1829 : Pre-Independence Day Celebration At Future Site of Jackson, Michigan

July 4, 2018 all-day

Jackson’s history began on the banks of the Grand River, at present-day Trail Street. Three men — Capt. Alex Laverty, Horace Blackman and their Indian guide Pee-wy-tum — arrived there in time to celebrate America’s Independence Day in 1829.

In his 1903 “History of Jackson County, Michigan,” Charles V. DeLand told of that celebration, which led to the settlement at Jacksonburg. It highlights the presence of the Indians:

“Captain Alex Laverty made an oration in English and Potawatomi, toasts were drank in pure ‘wauboo’ from the ‘sepe,’ at the close of which the crack of Pee-wy-tum’s rifle sounded the applause. The celebration lasted for an hour.

“The reports from the rifle were heard by some Indians not far away who soon appeared upon the scene, and who joined in the applause at the close of Capt. Laverty’s oratorical effort in the Indian dialect. Then a dinner was served. The Indians brought green corn and potatoes from their field, and with fish and game, the party were soon enjoying a banquet.”

Source : Ken Wyatt, “Peek Through Time: A look back at Jackson County settlers’ relationships with Indians”, Jackson Citizen Patriot, June 25, 2011.

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