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Chief's Petition

June 4 1851

To the Commissioner of Indian Affairs

We the principal Chiefs of Grand Travers Bands salute our Father at Washington.

Our minds have been disturbed by hearing that a letter has been sent to Washington making application to have a white man appointed to take the place of one of our young men who is assistant Blacksmith here, and that he is to be located at some other place contrary to our wishes. We wish to ask our father that this change may not be made, because it would be doing a wrong to our people. By the 7th article of our treaty, the Blacksmith Shop was to be located on this reservation. The Shop here needs and assistant, for the Blacksmith cannot do all our work without some one to strike for and aid him. We have always understood it to be the intention of the Government that if any of our people were qualified to discharge the duties they should be appointed to those places in preference to white men. We think it is the right of our young men when qualified and greatly for the interest of our people to have those places given. We hope you will not remove the young man who is assistant in the Blacksmith Shop at this place. Your own people who are here will certify to his fitness for the place and our own people are well satisfied with him.

  • Ashquagonabe (Chief)
  • Ahgosa Chief

  • Witnessed by us June 4th 1851
  • Peter Dougherty
  • John Campbell


Citizen Petition

We the undersigned residents of Grand Traverse Bay having heard that a white man was to be appointed in the place of the young Indian who is the Assistant Blacksmith at this place, would most respectfully solicit that such change if contemplated may not be made.

We hereby certify that the present occupant is very sober, industrious, and competent young man, and gives universal satisfaction.

We believe that such change would be in contravention of the promises made to the Indians in the treaty and would counteract the benevolent ends of the Government in qualifying them to be their own mechanics and farmers.

  • P. Dougherty Missionary of P.B.F.U.
  • James McLaughlin
  • H. K. Cowles
  • Isaac Whistler Surveyor For Mackinac Co.
  • Robert Campblell
  • James R. Whiteside
  • G. M. Pratt Farmer to the Indians
  • Bernard Fair Carpenter to the Indians
  • Jonathan Hill
  • Michael Murphy
  • Daniel McTaggart
  • John B. Bourasaw
  • John Campbell
  • Martin L. Hart
  • Alexander Paul
  • Lewis Miller

Mackinac Agency
Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1828-1880
National Archives Microfilm Publications M234 Roll 403 1839-1852

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