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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Decorah family

Definition: Ho-Chunk Indian Family. GLORY OF THE MORNING, chieftess and progenitress of the Decorah family. She was a sister of a principal chief of those Ho-Chunk whose village was on Doty Island where the cities of Neenah and Menasha now stand. About 1730 she became the wife of a young French trader, Sabrevoir De Carrie. Some years later De Carrie rejoined the French army, taking their daughter with him, and was mortally wounded at Quebec in 1760. The two sons, Spoon Decorah and the Buzzard, remained with their mother. Glory of the Morning became a chieftess and ruled her tribe for many years. In 1766 she entertained Captain Jonathan Carver at her island village. The dates of her birth and death are not known. SPOON DECORAH (ca.1730-ca.1816), Ho-Chunk chief. The eldest son of Glory of the Morning, he aided the British in the War of 1812. It was chiefly through his influence that the Treaty of 1816 was brought about. He died at the portage of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers. OLD DECORAH (ca.1746--Apr. 20, 1836), Ho-Chunk chief. He was the eldest son of Spoon Decorah. About 1793 he led his tribe from Lake Puckaway in Green Lake County and founded a village above the Fox-Wisconsin portage. In the War of 1812 he campaigned with the British in Ohio and at the Battle of the Thames, and in 1825 signed the treaty at Prairie du Chien on behalf of the Ho-Chunk. ONE-EYED DECORAH (ca.1772-Aug., 1864), Ho-Chunk chief. He was the son of the Buzzard. About 1787 he succeeded his father as chief of the La Crosse band of the Ho-Chunk; his village was on the Black River in Trempealeau County. During the War of 1812 he campaigned with the British in the Wisconsin area. In the Black Hawk War he aided the Americans, and at the end of the war he captured the Sauk chief and delivered him to the forces at Prairie du Chien. WAUKON DECORAH (ca.1780-1868), Ho-Chunk chief. The youngest son of the Buzzard, he was the orator of the Ho-Chunk, whose village was about 60 miles above Prairie du Chien, on the Mississippi. He aided the whites during the Black Hawk War but, in accordance with successive treaty provisions, he and his tribe moved to northeastern Iowa and later to Long Prairie, Minn. After 1855 he lived in Blue Earth County, Minn. Two Iowa cities, Decorah and Waukon, bear his name. F. W. Hodge, ed., Handbook of Amer. Indians (2 vols., Washington, 1907-1910); Wis. Archeologist, o.s., 6; P. V. Lawson, et al., eds., Hist. of Winnebago Co. (2 vols., Chicago, 1908); C. Cole, I Am Man (Iowa City, 1938); Coils. State Hist. Soc. Wis., 3 (1857), 7 (1876); Madison Democrat, Feb. 21, 1912; M. M. Quaife, Wis. (4 vols., Chicago, 1924).

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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