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´╗┐Title: History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan
 - A Grammar of Their Language, and Personal and Family History of the Author
Author: Blackbird, Andrew J.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan
 - A Grammar of Their Language, and Personal and Family History of the Author" ***

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Andrew J. Blackbird, the author of this little book, is an educated
Indian, son of the Ottawa Chief. His Indian name is Mack-aw-de-be-nessy
(Black Hawk), but he generally goes by the name of "Blackbird," taken
from the interpretation of the French "L'Oiseau noir." Mr. Blackbird's
wife is an educated and intelligent white woman of English descent, and
they have four children. He is a friend of the white people, as well as
of his own people. Brought up as an Indian, with no opportunity for
learning during his boyhood, when he came to think for himself, he
started out blindly for an education, without any means but his brains
and his hands.

He was loyal to the Government during the rebellion in the United
States, for which cause he met much opposition by designing white
people, who had full sway among the Indians, and who tried to mislead
them and cause them to be disloyal; and he broke up one or two
rebellious councils amongst his people during the progress of the

When Hon. D. C. Leach, of Traverse City, Mich., was Indian Agent, Mr.
Blackbird was appointed United States Interpreter and continued in this
office with other subsequent Agents of the Department for many years.
Before he was fairly out of this office, he was appointed postmaster of
Little Traverse, now Harbor Springs, Mich., and faithfully discharged
his duties as such for over eleven years with but very little salary.

He has also for several years looked after the soldiers' claims for
widows and orphans, both for the whites as well as for his own people,
in many instances without the least compensation, not even his stamps
and paper paid. He is now decrepit with old age and failing health, and
unable to perform hard manual labor.

We therefore recommend this work of Mr. A. J. Blackbird as interesting
and reliable.

                               JAMES L. MORRICE,
                               Treasurer of Emmet County.

                               C. P. NEWKIRK,
                               Principal Harbor Springs Public Schools.

                               CHARLES R. WRIGHT,
                               Ex-President Harbor Springs.

                               CHARLES W. INGALLS,
                               Notary Public for Emmet Co.

                               ALBERT L. HATHAWAY,
                               County Clerk, Emmet County.

                               WM. H. LEE,
                               Probate Clerk and Abstractor of Titles.

                               ARCH. D. METZ,
                               Deputy Register of Deeds.

                               WILLARD P. GIBSON,
                               Pastor Presbyterian Church.

                               WILLIAM H. MILLER, U.S.A.


I deem it not improper to present the history of the last race of
Indians now existing in the State of Michigan, called the Ottawa and
Chippewa Nations of Indians.

There were many other tribes of Indians in this region prior to the
occupancy of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of this State, who have
long ago gone out of existence. Not a page of their history is on
record; but only an allusion to them in our traditions.

I have herewith recorded the earliest history of the Ottawa tribe of
Indians in particular, according to their traditions. I have related
where they formerly lived, the names of their leaders, and what tribes
they contended with before and after they came to Michigan, and how
they came to be the inhabitants of this State. Also the earliest
history of the Island of Mackinac, and why it is called
"Michilimackinac"--which name has never been correctly translated by
white historians, but which is here given according to our knowledge of
this matter long before we came in contact with white races.

I have also recorded some of the most important legends, which resemble
the Bible history; particularly the legends with regard to the great
flood, which has been in our language for many centuries, and the
legend of the great fish which swallowed the prophet Ne-naw-bo-zhoo,
who came out again alive, which might be considered as corresponding to
the story of Jonah in the Sacred History.

Beside my own personal and our family history, I have also, quite
extensively, translated our language into English and added many other
items which might be interesting to all who may wish to inquire into
our history and language.

                               ANDREW J. BLACKBIRD.


The Ypsilanti Auxiliary of the Women's National Indian Association, by
whose efforts this book is published, take this opportunity to express
earnest thanks to those who have aided in this work.

Most generous donations of money from friends of Indians and equally
valuable liberality from publishers and papermakers have made possible
the preservation of this most rare and important history.

This is the only instance where a native Indian has recorded the story
of his people and given a grammar of their language; thus producing a
work whose immense value, as an account of a race and a language
already passing into oblivion, will become even more inestimable with
the lapse of time.

                               Ypsilanti, Mich., Oct., 1887.


History of the Ottawa of Michigan--Preliminary Remarks in Regard to
Other Histories, Concerning the Massacre of the Old British Fort on the
Straits of Mackinac--British Promise to the Ottawas--Ravages of Small
Pox--First Recollection of the Country of Arbor-Croche and Its
Definition--Uprightness and Former Character of the Indians.

I have seen a number of writings by different men who attempted to give
an account of the Indians who formerly occupied the Straits of Mackinac
and Mackinac Island, (that historic little island which stands at the
entrance of the strait,) also giving an account of the Indians who
lived and are yet living in Michigan, scattered through the counties of
Emmet, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Antrim, Grand Traverse, and in the region
of Thunder Bay, on the west shore of Lake Huron. But I see no very
correct account of the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes of Indians, according
to our knowledge of ourselves, past and present. Many points are far
from being credible. They are either misstated by persons who were not
versed in the traditions of these Indians, or exaggerated. An instance
of this is found in the history of the life of Pontiac (pronounced
Bwon-diac), the Odjebwe (or Chippewa) chief of St. Clair, the
instigator of the massacre of the old fort on the Straits of Mackinac,
written by a noted historian. In his account of the massacre, he says
there was at this time no known surviving Ottawa Chief living on the
south side of the Straits. This point of the history is incorrect, as
there were several Ottawa chiefs living on the south side of the
Straits at this particular time, who took no part in this massacre, but
took by force the few survivors of this great, disastrous catastrophe,
and protected them for a while and afterwards took them to Montreal,
presenting them to the British Government; at the same time praying
that their brother Odjebwes should not be retaliated upon on account of
their rash act against the British people, but that they might be
pardoned, as this terrible tragedy was committed through mistake, and
through the evil counsel of one of their leaders by the name of
Bwondiac (known in history as Pontiac). They told the British
Government that their brother Odjebwes were few in number, while the
British were in great numbers and daily increasing from an unknown part
of the world across the ocean. They said, "Oh, my father, you are like
the trees of the forest, and if one of the forest trees should be
wounded with a hatchet, in a few years its wound will be entirely
healed. Now, my father, compare with this: this is what my brother
Odjebwe did to some of your children on the Straits of Mackinac, whose
survivors we now bring back and present to your arms. O my father, have
mercy upon my brothers and pardon them; for with your long arms and
many, but a few strokes of retaliation would cause our brother to be
entirely annihilated from the face of the earth!"

According to our understanding in our traditions, that was the time the
British Government made such extraordinary promises to the Ottawa tribe
of Indians, at the same time thanking them for their humane action upon
those British remnants of the massacre. She promised them that her long
arms will perpetually extend around them from generation to generation,
or so long as there should be rolling sun. They should receive gifts
from her sovereign in shape of goods, provisions, firearms, ammunition,
and intoxicating liquors! Her sovereign's beneficent arm should be even
extended unto the dogs belonging to the Ottawa tribe of Indians. And
what place soever she should meet them, she would freely unfasten the
faucet which contains her living water--whisky, which she will also
cause to run perpetually and freely unto the Ottawas as the fountain of
perpetual spring! And furthermore: she said, "I am as many as the stars
in the heavens; and when you get up in the morning, look to the east;
you will see that the sun, as it will peep through the earth, will be
as red as my coat, to remind you why I am likened unto the sun, and my
promises will be as perpetual as the rolling sun!"

Ego-me-nay--Corn-hanger--was the head counselor and speaker of the
Ottawa tribe of Indians at that time, and, according to our knowledge,
Ego-me-nay was the leading one who went with those survivors of the
massacre, and he was the man who made the speech before the august
assembly in the British council hall at Montreal at that time. Ne-saw-
key--Down-the-hill--the head chief of the Ottawa Nation, did not go
with the party, but sent his message, and instructed their counselor in
what manner he should appear before the British Government. My father
was a little boy at that time, and my grandfather and my great-
grandfather were both living then, and both held the first royal rank
among the Ottawas. My grandfather was then a sub-chief and my great-
grandfather was a war chief, whose name was Pun-go-wish: And several
other chiefs of the tribe I could mention who existed at that time, but
this is ample evidence that the historian was mistaken in asserting
that there was no known Ottawa chief existing at the time of the

However it was a notable fact that by this time the Ottawas were
greatly reduced in numbers from what they were in former times, on
account of the small-pox which they brought from Montreal during the
French war with Great Britain. This small pox was sold to them shut up
in a tin box, with the strict injunction not to open the box on their
way homeward, but only when they should reach their country; and that
this box contained something that would do them great good, and their
people! The foolish people believed really there was something in the
box supernatural, that would do them great good. Accordingly, after
they reached home they opened the box; but behold there was another tin
box inside, smaller. They took it cut and opened the second box, and
behold, still there was another box inside of the second box, smaller
yet. So they kept on this way till they came to a very small box, which
was not more than an inch long; and when they opened the last one they
found nothing but mouldy particles in this last little box! They
wondered very much what it was, and a great many closely inspected to
try to find out what it meant. But alas, alas! pretty soon burst out a
terrible sickness among them. The great Indian doctors themselves were
taken sick and died. The tradition says it was indeed awful and
terrible. Every one taken with it was sure to die. Lodge after lodge
was totally vacated--nothing but the dead bodies lying here and there
in their lodges--entire families being swept off with the ravages of
this terrible disease. The whole coast of Arbor Croche, or Waw-gaw-naw-
ke-zee, where their principal village was situated, on the west shore
of the peninsula near the Straits, which is said to have been a
continuous village some fifteen or sixteen miles long and extending
from what is now called Cross Village to Seven-Mile Point (that is,
seven miles from Little Traverse, now Harbor Springs), was entirely
depopulated and laid waste. It is generally believed among the Indians
of Arbor Croche that this wholesale murder of the Ottawas by this
terrible disease sent by the British people, was actuated through
hatred, and expressly to kill off the Ottawas and Chippewas because
they were friends of the French Government or French King, whom they
called "Their Great Father." The reason that to-day we see no full-
grown trees standing along the coast of Arbor Croche, a mile or more in
width along the shore, is because the trees were entirely cleared away
for this famous long village, which existed before the small-pox raged
among the Ottawas.

In my first recollection of the country of Arbor Croche, which is sixty
years ago, there was nothing but small shrubbery here and there in
small patches, such as wild cherry trees, but the most of it was grassy
plain; and such an abundance of wild strawberries, raspberries and
blackberries that they fairly perfumed the air of the whole coast with
fragrant scent of ripe fruit. The wild pigeons and every variety of
feathered songsters filled all the groves, warbling their songs
joyfully and feasting upon these wild fruits of nature; and in these
waters the fishes were so plentiful that as you lift up the anchor-
stone of your net in the morning, your net would be so loaded with
delicious whitefish as to fairly float with all its weight of the
sinkers. As you look towards the course of your net, you see the fins
of the fishes sticking out of the water in every way. Then I never knew
my people to want for anything to eat or to wear, as we always had
plenty of wild meat and plenty of fish, corn, vegetables, and wild
fruits. I thought (and yet I may be mistaken) that my people were very
happy in those days, at least I was as happy myself as a lark, or as
the brown thrush that sat daily on the uppermost branches of the stubby
growth of a basswood tree which stood near by upon the hill where we
often played under its shade, lodging our little arrows among the thick
branches of the tree and then shooting them down again for sport.

[Footnote: The word Arbor Croche is derived from two French words:
Arbre, a tree; and Croche, something very crooked or hook-like. The
tradition says when the Ottawas first came to that part of the country
a great pine tree stood very near the shore where Middle Village now
is, whose top was very crooked, almost hook-like. Therefore the Ottawas
called the place "Waw-gaw-naw-ke-zee"--meaning the crooked top of the
tree. But by and by the whole coast from Little Traverse to Tehin-gaw-
beng, now Cross Village, became denominated as Waw-gaw-naw-ke-zee.]

Early in the morning as the sun peeped from the east, as I would yet be
lying close to my mother's bosom, this brown thrush would begin his
warbling songs perched upon the uppermost branches of the basswood tree
that stood close to our lodge. I would then say to myself, as I
listened to him, "here comes again my little orator," and I used to try
to understand what he had to say; and sometimes thought I understood
some of its utterances as follows: "Good morning, good morning! arise,
arise! shoot, shoot! come along, come along!" etc., every word repeated
twice. Even then, and so young as I was, I used to think that little
bird had a language which God or the Great Spirit had given him, and
every bird of the forest understood what he had to say, and that he was
appointed to preach to other birds, to tell them to be happy, to be
thankful for the blessings they enjoy among the summer green branches
of the forest, and the plenty of wild fruits to eat. The larger boys
used to amuse themselves by playing a ball called Paw-kaw-do-way, foot-
racing, wrestling, bow-arrow shooting, and trying to beat one another
shooting the greatest number of chipmunks and squirrels in a day, etc.

I never heard any boy or any grown person utter any bad language, even
if they were out of patience with anything. Swearing or profanity was
never heard among the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes of Indians, and not
even found in their language. Scarcely any drunkenness, only once in a
great while the old folks used to have a kind of short spree,
particularly when there was any special occasion of a great feast going
on. But all the young folks did not drink intoxicating liquors as a
beverage in those days. And we always rested in perfect safety at night
in our dwellings, and the doorways of our lodges had no fastenings to
them, but simply a frail mat or a blanket was hung over our doorways
which might be easily pushed or thrown one side without any noise if
theft or any other mischief was intended. But we were not afraid for
any such thing to happen us, because we knew that every child of the
forest was observing and living under the precepts which their
forefathers taught them, and the children were taught almost daily by
their parents from infancy unto manhood and womanhood, or until they
were separated from their families.

These precepts or moral commandments by which the Ottawa and Chippewa
nations of Indians were governed in their primitive state, were almost
the same as the ten commandments which the God Almighty himself
delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai on tables of stone. Very few of these
divine precepts are not found among the precepts of the Ottawa and
Chippewa Indians, except with regard to the Sabbath day to keep it
holy; almost every other commandment can be found, only there are more,
as there were about twenty of these "uncivilized" precepts. They also
believed, in their primitive state, that the eye of this Great Being is
the sun by day, and by night the moon and stars, and, therefore, that
God or the Great Spirit sees all things everywhere, night and day, and
it would be impossible to hide our actions, either good or bad, from
the eye of this Great Being. Even the very threshold or crevice of your
wigwam will be a witness against you, if you should commit any criminal
action when no human eye could observe your criminal doings, but surely
your criminal actions will be revealed in some future time to your
disgrace and shame. These were continual inculcations to the children
by their parents, and in every feast and council, by the "Instructors
of the Precepts" to the people or to the audience of the council. For
these reasons the Ottawas and Chippewas in their primitive state were
strictly honest and upright in their dealings with their fellow-beings.
Their word of promise was as good as a promissory note, even better, as
these notes sometimes are neglected and not performed according to
their promises; but the Indian promise was very sure and punctual,
although, as they had no timepieces, they measured their time by the
sun. If an Indian promised to execute a certain obligation at such
time, at so many days, and at such height of the sun, when that time
comes he would be there punctually to fulfill this obligation. This was
formerly the character of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan.
But now, our living is altogether different, as we are continually
suffering under great anxiety and perplexity, and continually being
robbed and cheated in various ways. Our houses have been forcibly
entered for thieving purposes and murder; people have been knocked down
and robbed; great safes have been blown open with powder in our little
town and their contents carried away, and even children of the
Caucasian race are heard cursing and blaspheming the name of their
Great Creator, upon whose pleasure we depended for our existence.

According to my recollection of the mode of living in our village, so
soon as darkness came in the evening, the young boys and girls were not
allowed to be out of their lodges. Every one of them must be called in
to his own lodge for the rest of the night. And this rule of the
Indians in their wild state was implicitly observed.

Ottawa and Chippewa Indians were not what we would call entirely
infidels and idolaters; for they believed that there is a Supreme Ruler
of the Universe, the Creator of all things, the Great Spirit, to which
they offer worship and sacrifices in a certain form. It was customary
among them, every spring of the year, to gather all the cast off
garments that had been worn during the winter and rear them up on a
long pole while they were having festivals and jubilees to the Great
Spirit. The object of doing this was that the Great Spirit might look
down from heaven and have compassion on his red children. Only this,
that they foolishly believe that there are certain deities all over the
lands who to a certain extent govern or preside over certain places, as
a deity who presides over this river, over this lake, or this mountain,
or island, or country, and they were careful not to express anything
which might displease such deities; but that they were not supreme
rulers, only to a certain extent they had power over the land where
they presided. These deities were supposed to be governed by the Great
Spirit above.


Cases of Murders Among the Ottawas and Chippewas Exceedingly Scarce
--Ceding the Grand Traverse Region to the Chippewas on Account of
Murder--Immorality Among the Ottawas not Common--Marriage in Former

The murders in cold blood among the Ottawa and Chippewa nations of
Indians in their primitive state were exceedingly few, at least there
was only one account in our old tradition where a murder had been
committed, a young Ottawa having stabbed a young Chippewa while in
dispute over their nets when they were fishing for herrings on the
Straits of Mackinac. This nearly caused a terrible bloody war between
the two powerful tribes of Indians (as they were numerous then) so
closely related. The tradition says they had council after council upon
this subject, and many speeches were delivered on both sides. The
Chippewas proposed war to settle the question of murder, while the
Ottawas proposed compromise and restitution for the murder. Finally the
Ottawas succeeded in settling the difficulty by ceding part of their
country to the Chippewa nation, which is now known and distinguished as
the Grand Traverse Region. A strip of land which I believe to have
extended from a point near Sleeping Bear, down to the eastern shore of
the Grand Traverse Bay, some thirty or forty miles wide, thence between
two parallel lines running southeasterly until they strike the head
waters of Muskegon River, which empties into Lake Michigan not very far
below Grand Haven. They were also allowed access to all the rivers and
streams in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, to trap the beavers, minks,
otters and muskrats. The Indians used their furs in former times for
garments and blankets. This is the reason that to this day the Odjebwes
(Chippewas) are found in that section of the country.

It may be said, this is not true; it is a mistake. We have known
several cases of murders among the Ottawas and Chippewas. I admit it to
be true, that there have been cases of murders among the Ottawas and
Chippewas since the white people knew them. But these cases of murders
occurred some time after they came in contact with the white races in
their country; but I am speaking now of the primitive condition of
Indians, particularly of the Ottawas and Chippewas, and I believe most
of those cases of murders were brought on through the bad influence of
white men, by introducing into the tribes this great destroyer of
mankind, soul and body, intoxicating liquors! Yet, during sixty years
of my existence among the Ottawas and Chippewas, I have never witnessed
one case of murder of this kind, but I heard there were a few cases in
other parts of the country, when in their fury from the influence of
intoxicating liquors.

There was one case of sober murder happened about fifty years ago at
Arbor Croche, where one young man disposed of his lover by killing,
which no Indian ever knew the actual cause of. He was arrested and
committed to the Council and tried according to the Indian style; and
after a long council, or trial, it was determined the murderer should
be banished from the tribe. Therefore, he was banished. Also, about
this time, one case of sober murder transpired among the Chippewas of
Sault Ste. Marie, committed by one of the young Chippewas whose name
was Wau-bau-ne-me-kee (White-thunder), who might have been released if
he had been properly tried and impartial judgment exercised over the
case, but we believe it was not. This Indian killed a white man, when
he was perfectly sober, by stabbing. He was arrested, of course, and
tried and sentenced to be hung at the Island of Mackinac. I distinctly
remember the time. This poor Indian was very happy when he was about to
be hung on the gallows. He told the people that he was very happy to
die, for he felt that he was innocent. He did not deny killing the man,
but he thought he was justifiable in the sight of the Great Spirit, as
such wicked monsters ought to be killed from off the earth; as this
white man came to the Indian's wigwam in the dead of night, and dragged
the mother of his children from his very bosom for licentious purpose.
He remonstrated, but his remonstrances were not heeded, as this ruffian
was encouraged by others who stood around his wigwam, and ready to fall
upon this poor Indian and help their fellow-ruffian; and he therefore
stabbed the principal party, in defence of his beloved wife, for which
cause the white man died. If an Indian should go to the white man's
house and commit that crime, he would be killed; and what man is there
who would say that is too bad, this Indian to be killed in that manner?
But every man will say amen, only he ought to have been tortured before
he was killed; and let the man who killed this bad and wicked Indian be
rewarded! This is what would be the result if the Indian would have
done the same thing as this white man did.

The Ottawas and Chippewas were quite virtuous in their primitive state,
as there were no illegitimate children reported in our old traditions.
But very lately this evil came to exist among the Ottawas--so lately
that the second case among the Ottawas of Arbor Croche is yet living.
And from that time this evil came to be quite frequent, for immorality
has been introduced among these people by evil white persons who bring
their vices into the tribes.

In the former times or before the Indians were christianized, when a
young man came to be a fit age to get married, he did not trouble
himself about what girl he should have for his wife; but the parents of
the young man did this part of the business When the parents thought
best that their son should be separated from their family by marriage,
it was their business to decide what woman their son should have as his
wife; and after selecting some particular girl among their neigbors,
they would take up quite large package of presents and then go to the
parents of the girl and demand the daughter for their son's wife at
the same time delivering the presents to the parents of the girl. If
the old folks say yes, then they would fetch the girl right along to
their son and tell him, We have brought this girl as your wife so long
as you live; now take her, cherish her, and be kind to her so long as
you live. The young man and girl did not dare to say aught against it,
as it was the law and custom amongst their people, but all they had to
do was to take each other as man and wife. This was all the rules and
ceremony of getting married in former times among the Ottawas and
Chippewas of Michigan: they must not marry their cousins nor second


Earliest Possible Known History of Mackinac Island--Its Historical
Definition--Who Resided at the Island--Massacre at the Island by
Senecas--Where the Ottawas were Living at That Time--Only Two Escape
the Massacre--What Became of Them--The Legends of the Two Who Escaped
--Occupants of the Island Afterwards--Who Killed Warrior Tecumseh?

Again, most every historian, or annalist so-called, who writes about
the Island of Mackinac and the Straits and vicinity, tells us that the
definition or the meaning of the word "Michilimackinac" in the Ottawa
and Chippewa language, is "large turtle," derived from the word Mi-she-
mi-ki-nock in the Chippewa language. That is, "Mi-she" as one of the
adnominals or adjectives in the Ottawa and Chippewa languages, which
would signify tremendous in size; and "Mikinock" is the name of mud
turtle--meaning, therefore, "monstrous large turtle," as the historians
would have it. But we consider this to be a clear error. Whereever
those annalists, or those who write about the Island of Mackinac,
obtain their information as to the definition of the word
Michilimackinac, I don't know, when our tradition is so direct and so
clear with regard to the historical definition of that word, and is far
from being derived from the word "Michimikinock," as the historians
have told us. Our tradition says that when the Island was first
discovered by the Ottawas, which was some time before America was known
as an existing country by the white man, there was a small independent
tribe, a remnant race of Indians who occupied this island, who became
confederated with the Ottawas when the Ottawas were living at
Manitoulin, formerly called Ottawa Island, which is situated north of
Lake Huron. The Ottawas thought a good deal of this unfortunate race of
people, as they were kind of interesting sort of people; but,
unfortunately, they had most powerful enemies, who every now and then
would come among them to make war with them. Their enemies were of the
Iroquois of New York. Therefore, once in the dead of the winter while
the Ottawas were having a great jubilee and war dances at their island,
now Manitoulin, on account of the great conquest over the We-ne-be-goes
of Wisconsin, of which I will speak more fully in subsequent chapters,
during which time the Senecas of New York, of the Iroquois family of
Indians, came upon the remnant race and fought them, and almost
entirely annihilated them. But two escaped to tell the story, who
effected their escape by flight and by hiding in one of the natural
caves at the island, and therefore that was the end of this race. And
according to our understanding and traditions the tribal name of those
disastrous people was "Mi-shi-ne-macki naw-go," which is still existing
to this day as a monument of their former existence; for the Ottawas
and Chippewas named this little island "Mi-shi-ne-macki-nong" for
memorial sake of those their former confederates, which word is the
locative case of the Indian noun "Michinemackinawgo." Therefore, we
contend, this is properly where the name Michilimackinac is originated.

This is the earliest possible history of this little Island, as I have
related, according to the Ottawa traditions; and from that time forward
there have been many changes in its history, as other tribes of Indians
took possession of the island, such as the Hurons and Chippewas; and
still later by the whites--French, English, and Americans; and numbers
of battles have been fought from time to time there, by both Indians
and whites, of which I need not relate as other historians have already
given us the accounts of them. But only this I would relate, because I
have never yet seen the account of it: It is related in our traditions
that at the time when the Chippewas occupied the island they ceded it
to the United States Government, but reserved a strip of land all
around the island as far as a stone throw from its water's edge as
their encampment grounds when they might come to the island to trade or
for other business.

Perhaps the reader would like to know what became of those two persons
who escaped from the lamented tribe Michinemackinawgoes. I will here
give it just as it is related in our traditions, although this may be
considered, at this age, as a fictitious story; but every Ottawa and
Chippewa to this day believes it to be positively so. It is related
that the two persons escaped were two young people, male and female,
and they were lovers. After everything got quieted down, they fixed
their snow-shoes inverted and crossed the lake on the ice, as snow was
quite deep on the ice, and they went towards the north shore of Lake
Huron. The object of inverting their snow-shoes was that in case any
person should happen to come across their track on the ice, their track
would appear as if going towards the island. They became so disgusted
with human nature, it is related, that they shunned every mortal being,
and just lived by themselves, selecting the wildest part of the
country. Therefore, the Ottawas and Chippewas called them "Paw-gwa-
tchaw-nish-naw-boy." The last time they were seen by the Ottawas, they
had ten children--all boys, and all living and well. And every Ottawa
and Chippewa believes to this day that they are still in existence and
roaming in the wildest part of the land, but as supernatural beings
--that is, they can be seen or unseen, just as they see fit to be; and
sometimes they simply manifested themselves as being present by
throwing a club or a stone at a person walking in a solitude, or by
striking a dog belonging to the person walking; and sometimes by
throwing a club at the lodge, night or day, or hearing their footsteps
walking around the wigwam when the Indians would be camping out in an
unsettled part of the country, and the dogs would bark, just as they
would bark at any strange person approaching the door. And sometimes
they would be tracked on snow by hunters, and if followed on their
track, however recently passed, they never could be overtaken.
Sometimes when an Indian would be hunting or walking in solitude, he
would suddenly be seized with an unearthly fright, terribly awe
stricken, apprehending some great evil. He feels very peculiar
sensation from head to foot--the hair of his head standing and feeling
stiff like a porcupine quill. He feels almost benumbed with fright, and
yet he does not know what it is; and looking in every direction to see
something, but nothing to be seen which might cause sensation of
terror. Collecting himself, he would then say, "Pshaw! its nothing here
to be afraid of. It's nobody else but Paw-gwa-tchaw-nish-naw-boy is
approaching me. Perhaps he wanted something of me." They would then
leave something on their tracks--tobacco, powder, or something else.
Once in a great while they would appear, and approach the person to
talk with him, and in this case, it is said, they would always begin
with the sad story of their great catastrophe at the Island of
Mackinac. And whoever would be so fortunate as to meet and see them and
to talk with them, such person would always become a prophet to his
people, either Ottawa or Chippewa. Therefore, Ottawas and Chippewas
called these supernatural beings "Paw-gwa-tchaw-nish-naw-boy," which
is, strictly, "Wild roaming supernatural being."

Pine river country, in Charlevoix County, Michigan, when this country
was all wild, especially near Pine Lake, was once considered as the
most famous resort of these kind of unnatural beings. I was once
conversing with one of the first white settlers of that portion of the
country, who settled near to the place now called Boyne City, at the
extreme end of the east arm of Pine Lake. In the conversation he told
me that many times they had been frightened, particularly during the
nights, by hearing what sounded like human footsteps around outside of
their cabin; and their dog would be terrified, crouching at the
doorway, snarling and growling, and sometimes fearfully barking. When
daylight came, the old man would go out in order to discover what it
was or if he could track anything around his cabin, but he never could
discover a track of any kind. These remarkable, mischievous, audible,
fanciful, appalling apprehensions were of very frequent occurrence
before any other inhabitants or settlers came near to his place; but
now, they do not have such apprehensions since many settlers came.

That massacre of Mishinimackinawgoes by Seneca Indians of New York
happened probably more than five or six hundred years ago. I could say
much more which would be contradictory of other writers of the history
of the Indians in this country. Even in the history of the United
States I think there are some mistakes concerning the accounts of the
Indians, particularly the accounts of our brave Tecumseh, as it is
claimed that he was killed by a soldier named Johnson, upon whom they
conferred the honor of having disposed of the dreaded Tecumseh. Even
pictured out as being coming up with his tomahawk to strike a man who
was on horseback, but being instantly shot dead with the pistol. Now I
have repeatedly heard our oldest Indians, both male and female, who
were present at the defeat of the British and Indians, all tell a
unanimous story, saying that they came to a clearing or opening spot,
and it was there where Tecumseh ordered his warriors to rally and fight
the Americans once more, and in this very spot one of the American
musket balls took effect in Tecumseh's leg so as to break the bone of
his leg, that he could not stand up. He was sitting on the ground when
he told his warriors to flee as well as they could, and furthermore
said, "One of my leg is shot off! But leave me one or two guns loaded;
I am going to have a last shot. Be quick and go!" That was the last
word spoken by Tecumseh. As they look back, they saw the soldiers thick
as swarm of bees around where Tecumseh was sitting on the ground with
his broken leg, and so they did not see him any more; and, therefore,
we always believe that the Indians or Americans know not who made the
fatal shot on Tecumseh's leg, or what the soldiers did with him when
they came up to him as he was sitting on the ground.


The Author's Reasons for Recording the History of His People, and Their
Language--History of His Nationality--A Sketch of His Father's History
--How the Indians Were Treated in Manitoba Country One Hundred Years
Ago--His Father's Banishment to Die on a Lonely Island by the White
Traders--Second Misfortune of the Ottawas on Account of the Shawanee
Prophet--The Earthquake.

The Indian tribes are continnually diminishing on the face of this
continent. Some have already passed entirely out of existence and are
forgotten, who once inhabited this part of the country; such as the
Mawsh-ko-desh, Urons, Ossaw-gees--who formerly occupied Saw-gi-naw bay;
and the Odaw gaw-mees, whose principal habitation was about the
vicinity of Detroit River. They are entirely vanished into nothingness.
Not a single page of their history can be found on record in the
history of this country, or hardly an allusion to their existence. My
own race, once a very numerous, powerful and warlike tribe of Indians,
who proudly trod upon this soil, is also near the end of existence. In
a few more generations they will be so intermingled with the Caucasian
race as to be hardly distinguished as descended from the Indian
nations, and their language will be lost. I myself was brought up in a
pure Indian style, and lived in a wigwam, and have partaken of every
kind of the wild jubilees of my people, and was once considered one of
the best "Pipe" dancers of the tribe. But when nearly grown up, I was
invited by a traveling Protestant Missionary, whose name was Alvin Coe,
to go home with him to the State of Ohio, with the assurance that he
would give me a good education like the white man, and the idea struck
me that I could be really educated and be able to converse with the
white people. And although at that time (in the fall of 1840) I missed
the opportunity, the idea was never after off of my mind. So some time
afterwards I started out voluntarily to obtain an education; and I had
nearly succeeded in completing my professional studies when I called
away to come home and look after my aged father, in 1850. And now I
have four children, but not one of them can speak the Indian language.
And every one of the little Indian urchins who are now running about in
our town can speak to each other quite fluently in the English
language; but I am very sorry to add that they have also learned
profanity like the white children. For these reasons it seems desirable
that the history of my people should not be lost, like that of other
tribes who previously existed in this country, and who have left no
record of their ancient legends and their traditions.

Before proceeding to record the history of the Ottawas of the State of
Michigan, to whom I am immediately connected in their common interests
and their future destinies, I propose to rehearse in a summary manner
my nationality and family history. Our tradition says that long ago,
when the Ottawa tribes of Indians used to go on a warpath either
towards the south or towards the west, even as far as to the Rocky
Mountains, on one of these expeditions towards the Rocky Mountains my
remote ancestors were captured and brought to this country as prisoners
of war. But they were afterwards adopted as children of the Ottawas,
and intermarried with the nation in which they were captives.
Subsequently these captives' posterity became so famous among the
Ottawas on account of their exploits and bravery on the warpath and
being great hunters that they became closely connected with the royal
families, and were considered as the best counselors, best chieftains
and best warriors among the Ottawas. Thus I am not regularly descended
from the Ottawa nations of Indians, but I am descended, as tradition
says, from the tribe in the far west known as the Underground race of
people. They were so called on account of making their habitations in
the ground by making holes large enough for dwelling purposes. It is
related that they even made caves in the ground in which to keep their
horses every night to prevent them from being stolen by other tribes
who were their enemies. It is also related that they were quite an
intelligent class of people. By cultivating the soil they raised corn
and other vegetables to aid in sustaining life beside hunting and
fishing. They were entirely independent, having their own government
and language, and possessing their own national emblem which
distinguished them as distinct and separate from all other tribes. This
symbolical ensign of my ancestors was represented by a species of small
hawk, which the Ottawas called the "Pe-pe-gwen." So we were sometimes
called in this country in which we live the "Pe-pe-gwen tribe," instead
of the "Undergrounds." And it was customary among the Ottawas, that if
any one of our number, a descendant of the Undergrounds, should commit
any punishable crime, all the Pe-pe-gwen tribe or descendants of the
Undergrounds would be called together in a grand council and requested
to make restitution for the crime or to punish the guilty one,
according to the final decision of the council.

There were several great chieftains of the Undergrounds among the
Ottawas who were living within my time, and some are here mentioned who
were most known by the American people, particularly during the war
with Great Britain in 1812. Most of these chieftains were my own
uncles. One was called Late Wing, who took a very active part for the
cause of the United States in the war of 1812, and he was a great
friend to Governor Lewis Cass of Michigan. Wing was pensioned for life
for his good services to the United States. He was one of my father's
own brothers. Shaw-be-nee was an uncle of mine on my mother's side, who
also served bravely for the United States in the war of 1812. He
traveled free all over the United States during his lifetime. This
privilege was granted to him by the Government of the United States for
his patriotism and bravery. He died in the State of Illinois about
twenty years ago from this writing, and a monument was raised for him
by the people in that State. Wa-ke-zoo was another great chieftain who
died before my time in the country of Manitoba, out north. He was also
one of my father's brothers. It is related that he was also a prophet
and a great magician.

My own dear father was one of the head chiefs at Arbor Croche, now
called Middle Village or Good Heart, which latter name was given at my
suggestion by the Postoffice Department at Washington. My father died
in June, 1861. His Indian name was Macka-de-pe-nessy, [Footnote: This
name is written variously, the letters d, b, t, and p, being considered
identical in the Ottawa language.--Ed.] which means Black Hawk; but
somehow it has been mistranslated into Blackbird, so we now go by this
latter name. My father was a very brave man. He has led his warriors
several times on the warpath, and he was noted as one who was most
daring and adventurous in his younger days. He stayed about twenty
years in the country of Manitoba with his brother Wa-ke-zoo, among
other tribes of Indians and white fur-traders in that section of the
country. Many times he has grappled with and narrowly escaped from the
grizzly bear and treacherous buffalo which were then very numerous in
that portion of the country. This was about one hundred years ago. He
has seen there things that would be almost incredible at this present
age: liquor sold to the Indians measured with a woman's thimble, a
thimbleful for one dollar; one wooden coarse comb for two beaver skins;
a double handful of salt for one beaver skin--and so on in proportion
in everything else; the poor Indian had to give pile upon pile of
beaver skins, which might be worth two or three hundred dollars, for a
few yards of flimsy cloth. Englishmen and Frenchman who went there
expressly to traffic with the Indians, generally started from Quebec
and Montreal, leaving their families at home; but so soon as they
reached this wild country, they would take Indian wives. When they left
the country, they would leave their Indian wives and children there to
shift for themselves. Consequently there are in this region thousands
of half breeds, most beautiful men and beautiful women, but they are as
savage as the rest of the Indians. No white man there ever told these
poor Indians anything about Christianity, but only added unto them
their degradations and robbed them.

My father was once there left to perish on a lonely island by the fur
traders, not because he had done any crime, but simply from inhuman
cruelty and disregard of Indians by these white men. He was traveling
with these traders from place to place in a long bark canoe, which was
the only means of conveyance on the water in those days. It appears
that there were two parties, and two of these long bark canoes were
going in the same direction, one of which my father was paddling for
them. He was not hired, but simply had joined them in his travels. But
these two parties were thrown into a great quarrel about who should
have my father to paddle their canoe. Therefore they landed on this
little island expressly to fight amongst themselves; and after fighting
long and desperately, they left my poor father on this little island to
die, for they concluded that neither of them should take him into their
canoe. He was left to die! What must be the feelings of this poor
Indian, to whom life was as sweet as to any human creature? What
revenge should he take upon those traders? He had a gun, which he
leveled at them as they started off in their canoes. His fingers were
on the trigger, when suddenly a thought flashed across his mind--
"Perhaps the Great Spirit will be displeased." So he dropped his gun,
and raised a fervent prayer to the Almighty Ruler for deliverance from
this awful situation. After being several days on this little island,
when almost dying from starvation, fortunately deliverance came. He
spied a small canoe with two persons in it within hail. They came and
took him off from his dying situation. It was an Indian woman with her
little son who happened to travel in that direction who saved my
father's life.

From this time hence my father lost all confidence in white men,
whatever the position or profession of the white man might be, whether
a priest, preacher, lawyer, doctor, merchant, or common white man. He
told us to beware of them, as they all were after one great object,
namely, to grasp the world's wealth. And in order to obtain this, they
would lie, steal, rob, or murder, if it need be; therefore he
instructed us to beware how the white man would approach us with very
smooth tongue, while his heart is full of deceit and far from intending
to do us any good.

He left Manitoba country about 1800, or about the time when the
Shawanee prophet, "Waw-wo-yaw-ge-she-maw," who was one of Tecumseh's
own brothers, sent his emissaries to preach to the Ottawas and
Chippewas in the Lower and Upper Peninsulas of Michigan, who advised
the Ottawas and Chippewas to confess their sins and avow their wrongs
and go west, and there to worship the Great Spirit according to the old
style as their forefathers did, [Footnote: The worship of the Great
Spirit consisted mostly in songs and dancing accompanied with an Indian
drum, which has a very deep and solemn sound, alnot very large, about a
foot in diameter. I used to think that the sound of it must reach to
the heaven where the Great Spirit is.] and to abandon everything else
which the white man had introduced into the tribes of Indians, to
abandon even the mode of making fire, which was by flint and steel, and
to start their fires by friction between the two pieces of dry wood as
their forefathers made their fires before the white people came to this
country, and to eat no flesh of domestic animals, but to eat nothing
but wild game, and use their skins for their wearing apparel and robes
as the Great Spirit designed them to be when He created them. He taught
them that the Great Spirit was angry with them because they conformed
to the habits of the white man, and that if they did not believe and
practice the old habits, the Great Spirit would shake the earth as an
evidence that he tells them the truth. A great many Ottawas believed
and went far west accordingly. And it happened about this time the
earth did quake in Michigan; I think, if I am not mistaken, the earth
shook twice within a year, which is recorded in the annals of this
country. At the earthquake many Indians were frightened, and
consequently many more believed and went west; but nearly all of them
died out there because the climate did not agree with them. Saw-gaw-
kee--Growing-plant--was the head chief of the Ottawa nation of Indians
at that time, and was one of the believers who went with the parties
out west, and he also died there. [Footnote: This Chief Saw-gaw-kee was
Ne-saw-wa-quat's father, the last head chief of Little Traverse. Ne-
saw-wa-quat was the only child remaining alive of the whole family of
Saw-gaw-kee. Therefore the child was brought back to this country and
was the last head chief of Little Traverse, now Harbor Springs.] This
is the second time that the Ottawas were terribly reduced in numbers in
the country of Arbor Croche.


The Author's Father Appointed Speaker for the Ottawas and Chippewas--
The Only Ottawa Who was Friendly to Education--Making Alphabet--Acting
as School Teacher--Moving Disposition of the Ottawas--Mode of
Traveling--Tradition of William Blackbird Being Fed by Angelic Beings
in the Wilderness--His being Put into Mission School by His Father--
Studying to be a Priest--His Assassination in the City of Rome, Italy,
Almost the Day When He was to be Ordained--Memorial Poem--The Author's
Remarks on the Death of His Brother.

After my father's return to Arbor Croche, he became quite an orator,
and consequently he was appointed as the head speaker in the council of
the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. He continued to hold this office until
his frame was beginning to totter with age, his memory became
disconnected and inactive, and he therefore gave up his office to his
own messenger, whose name was Joseph As-saw-gon, who died during the
late rebellion in the United States while Hon. D. C. Leach, of Traverse
City, was the Michigan Indian Agent. As-saw-gon was indeed quite an
orator, considering his scanty opportunities. He had no education at
all, but was naturally gifted as an orator. He was quite logical and
allegorical in his manner of speaking. I have heard several white
people remark, who had listened to his speeches through the imperfect
interpreters, that he was as good a speaker as any orator who had been
thoroughly educated.

My father was the only man who was friendly to education. When I was a
little boy, I remember distinctly his making his own alphabet, which he
called "Paw-pa-pe-po." With this he learned how to read and write; and
afterwards he taught other Indians to read and write according to his
alphabet. He taught no children, but only the grown persons. Our
wigwam, which was about sixty or seventy feet long, where we lived in
the summer time, was like a regular school-house, with my father as
teacher of the school, and they had merry times in it. Many Indians
came there to learn his Paw-pa-pe-po, and some of them were very easy
to learn, while others found learning extremely difficult.

We were ten of us children in the family, six boys and four girls. I
was the youngest of all who were living at that time. The eldest boy
was one of the greatest hunters among the Ottawas. His name was Pung-o-
wish, named after our great-grandfather, but he was afterwards called
Peter by the Catholic missionaries when he was baptised into the
Catholic religion. One of my brothers who was five or six years younger
than my eldest brother was a remarkably interesting boy. His name was
Pe-taw-wan-e-quot, though he was afterwards called William. He was
quick to learn Paw-pa-pe-po, and very curious and interesting questions
he would often ask of his father, which would greatly puzzle the old
man to answer.

All the Indians of Arbor Croche used only to stay there during the
summer time, to plant their corn, potatoes, and other vegetables. As
soon as their crops were put away in the ground, [Footnote: The mode of
securing their corn was first to dry the ears by fire. When perfectly
dry, they would then beat them with a flail and pick all the cobs out.
The grain was then winnowed and put into sacks. These were put in the
ground in a large cylinder made out of elm bark, set in deep in the
ground and made very dry, filling this cylinder full and then covering
it to stay there for winter and summer use.] they would start all
together towards the south, going to different points, some going as
far as Chicago expressly to trap the muskrats, beavers, and many other
kinds of furs, and others to the St. Joe River, Black River, Grand
River, or Muskegon River, there to trap and hunt all winter, and make
sugar in the spring. After sugar making they would come back again to
Waw-gaw-naw-ke-zee, or Arbor Croche, to spend the summer and to raise
their crops again as before.

In navigating Lake Michigan they used long bark canoes in which they
carried their whole families and enough provisions to last them all
winter. These canoes were made very light, out of white birch bark, and
with a fair wind they could skip very lightly on the waters, going very
fast, and could stand a very heavy sea. In one day they could sail
quite a long distance along the coast of Lake Michigan. When night
overtook them they would land and make wigwams with light poles of
cedar which they always carried in their canoes. These wigwams were
covered with mats made for that purpose out of prepared marsh reeds or
flags sewed together, which made very good shelter from rain and wind,
and were very warm after making fires inside of them. They had another
kind of mat to spread on the ground to sit and sleep on. These mats are
quite beautifully made out of different colors, and closely woven, of
well prepared bull-rushes. [Footnote: To prepare these bull-rushes for
mats, they are cut when very green, and then they go through the
process of steaming, after bleaching by the sun; they are colored
before they are woven. They are generally made about six or eight feet
long and about four feet wide.] After breakfast in the morning they are
off again in the big canoes.

My father's favorite winter quarters were somewhere above Big Rapids on
Muskegon River. He hunted and trapped there all winter and made sugar.
A very mysterious event happened to my brother William while my folks
were making sugar there. One beautiful morning after the snow had
entirely disappeared in the woods, my brother William, then at the age
of about eight or nine years, was shooting around with his little bow
and arrows among the sugar trees, but that day he never came home. At
sundown, our parents were beginning to feel very uneasy about their
little boy, and yet they thought he must have gone to some neighboring
sugar bush, as there were quite a number of families also making sugar
in the vicinity. Early in the morning, my father went to all the
neighboring sugar camps, but William was nowhere to be found. So at
once a search was instituted. Men and boys were out in search for the
boy, calling and shooting their guns far and near, but not a trace of
him anywhere could be found. Our parents were almost distracted with
anxiety and fear about their boy, and they continued the search three
days in vain. On the fourth day, one of our cousins, whose name was
Oge-maw-we-ne-ne, came to a very deep gully between two hills. He went
up to the top of the highest hill in order to be heard a long distance.
When he reached the top, he began to halloo as loud as he could,
calling the child by name, Pe-taw-on-e-quot. At the end of his shouting
he thought he heard some one responding to his call, "Wau?" This word
is one of the interrogatives in the Indian language, and is equivalent
to "what" in the English language. He listened a few minutes, and again
he called as before, and again heard distinctly the same response,
"Wau?" It came from above, right over his head, and as he looked
upwards he saw the boy, almost at the top of a tree, standing on a
small limb in a very dangerous situation. He said, "Hello, what are you
doing up there? Can't you come down?" "Yes, I can," was the answer; "I
came up here to find out where I am, and which way is our sugar camp."
"Come down, then; I will show you which way is your home." After he
came down from the tree, our cousin offered him food, but the child
would not touch a morsel, saying that, he was not hungry as he had
eaten only a little while ago. "Ah, you have been fed then. Who fed
you? We have been looking for you now over three days." The boy
replied, "I had every thing that I wanted to eat in the great festival
of the Wa-me-te-go-zhe-wog." which is "the white people." "Where are
they now?" asked our cousin. "That is just what I would like to know,
too," said the boy; "I had just come out of their nice house between
the two hills, and as I looked back after I came out of their door I
saw no more of their house, and heard no more of them nor their music."
Our cousin again questioned the boy, "How did you come to find these
Wa-me-te-go-zhe-wog here?" And little William replied, "Those Wa-me-te-
go-zhe-wog came to our sugar camp and invited me to go with them, but I
thought it was very close by. I thought we walked only just a few steps
to come to their door." Our cousin believed it was some supernatural
event and hastened to take the boy to his anxious parents. Again and
again little William told the same story when interrogated by any
person, and it is firmly believed by all our family and friends that he
was cherished and fed three days in succession by angelic beings.

When he was about twelve or thirteen years of age the Protestant
Mission School started at Mackinac Island, and my father thought best
to put him to that school. After being there less than a year, he was
going around with his teachers, acting as interpreter among the Indian
camps at the Island of Mackinac. I was perfectly astonished to see how
quick he had acquired the English language. After the mission broke up
at the island, about the time the Catholic mission was established at
Little Traverse, William came home and stayed with us for about two
years, when he was again taken by Bishop Reese with his little sister,
a very lovely girl, whom the white people call Auntie Margaret, or
Queen of the Ottawas. They were taken down to Cincinnati, Ohio, where
they were put into higher schools, and there my brother attained the
highest degree of education, or graduation as it is called.

From thence he was taken across the ocean to the city of Rome, Italy,
to study for the priesthood, leaving his little sister in Cincinnati.
It is related that he was a very eloquent and powerful orator, and was
considered a very promising man by the people of the city of Rome, and
received great attention from the noble families, on account of his
wisdom and talent and his being a native American; and yet he had a
much lighter complexion than his cousin Aug Hamlin, who was also taken
over there and represented as half French.

While he was at Rome, the proposition arose in this country to buy out
the Michigan Indians by the Government of the United States, and he
wrote to his people at Arbor Croche and to Little Traverse on this very
subject, advising them not to sell out nor make any contract with the
United States Government, but to hold on until he could return to
America, when he would endeavor to aid them in making out the contract
or treaty with the United States. Never to give up, not even if they
should be threatened with annihilation or to be driven away at the
point of the bayonet from their native soil. I wish I could produce
some of this correspondence, but only one letter from him can now be
found, which is here given:

                               ROME, April 17, 1833

It is a long time since I wrote you a few lines. I would write oftener
if the time would permit, but I have very few leisure moments. However,
as we have a holiday to-day, I determine to write a line or two. I have
to attend to my studies from morning till sunset. I thank you very much
for your kind letter which I received some time ago by politeness of
Rev. Mr. Seajean. My dearest sister, you may have felt lost after I
left you; you must consider who loves you with all the affection of
parents. What can we return to those who have done us much good, but
humble prayers for them that the Almighty may reward them for the
benefit they have done in this poor mortal world. I was very happy when
informed by Father Mullen that you had received six premiums at the
examination; nothing else would more impress my heart than to hear of
the success of your scholastic studies. I entreat you, dearest sister,
to learn what is good and to despise the evil, and offer your prayers
to the Almighty God and rely on Him alone, and by His blessing you may
continue to improve your time well. You can have no idea how the people
here are devoted to the Virgin Mary. At every corner of the streets
there is the image of her, and some of these have lights burning day
and night. I think of you very often: perhaps I shall never have the
pleasure of seeing you again. I have been unwell ever since I came to
this country. However, I am yet able to attend my school and studies. I
hope I will not be worse, so that I may be unable to follow my

There are really fine things to be seen in Rome. On the feast of SS.
Sebastian and Fabian we visited the Catacombs, two or three miles out
of the city, where is a church dedicated to those saints, which I have
already mentioned in previous letters. Perhaps our countrymen would not
believe that there was such a place as that place which I saw myself
with my own naked eyes. We entered in with lights and saw the scene
before us. As soon as we entered we saw coffins on the top of each
other, in one of which we saw some of the remains. The cave runs in
every direction, sometimes is ascended by steps, and sometimes runs
deeper, and one would be very easily lost in it. There are some large
places and a chapel; I am told by the students that the chapel is where
Pope Gregory was accustomed to say mass. I assure you it would excite
any human heart to behold the place where the ancient Christians were
concealed under the earth from the persecution of the anti-christians.
Indeed they were concealed by the power of God. They sought Jesus and
Him alone they loved.

It is the custom of the College of the Propaganda, on the feast of
Epiphany each year, that the students should deliver a discourse in
their own respective languages. This year there were thirty-one
different languages delivered by the students, so you may judge what
kind of a college this is. At present it is quite full; there are
ninety-three, of which thirteen are from the United States.

On Easter Sunday the Holy Father celebrated mass in the church of St.
Peter. It is very seldom that his holiness is seen personally
celebrating mass in public except on great festivals. The church was
crowded with spectators, both citizens of Rome and foreigners. On the
front part of the church there was an elevated place beautifully
ornamented. After the solemn ceremonies the Holy Father went up and
gave his paternal benediction to the people. There is a large square
before St. Peter's, and it was crowded so that it was impossible to
kneel down to receive the benediction.

This week we are quite merry; we seem to employ our minds on the
merriment which is always displayed amongst us on such occasions. Our
secretary is now Cardinal, and to-morrow he will be crowned with the
dignity of the Cardinal. Our college has been illuminated these two
evenings. The congregational halls of the Propaganda were opened on
this occasion. The new Cardinal then received all the compliments of
the Cardinals, Bishops, Prelates, Ambassadors, Princes, and other
distinguished dignities. There are two large beautiful rooms, in one of
which the new Cardinal was seated and received all those who came to
pay him compliments. The visitors all came through the same passage,
and there was a man posted in each room who received them and cried out
to others that such man was coming, and so on through all those that
were placed for the purpose, and one called the Cardinal gentleman
introduced them to the new Cardinal. If there were such a thing in
America it would be quite a novelty.

It is time for me to close, and I hope you will write me sometimes. My
respects to the Sisters and Father Mullen. Farewell, dear sister; pray
for your Superior and for me.

  I remain your most affectionate brother,
                               WILLIAM MACCATEBINESSI.

After his death, some one at Cincinnati wrote the following, to be
repeated before a large audience in that city by his little sister
Margaret, who was there at school. The poetry was impressively recited
and listened to by many people with wet eyes. This gifted child of
nature died June 25, 1833.

The morning breaks; see how the glorious sun,
Slow wheeling from the east, new lustre sheds
O'er the soft clime of Italy. The flower
That kept its perfume in the dewy night,
Now breathes it forth again. Hill, vale and grove,
Clad in rich verdure, bloom, and from the rocks
The joyous waters leap. O! meet it is
That thou, imperial Rome, should lift thy head,
Decked with the triple crown, where cloudless skies
And lands rejoicing in the summer sun,
Rich blessings yield.

But there is grief to-day.
A voice is heard within thy marble walls,
A voice lamenting for the youthful dead;
For o'er the relics of her forest boy
The mother of dead Empires weeps. And lo!
Clad in white robes the long procession moves;
Youths throng around the bier, and high in front,
Star of our hope, the glorious cross is reared,
Triumphant sign. The low, sweet voice of prayer,
Flowing spontaneous from the spirit's depths,
Pours its rich tones; and now the requiem swells,
Now dies upon the ear.

But there is one [Footnote: His cousin Hamlin.]
Who stands beside my brother's grave, and tho' no tear
Dims his dark eye, yet does his spirit weep.
With beating heart he gazes on the spot
Where his young comrade shall forever rest.
For they together left their forest home,
Led by Father Reese, who to their fathers preached
Glad tiding of great joy; the holy man my brother,
Who sleeps beneath the soil the Father Reese's labors blessed.
How must the spirit mourn, the bosom heave,
Of that lone Indian boy! No tongue can speak
The accents of his tribe, and as he bends
In melancholy mood above the dead,
Imagination clothes his tearful thoughts
In rude but plaintive cadences.

  Soft be my brother's sleep!
At nature's call the cypress here shall wave,
  The wailing winds lament above the grave,
The dewy night shall weep.

  And he thou leavest forlorn,
Oh, he shall come to shade my brother's grave with moss,
  To plant what thou didst love--the mystic cross,
To hope, to pray, to mourn.

  No marble here shall rise;
But o'er thy grave he'll teach the forest tree
  To lift its glorious head and point to thee,
Rejoicing in the skies.

  And when it feels the breeze,
I'll think thy spirit wakes that gentle sound
  Such as our fathers thought when all around
Shook the old forest leaves.

  Dost thou forget the hour, my brother,
When first we heard the Christian's hope revealed,
  When fearless warriors felt their bosoms yield
Beneath Almighty power?

  Then truths came o'er us fast,
Whilst on the mound the missionary stood
  And thro' the list'ning silence of the wood
His words like spirits passed.

  And oh, hadst thou been spared,
We two had gone to bless our fathers' land,
  To spread rich stores around, and hand in hand
Each holy labor shared.

  But here the relics of my brother lie,
Where nature's flowers shall bloom o'er nature's child,
  Where ruins stretch, and classic art has piled
Her monuments on high.

  Sleep on, my brother, sleep peaceful here
The traveler from thy land will claim this spot,
  And give to thee what kingly tombs have not--
The tribute of a tear with me, my brother.

He died almost the very day when he was to be ordained a priest. He
received a long visit from his cousin Hamlin that evening, and they sat
late in the night, talking on various subjects, and particularly on
American matters and his ordination. My brother was perfectly well and
robust at that time, and full of lively spirits. He told his cousin
that night, that if he ever set his foot again on American soil, his
people, the Ottawas and Chippewas of Michigan, should always remain
where they were. The United States would never be able to compel them
to go west of the Mississippi, for he knew the way to prevent them from
being driven off from their native land. He also told his cousin that
as soon as he was ordained and relieved from Rome, he would at once
start for America, and go right straight to Washington to see the
President of the United States, in order to hold conference with him on
the subject of his people and their lands. There was a great
preparation for the occasion of his ordination. A great ceremony was to
be in St. Peter's Church, because a native American Indian, son of the
chief of the Ottawa tribe of Indians, a prince of the forests of
Michigan, was to be ordained a priest, which had never before happened
since the discovery of the Aborigines in America. In the morning, at
the breakfast table, my brother William did not appear, and every one
was surprised not to see him at the table. After breakfast, a messenger
was sent to his room. He soon returned with the shocking news that he
was dead. Then the authorities of the college arose and rushed to the
scene, and there they found him on the floor, lying in his own blood.
When Hamlin, his cousin heard of it, he too rushed to the room; and
after his cousin's body was taken out, wrapped up in a cloth, he went
in, and saw at once enough to tell him that it was the work of the

When the news reached to Little Traverse, now Harbor Springs, all the
country of Arbor Croche was enveloped in deep mourning, and a great
lamentation took place among the Ottawas and Chippewas in this country
with the expression, "All our hope is gone." Many people came to our
dwelling to learn full particulars of my brother's death, and to
console and mourn with his father in his great bereavement.

No motive for the assassination has ever been developed, and it remains
to this day a mystery. It was related that there was no known enemy in
the institution previous to his death; but he was much thought of and
beloved by every one in the college. It was an honor to be with him and
to converse with him, as it is related that his conversation was always
most noble and instructive. It was even considered a great honor to sit
by him at the tables; as it is related that the students of the college
used to have a strife amongst themselves who should be the first to sit
by him. There were several American students at Rome at that time, and
it was claimed by the Italians that my brother's death came through
some of the American students from a secret plot originating in this
country to remove this Indian youth who had attained the highest
pinnacle of science and who had become their equal in wisdom, and in
all the important questions of the day, both in temporal and spiritual
matters. He was slain, it has been said, because it was found out that
he was counseling his people on the subject of their lands and their
treaties with the Government of the United States. His death deprived
the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of a wise counselor and adviser, one of
their own native countrymen; but it seems that it would be impossible
for the American people in this Christian land to make such a wicked
conspiracy against this poor son of the forest who had become as wise
as any of them and a great statesman for his country. Yet it might be
possible, for we have learned that we cannot always trust the American
people as to their integrity and stability in well doing with us.

It is said the stains of my brother's blood can be seen to this day in
Rome, as the room has been kept as a memorial, and is shown to
travelers from this country. His statue in full size can also be seen
there, which is said to be a perfect image of him. His trunk containing
his books and clothing was sent from Rome to this country, and it came
all right until it reached Detroit. There it was lost, or exchanged for
another, which was sent to Little Traverse. It was sent back with a
request to forward the right one, but that was the end of it, and no
explanation was ever received.

Soon after the death of my brother William, my sister Margaret left
Cincinnati, Ohio, and came to Detroit, Mich., where she was employed as
teacher of the orphan children at a Catholic institution. She left
Detroit about 1835, and came to Little Traverse, where she at once
began lo teach the Indian children for the Catholic mission. She has
ever since been very useful to her people, but is now a decrepit old
lady and sometimes goes by the name of Aunty Margaret, or Queen of the
Ottawas. She is constantly employed in making Indian curiosities--
wearing out her fingers and eyes to make her living and keep her home.
Like many others of her race, she has been made the victim of fraud and
extortion. Some years ago a white man came to the Indian country and
committed many crimes, for some of which he is now in prison. Soon
after he came here, this wicked man pretended he was gored by an ox--
although there were no marks of violence--which he claimed belonged to
Mr. Boyd, Aunty Margaret's husband, and he therefore sued Mr. Boyd for
damages for several hundred dollars; and although the ox which he
claimed had injured him did not belong to Mr. Boyd, and there was no
eye witness in the case, yet he obtained judgment for damages against
him, and a mortgage had to be given on the land which the Government
had given her. The Indian's oath and evidence are not regarded in this
country, and he stands a very poor chance before the law. Although they
are citizens of the State, they are continually being taken advantage
of by the attorneys of the land; they are continually being robbed and
cheated out of their property, and they can obtain no protection nor
redress whatever.

Before Mr. Hamlin, my cousin, left Italy, he was asked by the
authorities if William had any younger brother in America of a fit age
to attend school. He told the authorities that the deceased had one
brother just the right age to begin school--that was myself. Then there
was an order for me to be sent to Rome to take the place of my brother;
but when my father heard of it, he said, "No; they have killed one of
my sons after they have educated him, and they will kill another."
Hamlin came home soon after my brother's death, and some time after the
Treaty of 1836 he was appointed U.S. Interpreter and continued to hold
this office until 1861, at which time I succeeded him.


Account of the Indians' Roving Disposition, Their Feasts and Their
Customs--Saluting Arbor Croche Every Spring of the Year--How the
Catholic Religion was Introduced Among the Ottawas--The Missions--
Signing of the Treaty, March 8, 1836.

I will again return to my narrative respecting how the Ottawas used to
live and travel to and fro in the State of Michigan, and how they came
to join the Catholic religion at Arbor Croche. Early in the spring we
used to come down this beautiful stream of water (Muskegon River) in
our long bark canoes, loaded with sugar, furs, deer skins, prepared
venison for summer use, bear's oil, and bear meat prepared in oil, deer
tallow, and sometimes a lot of honey, etc. On reaching the mouth of
this river we halted for five or six days, when all the other Indians
gathered, as was customary, expressly to feast for the dead. All the
Indians and children used to go around among the camps and salute one
another with the words, "Ne-baw-baw-tche-baw-yew," that is to say, "I
am or we are going around as spirits," feasting and throwing food into
the fire--as they believe the spirits of the dead take the victuals and
eat as they are consumed in the fire.

After the feast of the dead, we would all start for Arbor Croche, our
summer resort, to plant our corn and other vegetables. At the crossing
of Little Traverse Bay at the point called "Ki-tche-ossening," that is
to say, "on the big rock," all the Indians waited until all the canoes
arrived, after which they would all start together in crossing the bay.
When about half way across they would begin to salute Arbor Croche by
shooting with guns, holding them close to the water in order that the
sound might reach to each side of the bay, to be heard by those few who
always made their winter quarters around Little Traverse Bay. Arriving
at Arbor Croche, where our big wigwam would be waiting for us--of which
I have spoken in previous chapters--the very first thing my parents
would do would be to go and examine their stores of corn and beans.
After all the Indians arrived and had settled down, they would again
have a prolonged merriment and another feasting of the dead and peace
offerings. Grand medicine dances, fire dances, and many other jubilant
performances my people would have before they would go to work again to
plant their corn. I distinctly remember the time, and I have seen my
brothers and myself dancing around the fires in our great wigwam, which
had two fireplaces inside of it.

About in 1824, there was an Indian came from Montreal whose name was
Andowish, and who formerly belonged to Arbor Croche. He was among the
Stockbridge Indians somewhere near Montreal, and this tribe speak a
dialect of the Ottawa and Chippewa languages, and most of them by this
time had joined the Catholic church. So Andowish, by their influence,
also joined the Catholic religion out there with the Stockbridge
Indians. Coming back to Arbor Croche, where he formerly belonged, he
began to teach some of his own relatives the faith of the Catholic
religion, which some of them were very ready to receive, but he could
not baptize them. Therefore, parties of Indians went to Mackinac
Island, headed by the principal chief of the Seven Mile Point band of
Indians, whose name was A-paw-kau-se-gun, to see some of their half-
breed relations at the island, relating to them how they felt with
regard to Christianity, and asking advice as to what they should do in
the matter. These half-breed relatives promised they would do all they
could to cause the priest to come up to Arbor Croche and baptize all
those Indians who felt disposed to receive the religion. Therefore in
1825 Rev. Father Baden, an old priest, came up with his interpreters
and landed at Seven Mile Point, and baptized quite a number of grown
folks, and a great many children were taken into the Catholic religion.
At this time, I was also baptized by Rev. Father Baden; I was small,
but I distinctly remember having the water poured over my head and
putting some salt in my mouth, and changing my name from Pe-ness-wi-
qua-am to Amable. The mission was then established at Seven Mile Point,
where a church was built with poles and covered with cedar bark. This
was the very way that the first religion was introduced among the
Ottawas, although everybody supposes that some white people or
missionary societies brought the Christian religion among the Ottawa
tribes of Indians at Arbor Croche.

My uncle, Au-se-go-nock, had before this joined the Catholic religion.
He was living at that time at Drummond's Island with the British
people, where all the Ottawas and Chippewas used to go every summer to
receive presents from the British Government. And when he learned that
his people had joined the Catholic faith, he left his home at
Drummond's Island and came to Arbor Croche expressly to act as
missionary in the absence of the priest. Every Sunday he preached to
his people and taught them how to pray to God and to the Virgin Mary
and all the saints and angels in heaven. At that time printed books
containing prayers and hymns in the Stockbridge Indian language, which
is a dialect of the Ottawa and Chippewa languages, were brought from
Montreal, and could be quite intelligently understood by the Ottawas.
By this time many Indians began to be stationary; they did not go
south, as heretofore, but remained and made their winter quarters at
Arbor Croche.

About 1827, after several councils, it was determined to remove the
Mission from Seven Mile Point to Little Traverse, and a French priest
whose name was Dejan arrived expressly to remain there and carry on the
new mission established at Little Traverse. A log church was built at
the new mission, which stood very near where the present church is now
standing, and a log school house was built just where the Star Hotel
now stands, and also a log house for the priest to live in, which is
standing to this day nearest the church, but it has been covered with
siding boards since. In the fall of 1827, my father left his subjects
at Arbor Croche proper, now Middle Village, in charge of his brother,
Kaw-me-no-te-a, which means Good-heart, as he was persuaded by other
chiefs to come and establish himself where the mission was and send his
children to school. There were only three Indian log houses at that
time in Little Traverse, one belonging to my uncle, Au-se-ge-nock, one
for Joseph Au-saw-gon, my father's messenger, and another to Peter Sho-
min. But we and all other Indians lived in wigwams, and all the Indians
were dressed in Indian style. Rev. Mr. Dejan brought with him one
Frenchman from Detroit named Joseph Letorenue as school teacher, and
two girls from Mackinac Island as domestic servants, and an old nun,
whose real name I never learned, and knew only as "Sister." She was
exceedingly kind to Indian children and we all liked her very much. The
log school house was used as a dwelling as well as a school house, as
all the boys and girls who attended school were kept there continually,
same as boarding school. The larger boys and girls were taught
household duties and to cook for the scholars. The children were kept
quite clean. The French teacher took very great pains to teach them
good manners, and they were taught no other but the French language. In
the spring of the year each family of Indians contributed one large
mocok [Footnote: A kind of box made of birch bark.] of sugar which
weighed from eighty to one hundred pounds, which Priest Dejan would
empty into barrels, and then go down to Detroit with it to buy dry
goods, returning with cloth with which to clothe his Indian children.
Rev. Mr. Dejan did not say mass on week days, only on Sundays. He
visited the Indians a good deal during the week days, purposely to
instruct them in the manners and customs of the white man, ordering
things generally how to be done, and how the women should do towards
their domestic callings, not to work out of doors, and to take good
care of what belonged to their household. Mr. Dejan was a great friend
of Col. Boyd, Indian Agent at Mackinac, and in the second year of the
school, Mr. Boyd's two sons, James and George, wintered with the priest
at the mission, and were very great friends to the Indians.

In two years schooling the children progressed very much, both in
reading the French language, and in learning the manners and customs of
the white man. But, alas, this was carried on only two years. There was
some trouble between Rev. Mr. Dejan and Bishop Reese of Detroit,
consequently Mr. Dejan was removed from the mission, and Rev. Mr.
Baraga was put in instead in the year 1830. He promised to do the same
as his predecessor in regard to carrying on the Indian school at Little
Traverse; but he did not. He did not give as good care to the children
as his predecessor, and he did not teach them anything but Indian and
the catechism. He, however, made and published a prayer book in the
Ottawa language and a short Bible History. Before two years the
boarding school was out of existence at Little Traverse, and Mr. Baraga
went away to Lake Superior, where some time afterwards he was made
Bishop. After he was in the Lake Superior country he published some
more books, such as Odjebwe dictionary and Odjebwe grammar, which were
very hard to understand to one unacquainted with the Indian language,
and he also made a new catechism. Father Simon succeeded Mr. Baraga,
and did about the same thing with regard to educating the Indian
youths, as did also Father Pierce after Simon, and many others from
time to time up to this day.

The Indians were very strict in their religion at this time. They did
not allow any drunkenness in their village, nor allow any one to bring
intoxicating liquors within the Harbor. If any person, white or Indian,
brought any liquor into the Harbor, by the barrel or in small
quantities, and it came to the knowledge of the old chief, Au-paw-ko-
si-gan, who was the war chief, but was acting as principal chief at
Little Traverse, he would call out his men to go and search for the
liquor, and if found he would order him men to spill the whisky on the
ground by knocking the head of a barrel with an ax, telling them not to
bring any more whisky into the Harbor, or wherever the Ottawas are,
along the coast of Arbor Croche. This was the end of it, there being no
law suit for the whisky.

They used to observe many holidays, particularly Christmas, New Years
and Corpus Christi. At the New Year's eve, every one of the Indians
used to go around visiting the principal men of the tribe, shooting
their guns close to their doors after screaming three times, "Happy New
Year," then bang, bang, altogether, blowing their tin horns and beating
their drums, etc. Early on the New Year's morning, they would go around
among their neighbors expressly to shake hands one with another, with
the words of salutation, "Bozhoo," children and all. This practice was
kept up for a long time, or until the white people came and
intermingled with the tribes.

I thought my people were very happy in those days, when they were all
by themselves and possessed a wide spread of land, and no one to
quarrel with them as to where they should make their gardens, or take
timber, or make sugar. And fishes of all kinds were so plentiful in the
Harbor. A hook anywheres in the bay, and at any time of the year, would
catch Mackinaw trout, many as one would want. And if a net were set
anywheres in the harbor on shallow water, in the morning it would be
loaded with fishes of all kinds. Truly this was a beautiful location
for the mission. Every big council of the Indians was transacted in the
village of Little Traverse.

I will mention one or two more things which it might be interesting to
my readers to know. Up to 1835 and some time afterwards, there was a
very large double cedar tree, which appeared to have been stuck
together while they were growing, but were two separate trees of the
same size and height growing very close together, standing very near
the edge of the water, and leaning very much towards the bay, almost
like a staircase projecting far out into the bay. Under the roots of
these trees issued a perpetual spring of water, which is now called Mr.
Carlow's Spring, near the present depot. In the fall of 1835, I was
clear at the top of those trees, with my little chums, watching our
people as they were about going off in a long bark canoe, and, as we
understood, they were going to Washington to see the Great Father, the
President of the United States, to tell him to have mercy on the Ottawa
and Chippewa Indians in Michigan, not to take all the land away from
them. I saw some of our old Indian women weeping as they watched our
principal men going off in the canoe. I suppose they were feeling bad
on account of not knowing their future destinies respecting their
possession of the land. After they all got in the canoe, just as they
were going to start, they all took off their hats, crossed themselves
and repeated the Lord's prayer; at the end of the prayer, they crossed
themselves again, and then away they went towards the Harbor Point. We
watched them until they disappeared in rounding the point.

March 28th, 1836, a treaty was signed at Washington, not with the free
will of the Indians, but by compulsion. That same year we received the
first annuity at Mackinac Island, our trading post, $10 cash per head,
beside dry goods and provisions. There was a stipulation expressed in
the 7th clause of the 4th article of said treaty, that there was to be
given to the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan $150,000 worth of
dry goods until all was paid out. There is said to have been paid out
on the first payment in 1836, about $10,000, which would then leave a
balance of $140,000. At this time the Ottawas and Chippewas held a big
council and concluded to ask the Government for cash instead of dry
goods; because they saw that there was a great deal of waste in
distributing the goods among them, as there were lots of remnants, and
much of it left after distribution which they never knew what became
of. Therefore their belief respecting it was that the Government
officials had appropriated to themselves some of these dry goods and
given away freely to their white friends and relatives. After
conclusion of the council, they came before the Indian agent, Hon. H.
Schoolcraft, and presented their views and their request in this
matter. He told them that he could not give them any conclusive reply
upon this subject, but that he would make known their wishes to their
Great Father at Washington, and would inform them thereafter. That was
the last of it. In the next payment there were neither goods nor money
instead, as they requested, and no reply ever came to this day. It was
also stipulated that at the expiration of twenty-one years, $20,000 was
to be given to the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, that is, one year after
the expiration of the payment of their annuities. And where are those
lawful promises gone to now? Alas! when we inquire of them to the head
department they refer us to the third article of the Treaty of 1855,
where it is worded, "That the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians hereby
release and discharge the United States from all liability on account
of former treaty stipulations, either land or money," etc. But this
part of the stipulation was never explained to them at the Council of
Detroit, as they would never have consented to it, and would not have
signed the contract. We did not know anything about it, but some time
after we saw it with our own eyes, printed in the pamphlet form of the
contract, where our names had been already subscribed to it. Then it
was too late to make any remedy in the matter.


More Personal History--Suffering and Trials in Early Life--Missing the
Opportunity to Go to School--Learning Trade as a Blacksmith--A New
Start to Seek for Education--Arriving at Cleveland, O., to Find His Old
Friend, Rev. Alvin Coe--Visit with Rev. Samuel Bissell, of Twinsburg,
O., Principal of the Twinsburg Institute--Attending School--Returning
Home--Advocating Citizenship for His People--Delegated to Detroit and
to the State Legislature--His Pleasant Visit with State Authorities--
Again Delegated as Councilor to the New Treaty, 1855.

The first winter we lived at Little Traverse as a permanent home was in
the year 1828, and in the following spring my own dear mother died very
suddenly, as she was burned while they were making sugar in the woods.
She was burned so badly that she only lived four days after. I was
small, but I was old enough to know and mourn for my dear mother. I
felt as though I had lost everything dear to me and every friend; there
was no one that I could place such confidence in, not even my own
father. So my father's household was broken up: we were pretty well
scattered after that. He could not very well keep us together; being
the least one in the family, I became a perfect wild rover. At last I
left Little Traverse when about 13 or 14 years age. I went to Green
Bay, Wis., with the expectation of living with an older sister who had
married a Scotchman named Gibson and had gone there to make a home
somewhere in Green Bay. I found them, but I did not stay with them
long. I left them and went to live with a farmer close by whose name
was Sylvester. From this place I was persuaded by another man to go
with him on the fishing ground, to a place called Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
From there I sailed with Mr. Robert Campbell. Mr. Campbell was a good
man and Christian. His father had a nice farm at Bay Settlement, near
Green Bay, Wis., where also my sister settled down. I sailed with him
one summer. We came to Mackinac Island in the fall of 1840, and there I
met my father and all my relations, and great many Indians as they were
about receiving their annual payment from the Government. So I left the
vessel and hired out in the store to act as clerk during the payment

After all the Indians had gone away from the island, I was still
working in the store and thought to make my winter quarters there, but
did not. One day I met my father's old friend, the Rev. Mr. Alvin Coe,
the traveling missionary of whom I have already spoken as having asked
me to go with him to the State of Ohio where I might have an
opportunity to go to school and be educated like the white man. I told
him I will go with him, provided he will take an interest to watch over
me, that no one would abuse me out there after getting into the strange
country. He faithfully promised that he would do all this, and would
also do all he could to help me along to obtain my education. He said
he was going that night and I must be on hand when the boat arrived;
but I failed to tell him my stopping place. So when the boat arrived I
was too sound asleep to hear it. Poor old man! I was told that he felt
disappointed to have to go with, out me. As I woke in the morning I
inquired if any boat had arrived during the night. I was told there
was. I was also told there was an old man who seemed to be very
anxious, and was looking for me all over the crowd on the dock, but he
could not find me there. When the boat was pushing out he jumped on
board and then turned to the crowd, saying, "Tell my little boy,
Jackson, son of the old chief Macka-de-be-nessy, of Arbor Croche, that
I have gone on this boat."

Thus I was left, and missed the opportunity when I might have been
educated while I was yet much younger. A few days afterwards, as I
walked out from the store one evening, I met two young men in the
street, one of whom I frequently saw during the payment time, but the
other was entirely a stranger to me. He was a most noble-looking and
tall young man, but, behold, he spoke perfectly and freely the Indian
language, saying to me, "My boy, would you be willing to take us to
that vessel out there?" at the same time pointing to a vessel which was
already outside of the harbor, sails up, but in a perfectly dead calm,
as there was not a breath of wind. I told them I would, provided I
could get the boat to get there; in which he replied that they will do
all that part of the business, but they wanted some one to bring the
boat back. As I was walking with another mate of mine, I ask him to go
with me to take these folks on board. The next thing we were on the way
towards the vessel. As we went along this noble young man said to me,
"My boy, would you like to come with us to Grand Traverse?" I replied,
"I would like to see Grand Traverse, but am not prepared to go just
now." "Would you not like to learn the blacksmith trade? This man is a
government blacksmith in Grand Traverse," referring to his companion,
"and he needs an assistant in the business. We will give you position
as an assistant and a salary of $240 yearly, or $20 per month." I
replied, "I will go, for I would be very glad to find a chance to learn
a trade and at the same time to get my living." Therefore I also got on
board, and my friend had to come back alone with the boat we borrowed.
This was the same vessel that I had sailed on that season. We arrived
at the place now called "The Old Mission," where there was a nice
harbor. [Footnote: The Mission was already established by this time,
1840, conducted by the Presbyterian Board of missions. Rev. P.
Dougherty, who was indeed a true Christian, and good to Indians, was a
preacher for the Mission. Daniel Rod, the half-breed from St. Clair
River, Mich., was his interpreter. Mr. Bradley acted as teacher, who
afterwards proved himself unworthy for the position, which produced a
bad effect among the Indians. The Mission is now out of existence.]
This young man, whose name I now learned was John M. Johnstone, of
Sault Ste. Marie, the brother-in-law of Henry Schoolcraft, our Indian
agent, said when we arrived, "You have no commission yet to work in the
shop; you will therefore have to go back to Mackinac with this letter
which you will take to Indian agent yourself and nobody else. Then come
back at the first opportunity if he tells you to come."

So I had to return to Mackinac on the same vessel with which we went
away. At Mackinac I received my commission without any trouble. On
arriving at Grand Traverse the Indians were having a big council which
was concocted, I was told, by the brother of my benefactor, who was
trading there among the Indians. They were getting up remonstrances and
petitioning the Government against my appointment, setting forth as
reason of their complaint that I did not belong to that tribe of
Indians, and was therefore not entitled to the position, and they would
rather have one of their own boys belonging to the tribe put to this
trade. But my friend Johnstone told me "not to mind anything, but go
about my business. The blacksmith shop had been established here for
more than two years, and they should have thought of putting their boy
in the shop long before this." So accordingly I continued working and
minding my own business for five years, when I quit of my own accord.
There were no white people there at that time, only such as were
employed by the Government, and the missionaries and teachers, and the
Indians were very happy in those days.

I have told my readers in the previous chapters of this little book,
that from the time I was invited by our most estimable friend, Rev.
Alvin Coe, to go with him to the State of Ohio in order to receive an
education, "that it was never blotted out of my mind," and therefore
the very day I quit the blacksmith shop at Grand Traverse, I turned my
face toward the State of Ohio, for that object alone. I came to Little
Traverse to bid a good-by to my father and relations late in October,
1845. I did not even stay half a day at Little Traverse. I started for
Arbor Croche the same day I bid the last farewell to my folks, in order
to obtain an opportunity there to get to Mackinac Island, from which I
intended to take my passage for Cleveland. Arriving at Arbor Croche,
which is fourteen miles from Little Traverse, I met an orphan boy, Paul
Naw-o-ga-de by name, a distant relative, and proposed to pay his
passage to Cleveland. The brother of this little boy had a boat of his
own, and offered to take us to Mackinac Island, and I was vary glad of
the opportunity. So the next day we started for Mackinac, not knowing
what would become of us if my little means were exhausted and we should
be unsuccessful in finding our old friend, Mr. Alvin Coe.

The day we arrived at Mackinac we took passage for Cleveland. Arriving
there we were scared at seeing so many people coming to us who wanted
us to get into their cabs to take us to some hotel which might cost us
two or three dollars a day. We went to Farmer's Hotel. In the evening
the landlady was somewhat curious to know where we hailed from and
where we were going to. I told her we came from Michigan, but we did
not know yet where we should go to. I asked her if she ever knew or
heard of a minister named Alvin Coe. "What,"--she seemed to be very
much surprised--"Mr. Alvin Coe the traveling missionary?" I said, "Yes,
the same." "Why, that is my own uncle. What is it about him?" "O,
nothing; only I would like to know where he lives, and how far." I was
equally surprised to think that we happened to meet one of his
relatives, and thought at this moment, God must be with us in our
undertaking. "You know my uncle, then," she said. I said, "Yes; he is
my particular friend, and I am going to look for him." Of course, she
told us the name of the town in which he lived, and how far and which
road to take to get there. It also happened that there was one
gentleman at Farmer's Hotel, who had been out west and came on the same
boat on which we came, and he was going the next day in that direction
on foot, and said he would guide us as far as he would go, which would
be about twenty miles, and there was thirty miles to go after that. So
the next day we started. Arriving late in the afternoon at the
outskirts of the little village called Twinsburg, our white companion
told us this is the place where he intended to stop for a while, and
said, "You better stop with me for the night, and after supper you
could visit the institution in the village and see the principal of the
school here; you might possibly get a chance to attend that school, as
you say that was your object in coming to this part of the country." I
was very much surprised, as he had not said one word about it as we
came along on the road. After supper, I went as he directed. As I
approached the seminary I saw a good many boys playing on the square of
the village, and I went and stood close by. Very soon one of the young
men came up to me, saying, "Are you going to attend our school here?" I
told him, "No, sir; I am going thirty miles further to attend some
school there." "This is the best school that I know of anywhere about
this country," he said. I asked him if he would introduce me to the
proprietor of the school. "Most cheerfully," said he; "will you please
to tell me what place you came from, and your name." "I came from
Michigan, and my name is Blackbird." "All right, I will go with you."
So we came to the professor's room, and he introduced me. "Well, Mr.
Blackbird, do you wish to attend our school?" I said, "I do not know,
sir, how that might be, as I have not much means to pay my way, but I
am seeking for a man who invited me to come to come to Ohio some five
years ago, and promised that he would help me all he could for my
education. His name is Alvin Coe, a traveling missionary, my father's
old friend." "We have two Indian boys here attending school, and I
think you will not be very lonesome if you should conclude to stay with
us." "What are their names?" I asked. "One is Francis Petoskey, and the
other is Paul Ka-gwe-tosong." I said, "I know them both; I came from
the same place they did, but I did not know they were here, I only knew
they were attending school somewhere among the whites." "Can you do any
kind of work?" "I am a blacksmith by trade, sir, and besides I can do
most every other kind of work." He said, "If you conclude to stay, I
will try to aid you in finding a place where you could work to pay for
your lodging and board; and in the meantime we will cause Mr. Alvin Coe
to come and see you, and if he sees fit to take you away he can do so,
provided you would be willing to go with him." I told him I would stay,
if I found a place to work to pay for my board, and provided that I
could make some arrangement for the little companion who came with me.
After considering a few moments, he proposed to take my little
companion to his boarding house until a better arrangment could be
made. This was the end of my conversation with this noble hearted
professor and proprietor of this Institution, whose name was Rev.
Samuel Bissell, of Twinsburg, Ohio.

In the morning, after breakfast, I went back to the village and found
arrangments were already made for both of us, and all we had to do was
just to shift our quarters. I came to live with a young blacksmith in
the village and work two hours in the morning and two hours in the
evening, and many times I finished my hours at sunrise. Some time
during the winter, my friend Mr. Alvin Coe came and took me off, with
the understanding, however, that if I did not like the school where he
was, I was to come back to Twinsburg. So in about two weeks I came back
to the old institution, as I did not like the place. At last Dr.
Brainsmade, of Newark, New Jersey, took a deep interest in my welfare
and education, and he proposed to aid me and take me through the
medical college. Therefore I quit working my hours in the shop and
boarded at the institution, attending solely to my studies for over
four years.

I have already told my readers in previous chapters how bad I felt when
I had to return to Michigan. After I came home I did everything towards
the welfare and happiness of my people, beside attending to my aged
father, as I found my people to be very different then from what they
were, as they were beginning to have a free use of intoxicating
liquors. I immediately caused the pledge to be signed in every village
of the Indians, in which I was quite successful, as almost everyone
pledged themselves never again to touch intoxicating drinks. I also
advocated the right of citizenship for my people in the State of
Michigan, although we were repeatedly told by our white neighbors that
we could not very well be adopted as citizens of the State as long as
we were receiving annuities from the general government on account of
our former treaties. My object of promulgating this cause was, I
thought it would be the only salvation of my people from being sent off
to the west of the Mississippi, where perhaps, more than one-half would
have died before they could be acclimated to the country to which they
would be driven. I have suffered very great hardships for this cause,
as I had to walk from Little Traverse through the dense forest, and
almost the entire length of the southern peninsula of Michigan, in
order to reach the authorities of the State to hold conference with
them upon the subject of the citizenship of the Ottawas and Chippewas,
and walked on snow-shoes in the middle of winter in company with one of
our young chieftains from Cross Village. [Footnote: Mr. Wardsworth also
accompanied us from Elk Rapids, on his way to Detroit to obtain a
commission as surveyor on some part of the Grand Traverse region.] We
were subjected to great exposure with only a camp fire for several days
in the month of February.

After crossing Houghton Lake, which is the head waters of the Muskegon
river, that evening we swallowed the last morsel of food, and actually
we traveled and camped out with empty stomachs for two days and a half
before we came to any inhabited place. At last we struck the Te-ti-pe-
wa-say (Tittabawassee), one of the principal branches of Saginaw river,
and following down that stream on the ice we came to an Indian camp
which stood by the river side, and also saw many human foot-prints on
the ice, but the camp was deserted and we found nothing to eat. We left
the place and once more followed the river, and after walking about
half a mile we came to another Indian camp, and saw blue smoke coming
out of it. As we came up to the camp we found nothing but women and
children (all the men were out hunting). They gave us food, and we went
on our journey the next day.

We went to Detroit to see Judge Wing to obtain his legal opinion on the
subject of the citizenship of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of
Michigan. We had a very pleasant visit with him, and he gave us as his
legal opinion of this matter, that he did not think that it would debar
us from being citizens of the State, because the Government owed us a
little money on account of our former treaties, provided we should
renounce our allegiance to our chiefs and recognize no other chief
authority than the President of the United States; and that we would
not be required to have any writ of naturalization as we are already
naturalized by being American born. After a pleasant visit with Hon.
Judge Wing, we next turned our faces to the State Legislature and
Governor. In this also we thought we were very successful, for the
Governor received us very kindly and gave us much good counsel on the
subject of citizenship, giving us some instructions as to how we should
live under the rule of the State if we should become the children of
the same. He talked to us as though he was talking to his own son who
had just come from a far country and asked his father's permission to
stay in the household.

After a pleasant visit with the Governor, and seeing some of the
members of the State Legislature, receiving full assurance that our
undertaking and object would be well looked after, we retraced our
steps back to Little Traverse, to report the result of our visit. After
that, not many Indians believed these flying reports gotten up by our
white neighbors. In that year, the clause was put in the revised
statutes of the State of Michigan, that every male person of Indian
descent in Michigan not members of any tribe shall be entitled to vote.

In the year 1855, I was again delegated to attend the council of
Detroit for the treaty of 1855, and in that council I made several
speeches before the Hon. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Mr. Manypenny,
of Washington, on the subject of our educational fund, $8000 per annum,
which had been expended for the education of the Indian youths for the
last nineteen years, and which was to be continued ten years longer.
This sum had never been used directly for any scholars, but it was
stated that it was given to the religious societies which had missions
among the Michigan Indians. In that council I advocated that the said
fund be retained in the hands of the general Government for the benefit
of those Indian youths who really intended to be educated and who went
among the whites or in civilized communities to be educated, and if it
need be, to be used for the collegiate education of those Indian
youths, but let the children at home be educated at home by taxation,
and giving fully my reasons in advancing such proposition. The Hon.
Commissioner was much taken up with my remarks on this subject, I being
the youngest member, and told the older members of the council that he
would like to hear some of them on this subject. "The young man who has
been making remarks on this matter has a very good idea with regard to
your educational funds; now let us hear farther remarks on this subject
by some other members of the council." But not one Indian stirred. And
again and again the next day, I tried to urge this matter to the Hon.
Commissioner and the Indians to cooperate with me, but they would not,
because my people were so ignorant they did not know the value of
education, or else they misunderstood the whole subject. On the third
day, as I was about getting up to make further remarks upon this
subject, one of the old members, who was the most unworthy of all the
company, as he got very drunk the day we arrived in Detroit and was
locked up in jail as disorderly two or three days, arose and said to
the Commissioner that I was not authorized by any of the council to get
up here and make such remarks. "We did not come here to talk about
education, but came expressly to form a treaty." Then burst into a
great laughter all the spectators of the council and some of the
members too. I was told afterwards that it was a put up job to prevent
any change by the persons who had been handling for years this Indian
educational fund, as there were a number of them in the council hall.
Thus was lost one of the most noble objects which ought to have been
first looked after.

After the council dispersed and came home, I sat down and wrote a
long article, giving the full history of the past in regard to this
matter; how our educational fund, $8000 per annum, had been handled and
conducted for nearly twenty years, and yet not one Indian youth could
spell the simplest word in the English language, and these writings I
had published in the Detroit Tribune for public inspection.


Becoming Protestant--Persecutions--Second Attempt to go to School--
Trials With Indian Agent--Governor Lewis Cass--Struggle During
Education--Getting Married--Coming Home--Government Interpreter and

The next five years were passed among my people, doing a little of
everything, laboring, teaching, and interpreting sermons among the
Protestant missions--for there were by this time two Protestant
missions established among the Ottawas of Arbor Croche, one at Bear
River, now Petoskey, and another at Middle Village or Arbor Croche
proper, where I acted as an assistant teacher and interpreter. I met
much opposition from the Catholic community, because I had already
become a Protestant and left the Romish church, not by any personal
persuasion, however, but by terrible conviction on reading the word of
God--"That there is no mediator between God and man but one, which is
Christ Jesus, who was crucified for the remission of sins." One Sunday,
some friend persuaded me to come to the church, but when the priest saw
me he came and forcibly ejected me out of the room. The same priest
left the Indian country soon afterwards, and it seems he went to
England, and just before he died he wrote to my sister a very touching
epistle, in which he said nothing about himself or any one in Little
Traverse, but from the beginning to the end of the letter he expressed
himself full of sorrow for what he had done to me when in this country
among the Indians, and asking of me forgivness for his wrongs towards

Soon after the council of Detroit, I became very discontented, for I
felt that I ought to have gone through with my medical studies, or go
to some college and receive a degree and then go and study some
profession. But where is the means to take me through for completing my
education? was the question every day. So, after one payment of the
treaty of 1855, late in the fall of 1856, I went up to Mr. Gilbert, who
was then Indian agent, and made known to him my intention, and asked
him if he would aid me towards completing my education, by arranging
for me to receive the benefit of our educational fund, which was set
apart at the last council for the education of the Indians in this
State. But he would not. He bluffed me off by saying he was sorry I had
voted the "black republican ticket," at the general election, which
took place that fall of 1856. This was the first time that the Indians
ever voted on general election. Mr. Gilbert was at North Port, Grand
Traverse, on election day, managing the Indian votes there, and he sent
a young man to Little Traverse to manage the voting there and sit as
one of the Board at the Little Traverse election. He sent the message
to Indians to vote no other ticket but the democratic ticket. At this
election there were only two republican votes in Little Traverse, one
of which was cast by myself. As I was depositing my ballot, this young
man was so furiously enraged at me he fairly gnashed his teeth, at
which I was very much surprised, and from my companion they tried to
take away the ticket. Then they tried to make him exchange his ticket,
but he refused. We went out quickly, as we did not wish to stay in this
excitement. At that time I felt almost sorry for my people, the
Indians, for ever being citizens of the State, as I thought they were
much happier without these elections.

After payment of our annuities, as the vessel was about starting off to
take the Indian agent to Mackinac, they had already hoisted the sails,
although there was not much wind, and I thought, this was the last
chance to get to Mackinac. As I looked toward the vessel I wept, for I
felt terribly downcast. As they were going very slowly toward the
harbor point, I asked one of the Indian youngsters to take me and my
trunk in a canoe to the vessel out there. I had now determined to go,
in defiance of every opposition, to seek my education. [Footnote:
Indians are now forbidden to leave their reservations without
permission from the agent, so no ambitious and determined youth can now
escape from the Indian Bureau machine.--ED.] I hurried to our house
with the boy, to get my trunk and bid good bye to my aged father, and
told him I was going again to some school outside, and if God permitted
I hoped to return again to Little Traverse. All my father said was,
"Well, my son, if you think it is best, go." And away we went. We
overtook the vessel somewhere opposite Little Portage, and as I came
aboard the agent's face turned red. He said, "Are you going?" I said,
"Yes sir, I am going." So nothing more was said. The greater part of
the night was spent by the agent and the captain gambling with cards,
by which the agent lost considerable money. We arrived the next day at
Mackinac, and again I approached the Indian agent with request if he
could possibly arrange for me to have the benefit of our Indian
educational fund, set apart for that purpose at the council of Detroit,
1855; and again he brought up the subject of my voting. Then I was
beginning to feel out of humor, and I spoke rather abruptly to him,
saying, "Well, sir, I now see clearly that you don't care about doing
anything for my welfare because I voted for the republican party. But
politics have nothing to do with my education; for the Government of
the United States owes us that amount of money, not politics. I was one
of the councilors when that treaty was made, and I will see some other
men about this matter, sir." His face turned all purple, and as I was
turning about to keep away from him, he called me back, saying, "Mr.
Blackbird, how far do you intend to go to get your education?" I said,
"I intend to go to Ann Arbor University, sir." "Well, I will do this
much for you: I will pay your fare to Detroit. I am going by way of
Chicago, but you can go down by the next boat, which will be here soon
from Chicago." I thanked him, and he handed me money enough to pay my
fare to Detroit.

So I reached Detroit, and went to Dr. Stuben's house and inquired my
way to Governor Cass' residence; and when I knocked at the door, behold
it was he himself came to the door. I shook hands with him and said,
"My friend, I would like to speak to you a few moments." "Is it for
business?" he asked. "Yes sir, it is." "Well, my boy, I will listen to
what you have to say." I therefore began, saying, "Well, my friend, I
come from Arbor Croche. I am the nephew of your old friend, 'Warrior
Wing,' am seeking for education, but I have no means; and I come to see
you expressly to acquaint you with my object, and to ask you the favor
of interceding for me to the Government to see if they could possibly
do something towards defraying my expenses in this object. That is all
I have to say." The old man raised his spectacles and said, "Why, why!
your object is a very good one. I was well acquainted with your uncle
in the frontier of Michigan during the war of 1812. Have you seen and
told the Indian agent of this matter?" "Yes sir, I have asked him
twice, but he would not do anything for me." "Why, why! it seems to me
there is ample provision for your people for that object, and has been
for the last twenty years. What is the matter with him?"

I said, "I don't know, sir." "Well, well; I am going to Washington in a
few days, and shall see the Indian Commissioner about this matter, and
will write to you from there on the subject. I know they can do
something toward defraying your expenses. Where do you intend to go?" I
said, "I don't know, yet, sir, but I thought of going to the University
at Ann Arbor." "Is it possible? are you prepared to enter such a
college?" I told him I thought I was. "Well, sir, I think you had
better go to Ypsilanti State Normal School instead of Ann Arbor: it is
one of the best colleges in the State." This was the first time I ever
heard of that school, and it sounded quite big to me; so I told him
that I would gladly attend that school, provided I had means to do so.
"Well, then, it is settled. You shall go to Ypsilanti, and I will
direct my letter to Ypsilanti when I write to you; and now mind nobody,
but just go about your business." After thanking him for his good
counsel I shook hands with the old man and left.

The next day was a terrible snow storm, but, however, I started out for
Ypsilanti, which is only about thirty miles from Detroit. Of course, as
I was totally a stranger in the place, I put up at a hotel, although my
means were getting very short. The next day I went about to find out
all about the institution, cost of tuition, and private board, etc.,
and saw some of the professors of the institution, but I did not dare
to make any arrangements for a steady boarding place and begin school
for fear Governor Cass should fail of getting help from the Goverment.
Therefore, instead of beginning to go to school, I went and hired out
on a farm about three miles from the city, and continued to work there
for about three weeks before I heard from Governor Cass. At last the
old farmer brought a package of letters from the post-office, one of
which was post marked at Washington, D. C., and another from Detroit. I
fairly trembled as I opened the one which I thought was from Governor
Cass, as between doubt and hope, but my fears were suddenly changed
into gladness, and quickly as possible I settled with the farmer, and
away I went towards the city, singing as I went along. By intercession
of Governor Cass, it was proposed to pay my whole expenses--board,
clothes, books, tuition, etc. The other letter was from the Indian
Agent, calling me to come down to Detroit, as he had already received
some instructions from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to look after
me and to arrange the matters of my schooling at Ypsilanti State Normal
School. O, how I did hate to have to meet the Indian Agent again on
this subject; to stand before him, and to have him think that I had
overcome him, and succeeded in spite of his opposition to my desire. O,
how I wished this matter could have been arranged without his
assistance. However, I started out for Detroit the same evening I
received these communications, and went to the agent. He never even
said, "How do you do?" but immediately began, saying, "Well, sir, how
much do you think that it will cost for your schooling at Ypsilanti?"
"I don't know, sir," I responded. "Well, who knows? I think you ought
to know, as you have been there," he said, in a gruff voice. "I have
not been to school at all, sir," I said, "but have been working on a
farm up to this morning." "Working on a farm, eh? I thought you came
here on purpose to attend school?" "I did, sir; but you know I was very
short of means, so I had to do something to keep me alive." "Can't you
tell me the cost for your board per week?" "The private board is from
$3.50 to $4 per week, sir, as according to accommodation." "How much
for books and clothing?" "I don't know, sir; but I think I have enough
clothing for at least one year."

In the morning I went back to Ypsilanti, and with the aid of the
professors of the institution I got a good boarding place. I attended
this institution almost two years and a half, when I could not hold out
any longer, as my allowance for support from the Government was so
scanty it did not pay for all my necessary expenses. I have always
attributed this small allowance to the Indian Agent who was so much
against me. I tried to board myself and to live on bread and water; and
therefore hired a room which cost me 75 cents a week, and bought bread
from the bakeries, which cost me about 50 cents a week, and once in a
while I had fire-wood as I did not keep much fire. I stood it pretty
well for three months, but I could not stand it any longer. I was very
much reduced in flesh, and on the least exertion I would be trembling,
and I began to be discouraged in the prosecution of my studies. By this
time I was in the D class, but class F was the graduating class in that
institution, which I was exceedingly anxious to attain; but I imagined
that I was beginning to be sick on account of so much privation, or
that I would starve to death before I could be graduated, and therefore
I was forced to abandon my studies and leave the institution.

As I did not have any money to pay my passage homeward, I wept about
working and occasionally lecturing on the subject of the Indians of
Michigan, and at last I had enough means to return home and try to live
once more according to the means and strength of my education.
September 4th, 1858, I was joined in wedlock to the young lady who is
still my beloved wife, and now we have four active children for whom I
ever feel much anxiety that they might be educated and brought up in a
Christian manner. Soon after I came to my country my father died at a
great age. The first year we lived in Little Traverse we struggled
quite hard to get along, but in another year I was appointed U. S.
Interpreter by the Hon. D. C. Leach, U. S. Indian Agent for Mackinac
Indian Agency, to whom I ever feel largely indebted, and I continued to
hold this situation under several of his successors in office.

During the Rebellion I was loyal to the Government, and opposed the bad
white men who were then living in the Indian country, who tried to
mislead my people as to the question of the war, to cause them to be
disloyal. After the war was over, I was appointed as an auxiliary
prosecutor of the Indian soldier claims, as quite a number of our
people also helped to put down this rebellion, and many were killed and
wounded. But most of this kind of business I performed without reward.

Before I was fairly out as Interpreter, I was appointed with a very
small salary as postmaster at Little Traverse, now Harbor Springs,
where I discharged my duties faithfully and honestly for eleven years.
But the ingress of the white population in this Indian country
increased much from 1872-73 and onward. The office was beginning to be
a paying one, and I was beginning to think that I was getting over the
bridge, when others wanted the office, my opponents being the most
prominent persons. Petitions were forwarded to Washington to have me
removed, although no one ever had any occasion to complain of having
lost his money or letter through this office during my administration.
At last, the third assistant postmaster general at Washington wrote me
a kind of private letter, stating that the main ground of the complaint
was, that my office was too small and inconvenient for the public, and
advising me to try and please the public as well as I could. And
consequently I took what little money I had saved and built a
comfortable office, but before the building was thoroughly completed I
was removed. This left me penniless in this cold world, to battle on
and to struggle for my existence; and from that time hence I have not
held any office, nor do I care to. I only wish I could do a little more
for the welfare of my fellow-beings before I depart for another world,
as I am now nearly seventy years old, and will soon pass away. I wish
my readers to remember that the above history of my existence is only a
short outline. If time and means permitted, many more interesting
things might be related.


Some of the Legends of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Respecting the
Great Flood of the World--A Person Swallowed Up Alive Like a Prophet

Before proceeding with the history of the Ottawas and Chippewas some of
their most important and peculiar legends will be given. They have a
tradition of a great flood, as is recorded it the Bible History, and
many other tribes of Indians who speak dialect of the Ottawa and
Chippewa languages have the same story. The legends say it was caused,
not by a rain, but by the great Ne-naw-bo-zhoo, who was the most
remarkable, wonderful, and supernatural being that ever trod upon the
earth. He could transfigure himself into the shape of all animals and
live with them for a great length of time. He has done much mischief
and also many benefits to the inhabitants of the earth whom he called
"his nephews;" and he shaped almost everything, teaching his nephews
what materials they should take for their future utensils. This
mischievous Ne-naw-bo-zhoo spoiled the sugar trees by diluting their
sap with water. The legends say, that once upon a time the sugar trees
did produce sap at certain season of the year which was almost like a
pure syrup; but when this mischievous Ne-naw-bo-zhoo had tasted it, he
said to himself, "Ah, that is too cheap. It will not do. My nephews
will obtain this sugar too easily in the future time and the sugar will
be worthless." And therefore he diluted the sap until he could not
taste any sweetness therein. Then he said, "Now my nephews will have to
labor hard to make the sugar out of this sap, and the sugar will be
much more valuable to them in the future time." In former times the
heart of every tree contained fat from which all inhabitants of the
earth obtained delicious oil to eat; but this mischievous Ne-naw-bo-
zhoo, in his supernatural way, pushed his staff into the heart of every
tree; and this is the reason why the heart of every tree has a
different color.

There was no great ark in which to float during the great flood, but
when Ne-naw-bo-zhoo could not find any more dry land to run to when he
was pursued with mountains of water, he said, "let there be a great
canoe." So there was a great canoe which he entered with his animals
and floated.

As to the origin of Ne-naw-bo-zhoo, the legend says, that once upon a
time there lived a maiden with her grandmother, who was a very dutiful
and obedient child, observing every precept which was taught her by her
grandmother, and she spent much time fasting; during which time she had
wonderful dreams which she related to her grandmother every morning
during her fast days. She very often had a vision of holding
conversation with some deities and finally she was assured in a vision,
that her children would be terrible and would redeem all the
inhabitants of the earth from their various calamities; and
accordingly, she bore two sons. The first born was like any other human
child, but the last one was a monster which caused the death of its
mother, and, although shaped like a human being, as soon as born ran
off in the wilderness and was never again seen by any person; but the
first child was nourished and reared by the grandmother. When this
child grew to be playful and talkative by the side of its grandmother,
he was so strange that very often she would say to him, "Your actions
are like a Ne-naw-bo-zhoo." Then the child would reply, "I am the great
Ne-naw-bo-zhoo on this earth." The meaning of this word in the
Algonquin language is "a clown" and therefore he meant that he was the
great "clown" of the world.

When Ne-naw-bo-zhoo became a man he was a great prophet for his nephews
and an expert hunter. His hunting dog was a great black wolf. When he
learned from his grandmother, that his mother was dead and that his
brother was a monster with a body like flint stone which caused her
death, Ne-naw-bo-zhoo was in a great rage after hearing the story and
he determined to seek for this evil being and slay him. Then he
immediately prepared for a long journey, and trimmed his ponderous war
club nicely and prepared to be in a great battle. So off he went with
his great black wolf on the war path. As he passed through the forest,
for a trial of his strength and the strength of his war club, he simply
made motions with it toward one of the tallest pines of the forest
and the gigantic tree came down all into slivers. "Ah," said Ne-naw-
bo-zhoo, "who could stand against my strength and the strength of my
war club." After many days journey going into every nook and loop hole
of the earth, he succeeded at last in having a glimpse of the object of
his search. Ne-naw-bo-zhoo ran to overtake him, and chased him all over
the world; and every now and then he would be close enough to reach him
with his war-club and to strike at him, but he would only break a piece
of the monster's stony body, which was like a mountain of hard flintstone.
So the legend says that whenever we find a pile of hard flints lying on the
face of the earth, there is where Ne-naw-bo-zhoo overtook his brother
monster and struck him with his tremendous war-club. At last he vanquished
him on the east shore of Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan, near the place now
called Antrim City, but formerly by the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, it was
called "Pe-wa-na-go-ing," meaning "Flinty Point," so called because there
were great rocks of flint lying near the edge of the lake shore. And so
the Ottawas and Chippewas say it is there where the old carcass of the
monster is now lying--the brother of the great Ne-naw-bo-zhoo. After
that he traveled over almost every part of this continent sometimes in
the shape of an animal and then again in human shape. There is an
impression of human foot tracks on a very smooth rock some where along
the Ottawa river in Canada, and also a round hole about as large and
deep as a common brass kettle on this flat rock near where the track is
and every Ottawa and Chippewa calls these "Ne-naw-bo-zhoo's track" and
"Ne-naw-bo-zhoo's kettle where he dropped it when chasing his brother,"
and then they would drop a piece of tobacco in the kettle as a
sacrifice, at the same time praying for luck and a prosperous journey
to Montreal and back again to Michigan, their native home, when passing
this place.

Now the cause of the great flood was this: The god of the deep was
exceedingly jealous about Ne-naw-bo-zhoo's hunting dog (the great black
wolf) and therefore, he killed it and made a feast with it and invited
many guests, which were represented as sea-serpents, water-tigers, and
every kind of monster of the deep, and they had a great feast. When Ne-
naw-bo-zhoo found out what had become of his hunting dog, he was
furiously enraged, and determined to kill this god of the deep.

There was a certain place where he was accustomed to come on the shore
with his hosts, particularly on very fine days, to sun themselves and
enjoy the pleasure of being on a dry land. Ne-naw-bo-zhoo knew this
lovely spot very well. So right away he strung up his bow and trimmed
his arrows nicely, and went there to watch, transforming himself into a
black stump, near where these water gods usually lay down to enjoy
themselves. And therefore, one very fine day the sea-serpents and
water-tigers were very anxious to come on shore as usual and asked
their master to accompany them, but he replied: "I fear the great Ne-
naw-bo-zhoo might be lurking about there, and he will kill me because I
have killed and eaten up his black wolf." But he at last told them to
go on shore and examine the place and report if it was all clear; but
they found nothing unusual about the place except the old black stump,
which they never before observed to be there. Therefore, they went back
to their master and reported that nothing was there to be afraid of
except the old black stump which they never noticed before. "Go again,"
said their master "and closely examine the stump; peradventure, it was
he transfigured into the shape of the stump." So again they came ashore
and one of the water-tigers climbed upon it, inserting his long, sharp
claws as he went up, but he saw nothing strange. So, also the sea-
serpent went up to it and coiled himself around the stump so tight that
Ne-naw-bo-zhoo nearly screamed with pain. At last the serpent uncoiled
himself and they went back to their master and reported to him that it
was nothing but an old stump. So the god of the sea concluded to come
ashore with all his hosts, slowly and cautiously looking in every
direction as he was still afraid that Ne-naw-bo-zhoo might be lurking
around there and watching. Soon they were dozing upon the hot sand of
the beach, then Ne-naw-bo-zhoo unmasked himself and fixed one of his
best arrows into his bow and shot the god of the deep right through the
heart. Then all the host started to pursue the slayer of their master.
Ne-naw-bo-zhoo fled for his life; but he was pursued by the host with
mountains of water. He ran all over the earth, still pursued with the
mountains of water. So when he could not find any more dry land to run
to he commanded a great canoe to be formed in which he and the animals
who were fleeing before the water, were saved. After they floated, Ne-
naw-bo-zhoo wondered very much how deep was the water. Therefore, he
ordered one of the beavers to go down to the bottom of the deep and
bring up some earth if he could, as evidence that he did go to the
bottom. So the beaver obeyed, and he went down, but the water was so
deep the beaver died before he reached the bottom, and therefore, he
came up floating as a dead beaver. Ne-naw-bo-zhoo drew him up into his
canoe and resuscitated the beaver by blowing into his nostrils.

So he waited a little while longer, and afterwards he ordered the
muskrat to go down; but the muskrat did not like the idea, for he had
seen the beaver coming up lifeless. So he had to flatter him a little
in order to induce him to go down, by telling him, "Now, muskrat, I
know that thou art one of the best divers of all the animal creation;
will you please go down and ascertain the depth of the water, and bring
up some earth in your little paws, if you can, with which I shall try
to make another world? Now go my little brother,"--the legend says that
he called all the animal creation his little brothers,--"for we cannot
always live on the waters." At last the muskrat obeyed. He went down,
and descended clear to the bottom of the water, and grabbed the earth
and returned. But the water was yet so deep that before he reached the
surface of the water, he expired.

As Ne-naw-bo-zhoo drew him up into his great canoe to resuscitate him,
he observed the muskrat still grasping something in his little paws,
and behold, it was a piece of earth. Then Ne-naw-bo-zhoo knew that the
muskrat went clear to the bottom of the deep. He took this piece of
earth and fixed it into a small parcel; which he fastened to the neck
of the raven which was with him. Now, with this parcel, Ne-naw-bo-zhoo
told the raven to fly to and fro all over the face of the waters; then
the waters began to recede very fast, and soon the earth came back to
its natural shape, just as it was before.

Again this same Ne-naw-bo-zhoo was once swallowed by a fish, and after
being carried about in the midst of the deep, he came out again and
lived as well as ever, like the Prophet Jonah. This Ottawa and Chippewa
legend is, that once upon a time there was a great fish that resided in
a certain lake, and as the people passed through this lake in their
canoes, this great fish was accustomed to come after those crossing the
lake and if he overtook them he would swallow them up, canoe and all,
like swallowing a little clam in its shell. So Ne-naw-bo-zhoo said to
himself, "This great fish will eat up all my nephews. Now I must
somehow dispose of him." And he went to the lake in his canoe expressly
to look for the fish, singing daring songs as he went along. After he
came in the midst of it, there he stopped, but kept on singing the
following words: "Mishe-la-me-gwe Pe-le-wi-ko-lishim, Pe-la-wi-ko-
lishim"--daring the fish to come and swallow him up. So at last the
great fish, Mishi-la-me-gwe, did come and swallow the great Ne-naw-bo-
zhoo. But this was just what he wanted. After being swallowed, he was
able to dispose of this big fish, for with his weapons he caused the
fish such pain that he ran on the shore and died. After which, Ne-naw-
bo-zhoo came out like the Prophet Jonah, and he went home and sat down
to smoke his pipe, perfectly satisfied that he had saved many people by
disposing of this great fish.

These are some of the legends told among the Ottawa and Chippewa
Indians, as related in their own language, which are in some things
quite similar to the records of the Bible.


Traditions of the Ottawas Regarding Their Early History--Their Wars and
Their Confederations With Other Tribes of Indians.

Very many centuries ago, before the discovery of the American continent
by the white people, the traditions of the Ottawas say they lived along
the banks of one of the largest tributaries of the St. Lawrence, now
known as the Ottawa river. The Ottawas spread over the country around
the head waters of this stream, subduing all other tribes of Indians
which they happened to encounter, except the Chippewas and Stockbridge
Indians. They have been always friendly and closely related with these
tribes, and consequently no war-club was ever raised by either of these
against the other. Their language is of the same root, as they could
quite intelligently understand each other. Their manners and customs in
every way correspond. Their legends, particularly respecting the flood,
and their belief in the Supreme Being, the great creator of all things
--Ketchi-mat-ne-do--is very much the same; also their belief in the evil
spirit, whose habitation was under the earth. To this deity they
offered sacrifices as well as to the other gods or deities. These
offerings were called in those days peace-offerings and down-offerings.
They never sacrificed flesh of animals to the evil spirit. Their
offering to this deity was parched corn pounded, then cooked into
hominy; this was sacrificed to the evil spirit, not because they loved
him, but to appease his wrath.

Although the Chippewas speak almost the same language as the Ottawas
and Stockbridge Indians, yet they seem to belong to another family of
Indians, as they are much taller than the Ottawas and Stockbridges, and
broader across the shoulders--having a full chest, very erect and
striding firmly in their walking. They were much more numerous than the
Ottawa Indians. They extended from lower Canada north-westward up to
Manitoba county. There are three kinds of Chippewas, each kind having a
different dialect. The Chippewas in Canada, around the Straits of
Mackinaw, the islands in Lake Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie, and west of
Lake Superior, are much more enlightened and intelligent, and these, we
called common Chippewas; but those on the plains further north or
northwest of Lake Superior, "the wild Chippewas;" and those on the
north side of Lake Superior going toward Hudson Bay; we called "the
Backwoodsmen." This latter race lived entirely by hunting and fishing
and endured very great hardships sometimes, particularly, when there
was scarcity of game. The Chippewas were very brave people on the war
path, and their principal foes were Sioux Indians on the plains. These
were called in the Ottawa language "Naw-do-wa-see," and in the Chippewa
"Au-bwan." The plurals are "Naw-do-wa-see-wog" and "Au-bwan-og." The
"Naw-do-wa-see-wog" are deadly enemies of the Ottawas and Chippewas,
and they are the most careless of their lives, for they taught their
children from infancy not to fear death. But the Ottawas were, however,
considered as the most ancient tribe of Indians and were called by the
other tribe "their big brother." Although they are a smaller race, in
stature, then many other tribes, they were known as the most wise and
sagacious people. Every tribe belonging to all the Algonquin family of
Indians looked up to the Ottawas for good counsel; and they were as
brave as the Chippewas and very expert on the warpath.

Every tribe of Indians has a different coat of arms, or symbolical sign
by which they are known to one another. The emblem of the Ottawas is a
moose; of the Chippewas, a sea gull; of the Backswoodsmen, a rabbit;
that of the underground tribe, to which I belong, is a species of hawk;
and that of the Seneca tribe of Indians is a crotch of a tree. The
Ottawa Indians are very nearly extinct in the state of Michigan as
there are only two or three families in the state, whose national
emblem is a moose, showing them to be descended from pure Ottawa blood;
but those who represented themselves as the Ottawas in this state are
descendants from various tribes of Indians, even some are Senecas, of
the Iroquois family--formerly deadly enemies of the Ottawas. The cause
of this mixture is by intermarriage, and by prisoners of war in former

The first man who signed the treaty of 1886, one of the Chippewas of
the Grand River Indians, whose name was "Mixinene," was a descendant of
the Backwoodsmen, whose emblem was a rabbit. Therefore, all the rest of
those Chippewas who went to Washington to form a treaty with the
Government felt displeased about this matter and tried to ignore the
signature of Mixinene, because they thought that the first signature
should have been made by a pure Ottawa or a pure Chippewa, because they
had the first right to the land of Michigan. But the "Backwoodsmen,"
they considered, had no claim nor title to this land which they ceded
to the Government of the United States. But the Government did not know
the difference, however,--all she wanted was the land. So all the
Chiefs of the Ottawas and Chippewas signed this said treaty, not with
free will, but by compulsion.

The tradition gives no reason why the Ottawas continually moved towards
the northwest at this early period; but it is, however, supposed that
it was on account of their deadly enemies, the Iroquois of New York, as
they were continually at war with the six nations of Indians. Quite
often, the Iroquois would attack them, but the tradition says that in
almost every battle the Ottawas would come out victorious over the
Iroquois. The Ottawas too, in retaliation, would go to the Iroquois
country to scalp some of the Iroquois; then have their jubilees over
these scalps by feasting and dancing around them. At this stage of
their existence they were an exceedingly fierce and warlike people, not
only contending with these tribes, but also with many others out west
and south, even to the Chocktaw and Cherokee country and to the
Flatheads, Sioux Indians and the Underground race of people out west.

As the Ottawas continued moving up on this beautiful stream of water,
they at last came to a large lake, the head waters of the river. The
surrounding scenery of the lake was most surprisingly beautiful. They
immediately named this lake Ke-tchi-ne-bissing, which name it bears to
this day. Here the Ottawas concluded to stop and occupy the surrounding
country. Therefore, they pitched their tents and formed a great
village. They continued to reside around the lake for untold ages. And
here too they had many hard battles with the Iroquois; but the Iroquois
were not able to conquer them or drive them from the country. But at
last the Ottawas became discontented with the place. They concluded
that the place was haunted by some presiding deity who was not
favorable to them. They probably obtained this idea through having
sometimes great disasters in war with the Iroquois at this place. I
will here relate an incident which happened to the Ottawas at about
this time, and which was the origin of their belief that the deity of
the place was unfavorable to them. It may be considered as purely
fictitious, but every Ottawa and Chippewa to this day believes it to
have actually occurred.

A woman went down to the beach of lake Ke-tchi-ne-bissing to wash some
of her clothing, taking along her infant child, which was tied up on a
board, according to the fashion of the Indians. When she reached the
beach, she set her child down very near the edge of the water that it
might watch its mother while at work. Her wigwam stood not far from the
lake, and in a few moments she ran to it for something. On her return
to the spot she was terribly surprised not to find her child where she
had left it but a few minutes before. She ran frantically through the
village, crying and screaming, and saying that some one had stolen her
baby. A few days after this, two lovers sat upon the top of the highest
hillock which stood back of the village. While they were talking very
much love to each other, they heard an infant crying bitterly, in the
ground directly under them. Every one who heard the report said at once
that it must be the same baby who was mysteriously missing on the beach
a few days before. The next day all the magicians were called together
and requested to divine this mystery. Some went and put themselves into
the state of clairvoyance, which was a very common practice among the
Ottawas and Chippewas within my time, and is still practiced to-day
where there is no Christianity predominating among the Indians. Other
magicians built themselves lodges in which to call their favorite
spirits in order to commune with them. This, which we might call
Spiritualism, was practiced among the Indians much as among the whites
at the present day. The form of these lodges was like a tower in
circular form built with long poles set deep in the ground ten or
twelve feet high, then covered tight all around with canvass or skins
of animals, except the top is left open. Now the magician or the
performer comes with the little flat magician's rattle like a
tamborine. They always build a fire close to the lodge so that the
attendants and spectators could light their pipes, as they generally
smoke much during the performance. The magician sits by the fire also,
and begins to talk to the people, telling them that he could call up
various spirits, even the spirit of those who are yet living in the
world, and that they should hear them and ask them any questions they
wish. After which he begins to sing a peculiar song which scarcely any
one could understand. Then he either goes into the lodge by crawling
under, or sits out side with the rest of the audience, and simply
throws something of his wear in the lodge--his blanket or his robe or
coat. And immediately the lodge begins to tremble, appearing to be full
of wind. Then voices of various kinds are heard from top to bottom,
some speaking in unknown tongues, and when the spectators ask any
questions they would receive replies sometimes with unknown tongues,
but among the spirits there is always a special interpreter to make
known what other spirits says.

After the magicians had finished their incantations, one of them, whom
they thought greatest of all, went down to the beach to the place where
the child had been missing. The water was very deep there along the
beach quite close to the shore. He plunged in the lake and was gone
under water for a long time. At last he came up and reported that he
had discovered a doorway under deep water for a passage which seemed to
lead toward the top of the hill. He believed through this passage the
child was conveyed to the top of the hill by some evil monster, and all
the rest of the magicians agreed with this opinion. Therefore, they
returned to their village to hold another council and they concluded to
dig down wherever the magicians would direct and try to find the
passage. They found the passage after making a very deep hole which to
this day is said to be yet visible at Ke-tchi-ne-bissing. While they
were digging, two supernatural monsters ran out of the place; and at
last at the top of the hill they found a cavern where the dead form of
the child was discovered.


The Ottawas Moving Again Towards the Setting Sun--Coming to Manitoulin,
or Ottawa Island--The Names of Their Leaders--The Wenebago Warriors
Coming to Ottawa Island in a Hostile Manner, Headed by O-saw-wah-ne-me-
kee, "The Yellow Thunder"--Death of Kaw-be-naw, one of the Greatest
Prophets and Warriors of the Ottawas--Massacre in the Country of Waw-
gaw-na-ke-zhe, or Arbor Croche, Emmet County, Michigan.

Soon after the loss of the child, the Ottawas abandoned the country and
again moved toward the setting sun until they came to Lake Huron. Here
they discovered a great island which is now called Manitoulin, but
formerly, the Ottawa Island. Here the Ottawas remained for many more
centuries. Here too, was born one of the greatest warriors and prophets
that the Ottawas ever had, whose name was Kaw-be-naw. This word is
accented on the last syllable,--its definition is--"He would be brought
out." There are many curious and interesting adventures related of this
great warrior and prophet, a record of which would require a large
book. But I will here give one of the last acts of his life. It is
related that he became tired of living and killing so many people. He
desired to die; but he could not. It is also related that the We-ne-be-
go tribe of Indians had also one man who was almost equal in power to
Kaw-be-naw whose name was "O-saw-wa-ne-me-kee"--the "Yellow Thunder."
Having heard the fame of Kaw-be-naw, he was very anxious to meet him on
the warpath, that he might have an opportunity to contend with him in
battle. And consequently he formed a most enormous expedition to the
Island with his numerous warriors expressly to meet Kaw-be-naw. But
Kaw-be-naw knowing everything that was going on in the Wenebago
country, told his people to prepare for a great war, for numerous
Wenebagoes were coming to the Island headed with O-saw-wah-ne-me-kee in
a very hostile manner.

At last O-saw-wah-ne-me-kee landed with his warriors on the Island, and
marched towards the largest village of the Ottawas, which was situated
in the interior of the Island where there was a lake. So Kaw-be-naw
starts with his wife, pretending that he was going after cedar bark,
but his real object was to meet the Wenebagoes on their march toward
the village. When he saw the Wenebagoes coming, he told his wife to run
home quickly and tell nobody what she had seen, and he alone went to
meet them. When they saw him he did not try to get away, so they easily
captured him. Of course the Wenebagoes knew not that he was the very
man they were seeking. They asked him many questions as to the
condition of the Ottawas, how many there were in the village, and
whether Kaw-be-naw was at home or not. He told them the Ottawas were in
good condition to fight, but Kaw-be-naw was not at home just then, but
would probably be home by to-morrow or day after, as he was gone only
to get cedar bark somewhere. The Wenebagoes made a deep pit in the
ground and after tieing Kaw-be-naw they threw him in the pit and
covered him with heavy stones and dirt and then marched on.

When they came in view of the village they halted. They concluded that
they would not make the attack until morning. Kaw-be-naw, after lying
awhile in the pit, magically released himself and went home, and told
his people that the Wenebagoes were very close at hand; and by to-
morrow there would be a great battle, so every man must be well
prepared. The village was in terrible anxiety that night, the women and
children were all gathered in one place and the warriors in another,
and the village was well guarded. Early in the morning the war cry was
heard, and every warrior went forward to meet the Wenebagoes, but Kaw-
be-naw remained in his lodge while his warriors were fighting. The old
O-saw-wah-ne-me-kee was nearly naked and frightfully painted from head
to foot, so that he looked more like a demon than a human being. Of
course he did not know who might be Kaw-be-naw among the Ottawas,
therefore he sang out, saying, "Where is your great Kaw-be-naw? I
should like to meet him in this battle." So one of the warriors
replied, "Don't you know that you have buried our great Kaw-be-naw in
the pit yesterday?" "Thanks to the Great Spirit for delivering the
Ottawas into my hands," said old O-saw-wah-ne-me-kee triumphantly. Just
then, Kaw-be-naw came out of his lodge in full uniform of black bear
skins, with his ponderous war club in his hand, and mocked his
antagonist by saying, "Thanks to the Great Spirit, here I am; and now
meet me all you want." Kaw-be-naw looked so grand and noble, and was
such an extraordinary personage that O-saw-wah-ne-me-kee did not know
what to do with himself, whether to yield or to fight. But remembering
his previous threats, he made out to face him. However Kaw-be-naw did
not take long to dispose of him; O-saw-wah-ne-me-kee was soon slain.
When the Wenebagoes saw that their great warrior was no more, they
immediately raised a flag of truce, and requested that they might
acknowledge themselves as conquered and depart in peace.

During the affray with O-saw-wah-ne-me-kee, Kaw-be-naw received a
little scratch on his nose which drew a few drops of his blood, and
therefore when he saw a flag of truce he disarmed himself and went to
the Wenebagoes, saying, "O, you have killed me." The Wenebagoes said,
"How and where?" "Don't you see the blood on my nose?" "Pshaw, that is
only a scratch," said the Wenebagoes. "Well, that very thing will cause
me to die." The Wenebagoes tried to send him away, but he would not
leave them. At last they took him prisoner. They tied him with small
strong cord which every warrior generally carries in case of capture.
As they journeyed towards their home one fine day, they began to
council about him, saying, "This man will never die. When we get him
into our country, he will make a terrible slaughter among our women and
children. We better dispose of him before we reach home." So they
concluded to sink him into deep water. Therefore they tied a big stone
about his neck and put him overboard. They went on rejoicing and
traveled all day in their canoes, thinking that they had disposed of
the greatest man in the world and were very much elated at the idea;
forgetting how he had once escaped after being buried in a deep pit.
When evening came, they encamped for the night. While they were
preparing their food, they saw a man coming along on the beach toward
them who appeared to them like Kaw-be-naw. The Wenebagoes were in
terrible consternation. Soon he came up to them, and behold it was he.
Then the Wenebagoes were in great terror. But as he came up to them he
spoke very pleasently, saying, "Ho, what a pleasant journey we have had
to-day. Well, children, have you any meat? I am getting quite hungry
after traveling all day." Of course they had to treat him as well as
they could, and Kaw-be-naw came into the midst of them. That night the
Wenebagoes lay awake all night, and they thought every moment they
would be slaughtered by Kaw-be-naw in revenge for trying to drown him.
In the morning after breakfast as they were preparing to go Kaw-be-naw
spoke to them saying, "Children, if you want to kill me, I will tell
you how. You must take all the flesh from off my body by cutting it
piece by piece with your knives, and leave no flesh upon my bones; for
this is the only way that I can be killed." The Wenebagoes were
terribly frightened as they thought that so soon as any one would touch
him he would kill every Wenebago. So they held a council to determine
what they should do. But the majority were in favor of performing this
dreadful act, as Kaw-be-naw ordered, for he desired to die. When they
came back, Kaw-be-naw persisted that they should begin, and assured
them that he would never resist. At last, one of the bravest Wenebagoes
went up to him and cut a piece of his flesh. Kaw-be-naw never stirred
but simply smiled and said, "That is the way you must do. What are you
afraid of? Come all ye who have sharp knives." Pretty soon they were
all around him taking his flesh piece after piece. When it was all done
he said, "It is finished; now I shall surely die. But as recompense for
my flesh and life a great battle will be made against you by my
successor, and as many of your best young men shall fall in this battle
as pieces have been cut from my flesh." At the end of this sentence, he
fell backwards and died. Thus ended the career of the great Kaw-be-naw,
the Ottawa warrior and prophet.

"Shaw-ko-we-sy" was the successor of Kaw-be-naw and was almost equal in
power to his predecessor. It is related that in the following year, he
went to the Wenebago country with his numerous warriors and killed many
Wenebagoes, as many as Kaw-be-naw predicted, and returned late in the
fall to their Island with many of the Wenebagoes' scalps. While they
were having jubilees, festivities, and war dances over these scalps of
the Wenebagoes, in the dead of winter, the tribe of Michilimacki-
nawgoes, the remnant race of Indians who resided at the Island now
called Mackinac, whose fate has been given in a previous chapter, were
destroyed. This is the time, according to the Ottawa traditions, that
the Iroquois of New York came upon this race of people and almost
entirely annihilated them, and the Ottawas and Chippewas called this
Island Michilimackinong in order to perpetuate the name of these
unfortunate Indians.

There were also a small tribe of Indians, beside the Chippewas, that
resided on the north side of the strait whose principal village, was
situated at the place now called St. Ignace, but the Ottawas and
Chippewas call this place to this day "Naw-do-we-que-yah-mi-shen-ing,"
which is a compound name from "Naw-do-we," the name of the tribe who
resided there, and "Na-yah-me-shen," point of land in water. And
afterwards part of the Ottawas came over from their Island and resided
with them, during the days of old Saw-ge-maw, who was one of the great
warriors and leaders of the Ottawas. But afterwards Saw-ge-maw
quarreled with them and broke up the confederacy and drove them off.
Here, too, at about this time, part of the Ottawas left the country in
anger because they were cheated out of one of the great feasts they
were having on some particular occasion. Those went far west and joined
the Sho-sho-nee tribe of Indians, whose country lies on the side of the
Rocky Mountains, and consequently the Ottawa language is quite
extensively spoken among that tribe of Indians to this day.

The south side of the straits, which now constitutes Emmet, Cheboygan
and Charlevoix counties, our tradition says, was exceedingly thickly
populated by another race of Indians, whom the Ottawas called Mush-co-
desh, which means, "the Prairie tribe." They were so called on account
of being great cultivators of the soil, and making the woodland into
prairie as they abandoned their old worn out gardens which formed
grassy plains. It is related, this tribe was quite peaceable, and were
never known to go on a warpath. The Ottawas of Manitoulin had joined
hands with them as their confederates. They called each other
"brothers." But on one of the western war trips of the great Saw-ge-
maw, who existed about the time America was first discovered by white
men, he met with great disaster, as many of his warriors were killed;
so on returning homeward with his remaining survivors, they crossed
Little Traverse Bay in a canoe and approached the shores of Arbor
Croche at the place now called Seven Mile Point, where there was a
large village of Mush-co-desh. Saw-ge-maw said to his few warriors,
"Let us take our sad news to our relations the Mush-co-desh." So as
they approached the shore they began to make an unearthly wailing
noise, according to the custom of the Ottawas, which was called the
death song of the warriors. When the Mush-co-desh heard them they said
to one another, "Hark, the Ottawas are crying. They have been marauding
among some tribes in the west; but this time they have been worsted--
good enough for them. See, they are coming ashore. Let us not permit
them to land." So instead of preparing to join in their mourning, as
would have been proper, they rashly determined to express their
disapproval of the marauding expeditions and their contempt for those
who engaged in them. Before Saw-ge-maw had fairly touched the beach,
parties of Mush-co-desh ran down to the shore with balls of ashes
wrapped up in forest leaves and with these they pelted Saw-ge-maw and
his party as they came ashore. This treatment dreadfully provoked Saw-
ge-maw, and the insult was such as could only be wiped out with blood.
He told his warriors to pull homeward as quickly as possible. "We will
come back here in a few days; we will not have to go so far again to
look for our enemies." Arriving at Manitoulin Island, he immediately
prepared for a great war. After they were completely equipped, they
came back to the southern peninsula of Michigan, stealthily and
carefully landing at the most uninhabited part of the shore. They then
marched to one of the largest villages of Mush-co-desh, which was
situated between Cross Village and Little Traverse, in a beautiful
valley in the northern part of the township now called Friendship.
Arriving late in the afternoon within view of the village, the Ottawas
hid in ambush. One of the old women of the Mush-co-desh was going
through the bushes looking for young basswood bark from which to
manufacture twine or cord. She came right where the Ottawas were lying
in ambush. She was terribly surprised, but the Ottawas persuaded her
not to reveal their presence by telling her they would give her a young
man as her husband, pointing to one of the best looking young warriors
there. They told her, early in the morning they were going to fall upon
the village and kill every one of the Mush-co-desh, but when she heard
the war-whoop she must run to them and she should not be killed but be
protected. The foolish woman believed and kept the secret. Early in the
morning the war cry was heard, and she ran to the Ottawas to be
protected, but she was the first one to be slain. It was indeed a
terrible calamity for the Mush-co-desh. At the begining of the noise of
massacre, the chief of the Mush-co-desh ran forward and screamed loud
as he could, saying, "O! My father, Saw-ge-maw, what is the cause of
your coming upon us so suddenly with death, as we have never wronged
your race?" "Have you already forgotten" said Saw-ge-maw triumphantly,
"that you have greatly insulted me on your borders? You have pelted me
with ashes when I was lamenting over the loss of my braves." When the
Mush-co-desh saw they could not prevail on Saw-ge-maw, nor could
withstand an adversary so formidable and such well prepared warriors,
they endeavored to flee, but they were overtaken and slaughtered. Only
the swift-footed young men escaped, taking the sad message to other
villages of Mush-co-desh, and as fast as the news reached them they
fled with their women and children toward the south along the shore of
Lake Michigan, and continued to fly, although they were not pursued by
the Ottawas, till they reached the St. Joseph River, and there they
stopped, and formed a union village, and began to cultivate the soil

The tradition says this was the greatest slaughter or massacre the
Ottawas ever committed. The inhabitants of this village were probably
from forty to fifty thousand. There were many other villages of Mush-
co-desh of minor importance everywhere scattered through the northern
part of the southern peninsula of Michigan. Where this doomed village
was situated is yet to this day distinctly visible, as there are some
little openings and trails not overgrown by the forest.

Soon after this the Ottawas abandoned their island and came over and
took possession of the country of the Mush-co-desh. Most of them
settled at the place now called Magulpin's Point, where the present
lighthouse is situated, near old Mackinac. At the time the French
settled in Montreal, Au-tche-a, one of the Ottawa prophets, told his
people there were some strange persons living in this continent, who
were far superior to any other inhabitants upon the earth. So Au-tche-a
determined to search for these wonderful people and he persuaded five
of his neighbors to accompany him in his undertaking. They started out,
but they went a very roundabout way, and it was a long time before they
came to the Ottawa river; then floating down they came out on the St.
Lawrence. They were gone for more than a year. When they came where the
white men were, they first saw a vessel or ship anchored in the middle
of the St. Lawrence, which they thought was a monster waiting to devour
them as they came along. But as they neared it they saw some people on
the back of the monster. So Au-tche-a and his party were taken on
board, and his little frail canoe was hoisted into the ship. They found
some Stockbridge Indians there also, who spoke a dialect of their
language. After exchanging all they had, and learning how to handle
firearms, they started back again to the straits of Mackinac. The
tradition says, they arrived at their village on an exceedingly calm
day, and the water was in perfect stillness in the straits. The Indians
saw the canoe coming towards the shore of the village, when suddenly a
puff of smoke was seen and a terrific clash of sound followed
immediately. All the inhabitants were panic stricken, and thought it
was something supernatural approaching the shore. But again and again
they witnessed the same thing, as it came nearer and nearer. At last
they recognized the great prophet Au-tche-a and his party coming back
from his long trip, having found his "Manitou" that he was looking
after. The reader may imagine how it was, when Au-tche-a landed and
exhibited his strange articles--his gun with its belongings, his axes,
his knives, his new mode of making fire, his cooking utensils, his
clothing and his blankets. It was no small curiosity to the aborigines.

The Ottawas gradually extended their settlements towards the south,
along the shore of Lake Michigan. The word Michigan is an Indian name,
which we pronounce Mi-chi-gum, and simply means "monstrous lake." My
own ancestors, the Undergrounds, settled at Detroit, and they
considered this was the extent of their possessions. But the greatest
part of the Ottawas settled at Arbor Croche, which I have already
related as being a continuous village some fifteen miles long. But in
the forest of this country were not many deer, and consequently when
the winter approached most of the Indians went south to hunt, returning
again in the spring loaded with dry meat.

The Mush-co-desh were not long in safety in the southern part of the
state. Intercourse had been opened between the French and the Ottawas
and Chippewas on the straits of Mackinac and being supplied with
firearms and axes by the French people, it occurred to the Ottawas that
these impliments would be effective in battle. Anxious to put them to
the test, they resolved to try them on their old enemies, the Mush-co-
desh, who had not yet seen the white man and were unacquainted with
firearms. Accordingly an expedition was fitted out. As the Ottawas
approached the village of their enemies, each carrying a gun, the Mush-
co-desh thought they were nothing but clubs, so came out with their
bows and arrows, anticipating an easy victory. But they soon found out
that they were mistaken. As the Ottawas came up they suddenly halted,
not near enough to be reached by any arrows of Mush-co-desh, but the
Ottawas began to fire away with their guns. Poor Mush-co-desh; they
suffered more than ever in this second crushing defeat. The Ottawas
left only one family of Mush-co-desh at this time and these went west
somewhere to find a new home. My father and my uncles in their younger
days while they were making a tour out west, happened to come across
the descendants of this nearly anihilated tribe of Indians. They had
grown to nine lodges only at that time, and they visited them in a
friendly manner. The old warriors wept as they were conversing with
them on their terrible calamities and misfortunes and their being once
powerful allies and closely related; for these few still remembered the
past, and what had become of their ancestors.

After the Ottawas took complete possession of the southern peninsula of
Michigan, they fought some more tribes of Indians, subdued them, and
compelled them to form confederation with them as their allies. Such as
Po-to-wa-to-mies, Mano-me-mis, O-daw-gaw-mies, Urons and Assawgies, who
formerly occupied Saw-ge-naw-bay. Therefore the word Saginaw is derived
from the name Os-saw-gees, who formerly lived there. They have been
always closely united with the Chippewas and very often they went
together on the warpath, except at one time they nearly fought on
account of a murder, as has been herein related. Also the Shaw-wa-nee
tribe of Indians were always closely related to them.

But the Ottawa nation of Indians are always considered as the oldest
and most expert on the warpath and wise councilors; and consequently
every tribe of Indians far and near, even as far as the Manitoba
country, out north, deposited their pipe of peace with the head chief
of the Ottawa nation as a pledge of continual peace and friendship.
Every pipe of peace contained a short friendly address which must be
committed to memory by every speaker in the council of the Ottawas. If
there was ever any outbreak among these tribes who deposited their pipe
of peace with the head chief of the Ottawa nation, a general council
would be called by the chiefs of the Ottawas, and the pipe of peace
belonging to the tribe who caused the trouble would be lighted up, and
the short address contained in the pipe would be repeated in the
council by one of the speakers. When the cause of the outbreak or
trouble was ascertained, then reconciliation must be had, and friendly
relation must be restored, in which case they almost invariably
succeeded in making some kind of reasonable settlement. This was the
custom of all these people; and this is what formerly constituted the
great Algonquin family of Indians.

There are many theories as to the origin of the Indian race in America,
but nothing but speculation can be given on this subject. But we
believe there must have been people living in this country before those
tribes who were driven out by the Ottawas and Chippewas, who were much
more advanced in art and in civilization, for many evidences of their
work have been discovered. About two hundred and fifty years ago, We-
me-gen-de-bay, one of our noted chiefs, discovered while hunting in the
wilderness a great copper kettle, which was partly in the ground. The
roots of trees had grown around it and over it, and when it was taken
up it appeared as if it had never been used, but seemed to be just as
it came from the maker, as there was yet a round bright spot in the
center of the bottom of it. This kettle was large enough to cook a
whole deer or bear in it. For a long time the Indians kept it as a
sacred relic. They did not keep it near their premises, but securely
hidden in a place most unfrequented by any human being. They did not
use it for anything except for great feasts. Their idea with regard to
this kettle was that it was made by some deity who presided over the
country where it was found, and that the copper mine must be very close
by where the kettle was discovered. One peculiarity of its manufacture
was that it had no iron rim around it, nor bail for hanging while in
use, as kettles are usually made, but the edge of the upper part was
much thicker than the rest and was turned out square about three-
fourths of an inch, as if made to rest on some support while in use.
When the Indians came to be civilized in Grand Traverse country, they
began to use this "Mani-tou-au-kick," as they called it, in common to
boil the sugar sap in it, instead of cooking bear for the feast. And
while I was yet in the government blacksmith shop at the Old Mission in
Grand Traverse, they brought this magical kettle to our shop with an
order to put an iron rim and bail on it so that it could be hanged in
boiling sugar, and I did the work of fixing the kettle according to the

From this evidence of working in metals and from the many other relics
of former occupants, it is evident that this country has been inhabited
for many ages, but whether by descendants of the Jews or of other
Eastern races there is no way for us to determine.


The Present Condition of the Indians of this State.

Some histories have been written by white men of events since the
Ottawa and Chippewa Indians came in contact with white people in this
part of the country, but here is given the history of this race of
Indians before that time. This account of the Ottawa and Chippewa
Indians is of as much interest to every inquirer into the histories of
nations, as that of any other people; and all philanthropic people, and
those who are endeavoring to enlighten and Christianize the Indians,
will feel deeply interested in becoming acquainted with the past
history as well as the present condition of these once numerous and
warlike people.

There are now but comparatively few living in the State of Michigan,
trying to become civilized and to imitate their white neighbors in
agricultural industries and other civilized labors. The greater part of
them are being Christianized and are members of various Christian
churches of the country, erecting houses of worship with their own
hands in which to worship the true God in spirit and in truth. A few of
them are becoming native preachers and expounders of the Gospel.

A treaty was concluded in the city of Washington in the year 1836, to
which my people--the Ottawas and Chippewas--were unwilling parties, but
they were compelled to sign blindly and ignorant of the true spirit of
the treaty and the true import of some of its conditions. They thought
when signing the treaty that they were securing reservations of lands
in different localities as permanent homes for themselves and their
children in the future; but before six months had elapsed from the time
of signing this treaty, or soon after it had been put in pamphlet form
so that all persons could read it and know its terms, they were told by
their white neighbors that their reservations of land would expire in
five years, instead of being perpetual, as they believed. At the end of
this time, they would be compelled to leave their homes, and if they
should refuse they would be driven at the point of the bayonet into a
strange land, where, as is almost always the case, more than one-half
would die before they could be acclimated. At this most startling
intelligence more than half of my people fled into Canada; fled to the
protection of the British government; fled, many of them, even before
receiving a single copper of the promised annuities; fled to a latitude
like that in which they had been accustomed to live. The balance of
them determined to remain and await whatever the consequences might be,
and receive the annuities which they were promised for twenty years.
But fortunately their expulsion from the State was suddenly stayed, in
the years 1850 and '51. By the kindness of the people of the State of
Michigan, they were adopted as citizens and made equal in rights with
their white neighbors. Their voice was to be recognized in the ballot
box in every election; and I thought, this is what ought to be, for the
same God who created the white man created the red man of the forest,
and therefore they are equally entitled to the benefits of
civilization, education and Christianity.

At that time I was one of the principal ones who advocated this cause,
for I had already received a partial education, and in my understanding
of this matter, I thought that was the only salvation of my people from
being sent off to the west of the Mississippi. In laboring for the
object, I suffered very great hardship and many struggles, but was at
last successful.

But in order that my people can enjoy every privilege of civilisation,
they must be thoroughly educated; they must become acquainted with the
arts and sciences, as well as the white man. Soon as the Indian youths
receive an education, they should be allowed to have some employment
among the whites, in order to encourage them in the pursuit of
civilization and to exercise their ability according to the means and
extent of their education, instead of being a class of persons
continually persecuted and cheated and robbed of their little
possessions. They should have been educated amongst the civilized
communities in order to learn the manners and customs of the white
people. If this method could have been pursued in the first instance,
the aborigines of this country would have secured all the advantages of
civilization, education and Christianity. This was my plan and my
proposition at the council of Detroit, in the treaty of 1855, as there
was quite a large sum of money set apart and appropriated by the
Government for the education of Indian youth of the Ottawa and Chippewa
Indians of Michigan, and I made the proposition at this council that
the sum for that purpose be retained in the hands of the Government
solely to pay for the education of those Indian youths who should be
educated in a civilized community, instead of committing this sum of
money to the hands of the preachers and teachers in the missions among
the Ottawas and Chippewas. If my plan could have been adopted, even as
late as thirty-two years ago, we should have had, by this time, many
well-educated Indians in this State, and probably some good farmers,
and perhaps some noted professors of sciences would have been
developed, and consequently happiness, blessings and prosperity would
have been everywhere among the aborigines of the State of Michigan.


The Lamentation of the Overflowing Heart of the Red Man of the Forest.

                  Hark! What is that I hear,
                  So mournfully ringing in my ear,
                  Like a death song of warriors,
                  For those who fell by their brave sires?
                  Is this the wail now sounding
                  For my unhappy future?

O my destiny, my destiny! How sinks my heart, as I behold my
inheritance all in ruins and desolation. Yes, desolation; the land the
Great Spirit has given us in which to live, to roam, to hunt, and build
our council fires, is no more to behold. Where once so many brave
Algonquins and the daughters of the forest danced with joy, danced with
gratitude to the Great Spirit for their homes, they are no more seen.
Our forests are gone, and our game is destroyed. Hills, groves and
dales once clad in rich mantle of verdure are stripped. Where is this
promised land which the Great Spirit had given to his red children as
the perpetual inheritance of their posterity from generation to
generation? Ah, the pale-faces who have left their fathers' land, far
beyond the ocean, have now come and dispossessed us of our heritage
with cruel deceit and force of arms. Still are they rolling on, and
rolling on, like a mighty spray from the deep ocean, overwhelming the
habitations of nature's children. Is it for the deeds of Pocahontas, of
Massasoit, of Logan, and hosts of others who have met and welcomed the
white men in their frail cabin doors when they were few in numbers,
cold and hungry? Is it for this that we have been plundered, and
expelled at the point of the bayonet from the hallowed graves of our
brothers and sires? O, my father, thou hast taught me from my infancy
to love this land of my birth; thou hast even taught me to say that "it
is the gift of the Great Spirit," when yet my beloved mother clasped me
close to her peaceful breast while she sang of the warlike deeds of the
great Algonquins. O, my father, our happiest days are o'er, and never
again shall we enjoy our forest home. The eagle's eye could not even
discover where once stood thy wigwam and thy peaceful council fire. Ah,
once it was the happy land, and all the charms were there which made
every Indian heart swell with thanks to the Great Spirit for their
happy homes. Melodious music was heard in every grove, sung by the wild
birds of the forest, who mingled their notes sweetly with the wild
chant of my beloved sisters at eve. They sang the song of lullaby to
the pawpose of the red man whilst swinging in the cradle from the shady
trees, wafted gracefully to and fro by the restless wind. The beautiful
old basswood tree bending so gracefully stood there, and the brown
thrush sang with her musical voice. That tree was planted there by the
Great Spirit for me to sport under, when I could scarcely bend my
little bow. Ah, I watched that tree from childhood to manhood, and it
was the dearest spot to me in this wide world. Many happy youthful days
have I spent under this beautiful shady tree. But alas, alas, the white
man's ax has been there! The tree that my good spirit had planted for
me, where once the pretty brown thrush daily sat with her musical
voice, is cut down by the ruthless hands of the white man. 'Tis gone;
gone forever and mingled with the dust. Oh, my happy little bird, thy
warbling songs have ceased, and thy voice shall never again be heard on
that beautiful shady tree. My charming bird, how oft thou hast aroused
me from my slumber at early morn with thy melodious song. Ah, could we
but once more return to our forest glade and tread as formerly upon the
soil with proud and happy heart! On the hills with bended bow, while
nature's flowers bloomed all around the habitation of nature's child,
our brothers once abounded, free as the mountain air, and their glad
shouts resounded from vale to vale, as they chased o'er the hills the
mountain roe and followed in the otter's track. Oh return, return! Ah,
never again shall this time return. It is gone, and gone forever like a
spirit passed. The red man will never live happy nor die happy here any
more. 'Tis passed, 'tis done. The bow and quiver with which I have shot
many thousands of game is useless to me now, for the game is destroyed.
When the white man took every foot of my inheritance, he thought to him
I should be the slave. Ah, never, never! I would sooner plunge the
dagger into my beating heart, and follow the footsteps of my
forefathers, than be slave to the white man.



The Twenty-one Precepts or Moral Commandments of the Ottawa and
Chippewa Indians, by Which They Were Governed in Their Primitive State,
Before They Came in Contact With White Races in Their Country--The Ten
Commandments, The Creed, and The Lord's Prayer in the Ottawa Language
as Translated by the Author.

1st. Thou shalt fear the Great Creator, who is the over ruler of all

2d. Thou shalt not commit any crime, either by night or by day, or
in a covered place: for the Great Spirit is looking upon thee always,
and thy crime shall be manifested in time, thou knowest not when, which
shall be to thy disgrace and shame.

3d. Look up to the skies often, by day and by night, and see the son,
moon and stars which shineth in the firmament, and think that the Great
Spirit is looking upon thee continually.

4th. Thou shalt not mimic or mock the thunders of the cloud, for they
were specially created to water the earth and to keep down all the evil
monsters that are under the earth, which would eat up and devour the
inhabitants of the earth if they were set at liberty.

5th. Thou shalt not mimic or mock any mountains or rivers, or any
prominent formation of the earth, for it is the habitation of some
deity or spirit of the earth, and thy life shall be continually in
hazard if thou shouldst provoke the anger of these deities.

6th. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon
the land.

7th. Honor the gray-head persons, that thy head may also be like unto

8th. Thou shalt not mimic or ridicule the cripple, the lame, or
deformed, for thou shall be crippled thyself like unto them if them
shouldst provoke the Great Spirit.

9th. Hold thy peace, and answer not back, when thy father or thy mother
or any aged person should chastise thee for thy wrong.

10th. Thou shalt never tell a falsehood to thy parents, nor to thy
neighbors, but be always upright in thy words and in thy dealings with
thy neighbors.

11th. Thou shalt not steal anything from thy neighbor, nor covet
anything that is his.

12th. Thou shalt always feed the hungry and the stranger.

13th. Thou shalt keep away from licentiousness and all other lascivious
habits, nor utter indecent language before thy neighbor and the

14th. Thou shalt not commit murder while thou art in dispute with thy
neighbor, unless it be whilst on the warpath.

15th. Thou shalt chastise thy children with the rod whilst they are in
thy power.

16th. Thou shalt disfigure thy face with charcoals, and fast at least
ten days or more of each year, whilst thou are yet young, or before
thou reachest twenty, that thou mayest dream of thy future destiny.

17th. Thou shalt immerse thy body into the lake or river at least ten
days in succession in the early part of the spring of the year, that
thy body may be strong and swift of foot to chase the game and on the

18th. At certain times with thy wife or thy daughters, thou shalt clean
out thy fireplaces and make thyself a new fire with thy fire-sticks for
the sake of thyself and for the sake of thy children's health.

19th. Thou shalt not eat with thy wife and daughters at such time, of
food cooked on a new fire, but they shall be provided with a separate
kettle and cook their victuals therein with an old fire and out of
their wigwam, until the time is passed, then thou shalt eat with them.
[Footnote: See Dr. Bondinot's work, "The Star in the West," pp. 216 and

20th. Thou shalt not be lazy, nor be a vagabond of the earth, to be
hated by all men.

21st. Thou shalt be brave, and not fear any death.

If thou shouldst observe all these commandments, when thou diest thy
spirit shall go straightway to that happy land where all the good
spirits are, and shall there continually dance with the beating of the
drum of Tchi-baw-yaw-booz, the head spirit in the spirit land. But if
thou shouldst not observe them, thy spirit shall be a vagabond of the
earth always, and go hungry, and will never be able to find this road,
"Tchi-bay-kon," in which all the good spirits travel.


1st. Pay-zhe-go ke-zhe-maw-nito me-so-de kay-go kaw-ge-zhe-tod; ke-gaw-
pay-zhe-go gwaw-nawdji-aw ane-go-ko-day-a-you ke-gaw-pay-zhe-go saw-ge-

2d. Kaw-we aw-nesh ke-zhe-maw-nito ke-gaw-wo-we nossi.

3d. Au-nwe-be-we-ne-ge-zhe-got ke-gaw-kwaw-nawdji-ton.

4th. Kouss kanie ke-gaw-she ke-gaw-me-naw-tene-mawg ke-nwezh tchi-we-
pe-maw-deze-yan aw-zhon-daw aw-king.

5th. Ke-go au-we-yaw me-saw-wa-ne-maw-gay.

6th. Ke-go nau-nawe e-nau-de-se-kay.

7th. Ke-go ke-mou-de-kay.

8th. Ke-go kawie ke-no-wish-ke-kay tche-baw-taw-maw-de-baw au-we-ya.

9th. Ke-go mes-sau-we-naw-mau-we-ye-gay ke-dji-pe-maw-de-si o-we-de-

10th. Ke-go kauie au-we-yaw mes-saw-wendau mau-we-ye-gay ke-go andaw-


Men da-bwe-taw-waw Pa-zhe-go maw-nito we-osse-mind, me-zo-day ke-go
nay-taw-we-tod, kaw-ge-zhe-tod wau-kwee aw-ke kanie. Men day-bwe-taw-
we-mon kaice ogwisson paw-ye-zhe-go-nedjin Jesus Krist te-bay-ne-me-
nong. We-ne-zhe-she-nedjin maw-niton o-ge-aw-neshe-naw-bay-we-egoun,
Mari-yon kaw-gaw-ge we-nedjin oge-ne-ge-egoun. Ke-go-daw-ge-to me-gwaw
o-ge-maw-wit Ponce Pila-tawn, ke-baw-daw-kaw-ko-wou tche-baw-yaw-te-
gong, ke-ne-bon ke-naw-gwo-wau kauie au-naw-maw-kaw-mig ke-e-zhaw, waw-
ne-so-ke-zhe-te-nig Ke-au-be-tchi-baw. Waw-kwing ke-e-zhaw, naw-maw-
daw-be o-day-baw-ne-we-kaw-ning ke-zle-maw-niton way-osse me-medjin me-
zo-day ke-go nay tau-we-to-nedjin me-dawst waw-de-be ke-be-ondji-bawd,
tche-be-te-baw-ko-nod pay-maw-de-ze-nedjin, nay-bo-nedjin kauie. Men
day-bwe-taw-waw Way-ne-zhe-shed maw-nito, men day-bwe-tawn kitche-two
kaw-to-lic au-naw-me-a-we-gaw-mig, kay-tchi-two-wendaw-go-ze-djig o-we-
do-ko-daw-de-we-ne-wau paw-taw-do-wene kawss-au-maw-gay-win aw-bedji-
baw-win ezhe-owe-yossing kaw-go-ne pe-maw-de-se-win. Aw-pe-lege.


Nossinaw wau-kwing e-be-you au-pe-gwish ke-tchi-twaw-wend-oming ke-daw-
no-zo-win, au-pe-gish pe-daw-gwe-she-no-maw-gok ke-do-gimaw-o-win, ena-
daw-mon au-pe-gish ezhe-wa-bawk, ti-bish-wau-kwing mego kauie au-king.
Me-zhe-she-nong nongo au-gi-zhe-gawk nin baw-kwe-zhe-gaw-ne-me-naw
menik e-you-yong en-daw-so ke-zhe-gok. Po-ne-ge-tay-taw-we-shi-nong
kauie kaw-nish ki-e-nange te-bish-kon ezhe-pone-ge-day-taw-wou-ge-dwaw
kaw-neshke-e-yo-mendjig, ke-go kauie ezhe-we-zhe-she-kong-gay kaw-gwe
ti-bandji-gay-we-ning, au-tchi-tchaw-yo-ing dansh etaw eni-naw-maw-we-
she-nong maw-tchaw-go-e-wish. Ken maw-ke-daw-yon o-ge-maw-owen, mawsh-
kaw-we-se-win kauie pe-she-gain-daw-go-se-win, kaw-ge-gay-kow-mig au-
pe-nay dash kau-e-go kaw-ge-nig. Amen.



Common nouns in the Ottawa and Chippewa language are divided into two
classes, animate and inanimate. Animate nouns are those which signify
living objects or objects supposed to have life, as persons, animals
and plants. Inanimate nouns signify objects without life.

A third form of nouns is derived from these two classes, called
diminutive nouns. These are formed by the termination "ens" or "na"
placed upon other nouns.

The plural of animate nouns is usually formed by adding the syllable
"wog" to the singular; if the word ends in a vowel, only the letter "g"
is added; and sometimes the syllables "yog," "ag," or "og."

All words are pronounced with accent on the last syllable.

Sing.                   Pl.                  Eng.

Pe-nay,              Pe-nay-wog,             Partridge.
Aw-dje-djawk,        Aw-dje-djaw-wog,        Crane.
Waw-mawsh-kay-she,   Waw-mawsh-kay-she-wog,  Deer.
Waw-goosh,           Waw-goosh-og,           Fox.
Pezhe-kee,           Pezhe-kee-wog,          Cattle.
Pezhe-keens, (dim.)  Pezhe-keens-og,         Calf.
Aw-ni-moush,         Aw-ni-moush-og,         Dog.
Aw-ni-mouns, (dim.), Aw-ni-mouns-og,         Puppy.

The plural of inanimate nouns usually terminates in an, en, on, or n.

Sing.                       Pl.                      Eng.

We-ok-won,               We-ok-won-an,            Hat.
Wig-wom,                 Wig-wom-an,              House.
Mo-ke-sin,               Mo-ke-sin-an,            Shoe.
Maw-kok,                 Maw-kok-on,              Box.
Maw-kok-ons, (dim.),     Maw-kok-on-son,          Small box.
Tchi-mawn,               Tchi-mawn-an,            Boat.
Tchi-maw-nes, (dim.),    Tchi maw-nes-on,         Small boat.

Nouns have three cases, nominative, locative and objective. The
locative case denotes the relation usually expressed in English by the
use of a preposition, or by the genitive, dative and ablative in Latin.

Nom. Aw-kick,                 Kettle.
Loc. Aw-kick-ong,             In the kettle.
Obj. E-naw-bin aw-kick-ong,   Do look in the kettle.

This relation can be expressed by the word "pin-je," as "Pin-je aw-
kick,"--in the kettle; "E-naw-bin pin-je aw-kick,"--do look in the
kettle; but this form is seldom used. It is employed only for great
emphasis or formality.

The locative termination is "ong," "eng," or "ing."

The objective case is like the nominative when the subject is in the
1st or 2d person, but when the subject is in the 3d person the object
takes the termination "won."

Example of locative and objective cases: Chicago is derived from she-
gog-ong, the locative case of the Ottawa word she-gog, meaning skunk;
nominative, she-gog; locative, she-gog-ong; objective, she-gog or she-

Locative case--
    She-gog-ong ne-de-zhaw,       I am going to Chicago.
    She-gog-ong ne-do-je-baw,     I come from Chicago.
    She-gog-ong e-zhawn,          Go to Chicago.

Objective case--
    1st p.--She-gog ne-ne-saw,     I kill the skunk.
    2d p.--She-gog ke-ne-saw,      You kill the skunk.
    3d p.--She-gog-won o-ne-sawn,  He kills the skunk.

Gender is distinguished by the word "quay," either prefixed or added to
nouns, to indicate the feminine.

Aw-ne-ne, pl. wog; Man.           Aw-quay, pl. wog; Woman.
Aw-nish-naw-bay; Indian man.      Aw-nesh-naw-bay-quay; I. woman.
Osh-kee-naw-way; Young man.       Osh-kee-ne-ge-quay; Y. woman.
Que-we-zayns, pl. og; Boy.        Quay-zayns, pl. og; Girl.
Aw-yaw-bay-pe-zhe-kee; Bull.      Quay-pe-zhe-kee; Cow.

Proper names always form the feminine by adding "quay."

Ce-naw-day; Irishman.             Ce-naw-day-quay; Irishwoman.

Some genders are irregular.

Aw-ke-wa-zee; Old man.            Me-de-mo-gay; Old woman.
Aw-be-non-tchi, an infant, has no distinction of gender.
Os-see-maw, pl. g; Father.        O-gaw-shi-maw, pl. g; Mother.
Me-kaw-ne-see-maw; Brother.       O-me-say-e-maw; Sister.
O-me-shaw-mes-se-maw; Gr.father.  O-kee-mes-se-maw; Grandmother.
O-me-shaw-way-e-maw; Uncle.       O-nou-shay-e-maw; Aunt.
We-taw-wis-see-maw; Male cousin.  We-ne-mo-shay-e-maw; Fem. cous.

Diminutive nouns take the same modifications as the nouns from which
they are derived.

Verbs and adjectives are modified to agree with the animate or
inanimate nouns to which they belong, as will be illustrated hereafter.


Personal pronouns have no distinction of gender in the third person
singular. A peculiarity of this language is the two forms for the first
person plural. These two forms for pronouns, and for verbs in all moods
and tenses, are like each other except in the first syllable. In one
form the first syllable is always "Ke," and in the other "Ne." The form
commencing with Ke is used only when speaking to one person, and that
commencing with Ne, which might be called the multiple form, is used
whenever more than one person is addressed, even though no word may
appear in the sentence indicating how many. This is an idiosyncracy
which perhaps would never have been developed, certainly would not be
perpetuated, in any except an unwritten language. It is of no effect
except in a language always colloquial. The multiple form will be given
in this grammar as the first person plural, and, whether indicated or
not, the other may be understood as being the same with the change of
the first syllable from Ne to Ke.


         Sing.                                 Pl.

  1st. p.--Neen or nin, I,               ( Ne-naw-wind, (mult.),  We.
                                         ( Ke-naw-wind,)          We.
  2d p.--Keen or kin, Thou or you,       Ke-naw-waw,              You.
  3d p.--Ween or win, He or she,         We-naw-waw,              They.

When these personal pronouns are connected with other words, or when
they become subjects or objects of verbs, the first syllable only is
used, or pronounced. In the third person of verbs the pronoun is
entirely omitted.

     Sing.                             Pl.

  Ne wob,   I see,                 Ne wob-me,     We see.
  Ke wob,   You see,               Ke wob-em,     You see.
  Wo-be,    He or she sees,        Wo-be-wog,     They see.

The whole pronoun is sometimes used when the emphatic or intensive form
is desired, as,

  Sing.--Neen-ne wob,  I myself see.
         Keen-ke wob,  You yourself see.
         Ween wo-be,   He himself, or she herself sees.

    Pl.--Ne-naw-wind ne-wob-me,        We ourselves see.
         Ke-naw-waw ke-wob-em,         You yourself see.
         We-naw-waw wo-be-wog,         They themselves see.


Ne-daw-yo-em,  Mine,         Ne-daw-yo-em-e-naw,  Ours.
Ke-daw-yo-em,  Thine,        Ke-daw-yo-em-e-waw,  Yours.
O-daw-yo-em,   His or hers,  O-daw-yo-em-e-waw,   Theirs.

Emphatic form--nin ne-daw-yo-em, etc., throughout all the different
persons. When these possessive pronouns are used with nouns, nearly all
the syllables are omitted, except the first, which is added to the noun
in the plural; as--

    Sing.                          Pl.

Ne we-ok-won,    My hat,     Ne we-ok-won-e-naw,     Our hat.
Ke we-ok-won,    Your hat,   Ke we-ok-won-e-waw,     Your hat.
O we ok-won,     His hat,    O we-ok-won-e-waw,      Their hat.

The emphatic form, "my own hat," is made by prefixing the personal
pronouns, as--

    Sing.                           Pl.

Neen ne we-ok-won,         Ne-naw-wind ne we-ok-won-e-naw,
Keen ke we-ok-won,         Ke-naw-waw ke we-ok-won-e-waw,
Ween o we-ok-won,          We-naw-waw o we-ok-won-e-waw.


The impersonal pronoun "maw-got," plural "maw-got-on," may be
represented by the English impersonal or neuter pronoun It, but it has
a wider significance. The inanimate subject of a verb is also
represented by maw-got or maw-got-on. Wa-po-tchin-ga maw-got, or wa-po-
tchin-ga-sa maw-got, it strikes; plural, wa-po-tchin-ga maw-got-on, or
wa-po-tchin-ga-sa maw-got-on, they strike.

Au-no-ke maw-got, It works.       Pe-me-say maw-got, It walks.
Ne-bo-we maw-got, It stands.      Wo-be maw-got, It sees.
Pe-me-baw-to maw-got, It runs.

Au-nish, interrogative pronoun what; au-naw-tchi, relative pronoun
what; e-we, relative pronoun that.


Adjectives take two forms, to agree with the animate or inanimate nouns
to which they belong.

Comparison of adjectives is made by other words: O-ne-zhe-she
(inanimate o-ne-zhe-shin), good; Maw-maw-me (or ne-go-ne) o-ne-zhe (or
-shin), better; Au-pe-tchi o-ne-zhe-she (or -shin), best. A fourth
degree is sometimes used: Maw-mo-me o-ne-zhe-she (or -shin), very best.

The words "Me-no" and "Maw-tchi" or "Mau-tchi," do not change when used
with other words, and they are the most common adjectives in the Ottawa
and Chippewa languages; they are used as adverbs, as well as

"Me-no," is equivalent to good, right, and well; and "Man-tchi," is
equivalent to bad, wicked, evil; as Me-no au-ne-ne, good man; Me-no au-
quay, good woman; Me-no au-way-sin, good animal; Me-no au-ky, good
land; Me-no waw-bo-yon, good blanket; Me-no e-zhe-wa-be-sy, good
behavior, or kind; Me-no au-no-ky, he works well, or doing good
business; Me-no pe-maw-de-sy, he is well; Me-no au-yaw, he is getting
well, or convalescent from sickness; Me-no au-no-kaw-so-win, good
utensil, or handy instrument; Me-no wau-gaw-quat, good ax; Me-no ke-
zhi-gut, good day, or pleasant weather; Me-no au-no-kaw-tchi-gon, good
goods, or nice goods; Me-no e-zhe-wa-be-sy, he or she is kind or good;
Me-no maw-tchaw maw-got, it goes well, etc.

The word "Mau-tchi" is equally useful; as, Mau-tchi an-ne-ne, bad man;
Mau-tchi au-quay, bad woman; Mau-tchi e-zhe-wa-be-sy, bad behavior, or
wicked person; Mau-tchi mau-ne-to, evil spirit, or the devil; Mau-tchi
ke-ge-to, wicked language, or profanity; Mau-tchi wau-gaw-quat, bad ax;
Mau-tchi ke-zhwa, vulgar speaker; Man-tchi no-din, bad wind; Mau-tchi
au-naw-quot, bad cloud; Mau-tchi ke-zhe-got, bad day, or rough weather;
Mau-tchi wig-wom, bad house, or wicked house; Mau-tchi au-no-ke-win,
bad business, etc.

Another adjective equally comprehensive is Kwaw-notch: Kwaw-notch au-
ne-ne, well-behaved man; Kwaw-notch au-quay, pretty woman; Kwaw-notch
au-no-ke-win, good business; Kwaw-notch au-no-kaw-tchi-gon, nice goods;
Kwaw-notchi-won, pretty or nice (inanimate); Kwaw-notchi-we, pretty
(animate); Au-pe-tchi kwaw-notchi-we au-quay, very pretty woman.

The following illustrate the changes of form in adjectives for animate
and inanimate:

Animate.                             Inanimate.

Me-no-e-zhe-wa-be-sy,            Me-no-e-zhe-wa-bawt,     Kind, mild.
Ke-no-sy,                        Ke-nwa,                  Long, tall.
Ke-zhe-we-sy,                    Ke-zhe-waw,              Hard.
Mush-kaw-we-sy,                  Mush-kaw-waw,            Strong.
Ke-zhe-kaw, or ke-zhe-be-so,     Ke-zhe-be-ta,            Swift, fleet.
Ko-se-gwan-ny,                   Ko-se-gwan,              Heavy.
Maw-tchi-e-zhe-wa-be-sy,         Maw-tchi-e-zhe-wa-bot,   Bad.
Ma-tchaw-yaw-au-wish,            Ma-tchaw-yaw-e-wish,     Wicked.
We-saw-ge-sy,                    We-saw-gun,              Bitter.
Wish-ko-be-sy,                   Wish-ko-bun,             Sweet.
Sou-ge-sy,                       Sou-gun,                 Tough.
Se-we-sy,                        Se-won,                  Sour.
Maw-kaw-te-we-sy,                Maw-kaw-te-waw           Black.
Ozaw-we-sy,                      Ozaw-waw,                Yellow.
Ozhaw-wash-ko-sy,                Ozhaw-wash-kwaw,         Green.
Mis-ko-sy,                       Mis-kwa,                 Red
We-bin-go-sy,                    We-bin-gwaw,             Blue.
O-zaw won-so                     O-zaw won-day,           Yellow color.
Maw-kaw-te won-so                Maw-kaw-te won-day       Black color.
Maw-kaw-te-au-ne-ne, black man   Maw-kaw-te-mo-kok,       Black box.
Mis-ko au-ne, red man            Mis-ko wau-bo-yon,       Red blanket.

It will be observed that the last one or two syllables of the adjective
are dropped when in connection with a noun.


Ottawa and Chippewa verbs are changed in their conjugations, to

     1st. Whether their subjects are animate, or inanimate;
     2d.  Whether their objects are animate, or inanimate;
     3d.  Whether they are transitive, or intransitive;
     4th. Whether they are active, or passive, or reflective;
     5th. Whether the expression is common, or emphatic.

They also express by their forms all of the distinctions of mood and
tense, person and number, found in the English, and form their
participles, and are changed into verbal or participial nouns; and
these modifications are for, the most part regular in form.

I. Verbs with inanimate subjects correspond to English impersonal or
neuter verbs, but are much more extensively used. They are usually
formed by adding the impersonal pronoun, maw-got--it; as,

   Animate Subject.                      Inanimate Subject

Sing-Au-nou-kee, he works.      Au-nou-ke-maw-got, it works.
Ke-au-nou-ke, he worked.        Ke-an-non-ke-maw-got, it worked.
Au-non-ke-wog,   they work.     Au-nou-ke-maw-go-toun, things work
Ke-au-nou-ke-wog, they worked.  Ke-an-nou-ke-maw-go-toun, things worked.

Standing trees, as well as all living creatures and personified things,
are regarded as animate.

II, III. The distinctions for animate and inanimate objects, and for
transitive and intransitive, are illustrated by the following:

                Singular--I kill, Thou killest, etc.
        Intransitive.              Transitive.
Pers.                 Animate Object            Inanimate Object.
1 Ne-ne-taw-gay         Ne-ne-saw               Ne-ne-ton
2 Ke-ne-taw-gay         Ke-ne-saw               Ke-ne-toun
3 Ne-taw-gay            O-ne-sawn, or son       O-ne-toun

                Plural--We kill, You kill, etc.
1 Ne-ne-taw-gay-me      Ne-ne-saw-naw           Ne-ne-tou-naw
2 Ke-ne-taw-gaym        Ke-ne-saw-waw           Ke-ne-tou-naw-waw
3 Ne-taw-gay-wog        O-ne-saw-wawn or won    O-ne-tou-naw-waw

                Singular--I see, Thou seest, etc.
1 Ne-waub               Ne-waub-maw             Ne-waub-don, or dawn
2 Ke-waub               Ke-waub-maw             Ke-waub-don, or dawn
3 Wau-be                O-waub-mon or mawn      O-waub-don, or dawn

                Plural--We see, You see, etc.
1 Ne-waub-me            Ne-waub-maw-naw         Ne-waub-daw-naw
2 Ke-wau-bem            Ke-waub-maw-waw         Ke-waub-daw-naw-wan
3 Wau-be-wog            O-Waub-naw-won          O-waub-daw-naw-wan

IV. What is denominated the reflective form of the verb, is where the
subject and the object are the same person or thing; as, in English, He
hates himself. The passive and reflective forms are illustrated in the
verb, To See, thus:

        Passive.                Reflective.

Ne-wob-me-go, I am seen.      Ne-wau-baw-dis, I see myself.
Ke-wob-me-go, thou art seen.  Ke-wau-baw-dis, thou seest thyself.
Wob-maw, he is seen.          Wau-baw-de-so, he sees himself.
Ne-wob-me-go-me, we are seen, Ne-wau-baw-de-so-me, we see ourselves
Ko-wob-me-gom, you are seen.  Ke-wan-baw-de-som, you see yourselves
Wob-maw-wag, they are seen.   Wau-baw-de-so-wag, they see themselves

V. The emphatic form repeats the first part of the pronoun; as, Ne-
waub, I see; Nin-ne-waub, I do see (literally, I myself see).


Common Form--I eat, etc.     Emphatic Form--I do eat, etc.

1 Ne-we-sin                  Nin-ne-we-sin
2 Ke-we-sin                  Kin-ke-we-sin
3 We-se-ne                   Win-we-we-sin

Transitive--Animate Object

1 Ne-daw-mwaw                Nin-ne-daw-mwaw
2 Ke-daw-mwaw                Kin-ke-daw-mwaw
3 O-daw-mwaw                 Win-o-daw-mwaw

Transitive--Inanimate Object.

1 Ne-me-djin                 Nin-ne-me-djin
2 Ke-me-djin                 Kin-ke-me-djin
3 O-me-djin                  Win-o-me-djin

The object is frequently placed before the verb--always when in answer
to a question. Thus, the answer to the question, What is he eating?
would be, Ke-goon-yan o-daw-mwawn--Fish he is eating.

Nouns are formed from verbs by adding "win"; as, waub, to see, wau-be-
win, sight; paw-pe, to laugh, paw-pe-win, laughter; au-no-ke, to work,
au-no-ke-win, labor.

NOTE.--A verb susceptible of both the transitive and intransitive
office, and of both animate and inanimate subjects, as for instance,
the verb To Blow, may have no less than fifteen forms for the
indicative present third person singular. The intransitive may be both
animate and inanimate as to subject, and the former both common and
emphatic; the transitive would have the same, multiplied by animate and
inanimate objects; and the passive and reflective would each have
inanimate, and common and emphatic animate--fifteen. Double these for
the plural, and we have thirty forms; and that multiplied by the
sixteen tenses of the indicative, potential and subjunctive moods gives
480 forms of third person. The first and second persons have the same,
minus the inanimate subject, or 20 each for each tense, making 640
more, or 1120 all together in those three moods. The imperative
singular and plural, and the infinitive present and past, and the
participles, add 25. Then there is the additional form for the first
person plural treated under "Pronouns," running through all the sixteen
tenses, common and emphatic, animate and inanimate and intransitive, 96
more--making the astonishing number of 1241 forms of a single verb!--

_Conjugation of the Verb To Be._


  Pers. Singular.                               Plural.

Present Tense--I am, etc.
1 Ne-daw-yaw                                Ne-daw-yaw-me
2 Ke-daw-yaw                                Ke-daw-yaw-me
3 Aw-yaw                                    Aw-yaw-waug or wog

Imperfect Tense--I was, etc.
1 Ne-ge-au-yaw                              Ne-ge-au-yaw-me
2 Ke-ge-au-yaw                              Ke-ge-au-yawm
3 Ke-au-yaw                                 Ke-au-yaw-wog

Perfect Tense--I have been, etc.
1 Au-zhe-gwaw ne-ge-au-yaw            Au-zhe-gwaw ne-ge-au-yaw-me
2 Au-zhe-gwaw ke-ge-au-yaw            Au-zhe-gwaw ke-ge-au-yawm
3 Au-zhe-gwaw ke-au-yaw               Au-zhe-gwaw ke-au-yaw-wog

Pluperfect Tense--I had been, etc.
1 Ne-ge-au-yaw-naw-baw                Ne-ge-au-me-naw-baw
2 Ke-ge-au-yaw-naw-baw                Ke-ge-au-me-naw-baw
3 Ke-au-yaw-baw                       Ke-au-yaw-baw-neg

Future Tense--I shall or will be, etc.
1 Ne-gaw-au-yaw                       Ne-gaw-au-yaw-me
2 Ke-gaw-au-yaw                       Ke-gaw-au-yawm
3 Taw-au-yaw                          Taw-au-yaw-wag


Present Tense--I may or can be, etc.
1 Ko-maw ne-taw-au-yaw                Ko-maw ne-taw-au-yaw-me
2 Ko-maw ke-taw-au-yaw                Ko-maw ke-taw-au-yawm
3 Ko-maw tau-yaw                      Ko-maw taw-au-yo-wog

Imperfect Tense--I might be, etc.
1 Ko-maw ne-ge-au-yaw                 Ko-maw ne-ge-au-yaw-me
2 Ko-maw ke-ge-au-yaw                 Ko-maw ke-ge-au-yom
3 Ko-maw ke-au-yaw                    Ko-maw ke-au-yaw-wog

Perfect Tense--I may have been, etc.
1 Au-zhe-gwau ne-tau-ge-au-yaw    Au-zhe-gwau ne-tau-ge-au-yaw-me
2 Au-zhe-gwau ke-tau-ge-au-yaw    Au-zhe-gwau ke-tau-ge-au-yawm
3 Au-zhe-gwan tau-ge-au-yaw       Au-zhe-gwau tau-ge-au-yaw-og

Pluperfect Tense--I might have been, etc.
1 Ko-maw au-yaw-yom-baw     Ko maw au-yaw-wong-ge-baw
2 Ko-maw ke-au-yaw-yom-baw  Ko-maw au-yaw-ye-go-baw
3 Ko-maw au-yaw-go-baw-nay  Ko-maw au-yaw-wo-go-baw-nay


Present Tense--If I be, etc.
1 Tchish-pin au-yaw-yaw     Tchish-pin au-yaw-wong
2 Tchish-pin au-yaw-yon     Tchish-pin au-yaw-yeg
3 Tchish-pin au-yawd        Tchish-pin au-yaw-wod

Imperfect Tense--If I were, etc,
1 Tchish-pin ke-au-yaw-yaw  Tchish-pin ke-au-yaw-wong
2 Tchish-pin ke-au-yaw-yon  Tchish-pin ke-au-yaw-yeg
3 Tchish-pin ke-au-yawd     Tchish-pin ke-au-yaw-wod

Perfect Tense--If I have been, etc.
1 Tchish-pin au-zhe-gaw ke-au-yaw-yaw
2 Tchish-pin au-zhe-gaw ke-au-yaw-yon
3 Tchish-pin au-zhe-gwa ke-au-yawd Tchish-pin au-zhe-gwa ke-aw-yaw-wog
                                   Tchish-pin au-zhe-gwa ke-au-yaw-yeg
                                   Tchish-pin au-zhe-gwa ke-au-yaw-wod
[The syllable "gwa" is often omitted, merely saying, "au-zhe."].

Pluperfect Tense--If I had been, etc.

1 Au-zhe ke-au-yaw-yaw-baw  Au-zhe ke-au-yaw-wong-o-baw
2 Au-zhe ke-au-yaw-yawm-baw Au-zhe ke-au-yaw-ye-go-baw
3 Au-zhe ke-au-yaw-paw      Au-zhe ke-au-yaw-wau-paw

Future Tense--If I shall or will be, etc.

1 Tchish-pin we-au-yaw-yaw  Tchish-pin we-au-yaw-wong
2 Tchish-pin we-au-yaw-yon  Tchish-pin we-au-yaw-yeg
3 Tchish-pin we-au-yawd     Tchish-pin we-au-yaw-wod

IMPERATIVE MOOD--Be thou, Do you be.
2 Au-yawm                   Au-yawg

INFINITIVE MOOD--To be, To have been.
Present--Tchi-au-yong       Perfect--Au-zhe tchi-ke-au-yong

PARTICIPLES--Being, Been, Having been.
Au-zhaw-yong   Tchi-ge-au-yong    Au-zhe-gwaw tchi-ge-au-yong

_Synopsis of the Verb To See._

I see,                            Ne-wob.
I saw,                            Ne-ge-wob.
I have seen,                      Au-zhe-gwaw ne-ge-wob.
I had seen,                       Ne-ge-wob-naw-baw
I shall see,                      Ne-gaw-wob.
I shall have seen,                Au-zhe-ge-wob.
I may see,                        Ko-maw ne-taw-wob.
I might see,                      Ko-maw ne-ge-wob.
I may-have seen,                  Au-zhe-gwaw ne-taw-ge-wob.
I might have seen,                Ko-maw wob-yawm-baw.
If I see,                         Tchish-pin wob-yon.
If I saw,                         Tchish-pin ke-wob-yon-baw.
If I have seen,                   Tchish-pin au-zhe-gwa wob-yon.
If I had seen,                    Tchish-pin ke-wob yon-baw.
If I shall see,                   Tchish-pin we-wob-yon.
If I shall have seen,             Tchish-pin we-wob-yon-baw.
See thou,                         Wob-ben.
To see,                           Tchi-wob-bing.
To have seen,                     Tchi-ge-wob-bing.
Seeing,                           Au-wob-bing.
Having seen,                      Au-zhe-gwaw au-ge-wob-biog.
Having been seen,                 Au-ge-wob-bing-e-baw.
I am seen,                        Ne-wob-me-go.
I was seen,                       Ne-ge-wob-me-go;
I have been seen,                 Au-zhe ne-ge-wob-me-go.
I had been seen,                  Ne-ge-wob-me-go-naw-baw.
I shall be seen,                  Ne-gaw-wob-me-go.
I shall have been seen,           She-gwa-we-wob-me-go-yon.
I may be seen,                    Ko-maw wob-me-go-yon.
I might be seen,                  Ko-maw ke-wob-me-go-yon.
I may have been seen,             Ko-maw au-zhe ke-wob-me-go-yon.
I might have been seen,           Ko-maw au-zhe ke-wob-me-go-yon-baw.
If I be seen,                     Tchish-pin wob-em-go-yon.
If I have been seen,              Tchish-pin au-zhe ke-wob-me-go-yon.
If I had been seen,               Tchish-pin ke-wob-me-go-yon-baw.
If I shall be seen,               Tchish-pin we-wob-me-go-yon.
If I shall have been seen,        Tchish-pin she-gwa-we-wob-me-go-yon.
I see myself,                     Ne-wau-baw-dis.
I saw myself,                     Ne-ge-wau-baw-dis.
I shall see myself,               Ne-gaw-wau-baw-dis.
I may see myself,                 Ko-maw ne-daw-wau-baw-dis.
See thyself,                      Wau-baw-de-son.
To see thyself,                   Tchi-wob-on-di-song.


Adverbs: When, au-pe, au-ne-nish; where, au-ne-pe, au-ne-zhaw; there,
e-wo-te, au-zhe-we. [The significance of the double forms is not clear;
and comparison, as with Adjectives, seems to be by different words.--

Prepositions are few, and are oftener embraced in the form of the verb,
as in the Latin. The most important are, pin-je, in; tchish-pin, or
kish-pin, if. Po-taw-wen pin-je ke-zhap ke-ze-gun, make some fire in
the stove; Tchish-pin maw-tchawt, if he go away. Or the same may be
expressed, Po-taw-wen ke-zhap ke-ze-gun-ing ("ing" forming locative
ease, with the preposition implied); and, Maw-yaw-tchaw-gwen (the
latter form of verb expressing subjunctive mood). The employment of the
preposition makes the expression more emphatic.

The most important Conjunctions are, haw-yea, gaw-ya, ka-ie, and; and
ke-maw, or. [Three forms of "and" doubtless due to imperfect

Interjections embrace, yaw! exclamation of danger; au-to-yo! surprise;
a-te-way! disappointment; taw-wot-to! disgust; ke-yo-o! disgust (used
only by females).

There is no Article; but the words, mendaw, that, and maw-baw, this,
are often used before nouns as specifying terms, and are always
emphatic. E-we is common for that, directed to things at a distance.

A peculiarity, of uncertain significance, is the termination, sh, or
esh, employed in connection with the possessive case. It does not
change the interpretation, and is perhaps an expression of familiarity,
or intimate relationship. Illustration:

Ne-gwiss, my son;             Ne-gwisa-esh, my son.
Ne-daw-niss, my daughter;     Ne-daw-niss-esh, my daughter.
Ne-dib, my head;              Ne-dib-awsh, my head.
Ne-wau-bo-yon, my blanket;    Ne-wau bo-yon-esh, my blanket.
Ne-gwiss-og, my sons;         Ne-gwiss-es-shog, my sons.
Ne-daw-niss-og, my daughters; Ne-daw-niss-es-shog, my daughters.

One, Pa-zhig.                 Ten, Me-toss-we.
Two, Nezh.                    Twenty, Nezh-to-naw.
Three, Ness-we.               Thirty, Ne-se-me-to-naw.
Four, Ne-win.                 Forty, Ne-me-to-naw.
Five, Naw-non.                Fifty, Naw-ne-me-to-naw.
Six, Ne-go-twos-we.           Sixty, Ne-go-twa-se-me-to-naw.
Seven, Nezh-was-we.           Seventy, Nezh-wo-se-me-to-naw.
Eight, Nish-shwas-we.         Eighty, Nish-wo-se-me-to-naw.
Nine, Shong-swe.              Ninety, Shong-gaw-se-me-to-naw.
One hundred, Go-twok.

Father, Os-se-maw, pl. g.          Mother, O-gaw-shi-maw, pl. g.
Brother, We-kaw-ne-se-maw.         Sister, O-me-say-e-maw.
Grandfather, O-me-shaw-mes-e-maw.  Grandmother, O-ko-mes-se-maw.
Cousin, male, We-taw-wis-e-maw.    Cousin, female, We-ne-mo-shay-e-maw.
Uncle, O-me-shaw-may-e-maw.        Aunt, O-nou-shay-e-maw.
Boy, Que-we-zayns, pl. og.         Girl, Quay-zayns, pl. og.
Man, Au-ne-ne, pl. wog.            Woman, Au-quay, pl. wog.
Old man, Au-ke-wa-ze, pl. yog.     Old woman, Me-de-mo-yay, pl. yog.

Ae, yes.                Kau, no.                 Nau-go, now.
Ka-ge-te, truly so.     Kau-win, no (emphatic).  Au-zhon-daw, here.
Pe-nau! hark!           Ka-go, don't.            E-wo-te, there.
Pa-kau, stop.           Kaw-ga-go, none.         Ne-gon, before.

Aush-kwe-yong, behind.             Ne-se-wo-yaw-ing, between.
Pe-tchi-naw-go, yesterday.         Wau-bung, to-morrow.
Pe-tchi-nog, just now.             Wau-e-baw, soon.
Au-no-maw-yaw, lately.             Way-wib, quickly.
Au-gaw-won, hardly.                Naw-a-gotch, slowly.
Au-pe-tchi, very.                  O-je-daw, purposely.
Kay-gaw, almost.                   Saw-kou, for example.
Mou-zhawg, always.                 Me-naw-gay-kaw! to be sure!
Ne-sawb, alike.                    Kaw-maw-me-daw, can't.
Pin-dig, inside.                   Pin-di-gayn, come in.

We-yaw,           The Body.        Pe-nay-shen,      Bird.
                                   (Pl. yog)
O-dib,            Head.            Wing-ge-zee,       Eagle.
O-te-gwan,        Face.            Pe-nay-se,         Hawk.
O-don,            Mouth.           Mong,              Loon.
Osh-ke-zheg,      Eye.             Me-zhe-say,        Turkey.
O-no-wau-e,       Cheek.           She-sheb,          Duck.
(P. og; others an.)
Otch-awsh,        Nose.            Kaw-yawshk,        Gull.
O-daw-me-kon,     Jaw.             Tchin-dees,        Bluejay.
O-da-naw-naw,     Tongue.          May-may,           Woodcock.
We-bid,           Tooth.           Pe-nay,            Partridge.
We-ne-zes,        Hair.            Au-dje-djawk,      Crane.
O-kaw-tig,        Forehead.        O-me-me,           Pigeon.
O-maw-maw,        Eyebrow.         Au-pe-tchi,        Robin.
Kaw-gaw-ge,       Palate.          Awn-dayg,          Crow.
(P. og; others an.)
O-kaw-gun,        Neck.            Au-nawk,           Thrasher.
O-do-daw-gun,     Throat.          Paw-paw-say,       Woodpecker.
O pe-kwawn,       Back.            Ke-wo-nee,         Prairie hen.
O-pe-gay-gun,     Rib.             Maw-kwa,           Bear.
O-me-gawt,        Stomach.         Mooz,              Moose.
O-naw-gish,       Bowel.           Me-shay-wog,       Elk.
Osh-kawt,         Belly.           Maw-in-gawn,       Wolf.
O-kwan,           Liver.           Au-mick,           Beaver.
O-kun,            Bone.            Maw-boos,          Rabbit.
O-nenj,           Hand.            Pe-zhen,           Lynx.
O-neek,           Arm.             Au-ni-moosh,       Dog.
O-dos-kwon,       Elbow.           Au-ni-mouns,       Puppy.
O-kawd,           Leg.             Au-zhawshk,        Muskrat.
O-ge-dig,         Knee.            Wau-goosh,         Fox.
(P. og; others an.)
O bwom,           Thigh.           Shaw-gway-she,     Mink.
O-zeet,           Foot.            A-se-bou,          Raccoon.
O-don-dim,        Heel.            Me-she-be-zhe,     Panther.
                                   (eg; others wog, og, g.)
O-ge-tchi-zeet,   Big toe.         She-gos-se,        Weasel.
O-ge-tchi-nenj,   Thumb.           Au-saw-naw-go,     Squirrel.
Ke-gon,           Fish.            Maw-ne-tons,       insect.
(Pl. yog)
Ke-gons (dim.),   minnow.          O-jee,             house fly.
(Pl. sog)
Naw-me-gons,      trout.           Me-ze-zawk,        horse fly.
Maw-zhaw-me-gons, brook trout.     Au-mon,            bumblebee.
Maw-may,          sturgeon.        Au-moans (dim.),   bee, hornet.
O-gaw,            pickerel.        May-may-gwan,      butterfly.
                                   (Pl. yog)
She-gwaw-meg,     dog fish.        Au-kou-jeah,       louse.
Au-saw-way,       perch.           Paw-big,           flea.
O-kay-yaw-wis,    herring.         O-ze-gog,          woodtick.
Au-she-gun,       black bass.      A-naw-go,          ant.
Au-de-kaw-meg,    whitefish.       A-a-big,           spider.
Ke-no-zhay,       pike.            Saw-ge-may,        mosquito.
Paw-zhe-toua,     sheep head.      Mo-say,            cut worm.
(Pl. yog)
Maw-maw-bin,      sucker.          O-quay,            maggot.

Paw-gawn, nut; (dim. paw-gaw-nays, hazelnut or other small nut)
Au-zhaw-way-mish, pl. eg; beech tree.
Au-zhaw-way-min, pl. on; beech nut.
Me-te-gwaw-bawk, pl. og; hickory tree.
Me-gwaw-baw-ko paw-gon, pl. on; hickory nut.
Paw-gaw-naw-ko paw-gon, pl. on; walnut.
Me-she-me-naw-gaw-wosh, pl. eg; apple tree.
Me-she-min, pl. og; apple.
Shaw-bo-me-naw-gaw-wosh, pl. eg; gooseberry bush.
Shaw-bo-min, pl. og; gooseberry.
Paw-gay-saw-ne-mish, pl. eg; plum tree.
Paw-gay-son, pl. og; plum.
Aw-nib, pl. eg; elm.                  Aw-doup, pl. eg; willow.
Shin-gwawk, pl. wog; pine.            Ke-zhek, pl. og; cedar.
Au-bo-yawk, pl. wog; ash.             We-aaw-gawk, pl. og; black ash.
Me-daw-min, pl. og; corn.             O-zaw-o-min, pl. og; yellow corn.
Mis-kou-min, pl. og; red raspberry.
Wau-be-mis-kou-min, pl. og; white raspberry.
Wau-kaw-tay-mis-kou-min, pl. eg; black raspberry.
AU-KEE; the world, the earth, land, country, soil.
Pay-maw-te-se-jeg au-king, the people of the world.
Taw-naw-ke-win, country or native land.
Ke-taw-kee-me-naw, our country.
Maw-kaw-te au-kee, black earth or soil.
Me-daw-keem, my land.
Au-ke-won, soiled; also applied to rich land.
Ne-besh, water; ne-be-kaw, wet land.
Wau-bawsh-ko-kee, marsh land.
An-ke-kaw-daw-go-kee, tamarack swamp.
Ke-zhe-ke-kee, cedar swamp.
Au-tay yaw-ko-kee, swamp, swampy land.
Shen-gwaw-ko-kee, pine land.
Ne-gaw-we-kee, sand; ne-gaw-we-kaw, sandy.
Kong-ke-tchi-gaw-me, the ocean.
Ke-tchi-au-gaw-ming, across the ocean.
Se-be (pl. won), river; se-be-wens (dim). (pl. an.) brook.
Ke-te-gawn (pl. on), farm; ke-te-gaw-nes (dim.), garden.
Ke-te-gay we-ne-ne, (pl. wog), farmer.
Ke-zes, sun; te-bik-ke-zes, moon; au-nong (pl. wog), star.
Ke-zhe-gut, day; te-be-kut, night.
Ne-bin, summer; pe-boon, winter.
Ne-be-nong, last summer; me-no-pe-boon, pleasant winter.
Tau-gwan-gee, fall; me-nou-kaw-me, spring.
Au-won-se-me-nou-kaw-ming, year ago last spring.
Maw-tchi taw-gwan-ge, bad or unpleasant fall.
No-din, wind; no-wau-yaw, the air.
No-de-naw-ne-mot, windy.
To-ke-sin, calm; ne-tche-wod, stormy.
Au-pe-tchi ne-tche-wod, very stormy.
Wig-wom, house; wig-wom-an, houses.
Au-sin wig-worn, stone house.
Au-naw-me-a-we-gaw-mig, a church.
Te-baw-ko-we-ga we-gaw-mig, a court house.

Me-no-say, handy.          Me-no-sayg, that which is handy.
Au-no-ke, work.            A-no-ket, he that is working.
Wo-be, he sees.            Wau-yaw-bet, he that sees.
Pe-mo-say, he walks.       Pe-mo-sayt, he that is walking.
Pe-me-bot-to, he runs.     Pe-me-bot-tot, he that runs.

Get him, nawzh.            Get it, naw-din.
Help him, naw-daw-maw.     Help it, naw-daw-maw-don.
Call him, naw-doum.        Ask for it, naw-don-don.
Go to him, naw-zhe-kow.    Go to it, naw-zhe-kon.
Meet him, naw-kwesh-kow.   Meet it, naw-kwesh-kon.

Ne-dje-mon, my boat.       Ne-dje-may, I paddle.
Ne-dje-bawm, my soul.      Ne-do-ge-mom, my master.
Ne-gwes, my son.           Ne-daw-nes, my daughter.
Ne-taw-wes, my cousin.     Ne-kaw-nes, my brother.
Ne-daw-kim, my land.       Ne-ne-tehaw-nes, my child.

He sleeps, ne-baw.                He is dead, ne-bou.
He is sleepy, au-kon-gwa-she.     He died, ke-ne-bou.
He is white, wau-besh-ke-zee.     He is afraid, sa-ge-ze.
He is lonely, aush-ken-dom.       He is lazy, ke-te-mesk-ke.
He is killed, nes-saw.            He is well, me-no-pe-maw-de-ze.

Ne-tawn, first.             Ne-tawn ke-taw-gwe-shin, he came first.
Ne-gon, before.             Ne-gon-ne, he goes before.
Au-ko-zee, sick.            Au-ko-zi-we-gaw-mig, hospital.
Au-gaw-saw, small.          O-gaw-sawg o-naw-gun pe-ton, bring small
Au-gaw-won, scarcely.       Au-gaw-won ne-wob, I scarcely see.

Once, ne-go-ting.             Only once, ne-go-ting a-taw.
Not there, ne-go-tchi.        Look elsewhere, ne-go-tchi ne-naw-bin.
Change, mesh-kwot.            He is elsewhere, ne-go-tchi e-zhaw.
Full, mosh-ken.               It is elsewhere, ne-go-tchi au-tay.
Fill it, mosh-ke-naw-don.     Change it, mes-kwo-to-non.

Saw-kon, go out.        Pe-saw-kon, come out.
Maw-tchawn, go away.    Pe-maw-tchawn, come away.
Pe-to, to bring.        Pe-ton, fetch it.
Ash-kom, more and more.                  Nos, my father.
Ash-kom so-ge-po, more and more snow.    Kos, your father.
Ash-kom ke-me-wau, more and more rain.   O-sawn, his father.
Ash-kom ke-zhaw-tay, hotter and hotter.  Ne-gaw-she, my mother.
Ash-kom ke-se-naw, colder and colder.    Ke-gaw-she, your mother.
E-ke-to, saying.                         E-ke-ton, say it.
E-ke-to, he says.                        Ke-e-ke-to, he said.

Kay-go mon-daw e-ke-to-kay, do not say that.
E-wau, he says [the same as e-ke-to, but used only in third person and
cannot be conjugated].
E-naw-bin, look; e-naw-bin au-zhon-daw, look here.
A-zhawd, going; au-ne-pe a-zhawd? where did he go?
E-wo-te, there; me-saw e-wo-te au-daw-yon, there is your home.
Au-zhe-me, there; au-zhe-me au-ton, set it there.
Au-ne-me-kee, thunder; au-ne-me-ke-kaw, it thundered.
Awsh-kon-tay, fire; awsh-kon-tay o-zhe-ton, make some fire.
On-je-gaw, leaked; on-je-gaw tchi-mon, the boat leaked.
Kaw-ke-naw, all; kaw-ke-naw ke-ge-way-wog, all gone home.
Ke-wen, go home. [This verb always implies home, but the emphatic
expression is ke-wen en-daw-yawn.]
Son-gon (inanimate), son-ge-ze (animate), tough.
Se-gwan, spring; se-gwa-nong, last spring (Chippewa dialect).
Me-gwetch, thanks; me-gwe-tchi-me-au, he is thanked.
Taw-kwo, short; on-sawm taw-kwo, too short.
Ke-me-no-pe-maw-tis naw? Are you well?
Ae, ne-me-no-pe-maw-tis. Yes, I am well.
Ke-taw-kos naw? Are you sick?
Kau-win ne-taw-ko-si-sy. No, I am not sick.
Au-ne-pish kos e-zhat? Where did your father go?
O-day-naw-wing ezhaw. He is gone to town.
Ke-ge-we-sin naw? Have you eaten?
Ae, ne-ge-aush-kwaw-we-sin. Yes, I have done eating.
Ke-baw-kaw-tay naw? Are you hungry?
Kaw-win, ne-baw-kaw-tay-sy. No, I am not hungry.
Pe-mo-say-win, walking (noun); ne-pe-mo-say, I walk.
Aum-bay paw-baw-mo-say-taw, let us go walking.
Ne-ge-paw-baw-mo-say, I have been walking.
Ne-ge-paw-baw-mish-kaw, I have been boat riding.
Aum-bay paw-baw-mish-kaw-daw, let us go boat riding.
Maw-tchawn, go on, or go away.
Maw-tchawn we-wib, go on quickly.
Ke-maw-tchaw-wog, they have gone.
Aum-bay maw-tchaw-taw, let us go.
Wan-saw e-zhaw, he is gone far away.
We-kau-de-win, a feast; we-koum, I invite him (to a feast).
We-kau-maw-wog, they are invited (to a feast).
Maw-zhe-aw, overpowered; maw-zhe-twaw, victorious.
Mou-dje-ge-ze-win, or, me-naw-wo-ze-win, rejoicing.
Mou-dje-ge-ze, or, me-naw-wo-ze, he rejoices.
Au-no-maw-yaw ke-daw-gwe-shin, he came lately.
Au-pe-tchi ke-zhaw-tay, it is very hot
Ke-tchi no-din, it is blowing hard.
Paw-ze-gwin we-wib, get up quickly.
Me-no e-naw-kaw-me-got, good news.
Me-no e-naw-kaw-me-got naw? Is it good news?
She-kaw-gong ne-de-zhaw-me, we are going to Chicago.
She-kaw-gong on-je-baw, he came from Chicago
Saw-naw-got, difficult to overcome.
Saw-naw-ge-ze, he is in difficulty.
Saw-naw-ge-ze-wog, they are in difficulty.
Sa-ge-ze, he is frightened; sa-ge-ze-win, fright.
Ke-gus-kaw-naw-baw-gwe naw? Are you thirsty?
Au-pe-tchi ne-gus-kaw-naw-gwe. I am very thirsty.
Me-naw au-we, give him drink.
Ke-bish me-naw, give him water to drink.
O-daw-kim o-ge-au-taw-wen, he sold his land.
O-da paw-gaw-awn, the heart beats.
O-da me-tchaw-ne, he has a big heart
Ke-ne-se-to-tom naw? Do you understand?
Ke-ne-se-to-tow naw? Do you understand me?
Kau-win, ke-ne-se to-tos-no. No, I do not understand you.
Ke-no-dom naw? Do you hear? Ae, ne-no-doin. Yes, I hear.
Ke-pe-sen-dom naw? Do you listen?
Ke-maw-ne-say naw? Are you chopping?
Maw-tchi e-naw-kaw-me-got naw? Is it bad news?
We-go-nash wau-au-yaw mon? What do you want?
Au-nish au-pe-daw-taw-gwe-she non? When did you come?
Au-ne-pesh a-zhaw yon? Where are you going?
Au-ne-pesh wen-dje-baw yon? Where are you from?
Au-ne-dosh wau-e-ke-to yon? What shall you say?
Au-nish mon-daw e-naw-gen deg? What is the price?
Maw-ne-say, he chops; ma-ne-sayt, he that chops.
Ne-bwa-kaw, wise; ne-bwa-kawt, he that is wise.
Na-bwa-kaw-tchig, they that are wise.
Wa-zhe-tou-tchig awsh-kou-te, they that make fire.

O-zhe-tou aush-ko-tay pin-je ke-zhaw-be-ke-se-gun,
   Make      fire       in        the stove.

Wen-daw-mow way-naw-paw-nod au-zhon-daw,
Tell him    the cheap place   is here.

Wen-daw-mow e-naw-kaw-me-gok, tell him the news.

Taw-bes-kaw-be.         Taw-be-e-shaw au-zhon-daw.
He will come back.      He will come      here.

On-je-baw.              Wow-kwing on-je-baw.
Coming from.            He comes from heaven.

Nau-go, now; nau-go a-ge-zhe-gok, to-day.
Te-besh-kou, same, even; ta-te-besh-kon, even with the other.
To-dawn mon-daw e-ne-taw, do that as I tell you.
Pe-sen-dow, listen to him; pe-sen-do-we-shin, listen to me.

Me-saw-wett-dje-gay.         Me-saw-me-dje-gay-win.
    He covets.                     Coveting.

E-zhaw-yon gaw-ya ne-ne-gaw e-zhaw.
If you will go and also I will go.

O-je-daw ne-ge-to-tem tchi-baw-ping.
Purposely I did it to make laughter.

Kaw-win ke-taw-gawsh-ke-to-se tchi-gaw-ke-so-taw-wod mau-ni-to,
you cannot hide from God.

Maw-no-a-na-dong taw-e-zhe-tchi-gay, let him do what he thinks.

A-naw-bid.                E-naw-bin a-naw-bid.
In the way he looks.      Do look in the way he looks.

Au-nish a-zhe-wa-bawk mon-daw?
What is the matter with that?

Au-nish a-zhe-we-be-sit au-we?
What is the matter with him?

Au-nish a-naw-tchi-moo-tawk?
What did he tell you?

E-zhaw.         Au-ne-pish kaw-e-zhawd?
He went.        Where did he go?

E-zhaw-wog.       Harbor Springs ke-e-zhaw-wog.
They went.        They went to Harbor Springs.

Ne-daw-yaw-naw e-naw-ko-ne-ga-win.
We have a rule, or, a law.

O-we-o-kwon o-ge-au-taw-son.
His hat he pawned.

Ne-be-me-baw-to-naw-baw au-pe pen-ge-she-naw.
I was running when I fell.

NOTE.--Except some condensation and arrangement in the grammar, this
work is printed almost verbatim as written by the author.--EDITOR.

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