Linguistically the Winnebago Indians are closely related to the {~LATIN SMALL LETTER TURNED T~}{~LATIN SMALL LETTER OPEN O~}iwe're

on the one side and to the Mandan on the other. They were first mentioned

in the Jesuit Relation of 1636, though the earliest known use of the name

Winnebago occurs in the Relation of 1640; Nicollet found them on Green bay

in 1639. According to Shea, the Winnebago were almost annihilated by the

(Algonquian) tribe in early days, and the historical group was

made up of the survivors of the early battles. Cbauvignerie placed the

Winnebago on Lake Superior in 1736, and Jefferys referred to them and the

Sac as living near the head of Green bay in 1761; Carver mentions a

Winnebago village on a small island near the eastern end of Winnebago lake

in 1778. Pike enumerated seven Winnebago villages existing in 1811; and in

1822 the population of the tribe was estimated at 5,800 (including 900

warriors) in the country about Winnebago lake and extending thence

southwestward to the Mississippi. By treaties in 1825 and 1832 they ceded

their lands south of Wisconsin and Fox rivers for a reservation on the

Mississippi above the Oneota; one of their villages in 1832 was at Prairie

la Grosse. They suffered several visitations of smallpox; the third, which

occurred in 1836, carried off more than a quarter of the tribe. A part of

the people long remained widely distributed over their old country east of

the Mississippi and along that river in Iowa and Minnesota; in 1840 most

of the tribe removed to the neutral ground in the then territory of Iowa;

in 1846 they surrendered their reservation for another above the

Minnesota, and in 1856 they were removed to Blue Earth, Minnesota. Here

they were mastering agriculture, when the Sioux war broke out and the

settlers demanded their removal. Those who had taken up farms, thereby

abandoning tribal rights, were allowed to remain, but the others were

transferred to Crow creek, on Missouri river, whence they soon escaped.

Their privations and sufferings were terrible; out of 2,000 taken to Crow

creek only 1,200 reached the Omaha reservation, whither most of them fled.

They were assigned a new reservation on the Omaha lands, where they now

remain, occupying lands allotted in severalty. In 1890 there were 1,215

Winnebago on the reservation, but nearly an equal number were scattered

over Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan, where they now live chiefly

by agriculture, with a strong predilection for hunting.