Page:History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century Volume 1.djvu/155
to surrender until forcibly disarmed. He fought bravely with Black Hawk in 1832, but was again taken prisoner by General Dodge. In 1845 he was made head chief of his tribe. He is described as one of the finest specimens, both physically and intellectually, of his race. Tall, well-proportioned and of dignified hearing, graceful in manners, and of undaunted courage, he was always popular with his tribe. He never became reconciled to the fate of his race in being dispossessed of their homes by the whites, and he regarded them as implacable foes to the end of his life.
Waukon-Decorah, signifying “White Snake,” was another of the most noted of Winnebago chiefs. He was inclined to keep peace with the whites, as he realized that war upon that powerful race was useless. His influence with his tribe often prevented acts of hostility on part of the impulsive young warriors. His village was located on the Upper Iowa River near the site of the town of Decorah, which bears his name. After his death the citizens of that village gave his remains a final resting place in the public square.
Two treacherous members of this tribe captured the leader of their allies, Black Hawk, when he had taken refuge among them after the massacre of Bad Axe and delivered him over to his enemies. Their names were Chasta and One-eyed Decorah.
In 1829 the Winnebagoes numbered five thousand eight hundred. In 1836 the smallpox destroyed one-fourth of their people. In 1855 they had become reduced to two thousand seven hundred and fifty-four. When they were first seen by the French they were of good stature, strong, athletic and dignified, with straight black hair, piercing black eyes and superior mental capacity. But after generations of contact with the whites, they degenerated rapidly, acquiring a strong appetite for intoxicating liquors. They were not a quarrelsome people and only made war to avenge the killing of members of their tribe. Their