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Fox Indians

Fox Indians. A name thought to have been derived from that of the Fox clan and to have been applied to the tribe through a misunderstanding. Also called: Beshde’ke, Dakota name. Meshkwa kihig’, own name signifying “red earth people,” from the kind of earth from which they are supposed to have been created. O-dug-am-eeg, Chippewa name, meaning “those who live on the opposite side. Skaxshurunu, Wyandot name, meaning “fox people.” Skuakisagi, Shawnee name. To-che-wah-coo, probably the Arikara name. Wakusheg, Potawatomi name, meaning “foxes.” Fox Connections. The Foxes belonged to the Algonquian linguistic family and in one group with the Sauk and Kickapoo. Fox Location. In the vicinity of Lake Winnebago or along Fox River. (See also Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.) Fox History. Since the closely related Sauk Indians came to Wisconsin from Saginaw Bay, Michigan, it is probable that the Foxes once lived in that region as well, but it is uncertain. There is also a tradition that they were in northern Wisconsin and were driven south by the Chippewa. The French missionaries heard of them as early as 1640, and in 1670 found them in the location above given, where they remained for a long period. They were constantly at war with the Chippewa, and though they received aid from the Dakota, obtained little advantage in these contests. It was on account of assistance rendered the Chippewa by the French that the Foxes came to assume a hostile attitude toward the latter and finally went to war with them. In 1712 they planned an attack on the French fort at Detroit which nearly...

Houses of the Sauk and Fox Tribes

It is not the purpose of the present sketch to trace the early migrations of the Sauk and Fox tribes, or to refer to their connection, linguistically or socially. However, it is evident their villages were similar in appearance, and both had two distinct forms of habitations which were occupied during different seasons of the year. The summer villages of both tribes consisted of bark houses, and near by were gardens in which they raised corn, squashes, beans, and some tobacco, but with the coming of autumn the families scattered and sought the more protected localities where game was to be secured, and there erected the dome-shaped, mat-covered lodge, resembling the structures of other tribes of the region. The middle of the eighteenth century found the two tribes established in villages near the mouth of Rock River, on the left bank of the Mississippi, in the present Rock Island County, Illinois. Here they were visited by Long and his small party August 1, 1817, at which time the Fox settlement “containing about thirty cabins, with two fires each;” stood on the left bank of Rock River, at its junction with the Mississippi. The Sauk village was 2 miles up Rock River and consisted “of about one hundred cabins, of two, three, and in some instances, four fires each,” and it was, so Long wrote, “by far the largest Indian village situated in the neighborhood of the Mississippi between St. Louis and the Falls of St. Anthony.”1 This was the birthplace, in the year 1767, of the great Sank leader Black Hawk. At the time of Long’s visit the people of...

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