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16453 Chief Wunagisa, Son of Keokuk, leader of the Sac and Fox Cabinet
card, half view, at the occasion of the reinterment of his father’s body at
Keokuk, Iowa, 1883. Marked Briggs, Keokuk. $275
KEOKUK, MOSES (ca. 1821–1903).
A chief of the Sac and Fox tribe, Moses Keokuk (Wunagisa, "He Who Leaps
Up Quickly from His Lair") was the son of Keokuk, the U.S. government–
recognized leader of the Sac and Fox. Upon Keokuk's death in 1848, Moses
Keokuk assumed his father's position, and he followed a policy of
cooperation with the United States. As a Baptist minister, following his
conversion to Christianity circa 1877, Keokuk encouraged his people to
attend Christian religious services and lead a more Euroamerican lifestyle.
As a tribal leader Keokuk signed several treaties with the U.S. government.
In Iowa Territory in 1842 "Ke-o-kuk, Jr.," helped negotiate the treaty in
which the Sac and Fox ceded their lands west of the Mississippi River. In the
treaty of 1859 the Kansas reservation of his "Sac and Fox of the Mississippi"
was allotted into 80-acre sections. Along with the tribe's removal to Indian
Territory, the treaty of 1867 provided for the sale of the remaining surplus
Sac and Fox acreage in Kansas and the settlement of tribal debts. Finally, as
first assistant principal chief Keokuk signed the agreement of 1891 by which
the Sac and Fox Reservation in Indian Territory was allotted to tribal
members. Their surplus lands were then opened for settlement by run on
September 22, 1891.
Moses Keokuk died on October 27, 1903, at the Sac and Fox Agency in
present Lincoln County, Oklahoma, and was buried in the Sac and Fox tribal
Moses Keokuk as a boy with his
father (Illustration not included.)