1833 – Treaty of Chicago | 1838 – Trail of Death


Figure 25. The last council of the Potawatomi Indians with Commissioners of the United States Government, held in Chicago, September 26, 1833. Reprinted from “The Last Council of the Pottawatomies, 1833,” by Lawrence C. Earle, 1902 (https://chicagology.com/goldenage/goldenage105/earle/earle6/).

Unfortunately, the Nottawaseppi Reservation was a momentary home in Michigan. In the 1833 Treaty of Chicago, signed September 26, 1833, the Potawatomi (including the Nottawaseppi Huron Band) ceded the Nottawaseppi Reservation and other lands located in Michigan to the United States. The treaty required the Potawatomi to remove west to new reservations in the Kansas Territory. Consequently, the U.S. Government ordered an involuntary removal of nearly every band of Potawatomi to Kansas by 1838.

Between 1833 and 1840, the ancestors of today’s Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) continued to reside on the ceded Nottawaseppi Reserve and other lands surrendered in the 1807 and 1821 Treaties (Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc., 1995, p. 9). By this time, their traditional means of providing for their families had suffered greatly, and the band was in a dramatically weakened state. To make matters worse, the Tribe suffered greatly during the winter of 1839-1840 because the government intentionally limited assistance and provisions to make removal to Kansas more achievable (Rodwan & Anewishki, 2009, p. 10).

Many Nottawaseppi Huron Potawatomi sought to avoid removal by fleeing to Potawatomi lands outside the reach of the United States army (i.e., Walpole Island located in what is now Canada), to lands still controlled by Ottawa kin north of the Grand River, or to protected Mission Communities in what is now Bradley and Holland, Michigan.


Earle, L. (1902). The Last Council of the Pottawatomies, 1833 (125 West Monroe Street, Chicago, IL). Chicago National Bank Building. https://chicagology.com/goldenage/goldenage105/earle/earle6/

Rodwan, J., & Anewishki, V. (2009). Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi: A People in Progress. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Environmental Department.

Summary Under the Criteria and Evidence for Proposed Finding Huron Potawatomi, Inc. (1995). United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Acknowledgement and Research. https://www.bia.gov/sites/bia.gov/files/assets/as-ia/ofa/petition/009_hurpot_MI/009_pf.pdf