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Exhibition Not an Ostrich: & Other Images from America's Library

UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER. Chief Crane, Potawatomi, and unidentified Native American man in delegation. Washington, D.C., between 1855–1865

By 1820, the Potawatomi Nation covered northern and central Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin, northern Indiana, southern Michigan, and northwestern Ohio. A series of land cedes to the U.S. government, starting in 1807, forced the tribe off some of their land. Removing the tribe to land west of the Mississippi occurred between 1834 and 1842. A forced, two month march in the fall of 1838, “The Trail of Death,” led 850 Potawatomi 660 miles from northern Indiana to Kansas. More than 40 people died, mostly children. While a few Potawatomi were able to remain in Wisconsin, most ended up in Iowa and Kansas, some went on to Texas and others to Canada. The purpose of this delegation to Washington is unknown.