Mąnąt’ísiwįga was born about 1779. She was the daughter of Cugiga Dekaury and Flight-of-Geese Nawkaw.
Mąnąt’ísiwįga is from mą, "earth"; nąt’ís, "to be swollen, to swell up"; hi, "to cause"; -wį-, a feminine gender suffix; -ga, a personal name suffix — "She Who Causes the Earth to Swell Up." This should be a Thunderbird Clan name, and may make reference to the fecund properties of rain.
Jipson says that her white name was "Elizabeth," but Waggoner and others say it was "Therese" (Thérèse). Waggoner says, "(Chou-ge-ka) Decora, fathered two daughters, Marie or E-chau-wa-cau and Therese or Mah-na-tee-see, who are erroneously described as 'full-blood' Winnebago women in the affidavits."
In an affidavit sworn 21 September 1838, her son Antoine Grignon testified, "he had been called out in the Black Hawk war, by the Government of the United States, and that he took up arms in favor of his Country altho it was against the nation of Indians from which he had in part derived his birth ..." This statement implies that at least one of his ancestors was of the Sauk (or Fox) tribe. Was Flight of Geese's mother (the wife of Nąka) a Sauk woman? Or, was Antoine's father part Sauk through his mother, or perhaps his grandfather's wife?
Married serially to John B. Lecuyer, Augustin Grignon, and Michael Payer.
She is listed among the miscellaneous claims for annuities in 1832, where she is recorded as living with her husband and two children. (Kinzie)
On 5 Oct. 1838, Benjamin L'Ecuyer and Francis Roy testified before a commission stating, "that they are well acquainted with Alexis Payon or Payer, residing at Prairie du Chien, and aged about twelve or fourteen Years. He is the Son of Michael Payon or Payer, and Mau. naw. tee. see a Winnebago Woman of full blood: the said Michael and Mau. naw. tee. see. resided for several Years after their marriage on Prairie du Chien, after which the said Michael emigrated to the West with some Indians, and has remained there ever since, and will so continue to reside, as deponents verily believe: Since his departure the said Michael has contributed nothing to the support of his Wife and said Child, which these deponents know from being nearly related to said Mau. naw. tee. see. and on habits of close intimacy with her: the said Alexis is an intelligent boy, well conducted and of good habits, he is naturally very smart, and if educated would make a good citizen, and intelligent person of business, but his education has heretofore been necessarily neglected from want of means." (Waggoner, 6-7)
"The mother of Julia Grignon (Man-ne-te-se) is the full sister of the Décarra Chiefs, the principal most influential Chiefs of the Tribe. She was married to John Lequyér in early life, and is the mother of Simeon & Benjamin Lequyér & of their bothers & sisters whose names are before the board. Madame Lequyér soon adopted much of the manners & customs of White people, and became a good & discreet housekeeper, & an exemplary wife, thus exercising, by her example, a beneficial influence over the Indians; and having plenty in the world, her house was called the home of the naked & hungry Indian. When she was left a widow, by the death of Lequyér, about thirty some years since, she had a fine lot of goods, horses, wagons, fine stock of cattle, and was considered wealthy. The undersigned have always understood from (32) information of others & from what they have witnessed themselves, that her farm her stock, and all her valuable property left by her deceased husband, was sacrificed in support or harboring of Winnebago Indians, who applied to her in all cases for relief, as being the hospitable sister of their principal chiefs. Madame Lequyér (or Man-nau-te-see) has always lived in the midst of the Winnebagoes, & the latter part of her life in Prairie du Chien, where she still resides. Her daughter Julia (the present applicant) was born several years after the death of Lequyér, to Augustin Grignon of green bay. Julia has generally lived with her mother as her friend & companion, & they have continued to extend kindness and hospitality to the Indians to the fullest extent or beyond their ability. Julia had been married, but was early left a widow early separated from her husband, an habitual drunkard—She has a house in Prairie du Chien, in which she & her mother resided until recently—it is known to the citizens of Prairie du Chien as the resting place of the Winnebagoes when in the Village, in consequence of the large family connection of Man-nau-te-see, & the continued kindness of her & her daughter. It is known to the undersigned that Julia Grignon has given her last loaf of bread to hungry Indians & on some occasions sold her own clothes to relieve their distress. The mother and daughter, no longer able to bear this state of things, are now living with the brother of the former, awaiting the decision of the present Commissioner, whose award may again establish them at home." (Waggoner, 32a)
The siblings of Therese were: "Benjamin, James, Simeon, and Phelise Lecliyer, Julia and Antoine Grignon, and Alexis Peyet." (Kappler)
“… deponent Louisignon knows that they were married by Charles Rayon about the Year seventeen hundred & ninety seven. … deponents have known said Children since their birth, and always knew them as, and believed them to be the Children of said Ecuyer and Man, na, tee, see, which said children are as follow:
She was granted land along with her eight children in Rockford, Illinois, by the Treaty of 1829. (Kappler) She may have sold off this land, as in the early 1830s she was living in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. (Waggoner, 32)
She passed away after 1838.
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