The History of the Saugeen Indians

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Ontario Historical Society Research Publication No 5 1977


Copyright 1977 by the Ontario Historical Society Printed by Love Printing Service Limited Ottawa




Conquest and Settlement....1 The Impact of Indian Immigration into the Saugeen..22 The Saugeen Indian Land Surrenders.56 The Surrender of the Saugeen Peninsula.80 The Newash Surrender and Resettlement.97 The End of the Surrender and the Saugeen Reaction.122 The Saugeen Indian Trust Fund.148 Reserve Mismanagement.166 Sectarianism at Cape Croker.191




Routes and Battles of the Nation of the Three Fires.231 The Saugeen Lands Before the Surrenders. The 1854-1866 Surrenders and 'Foreign* Indian Settlers..234

Indian Affairs Organization Chart 1959. Funds Related to the Saugeen Indians.

Illustrations i) Saugeen Reserve Indians (cl890) ii) Chief Newash and Chief Charles Jones with a medal presented to his father Peter Kegedonce Jones by Queen Victoria iii) Cape Croker Indians skidding logs (1910) Note on the author and Acknowledgements



The history of the Saugeen Indians is a study of the people who form part of the Ojibway Tribe and who reside on reserves in Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. 'Saugeen' in the Ojibway language means

The word

'mouth of river'.1

These Indians inhabited the Saugeen River Watershed and the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula.

This now includes present day

Bruce County, most of Grey County, and the northern parts of Huron and Wellington counties.

Including the many islands

around the peninsula, the Saugeen Territory had encompassed approximately two million acres of land.

(See Appendix II)

Now they have less than thirty-two thousand acres.

They are

split into two bands each having a population of ?2
4. (Hereafter this document will be referred to as Recent Cor¬ respondence, I856.) My Underscore. 2C. Vandusen, op. cit., p.


82 they were most reluctant to cede their territory.



of negotiating a treaty, since "the Indians hold a deed or patent for this property,"** Anderson at the close of the coun¬ cil meeting at Owen Sound dictated the following to them: My friends: After talking all day yesterday and nearly all last night, on the subject of your reserve, you have concluded not to cede your land to the Government... You complain that the whites not only cut and take your timber from your lands, but that they are commencing to settle upon it, and you cannot pre¬ vent them, and I certainly do not think the Government will take the trouble to help you... The Government, as your guardian, have [sic] the power to act as it pleases with your reserve...5 Anderson believed that since the government had taken on the dubious position of 'guardian', it could treat the Indians as minors who had no legal rights.

He condemned the Saugeen

Indians in a letter written to Oliphant by saying that "in two days council they did not advance one good argument why the reserves should not be sold, beyond: sell our land.

'We don't want to

We want to keep it for our children’...."^

Although these were not considered good arguments in 1854, they were the same ones advanced by Head in 1836.

The latter

told the Saugeen Indians that if they gave up their lands south

16 August,

^P.A.C., R.G. 1854.

10, vol. 541, Anderson to Oliphant,

^Recent Correspondence, 5Ibid. 6Ibid.

1856, p. 12.

83 of Owen Sound, they could retain the Indian (Bruce) Penin¬ sula forever for "them and their children".7

Anderson also

felt it was not a valid argument when they stated that "We expect Indians to come here to settle.".8

Yet the Saugeen

Indians had invited 38 chiefs to petition the government to extend their reserve for the benefit of the Indians who were coming. Anderson indicated his attitudes They should be compelled by their Guardians to secure civilization that would result from their removal and consequent concentration. The means by which I would propose to collect them ... are first to point out the advantages accruing to them from it and inform them that they must remove to the appointed place before the next pay day as their annuities would in future be paid to them there and the share of those who would not avail themselves of this arrangement would remain to the credit of the tribe for other purposes— the reserve which would thus be vacated could be esti¬ mated and sold without delay.9 Since the Indians could not be persuaded to give up their lands easily, he advised the use of force to remove them. Many of the Indians had become dependent upon the annuities granted for the lands they had already surrendered.


in most parts of Southern Ontario game had become scarce as a result of increased European settlement, to cut off their annuities would have resulted in starvation for those Indians.

?See I836 Treaty. ^Recent Correspondence,

I856, p. 12.

^Vol. 541, Anderson to Oliphant, 29 August,


84 In the same month, Anderson warned the Indians at Owen Sound "that I think stirring times are coming round upon you and upon all Indians— emigrants are coming so thifck that I do not believe that the Government will be able to retain for you all your reserves-- at Owen Sound the munici¬ pal Council is already petitioning the Government upon that subject.".10

Anderson was obviously a believer in the conclu¬

sions drawn by the Swiss Jurist, Emeric de Vattel but his superior, Oliphant, at least wanted to give some lip service to the Proclamation of 1763,

The cause of Anderson’s frustra¬

tion was that "Their affairs [the Saugeens] are governed by the voice of the people, hence the difficulty experienced by the Indian Department".^

Democracy existed among the Indians

but not among the Euro-Canadians at the time. Wringing The Consent Oliphant believed Anderson's dictated ’treaty' would only lead to trouble and he decided to negotiate the surrender a couple of months later in the year 1854.

He was told by

Anderson that the main opposition came from the Saugeen settlement and,

instead of holding the meeting at Newash, as

10P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 54l, Anderson to Saugeens, 16 August,


11P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 54l, Anderson to Bury, 26 November,


85 Anderson did, he held it in the village of the strongest opponents to the surrender.

Oliphant gave a considerable

amount of detail on the 'negotiations': On the afternoon of the day following my arrival the chiefs of the Saugeen band arrived. As I looked for the strongest opposition from the head chief of this band, who entirely influences its opinion, I immediately sent for him privately, and, in a long interview, prepared him for the proposals I was about to make. He left me with strong expressions of dissent. Shortly after the chiefs of the other bands arrived, and anxious not to allow them an opportunity of con¬ sulting either among themselves or with Europeans, I called a grand council.... They were compelled to admit that squatters were, even then, locating them¬ selves without permission either from themselves or the department upon the reserve. Oliphant did not simply use the argument of white squatters taking over their land but he also offered them the attraction of the results from the sale of their lands.

In addition,

according to Vandusen, they were promised that "they would all be able to ride in carriages, roll in wealth and fare sumptuously every


After the chiefs were finally

promised medals from the Queen, the Superintendent-General still met "most decided opposition on the part of Alexander Madwayosh, principal chief of the Saugeen Band ... with whom l4 he maintained an animated discussion....". He signed the I836 surrender and objected to the new proposals.


■^Recent Correspondence, 185^» p. ^ See also P.A.C., 10, vo1. 541, Treaty Negotiations, 13 October, 185^. 13C. Vandusen, op. cit., p. 51* ^Recent Correspondence,

1856, p. 4.

86 The situation was not propitious, for Madwayosh had incurred some debts to merchant Hugh Johnson of the town of Goderich.

At this time there was the possibility that he

would be put in jail as a result of these debts.

Six months

before the surrender he attempted to eliminate this problem. In a letter to Anderson he commented that "We belive there is some land unsold at Goderich, which belongs to these Indians at Saugeen, of which we wish to dispose of, for the payment of old debts.This was certainly the act of a desperate man since Goderich was at least twenty miles south of the Saugeen Territory even before the I836 surrender.

In the

three cases involving C. Miller vs. A. Madwayosh, R. Parke vs. A. Madwayosh and B. Moderwell vs. A. Madwayosh, the Civil Secretary commented howi

"Several suits have been initiated

against the Saugeen Indians and his Lordship has no power to interfere, where cases have been brought before a court of justice.".^ the surrender.

These cases were not resolved at the time of It is most likely that they influenced the

chief's decision to sign since he was not forced into debtor's prison after bending to the wishes of the Indian Department. Eventually a treaty was obtained, October 13,


^P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 413, Alexander Madwayosh to Anderson, 3 March, 1854. 18 April,

1^P.A.C., R.G. 1847.

10, vol. 409, Campbell to Anderson,

87 but some people felt that it was not legal.

Vandusen, in a

letter to Lord Bury, the new Superintendent-General, stated that s A council was called by Mr. Oliphant last Oct. at Saugeen, without giving notice to the Newash Band till after all the details of the Treaty were dis¬ cussed; and no notice whatever of the council was given to the band at Colpoy Bay. One Indian of the band happened to be present but ... not a member of this tribe. He has no share in the annuities of their lands..., yet he by Mr. Oliphant is made a chief in the Treaty. ' The signator, John H. Beatty, the only Indian from Colpoy Bay who attended and signed the 1854 Treaty had no authority to represent this band in the surrender yet he had been made a 1P chief! Chiefs Thomas Sky and Walker Smith were the recog¬ nized chiefs of that band before and after the surrender.^ Beatty was only the writer and interpreter of the Colpoy Bay Band.

Anderson, in all of the Department correspondence he

had with this band recognized Sky and Smith as the chiefs but never Beatty.

The chiefs from the Newash settlement were


C. Vandusen, op. cit., p. 97. See also Lawrence J. Burpee, The Oxford Encyclopaedia of Canadian History (London, 1926), p. 70. William Coutts Keppel, Viscount Bury (I832-I852) was private secretary to Lord John Russell, 1855? SuperintendentGeneral for Indians Affairs for Canada, 1854-1856; and left his numerous family names tagged to townships, villages and natural features of the Saugeen Peninsula. 1P

C. Vandusen,

op. cit., p. 55.

~^Wesleyan-Methodist Report, I850, p. XII. See also P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 541, Anderson to Beatty. He was receiv¬ ing L 6 for this position. P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 413, Ander¬ son to Beatty, Writer-Interpreter, 1 December, 1856. 20C. Vandusen,

op. cit., p. 56.

88 represented by such figures as James Newash but he was a blind old man, and J.T. Wahbahdick whom the Indian Department con¬ sidered too much a drunkard to hold office.

Moreover, "the

Newash Chiefs could not understand a word of English and were too late to propose any new arrangement".


As a result of

signing this treaty "the Indians met in General Council to propose to the Government a change in the appointment of some of their chiefs, who were both ignorant and mischievous, and had been kept in office by the Indian Department, on the re¬ commendation of Captain Anderson, to the great annoyance of the tribe".


Under these conditions it is debatable whether

this surrender was legally binding. The terms of the treaty were certainly not the ones that the Indians wanted.

There is evidence of certain condi¬

tions that the Saugeen Indians were willing to consider.


Indians wished to retain coastal land and the Saugeen water¬ shed while they were willing to give up the northern part of the Saugeen Peninsula.

All was taken from them but 9,000

acres at Saugeen, 1,280 at Chief's Point,

10,000 at Newash,

6,000 at Colpoy Bay and 18,686 at Cape Croker.

The treaty,

as in the 1836 surrender, contained the statement that all

21Ibid., p. 64. op P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. Anderson to P.J. Kegedonce, 21 March, 1854. "I am glad to find your people are ^beginning to see the advantage of turning their land to profit by giving it up...." See also Recent Correspondence, op. cit., I856, p. 13.

89 reserves nwe hereby retain to ourselves and our children in perpetuity," but it also included the agreement that "the interest of the principal sum arising out of the sale of our lands be regularly paid-",23

These last two conditions

must have been attractive if the Indians could count on the government living up to the agreement. Indian Resistance

The following year the Government began to encroach upon the Saugeen Indians'

'new perpetual' reserves.

extending the town-plots of Southampton,


entered on the lands

north of Copway Road, and were met by threats from the Indians who began to remove the stakes and posts set up to mark the 24 survey. Chief Wahbahdick called on C. Rankin and ordered 2K the surveying party to desist. George Gould stopped the survey and informed the Government about the matter.


Indians considered Copway Road the boundary line between the town of Southampton and the Indian Reserve for obvious reasons. Oliphant in establishing this boundary did not have a compass


See J.L. Morris, op. cit., p. 3^ for the 1854 Treaty which indicates the five reserves established at this time. For number of acres see Government Report on Indian Affairs, 30 June, 1900, on "Statement Related to the Indians in the County of Bruce”. 2^N. Robertson, op. cit., p. 7. The road was named after the Reverend George Copway, a Mississaga missionary who visited the Saugeens in the 1840s.


Smith, op. cit., p. 56.

90 and considered this road as running due North.


the mistake, the surveyors started at the wrong point; they did not use the road as a marker since the treaty did not mention it.

The new line would result in the Indians being

confined about five and a half miles from Lake Huron, their prime source of fish!77

On May 5"th,

1855» "the Saugeen Indians

sent a deputation to Quebec to the Government in order to solve the problem peacefully.

The representatives of the

Indians were Alexander Madwayosh, and John Kedahyegon of the Saugeen Band; and John Thomas Wahbahdick and David Sawyer, of the Newash Band, along with C. Vandusen.

They were refused

an 'official' audience with Lord Bury who was in charge of Indian Affairs, because they did not have a letter of intro¬ duction from Anderson.

They never attempted to get this

letter because they realized that Anderson had been against the retention of the disputed southern reserves.

It is most

likely that he would have permitted the survey party to con¬ tinue cutting into the Saugeen Reserve.

Bury did give them

an unofficial interview which resolved nothing.


Since the

Legislative Assembly was in session at the time, the petitioners, who had just been rejected by their 'Great White Father’, presented their case to the Assembly.

C. Vandusen, op. cit., p. 81. 27Ibid., p. 82. 28

C. Vandusen, op. cit.. p. 83

91 Petition received and read} of the Reverend C. Vandusen and others of Owen Sound representing that a Treaty made between the Government and the Indians of the Ojibway Tribe of the Indian Reserve, had not been fairly carried out, praying that the Indian Department in Canada be placed^under the control of the Provincial Government. The petition died as the House was prorogued.

Little could

have been done as far as the boundry dispute was concerned since it was beyond their jurisdiction, but it was the first request for Provincial control over Indian Affairs. left Quebec in very bad humour.


W.J. Doukes and Dr. Lauchlan

Gilchrist considered it a wonder the entire white population of Owen Sound was not wiped out by the Indians when the depu¬ tation returned from Quebec.Although this was an exaggera¬ tion, had the situation not changed, bloodshed could have resulted. The Flood Wood Crossing Pow Wow News of the seriousness of the problem reached Lord Bury and in less than a month after the 'unofficial audience' he went to the Indian Peninsula.


F. Lamourandiere, the

jpurna1 of the Legislative Assembly, 27 Nay,


3°See old newspaper clippings from the Owen Sound SunTimes in the Grey County Museum. Had hostilities developed, it is more likely that the Indians would have been defeated since they were outnumbered in the Saugeen Territory by I855.


31 J P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 54l, Anderson to Bury, 30 May, W. Chesley reported the unrest among the Indians.

92 Indian Secretary at Cape Croker at the turn of the century, gave the oral tradition of this event. Without loss of time Lord Bury came to Owen Sound with a staff of officers and cited the Saugeen Indian chiefs to appear before him there, sending a special courier to personally deliver the message. The chiefs, however, not being in good humour, flatly refused. A second message more conciliatory in tone was dispatched, but to no effect. At last, after long parleying, it was agreed that each party come half way, to the 'Flood-wood Crossing', as the place was then called, now Allenford, where a regular Pow-wow was held in full Indian style, commencing with a feast. After this was disposed of, Captain T.G. Anderson, the Indian Superintendent of the District, an old wily Indian trader, who knew the Indian character and the means to please them, conducted the proceedings by dancing the pow-wow in a circle around the councilfire. A lot of young braves followed. Immediately after this exhibition the conference began, that led to the 'pipe of peace' being smoked by everyone, by which good feeling and friendship were restored where a few days before discord reigned supreme.32 Colpway Road was made the boundary line between the townsite of Southampton and the Saugeen Indian village.


This was one

of the few times the Indians of the Saugeen were partly treated as equals in negotiations with the government.^

Most likely

their stand prevented their removal to the Manitoulin Island and retained their reserve outside Southampton where it remains today.

32N. Robertson, op. cit,, p. 708. 33j.l. Morris, op. cit., pp. 35-36. 3^A plaque was established at Allenford by the Govern¬ ment. The present chief (1972) of the Saugeen reserve, James Mason, gave another account of the 'Flood-wood Crossing Pow¬ wow'. He claims that his grandfather was at this meeting which simply involved great quantities of whisky to placate the Saugeen Indians.

93 The solution to the boundary problem itself was not completely satisfactory to the Saugeens.

In a petition to

Sir Edmund Walker Head, Governor-General of British North America, they claimed that "L. Oliphant, our late Superin¬ tendent in 1854, understood at the time of the surrender that our Tribe reserved six miles on the South Boundary, instead of three and a half."-^3

This area of land was not returned

to the Saugeen Band; "The band lost most of their meadows by the sale of 1856."36

As a result it was necessary in the

following years to buy hay for their animals.

In addition,

they "further intended to reserve the narrow strips, the two miles which were reserved in the year 1851".


These were

not retained but became part of the road entering Owen Sound at one end and Southampton at the other.

While one can under¬

stand the need for a road allowance into the towns, one can question the confiscation of the meadows since it was the main aim of the government to advance agriculture among the Indians.

R.G. 10, 427, Saugeen (Chief Alexander Madwayosh, John Kedahyegon, John Johnson) to Sir Edmund Walker Head, 8 August, 1856. 35p.A.C.,

^Ibid. , A. McNabb to S. Chesley,

16 July,


-^Ibid., vol. 413, Saugeen Chiefs to Anderson, 8 October, 1855*

94 Punishment and Reward There was as well a great deal of confusion on the part of the Indian Department involving the money of the Saugeen Indians. them.

They made repeated requests for money owing

They did not receive the money from the sale of the

’Half-mile’ or 'Indian' strip and Chantry Island, near South¬ ampton or from the lease of the Fishing Islands.-^® denied responsibilityt


"the parties who have repeatedly

promised to pay the rent have not yet done so, there are no funds at present to meet your request”.


He took no action

and as a result the Saugeen Indians were left with no funds from the islands. gation.

The money problems prompted Bury's investi¬

He found £> 91. 3s. 2d. undrawn in the Saugeen account

and L 75 for salaries which had not been distributed,^0 while the Newash Band had L 125 in their account as well as L 37. 10s. rent from the Fishing Islands.

Why this money was not

distributed to the Indians by Anderson is a mystery, although Anderson had stated that it was one way of obtaining a sur¬ render.

Moreover, the distribution of annuities to Saugeen

and Newash had been mishandled by Anderson.

In January,


-^Ibid. , Saugeen Indians to Anderson, 4 August, I855. W. McNabb bought the Island yet he was Crown Land Agent. 39

Ibid., vol. 541, Saugeen chiefs to Anderson, 8 November, 1855* ^°Thid.. Anderson to Bury, 4 December,


95 i 2.


lid. each and a total of L 643. 5s. 6id. were dis¬

tributed to Saugeen while fc 4 3s. 7d each and a total of t 658. 6s 83-d. went to the Newash settlement, even though there were thirty-six individuals more at the Saugeen settle¬ ment.

The Indians at Saugeen claimed that each band should

have received an equal share, but Anderson likely made this arrangement since the Saugeen Band was the one which most objected to the surrenders.

The Potawatomi who were the new¬

comers were to receive more annuities than the actual owners 4l of the land. Bury intervened. By August, 1855> this prob¬ lem was partly rectified. 15s.

The Saugeen Band received L 440.

lid. while the Newash Band obtained £ 234.l4s.12d.


Nevertheless the three chiefs who went to Montreal to present their petition to the Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs and then to the Legislative Assembly were stripped of office 43 within two years after that event. Anderson was ruthless in seeking his objectives. Conclusions The 1854 surrender had carved up the 'large reserve of the Saugeen Peninsula and left five small reserve pockets

^Ibid., Anderson to Bury,

15 January,

Ibid., Anderson to Bury, 24 August,

1855* I855.

^Ibid. , Anderson to Alexander Nadwayosh and John Kadahyegwon, 29 January, I857. (The two Saugeen chiefs "pe¬ titioned to receive their salaries and positions’-- these are denied".)

96 scattered throughout the territory.

The hunting grounds had

passed into the hands of the European settlers as a result of manipulation, economic pressures, and false promises. that remained were the Indian villages and farms.


One would

assume that the surrender period should stop here since it was the Government's aim to make farmers out of the Saugeens. The major argument which had been used to obtain the surrenders was the freeing of the hunting grounds for cultivation and the establishing of the Indians in an agrarian state. been accomplished by 185^.

Yet as evidenced by the whites'

interest in I856, this was not enough. at the Indians expense.

This had

More would be exacted

(See Appendix IX)

CHAPTER V THE NEWASH SURRENDER AND RESETTLEMENT The Department of Indian Affairs had experienced the tenacity of the Saugeen Band in its desire to hold onto its ancestral lands, therefore,

it attempted to obtain a surren¬

der from the factionalized and troubled Newash Band.


10,000 acres were coveted! [It]. contained some rich for it bordered upon the So desirable was it that there. The names of the McNaught, Monck, Huston,

land accessibly situated growing town of Owen Sound. white men had already settled first pioneers were Ormiston, and Joseph Lundy ....

On several occasions laws had been passed by the government to "prevent encroachments on their lands"2 but there is no evidence that they were put into effect.

Promises had been

made in several treaties with the Saugeen Indians to protect 3 them "from encroachments of the whites" but these were broken at the time they were being made.

The white population of

Owen Sound in 1856 was 1,985 and in January the next year it was incorporated into a town.


One month later the Newash

Band was dispossessed of their village and their reserve of 10,000 acres.

■^E.L. March, op. cit♦, p. 210. ^Indian Affairs Branch, Queen’s Printer 1966, p. 21.

Indians of Ontario, Ottawa 1

^J.L. Morris, op^ cit., pp. 28-3^. 4W.W. Smith, ojDj«_ cit., p. 215.


98 Economic Pressures The government manipulation of Band funds also caused problems for the Newash Band.

In the year of the surrender

(1857) their missionary reported 1 Though they have many thousand pounds in the hands of others yet very little is at their own command. The amount of annuities paid to each, is about from six to ten dollars a year, which does not supply their real wants one month, the rest of the time they fish, hunt or beg.5 Were the officials putting economic pressure on the Newash to obtain a surrender?

A commissioners report stated in 1856 that

the 343 Saugeen Indians had a predicted income of £ 6,030 annual interest on their money which according to the treaty was to be paid regularly to them with their annuities, but the total amount of the money very seldom got to the Indians because of the "dishonest agents".^

As early as November 20,

I856, in the

first land auction of the Saugeen Peninsula i, 135*730 were . 7 obtained. Interest on this was to go to the Saugeen Indians. Up to this time the accounts of the Indian Department were not regularly audited


and the system was lax>

^Wesleyan Methodist Report,

I857, p. XXIII.

^Recent Correspondence, I856, op. cit., p. 15; J.L. Morris, op. cit., p. 35; C. Vandusen, op. cit., pp. 143. 7

N. Robertson, op. cit., p.




I858, op. cit., p.



99 since the Saugeen Sales have been carried on at HeadQuarters, the check so imposed has been considerably weakened, inasmuch as it is impossible to prevent parties, who reside in the County, from sending money directly to Headquarters. As the Superintendent General under the present_system gives no security, an opening is affgrded by which the loss might accrue to the In¬ dians ." As a result of this situation, there was "an unwillingness on the part of the Indians to surrender their lands because of ... the losses they have suffered through the carelessness and dishonesty of those appointed to watch over their interests".10 Anderson called the Newash Band at the village outside Owen Sound "squalid and thriftless"11 yet he, according to the Sau¬ geen Indians, was one of the dishonest officers appointed by the Imperial Authority which kept the Band in its lowly con¬ dition. 12 Not only the Superintendent but also the missionaries were suspected of causing economic problems as Reverend J. Cathey related to Anderson: I write in haste [sic] and in confidence to put you on your guard against certain attempts that are being made to raise a disturbance concerning money matters connected with the Indian Department. Chief Alexander Madwayosh, his son Moses, and John T. Wahbahdick start tomorrow for Toronto to see the GovernorGeneral, and as I am told they intend to proceed from thence to Cobourg. You will probably have a visit from

^Ibid♦, p.

24 March,


10Ibid., p.


nibid. , p.


l2P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 409, R. Carney to Anderson, 1850; and vol. 410, Sawyer to Anderson, 6 April, I850.

100 them in a few days. Great dissatisfactions appear to have prevailed among the Saugeen Band for some time past concerning money matters and a great storm has been raised about salaries. Captain Anderson is 'deceiving' them, David Sawyer has 'embezzled their money', I am 'getting too much salary' while the chiefs 'get too little'. ,These appear to be the whims enter¬ tained among them.-' Some of these ministers such as Reverend George Copway, caused the Saugeen Indians to become indebted to merchants through 14 the purchase of food for large 'camp meetings'. Their presents also were limited after October 27,

184-5; as no Indian

born from that date was to receive these presents.^


greatest amount of their annuity money was spent on food to prevent starvation.

Although there are many cases of such

requisitions, two illustrations are sufficient.

In 1846

twenty barrels of flour and ten of pork were needed.^


years later twelve barrels of flour and six of pork were re¬ quired, while in that year they also requisitioned ten pounds of timothy seed which were sent for cultivation.


The timothy

was for the purpose of feeding the oxen which had been purchased

~*~-^Ibid., vol. 410, Cathey to Anderson, 12 April, 1850. 14 Ibid., Sawyer to Anderson, 27 October, 1845; and Anderson Letter Book, Anderson to Chief Metewob of Saugeen, 12 January, 1846. ''Copway requisitioned food for a camp meeting at Saugeen without permission and council [sic] from the Department. ^P.A.C., R.G. 10, vol. 410, Sawyer to Anderson, 12 October, 1845, (the presents were limited to 437 Indians at 3 Saugeen and Newash). J.E. Hodgetts, op. cit., pp. 205-225. 1(^P.A.C., R.G. 10, Anderson Letter Book, Charles J. Rowe for Anderson to Sawyer, 7 July, 1846.

8 April,

^P.A.C., R.G. I852.

10, vol. 413, Sawyer to Anderson,

101 earlier. of a


W, Smith claimed that these oxen were eaten because

'hard' winter, therefore, the practice of giving oxen to

the Indians was discouraged.^

Requests for more oxen were made

to the Department on several occasions, but there is no indica¬ tion that they were all granted.20 If the Indians were to give up hunting, they had to have some means of subsisting.

Fish could provide the neces¬

sary food but requests for salt to preserve the fish were not 21 granted by Anderson. Moreover, requests to build saw mills at all three Indian settlements, Saugeen, Colpoy Bay, and Newash, were denied.


Yet the Indian Department was willing

to play favourites in having non-Indians establish mills on Indian lands. to Andersont

This is indicated in a letter by S.Y. Chesley "Application from Mr. A. McNabb of the Crown

Land Office to lease a mill at Sauble River, he is a friend of mine and as such I recommend him to your favourable considera¬ tion. 23

it was granted.

Three years later the Saugeen Band

^Ibid., vol. 409, Superintendent-General Major Camp¬ bell to Anderson, 10 July, 1849. Twenty pounds was paid for oxen which were sent from Goderich to Saugeen. ■^W.W. Smith, 1852,

op. cit. , p.


2oP.A.C., R.C. 10, vol. 413, Sawyer to Anderson, 4 May, for yoke of oxen and 13 March, I853 two yoke of oxen. 21Ibid_L, vol. 410, Sawyer to Anderson, 6 October.,


22Ibid., vol. 413, James McNabb to Anderson, 8 April, 1847. 2^Ibid., vol. 410, Chesley to Anderson, 9 October,


102 was approached to sell the mill site but the chiefs responded« "Our Indians are not desirous to surrender that portion of land, particularly the mill privilege at Riviere aux Sauble, to the Crown.".


Moreover, the Indians in the Saugeen Penin¬

sula were not even allowed to take economic advantage of their timber to provide basic necessities.

In I856 the three Indian

settlements were informed "if any Indian shall, after the re¬ ceipt of this letter, cut or sell timber to a white man, he shall be subject to loss of his share of the annuities".


With this dictum the Indians became more dependent upon the paternalism of the government and it was tremendously difficult for them to advance above the level of mere subsistance. The Newash Village Even though the Newash Band lacked substantial aid, their settlement showed many signs of becoming a prosperous farming community.

As early as 1846 Sawyer reported that "We

have seven hewn log houses, eight frame houses, a good mission house, and a large chapel, school house, barn etc."

and in

I856 with seven yoke oxen they produced 49 bushels of wheat,


Ibid., vol. 413, Saugeen Chiefs to Anderson, 12 November, 1853* ^Ibid. . vol. 54l, Anderson to Saugeen, Newash and Colpoy Bay bands, 20 June, I856. 26

Wesleyan-Methodist Report,

1846, p. XVIII.

103 122 bushels of Indian Corn, 38 bushels of peas, 935 bushels of potatoes and 8-§- tons of hay.^?

When one realizes that this

was the first generation that cultivated the soil,

it was a

great achievement. The Jones Treaty

Lands taken from the Saugeen Indians in the past had only been hunting grounds and the Indians had not been obliged to remove from their established villages.

Nevertheless, the

European settlers in Owen Sound in 1857 were enviously looking at the fertile land of their neighbours, ment, and the government believedt

in the Newash settle¬

"The jealously now enter¬

tained against the native race by their white neighbours will disappear when the land, the cause of the strife, the power of the latter.".


is put within

The Superintendent-General,

R.T. Pennefather, attempted to get a surrender, but he was at first refused.


He then decided to use Oliphant’s approach

"in cases where the Indians obstinately refuse to accede to any terms of surrender ... gentle means of coersion might be applied,...".-^0

Against all Indian tradition and in every way

illegal "chiefs in the Newash Band were appointed by the Indian


I858, op. cit., p. 29.

28Ibid., p.


29§utton Journals, No. I. -^Report,

I858, p.


104 Department, contrary to the unanimous vote of the General Council of the Tribe'.* .31

A letter written by Van Dusen in the

Owen Sound Comet, the pioneer newspaper, statedi

"This land

was surrendered by the more ignorant, indolent and stupid part of the Tribe....",32

Unwilling to negotiate the treaty in the

Indian camp as the government had done in the previous surren¬ ders, the Indians "appointed as chiefs by the Imperial Govern¬ ment surrendered the Newash Reserve in the safety of the city of Toronto".33 The delegation that went to Toronto on February 9»


involved six Indians from the Newash Reserve with their interpreter, Charles Keeshick.

One month previous to the Newash

surrender, twenty-two chiefs and warriors from Newash, along with the Saugeen Band, surrendered 6,000 acres to the Colpoy Bay Band.33

Yet in the 1857 surrender only about one-quarter

of them were represented when their own reserve of 10,000 acres was being surrendered.

Moreover, only half of those who signed

the 1857 surrender were represented in the 1854 surrender of

31c. Vandusen, op. cit., p. 122. letter to Legislature)

(from Newash Band

32The Comet, July 15, I858. Parts of this early news¬ paper may be found on microfilm at the Owen Sound Sun-Times Office. 33C. Vandusen, op. cit., p. 34


Also see I857 Treaty.


Indian Treaties, op. cit., Treaty No. 82.


. Ibid., Treaty No. 80.

105 the Saugeen Peninsula.

Of those who signed the I857 treaty

five were adopted members of the Band, the majority of whom O

were Potawatomi.


Four warriors from Newash who had signed

the 185^- treaty did not sign the surrender of their own re¬ serve, they included key individuals James Newash, and David Sawyer.3?


Thomas Wahbahdick,

Mayor William Miller of

Owen Sound considered Sawyer one of the chiefs of the Newash Band.38 In the case of J.T. Wahbahdick who signed the treaty there is abundant evidence to indicate that the Department of Indian Affairs did not consider him worthy of performing such a function.

On three separate occasions Anderson had removed

him from his position as chief of the Newash Band.

In the last

instance (1855) he was told by the Superintendent that because of his drunkeness, dishonesty, and so on, he would never be chief again.

He, however, was won over by being made chief

during the signing of the treaty. The consent of Peter Kegedonce Jones is a much more complex problem.


indicated that the Newash, Saugeen

and Colpoy Bay Bands dismissed Peter K. Jones from the office of chief; and three months later he wrote that "Potawatamies

•^Schedule of Occupied Lands, op. cit. -^Indian Treaties, op. cit., see Saugeen Surrenders. 3®David Sawyer, although an adopted member, controlled a large faction of the Methodist Ojibway. op. cit., p. 31*

See C. Vandusen,

106 under Peter K. Jones rally around Captain Anderson sustaining him in what the tribe considers

'partial and illegal' acts,

and a slander upon the whole tribe.".

The difficulty, as

demonstrated earlier, resulted from and was exacerbated by religious factionalism. Mrs. J. Akiwenzie, whose grandfather was Peter Kegedonce Jones,

indicates that he willingly signed Treaty No. 82, the

Jones Treaty.^0

"The ready availability of the fire water was

destroying his people at Owen Sound.

He took the initiative

to come to isolated Cape Croker in order to encourage the rest of his people to follow.".^-'''

Five years before the surrender

his wife gave birth to a son at Cape Croker.

It was relatively

isolated being a considerable distance from any white settle¬ ment at the time and could only be easily reached by water. One of the missionaries of the Saugeen Peninsula saw the prob¬ lem clearly:

39c. Vandusen, op. cit., pp. 72, 92.. ^®The people at the Cape Croker Reserve refer to this as the 'Jones Treaty'. Treaty No. 82 removed the Band from Newash to Cape Croker. 4l See Mrs. J. Akiwenzie at Cape Croker. Chief's Point is another isolated reserve at this time, and gets its name from a Saugeen chief who stayed there. The problems of 'fire-water', without question, were degrading his people as seen in almost every early Methodist report to the home office. See also, O.P.A. Box 1031 Cape Croker Indian Reserve Records, 'Peter Kegedonce Jones'. Chief Jones' son Charles, lived to be 100 years old, dying in 1952. The Jones family dominated the position of chief at the Cape as the following chiefs there indicate: Peter K. Jones, Thomas Jones, Arthur Jones, John C. Jones. Joneses were highly respected.

10? Drink they can get in abundance from those who sell it m the neighbouring village, in exchange for their sugar or money when they have any; the law prohibiting this appears to be a dead letter in this section of the country. This has given a great pain and trouble....42 Whisky sold at twenty-five cents per gallon in Owen Sound at the time.


Since the Imperial Government did not enforce

prohibition, Peter K. Jones felt that his Band was not in a healthy environment near Owen Sound.44

His decision to surren¬

der may also have been influenced by the fact that he was not as well established at Newash as many of the other members of the Band were, and, therefore, he had little to lose and possi¬ bly much to gain from the signing of the treaty. Those who signed the I857 Treaty did not fully repre¬ sent the feeling of the Band at Newash.

The general attitude

of the Indians on this point is clearly expressed by Mrs. John McLean whose family pioneered Owen Sound 1 About 1854 [sic, (I858)] when the move to Cape Croker was being ordered, the Indians became very hostile. They did not like the idea of leaving Brooke [Newash at the time], and paraded the town with their war paint on. For some weeks the people of Owen Sound kept their doors and windows well barred and the sight of an Indian was enough to send the children scamping to shelter.45

42Wesleyan-Methodist Report,

i860, p. XVIII.

48 -'The Comet, June, I857, Owen Sound. Owen Sound was about the only town in Ontario that remained ’dry' until recent¬ ly (1972). Possibly it is because of the problems noted in this paragra ph. 44The Newash village is now part of Owen Sound, indi¬ cating its closeness. 4Owen Sound Sun Times, at the Grey County Museum.

found in newspaper clippings

108 This was confirmed by the Methodist Report from the Newash Reserve: During the past year important changes have been made, which greatly affected the temporal condition of the Indians composing the Newash Band. Last winter a surrender was made extending from the head of the Bay at Owen Sound, several miles down the shore to Colpoy Bay. Since that surrender was made, the Indians appear more unsettled than before, and we have not been able to induce but very few of them to plant or sow anything this spring. The principal part of the Ojibways compos¬ ing this Band, are unwilling to settle at Cape Croker [sic]. The Imperial Government again forced the Indians off their land. Reaction of the Acculturated Indians The money that was raised from auctioning off the land was to go into the Newash Band fund, but several of the Newash Indians that had extensive improvements on their land wished to retain their farms.

Catherine Sutton, David Sawyer,

and Abner Elliott, among others, bought their respective lots at the auction sale although they had previously bought or were given 'Indian Deeds' to the land by the General Council of the Saugeen Bands.At the Auction sale of the land "from representation and statements made by Mrs. William Sutton and other Indians an excitment [sic] was got up in their favour and


Wesleyan-Methodist Report,

I858, p. XXIII.

47 'C. Vandusen, op. cit., pp. 110-130. These were given by the Methodist and Wahbahdick faction but not the Kegedonce party, see Chapter III.

109 the public would not bid against them".48 49i acres of land at $5.00 per acre.

Mrs. Sutton "got

If there had been the

usual competition and the white people had bid for their lots, they would have brought three or four dollars an acre more".49 All the Indians were refused their deeds by the government. Whether Superintendent W. Band's

Bartlett attempted to protect the

interest or eliminate all the Indians

Sound area

is difficult to say.

was Nah-nee-ba-wee-quay Sunego and-tall Black Squirrel),

from the Owen

Mrs. Sutton, whose Indian name (The-Woman-who-stands-straight-

had come with the Mississagas to

settle with the Newash Band over a decade previous to the surrender but she had married a non-Indian by the name of William Sutton.^®

Bartlett may have been attempting to prevent

William Sutton from using this marriage to take advantage of the Newash.

It was quite clear that the Newash wanted such


Indians to take advantage of the opportunity of

owning their own land as individuals

in a white settlement.

In a General Council they stated their collective opinion on this matter.


P.A.C., R.G. Chiefs and Councillors,

10, vol. 544, Bennett to Cape Croker 11 December, I858.

49Ibid. 5°See marriage certificate at the Owen Sound and Grey County Archives. She was married by Peter Jones January 9» 1839 in the Indian village on the Credit River.

110 We made a petition to the Indian Department requesting that if any Indian should be able to purchase land, they should have it half the upset price— and it was granted to us. We follow this rule in reference to Mrs. Sutton. She is entitled to the land she bid off, and we beg it may be granted to her. She is entitled to her improvement money as much as the rest of us. Mrs. Sutton stands as one of us; she is entitled to her rights as one with us, as she was adopted into our Band and has a right of her portion to all our shares.and complaints, as fully explained in our presence.-3 This statement was sent to Bartlett in September,

1858 and again

it was reiterated for the second time the following year with the addition of a request for Catherine Sutton's annuities since I852.