Skip navigation

Criminality and Legality

Entries are listed chronologically.

Henry Basset to Frederick Haldimand. April 29, 1773. Vol. 19, (1891): 296-299.

Concerns rum trading among the Indians and the murder of a trader by the Shawnee.

Basset to Haldimand. April 28, 1773. Vol. 19, (1891): 296-298.
Basset to Gage. May 21, 1773. Vol. 19, (1891): 300-301.
Basset to Gage. June 4, 1773. Vol. 19, (1891): 301-302.
John Vattas to Haldimand. June 16, 1773. Vol. 19, (1891): 302-304.
James Andrews to Basset. June 17, 1773. Vol. 19, (1891): 304-305
Basset to Haldimand. Aug. 29, 1773. Vol. 19, (1891): 310-311.

Discuss the murder of traders and the suspicion of a conspiracy.

William Johnson to Earl of Dartmouth. December 16, 1773 and April 2, 1774. Vol. 20, (1892): 324-325.

Concerns the murder of four Frenchmen by a party of Senecas. Two of the Senecas had been turned in and Johnson advised making them pay restitution and then releasing them, stating that this was the first time that the Sececa nation had delivered up offenders instead of punishing them in traditional ways.

McKee, Alexander, to Sir John Johnson. February 25, 1786. Vol. 11, (1888): 482-483.

McKee explains that several Indians from the Saginaw, Michigan area were responsible for the murder of four British citizens.

Charlton, Edw. "Murder of an Indian. Captain Charlton to Lieut. Col. England, 1 July 1792." Vol. 12, (1888): 38.

An Ojibwe Indian named Wawenesse was murdered by an angry mob while being taken under arrest at Fort Michilimackinac.

Elliott, M., to Mr. Chew. October 28, 1795. Vol. 12, (1888): 179-180.

Elliott describes the murder trial of an Ojibwe man named Mishinaway, who was acquitted of all charges due to lack of evidence. The Captain's letter includes a copy of the bill for the services of the lawyer who was appointed to defend Mishinaway.

Hull to Dearborn. December 28, 1807. Vol. 40, (1929): 240-241.

This letter explains that an Ojibwe man named Kish-cou-cough (Kishkorko) had killed a Frenchman around 1800 but eluded the law and become a fugative. This man's father, a highly respected Chief, had asked the government to pardon his son. Hull supports the idea, believing that such an act will help persuade the Ojibwe to ally with the Americans and not the British.

"John R. Williams to Messrs. Boyd and Storm. Burton Library, Gen. John R. Williams Papers, Vol. 19, p. 63. Detroit, 12 Aug 1808." Vol. 37, (1910): 75-76.

Discusses Indians assembling at Detroit to receive annuities and a short battle that took place following the capture of an Indian fugitive.

Robert Dickson to Sec. Freer. January 17, 1815. Vol. 16, (1890): 42-44.

Dickson demands more supplies, stating that the western Indian nations are considering allying with the United States. He also details the court martial of an Indian who had shot a white trader; suggests that more soldiers be brought west; and mentions that many Indians are starving.

The Murder of Akockis, a Kickapoo Indian. October 4 through October 26, 1815. 13 Items. Vol. 16, (1890): 313-366.

Reginald James to Lewis Cass. October 5, 1815. p. 313.
Lewis Cass to James. October 5, 1815. p. 313-314.
R. Richardson to Col. Caldwell. October 5, 1815. p. 319.
Cass to James. October 7, 1815. p. 314.
Richardson to James. October 9, 1815. p. 323.
James to ? October 12, 1815. p. 322-323.
James to Justices of the Peace, Western District. October 12, 1815. p. 343.
Richardson to James. October 12, 1815. p. 344.
James to Maj. Gen. Robinson. October 16, 1815. p. 344-350.
Caldwell to James. October 21, 1815. p. 354.
James to Robinson. October 25, 1815. p. 362.
Cass to James. October 26, 1815. p. 363-364.
Cass, Lewis. "A Proclamation." n.d. p. 365-366.

Akockis was killed by an American soldier while in his canoe near Grosse Isle. The Americans argued that he was killed in US territorial waters after aiming his gun at an American boat. The British argued that Akockis had done nothing wrong and that the Americans had shot him because he stated that he was a subject of the British.

Trowbridge, Charles C. "Detroit, Past and Present: In Relation to its social and Physical Condition. A Paper read before the Historical Society of Michigan, By Charles C. Trowbridge, May 1864." Vol. 1, (1900): 379.

Contains information on Kishkaukon (Kishkorko, Ojibwe Chief from the Saginaw bay area) and a discussion of two other Indian men, who were tried and hung for the murder of a surgeon.

Whiting, J. L. "Dr. J. L. Whiting's Historic Sketch." Vol. 2, (1880): 460-462.

Dr. Whiting served as the post surgeon at the Saginaw United States Infanty Stockade in 1823. In this account of his experiences there, he describes (in detail) an Ojibwe council at Green Point that dealt with the murder of an Ojibwe man. The individual charged with the crime was Kishkawkaw (Kishkorko).

Williams, B. O. "Early Michigan. Sketch of the Life of Oliver Williams and Family." Vol. 2, (1880): 36-40.

This essay explains the overall friendly relationship that the Williams family enjoyed with the Saginaw area Ojibwe, including Kish Kor Co (Kishkorko).

Stewart, E. M. S., Mrs. "Incidents in the Life of Mr. Eber Ward, Father of Capt. E. B. Ward of Steamboat fame as related to Mrs. E. M. S. Stewart in the Summer of 1852." Vol. 6, (1884): 471-473.

Contains an account of the Ojibwe Chief Kishkaukau's brutality. (Kishkorko).

Sutton, George. "An Old-time Murder in Northfield." Vol. 18, (1891): 511-512.

Details the murder of a Potawatomi woman by her husband, Chief Togush, in 1825.

Jones, George N., Mrs. "Miss Emily Wark, Commonly known as Aunt Emily." Vol. 38, (1912): 581-589.

Describes an 1826 incident on the St. Claire River. Several Indian men, intending to free the Ojibwe Chief Kishkaawko (Kishkorko) from his Detroit jail cell, raided the settlement while all its men were away serving their militia duty. When Aunt Emily fought the Indians off with a broom, they continued onward to Detroit.

"A Visit with a Lady who knew Detroit as a Frontier Post." Vol. 14, (1890): 535-539.

Story of Kish-kaw-koo (Kishkorko, Ojibwe Chief from the Saginaw bay area), and his crime, capture and death. He had murdered a clerk of Judge Riley on the St. Clair River. Also, he committed suicide in his cell before his scheduled hanging.

Ford, Henry. "Historical Detroit." Vol. 10, (1888): 88-97.

Explains that Detroit's first gallows were erected specifically for the execution of an Indian named Kishkaukon (Kishkorko, Ojibwe Chief from the Saginaw bay area). However, he committed suicide in his cell before he could be hung.

Day, John E. "The Lost Finch Boy." Vol. 38, (1912): 153-156.

Explains that a white child disappeared in Romeo and that the Ojibwe Chief Kanobe was suspected. However, there was no proof and the boy was never found. Years later, an imposter claimed to be him, but this was disproved. ca 1829

Day, John E. "Sketches and Incidents Concerning the settlement of Macomb County." Vol. 4, (1883): 307-315.

Day explains several instances of white settlers' children being taken and raised by Indians.

"Agreement Made With Ottawa Chiefs, Sept. 27, 1831, with Endorsement by G B. Porter." Vol. 37, (1910): 222-224.

This document is an agreement regarding the punishment of Muc-ut-a-otta-wa, who assaulted a white man named Isadore Nantain. Nantain lived, so the Indians only had to pay damages out of their next year's annuities payment. However, if the white man had died, then the agreement had stipulated that the Indians would have had to turn Muc-ut-a-otta-wa over to the white authorities in addition to paying for damages.

"First Settlement of Sturgis Prairie," Vol. 18, (1891): 518-521.

Details the encounters of a Mr. Thurston with the Potawatomi people, the murder of an Indian girl by a drunken man, and the story of a young chief who died and was buried like a white man.

St. John, Mrs. "Daily Life, Manners, and Customs of the Indians in Kalamazoo County." Vol. 10, (1880): 166-170.

Describes Odawa and Potawatomi government; knives; crime/punishment regarding murder; construction of wigwams; food; cooking; clothing; teaching/discipline/care for children; roles and treatment of women; courtship and marriage; religion and morals; measurement of time; and personal hygiene.

Hoppin, Ruth. "Personal Recollections of Pioneer Days." Vol. 38, (1912): 410-417.

Racist accounts of encounters with intoxicated Indians. Also explains that an Indian named Joseph Sinbennim murdered a white man named Wisner.

Knowlen, Thomas. "Sin Bin Nim." Vol. 28, (1897): 142-145.

Describes the capture of Joseph Sin Bin Nim, an Indian who murdered Kincaid Weisner in 1839 in Kalamazoo County.

Foote, Edward A. "Historical Sketch of the early days of Eaton County." Vol. 3, (1881): 379-383.

This account describes many aspects of Ojibwe and Potawatomi life: territory, housing and locking methods, making maple sugar, trails, character, teachers, horses, clothing, crimes and punishments, whiskey, the Potawatomi removal of 1840 and resistance to removal.

Goss, Dwight. "The Bench and Bar of Kent County." Vol. 35, (1907): 77-106.

Discusses mostly non-Indian matters, however, this essay does detail the first murder trial in Kent County, in which two white men were accused of killing an Indian woman, 1842-1843.

Day, E. H. "Sketches of the Northwest." Vol. 14, (1890): 205-256.

Reverend Day recounts his experiences as a missionary to the Indians of the extreme western part of Lake Superior, 1845. He discusses tobacco practices, his experiences teaching and preaching, Indian gender roles, religious beliefs, medicine, dances, feasts, totems, death/burial/mourning practices, naming practices, sports and games, justice, polygamy, gift giving, and levels of success in converting Indians to Christianity.

Hickey, M. "A Missionary Among the Indians." Vol. 4, (1883): 544-556.

Reverend Hickey provides a very detailed account of an Ojibwe council meeting in 1847 at which a murderer was tried and forgiven by the family of the chief whom he killed.