Category Archives: Settlement

Peace and Friendship Treaties

The Summer of the 1815 Peace and Friendship Treaties

1815 – Just as residents of Saint Charles were the last to know of the beginning of the War of 1812, news of its end would come just as slow. Too slow to prevent the horrible incidents that would occur during the spring of 1815. By late that summer, the Nation’s history would converge and collide at a small settlement called Portage des Sioux. There the Peace and Friendship Treaties between the Kings, Chiefs, and Warriors, of the Tribes or Nations, in behalf of their said Tribes or Nations, on the one part; and the American representatives William Clark and Ninian Edwards of the other part; were signed. A turning point in American history. The beginning of westward expansion; and the end of the American Indians way of life. 

IN THE SPRING OF 1815

On the frontier in the St. Charles District of the Louisiana Territory, Daniel Boone’s grandson James Callaway, had taken command of Nathan Boone’s company of Rangers at Fort Clemson on Loutre Island. They were about to mount another campaign, so Callaway had sent many of his men home to prepare, when the Sauk and Fox stole several horses. The alarm sounded, and Callaway gathered several of his men still at the Fort and took off in a westward pursuit. Following the trail up the dry fork of the Loutre creek, they discovered an abandoned Indian camp, with their horses and a few Indian women. They retrieved their horses, and turned towards home. Some of the men believed that to return the same way they had come would take them into a trap. It did. As they forded the creek, they were fired upon and Daniel Boone’s son, Capt. James Callaway was shot. He and five other soldiers lost their lives that day.

In May, atrocities against the settlers continued, unknowingly and despite the events in the East. Bands of the Sauk and Fox  attacked the Ramsey family, murdering and scalping the entire family, except a two year old and an infant. The final battle in  the St. Charles Territory would come May 24, 1815, called the Battle of the Sinkhole. Black Hawk and a band of Sauk Indians attacked Fort Howard (City of Troy) north of the Cuivre River. That ambush on a group of American Rangers led to a prolonged siege in which seven Rangers were killed. This is considered by many to be the last battle of the War of 1812 in America. Finally, word had reached the frontier about the Treaty of Ghent signed five months before.

THE SUMMER OF 1815 
The United States assembled all Chiefs of any Nation that touched the waters of the great Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, to treaty with them. These treaties, at the conclusion of the War of 1812, were to bring Peace and Friendship between the residents of Missouri and Illinois and the Native Americans. This was the opening of the United States westward expansion. This was the beginning of the end for way of life that the Native Americans had known for centuries.

President James Madison called for a Treaty to be made with the Indians, and selected Portage des Sioux for the location. He appointed Gov. Wm Clark, Illinois Gov.  Ninian Edwards, and Col. Auguste Choteau to handle the affair. With the U.S. showing their strength with Col. John Miller and his Third Infantry, and almost the entire force under Gen. Daniel Bissell stationed at Ft. Bellefontaine in one place, the drums began to roll. The tribes began arriving July 1st and negotiations lasted for months, with Black Hawk never signing. But the War of 1812, our Indian War, was finally over.

Its location made Saint Charles a passageway for all the Indian nations to the north, who had hunted this area for years prior to the arrival of the white man. Settlement was scattered. St. Louis and St. Charles (the oldest city north of the Missouri River) had begun as trading posts for French Canadians fur traders, whose lives had melded with the Native American Indians by the time of the Louisiana Purchase. The purchase gave America a place  to push all of the displaced tribes east of the Mississippi. It wasn’t long before the settlers followed. By 1804, there were already over 100 homes and 450 residents in St. Charles.

ON MARCH 11, 1815, President James Madison appointed William Clark, governor of Missouri Territory and Ninian Edwards, governor of Illinois Territory to extend invitations to the Chiefs of all Indian Nations of both territories to treaty following the end of the War of 1812.

The treaty signings at Portage des Sioux were to occur between July 18 and September 16, 1815, with the Osage signing their Treaty on September 12, 1815. These events were a turning point in our Nation’s history. While it was the opening of America’s west for expansion, it was the beginning of the end for the American Indian’s way of life. This  series of treaties officially marked the end of conflicts between the U.S. and the Native Americans in the west, at the conclusion of the War of 1812, with a purpose to “restore to such Tribes or Nations respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in 1811″.

The treaties formed the legal basis in which tribes were relocated west of Missouri into Indian Territory, clearing the way for Missouri to enter the Union. President James Madison appointed Gov. Wm. Clark, Governor Ninian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau to arrange the treaty, by extending 37 invitations to the Chiefs. The tribes signing (in order of dates) were the Potawatomi, Piankeshaw, Teton, Sioux, Makah, Kickapoo, Wyandot, Osage, Fox, Iowa, and composed the largest gathering of tribes ever seen in Missouri, or west of the Mississippi.

The Treaty read  

A treaty of peace and friendship, made and concluded between William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau,  Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, on the part and behalf of the said States, of the one part; and the undersigned King, Chiefs, and Warriors, of the Tribes or Nations, on the part and behalf of their said Tribes or Nations, of the other part.

THE parties being desirous of re-establishing peace and friendship between the United States and the said tribes or nations, and of being placed in all things, and in every respect, on the same footing upon which they stood before the war, have agreed to the following articles:

ARTICLE 1  Every injury, or act of hostility, by one or either of the contracting parties against the other, shall be mutually forgiven and forgot.

ARTICLE 2.  There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between all the citizens of the United States of America and all the individuals composing the said  tribes or nations.

ARTICLE 3.The contracting parties, in the sincerity of mutual friendship recognize, re-establish, and confirm, all and every treaty, contract, and agreement, heretofore concluded between the United States and the said  tribes or nations.In witness whereof, the said William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau, commissioners as aforesaid, and the king, chiefs, and warriors of the said tribes or nations have hereunto subscribed their names and affixed their seals, this twelfth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, and of the independence of the United States the fortieth.
Wm. Clark, [L. S.]
Ninian Edwards, [L. S.]
Auguste Chouteau, [L. S.]
Done at Portage des Sioux,  in the presence of—
R. Wash, secretary of the commission,
Thomas Levers, lieutenant colonel, commanding First Regiment, I. T.,
P. Chouteau, agent Osages,
T. Paul, C. C. T.,
James B. Moore, captain.
Samuel Whiteside, captain.
Jno. W. Johnson, United States, factor and Indian agent, 
Maurice Blondeaux.
Samuel Solomon,
Noel Mograine,
Interpreters.
P. L. Chouteau,
Daniel Converse, third lieutenant. 
smalllogo

On Saturday, September 12, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. the City of Portage des Sioux invites the public to join us for a ceremony to commemorate the signing of the Peace and Friendship Treaties. Our special guests will be the Principal Chief of the Osage Nation,  Geoffrey Standing Bear; State Representative Anne Zerr; St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann; and Bud Clark, 3rd Great Grandson of William Clark. The ceremony will be located in the original location called “the pecan grove” where the treaties were signed in 1815. 

 It is suggested that the public bring lawnchairs and blankets. Portage des Sioux is on Hwy 94, and approximately 14 miles north of its intersection with Hwy 370. There will be signs with directions  that day. 

Louis Blanchette and his “les Petite Côtes”

The earliest and most important settlement north of the Missouri River is Saint Charles, originally known as Les Petite Côtes or the Little Hills. Contemporaries of Louis Blanchette[1] stated that he and his wife Tuhomehenga, either an Osage or Pawnee who later took the name Angelique[2] had settled along a spring fed creek [which now bears his name] in 1769. At that time the district of St. Charles embraced all the territory with the limits of the Spanish boundaries north of the Missouri River.[3] The village was situated at the foot of a range of small hills, sufficiently high to protect it from the overflows of the Missouri.

The Census of 1787 of St. Charles… contains the following information about Blanchette “Juan Bapta Blanchet, aged 51; Maria Su Mujer; 48, Baptiste Blanchette 24; Maria Blanchette 21” In addition to these his household contained, one carpenter, one huntsman and four laborers. Houck also quotes Auguste Chouteau, as noted in Hunt’s Minutes Book 1, page 127 saying “les Petites Cotes was established by Blanchette.” Houck also established where Blanchette lived “the lot upon which the first house being the square now numbered 19 bounded on the south by McDonald [McDonough], west by Main, east by Missouri [River] and north by Water streets, and from this we infer that Blanchette must have first erected his hut on this block when he made a settlement at what is now St. Charles.

Historian Kate Gregg’s research differed a little as she stated: The first settler in St. Charles, and probably the first one to build a mill north of the Missouri was Louis Blanchette le Chasseur (the hunter), who came to live at the foot of the river bluffs in 1769, and called them Les Petites Cotes or Little Hills. He established government buildings for the Spanish and a home for himself on what is now Block 20 of St. Charles; and on the stream that runs through it, the very water-course that the Boonslick [Boone’s Lick] Road later followed to the top of the hill, he established what appears to have been the first grist mill. Whatever hauling there may have been to and from his mill must have been, for the most part, between the mill and the village commons lying to the north of the town in the rich prairie; though there is every reason to believe that Blanchette and his neighbors made some kind of a road in getting from the southern part of the village where Blanchette lived, to the less fertile commons lying toward the west. The natural road between the mill and the two commons at the top of the hill was along the little stream which the Boonslick [Boone’s Lick] Road later followed. In 1789, Louis Blanchette, with only four more years to live, Blanchette-Coontz housesold his land in the southern part of the village to John Coontz, a German,… and he too erected a grist mill on Blanchette Creek, building a dam for it on what is now known as Block 79. Romain Dufreine, testifiying before Theodore Hunt, Land Commissioner, on May 7, 1825, swore that John Coontz had built his mill on this square thirty years before, i. e., in 1795, and had continued to occupy the land until he moved to the Dardenne ten or twelve years later.[4]

Auguste Chouteau made the first survey of the village, under order of the Spanish authorities, but the map of the village, if Chouteau ever made a map, has not been preserved, according to Gabriel La Trail, one of the oldest residents of St. Charles in 1824, who said “he assisted in the survey”. He was one of the principal witnesses before Commissioner Hunt testifying as to the ownership and occupancy of many of the lots of the village. Another who helped with the survey was Louis Barrada Senior.

In 1787 the population was said to be eighty families to one hundred families. “The houses, about one hundred in number, in which the four hundred fifty inhabitants lived, were scattered along a single street about one mile long[5] Even though ‘les Petite Côtes’ (the Little Hills), or San Carlos (Saint Charles) belonged to the Spanish, its inhabitants were mainly French- Canadians. Their occupations were fur trappers, traders and boatmen. They interacted with the Native Americans on a daily basis, intermarried with them, and their cultures combined not clashed. Outsiders considered them poor and indolent, but those that visited and got to know them insisted this was not true. It must have been a picturesque early settlement along the riverfront with the hillsides behind them rising and creating a backdrop for the early log houses, built in the early French style. Today, Block 20 where Blanchette lived , according to an original plat of Saint Charles, is the 900 block of the City of St. Charles’ Main Street, on the east (Missouri River) side of the street.

At the bottom is Block 20, showing John Coontz as he still owned it in 1817. From the original plat of St. Charles.
At the bottom is Block 20, showing John Coontz as he still owned it in 1817. From the original plat of St. Charles.

 

[1] Louis Blanchette was a native of the Parish St. Henry, Diocese of Quebec Canada, and a son of Pierre Blanchette and Mary Gensereau.

[2] Ehlmann, Steve, Crossroads: A History of St. Charles County, Bicentennial Edition, Lindenwood University Press, St. Charles, Missouri 2011

 

[3] Houck, Louis; A History of Missouri; Vol. II, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, Chicago 1908

 

[4] Gregg, Kate L. ; THE BOONSLICK ROAD IN ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Part I

From Missouri Historical Review, Volume 27 Issue 4, July 1933, pp. 307-314. Available on the State Historical Society of Missouri web site at the http://statehistoricalsocietyofmissouri.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/mhr/id/13394/rec/1

 

[5] Houck

The Osage

 

The Osage in Saint Charles

When French Canadian Louis Blanchette (1739-1793), founder of the City of Saint Charles, arrived in 1769, his only neighbors were the American Indians. The Sauk, Fox, Pottowatomie and Osage were the predominant tribes, using the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers for passage, to trade furs with the settlers in St. Louis.

The Osage had been shoved eastward from the Ohio valley into Illinois, then here. Here, the tall fierce tribe would often clash with the others tribes over hunting grounds. They soon developed a closer relationship with the French-Canadians fur traders and other white settlers than some tribes, often intermarrying.

As our area was traded back and forth between Spain and France, settlers from Kentucky and Virginia moved in. They followed the friends and families of trailblazer Daniel Boone, who had come in search of a wide frontier. As the early settlers found themselves United States residents again, with the Louisiana Purchase in 1804, the American Indians were overwhelmed. With the white man came disease, killing thousands. Everyone fought for the land, the British, the Spanish claimants, the American pioneers, and the Native Americans.

In the east, the War of 1812, often called the second Revolutionary War, would also affect us. Here, it was better known as the Indian War. While the settlers built forts in defense of depredations by Indians, the original residents fought for a way of life, and a land, that had been their home for ages. Afterwards, the settlers flooded the land once home for many tribes, including the Osage, and treaties were made. A treaty of 1804 had stated

the said tribes do hereby solemnly promise and agree that they will put an end to the bloody war which has heretofore raged between their tribes and those of the Great and Little Osages.

When William Clark led his men The Corps of Discovery westward with Meriwether Lewis, he had spotted an ideal prominent point, which would later officially become Fort Clark, known by all as Fort Osage. He would return, led by Nathan Boone, by using what became the Boone’s Lick trail. In 1808, at Fort Clark,

The United States being anxious to promote peace, friendship and intercourse with the Osage tribes, to afford them every assistance in their power, and to protect them from the insults and injuries of other tribes of Indians, situated near the settlements of the white people, have thought proper to build a fort on the right bank of the Missouri.

George C. Sibley (1782-1863) would be appointed the fort’s manager, called the factor.
By 1815, the United States would treaty with all tribes, at Portage des Sioux along the Mississippi, including the Osage.

A treaty of peace and friendship, made and concluded between William Clark, Ninian Edwards, and Auguste Chouteau, Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States of America, on the part and behalf of the said States, of the one part; and the undersigned King, Chiefs, and Warriors, of the Great and Little Osage Tribes or Nations, on the part and behalf of their said Tribes or Nations, of the other part.