Monday, June 2, 2008

Wisconsin Graves #1....Captain Hendrick Aupaumut, Revolutionary War Hero.

You'll never find this grave. Wisconsin is one giant Native American cemetery and many of us unknowingly mow our lawns and tend to our gardens mere feet above the decaying shards and remnants of their bones. Here we have the case of a late arrival - Aupaumut's Stockbridge (Mohican) tribe resettled along the Fox River on land "purchased" from the Menominee in the 1830's. I would like to note that in Wisconsin, the native tribes, the French/Indian Metis and the mostly seasonal white traders of the time fought with the British against the Americans in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Hendrick Aupaumut was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. enlisted in the American Army at age 18 in 1775. He served as a private in Captain William Goodrich's Company of Indians during the siege of Boston. In 1777 he became lieutenant of Indian Scouts. The next year, he survived the massacre of Stockbridge Indians in the Bronx, New York. He soon took command of the Indian Company on the death of his captain and In 1779 General George Washington promoted him to the temporary rank of captain. He re-enlisted during the War of 1812 and served under General William Henry Harrison. He died in September, 1829. He was buried in the Stockbridge Indian Cemetery that later became part of the long vanished Frank Thelen farm. His final resting place is now somewhere beneath the streets of a residential area in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. A historical marker put up in 1976 is said to be near the site of the one time early 19th century Indian Cemetery that was his supposed final resting place, but no one is certain about it's exact location.
Apaumut was an avid Christian and in stark contrast to the great Indian leader Tecumseh and most midwestern tribes, he believed that his tribe's best chance for survival depended on accepting the rapidly advancing Yankee/American culture rather than resisting it.


Anonymous said...

I think it is simply horrible how the american indian was treated during the building of this country, in every war since the american revolution there has been indians helping to win those wars and it wasn't until the early 1900's that they were recognized as u.s. citizens, I am a great granddaughter of captian Hendrick and to think that I would have to stand out in the middle of a street to visit his resting site makes me wonder how americans can be so proud of this country they stole and lied and cheated to make. american indians are owed some honor, the least america could have done was to let them lie in peace in places of honor.

Savage said...

I'd like to know the source for the drawing posted here. Where does this come from? Is this understood to be an actual image of Hendrick Aupaumut or only a representation? From what I have been told by Stockbridge-Munsee folks is that there is no known image of Aupaumut.

Some clarification would be useful.

John Savagian, Alverno College