Fox Wars

French Indian War

French Indian War

The History of the Fox Wars including details of the cause, reason, and summary. The dates and years of the Indian wars - when the war started and when the conflict ended.

  • Summary & Definition of the Fox Wars
  • Causes and Effects of the Fox Wars
  • Fast Facts and interesting information
  • Result and Significance of the Fox Wars
  • History Timeline, Names and Dates
  • Interesting facts and information about the significance, specific events and famous leaders of the Fox Wars
The Indian Wars
Native Indian Tribes Index

Fox Wars Summary and Definition
Fox Wars Summary and Definition: The Fox Wars were a series of conflicts from 1701 and 1742 between the French and the Fox (Mesquakie) Native Indian tribe and their respective allies in the regions that are now the states of Michigan and Wisconsin. The names given to the major conflicts were the First Fox War (17121716) and the Second Fox War (17281733). The first war began when Fox, Kickapoo, and Mascouten attacked Fort Pontchartrain, later called Fort Detroit. The Second War flared from 17281733. The Fox Wars were caused largely economic reasons related to trade. The tribe controlled the Fox River and exacted a toll from all those that accessed it.

The French wanted rights to use the river system to gain access to the Mississippi which was vital for the fur trade between French Canada and North America, especially the Sioux. The French set up a trading post called Fort Detroit and invited many Indian tribes to settle in the area. Conflicts soon arose. The Fox were the only Algonquian speaking tribes who did not support the French. The animosity between the two was due to the French encroachment on Fox lands for trading purposes and the close relationship that the French had with the Chippewa (Objibwe) tribe who were the mortal enemies of the warlike Fox.  Following the defeat in the wars the Fox Native Americans were reduced to 500 by French troops and their Native Indian allies.  The tribe continued with their resistance by allying with the Sauk in 1735 to fend off the Europeans and other Indian tribes. The Fox (Meskwaki) resistance to French rule was so effective that the King of France signed a decree commanding the complete extermination (genocide) of the Meskwaki which was the only edict of its kind in history.

Fox Indians at Fort Detroit 

Fox Indians at the Siege of Fort Detroit

Fast Facts about the Fox Wars
Who fought in the Fox Wars? When did the conflict start and when did the conflict end? What were the causes of the Fox Wars? What was the significance of the Fox Wars? What were the results and effects of the Fox Wars? Interesting history and facts about the Fox Wars:

Fast Facts about the Fox Wars
 Name of Conflict: Fox Wars
 Alternative Names for the Fox War:
 First Fox War and Second Fox War
French Fox Wars
 Location of the Fox Wars: Michigan and Wisconsin
 Year the Fox Wars started: 1712 - First Fox War (17121716)
 Year the Fox Wars ended: 1733 - Second Fox War (17281733)
 Combatants in the Fox Wars: France and their Native Indian Allies the Makisabi, the Ottawa and Potawatomi
 Combatants in the Fox Wars: Fox, Sauk, Kickapoo, and Mascouten Native Indian Tribes
 Result of the Fox Wars: Victory for the French
 Famous Leaders in the First of the Wars French Commanders: Charles Renaut Sieur Dubuisson and Louis de la Porte de Louvigny. Algonquian speaking Indian allies including Potawatomi, Ottawa, Huron, Miami, and Ojibwa (Chippewa). A famous Indian leader of the era was Chief Saguima

The Fox Chiefs were Lamyma and Pemaussa. The Mascouten chiefs were Kisis and Ouabimanitou
 Famous Leaders in the Second of the Wars Captain Pierre Paul Marin

Fox Chief Kiala
Fast Facts about the Fox Wars

Specific Causes of the Fox Wars
What were the specific causes of the Fox Wars? The Fox Wars were the strongest resistance to European colonialism between King Philip's War and Pontiac's Rebellion (1763).The specific causes of the Fox Wars at a local level were:

  • Trade: The French sought for dominance of the highly lucrative fur trade
  • A series of French Forts were built acting as trading posts giving the French a power base
  • Hostilities grew between the indigenous population of the region and the French over trade routes
  • The Indian tribes allied to the French all fought against the Fox
  • Forced relocation of the Fox
  • The edict of King Louis XV of France ordered the complete destruction of the Fox and led to the second of the wars

Causes Fox Wars - Political Policies and Beliefs
What were the causes of the Fox Wars? Some of the history and causes of the Indian Wars were dictated by political policies and beliefs which shaped the historical background to the causes of the Fox Wars

  • Colonialism: In the 1700's the Europeans brought with them the system of colonialism, primarily to generate income, which encompassed "the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas."

Sauk Fox Warrior


History Timeline of the Fox Wars
This short History Timeline of the Fox Wars provides fast facts and information about the history, years & dates, key events and famous people who fought in the Fox Wars.

History Timeline of the Fox Wars

The History Timeline is split into the First and Second Wars

First Fox War (17121716)

1701Fort Detroit was built by by the French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac to try to keep the British from moving west of New England and to monopolize the fur trade in North America

1702Numerous Native Indian tribes were invited by the French to settle in the trading area of Fort Detroit

1702 -12Tribes including the Potawatomi, Ottawa, Huron, Miami, and Ojibwa (Chippewa) set up villages in the trading area. The populations of the combined tribes numbered over 6000

1708Disputes and conflicts flared up between various tribes. The disputes between the Ottawa and the Miami tribes were so severe that the Miami left the area

1712The Fox established a trading village just outside the walls of Fort Detroit (names Fort Pontchartrain)

1712The French, under the command of Charles Renaut Sieur Dubuisson, were concerned at the close proximity of the Fox village to the fort, having less than 50 French troops in attendance and two of their closest allies, the Huron and Ottawa, were on hunting trips.

1712Dubuisson sent out messages to the absent tribes to hasten their return. He then requested the Fox to remove their village

1712April 1712: Siege of Fort Detroit: The Fox with Sauk and Mascouten warriors totalling nearly 1000 men laid siege to the garrison of Fort Detroit (see the above picture).

1712May 1712: When the absent tribes returned, the Fox were then caught between the French and their Allies and were themselves besieged until the end of May. The Fox were forced to surrender so their families would be spared. The French agreed, but after the Fox were disarmed, they and their allies attacked and killed over 500 in what became known as the Fox Indian Massacre.

1712The Fox who had escaped the massacre rejoined their communities in Northeastern Wisconsin

1712 - 1716They began to intercept French traders using the Fox River exacting tolls from passing boats and canoes, and attempted to prevent guns from reaching their Sioux enemies

1716First Battle at Little Butte des Morts: French commander Louis de la Porte de Louvigny led an expedition of 800 to confront the Fox at their fortified village located at Little Butte des Morts. The battle raged for 3 days but the French were the victors.

1716The French captured Fox war chief Pemaussa  which led to a peace agreement ending the first war

Second Fox War (1728 - 1733)

1716 - 1724Hostilities continued between the French and their Indian adversaries 

1724 - 1728Various French expeditions to northern Illinois and Wisconsin were led by Constant Le Marchand de Lignery who negotiated various truces, which were largely ineffective.

1728In 1728 King Louis XV of France ordered the complete destruction of the Meskwaki 

1730Second Battle at Little Butte des Morts: Captain Pierre Paul Marin leads a surprise a genocidal attack against the village virtually wiping out the settlement

1730The survivors retreat to Wauzeka, on the lower Wisconsin. Pierre Paul Marin attacked again. This time Marin took prisoners who he would only release if  the Fox permanently left Wisconsin

1730The French and their Illinois allies corner the Fox on their way to Lake Michigan 

1733The Fox seek refuge with the Sauk tribe near Green Bay 

1735French soldiers under Des Noyelles fight battle with Sauk and Fox Indians near present Des Moines

1737The French grant a general pardon to the Fox (Meskwaki) thus ending the Fox Wars.

1742The remaining Meskwaki prisoners were finally released by the French.  

The End of the Fox wars

History Timeline of the Fox Wars


The Significance and Effects of the Fox Wars
The effects and significance of the Fox Wars in history is that the Meskwaki suffered removal from their ancestral lands and the number of people of the Fox nation significantly and sadly diminished from over 6500 at the start of the wars to less than 500 at the end of the wars. The demise of the Fox led to the prosperity of the French fur traders and the power of the French in the area until they were ousted by the British following the French and Indian Wars.

Fox Wars

  • Significance, causes, summary, dates and history of the Fox Wars for kids
  • History timeline of the Fox Wars
  • Interesting Facts and information on the Fox Wars for kids and schools
  • Cause and Effects of the Fox Wars
  • Significance, causes events, summary, dates and history of the Fox Wars for kids

Fox Wars - Pictures and Videos of Native Americans
Fox Wars. Discover the key years, famous people and events of the Fox Wars together with the causes and effects of the war, conflict and battle. Pictures have been include wherever possible which show the battlefield, clothing and weapons of the Native Indian tribes and their leaders who fought in the Fox Wars. The illustrated text provides a really useful educational resource for kids and children of all ages. We have included pictures and videos to accompany the main topic of this section - The Fox Wars. The videos enable fast access to the images, paintings and pictures together with the information and the many facts featured on this subject of the Fox Wars.


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