twelve women who were
sent to the Sioux. This story was told by an old Indian, Put-ta-gua-se-mine.
It might also be said
of Mr. Ellis's account that the name Onottoways, which he gives to the people living in the vicinity of the Sauks, and who
suffered a like fate; is no more nor less than one of the names of the Ottawas, variously spelled Ottaways, Ouwaes, Ouatonais,
and a dozen other ways. the particular form used by Mr. Ellis seems to be made by prefixing the Huron "ono" (people) to "Ottoways,"
making "Ono-Ottaways," contracted to Onottoways" (the Ottawa folk). As there was a village of the Ottawas here after the departure
of the Sauks somewhere near the place assigned as the location of the "Onottoways," a tradition of which probably lingered
in the minds of the Chippewas, their boastful story of the expedition could well include this "other people," although the
Sauks and Onottoways were never synchronous residents in the Saginaw country.
The most serious objection
to the tale, however, is the fact tht the Sauks never suffered any such crushing calamity as related. They fled to Wisconsin,
where they were so numerous that in 1787 Joseph Aisne found a single village of them containing seven hundred men, and in
1763 so close was the bond of friendship between then that no other tribe except the "Osangees" was admitted to the secret
councils of the Chippewas in which were perfected the plans for taking the fort at Michilimackinac; the two alone carried
the plan into effect.
The various stories
told by the Chippewas as to this war against the Sauks seem to have been given in explanation of various places of burial
along the Saginaw river and its tributaries, where the remains of considerable numbers of humans were found. From first-hand
evidence obtained by the writer of this chapter from various Chippewas of Minnesota and from excavation of mounds in that
state, it was found invariably that the Chippewas explain a place of common burial as a "big battle." Communal interment was
the custom among the Hurons, but not among the Chippewas; consequently a battle seemed to them to be the natural explanation
of such common burials.From all the facts it seems that
the story referred to of the expedition of the Chippewas must be put in the category of myths,