Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Legend of Chief Wabasis' Lost Treasure - 118

"Ugg!" That's what Chief Wabasis and most Baptists would say instead of the four letter colorful metaphors others use today. Ugg! I made a boner mistake and published the incorrect title as "Chief John Wabasis led and interesting life growin..." which correctly should have been "The Legend of Chief Wabasis' Lost Treasure - 117". To find the missing cyber space segment check out my blog titles under first quotation in this paragraph. UGG!

Chief Wobwindego, Mexinini and others from north of the Grand River went to Washington to sign the Treaty of 1836 during the winter just like Kewaygooshcum did in Chicago of 1821. Now you might think the Indians in the previous 1821 treaty got lots of money, but the Ottawa and Potawatomies were robbed and that's one reason why President James Monroe and President Andrew Jackson encouraged Rev. Isaac McCoy to bring religion to the Indians north of the Grand River. Blood shed they didn't want with incoming settlers. It was the economic depression and financial crash in the mid 1820's that stopped new settlers from arriving in the Grand Rapids territory until 1831-33. Westward sprawl from Detroit was stopped in its tracks, a situation similar to the financial collapse from 2007 -. The previous Presidents understood the needs to treat the Indians of this region with compassion and provide for them once they got to reservations. Of what good was money to Indians if they didn't know how to spend it for goods and services.

In the 1821 treaty the Ottawa nation was to receive $1000 in annual specie forever, $1500 for a term of 10 years for a blacksmith and teacher under the Presidents direction to teach the Indians agricultural methods; purchasing of cattle and farming equipment. The Potawatomie Nation (Cobmoosa) was to receive $5000 in specie, annually, for 20 years, and for a term of 15 years $1000 yearly for blacksmith and teacher as the President directs. No Chippewas south of the Grand River. Most of the Potawatomies left on the Trail of Tears to Missouri and died along the way of disease. Cobmoosa stayed behind. He said that someone had to stay behind to take care of those who had died previously. He simply crossed to the other side of Grand River and lived amongst Wobwindigo's tribe and married the Chief's daughters. The Ottawas removed to north of the Grand River and farther north and that is one of the primary reasons why when the Treaty of 1836 was signed there were approximately 25 tribes from Grand River to Sault Ste. Marie.

Between 1833-36 the area south of the Grand River was busting with incoming settlers and the tribes knew they'd eventually be squeezed out. Drum beating was heard frequently as the tribal councils met to discuss signing a treaty with the US government for land north of the Grand River. Saubo was threatening "war" but Chief Wobwindigo, Sub-chief Cobmoosa, Wabasis all who were widely respected gave glowing testimonies that said it served no useful purpose to start a war with Washington because the Indians would lose. All said it was time to take what they could get and move as the President directed. This time the Ottawas and Chippewas would get a better deal and half-breed Indians who were well respected would receive better payment, because they were held in high regard and were educated and helped to get the treaty finalized without blood shed.

So the following tribes consisted of approximately 8000 Indians. These are Indians who signed the final treaty papers on Sept. 24, 1836 at Michilimackinac. At L'Arbre Croche: Apawkozigun, Nisowakeout, Kemmechanegun. Of Point Traverse: Aishquagonabee, Chabawusson, Mikenok. On Moskego (Muskegon): Osawya, Owun Aishkum. On Grand River: Nawequa Geezhig (Noon Day), Namattipy, Winnimissagee, Nabbun Egeezhug, Wabi Windego, Cawpee Mosay (Old Moses?) Mukutay Oguot, Megiss Ininee (Mexinini), Muccutay Osha. On the Manistee North: Mukons Ewyan. At Oak Point: Ains. At the Cheneaux: Chabowaywa. At Sault Ste. Marie: Iawbawabick, Kewayzi Shawano. At Gr - Oshawa Eponbaysee and Chingassamo and miscellanoeus unreadable due to deterioration. At no other time had so many Indians inhabited the region. This was the census register of names signed in person at Michilimackinac on September 24, 1836

According to Article Sixth of the Treaty of 1836 the Chiefs desired provisions for their half-breed relatives, but the President determined there shall not be any individual reservations, but $150,000 shall be set apart as a fund for said half-breeds. (Often respected half-breeds were paid upon the Chief's direction at higher rates). To receive any funds they must be of Indian descent and have lived within the boundaries of the treaty boundary. First the President directed a census be taken of every man, woman and child. Nothing shall be paid to any person, who has received an allowance from a previous Indian treaty (Kewaygooshcum). For the purpose of clarity from here on I'll let the treaty speak for itself so that you may understand what and who received payments.

..."As the Indians hold in higher consideration, so of their half-breeds than others, and as there is much difference in their capacity to use and take care of property, and consequently, in their power to aid their Indian connexions, which furnishes a strong ground for this claim, it is therefore, agreed, that at the council to be held upon this subject, the commissioner shall call upon the Indian chiefs to designate, if they require it, three classes of these claimants, the first of which, shall received one-half more than the second, and the second, double the third.

Each man, woman, and child shall be enumerated, and an equal share, in the respective classes, shall be allowed to each. If the father is living with the family, he shall receive the shares of himself, wife and children. If the father is dead, or separated from the family, and the mother is living with the family, she shall have her own share, and that of the children. If the father or mother are neither living with the family, or if the children are orphans, their share shall be retained till they are twenty-one years of age; provided, that such portions of it as may be necessary may, under direction of the President, be from time to time supplied for their support. All other persons at the age of twenty-one years, shall receive their shares agreeably to the proper class. Out of the said fund of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000), the sum of five thousand dollars ($5000) shall be reserved to be applied, under the direction of the President, to the support of such of the poor half-breeds, as may require assistance, to be expended in annual installmetns for the term of ten years, commencing the second year. Such of the half-breeds, as may be judged incapable of making a proper use ot the money, allowed them by the commissioner, shall receive the same installments, as the President may direct."

Next time I'll explain what Wabasis got out of the Treaty of 1836.

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