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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Committee on Indian Concerns Scrapbook

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the head is entirely uncovered, except that the blanket is
sometimes thrown over it for a coming, but they use no
other. The dress of the large children is similar to that
of the grown persons of the same sex; most of the small chil-
dren go naked during the warm season:--those that attend
school are clothed similarly to the white children on the
frontier settlements.

The greater part of the men and women
wear ornaments, such as wampum beads, bells and jewelry;
most of the men paint thier faces on special occasions:
some part of the face is painted red, and some black.

The principal employment of the men consists in
hunting at certain seasons of the year, and when they
are not thus engaged they do but very little labour of
any kind: it being considered disgraceful both by men and
women for the man to be seen at work. Much of
thier time is spent in riding (of which they are exceedingly
fond): they likewise spend some time in ball playing
and other sports, and a considerable time is spent in
lounging about in idleness.

The women are generally industrious, per-
forming the greater part of the manual labour, both in
the camp and on the land: they look very dejected, and
appear more like slaves than otherwise--many of the
women receivd very severe treatment from the men; some
of them are lame from the rough treatment of the men in
their drunken revels.

The Winnebagoes

have but one school, and that
is supported by the General Government, and is under the
immediate superintendence of the sub agent.

There have been the past year about ninety children
at the school, some of whom have made pretty good profi-
ciency in learning: it was vacant while we were there.
The Teachers say that they have much difficulty in getting
the children to attend constantly, and not unfrequently
the parents have to be bribed to let them go: and oftentimes
a compliance with the wishes of the teachers to have the
children attend regularly, is induced only by a state of the
most abject suffering on the part of both parents and chil-
dren. Sometimes the parents will consent to let thier chil-
dren attend school on receiving thin rations of bread and
meat to carry home to the family; instead of boarding at the
house provided for their accommodation.

The school may be considered as rather an interesting Insititu-
tion, and from what we could gather from the teacers the
children were as ready to take learning as the whites: they
are taught in the english language altogether.

This Tribe is governed by chiefs who sometimes
hold their office heriditarily--sometimes by a choice of the
people--and sometimes they are appointed by the agents
of the General Government


They have some vague notions of the Deity or Great
Spirit as He is more generally called by them--they also
believe in a state of future rewards and punishments, and
talk about a bad Spirit--very few, if any, have embraced

The annuity paid to this Tribe is very large,
amounting to nearly Ninety Thousand Dollars; in money,
goods, and appropriations for different purposes.

Previously to their receiving their annuity, the sub agent
collects the whole Tribe, and pays over to the head of each
family the amount due them--notwithstanding the large
sum which they receive, they are still in a most deplor-
able and suffering condition and fast wasting away.

Much of their misery may be traced to the treatment of
the white people towards them.

But leaving the past and looking only at the present
conduct of the white man; it is evident that unless something
more effectual is done to break up the corrupt and iniquitous
trafic in whiskey; as well as the fraudulent trade carried on
amongst the Indians by those persons licensed by the Govern-

, the Winnebagos will in a few years be numbered
with the Tribes that are not.

We were credibly informed, that in difiance of the
present rigid laws,immediately after the payment of
1841, there was sold to this Tribe Two hundred barrels
of whiskey: and at the time of our being there in 1842, the
sellers thereof had increased in number one third.

These whiskey dealers and licensed traders find a
Strong inducement to follow up the poor Indian, from the
fact of his receiving so large a payment at one time--the
indian as a general thing is improvident to the last
degree; and but poorly calculated to keep any amount
of surplus property: so that within four or five days the
whiskey seller, residing on the frontier, and the licensed
trader who is permitted to vend his goods amongst them