Fox Wars

The Fox Wars were two conflicts between the French and the Fox (Meskwaki or Red Earth People; Renards; Outagamis) Indians that occurred in the Great Lakes region (particularly near the Fort of Detroit) from 1712 to 1733.[Notes 1] These territories are known today as the states of Michigan and Wisconsin in the United States. The Wars exemplified colonial warfare in the transitional space of New France, occurring within the complex system of alliances and enmities with native peoples and colonial plans for expansion.

The Fox controlled the Fox River system. This river was vital for the fur trade between French Canada and the North American interior, because it allowed river travel from Green Bay in Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. The French wanted the rights to use the river system to gain access to both the Mississippi and trade contacts with tribes to the west.[1]

The wars claimed thousands of lives and initiated a slave trade whereby Fox Indians were captured by native allies of New France and then sold as slaves to the French colonial population.[2]:54 Indeed, alliances between the French and other native groups (such as Ottawa, Miamis and Sioux) as well as those between the Fox and other native groups (such as the Sauk, Mascoutens and Kickapoos) were an important aspect of the Wars, influencing every stage of the conflicts, including the causes, the fighting and the conclusion.[2]:54

The First Fox War (1712-1716) began with inter-alliance violence and ended with the surrender of a large group of Fox and the subsequent peace deal.[2]:63[3]:169 As was custom, peace offerings required the exchange of goods and of prisoners to account for those who died in the conflict, acknowledging the importance of this exchange for establishing peace.[2]:64 The Second Fox War (1728-1733) was far more destructive than the first, and ended with the near annihilation of the Fox population.[3]:169

First Fox War

Fox defeat

  • Surrender of a large group of Fox Indians
  • Peace deal
  • Slave trade of Fox Indians
Fox Peoples  Kingdom of France and Indigenous Allies
Commanders and leaders
Lamyma, Pemoussa Jacques-Charles Renaud Dubuisson, Saguima, Makisabé
Unspecified Fox warriors outnumbering the French Soldiers and allied warriors Unspecified French Soldiers and allied warriors, 600 Ottawa and Potowatomi warriors reinforcements
Casualties and losses
1000 Fox Indians and Mascouten men 30 Frenchmen and 60 allies
Second Fox War

Fox defeat

  • Near annihilation of the Fox population
Fox Peoples  Kingdom of France and Indigenous Allies
Commanders and leaders
Fox commanders Jacques-Charles Renaud Dubuisson and Allied commanders
Unspecified Fox warriors Unspecified French Soldiers and allied warriors
Casualties and losses
Near annihilation of the Fox population Unspecified casualties

Prior to the Fox Wars

The Fox Indians were living in eastern Wisconsin at the time of their first contacts with the French around 1670.[4]:218 The Fox unsuccessfully sought to establish themselves as middlemen between the French and the Sioux, one of their two traditional enemies, the other being the Ojibwas (Chippewas) in northern Wisconsin.[4]:218

Not only were the Fox unsuccessful, but prior to 1701, many wars between aboriginal people, which also included the French, against the Iroquois were ravaging the aboriginal lands of the Pays d'en Haut. The Iroquoian wars brought fear and urgency for the French to attempt to save what was left of their trade alliances.[5]:143 Their alliances were in jeopardy, and also, in 1697 the western posts were closed as a result of the termination by Louis XIV of the fur trade west of Montreal.[4]:218 Historian Richard White illustrates central Wisconsin at the end of the seventeenth century as "a vast refugee center, its situation constantly changing, nations socializing, cooperating, feuding, fighting, constantly adjusting their strategies to shift in French trading policy, which was always the dominant reality."[5]:52 Thus, when the Peace Conference of 1701 finally took place in Montreal, the French were quick to establish a French protectorate in the Great Lakes region.[1]:97 Nevertheless, the question still remained as to how they would facilitate trade with their southern partners, when their main trading posts had been closed. From this point on, the Great Lakes region was going to be even more unstable.

First Fox War

After the Peace Conference of 1701, Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac resolved the trade issue by establishing a new fort, Fort Pontchartrain, at Detroit. This location was strategic, as it allowed access to the water trade routes, which were more accessible than Montreal, and the warpaths of the Great Lakes region.[4]:173 Despite enabling access to this region by establishing a fort, the French could not survive without the help of the aboriginal people. Governor Cadillac invited numerous tribes to settle in the area. Ottawa and Huron peoples established villages in the area, soon joined by the Potawatomi, Miamis, and Ojibwa. The population may have reached 6,000 at times.[6] This was positive for the French, but their presence and the presence of the Fox would aggravate things in the region.

Indigenous groups that were enemies, lived fairly far apart, but in Detroit, they lived side by side competing for a concrete and practical relationship with the French. As French colonizers sought to enlarge their influence in the West, they sought to allie themselves with the Indians as commercial and military partners.[2]:196 At the time, French imperial policy had already privileged certain aboriginal tribes, in particular the Ojibwa-Ottawa-Potawatimi confederacy and the Illini confederacy in the south, and the Sioux were the next profitable alliance.[1]:97 The Wisconsin tribes (Fox, Sauk, Mascouten, Kickapoo and Winnebago), with the intention of dominating the post, prevented the French from having direct trade access to the Sioux.[7]:54 Concurrently, they will disrupt the lives of the Ottawas and Miamis near Detroit, as well as the French settlement.[4]:218

In the spring of 1712, a large group of Fox under Lamyma, a peace chief, and Pemoussa, a war chief, established villages in the area, including a fort with easy gunshot range of Portchartrain. The Fox outnumbered the French and Hurons. However, their luck changed with the arrival of 600 allied warrior under Ottawa war chief Saguima and Potawatomi chief Makisabé reversed the fighting situation.[4]:218 Jacques-Charles Renaud Dubuisson, who wanted the Fox removed from their village, had ordered these reinforcements. For nineteen days, the Fox fought and kept their footing with the French. After several days, the Fox asked for a ceasefire and returned some hostages; however, no ceasefire was granted. Several days later, another parley occurred, as the Fox tried to seek protection of the women and children. Dubuisson chose to let his allies decide their course; they chose to grant no mercy. After nineteen days, during a nighttime thunderstorm, the Fox escaped their village and fled north. The French-allied Indians cornered them near the head of the Detroit River and inflicted four more days of fighting.[4]:218

By the end of the siege and pursuit, around 1000 Foxes and Mascouten men, women and children were killed (including many of the captives). The French lost 30 men, and their allies had 60 fatalities.[6] It was not until 1726, with the arrival of Charles de Beauharnois de La Boische, that the Fox and French actually achieve peace. In the past, there had been several attempts to find peace, however, each one failing and causing the Fox to return to war.[4]:219 As a result, during this period, enslaved Fox (men, women and children) entered Canada through raids and became a dominant source of enslaved labour in the Saint Lawrence Valley.[2]:198

Second Fox War

For the Fox, the origins, and the potential solution, to resolve their conflict lay in the slave trade. The Foxes were still willing to return to the French alliance if they could secure the return of their captives.[2]:215 In fact, all they wanted was to be considered as allies and kin, not enemies. However, the French officials supported that the Illinois, Ottawas, Ojibwas, and Huron were against the Foxes. As a result, the peace treaty from 1726 was annulled in the summer of 1727.[2]:215

With this peace treaty being annulled, the Fox declared war to the French and all their Indian allies. For the next four years, the French invested a lot of money and descended, with their allies, on Fox villages with an extreme advantage.[2]:216 The French pursued destruction of the Fox to such an extent as to damage their relations with other tribes.[6] The Sioux and the Iowas refused the Fox sanctuary.[4]:218 By the summer of 1730, the Fox population was weakening and continued to be attacked until the Sauk finally granted them sanctuary. The Sauk and Fox fought off the French with the help of western Indians, who were aware of Beauharnois plan for decimation.[4]:219 This final push would cause Beauharnois to grant a "General Pardon" in 1738 and peace to be restored.[4]:219

Their historical feuds with New France encouraged many Sauk and Fox warriors to develop kinship ties with France's rivals, the British. These ties continued to be significant as late as the War of 1812, when many Sauk and Fox fought on the side of British North America.

French finances

The financial situation of the colony before the first Fox War was a state of semi-bankruptcy. The War of Spanish Succession had taken a significant toll on the funds of France, and by extension, on the resources available to the colony of New France. Therefore, the colony had to maximize its profits and try to minimize its spending.[8]:71 This posed a particular problem in respect to the long-standing tensions with the Fox natives and their long-standing enemies, the Cree and Assiniboines natives.[7]:90

The financial justification for wanting to prevent war was very simple for the French. Periods of war slowed down the production of fur by the natives and New France was in no position to lose any more money that had already been spent elsewhere. This lack of funds made the French dependent on their allies for furs.[8]:75 Large scale expeditions could not be carried out by French voyageurs, instead the voyageurs would travel into native hunting grounds to make their trades and maintain relationships.[8]:74 These relationships were vital to French economic success, but this also bound them to act as diplomatic partners, becoming embroiled in conflicts between Native groups as part of their trade agreements.

Slavery and the Fox Wars

The Fox Wars facilitated the entry of Fox slaves into colonial New France in two ways: as spoils of French military officers or through direct trading.[2]:67 Beginning with the 1716 treaty, slavery became an ongoing element of the Fox-French relationship.[2]:66 As historian Brett Rushforth explains,

The French received scores of Fox slaves during the previous four years, placing themselves in a difficult diplomatic position between their allies and the Fox. By accepting these slaves, French colonists had symbolically acknowledged their enmity against the Fox, implicitly committing military support to their allies in future disputes.[2]:65

Fox slavery in New France thus had a precarious symbolic power. On the one hand, the exchange of slaves signaled the possible end of conflict, while, on the other hand, it also served as one motive for inciting continued conflict.[2]:65 In an early French manuscript describing the history of Green Bay, it is suggested that to gain peace with the Fox, it is more beneficial for opposing groups to simply return Fox captives than to take up arms against the Fox.[9]:22–23 "If this amnesty for slaves is not reached, and if the Fox do not maintain their promises for peace and "take up the hatchet anew, it will be necessary to reduce them by armed forces of both colonies acting in concert."[9]:22 Slaves were so commonly held that "every recorded complaint made by the Fox against the French and their native allies centered on the return of Fox captives, the most significant issue perpetuating the Fox Wars into subsequent decades."[2]:66

Yet, long after the conflicts Fox slaves worked in domestic service, unskilled labour and fieldwork, among other tasks throughout New France.[2]:71 Despite the abolishment of slavery in New France in accordance with the 1709 ordinance, Fox slavery was widespread. This pattern of slavery is evidence that intercultural experience in New France was sometimes vicious.[10]:84

Tensions and Economic Allies

After the First Fox War, roughly 1000 Fox slaves were taken by the coalition of Native groups who were fighting the Fox (namely the Illinois). In addition, some were taken and sold to the French in Detroit and in return, they received goods and credit.[11]:170 The impact of these slave holdings tied into the tensions surrounding the Second Fox War. This demonstrated a distinct lack of control by the French over the trade that they depended upon in the early years of New France.

After the First Fox War, there were tensions between the Fox and the French in Detroit, for holding slaves. Always wanting to secure French trade agreements, the Governor General of Canada, General Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil, agreed to return the Fox slaves in his possession. This agreement relied on certain conditions. The first request was that the Fox return their slaves to other Native groups. The second request was that new slaves be brought to the French in the following year.[8]:75[11]:170 The French desire for slaves would lead the Fox into conducting more slave raids, and increasing tension between Native groups.

The Illinois would persist during this period in denying their holding of any Fox slaves, but the French were impotent to force the Illinois to return the slaves in their possession. This in turn caused tensions to boil over and spark the Second Fox War.[11]:171 By the end of the Second Fox War, France had lost a trading partner, and a certain amount of economic influence. Another aspect that was made apparent through these tensions was the lack of control over the trade that New France had found itself to be reliant on.[12]:280 This lack of control stemmed from the political nature of the slave trade and the adeptness at which Illinois natives had used it to anger the Fox and lock the French into alliances. As a result, this was another event that led to the decline of the French power in Great Lakes Region.


  1. ^ In their book The Fox Wars, Edmunds and Peyser discuss the difficulties in nomenclature, saying, "They referred to themselves as Mesquakies, as do the modern Mesquakie people near Tama, Iowa. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, however, other Algonquian tribes of the western Great Lakes region and upper Mississippi Valley frequently called them Outagami, using a Chippewa word meaning ‘People of the Opposite Shore.’ In contrast, the French almost always referred to the Mesquakies as Renards, or ‘Foxes.’ Almost 90 percent of the anthropological and historical references to the tribe also use the term Fox…since most anthropologists and historians use the term Fox, as do most library reference systems, we finally decided generally to use Fox when discussing our subject." "Preface" in Edmunds, R. David and Joseph L. Peyser, The Fox Wars: The Mesquakie Challenge to New France (University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, 1993), xviii.


  1. ^ a b c Schmitz, Neil (1996). "Wisconsin's Fox River Valley and the Mesquakie: A New Local History". The Wisconsin Magazine of History. 80 (2): 84.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Rushforth, Brett (January 2006). "Slavery, the Fox Wars, and the Limits of Alliance". The William and Mary Quarterly. 63 (1): 54. JSTOR 3491725.
  3. ^ a b Edmunds, R. David; Peyser, Joseph L. (1993). The Fox Wars: The Mesquakie Challenge to New France. The Civilization of the American Indian series. 211. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 9780806125510.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gallay, Alan (1996). Colonial wars of North America, 1512-1763: an encyclopaedia. New York: Garland.
  5. ^ a b White, Richard (1991). The Middle Ground. Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ a b c Cleland, Charles E. (1992). Rites of Conquest: The History and Culture of Michigan's Native Americans. University of Michigan Press.
  7. ^ a b Innis, Harold Adams (1956). The fur trade in Canada; an introduction to Canadian economic history. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  8. ^ a b c d Mourin, Samuel (2011). "Le nerf de la guerre. Finances et métissage des expéditions françaises de la première guerre des Renards (1715-1716)". French Colonial History. 12.
  9. ^ a b State Historical Society of Wisconsin (1854). Wisconsin Historical Collections. 1. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Historical Society.
  10. ^ Desbarats, Catherine (January 2006). "Following 'The Middle Ground'". The William and Mary Quarterly. 63 (1).
  11. ^ a b c Demers, E.A.S. (September 2002). "Native-American Slavery and Territoriality in the Colonial Upper Great Lakes Region". Michigan Historical Review. 28 (2).
  12. ^ Witgen, Michael J. (2012). An infinity of nations: how the native New World shaped early North America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

External links

Augustin Langlade

Augustin Mouet, sieur de Langlade, (with a number of name variations) (1703 – c. 1771), was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. He was the son of Pierre Mouet, sieur de Moras.

Augustin obtained a fur trading license at Michilimackinac in 1728. That year he married Domiltilde, a widow with six children, who was the daughter of an Ottawa chief and the sister to another. This strengthened his standing in the area. He was largely responsible for the establishment of the fur trading outpost that became Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1728 he also fought in the Fox Wars together with François-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery.Augustin was a Canadian fur trader in that region. His son, Charles Michel de Langlade, was also involved in fur trading, and was a leader in the French and Indian Wars.

Black Hawk State Historic Site

The Black Hawk State Historic Site, in Rock Island, Illinois, occupies much of the historic site of the village of Saukenuk, the home of a band of Native Americans of the Sauk nation. It includes the John Hauberg Museum of Native American Life. The state park is located on a 150-foot (45 m) bluff overlooking the Rock River in western Illinois. It is most famous for being the birthplace of the Sauk warrior Black Hawk. The disputed cession of this area to the U.S. Government was the catalyst for the Black Hawk War.

First Nations

In Canada, the First Nations (French: Premières Nations) are the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada south of the Arctic Circle. Those in the Arctic area are distinct and known as Inuit. The Métis, another distinct ethnicity, developed after European contact and relations primarily between First Nations people and Europeans. There are 634 recognized First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.Under the Employment Equity Act, First Nations are a "designated group", along with women, visible minorities, and people with physical or mental disabilities. First Nations are not defined as a visible minority under the Act or by the criteria of Statistics Canada.North American indigenous peoples have cultures spanning thousands of years. Some of their oral traditions accurately describe historical events, such as the Cascadia earthquake of 1700 and the 18th-century Tseax Cone eruption. Written records began with the arrival of European explorers and colonists during the Age of Discovery, beginning in the late 15th century. European accounts by trappers, traders, explorers, and missionaries give important evidence of early contact culture. In addition, archeological and anthropological research, as well as linguistics, have helped scholars piece together an understanding of ancient cultures and historic peoples.

Although not without conflict, Euro-Canadians' early interactions with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations were less combative compared to the often violent battles between colonists and native peoples in the United States.

Fort Dearborn

Fort Dearborn was a United States fort built in 1803 beside the Chicago River, in what is now Chicago, Illinois. It was constructed by troops under Captain John Whistler and named in honor of Henry Dearborn, then United States Secretary of War. The original fort was destroyed following the Battle of Fort Dearborn during the War of 1812, and a second fort was reconstructed on the same site in 1816. By 1837, the fort had been de-commissioned. Parts of the fort were lost to both the widening of the Chicago River in 1855, and a fire in 1857. The last vestiges of Fort Dearborn were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The site of the fort is now a Chicago Landmark, located in the Michigan–Wacker Historic District.

Fort Detroit

Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or Fort Detroit was a fort established on the west bank of the Detroit River by the French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1701. In the 18th century, French colonial settlements developed on both sides of the river, based on the fur trade, missions and farms.

The site of the former fort, north of the Rouge River, is now within the city of Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan, an area bounded by Larned Street, Griswold Street, and the Civic Center (now occupied by office towers).

The fort was taken over by the British after the French surrendered Montreal in 1760 during the French and Indian War (part of the Seven Years' War). The British held it until the American Revolutionary War, and it was taken over by the United States afterward. They built Fort Lernoult to the north along the river in 1779. This was later renamed as Fort Shelby and was abandoned by the US military in the 1820s. The city of Detroit demolished Fort Shelby in 1827.

Fort de Buade

Fort de Buade was a French fort in the present U.S. state of Michigan's Upper Peninsula across the Straits of Mackinac from the northern tip of lower Michigan's "mitten". It was garrisoned between 1683 and 1701. The city of St. Ignace developed at the site, which also had the historic St. Ignace Mission founded by Jesuits. The fort was named after New France's governor at the time, Louis de Buade de Frontenac.

Fox Wars (TV programme)

Fox Wars is a British documentary that was first broadcast on BBC One on 22 October 2013. The documentary is about foxes in Britain, and shows people's stance on foxes.

François-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery

François-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery (24 August 1703 – 29 July 1759) was a colonial military leader in the French province of Canada. Active in the defense of New France during the Seven Years' War (also known as the French and Indian War), he died of wounds sustained in the 1759 Battle of La Belle-Famille.

Illinois coal wars

The Illinois coal wars, also known as the Illinois mine wars and several other names, were a series of labor disputes between 1898 and 1900 in central and southern Illinois.

The disputes were marked by racial violence between black and white coal miners, most notably during the Battle of Virden on October 12, 1898, and the Pana massacre on April 10, 1899.The same conditions and organizations were also involved in similar conflicts in two southern Illinois towns: in Lauder (now Cambria, Illinois) on June 30, 1899, and in Carterville, Illinois on September 17. At Lauder a group of African-American miners traveling by train from Pana were attacked. One woman, Anna Karr, was murdered, and about twenty others wounded. And at Carterville, five more non-union African-American miners were killed in out-and-out rioting. Local juries acquitted all those accused in those attacks.

Julian Stewart Lindsay

Julian Stewart Lindsay is a musical composer, currently residing in the United Kingdom and working as composer-in-residence at Hampton Court House School. He was trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Lindsay has worked with artists such as Culture Club, Jermaine Stewart, Stevie Wonder, and The Beach Boys. Lindsay collaborated as a songwriter with Carl Wilson on "Maybe I Don't Know" from The Beach Boys.Lindsay wrote the string and horn arrangement on Lyin' In Bed by Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers mixing reggae with symphonic music. He also played keyboards for some of the Culture Club sessions; notably piano on "Victims" on Colour by Numbers. Lindsay also co-wrote on the majority of the debut album of Jermaine Stewart's The Word Is Out. Lindsay has written the music for television films and documentaries, including arranging the music for the television series Jonathan Creek.In 1999 he was commissioned by the Durham Cathedral Chorister School to write a new work for the millennium to be performed in Durham Cathedral. The result was Vox Dei, a spiritual work inspired by the notion of godliness/spirituality being in everything and everyone. It was performed with a choir of some 200 singers. The organist was Daniel Hyde, who subsequently became an organ scholar at King's College Cambridge. The soloist who sang the title rôle in Vox Dei at its première was Gena West.Lindsay composed the music for Fox Wars which broadcast on 22 October 2013.

Little Lake Butte des Morts

Little Lake Butte des Morts is a lake in the US state of Wisconsin, eight miles north of Lake Butte des Morts. It is part of the Fox–Wisconsin Waterway and receives its inflow from a short segment of the Fox River which drains from the north end of Lake Winnebago around Doty Island. The north end of Little Lake Butte des Morts becomes the section of the Fox River running to Green Bay. The lake is part of the Butte des Morts region in Winnebago County, Wisconsin. The southern half of the lake is located within the cities of Menasha and Neenah.

The name "Butte des Morts" was given by French settlers, and means "Mound of the Dead" in reference to a nearby Indian burial mound. French archives state that in 1716, over 8000 civilians and over 500 soldiers lived within the fortified walls of Little Lake Butte des Morts. In 1716, during the Fox Wars, French expeditionary forces laid siege to the fort, in the battle of the Siege of Little Butte des Mortes, and massacred most of the inhabitants. Similar events occurred in another siege in 1730.The Roland Kampo Memorial Bridge which carries the Tri-County Expressway (WIS 441/US 10) crosses the lake. The Fox Cities Trestle Bridge, a rail trail also crosses the lake. It carries the Loop the Lake Trail and Friendship State Trail.


The Meskwaki (sometimes spelled Mesquakie) are a Native American people often known by Western society as the Fox tribe. They have been closely linked to the Sauk people of the same language family. In the Meskwaki language, the Meskwaki call themselves Meshkwahkihaki, which means "the Red-Earths", related to their creation story. Historically their homelands were in the Great Lakes region. The tribe coalesced in the St. Lawrence River Valley in present-day Ontario, Canada. Under French colonial pressures, it migrated to the southern side of the Great Lakes to territory that much later was organized by European Americans as the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa.

The Meskwaki suffered damaging wars with French and their Native American allies in the early 18th century, with one in 1730 decimating the tribe. Euro-American colonization and settlement proceeded in the United States during the 19th century,, forced the Meskwaki/Fox south and west into the tall grass prairie in the American Midwest. In 1851 the Iowa state legislature passed an unusual act to allow the Fox to buy land and stay in the state. Other Sac and Fox were removed to Indian territory in what became Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. In the 21st century, two federally recognized tribes of "Sac and Fox" have reservations, and one has a settlement.


Michigan ( (listen)) is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Michigan is the only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula is often noted as shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula (often called "the U.P.") is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km) channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge connects the peninsulas. The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. As a result, it is one of the leading U.S. states for recreational boating. Michigan also has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. A person in the state is never more than six miles (9.7 km) from a natural water source or more than 85 miles (137 km) from a Great Lakes shoreline.The area was first occupied by a succession of Native American tribes over thousands of years. Inhabited by Natives, Métis, and French explorers in the 17th century, it was claimed as part of New France colony. After France's defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule. Britain ceded this territory to the newly independent United States after Britain's defeat in the American Revolutionary War. The area was part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was formed in 1805, but some of the northern border with Canada was not agreed upon until after the War of 1812. Michigan was admitted into the Union in 1837 as the 26th state, a free one. It soon became an important center of industry and trade in the Great Lakes region and a popular immigrant destination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Although Michigan developed a diverse economy, it is widely known as the center of the U.S. automotive industry, which developed as a major economic force in the early 20th century. It is home to the country's three major automobile companies (whose headquarters are all within the Detroit metropolitan area). While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is important for tourism thanks to its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center of manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, services, and high-tech industry.


The Pottawatomi , also spelled Pottawatomie and Potawatomi (among many variations), are a Native American people of the Great Plains, upper Mississippi River, and western Great Lakes region. They traditionally speak the Potawatomi language, a member of the Algonquian family. The Potawatomi called themselves Neshnabé, a cognate of the word Anishinaabe. The Potawatomi were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa (Ottawa). In the Council of Three Fires, the Potawatomi were considered the "youngest brother" and were referred to in this context as Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and refers to the council fire of three peoples.

In the 19th century, they were pushed to the west by European/American encroachment in the late 18th century and removed from their lands in the Great Lakes region to reservations in Oklahoma. Under Indian Removal, they eventually ceded many of their lands, and most of the Potawatomi relocated to Nebraska, Kansas, and Indian Territory, now in Oklahoma. Some bands survived in the Great Lakes region and today are federally recognized as tribes. In Canada, there are over 20 First Nation bands.

Rebecca Front

Rebecca Louise Front (born 16 May 1964) is an English actress, writer and comedian. She won the 2010 BAFTA TV Award for Best Female Comedy Performance for The Thick of It (2009–12). She is also known for her work in numerous other British comedies, including the radio show On The Hour (1992), The Day Today (1994), Knowing Me, Knowing You… with Alan Partridge (1994), Time Gentlemen Please (2000–02), sketch show Big Train (2002), and Nighty Night (2004–05).

Front has also been seen in a number of dramatic roles, including Chief Superintendent Jean Innocent in Lewis (2006–14), Mrs Bennet in Death Comes to Pemberley (2013), Mrs Landau in The Eichmann Show (2015), and Vera in Humans (2015).

In December 2017, she appeared in the ITV talent show All Star Musicals, performing Tell Me on a Sunday.

Siege of Little Butte des Morts

The Siege of Little Butte des Morts was a battle fought during the Fox Wars, in Wisconsin, and Michigan. The battle was fought at Little Lake Butte des Morts, in what is now Winnebago County, Wisconsin, in 1716. At the time, the Fox had a massive stronghold at Butte Des Mortes, with possibly thousands of inhabitants. New France, knowing that Butte Des Morts was an important stronghold during the Fox Wars, laid siege to the fort. The French brought two pieces of cannon and a grenade mortar. The siege lasted three days, much longer than the French had anticipated. Butte des Morts was attacked by New France again in 1730, led by Paul Marin de la Malgue.


Winamac was the name of a number of Potawatomi leaders and warriors beginning in the late 17th century. The name derives from a man named Wilamet, a Native American from an eastern tribe who in 1681 was appointed to serve as a liaison between New France and the natives of the Lake Michigan region. Wilamet was adopted by the Potawatomis, and his name, which meant "Catfish" in his native Eastern Algonquian language, was soon transformed into "Winamac", which means the same thing in the Potawatomi language. The Potawatomi version of the name has been spelled in a variety of ways, including Winnemac, Winamek, and Winnemeg.

The Winamac name became associated with prominent members of the Fish clan of the Potawatomi tribe. In 1701, Winamac or Wilamet was a chief of the Potawatomi villages along the St. Joseph River in what is now the U.S. state of Michigan. This man or another of the same name was an ally of New France who helped negotiate an end to the Fox Wars in the 1730s. Two other Winamacs were prominent during the War of 1812. One was active opponent of the United States, while the other was a U.S. ally. These two Winamacs have often been confused with each other.

Wisconsin Heights Battlefield

The Wisconsin Heights Battlefield is an area in Dane County, Wisconsin where the penultimate battle of the 1832 Black Hawk War occurred. The conflict was fought between the Illinois and Michigan Territory militias and Sauk chief Black Hawk and his band of warriors, who were fleeing their homeland following the Fox Wars. The Wisconsin Heights Battlefield is the only intact battle site from the Indian Wars in the U.S. Midwest. Today, the battlefield is managed and preserved by the state of Wisconsin as part of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway. In 2002, it was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

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