Sunday, November 22, 2015

Legends of Chief Cobmoosa and Pres. A.J. - 35

      President Jackson had paid off the National debt in 1835. He had been studying the needs of the country and didn't like what his "kitchen cabinet" discovered.  Too many speculators and too many citizens with little money to spare were borrowing money with incredible high credit interest.  He realized that in time many of the poorer folks would lose their newly acquired lands.  In fact his mother was always just scraping by when he was younger.  Seemed like all were scrounging to make a living.  When a person doesn't work they shouldn't expect to eat free.  Starve a little to save and pay taxes.
       Through the eyes of President Jackson he removed government funds from the Bank of the United States and began his quest to put distance between the government and business.  As I said previously the specie circular order had been in the planning works three years into his administration (1832).  After watching for years how the Indians were paid for their lands he thought he had a plan on how to pay them more favorably and the specie circular was the answer.  He had seen enough abuses perpetrated on uneducated Indians by Fur Traders, Indian Traders and shyster business people who were always planning to defraud them of what little they got. 
       Some would think the Indian's got a good deal, but the educated half-breeds got more than Chiefs.  Others beneath them got only $1.25 per year while some Half-Breeds got thousands. The people often got swindled - incorrect change.  He witnessed it first hand and missionaries reported it to him in yearly reports. 
       Cobmoosa and Wabasis inherited most of money from their father-in-law Chief Wobwindigo who had two villages.  He was the tribes caretaker during the early 1830's, but he didn't spend it on himself.  He took care of others making sure that when the tribes were too sick with the Small Pox epidemics of 1831-1832 and 1836-37, he at the age of 69 led hunting parties up the Flat River basin for game.   
       With many generations wiped out by disease Cobmoosa had to teach the younger generations that survived how to hunt but he would walk to the hunting grounds and never go by canoe.  As far as I know history does not give information why Cobmoosa suffered from hydrophobia and the time line is unknown, but what is known it was from before he was 50.  Remember he grew up in Noon Days "rapids"  village was back beyond the Amway Hotel in Grand Rapids is today.   A near drowning someplace changed his perspective on water travel.  That's the center of the wild rapid days of the Grand River.
      This is what city fathers and sports professionals want to put back in place 2015.  Return the river to its once wild rapids known for its deafening noise.  The "Rapids" village was never on the shore.  It was established not on present day Monroe, but as far back as Ottawa and Ionia.  Any closer and the sounds of violent rushing water nobody could carry on a conversation.  The noise level of rushing water will increase to the point where the people will be able to carry on conversations near the waterfront.  Remember the original river bed up until the later 1840's fell 21 feet from Leonard to Fulton.
       I could never figure out why Noon Day's got a sculpture in Grand Rapids, when it was truly Cobmoosa who should have gotten it.  Noon Day in history was a blood savage hungry Indian who killed many settlers during his first 62 years of life.  Cobmoosa was the Grand River valleys peacekeeper.  He and Wabasis, along with Boshaw. tempered the fires of would-be renegades like Max Sauba dubbed the 'little rattlesnake."  He worried the settlers.
      Cobmoosa inherited the title as Chief - The last Ottawa Indian Chief of the Grand & Flat River areas. Two villages at Ionia, but since he never signed the Treaty of 1836 he received lesser amounts, and when Wobwindigo died from smallpox complications after returning from Washington.  Once Washington defaulted on the treaty the Indians remained in the river valley until Chief Cobmoosa signed the Treaty of 1855 that would force remaining Indians to northern reservations, but there were other Ottawa and Chippewa villages on the Grand River east of Ionia.
       As late as 1846 these villages were known as "Mishshiminecon, Chiminecon and Michigmmeny Cahniny" according to English interpretations "sour apple-tree and apple-orchard.  These were permanent villages for many years on section 22 in Danby Township complete with Indian graveyard..  These Indian villages raised corn in summer and sugar making in the spring.
       According to Indian legend of the time it made no difference to a dead person how they got to the graveyard.  The Indian philosophy was to tie her lifeless body to a pony tails with rope and drag her to her resting spot in the graveyard.  In the 1840's these villages were civilized by a Methodist preacher and they dressed an lived like white folks and provided a sustainable living from agriculture, but there were those who didn't like organized labor and were the renegades - the panhandlers.
        The Chiefs of the villages were Dayomac and Manuquod.  The prominent ones were Onewanda, Nacquit, Negumwatin, Sisshebee, Nikkenashwa, Whiskemuk, Pashik, Squagun, Thargee and Chedskunk. (continued)

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