Annotated Text: Christmas (Noel) Dagenet
The text of the historical marker appears below with the citations to reference material used as a basis for the marker: 61.2004.1 Christmas (Noel) Dagenet Students, researchers, and other interested parties may find it useful to use this information to delve more deeply into the subject of the marker.
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Born December 25, 1799 near Terre Haute; baptised by Father Rivet, missionary at Vincennes.(2) Son of French fur trader Ambrose Dagenet and Mechinquamesha, sister of Wea chief Jacco.(3) Served Wea nation and U.S. government at Treaty of St. Mary's signed 1818.(4) Married to Mary Ann Isaacs 1819 by Isaac McCoy at his Baptist Indian mission near here.(5)
Recommended by William Clark to work for U.S. government as Interpreter, receiving $400 per year, June 1824 through 1827.(6) He selected land here to fulfill grant in Treaty of St. Mary's; land recorded 1824.(7) Family moved west 1847.(8) Dagenet employed in the last removal of Miamis from Indiana beginning 1846.(9) He died before April 10 in 1848.(10)
Footnote 1 - The spelling of Dagenet's name is the one used in his will. Record of Wills, January 24 1848, Rockville, Indiana. Documents used both Christmas and Noel, and Dashney was a common spelling for his name.
Footnote 2 - Father Flavian Strange, History of the Catholic Church in Parke County (February 11, 1957), [p. 3]; H. W. Beckwith, History of Vigo and Parke Counties (Chicago, 1880), 133. Beckwith (134 note) indicates that he met with and interviewed Dagenet's widow Mary Ann Dagenet Baptiste at Paola, Kansas, in November 1878 when she was 78 years old. Information in Beckwith based on this interview is not always supported by the available primary sources.
Footnote 3 - Noel Dashney to John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, received August 5, 1824, typescript in Walter Crotchett, "Last Chief of the Weas, The Story of the Confederated Tribes in Miami County [Kansas]," edited by Philip S. Thomas (1981); Charles J. Kappler, Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties, 2 vols. (Washington, D.C., 1903), 2:118 is the authority for the spelling of Mechinquamesha, sister of Wea chief Jacco.
Footnote 4 - Dashney to Calhoun, 6,7; Kappler, 2:118.
At the Treaty of St. Mary's, Wea Tribe of Indians agreed to cede to the U.S. all their lands in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois except a seven-mile square reserve located at the mouth of Raccoon Creek [Parke County, Indiana]; Christmas "Dageny" and sister Mary each were granted one section of land. Kapler, 2:118.
He served as interpreter for the Wea and a witness to Articles of Convention signed at St. Louis, June 18, 1824. Wea consented to and confirmed an earlier treaty of August 11, 1820 in which unauthorized chiefs relinquished the reserve at Raccoon Creek. Articles of Convention, June 18, 1824, typescript. The applicant did not provide the source of this typescript.
Footnote 5 - Strange, 4. Mary Ann Isaacs was a member of the Brotherton tribe of New York. Mary Anne Dagenett, "Census and Testimony Relative to New York Indians in Kansas," 1859, typescript copy from National Archives Records Group 75, Special case 29; Isaac McCoy, History of Baptist Indian Missions (1840, reprint New York, 1970), 64, indicates he married them February 16. Beckwith (134 note) also states that Dagenet married Mary Ann Isaacs on February 16, 1819 in Parke County; he used McCoy as a source in his work.
Isaac McCoy was a Baptist minister who began his ministry near Vincennes in 1810. His first mission to the Indians was on Raccoon Creek in Parke County circa 1818. He moved to Fort Wayne in 1820 and to the Carey Mission (near Niles, Michigan) in 1822. McCoy was one of the first to promote the removal of eastern Indian tribes to the unoccupied areas of the west to a permanent Indian country (circa 1824). After the Indian Removal Act of 1830 was passed, McCoy moved his missions to Indian Country. In 1842, McCoy moved to Louisville, Kentucky to direct the American Indian Mission Association, which he organized. He died in Louisville in 1846. "Isaac McCoy Papers-Finding Aid-Kansas State Historical Society," (accessed November 20, 2003), <http://www.kshs.org/> and search for "McCoy" in the search box..
Footnote 6 - Dashney to Calhoun; U.S. Official Register (1825), 98; U.S. Official Register (1827), 102. Register was published every two years. Beckwith (134 note) states that Dagenet was a "government interpreter at Fort Harrison, and subsequently Indian agent, having the superintendency of the Wabash Miamis, whom he conducted westward." His role as Indian agent and superintendent have not been substantiated.
Footnote 7 - Dagenet located his in Section 1, Township 15 North, Range 9 West. Tract Book 4, Crawfordsville Land Office, State Archives, Indiana Archives and Records Administration; Application to Locate, Papers on File, ibid.
Footnote 8 - Mary Ann Dagenett, 1859. Dagenet and his family resided and farmed on the Section 1 grant, and the area became an Indian center and kind of Catholic mission. Strange, [p. 5].
Footnote 9 - Sources have been located to document only the limited statement in the text. "Removal Contractors Miami Claim," Ewing Collection, Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library. The actual removal of the Miamis began October 6, 1846. Quoted from this document is the following entry:
Abstract of Expenses incurred by the Contracts of the Miami emigration from 28th June to 6th Oct 1846
Salary of A Coquillard at $100 per mo. 325
do to Jas P. Edsall $50 per mo. 163
do to Jno Grant $50 per mo. 163
do to C. Dagenet $25 per mo. 84
do to Maj. Sinclear @ $2000 per an 708.32
Travelling expenses of A Coquillard@ $1 per day 100.00
do Maj Sinclear @ $1 per day 117.00
do J. P Edsall @ $1 per day 100.00
do Jno Grant @ $1 per day 100.00
do C. Dagenet @ $1 per day 100.00
Clearly Dagenet is not in charge, based on the salaries.
Beckwith (133-34) states that the last of the Miamis to move west were the Mississinewa band of about 350 people under charge of Christmas Dagenet. They left in the fall of 1846 on canal boats to Cincinnati, then were put on a steamboat to Westport, near Kansas City. no evidence has been located to substantiate the claim that dagenet was in charge.
According to Trennert "For a time it looked as if Allen Hamilton would again assume the office [Miami Subagency] and be placed in charge of the Miami removal. . . . the administration, on June 5, 1845, named Joseph Sinclear to replace Milroy and to superintend the Miami relocation." Robert A. Trennert, Jr., Indian Traders on the Middle Border: The House of Ewing, 1827-54 (Lincoln, Neb., 1981), 122. These statements are based on primary sources. Grant Foreman, The Last Trek of the Indians (Chicago, 1946) also provides excellent information on the Miami removal in 1846, again based on primary sources.
Bureau staff also searched significant resources at the Indiana State Library (Ewing Collection, Allen Hamilton Collection, Tipton Papers, William Prince Collection, Miami Emigration microfilm) and the indexes of the Indiana Magazine of History.
Footnote 10 - Christmas Dagenet of Missouri Territory wrote his will January 24, 1848. His will was recorded for probate in Van Buren County, Missouri, April 10, 1848. It was recorded in Parke County September 15, 1848. Record of Wills, January 24 1848, Rockville, Indiana, 239.