( Wakunchakookah )



Winnebago Chief

1774 - 1874


Yellow Thunder was a principal chief of the Winnebagos and an opponent of removal at a time when the U.S. government was trying to move them from the vicinity of present-day Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Yellow Thunder and other chiefs were persuaded to sign away their lands without knowing it and then were told they have only eight months to move out.

Yellow Thunder and several other chiefs traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1837 to assert their right to their ancestral homes, but President Andrew Jackson refused to meet with them.

The Winnebagos under Yellow Thunder refused to move.

In 1840, troops arrived to force them to a reservation in northeastern Iowa.

Yellow Thunder was briefly held in chains, then released, as the chiefs agreed that resistance would cause their people to be exterminated.

Late in his life, Yellow Thunder and his wife departed the Iowa Reservation and returned to Wisconsin, where they homesteaded a forty acre farm.

Yellow Thunder died there in 1874.