Prairie du Chien Indian Agency (Wisconsin)
Indian Tribes Associated With This Agency
The Prairie du Chien Agency was established in 1807 to serve the Indians in Louisiana living along the Mississippi River above the Iowa River; and the Indians living in Indiana Territory north of the Illinois River and west of a line running north and south from a point on the Illinois River about 20 miles north of Peoria. The agency headquarters was located at Prairie du Chien, north of the mouth of the Wisconsin River, on the east bank of the Mississippi River.
Other agencies were formed from the area covered by this early agency -- the St. Peters Agency, the Green Bay Agency, and the Sac and Fox Agency at Rock Island, Illinois. The Prairie du Chien Agency eventually became responsible primarily for the Winnebago Indians, although other tribes continued to have some contact with it.
Because this agency was in existence so early, its supervision was changed rather often as new territories and states came into existence. From its establishment, the agent received some conflicting instructions about to whom he was to report. At various times, he was told to take his instructions from the general Indian agent for Louisiana (Territory), and the Governors of Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as these territories were created, and the Missouri and St. Louis Superintendencies of the Office of Indian Affairs.
Agents and Appointment Dates
Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs from the Prairie du Chien Agency, 1824-1842, have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M234, Rolls 696-701. Copies are available at the National Archives and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 1661426 thru 1661432). Some correspondence for this agency will be found under a number of other headings -- St. Louis Superintendency, Michigan Superintendency, Wisconsin Superintendency, Iowa Superintendency, Sac and Fox Agency, Winnebago Agency, and perhaps others.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974, pp. 142-145.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998, Microcopy M234, p. 8.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
- Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online