So numerous and so widely extended were the tribes
of the Algonquin family.
They were scattered over a moiety, or perhaps more than a moiety, of the territory east of the Mississippi
and south of the St. Lawrence
, and constituted about one half of the original population of that territory.
North-west of the Sacs and Foxes, west of the Chippewas, bands of the Sioux
, or Dahcotas, had encamped on prairies east of the Mississippi
, vagrants between the head waters of Lake Superior
and the Falls of St. Anthony
They were a branch of the great family which, dwelling for the most part west of the Mississippi
and the Red River
, extended from the Saskatchawan to lands south of the Arkansas
French traders discovered their wigwams in 1659; Hennepin
was among them, on his expedition to the north; Joseph Marest
and another Jesuit visited them in 1687, and again in 1689.
There seemed to exist a hereditary warfare between them and the Chippewas.
Their relations to the colonists, whether of France
, were, at this early period, accidental, and related chiefly to individuals.
But one little community of the Dahcota family had penetrated the territory of the Algonquins; the Winnebagoes, dwelling between Green
Bay and the lake that bears their name, preferred rather to be environed by Algonquins than to stay in the dangerous vicinity of their own kindred.
Like other western and southern tribes, their population appears of late to have greatly increased.
The nations which spoke dialects of the Hu-Ron-Iroquois
, or, as it has also been called, of the Wyandot
, were, on the discovery of America
, found powerful in numbers, and diffused over a wide terriory.
The peninsula enclosed between Lakes Huron