- Project Runeberg -  Year-book of the Swedish-American Historical Society / Volume 10 (1924-1925) /
65

(1908-1925)
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was fought at this time between the Sioux and the Chippewa
Indians within the district that constitutes Washington and
Chisago counties. The border line between these two Indian
tribes was about the same as that which now marks the dividing
line between these two counties. The Chippewa lived in the
northern and the Sioux in the southern part. During the winter
a large number of the latter used to camp on an island in Big
Lake, which is still called Indian Island. There they had a real
city or village laid out, with regular streets between the huts.
A guard was always stationed on a high projecting point on the
island, to guard against surprise attacks by enemies from the
North. During these winters their warriors caused great destruction
to the wild animals in the forests. It is said that during one
winter only they killed about 1,200 animals. These Indians
always appeared to be peaceable and friendly toward the
newly-arrived settlers. We have never heard that they in the least
way caused the latter any damage or provocation. They often
through barter with the whites obtained food for themselves and
hay for their horses, of which they always brought many along,
but they always paid well, generally with venison and sometimes
with money. Although, as was just said, they never did our
countrymen any harm, they nevertheless many times caused great
alarm and fear, which was to be expected. One can imagine a
newly-arrived woman, accustomed in her home country to be
surrounded by friends and acquaintances, now during her
husband’s absence left alone in the house in the woods, perhaps
separated by several miles from the nearest neighbor, suddenly
finding the house surrounded by wild persons with fantastically
painted faces and heads decorated with large swaying feathers,
who often in large numbers crowded into and filled the low cabin,
speaking a strange language. Who would not be frightened on
such occasions and under such circumstances? Who prevented
these wild and lawless persons from annihilating the white
strangers that had come from a foreign land for the purpose of
dispossessing and driving away the red man from the hunting
grounds which he had inherited from his forefathers? Who,
if not the Higher Power, without which a hair would not be bent
on our heads? He, the refugee and the defense of the defenseless,
held His protecting hand over those who trusted in Him and

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