Ashland County WIGenWeb: Early Life - Ch. 3


Early Life Among the Indians
Copyright 1891 B.G. Armstrong & T.P. Wentworth, Ashland, WI.
1892 Press of A.W. Bowron, Ashland, Wis.

Chapter III.

The Tidal Wave of Immigration - Sale of One Half of the Mile Square - Sharp Practices - General Depression - The Indian Scare of 1862 - Soldiers at Bayfield and Superior - An Indian Shot - A Delegation Through the States - President Lincoln's Promises

In the year 1855, came the first wave of immigrations.
Behind the squaw's light birch bark canoe,
The steamers plow the waves;
And the village lots are staked for sale
Above old Indian graves.
They crossed the lakes as of old
The pilgrims crossed the sea,
To make west as they had the east
A home for trusts and monopoly.

Now for the first time we of the western country realized the meaning of sharp practices. Heretofore a man's word had been his bond and any writing intended to strengthen a man's word was utterly unknown.

Now I must take you to Oak Island, which was my home from the spring of 1855 to the spring of 1862. I was confined to my house during all of his time except such time as I was seeking or receiving medical aid. Being blind and financially embarrassed, the world showed up dark before me. I had exhausted all my ready money in conducting the late treaty and had nothing to fall back upon except a few tracts of land I had secured and the furs I had accumulated the previous winter. I had my furs baled up and they turned out as follows: one of martin skin, one of beaver, one of fisher, and another made of bear and other skins. These I consigned to parties in Cleveland, Ohio, in care of Cash & Spaulding, Ontonagon. They should have brought me $1,200 but I never received one dollar for them. I inquired of Cash & Spaulding concerning the furs and was told that the parties in Cleveland would not receipt for them or receive them until some skins accounted for, claiming they had been broken open in transit on the boat. I requested Mr. Cash that inasmuch as I was sore in need of money he would look the matter up with all possible dispatch. He promised me that he would, but did not think it could be done right away, and the matter rested there the entire season without a settlement.

About the first of July 1856, Mr. Spaulding, of our company, came to my home on Oak Island and told me that my claims against the Indians for old back debts that were arranged for the treaty of 1854 had been allowed by the government and amounted to just $900, and that he was going to Washington in a few days and coming right back and if I would give him and order for the money, and thinking this was the quickest way of obtaining it, I agreed. He wrote out the order himself and I signed it, but being blind, I cannot say whether I signed my name or made my mark. Mr. Spaulding went away, and as far as I am concerned, the money went with him. In the fall when Agent Gilbert came to pay the annuities he told me that Mr. Spaulding had drawn the money in Washington and asked if I had received it. I answered no and neither had I heard from Spaulding. He said he would write so Spaulding about what disposition he had made of the money, but I never saw Gilbert again or heard from the money.

Sometime in the fall of 1856, I met Fredrick Prentice, whom I had known quite a number of years. He called on me at Oak Island as he had heard of my affliction. Mr. Prentice then lived in Toledo, Ohio, and was here at that time on matters of business. Among other things we talked was my "mile square" property, the grant of Chief Buffalo and said if we could agree on terms he would purchase an interest in the property. At that time I scarcely knew from whence my next sack of flour would come and asked Mr. Prentice what he could afford to give me for an undivided one-half of the property. He told me that he would give me $8,000 and keep up the taxes when it became taxable. We would keep track of my other matters until such time as I could agree to sell all or a portion of the property. If it became necessary to go to Washington to look after it he would do it an should it be necessary to employ counsel while there or at any other time until the title was perfected he would make me a small cash payment. In addition to all the other provisions Mr. Prentice also agreed to furnish lumber and all necessary material for the erection of a house on the property, in which I was to live, and during my residence thereon he was to furnish me with anything I required until we saw fit to sell the property or any portion of it. This was put into a written agreement, duly signed and witnessed, which was afterwards stolen from me with a number of other valuable papers. The cash payment was to be, I think, $250, but am also that I might make out a list of goods and provisions that I needed and included a yoke of oxen, and would send me them as soon after his return to Toledo as he could get a steamer to send them by. The balance of the $8,000, after taking out the cost of the things he was to send me and then money then advanced, was to be paid in installments after the patent for the land had been received. The list of the articles he was to send he took along with him and in due time the goods and oxen were received, together with the shipping and purchasing bills showing the total cost of the goods, which amounted to $2,000, to the best of my recollection, including the cash I had received on his visit.

On the day following or conversation, Mr. Prentice returned to my house, bringing with him Doctor Ellis, of Ashland, Wisconsin, and a deed was made for an undivided one-half of the land that was selected by Chief Buffalo for me in the Treaty at La Pointe, September 30, 1854, and in which was to have been patented to me by the stipulations of that instrument. The deed was a warranty but as the patent had not arrived it was impossible to describe the property by metes and bounds. Dr. Ellis drew up the deed and described it as being the land selected by Chief Buffalo and thought the description would be sufficient. The deed was witnessed in the presence of Asaph Whittlesey, but I do not remember whether there was another witness or not. On leaving Mr. Prentice told me he should leave that night on the steamer North Star for Toledo, and would go from there to Cleveland and purchase the articles called for in my memorandum and ship them either on the North Star, Captain Sweet, or the Iron City, Captain Turner, and that they would reach me in about ten days from Cleveland. The goods and oxen I received at Oak Island by the steamer Iron City. I next heard from Mr. Prentice from Washington, D.C., whither he had gone on business.

This same fall Daniel S. Cash, of Ontonagon, came to my house, ostensibly to visit me. He sympathized with me greatly and said it was too bad that I should be so afflicted, especially at this time, when the whole northwest, by reason of the late treaty, was to be opened to settlement, and as I was young and active and had a thorough knowledge of the country, there was no reason, if I had my sight, why I should not become the wealthiest man in the whole northwest, and asked, "Why don't you raise the money on that square mile and go below for treatment?" I told him I had already given a deed to an undivided one-half to raise money for my present needs and that it was a hard matter to raise money on that yet patented. He then made me a proposition to let me have the money to go for treatment. He said he would advance $5,000 or so much of it as was necessary if I would give that land as security, and that he would take the chances of the patents and of the land ever becoming valuable and would let me have the money as I required it. I told him that in the sale of the other half I had only received a little money and some provisions to use in carrying on my business and that when my bills were paid my money would be gone. This offer, coming as it did from a man I knew so well, was a tempting one and I told him I would talk the matter over with my wife and let him know on his return from Superior what the decision might be. The boat being ready to leave, he said: "Think it over well. I think it is the best thing you can do. I think too much of you to advise you wrongly. I feel sure that a few months' treatment by a good oculist will bring back your sight, and then you can easily make the money to pay me back what I shall have advanced." I talked the matter over with my family and told my wife I would do what she thought best. She, being well acquainted with Mr. Cash, and believing him to be an upright and good man, advised me to accept his proposition. The day following he returned and I told him his proposition would be accepted, when he produced a contract he had prepared, read it to me and asked me to sign it, saying I could draw the $5,000 if necessary and that I might pay him back the amount I used with and interest at six percent, and failing to do so he would hold the land selected for me by Chief Buffalo at the head of the St. Louis Bay. I signed the contract, saying as I did so that I would only draw such amounts as were necessary and thought I would be ready to start below in about a month. Whether my signature to this contract was witnessed or not, I cannot state but there was no one present who could either read or write the English language and no one but Mr. Cash knew the contents of that instrument.

It was not until the following season that I made ready to go for treatment, when I left Oak Island on the steamer Iron City, Captain Turner, who had previously told me that he should stop at Ontonagon to load some copper which would give me time to see Mr. Cash and arrange the money matters according to the agreement. When the boat stopped at Ontonagon I sent a message to Mr. Cash, saying I was aboard and would like to have him come to the boat. He came, and catching me by the hand, said, "I am very glad to see you and am only sorry that you cannot see me," and adds, "I suppose I know your mission. You are going away for treatment and want some money for your expenses." I told him he had guessed it; that I had made arrangements to be gone six months or as long as would be required to be able to see him on my return. Then he told me that money would be out of the question; there had been bank failures throughout the country and that he had not a dollar worth five cents, either to me or anyone else, and that to be able to raise one hundred dollars would be an impossibility. I then told the captain to put me ashore and I would get back home as best I could. "You will not make another trip up this season, but I can get back in a canoe with the help of someone to guide me." The captain replied: "I will do no such thing. Come to Cleveland with me and I will take you to Garlick and Ackley, an eye infirmary, and arrange with them for your treatment." Thankfully I accepted the offer. I then asked Mr. Cash to give me the contract, which I had signed. "Oh!" he said, "that contract is valueless now, as I never paid you any money upon it, and I have not got it here, either, but will mail it to you at Cleveland or any place you direct after you get settled."

I went to Cleveland and my eyes were examined by Garlick & Ackley, oculist, of that place, and they said they could not help me. After two days in Cleveland, Captain Turner drove up to the office and informed me that he should make another trip up the lakes that fall and as the doctors had told him they could not help me, I could return to my home or remain as I preferred. Both doctors having told me that my case was a hopeless one as far as they knew, I returned home with the captain, wholly discouraged and disheartened. I had a few dollars in my pocket with which I tried to buy some provisions to take home with me, but was quickly informed that it was valueless. This was during the great financial panic of 1857. I arrived home safely and found my family well, the first pleasing thing I had met with in a number of months.

I never received the contract back from Mr. Cash, and never saw him but once afterward, and that was aboard a steamboat bound for below, and he was too sick to talk business matters. Shortly afterward I was told that he was dead. After I had got upon my feet again and was able to look after my business I found that the supposed contract then in the hands of his heirs turned out to be a warranty deed to Daniel S. Cash and Jas. Kelly, whom I never saw, of an undivided one-half of the mile square before described. I tried to employ council many times to take hold of the matter, but not having money to advance for such services, I failed to obtain help in that direction. It would have been impossible, however, had I then had the property clear of indebtedness to have realized any money upon it or from it sales, because there was a general stagnation in business throughout the northwest for quite a number of years. Many people abandoned their homes and property, leaving behind but few white people, and soon following this the rebellion broke out. This state of lethargy continued for six or seven years.

I had frequent talks with friends who had known me for years, and knew how my business matters stood, as to what I had better do. All were familiar with the fact that I had deeded to Mr. Prentice an undivided one-half of that property and received one or two payments upon it, but none believed I had ever received a penny for the half the heirs of Cash & Kelly claimed to own, and I never saw the James Kelly to whom that deed appears to have been given, nor never heard of him except through this deed. It appeared that he lived in Cleveland. Had I ever received and any considerable amount from Cash on this one-half of that property my neighbors would have known it, for they well knew my circumstances all these years, and that I had been financially embarrassed.

After trying different occultists without getting any relief I had given up hope of ever seeing again, when by a mere accident my sight was partially restored. It was about the middle of December 1860, when one of my teamsters complained a tree had fallen across his road and he could not or would not, cut it out. Being irritable, cross and morose under my forced restraint, I jumped from my darkened room and told him to lead me to the tree and I would cut the tree from the road, and although I knew I was doing a foolish thing, I took hold of the stakes at the rear of the sleigh and followed to the obstruction. I then told the driver to bring me an axe and lead me to the tree. The first blow I struck the tree - which proved to be a sappy balsam - a bulb of balsam sap flew up under the bandage or shade, which I had over my eyes and struck squarely in my right eye. I yelled with pain and told the teamster to take me back to the house and it was not until I had reached there that I knew what had happened. My wife found spatters of balsam on my cheek and also found that a film, which covered the eye, had been broken. She then began a balsam treatment, which proved to be just the thing to affect a cure of the inflammation I had suffered for so many years. She continued the use of the balsam and in three weeks to be out of doors without assistance, and the next spring my eyes were healthy and strong, though not clear, and never will be, I do not think.

In the spring of 1861 I was appointed by Commissioner Dole, who had charge of Indian Affairs under President Lincoln, to act as special interpreter for General L.E. Webb, the Indian Agent at Bayfield, Wisconsin, and Clark W. Thompson, superintendent of Indian Affairs in the northwest, who was located in St. Paul, Minnesota. I accepted the appointment and preformed the duties of interpreter until the fall of 1864. I moved my family from Oak Island to Bayfield, which was my home while thus engaged.

During the summer of 1862 a scare was started throughout this country to the effect that an uprising of the Indians was quite likely, which resulted in bringing three companies of soldiers to Bayfield and the same number to Superior. When the troops arrived at Superior it was a surprise both to the white people and to the Indians. The soldiers pitched their tents, threw out their pickets, and matters looked quite war-like. It happened that an Indian who had been out hunting a few days, came in that night, and at the picket line he was halted. Not knowing that soldiers were there or what the charge meant, he halted, but immediately proceeded forward and was shot down by the soldier. This created quite an excitement for a while, as it was not known what effect it would have on the Indians, but it was thought it might incite them to seek revenge, but nothing of a serious nature resulted from it.

Agent Webb, myself and others had frequent talks over the general outlook for Indian troubles and it was finally decided to take a delegation on a trip through the states and to Washington, as such a trip would give the delegation a rare chance to see the white soldiers and to thus impress upon their minds the futility of any further recourse to arms on their part. Agent Webb arranged the matter and was directed to have me select the delegation. I selected a party of nine chiefs from the different reservations, made up as follows: Ah-moose, or 'Little Bee," from Lac du Flambeau Reservation; Kish-ke-taw-ug, or "Cut Ear," Bad River Reservation; Ba-quas, or "He Sews," Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation; Ah-do-ga-zik, or "Last Day," Bad River Reservation; O-be-quot, or "Firm," Fond du Lac Reservation; Shing-quak-onse, or "Little Pine," and Ja-ge-gwa-yo, or "Can't Tell," La Pointe Reservation; Na-gon-ab, or "He sits Ahead," Fond du Lac Reservation; and O-ma-shin-a-way, or "Messenger," Bad River Reservation.

We set out about December 1, 1861, going from Bayfield, Wisconsin to St. Paul, Minnesota, by trail, and from St. Paul to Lacrosse, Wisconsin, by stage, and by rail the balance of the way to Washington. Great crowds of soldiers were seen at all pints east of Lacrosse, besides trainloads of them all along the whole route. Reaching Washington I showed them 30,000 or 40,000 soldiers in camp and they witnessed a number of drills and parades, which had a salutary effect upon their ideas of comparative strength with their white brothers. Being continually with them I frequently heard remarks passing between them that showed their thoughts respecting the strength of the white race. "There is no end to them," said one. "They are like the trees in our forest," said another. I was furnished with a pass to take them to the navy yard and to visit the barracks of the Army of the Potomac, at which place one of them remarked that the great father had more soldiers in Washington alone than there were Indians in the northwest, including Chippewas and Sioux, and that his ammunition and provisions never gave out. We remained in the city about forty days and had interviews with the Indian Commissioner and the President, and I was allowed the privilege of a partial examination into the records, showing the annuities due the Indians on annuity arrearages, but the excitement incident to war precluded any extended examination which would lead to a settlement of their arrearages at that time. The President made a short speech to the Indians at one of these interviews, at which he said: "My children, when you are ready, go home and tell your people what the great father said to you; tell them that as soon as the trouble with my white children is settled I will call you back and see that you are paid every dollar that is your due, provided I am here to attend to it, and in case I am not here to attend to it myself, I shall instruct my successor to fulfill the promises I make you here today."

After visiting all places of interest in Washington, and about a week after the last interview with the President, we set out on our home journey, going by way of New York City, where we stayed two or three days, purchasing goods and presents for the chiefs to take home to their families and relatives; in all amounting to $1,500, which had been placed in my hands by the government for that purpose. This was, in all probability the most pleasant stop of the trip. We stopped two days at Chicago on our return, from there going to Lacrosse by rail, where we took a boat for St. Paul. We were compelled to take the trail from St. Paul and arrived in Bayfield about the middle of April 1862.

During this season Agent Webb, Samuel S. Vaughn, and one or two others frequently talked with me about my prospects in the "mile square" question, and said it was too bad to lose it all for it was sure to be valuable, and from time to time they would propose what they would do, and one day asked me what I would take for a quit-claim deed of the undivided one-half which I had sold to Mr. Prentice. That if they had it they would take the matter into the courts, and thought that they would have no problem proving the claim of Daniel S. Cash a swindle, because I had never received a cent from him. I told them I could not do it for I had already given a warranty deed to Mr. Prentice. They said they were aware of the fact, and did not expect to make anything out of that part of it, and should not try to do so, but that I could give a quit-claim deed to any property, whether I owned it or not. I told them I would consider it, and I advised with others who told me that I could give a quit-claim deed if I wished to, and as I held no claim to that half I could lose nothing, and one man stated I could give a quit-claim deed to the Mississippi River if a purchaser could be found. The matter was talked over a number of times, but nothing came of it until the following season, when they came to me in a confidential way and thought the best thing that I could do was to give them that deed. Saying at the time, "we must give you something for it, as a deed would not be legal with out a consideration. We will give you four or five hundred dollars so as to make the transaction appear a legitimate one." Then they would have a clear foundation to commence suit. I told them I was not posted in law, and did not want to get into any trouble, for I had been led into a good many scrapes already, and came out the loser every time. General Webb said: "We are your friends, not your enemies, and we are not seeking to blind or kill you. If we don't make anything out of it for ourselves we can't for you, but if we can make anything for you we are satisfied we can for ourselves." I finally agreed to do it. The deed was prepared and Mr. Vaughn brought it to me for signature and gave me five hundred dollars.

During the summer of 1862 Clark W. Thompson, Indian Superintendent at St. Paul, came to Bayfield to assist in the distribution of annuities to the Indians of the Lake. We first went to Grand Portage and gave out the annuities, returned to Bad Rive and gave them out there. While at Bad River Mr. Thompson told me that he thought I would be required to go to St. Paul as there were some matters up the Mississippi relating to Indian Affairs that he wanted investigated. On his return his return he would find out more about them and let me know. A short time afterward news reached him that the Indians in the vicinity of Red Lake and Leech Lake had captured a mail boat on the Red River and had burned it, and sent word for me to come to St. Paul as soon as I could. He gave me written instructions to go to Red River, or far enough to ascertain if the boat had been burned and try and induce the Indians to come to Leech Lake, for himself and others would be there to meet them. I went and found the boat all right and the story a fabrication. I found the country in a complete uproar, for news had reached the Indians that the great father was going to send soldiers there because he had heard that the Indians had burned his boat that carried papers and they had retreated back into the forest to get out of the way. I had much difficulty in finding them, as everybody seemed to be afraid for their lives. The Chippewas were behaving badly for they had taken the report for granted. The whites saw the Chippewas on one side and the Sioux on the other, and all seemed to think they would unite in one general massacre.

The third day of my search, just before sunset, I found a lake, and looking towards its head I saw smoke rising, probably four miles away in a direct line. Following the shore and picking my way through the brush, I reached the Indian camp at about 9 p.m. When near by, perhaps a mile distant, I struck into a hard beaten trail, which led me to their wigwams. I made no halt, but proceeded straight to their wigwams, and picking out the wigwam that I judged by its size to be the chief's lodge, I approached it and saw no person, not even a dog to bark at me, until I reached the lodge and raised the caribou skin that hung at the entrance, and entered without being discovered. When inside the wigwam I found a large Indian stretched upon the ground beside the fire smoking his pipe, the balance of the inmates lying around and in sitting positions about the wigwam. Had their eyes been guns I should have feared them and expected a killing at once, but knowing their customs and habits so well, I had to play a little Indian part myself. Taking my pipe I filled and lighted it and smoked a while to show them I felt at home. Profound silence prevailed up to this time. I then seated myself upon the little bundle I was carrying and spoke to the Indian in his own language, by asking him where the chief's wigwam was. He sprang to his feet and reaching out his hand exclaimed: "How is this! You, white man, speak our language perfectly! I am surprised," He said, "at your getting into our camp without our dogs discovering you."

At the mention of dogs, my hair fairly stood erect for I then remembered that they had Eskimo dogs. The chief said they had forty or fifty of them on guard. They all knew me by reputation when I told them I was the adopted son of Buffalo of the Lake Superior Chippewas. I told them my mission. That the great father had heard that the Indians had burned his boat, which carried papers. I told them that I had been to the river and found the boat all right; that I wanted them to go with me to Leech Lake, as it was their great father's request, that they would meet their great father's agent there who lived in St. Paul, and others, to have a talk over this matter, and that everything would be all right and their St. Paul father would give them presents. "Big Dog," being the head chief of the party, then set a lad to call in his chiefs, and to one of his women he said, "go and see what you can get for our friend's supper," and the other women and children he directed to leave the wigwam. My supper was brought and the chief and men congregated, and while I was eating they had a general conversation, and all expressed their surprise that I could approach their camp without being torn in pieces by the dogs. We talked and joked the whole night and the next day preparations were made for the trip to Leech Lake, and on the morning of the second day we set out with about 20 Indians. Arriving at Leech Lake we found the commissioners there as they had promised. Those present were: Clark W. Thompson, Superintendent of Indian Affairs; Jessie Ramsey, James Thompson, brother of the superintendent, and John Ferron, of St. Paul. I told the party I had found the boat all right, and that she was tied up to trees along the bank of the river, and that the greater portion of the Indians were more frightened than the whites; how I found them huddled together at the head of a lake which was heavily wooded at the north end; that I had been delayed in my search for them as I was a stranger in the locality and could get no guide owing to the excitement through the country.

After I had related my story to the commissioners, Mr. Thompson said: "I would not have taken that risk for the world." The superintendent told the Indians he was very sorry that the story of the burning of the boat had been started as it had given their great father much trouble and the Indians also, and as he knew they could not help these reports and as the reports had proven untrue, he felt it his duty on behalf of the great father, to make them some presents in "provisions and good, which we will turn over to your friend to give you as he chooses." The warehouse was opened and I was told to make the distribution. I loaded each one down and the next day they started for home, thanking me especially by saying: "No other white man would have done this for us, and we hope to see the day when we can do you a kind act." After a general hand shaking the Indians started home. The next morning at daybreak the superintendent and party left for home also. Reaching Crow Wing the next day I was left there to investigate some matters and settle some trouble that had been brewing for some time between the agent at Crow Wing and the Indians. I remained there about 10 days and found matters in bad shape. I reported to the superintendent what I had found and he came up to Crow Wing and had a talk with the agent. Just what the trouble was I never ascertained, but shortly afterward the agent committed suicide and all was kept dark from me. I returned to St. Paul with the superintendent, and on the way he said there was likely to be trouble with the Sioux, as they had been waiting for their annuities a long time and were getting restless and were dissatisfied, and he would like to have me go with him to New Ulm, the Sioux Agency, which I did. We found there was much restlessness among the Indians and equally as much among the white traders. I found parties the first night I was there among the Sioux who spoke the Chippewa tongue, and talked with them. I found out the feeling that prevailed among the people. I talked with Bill Taylor, a half-breed Negro, who made a business of attending Indian payments for the purpose of gambling, and as he spoke the Sioux language. He told me what the Indians and Traders were saying. The traders were continually telling the Indians to receive nothing but coin in payment. I heard at one or two other trading posts the same thing, and knowing that coin was a scarce article just at that time in the United States, I informed the superintendent of what was going on, and gave it as my opinion that unless they were paid right away there would be trouble. The superintendent called the chiefs together and told them that he would give them their goods annuities at once, as they were then on the ground, and then they could their women and children home, as soon as the money came he would notify them and they could come for it. They asked what kind of money it would be, to which he answered, he did not know, but whichever kind it was he would pay it to them. He could not tell what kind of money the great father had on hand, but thought it would be currency. They then demanded coin and said they would not take greenbacks, to which the superintendent replied: "I will go right back to St. Paul and if the great father has not sent the money I will borrow it and return as quickly as I can and pay you." We started at once for St. Paul, but before we arrived there we heard of the terrible uprising of the Sioux and the slaughter of people. This was the awful massacre of New Ulm, with which everybody is so familiar. I attributed the whole trouble then and still do; to the bad advice of the traders. These traders knew that all the money the Sioux drew would, in a short time would be in their hands, and as specie was at a high premium, they allowed their speculation to get the better of their judgment, the penalty of which was the forfeiture of their lives. I afterward heard that Bill Taylor was first among the dead.

I now left St. Paul and went to my home in Bayfield and found the Indians in this part of the country peaceable and quiet. After being home a short time I found that Agent Webb and four or five others were bribing boys and children to come in and swear that they were entitled to an eighty acre piece of land that the Treaty of 1854 provided for half-caste and mixed blood people, and were paying them from ten to twenty dollars apiece for their scripts, as circumstance required. I made up my mind that I would be drawn into the rascally scheme by implication, if I remained in the employ of the government under General Webb, so I threw up my position and left Bayfield going to the copper mines of the Bad River, where I remained during that summer, only going to Bayfield two or three times that season. From here I took my family to Lake Portage, Michigan, to keep out of the way, and remained away until the spring of 1870.

During the interim I met Mr. Webb at Houghton, Michigan, and asked him what had been done with the quitclaim deed I had given himself and Mr. Vaughn. He told me he had employed attorneys in St. Paul and it would not be long until I should hear from it. I never saw Mr. Webb again and did not know what became of the deed until I went into court in St. Paul, in the year 1884, I think, when I ascertained that the deed had gone to a man by the name of Gilman, whom I had never seen before that time. I spoke to Mr. Vaughn after this and asked him how it was that the deed had passed from his hands. He laughed and said it made no difference who held the deed as he did not consider that it would ever amount to anything as Prentice held a warranty form me for one-half and that Cash would hold the other half under the contract or deed I gave him, and that he had given the matter up. It told him that at some future time I should require him in court, but before my case was reached in which parole testimony was taken, Mr. Vaughn died, and Mr. Webb was dead also, the matter to this day remains unsettled.


Contributed and used with permission on this site by Timm Severud. The Lac Courte Oreilles Historical Preservation Office created this reproduction.Timm Severud manually typed it in and some minor changes to text have been made from the original, to correct spelling mistakes, and slight grammar mistakes. There is no copyright on this book or this reproduction. Feel free to use and share with others. Enjoy what I consider the best historical biography I have ever read. T.L.S.


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