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MICHIGAN

THE OLD INDIAN DOCTOR

They then owned a reservation of land ten miles square, which took in the eastern part of Gourdneck prairie, and had a small village or collection of wigwams in the grove just east of the prairie on the farm now owned by James N. Neasmith, Esq. The wigwams were all built with a frame of poles, covered with elm bark, with the exception of the wigwam of the chief (Sag-a-maw), which was built for him by his friends, the early white settlers, of logs and covered with oak shakes. You wish me to inform you how they received the first settlers, how they lived and how they mingled with and how they traded with the white man.
1st. I think as a class they received the early settlers very kindly and were inclined to live peaceably with them.
2d. How they lived ? Deer were plenty in those early days and as they were good hunters they had no difficulty the greater part of the year in supplying themselves with meat. They also used the flesh of raccoons, muskrats, etc., for food. Pish were plenty in the rivers and lakes. They understood how to catch them both with spear and hook. They raised some corn on land that some of the early settlers plowed and fenced for them. In their season wild fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, etc., were obtained by them for food, and also to swap with the white man for flour, salt, sugar, etc. 3d. How much they mingled with the white man? In our stores and in the dwellings and cabins of their acquaintances they made themselves very much at home. The squaws and pappooses would come in in crowds and sit down on the floor (never taking a chair) till they were so thick that you could hardly find a place to put your foot. They turned out en masse on all public days and at horse races and shows.

Michigan Indians


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