The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Iowas

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The American Cyclopædia
Iowas
Edition of 1879. See also Iowa people on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

IOWAS, a tribe of American Indians, belonging to the Dakota family. They call themselves Pahucha, “Dusty Nose,” but were called by some Algonquin tribes lowas, and by others Mascoutin or Prairie Nadouessis. Marquette in 1673 lays them down as the Pahoutet, back of the Des Moines. They consisted of eight clans: the Eagle, Wolf, Bear, and Buffalo, still existing, and the Pigeon, Elk, Beaver, and Snake, now extinct. Each of these was distinguished by a peculiar way of cutting the hair. The Jesuit Father André preached to a band of them about 1675, and ten years later a delegation met and wept over Perrot, according to the Sioux fashion, at his temporary fort on the Wisconsin. Their country was then in about lat. 43° N., 12 days' journey west of Green bay. In 1700 they were on the Mankato, and like the Sioux were at war with all the western Algonquin tribes. Charlevoix mentions that the great pipestone quarry was on their territory, and says they were famous in all the west as pedestrians, being able to travel 25 or 30 leagues a day when alone; and the names of chiefs show that they pride themselves on their walking. They were constantly at war, and about the beginning of this century were involved with the Osages, and soon after with the Omahas and Sioux. They seem to have numbered then about 1,500. They defeated the Osages in 1803, but soon after lost severely by smallpox; some years later many of them were killed and taken by the Sioux, and in 1815 they were again decimated by disease. The United States made a treaty of peace with Wyingwaha or Hardheart and other chiefs, Sept. 16, 1815. By another treaty, made with Gen. Clark on Aug. 4, 1824, Mahaskah or White Cloud, the greatest chief in the annals of the tribe, and Manehana or Great Walker, ceded all the Iowa lands in the territory of Missouri, for $500 down and $500 annually for ten years, the United States agreeing to support a blacksmith and assist the tribe with agricultural implements, cattle, &c. Their chief villages at this time were on the Iowa and Des Moines. The next year Clark and Lewis Cass endeavored to establish peace between them and the Sioux. A part of the Sacs and Foxes were then jointly interested with them in some of the territory between the Iowa and Des Moines, and have continued to be their friends and neighbors. The intrusion of whites on their valuable lead lands led to trouble and complaints; but the influence of liquor, with war and disease, was beginning to destroy the tribe. The lowas, numbering 992, were removed by the treaty of Sept. 17, 1836, and placed on the west bank of the Missouri above Wolf river; but a part broke off the next year and became vagrants, living by theft and hunting on grounds of other tribes. Every year showed a decline, the chiefs leading in intemperance, and many of the tribe being killed annually in liquor. A Presbyterian mission and manual labor school, earnestly maintained from 1835 to 1866, failed to save this people. By 1846 they had declined to 706 in number. Their territory was then bounded E. by the Missouri and N. by the Great Nemahaw. By the treaty of March 6, 1861, the tribe, reduced then to 305 souls, ceded all but a reservation of 16,000 acres. In 1869 they agreed to sell this and remove, but subsequently retracted, merely giving part to the Sacs and Foxes, who actually sold their reservation. Out of a population of only 293 the lowas in 1864 had 41 men in the United States armies, who were improved by the discipline, and adopted civilized customs. Since the tribe has been placed under the charge of the Friends, some progress is said to have been made in sobriety and industry. In 1872 they numbered 225, and were quite favorable to the school, which contained 63 pupils all dressed in civilized garb, and to the orphans' industrial home. They had 700 acres cultivated, 13 frame houses, and 20 log houses. Their produce amounted to $2,685, and their stock was valued at $7,900. The United States government holds $57,500 for the lowas, the interest of which is paid yearly to the heads of families; and the usual Indian goods are not now furnished, being replaced by useful articles. — An Iowa grammar by the Rev. S. M. Irvin and William Hamilton, illustrating the principles of the language, and a primer, were published at the Iowa mission in 1848.