Indian Tribes of Indiana and Illinois, 1822

Our table shows what tribes inhabit, or rather did once inhabit, these states. The most of them have sold their lands and are either still lingering on them, unwilling to take a last look over the fertile fields, which they once called their own, and at the mounds which contain the bones of many generations of their ancestors; or they are scattered, and roaming without a home in the territories of strangers. Not many years since, we could point to the populous villages of these Indians, and knew where to direct our efforts for their benefit. Now we may ask the question ” Where are they ?” and there is no one among us who is able to give an answer. The most of them, however, are already gone, or are going, beyond the Mississippi, to some spot selected, or to be selected, 1 for their future “permanent,” residence. 2

Descriptive Eloquence

“This charming country,” speaking of a part of Virginia, “belonged to the Indians; over these fields, and through these forests, their beloved forefathers once, in careless gaiety, pursued, their sports and hunted their game.”

This important change in the situation of these tribes is now in operation, and till it shall be completed, nothing definite can be either said or done as to their civilization or religious instruction. Very valuable information relating to some of the tribes who have inhabited, and are still within the limits of these states, I have recorded in the appendix, in hope that while it answers the enquiries of the Government, it may come into use, when these Indians shall have found, if they ever do find, an unmolested home.

Indian Tribes of Indiana and Illinois

Indian Tribes of Indiana and IllinoisPopulationLocation
Delawares, Munsees, Moheakun-nuks, and Nanticokes1,700.00On White river, in Indiana, in 5 villages, in a compass of 36 miles, This was their state in 1816, Since, their lands have all been sold and these Indiana are, scattered, none can tell where.
Pottawattamies500.00Scattered in several villages among the Pottawattamie
Menominees270.00On Illinois River
Peorias, Kaskaskias and Cahokias30.00Once inhabited a large part of Illinois and Indiana.. In the war kindled against these tribes by the Sauks and Foxes, in revenge for the death of their chief, Pontiac, those 3 tribes were nearly exterminated. Few of them now remain. About 100 of the Peorias are settled on Current River, west of the Mississippi. Of the Kaskaskias, 30 only remain in Illinois.
Kickapoos400.00About the center of Illinois. They have sold all their lands and are about to remove over the Mississippi
Miamies, Weas and Eel River Indians1,400.00At Mississippi about the center of Indiana, from north to south. The Weas and Eel River Indians are different bands of the Miami.
Sauks of the Mississippi4,500.00On both sides of the Mississippi from the Illinois River to the Wisconsin. Their hunting grounds north of Mandan
Foxes2,000.00Mingled with the Souks in the same territory,
Ioways1,000.00These Indians are mingled with the tribes last mentioned, Their principal villages are on the Iowa and La Moines Rivers the greater part west of the Mississippi
Kickapoos1,800.00About this number of the tribe are on the territories they have lately sold, or settling themselves on their own new lands east of the Great Osage
Southern Indians on the east side of the Mississippi (a)65,122.00

(a) The Palachos, Eamuses and Kaloosas were the ancient Possessors of Florida; all extinct.

  1. Appendix U.[]
  2. I cannot deny myself the melancholy gratification of inserting here the following pertinent and touching specimen of Descriptive Eloquence written above.[]


Morse, Rev. Jedidiah. A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States on Indian Affairs, Printed by S. Converse, 1822.

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1 thought on “Indian Tribes of Indiana and Illinois, 1822”

  1. It saddens my heart to know that many of these tribes are gone. I just learnt that I may be from one of these tribes. I don’t know yet I’m still doing research of what tribe I belong to? My Grandfather was born on a reservation in Illinois, my mother also along with eight other children. After my grandmother died my Grandfather was unable to take care of the Children. He moved off of the reservation taking all of his children with him. He drank heavy, and became an alcoholic and gave up all of his children. All of the children went to a orphanage and was adopted out or placed in foster homes. My Grandmother was Irish and possibly german? My mother was just eight years old when her mother died. My grandfather carried the last name Watson so my mother told me. My grandmother’s first name was Pearl. My mother was 75% Indian, which would make me 25% Indian. Although I haven’t taken a DNA test I don’t know if this is even true yet? My mother said, she is Cherokee Indian, but my Aunt, my mother’s sister, said Blackfoot Indian? Which do I beleive? Being that my mother was born on a Cherokee reservation in Illinois? I would love to find out more about my heritage and finally get some answers. I’m praying that this would be a good place to start. Does anyone know how I can find out more?

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