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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Search Results for: Keyword: 'lac du flambeau'

Term: The Bad River (Historic Marker Erected 1957)


Hwy. 2, Odanah, Ashland County

The Mauvaise (Bad) River was so named by the French due to the difficulties of its navigation. The Indians called it Mushkeezeebi or Marsh River. In 1845 the Rev. H. L. Wheeler, Protestant missionary at La Pointe, planned an agricultural settlement near the mouth of the Bad River where Indians had for many years made their gardens. He named the settlement "Odanah," a Chippewa word meaning "village". About 1850 a determined effort was begun to compel the Indians to move west of the Mississippi. Mr. Wheeler visited the lands to which it was proposed the Lake Superior Chippewa should go. He returned with the conviction it would be a deed of mercy on the part of the government to shoot the Indians rather than send them to the new region. In July, 1853, Mrs. Wheeler wrote her parents; "They (the Chippewa) are fully determined not to go. They have lived two years without their payments, and find they do not starve or freeze." Mr. Wheeler's pleadings were not in vain. The government resumed the payments, and his ideas of justice toward the Chippewa were substantially embodied in a treaty made with them in 1854 providing for them three reservations, at Odanah, at Lac Court Oreilles and at Lac du Flambeau.

[Source: Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]

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