Monday, October 19, 2015

Legends of Chief Cobmoosa & Pres. A.J. - 29

       Cobmoosa's stature, demeanor and manner of his walking abilities gave him his name, "The Great Grand Walker."  The Indians on the Pentwater Reservation waited patiently for the aged Cobmoosa to return.  His people of long ago led him personally to his knew log cabin built for the "Last Ottawa Chief of the Grand and Flat River valleys."
       On the day of arrival he stood at the cabin's threshold, but before he could go inside he had to provide his proof to his claim as Cobmoosa and President Andrew Jackson provided him with the key.  Standing outside the cabin door he greeted old friends and after a short visitation the day was at hand and he pulled out of his clothing a rawhide poke with drawstrings.  He spread the rawhide strings and poured out the contents in his hand to prove he indeed was Cobmoosa in the flesh and out tumbled proof positive he was Cobmoosa.  In his hands were minted coins dated 1836... but coins with a special inscription, but Cobmoosa didn't receive payment until two years after the Treaty of Washington - 1836 was signed.
        1836-1837 was a turbulent time in America.  It was a time of great prosperity under President Jackson's administration.  For the first and only time Jackson had entirely liquidated the National Debt and the U.S. Treasury had accumulated a surplus of 40 million dollars.  By an Act of Congress the vast sum was distributed to "Petty Banks" among several states.  With the abundance of money speculations of all sorts grew and it affected Indian life, too.  Land speculations went wild with the openings of new Federal lands purchased from the Indians.
       Credit for goods had been around for several years and from Jackson's spies within the tribes he knew the credit bartering for goods and services was fleecing the Indians, because they knew little nor understood if they were getting a good deal.  Unscrupulous traders were fleecing them of their annuity payments.  And so the government's policy in dealing with the Indian's under the Jackson administration was to buy them out not with paper currency, but gold and silver coinage.  Jackson had the foresight to understand that prior to 1836 and the signing of the latest treaties that the credit system had invaded every aspect of business.  Indians were disgruntled - so too many speculators whose fortunes would fall.
       It was the government and the peoples desire to expand westward into territories occupied by Indian tribes and so President Jackson lumped the desires of his people with Indian payments for land.  The petty banks thrived from a few in  1836 to more than 700 before the close of 1837.  The Indians perceived that payment would begin shortly after signing treaties, but it wasn't until 1838 and during that time the Indians were given credit for goods and supplies - the interest on such monies owed was 30%.  This is what increased the fraud against the Indians or anyone dickering without money.  Vast issues of irredeemable paper  currency stimulated the speculative spirit with increased the opportunities of fraud.
       The bills of these unsound  banks were receivable at land offices; and settlers and speculators made a mad rush to secure the public lands while the money was plentiful.  In receiving such an unsound currency in exchange for the national domain the government was more likely to be defrauded out of millions.  So six weeks after the Treaty of 1836 was signed President Jackson issued a species order called the 'Specie Circular', by which all land agents were directed to receive nothing, but coin in payment for public and Indian lands.  Jackson's circular order did not affect his presidency so much as that of President Van Buren's administration in 1837. 
       In the meantime the interests of the government had been secured through Jackson's vigilance.
       It is necessary for you to understand all the ramifications of Jackson's specie circular and then I will reveal what the coins in Cobmoosa's hands were to provide positive proof what Chiefs were paid for Indian lands. (continued).

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