Copied by Constance Evans July 11, 1947 Prairie du Chien, Wis.”
This is the account of Pierre La Point and his Indian wife.
“The Sioux Indians inhabited the whole country north of Wisconsin river and
adjacent to the Mississippi.
In 1634 or there about many French voyagers and traders began emigrating to this
part of the country seeking the rich in minerals of various kinds.
The Jesuit priests came from France at an early period giving
to the Indians and gaining their love and respect.
The Sioux were friendly with the
Meroniness tribe and at war with the Winnebaggree, Chippewa and Fox Santes.
Many battles were being fought
when the British and French soldiers appeared on
The white men coming from Europe usually were educated men, some of good families
seeking adventure and fortune in this beautiful land. Many of them marrying with Indian
maidens, some by law of the white man and some by Indian law. In almost
every case remaining true and loyal to them. The Indian women were always
true to her husband.
Among the Sioux there were many beautiful maidens.
Wabasha, the great chief of the Souix had several sisters, one who married a
Canadian Frenchman. Her name was Etoukasahwee. She was a tall
slender girl of a timid nature and retrieving manner particular to the maids
of the Sioux Indians. In her early youth she was chosen by Pierre La Pointe for his
wife, her brother Wabasha consenting to the marriage which ceremony was conducted
according to the customs at that time.
Pierre La Pointe was a man of fair education and a devout Roman Catholic.
He spent his spare time in teaching Etoukasahwee to read and write and instructed her
in religion. She was an apt scholar and with his instruction soon became a good
housekeeper and kept the little log cabin which they called home, neat and clean –
Two rooms being sufficient for their comfort.
Pierre being a carpenter was able to make many nice, comfortable and convenient
article of furniture for their use.
A large patch of ground attached to their premises
enabled them to raise all the necessities of their simple table.
Pierre was a very fair-skinned
man, his hair tinged with red – and blue eyes,
and altogether what is now called blond.
He was a warm friend of the Indians and acted as interpreter between them
and the officers who were sent with troops to subdue
He was kind and wise in his judgement and for that reason was liked by
all who knew him.
Two daughters came to this quiet couple in this cabin by the Mississippi River,
which passed near to their front door. They were beautiful
girls, with their fathers complexion.
He took great pains to teach them to read and write and to help at
There had come among them a good Jesuit priest Father Follet.
They were baptized and instructed and brought the teachings of this good father.
This was a very happy family, simple and wanting for very little,
attending church twice on Sundays and performing their daily duties during the week.
In front of the cabin was a sandy beach making a fine landing for boats of any kind.
This beach was the playground of all the children of the village.
The river at the place was broad and swift and many many times in
Spring and Fall the Indians would come
from their northern hunting expeditions and
their canoes would line the shore for
half a mile. They came down the river kneeling in their
long canoes, several in each boat, each having a paddle and giving stroke for stroke,
silently and swiftly gliding through the water and slip onto the sand without a sound.
Their children, playing
on the sand would run to meet and greet these mild men
with happy smiles,
following them without fear going with them to their homes
where they were
welcomed by the elders and seating themselves on their hammock or stretching
themselves upon the floor as was their custom – no fear or
dread of these men of the wild.
The men were given some simple food and drink.
They came to trade their furs for blankets, calicos, cloth & many trinkets at the village
store and depart as silently as they came.
Etoukasahwee and her children were fond of these red men.
She taught them to be kind and that they would be treated with kindness in return.
She taught many of the Indians the wonderful things she had learned
from her husband and the good
Father. They would collect around the Father’s door and Etoukasahwee and her
children act as interpreters for the good Father while he
told them of our Saviour.
Many were baptized and brought into the church believing in the Great Spirit as
they had been taught by the priest. These Indians were proud of Etoukasahwee.
She seemed a superior being in their eyes and her influence
was for the good over the
whole tribe of Sioux. Her quiet gentle manner winning hearts on all sides.
There were sorrowful times for her. She could not follow the band on their many travels.
She must remain at home and guard her children and serve her husband and
during the wars between the Sioux and the Chippewas her life was in danger many
times. She many times took her children far into the woods
to live for days until she
was sure she would be safe in her home.
When Etoukasahwee’s daughters were about 10 or 12 the American soldiers were
sent to bring about peace between the Sioux, Chippewas, Menominess and other
tribes at war. These soldiers built a fort or barracks very near the home of Pierre
La Pointe and so gave protection to the residents of the village, but gave them many
trials as well. These soldiers with little to occupy their time and no amusement were a
source of great worry to mothers of growing girls. Pierre had instilled into the mind
of Etoukasahwee that she must guard the daughters with her
very life. She was fond of Pierre and to obey was her greatest pleasure.
was spent in caring
and watching over these two beautiful girls.
When Pilagie was 17 there came an ex-British officer to smoke
with Pierre and to talk over some business affairs.
He was a fine looking man of thirty bearing the
evidence of good birth and education and he noticed this shy maiden and in the
course of a few days asked the father for her hand in marriage. Pierre hesitated as
Louis Crawford was not a Roman Catholic but of the Church of England and
subject to the British Crown. But after many consultations
and agreements as to the
religion of Pierre and his children, they were married by
the good father.
Pelagie La Pointe – Louis Crawford
Etoukasahwee was well pleased to have her daughter well settled in life in a snug
home just far distant from her own. Crawford was a man of refinement and in his
new home by the river gave evidence of his early surroundings
and began to be made
manifest in some instances of real luxury. Etoukasahwee
came daily to see this
home and looked with surprise at the many beautiful things
around her daughter
and when the Indians came from up the river they would go with her and look
everything over and talk to each other in that half whispering particular to them,
showing great respect for this woman who was of their own band.
Two children came to Louis and Pelagie, a boy and a girl. About
this time Pierre La Pointe passed away into the Spirit land
leaving Etoukasahwee and Theresa, his
other daughter alone. The sadness of the little home was pitiful. Etoukasahwee
mourned many days for this kind husband.
Soon Theresa was sought in marriage
by a Frenchman from Montreal and when she went away life see
made very lonely for Etoukasahwee.
She closed her cabin
and found a corner beside
the fireplace of
Pelagie and found comfort in caring for her grandchildren.
She could speak French,
English, Winnetago, Sioux- Menomines and Chippewa.
She was quiet and gentle
mannered and a devout Christian, watching over the
children, taking them to
church, she seemed contented.
She often went in her small canoe to visit the tribe and
attended the treaties when
ever they met
and received her share of the money for this
beautiful hunting ground.
Her grandchildren were fair and beautiful.
Mr. Crawford assisted in their
early education while they were still young he was called back
to England. After a few years his brother came and
brought Pelagie $500 saying it was
to be used in
educating his children – to send them to good schools. After they were sent away
Etoukasahwee and Pelagie were left alone. Soon, however, Pelagie
married a second time to a Frenchman named Antoine La Chappelle and continued
to occupy the home by the river. Eight children came to this couple so that
Etoukasahwee was very busy looking after the care and welfare of these dear
grandchildren – all of the pure blond type.
She was happy grandma again when starting off with these little
followers to the church where they in their turn received instruction
from Father Follet. She lived to see many of them grow to manhood and womanhood
and finally when it came time for her to go to her eternal rest many stood about
her to mourn.
Father Follet administered the last sacraments. She admonished all to be
true Christian and her works have borne fruit, these grandchildren, many of whom I
have known, have followed in her foot steps.
She peacefully passed away and was laid beside her
husband to whom she had been a true and loyal wife and of her may truly be said
‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ ”
This is an account of my own great grandmother.
Signed: Sophie Brunson Eddy
The cover letter contains the following:
Sophie Crawford was taken to Mackinac by her father’s brother
to visit them. Dr. Mitchell’s son William married her.
She never returned to Prairie
In Wan Bun, the history of Chicago, their names are mentioned
and she is spoken of
as a very beautiful and attractive woman of French & Indian decent.
It is quite evident that they are Catholics in
the sketch. This is the last page
of the account:
“This is an account of my own great grandmother.
Sophie Brunson Eddy