Fox (Native American)

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(Redirected from Mesquakie)

The Fox tribe of Native Americans are an Algonquian language-speaking group that are now merged with the allied Sac tribe as the Sac and Fox Nation. The Fox called themselves Meshkwahkihaki or Mesquakie. The name Fox originated in a French mistake applying a clan name to the entire tribe.

The Fox originally lived east of Michigan along the Saint Lawrence River. The tribe may have numbered as many as many as 10,000 but years of war with the French-supplied Hurons reduced their numbers and forced them west first to the area between Saginaw Bay and Detroit in Michigan and then to Wisconsin. When the French had first contact with them they estimated that the Fox numbered about 6,500. By 1712, they were down to 3,500 when the First Fox War broke out with the French (1712-1714). The Second Fox War of 1728 found the remaining 1500 Fox reduced to 500 who found shelter with the Sac and brought French animosity to that tribe.

Members of the Fox tribe spread through southern Wisconsin, and the Iowa-Illinois border. In 1829 the government estimated there were 1500 Fox (along with 5500 Sac). Some of them were involved with some of the Sac in the Blackhawk War when they refused to give up their lands in Illinois.

Fox who had successfully fled west of the Mississippi River were known as the "lost people" by the Dakota.

They were later driven to reservations in Iowa with the Sac and were treated as a unified tribe since. Soon after they were forced to a reservation in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. By 1910, there were only about 1000 Sac and Fox altogether and, even by 2000, their number was less than 4000.

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