Painting by Samuel Marsden Brooks, date unknown. (Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society.)

Chief Oshkosh. Painting by Samuel Marsden Brooks, date unknown. (Courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society.)

Gender
Male

Oshkosh

Biography

1795–31 Aug. 1858. Menominee Indian chief. Born in Old King Village at mouth of Menominee River (near present-day Green Bay, Brown Co., Wisconsin). Son of Akwinemi. Served in War of 1812 with one hundred Menominee warriors under British command. Married first Bam-ban-ni; second Sha-ka-noni-u; third Tono-ko-kum. Accepted position of grand chief of Menominee tribe, 11 Aug. 1827. Represented Menominee Nation in Treaty of Butte des Morts, 11 Aug. 1827. Served with Menominee warriors in U.S. Army during Winnebago War, 1827, and during Black Hawk War, 1832. Renegotiated Treaty of Washington, 27 Oct. 1832; represented tribe in Treaty of Cedar Point, 3 Sept. 1836. Visited and hosted Latter-day Saints in Wisconsin pineries and negotiated with them over logging rights, ca. Jan. 1844. Likely visited by James Emmett on assignment from Council of Fifty, 1844. Negotiated Treaty of Lake Poygan, 18 Oct. 1848, selling all remaining Menominee land to U.S. with condition that Menominee must find proposed resettlement site agreeable; after finding site inadequate, announced that Menominee would not relocate there and negotiated Treaty of Wolf River, 12 May 1854, wherein he was able to retain 270,000 acres of tribal homeland in present-day Menominee Co., Wisconsin. Successfully fought to keep Menominee on their traditional lands despite U.S. government’s attempts to remove them. Died at Menominee Reservation, Keshena, Oconto Co., Wisconsin Territory.

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