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American Civil War


As American expansionism pushed land-hungry Americans west, the rapid admission of former Native lands, either through outright violence or forced coercion, reignited debates about the institution of slavery as practiced by Southern-American states. In the early 19th-century, conflict erupted as slave-owning states advocated for an equal number of slave states to be admitted for every free state, leading to instances …

Apté-Nibné-gizes [Mid-Summer Moon]


Life for Potawatomi people has always been grounded in natural cycles. This was especially so when Potawatomi communities relied upon the seasons for their yearly hunt and harvest. Activities were guided, in part, by the month (lunar cycle) of the year. These months are referred to as Gizek [Moons]. Niben [Summer] was understood as a time of plenty. It was …

Aptewen [Cane]


36.5 in L X 1.75 in W Currently on loan from the Kansas State Historical Society and on exhibition at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center is Abram Burnett’s cane. The wooden cane is painted black, with an iron bottom tip and a non-ferromagnetic metal handle. The metal handle is attached to a dirk [small dagger], concealed in the …

Beaubien, Madore B.


Madore Beaubien was the son of Jean Baptiste Beaubien who moved the Chicago area in 1816, after the Battle of Fort Dearborn. Jean Baptiste was a well-known fur trader, learning the business from Joseph Bailly. He married Mahnawbunokwe, the daughter of respected warrior and leader Shabbone, and had two children: Charles Henry and Madore. He then married Josette LaFromboise, daughter …

Bergeron, Francis Xavier


Francis Xavier Bergeron was a French-Canadian born near Quebec, Canada, and arrived around the Kankakee area in the late 1830s. After removal west of the Mississippi, a Potawatomi tribal member named Watchekee or Watseka often made trips back to Illinois. She and Francis met on one of these excursions and wed around 1840. They had four children: Jean Batiste, Catherine …

Bertrand, Benjamin Hendre


Benjamin Hendre Bertrand was born June 25, 1812 in Berrien Country, Michigan to Madeline Bourassa and Joseph Bertrand. Like his cousins Joseph and Jude Bourassa, Benjamin attended the school at Carey Mission at the age of 7. He later transferred to a private school in Detroit, Michigan and then reunited with his Bourassa family at the Choctaw Academy at White …

Bourassa II, Daniel


Born June 22, 1780, Daniel II was the son of Daniel Bourassa and Marguerite Bertrand. Descending from a family of fur traders, Daniel took after his father and became an agent for John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company. On March 15, 1808, Daniel married a Nishnabe woman named Theotis Pisange. Theotis’ father was Ojibwe and her mother was Odawa, believed …

Bourassa, Joseph Napoleon


Joseph Napoleon Bourassa was a Chicago born Métis of Neshnabé and French descent. As a youth, Joseph was a student of Baptist missionary Issac McCoy, attending both the Carey Mission in Michigan and Hamilton Literary & Theological Institution in New York. Joseph would later attend and teach at the Choctaw Academy in Kentucky, where he studied law and medicine. During …

Bourassa, Jude


Jude Bourassa was born April 19, 1814 near the Galien River in southwest Michigan. He was the third son of Daniel Bourassa II and Theotis Pisange. With his older brother Joseph Napoleon, Jude was enrolled at the school at Carey Mission, under the instruction of Baptist missionaries Dr. Johnston Lykins and Reverend Isaac McCoy. An apt pupil, Jude was invited …

Bourassa, Theodore Santa


Born on June 25, 1842 at Sugar Creek, Kansas, Theodore Santa Anna was the son of Jude Bourassa and Catherine Charet. With the Bourassa’s closely associated with the Catholic Missionaries, church records indicate that Father Christiaan Hoeken christened Theodore on June 27, 1842 at two days old. During the Civil War, Theodore volunteered to fight for the north and was …