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Y-auk-see, Pottawattamie chief

Yauk-see; Yauksee

Description: "Y-auk-see. Pottawattamie Chief" (title from verso of last page) AMs, 7 p. (written on back of preprinted insurance forms)
Several days after the conclusion of the Council of Kee-waw-nay, George Winter was in Mas-sa's cabin revising his sketch of the game of "Youh-yah-chick-chick." The only furniture in the room was a bed (used by Col. Pepper), a chair, and a drawing table G.W. had improvised from a flour barrel and a board. The room had two small windows and a door which led to the central hallway of the double log. G.W. and about 20 others had slept on the bare floor, but he found the situation romantic despite the hardships. While G.W. was sketching alone in the room, Y-auk-see entered quietly, checked the windows for observers, knelt across form G.W., and put his hand in his shirt. This alarmed G.W., but Y-auk-see only pulled out a small bag. G.W. thought he wished to be sketched, and so began to do so, but Y-auk-see showed displeasure, so that G.W. crossed out what he had done. Y-auk-see then borrowed G.W. 's pen and made some marks on paper (which G.W. has kept) , and then slowly and mysteriously opened his small bag and pulled out somepapers. These included a printed act of Congress relating to the Indians and an autograph letter of George Washington. He also showed G.W. a "sensitive figure," a small cut-out on very thin paper which curled when placed on a warm hand. He showed G.W. these things with great pride. G.W. left the room to sketch the lakeshore, followed by Y-auk-see, who eventually fell asleep on a log nearby. Soon the intoxicated Pash-po-ho came by and motioned G.W. to follow him. Pash-po-ho had always previously refused to be sketched. He led G.W. to a group of Indians, including Nee-boash and his wife, who were playing cards among the trees and who greeted G.W. heartily. Pash-po-ho then indicated that G.W. should sketch him, although he was sloppily dressed in comparison with his usual neat style. When G.W. returned to the lake, Y-auk-see was gone. Several days later, G.W. learned (from Henry Taylor) that Y-auk-see had been a very prominent chief, that his possession of those documents showed the trust that his people placed in him, and his sharing of them with G.W. showed his esteem. Y-auk-see was striking-looking, with high cheekbones, an aquiline nose, small eyes, low forehead, and full lips. G.W. sketched him from memory that evening, concealing the sketch from the other Indians.
Created By: Winter, George, 1810-1876;
Publisher: Tippecanoe County Historical Association
Collection: George Winter
Copyright: Images in the George Winter Collection should not be used without written permission from the Tippecanoe County Historical Association. To obtain reproduction rights and prices, contact the Tippecanoe County Historical Association at
Subjects: Indians of North America
Tribal chiefs
Potawatomi Indians

Further information on this record can be found at its source.