Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in the world by JSTOR. Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.istor.org/participate-istor/individuals/early- journal-content . JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com. lake ^<*p»nc Plate 1. Location of Indian Tribes in 1623. THE KASKASKIA INDIANS. A Tentative Hypothesis. Dr. J. F. Snyder. In absence of any prior record, the written history of Illinois commences in June, 1673; no white man, so far as is known, having before then seen, or set foot upon, its soil. When at that date, Marquette and Joliet set out upon their exploration of the Mississippi river, all tribes of the Algonkin Indians known to them were unaccountably huddled together in the cold, bleak latitude of central and northern Wisconsin (Plate 1). The Potawatomis occupied the narrow peninsula separating Green Bay from Lake Michigan. Just south of them were the Winnebagos. On the south side of Lake Winnebago and of Fox river, were the Kickapoos, Mascoutins and Miamis, and on the north side were located the Sacs, Menomines, Outagamis or Foxes, and Ojibwas. A remnant of the once powerful Hurons, with the Ottawas, were between Lakes Huron and Superior, the Sioux to the west of Lake Superior, and the Knisteneaus north of it. For the spiritual welfare of those Indians, the Mission of St. Francois Xavier was established on Green Bay in 1670, by Fathers AUouez and Dabblon.^ From that point, on the tenth day of June, 1673, in two birch bark canoes, with five Canadian canoemen, Marquette and Joliet started on their long and hazardous voyage. Proceeding up Fox river, they made the portage of their canoes and equipments, a distance of 2,700 paces, to the Wisconsin river, and floating down to its mouth glided into the Mississippi on June 17. After parting with their two Miami guides at the portage, not another Indian did they see until they had descended the great river to '^latitude 40 degrees and some minutes.*' 1 Jesuit Relations, 1671.— 43. *' 231 232 There, on June 25th, having occasion to land on the west bank, they perceived "footprints of men by the waterside, and a beaten path entering a beautiftil prairie/' Leaving the canoes in charge of their men, the two explorers cau- tiously followed the path inland six miles, where they came upon an Indian village on the bank of a river (prob- ably the Des Moines), which proved to be an encampment of the Peorias on their annual hunt. On the bluffs, half a league farther, were two other villages, of the Moingwena, evidently an allied tribe. Making their presence known by loud calls, the Peorias deputed four of their old men to advance and meet them. Two of these carrying highly ornamented calumets, in solemn silence * lifted their pipes toward the sun, as if offering them to him to smoke.*' These were not the first white men those Indians had seen. They had repeatedly been to the Mission and trading post on Green Bay, and by the '*Black Gown," or priest (Father Marquette), they recognized their visitors as Frenchmen probably from that Mission. And the Frenchmen, noticing the Indians were partly clothed with European fabrics,^ judged them to be friendly allies. Mar- quette spoke first, asking them who they were. They answered, **We are Illinois," and presented their calumet in token of friendship. This part of Marquette's narrative is provokingly brief and unsatisfactory. He was a well educated Frenchman, but a fanatical Jesuit wholly devoted to the conversion of savages to the Catholic faith. He had not penetrated the inhospitable wilds of America to study the ethnology or etymology of its indigenous tribes, but solely to effect the salvation of their souls. His companion, Louis Joliet (spelled JoUyet by Marquette), a native of Quebec, was not a priest but a merchant and educated business man of that city. As commander of the expedition, his object was not ecclesiastical. He was sent by the Comte de Frontenac, Governor of Canada, for the discovery and acquisition of new territory for the King of France. What 1 " Couvertz d^estoffe." Marquette's Narrative, Sec. IV. 233 fuller or more exact information he may have given the world will never be known, as all his papers were unfor- tunately lost, when returning, by the capsizing of his canoe in the St. Lawrence river almost in sight of Montreal. Marquette had been associated with the Algonquin Indians of the Lake region long enough to learn their lan- guage. Of the Indians he met on the Des Moines he says: ''They are divided into several villages (tribes), some of which are quite distant from that of which I speak, and which is called Peouarea (Peoria). This produces a diversity in their language which in general has a great affinity to the Algonquin, so that we easily understood one another.'* And upon that linguistic affinity — and no other evidence whatever — the Illinois Indians are asserted by all ethnologists to have been of the Algonkin stock. As Marquette and the Peorias * 'easily understood one another,*' their answer to his question, "who are you?" must surely have been more comprehensive than the brief; "we are Illinois,'* that he reports.^ The context of his narrative proves that it was. They told him, further, that they were Peorias, one of several allied tribes. He no- where in his narrative intimates that he tmderstood the term "Illinois" to be a tribal designation. Confirmatory of this he says (Sec. vi), "To say Illinois, is in their language, to say 'the men,* as if other Indians compared to them were beasts. And it must be admitted that they have an air of humanity that we had not remarked in other nations that we had seen on the way.'* The true significance of their answer therefore was, "We are stalwart men, of a race superior to the other Indians arotmd us." Invited to their village, the Frenchmen were there treated with the utmost hospitality and friendship. They were received at the door of the first wigwam by an old man standing erect with upturned face, and arms out- stretched to the sun in adoration, who thus addressed *"Je leur parlay done le premier et je leur demanday, qui ils estoient, ils me responcfirent qu'ils estoient Illinois." Marquette's Narrative, Sec. IV. 234 them: **How beautiful is the sun, Oh, Frenchmen, when thou comest to visit us! All our town awaits thee, and thou shall enter all our cabins in peace!*' There was at no time a distinct tribe of Indians named Illinois.^ But that name assumed as a title of distinction, by a league of several confederated tribes dwelling in the unknown country south of Wisconsin, had often been heard by the French; and some of those Indians had visited the Mission at La Pointe, on Lake Superior, as early as 1668.2 When then the stately Peorias answered, **We are Illinois,'* the name, signifying superior excellence, seems to have so fascinated the Frenchmen that they at once ap- plied it to all the region between the Wabash and Missouri rivers, and collectively to all the Indians within that terri- tory; also to Lake Michigan, and to the stream coursing from that lake southwest to the Mississippi, still known as the Illinois river. Returning in September from their farthest point south, near the mouth of the Arkansas, the explorers on reaching the Illinois river ascended that stream, having been told by the Peorias that it was the shortest and best route to Green Bay. From the Des Moines river down to the lower Chickasaw bluffs, and from there back to the upper Illinois river, the voyagers saw no Indians at all. Arriving where the city of Peoria now stands, they there found the Peoria tribe they had met on the Des Moines, recently returned to their own country from their hunt in the Des Moines valley. Continuing their course up stream, they soon came to the village of the Cas-cas-quia^ — written *La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West. By Francis Parkman, Boston, 1879, pp. 156-207. *See Marquette's letter to Father Francis Le Mercier, written from the La Pointe Mission. Quoted in Shea's "Life of Father Marquette." P. zlviii et seq. •In 1760 the Delaware Indians had a village on Big Beaver River, in Law- rence Cotmty, Pennsylvania, named Kuskuskies, sometimes written Cascaski, Coscosky, and Kishkuska. The word Kaskaskies means probably "at the falls." In this case the Falls of the Big Beaver were meant. — The Wilderness Trail. By Chas. A. Hanna, N. Y., 191 1. Vol. 1, p. 343. 235 Kaskaskia by Marquette — situated at, or near, the present site of Utica in La Salle county. Within the newly-discovered territory between the Wa- bash and Missouri rivers roamed seven or eight tribes, designated by the French as the Illinois Indians, that were loosely banded together in a nominal confederacy for mu- tual protection. Another bond uniting them was probably their common southern origin and ancestral kinship. The Peorias were situated on the expansion of the Illinois river, still known as Peoria Lake. The Cahokias and Tamaroas had their villages below the mouth of the Illi- nois river. The Moingwena, and one or two other allied tribes, ranged on Rock river and the Des Moines, and moving farther to the westward of the Mississippi became segregated from the others, and finally disappeared there. The Michigamies, the latest to arrive from the south,^ were located near the southern extremity of Lake Michigan. It has been claimed that that lake, known before to the French as Lake Illinois, gained its present name from that tribe of Indians; but it is more probable that the name Michigan was derived from the Algonkin word Mishiga- maWy meaning *' great water.'* The village of the Kaskaskias, when Marquette arrived in 1673, comprised but 74 lodges. When he returned in 1674, it contained over a hundred. AUouez, the next missionary following Marquette, in 1677, found there 351 lodges; and when La Salle visited it in 1680, there were over 400, each lodge constructed to domicile from two to four families. The aggregate strength of the Illinois confeder- acy — of which the Kaskaskias were the dominant tribe — when discovered by the Jesuits, is not certainly known. Their several villages were reported to Marquette, before he saw any of them, to contain *'more than eight or nine i"We have now descended to near 33 degrees north, having always gone south, when on the water's edge we perceived a village called Michigamea .... and heard from afar the Indians exciting one another to the combat by con- tinuous yells They were a warlike tribe living on a lake of the same name near the river," — the St. Francis river in Arkansas. Marquette's Journal, Section vii. 236 thousand souls/* doubtless an exaggeration.^ But Father Zenobius Membre, writing in his Narrative of La Salle, says: ''He arrived on the Uth of March (1680) at the great Illinois village, where I then was, being composed of seven or eight thousand souls." The Jesuit missionaries who earliest came in contact with the Illinois Indians all agree in having observed that they possessed marked characteristics and traits distin- guishing them from the other nomadic denizens of the north west. Marquette says, in Sec. VI of his narrative: 'The Illinois live by game, which is very abundant in this country, and on Indian corn, of which they always gather a good crop, so that they never suffer with famine. They also sow beans and melons, which are excellent, especially those with a red seed. Their squashes are not of the best ; they dry them in the sun, to eat in winter and spring." Further, he states that *'the Illinois adored the sun and thunder, but are well enough disposed to receive Chris- tianity. They sow maize which they have in great plenty ; they have pumpkins as large as those of France, and plenty of roots and fruits. The chase is very abundant in wild cattle (buffalo), bears, stags, turkeys, ducks, bustard (prairie chickens), wild pigeons and cranes. They leave their towns at certain times every year to go to the hunting grounds together, so as to be better able to resist if at- tacked They are warriors; they make many slaves whom they sell to the Ottawas for guns, powder, kettles, axes and knives. They were formerly at war with the Nadouessi (Sioux), but made peace some years since." In a letter written by Father Marest, Nov. 9th, 1712, to Father Germon, he says: **The Illinois are much less bar- barous than the other Indians The Poutea- utamies and the Illinois live in terms of friendship, and visit each other from time to time. Their manners, how- ever, are very different; those (the Potawatomis) are ^Marguette's letter to Father Francis Le Merder, written from the La- pointe mission in 1670. 237 brutal and gross, while these (the Illinois), on the contrary, are mild and affable/'^ The various accounts of the Illinois Indians, by Mar- quette, AUouez, Membre, Hennepin, Douay, Joutel, Tonty, Rasle and Marest, are remarkably alike. They all agree in describing them as ''tall of stature, strong and robust, and good archers," more intelligent, and less fierce and brutal than the Algonkins, but yet morally debased. Apart from their apparently reminiscent veneration of the sun, they entertained no ideas of religion higher than the Totem and Manitou cult in common with all American Indians. They were not mound builders when discovered by the French. * 'Their custom," says Father Sebastian Rasles, *4s not to bury their dead, but they wrap them in skins and attach them by the head and feet to the tops of trees. "^ Their insolent boasts of superiority drew upon the Illinois Indians the enmity of many surrounding tribes; And this, with their predatory excursions, sometimes to great distances, involved them in almost continual warfare that seriously depleted the number of their warriors. AUouez says: "At times they travel as much as 400 leagues in the dead of winter to attack their enemies and carry off slaves." "We were still at Fort Frontenac," says Father Membre, "the year before the Sieur de La Salle learned that his enemies had, to baffle his designs, excited the Iroquois to resume their former hostilities against the Illinois, which had been relinquished several years." The culmination of that savage feud came in September, 1680, w^hen the Illinois were overwhelmed by a large force of Iroquois * Discovery and Exploration ^ etc. By John Gilmary Shea, p. 25. ^ Kip's Early Jesuit Missions, Vol. 1, p. Z^. If the Indian mounds of the United States are anywhere mentioned in the seventy-three volumes of Jesuit Relations it has escaped my notice. That they are not there mentioned must be accepted as proof that the Indians had ceased the custom of mound-building before the first Jesuit missionaries com- menced their labors among them, in 1610. But though the Indians at that time may have lost all knowledge of the origin and purposes of the mounds, it seems strange that their evident artificial structure — particularly those of such abnormal forms as were seen in Wisconsin and Illinois — should not have attracted the attention and interest of intelligent and educated scholars as some of those priests certainly were. — ^J. F. S. 238 (from northern New York) and a band of Miamis, well equipped with fire arms. The Illinois were routed, with fearful loss, from their Kaskaskia village near Starved Rock, and pursued beyond the Mississippi. The victor- ious Iroquois returned in triumph to their own country, and the haughty Illinois, now broken in spirit and shattered in strength, never recovered from that disastrous defeat. For some years longer they bravely held their ground, but too weak to successfully resist the aggressive encroach- ments of the northern Algonkins, they finally concluded to abandon the splendid domain over which they had so long held absolute sway, and return to the south from whence they originally came. The Cahokias, Tamaroas, with most of the Michigamies, were the first to leave. In the spring of 1698, accompanied by their missionary, Father Jacques Pinet, they launched their fleet of canoes upon the current of the Illinois river, and floated with it down past the village of the Peorias, and on into the Mississippi. Reluctant, however, to part forever with their beloved old hunting ground, they halted on the east bank of the great river, nine leagues below the mouth of the Missouri, and the cluster of wigwams they there put up was the beginning of historic old Cahokia which has survived the vicissitudes of the two past centuries. The Kaskaskias remained about their old town near Starved Rock until the summer of 1700, when they resolved to go back to their people on the lower Mississippi from whom they had long been separated. On their way they called on their allies, the Cahokias and Tamaroas, whom they found pleasantly and peacefully situated at Cahokia, and well contented with their new home. This, with the in- fluence of Father Gravier, their spiritual guide, induced them to stop 15 leagues farther down, and there found a new Kaskaskia on a small river (which still bears that name) a few miles above its junction with the Mississippi.^ The Peorias, with a few Michigamies, a pitiful remnant ^Handbook of American Indians. Bureau of American Ethnology. Washington, 1907. Vol. 1, p. 662. u o pi, Q > < H CO 239 of the once powerful and domineering Illinois confederacy, were all then remaining in their old realm. And they were beset on all sides by their enemies, who had poured in from the north and taken possession of the vacated territory. The Foxes, Sauks, and Winnebagos had appropriated the Rock river region. Between them and the Kankakee were the Potawatomis. The Miamis and Mascoutins were on the upper branches of the Wabash; the Kickapoos in the prairies flanking the Sangamon, and the Shawnees ranged from the lower Wabash to the Cumberland. For several years comparative peace was maintained in that heterogen- eous roving horde by the genius of the great Ottawa chief, Pontiac. But when, in 1766, he was assassinated at Ca- hokia by a Cahokia Indian, the vengeance of the Algon- kins could no longer be restrained, and they determined upon the extermination of the few Illinois still in their midst. The cowering Peorias were set upon by the Potawatomis and their allies, and driven from one shelter to another until in desperation they took refuge on the summit of the great isolated rock on the left bank of the Illinois river, since known as Starved Rock. There they were closely besieged on all sides by their vigilant foes until reduced to the last extremity by starvation. '*The time came when the unfortunate remnant could hold out no longer. They awaited but a favorable oppor- tunity to attempt their escape. This was at last afforded by a dark and stormy night, when, led by their few remain- ing warriors, they stole, in profound silence, down the steep and narrow declivity, to be met by a solid wall of the ene- mies surrounding the point where alone a sortie could be made, and which had been confidently expected. The horrid scene that ensued can be better imagined than described. No quarter was asked or given. For a time, the bowlings of the tempest were drowned by the yells of the combatants and shrieks of the victims.**^ AH the Peorias perished there but eleven of the stoutest warriors, ^ The Last of the Illinois. By John Dean Caton, LL. D., Chicago. Fer- gus Printing Co., 1876, p. 14. 240 who broke through the besiegers* lines, and, seizing canoes they knew were moored at the river bank, swiftly paddled down stream. They were hotly pursued by the blood-thirsty demons, but reaching St. Louis first were there protected and fed. Resting there a few days they re-entered their canoes, and without halting at either Cahokia or Kaskas- kia, continued their flight down to the St. Francis river in Arkansas.^ The confederacy, known collectively as the Kaskaskias or Illinois, were undoubtedly regarded by the Algonkins, Iroquois, and other northern Indians as an alien intrusive people; and were fought successively by all until their ex- pulsion was finally accomplished. They were apparently of southern lineage, but to what stock of Aborigines they actually belonged is by no means clear. About the first day of May, 1541, DeSoto and his cavaliers, the first Euro- pean discoverers of the Mississippi, caught their first glimpse of that great river on their arrival at the lower Chickasaw bluffs. Following up the river bank until they found an open prairie bottom, they halted there twenty days to build boats for crossing the stream. **0n the opposite bank a great multitude of Indians were assembled, well armed, and with a fleet of canoes to defend the passage. The morning after he (DeSoto) had encamped, some of the natives visited him. Advancing without speaking a word, and turning their faces to the east, they made a profound genuflection to the sun, then facing the west, they made the same obeisance to the moon, and concluded with a simi- lar, but less humble reverence to De Soto.^ Having crossed the Mississippi, the Spaniards resumed their march north- ward, * through a wilderness of morasses,' and on the fifth ^This, however, was not, as Judge Caton intimates, "the last of the Illi- nois'* in the present limits of this State. In 1832 there were still a number of Kaskaskias, Cahokias, Tamaroas, and Michigamis, in some of the southern counties. By a treaty made with them at Castor Hill, Mo., on Oct. 27, 1832, they ceded to the U. S. all their lands east of the Mississippi, and most of them then left to join those who before had gone to Indian territory. Gov. Koeraer says (in his Memoirs ^ Vol. 1, p. 394), there was near Kaskaskia a small village of ICaskaskia Indians when he first visited that place in 1835. 'Anonjrmous Narrative of the Portuguese Gentleman of Elvas. I i i 241 day, *from the summit of a high ridge (Crowley's Ridge), they descried a large village containing about 400 dwellings. It was seated on the banks of a river (the St. Francis) the borders of which, as far as the eye could reach, were covered with luxuriant fields of maize, interspersed with groves of fruit trees.* That town *bore the name of Casquin, or Casqui, as did the whole province and its Casique.' '' Here the author appends this explanatory footnote: *' Supposed to be the same as the Kaskaskia Indians who at that time, peopled a province southwest of Missioiui.*' De Soto *4n two days came to the chief town, where the Cacique re- sided. It was seated on the same side of the river about seven leagues above, and in a very fertile and populous country. Here they were all received by the Cacique, who made him a present of mantles, skins, and fish; and invited De Soto to lodge in his habitation. It stood on a high artificial hill on one side of the village, and consisted of twelve or thirteen large houses for the accommodation of his numerous family and attendants.*'^ On a war footing this barbarian chief had '*three thous- and Indians laden with supplies, and with the baggage of the army, who were all armed with bows and arrows. But beside these, he had five thousand of his choicest warriors, well armed, fiercely painted and decorated with war plumes.'* The **high artificial hill" on which the Cacique resided is still there, a pyramidal earthen mound with projecting terrace, of the type represented in Plates 2, 3 and 5. The accounts given by the De Soto historians, of the Casqui, or Kaskaskia, Indians, and of the opulence and grandeur of their province on the St. Francis river 371 years ago, requires but little aid of the imagination for vividly reproducing the scenes of Indian life — perhaps that of their ancestors — when in full occupancy of the mounds they erected here in the American Bottom. In the mind's eye can be discerned the houses of the Cacique, and his retinue of attendants, oh the great Cahokia mound, and the vast level plain below, **a very fertile and populous I Conquest of Florida, By Theodore Irving, M. A., New York, 1851, p. 316. 242 country, as far as the eye could reach, covered with luxur- iant fields of maize, interspersed with groves of fruit trees. ''^ When De Soto again took up his line of march north- ward, he was accompanied by the Chief of the Casquias with his army of 8,000 warriors. Not, however, merely as a guard of honor, but, with the added prestige of the Spaniards, to attack the Capahas, a powerful tribe farther up on the Mississippi, with whom he had long been at war. The Capahas, known later as the Quapaws, were of the Siouxan family of aborigines, as their language indicated, having come to that locality from the north, in the remote past. According to their ancestral tradition, **they de- scended the Mississippi in one body to the entrance of a large and muddy river (the Missouri), and there divided, one party continuing down the Mississippi, and the other going up the muddy river. The descending band were checked in their progress by the Kaskaskias (of the Amer- ican Bottom), whose opposition they at length subdued. In their further descent, they were harassed by the Chicka- saws and Choctaws, and waged war with them for some considerable time, but at length overcoming all opposition, they settled there, and since remained, where De Soto saw them.'*2 As a rule, Indian traditions are unreliable, and utterly valueless as elements of history, excepting when supported by corroborative evidence. There are no positively known facts to sustain that tradition of the Quapaws beyond the remarkable similarity of their language to that of the Sioux; but certain inferences from known facts impart to it a high degree of plausibility. At the time of De Soto's arrival there, the Casquias seemed aiBBliated with, or were a part of, a large tribe, or nation, of Indians inhabiting the the country between the St. Francis and Arkansas rivers — possibly the progenitors of the Akamsea of Marquette. Their remains in eastern Arkansas present undoubted evi- * Persimmons, Plums, and Crabapples. ^Nuttall's Journal of Travels, Thwaite's reprints, 1905. Vol. XIII. p. 122. i < % gco o ^ 243 dence of an ancient state of aboriginal society there far above the best social conditions of the pre-Columbian tribes of the northern and northeastern lake region. They had attained a degree of culture represented by the finest expressions of prehistoric art. They were mound-builders of the most advanced order. Their domiciliary mounds with projecting terraces (Plates 2, 3, and 5) display a type of architecture peculiarly their own, and erected by no others. They were sun worshipers, maintaining on their temple mounds perpetual fires. In the ceramic art they had reached the highest perfection of the stone age. A pottery vase taken from an Indian grave by C. W. Riggs a few years ago in or near a large mound on the St. Francis river has modeled on one side a human face, **so marked and well executed that one is astonished at its life-like appearance.'*^ **The vessels of pottery made by the natives of Arkan- sas in 1541,'* says the Gentleman of Elvas, the Portuguese historian of the De Soto expedition, **equaled the standard ware of Spain; little differing from that of Estremoz or Montemor.'*2 Very creditable images both carved in stone and modeled with clay, found there, attest their progress in art; and their implements and ornaments of stone, shell, bone and copper were not excelled by those of any of their contemporaries north of the Gulf of Mexico. The wonderful similarity of prehistoric antiquities found in the American Bottom, in Illinois, to those recovered from eastern Arkansas, is of important significance in this connection. The pottery ware, stone implements, carved pipes, stone and terra cotta images, and other artefacts, unmistakably of the mound-building era, in both regions are identical in design, material and motive. The few human crania and other skeletal remains of the same era, exhumed from among the mounds on Cahokia creek, correspond surprisingly in form, measurement, and physi- cal development, with those from the ancient Arkansas 1 Genl. Thruston's Antiquities of Tennessee. 2nd edition, p. 95. 2 Buckingham Smith's translation of the De Soto narrative, p. 165. 244 cemeteries. Added to these facts the great Cahokia mound — the most stately example of the truncated earthen pyra- mid in our country — with its broad elevated terrace pro- jecting to the south; and Emerald mound, near Lebanon and its unfinished terrace looking towards the American Bottom, counterparts in peculiar configuration of those on, and south of, the St. Francis river, the conclusion is irresistible that the same people were the authors of all those works. This data, with more specific testimony that cannot here be stated for want of space, establishes on a sub- stantial basis the theory that the Sun worshipers who left us the heritage of their art remains, and vestiges of their culture, in the American Bottom, were a colony of the Casquias and their congeners, who, in the dim past, came up from the south and founded here a new empire, which in time they abandoned, and returned from whence they came. One hundred and thirty-two years after De Soto dis- covered, and crossed, the Mississippi at Chickasaw Bluffs, Marquette arrived there in his birch bark canoe. In that interval of time, great changes had occurred among the aboriginal population of that country. The Capahas — or Quapaws of modern times — had overrun and extermina- ted the Casquias, and driven out their adjacent kinsmen on the south, the advanced mound-building race, and sup- planted them in possession of their fertile territory. A remnant of that then decadent people, known to Mar- quette as the Akamsea, still held a foothold near the mouth of the Arkansas river; but soon thereafter, as ** Arkansas" Indians, they sought refuge higher up that stream into the interior and disappeared. Du Pratz, writing in 1758, says: **The nation of the Arkansas have given their name to the river on which they are situated about four leagues from its confluence with the Mississippi They have been joined by the Kappas (Casquis?), the Michigamies, and a part of the Illinois, who have settled among them. Accordingly there is no longer any mention either of the H O O o P < ^^ Q O O < o u O O PL, H ►Si 245 Kappas, or Michigamies, who are now all adopted by the Arkansas.'*^ When Marquette, in 1673, asked the Peoria Indians on the Des Moines river who they were, and they proudly answered, **We are Illinois,'* meaning * 'manly men of a race superior to surrounding natives," they spoke with traditional knowledge of their true lineage, the pronoun **we*' including their confederacy of sub-tribes having its central village, or capital, called Casqtiia, or Kaskaskia, on the Illinois river. The limited accounts we have of their history, ethnic condition, and tribal characteristics, sustain their declaration; at any rate, so far as relieving them of the obloquy of Algonkin derivation. There is now but little doubt of their southern origin. And there are many reasons to believe that — as did the lost tribes of Israel — they wandered away, before the exodus of their people from the American Bottom; or, later seceded from them when back on the St. Francis river, and returned to the prairies of northern Illinois, enticed there by the pro- fusion of buffaloes, and abundance of other game. In- fluenced there by their new environments, they had, in the lapse of time, lost the custom of mound-building, as well as some of the more refined arts of their race; but still retained a glimmering memory of their ancient sun worship, and their pristine knowledge of agriculture, perpetuating the com and other field products they brought with them from the south. All this is not claimed to be positively proved in this paper; but is offered as a reasonable tentative hypothesis to be verified, or refuted, by further research. ^History of Louisiana. By M. Page Du Pratz. New Edition, London, 1774, pp. 318-319.