Wisconsin Historical Society

Book or Pamphlet

Symbolic Petition of the Chippewa Chiefs

Symbolic Petition of the Chippewa Chiefs | Book or Pamphlet | Wisconsin Historical Society
This image was copied by artist Seth Eastman in 1849 and printed in Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's <i>The History of the Indian Tribes of the United States, Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States,</i> (Philadelphia, 1851). Schoolcraft says there (pp. 414-417) that a birch bark version was carried by Oshcabawis to Washington in 1849 when the tribe petitioned the U.S. to adjust boundaries of the 1842 LaPointe treaty. It was intended as a sort of letter of reference, depicting their authority to speak for the Lake Superior bands today called the Lac Courte Oreilles, St. Croix, Fond du Lac, Red Cliff and Bad River Ojibwe. In the decades that followed, it was also used by the Ojibwe to explain the Sandy Lake tragedy of 1850-51. Contemporary elders say that the lines from the hearts and eyes of the Catfish, Man-fish, Bear, and the three Martens to the heart and eye of the Crane signify that all the headmen shared the same views. The last line, going out from the Crane's eye, indicated that the entire group had authorized Chief Buffalo (Crane Clan) to speak to President Fillmore on their behalf.
DESCRIPTION
This image was copied by artist Seth Eastman in 1849 and printed in Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's The History of the Indian Tribes of the United States, Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, (Philadelphia, 1851). Schoolcraft says there (pp. 414-417) that a birch bark version was carried by Oshcabawis to Washington in 1849 when the tribe petitioned the U.S. to adjust boundaries of the 1842 LaPointe treaty. It was intended as a sort of letter of reference, depicting their authority to speak for the Lake Superior bands today called the Lac Courte Oreilles, St. Croix, Fond du Lac, Red Cliff and Bad River Ojibwe. In the decades that followed, it was also used by the Ojibwe to explain the Sandy Lake tragedy of 1850-51. Contemporary elders say that the lines from the hearts and eyes of the Catfish, Man-fish, Bear, and the three Martens to the heart and eye of the Crane signify that all the headmen shared the same views. The last line, going out from the Crane's eye, indicated that the entire group had authorized Chief Buffalo (Crane Clan) to speak to President Fillmore on their behalf.
RECORD DETAILS
Image ID:1871
Creation Date: 1851
Creator Name:Eastman, Seth
City:
County:
State:
Collection Name:Rare Books
Genre:Book or Pamphlet
Original Format Type:prints, fine-art
Original Format Number:E77 S381
Original Dimensions:12 x 9.5 inches
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The History of the Indian Tribes of the United States, Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States, Volume 1, by Henry R. Schoolcraft, Pictograph. A., plate 60. The plate is named, "Symbolic Petition of the Chippewa Chiefs, presented at Washington, January 28th, 1849, headed by Oshcabawis of Monomonecau, Wisconsin."
SUBJECTS
Animals
Drawing
Painting
Ojibwa Indians
Social life and customs
Special days
Signs and symbols

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