As part of the Treaty of St. Joseph, signed September 19, 1827, settlements along the River Rouge and River Raisin, in southeast Michigan, as well as areas in southwest Michigan around the Kalamazoo River, were ceded to the U.S. Government.
Language included in this new treaty cited the need to “consolidate some of the dispersed bands of the Potawatamie Tribe in the Territory of Michigan,” listing several tracts of land “heretofore reserved for the use of the said Tribe” which were to be ceded to the United States. Thus, in addition to ceding four of the five 1821 reservations, the Huron Potawatomi also ceded most of the 1807 reservations, except for a one-half section of land on River Raisin where Chief Pierre Moran resided.
The treaty makes it clear these lands were being ceded to keep the Potawatomi “as far as practicable from the settlements of the Whites” as well as the territorial road leading from Detroit to Chicago.
Conversely, this treaty enlarged the Nottawaseppi Reservation to 99 Sections (a “Section” is an area nominally one square mile, containing 640 acres). At that time, the reservation was inhabited by nearly 1,500 people and was an excellent tract of wilderness containing fine, deep-soiled prairies, exceptional timber, and the navigable waters of the St. Joseph River.
Fay, George E., ed. Treaties Between the Potawatomi Tribe of Indians and the United States of America, 1789 – 1867. Greeley, Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, 1971.
“Indian Villages, Reservations, and Removal.” Detroit Urbanism: Uncovering the History of Our Roads, Borders, and Built Environment, Paul Sewick, 7 Mar. 2016, detroiturbanism.blogspot.com/2016/03/indian-villages-reservations-and-removal.html.
Kappler, Charles J., ed. Indian Treaties 1778-1883. Mattituck, New York, Amereon House, 1972.
Rodwan, John, and Virginia Anewishki. Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, A People in Progress. Pine Creek Reservation, 2009.