Black and white photograph of the Ho-Chunk leader Baptiste Lasallier wearing a mix of American Indian and Euro-American clothing, c.1855. After the treaty of 1859 the U.S. government recognized Lasallier as the "head chief" of the Ho-Chunk at Blue Earth.
In 1855, a federal treaty moved the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people from their reservation near Long Prairie to a site along the Blue Earth River. The Ho-Chunk farmed the area's rich soil with some success, but drew the hostility of white neighbors who wanted the land for themselves. Though they did not participate in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, they were exiled from Minnesota during the conflict's aftermath.