"Ottawa" was name was
formerly applied by the French to all the Algonquin tribes who dwelt on the
shore of Lake Superior and Upper Michigan; but later, only to those
that made their homes in the more southern part of the State of Michigan,
in the vicinity of Grand River, and in the States of Ohio and Indiana.
The first treaty
concluded between the United States and the Indian tribes west of New York was
at Fort McIntosh on January 21, 1785. It was with the
Chippewa and Ottawa, giving peace to those nations on certain conditions, and
defining boundaries. Similar treaties were made with these tribes and others, at
Fort Harmar, in 1789, by Governor St. Clair; and at Greenville, Ohio in 1795, by
General Anthony Wayne; the latter being "to put an end to a destructive war, to
settle all controversies, and to restore harmony and friendly intercourse
between the said United States and Indian tribes."
A boundary line between the United States and
the country inhabited by the tribes was established, and trade was opened with
them. At this time, a part of the Ottawa resided on the River Huron, of Lake
Erie," and a part at the Maumee River in Ohio.
At Detroit, November
17, 1807, the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot
and Pottawatomie nations ceded the following land: Beginning at the mouth of the
Maumee River of the lakes, and running then up the middle thereof to the mouth
of the Great Auglaize River; then running due north until it intersects a
parallel of latitude, to be drawn from the outlet of Lake Huron which forms the
River Sinclair; then running northeast, the course that may be found will lead
in a direct line to White Rock, in Lake Huron; then due east until it intersects
the boundary line between the United States and Upper Canada in said lake; then
southwardly, following the said boundary line down said lake, through River
Sinclair, Lake Sinclair and the Detroit River, into Lake Erie, to a point due
east of the aforesaid Maumee River; then west to the place of beginning.
To the Ottawa was paid
in consideration of their share in this cession, $3,333.33 in cash, an annuity
of $800, and the services of a blacksmith, to reside at the Maumee River for the
term of ten years, a tract of land being reserved to them "on the Maumee of Lake
Erie, above Roche de Boeuf, to include the village where the Tondaganie (or the
Dog) now lives."
Other cessions were
made by the treaty concluded with the tribe at the Rapids of the Maumee on
September 29, 1817, in which they were granted a tract containing thirty-four
square miles near the Maumee River, and there was reserved for their use "but
not granted to them: a tract of land "on Blanchard's Fork of the Great Auglaize
River, to contain five miles square, the center of which tract to be where the
old trace crosses the the fork, and one other tract to contain three miles
square, on the Little Auglaize River, to include the Oquanoxas Village."
By the terms of the
treaty concluded between the United States and the Ottawa Nation on August 30,
1831, and ratified April 6, 1832, these bands of Ottawa (Blanchard's Fork and
Roche de Boeuf) ceded the above-mentioned reservations (aggregating 49,917
acres) to the United States, and were assigned "a tract of land to be located
adjoining the south or west line of the reservation, equal to fifty miles
square, granted to the Shawnees of
Missouri and Ohio, on the Kansas River and
In 1836, the Ottawa of
Blanchard's Fork and Roche de Boeuf were moved from Ohio to this reservation,
which was a tract of about ten by twelve miles, watered by the Marais des Cygnes River and its numerous small tributaries. It was in the heart of present-day
county of Franklin County, Kansas.
when moved, were inferior to many of the tribes then living in the Territory,
but, through the influence of Jotham Meeker, supplemented by that of John T.
Jones and his accomplished wife, they became, in process of time, an honest,
industrious, prosperous people.
On June 24, 1862, the
Ottawa concluded a treaty with the United States, which, with amendments, was
ratified July 16, 1862.
The following was the
opening clause of the first article: "The Ottawa Indians
of the United Bands of Blanchard's Fork and of Roche de Boeuf, having become
sufficiently advanced in civilization, and being desirous of becoming citizens
of the United States, it is hereby agreed and stipulated that their organization
and their relations with the United States as an Indian tribe shall be dissolved
and terminated at the expiration of five years from the ratification of this
treaty: and from and after that time, the said Ottawa, and each and every one of
them, shall be deemed and declared to be citizens of the United States, to all
intents and purposes, and shall be entitled to all the rights, privileges and
immunities of such citizens, and shall, in all respects, be subject to the laws
of the United States, and of the State or States thereof in which they may