Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Legends of Chief Cobmoosa & Pres. A.J. -15

        About the time of Indian uprisings in 1835, the Grand River valley Indians heard of another battle taking place between settler Rix Robinson, Esq. and Norman Smith, as Ada Township's first supervisor.  No blood shed, but heated words between two men vying for the same job.  Robinson would lose by one vote (31) to Smith's 32 votes, which gives you the density of settlers in the wilderness south of the Grand River living in a wilderness area still teaming with Indians - a few hostile ones.  One hundred percent of the voters cast their ballot.
        Although well known as a good friend of the Indians and tribes still living along the Grand River at Ada Robinson still lost.  He had operated an Indian fur trading post at Ada for several years and was the first white man to live among the savages.  Earlier upon his arrival he paddled his own canoe laden with provisions up and down the wilderness rivers (trails) and traded his goods for wolf, bear, deer, beaver and muskrat pelts as did many Indians he met in his journeys.  Wild turkeys were plentiful until the early 1860's.  All kept many early settlers and Indians from starving to death.
        Shortly before election day Robinson married the sister of the great Indian Chief named Ma-oh-bin-na-kiz-hich, known as Chief Hazy Cloud of Ada.  Remember we time travel so "Zap" we arrive in the 1980's - 150 years into the future.  One evening I received a telephone call from a board member of the Green Ridge Country Club on Alpine Avenue between I-96 and Four Mile Road in Walker, Michigan.  They had just purchased a large parcel in Ada Township for a new golf course, but were stumped for a name. 
        A director wanted an Indian name, but since the Indian name (Maohbinnakizhich) wouldn't roll off the tip of your tongue or cause your brain to remember I advised them to name it Egypt Valley Country Club, because Egypt Valley Creek meanders thru the property.  This area was known for its hills of wheat - high country all the way to Ionia.  And so my legend goes that since nobody would remember that Indian name I labeled it Egypt Valley Country Club, which was majority voted as Egypt Valley Country Club. 
       This picturesque name sticks in your head.  Egypt Valley Creek and the Egypt River in Egypt both have opposite deltas.  The creek starts from delta like conditions and the river under the same name ends in a dense delta.  That's what make Egypt Valley Country Club so unique.
        Zap!  Back to 1835.  Chief Hazy Cloud's stature was small, but he had great influence upon his tribal village with the help of his own educated half-breed Indian known as Boshaw.  Like Cobmoosa and Wabasis, Hazy Cloud and Boshaw, all spearheaded the drive between other Algonquin nation chiefs, considered the most powerful tribes in Michigan in the Grand River Valley prior to signing the 1836 treaty.  Rix Robinson took Chief Hazy Cloud just as Noonday took Cobmoosa to Washington to sign that treaty.  Boshaw took command of Chief Hazy Cloud's village in his absence, but neither Boshaw, Cobmoosa or Wabasis sign the treaty.  These three were half-breed Indians, but paid with higher funds as dictated by Presidents and not Congress under the treaties.
        The chief Algonquin tribes  upon signing the treaty were comprised of mixed groups of Miami (MI), Sauk (SA), Mascoutin (MA), Menominee (ME), Ojibwa (OJ), Ottawa (OT), Potawatomi (PO).  Small groups of Huron (HU), Wyandots (WY) represented the Iroquois north of the Grand River.  Cobmoosa, Boshaw and Wabasis were widely respected among all these tribes and the population of all was about 17,000 prior to the small pox epidemics between  1831-1837. (continued)

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