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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 17, 2003 - Issue 87


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The Curse of Wisconsin Point
How Indian's Threefold Threat was fulfilled the Day Native Graves Were Disturbed

From The Milwaukee Journal - February, 6, 1925
credits: submitted by Timm Severud (Ondamitag)

Superior - A weird story with possible psychic import was recalled here by the publication recently in the Milwaukee Journal of a review of the age old litigation over the title of Wisconsin Point, located in Superior Bay and claimed by they descendants of Osagie, an old Chippewa chief, despite an old treaty conveying the land to the government.

The United States Steel Corporation, through subsidiaries, had been prepared for many years to expend approximately $20,000,000 on gigantic loading docks for the big lake boats and has been held up by the refusal of descendents of the Indians who still occupy a portion of the peninsula. A few years ago the Steel Corporation even stood the expense of removing an Indian graveyard from the point to the mainland.

John A. Cadigan, an attorney who took part in the litigation of Indian claimants against the Steel Corporation, was reminded by The Journal's story of an experience, which he says, still sends chills scurrying up his spine because of its eeriness.

Caller Utter Prophecy
'In the fall of 1916,' he relates, 'I was about my office when suddenly the door opened and a tall stern faced Indian entered. He asked if I was interested in the Indian claims to Wisconsin Point and I told him I was. With no further preamble he began to tell me what his ancestry was.'

'My father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, the mightiest chief that ever ruled the Chippewas, and their father's before them lie buried on Wisconsin Point.' He concluded. 'Their bones must not be disturbed. I tell you now that the day the white man enters the point to dig up the remains of our ancestors will see this nation visited by the most terrible fire in its history, swept by the most devastating plague and plunged in the bloodiest war the world has ever known.'

'Having delivered this threefold prophecy, the Indian turned without a further word. It was an unusual occurrence and I discussed it that day and the next perhaps with my friends and associates, but it promptly passed from my mind with no more than a mental note of the incident against the day, when the Steel Corporation would find it necessary to move the graveyard.'

Borne Out Two Years Later
'This was 1916, mind you, and things went along until of the fall of 1918 when it appeared that the Steel Company was ready to proceed. The date, I remember well, was October 8. An undertaker was given $2,500 as an advance payment under a contract and with a force of men went out to the point and started to move the graveyard.'

'That day about noon the heavens became black for a time with a peculiar cloud. It was explained when we picked up the evening papers to read of the devastating Cloquet fire, truly the worst that this part of the country, if not the entire nation has ever seen. The same paper conveyed news of the sweeping wave of influenza, which inundated our nation and took so many lives. And to make the triple prophesy of the Indian complete America and the rest of the world was in the midst of the world war, in the midst of the Meuse-Argonne drive, an offensive, which dwarf all other martial engagement in the world's history.'

'Explain it? I haven't found anybody who'll attempt to. The Indian is still living and working in Cloquet, Minnesota, but I have never seen him since the afternoon he came into my office.'

'Can it be that the aborigines are closer to nature than the whites, and are a more psychic people?'

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