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Historic Diaries: Marsh, 1834

Appanoose's Village

Editor's Note:

Marsh resumed his diary on this day after spending the previous week traveling overland up the Des Moines River to Appenoose's village with Dr. Williamson, only to find that the Fox chief was absent.

They stayed only briefly at the village, located on the site of modern Ottumwa (which derives its name from the Fox "Ah-taum-way-e-nauk"); map. Not only were the chief and most of the influential leaders absent on their summer hunt, but there was also no interpreter on hand, and the Indians didn't have enough food to support them. Having brought only enough provisions to subsist on the trail, the two missionaries soon went back downriver to the trading post of William Phelps in order to await the chief's return.

July 12th 1834

Spent the day as mentioned before at Appenooces' village.

[In his report to the missionary board the next year, Marsh described Appanoose’s village this way:] “Ap-pen-oor-es village, called Ah-taum-way-e-nauk, (Perseverance Town). This is situated upon the south side of the Des Moines (Monk) river and about 125 miles from its mouth. It consists of eight lodges, was commenced in the spring of 1834 and has about 250 souls in it. The location is delightful being upon the bank where it is very high, and having a large and fertile prairie extending 7 or 8 miles in a southerly direction and about two miles wide. Near this village there is a salt-spring and within a mile and a half excellent mill-privileges, and a sufficient quantity of timber in the vicinity for building and other purposes. This is the most eligible place which I met with amongst the Sacs and Foxes for a missionary establishment. In addition to the natural advantages, it is removed at a greater distance from the white settlements than any other of their villages, being by water about 90 miles." [Wisconsin Historical Collections 15:122-23]

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