EARLY FAMILIES OF THE UPPER GREAT LAKES
ARCHIVES & FAMILY HISTORY

Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
Collected and posted by RITA

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Respectfully submitted by Martha Brandon who welcomes e-mail concerning the families mentioned below.


Etoukasahwee

This is an account of my own great grandmother - Sophie Brunson Eddy. The date this account was copied was 1947. I'm not really sure when it was written. Below is the text of the 'cover letter' to this story and the last page which may help explain. The person to whom this cover letter was addressed (Betty) is my grandmother, Elizabeth Mather Thompson. The cover letter goes as follows:

Dear Betty, this may help:

Pelagie La Pointe, daughter of Etoukasahwee and Pierre La Pointe was my mother's grandmother my great grandmother, your great great grandmother.
Pelagie's daughter Sophie Crawford was taken to Mackinac by her father's brother to visit them. Dr. Mitchell's son William married her. She never returned to Prairie du Chien.
They were my mother's parents.
In Wan Bun, the history of Chicago, their names are mentioned and she is spoken of as a very beutiful and attractive woman of French & Indian decent. (Her father was English of course).

They were all Catholics except Spohie Crawford who left the Church when she married. It is quite evident that they are Catholics in the sketch. This is the last page of the account:
"This is an account of my own great grandmother.
Sophie Brunson Eddy
Emilie Brisbois True
written by Mrs. Sophie Eddy, a decendent
Copied by Constance Evans July 11, 1947 Prairie du Chien, Wis."

Thank you,
Martha Thompson-Brandon

Below is the account of Pierre La Point and his Indian wife: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Etoukasahwee

Written by Sophie Eddy, a descendant,

The Sioux Indians inhabited the whole country north of Wisconsin river and adjacent to the Mississippi.

In 1634 or there abouts many French voyagers and traders began emigrating to this [art of the country seeking to purchase the lands which were rich in minerals of various kinds and in many instances successful in securing valuable land, paying for it in worthless trinkets and blankets and what ever took the fancy of the Indians.

The Jesuit priests came from France at an early period giving spiritual instruction to the Indians and gaining their love and respect. The Souix were friendly with the Meroniness tribe and at war with the Winnebaggree, Chippewa and Fox Santes. Many battles were being fought when the British and French soldiers appeared on the scene. Sometimes the British would enlist the Indians as soldiers and again the French would have them to war against different tribes. The white men coming from Europe usually were educated men, some of good families seeking adventure and fortune in this beautiful land. Many of them marrying with Indian maidens, some by law of the white man and some by Indian law. In almost every case remaining true and loyal to them. The Indian women were always true to her husband, although he many times deserted her. Among the Sioux there were many beautiful maidens.

Wabasha, the great chief of the Souix had several sisters, one who married a Canadian Frenchman. Her name was Etoukasahwee. She was a tall slender girl of a timid nature and retrieving manner particular to the maids of the Sioux Indians. In her early youth she was chosen by Pierre La Pointe for his wife, her brother Wabasha consenting to the marriage which ceremony was conducted according to the customs at that time.

Pierre La Pointe was a man of fair education and a devout Roman Catholic. He spent his spare time in teaching Etoukasahwee to read and write and instructed her in religion. She was an apt scholar and with his instruction soon became a good housekeeper and kept the little log cabin which they called home, neat and clean - 2 rooms being sufficient for their comfort.

Pierre being a carpenter was able to make many nice, comfortable and convenient article of furniture for their use. A large patch of ground attached to their premises enabled them to raise all the necessities of their simple table. Pierre was a very fair man, his hair tinged with red - and blue eyes, and altogether what is now called blond. He was a warm friend of the Indians and acted as interpreter between them and the officers who were sent with troops to subdue (?) Indians. He was kind and wise in his judgement and for that reason was liked by all who knew him.

Two daughters came to this quiet couple in this cabin by the Mississippi River, which passed near to their front door. They were beautiful girls, with their fathers complexion. He took great pains to teach them to read and write and to help at housekeeping. There had come among them a good Jesuit priest Father Follet. They were baptized and instructed and brought the teachings of this good father.

This was a very happy family, simple and wanting for very little, attending church twice on Sundays and performing their daily duties during the week. In front of the cabin was a sandy beach making a fine landing for boats of any kind. This beach was the playground of all the children of the village. The river at the place was broad and swift and many many times in Spring and Fall the Indians would come from their northern hunting expeditions and their canoes would line the shore for half a mile. They came down the river kneeling in their long canoes, several in each boat, each having a paddle and giving stroke for stroke, silently and swiftly gliding through the water and slip onto the sand without a sound. Their children, playing on the sand would run to meet and greet these mild men with happy smiles, following them without fear going with them to their homes where they were welcomed by the elders and seating themselves on their hammock or stretching themselves upon the floor as was their custom - no fear or dread of these men of the wild. The, men were given some simple food and drink. They came to trade their furs for blankets, calicos, cloth & many trinkets at the village store and depart as silently as they came.

Etoukasahwee and her children were fond of these red men. She taught them to be kind and that they would be treated with kindness in return. She taught many of the Indians the wonderful things she had learned from her husband and the good Father. They would collect around the Father’s door and Etoukasahwee and her children act as interpreters for the good Father while he told them of our Saviour. Many were baptized and brought into the church believing that the Great Spirit as they had been taught by the priest These Indians were proud of Etoukasahwee. She seemed a superior being in their eyes and her influence was for the good over the whole tribe of Sioux. Her quiet gentle manner winning hearts on all sides. These were sorrowful times for her. She could not follow the band on their many travels. She must remain at home and guard her children and serve her husband and during the wars between the Sioux and the Chippewas her life was in danger many times. She many times took her children far into the woods to live for days until she was sure she would be safe in her home.

When Etoukasahwee’s daughters were about 10 or 12 the American soldiers were sent to bring about peace between the Sioux, Chippewas, Menominess and other tribes at war. These soldiers built a fort or barracks very near the home of Pierre La Pointe and so gave protection to the residents of the village, but gave them many trails as well. These soldiers with little to occupy their time and no amusement was a source of great worry to mothers of growing girls. Pierre had instilled into the mind of Etoukasahwee that she must guard the daughters with her very life. She was fond of Pierre and to obey was her greatest pleasure. Every moment was spent in caring and watching over these two beautiful girls.

When Pilagie was 17 there came an ex-British officer to smoke with Pierre and to talk over some business affairs. He was a fine looking man of thirty bearing the evidence of good birth and education and he noticed this shy maiden and in the course of a few days asked the father for her hand in marriage. Pierre hesitated as Louis Crawford was not a Roman Catholic but of the Church of England and subject to the British Crown. But after many consultations and agreements as to the religion of Pierre and his children, they were married by the good father.

Pelagie La Pointe - Louis Crawford

Etoukasahwee was well pleased to have her daughter well settled in life in a snug home just far distant from her own. Crawford was a man of refinement and in his new home by the river have evidence of his early surroundings began to be made manifest and in some instances of real luxury. Etoukasahwee came daily to see this home and looked with surprise at the many beautiful things around her daughter and when the Indians came from up the river they would go with her and look everything over and talk to each other in that half whispering particular to them, showing great respect for this woman who was of their own band.

Two children came to Louis and Pelagie, a boy and a girl. About this time Pierre La Pointe passed away into the Spirit land leaving Etoukasahwee and Theresa, his other daughter alone. The sadness of the little home was pitiful. Etoukasahwee mourned many days for this kind husband. Soon Theresa was sought in marriage by a Frenchman from Montreal and when she went away life seemed very lonely for Etoukasahwee. She closed her cabin and found a corner beside the fireplace of Pelagie and found comfort in caring for her grandchildren. She could speak French, English, Winnetago, Sioux- Menomines and Chippewa. She was quiet and gentle mannered and a devout Christian, watching over the children, taking them to church, she seemed contented.

She often went in her small canoe to visit the tribe and attended the treaties when even they met and received her share of the money for this beautiful hunting ground. Her grandchildren were fair and beautiful. Mr. Crawford assisted in their early education while they were still young he was called back to England. After a few years his brother came and brought Pelagie $500 saying it was to be used in educating his children - to send them to good schools. After they were sent away Etoukasahwee and Pelagie were left alone. Soon, however, Pelagie married a second time to a Frenchman named Antoine La Chappelle and continued to occupy the home by the river. Eight children came to this couple so that Etoukasahwee was very busy looking after the care and welfare of these dear grandchildren - all of the pure blond type.

She was happy grandma again when starting off with these little followers to the church where they in their turn received instruction from Father Follet. She lived to see many of them grow to manhood and womanhood and finally when it came time for her to go to her eternal rest many stood abut her to mourn. Father Follet administered the last sacraments. She admonished all to be true Christian and her works have borne fruit, these grandchildren, many of whom I have known, have followed in her foot steps. She peacefully passed away and was laid beside her husband to whom she had been a true and loyal wife and of her may truly be said "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

This is an account of my own great grandmother.

Sophie Brunson Eddy 



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