image
image

image
image
 

INDIAN REMINISCENCES

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

The old Indian, seemed to be sad and melancholy as he said: "Me remember when it was all woods about this place. Plenty of deer, plenty of hunting, plenty of Indian here then. All gone now. Me go, too, soon!" Pam-pla-pee, another of this old band of Pottawattomies, remembered he said, when the dry marsh, or rather clayey land, north of MeNary's, in LeRoy, was a large lake abounding in fish. He had caught fish there many times. Sam-o-ka never came back from Canada. Some few years ago one of his tribe informed the writer that the old chief, or, as he was accustomed to say when a little squiby, "Me, Sam-o-ko-ma-co, cheep, " was yet alive in Canada, and he was a good Indian, and he had a very fine squaw. But now they are gone—all gone— those old familiar acquaintances and helpful friends of the early settlers of this region.
The Indians were friends and very kind neighbors to the early settlers. They treated us so much like kith and kin, that we called them our "country cousins. " And although extremely backwoodish in habit and mode of living, yet we could not wish for kinder and more accommodating neighbors. To * use an Indian simile, "the smoke from the wigwam ascending upward united : with the smoke ascending from the white man's cabin, into one volume. So white man and Indian became one in friendship. " The Indians were often of great help at raisings; a log house or barn could not, at times, have been raised without their aid.
One day Sam-o-ka came to a logging bee at our neighbor Jonathan Austin's clearing in Battle Creek township. "Uncle Billy" Harrison, as the old Indian came to the clearing, remarked, "an Indian will drink all the whiskey you give him. I will prove it. " So pouring into a pint basin, the only drinking cup the settler had, over a gill of whiskey, the old chief drank it off without breathing. Billy then filled the basin nearly half full, which the old fellow swallowed and smacking his lips said, "Me like'm squibee. " He soon began to reel and was taken and laid under an oak tree, where he slept all/the afternoon. Towards nightfall he got up and took the trail for his wigwam.

Michigan


Page 14


 






Please consider making a donation to help keep these sites alive.
Thank you



image
image
image

Site Map | Chapter Index | MICHIGAN
Old Capitol | Female College | Early Press 2| My Michigan |County Bar | County BarII | County Bar III | Asylum | Bazil | Ohio Boundary | Western Michigan | John Barry | Wyandotte | Port Huron | Saginaw Valley
image