétenâkà homâkíni ...

As ancient phrases animated a diaphragm, the attached stylus scratched a barely perceptible pattern on the rotating wax cylinder, slowly cranked by its white owner. Although the words were incomprehensible to the white man, the son listened eagerly to the heroic tales, passed down to his father through generations of ritual recitals. Frequent interruptions were required to mount the new cylinders, each holding only about two minutes of recording. One after another the white man carefully stored the imprinted cylinders in boxes, ready for the return train to his home in Chicago.

Such in essence is the opening chapter of a complex mystery story that spans more than two centuries of Wisconsin and Midwestern history. The story is tied to multiple locales and epochs and touches on the oral traditions of Indian prehistory as well as the documented history of American westward expansion. Central to these mysteries is the cache of wax cylinders, which its co-creators must have considered a virtual “Rosetta Stone” to preserve the voice of pre-European spiritual and historical traditions that were fast fading from living memories.

Who were the participants in this unlikely partnership? What were the recollections entrusted to the wax cylinders, and how were intact narratives recovered from scratchy recordings of an archaic Winnebago dialect, virtually unintelligible to fluent native speakers of the 1950s who first attempted their translation? When and where did the recounted events unfold, and how can their authenticity be tested against current historical and archaeological evidence? Most importantly, how can the narratives serve to critically assess the usefulness of traditional Winnebago oral history in illuminating pivotal events of American pre-history?

The present article addresses these questions in the context of one major segment of the recordings -- the origin of Black Otter's war bundle. We describe the provenance and content of this remarkable narrative and propose its probable association with a dramatic 18th-century event in the lower Missouri Valley that was to significantly impact the subsequent Lewis-Clark exploration of this region.


In recounting both the origins and significance of Black Otter’s narrative, our presentation touches on many details of Wisconsin and Missouri Valley pre-history, as well as aspects of Black Hawk’s Autobiography, the founding of St. Louis, and other topics of broader regional interest. Nevertheless, the story as it can presently be told has deepest roots in Wisconsin, ranging from Black Otter’s home village near Green Lake to the Black River Falls and Wisconsin Dells regions where the narrative was recorded and eventually deciphered. The story is not yet complete, but its continuation awaits further archaeological explorations along the Lewis and Clark Trail, near the confluence of the Grand and Missouri Rivers in Chariton County, Missouri.

Who Made the Wax Recordings?

The protagonists in recording the cylinders were Milford Chandler (1889-1981), an automotive engineer originally from the Detroit area, and Mark Green (1862-1920), a full-blood Winnebago from Black River Falls. Exactly how these men first came to be acquainted and the extent of their interaction is uncertain. Nevertheless, enough is known about each man to suppose that their eventual meeting was very probable, if not inevitable.

Milford G. Chandler [Figure 1] was a pioneering collector of Indian art whose acquisitions from Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region were later to become the nucleus of the world-famous Chandler-Pohrt collection [1], assembled in collaboration with his long-time apprentice and colleague, Richard A. Pohrt, Sr. The Chandler-Pohrt collection would eventually encompass Indian treasures from throughout North America, and its holdings would be prominently featured in Indian art exhibitions worldwide. But the foundation of Chandler's early acquisitions was a network of Indian acquaintances in the Winnebago communities of central and western Wisconsin, visited regularly on weekend train trips from Chicago. Further details of Chandler's remarkable life and the Chandler-Pohrt collection are described elsewhere [2].


Figure 1. Milford G. Chandler (reprinted from Ref. [1])

Mark J. Green [Figure 2] (Nâgiga, fourth-born son) was the direct descendant of Black Otter (DocA'nAksEpga [3]), his paternal grandfather (born ca. 1779) and Clear Horn (father, born ca. 1820). He had inherited possession of his family's war bundle and became the first of his family line to receive a “white man's name”. The Green surname is carried on by his descendants in Wisconsin, including Monte Green of Tomah and Forrest Green of Wisconsin Dells [Figure 3], who currently possess the bundle and kindly provided background information for this article. The close personal ties that existed between Chandler and the Green family are indicated by the fact that one of Mark Green's grand-nephews, Forrest and Monte's father, was named Milford Chandler Green.


Figure 2. Mark Green (left) with Sam Blowsnake Carley (Van Schaick Collection, WHi-48021).

Figure 3. Forrest Green (with author's wife) at the Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial, mid-1990s; Monte Green at Louis' Bluff, 2007.


What was Recorded on the Cylinders, How Were They Transcribed, and Where Are They Now?

Chandler's collection of wax recordings eventually grew to hundreds of cylinders, of which only 87 are known to survive, representing 25 segments recorded by Mark Green, Frank Charles Allen, and other unidentified informants in the years 1918-1926. Chandler originally deposited the cylinders with the Cranbrook Institute of Science (Detroit), but in 1945 they were forwarded to Prof. Thomas Sebeok at Indiana University for transcription. Sebeok carried out field work at Black River Falls with Stella Stacy (Mountain Wolf Woman [4]), Andrew Blackhawk, and Alvin Stacy, and was able to obtain two fragmentary texts that were later published [5]. The linguistic work was subsequently taken up by Prof. Gerd Fraenkel (U. Pittsburgh), who obtained retellings of some of the stories from informants Adam Thundercloud, Andrew Blackhawk, Stella Stacy, Jim Smoke (Chief Daybreak of Stand Rock Indian Ceremonial fame), and Alvin Stacy in Black River Falls, Wisconsin Dells, and Greenwood, Wisconsin, in 1959 [6]. Fraenkel's transcriptions also included earlier material recorded by Paul Radin at Winnebago, Nebraska, in 1908, as well as a 1939 New York City performance by Chief Sam Blowsnake (Radin's principal informant), recorded by Amelia Susman Schultz and George Herzog. However, the ravages of time, misordered cylinders, and general poor quality of the original recordings prevented much of the material of the wax cylinders (including scattered fragments of the Black Otter war bundle story) from being recovered in coherent form [7]. The cylinders and their best available transcriptions, with additional translations by William Hall [Figure 4] of Black River Falls, are currently preserved in the Archives of Traditional Music at Indiana University [8].

Figure 4. William Hall Jr. and family, about 1920 (courtesy Ho-Chunk Department of Heritage Preservation).


In the 1970s, Chandler entrusted to Benson Lanford of Ashford, Oregon, a RITEWORTHY Stenographer's Note Book, described as “Bill Hall's Narrative/Translation of Andrew Black Hawk's narrative (translation) of a portion of the tapes (cylinder records) recorded by Mark Green, Black River Falls, Wisconsin”. The note book consists of 40 pages of cursive script describing Winnebago participation in the War of 1812 and the Winnebago origin myth, as well as Black Otter's war bundle story in a much less coherent form.

How Was the War-Bundle Narrative Recovered?

Late in 2001, Monte Green came into possession of a second war bundle and an alternative transcript of the Mark Green narration. His brother Forrest, then living at Louis' Bluff near Wisconsin Dells, provided a copy to the present author in mid-December, 2001. Recognizing the potential historical importance of the narrative, the author initiated inquiries with Richard L. Dieterle (U. Minnesota; hotcakencyclopedia.com), Bob Birmingham (Wisconsin State Archaeologist), Richard Pohrt, Sr. and Benson Lanford (longtime Chandler associates), and Prof. R. J. DeMallie of Indiana University, all of whom contributed valuable information for the preparation of this article.

Surprisingly, the “new” narration was obtained not from the wax cylinders, but from the young son, Abel Green [Figure 5], who was present during the recordings! The typescript narrative is identified as being “Told by Abel Green, present owner of this bundle, informant member of Bear Clan” [9], with the additional annotation, “Interpreter M. Red Cloud” [Figure 6]. The collector of the narrative and preparer of the typescript was Rachel S. Commons [Figure 7], a University of Chicago graduate anthropology student doing her field work in Wisconsin under a Rockefeller Foundation grant. Commons apparently recorded Mitchell Red Cloud's free English interpretation in shorthand as the story was being recited to Red Cloud by Abel Green, then prepared the annotated typescript (as quoted below) and recorded its collection in her field book on August 25, 1931. However, due to her untimely death and the onset of World War II, the field work was never brought to fruition, and the typescript languished in university archives until brought to the attention of Monte Green and others in 2001 [10].


Figure 5. Abel Green with wife Nina (“Sunshine”) and baby son Mark, about 1930 (courtesy Ho-Chunk Department of Heritage Preservation).

Figure 6. Mitchell Red Cloud Sr. of Black River Falls/Hatfield (courtesy Milwaukee Public Museum). He was a World War I veteran and father of famous Korean War Medal of Honor winner Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. (http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/dictionary/ index.asp?action=view&term_id12117&keyword=Birth)


Figure 7. Rachel S. Commons with father John R. Commons and brother Jack at their Madison home Hocheera (Ho-Chunk “abode”; “lodge”) about 1920; WHi(x3)37686. Her father was a noted UW-Madison economics professor and LaFollette advisor, regarded as the “spiritual father” of Social Security (www.wisconsinhistory.org/topics/commons).

What is the Story of Black Otter's War Bundle?

In short, the narrative recounts Black Otter's first war party and the destruction of a large Indian village that occupied an island in the Missouri River, far from the Wisconsin homelands of the mixed Sauk/Winnebago raiders. Black Otter's actions in this notable victory constituted his family's most glorious claim to fame in the Winnebago warrior tradition. In the ritualized conventions of Indian warfare, high honors were accorded the first warrior to count coup (touch an opponent with a feather) or, even higher, the first to take an opponent captive (for eventual torture and death), as Black Otter was able to accomplish. Even as a youth (14 years old at the time, according to Hall), Black Otter fully realized his good fortune in delivering the first enemy captive to the war leader, insuring that his and his family's name would have the honored first position in all future tribal rituals recalling and celebrating the great victory. For this achievement, the war chief's highest reward, coveted by every warrior of the war party, was a ceremonial bone-bead belt. This and related war objects belonged to Black Otter's war bundle that his descendants proudly preserve to the present day.

The sections of Black Otter's war-bundle narrative quoted below focus on details of the battle, as best a young boy on his first warpath could recognize them under the circumstances. The full transcript also includes biographical details of his premature birth and orphaned upbringing, as well as his miraculous survival from a childhood fall through the ice.


It also recounts the religious practices, dreams and premonitions that foreshadowed his fortune as a warrior, mystically associating, e.g., a youthful duck-hunting incident with his later battlefield triumph. But despite its mystical overlay, the narrative reflects a Winnebago warrior's canny acuity and attention to minute details of his environment as he verbally reconstructs the attack on the village. Black Otter's recollections include many interesting details concerning his own war party as well as the hapless villagers who fell victim to the onslaught. These details, as well as the physical evidence of the war bundle, provide opportunities for assessing the accuracy and self-consistency of the recollections in the framework of other historical evidence, as discussed below.

When and Where Did These Events Occur?

Given the chronology of the Green family tree and the average length of a generation, one can roughly estimate that the events described by Black Otter must have occurred near the close of the 18th century. This is also consistent with other internal evidence of the Green recordings, which places these events before the ill-starred involvement with Tecumseh's rebellion in the War of 1812 [11]. Thus, we may safely conclude that the battle at the Missouri River village site (as explicitly located in the narrative) must have occurred within a few years of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806, which opened the great Missouri riverway to the surge of westward American expansion. Unless the Indian raid on the island village site somehow occurred after Lewis and Clark passed through (implausible on the basis of time constraints leading up to the war at Tippecanoe), or unless the village massacre site somehow escaped the close scrutiny of the Corps of Discovery (even more implausible!), we may fairly conclude that historical evidence of the raiding site should be found in the extensive documentation of the Lewis and Clark expedition [12], as well as in subsequent archaeological investigations. This indeed appears to be the case. Based on evidence presented below, we suggest that the events described by Black Otter probably occurred in the spring of 1793 [13], perhaps on the “Three Point Island” passed by Lewis and Clark on June 13, 1804, in Chariton County, Missouri, near Lake and Palmer Creeks, southeast of present Brunswick.

How Do These Events Relate to the Lewis and Clark Expedition?

According to the directives that Jefferson presented to Lewis and Clark [14], the Corps of Discovery was to seek out contacts with all the Indian tribes established along the Missouri River, announce the transition to American sovereignty, and endeavor to consolidate peaceful relations among the tribes and favorable trading arrangements with St. Louis. Accordingly, as the Corps departed from St. Louis in May of 1804 [Figure 8], their first priority was to encounter remnants of the Missouria tribe that had traditionally occupied central Missouri, giving the state and river its name. The search for the chiefs of the Missourias and Otoes, with whom the Missourias had taken up refuge, was to dominate the Corps' attention through the first two months of the expedition, until the council with these chiefs was finally convened near the present site of Council Bluffs, Iowa, in early August, 1804.


Figure 8. The Lewis and Clark Expedition in Missouri, “The Departure from the Wood River Encampment, May 14, 1804” (original painting by Gary R. Lucy; Gary R. Lucy Gallery)

Along the way, Lewis and Clark took note of the sad circumstances that had overtaken the once-proud Missouria. On June 13, 1804, they recorded that [15]

Between these two creeks is the prairie, in which once stood the ancient village of the Missouris. Of this village there remains no vestige, nor is there anything to recall this great and numerous nation, except a feeble remnant of about 30 families. They were driven from their original seats by the invasions of the Sauks and other Indians from the Mississippi, who destroyed at this village 200 of them in one contest...

Fortunately, an accurate digital remapping of the lower Missouri River was recently prepared by University of Missouri geographer James Harlan and Missouri DNR historian James Denny [16], allowing detailed reconstruction of the Lewis and Clark trail and comparison with modern waypoints. Figure 9 presents a modern map of the region traversed by Lewis and Clark in June 13-15, 1804, showing both the current river boundaries as well as the former track of the river as it appeared to surveyors in the early 1800s, with the campsites and landmarks noted by Lewis and Clark marked as accurately as present reconstructions allow [17]. Details in the individual diaries of expedition members sometimes differed from those quoted in the final report [18], but all suggest the catastrophic destruction of the Missouria village in comparatively recent times.


Figure 9. Map of the Missouria Village site and other locations near the mouth of Grand River, comparing present and former river boundaries (reprinted from Ref. [16]).

The campsite of principal interest is now far from the present river course. As shown in Figure 10, the former oxbow on which the June 13 campsite was situated was cut off in the flooding of 1879, leaving “Cutoff Lake” (currently, a hunting preserve) as a remnant of the abandoned river channel. Superposition of the Harlan-Denny map [16] with that of the current terrain suggests that the Missouria village should be located in close proximity to Cutoff Lake, probably buried under the mud layers of successive inundations that regularly cover the Missouri bottoms.

Figure 10. Current topography of Chariton Co. MO, showing Cutoff Lake that marks the approximate location of Three Point Island in the former river channel.


Who Were the Missouria People, and How Did They Come to be Associated With This Central Missouri Region?

Ethnohistoric evidence indicates the close cultural association of the Missouria people (Niutachi, “People of the River Mouth’’ [19]) with kindred Iowa, Otoe, and Winnebago tribes, all of Chiwere Siouan linguistic group. Tribal traditions of all these tribes hold that they were once a single people in the Winnebago homelands of the Green Bay region. Thereafter, individual bands migrated westward and southward in diverse directions, conferring their names (except the Otoes of Nebraska) on the rivers and regions into which they eventually settled. Archaeological evidence indicates that the Missourias established their prototypical Oneota village (Utz site) at the Grand-Missouri River confluence about 1350 AD [20]. Marquette and Joliet first recorded mention of the upriver “Missourit” tribe as they passed the mouth of Missouri River in 1673.

The tribe reappears in the historical record at Detroit in 1712, where Missourias came to the assistance of the French commandant, Etienne Veniard de Bourgmont, to repel the siege of Fox Indians at Fort Pontchartrain [21]. Bourgmont subsequently abandoned his command, fled with his Missouria wife to the tribal homelands at the mouth of Grand River, and began his extensive explorations of the Missouri River [22]. There he established the French trading outpost of Fort (l')Orleans [23] in 1723, in close proximity to the Missouria village. The Missouria thus became closely allied with French interests, exposing themselves both to the white men's diseases and to ongoing hostilities with the British-backed Fox, Sauk, and allied tribes of the Upper Mississippi, as well as Spanish-backed tribes of the Rio Grande region. These hostilities increased after Fort Orleans was abandoned in 1728, eventually forcing the large Missouria town (then estimated at more than 1000 population) to move from its former upland position to a more secure site in the Missouri bottoms, near a Little Osage village. Hostilities with the Sauk and Fox sharply worsened after 1770 when the Spanish took over St. Louis and enlisted the help of these tribes to oppose French/Missouria influence in the Missouri Valley [24].

The earlier Missouria village (now within the confines of Van Meter State Park, near Miami, MO) is renowned in archaeological circles as the first secure identification of a prototypical “Oneota Phase” site with a historical tribe. The distinctive Oneota characteristics are recognized at archaeological sites throughout the upper Midwest [25], but the long-suspected association with the ancestors of modern Winnebagos, Iowas, and other Chiwere-speaking tribes was unambiguously confirmed at the Missouria site, with its long record of continuous occupation up to historical contact with French traders.

The Missouria people also played a significant role in the founding of St. Louis. As related by Auguste Chouteau [26] (who, with his uncle Pierre Laclede, cleared, and oversaw initial construction at the future city site in early 1764), the small contingent of 30 workmen was surprised and alarmed by the unexpected arrival of the entire Missouria tribe, consisting of 150 warriors and their wives and children (perhaps 500 in all) who were seeking to relocate from their ancient village to escape the threat of Sauk enemies. Although the pitiful Missourias showed no hostility, their presence was naturally unsettling to prospective settlers, who quickly retreated to the Illinois side.


Laclede skillfully persuaded the Missourias to seek an alternative village site upriver, “in a woody place, and covered with brush” so as not to appear as ducks in open water where “birds of prey could discover them easily” and “kill your warriors...and make your women and children slaves”. Within fifteen days of their arrival (during which they assisted in digging cellars for the first buildings of St. Louis), the Missourias took their leave and returned upriver. They apparently chose a succession of lowland village sites, initially in close proximity to a nearby Little Osage village (Plattner and Gumbo Point sites, near present Malta Bend). However, the Little Osage village was itself abandoned in the face of increasing Sauk assaults as effective control of St. Louis passed to the Spanish, and the Missourias eventually moved to their final village site about 20 miles downriver [27], where they suffered the final devastating attack by a massive force of Sauks and their allies.

As noted by Lewis and Clark, the Sauk-led attack culminated in total destruction of the Missouria village, with only a few survivors escaping to join the Otoes along the Platte River in Nebraska, where they were eventually found in 1804. Subsequent studies recorded the further demise of what was “once the most powerful nation on the Missouri river” [28], until no full-blood Missourias were known after 1910 [19].

Lewis and Clark's meeting with the Otoe and Missouria chiefs at Council Bluffs marked the conclusion of the Lower Missouri phase of the expedition. After this, the river course arched westward toward the Dakota, Arikara and Mandan country that lay on the Upper Missouri. However, the valuable experiences gained in this “tame” lower segment of the river were instrumental in their preparations for penetrating the little-known territories that stretched westward to the Pacific Ocean, culminating eventually in their safe return and the brilliant overall success of the expedition. The demise of the Missourias thereby opened the door to exploration of the American interior and paved the way for rapid settlement of areas previously subject to French/Missouria/Osage control.

Synopsis: Black Otter's Eyewitness Account of the Missouria Village Raid

Black Otter had grown up as an orphan under the care of elder brother Big Sand (Poza'kax,Etiga) and his barren wife. Once when Black Otter was still “a little boy”, Big Sand was invited to join a small war party (Dota,'ksik) and Black Otter attempted to go along. But he was sent back to stay with his sister-in-law because “it was believed by the people that no two brothers should go together on a small war-path”. However, he was told that Dog Head (C,unge'page [29]) was going on a warpath in the spring and “everyone would go”.

After Big Sand's safe return and a winter of fasting and preparation, Dog Head named the time when “the weeds were long enough to tie together (about 1 ft. high)” [30] as the signal for the war party to depart. On the chosen day, a feast and night-long Death Dance [Figure 11] were held, at which

...a certain old man came and danced naked, carrying a sawed-off gun. When he stopped dancing, he fired the gun into the air. He went up and spoke to the war-leader, Dog Head.


He said that, however large the village he would attack, this gun would be heard first after the battle had started. He also said that he had asked his daughter to sacrifice a dog that she owned (before the war-party left), and she replied that she was depending on this dog for all the food that she ate, and she would not offer it. Therefore, not being considered as a parent by his daughter, he was going into the enemy's village and leave himself there (be killed).

Figure 11. Winnebago war dance, by Peter Rindisbacher (McKenney-Hall Collection).

At the break of dawn the warriors moved to the first stopping-place (higi a') at the edge of the village, where “all the women relatives of the men came, and brought them moccasins and all different kinds of clothing they had made for them”. Thereafter the war party departed, “walking day after day, all the old warriors went ahead; all the young men who had never been on a warpath before bringing up the rear”. Black Otter's two older brothers accompanied him, as did one of his nephews, “a tall young man” who was “doing all the cooking for the war party”. Their path evidently remained close to the Mississippi river, in a generally southward direction, and one night after they had stopped to camp near the river:

...word went out that they would inquire about certain things that night. There were a good many Sauks who were along, having joined the party after they had left their village. And they were to ask these certain things of Dog Head and one of his cousins. These two were the leaders of the war party. Then, when they had asked Dog Head's cousin, he told them that he was going after the occupants of three long-lodges. What he meant was three long-lodges of the Osage tribe; and the warriors told him that that was not enough scalps to go around. Then they asked Dog Head, and he said he was going after a large pile of driftwood; and the warriors were satisfied with it, because they thought that would be more. And the next morning they started out again.


With that fateful decision, the raiding party's target evidently shifted from a minor village of the Little Osage (near present Malta Bend, MO) to the much larger Missouria village about twenty miles downriver. This village was probably already known to the “good many Sauks who were along” [31], if not to Black Otter and other Winnebagoes, as subsequent events would reveal. As the narrative continues,

...about noon they came to the Missouri River. There was a large island out in the river, and on this island was a large Indian village, and when the people had begun whispering, it sounded as if it could be heard for a long way. While they were sitting there, they appointed from among the party two scouts [32]...One of the scouts had climbed a tree and the other was still on the ground. They saw a certain man coming from the east, carrying a deer on his back. When the scouts saw that this man had seen them, they jumped to the ground and they made sounds like a bear. This man thought he saw that they were bears, but he knew that they were enemy scouts. But he did not run, he just kept walking. When he came up near to where the scouts were, he stopped and shifted the deer over to one side and rested a while. As they looked on, this man waded across to the island and entered the village.

After this man had entered the village, he told some of his relatives that he had seen a large war party, and some did not believe that he had seen what he said, but anyway he took his relatives and fled from the village. And after they had heard that there was a large war party across the river, some of them said, “If these should happen to be Winnebagoes, we will just take them over to where the three long lodges of Osage are, and there we will kill all of them”. And this hunter who had just returned to the village was telling about how he had seen these two scouts in the trees, and how they had jumped to the ground and pretended to be bears, and how he had pretended not to be afraid and had just walked past.

These details were presumably related by the Nu,djatci woman who was later captured and returned with the Winnebagoes. The few surviving Missouria who “fled from the village” were probably the nucleus of the small group that moved upriver to an Otoe village in Nebraska by 1796 [33]. The surviving deer hunter who led the escape may have been one of the Missouria chiefs that Lewis and Clark were to meet six years later at Council Bluffs [14], or even possibly Haw-che-ke-sug-ga, the aged chief of the Missourias who was painted by Catlin in the 1830s [Fig. 14].

The narrative continues with the overnight preparations leading up to the daylight attack, initiated by a surprising gun shot:

They (Winnebago) stayed there all afternoon until evening and about dusk they would enter the village, they planned. In the evening they started. It was very quiet on this evening and when the war party approached, they could be heard a long way. And just as they started wading, when they had reached a depth where the water reached above the knees, Dog Head, the leader, had cramps just then. When that happened he cried out, “I have some cramps in my legs!”, and being quiet, it could be heard over in the village. And some of the warriors said, “The night is not very dark, and we should have a little cloud and a little rain to help us cover up”.


So they offered Dog Head some tobacco. Then Dog Head told how there were some Night Spirit warriors who had blessed him. When he spoke he began to sing, and when he had finished singing, a strong night wind came up. Then, when it had grown dark, all the Sauk that were in the war party surrounded one half of the village, and the Winnebago surrounded the other half; and they almost met on the other end. There were some warriors who walked all along the line of these men who were lying down, and told them the attack would commence immediately at dawn...

Just before daylight there was a heavy fog all around. Just before the attack began, just before they were to give the signal whoop, they heard a gun shot in the village. It was made by the old man who had said he was going to be the first to be heard in the battle; so they did not take time to give a whoop, but they made the attack immediately. So when they had all started at once, it sounded like thunder. When the battle began, there were all sorts of noises to be heard -- the flutes of the war bundles, the cry of the eagle and the blackhawk, and all the different animals represented in the war-bundles, they were all crying out; and the cry of the people was also heard.

Black Otter now describes the details of his capture of the young boy, as well as the frenetic attempts of his brother-in-law and others to steal the glory of the bone-bead belt for delivering the first captive to Dog Head:

Young Black Otter was running about the village. He was not trying to kill anyone, he just went running around. As he entered a certain round-lodge, he found his nephew who was cooking for them, lying on the ground, with arrows and spears piercing his body, and part of his body was in the fireplace. As he was running around, he came to the banks of the river, and he saw a fight going on there also, in the water. He could see the heads of men bobbing up and down. And he saw a canoe floating by, with a buffalo pelt covered over it. So when he saw this, he threw his bow and arrows on the ground, and dove in and came to where the canoe was floating, and seized it. When he had looked underneath the buffalo pelt, he saw two little children lying in the bottom of the canoe. Their heads were shaved. Just as he pulled out the older of the two children, another man (his sister-in-law's brother) came running out from the shore and took this child away from him, so he seized the other. Taking this boy with him, he came to where he had laid his bow and arrows and entered the village...Black Otter started out looking for Dog Head, with his captive. As he went looking for Dog Head, he met a warrior named Thunderbird; and when this man saw that Black Otter had the little boy captive, he tried to take him away from him, but Black Otter just hung on to his prisoner. Then this man [his brother-in-law Waka,'djago] who had taken the little girl captive, started running away with her. Black Otter called for Dog Head, and Dog Head answered somewhere off in the distance, and Black Otter began running in that direction. When he got to the place where Dog Head was, he found him standing there singing; and when he had presented the little boy captive to Dog Head, they put the bone-bead belt on Black Otter, for bringing the first captive given to the chief of the war party. When Black Otter looked at Dog Head, he saw that his body was all painted black, except his hands and his forearm, these were painted red; and also his feet and ankles up to the garter line were all painted red;


and he was painted red also from the ends of the mouth at each side, and the eyes. This was called waru a'prokike' (“war-bundle paint”). The corners of his mouth painted red signified that he had swallowed a whole Indian village -- the blood of the people he had killed.

Black Otter now sets out to share the happiness of the family war honors with his brother Big Sand, all the while safe-guarding the precious bone-bead belt:

And Black Otter set out looking for his brother, and went through the village again. He thought that some one might want to take the belt away from him, so he took his shirt off and wrapped it around his body, and put the shirt on again. When he had entered a certain lodge, he saw a man sitting there eating what they called sour hominy. When the man saw the boy looking, he told him to come in and also to help himself to this hominy; because when they returned from the battle they would have to run four days and four nights; and when they returned, this would be a great story worth while telling among his people. “When we have returned to the village, we can say that while there was a big battle going on, we were eating; and when they have set up a victory pole and they ask us to talk, we can tell them what we did here today”. After he ate some of this hominy, he asked (the man) if he had seen his brother anywhere, that he was looking for him. The man said that he had seen the brother at the other end of the village, so the boy went there, and there he saw his brother. When the older brother saw his little brother there, he asked him what he had done. He said that there were so many killed, that he should have killed one by that time. So Black Otter replied that he had been given the bone-bead belt. He was asked three times what he had done, but he always said that he had received the belt. The brother asked what he had done with the belt, to whom he had given it; so the boy pulled up his shirt and the brother saw that it was all wrapped around his body. When he had seen this, Big Sand, holding his palms out to the rising sun, began to sing a song of thanksgiving...and said that he had been in a number of battles, but he had never won any distinctions; that is there had never been one time when people would know just what he had done. Now when they returned to the village, the people would hear that Black Otter had the distinction of being in the first of that war party -- he (Big Sand) would have the distinction of having his name mentioned whenever this boy's deeds were told -- how Big Sand's little brother had won first honors in that particular battle. His name would be mentioned before they mentioned the boy.

Black Otter's narrative continues with details of the heroic death of Two Crows, the startling discovery from a captive woman's words that they had wiped out a village “of our own tribe”, and the grim sacrifice of the captured boy:

As they stood there, there was a great deal of shooting going on toward the river, so they went over in that direction. When they reached the banks of the river, they saw the little boy who was angry because his sister had not given her dog for sacrifice. He was being shot at by a man in a canoe filled with women. Every time he was shot at, the boy dove, and he was not hit; so the man's friends on the shore were shooting at the little boy. The man in the boat took his bow and arrow and shot the boy in the ribs; and after he had done that he jumped in the river and swam to shore, pulling the boat with him.


When the boy was shot, he cried out that whenever the story was told, there was a boy named Two Crows who had captured a canoe filled with the enemy. He knew that he was going to die, but he wanted someone to hear it, so they would always tell what he did and how he died. This arrow that he had been hit with, had pierced clear through his body, the point coming out on the other side and just the feathers sticking out where it had entered him. He was calling for someone to pull it out, but they told him to wait for those who had the Stench Earth medicine. They had been called and they would be coming. Before these medicine men could come, the boy took hold of the arrow and pulled it out; and this arrow having a point on the end, the point remained inside his body. When he had pulled the arrow out, he said, “This arrow is not very hard to take out. Why were you afraid?” After having said that, although they told him not to, he went down to the river and drank water. He came back and sat down, and he died. After a little while these medicine men came singing; but they were already too late, and they could not do anything.

They had made a woman of the Nu,djatci (the people of the village) captive; and she was crying, and they found that she spoke their own language -- this village was another band of the Winnebago, who had been out on a hunt. They had wiped out a village of their own tribe.

When Two Crows died, they told him that he would walk like a warrior. So they set him against a tree in a sitting position, and he was not buried. The little captive that Black Otter had given was placed before the body of the young Two Crows, and there he was to be killed -- this young captive was to be offered in sacrifice. And Dog Head, the leader, was there to sing the death song, and a man who was to kill the boy with a club was there, and a man who was to cut the little boy up was there, and the man who was to give the war whoop as a signal for the ceremony, he was there. When Dog Head had begun to sing, and when he had finished, this man gave a war whoop. When the war whoop was given, the man with the club immediately killed the little boy. He lay on the ground, the body was quivering. Then they laid the pieces of the body before Two Crow's body as it sat against the tree; and they started back. And the woman captive was brought along when they returned.

The war party then retreated from the battle scene at a fast pace for the next four days and nights, stopping only at noon “to smoke a while”, running again until an evening smoke, then running again through the night. When they finally stopped, eight men were sent out to hunt for a feast (one of Dog Head's nephews named Green Grass, Black Otter's brother Na i'ga, two Sauk, and four others), and Black Otter was honored with a deer all to himself. The cooking deer “reminded them of their dead nephew who was killed in that battle. He was not there to do the cooking. They all sat and thought about him deeply”.

Along the way the Sauks kept their own camp and spoke their own language. But when it was finally time to separate,

...before they started, they were counting scalps, both the Winnebagoes and the Sauk, and the Winnebago saw that the Sauk had the scalp of the old man who had been angry at his daughter and was going to remain in the village they had attacked.


These Sauk thought that he belonged to the enemy, and they had taken his scalp; his name was Mana'xeninka (Little Soldier [34]). When they had finished eating, they started back again; but the Sauk warriors left them at this place.

The remaining Winnebagoes continued on to cross the Mississippi and “traveled for some time until they came back to their own village”. The victorious warriors were celebrated with feasting and dancing the scalp dance [Figure 12]. At this time it was announced that Big Sand's wife had been adopted as “sister” by the three brothers, and she danced with the bone-bead belt around her neck.

Figure 12. Siouan scalp dance, by Karl Bodmer.

The narrative draws to a close with creation of the war bundle:

Black Otter, having fasted so many days at a time during the summer months, and having gone through this battle and being blessed by all the different spirits, at this time he first made up his war-bundle. And when they came back, after he made up his war-bundle, he told this story. End.

Can the Oral Tradition be Verified by Independent Historical, Archaeological, and Ethnographic Evidence?

On the Winnebago side, numerous connections can be drawn between the individuals identified by Black Otter and the historical record.


C,unge'page (Dog Head) is frequently recorded as a Winnebago signer in Wisconsin-based treaties, e.g., in 1816 as “Shougkapar (The Dog)”, in 1825 as “Chon-que-pa (Dog's Head)”, and in 1827 as “Shoank-ay-paw-kaw (Dog Head)” [Figure 13]. He was also a leading participant in Tecumseh's rebellion at Tippecanoe and appears frequently in Winnebago war annals [29]. Other warriors identified in the narratives -- including Green Grass, Little Soldier, Thunder, and Four Wings -- are counted among the ancestors of present Ho-Chunk families.


Figure 13. Dog Head's signature (5th from bottom) on the Treaty of Prairie du Chien, August 19, 1825 (Courtesy: Wisconsin State Historical Society). The portrait of Dog Head, also known as “Little Duck”, painted at the treaty of Green Bay, 1827. Entitled, “She-Sheba or The Little Duck: A Celebrated Winnebago Chief”, by J. O. Lewis. (Zhīshīb is Ojibwe for “duck”.)


Of course, many other aspects of traditional Winnebago ritual, belief, and daily life can be recognized, based on the extensive ethnological studies of Radin [35] and cultural traditions within the memory of living Ho-Chunks.

On the Missouria side there are fewer clues, due to Black Otter's understandable ignorance of the victims' identities as well as the relatively sparse documentation of pre-1800 Missouria culture. Ethnologists now recognize (as Black Otter did not) that the Missouria as well as the closely related Otoes and Iowas had split off from the Winnebagoes only in comparitively recent historical times [19], so that their languages appeared mutually to be “of our own tribe”. It is quite striking that Black Otter refers to the people of the village as the Nu,djatci (or “Nu-jah-chih” in Bill Hall's spelling), evidently equivalent to the phonetic “Niutachi” by which the Missouria were said to identify themselves. Despite linguistic similarities, the Missouria evidently lived in “round lodges” rather than the bark-covered wigwams of the woodland Winnebagoes. The shaven heads of the Nu,djatci children may also record a cultural difference that is discernible in the ethnographic record. One might even hope that some recognizable battlefield debris -- such as the sawed-off gun of Mana'xeninka, the overturned canoe with buffalo pelt, war flutes, or other distinctive weaponry [Figure 14] -- may have been unearthed by early Chariton Co. settlers or archaeological digs [Figure 15]. Archaeological evidence might also confirm whether “three long lodges” were associated with the Little Osage village to the southeast. Traditions preserved within the Otoe-Missouria tribe or war souvenirs still held in war bundles of Winnebago or Sauk-Fox descendants might offer other evidence concerning Black Otter's eyewitness account.

Figure 14. Near-contemporary portraits of Winnebago, Sauk-Fox, and Missouri warriors (possible participants in the battle). Left: Winnebago warrior Hoowanneka (“Little Elk”), by George Cook (McKenney-Hall Collection); Center: Sauk-Fox warrior Powasheek, by George Cook (McKenney-Hall Collection); Right: Missouri chief Haw-che-ke-sug-ga (“He Who Kills the Osages”), by George Catlin. Little Elk and Dog Head were co-signers on the Prairie du Chien Treaty of Aug. 19, 1825 [Figure 13].


Figure 15. Archaeological display at the Visitor's Center of Van Meter State Park, Missouri
(Courtesy: Van Meter State Park).

As to the general location of the principal Nu,djatci Missouria village there can be no doubt, as it is clearly identified and located with respect to Fort Orleans and the mouth of Grand River from the early 1700s onward. As mentioned above, Etienne de Bourgmont came with his Missouria wife to live at this site in about 1713, led the construction and direction of nearby Fort Orleans, and wrote the Exact Description of Louisiana [22] which provided the first comprehensive account of the Missouri Valley up to the Platte River (which he named). Although the meanderings of the river course [16],[17] challenge exact pin-pointing of flood-buried structures, archaeologists at Van Meter State Park have documented the earlier Missouria village sites (Utz and Gumbo Point) near old Fort Orleans, but apparently not the final village site noted by Lewis and Clark about 20 miles downriver.

Finally, it seems possible that an important confirmatory description of the battle is also found in the autobiographical recollections of the Sauk war chieftain Black Hawk [Figure 16], the most famous and feared Indian of his generation and likely leader of the Sauk contingent. Long before the aging warrior's final involvement in the Black Hawk War of 1832, which opened the Wisconsin frontier to white settlement, Black Hawk's Rock River band had gained notoriety throughout the lower Missouri valley for frequent raids on the Osages and allied Missouria tribes, as well as subsequent white settlements of the region [36]. In the early portion of his autobiography [37], Black Hawk summarizes several such incidents, including five warpaths that are dated between his 19th year (1786) and 35th year (1802).


The third of these was a disappointing raid on the Osages that resulted in only six captives (“Their forces being so weak, I thought it cowardly to kill them, -- but took them prisoners, and carried them to our Spanish father at St. Louis, and gave them up to him; and then returned to our village”). Black Hawk then describes the ensuing raid of the following spring:

Determined on the final extermination of the Osages, for the injuries our nation and people had received from them, I commenced recruiting a strong force, immediately on my return, and started, in the third moon, with five hundred Sacs and Foxes, and one hundred Ioways, and marched against the enemy. We continued our march for several days before we came upon their trail, which was discovered late in the day. We encamped for the night; made an early start next morning, and before sun down, fell upon forty lodges, and killed all their inhabitants, except two squaws! whom I captured and made prisoners. During this attack I killed seven men and two boys, with my own hand.

Excepting a few details that may reflect ambiguities of phrasing or inflated perceptions of his own role, Black Hawk's description has interesting points of chronological and factual consistency with Black Otter's narrative. References to “the Osages” and “the enemy” can be understood to refer specifically to the Little Osage village (perhaps home to the pitiful six captives of the previous year) and allied Missourias near Grand River. Although “Ioways” are identified as his allies (as was often the case in his later alliances leading up to the Black Hawk War), Black Hawk's quoted phrase may simply reflect slight inaccuracy (or oversimplified translation) of his term for the Chiwere-speaking contingent, which may well have included some mixture of closely related Winnebago/Iowa tribesmen.

Figure 16. Black Hawk (Ma-ka-tai-me-she-kia-kiak), by Charles Bird King.


If indeed Black Hawk is describing the same event, his account provides additional quantitative detail on the village size (40 lodges), raiding force (500 warriors), and captives (apparently one woman each for the Sauk-Fox and Winnebago-Iowa contingents). Archaeological discovery of the Missouria village site could therefore provide a significant test of the authenticity of Black Hawk's autobiography (as recorded by interpreter A. LeClaire and editor J. B Patterson) as well as its general consistency with Black Otter's account.


The Chandler-Green recordings and Green-Red Cloud-Commons transcriptions of Black Otter's war-bundle narrative provide a fascinating “eyewitness” account of a notable turning point in Missouri Valley history. The narrative throws considerable light on the turmoil that immediately preceded the Lewis and Clark expedition and the opening of the American west, and its detailed descriptions of Indian warfare provide a vivid image of conditions and lifeways that were to be swept away by ensuing white settlement. The narrative may also assist in locating physical remains of the battlesite.

Of course, Black Otter's narrative presents an incomplete perspective on the underlying European power struggles that were driving internicene Indian warfare throughout the continent, involving forces that a young participant in that warfare could scarcely understand. The guns provided by European powers to their Indian surrogates [38] provoked a predictable cascade of warfare and retaliation as tribes struggled to gain favored trade relationships with the whites, repel Iroquois-driven invasions from the east, or simply settle old scores. But despite these limitations, Black Otter's narrative provides an Indian combatant's personal account of a notable incident of Midwestern history, and it serves to educate modern audiences on traditional ritual beliefs and behavior that were deeply rooted in antiquity and continue to nurture a distinctive Native “take” on both past and present aspects of the American experience.


In addition to others specifically acknowledged in the main text, I am grateful to Jim Harlan and Ray Wood (U. Missouri-Columbia), Mark Miles and Kerry Nichols (State Historic Preservation Office, Jefferson City, MO) and Grant Arndt (St. Olaf College) for assistance in preparing the manuscript, as well as to Mike Dickey (Arrow Rock State Historic Site) and Dale Henning (Santa Fe, NM) for helpful comments and corrections. Nancy Oestreich Lurie, a personal acquaintance of many participants in this account, was a uniquely valuable source of knowledge and guidance. I also wish to express appreciation to Francis R. Perry (deceased) for her unsung efforts to identify many individuals in the photographic images of the Van Schaick collection, and to archivists and curators at Indiana University, Cranbrook Institute of Science, University of Chicago, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Ho-Chunk Department of Heritage Preservation for faithful stewardship of fragile links to the past.



[1] D. W. Penney, “Art of the American Indian Frontier: The Chandler-Pohrt Collection” (U. Washington Press, Seattle, 1992).
[2] R. A. Pohrt, “A Collector's Life: A Memoir of the Chandler-Pohrt Collection”, Ref. [1], pp. 299-322.
[3] Winnebago names and phrases are generally given in the conventional linguistic orthography employed (by Rachel Commons) in the typescript, although other systems are in common usage (see Hocąk Syllabary, Transliteration, and Pronunciation). In some cases only an approximate phonetic equivalent is available.
[4] N. Lurie (ed.), “Mountain Wolf Woman, Sister of Crashing Thunder: The Autobiography of a Winnebago Indian” (U. Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1961).
[5] T. A. Sebeok, “Two Winnebago Texts”, Int. J. Amer. Linguistics 13, 167-170 (1947)
[6] G. Fraenkel, “Winnebago Texts”, American Philosophical Society American Indian Guides 270 (1959)
[7] Benson Lanford (private communication, Jan. 2002) related that “years ago Mr. Chandler told me that when students listened to the recordings during the period of time the cylinders were in storage at a particular university, the students were careless about returning each cylinder to its appropriate box. The cylinders had become switched, and it was virtually hopeless to bring them back into their correct sequential order”.
[8] See 59-959-F and 85-575-F ATL; 24 sound tape reels.
[9] Abel Green [b. 1892] was still around when Nancy Lurie (Curator Emerita of Anthropology, Milwaukee Public Museum) began work with the Ho-Chunk tribe in the 1940s. She remembers him (private communication, 2007) as “a quiet man with limited command of English -- his son was named Mark in honor of grandfather. His wife [Nina] rejoiced under the wonderful name of Sunshine Thundercloud. Sunshine was a nickname but the only one she was ever called”.
[10] The Commons typescript was communicated to Monte Green and other Ho-Chunks in 2001 by U. Chicago graduate student Grant Arndt (now Assistant Professor of Anthropology, St. Olaf College), who kindly provided information about its background (private communication, 2007). Rachel Commons was the daughter of noted UW-Madison economist J. R. Commons, but her fieldwork and life were cut short in the mid-1930s by family tragedy and pneumonia. Her notes were eventually turned over to fellow U. Chicago student (later Professor) Leo Srole, who completed other interviews in 1938-39 and planned a book project that was cut short by service in World War II. Other aspects of the U. Chicago anthropological studies of the Wisconsin Winnebago are described by Nancy Lurie in Hocak Worak of March 24, 2004 (http://www.hocakworak.com/archive/2004/ WL_2004_03_24/HW-040324-08.htm). The original Srole/Commons materials, copied for the Hocak Wazija Haci language program (Mauston) and Heritage Preservation Office (Black River Falls), are filed under Section VI of the Fred Eggan Papers in the University of Chicago archives. A few obvious phonetic misinterpretations (such as the transcription of “Black Otter” as “Black Water”) were corrected with reference to Hall's version in the present quotations.
[11] R. D. Edmunds, “Tecumseh and the Quest for Indian Leadership” (Little Brown, Boston, 1984).
[12] G. E. Moulton (ed.), “The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition” (U. Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2002); http://lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu/index.html.


[13] This dating can be inferred from the extensive documentary evidence of the Spanish regime, compiled and translated by A. P. Nasatir [A. P. Nasatir (ed.), “Before Lewis & Clark: Documents Illustrating the History of the Missouri, 1785-1804” (U. Oklahoma, 2002)]. In dispatches between the St. Louis Commandant and the Governor-General at New Orleans, the Missourias are regularly identified as principal trading contacts of the lower Missouri River, but the tribe disappears from the documentary record by 1793, when steep declines in trading profits are reported from this region (Nasatir, p. 83) and subsequent trade activity shifts abruptly to the upriver Omaha-Ponca and other tribes. In June of 1794, Jean Baptiste Truteau (agent of the newly formed “Company of Upper Missouri”) passed the former village sites of the Missouria and Little Osage and reported that the former “have been almost entirely destroyed by the nations situated on the Mississippi” and the latter “took refuge higher up on the Great Osage River” (Nasatir, p. 261).
[14] J. P. Ronda, “Lewis & Clark among the Indians” (U. Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1984).
[15] Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, “The History of the Lewis and Clark Expedition”, ed. Elliott Coues (Harper, 1893; Dover reprint edition), Vol. I, p. 22.
[16] J. D. Harlan and J. M. Denny, “Atlas of Lewis and Clark Across Missouri” (U. Missouri Press, Columbia, 2003).
[17] J. Harlan, “The Wild Missouri River”, Missouri Conservation 65, 10-15 (2004); http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0204/feature5/ index.html?fs=www7.nationalgeographic.com.
[18] For example, Clark's diary for June 13, 1804, describes “a butifull Prairie, in which the antient Missourie Indians had a Village, at this place 300 of them were killed by the Saukees...Passed the antient Missouries villages on right...this nation once the Most Noumerous is now almost extinct, about 30 of them, liveing with Otteaus on the R. Platt, the remainder all destroyed”. On June 15, 1804, he writes: “Continued up pass two other Small Islands and Camped on the S[tarboard]. S[ide]. Nearly opposit the Antient Village of the Little Osarges and below the Ant[ien]t. Village of the Missoures both Situations in view an within three M[ile]s. of each other, the Osage were Settled at the foot a hill in a butifell Plain which extends back quite to the Osage River, in front of the Vil[lage]: Next to the river is an ellegent bottom Plain which extends Several miles in length on the river is this low Prarie the Missouries lives after They were reduced by the Saukees at Their Town Some Dists. below. The little osage finding themselves much oppressed by the Saukees & other nations, left this place build a village 5 ms. from the Grand Osarge Town about [blank] years ago. a few of the Missoures accompanied them, the remainder of that nation went on the Otteaus on the River Platt”.
[19] R. T. Bray, “The Missouri Indian Tribe in Archaeology and History”, Missouri Historical Review 55, 213-225 (1961). For further aspects of Winnebago-Chiwere-Dhegiha separation, see D. R. Henning, “The Adaptive Patterning of the Dhegiha Sioux”, Plains Anthropologist 38, 253-264 (1993), and references therein.
[20] C. H. Chapman and E. F. Chapman, “Indians and Archaeology of Missouri” (U. Missouri Press, Columbia, 1983), p. 93.
[21] F. Norall, “Bourgmont, Explorer of the Missouri, 1698-1725” (U. Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1988).
[22] Etienne Veniard De Bourgmont, “Exact Description of Louisiana”, Bull. Mo. Hist. Soc. 15, 3-19 (1958); www.americanjourneys.org/aj-093/.


[23] M. F. Stipes and F. A. Sampson, “Fort Orleans, the First French Post on the Missouri”, Missou. Hist. Rev. 8, 121-135 (1914); D. De Montig, “A Hitherto Unpublished Plan of Fort Orleans on the Missouri”, Mid-America 12, 259-263 (1930); G. J. Garraghan, “Fort Orleans on the Missoury”, Missou. Hist. Rev. 35, 373-384 (1941).
[24] For a representative confrontation of the era, see A. P. Nasatir, “Ducharme's Invasion of Missouri: An Incident in the Anglo-Spanish Rivalry for the Indian Trade of Upper Louisiana”, Missouri Hist. Rev. 24, 3-25 (1929).
[25] D. W. Benn, R. F. Boszhardt, G. Gibbon, and J. B. Griffin, “Oneota Archaeology: Past, Present and Future” (Office of State Archaeologist, Des Moines, IA, 1995).
[26] A. Chouteau, “Narrative of the Settlement of St. Louis”; www.americanjourneys.org (Document No. AJ-126).
[27] There is no precedent in Missouri archaeology for an island-based village site [Ray Wood (private communication)], but the tribe’s distressed circumstances, as described by Chouteau, may have allowed few final choices.
[28] G. Fowke, “Antiquities of Central and Southeastern Missouri” (Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 37, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1910), p. 80. According to Bray (Ref. [19]), “From a vigorous and proud tribe conservatively estimated at 1,000 or more families in 1703, it was reduced to a pitiful remnant of 30 families in 1804”.
[29] The name is rendered as Šųgépaga in Dieterle's orthography; see “Šųgépaga”. According to Nancie Lurie (private communication, 2007), Dog Head was originally an Eastern Santee Sioux (hence clanless) who married into the Winnebago tribe. He is described in Hall's account as being small of stature with a disfigured nose bitten off in a fight. His historical imprint as a noted chief and medicine man at the Green Lake village is documented in M. Diedrich, “Ho-Chunk Chiefs, Winnebago Leadership in an Era of Crisis” (Coyote Books, Rochester MN, 2001), Chapter 4.
[30] The timing may suggest planned attack after the corn-planting season, when many warriors would be hunting buffalos on the western plains.
[31] In Hall's rendition, “they went on, and they went on, after a while they were many, they were very many”. At the time of Carver's travels in 1766 the Sauks were centered at present Sauk City, Wisconsin, but by about 1790 they apparently moved from Wisconsin to Saukenuk at the mouth of Rock River on the Mississippi, where the initial incidents of the Black Hawk War began in the 1830s.
[32] Hall's version identifies one of the two scouts as Black Cloud.
[33] R. D. Edmunds, “The Otoe/Missouria People” (Indian Tribal Series, Phoenix, 1976), p. 20.
[34] The name is translated as “Little Stench Earth” in the typescript (due to a slight phonetic error), but is given as shown in Hall's notebook.
[35] P. Radin, “The Winnebago Tribe” (U. Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1970).
[36] W. T. Hagen, “The Sac and Fox Indians” (U. Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1958), p. 8ff; M. Dickey, “Arrow Rock, Crossroads of the Missouri Frontier” (Friends of Arrow Rock, Arrow Rock MO, 2004), p 36ff.
[37] D. Jackson (ed.), “Black Hawk, An Autobiography” (U. Illinois Press, Urbana, 1964), p. 49.
[38] Representative but not exhaustive examples include Dutch support of the Iroquois; French support of the Hurons, Ottawas, and Missourias; British support of the Sauks, Foxes, and Winnebagoes; and Spanish support of the Picuries and Apaches.