Wawatam

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Wawatam (little goose [1] ) (fl. 1762 1764) was an 18th-century Odawa chief who lived in the northern region of present-day Michigan's Lower Peninsula in an area along the Lake Michigan shoreline known by the Odawa as Waganawkezee (it is bent). [2]

Floruit, abbreviated fl., Latin for "he/she flourished", denotes a date or period during which a person was known to have been alive or active. In English, the word may also be used as a noun indicating the time when someone flourished.

Michigan State of the United States of America

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Lake Michigan One of the Great Lakes of North America

Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. The other four Great Lakes are shared by the U.S. and Canada. It is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third-largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron. To the east, its basin is conjoined with that of Lake Huron through the wide Straits of Mackinac, giving it the same surface elevation as its easterly counterpart; the two are technically a single lake.

Contents

Life

Wawatam was likely born near the Odawa Middle Village, Anamiewatigoing, now Cross Village. He is known through his rescue of and friendship with British fur trader Alexander Henry the elder from the Ojibwas following the capture of Fort Michilimackinac in June 1763 during Pontiac's Rebellion. Wawatam, the leader and patriarch of an extended family of Odawa, rescued Henry after he had initially become an Ojibwe possession as a spoil of war, and soon there after, again came to Henry's rescue by hiding him in a Cave on nearby Mackinac Island. For nearly a year after this second rescue (1763-1764), he lived as part of Wawatam's family, following them on their seasonal moves to hunting and fishing areas inland from Lake Michigan. Henry's observations of Odawa hunting and living practices became a significant contribution to Algonquian anthropology.

Cross Village Township, Michigan Civil township in Michigan, United States

Cross Village Township is a civil township of Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the township population was 294.

Alexander Henry the elder British-Canadian fur trader

Alexander Henry 'The Elder' was one of the leading pioneers of the British-Canadian fur trade following the British Conquest of New France; a partner in the North West Company, and a founding member and vice-chairman of the Beaver Club. In 1763–64, he lived and hunted with Wawatam of the Ojibwa, who had adopted him as a brother.

Fort Michilimackinac

Fort Michilimackinac was an 18th-century French, and later British, fort and trading post at the Straits of Mackinac; it was built on the northern tip of the lower peninsula of the present-day state of Michigan in the United States. Built around 1715, and abandoned in 1783, it was located along the Straits, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan of the Great Lakes of North America. Present-day Mackinaw City developed around the site of the fort, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. It is preserved as an open-air historical museum, with several reconstructed wooden buildings and palisade.

Henry later returned to "civilization." Successful as a fur trader in later life, he always credited Wawatam with saving his life. The 18th century fort, scene of Wawatam's rescue of Henry, has been reconstructed and is now an active living history museum. The site is located just west of downtown Mackinaw City at the Lower Peninsula's headland.

Mackinaw City, Michigan Village in Michigan, United States

Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 806 at the 2010 census; the population surges during the summer tourist season, including an influx of tourists and seasonal workers who serve in the shops, hotels and other recreational facilities there and in the surrounding region. Mackinaw City is at the northern tip (headland) of the Michigan's Lower Peninsula along the southern shore of the Straits of Mackinac. Across the straits lies the state's Upper Peninsula. These two land masses are physically connected by the Mackinac Bridge, which runs from Mackinaw City north to St. Ignace. Mackinaw City is also the primary base for ferry service to Mackinac Island, located to the northeast in the straits.

Legacy

On the dock at St. Ignace and within shadow distance from the Wawatam Lighthouse is a 6 foot (1.8 m) tall wooden statue honoring Chief Wawatam which was erected in 2012 by the City of St. Ignace, Michigan. It was designed and carved by Tom Paquin and Sally Paquin, local artists. [3]

Wawatam Lighthouse lighthouse in Michigan, United States

Wawatam Lighthouse is an automated, modern lighthouse that guards the harbor of St. Ignace, Michigan in the Straits of Mackinac. It was originally erected near Monroe, Michigan as an iconic roadside attraction in 1998, and was first lit as an aid to navigation in St. Ignace in August 2006.

St. Ignace, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Saint Ignace, usually written as St. Ignace, is a city near the tip of the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan, on the northern side of the Straits of Mackinac. It sits on the shore of Lake Huron at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge, opposite Mackinaw City, serving as the gateway to the UP for travelers coming from the Lower Peninsula. It is one of two ports with ferry service to Mackinac Island, and is the only mainland city accessible from the island when Lake Huron is frozen over. St. Ignace Township is located just to the north of the city, but is politically independent.

Wawatam Township, Michigan Civil township in Michigan, United States

Wawatam Township is a civil township of Emmet County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the township population was 705.

SS <i>Chief Wawatam</i>

SS Chief Wawatam was a coal-fired train ferry and icebreaker that operated in the Straits of Mackinac between 1911–1984. Her home port was St. Ignace, Michigan, and she shuttled back and forth during her entire working life between that port and Mackinaw City, Michigan.

Train ferry ferryboat carrying railroad cars onboard

A train ferry is a ship (ferry) designed to carry railway vehicles. Typically, one level of the ship is fitted with railway tracks, and the vessel has a door at the front and/or rear to give access to the wharves. In the United States, train ferries are sometimes referred to as "car ferries", as distinguished from "auto ferries" used to transport automobiles. The wharf has a ramp, and a linkspan or "apron", balanced by weights, that connects the railway proper to the ship, allowing for the water level to rise and fall with the tides.

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography is a dictionary of biographical entries for individuals who have contributed to the history of Canada. The DCB, which was initiated in 1959, is a collaboration between the University of Toronto and Laval University. Fifteen volumes have so far been published with more than 8,400 biographies of individuals who died or whose last known activity fell between the years 1000 and 1930. The entire print edition is online, along with some additional biographies to the year 2000.

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Mackinac Island island in Michigan

Mackinac Island is an island and resort area, covering 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2) in land area, in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located in Lake Huron, at the eastern end of the Straits of Mackinac, between the state's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The island was home to an Odawa settlement before European exploration began in the 17th century. It served a strategic position as a center on the commerce of the Great Lakes fur trade. This led to the establishment of Fort Mackinac on the island by the British during the American Revolutionary War. It was the site of two battles during the War of 1812.

Mackinac County, Michigan County in the United States

Mackinac County is a county in the Upper Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,113. The county seat is St. Ignace. Formerly known as Michilimackinac County, in 1818 it was one of the first counties of the Michigan Territory, as it had long been a center of French and British colonial fur trading, a Catholic church and Protestant mission, and associated settlement.

Emmet County, Michigan County in the United States

Emmet County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 32,694. The county seat is Petoskey.

Straits of Mackinac strait connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan in Michigan, USA

The Straits of Mackinac are narrow waterways in the U.S. state of Michigan between Michigan's Lower and Upper Peninsulas. The main strait flows under the Mackinac Bridge and connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The main strait is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) wide and has a maximum depth of 295 feet (90 m). Hydrologically, the two connected lakes can be considered one lake, which is called Lake Michigan–Huron. Historically, the native Odawa people called the region around the Straits Michilimackinac. The Straits of Mackinac is "whipsawed by currents unlike anywhere else in the Great Lakes".

Michilimackinac is derived from an Odawa name for present-day Mackinac Island and the region around the Straits of Mackinac between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Early settlers of North America applied the term to the entire region along Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior. Today it is considered to be mostly within the boundaries of Michigan, in the United States. Michilimackinac was the original name for present day Mackinac Island and Mackinac County.

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Magdelaine Laframboise Fur Trader, Pioneer

Madeline La Framboise (1780–1846), born Marguerite-Magdelaine Marcot, was one of the most successful fur traders in the Northwest Territory of the United States, in the area of present-day western Michigan. Of mixed Odawa and French descent, she was fluent in the Odawa, French, English and Ojibwe languages, and partnered with her husband. After he was murdered, she managed the fur trade successfully for more than a decade. She retired from the trade, building a fine home on Mackinac Island.

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Sainte Anne Church (Mackinac Island)

Sainte Anne Church, commonly called 'Ste. Anne Church' or 'Ste. Anne's Church', is a Roman Catholic church that serves the parish of Sainte Anne de Michilimackinac in Mackinac Island, Michigan. The Jesuit missionary Claude Dablon inaugurated the rites of the Catholic faith on Mackinac Island in 1670, but the earliest surviving parish records list sacraments performed starting in April 1695. After moving from Fort de Buade to Fort Michilimackinac about 1708 and from Fort Michilimackinac to Mackinac Island in 1781, the parish used a historic log church for decades. It constructed the current church complex starting in 1874 on a site donated by the former fur trader, Magdelaine Laframboise.

References

  1. Cleland, Charles E., Rites of Conquest: The History and Culture of Michigan's Native Americans (The University of Michigan Press, 1992) p.138
  2. "A Tribal History Of The Little Traverse Bay Bands Of Odawa Indians". Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  3. King, Dominique (April 15, 2014). "From Monroe to Mackinac: Lighthouse moves to Chief Wawatam Park in St. Ignace,". Michigan Midwest Guest. Retrieved April 25, 2017.