Pages With References to Native
There are many pages with references to Native Americans on this site. Indeed,
the county itself was named for Chief Wah-pa-sha and neighboring Winona County
for We-no-nah, eldest sister (or cousin) of Wah-pa-sha.
Of course, the influx of white settlers in the late 1700's and early 1800's unsettled the Native Americans from their land,
and many stories are told here from the settler's point of view.
But there is also much historical and genealogical information concerning the Native
I have listed some chapters below. Many of these chapters have not
been transcribed yet, but I am transcribing per request right now. If there
is a chapter you want to see, please
me and I will transcribe it as soon as I am able.
See "Wabasha Poems and Pics" listed at the bottom of the page and
try the search engine on the home page. There are hundreds of biographies
of white settlers already transcribed on this site, many with references to
The biographies and historical sketches of Wabasha County, Minnesota,
are being transcribed and posted here exactly as they appear in the 1884
book, "History of Wabasha County." As you read, you may notice a superior
and demeaning attitude on the part of the writers toward the native Americans. This is
extremely disturbing to me. Nevertheless, in the interest of presenting
these writings accurately, I have not deleted or modified any entries. Let
us remember that this book is part of the past and we live in the present.
We cannot be held accountable for our ancestors' actions and attitudes, but
we can live the lives we have been given with love and understanding for
from the 1884 book
found on this site:
HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY
Ch 1: ABORIGINAL HISTORY
Ch 2: TRADITIONAL
Ch 3: VERY EARLY TIMES
Ch 4: TREATIES WITH THE NATIVES
from the Winona County section of the 1884 book
which opens at a different site:
HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY
Ch 1: ABORIGINAL HISTORY
Ch 2: EXPLORATIONS
Ch 3: AMONG THE INDIANS
Ch 4: TROUBLES WITH THE INDIANS
Ch 7: INTERESTING INCIDENTS AND CUSTOMS
Ch 8: PREHISTORIC
from the 1920 book
found on this site:
HISTORY OF WABASHA
GEOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY
REIGN OF THE INDIANS
SELECTIONS FROM VARIOUS CHAPTERS
Portrait of Wapasha II
The picture of Wah-pa-sha II 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."
Chris Miller offers this information: "Wabasha II lost his eye playing Lacrosse at Prairie du Chien and he grew his hair over the socket instead of using an eye patch."
This Portrait From Diversity Foundation, Inc.
This information from Diversity Foundation, Inc.
"Another event being planned for our GE04 'Wapasha Prairie' Homecoming will include a LaCrosse Exhibition
Game possibly at Winona State Univ. Stadium. The sport of LaCrosse was once played year around by hundreds of
Dakota band members here at Wapasha Prairie. It has been said these matches would sometimes extend from
Wapasha Prairie south along Mississippi River (on top of ice in winter) thru the village of Dakota on down
to LaCrosse, Wisconsin (this city was actually named after this sport).
"These games would be played by young and old and sometimes go on for days and weeks, often getting very
physical with injuries being quite common. In fact Chief Wapasha II was hit by a stick and lost an eye
playing LaCrosse as a youth."
Portrait of Wapasha III ~ Joseph Wapasha
Photo From Diversity Foundation, Inc.
Headstone of Wapasha III ~ Joseph Wapasha, Santee, Nebraska.
This photo was taken by Shawn Chase, Great-Great-Grandson of Napoleon Wabasha (Wapasha IV). Wapasha III was reluctantly involved in the 1862 Minnesota Uprising. Read the story on Dale Ebersold's site, linked below.
Wapasha VII, Ernest Wabasha, stood by the bust of his great-great-grandfather, Chief Wabasha III in front of the Minnesota State Capitol. It is the only bust of a Native American at the Capitol. Photo taken in 1986.
This Information from Diversity Foundation, Inc.
Click HERE for Wapashaw History
These remarks are from Delmar Becker:
I think the History about the Native American people who lived in Wabasha County and surrounding area is important and interesting.
What always amazed me, and is only mentioned briefly if at all, is the fact that the early white people, mostly French but also some British and American, were in contact with the natives for a significant length of time before they actually settled for farming.
Really, settlement and turning the soil in Wabasha County did not occur until after the 1851 treaties at Traverse de Sioux and Mendota. Most of the Wabasha historical sketches on this site document the first settlers as coming about 1852 - 1853. My ancestors came in 1858 and were considered early but not mentioned as being among the first. Generally, the 1850s would be considered the actual first settlement and turning of the soil.
What I am getting at is that the white people contacted and traded with the Native Americans for 100 to 200 years (Daniel Greysolon Sieur Du Luth was among the first traders, ca 1670's) and they seemed to get along quite well. That is a period of time equal or greater than the total occupation by non-natives, now that Wabasha County has been settled and farmed. But it took only about 10 years, from 1851 until 1862 during which period the Sioux uprising and the following banishment of the Indian from southern Minnesota occurred, for this peace to be terminated and war to break out between the Indians and the settlers. This shows that the Native Americans and the others who came to the area could get along together, trading and even intermarrying for years, but when the land was coveted and promises broken, that was a different matter.
Note from the webmaster: This explains why Wapasha II was so faithful to the early settlers when the council of Winnebago chiefs wished to fight against the white settlers. He was remembering the good relationships that had existed between the Indians and the settlers.
Links To Native
Webmaster: Dale Ebersold
The Dakota Society
President: Pat Cates
Webmaster: Van Mulken
History and Culture
A Site Containing Links To Resource Sites
Diversity Foundation, Inc.
Dakota/Native American Educational Documentary Series
Upper Midwest Rock Art Research Association's (UMRARA)
scans from the book "The Aborigines of Minnesota" by Newton H. Winchell.
The following drawings are taken from the book, "The Aborigines of Minnesota," mentioned above.
Permission to use the scans given by Kevin Callahan.
Ojibwa council pipe
Ojibwa pipe owned by Hole-in-the-Day, The 2nd
Hole-in-the-Day is mentioned on the "R" biographies page of the 1884 book. Scroll to Morris C. Russell's memoirs.
Go HERE for the account of "The Battle of Sugar Point" in which Hole-in-the-Day was involved.
Left top & bottom: Method of sewing birch-bark
(Seamstresses call this a "running stitch.")
Center: Method of sewing birch bark in cleavage lines
Right top: End of a birch plate
Right bottom: Basswood fibre hank
Top and middle: Ojibwa birch-bark canoe
Dakota dug-out canoe
Ojibwa portaging at the Cheever Landing
Map of Tribal Locations
Click here for larger map
These are chromoliths of paintings by Capt. S. Eastman, published by P. S. Duval, Philadelphia, chromolithographer in the 1800's.
The Laughing Waters ~ Three Miles Below the Falls of St. Anthony
Sounding Wind, The Chippewa Brave
Wenona's Leap, Lake Pepin, Mississippi River
Falls Of St Anthony
Marriage Custom Of The Indians
Landing Of William Penn
It's just little old me
in front of my teepee
with my two or three
drops of Chippewa blood
(which probably puts me in considerable peril
since the Chippewa were
enemies of the Dakotas!)
WABASHA CO 1884
WABASHA CO 1920
A TIME LONG GONE BY
THANK YOU LETTERS
POEMS & PICS