Sac and Fox Tribe

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Wisconsin Gotoarrow.png Indians of Wisconsin Gotoarrow.png Sac and Fox Tribe

Sauk Indian family by Frank Rinehart 1899.jpg

To get started in American Indian Research

Ancestral Homeland: Wisconsin, Illinois,Iowa, and Missouri

Leaders: Black Hawk, Keokuk

The Sauk (Sac) and Mesquakie joined together to form an alliance for mutual protection against other tribes became known as the Sac and Fox .

Members of the Sac and Fox Tribe presently reside primarily in Iowa, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Tribal Headquarters


  • A brief history of the Sac and Fox tribe
  • Allie B. Busby. Two Summers Among the Musquakies Relating to the Early History of the Sac and Fox Tribe FHL Film 989445 item 7

Brief Timeline

  • 1665–1712: Three relatively small tribes (including the Sauk and the Fox) failed to overcome the French and allied Indians; they then fled to central Wisconsin.
  • 1728: A series of attacks nearly destroyed the remaining Fox tribe.
  • 1734: Sac and Fox tribes,became one tribe
  • 1804: Treaty signed at St. Louis
  • 1824-1841:Half-Breed Tract (of land) set aside for the orphans and widows of trappers. Tribes: Sac and Fox, Oto, Loway, Omaha, and Santee Sioux.This land later became Lee County, Iowa.
  • 1830: Land Ceded
  • 1832: Fox survivors moved southward into Iowa and aligned with the Sauk in the Black Hawk War.
  • 1842: Treaty the Sauk and Fox of Mississippi ceded all their land west to the Mississippi River.
  • 1842: The Sauk and Fox tribes merged and were forced to move into Kansas, (Nemaha Reservation) by a U.S. government proclamation.
  • 1843: The combined Sauk and Fox tribes were located on the Des Moines River near the mouth of the Raccoon River.
  • 1846: Sold their land in Iowas and were given a reservation in Kansas. In late 1850's some moved badk to Iowa.
  • January 1856: The General Assembly of Iowas passed a law allowing the tribe to stay in the state of Iowa. Petitions were circulated among the Iowa settlers, asking that they be permitted to remain.
  • 1857 A band of Mesquakies bought 80 acres of land near Tama, Iowa, with the money paid to them as annuities and money obtained from the sale of furs and some ponies. This land was bought with individual Indian money and not with tribal funds. The Governor of Iowa at the time was James W. Grimes.
  • 1867 Treaty, Sauk and Fox remove from Kansas to Indian Territory.
  • 1891 Sac and Fox-Shawnee Land in Oklahoma opened for settlement.
  • 1937: The Tribe adopted a Constitution.

Additional References to the History of the Tribe

Green, Charles Ransley. Early Days in Kansas.FamilySearch digital versionFHL book 970.1 G82e WorldCat

Green, Charles Ransley. Sac and Fox Indians in Kansas. FHL book 970.1 G82s WorldCat


Reservation a tract of land set aside for occupation and use by American Indians.

From the mid-1800's, the official policy of the United States government toward the American Indian was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.

Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.

The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of "termination," the official status of reservations was ended altogether.

The following list of reservations has been compiled from the National Atlas of the United States of America[1], the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America[2], and other sources. There are no current federally-recognized reservations in Illinois.


Sac and Fox Agency   Iowa

Sac and Fox Agency   Oklahoma

Raccoon River Agency

Prairie Du Chien Agency

Ioway Subagency

Upper Missouri Agency

Great Nemaha Agency

Nebraska Agency


Thomas Forsyth


The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

Records Available through the Family History Library

  • Indian (Sac and Fox) Census of Iowa, ca. 1836–1840. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978. FHL Film 1022202 item 4
  • United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indian Census Rolls, 1885–1940. Washington, DC, 1965. FHL Films 581444–445 These rolls include the Sauk and Fox census rolls from 1888 to 1939. FHL Film 581446 includes births and deaths from 1924 to 1932.
  • Annuity Payroll of the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa, Sept. 15, 1910. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975. FHL Film 0989445 item 12 This record serves as a partial census for this tribe.
  • Annuity Pay Roll 1910 of the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa FHL film 989445 item 12


Records for Superintendencies exist in the National Archives and copies of many of them are also available in other research facilities.

St. Louis Superintendency

Wisconsin Superintendency

Iowa Superintendency

Central Superintendency

Northern Superintendency


  • 1789 January 9, at Fort Harmer
  • 1804 November 3, at St. Louis
  • 1815September 14, at Portage des Sioux
  • 1815September 13,
  • 1816 May 13, at St. Louis
  • 1822 September 3, at Fort Armstrong
  • 1825 August 19, at Prairie des Chiens
  • 1830 July 15, at Prairie des Chiens
  • 1832 September 12, at Fort Armstrong
  • 1836 September 17, at Fort Leavenworth
  • 1836 September 27,
  • 1836 September 28, on right bank of Mississippi River, county of Debuque, Territory of Wisconsin
  • 1836 September 28,
  • 1837 October 21, at Washington
  • 1837 October 21, at Washington
  • 1842 October 11, Territory of Iowa
  • 1854 May 18, at Washington
  • 1859 October 1, at Sax and Fox Agency,Territory of Kansas
  • 1861 March 6, at Great Nemaba Agency, Nebraska Territory
  • 1867 February 18,

Important Websites


  1. National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  2. Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.(Family History Library book 973 E5)


  • Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
  • Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
  • Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
  • Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
Volume 1 -- Not yet published
Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
Volume 16 -- Not yet published
Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
Volume 18 -- Not yet published
Volume 19 -- Not yet published
Volume 20 -- Not yet published