Female Flying Pigeon
Female Flying Pigeon.
Female Flying Pigeon accompanied her husband White Cloud to Washington in 1824. There she became popular with many of the wealthy people who entertained the Ioways at balls and parties.
[The State Historical Society of Missouri, Photograph Collection (026557)]
Even after Missouri entered the Union as the twenty-fourth state in 1821, many Indian nations had rights to large parts of the state’s land. The Ioways and the Sacs and Foxes claimed rights to all of the state that was north of the Missouri River. In 1824 the United States government decided to buy those rights from the Native Americans.
White Cloud, along with his wife Rut^ánweMi (pronounced root-AN-way-me), or Female Flying Pigeon, and another Ioway leader named MáñiXáñe (pronounced MON-yee-HON-yay), or Great Walker, traveled to Washington DC to meet with President James Monroe and Superintendant of Indian Affairs Thomas McKenney. Once in the capital city, the Ioways were treated to fancy parties and to tours of factories and shipyards. All three Ioways also had their portraits painted by the famous American artist, Charles Bird King.
Along with White Cloud, Great Walker signed the treaty that sold the Ioways’s rights to northern Missouri to the United States. It was the first land treaty that the Ioways ever signed.
[The State Historical Society of Missouri, Photograph Collection (011682)]
When White Cloud and Great Walker finally met with McKenney, they agreed to sell their rights to all Ioway land between the Missouri River and Missouri’s northern border for $5,000. The United States government wanted to teach the Ioways to farm in the same way that their white neighbors did. The government also agreed to provide the tribe with a blacksmith, farm machinery, tools, and cattle. As part of the treaty, the Ioways promised to leave the state of Missouri by January 1, 1826.
As soon as they returned to Missouri, however, Great Walker regretted signing the treaty. He vowed never to leave the state and settled along the Chariton River in north central Missouri with several of his followers. White Cloud kept his promise and moved with his followers to the site of a new Ioway Agency, located near the present-day town of Agency, near St. Joseph, Missouri. At that time, Missouri’s western border was different than it is today. Instead of following the Missouri River north of Kansas City, the old state border ran directly north from the city. The land west of the old boundary line and east of the Missouri River was called the Platte country after the Platte River that ran through it. That land was intended to be a place where Native Americans could live without fear of having their land taken by settlers.
In 1830 White Cloud was one of nine Ioway leaders who attended another treaty council at Prairie du Chein, in present day Wisconsin. In the council, he told the U. S. representatives that he had followed their advice and learned to live and farm like a white man and that he had given up war forever. A few days later, the Ioways signed a treaty that sold all of the Platte country and western Iowa to the United States. Later, the Ioways complained that, because of their poor understanding of English, they did not understand the treaty they had signed and that they had not intended to sell their land. They were able to postpone the sale of the land, but only for six years.