Friday, March 27, 2015

Cobmoosa's and Jackson's Early Years

     Time traveling is necessary so that you can see the importance of both men.  This story does hop around.  I found it difficult to write, but through the eyes of both men you get a sense of what was happening in Michigan and the challenges and difficulties each faced.  Does this series contain  any lost treasures associated with Cobmoosa?  It does. 
     Cobmoosa taught Wabasis, his foster son how to bury treasure in rawhide pokes and iron kettles, but you won't find that information unless you continue reading this blog.  I want you to treasure hunt and learn about Michigan history.  I buried Cobmoosa's lost treasure somewhere in the storyline.  Yes, Cobmoosa was quite wealthy in his own right and earned the respect of all he met.  He stayed Indian almost his entire life.
     Our story begins today when Cobmoosa was 53 years old (1821).  Cobmoosa had met the Rev. Isaac McCoy and Rev. Leonard Slater on the banks of Grand River near the rapids.  He helped both build their missions and he quickly found favor in the eyes of Rev. McCoy and Rev. Slater.  They struck up a friendship that lasted for many years.  They came to know Cobmoosa as the "Great Grand Walker."
     These missionaries in black clothing and white collars were carrying Sterling Silver crosses that hung from a necklace.  They looked authentic, but lacked the jewels they'd seen on Jesuit missionaries that had visited the area around 1765.  These missionaries were the spies among the Indian tribes and they reported their findings annually to Presidents James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.
     They lived under savage living conditions, but kept the Presidents informed on who were the good (friendly) and bad (savage) Indians who were attempting to wage war with Washington.  Missionaries kept records of the educated Indians that were most likely to help Washington keep  the peace in the Grand River Valley and Cobmoosa was the most trusted.  No threats of any kind were ever heard coming from his mouth, but the renegades gave them pause to wonder how long peace would last.
     Jackson's presidency and the Treaty of 1836 were keys to northward settlement expansion north of the Grand River in Michigan.  Jackson knew from his own farm experiences that if the Indians were converted to religion it might more advantageous to introduce them to agricultural pursuits.  He envisioned that within 20 years annuity payments would cease leaving them destitute without means to support the tribes.
     President Jackson wasn't fond of relocating Michigan Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi.  He had seen the death and destruction caused by the forced march of Indians to Missouri.  It now was his responsibility to serve all the people, which included Indians. 
     The purchase price for Indian territory under the Treaty of 1836 had to be fair, but President and Congress blundered an failed to address where and when the Indians had to leave the Grand River Valley.  It took 150 years into the future before President Ronald Reagan and the Supreme Court to solve questions about who owned the natural resources of the state.  The treaty didn't purchase the natural resources and hunting a fishing rights.
     And so the Treaty of 1836 under Jackson and Congress wasn't fair to either side (Indian or American), but under Jackson it was the best deal available for the time period.  Although President Jackson authorized payment for the Michigan territory north of the Grand River they made no plans to purchase its Natural Resources.  Michigan's natural resources are under five different law enforcement agencies and those being federal, state, county, local and Tribal Indian Law.
      Michigan's Indians retained ownership of the state's natural resources.  Descendants of settlers managed it, too, and President Reagan spelled out the guidelines for cooperation amongst them.  Great Lakes and territorial water are managed under Indian laws in certain areas, but there is conformity under state and Indian regulations. (continued)

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