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Chief Wahbememe Grave Marker

Grave marker of Chief Wahbememe located in White Pigeon, Michigan.

The inscription reads, "In memory of Wahbememe, Chief White Pigeon,
Who about 1830 gave his life to save the settlement at this place.".

Chief Wahbememe (Whitepigeon) was a signer of the 1795 Treaty of
Greenville, which placed Michigan Great Lakes Forts in the United States
government hands. The Chief was known as a friend to white settlers.
 
While attending a gathering of chiefs in Detroit during the Black Hawk War,
Wahbememe heard of a plot to attack the settlement that became known
as White Pigeon. He immediately set out on foot, running nearly 150 miles
accross the state without stopping for food or rest to alert the village of
the attack. After warning the village of the impending danger, he collapsed
from exhaustion and soon died.
 
Chief Wahbememe (White Pigeon) had given his word of protection and
friendship to the white settlers. He was quoted as saying "to betray my
village of white people is to betray myself."
 
His remains are buried at this site, which is listed in the National Register
of Historic Places. On August 10, 1909, a day-long celebration marked the
occassion of the dedication of Chief Wahbememe's memorial. Four thousand
people, including Lieutenant Governor Patrick H. Kelley, watched as Chief
Wahbememe's grandson, Willie White Pigeon, aged 6, unveiled the finished
monument.

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