Monday, March 30, 2015

Legends of Chief Cobmoosa & Pres. Andrew Jackson - 3

     Oh, what a tangled mess of treaty litigation when Washington Congressmen tried to deceive the Indians in 1836.  It took another 150 years into the future for President Ronald Reagan to rectify the situation made by the 24th and 25th Congresses of the United States of America.  Because of lack of fairness to the Indians concerning the natural resources of Michigan the Ottawas, Potawatomi and Ojibway tribes were allowed to start building casino's and gaming resorts as a trade off to settle the unfairness. 
     Indian descendants make a decent living from those who like to gamble away their money for fun or profit.  Like the firewater peddled to the Indians so, too, gambling in excess becomes addictive, too.  Once hooked it can be disastrous to families and so the table turns against non-Indians.  Some believe casinos settle the unfairness shown towards the Indians.
     During Jackson's presidency he despised how the Indians wherever he found them were treated.  Poorly I might add.  All because greedy traders and settlers began dealing in credit for goods from the Indians 1821-1836.  They often swindled illiterate Indians because many Indians were uneducated and didn't know the true value of Washington's paper currency. 
     Jackson was destined and determined he'd change the monetary currency standards paid to all Indians before 1836.  He believed what the missionaries were telling him that Indian payments were inferior.  With the missionaries help he had to invest the Indians in other pursuits; agriculture and farming as opposed to trading in furs, liquor and guns.  Along the Grand River game was already getting scarce before 1834.
     Andew Jackson was received letters from missionaries through Henry Schoolcraft several times each years stating the conditions under which they found the Indians living (heathen, savage warriors and pagan.  Some feared for their lives when renegades began boasting it was time to kill or drive out incoming settlers.  Many traveling missionaries like Rev. Algoma (circuit rider) left when the war drums started getting louder each night and saw the night dark skies illuminated by the glow of bonfires.  All the missionaries who walked among the Indians from 1760-1830 failed to convert the savage Indians to Christianity.
     "Snap" it is Grand Rapids in the mid 1880's.  We materialize along Monroe Avenue to the sounds of civilized progress where once the "rapids" village called Bochtenong or Cobmoosa's village existed.  Downtown streets are lined with tall piles of dirt and stones.  Workmen are installing sanitary sewers along Monroe between Leonard and Fulton Street until diggers unearthed sterling silver crosses, jewelry and other trinkets from a previous civilization of Indians.  Prospectors and the get rich quick crowd with lanterns and shovels at night sifted the soil hoping to find a treasured artifact.  By morning light most of the trenches were filled in.
     The 49 Norton Indian Mounds were being desecrated and destroyed, too, by those who thought the mounds contained Indian treasures and Christianity jewelry, but for all the work they did to excavate they found little more than a few skeletons sitting in upright positions or cremated remains of Archaic or Hopewells that lived 7,000 to 10,000 years B.C. ago. 
     "Snap" we return to pre-1827 at the rapids village.  Looking out over the Owashtenong River (Grand) we see the boiling waters and hear the noise as it rushes past, the noisy water is so loud one can hardly talk to another standing right beside you.  Any wonder when you consider the original river dropped 21 feet from Leonard to Fulton (one mile).  The currents were strong and noisy.      Wading across was difficult and treacherous and if I was a betting man I'd venture a guess that perhaps Cobmoosa nearly drowned off the village and that's why he became the "Great Grand Walker."  History does not say why Cobmoosa was hydrophobic.  Imagine the ferocity and violence of the churning water during floods.  (Continued)

No comments:

Post a Comment