Indian History and Lore
MARQUETTE AND JOLIET MEET THE ILLINOIS
ABOUT THE ILLINI TRIBE
From the book "Settler's Guide in the
United States" by Thomas Spence, Land Surveyor, written in 1862
SCALPED, HOW IT FEELS
INDIANS MOVING FROM ISLAND
Source: Alton Telegraph, May 29, 1868
On Saturday morning about eleven o'clock, the branch of the Winnebago tribe of Indians, which has been for some time encamped on the island opposite the city, passed this place, bound up the river. They were stored away in ten large canoes, and numbered some sixty individuals. The canoes were heavily laden, and the progress of the expedition was necessarily slow, as it had to contend with the strong current of the river.
EDWARD RODGERS FARM HAS LARGE NUMBER OF
LEG AND FOOT FOUND IN QUARRY NEAR HOP HOLLOW - ENCASED IN MOCCASIN
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 27, 1901
Mr. D. Lu Roe, foreman of Golike quarries, brought a curious formation which he found in the quarries at Hop Hollow the other day. It is a perfectly formed, and part of a human leg. The heel and ankle show very distinctly, as does the calf of the leg, which appears to have been pulled away from the rest of the leg. There are no toes visible on the foot, which appears to be encased in a moccasin. Mr. Roe says the place where the foot was blasted out is at least 80 feet from the top of the quarry, and 22 feet from the bottom. It must have gotten there ages ago, and goes to show that the science of "pulling a man's leg" is no new one. The foot and leg found are on exhibition at Stiritz's.
INDIAN ACTRESS APPEARS AT THE TEMPLE THEATRE
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 9, 1902
Go-Won-Go-Mohawk, the Indian actress who left so favorable an impression here last season, will appear at the Temple Saturday, April 12th, in Lincoln J. Carter's interesting play, "The Flaming Arrow." She is supported by an excellent cast, numbering some forty people, including the Government Indian brass band, and the clever acting horses, Wongy and Buckskin. Seats for this attraction now on sale. A special ladies matinee will be given at 2:30.
INDIAN PAINTINGS CARVED OUT OF BLUFFS
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 23, 1902
The discovery was made Tuesday night by an Alton man who is much interested in the Indian pictures on the bluff at Hull's Hollow, above Hop Hollow, that two of the most distinct antique Indian paintings on the face of the bluff there have been chiseled and carved out of the bluffs, and have been carried away by an Alton collector or curios who has added them to his own private collection, it is supposed. The pictures quarried and carved out of the bluffs represent an owl and an animal which is supposed to be either a dog or a wolf, the meaning of the savage artist being not very plain. The owl was on the face of the cliff, and to get it out the vandals chiseled behind the picture and after making a deep cut, split the piece of stone bearing the painting out of the bluff. The picture of the dog or wolf has been quarried from a stone which had been lying on the ground for ages, where it fell long after the painting was put upon it by the Indian artist. Both stones were carried away. The pictures were taken out of the stone some time within a few days, as the scraps of luncheon eaten by the workmen were still lying around and were fresh. Fresh tracks led up to the ledge high on the bluffs where the paintings were made, and every indication was that the act of vandalism had been perpetrated within a few days before its discovery. The perpetrator of this act may claim that it was done to preserve the paintings, but whether it was done with permission or not the taking of the two best examples of Indian art is certainly inexcusable. Many people have traveled to see these paintings, and all have agreed that the two which were carved from the bluffs were the best and most distinct of all of the redman's paintings. Others remaining are indistinct from weathering and fading processes, and could not have been removed, which probably accounts for the fact that only two paintings were taken.
COPPER AXES AND WEDGES, PAINT ROCK AND OTHER INDIAN HANDIWORK
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 13, 1903
Henry Hendricks, the well known East Alton farmer, was in the city today with a small box filled with curious specimens of the handiwork of Indians, or more intelligent race preceding even the Indians in the occupancy of this country. Mr. Hendricks made the find, which is one of the most interesting made in years in this locality, while grading on his farm - the old Dan Gillham farm - below East Alton, and they were about six feet below the surface of the earth. There are two copper axes and a copper wedge, all showing skill in manufacture and all showing evidences also of having been used a great deal. There was a large piece of red paint rock, and it is wonderfully full of vitality yet, although it must have lain where found ages upon ages. With its power to color, the piece found is large enough to paint a fairly large town pretty red. Among the articles is a curiously shaped and wonderfully fashioned something, its surface being smooth as glass. A hole is bored clear through it at the thickest part, but what its uses were could not be imagined by those who saw the curios. Mr. Hendricks will have the find investigated further by experts and it is possible that many other articles may be found in the same locality - articles that may serve to throw some light on the problem of nationality or race of the peoples who once populated these valleys and disappeared in some mysterious manner, leaving neither history nor tradition behind them.
AN EXERCISE OF FUTILITY: INDIANS OF TODAY ADOPT CIVILIZED CUSTOMS BUT PREFER THEIR OWN
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 21, 1903
For fifty years past the United States government has been trying by every means to enforce upon the Indian the ways of the white man. Most people who are unfamiliar with the copper-colored would consider that by keeping them in schools of modern training from the ages of six to twenty-three or four would be all that was necessary to break the ties that bind them to their native ways. But this is a mistaken idea. The Ponca children [The Ponca are a Native American people of the Dhegihan branch of the Siouan-language group. There are two federally recognized Ponca tribes: the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma. Their traditions and historical accounts suggest they originated as a tribe east of the Mississippi River in the Ohio River valley area and migrated west for game and as a result of Iroquois wars. Source: Wikipedia.] are compelled to attend the agency schools until they are familiar with all the common school branches, then they are sent to the Haskell Indian University located at Lawrence, Kansas, where they remain five and six years or until they complete all the higher branches of the high schools. All of them learn some trade before they are allowed to leave the school. The boys are taught tailoring, bookkeeping, engineering and carpenter work. The girls dressmaking, trimming, music and a number of other trades or professions which qualify them to become self-supporting anywhere they choose to go. This, in addition to the high school training, it would seem, should be all that is necessary to civilize the Indian when he is housed for ten or fifteen years amid cultured people who devote all their time endeavoring to plant in his mind some seeds of modern American doctrines. But strange as it may seem, the battle is hardly begun at this stage. They return to the reservation, where they join their people who live in tepees in winter and under brush sheds in summer. Here, the kettle of stale beef or fat dog is hung over the fire, the pipe passed around, while the old warriors rehearse war stories, denouncing the paleface and his civilized ways. It is only a matter of a short time ere the educated young man or woman lays aside his (or her) tailor-made clothes and polished shoes and dons the blue blankets and beaded moccasins. Not a few Ponca women of today mingles with her tribeswomen, her face concealed by a shawl that covers a head of uncombed hair, while the calico slip that takes the place of a dress hangs in loose folds about a shapeless form; and these same squaws, who refuse to talk English, could gracefully dance their taper fingers over the ivories of a piano, producing strains of music that would make many belles of eastern social circles envious; and the dusky young man who once completed a course in the law school receiving high praise from the government officials when he delivered in polished English an address upon modern training, now fold the long blanket about his stalwart body as he treads stealthily around the wigwam village grunting "no savy." At this stage, the wayward children become subjects under the protecting wings of the United States Indian agent, who vainly strives to make them become honest and naturalized. These Indians entertain queer ideas about disposing of the dead. The Ponca graveyard is located in a desolate, out of the way place near the Saltfork River, which plows through the reservation. Here for years past, the old war horses have been laid to rest, receiving from their tribesmen a farewell blessing of Godspeed upon their journey to the happy hunting ground. Lumber was issued at the agency for the purpose of building houses, two by seven feet, which represent the tomb. After the house is completed, each member of the tribe is on hand to assist in wrapping the lifeless body of the dead brave in a government blanket, poke it gently into the door of the little house. The key is then turned in the lock and there is one Indian less. The relatives place about the houses old pieces of furniture, pipes, tomahawks and little trinkets that belonged to the departed. Several dishes filled with different kinds of food are set near the door, which is very pleasing to the taste of the fowls and prairie wolves, who pay the sacred place nightly visits. The food is replaced for three days, as they claim that it requires that length of time for the brave to reach the happy hunting ground, and without refreshments he would be unable to make the journey. If it is a woman that dies, the sisters of the tribe run a foot race to see who is to become owner of the belongings. When a buck gives up the ghost, a horse race for a distance of two miles is run, and the first man out takes possession of the dead man's ponies.
FORMER ALTON MAN SHOT BY INDIAN
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 20, 1903
The first definite confirmation of the newspaper reports received concerning the shooting of Felix I. Crowe, near Lawton, Oklahoma Territory, was received today by Mr. Albert Howard of Union street [Alton]. His wife gave particulars of the shooting, corroborating the newspaper reports. The report that Mr. Crowe had refused to permit the Indian who shot him to ride is an error. While on the way to Fort Sill with hay, the Indian, who was intoxicated, asked for a ride, which Mr. Crowe granted. When darkness overtook them, Mr. Crowe unhitched his team for the night. This enraged the Indian, as he wanted to go on to Mt. Scott that evening. However, he said nothing. Later, when Mr. Crowe had mounted his wagon to get feed for his horses, the Indian fired two shots at him. One, the first shot, entered the head above the right eye, and ranging down, passed through the jaw at the articulation, to lodge in the neck. The other bullet entered behind the ear and passed out through the skull. The first bullet was taken out of the neck. The wounded man returned to consciousness the next afternoon. The Indian escaped and had not been captured up to the last news from there. A letter received this morning by Mrs. G. F. Crowe in this city [Alton] from the daughter of the injured man, states that he is in a very serious condition, that, if he should get well, he will be blind in one eye.
[Note: Felix Crowe, formerly living at Summerfield (Godfrey) in 1893, and was a former Alton store owner on Belle Street, did not die from this shooting. He died in 1934 in Oklahoma, and is buried in the Alton Oakwood Cemetery.]
INDIAN TOMAHAWK FOUND
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 20, 1904
John Shaw of this city [Alton], recently found an Indian tomahawk while walking along the bluffs between Lockhaven and Elsah. The tomahawk is made of iron, with a hole neatly driven through the head for a handle. The edge of the tomahawk on one side is corroded with a smooth black rust, and is supposed to have been lost by its owner while the blood of the victim was still upon it. The tomahawk was made in France and sold to the Indians by French traders. Tomahawks usually were made of flint, to which handles were attached by binding with some tough, strong skin. This old tomahawk, if it could talk, might unfold many tales of horror, and when one handles it, it is with a shudder of horror as he contemplates the use it was put to.
CRAZY MOON'S WAR BONNET AND OTHER
ARTIFACTS IN ALTON – BROUGHT FROM WYOMING BY W. A. HOPPE
INDIAN ART PAINTED ON ROCK GOES TO ST.
Copyright Bev Bauser. All Rights Reserved.