Sac and Mesquakie Move to Iowa

Time Frame: Early 1800's

In the 1800s Sac and Mesquakie Indians moved into Iowa.
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“First People of the Prairies,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 1, Iowa Public Television, 1979.

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In the early 1800s the tribes that occupied much of eastern Iowa were the Sauk and the Mesquakie. The Mesquakie were mistakenly referred to by one of their clan names, Fox, by the French in 1655 and there after were called Fox throughout recorded history. Although they were two separate tribes, they became known as the Sauk and Fox, and were treated by the Government as if they were one. The earliest French explorers found the Mesquakie tribe living in the Great Lakes region, on what is now the Michigan Peninsula where they were one of the most powerful tribes. Eventually both they and the Sauk moved to the Green Bay area of Wisconsin following the fur trade. By the time the white frontier had reached Illinois, tribal warfare had pushed the Sauk and the Mesquakie into western Illinois and eastern Iowa. They considered much of this land to be their permanent homeland, but soon were forced to move once more.


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