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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Chapter VI. — Transactions During the Year, with the Minor Tribes.

THE removal of the Cherokees in a peaceful and conciliatory manner produced a favorable effect, although the other events of the year were of equal interest to the public mind. Positions requiring energy of action were taken by several tribes. The Pottawattamies of Indiana ceded their lands in 1833, and agreed to remove west; Indiana and the adjoining State of Illinois having filled up very rapidly with settlers on their northern borders; the rich prairies, and fine commercial marts and outlets, presenting great attractions to an enterprising people. This tribe, being the recipient of large annuities, was counselled by the traders and other interested persons 668 to remain where they were, that the distribution of these sums might be made in the country. The emigrant agent, finding his operations impeded, and fearing an outbreak, and consequent bloodshed, called on the Governor of Indiana for aid, who authorized General John Tipton to raise 100 volunteers, to assist the agent in the removal of the Indians. This duty was promptly performed, and, from the report of that officer, 669 859 Pottawattamies were delivered to the emigrant agent on the Illinois, on the 18th of September; these were sent west, escorted by dragoons to preserve order, and safely conveyed to their location; every attention being paid to their health, comfort, and convenience. Such as were over-fatigued with the rapidity of the inarches, and were sickly, or invalids, were allowed to ride the horses of the dragoons, while the men walked. 670

There were removed, during this year, 4106 Creeks, chiefly comprising the families of the warriors of this tribe who had been engaged in the Florida war; 177 Choctaws, 4600 Chickasaws, 151 Chippewas, and 1651 Appalachicolas and Florida Indians, making an aggregate of 29,459. The Winnebago Indians, of Wisconsin, evinced great tardiness and unwillingness to leave the country. The isolated tribes in the settlements became entangled with associations which it is difficult for a people of so little decision of character to abandon. This tribe, by a treaty made at Washington, on the 28th

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of October, renewed the engagements entered into and endorsed by the treaty concluded at Rock Island, in 1832, after the close of the Sac war, and agreed to remove to the Neutral Ground in eight months. As this limitation expired in the winter, they solicited permission, and were allowed to remain in Wisconsin until Spring. A treaty was concluded with the Saganaws by the acting superintendent of Michigan, guaranteeing them the minimum prices for their lands ceded by the treaty of 20th December, 1837; a measure necessary to prevent combinations to control the sales, which were designed to be exclusively for their benefit.

The Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Michigan, in his annual report 671 for this year, makes the following allusions to the Saganaws:

"This isolated tribe has lived down to the present time with all the essential traits common to the darkest period of their history. They are heady, bad tempered, fond of drink, and savage when under its influence. Yet they are a people of strong mental traits, of independent and generous feelings, and warmly attached to their ancient mode of living and superstitions. They speak a well characterized dialect of the Chippewa language, holding nearly the same relation to the great Algic family of the North that the Seminoles do to the Creeks of the South. Their country appears to have been a place of refuge to the other tribes. They succeeded to the possessions of the Sauks, who were driven from the banks of the Saganaw about the close of the sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth century. They have been observed for at least a century to have had a ruling chief, who exercised more of the powers of a dictator than is usual with the other tribes. They are known to have indulged their predatory and warlike propensities, by participating in the scenes of attack and plunder which marked the early settlements of western Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.

"The country occupied by the Saganaws is fertile, densely wooded, and abounds in streams affording valuable water-power. It is still but sparsely settled, but in proportion as the lands are taken up, the natural means of subsistence of the Indians must diminish, although it is stated that portions of the public lands west and north of the Tittahawassa will afford a theatre for hunting for many years. The recent ratification by the Senate of the treaty of January 14th, 1837, with this tribe, extinguishes their title to all their possessions in Michigan, saving the right to live for five years on two of the ceded reservations on Saganaw bay. In 1837 this tribe lost 354 persons by the small-pox; of whom 106 were men, 107 women, and 141 children. Their present population, by a census just completed, is 993; 221 of whom are males, 298 females, and 474 youths and infants. In 1837 their corn-fields were either damaged or wholly destroyed by high water in the Saganaw and its tributaries. The present year they have raised, collectively, 760 bushels of corn, besides potatoes and vegetables. Two

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traders purchased of them, within the year, 40 bears, 65 deer, 35 otters, 33 pounds beaver, 570 muskrats, 140 minks, 55 fishers, 40 foxes, 17 elk, 4 moose, 890 raccoons, and 19 cats. How many they sold to others, is not known.

"The Department maintains for them a sub-agent, an interpreter, a blacksmith and assistant, and one principal and several subordinate farmers. They appear to have been overlooked by philanthropists, having, up to this date, neither schools nor teachers of any description."

On the 6th November, a treaty was entered into with the Miamies at the forks of the Wabash, by which this tribe ceded 170,000 acres of reservations in that quarter, for which they received $335,000. They were compensated for all buildings and improvements, and furnished by the United States with a location in the Indian territory west of the Mississippi, "sufficient in extent, suited to their wants and wishes," and contiguous to that occupied by the tribes which emigrated from the States of Ohio and Indiana. They agreed to send a delegation to explore the country proposed to be given them; their expenses to be defrayed by the Government. This treaty and exploration led to the eventual removal of this tribe, once the terror of the West, and so numerous and warlike that, during Washington's administration, they defeated successive armies under Harmer and St. Clair, and for years prevented the settlement of the Anglo-Saxon race in the West. This tribe finally migrated to the Indian territory, diminished in numbers, degraded in morals and habits, wanting in industry, and lacking education, but affluent in Government funds and annuities. After their final defeat by Wayne, in 1793, they submitted to the authority of the United States, and located their residence in one of the richest valleys of the West, abounding in game and all the requisites for Indian subsistence. They pursued the usual course of hunters, being satisfied if the exertions of the year afforded them the means of living; little heeding that they would soon be surrounded by an industrious population, and finally supplanted by them. In this thoughtless, careless, idle manner, they lived in the Wabash valley until their lands became valuable. They began to cede their territory in 1809, and continued that course in 1814, 1818, 1826, and down to the date of their removal. But the large sums they received through this channel had the effect to destroy their self-reliance and native independence of character, to degrade them in habits and morals, to introduce disease, and lead in every way to a rapid depopulation. This tribe, which, in 1764, was estimated in its divisions at 5000 souls, or 1000 warriors, 672 and at the commencement of the American Revolution at 350 warriors, or 1750 souls, 673 was reduced at the time of their removal to about 700 persons; and, when a census of them was taken in 1850, they had dwindled to 500 souls, 674 who were in receipt of an annuity of $44,000. 675

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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