Principal chief of the Dakota nation. "Wapasha is that name of a succession of Mdewakanton Sioux chiefs whose lineage extends forward from time immemorial into the 21st century. Wapasha IV (also known as Napoleon Wabasha) became a United States citizen in 1909." http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/w2/wapasha.htm
Sources differ as to the origin of the name Wapasha. "The Missionaries, S.R. Riggs and Pond, say it means "Red Ensign" while C.C. Wilson and Dr. Upham, of the State Historical Society translate the word "Red Leaf" and state that the dynasty called by that name received it from the fact that their domain, which comprises southeastern Minnesota, is characterized by its abundant groves of bur-oaks, the leaves of which are reddish during the fall and winter months and cling long to the trees and give the landscape a pleasing color effect. Early travelers and explorers also speak of the Chiefs of this name as "Leaf." So the preponderance of the evidence seems to favor the derivation Wape (leaf) and sha (red).", Indian Chiefs of Southern Minnesota by Thomas Hughes (1927), p. 9.
Wapasha IV, Napoleon Wabasha, Hdakinyan (Crosswise), born at Shakopee/Mendota? about 1854. Died 1-27-1925 in Santee, NE.?
Married Mazakashuhewin (Natalie Graham, daughter of Alexander and Mary Graham, born 12/21/1855 in St. Peter, MN and died 10/4/1930 in Springfield, SD)
Wapasha the III died April 1876, at Santee Agency, Nebraska. His second son, Napoleon, succeeded him as Wapasha the 4th.
Lights & Shadows
The ordination service took place in the pretty stone church at the Birch Coulee Mission... The lay reader, Wabasha, is the son of Wabasha, the hereditary chief of the Lower Sioux. [no date but likely late 1890s?]
There are references to Wabasha III in Lights and Shadows.
On one of my visits I found a scalp-dance going on in front of the Mission House. I had just come from the Chippewa country, and had heard that the Sioux had killed one of their people. Indignant at the brutal sight, I took our interpreter, Thomas Robertson, and went to see the chief. I said, "Wabasha, you asked me for a school and a mission. I come to visit you and I see in front of the Mission House a horrible scalp-dance. I know the man who was killed; he had a wife and children; the wife is asking for her husband; the children are asking for their father. Wabasha, the Great Spirit is angry! Some day He will look Wabasha in the face and ask him for his red brother."
The chief was smoking, but when I had finished he took his pipe from his mouth, and slowly blowing a cloud of smoke into the air said:"White man go to war with his own brother; kills more men than Wabasha can count all his life. Great Spirit look down and says, 'Good white man; he has My Book; I have good home for him by and by.' Dakota has no Great Spirit's Book; he goes to war, kills one man, has a foolish scalp-dance; Great Spirit very angry. Wabasha doesn't believe it!"
What Shall We Do with the Indians?, Written for the Public Press 1862 (by Whipple)
While the decision is thus unanimous for their removal, it is our bounden duty to see that such men as Other Day, Taopi, Wabasha, and Good Thunder, who have manifested their fidelity at the risk of life, shall be given homes at some point where they shall be free from the persecutions of wild Indians. At their door will be laid the death of every man who, through their influence, surrendered himself as a prisoner. They have forfeited their tribal relations by their friendship to us, and we must see that their friendship is not unprotected. If it should be their choice, or be deemed better on account of example, that they remove with other Indians, they must be made especial wards of the Government.
There are Indian names like Wabasha, Taopi, Good Thunder, Enmegahbowh, Black Kettle, which will live forever as instances of the rarest fidelity,--even while their people were suffering from untold wrongs.
p. 527 [c. 1862]
Old Wabasha said to me, "My Father, four years ago I went to Washington. Our Great Father said to us, 'If you live as white men I will help you more than I have ever done.' Four winters have passed and the fifth is nigh. It is so long a way to Washington the agents forget their Father's words, for they never do as he told us. You said you were sorry my young men had these foolish dances. I am sorry. The reason their wild life clings to them like a blanket is that their hearts are sick. The Indian's face is turned to the setting sun, and he thinks these are long journeys for himself and children. If your great Council at Washington would do as they promised, our people would believe them. The good Indian would become like his brother, and the bad Indian go away. I have heard of your words for my poor people. You have none of my blood in your veins, and I have none of yours; but you have spoken as a father speaks for his child whom he loves well. Often, when I sit alone in my tipi, your words will come back to me, and be like music to my heart."