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Shabbona was born an Ottawa but was adopted into the Pottawatomie tribe. He became a chief and, against most of the other Pottawatomie chiefs, a friend of the white settlers in Illinois and Indiana. He succeeded in keeping the Pottawatomie out of the Winnebago War (1827) and the Black Hawk War (1832) and survived two assassination attempts by the Sac and Fox tribes.

In return for his services the government confiscated his land at Shaubena Grove, Illinois, but local settlers bought him land near Seneca and built him a house, where he spent the rest of his life.

There are several places in Illinois and Michigan named after him.


Matson, Nehemiah. Memories of Shaubena, with Incidents Relating to the Early Settlement of the West. (Chicago: D.B. Cooke, 1878)
Handbook of North American Indians: Vol. 15: Northeast, edited by Bruce G. Trigger. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1978)
Dictionary of American Biography ("Shabonee")
"Backtracking: The Lost Shaubena Silver Mine." Formerly available at:


Native American and Alaskan Native, Inuit
18th Century
19th Century
Rulers, Nobles, Chiefs, Presidents, Prime Ministers
Exile or Persecution (religious, Political or Social)
Trans-Racial, Trans-Tribal, International or Trans-Cultural Adoption or Fostering
Customary or Traditional Adoption, Informal and Extra-Legal Care
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