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INCIDENTS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY

BY JUDGE ALBERT MILLER

Ton- do-gong, an Indian chief who died in 1840, told me he killed a Sock while hunting, when a boy. This must have been over eighty years ago, and up to a few years ago, the Indians still believed there was a Sock in the vicinity. They had seen the place where he had made his fires and slept. I have known them to get together and not hunt for several days, for the reason, they said, there was a Sock in the woods; they had seen where he slept. I used to laugh at them, but it was of no avail. You could not make them believe otherwise.
But to go back to the Indian tradition: The country was considered as haunted and no more Indians came here to hunt, although game was abundant Finally it was converted into what would be termed among civilized nations a penal colony. Every Indian who committed a crime would flee or be banished to the hunting ground (Saginaw valley) to escape punishment, for the Indian laws were more severe then than now. "This was long before we became degraded by coming in contact with the whites, " said the Indian.
The Chippewas becoming the most numerous, finally their language predominated, and at the present time the Indians of the Saginaw valley do not speak in all respects the same as the Chippewas on Lake Superior, from whom they originally sprung, showing that the mixing of different nations in the Saginaw valley has been the cause of the same.
Put-ta-gua-sa-mine said his grandfather told -it to him when he was a boy. which was ninety years before, and that it had been handed down from his ancestors and it was a custom with him to repeat it often to his people so that the traditions or history should not be lost, and a successor was always appointed in case the traditionist should die, that the history of the nation should not be lost, and that it should be handed down from generation to generation.

Michigan


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