The Bad River
The Mauvaise (Bad) River was so named by the French due to the
difficulties of its navigation. The Indians called it Mushkeezeebi
or Marsh River. IN 1845, the Rev. L. H. Wheeler, Protestant
missionary at La Pointe, planned an agricultural settlement near
the mouth of the Bad River where Indians had for many years made
their gardens. He named the settlement "Odanah," a Chippewa word
meaning "village." About 1850, a determined effort was begun to
compel the Indians to move west of the Mississippi. Mr. Wheeler
visited the lands to which it was proposed the Lake Superior
Chippewa should go. He returned with the conviction it would be a
deed of mercy on the part of the government to shoot the Indians
rather than send them to the new region. In July 1853, Mrs. Wheeler
wrote her parents: "They (the Chippewa) are fully determined not to
go. They have lived two years without their payments, and find they
do not starve or freeze." Mr. Wheeler's pleadings were not in vain.
The government resumed the payments, and his ideas of justice
toward the Chippewa were substantially embodied in a treaty made
with them in 1854 providing for them three reservations, at Odanah,
at Lac Court Oreilles and at Lac du Flambeau.
"The Bad River."
The Hi-Line and the Yellowstone Trail: To Glacier Park and Back Again.
1 Sept. 2004.
23 Jun. 2021
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