A Grammar Of Their Language,
And Personal And Family History Of The Author,
Andrew J. Blackbird
Late U.S. Interpreter, Harbor Springs, Emmet County,
I deem it not improper to
present the history of the last race of Indians now existing in the
State of Michigan, called the Ottawa and Chippewa Nations of Indians.
There were many other tribes of Indians in this region
prior to the occupancy of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of this State,
who have long ago gone out of existence. Not a page of their history is
on record; but only an allusion to them in our traditions.
I have herewith recorded the earliest history of the
Ottawa tribe of Indians in particular, according to their traditions. I
have related where they formerly lived, the names of their leaders, and
what tribes they contended with before and after they came to Michigan,
and how they came to be the inhabitants of this State. Also the earliest
history of the Island of Mackinac, and why it is called
"Michilimackinac"--which name has never been correctly translated by
white historians, but which is here given according to our knowledge of
this matter long before we came in contact with white races.
I have also recorded some of the most important
legends, which resemble the Bible history; particularly the legends with
regard to the great flood, which has been in our language for many
centuries, and the legend of the great fish which swallowed the prophet
Ne-naw-bo-zhoo, who came out again alive, which might be considered as
corresponding to the story of Jonah in the Sacred History.
Beside my own personal and our family history, I have
also, quite extensively, translated our language into English and added
many other items which might be interesting to all who may wish to
inquire into our history and language.
Andrew J. Blackbird
History of the Ottawa of Michigan--Preliminary Remarks in Regard
to Other Histories, Concerning the Massacre of the Old British Fort on
the Straits of Mackinac--British Promise to the Ottawa--Ravages of Small
Pox--First Recollection of the Country of Arbor-Croche and Its
Definition--Uprightness and Former Character of the Indians.
Cases of Murders Among the Ottawa and Chippewa Exceedingly Scarce
--Ceding the Grand Traverse Region to the Chippewa on Account of
Murder--Immorality Among the Ottawa not Common--Marriage in Former
Earliest Possible Known History of Mackinac Island--Its Historical
Definition--Who Resided at the Island--Massacre at the Island by
Seneca--Where the Ottawa were Living at That Time--Only Two Escape the
Massacre--What Became of Them--The Legends of the Two Who Escaped
--Occupants of the Island Afterwards--Who Killed Warrior Tecumseh?
The Author's Reasons for Recording the History of His People, and Their
Language--History of His Nationality--A Sketch of His Father's History
--How the Indians Were Treated in Manitoba Country One Hundred Years
Ago--His Father's Banishment to Die on a Lonely Island by the White
Traders--Second Misfortune of the Ottawa on Account of the Shawnee
The Author's Father Appointed Speaker for the Ottawa and Chippewa-- The
Only Ottawa Who was Friendly to Education--Making Alphabet--Acting as
School Teacher--Moving Disposition of the Ottawa--Mode of
Traveling--Tradition of William Blackbird Being Fed by Angelic Beings in
the Wilderness--His being Put into Mission School by His Father--
Studying to be a Priest--His Assassination in the City of Rome, Italy,
Almost the Day When He was to be Ordained--Memorial Poem--The Author's
Remarks on the Death of His Brother.
Account of the Indians' Roving Disposition, Their Feasts and Their
Customs--Saluting Arbor Croche Every Spring of the Year--How the
Catholic Religion was Introduced Among the Ottawa--The Missions--
Signing of the Treaty, March 8, 1836.
More Personal History--Suffering and Trials in Early Life--Missing the
Opportunity to Go to School--Learning Trade as a Blacksmith--A New Start
to Seek for Education--Arriving at Cleveland, O., to Find His Old
Friend, Rev. Alvin Coe--Visit with Rev. Samuel Bissell, of Twinsburg,
O., Principal of the Twinsburg Institute--Attending School--Returning
Home--Advocating Citizenship for His People--Delegated to Detroit and to
the State Legislature--His Pleasant Visit with State Authorities-- Again
Delegated as Councilor to the New Treaty, 1855.
Becoming Protestant--Persecutions--Second Attempt to go to School--
Trials With Indian Agent--Governor Lewis Cass--Struggle During
Education--Getting Married--Coming Home--Government Interpreter and
Some of the Legends of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Respecting the
Great Flood of the World--A Person Swallowed Up Alive Like a Prophet
Traditions of the Ottawa Regarding Their Early History--Their Wars and
Their Confederations With Other Tribes of Indians.
The Ottawa Moving Again Towards the Setting Sun--Coming to Manitoulin,
or Ottawa Island--The Names of Their Leaders--The Wenebago Warriors
Coming to Ottawa Island in a Hostile Manner, Headed by O-saw-wah-ne-me-
kee, "The Yellow Thunder"--Death of Kaw-be-naw, one of the Greatest
Prophets and Warriors of the Ottawas--Massacre in the Country of Waw-
gaw-na-ke-zhe, or Arbor Croche, Emmet County, Michigan.
The Present Condition of the Indians of this State.
The Lamentation of the Overflowing Heart of the Red Man of the Forest.
The Twenty-one Precepts or Moral Commandments of the Ottawa and Chippewa
Indians, by Which They Were Governed in Their Primitive State, Before
They Came in Contact With White Races in Their Country--The Ten
Commandments, The Creed, and The Lord's Prayer in the Ottawa Language as
Translated by the Author.
Grammar of the Ottawa And Chippewa Language
Chippewa History |
Native American Nations