Felix St. Vrain

Felix St. Vrain

Felix St. Vrain (March 23, 1799–May 24, 1832) was a United States Indian agent who was killed during the Black Hawk War. St. Vrain died along with three companions while on a mission to deliver dispatches from Dixon's Ferry, Illinois to Fort Armstrong. The incident has become known as the St. Vrain massacre.

Early life

Felix St. Vrain was born in St. Louis, Missouri, a son of Jacques DeHault Delassus de St. Vrain. He married Marie Pauline Gregoire in 1822, and eight years later settled in Kaskaskia, Illinois.

Indian agent

St. Vrain started working for the United States government as an Indian Agent in 1830. He was assigned to the Sauk and Fox nations around Rock Island during William Clark's tenure as superintendent of the St. Louis Indian Agency. St. Vrain was generally well received by the tribes in the area and was made an adopted brother by the Little Bear. When the Black Hawk War began, St. Vrain was stationed at Fort Armstrong.

While on a mission to deliver dispatches from Dixon's Ferry (now Dixon) to Galena, under the command of General Henry Atkinson, St. Vrain was brutally murdered along with three other members of his party on May 24, 1832. They were most likely attacked by a band of pro-Sauk Ho-Chunk warriors, though sources disagree over the attacker's tribe.Stevens, Frank E. "The Black Hawk War", Frank E. Stevens 1903, pp. 169-171. Available online at [http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/search3t?author=&title=&keywords=Black+Hawk+War&type=text&genre=&date=&period=Lincoln&word=&submit=SEARCH&CONJUNCT=PHRASE&DISTANCE=3&PROXY=or+fewer&OUTPUT=conc&dbname=lincoln Northern Illinois University Libraries Digitization Project] .] " [http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/diary/002832.asp The Killing of Felix St. Vrain] ," Historic Diaries: Black Hawk War, "Wisconsin Historical Society". Retrieved 28 July 2007.]

St. Vrain and the other victims were buried by a detachment of soldiers under Colonel Henry Dodge. One account of the massacre, from Gen. George W. Jones (St. Vrain's brother-in-law as well as the man who identified the body), claimed the attackers scalped all of the dead men, and cut off the hands, head and feet of St. Vrain. They then removed his heart, which they ate. The victims' graves are located in Kellogg's Grove.Dameier, Evelyn. " [http://gis.hpa.state.il.us/hargis/PDFs/200106.pdf Kellogg's Grove] ," (PDF), National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form, 18 January 1978, HAARGIS [Database, "Illinois Historic Preservation Agency". Retrieved 26 July 2007.] On January 6, 1834 the U.S. Congress passed a bill which provided relief for St. Vrain's family." [http://www.mohistory.org/content/LibraryAndResearch/DownloadFiles/DelassusCollection.pdf Delassus-St. Vrain Family Collection] ", (PDF), "Biographical Sketch," Missouri History Museum, p. 3. Retrieved 28 July 2007.]


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