Submitted by Marilyn Widler
The following interesting article was handed to us by Chas. F. Preston and will be of interest to all, especially the older ones.
In the vicinity of Paw Paw are two sections of land which are not numbered as ordinary sections are numbered but which bear distinctive names as the "O'Gee" section, joining the Village on the south east, and the "LeClerc" or, as it is commonly called, the "LeClair" section joining the "O'Gee" section on the east, and extending over into DeKalb County some Sixty Six and Two Thirds rod.
It may be of interest to know how these sections came to be so named and some of the particulars of the treaty of Prairie Du Chien.
Said Treaty was made July 29th, 1829 and proclaimed June 2nd, 1830, between the United States and certain Indian tribes and was made and concluded at Prairie Du Chien, hence the name.
That said Treaty was made and concluded at Prairie Du Chien, Territory of Michigan, between the United States by Commissioners John McNeil, Pierre Menard and Caleb Atwater, and the United Nations of Chippewa, Ottawa and Pottawattamie Indians, of the waters of the Illinois, Milwaukee and Manitoouck Rivers; That said Indian Nations on said date ceded to the United States all lands comprised within the following limits to-wit; Commencing on the western shore of Lake Michigan at the north east corner of Antoine Ouitmette's field near Grosse Pointe, twelve miles north of Chicago; thence running due west to Rock River; thence down said River to where a line drawn due west from the most southerly bend of Lake Michigan crosses said River; thence east along said line to the Fox River of the Illinois; thence along the north western boundary line of the cession of 1816, to Lake Michigan; thence northwardly along the western shore of said Lake to the place of beginning, and other lands;
That in consideration said cessions of land said United States agrees to pay to said Nations of Indians at Chicago, $16000.00 annually forever, in specie, and agrees to cause to be delivered to said Indians the following October, $12000.00 worth of goods as a present; That said United States also agrees to deliver to said Indians at Chicago Fifty barrels of salt annually forever and agrees to make permanent for the use of said Indians, the blacksmith's establishment at Chicago;
That from the cessions aforesaid there shall be reserved and granted by the United States to the following descendants of Indians the following tracts of land, to-wit;
To Pierre DeClerc one section at the Village of As-sim-in-eh-Kon, or Paw Paw Grove;
To Madeline, a Pottawattamie woman, wife of Joseph O'Gee, one section west of and adjoining the tract herein granted to Pierre LeClerc at the Paw Paw Grove, and said tracts shall never be leased or conveyed by the grantees or their heirs without the permission of the President of the United States.
Said United States agrees to pay to said Indians at their request $11601.00 in full satisfaction of all claims acknowledged to be justly due; That said United States shall have said Territory surveyed and sufficient marks and mounds established to identify the same and the right to hunt on the lands herein ceded so long as the same shall remain the property of the United States, is hereby secured to said Indians.
The survey of the Reservations was made before the regular Government survey into Township and sections was made, and consequently the sections did not fit in with the regular sections as subsequently established and resulted in considerable confusion in boundary lines and descriptions. As originally reserved the two sections were laid out to include practically the whole of Paw Paw Grove.