"One lie will destroy a whole reputation...," said Baltasar Gracian, (1601-1658) a Spanish Jesuit writer. Too bad the 24th and 25th Congress under President Andrew Jackson hadn't heard this before their reputation for being fair was heavily tarnished, because of failure to abide by treaties which they signed with the Indians. They tried to pull the wool over ignorant Indians eyes, but it didn't work. They were caught red faced in a grand lie of immense proportions that only Ronald Reagan could settle 150 years future.
Before we get to the root of Congress' lies you need a little more information on Cobmoosa, who was heralded as the last Ottawa Indian Chief to leave the Grand River valley. Cobmoosa was known as the "Great Grand Walker."
Where Wabasis or any other Indian would travel in two days it take Cobmoosa maybe several weeks cause he walked on land and never by canoe or even wading across streams and rivers. But no matter where he had to go he'd always arrive on time for war council meetings.
Cobmoosa was a sub-chief, the second in command under Nowaquakezick (Chief Noonday) in the Potawatomi village at the "rapids" called Bocktenong. Noonday was west Michigan's most powerful warrior allied with the British against America in the War of 1812-1818.
How bad was he? On confession of faith before missionaries in Grand Rapids in the mid1820's he said, "Had I listened more intently to religious teachings earlier he wouldn't have been such a murderous warrior for Chief Pontiac and Chief Tecumseh in the Revolutionary War, Indian War and War of 1812. Indians at war with America captured and tortured American women and children. When they outlived their usefulness as slaves they were force marched to Niagara Falls, beaten and taken to the precipice of the falls and dashed to death over the falls. The book "Six Months Among the Indians" tells about Noondays atrocities.
Cobmoosa was never a warrior. He stayed out of all conflicts in the villages taking care of the young, the old and sick in the absence of Noonday and his wandering war parties. In Cobmoos'a 98-year lifespan he saw the rise to power of 15 presidents. He learned during the American Revolutionary War that Indian Nations should not wage war against Washington. Cobmoosa was impressed with Washington and President's James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.
These men found Cobmoosa to be an articulate orator, the Indian historian whose mind was sharp who realized that Indians could not wage war with Washington and survive. It would be an impossible feat. Cobmoosa knew a tidal wave of change would soon approach after the Treaty of 1821 was signed and he was preparing the various tribes in advance of the Treaty of 1836.
The Indians had to adopt the ways of white man pursuits or perish. Cobmoosa was impressed with the atmosphere of Washington life and President James Monroe at the signing of the Treaty of 1821, but he watched Chief Kewaycooshcum and Chief Noonday sign, nor did Cobmoosa sign the Treaty of 1836. He wasn't a chief. He was the educated sub-chief under Noonday. He was an assistant to Kewaycooshcum and Noonday.
Washington broke the Treaty of 1836 shortly after the last formal signing at Mackinaw. The 24th and 25th Congress under President Jackson realized they had made a disastrous mistake and tried to add wording and amend the Treaty language without the consent of the Indian Chiefs. Cobmoosa and other educated Indians caught Congress in a lie (forked tongue).
Congress in a hush-hush fashion tried to change and add new language for Indian removal that didn't exist under what what they signed. The Indians caught the Fed's in that lie when it suddenly stipulated that they had to remove themselves from treaty lands before 1841. This forked tongue attitude took 20 year more to rectify with the signing of the Treaty of 1855. This blunder was minor to the biggest blunder that lasted for another 150 years. The fed's didn't secure the natural resources from the Indians and President Ronald Reagan settled the disputes over who rightfully owned the natural resources.
The Treaty of 1836 stipulated that all remaining Indians living north of the Grand River, even if they purchased land from the Federal government with their own annuity money were to leave for reservations set aside for them. Congress could not in good conscience add Indian removal after the treaty was formally signed on May 28, 1836.
Indians far and wide across the Great Plains all the way to the Pacific Ocean were warned to be award of those Washington officials who spoke with forked tongues. The preached the Bible, but do not abide by the Ten Commandments. "Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not lie."
The Treaty of 1855 called for all transient Indians still living in the Grand River area to leave for reservations before 1860. Chief Cobmoosa signed this treaty, but that treaty failed to tackle the natural resources problem. Ronald Reagan felt the Indians weren't paid enough under the 1836 and 1855 treaties, which is why we have Indian Casino's and Resorts in Michigan. Cobmoosa was the last Ottawa Chief to leave the Grand River valley in the fall of 1860 at 92 years of age.
The Indians took the Treaty of 1836 betrayal seriously. They sent runners beyond the Mississippi River to warn other Native American tribes to beware of treacherous Federal government officials. They speak with "forked tongues." These trickled down affects caused much grief on Presidents and Congress' from 1836-1886. All because Jackson's administration tried brazenly to cover up their mistakes. Running beside Cobmoosa's life was Andrew Jackson - Indian fighter.