Thursday, April 16, 2015

Legends of Chief Cobmoosa & Pres. A.J. - 10

        President Jackson was an experienced military man before seeking political office.  He organized and mobilized a force of 2500 militiamen for the war effort in 1812.  Under President James Madison (1809-17) Jackson and his militia defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. 
        Under President James Monroe (1817-25) Jackson led his expeditionary force into Florida in 1817 to stop the Seminole Indian raids on US territory.  Jackson here gained much knowledge in how in the near future to engage Indians.  He realized that westward migrations of settlers would impact the Indians and if treaties weren't enacted bloodshed and hostilities were going to get ugly.  Future presidents must tread lightly against Indians.
        When the War of 1812 started some 1500 miles north Noonday's son Mexicinini reportedly torched Buffalo, New York.  He along with Chief Tecumseh were responsible for the deaths of many captured slave white women who when outlived their usefulness were bound, gagged and forced marched to the precipice above Niagara Falls and thrown into the violent water over the falls.  When word of these atrocities were heard by Gen. Jackson and others in Washington they wanted to make sure that when going forward with new treaties that those Indians who participated in these violent acts didn't receive money on payment day.  That's what missionary spies were supposed to figure out.
        It was a hostile environment in which to be living from 1818-1836.  Soon the push of settlers northward into Michigan and Wisconsin would again erupt into hostilities.  He wanted to prevent another Indian War.  Jackson was already thinking about tossing his hat into the political arena for President, but he didn't want a repeat of the extreme violence to befall settlers or Indians in his presidency plans for the future.
        Now during the War of 1812 Chief Kah-kah-bah (thought to be Cobmoosa) and many other Indians in western Michigan didn't engage in the hostilities.  Cobmoosa was his inherited name given by Noonday's tribe years later.  His real father was Antoine Campau, the French Voyageur who arrived from Montreal and set foot on the shore at the rapids Ottawa and Potawatomie villages.  Inter-tribal mixed marriages were the norm between these tribes.
        Antoine was described as a handsome man who quickly wooed and won the hand of a chief's daughter and they married Indian style; just living together.  Newly arriving missionaries saw many common law marriages and spoke against it frequently; but these were pagan Indians - not religious.   
        Cobmoosa, the son of Antoine was handsome, too.  He stood six feet tall, was square shouldered, very muscular and weighed about 200 pounds.  Those that knew him stated he was a good wrestler.  Wabasis was all of the above, too, and Cobmoosa probably taught Wabasis how to wrestle too.  Both men were Indians to recon with in a fight.  Cobmoosa got his name from others who listened intently to his dream of Olympic proportions.
        In a dream (C) saw a ghost or phantom bear, which he followed to the source of the Grand River southeast of Jackson, Michigan then north to the headwaters of the Muskegon River (Houghton Lake), then down to its mouth, then south along the lakeshore to the mouth of the Grand River and back home in one day and night.  That is a long distance walk.  I believe he himself walked to all these places for not even an animal could walk that entire distance in a day and night.  Because of telling his bear dream to others he was given the name of  Cub-bah-moo-sa (English slang Cobmoosa).
        Now I have walked, fished and hunted in the head water and mouth sources of the Muskegon River and tributary streams in Cobmoosa's dream.  His journey was spectacular, but it has taken a lifetime.  If I could I'd like to be remembered as the Great Grand Watcher, the one who listened to the heartbeat of nature and the soul's of humanity in the Twentieth and Twenty-first century.
        The name Cobmoosa doesn't appear on any treaties other than the Treaty of 1855 when at age 87 he marked his name Cub-bah-moo-sa, the last great Chief of Ottawas of the Grand River Valley.  Being second under Noonday's Potawatomi village (1821) he couldn't sign the Treaty of 1821 or 1836. 
        He was born to a Potawatomi mother, not an Ottawa, but a Frenchman father.  He was like Wabasis and educated half-breed that would later in life be paid higher than other chiefs.  In 1821 he was already good friends with President Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. (continued)


No comments:

Post a Comment