Around the time white settlers began flooding into Tazewell County in the 1820s, Potawatomi War Chief Senachwine compared the settlers’ numbers to the blades of grass on the prairie, while the chief could take all of his people and “place them in the hollow of my hand.” After futile efforts at resistance and co-existence, the native tribes of our area finally were expelled in the mid-1830s. Some of the stories and memories of the original peoples of Pekin and Tazewell County will be recalled this Columbus Day by Pekin Public Library’s Local History Specialist Jared Olar, who will present a program titled “In the Hollow of my Hand” in the library’s Community Room at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10. The library also has a display that spotlights Central Illinois’ Native Americans in the Local History Room.
Displayed here are images of: the war club and grave marker of Senachwine, Pottawatomi War Chief, who resided near the future site of Washington, Illinois, during the 1820s; the text of two speeches of Senachwine on the plight of the Native Americans of Illinois; Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk and Fox who fought to resist the expulsion of his and other tribes in 1832; and a map showing the various expulsions of the Pottawatomi bands from Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.
Displayed here are an array of images of Chief Shabbona of the Pottawatomi and his family, who is recorded as having camped in Pekin around 1830 (though his camps usually were in northern Illinois, and he and many members of his family are buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Morris, Illinois). In the image on the left, Shabbona wears the distinctive Pottawatomi turban. Also shown is Mimikwe or Miomex Zebequa ‘Po-ka-no-ka’ (1778-1864), daughter of Daniel Topinabe Bourassa (1758-1826), a Pottawatomi chief in Michigan, who was the chief of Shabbona’s three wives. Two other family members are also shown: Shabbona’s daughter Modwe Quah, and his great-granddaughter Josephine Marshno. Another photograph shows a line of Native American wigwams along Pekin’s railroad tracks during a community fair in the early 1900s which included a commemoration of the Pottawatomi and Kickapoo who lived here until they were forced to leave in the mid-1830s.
In this display is a reproduction of artist George Winter’s 1837 sketch of Kee-waw-nay Village, near Bruce’s Lake in northern Indiana, which depicts Pottawatomi life. Note the distinctive turbans, like that which Chief Shabbona is known to have worn. Also in this display are maps showing the areas where the Illiniwek, Pottawatomi, Kickapoo, and other tribes lived around the time that white settlement began to increase in Illinois. Copies of two historically significant letters of Ninian Edwards that describe the locations of the tribes and chiefs in Illinois while he was territorial governor of Illinois, are also shown. According to Edwards, in May 1812 the future site of Pekin was then the dwelling place of Kickapoo chief Lebourse Sulky.
An array of historic maps from the “Indian Villages of the Illinois Country” collection are here displayed.
, #benjamin-shabbona , #black-hawk , #columbus-day , #daniel-topinabe-bourassa , #fox-tribe , #george-winters , #illinois-country , #in-the-hollow-of-my-hand , #indian-villages-of-the-illinois-country , #josephine-marshno , #kee-waw-nay-village , #kickapoo , #lebourse , #mimikwe , #miomex-zebequa-pokanoka , #modwe-quah-shabbona , #native-americans-in-pekin , #ninian-edwards , #pottawatomi , #pottawatomi-in-pekin , #pottawatomi-trail-of-death , #sac , #sauk , #senachwine , #shabbona , #sulky #tazewell-county-native-tribes