The Etymology and History of the
Placename “Des Moines”
Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
The original form of the placename “Des Moines” was created by a seventeenth-
century French mapmaker. It was given a new life — and its present form —
by an early nineteenth-century French-speaking mapmaker. However, the
name “Moines” comes from an American Indian tribe name that has under-
gone extensive and interesting changes since it was first recorded around
the summer solstice in the year 1673 by the Jesuit missionary-explorer
Jacques Marquette. The following article presents this placename’s history
and explains its unusual meaning in the Miami-Illinois language.
keywords Des Moines River, Iowa history, Miami-Illinois language, American
Indian placenames, Mississippi valley French, Jacques Marquette
The publication of the linguistic analysis of the placename “Des Moines” (Costa,
2000: 45–46; McCafferty, 2003: 112–13) has caused a certain stir, especially among
Iowans, some of whom have wondered aloud in the Press and on the Internet about
the analysis, and even contacted this author in disbelief, despair, or at least with a
certain curiosity. The intent of the present article is to provide a fuller examination
of the etymology and history of the placename “Des Moines,” and hopefully put the
questions to rest.
Four days after the summer solstice of 1673, Louis Jolliet, a Quebec-born fur
trader, Jacques Marquette, a French-born Jesuit missionary, and the latter’s friend
and assistant, French-born Jacques Largillier, a former fur trader in the upper Great
Lakes, along with four other native French speakers, became the first Europeans to
see Iowa, as they paddled down the Mississippi along what would one day be the
state’s entire eastern border. On Sunday, June 25, after their two birch bark canoes
had passed the Keokuk rapids, which Marquette indicated with little horizontal lines
on his map of the voyage (McCafferty, 2003: 114–15), the team of discovery noticed
human footprints in the mud along the Mississippi at its confluence with the Des
Moines River. Although they had been very excited on the previous Sunday when
they became the first Europeans to see the upper Mississippi, the discovery of these
footprints was an exciting one in itself, for the men had not seen any sign of Indians
© American Name Society 2015 DOI 10.1179/0027773815Z.000000000114
names, Vol. 63 No. 2, June 2015, 109–117
110 MICHAEL MCCAFFERTY
since their Miami guides had left them at the portage between the upper Fox River
of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin River on June 10. The footprints induced Marquette
and Jolliet to head up the Des Moines River in search of the folks who had left those
tracks behind in the mud (Thwaites, 1896–1901, 59: 105–15).
A few miles up the Des Moines, the priest and his companion came upon the
Peoria, a division of the Illinois, who welcomed the two foreigners. Marquette and
Jolliet spent the rest of that day, that night, and most of the next day into the mid-
afternoon with the Peoria (Thwaites, 1896–1901, 58: 125). The Peoria spoke Miami-
Illinois, an Algonquian language that in early historic times was spoken in the middle
Mississippi watershed in what is now eastern Iowa, eastern Missouri, all of Illinois,
all of Indiana, western Ohio, southern Michigan, and southern Wisconsin. Father
Marquette had spent three years learning Miami-Illinois while living at the Jesuit
mission near the western end of Lake Superior in preparation for establishing a mis-
sion among the Illinois. His teacher had been a Miami-Illinois-speaking boy living
there among the Ottawa (Thwaites, 1896–1901, 54: 186–88). Thus, by the time he
arrived among the Peoria in the opening days of the summer of 1673, Marquette,
already a fluent speaker of the Algonquian languages known as Algonquin and
Ottawa, and versed in Algonquian thought and cultural practices, could speak their
sister language Miami-Illinois relatively well, well enough, as his journal of the
Mississippi voyage suggests, to communicate easily with the Peoria on a variety of
topics — including the names and locations of tribes west of the big river. It should
also be noted that Marquette’s recordings of American Indian tribe names and pla-
cenames that on his map of the Mississippi and in his two journals are phonetically
very good. He was not only very well educated, but he had a good ear.
Indeed, on Marquette’s map of the Mississippi are found several Miami-Illinois
tribe names that made their first appearance in the historical record on those two
days that he and Jolliet spent with the Peoria, names which only the Peoria could
have given him. Among these is the name of another Illinois group that was living
just up the Des Moines River from the Peoria, a name which Marquette wrote in his
characteristic manner in upper-case block letters: moing8ena (Marquette, ).1
It is this term which is the origin of the word “Moines” in “Des Moines”. “Moines,”
although technically a French word, is not at all French in origin. This fact was
first recognized in 1841 (Nicollet, 1841: 22), pointed out again in 1898 (Keyes, 1898:
556–58), and was mentioned yet again many decades later both in a prominent book
on American placenames (Stewart, 1970: 135) as well as in the synonymy of Illinois
tribal names in the Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians (Callender,
in Sturtevant, 1978, 15: 680).
After Marquette, the name moing8ena was standardized by the Jesuits in the form
Mouinguena (Thwaites, 1896–1901, 65: 101).2 Like Marquette’s spelling, Mouinguena
is phonetically very good, and in fact it is as good as one could produce at the time with
a Western European spelling system, that is, before the invention of the International
Phonetic Alphabet. However, within five years of Marquette’s recording this name,
the Quebec mapmaker Jean-Baptiste Louis Franquelin began using it in his work.
But he also miswrote it. It has been pointed out that Franquelin was lackadaisical in
reproducing Indian names that came to him from his French explorer contemporaries
such as René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (McCafferty, 2008: 32). In the case of
THE ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORY OF THE PLACENAME “DES MOINES”
Mouinguena, Franquelin first changed the name slightly into the form Moueng8ena
in 1678, clearly originally a Jesuit spelling with the 8 symbol that here represented
the sound w, and then he further distorted the original spelling, nearly beyond rec-
ognition, with his Moingana and Moingoana by 1684 (Franquelin, 1678; Franquelin,
1684a). The latter spelling was again muddled by Franquelin in 1697 into the form
Moingona, which is how the tribe name is most frequently seen on later maps and in
the literature both past and present (Franquelin, 1697).3
In the early 1680s, Franquelin was employed as mapmaker by La Salle, and, nat-
urally, we find La Salle using the distorted spelling Moingoana in his own work
(Margry, 1876, 2: 134). Importantly, by 1684, as evidenced on one of Franquelin’s
maps of that year, the tribe’s name had clearly become associated with the Des Moines
River, for Franquelin calls this heretofore unnamed stream rivière des Moingoana
(Franquelin, 1684b). Thus, it is clear that Marquette’s having noted in 1673 that this
tribe lived on what is today called the Des Moines River opened the door for associat-
ing these people with this newfound waterway — and in rushed Franquelin. In other
words, Franquelin himself invented this new hydronym, which subsequently became
the standard in early European cartography, for there is no evidence indicating that
the Indians or the French before Franquelin used this name for the Des Moines River.
Yet, in the years that followed, French, British, and American mapmakers commonly
borrowed Franquelin’s name for this river (see Anonymous, 1700s; Popple, 1730;
Bowen and Gibson, 1763). That having been said, the onomastic situation “on the
ground” was quite a different matter.
Faced with the daunting challenge of dealing with speakers of scores of American
Indian languages with unusual sounds and complex, alien morphologies and gram-
mars, the French people who actually lived and worked in the Mississippi valley and
western Great Lakes characteristically shortened tribe names into words that were
easy for them to pronounce. Of course, shortening ethnonyms is not an unusual prac-
tice for humans in general. Consider, for example, in American English the shortened
form “the Brits” for “the British” or the World War II moniker “the Japs” for “the
Japanese”. In the Illinois Country and in the West in general, Frenchmen did the same
thing — and with gusto. Historical documentation makes it abundantly clear that les
Pés, les Cas, and les Mis, for example, were the names the French used on an everyday
basis for the peewaareewa, kaaskaaskiiwa, and myaamiiwa, the old Miami-Illinois
names for the Peoria, Kaskaskia, and Miami peoples, respectively.4
In exactly the same way that the Miami-Illinois language ethnonym peewaareewa,
for instance, lost its -waareewa to become French pés, the -gouena was dropped from
the name Mouingouena by the French who followed Marquette into the Mississippi
valley, that is, by those French traders, missionaries, soldiers, and habitants who
actually lived and worked among Indians on the Mississippi. Just as they had done in
shortening peewaareewa, kaaskaaskiiwa, and myaamiiwa to les Pés, les Cas, and les
Mis, Frenchmen also refashioned the Illinois tribe name Mouinguena into a simple,
one-syllable word any Frenchman could pronounce and would recognize. The result
of this practice can be seen on period maps.
For example, near the end of what is called the French and Indian War, when
Thomas Hutchins, a bilingual colonial ensign and future Revolutionary War patriot,
came to the Illinois Country to survey the area, he recorded the shortened version of
112 MICHAEL MCCAFFERTY
our ethnonym, in the singular number, embedded within the name he got for the Des
Moines River: Riviere du Moins, meaning literally “River of the Least,” where Moins
is pronounced [mwɛ] ~ [mwẽ], exactly as one would expect the Mouin- / Moin- of
Mouingouena ~ Moingoana, to be pronounced by the French (Hutchins, 1778). This
same tribe name also appears on a map drawn by Antoine-Pierre Soulard, a resident
of St. Louis in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and the official Spanish government sur-
veyor of that area until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Using the plural form of the
ethnonym, Soulard called the Des Moines River R. de los Moin, which translates to
English “R(iver) of the Leasts” (Soulard, in Wood, 1996: 186).5 His use of the Spanish
plural form of this name distinctly indicates that he knew los Moin referred to an
Indian tribe. However, with the Louisiana Purchase and the arrival of the Americans,
the established French name for the Des Moines River was about to undergo signifi-
cant changes that would pull it irrevocably away from its Native linguistic roots and
render it unrecognizable as a term of American Indian origin.
When the Americans were setting out to explore the land west of the Mississippi
that had been acquired from France in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase, the old
French placenaming tradition was still in force. For example, in the 1805 map by
William Clark, the famous explorer of the West, which was copied by the English-
born Washington, DC-based architect, surveyor, and mapmaker Nicolas King in
1806, the Des Moines River is called “River de Moin” ([Clark] ). Although
ungrammatical in French, Clark’s de Moin clearly preserved the old local Indian-
based shortened French name for the river. Again in 1805, Zebulon Pike, who had
been sent by the United States government to find the source of the Mississippi,
wrote in his notes of that trip the name for the Des Moines River in the form (River)
De Moyen (Pike, 1805). Translated literally from French, this name means “(River)
of Medium,” “(River) of Average,” “(River) of Means”. Pike’s Moyen would be a
local, phonologically expected native French permutation of earlier French Moins,
and it still lay within the old French placenaming tradition. It was only in the years
immediately following Pike’s important expedition up the Mississippi that the French
term for “monk(s)” began to appear in the historical record as the name for the
Des Moines River — and this new name, although it is in the French language, had
jumped beyond the limits of the old French placenaming tradition. This new twist
was the work of a French-speaking employee of the US government.
Anthony Nau, the government’s “sworn interpreter of the French language” for
the Louisiana Purchase territory and a mapmaker for the US government, used Pike’s
notes between April and July of 1806 for making maps of the Mississippi (Tucker,
1942: 10–11). In so doing, Nau wrote the name of the Des Moines River in the form
River des Moines, literally “River of the Monks” (Nau, 1806). It is clear that Nau, in
looking at Pike’s field notes, assumed that what Pike had intended by his meaningless
De Moyen was Des Moines, meaning in French “of the Monks”. As a mapmaker,
Nau would have no doubt been familiar with the earlier Moins spelling and, as a
French speaker, he would have concluded that Pike’s Moyen was Moines, for neither
Moyen nor Moins would have made any sense to him as a French placename.
In 1807, Nicolas King published Pike’s account of the Mississippi voyage in the
third person (Coues, 1895: xxxiv–xxxv), and wrote the name for the river in the form
riviere des Moines in the text and River des Moines on the map that he drew up to
THE ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORY OF THE PLACENAME “DES MOINES”
accompany his book (King, 1807: 4, map). It is therefore on Nau’s and then on King’s
maps that we see the earliest appearance of Des Moines as a name for the Des Moines
River, in other words, a hydronym that includes the French term for “monks,” which
is the form of the placename that would become the standard modern one. The fact
that the term Des Moines is not seen on maps until Nau wrote it on his map in 1806
suggests that the “monks” were Nau’s creations, figments of his imagination.
In the end, the form des Moines on Nau’s and King’s maps, in King’s publica-
tion of Pike’s Mississippi voyage, not to mention the spelling “La Moine” on the
map by William Clark (Clark, 1810), sealed the fate of the modern placename’s
form.6 Moreover, American maps in the 1800s are the only places we find this newly
wrought placename bearing the term “monks,” even as a few maps in the early 1800s
continued to use Hutchins’ name, i.e., the old local French name for the river with its
shortened form for the long lost Mouinguena people.
Additional support for thinking that Des Moines was a neologistic hydronym dat-
ing to the opening decade of the nineteenth century is found on a map drawn by René
Paul, the first surveyor of St. Louis and the surrounding territory, who used the notes
of his father-in-law, Auguste Chouteau, the founder of St. Louis, to draw it. Both
men were native French-speaking inhabitants of the Mississippi valley, and Chouteau
was a renowned trader with far-flung posts who spent over sixty years trading with
the Indians in the area. In other words, both Chouteau and Paul used the Mississippi
valley’s French placenames in their daily lives. Like Soulard and Hutchins mentioned
above, Chouteau and Paul are to be considered authorities on the French placenames
of the middle Mississippi valley. Chouteau’s and Paul’s name for the Des Moines
River is Riviere des Moins, “River of the Leasts” (Paul, 1816), which again, morpho-
logically speaking, clearly refers to a people. Thus, the name that Hutchins recorded
in the 1760s was still alive in French decades later, long after the fall of New France,
and even well after the Louisiana Purchase.
As one might expect, “Des Moines (River)” has been the victim of folk interpreta-
tions. Because of Nau’s and King’s “Moines” and Clark’s own “Moine,” some have
thought that the name of the river owed itself to monks, Trappist monks specifically,
since, as noted above, French moines means “monks”. But Trappist monks never lived
on the Des Moines River and were never associated with it historically. The French
mapmaker Joseph-Nicolas Nicollet, in an 1841 publication, appears to have been the
first person to question the idea of “monks” in association with the Des Moines River
(Nicollet, 1841: 22). It is true that, from 1810 to 1813, a small group of Trappist monks
did live at the base of the great mound at the ancient Mississippian site of Cahokia
in present East St. Louis known as “Monks’ Mound” (McDermott, 1940: 290–316).
However, their little establishment was about 160 miles away from the Des Moines
River. Furthermore, their association with the Mississippi valley occurs after the name
Des Moines had already been established in the historical record. Hence, Trappist
monks could not have been the origin of the river’s name. As there were clearly people
in the 1800s who knew that no monks were involved in the history of the Des Moines
River, various attempts to explain what the name meant have been put forth since
then, including the following more noteworthy albeit erroneous explanations.
In his report noted above, Nicollet also professed his belief that the Moines of
Des Moines came from an “Algonquian” term, “Mikonang,” supposedly meaning “at
114 MICHAEL MCCAFFERTY
the road” (Nicollet, 1841: 22). While Nicollet’s “Mikonang” is a corruption of the
Ojibwe term for “road,” not only does his term not look like Marquette’s original
moing8ena, the words for “road” in the Miami-Illinois language are the inanimate
noun miiwi and the noun final -ihkanawe, neither of which bear any resemblance to
moing8ena or even to the expert early Jesuit transliteration of the word, Mouinguena.
In the mid-twentieth century, it was suggested by Vogel, the well-known author of
books on American Indian placenames in the Midwest, that Moines represented the
Miami-Illinois word for “loon” (Gavia immer) (Vogel, 1983: 48). However, the Miami-
Illinois term for “loon,” which is maankwa, is plainly not related to moing8ena or
Mouinguena. Recently it has been proposed that Mouinguena means “people of the
portage” (Fay, 2010: 1–3). But “portage” in Miami-Illinois is kwaantinaakani, and
“people of the portage” would be kwaantinaakanaki. Again, this term does not look
anything like moing8ena or Mouinguena.
Mouinguena, phonetic [mooyiiŋgweena], means “one has shit on his face”. It is
composed of phonetic [mooy-] “shit, excrement,” [-iiŋgwee] “face,” and [-na], the
indefinite independent order verb suffix that translates to English “one has.” Not
only are all three morphemes instantly recognizable, but the same term is also attested
as a participle in an Illinois-French dictionary composed by the Jesuits around the
turn of the eighteenth century and written out by Jacques Largillier of Mississippi
exploration fame mentioned above.7 Therein, we find the same word in a different
verb form, m8ing8eta, which Largillier translated to French “qui a le visage plein d
ordure,” meaning “(one) who has a face full of filth” (Largillier, 1700: fol. 299), and
which he explains is an “insult” (injure) meaning “dirty, ugly” (sale, vilain). The
Jesuit spelling m8ing8eta represents phonetic [mooyiiŋgweeta]. The parsing of this
particular term results in [mooy-] “shit, excrement” [-iiŋgwee] “face,” and [-ta], the
animate participle suffix meaning “one who has.”
It may never be determined why the Peoria told Marquette that their cousins
upstream were called “shit face.” Marquette no doubt knew the words for “shit”
and “face” in Miami-Illinois since these terms have transparent cognate forms in the
other Algonquian languages he knew. As has been suggested, the Peoria probably
used this term to insult their cousins living upstream from them (Costa, 2000: 45–46).
By attempting to demean the Moingouena, the Peoria were perhaps hoping that the
French would not trade with them, but would choose to trade with the Peoria instead.
In the end, the history of the Iowa hydronym “Des Moines River” can be briefly
summarized by the following progression: 1. rivière des Moingoana → 2. rivière du
Moins ~ rivière des Moins → 3. river des Moines/Des Moines River. Name # 1 was
created and used by French mapmakers; name # 2, which naturally has a singular and
plural form of the ethnonym in it, was created and used by French speakers living in
the Mississippi valley; and name # 3, dating only to the first decade of the nineteenth
century, appears to have been created by Anthony Nau, a mapmaker working for the
Americans who knew French but was not familiar with the old French name for
the Des Moines River, for it is obvious that the latter did not faithfully transcribe the
name for the river as recorded by Pike in his notes on which the mapmaker based
his maps. Owing to its use by the early United States government, name # 3 became
the name for the Des Moines River and eventually the name of the Iowa state capital
located on its banks.
THE ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORY OF THE PLACENAME “DES MOINES”
1 On the authenticity of Marquette’s map, see Buisseret
and Kupfer, 2011: 261–76. In Marquette’s spelling
moing8ena, the figure 8 is a shorthand symbol for
“ou” and here stands for the sound w. The phone-
mic, or underlying, form of his recording is
mooyiinkweena (Costa, 2000: 45–46). In the pro-
nunciation of mooyiinkweena, the ee sounds some-
what like the “ai” in English “mail” (the doubling
of vowels in Miami-Illinos indicates vowel lengthen-
ing, a phonemic characteristic of that language); in
words with the consonant cluster nk, as in
mooyiinkweena, Miami-Illinois voices the k to [g],
which explains why the historical spellings of this
ethnonym have a “g” rather than a “k.”
2 This spelling, by Jesuit missionary Jacques Gravier,
who knew the Miami-Illinois language extremely
well, is authoritative. Pierre-Charles Delliette, a
young Frenchman who learned to speak Miami-
Illinois and whose memoir is important for our
understanding of the Illinois, also spelled the name
in the same way (Pease and Werner, 1934: 342).
3 I am indebted to Carl Kupfer for providing me with
an excellent digital copy of Franquelin’s map from
1678. Moingana appears on the Parkman copy
while Moingoana is on the De La Croix copy of
Franquelin’s 1684 lost map. Franquelin’s Moingona
spelling is also found on a map of North America
from 1697 in the French National Archives: ANF/
Map/6JJ/75/B. I am again grateful to Mr. Kupfer for
providing information about the latter map, which
is a Delisle copy, as Franquelin’s original manu-
script map is lost. As one might expect, some Delisle
maps also evince the Moingona spelling.
4 The French did not just shorten these and other
multiple-syllable exotic Native names; they commonly
shortened them into real French words, albeit into
words which were unusual as ethnonyms. In other
words, les Pés, pronounced [lepé], sounds like the
French word for “the Sword,” “the P’s,” or even
“the Farts,” depending on one’s own inclination
and/or French regional dialect; les Cas, pronounced
[leká], sounds like “the Cases”; and les Mis, pro-
nounced [lemí], sounds like “the Piths of Bread,” or
“the Ones Who Are Put.” Another reduction of this
sort involving the tribe name “Potawatomi” is les
Poux, meaning not too attractively “the Lice.” The
reader should note that the ethnonyms presented here
in the Miami-Illinois language such as peewaareewa
are in the singular number. Documentary evidence
indicates that historical Miami-Illinois speakers com-
monly used the singular form of an ethnonym as the
name for an entire nation, as if an entire nation were
embodied in one person, whereas French and English
speakers, as they do today, usually used the plural
form of an ethnonym in their own languages for des-
ignating an entire group of people. The reader should
note that phonemic spellings, even of proper names,
do not begin with an upper-case letter.
5 For Soulard, see Wood, 1996: 6.
6 Two anonymous maps by the same English-
speaking American author have “Le Moin River”:
[Sketch of Part of the Upper Mississippi at the Close
of the War of 1812]. [1815–1816]; and [Sketch of the
Mississippi from 33° N. to Rock River]. [ca. 1818].
Both are in Tucker, 1942: pls. XXXIX and XXV,
respectively. For Hutchins’ years in the midconti-
nent, see <http://hsp.org/sites/default/files/legacy_files/
Nov ember 14 2014].
7 McCafferty, 2011: 188–97.
Anonymous. [eighteenth century]. “Nouvelle Carte de la Louisiane et Du fleuve Mississipi.” In Indian Villages
of the Illinois Country, vol. ii. Comp. Wayne C. Temple. Springfield: Illinois State Museum Scientific Papers,
Part I Atlas, Supplement, 1975, pl. LXIII.
Bowen, E. and J. Gibson. 1763. “North America.” In Indian Villages of the Illinois Country, comp. Temple,
Buisseret, David, and Carl Kupfer. 2011. “Validating the 1673 ‘Marquette Map’.” Journal of Illinois History,
14 (Winter): 261–276.
[Clark, William] . “A Map of part of the Continent of North America … Copied by Nicolas King 1806.”
In Tucker, 1942: part 1, pl. XXXIB.
Clark, William. 1810. [North America]. <http://www.wdl.org/en/item/3057/> [Accessed November 16 2014).
Original at Yale University.
Costa, David J. 2000. “Miami-Illinois Tribe Names.” In Papers of the Thirty-first Algonquian Conference.
Ed. John Nichols. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 30–53.
Coues, Elliott, ed. 1895. The Expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike, vol. 1. New York: F. P. Harper. [Reprint.
New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1986].
116 MICHAEL MCCAFFERTY
Fay, Jim. 2010. “Des Moines is Not an Insult: Thoughts on the Moingona Tribe.” Newsletter of the Iowa
Archeological Society, 60(1): 1–3.
Franquelin, Jean-Baptiste Louis. 1678. “Carte Gnlle De La France Septentrionnalle …” 4040B no. 11. Paris:
Bibliothèque du service hydrographique de la Marine.
Franquelin, Jean-Baptiste Louis. 1684a. “Carte De La Louisiane, ou des voyages du Sr de La Salle …” Francis
Parkman Copy. Library of Congress, Washington.
Franquelin, Jean-Baptiste Louis. 1684b. “Carte de l’Amerique Septent.le entre 27 et 64 degrés de lattitude &
environ 250 & 340 de longitude où est compris les pays de … Par Jean Louis Franquelin; designee et Écrite
par F. de la Croix.” Bibliothèque Historique Centrale de la Marine, Chateau de Vincennes, France. Recueil
Franquelin, Jean-Baptiste Louis. 1688. “Carte de l’Amerique Septentrionnalle …” In Tucker, 1942: pl. XIA.
Franquelin, Jean-Baptiste Louis. 1697. [Untitled]. [Delisle copy]. French National Archives: ANF/Map/6JJ/75/B.
Hutchins, Thomas. 1778. “A New Map of the Western Parts of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North
Carolina.” In Tucker, 1942: pl. XXIX.
Keyes, Charles R. 1898. “Des Moines River and the Origin of the Name.” Annals of Iowa 3(7): 554–559.
King, Nicolas. 1807. “An account of a voyage up the Mississippi River, from St. Louis to its source: made under
the orders of the War Department, by Lieut. Pike, of the United States Army, in the years 1805 and 1806 /
compiled from Mr. Pike's journal.” 68 pages and map. [Washington]. [Publisher unidentified]. [Original in the
Lilly Library, Indiana University-Bloomington].
Largillier, Jacques. [ca. 1700]. [“Gravier” Illinois-French manuscript dictionary]. Hartford: Watkinson Library,
Margry, Pierre, ed. 1876. Découvertes et Établissements des Français dans l’Ouest et dans le Sud de l’Amérique
Septentrionale 1614–1698. Mémoires et documents inédits recueillis et publiés par Pierre Margry. 6 vols.
[Reprint 1974. New York: AMS Press].
Marquette, Jacques. . “Carte de Mississipi.” Archives de la Société de Jésus Canada français, Montreal;
also in Tucker, 1942: pl. V.
McCafferty, Michael. 2003. “On the Birthday and Etymology of the Placename Missouri.” Names 51(2): 111–125.
McCafferty, Michael. 2008. Native American Place-Names of Indiana. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois
McCafferty, Michael. Fall 2011. “Jacques Largillier: French Trader, Jesuit Brother, and Jesuit Scribe par
excellence.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 188–197.
McDermott, John Francis. 1949. Old Cahokia. St. Louis: St. Louis Historical Documents Foundation.
Nau, Anthony. 1806. “A Sketch of the Mississippi …” In Tucker, 1942: pl. XXXII.
Nau, Anthony. 1811. “Map of the Mississippi River from its Source to the Mouth of the Missouri …” In Indian
Villages of the Illinois Country, vol. 2, comp. Temple, pl. LXXX.
Nicollet, Joseph-Nicolas. 1841. Report Intended to Illustrate A Map of the Hydrological Basin of the Upper
Mississippi River. Washington: Blair and Rives. <https://archive.org/stream/reportintendedto00nico#page/22/
mode/2up> [Accessed January 12 2014].
Paul, René. 1816. “A Map Exhibiting the Territorial Limits of several Nations & Tribes …” In Tucker, 1942:
Pease, Theodore Calvin, and Raymond C. Werner, eds. 1934. The French Foundation 1680–1693. Collections of
the Illinois State Historical Library, vol. xxiii. Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 342.
Pike, Zebulon Montgomery. 1805. [Mississippi voyage notebook]. <http://www.zebulonpike.net/pdf/Pikenotebook.
pdf> [Accessed November 16 2014].
Popple, Henry. 1730. [Henry Popple map], In Indian Villages of the Illinois Country, vol. 2, comp. Temple,
Stewart, George R. 1970. American Place Names: A Concise and Selective Dictionary for the Continental United
States of America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Sturtevant, William C., gen. ed. 1978–. Handbook of North American Indians. 17 vols. Washington: The
Thwaites, Reuben Gold, ed. 1896–1901. Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents. 73 vols. Cleveland: Burrows
THE ETYMOLOGY AND HISTORY OF THE PLACENAME “DES MOINES”
Tucker, Sarah Jones, comp. 1942. Indian Villages of the Illinois Country, Springfield: Illinois State Museum
Scientific Papers 2(1).
Vogel, Virgil. 1983. Iowa Place Names of Indian Origin. Iowa, City: University of Iowa Press.
Wood, W. Raymond. 1996. “The Missouri River Basin on the 1795 Soulard Map — a Cartographic Landmark.”
Great Plains Quarterly 16 <http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2105&context=greatpla
insquarterly> [Accessed November 16 2014].
Notes on contributor
Michael McCafferty, author of Native American Place-names of Indiana, is an
ethnolinguist specializing in the Miami-Illinois language and Mississippi valley French.
He teaches at Indiana University. He also works for the Miami people with lan-
guage revitalization, serving as French translator of the three Miami-Illinois language
dictionaries created by French missionaries.
Correspondence to Michael McCafferty, 307 Memorial Hall, Indiana University,
Bloomington, IN 47405, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org