Choose Your Path:



WAH-PA-SHA
Chief Of Sioux

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From the 1884 book, page 1273:

The picture of Wah-pa-sha was taken from a painting in the possession of the family of Alexis Bailly, Esq., now deceased. This is the chief the place was named after. He was a noted man in his day, and was recognized as head chief of the River bands of Sioux. During the troubles with the Winnebago Indians, at Prairie du Chien, at an early day, Wah-pah-sha was invited by them to a council. After listening to the Winnebago chiefs, and what they proposed doing to the whites, Wah-pah-sha arose, and, pulling a hair from his head, blew it away, telling the council that if they harmed a white man he would blow them from the face of the earth as he had blown the hair. The chief with his band made their summer residence on what is now called "Sand Prairie," or, as it was called by the old voyageurs, "La Prairie au Cypre."

SONG OF THE DAH-KO-TAHS

Wah-pa-sha! good and great brave,
You rode into battle, made enemies slaves;
Your war-chief was strong in spirit and frame,
And many the scalps he hung on his chain.

Your "Red Cap" was known in the East and the West;
You honored the English, and hoped to be blessed;
You clothed your red children in scarlet and blue;
You ever were kind, devoted and true.

The skins of your Te-pee were brought from the plains;
Your moccasins dressed with Chippewa* brains,
Your war-whoop saluted by British real** shot,
Gave peacefullest token they harmed you not.

Then rest thee, brave chieftain, our night has come on,
The light has departed from all thou hadst won;
Thy people lie scattered on hillside and plain;
Thy corn-fields, thy prairie, we cannot regain.

* The brains of animals are used in dressing deer skins.
** A stipulation at Mackinaw required a salute to Wah-pa-sha of solid shot when he visited that fort.

THE JOURNEY

We've left the homes our childhood loved,
The friends we never can forget;
The friends that long long years have proved,
The friends who still in dreams are met.

We've come to make us other homes,
On Minnesota's garden lands,
Where ev'ry gen'rous heart that comes
Is met by loving hearts and hands.

What though the red-man roams the woods,
And wild and rude the landscape seems;
Is it not fairer than it stood,
As seen in fancy's brightest dreams?

What though our homes are all unreared,
And labor in our pathway lies;
Labor is pleasant, when 'tis cheered
By helping hands and loving eyes.

No greener valleys meet the sight,
No purer fountains, rushing free,
No birds of song, or flowers more bright,
Bringing perfume and melody.

Hurra! then, for our chosen home,
While bound by friendship's silken bond;
Our feet no more shall seek to roam,
Our hearts shall never more despond.

Written by Robert Pike, Jr. (P.360)
sung to the tune of "Baker's Farewell"