Sassaba, a minor Chippewa, chief of the Crane Gens, who first appears in history as a member of Tecumseh’s forces at the battle of the Thames, Canada, Oct. 5, 1813, in which his brother, to whom he seems to have been greatly attached, was killed while fighting by his side. This incident embittered Sassaba against the Americans during the remainder of his life. When Lewis Cass visited Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, in 1820, to negotiate a treaty with the Chippewa for purchasing a small tract of land, Sassaba, who was one of the chiefs assembled on this occasion, not only manifested his bitter animosity toward the United States authorities, but displayed his eccentric character as well. During the council he hoisted the British flag over his tent, which was torn down by Gen. Cass in person. On this occasion he was thus dressed: “Beginning at the top an eagle’s feather, bear’s grease, vermilion and indigo, a red British military coat with two enormous epaulets, a large British silver medal, breech-clout, leggings, and moccasins.” He arose in council and remarked gruffly that the Chippewa did not wish to sell their land; and refusing the pipe, kicked over the presents that had been placed before him, and rushed from the tent under its side. He refused to sign the treaty.
According to Henry Schoolcraft he would often walk through the village where he resided, divested of every particle of clothing except a large gray wolf’s skin, which he had drawn over his body in such manner as to let the tail dangle behind. From this habit the name Myeengun (‘wolf’) was sometimes applied to him. He was also known as The Count.
On Sept. 25, 1822, Sassaba, his wife and his child were drowned at Sault Ste Marie. He had been drinking heavily at Point aux Pins, 6 miles above the rapids, and was intoxicated during the trip.