By Amorin Mello

 

This is one of many posts on Chequamegon History that feature the $90,000 of Indian trader debts that were debated during the 1854 Treaty and the 1855 Annuity Payments at La Pointe. 

In summary, the Chiefs of the Chippewas made it a condition of the treaty that they would be granted $90,000 to settle outstanding debts with Indian traders, under the condition that a Council of Chiefs would determine which debts claimed by the traders were fair and accurate.  The following quote is the fourth article of the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe, with the sentence about the $90,000 underlined for emphasis:

ARTICLE 4. In consideration of and payment for the country hereby ceded, the United States agree to pay to the Chippewas of Lake Superior, annually, for the term of twenty years, the following sums, to wit: five thousand dollars in coin; eight thousand dollars in goods, household furniture and cooking utensils; three thousand dollars in agricultural implements and cattle, carpenter’s and other tools and building materials, and three thousand dollars for moral and educational purposes, of which last sum, three hundred dollars per annum shall be paid to the Grand Portage band, to enable them to maintain a school at their village. The United States will also pay the further sum of ninety thousand dollars, as the chiefs in open council may direct, to enable them to meet their present just engagements. Also the further sum of six thousand dollars, in agricultural implements, household furniture, and cooking utensils, to be distributed at the next annuity payment, among the mixed bloods of said nation. The United States will also furnish two hundred guns, one hundred rifles, five hundred beaver traps, three hundred dollars’ worth of ammunition, and one thousand dollars’ worth of ready made clothing, to be distributed among the young men of the nation, at the next annuity payment.

~ 1854 Treaty with the Chippewa at La Pointe
Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties; Volume II by Charles Kappler, 1904

 

This $90,000 appear to have been an unexpected expense that the United States government incurred in order to successfully negotiate this Treaty.  Indian Agent Henry Clark Gilbert was a commissioner of the Treaty, and was obliged to explain this $90,000 to his superiors at the Office of Indian Affairs in Washington D.C.  The following is his explanation written a few weeks after the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe was concluded:

The Chiefs who were notified to attend brought with them in every instance their entire bands. We made a careful estimate of the number present and found there were about 4,000. They all had to be fed and taken care of, thus adding greatly to the expenses attending the negotiations.

A great number of traders and claim agents were also present as well as some of the persons from St. Paul’s who I had reason to believe attended for the purpose of preventing if possible the consummation of the treaty. The utmost precautions were taken by me to prevent a knowledge of the fact that negotiations were to take place from being public. The Messenger sent by me to Mr Herriman was not only trust worthy but was himself totally ignorant of the purport of the dispatches to Major Herriman. Information however of the fact was communicated from some source and the persons present in consequence greatly embarrassed our proceedings.

~ Treaty Commissioner Henry C. Gilbert’s explanation of the treaty concluded in 1854 with the assistance of David B. Herriman
Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters: Volume 79, No. 1, Appendix 5

 

Indian Agent Gilbert’s explanation suggests that there was some effort on his behalf to preemptively avoid the subject of outstanding debts from occuring during the Treaty negotiations.  In January of 1855, a few months after the Treaty was negotiated, President Franklin Pierce budgeted for this $90,000 in the fund appropriated for fulfilling the terms of the Treaty:

For the payment of such debts as may be directed by the chiefs in open council, and found to be just and correct by the Secretary of the Interior, per 4th article of the treaty of September 30, 1854…….. 90,000

~ United States House of Representatives Documents, Volume 11, 33d Congress, 2nd Session, Ex. Doc. No. 61.
1854 Treaty of La Pointe Appropriations

 

As quoted above, the $90,000 negotiated during the treaty were to be distributed by a Council of the Chiefs following the treaty.  How the $90,000 were actually distributed did not honor the intent or terms of the treaty.   The following is a public notice from Indian Agent Gilbert that invited Indian traders with claims against Tribe to come forth with their claims before or during the 1855 Annuity, and makes no mention of any distribution to be determined by a Council of Chiefs:

PUBLIC NOTICE.
OFFICE MICHIGAN INDIAN AGENT,
DETROIT, June 12, 1855.

ALL PERSONS having just and legal claims against the Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior are hereby notified that all such claims must be presented without delay to the undersigned, for investigation. Each claim must be accompanied by such evidence of its justice and legality as the claimant may be able to furnish; and in all cases where the idebtedness claimed is on book account, or is composed of aggregated items, transcripts of such accounts specifying the items in detail, with the charge for each item, and the name of the person to whom, and time when, the same was furnished, must accompany the claims submitted. The original books of entry must also in all cases be prepared for examination.

Claims may be presented at any time prior to the close of the next annuity payment at La Pointe, which will take place in the month of August next; but after that time they will not be received or acted upon.

This notice is given in accordance with instructions received from the United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

HENRY C. GILBERT.
Indian Agent.
jy 10 4t

~ Superior Chronicle newspaper, July 10th, 1855
Library of Congress

 

The distribution of this $90,000 was hotly debated by Blackbird and other members of the Council of Chiefs during the 1855 Annuity Payments.  It is clear from the speeches transcribed from this important event that the Council was not being allowed to determine the distribution of this $90,000.  The following is one of many speeches that touched upon this subject:

In what Blackbird said he expressed the mind of a majority of the chiefs now present.  We wish the stipulations of the treaty to be carried out to the very letter.

I wish to say our word about our reserves.  Will these reserves made for each of our bands, be our homes forever?

When we took credits of our trader last winter, and took no furs to pay him, and wish to get hold of this 90,000 dollars, that we may pay him off of that.  This is all we came here for.  We want the money in our own hands & we will pay our own traders.  We do not think it is right to pay what we do not owe.  I always know how I stand my acct. and we can pay our own debts.  From what I have now said I do not want you to think that we want the money to cheat our creditors, but to do justice to them I owe.  I have my trader & know how much I owe him, & if the money is paid into the hands of the Indians we can pay our own debts.

~ Adikoons, Chief of Grand Portage Band
(Wheeler to Smith, 18 Jan. 1856)
Blackbird’s Speech at the 1855 Payment

 

With the above quotes as an introduction to this subject, we will now investigate what exactly happened to the $90,000 to be disbursed as “directed by the chiefs in open council”.  What we have found so far appears to suggest that the federal government did not honor their Trust responsibility to the Tribe:

 


 

Senate Documents, Volume 112

U.S. Government Printing Office, 1858

 

 

[Page 295 of audit]

Indian Disbursements

Statement containing a list of the names of all persons to whom goods, money, or effects have been delivered, from July 1, 1856, to June 30, 1857, specifying the amounts and objects for which they were intended, the amount accounted for, and the balances under each specified head still remaining in their hands; prepared in obedience to an act of Congress of June 30, 1834, entitled “An act to provide for the organization of the department of Indian affairs.”

 

[Pages 303-305 of audit]

Fulfilling treaties with Chippewas of Lake Superior, September 30, 1854

When issued To whom issued. For what purpose. Amount of requisition. Am’t accounted for.
Amount unaccounted for.
1856
July 3 John B. Jacobs Fulfilling Treaties, (due) $1,718.73 $1,718.73
22 Henry C. Gilbert …do… $7,000.00 $7,000.00
Do …do… $5,000.00 $5,000.00
Aug. 14 Henry E. Leman …do…(due)… $1,412.50 $1,412.50
18 Ramsey Crooks …do…do… $6,617.64 $6,617.64
Adam Noongoo …do…do… $66.00 $66.00
Wm. Parsons …do…do… $28.50 $28.50
Erwin Leiky …do…do… $119.75 $119.75
Robert Morrin …do…do… $163.56 $163.56
Charles Bellisle …do…do… $191.00 $191.00
Posh-qway-gin …do…do… $47.88 $47.88
22 W. A. Pratt …do…do… $50.00 $50.00
John G. Kittson …do…do… $1,280.93 $1,280.93
Asaph Whittlesey …do…do… $25.00 $25.00
Louis Bosquet …do…do… $72.00 $72.00
David King …do…do… $100.00 $100.00
P. O. Johnson …do…do… $10.12 $10.12
Henry Elliott …do…do… $399.02 $399.02
McCullough & Elliott …do…do… $475.78 $475.78
Edward Assinsece …do…do… $50.00 $50.00
John Southwind …do…do… $21.00 $21.00
Kay-kake …do…do… $35.00 $35.00
Goff & Co. …do…do… $556.21 $556.21
Jame Halliday …do…do… $67.88 $67.88
Peter Crebassa …do…do… $1,013.99 $1,013.99
S. L. Vaugh …do…do… $57.08 $57.08
David King …do…do… $191.72 $191.72
Peter B. Barbean …do…do… $1,200.00 $1,200.00
23 Antoine Gaudine …do…do… $3,250.94 $3,250.94
Peter Markman …do…do… $300.00 $300.00
Pat L. Philan …do…do… $90.08 $90.08
Treasurer of township of Lapointe …do…do… $224.77 $224.77
Michael Bosquet …do…do… $219.63 $219.63
James Ermatinger …do…do… $2,000.00 $2,000.00
Louison Demaris …do…do… $2,000.00 $2,000.00
Joseph Morrison …do…do… $250.00 $250.00
John W. Bell …do…do… $253.11 $253.11
27 Paul H. Beaubien …do…do… $600.00 $600.00
R. Sheldon & Co. …do…do… $1,124.71 $1,124.71
Abraham Place …do…do… $450.00 $450.00
Michael James …do…do… $195.00 $195.00
R. J. Graveract …do…do… $269.19 $269.19
Reuben Chapman …do…do… $71.11 $71.11
Miller Wood …do…do… $38.50 $38.50
Robert Reed …do…do… $21.60 $21.60
Louis Gurno …do…do… $179.00 $179.00
Gregory S. Bedel …do…do… $142.63 $142.63
Geo. R. Stuntz …do…do… $537.41 $537.41
Usop & Hoops …do…do… $49.43 $49.43
May-yan-wash …do…do… $45.50 $45.50
John Hartley …do…do… $41.01 $41.01
B. F. Rathbun …do…do… $8.07 $8.07
W. W. Spaulding …do…do… $258.92 $258.92
Stephen Bonge …do…do… $40.00 $40.00
Abel Hall …do…do… $160.00 $160.00
Louis Cadotte …do…do… $200.00 $200.00
John Senter & Co. …do…do… $17.00 $17.00
John B. Roy …do…do… $150.00 $150.00
L. Y. B. Birchard …do…do… $26.00 $26.00
Peter Roy …do…do… $250.00 $250.00
Jacob F. Shaffer …do…do… $150.00 $150.00
Peter Vandeventer …do…do… $216.31 $216.31
Sept. 4 John Hotley, jr. …do…do… $538.48 $538.48
G. B. Armstrong …do…do… $950.00 $950.00
Lathrop Johnson …do…do… $376.00 $376.00
6 Wm. Mathews …do…do… $1,741.50 $1,741.50
Cronin, Hurxthal & Sears …do…do… $4,583.77 $4,583.77
13 Henry C. Gilbert …do… $12,500.00
24 B. W. Brisbois …do…(due)… $4,000.00 $4,000.00
27 John Brunet …do…do… $2,000.00 $2,000.00
John B. Roy …do…do… $80.00 $80.00
Edward Connor …do…do… $600.00 $600.00
Alexis Corbin …do…do… $1,000.00 $1,000.00
Louis Corbin …do…do… $1,108.47 $1,108.47
Vincent Roy …do…do… $645.36 $645.36
Abner Sherman …do…do… $568.00 $568.00
John B. Landry …do…do… $502.64 $502.64
Thomas Conner …do…do… $1,050.00 $1,050.00
Augustus Corbin …do…do… $238.50 $238.50
Julius Austrain …do…do… $6,000.00 $6,000.00
Do… …do…do… $1,876.86 $1,876.86
John B. Corbin …do…do… $750.00 $750.00
Cruttenden & Lynde …do…do… $1,300.00 $1,300.00
Orrin W. Rice …do…do… $358.09 $358.09
Francis Ronissaie …do…do… $817.74 $817.74
Dec. 6 W. G. and G. W. Ewing …do…do… $787.02 $787.02
1857
Jan. 2 Henry C. Gilbert …do… $674.73 $674.73
Feb 21 Do …do… $8,133.33 $8,133.33
24 John B. Cadotte …do…(due)… $1,265.00 $1,265.00
Cruttenden & Lynde …do…do… $1,615.00 $1,615.00
J. B. Landry …do…do… $560.00 $560.00
P. Chouteau, jr., & Co. …do…do… $935.00 $935.00
Vincent Roy …do…do… $5,000.00 $5,000.00
Northern Fur Company …do…do… $625.00 $625.00
J. B. Landry …do…do… $90.00 $90.00
$105,071.70 $84,363.64 $20,708.06

 


 

Many of the Indian traders listed above make regular appearances in other primary documents of Chequamegon History.  Some of the names are misspelled but still recognizable to regular readers.  In summary let’s take a closer look at the top ten Indian traders that received the most disbursements related to the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe:

 

9½.)  James Ermatinger

$2,000.00

James Ermatinger was involved with the American Fur Company in earlier years.  He seems to have become an independent Indian trader in later years leading up to the 1854 Treaty:

James founded Jim Falls, Wis., arriving by canoe from La Pointe, Wis. where he was involved in fur trading. He settled in Jim Falls, initially managing a trading post there for the American Fur Company. Others in the Ermatinger family were prominent fur traders in Canada, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and Wisconsin.

~ Ermatinger family papers, 1833-1979

 

9½.)  Louison Demaris

$2,000.00

According to Theresa Schenck’s research in her book All Our Relations, Louison Demarais may have been a son of Jean Baptiste Demarais who was an interpreter for Alexander Henry the Younger’s North West Company on the Red River:

Louison Desmarais residing at Chippewa River a ½ breed Chippewa 50 yrs of age born at Pembina and remained in the North until 9 years back when he came to Chippewa river where he has resided since claims for himself and wfie Angelique a ½ breed, 35 yrs of age born at Fond du Lac where she remained until she was married 23 years since when she went to the North with her husband and has since lived with him.

~ 1839 Mixed Blood Census
All Our Relations by Theresa M. Schenck, 2010, page 60

 

8.)  Cruttenden & Lynde

$1,615.00 + $1,300.00 = $2,915.00

“Here lie the remains of Hon. J. W. Lynde Killed by Sioux Indians Aug. 18.1862″
~ Findagrave.com

James William Lynde was an Indian Agent, Senator, and first casualty of 1862 Sioux Uprising.  Mr. Lynde was also a signatory of the 1854 Treaty, which may be a conflict of interest:

Hon. James W. Lynd was a native of Baltimore, born in 1830, but was reared and educated at Cincinnati. He had received a college education at Woodward College, having attended from 1842 – 1844. He was a man of accomplishments and ability. He thoroughly mastered the Indian language, married successively two Indian wives, and spent years in the study of the history and general character of the Sioux or Dakota tribe. For some time prior to his death he had been engaged in revising for publication the manuscript of an elaborate work containing the results of his studies and researches. Under the circumstances the greater part of this manuscript was lost. He was a young man, of versatile talents had been an editor, lecturer, public speaker, and was a member of the Minnesota State Senate in 1861.

~ Sketches: Historical and Descriptive of the Monuments and Tablets Erected by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society in Renville and Redwood Counties, Minnesota by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society, 1902, page 6

 

Joel D. Cruttenden was Mr. Lynch’s business partner:

Col. Cruttenden, of whom I have spoken briefly in another place, left St. Louis in 1846 and removed to Prairie du Chien, where he was employed by Brisbois & Rice. In 1848 he came to ST. PAUL and remained up to 1850, when he took up his residence in St. Anthony and engaged in business with R. P. Russel. He then went to Crow Wing and was connected with Maj. J. W. Lynde. In 1857 he was elected to the House of Representatives, and on the breaking out of the war was commissioned Captain Assistant Quartermaster; was taken prisoner, and on being exchanged rose to the rank of Colonel. At the close of the war he was honorably discharged, and soon after removed to Bayfield, Wisconsin, where he has held many offices and is greatly esteemed. He is a pleasant, genial gentleman, well known and well liked.

~ Pen Pictures of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Biographical Sketches of Old Settlers: Volume 1, by Thomas McLean Newson, 1886, page 95

 

7.)  Antoine Gaudine

$3,250.94

~ Antoine Gordon
~ Noble Lives of a Noble Race by the St. Mary’s Industrial School (Odanah), page 207

Antoine Gaudine (a.k.a. Gordon) as one of those larger-than-life mixed-blood members of the La Pointe Band leading up to the 1854 Treaty and beyond:

Mr Gordon was the founder of the village of Gordon and for years had a trading post there which was the only store there. It is but a few years since he discontinued this store. He was a full-blooded Chippewa Indian, and came here from Madelaine Island, where he ran a post years ago. He was formerly the owner of the famous Algonquin, the first ship to come through the Soo locks, and used her in the lumber trade.

~ Eau Claire Leader newspaper, May 8, 1907

 

 

6.)  B. W. Brisbois

$4,000.00

Bernard Walter Brisbois was a son of Michael Brisbois, Sr.:

Bernard Brisbois was born in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1808, to Michel Brisbois, a French-Canadian voyageur, and his second wife Domitelle (Madelaine) Gautier de Verville.

Like his father, Brisbois also began his career in the fur trade, working as agent for the American Fur Company. Bernard married Therese LaChappelle [daughter of metis Pélagie LaPointe (herself the daughter of Pierre LaPointe and Etoukasahwee) and Antoine LaChapelle]. Later he engaged in the mercantile business in Prairie du Chien until 1873 when he was appointed consul at Verviers, Belgium. He returned to Prairie du Chien in 1874 and lived there until his death in 1885.

~ Wikipedia.org

 

5.)  Cronin, Hurxthal & Sears

$4,583.77

Advertisement of Cronin, Hurxthal & Sears
~ The Prairie News (Okolona, Miss.), April 15, 1858, page 4

According to a receipt from this company, the partners behind this firm were John B. Cronin, Ben. Hurxthal and J. Newton Sears.  No further biographical information could be found about these individuals, who are presumed to have been New York City businessmen.  In general they appear to have been involved with trades associated with slavery and Indians.  Per their advertisement, they were the successors to the firm of Grant and Barton:

Grant and Barton nevertheless remained active in the [Texas] region, winning government contracts to supply the Bureau of Indian affairs with “blankets and dry goods” in the late 1840s and early 1850s…

The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860, by Calvin Schermerhorn, 2015, page 225

 

4.) Vincent Roy

$5,000.00 + $645.36 = $5,645.36

Vincent Roy, Jr. (III)
~ Life and Labors of Rt. Rev. Frederic Baraga, by Chrysostom Verwyst, 1900, pages 472-476

Vincent Roy, Sr. (II) and his son Vincent Roy, Jr. (III) were prominent members of the La Pointe Band mixed-bloods.  Sr. was recognized by Gilbert as the Head of the Mixed Bloods of the La Pointe Band of Lake Superior Chippewas.  Jr. was allegedly an interpreter at the 1854 Treaty, but is not identified in the Treaty itself and cannot find primary source.  Jr. is described as a skilled trader in many sources, including this one:

“Leopold and Austrian (Jews) doing a general merchandize and fur-trading business at LaPointe were not slow in recognizing ‘their man.’  Having given employment to Peter Roy, who by this time quit going to school, they also, within the first year of his arrival at this place, employed Vincent to serve as handy-man for all kind of things, but especially, to be near when indians from the woods were coming to trade, which was no infrequent occurrence.  After serving in that capacity about two years, and having married, he managed (from 1848 to 1852) a trading post for the same Leopold and Austrian; at first a season at Fond du Lac, Minn., then at Vermillion Lake, and finally again at Fond du Lac.” 

Miscellaneous materials related to Vincent Roy, 1861-1862, 1892, 1921

 

3.)  R. Crooks

$6,617.64

Ramsay Crooks
~ Madeline Island Museum

Ramsey Crooks enjoyed a long history with the American Fur Company outfit at La Pointe in the decades leading up to the 1854 Treaty:

“Ramsey Crooks (also spelled Ramsay) was born in Scotland in 1787. He immigrated to Canada in 1803 where he worked as a fur trader and explorer around the Great Lakes. He began working for the American Fur Company, which was started by John Jacob Astor, America’s first multi-millionaire, and made an expedition to the Oregon coast from 1809-1813 for the company. By doing so he also became a partner in the Pacific Fur Company. In 1834 he became acting president of the American Fur Company following Astor’s retirement to New York. A great lakes sailing vessel the Ramsey Crooks was constructed in 1836 by the American Fur Co. A nearly identical sister ship was built in the same year and was called the Astor. Both ships were sold by the dissolving fur company in 1850. Ramsay Crooks passed away in 1859, but had made a name for himself in the fur trade not only in Milwaukee and the Great Lakes, but all the way to the Pacific Ocean.”  

~ Milwaukee County Historical Society

 

2.)  J. Austrian

$ 6,000.00 + $1,876.86 = $7,876.86

Julius Austrian
~ Madeline Island Museum

Julius Austrian was competitor and successor of the American Fur Company during the decade immediately leading up to the 1854 Treaty.  Chequamegon History’s research has explored the previously uncovered circumstances of Austrian’s purchase of the Village of La Pointe from American Fur Company in 1853, being the unnamed and de facto host of the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe, being the host of the 1855 Annuities at La Pointe, and the host of the 1855 High Holy Days at La Pointe:

In 1855 a number of Jewish Indian traders met on an island in Lake Superior in the frontier village of La Pointe, Wisconsin.  The Indians were assembled there to collect their annuities and the Jews were present to dun their debtors before they dispersed.  There were enough Jews for a minyan and a service was held.  That was the beginning and the end of La Pointe Jewry.

United States Jewry 1776-1985: Vol. 2; the Germanic Period, Part 1 by Jacob Rader Marcus Wayne State University Press , 1991, page 196

 

1.) Henry C. Gilbert

$0.00 ?

Henry Clark Gilbert
~ Branch County Photographs

Mackinac Indian Agent Henry Clark Gilbert was the Commissioner of the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe along with David B. Herriman. 

Gilbert submitted requisitions for $5,000.00, $7,000.00, $12,500.00, $674.73, and $8,133.33; which is a total amount of $33,308.06.  The amount accounted for in his name is $0.00, but his total amount unaccounted for is $20,808.06.  The difference between the total amount Gilbert requisitioned and his total amount unaccounted for is $12,500, which is the same amount that Gilbert requisitioned for on September 4th, 1856.

A closer look at all of the 1854 Treaty accounts as a whole suggests that Gilbert was paid his $12,500.00 despite what is shown on paper.  The total amount accounted for is actually $71,763.64; which is $12,600.00 less than the total amount on paper.  The total amount unaccounted for is $20,808.06; which is $100 greater than the total amount on paper (all of which was in Gilbert’s name).  We are left with a puzzle missing some pieces.  Did Gilbert obtain his $12,500.00 fraudulently?  Was the extra $100 accounted for taken from the unaccounted amounts by someone else as a bribe?

Did Gilbert abuse his Trust responsibility to the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe?  Or was this simply a case of sloppy reporting by a federal clerk?

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Porcupine Mountains Incidents

December 30, 2017

By Amorin Mello

The following is our transcription of Andrew Rundel’s original handwritten manuscript describing his time spent exploring for copper along the south shore of Lake Superior during the summer of 1846, particularly in the Porcupine Mountains.  Andrew Rundel’s original handwritten manuscript is available online through the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Turning Points series.

 


 

Wisconsin Historical Society

Andrew Rundel Journal

“Andrew Rundel left Indiana in July of 1846 to prospect for copper on Lake Superior. His journal of the trip was probably kept for his family, and includes more about traveling than mining. From Chicago he sailed up the Wisconsin shore of Lake Michigan, and describes Racine, Mackinac, and the south shore of Lake Superior. Rundel appears only to have gone as far west as the Porcupine Mountains, but we include his account here for its descriptions of travel on the Great Lakes at the time the mining boom was beginning.  This is his original handwritten manuscript; a printed version was published in Michigan History, June, 1949.”

 

 


 

1846

On the 11th of July with valliece in hand I left my wife and children for the far west I went on foot to Chicago.  After swetting and toiling for two days I reached the city the weather was most excessive hot which rendered it very fatiguing walking.  I put up at the farmers hotel but was soon sick of my bargain as a more filthy place I never stoped at and I would advise any one that may see this never to stop at the farmers hotel unless it has changed hands since I was there.

“Chicago in 1845.”
~ Marquis’ Hand-book of Chicago: A Complete History, Reference Book, and Guide to the City by Albert Nelson Marquis, 1885, page 17.

I remain’d in Chicago from Sunday night until monday at 9 Oclock in the morning when I went on board the S.B. James Madison for Mackinaw.  The Madison is a good boat but not the first class.  We were soon under way and on the broad bosoms on Lake Michigan.

Our boat stood up the Illinois side of the lake we passed, Little Port, Racine, Milwaukee and Che-boy-a-gon and then stood for the Michigan shore.  All the above ports we stop’d at – Racine 25 or 30 miles before reaching Milwaukie is a beautifull place being elevated on a high pice of ground that overlooks the lake.  The buildings all new and some of them handsome gave it a fine prospect appearance it has a population of near two thousand inhabitants.  Milwaukee is also a fine business place and has a population of about five thousand.  Soon after leaving the west shore of the lake we were out of sight of land this was the first time I ever was out of sight I had never form’d a correct Idea of the lake before nothing on every side but water the heavens above and earth beneath perhaps 900 or 1000 feet below.

We now had a head wind so heavy that our boat began to labour heavy to make head way.  And now after six or seven hours that land could not be seen we came in sight of the Manitoe Islands, the wind increas’d until we had a pretty good gail.  We were six hours in gaining the Island twelve miles distance here we lay until sometime in the night we put out for Mackinaw.  The Island and all of the Michigan shore as far as I could see present a baran and gloomy appearance the country is covered with dwarf pine or stunted cedar or hemlock and to me had anything but a pleasant appearance.  Some of the passengers tried to see beauty in the Manatue Islands and the evergreen that covered every thing but I must confess it was but little beauty I could get out of it.  Soon after geting up the morning after leaving the Manitoe Mackinac was in view as we approached the Island the fort with its white walls and buildings on the summit of the hill became visible.  The water of the straits were so clear that we could see the bottom when the water was thirty or forty feet deep.  We are now from the best account four hundred and eighty five miles from Chicago.  The harbour and straits of Mackinaw are verry pretty here you may see the Indian with his bark canoe as he glides over the pure waters of the bay like a sea-bird.  Here are several different tribes of Indians the Chippeways are the most numerous and in fact they appear to be the strongest tribe in the whole N. Western country their territory is very extencive extending from this to the Mississippi and taking the whole of L.S.  The Manomone or wild rice eaters inhabit the country wash’d by the Manomone River this river empties in to Green bay there is also the Winebago Indians that some times come to this place to trade and perhaps others.

1843 Drawing of Mission Point Beach at Mackinac Island, Michigan
~ Historic Mackinac, Volume 1, by Edwin Orin Wood, 1918, facing-page 367.

The great variety of fishing boats and bark canoes with their sails and oars that constantly cover the water gives to Mackinaw a very beautifull appearance some of the boats coming in with fish others going out some palled by squaws and others by french and in fact here you see every boddy.  I mean by that – people from every clime for I never saw so mixed a population in my life.  Every thing appears to be mix’d on half-breeds.  Although there appears to be blood from almost every nation it certainly appears to have a small coulering of Indians with it.

Mackinaw is a very interesting place in many perticulars, certainly for situation, history and wild scenery it is the most interesting Island in our country.  I will quote from travelers its appearance as it is approach’d from lake Huron “We approach it through an armor of Islands, Drummond and Manitoulin [dainly?] seen” on our east and Boisblane and Round in our western side.  Stretching across our path in front is Mackinaw painted against the clear blue skie.  The Island of Mackinaw or Mackinac or Michilimackinac is a high and bold bluff of limestone about three hundred feet above the water covered with evergreen principally stunted pine and hemlock.

Its name signifies in the Indian tongue big turtle as it is something in shape of this animal.  At the foot of the bluff are strewd the buildings of the town.

Painting of Fort Mackinac by Seth Eastman in 1761.
~ United States Army Center of Military History

The United States fort is verry pretty and verry conspicuous as we approach it from either way in the distance it has much the appearance of a row of white buildings lineing the summit of the hill.  The stars and stripes of our country waved over the fort.  And the booming sound of a cannon now rolls over the waters of the straits.  I had to remain here until the next day, and it gave me an opportunity of visiting or rambling over the Island.  On the summit and north of the fort is a natural bridge of white limestone rock stretching a cross a deep chasm, from this we could look down in to the waters of lake Huron.  I saw many curiosities here which I cannot here give.  This place was settled by the French as early as sixteen hundred and seventy three.

It is very singular that the Indians would allow the French to come among them and even marry with them, but when any other nation came among them they were masacreed or driven from the country.

On the opposite shore is to be seen the old fort of Mackinaw in ruins.  It was built by the English before the revolutio and man’d as a garison.  This fort was taken by the Indians under the command of their chief Pontiac by stratagem, and every person was masacre’d.  After the masacree of fort Mackinaw the Indians march’d immediately for Detroit where was also a fort held by English but the commander mistrusted them and saved the fort.

Again I went on board the S. B. Gen’l Scott for the Sault which is ninety miles distant.  As we pass out of the straits for the sault we find our selves on the waters of Lake Huron Islands are to be seen on every side.  The distant to the river from Mackinaw I think is not far from thirty miles.  It is a beautiful evening and the sun sets in lake Huron and to me it was grand beyond any thing I ever saw.

Detail of Sault Ste Marie from Carver [Jonathan], Captain. Journal of his travels with maps and drawings, 1766.
~ Boston Public Library

Mackinaw The river St. Maries, as you approach it appears like a group of Island and would be different for an inexperianced hand to tell where to find the river and in fact after you are farely in the river there is one continued group of Islands and small lakes the most of the way to the Sault.  These Islands are mostly covered with a stunted growth of evergreen trees of which the hemlock is predominant.  This is the general character of the timber although I notised in some places a fine growth of sugar maple.  The Lakes in this river, or that this river runs through are very prety and abound with fish in great abundence some of the lakes are several miles long and from one to two miles wide.  Around these lakes and at different points an the river Indian wigwams are seen and occasionally Squaws in their bark canoes may be seen gliding across the river with as much grace and eas as tho they were the godesses of those sylvan retreats.  While on our passage ther was an englishman came on board with two squaws.  I learned he was the british Indian agent and that one of the squaws was his wife he appeared to possess wealth and his two squaws were trimed out in fine stile and no doubt wer a source of curiosity and amusement to some southern ladies and gentlemen that were on board on a trip of pleasure to spend the heat of summer at the north.

Our boat took a schooner in toe for the sault as the water is too rappid for schooner in places unless they have a very fair wind.  Thus armed we arrived at the Sault after having been on board twenty four hours the boat however lay by over night in the river on account of the dificulty of the channel.

“Ojibwa village near Sault Ste Marie” by Paul Kane in 1845.
~ Wikipedia.org

The inhabitants of the Sault ar like those of Mackinaw a perfect mix’d mixed set of inhabitants every thing appears mixed except the whitefish which are pure and the finest I ever saw.  The population perhaps may be two hundred.  There is nothing remarkable at this place except the rappids or shute which is a fall of about twenty two feet in the distance of three fourths of a mile here is fine fishing and the most of the fish are taken by the Indians and consider themselves the rightfull owners of this outlet of Lake Superior.

I was fortunate in finding an excellent Schooner just ready to sail for the copper region of Lake Superior.  We were soon under way and gliding up to the lake from the Sault.  I was surprised to see so many vessels on the waters of Lake Superior not less than eight were in sight one propeller and the Julia Palmer S. B. now send out their steam on this lake.

Our vessel stood directly for Copper harvour which is 225 miles from the Sault we wer soon out of sight of land Lake Superior appears like an ocean to a land lubber like my self, to be twenty hours out of sight of land with a fair wind gives me an Idea of the vastness of this lake I never had before.  Pigeons came on board and sat in the riggins and could scarcely be indus’d to leave the vessel.  They were lost in the fog.

Stanards rock lays nearly on the track from Copper harbour to the Sault and is a very dangerous rock raising not more than two feet out of the water in a calm and when the sea is rough the water runns entire over it so that in a fog or in a dark night vessels might easy run on to it.  The rock is only a five feet square above the water or in sight and to run on to it would be inevitable destruction this rock is thirty or forty miles from any land.  On one side of this rock a line has been let down twelve hundred feet and no bottom found on the other it passes off gradual.  The rock is said to be Traprock.  After passing this rock we soon came in sight of the Manitoe Islands and then Keweenaw point.  Copper harbour is situated on this point.  As we approached Copper harbour the scenery appears bold and rock and no enterance can bee seen to the harbour until we actually enter where the harbour spreads out and we soon find our selves in a beautifull harbour safe from the sea in any direction.

“The ALGONQUIN was built in 1838-39 by the Cleveland North Western Lake Company to compete with Hudsons Bay and American Fur Companies on Lake Superior. The entire fleet on the Big Lake consisted of five schooners and, at 55 feet, ALGONQUIN was the largest of the bunch.”

“Cleveland North Western Lake Company was formed by Messrs. Cyrus Mendenhall, Samuel Richardson, Horatio W. Converse and James A. Converse.”
~ OldAlgonquin.net

Mendenhall ran his vessel the Algonquin in to this harbour a few years ago (I think in ’40) in a gale the first vessel that ever entered this beautiful harbour.  Six or eight vessels may now be seen at a time.

Ft. Wilkins is situated here and was man’d by a small garison until the last summer when the troops were ordered to Texas.

Lake Fanne hoe lays back of Copper harbour and passes entirely around the fort except a few rods at each end of the lake.

The general apperances of the country at this place has a barren rocky aspect.  Nothing can grow here but stunted cedar, pine and hemlock and these must depend mostly on the rocks for the support of I saw no place wher soil enough could be got for a potatoe patch.  The rock is Trap and is traversed by veins of white spar which contrast finely with the dark Trap rock.  The copper men of this neighbourhood have not been verry successfull.  Mendenhall has charge of a location and some interest in it which he thinks will be valuable.

Detail of Porter’s Island and Fort Wilkins at Copper Harbor along the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula from Map of the Mineral Lands Upon Lake Superior Ceded to the United States by the Treaty of 1842 With the Chippeway Indians.
~ Wisconsin Historical Society

As we leve Copper harbour and pass up the lake there is the same general appearance.  We pass Aggate harbour and Eagle harbour and arrive at Eagle River twenty miles from Copper harbour.  Here is the famous Eagle Cliff mine said to be the richest mine in the world.  Whether such will prove to be the fact or not I am not a competent judge.  Mendenhall has a considerable interest in this mine but do not know to what extent.  Not far from this is the Copper falls river where the great copper rock is found this piece of pure copper is of many tons weight I suppose no one knows how arge as they have not found its size the last accounts.

There ar many valuable mines in this vicinity.  In the At Eagle river and vicinity the whole forest appear’d to have suffered from fire the whole country was black.  The fire raged with such fury that it appears to me every tree must be killed for miles around several houses were burned and other damages sustained.

Keewenaw point which I have just been describing is a point of land that runs nearly in to the middle of the lake from the south side.

After leaving copper harbour (which is situated directly on the point) the cost bears a little S. of W. for twenty miles and then bears S. W. so that after passing up the lake sixty or seventy miles it cannot be more than twenty five miles across to the lake.  Directly east from Copper harbour down the lake the cost bears almost south.  So that this point may be called a peninsula.

Portage lake crosses this peninsula so that small boats may cross with a portage of about one mile.  The distance across here may be 20 miles and to go round would be not less than 90 miles.

As we pass up the lake the coast changes its appearance insted of a Trapcrock cost we find the shore generally lined with a redish sand stone though in places there is a beautifull sand beach.  At Portage lake I first found Mendenhall and here I took my first lesson in exploring soon after I arrived Mendenhall left and left me in charg of the company of explorers.

Our company consisted of five men besides my self six in all one of the men staid at the camp and acted as cook when our work lay back from the lake 9 or 10 miles as some of it did.  Each man took his blanket and provisions to last several days.  Our blankets were done up in the form of a pack with our provisions in it each man having a good collar for the purpose thus equipt we were ready for our work.  After searching all day for copper we generally camped by the side of some stream, built a five, cooked our supper, took our blanket, and lay down for the night, with the heavens for our curtains, and the earth for our pillow, and thus we continued until our provisions run out, when we would again return to camp and renew our stock and repeat the same thing over.  I have been thus perticular in describing our manner of exploring, it being descriptive of all of our exploring.

After spending about a month her among Hirnas Wolverenes and Jackalanters and floundering among swamps and moors and climbing hills we left these diggins and went up to Misery river thirty miles farther up the lake to repeat the same thing over.  I might say here we found no copper at the portag but several Beaver habitations.  There is no game in the woods except Beaver and Porcupines scarcely a bird except pheasents no wild fruit no flowers no nothing except cedar swamps of the worst kind.  After leaving this we soon found the coast rocky.  Walls of red sandstone rose from the waters edg or directly out of the water to the heighth of a hundred feet perpendicular here we had a beatifull view of these rocks as our traveling is in a Batteau and must keep close to the shore for safety.  (I might here state the only way of traveling in summer is in Batteaus with sail and oars we coast along from place to place as business calls.  These rocks have a beautifull appearance caverns are wash’d and worn in to the base of these rocks and looks as tho some sea nymph might have had her pallace here.  My mind became so much excited I almost expected to see some of those fabled beauties pressing out at us as we passed along from some of those windows or loopholes in the wall or see them sitting on the point of some prominent rock, attending to her toilet but I didn’t see any though, nor did I hear them sing.  Rivulets of clear pure water came rolling over these rocks from the adjacent high land and form’d beautifull cascades inviting the traveler to view and admire their pur waters before forever lost in the mighty Superior.  Some of these waterfalls appear to leap from the top of the rock, and plunge in the lake several feet from their base while others cling to the rock until they reach the waters of the lake.  I regret much I cannot visit the pictured rocks which are farther down the lake than where we first touched on the south side.  They are said to be beautiful when view’d at a short distance from the water, presenting a vast wall of red sandstone rocks most beautifully pictured.  The Indians have some superstitious notions of these rocks of which I know but little.

Nor shall I be able to visit those stupenduous monuments on the north shore of the lake.  These rocks are trap and are said to rais perpendicularly out of the water to the great heighth of thirteen hundred feet.  These rocks have undoubtedly been thrown up by some volcanic action.

It is the common received opinion that this entire trap range has been thrown up by some violent eruption and has burst up through the upper layer of sandstone. Veins of which spar travers these Trap rocks in every direction and nearly all copper is found in them. Occasionally however veins of oars are traced some distance from the Trap into the Conglomoret rock wher the two unite.

The oars that are formed are the Red, Black and Grey Oxides also, Red, Black, Grey, and Yellow Sulpherets but in many places large quantities of Native copper is found.  Pieces or bolders of pure copper is sometimes found weighing many tons.  Of these copper rocks the one at Copper falls mine is most remarkable of which I have already mentioned.  I saw one from the Ontonagon river weighing over Sixty hundred.  This piece of copper had a good deal of pure silver in it.  These copper bolders sometimes lay in veins in the rock and sometimes they are found loose on the surface of the ground at a distance from any vein yet discovered.  They appear as though they had been melted and run into masses without any form, and of course rough enough.

I will now return and pursue our course up the lake the cost is rough and rocky most of the way from Portage up to the mouth of Misery river.  There is but one stream of any note and that is Graverod river.  This is a small stream large enough for a good mill stream and furnishes a toelerable good boat harbour.  We ran our boat into this tream with a pretty good sea at our heals, and got well wet as all hands had to jump in to the water to save our boat from breaking on the rocks.  Here we camp’d for the night nor did we get away the next day the sea being to rough for our small boat.

“Among those who formed the advance in the settlement of Ontonagon County was James K. Paul, who was widely known as ‘JimPaul. He was the first white man within the limits of the county who came to the vicinity of the mouth of Ontonagon River May 2, 1843, and pre-empted a claim of a tract of land where the village now stands, on the east side, and erected a log cabin thereon the same year. Mr. Paul became a historic character, not only in Ontonagon County, but throughout the Upper Peninsula as well, where settlements existed. He was a native of Old Virginia, and was a fair type of a brave, generous and open-hearted frontiersman. His cabin, though small, served as a dwelling house and store, in which he entertained those who came, and supplied those who desired with such articles as he happened to have for sale. His quarters were given the name of ‘Jim Paul’s Deadfall.'”
History of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by The Western Historical Company, 1883 (transcribed by Debi Hanes).

Misery river is a muddy sluggish looking stream different from any water I have seen since I came on the lake it is however a good boat harbour and is a point where most boats stop in passing up or down after landing at the mouth of Misery, securing our boat and getting all things ready.  We started for our work which lay back about ten miles from the lake.  Here we repeated the same thing over as at the Portage. And with no better success.  After spending near a month here we again pact all things up and started for the mouth of Misery.  As we pass up the lake we pass Sleeping river Flint Steel and firesteel rivers all of which are small streams but furnish good boat harbours and arrive at the Ontonagon about twenty miles distant.  The Ontonagon is a fine stream and the only stream that I have seen that deserves the name of river.  It is 75 or 100 yds wide at its mouth and is a good harbour for small vessels having a depth of water on the bar of about seven or eight feet.  This place must always be a place of conciderable importance it is in the middle of the mining destrict and the largest river that empties in to the south side of the lake.  I understand there has been a new County form’d and this place is lix’d on as the County seat, at present the mouth of the river is held by one Jim Paul and claims the most eligable cite for a town by preemption and prevents any other one from improving it.  He is a notorious character he has two small houses one he pretends to keep as a tavern and the other as a dogery to sell liquors.  It goes by the name of Paul’s dedfall.  It is one of the most miserable places I ever saw.  I can scarcely repress my feelings at the insult given by it to the entire waters of Lake Superior.  I hope the time is not far distant when this stain will be wash’d from the shores of the lake.  Mendenhalls mine lays up the river, and as we pass up we find rich bottom bands covered with a luxurient growth of vegitation quite diferent from the shore of the lake.  The scenery is beautifull, amongst the trees that line the banks of the streams is the mountain ash one of the most beautifull ornament trees I ever saw, they were loaded with brillient red fruit and are said to retain its fruit all winter.

Detail of Ontonagon River, “Paul’s Cabin,” the Ontonagon Copper Boulder, and the Porcupine Mountains from Map of the Mineral Lands Upon Lake Superior Ceded to the United States by the Treaty of 1842 With the Chippeway Indians.
~ Wisconsin Historical Society

The stream is broad and deep the distance I have been up which is about five miles from its mouth.  The indians have fine sugar camps on this stream but the pail faces or Che-moco-man are beginning to occupy them and the red man must leave.

At this point (five miles from the lake) Mendenhall has a warehouse where all of the goods and supplies for the Mendenhall location are landed.

“The Mendenhall Company was formed in 1845 to explore property obtained from the War Department located north of Norwich. Surface improvements and some land clearing took place in 1845 to prepare for mining, which began in 1846. Several shafts were driven on a conglomerate lode and approximately 4,000 pounds of copper was recovered from a sulphur ore that contained copper. All mining ceased in 1849 and the mine was abandoned. 
~ mindat.org

The location is five or six miles from the river.  Here are the best improvements I have ever seen since I have been on the lake.  He has seven or eight buildings for different purposes and several acres of land cleared last season he rais’d potatoes and Turnips enough for the use of the location.  They also had plenty of cucumbers and squashes with some other garden vegetables.  This mine is conducted with order and every thing has a business appearance.

They have a chaplain and preaching every sunday.  Their preacher works in the mine weekdays and preaches on sundays.  The miners are all english men from the cornish mines of England.  The Ontonagon destrict, it is thought will become one of the best mineing destricts on the lake.

Iron river fifteen miles up from the mouth of the Ontonagon is a considerable of a stream next in size to the Ontonagon that I have seen this is a good boat harbour but not large enough for vessel.  It is a great resort for Indians.

From Iron river to the Purcupine mountains the coast is mostly rocky and rather dangerous costing.  For further description of this cost see Note book.

From Iron river to the Porcupine mountains or to the Lone Rock is fifteen miles.  Lone Rock is a detach’d rock situated about 1/4 of a mile from the main land and raises out of the water perhaps twenty feet.  Nothing grows on the rock except some wild roses which are said to be beautifull.  This rock is trap and is fill’d with veins of white spar it is known to all voyagers as a point in counting distances.  The Indians call it Me-ne-sawbic.  This rock is the corner of the location I have been on this winter and the mine is call’d the lone rock mine.

The Porcupine Mountains ar ranges of mountains or hills runn paralell to the lake or nearly so at this place they approach verry near the lake.  And are several ridges laying paralell to each other.

The first ridg is Conglomerate, the second is Trap and also the third.  They rais by steps the first not being so high as the next and the third being higher still so that a person on the top of the third range can overlook the others and see the lake.  These hills or mountains have a gradual incline to the north and are not very steep, but their south side is verry abrupt and form perpendicular walls of rock from one to three hundred feet high.  In the vally between the second and third range Carp River winds its way to the lake running parallel to it for many miles.  This river is a small stream of pure water of sufficient size for mill purposes.  It abounds with Trout in great abundance.  Here is also plenty of Beaver on it.  The scenery is bold and grand for him who can enjoy mountain scenery.

No record of the Bellmont Mine could be found.  The Lone Rock Silver Mining Company was not organized until 1876.  This suggests that this manuscript was not a journal from 1846, but were memoirs written decades after the fact.

The view from some of the higher points of the mountains where Lake Superior is spread out before you on one side and the mountains with their eternal rocks and deep vallies with their small rivers and mountain lakes, on the other presents certainly one of the most grand, and sublime pictures I ever witness’d.  I have recently visited the Bellmont mine about five miles from the Lone Rock mine.  Here I find the upheave to be greater than I have seen at any other part of the range being as near as I can judg seven or eight hundred feet nearly perpendicular.  It is also the highest point of the second range of mountains or second ridg from the lake. Being 1000 feet above Lake Superior. Myself in company with Geo Rice in the evening assended the highest point where we had a beautifull view of the surrounding country and of Lake Superior which was now calm and smooth as a mirror. How shall I paint that sunset scene on Lake Superior as view’d from the top of the Porcupine Mountains.  I have been toss’d on Enis billows, I have heard the thunder of Lake Michigan as she in her magesty lash’d her impenetrable barier but never have I seen nature in all her georgeous beauty until I viewed her at evening from these mountains.  As the sun approach’d the christal floor of Lake Superior the blue waters were painted and ting’d with every possible hue and sparkled like diamonds shortly the brilliants appeared to concentrate until there was but one bright path from us to the sun and formed a beautiful bridg from earth to heaven.  I had always been accustomed to seeing the sun abov me but now it was below near the water, on the water, and under the water, and now the sun sleeps in Lake Superior.  The whole western skies are painted with rose and yellow and green and reflected back on the blue waters of the lake as though nature was determin’d to try her hand at fancy work once more before returning to rest.

We lingered here until one star made its appearance soon follow’d by all the bright lights of Heaven (if I may be allowed to quote from Scripture) until the whole deep blue was set with Jewells.

This reminds me of that pretty vers my litl girls us’d to repeat

Twinkle twinkle pretty star
Cant you tell us where you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the skie

We lingered here until the hour reminded us we must try to find our way down to the cabbin.

This was the last time I expect to visit this part of the mountains I therefor determin’d to assend thos lofty cliffs and have a morning view. Soon a darling radiance sot up from behind the mountains and the King of day made his appearance as if to greet his favorurite lake.

Deep in the vally lay that beautifull mountain lake with the wild ducks sporting on its bosom or whirling in gracefull circles over its shining waters. After spending an hour or two I bid adieu to this grand and magnificent Observatory of nature probably forever.

Hand-drawn chart of Lake Superior in Andrew Rundel Journal.

By Amorin Mello

 


 

Treaty Commissioner Henry C. Gilbert’s
Explanation of the Treaty Concluded in 1854
with the Assistance of David B. Herriman

Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters:
Volume 79, No. 1, Appendix 5

 


 

Office Michigan Indian Agency
Detroit October 17th, 1854

Sir

Mackinac Indian Agent
Henry Clark Gilbert
~ Branch County Photographs

I transmit herewith a treaty concluded at LaPointe on the 30th Ultimo between Mr. Herriman and myself as Commissioners on the part of the United States and the Chippewas of Lake Superior and the Mississippi.

On receiving your letters of August 10th, 12th, and 14th, relative to this treaty, I immediately dispatched a special messenger from this place by way of Chicago, Galena and St. Paul to Mr. Herriman at the Crow wing Chippewa Agency transmitting to him your letter requesting him to meet me at LaPointe with the Chiefs and Headmen of his Agency at as early a day as possible. I adopted this course in preference to sending a messenger from La Pointe on my arrival there for the purpose of saving time and I was thus enabled to secure the attendance of Mr Herriman and the Mississippi Chiefs some 10 or 12 days earlier than I could otherwise have done.

I left for LaPointe on the 26th of August last and arrived there the 1st day of September – Mr Herriman meeting me there the 14th of the same Month.

By this time a large number of Indians had assembled – including not only those entitled to payment but all those from the Interior who live about Lakes de Flambeau and Lake Courteilles. The Chiefs who were notified to attend brought with them in every instance their entire bands. We made a careful estimate of the number present and found there were about 4,000. They all had to be fed and taken care of, thus adding greatly to the expenses attending the negotiations.

Charles William Wulff Borup and Charles Henry Oakes married into the La Pointe mixed blood Beaulieu family; built the American Fur Company’s new La Pointe outfit during the 1830’s; sold La Pointe to Julius Austrian during 1853; and started the first bank in Minnesota during 1854 at St. Paul.
~ 1854 banknote from HeritageAuctions.com

A great number of traders and claim agents were also present as well as some of the persons from St. Paul’s who I had reason to believe attended for the purpose of preventing if possible the consummation of the treaty. The utmost precautions were taken by me to prevent a knowledge of the fact that negotiations were to take place from being public. The Messenger sent by me to Mr Herriman was not only trust worthy but was himself totally ignorant of the purport of the dispatches to Major Herriman. Information however of the fact was communicated from some source and the persons present in consequence greatly embarrassed our proceedings.

After Major Herriman’s arrival we soon found that the Mississippi Indians could not be induced to sell their land on any terms. Much jealousy and ill feeling existed between them and the Lake Superior Indians and they could not even be prevailed upon to meet each other in council. They were all however anxious that a division should be made of the payments to become due under former existing treaties and a specific apportionment made between the Mississippi and the Lake Superior Indians and places of payment designated.

Taking advantage of this feeling we proposed to them a division of the country between them and the establishment of a boundary line, on one side of which the country should belong exclusively to the Lake Superior and on the other side to the Mississippi Indians. We had but little difficulty in inducing them to agree to this proposition and after much negotiation the line designated in the treaty was agreed upon.

We then obtained from the Lake Indians a cession of their portion of the Country on the terms stated in the treaty. The district ceded embraces all the mineral region bordering on Lake Superior and Pigeon river & is supposed to be by far the most valuable portion of their country. But a small portion of the amount agreed to be paid in annuities is payable in coin. The manner of payment is such as in our judgement would most tend to promote the permanent welfare and hasten the civilization of the Indians.

We found the points most strenuously insisted upon by them were first the privilege of remaining in the country where they reside and next the appropriation of land for their future homes. Without yielding these points, it was idle for us to talk about a treaty. We therefore agreed to the selection of lands for them in territory heretofore ceded.

The tract for the Ance and Vieux Desert bands is a the head of Ke, wa, we naw Bay Michigan and is at present occupied by them. I estimate the quantity at about 60,000 acres.

Detail of La Pointe Indian Reservation survey boundaries including Gichi-ziibiiwishenhnyan from a letter dated March 30th, 1855, written by the Commissioner John Wilson of the General Land Office to General Surveyor Warner Lewis.
~ National Archives Microfilm Publications; Microcopy No. 27; Roll 16; Volume 16.

These reservations are located in Wisconsin, the principal of which is for the LaPointe Band on Bad river – A large number of Indians now reside there and I presume it will ultimately become the home of most of the Chippewas residing in that state. It is a tract of land well adapted for Agricultural purposes and includes the present Missionary Station under the care of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. About one third of the land however lying on the Lake Superior is swamp and valueless, except as it gives them access to the Lake for fishing purposes.

The other Wisconsin reservations lie on Lac de Flambeau and Lac Courteirelle in the Interior and the whole amount of land reserved in that state I estimate at about 200,000 acres exclusive of the Swamp land included in the LaPointe reservation. in the ceded Country there are two tracts set apart for the Indians – one on St Louis river of 100,000 acres for the Fond DuLac bands and one embracing the point bounded by the Lake and Pigeon river and containing about 120,000 acres.

There are two or three other small reservations to be hereafter selected under the direction of the President. The whole quantity of land embrace within all the tracts set apart we estimate at about 486,000 acres – No portion of the reserved lands are occupied by whites except the Missionary establishment on Bad river.

The provision going to each Half Breed family 80 acres of land was most strenuously insisted upon by the Indians. There are about 200 such families on my pay roll and allowing as many more to the Interior Indians which is a very liberal estimate, the amount of land required will be about 32,000 acres.

A principal source of embarrassment was the provision setting aside a portion of the consideration to be paid as the Chiefs might direct &c. In other words to pay their debts with. We had much difficulty in reducing the amount insisted upon to the sum stated in the treaty. I have no doubt that there are many just claims upon these Indians. The regular payment of their annuities was so long withheld that they were forced to depend to a great extent upon their traders. There claims that were all disposed to acknowledge and insisted upon providing for their payment and without the insertion of the provision referred to, we could not have concluded the treaty.

I regret very much that we could not have purchased the whole country and made the treaty in every particular within the limit of your instructions. But this was absolutely impossible and we were forced to the alternative of abandoning the attempt to treaty or of making the concessions detailed in the treaty.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Director
George W. Manypenny
~ Commons.Wikimedia.org

There are many points respecting which I should like much to make explanations, and for that purpose and in order to make a satisfactory settlement of the accounts for treaty purposes and in order to make a satisfactory settlement of the accounts for treaty expenses I respectfully request the privilege of attending at Washington at such time after making my other annuity payments as you may think proper.

Very Respectfully
Your Obt. Servt.

Henry C. Gilbert

Commissioner

Hon. Geo. W. Manypenny

Com. Ind. Affs.
Washington D.C.

 

 By Amorin Mello

1855 President's Budget for 1854 Treaty at La Pointe

House Documents, Volume 112

By United States House of Representatives
33d Congress,
2nd Session.
Ex. Doc. No. 61.

 


 

TREATY WITH CHIPPEWA INDIANS.

————————

MESSAGE

FROM

THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,

United States President
Franklin Pierce
circa 1855
~ Commons.Wikimedia.com

TRANSMITTING

Estimates of appropriations for carrying into effect the treaty with the Chippewa Indians &c.

————————

February 8, 1855.—Laid upon the table and ordered to be printed.
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To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States:

I communicate to Congress the following letter from the Secretary of the Interior, with its enclosure, on the subject of a treaty between the United States and the Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior, and recommend that the appropriations therein asked for may be made.

FRANLIN PEIRCE.

Washington, February 7, 1855.

 


 

Department Of The Interior,

Washington, February 6,1855.

Secretary of the Interior
Robert McClelland
circa 1916
~ Commons.Wikipedia.com

SIR: I have the honor to transmit to you, herewith, a copy of a communication from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, dated the 5th instant, calling my attention to the subject of a treaty made at La Pointe, Wisconsin, by Henry C. Gilbert and Daniel B. Herriman, commissioners on the part of the United States, and the Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior; and, to enable this department to carry the treaty into effect, recommend that Congress be requested to make the appropriations specified in the letter of the Commissioner, and which will be immediately required for that purpose.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. McCLELLAND,

Secretary.

To the President.

 


 

Department Of The Interior,

Office Indian Affairs, February 5, 1855.

Mackinac Indian Agent
Henry Clark Gilbert
~ Branch County Photographs

Sir: Having received the official information on the 24th ultimo of the approval and ratification, by the President and Senate, of the articles of agreement and convention made and entered into at La Pointe, in the State of Wisconsin, by Henry C. Gilbert and Daniel B. Herriman, commissioners on the part of the United States, and the Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior and Mississippi, I have the honor now to call your attention to the appropriations that will be required immediately to enable the department to carry the treaty into effect, viz:

For fulfilling treaties with the Chippewas of Lake Superior.

  • For expenses (in part) of selecting reservations, and surveying and marking the boundaries thereof, per 2d, 3d, and 12th articles of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. $3,000
  • For the payment of the first of twenty instalments in coin, goods, &c, agricultural implements, &c, and education, &c, per 4th article of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. 19,000
  • For the purchase of clothing and other articles to be given to the young men at the next annuity payment, as per 4th article of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. 4,800
  • For the purchase of agricultural implements and other articles, as presents for the mixed bloods, per 4th article of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. 6,000
  • For the payment of such debts as may be directed by the chiefs in open council, and found to be just and correct by the Secretary of the Interior, per 4th article of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. 90,000
  • For the payment of such debts of the Bois Forte bands as may be directed by their chiefs, and found lo be just and correct by the Secretary of the Interior, per 12th article of the treaty of September 30, 1844 …….. 10,000
  • For the payment of the first of five instalments in blankets, cloth, &c, to the Bois Forte band, per 12th article of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. 2,000
  • For the first of twenty instalments for the pay of six smiths and assistants, per 5th and 2d articles of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. 5,040
  • For the first of twenty instalments for the support of six smith shops, per 5th and 2d articles of the treaty of September 30, 1854 …….. 1,320

It will be observed that the treaty of September 30, 1854, recognized the Chippewas of Lake Superior as a branch of the nation, and that the pecuniary and beneficiary stipulations therein are for their exclusive use.

By the fifth article of the treaty the Lake Superior Chippewas are to have six blacksmiths and assistants, and they relinquish, by the same article, all other employés to which they might otherwise have been entitled under former treaties.

The Chippewas of the Mississippi are, by the eighth article of the treaty, entitled to one-third of the benefits of treaties prior to 1847; and, by consequence, retain an interest of one-third in the stipulations for smith shops, &c., and farmers, &c, per second article of the treaty of July 29, 1837; and in the farmers, and carpenters, and smiths, &c., mentioned in the fourth article of the treaty of October 4, 1842.

On an examination of the condition of existing appropriations to fulfil the stipulations just mentioned, it is found that the balances in the treasury are sufficient to sustain these employés and otherwise meet the requirements of the stipulations referred to, so far as the Chippewas of the Mississippi are interested, during the next fiscal year.

In case appropriations are made by Congress, in pursuance of the foregoing estimates, it will be perceived that the following items of the Indian appropriation bill now before Congress might, with propriety, be stricken out, viz:

House bill 555, reported, with amendments, January 16, 1855:

  • Page 4, lines 68, 69, 70, and 71, “three thousand dollars,” ($3,000.)
  • Page 4, lines 72, 73, 74, 75, and 76, “one thousand dollars,” ($1,000.)
  • Page 5, lines 89, 90, 91, 92, and 93, “two thousand dollars,” ($2,000.)
  • Page 5, lines 94, 95, and 96, “one thousand dollars,” ($1,000.) Page 5, lines 97, 98, and 99, “one thousand two hundred dollars,” ($1,200.)

Director of of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
George Washington Manypenny
circa 1886
~ Commons.Wikimedia.org

As it is not deemed necessary, I do not therefore submit, at present an estimate for appropriations to pay employés for the Bois Forte band, as per twelfth article of the treaty of September 30, 1854, or to liquidate a balance, should any be found due to these Indians by the investigation, which it is provided by the ninth article of the same treaty shall be made.

Should the foregoing estimates and suggestions be approved by you, I respectfully recommend that they be laid before Congress as early as practicable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. W. MANYPENNY,

Commissioner.

Hon. R. McCLELLAND,
Secretary of the Interior.

By Amorin Mello

Early Life among the Indians

by Benjamin Green Armstrong

Early Indian History.

CHAPTER I.

The First Treaty.—The Removal Order.— Treaties of 1837 and 1842.—A Trip to Washington.—In New York City with Only One Dime.—At the Broker’s Residence.

 

Benjamin Armstrong is impressively detailed and yet inaccurate at times in his memoirs.  I recommend reading his words with a grain of salt.
There were four Treaties at Prairie Du Chien, but all were before 1835.  Armstrong probably meant the first Treaty in 1825.

My earliest recollections in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota territories date back to 1835, at which time Gen. Cass and others on the part of the Government, with different tribes of Indians, viz : Potawatomies, Winnebagos, Chippewas, Saux and Foxes and the Sioux, at Prairie du Chien, met in open council, to define and agree upon boundary lines between the Saux and Foxes and the Chippewas. The boundary or division of territory as agreed upon and established by this council was the Mississippi River from Prairie du Chien north to the mouth of of Crow Wing River, thence to its source. The Saux and Foxes and the Sioux were recognized to be the owners of all territory lying west of the Mississippi and south of the Crow Wing River. The Chippewas, by this treaty, were recognized as the owners of all lands east of the Mississippi in the territory of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and north of the Crow Wing River on both sides of the Mississippi to the British Possessions, also Lake Superior country on both sides of the lake to Sault Ste. Marie and beyond. The other tribes mentioned in this council had no interest in the above divided territory from the fact that their possessions were east and south of the Chippewa Country, and over their title there was no dispute. The division lines were agreed to as described and a treaty signed. When all shook hands and covenanted with each other to live in peace for all time to come.

The 1837 Treaty with the Chippewa at St. Peters is also known as the White Pine Treaty.  Henry Dodge was the Commissioner.  (I could not find evidence of Josiah Snelling or Major Walking being present at this Treaty.)

In 1837 the Government entered into a treaty with the Chippewas of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers at St. Peter, Minnesota, Col. Snelling, of the army, and Maj. Walker, of Missouri, being the commissioners on the part of the Government, and it appears that at the commencement of this council the anxiety on the part of the commissioners to perfect a treaty was so great that statements were made by them favorable to the Indians, and understood perfectly by them, that were not afterwards incorporated in the treaty. The Indians were told by these commissioners that the great father had sent them to buy their pine timber and their minerals that were hidden in the earth, and that the great father was very anxious to dig the mineral, for of such material he made guns and knives for the Indians, and copper kettles in which to boil their sugar sap.

“The timber you make but little use of is the pine your great father wants to build many steamboats, to bring your goods to you and to take you to Washington bye-and-bye to see your great father and meet him face to face. He does not want your lands, it is too cold up here for farming. He wants just enough of it to build little towns where soldiers stop, mining camps for miners, saw mill sites and logging camps. The timber that is best for you the great father does not care about. The maple tree that you make your sugar from, the birch tree that you get bark from for your canoes and from which you make pails for your sugar sap, the cedar from which you get material for making canoes, oars and paddles, your great father cares nothing for. It is the pine and minerals that he wants and he has sent us here to make a bargain with you for it,” the commissioners said.

And further, the Indians were told and distinctly understood that they were not to be disturbed in the possession of their lands so long as their men behaved themselves. They were told also that the Chippewas had always been good Indians and the great father thought very much of them on that account, and with these promises fairly and distinctly understood they signed the treaty that ceded to the government all their territory lying east of the Mississippi, embracing the St. Croix district and east to the Chippewa River, but to my certain knowledge the Indians never knew that they had ceded their lands until 1849, when they were asked to remove therefrom.

Robert Stuart was an American Fur Company agent and Acting Superintendent on Mackinac Island.
~ Wikipedia.org

In 1842 Robert Stewart, on the part of the government, perfected a treaty at La Pointe, on Lake Superior, in which the Chippewas of the St. Croix and Superior country ceded all that portion of their territory, from the boundary of the former treaty of 1837, with the Chippewas of the Mississippi and St. Croix Indians, east and along the south shore of the lake to the Chocolate River, Michigan, territory. No conversation that was had at this time gave the Indians an inkling or caused them to mistrust that they were ceding away their lands, but supposed that they were simply selling the pine and minerals, as they had in the treaty of 1837, and when they were told, in 1849, to move on and thereby abandon their burying grounds — the dearest thing to an Indian known— they began to hold councils and to ask each as to how they had understood the treaties, and all understood them the same, that was : That they were never to be disturbed if they behaved themselves. Messengers were sent out to all the different bands in every part of their country to get the understanding of all the people, and to inquire if any depredations had been committed by any of their young men, or what could be the reason for this sudden order to move. This was kept up for a year, but no reason could be assigned by the Indians for the removal order.

The 1842 Treaty at La Pointe is also known as the Copper Treaty.

The treaty of 1842 made at La Pointe stipulated that the Indians should receive their annuities at La Pointe for a period of twenty-five years. Now by reason of a non-compliance with the order to move away, the annuity payment at La Pointe had been stopped and a new agency established at Sandy Lake, near the Mississippi River, and their annuities taken there, and the Indians told to go there for them, and to bring along their women and children, and to remain there, and all that did not would be deprived of their pay and annuities.

In the fall of 1851, and after all the messengers had returned that had been sent out to inquire after the cause for the removal orders, the chiefs gathered in council, and after the subject had been thoroughly canvassed, agreed that representatives from all parts of the country should be sent to the new agency and see what the results of such a visit would be. A delegation was made up, consisting of about 500 men in all. They reached the new agency about September 10th of that year. The agent there informed them that rations should be furnished to them until such time as he could get the goods and money from St. Paul.

Some time in the latter part of the month we were surprised to hear that the new agency had burned down, and, as the word came to us,

“had taken the goods and money into the ashes.”

The agent immediately started down the river, and we saw no more of him for some time. Crowds of Indians and a few white men soon gathered around the burnt remains of the agency and waited until it should cool down, when a thorough search was made in the ashes for melted coin that must be there if the story was true that goods and money had gone down together. They scraped and scratched in vain All that was ever found in that ruin in the shape of metal was two fifty cent silver pieces. The Indians, having no chance to talk with the agent, could find out nothing of which they wished to know. They camped around the commissary department and were fed on the very worst class of sour, musty pork heads, jaws, shoulders and shanks, rotten corned beef and the poorest quality of flour that could possibly be milled. In the course of the next month no fewer than 150 Indians had died from the use of these rotten provisions, and the remainder resolved to stay no longer, and started back for La Pointe.

The Sandy Lake Tragedy and Ojibwe Removal efforts have had profound impact upon Chequamegon History.  John S. Watrous was the Indian Agent that Armstrong refers to as “Waters”.

At Fond du Lac, Minnesota, some of the employees of the American Fur Co. urged the Indians to halt there and wait for the agent to come, and finally showed them a message from the agent requesting them to stop at Fond du Lac, and stated that he had procured money and goods and would pay them off at that point, which he did during the winter of 1851. About 500 Indians gathered there and were paid, each one receiving four dollars in money and a very small goods annuity. Before preparing to leave for home the Indians wanted to know of the agent, John S. Waters, what he was going to do with the remainder of the money and goods. He answered that he was going to keep it and those who should come there for it would get their share and those that did not would get nothing. The Indians were now thoroughly disgusted and discouraged, and piling their little bundles of annuity goods into two piles agreed with each other that a game of lacrosse should be played on the ice for the whole stock. The Lake Superior Indians were to choose twenty men from among them and the interior Indians the same number. The game was played, lasting three days, and resulting in a victory for the interiors. During all this time councils were being held and dissatisfaction was showing itself on every hand. Threats were freely indulged in by the younger and more resolute members of the band, who thought while they tamely submitted, to outrage their case would never grow better. But the older and more considerate ones could not see the case as they did, but all plainly saw there was no way of redress at present and they were compelled to put up with just such treatment as the agent saw fit to inflict upon them. They now all realized that they had been induced to sign treaties that they did not understand, and had been imposed upon. They saw that when the annuities were brought and they were asked to touch the pen, they had only received what the agent had seen fit to give them, and certainly not what was their dues. They had lost 150 warriors on this one trip alone by being fed on unwholesome provisions, and they reasoned among themselves :

Is this what our great father intended? If so we may as well go to our old home and there be slaughtered where we can be buried by the side of our relatives and friends.

Other accounts of Oshogay and Chief Buffalo’s 1852 delegation have also been covered by Chequamegon History.

These talks were kept up after they had returned to La Pointe. I attended many of them, and being familiar with the language, I saw that great trouble was brewing and if something was not quickly done trouble of a serious nature would soon follow. At last I told them if they would stop where they were I would take a party of chiefs, or others, as they might elect, numbering five or six, and go to Washington, where they could meet the great father and tell their troubles to his face. Chief Buffalo and other leading chieftains of the country at once agreed to the plan, and early in the spring a party of six men were selected, and April 5th, 1852, was appointed as the day to start. Chiefs Buffalo and O-sho-ga, with four braves and myself, made up the party. On the day of starting, and before noon, there were gathered at the beach at old La Pointe, Indians by the score to witness the departure. We left in a new birch bark canoe which was made for the occasion and called a four fathom boat, twenty-four feet long with six paddles. The four braves did most of the paddling, assisted at times by O-sho-ga and sometimes by Buffalo. I sat at the stern and directed the course of the craft. We made the mouth of the Montreal River, the dividing line between Wisconsin and Michigan, the first night, where we went ashore and camped, without covering, except our blankets. We carried a small amount of provisions with us, some crackers, sugar and coffee, and depended on game and fish for meat. The next night, having followed along the beach all day, we camped at Iron River. No incidents of importance happened, and on the third day out from La Pointe, at 10 a. m. we landed our bark at Ontonagon, where we spent two days in circulating a petition I had prepared, asking that the Indians might be left and remain in their own country, and the order for their removal be reconsidered. I did not find a single man who refused to sign it, which showed the feeling of the people nearest the Indians upon the subject. From Ontonagon we went to Portage Lake, Houghton and Hancock, and visited the various copper mines, and all there signed the petition. Among the signers I would occasionally meet a man who claimed personal acquaintance with the President and said the President would recognize the signature when he saw it, which I found to be so on presenting the petition to President Filmore. Among them was Thomas Hanna, a merchant at Ontonagon, Capt. Roberts, of the Minnesota mine, and Douglas, of the firm of Douglas & Sheldon, Portage Lake. Along the coast from Portage Lake we encountered a number of severe storms which caused us to go ashore, and we thereby lost considerable time. Stopping at Marquette I also circulated the petition and procured a great many signatures. Leaving there nothing was to be seen except the rocky coast until we reached Sault Ste. Marie, where we arrived in the afternoon and remained all the next day, getting my petition signed by all who were disposed. Among others who signed it was a Mr. Brown, who was then editing a paper there. He also claimed personal acquaintance with the President and gave me two or three letters of introduction to parties in New York City, and requested me to call on them when I reached the city, saying they would be much pleased to see the Indian chieftains from this country, and that they would assist me in case I needed assistance, which I found to be true.

The second day at the “Soo” the officers from the fort came to me with the inteligence that no delegation of Indians would be allowed to go to Washington without first getting permission from the government to do so, as they had orders to stop and turn back all delegations of Indians that should attempt to come this way en-route to Washington. This was to me a stunner. In what a prediciment I found myself. To give up this trip would be to abandon the last hope of keeping that turbulent spirit of the young warriors within bounds. Now they were peacably inclined and would remain so until our mission should decide their course. They were now living on the hope that our efforts would obtain for them the righting of a grievous wrong, but to return without anything accomplished and with the information that the great father’s officers had turned us back would be to rekindle the fire that was smoldering into an open revolt for revenge. I talked with the officers patiently and long and explained the situation of affairs in the Indian country, and certainly it was no pleasant task for me to undertake, without pay or hope of reward, to take this delegation through, and that I should never have attempted it if I had not considered it necessary to secure the safety of the white settlers in that country, and that although I would not resist an officer or disobey an order of the government, I should go as far as I could with my Indians, and until I was stopped by an officer, then I would simply say to the Indians,

“I am prevented from going further. I have done all I can. I will send you as near home, as I can get conveyances for you, but for the present I shall remain away from that country,”

The officers at the “Soo” finally told me to go on, but they said,

“you will certainly be stopped at some place, probably at Detroit. The Indian agent there and the marshall will certainly oppose your going further.”

More than one Steamer Northerner was on the Great Lakes in 1852. This may have been the one Chief Buffalo’s delegation rode on.
~ Great Lakes Maritime Database

But I was determined to try, and as soon as I could get a boat for Detroit we started. It was the steamer Northerner, and when we landed in Detroit, sure enough, we were met by the Indian agent and told that we could go no further, at any rate until next day, or until he could have a talk with me at his office. He then sent us to a hotel, saying he would see that our bill was paid until next day. About 7:30 that evening I was called to his office and had a little talk with him and the marshall. I stated to them the facts as they existed in the northwest, and our object in going to Washington, and if we were turned back I did not consider that a white man’s life would long be safe in the Indian country, under the present state of excitement; that our returning without seeing the President would start a fire that would not soon be quenched. They finally consented to my passing as they hardly thought they could afford to arrest me, considering the petitions I had and the circumstances I had related.

“But,” they also added, “we do not think you will ever reach Washington with your delegation.”

I thanked them for allowing us to proceed and the next morning sailed for Buffalo, where we made close connections with the first railroad cars any of us had ever seen and proceeded to Albany, at which place we took the Steamer Mayflower, I think. At any rate the boat we took was burned the same season and was commanded by Capt. St. John.

Lecture Room (theater) at Barnum’s American Museum circa 1853.
~ Commons.Wikimedia.org

We landed in New York City without mishap and I had just and only one ten-cent silver piece of money left. By giving the ‘bus driver some Indian trinkets I persuaded him to haul the party and baggage to the American House, which then stood a block or so from Barnum’s Theatre. Here I told the landlord of my financial embarrassment and that we must stay over night at any rate and in some way the necessary money to pay the bill should be raised. I found this landlord a prince of good fellows and was always glad that I met him. I told him of the letters I had to parties in the city and should I fail in getting assistance from them I should exhibit my fellows and in this way raise the necessary funds to pay my bill and carry us to our destination. He thought the scheme a good one, and that himself and me were just the ones to carry it out. Immediately after supper I started out in search of the parties to whom I had letters of introduction, and with the landlord’s help in giving me directions, I soon found one of them, a stock broker, whose name I cannot remember, or the street on which he lived. He returned with me to the hotel, and after looking the Indians over, he said,

“You are all right. Stay where you are and I will see that you have money to carry you through.”

The next day I put the Indians on exhibition at the hotel, and a great many people came to see them, most of whom contributed freely to the fund to carry us to our destination. On the second evening of the exhibition this stock broker came with his wife to the show, and upon taking his leave, invited me to bring the delegation to his house the next afternoon, where a number of ladies of their acquaintance could see them without the embarrassment they would feel at the show room. To this I assented, and the landlord being present, said he would assist by furnishing tho conveyance. But when the ‘bus was brought up in front of the house the next day for the purpose of taking the Indians aboard, the crowd became so dense that it was found impossible to get them into it, and it was with some difficulty that they were gotten back to their room. We saw it would not be possible to get them across the city on foot or by any method yet devised. I despatched a note to the broker stating how matters stood, and in less than half an hour himself and wife were at the hotel, and the ready wit of this little lady soon had a plan arranged by which the Indians could be safely taken from the house and to her home without detection or annoyance. The plan was to postpone the supper she had arranged for in the afternoon until evening, and that after dark the ‘bus could be placed in the alley back of the hotel and the Indians got into it without being observed. The plan was carefully carried out by the landlord. The crowd was frustrated and by 9 p. m. we were whirling through the streets with shaded ‘bus windows to the home of the broker, which we reached without any interruption, and were met at the door by the little lady whose tact had made the visit possible, and I hope she may now be living to read this account of that visit, which was nearly thirty-nine years ago. We found some thirty or forty young people present to see us, and I think a few old persons. The supper was prepared and all were anxious to see the red men of the forest at a white man’s table. You can imagine my own feelings on this occasion, for, like the Indians, I had been brought up in a wilderness, entirely unaccustomed to the society of refined and educated people, and here I was surrounded by them and the luxuries of a finished home, and with the conduct of my wards to be accounted for, I was forced to an awkward apology, which was, however, received with that graciousness of manner that made me feel almost at home. Being thus assured and advised that our visit was contemplated for the purpose of seeing us as nearly in our native ways and customs as was possible, and that no offense would be taken at any breach of etiquette, but, on the contrary, they should be highly gratified if we would proceed in all things as was our habit in the wilderness, and the hostess, addressing me, said it was the wish of those present that in eating their supper the Indians would conform strictly to their home habits, to insure which, as supper was then being put in readiness for them, I told the Indians that when the meal had been set before them on the table, they should rise up and pushing their chairs back, seat themselves upon the floor, taking with them only the plate of food and the knife. They did this nicely, and the meal was taken in true Indian style, much to the gratification of the assemblage. When the meal was completed each man placed his knife and plate back upon the table, and, moving back towards the walls of the room, seated himself upon the floor in true Indian fashion.

As the party had now seen enough to furnish them with tea table chat, they ate their supper and after they had finished requested a speech from the Indians, at least that each one should say something that they might hear and which I could interpret to the party. Chief O-sha-ga spoke first, thanking the people for their kindness. Buffalo came next and said he was getting old and was much impressed by the manner of white people and showed considerable feeling at the nice way in which they had been treated there and generally upon the route.

Our hostess, seeing that I spoke the language fluently, requested that I make them a speech in the Chippewa tongue. To do this so they would understand it best I told them a story in the Indian tongue. It was a little story about a monkey which I had often told the Indians at home and it was a fable that always caused great merriment among them, for a monkey was, in their estimation, the cutest and most wonderful creature in the world, an opinion which they hold to the present time. This speech proved to be the hit of the evening, for I had no sooner commenced (though my conversation was directed to the white people), than the Indians began to laugh and cut up all manner of pranks, which, combined with the ludicrousness of the story itself, caused a general uproar of laughter by all present and once, if never again, the fashionably dressed and beautiful ladies of New York City vied with each other and with the dusky aborigines of the west in trying to show which one of all enjoyed best the festivities. The rest of the evening and until about two o’clock next morning was spent in answering questions about our western home and its people, when we returned to the hotel pleased and happy over the evening’s entertainment.

To be continued in Chapter II

By Amorin Mello

 


 

Selected letters from the

Wheeler Family Papers,

Box 3, Folders 11-12; La Pointe County.

 


 

This unsigned letter appears to be from Reverend Sherman Hall, who formerly lived at La Pointe with his family from 1831 until 1853.

Crow-wing, Min. Ter.

Jan. 9th 1854

Brother Wheeler,

Reverend Leonard Hemenway Wheeler ~ In Unnamed Wisconsin by Silas Chapman, 1895, cover image.

Presbyterian Minister Leonard Wheeler and his wife Harriet Wood Wheeler moved to La Pointe in 1841, where they likely witnessed the 1st Treaty at La Pointe in 1842.
The Wheelers relocated to Odanah on Bad River in 1845, where they erected a Protestant mission and invented the iconic Eclipse windmill for pumping water. 
Rev. Wheeler became a signatory of the 2nd Treaty at La Pointe on September 30th, 1854.

Though not indebted to you just now on the score of correspondence, I will venture to intrude upon you a few lines more.  I will begin by saying we are all tolerably well.  But we are somewhat uncomfortable in some respects.  Our families are more subject to colds this winter than usual.  This probably may be attributed in part at least to our cold and open houses.  We were unable last fall to do any thing more than fix ourselves temporarily, and the frosts of winter find a great many large holes to creep in at.  Some days it is almost impossible for us to keep warm enough to be comfortable.

Our prospects for accomplishing much for the Indians here I do not think look more promising than they did last fall.  There are but few Indians here.  These get drunk every time they can get whiskey, of which there is an abundance nearby.  Among the white people here, none are disposed to attend meetings much except Mr. [Welton?].  He and his wife are discontented and unhappy here, and will probably get away as soon as they can.  We hear not a word from the Indian Department.  Why they are minding us in this manner I cannot tell.  But I should like it much better, if they would tell us at once to be gone.  I have got enough of trying to do anything for Indians in connection with the Government.  We can put no dependence upon any thing they will do.  I have tried the experiment till I am satisfied.  I think much more could be done with a boarding school in the neighborhood of Lapointe than here And my opinion is, that since things have turned out as they have here, we had better get out of it as soon as we can.  With such an agent as we now have, nothing will prosper here.  He is enough to poison everything, and will do more moral evil in such a community, as this, than a half a dozen missionaries can do good.  My opinion is, that if they knew at Washington how things are and have been managed here, there would be a change.  But I do not feel certain of this.  For I sometimes am tempted to adopt the opinion that they do not care much there how things go here.  But should there be a change, I have little hope that is would would make things materially better.  The moral and social improvement of the Indians, I fear, has little to do with the appointment of agents and superintendents.  I do not think I ought to remain here very long and keep my family here, as things are now going.  If we were not involved with the Government with regard to the school matter, I would advise the Committee to quit here as soon as we can find a place to go to.  My health is not very good.  The scenes, and labors and attacks of sickness which I have passed through during the past two years have made almost a wreck of my constitution.  It might rally under some circumstances.  But I do not think it will while I stay here, so excluded from society, and so harassed with cares and perplexities as I have been and as I am likely to be in future, should we go on and try to get up a school.  My wife is in no better spirits than I am.  She has had several quite ill turns this winter.  the children all wish to get away from here, and I do not know that I shall have power to keep them here, even if I am to stay.

For more information about Rev. Hall’s role during the 1851 Sandy Lake Tragedy and Ojibwe Removal attempt, read Sandy Lake Letters: Sherman Hall to the Wheelers.

But what to do I do not know.  The Committee say they do not wish to abandon the Ojibwas.  I cannot in future favor the removal of the lake Indians.  I believe that all the aid they will receive from the Government will never civilize or materially benifit them.  I judge from the manner in which things have been managed here.  Our best hope is to do what we can to aid them where they are to live peaceably with the whites, and to improve and become citizens.  The idea of the Government sending infidels and heathens here to civilize and Christianize the Indians is rediculous.

Reverend Hall relocated from La Pointe to Crow Wing during 1853 when he thought Chippewa removal was imminent.

I always thought it doubtful whether the experiment we are trying would succeed.  In that case it was my intention to remove somewhere below here, and try to get a living, either by raising my potatoes or by trying to preach to white people, or by uniting both.  but I do not hardly feel strong enough to begin entirely anew in the wilderness to make me a home.  I suppose my family would be as happy at Lapointe, as they would any where in the new and scattered settlements for fifty or a hundred miles below here.  And if thought I could support myself then, I might think of going back there.  There are our old friends for whose improvement we have laborred so many years.  I feel almost as much attachment for them as for my won children.  And I do not think they ought to be left like sheep upon the mountains without a shepherd.  And if the Board think it best to expend money and labor for the Ojibwas, they had better expend it there than here, as things now are at least.  I think we were exerting much much more influence there before we left, then we have here or are likely to exert.  I have no idea that the lake Indians will ever remove to this place, or to this region.

Reverend Sherman Hall
~ Madeline Island Museum

What do you think of recommending to the Board to day to exert a greater influence on the people in the neighborhood of Lapointe[?/!]  I feel reluctant to give up the Indians.  And if I could get a living at Lapointe, and could get there, I should be almost disposed to go back and live among those few for whom I have labored so long, if things turn out here as I expect they will.  I have not much funds to being life with now, nor much strength to dig with.  But still I shall have to dig somewhere.  The land is easier tilled in this region than that about the lake.  But wood is more scarce.  My family do not like Minesota.  Perhaps they would, if they should get out of the Indian country.  Edwin says he will get out of it in the spring, and Miles says he will not stay in such a lonesome place.  I shall soon be alone as to help from my children.  My boys must take care of themselves as soon as they arrive at a suitable age, and will leave me to take care of myself.  We feel very unsettled.  Our affairs here must assume a different aspect, or we cannot remain here many months longer.  Is there enough to do at Lapointe; or is there a prospect that there will soon be business to draw people enough then, to make it an object to try to establish the institution of the gospel there?  Write me and let me know your views on such subjects as these.

[Unsigned, but appears to be from Sherman Hall]

 


 

Crow-wing Feb. 10th 1854

Brother Wheeler:

I received your letter of jan. 16th yesterday, and consequently did not sleep as much as usual last night. We were glad to hear that you are all well and prosperous. We too are well which we consider a great blessing, as sickness in present situation would be attended with great inconvenience. Our house is exceedingly cold and has been uncomfortable during some of the severe cold weather have had during the last months. Yet we hope to get through the winter without suffering severely. In many respects our missionary spirit has been put to a severer test than at any previous time since we have been in the Indian country, during the past year. We feel very unsettled, and of course somewhat uneasy. The future does not look very bright. We cannot get a word from the Indian Department whether we may go on or not. If we cannot get some answer from them before long I shall be taking measures to retire. We have very little to hope, I apprehend, from all the aid the Government will render to words the civilization and moral and intellectual improvement of the Indians. For missionaries or Indians to depend on them, is to depend on a broken staff.

“In 1831 the family of Sherman Hall, residents of Weathersfield, a secluded Vermont hamlet, bade him farewell as he set out with the purpose of converting the Chippewa Indians about Lake Superior. No doubt they felt that he had gone almost to the ends of the earth and that correspondence from that mysterious region was unique, for they cherished and carefully preserved his letters as they came back slowly from Mackinac, Sault Ste. Marie, and, finally La Pointe, the terminus of his journey.”
~ Minnesota Historical Society
“We have seen that the first La Pointe village was at the southwestern extremity of the island. This was known as the ‘Old Fort’ site, for here had been the original Chippewa village, and later the fur-trading posts of the French and English. Gradually, the old harbor became shallow, because of the shifting sand, and unfit for the new and larger vessels which came to be used in the fur trade.
“The American Fur Company therefore built a ‘New Fort’ a few miles farther north, still upon the west shore of the island, and to this place, the present village, the name La Pointe came to be transferred. Half-way between the ‘Old fort’ and the ‘New fort,’ Mr. Hall erected (probably in 1832) ‘a place for worship and teaching,’ which came to be the centre of Protestant missionary work in Chequamegon Bay.”
~ The Story of Chequamegon Bay
Reverend Sherman Hall’s Protestant mission was located at was is now Middleport; an unincorporated community in the town of La Pointe.

I do not see that our house is so divided against itself, that it is in any great danger of falling at present. My wife never did wish to leave Lapointe and we have ever, both of us, thought that the station ought not to be abandoned, unless the Indians were removed. But this seemed not to be the opinion of the committee or of our associates, if I rightly understood them. I had a hard struggle in my mind whether to retire wholly from the service of the Board among the Indians, or to come here and make a further experiment. I felt reluctant to leave them, till we had tried every experiment which held out any promise of success.  When I remove my family here our way ahead looked much more clear than it does now. I had completed an arrangement for the school which had the approval of Gov. Ramsey, and which fell through only in consequence of a little informality on his part, and because a new set of officers just then coming into power must show themselves a little wiser than their predecessors. Had not any associates come through last summer, so as to relieve me of some of my burdens and afford some society and counsel in my perplexities I could not have sustained the burden upon me in the state of my health at that time. A change of officers here too made quite an unfavorable change in our prospects. I have nothing to reproach myself with in deciding to come here, nor in coming when we did, though the result of our coming may not be what we hoped it would be. I never anticipated any great pleasure in being connected with a school connected in any way with the Government, nor did I suppose I should be long connected with it, even if it prospered. I have made the effort and now if it all falls, I shall feel that Providence has not a work for us to do here. The prospects of the Indians look dark, what is before me in the future I do not know. My health is not good, though relief from some of the pressure I had to sustain for a time last fall and the cold season has somewhat [?????] me for the time being. But I cannot endure much excitement, and of course our present unsettled affairs operate unfavorably upon it. I need for a time to be where I can enjoy rest from everything exciting, and when I can have more society that I have here, and to be employed moderately in some regular business.

Antoine Gordon [Gaudin]
~ Noble Lives of a Noble Race by the St. Mary’s Industrial School (Bad River Indian Reservation), 1909, page 207.

How to decide for the future I do not know. There is home missionary work which might and ought to be done at the Mississippi below here, but it would require more physical labor and hardship that I at present hardly dare to undertake, and the privations for the present at least would be scarcely less that in the Indian country. I have thought some of going back to Lapointe, as it seems to me that if anything can be done for the Indians, there is more hope there than anywhere else, I mean in that neighborhood.  But if I understand you you do not think it best to support a foreign missionary there. I do not see what I could do there to earn my bread by labor, if I were there. I should be glad to complete some of my Indian manuscripts and put them in a shape that they might be useful to future missionaries, if Providence seems so to direct. But if I leave the service of the Board now, I cannot do it. I have spent a vast amount of labor on them, and it must be all lost to everybody, if I must break up now and leave the mission. This was one of the reasons that weighed much with me in deciding to come here. Besides superintending the school we anticipated, I hoped to find considerable time to study. But enough on this subject for the present.

Charles Henry Oakes
~ Findagrave.com

As to your account I have not had time to examine it, but will write you something about it by & by. As to any account which Antoine Gaudin has against me, I wish you would have him send it to me in detail before you pay it. I agreed with Mr. Nettleton to settle with him, and paid him the balance due to Antoine as I had the account. I suppose he made the settlement, when he was last at Lapointe. As to the property at Lapointe, I shall immediately write to Mr. Oakes about it. But I suppose in the present state of affairs, it will be perhaps, a long time before it will be settled so as to know who does own it. It is impossible for me to control it, but you had better keep posession of it at present. I cannot send Edwin [??] through to cultivate the land & take care of it. He will be of age in the spring, and if he were to go there I must hire him. He will probably leave us in the spring. Please give my best regards to all. Write me often.

Yours truly

S. Hall

 


 

Crow-wing, Min. Ter.
Feb. 21st 1854

Brother Wheeler,

Paul Hudon Beaulieu
~ FamilySearch.org

Brothers Paul and Clement Beaulieu were sons of French furtrader Bazil Hudon Beaulieu and grandsons of Ojibwe leader Waubishguauguage (White Raven).  Sisters Elizabeth and Julie Beaulieu were married to Charles Borup and Charles Oakes respectively.
Brothers-in-law Borup and Oakes were the American Fur Company agents at La Pointe when it was relocated from ‘Old Fort’ to ‘New Fort’ during the 1830’s.
Borup and Oakes relocated from La Pointe to St. Paul in 1848, where they established the first bank in Minnesota Territory during 1854.

I wrote you a few days ago, and at the same time I wrote to Mr. Oakes inquiring whether he had got possession of the Lapointe property. I have not yet got a reply from him, but Mr. Beaulieu tells me that he heard the same report which you mentioned in your letter, and that he inquired of Mr. Oakes about it when he saw him on a recent visit to St. Paul, and finds that it is all a humbug. Oakes has nothing to do with it. Mr. Beaulieu said that the sale of last spring has been confirmed, and that Austrian will hold Lapointe. So farewell to all the inhabitants’ claims then, and to anything being done for the prosperity of the peace for the present, unless it gets out of his hands.

I have written to Austrian to try to get something for our property if we can. But I fear there is not much hope. If he goes back to Lapointe in the spring, do the best you can to make him give us something. I feel sorry for the inhabitants there that they are left at his mercy. He may treat them fairly, but it is hardly to be expected.

Clement Hudon Beaulieu
~ TreatiesMatter.org

As to our affairs here, there has been no particular change in their aspects since I wrote a few days ago. There must be a crisis, I think, in a few weeks. We must either go on or break up, I think, in the spring. We are trying to get a decision. I understand our agent has been threatened with removal if he carries on as he has done. I believe there is no hope of reformation in his case, and we may get rid of him. Perhaps God sent us here to have some influence in some such matters, so intimately connected with the welfare of the Indians. I have never thought I [????] can before I was sent in deciding to come here. Some trials and disappointments have grown out of my coming, but I feel conscious of having acted in accordance with my convictions of duty at this time.

If all falls through, I know not what to do in the future. The Home Missionary Society have got more on their hands now than they have funds to pay, if I were disposed to offer myself to labor under them. I may be obliged to build me a shanty somewhere on some little unoccupied piece of land and try to dig out a living. In these matters the Lord will direct by his providence.

Augustus Barber was ‘sent into the Lake’ during 1856, and Albert McEwen was ‘tripped up’ during 1857 by ‘unprincipled fellows’.
The 1868 assassination of Bagone-giizhig (Hole-In-The-Day) the Younger was later revealed to have been led by Clement Beaulieu.

You must be on your guard or some body will trip you up and get away your place. There are enough unprincipled fellows who would take all your improvements and send you and all the Indians into the Lake if they could make a dollar by it. I should not enlarge much, without getting a legal claim to the land. Neither would I advise you to carry on more family than is necessary to keep what team you must have, and to supply your family with milk and vegetables. It will be advantage/disadvantage to you in a pecuniary point of view, it will load you with and tend to make you worldly minded, and give your establishment the air of secularity in the eyes of the world. If I were to go back again to my old field, I would make my establishment as small as I could & have enough to live comfortable. I with others have thought that your tendency was rather towards going to largely into farming. I do not say these things because I wish to dictate or meddle with your affairs. Comparing views sometimes leads to new investigations in regard to duty.

May the Lord bless you and yours, and give you success and abundant prosperity in your labours of love and efforts to Save the Souls around you.

Give my best regards to Mrs. W., the children, Miss S and all.

Yours truly,

S. Hall

Henry Blatchford (aka Francois Decharrault) was a La Pointe Band mixed-blood, a Reverend, and an interpreter at treaties.

I forgot to say that we are all well.  Henry and his family have enjoyed better health here, then they used to enjoy at Lapointe.

 


 

Feb 27

Brother Wheeler.

My delay to answer your note may require an explanation.  I have not had time at command to attend to it conveniently at an earlier period.  As to your first questions.  I suppose there will be no difference of opinion between us as to the correctness of the following remarks.

  1. The Gospel requires the members of a church to exercise a spirit of love, meekness and forbearance towards an offending brother.  They are not to use unnecessary severity in calling him to account for his errors.  Ga. 6:1.
  2. The Object of Church discipline is, not only to [pursue/preserve?] the Church pure in doctrine & morals, that the contrary part may have no evil thing to say of them; but also to bring the offender to a right State of mind, with regard this offense, and gain him back to duty and fidelity.
  3. If prejudice exist in the mind of the offender towards his brethren for any reason, the spirit of the gospel requires that he be so approached if possible as to allay that prejudice, otherwise we can hardly expect to gain a candid hearing with him.

Charles William Wulff Borup, M.D. ~ Minnesota Historical Society

Born in Denmark, Doctor Charles William Wulff Borup married into the powerful Beaulieu Family along with Charles Oakes.
The Borup/Beaulieu/Oakes family participated in and signed multiple American treaties with the Chippewas.  They were the last owners of the American Fur Company outfit at La Pointe when Julius Austrian acquired it in 1853.

I consider that these remarks have some bearing on the case before us.  If it was our object to gain over Dr. B. to our views of the Sabbath, and bring him to a right State of mind with regard this Sabbath breaking, the manner of approaching him would have, in my view, much to do with the offence.  He may be approached in a Kind and [forbearing?] manner, when one of sternness and dictation will only repel him from you.  I think we ought, if possible, and do our duty, avoid a personal quarrel with him.  To have brought the subject before the Church & made a public affair of it, before [this/then?] and more private means have been tried to get satisfaction, would, I am sure, have resulted in this.  I found from my own interviews with him, that there was hope, if the rest of the brethren would pursue a similar course.  I felt pretty sure they would obtain satisfaction.  IF they had [commenced?] by a public prosecution before the church, it would only have made trouble without doing any good.  The peace of our whole community would have been disturbed.  I thought one step was gained when I conversed with him, and another when you met him on the subject.  I knew also that prejudices existed both in his mind towards us, & in our minds towards him which were likely to affect the settlement of this affair, and which as I thought, would be much allayed by individuals going to him and speaking face to face on this subject in private.  He evidently expected they would do so.  Mutual conversations and explanations allay these feelings very much.  At least it has been so in my experience.

Reverend Edmund Franklin Ely.
~ Duluth Public Library

Presbyterian Minister Edmund Ely lived at La Pointe and around Lake Superior from 1833 to 1862.  
Rev. Ely met Dr. Borup in 1833 when Ely required his medical care during a trip to La Pointe.

As to your second question.  I do not say that it was Mr. Ely’s duty to open the subject to Doc. Borup at the preparatory lecture.  If he had done so, it would have been only a private interview; for there [was?] not enough present to transact business.  All I meant to affirm respecting that occasion is, that it afforded a good opportunity to do so, if he wishes, and that Dr. B. expected he would have done so, as I afterwards learnt, if he has any objection to make against his coming to the communion.

As to your third question.  I have no complaint to make of the church, that I have urged them to the performance of any duties in this case they have refused to perform.

And now permit me to ask in my turn.

What “duties” have they urged me to perform in this case, which I “have been unwilling, or manifested a reluctance to perform?”

Did you intend by anything which wrote to me or said verbally, to request me to commence a public prosecution of Doc. Borup before the Church?

Will you have the goodness to state in writing, the substance of what you said to me in your study as to your opinion and that of others suspecting my delinquency in maintaining church discipline.

A reply to these questions would be gratefully received.

Your brother in Christ

S. Hall

 


 

Crow Wing. March 12th 1854

Brother Wheeler:

Read the La Pointe Lands and the James Hughes Affair for primary sources from the Julius Austrian Papers about the fraudulent transfer of La Pointe during 1853 between Julius Austrian and Charles Oakes, et al.
This curious situation of Ministers negotiating with a Jewish merchant to buy back their Churches reveals a radical contrast from the stereotypical power dynamics between Indians, Mixed Bloods, Fur Traders, and Missionaries portrayed in most secondary sources about La Pointe during 1854.  
This curious situation may have been a primary cause of anti-semitic language directed towards Julius Austrian in later primary sources, such as Objections to Mail Route 13780 in 1855. 

Your letter of Feb 17th came to hand by our last mail; and though I wrote you but a short time ago, I will say a few words in relation to one or two topics to which you allude. Shortly after I received your former letter I wrote to Mr. Oakes enquiring about the property at Lapointe. In reply, says that himself and some others purchased Mr. Austrian’s rights at Lapointe of Old Hughes on the strength of a power of attorney which he held. Austrian asserts the power of attorney to be fraudulent, and that they cannot hold the property. Oakes writes as if he did not expect to hold it. Some time ago I wrote to Mr. Austrian on the same subject, and said to him that if I could get our old place back, I might go back to Lapointe. He says in reply —

Julius Austrian
~ Madeline Island Museum

I should feel much gratified to see you back at Lapointe again, and can hold out to you the same inducements and assurances as I have done to all other inhabitants, that is, I shall be at Lapointe early in the spring and will have my land surveyed and laid out into lots, and then I shall be ready to give to every one a deed for the lot he inhabits, at a reasonable price, not paying me a great deal more than cost trouble, and time. But with you, my dear Sir, will be no trouble, as I have always known you a just and upright man, and have provided ways to be kind towards us, therefore take my assurance that I will congratulate myself to see you back again; and it shall not be my fault if you do not come. If you come to Lapointe, at our personal interview, we will arrange the matter no doubt satisfactory.

The property” from the James Hughes Affair is outlined in red.  This encompassed the Church at La Pointe (New Fort) and the Mission (Middleport) of Madeline Island.  1852 PLSS survey map by General Land Office.

I suppose Austrian will hold the property and probably we shall never realize anything for our improvements. You must do the best you can. Make your appeal to his honor, if he has any. It will avail nothing to reproach him with his dishonesty.  I do not know what more I can do to save anything, or for any others whose property is in like circumstances with ours.

Selah B. Treat was Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions back in Boston.

You speak discouragingly of my going back to Lapointe. I do not think the Home Miss. Soc. would send a missionary there only for the few he could reach in the English language. If the people want a Methodist, encourage them to get one. It is painful to me to see the place abandoned to irreligion and vices of every Kind, and the labours I have expended there thrown away. I can hardly feel that it was right to give up the station when we did. If I thought I could support myself there by working one half the time and devoting the rest to ministerial labors for the good of those I still love there, I should still be willing to go back, if could get there & had a shelter for my head, unless there is a prospect of being more useful here. But the land at Lapointe is so hard to subdue that I am discouraged about making an attempt to get a living there by farming. I am not much of a fisherman. There is some prospect that we may be allowed to go on here. Mr. Treat has been to Washington, and says he expects soon to get a decision from the Department. We have got our school farm plowed, and the materials are drawn out of the woods for fencing it. If I have no orders to the contrary, I intend to go on & plant a part of it, enough to raise some potatoes. We may yet get our school established. If we can go ahead, I shall remain here, but if not, I think it is not my duty to remain here another year, as I have the past. In other circumstances, I could do more towards supporting myself and do more good probably.

Old Chief Kibishkinzhugon could not be immediately identified.

I have felt much concerned for the people of Lapointe and Bad River on account of the small pox. May the Lord stay this calamity from spreading among you. Write us every mail and tell us all. It is now posted here today that the Old Chief [Kibishkinzhugon?] is dead. I hardly credit the report, though I should suppose he might be one of the first victims of the disease.

I can write no more now. We are all very well now. Give my love to all your family and all others.

This appears to be Robert Stuart from the 1842 Treaty at La Pointe.

Tell Robert how the matters stands about the land. It stands him in how to be on good terms with the Jew just now.

Yours truly,

S. Hall

The snow is nearly all off the ground and the weather for two or three weeks has been as mild as April.

 


 

Crow Wing M.H. Apr. 1 1854

Dear Br. & Sr. Wheeler.

Reverend Welton and his family could not be immediately identified.
Mrs. P was the wife of Reverend Charles Pulsifer.  They were formerly stationed at Rev. Hall’s mission in La Pointe.

I have received a letter from you since I wrote to you & am therfore in your debt in that matter.  I have also read your letters to Br. & Sr. Welton  I suppose you have received my letter of the 13th of Feb. if so, you have some idea of our situation & I need say no more of that now; & will only say that we are all well as usual & have been during the winter.  Mrs. P_ is considerably troubled with her old spinal difficulty.  She has got over her labors here last summer * fall.  Harriet is not well  I fear never will be, because the necessary means are not likely to be used, she has more or less pain in her back & side all the time, but she works on as usual & appears just as she did at LaPointe, if she could be freed from work so as to do no more than she could without injury & pursue uninterruptedly & proper medical course I think she might regain pretty good health.  (Do not, any of you, send back these remarks it would not be pleasing to her or the family.)  We have said what we think it best to say) –

Br. Hall is pretty well but by no means the vigorous man he once was.  He has a slight – hacking cough which I suppose neither he nor his family have hardly noticed, but Mrs. P_ says she does not like the sound of it.  His side troubles him some especially when he is a good deal confined at writing.  Mr. & Mrs. W_ are in usual health.  Henry’s family have gone to the bush.  They are all quite well.  He stays here to assist br. H_ in the revision & keeps one or two of his children with him.  They are now in Hebrews, with the Revision.  Henry I suppose still intends to return to Lapointe in the spring. –

Now, you ask, in br. Welton’s letter, “are you all going to break up there in the spring.”  Not that I know of.  It would seem to me like running away rather prematurely.  When the question is settled, that we can do nothing here, then I am willing to leave, & it may be so decided, but it is not yet.  We have not had a whisper from Govt. yet.  Wherefore I cannot say.

It looks now as if we must stay this season if no longer.  Dr. Borup writes to br. Hall to keep up good courage, that all will come out right by & by, that he is getting into favor with Gov. Gorman & will do all he can to help us. (Br. Hall’s custom is worth something you know).

Henry C. Gilbert
~ Branch County Photographs

By advise of the Agent, we got out (last month) tamarack rails enough to fence the school farm (which was broke last summer) of some 80 acres & it will be put up immediately.  Our great father turned out the money to pay for the job.  These things look some like our staying awhile  I tell br H_ I think we had better go as far as we can, without incurring expense to the Board (except for our support) & thus show our readiness to do what we can.  if we should quit here I do not know what will be done with us.  Br Hall would expect to have the service of the Board I suppose.  Should they wish us to return to Bad River we should not say nay.  We were much pleased with what we have heard of your last fall’s payment & I am as much gratified with the report of Mr. H. C. Gilbert which I have read in the Annual Report of the Com. of Indian Affairs.  He recommends that the Lake Superior Indians be included in his Agency, that they be allowed to remain where they are & their farmers, blacksmith & carpenter be restored to them.  If they come under his influence you may expect to be aided in your efforts, not thwarted , by his influence.  I rejoice with you in your brightening prospects, in your increased school (day & Sabbath) & the increased inclination to industry in those around you.  May the lord add his blessing, not only upon the Indians but upon your own souls & your children, then will your prosperity be permanent & real. Do not despise the day of small things, nor overlook especially neglect your own children in any respect.  Suffer them not to form idle habits, teach them to be self reliant, to help themselves & especially you, they can as well do it as not & better too, according to their ability & strength, not beyond it, to fear God & keep his commandments & to be kind to one another (Pardon me these words, I every day see the necessity of what I have said.)  We sympathize with you in your situation being alone as you are, but remember you have one friend always near who waits to [commence?] with you, tell Him & all with you from Abby clear down to Freddy.

Affectionately yours

C. Pulsifer

Write when you can.

 


 

Crow wing Min. Ter.

April 3d 1854

Brother Wheeler

George E. Nettleton and his brother William Nettleton were pioneers, merchants, and land speculators at what is now Duluth and Superior.
~ Image from The Eye of the North-west: First Annual Report of the Statition of Superior, Wisconsin by Frank Abial Flower, 1890, page 75.

Since I wrote you a few days ago, I have received a letter from Mr. G. E. Nettleton, in which he says, that when he was at Lapointe in December last, he was very much hurried and did not make a full settlement with Antoine. He says further, that he showed him my account, and told him I had settled with him, and that he would see the matter right with Antoine. A. replied that all was right. I presume therefore all will be made satisfactory when Mr. N. comes up in the Spring, and that you will have need to make yourself no further trouble about this matter.

I have also received a short note from Mr. Treat in which he says,

“I have not replied to your letters, because I have been daily expecting something decisive from Washington. When I was there, I had the promise of immediate action; but I have not heard a word from them”.

“I go to Washington this Feb, once more. I shall endeavor to close up the whole business before I return. I intend to wait till I get a decision. I shall propose to the Department to give up the school, if they will indemnify us. If I can get only a part of what we lose, I shall probably quit the concern”.

Thus our business with the Government stood on March the 9th, I have lost all confidence in the Indian Department of our Government under this administration, to say nothing of the rest of it. If the way they have treated us is an index to their general management, I do not think they stand very high for moral honesty. The prospects for the Indians throughout all our territories look dark in the extreme. The measures of the Government in relation to them are not such as will benefit and save many of them. They are opening the floodgates of vice and destruction upon them in every quarter. The most solemn guarantees that they shall be let alone in the possession of domains expressly granted them mean nothing.

Our prospects here look dark. For some time past I have been rather anticipating that we should soon get loose and be able to go on. But all is thrown into the dark again. What I am to do in future to support my family, I do not know. If we are ordered to quit here and turn over the property, it would turn [illegible] out of doors.

Mr. Austrian expects us back to Lapointe in the Spring & Mr. Nettleton proposes to us to go to Fond du Lac, (at the Entry). He says there will be a large settlement then next season. A company is chartered to build a railroad through from the Southern boundary of this territory to that place. It is probable that Company [illegible] will make a grant of land for that purpose. If so, it will probably be done in a few years. That will open the lake region effectually. I feel the need of relaxation and rest before I do anything to get established anywhere.

We are still working away at the Testament, it is hard work, and we make lately but slow progress. There is a prospect that the Bible Society will publish it but it is not fully decided. I wish I could be so situated that I could finish the grammar.

But I suppose I am repeating what I have said more than once before. We are generally in good health and spirits. We hope to hear from by next mail.

Yours truly

S. Hall

What do you think about the settlements above Lapointe and above the head of the Lake?

 


 

Detroit July 10th 1854

Rev. Dr. Bro.

At your request and in fulfilment of my promise made at LaPointe last fall so after so long a time I write: And besides “to do good & to communicate” as saith the Apostle “forget not, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

We did not close up our Indian payments of last year until the middle of the following January, the labors, exposures and excitements of which proved too much for me and I went home to New York sick & nearly used up about the last of February & continued so for two months.  I returned here about a week ago & am now preparing for the fall pay’ts.

The Com’sr. has sent in the usual amounts of Goods for the LaPointe Indians to Mr. Gilbert & I presume means to require him to make the payment at La P. that he did last fall, although we have received nothing from the Dep’t. on the subject.

George Washington Manypenny (1808-1892) was the Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the United States from 1853 to 1857.”
~ Wikipedia.org

In regard to the Treaty with the Chipp’s of La Sup’r & the Miss’i, the subject is still before Congress and if one is made this fall it has been more than intimated that Com’r Manypenny will make it himself, either at LaP’ or at F. Dodge or perhaps at some place farther west.  Of course I do not speak from authority or any of the points mentioned above, for all is rumour & inference beyond the mere arrival here of the Goods to Mr G’s care.

From various sources I learn that you have passed a severe winter and that much sickness has been among the Indians and that many of them have been taken away by the Small Pox.

This is sad and painful intelligence enough and I can but pray God to bless & overrule all to the goods of his creasures and especially to the Missionaries & their families.

Notwithstanding I have not written before be assured that I have often [???] of and prayed for you and yours and while in [Penn.?] you made your case my own so far as to represent it to several of our Christian brethren and the friends of missions there and who being actuated by the benevolent principles of the Gospel, have sent you some substanted relief and they promise to do more.

The Elements of the political world both here and over the waters seem to be in fearful & [?????] commotion and what will come of it all none but the high & holy one can know.  The anti Slavery Excitement with us at the North and the Slavery excitement at the South is augmenting fact and we I doubt not will soon be called upon to choose between Slavery & freedom.

If I do not greatly misjudge the blessed cause of our holy religion is or seems to be on the wane.  I trust I am mistaken, but the Spirit of averice, pride, sensuality & which every where prevails makes me think otherwise.  The blessed Christ will reign [recenth-den?] and his kingdom will yet over all prevail; and so may it be.

Let us present to him daily the homage of a devout & grateful heart for his tender mercies [tousward?] and see to it that by his grace we endure unto the end that we may be saved.

My best regards to Mrs. W. to Miss Spooner to each of the dear children and to all the friends & natives to each of whom I desire to be remembered as opportunity occurs.

The good Lord willing I may see you again this fall.  If I do not, nor never see you again in this world, I trust I shall see and meet you in that world of pure delight where saints immortal reign.

May God bless you & yours always & ever

Richard M. Smith wrote the 1854 Treaty at La Pointe as the Secretary for Indian Agent Gilbert.

I am your brother

In faith Hope & Charity

Rich. M. Smith

 

Rev Leonard H. Wheeler

LaPointe

Lake Superior

 


 

Miss. House Boston

Augt’ 31, 1854

Rev. L. H. Wheeler,

Lake Superior

Dear Brother

Yours of July 31 I laid before the Com’sr at our last meeting.  They have formally authorized the transfer of Mr & Mrs Pulsifer to the Lake, & also that of Henry Blatchford.

Robert Stuart was formerly an American Fur Company agent and Acting Superintendent on Mackinac Island during the first Treaty at La Pointe in 1842.
~ Wikipedia.org

In regard to the “claims” their feeling is that if the Govt’ will give land to your station, they have nothing to say as to the quantity.  But if they are to pay the usual govt’ price, the question requires a little caution.  We are clear that we may authorize you to enter & [???] take up so much land as shall be necessary for the convenience of the [mission?] families; but we do not see how we can buy land for the Indians.  Will you have the [fondness?] to [????] [????] on these points.  How much land do you propose to take up in all?  How much is necessary for the convenience of the mission families?

Perhaps you & others propose to take up the lands with private funds.  With that we have nothing to do, so long as you, Mr P. & H. do not become land speculators; of which, I presume, there is no danger.

As to the La Pointe property, Mr Stuart wrote you some since, as you know already I doubt not, and replied adversely to making any bargain with Austrian.  I took up the opinion of the Com’sr after receiving your letter of July 31, & they think it the wise course.  I hope Mr Stewart will get this matter in some shape in due time.

I will write to him in reference to the Bad River land, asking him to see it once if the gov’ will do any thing.

Affectionate regards to Mrs W. & Miss Spooner & all.

Fraternally Yours

S. B. Treat

P.S. Your report of July 31 came safely to hand, as you will & have seen from the Herald.

By Amorin Mello

 

Madeline Island Museum

Julius Austrian Papers

Folder 6: James Hughes Affair (1853-1866)

 


 

J. Austrian

Power of Attorney to

J. Hughes

“State of Wisconsin”
“La Pointe County”
“Office of Register of Deeds”

Received for Record on this 10th day of December 1853 at 7 O Clock P.M. and Recorded on Pages 20 and 21 in Book A of Records of Deeds.

Robt. D. Boyd

Register of Deeds

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

James Bibb Hughes of St. Paul, MN, and Hudson, WI.
Newsman; Politician; Abolitionist.
~ Wikipedia.org

Know all men

Moses S. Gibson was a prominent banker and politician in Hudson, WI.

by these presents that I Julius Austrian of La Pointe, Lapointe County and state of Wisconsin, have made, constituted, and appointed and do by these presents, make, constitute and appoint James Hughes now of La Pointe my lawful Attorney for me and in my name, place and stead to, to sell, alien, and convey, any and all rights, title claim and interest that I have or may have unto any lands or lands purchased by me as the public land sales at Willow River or the second day of May A. D. 1853 for which I hold a Duplicate No 242 signed by Moses S. Gibson received Dated May 2, 1853.

Giving and granting unto my said Attorney full power and Authority to do and perform all and every act or thing whatsoever, requisite and necessary to be done and performed in and about the Premises, as fully & completely, to all intents and purposes as I myself might or could do if I were personally present with full authority to make deeds or deeds for lands sold & to receive money & receipt for same here by ratifying and confirming all the acts or acts of my said Attorney (as fully as I myself could do & [cause?] to be [owner?]) by virtue thereof.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hands & seal this 30th day of May AD 1853

Julius Austrian

 

Signed Sealed & delivered
in Presence of

Henry Smitz
S Goff

 


 

State of Wisconsin
County of La Pointe

Schuyler Goff later became a La Pointe County Judge and involved with Penokee mixed-blood lands.

S. Goff came personally before me and being duly sworn according to laws, Says, That, he signed the annexed foregoing power of Attorney from Julius Austrian to James Hughes bearing date on the 30 day of May AD 1853, as one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and that his Deponents signature thereon and thereto, is genuine, that Deponents was then and still is acquainted with and personally knew the said Julius Austrian who signed the said Power of Attorney, and that he signed the same in the presence of this Deponent at the time the same bears date. To wit: on the 30th day of May AD 1853, and the said Julius Austrian’s signature thereto and thereon is genuine.

S. Goff

Subscribed and Sworn
to before me the 10th day
of december AD 1853

John W. Bell
Justice of the peace

 


 

This Agreement

made and entered into between Charles H Oakes, Michael E Ames and Isaac Van Etten of St Paul, Minnesota Territory of the first part and James Hughes of Hudson Wisconsin, of the second part witnesseth:

Julius Austrian purchased the American Fur Company’s La Pointe Lands from the Bealieu/Borup/Oakes family of white and mixed-blood fur traders.
Michael E. Ames and Isaac Van Etten were lawyers and politicians in Minnesota Territory during the 1850’s.
Austrian and Oakes both signed the 1847 Treaty at Fond Du Lac.
Austrian and Van Etten were both involved with Chippewa Mixed Blood Land Fraud.

That the said parties of the first part do hereby agree to pay or cause to be paid, the sum of Three Hundred and fifty Dollars, to be paid unto the said James Hughes, party of the second part, as soon as two certain Warranty Deeds made and executed by Julius Austrian through and by the said James Hughes, his Attorney in fact, to the parties of the first part of even date herewith, shall by duly Recorded in the office of the Register of La Pointe county, Wisconsin, upon the express condition however, that no deed or other instrument of conveyance of the lands described in the said Deed, or any part of them, has been executed or Recorded in said County or State from Julius Austrian, or from his Attorney in fact previous to the Record of the above deeds, to the parties of the first part.

And upon the further condition that the entry or purchase from the United States Government, of the said Austrian of said lands mentioned and described in said Deeds to the parties of the first part, shall be held good and valid by the Government and not vacated or cancelled, and that a patent issue from the United States Government therefore and perfecting the title thereof in the parties of the first part.

And the parties of the first part further agree to pay unto the said James Hughes the further sum of Six Hundred Dollars after and out of the proceeds of the sale of a portion of the property ( Real Estate described in the said two Deeds of Julius Austrian, executed and delivered to the parties of the first, by said James Hughes, as Attorney in fact, for said Austrian above named, after the same shall have been sold and proceeds therefrom realized and not before.

Charles Henry Oakes
La Pointe fur trader; Chippewa treaties signatory; father of a mixed-bloods family; St. Paul banker and Free Mason.
~ Findagrave.com

It is further understood and agreed by and between the parties of the first part, and the party of the second part hereto that the payments of the above sums or either of them, is dependent and upon the express condition, that the said Warranty Deed, bearing even date herewith, to the parties of the first part above herewith, to the parties of the first part above described, does and shall convey and vest a good perfect and legal title of the lands describe therein, in and to the parties of the first part, their heirs and assigns in fee simple, free of all adverse title or titles, and free from all incumbrance (Excepting a certain Mortgage upon a part of the premises to secure the payments of about fifteen Hundred Dollars, from the said Austrian to Charles H Oakes of the parties of the first part).

Otherwise it is understood and agreed that the party of the second part, has not and shall not have any claim whatever when the parties of the first part for the payment of the above mentioned sums, or any part thereof.

In witness whereof, we have hereto set our hands the 1st day of December AD 1853

in duplicate form

Signed Chas H Oakes

[Other signatories cut off in scan]

Isaac Van Duzer Heard was also a Minnesota Territory lawyer and politician during the 1850’s.

In presence of

I V D Heard

 


 

Julius Austrian

To.

Charles H Oakes
Michael E Ames
Isaac Van Etten

Warranty Deed

“State of Wisconsin”
“County of La Pointe”
“Office of Register of Deeds”

Received for Record on the 10th day of December 1853 at 7 O Clock P.M. and Recorded on Pages 22, 23, and 24 in Book A of Records of Deeds.

Robt. D. Boyd
Register of Deeds

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

THIS INDENTURE,

made this first (1st) day of December is the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty three.

BETWEEN

Julius Austrian (by James Hughes his attorney in fact)

of the county of La Pointe and State of Wisconsin of the first part, and

Charles H Oakes Michael E Ames and Isaac Van Etten

of the second part,

WITNESSETH, that the said party of the first part, for and is in consideration of the sum of

One Thousand ($1000)

Dollars, in hand paid by the said parties of the second part – the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged – has given, granted, bargained, sold, conveyed, and confirmed, and by these presents, does give, grant, bargain, sell, convey and confirm unto the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, forever, all the following described pieces or parcels of land, situate, lying and being in the County of La Pointe ^and State of Wisconsin^ and known and designated as follows, vis:

The lots of this deed are outlined in red, describing La Pointe (New Port and Middleport) for a total of 306.28 acres.  This is roughly 80 acres short of “Containing 382 23/100 Acres of land”.
~ General Land Office

Lots numbered three (3) four (4) and five (5) in Section No thirty (30) in Township No. fifty (50) North of Range NO. three (3) west, and Lots Numbered One (1) two (2) three (3) and four (4) in Section Number thirty one (31) in said Township No fifty (50), Range No three (3) aforesaid, according to the Survey of the United States government and Platts thereof, [ben?] and hereby intending, to convey the same, and all of the pieces, [pared?] or lots of land heretofore entered, bids of or purchases by the said party of the first part from the United States Government, on or about the second day of May AD 1853, or at any other time.  Containing 382 23/100 Acres of land.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD THE SAME,

This deed is not recognized at the General Land Office or the Ashland County Register of Deeds.  Nor do they have any original land patent for these lands at all for that matter.

together with all and singular the appurtenances and privileges thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining, and all the Estate, Right, Title, Interest and Claim whatsoever, of the said partof the first part, either in Law or Equity, in and to the above described premises, to the only proper use, benefit, and behoof of the said parties of the second part, their heirs, and assigns forever.  And the said party of the first part, for himself his heirs, executors, and administrators, does COVENANT AND AGREE to and with the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, that he is well seized in fee of the aforesaid premises, and has good right to SELL and CONVEY the same in manner and form as above written, and that the same are free of all incumbrances whatever ; and that the aforesaid premises in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, against every person lawfully claiming or to claim the whole or any part thereof, he will forever WARRANT AND DEFEND.

 

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the said party of the first part, has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written.

Julius Austrian

By James Hughes

his Attorney in fact

Sealed and Delivered in Presence of

The words “and State of Wisconsin” first [intertriced?] before signing.

I V D Heard

Truman M Smith

 

Truman Mott Smith was also a banker.
~ Minnesota Historical Society via Minnesota Public Radio

Territory of Minnesota,
COUNTY OF Ramsey

BE IT KNOWN, that on the first (1st) day of December A. D., before the undersigned, personally came James Hughes (the attorney in fact of the said Julius Austrian) the grantor to the foregoing and within DEED, from him as such grantor to Charles H Oakes Michael E Ames and Isaac Van Etten grantors, and to me personally known to be the identical person described in, and who by James Hughes his said attorney in fact executed the said deed, and the said James Hughes his attorney in fact acknowledged that he executed the said deed, freely and voluntarily, for the uses and purposes therein expressed, for in behalf and on the part of the said Julius Austrian [grantors?], aforesaid, 

Truman M Smith

Justice of the Peace

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Territory of Minnesota
County of Ramsey

I do hereby certify that Truman M Smith, Esq before whom this within acknowledged [guest?] was taken was at the time the same bears date, a Justice of the Peace in and for said County, duly Elected & qualified to act as such, & to take Acknowledgement of Deeds,
that I am well acquainted with his hand writing & believe the within signature purporting to be his, to be his genuine signature. And that the within Deed is Executed & Acknowledged according to the laws of said Territory.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affirm the seal of the District Court of said County, at St. Paul, this 3rd day of December A. D. 1853. [A. J. Mutney?] Clerk.

by Sherwood Hough

Dept. Clerk of said Court

 


 

Julius Austrian

To

Charles H. Oakes
M E Ames
Isaac Van Etten

Warranty Deed

“State of Wisconsin”
“Lapointe County”
“Office of Register of Deeds”

Received for Record on this 10th day of December, 1853 at 7 O Clock P.M. and Recorded on pages 24, 25, and 26 in Book A of Records of Deeds.

Robert Dundas Boyd was a La Pointe County Judge, married to Julia Cadotte of the La Pointe Band, and a nephew of President John Quincy Adams.  Boyd was shot to death in an Ashland bar fight.

Robt. D. Boyd
Register of Deeds

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

THIS INDENTURE,

made this first (1st) day of December is the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty three.

BETWEEN

Julius Austrian (by James Hughes his attorney in fact)

of the county of Lapointe and State of Wisconsin of the first part, and

Charles H Oakes Michael E Ames and I Van Etten

of the second part,

WITNESSETH, that the said party of the first part, for and is in consideration of the sum of

One hundred and fifty ($150~)

Dollars, in hand paid by the said parties of the second part – the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged – has given, granted, bargained, sold, conveyed, and confirmed, and by these presents, does give, grant, bargain, sell, convey and confirm unto the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, forever, all the following described pieces or parcels of land, situate, lying and being in the County of La Pointe ^and State of Wisconsin^ and known and designated as follows, vis:

Roughly 80 acres are highlighted in blue, labeled as Austrian’s Sawmill on the 1852 PLSS survey map. This is located along what is now Pike’s Creek south of the Bayfield Road on the mainland.
~ General Land Office

The South West quarter of the North West quarter of Section No twenty one (21) and the North west quarter of the south west quarter of said section No. twenty one (21) in Township No fifty (50) North, of Range No. four (4) containing Eighty Acres more or less.

Borup and Oakes built La Pointe (New Fort) and the Sawmill for the American Fur Company.
“In 1845, the American Fur Company built a small sawmill near the mouth of what came to be known as Pike’s Creek (S21 T50N R4W). A dam provided waterpower for the mill’s operation. It was operated by the company for only a brief period of time before being sold to Julius Austrian, who in turn sold it to Elisha Pike in 1855.”
~ The Sawmill Community At Roy’s Point by Mary E. Carlson, 2009, page 14.
According to the General Land Office, these 80 acres were entered by Joseph Austrian (via Power of Attorney to his brother Julius Austrian); the north 40 acres on July 5th, 1854, and the south 40 acres on June 6th, 1855.  Both dates occurred after James Hugh’s sale.
Joseph Austrian had an interesting adventure at Austrian’s Sawmill, during the winter of 1851/1852.

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD THE SAME,

together with all and singular the appurtenances and privileges thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining, and all the Estate, Right, Title, Interest and Claim whatsoever, of the said partof the first part, either in Law or Equity, in and to the above described premises, to the only proper use, benefit, and behoof of the said parties of the second part, their heirs, and assigns forever.  And the said party of the first part, for himself his heirs, executors, and administrators, does COVENANT AND AGREE to and with the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, that he is well seized in fee of the aforesaid premises, and has good right to SELL and CONVEY the same in manner and form as above written, and that the same are free of all incumbrances whatever ; and that the aforesaid premises in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, against every person lawfully claiming or to claim the whole or any part thereof, he will forever WARRANT AND DEFEND.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, the said party of the first part, has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written.

Julius Austrian

By James Hughes

his Attorney in fact

Sealed and Delivered in Presence of

The words “and State of Wisconsin” first [introduced?] before signing.

I V D Heard

Truman M Smith

 

Territory of Minnesota,
COUNTY OF Ramsey

BE IT KNOWN, that on the first (1st) day of December A. D., before the undersigned, personally came James Hughes the attorney in fact of the said Julius Austrian the grantor to the foregoing and within DEED, from him as such grantor to Charles H Oakes Michael E Ames and I Van Etten grantors, and to me personally known to be the identical person described in, and who by James Huges his said attorney in fact executed the said deed, and by James Hughes his attorney in fact and who acknowledged that he executed the said deed, freely and voluntarily, for the uses and purposes therein expressed, for in behalf and on the part of the said Julius Austrian [grantors?], aforesaid, 

Truman M Smith

Justice of the Peace

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Territory of Minnesota
County of Ramsey

I do hereby certify that Truman M. Smith Esq. before whom the within Acknowledgment was taken, was at the date thereof, a Justice of the Peace in and for said County, duly Elected & qualified to act as such, & to take the Acknowledgement of Deeds, that I am well acquainted with his hand writing and believe the signature to the within certificate purporting to be his, to be his genuine signature. And that the within Deed is Executed & Acknowledged according to the laws of this Territory.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affix the Seal of the District Court of said County at St. Paul this 2nd day of December A.D. 1853. Clerk.

by Sherwood Hough

Dept. [Crt?] Clerk
of the Dist Court
of said County

 


 

Hudson, Wisconsin
Dec. 4th 1853

Julius Austrian Esq.

Doctor Charles William Wulff Borup was Charles Henry Oakes’s brother-in-law; and business partner at the American Fur Company in La Pointe, and as bankers and Free Masons in St. Paul.

Dear Sir,

WILLIAM H. SEMMES was born in Alexandria, Virginia. He came to Hudson in 1851, and practiced law, as a partner of Judge McMillan, in Stillwater. He was a young man of great promise, but died early and much lamented, Sept. 13, 1854.”
~  
Fifty Years in the Northwest, by W. H. C. Folsom, 1888, page 169.

I have first learnt, by report, that Col. Hughes by virtue of a power of att’y given him by you, has sold to Borup and Oaks the whole La Pointe property, for the sum of four thousand dollars. You had better at once draw, execute and have placed on record a written revocation of the Power of Attorney. The revocation should be acknowledged before a justice of the peace as same as a deed.

If this report be true you had better come down at once.

Yours truly

W. H. Semmes

 


 

Notice to the Public

Julius Austrian
~ Madeline Island Museum

Whereas James Hughes of Hudson in the County of St Croix and State of Wisconsin, on the first day of December AD 1853, did execute to Charles H Oakes, Michael E Ames and Isaac Van Etten, under a pretended power of attorney from Julius Austrian and without any authority from him, or either of the under signed, two several deeds, one of which deeds had described therein, the following described lands, lying in the County of La Pointe and State of Wisconsin, to wit:

the south west quarter of the north west quarter of Section No twenty one (21), and the north west quarter of the south west quarter of Section No Twenty one (21) in Township No fifty (50) North of Range No four (4) containing eighty acres more or less,

and the other of said deeds had described therein the following described lands to wit:

Lots numbered Three (3) four (4) and five (5) in Section No Thirty (30) in Township No fifty (50) north of Range No Three (3) west and Lots numbered one (1) two (2) three (3) and four (4) in Section No Thirty one (31) in said Township No fifty (50) Range No Three (3) aforesaid.

Henry Smitz lived with the Austrian Family and was a trusted employee.

And whereas the said lands were entered and purchased by Julius Austrian from the Government of the United States on the 2nd day of May 1853. And whereas the said Julius Austrian, did, on the 23rd day of May AD 1853, execute and deliver to one Henry Smitz of La Pointe County, a deed of conveyance in fee simple of the undivided one sixth part of the following described lands, to wit:

Lots Nos three (3) four (4) and five (5) in Section No thirty (30), and Lots Nos one (1) two (2), three (3) and four (4) of Section No Thirty one (31) in Township No fifty (50) North of Range No three (3) in the said County of La Pointe.

And whereas neither the said Julius Austrian, nor the said Henry Smitz, has conveyed any part or portion of the rel estate above described & any person. And whereas further the said James Hughes had no legal or equitable power or authority from the said Julius Austrian and Henry Smitz or either of them, to sell or convey the said above described lands, on the said first day of December AD 1853 or at any time previous or subsequent of that day.

Now therefore notice in hereby given to all persons, that the said Julius Austrian and Henry Smitz, nor either of them do not, and never have recognized the authority of the said James Hughes to make the deeds aforesaid of the said laws, and do not recognize the acts of the said James Hughes in the premises. And that the said Julius Austrian and Henry Smitz, do now claim and have ever since the said 23rd day of May 1853, claimed the legal title to and ownership of, and the sole right to sell and convey the following described lands; to wit;

Lots Nos three (3), four (4) and five (5) in Section No Thirty (30) and lots Nos one (1) two (2), three (3) and four (4) of Section No Thirty one (31) in Township No fifty (50) North of Range No three (3) West.

And that the said Julius Austrian does now claim and has ever since the 2nd day of May 1853, claimed the legal title to and the ownership of and the sole right to sell and convey the following described lands, to wit;

the South West quarter of the North West quarter of Section No Twenty one (21) and the North West quarter of the South West quarter of Section No Twenty one (21) in Township No fifty (50) North of Range No four (4) West, containing eighty acres more or less.

And all persons are therefore hereby warned, notified and forbidden from purchasing of, or receiving any manner of conveyance or conveyances from the said Charles H Oakes, Michael E Ames and Isaac Van Etten, or either of them, of any part or portion of the above described lands.

Hudson, St Croix County, Wisconsin
December 23 1853

Julius Austrian
Henry Smitz

 


 

To Messrs Charles H. Oakes, Michael E. Ames and Isaac Van Etten and to each and everyone of you

You are hereby notified that the conveyances made to you by James Hughes on the first day of December A.D. 1853 under a pretended power of attorney from Julius Austrian, of the following described lands to wit:

the South West quarter of the North West quarter of Section No. twenty one (21), and the North West quarter of the South West quarter of Section No. twenty one (21) in Township No. fifty (50) North of Range No. four (4) containing eighty acres more or less; and also Lots numbered three (3) four (4) and five (5) in Section No thirty (30) in Township No. fifty (50) North of Range No. three (3) West, and Lots numbered one (1) two (2) three (3) and four (4) in Section No. thirty one (31) in said Township No. fifty (50) Range No. three (3) aforesaid in the County of La Pointe and state of Wisconsin,

were made in fraud of the rights of the said undersigned, the said Julius Austrian and Henry Smitz to the said lands and without any authority from the said Julius Austrian and Henry Smitz or either of them, either by power of attorney or otherwise, to the said James Hughes.

And you are therefore hereby notified that we the said Julius Austrian and Henry Smitz claim the legal title to and the ownership of the following described lands to wit:

lots numbered three (3) four (4) and five (5) in Section No. thirty (30) in Township No. fifty (50) North of Range No. three (3) west and Lots numbered one (1) two (2) three (3) and four in section No. thirty one (31) in said Township No. fifty (50) Range No. three (3) aforesaid being in the County of La Pointe and state of Wisconsin.

And you are further notified hereby that the said Julius Austrian claims the legal title to and ownership of the following described lands to wit:

the South West quarter of the North West quarter of Section No. twenty one (21) and the North West quarter of the South West quarter of Section No. twenty one (21) in Township No. fifty (50) North of Range No. for (4) containing eighty acres more or less.

And that we the said Julius Austrian and Henry Smitz do not and neither of us does, recognize the acts of the said James Hughes concerning the said above described lands and hereby forbid you and each of you from executing any conveyance or in any manner encumbering the title to the lands above described or any part thereof.

Dated at Hudson December 23d 1853

Julius Austrian
Henry Smitz

 


 

Mr. [McCloud?]

You will please deliver to Julius Austrian the enclosed papers upon my sending you a quit claim deed signed by Chas. H. Oakes & wife, Michael E. Ames & wife & I. Van Etten & wife for the lands embraced in two certain Deeds executed by said Austrian by James Hughes his atty-in- fact to said Oakes, Ames & Van Etten which deeds will accompany said Quit Claim Deeds.  The [?????ed ??? you?].

I Van Etten

[????] discharge of [??????]

I Van Etten

 

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Quit Claim Deed

Chas. H. Oakes
and others

to

Julius Austrian

Office of Register of Deeds
La Pointe County Wis

I hereby Certify that the within Deed was filed in this Office for Record October 10th 1859 a [M?] and was duly Recorded in Book A of Deed Vol 3 on pages 333 & 334.

John W Bell

Register of Deeds

Fee 10$

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

Know all men by these present.

That we Charles H Oakes and Julia B., his wife, Issac Van Etten & Jan I., his wife & Michael E. Ames & Josephine, his wife, of the County of Ramsey in the State of Minnesota. & the first part in consideration of the sum of three Hundred Dollars were?] in [hand?] [paid?] by Julius Austrian of La Pointe County in the State of Wisconsin, the receipt whereof is hereby a acknowledged, have bargained, sold, and quit claimed, deed of these presents do bargain, sell and quit claim unto the said Julius Austrian, his heirs and assigns forever, all [our?] rights, title, intersets, claim and severance in and [wled?] following described pieces or parcels of land situate and being in the County of La Pointe and State of Wisconsin [as is?] described as follows, to wit:

Lots Number three four & five (3, 4 & 5) in Section Number thirty (30) in Township No fifty (50) North of Range No Three (3) West, and lots one (1) two (2) three (3) and four (4) in Section number thirty-one (31) in said Township No fifty (50) Range No Three (3), and the South West quarter of the North West quarter of Section Number twenty one (21), and the North West quarter of the South West quarter of said Section number twenty one (21) in Township Number fifty (50) North of Range No four (4), being the same lands conveyed by said Julius Austrian by James Hughes his Attorney in fact to said Oakse & Van Etten & Michael E. Ames, by Deeds dated Dec [1?] 1853.

To Have and to Hold the above Quit claimed Premises with all the privileges and appurtenances thereto belonging to the said Julius Austrian, his heirs and assigns forever, so [cleat?] neither [we do?] said parties of [wofeist?] part, [??] in heirs or assigns shall have any claims, rights, or title in [?] to the aforesaid premises.

In Witness [????] We have hereunto set our [hand?] and seal, the thirtieth day of September, AD; 1859.

Isaac Van Etten
Jane I. Van Etten
M. E. Ames
Josephine Ames
Chas. H. Oakes
Julia B. Oakes

Signed, Sealed & Delivered
in presence of

[Harvey Affrcer?]
Thomas Van Etten

 

– – – – – – – – – –

 

State of Minnesota
County of Ramsey

Be it Remembered that in this 18th day of September AD. 1859, at St Paul in said County & State formerly same before nee, [Iwrue denjued?]. Charles H Oakes and Julia B. his wife, Isaac Van Etten and Jane I. his wife and Michael E Ames and Josephine his wife [fernaly? Rumb? me? who? elusegues?] & [seates?] of [deepering?] deed and acknowledge that they embrace the same for [lew? o? wiwre?] therein expressed, and the said Julia B. Jane I. and Josephine afersaid being by nee examined separate and apart from their said husbands acknowledge that they executed said deed freely.

 


 

United States of America

State of Minnesota,
Secretary’s Office.

Francis Baasen
“He was born in Luxembourg, Germany and came to America when he was 19 years of age. […] He was Minnesota’s first Secretary of State, assuming office on May 4, 1858.”
~ Findagrave.com

The Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota, does hereby certify, that Thomas Van Ettan whose name appears subscribed to the annexed instrument, was, at the date thereof, a NOTARY PUBLIC, in and for the State of Minnesota, residing in the County of Ramsey duly appointed and qualified, and empowered by the laws of this State, to administer Oaths, take Depositions, Acknowledgements of Deeds, and other written instruments, and exercise all such powers and duties, as by the law of Nations and according to commercial usages, may be exercised and performed by Notaries Public, and that full faith and credit are due and should be given to his official acts as such Notary.

In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State, at the Capitol, in Saint Paul, this Fifteenth day of September A. D. 1859

Francis Baasen

Secretary of State,

 


 

Rec’d August 11, 1866,

of Julius Austrian $766.50 (by draft for 450$ & 210 94/100 acres of land valued at $1.50 per acre) in full satisfaction of a certain deed presents rendered & [d???etece] in the District Court of the United States for the District of Wisconsin in July 3, 1861 for $1127.94 damages & $74.70 cents in my favor & against said Austrian.

C. H. Oakes

by I. Van Etten
his Atty.

 


 

Bayfield Aug 11, 1866

Mr Julius Austrian

Dr Sir

Finding this Judgement dated July 3, 1861, may reveal more details about the James Hughes Affair of 1853 and other scandals at La Pointe.

In consideration of my settlements this day made I agree to obtain & file a [satisfactuis?] of the Judgement I obtained against you July 3, 1861, in the District Court of the United States for the District of Wisconsin, as soon as I leave [reach?] Madison.

[Y?? ? ?]

I. Van Etten

for C. H. Oakes

By Amorin Mello

This is a reproduction of Ancient Garden Beds of Michigan from Memorials of a Half Century, by Bela Hubbard, 1887, pages 243-261.

ANCIENT GARDEN BEDS OF MICHIGAN.*

* Read before the State Pioneer Society, February 7, 1877, and published in the American Antiquarian.

Bela Hubbard explored Lake Superior in 1840 as the Assistant State Geologist of Michigan with Douglass Houghton.

A CLASS of works of the Mound-builders exists in Michigan, of unknown age and origin, which have received the name of “Garden-Beds.”

An unusual importance attaches to these remains of a lost race, from the fact that they have been almost entirely overlooked by archæologists, and that of those which were so numerous and prominent forty, or even thirty years ago, nearly every trace has disappeared. For any knowledge beyond the scanty details hitherto recorded we are forced to rely upon the recollections of the “oldest inhabitants.” We know how uncertain this reliance often is, and were it otherwise, we cannot but recognize the rapidity with which we are losing our hold of this kind of testimony, and the very brief period of which it must cease altogether.

Archæology of the United States by Samuel Foster Haven, 1856.
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Vérendrye came to Lake Superior in 1726.

The earliest mention of these relics which I find is by Haven, in his “Archæology of the United States.” It is the report of Verandrie, who, with several French associates, explored this region before 1748. He found in the western wilderness

“large tracts free from wood, many of which are everywhere covered with furrows, as if they had formerly been ploughed and sown.”

Schoolcraft was the first to give to the world any accurate and systematic account of these “furrows.” Indeed, he is the only author of note who honors this interesting class of the works of the Mound-Builders with more than the most meagre mention. Observations were made by him as early as 1827. He gives figures of two kinds of beds, and he records the fact, that

“the garden-beds, and not the mounds, form the most prominent, and, by far, the most striking and characteristic antiquarian monuments of this district of country.”

Gazetteer of Michigan by John T. Blois.

Another writer of early date, still resident of our State, John T. Blois, published, in 1839, in his “Gazetteer of Michigan,” a detailed description, with a diagram, of one kind of the beds.

No mention is made of these remains by Priest or by Baldwin. Foster devotes to them less than a single page of his voluminus work, and only says, in effect, that “they certainly indicate a methodical cultivation which was not practised by the red man.”

Increase Allen Lapham wrote about ancient gardens in Antiquities of Wisconsin, and was involved with the Penokee Survey Incidents.

Dr. Lapham describes a few of this kind of remains which were found upon the western shore of Lake Michigan, as

“consisting of low parallel ridges, as if corn had been planted in drills. They average four feet in width, and twenty-five of them have been counted in the space of one hundred feet.”

Ancient gardens are also known to be located at Lac Vieux Desert (‘lake of the old garden’) and Gete Gititaaning (‘at the old gardens’) at Bad River.

Yet these relics constitute a unique feature in the antiquities of our country. They are of especial interest to us, from the fact that they were not only the most prominent of our antiquities, but, with the exception referred to in Wisconsin, they are confined to our State.

Some investigations, by no means thorough, enable me to define more accurately and fully than has been heretofore done the different kinds of these beds, which I shall attempt to classify, according to the most reliable information obtained. But I must first define their situation, extent and character.

The so-called “Garden-Beds” were found in the valleys of the St. Joseph and Grand rivers, where they occupied the most fertile of the prairie land and burr-oak plains, principally in the counties of St. Joseph, Cass and Kalamazoo.

They consist of raised patches of ground, separated by sunken paths, and were generally arrange in plats or blocks of parallel beds. These varied in dimensions, being from five to sixteen feet in width, in length from twelve to more than one hundred feet, and in height six to eighteen inches.

The tough sod of the prairie had preserved very sharply all the outlines. According to the universal testimony, these beds were laid out and fashioned with a skill, order and symmetry which distinguished them from the ordinary operations of agriculture, and were combined with some peculiar features that belong to no recognized system of horticultural art.

In the midst of diversity, sufficient uniformity is discoverable to enable me to group the beds and gardens, as in the following

CLASSIFICATION:

1. Wide convex beds, in parallel rows, without paths, composing independent plats. (Width of beds, 12 feet; paths, none; length, 74 to 115 feet.) Fig. 1.

 

2. Wide convex beds, in parallel rows, separated by paths of same width, in independent plats (Width of bed, 12 to 16 feet; paths same; length, 74 to 132 feet.) Fig. 2.

 

3. Wide and parallel beds, separated by narrow paths, arranged in a series of plats longitudinal to each other (Width of beds, 14 feet; paths, 2 feet; length, 100 feet.) Fig. 3.

 

4. Long and narrow beds, separated by narrower paths and arranged in a series of longitudinal plats, each plat divided from the next by semi-circular heads. (Width of beds, 5 feet; paths, 1½ feet; length, 100 feet; height 18 inches.) Fig. 4.

 

5. Parallel beds, arranged in plats similar to class 4, but divided by circular heads. (Width of beds, 6 feet; paths, 4 feet; length, 12 to 40 feet; height, 18 inches.) Fig. 5.

 

6. Parallel beds, of varying widths and lengths, separated by narrow paths, and arranged in plats of two or more at right angles N. and S., E. and W., to the plats adjacent. (Width of beds, 5 to 14 feet; paths, 1 to 2 feet; length, 12 to 30 feet; height, 8 inches.) Figures a, b, and c are varieties. Fig. 6.

 

7. Parallel beds, of uniform width and length, with narrow paths, arranged in plats or blocks, and single beds, at varying angles. Width of beds, 6 feet; paths, 2 feet; length, about 30 feet; height, 10 to 12 inches.) Fig. 7.

 

8. Wheel-shaped plats, consisting of a circular bed, with beds of uniform shape and size radiating therefrom, all separated by narrow paths. (Width of beds, 6 to 20 feet; paths, 1 foot; length, 14 to 20 feet.) Fig. 8.

 

I present diagrams of each of these classes or kinds of beds. Of these only those numbered 1, 2 and 4 have ever before been delineated, to my knowledge. (See figures 1 to 8, pages 257-261.) Nos. 3 and 5 are described by Schoolcraft and Blois, while the others are figured as well – 1 and 2 by Schoolcraft and 4 by Blois. No. 3, according to the latter, consists of five plats, each 100 feet long, 20 beds in each plat. Schoolcraft does not give the exact localities, and I am unable to state whether beds of the same class have been noticed by other observers. As to their extent, his language is, “The beds are of various sizes, covering generally from 20 to 100 acres.” Some are reported to embrace even 300 acres. Plats of beds are undoubtedly here referred to.

Of the plat figured by Blois (No. 4), the writer says:

“They are found a short distance from Three Rivers, on one side of an oval prairie, surrounded by burr-oak plains. The prairie contains three hundred acres. The garden is judged to be half a mile in length by one-third in breadth, containing about one hundred acres, regularly laid out in beds running north and south, in the form of parallelograms, give feet in width and one hundred in length, and eighteen inches deep.”

The distinctive peculiarity of these beds is what Blois calls the “semi-lunar” head, at the extremity of each bed, separated from them by a path as represented.

Class 6, so far as my own inquiries warrant, represents the form and arrangement which is most common, viz.:

that of a series of parallel beds formed into blocks of two or more, alternating with other similar blocks placed at right angles to them. (See figures a, b, and c.) The prevailing width of the bed is five or six feet, and that of the paths one and a half to two feet. The length of the plats or blocks varies, the average being about twenty feet. Gardens of this kind were found by the early settlers of Schoolcraft, the burr-oak plains at Kalamazoo, Toland’s prairie, Prairie-Ronde, and elsewhere.

Mr. Henry Little says, that in 1831 they were very numerous on the plains where now stands the village of Kalamazoo; and south of the mound, eight or ten acres were entirely covered by them.

Mr. E. Laken Brown confirms this account, and says they reminded him of old New England gardens, being very regular and even, and the beds five feet by twelve or fourteen feet. In 1832 the outlines were very distinct, and the burr-oak trees on them as large as any in the vicinity. Mr. A. T. Prouty concurs as to the extent covered, but thinks the beds were six feet wide by twenty-five to forty long. On the farm of J. T. Cobb, section 7, town of Schoolcraft, the beds were quite numerous as late as 1860. There must have been 15 acres of them on his land. The “sets” would average five or six beds each. Neighbors put the number of acres covered with them in 1830, within the space of a mile, at one hundred.

Fig. 6-b, of class 6, is from a drawing by James R. Cumings, of Galesburg, of a garden in which the beds are of more than usual diversity in width and length. H. M. Shafter and Roswell Ransom, old settlers, say that three or four acres on the edge of the prairie, at this place, were covered with the beds. On the farm of the latter in the town of Comstock, of one hundred acres, there were not less than ten acres of beds, six feet by twenty-five to forty, arranged in alternate blocks, having a north-and-south and east-and-west direction.

Fig. 6-c is from a drawing by Mr. Shafter.

The series represented by Class 7 (fig. 7) were found at Prairie-Ronde. They are platted and described to me by Messrs. Cobb and Prouty. They differ from the more ordinary form of No. 6, in the arrangement of the blocks or sets of beds, which is here not at right angles, but at various and irregular angles, also in the single beds outlying. The number of beds in each block is also greater than usual.

Class 8 is established on the authority of Henry Little and A. T. Prouty, of Kalamazoo. The figure delineated is from the descriptions and dimensions given by the former. The diameter of the circular bed and the length of the radiating ones are each twenty-five to thirty feet. The latter describes two of similar design, but of smaller dimensions, the centre bed being only six feet in diameter, and the radiating ones twenty feet. All occurred at Kalamazoo, and in immediate association with the other forms of beds at that place, represented generally by Class 6.

There is reason for supposing that there may have existed another class of beds, differing altogether from any that I have represented, from expressions used by both Schoolcraft and Blois. The former speaks of “enigmatical plats of variously shaped beds;” and further, “nearly all the lines of each area or sub-area of beds are rectangular and parallel. Others admit of half circles and variously curved beds, with avenues, and are differently grouped and disposed.”

The latter says, the beds “appear in various fanciful shapes.” Some are laid off in rectilineal and curvilineal figures, either distinct or combined in a fantastic manner, in parterres and scolloped work, with alleys between, and apparently ample walks leading in different directions.”

This language is too vague to enable me to construct a diagram, nor have I any confirmation to offer from other sources. The reputation of the writers will not allow us to consider the descriptions fanciful, but it is possible to suppose they were misled by the representations of others.

Lac Vieux Desert (‘lake of the old garden’) and Catakitekon [Gete-gitigaan (‘old gardens’)] from Thomas Jefferson Cram’s 1840 fieldbook.  This is the headwaters of the Wisconsin River, and near those of the Wolf River and Ontonagon River. 
~ School District of Marshfield: Digital Time Travelers

Were these vegetable gardens? To answer this question, we must proceed according to the doctrine of probabilities. All opinions seem to agree, that these relics denote some species of cultivation; and that they are very different from those left by the field culture of any known tribes of Indians. Nor do we find any similar remains in connection with the works of the Mound-Builders, which exist, on so extensive a scale, through the valley of the Mississippi River, although those unknown builders were undoubtedly an agricultural people.

The principal crop of the Indians is maize, and this was never cultivated by them in rows, but in hills often large but always disposed in a very irregular manner. As little do these beds resemble the deserted fields of modern agriculture. On the other hand, the resemblance of many of the plats to the well-laid out garden beds of our own day is very striking; while the curvilinear forms suggest analogies quite as strong to the modern “pleasure garden.”

The Whole & True Discouerye of Terra Florida by Captain Jean Ribault, 1563.

The nearest approach to anything resembling horticultural operations among Indian tribes, with the historic period, is noticed by Jones, who refers to a practice, among some of the southern Indians, of setting apart separate pieces of ground for each family. This author quotes from Captain Ribault’s “Discovery of Terra Florida,” published in London, 1563. “They labor and till the ground, sowing the fields with a grain called Mahis, whereof they make their meal, and in their gardens they plant beans, gourds, cucumbers, citrons, peas, and many other fruits and roots unknown to us. Their spades and mattocks are made of wood, so well and fitly as is possible.”

In the St. Joseph Valley I learned of numerous places, widely apart, where the labor and ksill of our ancient horticulturists were apparent in small gardens, laid out in different styles, and with an eye to the picturesque; as if each family had not only its separate garden patch, but had used it for the display of its own peculiar taste.

The Nahua peoples (Aztecs) are known to build Chinampas (man-made islands for gardens) in water bodies.
Penokee Gap was also the historic path for the early copper workers from Mexico, who came to Lake Superior and Isle Royale.”
~ Bad River WPA Papers, Envelope 3, Folder 9.
Penokee Gap, 1000 feet above Lake Superior, is a break in the rough country, a regular gap where the Bad River breaks through the Iron Range Hills on its way to Lake Superior. The Gap is an historic pathway through which the copper workers from Mexico and South America came to Lake Superior centuries ago enroute to the copper deposits on Isle Royal in Lake Superior.
~ Railroad History, Issues 54-58, pg. 26

Historians tell us of the Aztecs, that they had gardens in which were cultivated various plants, for medicinal uses, as well as for ornament. Was there something analogous to this in the Michigan Nation? Did the latter also have botanical gardens? May we accord to this unknown people a considerable advance in science, in addition to a cultivated taste, and an eye for symmetry and beauty, which is without precedent among the pre-historic people of this continent, north of Mexico?

These extensive indications of ancient culture necessarily imply a settled and populous community. We are led, therefore, to look for other evidences of the numbers and character of the people who made them. But here an extraordinary fact presents itself; such evidences are almost wanting! The testimony of nearly every one whom I have consulted – men who were among the first of the white race to break up the sod, that for ages had consecrated these old garden lands – agrees in the fact, that almost none of usual aboriginal relics were found; no pottery; no spear- and arrow-heads; no implements of stone; not even the omnipresent pipe. Tumuli, or burial mounds of the red man, are not uncommon, though not numerous, in Western Michigan, but have no recognized association with the garden race.

Upon the St. Joseph and Colorado rivers, and in the town of Prairie-Ronde, exist several small circular and rectangular embankments, resembling the lesser works of the Mound-Builders so numerous in Ohio. But no connection can be traced between these detached earthworks and the garden-beds. None of them seem to have been the bases of buildings, nor do they give indication of any religious origin or rites. There are no traces of dwellings, and the soil which has so sacredly preserved the labor of its occupants, discloses not even their bones!

At Three Rivers, and in Gilead, Branch County, are some ancient embankments, which are probably referable to this people and may pass for works of defence. That at the first named place was notably extensive. It consisted only of an earth embankment, about six feet in height, extending between two forks of a river, a mile apart. It thus enclosed a large area, and with a sufficient garrison might have withstood the siege of a large army of barbarous warriors.

It seems strange, indeed, that these garden beds, suggestive as they are, should be the only memorials of a race which has left such an evidence of civilized advancement, and was worthy of more enduring monuments! We may reasonably conclude, that they were a people of peaceable disposition, of laborious habits, and of æsthetic if not scientific tastes; that they lived in simple and patriarchal style, subsisting on the fruits of the earth, rather than of the chase. Their dwellings and their tools were of wood, and have perished. This simple record of their character and labors is all, it may be, we can ever know.

But is this all? May we not form some reasonable conjecture as to the period in which these gardeners lived?

Detail of “Chippewa Gardens” at Odanah from Narrative journal of travels from Detroit northwest through the great chain of American lakes to the sources of the Mississippi River in the year 1820, in 1820, by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, page 105.  This place is known as Gete Gititaaning (‘at the old gardens’) in Ojibwemowin.

Gishkitawag (‘Cut Ear’) circa 1858:
“My children, I want you to listen to me.  The proposition I am about to present will benefit all of you, and I need your cooperation.  I would like to have you donate your labor to clear land for a large community garden, where every family, or any one who wishes can plant.  The place I would suggest is that swampy flat, near the cemetery.  It will take time to drain it and dry out but I know it will make good garden plats.
~ Early Settlement of the Bad River Indian Reservation

A fact mentioned by Dr. Lapham furnishes a species of evidence, as to the relative antiquity of the garden beds of Wisconsin, as compared with the animal mounds. They were found overlying the latter; from which he infers, of course, a more recent origin. We may also suppose a considerable more recent age, since it is not likely that the race could have thus encroached upon the works of another, until long after these had been abandoned, and their religious or other significance forgotten.

The date of the abandonment of the beds may be approximately fixed, by the age of the trees found growing upon them. One of these mentioned by Schoolcraft, cut down in 1837, had 335 cortical layers. This carries the period back as far as 1502, or some years prior to the discovery of this country by the French. How long these labors were abandoned before this tree commenced its growth may not be susceptible of proof. Early French explorers do not appear to have been interested in the question, and it does not seem to me necessary to go further back than the three centuries during which that tree flourished, for a period quite long enough to have crumbled into indistinguishable dust every trace of wooden dwellings and implements, as well as of the bodies of their fabricators, if the latter received only simple earth burial.

Seven Fires Prophecy
(Anishinaabe Migration Story)
:
In the Third Fire the Anishinabe will find the path to their chosen ground, a land in the west to which they must move their families. This will be the land where food grows upon the waters.
~ The Mishomis Book – The Voice of the Ojibway by Edward Benton-Banai, Chapter 13 – The Seven Fires.
Manoomin (Wild Rice) is the food that grows upon the waters at the Kakagon and Bad River Sloughs (Third Fire) of Lake Superior.

At the time of the arrival of the French the country was in possession of Algonquin tribes, who emigrated from the St. Lawrence about the middle of the 16th century. They were ignorant of the authors of these works, and were not more advanced in the arts of culture than the other known tribes.

It is probable that the few defensive works I have mentioned were erected by this settled and peaceful race of gardeners, as places of temporary refuge for the women and children, against the raids of the warlike tribes living eastward of them. The larger one may have served for the general defence in a time of sudden and great emergency. It is probable that on some such occasion they were surprised by their savage and relentless foes, and were overwhelmed, scattered or exterminated.

Most of the facts I have been able to present are gathered, in large part, from the memories – of course not always exact or reliable – of early settlers, and after modern culture had for many years obliterated the old.

It is perhaps useless to regret that these most interesting and unique relics of a lost people have so completely perished, through the greed of the dominant race; or that they could not have received, while they yet remained, the more exact and scientific scrutiny which is now being applied to the antiquities of our land. Much that might then have been cleared up, must now remain forever involved in mystery, or be left to conjecture.

– – – – – – – – – –

In September, 1885, the writer visited the region of the ancient garden beds, in hopes of being so fortunate as to find some remaining. He did discover, near Schoolcraft, on a plat of land which had been recently cleared of its timber, a few traces of beds belonging to a set, most of which had been broken up by the plough.

Four or five beds could be distinctly traced, for the distance of some ten to fifteen feet. The remainder of their lengths, said to be some twenty to thirty feet, had been obliterated by cultivation. Each bed had a width of about ten feet from centre to centre of the intervening paths. The latter had apparently a width of two or three feet, but it was impossible to define the exact outlines.

After much inquiry I could learn of no other place in or near Prairie-Ronde, or the plains of St. Joseph and Kalamazoo Counties, where any traces of the old garden beds remained.

Mr. Cobb informed me that about 1859 he endeavored to preserve portions of a set of these beds, which were well covered by touch, protective prairie sod. But when the white grub took possession of the turf thereabouts his ancient garden reserve did not escape. In a year or two the hogs, in their search for the grub, had so rooted and marred the outlines that he ploughed the beds up.

I found many old residents who well remembered the garden plats as they appeared a half century ago, and all concurred in the admiration excited by their peculiar character and the perfection of their preservation. Mr. Cobb says, he often took his friend to see his “ancient garden,” counted the beds, and speculated upon their object. The set of beds, which is shown only partially in his sketch (Fig. 7), contained thirteen beds, and was the largest of the sets. The others averaged five or six beds each.

All concurred, too, as to the great extent of land, amounting to several hundred acres, covered, wholly or partially, by the beds, chiefly upon the northern edge of the prairie. That all visible evidence of their existence should have so completely disappeared is not surprising to any one who notes their situation, upon the richest portions of the mixed prairies and plains. The lands most esteemed by their garden race were those which first attracted the modern farmer. These lands still constitute fields as beautiful as the eye can anywhere rest upon, and in a region second in loveliness to no other part of our country. The wants of the early settler almost preclude any care for the preservation of what was regarded as mere curiosities. Even when spared from the plough, and left to the care of nature, the absence of the annual fires, which had prevented the growth of timber; the roots of trees upheaving the beds; the decay of fallen timber; the hummocks caused by upturned roots; the destruction of the turf by the forest growth, and by cattle and hogs, all tend to deface the beds, and leave them to be reduced to the general level by the elements. Under these circumstances, a few years even would suffice to obliterate outlines which had remained almost unaltered for centuries.

By Amorin Mello

 

Madeline Island Museum

Julius Austrian Papers

Folder 3: La Pointe Lands

Scans #1-25 transcribed  (#26-55 not transcribed)

 


 

Mortgage Deed
Julius Austrian to Charles Oakes

Office of Register of Deeds
La Pointe County Wis.

I hereby certify that the within is a true copy from the Records in my office of an instrument recorded June 9th 1853 at 10 O’clock AM in Book A of Deeds Vol 1 pages 18 & 19.

John William Bell Sr. was the white father of a La Pointe Band mixed blood family; an employee of the American Fur Company, La Pointe County politician.

John W Bell

Register of Deeds

Fees 7-

 

– – – – –

 

Charles henry oakes

Charles Henry Oakes built New Fort for the American Fur Company, was the white father of a La Ponte Band mixed-blood family, and signed several Treaties.
~ Findagrave.com

This Indenture

made the Second day of May in the year of Our Lord One thousand Eight-hundred and fifty three, Between Julius Austrian of the County of La Pointe and State of Wisconsin of the first part, and Charles H Oakes of Minnesota of the second part; Witnessed, that the said party of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of Sixteen (16) Hundred Dollars in hand paid by the said party of the Second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, has given, granted, bargained, sold, conveyed and confirmed, and by those present does give, grant, bargain, sell, convey and confirm unto the said party of the Second part, his heirs and assigns forever all the following described piece or parcel of land situated, lying and being in the County of La Pointe, and State of Wisconsin, known and designated as follows, to wit;

“10 acres or there abouts of Lots 3, 4 & 5 Section 30 to be selected and resumed for Light House purposes of order of the President bearing date the 4 [Apl.?] 1853 see letter of Secr Interior [apl?] 4 /53.
The above lots 3, 4 & 5 with drawn from market util the selection is made see Comt. Instructions to [R.y R. Apl.?] 28 /53 and June 18 /53.
Reservation rescinded by order of the President March 3 /54 see Instructions to [R.g R.y?] March 7 /54.”
~ General Land Office

Lot number four (4)  is New Fort (downtown) La Pointe.
~ General Land Office

Lot number four (4) Township fifty (50) Section No. thirty (30) and Range No. three west containing sixty seven & 82/100 acres of land according to the Government Survey.

To have and to hold the same, together with all and singular the appurtenances and privileges thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining and all the Estate Right, Title, Interest and Claim whatsoever, of the said party of the first part, either in Law or Equity, in and to the above described premises, to the only proper use, benefit and behoof of the said party of the second part, his heir and assigns forever, and the said Julius Austrian party of the first part for himself his heirs Executors and administrators do covenant and agree to and with the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns that he is well seized in Fee of the aforesaid premises, and has good right to sell and convey the same, in manner and form as above written, and that the same are free of all incumbrances whatever, and that the aforesaid premises, in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, against all and every person lawfully claiming or to claim the whole or any part thereof, he will forever warrant and defend.

83-238-347b-julius-austrian

Julius Austrian
~ Madeline Island Museum

Provided nevertheless that if the said Julius Austrian of the first part, his heirs, administrators, executors or assigns shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid to the said Charles H Oakes party of the second part, his heirs, executors, administrators or assigns the sum of Sixteen (16) Hundred Dollars, lawful money, in six equal annual payments, according to the condition of six certain notes bearing even date with, then this deed to be null and void, otherwise to be and remain in full force and effect, but if Default shall be made in the payment of the said sum of money, or the interest, or of any part thereof, at the time herein before specified for the payment thereof, the said party of the first part, in such case, does hereby authorize and fully empower the said party of the second part his executors, administrators or assigns, to sell the said hereby granted premises, at Public Auction, and convey the same the same to the purchase in Fee Simple, agreeably to the statute in such case made and provided, and out of the moneys arising from such sale, to retain the Principal and interest, which shall then be due on the said notes, together with all costs and charges, and pay the overplus (if any) to the said Julius Austrian, party of the first part his heirs, executors administrators or assigns.

In testimony whereof the said party of the first part has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written.

Julius Austrian

Sealed and delivered in presence of

Isaac Van Duzer Heard was a St. Paul lawyer and worked for many years as the Ramsey County prosecuting attorney.”
~ Findagrave.com

Isaac V D Heard
I Van Etten

 

Territory of Minnesota
County of Ramsay

Be it known that on the second day of May AD 1853, before the undersigned, personally came Julius Austrian the Grantor to the foregoing and within Deed from him as such Grantor to Charles H Oakes, to me personally known to be the identical person described in and who executed the said deed, and who acknowledged that he executed the said deed freely and voluntarily for the uses and purposes therein expressed.

Isaac Van Etten was a Minnesota Territory Senator.

I Van Etten

Notary Public
Minnesota Territory

 


 

Charles W. W. Borup and Charles H. Oakes: married into the La Pointe mixed blood Beaulieu family; built the American Fur Company outift at New Fort, La Pointe; and started Minnesota’s first bank.
HeritageAuctions.com

St. Paul, May 2nd 1853

$200

On or before the fifteenth day of June A.D. 1854 I promise to pay Charles H. Oakes, on order, at the office of Borup and Oakes at St. Paul, Min. Ter. The sum of Two Hundred dollars, value received, and in case of default in the above payment then I agree to pay interest on the same at the rate of ten percent per annum until paid.

Julius Austrian

 

– – – – –

 

St. Paul, May 2nd 1853

$300

On or before the first day of November A.D. 1854, I promise to pay Charles H. Oakes, on order, at the office of Mesfrs. Borup and Oakes, St. Paul, Min. Ter., the sum of Three Hundred dollars, value received—and in case of default in the payment of the above sum of money, then I agree to pay interest on said principal sum at the rate of ten percent per annum until paid.

Julius Austrian

 

– – – – –

 

St. Paul, May 2nd 1853

$200

On or before the fifteenth day of June AD 1856, I promise to pay Charles H. Oakes on order at the office of Borup & Oakes, in St. Paul, Min. Ter. the sum of two hundred dollars, value received, and in case of default in the payment of the above sum, then I promise to pay interest on the same as at the rate of ten percent per annum until paid.

Julius Austrian

 

– – – – –

 

St. Paul, May 2nd 1853

$400

On or before the first day of November AD, 1856, I promise to pay Charles H. Oakes on order at the office of Borup and Oakes, St. Paul, Min. Ter. the sum of four hundred dollars, value received and in case of default of the payment of the above sum, then I promise to pay interest on the same at the rate of ten percent per annum until paid.

Julius Austrian

 


 

[Filed 11/30/89]

Power of Att’y

from Jos Austrian
to Jul. A.

Registers certificate inside.
Recorded.

– – – – –

State of Michigan
County of Houghton

Joseph Austrian lived at La Pointe with his brother Julius during 1851 and 1852.
~ Austrian Papers

Know all men by these presents that I Joseph Austrian of Eagle River county of Houghton and State of Michigan have made, authorized, nominated and appointed and by these presents do make authorize nominate and appoint Julius Austrian of La Pointe county of La Pointe and State of Wisconsin my attorney for me and in my name and to my use, to enter into, and take possession of all such messuages, lands tenements, hereditaments, and real estate whatsoever, in La Pointe County of La Pointe State of Wisconsin, whereof I now am, or hereafter may be by any ways or means howsoever entitled or interested in, either in severalty and jointly or in common with any other person or persons.

And also for me and in my name, to grant, bargain, and sell, the same messuages lands, tenements and hereditaments, or any part, share or portion thereof, and all such rights, titles, interest, claim, and demand both in law and equity, as I may have in the same, for such sum and price, and on such terms, as to him shall seem meet, and for me and in my name to make, execute, and deliver good and sufficient deeds and conveyances for the same, and every part thereof, either with or without covenants and warranty.

The north coast of La Pointe was patented in Joseph Austrian‘s name during 1852.
~ General Land Office

And while the sale thereof, for me, and in my name, and for my use, to let and do wise the same real estate or any part of parts thereof for the best rent that can be gotten for the same.

And also for me and in my name, and to my use to ask, demand, recover and receive all sums of money which shall become due, owing or payable to me by means of any such bargain, sale or lease. And to have, use, and take, all lawful ways and means for the recovery thereof by attachment, unrest, distress, or otherwise, and to compound, arbitrate, and agree, for the same and aquittances or sufficient discharges for the same, for me and in my name, to make, seal and deliver, and generally to do, execute, and perform, every thing that may be neccesary in and about the premises, as fully in every respect as I myself might or could do, if I were personally present.

And an attorney or attorneys under him for any or all of the purposes aforesaid, to make and substitute, and again at pleasure to revoke. And I hereby ratify, allow, and confirm, all, and whatsoever my said attorney shall do or cause to be done, in and about the premises by virtue of these presents. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal.

Eagle River May 31st 1854.

Joseph Austrian

Signed Sealed and delivered in the presents of

Charles Hembeck was a Houghton County postmaster.

Charles Hembeck
A W. Senter

 

State of Michigan
County of Houghton

Personally appeared before me Joseph Austrian and acknowledged that he executed the within Power of Attorney, and I further certify, that I well know the said Joseph Austrian, and that he is the same individual who is described as the within conveyance and who executed the same. Eagle River May 31st 1854.

Simon Mandelbaum was a competitor of Joseph Austrian in Eagle River.

Simon Mandlebaum

Justice of the Peace

Houghton County
Michigan

– – – – –

 

STATE OF MICHIGAN,

County of Houghton

I James Crawford Clerk of said County of Houghton DO HEREBY CERTIFY, that Simon Mandlebaum – whose name is subscribed to the Certificate or proof of acknowledgement of annexed Instrument, and therein written, was, at the time of taking such proof or acknowledgement a Justice of the Peace in and for said County, duly Elected and qualified, and duly authorized to take the same; AND FURTHER, that I am well acquainted with the hand writing of such Justice of the Peace and verily believe that the signature to the said Certificate or proof of acknowledgement is genuine; I FURTHER CERTIFY, that said Instrument is executed and acknowledged according to the Laws of this State.

James Crawford moved from New York City to Keweenaw Point in 1845.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said County, at Eagle River this Twelfth day of September A. D. 1856.

James Crawford
Clerk.

 


 

A Warranty Deed

S S Vaughn and Peter B Vanterventer
to
M. H. Manddlebaum
7 day April A. D. 1855

Recd for Record April 7 1855 at 4 Oclock P.M and Recorded in Book A of Deeds on Page (127)

John W Bell
Register of Deeds for
La Pointe County
Wis

 

– – – – –

 

Samuel Stuart Vaughn
~ Western Reserve Historical Society

Know all men

by these presents that we S. S. Vaughn and Peter B Vanderventer and Caroline Vanderventer his wife of the Town and County of Lapointe and State of Wisconsin in consideration of Two hundred Sixty Two and a half dollars to us paid by M. H. Manddlebaum of Town County and State aforesaid the receipt whereof we do hereby acknowledge do by these presents give grant bargain sell and convey unto the said M H Manddlebaum his heirs and assigns a certain piece of land described as follows to wit lot No F??? one in Section No Four and lot No one in Section No Five Township no Forty nine range no Three containing Fifty two acres and forty seven hundreth of an acre together with all the privileges and appurtenances to the said land in any wise appertaining and belonging.

Vaughn/Vanderventer‘s lots 1 & 1 by Old Fort (Grant’s Point) La Pointe.
~ General Land Office

Peter B. Vanderventer lived at the mouth of Thompson Creek west of what is now Washburn; and the white father of a La Pointe Band mixed blood family.  His wife was Caroline Moreau.
Max. H. Mandelbaum was an employee (and relation?) of the Leopolds & Austrians family at La Pointe.

To have and to hold the above granted granted premises to the said M. H. Manddlebaum his heirs and assigns and to his and their use and behoof forever. And we S. S. Vaughn and Peter B Vanderventer and Caroline Vanderventer his wife for ourselves our heirs executors and administrators do covenant with the said M. H. Manddlebaum his heirs and assigns that we are lawfully seized in fee of the aforesaid premises that they are free from all incumbrances that wee have a good right to sell and to convey the same to the said M. H. Manddlebaum as aforesaid and that we will and ours heirs executors and administrators shall warrant and defend the same, to the said M H Manddlebaum his heirs and assigns forever against the lawful demands of all persons.

In testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hand and seal this 7 day of April A.D. 1855

S. S. Vaughn
P. B Vanderventer
Carline (her X mark) Vanderventer

Antoine Gordon was an influential Mixed Blood member of the La Pointe Band.

Sealed and delivered in presence of

John W Bell
A. Gaudin

 

State of Wisconsin
Lapointe County
April 7th 1855

They personally appeared before me the above named S. S. Vaughn, Peter B Vanderventer and Caroline wife of said Peter B. Vanderventer, who severally acknowledged they did sign and seal the foregoing instruments as their free act and deed, and the said Caroline wife of said Peter B Vanderventer on a private examination before me separate and apart from the said husband acknowledged that she did execute the foregoing deed without any fear or compulsion from her said husband or any other person.

John W Bell

Justice of the Peace in & for
Lapointe County Wisconsin

 


 

Deed ~

Antoine & Sarah Gaudin
to Joseph Austrian

Received for Record June 16 1855 [???] and Recorded in Book A of Deeds on page 153.

John W Bell Register for
La Pointe County Wisconsin

 

– – – – –

 

WARRANTY DEED. —  Printed and sold by SANFORD & HAYWARD, Cleveland, Ohio.

To all People to whom these Presents shall come—GREETING:

KNOW YE, That

we Antoine Gaudin of the County of La Pointe and State of Wisconsin and Sarah wife of said Antoine Gaudin

Antoine Gordon king midas flour

Mr. and Mrs. Antoine Gordon,
the founders of Gordon,
would have liked King Midas Flour.”

~ History of Gordon

For the consideration of the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars received to our full satisfaction of Joseph Austrian of Eagle River in the State of Michigan do give, grant, bargain, sell and confirm unto him the said Joseph Austrian the following described TRACT or LOTS of LAND, situate in the township of Lapointe being number (49) in the third range of Townships, which is also in the county of Lapointe and is known

as Lots two (2) and three (3) of section number five (5) containing one hundred acres (100)

Gordons’ lots 2 & 3 near Old Fort (Grant’s Point) La Pointe.
~ General Land Office

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the above granted and bargained premises, with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, unto him the said Joseph Austrian his heirs and assigns forever, to his and their own proper use and behoof. And we the said Antoine Gaudin and Sarah his wife do, for ourselves our executors and administrator, covenant with the said Joseph Austrian his heirs and assigns, that at, and until the ensealing of these presents we are well seized of the premises, as a good and indefeasible estate in FEE SIMPLE, and have good right to bargain and sell the same in manner and form as above written, and that the same be free from all incumbrance whatsoever. And furthermore, we the said Antoine Gaudin and Sarah his wife do by these presents find ourselves, our heirs, forever, to WARRANT AND DEFEND the above granted and bargained premises to him the said Joseph Austrian his heirs and assigns, against all lawful claims and demands whatsoever. And I the said Sarah wife of the said Antoine Gaudin do hereby remise, release, and forever quit claim unto the said Joseph Austrian his heirs and assigns, all my right and title of dower in the above described premises.

Sarah Dingley;
wife of Antoine Gaudin.

In Witness Whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and seals the fourteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty five.

A. Gaudin
Sarah (her X mark) Gaudin

Signed, Sealed and Delivered
in presence of

John .W. Bell.
M. H. Mandelbaum

 

THE STATE OF WISCONSIN,
COUNTY OF LA POINTE.

June 14 1855.

Personally appeared before the me above named Antoine Gaudin and Sarah his wife who acknowledged that they did sign and seal the foregoing instrument, and that the same is their free act and deed. I further certify, that I did examine the said Sarah wife of said Antoine Gaudin separate and apart from her husband, and did then and there make known to her the contents of the foregoing instrument, and upon that examination she declared that she did voluntarily sign, seal and acknowledge the same, and that she is still satisfied therewith.

John W. Bell
Justice of the Peace

 


 

Warrantee Deed

Joseph Austrain
to
Francois Cadotte

Office of Register of Deeds
La Pointe County Wis

I hereby Certify that the within Deed was filed in this office for Record Jany 21st 1858 A M and was duly Recorded in Book A of Deeds Vol [2 or 3?] and page 239.

John W Bell
Register

Fees $1.00

 

– – – – –

 

WARRANTY DEED.
Sold by E. Terry & Co., Milwaukee

This Indenture,

Made the Twenty first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight between

Joseph Austrian by Julius Austrian his attorney in Fact Party of the first part and Francois Cadotte of Lapointe County Wisconsin, party of the second part.

Antoine and Frank Cadotte (son and grandson of Michael and Madeline Cadotte, and Mixed Blood member sof the La Pointe Band).
~ Madeline Island Museum

Witnesseth, That the said party of the first part, for in consideration of the sum of Forty dollars Lawfull Money of the United States of America to him in hand paid by the said party of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged has given, granted bargained, sold, remised, released, aliened, conveyed, and confirmed, and by these presents does give, grant, bargain, sell, remise, release, alien, convey, and confirm unto the said party on the second part, and his heirs and assigns forever

the following Described Real Estate situated in the County of of Lapointe and State of Wisconsin, and Known as Lot number Thirty four (34) in the Town of Lapointe according to the Recorded Plat of said town as recorded in the Registers Office of said County of Lapointe.

Cadotte‘s block 34 in downtown La Pointe.
~ Julius Austrian Papers (maps folder)

Together with all and singular the Hereditaments and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining; and all the estate, right, title, interest, claim, or demand whatsoever of the said party of the first part, either in Law or Equity, either in possession or expectancy of, in and to the above-bargained premises, and their Hereditaments and Appurtenances TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said premises as above described, with the Hereditaments and Appurtenaces unto the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever.

And the said Joseph Austrian by his P attorney for himself his heirs, executors, and administrators, does convenant, grant, bargain, and agree to and with the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, that at the time of the ensealing and delivery of these present, he is well seized of the premises above described, as of a good, sure, perfect, absolute, and indefeasible estate of inheritance in the Law, in fee simple, and that the same are free and clear from all incumbrances whatever, and that the above-bargained premises in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns against all and every person or persons, lawfully claiming the whole or any part thereof [???] will forever WARRANT AND DEFEND.

In Witness Whereof, the said party of the first part, has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written

Joseph Austrian

by Julius Austrian
his Att in fact.

Sealed and delivered in presence of

John W Bell

STATE OF WISCONSIN
COUNTY OF La Pointe

Be it Remembered, that on the Twenty first day of January A. D. 1858 personally came before me the above-named Joseph Austrian by Julius Austrian his attorney in fact to me known to be the person who executed the said Deed, and acknowledged the same to be his free act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.

John W Bell
Justice of the Peace

 


 

Antoine Gordon & wife
to Julius Austrian

Office of Register of Deeds
La Pointe County Wis

I hereby Certify that the within Deed was filed in this Office for Record July 11th 1858 oclk and was duly Recorded in Book A of Deeds Vol 2 & page 296.

J W Bell
Register

rec 1 day of July 1861
$550 – 7%.

 

– – – – –

 

WARRANTY DEED.  Sold by E. Terry & Co., Milwaukee.

This Indenture,

Made the Eleventh day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight between

Antoine Gaudin and Sarah Gaudin his wife of La Pointe County & State of Wisonsin of the first part and Julius Austrian of the Same County and State party of the Second part.

Witnesseth, That the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of Eight hundred Dollars receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged, has given, granted bargained, sold, remised, released, aliened, conveyed, and confirmed his heirs and assigns forever

Gordonslot 9 in downtown La Pointe.
~ Julius Austrian Papers (maps folder)

the following Described Real Estate situated and lying in the Town of La Pointe as on Record in the Registers Office of Lapointe County aforesaid and known and Descried as follows being Lot number nine (9) in Block number Thirty six (36) in Said Town of Lapointe, hereby absolutely Revoking and annulling a Deed of Gift, Executed by us to our son Edward on the eighth day of May 1855, and witnessed by John W Bell & William Morin and Recorded same day in the Registers Office of Lapointe County in Book A of Deeds Vol 1 & page 138 for the said described premises.

“It was in September of 1860 when two canoes rounded a bend in the St. Coix river seeking a landing. This was the last year of peace for this nation for four long, bitter years of civil war. The leader of this group was one Antoine Guerdonn of the LaPointe Tradiing Post on Lake Superior.”
~ History of Gordon

Together with all and singular the Hereditaments and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining; and all the estate, right, title, interest, claim, or demand whatsoever of the said parties of the first part, either in Law or Equity, either in possession or expectancy of, in and to the above-bargained premises, and their Hereditatments and Appurtenances. TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said premises as above described, with the Hereditaments and Appurtenances, unto the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever.

“During the winter of 1860-61 Gordon purchased a tract of land from the Wisconsin Land and Improvement Company and the Henry Rice Land Company.  He then sold his interests at LaPointe and built a Trading Post at this place that the Indians called Amick, The Beaver, in the Chippewa Tongue.”
~ History of Gordon

And the said Antoine Gaudin & wife for themselves heirs, executors, and administrators, does covenant, grant, bargain, and agree to and with the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, that at the time of the ensealing and delivery of these present, they are well seized of the premises above described, as of a good, sure, perfect, absolute, and indefensible estate of inheritance in the Law in fee simple, and that the same are free and clear from all incubrances whatever, and that the above-bargained premises, in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns against all and every person or persons, lawfully claiming the whole or any part thereof He will forever WARRANT AND DEFEND.

In Witness Whereof, the said parties of the first part, has hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

A. Gaudin
Sarah (her X mark) Gaudin

Sealed and delivered in presence of

John W Bell
John [Clikf?]

 

STATE OF WISCONSIN
COUNTY OF Lapointe

Be it Remembered, that on the Eleventh day of February A.D. 1858 personally came before me the above-named Antoine Gaudin & Sarah Gaudin his wife to me known to be the persons who executed the said Deed, and acknowledged the same to be their free act and deed for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.

John W Bell
Justice of the Peace

 


 

Warrantee Deeds

Francis Cadotte
to
Julius Austrian

Office of Register of Deeds
La Pointe County Wis.

I hereby Certify that the within Deed was filedin this Office for Record May the 8th 1858 at M and was duly Recorded in Book A of Deeds Vol 2 on pages 370 & 71

John W Bell
Register of Deeds

Fees $7-

 

– – – – –

 

WARRANTY DEED. Sold by E. TERRY & CO., Milwaukee.

This Indenture,

Made the Eighth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty Eight between

Francis Cadotte of LaPointe County, Wisconsin, party of the first part and Julius Austrian of Lapointe county party of the second part.

Witnesseth, That the said part of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of Forty Dollars lawfull money of the United States to him in hand paid by the said party of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged has given, granted, bargained, sold, remised, released, aliened, conveyed, and confirmed, and by these presents does give, grant, bargain, sell, remise, release, alien, convey, and confirm, unto the said party of the second part, and his heirs and assigns forever

the following described Real Estate situate in the County of LaPointe and State of Wisconsin, and Known as Lot Number Thirty four (34) in the Town of La Pointe, according to the Recorded Plat of said Town as Recorded in the Registers Office of said County of La Pointe.

Block 34 in New Fort (downtown) La Pointe.
~ Julius Austrian Papers (maps folder)

Together with all and singular the Hereditaments and Appurtenances thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining; and all the estate, right, title, interest, claim, or demand whatsoever of the said party of the first part, either in Law or Equity, either in possession or expectancy of in and to the above-bargained premises, and their Hereditaments and Appurtenances.  TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said premises as above described, with the Hereditaments and Appurtenances made the said party of the second part, and to his heirs and assigns forever.

And the said Francis Cadotte for himself his heirs, executors, and administrators, does covenant, grant, bargain, and agree to and with the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, that at the time of the ensealing and delivery of these present, he is well seized of the premises above described, as of a good, sure, perfect, absolute, and indefensible estate of inheritance in the Law, in fee simple, and that the same are free and clear from all incumbrances whatever, and that the above-bargained premises, in the quiet and peaceable possession of the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns against all and every person or persons, lawfully claiming the whole or any part thereof He will forever WARRANT AND DEFEND.

In Witness Whereof, the said party of the first part, has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year first above written.

Francis Cadotte

Sealed and delivered in presence of

John W Bell

 

STATE OF WISCONSIN
COUNTY OF La Pointe

Be it Remembered, that on the Eight day of May A.D. 1858, personally came before me the above-named Franis Cadotte to me known to be the person who executed the said Deed, and acknowledged the same to be his free act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein mentioned.

J W Bell
Justice of the Peace

 


 

Office of Register of Deeds

La Pointe County Wisconsin Sept 5th 1859

I hereby Certify that up to this date, that the two United States Patents, to Julius Austrian numbered (79,458) and(2421) for Lands on Madeline Island have never been Recorded in this Office, nor any instrument from any person, in relation to any of the lands embraced in said Patents, and that the same are free from all incumbrances.

John W Bell

Register of Deeds

By Amorin Mello

The Ashland press 1877

Originally published in the March 9th, 1878, issue of The Ashland Press.  Transcribed with permission from Ashland Narratives by K. Wallin and published in 2013 by Straddle Creek Co.

… continued from Number III.

Early Recollections of Ashland: Number IV

by Asaph Whittlesey

In our last number we referred to “the most aristocratic house” with lumber floors, etc.  Though it was the third cabin built upon the “town site,” it was in reality the first cabin built, designed as a permanent residence.  The foundation logs of this house were laid Sept. 20th, 1854.  The record made by Martin Beaser, (evidently made from recollection,) calls this the first building erected, (giving the size of it,) whereas we had lived in two buildings previous to the building of this one.

Rev. Leonard Hemenway Wheeler
~ In Unnamed Wisconsin by Silas Chapman, 1895, cover image.

The “Whittlesey Post Office” was kept therein from the date of its establishment, March 12th, 1855 to Nov. 1858.  The first dancing done within the “town site” was in this house in Nov. 1854, and during the winter religious services were held therein by Rev. L. H. Wheeler, of the Odanah Mission.  It was the birthplace of Delia Elizabeth, second daughter to Mr. And Mrs. Asaph Whittlesey, born May 21st, 1856, being the first American child born within the limits of the “town site.”  The first celebration of the Fourth of July was held in this house July 4th, 1855, further reference to which will hereafter be made.  The first general election of county officers in the county of Ashland, was held in this building Nov. 4th, 1856, at which time Samuel S. Vaughn received eleven votes for the office of County Clerk, and M. H. Mandelbaum receive twelve.  Francis McElroy was elected District Attorney and Asaph Whittlesey County Judge.  It was in this house that Robert D. Boyd was shot and instantly killed by Henry Cross, January 10th, 1858, for which a verdict of justifiable homicide was rendered at an inquest, held by Asaph Whittlesey, Justice of the Peace, acting as Coroner.

ARRIVAL OF THE SECOND FEMALE UPON THE TOWN SITE.

Mr. and Mrs. John P. T. Haskell, with their family, parents of Mrs. Whittlesey, made a landing at Ashland, Nov. 2nd, 1854, and made their home with us during the winter following.  In the early spring they made a home of their own in a cabin located upon the site of the present residence of G. M. Willis, Esq., a little to the east of Vaughn’s Dock, in Vaughn’s addition to Ashland, which was originally known as Haskell’s pre-emption claim.  Mr. Haskell and family remained in the country only a single year, when they returned to Illinois, where Mr. Haskell died in 1873.  Mrs. Haskell is still living and is unusually active for one of her age.

I next call your attention to the

FIRST CELEBRATION OF THE 4TH OF JULY

upon the “town site” July 4th, 1855.

Under an understanding had between Mr. and Mrs. Austin Corser and Mr. And Mrs. John Corser, (then living at Fish Creek,) and being the owners of the only cows nearer than Odanah, an agreement was made whereby the Corsers were to furnish milk, while Mrs. Haskell and Mrs. Whittlesey, (then living in the log house still visible on lot 6, of block 6,) were to do the necessary cooking in the celebrated “mud oven” attached thereto, marvelous for its baking capacity and for the quality of its production.

On the day referred to, the Declaration of Independence was read by Asaph Whittlesey, and this with the delivery of an oration by A. W. Burt, with singing and amusements, constituted the first public celebration of the 4th of July in the history of Ashland.  The exercises were had at Whittlesey’s house in the after part of the day, and extended late in the evening, when music and dancing were added to the festivities of the day.  The ladies present were Mrs. Haskell, Mrs. Whittlesey, the two Mrs. Corsers and Mrs. Farley.  The gentlemen present were J. P. T. Haskell, George Kilborn, Lawrence Farley, Austin and John Corser, Asaph Whittlsey, A. W. Burt, A. J. Barckley, Adam Goeltz, John Donaldson, Conrad Goeltz, Andrew Scobie, and Duncan Sinclaire.  The children present were Eugenia E. Whittlesey, (less than three years old,) George, son of Mr. and Mrs. Austin Corser, also a child of Mr. and Mrs. John Corser and William, John Joseph and Hattie Haskell, children and Mr. and Mrs. J. P. T. Haskell.

I shall never forget Mrs. Haskell’s “classic step” on that occasion, discounting many of those present much younger than herself.  At intervals during the night the party were very highly entertained with singing by Conrad and Adam Goeltz.

FIRST POST OFFICE ESTABLISHED AT ASHLAND, MARCH 12TH, 1855.

As there was no opportunity for doubt as to the rapid growth of the city the establishment of a Post Office was the result of our first raid upon the general government, though for nearly one year following no provision whatsoever was made for furnishing this office with mail service, and mails were received by chance from La Pointe up to the opening of semi-monthly service, upon a new route established between La Pointe via Ashland to Chippewa Falls, and was soon after, during the winter months, supplied with weekly service upon the route from Ontonagon, Mich., to Superior, Wis.  On both of these routes the mails were carried by packers and upon dog teams.

Detail of La Pointe County from a map of Wisconsin published by J. H. Colton & Co., New York, 1856.
~ MapofUS.org

It is worth searching United States Post Office archives for correspondences relating to La Pointe County mail service.
See Objections to Mail Route 13780 (May 21st, 1855) for a separate petition against Julius Austrian in his role as the Postmaster at La Pointe.
Searching for the petition that formed Asaph Whittlesey’s post office (March 21st, 1855) may reveal more details.
Ashland County split from La Pointe County on March 27th, 1860.

In the petition forwarded to Washington asking for the establishment of an office at Ashland, La Pointe county, Wisconsin, the request was made that it be given the name of Ashland, and that Asaph Whittlesey be appointed postmaster.  The sequel showed that as there was an office by the name of Ashland within the State, it was not lawful to attach the name to this office and therefore the appointing officers at Washington attached the name of Whittlesey thereto, by which the office was known until July 30th, 1860, when the obstacle to change in the name being removed, it was then given the name of Ashland, and was also designated as being in Ashland County, Wisconsin.  I well remember how difficult a task I found it to be to satisfactorily explain to them how the place could one day be known as Whittlesey, La Pointe county and the next as Ashland, Ashland county.  But they soon admitted it rather than be longer afflicted with my letters upon the subject.

Detail of La Pointe County from a map of Wisconsin by The Milwaukee & Horicon Rail Road, 1857.
~ Library of Congress

The office of Whittlesey was kept in the cabin still in existence on lot 6 of block 6, “original Ashland,” until in Nov. 1857, when it was removed to lot 3 of block 3, into what was known as the Tomkins House, which then became the residence of myself and family until Nov. 1860.  The case in which the books and papers connected with the office were kept, (which was made by myself,) is now in the “farm house” at “Pleasant Valley,” and will be delivered to any public organization in Ashland desiring to preserve the same.  I continued to serve as postmaster until Nov. 21st, 1860, when I resigned the office and Andrew J. Barckley’s was appointed as my successor.  Barckley’s term as postmaster expired Sept. 9th, 1861, by the appointment of Martin Beaser as successor in office to Barckley.  Mr. Beaser served as postmaster until his death in Nov. 1866.

Detail of La Pointe and Ashland Counties from a map of Wisconsin and Michigan by A. J. Johnson and Ward, 1864.
~ Geographicus.org

The post office of Ashland was re-established Dec. 18th, 1871, and James A. Wilson, (the present incumbent,) being appointed postmaster.

The amount of post office money turned over to the Government by me at the close of my term of service was $8.53.  My commissions upon this amount, together with the “franking privilege” vested upon postmasters, laid the foundation for my future fortunes, the balance was taken in waitings upon William Gotzenberg, who made daily inquiries for his mail, though he was aware that no mails were received oftener than once a week.

To be continued in Number V