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OTTISSIPPPI Concluded | Afterword

By Cheryl Morgan

Who speaks for the Indian? Amazingly, his cause is almost without truth.” John Keats wrote this in 1964.  

“Under the assumed inevitable defeat and triumph of White man. The Indian was crushed, broken, disorganized, externally and internally, they gave up the fight. He knew no one would listen to him. Break the silence imposed on him and us and our children: ‘Let freedom ring, the truth be known’” (Steiner).

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“We need to unite all the races and both of the sexes if we are going to be strong and the Sacred Hoop is to be mended, turning towards each other, instead of away from one another” (Barefoot Windwalker, Bodawadmi, www).

“The rights of man come not from the generosity of the State, but from the hand of God” (John F. Kennedy).

“The present events with counsels leave observations and conclusions to the liberty and faculty of every man’s judgement” (Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning).

“A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to always be valuable. It only informs of what bad government is” (Thomas Jefferson).

“This book tells a part of the Indian history of the Great Lakes, laying the groundwork for further study. One can delve further into every area of culture and history and gain a more complete picture of these peoples. Due to time and space constraints, I have not been able to include a more detailed history. Each source will further enhance this study if one will search it out. 

This book is a starting point to gathering more indigenous history and early St. Clair County history. Many of you have information within your own studies, libraries, public records, family records, and oral history that tells another piece of the puzzle of the Great Lakes Indians History”. I would appreciate any input to fill in the missing pieces. Together we can create understanding where there is great ignorance. American Holocaust by David E. Stannard, written in 1992, is a real eye-opener, and I recommend reading it for the serious study of history” (Morgan).

“To learn the true story of America, we must search for it in our own backyards. Nowhere in the country is this more clearly shown than in the St. Clair River District, for its story is the story of Michigan, and the great Northwest Territory is, in fact, the story of America” (Mitts).

“The Indians survived our open intention of wiping them out, and since the tide turned, they have even weathered our good intentions toward them, which can be much more deadly” (John Steinbeck America and Americans). 

“The Native American experience continues to evolve. It is a story that has not ended. The Colonial Era is still here alive and well, and so are the Indians” (Morgan).

“Concealment of the historical truth is a crime against the people” (Gen. Petro G. Grigorenko. Samizdat letter to a History Journal, 1975 USSR).

“He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave” (Andrew Carnegie).

It has been a very emotional and shocking journey through the early history of the indigenous people of St. Clair County, Michigan and the Northwest Territory. I have survived the torturous trail through it all and will be forever changed by these people and the light of truth now exposed. May we be kind to one another and honest. May we, too, catch a vision of a United Nation with love for our brother. May we appreciate and learn from one another, gleaning the good for all mankind, learning from the past and its flaws, to see a new future where love and goodness flourish.

Cheryl Morgan, 2015

End Notes

True patriotism is based on knowledge and understanding rather than on ignorant prejudice. By learning how far we have come during the preceding centuries. We should be able better to chart our course for the future. Recognition for past mistakes can help us to avoid making the same ones a second or a third time” (Clever Bald, Michigan in 4 Centuries, 1954).

November is Native American Heritage Month.

Natives know that optimism is the key to good health. Worry makes you sick, as do bad thoughts. Replace them with happiness and optimism, and you shall live a long and healthy life (Terri Jean, 365 days of Walking the Red Road). 

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech” (Benjamin Franklin).

“Lethargy is the forerunner of death to public liberty” (Thomas Jefferson Letters).

Humankind has not woven the web of life; we are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together, all things connect (Chief Seattle).

Recommended Reading

The most helpful books on Ojibwe history are the following:

The Archaeological Atlas of Michigan, Hindsdale (1928), Michigan Room SCC Library, Clark Historical Library, Mt. Pleasant Mi., Ziibiwing Cultural Center, Mt. Pleasant, MI. Many other places also have this book. 

The Atlas of Great Lakes Indians, Tanner, Helen H. This is a great history of the Great Lakes tribes. Helen was an authority to the government and courts on locations of the Tribes, and their histories. 

Diba Jimooyung, Telling our Story, Saginaw Chippewa history. This is an excellent source of Ojibway history. 

The Plains of Aamjiwnang by David Plain, descendant of Little Thunder, who made his home at the foot of Lake Huron and Black River. Plain has written six books about Native culture and history. 

The Ojibwe of Southern Ontario, Schmaltz, Peter. This book answers many questions and corrects many false ideas. It is taken from historical facts and oral tradition. 

The Soul of the Indian, Indian Boyhood, and From the Deep Woods to Civilization, Charles Eastman’s writings, are a wonderful source of Ojibwe culture. He was a prolific writer who lived in Southern Ontario and Detroit. 

Ojibwe Culture. Francis Densmore was an expert on Ojibwe culture. 

Panther in the Sky, Thom, James A., NY: Ballantine Books. Early History of the Northwest Territory, Ohio and British Indian wars, excellent history of Tecumseh’s life. 

MSU, MSU Libraries, Map Library, scanned maps of Michigan. These old maps give a lot of history of town and place names.

Acknowledgements

Marilyn Hebner, President of the St. Clair County Family History Group, was a great help to me in researching. Her friendship and encouragement are much appreciated. Marilyn and Diana Hebner’s research on immigration was very helpful. I would also like to thank others at SCC Family History Group for their encouragement. 

My family: son, Tom, and daughter-in-law, and my grandkids who helped a low-tech grandma with the Technical World. My Husband Tom, who was supportive. My sisters-in-laws for their encouragement. 

Friends: Pat Walker, Lynn Kamendat, Gail Terpening, Bob and Margie Archer, and others who were there to encourage. 

The many people at libraries and archives, and Anita Herd, at Ziibiwing Cultural Center. Thank you for all your help in accessing research publications. 

Joyce Reid, for all her kindness and support. Joe Greaux for the 2014 interview. David Plain for his help and work in making known the local history. Mike Connel for his review of Chapter 7, French, British, English and Americans. 

My Editor Sara Constantino for her wise work in making the book professional. 

Thank you all for your part in bringing this work to fruition. 

Cheryl Morgan

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PERIODICALS

Blue Water Indian Pow Wow, 1995, booklet

Friends of the St. Clair River Watershed, Brochure

Harpers Magazine, Vol. 98, Pokagon, Simon, The massacre of Fort Dearborn at Chicago, 1899, www

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Sarnia Observer, Shirley Brownlee, 1857, Lumbering, Barnes, Ojibwe, 1967

Saturday Evening Post, 1947, Robert Murphy, Mother Rodd

The Detroit News Tribune, 1896, Dixon, Mother Rodd

The Penny Magazine, April 29, 1837, Ontario, Canada

The Smithsonian, 2014, Amanda Foreman, The Birth of American Freedom and the Founding of the Union

This book came about after a visit to the library where I could not find local Indian History. I grew up in the St. Clair and Black River area of Michigan, fishing on all the area waters with my father and brothers. I loved books, libraries, horses and puzzles; I was not a tech person. I love to cook, garden, travel, and camp. I was determined to find and share the truth. This has been a difficult journey in every way. I give you, the reader, the truth and blessings I also reaped. Cheryl Morgan

Cheryl Morgan lives near Port Huron, Michigan with her husband Tom and dog Fred.

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