SIOUX VILLAGE.—About two o’clock, having taken a right-hand fork of the river, we unexpectedly came to a Sioux village, consisting of a part of Wabashaw’s band, under Wah-koo-ta. Landed and found a Sioux who could speak Chippewa, and serve as interpreter. I informed them of my route and the object of my visit, and of my having communicated a message with wampum and tobacco to Wabashaw. They told us that the Menomonies had killed twenty-five Foxes at Prairie du Chien a few days ago, having first made them drunk, and then cut their throats and scalped them. We encamped, at seven o’clock in the evening, under high cliffs on the west shore, having been fifteen hours in our canoes. Found mint among the high grass, where our tent poles were put. On the next morning we set off at half-past four o’clock, and went until ten to breakfast. At a low point of land of the shore, we had a view of a red fox, who scampered away gayly. He had been probably gleaning among the shell-fish along shore.
At a subsequent point we met a boat laden with Indian goods, bound to St. Peters, and manned by Canadians. The person in charge of it informed us that it was Menomonies and not Foxes who had, to the number of twenty-six, been recently murdered.
GENERAL IMPRESSION OF THE MISSISSIPPI.—The engrossing idea, in passing down the Mississippi, is the power of its waters during the spring flood. Trees carried from above are piled on the heads of islands, and also lie, like vast stranded rocks, on its sand bars and lower shores. Generally the butt ends and roots are elevated in the air, and remain like gibbeted men by the roadside, to tell the traveler of the POWER once exerted there.
We traveled till near ten o’clock (13th) in the morning, when we reached and encamped at Prairie du Chien.
Death of Mr. Monroe—Affair of the massacre of the Menomonies by the Foxes—Descent to Galena—Trip in the lead mine country to Fort Winnebago—Gratiot’s Grove—Sac and Fox disturbances—Black Hawk—Irish Diggings—Willow Springs—Vanmater’s lead—An escape from falling into a pit—Mineral Point—Ansley’s copper mine—Gen. Dodge’s—Mr. Brigham’s—Sugar Creek—Four Lakes—Seven Mile Prairie—A night in the woods—Reach Fort Winnebago—Return to the Sault—Political changes in the cabinet—Gov. Cass called to Washington—Religious changes—G.B. Porter appointed Governor—Natural history—Character of the new governor—Arrival of the Rev. Jeremiah Porter—Organization of a church.
1831, Aug. 14th. One of the first things we heard, on reaching Prairie du Chien, was the death of ex-President Monroe, which happened on the 4th of July, at the City of New York. The demise of three ex-Presidents of the revolutionary era (Jefferson, Adams, and Monroe), on this political jubilee of the republic, is certainly extraordinary, and appears, so far as human judgment goes, to lend a providential sanction to the bold act of confederated resistance to taxation and oppression, made in 1776.