Daniel McDonald.

Removal of the Pottawattomie Indians from northern Indiana; embracing also a brief statement of the Indian policy of the government, and other historical matter relating to the Indian question (Volume 1) online

. (page 1 of 7)
Online LibraryDaniel McDonaldRemoval of the Pottawattomie Indians from northern Indiana; embracing also a brief statement of the Indian policy of the government, and other historical matter relating to the Indian question (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 7)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook






:J^ 'Mm^^. '^ ^

0^ cV.''^. ^o^ ^"i^ ^."


.-'% ''m$- j^'x ' - km- V ■.

o -■ . . 5 ^

/ %^^-\0' \^^\/ -o^^^-/ ^

^^>. .V

>"* .^^J!X^ ^^^ ,^ /^1^i,^A^ V c^"^ *



Aullior «»r "A History <>f Mnrsliall County;" "Big- Four Wonders of
America;" "A History of Freemasonry in Indiana:" " Hemoval of the Pot-
tawattoniie Indians from Nortlu-rn Indiana;" etc.











DANiEL McDonald.

"A mixed occupancy of the same territory by the white and red man is incompatible
with the safety or happiness of either * * * The remedial policy, the principles of which
were settled more than thirty years a^o under the administration of Mr. Jefferson, con-
sists of an extinction, for a fair consideration, of the titles to all the lands still occupied
by the Indians within the states and territories of the Dnited States, their removal to a
country west of the Mississippi mach more extensive and better adapted to their con-
dition than they now occupy * * * "—From President Van Btjben's Message.

Plymodtb, Indiana:
D MoDonald & Co., Printers and Binders.



Copyright 1898
By Daniel McDonald.

x\ll Rights Reserved.



Algonquin 6

Aubenaube, Anecdote of 29

Aubenaube's Reserve 13

Battle of Tippecanoe 27

Biography of Governor Wallace 19

Brute, Bishop 32, 36

Burial Ground, Indian 20, 32

Carey Mission 38

Cliapel. Indian .32

Chi-chi-pe ()u-te-pe '. 32, 35

Chip-pe-way Village 13

Clary, I. N., Statement 46

Comoza Reserve 14

Coquillard, Benjamin, Statement 48

Council at Twin Lakes 16

Cox, Sanford, Narrative 37

Daily Journal of General Tipton 24, 25, 26

DeSeille, Father 32

First Emigration 15

French, Charles H , Statement 48

Godfroy, Gabriel. Miami Chief 52

Govern ment Indian Policy 7, 58, 59

Governor Wallace. Message of 18

Greenville Trea+y 7

Hill, William W.. Recollections 52

Houghton. T. K , Recollections 44

How, David, Recollections 44

Indian Chapel, Twin Lakrs 32

Indian Policy of the (xovernment 7, 58, 59

Indians. Miami 5

Indians, Miami, Removal of : 50

INDEX — Continued.

Jackson, President 8,9

Jennings, Jonathan 29, 80

Lake Manato 9

Legislature, Joint Resolution IB

Lentz, Owen J. Recollections 48

Lowery, John, Recollections 45

Macatamaaw 13

Manato Lake 9

McCoy, Christiana 12

McCoy, Rev. Isaac 81, 38

Menominee as a Preacher , 41

Menominee Cruelly Treated 42

Menominee Has Two Wives 41

Menominee, Speeches of IB, 88, 40

Menominee Village 32

Miami Indians 5

Miami Fndians, Removal of 50

Michigan Road Completed 11

Michigan Road Treaty 11

Mill, Pottawattomie 9

Monroe, President, Message of 7, 8

Narrative, Sanf ord Cox 37

Naswaugee 13, 15

Nataka 13

Ordered to March 36

Osage Reservation 15

Ou-te-pe, Chi-chi-pe 82, 35

Pau-koo-shuck 14

Pe-pin-a-wa 13

Pepper, Abel C, Indian Agent 20

Petit, Rev. Father Benjamin Marie 33

Pinkeshaw Bands 5

Pokagon, Leopold 30

Pokagon, Simon 31, 56

Pokagon Village 30, 81, 82

Polke Family 11

Pottawattomie Bands 6, 56

Pottawattomie Mill 9, 28

Pottawattomie Tribe Disappearing 56

Pottawattomies Who Emigrated West 47

NDEX — Continued.

Removals, Voluntary 46

Report of General Tipton 21, 22, 23, 24

Reservation, Osage 15

Resolutions, Joint Legislature 13

River Styx 54

Scott, M. H., Recollections of 49

Sluyter, William, Recollections of 43

Styx, River 54

Table of Treaties 14

Tipton, General, Report of 21, 22, 23, 24

Tipton, General, Sketch of 26, 27

Treaty of Greenville 7

Treaty of 1826 9

Treaty of 1795-1832 13

Twin" Lakes 13, 32

Visit to Menominee 39

Visit to Pcbeeko 40

Wallace, Governor, Biography of 19

Wea Indians 5



First Frame House Erected North of the Wabash 10—11

Mrs. Christiana McCoy 12—13

Col. Abel C. Pepper 20—21

Chippeway Village Camp 24 — 25

Gen. John Tipton 26—27

Pottawattomie Mill Dam 28—29

Gov. Jonathan Jennings 28 — 29

Chief Simon Pokagon 32 — 33

Rev. Stephen Theodore Badin 32 — 33

Mrs. Angelina Shipshewana 38 — 39


The question of the extinguishment of the Indian titles to the
lands of the Pottawattomie Indians in Northern Indiana and Southern
Michigan and their removal to a reservation to be provided for them
west of the Missouri river, was one of the most important and delicate
questions the government had to deal with in the early settlement of
this part of the Northwest territory. General treaties were made from
1820 to 1830 between the government agents and the chiefs and head-
men of the Pottawattomies in this part of the country by which large
tracts of land were ceded to the government, and numerous reserva-
tions made to various bands of Pottawattomies in Northern Indiana
and Southern Michigan. Later these reservations were ceded by treaty
by the Indians to the government for a stipulated amount, and in all
the treaties it was provided that the Indians should remove to the res-
ervation west of the Missouri within two years from the date thereof.
The dates of these treaties were about all in the years 1835 and
1836, the last date for removal expiring about the first of August, 1838.

In the numerous treaties and historical sketches which have been
written concerning the early settlement of this part of the country up
to the present time^ but little information has been given in regard to
this interesting question. The story which follows was a paper pre-
pared by the writer for, and delivered to, the Northern Indiana Histor-
ical Society of South Bend, in the early part of 1898. It was so well
received by the society and the large and intelligent audience who
heard it, that it has been deemed of sufficient historical interest to pre-
serve it in this form.


The territory now included within the boundaries of Indiana, Illi-
nois and Michigan, which was the home of the Pottawattomie Indians
for many years prior to the time they were removed to a reservation
west of the Missouri river — the cause for which removal will appear
hereafter — was in the early days of the history of America owned and
occupied by the Miami Indians, originally known as the Twightwees. It
was claimed by France from the time of the discovery of the mouth of
the Mississippi river by La Salle in 1682 to 1763 when it was relin-
quished by treaty to the government of England and held by it until
1779 as a part of her colonial possessions in North America. The state
of Virginia extended its jurisdiction over it until 1788 when it came
by treaty of peace and by deed of cession from Virginia the property
of the United States. In 1787 an ordinance was passed by congress
creating the territory Northwest of the River Ohio, which embraced
the territory of the now states above mentioned.

The Miami Indians.

The Miami Indians, the original inhabitants of this region, were a
powerful nation, and about 1790 could muster about 1500 warriors.
They were at war with the whites more or less until they were disas-
trously defeated by Gen. Anthony Wayne in 1791, after which they
made peace at Greenville in 1795. After that they rapidly declined.
By a series of treaties between that date and 1809 they ceded lauds ex-
tending from the Wabash river to the Ohio state line. The annuities
proved fatal to them, introducing intoxicating liquors, resulting in dis-
sipation, indolence and violence. In the war of 1812 they sided with
England and being defeated under Gen. Harrison, they sued for peace,
and a treaty was made September 15, 1815. War had broken up the
progress they had previously made; drunkenness and debauchery again
prevailed, leading to fights in which nearly 500 perished in fifteen
years. In 1822, as shown by the census, they numbered 2,000 or 3,000
on three reservations. The Wea or Pin-kee-shaw bands numbering
384 were removed — or rather removed themselves, in 1833-5 to a reser-
vation of 160,000 acres of land in Kansas. The Miamis, then number-
ing about 1.100 all told, sold to the government 177,000 acres in Indi-
ana for $335,680, still retaining a considerable tract, but by treaties


made in 18;W and 1840 they ceded to the groverument practically all
these reservations and were removed to near Fort Levenworth, Kansas.
At that time they had dwindled to a wretched, dissipated band of 250,
each individual being paid an annuity of about $125. In 1873 they
numbered about 150, and now that once great and powerful nation
originally in possession of the whole of the territory of what is now
Indiana, Illinois and Southern Michigan, is practically extinct.

The Pottawattomie Indians.

In the early days the Miamis permitted the Pottawattomies to occupy
their lands in Northern Indiana, Illinois and Southern Michigan, and
finally they were recognized by the owners of the territory occupied by
them, and with them, after the United States came in possession of the
territory through the ordinance of 1787, treaties were made by which
all the lands were finally ceded to the United States.

The Pottawattomie tribe of Indians, the owners and inhabitants of
the territory now composing Northern Indiana, belonged to the great
Al-gon-quin family, and were related by ties of consanguinity to the
Ojibways or Chipewas and Ottowas. The first trace we have of them
locates their territory in the Lake Superior region on the islands near
the entrance to Green Bay, holding the country from the latter point
to the head waters of the great lakes. Subsequently they adopted into
their tribe many of the Ottowas from Upper Canada.

In the name of this tribe there is a marked significance touching
certain characteristics from which they acquire some early distinction.
The name is said by a writer on Indian lore to be a compound of Put-
ta-wa, signifying a blowing out or expansion of the cheeks as in blow-
ing a fire; and ''Me" a nation, which, being interpreted means a nation
of fire-blowers. The application seems to have orignated in the facil-
ity with which they produced flame and set burning the ancient coun-
cil fires of their forefathers beside the waters of the Green Bay country.

About 1817 it was estimated that there were in the region north of
the Wabash river and south of Lake Michigan something more than
2,000 Pottawattomies. They were located at villages on the Tippeca-
noe, Kankakee, Iroquois, Yellow river, St. Joseph of Lake Michigan,
the Elkhart, Miamis of the Lake, the St. Joseph emptying into it, the
St. Marys, Twin Lakes, Muk-sen-cuck-ee and Lake Kewana. At that
time they had no uniform abiding place of residence. During the fall,
winter, and part of the sjiring they were scattered in the woods hunting
and fishing. Their wigwams were made of poles stuck in the ground
and tied together with slips of bark, slender hickory wythes or raw-
hide strings. They were covered with bark or a kind of a mat made of
flags. There was an occasional rude hut made of logs or poles, but
nearly all the dwellings were wigwams hastily put up as here described.


They raised some corn, but lived priucipally on wild game, fish, fruits,
nuts, roots, and were clothed with blankets and untanned skins.

The Treaty of Qreenville==i795.

After Gen. Anthony Wnyne had subdued the Indians in 1794, he
succeeded in concluding a treaty with the various tribes at Greenville,
Ohio, in 1795. The boundary lines which were established by that
treaty between the United States and the bands of the Northwest-
ern tribes, gave to the Indians all the territory lying within the })resent
limits of Indiana, with the following exceptions: Six miles square
where Ft.. Wayne now stands; two miles square on the Wabash river at
the end of the portage from the head of the river Maumee eight miles
west of Ft. Wayne; six miles square at Ouetenon, or old Wea town;
150,000 acres near the falls of the Ohio, the same being known as
"Clark's grant;" the town of Vincennes and adjacent lands to which
Indian titles had been extinguished, and all similar lands at other
places in possession of the French people, or other white settlers among
them and a strip of land running directly from the site of Fort Re-
covery so as to intersect the river Ohio at a point opposite the mouth of
the Kentucky river.

Indian Policy of the Qovernment.

The most important question this country had to deal with in the
days of the formation of the republic in regard to Indian affairs was, as
to what policy should be adopted and pursued in regard to the future
disposition of the various Indian tribes and bands.

In his second inaugural address in 1821, President Monroe brought
the question of the care and disposition of the Indian tribes before con-
gress. Up to that time the government had treated them as separate
and indt'pendent nations. "The distinction," said President Monroe,
"had flattered their pride, retarded their improvement, and in many in-
stances paved the way for their destruction." Continuing he said:
"They have claims on the magnanimity — on the justice of this nation
which we must all feel, and we should become their real benefactors.
Their sovereignty over vast territories should cease, in lieu of which the
right of soil should be granted, to be invested in permanent funds for
the support of civil government over them and for the education of
their children, for their instruction in the arts of husbandry, and to
provide sustenance for them until they can provide it for themselves."

In conformity to this recommendation congress soon after made
appropriations and appointed commissioners to negotiate treaties with
the various tribes. In 1824 president Monroe in his inaugural message
again stated that the object had not been effected, but added: "Many
of the tribes have already made great progress in the arts of civilization


and civilized life. This desirable result has been brought about by the
humane and persevering policy of the government, and particularly by
the proposition for the civilization of the Indians. There have been
established under the provisions of this act 32 schools, containing 916
scholars who are well instructed in several branches of literature, and
likewise in agriculture and the ordinary arts of life. Their civilization
is indispensible to their safety, and this can be accomplished only by
degrees. Difficulties of the most serious character present themselves
to the attainment of this very desirable result on the territory on which
they now reside. To remove them by force even with a view to their
own security and happiness would be revolting to humanity and unjus-
tifiable." He therefore recommended that the territory embraced with-
in the limits of the states and territories and the Rocky mountains,
and Mexico should be divided into districts to which the Indians should
be induced to emigrate.

In a special message to congress in 1825 President Monroe again
said: "The great object to be accomplished is the removal of these tribes
to the territory designated on conditions which shall be satisfactory to
themselves and honorable to the IJjiited States. This can be done only
by conveying to each tribe a good title to an adequate portion of land
to which it may consent to remove, and by providing for it there a sys-
tem of internal government which shall protect their property from
invasion and by the regular progress of improvement and civilization
prevent that degeneracy which has generally marked the transition
from the one to the other state."

In his second annual message dated December 6th, 1830, President
Andrew Jackson, on this subject said:

"It gives me pleasure to announce to congress that the benevolent
policy of the government steadily pursued for nearly thirty years in re-
lation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlement is
approaching to a happy consummation. Two important tribes have
accepted the provisions made for their renioval at the last session of
congress, and it is believed their example will induce the remaining
tribes also to seek the same obvious advantages." "Doubtless," he con-
tinued "it will be painful to leave the graves of their fathers; but what
do they more than our ancestors did or their children are now doing?
To better their condition in an unknown land our forefathers left all
that was dear in earthly objects. Our children by thousands yearly
leave the land of their birth to seek new homes in distant regions. Does
humanity weep at these painful separations from everything animate and
inanimate with which the young heart has become entwined? It is rather
a source of joy that onr country affords scope where our young popula-
tion may range unconstrained in body or mind, developing the power
and faculties of the man in their highest perfection. These remove


hundreds and almost thousands of miles at their own expense, ])nrchase
the lands they occupy and support themselves at their new homes
from the moment of their arrival. Can it be cruel in this govern-
ment, when by events which it cannot control, the Indian is made
discontented in his ancient home to purchase his lands, to give
him a new and extensive territory, to pay the expense of his removal
and svipport him a year in his new abode? How many thousands of
our people would gladly embrace the o])portunity of removing west on
such conditions?"

In his message in 18iU he said:

''My opinion remains the same,' and T can see no other alternative
for the Indians but that of their removal to the west or a quiet sub-
mission to the state laws."

That policy the government adhered to to the end, and in accord-
ance therewith all subsequent treaties were made.

The Treaty of 1826.

On October 10, 1826, Lewis Cass, James B. Ray and John Tipton
concluded a treaty with the Pottawattomie tribe by which a large scope
of country in Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana, was ceded to
the United States, from which numerous small reservations were made,
in all containing ninety-nine sections. The Indians were to receive an
annuity of !!)2,000 in silver for the term of twenty-two years, and the
government was to support a blacksmith shop at some convenient point,
and to appropriate for educational purposes annually S2,000 as long as
congress might think proper; also to build for tiiem a mill, sufficient
for them to grind corn, on the Tippecanoe river, and provide for the
support of a miller. This mill was built on the outlet of Mana-tou
lake a short distance east of the present town of Rochester. The gov-
ernment was also to pay thera annually 100 bushels of salt, all to be
])aid by the Indian agent at Fort Wayne.

The Michigan Road Treaty.

Into this treaty was interjected an article in which was ceded to the
State of Indiana a strip of land one hundred feet wide extending from
Lake Michigan at Michigan City to Madison on the Ohio river. The
article is as follows:

"Article 2. As an evidence of the attachment which the Potta-
wattomie iribe feel towards the American people, and particularly to
the soil of Indiana, and with a view to demonstrate their liberality,
and benefit themselves by creating facilities for traveling and increas-
ing the value of their remaining country, the said tribe do hereby cede
to the United States a strip of land commencing at Lake Michigan and


running thence to the Wabash river, one hundred feet wide, for a road,
and also, one section of good land contigupus to the said road for each
mile of the same, and also for each mile of a road from the termination
thereof through Indianapolis to the Ohio river for the purpose of
making a road aforesaid from Lake Michigan by the way of Indianap-
olis to some convenient point on the Ohio river. And the general
assembly of the State of Indiana shall have a right to locate the said
road and to apply said sections, or the proceeds thereof to the making
of the same, and the said grant shall be at their sole disposal."

The wording of the treaty was a cunningly devised arrangement to
swindle the Indians of an immense amount of some of the best lands
belonging to- them in the state. The Indians had nothing to do with
writing the treaty, and evidently knew little about what the result of
its operation would be. They were lead to believe that a great thor-
oughfare between Lake Michigan and the Ohio river would be built
which would enable them to travel with ease and comfort between these
two important points.

Congress having confirmed the treaty the legislature in 1830 or-
dered the line to be surveyed and laid out. By reference to the state
map, it will be observed that the road did not run in a direct line across
the state. From Indianapolis north it leads directly to Logansport,
thence through Kochester and Plymouth to South Bend. At the latter
place it turns directly west and runs through the bt. Joseph and Laporte
prairies and thence to the mouth of Trail creek at Michigan City.

By the act of the legislature approved in 1832 a commissioner to
manage the construction of the road and dispose of the lauds was cre-
ated. In regard to the construction of the road north of Logansport it
was provided as follows:

"Sec. 11. Said commissioner is hereby authorized and required to
have that part of the Michigan road that lies between the town of Lo-
gansport and Lake Michigan at the mouth of Trail Creek, cut and
opened one hundred feet wide, between the 15th day of June next and
the last day of November next, in the manner following to-wit: Cut
and clear off of the said road, all logs, timber and undergrowth, leaving
no stump more than one foot above the level of the earth; the creek
banks to be graded, and the swamps and mud causewayed, and good,
sufficient bridge made over such streams and swamps as is necessary to
make the same passable at all times for wagons, and as near as may be
every part equally good. Pj-ori<hd, however, that the expenditure on
said road, north of Logansport, shall not exceed in the aggregate, the
amount that has been expended and is by this act appropriated on said
road south of Logansport to the Ohio river, in proportion to the distance.

"Sec. 12. Said commissoner shall cause that part of said road be-
tween Logansport and Lake Michigan to l)e laid off in sections of one


Hesideiice of William Folke, iu\Mr 'rii»|»ecaii(>e Kiver, (Hi Michijiaii Itoad,
North of lioohester; Built in \s:V2.


mile each, to be numbered in numerical order, one, two, three, and so
on, commencing: at Logansport; and said commissioner is hereby au-
thorized to make such alterations in said road as he shall deem neces-
sary withiji the land selected and surveyed for said road, and through
such lands as the road may pass; such other alterations may be made as
may be deemed beneficial and lessen the expenses of opening the same,
and not materially increase the distance with the consent of the own-
ers of such lands; and the commissioner is authorized to receive relin-
quishments to the state for the use of the road the width one hundred
feet for said road, and said commissioner is authorized to make such
alteration at Michigan City, a town lately laid off at the termination
of said road on Lake Michigan, so as to enter Michigan street and
pass along the same and Wabash street in said town to the termination
of siiid road."

The road was completed after a fashion through Northern Indiana
in the latter part of 1833 and the early part of 1834. Judge William
Polke, who was appointed by the government removing agent and took
charge of the last removal in 1838, at Danville, Illinois, was a large
contractor in buildiiig the road. At that time he resided in the first
frame house erected north of the Wabash river which stood, and yet
stands in an excellent state of preservation on the east side of the
Michigan road about a mile north of the Tippecanoe river. It was near
this house and not far from the Tippecanoe river at the Indian village

1 3 4 5 6 7

Online LibraryDaniel McDonaldRemoval of the Pottawattomie Indians from northern Indiana; embracing also a brief statement of the Indian policy of the government, and other historical matter relating to the Indian question (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 7)