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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 6:


-As transcribed from pages 58 - 59

At the close of the Revolutionary War, the land east of the Mississippi became a part of the new United States by the treaty of September 3, 1783.33 Spain continued in possession of the land west of the Mississippi from 1762 to October 1, 1800,34 when the tract was receded to France, which nation, however, did not take possession until 1804,35 at which time a formal transfer was made from Spain to France, in order that France might formally transfer the tract to the United States under the treaty of Aprll 30, 1803.36

Two years later the Government determined to send an expedition into the Northwest, in charge of Zebulon M. Pike. He was given orders to negotiate treaties with the Indians, to secure a conformity with the laws of the United States by the Northwest Company and others engaged in the fur trade, to secure the site for a fort near the head of Mississippi River navigation, and to extend geographical exploration. He started from St. Louis August 9, 1805, with twenty soldiers, spent the winter in northern Minnesota, started down the river April 7, 1806, and again reached St. Louis the latter part of that month. On his way up the river Pike slept near the foot of Trempealeau Mountain, on the night of September 13. He speaKs of the mountain as 'le Montaigne qui Trompe a l'Eau.37  He reached the mountain in a drizzling rain and left the next morning in a dense fog.  On April 16, 1806, he again passed Trempealeau Mountain on his way down the river.

In his geographical notes Pike says: "La Montaigne qui Trompe dans l'Eau stands in the Mississippi near the east shore, about fifty miles below the Sauteauz (Chippewa) River, and is about two miles in circumference, with an elevation of 200 feet, covered with timber. There is a small river which empties into the Mississippi in the rear of the mountain, which I conceive once bounded the mountain on the lower side and the Mississippi on the upper, when the mountain was joined to the main land by a neck of low prairie ground, which in time was worn away by the spring freshets of the Mississippi, and thus formed an island of this celebrated mountain.38

Resources for the above information:

33 - Treaties and Conventions Concluded Between the United States of America and Other Powers (Washington, 1873), 314-318.

34 - Among the many excellent works on the subject may be mentioned: Jamse K. Hosmer, The Louisiana Purchase (New York, 1904).

35 - See: Walter B. Douglas, Spanish Domain of Upper Louisiana, Wis. Hist. Soc., Proceedings, 1913, 74-90.

36 - Annals of Congress, 1802-1803, pp. 1006-1008.

37 - Coues, ed., Expeditions of Zebulon M. Pike (New York, 1895), I, 52,53.

38 - Ibid., 307.


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