Home

HISTORY INDEX>A local Indian Tragedy

A local Indian Tragedy
When Chief Baw Beese was a lithe and handsome youth, he loved and wed a beautiful maiden and they set up their wigwam on the shores of the lake. After many happy moons together, a daughter was born to them whom they named Wenona, the replica of her mother and the pride of her father’s heart. Wenona’s birth cost the mother her life; she was buried in the lake, and the young Chief was left desolate. Though he married again and had Sons and daughters, none was as dear to him as Wenona, the child of his lost love.

The years passed. Princess Wenona grew to woman­hood and was given in marriage to a member of a neigh­boring tribe. She did not love him, having bestowed her affection upon her cousin, Ash-Te-Wette; but she toler­ated him, and all went well until one day Wenona dis­covered that he had stolen and sold outside the tribe her pony, a wedding gift from her father. Blind with rage, she seized her knife and stabbed her husband to death. The neighboring tribe demanded the penalty. Indian law was “an eye for an eye” and Baw Beese was faced with the duty, as chief, of executing his own daughter.
Unflinchingly, as became his rank, he fulfilled the law and then, brokenhearted and alone, he bore Wenona’s slender body away in his arms.
He was gone for days and never revealed the spot where he laid his daughter, but years ~ after the red men had all left the county, the skeleton of an Indian girl with a silver cross around her neck and other marks of distinction about it, was accidently ex­humed some miles south of the lake. As there was no record of any other such grave, it was assumed, and per­haps rightly, that this was the hapless princess who expi­ated her sin at the hands of her father.
Agriculture
Business & Industry
Economic Development
Hometown Partnerships
Community Services
Cultural Resources
Education
History
Natural Resources & Recreation
Test Area
Information
Planning & Zoning in Michigan
Tools & Techniques
Laws & References