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OFFICE OF THE
NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAI. SOCIETY,
LINCOLN, JANUARY 1, 1908.
To His Excellency, George L. Sheldon, Governor of Nebraska:
SIR-In accordance with the provisions of law, we have the honor to herewith submit our report of the proceedings of the Nebraska State Historical Society for the year ending December 31, 1907.
Embracing also a report of the proceedings of the Society under the administration of our predecessors, covering the period from January, 1900, the date of the last published report, to January, 1907.
CLARENCE S. PAINE,
GEORGE L. MILLER,
THE MORMON SETTLEMENTS IN THE MISSOURI VALLEY.
A PAPER PRESENTED BY CLYDE B. AITCHISON, OF COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA, BEFORE THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, JANUARY 11, 1899.
In the spring of 1846, that portion of the Missouri valley now included in southeastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa was nearly devoid of white settlers. The eastern slope of the valley, stretching from the Missouri river back to the lands of the Sacs and Foxes, was occupied by the Pottawattomi Indians, some 2,250 in number. By a treaty made September 26, 1833,1 the Pottawattomies, with some of the Ottawas and Chippeways, were granted five million acres of land, embracing a large part of what is now included in southwestern Iowa. The Pottawattomies and their allies were removed from Chicago, and in time were located on new lands.2 A subagency and trading post was established at Traders or Trading Point, or at St. Francis, within the present limits of Mills county, Iowa, and their wants were cared for at the Council Bluffs subagency. A considerable sized village called, after one of their chiefs, Mi-au-mise (Young Miami) was located on the Nishnabotna river, near the present site of Lewis, in Cass county, Iowa. Except a few small settlements of whites near the Missouri state line, the subagency opposite Bellevue, and scattering posts of the American Fur Company, the eastern slope of the Missouri valley was in the sole use and occupation of the Pottawattomies and
1Treaty of Chicago, Illinois, (see Stat. L. VII, 431) modified October 1, 1834. The treaty is abstracted in part II, 18th Annual Report, Burean of American Ethnology, p. 750.
2 See "Miscellanies" (John Dean Caton), p. 139.
their Ottawa and Chippeway allies. By a treaty made with the United States, June 5, 1846, the Pottawattomies disposed of their Iowa lands, but reserved for themselves the temporary right of occupancy.1
West of the Missouri, the agency at Bellevue cared for four tribes of Indians, the Omahas, Otoes, Poncas, and Pawnees, beside attending to the Pottawattomies, Ottawas, and Chippeways through the Council Bluffs subagency on the east side of the river.2 The Omaha tribe was to the north of the Platte, and the Otoes near its mouth, both bordering on the Missouri, with a strip of land between them still the cause of occasional disputes the ridiculous warfare of poor remnants of once mightier tribes. When the territory of Louisiana was acquired in 1803, the tribe of Otoes was estimated to consist of about two hundred warriors, including twenty-five or thirty of the Missouris who had taken refuge with them about 1778. The Omahas in 1799 consisted of 500 warriors, but had been almost cut off by smallpox before the acquisition of the Louisiana territory. When found by the Mormons in 1846, the
1"Early History of Iowa" (Charles Negus), in Annals of Iowa, 1870-71, p. 568. See Stat. L. IX. 853. The treaty is abstracted in part II, 18th Annual Report, Bureau of Ethnology, p. 778. The reservation of possession is not mentioned in the abstract of the cession.
2 Care must be taken that the Council Bluffs agency is not confounded with the present city of Council Bluffs. The name Council Bluff or Council Bluffs was applied to various places along the Missouri river, in turn: first to the original Council Bluffs mentioned by Lewis and Clark, eighteen miles north of Omaha, and west of the Missouri, then to the agency at Bellevue, then to the subagency across the river from Bellevue and to the settlement at that point remaining after the removal of the Pottawattomi Indians. January 19, 1853, the name of the town of Kanesville was changed to Council Bluffs, in conformity with a change of the name of the postoffice made some time previous thereto. By an act of the General Assembly of Iowa passed February 24, 1853, the town (now city) of Council Bluffs was incorporated. The Frontier Guardian, issue of September 18, 1850, says, "The marshal has completed the census of Kanesville, and Trading Point or Council Bluffs. The former contains 1,103, the latter 125." Hence as late as 1850 the names Kanesville and Council Bluffs were entirely distinct.
3 An account of Louisiana (being an abstract of documents in the offices of the Departments of State and of the Treasury). Reprinted in Old South Leaflets No. 105, p. 18. The description of the Indian tribes contained in this much-ridiculed account of the Louisiana Purchase transmitted by President Jefferson to Congress (see McMaster's "History of the People of the United States," vol. II, p. 631) was shown by later explorations to be remarkably accurate, except that the relative distances are much exaggerated.