Satterlee Clark in his memoir of this period, has an interesting account of Pierre Pauquette (1796-1836):
I now come to that part of my recollections in which the people of Portage and the Fort Winnebago region, feel the greatest interest, and have the most curiosity. I allude to my acquaintance with Peter Pauquette. His strength was so immeasurable, and his exploits so astonishing, that while relating what I have seen I shall tell only the exact truth, I will promise not to be offended if some of my readers should be a little skeptical. Peter Pauquette was born in the year 1800 of a French father and a Winnebago mother; the latter was buried nearly in front of the old agency house opposite the fort. He was thirty years old when I first knew him, and was the very best specimen of a man I ever saw. He was six feet two inches in height, and weighed two hundred and forty pounds — hardly ever varying a single pound. He was a very handsome man, hospitable, generous and kind, and I think I never saw a better natured man. I had heard much of his strength before I left Green Bay, and of course, was anxious to see him perform some of the wonderful feats of strength of which I had heard. From my first acquaintance with him to the day of his death, I was his most intimate friend, and consequently had a better opportunity to know him than any other person. I will now endeavor to give an idea of his strength and activity, which to me seemed almost superhuman. He often told me that all persons seemed alike to him. When I was nineteen or twenty years old, my business kept me constantly in training, and though I weighed less than one hundred and fifty pounds, my muscles were like iron; notwithstanding he often said it was no more trouble to take me across his lap than a child one year old, and so it seemed to me. I was told that on one occasion when he was making the portage with a heavy boat, one of his oxen gave out, and he took the yoke off, and carried the end against an ox all the way over. I did not see this, but I asked him if it was so, and he replied it was. I once saw him take hold of the staple to a pile driver weighing 2,650 lbs., and lift it apparently without any exertion, and swing it back and forth a minute of time. I have several times seen him get under a common sized horse, put his arms round the hind legs, his back under the horse's stomach and lift the horse clean off the ground. A great many other things I have seen him do which would tire the reader's patience were I to relate them. It can readily be imagined, however, that scarcely anything could be impossible to such a man. He was employed by the American Fur Company up to the day of his death. For the last four years of his life he had a bookkeeper, but previous to that time (not being able to read or write), he gave credit to hundreds of Indians, relying entirely on his memory, and their honesty. ...
[On the 18ᵀᴴ day of October, 1836,] Pauquette came to my store to rejoice over our victory [in frustrating Gov. Cass in buying the lands of the Winnebago]. On this occasion he drank too much wine, and became just enough intoxicated to be impatient of contradiction. In this condition he started home on foot, and when within about one quarter of a mile of the ferry, opposite his house, he found an Indian and his wife sitting by a little fire in the bushes. The Indian was Mahzahmahneekah [Mą́zamąnį́ga], or Iron Walker, who was also drunk. What there occurred, is only known as related by the squaw that night. She said Pauquette kicked the fire apart, the Indian arose up and said something that offended Pauquette, who slapped the Indian's face, knocking him down. The Indian got up, saying, "You knocked me down; but I got up. I will knock you down, and you will never get up. I will go for my gun." Pauquette only laughed, and sat down. The Indian returned, when Pauquette stood up, pulled open his coat, placed his hand on his breast and said, "Strike and see a brave man dies." The Indian fired, killing him instantly, the ball severing one of the main arteries leading from the heart. No man in Wisconsin could have died who was so much regretted. His death can safely be attributed to intoxication, though it was the first time I ever knew or heard of his being in that condition. (Clark, Early History)
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