Apr 07, 2022 - Sale 2600

Sale 2600 - Lot 7

Price Realized: $ 8,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
(AMERICAN INDIANS.) Surrender of sovereignty by the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes of Michigan. Letterpress handbill, 9 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches, signed in type by 44 tribal members and a notary public, and additionally in manuscript with an "X" by Peter Adawich; horizontal folds, uncut, minimal wear. Allegan County, MI?, 18 April 1853

Additional Details

Efforts to displace the Chippewa and Ottawa inhabitants of Michigan began with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, but were widely resisted. Prospective destinations on the Great Plains would have been too great a shift from the northern woodlands, while more familiar terrain in Wisconsin or Minnesota would have put them in conflict with the Sioux. See Elizabeth Neumeyer, "Michigan Indians Battle Against Removal," in Michigan History 55 (1971), pages 275-288. Rather than submit to removal, some exchanged land rights for American citizenship, as seen in this document from southwestern Michigan:

"We the undersigned descendants of the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes of Indians, having been born in the State of Michigan, and always resided therein--being attached to the soil, where the bones of our Fathers are laid" promised to adopt "the laws, habits of life, and Government of the white people of the United States . . . that we may enjoy the benefits of civilization and Christianity, and the privileges and civil rights of citizens and voters."

No other examples of this handbill have been traced in OCLC or at auction.