Skip to main content

Full text of "Michigan historical collections"

See other formats


, 




WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS, GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN. 

Portrait in the Governor's Parlor in the State Capitol; painted by Percy Ives, and purchased 

by popular subscription. 






MICHIGAN HISTORICAL 
COLLECTIONS 



Volume XXXIX 

1915 

TOGETHER WITH A LIST OF SUBJECTS, AUTHORS AND 
ILLUSTRATIONS, VOLUMES 1 TO 39, INCLUSIVE. 




LANSING 
MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

1915 



WYNKOOP HALLENBECK CRAWFORD CO. 

STATE PRINTERS 

LANSING, MICHIGAN 

1915 



-f 



MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



A STATE DEPARTMENT; ORGANIZED MAY 28, 1913 



MEMBERS 

Hon. WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS, Governor of Michigan, ex offlcio 

Right Rev. Monsignor FRANK A. O'BRIEN, President 

CLAUDE H. VANTYNE., Ph. D., Vice President 

CLARENCE M. BURTON, M. A. 

WILLIAM L. JENKS, M. A. 

Hon. LAWTON T. HEMANS 

Hon. EDWIN O. WOOD 

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS 

CHARLES MOORE, Ph. D., Secretary and Editor 
MINA HUMPHREY VARNUM, Assistant Editor 
MARIE B. FERREY, Curator of Museum 



MICHIGAN PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



TRUSTEES 



CLARENCE E. BEMENT, B. A., President, Lansing 

HON. AUGUSTUS C. CARTON, Vice President, Lansing 

Hon. JUNIUS E. BEAL, Ann Arbor 

CLARENCE M. BURTON, M. A., Detroit 

Hon. LAWTON T. HEMANS, Mason 

WILLIAM L. JENKS, M. A., Port Huron 

Rt. Rev. Mgr. FRANK A. O'BRIEN, LL. D., Kalamazoo 

Prof. HENRY R. PATTENGILL, Lansing 

Hon. A. L. SAWYER, Menominee 

Hon. EDWIN O. WOOD, Flint 

BENJAMIN F. DAVIS, Treasurer 

CHARLES MOORE, Secretcvry, ex offlcio 



OFFICES 

IN THE STATE CAPITOL, LANSING. 



PREFACE 

THIS volume of the Collections consists of papers read at meet- 
ings of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, together 
with valuable historical materials collected during several 
years. In the reports of the meetings of the Michigan Historical 
Commission and of the Society may be traced the creation of a 
State Department for the preservation of archives, historical docu- 
ments and mementoes of the State and its various subdivisions. 
The story of this movement and of the relations between the Com- 
mission and the Society are given with some detail, because it will 
come to form a chapter in the history of the State, the importance 
of which the future will show. 

The paper on Patrick Sinclair by Mr. William L. Jenks is a 
valuable contribution to the history of St. Clair County and the 
Island of Mackinac; it deals with the period of English dominion 
in the Northwest, and elucidates many interesting points relative 
to the early commercial navigation of the Great Lakes. Into it 
have gone much patient research among original documents and a 
thorough understanding of the importance historically of the events 
narrated. 

Miss Edna M. Twamley's study of the western sketches of Mrs. 
Kirkland w r as prepared as a thesis in connection with work for the 
degree of master of arts in Columbia University, New York City. 
Mrs. Kirkland ranks among the comparatively small number of 
authors whose writings have a value in tracing the literary growth 
of this country ; and in so far as they deal with pioneer conditions 
in Michigan they present pictures of life during the period of 
settlement unsurpassed for vividness and accuracy. They are en- 
livened by the unfailing good humor that carried the pioneers 
through difficulties which, lacking this saving grace, must have 
proved unsurmountable. The Historical Commission has secured a 
number of such theses, prepared under competent direction, both 
historical and literary; and from time to time will publish them 
in a new series to be known as "The University Series." 

The paper on Dr. Douglass Houghton by Roland C. Allen, Michi- 
gan State Geologist, is a step in the direction of a more adequate 
presentation of the work of this eminent geologist than has yet ap- 
peared in the Collections. Dr. Houghton's work in both the Upper 



, vi PREFACE 

and the Lower Peninsula was fundamental ; and the State owes to 
him a debt of gratitude not yet adequately acknowledged. The his- 
torical sketch of the Upper Peninsula by Judge Joseph H. Steere is 
one result of perhaps the widest knowledge of that region possessed 
by any single individual; and the Commission hope to have other 
papers by the same author. So, too, the paper on ancient and mod- 
ern copper mining by Mr. Samuel L. Smith embodies the reflections 
of one who was himself a pioneer in copper-mining. The paper 
opens up the question as to who the "Ancient Miners" were, and re- 
flects the changing opinions due to the application of the science of 
ethnology to the unsolved problem. 

Mr. William Stocking, from his fund of knowledge and personal 
experience, discusses the "Prominent Newspaper Men of Michigan." 
Mr. Stocking's contributions to the interesting political history of 
the State have been many and valuable, although some of the most 
valuable of them have not appeared over his own name. The papers 
on Senator Thomas W. Palmer, by Miss M. Agnes Burton, and on 
James McMillan by the present editor, add to Michigan's political 
history, especially on the personal side. Mr. Byron A. Finney's 
exhaustive paper on "Will Carleton : Michigan's Poet" is full of 
personal reminiscences of a poet who enjoyed large popularity with 
the great mass of the people of this country. 

Of particular interest in carrying on the fine traditions of the 
early missionaries among the Indians of Michigan are Rt. Rev. 
Monsignor O'Brien's sketches of Father Frank Pierz and Lady An- 
toinette Von Hoeft'ern, whose lives exemplify the high ideals of their 
predecessors in two previous centuries. 

Mr. Fred Dustin contributes a valuable paper giving the results 
of his personal investigations, carried on through a number of 
years, into the earliest history of the Saginaw region. The fact that 
during a century or more before the days of history Michigan was 
the dwelling-place and the battleground of many tribes of Indians 
is now admitted by ethnologists. Here probably occurred those last 
great conflicts which resulted from the meeting of the tribes when, 
in the course of their migrations, they came together subsequent to 
their dispersion from the original locality in which the American 
Indian stock developed. Locked up in the history of these conflicts 
is the origin of the Mound Builders. 

Several historical events in which Michigan had a greater or 
less part have been commemorated during the past few years. The 
participation of the State and of the Historical Commission in the 
Perry Victory Centennial is related by the president of the Perry 
Victory Commission, Mr. George Whitfleld Parker; then there is 



PREFACE vii 

Governor Ferris' eloquent tribute to Lewis Cass, delivered in con- 
nection with the same celebration; and also his plea for the peace- 
ful settlement of international differences, delivered at Mackinac 
Island on the occasion of the Peace Conference in July, 1914. The 
marking of the site of historic Fort St. Joseph, near Niles, is com- 
memorated in the paper by Miss Rena P. Gil lam, secretary of the 
Fort Saint Joseph Historical Society, which undertook the import- 
ant and interesting work of erecting the tablet; and also by the 
historical address of Judge Orville W. Coolidge, delivered at Mies, 
July 4, 1913, when the tablet was unveiled. The Commission is 
particularly interested in the publication of reports and addresses 
showing the activities of the local historical associations. 

While the paper on the General Custer Statue at Monroe by Mrs. 
Ouster is not adequate to the subject, it serves to call attention to 
that tribute to one of Michigan's most brilliant soldiers during the 
War of Secession. The proceedings on the occasion of the unveil- 
ing have been printed separately. 

The attention of teachers of history is called to the series of 
papers on "The Study of Michigan History." Materials for such 
study are to be found in the Shoemaker collection of maps described 
by Mr. William L. Jenks; subjects for special investigation are 
suggested by Dr. Wilbur D. Hedrick, of the Michigan Agricultural 
College, in his paper on '"The Social and Economic Aspects of 
Michigan History;" the literary aspects are urged by Prof. Claude 
L. Larzelere, of the Michigan State Normal College at Mt. Pleasant, 
in the paper on "The Teaching of Michigan History;" there is a 
stimulating paper on "The Old Northwest" by Mr. Edwin O. Wood ; 
and a method of organizing the work among young people is sug- 
gested in the fervid paper on "A' Junior Pioneer League for Michi- 
gan," by Mrs. Eleanor Griffin McNett. 

In the division relating to the memoirs of pioneer settlers are 
Mrs. Marion Louise Hinsdell Withey's graphic account of begin- 
nings in Grand Rapids; Mrs. Florence M. Gwinn's valuable paper 
on the early settlers of Huron County from 1800 to 1850 ; Mrs. Har- 
riet Munro Longyear's account of picturesque happenings during 
the early days of Clinton C x ounty; and Mr. Robert W. Malcolm's 
authoritative list of the Scotch settlers of Oakland County. All 
of these papers are documents of value to the future historian. 

Biographical sketches of men and women who have had a part 
in shaping the history of the State include Mr. John Fitzgibbon's 
account of the life of the late Mr. Ammi W. Wright, pioneer- 
lumberman and philanthropist; Mr. Joseph Greusel, Jr's. account 
of his father, Joseph Greusel, for many years one of the most widely 



viii PREFACE 

known and helpful newspaper men of Michigan; Senator Charles 
E. Townsend's sketch of his friend and former partner Mr. Justice 
Charles A. Blair; Dr. J. B. Kennedy's estimate of the work of 
Dr. Herman Kiefer, an able and public spirited physician ; Mrs. 
Cumming's characterization of her mother, Mrs. Josiah W. Begole, 
wife of the Governor; Mr. Buchanan's tribute to his mother, Mrs. 
Sophia Hascal Buchanan ; Mr. William P. Van Winkle's apprecia- 
tive sketch of Messrs. Albert and William Tooley of Ho well ; Mrs. 
Baldwin's record of the eventful life of her father, Mr. Melvin D. 
Osband; Mr. Bridge's paper. on Dr. Timothy Eastman, of Ottawa 
County; and brief records of William Putnam, of Lansing; Mr. 
Charles Emniett Barnes, former newspaper man and Deputy Com- 
missioner of Labor; Henry H. Stafford, the first mayor of Mar- 
quette; and M. Jean Baptiste Parrisienne, for many years one of 
the picturesue characters of Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. 

Hon. Edwin O. Wood well expresses the obligations of all students 
of Northwestern history to the late Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, 
whose long and abundant labors have placed his name permanently 
on the list of the gatherers of materials for the history of this 
region ; and whose own writings have illumined many of the pages 
of our story. 

In her paper on "The Revolutionary Soldiers of Oakland 
County," Mrs. Lillian Drake Avery has set an example of patient 
and painstaking research, which should be an incentive to historical 
workers in other counties. 

The Commission, feeling keenly the need of some guide to the 
thirty-nine volumes of the Collections, submit herewith a list of sub- 
jects and authors represented in the series. The work on this list 
was done, under the direction of the editor, by Mrs. M. H. Varnum, 
the assistant editor. 

An attempt has been made in the present volume to change the 
typographical appearance in some particulars, with a view to the 
easier reading of the articles. The object has not been attained 
to the degree which should be reached in later volumes. The il- 
lustrations have been selected mainly for their historic value. 



CONTENTS 

MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION Page 

LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 2 

Inception of the Commission 2 

Legislative History and Organization 5 

Special Meeting June 5, 1913 6 

Meeting held June 5, 1913 .' 6 

Meeting held August 6, 1913 7 

Meeting held October 7, 1913 8 

Publicity 10 

Museum Collections 11 

Historical Pictures and Portraits 18 

Oil Portraits 19 

Photographs '. 19 

Maps 21 

Publications 23 

Information Bureau 25 

County Societies ? 26 

Libraries and Schools 27 

Clubs and Local Societies 28 

Co-operation with the Mackinac State Park Commission 29 

Visit to Nazareth Academy and the University of Notre Dame 29 

Perry's Victory Centennial Celebration 30 

Co-operation with the American Historical Association 31 

Criticism and Appreciation 31 

Financial Statement 32 

PROCEEDINGS OF THE MICHIGAN PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Pontiac Mid-winter Meeting, February, 1912 37 

Annual Meeting, June, 1912 38 

Grand Rapids Mid-winter Meeting, January, 1913 40 

Annual Meeting, June, 1913 43 

Port Huron Mid-winter Meeting, February, 1914 50 

Annual Meeting, June, 1914 52 

PATRICK SINCLAIR; BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 61 

By William L. Jenks 

THE WESTERN SKETCHES OF CAROLINE MATHILDA (STANSBURY) KIRKLAND 89 
By Edna M. Twamley 

DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON 127 

By Holland C. Allen 

PREHISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINES OF LAKE SUPERIOR 137 

By Samuel L. Smith 

PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN IN MICHIGAN 155 

By William Stocking 



x CONTENTS 

Page. 

JAMES MCMILLAN, UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN - 173 

By Charles Moore 

WILL CARLETON: MICHIGAN'S POET 191 

By Byron A. Finney 

THOMAS WITHERELL PALMER 207 

By M. Agnes Burton 
Two EARLY MISSIONARIES TO THE INDIANS 

LADY ANTOINETTE VON HOEFFERN 221 

By Rt, Rev. Mgr. Frank A. O'Brien, LL. D. 

FATHER FRANK PIERZ 225 

By Rt. Rev. Mgr. Frank A. O'Brien, LL. D. 

THE UPPER PENINSULA: A SKETCH 235 

By Joseph H. Steere 

SAGINAW COUNTY AS A CENTER OF ABORIGINAL POPULATION 251 

By Fred Dustin 
COMMEMORATION OF HISTORICAL EVENTS: 

THE PERRY VICTORY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 263 

By George Whitfield Parker 
LEWIS CASS, MICHIGAN'S HERO OF THE WAR OF 1812 

An Address by Hon. Woodbridge N. Ferris, Governor of Michigan, at 

the Perry Victory Centennial 270 

AMERICAN PEACE CENTENARY 

Address of Hon. Woodbridge N. Ferris, Governor of Michigan, as 
Temporary Chairman of the Mackinac Conference of the American 

Peace Centenary Committee at Mackinac Island, July 21, 1914 275 

MARKING FORT ST. JOSEPH 280 

By Rena B. Gillam 
ADDRESS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE BOULDER MARKING THE SITE OF 

FORT ST. JOSEPH 

By Judge Orville W. Coolidge 

THE GENERAL CUSTER STATUE 292 

By Elizabeth (Bacon) Custer 
THE STUDY OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 

THE MICHAEL SHOEMAKER COLLECTION OF MAPS 297 

By William L. Jenks 

THE OLD NORTHWEST 301 

By Edwin O. Wood 

THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 309 

By Claude S. Larzelere 

A JUNIOR PIONEER LEAGUE FOR MICHIGAN 321 

By Eleanor Griffin McNett 

THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 327 

By Wilbur O. Hedrick, Ph. D. 
MEMOIRS OF PIONEER SETTLERS 

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY DAYS IN KENT COUNTY 345 

By Mrs. Marion Louise Hinsdill Withey 

HURON COUNTY FROM 1800 TO 1850 353 

By Mrs. Florence M. Gwinn 



CONTENTS xi 

MEMOIRS OF PIONEER SETTLERS (Continued) Page. 

THE SETTLEMENT OF CLINTON COUNTY 360 

By Mrs. Harriet Munro Longyear 
SCOTCH SETTLERS OF OAKLAND COUNTY .' 365 

By Robert W. Malcolm 
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 
AMMI W. WRIGHT 371 

By John Fitzgibbon 
JOSEPH GREUSEL 378 

By Joseph Greusel, Jr. 
REUBEN GOLD THWAITES 387 

By Edwin O. Wood 
CHARLES A. BLAIR 392 

By Charles E. Townsend 
HERMAN KIEFER 397 

By Dr. J. B. Kennedy 
MRS. JOSIAH W. BEGOLE OF FLINT 404 

By Mrs. Mary Begole Cummings 
SOPHIA HASCAL BUCHANAN. 406 

By Claude R. Buchanan 
ALBERT AND WILLIAM TOOLEY 412 

By William P. Van Winkle 
MELVIN D. OSBAND 415 

By Mrs. Nellie Osband Baldwin 
TIMOTHY EASTMAN, M. D 420 

By Mary Eastman Bridges 

WILLIAM PUTNAM 423 

CHARLES EMMETT BARNES 425 

HENRY H. STAFFORD 428 

JEAN BAPTISTE PARRISIEN 429 

REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIERS OF OAKLAND COUNTY 435 

By Lillian Drake Avery 

MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS 459 

List of Subjects and Authors, Volumes 1 to 39, inclusive 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

HON. WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS, GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN Frontispiece 

From the Portrait by Percy Ives in the Governor's Parlors, Lansing 

PATRICK SINCLAIR facing p. 64 

THE OLD FORT AND STATE PARK, MACKINAC ISLAND facing p. 66 

PUNCH BOWL PRESENTED TO CAPTAIN PATRICK SINCLAIR facing p. 68 

SITE OF FORT MICHILIMACKINAC NEAR MACKINAW CITY 

From Schoolcraft's Ethnological Researches among the Red Men facing p. 70 

PROPOSED OUTLINE OF FORT MACKINAC 

From a letter of Sinclair to Brehm, Michigan Pioneer and Historical 

Collections IX, 529 72 

SKETCH OF GENERAL CONDITIONS AT SITE OF PROPOSED FORT 

Accompanying the letter from Sinclair to Brehm, Michigan Pioneer 

and Historical Collections IX, 523 and X, 390 73 

FORT MICHILIMACKINAC 77 

.PLAN OF FORT MACKINAC 83 

DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON 

From the Portrait by Alvah Bradish, in Representatives' Hall, Michi- 
gan State Capitol facing p. 128 

JAMES MCMILLAN 

From a portrait by Benjamin Constant, in the Senate Chamber, 

Michigan State Capitol '. . . facing p. 174 

THE MCMILLAN FOUNTAIN 

Erected in McMillan Park, Washington, D. C., by citizens of Michi- 
gan; Herbert Adams, sculptor, Charles A. Platt and Frederick Law 
Olmsted, landscape architects facing p. 180 

BUST OF JAMES MCMILLAN 

Executed in marble by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1903; in posses- 
sion of Mrs. James McMillan, Washington, D. C facing p. 184 

WILL CARLETON 

From a photograph taken at his former home near Hudson, Michi- 
gan, October 26, 1902 facing p. 192 

SCHOOL HOUSE WHERE WILL CARLETON ATTENDED SCHOOL NEAR 

HUDSON. . facing p. 196 

WILL CARLETON'S HOME NEAR HUDSON facing p. 198 

THOMAS WITHERELL PALMER 

From a portrait by Percy Ives, in the Senate Chamber, Michigan 

State Capitol facing p. 208 

THE PERRY MONUMENT AT PUT-IN-BAY 

Designed by J. H. Freedlander and A. D. Seymour, Jr., architects, 

New York City facing p. 264 



xiv ILLUSTRATIONS 

PERRY MEMORIAL AT PUT-IN-BAY 

Doric column and bronze tripod facing p. 266 

PERRY'S LOOKOUT AND THE NEEDLE'S EYE, GIBRALTAR ISLAND facing p. 268 

LEWIS CASS 

From the portrait in the House of Representatives, Michigan State 

Capitol facing p. 272 

THE ST. JOSEPH BOULDER 

Monument on the Site of Old Fort St. Joseph facing p. 280 

MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER, U. S. A facing p. 292 

AMMI W. Wright 

From a portrait in possession of his daughter, Mrs. J. H. Lancashire facing p. 372 

JOSEPH GREUSEL AND HIS GRANDSON facing p. 380 

HON. CHARLES A. BLAIR, JUSTICE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT facing p. 394 

HARRIET BEGOLE (MRS. JOSIAH W. BEGOLE) facing p. 404 

FAMILY OF DR. TIMOTHY EASTMAN facing p. 420 

JEAN BAPTISTE PARRISIEN facing p. 430 



MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

FIRST ANNUAL REPORT 
MAY 28, 1913, TO DECEMBER 31, 1913 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL 

LANSING, MICHIGAN, JANUARY 1, 1914. 

HON. WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS, 
Governor of Michigan: 

Sir i n accordance with Section 9 of Act No. 271, Public Acts of 
1913, we have the honor to submit to you herewith the first annual 
report of the Michigan Historical Commission, covering the period 
from May 28, 1913 to December 31, 1913. 

Very respectfully, 
C. M. BURTON, President 
W. L. JENKS, V 'ice-President 
FRANK A. O'BRIEN 
EDWIN O. WOOD 
LAWTON T. HEMANS 
CLAUDE H. VAN TYNE 
GEORGE NEWMAN FULLER, Secretary. 

April 1, 1914. 

Approved. 

WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS 

Governor. 



Michigan Historical Commission 



INCEPTION OF THE COMMISSION 

THE Commission has stated briefly in its Bulletin No. 1 the 
essentials about the organization, administration and aims 
of the Department. The causes operating to create the Depart- 
ment may appropriately be here restated. They are partly local and 
partly general. The latter are in scope almost world-wide. Of 
these the most striking is the gradual growth of the scientific con- 
ception of history. Indeed the history of the changes in the con- 
ception of history itself, as reflected in the thinking of succeeding 
ages, is one of the most instructive chapters in the evolution of 
world history. 

A fundamental series of operations involved in the modern idea 
of history consists in collecting, preserving, editing and publishing 
original sources of knowledge. For local history there are, among 
other sources, the official records in the public depositories of the 
state, the counties, the townships, the cities and villages. From 
these records, when they are ready for the use of scholars, the 
internal history of the state and the nation must be largely re- 
written. 

To prepare these materials for this use is very properly one of 
the functions of government, and following the initiative of our 
national government, prompted by the leaders of the American 
Historical Association, many states of the Union have established 
for this purpose Historical Commissions, or Departments of His- 
tory and Archives. 1 Back of this movement in these states there 
have invariably been also the leaders in the state historical socie- 
ties and in the historical departments of the state universities. In 
Michigan the movement was hastened by Governor Osborn's veto,, 
in 1911, of the appropriation made to carry on the work of the 
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. The leaders of that 
society thereupon brought to a successful issue the formation of 
the Michigan Historical Commission. 

a Among the states now having institutions similar to a Department of History and 
Archives are notably Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Maine, New 
Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia 
and Wisconsin. 



4 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Chief among the local causes of this action was the unsatisfac- 
tory relation between the Society and the State government. Al- 
most from the time of the organization of the Society in 1874 the 
State appropriated to it annually moneys varying from |500 to 
f 4,000, principally for the publication of an annual volume of papers 
and documents. In due course the Society had a valuable collection 
in its books, manuscripts and museum, but it remained a private 
corporation, in the management of whose affairs the State had 
no voice. The Society was legally free to dispose of its property 
at any time. This seemed wrong and the Directors of the Society 
decided that action should be taken to establish the Society as the 
trustee of the State so far as related to the property acquired by it. 

At the next annual meeting of the Society in June 1912, Article 
I of the Articles of Association was amended as follows : 

Article I. "The name of this Association shall be the Michigan 
Pioneer and Historical Society, and all the property which it has 
or may acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, shall be held by 
the Society in trust for the State of Michigan." 

Article VIII of the Articles of Association was amended to read : 

"The property, affairs and business of the Society shall be under 
the general charge and management of a board of eleven trustees, 
one of whom shall be the Governor of the State of Michigan, ex 
officio : the others shall be elected at the annual meeting of the 
Society to hold for two years and until their successors are elected 
and qualified. At the first election under this amendment, one- 
half of the number shall be elected for one year and one-half for 
two years. Five trustees shall constitute a quorum for the trans- 
action of business at any meeting. The Board of Trustees shall 
have power to appoint a Secretary and a Treasurer to hold office 
during the pleasure of the Board and with such salary as they may 
determine." 

These resolutions submitted by the Board of Trustees were 
unanimously adopted by the Society. 

Hon. Henry E. Pattengill of Lansing, formerly Superintendent 
of Public Instruction in Michigan and for a generation one of the 
most active workers in the interests of the public schools of the 
State, had for many years given his services to the Society as Secre- 
tary. The work had, however, long since assumed such large pro- 
portions that a paid assistant, Mrs. M. B. Ferrey, had for some 
years been employed by the Society. 

After this action was taken the Directors felt that better and 
more permanent results could be obtained if a State Commission 
or Department should be established to take over and manage the 
property interests of the Society, and have a permanent appropria- 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 5 

tion which, would enable the employment of competent assistants 
and the carrying out of matured plans. A committee was appointed 
to draft a bill for these purposes. 



LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION 

From the inception of the idea of a Historical Commission for 
Michigan, the sympathy of Governor Ferris with the spirit and 
purpose of the movement and the encouragement given by him 
through every phase of the legislative history of the bill were of 
large account in impressing the measure upon the attention of a 
generous legislature. On February 10, 1913, the measure was 
introduced in the House by Mr. Dwight G. F. Warner, as House 
bill No. 327. (House* Jour. I. 384.) On April 19 the bill was 
passed without a dissenting vote, and on motion of Mr. Charles 
W. Smith was ordered to take immediate effect, (House Jour. II. 
1807). On the same day it was transmitted to the Senate, and 
on April 24 it passed the Senate without a dissenting vote and 
was ordered to take immediate effect. (Senate Jour II. 2005.) 
May 8 it received the signature of Governor Woodbridge N. Ferris, 
and became Public Act No. 271. 

Acting in accordance with the provisions establishing the Com- 
mission, Governor Ferris at once appointed its members, who met 
and organized on May 28, 1913. 

The meeting was held in the executive chamber in the Capitol 
at Lansing. There were present the Governor, Clarence M. Burton 
of Detroit, William L. Jenks of Port Huron, the Right Rev. Mon- 
signor Frank A. O'Brien of Kalamazoo, Edwin O. Wood of Flint, 
Lawton T. Hemans of Mason, and Claude H. Van Tyne of Ann 
Arbor. 

By unanimous request of the Commission, the Governor, who is 
by law ex officio a member of the Commission, acted as chairman 
pro tern. 

Professor Van Tyne was made Secretary pro tern. 

Clarence M. Burton, President of the Michigan Pioneer and His- 
torical Society, was unanimously elected President of the Com- 
mission. 

William L. Jenks, Vice President of the Michigan Pioneer and 
Historical Society, was unanimously elected Vice President of the 
Commission. 



6 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Dr. George Newman Fuller of the University of Michigan was 
unanimously elected Secretary of the Commission. 

It was voted that a regular meeting of the Commission should 
be held in the first week of July, and within every three months 
thereafter. 

Mr. Jenks was appointed to prepare the necessary forms for the 
transfer of the property and effects of the Michigan Pioneer and 
Historical Society to the State, and to see to the execution of the 
same. 

Mrs. M. B. Ferrey, then Assistant Secretary of the Pioneer and 
Historical Society, was unanimously elected Curator of the Museum. 

Mr. Jenks and Mr. Wood were appointed a committee on rules, 
to report at a special meeting to be held June 5, 1913. 



SPECIAL MEETING, JUNE 5, 1913 

This meeting was held in the Lieutenant Governor's office in 
the Capitol at Lansing. There were present Governor Ferris, and 
Commissioners Burton, Jenks, O'Brien and Wood. Commissioners 
Hemans and Van Tyne were unavoidably absent in Europe. 

The choice of the date was determined by the date of the regular 
annual meeting of the Pioneer and Historical Society. As the Com- 
missioners present were also members of the Board of Trustees 
of the Society, the larger part of the available time was spent in 
session with that Board. The executive work which most needed 
attention concerned the adjustment of relations between the So- 
ciety and the Commission, in particular as to the property of the 
Society. At this session of the Board of Trustees William L. Jenks, 
in accordance with a resolution adopted at the May meeting of 
the Commission, presented for consideration the following bill of 
sale: 

"Be it known that the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, 
a corporation organized under the laws of Michigan, by its Presi- 
dent thereof duly authorized does hereby give, grant, sell, and 
assign to the State of Michigan all the property of every kind, 
character and description which it now owns or has under its con- 
trol, giving and granting to the State of Michigan said property 
to have and to hold forever. 

"The purpose of this instrument is to carry out the intent of 
said Society indicated by resolutions duly passed by its members 
and in recognition of the fact that the funds with which the said 
property was acquired were given by the State of Michigan through 
legislative appropriations over a long period of years, and in recog- 
nition of the propriety of the property so acquired being legally 
vested in the State of Michigan. 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 7 

"In witness whereof the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society 
has caused these presents to be signed by its President the 5th 
day of June in the year 1913. 

(Signed) C. M. BURTON, 
President of the Pioneer and Historical Society." 

On motion of Commissioner Frank A. O'Brien, the Society ratified 
this deed. 

In this session of the Commission one of the most important 
steps taken was the adoption of the by-laws submitted by a com- 
mittee composed of Commissioners Jenks and Wood. 



MEETING HELD AUGUST 6, 1913 

The first regular meeting of the Commission was held in the 
executive chamber in the Capitol at Lansing August 6, 1913; 
present, Governor Ferris, and Commissioners Burton, Jenks, 
O'Brien, Wood and Hemans. 

On motion of Mr. Wood it was voted to accept the invitation of 
the Mackinac Island State Park Commission to assist in determin- 
ing and marking historic sites on the Island and in selecting his- 
toric names associated with the Island to give to its paths, drives, 
vistas, lookouts, etc; and on motion of Commissioner O'Brien a 
vote of thanks was tendered to the Park Commission for this 
invitation. 

A set of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections was, on 
motion of Mr. Wood, loaned indefinitely to Mrs. Mina Humphrey 
Varnum, whose charming writings in the Detroit Saturday Night 
and elsewhere have done much to foster an interest in the romance 
of early Michigan history. 

It was voted, on motion of Mr. Wood, that the Secretary be in- 
structed to communicate with leading citizens of Jackson relative 
to securing the cooperation of that city with the State to preserve 
as a memorial the home of former Governor Blair, and to report 
upon the same to Governor Ferris. 

On the recommendation of Mr. Burton it was ordered that $200 
be paid to Mr. W. G. Leland of the Department of Historical Re- 
search in the Carnegie Institution at Washington to assist in carry- 
ing out the cooperative plans of transcribing from the French 
archives materials relating to the history of the Mississippi Valley 
during the period of French occupation. 

Commissioners Burton, Jenks and O'Brien were made a com- 



8 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

mittee to pass upon a bulletin submitted by the Secretary relating 
to the inception, organization and work of the Michigan Historical 
Commission. 

Commissioner Jenks and the Secretary were constituted a com- 
mittee to pass upon a bulletin submitted by the Secretary relating 
to the organization and work of local historical societies in 
Michigan. 

MEETING HELD OCTOBER 7, 1913 

On October 7, 1913, the members of the Commission were guests 
of the Right Rev. Monsignor Frank A. O'Brien at his residence in 
Kalamazoo. The regular October meeting was held on that date 
at Nazareth Academy in Kalamazoo and at the home of Commis- 
sioner O'Brien. Those present besides the host were: Governor 
Ferris, and Commissioners Burton, Jenks and Wood. 

It was voted on motion of Commissioner Wood that all publica- 
tions distributed by the Commission should be sent to the con- 
signee free of all transportation charges, as provided by law. 

On motion of Commissioner O'Brien it was ordered that any 
publications distributed by the Commission might at the discre- 
tion of the Secretary be loaned indefinitely to all libraries con- 
templated by law which should have less than 500 volumes; pro- 
vided, that if such libraries cease to exist in connection with the 
original institution or some institution contemplated by law the 
volumes shall become State property; provided also, that in loan- 
ing single volumes the cost of transportation shall be paid by the 
consignee ; provided also, that the volumes of the Michigan Pioneer 
and Historical Collections and the volumes of the Michigan His- 
torical Commission be sold at any time to any person at the uniform 
price of f 1 per volume. 

A set of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections were 
presented to St. Mary's University, Baltimore, Maryland, and a 
set also to the University of Notre Name, Notre Dame, Indiana, 
in exchange for the publications of those institutions. 

It was ordered that a set of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical 
Collections be loaned indefinitely to the library of any educational 
institution in Michigan upon request from the proper authority, 
to become the permanent possession of said library when it shall 
contain 500 volumes. 

The sum of |300 was set aside for the purchase of such cases 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 9 

and supplies as might be needed to secure a more efficient arrange- 
ment of the objects in the museum. 

It was ordered that the following committees be appointed: on 
finance and auditing, on purchasing, on employing, and on pub- 
lishing. 

The Commission approved of appointments made by President 
Burton to a joint committee relative to Mackinac Island, submitted 
as follows : Commissioners William L. Jenks and Frank A. O'Brien 
are this day, September 24, 1913, appointed by me, Clarence M. 
Burton, as President of the Historical Commission, members of a 
joint committee of the Historical Commission and the Mackinac 
Island State Park Commission to serve with Mr. Ira A. Adams of 
Bellaire and Mr. Edwin 0. Wood of Flint appointed by President 
A. O. Joplin of the latter Commission, to select and recommend 
names of historical characters connected with the early history of 
Mackinac Island which should be given to lookouts, roads, drives, 
streets, paths, vistas, groves, etc., on Mackinac Island. 

It was ordered that all suitable duplicates now in the museum at 
Lansing be forwarded to the contemplated museum on Mackinac 
Island when that museum shall be ready to receive them. 

The reprinting of further volumes of the Michigan Pioneer and 
Historical Collections was ordered suspended for the present, in 
order that the work on the new publications of the Commission 
might be pushed more rapidly. 

It was voted that an entire new index, constructed upon the most 
approved principles of indexing, be made for the 38 volumes of the 
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections as soon as practicable. 

Papers read at the meetings of the Pioneer and Historical Society 
were ordered to be included in a publication to be called "Proceed- 
ings of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society." 

The Commission voted to cooperate with all interested societies 
of southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana in excavating near 
the site of old Fort St. Joseph for the recovery of the remains of 
the missionary Allouez who is supposed to have been buried in 
that vicinity. 

A unanimous vote of thanks was tendered to Commissioner 
O'Brien and to the Sisters and officers of Nazareth Academy -and 
to the Very Keverend John Cavanaugh, C. S. C. D. D. of the Uni- 
versity of Notre Dame, for the very cordial reception and enter- 
tainment given to the Michigan Historical Commission. 



10 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



PUBLICITY 

One of the earliest steps taken by the Commission was to more 
fully acquaint the people with the Commission's nature and pur- 
pose in order to gain their more active cooperation and support. 
Bulletin No. 1, already mentioned, set forth the inception, organi- 
zation, administration and aims of the Commission. It printed in 
full the act establishing that body, also the by-laws. It contained 
a brief discussion of plans for collecting, housing and publishing 
historical materials, for the distribution of its publications, for 
service to the general public through an information bureau, for 
cooperating with schools, clubs, local societies and societies of a 
similar nature in other states, and of making the museum of larger 
usefulness to the people. 

An edition of five thousand copies of this Bulletin was printed. 
A copy was sent to every newspaper and periodical in Michigan, 
to each State officer and member of the Legislature, to the officers 
and history teachers of Michigan schools and colleges, to the County 
Commissioners of Schools, to Michigan granges and public libraries, 
to historical societies, commissions and libraries of other states and 
to a large number of individuals and educators at home and 
abroad. 

Before the publication of Bulletin No. 1 there was sent to every 
newspaper and periodical in Michigan the following circular: 

The Michigan Historical Commission wish to be of service to 
you, and to the public through your paper. 

Three obvious means appear: (1) To send to your paper from 
time to time items of live historical interest gleaned from all parts 
of Michigan; (2) To stimulate your readers to do the same; (3) 
To preserve a complete file of your paper in the newspaper depart- 
ment of the Commission, which is collecting one of the most valuable 
bodies of historical material to be found in the Middle West. 

A Bulletin of information about the work of the Commission is 
being prepared, to be distributed to all interested. If you desire it, 
kindly notify the Commission on the enclosed card, stating also 
whether you are willing to insert gratis in your paper once a month 
during the coming year the following notice : 
To the People of Michigan : 

The Michigan Historical Commission, established by the last 
legislature, wish to communicate with every person who has in 
his or her possession old newspaper files, pamphlets, letters, diaries, 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 11 

account books, local histories and atlases, museum objects illus- 
trative of Michigan or of Michigan people, anything whatever of 
value for the history of Michigan. The Commission is composed 
of Governor W. N. Ferris, Clarence M. Burton, William L. Jenks, 
Frank A. O'Brien, Edwin O. Wood, Lawtori T. Hemans, and Claude 
H. Van Tyne. Address, The Michigan Historical Commission, 
Lansing, Michigan. 

A generous response was received, which was acknowledged by 
the Commission in the following circular mailed with Bulletin 
No. 1. 

The Historical Commission most highly appreciates the recent 
generous response of the press to the publicity needs of the Commis- 
sion. It would be a favor as highly esteemed if as time and space 
permit, you would feature in your valued publication the brief 
articles of bulletin No. 1. The items would in this way reach a 
wide circle of interested readers whom otherwise the Commission 
could not reach but desires to serve. Your attention is specially 
requested to page 35 of this bulletin. 

It is the desire of the Commission that at least the most 
prominent newspaper of each county in Michigan shall be received 
for its files. At present the Commission regularly receives many 
of the prominent newspapers of the State. In Bulletin No. 1 the 
Commission has already called attention to the historical im- 
portance of this material and emphasized the need of collecting not 
only contemporary newspapers but even the fugitive sheets of all 
the important papers and periodicals that have been published from 
earliest times in Michigan. 5 



MUSEUM COLLECTIONS 

The Museum is greatty in need of larger quarters. The present 
collections if properly displayed would require four times as much 
space as they occupy now. A catalogue of the Museum is being 
constructed on plans consonant with methods favored by the 
American Association of Museums, of which this Museum is a 
sustaining member. 

A large part of the educational value of a museum depends of 
course upon the nature of the objects in it, and upon the manner 
in which they are displayed, but a primary desideratum is to get 
the objects. That is the present problem of the Commission's 
museum. Bulletin No. 1 (pp. 39-41) has already briefly considered 

5 Bulletin No. 1, pp. 24-25. 



12 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

its present status, and the forthcoming catalogue will do so in satis- 
fying detail. 

The Curator of the museum, Mrs. M. B. Ferrey, reports the fol- 
lowing articles added to the museum during the past two years 
since January 1912: 

Snuff Box, owned by Lucy Beals, born Aug. 7, 1798. Presented 
by her grandaughter, Mrs. Leonora Chamberlain, Hartford, Mich. 

Check, drawn on the Michigan Insurance Bank for $188.50 for 
House expenses. Dated Nov. 1, 1865. Presented by George Clark, 
Lansing. 

Pigeon Net, presented by Miss Emma Wilson, Northport. Used 
about 1883 by Walter S. Wilson. 

Peninsula Railway excursion ticket, and Campaign Hat. From 
Lansing to Battle Creek, July 4, 1870. Presented by Caleb Smith, 
Lansing. 

Pontiac Weekly Bill Poster, dated Feb. 23, 1876. Account of 
Oakland County Pioneer Society. Presented by Mrs. D. D. Solis, 
Pontiac. 

Five silver buttons, presented by Miss Sarah L. Burr. Owned 
in the family since 1838. 

Map of Michigan, 1838, presented by Miss Sarah L. Burr. 

Mulberry Plate, presented by Mrs. Betsey Webber, Lansing. 

Flag, first one carried by women of Lansing, 1849. Presented by 
the Dewitt Union Daughters of Michigan. 

Foot- Warmer, presented by Mrs. Betsey Webber, Lansing. 

Bead Bag, belonged to Mrs. Catherine Busier, Centerville, St. 
Joseph Co., who came to Michigan in 1836. Presented by her 
daughter, Villetta L. Woods. 

Constitution and Discipline of M. E. Church, 1854. 

Small Bonnet, Baby's Shirt, Pincushion, Hand Embroidery, Quilt, 
presented by Mrs. Laura A. Ayers, East Lansing. 

Account of Fort Dearborn Massacre by Lieut. Helm, presented 
by Nelly Kinzie Gordon, Savannas, Ga. 

Transactions of the New York Agricultural Society, 1850; pre- 
sented by Mrs. Mary E. Henry, Albion. 

Medical Book, Surgical Instrument, used about 1820; presented 
by the widow of Dr. Tyler Hull, Dimondale, Mich. 

Surgical Instrument, used about 1820. Presented (as above). 

Knapsack used in Civil War; presented by Jay See, Dimondale, 
Mich. 

Four Campaign Buttons from Chicago Convention, June 1912; 
presented by Fred Hadrich, Lansing. 

One Bottle and One Jug, presented (as above). 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 13 

Silk Shoes Side-Laced, made in the family of George Trary. 
Secured From Mrs. W. H. Dodge, Lansing. 

Gloves, made and given by Indians to M. D. Skinner, formerly 
of Lansing. 

Reeds and rattans for skirt, presented by Miss Hattie Nash, 
Lansing. 

Account book, kept by David Scott, DeWitt, Mich. Presented by 
his grandson, Charles W. Webb, postmaster, DeWitt. 
U. S. Flag, presented by Boy Scouts, Greenville, Mich. 
"Picturesque Walloon," presented by H. McConnell, Walloon 
Lake. 

Indian Relic, found near lake, Livingston County; presented 
by R. W. Cooper, Lansing. 

Two Pieces from the Charter Oak at Hartford, Conn., and a 
Piece of Atlantic Cable; presented by A. Warden Palmer, Jr., 
Grand Rapids. 

Virgin Lamp, purchased in Jerusalem and presented by Mrs, 
Nellie Osband Baldwin, Grand Rapids. 

Stays, made by Mrs. Hannah Durfee, aunt of Mrs. Nellie Osband 
Baldwin. 

Silver Teaspoon, presented by Mrs. Loraine Pratt Immen. First 
used by her mother, Mrs. A. P. Bell. 

Silver Tablespoon, made of silver dollars given as wedding 
present by Julius Bartlett of Connecticut to his daughter Lucretia 
Baldwin in 1823; presented by Mrs. Nellie Osband Baldwin, Grand 
Rapids. 

Napkin, purchased in Europe and presented by Mrs. Loraine 
Pratt Immen, Grand Rapids. 

Log Cabin Quilt, made by Mrs. Maria Dumont Fisher and given 
to Mrs. Philo L. Daniels, aunt of Mrs. Mina H. Varnum, who pre- 
sented it. 

Bronze Medal of the Louisiana Centennial, April 30, 1812, pre- 
sented by Louisiana. 

Democratic Free Press, dated May 5, 1831, owned by Charles A. 
Little, Detroit, presented by Mrs. Elizabeth Child, Lansing. 

Chattanooga Daily Rebel, dated June 28, 1863, presented by 
Daniel E. Soper, Chattanooga, Tenn. 

Oaths of Office taken by Members of House of Representatives, 
1879, presented by Dr. F. W. Shumway, Lansing. 

Tomahawk, found on St. Joseph river about 1893 and presented 
by Hon. G. W. Schaeffer, Sturgis. 

Ear Ring Mold, and Half of Ring, presented as above. 
Two Daguerreotypes, presented by Mrs. Adams, Mason. 



14 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Saddle-bag, bought in 1780 by John Wilcox, who gave it to his 
grandson, Amos Wilcox, Pittsford, Hillsdale County. Presented 
by the latter. 

Rubber Fire-Bucket, used in Lansing before organization of fire 
department, presented by H. H. Larned. 

Charcoal Flatiron, presented by Mrs. F. D. Ferle, Lansing. 
Seven Pennants, five political badges, presented by Fred Hadrich, 
Lansing. 

Twenty-six Confederate notes, Hair-wreath, made by Mrs. George 
W. Porter, Portland, Mich. Presented by her daughter-in-law, Mrs. 
W. E. Porter, Portland. 

One block of Crazy- Work Quilt, pieced by Anna Maria Bobbins 
in 1891. Presented by her daughter, Mrs. Laura A. Ayers, East 
Lansing. 

Scrip Fifty Cents, issued by John McDonall at Detroit in May, 
1818. Presented by his grandson, H. B. Vaill, Keene, N. H., through 
C. M. Burton, Detroit. 

Indian Skinning Knife, Two Tablets, found in Mecosta County in 
1912. 

Four Newspapers: Louisville Daily Journal, Oct. 14, 1863; The 
Salem Whig, Oct 7, 1840 ; The Salem Weekly Union Advocate, May 
10, 1866; The Washington Democrat, April 20, 1865. Presented 
by Seymour Foster, Lansing. 

Common Prayer Book, 1828 and 1850, Concordance New Testa- 
ment, Picture of The U. S. Steam Frigate Merrimac, presented by 
Mrs. Bessie Stephenson Bentley. 

Double barrel Shot-gun, presented by Gerald Swan, Hastings. 
Four bonnets, brass kettle, copper pail, wooden sugar bowl, wine 
glass, small pitcher, presented by Mrs. Henry Turney. 
Black straw bonnet, presented by Mrs. Lovell, Lansing. 
Northern Advocate, May 16, 1840. first paper in Flint, then called 
Flint River, presented by M. W. S. Townsend, Mount Pleasant. 
Eaton County Republican for 1861, bound, presented by Major 
Nesbitt, Big Rapids. 

Map of City of Lansing, 1866, presented by Unity Club, Lansing. 
Air-castle made of rags, presented by Mrs. M. J. Adams, Mason, 
Shoulder-cape, worn by Mrs. Mary Brock, a Quakeress in Norris- 
town, Pa. 

Walker's Dictionary, 1817, Philadelphia, presented (as above). 
Pair white Cotton Stockings, knitted by Eleanor Connard, about 
1865. 

Michigan State Journal, May 26, 1859; State Republican, Dec. 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 15 

13, 1865; presented by Mrs. O. R. Hardy for the E. M. B. Club, 
Lansing. 

Record of Grant Township, 1866, presented by Mrs. George A. 
Shields, Bay Gty. 

Pennant for the fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Chattanooga, 
1863. 

Card of Georgia Monument, Views of Chattanooga, presented 
by D. E. Soper, Chattanooga, Tenn. 

Workbag, razor, brush, whalebone, piece of counterpane, from the 
family of Luke Phillips; presented by his daughter, Mrs. Philip 
Ernsberger, Lansing. 

Forty-three old books, two pictures, forty-six small photographs, 
sewing machine and old chest, presented by Mrs. Hall Thayer, 
Saginaw. 

Three certificates, one bond, one program of Legislative Reunion, 
June 10, 1886, presented by Mrs. Mary C. Spencer, Lansing. 

Two-dollar wild-cat bill, Bank of Monroe, presented by J. C. 
Obert, Durand. 

Eight pamphlets found in file case; presented by Miss Gertrude 
Wolcott, Public Domain Office, Lansing. 

Hand-wrought nails, from old Fort St Joseph, Mies; presented 
by W. Hillis Smith, Niles. 

Two pennies, presented by Don Hinchman, Lansing. 

Two Coins, from Byron Warren, Bay City. 

Two books from the Franciscan Monastery, Petoskey, presented 
through Father Evers. 

Indian sweet-grass basket, Indian hatchet, blue and white splint, 
snake charm, bow and arrow, skull, from Cross Village Indian 
Cemetery. 

Picture of squaw, bottle with wood picture inside, given by 
Indians of Cross Village. 

Methodist Almanac 1856 and 1844, two pamphlets, two small 
photographs, presented by Mrs. Parmelee Scofield, Lansing. 

Boy Scouts' Flag, from Wyandotte, through Rev. R. G. Hershey, 
Chaplain. 

Three pieces pewter, sugar bowl, creamer, teapot, from Mrs. Mary 
E. Hawley; presented by the Van Winkle Women's Club, Caro, 
Michigan. 

Penny, 1861, from Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, West Branch. 

Two nuts, carved from peach stones by Stanley Pixley. 

Embroidery, by Mrs. Sarah Scripture Lewis, born in 1804. 

Cardboard cross, made by Mrs. Clorinda Taylor in 1870; pre- 
sented by Mrs. O. Palmer, Grayling, Mich. 



16 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Three pictures, given by Dr. and Mrs. Palmer, Grayling. 

Portrait of General George A. Ouster, given by Mrs. Elizabeth 
C. Ouster. 

Letter scales, presented by Judge Joseph B. Moore, Lansing. 

State Kepublican April 19, 1865, containing account of death of 
Abraham Lincoln. Given by Clinton Leach Chalfant, Springfield, 
Mo. 

Coral basket, presented by Mrs. Juliette Freeman. 

Wallet, Hymn Book, Prayer Book, owned by John Helfridge, and 
given by him to his son John in 1820. 

Lace, knit by Mrs. Thayer and given to Mrs. Miller in 1873. 

Letter, from Mrs. John Helfridge, written from Old Mission and 
signed by Helen E. Morrell. 

Kate-bill for District No. 3, Peninsula Township, school started 
in Chandler's barn. Presented by Mrs. S. A. Miller, daughter of 
John Helfridge. 

Picture, group of Eaton County Women's Club, Eaton Rapids. 

Twenty-six pamphlets, from T. L. P. Miles, Lansing. 

Door-latch, dickie, three posts and headboard of four poster bed, 
from Hon. L. G. Palmer's home near Napoleon, Mich. 

Indian mortar and pestle, surgical instrument, broken pieces of 
Indian pottery, found under tree in Churchill, Ogemaw County; 
presented by B. A. Babcock, West Branch. 

Hoop-skirt and bustle, presented by Mrs. B. Bennett, West 
Branch. 

One box "Nacht Lichters," book of three maps, leases mineral 
region. 

Lake Superior, autograph letter, from Chief Blackbird, Harbor 
Springs; presented by Mrs. E. M. Schettler, Muskegon Heights. 

Yiddish doll, made by Mrs. Ida D. Menore, a blind woman who 
gave it to Mrs. Irons, West Branch, for a door stay. Presented by 
the latter to the Museum. 

Sausage Stuff er, Wooden cowbell, given by an Upper Peninsula 
settler to the wife of Capt. Thomas, father of Calvin Thomas. Mrs. 
Thomas gave it to Mrs. Marion H. Irons, West Branch, who pre- 
sented it to Museum. 

Side-saddle, brought from the East by the mother of Mrs. Lucy 
C. Davis, Lansing, and presented by Mrs. Davis. 

Tankard, Hood and Dolman, presented by Mrs. F. A. Travis, St. 
Johns. 

Deed to Mr. Allison Jume, of Gratiot County, and Bible, pre- 
sented as above. 

Handkerchief, made by Emily Virginia Mason on Congress Street, 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 17 

Detroit, in 1839. Presented by her aunt, Mrs. Dorethea Mason 
Wright, Newark, N. J. 

Papers, from Father O'Brien, Mrs. Hop} 7 , Mrs. Geddes, Perry 
Ostrander, and others. Programs of Women's Clubs and D. A. R. 
Meetings. 

Pewter Candle Stick, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Redfield, 
Marshall. 

Mat, made by Chippewa Indian woman, 1857, and presented by 
Mrs. Frances E. Burns, St. Louis, and Mrs. A. J. Hughes, Big 
Rapids. 

Piano, used in the home of Governor Blair. Given by Mrs. Blair 
to Helen, daughter of her oldest son George, and on her death pr? 
sented by her mother, Mrs. Vienna Blair, Los Angeles, California. 

Lumber-wheels, presented by H. M. Loud, Oscoda. 

Beaver hat, worn by Governor Austin Blair; presented by Hon. 
Frank E. Dodge, Lansing. 

Seal of Michigan, made of corn by Ralph Oversmith, aged 14, 
and flag made of corn by Frances Fitzgerald, aged 12, grammar 
school pupils of Miss Gertrude Cartwright of Brooklyn, Jackson 
County, Mich. 

The following loans to the Museum were made during the same 
period : 

Picture, made of cork by Mrs. Moots, loaned by her grandaughter, 
Miss Helen Brown, Lansing. 

Sash and picture, young ladies taking part in parade July 4. 1873, 
Lansing, loaned by M. Helen Simons. 

Fish spear, owned and used by Horace W. Reynolds, Clinton 
County ; loaned by his son, W. R. Reynolds, Lansing. 

Copper spear point, eight inches long. Picked up on a farm at 
Jordan Lake, Ionia County, by Jerry Preston. 

Two volumes by Dr. Gill, Commentaries on the Old and New 
Testament. Loaned by Mrs. J. Cummins, Leslie. 

Manual, Hon. DeWitt C. Leach, U. S. Congress 1860-1. Loaned 
by Clinton Leach Chalfant, Springfield, Mo. 

Slung-Shot, used by Indian women. 

Reading-Desk, from first Indian mission. Cross Village. 

Book of Indian Accounts, loaned by Mrs. M. E. Schettler. Muske- 
gon Heights. 

Two large gilt frame pier glasses, having marble shelves inscribed, 
"To Mrs. Gov. Blair from the officers of the tenth and eleventh 
cavalry." Loaned by Mrs. Charles Blair, Lansing. 
3 



18 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



HISTORICAL PICTURES AND PORTRAITS 

A historical portrait gallery is a worthy conception, well fitted 
to stimulate the pride of the people in their State and in the achieve- 
ments of its leaders. All ages furnish examples of the honor paid 
to it, from the Parthenon of the Greeks to the Louvre and West- 
minster Abbey of today. In the old Northwest, Michigan has been 
a center of the best ideals of this section of our country. It can 
not be long before Michigan must build larger quarters for the 
rapidly growing work at the State Capitol, and in view of securing 
at that time a suitable room for a historical portrait gallery every 
possible effort will be made to obtain portraits of the men and 
women who have been prominent among the makers of Michigan. 

Through the generosity of patriotic citizens the following his- 
torical pictures and portraits have been presented to the Commis- 
sion and are now in display in the Museum : 

General Andrew Jackson, engraving, 8 x 12 ; presented by Mr. and 
Mrs. De Camp, Ovid, Michigan. 

Thomas D. Gilbert, photograph, 8 x 12, from Grand Rapids. 

Centennial photograph, two sections, twenty-four pictures each. 

Centennial photographs, four sections, containing 8 x 12 spaces. 

Centennial photographs, two sections containing forty-eight 
pictures. 

Centennial photographs of Territorial Judges, ten spaces, six 
pictures. 

Centennial photographs of Territorial Delegates, seven portraits, 
24 x 32. 

Metropolitan Gallery, one hundred portraits, 22 x 25. 

Faculty of University of Michigan, nine portraits. 

Faculty of University of Michigan, five portraits. 

World's Fair Board, Chicago, 1893. 

United States Commissioners, 1891-1894. 

Supreme Court and Lansing business men of 1893, forty-one por- 
traits, 30 x 45. 

Michigan United States judges, nine portraits, 10 x 12. 

Methodist ministers. 

Michigan governors (nineteen) and Capitol. 

Group of pioneer pictures. 

Three group pictures of Legislatures. 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 19 



OIL PORTRAITS 

Mrs. Lucinda Hinsdale Stone, painted by Mrs. Stone's daughter- 
in-law. 26 x 28. Presented by D. A. R.'s and Ladies Literary Club 
of Kalamazoo, through Mrs. Mary M. Hopt. 

Jonathan Shearer, President Michigan Pioneer and Historical 
Society, 1876-77. 20x22. 

Mother Rod, prominent Indian woman of Sarnia, presented by 
Mr. Harrington of Port Huron. 

Isaac E. Crary, presented by Mrs. Belona Crary Frink, Marshall, 
Michigan, through Judge Patterson Marshall. 

William A. Burt, inventor of the solar compass. Presented by his 
sons. 

Okemos, portrait painted by Stanley of Detroit. Presented by 
C. M. Burton. 

Captain Marsac, pioneer of Bay City. Portrait purchased for 
$50. 45 x 60. 

William Woodruff Gibbs, Artist, presented by Macomb County 
citizens through George H. Cannon, Washington, Michigan. 



PHOTOGRAPHS. 

Governor John S. Horner, presented by his daughter, Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Burling, Ripon, Wisconsin. 

Peter White, presented by his son-in-law, Mr. A. O. Jopling, Mar- 
quette, through Hon. Charles R. McCabe, Marquette, Mich. 

Hon. Joseph Greusel, presented by his children. 

Arthur Hill, presented by his wife. 

Judge and Mrs Tenny, presented by Mrs. Mary C. Spencer, State 
Librarian. 

Emily Ward, Detroit, Michigan, presented by the Women's Club, 
Marine City, through Mrs. George Jones. 

Mr. and Mrs. Elder, presented by their daughter, Mrs. Perry, 
Lansing. 

Mr. Bliss of Blissfield. 

T. T. Lyon, presented by Mr. Murray. 

E. O. Haven, LL. D., former President of University of Michigan, 
presented as above. 

F. H. Rankin, presented as above. 
C. I. Walker, presented as above. 



20 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

John D. Pierce, Marshall, Michigan, first Superintendent of Pub- 
lic Instruction in Michigan, presented as above. 

Governor William Woodbridge, presented by Major H. E. 
Johnson. 

Capitol, Lansing, architect's drawing presented by Hon. D. E. 
Heineman, Detroit. 

Governor W. N. Ferris, purchased by Mrs. Ferrey. 

Mrs. Mary Stillman's sister, Mason, Michigan. 

General George E. Ouster, presented by Mrs. Custer. 

Governor Austin Blair, presented by Mrs. Mary C. Spencer. 

Henry E. Tappan, President of the University of Michigan, pre- 
sented by Mrs. Mary C. Spencer. 

Mr. and Mrs. Elder, presented by her daughter, Amy Perry r 
Lansing. 

Samuel Rowe, presented by J. V. Barry, Lansing. 

Joel Carpenter, Blissfield pioneer. 

Nun, unidentified. 

Three Lenawee County soldiers, 1861-1864. 

Daguerreotypes, paneled; sixteen small pictures from Adrian. 

Washington and his Cabinet. 

Harry E. Conant, presented by Mrs. Mary C. Spencer. 

E. Lakin Brown, of Schoolcraft. 

Abraham Lincoln. 

Lewis Cass. 

Okemos, ambrotype; presented by O. A. Jenison, Lansing. 

Ezra Baldwin Taylor, silhoutte, full length, presented by Mrs, 
Mary C. Spencer. 

Judge Babbit, presented by Mrs. Florence S. Babbitt. 

John M. Longyear, presented by his wife, Lansing, Michigan. 

John D. Pierce. 

Governor Josiah Begole, presented by his wife, Flint, Michigan. 

Governor Crapo, presented by his son-in-law, Dr. Willson, Flint. 

William Milham. 

William H. Taft, William McKinley, presented by Hon. William 
Alden Smith. 

George Washington, presented by Henry Chamberlain, Three 
Oaks. 

John W. Dewey of Owosso, Michigan, presented by himself. 

Judge Charles Long, presented by A. C. Chapin, Lansing. 

Governor A. T. Bliss, presented by his wife, Saginaw, Michigan. 

Stephen A. Douglas, presented by Lucy Cowles, Lansing. 

A. B. Gardner, of Albion, Michigan, presented by his daughter, 
Mrs. Gale, Albion. 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 21 

Et. Rev. Monsignor Frank A. O'Brien of Kalamazoo. 

M. D. Osband, of Hillsdale. 

The Governor Mason Statue at Detroit, presented by Hon. Daniet 
McCoy, Grand Rapids. 

Henry A. Tappan, plaster medallion, presented by University of 
Michigan. 

Governor John J. Bagley, bust. 

Henrv Dexter, bust. 



MAPS 

The value, for historical purposes, of the early maps of any terri- 
tory is now acknowledged to be very great, and the Commission has 
begun the collection of maps to illustrate the history of the Great 
Lakes Region, with a view of obtaining a complete line of the char- 
acteristic French, English, Dutch, German and Italian maps, so as 
to display the gradual increase of knowledge of this region down 
to 1800. 

It has already in its possession the following maps of this sec- 
tion of the new world. 

1635. Blaeu, Willem J. Americae Nova Tabula. A good ex- 
ample of the Dutch maps of this period, showing both North and 
South America, but not indicating any knowledge of the Great 
Lakes. 

1642. Jansson, Jan. American Septentrionalis. The map is from 
the same plate as a map of the same title issued in 1839, by Hondius. 
the brother-in-law of Janssou. 

1670. DuVal, Pierre. Le Canada faict par le Sr. De Champlain 
suivant les Memoires de P. I)u Val Geographe du Roy. Undated, 
but about 1760. Very rare map; the plate was reissued several 
times, first probably in 1653. This copy contains a reference to the 
route taken in 1665 to go to Japan and China. The configurations 
of the Lakes are very curious. 

1680. Berry, William. North America divided into its principal 
parts. The largest and most authentic English map of North 
America published up to this date. It is based largely on Sanson's 
map. 

1685. Daniel R. A map of ye English Empire in ye Continent 
of America. A very rare map; the earliest English map to show 
three of the Great Lakes, Ontarius, Hurons and Erius or Felis. 

1649. Jaillot, H. Amerique. An interesting map following San- 
son in the configuration of the Lakes. 



22 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

1695. Morden, Robert. A new map of the English Empire in 
America. A copy of the first issue of this map, which shows the 
Lakes approximately in their proper positions. 

1710. Senex, John. North America. A large fine colored map 
extending beyond the Mississippi. 

1718. DeFer, Nicolas. Carte de la Nouvelle France. While this 
rare map is unsigned and undated, it is undoubtedly a reduced copy 
of a larger map issued in 1718, by DeFer. The Lakes are more 
fully detailed than in any other map up to this date. 

1719. Defer, Nicolas. Carte tres curieuse de la Mer du Sud. 
This beautiful map is a reduced copy made for Chatelain's Atlas of 
1719, from a large map published by DeFer in 1713. Many very 
fine engraved inserts represent cities, Indians, animals, etc. 

1720. Moll, Herman. A new map of the North parts of America. 
This map shows all the lakes on a larger scale. In the upper right 
hand corner is a view of the Indian fort Sasquesahannock. 

1720. Homan, J. B. Amplissimae Regionis Mississipi. An 
interesting map showing the lakes on a good scale, with Hennepin's 
route marked by a dotted line. 

1746. d'Anville. Amerique Septentrionalis. Usually considered 
the best French map up to this date of the whole of North America. 

1753. Vaugondy, Robert de. Carte des Pays connus sous le nom 
de Canada. A well detailed map on a large scale. 

1755. d'Anville, J. B. Canada, Louisane et Terres Angloises. 
A fine map on much larger scale than the map of 1746. 

1775. Mitchell, John. A map of the British and French Do- 
minions in North America. A copy of the first issue of this im- 
portant map, the largest and most authentic of North America 
down to this date. It was issued under official sanction and was 
the map chiefly relied on by the Commissioners in making the 
Treaty of Peace in 1783 between Great Britain and the United 
States. 

1755. Jefferys, Thomas. North America. An important map 
based on d'Anville, contains several columns of descriptive text en- 
titled "English title to their Settlements." This is a copy of the 
first impression of this map which was reissued several times. 

1766. Kitchin, Thomas. A new and accurate map of the British 
Dominions in America. 

1783. Pownall, Thomas. A new map of North America. 

1790. Blair, John. A map of North America. 

1794. Laurie and Whittle. A new and general map of the Mid- 
dle Dominions belonging to the United States of America. 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 23 

1802. Bruyeres, B. H. Sketch of the North Shore Contiguous 
to the Falls of St. Mary. 

1831. Burr, David H. Michigan. 

1834. Wightman, J. A new Emigrant's map of Michigan with 
a part of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. 

1835. Farmer, John. An improved edition of a map of the sur- 
veyed part of the Territory of Michigan. In the collection are also 
Farmer maps of Michigan and Wisconsin, 1835, Michigan 1836, 
1852, 1854, 1864. 

1836. Young, J. H. The Tourists Pocket Map of Michigan. 
18? Houghton, Douglass. Maps of Lenawee, Jackson and Wash- 

tenaw Counties. These are three of the County Maps prepared 
under the direction of the first State Geologist. 

1846. Hubbard, Bela. Map of the western counties of Michigan. 

1848. McCracken, T. Map of the Town of Michigan in the 
County of Ingham. 

1859. Geil Jones. Genesee and Shiawassee Counties. 

1859. Macomb and St. Clair Counties. 

(The above list of maps was prepared by William L. Jenks.) 



PUBLICATIONS 

In the preface to Bulletin No. 1 it was suggested that there be 
published a descriptive catalogue of the Museum of the Commission, 
the proceedings of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society and 
reports of cooperative activities with other state organizations of 
a similar nature; a constitution and by-laws for local historical 
societies in Michigan, suggestions to local societies regarding meth- 
ods of work, and reports and papers contributed by local societies; 
a preliminary bibliography of materials for Michigan history, a 
calendar of unpublished materials in the public and private libraries 
of Michigan, and a calendar of Michigan state and local archives; 
also suggestions to writers of local history in Michigan, and topics, 
references and suggestions for the study and teaching of Michigan 
history, including Indian legends and pioneer life, with references 
to material for English exercises and story telling. 

Oif these the Commission has thus far published Bulletin No. 2, 
"Suggestions for Historical Societies and Writers in Michigan," in 
an edition of 5,000 copies. The volume of "Proceedings of the 
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society" is now in press. The 
edition of the present "Annual Keport of the Michigan Historical 



24 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Commission" was 1,000 copies. A calendar of the Askin, School- 
craft and other Papers is now in preparation. Volume XXI of 
the reprints of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections is 
now ready for distribution and Volume XXII will soon be in press. 

It was voted at the last meeting of the Commission that further 
work on the reprints be suspended for the present in order to make 
way for work on original publications. One of the most important 
of the proposed new publications is a new index o.f the entire 38 
volumes of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, to be 
constructed from the viewpoint especially of the historian, the 
economist, the sociologist and the scientist. 

Other items of work to be undertaken in the near future are a 
preliminary bibliography of materials for Michigan history and a 
calendar of unpublished materials in the public and private libraries 
of the State. 

A prospect to which the Commission is hopefully looking forward 
is the publication of official documents from the State and local 
archives. Few writers on Michigan history, especially outside of 
the State, can readily have access to this original material. The 
publication of it is therefore felt to be a pressing need. In this 
series there will probably be published the messages of Michigan 
governors. 

It has been contemplated for some time to issue a complete trans- 
lation of the Margry papers, which were collected by Pierre Margry 
and published through the assistance of the U. S. Congress. This 
has been delayed, in consequence of the thorough examination being 
made of the French Archives under the direction of Mr. W. G. 
Leland of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. This examina- 
tion has now been completed, and the papers may be consulted at 
the office of the Commission. 

The conditions upon which the publications of the Commission 
are distributed, exchanged or sold, are set forth in Section 7 of 
the act establishing the Commission. The statutory requirement 
that a library contain 500 volumes in order to receive these publi- 
cations is disappointing to many vigorous but small communities 
especially in the northern part of the State. In view of this the 
Commission has provided that loans may be made at the discretion of 
the Secretary on receipt of request from the authorities in charge 
of any local library contemplated by the law. This enables every 
school, grange and public library in Michigan to have all of the 
practical benefits to be derived from these volumes. 

Kelative to public school libraries a circular letter was sent 
recentlv to every Countv School Commissioner in the State calling 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 25 

attention to the shipment of volumes of the Michigan Pioneer and 
Historical Collections sent to the schools in each of a number of 
districts indicated and asking for the names of the present teachers 
in these schools so that the Commission might correspond directly 
with them regarding the condition of their sets. The purpose of 
the Commission is to fill out the incomplete sets where these vol- 
umes are of real value, and to supply new sets to such schools as 
the School Commissioners should deem eligible. 

The cordial response of the School Commissioners enabled the 
Historical Commission to get into direct relations with the teachers 
in the schools, and a circular was then addressed to each teacher 
asking for: 

1. Total number of volumes in the school library exclusive of 
the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections; 

2. Number of volumes of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical 
Collections with volume number of each volume ; 

3. The condition of these volumes, with specific statement as to 
any damage to any volume; 

4. Desire to have set completed. 

A prompt response from the teachers is anticipated. The Com- 
mission desires to assure the school commissioners and teachers of 
its hearty appreciation of their cooperation in this work. 

To 250 secretaries of the larger granges of Michigan a circular 
was sent some months ago asking: 

First, how large is your grange? 

Second, does your grange possess a set of the Michigan Pioneer 
and Historical Collections? 

Third, is the character of these volumes well known in your com- 
munity ? 

Fourth, could your grange use to advantage a set of these 
volumes ? 

Up to the present time only one reply has been received. 



INFORMATION BUREAU 

In response to the invitation extended in Bulletin No. 1 to all 
persons desiring information on questions of Michigan history, 
numerous letters have been received and answered by the Commis- 
sion. It was anticipated that this one activity would require a 
large share of the Commission's attention, and the experience of 
the past few months shows that if the answers were made as full 
and explicit as the Commission desires, the function would con- 
sume entirely the time of at least one assistant. Undoubtedly this 
phase of the work is one of most vital concern to all interested in 



26 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the history of Michigan, and the Commission is hopeful of such 
an increase in its appropriation as will make possible the employ- 
ing of this very much needed assistance. 



COUNTY SOCIETIES 

The Commission has sought to learn the present condition and 
past achievements of every local historical society in the State. It 
desires to strengthen the work of the older societies and to organize 
new societies in counties which up to this time have been without 
them. Very early in its work it sent to the secretary of each society 
a personal request for information. In substance this request was 
repeated as follows on an enclosure in Bulletin No. 1. : 

To Local Historical Societies in Michigan : 

We beg leave to call attention to a forthcoming bulletin on the 
local historical societies of Michigan. : 

The bulletin will go to all of the county societies of Michigan 
and to all of the important state societies in the United States 
and Canada. 

There could scarcely be a more far-reaching notice of your county, 
nor a more pleasing association for the person or persons who 
should merit such attention by furnishing the material to the State 
Historical Commission. 

Will you kindly give this notice the utmost publicity, in order 
that your county society .may appear to its very best advantage in 
the bulletin. 

In some replies to this circular there has been scarcely enough 
information to indicate a live interest in the local work. Other 
replies show a very energetic and promising spirit. 

Typical of the local historical societies organized under the 
auspices of the Commission is that at Flint, Michigan, which was 
organized December 3, 1913. It began with nearly a hundred mem- 
bers comprising leaders of thought in Flint and in Genesee county. 
The Board of Education provided generously for its accommodation, 
setting apart a separate room in the Flint Public Library to be 
used as a history room and museum. The impulse and sustaining 
power which was given to this work by the Flint Daily Journal is 
a model of that patriotic press support which the Commission is 
assured it will meet with throughout the State. 

To aid the work of local societies 5,000 copies of Bulletin No. 
2 have been printed for wide distribution among the workers in 
the local fields. The bulletin bears the title, "Suggestions to Local 
Historical Societies and Writers in Michigan," and contains, be- 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 27 

sides materials for the constitution and by-laws of the local his- 
torical society, hints for practical work namely, methods of arous- 
ing and directing popular interest in collecting historical materials, 
means of interesting the club, the lodge, the school, the public 
library, the church, and the press as allies of the society, together 
with counsel to writers of local history. 



LIBRARIES AND SCHOOLS 

i 

A special effort is being made to meet the desire shown by the 
public libraries to cooperate in the work of the Commission and of 
the local societies. As far as possible the libraries have been sup- 
plied with sets of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections 
for their reference rooms. The larger libraries will upon request, 
be presented with sets for their circulating department. The prob- 
lem of popularizing these volumes is a large one, and solutions are 
being actively sought and applied. 

Among the special means of increasing the use of the volumes, 
and of bringing the historical work of the libraries into closer rela- 
tion with the schools and the people, is the equipping of a special 
room in the library as a history room and local museum. For the 
purpose of bringing this to the attention of librarians, a circular was 
sent out to all public libraries in Michigan, inquiring about the 
possibility of having a room set aside for these purposes and urg- 
ing the many advantages. 

The Commission desires to aid in every possible way the historical 
work of the teachers and students in the schools and colleges of the 
State. As already said, earnest efforts are being made to increase 
the use of the volumes of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Col- 
lections, sets of which are being placed in every school that asks 
for them. A syllabus is contemplated, for use in schools and 
libraries, containing a chronological list of vital topics on the social, 
political, economic, industrial, educational, literary and humani- 
tarian phases of Michigan history, with specific page references to 
these volumes. Mrs. M. B. Ferrey, Curator of the Museum has 
been very active in bringing to the grade pupils, as well as to the 
High Schools, increased interest in the history of the State. The 
Secretary presented the plans and purposes of the Commission to 
the State Teachers' Association at Ann Arbor, and arrangements 
are being made for effective work at the meeting of the Michigan 
Schoolmasters' Club. Not only history teachers, but every teacher 



28 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

in Michigan schools, should have a vital interest in knowing the 
history of that environment in which the majority of the school 
children are destined to assume the responsibilities of citizenship. 



CLUBS AND LOCAL SOCIETIES 

For stimulating interest in local history, very potent are the 
local clubs and societies. The womens' clubs and patriotic societies 
are strong influences in promoting the study of local history, in 
determining and properly honoring the old landmarks, and in 
assisting to celebrate the anniversaries of historic events. Mrs. M. 
B. Ferrey, as chairman of the History Committee of the Federation 
of Womens' Clubs in Michigan, has done excellent work along this 
line. Following is the Curator's report of visits to schools, clubs 
and local societies : 

June 8, 1913, meeting of St. Helens Community Club, of Ros- 
common County, with members of West Branch Club as guests. 

June 10, 1913, meeting of Ingham County Pioneer Society in 
Senate Chamber, Lansing. 

June 14, 1913, meeting of Clinton County Pioneer Society, at 
Court House, St. Johns. 

August 7, 1913, meeting of Library section of the Bay View 
Assembly at Bay View. 

August 19, 1913, meeting of Eaton County Pioneer Society at 
Charlotte. 

Sept. 16, 1913, meeting of Women's Club at Holt. 

Sept. 10, 1913, visit to West Branch, Ogemaw County. 

Sept. 11, 1913, meeting of Women's Congress at Roscommon. 

Sept. 12, 1913, visit to Grayling, speaking to school. 

Sept. 25, 1913, quilting by Lansing D. A. R.'s in Governor's 
parlor. 

October 8, 1913, visit to Lawton, speaking to school. 

October 9, 1913, visit to Paw Paw, speaking to school. 

October 18, 1913, visit to Napoleon, speaking to Farmers' club 
and schools. 

October 21, 1913, meeting of Michigan State Federation of 
Women's clubs at Muskegon. 

November 3, 1913, visit to Big Rapids, speaking to Ferris Insti- 
tute students, then to County Normal and to Kindergartners. 

November 5, 1913, visit to St. Johns, speaking to four grades in 
high school and to the Normal. 

November 5, 1913, visit to Greenville, speaking to schools and 
club. 

November 18, 1913, visit to Sunfield, speaking to grade school 
and primary, also to the Sunfield club. 

December 3, 1913, meeting of D. A. R. at Marshall. 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 29 

December 4, 1913, visit to Galesburg to secure relics. 
December 19, 1913, Farmers' institute at Wolverine, Ckeboygan 
County. 



COOPERATION WITH THE MACKINAC ISLAND STATE 
PARK COMMISSION 

The Mackinac Island State Park Commission has undertaken the 
construction of a new and detailed map of Mackinac Island, for 
which an entire new survey has been made. Upon this map there 
will be shown all of the important historic sites, drives, paths, 
groves, vistas, lookouts, caves, springs and other points of natural 
beauty. 

To obtain suitable names for these places the service of the His- 
torical Commission was solicited. A joint committee was ap- 
pointed consisting of Commissioners Jenks and O'Brien for the 
Historical Commission, and for the Park Commission, Hon. Ira 
A. Adams and Hon. Edwin O. Wood. A visit was made to the 
Island, in the summer of 1913, by the members of this committee, 
when it was agreed that the names selected should, in the main, 
commemorate the Indian tribes and the explorers, missionaries, 
soldiers and civilians connected with the Island's early history. 
Plans were considered for establishing a museum on the Island, 
which should illustrate its historic growth and development. For 
this purpose all appropriate duplicates at the State Museum will 
be sent, in due course to the Mackinac Island Museum. 

The historic importance of the Mackinac region in the early 
history of Michigan, and its present far-reaching fame as a summer 
resort justifies the most energetic work of both commissions in 
properly preserving the history of its past, and improving the great 
possibilities it affords at present as the rarest gem of natural 
beauty in our northern lakes. 



VISIT TO NAZARETH ACADEMY AND THE UNIVERSITY 
OF NOTRE DAME. 

On the occasion of the regular October meeting, the Commission 
was entertained at the home of Monsignor O'Brien in Kalamazoo. 
The visit to Nazareth Academy, of which Monsignor O'Brien is 
Dean, was keenly enjoyed. The modern sanitary halls and recita- 
tion rooms of the Academy were found to be models in artistic 
appointment and ample equipment. 



30 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

A very enjo3 r able program was given by the girls and boys of the 
Academy. To their addresses of welcome, characterized b}^ courtesy, 
intelligence and patriotism, Governor Ferris responded, drawing 
upon his boyhood experiences to impress his "gospel of work." 
The spirit of hospitality shown by our colleague, and by the offi- 
cers and Sisters of the Academy, was most highly appreciated. 

The cordial invitation of the Very Rev. John Cavanaugh, C. S. 
C. D. D., to visit the historic collections in the University of Notre 
Dame, Indiana, was accepted, and the Commission spent there a 
most profitable day in the library and Museum, and among the his- 
toric art treasures of this most noted institution of its kind in the 
Middle West. To an audience of a thousand students Governor 
Ferris again presented his "gospel of work," and extended to the 
students and professors a most hearty invitation to visit the edu- 
cational institutions of Michigan and see how this gospel was there 
practiced. 

Neighboring historic sites were visited, including that of Old 
Fort St. Joseph in southwestern Michigan, near Niles, and the site 
of the supposed burial place of the missionary Allouez. The Com- 
mission voted to cooperate with all local societies of that region 
to excavate for relics of that period. 

It is believed that these visits may result in fruitful cooperation 
in the interest of the history of Michigan. 



PERRY'S VICTORY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 

Michigan was officially represented at the Perry's Victory Cen- 
tennial Celebration, September 11-13, by Governor Ferris, the Michi- 
gan Memorial and Centennial Commission, and the Secretary of 
the Historical Commission. 

The strategic import of Perry's victory on Lake Erie was vital 
for the American occupation of the old Northwest, enabling Harri- 
son to free Detroit, to invade Canada and to bring the war in the 
west practically to an end at the battle of the Thames. The cele- 
bration, however, of the one hundredth anniversary of that event, 
centralized at Put-in-Bay, had as its chief significance, the official 
recognition of the century of peace ensuing between the United 
States and Great Britain. To aid in promoting a suitable celebra- 
tion and memorial, the Michigan legislature appropriated the sum 
of |30,000. 

The program was largely one of peace. Governor Ferris delivered 
an address on "Lewis Cass, Michigan's Hero in the War of 1812." 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 31 

Cass was essentially a man of peace, whose constructive work as 
Governor of Michigan during nearly two decades following the 
War of 1812, laid broad and deep the foundations of Michigan's 
growth as an agricultural commonwealth. 

A valuable collection of material was made, relative to the incep- 
tion, organization and execution of Michigan's part in the celebra- 
tion. A paper on this subject was read at the last meeting of the 
Pioneer and Historical Society, and will be published in the Pro- 
ceedings. 

COOPERATION WITH THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL 
ASSOCIATION 

The great importance of calendaring and transcribing materials 
in foreign archives relating to American history is unquestioned; 
the problem is to achieve this task with the least waste of time, 
energy and money. 

Since 1907, the American Historical Association has been active 
in securing a solution of this problem, and the most promising sug- 
gestion of that body is, that it might be done by groups of states 
having historical interests in common. Such a group, for example, 
is that lying in the old French province of the Mississippi valley, 
which properly includes Michigan. Michigan is one of a number of 
states in that group which are now contributing to a fund to be 
disbursed for the above purpose, by a committee of the American 
Historical Association on "Cooperation Among Historical Socie- 
ties." The obligation of $200 made some time ago by the Michigan 
Pioneer and Historical Society, has been assumed and paid by this 
Commission. The work in the French archives is being done by 
Mr. Waldo G. Leland, of the Department of Historical Research of 
the Carnegie Institution, Washington, D. C. 



CRITICISM AND APPRECIATION 

It is with a deep sense of gratitude, that the Commission looks 
back over its first few months of work, and reviews the many marks 
of approbation it has received from the people and the press of 
Michigan. This work has necessarily been that of planning and 
organizing, of making known its plans, and of soliciting the co- 
operation of other historical agencies at home and abroad. The 



32 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

high ground which the Commission has now reached affords an out- 
look that is bright with promise. 

A large debt is due to the experience of Historical Societies and 
Commissions of other states. Our special thanks are due to the 
State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and to the Departments of 
Archives and History in the states of Alabama and Mississippi. 

At the very beginning of our work the Commission was coun- 
selled by the wise experience of our late lamented friend, Dr. 
Reuben Gold Thwaites, of the Wisconsin Historical Society, who 
was personally present at the first meeting of the Commission after 
its organization. 

For counsel and encouragement the Commission is under great 
obligations to Victor H. Paltsits, chairman of the Public Archives 
Commission of the American Historical Association; to Dr. J. 
Franklin Jameson, of the Department of Historical Research of the 
Carnegie Institution, to Worthington C. Ford of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, and to faculty members of the Department of 
History in the University of Michigan. 



FINANCIAL STATEMENT 

Total amount of appropriation available to Jan. 1, 1914 $2,500 00 

EXPENDITURE FROM APPROPRIATION 

Salaries 

July 15, 1913 $157 68 

July 31, 1913 168 12 

August 15, 1913 157 68 

August 31, 1913 168 12 

September 30, 1913 282 75 

October 15, 1913 146 74 

October 3L 1913 156 48 

November 15, 1913 146 74 

November 30, 1913 146 86 

December 15, 1913 146 74 

December 31, 1913 157 52 

$1,835 43 



THE ANNUAL REPORT 33 

Traveling expenses (Commission) 
Rt. Rev. Monsignor F. A. O'Brien, August 

6, 1913 $7 11 

Hon. W. L. Jenks, August 6, 1913 5 02 

Hon. W. L. Jenks, October 7 and 8 7 25 

$19 38 

Trayeling expenses (Secretary) 

Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Port Huron, Meet- 
ing of St. Glair County Pioneer Society, 
August 28, 1913 $13 52 

Perry Centennial Celebration, Putin Bay, 

Ohio, September 25, 1913 16 10 

Kalamazoo and Notre Dame, Commission 

meeting, October 6, 1913 6 61 

Ann Arbor, State Teachers' Association, 

October 30, 1913 10 24 

Flint, Port Huron, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Con- 
ferences, November 21, 1913 $14 48 

Flint, Organization of Flint Historical So- 
ciety, December 3, 1913 2 83 

$63 78 
Traveling expenses (Curator of the Museum) 

Mrs. M. B. Ferrey, various addresses August 

7, to December 19, 1913 $71 85 71 85 

Office Supplies 

One filing cabinet, July 1, 1913 $36 75 

Pictures framed for office and museum, 

November 17, 1913 1 20 

37 95 

Telephone 

June 30-July 9, 1913 $4 90 

November 15, 1913 65 

5 55 
Museum 

Sustaining membership and publications to 
American Association of Museums, Sep- 
tember 29, 1913 $10 54 

Express on relics to museum, October 2 to 

November 20 1 35 

Transferring piano from Blair home in Jack- 
son to Capitol, Lansing, October 24, 1913 6 62 
5 



34 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Transferring lumber wheels from Au Sable to 

Lansing, November 17, 1913 $16 80 

Cases for the museum 300 00 

$335 31 

American Historical Association, calendaring 
and transcribing documents, Sept. 1, 

1913 $200 00 

200 00 
Total expenditure from appropriation to January 

1, 1914 $2,569 25 

As will be seen from the above, notwithstanding the strictest 
economy w r e begin 1914 in debt. We have endeavored to curtail 
expenses in every way possible, even in a way uncomplimentary to 
the state. For instance, we have not sent one of our members as 
a delegate to the meeting of the American Historical Association. 

No purchases of rare books or manuscripts have been made. 

The balance of the price of some rare maps which were ordered 
abroad, will be paid from the private funds of the President of the 
Commission. 

In justice to our Commission, and to do properly what the state 
would expect of us, we must have a larger appropriation. 

We feel that we can "make good," and be of immense value to the 
state and to posterity, but we must have the funds. 

None of the Commissioners receive a penny of remuneration for 
services rendered. They are devoting their time and talent for the 
good of the cause. We believe you will agree with them that suffi 
cient means should be at their disposal to maintain the honor and 
credit of this great state. 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE MICHIGAN PIONEER 
AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



PONTIAC MID-WINTER MEETING, FEBKUARY 21, 22, 1912 

ANNUAL MEETING AT LANSING, JUNE 5, 6, 1912 

GRAND RAPIDS MID-WINTER MEETING, JANUARY 30, 31, 1913 

ANNUAL MEETING AT LANSING, JUNE 4, 5, 1913 

PORT HURON MID-WINTER MEETING, FEBRUARY 5, 6, 1914 

ANNUAL MEETING AT LANSING, JUNE 9, 10, 1914 



PROCEEDINGS OF THE MICHIGAN PIONEER 
AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

PONTIAC MIDWINTER MEETING, FEBRUARY 21-22, 1012 

The Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society held its midwinter 
meeting of 1912 in the assembly room of the court house at Pontiac 
on February 21 and 22. The success of this meeting was greatly 
interfered with by bad weather which prevented several speakers 
from reaching Pontiac. A number of members of the Oakland 
County Pioneer Society gathered at the court house on the morning 
of February 21, and in the absence of President Burton the meeting 
was called to order at 11 o'clock by Joseph Greusel of Detroit. 
Junius E. Beal of Ann Arbor was chosen temporary secretary. The 
program planned for the afternoon could be carried out only in 
part. The invocation was given by the Rev. R. M. Traver; words 
of welcome were spoken by Judge J. S. Stockwell, acting President 
of the Oakland County Pioneer Society. Major R. J. Lounsbury 
also extended greetings on behalf of the city of Pontiac. Chair- 
man Beal then introduced Secretary Henry R. Pattengill of Lansing 
who responded in behalf of the State Society. Harry Quale sang 
a number of Irish songs and James H. Lynch talked informally on 
the Irish pioneers of Oakland County, dwelling especially upon the 
three typical Irish communities of the county the Covenanters 
of Southfield, the Presbyterians of Royal Oak and the Roman 
Catholic settlement at White Lake. 

The features of the evening program were addresses by Hon. 
Junius E. Beal of Ann Arbor, the Very Rev. Dean O'Brien of Kala- 
mazoo, and Mrs. Arthur M. Parker, State Regent of the Michigan 
Daughters of the American Revolution. No reports of these ad- 
dresses were preserved. 

A business session of the local society was held Thursday fore- 
noon when all officers were reelected and the name of the society 
was changed to Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society 
to correspond with that of the State organization. A luncheon was 
served at noon by the ladies of the county society at which about 
three hundred people were served. In the absence of the scheduled 



38 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

speakers the closing session of Thursday afternoon was given up 
to an extemporaneous program and a social good time including 
music and pioneer reminiscences. 



ANNUAL MEETING, JUNE 5-6, 1912 

The annual meeting of 1912 was held in the Senate Chamber at 
the Capitol in Lansing on June 5 and 6. The opening session con- 
vened at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, and following the invo- 
cation by Rev. O. J. Price of Lansing, reports were made by the 
Secretary, Mr. H. R. Pattengill and the Treasurer, Mr. B. F. Davis. 

Mr. Pattengill emphasized the need of greater efforts on the part 
of the local societies to preserve local historical material. He ex- 
pressed in behalf of the State Society appreciation of the action 
of the State Board of Auditors in coming to the aid of the Society 
in the recent crisis due to Governor Osborn's veto of the annual 
appropriation. 

The report of Treasurer B. F. Davis showed a balance on hand 
of fll.94. 

Mr. D. P. Van Winkle of Ho well gave a sketch of the lives of 
Albert and William Tooley, pioneers of that city. 

Two papers which were to have been read, one by Right Rev. F. 
A. O'Brien on the life of Father F. X. Pierz and one by A. H. 
McMillan, entitled "An Indian Skirmish at Detroit in 1814," were 
postponed to be read later in the program owing to the absence 
of the speakers. In their place reminiscences were given by "Uncle 
Dan" Mevis of Lansing and^ other aged pioneers, and reports from 
local pioneer societies were given by representatives present. 

In the evening, humor and pathos mingled in the addresses given 
by Edgar Guest of Detroit and Claude R. Buchanan of Grand 
Rapids. Mr. Guest of the Detroit Free Press took as his subject 
"Humor, the Safety .Valve," reading many of his poems, Avhich 
were characterized by the delightful vein of humor and a virile 
philosophy of the every day life of all the people. Mr. Buchanan's 
address paid tribute to his mother, Mrs. Sophia Bingham Buchanan, 
who came to Michigan in the 30's and died in Grand Rapids in 
1910. 

Thursday morning was occupied by a meeting of the Board of 
Trustees in preparation for action by the Society in the afternoon 
session towards steps to put the Society in such relations with the 
State as to avoid a recurrence of such a financial crisis as it met in 
1911 by. the veto of the appropriation. 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 39 

On motion of Bev. O'Brien, Articles I and II of the Articles of 
Association were amended as follows : 

Article I. The name of this association shall be the Michigan 
Pioneer and Historical Society and all the property which it has 
or may acquire by gift, purchase or otherwise, shall be held by 
the Society in trust for the State of Michigan. 

Article II. The officers shall be a President, one or more Vice 
Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer, of whom the President 
and Vice President shall be elected by the Trustees from their own 
number to serve until their successors are elected and qualified ; 
the Secretary and Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of 
Trustees. 

It was moved by Mr. Bement and carried that Article VIII of 
the Articles of Association be amended as follows : 

The property affairs and business of the Society shall be under 
the general charge and management of a Board of eleven Trustees, 
one of whom shall be the Governor of the State of Michigan, ex 
officio; the others shall be elected at the annual meeting of the 
Society to hold for two years and until their successors are elected 
and qualified. At the first election under this amendment, one- 
half of the number shall be elected for one year and one-half for 
two years. Five trustees shall constitute a quorum for the trans- 
action of business at any meeting. The Board of Trustees shall 
have power to appoint a Secretary and Treasurer to hold office 
during their pleasure and with such salary as they may determine. 

These steps were intended to make the Society in effect a State 
department, thus insuring State support and preserving the organi- 
zation. The need of turning the responsibility and work of the 
Society over to the State was the more urgent because of the large 
proportions to which the work had grown and the great importance 
of rapidly collecting the materials for the State's history before 
they should be irretrievably lost. 

The resolutions submitted by the Board were unanimously 
adopted by the Society, Thursday afternoon. 

The following appointments of officers by the new Board of Trus- 
tees was announced: President, C. M. Burton; Vice Presidents, 
W. L. Jenks and C. E. Bement; Treasurer, B. F. Davis; Assistant 
Secretary and Custodian, Mrs. M. B. Ferrey. Mr. H. B. Pattengill 
who had long served as secretary retired as he could not devote 
the whole of his time to the work. 

Committees were appointed as follows: Committee on Publica- 
tions, C. E, Bement, C. M. Burton and W. L. Jenks ; Committee on 
By-laws, W. L. Jenks, A. C. Carton, and Kev. F. A. O'Brien. 

The new Board of Trustees, including the historians of the 
Society was composed of the following members : For two years, 



40 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

C. M. Burton, Edwin O. Wood, H. R. Pattengill and C. E. Bement; 
members for one year, L. T. Hemans, A. C. Carton, J. E. Beal, 
Rev. F. A. O'Brien and Joseph Greusel. 1 

The programme for Thursday afternoon included the reading of 
a memoir of Dr. Hermann Kiefer by Dr. J. B. Kennedy of Detroit 
and the presentation of a shell catalogue to the Society by Mrs. 
Loraine Pratt Immen of Grand Rapids. George Seeley of Pontiac 
gave a sample of his fiery campaign speeches of 1860. 

In the closing session Thursday evening, Hon. Junius E. Beal, 
Regent of the University of Michigan, gave an address on "A Dif- 
ference in View," defending the early pioneers of Michigan who 
have in recent years been criticized for ruthless destruction of 
Michigan's forests. 

x John M. Bulkley of Monroe talked on "The Pursuit of History." 
Miss Mary Hefferan of Grand Rapids told of the life of Dr. Timothy 
Eastman. 

Throughout the program appropriate music was interspersed with 
the papers and addresses. Vocal numbers were rendered by the 
Industrial School for Boys, the Lansing Public Schools, the Apollo 
Quartette, the School for the Blind, and individual numbers 
were given by Mr. R. C. Huston of the Michigan Agricultural Col- 
lege, Miss Helen Atkins, Miss Ruth Wood, Miss Muriel Smith, Mrs. 
F. O. Hesse, Archibald Jackson of Detroit and Miss Margaret Gil- 
ray of Sault Ste. Marie. 



GRAND RAPIDS MIDWINTER MEETING, JANUARY 30-31, 

1913 

The midwinter meeting of 1913 was held in Grand Rapids, Janu- 
ary 30 and 31, in the auditorium of the Ryerson Public Library. 
The attendance was large for the season, adding much to the suc- 
cess of the meeting. A large part of that success was due to the 
interest of the librarian, Samuel H. Ranck, assisted by an effective 
committee on local arrangements, headed by Mrs. James H. 
Campbell. 

The following Grand Rapids societies cooperated in entertain- 
ment: 

The Old Residents' Association, of Grand River Valley. 

The Saint Cecilia Society. 

The Ladies' Literary Club. 



Deceased. 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 41 

The West Side Ladies' Literary Club. 

The Grand Rapids Woman's Club. 

The Daughters of the American Revolution. 

The Sons of the American Revolution. 

The Grand Rapids Federation of Woman's Clubs. 

The Woman's University Club. 

The Grand Rapids Art Association. 

La Societa Regina Margherita. 

The Grand Rapids Teachers' Club. 

The Grand Rapids Society of Elocution. 

The meeting was called to order at 2:30 o'clock on Thursday 
afternoon. Prayer was offered by Rev. Alfred Wishart. Greetings 
were formally extended in behalf of the Historical Society of Grand 
Rapids by its President, Roger W. Butterfield, and in behalf of 
the Ladies' Literary Club by Mrs. William F. McKnight, to which 
Vice President William L. Jenks responded for the Society. 

Both Mr. Butterfield and Mrs. McKnight struck the keynote of 
the popular attitude toward history and historical societies when 
they said that if historical societies and writers are to receive 
attention today they must not forget the present in their endeavor 
to preserve the past. 

Mrs. Cornelia Hulst, author of "Indian Sketches," told some of 
the Indian legends she had gathered while preparing her book. 

Mrs. Hulst also made the suggestion that this Society should 
make an effort, before too late, to preserve some of the character- 
istic beauty of Michigan's landscape by persuading the Legislature 
to set aside one of our finest swamps. She pointed out that when once 
drained these could never be replaced, with their rich vegetation 
from orchids to giant pines. "It would be a proud achievement," 
she said "for this Society to secure such a museum of natural history 
for the future lovers of natural beauty and future naturalists." 1 

The evening session also was held in the auditorium of the Ryer- 
son Library, Vice-President Jenks presiding. The Right Rev. Henry 
J. Richter, bishop of the Catholic diocese of Grand Rapids, offered 
the invocation. The features of the evening were a paper 
by Hon. Edwin O, Wood of Flint on "The Old Northwest," and 
an address by Professor Claude H. Van Tyne, head of the Depart- 
ment of History in the University of Michigan, who took as his 
theme "Political cartoons and their effect on history." 

Professor Van Tyne's address was delivered as one of the Uni- 



a Acting on Mrs. Hulst's suggestion Hon. A. C. Carton, of the Public Domain Com- 
mission has set apart swamp tracts in the Public Domain preserves in 52 Counties. 



42 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

versity Extension lectures. He showed cartoons of American poli- 
tics from the period between the Revolution and the Civil War. 

Friday morning an executive session of the Trustees of the So- 
ciety was held at the Morton House, the Right Rev. F. A. O'Brien 
presiding. Ways and means were discussed for organizing local 
historical societies which should develop the local fields in co- 
operation with the State Society. By a unanimous vote the vol- 
umes of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections will be 
distributed "to all public libraries, public, parochial and the various 
denominational schools," in the belief that for the schools of Michi- 
gan, especially in their study of the pioneer history of the State, 
this is a valuable collection. 

A third important step was a vote to submit to the present legis- 
lature a bill requiring the appointment of a State Commission to 
care especially for public documents in State and local archives. 
This movement culminated in the establishment of the Michigan 
Historical Commission. A vote was taken to submit to the legis- 
lature a bill for a new building near the Capitol at Lansing, or 
for an addition to the present building, in which the Society might 
have appropriate quarters. 

In the early afternoon session, following the invocation by Rev. 
Edwin W. Bishop, Vice President William L. Jenks of Port Huron 
took up the topic which was discussed at the opening of the morn- 
ing session of the Board of Trustees. He canvassed from various 
points of view the advantages of having a local historical society 
in every community, emphasizing the advantages to the community 
itself. A lively discussion followed. Among the speakers were 
Samuel H. Ranck, Superintendent of the Grand Rapids Public Li- 
brary, Rev. F. A. O'Brien of Kalamazoo, Joseph Greusel of Detroit 
and Lawton T. Hemans of Mason. 

Pleasing features of this session were a reading by Mrs. Ida M. 
Bailey, the Indian stories told by George A. Philp of Lake City, 
and reminiscences by several of the old pioneers in attendance. 

In the closing session Friday evening, Regent Junius E. Beal 
of the University presiding, the Society enjoyed the presence of 
Governor Woodbridge N. Ferris and Lieutenant Governor John Q. 
Ross, in whose honor a reception was given in the St. Cecilia build- 
ing. A very appropriate setting for the occasion, reproduced under 
the auspices of the Sophie de Marsac Campau Chapter, D. A. R., 
and under the personal direction of Mrs. P. L. Hamilton, was the 
New England pioneer kitchen with all its old-time utensils and its 
varied activities of flax and wool spinning, quilt-piecing, apple- 
paring and stringing, carpet-rag sewing, sampler-working, per- 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 43 

formed by local talent, not omitting cradle-rocking. Appropriate 
music was furnished by the St. Mary's Choir and St. Cecilia quartet. 

Governor Ferris in his address described the old home of his 
boyhood days. 

Lieutenant Governor Ross paid a tribute to the memory of those 
who had made it possible for the Society to accomplish the work it 
has done for the history of Michigan and the Old Northwest. 

Mrs. Lorraine Pratt-Immen read a tribute to Michigan written by 
Rose Hartwick Thorpe, formerly of this State. Mrs. Immen presented 
to the Society a beautiful silk flag, designating Mrs. M. B. Ferrey 
of Lansing as the deserving standard bearer and custodian for life. 

George R. Fitch of Grand Rapids closed the program with an 
illustrated lecture on "Old and New Grand Rapids," after which 
a reception was held in the St. Cecilia ball room. 



ANNUAL MEETING, JUNE 4-5, 1913 

The annual meeting of 1913 was held in the Senate chamber of 
the Capitol in Lansing June 4 and 5. This meeting was the first to 
be held under the joint auspices of the Society and the newly 
created Historical Commission. 

The first session was formally opened at 2 o'clock on Wednesday, 
June 4, with prayer offered by Rev. J. T. LeGear of Lansing, follow- 
ing which President Clarence M. Burton of Detroit summarized 
briefly the relation of the Society to the new State Department of 
History and Archives. He referred to the reason given by Gover- 
nor Osborn for vetoing the appropriation for the Society in 1911, 
which was that the Society did not bear such a relation to the 
State government as to warrant the State's giving money for its 
support. 

"As soon as it became known how the Governor felt about it" 
said Mr. Burton, "we set about to organize a new State department, 
a department of History and Archives, which could receive from 
the State government the necessary help. The legislature accord- 
ingly passed an act establishing the Michigan Historical Commis- 
sion, which takes over the collecting, publishing, and distributing 
activities of the Society. This act will give a much larger field 
than we ever expected as originally organized. Under the act the 
Commission has the authority to collect from the various State, 
county, town, city, and vilTage archives all important public docu- 
ments over thirty years old, and in so doing to require the co- 
operation of the public officials having them in charge. These are 
to be properly housed, arranged, and catalogued for the use of the 



44 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

public and of students. The public offices in London, notably the 
Public Record Office, has within its walls great masses of docu- 
ments, national and local, swept together from the four corners of 
Great Britain, making an invaluable treasurehouse of historical 
material for the historians of Britain. In those offices there is 
more original material bearing on the early history of Michigan 
than there is in Michigan than there is, indeed, in the United 
States. It has been carried thither during two hundred years. We 
hope, under this new organization, that we will do as well as 
Great Britain has in collecting materials on our State history. In 
the possibilities of this new department of the State government, 
the Society, which will receive the Commission's active coopera- 
tion, is placed on a surer foundation than ever before. The Society 
can do many things that the Commission cannot do effectively, like 
holding this meeting which you are all enjoying. The pioneers and 
historical workers, the great rank and file of those interested in 
the history of Michigan, need such an organization as this Society, 
through which to express themselves as a unit in relation to the 
historical interests of the State and of the local societies. We have 
now the ideal combination, a State supported Commission with 
scholars from our University and men of business insight from the 
ranks of Michigan's business world to direct it, and on the other 
hand the Society composed of the people themselves. I do not 
exactly think we owe a vote of thanks to our former Governor for 
"the opposition which brought the situation to a head; probably he 
didn't have any philosophy about it. Anyway it has resulted in 
good." 

The President called attention to the Shoemaker collection of 
maps made by Vice President W. L. Jenks, of Port Huron, which 
were shown in cases in a corner of the Senate chamber. He de- 
clared it the largest collection of Michigan maps he had ever seen. 

Referring to the death of the Michigan poet, Will Carleton, Mr. 
Burton announced that the poet's books and many autograph poems 
had been recently purchased by him and could be consulted in his 
library in Detroit. 

Mr. William P. Nisbett of Big Rapids, private secretary to Gov- 
ernor Ferris, representing the Governor who was absent, brought 
to the Society the Governor's warmest regards, his exceeding regret 
at not being able to be present, and the hearty assurance of his 
desire to cooperate with the Society in every way possible. Mr. 
Nisbett then spoke of his brief experience with local historical 
work in writing the history of Big Rapids. The experience brought 
forcibly to him the need of preserving local material and the con- 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 45 

viction that it could be done effectively only through a live, local 
historical society. 

A memoir of Hon. Joseph Greusel, which was prepared by his 
son was read by the Secretary of the Historical Commission, after 
which Mr. John Hubert Greusel, at President Burton's invitation 
to speak, paid a tribute to the memory of his father. 

A portrait of the Hon. Joseph Greusel, presented to the Society, 
was received on behalf of the Society by Hon. Lawton T. Hemans. 

The secretary's report was submitted by the acting secretary, 
Mrs. M. B. Ferrey. 

The treasurer's report was submitted by Mr. B. F. Davis as 
follows : 

Annual report of the treasurer of the Michigan Pioneer and His- 
torical Society from June 5, 1912 to the close of business June 3, 
1913. 

Balance on hand June 5, 1912 : f 11 94 

Received from memberships during this year 48 37 



|60 31 
March 8, 1913, paid check for flowers for funeral of Hon. 

Joseph Greusel 4 00 



Balance on hand June 3, 1913 f 56 31 

Respectfully submitted, 

B. F. DAVIS, 

Treasurer. 

The evening session of Wednesday was occupied by several well 
written papers: "The Indians' of the Saginaw Valley," by Fred 
Dustin of Saginaw; "General Alpheus S. Williams," by John 
Hubert Greusel of Detroit; and "Our first homes," by Mrs. Mary 
M. Hoyt of Kalamazoo. 

Thursday morning was occupied with a business session of the 
Board of Trustees, and also the early part of the afternoon ses- 
sion of the Society was devoted to business. The following officers 
were elected: President, C. M. Burton, of Detroit; Vice President, 
C. E. Bement, Lansing; Secretary, G. N. Fuller, Ann Arbor; 
Treasurer, B. F. Davis, Lansing. The new Board of Trustees is 
composed as follows: C. M. Burton, Edwin O. Wood, H. R. Patten- 
gill, C. E. Bement, W. L. Jenks, Rt. Rev. Monsignor F. A. O'Brien, 
L. T. Hemans, J. E. Beal, A. L. Sawyer, and A. C. Carton. 

Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, Superintendent of the State Histori- 



46 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

cal Society of Wisconsin was made an honorary member by a 
unanimous vote of the Society acting upon the following report 
of the Committe on honorary membership : 

"To the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, we would 
respectfully recommend that Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites of Madi- 
son, Wisconsin, be elected an honorary member of the Michigan 
Pioneer and Historical Society in view of the important service 
he has rendered to the State of Michigan in preserving and ex- 
tensively publishing materials pertaining to the early history of 
Michigan, and in view of the work characterized by fine scholarship 
which he has done in various lines of research and historical writ- 
ing. 

Respectfully submitted, 

EDWIN O. WOOD,, 
FRANK A. O'BRIEN, 

Approved by the Committee of Historians of the Pioneer and 
Historical Society: 

FRANK A. O'BRIEN, 
W. L. JENKS, 
C. E. BEMENT." 

On motion of Mr. Jenks a resolution was unanimously adopted 
extending the following vote of thanks to the State Board of Audi- 
tors for their loyal support of the Society in its recent crisis : 

"The Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society owes the con- 
tinuance of its work for the past two years chiefly, if not entirely, 
to the friendly and generous action of the State Board of Auditors 
in so construing its powers as to preserve and protect the work 
which the Society has carried on for so many years, and which 
without such assistance would have been greatly injured. There- 
fore be it resolved, that this society deems it most appropriate that 
it should acknowledge the great value and importance of the aid 
so rendered, and should express its most hearty gratitude, and 
assure the Board of its belief that the people of the State of Michi- 
gan highly appreciate and approve their action, and also that this 
Society wishes to thank the Board for the many courtesies outside 
their official duties which it has received at the hands of the Board." 

The members of the Board of Auditors included in this resolu- 
tion are Hon. Frederick C. Martindale, Albert E. Sleeper, Hunt ley 
I. Russell, John W. Haarer, and A. C. Carton. 

On motion of Monsignor F. A. O'Brien the Society ratified the 
following deed transferring its property to the Michigan Historical 
Commission : 

"Be it known that the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, 
a corporation organized under the laws of Michigan, by its Presi- 
dent thereof duly authorized does hereby give, grant, sell and 
assign to the State of Michigan all the property of every kind, 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 47 

character, and description which it now owns or has under its con- 
trol, giving and granting to the State of Michigan said property 
to have and to hold forever. 

"The purpose of this instrument is to carry out the intent of 
said Society indicated by resolutions duly passed by its members 
and in recognition of the fact that the funds with which the said 
property was acquired were given by the State of Michigan through 
legislative appropriations over a long period of years, and in recog- 
nition of the propriety of the property so acquired being legally 
vested in the State of Michigan. 

"In witness whereof the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society 
has caused these presents to be signed by its President the 5th 
day of June in the year 1913. 

(Signed) C. M. BURTON, 
President of the Pioneer and Historical Society. 

State of Michigan, 
County of Ingham. 

"On this 5tb day of June, A. D., 1913, before me a notary public 
in and for said County personally appeared Clarence M. Burton 
known to me to be the President of the Michigan Pioneer and His- 
torical Society, and acknowledged that he executed the foregoing 
instrument for the purpose therein mentioned. 

(Signed) E. O. AUSTIN, 
Notary Public, County of Ingham, Michigan." 

The discussion of the nature and purpose of the Historical Com- 
mission which followed engaged a number of speakers. Mr. Jenks 
opened the discussion by sketching the history of the Society and 
tracing the steps by which the Commission was formed. Mr. C. 
E. Bement prophesied great usefulness for the Commission in lines 
of work which the Society by its nature was not able to perform. 
Monsignor O'Brien said, "I can assure you in behalf of the mem- 
bers of the new Commission that the one thing they desire above 
all others is the hearty cooperation of the members of this Society. 
Only by such cooperation can the great things hoped for be 
achieved." Mr. Edwin O. Wood spoke briefly of the private collec- 
tions of Michigan material already made indicating the historical 
interest and enterprize of many citizens. He congratulated the 
Society on the formation of the Commission to which he said it 
should be an elder brother. He believed that a new era had 
dawned for the historical interests of Michigan. President Burton 
laid stress upon the necessity of getting the work of the Society 
and Commission into close touch with the schools of the State and 
with local societies as well as with representative societies and 
commissions of other states. He expressed the hope that there 
might soon be established as a department of the Commission's 



48 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

v work, a bureau of information through which all inquiries about the 
state's history might be promptly and intelligently answered. 

The following resolution introduced by Monsignor O'Brien was 
unanimously adopted: 

"Resolved that the Pioneer and Historical Society tender a vote 
of thanks to Mrs. Ferrey for her generous and loyal services in be- 
half of the Society for the many years that she has been its 
efficient Assistant Secretary." 

Following the business session President Burton introduced 
the new secretary of the Society and of the Historical Com- 
mission who reviewed at some length economic conditions in the 
Saginaw country previous to the admission of Michigan to the 
Union. The substance of Dr. Fuller's remarks can be read in 
Chapter XII of his volume, "Economic beginnings of southern 
Michigan, 1805-1837," which is not yet published. 

Thursday evening Hon. E. O. Wood of Flint presided. Mr. C. E. 
Bement read the paper "Memoir, Melvin D. Osband," written by 
Mrs. Nellie Osband Baldwin, Grand Eapids, which was to have 
been given Wednesday evening. Mr. Jenks read the paper prepared 
by Mr. George A. Baker on "Some early fur traders of the St. 
Joseph Valley." Mrs. Caroline P. Campbell, Grand Rapids, read 
a paper on "Michigan portraits and their artists." 

The feature of the evening was an informal address on "His- 
torical work" by Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites of the Historical 
Society of Wisconsin. 

"Now I take it," said Dr. Thwaites, referring to the Commission, 
"that one of the chief duties of a state-supported Historical Com- 
mission, is to foster historical interest and study among the masses 
of the people. While a Commission can issue bulletins of informa- 
tion and instruction it is not doing its full duty unless it collects 
the raw material out of which history is to be written ; and this it 
cannot do without the sympathetic cooperation of the people. In 
the younger counties especially there should be sympathetic inter- 
viewing of pioneers while they are still among you. You will find 
the old settlers glad to respond to such attention. The interest 
you could thus foster would be vital to the growth of your local 
historical societies. 

"In meetings like this very much depends upon the papers given. 
They should be vital to the interests and sympathies of the 
audience. They should be human, meaty, and, in general, short. 
Long papers tire old people. Brief biographical sketches would be 
very much in place. Scholarly papers, in the strict sense of that 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 49 

phrase, while suitable for meetings of scholars and students, are 
hardly suitable for such a meeting as this, which, I take it, is 
primarily social and inspirational. 

"In Wisconsin we have given up the yearly meetings. We do 
not have our friend Mr. Jarvis to sing for us; we do not have the 
red punch served by Mrs. Ferrey; so w T e have the business meeting 
for the election of officers in my office and a meeting in the evening 
with an address from one or more persons, absolutely limited by 
the watch to twenty minutes, followed by punch and crackers. 
What we need in this work is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm, however, 
is not necessarily gushing to be effective. Enthusiasm needs intelli- 
gent direction. History is a serious thing. You have got to have 
legislative assistance and to get it you will have to show the legis- 
lature that you are doing work of a serious nature. 

"I was somewhat surprised in attending the meeting of your 
Commission this morning to find that the purpose for which I 
thought I was called here, namely, to consult with them, was 
futile; every one of your new Commission knew exactly what you 
wanted. The idea of the information bureau, mentioned by your 
president, Mr. Burton as a department of the Commission's work, 
is a most excellent one. Letters come to us every day from the 
capitol at Madison and from our means of information we are able 
to reply intelligently. Your Commission can do the same. I do 
not know of anything that needs more reform than local history. 
If people could only realize that this local history is after all a 
synopsis of what is going on in our country. The history of a 
nation is the history of its local communities. No local history 
that I know of in America has ever been adequately told, that is, 
in a way that we can feel its thrill and glamour. Blessed is the 
child, who, in the generations to come and I believe the time will 
come in Michigan through this Commission who can receive from 
its mother the history of the community and of the state in which 
it lives. 

"Now just one word about public taxation to support such a 
Commission as this. As I have pointed out, the teaching of local 
history is an exceedingly important part of the general education. 
The justification of educating the child at public expense is that 
we make of him a better citizen; now the child that knows more 
about local history will become a better citizen." 

Dr. Thwaites closed with a reference to cities that were appro- 
priating public money for the study of the city's history in the 
city schools in the belief that it conduces to a more intelligent 
7 



50 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

.citizenship. Among these cities he mentioned Buffalo as appro- 
priating f 5,000 a year for this purpose. 

Following the address a reception was tendered to Dr. Thwaites 
in the Senate Chamber. 

In Wednesday afternoon's session music was furnished by 
choruses from the Industrial School for Boys and from the 8th 
Grade of the Townsend and Cedar Street Schools of Lansing. In 
the evening Carl Kramp rendered a piano solo and vocal numbers 
were given by Mrs. Harry Baumgarden, by St. Mary's School, and 
by the Michigan Agricultural College Ladies' Glee Club. Mr. 
Harold Jarvis of Detroit sang on Thursday. 



PORT HURON MID-WINTER MEETING, FEBRUARY 5, 6, 1914 

The ninth midwinter meeting of the Michigan Pioneer and His- 
torical Society was held at Port Huron in the hall of the Public 
Library, February 5 and 6, 1914. 

Following the invocation by Rev. John Munday, Hon. John L. 
Black, Mayor of Port Huron, delivered an address of welcome at 
the Thursday afternoon session, to which Clarence M. Burton, 
President of the Society, responded. 

Hon. Woodbridge N. Ferris, Governor of Michigan, was unable 
to be present, and his paper, "Lewis Cass, Michigan's Hero in the 
War of 1812," which he had delivered as an address at the Perry's 
Victory Centennial Celebration at Put-In-Bay, September 10, 1913, 
was read by the Secretary of the Society. This was followed by a 
paper on the late Thomas W. Palmer, prepared by Miss Agnes 
Burton and read by her father, Clarence M. Burton. The paper 
was supplemented by a talk by Mrs. Jane Kinney, of Port Huron, 
who spoke of the assistance given by Mr. Palmer to the Michigan 
women working in the interests of temperance in building and 
developing the Adrian School. William L. Jenks also gave some 
details of the life of Mr. Palmer in Port Huron and spoke of the 
gift of Palmer Park to the city of Port Huron by Senator Palmer. 

Alexander Fraser, Provincial Archivist of Ontario, was present 
by invitation of the Michigan Historical Commission and was asked 
to speak. Mr. Fraser dwelt on the community of historical interests 
between Canada and the United States, especially the border 
States, and outlined the plans on which historical work in Canada 
is developed. He stated that the European plan is there followed 
and that the work of preserving and caring for historical records 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 51 

and documents is carried on by a special department which is a 
part of the government. This department is responsible to the 
Provincial Parliament and derives its powers and support from 
that body. It has the custody of and authority over all documents, 
^ven when the papers and records are left in the department offices 
of which they are a part. 

The feature of the Thursday evening session was the paper on 
Lieutenant Governor Patrick Sinclair, by William L. Jenks, Vice 
President of the Michigan Historical Commission. It was both 
historical and biographical and included many details of the early 
history of St. Clair County when Sinclair was the Commandant of 
Old Fort Gratiot. 

At the Friday morning session, a paper on Will Carleton, 
reminiscent rather than biographical in character, was read by 
Byron A. Finney of the Michigan University Library, who was a 
lifelong and intimate friend of the poet's. At this session, also, a 
tribute to the late Reuben Gold Thwaites, formerly Secretary of 
the Wisconsin Historical Society and the principal speaker at the 
annual meeting of the Michigan Society, in Lansing, the preceding 
June, was paid by Edwin O. Wood, a member of the Michigan 
Historical Commission and a trustee of the Society. Professor 
Ford, of Ypsilanti, added a few words in regard to Dr. Thwaites' 
helpful interest in young men, and Mr. Jenks and Mr. Burton also 
added their testimonies to the esteem in which Dr. Thwaites was 
held by historical workers. Mrs. Caroline Ballentine, of Port. 
Huron, read a paper describing the experiences of the early pioneers 
in St. Clair County. 

At this session a life-membership in the Society was conferred 
on Alexander Fraser. A vote of thanks was given to those who 
took part in the programme and the Secretary was instructed 
to communicate this action to them. The papers read by Clarence 
M. Burton, Byron A. Finney, William L. Jenks and Edwin O, 
Wood were ordered to be published separately, in bulletin form. 

The closing session was held Friday afternoon; the principal 
address was given by George W. Parker, of the Michigan Perry 
Centennial Commission. His subject was "Michigan's Contribu- 
tion to the Perry Centennial Celebration," and his talk was illus- 
trated by pictures of the celebration and the Perry Monument at 
Put-in-Bay. Mrs. Florence M. Gwinn read a paper on the "Early 
History of Huron County," and Judge William T. Mitchell, a jurist 
over 97 years old, spoke of political and legal events in Michigan, 
especially in Detroit and Port Huron, during his residence in the 
State. An invitation to be present and to address the Society had 



52 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

been sent Judge Mitchell by the Michigan Historical Commission 
through the Secretary from the Commission's office at Lansing. 
Musical selections were rendered during the various sessions of 
the two days' meeting by the children from the Polk Street School, 
Mr. Nicholas Plain, Miss Balmer, Miss Florence Fish, Miss Regina 
Walsh, Miss Helen MacDougall, Miss Elinore Cady, Miss Dorothy 
Kaesemyer, Mr. George McComb and Mrs. C. R. Withey, while the 
children from the Jefferson Street School danced the minuet in 
costume and Mr. W. E. Brown gave as a recitation the Indian 
legend of the birth of the arbutus. 



THE ANNUAL MEETING AT LANSING, JUNE 9, 10, 1914. 

The fortieth annual meeting of the Michigan Pioneer and His- 
torical Society was held in the Senate chamber of the State Capitol, 
Lansing, June 9 and 10, 1914. The meeting was divided into five 
sessions. The first session opened Tuesday afternoon, the President, 
Clarence M. Burton, presiding. The following resolution was 
offered by the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Frank A. O'Brien, member of the 
Michigan Historical Commission and of the Board of Trustees of 
the Society: 

Before beginning our work at this meeting we desire to express 
our deep concern at the sad news that has come to us of the condi- 
tion of the amiable wife of our beloved Governor. Therefore: Be 
it resolved: That the president of this Association communicate 
to his excellency the heartfelt sympathy of this body and the best 
wishes of each member that good health may come to Mrs. Ferris 
once more, and that the good Lord may give comfort and help in 
these hours of trial to our distressed Chief Executive. 

This was supported and carried unanimously. 

Clarence E. Bement, Vice President and one of the resident 
trustees of the Society, delivered the address of welcome in which 
he spoke of the cooperation of the Michigan Historical Commission 
and the Pioneer and Historical Society in the work of gathering 
and preserving historical papers, archives and records. He dwelt 
particularly on the fact that, although it was believed by many 
the idea that the Commission had entirely superseded the Society, 
was not true. On the contrary, the Society had obtained a larger 
usefulness by the creation of the Commission as a part of the State 
government, and had not lost in any measure its power and in- 
fluence. 

In responding to Mr. Bement's address, Mr. Burton, President of 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 53 

both the Commission and Society, referred to Mr. Bement's remarks 
about the division of labor between the Historical Commission and 
the Society. He said that, while in former years, the members of 
the Society had assembled once a year to have a good time, they 
did not know of the actual work that was done outside of these 
meetings, except through the annual reports or proceedings. The 
outside work, he declared, is the work that has been surrendered 
to the Historical Commission, and so far as the members of the 
Society are concerned, there will be no change between the His- 
torical Society of the past and that of the present and future. 

The annual reports of the Secretary and Treasurer were then 
read. The latter, showing a balance on hand of f 22, was as follows : 

Annual report of the Treasurer of the Michigan Pioneer and 
Historical Society from June 3rd, 1913, to the close of business 
June 9th, 1914. 

Cash on hand June 3rd, 1913 $56 31 

Received from membership 27 00 



$83 31 

June 16th, 1913, paid Sullivan & Co $5 00 

January 26th, 1914, paid W. L. Jenks ... 56 31 

61 31 



June 10th, 1914, balance on hand $22 00 

Respectfully submitted, 

(Signed) B. F. DAVIS, 

Treasurer. 

An invitation was extended the Society from Mrs. Mary C. 
Spencer, State Librarian, to visit the State Library 7 for the purpose 
of examining the books relating to the history of Michigan. 

Prof. Claude S. Larzelere, of the Mount Pleasant Normal School, 
gave a paper on the- "Teaching of Michigan History" and a discus- 
sion of the subject followed, led by John M. Munson, Deputy 
Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Henry R. Pattengill, 
formerly Superintendent of Public Instruction and at one time 
Secretary of the Pioneer and Historical Society. Mr. Munson spoke 
of the dramatic production of Hiawatha by the Indians and advo- 
cated entertainments of like nature in each locality as a means 
of interesting the people in the history of their community. Mr. 
Pattengill said that the chief value of history was to act as a guide 
to the future. He further said that the study of Michigan history 
would be put in the regular school course only when the Super 
intendent of Instruction had been convinced that it was essential. 

A general discussion, by the members of the Society, followed, dur- 



54 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

ing which several of those who had been among the State's pioneers 
related their experiences in the early days. An invitation to the 
Society, was presented by Mr. James L. Smith of Muskegon, from 
the Muskegon Historical Society, to hold the midwinter meeting 
in that city. He said that the local society had 150 members, al- 
though but a new organization, and was actively engaged in pro- 
moting various measures to preserve local landmarks, public and 
private documents of historical interest and to increase the study 
of state history. Invitations were also extended to the Society 
for the next midwinter meeting from Coldwater, Mt. Pleasant, 
Howell and Detroit. 

Begent Junius E. Beal of Ann Arbor spoke at the Tuesday 
evening session on the history of Forest Conservation in Michigan. 
He said that the main questions to be considered were the reasons 
why it was expedient for our ancestors to cut and burn the trees 
and why it is our duty to replace them. Mr. Beal told the history 
of the clearing of the land by the early pioneer and the necessity 
for their work. He spoke of the value of trees as historical records 
of the natural conditions of past years and dwelt on the actual 
money value of the trees of the various cities. 

Mr. Beal was followed by John C. Ketcham, Master of the State 
Grange who spoke on the subject of the "History and Purpose of 
the Grange Movement in Michigan." 

At the opening of the Wednesday morning session Mr. Bement 
presented the following resolution : 

That the chair be authorized to appoint a committee of three to 
present to the Society nominations for officers for the coming year. 

Supported and carried. 

Mr. Burton appointed as this committee, Byron A. Finney, Mrs. 
Mary C. Spencer and E. G. Allen, directing them to report during 
the afternoon. 

The papers read at this session were by E. C. Allen, State 
Geologist, whose subject was "Douglas Houghton;" Professor M.. 
O. Hedrick, of the Michigan Agricultural College, on "The Im- 
portance of Social and Economic Elements in Michigan History," 
and Alexander Fraser who spoke on archival work in Ontario. 

Mr. Frazer said in part : 

"We regard every document as a public archive in Canada, 
By that I mean every paper connected with the government 
of the people into which the public money enters. We con- 
sider the papers of any public office as essential public material. 
The correspondence of schools and the records of cities be- 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 55 

long to the state as much as the papers in the state department, 
and we treat them all as public papers. I do not believe that there 
should be any private possession of historical papers. The Ontario 
Department of Archives is in touch with all of the other depart- 
ments of the government. It gets the papers not in current use 
from the various departments and groups them according to their 
contents. They are then indexed and inventoried, after which they 
are returned to the departments from whence they came and the 
indexes and inventories are filed in the Department of Archives. 
In the course of time new men come into the various departments 
of state, and the records are neglected unless they are easily avail- 
able. If the Archivist has done his work properly the entire records 
of the particular office are available, and to neglect them is inex- 
cusable on the part of a public official. 

"A short time ago there was a meeting at the Hague over the 
boundary line between the United States and Canada. The archive 
office of Ontario was in a position to furnish the Canadian Govern- 
ment, and through it Great Britain, with the documentary infor- 
mation which enabled Great Britain to prepare her claim. Such 
questions as these arise often. Now our archivists have begun to 
place their indexes of the public papers in the departments to which 
the papers belong, so as to enable the State officials to find their 
own documents more readily. 

"Some years ago I started the archive department of Ontario 
with a small office. Now I have about 5,000 square feet of wall 
space, which will do for a few years, but I have already so much 
additional material indexed that we must soon put up another 
building. We have filled a large warehouse with material sent from 
Great Britain and have spent over fl,000,000 for salaries and pur- 
chases of materials. Of course my accommodations would not be 
sufficient for all the papers of the department and we follow this 
plan. In each department it is arranged that some clerk shall be 
appointed to have a general care of the papers of that department. 
They are set aside in the vault every department has a very large 
vault and by close shelving is able to store a great deal of material 
and we keep in the archive department only the catalogue and index 
of the papers, with directions that will enable us to locate the 
documents. In 1871 the government of Ottawa made an effort to 
Abolish the work of the Provincial Archivist but to-day that office 
is the pride of Canada." 

Wednesday afternoon the committee on nominations presented 
the following report: 



56 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Acting under the amendment passed at the annual meeting of 
1913 we hereby nominate the following persons for the term of 
two years: Clarence M. Burton, Detroit; William L. Jenks, Port 
Huron; Henry R. Pattengill, Lansing; Clarence E. Bement, Lan- 
sing; Edwin O. Wood, Flint. This constitutes the entire Board of 
Trustees, with the names of the members who were elected for two 
years in 1913, who are: Rt. Rev. Monsignor Frank A. O'Brien, 
Kalamazoo; Augustus C. Carton, East Tawas; Lawton T. Hemans, 
Mason; Junius E. Beal, Ann Arbor; and A. L. Sawyer, Menominee. 

The report was adopted. 

A vote of thanks was given to the Industrial School boys' chorus 
and band for the music rendered by them. Also a vote of thanks 
was given to all taking part in the program of the annual meet- 
ing and the Secretary was instructed to convey the expression of 
the same to each person. 

The Society then adjourned, at three o'clock, for the purpose of 
witnessing the unveiling of the tablet commemorating Michigan's 
first State Capitol at Lansing, placed on the State building at the 
corner of Washington avenue and Allegan street by the Lansing 
Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. There was 
a short program of addresses and musical selections at the place of 
the unveiling. Rev. Henry J. Simpson pronounced the invocation. 
Mrs. James M. Turner, regent of the Lansing chapter, presented 
the tablet which was unveiled by Mrs. A. M. Cummins in the 
absence of Mrs. C. B. Grant of Detroit, who had been invited to 
perform that office. Mrs. Grant was the first regent of this chapter, 
and she is a daughter of the late Governor Felch. Mrs. Harvey 
J. Campbell of Benton Harbor, State Vice- regent, represented the 
Michigan organization and Hon. Lawton T. Hemans addressed the 
gathering in the place of Governor Ferris, who was detained by the 
serious illness of Mrs. Ferris. The school children's chorus, under 
the direction of J. W. Stephens gave several patriotic musical 
numbers. 

A feature of the Wednesday evening session of the Society was 
an address on the "Spirit of the Pioneer," by the Rev. William F. 
Dooley, S. J., President of the Detroit University who said that 
the spirit that had created the pioneer out of every day men and 
women was the spirit of religion. "It was religious motives that 
tempted the caravals of Columbus out upon the unknown deep," 
he stated. "It was religion that inspired the early settlers in the 
St. Lawrence Valley and brought the Lutherans, Puritans and 
Catholics to settle this land that they might lift up their hands and 
voices to God without oppression." 



PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 57 

Father Dooley was followed by Judge Kollin H. Person who spoke 
on "The Viewpoint of the Bench on the Elements of the Pioneer." 

The Board of Trustees of the Society held a meeting in the Gov- 
ernor's parlor Wednesday afternoon at 1 :30 o'clock, with the Presi- 
dent, Clarence M. Burton, in the chair. The other trustees present 
were W. L. Jenks, Frank A. O'Brien, E. O. Wood, Clarence E. 
Bement, and A. C. Carton. 

At this meeting Clarence E. Bement was elected President of the 
Society, A. C. Carton vice-president, B. F. Davis, treasurer, and 
the Secretary of the Michigan Historical Commission was made 
Secretary, e offioio, of the Society. 

Muskegon was selected as the place of holding the midwinter 
meeting in 1915. It was also voted that the editors who furnish 
copies of their papers free to the Historical Commission be made 
honorary members of the Society and that the following persons 
be also made honorary members of the Society : Hon. Woodbridge 
N. Ferris, Albert E. Sleeper, Huntley I. Russel, Augustus C. Carton, 
Frederick Martindale, John Haarer, Kev. John W. Cavanaugh and 
Rev. Father William F. Dooley. The Kt. Rev. Frank A. O'Brien 
was appointed a committee of one to prepare a suitable certificate 
of honorary membership for presentation to the above newly re- 
ceived members. 



PATRICK SINCLAIR 

BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAG 



BY WILLIAM L. JENKS 



PATRICK SINCLAIR; BUILDER OF FORT 
MACKINAC 

BY WILLIAM L. JENKS. 

BY far the most conspicuous object in the Island of Mackinac is 
the old fort which overhangs so protectingly the village below. 
The thick stone and earth walls, the three old block houses, 
built, according to the cards upon the doors, in 1780, the old build- 
ings within the enclosure, all force the attention of the visitor, resi- 
dent or tourist, to the age of the structure, but to few is known 
even the name, much less anything of the career of its creator. 

In the extreme northeast of Scotland lies the shire or county 
of Caithness; a large part of it low and boggy, it rises toward the 
south and west, and contains but three streams of any size, the 
Wickwater and the Forss and Thurso Rivers. Most of the coast 
line is rocky and forbidding and good harbors are few. Near the 
northeast corner is John O'Groat's house, and south of that along 
the East Coast is a large bay called Sinclair's Bay. For several 
centuries the name Sinclair or St. Clair they are in reality the 
same, the latter being nearer to the original Norman form has 
been the leading one in Caithness; the first earl of Caithness, 
created in 1455, being Sir William Sinclair. 

From this shire, forbidding in its natural aspects, but like so 
many other places in Scotland, furnishing an abundant supply of 
young, energetic, capable and courageous men, came Patrick Sin- 
clair, the subject of this sketch, of interest to Michigan, not 
alone because of his connection with Mackinac, but because he 
was the first man to establish .a permanent foothold in the way of 
occupation, erecting buildings and cultivating land along St. Clair 
River. This noble river should today bear the name of Sinclair as 
it did for many years a century ago. The present name is derived 
from Arthur St. Clair, first governor of the northwest territory, the 
original name passing gradually through forgetfulness of the one 
and growing importance of the other to its present form. It is 
a curious fact that both Arthur St. Clair and Patrick Sinclair were 
born in the same year in the county of Caithness, within twenty- 
five miles of each other, and they were undoubtedly distantly 
related. 

Whatever the cause, temperament, roving disposition, hard and 



62 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

forbidding* material conditions at home, certain it is that Scotch- 
men have proved through centuries the mainstay of British enter- 
prise and glory in foreign lands, and Scotch soldiers and explorers 
have done much to extend England's domains. 

Patrick Sinclair was born in 1736. at Lybster, a small hamlet on 
the east coast of Caithness about 11 miles southeast of Wick, the 
chief town of the County, and was the only son and oldest of four 
children of Alexander who had married a connection in the person 
of Amelia Sinclair, the daughter of another Alexander Sinclair. 
His father was the fourth Sinclair of Lybster and the name Patrick 
was common in the family, his grandfather bearing it, and his 
great grandmother was the daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster. 

We have no knowledge of his youthful education but it must 
have been considerable as his papers and correspondence evince 
facility in expression, clear ideas and a good command of language. 

In July, 1758, Patrick Sinclair purchased a commission as en- 
sign practically equivalent to 2nd Lieutenant, a grade not then 
existing in the famous 42nd Highlanders, or Black Watch Regi- 
ment, but he may have had some previous service in some capacity 
as in a letter to Gen. Haldimand in August, 1779, he refers to his 
25 years service in the army, which if not a rhetorical exaggeration 
would imply that he had entered the service in 1754. At any rate 
he soon saw active service, as his regiment was sent to the West 
Indies in 1759, and he participated in January of that year in the 
attack and capture of Guadeloupe. Not long after with his regi- 
ment he went to New York and then to Oswego where they spent 
several months. In July, 1760 he was promoted to lieutenant and 
in August his regiment joined the army which under the leadership 
of General Amherst invaded Canada and captured Montreal. Later 
it went to Staten Island, and in October, 1761, shortly before his 
regiment left for the West Indies he exchanged into the 15th 
Regiment of Foot. TJhe reason for this exchange is not evident as 
the 15th Foot went to the West Indies the same Fall and in August, 
1763 came back to New York and then to Canada. One Company 
however of the 15th Regiment remained in America and it is pos- 
sible that this was Sinclair's Company, as there is some evidence 
that he was at Quebec for a year from October, 1761, then for 
a time at New York, and again at Quebec. For a part of the time 
at least he was in Capt. Robert Stobo's Company. In the Fall of 
1763 or the Spring of 1764 Sinclair must have been transferred to 
or connected with the Naval Department of the Lakes, as in a 
petition to the Earl of Hillsborough in 1769, he states that he "hath 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MAC KIN AC 63 

served his Majesty near six years last past on the Great Lakes in 
North America where he had the honor to command his Majesty's 
vessels on the Lakes Erie, Sinclair, Huron and Michigan," and the 
inscription on a silver bowl presented to him by the merchants of 
Detroit in 1767 refers to him as Captain Sinclair of the Naval 
Department. 

The 15th Regiment of Foot was stationed at various posts in 
Canada, but no part of it as far west as Detroit, which was gar- 
risoned mainly from the 60th Regiment during the entire period 
Sinclair was in charge (as he says), of the navigation on the lakes, 
his headquarters, however, being Detroit. 

Sinclair's duties were general but important; to maintain and 
provision the boats, see to their arming and protection against the 
Indians, who were numerous, and, for some time after 1763, largely 
hostile to the English, and so dispose the shipping as to serve best 
the interest not only of the various garrisons, but also of the Indian 
traders and the merchants, who of necessity depended upon these 
boats for the bringing in of their goods and the carrying out of 
their furs. The boats then in use consisted of canoes, batteaux, 
snows, sloops and schooners. The canoe was the famed birch bark 
canoe noted for its carrying capacity in proportion to its weight 
and admirably adapted to the carriage of persons but not freight. 
The batteau was a light boat worked with oars, long in proportion 
to its breadth and wider in the middle than at the ends. It was 
well adapted for carrying freight, and for some years after the 
English obtained possession of the lakes it was extensively used 
between the posts in transporting both freight and passengers. Of 
necessity the shore was closely followed both with batteau and 
canoe. 

The snow was a type of vessel long since gone out of existence, 
with two ordinary masts and rigged much like a brig, but having 
in addition a small mast near the main mast to which the trysail 
was attached. 

All the sailng vessels were of small burden. The schooner "Glad- 
win," famous for her successful attempt in bringing aid to the 
besieged Detroit garrison was of 80 tons burden. Up to 1780 the 
largest boat on the lakes was the brig Gage of 154 tons, built 
in 1774. 

In the same petition referred to above Sinclair states that he 
is the only person on the lakes who has ever explored the naviga- 
tion of the lakes for vessels of burden "by taking exact soundings 
of them and the rivers and Straits which join them with the bear- 
ings of the headlands, islands, bays, etc., etc." 



64 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

The beginning of the siege of Detroit by Pontiac was signalized 
by the murder by the Indians on May 7th, 1763, of Captain Robert- 
son, Sir Robert Davers, six soldiers and a boat's crew of two sailors 
while engaged in taking soundings near the mouth of the "River 
Huron" as the account states it, now called St. Clair River, to see 
if the lakes and rivers were navigable for a schooner then lying at 
Detroit on her way to Mackinac. 

As a means of facilitating his duties, especially in regard to the 
communications between Detroit and the upper lakes, Sinclair 
erected, in 1764, a small fort just south of the mouth of Pine River 
in St. Clair County, the buildings comprising two barracks, one 
for sailors and one for soldiers, two block houses for cannon and 
small arms, and a wharf for drawing out and careening vessels, all 
enclosed within a stockade. This post, about midway between 
lakes Huron and St. Clair, enabled him to control the river as 
regards the Indians, and also furnished a place for trade with 
them. This establishment was ordered and approved by Colonel 
Bradstreet who was in Detroit in August, 1764. During the season 
of 1764 Sinclair had under his command the schooner "Gladwin" 
which had brought relief to the beleaguered garrison at Detroit 
in the siege of Pontiac, and at the close of that season's navigation 
he put her in winter quarters at Pine River. 

In connection with his duties while stationed on the Lakes he 
made a trip of exploration down in the Indiana Country along the 
Wabash river, thus acquiring considerable knowledge of the French 
settlements in that vicinity. 

Sinclair seems on the whole to have got along with the Indians 
very satisfactorily, and to have obtained their respect and liking 
and to have established a widespread reputation to that effect. He 
was not entirely free from troubles however, as in 1767 the Chippe- 
was, or Mississaguas, murdered a servant of his near the foot of 
Lake Huron. The murderers were apprehended and sent to Albany 
for trial but were finally released to his indignation. 

In 1767 the system of operating boats on the Lakes was changed 
and delivered over to private contractors, and Sinclair's duties and 
official position terminated but it required some time to close out 
his matters, and when in the early summer of 1768 his regiment 
returned to England he remained upon the Lakes, and did not 
return to England until the spring of the following year. That his 
conduct of affairs while in charge was acceptable to the class with 
whom he came most in contact outside of his government relations 
is proved by the presentation to him in 1767 of a silver bowl still 




PATRICK SINCLAIR. 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 65 

preserved in the family with the following inscription engraved 
upon it: "In remembrance of the encouragement experienced upon 
all occasions by the merchants in the Indian countries from Capt. 
Patrick Sinclair of the Naval Department, not as a reward for his 
services, but a public testimony of their gratitude this is presented 
instead of a more adequate acknowledgment which his disinterested 
disposition renders impracticable. Dated the 23rd September, 
1767." The merchants of Mackinac also gave him a testimonial. 

Sinclair had erected the buildings and made the improvements 
at his fort mainly at his own expense, and in March, 1769, he ap- 
plied to Gen. Gage, then commanding the British forces in America, 
to be reimbursed for his outlays 200 but Gage replied that the 
Government had not directed the construction and therefore Sin- 
clair could do with the improvements what he saw fit. Perhaps in 
anticipation of such result and as a measure of self protection 
Sinclair had obtained from the Indians a deed to a tract of land 
upon the St. Clair River, 2% miles along the river by the same in 
depth to include his improvements. This deed was dated July 27th, 
1768, and was signed by Massigiash and Ottawa, chiefs of the 
Chippewa Nation, in the presence of 15 Indians of that Nation 
and of George Turnbull, Captain of the Second Battalion of the 
60th Regiment, George Archbold, Lieutenant, and ensigns Robert 
Johnson and John Amiel of the same Regiment, also of John Lewis 
Gage, Ensign of the 31st Regiment, and Lieut. John Hay of the 
60th Regiment, Commissary of Indian affairs. In the deed the 
land is described as being "on the Northwest side of the River 
Huron, between Lake Huron and Lake Sinclair, being one mile 
above the mouth of a small river commonly called Pine River and 
ending one mile and a half below the mouth of said Pine River." 
The consideration stated is "the love and regard we bear for our 
friend Lieut. Patrick Sinclair and for the love and esteem the 
whole of our said nation has for him for the many charitable acts 
he has done us, our wives and children." 

The King of England in his proclamation of October 3rd, 1763, 
establishing the province of Quebec, had expressly prohibited the 
obtaining of deeds from the Indians except under special license, 
and through certain officials. This deed, therefore, although ex- 
ecuted with considerable formality, and in the presence of the 
highest British Officials in the vicinity, did not operate to convey 
any legal title and this was recognized by Sinclair himself in 1774, 
in a petition to the government to be reimbursed for his expendi- 
tures on the property. 
9 



66 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

The property thus obtained was of sufficient size and quality to 
entitle him to consideration among the land owners of his native 
home, and he improved it by clearing, by setting out an orchard 
on the north side of Pine River, and by additional buildings. It 
included a considerable body of pine and it is a curious fact that 
this marked on the East side of Michigan the Southern line of the 
great pine section of the lower peninsula. During the period of 
his station at Detroit, Sinclair used the fort, buildings and pinery, 
but it is not known who looked after it during his absence from 
this locality after leaving in 1769 until 1779 when he arrived at 
Mackinac, but in 1780 Francis Bellecour, the British Indian Agent 
at Detroit, was in charge. He evidently was not giving satisfac- 
tion to the' Indians in the vicinity, as in July of that year Mas- 
keash, one of the Chiefs who signed the deed, with his wife and 
fen other Indians from along St. Glair River, went up on one of 
the government vessels, commanded by Alex Harrow, to Fort 
Mackinac to ask that Baptiste Point de (or du) Sable, be appointed 
to take charge of the property in place of Bellecour. DeSable was 
a free mulatto who had traded with the Indians at the lower end 
of Lake Michigan, and, as he was friendly to the Americans, had 
been captured in 1779 by a British force from Fort Mackinac on 
the ground of his being a sympathizer with the American Rebels, 
and taken to Mackinac and detained. By his conduct after his 
capture he commended himself to his captors and to Sinclair, then 
Lieutenant Governor, and as a result he was released and sent 
down to look after this property and trade with the Indians. He 
appears to have remained there more or less continuously until 
1784 when his effects were taken to Detroit and he returned to 
Illinois and continued at Peoria and Chicago until his death in 
1811. 

Although not in chronological order the subsequent history of 
this tract may be here narrated. 

In 1783 Lieutenant Governor Sinclair was living on the Isle of 
Orleans awaiting a decision upon the allowance of his accounts. A 
young man by the name of Nicholas Boilvin who was a native of 
the parish of St. Nicholas near Quebec, decided to try his fortunes 
in the far west, and April 5th., 1783, Sinclair gave to him a power 
of attorney to take charge of his farm on Pine River, his "stock, 
houses, barns, orchards, gardens, timber and every other article 
thereto appertaining." The same instrument recommended Boilvin 
to the protection of the officers at Detroit, so that all other per- 
sons migkt be prevented from cutting timber or trading near the 
post to Boilvin's detriment. 

Boilvin, on reaching Detroit, decided to go still farther west and 






PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 67 

September 20th, 1783, he assigned his power of attorney to David 
Ross and shortly after went to St. Louis. He there became an 
Indian agent of the United States, but later removed to Prairie du 
Chien, where he was for many years a person of some consequence. 

In 1788, Sinclair's rights were sold at auction and bought by 
Meldrum & Park, a firm of merchants and Indian traders of De- 
troit who went into possession of the property, made improvements 
and erected two saw mills and a grist mill. 

In 1795, as the Indian deed to Sinclair had never been registered, 
but taken by him to England, finally finding its way to the Public 
Record office in London, Meldrum & Park obtained another deed 
from twenty-six Chippewa Chiefs, purporting to be in confirmation 
of the former deed to Sinclair; but the new deed conveyed a tract 
ten miles along St. Glair River by four miles in depth or about six 
times as much land. This seems to have been in accordance with 
the usual way of honesty and fairness with which the white men 
treated the Indian. This deed was not recognized by the United 
States as a conveyance of title, but the possessions taken under it 
enabled Meldrum & Park and their grantees to obtain patents from 
the United States, in 1810, to nearly five thousand acres. 

In 1768 or 1769 Sinclair petitioned the Earl of Hillsborough, then 
Secretary for the Colonies, for the appointment of Superintendent 
of Navigation upon the Lakes, pointing out his experience, his 
successful services and the great need of such an official to protect 
the interests of the government, but the petition was refused, much 
to Sinclair's disappointment. 

It is not known exactly when he returned to England and his 
regiment, but it was sometime in the Spring of 1769 and he was, 
engaged in recruiting for upwards of a year. 

In May 1771 he applied to the Earl of Hillsborough for the grant 
of a house at Detroit -belonging to the Crown in lieu of his build- 
ings at Pine River. The matter was referred to General Gage, then 
at New York, who promised to look into the matter and see if 
that could be done without injury but apparently the inquiry was 
never made and nothing came of the petition. 

He was promoted to Captain April 13, 1772, and the next year 
retired with the provision that he would not lose his rank if he 
rejoined the army. Upon his retirement Sinclair returned to his 
ancestral home at Lybster, but time moved slowly there to a man 
accustomed for years to the wilderness and freedom of the Great 
Lakes in America and to the power and influence which Sinclair 
had been wont to exercise and directly upon his retirement he 



68 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

began exerting influence to get back to this country. On June 1st, 
1773, Sir Charles Thompson who had been for seven years the 
Colonel of the 15th Regiment, and who was an intimate personal 
friend' of the King, wrote Lord Dartmouth in his behalf, recommend- 
ing him as a proper person for appointment in Pennsylvania, the 
Jerseys, New York and the New England Provinces, but nothing 
came of it. The government had never recognized his title to his 
land in America, nor had it ever repaid his outlays upon it, and in 
December, -1774, he applied for payment not only of these charges, 
but also for 56 w-hich he paid to the Indians in redemption of 
white captives. In the same account he includes 27 for his ex 
penses caused by his being detained in the west when his regiment 
was sent to Europe and 70 for two servants killed by the Indians. 
In February, 1775, his same kind and influential friend wrote again 
to Lord Dartmouth recommending Captain Sinclair for employ- 
ment in Canada. This time the fates were propitious and prompt, 
as on April 7th, 1775, he was commissioned by King George III, 
as Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent of the Post of Missilli- 
makinac. 

By the Proclamation of 1763 the Province of Quebec was estab- 
lished with such boundaries that practically all the Great Lake 
region lay outside, and therefore without any established form of 
government, which remained essentially military, without courts 
or ordinary civil officers. The Quebec Act, passed by Parliament 
and effective in October, 1774, greatly extended the limits of the 
Province so as to reach the Ohio on the South and the Mississippi 
on the west. By this Act a form of government by Governor and 
Council was provided and the old French laws recognized. 

Although the Act itself made no reference to or provision for the 
western posts, the King in April, 1775, recognized four western 
districts or posts, and appointed as many Lieutenant Governors or 
Superintendents, one each to the posts of Detroit, Missilimakinac, 
St. Vincennes, and the Illinois. These appointees were respectively 
Henry Hamilton, Patrick Sinclair, Edward Abbott and Matthew 
Johnson. There was no attempt made to define the limits of each 
district, but ordinarily no question could arise over conflict of 
jurisdiction. There was in each case a fortified place, which formed 
the center of operations. There was, however, a clear distinction 
between the Post or District, and the fortified place; thus in the 
case of Sinclair, his seat of operations was Fort Mackinac, while 
his post was Missillimakinac and extended to cover the territory 
of all the Indians who were wont to come to that point to trade. 

In the commission appointing Sinclair Lieutenant Governor 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 69 

there was no definition of his powers but he was to hold the posi- 
tion with all its "rights, privileges, profits, perquisites and ad- 
vantages during the King's pleasure." The incumbent, however, 
was required to obey such orders and directions as he might re- 
ceive from time to time from the Captain General and Commander 
in Chief of Quebec. 

As there was no statute or general regulation upon the subject, 
the relation of the Lieutenant Governor, a civil officer, to the mili- 
tary force stationed at his post was indefinite and at Detroit was 
productive of considerable trouble. 

Anxious to arrive at his post of duty promptly, there b^ing no 
direct shipping from Glasgow to Quebec, Sinclair sailed for Balti- 
more, where he arrived July 26th, 1775, and at New York August 
1st. His purpose then was to go up the Hudson to Albany, thence 
to Oswego, and from there by boat to Quebec, and he made all 
preparation to leave New York August 4th, but on that day the 
Provincial Congress of New York then in session, having learned 
the previous day of his presence in the city, and of his great in- 
fluence with the Indians, thought it unwise to permit him to go 
to his post where he might prejudice his Indian friends against the 
Colonies, and took him in custody and sent him on parole to 
Nassau Island in Suffolk County, Long Island, where he remained 
until the following March, when upon his application to be per- 
mitted to retire to Europe, the Continental Congress granted his 
petition and he returned to England that summer. 

He remained in England about a year and, apparently, found it 
rather difficult to get passage back to America, as in May, 1777, 
we find Lord George Germaine, then Secretary of the Colonies, 
granting Sinclair permission in response to request to come over in 
the packet Bristol rather than as "an unwelcome guest in a man- 
of war." 

He did not reach America until the fall of 1777, this time at 
Philadelphia where he went with letters to Sir William Howe who 
advised him that his best plan to reach his post of duty via Quebec 
was to go by way of the St. Lawrence Kiver the following 
spring. Accordingly he spent the winter with Lord Howe and 
when the English fleet and forces left for England in May, 1778, 
Captain Sinclair went as far as Halifax, where he was again com- 
pelled to wait until he could obtain transportation to Quebec. 

Communications between Halifax and Quebec were infrequent 
and slow and it was a year later, in June, 1779, that Captain Sin- 
clair arrived at Quebec and was ready to present himself and his 
commission to the Governor and receive his instructions and pro- 



70 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

ceed to his post, although he had sent a communication to the 
Governor from Halifax in October of the year before. 

At this time Sir Frederick Haldimand was Governor General. 
He was of Swiss birth and, after some years service in the Prussian 
army joined the British forces in 1754 and was rapidly promoted, 
He was an efficient officer and a good soldier, but his character 
and training both emphasized the military over the civil power. 
On more than one occasion he received severe reprimands from the 
English government because of actions due to this feeling. 

The officer then in command at Fort Mackinac was Maj. Arent 
Schuyler DePeyster who had been there for five years. He was a 
capable officer, quite influential with the Indians and tactful in 
his intercourse with others. He was gifted in a literary way, and 
although of American birth had strong English sympathies, serv- 
ing in the English army during the Revolutionary War. Upon his 
retirement from the army he went to Dunfries, Scotland, his wife's 
native place, where he became a close friend of the Poet Burns. 
For some time De Peyster had been desirous of leaving Mackinac, 
giving as his reasons that his health was poor and that his private 
affairs at New York where his family had long been established 
sadly needed his presence but his real reason was the distance of 
his post from civilization, as no further complaints were heard from 
him after he was transferred to Detroit. 

It is probable that Haldimand and Sinclair had met before. In 
1760 Haldimand, as lieutenant Colonel, accompanied the British 
force from O&wego to Montreal and Sinclair's regiment, the 15th 
Foot, was a part of the force. Although Sinclair arrived in Quebec 
early in June, 1779, and undoubtedly presented himself promptly 
with his commission and a letter from Lord Germaine, which stated 
that, as Lieutenant Governor, he would have command over the 
military force stationed there, as well as civil authority, the Gov- 
ernor General, who did not relish the idea of Sinclair's exercising 
military as well as civil powers at his post, put him off on various 
pretences for over a month in the meantime writing to DePeyster 
that he intended to delay Sinclair until the ship's arrival from 
England in mid-summer, hoping perhaps to receive by then some 
authority to reduce or negative the instructions in Lord Germaine's 
letter. The ships arrived, but nothing to favor his wishes ; he there- 
upon wrote to England, commenting upon the union of the civil 
and military authority in one person; but the reply received the 
following year made plain that the action of the government in 
this respect was fully considered and would not be altered. 

In the meantime Haldimand issued a set of instructions for Sin- 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 71 

clair, in which, disobeying the express terms of Lord Germaine's let- 
ter, he authorized Sinclair to act as Commandant only until a senior 
officer of the garrison stationed there should arrive, and impressed 
upon him that only such senior officer had power over the troops 
to be sent beyond garrison limits, and in addition the perquisites 
attached to the commander of the post were to go to the officer. 

Naturally such instructions proved very distasteful to Sinclair 
who at once addressed a spirited remonstrance to the Governor. 

After some vigorous correspondence, in which Sinclair proposed 
to return to England rather than occupy a position which might 
be humiliating, the matter was compromised; the instructions were 
somewhat modified, and it was represented to him that there was in 
fact no senior officer at the post and an early opportunity would 
be given to purchase a commission as officer which would entitle 
him to outrank anyone who would be sent to the garrison. 

With these assurances he left Quebec the last of August, 1779, for 
his post, and arrived at Fort Mackinac October 4th, 1779, probably 
by way of the Ottawa River, four and one-half years after the date 
of his commission. He had crossed the ocean three times and while, 
until this date, he had not been able to exercise any authority under 
his commission, he had not neglected one important part of his 
duty, to draw his annual salary of 200. 

Three days after his arrival, Major DePeyster left for Detroit, 
and Sinclair was free to examine his empire. The fort was on the 
mainland on the south side of the strait, and practically in the 
same condition as it existed in 1763 at the time of its capture by 
the Indians. It enclosed about two acres and the ramparts con- 
sisted solely of pickets driven into the ground. It was on the 
sand and so near the shore that the waves in time of storm dashed 
over the pickets. The practiced eye of Captain Sinclair at once 
noted its insecure condition, its inability to resist any attack but 
that of small arms, and that it could not afford protection to 
vessels. In a letter to Captain Brehm, aide to Governor Haldi- 
inand, written four days after his arrival, he suggested the removal 
of the fort to the Island of Michilimackinac, and pointed out at 
some length the many advantages which the island possessed in 
the way of easy construction of a defensible fort, the protection of 
vessels, and good building material "but for God's sake be careful in 
the choice of an engineer and don't send up one of your paper engi- 
neers fond of fine regular polygons." 

In another letter to Brehm a week later, he returned to the 
subject and urged prompt action. "It is the most respectable situa- 



72 



MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 




PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 73 




74 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

tion I ever saw, besides convenient for the subsistence of a Garri- 
son, the safety of troops, traders and commerce.". 

Without waiting for authority from the Governor, which could 
not be expected to be received until the following Spring, Sinclair 
proceeded to set men at work on the island clearing, making 
shingles, pickets, etc. By February he had so much done that he 
set about moving the French Church over to the Island and per- 
suaded the traders and Canadians as the French were generally 
called that the removal was not only desirable but certain. 

In May, 1780, came the consent of the Governor to the change 
with the information that he had so much confidence in the Lieu- 
tenant Governor's engineering abilities that no other engineer would 
be sent. Sinclair soon found, however, that, with the limited means 
at his command in masons and artificers, it would not be possible 
to complete the new fort sufficiently to move into it during that 
season, and he accordingly took all steps to put the mainland fort 
into the best possible condition to repel attack which he feared 
might come from the "rebels" friends and adherents of the United 
States and their Indian friends. 

In the meantime Sinclair had obtained the desired reinstatement 
in military rank, so he was properly styled the Commandant as 
well as Lieutenant Governor, thus uniting the military and civil 
powers of the post. It so happened that Capt. George McDougall 
of the 84th Kegiment, had been for sometime anxious to sell out 
and retire on account of his health, but as he was an active and 
efficient officer, well liked by the Indians, the Governor was loath 
to permit him to go. However, in the Spring of 1780, on the 
representation of failing health, permission was granted him to 
sell out and Lieut. Patrick Sinclair became the purchaser and a 
Captain again in the British Army, his commission being dated 
from April 1, 1780. 

Sinclair received notice of his appointment July 8, and it evi- 
dently was a source of much satisfaction to him as he signed his 
letters for a time "Patt. Sinclair, Capt. 84th Reg't & Lieut. Gov." 

It was not long before an affair justified his insistence with 
Governor Haldimand upon the propriety and necessity of the pro- 
visions in Lord Germaine's letter. Captain Mompesson of the 8th 
Reg., then at Detroit, was ordered by Maj. DePeyster to take a 
part of his company to Mackinac to relieve a company of Grena- 
diers. Upon his arrival, Aug. 21st, 1780, he immediately refused 
to take orders from Sinclair and the next day issued a Regimental 
order that he expected obedience to his commands from the troops 
in the garrison. Both officers wrote at once to the Governor who 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 75 

immediately decided that Captain Sinclair was in the right, that 
his former rank as Captain in the 15th Kegiment had been preserved 
upon his leaving that regiment, and he therefore clearly outranked 
Captain Mompesson. The Governor in his letter to Sinclair about 
the matter added that he had at length obtained his Majesty's de- 
cision upon the disputed rank of Lieutenant Governors of the post ; 
this decision was, in fact, merely a confirmation of Lord George 
Germaine's letter. 

Another episode happened at this time not calculated to soothe 
a somewhat peppery disposition and one regardful of the dignity 
and authority of its owner. Capt. Alex Harrow, of the Schooner 
Welcome, arrived July 29th, 1780, and assumed, as superior in naval 
command, to give an order to Captain McKay, of the Felicity, which 
had been plying chiefly between the post and the Island. (Captain 
Harrow was a Scotchman who came to the Great Lakes in 1779 as 
an officer in the naval department and, in 1794, settled in St. Clair 
County on a large tract of land lying a short distance above Algonac 
and upon a part of which descendants of his are now living.) The 
Lieutenant Governor resented this interference with his own au- 
thority and, as both men were tenacious of their dignity,, it re- 
sulted in Harrow being taken from his vessel and imprisoned in 
the fort. After confinement of a month or two the authority of 
Sinclair was confirmed by the Governor, and Harrow, through the 
good nature of Sinclair, who, though quick to anger, was equally 
quick to relent, was released and reinstated in command of his 
vessel. 

The command of a post so distant and isolated as that of Macki- 
nac was a severe test of the qualities of promptness, decision, 
judgment and tact, and an early opportunity displayed Sinclair's 
possession of the first two qualities in ample quantity. After 
France embraced the cause of the United States she endeavored 
to get Spain to do the same; but the latter, though aiding the 
Americans in many ways, including the sale of a large quantity 
of gunpowder at New Orleans, made no formal declaration of war 
until May 8, 1779. Lord Germaine either devised or adopted a 
plan to drive the Spanish out of Louisiana and on June 17, 1779, 
wrote General Haldimand, directing him in co-operation with 
Brigadier General Campbell to attack New Orleans and the other 
Spanish posts on the Mississippi River. 

Haldimand issued a circular letter to the Governors of all the 
Western posts giving general instructions. This letter after passing 
from Colonel Bolton, at Niagara, to Majo^r DePeyster, at Detroit, 
was forwarded by the latter Jan. 22, 1780, to Sinclair at Mackinac. 



76 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

The day after its receipt Sinclair sent a war party to engage the 
Sioux Indians to proceed down the Mississippi River. He also 
ordered Mr. Hesse, a trader, but formerly in the army, to collect 
a force of Indians and supplies in Wisconsin for the same purpose. 
A few days later he dispatched a sergeant with Machiquawish, a 
noted Indian Chief, and his band. The combined force made an 
attack on St. Louis which was only partially successful, and the 
project, as a whole, was a failure, the result being to leave the dis- 
trict South of Lake Michigan and" as far West as the Mississippi 
River in American control. Sinclair shows up, however, very 
favorably in the affair and, if the King had been as well served 
elsewhere, the result might have been very different. 

The removal to the Island fort was made in the summer of 1781, 
although the fort was not entirely completed. When finally com- 
pleted for occupation it contained four block houses, three of which 
are still standing; the fourth, which stood near the southeast corner 
was later removed. The walls have since been widened and raised, 
and the roadway from the lower town brought nearer to the face 
of the hill and parallel to it, and lengthened so as to reduce the 
grade.- . The officers' quarters within the enclosure stand where they 
were originally constructed and the guard house, built in 1835, 
Is on the site of the one built by Sinclair. However, the general 
plan of the fort remains substantially the same today as when it 
was originally constructed 134 years ago, except that the North 
wall toward the West is brought in, thus contracting the enclosure 
by about one-fourth. 

Sinclair proposed to call the new fort "Haldimand" after the 
Governor, but the latter decided that the fort should be called 
Fort "Makinac," and the post should be continued to be called 
Michilimackinac, thus indicating that the post, meaning the civil 
jurisdiction, was more extensive than the fort, which included only 
the garrison limits. The Governor's spelling of the name of the 
fort was never carried out but the name of the post continued as 
long as the British retained control. When they left and the 
Americans took possession, the post, as such, ceased, and both 
island and fort took the same name, Macldnac. 

Sinclair, as a means of propitiating the Indians and securing 
their approval of removal to the Island, had negotiated with some 
of the Chiefs for a deed which he finally obtained in May, 1781. By 
this deed five Chiefs of the Chippewa nation relinquished to Lieu- 
tenant Governor Sinclair^ for the behalf and use of the English 
King, the Island of Michilimackinac, and agreed to preserve in 
their village a belt of wampum seven feet in length to perpetuate 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 77 
FORT MICHILIMACKINAC 

SKETCH OF THE FORT ON MICHILIMACKINAC ISLAND. 
Temporary Lines of Pickets. 




Double Lines filled in Platform high 
nearly. 



Will be dug 
out 20 feet more 
in the course of 
the summer. 




The Flank on this side 9f the Gate way was extended 
to o-verlook the ground which threatened the salient angle 
of the other Half Bastion. This single line to the 
steep bank will be raised in the course of the summer. 
The Half Curtain was reduced on this side the gate as 
the distance to which it was once extended would have 
exposed the Rampart to have been taken in reverse 
from the ground without opposite side of the Fort. 



78 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

and be a lasting memorial of the transaction. The consideration was 
5,000 New York currency (equal to f 12, 500). The deed was signed 
with the totems of the Chiefs, also by Patt. Sinclair, Lt. Gov'r & 
Commandant, Captain Mompesson, Lieutenant Brooke and Ensign 
McDonall, and witnessed by six of the resident traders. 

The work of completing the fort went on slowly as the Com- 
mandant could not get the necessary workmen. Major Depeyster 
at Detroit was not feeling very friendly to Sinclair and when re- 
quested to send artificers reported that he could not spare any. 
In August, Brigadier General Powell was compelled to peremptorily 
order him to send up two carpenters. During the years of the 
construction of the fort an unusually large number of Indians came 
to Mackinac from all quarters to receive their annual presents: from 
the British Government. Sioux, Menominies, Sacs, Foxes, Ottawas 
and Chippewas, Winebagoes and all other tribes between the Great 
Lakes and the Mississippi, and even beyond, had become accustomed 
to make an annual pilgrimage to Michilimackinac to meet 
the representative of their Great Father across the water and 
receive in return an outfit which would please their sense of 
display and enable them to support life until another season. The, 
coming of the white man and the introduction of strong drink and 
fire arms had completely revolutionized the status of the Indians. 
From an independent self supporting people procuring their spare 
and difficult livelihood by the exercise of natural talents heightened 
by ever present necessity, they had become dependent for clothing 
and the means of obtaining food. No longer were their own de- 
veloped weapons sufficient. They needed guns, powder and shot to 
kill the animals whose flesh gave them food and whose skins gave 
the furs the white man coveted and was willing to pay for. 

The French had found it advantageous to give the Indians some 
presents to stimulate and maintain their friendship, but the English 
found it necessary to give far more. The French, by their willing- 
ness to live the life of the Indians, to intermarry with them, and 
by their understanding and appreciation of Indian nature, were 
naturally regarded as their friends, and in the long French and 
English war the sympathies of the Western Indians were with the 
former and Pontiac found it easy to obtain the adherence of the 
most of the tribes. When the English obtained possession of the 
western posts, they thought it wise to conciliate the Indians by 
presents, and as time went on the number of Indians who applied 
for gifts and the extent of their demands increased until it became 
appalling to the British authorities. An additional reason why. 
during the period of Governor Sinclair's station at Mackinac a 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 79 

larger amount of presents was needed than in ordinary times was 
that, owing to the Revolutionary War, the English feared and with 
good reason that the French were, in the main, friendly to the 
Americans, and would use their influence with the Indians to turn 
the latter against the English. If this should happen all the 
Western posts would inevitably fall into the hands of the Americans. 

The three posts on the lakes to which the Indians resorted in 
large numbers for supplies were Niagara, Detroit and Michili- 
mackinac. One of the articles most in demand was rum and, as 
an illustration, it appears that there was consumed during the 
year from June, 1780, to June, 1781, at the three posts, 19,386 gallons 
of this article euphemistically called "milk" at the Indian pow 
wows. This does not include the large amount used and fur- 
nished by the traders. 

The nature of other articles sent by the Government as presents 
can be seen from the return showing that in 1781 there was sent 
to Lieutenant Governor Sinclair for Indian presents, 991 pairs of 
blankets, mostly 2y 2 and 3 point, 102 dozen calico shirts, and 50 
dozen linen ones, laced hats, feathers, looking glasses, knives, toma- 
hawks, medals, needles and thread, axes, razors, brass and copper 
kettles, tobacco, powder, shot and guns, and a host of other minor 
articles. 

It happened not infrequently that the supply of goods furnished 
by the government became low, or was very late in arriving at the 
post and, as the presents must be made when the Indians were 
there, the officers at the posts had been in the habit of buying 
from the traders such articles as they thought to be absolutely 
necessary. In consequence they often were compelled to pay 
high prices. These purchases as well as all other outlays were 
met by drafts drawn by the Lieutenant Governor upon the Governor 
General. 

In order to prevent a further continuance of this practice and 
reduce, if possible, the great and increasing expenses of the Western 
posts, on June 22nd, 1781, Governor Haldimand issued orders that 
the officers at Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac should, on 
no account whatever, after receipt of the order, purchase liquors 
or any other articles whatever for the use of the Indians from the 
traders, and that no circumstances whatever would be admitted 
a reason for not complying with the order. 

Lieutenant Governor Sinclair did not observe this order very 
closely, evidently believing that this order was only intended for 
ordinary occasions, and that, as he was on the ground, he was en- 



80 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

titled to use his judgment, even if it resulted in violating orders 
made at a great distance. 

During the years 1780, 1781, 1782 the new fort was under con- 
struction, and in 1781 Sinclair drew on the Governor General 
drafts to the amount of 43,000 New York currency, for the engi- 
neering works and 65,000 for the Indian Department. This was 
an increase over the preceding year of 18,000 in the latter and 
nearly 35,000 in the former, which, however, was probably not 
unexpected as much more work was done on the new fort in 1781 
than in 1780. In 1782 the Lieutenant Governor drew for immense 
sums in both departments ; in January one draft went forward for 
over 43,000 to be charged against the fort building, and to this no 
objection seems to have been made. On the same day, however, ho 
drew 11,450 on account of Indian expenditures, and when this 
draft was presented to Haldimand he refused to accept it, and re- 
ferred the accounts to Mr. Goddard, general storekeeper and inspec- 
tor of Indian presents, with instructions to charge out all articles 
he might consider presents to the Indians. He later requested advice 
from his Attorney General upon the question whether he could 
legally pay part of the account, without acknowledging the whole. 
Apparently he was advised that he might safely pay part as he 
did pay over 9,000. 

In April Sinclair drew drafts to the amount of 14,500 of which 
9,500 was on account of the fort and was paid, and 5,000 for 
Indian expenditures which was paid in part. In July he drew for 
over 60,000 of which 40,000 was for the Indian department and 
the remainder for the Fort construction, about one-half of these 
drafts were accepted and the others refused and protested. Al- 
though the Commandant at Detroit was at the same time also 
drawing heavily in 1781, 162,000 and in 1782, 66,000 nearly all 
of which was on Indian account none of his bills were refused. 

In August, 1782, Haldimand alarmed at these enormous expendi- 
tures, which were affecting his own standing with the authorities 
in London, appointed Lieut. Col. Henry Hope, Sir John Johnson, 
Superintendent of Indian affairs, and James S. Goddard, to go to 
Mackinac and examine into the situation. They arrived September 
15th and found a number of irregularities. There evidently had been 
looseness and carelessness in the keeping and checking of accounts, 
and the instructions of Governor Haldimand had not been followed 
with regard to the purchase of articles from the traders. One of 
the perquisites which had been enjoyed and which though profitable 
to the Lieut. Governor, was detrimental to the public interests, 
was the reception by that official of presents from the Indians, 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 81 

generally in the nature of furs which naturally called for increased 
presents to the Indians, paid for by the Government. It is apparent, 
however, that Sinclair's actions had some justification. Supplies 
ordered by him had not been sent, or were damaged in transit, 
or were so greatly delayed as not to arrive in time for distribu- 
tion to the Indians, and the Commandant was obliged to choose 
between disappointing and alienating the Indians' a consequence 
of much importance until the Kevolutionary War was ended or 
purchase goods from the traders. 

Most of these drafts which were objected to were drawn in favor 
of George McBeath to be used by him in the payment of the various 
traders who had furnished articles. McBeath had been sent up 
by Haldimand for the very purpose of taking charge of these ex- 
penditures and evidently thought them proper and necessary. 

A few days after the arrival of the investigating board, Sinclair 
turned over the command of the post to Captain Kobertson, the 
next ranking officer of the garrison, and left for Quebec arriving 
in October. The fort was not yet entirely completed. A careful 
survey made at the time by an engineer indicated the extent of 
the work done, and estimated that with 100 laborers and the neces- 
sary artificers, the fort could be put into a safe condition in about 
two months. As nearly f 300,000 had then been spent upon its con- 
struction without serious objection by the English authorities it 
may be easily conceived that they regarded the post as of high 
importance. 

November 1st, Sinclair applied to Governor Haldimand for per- 
mission to go to Great Britain, which was refused on the ground 
that he was needed for the examination of his accounts. He then 
took up his residence on the Isle of Orleans, awaiting action on 
this matter, and there he remained until the fall of 1784, when he 
finally obtained the desired permission and left for England. 

In the meantime Haldimand wrote in October, 1782, to the English 
Treasury stating what he had done and that he would investigate 
and report. In November, he followed this by an explanation of 
his reasons, which were, in the main, that Sinclair had acted con- 
trary to the order of June, 1781, in buying Indian presents from 
the traders. He also promised to have the matter carefully looked 
into. A year went by without any action whatever and in October, 
1783, Haldimand wrote the Treasury that he was waiting with 
great impatience for instructions. To this the Lords of the Treasury 
replied that he had failed to give them the information which he 
had promised, and which they needed before giving full instruc- 
11 



82 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

tions. In January, 1784, the Treasury received remonstrances from 
the merchants whose bills were unpaid, and they wrote Haldimand 
that such parts of the bills as represented articles furnished and 
labor performed should be paid for at the usual rates. In July, 
1784, Haldimand wrote that he had offered 22,000 upon bills drawn 
for 57,000, and that his offer had been refused and he had been 
threatened with prosecution by the claimants. 

In the meantime Sinclair was eating out his heart on the Isle 
of Orleans. Prevented from going to England and meeting his 
family and friends, feeling the hostility of the Governor General, 
receiving the frequent importunities of the unfortunate traders, 
who had parted with their goods, but had not received their money, 
it is not to be wondered at that he fell into a state of deep and 
settled melancholy, and that even to his best friends his faculties 
began to seem impaired. Representations were made to the Gov- 
ernor General and in August, 1784, he was allowed to return to 
England in company with Captain Erskine Hope and his wife, who 
was a connection of Sinclair. The trip and his surroundings and 
his friends and relatives in Scotland, where he at once repaired 
upon his arrival in England, restored his health. In November 
Haldimand himself left Canada for England, arriving at London in 
January, 1785. As soon as Sinclair heard of this he left at once 
for London determined to have his affairs settled, and arrived there 
February 28, 1785. He was delayed in meeting Haldimand, how- 
ever, by being arrested at the suit of some of the holders of the pro- 
tested Mackinac bills and thrown into Newgate prison, from which 
he was released on March 17th by his paying the bills. He imme- 
diately demanded of Haldimand that the latter repay the amount at 
once, or he would apply for a Court Martial. Apparently neither 
action was taken but early in April Haldimand was sued for 50,000 
and he at once called upon the Government to defend him. In the 
following year the action was dismissed, and the claimants appealed 
to Government for their pay. 

The result of this application is unknown but the standing of 
Sinclair with the English authorities does not seem to have been 
impaired by all these proceedings. While at Mackinac he had ad- 
vanced in military rank, having become a Major in 1782. The next 
year his regiment, the 84th, was disbanded. His absence from his 
post as Lieut. Governor did not affect his title or his salary ex- 
cept the allowance which he drew as commanding officer. In August 
1784, the Governor General was careful to impress upon Captain 
Robertson, then commanding at Mackinac, that his authority was 
merely in the absence of the Lieut. Governor. 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 83 



Ij 






& g =: : S: I 


g |lgs 5; I| 


t .}".]"l 


s |ft JjT 


^ 


(S~l~5 a 1 

^"5* : S : "io 


M!l!]!iil 

1 5o?53Jr|5 


o -~ 


J . -^n^-^oK 


oa>2 - ------- 




84 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

In October, 1793, Sinclair was made a Colonel. The post of 
Michilimackinac was transferred in June, 1796, to the Americans, 
and although Sinclair had not set foot in it since he left in August, 
1782, he had continued to draw his yearly salary of 200 with 
great regularity. According to modern ideas this would have been 
an unjustifiable sinecure, but that was an age of sinecures and it 
was acknowledged that an office was a vested right of which no 
possessor should be deprived without the payment of compensation. 
Accordingly, it is not surprising to find that in April, 1797, Colonel 
Sinclair, then in London, petitioned the Duke of Portland, Secre- 
tary of State, that as he had been at great pains in fortifying and 
defending the post of Michilimackinac, and his Majesty had found 
it expedient to give it up to the United States, he flattered himself 
that this action would not be prejudicial to him and that his salary 
might be transferred to the general establishment. This petition 
apparently seemed reasonable and his salary continued during 
the remainder of his life. 

Not long after he was retired on half pay and withdrew to 
Lybster where he spent the remainder of his days. 

Being still in line for promotion he was made a Major General, 
September 25th, 1803; he was made Lieut. General, July 25th, 
1810, and at his death, which occurred January 31st, 1820, at the 
age of 84, he was the oldest officer of his rank in the British army. 
From a consideration of all the evidence now available in the mat- 
ter of the protested bills Sinclair was unfairly treated. Haldimand, 
although a good soldier, was a stubborn opinionated man whose 
training as a soldier inclined him to be overbearing and impatient 
of anything except the most exact obedience to his orders. In the 
face of the King's commission to Sinclair with the accompanying 
letter of Lord George Germaine, which made the Lieut. Governor 
the Commandant entitling him to outrank any officer under a Briga- 
dier General, he refused to recognize any military authority in the 
position. Although admitting the great importance of placating 
the Western Indians, and having himself no personal knowledge of 
the difficulties of the situation, he thought his orders issued from 
a thousand miles away should be implicitly obeyed. 

It is clear that Sinclair did not understand until the Board put 
in its appearance at Mackinac that he was doing anything more 
than the necessities of the situation required, in view of the fact 
that the government agencies were often so dilatory and neglect- 
ful as to leave the far distant post short or entirely lacking. 
From his reply to Haldimand's letter of June, 1781, it is apparent 
that he understood that his position as Lieut. Governor gave him 



PATRICK SINCLAIR, BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC 85 

some discretion and this position was never contradicted by Haldi- 
mand. His good faith is manifest all through, and even if Haldi- 
mand were justified in claiming that Sinclair had acted in contra- 
vention of his orders, that furnished no excuse for not paying the 
traders who had, in good faith, furnished articles actually used by 
the government and ordered by a representative they had no reason 
to suspect. 

It seems probable that in the end the government paid the bills, 
as in 1786 the Treasury at London called on Haldimand to furnish 
information why the bills had been protested, and to explain why 
he had continued McBeath at Mackinac in connection with Indian 
disbursements after he had repudiated his actions in connection 
with Sinclair. 

Sinclair married Catherine Stuart, of Invernesshire, and had 
four sons and one daughter. Three sons died unmarried, and one 
married but left two daughters, who never married. His only lineal 
descendants are through the children of his daughter, Susan, who 
married David Laing, surgeon, of Thurso. 

A full length silhouette of General Sinclair taken after he, had 
retired from the army shows a large handsome man of imposing 
presence. Family tradition depicts him as an impulsive, warm 
hearted, as well as warm tempered individual, quick to resent and to 
punish, and equally quick to forgive; kindly and generous to de- 
pendents; philanthropic and helpful to the needy and improvident. 
He lived to the good old age of eighty-four and his thoughts must 
frequently have gone back to this Inland Empire in which nearly 
a decade of his life was spent, and in which he had wielded a wide 
influence, and had erected a monument still enduring. His name 
which was so closely connected with the early history of Michigan 
should be perpetuated and both Mackinac and St. Glair County 
should mark, by proper memorials, the name of Sinclair, as a most 
important one in their rolls of historic characters. 



THE WESTERN SKETCHES OF CAROLINE 
MATHILDA (STANSBURY) KIRKLAND 



BY EDNA M. TWAMBLEY 



THE WESTERN SKETCHES OF CAROLINE 
MATHILDA (STANSBURY) KIRKLAND 

BY EDNA M. TWAMLEY. 
I. 

THE judgment of contemporary critics is seldom final; a 
multitude of authors who were extolled in their own day are 
quite unknown at present. Time passes on to posterity only the 
culled names of a chosen few, and many an author who did cred- 
itable work toward exalting the literary ideals of his own age, occu- 
pies the humble and obscure station of being merely a block in the 
foundation upon which others have built more gloriously. This is 
notably true of the most prolific period that American literature 
has yet seen. Scores of able writers are completely shadowed by 
the over-towering genius of their brilliant contemporaries in the 
Cambridge and the Concord groups. 

Among these worthy minor authors is Caroline Mathilda Stans- 
bury Kirkland, one of the most intellectual women of her time 
a woman of rare personality and of great nobility of character. 
Her works, so highly exalted by the critics of 1839-'61 are quite 
unknown today. Granting that half a century forms a sufficient 
Vista of years through which to see an author's work in true per- 
spective, it is the purpose of this paper to examine the works of 
Mrs. Kirkland with the idea of determining their ultimate value, 
and to give the author due credit for her share in opening up the 
great theme of western realistic fiction. 

In order to appreciate the position occupied by Mrs. Kirkland 
in the progress and development of this phase of our literature, 
it is necessary to discover the place she occupied in her own 
period, to look at her works in the light of their own environment, 
and to note the criticisms passed upon their author by her own 
contemporaries. 

The imagination finds an enticing field in which to wander as it 

Edna M. Twamley was born In St. Paul, Minnesota; she went to Grand Forks, North Da- 
kota when a child; was educated at Grand Forks High School, North Dakota University, the 
University of Minnesota (B. A. 1902), and Columbia University (M. A.). She is now in 
charge of the English department of the Grand Forks High School. The paper on Mrs. 
Kirkland was prepared as a thesis for the degree of Master of Arts at Columbia University 
at the suggestion of Professor W. P. Trent. 



90 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

contemplates literary New York of fifty years ago. Murray Hill, 
Irving Place, and Washington Square were the haunts of men and 
women whose names are familiar throughout our literary world. 
Miss Anne Lynch who became the wife of Vincenzo Botta, pro- 
fessor of Latin literature in the University of New York, held 
weekly receptions for nearly half a century ; she hospitably received 
the devotees of arts and letters, and by her own refinement and 
culture she gathered about her a group that compared favorably 
with the Boston Saturday Club. These receptions formed the 
nearest approach to a salon that this country has ever seen. One 
of Miss Lynch's most intimate friends was Mrs. Kirkland, who 
often assisted at these conversaziones and sought to introduce 
worthy authors whom she discovered. She was especially fitted for 
this tactful office for she was a woman of social grace, ready 
sympathy, brilliant wit, and we are told that her "countenance 
beamed with benevolence and intellect." Edgar Allan Poe was a 
frequent visitor at the Lynch home, as was also Margaret Fuller, 
who at that time was the literary editor of the New York Tribune, 
edited by Horace Greeley. There the young poet Stoddard met 
Elizabeth Barstow. Longfellow, Emerson, Lowell and Dana lec- 
tured frequently in New York; the dainty Willis, amusing yet 
charming by his elegant manners, was a prominent figure; the 
courtly, gentle and genial Irving, although abroad for a great part 
of this period, returned bearing with him the rich treasures of 
his foreign residence in the Alhambra and among the legend-haunted 
regions of England. From certain references in her informal essays 
and from comments found in the periodicals, it is doubtless true 
that the work of Mrs. Kirkland was familiar to all of her famous 
contemporaries, but most frequent and cordial criticism is accorded 
her by William Cullen Bryant, Bayard Taylor, C. F. Hoffman, the 
Duyckinck Brothers and Edgar Allan Poe. 

In searching the magazines of the period for comment on the 
books that comprise the western sketches ("A New Home Who'll 
Follow?" 1839; "Forest Life," 1842; "Western Clearings," 1845) 
various criticisms were discovered from which the following have 
been selected as typical : 

In the Knickerbocker Magazine edited by Hoffman for November, 
1839 we find this appreciation of "A New Home" 

Unhesitating, with impression from its perusal fresh upon us 
do we pronounce this unpretending volume one of the most natural, 
pleasant and entertaining books that we have read for a twelve- 
month. The writer is an accomplished lady, evidently of high even 
scholastic attainments, who after enjoying from childhood the ad- 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 91 

vantages and refinements of polished life removes to the wilds of 
Michigan. With a hearty perception of the beauties of nature, and 
power to depict them, with a keen eye for the ridiculous and a 
ready appreciation of the burlesque and with a remarkable 
knowledge of character, it is not surprising that our author should 
have written an amusing volume. 

Similar criticisms were passed upon this work when it appeared 
in London under the title of "Montacute." 

The editor of Chambers' Edinburgh Journal said when "Western 
Clearings" came out: 

The perfect originality and freshness of life as it exists in the 
back States insures that almost any account of it should be worth 
listening to, but in the present case we have it handled by one of 
the acuter class of female minds, one with much literary dexterity, 
and an unusually keen eye for the ludicrous, so that ' Western 
Clearings" is really a very presentable treatise. The fetes, dancing 
meetings and other hospitalities of the clusters of half-civilized yet 
not unkindly people of these wildernesses are sketched with a 
particularly free and lively pencil. 

The Evening Post for April 6, 1864 announces the sudden death 
of Mrs. Kirkland and after giving a brief biographical sketch the 
editor comments upon the works as follows : 

"A New Home," which was a record of her own experiences was 
written with such freshness and vivacity as to gain her at once a 
high and almost world-wide reputation. Mrs. Kirkland was among 
the most original and vigorous of all our female authors; her 
sketches of western life have never been surpassed for fidelity of 
detail and liveliness of humor. * * * During her residence in 
New York she gathered about her the most eminent men and 
women of the Metropolis, divines, authors, artists, etc. 

Perhaps the most interesting criticism of all is that given by 
Edgar Allan Poe in his Literati. He says : 

Mrs. Kirkland's "New Home" published under the nom de plume 
of "Mary Clavers" wrought an undoubted sensation * * * To Mrs. 
Kirkland alone we are indebted for our acquaintance with the 
home life of the backwoodsman * * * With a fidelity and a vigor 
that prove her pictures to be taken from the very life, she has 
represented scenes that could have occurred only as and where 
she has described them. * * Unquestionably she is one of 
our best writers, has a province of her own, and in that province 
has few equals. Her most noticeable trait is a certain freshness of 
style, seemingly drawn as her subjects in general, from the West. 
In the second place is to be observed a species of wit approximating 
humor and so interspersed with pure fun that wit after all, is 
nothing like a definition. Her perceptive faculties enable her to 
describe with great verisimilitude. Her mere style is admirable, 
lucid, terse, full of variety faultlessly pure and yet bold, so bold as 



92 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

to appear heedless of the ordinary decorations of composition. In 
even her most reckless sentences, however, she betrays the woman of 
refinement, of accomplishment, of unusually thorough education. 

II. 

Caroline M. Stansbury was born in New York in 1801. Her father 
was a bookseller and publisher and her grandfather was well known 
as the author of humorous verse concerning the events of the 
Revolution. She received a thorough training in the languages 
and literature both ancient and modern. In early womanhood 
she married Professor Kirkland, of Hamilton College. At their 
home in Western New York they heard many tales of the wonder- 
ful possibilities of the new parts of the country and in 1839 they 
moved to Michigan. They lived in Detroit two years and spent six 
months in the interior, about sixty miles northwest of Detroit. In 
1842 they returned to New York where Mrs. Kirkland opened a 
private school for girls ; she also became a prolific contributor to the 
magazines of the day, and at the same time she published several 
books. She became deeply interested in various phases of practical 
sociology and the last years of her life were devoted to philan- 
thropic work. 

From this we see that the western sketches were the literary 
results of only a brief period of two and one-half years. In order 
to gain a better understanding of the quality of the author's mind 
and to appreciate more fully the nature of this woman, who for a 
brief period shared the life of the Michigan pioneer, it may be well 
to examine her other literary attempts in different fields, all of 
which were published' after her return to New York. 

We find she was a recognized author of many books of varied 
nature. She undertook literary criticism to some extent. Being 
an ardent admirer of Spenser she edited the first two books of the 
"Fairy Queen" and "Americanized" the text. In her warm admira 
tion for the "Poet's poet" she shows her own mental kinship and 
reveals her own character in her hearty appreciation of the high 
moral tone of Spenser. She herself wrote at least three books en- 
tirely devoted to manners and morals, but in all of her works she 
exhibited the highest regard for the noble, upright, severely ethical 
life. Through every page of the essay on Spenser runs the warm 
enthusiasm that reveals the genuine admirer. She shows her wide 
acquaintance with authors as she quotes most aptly from Latin as 
well as from English literature. 

"The Helping Hand," a work typical of her practical philanthropy, 
is a hearty appeal in behalf of released female convicts. The book 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 93 

has nothing especial to commend it from the literary view point, 
but it reveals the noble generosity of spirit and the genuine womanly 
sympathy of the writer. 

Except for the biographical facts interspersed in the critical 
essays concerning Spenser and Bryant, Mrs. Kirkland attempted 
no biography, with the exception of a life of Washington, a plain 
straightforward account of the life of the hero, but bearing the 
marks of having been written to order. She acknowledges that it 
is a condensation of Sparks' history. She is rather too fond of 
anecdotes that illustrate the severer side of Washington's charac- 
ter, inasmuch as that great man already appears to the younger 
generation, at least, to be somewhat coldly aloof. 

She writes more happily in "Holidays Abroad; or Europe seen 
from the West," although the different parts of the book are of 
unequal merit. Her chief fault is pursuing what the psychologists 
designate "total recall," elaborate and unwarranted diffusiveness. 
She chooses a form that relieves her of all structural plan, by 
writing a brief sketch on each place visited ; as, Liverpool, Chester, 
Oxford, London, Paris, etc. We note the wit for which she was 
so highly commended by her contemporaries coming to the surface 
at intervals. To the "genus courier" she cleverly and amusingly 
applies Charles Lamb's "ingenious accumulation of metaphors sug- 
gested by the contemplation of a poor relation." The two volumes 
of that Avork are characterized by the leisurely style so prevalent 
in the works of the preceding century. 

Mrs. Kirkland's editorship of the Union Magazine continued only 
eighteen months and very little of this periodical is available now. 
In its pages we find stories and poems by the best authors of the 
day. The brevity of its life may have been due to its ethereal pur- 
pose, devotion to "literature and art." It has ever been difficult to 
secure a wide circulation for so ideal a publication. 

As was said before, all of these works were published after Mrs. 
Kirkland's sojourn in the wilds of Michigan. She is an example of 
that type of author whose first, fine, careless rapture is the best. 
She established her reputation on the Western sketches and subse- 
quently maintained it by miscellaneous contributions. 

III. 

As it is with the Western sketches only that this paper is to deal, 
it will be necessary to consider these in detail in order to discover 
the characteristics of the material Mrs. Kirkland used, and her 
method of presenting it, and in order to ascertain their ultimate 



94 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

value in the development of realistic fiction. They will be taken 
up in the order of their publication. The author may have been 
doubtful of the reception that would be given her first effort; she 
may have feared the resentment of her Michigan neighbors if they 
should discover that she had portrayed their idiosyncrasies; what- 
ever the reason may have been she brought out "A New Home 
Who'll Follow ?" under the pen name of "Mrs. Mary Claviers." This 
seems to have been the only time that she used this or any nom de 
plume. 

In the preface she declares: "I claim for these straggling and 
cloudy crayon-sketches of life and manners in the remoter parts of 
Michigan the merit of general truth of outline. I felt somewhat 
tempted to set forth my little book as a veritable history, an unim- 
peachable transcript of reality; a rough picture in detached parts, 
but pentagraphed from the life. But conscience prevailed, and T 
must honestly confess that there be glosses, and colorings and lights 
if not shadows for which the author is alone accountable." 

There is no greater inspiration to write than the surety of hav- 
ing an interested reader. Many an author has discovered his power 
through a happy response to the demands of his friends for letters. 
This seems to have been Mrs. Kirkland's first impetus. Separated 
from all the brilliant coterie she had associated with in the East, 
thrust into the companionship of the illiterate frontiersman, she 
found real delight in the letter as a means of sharing with her 
friends the interesting novelty of her situation. Finally, as a result 
of this practice, she determined to attempt a continuous narrative. 

Realizing that the chief theme of former western literature had 
been adventures with wild beasts and Indians, she gives fair warn- 
ing to her reader that this is not to be expected in her book. She 
reminds us inevitably of Jane Austen and her literary purpose; of 
Washington Irving's refusal to make great promise in his leisurely 
introduction to "Bracebridge Hall." She repeats what she has 
said in the preface as she warns her reader not to expect anything 
beyond a "meandering recital of commonplace occurrences, mere 
gossip about every day people, little enhanced in value by any fancy 
or ingenuity of the writer." She will tell of a home on the out- 
skirts of civilization, where people "breakfast with the chickens 
and are ready for bed at eight." She realizes the fertility of her 
realistic theme and longs for the gift of Miss Mitford. 

There is something charming about this simple, straightforward 
declaration. It immediately identifies the author with all the subse- 
quent writers of realistic fiction and gives her a place among the 
pioneers. 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 95 

We are not told how Professor and Mrs. Kirkland were brought 
to share the excitement of the time over city-building in Michigan ; 
we hear that two hundred acres have been bought, that a vil- 
lage has been planned and the family are on their way to the new 
home. To any one familiar with the rough life of a new country 
this must seem like an odd move for a college professor and his 
wife. Imagine people used to the learned lectures of Longfellow 
and of Lowell suddenty reduced to the harangues of "Simeon 
Jenkins;" from the exalted conversation of Margaret Fuller to be 
restricted to the neighborhood gossip of "Campaspe Nippers ;" from 
the pavements of bright Broadway, to the glutinous depths 1 of the 
Michigan mud-holes ! From the comforts of well-ordered homes, 
good food and healthful environment, to log-huts, salt pork and the 
terrors of the ague! 

Yet to this sudden and complete change in environment does Mrs. 
Kirkland owe much. It is doubtful if her latent power might ever 
have been as thoroughly aroused had she remained in New York, 
as it was by this removal to the Michigan forest. This experience 
proved to be a violent stimulus to her sense of dramatic contrast; 
it enlivened her naturally keen perceptions, and the result is that 
the three books of western sketches excel all else she wrote in 
originality, vigor and excellence of characterization. 

In order to reach their destination, the site of the new village, 
Mr. and Mrs. Kirkland are obliged to drive for three days over the 
marshy country through miles and miles of monotonous "oak- 
openings." Let us note Mrs. Kirkland's selection of the "character- 
istic features" of the new country and her manner of presenting 
them to her reader. Very early in the sketches we discover Mrs. 
Kirkland's great love of natural beauty. The many varieties of 
Michigan wild-flowers bring her exuberant delight; her apprecia- 
tion of the grandeur of the patriarchs of the Michigan forest show 
her to have Lowell's fondness for fine trees. Many a time does she 
plead for the preservation of some of these "Banquos of the forest" 
when she discovers that the ideal of the Michigan pioneer is to 
make the "clearing" complete. Surely an ardent love of nature is 
one of the greatest aids to exalt the hard life of the pioneer. 

In addition to this Mrs. Kirkland is blessed with a natural 
cheerfulness of disposition which rarely fails; linked with it is 
a sense of humor which brings her endless delight. She has the 
happy faculty of amusing herself by discovering the ridiculous side 
of many an uncomfortable situation; she can see the ludicrous 
eccentricities in her neighbors, yet her natural kindness of heart 
never permits her to be satiric where she can discover the least evi- 



96 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

dence of true worth. These qualities, with the addition of forti- 
tude and enduring philosophy make her the finest type of pioneer 
woman. All of these personal characteristics combine to give us 
her pleasing manner of presentation. 

Naturally the first thing she noted in the new country was the 
utter lack of ordinary conveniences. The cramped little log-houses, 
barely large enough to shelter a small family are made to accommo- 
date large parties of land-seekers. A perilous journey up the nar- 
row "sick-ladder" into the dingy and airless loft reveals innumer- 
able beds spread upon the floor; the little "iron skillet" on a bench 
under a tree is the only facility provided to enable the entire family, 
guests included, to "perform their limited ablutions;" the coarse 
fare is composed of the inevitable salt-pork and potatoes ; one must 
go a long distance for lumber and the roads are almost impassable. 
Surely there must have been something of the Stoic in the Kirk- 
lands or after their first reconnoiter they would have returned 
to New York. But after a long journey to look over the site 
of the new village, they return to Detroit to get their children and 
their household goods. The journey with the heavily loaded wagon 
and the weary children is more tedious than the first, but Mrs. Kirk- 
land's natural fortitude enables her to endure it well. Only once 
do we hear any complaint and that is when the entire load, still 
upright however, is precipitated into one of the ubiquitous Michi- 
gan mud-holes. One horse finally breaks away and escapes, and 
there the mother and children are obliged to sit in the glaring sun 
for three hours until help comes to rescue them. 

Mrs. Kirkland gives an excellent description of the usual methods 
employed by the professional land speculator. To any one familiar 
with the opening of any part of a new country her account will 
appear as a "transcript of reality" for this wildly imaginative and 
usually unscrupulous individual is always to be found on any 
promising frontier. 

Mr. Mazard was the exceedingly alert and "unselfish" assistant 
of Professor Kirkland. He had had "extensive experience" in city 
building and was therefore employed to build the mill, the tavern, 
the store, the blacksmith shop, etc. When all this was planned it 
was necessary to select a name for the enterprising city to come. 
Mr. Mazard tactfully desired to immortalize the proprietor by nam- 
ing it after him, but as this suggestion was not well received, the 
matter was referred to the proprietor's wife. She begged for time 
to consider, but that could not be granted for the village plot was 



MRS. KIRKLAND'8 WESTERN SKETCHES 97 

to be drawn instantly lithographed and circulated throughout the 
United States, and to cap the climax, printed in gold, splendidly 
framed, and hung up in Detroit in the place where merchants most 
do congregate. Unfortunately for truth, an Indian name inno- 
cently suggested was rejected as signifying "Big Bubble." At 
length ten names chosen from novels read were shaken in a hat 
and out came "Montacute." As there is no Montacute on the map 
of Michigan today one prefers to think that Mrs. Kirkland used 
her fiction-prerogative rather than to suppose that the town 
fostered by the professor from Hamilton College died the death of 
many similarly originated. 

Considering the fact that the search for land and city-sites was 
the all-absorbing occupation of those newly arrived in Michigan, 
it may be allowable to give in detail the account of the experience 
of a party of land-seekers from Detroit whom Mr; Kirkland accom- 
panied, having nothing better to do while he was obliged to wait 
in Detroit for the arrival of his household effects. 

This selection is chosen both because of the characteristic theme 
and because of Mrs. Kirkland's interesting and realistic descrip- 
tion. She says: "The party were absent just four days, and a 
more dismal sight than they presented on their return cannot well 
be imagined. Tired and dirty, cross and hungry were they all. No 
talk of adventures, no boasting of achievements, not even a breath 
of the talismanic word 'land' more interesting to the speculator of 
1825-6 than it ever was to the ship-wrecked mariner. They seemed 
as if they would, Esau-like, have sold their city lots for a good 
supper. * * * Finally, after supper when the bath and the razor had 
produced their 'humanizing effect' 'Mrs. Clavers' gleaned the story 
of their long and tiresome journey through the marshes, their 
spending the night at a log-cabin, where a fire was made on the 
ground or floor, under a hole in the roof. The next day, as they 
pursued their journey the guide showed them six different points, 
each of which the owners were fully satisfied, would one day echo 
the busy tread of thousands." Their spirits were somewhat de- 
pressed by the appearance of the marshes but no one dared to ex- 
press any such feelings. They passed the night at the home of a 
French trader, and though they were greatly disturbed in the night 
by the Indians coming for whiskey, they felt rested in the morning. 
Their spirits arose under the influence of a beautiful day and when 
they reached the spot chosen by the guide it was very easy to see 
how the "channel of the Shark could be deepened, the marshes 
drained and the whole converted into one broad area on which to 
13 



98 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

found a second New York." They called the place the "Grand Junc- 
tion" and the "bargain" for its purchase was soon completed. "Only 
one hundred shares at three hundred dollars each, the money might 
be quadrupled in a month." Nobody happened to mention to those 
eastern buyers that the whole had been purchased for four hundred 
dollars just a week before they reached Detroit* * * "When lots 
were to be sold, the whole fair dream was splendidly emblazoned 
on a sheet of super-royal size ; things which floated only before the 
mind's eye of the most sanguine were portrayed with bewitching 
minuteness for the delectation of the ordinary observer. Majestic 
steamers plied their paddles to and fro upon the river; ladies were 
crowding the decks and streamers were floating in the wind. Sloops 
dotted the harbors, while noble ships were seen in the offing. Mills, 
factories, and light-houses, canals, railroads and bridges all took 
their appropriate positions. Then came the advertisements choicely 
worded and carefully vague, never setting forth anything that might 
not come true at some time or other; yet leaving the buyer without 
excuse if he chose to be taken in." 

Mrs. Kirkland reminds the reader that this procedure did not 
characterize every land sale. Thousands of acres changed hands so 
rapidly and so successfully that she was reminded of the old game 
"Robin's Alive" all gained save him in whose hand Robin died. 
Any old settler in the West today would recognize this as an ab- 
solutely true and vivid description of a common practice. 

IV 

Returning to the narrative that recounts the progress of the Kirk- 
lands, we find them uncomfortably lodged with the Ketchum family^ 
impatiently waiting till they might enter their own log house. Their 
frame house would not be ready for several months. Added to the 
discomforts of a leaky roof, close quarters and coarse fare was the 
fact that the children of the two families did not agree. As an ex- 
ample of Mrs. Kirkland's usual happy method of narrating disa- 
greeable experiences the following is quoted : "The two races com- 
mingled not without loud and long effervescence, threatening at 
times nothing short of a Kelkenny cat battle, ending in mutual ex- 
termination. My office, on these occasions was an humble imitation 
of the plan of the celestials in ancient times; to snatch away the 
combatant in whom I was most interested, and then to secrete him 
for a while, using as a desert island one of the beds in the loft^ 
where the unfortunate had to dree a weary penance, and generally 
came down quite tame." 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 99 

But even when they are fortunate enough to leave this tumultuous 
household, new difficulties quite as exasperating arise. With three 
small children to care for, and with the drudgery of getting settled 
in a new home sadly in need of the "tutelary aid of the goddess of 
scrubbing brushes," Mrs. Kirkland was extremely anxious to obtain 
"help." Here she encounters what seems then to have been another 
"characteristic feature" of the new country. It is amusing to dis- 
cover the old servant problem of the present day so huge with 
difficulties in 1839. Mrs. Kirkland's eastern friends had assured 
her that she could easily get some of the farmer's daughters to 
assist her, but they had not understood the strength of the spirit 
of foolish democracy existing in the West. The girls of the neigh- 
borhood might enter domestic service long enough to earn money 
for the purchase of a new article of dress, or to help with the family 
expenses in case some member had been ill and there were doctor's 
bills to pay, but it was always with the air of favor conferred. They 
bore the air of a "captive princess" and expressed their desire to 
accompany the family on "tea visits" and to share the companion- 
ship of guests from the city. Finally, through the aid of Mr. Jen- 
nings, a neighbor who condescended to offer his services for a liberal 
compensation, one of these accommodating young women was se- 
cured for Mrs. Kirkland. She was "a rosy-haired Phillida who re- 
joiced in the enphonius appellation of Angeline." She made her 
self entirely at home after the manner of her kind ; but after a few 
experiences of this sort, Mrs. Kirkland evolved some happy plan 
whereby she had little difficulty in securing and retaining a maid. 
Her ingenuity, tact and common sense united with a certain cheer- 
ful acceptance of a situation as she found it in a new country helped 
her to solve her problem. Many eastern people who came later 
were not so fortunate, and the "help question" comes up again and 
again throughout the sketches. Everywhere it is treated in playful 
humor, but the real difficulties are never disguised. This part of 
Mrs. Kirkland's sketches would appeal to anyone who has had the 
experience of hiring "help" on a western farm. The foolish inde- 
pendence of very needy families, the unlimited privileges demanded 
by those who condescend to "help you out," the unbearable imperti- 
nence that must sometimes be endured, have established a condition 
that has caused many a person to abandon the farm life. Should 
anyone doubt that Mrs. Kirkland was an actual settler these stories 
that deal with the help problem ought to be sufficient to "establish 
her residence" as they say in claim language. 

Due to the innumerable marshes and the undrained condition of 
the country generally the ague was so prevalent in 1839 that it was 



100 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

looked upon as a "characteristic feature" of Michigan. Often, a 
whole family would be prostrated at once left entirely to the kind 
administrations of their sympathetic neighbors. The Kirkland 
family were not exempt. One after another succumbed to the 
"superlatively doleful" disease. Mrs. Kirkland says: "When mat- 
ters reached this pitch when we had literally no one to prepare 
food or look after the chidren our physician proved our good 
genius." They were then so well cared for, that their condition 
could not be considered as typical. The forlorn Titmouse family 
described later seem to represent a situation only too common 
among the poor. 

As the disease was never fatal Mrs. Kirkland describes its at- 
tacks with her usual mildly humorous manner. References to the 
ague recur throughout the sketches with the frequency of a prom- 
inent character. 

As Mrs. Kirkland has warned us not to expect consecutive nar 
rative or coherent arrangement in her sketches, and as it is very 
evident to any reader that she makes little effort to secure either, 
obviously it is the inevitable course of any attempted criticism of 
her work, to follow her in her wanderings, choosing characteristic 
selections from her sketches and bearing in mind the three- 
fold purpose of this paper to examine her material used, her 
method of presenting that material, and to attempt to discover her 
place in the development of the realistic fiction of the West. 

After the personal experiences in establishing themselves in 
their new home have been given, and general features of the new 
country have been noted, the Kirklands enter into the life of 
the community. Mrs. Kirkland's alert and eager mind discovers 
many an interesting character, and picks up many a life story of 
the Michigan pioneer. The general background for these descrip- 
tions and narratives is the easy, chatty informal essay on manners 
and customs in Michigan. 

She comments on the inveterate habit of borrowing in the new 
country. All moveable possessions "run about as if on legs." The 
very fact that one owns more implements or has industriously 
secured more wholesome food for his family is considered reason 
enough why he should lend and share all he has. On account of 
the mutual dependence of neighbors in this isolated place far from 
supplies, it is never safe to refuse. But after Mrs. Kirkland has 
humorously told of the extensive demands made upon her in this 
respect, with characteristic acknowledgment of her "besetting sin'* 
she declares she did not intend to write a chapter on "involuntary 
loans" for she has a story to tell. Then follows the amusing descrip- 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 101 

tion of Doubleday. There is nothing unique in the situation she 
describes. Authors have ever been fond of linking a gentle, for- 
bearing man with a sharp-voiced termagant ; authors have also been 
fond of showing the regenerating and mellowing influence of a little 
child, but the character of Philo Doubleday "the long, awkward; 
honest, hard-working Maine man" who was to his wife as "oil-cruet 
to vinegar bottle" is certainly unique. Though the sketch is brief 
the character stands out with pleasing prominence. The one quality 
that gives him this individuality is his ability to rhyme on the 
instant. No matter what trying circumstance may call forth the 
harsh invective of his wife, he is ever ready with "his favorite mode 
of vengeance poetical justice as he calls it." Choosing a sample of 
Philo's art the following is quoted : 

Sometimes these poeticals came to the aid of poor Betsy (the 
maid of all work) as once, on hearing a crash in the little shanty- 
kitchen, Mrs. Doubleday called in her shrillest tone. 

"Betsy! what on earth's the matter?" 

Poor Betsy, knowing what was coming answered in a deprecatory 
whine; "The cow's kicked over the buckwheat batter!" When the 
c-lear, hilarious voice of Philo from the yard where he was chopping 
instantly completed the triplet. 

"Take up the pieces and throw 'em at her!" 

This time Mrs. Doubleday laughed and the "fusilade" was averted. 

In addition to the unique quality of the character of Mr. Double 
day, the sketch is commendable as a very fair little story built up 
almost entirely by personal characterizations placed in pleasing- 
contrast. 

Mrs. Kirkland inserts a chapter on gardening that is evidently 
for the practical guidance of those who might come to the new 
country. She has discovered what will grow and thrive in Michi- 
gan and she hastens to inspire a love of natural beauty in her 
utilitarian neighbors. She pleads for the cultivation of hyacinths,, 
roses and shrubs and also for a vegetable garden to supply the 
table with more palatable fare. She is enthusiastic in the praise 
of Michigan soil and finds that a wise use of the natural resources 
will bring comfort and even luxury to the settler. 

V. 

One of the best narratives in "A New Home Who'll Follow?" 
concerns the Beckworth family. The author's usual method of 
introducing a story is employed here. Mrs. Kirkland and her con- 
genial neighbor Mrs. Rivers had gone on a long horseback ride to 
explore the new settlement of Tinkerville, already thriving and 



102 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

populous, according to the advertising bulletins. When they arrived 
and rode through the "village" without distinguishing it from the 
wide, untrammeled Michigan forest they were directed to a road 
leading back to Montacute that would be less lonely than that by 
which they had come. Filled with great admiration for the 
grandeur of the primitive wood, and delighted with the variety of 
wild birds, they were unaware of the approach of a storm until 
the rain began to fall heavily. They sought shelter at a farmhouse 
"that looked like a castle of Massachusetts or Western New York 
dropped par hazard in these remote wilds/' The large barn, the 
wide fields of grain, the flowery door-yard all spoke of the industry 
and thrift of the owner. They were received with the usual 
warmth of Michigan hospitality. They mentioned their search for 
Tinkerville to Mr. Beckworth, the owner of the place who laughed 
and said he thought it would be a long time before the dreams of 
the proprietors would be realized. He said he had been well ac- 
quainted with one of the Tinkerville promoters, Mr. Jephson, since 
he was a boy and at this remark he cast a sly glance toward his 
wife. 

When the travellers were ready to leave, Mr. Beckworth politely 
offered to "see them safely a part of the way," and in the manner 
of the Canterbury Tales he told his story as he rode. As this tale 
is to represent Mrs. Kirkland's narrative ability it will be neces- 
sary to give a brief synopsis of it. 

Henry Beckworth, the son of a poor Massachusetts farmer fell 
in love with his fair cousin, Agnes Irving. On account of the 
poverty of both families marriage could not be thought of, but in 
order to assist Agnes financially he slipped away to sea, leaving a 
letter in the care of a companion on the voyage a friend who de- 
clared his intention of returning "direct" to the home village. In 
the letter was a sincere request that Agnes should use his earnings 
left at a certain place subject to her order, for the support of her 
invalid mother. He had not trusted himself to tell her of his plans 
when last he saw her, but had merely said that she would soon hear 
from him. 

When he returned three years later he found his earnings un- 
touched. When the stage brought him to the public house, he 
sought out Job Jephson, the man with whom he had left the letter, 
and eagerly inquired for Agnes Irving. To his surprise he dis- 
covered that she had been married three months. Jephson then 
gave him an account of the hard times Agnes had seen since his 
departure and how she had finally yielded to the desire of John 
Harrington and had married him. When Henry Beckworth asked 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 103 

Jephson if he had given Agnes his letter he drawled out a long 
explanation. He had not returned home when he had expected to, 
but had gone on a long journey south. When he finally reached 
Longton (the home village) it was quite cold weather and he 
changed his coat without ever thinking of the letter. When he 
found it again Agnes was getting ready to be married, so fearing 
the content of the letter might "break off the match' 7 he "just locked 
up the letter and said nothing to nobody." 

Finally after a proper exhibition of righteous anger Henry crept 
through the rain to the house of John Harrington, whom Agnes 
had married. In the wet shrubbery he waited, hoping to get one 
glimpse of the object of his affection and long devotion. The cheer- 
ful light showed a comfortable enticing interior, but at last he was 
obliged to leave unsatisfied. His feelings were so intense he could 
not remain in Langton, so with the brave spirit of Enoch Arden 
renunciation he went back to sea. 

After a long and difficult cruise beset with many misfortunes, 
he arrived in New York once more. From a townsman he learned 
that Agnes was a poor widow. He hurried to Langton. He was ex- 
tremely curt to Job Jephson, but Job didn't take any notice of the 
repellant air of the new arrival and rambled on, volunteering in- 
formation. He declared that Henry had come too late before ; now 
he came too soon. Agnes had been a widow two years and now was 
about to marry Colonel Boon, one of the most upright and wealthy 
men of Langton. Poor Henry Beckworth measured himself and 
his possessions beside such an excellent combination of character 
and riches. In the first respect he might compare very favorably, but, 
on account of the misfortunes of the last voyage he was almost 
penniless. On account of his deep affection for Agnes, after a long 
night of struggle he determined to leave Langton forever. 

After five years of whaling voyages he reached his native shore 
once more ''richer than he had ever been in his life." Again he 
heard that Agnes was "unmated" as the Colonel had been killed 
by a fall from his horse. This time he determined to see Agnes 
herself. With many misgivings he went to Langton resolving to 
avoid Job Jephson, but that ubiquitous individual was along the 
road and again volunteered information. Job tried to stop his 
progress but this time he was unsuccessful. 

After receiving explanations yet with much reluctance to marry 
again, Agnes finally consented to honor this old lover's life long 
devotion. He took her and her two children to Michigan where 
they lived, the happy objects of his care and affection. 

With characteristic affirmation, Mrs. Kirkland declares: "Let 



104 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

none imagine that this tale of man's constancy must be the mere 
dream of my fancy." She received the story from Henry Beckworth 
himself and all she has done is to record it. 

It will readily be seen that this story is nothing but an elaborate 
character study where the incidents mentioned all tend with great 
uniformity to show the rare unselfishness and the life-long devo- 
tion of Henry Beckworth. This narrative follows such an inevi- 
table order of sequence that the story exhibits far better structure 
than we often find in the work of this author. Job Jephson serves 
a useful purpose. Besides adding a touch of humor and giving us 
the foundation for the "plot" by his failure to deliver the letter, he 
serves to link the different periods of time by his droll and provok 
ing announcements. For a character briefly described Mrs. Kirk- 
land has succeeded remarkably well in giving us a clear, well- 
defined picture of a man incredulously irresponsible and utterly in- 
capable of appreciating the magnitude of his neglect. For a story 
where the outcome is known from the beginning the interest is ex- 
ceedingly well sustained-. 

If this may be considered as typical of the Kirkland story it will 
be seen that in narrative, the author departs from her avowedly 
realistic purpose. Her declaration that she got it from Mr. Beck- 
worth himself is a usual device to give an added air of truth. 
Though the opening situation, the hardships endured, the character 
descriptions in general give a realistic air to the whole, the ideal 
devotion of the hero, the convenient removal of obstacles and the 
happy termination belong unquestionably to the romance. 

VI. 

In the description of Miss "Eloise Fidler" which closely follows 
the Beckworth narrative, Mrs. Kirkland has attempted to give 
variety to her sketches of Michigan character. This young woman 
"whose age is at a stand" is so obviously out of place that the reader 
feels much regret when she succeeds in changing the "unpoetic" 
name of Fidler and decides to remain in Montacute. She seems to 
be an exaggerated example of the young lady of the boudoir. She 
belongs back in the eighteenth century in England though we may 
have to own a few of her kind in the early Knickerbocker period. 
Her chief occupation seems to have been to add to her choice collec- 
tion of verses. Her album "resplendent in gold and satin" and 
embossed flowers was ever awaiting contribution. The selections 
quoted from it show the extreme sentimentality of the owner 
and her fondness for the expressions of the age of Pope. Ink is 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 105 

called "sable dew," and such hackneyed expressions as "lids of 
pearl," "brow of snow," "cheek like a rose" are common. Whether 
Mrs. Kirkland was anxious to populate Montacute with varied 
types, or whether she wanted an opportunity to express her disgust 
of the extremely fashionable and silly young woman through a 
satiric treatment cannot be ascertained, but we are glad that the 
"fair Eloise" is the sole representative of her class. 

The long story of the Tinkerville wild-cat bank is an ordinary 
one. 

Mrs. Kirkland next inserts a chapter on the regretable lack ol 
public religious instruction in the new country. She describes 
the effort of one of the preachers, "a well meaning, but most in- 
competent person." She acknowledges with gratitude the visits 
of the more refined and scholarly, but there is no regularity about 
the service and one seldom knows beforehand whether one will hear 
the coarse, illiterate ranter or the educated minister bearing a help- 
ful message. If there could be a willingness for the different de- 
nominations to unite, a competent preacher might be secured and 
retained, but the small, struggling bands each representing a dif- 
ferent sect are unable to support any form of public worship. Any- 
one who has sat through the long service of a hot afternoon on the 
prairie listening to a talk made up of the continual reiteration of 
commonplaces and inappropriate illustrations will recognize Mrs. 
Kirkland's description. The various religious denominations repre- 
sented in the small western towns today are still struggling along, 
not willing to unite their efforts, but calling for aid from the 
missionary societies. 

VII. 

A sketch quite complete in itself and a worthy one from the point 
of view of character study and humor is that one which describes 
the "Female Beneficent Society of Montacute." Sewing societies 
have ever been the object of much masculine ridicule, but here is a 
woman with characteristic insight revealing all the humorously 
satirical sides of the organization. The sewing society in any 
frontier village in the West today reveals quite as odd an assort- 
ment of womankind as did the gathering at Montacute. As human 
nature does not materially change we take this as a fair test of 
Mrs. Kirkland's realistic power. 

The satiric wit in this sketch is extremely amusing ; the character 
ization is varied and excellent. As it is quite representative of the 
author's ability it will be described at some length. 

Mrs. Nippers, the supreme gossip of Montacute earnestly desired 



106 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the presidency of the new society. She vigorously canvassed the 
village endeavoring to throw out hints as to the ineligibility of all 
the others thereby breeding dissatisfaction or disgust wherever 
she went. Note the author's humorous description of this "social 
center" of the village. 

The association is the prime dissipation of our village, the magic 
circle within which lies all our cherished exclusiveness, the strong 
hold of caste, the test of gentility, the temple of emulation, the 
hive of industry, the mart of fashion, and I must add, though 
reluctantly, the fountain of village scandal, the hot-bed from which 
springs every root of bitterness among the petticoated denizens of 
Montacute. 

The result of Mrs. Campaspe Nippers' industrious canvassing was 
the selection made entirely by herself of "five directresses, two 
secretaries, and a treasurer, managers and auditors." Mrs. Kirk- 
land says this reminded her of the military play of her three 
brothers who always had fore-captain, hind-captain and middle 
captain, but no privates. 

When the meeting for the election of officers was held all these 
women whom she was counting upon to elect her president seemed 
to fear so active a member. One office after another was filled and 
Mrs. Campaspe was conspicuously neglected. She bore her disap- 
pointment, with commendable composure, however, but she imme- 
diately set about inciting rebellion. The outcome of this appeared 
at the first meeting, and with the law of retribution especially 
active punishment followed soon. 

The work was distributed, and the company broken up into little 
knots or coteries ; every head bowed and every tongue in full play 

There were nineteen women with thirteen babies or at least 
young "uns" (indigenous) who were not above gingerbread. 

Mrs. Flyter was slicked up for the occasion in the snuff-colored 
silk she was married in. Mrs. Nippers wore her unfailing brown 
merino and black apron; Miss Clinch, her inevitable scarlet calico; 
Mrs. Skinner her red merino with baby of the same; and a dozen 
other mistresses shone in their "tother gowns" and their tamboured 
collars. 

Sewing proceeds slowly and gossip grows apace, until a violent 
disturbance issues from the corner where Mrs. Nippers was seated. 
When closely questioned, she says she "only knows what she has 
heard," that there is great dissatisfaction because those who lived 
in log houses some distance from the village had not been invited 
to join the society, and that many people thought twenty-five cents 
quite too high for a yearly subscription. The members were 
aghast, for many of them still lived in log houses. 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 107 

A quiet old lady who sat knitting in the corner spoke out with 
the power of an oracle. She plainly declared that Mrs. Nippers 
had instigated the insurrection and that she had been the only one 
w T ho objected to the dues. From this time on Mrs. Campaspe 
"served in silence and carried her colors at half-mast for the 
remainder of the afternoon." 

The description of the tea-table surrounded by the women and 
grabbing babies is given with characteristic realism. The topics 
of conversation are chosen from the limited interests of their nar- 
row lives, barn raising, butter-making, a trip to Detroit, etc. 

In a simple, homely sketch like this where there is an opportunity 
for the author to indulge in her fondness for mildly satiric and 
humorous treatment, and where there is one character which gives 
motive to the whole story we see Mrs. Kirkland at her best. When 
she departs from this method and depends upon plot for interest 
as she does often in "Western Clearings" she is not so successful. 

VIII. 

Mrs. Kirkland now returns to the essay form. She considers the 
various types of the Michigan pioneer and shows the different 
points of view taken by men and women in considering the aspects 
of the new life. She tells of the young married couples one always 
finds on the frontier. Opportunities seem greater for them here, so 
with a rude shelter, a handful of furniture and with youth, .health, 
love and hope they bravely face their hardships. 

Another class of settlers is made up of those who have come to 
Michigan with the hope of acquiring property at a rapid rate. They 
have sold their possessions in the East, "sacrificed the convenient 
furniture necessary to daily comfort, and awake only when it is 
too late, to the fact that it kills old vines to tear them from their 
clinging places." The women of this class, especially, are to be 
pitied. The little home they knew in the East, so happily filled with 
familiar faces, so well supplied with comforts and conveniences, has 
suddenly been changed to one of strangers, exasperating difficulties, 
and inefficient household equipment. The men, however, are not 
troubled by the inconveniences of domestic arrangements in the 
loggery. They joyously throw their axes over their shoulders and 
congratulate themselves on the change as they see a fresh and glow- 
ing page spread before them, opportunities they never knew before. 

The woman who is bound to make the best of things, soon begins 
to introduce little refining, cheering influences. With her spinning 
or butter money she buys some trifle for the log-hut that' will help 



108 MICHiaAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

to transform it into a home. She plants eglantine and wild cucum- 
ber to shade her windows. She cultivates beds of balsams, sweet- 
william, four o'clocks and poppies. When at her earnest request 
a few apple trees and lilac bushes have been planted the whole 
place seems wonderfully transformed. 

The author finds compensation for the hardships and trials of 
life in the new country, in the wonderful freedom from restraint, in 
the feeling of joyous, unbounded liberty that leads her to pity the 
"walled-up denizens of the city." To Mrs. Kirkland the familiarity 
with woods and waters, the harmony which the Creator has insti- 
tuted between the animate and the inanimate works of his hands 
brings placid contentment. 

We are doing no injustice to the genius of Washington Irving 
when we compare this essay with his descriptions of rural customs 
in England as found in his "Sketch Book." In many places Mrs. 
Kirkland shows an accuracy and felicity of expression quite equal 
to that of her more well-known contemporary. Her genial, happy, 
nature-loving spirit gives that quality of broad benevolence so wel 
come in the informal essay. 

IX. 

The introduction to the next narrative shows again the author's 
intense interest in the natural world about her. A brief selection 
from it will be quoted, as it shows better than any yet discovered a 
similarity to the style of N. P. Willis, with whom her contempor- 
aries frequently compared her. If one would be led by the ornate 
quality of the description to doubt the genuineness of the ex- 
perience, one need only re-read many plainer expressions of delight 
to discover that a love of nature is a deep and abiding quality of the 
author's mind. 

As they rode through the forest she says : 

We lacked not carpets for there was the velvet sward, em- 
broidered with blossoms whose gemmy tints can never be equalled 
in Brussels or in Persia : not canopy, for an emerald dome was over 
us, full of trembling light, and festooned and tasselled with the 
starry eglantine, the pride of our Western woods; nor pillars, nor 
arches; for oh! beloved forests of my country, where can your far- 
sounding aisles be matched for grandeur, your alleys green .for 
beauty? ***** 

Many a dreamy hour have I wandered in this delicious soli- 
tude, not book -bosomed ; for, at such times, my rule is peu lire, 
penser beaucoup. 

Had she written much in this vein it would have been impossible 
to identify her with the realists. 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 109 

Interesting and unique is the character sketch of Mr. Simeon 
Jenkins, a tall, illiterate, boastful Michigander, who has a very 
exalted opinion of himself and his abilities. Ever since the days 
of his childhood when he was a wily little vender on election days, 
he has been filled with patriotism and the realization of his duty 
to his country. Ever on the alert for a sinecure he will accept 
any office the dear people may bestow upon him. When he finds 
his political party in the minority, he joins the other. Finally all 
these efforts result in his being dignified with the title "Justas of 
the Peace." Through the aid of the active services of the tongues 
of the "Female Beneficent Society" it came out that the village 
tailor felt aggrieved because he had been accused of stealing some 
satin. Mr. Jenkins is to preside at this slander suit. The "Justas" 
has prepared a long speech that is to touch upon the chief 
periods of the world's development, and he is anxious for an oppor- 
tunity to deliver it. He calls for the pen and ink and says he will 
want some paper to take down the "dispositions." Finally "in 
came the plaintiff, the Schneider of our village, no Robin Starveling 
he, but a Magnificent Hector-looking fellow, tall enough to have 
commanded Frederick of Prussia's crack regiment. The beetle- 
brows of this hero were puckered like the seams of his newest 
'prentice, and he cast magnanimous glances round the assembly, 
as who should say: 

"Come one, come all, this rock shall fly 
From its firm base as soon as I!" 

When the Beneficent Society tongues are in full operation, the 
two men in the case slip away and in five minutes return, having 
settled the matter between them. 

Simeon Jenkins didn't have a chance to use his speech and the 
women who had been looking for excitement were disappointed. 
Some of them, however, "who had been trembling under the con- 
sciousness of conversational sins unwhipped of justice shawled 
and India-rubbered with more than usual alacrity and I doubt not 
made vows, sincere, whether well kept or not, to let their neigh- 
bors' business alone for some time." 

The pretense of a law-suit which holds this sketch together is 
too slight. The seams in the construction of the "plot" are too 
noticeable. The whole effect is one of burlesque. With the excep- 
tion of some witty allusions, the one thing of value in the sketch 
is the creation of Simeon Jenkins. 

In preparing to take leave of her reader Mrs. Kirkland thinks of 
many topics she has neglected to mention, the supreme delight of 
receiving the weekly mail, the new school house and the teacher, 



110 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the disciplinary value of life in the Michigan wilds. She proceeds 
to give the most lively attention to the school-master. After telling 
of the usual custom of employing women for the summer months, 
she says: 

"During the snowy, blowy, wheezy, and freezy months the chair 
was taken not filled by Mr. Cyrus Whicher, not Switcher, a 
dignitary who had boarded round till there was very little of him 
left. I have been told, that when he first bore the birch, in his 
own hand I mean, he was of a portly and rather stolid exterior; 
but he was, when I knew him, a mere cuticle a "skellinton" as 
Mr. Weller would say." 

Mrs. Kirkland tells of her futile attempts to restore him to his 
"stolid exterior," but she decides one other reason for his lean and 
hungry look is his insatiable curiosity. In her description of this 
trait she drops into caricature. Surely no such prying, impertinent 
individual as she pictures would be employed even in the back- 
woods. 

"He scraped a little of the crystallized green off my inkstand 
to find out how it was put on ; pulled up a corner of the parlor 
carpet to see whether it was 'wore like a bed-spread;' whether it 
was 'over-shot or under-shot.' In addition to this he questioned 
every member of the household on every conceivable subject. Mrs. 
Kirkland says: "I began to feel croupish before he left us, from 
having talked myself quite out." What a happy arrangement that 
no one family had to bear this affliction for longer than a week at 
a time! 

This humorously satiric picture of the early pedagogue is Mrs. 
Kirkland's method of showing one of Michigan's great needs. The 
condition of the early school is everywhere an object of her concern. 

X. 

A general quality of Mrs. Kirkland's work and one that was a 
remnant of the Knickerbocker period was her frequent insertion 
of quotation. As this practice is not the literary fashion today 
one is inclined to think this author over-does it. Whether we like 
it or not it serves to show Mrs. Kirkland's well stored mind and 
to give us an insight into her fun-loving spirit as she discovers 
illustrious parallels or witty analogies. 

When Mr. Titmouse was afflicted with the Michigan evil she 
says: 

As for the ague, did not great 

Caesar shake 

"Tis true this god did shake; 

His coward lips did from their color fly, 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 111 

And in this important particular poor Lorenzo Titmouse was 
just like the inventor of the laurel crown." 

She is grateful to Cowper for giving poetical grace to the ar- 
rangement of the laundry work performed by Mrs. Jennings at the 
side of the creek 

A kettle slung 

Between two poles, upon a stick traverse. 

When people complain of the hardships of Michigan she offers 
the consolation of Touchstone's philosophy and declares, 

"It is your only wear for this meridian." 

She describes herself and her dainty neighbor, Mrs. Rivers rid- 
ing to a country wedding in an ox-cart as "reclining a la Lalla 
Roojkh and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu." 

A general characteristic so very evident in her work that it re- 
quires special mention, is inveterate degression. She declares she 
is frequently conscious of her inability to construct, and once, as 
if to view the fault in a different light, she cheerfully acknowledges 
a deliberate adherence to the right to wander at will. But after 
making due allowance for any chosen manner of informal presenta- 
tions and after taking into consideration the sketch-book quality 
of her subject,, there are many examples of unwarranted disgression. 

It is always interesting to see an author's comment on his own 
work and to discover powers of self-analysis. What seemed the 
best of Mrs. Kirkland's many confessions is found at the close of 
"A New Home." 

"I have departed from all rule and precedent in these wandering 
sketches of mine. * * * I think I have discovered that the bent of 
my genius is altogether towards disgression. Association leads 
me like a will-o-the-wisp. * * * This attempt to write one long, 
coherent letter about Montacute has at least convinced me that 
history is not my forte. I give up the attempt in despair and lower 
my ambition to the collection of scattered material for the use of 
the future compiler of Montacutian annals." 

Taken as a whole, "A New Home" is by far the best book Mrs. 
Kirkland ever wrote. Its excellence seems to be due to the vigor of 
first impressions, the delight in the novelty of the situation. A 
woman of Mrs. Kirkland's buoyant disposition, full of desire to 
see life in its many phases felt a sense of welcome adventure in 
a short residence in the Michigan wilds. The typical backwoods- 
man and his family furnished her with most interesting character 
studies, and she found great delight in the wide expanse of the 
primitive forest. 

But after two and one-half years the deprivations of a pioneer 



112 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

life began to wear upon her. We are never told of her final return 
to New York. Departing from truth, in "Forest Life" she leads 
us to believe she has been a resident of Michigan four or five 
years. Though there are some examples of her best style, on the 
whole the real sparkle seems to be gone, and the two volumes 
which constitute the work seem largely made up of repetitions and 
"warmed-over" impressions. 

If "A New Home Who'll Follow?" does not contain all, it 
at least represents all that was characteristic of the best work of 
its author. Since this is true, the two remaining books will be 
more briefly considered. 

XI. 

"Forest Life" was published in 1842, or three years after its 
author's first "plunge into print" as she calls it. In the preface 
she gratefully acknowledges the generous appreciation shown her 
first effort, but she sincerely regrets 

"That ingenious malice has been busy in finding substance for the 
shadows which were called up to give variety to the pages of <A 
New Home' in short that I have been accused of substituting 
personality for impersonation. This I utterly deny ; and I am sin- 
cerely sorry that any one has been persuaded to regard as unkind 
what was announced merely as a playful sketch, and not as a 
serious history." 

Doubtless these accusers did not realize what a compliment they 
were inadvertently paying to the author's realistic method. Severe 
criticism seems to have come from another class also, she says : 

"It has appeared to some few of the more enthusiastic of our 
western patriots that there is something treasonable in exhibiting 
the settler of a new country as deficient in some of the amenities of 
life and language." 

How extremely characteristic this is of those absurdlv foolish 
"local patriots" found in any newly-settled country! They seem 
to acknowledge the inadequacies of the region when they constantly 
reiterate its praise and when they are ever on the alert expecting 
offense from any visitor. 

These quotations were given for two reasons; first, because they 
undoubtedly show that the author gave a picture of the Michigan 
pioneer .perilously true to life ; second, because much to our regret, 
they seeni to have influenced her to change her method when she 
wrote a new book. The first reason is simply a satisfying con- 
firmation of what has already been noted; the second is pertinent 
as bearing upon "Forest Life." It is impossible to ascertain the 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 113 

extent of the influence of the adverse criticism, but there is no 
doubt that it was very unfortunate, coming as it did after the 
novelty in the new life had worn away and when 'the author 
needed encouragement and inspiration in order to sustain her 
efforts. Her naturally sensitive disposition did not permit her to 
treasure the just appreciation of the worthy critics and ignore the 
blame of the easily offended. 

Spontaneity seems gone; it is very evident that "Forest Life" did 
not "write itself" as she says the former sketches did. Filled with 
guarded comment and long dissertations its progress is slow and 
self-conscious. The stories and incidents seem to be brought in 
for the purpose of illustrating abstract truths; they are usually 
followed or accompanied by extensive moralizing on the part of 
the author. We miss the original portraiture of the backwoods- 
man and the attempt to make up the loss by special attention to 
plot is unsuccessful. The effort is strained, the result overdrawn 
and incredible. As "Western Clearings" the final book to be con- 
sidered, is made up of a collection of short stories more representa- 
tive of the author's best work, those found in "Forest Life" will 
be passed without comment. 

Continuing the adverse criticism, we find over one hundred pages 
devoted to the tedious narrative concerned with the Sibthorpe 
family. As if to silence those fault finding critics who accused her 
of peopling Michigan with a coarse and illiterate type, she intro- 
duces these educated and refined English people who bring four 
servants to their establishment in the woods. They are obviously 
so out of place that it is impossible to fit them into the landscape. 
The whole of the long, dull effort isn't worth the few pages of the 
first book that describes Campaspe Nippers or Mr. Doubleday. It 
is impossible to imagine what total eclipse came over the author's 
judgment when she allowed herself to insert the insufferably 
lengthy and tedious letters between the Sibthorpes and their 
friends in England. This part of her work reminds one of the days 
of Richardson, when, on account of the rarity of the novel the 
people encouraged interminable literary loiterings. 

In addition to this, practically all of the main topics that describe 
characteristics of the life in the new country are repeated. This 
time, however, they come to us through the method of general ex- 
position rather than with the happy concreteness so evident in the 
preceding works. For example, after having received a good idea 
of the prevalence of the ague through a visit to the forlorn but 
interesting Titmouse family in "A New Home" we do not readily 
15 



114 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

accept a prosy, unrelieved description of the disease in "Forest 
Life." 

Having finished our complaints against the new book it will be 
more pleasant to discover some commendable qualities. Considering 
the secondary nature of this work, no attempt is being made to 
follow the author's outline, as was done in the preceding sketches. 
Similar to the plan followed in the adverse criticism, examples will 
be chosen from any part of the book so long as they illustrate the 
author's more fortunate choice of material and happy manner of 
presentation, and as they serve to strengthen Mrs. Kirkland's claim 
to a place among western realists. 

In the opening chapter of "Forest Life" she gives a very natural 
description of the emotions experienced by the average pioneer 
woman of culture. As she says, the truth and accuracy of this can- 
not be fully appreciated by any one who has never been far from 
the home-land. Mrs. Kirkland's cheerful philosophy and enduring 
fortitude failed her at times. She says : 

Those who have been accustomed to live in the midst of a wide 
circle of pleasant acquaintance, and another, a dearer though 
narrower circle of beloved friends, where every taste finds its 
appropriate gratification, and every feeling of affection its warm 
response, can scarcely be expected to appreciate the yearning with 
which the dweller in the far distant wilderness looks back upon 
the land of his early love; the land of society, of conversation, of 
that collision of differing yet kindred minds, without which the 
best of us become stupid; the land of churches, of books, of music, 
of pictures, of all that can delight the imagination as well as all 
that ministers to our good nature. 

Those only whom fate or a wayward choice has removed from 
these advantages can describe the aspect which they wear when 
viewed from an almost hopeless distance ; or the sense of alienation, 
of isolation, of loneliness, which is apt to beset the heart or the 
imagination of the emigrant in moments of depression, or long 
hours of ill health. 

It is interesting to imagine the pure delight that the author of 
these words must have felt when, after her return to New York, 
she was restored to the happy companionship of that brilliant 
group which frequented Anne Lynche's receptions. 

With characteristic buoyancy she soon recovers from this moment 
of depression and finds consolation and enjoyment in the natural 
scenery of Michigan. In order to show that the love of nature, so 
evident in "A New Home," is undiminished here, and that her en- 
thusiastic appreciation entitles her to admission to the recently 
accused band of "local patriots" the following is quoted : 

Our scenery has been called tame. What is tame scenery? Is 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 115 

every landscape tame which cannot boast of mountains or cataracts? 
Save these, I know of no feature of rural beauty in which our 
green peninsula is found wanting. If the richest meadow land 
shut in by gently swelling hills and fringed with every variety of 
foliage if streams innumerable if lakes in unparalleled variety of 
size and figure, studded with islands and tenanted by multitudes of 
wild fowl if these be elements of beauty, we may justly boast of 
our fair domain, and invoke the eye of the painter and the pen of 
the poet. No spot on earth possesses a more transparent atmo- 
sphere. The heavenly bodies seem to smile upon us without an 
intervening medium. The lustre of the stars and moonlight seem 
more pure and perfect here than elsewhere. 

In a more practical vein she continues with a discussion of 
Michigan resources; the value of the forests, the fine quality of 
the soil, the inexhaustible beds of peat and marl. If, as she believes, 
the aspect of the country effects character, she looks forward to a 
people of mildness, kindness and all the gentler virtues. 

XII. 

When Mrs. Kirkland was on a long drive enjoying this primitive 
scenery she so greatly admired, she came suddenly upon one of the 
sights of the new country, a "mill raising." On account of the 
dearth of amusement, a raising of any kind was looked upon as 
a great frolic. All the men and boys for miles around flocked to 
it to share in the excitement and partake of the "refreshments." 
As, on this occasion, the more elaborate and formal mill-raising 
was in progress, a great crowd had gathered and merry-making 
was high. The most interesting part of the proceedings, however, 
was the final act. When all was complete, a name was bestowed 
after the following formula: 

"Upon this plain 
Stands a fair frame 
Who'll give it a name?" 

To which was responded: 

"We'll call it the miller's delight , 

To take toll all day and count the cash at night." 

This seems especially interesting as evidence of a bit of senti- 
ment in these backwoodsmen, usually thought to be so lacking 
in that respect. A scene like that would have delighted the heart 
of Washington Irving. 

Mrs. Kirkland gives us a good idea of the feeling of mutual de- 
pendence felt by the inhabitants of a new country. Her essay on 
the "good neighbor" though not unique in any way, is very accept- 
able both from the point of view of matter and of treatment. She 



116 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

declares that in cities one is likely to forget his relationship to 
the great human family; but here in the forest life "the code of 
morals as well as manners has a warmer, a more human tinge." 
As it is impossible to set up as an exclusive, "the closeness of ac- 
quaintance leads -to great plainness and sincerity not always 
pleasant, perhaps, but still nearer right than its hollow hearted 
opposite." 

The good neighbor is the mainstay of the community. She then 
describes his kind acts in times of sickness and death and tells how 
he substitutes himself for the charitable institutions of the older 
parts of the country as he generously receives the orphaned children 
and helps the needy. 

In half playful vein she tells how he patiently bears the "petty 
trespasses" and 'impudent impositions," for he realizes that in a 
forming society, disputes and quarrels are great hindrances to 
progress. He lends his horses, wagons and household equipment, 
often at great personal sacrifice. All this he does having for his 
only compensation the satisfaction of doing a kind deed and of 
hoping to influence his thoughtless neighbor by his own example. 

XIII. 

"Western Clearings," published in 1845, contains many stories 
written when the author was still in the West. These had ap- 
peared in the magazines of the day and the warm reception the} 7 
had received encouraged the author to collect and edit them. Each 
story or essay is complete in itself and in this respect "Western 
Clearings" furnishes a welcome change from the long drawn-out 
attempt at continuity in "Forest Life." While the material all 
deals with western themes, it is of unequal merit from the present 
point of view. Often it is ineffective or trite. 

"Western Clearings," published in 1845, we find that most of 
the stories this book contains were written when the author was 
still in the West. They had appeared in the magazines of the day 
and the warm reception they had received encouraged the author 
to collect and edit them. Each story or essay is complete in itself 
and in this respect "Western Clearings" furnishes a welcome change 
from the long drawn-out attempt at continuity in "Forest Life." 
While the material all deals with western themes, it is of unequal 
merit from the present point of view. Often it is ineffective or 
trite. 

A favorite device of the author is to place a fashionable city 
coquette in unfavorable light beside a natural, innocent country 



MRS. KIRKLAND'8 WESTERN SKETCHES 117 

lass. The situation varies; sometimes, the "fashionable" exerts 
her practiced witchery on the not easily deceived young Michigander 
who always shows a proper discriminating judgment when the 
ultimatum arrives; sometimes, she is at work endeavoring to 
humiliate her false example ; again she is discovered concocting and 
putting into operation some wild and daring scheme. But when- 
ever she appears the reader knows she is doomed to final and over- 
whelming degradation. 

Further, the author strikes too boldly to bring about her ends. 
She seems to feel in duty bound to offer the reader the excitement 
of strained credulity, yet she gives the old assurance that the in- 
credible incidents have been actual experiences; she acknowledges 
only some mild invention in the minor parts. Even if we could believe 
this we would blame her for not throwing an air of plausible fiction 
over these melodramatic "true to life" stories. We are inclined to 
think that in the triumph of true love, the exaltation of the good, 
the bestowal of unexpected fortune, she was all too fond of aiding 
the intervention of the fairy godmother; and in the humiliation of 
the proud, the annihilation of the false, and the exposure of 
chicanery she lent too active assistance to Nemesis. 

Western sketches that claim to depend for interest on other 
things than adventure, demand an air of truth. We look for the 
portraiture of individuals who will have some of the qualities of 
the country, who will fit their environment ; we look for situations, 
amusements, activities peculiar to that region; in short, we want 
the life of the west to bear the marks of individuality, to contain 
something that smacks of the prairie or forest, frontier customs, 
manners and modes of living. 

In as much as an author fails to give us this and merely uses the 
country as a setting in which to place her characters taken from 
the old romance, she disappoints. We measure her success by the 
homely intimacy of her picture. 

Her method of presentation in "Western Clearings" as has been 
referred to, was the short story; this was introduced by a brief 
essay on some general topic leading up to the narrative. Since 
the short story has come to have very definite rules guiding its 
composition, demanding accurate proportion, sharp telling con- 
clusions and dramatic concentration, it would not be fair to judge 
Mrs. Kirkland's work by these requirements; for it must be re- 
membered the short story was in its infancy in 1845; yet had she 
showed the true instinct for short-story structure, in her own field 
she might have exerted a good deal of influence on its moulding life 



118 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

and have shared the honors of the dictatorship in its construction 
along with Poe and Hawthorne. 

In addition to the demands of structure, the short story, as well 
as any form of fiction, requires an appropriate, enticing title. Mrs. 
Kirkland's titles are often repellent as well as indefinite. For ex- 
ample, "Bitter Fruits from Chance Sown Seeds," "Half-lengths 
from Life," "Ambuscades," "Chances and Changes." 
But after all adverse comment has been given there is much to be 
said in the author's favor: after all deductions have been made 
there are many examples that serve to illustrate well chosen ma- 
terial, realistic and unique; and in spite of structural short-comings 
there are many satisfactory and pleasing presentations. All these 
materially aid in establishing a worthy place for Mrs. Kirkland. 

XIV. 

The initial story in "Western Clearings" is entitled "The Land 
Fever." No theme more characteristic of the West could have been 
chosen and the author succeeds admirably in giving an accurate 
idea of conditions in the new country during the excitement that 
attended wild speculation in land. In her essay-like introduction 
she well describes the free, hearty hospitable manner that pervades 
the West, adding much to its charm. Because the inns are in- 
frequent, "open house" is kept for the stranger. The way-farer 
is treated to the best that the little home in the wilderness affords, 
and it is seldom that the generous host will accept compensation. 

But conditions were different in the time of land speculation. 
The settler heartily disliked the speculator, because he was a non- 
resident and did little or nothing to build up the country; the 
"land-looker," called today the "locater," was also an object of 
hatred, because of his frequent unscrupulous methods. It was 
not difficult to mislead the unpracticed land-hunter because some 
knowledge was required to read the stakes placed by the govern- 
ment survey, and the settler frequently showed marked inhospi- 
tality to this individual when he found him astray. This is the 
situation described in the story. 

The night was cold and rainy, but the new-comer's horse was 
obliged to graze on the marsh; the supper was composed of the 
coarsest fare and no bed was provided for the stranger. In the 
morning, when the traveller was charged a dollar for his "enter- 
tainment" he expressed himself in no uncertain terms concern- 
ing the "boasted western hospitality." The settler angrily de- 
clared that he showed no hospitality to "land-sharks," whereat, true 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 119 

to his present state of mind, the stranger retorted that he wouldn't 
take the whole State as a gift. It then transpired that the settler 
had mistaken the stranger's inquiry for a hunting-party to mean 
a land-hunting-party. The settler and his wife, with many apolo- 
gies attempt to make amends for the treatment of their guest. 
Every line of the description that introduces this story is fraught 
with truth to one who has been in a country at the time of its 
early settlement. The illustrative story would seem to describe a 
rudeness inexcusable on the part of the settlers, but considering 
their dislike of the speculator, there may be no exaggeration. As 
the interest depends upon the situation no attempt is made to por- 
tray unique character. 

Mrs. Kirkland gives us a natural picture of the excitement caused 
in a small western town over a dance. She very skillfully ac- 
complishes this by drawing a realistic contrast between her own 
drowsy condition and the fluttering state of the "human butter- 
flies" who disturb her afternoon nap as they come with many 
requests; one wished to borrow a large feather fan, another "jist 
called in to see if she was go in' to want that 'ere white bunnit 
curting of hers." The maid of all work ingeniously obtained posses- 
sion of a coveted blue ribbon. A request came via the kitchen for 
the use of a team of horses and a large vehicle to "convey the 
ladies." True to her ideas of the good-neighbor as expressed in 
"Forest Life," she magnanimously grants all requests. Anxious 
to see the fun, she thought of a pretense that gave her the oppor- 
tunity to go to "Thram's Huddle." Through a peek-hole she views 
the "fast and furious" dance unobserved; she saw "old Knapp the 
fiddler testing the absorbent power of a large red cotton handker- 
chief." She saw her own cerulean Jane and she watched Miss 
Leggett gallop down the center with the "bunnit-curting" trailing 
after her like a meteor. She was even treated to a glimpse of the 
abundant and varied feast being prepared by the "doleful looking 
dame the empress of that torrid region, the kitchen." 

Any one who is unfamiliar with the life in a new country can have 
little idea of the absorbing interest in dancing shown by the young 
people on the frontier. They dance in the little claim-shanties, in 
the log huts; they drive or ride horse-back for miles to enjoy the 
extreme pleasure of dancing till daylight. The music is usually 
furnished by some one of the company who can "fiddle." If the 
violin or melodian is wanting, there is always a mouth organ in 
somebody's pocket. The rare assortment of social casts that meet 
and mingle in the whirl of the dance would surprise and disgust 
anyone with a tendency to exclusiveness. All go in together with 



120 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the hilarious spirit of entire freedom from any conventionality. 

Mrs. Kirkland is successful in catching the spirit of the ball and 
in communicating it to her reader. Her natural buoyancy and 
sense of humor delight in describing a scene of this kind. The 
conversation is given with great naturalness. Though little atten- 
tion is devoted to any one of the various members, the group which 
compose the party stand out with telling individuality. Altogether 
the little story is very successful. 

At least one example of Mrs. Kirkland's landscape descriptions 
should be quoted from "Western Clearings." A picture of an 
autumn scene taken from the introduction to "Chances and 
Changes" has been chosen. 

Not a tree from the almost black-green of tamarack and hem- 
lock to the pale willow and the flaunting scarlet maple, the crimson 
brown-oak and the golden beech, not a shrub however insignificant 
but contributes to the general splendor. * * * The harvest has been 
nearly all gathered and the plowing for next year's crop has made 
some progress as the deep, rich brown of some fields and the plough 
itself slowly moving in others can tell us. * * * Look yonder, be- 
yond the line of crimson and brown shrubs that line the rough 
fence at the sower pacing the side field with the measured tread 
of the soldier * * * The adjoining field is like a fairy camp with 
its ranges of tent-like stacks of corn, and a young maple left stand- 
ing here and there as if on purpose to supply the flaring red ban- 
ners necessary to the illusion. * * * Here and there a cluster of 
hay stacks of all sizes covered with roofs shaped like those of a 
Chinese pagoda give quite an oriental touch, while close at hand a 
long, shambling Yankee teamster coaxing and scolding his oxen 
in the most uncouth of all possible voices will recall the where- 
abouts with a shock, reminding one that the prevailing human tone 
of the region is anything but poetic. 

In the general discussion that opens "The Bee-Tree" the author 
gives a realistic description of a certain type of settler always 
found in the new parts of the country. In spite of "honesty, hard 
work and sobriety" they remain poor while their neighbors pros- 
per. They blame "the luck," while the observant neighbors say 
they "ha'n't no faculty." Mrs. Kirkland proceeds to examine some 
of the causes of the ill luck. She finds a poor, forlorn dwelling 
in the very midst of the marsh and in it lives Silas Ashburn and 
his wretched family. Although Ashburn was among the earliest 
settlers in Michigan and had half a county of beautiful farm land 
to choose from, he deliberately selected this tract in the marsh be- 
cause there would always be good pasture for his cows, and as for 
the ague, why "everybody knows if you've got to have the ague, 
why you've got to, and all the high land and dry land and Queen 



MRS. KTRKLAND'8 WESTERN SKETCHES 121 

Ann (quinine) in the world wouldn't make no odds." Silas de- 
clares that he works "like a tiger" but that John Dean, his neigh- 
bor who come with him from York State gets all the luck. He for- 
gets that "Dean never speculated, nor hunted, nor fished nor found 
honey, nor sent his family to pick berries for sale," while he has 
frequently been guilty of all. He does not comprehend that Dean 
makes enough money to buy his venison in half the time Silas is 
hunting, and that Dean's family, due to his steady industry, are 
well housed and comfortably clad. Naturally he hasn't the doctor's 
bills to pay that fall to poor Silas Ashburn. He refuses to see that 
when he spends a whole night coon-hunting and is obliged to sleep 
half the next day, and feels good for nothing the day after, he 
might better have left "the varmint to cumber the ground." One of 
the greatest temptations that entices Silas away from steady in- 
dustry is a bee-hunt. He would leave the most profitable job of the 
season if he but received a hint of the presence of a bee-tree, and 
if a quantity of honey should be secured, it is" immediately con- 
sumed, for as Mrs. Ashburn says, "It costs nothing, let 'em enjoy 
it. It isn't often we have such luck." As to the cost, close compu 
tation might lead to a different conclusion, but the Ashburns are 
not calculators. After placing the situation thus realistically be- 
fore the reader, the author proceeds to the main incident. A 
wealthy man named Keene had moved into the settlement. Anxious 
to clear his land he had offered Silas Ashburn steady employment. 
On a beautiful autumn morning, Silas and his son Joe, with axes 
over their shoulders are on their way to Mr. Keene's land. Silas 
has been citing instances of his usual bad luck, but cheerfully re- 
marks that this new work is likely to prove a profitable job. Just 
then he is greatly excited by the appearance of bees. Silas and 
Joe tear after them and finally discover an immense quantity of 
honey in a tree on Mr. Keene's land. True to custom they inscribe 
their initials on the trunk and hurry home to make preparations 
to come for the treasure. On their way they meet Mr. Keene who 
testily inquires when they are coming to do his work. Silas im- 
pertinently replies that he has another job for that day and Mr. 
Keene silently concludes he'll try to find men more anxious for 
the work. It took time to scoop troughs for the reception of the 
honey and the preparations were delayed by the fact that the 
mother and children were prostrated with the ague; but on the 
third day all was ready; "well-day" had arrived for the invalids 
so all set out together in high spirits. It may seem strange, since 
Silas had undoubted claim to the treasure that it was thought 
necessary to go at night, but such was always the custom. The 



122 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

family, well supplied with pails, trudged along through the forest 
in the moonlight. Not a cloud rested on their happy spirits until 
they arrived at the place designated and there, much to their sur- 
prise was an open space in the forest. The coveted bee-tree was 
felled and the treasure had been removed. The mother and chil- 
dren, tired and ill and bitterly disappointed cried in despair while 
Silas loudly cursed the "rich man that begrudges the poor man 
the breath of life." Finally the melancholy group dragged them- 
selves home. 

The narrative now turns to the description of the prosperous 
Keene home. Clarissa Bensley, the very pretty, attractive niece 
of Mr. Keene asks permission to take a basket of provisions to 
the ague-stricken Ashburns. Her uncle very naturally has a poor 
opinion of the family, but he makes no objection. The unfortunate 
and disappointing escapade of the previous night had brought upon 
the Ashburns a violent return of the disease. The contents of 
Clarissa's basket are very welcome, until she innocently sets upon 
the table a jar of honey which she declares was found only a couple 
of days ago on her uncle's land. Silas's rage cannot be contained; 
he pronounces fierce invective on "old Keene" and the rich man 
generally, as he savagely hurls the jar of honey far down the path. 
Finally realizing his brutality to the innocent girl who had come 
on a sympathetic mission, he subsides and even holds her pony 
while she mounts. The remainder of the story includes an ir- 
relevant love story and brings about a reconciliation between Ash- 
burn and Keene. After this is brought about Silas declares that 
he has bettter luck than usual but he thinks he'll "pull up stakes 
and move to Wisconsin" because a man can do better farther West. 

This story has been given more at length than any other because 
it was thought to be characteristic of the author's best work, both 
as to realistic material and happy method of construction. The 
theme is the sort we look for in a western sketch. The pleasure 
described as a bee-hunt belongs peculiarly to a forest country and 
to one sparsely settled, hence it has a peculiar Michigan quality. 
Any western settler would recognize Silas Ashburn among his 
neighbors, the type of man who remains poor in the midst of pros- 
perity and yet, entirely lacking in the power of self-analysis, is 
never able to discover that all the fault lies with himself. He in- 
variably blames his luck and curses the heartless rich. Though the 
individual of this type is doubtless found in all parts of the country 
old and new alike what makes him seem to belong peculiarly 
to the West is the fact that he shows up more prominently in a 
country unique because of the equality of opportunity. The govern- 



MRS. KIRKLAND'S WESTERN SKETCHES 123 

ment distributes its land with impartial generosity; all have a fair 
start and when the Silas Ashburns fall behind their failure is most 
conspicuous. 

XV. 

When the examination of the literary works of Mrs. Kirkland 
has been completed; when practically everything she ever wrote 
has been read, and the western sketches have been re-read with 
particular care, one naturally reverts to the question that 'opened 
the study, why should the western sketches that were so highly 
exalted in their own day and that represented so much that was 
really excellent in matter and style, be so completely ignored at 
present? What is their ultimate value, and what place should 
their author occupy today? 

In attempting to answer the first question we find that Mrs. 
Kirkland had the immense advantage of a fresh and vigorous theme. 
The imagination loved to dwell on the vast western territory filled 
with limitless possibilities and a spirit of wild, enticing freedom. 
People read eagerly concerning the uncouth frontiersman and 
his unconventional manner of living. Yet few authors visited the 
West, and the literature that dealt with the subject was largely 
imaginary or based upon experiences related to the authors by 
some western traveller. This rarely possessed the vigor and vi- 
vacity of the Kirkland sketches that were such evident "transcripts 
of reality." But now the old state of Michigan is more readily 
identified with the East than with the West. The mere western 
theme that certainly helped to establish Mrs. Kirkland's reputa- 
tion will do nothing to maintain it, for the interesting old pioneer 
has moved on about two thousand miles to the cattle region and 
he is busy reclaiming the "Great American Desert." 

In addition to this, so great is the change that has come over 
the ideals of literary criticism since 1839, that it is safe to say 
that any work now found to be conspicuously lacking in structure, 
and frequently guilty of moralizing dissertations, philosophical 
interpolations and long descriptions would be quickly passed by, 
and all that is contained of material that might readily be appre- 
ciated today would be ignored or forgotten. But though the mere 
change in literary fashion may be a sufficient reason to explain the 
neglect of the general reader, it is poor excuse for the defection of 
the student of history or of literature. Through correspondence 
with authorities in Michigan it was discovered that Mrs. Kirkland 
is practically unknown there, and that there is doubt as to her ever 
having been an "actual settler." 



124 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

As was stated in the beginning, the object of this paper has been 
to discover the ultimate value of the Western Sketches. Copious 
selections thought to be characteristic of her best work have been 
culled in an endeavor to give a fair estimate of her ability. As her 
literary material was found to give a faithful portraiture of the 
life and character of the early Michigan forester ; and as her method 
of presentation, though faulty in structure and concentration, was 
nevertheless filled with vivacity, humor and intelligent compre- 
hension, the Western Sketches represent art as well as truth. In 
consideration of her service to history and to literature we ask 
a worthy place for Mrs. Kirkland among the pioneers in the develop- 
ment of western realistic fiction. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

"A New Home, Who'll Follow?" Mrs. C. M. Kirkland. 

Forest Life. 

Western Clearings. 

Spenser. (Essay Appreciation of his art.) 

Bryant. (Essay Appreciation of his art.) 

The Helping Hand. 

Washington. (In American Statesmen.) 

Holidays Abroad or Europe seen from the West. 

Union Magazine. (A small amount, but all that was obtainable.) 

A Blighted Heart. Graham's Magazine, July 1843. 

CONTEMPORARY MAGAZINES. 

The Knickerbocker Magazine, Nov. 1839. 

The Evening Post, 1839-43. 

Graham's Magazine, 1839-42. 

The Gentleman's Magazine, 1839. 

Chambers' Edinbrough Journal, 1839. 

Duyckinck's Encyclopaedis of American Literature. 

Poe Literati. 

Summer on the Lakes. Margaret Fuller, 1856. 

Literarv New York. Charles Hemstreet. 



DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON 



BY HOLLAND C. ALLEN 

STATE GEOLOGIST 



DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON 

BY HOLLAND C. ALLEN.* 

IN the year 1830 Michigan lay on the very frontier of settlement 
in the old Northwest Territory. Detroit was little more than 
an army post although it was rapidly becoming an important 
settlement through which was passing a tide of sturdy people to 
the oak openings and prairies of the southern counties. There 
were less than 20,000 persons of European descent in the entire 
territory embraced within the present borders of the State. Be- 
yond Detroit stretched to the north and west a vast and silent 
wilderness, broken only here and there on the coast by isolated 
groups of traders' and trappers' huts and stockades, through which 
communications were maintained with the Indians of the interior. 
The coast was only roughly charted, the land unsurveyed, and little 
was known of the character of the vast inlands of the two penin- 
sulas, excepting only the southern counties which lay in the path 
of travel to the more remote and unsettled regions south and west 
of the end of Lake Michigan. 

Such, in brief, was the state of the Territory on the arrival in 
Detroit, in the winter of 1830, of Douglass Houghton, then a youth 

*Rolland Craten Allen, B. A., M. A. (University of Wisconsin, 1905-1908), was 
born May 24th, 1881, at Richmond, Indiana. He moved with his parents to Kansas 
in 1883 and thence to Wisconsin in 1891, securing his earlier education in the com- 
mon schools of Kansas City and Richland county, Wisconsin. Having acquired a 
common school education he became a country school master at the age of sixteen 
and after having mastered the main subjects in the high school curriculum, un- 
tutored, he entered the University of Wisconsin at the age of nineteen for the pur- 
pose of preparing himself for the profession of law. There, however, he fell under 
the influence of Dr. Charles Richard Van Hise, now president of the university 
but at that time professor of geology, and under him began the study of geology as 
a profession. After three years of college training, during which time he supported 
himself as a photographer, musician, and through other labors of a miscellaneous 
character, he accepted an instructorship in the high school of Plymouth, Wisconsin. 
In the fall of 1904, after a summer spent in geological work in the wilds of northern 
Ontario, he reentered the university, graduating with the class of 1905. In his 
senior year he led for Wisconsin the annual intercollegiate debate with the Univer- 
sity of Michigan and won the science medal for success in scientific research. Dur- 
ing the summer of 1905 Mr. Allen was employed as geologist in Colorado by the 
United States Geological Survey, accepted a position as instructor in the University 
of Wisconsin in the fall, resigning in March, 1907, to engage in geologic work of 
a commercial nature in Canada, Minnesota and Michigan. Declining the offer of 
an appointment as mining geologist under the United States government in the 
Philippine Islands he returned at the end of 1907 to the University of Wisconsin 
for post graduate studies. In 1908-1909 Mr. Allen was instructor in geology in the 
University of Michigan, and from this position was appointed State Geologist and 
Director of the Michigan Geological and Biological Survey in August, 1909, con- 
tinuing, however, his connection with the university as a special lecturer in geology 
until 1912, since which time his whole energy has been absorbed by his duties as 
Director of the Geological Survey. Mr. Allen is a Fellow of the Geological Society 
of America and a member of the Lake Superior Mining Institute, Michigan Academy 
of Science and Michigan Engineering Society and the fraternities of Sigma Xi 
(scientific), Alpha Chi Sigma (chemical), and Lansing Lodge No. 33, F. & A. M. In 
1910 he was united in marriage to Martha Hill of Madison, Indiana. 



128 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

of twenty-one who was destined to acquire and sustain a dis- 
tinguished leadership, first in the intellectual and professional life 
of Detroit, and later, as State Geologist, in the development of 
the material resources of the young State and the inception of 
instruction in the natural sciences in the University. The occa- 
sion of his coming, after the lapse of three-quarters of a century, 
seems prophetic of the profound impress he was destined to leave 
on the State of his adoption. He came to Michigan, not as an 
emigrant seeking a new home in the west but, through the influence 
of intelligent people in Detroit who had preceded him, to fill a 
need for a leader in scientific thought in the growing Territory. 
Although Detroit at this time was a village of only 4,000 souls it 
comprised an unusually intelligent population among whom were 
a number of men distinguished not less for their intellectual than 
for their more material accomplishments. Among these were 
General Lewis Cass, Governor of the Territory ; Stephens T. Mason, 
who became the first Governor of the State; Lucius Lyon, senator 
and later Surveyor General of the United States; Major Henry 
Whiting; Dr. Zina Pitcher, an eminent physician and a regent of 
the University. 

In 1830 the friends of science in Detroit united in an application 
to Dr. Amos Eaton, President of the Kennesalaer Polytechnic 
Institute of Troy, New York, to recommend a person qualified to 
deliver a course of public lectures on chemistry, geology, mineralogy, 
and natural philosophy. The request was delivered in person by 
Lucius Lyon and resulted in the selection of Douglass Houghton, 
who was then acting as an assistant to Dr. Eaton, the foremost 
geologist of the country. The immediate popularity attained by 
Houghton's lectures in Detroit was creditable not only to the young 
scientist but also to his hearers, who forsook in a measure the 
gaiety of a military post to engage more seriously in a study of 
natural science under the leadership of a youth who by many was 
at first deemed better fitted to receive rather than to impart instruc- 
tion. Young Houghton, however, at once gave evidence of re- 
markable scientific attainments which, combined with his dominat- 
ing but lovable personality, soon won all hearers. In thus early 
gaining the respect, admiration, and high regard of the people 
of Detroit he laid the foundation which in later years, broadened 
to include the people of the entire State, supported him in the 
organization of the Geological Survey and the prodigious labors 
which he discharged in the exploration of the trackless forests 
of the north. 

In 1831 Houghton was admitted to the practice of medicine and 




DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON. 
From the portrait by Alvah Bradish, hanging in Representatives' Hall in the Capitol. 



DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON 129 

soon thereafter received an appointment from General Cass as 
physician and botanist to the Henry M. Schoolcraft expedition to 
the sources of the Mississippi river. It may be conceived that his 
experience under Schoolcraft not only served to stimulate his 
natural love for adventurous exploration, but also instructed him in 
those methods of travel and sustenance in the wilderness of which he 
made such effective use during the progress of the Geological Survey. 

From 1832 to 1837 Dr. Houghton was engaged in the profession 
of medicine in Detroit. His practice was large and remunerative, 
and he further added to his income by profitable investments in 
real estate. In 1837 his private fortune was such that he was 
enabled to accept the appointment of State Geologist from the 
hands of his friend Stephens T. Mason, the Governor of the newly 
organized state. It would be desirable to pause here for a time 
to consider this interesting period in the life of Dr. Houghton, and 
particularly his relation to the civic and intellectual activities of 
Detroit ; but since we are concerned in this paper more largely with 
the remarkable labors of Dr. Houghton, the State Geologist, suffice 
it to say that by 1837 he had become the leading scientist and phy- 
sician, as well as one of the most prominent and respected citizens 
of Michigan. 

It seems clear from the records of the times that Dr. Houghton 
is not only responsible for the conception and plans of the first 
geological survey, but it was the persuasive force of his personality 
that induced the first Legislature to commit the people of the young 
State to a work which doubtless promised to many little practical 
compensation in return for the burden of its support. This early 
personal triumph of the young scientist is the more remarkable 
when it is considered that the science of geology had as yet made 
little progress in America and was not then as it is now a com- 
mon branch of instruction in schools and colleges. In fact its 
claims were received with doubt from the standpoint of the prac- 
tical bearings of its tenets, and academicians denied the subject 
that favor which today is so freely accorded to all of the natural 
sciences. That the people of Michigan were thus early willing to 
appropriate money for a scientific survey of the State is no less 
an evidence of their courageous intelligence than a tribute to the 
remarkable influence of the personality of Dr. Houghton. 

In the organization of the Survey Dr. Houghton found little of in- 
struction or guidance in the experience of the older States. Although 
the first state surveys of Massachusetts (1830), Tennessee (1831), 
Maryland (1834), New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia (1835), Maine, 
17 



130 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (1836), preceded those in Michi- 
gan by from one to seven years their results were only meagerly 
available and were of little value to Dr. Houghton in planning 
for the vast labors which opened before him in the wilds of Michi- 
gan. It is an interesting fact, as well as an evidence of Houghton's 
genius, that as early as 1838 the Survey had been organized on the 
plan that in the main essentials is followed to this day in Michigan, 
and which is approved by years of experience in other States as 
well. This plan provided for geological, topographical, zoological, 
and botanical departments, each headed by a competent specialist, 
but all under the executive head of the Survey, the State Geologist. 
The departments of botany and zoology did not survive the second 
year of their organization, on account of the straightened condi- 
tion of the Survey's finances, a cause which also prevented the 
publication of most of the county maps which had been prepared 
by the State Topographer. In fact, it seems that the funds which 
the struggling young State was able to devote to the Survey, so 
ably planned, were pitifully inadequate for its execution, and the 
history of Michigan presents no nobler example than that of Dr. 
Houghton, whose devotion and enthusiasm surmounted in such 
marked degree the difficulties thus imposed upon him, as well as 
others of an equally formidable nature to which we shall now 
allude. 

The pursuit of the science of geology in America had not 
risen to the dignity of a profession, and the matter of securing 
competent assistants was a source of immediate concern to the 
State Geologist. It seems that there were in Detroit at that time a 
number of young men of marked ability, who, fortunately, through 
personal contact with Dr. Houghton had acquired some of his ardor 
and enthusiasm for the sciences and who became in time, under 
his teaching and influence, fitted for the work of assistants to the 
State Geologist. Of these Bela Hubbard and C. C. Douglas ren- 
dered efficient service from the beginning of the Survey to the 
death of Dr. Houghton in 1845. 

To those whose labors have never led across the wilds of the 
northern forests a mere recital of the dangers and difficulties which 
menaced the progress of the survey as well as the physical and mental 
constitution of its members must fail to produce a full apprecia- 
tion of the prodigious burden embraced by the young geologist and 
his devoted assistants. In allusion to the arduous character of 
his labors in 1842, Houghton says, "wading the streams by day, 
annoyed by mosquitos at night, separated for weeks together from 
all society, were it not that the mind is constantly occupied by 



DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON 131 

the contemplation of objects which, from their symmetry and 
beauty, furnish a constant mental feast there would be nothing 
which could possibly compensate for the hardships endured." 

Although the law of 1837 contemplated the completion of the 
survey in four years it was soon apparent to the Legislature as 
well as to Dr. Houghtou that a longer time would be necessary 
for even a cursory examination of the entire state. Nevertheless 
a large part of the field work was actually accomplished by 1842 
and the funds which were thereafter expended were drawn from 
an unexpended balance, not including small sums devoted to en- 
graving. The State Geologist was instructed by the law to embody 
the results of his labors in a full and complete report at the close 
of the whole work and his annual communications to the legis- 
lature were, therefore, in his own words, "intended to be little 
more than statements of progress." The incompleteness of the 
United States linear surveys which were then in progress in Michi- 
gan also contributed to delay the work of the geological survey 
for Dr. Houghton depended on these surveys to furnish him skele- 
ton maps of the townships on which to plat the physiographic 
and geologic features of the country. In fact, Dr. Houghton 
conceived the idea of enlisting the land surveyors themselves in 
the service of the geological survey and "derived the idea of ac- 
complishing a thorough geological, mineralogical, topographical, 
and magnetical survey of the new lands of the United States con- 
temporaneously with the government surveys." "As the act mak- 
ing provision for the state geological survey expired in 1842 leav- 
ing still a large territory in the Upper Peninsula unexplored he set 
about effecting a plan w T hich he had previously conceived of con- 
necting the linear surveys with the minute geological and minera- 
logical survey of the country. Having explained this- system at one 
of the meetings of the Association of American Geologists and 
Naturalists he, as chairman of the committee from that body, visited 
Washington during the session of Congress in the winter of 1844 
and laid his plan before the proper department. The feasibility of 
the project was at once comprehended. The only doubt raised was 
whether deputy surveyors could be found who were sufficiently 
versed in the natural sciences to undertake the work. This apparent 
obstacle was instantly removed by the offer to Dr. Houghton to 
take the contract of running 4,000 miles of lines at a price but little 
if any exceeding that which would have been paid for a single 
survey."* 



*"Memoir of Douglass Houghton, by Bela Hubbard, American Journal of Science, Vol. 55, 
p 221. 1848. 



132 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

The system proved immediately successful, and although aban- 
doned after the death of Dr. Houghton enough had already been 
done to show that had the system remained in operation to the 
completion of the surveys we should have been possessed of in- 
formation which was acquired only several decades later with 
vastly greater expense and labor. 

The published results of Houghton's survey appear in seven 
annual reports to the Legislature and a number of short communi- 
cations relative to the development of salt springs and other 
subjects. The work of preparation of the final report on the 
geology of the State was well along towards completion when it 
was interrupted by the death of Dr. Houghton in the midst of his 
labors, by drowning in Lake Superior near Eagle River, October 
13, 1845. Although the State Topographer immediately impressed 
upon the legislature the expediency and desirability of entrusting 
the completion and editing of the final report to Dr. Houghton's 
chief assistants, no action was taken ; and worse that that, through 
unaccountable negligence the vast collection of notes, sketches, 
maps, and manuscript, representing eight years of unremitting toil 
by Houghton and his assistants, were lost. This was the more 
unfortunate for the memory of Dr. Houghton because only the 
publication of the final report was needed to establish his repu- 
tation as one of the foremost, if not actually the foremost, geologist 
of his time in America. 

Just how much he had accomplished will never be known, but it 
is evident from the fragmental reports preserved in the documents 
of the House and Senate of the Michigan Legislature that he had 
attained a fairly clear understanding of the succession and struc- 
ture of the Paleozoic (secondary) rocks; had blocked out the Michi- 
gan Coal Basin; understood in a measure the later history of 
the Great Lakes, and had traced the position of some of their 
former shore lines; had called attention to the importance of our 
deposits of gypsum, coal, peat, marl, clay, limestone, iron ore, and 
copper; had discovered gold, and above all had attained an under- 
standing of the geology of the copper-bearing rocks of Keweenaw 
Point which was very far in advance of his time. Indeed, the in- 
fluence of his report on the copper bearing rocks was a main factor 
not only in attracting capital to the copper country and exercising 
a wise guidance on early prospecting and financial operations, but 
in hastening the construction of the first canal and locks around 
the falls of St. Marys Kiver. 

In all of the writings of Dr. Houghton emphasis is laid on the 
practical results of the survey rather than its more purely theoreti- 



DR. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON 133 

cal aspects, which in his own words "were preserved for the final 
report." He well understood that the tax-burdened people of the 
struggling commonwealth could at that time little afford expendi- 
tures for the pursuit of science for the sake of science alone and he 
addressed himself therefore to an appraisal of the material re- 
sources of which the State stood in urgent need not only in its 
competition for settlers with the other young commonwealths of 
the northwest, but in fostering and directing new industries and 
internal improvements. 

It is only through a backward glance across a vista of a half 
century that we are able to fully appreciate the irreparable loss 
the people of Michigan sustained in the death of Dr. Houghton, in- 
volving the main results of his tireless labors in the service 
of his beloved State. In the beautiful words of Bela Hubbard, 
there was lost to his State at the early age of 36 years "one 
who without eulogy may be ranked among the most extraordinary 
men of our country, whether we view him as a humble student of 
nature attracting all hearts to science; the friendly and skillful 
physician periling his life to save that of others ; the energetic and 
independent public man centering his energy and sacrificing his 
private means for the public cause; or the universal instructor of 
youth and age, the source of as frequent and general a reference as 
the pages of a cyclopedia. The soldier dies honored who falls in 
battle. He too perished on the field of his fame ; a field whose vic- 
tories are bloodless, and in whose fruits untainted by misery and 
crime the whole human family may rejoice." 

The memory of Dr. Houghton is preserved in the name of Michi- 
gan's largest inland lake, one of its wealthiest counties, one of its 
most important towns, one of its most beautiful waterfalls, and 
one of its most imposing mountains. A monument in Elmwood 
cemetery, Detroit and a cenotaph on the campus of the University 
have been erected to his memory, while a full length portrait by 
Alvah Bradish, his friend and biographer, adorns the Hall of Rep- 
resentatives of the State Capitol, and a memorial window has been 
placed in St. Paul's Church in Marquette. 

Although the progress of knowledge has long since robbed the 
writings of Houghton of any present day scientific value, the lapse 
of time has on the other hand brought into clear relief on the back- 
ground of Michigan's history the extraordinary ability, the in- 
domitable will, and the conquering perseverance of this remark- 
able man. May I not suggest to the Michigan Historical Commis- 
sion that a compilation and suitable publication of Houghton's 
works, which has to this time been denied, would not only be a 



134 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

fitting honor to his memory and memorial to his public services 
but would form a most useful and interesting volume bearing on 
the physical condition and history of Michigan in the early years 
of her dignity as one of the United States. 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER 
MINES OF LAKE SUPERIOR 



BY SAMUEL L. SMITH 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINES 
OF LAKE SUPERIOR. 

BY SAMUEL L. SMITH.* 

IN preparing this paper on the Copper Mines of Lake Superior, 
I find myself beset with many difficulties. In the first place, 
the subject is intensely interesting to me, due no doubt, to 
personal associations in the pioneer days of the modern mining 
epoch; but it does not follow that my readers will share this 
interest any more than the parents and sisters shared the en- 
thusiasm of the small boy whose fondest desire was for a hammer 
and who presented one to each of them as his Christmas offering. 

Again, in this age of specialization, it seems almost ridiculous 
to attempt to boil down into one article the tremendous amount of 
statistics and literature on the subject. How thoroughly the ground 
has been gone over may be seen from Brinton who, in his excellent 
volume on "The American Kace," refers to a list of over three hun- 
dred authorities. It would seem that the last word had been writ- 
ten, and I certainly do not expect to add anything new ; all I can 
hope for is to be able to dress the subject up differently with a 
slit skirt perhaps to hold your attention for the moment. 

Four hundred and twenty-two years have elapsed since America 
was discovered, or rediscovered, as some writers would have it. In 
the records of the first voyagers, mention is repeatedly made of the 
fact that the natives possessed copper implements, copper 



*S. L. Smith, the writer of this article, was born at Algonac, on the St. Clair 
River, in 1830. His business career started there in 1850 and took him to the Lake 
Superior region in 1859 from which time on he has been closely identified with, 
and an active factor in, the development of that section. 

On the constructive side, outside of mine developments, he organized with New 
York capital the M. H. & O. Railroad terminating at L'Anse on Keweenaw Bay in 
1873, the road being extended fifteen years later to Houghton. In 1866 he pur- 
chased a large tract of land, part of which afterwards went into the Calumet & 
Hecla mine. In 1871 he took charge of the construction of the Portage Lake & 
Lake Superior Ship Canal, which offered a harbor of refuge and at the same time 
cut off over 100 miles of the dangerous outside passage around Keweenaw Point. 
In 1877, with the development of the present Copper Range Mining Company he, 
with others, organized the Copper Range Railroad which connects the whole copper 
"range" with the St. Paul Railroad system. In 1867 he organized the Schoolcraft 
(now the Centennial), Mining Company on the property directly adjoining the Calu- 
met and Hecla, and working on the same conglomerate bed. In 1870, with the late 
John Stanton, he re-organized the Atlantic Mining Company. In 1890, again with 
Stanton, he organized the Wolverine Mining Company, and later, in 1897, put 
through the Baltic Mining Company to which was later added the Champion and 
Tri-Mountain, this group forming what is known today as "Copper Range." 

He has served continuously since the formation of these companies as a Director, 
and it is very doubtful if anyone today has the early history of this whole district, 
with the details of the development of the mines, so clearly in mind or who can, 
from his own recollections, trace that development almost from the start. 



138 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

hatchets, copper ear-ornaments and copper bracelets. In the 
second voyage of Cortez it is stated that the savages had 
copper hatchets. The Spaniards, believing these tools to be 
some form of impure gold, eagerly exchanged their cheap glass 
beads for the relatively valueless hatchets, and were greatly 
chagrined when they found out that the hatchets were only copper. 

As these first landings of the Spaniards were in Mexico and 
Central America, and as it is known that the inhabitants of that 
section were possessed of a crude working knowledge of metallurgy, 
the copper they had in their possession was of local origin, and 
is not to be confused with copper of Lake Superior. In regard to 
the early metallurgy on the Pacific Coast, Pinelo, an early Spanish 
chronicler, wrote : "They built little adobe furnaces, called guay- 
ras, and therein deposited the ore, sufficiently wetted and incor- 
porated with others that facilitated their smelting and filled them 
up with fuel, when the whole began to burn by means of the natural 
blowing of the wind, which gave better results than the artificial 
draught of a bellows such as the Spaniards used. This method 
of smelting was continued at night, and upon the heights of Potosi 
the lights of more than fifteen thousand little furnaces were seen." 
Potosi, now a part of Bolivia, was a by-word for mining wealth. 

On the North American continent, I believe that the source of 
all the copper noted in the earliest days can be traced to Lake 
Superior. In Cabot's voyage in 1497 mention is made that the 
natives had copper ornaments. Corterial, in his voyage of 1500, in 
which he cruised as far north as 56 degrees, speaks of the painted 
natives in clothing of skins of wild animals and having bracelets 
of copper and silver. In 1524, Verrazano, in his journey in the 
neighborhood of New York, tells that the natives had "many plates 
of wrought copper, which they esteeme more than golde," and also 
that they had beadstones of copper hanging at their ears. 

On Carrier's second voyage to the St. Lawrence in 1535 he kid- 
napped the principal Indian Chief to take back to the old country. 
As he was held captive aboard the ship, the Indians visited the 
ship to say farewell, and when they were assured the chief would 
be returned on the next trip, they were very joyous and brought 
many presents of skins and "a great knife of red copper that cometh 
from Saguenay." 

This description is interesting, as it is the first mention of copper 
being fashioned into a knife, and from the name, Saguenay, speci- 
fically designating Lake Superior as the source of the copper. 

At about this time also, the Indians described to the French the 
route to follow to find the copper, which was found to be substan- 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINING 139 

tially correct, when, at a later day, it was followed by the Jesuits. 
These Jesuits missionaries penetrated the Lake Superior region 
as early as 1660, and in their "Relations" they made frequent men- 
tion of the occurrence of loose masses of copper on the shores of 
the lake and questioned their Indian voyageurs as to their origin, 
yet they were enabled to glean but scanty information as to their 
true source. 

"It frequently happens," said Father Allouez, "that pieces of 
copper are found weighing from ten to twenty pounds. I have 
seen several such pieces in the hands of the savages, and, since 
they are very superstitious, they esteem them as divinities or as 
presents given them to promote their happiness by the gods that 
dwell beneath the water. For this reason they preserve these 
pieces of copper wrapped up with their most precious articles. In 
some families they have been kept more than fifty years, in others 
they have been kept time out of mind, being cherished as domestic 
gods." 

Father Dablon, who followed in the footsteps of Father Allouex, 
states that the savages did not agree as to the source of the copper. 
Some said that it was where the Ontonagon Kiver began and others 
that it was close to the lake in the clay, and others at the forks and 
along the east branch of the river. He, too, dwells on the super- 
stitious reverence with which the Indians regarded these copper 
masses, and in the "Relations for 1669-1670" gives the following 
Indian legend: 

"After entering Lake Superior, the first place met with contain- 
ing copper is an island about 40 to 50 leagues from the Saut, oppo- 
site a place called Michipicoten. The savages relate that it is a 
floating island, being sometimes near and at others far off. A long 
time ago, four savages landed there, having lost their way in a fog, 
with which the island is frequently invested. It was previous to 
their acquaintance with the French, and they knew nothing of the 
use of kettles or hatchets. In cooking their food, as is usual among 
savages, by heating stones and casting them into birch bark pails 
containing water, they found that almost all of them were copper. 
After having completed their feast, they hastened to re-embark, 
for thej 7 were afraid of the lynxes and hares, which here grow to 
the size of dogs. They took with them the copper stones and plates, 
but had hardly left before they heard a loud voice exclaiming in 
an angry tone, "Who are the thieves that carry off the cradle and 
the toys of my children?" They were very much surprised at the 
sound, not knowing whence it came. One said it was thunder; 
another said it was a certain goblin, called Missibizi, the spirit 



140 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

of the waters, and another that it came from the Memogovissioois, 
who are marine folk, living constantly under the water. At any 
rate, this extraordinary voice produced such fear, that one of them 
died before landing. Shortly after two others died and one alone 
reached home, who, after relating what happened, also died. Since 
that time the savages have not dared to visit the island or even to 
steer in that direction." 

This legend is undoubtedly founded on facts, as it is easy to see 
how the Indians could be poisoned from the oxidized salts of cop- 
per and in the resulting delirium their imaginations could have 
conjured up the strange noises and voices. 

The interesting feature of Allouez's and Dablon's writing is that 
it shows that the Indians of that period were not familiar with 
the use of copper; that they preserved it in its original worn 
boulder condition, regarded it as a strange and rare object, to 
which they attributed superstitious values, as the finding of horse- 
shoes or luckystones is regarded by some people even at this day. 

The early records of the Jesuits make frequent mention of the 
finding of boulders of pure metallic copper on the shores of the 
Lake. The large size of some of these boulders and the unheard- 
of occurrence of pure metal gave rise to many conjectures as to 
their origin and source and led to a hazy belief on the part of 
some people that there were mountains of solid copper at some un- 
known place in the thickly-forested section. Even some of the 
reverend and worthy Fathers let their imaginations run riot, as 
in the case of Isle Royale, where the finding of an extraordinary 
large amount of float copper on the shores so excited them that 
they reported that even the ledges of solid rock gave forth the 
sound of metallic copper when struck with a hammer. Allusions 
to some of these statements found their way into the prospectuses 
of some of the mining companies at later dates. 

The first modern mining was started in 1771 by an English 
company. On the banks of the Ontonagon River there was a large 
mass of native copper. This had been frequently seen by the early 
Jesuits, and it was their reports that led to the formation of the 
English company, under the superintendence of Alexander Henry, 
of Sault Ste. Marie. This company carried on their work at 
Miner's River, where the rock is. the upper grey sandstone, and on 
the Ontonagon River, near a mass of native copper. At this 
point a shaft was sunk 40 feet through reddish clay, at which 
point red sand rock was reached. Dr. Houghton, in his report of 
1841, gives the location of this isolated mass of copper as in the 
bed of the Ontonagon River, 26 miles by stream from its mouth. 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINING 141 

The rugged nature of the country made it rarely visited, as is 
pointed out by Dr. Houghton who, in 1840, revisited the section 
nine years after a previous visit and found his work and tools just 
as he had left them. The work of this English company was a 
failure, and should be classed as an attempt at mining rather than 
as mining. They did not even recover the original mass of copper, 
and it now rests in the Smithsonian Collection at Washington. 

To Dr. Douglass Houghton, universally known in his day as the 
"little doctor," small in stature, but mighty in intellect, physician 
and scholar, scientist and geologist, explorer, politician and, above 
all, indefatigable worker, the State of Michigan owes a debt of 
gratitude that can never be paid. By his own efforts he obtained 
from the Legislature the small appropriation that made possible 
his examination and study of the copper country, which, presented 
in his report of 1841, turned the searchlight on the commercial 
possibilities of the copper deposits which was followed by the be- 
ginning of copper mining in 1844. 

Until his report was made, the source of the copper was un- 
known. The masses and boulders of copper had been widely scat- 
tered by 'glacial action and had been found as far south as Illinois, 
Indiana and Ohio. One large piece, weighing 140 pounds, was 
found at Green Bay, Wisconsin. The popular belief, previous to 
Houghton's work, was that the copper came from the water shed 
between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Dr. Houghton traced 
the source of the copper to the amygdaloids, traps and conglom- 
erates of Keweenaw Point, the South Shore and Isle Royale. 

The credit of discovering, or at least, of recognizing the works 
of prehistoric miners is given to Samuel O. Knapp, superintendent 
of the Minnesota mine. In the winter of 1847-48 he noted a line 
of depression which, on account of its regular course, attracted 
his attention. Following this indication as displayed along the 
southern escarpment of a hill, he came to a cavern which he was 
convinced was an artificial excavation. In cleaning out this cavern 
he found numerous stone hammers, showing plainly that they had 
been used in mining by some former crude race. At the bottom 
of the excavation was found a vein with the ragged projections of 
copper sticking up, which the ancient miners had not detached. 
Later, he found another depression, 26 feet deep, filled with clay 
and mouldering vegetable matter. At a depth of 18 feet in this 
pit was found a mass of copper 10 feet long, 3 feet wide and 2 feet 
thick, weighing over six tons. The mass was resting on rotten 
billets of oak and had been raised up by the ancient workers a 
distance of five feet. 



142 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

A short distance from this pit was another excavation into the 
cliff, where a portion of the vein had been left by these prehis- 
toric workers as a pillar to support the hanging wall. 

William H. Stevens discovered similar old trenches near the 
Forest mine that were 14 feet deep. These were in four lines, fol- 
lowing the course of four veins. He also found the remains of 
a wooden bowl, probably used for baling out water. 

C. G. Shaw has called attention to like old workings on Isle 
Royale. In 1872, S. W. Hill wrote that he had found pits on Isle 
Royale fifty feet deep. Sir William Logan also reports depres- 
sions of this nature on the east shore of the lake, near Maimanse. 

J. H. Forster describes the largest piece of float copper ever 
found as follows : "This mass of copper was found on the Mesnard 
location. It was so covered Avith moss and lichen growth that it 
was recognized with difficulty. It weighed 18 tons and contained 
very little rocky matter. It had been hammered and manipulated 
by ancient miners and plainly showed tool marks. Charcoal was 
found around the mass, the remains of fires used by the early 
workers to remove the gangue rock." 

Mr. Forster also describes the mound that led to the celebrated 
Calumet find. "Here was a small mound found in the woods, upon 
which large pine, maple and birch trees were growing. Roots of 
still older trees were found in the drift. After stripping off the 
timber a pit, 15 feet deep, was put down reaching solid conglom- 
erate. It was hard rock filled with stamp copper and could not 
be used by the ancient miners." 

Other conspicuous old workings were on the sites of the present 
Isle Royale and Atlantic mines. The extent of these prehistoric 
workings was very great. In the Ontonagon district, for a dis- 
tance of 30 miles, such evidences abound at intermittent intervals. 
On Keweenaw Point, they can be traced from Eagle River for 12 
miles eastward. 

As soon as their significance was realized, they could be easily 
recognized. They showed as shallow depressions in former trenches 
and pits that had been put down to bed rock, and which had sub- 
sequently been filled with the silt and decaying vegetation of cen- 
turies' accumulations. The waste dirt that had been thrown out 
formed gently-curving sides. Over both the embankments and in 
the filled pits, trees had sprung up, lived their lives, died and been 
followed by cycles of other trees. 

How old these workings are cannot be determined, but there is 
no doubt of their great antiquity. Mr. Knapp cut down a hem- 
lock tree that was growing on one of the ancient workings on the 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINING 143 

old Minnesota mine that had 395 rings of annual growth. There 
is nothing to prove that this tree may not have been the sur- 
vivor of several generations of similar trees that grew in the same 
location. On the other hand, it does not prove that all the work- 
ings were of as great an age as represented by the life of this one 
tree. However, the similarity of all the explored ancient work- 
ings, bringing to light the stone hammers, the charcoal that was 
used to heat the rock, so that by throwing on water it would crack 
away from the adhering copper, is circumstantial, if not conclusive, 
proof that they were all made by one race of people who antedated 
the Indians found in possession of the continent at the time of 
its European discovery. 

These prehistoric workings have an economic as well as historical 
value. There is not a mine operating today in the district that 
has not its prehistoric workings. This fact was so well estab- 
lished in the early day that the evidence of ancient work was 
sought as a guide to present lodes. The development of the Calu- 
met was certainly hastened by the finding of the old mound, and 
many of the other mines owe votes of thanks to these mysterious, 
unknown, prehistoric workers. 

Any subject that is surrounded by mystery naturally sets up in 
the minds and imaginations of its investigators different and con- 
flicting views and theories. The prehistoric workings of Lake 
Superior are no exception to this rule, and we find here two classes 
of scientists who, reasoning from the same conditions, arrived at 
radically different conclusions. 

Mr. K. Packard, in an article on "Pre-Columbian Copper Min- 
ing in North America," published in the Smithsonian Records in 
1892, concludes that there is no ground for believing that the work 
was not done by the Indians of Columbian time and their imme- 
diate antecedents. 

Warren K. Moorehead, in his" elaborate works, "The Stone Age 
in North America," published in 1910, arrives at a similar con- 
clusion. I herewith quote him : 

The conclusion now universally accepted among archaeologists 
is that there is no reason for attributing the working of the cop- 
per deposits or fabrication of the implements to any other people 
than the Indians. The early explorers found both the northern 
and southern tribes in this country using implements and orna- 
ments of native copper often in common with those of stone. From 
South America to Canada, various travelers refer to this metal 
being in the possession of or employed by the natives. Whether 
the working of the copper deposits or fabrication of copper 
implements in this section, thought to have been begun at least 



144 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

several centuries before, was discontinued before the coming of 
the white man or whether the industry was continued or, at least, 
to some extent resumed by the descendants of the pre-Columbian 
miners and artificers during and after his intrusion is still in 
dispute. It is doubtful whether this matter will ever be satisfac- 
torily settled. 

The evidence of the mounds and of the earlier village sites is 
to the effect that before the coming of the white men the use of 
copper had become quite general among the Indian tribes of the 
upper Mississippi Valley. It is probable that the native metal 
first became known to them through the accidental discovery of 
small nuggets among the debris of the glaciers, and, as it quickly 
came into demand, was traced to its source in the Lake Superior 
region. These deposits they mined, cutting it into shapes con- 
venient for transportation to their villages, where it was fashioned 
into articles for their own use or for the purpose of trade with 
distant tribes. 

Nowhere in this entire valley do copper implements however, 
appear to have entirely replaced those of stone, the use of which 
was continued until quite recent times. The manufacture of cop- 
per implements doubtless extended through several centuries. The 
Sioux, Winnebago and Dakota of Wisconsin, being nearest the 
source of supply, possessed, of course, the greatest quantity. Even 
among them the use of copper articles did not in prehistoric 
times equal the use of others. Among the outlying tribes in other 
States copper implements were yet probably somewhat of a luxury, 
when the intrusion of the Algonquian tribes into Wisconsin made 
more and more difficult, and finally altogether shut off access, to 
the Lake Superior mines. It appears certain that the Chippewa, 
after their occupation of the copper region, did do at least a small 
amount of digging for the metal which for purposes of trade, or 
for other uses, they found of value. This continued until the 
arrival of the traders laden with desirable articles caused a 
suspension of mining operations and diverted the attention of the 
Indian from mining to other pursuits. 

It will be seen from the foregoing opinions that no great antiquity 
is ascribed to the ancient workings. I confess that it is with disap- 
pointment that I accept these deductions. Having personally seen 
these old workings, almost obliterated by time, with their treasures 
of stone hammers and copper implements, the relics of a bygone 
people, it was easy and natural to follow the trail blazed by Fos- 
ter and others connecting these people with the mound-builders. 
But before I present this phase of the case I wish to give a little 
more information about the extent of the workings themselves. 

In all the literature on this subject the expression "prehistoric 
mines and mining" is used. In the strict sense of the word "min- 
ing" these old workings are improperly described. It is true that 
they were mines, as metal was produced therefrom, but they were 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINING 145 

not underground mines, opened in the usual manner by shafts and 
drifts. Kather, they were open cuts, made to bed-rock, from which 
the loose copper was extracted from the disintegrated vein mat- 
ter. The solid rock of the veins themselves was only penetrated for 
a shallow distance of a few feet at the most. For this reason, in 
these "gophering-like" operations the linear distances covered were 
of great extent, probably in the aggregate amounting to 50 miles. 
If all these workings should be united in one continuous stretch, 
they would probably form a solid line of trenches five miles long. 
One remarkable feature of this ancient work was the almost in- 
tuitive genius displayed in following the veins, which even at this 
day sometimes baffles the skill of mining engineers equipped with 
all modern devices to aid them in such work. 

If we assume that five miles of continuous workings would 
represent all this old work, it is possible to form a rough estimate 
of the total amount of copper recovered. If we assume that these 
old workings penetrated the solid rock for an average distance of 
five feet, it would give 132,000 square feet as a total of all the 
work done. It is known that they did not remove the rock for the 
entire width of the vein or lode; that they did not recover the 
very fine copper or the larger masses, but only such portions as 
they could break off. On the other hand, they selected the richest 
parts of the veins to mine. In modern mining the yield in copper 
per square foot mined can be taken as 40 pounds. This includes 
all the course and fine copper which would be lost by these ancient 
workers. Balancing the rich, selected ground of the ancient miners 
with the losses in their mining, we should have 132,000 square 
feet, yielding 40 pounds per square foot, or 5,600,000 pounds of 
copper. It is doubtful if they recovered over 25 per cent of this 
amount, so this rough calculation would give them 1,500,000 pounds. 
The average annual output of the Lake Superior mines in recent 
years has been 220,000,000 pounds, or 700,000 pounds per day on a 
300 working-day year. So all the copper that was taken away by 
the prehistoric miners would about equal the output of two days 
of our present mines. Assuredly, these ancient miners did not have 
to worry over the conservation of their natural resources. 

Insignificant as was their output of copper in the light of our 
present civilization, it must be borne in mind that it satisfied all 
their requirements, even when distributed over the vast area, as 
is shown by the relics we have found and are still finding. Imple- 
ments and ornaments of native copper are distributed commonly or 
sparingly throughout a large portion of the eastern half of the 
United States and in some States west of the Mississippi River. 
19 



146 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Outside of Wisconsin and Michigan, numbers of them have been 
recovered in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia, 
and also from the mounds and stone graves and village sites in 
the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. 
Mr. Clarence B. Moore, whose explorations nave been very ex- 
tensive, has reported their existence in the mounds of Florida and 
elsewhere in the extreme south. From five mounds on the St. Johns 
River in Florida he obtained ornaments of sheet copper with re- 
pousse* designs, beads of sheet copper, beads of wood, shell and 
limestone copper coated, copper effigies of the turtle and serpent 
and piercing implements of copper. Dr. C. C. Abbott long ago 
recorded the existence of copper implements in the Delaware Valley. 

While it is probable that many copper implements were fabri- 
cated in the vicinity of the workings, it is now perfectly clear that 
fragments of the native ore were also carried away to be cut up 
and fashioned into implements elsewhere. On the extensive village 
sites at Two Rivers, Sheboygan, Green Lake and elsewhere, have 
been obtained numerous small chips, scales and fragments of cop- 
per, plainly indicating that the manufacture of implements was 
carried on there. Elsewhere in Wisconsin have been found lumps 
of the metal exhibiting tool marks and other indications of 
working. 

The following quotation from Mr. Moorehead is interesting in 
this connection 

Copper seems to have played an important part in aboriginal 
life in this country. As the natives possessed neither gold nor 
silver and because silver ornaments are extremely rare, one may 
say that silver was not in use; copper appealed to them as being 
something beyond the ordinary, if not possessing supernatural 
powers. There was no other substance which they could hammer 
into shape, or slightly anneal and work more easily. No^ other 
malleable material possessed that bright, beautiful color and was 
capable of such polish. Therefore, copper appealed to the aborigi- 
nes, and they made use of it more as an ornament, or a totem, 
than for ordinary utility; that is, save in the "copper belt," where 
it was so common that tools were made of it. 

What the northern Indians received in exchange for the copper 
has always been a mystery to me. In Wisconsin and Michigan, 
where drift copper occurred in large quantities, and where it still 
may be found, it is likely that the natives carried on an extensive 
trade in copper, and that the peoples of Ohio passed it on, one may 
suppose, to the south. This trade was extensive, because not only 
in our museums are there thousands of copper objects, but there 
are many more in the hands of private collectors, and in the 
mounds of the Mississippi Valley, where there has been much 
digging, great quantities of hatchets, plates, nose-rings and spools 
are dug up from time to time. 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINING 147 

One may question whether the presence of copper in the Ohio Val- 
ley really means extensive aboriginal commerce or trade. I say 
Ohio Valley because more mound copper is found there than else- 
where, although the south should by no means be excluded. Cop- 
per and other foreign materials abound in the middle and lower 
Mississippi Valley. Yet upon the shores of Lake Superior, about 
the copper range, on the streams and lakes of Wisconsin and Michi- 
gan, where lived the Indians who possessed so much copper that 
they made of it hatchets, fishhooks, knives, spear-points, etc., usually 
are to be found no southern types save a few pipes and problem- 
atical forms in slate. What did these northern natives receive in 
return for the quantities of copper which they must have bartered? 
Did they receive bird-stones, gorgets, pipes, etc.? Their bird-stones 
are very like those of Indiana and Ohio, yet they have a broad 
bird effigy, usually with ears on both sides of the head, which is 
not found, save occasionally, in southern Ohio and Indiana, and 
seldom in the south, where mound copper is common. Their gorgets 
and pipes appear to be local. It has occurred to me that the 
peoples of Indiana and Ohio, and possibly the south, made raids 
in the copper country, or found copper nuggets in. the drift, or 
mined their own copper, or robbed the northern peoples of such 
copper as they wanted. If there had been any extensive aboriginal 
trade, we should surely find more evidence of it. 

I shall now present the brief of those scientists who reached the 
conclusion that the prehistoric miners were the mound builders, 
whose monuments were scattered so profusely over our continent. 

Mr. J. W. Foster was one of the ablest advocates on this side, 
and in his book, the "Prehistoric Races of the United States of 
America," published in 1873, he sums up his conclusions which I 
quote verbatim : 

First. That as a race their origin extends back to a remote 
antiquity, but all attempts to trace that origin to a common foun- 
tain of life, as with the other races now inhabitating the earth, 
soon involves the investigator in the mazes of conjecture. 

Second. That they possess a conformation of skull which would 
link them to the autochthones of this hemisphere, a conformation 
represented in the people who developed the ancient civilization 
of Mexico and Central America. 

Third. That whilst their manners and customs conformed in 
many respects to those of ancient races of the old world, they 
may be regarded as the result of man's contact with external 
nature rather than an inheritance through successive generations, 
and therefore that they are of little importance in tracing ethnic 
relations. 

Fourth. That during their occupancy of the Mississippi Val- 
ley, they developed traits in their domestic economy and their civil 
relations which distinguished them by a well-marked line of divi- 
sion from the Indian who was found in possession of the continent 
at the time of its European discovery. Their monuments indicate 
that they had entered upon a career of civilization; that they 



148 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

lived in stationary communities, cultivating the soil and relying 
on its generous yield as a means of support; they clothed them- 
selves in part, at least, in garments regularly spun and woven; 
they molded clay and carved stone, even of the most obdurate 
character, into images representing animate objects, including even 
the human face and form, with a close adherence to nature; they 
mined and cast copper into a variety of useful forms ; they quarried 
mica, chert and slate for personal adornment, for domestic use or 
for the chase; unlike Indians who were ignorant of the curative 
property of salt, they collected brine of the salines into earthen 
vessels, moulded in baskets, which they evaporated into a form 
adapted for transportation; they erected an elaborate line of de- 
fense, stretching for many hundred miles, to guard against sudden 
interruptions of enemies; they had a national religion, in which 
the elements were objects of supreme adoration; temples were 
erected upon platform mounds and watch fires lighted upon the 
highest summits, and, in the celebration of the mysteries of their 
faith, human sacrifices were probably offered up. The magnitude of 
their structures, involving an infinitude of labor, such only as could 
be expended in a community where cheap food prevailed, and the 
great extent of their commercial relations, reaching to widely 
separated portions of the continent, imply the existence of a stable 
and efficient government based on the subordination of the masses. 
As the civilization of the Old World, growing out of the peculiar 
conditions of soil and climate, developed certain forms of art 
which are original and unique, so on this continent we see the 
crude conception in the truncated pyramid, as displayed in Wis- 
consin, Ohio and Illinois and the accomplished result in the stone- 
faced foundations of the temples of Uxmal and Palenque. And 
finally the distinctive character of the mound builders' structures 
and also the traditions which have been preserved would indicate 
that this people were expelled from the Mississippi Valley by a 
fierce and barbarous race and that they found refuge in the more 
genial climate of Central America, where developed those germs 
of civilization originally planted in their northern homes into a 
perfection which has elicited the admiration of every modern 
explorer. 

From Mr. Foster's deductions it is clearly seen that he believed 
that the Mound Builders were the people who carried on the pre- 
historic mining at Lake Superior. Such an hypothesis leaves the 
door open to the interesting but illusive route that has been fol- 
lowed by so many writers. Who were the Mound Builders ? Where 
did they come from and where did they go? What is their relation 
to the Cliff Dwellers, the Aztecs, the Toltecs, Mayas, Incas and their 
predecessors? Did those predecessors originate on this continent, 
where we know man existed in the glacial epoch, or did they come 
from Asia by the stepping stones of the Pacific Islands, as has been 
suggested by G. Keginald Enock in his fascinating book, "The 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINING 149 

Secret of the Pacific?" As Mr. Foster so aptly says, "All attempts 
to trace that origin to a common fountain of life involves the in- 
vestigator in the mazes of conjecture." 

That they were here and their work well done, is known. Just 
who they were remains for the future to answer, so we are obliged 
to let them rest with the old prayer of "Peace to their ashes." 

It is a long jump from prehistoric mining to modern mining 
just how long no man can say. It is also "some jump," to use the 
slang expression, from the beginning of modern mining down to 
the present-day mining. 

In this last period of 70 years, from 1844 to 1914, wonderful 
transformations have taken place. Modern cities have sprung up 
out of a primeval forest. Modern railways run over the old trails 
and floating palaces land their passengers at re-enforced concrete 
docks. Twenty thousand men find employment in the mines which 
hold the distinction of being the deepest mines in the world. Each 
day these mines turn but about 35,000 tons of copper rock, which 
yields 700,000 pounds of copper, which is worth f 105,000 when cop- 
per is selling at 15 cents per pound, as it is at this writing. The 
gross annual income of the mines is about $33,000,000. This shows 
what an important industry it is and how proud the State of 
Michigan should be of its "Copper Country." 

However, this development has not been accomplished without 
its trials and hardships. Into its history are woven many tales 
of blighted hopes and failures vast sums of money spent in min- 
ing that failed to produce profitable returns that have been over- 
shadowed in the light of the great successes of the profitable mines. 

In different sections of the copper range, mines have started up, 
flourished for a period and died. Mining started first in the On- 
tonagon district and was closely followed by work in Keweenaw 
County a leap of over a hundred miles and for a time these two 
sections ran a neck and neck race for supremacy. With the opening 
up of the range between these two extremes, from Calumet to 
Portage Lake, with its group of great mines, embracing the Calu- 
met and Hecla, Osceola, Wolverine, Tamarack and Quincy, the 
production of copper from Ontonagon and Keweenaw became in- 
significant when compared to that of these new producers. So 
small, relatively, where the outputs from the ends of the range that 
it might almost be said that mining had ceased in these two 
sections. 

Then, from this center district, mining began to spread in both 
directions. To the north, in Keweenaw County, the Mohawk and 
Ahmeek were opened up and proved to be profitable producers; on 



150 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the south end, reaching towards the Ontonagon district, the Copper 
Range Consolidated, with its three mines, the Baltic, Tri-Mountain 
and Champion, entered the list of dividend-payers. 

In the gaps between these paying mines, new mines have started, 
old mines reopened, and mines of doubtful value have continued 
to work with a patience and persistence that at last, I am pleased 
to note, bid fair to be rewarded. All this time the mines in Ke- 
weenaw and Ontonagon have been smoldering, occasionally bursting 
forth in renewed activity, when fanned by the winds of a high price 
of copper. 

The copper mining district of Michigan is expanding. It is again 
reaching out in both directions towards the two extremities of its 
copper belt. It is true that it is a slow and cautious movement, 
but it is present, nevertheless. At the north, the Keweenaw Copper 
Company is carefully and thoroughly exploring and studying its 
large mineral land holdings. At the south end, the Lake, Mass and 
Victoria mines are working in the Ontonagon district, while still 
further to the south, in the Porcupine section, the signal-fire of the 
White Pine mine, the baby of the Calumet and Hecla family, is 
lighting the way to a new mining field that I believe will extend to 
the western limits of our State at the Montreal River. 

The "Copper Belt" in Michigan extends from Wisconsin to the 
end of Keweenaw Point, a distance of 133 miles, and contains 860 
squ,are miles. No one can tell how much of this vast area, the 
major part of which has not been explored, will prove to be pro- 
ductive, but there is little doubt that the future production will be 
very great. 

For the last few years the output of Michigan's copper mines has 
been about stationary. For a number of years Michigan held the 
record of being the largest copper-producing State, losing this 
commanding position a few years ago to Montana, which in turn 
was obliged to yield it to Arizona, so today Michigan stands third 
in the list. But Michigan has tremendous possibilities in its large 
unexplored area, and at some future day it may regain its lost 
position. 

The future of Michigan's copper mines in common with that of 
the other copper mines of the United States depends largely on the 
price of the metal. The selling price of copper is subject to great 
fluctuations, often reaching such a low figure that a large number 
of mines produce their copper at a loss, while others sell their cop- 
per at cost. There has never been any community of interests in 
the copper business no one large interest sufficiently strong to 
maintain an equitable fixed price of the metal. The result has been 



PRE-HISTORIC AND MODERN COPPER MINING 151 

disastrous competition a useless wasting of our natural resources. 
Col. E. M. Thompson, at a recent meeting of the Copper Producers' 
Association, clearly explains this. He said that the prodigality 
with which our great copper reserves are being extracted from the 
ground and sacrificed to other nations is nothing short of an eco- 
nomic crime. He pointed out that the more enlightened nations of 
Europe are alive to the necessity of conserving their natural re- 
sources. Germany has been especially solicitous of husbanding her 
potash resources. Yet America, which is producing around 60 per 
cent of the world's copper, is selling 60 per cent of that product, 
not to American manufacturers, but to foreigners, who work it up 
and sell it at large profits in finished articles. He said that the 
future, when we look 50 years ahead, is an alarming one from the 
copper producing standpoint. It is a question if any of the big 
producing mines of today will be producing 50 years hence, with 
the possible exception of three or four. He said that the time had 
come for a campaign of education to be urged in behalf of con- 
serving one of our greatest national resources, which cannot be 
restored when exhausted. 

Michigan's copper mines have suffered more from this cause than 
any others. It is time for its citizens seriously to consider this 
question and to use their influence in protecting one of their State's 
most valuable assets. 

I have purposely refrained in this paper from giving a detailed 
description of the mines and the usual statistical data, as I realize 
that anyone who would be interested in the subject would have a 
general, if not a working, knowledge of them. For any of those 
who have not, I have prepared an illustrated supplement, a sort 
of Baedeker of the Copper Country as an auxiliary to this paper. 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN 
IN MICHIGAN 



By WILLIAM STOCKING 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN IN MICHIGAN. 

BY WILLIAM STOCKING. 1 

IT would be impossible within the limits of a paper intended for 
such an occasion as this, 2 to mention all the editors or even all 
the papers that have had their day of activity and of transitory 
or local fame. Farmer's History of Detroit and Michigan recites the 
names with some particulars of 253 papers that had been started 
in Detroit alone up to 1885, and these would be multiplied several 
fold if the whole state were included. Each carried with it some 
personal ambition, some hope of newspaper influence and distinc- 
tion, but only a few obtained a name that could be considered at 
all enduring. Those that can claim mention here were mostly 
grouped about certain periods of popular ferment and agitation, 
when new issues were taking form and when the public mind was 
especially open to new impressions. 

The golden age of the editorial writer in Michigan was about 
midway between the establishment of the paper which we celebrate 
and the present time. In the early fifties, in most cases, there was 
only one editorial writer to each paper, and he was known by name 
to nearly all his readers. The news service was lightly regarded; 
the editorials were the main feature, and the name of the indi- 
vidual was as much in the minds of the public as the name of the 
paper. The growing state was then departing from some of its 
old traditions and methods, notably with respect to internal im- 
provements and the settlement of its lands, while in national poli- 
tics the feeling between the friends and opponents of slavery ex- 
tension was becoming very bitter. Out of the agitation grew a 



1 William Stocking was born in Waterbury, Conn., December 11, 1840, and was 
educated in the Waterbury Public schools, Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Mass., 
and Yale College. Soon after graduation in 1865 he commenced newspaper work as 
city editor of the Hartford Evening Press, of which Charles Dudley Warner was 
editor. He came to Michigan in November 1867 as managing editor of the Detroit 
Post. For the next 30 years his chief occupation was in connection with that 
paper and its Republican successors. He served in the various capacities of manag- 
ing editor, editor-in-chief. Legislative correspondent at Lansing, editorial correspon- 
dent at Washington, political and special writer. For the twenty-fifth anniversary 
of the birth of the Republican Party, July 6, 1879, he contributed to the Post and 
Tribune a comprehensive account of the epoch making convention "Under the Oaks 
at Jackson, which was published in book form. His investigations in this connec- 
tion put him in touch with the work and spirit of the earnest newspaper men of 
that stirring period and suggested the preparation of the paper that is herewith 
presented. For the past eleven years Mr. Stocking has been associated with the 
Detroit Board of Commerce, and has been among other things a liberal contributor 
to the literature of the Board. 

2 This paper was prepared for the celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the publica- 
tion of the Michigan Essay, held at Detroit, June, 1909. 



156 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

new party, which, was very largely fostered and engineered by one 
set of editors and bitterly opposed by another. 

In the Constitutional Convention of 1850 appeared an aggressive 
and belligerent delegate from Jackson named Wilbur F. Storey, 
who at one time created a sensation by charging Governor John S. 
Barry with undue exercise of his official influence on the delegates. 
He moved that the Governor be excluded from the floor, a motion 
which was not adopted, but which led to the exercise of a greater 
discretion on the part of that official. 

Before this time Storey had published papers in Laporte, Indiana 
and Mason, Mich., established the Jackson Patriot, studied law, 
served as postmaster at Jackson, and run a drug-store in the same 
city. His success with the Patriot and his aggressive character 
gave him prominence in Democratic circles and in 1853 he was 
induced to take a half interest in the Detroit Free Press of which 
he became sole editor. He gathered about him a brilliant staff, 
established the first Sunday edition published in the city, created 
a city news department which before this could hardly be said to 
have existed, and devoted his personal writing largely to politics. 
He had an admiration for Lewis Cass and very little for any one 
else; he detested the anti-slavery agitators, supported the Kansas- 
Nebraska act, denounced the first Republican convention as "a body 
of unmitigated abolitionists and disunionists," and conducted a 
vitriolic though losing campaign against the Republican ticket and 
all its candidates. As an illustration of the manner in which po- 
litical feeling warped the news instinct, it is noted that the Free 
Press gave only 56 lines of news space to the proceedings of the 
Jackson convention, a gathering which revolutionized the politics 
of the country; and the paper never published even an abstract of 
the platform. 

Mr. Storey remained a re-actionary and irreconcileable to the last. 
He maintained the right of secession and published in the Free Press 
an editorial, threatening a "fire in the rear" of the Union armies 
in case the government sought by force to resist that right. 

In 1861 Mr. Storey became owner of the Chicago Times which 
was afterwards so disloyal in its utterances that in 1863 General 
Burnside, in command of that department, ordered the suppression 
of the paper, an order, which was, however, revoked by President 
Lincoln. Mr. Storey afterwards, without abating anything of vigor 
on the editorial page of the Times, developed the other departments 
so as to make it the most complete newspaper in the West. He 
made a fortune in the Times, but later lost both it and his mind, 
was placed under guardianship, and died October 29, 1884. Per- 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN IN MICHIGAN 157 

sonally Mr. Storey was cold, morose and uncompanionable. His 
employes feared him and few others liked him. He had a wider 
fame and fewer friends than any other newspaper man that ever 
lived in Michigan. 

But if the gaze of Mr. Storey and a few other conservative edi- 
tors was still turned toward Cass and the setting sun, there were 
other editors who were turning toward Chandler, Blair, the 
Howards, and the rising light. As early as 1842 Warren Isham 
had published for six months a daily anti-slavery paper in Detroit, 
called the Times, and the Free Soil or Liberty party had made a 
showing in every state election since 1841. In 1848 it cast over 
10,000 votes for President, and in 1849 a combination of Whigs 
and Free Soilers came within 4,500 votes of electing its State 
ticket. The compromise measures of 1850 and the repeal of the 
Missouri Compromise in 1854 intensified feeling on the subject, and 
led to the desire for a union of all the forces that were opposed to 
the further extension of slavery. The movement which led to this 
combination was largely a newspaper movement, and the editor 
most conspicuous in it was Joseph Warren of the Tribune. Warren 
came to Detroit from Auburn, N. Y., in 1852 and plunged at once 
into local and state affairs. In 1853 he was the recognized news- 
paper leader in a bitter contest over the question of dividing the 
school funds between public and parochial schools. He was 
one of the first to advocate a combination of the anti-slavery 
elements, and his position as editor of the leading Whig paper 
of the state, gave his counsel peculiar force. He was also 
a member of the Whig State Central Committee. Yet without con- 
sulting either his business or political associates, he boldly took 
ground in favor of disbanding both the Whig and Free Soil par- 
ties and of the organization by a mass convention of a new party. 
It was with extreme satisfaction that he saw this accomplished 
and that he took a prominent part in securing the convention, which 
was held at Jackson July 24, 1854, and in naming the party. Sub- 
sequently he was as vigorous a supporter of the new regime as 
Storey was of the old. Between the two the controversy was not 
only bitter but personal. For one of his worst attacks upon Storey, 
Warren was arrested for criminal libel. His friends, foreseeing 
sure conviction, secured a pardon in advance from Governor 
Bingham, and he so escaped imprisonment. Warren is believed 
to have been the first editor in the country to denounce General 
McClellan as a failure, even when the General was at the height 
of his popularity. At a subsequent period, because President 
Lincoln did not move fast enough toward the abolition of slavery, 



158 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Warren wrote an editorial in his bitterest vein denouncing Lincoln 
as incompetent if not a traitor. The proof of this editorial was 
accidentally seen by a subordinate who managed to delay it until 
pressure could be brought upon Warren to withhold it. 

Mr. Warren was described by one who was afterwards asso- 
ciated with him in editorial work as "a sedate, gentle, kind-hearted 
man personally, but one who wrote with a pen dipped in gall. 
When engaged in controversy nothing was too bitter for him to 
say." As genial and kindly in his family relations as any man 
in the city, he was intolerant in politics. To him every northern 
man .who favored the Fugitive Slave Law or the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill was a "Dough-face," as during the war every Democrat was a 
"Copperhead." He retired from editorial life as poor as when he 
entered it, and secured a clerkship in the Post-office Department 
at Washington, where he spent the last ten years of his life. He 
died in 1890. 

Of a very different type personally from his two contemporaries, 
but sometimes equally severe in his writings, was Eufus Hosmer, 
editor of the Enquirer. He was rotund, a good liver, a good fel- 
low, and one of the most noted wits of Detroit. He had for some 
time been connected with the Advertiser but left it in January 1854, 
because of its conservative tendencies. He aided in starting the 
Enquirer, which supported the new party movement. After about 
a year the Enquirer was merged in the Free Democrat, and finally 
absorbed the Advertiser. Hosmer secured control of the combina- 
tion which he made radically Republican. He was on good terms 
with Warren, but was always at war with Storey. He could use 
invective when he chose, but often indulged in a vein of sarcasm 
which was equally effective. He was said to be" the only man in 
Michigan who could "make old Storey squirm." He was proud of 
his literary quality, which gives point to a story which is told of 
an interview he had with his crony, William Gray. 1 As they met 
about ten o'clock one morning at the usual place, Gray said : 

"Rufus, a business man asked me this morning what paper he 
should advertise in and I told him in the Enquirer by all means." 

"Well, that was very good of you, Billy," said Hosmer, "and what 
reason did you give for this partiality?" 

"I told him," replied Gray, "that he should make his announce- 
ments in your paper because there was nothing in the editorials 
which would withdraw attention from the advertisements." 

This is one of the first suggestions I have heard of that com- 

iWilliam Gray, a noted lawyer of Detroit, the father of William J. and Robert T. Gray, of 
Detroit. 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN IN MICHIGAN 159 

mercialism which has sometimes since caused the counting-room 
to dominate the editorial' page. Hosmer went to the Lansing Re- 
publican as editor in 1855 and after a year or two there disappeared 
from the Michigan newspaper field. He died in 1861. 

In the course of the controversies in which these three pioneers 
in personal journalism indulged they sometimes resorted not only 
to strong language but to caricature. Some of the wood-cuts looked 
as if they might have been cut with a jack-knife on a shingle, but 
they never produced anything which was quite such an abomination 
in coloring, such distortion in drawing, or so corrupting to the man- 
ners and morals of youth as the so-called comic supplement of 
to-day. 

Less conspicuous but equally sincere in support of the movement 
was James F. Conover, editor of the Free Democrat, who was one 
of the secretaries of the Jackson convention. The next day, in his 
paper, he praised the platform as specific, bold, and uncompromis- 
ing, went over the ticket in detail, and predicted its success. Mr. 
Conover was a scholarly writer, free generally from the personali- 
ties which were so characteristic of the period. He continued work 
as editorial writer on different Republican papers till 1863 when 
he became editor-in-chief of the Advertiser and Tribune, under 
which name a number of other papers had been merged. In 1871 
he resigned and took orders in the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
He was for many years rector of St. Luke's Church in Kalamazoo 
and continued in the ministry there and in Detroit till his death. 

Among the old Whig and Free Soil papers there was one dissent- 
ing voice to the new movement. The Detroit Advertiser, a Whig 
paper, owned by E. A. Wales and edited by Alpheus S. Williams, 
denounced the results of the Jackson convention and called for a 
separate Whig convention, which was held October 4, 1854, at 
Marshall. The only result of this attempt was to show that to 
revive the Whig party as a separate organization was hopeless. 
Mr. Williams had little further opportunity to achieve editorial 
distinction, but he added to the fame of the state by brilliant ser- 
vice-as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War, the 
only corps commander from Michigan. He also represented the 
First Michigan district in the 44th and 45th Congresses. A 
timely movement for the erection of a monument to the memory 
of his military achievements is just now being agitated. 1 

These were the principal Detroit editorial participants in the 

Hinder the leadership of the Michigan Commandery of the Loyal Legion, the sum of $30,000 
has been raised for an equestrian statue of General Williams; and the City of Detroit has 
appropriated $10,000 for a pedestal. The statue is being executed by Henry Merwin Shrady 
of Elmsford, N. Y., and the pedestal is being designed by Alpheus Williams Chittenden, 
architect, of Detroit, a grandson of General Williams. 



160 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

stirring political movements from 1854 till I860, but the state 
furnished a number of others almost equally prominent. Induced 
by circular letters which had been sent out from leading Whig 
papers in the East asking what the future policy of the party should 
be, Charles V. DeLand, editor of the Jackson Citizen, secured a 
conference of Whig editors at Jackson in February 1854. Henry 
Barns of Detroit was chairman and DeLand was secretary. There 
was no immediate result of this conference. Mr. DeLand also at- 
tended a conference of Whig and Free Soil editors at the office of 
the Detroit Tribune in March, at which Joseph Warren unfolded 
his plan of disbanding the old parties and forming a new one. To 
this plan DeLand gave his assent and he was one of its most effi- 
cient supporters. He was fully as earnest as Warren and was 
much more versatile. In addition to giving editorial support, he 
attended conferences and conventions and used his personal in- 
fluence to bring reluctant Whigs into line. Mr. DeLand's subse- 
quent life was one of great activity. He served in the army as 
colonel of the First Michigan sharp-shooters and was breveted 
brigadier-general. As editor of the Jackson Citizen, afterward 
editor of the Saginaw Enterprise, State Senator from the Saginaw 
district, and then again a resident of Jackson and editorial con- 
tributor to the Citizen, "Vic" DeLand was always at the front, 
one of the best known politicians in the State. He died on his farm 
near Jackson in 1903. 

Intimately associated with Mr. DeLand in the earlier conferences 
were Zephaniah B. Knight of the Pontiac Gazette, George A. Fitch 
of the Kalamazoo Telegraph, Aaron B. Turner of the Grand Rapids 
Eagle, and Harvey B. Rowlsen of the Hillsdale Standard. They 
were all prominent in the politics of the time. Mr. Turner started 
the Grand Rapids Eagle in 1844, and for over 40 years after that 
was the leading editor and one of the leading politicians of Western 
Michigan; as Mr. Rowlsen was, for over 30 years, a conspicuous 
figure in the newspaper and political activities of Southern Michi- 
gan. 

Among the younger men in the convention was De Witt C. Leach, 
one of the Genesee county delegates to the Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1850. He moved to Traverse City in 1867, and bought 
from Morgan Bates the Grand Traverse Herald which he edited for 
many years. He was an enthusiast about the Grand Traverse 
region and probably did more than any one else to make the possi- 
bilities of that region known. He was State Librarian from 1855 
to 1857, represented Grand Traverse County in the Constitutional 
Convention of 1867, and the Grand Traverse district in the 35th and 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN OF MICHIGAN 161 

36th Congresses. He lived till 1909, nearly sixty years after his 
entry into public life. 

This paper is intended as a record of those who have passed 
away and not of the living, but I cannot forbear mention of three 
who still survive. Too young to be counted as one of the members, 
a Jackson lad named James O'Donnell was an eager listener to 
the Convention proceedings and from them received his first po- 
litical impressions. Reaching adult life he was for many years 
editor and proprietor of the Jackson Citizen, was twice mayor of 
that city, served the district four terms as member of Congress and 
was twice a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor. 
He is now living in retirement. 

Among the younger members of the Convention was a German 
American Detroiter who had not yet entered upon the work that 
has since made him conspicuous. He is still a public-spirited citi- 
zen of Detroit, where he has held a number of positions of trust 
and where he has been an editor for over 40 years, the most prom 
inent German newspaper man in the State, August Marxhausen, 1 
editor of the Abend Post. 

Francis B. Way, who established the Branch County Journal, 
came to Detroit in 1849 and was the first publisher of the Detroit 
Tribune. He attended one of the earliest conferences of Whig 
editors and took active part in the subsequent campaign. He is 
now living in Detroit in his 82nd year. 

I have spoken chiefly of Whig and Republican editors because the 
period gave them the greatest prominence. But there were not 
lacking Democratic editors with zeal and courage for an up-hill 
fight. Mr. Storey's successor on the Jackson Patriot was Joseph 
L. Titus, who commenced editorial work on the Freeman's Journal 
of Cooperstown, N. Y. He succeeded Mr. Storey on the Jackson 
Patriot in 1851, established the Livingston Democrat in Howell in 
1857 and edited this till 1890 when he retired. Mr. Titus remained 
a staunch Democrat till the campaign of 1896, when he repudiated 
the Bryan ticket and the platform which it represented. They 
were not Jeffersonian, they were not Jacksonian, they were not 
Democratic, and he would have none of them. He was an open 
bolter and took place as a candidate for presidential elector on the 
forlorn hope headed by Palmer. He died in Los Angeles, Cal., in 
1908, at the age of 88. 

I have had occasion a number of times in making these notes 
to question the scriptural assertion that "The wicked shall not 

"Mr. Marxhausen died December 27, 1910. 
21 



162 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

live out half his days," for I have found that a number of the fight- 
ing editors of these early times lived long past their 80th year and 
some of them past their 90th. 

I have noted also that the ambitious editors of these early days 
were not content to establish one paper. Elihu B. Pond, who was 
even more conspicuous in Democratic journalism than Mr. Titus, 
started first the Coldwater Sentinel, and afterwards took possession 
of the Ann Arbor Argus. Both his paper and his personality were 
for many years powers in the Democratic politics of the State and 
especially of Washtenaw County, which was then hotly disputed 
political territory. 

W. W. Woolnaugh established the Western Citizen,, a Democratic 
paper, in Battle Creek in 1845. For about 60 years after that he 
published or edited papers except during a short interval when he 
was at Coldwater. His politics were as variable as his newspapers 
were changeable, being successively Democratic, Whig, Republican, 
and again Democratic. 

Eagerness to hear from the front during the war gave a great 
stimulus to the news service of Detroit papers and so lessened the 
relative importance of the editorial page. It was in this period 
that James E. Scripps first came into prominence. Mr. Scripps 
came to Detroit as commercial editor of the Advertiser in 1859, 
secured an interest in the paper in 1861, helped bring about its 
consolidation with the Tribune in 1862, and was business manager 
of the consolidated paper. He brought new blood into the concern, 
spent money freely for news, and received a good return. But he 
was never satisfied with the afternoon paper which was in those 
days a repetition of the morning edition, with a little telegraphic 
and local news added. He wanted to make that edition a smaller 
and cheaper paper separate from the morning issue and with news 
well condensed. His associates disagreed with him on this and 
other matters. He resigned his position in 1872, bought out the 
job printing office and in 1873 carried out his favorite idea of a 
cheap afternoon paper by starting the Evening News. It was the 
first paper in Detroit to make use of the personal interview, and 
introduced other new features, some of them considered at the time 
highly "sensational." The paper lost money heavily the first year, 
and Mr. Scripps was obliged to borrow all he could on his personal 
credit and induce relatives to join in the venture. The tide then 
turned and he lived to see the News one of the best money-making 
papers in the West, and to see it absorb the last one of the old 
Republican morning papers which had scoffed at his first venture. 
The Art Museum and Scripps Park and Library are testimonies to 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN OF MICHIGAN 163 

the public spirit with which he used part of his accumulated profits. 
Mr. Scripps had a thorough appreciation of the importance of news 
gathering and good discrimination in the selection of agents for 
doing the work. He once said to the writer "I am always looking 
in newspaper work for a man who can do some one thing a little 
bit better than anybody else," a method of specializing work in 
which he succeeded admirably. 

In his earliest efforts to improve the Advertiser, Mr. Scripps 
brought to Detroit William S. George, who had received training 
on the Springfield Republican, then considered an excellent school 
of journalism. Mr. George did good service on different depart- 
ments of the paper, but he was not a good team-worker, he liked 
to have his own way in everything too well. In 1866 he sold his 
stock in the Detroit enterprise, took the editorship of the Lansing 
Republican, and soon afterwards secured for W. S. George & Co. 
the contract for the state printing. He was prominent in news- 
paper and political affairs from that time till his death in December 
1881. From 1868 till 1873 Stephen D. Bingham was editor of the 
Lansing Republican, Mr. George confining himself mostly to the 
business affairs of the paper and the State Printing establishment. 
After retiring from the paper Mr. Bingham became postmaster at 
Lansing. He was also chairman of the Eepublican State Central 
Committees for three terms. 

Closely following the war period came the advent of another 
prominent figure in Michigan newspaper work. In 1867 George 
Willard bought from the versatile Woolnough the Battle Creek 
Journal. Mr. Willard, a resident of Battle Creek most of the time 
since 1836, had a classical education, had studied for the ministry, 
was rector of Episcopal churches in Coldwater, Battle Creek, and 
Kalamazoo, and when he finally abandoned the church for a secular 
and political occupation, showed as much zeal in the latter as he 
had in the former. He was a delegate to several State conventions, 
was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1867, a delegate 
to the National Republican Convention of 1872, a member of the 
State Board of Education for six years, a Regent of the State 
University for ten years, a member of the State Legislature one 
term, and of Congress two terms. He was delegate to five general 
conventions of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and was a mem- 
ber of the United States Monetary Commission of 1876. In addi- 
tion to all these activities he managed to publish a pretty good 
Republican paper till 1878 when he joined the Greenback ranks 
and took part in joint debates with, one of the most capable sup- 
porters of the hard-money view. After that campaign he renewed 



164 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

his ^Republican affiliations and maintained his political and news- 
paper activities till past his eightieth year. 

The campaign of 1872 wrought notable changes in the personnel 
and tone of Michigan papers. The Advertiser and Tribune which 
was by inheritance a Republican paper had become very critical of 
the Grant administration and of many Republican measures and 
tendencies. Those prominently connected with it were in open 
sympathy with the Liberal party movement and if Charles Francis 
Adams or Lyman Trumbull had been nominated for President at 
Cincinnati the paper would have supported the ticket. But when 
news of Greeley's nomination came Charles K. Backus, who was the 
editorial head of the paper, stumped into the news-room with the 
remark: "Here's a most promising movement gone to hell," and 
began writing the headlines, at the same time directing the make- 
up of the paper. James E. Scripps, business manager, came up 
from the counting-room and urged that the paper fly the Greeley 
flag. Henry E. Baker, then news editor, a worshipper of Horace 
Greeley, whose portrait he kept on his desk till the day of his death, 
gave the same advice. Baker soon retired, but a hot controversy 
continued between Backus and Scripps until the forms were sent 
down. The paper gave the Republican ticket a lukewarm support 
throughout the campaign, but it was said that not a member of the 
staff voted the ticket. 

Mr. Backus who on this occasion saved the Advertiser and 
Tribune from a course that would have been disastrous to the 
paper without hurting the party, rendered a notable service to the 
paper and party alike in 1878. At the spring elections that year 
a Greenback wave swept over the State carrying some of the 
strongest Republican as well as Democratic counties. Some of the 
Republican leaders said that the movement w r as only temporary and 
professed no concern but Mr. Backus saw in it an alarming sig- 
nificance. As editor-in-chief of the Post and Tribune, as the paper 
was then called, he commenced at once a campaign of education on 
the currency question. Some of his articles were long and pain- 
fully statistical. Some scoffers called them dry, but they furnished 
readers of the paper and speakers on the stump with the essential 
facts that were at the basis of the whole controversy, and con- 
tributed materially to the success of the campaign. Mr. Backus 
came to Detroit from Hartford in 1865 and was connected with the 
Advertiser and Tribune and its successor, the Post and Tribune, 
till 1881. He was a thorough newspaper man and a prudent po- 
litical adviser. 

The Cincinnati convention which caused the little comedv in the 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN OF MICHIGAN 165 

Advertiser and Tribune office made serious trouble in the Free Press 
office. Henry N. Walker and Freeman Norvell, both old school 
Democrats, controlled the paper. The combination of a protective 
tariff abolitionist with an anti-slavery Democrat was too much for 
them, and they denounced the ticket. A storm of remonstrance 
from Democratic leaders followed, but they were obstinate and the 
only way out seemed to be for them to sell their interest in the 
paper. This gave William E. Quinby the opportunity to obtain a 
controlling interest. Under Mr. Quinby the paper supported the 
Greeley ticket and after that gave a rational support to Democratic 
men and measures till 1896 when it denounced the free-silver heresy 
and at the close of that campaign declared itself independent in 
politics. Mr. Quinby, who had been connected with the paper ever 
since his graduation from Michigan University in 1861, made the 
most of the opportunity then offered. He vastly improved the news 
service and literary tone of the paper, gathered about him a very 
capable staff, introduced to the public a number of new writers, 
catered to the taste for humor, established a London edition and 
gave the Free Press a wider fame than any other Detroit paper 
ever had. Under his administration it was a rule that no one con- 
nected with the Free Press should be a candidate for any political 
office. He withdrew from active connection with the paper to 
accept the position of minister to the Hague under the first Cleve- 
land administration, but afterwards resumed the connection which 
he retained till his death in 1900. 

Intimately associated with Mr. Quinby for a quarter of a cen 
tury in the conduct of the Free Press was Mr. A. G. Boynton, an 
attorney and formerly police-justice. In 1872 Mr. Boynton pur- 
chased from Henry N. Walker a quarter interest in the paper, and 
from that time until ill health compelled his retirement in 1897 
he was the principal editorial writer. Without being an extreme 
partisan he supported with ability the main policies of the Demo- 
cratic party and stood high in the counsels of its leaders. He was 
earnest in the advocacy of clean municipal administration and of 
civic improvement. He w r as among the editors whose services in 
favor of the gold standard were recognized by a testimonial ban- 
quet, given by the business men of Detroit, after the campaign 
of 1896. 

On account of the extreme conservatism of the Advertiser and 
Tribune after the War of Secession, a group of Republicans about 
the state, afterwards known as Stalwarts, formed a stock company, 
and on the strength of $100,000 capital, put up a fine building, 
bought a good plant, hired an expensive staff with Carl Schurz 



166 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

as editor-in-chief, and started the Daily Post. Notwithstanding 
the brilliant intellect of General Schurz, which afterwards gave 
him distinction as United States Senator from Missouri and editor 
of a leading paper in New York City, he did not fit well into the 
Michigan field. He retired at the end of a year, at which time the 
company had acquired a mortgage of $40,000 in addition to its 
capital stock. I chanced to meet General Schurz in Washington 
ten years later and he asked me what was the value of the $5,000 
stock in the Post that had been given him in addition to a liberal 
salary for his one year's service, and when he might expect a divi- 
dend upon it. I told him that the stock wasn't worth anything 
and that instead of a dividend he might expect an assessment to 
help pay deficiencies in current expenses. He then offered to sell 
me his stock at a low price. I declined to buy. I had some al- 
ready and knew what it was worth. 

After General Schurz's retirement the staff was re-organized with 
Col. Frederick G. Morley as general manager and Edward G. 
Holden and Lewis J. Bates as editorial writers. Mr. Holden was 
a brilliant and witty writer, with a first-class knowledge of politi- 
cal affairs and with a wide view of public questions not strictly 
political. Mr. Bates was a many-sided genius, a poet of no mean 
inspiration, a lover of out-door sports, a man of very wide and 
often inaccurate knowledge of public affairs, of strong and gen- 
erally correct convictions, and about the readiest writer that ever 
put pencil to paper. When he had the subject of an editorial 
worked out in his mind it was a very short time before it was ready 
for the type-setter. 

Colonel Morley was economical to the verge of parsimony and 
did not appreciate the opportunities which a modern news field 
affords. Editorially he wrote very little but he was in touch with 
the leading Republican politicians of the day and in full accord 
with the ideas represented by the dominant branch of the party. 
The combination on the whole was a strong one and the Post was a 
decided power in Michigan politics till its consolidation with the 
Advertiser and Tribune under the name of the Post and Tribune, 
in 1877. 

Among other newspaper men who helped in their time to give 
Michigan journalism a reputation and an influence was T. P. 
Sheldon, the founder of the Free Press. Of the good work that he 
did in politics and in the printer's art the purveyors of reminiscence 
say comparatively little, but one incident has been frequently men- 
tioned. He wrote a scathing comment on certain action of the 
Supreme Court of the Territory, was called up for contempt, 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN OF MICHIGAN 167 

fined $100, and on refusal to pay was remanded in jail. His friends 
rallied, raised the amount of the fine, and three hundred of them 
attended a complimentary dinner tendered him at his place of 
confinement. This incident induced from a Whig contemporary 
the very natural comment that never before had the Wayne County 
jail contained three hundred Democrats at one time. For the good 
of the community the whole bunch should be detained there for 
ninety days. 

Prominent in the newspaper and political activities of the later 
period was James H. Stone. He first did newspaper work on the 
Kalamazoo Telegraph, was reporter on the Detroit Advertiser and 
Tribune, was the first editor of the Port Huron Times, was gen- 
eral manager of the Detroit Post and Tribune from 1878 till 1882, 
was later the manager of the Detroit Tribune, was Secretary of the 
State Senate, was Collector of Internal Revenue for the Detroit 
district and later Appraiser of the Port; was once a candidate for 
Congress in the First district; was delegate to two Republican 
National Conventions and on account of his resonant voice and 
distinct enunciation was named as one of the reading clerks at two 
others. He was occasionally a delegate and always an attendant 
at State Conventions. Few men were better or more favorably 
known in the Michigan newspaper or political world of the time 
than "Jim Stone." Mr. Stone originated the movement which for 
a number of years caused the American flag to be raised every 
school day over every school building in the city of Detroit. He 
helped provide the fund which made the purchase of the flags, 
arranged for the ceremonies, and made a number of the flag rais- 
ing speeches. The movement was intended as a lesson in patriotism 
which is deserving of perpetuation. 

A very conspicuous figure in the newspaper and political world 
of Michigan was Thomas Seal Applegate, commonly known as 
"Tom" Applegate. He was English-born in 1839, came to this 
Country in 1851 and to Adrian in 1863. He acquired an interest 
in the Adrain Watchtoiver. After a number of changes of name 
and partnership control it became the Adrian Times and Expositor 
with Mr. * Applegate as sole proprietor. He introduced new methods 
in weekly news gathering, established the first daily in South- 
eastern Michigan, was a member of the Chicago Press Club and 
the Inland News Association, and was one of the most conspicuous 
and most popular members of the State Press Association. He at- 
tended every Republican State Convention from 1864 to 1890, 
was a member of the Republican State Central Committee for 
eight years, chairman of the Executive Committee for six years, 



168 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

and chairman of the Second District Congressional Committee. He 
helped to make United States Senators, Governors and Congress- 
men., but would never accept a nomination for himself for any po- 
litical office. I knew of no other editor in Michigan who had offi- 
cial position so easily within his grasp, but who refused to stretch 
forth his hand and take the blessing. 

Among subordinate editors I cannot forbear mentioning the 
genial, industrious but sometimes caustic Ray Haddock, for a long 
time commercial editor of the Advertiser and Tribune and after- 
wards of the Daily Post, for many years Secretary of the Board 
of Trade and for one term County Clerk. Raj 7 was indebted to his 
commercial friends for many bits of valuable information and he 
liked to reciprocate by occasional paragraphs about their business. 
But when W. S. George, who was pretty thrifty, got his eye on two 
of these paragraphs, he made out bills for them as advertising mat- 
ter, deducted the amount from Haddock's weekly stipend and told 
him that he could recoup himself by collecting the bills. Haddock told 
George to go to a place where I trust editors never go, whatever 
may become of business managers. A couple of days later Haddoc^ 
handed to the city editor a notice of a church function with the 
remark: "Don't let George see this or he'll measure it up at ten 
cents a line and send a bill to God Almighty." 

Among the most versatile of these early editors and publishers 
was Henry Barns. He bought into the Detroit Free Press in 1837 r 
the firm being then Bagg, Barns & Co., but sold out in 1838 and 
soon afterwards started the Niles Sentinel. In 1851 he started the 
Detroit Tribune and in 1862 consolidated it with the Advertiser, 
having a controlling interest in the consolidated sheet. Meantime 
in 1855 he started the Lansing Republican but sold out after pub- 
lishing two numbers. He also had numerous political activities. 
He was clerk of the Michigan House of Representatives in 1855 r 
was postmaster at Detroit and pension agent for Eastern Michi- 
gan. At one time he had a controlling interest in the only tele- 
graph line between Detroit and Chicago. If he had held on to 
this, wealth and distinction were his. But he let go and died poor 
in 1871. 

A unique character in state journalism was Don C. Henderson, 
who had his first newspaper experience on the New York Tribune 
under Greeley. He established the Allegan Journal in 1856 and 
was either sole or part proprietor and principal editor of the paper 
for 30 years. He attended almost every Republican State Conven- 
tion and almost every session of the Legislature in that period. He 
was once postmaster to the Legislature, once compiler of the Michi- 



PROMINENT NEWSPAPER MEN OF MICHIGAN 169 

gan Manual and a frequent contributor to the Michigan Pioneer 
and Historical Society, of which he was Vice-President. 

A sturdy fighter in. the Michigan newspaper and political world 
through the 70's and 80's was Rice A. Beal of the Peninsular 
Courier, Ann Arbor. In 1880 Mr. Beal was a candidate for the 
Republican nomination for Governor at the famous Jackson con- 
vention in which five equally matched candidates tried out their 
political fortunes. He did not succeed in securing the nomina- 
tion for himself, nor in controlling the nomination at that time, 
but in the course of his twenty years of activity he did much to- 
ward determining other nominations for Governor," for the Legis- 
lature, for Congress and particularly for Regent of the University, 
in which institution he took especial interest. 

Among the men who had small opportunities in Detroit but 
much larger openings elsewhere was George Dawson. He was here 
in the Harrison campaign of 1840 as editor and one of the pro- 
prietors of the Tribune. He left here in 1842 and afterwards at- 
tained distinction in New York politics as editor of the Albany 
Evening Journal. Moses H. Ham was brought to Detroit and 
afterwards taken to Chicago by Wilbur F. Storey. He cut no great 
figure in either city but became prominent in Iowa politics as editor 
and proprietor of the Dubuque Journal. R. F. Johnstone was 
brought here at the request of Zach Chandler and two or three 
others on the recommendation of Thurlow Weed and Hugh Hastings 
of the New York Commercial Advertiser, to run the Detroit Adver- 
tiser. Chandler and his friends wanted a strong Whig political 
writer. Johnstone filled the bill fairly well- but he subsequently 
became much better known as editor of the Michigan Farmer and a 
promoter of the agricultural interests of the State. 

I might go into some detail in regard to other Michigan news- 
paper promoters. The list would include: Sheldon McKnight, pub- 
lisher for a number of years of the Detroit Free Press; J. H. 
Shakespeare, the sturdy old Democrat who kept the Kalamazoo 
Gazette in line in a strong Republican and Abolition county; Wil- 
lard Stearns, who upheld the Democratic standard, with vigor and 
obstinacy in the Adrian Press; W. T. B. Schermerhorn who did a 
like service in the Hudson Gazette in the same county; Lewis 
Noyes, publisher in troublous times of the Marshall Democratic 
Expounder; Thos. T. Bates, who succeeded DeWitt C. Leach in 
the control and editorship of the Grand Traverse Herald and who 
was one of the potent political and industrial forces of that region 
for many years. 



JAMES M'MILLAN 

UNITED STATES SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN 



BY CHARLES MOORE 



JAMES M'MILLAN, UNITED STATES [SENATOR 
FROM MICHIGAN. 



BY CHARLES MOORE. 



mHREE lives span the political history of the state of Michigan. 
JL As a child of six years, Lewis Cass watched the bonfires lighted 
by the Nationalists of Exeter to celebrate the adoption by 
New Hampshire of the Constitution of the United States, thus 
completing the number of ratifying states required to bring the 
new nation into existence. In early manhood he commanded the 
little force on the Canadian banks of the River Detroit that shed 
the first blood of the War of 1812. As governor of a territory that 
stretched from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, he nego- 
tiated with the Indian tribes treaties that combine foresight with 
a high sense of justice. As Secretary of War, minister to France, 
United States Senator, candidate for President and Secretary of 
State, his name is associated with the names of Webster and Clay 
in the endeavor to maintain the Constitution by conciliation and 
compromise. "I saw the birth of the Constitution," 1 he said despair- 
ingly to Garfield ; "and I fear I shall see its death." Happily, how- 
ever, at the age of eighty-four, he was permitted to depart in peace, 
his eyes having beheld the glory of a renewed and strengthened 
Union. 

In 1847, a party of armed men from Henry Clay's home in Ken- 
tucky appeared in Cass County and attempted to carry off by force 
some fugitive slaves who had escaped to Michigan by the Under- 
ground Railroad. Citizens who prevented the success of the raid were 
tried in the Federal Courts at Detroit and convicted, as was said, 
to aid Cass' political fortunes. That decision and fine called from 
his dry-goods store Zachariah Chandler, like Cass a native of New 
Hampshire, who became the embodiment of the aggressive spirit 
of the Republican party, which he helped to found. Succeeding 
Cass in the Senate, he established his party leadership both in the 
state and- in the nation ; and at his death in 1879 he was at the 
very zenith of his influence and popularity. If Mr. Chandler's 

Paper read at the annual meeting in Lansing, June, 1909. 
] A. C. McLaughlin's "Lewis Cass." 



174 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

place on the pages of his country's history shall be less conspicuous 
than that of Cass, this result will be due, among other causes, to 
the fact that Mr. Chandler was a man of action rather than words ; 
and also to the unaccountable refusal of his family to give to the 
public those documents and letters which would have established 
his claim to be ranked among the most steadfast and effective sup- 
porters of President Lincoln. It is not without a sense of humilia- 
tion and chagrin that those among whom the tradition of Mr. 
Chandler's work remains find in the most comprehensive history of 
the Civil War only the mere record of his presence in the Senate. 2 

II. 

On the sudden death of Senator Chandler, in 1879, his place as 
Chairman of the Republican State Central Committee was filled by 
the election of James McMillan, then a leading manufacturer of 
Detroit, who was destined slowly, and with many set-backs, to 
acquire in fact that party leadership which his chairmanship ac- 
corded to him in theory. Henry P. Baldwin succeeded Mr. Chandler 
in the Senate and in the Committee Chairmanship. Meanwhile 
Mr. McMillan aspired to be Governor of Michigan; but decided 
not to press his candidacy in the face of the manifest desire of the 
Republicans for a farmer Governor. At a low ebb in the party 
fortunes, in 1886, he was called into service again as chairman of 
the State Committee. Against the advice of influential Republi- 
cans, who refused aid and prophesied shipwreck to his political 
ambitions, he successfully reorganized a. demoralized and discord- 
ant party and snatched victory from the very jaws of defeat. 3 Then 
he confirmed his hold on the confidence of his political associates 
by withdrawing as a candidate for the Senatorship; and two 
years later he was rewarded by the unanimous vote of the Republi- 
can members of the Legislature. Entering the United States 
Senate in 1889, he was twice reelected without opposition in the 
Legislature, in spite of intense hostility on the part of the powers 
that controlled in state affairs. He had scarcely entered upon his 
third term when, with every promise of a long continued useful- 
ness, he suddenly died in 1902. 

2 See Post and Tribune Life of Zachariah Chandler, by William Stocking. Rhodes's 
History of the United States contains only a reference to Chandler. 

3 This was the celebrated campaign when Cyrus G. Luce was elected over George 
L. Yaple by a majority of 7,432. 




JAMES MCMILLAN. 

From a portrait by Benjamin Constant, in the Senate Chamber in the Capitol. 






JAMES MCMILLAN 175 



in. 



Whether the Clan MacMillan originated in Argyle, in Braidalbar, 
'j? at Lochaber in Inverness; whether they were dependents of the 
Clan Cameron; whether a MacMillan chieftain acquired Castle 
Swegan by marriage with an heiress of the MacNeils; or whether 
their possessions came through the favor of the Lord of the Isles, 
we leave to those who are versed in the intricate genealogy of Scot- 
land. Be this as it may, recent Scotch histories of the family 
claim among their illustrious members the late Senator from Michi- 
gan. Mr. McMillan himself was little interested in genealogy; 
but family tradition has it that his grandfather was a sea-captain 
of a roving and adventurous disposition, who for a time made his 
aome in Russia, and again in Philadelphia. At any rate he was 
a very old man when he died in Scotland, leaving his two sons, 
William and James, to be brought up by friends on a farm near 
Stranraer, at the head of Loch Ryan in the County of Wigtown, 
which is washed by the North Channel. In 1834, William hav- 
ing recently married Grace MacMeakin, came to America with the 
intention of settling in Indiana. He paused at Hamilton, Ontario, 
and there made his home; while his brother James settled at Gait, 
where he lived and died. 

IV. 

William McMillan prospered in business. He became connected 
with the Great Western Railway at the very beginning of that 
road, and so continued until his death in 1877. He was prominent 
in civic and church affairs; and the McMillan home, if somewhat 
stern in discipline, after the fashion of that day, nevertheless 
was one of comfort, intelligence and piety. James McMillan, the 
second son in a family of six sons and one daughter, was born on 
May 12, 1838. At the Hamilton Grammar School, ruled by the 
locally famous Dr. Tassie, he was well grounded in the fundamentals 
of an English education. His facility with artithmetic and his memory 
were remarkable; his handwriting was small and elegant; and his 
correspondence was clear, forcible and exact. He was a charming 
letter-writer when on his travels, and his expression of interest 
or sympathy seemed to flow directly from his heart through his pen. 

After four years service in a Hamilton hardware store, he came 
to Detroit in 1855, to make his fortune. He had letters to several 
of the leading merchants, among them Hon. Christian H. Buhl, 
who gave him employment in the wholesale hardware-house of 
Buhl & Ducharme, where he stayed for two years. Then, through 



176 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

his father's influence, he was made purchasing agent of the Detroit 
and Milwaukee Kailroad. Those were days of railroad building 
in Michigan, and when the road was extended to Grand Haven, Mr. 
McMillan, then less than twenty years of age, was engaged by the 
contractor to look after his financial affairs, make the purchases, and 
take charge of the workmen. He declined an offer to go to Spain to 
build railroads, and returned to his former position as purchasing 
agent. That he early learned to save money is illustrated by the fact 
that he was compelled to foreclose a mortgage which represented his 
first hard-earned one hundred dollars. The sale of the property 
brought exactly the face of the mortgage, and the lawyer kept 
half. Another incident illustrates the fact that he early learned 
how to use the money of others to advantage one of the secrets of 
success in these days. Desiring to borrow one thousand dollars, 
he applied, with a good deal of hesitation, to the late Alexander H. 
Dey, then a private banker. Mr. Dey looked at him for a moment, 
and then exclaimed : "Boy, what in thunder do you want to do 
With that thousand dollars?" As the disappointed applicant turned 
to leave the office, Mr. Dey called him back to say that he could 
have the money. In after years, Mr. McMillan borrowed hundreds 
of thousands of dollars from the gruff but good-hearted and sound- 
headed banker. 

In 1864, Mr. McMillan borrowed of John S. Newberry $5,000, 
and with Mr. Newberry, E. C. Dean and George Eaton, became a 
quarter owner of the Michigan Car Company, engaged in the manu- 
facture of freight cars. During the ensuing year he paid the loan 
with interest. The business prospered steadily, and in time the 
car works at St. Louis, Missouri, was purchased, and companies 
-were established at Cambridge, Indiana, and London, Ontario. At 
the head of the St. Louis works he placed his brother, William, who 
was in the hardware business at Detroit when the purchase was 
made. Subsequently, William McMillan bought the St. Louis and 
the Cambridge shops, removing the latter to Kansas City. He be- 
came a very wealthy man. During the panic of 1873 the load of 
all four concerns fell on the shoulders of Mr. McMillan. The De- 
troit banks had little money, and they were very timid ; the monthly 
pay-rolls of from fifty to seventy thousand dollars had to be met. 
At this juncture, Mr. McMillan hit upon a novel expedient. His 
friends, Joseph Price and Mr. Hickson, of the Grand Trunk and 
the Great Western Railways, were buying cars of the Michigan 
Car Company, and at Mr. McMillan's earnest solicitation they 
directed the station agents of their roads to forward direct to the 



JAMES MCMILLAN in 

Car Company, at Detroit, all the American money they received. 
Canada was fairly scoured to get currency to pay the men. 

From the Michigan Car Company sprang the Detroit Car- Wheel 
Company, the Detroit Iron Furnace, the Baugh Steam Forge Com- 
pany, the Fulton Iron and Engine Works, the Newberry Furnace 
Company, and the Detroit Pipe and Foundry Company, of all of 
which corporations Mr. McMillan became the president. Also, he 
was the president of the Detroit and Cleveland Steam Navigation 
Company, the Detroit Transportation Company, the Duluth and 
Atlantic Transportation Company, and the Michigan Telephone 
Company; and a director in the Detroit Dry Dock Company, the 
D. M. Ferry Seed Company, the Detroit City Railway, and the 
First National and the Detroit Savings banks. 

The editor of the Detroit Evening News put into a few pithy 
sentences the place he occupied in the industrial world of Michi- 
gan : "Mr. McMillan is worth a million or more. He earned it by 
hard work and bold and intelligent enterprises, which have not 
only made him wealthy, but have added tens of millions to the 
wealth of Detroit, furnished steady and remunerative employment 
to thousands of his fellow citizens, and supported tens of thousands 
of families. He has added to the beauty of the city, not only by 
the construction of factories where labor is employed, but by the 
construction of many handsome business blocks which are an orna- 
ment to Detroit. * * * * In scores of cases that every business man 
can recall, he has taken broken enterprises which other men's in- 
competence had ruined, and has built them up into successful con- 
cerns, to the profit and enrichment of the whole city." 

One of the boldest and most intelligent of the enterprises to 
which the News refers was what is now the Duluth, South Shore 
and Atlantic Railroad, by which the once loose ties that connected 
the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the Lower, have been trans- 
muted into bonds of steel. The conception of this enterprise was 
with Mr. McMillan, and he persuaded Francis Palms, George 
Hendrie and John S. Newberry to join him in taking the enormous 
risk of developing an unsettled country, where the success of the 
plan, if it should be successful, must come at a then distant future. 
One after another of his associates died, leaving on Mr. McMillan's 
shoulders the whole tremendous operation. There were lines in Mr. 
McMillan's face, and gray hairs in his head, to record that struggle. 
Hon. Peter White said of Mr. McMillan's work for this road : "His 
courage, his pluck, and largely his money, poured forth in unstinted 
volume, did the business. All honor to James McMillan ! He is an 
23 



178 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

acquisition to the State of Michigan worth having." The road 
was sold to the Canadian Pacific, the projectors getting out even. 

V. 

While making money rapidly, he also was liberal in his expendi- 
tures. His name headed every subscription paper, and he made a 
number of permanent investments. The origin of Grace Hospital 
well illustrates one side of Mr. McMillan's character. Into his 
office one day came a brakeman of the Duluth, South Shore and 
Atlantic Railroad. One of the man's legs had been cut off while 
he was at work, and he had been ordered to a hospital to complete 
his recovery. He had a little money, but not enough to pay for 
treatment at Harper Hospital, and he had come to Mr. McMillan 
for help. The man said frankly that his own carelessness caused 
the accident. Mr. McMillan readily gave him the assistance he 
desired; and some months later, when the man was discharged, he 
was sent to the Upper Peninsula with an artificial leg, a good outfit 
of clothing, and an order for steady employment. In the meantime, 
Mr. McMillan .had pondered the fact that in the whole state of 
Michigan there was no hospital where a person without money could 
receive treatment. The matter worried him. Finally, he decided 
that his next gift should be a free hospital. When he mentioned 
the matter to John S. Newberry, the latter asked to be allowed to 
join in the undertaking. So the hospital was determined upon, 
and when Mr. Newberry died, Mrs. Newberry carried out the plans 
of her husband. The building complete cost $150,000, and then 
it was endowed with $100,000, an amount which was increased by 
others. 

To Michigan University Mr. McMillan gave one of the finest 
Shakespeare libraries in the country, which is kept up by gifts from 
the family and also the building used by the Presbyterian 
students; to the Agricultural College he gave the Tepper collec- 
tion of insects; to the Mary Allen Seminary of Texas, a school for 
the education of colored girls, he gave the $16,000 needed to com- 
plete the endowment; and to Albion College a chemical laboratory. 
These are but examples of a benevolence that was regular and un- 
failing. 

VI. 

When Mr. McMillan entered the Senate he was without legis- 
lative experience; and therefore it was no hardship to conform to 
that unwritten law of the body which forbids a new senator to 
take part in debate. Gradually and by degrees, however, he ac- 



JAMES MCMILLAN 179 

quainted himself with the customs and rules, and while on but 
three occasions he made formal speeches, he acquired an expertness 
in handling bills which enabled him easily, tactfully and success- 
fully to pilot a measure among the shoals and reefs of legislation, 
to a secure harbor. On one occasion, when he had half a dozen 
bills to handle, he was attacked with personal abuse and vitupera- 
tion by a Populist senator from Nebraska. For half an hour he 
bore it all without a sign of discomposure. Then leisurely leav- 
ing his seat, he sauntered over to the abusive senator and whispered 
a few words to him while the Senate waited. Then he slowly re- 
turned to his place, while his opponent stated that he really had 
no objection to the pending measure, but was merely speaking to 
prevent another bill from being brought up. Having received as- 
surance that the objectionable measure would not be pressed, he 
would withdraw his objection. So saying he turned and left the 
chamber. Two weeks later the senator from Nebraska allowed the 
measure to which formerly he was opposed also to pass; and he 
had had the grace to strike from the record all of his abusive re- 
marks. The result was brought about quite naturally; for while 
Mr. McMillan was always ready to explain his position to the 
Senate and to answer questions, it was his custom to argue with 
senators individually in the coat-rooms or in his committee room, 
and by personal contact to remove objections, in so far as they 
could be located. His perfect candor, combined with extensive 
and accurate knowledge, and a reputation for disinterestedness, 
enabled him to carry through measures of first importance. 

It was these qualities to which he owed his success; for the 
United States Senate is a comparatively small body in which every 
member soon finds his level. Insincerity is the one quality which 
the Senate does not tolerate, no matter what the general reputation 
or the political success of the individual senator. On the con- 
trary, when a member once gains the confidence of his fellows, he 
can accomplish much. 

The new senator's first concern is to secure the best possible 
committee assignments. Mr. McMillan was offered a place on the 
Committee on Commerce, but this he declined because it was cov- 
eted by his colleague. He declined also a place on Inter-State Com- 
merce, because he was then the president of a railroad, and he 
thought that fact might make such an assignment inadvisable, a 
point of scrupulousness that would seem to some men quixotic. 
Quite by chance he went on the Committee on the District of 
Columbia, and thus was drawn into work which proved congenial 
and beneficial both to his own reputation and to the interests of 



180 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the national capitol. In time he became a member of the Commit- 
tees on Commerce, Naval Affairs, Cuban Relations, and finally 
Appropriations. For years he struggled against the latter assign- 
ment, and was finally placed there quite against his will, although 
it is the most coveted committee in the Senate. When he was not 
actually a member of the Steering Committee, he usually met with 
it; and for the last six years before his death he was a member of 
the committee to arrange the membership of the Senate Committees. 
He was also leading member of the committee on patronage. Con- 
scientious in all he undertook, he accumulated labor that would have 
overwhelmed one less used to turning off work; and even he felt 
the severe strain. 

VII. 

One organization to which he belonged finds no place on public 
records. It is a well known fact that much of the legislation of 
Congress is arranged outside of legislative halls; and that the 
dinner-table and the smoking-room often play a larger part than 
the official places of assembly. Mr. McMillan's home, which he pur- 
chased soon after entering the Senate, was noted for its quiet but 
elegant hospitality; and it was there that the so-called School of 
Philosophy held most of its weekly meetings. Among the members 
were Senators Allison, Aldrich, Spooner, Hale, Wetmore, Mander- 
son, Hanna and Vice-President Hobart, while Speaker Reed and 
General Slocum were frequent attendants; and it was not an un- 
usual occurrence to find the President of the United States taking 
part in the discussions. It is quite within bounds to say that no 
important measure passed the Senate without first having been 
agreed to in this informal conclave; and many a bill like the Force 
Bill and the Ship Subsidy Bill, there received its death-blow long 
before the public learned of its demise. A massive silver loving- 
cup, now treasured among the McMillan family possessions, is the 
only tangible evidence of the existence of that institution ; for after 
Senator McMillan's death no further meetings were held. 

VIII. 

Two years after Mr. McMillan's election to the Senate, political 
changes having retired Senators Ingalls, Spooner and Farwell, he 
became chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia. 
His long experience with public service corporations had made him 
familiar with much of the work which fell to his lot. He would 
have scouted the idea that he was to be classed as a reformer; but 




THE MCMILLAN FOUNTAIN. 

Erected in McMillan Park, Washington, D. C., by citizens of Michigan, 
sculptor; Charles A. Platt, landscape architect. 



Herbert Adams, 



JAMES MCMILLAN isi 

as a matter of fact almost every function of the city government 
was changed for the better during his rule. To abolition of grade 
crossings on steam railways he gave ten years of unremitting work ; 
the introduction of the underground trolley for electric lines was 
the result of his investigations at Budapest; the reorganization of 
the charities was brought about by a joint-committee of Senate and 
House, of which he was chairman. He secured the adoption of a 
law to restrict the localities in which liquor might be sold; he 
secured the establishment of a reform school for girls ; he obtained 
an appropriation for a model building for a business high-school; 
through him a board of charities was created; and not a little of 
the present prosperity of Washington is due to the personal-tax 
law which assesses only tangible personal property. To his deter- 
mination and persistence is due the great slow-sand nitration plant, 
which has transformed the Washington water-supply from one of 
the worst in the country to a supply clear and sanitary. Each of 
these achievements marks a struggle often against ignorance or 
indifference, and sometimes against well-intrenched self-interest. 

At the beginning it seemed as if every measure he championed 
was doomed to defeat; but when a session closed over his defeats, 
he would placidly remark to the discouraged ones : "Congress 
meets again on the first Monday of next December; we will try 
once more." Then, as the years went by, the list of achievements 
grew apace, offering fresh incentives to well-doing. 

One secret of his success is to be found in a habit that he brought 
from his private business. Hi always entrusted the details of im- 
portant projects to experts; and when they had reported he gave 
to their conclusions all the backing of his power and influence. 
Thus he came in contact with many of the most highly trained 
minds in tins country; and they, on their part, learned to respect 
him; for each contributed an essential element to the accomplish- 
ment of the work. 

Courteous and considerate in his treatment of those who came 
on business, he resented any malign interference with the proper 
conduct of District affairs. When one of the most influential politi- 
cal and traction managers in this country came to him with the 
statement that he had secured the consent of a majority of the 
members of the District Committee to the introduction of the over- 
head trolley into the city of Washington, and asked for his sup- 
port, he replied that he thought he possessed sufficient influence in 
the Senate to defeat such a scheme, and that he should exert what 
power he had to that end. 1 The threat was effective, and no further 

ir The man was Peter Dolan of Philadelphia, representing the Weidner-Elkins 
combination. 



182 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

move was made. Again, when the representatives of one of the 
leading railways secured the appointment as District Commissioner 
of a man known to be friendly to their particular interests, he told 
them with some heat that they were but misrepresenting their 
employers; that what a railroad should desire was fair treatment 
not favor; and that he would see that the nomination was not con- 
firmed. And he carried out his determination. 2 

IX. 

Mr. McMillan knew every street and road in the District of 
Columbia; and saw the possibility of realizing the dream of Wash- 
ington and Jefferson, that the capital of the United States should 
become the most attractive capital city in the world. To this end 
he devoted thought and effort, first by providing for convenience, 
good order and sanitation ; and then by the preparation of a compre- 
hensive city plan on which to build during the coming century. 
Thwarted at first by selfish and narrow interests, he finally got 
command of the situation, and with the Senate supporting him he 
proceeded to the accomplishment of his purpose. Calling to his 
aid men who had achieved such distinguished success in creating 
the architectural and landscape beauty that caused the Chicago 
World's Fair to surpass all other exhibitions of its kind both be- 
fore and since 1893, he entrusted to them the work of planning not 
only a park system for the District, but also for the placing 
of future public buildings and monuments, so that the capital 
might grow into beauty as the country increased in wealth and 
power. It would be impossible to conceive greater harmony of ac- 
tion than existed between the distinguished artists who made up 
the Senate Park Commission and the man who called them to the 
task. Daniel H. Burnham, the chairman of the Commission, pro- 
posed the removal of the Pennsylvania Railroad from government 
property where it had been located for thirty years; and Mr. Mc- 
Millan who had spent his entire legislative life so far in securing 
legislation for the abolition of grade-crossings, agreed to enter upon 
a new struggle to accomplish this further progress. Happily he 
was entirely successful, and the Union Station at Washington is 
the monumental result. When money was lacking to carry out 
the adequate preparation and presentation of the plans, he advanced 
thousands of dollars, saying that he would take his chances on 
reimbursement. 



2 The appointment was made at the end of the second Cleveland administration ; 
and with the coming of McKinley Mr. McMillan secured the reappointment of Com- 
missioner John W. Ross (Democrat), and his confirmation in spite efforts of the 
Bryan-Democrats to defeat the nomination. 



JAMES MCMILLAN 183 

The report embodying the Commission's plans, which Mr. Mc- 
Millan presented to the Senate, not only marks an epoch in the 
history of the national capital, but it is also the beginning of 
that movement for city-planning which is now spreading through- 
out this land, and which is destined to give to the American people 
cities which shall be models of convenience, order and beauty. It 
would be too much to claim that he started the movement. Sooner 
or later it was bound to come here as it had already come in Europe ; 
but certainly it was his leadership that first gave expression to 
city-planning in its very highest form the planning of a capital 
city expressive of the power, dignity and grandeur of a great 
nation. 1 

X. 

We might well rest here; but one further accomplishment claims 
brief consideration. For years the inadequate conditions prevail- 
ing at the White House, which was at once the workshop and the 
residence of the President, had led to schemes for a new building 
or for such an enlargement of the historic mansion as would have 
destroyed a landmark dear to every American. It was at this 
juncture that Mr. Charles F. McKim, one of the architects on the 
Park Commission, chanced to say to Senator McMillan that he had 
just advised Mrs. Koosevelt that no repairs Congress was disposed 
to provide for would better matters. Thereupon, Mr. McMillan 
drew from Mr. McKim a rough statement as to the cost of a 
thorough renovation of the White House and the erection of a 
separate office building. That same day, he secured in committee 
the incorporation in a pending appropriation bill of an item cover- 
ing the changes which have since been made in the White House. 
The result has been to give to the nation a home worthy of the 
dignity of its chief executive and an office building which, while 
not the final form of executive headquarters, still will serve for 
the convenient dispatch of business until Congress shall determine 
upon a structure adequate to the diverse needs of the President. 

XI. 

Will the plan of Washington be carried out? is a question fre- 
quently asked, now that the man who was responsible for it cannot 
direct its execution, and especially in view of the opposition aroused 
by the jealousy of certain leading spirits in the House of Repre- 

J The members of the Commission besides Mr. Burnham were Charles F. McKim, Augustus 
Saint-Gaudens and Frederick Law Olmstead. They restored and amplified the plan ol Wash- 
ington prepared in 1792 by Peter Charles L'Enfant, under the direction of George Washing- 
ton and Thomas Jefferson. 



184 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

sentatives, who resented the leadership of the Senate. The answer 
might be that so far not less than fifty million dollars has been 
expended on improvements which have fixed the main outlines of 
the plan. As for the future, let President Taft make reply in the 
language he used at a dinner given to him by the citizens of Wash- 
ington on May 8, 1910: 

"I know there has been discussion as to that plan. There has 
been a feeling that perhaps it was slipped onto us at one time and 
slipped in at another; but we all know, even my dear friend, good, 
old Uncle Joe, knows, that we are going to build up to that plan 
some day. 2 (Laughter and applause.) 

"It is not coming at once, but we ought to thank God that we 
have got a plan like that to build to (applause), so that when we 
go on with the improvement every dollar that we put in goes to 
make Washington beautiful a hundred years hence." 



Such in brief were some of the achievements which mark the 
public career of James McMillan. 

But what of his personality? From the galleries of the senate 
he must often have appeared but an indifferent spectator at the 
legislative business which was moving on its perfunctory course. 
His chair pushed back from his scarcely used desk, he would sit 
twirling between thumb and finger his -eye-glasses that dangled 
from their black cord. Then, apparently tired of the monotonous 
debate, he would stroll over to join a fellow senator in conversa- 
tion. As he crossed the chamber, one could not fail to observe 
that he was a handsome man ; and that his dress* was inconspicu- 
ously elegant, as indeed was his every personal belonging. 

When a legislative pause came, he was on his feet courteously 
asking unanimous consent for the passage of some bill. This 
chance he had been awaiting as patiently as a fisherman awaits the 
pull at his line. It was this vigilance that secured the passage of 
so large a share of the legislation he undertook. It was his custom 
to spend an hour at his home each morning on his private business, 
or with the callers seeking advice or aid; then to drive to the De- 
partments and thence to the Capitol for a committee-meeting. 
Noon found him in the senate with a bundle of petitions, reports 
and motions to be disposed of during the morning hour. He 
lunched with his secretary in the committee-room, and the after- 
noon was spent in the senate or in committee work. If the day 



s Mr. Cannon was a theoretical opponent of the plan after Mr. McMillan's death: but after 
two or three battles royal Mr. Cannon was found quietly supporting the plan. Up to 1914 
over $100,000,000 has been spent on buildings and grounds planned in accordance with the 
general scheme. 




BUST OF JAMES McMILLAN. 

Executed in marble by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1903; in possession of Mrs. James McMillan, 

at Washington, D. C. 



JAMES MCMILLAN 185 

was fine and business was not pressing there would be a drive out 
in the parks. Then a short rest before the eight o'clock dinner, 
which during the social season was rarely at home except when he 
acted as host. He enjoyed the theater, but often a reception oc- 
cupied the hours from ten to twelve. 

Such was the senatorial day. Is it any wonder that when sum- 
mer came, Mr. McMillan longed for the bracing air of Cape Ann, 
and for the sound of the waves as they broke upon his cliffs of 
Eagle Head? There on an estate of nearly a hundred acres, he 
rested with his wife and his children and grandchildren. Even in 
his busy Washington days he was essentially a domestic man, for 
excepting while actually at his work, some members of his family 
was usually with him; but at Eagle Head he walked through the 
woods, or played golf at the Country Club, or drove through the 
Essex Woods, apparently without a care in the world, for money 
and money-getting had long since ceased to interest him. The 
evenings were usually spent at a family game of bridge, or crib- 
bage, for he was an excellent card-player, and he usually came off 
victor. He dearly loved both to hear and to tell a good story ; and 
for those whom he knew well there was a smile in every word he 
said. Mr. McMillan read books to the limit that his eyes would 
permit, and he enjoyed being read to by his family. He bought the 
pictures he liked, and his taste constantly improved. 

In personal matters he was reticent. Brought up a Presbyterian, 
he ever maintained his membership in that church; but he was 
not given to discussing doctrines, or to questioning the faith of 
others. In so far as he thought upon such matters he was prob- 
ably extremely orthodox in his own beliefs, as he had been brought 
up to be. He never seemed to consider it a merit to be kind and 
generous and warm-hearted; to speak a cheering word, or to give 
time and thought and money to help any one who was trying to 
help himself. Sometimes he spoke of generosity as a duty; and to 
one who remonstrated with him for undue lenience he said it was 
his greatest satisfaction to know that many a young man, who had 
begun to go wrong, had been brought back to paths of honor and 
usefulness by his help. He was very human; and yet the fittest 
words to describe him are to say that he was pure in heart. 

Looking back over the last year of his life, it is easy now to see 
that he was over- worked; that even his abstemious life and the 
efforts he made to reduce the number of his social engagements 
were not able to counteract the long hours spent in ill-ventilated 
rooms over the work of the senate. It may well be believed, how- 



186 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

ever, that the loss of a brother who had been a lifelong companion, 
of a grandson to whom he was devotedly attached, and of a son, 
who never recovered from the effects of army service in Cuba, all 
coming in rapid succession, were blows that weakened the powers 
of resistance, and put an undue physical strain on his heart, an 
organ which, in spite of the reassurance of the doctors, he mis- 
trusted. He had very much to live for; few men have so much. 
At the very time when his work seemed opening out into new and 
higher fields of usefulness, he was taken without a word of 
warning. 

XI. 

When one looks upon the marble in which the greatest of Ameri- 
can sculptors, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, has chiseled the expressive 
features of the man who called him to serve with fellow artists in 
achieving one of the greatest victories of peace, one realizes that 
here indeed was a man who embodied all the qualities that go to 
make up a senator of the United States experience, intelligence, 
force, gentleness, high-mindedness and a love of the highest things 
of life. Proverbially republics are ungrateful; but in the fair city 
of Washington, in a park named in his honor, the people whom he 
so faithfully served and who loyally returned him to the Senate, 
are erecting no statue of bronze or of marble to pass with the 
fashion of the day, but a fountain of living water, the one kind of 
monument which through the ages has proved an imperishable 
memorial. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

Issues of the Presidential Campaign, by Senator James McMillan, 
North American Review, March 1892. 

The Keform of the Currency System; speech of Hon. James Mc- 
Millan in the Senate of the United States, October 2, 1893 ; Wa^h- 
ington 1893. 

Michigan, Canada and the Tariff; speech in the Senate April 19, 
1894: Washington, Judd & Detweiler, printers, 1894. 

The American Academy in Rome; North American Review, vol. 
174, page 625. 

The Improvement of the Park System of the District of Colum- 
bia; report by Mr. McMillan from Senate Committee on the Dis- 
trict of Columbia; report of the Park Commission (Daniel H. 
Beemham, Charles F. McKim, August Saint Graudens, Frederick 
Law Olmsted) ; edited by Charles Moore; Washington, Government 
Printing Office, 1902 (Senate Report No. 166, 57th Congress, 1st 
session). 

Purification of the Washington Water Supply; report of Mr. 



JAMES MCMILLAN 187 

McMillan from the Senate Committee on the District of Columbia; 
hearings conducted by Mr. McMillan at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, 
N. Y., January 4th, 1901 ; papers on water purification ; edited and 
compiled by Chas. Moore; Washington, 1903 (Senate Report No. 
2380, 56th Congress, 2nd session). 

Charities and Reformatory Institutions in the District of Colum- 
bia; report by Mr. McMillan from the Joint Select Committee to 
investigate the charities and reformatory institutions in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia ; part 1, Hearings, statements reports from cities, 
suggestions for a board of charities; part 2, Report; Part 3, His- 
torical sketches of the charities and reformatory institutions of the 
District of Columbia; edited and compiled by Charles Moore (55th 
Congress 1st session, Document No. 185 ; second session Report No. 
700; March 28, 1898, supplemental report). 

James McMillan (late Senator from Michigan) Memorial ad- 
dresses delivered in the Senate and House of Representatives, Fifty- 
seventh Congress, Second session; Washington, Government Print- 
ing Office 1903. 

In memory of Hon. James McMillan, Senator in the Congress of 
the United States from Michigan, Proceedings of the Senate and 
House of Representatives in joint convention Wednesday, April 
second, 1903; sketch of Senator McMillan's life by Charles Moore; 
published by authority of the Legislature of 1903. 

Car-building in the United States; chapter by James McMillan 
in One Hundred Years of American Commerce, edited by Chauncey 
Depew, New York, 1896. 

Proceedings in the Republican Legislative Caucuses of 1899 and 
1895 on the occasion, of the nomination of James McMillan for 
United States Senator ; New York ; the De Vinne Press, 1895. 



WILL CARLETON: MICHIGAN'S POET. 



Br BYRON A. FINNEY 



WILL CARLETON, MICHIGAN'S POET. 

BY BYRON A. FINNEY 1 

WILL CARLETON, whose writings have for many years en- 
deared him to the people of this State as Michigan's repre- 
sentative poet, died at his home in Brooklyn, N. Y., after a few 
days' illness of pneumonia, December 18, 1912, at the age of 67 
years. 

He had lived away from Michigan for the latter half of his life, 
but if he had not left his whole heart in Michigan, he had always 
carried Michigan in his heart, and it is fitting that some recogni- 
tion of his life and work should appear in the proceedings of this 
society. 

Will (christened William McKendree) Carleton was born, Octo- 
ber 21, 1845, on the sixty acre farm where the old homestead still 
stands, two miles east of the village of Hudson, Lenawee County, 
near the southern boundary of the state, on the line of the Lake 
Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. 

Mr. Carleton's parents, John Hancock and Celestia E. Smith Carle- 
ton, were pioneer settlers in Hudson township. His ancestry was 
English, through New Hampshire. In their religious opinions both 
Mr. and Mrs. Carleton were ardent Methodists, and Mr. Carleton 
was class-leader in the village Methodist Episcopal church for many 
years, until his death in 1872 at the age of seventy. He was a man 
of sterling probity, somewhat austere in manner, much liked and 
respected in the community. 



A paper read at the midwinter meeting of the Michigan State Pioneer and Historical Society, 
at Port Huron, February 6, 1P14. 

iByron Alfred Finney, son of Alfred A. and Harriet C. (Kidder) Finney, was born 
near Hudson, Lenawee county, Michigan, January 26, 1849. He comes from sturdy 
pioneer farmer stock, his grandparents having come from Vermont and Western New 
York among the earliest settlers of the Bean Creek Valley. 

He was educated in the Hudson schools, Hillsdale College, 1865-8, and the Uni- 
versity of Michigan, 1868-71, receiving the degree of A. B. He is secretary of the 
class of '71. 

After several years of mercantile life in Hudson he was married, Aug. 28, 1881, 
to Ida L. Carrel, of Butler, Ind., and the next two years were passed in travel and 
study in Europe. From 1883 to 1891 he was connected with the Lake Shore and 
Michigan Southern Railway in the office of the superintendent of the Michigan 
Division at Toledo, O., and since 1891 has held the position of Reference Librarian 
in the library of the University of Michigan. 

He attended the Summer Library School at Amherst College in 1894, has helped 
to organize libraries, and has contributed articles to library and bibliographical 
periodicals. 

He has been secretary of the Ann Arbor Humane Society since its organization in 
1894, and has served on the board of the State Humane Association. For many 
years he has taken an active interest in The Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. 
Among other societies of which he is a member are : American Library Association, 
Michigan Library Association, Bibliographical Society of America, American Historical 
Association, National Geographic Society. 

Address : Ann Arbor, Mich. 



192 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Young Will grew up in the strictness of the faith, but became quite 
liberal in after years. From the time of his marriage in 1882 he 
was more associated with the Free Will Baptist denomination, in 
the missionary work of which Mrs. Carleton was quite active. He 
was one of the Trustees of the college of that denomination at 
Hillsdale from 1887 until his death. 

The writer of the present paper has had some special opportunity 
for this task though for him it is not a task for he grew up with 
Carleton as a boyhood and school companion, and the intimacy of 
friendship was only interrupted through his whole lifetime by the 
varying circumstances of separated occupations and residence. 

By the marriage of Will's elder sister, Mary Ann, to my uncle, 
Addison N. Kidder, of Hudson, we boys were thrown into, close 
relationship from the time when he was thirteen years of age and I 
was ten. 

My home was in the village and his was the old homestead, two 
miles directly east of Hudson, and in the interchange of our boyish 
visits I slept many a night with him in the old house out of which 
"Nancy" moved "into the new." The "old" was a log house, which 
became a wing when the frame upright was built. The log wing 
was afterward replaced by a frame one, as it stands today. 

This comradeship was kept up during our school life in the vil- 
lage of Hudson to which he was in the habit of walking daily to 
school in good weather, the round trip from the school house mak- 
ing about five miles a day. Until he passed the grade of instruc- 
tion which it gave he went to the school on the east side of the 
village, which was nearer his home. During the winter of 1862-3 
he roomed during the school days of the week at the home of an 
elder sister, Almira (Mrs. Heman Goodrich), near the Union school 
on the west side. There many an evening did I study with him and 
help him in his Latin which I had begun before him. Another 
schoolmate, Alonzo B. Bragdon, who has been a practicing attorney 
in Monroe for many years and is now city attorney under the new 
commission, took turns with me, in this same pleasure. 

Carleton went to Hillsdale, in 1862 ; then went out to teach, return- 
ing to college in 1865. I followed, entering there in the fall of the same 
year. We were always chums and during the second year roomed to- 
gether in the west wing of the College building, which, above the first 
floor, was a dormitory for men students. During this period, when he 
was not studying, writing, or blowing a horn (he organized and led 
the college band, and played the E-b cornet, and played it strong, too), 
he was practicing his poetry on me. I didn't hesitate to criticize it 




WILL CARLETON. 

Taken in his old home near Hudson, Michigan, on his birthday, Oct. 26, 1902, during the 

Carleton Home-coming. 



WILL CARLETON 193 

either, but found out afterwards that he was working me for that 
frank criticism. 

As there has been some question as to the date when Carleton 
first went to Hillsdale College, I will quote from a letter of his to 
Mr. Bragdon, under date of August 18, 1910: 

"Yes, I entered Hillsdale in '65, and graduated in '69. My 
'preparation' was a fragmentary and tempestuous one full of 
fights, follies, frolics and phantasies but with a steady determina- 
tion under them all, to 'get there.' I read every book I could buy 
or borrow, believed what I wanted of them, laughed at the rest, and 
went on 'swimming through the dewdrops.' I saw a good deal of 
Finney, and was diverted from solider pursuits by his confounded 
dramatic hunches, which, however, did me a lot of good afterward. 
I fell in and associated with you which was an education in 
itself..." 

The poems which Carleton had written during his college course 
and shortly after were gathered into a small volume and published by 
the Lakeside Publishing Company, Chicago, in 1871. They attracted 
little attention; not so much, perhaps, as one which had not been 
included in the volume. This was a political, satirical poem, which 
was delivered by its author at Republican mass-meetings during 
the Presidential campaign of 1868. It was quite popular, and was 
published in pamphlet form under the title, "Fax." 

While in school Carleton had been contributing items and "write- 
up"" notices to the newspapers, with the fixed idea of taking up 
journalism for a life work, and during the first three years after 
graduation he was connected with the Western Rural, Chicago, 
the Hillsdale Standard, and the Detroit Weekly Tribune. It 
was during this time, early in 1871, that his poem "Betsey and I 
are out" appeared in the Toledo Blade. It was copied all over 
the country and attracted the notice of the New York publishers, 
Harper & Brothers, who gave it a prominent page, with illustra- 
tion, in Hwper's Weekly. They followed this with several other of 
his poems, taken from the Detroit Tribune, or written for Harper's 
Weekly, under the series title of "Farm Ballads." This was the 
beginning of their popular volumes of his "Ballads," "Legends." 
and "Festivals." 

From this period Carleton devoted himself to authorship and 
the lecture platform, and became known to the country at large, 
as well as to Michigan, as the poet-spokesman of the farmer and 
the everyday citizen. He could not resist entirely the journalistic 
call, and in 1894 established a family magazine, Every Where, 
published monthly in Brooklyn, N. Y., and which he conducted for 
nearly twenty years, until his death. To this magazine he con- 
25 



194 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

tributed many prose articles, and a poem regularly to each issue. 
A list of his published works is appended to this paper. 

Of his early period of aspiration Mr. Carleton gives some inter- 
esting reminiscences, in an article which he contributed to Lippin- 
cott's Magazine for April 1887 (39:670-6), entitled "Experiences 
of a public lecturer," from which I quote: 

"My lecturing efforts began at home, upon my father's farm. 
Having succeeded in hearing two or three good speakers who had 
visited our little neighboring village, I decided straightway that 
forensic effort w T as to be part of my life-business. So the sheep and 
cattle were obliged to hear various emotional opinions on subjects 
of more or less importance, and our steeds of the plough enjoyed 
a great many comfortable rests between furrows in order to 'assist' 
at my oratorical displays. One of them persisted in always going 
to sleep before the discourse was finished a custom that is not 
obsolete even among his human superiors. 

The first lecture-course of this series came to an end quite sud- 
denly; for my shrewd, hard-headed New-England father began to 
suspect that agriculture was being sacrificed to eloquence. So he 
appeared unexpectedly in the audience during a matinee., and told 
me he had heard most of the harangue, and that he feared I was 
spoiling a tolerably good farmer to become an intolerably bad 
orator. Though of a kindly, generous disposition, he could throw 
into his less gracious words a great deal of sarcasm to the square 
inch, and the lecturer of the afternoon, crushed but not convinced, 
wakened the off-horse and thoughtfully drove his plough towards 
the blue woods at the other end of the furrow. 

It is a pleasant memory that my father lived to see me earning 
a hundred dollars a night and admitted, with a grave twinkle in 
his eye, that, having looked the matter over from a non-agricultural 
stand-point, he had concluded there was more in me than he had 
supposed. 

But in those boy-days both lecturing and literature developed 
very slowly. How was I to get audiences, either for pen or voice ? . . . 
There seemed little hope for a beginner. 

But the great secret of commencing is to oommence where one 
can. During my course in college it appeared that several small 
towns in the country which could not afford expensive lectures 
wanted and would pay for something to amuse them for an evening ; 
that there existed among these people a class who were tired of 
burnt-cork and sleight-of-hand shows, and wanted something which 
professed to be intellectual; and so I 'did' all the neighboring ham- 
lets that I could induce to hear me. The financial advantage was 
not bewildering, and generally consisted of half the net proceeds. 
After the door-keeper had his percentage, and the sexton his 
guerdon, and the printer his dues, and the bill-poster his back-pay, 
the half of what was left was almost as much as the whole of it 
(although even then perhaps worth as much as the entertainment). 

But the practice of meeting audiences of all descriptions has 



WILL CARLETON 195 

proved invaluable ever since. Declaiming upon the sea-shore would 
have been a tender, mild sort of discipline compared to it. Mothers 
brought their babies, and they competed with me for a hearing; 
coughs and sneezes and clearings of husky throats were seldom 
suppressed; and most of the cheering, if done at all, came from the 
leathern-clad palm of the foot, rather than from the softly sonorous 
surface of the hand. But these country-people had as good hearts 
and as healthy brains as can be found in city or university, and I 
always went away in love with my audience. 'You have let con- 
siderable light into this district,' said one bright-eyed farmer boy; 
'and you've started me on the up-track.' My payment for that 
evening's work was five dollars and a half in money, and a compli- 
ment estimated at, at least, a million dollars. The rough, home- 
spun fellow who gave it may not read this, for he has gone on into 
the Great Unknown ; but he holds an earthly residence in at least 
one heart. 

My resources from the platform slowly increased, and finally 
resulted in enough to pay a fair portion of the expenses of a college 
course. Soon after graduation, I began to receive calls from various 
towns in the State, w r hich were becoming acquainted with me 
through my literary work. This soon extended to adjoining states, 
and so all over this country and England, and gave me some very 
interesting experiences, and many first-class exhibits of human 
nature." 

President J. W. Mauck, of Hillsdale College, who knew Carleton 
well for so many years, expressed the following appreciation of him 
in the "Collegian," the Hillsdale College semi-monthly ma-gazine, 
for January 9, 1913 : 

"We best knew him as Will Carleton. Few ever heard his second 
name, McKendree from the bishop of the Methodist church, given 
to him by the parents of whose genuine faith and life he has spoken 
in tender filial terms in the writer's presence. His graduating part 
in June, 1869, was a poem (Rifts in the cloud), whose merit Presi- 
dent Fairfield attested by seizing a bouquet from the platform and 
throwing it to the young poet after he had taken his place with 
his class. ... He was long a trustee of the college, a member of 
the board when he died, and although he could not regularly attend 
its meetings, he took a lively interest in its proceedings and in all 
things that concerned the institution. He was wont to express 
his gratitude to the college which, he said, had befriended him at a 
time when he could not have gone far from home, and made possible 
for him a better and more fruitful career. 

He was married March 2, 1882, to Adora Mies Goodell, a charm- 
ing woman who had served with the highest efficiency as a Christian 
missionary in Burmah and was compelled by impaired health to 
return home. During her several visits to the college she won the 
hearty esteem of all who met her. They lived most happily until 
separated by death in a peculiarly sad and sudden way. He had 
returned from a lecture tour and they were unusually buoyant at 
dinner. She went to her room to prepare to go with him to a lee- 



196 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

ture when attracted by a fall, he hurried to her just as she expired 
from apoplexy. Mrs. Carleton was the founder of one of the well 
known missionary bands of young women, and Mr. Carleton liber- 
ally supported it both before and after her death. In a measure 
known to few, hospitals, homes for the needy and unfortunate indi- 
viduals found in him a generous benefactor in material aid, be- 
stowed in a simple way, and enriched by an almost prodigal use 
of his time in personal calls and entertainments. In such service he 
contributed as much in the current flow of life as others who have 
become more widely known by one or a few of the more conspicuous 
gifts. A larger part of his somewhat liberal income went into such 
channels than the public knew. . . . Mr. Carleton did in effect 'dip 
his pen in his own heart and wrote of the hopes and the loves and 
the tears' of humanity. He voiced with fidelity the homely senti- 
ments which are common to all, but which few can express, and 
he ennobled those emotions which are more vital than the most 
finished literary forms or highest intellectual reaches. He stirred 
the springs of the saner emotions, inspired men to better resolves 
and shamed them for their foibles and pretences." 

Carrying out the idea of President Mauck, of Hillsdale College, 
it was arranged that Mr. Carleton should be present at his old 
home and birth place, east of Hudson, for a "home-coming" on 
Saturday, October 26, 1907, as near as possible to the poet's 
birthday. 

A special train from Hillsdale brought faculty and students, and 
citizens from all along the line. The following towns were repre- 
sented: Coldwater, Quincy, Hillsdale, Osseo, Pittsford, Clayton, 
Blissfield, North Adams, Reading, Jonesville, Hudson, Adrian. 

Mayors and representative citizens brought resolutions of honor 
and appreciation. Farmers located away from the railroad drove 
in from many miles, and trains made stops at the farm house dur- 
ing the day. 

The following description of the occasion is from the pen of 
James O'Donnell Bennett as reported in the Chicago Record-Herald 
of Monday, October 28, 1907: 

It is a striking thing that a farming region for a radius of fifty 
miles should pour out its plowmen and parsons, school children 
and its shopkeepers to honor the man who had taught them that 
there was poetry in every aspect of their practical lives and the 
sedate landscape. Half a mile down the highway from the Carleton 
farm stands the stocky, box-like little white schoolhouse where the 
poet learned his three "R's." They call it now the "Carleton 
School," and a portrait of him hangs on the walls along with one 
of the president. A flag fluttered in the doorway. Great sprays 
of asparagus and red berries were the interior decorations. To 
this one-story, one-room structure, which stands in a lonely place 
at the intersection of the roads, the pilgrims repaired at 9 o'clock. 
In accordance with ancient district school tradition the room was 




WILL VARLETON 197 

insufferably hot, a sheet iron stove working overtime in the centre 
aisle. On the blackboard in the round, correct hand of the teacher 
were chalked these words: 

Boys flying kites haul in their white-winged birds; 
You can't do that way when you're flying words. 
Thoughts unexpressed may sometimes fall back dead, 
But God Himself can't kill them when they're said. 

The lines were signed "Carleton." 

There was much speechifying at the schoolhouse, which was 
packed with old friends, who were called upon by President Mauck 
as if they still were school children. Mr. Williams, now the digni- 
fied Chicago publisher in the Fine Arts Building, was introduced as 
"Little Jimmy Williams who will now speak his peace." 

"Bless me, bless me," he responded as he clambered on a chair. 
"Nobody has called me that since I was a boy out here," and he 
recalled how, when he and Rose Hartwick Thorpe, author of 
"Curfew Shall Not Ring To-night," were teaching school together 
in 1869, he had arranged the first programme of public readings 
Will Carleton had ever presented. It was for the benefit of a fund 
to buy an organ for the school. Mr. Carleton, when he mounted 
the chair, addressed the assemblage as follows: 

"Fellow Pupils, and Schoolmaster and Boys and Girls I look 
around this room and I pick out the places where I used to sit; 
sometimes it was over by that window, sometimes there, sometimes, 
I grieve to say, on the floor when I had been bad and was caught 
at it. In a general way I may say that I -sought the best place 
and then held it down as long as I could. I have been trying to 
do that in life ever since." 

He told how he had been larruped by the schoolmaster when 
he was detected writing a combination of epigram and epitaph 
that should embalm the failings of that long-gone pedagogue and 
he insisted that he never would have been caught if the rhyme for 
the last line had not stumped him and caused a fatal delay. A 
baby began to cry lustily while he was speaking and there were 
ominous whispers from some of the committeemen. "That kid 
was named after me. Don't put him out. I can talk louder than 
he can. It's all right." 

Then he spoke of the old days and he thought they were good 
days, "but these are better," he said, "we must not fondle the' 
past too much. We want to go forward. Look ahead. You'll be 
happier for it. Keep on the pilot of the engine if you can." 

Then he recited that rich, racy old poem of his, "The School- 
master's Guests," and after that the Pilgrims trooped down the 
highway to the homestead, where there were more speeches. 



198 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

This house is the original of the one Mr. Carleton describes in 
one of the most affecting of his poems, "Out of the Old House, 
Nancy; Moved Up Into the New." He incorporated it into the 
speech he made from the porch. The structure has been enlarged 
and is now a trim, white two-story dwelling with one ell. The old 
part is the ell and it bears its more than seventy years nobly. 
There you can see the rooms which once were one, for the poem 
says, "Kitchen, bedrooms, parlor, we had 'eni all in one." Now 
there is a telephone in the doorway old chief Bawbeese blessed, 
an iron windmill clacked sarcastically in the yard while the poet 
of the plain people was speaking. The turf around the house is 
green and firm where once stood a virgin forest. Barns and out- 
houses rise in the rear of the house and to-day farm wagons from 
all over the neighborhood were bivouacked there. Mr. and Mrs. J. 
Emmett Kies now farm this place for Mr. Carleton. 

As he surveyed the throng around him he said : 

"If I were in the habit of letting my feelings overcome me I 
would be crying now. If anybody else here wants to cry, however, 
I shall be glad to see them at it. Dear neighbors, I don't know 
why you should honor me today as you do by your presence here. 
In regard to this locality and my relations with it I don't want 
to be egotistical, but I know that is what you want me to talk 
about. I had a father a mighty good one. too and if it were he 
whom you met to honor you would understand it. Maybe he's here 
to-day. I hope he is. 

My sweet mother, I used to think, lived in two worlds at oni 1 
time, here and in heaven. But her religion was cheery and help- 
ful. Night after night she was with the sick not as a trained 
nurse, except as love and duty and devotion trained her not as 
a paid nurse except as God was her paymaster. 

Three years ago my wife, who I pray could have lived to see 
this day, went away to a better land, and on her tomb in Green- 
wood we carved the words, 'She made home her palace.' So I 
stand here the last of my race. 

Friends, this spot is very dear, very sacred to me. From where 
I stand the throne of grace had been invoked not 1,000 times, not 
5,000 nor 10,000, but as I compute it 30,000. And so I say to you 
that great influences are hovering here, teaching us still that un- 
less our hands take hold on the world above, our feet can find no 
firm foundation in this world we inhabit here." 

He closed by reciting "Out of the Old House, Nancy," for them 
and then there was great handshaking and album signing and good 
old-fashioned visits and the singing of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." 

Thus was the poet of the farm crowned by the people of Michigan 
with the maple leaves of gold and scarlet that he loves. They did 
it because he has added something to the body of poetry that all 
the world knows and has committed to the heart of memory. 



WILL CARLETON 199 

The Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society has had opportunity 
to express personal appreciation of the poet of the pioneers. In 
response to a request from the society, Mr. Carleton gave an ad- 
dress at its annual meeting in Lansing, on the evening of June 8, 
1910, which was thus reported in the "State Republican" the fol- 
lowing day: 

"Will Carleton is what some people would call a natural poet, in 
that his poetry has nothing to do with what he would call the 
'high falutin' aspects of life. This is the idea one gets from his 
poetry and that is the idea that he gives when seen in person. His 
talk before the Michigan Pioneer and Historical society Wednes- 
day evening brought this year's session to a pleasing and fitting 
close. He talked of Michigan folks and ways and recited several 
of his Michigan poems in so entertaining a manner that an un- 
comfortably large audience sat, stood and perched around the sen- 
ate chamber for two hours in order to catch every word he said. 

'I am glad of the opportunity to talk before the Michigan Pio- 
neer and Historical society and am well fitted to speak about the 
early days,' : said Mr. Carleton. 'I know all about the pioneer days, 
I know all about the hardships of those times and I know all about 
the wilderness and its dangers. My father told me.' 

Mr. Carleton went on to tell about his early experiences as a 
pupil and a teacher in a district school and in the course of his talk 
recited such favorite selections from his own works as 'Elder 
Lamb's Donation Party,' 'The District School,' 'The Old Log 
House,' and 'Over the Hill to the Poor House,' to the great delight 
of his audience. Besides these he took occasion to introduce some 
.small exposition of his philosophy of life." 

That Carleton had a message for his readers, and that he wrote 
for their sympathy and friendship, is clearly seen in his preface 
to the "City Legends" (1889), as follows: 

"It will be noticed that, these Legends are divided into seven 
different Chains. Whether the links of dialogue and interlude with 
which they are connected be gold, silver, or base metal, the author 
will not say he really does not pretend to know. Whether the 
pendants of poems that hang from them be diamonds, pearls, 
rubies, or worthless paste, how can he guarantee? Literary 
jewelry (if poetry may be so called) depends largely for its value 
upon the eyes that gaze upon it and the hearts that wear it. 

The real preface to this book is formed by those which have pre- 
ceded it from the same author; a like purpose actuates them all. 
But he takes another opportunity to thank his large family of 
readers for their continued faithfulness and loyalty, and to assure 
them that he is still laboring to deserve their respect and affection." 



200 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

CARLBTON DEDICATIONS. 

Some idea of the spirit in which he wrote may be gained from the 
dedications of his volumes. 

Poems. "This little volume is reverently and affectionately dedi- 
cated to my father and mother." 

Farm Ballads 1873. "To my mother." This was after his 
father's death in 1872. 

Farm Legends 1875. "To the memory of a nobleman, my farmer 
father." 

Farm Festivals 1881. "To sisters and brother, all gone on through 
sad, mysterious mists into the great brightness." 

City Ballads 1885 "To Adora, friend, comrade, lover, wife." After 
their marriage, 1882. 

City Festivals 1892. "To God, the great father, to earth, the 
great mother and to the suffering, sorrowing, rejoicing, conquering,, 
human race, all sisters and brothers." 

Harper's Weekly, in which the earlier "Farm Ballads" appeared 
in 1871, and to which Carleton occasionally contributed poems and 
articles in prose throughout his life, has this to say of him in its 
number for December 28, 1912, the next issue after his death : 

"With the passing of Will Carleton, America loses the most popu- 
lar of her poets and the one whose writings have been more widely 
read and appreciated than those of any poet since the days of 
Whittier and Longfellow. There is hardly an English-speaking 
home in America it might almost be said in the English-speaking 
world where 'Over the Hill to the Poorhouse' and 'Betsey and 
I Are Out' are unknown. W T ill Carleton's works still command 
heavy sales, and selections from his poems have long ago been in- 
corporated into popular anthologies. As a lecturer Carleton was 
well known throughout this country, and if he occupied a compara- 
tively small space in the columns of the periodical press it was be- 
cause he had been known so long that he had been accepted as an 
institution. He was little discussed because he had passed into 
history 

Will Carleton had a happy knack of attracting the reader by the 
simplicity of his themes and their pathetic or humorous appeal. 
His poem, The Sandalmaker of Babylon,' which appeared in 
Harper's Weekly as long ago as 1889, was reprinted in this publi- 
cation, by request, in the issue of October 28, 1911." 

To settle any question as to lack of cordiality in the relations 
between Messrs. Harper and Bros, and Mr. Carleton during late 
years on account of his publications being issued by the Every- 



WILL CARLETON 201 

where Publishing Co., let me quote the following letter just received 
from Harper and Bros, under the date of February 2, 1914: 
"Dear Sir: 

Your letter of the 31st ultimo is at hand. 

In reply, we hasten to assure you that, as we wrote you, our re- 
itions with Mr. Will Carleton were uninterrupted until his death. 
There was nothing but cordial feeling on both sides. He was frank 
and straightforward in his dealings, honorable in his business 
transactions and highly appreciative of similar treatment on the 
part of others. He had, we thought, a high sense of taasiness honor. 
We hold him in respect, and we believe that he entertained the 
same feeling toward us. 

Very truly yours, 
HARPER & BROTHERS, 
B. A. Finney, Esq., 
University of Michigan, 
Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Like all great master spirits who have risen above their sur- 
roundings to stand as types of their people and to voice their 
moods and feelings, their actuals and their ideals, Carleton was 
not alone the embodiment of his own genius, but the product of 
his age and environment. The farmer-pioneers needed a voice to 
sing the exaltation of their homely life and he responded. From 
their own body came the singer with their heart-throbs bursting 
into song. 

Michigan should not, and shall not, forget her poet. In Monroe 
county we have named a village after him, and there are "Carleton" 
reading clubs. Though the farmer pioneers shall pass away, their 
children and their children's children shall cherish the memory of 
him who sang their struggles and their aspirations. It will be the 
good fortune of the school children of Michigan, of whom Carleton 
was one, to hold dear the memory, and to honor the example, of the 
poet who proved the value of an education and devoted it to the 
service of his fellow people. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

Fax. A campaign poem by Will M. Carleton. 16 p. 12mo. Chi- 
cago, Western News Co., 1868. 

Poems, by Will M. Carleton. 144 & 1 pp. 12 mo. Chicago, 
Lakeside Pub. & Printing Co., 1871. (Copyrighted, 1871, by Will M. 
Carleton). 



202 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Farm Ballads, by Will Carleton. 108 p. sq. 8vo. illus. N, 
Y. Harper & Bros. 1873. New editions 1882 and (12mo) 1898 
cop. 1873, 1882, 1899. 

Farm Legends, 187 p. 8 vo. illus. N. Y., Harper & Bros. 1875 
new ed. 1887. 

Young Folks' Centennial, rhymes. 12mo. N. Y. Harper & Bros. 
1876. 

My Wife and I Quarrelled; (also) Betsey and I Are Out. sq. 
18 mo. N. Y., G. W. Carleton & Co. 1877. 

Farm Festivals, 167 p. sq. 8 vo. illus. N. Y. Harper & Bros. 1881. 
new ed. 1909 (Pub. Wkly. '81 No. 494). 

Geraldine; a Romance in Verse. 18mo ; anon. Boston 1881. Det. 
Pub. Lib. 811 C2f Geraldine; a souvenir of the St. Lawrence. 16mo. 
Bost. 1881. 

City Ballads, 180 p. sq. 8vo. illus. N. Y. Harper & Bros. 1885, 
|2.00. (Pub. Wkly. 86 No. 709.) 

City Legends, 8vo. illus. N. Y. Harper & Bros. 1890 (c 1889) 
|2.00. new ed. VIII 166 p. 12mo. 1898. 

City Festivals, 146 p. sq 8vo. illus. N. Y. Harper & Bros. 1892. 

Rhymes of Our Planet. 8 & 195 p. 12mo. port, illus. N. Y. 
Harper & Bros. 1895. $1.25. 

The Old Infant and similar stories. 2 & 223 p. 12mo. N. Y, 
Harper & Bros. 1896 ($1.25). 

Songs of Two Centuries. 5 & 157 p. 8vo. illus. N. Y. Harper & 
Bros. 1902. ($1.50). Descriptive note in Am. Cat, annual 1902). 

Poems for Young Americans. 3 and 130 p. 12mo. illus. N. Y. 
Harper & Bros. 1906 (Oct 20) ($1.25). 

In Old School Days. 3 & 76 p. 8vo. colored frontispiece. 11 col- 
ored plates, illus. by James Montgomery Flagg. N. Y. Moffat, Yard 
& Co. 1907 (Nov. 16) ($1.60). 

Drifted In. 7 & 144 p. 8vo. illus. N. Y. Moffat, Yard & Co. 1908. 
(fl-50). 

A Thousand Thoughts from Will Carleton, with index of subjects. 
159 p. 16mo. N. Y. Every Where Publishing Co. 1908. 

A Thousand More Verses. 141 p. 16mo. port. N. Y. Every Where 
Publishing Co., 1912. ($.50). 

Every Where. Will Carleton's magazine. Monthly. Brooklyn, 
N. Y. Sept. 1894-Feb. 1913. Besides the editorial conduct of the 
magazine, which had a circulation of 50,000, and furnishing many 
unsigned articles in prose, Mr. Carleton contributed a poem to 
each issue. 

The Romance of St. Paul (A story in prose), Every Where 25:7- 
26:153 (Sept. '09-May 1910). 



WILL OARLETON 203 

DRAMAS. Published by the Globe Literary Bureau (copyright 
by Will Carleton), N. Y. 1909 25c each. (Right of representation 
reserved. ) 

Arnold and Talleyrand. Drama in two acts. 37 p. Produced at 
the Waldorf-Astoria. N. Y. Jan. 29, 1909. 

The Burglar-Bracelets. A farce in one act. 29 p. Produced at 
the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, Jan. 29, 1909. 

The Duke and the King. A drama in one act. 17 p. 

Tainted Money. A farce in one act. 

Lower Thirteen. A farce in one act. 



CORRECTION OF THE WILL CARL-ETON KJLIOGRAPHY IN VOLUME 
39 OF THE MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS, PAGE 202. 

The following two items should not have been included: 

My Wife and I Quarrelled. 1877. (This was written by Mrs, Emerson- 
French, who made a claim to the authorship of Carleton's poem "Betsey and 
I Are Out." 

Geraldine; a Romance in Verse. 1881. (This was written by Alonzo Hop- 
kins, but published anonymously.) 

Both were taken hastily from catalogs, and should be erased. 

The title note under the portrait of Will Carleton, page 192, should read 
1907, and the words "on his birthday" should be erased. 

Byron A. Finney 
Ann Arbor 
September, 1922 

Please attach this slip to page 2O3 



202 



MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



Farm Ballads, by Will Carleton. 108 p. sq. 8vo. illus. N, 
Y. Harper & Bros. 1873. New editions 1882 and (12mo) 1898 
cop. 1873, 1882, 1899. 

Farm Legends, 187 p. 8 vo. illus. N. Y., Harper & Bros. 1875 
new ed. 1887. 

Young Folks' Centennial, rhymes. 12mo. N. Y. Harper & Bros. 
1876. 

My Wife and I Quarrelled; (also) Betsey and I Are Out. sq. 
18 mo. N. Y., G. W. Carleton & Co. 1877. 

Farm Festivals, 167 p. sq. 8 vo. illus. N. Y. Harper & Bros. 1881. 
new ed. 1909 (Pub. Wkly. '81 No. 494). 

Geraldine; a Eomance in Verse. 18mo. anon. Boston 
Pub. Lib. 811 




irum will Carleton, with index of subjects. 
159 p. 16mo. N. Y. Every Where Publishing Co. 1908. 

A Thousand More Verses. 141 p. 16mo. port. N. Y. Every Where 
Publishing Co., 1912. ($.50). 

Every Where. Will Carleton's magazine. Monthly. Brooklyn, 
N. Y. Sept. 1894-Feb. 1913. Besides the editorial conduct of the 
magazine, which had a circulation of 50,000, and furnishing many 
unsigned articles in prose, Mr. Carleton contributed a poem to 
each issue. 

The Romance of St. Paul (A story in prose) , Every Where 25 :7- 
26:153 (Sept. ? 09-May 1910). 



WILL CARLETON 203 

DRAMAS. Published by the Globe Literary Bureau (copyright 
by Will Carleton), N. Y. 1909 25c each. (Right of representation 
reserved.) 

Arnold and Talleyrand. Drama in two acts. 37 p. Produced at 
the Waldorf-Astoria. N. Y. Jan. 29, 1909. 

The Burglar-Bracelets. A farce in one act. 29 p. Produced at 
the Waldorf-Astoria, New York, Jan. 29, 1909. 

The Duke and the King. A drama in one act. 17 p. 

Tainted Money. A farce in one act. 

Lower Thirteen. A farce in one act. 



THOMAS WITHERELL PALMER 



BY M. AGNES BURTON 



THOMAS WITHERELL PALMER 

BY M. AGNES BURTON 

THOMAS WITHERELL PALMER, only sou of Thomas Palmer 
and Mary A. Witherell, was born in Detroit, Michigan, Janu- 
ary 25, 1830, in a brick building on the southeast corner of Jefferson 
avenue and Griswold street. His ancestors, both paternal and ma- 
ternal, were among the first New Englanders to seek a home in the 
west. 

Thomas Palmer, the father of Thomas W. Palmer; was bora at 
Ashford, Conn., February 4, 1789. When eighteen years of age, 
in company with an older brother, Friend, he became an itinerant 
merchant, a common vocation in New England at that time. They 
set out with a stock of general merchandise and a span of horses, 
traveling through Western Canada until they reached Maiden. 
Here they established themselves and carried on a successful busi- 
ness until the War of 1812, when they were made prisoners. After 
being held five weeks and being unwilling to take the oath of al- 
legiance to Great Britain, they were transported over the river to 
Monguagon. They proceeded to Detroit and were very soon again 
made prisoners. This time they were released on parole and returned 
to Connecticut. Again they set out with merchandise and making 
their headquarters at Canandaigua, New York, Thomas departed for 
Canada and Detroit, arriving at the latter place on June 16, 1815. 

From this date Thomas Palmer made Detroit his permanent resi- 
dence and became the western representative of the firm F. and T. 
Palmer. In 1820 he built the brick building on the southeast cor- 
ner of Jefferson avenue and Griswold street, with a store on the 
first floor and his home above. The firm flourished until 1824 when 
the partnership was dissolved and from that time on Thomas was 
interested in various projects of importance. 

In 1823 he contracted in conjunction with David C. McKinstry 
and DeGarmo Jones to build the court house for the city of De- 
troit. This building was to be completed December 1, 1824 and 
in payment for the work the contractors received lands in the Ten 
Thousand Acre Tract and one hundred forty-four city lots. The 
larger share of this property subsequently came into the possession 

*Read by Mr. C. M. Burton at the Midwinter Meeting, Port Huron, February 5, 1914. 



208 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

of the Palmer family through purchase. He had a share in one 
of the wharfs on the river; took contracts for grading and hauling; 
owned valuable lands in St. Clair county, where he laid out the 
village of Palmer (later called St. Clair) and operated a saw mill 
thereon ; had a lumber yard at the foot of Bates street, Detroit ; 
owned interests in several of the steamboats on the river at various 
times, and in 1845 speculated in Lake Superior mining lands. He 
was intimately connected with the building of the First Baptist 
Church, contributing money and lumber for its construction and 
was a stockholder in the Association for Promoting Female Educa- 
tion in Detroit. In 1819 he was one of the trustees of the town 
and he served as alderman at large several times. He was a jolly, 
kind-hearted man, weighing about 250 pounds and was the butt of 
many a good-natured joke. In later years he was in partner- 
ship with his son, Thomas W. Palmer. He died August 3, 1868 
after several years of painful illness. 

Mary Amy Witherell, the mother of Thomas W. Palmer, was the 
third daughter of Judge James Witherell and Amy Hawkins, and 
was born in Fair Haven, Vermont, October 4, 1795. Her father 
had, in 1809, been appointed one of the judges of the Supreme Court 
of the Territory of Michigan. Mrs. Witherell and her children joined 
him in 1810, but the hostilities of the savages and lack of comforts 
induced her to take her children and return to Vermont for a visit 
in 1811. 

At Hull's surrender. Judge Witherell, his eldest son, James C. C., 
and a son-in-law, Joseph Watson, were taken prisoners and sent to 
Kingston, Canada. They were soon paroled and joined their fami- 
lies in Vermont. After the war Judge Witherell returned to De- 
troit where he continued in office for twenty years, when he became 
Secretary of the Territory. He died January 9, 1838. 

Judge Witherell's daughter, Mary Amy, married Thomas Palmer 
August 20, 1821. They traveled east on their wedding trip and re- 
turning on the Walk-in-the-Water were wrecked near Buffalo, No- 
vember 6, 1821. 

Thomas James Palmer, who in 1850 changed his name to Thomas 
Witherell Palmer, was the third of the four children of Thomas 
Palmer and Mary Amy Witherell Palmer, who grew to maturity. 
His oldest sister, Mary Amy, named from her mother, was born in 
Detroit, in 1826 and died November 29, 1854. On June 22, 1848, 
she married Henry M. Roby, of the firm of Hunt and Roby, who 
was a loved and life long friend of Thomas W.'s and whose daugh- 
ter Mary Roby Hamilton was to have been heiress to the Palmer 
wealth and estates, had not death cut short her career in April 1890. 




THOMAS W. PALMER. 
From a portrait bv Percy Ives; in the Senate Chamber at the Capitol. 



THOMAS WITHERALL PALMER 209 

His second sister Julia, married on November 2, 1853, Henry W. 
Hubbard, who died in New York, April 28, 1871. Later, Mrs. Hub- 
bard married Hugh Moffat, January 27, 1879. She died November 
20, 1880. Sara, the youngest sister, died unmarried November 22, 
1859. 

When Thomas W. was three months old, the house in which he 
was born burned to the ground. His family sought a tem- 
porary residence in a building near by but soon removed to a house 
on Woodward avenue. This was a "rough cast house" nearly oppo- 
site Cliff's tavern where John R. street joins Woodward avenue. It 
was two and a half stories high, quite commodious and had a gar- 
den extending up to the Grand Circus Park. The Palmers remained 
here until some time in 1834 when they removed to their comfortable 
residence just completed on the corner of Fort and Shelby streets. 
Here they lived nearly seventeen years and in 1851 moved to a 
handsome new home on Jefferson avenue. 

Tom's first school days were spent in Detroit where his good- 
nature and mischievousness quickly attracted many friends. One 
of his early teachers was Ebenezer Hurd Rogers, named after 
Ebenezer Hurd, an uncle of Tom's the husband of his Aunt Betsy 
Witherell. In November 1842, when he was twelve years old he was 
sent to an excellent private school for boys and girls, conducted by 
the Rev. O. C. Thompson in the village of Palmer (St. Glair): Here 
he soon showed a precociousness which placed him far in advance of 
many of the older children. 

Under Mr. Thompson, he prepared for the University of Michi- 
gan, studying Latin, Greek, algebra and the ordinary English 
branches. His essays written during the three years at the Academy 
show unusual originality of style and composition. Here he made 
many new friends, among them David Jerome, who later defeated 
him for the nomination for governor of Michigan. 

Mr. Palmer used to tell amusing stories of his school days at 
Palmer. Once when Mr. Thompson wanted to have an exhibition 
of the work done in his school he called upon Tom to write a Latin 
salutatory. He says, "I didn't know what a salutatory was, but I 
looked it up in the dictionary and found that it was a 'welcome.' 
I didn't know any more about a Latin salutatory than a broncho, 
but I knew that few of those to be in attendance were any wiser, 
with the exception of Mr. Thompson, so I took down my Latin dic- 
tionary and produced a salutatory which if it had been read in the 
days of Augustus, would have been the hit of the year and would 
convulsed four or five colosseums with laughter. But it went 
27 



210 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

off in good style, sounded very learned ; everybody was satisfied and 
Mr. Thompson gratified." 

Another amusing incident of his boyhood, one which shows an 
early budding of his business instinct, is told in connection with 
the excitement aroused over the Polk-Clay election. Tom's father 
was an ardent Clay man. Tom Sheldon, one of his playmates, was 
the son of a staunch Polk man. The boys bet a shilling on the 
election, but as the day approached Torn Palmer began to hedge, 
and having no shilling to pay his debt he bet with Jim Simpson 
against Clay. After election Sheldon came to collect his debt and 
Tom referred him to Jim who, when he learned of the game, vowed 
he would never pay Sheldon. For years it was a standing joke 
between Sheldon who annually dunned Palmer and Palmer who 
annually refused to pay his election bet. 

Tom's schooldays at Palmer soon passed and in the fall of 1845 
he was admitted into the State University at Ann Arbor. Here 
he continued his former studies, always keeping in sight his early 
ambition to study law and by that means to enter the field of poli- 
tics. He was very popular with his professors, the Ann Arbor 
people with whom he became acquainted and with his college chums. 
In 1847 he joined the Chi Psi fraternity. 

Owing to ill health from which he had suffered all through his 
college course and to continual trouble with his eyes, he was forced 
to give up his studying early in 1848 and for a time to abandon 
his desire to become a lawyer. He returned to Detroit and soon 
with five of his college chums decided to travel, paying his way 
by Daguerrean art. He also made arrangements to consult an eye 
specialist while in New York. 

On October 24, 1848, David James, Cleveland Whiting, Stephen 
Tillotson, James Witherell, George Kellogg and Tom Palmer board- 
ed the "Potomac" bound for Brazil by way of Cadiz. Tillotson 
furnished most of the capital and the boys went in debt for the 
balance. Palmer's letter to his mother just before sailing was full 
of enthusiasm at the prospect of the trip and hope that his eyes 
would recover in the long rest so that he could study law upon his 
return. 

The voyage across the ocean was rough and tedious and on De- 
cember 1, 1848, six weary boys set their feet upon terra firma for 
the first time in thirty-four days. They landed at Cadiz on a bright, 
warm day, and in after years Palmer often described the joy they 
felt upon that December day in 1848. After a three weeks walk- 
ing tour in Spain and Christmas "at Cadiz, they set sail December 



THOMAS WITHERALL PALMER 211 

SO, for Rio Janeiro, which Palmer described as the "dirtiest place 
on earth." 

He then returned to New Orleans, landing there May 1, 1849. 
His independent spirit prompted him to stop there long enough to 
work off his debt, but his longing for home and the knowledge 
that he would be promptly invited to return, that his debts would 
be paid and a parental blessing bestowed as soon as his family knew 
of his return to his home country, made him weaken. He wrote 
home with the expected result and reached Detroit early in the 
summer. 

The condition of his eyes still prevented close application or read- 
ing, and he again abandoned his desire to study law. In May 1850, 
he set out on board the steamer Michigan, and landing at Green 
Bay, Wisconsin, very soon established himself with Whitney and 
Company, forwarding and commission merchants. During his con- 
nection with this company he was stationed at Kaukalin, Green 
Bay and Applet on. Here he saw plenty of opportunities to "turn 
a penny" and did not fail to take advantage of them. Here he also 
had his first political experience. In the fall of 1850, he was 
elected, without seeking the honor, delegate to the Whig county 
convention to be held October 22. He was chosen secretary of 
the convention and after transcribing the proceedings of the meet- 
ing, was appointed delegate to the senatorial convention to be 
held at Manitouwoc. This honor he declined, because he could not 
conscientiously neglect his business. Here he celebrated his 21st 
birthday January 25, 1851, and on the occasion wrote a letter 
home to his brother-in-law, Henry Roby, asking for advice as to 
his future career. This letter reveals a wisdom that is surprising 
in a young man of his age. It shows him still clinging to his early 
ambition to study 'law as a means to an end, but as being rather 
inclined to build a career upon a mercantile basis and to study 
law as a side issue. 

Immediately following this letter he set himself up as a merchant, 
stocking himself with general goods and speculating in flour and 
grains. He succeeded very well, but was burned out January 19, 
1852, and was able to recover but a small part of the damage cov- 
ered by insurance. He made a plucky attempt to start again, but 
in the effort to recover his insurance he saw a better opening, 
which resulted in his establishing himself in partnership with his 
father in the insurance business in Detroit. 

In Detroit, in 1853 4, they had an office under the Farmer's and 
Mechanic's Bank, and their business card read, "Insurance, Land 
;and Tax Agency, Thomas Palmer and Son." They were agents for 



212 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the Monarch Fire and Life Insurance Company, Irving Fire In- 
surance Company and Mohawk Valley Fire Insurance Company. 
They also agreed to attend to the purchase and conveyancing of 
farms, wild land and city property and the payment of taxes, in 
Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. They investigated titles and pur- 
chased patent titles to bounty lands in Illinois. Mr. Palmer imme- 
diately took his old place in the society of the city and was called by 
the young men of his acquaintance "quite a blood.' 7 

In July 1855, his first effort in a literary line was printed in the 
Detroit Tribune over the signature "Jose." On October 16, 1855, 
he married Lizzie Pitts Merrill, daughter of Charles Merrill, a 
wealthy lumber man who owned and operated large pine interests 
in Michigan and ran a large mill at East Saginaw. He continued 
in business with his father until 1860 when he became bookkeeper 
for the firm of Charles Merrill and Company. In 1863 he went 
into partnership with Mr. Merrill and remained with the firm until 
Mr. Merrill's death in 1872, after which he took into the company 
as partner, J. A. Whittier of Saginaw. Under the name of C. Mer- 
rill and Company, they managed the business for over thirty years, 
selling out only in 1903. 

In the summer of 1856 Palmer made several stump speeches for 
Fremont and Dayton, and in August while visiting in Portland, 
Maine, made an address before a Republican meeting, upon which 
the papers commented favorably. In 1860 he came near being 
nominated alderman of the first ward, but lost to N. P. Jacobs. 

In 1864, owing to Mrs. Palmer's ill health, they took up their 
residence on the corner of Woodward avenue and Farnsworth 
street, which at that time w^as looked upon as a suburban home. 
Here his attention was divided between his business and the 
management of a miniature farm. Upon the death of his father 
in 1868, he assumed the care and responsibility of all of his mother's 
estate the lands on Jefferson avenue and a farm out Woodward 
avenue where the present "Palmer Park" is located. On Decem- 
ber 28, 1872, Mr. Merrill died, leaving his daughter and Mr. Palmer 
his heirs. 

The year 1873 was the real beginning of Palmer's political career, 
which extended over less than twenty years. That year he was 
elected one of the estimators at large on the first Board of Esti- 
mates of the city. The most important question which came be- 
fore them was the buying of a city park. In 1876 Mr. Palmer was 
a candidate for member of Congress for the First District, but was 
beaten by Henry M. Duifield. In 1878 he declined to run again, 
but upon the earnest solicitation of his friends he accepted the 




THOMAS WITHERALL PALMER 213 

nomination for state senator, tendered him by acclamation, and 
won the election. 

While in the state senate he introduced a bill to establish an 
institution for delinquent girls, which was passed. He presented a 
petition of many citizens of Detroit for the passage of a law en- 
bling the city to issue bonds to the sum of $700,000 for the pur- 
chase of Belle Isle for a city park and to build a bridge over the 
American channel of the Detroit River. This bill was acted upon 
and May 27, 1879, tlie legislature authorized the city, with the 
consent of the estimators, to issue bonds and purchase the island. 
On September 25 of that year the purchase was consummated. Mr. 
Palmer's interest in the improvements of his city is seen in his sup- 
port of a petition of Detroit citizens for a boulevard around the 
city, which resulted in a provision of the legislature May 21, 1879, 
for a Board of Boulevard Commissioners. A petition signed by 
women and men of Detroit for an amendment to the State Consti- 
tution to the end that women might vote for the election of school 
officers was presented by Thomas W. Palmer. He was also inter- 
ested in petitions for prohibition, and during his short period of 
two years he became the champion of several causes which he con- 
tinued to support throughout the rest of his life. 

In 1879 he was chairman of the Republican committee, and made 
several campaign speeches. He ran for nomination for governor 
of the state, but was defeated by his old school friend of St. Clair 
Academy, David Jerome. This defeat was thought to have been 
a great disappointment to Mr. Palmer, but his speech when Jerome 
was nominated showed that he was a good loser and generous even 
in defeat. 

"One by one the martyrs pass before you! But we come not as 
martyrs, but as apostles of the great Republican party. It was said 
that when the French army was retreating from Moscow in the 
march, while the soldiers exhausted by hunger, frozen by the cold, 
were dropping by the wayside, they would rise as Napoleon passed 
by and cry out 'Long live the Emperor' then fall back in the snow 
as their winding sheets. What was it the French soldier cheered as 
Napoleon passed by? Was it the man who crossed the bridge at 
Lodi? * * They cheered because they saw in that cocked hat 

and gray surtout, visions of the vine-covered cottage on the banks 
of the Seine or the Loire, the gray-haired father, the yearning eyes 
of the mother, the little brothers and sisters and all the delights of 
home. 

"So do we, who have been frozen out today by the votes of your 



214 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

delegates rise up and cry out as the great Republican party passes 
by 'Long live the Republican Party.' * * * * 

"Thanking you gentlemen of the convention and particularly my 
friends within your ranks who have been so generous in their sup- 
port of me, I congratulate you upon the result you have achieved. 
In nominating Mr. Jerome you have done the very best you could 
under the circumstances, possibly with one exception. I predict 
an overwhelming majority for our candidate in November." 

On Decoration day, 1879, he made an eloquent address on the 
Campus Martins near the Soldiers' Monument. This was only the 
beginning of many eloquent addresses by Michigan's most popular 
orator. 

In 1882 his name began to appear for United States Senator to 
succeed Ferry, but not until he saw that Ferry was losing did he 
allow his name to be used. He won the election and took his seat 
as senator December 3, 1883. While in the Senate he made one of 
the first speeches ever made in that body in favor of woman suf- 
frage. He strongly favored government regulation of railroads, and 
originated the phrase "Equal rights to all, special privileges to 
none." He was one of the few who dared to take a stand against 
trusts, and in his speeches he sounded warnings against the dangers 
of permitting big corporations to gain so much power. He intro- 
duced a bill in favor of regulations to restrict immigration and 
prepared "an exhaustive and comprehensive report for its support. 
He was chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, had charge of 
a bill creating the Department of Agriculture, and had much to do 
with its passage. As a presiding officer he had an enviable reputa- 
tion for dignity and neatness of dispatch. 

He was a gifted orator and a still better debater. His address 
in Washington at the memorial exercises for Gen. John A. Logan 
is generally regarded as his most finished oratorical effort. Oil 
June 29. 1887, he addressed the graduating class in the University 
of Michigan, and because of his attitude toward the liquor ques- 
tion he was severely criticised by papers when his name was again 
mentioned for political office in 1888. His words, "It is better that 
the strong should want alcohol than that the weak should be over- 
come by it" were quoted and commented upon, but Mr. Palmer put 
a quietus on the criticisms by announcing that he was not a candi- 
date for second term. At this time there was a rumor that he 
was to be made Secretary of Agriculture in Harrison's Cabinet, 
but in spite of Palmer's enthusiasm over agriculture and his work 
in establishing that department, he did not receive the portfolio. 

In 1889, unsolicited, Harrison offered Palmer the embassy to 



THOMAS WITHERALL PALMER 215 

Spain. A grand farewell dinner was given in his honor and he 
sailed in April, accompanied by his wife, his niece and heir, Mary 
Roby Hamilton, her husband Capt. Hamilton, U. S. A., Mr. Wil- 
liam Livingstone, Jr., and General Friend Palmer, his cousin. 

Even while in Spain he was not allowed to rest. His friends 
7 ere ever urging him to run for governor, and it is very probable 
that it w r as his intention to again enter the gubernatorial arena 
when he cut short his stay in Spain, departing in the early Spring 
of 1890. On the way to America he received news that his niece 
Mary Roby Hamilton had died. This, together with the death of 
his brother-in-law, Henry M. Roby, before his arrival in the city, so 
deeply affected Palmer that he emphatically declined to consider 
the possibility of becoming a candidate for Governor of Michigan. 

In June 1890 Harrison appointed Palmer one of the Commis- 
sioners for the World's Fair to be held at Chicago in 1893 and the 
board elected him President. The excellent results of his work in 
this connection speak volumes for his wonderful executive ability 
and his tact in handling people. This ended Palmer's political 
career, although there were frequent attempts to draw him again 
into the whirl, in 1895 and 1899. 

After the Fair he suffered from a nervous collapse which necessi- 
tated a long rest. This was spent with Mrs. Palmer on Long Island 
Sound where the} 7 later built a beautiful home known as Larch- 
mont Manor. In the fall of 1895 their Woodward avenue residence 
was destroyed by fire. Fortunately many of the valuable pictures, 
rugs and curios had been moved to Larchmont and were preserved. 
In 1897 the Senator built a handsome brick residence on the Log 
Cabin Farm, where he spent his declining years until his death 
June 1, 1913. There, surrounded by his books, he welcomed his 
friends, annually entertained the "Old Boy's Club," and celebrated 
several of his birthdays. He read, wrote, learned to ride a bicycle 
and indulged in has favorite hobby of farming and breeding fancy 
stock. 

As no child had ever entered the Palmer home, the Senator 
lavished his affection upon an adopted daughter, Grace Palmer Rice 
and a Spanish boy, Harold Palmer, to whom Mr. and Mrs. Palmer 
had become deeply attached during his official life to Spain, and 
who became his heir. 

His business activities throughout his life, although varied, had 
been almost uniformly successful and he had amassed a large for- 
tune before he entered the political arena. He always gave freely, 
both privately and publicly; hospitals, charitable institutions, G. 



216 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

A. R., Y. M. 0. A. and the University of Michigan were recipients 
of his generosity. 

A lover of art, he was one of the founders of the Art Museum 
of Detroit, gave f 15,000 to start it and was its first President. In 
1848 he was one of the original members of the "Vingt Club/' a 
society similar to the Audubon Society, and in 1877 he was one of 
the founders of the Detroit Humane Society. 

During the Civil War he was one of the most enthusiastic pro- 
moters of the Michigan Soldiers' Monument Association. Upon its 
organization, in July 1861, he was chosen secretary, and served 
through 1885. The site chosen for the monument was in east Grand 
Circus Park, and the cornerstone was laid July 4, 1867. After 
much consultation and in accordance with the recommendations of 
Randolph Rogers, the artist, it was decided to locate the monument 
on the Campus Martius. The cornerstone was removed and on 
April 9, 1872, the monument was formally dedicated. 

Mr. Palmer was a member of many patriotic societies, of several 
city clubs, the Equal Suffrage Club of Michigan and the National 
American Woman's Suffrage Association. He was a member of 
Zion Lodge No. 1 and an honorary member of the Light Guards. 

Although a Unitarian and a liberal contributor to all its de- 
mands, he gave freely to the support of other religious institutions. 
The Mary W. Palmer M. E. Memorial Church he erected as a lov- 
ing tribute to his mother, and in his will he left a generous sum to- 
ward the support of superannuated Methodist Episcopal preachers. 

In acknowledgment of several gifts to, and a lifelong interest in, 
Albion College, President Dickie conferred upon Palmer as a Christ 
mas gift in 1904, the honorary degree of doctor of laws. 

He was always the first to be called upon if any guest of honor 
was to be entertained. He was a popular toast master and chair- 
man, and no committee for civic or patriotic entertainment was com- 
plete without him. He was constantly called to preside at some 
public function and always acquitted himself with brilliancy and 
wit. An amusing story related in illustration of his resourcefulness 
is as follows : In 1887 upon the occasion of a visit of a number of 
Mexican government officials. Palmer gave an eloquent address of 
welcome in Spanish. After the speech, the Mexicans crowded about 
Palmer, praising his Spanish and the warm welcome, and asking a 
thousand questions, delighted with the thought that there was at 
least one person who could understand their native tongue. After 
a moment of confused embarrassment, Palmer shook himself free 
of the ardent Mexicans and feigning deafness, beat a hasty retreat. 

However he was never so happy as when at his Log Cabin farm 



THOMAS WITHERALL PALMER 217 

at the five mile road out Woodward avenue farming and playing 
the role of "mein host." This farm he inherited from his mother, 
and by additions and improvements he had made of it a beautiful 
spot. Here in 1887, he gratified a whim of Mrs. Palmer's to live in 
a real log cabin. Furnished throughout with handsome old ma- 
hogany that had been in the Palmer, Witherell and Merrill families 
and equipped with every modern appliance, the log cabin made a 
comfortable suburban residence. At "Font Hill" as it was first 
called, "Log Cabin Farm" Mr. and Mrs. Palmer spent much of 
their time, away from the noise and confusion of the city which 
had gradualty encroached upon their Woodward avenue home. 

In 1895 Mr. Palmer presented the city with one hundred and 
forty acres of his beloved farm to be used as a pleasure park for 
the people of the City of Detroit, with only one stipulation, that 
none of the virgin forest should be w r antonly destroyed. "Log Cabin 
Park," or "Palmer Park" as it is also called, is one of the most 
beautiful parks in the city, second only to Belle Isle. It is visited 
daily by thousands and is a beautiful and fitting monument to one 
of Detroit's most loyal and useful citizens. 

A sketch of this great man would not be complete without a few 
words concerning the faithful partner of his long and useful life, 
who is now making her home at Larchmont Manor. Mrs. Palmer, 
Lizzie Pitts Merrill, was the daughter of Charles Merrill and 
Frances Pitts. She was always a frail, delicate woman, but so far 
as her health would permit she took a keen and active interest in 
all of Mr. Palmer's affairs. She traveled with him, was with him 
while in Spain and was one of the most charming and popular 
hostesses during Mr. Palmer's Washington career. 

Mrs. Palmer was interested in the Humane Society, and on July 
15, 1901, gave, the city the "Merrill Humane Fountain" in memory 
of her father. She also shared in the gift of "Log Cabin Park" and 
the famous Log Cabin. Although wealthy in her own right, she 
was the principal beneficiary and residuary legatee in the will of 
her husband. 

Mr. Palmer's final act of generosity is shown in the terms of his 
will, in which he has provided for a host of relatives, apparently 
remembering everyone in proportion to their wants, with donations 
of money or provisions for their support by annuities. All of the 
remainder of his estate after these bequests were made, he left to 
his wife. 



TWO EARLY MISSIONARIES TO THE 
INDIANS 



LADY ANTOINETTE VON HOEFFERN. 
FATHER FRANK PIERTZ. 

BY RT. REV. MONSIGNOR F. A. (/BRIEN, LL. D. 



LADY ANTOINETTE VON HOEFFERN.* 

BY RT. REV. MONSIGNOR F. A. (/BRIEN, LL. D. 2 

IN the old cemetery at Dobernig, Austria, there may be seen a 
monument inscribed, "To the Memory of Lady Antoinette Von 
Hoeffern." Pious pilgrims to this city of the dead are frequent 
ly seen about this quasi-neglected family burial place. The atten- 
tion of travelers, especially those from America, is directed by the 
older visitors to this particular tomb. They will tell you that it 
is the grave of a missionary to America, who died in 1840. The 
grave of a woman, said to be a missionary to America naturally 
excites curiosity. The history may well be worth recording for 
this State was greatly benefited by the kindly acts of this woman, 
whose name few have heard and about whom fewer still know any- 
thing definite. 

Antoinette Baraga was the youngest daughter of wealthy parents. 
She was born in the Castle Treffen in February, 1803. Beared in 
an excellent Christian home, with all the comforts that wealth could 
give, educated in the best schools of that period, she grew in grace 
and wisdom before men. As good as she was beautiful, she was a 
joy to her parents and relatives as well as to a large circle of ad- 
miring friends. 

On the 31st of May, 1824, she was married to Sir Felix Von 
Hoeffern, a knight of the Holy Roman Empire. The wedding was 



l This paper was presented to be read at the midwinter meeting at Pontiac, Feb. 22, 
1912. A short biographical sketch of Lady Von Hoeffern is given on page 468 of 
'"Life of Bishop Baraga" by P. C. Verwyst. in which also is quoted an extract from 
one of her letters written in Mackinac. Sept. 8. 18^7. 

2 The Right Rev. Monsignor Frank A. O'Brien was born in Monroe, Michigan, June 7, 
1851. his parents being Michael and Margaret O'Brien. He was educated at Davis' 



School in Monroe : Assumption College, Sandwich, Ontario and Mt. St. Mary's Semi- 
nary, Cincinnati. The degree of A. M. was conferred on him in 1894, by the University 
of Michigan and that of LL. D. by the University of Notre Dame. In 1877 he was 



ordained a priest of the Roman Catholic Church and since that time he has held the 
office of private secretary to Bishop Borgess of Detroit, assistant in the chancellor's 
office, professor at Assumption College, pastor pro tern of St. John's Church, Monroe ; 
assistant at St. Vincent's Church at Detroit. In 1883 he was made the rector of 
St. Augustine's Church in Kalamazoo and he is now Dean of the Kalamazoo district. 
Pope Pius tenth made him a member of the Papal household with the title of Domes- 
tic Prelate and Right Reverend, Feb. 14th, 1913. Monsignor O'Brien founded Borgess 
Hospital ; St. Anthony's School for Feebleminded Children ; Gibbon's Hall, a college 
for young men ; Barbour Hall, a seminary for little boys ; Lefevre Institute, a prepara- 
tory school ; and Nazareth Academy for the education of young ladies. He was a 
member of the board of examiners at West Point under President Harrison's adminis- 
tration, a member of the Michigan State Board of Corrections and Charities in 1886-7 
and editor of the Kalamazoo Augustinean since 1893. In addition to these duties and 
those of a member of the board of trustees of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical So- 
ciety and member of the Michigan Historical Commission, Monsignor O'Brien is the 
author of Status Annimarum ; Prejudice ; Diocese of Detroit ; Prison Congress ; As 
the Bishop Saw It ; Custome ; Parish Societies ; Le Pere Juste ; Relation of the Catholic 
^Church to Medicine; The King's Daughter; R. R. Elliott; Politeness; Mount Olivet. 



222 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

celebrated in the old parish church with more than ordinary e"clat, 
partially on account of the local prominence of the contracting 
parties but more particularly because the brother of the bride, who 
had been ordained to the priesthood the year before, was to perform 
the marriage ceremony. 3 This brother was no other than the Rt. 
Rev. Bishop Baraga of Marquette, the noted Indian missionary, and 
one of Michigan's greatest benefactors. 

After a few years of happy married life Sir Felix died, leaving a 
desolate widow, without children. 

The visit of Father Rese 4 , afterward Bishop of Detroit, to 
Austria, in his endeavors to secure financial aid for the Indian 
missions through the Leopoldine Society (which he formed), to- 
gether with the accounts given by other missionaries, and printed 
accounts in periodicals, prompted the prominent young priest of 
Medilka, Father Baraga, to offer his services to the American mis- 
sions. He left his home in 1830 for the diocese of Cincinnati. On 
his arrival he was commissioned by Bishop Fenwick to the territory 
known as Michigan and the Northwestern Territory. He established 
his first Indian mission at what is now Little Traverse, attending 
from there the whole Northwest. He afterwards established a mis- 
sion on the site of the present town of Superior, Wisconsin, there 
doing heroic work among the Indian tribes. 

Father Baraga's letters to his sister were undoubtedly the imme- 
diate cause of her resolution to dispose of her wealth, to make an 
offering of herself, of her large estate and of everything which she 
had, to the Indian missions in America, A notion existed in her 
mind, it is said, that she might establish a religious community of 
nuns among the Indians. For this reason she w r ent to Paris to pre- 
pare herself by a course of religious training, with the sisters of 
that city, so that she might be ready for any emergency. It was 
more or less of a surprise to the missionary on his return to 
Austria in 1837, to find that his sister awaited his return to America. 



3 For data concerning the life of Bishop Baraga consult the "Life of Bishop Baraga'* 
by Verwyst. An article in the Mich. P. & H. Coll., vol. 26, p. 534, entitled the "Life 
and Labors of Bishop Baraga" is also by Verwyst, and a description of Bishop Baraga's 
missionary labors and his life is found in vol. 32, p. 407 ; and vol. 38, pp. 510-11. 
Besides his fame as a missionary among the Indians of the Northwest, Bishop Baraga 
will always have a place among scholars for his work in reducing the Chippewa lan- 
guage to writing and giving it a grammar and a dictionary. Copies of the volume 
resulting from this labor, which took over ten years of his life, can be found in the 
University Library at Ann Arbor and in private libraries in Michigan and 1 
Wisconsin. 

4 Rt. Rev. Frederick Rese, first Bishop of Detroit, was a Hanovarian prelate and 1 
Roman doctor of divinity who came to America to assist Bishop Fenwick in the 
diocese of Cincinnati. He was consecrated Bishop of Detroit by Bishop Rosati of 
St. Louis, at Cincinnati, Oct. 7, 1833. In 1837 Bishop Rese was -called to attend the 
third council of the Catholic hierarchy which convened at Baltimore and, soon after, 
went to Europe. He came back to Detroit but remained only a short time, returning 
to Europe in 1840. He died Dec. 27, 1871. R. R. Elliott writes of him as "amiable 
and winning" and as having a profound education and sparkling wit, joined to sincere 
piety, which "endeared him to all who had the good fortune to know him." See vol. 
26, Mich. Pion. & Hist. Coll. ; vols. 21, 37 and 38, same series ; Shea's History of the 
Catholic Church in America, vol. 3 ; Landmarks of Wayne County and Detroit (Ross- 
Catlin) and Farmer's History of Detroit. 






LADY ANTOINETTE VON EOEFFERN 223 

In the early months of 1837 she joined her reverend brother at 
Havre de Grace, on his way to Michigan. With the enthusiasm of 
a missionary, apparently she did not mind the trials and privations 
of the long and tedious journey and the sundering of- all ties of 
family, friends and country. 

Her first stop for any length of time was at Little Traverse, where 
she distributed considerable wealth and promoted several missions 
in which her brother was interested, erecting chapels, etc. Later 
on we find her in Mackinac. From there she wrote to her sister, 
stating that she was happy in her new field of labor. She said she 
was endeavoring to serve the Indians by instructing their children. 
She established quite a large industrial school, and taught the 
Indian women how to sew, wash, bake and cook in the modern way, 
furnishing cooking utensils at her own expense. She also gave 
them a course in general house work. Mackinac, at that period, 
seems to have been a central point. She describes it by saying that 
a "great many of the Indians, when they sold their property, came 
from five different provinces to this point." In her letters honie, she 
spoke in glowing terms of the work of her reverend brother, and 
the good he accomplished. The Indians coming from a distance 
and finding her brother absent, would go to her with as much con- 
fidence as they would have had in him, seeking her advice and 
counsel. They honored her as his sister, as well as for her own 
worth. They shook her hand with great heartiness greeting her as 
they did the chiefs at council meetings. When she went to the 
various wigwams to care for the sick, they would watch her approv- 
ingly, as long as she was in the wigwam. In many instances, after 
seeing what she had done for the poor and the sick, with tears in 
their eyes, would they endeavor to express their gratitude. 

From Mackinac Lady Von Hoeffern went to Superior, where she 
lived for the greater portion of the time she remained in America. 
Her charity was so great and so ma'ny of the natives were benefited 
by it, that Superior became a veritable Mecca for all who were in 
distress. An epidemic of small-pox broke out in the neighborhood 
and several hundred were infected. Without regard for her own 
health, she labored night and day for the benefit of the red men. 
She was the cause of having a large number of them become Chris- 
tians. During the year she was in the wilds, putting up with every 
privation, without regard for her own health, she contracted the 
disease which was the ultimate cause of her early death. 

It was a disappointment that she did not establish a religious 
community among the natives, where her work might be forever 
perpetuated. After the experiment of sending the young Indian 



224 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

braves to Rome for instructions for the priesthood, and its failure; 
and after a trial with several of the young squaws in the Ursuline 
community, it was decided by competent authority at that time, 
that it would be utterly useless to attempt fostering religious voca- 
tions among the natives because of the restlessness of their charac- 
ter. Lady Von Hoeffern remained at her brother's home during the 
last month's stay in America, interesting all with whom she came 
in contact in every work of charity. Her health finally failed and 
she was ordered by her physicians to return to her native land. The 
climate of the Lake Superior region was too severe for her frail 
constitution. She lived but a short while after returning to her 
old home, but during this time she earnestly tried to help those 
about her realize the needs of the American missions. Many people 
came from distant parts to see her and listen to the story of her life 
in America. She was a great factor in collecting money for the 
Indians in Michigan and Wisconsin. 

A few of the older Indians of the state still remember this angel 
of charity and relate with pleasure the many wonderful things she 
did for the tribes, ranking her as the greatest woman that ever 
lived. Sacrificing her young life to the Lord, for her brethren's sake, 
she entered into her reward, lamented and revered by the people of 
the whole country about, who were edified by her saintly life and 
honored in having her remains in their keeping. We think it worth 
while to revive the memory of this noble woman and keep her name 
alive in the annals of our state. 

The great work accomplished by Mother Catherine Drexel 5 for 
the benefit of the Indians and Negroes in our own day, whereby she 
sacrificed her position, her life and -her means for the neglected 
brethren and about which so much has been written and spoken 
during the past decade, had its prototype long ago in the efforts 
of Lady Von Hoeffern, whose name and memory have almost been 
blotted from the history of the- heroines of Michigan. 

B Mother Catherine Drexel is a member of the noted Drexel family of Philadelphia, 
being a daughter of one of the Drexel brothers, bankers, of Philadelphia. She is now 
living in Cornwell (Maud P. O.) Penn. She has contributed from her own resources, 
more than a million of dollars for the Indian missions and has established a sister- 
hood, the members of which devote their lives to the betterment of the Indians and 
Negroes. 



FATHER FRANK PIERZ 



225 



FATHER FRANK PIERZ.' 



BY THE RT. REV. MONSIGNOR FRANK A. O'BRIEN, LL. D. 2 

IT is strange, but nevertheless true, that the recent emigrants from 
Sclavonia have caused any amount of trouble in the Northwest, 
whilst missionaries from the same country in the early days 
were successful in achieving so much for civilization in the same 
territory. 

Frank Pierz was born in Kamnik, Austria, of Sclave parents, the 
twenty-first day of November, 1785. He graduated with honors at 
Laibach in the same school which was attended by Baraga and 
Mrak. The Poles as a rule possess in a remarkable degree the 
linguistic talent. He acquired great proficiency in a number of 
languages. He was ordained in 1813 and labored in the parish of 
Gora seven years; afterwards in the parish of Pecah for ten years. 
He became famous for his knowledge of the science of agriculture 
and might be called the father of agricultural colleges. He or- 
ganized farmers' meetings and established a farmer's journal. He 
greatly improved the condition of the farmers in all that section 
by his advice and writings. He was an expert in gardening and 
published several works on this subject which are highly spoken of, 
<even until today. 

Later he labored five years in Podbrzi, with as great success as he 
had achieved in his former parish, idolized by all engaged in culti- 
vating the soil. 

Father Baraga 3 wrote to him from St. Glair, Michigan, telling 
of all the good he could accomplish in this region. The letter met 
with a sympathetic response. 

After twenty-two years in the ministry in his native country, he 
resigned his parish and all honor that was in store for him, to 
spend the remainder of his days among the poor abandoned Indians. 

A man of fifty years, he set out for the work in the wilderness. 
He arrived in Detroit in the year 1835 and was cordially received 
by Bishop Rese 4 . He was sent, by him, to assist Father Baraga 



x This paper was read at the annual meeting in June, 1912. 

Sketches of the life of the Rev. Father Pierz will also be found in the Mich. P. & H. 
'Coll.. vol. 38, pp. 511-12, in an article entitled "Sketch of the Diocese of Grand Rapids," 
by Rev. Robert W. Brown ; and in "Life of Bishop Baraga," by P. Chrysostumus 
Verwyst, O. F. M. (Milwaukee, 1900). 

: For biographical sketch of the Rt. Rev. Monsignor Frank A. O'Brien see foot note 
with the article entitled "Lady Von Hoeffern" by the same author, in this volume. 

3 For reference to Bishop Baraga See foot note with article entitled "Lady Von 
Hoeffern ;" this volume. 

*For references to Bishop Rese see foot note with articles entitled "Lady Von 
Hoaffern," this volume. 

29 



226 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

in the Lake Superior region. As the season was far advanced he 
succeeded only in reaching Cross Village 5 where he remained for 
nearly four months. 

In writing to his relatives he said, "these missionaries live in 
apostolic poverty. The churches are built of logs; they have very 
poor altars, but they have very pious worshippers. Candlesticks of 
wood and priests of gold. Their conduct is exemplary. They have 
the spirit of the first Christians in manners and piety." 

Of Cross Village in 1835, he writes, "I found here two hundred 
and twenty-five Catholics. This number was soon increased by the 
conversion of the Pagans. The converts appear to live in their bap- 
tismal innocence. Their pious eagerness for hearing the word of 
God and receiving the Blessed Sacrament is to me a source of 
wonder. I admire their humility, piety, and love of neighbor. They 
appear anxious to acquire civilization. Many of my pupils vend 
the Indian language after a month's study. They show great joy 
in attending divine service, although many live far away from the 
church. Mothers and fathers will bring their little ones to church 
with them. It is a great peasure to plant the seed in such fertile 
ground. Indeed I experience more heartfelt joy and pleasure in my 
work during these few months than I have during all my twenty 
years' ministry in the old country. It is tiresome but I am well 
satisfied. I am afraid on judgment day these children of the wilder- 
ness will put to shame many Christians." 

In 1836 Cross Village w r as made a regular parish, and the in- 
cumbent appointed pastor. He accompanied the Indians on their 
hunting expeditions and spoke of making such a visit with them to 
Sault Ste. Marie. He claimed that the French Canadians treated 
him shabbily. They told him plainly that they did not want a 
priest among the Indians. In 1838 he was appointed pastor of 
Harbor Springs. 6 He wrote home that year this remarkable letter: 
"During the three years I have ministered to the Indians I have 
had plenty occasion to study their conduct and morals. I must 
say that they are all good natured, humble and docile. They are 
ready to receive good advice. Even in their wild state they live pure 
and innocent. It is not difficult to have them become Christians, 
They do, however, despise the deceptions of the w r hite people, who, 
selling them whiskey, make them the most detestible wretches. I 
believe there is no nation on the face of the earth where you find 
so few instances of theft, injustice or infidelity. Murders are very 



B La Croix is in Emmet county on Lake Michigan and is now called Cross Village. 
Tackabury's Atlas gives the name La Croix to all that section which includes Read- 
mond, Cross Village. Bliss and a corner of Center townships. 

Then called Little Traverse. 



FATHER FRANK PIERZ 227 

During his stay in America he continued to publish books and to 
write articles for his Sclavonian countrymen. He also published 
several books of poems, and corresponded regularly with a number 
of agricultural associations. In 1840, the Agricultural Society of 
Austria showed its appreciation, by presenting him with a hand- 
some gold medal. 

In 1845 the agent of the U. S. Government visited the settlement 
and was more than agreeably surprised at the progress made in 
the arts and customs of civilized life by the Indians. 

The good priest was a strong advocate of temperance, and 
thwarted many a fur trader who was attempting to ruin the natives. 

In 1848 Harbor Springs had 842 Christian Indians. Father 
Pierz also had charge of ten other missions, in addition to this. 
He asked relief and the parish was divided. 

An interesting account of this period has been written by a 
rhippewa half breed named William Whipple Warren. 7 His writ- 
ings, a history of the O'bjibways, are published by the Minnesota 
Society in Volume V of the Minnesota Historical Collections. 

In 1857 Father Pierz wrote to a friend in his old home, stating 
that, although seventy years of age, he felt well and hearty. One 
of the sorrows which darkened his declining years, was the freezing 
to death of his assistant, Father Lautischar. 8 



7 William Whipple Warren was a son of Lyman M. Warren (a descendant of Richard 
Warren one of the "Mayflower" pilgrims), and Mary, daughter of Michael Cadotte of 
Sault Ste. Marie. As Cadotte was half Objibway and his wife a full blooded Objibway 
woman, their daughter Mary, who became the mother ' of William Whipple Warren, 
was three-quarters bred and Warren himself was three-eighths Objibway. He was born 
at La Pointe, May 27, 1825. and his father took every means of giving him a good 
English education. He attended the mission school at La Pointe, the mission school 
at Mackinac Island and his grandfather Lyman Warren took him to the family home 
in Clarkson, N. Y., to attend school for two years. Later he attended the Oneida 
Institute at Whitesborough near Utica, N. Y. After his marriage to Miss Matilda 
Aitken, Mr. Warren, made his home in Minnesota at Two Rivers. In 1851 he took his 
seat as a member of the Minnesota Legislature when Col. D. A. Robertson, owner of 
the Minnesota Democrat induced him to write a series of articles about the Objibway 
people, their legends and their history as obtained from the old men of the nation. 
Later it was suggested that he gather these articles with other of his writings into a 
book. The Hon. Henry M. Rice, United States Senator from Minnesota, gave him ma- 
terial help and after Mr. Warren's death became the owner of the manuscript which 
was later presented to the Minnesota Society for publication. This with an intro- 
ductory biography of William Whipple Warren by J. Fletcher Williams. Secretary of 
the Society, and an article by E. D. Neill on the connection of the Objibways with 
the early fur trade, based upon official and other records, comprises the fifth volume 
of the series of the Society's Collections. 

8 Rev. Laurence Lautischar. born Dec. llth, 1820. Carniola, Austria, and ordained as 
a priest Aug. 3, 1845. arrived in New York, July 14, 1854, having offered his services 
as a missionary to the Indians at the time Bishop Baraga went to Europe in quest 
of priests and funds for his diocese in 1853. Father Lautischar was in Sault 
de Ste. Marie with Bishop Baraga for a short time, but was later sent to act as 
assistant to Rev. Father Mrak at La Croix where he was put in charge of the mission 
at Arbre Croche. In 1858 he offered his services to his countryman. Rev. Father Pierz, 
who has then stationed at Crow Wing, Minnesota, and was placed in charge of the 
savages of Red Lake about 250 miles from Crow Wing, "in the very heart of paganism." 
At the invitation of some Indians living on the opposite side of the lake from where 
he was stationed on Dec. 3, 1858, he crossed the lake to see and minister to them. 
On his return journey, towards evening, he encountered a fearful blizzard and, be- 
coming blinded by the flying snow and sleet, he lost his way. He was but thinly 
clad for such a journey and, after wandering about on the ice in the darkness and 
storm, his feet finally became frozen so that he could no longer walk. In the morn- 
ing when the Indians found his body, they found traces of his struggles to continue 
on his hands and knees. Father Pierz had the body brought to Crow Wing for burial 
and later it was interred in the cemetery lot reserved for dead priests in Duluth 
See p. 416, "Life of Bishop Baraga" by P. C. Verwyst (Milwaukee). 



228 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

In 1864 he visited his native land, soliciting from town to town 
for the Indian missions. Not only did he succeed in collecting 
considerable money but he secured a number of missionaries to 
work in this wonderful field. An interesting legend says, that on 
the 16th of August, 1864, Rev. I. Tomazin, one of the twelve mis- 
sionaries who returned to America with Father Pierz, discovered 
a luminous cross of great beauty in the sky. This he pointed out 
to his companions who witnessed it and it was seen also by hun- 
dreds of other people. It remained in the heavens for fully thirty 
minutes. Father Pierz in writing of this manifestation says: 

"It was not a meteor, or fantastic phenomena, but undoubtedly a 
sign of Divine mercy. When the natives saw it, many willingly 
came to the missionaries to be instructed and be baptized." 

When eighty-four years of age, the venerable priest was the vic- 
tim of a runaway accident and was seriously injured, but he finally 
regained his former health. 

In 1870 he wrote to a friend, stating, that he was in his eighty- 
seventh year and noticed that he was failing : "While I cannot do 
much, I attend twelve mission stations and preach nearly every 
day." 

In 1873 he left Michigan for Europe, to spend the remaining days 
of his life at his old home. For thirty-eight years he labored amidst 
thousands of hardships and privations. Considering that all this 
amazing labor was accomplished by a man who was fifty years of 
age when he entered upon his career and who continued therein 
uninterruptedly until his eighty-eighth, we may safely say that his 
case can scarcely find a parallel in all history. 

While on his trip homeward he wrote an interesting sketch of 
the life of Bishop Baraga, which was published after his arrival. 
He died at Laibach in Austria on the 22nd of January, 1880, in his 
ninety-fourth year. 

He was not only a pioneer oi; religion in Michigan, but of civili- 
zation. He organized and promoted emmigration. His numerous 
letters abroad were given wide publicity, thus directing the atten- 
tion of the old world to the resources of Michigan and the neigh- 
boring states which induced many to make their homes here, thereby 
adding to the natural wealth by their industry and thrift. 

A very important document an official report gives accurate 
statistics regarding the Indian missions of Harbor Springs. It 
reads as follows: 



FATHER FRANK PIERZ 229 

ACCOUNT OF THE INDIAN MISSION OF ARBRE CROCHE. 9 

About 180 years ago, the Ottawa Indians, coming from the Mani- 
towaing Islands, 10 on the British side of Lake Huron, extirpated the 
whole tribe of the Machkotens, 11 living where at present is the mis- 
sionary station at LaCroix, and established themselves at first from 
Waganakising, 12 on the shores of Lake Michigan, to the Little 
Traverse, and in the course of time they spread themselves still 
farther. 

Their chief village was built on an eminence, three miles from 
Middleton, 13 near a large crooked tree, under which they held their 
councils, and whence the mission has take its name, Arbre Croche. 

The Very Rev. G. Richard, 14 V. G., pastor of Detroit, while visit- 
ing, about twenty-five years ago, the missions of Sault Ste. Marie 
and Mackinac, of which he was the founder, made several excur- 



9 Arbe Croche is spelled variously as follows : Abercosb, Abre Croche, L,Arbre- 
chroche, L' Arbre Croche, L' Arbre Cruche. The words are French and mean bent or 
crooked tree. The place herein referred to is : first, a site near Middle Village, and 
later, the Mission built on the site of the present town of Harbor Springs, then called 
Little Traverse. 

10 Manitowaning Islands are probably the islands now called Manitoulin Islands. It 
was also spelled Manitoualian. 

"Machkotens Hand Book of American Indians (Bu. Am. Eth. Bui. 30) gives 
"Macoutens (little prairie people). The Jesuit Allouez says that the Kickapoo and 
Kichigami spoke the same Algonquian dialect as the Mascoutens. Schoolcraft records 
an Ottowa tradition of this early war and of their confederacy with the Asse or 
Bone Indians. The "garden-beds" of Southwestern Michigan is attributed to them. 
The last, notice of them is in Dodge's list of 1779. After this the Mascoutens dis- 
appeared from history, the northern group having been absorbed by the Sauk or Fox 
confederacy and the southern group by the Kickapoo." 

12 Waganakising is given as Waganakisi in the petition of the Ottowa chiefs to the 
American government, Aug. 12, 1823. It was the Indian name for the French, "Arbre 
Croche" of which the English meaning is "bent tree," from a tree on a neighboring 
hill. The earliest Arbre Croche was at about the site of Middle Village (post-office 
Good Hart), Readmond township, Emmet county, but when Rev. Father Dejean came 
he founded his mission at Little Traverse (now Harbor Point) which took the name 
of New Arbre Croche. The Hand Book of American Indians gives Waganakisi or Old 
Arbre Croche as on the site of the present Harbor Springs and says that "It was one 
of the oldest and most important settlements in Michigan having been established in 
1743 after the expulsion of the Macoutens from the district." That this is mis- 
takenly placed on the site of Harbor Springs, the document quoted by Monsignor 
O'Brien shows plainly, for it says : "from Waganakising on the shores of Lake Michi- 
gan, to the Little Traverse." There is in addition the testimony of Bishop Baraga's 
journal and Blackbird's History of the Ottowa and Chippewa Indians in Michigan. 
The following are some of the many various spellings of the word : War-gun-uk-ke-zee 
(Tanner) ; Waw-gun-nuk-kez-ze (Ibid) Waw-gun-uk-ke-zie (Ibid) ; Waw-gun-uk-ke-zie 
(Ibid) ; Wawkwunkizzie (Ibid) ; Wa-yog-a-unck-e-zid (vol. 12, Mich. Pion. & Hist. 
Coll.). Baraga and Shea spell it, Waganakisi. Tanner also calls it "Forked Tree." 

13 Middletown is given as identical with Middle Village in Hand Book of American 
Indians (Bu. Am. Eth. Bui. 30). Middle Village is shown in Tackabury's Atlas of 
Michigan in the extreme southwest corner of the township of Readmond, Emmet 
county. Near it was the original Arbre Croche, called later, Old Arbre Croche. Its 
postoffice is Good Hart which probably came from the Indian chief, Kaw-me-no-te-a. E. 
J. Blackbird, author of the "History of the Ottowa and Chippewa Indians in Michi- 
gan," says: "In the fall of 1827 my father (the Ottowa chief, Macate Binessi), left 
his subjects at Abre Croche proper, now Middle Village, in charge of his brother, 
Kaw-me-no-te-a, which means Good Heart, as he was persuaded by the other chiefs 
to come and establish himself where the mission was and send his children to school." 

"In his History of Michigan, Lawton T. Hemans pays this tribute to Father Richard : 
"In the history of these days there is one figure that stands out in noble proportions, 
a vigorous, helpful spirit amid discord and inaction. It is that of Father Gabriel 
Richard, one of the order of St. Sulpice. From his arrival in Detroit, in 1798, until 
his death as the pastor of the parish of St. Anne, he gave his splendid talents un- 
reservedly for the benefit of the whole people of Detroit and the territory at large. 
It was in 1809 that Father Richard brought out the first printing press of the terri- 
tory. In the same year he commenced the publication of a small news paper bearing 
the title of the Michigan Essay or Impartial Observer. Although the issues 
of the paper were irregular and not long continued, they m-irked the beginning 
of the first paper published within the territory. Father Richard's efforts extended to 
many fields. He made use of the printing press he had imported to produce a few 
books of his own compilation. He lent tbe aid of his cultured mind to the cause of 



230 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

sions among the Indians of this place, who were as yet, pagans, 
and finding that they were favorably disposed towards our reli- 
gion, he wrote to the Right Rev. Bishop Fen wick, 15 of Cincinnati, 
who sent hither the Rev. John Dejean, 16 in 1829, the first mission- 
ary stationed here; he baptized more than three hundred Indians, 
and thus established a mission among the Ottawas. He erected on 
the shores of the Little Traverse Bay, the first church, 17 which he 
dedicated to St. Peter. 18 Here, the neophytes, under his direction, 



18 The Rt. Rev. Edward Fenwick. D. D.. was consecrated first Bishop of the Diocese 
of Cincinnati and held that office from 1821 to 1833 when he died of cholera contracted 
while making a tour of the missions of Michigan and the Northwest which were at 
that time included in this diocese. On this trip he visited among other places, Arbre 
Croche. Green Bay and Machinac. See an article by Monsignor O'Brien. Mich. Pi. & 
Hist. Coll., vol. 9, pp. 128-137. entitled the "Diocese of Detroit What is was What 
it is," vol. 38. p. 510 and Shea's History of the Catholic Church in the United States, 
vol. 3. Bishop Baraga's description of Bishop Fenwick's last visit to Arbre Croche 
can be found in a letter quoted in the "Life of Bishop Baraga" by Verwyst, p. 129 and 
a letter from Bishop Baraga containing a description of Bishop Fenwick's death can 
be found on p. 130 of the same volume. 

18 Rev. Fr. Dejean was a French secular priest, who returned to France on account 
of ill health after two years in which he accomplished a great deal of good. 

Of him E. J. Blackbird in his History of the Ottowa and Chippewa Indians in Michi- 
gan says : 

"There were only three Indian log houses at that time in Little Traverse (Harbor 
Springs). * * * But we and all other Indians lived in wig-warns and all the Indians 
were dressed in Indian style. Rev. Dejan (Dejean) brought with him a Frenchman 
from Detroit named Joseph Letorenue (L'Etourneau) as school teacher and two girls 
from Mackinac Island as domestic servants and an old nun whose real name I never 
learned and knew as "Sister." She was exceedingly kind to the Indian children and 
we all liked her very much. The log house was used as a dwelling as well as a school 
house as all the boys and girls who attended school were kept there continually, same 
,is boarding school. The larger boys and girls were taught household duties and to 
cook for the scholars. * * * Rev. Mr. Dejan visited the Indians a good deal during 
the week days purposely to instruct them in good manners and customs of the white 
man ordering things generally how to be done and how the women should do their 
domestic duties, not work out of doors and take good care of what belonged to their 
household. 

17 Ths church was 54x30 feet with ten large windows. A school and parsonage, 46x20 
feet was also built. In it were three rooms the largest of which was used for a school- 
room. These buildings were constructed of hewn logs. The Indian converts were with- 
out horses and had to carry the heavy logs out of the woods to the place where the 
buildings were erected. Some of the logs were thirty feet long and very heavy and it 
took a great number of men to handle them. At times 40 or 50 Indians would work 
hard at these buildings for a whole week. The chapel was dedicated Sept. 1829 ; 
the school opened Aug. 23, 1829 and within a month had thirty-eight scholars. See 
Verwyst's "Life of Bishop Baraga.'' 

18 On page 145. Life of Bishop Baraga (Verwyst). Father Baraga is quoted as 
giving the following list of his missions : 

1. New Arbre Croche, the church of which was dedicated by Father Dejean to St. 
Peter. 

2. Old Arbe Croche (near Middle Village). 

3. Mission of St. Mary with a church dedicated by F. Dejean (probably at Che- 
boygan ) . 

4. Mission of St. Paul, also a church dedicated by the above Father. 

5. Mission of St. Ignatius, founded by F. Baraga. 

6. La Grande Traversee, with nineteen Christians. 

7. Beaver Island, with fifty-five Christians. (Called Castor Island in mms.) 

8. Manistique. with thirty-three Christians. (Called Manistee in mms.) 

9. Little Detroit, with twenty-six Christians. (An island at the mouth of Green 
Bay.) 

education and was ever the willing servant of the people as he was the spiritual 
shepherd of his flock." Pp. 106-7. 

In speaking of the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigan established by Judge 
Augustus Woodward in 1817. Mr. Hemans writes on p. 128 : 

"Rev. John Monteith and Rev. Fr. Gabriel Richard were duly appointed to all tbe 
professorships and they forthwith made provisions for primary sr-hools at Detroit. 
Frenchtown and Mackinaw and an academy and college in Detroit.'" On p. 142, Mr. 
Hemans describes the reign of the cholera during the year of 1832 and says : 

"Many died. Among the victims was the Rev. Father Gabriel Richard who for 
many weeks before his death had been everywhere present giving material aid and 
spiritual consolation to the people." 

Biographical sketches of the life of Father Richard can be found in vol. 1. pp. 481- 
495 and vol. 35, pp. 449-451, Mich. Pi. & Hist. Coll.. while the story of Father Richard's 
election to Congress is told by C. M. Burton in his "Landmarks of Detroit." A book 
issued by Laflamme & Proulix (Quebec, 1911). "Gabriel Richard, Sulpicien cure et 
second fondateur de la Ville de Detroit," by N. E. Dionne. LL. D.. M. S. R. C., Pro- 
fesseur d'Archeologie Canadienne a 1'Universite Laval, is written in French and gives 
a full history of the life and achievement of Father Richard. 



FATHER FRANK PIERZ 231 

built a village of sixty houses. He remained with them but two 
years. 

His successor, the Rev. Frederick Baraga, who came here May 31, 
1831, applied himself to the good work with so much zeal that in 
the space of two years he converted 461 persons from paganism. 

This indefatigable missionary established also six other dependent 
missions; one at Lacroix, with a church dedicated to St. Anthony; 
one at Middletown, Church of St. Xavier; one at Cheboygan, 
Church of St. Mary ; one at Castor Island, 19 Church of St. Leopold ; 
one at Manistee, 20 Church of St. Joseph; one at Grand Traverse 
Bay, where there is no church. 

He has opened schools everywhere, and given a great part of his 
time to the instruction of the children and catechumens. His suc- 
cessors, Rev. Fr. Simon Sanderl 21 and Rev. Mr. Debruyn, 22 baptized, 
during five years, 325 persons; but they have particularly applied 
themselves to confirm the converts in their faith, and perfect the 
missions by thoroughly instructing all. 

God has so blessed my labors in this mission, that, from the date 
of my arrival, Sept. 30, 1839, to July 15, 1847, I have added to it 
956 souls, mostly converts from paganism. There have been alto- 
gether about 200 deaths, leaving, at present in the mission, 1,842 
Catholics. To attend this mission and ten others some at a con- 
siderable distance as they should be attended to, is a work by far 
exceeding the strength of a single missionary. It became therefore 
necessary to divide them into two parts, which was done by the 
Right Rev. Bishop Lefevre 23 during his visit here, the 10th of July, 
1847. He has left to my care the missions of Arbre Croche (now 



1B The Castor Islands are now called Beaver Island as the word Castor is the French 
name for the animal named beaver in English. They are situated just west of Charle- 
voix in Lake Michigan, and were celebrated in state history later as the home of the 
Mormons and their kingdom under the rule of "King" James Strang. Reference to 
the Isles Castor is made in Lieut. Gorrell's Journal, vol. 1, Wis. Hist. Coll., pp. 43-45, 
and in Alexander Henry's narrative of his adventures. 

^That the mission of Manistee was located at the present town of Manistique is 
evident from Father Baraga's description in his journal while stationed at the mission 
of L'Arbre Croche. He wrote of his first visit there in May, 1832, (quoted in 
Verwyst's Life of Bishop Baraga, p. 124) and says: "From there (Beaver Island) I 
went to another small village which is two days journey from Beaver Island on the 
other side of Lake Michigan in the territory of the Northwest." 

21 Rev. Father Simon Sanderl, C. S. S. R. was the Superior of the Redemptorists 
in the U. S. and in 1833 he was given charge of the Ottawa mission at Arbre Croche 
when Rev. Fr. Baraga (afterwards Bishop) went to found a mission on the Grand 
River. Rev. Father Sanderl had with him at Arbre Croche three lay brothers of the 
Redemptorists congregation. P. 145, "Life of Bishop Baraga," Verwyst. 

--Shea's History of the Catholic Church in America, vol. 3, p. 637 says : 

"The see (Diocese of Detroit) \vas governed meanwhile (after Bishop Rese was 
called to Europe in 1837) by the Vicars general (Rev. Fr. De Bruyn and Very Rev. 
S. T. Badin) until the death of the Very Rev. John DeBruyn at St. Philip's College, 
of which he was president, Sept. 11, 1839, at the age of 41. Born at Lierre, Belgium, 
he was ordained in 1832 and came the next year, laboring for a time at Arbre Croche." 

23 The Rt. Rev. Peter Paul La Fevre was consecrated Bishop of Zela and Coadjutor 
of Detroit at Philadelphia. Nov. 28, 1841, and he was the administrator of the affairs 
of the diocese of Detroit from that time until 1843. Bishop Rese retained the title of 
Bishop of Detroit, although not living in Detroit, until his death. Shea's History of the 
Catholic Church in the United States, vol. 3, p. 568. 



232 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Little Traverse), Cheboygan, Agakatchiwing, 24 Grand Traverse and 
all the other places to Machigong, 25 on the lake shore the whole 
containing 1,242 souls, most excellent Catholics. The missions of 
Lacroix, Middleton, Castor Island and Manestie, containing 600 
souls, has been confided to the Rev. Ignatius Mrak. 26 

After the example of my predecessors, I have, with all energy 
and diligence, applied myself, not only to teach the Catholic re- 
ligion and the sciences to our Indians; but also to instruct them 
in whatever is necessary to a good education and tends to civiliza- 
tion; and I see my endeavors so blessed and so fruitful, that this 
mission presents an evident example that the Indians are capable, 
not only of being brought up good Christians, (in which they by far 
surpass the whites) but also are susceptible of the highest civiliza- 
tion, for they are generally industrious and skilful in what they 
undertake; there are among them good carpenters, joiners and 
coopers they build neat and substantial houses. They are assidu- 
ous in cultivating their farms, which they bought from government 
and sell much fruit and vegetables. The women are also very in- 
dustrious and have made great proficiency in household economy, 
making all the clothes for their families, and mats, baskets and 
other fancy work with porcupine quills, which display great taste 
and skill. In fine, I can truly assert, of the Indians of these mis- 
sions, that they make such progress in their schools and in civiliza- 
tion as fully to satisfy their superiors; that they have gained the 
esteem of the whites, and deserve all the favor of our government." 
Abre Croche Mission, 

FRANCIS PIBRZ, MISSIONARY. 
July 15, 1847. 



24 Agakachiwing is given as Aegakotcheising and Aegakotcheising in Hand Book of 
American Indians, (Bu. Am. Etb. Bui. 30) which describe it as "An Ottawa village 
in Michigan in 1851." Schoolcraft. in his Indian Tribes, vol. 1, p. 478 gives the census 
of this village in 1851, placing it in the same list with L'Arbre Croche, Village of the 
Cross, Middle Village, Cheboigan and other places of the same locality. It had 48 
inhabitants in that year. 

^Machigong is an early name for Muskegon. 

26 The Right Rev. Ignatius Mrak, Bishop of Marquette, was born in Carniola, Austria, 
Oct. 16, 1810. In 1859 Bishop Leferene made him Vicar-general for the Indian missions 
located in the lower peninsula of Michigan. Ten years later he became Bishop Baraga's 
successor in the See of Marquette. Like his illustrious countrymen, Baraga and 
Pierz, he has spent about forty or more years in the Indian Mission field and in 
1900 he was chaplain of the Sister's hospital in Marquette. See Life of Bishop Baraga, 
P. C. Verwyst (Milwaukee, 1900) ; vol. 38, p. 512, vol. 21, p. 463, Mich. Pion. and Hist. 
Coll. 



THE UPPER PENINSULA : A SKETCH 



BY JOSEPH H. STEERE. 






THE UPPER PENINSULA : A SKETCH. 1 

BY JOSEPH H. STEERE. 2 

HISTORICAL incidents of the discovery, early occupation and 
settlement of a State, a portion of a State, or a locality, 
though comparatively unimportant from a national point of 
view, have always been deemed worthy to be treasured up for the 
remembrance of posterity, as an instructive and interesting study. 
Along that line of inquiry we invite attention to the Upper Penin- 
sula of this State, a stretch of land extending between Lakes Su- 
perior, Huron and Michigan, 318 miles in length east and west and 
varying in width north and south from 30 to 164 miles. It lies 
within the embrace of, and its shores are margined by, the three 
largest of the great fresh water seas so strangely grouped together 
in the heart of this continent. 

It was not originally a part of Michigan. How in an early day 
it came to be given to this State in compensation for the loss of 
a few townships on her southern border which were claimed by 
Ohio and taken with a strong hand, is another story, to be found 
in the annals of the bloodless Toledo War. Suffice it to state, upon 
that subject, that the people of the lower peninsula, though since 
somewhat reconciled, were then indignant over the compulsory ex- 
change. They spoke very unkindly of the climate and resources of 
their recent acquisition, and publicly protested that they had been 
cheated and defrauded in a contention where might made right. 
In their published protests they declared that, even if the new terri- 
tory had any value, which was questioned, yet "for a great portion 
of the year nature has separated the upper and lower peninsulas 
by impassable barriers, and there never can be any identity of 
interests or community of feeling between them." Even yet that 
sentiment is not entirely obliterated. 

To some extent the upper peninsula is yet a thing apart from the 
rest of the State; its climate and resources are different; it is not 



J Read before the Witenagemote Club, of Detroit. 

2 JosEPH HALL STEEHE was born at Addison. Lenawee Bounty, May 19, 1852. He 
was educated at the Raisin Valley Seminary and the Adrian high school, later entering 
the Law Department of the University of Michigan. He taught school for some time 
before engaging in the practice of law. He has served as Circuit Judge of the Eleventh 
Judicial District for a number of years. He was appointed to the Sunreme R^n^'i 
August 30. 1911 to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justi-e Frnrk \. Hooker. 
and on November 5. 1912. was elected to fill the unexpirrd term. April 7, 1913, he 
was elected for a full term of eight years. 



236 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

settled, cleared and subdued as lower Michigan is; as an entirety it 
is the newest,, wildest and least developed portion of the State, and 
it still offers an opportunity for pioneer labor and adventure. Here 
and there, sparsely interspersed, we find cities and villages civilized 
centers which certain industries have developed. Occasionally we 
see a farming community of some pretensions; now and then the 
lumbermen's camps and saw-mills, or a log cabin with its stump- 
adorned clearing, where the hardy settler is trying to hew out a 
home in the forest; but those are small spots comparatively in the 
vast area of untamed wilderness. Only a short distance from a 
busy town, you may lose yourself in the dark sweep of the primeval 
forest, where the partridge nests, the deer range and the bear and 
lynx yet lurk in the thicket. In places, not many miles from fair- 
sized cities and villages, the hunter can hear, from his tent or 
cabin door, the evening silence broken by the lone howl of the wolf 
as he gives his rallying call down by the lake and later the 
full cry of the pack rings out as they pursue the wounded deer 
through the darkness of the night. That part of the state is yet 
called the "Wilds of Northern Michigan/' and those living there 
today have a feeling that they are pioneers. Most of them were 
born elsewhere, and immigrated from more thickly settled sections 
of the South and East to that new and developing country, many 
not thinking to remain long, others to grow up with it. 

Civilization has not yet tamed the rugged wildness of its shores; 
nevertheless, that so-called newest portion of Michigan is in point of 
discovery the oldest. Before a white man ever stepped upon the lower 
peninsula, that part of our state was well known to Europeans. 
More than a century before the birth of this nation the lily of the 
Bourbons had floated over that peninsula and the sovereignty of 
France had been there declared. While Roger Williams, a refugee 
from Puritan oppression, was still struggling to found his Rhode 
Island colony, "to be a shelter for persons oppressed of conscience ;" 
more than five years before Eliot, the New England missionary, had 
preached to the tribes of Indians dwelling within six miles of Bos- 
ton harbor, the Jesuit Fathers had toiled along their westward way 
to those shores, and had erected their altars and preached the Chris- 
tian faith to the two thousand savages dwelling by the Falls of 
St. Mary. 

Revealed in the true light of written history you can find, ex 
tending over a period of two and one-half centuries, a procession of 
hardy explorers and pioneers resorting to and laboring in that 
peninsula. They were of all degrees and stations in life. They 
went there searching for a pathway to China; they went in quest 



THE UPPER PENINSULA 237 

of adventure and conquest, of peltry and souls, fish, mineral, tim- 
ber, health and land. To but enumerate all those historically 
worthy of mention would consume the evening in a recital of names 
as meager of detail as Homer's catalogue of the troops and ships 
which sailed against wind-swept Troy, or the Jewish genealogy in 
the Book of Chronicles. I can only mention here and there an era, 
an incident or an individual. 

To find the first pioneers of the Upper Peninsula we must go 
back of written history and, with the antiquarian, inquire into the 
young world's early dawn at a period long before the advent of the 
American Indian races, as known to the whites. There \ve learn 
of the pre-historic race which dwelt and delved on those shores 
the ancient miners of the Great Lakes, the vestiges of whose labors 
are of such magnitude that modern miners have paused in astonish 
inent. The remains of the works of those ancient toilers in the 
mines extend for more than 150 miles along the copper-range in 
Houghton, On ton agon, and Keweenaw counties and on Isle Royal. 
They worked with a system, intelligence and industry not character- 
istic of known savage tribes. From the enormous amount of work 
done, it is manifest that there was a large number of people, and 
that they worked through long ages. In their excavations, along 
the veins rich with native copper, are found the charcoal of their 
fires, the marks of their tools on the metal, thousands of stone 
hammers, chisels, rotten and crumbling but yet distinguishable 
skids and levers for raising masses of copper, bailing dishes and 
ladders. These to the antiquarian are rich legacies of the im- 
memorial past. Today those rediscovered veins are supplying the 
copper markets of the world. No one of the existing tribes of 
Indians, or their known ancestors, worked these mines or knew of 
them. Who those ancient people were, whence they came or whither 
they went, are questions not yet satisfactorily answered even by 
those who are learned in such matters and who delight to trace the 
footprints of vanished peoples. 1 

The .first white traders and missionaries who visited the peninsula 
found it the home and hunting-ground of the Chippewa or Ojibawa 
Indians, an intelligent, hardy and then powerful people ; a scattered 
remnant of their descendants is yet surviving. Their history has 
several times been written by able historians, amongst whom are 
Henry R. Schoolcraft, long a resident of Michigan; and William W, 



iSee Cyrus Thomas' "Problems of the Ohio Mounds" in the publication of the Bureau 
of Ethnology ; also "Hand Book of American Indians" article on "The Mound-builders." 
That all the aborigines of America, except the Esquimaux, are of common origin 
seems to be established. Lake Superior, either by reason of glacial drift or from 
mining by the Indians seems to have furnished the copper supply of prehistoric 
America. EDITOR. 



238 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Warren of St. Paul, a highly educated half-caste of the tribe, who 
wrote their history as he gathered it from the historical traditions 
told by their seers and aged-men in the wigwams and around the 
camp fires. The Chippewas, too, were immigrants and pioneers, trac- 
ing their origin centuries back to the lower waters of the St. Law- 
rence river. Their early traditions tell that, many strings of 
lives before, they were led by a kindly spirit (which manifested 
itself in the form of a beautiful sea-shell rising from the water in 
the direction of the setting sun) to migrate from the shores of the 
great salt sea to the more pleasant land of the sweet-water seas. 

On the western border of the peninsula originated and was waged 
the ancient feud between the Sioux and Chippewas, continuing 
through three centuries, as fierce and bitter as the border wars of 
Scotland or the War of the Hoses. Their villages extended from 
far east of Lake Nipissing to the west end of Lake Superior and 
beyond. Their names, legends and traditions encircle these shores 
and the region abounds in their mythology. 

That is Longfellow's land of the Ojibewas. In the realm of 
poetry, Hiawatha becomes one of Michigan's honored citizens. It 
was in Sault Ste. Marie that Bishop Baraga compiled his Otchipwa 
dictionary, from which it is said the poet obtained the Indian words 
scattered through his legends of Hiawatha. Those legends, taken 
largely from the folk lore tales and legends of the Chippewas were 
gathered and translated by Henry R. Schoolcraft when he was lo- 
cated in^the Upper Peninsula as Indian agent, and were first pub- 
lished in his "Algic Researches." The Tahquemenon river is the 
rushing Taquamenaw of the poet, on which Hiawatha launched the 
bark-canoe which he had such a strenous time in building on its 
shore; and it was that river which Kwasind the strong man so 
energetically cleared "of its sunken logs and sand bars" so that 
Hiawatha could float down it "to the bay of Taquamenaw, to the 
waters of Pauwating," the Indian name for the Falls of St. Mary. 
It was on Lake Superior, "by the shores of Gitche Gumee, by the 
shining big sea water," that he stood to meet and welcome "the 
black-robe chief, the Prophet," and told him in language taken 
from an Indian speech preserved in the Jesuit Relations, how the 
lake was never so tranquil, and how the flavor of tobacco was never 
so sweet and pleasant as "When you come so far to see me." 

Of the white explorers it has often been stated that religion was 
the grand inspiring motive which first gave those shores to the 
knowledge of our era. Unfortunately for the sentiment, that state- 
ment is but partially true. The zealous followers of Lovala were 



THE UPPER PENINSULA 239 

but a close second to the explorers and traders who went before. 
Being men of learning and scholarly tastes the missionaries kept 
careful journals and made reports to their superiors. They wrote 
truthfully and entertainingly of the journeys they made, the people 
they visited, and the characteristics of the countries through which 
they passed. But the first to go w T ere the hardy and adventurous 
fur-traders, half trader, half explorer, brave, reckless men, fearing 
no misery or peril, pushing westward in quest of new tribes with 
which to traffic, new countries to explore, searching ever for that 
mythical route to China, which they believed led that way. They 
were patient and daring, indomitable; risking everything, writing 
little or nothing; many of them, like the great men who lived be- 
fore the time of Agamemnon, almost passing into oblivion because 
they had no Homer or Herodotus to immortalize their deeds. A 
few wrote something of their travels; others have scattered men- 
tion here and there in the Jesuit Relations and official reports from 
the colonies of New France. They reached the western lakes by 
the northern waterways, up the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, 
then by Lake Nipissing across to the French River and down it 
to Georgian Bay and thence west and north. Some of their names 
are well known, others are seldom heard. 

As early as 1616, before the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, an 
adventurious voyager named Etienne Brule, one of Champlain's 
interpreters, returned to Quebec from the west after an absence of 
three years, and told of his journey ings to a great inland sea. He 
told of its size and location; gave a fabulous account of the de- 
posits of mineral on its shores, and in confirmation produced an 
ingot of pure native copper he had found there. Some claim he 
was the first white man to see the western lakes, others that he 
did not get so far west but obtained his information and copper 
from tribes farther east. 1 He was followed by Jean Nicolet, who 
(having first been sent by Champlain to live with the Algonquin 
Indians in order to learn their language) later journeyed by the 
Lake Nipissing route to that country and described it so well-on 
his return in 1635, that most writers feel safe in pronouncing him 
the first white, except possibly Brule, to set foot in Michigan. He 
first landed in this state at the Falls of St. Mary, and finding his 
progress checked by them, turned back and went by Mackinac to 
Green Bay. 

From that time on, Lake Superior, the St. Mary's River and its 
Falls, the Straits of Mackinac and the Upper Peninsula were sug- 
gested on the maps of New France. Champlain named the falls 



'See "Brule and the Discovery of the West," by C. W. Butterfleld. 



240 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Saut du Gaston in honor of a brother of Louis XIII. For a long 
time after, however, we find, as a convenient limitation to their 
vague knowledge of what lay beyond, the chartographers cut off 
the western extension of Lake Superior by the margin of their maps. 
In 1641 Nicolet was followed by two missionaries who will be men- 
tioned again. 

In 1058, the year in which Oliver Cromwell died, Radisson and 
Groseillier, two French traders, brothers-in-law, were exploring the 
upper lake region. They made two voyages to the northwest for 
trade and discovery. Om one of their voyages in 1661, Father 
Menard accompanied them, being the first missionary to pass the 
Falls and reach Lake Superior. He was an aged man and in crossing 
a Wisconsin portage wandered into the woods and was lost. Radis- 
son wrote and spoke English. He kept a journal of his travels and 
adventures in that language. His manuscripts were not published 
until 1885. They some how fell into the hands of Samuel Pepys, 
of dairy fame, and later into the hands of London shop-keepers who 
were using them for waste paper when discovered by a collector 
named Rawlinson. The work is a most quaint, entertaining and 
simple narrative made more attractive by the peculiar spelling and 
odd, Chaucer English composition. His narrative enables us to 
trace him through the Georgian Bay, St. Mary's River, along the 
south shore of Lake Superior and to the Mississippi River. He de- 
scribes the Pictured Rocks and asserts that he was the first Chris- 
tian who ever saw them. He saw the Mississippi river eleven years 
before La Salle and fourteen years before Joliet and Marquette 
made their famous voyage down it. 

Radisson states that they visited pleasantly with the "wild men 
of ye Falls who had their dwelling at ye coming in of a lake called 
Superior." He tells us that they built their boats and houses of 
the "Rind" of the trees. Some of his moral reflections are very 
curious. Speaking of their voyage on Lake Superior he says: 
"Many of our wild men went to win ye shortest way to their na- 
tion and there were three and twenty boats, for we met with some 
on that lake that joined with us and came to keep company in hope 
to get knives of us, which they love better than we serve God, which 
should make us blush for shame." 

The first missionaries to visit the upper peninsula were Fathers 
Jogues and Raymbault, who landed at Sault Ste. Marie in 1641, 
coming from the missions at the east of Georgian Bay; Nicolet and 
perhaps Brule preceded them. They wrote a full account of their 
voyage, gave the date of their visit, carefully describing the place 
arid the people they met there, and made a map of the country 



TEE UPPER PENINSULA 241 

which, unfortunately, has not come down to us. Kaymbault died 
shortly after his return. A brother priest, reporting his death to 
their superior at Paris, tells of their going to this distant spot and 
touchingly states that Father Kaymbault had greatly hoped from 
there to find a way across the wilderness to China, "but God 
diverted his path to Heaven." Father Isaac Jogues, on his return 
was captured by the cruel Iroquois, who scoffed at his attempts to 
teach them; made him a slave, traded and scourged him from vil- 
lage to village,. subjected him to indignities and tortures, cut off 
his fingers and frightfully mutilated him in other ways. While in 
the hands of his savage masters, treated worse than their Indian 
dogs, in cold, hunger and loneliness and constant expectation of 
death, with no other opportunity to perform the missions to which 
he had devoted his life, as a last resort and solace to his misery he 
took possession of the country through which he wandered in the 
name of his Master by secretly carving the name of Jesus on the 
trees. He was finally purchased from the Iroquois by the Dutch 
of New York and restored to his people. 1 

In 1G65 Allouez founded the first Mission, on the shores of Lake 
Superior, and in 1668 Father Marquette and Dablon established a 
mission at the Falls of St. Mary, built the first house, erected the 
first church, cleared and planted the first land and founded the first 
white settlement in what is now the State of Michigan. Two years 
later Marquette founded a mission at St. Ignace. It was from there 
he started on his famous voyage with Joliet to explore the Father 
of Waters and it was beneath the altar of the little chapel he built 
there that his savage followers and brother priests laid his weary 
bones to rest. 

Mackinaw and Sault Ste. Marie, lying at the east and south side 
of the upper peninsula, on the narrow waters connecting the great 
lakes, were known for nearly two centuries as the only gateways to 
the north and west beyond. They were the most important points in 
the whole north-west. They were long believed to open the short- 
est route to China, the land of Prester John, which was supposed 
to lie not far away and which the early travellers were ever striv- 
ing to reach. The places have been from time to time prominent 
in American history, commanding as they did the passage ways 
and commerce of the Great Lakes, In early days savage tribes fought 
each other for their control and civilized nations contended for the 
supremacy. 

While Father Marquette was planting his colony and erecting his 



Subsequently he was retaken and tortured to death by the Iroquois. 
31 



242 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

chapel at St. Ignace he resided at Mackinac Island. In 1671 he 
wrote of it as follows: "Missilimackinac is an island famous in these 
regions, is more than a league in diameter and elevated in some 
places by such high cliffs as to be seen more than twelve leagues 
off. It is situated in the strait forming the communication be- 
tween Lakes Huron and Illinois (Michigan). It is the key and. 
as it were, the gateway for all tribes from the south, as the Sault 
is for those of the north, there being in this section of the country 
only those two passages by water, for a great number of nations 
have to go by one or the other to reach the French settlements." 

The flags of three civilized nations have floated over the penin- 
sula as symbols of occupation and national authority. It has been 
truly said that the history of this nation exhibits three distinct and 
strongly marked epochs. The first may be denominated the Ro- 
mantic Period, though that term would in a degree apply to each. 
It would extend through the French rule from the advent of 
whites till the end of the French and Indian War. It was the 
period of exploration and discovery, when the zealous missionaries 
and hardy fur traders first voyaged to the great center of the In- 
dian tribes on the far-off shores of the northwestern lakes, when the 
cross was first planted there, and the boat song of the voyageurs 
first awakened the echoes of those shores and forests. In that 
period we find such well known characters as Marquette, La Salle, 
Joliet, Nicolet, Hennepin, Tonty, Duluth, Perrot, Allouez, Cadillac, 
Jogues, Raymbault, Dablon, Repentigny and many others, land- 
ing on and exploring the shores of the upper peninsula. I might 
call attention to the fact that Joliet left in the Sault a copy of his 
journal kept during his celebrated voyage of discovery with Mar- 
quette down the Mississippi. He made two copies and, on his way 
back, took the precaution to go up to the Sault and leave one with 
the Fathers there, that a record might be preserved should any- 
thing befall him while returning to Quebec. His fears were well 
founded. When near home, while descending the Lachine Rapids 
in the St. Lawrence, his canoe was capsized. He barely escaped 
drowning, and everything, including his copy of the journal, was 
lost. Unfortunately the copy left with the missionaries has never 
come to light. 

The second epoch was that of the British occupation, beginning 
at the close of the French and Indian war, when Rogers, the fa- 
mous Ranger, led the British soldiers into Michigan, when garrisons 
of British troops were sent to Green Bay, Detroit, Mackinac and 
other points on the great lakes. It was a period more military and 
warlike. It included the Pontiac War, and ran down through the 






THE UPPER PENINSULA 243 

successive struggles of Indian, British and American for dominion, 
including the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It was the 
period for licensed fur traders under military supervision, and of 
the great fur companies. Many men of ability and prominence 
operated along the peninsula in those days. Rogers, the Ranger, 
like Julius Caesar, was not only a fighter but a writer. He com- 
manded at Mackinac for several years and fell into difficulties be- 
cause of the lavishness with which he lived and bestowed the gov- 
ernment funds on the neighboring tribes. He wrote three works 
entitled "Rogers' Journal," "A concise account of North America," 
and a tragedy called "Pontiac." Col. De Peyster, the author of 
"DePeyster's Miscellanies," was in command at Mackinac for a 
time. He was a New Yorker by birth, but was trained in the 
British army and on his retirement went to Scotland and was for 
a time in command of a military organization of which Burns was 
a member; and the poet immortalized him in one of his great poems. 
Dr. Jonathan Carver, the famous author of "Carver's Travels," was 
a visitor and pioneer of the peninsula. He liked it so well that he 
bought it, obtaining a deed for it, along with what are now several 
western States, from the chiefs of the various nations he visited. 
The deed, although obtained before the Revolutionary W'ar, by no 
authority of any government and for a few trinkets, has been urged 
several times before Congress by Carver's heirs, as a claim for in- 
demnity. It has been recorded in some of the counties of the Upper 
Peninsula and is an interesting document. 

The first licensed trader upon Lake Superior under English rule 
was Alexander Henry, who was one of the few survivors of the 
bloody massacre at old Fort Mackinac in 1763. He wrote a most 
graphic and thrilling account of the massacre which has been often 
copied and quoted in more recent publications. On obtaining his 
license he first located at San It Ste. Marie and went into partner- 
ship with one Cadotte, who had remained there in occupation of 
the old Repentigny fort, after the lord of the seignory left to fight 
for his king against the British in that war which lost Canada to 
France. Henry was a man of great energy, robust courage, ability 
and business enterprise. He organized a company and worked the 
copper mines of Ontonagon 125 years ago. The company was char- 
tered in England as "A Company of Adventurers to work the cop- 
per mines of Lake Superior." They imported miners, built a sloop 
of forty tons at Point aux Pins to carry their men and supplies to 
the mines and did considerable work opening a mine; but the ven- 
ture proved disastrous. Henry, however, was more successful in 
the fur trade, and is said to have amassed a fortune. The trade in 



244 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

those days was large. Henry tells that on a certain trip on the 
north shore in three days' trading he procured 12,000 beaver skins, 
besides many otter and marten. He wrote a book entitled "Henry's 
Travels/' full of descriptions of that country and his adventures 
there. It is a plain, graphic and manifestly truthful narrative; 
written in excelent taste and fascinating in its details. In an im- 
portant suit involving an historical question, it was cited and ap- 
proved as an authority in the Supreme Court of the United States. 

The individual traders were soon supplanted by the great fur 
companies acting under royal charters, the North-west Fur Com- 
pany, the X. Y. Company, the Hudson Bay Company and others. 
Their organizations were thorough, far-reaching and powerful. 
Their head men were lords of the lakes, with a large retinue of em- 
ployes, ruling with a strong hand and living in semi-baronial style 
at Grand Portage, Mackinac, Sault Ste. Marie and other points of 
rendezvous. 

These passed away with the coming of the third epoch, the event 
of American control and influence. The American Fur Company, 
organized by John Jacob Astor, took their place with headquarters 
at Mackinac, and, with the hardy Vermonters whom he put in 
charge, an extensive and profitable business was done for many 
years, laying the foundation of the great Astor fortunes of to-day. 

The third epoch is the period of enterprise, of work, of commer- 
cial development and American activity. The attention 'of capital 
was called to the immense deposits of iron and copper to be found 
on the peninsula. Such eminent scientists as Dr. Houghton, School- 
craft, Foster and Whitney, Whittlesey and Agassiz made their 
nature and value known to the world and a tide of fortune-seekers 
set that way. Between 1845 and 1860 no fewer than 116 copper 
mining companies were formed and in operation and the activity 
in copper stocks was as great then as to-day. Ontonagon, Hough- 
ton, Rockland, Hancock, Calumet and other cities grew up as the 
result of these mining enterprises. 

In 1846 came the exploiting of the iron mines, bringing Marquette, 
Ishpeming, Iron Mountain, Bessemer, Ironwood and other iron 
cities into existence, followed by the completion of the Sault canal 
in 1855 and the opening of Lake Superior to the world. 

In passing we must pause to pay tribute to one body of men, 
developed by the pecularities of the fur trade and water transpor- 
tation of the early days, who were the true pioneers of the com- 
merce and settlement of that region. They have continued through 
all three of the epochs mentioned, almost to the present day, as a 
distinct class. They were with the first to come; they were the 



THE UPPER PENINSULA 245 

irst to build homes, raise families and permanently settle there. 
I refer to the voyageurs, of the traders and merchants, the enlisted 
men and canoemen. Their history is one of patient toil, hardship 
and danger cheerfully borne. They brought all the supplies to the 
country in frail canoes along the entire chain of lakes to the head 
of Lake Superior and beyond. They carried over the tedious por- 
tages, built the trading posts, gathered and packed the furs. Largely 
French or half-breeds they were the heroes of the paddle and the 
portage, dwelling in the open air, sleeping under the stars, braving 
the storms and heat and cold, at home in the wilderness where night 
found them; cheerful, hardy, patient, given to music, keeping time 
with the stroke of the paddle as they sang their boat songs. A party 
of them has performed the incredible feat of crossing, in a single 
season, from the mouth of the Columbia to Sault Ste. Marie and 
returning. They and their avocation are gone from those shores, 
but their descendants are numerous there today and their fellows 
are yet paddling and portaging in the service of the great Hudson 
Bay Company, along the distant waterways of British America to 
our north; a lively, polite, jocular race, full of song and story of 
wild adventure, their history of romantic daring and hardship has 
a peculiar fascination. Their hopes and ambitions and bent of 
thought can best be portrayed in the statement of an aged voyageur, 
long past the three score and ten, who is spending his last days in 
his log cabin with his half-breed wife on the river bank, once said : 
"I was a good man ; I could carry over the portage, paddle, track, 
walk and sing with any man I ever saw. I was 41 years in the ser- 
vice, and paddled many voyages from Montreal to the Red River 
and return; no portage wa,s ever too long for me and no pack ever 
too large. Fifty songs could I sing; I have saved the lives of ten 
voyageurs ; I have had twelve wives and six running dogs. I spent 
all my money in pleasure. I am old and poor now; were I young 
again I would spend my life the same way over; there is no life so 
happy as a voyageur's life." 

For this brief sketch no originality is claimed. It is but a frag- 
mentary compilation of a little from the much which might be told ; 
and now, in conclusion, as a matter of local coloring for the Upper 
Peninsula as well as general historical interest, let me tell of the 
first uplifting of the faith and authority of a civilized nation in 
the presence of the ancient races of America in the heart of our 
continent. 

In 1670 the greed of imperialism and expansion had grown up 
in the minds of Louis XIV. and his ministers. They proposed to 
spread the power and faith of France to the utmost confines of the 



246 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

new world, wherever they might be, and they themselves did not 
know. To that end trusty emissaries were sent through the west to 
invite a grand council of all known tribes to convene at Sault Ste. 
Marie, selected as the best known and most convenient spot. Nicolas 
Perrot, the famous traveler and trader whose book of adventure, in- 
cluding a full account of this event, lay unpublished in the archives 
of France for 200 years, was sent to the nations of the south and 
west. The invitation reached the tribes of Lake Superior and was 
passed to the wandering hordes beyond. 

St. Lusson, a French officer of ability and renown, was delegated 
to represent the crown and journeyed to the Sault with a retinue 
of soldiers to properly impress the natives and to take possession 
of the country in the name of his king. 

This so-called Congress of Nations assembled in council at that 
place just 228 years ago on the 14th of June next. 

There were gathered together the brilliantly clad officers and sol- 
diers of the veteran armies of France, the pale-faced delegates of 
the church with the classic breath of the cloister yet clinging to 
their robes, the hardy explorers and zealous weather-bronzed mis- 
sionaries who had come before, the traders and their retinues of 
half -wild voyageurs, all mingling with the throng of envoi's from the 
wild republics of the wilderness. The gathered assembly was led to 
a rise of ground adjacent to the Rapids, supposed to have been lo- 
cated where the hedge now passes west of the fountain at the canal 
park. 

A large cedar cross was planted on the top of the hill and blessed 
with all the ceremonies of the church. A cedar column was set 
beside it upon which was fastened the shield of France, marked 
with the lilies of the Bourbons, and beneath, on parchment, a proces- 
verbal declaratory of sovereignty. Stepping forward with drawn 
sword, St. Lusson lifted a sod of earth aloft three times and in a 
loud voice to which the assembly made proper response by cries 
"Long live the King," he proclaimed "In the name of the Most High, 
Most Mighty and Most Redoubtable Monarch Louis XIV, of the 
name, most Christian King of France and Navarre, we take posses- 
sion of said place of St. Mary's of the Falls, as well as Lakes Huron,, 
Superior, the Manitoulin Islands, and of all other countries, rivers, 
likes and tributaries contiguous, as well discovered as to be dis- 
covered, which are bounded on the one side by the northern and 
western seas and on the other side by the south sea, including all 
its length and breadth," after which there was not much left of 
North America for the rest. 






THE UPPER PENINSULA 247 

Hymns were then chanted, songs sung, speeches made and feast- 
ing had, amidst great manifestations of joy and good will. 

Father Allouez, the pioneer missionary of Lake Superior, was 
present and made a rousing speech, which has been preserved, in 
which he strangely mingles the greatness of the King of Kings and 
the King of France. 

One hundred eighty-one years later, when the hustling, keen-eyed 
Yankee contractors came from the East to construct the great ship 
canal around the St. Mary's Falls, they found in the line of their 
proposed operations a sandy knoll. Over it were scattered Indian 
graves and on its crest stood, leaning, a large cedar cross, old, moss- 
grown and crumbling to decay. No living person could tell the 
date or circumstance of its erection. It was the local Indian tradi- 
tion that it had been renewed and maintained, through passing 
generations, on the very spot where the first whites who came 
amongst them planted it. But business was business then and the 
contractors made short work of the Indian graves, the old cross and 
the hill it stood upon, and the locks of the great St. Mary's Falls 
Ship Canal now mark the spot. 



SAGINAW COUNTY AS A CENTER OF 
ABORIGINAL POPULATION 



BY FRED DUSTIN. 



SAGINAW COUNTY AS A CENTER OF ABORIGI- 
NAL POPULATION. 1 

BY FRED DUSTIX. 2 

THE philosopher and the scientist are continually dealing with 
the phenomena of cause and effect and any proposition that is 
at all obscure must be susceptible of proof, not only by dem- 
onstrated facts but by definite probabilities based on other series 
of facts easily proved. If, therefore, we make the statement that 
Saginaw County was a center, of aboriginal population, probably 
the greatest in Michigan, more proof will be required than the mere 
statement that many relics of former occupancy have been discov- 
ered there. 

In what are now desert wastes of the Old World are to be found 
the monuments and ruins of ancient cities indicative of large popu- 
lation and wealth, which are now as silent as the tomb. Great 
physical changes have taken place, their sites have become unin- 
habitable and their lands are desolate. 

In the New World we find the remains of ancient peoples. In 
some countries, as Mexico, Yucatan or Peru, we find structures of 
stone of fair design and considerable magnitude. In the Mississippi 
Valley are found great earthworks and mounds, acres in extent, 
which have been the cause of much speculation and study. On the 
Atlantic seaboard and in the drainage area of the Great Lakes are 
found still other monuments of aboriginal art, by no means equal 
in magnitude to those of the former districts but surely as preg- 
nant with meaning and as deserving of study. 

ir This paper was road at the annual meeting in Juno, 1913. 

2 Fred Dustin, a building contractor of Sasinaw. was born October 12. 1866, at 
Glen's Falls. N. Y. His father was James O'Donnell, whose great grandfather came 
from Ireland after the Revolutionary War. The mother of James O'Donnell was a niece 
of Gen. Philip Schuyler of New York. Mr. Dustin's mother, Jennie E. Greene, died 
when her son was a few months old and he lived with a maternal aunt, Mrs. Sarah 
D. Dustin, who married a descendent of Hannah Dustin. In this way he became 
known as "Fred Dustin." Mr. Dustin was educated in the public schools of Glovers- 
ville, N. Y. He came to Michigan when he Avas twenty years of age. and worked as a 
foreman in lumber yards. The Legislature by special act changed his name. Frederick 
G. O'Donnell. to Fred Dustin. 

Mr. Dustin became interested in historical research and spent over fifteen years 
gathering material and data for a history of Terry's Indian Campaign in 1876. The 
result, copy for a 12 mo. volume of some 450 pages, is now in the hands of a western 
historical society. One of its interesting features is a description of the battle of the 
Little Big Horn in which General Custer was killed. Mr. Dustin has gathered con- 
siderable data concerning the aborigines of Saginaw county. Weapons, implements 
and utensils have been gathered, probably two thousand in all. During the last five 
years, many articles of his relating to these interesting discoveries have been pub- 
lished in the Saginaw Courier-Herald. Mr. Dustin has also done some work for the 
Bureau of American Ethnology. He is a member of the "Brothers of the Book." a 
society of book-lovers limited in number. He is also active in various Masonic organ- 
isations. 



252 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Although the Indian no longer encamps upon our streams in 
primitive simplicity, the physical changes in the valley of the Sagi- 
naw River are so slight that we not only are able to identify the 
numerous surface remains, but to point out our reasons for believ- 
ing that here was a center of population before the white man 
arrived. 

For twenty years the writer has taken an especial interest in the 
history of the Indian, in his relations to European and Ameri- 
can ; for fifteen years in North American Ethnology, and for the 
past five years in the archeology of the Saginaw Valley, especially 
of Saginaw County. Every opportunity that gave him a day in 
the field was in the nature of a happy holiday, a joyful recreation, 
so that if not well equipped in education, training, or wealth, he 
has at least one qualification, an abiding enthusiasm, which sweetens 
the bread of daily toil and makes life worth living. 

A study of the map of Michigan at once discloses that Saginaw 
County is almost at the geographical center of the Lower Peninsula, 
the principal meridian forming its western boundary, while the first 
correction line passes through its center. We also find it substan- 
tially at the head of Saginaw Bay, an arm of Lake Huron, project- 
ing into the state fifty miles in a south-west direction. 

If we consider the County as the center of a drainage area, we 
find that according to the United States geological survey, it is the 
largest in Michigan, having an area of 6,260 square miles. 

If it is studied from the geological standpoint, we again find that 
it is the center of a most interesting geological district of circular 
dimensions, the boundaries of which touch Grand Rapids, Alpena, 
and Adrian approximately. 

If it be considered in respect to primitive navigation, we ob- 
serve that a network of streams uniting near its center form an 
estuary of Saginaw Bay some twenty miles in length, the Saginaw 
River, thus making the county a natural center of early travel. 

Again, if the region be regarded topographically, we find thou- 
sands of acres of marsh land, prairie land, vast wooded areas, sand 
ridges and rich bottom lands. These are low and level to the east 
and south, but they rise to low hills in the west and north, until 
at the summit of the divide at Harrison 3 on the Pere Marquette Rail- 
road, it is 1,159 feet above sea level. At Lake 3 on the same railroad, 
1,071 feet above sea level is reached. Saginaw and Bay City are 
approximately 590 feet above sea level. This is about ten feet above 
the mean level of Lake Huron. It will be observed that there are no 
obstructions to canoe navigation, other than those formed by man, 

3 In Clare county. 



SAGINAW COUNTY ABORIGINES 253 

or the incidental gathering of rafts of floodwood; no impassible 
rapids or falls. 

If the region be considered in relation to its food supply we note 
that it was teeming with animal life, its stream's swarming with 
fish, and the marshes of the Saginaw rich in wild rice, then an 
important food product. Nuts and wild fruits were to be had in 
abundance, while the maple trees yielded generously of their sap for 
sugar and suitable corn land was widely available. The forests 
furnished the birch, for canoes and wigwams and to secure the 
flint for arrow-points, spears or knives, the aboriginies had but to 
paddle to the vicinity of Bay Port to find plenty. Material for axe, 
chisel or tomahawk was abundant on the gravelly bluffs of the Flint, 
the Cass and the Shiawassee rivers. 

Having thus laid the foundation for a more extended discussion 
let us proceed to a study of the aboriginal remains in direct support 
of our proposition. In an article prepared for the Bureau of Eth- 
nology, the writer has gone somewhat extensively into the subject of 
.aboriginal remains, limited however to Saginaw County. In this 
paper there will necessarily be some duplication of that work. 

Were we to enter a strange city, we would gain an idea of its pop- 
ulation by its size. Were it merely the ruins of a city, we could still 
approximately estimate its population by the number of its habita- 
tions. In the case of primitive man, however, it is different, for 
he was to a degree migratory. Of the American Indian this was, 
perhaps, but slightly true and the term "wandering savages" would 
seem to apply to only a small percentage of them. The natives of 
Michigan were principally of the great Algonquian stock, dwellers 
in the forest, skilled in wood-craft and in primitive navigation. It 
is true that they made remarkably long journeys on their warlike 
expeditions, yet we find them returning to the graves of their 
fathers to again inhabit the familiar spot and perchance lay their 
bones beside those of their ancestors. 

There are many accounts which relate that these red men even 
carried back to their homes the disjointed skeletons of friends slain 
in battle or those who died from disease or casualty far from the 
home camp-fire. There is nothing to show that the early inhabi- 
tants of this Valley were not as much bound by the ties of home 
that appeal so strongly to us, as we, their successors are. 

The archaelogy of the Saginaw Valley is still almost undeveloped, 
for with the exception of the work of that most capable gentleman, 
Harlan I. Smith and of brief accounts in the, Michigan Pioneer 



254 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

and Historical Collections 4 , we can find but little of value. Should 
this paper reach by chance the eye of some competent scientist in 
this line, he may be assured of a rich harvest in this valley. 

On page 4 of ''The Saginaw Valley Collection," prepared by Mr. 
Smith, is an archaelogical map of Michigan in which we find de- 
picted, in the Saginaw Valley, numerous mounds and other antiqui- 
ties. Were those village sites which are known to myself added to 
the ancient remains noted, that portion of the map illustrating 
Saginaw County would be such a confused jumble of marks that it 
would be utterly unintelligible. There are over sixty camp and 
village sites known to me, from about forty of which I have ob- 
tained relics by personal search. There is little doubt in my mind 
that the number in this county exceeds a hundred. In the locality 
now occupied by the city of Saginaw we find remains so numerous 
as to give the idea that an immense village was once located here. 
A large portion of the city is located on low ridges. In early days 
these ridges were sometimes separated by bayous which are now 
filled in. There is not one of these ridges by has yielded its quota 
of relics; not one but has its graves or mounds. This leads the in- 
vestigator to believe that Saginaw was the site of many Indian 
dwellings. As an example, the ridge running south from the City 
Hall to the Pere Marquette belt line was a continuous village, and 
there is little doubt but the same was true of that portion of the 
city from Bristol Street south to Saginaw Street. 

The geoogical map of Michigan shows a terminal series of 
moraines sweeping down from the north and west, disappearing 
near the mouth of the Tittabawassee River and again reappearing 
on the Cass river, four or five miles above. These relics of the Ice 
Age are of yellow sand, in some cases rising to ten, fifteen, or even 
twenty feet above the surrounding levels. They are particularly 
numerous in Thomas Town and I have yet to examine one that does 
not show some evidence of early inhabitants. Near the glass fac- 
tory, in Saginaw, is a notable moraine from which have been 
gathered numbers of implements and weapons. When first visited 
by the earliest settlers these sand hills were covered with pine trees. 
On most of them the stumps still remain, as the soil is often too 

*For additional articles in the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections concern- 
ing the Indian Mounds and Mound Builders and the remains of the aboriginies in 
Michigan see the following: "Ancient Garden Beds" by Bela Hubbard, pp. 21-35, 
vol. 2 ; "The Mound Builders in Michigan," by Henry Gillman. pp. 41-52, vol. 2 ; "The 
Mound Builders and their Work in Michigan," by Henry H. Riley, pp. 41-48, vol. 3 ; 
'Rabbit River Mounds and Circles," by H. D. Post, pp. '296-298, vol. 3; "Mounds and 
Mound Builders of the Saginaw Valley," by W. R. McCormick, pp. 379-393. vol. 4 ; 
extracts from an article by Benjamin F. H. Witherell, pp. 4-6, vol. 5 ; a portion of an 
article by Charles Moore entitled "The Ontonagon Boulder," pp. 265-6, vol. 27 "Evi- 
<1 ? n , c ,r e . s l _ of Prehistoric Man on Lake Superior," pp. 110-118. vol. 30; "The Antiquities 
of Michigan," by Harlan I Smith, pp. 238-252, vol. 31 : and "French and Indian Foot- 
prints at Three Rivers on the St. Joseph," by Blanche M. Haines, M. D., pp. 286-297, 
vol. 38. 



8AGINAW COUNTY ABORIGINES 255 

poor to requite the husbandman for the labor of tilling it. However, 
they furnish a rich field for the collector. Further along the shore 
of the Tittabawassee river are the Andrews' workshops. Here is a 
morainal ridge where many relics have been secured. Certain 
favorable circumstances have rendered it a bonanza to the collec- 
tors-. In an excavation where the wind has blown away the sand 
under a building, finds were made many years ago. Near this point 
was an old Indian ford, over which passed the trail terminating 
near another high sand bluff on the river bank. On this hill was a 
great mound, which was discovered to be literally filled w r ith human 
bones. According to an Indian legend, at this site there occurred 
a desperate battle between the Sauks and Chippewas and that the 
slain were deposited here. Here, also, we find abundant evidence of 
a large village. At least three caches of large blades have been 
found at this point. For three miles down the river the extent of 
these village remains is astonishing. 

It must not be understood by this that relics can still be 
picked up by the handful. In early days this could be done. Those 
that now r remain are mostly flint chips, potsherds, firebeds, (usually 
scattered by the plow) with occasionally some good specimen of 
the arrow-maker's art. 

Taking up the trail westward from the location of the large 
mound we may follow this low ridge as it gradually rises and again 
descends to Swan Creek. A branch of the trail passes down that 
stream but the main path leads Avestward across the creek and fol- 
lows the ridge. This long moraine rests upon level alluvial lands, 
rich in accumulated humus. On this ridge have been found some 
of the finest stone and flint implements I have ever seen, w r hile in 
the sheltering angles on the flats there are extensive evidences of 
villages and camps. 

If we should follow this trail far enough, it would lead us to De- 
troit, along the Shiawassee River through Owosso and Corruna. 
At St. Charles and Chesaning are found extensive remains. On 
both North and South branches of the Bad River, and on Beaver and 
Potato Creeks, tributaries of the Bad River, are scattered the relics 
of the aborigines. Perhaps here the great Pontiac left traces of his 
early life. The Indians hereabouts claim that Pontiac was born 
at Oakley. This is possible, for I have never been able to find a 
positive statement as to the location of his birthplace. Parkman 
tells us that he was probably born in Ohio but does not base it upon 
any known facts, simply on the probabilities of the case. Returning 
to the Tittabawassee River and Swan Creek, we find on the latter 
stream a continuous series of remains from near the Midland county 



256 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

line to where it is almost lost in the Shiawassee Prairie. On the 
Tittabawassee, village after village can be traced as far as Midland, 
in Midland county. There are located the "Little Forks," as they 
were called in the early day, for there the Pine and Chippewa 
Rivers empty. On these streams again we find, far up in Isabella 
and Gratiot counties, some evidences of a relatively numerous In- 
dian population. 

Following the main river to Sanford, where the Salt river enters, 
again are found the unmistakable signs of the object of our quest. 
If we pass up the small tributary and examine its banks, evi- 
dence will pile on evidence. Further to the north, the Cedar and 
the Tobacco rivers unite to pour the waters of their springs into 
those of the larger stream, and a mile north of Clare, in the most 
unexpected place, I have found flints, showing that even here the 
red man made his camps and hunted the deer. I have been informed 
that the same is true of Beaverton and Gladwin, on the Cedar River. 

If we trace the Tittabawassee to its source in the springs of Oge- 
maw, we still find that the Indian preceded us and that his camp- 
fire blazed on the spots where are now the villages and farms of the 
white man. 

It must be borne in mind that the upper courses of these rivers 
were in pine lands largely. Although game was plentiful there, yet 
the things dear to the Indian heart were to be found in greatest 
abundance only on the lower courses of the waterways. As the 
divide was approached, the rich soil disappeared, the land rose in 
swell after swell of sand moraine and the native Indian looked with 
longing eye toward Saginaw, which he called Kah-Bay-Shay-Way- 
Ning, Home! 

Returning to Saginaw, we may take our course up the Cass River 
and find many villages, the remains beginning almost at the mouth 
of the river. At Bridgeport the evidence accumulates. On one farm 
alone the owner has gathered, one by one, probably a thousand flints 
and celts. At the village site was formerly a large mound which 
was the last resting place of numerous red men and further up the 
stream we find locations where implements, weapons and potsherds 
testify to a former occupancy. At Cook's Corners, Frankenmuth, 
Vassar, Caro, Cass City and numerous other points are to be found 
many evidences of aboriginal population. 

Turning now to the Flint River, we again discover that on its 
banks from its mouth to its sources there was a series of village 
and camp sites, many of them notable in extent. Among them may 
be mentioned Pe-On-I-Go-Wing (Taymouth), Flushing and Flint. 

Returning to the main river, the Saginaw, we are informed that 



SAGINAW COUNTY ABORIGINES 257 

at Bay City there was a great village. Here a legendary battle 
was fought between the Saug-e or Sauks and the Chippewas and 
their allies. This conflict culminated at Skull Island. There is 
still living in Saginaw a well-known citizen who in his youth had 
plenty of ocular proof of the battle, for skulls and bones were 
numerous on the island at that late day. He informs me that he 
saw probably a hundred and fifty skulls at this point. That the 
sandy bluffs on the west side of the river were favorite resorts of 
the savages was well known to early settlers and the remains on 
all sides are evidence of a numerous population. 

However, the early estimates of Indian population frequently 
had little basis except in the imagination of men and even those 
who attempted an accurate survey found that it was impossible to 
do more than make a rough approximation of numbers. Until 
annuities were granted under treaties, the population of any one 
tribe was mere guess work. 

In 1819 Cass made his famous treaty with the Chippewas at 
Saginaw. The reservations then made by the Indians plainly indi- 
cate that Saginaw County was a great center of Indian population, 
for we find that out of sixteen reservations, six were in Saginaw 
County, four in Bay and one each in Midland and Shiawassee. Of 
the remaining four, three were on Saginaw Bay and contiguous 
to the Saginaw River. At this treaty an immense territory, probably 
over a fourth of the Lower Peninsula, was ceded to the whites, all 
of which was considered as tributary to the Saginaw County. 

It will therefore be seen that on account of its natural re- 
sources Saginaw County was the logical center of an aboriginal 
population that was relatively large. There are men still living 
who have seen from 2,500 to 4,000 Indians gathered at Saginaw 
to receive their annuities. When we remember that the entire 
Chippewa tribe probably numbered not to exceed 30,000 souls and 
that its range extended from Michigan, on both sides of Lakes 
Huron and Superior and as far west as North Dakota, a territory 
of probably twenty times the area of the Saginaw drainage, we 
may well consider that our local territory was well settled. 

The writer, after having briefly reviewed the general conditions 
relating to the aborigines has reached the conclusion that Saginaw 
County was a center of population and travel, a sort of Indian 
Mecca, to which the tribes made their pilgrimages and where they 
performed their ceremonies and held their great feasts. 

On the advent of the whites to this region of the Saginaw they 
found it occupied almost solely by the Chippewa. Legend and 
33 



258 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

tradition informs us that the predecessors of this tribe were Sauks, 
who were driven out by a federation of several tribes of the Al 
gonquian stock, in which the Chippewa (sometimes called Ojibway), 
took the leading part and appropriated the lands of their van- 
quished foes. Although a large and warlike tribe, their relations 
with the whites were almost uniformly friendly, especially with the 
French. That they furnished Pontiac with a contingent of for- 
midable warriors and were probably the chief actors in the bloody 
drama of Michilimacinac is probably true. The fact that they took 
no prominent part in the wars with the English was due to their 
remote situation and not to any lack of warlike qualities. 

Our fathers had two methods of securing the Indian lands : by 
force and by treaty. That they gained possession of the Saginaw 
Valley without bloodshed was due to their shrewdness and was 
not a reflection on the courage or vigor of the Indians. 

The Chippewas were essentially dwellers in the woods. We 
find, therefore, that they represent a medium primitive culture. 
Their waterways furnish means of communication that developed 
the simple arts of navigation as practiced by them to a perfection 
not often attained by primitive people. Their birch bark canoes 
were models of grace, elegance and speed. On the other hand, 
living in the shelter of the timber, their dwellings were miserable 
structures. Often during the winter famines brought about by their 
own improvidence their limbs stiffened under the intense cold of 
the icy blast, until at last no hand could be raised in the wigwam to 
drive away the hungry wolf, whose howl was the only requiem of 
warrior, woman and child. 

In basketry and pottery they had attained a fair degree of skill 
and in the stone arts they were proficient. Their religion was a 
curious combination of deism and pantheism, that is, a worship 
of a good God together with a spiritualizing of animate and in- 
animate nature. Thus a rock wais presumed to be gifted with cer- 
tain attributes and so was a deer or a trout. In short, the Chip- 
pewa lived so near to nature that he had a most remarkable con- 
ception and perception of Nature's God, which we, in our curious 
conceit, are pleased to term superstition. 

They had one great esoteric society, the Mid-e-wi-win or Grand 
Medicine Society, and they had a clan system which has not yet 
been thoroughly investigated. 

This article would hardly be complete without some definite 
reference to specific relics and remains but what I have to say will 
be based entirely upon my small collection and my own field notes, 






SAGINAW COUNTY ABORIGINES 259 

leaving to the scholar the general and scientific discussion of these 
matters. 

In my collection, gathered on many fields, are examples of nearly 
all types of flint implements belonging to this section of the United 
States. Among them are the various classes of leaf-shaped blades, 
triangular blades and stemmed blades, as well as raw material in 
every process of manufacture from the chert nodule up. As ex- 
amples of leaf-shaped blades, I have one four and one-half inches 
long by two and a half inches wide and another of whitish chal- 
cedony two by three and a half inches. A fine little specimen of 
the triangular type was picked up on Mound Hill, in Saginaw and 
was the first arrow-point found by me. This was the beginning of 
' my collection. Not many of this type have been found in this lo- 
cality but I have several specimens. The most common of all are 
the stemmed pattern, both barbed and barbless that is, shouldered. 
One of these, two inches by four, while not symmetrical, is, how- 
ever, a good specimen of the type and was collected from a city 
lot owned by me. The collection also contains flint knives, per- 
forators or drills and scrapers. The material varies from a delicate 
pink chalcedony to a coarse chert (flint). One peculiar shaped 
point is dark blue, a few are seal brown but most of them are the 
characteristic stone gray. 

Of celts I have several hammer stones, some fine chisels and 
skinning stones, a peculiar tomahawk and a heavy grooved maul 
or hammer. 

Of problematical forms we have several: One, a shuttle-shaped 
tablet or charm of pale green slate perforated with two holes; 
another of mottled purple slate of the same form but much larger 
and broken, a so-called bird or effigy stone, having the form of 
a dog, but probably representing some other animal. It is made of 
banded slate. There is, also, a large nibbing stone fashioned from 
sandstone. 

Of pottery, I have not a single whole specimen or even a large 
fragment but there are about six or eight quarts of pieces represent- 
ing perhaps fifty vessels, of a great variety of ornamentation. I 
have, also, the stems and bowls of several pottery pipes (clay). 

Much might be said as to the various mounds we have ob- 
served but it is not now necessary to further dwell upon this inter- 
esting subject. 

We have briefly reviewed the general conditions relating to the 
aborigines, and our conclusions are that Saginaw County was a 
center of population and travel, a sort of Indian Mecca to which the 



260 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

tribes made their pilgriiniges, and where they performed their cere- 
monies and held their great feasts. 

As we read the pages of the past, we are more and more impressed 
with its mysteries, amazed at its wonders, and exalted by its sub- 
lime lessons. The fascination that pertains to original investigation 
is enhanced by the knowledge that we are producing something, that 
we are adding our mite to the sum total of human effort, and making 
available those facts that later shine forth from the pages of a Park- 
man, a Fiske or a Bancroft, for the monumental works they have 
produced are but the mosaics of countless individuals, assorted, 
culled and cemented together with the rare skill of their master 
hands. We who are gathering and preserving these historical ma- 
terials, each in his particular line, are perhaps rendering a service, 
that will be more appreciated long after we have returned to dust 
and mingled our ashes with the Bed Man who has gone before us, 
than in the present day. 

We read in the pages of Holy Writ of the beauties and magnifi- 
cence of King Solomon's Temple, a structure visible to the human 
eye, and appreciable by the human senses, but how its glories fade 
when compared with the marvelous conception of John of the Celes- 
tial City ! So in like manner the wonders of our present civilization 
are dimmed when we turn to the study of Man himself, and attempt 
to trace his course along the River of Time, and study his develop- 
ment from the cave-dweller or even more remote ancestors, for we 
find that our modern empires, kingdoms, and states have been 
erected on the ruins of other empires and civilizations, the mag- 
nificence of which fills us with awe and wonder. 

If the mystery of Babylon has stirred our hearts with desire to 
learn its secret, how much greater even is the mystery of that 
strange race, the Red Man! Here on our fields are strewed his re- 
mains: here are the low mounds marking his last resting place; 
here we gather the stone hatchet, the pipe and the flint arrowhead. 

Let us see to it that every relic, every scrap of history and every 
legend and tradition is preserved and nothing lost, so that the future 
historian or ethnologist will find a rich harvest and posterity there- 
by profit. 






COMMEMORATION OF HISTORICAL 
EVENTS 



THE PERRY VICTORY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, 

BY GEORGE WHITFIELD PARKER. 

LEWIS CASS, MICHIGAN'S HERO OF THE WAR OF 1812, 

AN ADDRESS BY GOVERNOR WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS. 

AMERICAN PEACE CENTENARY, 

AN ADDRESS BY GOVERNOR WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS. 

MARKING FORT SAINT JOSEPH, 

BY RENA P. GILLAM. 

ADDRESS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE BOULDER MARK- 
ING THE SITE OF FORT ST. JOSEPH. 

BY JUDGE ORVILLE W. COOLIDGE. 

THE GENERAL CUSTER STATUE, 

BY ELIZABETH BACON CUSTER. 



THE PERRY VICTORY CENTENNIAL CELEBRA- 
TION. 

BY GEORGE WHITFIBLD PARKER. 

TT is not my purpose to dwell upon the history of that famous 
-1- battle on Lake Erie, September 10th, 1813, so notably won by 
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and his fleet, but briefly to 
say that the results of that victory represent the mastery of the 
Great Lakes, the recovery of Detroit and the West and the cap- 
ture of the British army in the upper peninsula of Canada. The 
celebration of the centennial of Perry's victory, on September 10 
and 11, 1913, came as a fitting climax to the celebration of one 
hundred years of peace between the two great English-speaking 
nations of the world. 

The question may well be asked "What has been done toward 
perpetuating the memory of Commodores Perry and Barclay, as 
well as the English and American officers and crews who lost their 
lives at that time?" 

Those of you who have been fortunate enough to spend a day at 
Put-in-bay, especially a summer day, will no doubt recall, as you 
got off the boat, a grove of trees, and as you walked along to the 
extreme easterly end, coming to a simple concrete square monu- 
ment, surmounted by a few cannon balls, the whole surrounded by 
posts and chains, capped with English and American flags. 

Doubtless it is known to few, that this little monument was 
erected from the proceeds of an amateur theatrical entertainment 
given some years ago, and up until last summer maintained by 
the good people of Put-in-Bay, and that under it rested the remains 
of the British and American officers and sailors. 

Go where you may, I venture to say from Chicago on the west, 
Duluth on the north-west, or to Buffalo, N. Y., and Erie, Pa., on 
the east, stopping if you will at Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac Island, 
Port Huron, Detroit or Toledo, you will find that no tribute of 
any magnitude has been erected to the lives that were sacrificed 
at that time. 

To the State of Ohio belongs the credit of starting this move- 
ment in the year 1909, and from it invitations were accepted by 
the States of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, New 
York, Rhode Island, Kentucky and Minnesota. The Act creating 



264 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the Michigan Commission is No. 233 of the Public Acts of Year 
1909, approved on June 8th of that year, about which time Messrs. 
Charles Moore, Seward L. Merriman and Albert L. Stephens of 
Detroit, E. K. Warren of Three Oaks and Roy S. Barnhart of 
Grand Rapids, were appointed members of that Commission. Two 
vacancies occurred not very long after, one being filled by my- 
self, and the other by Hon. John C. Lodge of Detroit, the last 
appointment being made by our present Governor Woodbridge N. 
Ferris. 

During the year 1911, an appointment was made by the Michi- 
gan Commission with Governor Chase S. Osborn, with a view to 
enlisting his co-operation in the securing of an appropriation, but 
unfortunately, owing to the stringent financial condition of the 
State Treasury, we were advised not to attempt securing an appro- 
priation at that time, with the result that rather than fail entirely, 
it was thought best to wait and see if the conditions would not re- 
adjust themselves under a different administration. 

It was not until the spring of year 1913 that the next conference 
was held in Lansing, at which time it was explained to Governor 
Ferris just what the other states, as well as the Federal Govern- 
ment, were doing in the movement. The Governor, in his blunt 
characteristic way asked, "What does the Inter-State Board of 
this Perry's Victory Commission expect Michigan to do?" He was 
told, that because of Michigan's geographical situation, and the 
benefit it derived from the results of that victory, the Inter-State 
Board thought Michigan should contribute $75,000.00. The Gov- 
ernor looked at us for a moment, and in that frank manner of his, 
promptly said, "Nothing doing, if it is an amount of that magni- 
tude." 

We then told him it was not our desire to do any thing contrary 
to his wishes, but rather to work with him, but at the same time 
we felt, if Michigan was ever going to do anything, that this was 
the accepted time and the day of salvation. In justice to the Gov- 
ernor I wish to say that he was then facing a crisis, bills were pend- 
ing in both Houses covering appropriations to the amount of ap- 
proximately |22,000,000.00, the bulk of them being deficiencies 
handed down from previous administrations, and which money was 
sadly needed for Michigan's worthy institutions. The final climax 
of the conference was, that the Governor admitted Michigan should 
be represented in the movement, and that he would stand for an 
appropriation not to exceed $30,000.00, divided $25,000.00 for the 
Memorial and $5,000.00 for the celebration to be held at Put-in- 



THE PERRY VICTORY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 265 

Bay, Ohio, September 10th and llth, 1913, providing we could get 
the bills for the appropriation through the House and the Senate. 
That very day, March 6th, 1913, Senator Kobert Y. Ogg presented 
Senate Bill 368, File 337 in the Senate, and it was unanimously 
adopted March 25th ? 1913. 

In the House, Representative A. Ward Copley of Detroit pre- 
sented a similar bill and it was only after considerable watching 
and careful explanation to the members of the House, with the 
assistance of the Committee on Legislation, of the Inter-State 
Board of the Perry's Victory Centennial Commission, consisting of 
Lieutenant-General Nelson A. Miles, U. S. A. (Retired), of Wash- 
ington. D. C., State Senators A. E. Sisson of Erie, Pa., John P. 
Sanborn of Newport, R. I., and John M. Whitehead of Janesville, 
Wis., also Colonel MacKenzie R. Todd, Financial Secretary, Cleve- 
land, Ohio, that success was attained, the bill finally passing April 
22nd, 1913, at which time it was given immediate effect, and duly 
approved by Governor Ferris. 

Contributions to the Memorial made by the States, and the Fed- 
eral Government, up to the present time total $566,806, the appro- 
priations being as follows : 

The Federal Government $240,000 

Ohio 116,806 

Pennsylvania 50,000 

Michigan 25,000 

Illinois 30,000 

Wisconsin 25,000 

New York 30,000 

Rhode Island 25,000 

Kentuckv . 25,000 



Total $566,806 

Michigan's part in the celebration held at Put-in-Bay and Cedar 
Point, Ohio, September 10th and llth, 1913, consisted in taking the 
guests from the State of Michigan, comprising the Governor, 
Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, State Officers and Officials, 
Representatives and Senators, including the special committee ap- 
pointed by the House of Representatives, together with members 
of the Michigan Commission of the Perry's Victory Centennial Com- 
mission and the Michigan Historical Association, on the Michigan 
Training Ship, the U. S. "Don Juan de Austria," Captain J. Far- 
rand Lewis, commanding, together with the officers and crews of the 



266 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

First Battalion, Michigan Naval Brigade. On leaving Detroit at 
noon September 9th, the regulation salute of seventeen guns were 
fired by the crew of the "Don Juan de Austria" in honor of Governor 
Ferris who was aboard ship. The salute made a very impressive 
effect at the time. 

We arrived at Cedar Point that night about 8:30 o'clock where 
the guests were registered at the Hotel "The Breakers," ample 
opportunity being afforded to meet the distinguished guests from 
other participating states. The next morning, or September 10th, 
all of the guests boarded their own boats for Put-in-Bay, those 
from Michigan going on the "Don Juan de Austria," from Pennsyl- 
vania on the "Wolverine," from Ohio on the "Essex" and "Doro- 
thea," from Wisconsin on the "Alabama" of the Goodrich Trans- 
portation Company, from Rhode Island on the "Rochester" of the 
Ontario & Richelieu Navigation Company, and the "Greyhound" of 
the White Star Line, while the steamer "Olcott" took care of the 
people who came to the celebration via Sandusky. With us were 
a number of private yachts escorting, as guests of honor. Governors 
and other distinguished visitors from the states participating, all 
arriving at Put-in-Bay about 10:30 A. M., and after embarking, 
all proceeded to the Coliseum where exercises were held in commem- 
oration of the occasion. 

Those participating in the exercises were Ex-President William 
H. Taft for the United States, Doctor James A. Macdonald of 
Toronto who spoke for the Dominion of Canada, Lieutenant 'Gov- 
ernor R. B. Burchard of Rhode Island (Commodore Perry's native 
state), Judge Emory A. Walling of Erie, Pa., and the Rev. A. J. 
Carey of Chicago, who spoke for the negro race, many of whom par- 
ticipated in the battle of Lake Erie. 

After the exercises all of the guests returned to Cedar Point 
where the banquet was held in the evening at the Hotel "The 
Breakers." 

Time will not permit me to dwell at length on the responses 
made. Those participating were Governors James M. Cox of 
Ohio, John K. Tener of Pennsylvania, James B. McCreary of Ken- 
tucky, Edward F. Dunne of Illinois, Aram J. Pothier of Rhode 
Island, Francis E. McGovern of Wisconsin, Samuel M. Ralston of 
Indiana, Dr. James A. Macdonald of Toronto and Ex-President 
William H. Taft; also Mrs. William Garry Slade, President, Na- 
tional Society of United States Daughters of 1812, and our own 
Governor, Woodbridge N. Ferris whose strong address was on 
"Lewis Cass, Michigan's Hero in the War of 1812." 





PERRY MEMORIAL AT PUT-IN-BAY. 

Doric column being erected to Commodore Perry and the men who won the naval vict< 
on Lake Erie in September, 1813; built of blue granite from Milford, Mass. It is 300 f 
from the base to the capital. This is to be surmounted by a bronze "tripod" 35 feet hi) 
This column is 45 feet in diameter at the base, and 35 at the top. The walls are six feet thi 

After entering the monument a descent of three steps brings the visitor into a rotunda, 
feet 6 inches in diameter. The central object of this rotunda will be a bronze statue of Co 
modore Perry, and around the side will be 12 tablets on which will be carved the names of 
killed and wounded in the battle. On the floor above the dome will be tablets containing 
names of all the officers and men of Perry's fleet. From this floor an electric elevator will i 
to the top of the monument. The bronze tripod, which is to surmount the memorial, is 
feet high, its greatest diameter is 20 feet and it weighs over 12 tons. The top of the bowl 
the tripod is a frosted plate glass and will glow at night with the rays of incandescent Ian 
installed underneath it. 



THE PERRY VICTORY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 267 

It might be said that the keynote of all the responses was not 
only patriotism and love for our country, but the "Peace" which 
has been maintained for one hundred years between the two largest 
English speaking nations of the world. 

Notwithstanding the lateness of the banquet, which had been 
prolonged into the "wee small hours," all guests were on hand to 
return to Put-in-Bay the next morning for the exercises in con- 
nection with the removal from their graves of the bones of the 
American and English officers killed in the Battle of Lake Erie. 

The Chief Marshal in charge was Colonel Harry Cutler of Rhode 
Island, with a staff composed of the leading Naval and Military 
representatives of the participating states; a provisional Battalion 
of United States Infantry, Third Division Coast Artillery, Rhode 
Island National Guard, Third Division Rhode Island Naval Bat- 
talion, officers and crews from the U. S. Ships 1 "Essex," "Don Juan 
de Austria," "Wolverine," and "Dorothea," the Newport Artillery, 
Rhode Island Militia and the First Light Infantry of Providence, 
R. I. This blending of color, with the minute guns from vessels in 
the harbor and the tolling of church bells, all lent an air of dig- 
nity and solemnity which will never be forgotten. Especially was 
this noticeable when the funeral cortege, headed by the splendid 
band of the First Light Infantry of Rhode Island playing the music 
of Chopin's funeral march, with Military Organizations, Commis- 
sioners and distinguished guests, escorted the remains of the 
American and British officers from their burial place where they 
had lain undisturbed for one hundred years, to their final resting- 
place in the crypt of the beautiful memorial erected to commemor 
ate their heroic deeds and the results achieved by the sacrifice of 
their lives. 

The religious services were conducted jointly by the Right 
Reverend James DeWolf Perry, Jr., Bishop of Rhode Island, and 
the Venerable Archdeacon H. J. Cody, D. D., L. L. D., Rector of 
St. Paul's Church, Toronto, Ont., recalling the fact that clerical 
representatives of both nations joined in the original burial at 
Put-in-Bay one hundred years ago. The vested choirs of the Episco- 
pal Churches of Sandusky joined in the exercises with sacred 
songs further emphasizing the solemnity of the occasion. 

Upon the conclusion of the exercises, nothing but words of com- 
mendation were heard on the successful outcome of the Celebration, 
all present being impressed with the fact that the work of the erec- 
tion of this magnificent Memorial must go on, and assurances given 
that everything possible would be done towards that end. 

The guests from the state of Michigan returned to the dock of 



268 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the Michigan Central B. R. at 9:00 o'clock the evening of Sep- 
tember llth. While enroute to Detroit, fitting resolutions were 
passed in favor of Commander J. Farrand Lewis and Officers of 
the "Don Juan de Austria," thanking them for the services ren- 
dered and courtesies shown to the guests from the state of Michi- 
gan. It might be in place to say at this time, that the officers of 
the "Don Juan de Austria" received no compensation and that the 
service rendered was one of love. 

Michigan's contribution to the Perry Centennial Celebration 
might have been a greater one, especially that of the city of De- 
troit, which city received more benefit from the result of this vic- 
tory, than any other city of the Great Lakes, but unfortunately 
with the failure of "Cadillaqua" the year before, and with many 
of our good citizens under the impression that the celebration at 
Put-in-Bay, Ohio, was in the nature of a "gloat" over Canada, it 
was a hard proposition to meet. 

However, through the courtesy of Hon. Oscar B. Marx, Mayor of 
Detroit, a committee consisting of Hon. Charles Moore, Commis- 
sioner John C. Lodge and the writer and Commander Divie B. 
Duffield of the First Battalion, Michigan Naval Brigade, was named 
to investigate and report a plan of celebration for the city of De- 
troit, to be held September 12th. This report was made and 
it was suggested that |5,000 be appropriated by the city of 
Detroit to be used for the entertainment of the delegations from 
the states of Wisconsin and Rhode Island who would be in Detroit 
that day. This money was finally appropriated by the Common 
Council and committee authorized to go ahead with plans of not 
only entertainment of guests, but a military parade on the after- 
noon of that date, at which time the Military Organizations of the 
State of Rhode Island would have the right of way, the entertain- 
ment to close in the evening with a grand display of fireworks. It 
might be interesting to know that in addition to the appropriation 
of $5,000, voluntary contributions of $1,600 were also received from 
patriotic citizens for fireworks. 

I would be remiss in my duty if I did not place the credit where 
it belongs for the State of Michigan's contribution to the Memorial 
and celebration at Put-in-Bay, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich. First, to 
Governor Woodbridge N. Ferris, and members of the House and 
Senate, especially Senator Robert Y. Ogg and Hon. A. Ward Copley, 
for the interest they displayed in the movement. Second, to Hon. 
Oscar B. Marx, Mayor of Detroit, and members of the Common 
Council of the City of Detroit, Lieutenant-Colonel Walter Barlow 




'Perry's Lookout" and "The Needle's Eye," Gibralter Island. 



THE PERRY VICTORY CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 269 

of the Michigan State Militia, Commander Divie B. Duffield of the 
First Battalion, Michigan Naval Brigade. Commodore W. E. 
Scripps and Dr. Murray W. Muir of the Detroit Motor Boat Club, 
who arranged for motor and pleasure boat escort for the "Ni- 
agara," Commodore Perry's flag ship, on the Detroit River, Septem- 
ber 12th, and the good citizens of Detroit who made it worth their 
while to find time to enter into the festivities of that day. 

I have endeavored, in an humble way, to relate to your organiza- 
tion the participation of our beloved State in this patriotic move- 
ment, as a recognition of events which made it possible for us to 
achieve our greatness in after years. I can say conscientiously, I 
believe that every dollar appropriated for the erection of suitable 
memorials of this character is not only a good investment for the 
youth of our state, but an inspiration to the present and future 
generations, and the realization that we are not thoughtless in 
recognizing the true valor of those who made the sacrifice. 



270 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



LEWIS CASS, MICHIGAN'S HERO OF THE WAR 

OF 1812. 

AN ADDRESS BY WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS, GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN, AT THE 
PERRY VICTORY CENTENNIAL. 

AGAIN and again my father, when I was a boy, walked many 
miles in order to hear an address by a great lawyer, judge, 
statesman or preacher. I accompanied him whenever T 
could gain his consent. Through his unconconscious training I 
became a hero worshiper. My library abounds in biographies of 
great men and great women. As a teacher, I have used these 
biographies to awaken young men and young women to a realization 
of their own responsibilities. The life of Lewis Case is an inspira- 
tion to every American who is familiar with the story of the North- 
west. 

The lineage of our hero was clean and vigorous; in other words, 
he was well born. He first saw the light at Exeter, N. H., October 
9, 1782. "His boyhood fell in the uneasy, anxious times of the Con- 
federation. It is clear that in early years he was fond of study, 
and evinced a capacity which encouraged his father to give him 
an education beyond the means, one would think, of the mechanic 
and soldier, who must have had some difficulty in making both ends 
meet." He attended Phillips Exeter Academy seven years, acquir- 
ing what would now approximate a modern high school education. 
He tried school teaching, but this occupation was not to his liking 
at a time "when he was energetic to the very point of wastefulness, 
and burned with an ardor for trial, activity, combat." 

In October, 1800, his father, Major Cass, brought his family to 
Marietta, Ohio. Lewis Cass studied law and in the autumn of 
1802 received the first certificate of admission to the bar under the 
new Ohio Constitution. In 1804 he was elected prosecuting attor- 
ney of Muskingum county. At the age of twenty-two his reputa- 
tion as a lawyer was widely known. In 1806 he was elected to 
the Ohio Legislature and in 1807, Cass was tendered a commission 
as United States marshal. This commission he accepted and re- 
tained until after the outbreak of the War of 1812. "His whole 
career was changed by the outbreak of the war of 1812; a great 
portion of his life was devoted to counteracting the effect of British 



LEWIS CASS 



271 



influence over the Indians. On February 6, 1812, Congress author- 
ized the President to accept and organize certain voluntary military 
corps, and on April 10 he was authorized to require the executives 
of the several States and Territories to take effectual measures to 
organize and equip their respective portions of (100,000) militia. 
Ohio's quota of men were divided into three regiments, Colonel 
Arthur in command of the First, Colonel Findlay in command of 
the Second, and Colonel Cass of the Third." 

Cass here made his first address to his troops: "Fellow-citizens, 
the standard of our country is displayed. You have rallied around 
it to defend her rights and to avenge her injuries. May it wave 
protection to our friends and defiance to our enemies ! And should 
we ever meet them in the hostile field, I doubt not but that the 
eagle of America will be found more than a match for the British 
lion !" 

On July 5 the army reached Detroit. Detroit was a French- 
American village, in reality a piece of old France. The population 
of the whole of Michigan was at that time about 5,000 and of De- 
troit proper, not far from 1,000. This is not the time and occasion 
for speaking of the hesitancy, indifference and humiliating weak- 
ness of General Hull. If McLaughlin's account of this campaign 
is trustworthy, Hull was an utter failure. On the 9th of July a 
council of war was called. Cass argued enthusiastically for im- 
mediate action. It is my opinion that if Cass had been in command 
the pages of history would read quite differently today. Cass be- 
lieved that incisive action would insure the fall of Maiden and the 
conquest of Upper Canada, but Hull's delay, his hesitancy, his in- 
decision, prevented the taking of any aggressive step. Finally, 
Cass, because of his much asking, was allowed to take two hundred 
eighty men and push his way as near as possible to the enemy's 
stronghold for the purpose of ascertaining its condition. Cass 
fought the first battle of the war. This first victory was accepted 
throughout the country as prophetic of success. Cass was hailed 
as the "Hero of Tarontee." Had the idea of Cass been followed, 
the British would never have captured Detroit. They would have 
been driven to defeat. On the surrender of Detroit, Cass was 
exasperated beyond endurance. He snapped his sword in twain 
rather than disgrace himself by its surrender. For forty years 
to come, the Detroit citizens could not remember the occurrence 
without flushing with mortification. 

December, 1812, Cass was appointed Major General of an Ohio 



272 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Militia, but he was not yet exchanged and was prevented by his 
parole from entering into active service. 

Only a few months ago we celebrated the anniversary of the 
Massacre at the River Kaisin. It is true, that only a few of Cass's 
troops were engaged in this battle. Cass's record in the War of 
1812 stands out in bold relief. His courage, foresight and loyalty 
must ever command the admiration of American citizens. 

It would take more than my allotted time to go into a detailed 
account of Gass's services as 'Governor of Michigan Territory. He 
gave the Territory for eighteen years the best fruits of his energy, of 
his young manhood and vigorous middle age. The story of the 
Northwest would be incomplete without the story of this man's 
services. His knowledge of the Indian's characteristics, his love for 
the Constitution, his indomitable courage, led him to make extra- 
ordinary sacrifices in order that he might know personally the 
condition of the people of the Northwest. His long journeys in 
this territory encountering grave dangers are never to be forgotten 
acts of heroism. The English had long courted the Indians by the 
generous giving of presents. Britain had used every possible effort 
to alienate the Indians from the people of the Northwest. Cass 
with his tactfulness convinced the Indians that the Americans 
were their real friends and protectors. My only object in mention- 
ing the service of Lewis Cass as Governor of Michigan Territory 
is to show that his elements of power in the War of 1812 were 
abiding elements. We cannot call Lewis Cass a Washington, a 
Lincoln or a Grant, but his sterling qualities magnificently repre- 
sent the real "makers of the United States." 

Lewis Cass was eminently democratic, and the doctrines he pro- 
claimed would be considered genuinely progressive today. He be- 
lieved in the rule of the people. He believed in putting the re- 
sponsibility upon the citizens themselves. He believd that they 
should rule themselves. His work as Governor of Michigan Terri- 
tory illustrated this most forcibly. 

He had a broad vision of educational needs. His efforts to pro- 
vide for education for all the people of the territory have borne 
fruit. The educational system of Michigan today bears evidence 
of his handiwork. 

My listeners are all familiar with the further honors that he re- 
ceived at the hands of his country. His services as Secretary of 
War, Minister to France, his democratic leadership, his election to 
the United States Senate, his candidacy for the Presidency and 
his service as Secretary of State all are familiar to you. 




GOV. LEWIS CASS. 
OiFportrait in the State Capitol. 



LEWIS OA8S 273 

It has been impossible for me in a few minutes to give any 
large number of concrete illustrations whereby the actual life of 
Cass is revealed. The elements of his character that commend my 
admiration are the same elements that have constituted the great- 
ness of every American hero. He was the very embodiment of good 
horse sense. He was not visionary. He was not drunken with 
optimism. He was not a hopeless pessimist. He looked at things 
in their true relations. His honesty and integrity have never been 
questioned. Without honesty and integrity human character is 
not abiding, in fact, it must speedily disintegrate. Cass valued his 
word as he valued his life. He never dissimulated. He never al- 
lowed himself to indulge in pretense under any circumstances. Even 
in his dealings with the Indians he was frank, firm, fearless, de- 
termined and always absolutely honest. In his dealing with 
political questions he adopted the same sterling frankness. He 
possessed human kindness. Revenge was not traceable in his na- 
ture. Justice and kindness always were uppermost in his con- 
sideration of human needs and human wants. Even the Indians 
who for scores and scores of years had been made the tools of 
Britain came to love Cass as a good father. Without the element 
of human kindness no character can be really great or worthy of 
admiration. The distinctively human element was a tremendous 
element of power in the man, Cass, 

To my mind, loyalty is a princely characteristic of human nature. 
Cass was loyal to his family, loyal to his friends, loyal to his Ter- 
ritory, loyal to his country. This characteristic has always been 
the crowning feature of American heroism and it will always re- 
main the crowning feature in all real heroism. His loyalty is an 
inspiration to me at this hour. If my services to the great State 
of Michigan, I can, in a measure, exercise the loyalty that Cass 
exercised, I shall command at least some gratitude from the citizens 
of my State. 

It is with difficulty that we comprehend the obstacles that Cass 
had to overcome. In this age of steam and electricity, space is 
practically annihilated. Cass as Territorial governor of Michigan 
made many of his long journeys in a birch canoe enduring hard- 
ships that we of today never encounter. Newspapers in no large 
sense, were at his command. There was a lack of soldiarity among 
the people with whom he had to deal. There was always a lack 
of funds for carrying on great industrial enterprises, a lack of 
funds for furthering the highest ends of statecraft. In attempting 
to measure the greatness of a man the conditions under which he 
35 



274 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

labored, must be considered. Thus measured his work for the 
Northwest must continue to grow in importance to the American 
citizen who wishes to do honor to whom honor is due. True, Lewis 
Gass had to do with patriotic, though widely scattered people, men 
and women of sturdy constitutions, men and women who wor- 
shipped at the shrine of service and freedom. He was the right man 
in the right place, sustained and aided by a grateful people. His 
whole life is tribute to the loftiest American manhood. The young 
man of today who would learn lessons in statecraft cannot do 
better than study the aims, and the achievements of this remark- 
able man. He was not a genius, though he was a man who knew 
men, who knew their ambitions and their needs, who knew how 
to conserve their own resources in order to further the progress of 
his country. 

Yes, Gass can be called Michigan's "Hero of the War of 1812," 
a hero who never had the opportunity for enblazoning this heroism, 
as have some of our American heroes since 1812. The American 
problems that Gass helped to solve were as difficult as any that 
present themselves to the American people today. Cass did his 
work well and in the Northwest his name will ever be revered and 
ever be an inspiration to youth and a source of pride to Michigan 
as well as to the citizens of other states who have come to know 
of his services. 



AMERICAN PEACE CENTENARY 275 



AMERICAN PEACE CENTENARY. 

ADDRESS OF HON. WOODBRIDGE N. FERRIS, GOVERNOR OF MICHIGAN,, AS 

TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN OF THE MACKINAC CONFERENCE OF THE 

AMERICAN PEACE CENTENARY COMMITTEE AT MACKINAC 

ISLAND, JULY 21, 1914. 

I AM not here this afternoon to deliver an address, I am here 
solely in the performance of a duty that I owe to the State 
of Michigan, to Canada, to every other state in the Union, and 
I might say, to the World. I had duties at home and found it 
somewhat difficult to decide whether or not I could be present here 
today and tomorrow. My heart, however, for many, many years 
has been in the work that this Committee is called upon to do. I 
feel that there is no other work in the world more important at 
the present time than the work of this Committee. 

As a boy I think that I failed to practice what I am preaching. 
I can hardly recall a day, when I was a boy in the rural school 
that I did not engage in a fight ; and I am compelled to confess that 
I cannot recall an instance in which I didn't get "licked;" but 
it seemed to be in my blood and so, as a source of enjoyment and 
necessary routine, I renewed the fight the next day. I only speak 
of this incident so that my friends who know me well will not be 
surprised at this speech on the subject of peace. 

I am very glad that it has been brought out this afternoon that 
even war is sometimes waged in order that we have have peace; 
although I have a suspicion that the object of this Committee is 
to avoid war even to secure peace. 

I am not going to weary you with a recital of the cost of war; 
with the awful sacrifices that have been made in war, in the hope 
that we may avoid the scourges of war in the future. Every intel- 
ligent man and woman here understands all that as well as I do, 
and perhaps a thousand times better, because I keenly regret that 
I have not the knowledge I wish I had of the subject that will 
occupy the attention of the distinguished representatives here, but 
I recall the Spanish- American War. I remember to have spoken in 
my own city of Big Rapids on the evening preceding the day the 
"soldier boys" departed, and I remember how exceedingly difficult 



276 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

it was to pacify that audience, how exceedingly difficult it was to 
get the slightest recognition, except we said again and again : "Re- 
member the Maine:" In other words, never mind the great ques- 
tions at issue, we have had an irreparable injury done us. Let us 
have revenge. And because of that action of the belligerent instincts 
and fear of peace, we entered upon that War. 

I am here to make no apologies for that war; I am not here to 
cast a word of reproach upon any of our United States officials 
who were forced into that war. I simply stand here this afternoon 
and say, that in my judgment a considerable number of wars are 
made possible because the majority of mankind are still living on 
the plane of their belligerent instincts. We often imperil the wel- 
fare of our families; we often imperil the welfare of our cities 
and villages in which we live, and we often imperil our own hap- 
piness, because we seem to have been endowed with a disposition 
to fight with the disposition to get angry; and consequently the 
members of this Committee must have an exhaustless patience in 
attempting to bring men and women into that attitude whereby they 
are willing to .think, whereby they are willing to recognize those 
finer and those more beautiful emotions and sentiments that make 
for peace and righteousness. I make that as a suggestion, although 
I welcome every effort to make further war impossible. 

Thank God! in my own veins there is not a drop (allowing me 
to be the judge) of race hatred. I know of no man of different 
color or of a different race whom, retaining his manhood, I am 
not willing to sit beside at the table or to work with wherever and 
whenever the work demands the co-operation of two men. Thank 
God! I have been born destitute of anything that savors of race 
hatred. (Applause.) 

I would not emphasize this matter of the belligerent instincts in 
man were it not for the fact that in almost every state of the 
Union there has grown up the feeling that the white race has the 
divine right to the earth. Thank God, I haven't that feeling; and 
so far as I have any influence or power, I hope to teach men that 
God Almighty must have had some wise object in creating different 
races, with innate differences and yet intending us all to partake 
of the richest bounties of the earth and live together in peace and 
joy for the righteous ends of life. 

On Decoration Day in my home city I spoke to the Grand Army 
of the Republic and their friends and in going over what I should 
say on this occasion, I ran down the enlistments and I was aston- 
ished to find in the great Civil War the vast majority of our armies 



AMERICAN PEACE CENTENARY 277 

North and South, especially of the North, were made up of men 
twenty-one years of age, or under twenty-one. What does that mean? 
It means that war is a sacrifice of youth. And today I need not 
tell an intelligent audience that the riches of this earth, the riches 
of this State, the riches of the United States, the riches of Canada 
and the riches of all the nations of the earth consist in youth, con- 
sist in their preservation, development and training in the arts of 
peace. Therefore, I deem this Committee or any other Committee 
that advocates the conservation of youth, to be of the utmost im- 
portance. 

We men, whose hair is white, should rejoice in this attitude 
towards youth. Perhaps I am unduly enthusiastic over any effort 
that can possibly be made whereby we shall live together in har- 
mony, as was expressed in that beautiful prayer this afternoon. 

We are not in politics today, we are beyond that, I trust (using 
the term in its popular sense) and I am going to venture a guess; 
I feel it is the duty of every man regardless of his politics, if he 
believes in the philosophy that is expounded by this Committee, 
to commend men, who, in spite of public clamor, still are able to 
remain steadfast in their convictions. Our efforts in Mexico have 
attracted not only the attention of this country, but the attention 
of other countries; and I want to stand here (and I would stand 
here just the same if I were a Progressive, a Republican, a Socialist 
or a Prohibitionist, as I do being a Democrat) and say that in 
my judgment and in my hope, the cold, calm, thoughtful righteous 
methods that have been adopted by the President of the United 
States in order to work out peace in Mexico are commended by the 
world. (Great Applause.) 

I firmly believe, and am happy in the belief, that in the days to 
come, one of the garlands beautiful that will grace the memory of 
Woodrow Wilson, is the policy he is carrying out to bring about 
and establish with all nations the kind of peace that has been advo- 
cated here this afternoon. I would say the same thing of any other 
ruler. God will help any President, whatever his politics, and 
whatever nation he represents, who believes that one of his highest 
duties, in fact, his highest duty, is to conserve and preserve the 
youth of his land through the agencies of love. 

Now just another word and I am done : It is exceedingly difficult 
to be patiotic in times of peace. That is when men are really tried, 
when the test of conscience comes. When arms clash and cannons 
roar, our impulses and instincts guide us; but when we are at 
peace, when we are able to look with clear vision, it requires a 



278 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

higher degree of heroism, to be patriotic. I, therefore, feel the im- 
portance of emphasizing what may be called the patriotism of 
peace. For thousands of years men have heard about the patriot- 
ism of war. Let us ring a higher change : The patriotism of peace. 

My friends, we have not seen the end of war. I am not a pessi- 
mist, nor am I an optimist, I do the best I can to see things as 
they are. I realize that the last controversy over dollars and cents, 
over trade, over international relations, lias not yet come; but by 
and by, I am hoping and praying, we shall solve these problems with- 
out the shedding of human blood. That I trust, is a part of the 
mission of this Conference. We cannot get men and women to join 
us, to work with us, by simply appealing to reason. Oh how many 
years men and women have been appealed to in regard to what is 
right and what is wrong. You have got to touch the human heart, 
you have got to get hold of the higher emotions and the higher 
aspirations of men and move them, "as with a song." We have 
wasted an immense amount of ammunition in our attempt to move 
men through the use of cold logic. I may attempt in a controversy 
with a man to use logic to the best of my ability, but he may 
thoughtlessly or intentionally utter one expression which brings 
from me a brutal blow. I do not know whether I make my mean- 
ing clear or not, but I beg of all peace conferences to make appeals 
to the emotions, the hearts and sentiments of men. I do not like 
to hear critics say that this is mere sentiment. A thousand times 
I have said : "Take out of life its poetry, its sunshine, its laughter, 
its friendships, and there is nothing left it is absolutely dead." 
These elements of life belong to the common people. Do not mis- 
understand me when I say "common people." I do not mean some- 
body lower down. I mean the great brotherhood on the "main 
traveled roads." 

I am glad that Almighty God has so organized the world that all 
men can understand 'Thank you;" that all men can understand 
"Hood morning;" that all men can understand courtesy; that all 
men can understand the blush of a flower; in a word, that all men 
and women can understand kindness and love. 

In 1915 we are to celebrate one hundred years of peace. We 
should so celebrate that we shall arouse .in youth across the water 
and in our own country, the patriotism of peace. 

My friends, I want you to know that Michigan is honored to- 
day in this conference and I want you to know that I am personally 
grateful to the delegates I have appointed in Michigan, many of 
them are here, and I want our friends from the other states and 



AMERICAN PEACE CENTENARY 279 

from Canada to know that Michigan is for Peace, for a richer and 
greater civilization, Michigan is big enough and broad enough to 
always have a welcome for "our brothers." (Prolonged Applause.) 
I now have the distinguished honor and pleasure of presenting 
Judge Alton B. Parker, of New York, permanent chairman of this 
"Mackinac Conference" of the American Peace Centenary Commit- 
tee. 



280 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



MARKING FORT ST. JOSEPH. 

BY REN A B. GILLAM. 1 

THE Fort St. Joseph Historical Society was organized three 
years ago, for the purpose of marking the site of the old Fort 
St. Joseph, located within the southern city limits of Niles. 
This fort, because of its early French and Indian associations, is 
one of the best known of the old forts in the State of Michigan, 
and because it is the only one over which have floated the flags of 
four nations. 

The membership of this Society numbered at first nearly one 
hundred members, but their enthusiasm was worn out during the 
long wait for a suitable boulder to be located, so that only a faith- 
ful few remained to do the work. 

Our first inspiration for undertaking this work came from Mrs. 
Marie B. Ferrey who urged us on, encouraging and suggesting ways 
and means. At last the boulder, considered by many to be the 
finest and largest natural boulder in the State, was found three 
miles south of Niles. The stone was 12x10x11 feet, and its weight 
was estimated at 70 tons. It was nearly two years before a con- 
tractor could be found who would attempt the work of moving it. 
When the task was finally undertaken, eight men and four teams 
worked four weeks to place the boulder upon the chosen spot, so 
rich in historic lore, which had been donated to the Society for 
the purpose of erecting a suitable memorial. The cost, when the 
work was completed, was nearly $1,050, which included the cement 
platform seats and the four posts named for the four nations, 
France, Spain, England and the United States. 

This fort was built by the French as a mission and trading post 
in 1690, in which year Father Aveneau, a Jesuit priest, ascended the 
river from its mouth ; from that time the flag of France floated over 



1 Mrs. Rena B. Gillam was born in Oneida, N. Y. and graduated in the high school 
of that city. She took the State Regents course and on its completion came to Michi- 
gan and taught in the public schools, doing high school work for four years. She was 
married to George B. Gillam, a newspaper publisher at Harrisville, Mich., now pub- 
lisher of the Niles Daily Sun. For a time Mr. and Mrs. Gillam lived in Hillsdale, 
Michigan but removed to Niles in 1902. 

Mrs. Gillam was one of the organizers of the Women's Progressive League and 
organized, and was first Worthy Matron of. the Order of the Eastern Star in Niles. 
She is the secretary of the Fort St. Joseph Historical Society, is a member of the 
Ladies' Historical Society of Niles, a member of the Michigan Women's Press Associa- 
tion, a life-long member of the Episcopal church and its various organizations and of 
a number of social organizations. In spite of these activities and her home duties she 
often assists her husband in issuing his paper. 




THE ST. JOSEPH'S BOULDER. 
Boulder at Niles, marking site of Old Fort St. Joseph. 



MARKING FT. ST. JOSEPH 281 

this region until the French and Indian war seventy years later 
which resulted in the transfer of the territory to the English. The 
Indians under Pontiac captured the fort from the English, but a 
band of Illinois patriots, making a trip overland in the dead of 
winter attended with many hardships, recaptured it in the same 
year. In 1781 a detachment of Spaniards came up from St. Louis, 
and finding the fort feebly garrisoned, captured and destroyed it. 
It was rebuilt, and by the terms of the treaty of peace with Eng- 
land, at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, the flag of the 
young republic floated over the territory of Michigan. 

The original site of Fort St. Joseph, while it has been obscured 
by time, is yet easily determined, and all through this section there 
may be located the remains of the old circular council grounds of 
the Indians. Many valuable collections of relics have been found 
near the site of this fort. When the field is plowed in the spring, 
or after heavy rains, searchers are nearly always rewarded with 
the discovery of beads and trinkets used in Indian trade. Four 
men, especially interested, banded themselves together many years 
ago under the name of the Miami Cross Society, and have since 
pursued their historical researches in this locality. Each, has a 
collection of relics not exceeded by any in the State in variety and 
excellent state of preservation. 

The first money to defray the expense of moving the boulder was 
raised by giving an art exhibit ; other ways and means used were a 
"Ransack Sale," sale of postal cards containing views of the 
boulder, a Magazine Day, an entertainment, and individual sub- 
scriptions by the school children. The task, beginning on Novem- 
ber 21, 1912, was finished and all paid for by August 1st, 1913, 
making only eight months' work. 

The dedication took place on July 4th, in the form of a County 
celebration, with floats representing Colonial days, and a parade 
over two miles in length. A fine program was given ; excellent his- 
torical addresses were delivered by Congressman E. L. Hamilton, 
Judge O. W. Coolidge, Judge Howard of South Bend, and Marie 
B. Ferrey of Lansing. Patriotic music was rendered by a band and 
a chorus of young ladies gowned in the national colors. 

The following was clipped from the Chicago Record-Herald of 
July 5th, 1913: "It was not quite three o'clock when Mrs. John 
Ferguson, President of the Fort St. Joseph Historical Society, 
stepped forward and with beaming smile and a glad light in her 
eye, gently pulled a cord which released a great flag, and Lo! Be- 
hold ! the 70-ton rock with its carving, was in view of thousands of 



282 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

spectators. After a burst of cheering, the sweet song 'America' 
began to fall from the lips of fifty white robed girls who were placed 
in front of the boulder. Then a prayer and several addresses fol- 
lowed. The flag, which had draped the big rock, was itself made by 
a woman's hand." 

The members of the Society feel very proud of this work. Any- 
one visiting in the vicinity of Niles should not fail to go to the 
site of Fort St. Joseph. Governor Ferris and members of his staff 
visited this Fort site Wednesday, October 7th, 1913 and were greatly 
pleased with the work accomplished. 



THE SITE OF FT. ST. JOSEPH 283 



ADDRESS AT THE DEDICATION OF THE BOULD- 
ER MARKING THE SITE OF FORT 
ST. JOSEPH. 1 

BY JUDGE ORVILLE W. COOLIDGE. 2 

WE have assembled here today under the auspices of the Fort 
St. Joseph Historical Society to commemorate events which 
occurred nearly a century before the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence was proclaimed at Philadelphia in 1776. We have met 
here to commemorate the first occupation of the valley of the St. 
Joseph by white men and the establishment of a military post on the 
spot where we now meet. 

The labors of the Society in placing upon this bluff a massive 
boulder to remind us of the historic and romantic associations and 
traditions which cluster round this spot, merit our hearty tribute 
of thanks and appreciation. If. we are normal beings, Providence 
has endowed us with sentiment and imagination. These elements 
of our nature, if properly developed, lead us to linger now and then 
over the earliest records, traditions and legends of the place in 
which our lot has been cast. 

This place and this occasion carry our minds back to a primitive 
age; to a time far beyond the earliest advent of the American set- 
tler to this region; to a time one hundred twenty-five years before 
Squire Thompson, the pioneer colonist of Berrien County, built his 
log cabin and planted his field of corn on the flats just north of 
the bluff. 

It was the year 1697 when the French soldiers of "le grand 
monarque," Louis XIV, first unfurled the French, flag over the rude 
fort on the St. Joseph river which afterwards became known as 
Fort Joseph. This military occupation followed rapidly in the 
wake of the first voyage of La Salle up the St. Joseph River, and 
of the establishment of the mission to the Pottawatomies and 
Miamis by the Jesuit fathers seven years before. 

It was the third dav of December, 1679, that La Salle and his 



Delivered at Niles, Berrien county, July 4th, 1913. 

2 Orville W. Coolidge was born at Edwardsburg, Cass county, Michigan in 1839 ; 
graduated at the Michigan University in 1863 and at the Harvard Law School in 
1865. Practiced in his profession at Niles till his election as Circuit Judge of the 
Second Judicial Circuit of the state. This office he held from January 1st, 1894, to 
January 1st, 1912. Since his retirement from the Bench he has been engaged in the 
practice of law with Senator Charles E. White at Niles, Michigan. 



284 MICHiaAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

party of thirty-three persons in eight canoes rowed along the banks 
of this river at the foot of this bluff. They were the first white 
men who ever ascended the St. Joseph River, as far as we can learn 
from authentic records. Before the voyage of La Salle up the river, 
he had built a rude fort at the mouth of the river at the point 
where the Daughters of the American Revolution at St. Joseph 
have placed a boulder to commemorate the event. He called the river 
the River of the Miamis and named the fort Miami, after a tribe 
of Indians by that name who then occupied the valley of the St. 
Joseph. This fort appears to have been abandoned in a few years 
and even its early history is merged in obscurity. 

The explorations of La Salle were accompanied and followed by 
journeys of the French "coureurs de bois," or runners of the forest, 
wlio were engaged in buying furs from the Indians for the French 
traders of Quebec and Montreal. A natural alliance grew up be- 
tween these men and the Western Indians, which was strengthened 
by intermarriage between the Frenchmen and the Indian women. 

The advent of the French race, however, into the wilds of tlie 
west, was destined to be succeeded by a movement much more 
important than the visits and alliances of the "runners of the 
forest." 

The Court of Versailles, having gained possession of Canada, was 
now engaged in a dream of conquest embracing a vast continent. 
While the English colonists remained contented with the possession 
of a narrow belt of territory along the Atlantic coast, the French 
were determined to occupy the vast territory lying between the 
Alleghanies and the Mississippi and between the Lakes and the 
Gulf of Mexico. By the close of the 17th century, nearly all of this 
region bad been taken possession of formally by the French. In 
this occupation explorers, missionaries and soldiers joined. The 
desire to make this territory a New France and to convert the 
Indians to Christianity went hand in hand. Every missionary be- 
came an explorer and every mission was at once preceded or fol- 
lowed by a fort; 

A mission to which I will allude hereafter appears to have been 
located here about the year 1690. The military fort, established 
shortly afterwards, was named after the river. The name of the 
river was changed from the River of the Miamis to that of the St. 
Joseph river in honor of the Patron. Saint of the Canadian Catholics. 

The first fort, erected in 1697, was a crude affair without earth- 
works, a mere stockade or palisade equipped with a few cannon. 
At a later period, but at what particular date we cannot determine, 



THE SITE OF FT. ST. JOSEPH 285 

earthworks were erected on this bluff near the point where we are 
gathered today. The ruins of these earthworks were in evidence 
when the American settlers first came and some of the oldest living 
residents claim to have seen them. 

The French occupation of the St. Joseph valley has received lit- 
tle attention from American writers and numerous errors have 
crept into the history of this region. Traditions, unsupported by 
any reliable proof, have been narrated as actual facts. The most 
authentic sources of information regarding the earliest history of 
this point are the letters and journals of the French missionaries. 
These have become accessible through the labors of Dr. Reuben G. 
Thwaites, of the Wisconsin Historical Society, one of the most 
learned antiquarians of the northwest, who a few years ago com- 
pleted an extensive compilation of the journals and letters of the 
French missionaries in the Northwest, in seventy-three volumes, 
entitled the "Jesuit Relations." 

Most of the early historians of the Northwest, including Parkman 
himself, have erroneously assumed that Fort St. Joseph was located 
at the mouth of the St. Joseph River and have confounded Fort St. 
Joseph with Fort Miami. The latter was located at the mouth of 
the river by La Salle, and was maintained but a few years. 

That Fort St. Joseph was established near the present site of the 
city of Niles and not at the mouth of the river, is abundantly 
established by the letters, journals and writings of the early French 
missionaries and travellers and by maps made of this region in the 
eighteenth century. 

In this connection I desire to call attention to the interesting and 
reliable article on Fort St. Joseph by Lewis H. Beeson in volume 
28 of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections. An interest- 
ing article was also published in volume 35 of the same series by 
Daniel McCoy. 

In the summer of 1905 I made a personal examination, to some 
extent, of the Jesuit Relations and the works of Charlevoix in the 
Chicago Public Library. Charlevoix was a celebrated French 
traveller who made an extensive trip through North America in 
the years 1721-1722. Durings his travels he visited Fort St. Joseph 
in 1721. In 1744 he published at Paris his work entitled "Histoire 
de la Nouvelle France" and also a journal written while in America 
in the form of letters addressed to the Duchess de Lesdiguere. The 
original editions are in the Chicago Public Library. In the history 
of New France is a map entitled a Map of the Lakes of Canada," 
which I examined. On this map the St. Joseph River is designated 



286 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

correctly, Fort St. Joseph is named and it is located at about the 
present site of the city of Niles. The village of the Miami tribe 
of Indians is located on the right bank of the river and that of 
the Pottawatomies on the left bank, immediately opposite. 

The Kankakee River, flowing a few miles west of South Bend, 
is designated as the Teakiki and the portage between the St. Joseph 
and the Teakiki Rivers is placed a few miles south of the Fort. 

In connection with this map, a letter addressed to the Duchess 
de Lesdiguere by Charlevoix during his visit here is interesting and 
serves to fix still further the site of the fort and mission. This 
letter is referred to in the articles by Lewis Beeson and Daniel 
McCoy. I desire to read a portion of it, although the whole of it 
is interesting. The letter is headed, "Letter from the River St. 
Joseph this 16th August, 1721,' reads as follows: 3 

"Eight days ago I arrived at this post where we have a mission, 
and where there is a commandant with a little garrison. The 
house of the commandant, which is a small affair, is called the 
fort, because it is surrounded by a palisade which is a crude affair. 
There are however some small cannon, ***** sufficient to pre- 
vent surprise and hold the savages in check. 

"In order to reach the fort one ascends it [the river] 20 leagues. 
[This would be about forty-eight English miles]. We have here 
two villages of Indians, one of the Miamis and one of the Pottowa- 
tomies. Both are for the greater part Christians but they have 
been for a long time without pastors and the missionary who has 
been sent to them lately will have some difficulty in restoring to 
them the exercise of their religion. 

"The River St. Joseph is navigable for eighty leagues and in 
the twenty leagues that I ascended in order to reach the fort, I saw 
everywhere a beautiful country covered with trees of great height." 

The site of the fort at about this point is also established by the 
line marked out by the British military authorities in 1772 for a 
road from Detroit to the Illinois river. This is described in the 
Haldimand papers. 4 After designating the eastern part of the 
road to Kalamazoo, the road is marked out as follows: 

"To Prairie Ronde 30 miles, 
To Fort St. Joseph 75 miles, 
To Portage 12 miles." 



3 This letter as here quoted differs from the letter as given by L. H. Beeson in vol. 
28, and Daniel McCoy in vol. 35 this series. 

4 The Haldimand papers can be found in vols. 9, 10 and 11 of the Michigan Pion. & 
Hist. Colls. The description of the British military road from Detroit to Fort St. 
Joseph and from thence to the Illinois and Mississippi is found on page 268 of vol. 
10. The carrying point named is the portage to the Kankakee River, commencing 
near St. Mary's Academy north of South Bend, Indiana, about 2 miles. The names 
of some of the rivers are Indian, and differ somewhat from the names now used, but 
it is easy to identify them. Author. 



TEE SITE OF FT. ST. JOSEPH 287 

The Portage here alluded to is a point on the St. Joseph River 
near St. Mary's, where the French Missionaries and the travellers 
on their way to the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers left the St. 
Joseph River and had their canoes carried to the Kankakee four 
miles distant. 

Mr. McCoy in the article referred to has copied a map which was 
made by John Mitchell in 1755, for military purposes. On this map 
the fort and two Indian villages are located at practically the same 
point as indicated on the Charlevoix map made in 1744. 

The first fort erected had no earthworks. Subsequently, earth- 
works were evidently erected, as they were partially in existence 
when the American pioneers first came here. These earthworks 
were found a few rods north and west of the boulder. The French 
flag floated here for over sixty years. 

In 1759, however, there occurred one of the greatest events of 
modern history and that event determined the fate of Fort St. 
Joseph. Quebec, the great stronghold of the French in America 
and one of the greatest natural fortresses in the world capitulated 
to the British forces, and soon afterwards Montreal surrendered. 
It was practically the final act in the great drama of warfare which 
had raged relentlessly for four years between Great Britain and 
France and it decided what nation should govern the destinies 
of North America. 

The French flag was hauled down from every fort along the line 
of the Great Lakes and rivers of the west and the English flag un- 
furled in its place. Among the names of the forts which are 
recorded as having surrendered to the British is the Fort St. Joseph 
on the River St. Joseph. This took place in 1761 when a detach- 
ment of British troops from Montreal took possession of it. 

The fort again changed hands in the year 1763. In that year the 
conspiracy of the great Indian chief, Pontiac, was at its height. 
The chieftain had visited the Pottowatomies and inflamed their pas- 
sions against the English colonists. They enthusiastically joined 
the movement then embracing nearly all of the leading tribes of the 
west. 

The year 1763 was a disastrous one for the English and the Eng- 
lish colonies. Fort after fort surrendered to the Indians, among 
them Fort St. Joseph. A band of the Pottowatomies surprised the 
British commander, Lieut. Schlosser on the 25th of May. They 
massacred eleven of the soldiers and took possession of the fort. A 
description of this massacre is given in Parkman's masterly work 
on the Conspiracy of Pontiac. The fort was held by the Pottowat- 



288 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

omies for over a year until Pontiac made his peace with the British 
when it again passed into their possession. Some minor events in 
the history of the fort I pass by. 

The most memorable event perhaps in the history of the fort 
took place in 1781. Some years ago, E. G. Mason, then President 
of the Chicago Historical Society, who was a student of the history 
of the Northwest, read an essay before the Chicago Society in which 
he established from the examination of the authentic records found 
in the Spanish archives at Madrid, the fact that in the year 1781 
a Spanish force from St. Louis, a military outpost of Spain, 
marched to the St. Joseph River, captured Fort St. Joseph, hauled 
down the British flag and raised the Spanish flag. 5 The Spanish 
troops remained only a few days, but they set fire to the fort and 
store houses and destroyed them when they returned to St. Louis. 
The fort was never rebuilt. 

The event was of historic importance because it was connected 
with a secret scheme of France and Spain. The American Revolu- 
tion had not then closed and both France and Spain were engaged 
in war with Great Britain. Spain was at that time in military 
possession of all of the territory west of the Mississippi and a part 
of Louisiana. It was the intention of France at the close of the 
war to allow her ally, Spain, to take possession of a portion of 
the territory east of the Mississippi and to control the navigation of 
that river. She wished to retain for herself most of the Northwest 
territory and to confine the United American colonies to the 
Atlantic seaboard. This is clearly set forth in John W. Foster's 
work entitled, "A Century of American Diplomacy." 

This scheme was frustrated by the sagacity and courage of three 
great men. Franklin, Adams and Jay, 6 then ambassadors to Europe, 
who in violation of the instructions of Congress, that they should 
obtain the consent of our ally, the French government, before mak- 
ing a treaty with Great Britain entered into a secret treaty with 
Great Britain by which the United States was to have all of its 
possessions east of the Mississippi and south of Canada. 

"We have here," says Foster, "the strange spectacle of the 
colonies joining with their enemy,, the mother country, to circum- 
vent the scheme of their allies." The French officials were extreme- 
ly angry Avhen the terms of this treaty were made known but the 



B This forms one chapter of Mason's "Chapters from Illinois History" and is also 
printed as a separate article in the Magazine of American History for May, 1886, under 
the title of "March of the Spanish Across Illinois." 

6 Benjamin Franklin was Ambassador to France ; John Jay was Ambassador to 
Spain ; John Adams was Ambassador to Amsterdam ; and Henry Laurens was Am- 
bassador to London. These men signed the preliminary articles of peace with Great 
Britain in Nov. 1782, as representatives of the American government. 



THE SITE OF FT. ST. JOSEPH 289 

opposition was useless and Congress, although mildly censuring our 
ambassadors, ratified their action and insisted on the Mississippi 
River being recognized a our Western boundary. Thus Michigan 
was probably preserved from French domination. The action of 
Franklin, Adams and Jay was clearly justifiable. The secret nego- 
tiations between the French and Spanish governments, with the 
design of acquiring all the territory west of the Alleghanies and 
the entire control of the Mississippi River, were attended with the 
grossest duplicity. 

I ought not to close this address without referring briefly to 
the French Missions among the Indians at this point and in the 
immediate vicinity of Bertrand. The Mission appears to have been 
established about the year 1690 by Father Allouez. According to 
the Jesuit Relations, Father Chardon came with the Pottowatomies 
to this point from Green Bay in the year 1711 and was their first 
pastor in this region. One of the French missionaries died here 
and a wooden cross near the site of Miami village for a long time 
marked the spot of his burial. His name is unknown but it is 
probable that it was Father Aveneau. There are traditions that 
Joliet, the discoverer of the Mississippi, and also Marquette were 
at this point before the year 1690 but there is no authentic proof 
of any of these visits and I could find no allusion to such visits in 
the Jesuit Relations. 

The French Mission continued until about the year 1759 when 
it was practically abandoned. A church was again established 
about 1830, in answer to an appeal made by Leopold Pokagon, a 
leading chief of the Pottawatomies who was respected by the early 
settlers. His village was one mile west of Bertrand village. 
Father Badin, a French Catholic priest, was sent to minister to 
the Pottawatomies and a church edifice of logs was built near the 
village of Pokagon. In 1837 this building was supplanted by a new 
church edifice of brick in the village of Bertraud. By the year 1840 
the last remnant of the Pottawatomies had departed from this 
locality for the Indian reservations beyond the Mississippi. A few 
of the tribes, however, settled in Silver Creek Township in Casa 
County, Michigan. 

The petition of Pokagon to the Catholic Bishop in 1831 is thus 
given : 

"My Father, I come again to implore you to send us a Black 
Robe to instruct us in the Word of God. If you have no care for 
us old men, at least have pity on our poor children, who are grow- 
37 



290 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

ing up as we have lived, in ignorance and vice. We still preserve 
the manner of prayer as taught to our ancestors by the Black Robe 
who formerly resided at St. Joseph. Morning and evening with my 
children, we pray together before the crucifix. On Friday we fast 
according to the traditions handed down by our fathers and 
mothers, for we ourselves have never seen a Black Robe at St. 
Joseph. Listen to the prayers which he taught them and see if I 
have not learned them correctly." 

It is related that Pokagon after the presentation of his petition 
fell upon his knees, made the sign of the Cross and recited in his 
own language the Lord's Prayer, the flail Mary, the Apostle's 
Creed and the Ten Commandments. 

The early French Missions among the Indians were productive 
of great good. A large portion of the Pottawatomies were con- 
verted to Christianity and became to a considerable degree civilized 
and accustomed to industrial pursuits. Between the time of the 
abandonment of the mission and the appeal of Pokagon, a decline in 
the condition of the Pottawatomies commenced. A passion for 
strong drink was encouraged by the liquor sold them by American 
traders. During the French occupation this traffic was largely sup- 
pressed. The French priests despised habits of intoxication. They 
were remarkably temperate themselves and at all times strenuously 
endeavored to prevent the use of liquor by the Indians. 

It may be questioned whether the method of colonization pursued 
by the French among the Indians was calculated to become as 
successful as that of the British. This, however, should be said, that 
everywhere they treated the Indians with kindness and forbearance. 
No cruelties such as marked the conquest of the Spaniards in both 
North and South America attended the peaceful mission of the 
French. That innate courtesy, tact and power of adaptation to 
attract other races which have characterized the French race beyond 
all other races, were inherent in the missionary, the explorer and 
the soldier alike. The French priests contemplated the building 
up of the Indian tribes into civilized communities, which should 
owe allegiance to the French government but preserve their own 
land and property rights. In this they were destined to be disap- 
pointed both by the British conquest and the subsequent policy of 
the American Government. The Americans were essentially hostile 
to the continued location of the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi 
River. 

In conclusion, I desire to say that we are commemorating today 
not only the earliest military occupation of this region but the first 



THE SITE OF FT. ST. JOSEPH 291 

introduction of Christianity and civilization into the wilds of 
western Michigan. The French priests preceded the French soldiers 
and the fort followed the mission. The fortitude and heroism of 
the French missionary in plunging into a wilderness thousands of 
miles distant from home, inhabited by roving savages, enduring 
all manner of privation and suffering, have never been surpassed. 
Many of them were men of brilliant attainments like Joliet, Mar- 
quette and Allouez, who left their homes amid the most cultured 
society of Europe to endure the privations and dangers of a sojourn 
in forests among savages, without even the ordinary comforts of 
life. 



292 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



THE GENERAL CUSTER STATUE.* 

BY ELIZABETH (BACON) CUSTER. 1 

ON June 4, 1910, the City of Monroe, Michigan, was honored by 
the presentation of a handsome equestrian statue in bronze, 
of Gen. George Armstrong Ouster, the famous Civil War hero 
and Indian fighter, native of Michigan. The statue was presented 
by Gov. Fred N. Warner on behalf of the people of the State of 
Michigan, to Monroe City, the home of Gen. Custer, and was ac- 
cepted by its mayor, Jacob Martin. It is the work of Edward Clark 
Potter, the well known sculptor of Greenwich, Conn., and represents 
Custer in a Civil War scene, facing the Confederate lines, hat in 
hand and charger reined high. On the pedestal is the simple in- 
scription, "Custer," the committee believing that this was more 
forceful and significant than a detailed description. 

The unveiling, which was performed by General Custer's widow, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Bacon Custer, took place in the forenoon, and was 
witnessed by thousands of visitors, many Civil War Veterans, 
Spanish War Veterans, Ouster's Cavalry Brigade Veterans, and 
citizens of Monroe. President Taft spoke of Custer's service to the 
country, and Senator William Alden Smith of Michigan delivered 
the oration of the day. 

George Armstrong Custer was born at New Rumely, Harrison 
County, Ohio, December 5, 1839. He was a descendant of a Hessian 
trooper, Kuester, who fought in Burgoyne's army in the Revolution 
and afterward settled in Maryland. From there Emmanuel Custer, a 
descendant, removed to Ohio and settled near New Ruinely, where 
he was twice married. His second wife, Mrs. Kilpatrick, was the 
mother of George Armstrong, Nevin, Thomas Ward, Boston, and 
Marguerite Emma, the youngest, who married Lieut. James Cal- 
houn. 

Ouster came to Monroe when thirteen years old and lived with 
his half-sister, Mrs. David Reed. He was educated in the Stebbins 
Academy at Monroe, and one of his old friends and seatmates, J. 

'Mrs. Elizabeth Bacon Custer, daughter of the late Judge Daniel S. Bacon of Monroe, 
was married to General Custer in February, 1864, and was with him at various army 
posts until his death in 1876. Mrs. Custer resides in New York City ; she is in receipt 
of pension from the government as well as other income and she devotes much of her 
time and means to soldiers' widows and orphans who are less fortunate than herself. 
EDITOH. 




MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE ARMSTRONG OUSTER. 



THE GENERAL OUSTER STATUE 293 

;. Bulkley of Monroe, tells many amusing incidents of their early 
?hooldays and of Ouster's fondness for stories of "fights." Ouster 
uished his education at West Point, graduating in June, 1861, 
id immediately reported for duty. He distinguished himself 
iroughout the Civil War for his bravery and daring, and rapidly 
>se in rank, until at the age of twenty-three he was a brigadier- 
jneral. April 15, 1865, he was brevetted major-general of 
)lnnteers. 

In February, 1864, he married Miss Elizabeth Bacon of Monroe, 
tie was with him during the first year of their marriage and spent 
ne years with him in the West. Later she published their ex- 
jriences, together with sketches of Ouster's life, in "Boots and 
iddles" and "Tenting on the Plains." 

After the close of the Civil War Ouster accepted the lieutenant- 
'lonelcy of the Seventh Cavalry and joint his regiment at Fort 
iley, Kansas, in November, 1866, where he served until 1871. From 
Hl-1873 he served with his regiment in Kentucky, and in the 
iring of the latter year he was ordered to Fort Bice, Dakota. In 
ay, 1876, he commanded his regiment in a campaign against the 
nfederated Sioux tribes, encountering them, on June 25, at Little 
ig Horn, where he and all his men, 254 cavalrymen, were slain by 
tting Bull's band. Among the killed were five members of the 
ister family Gen. Ouster, his brothers Thomas Ward and Boston, 
s brother-in-law Lieut. James Calhoun, and his nephew Armstrong 
d. 

The bodies were buried on the battlefield, and in 1879 the field 
is made a national cemetery. The spot where Ouster made his 
st charge was marked by a monument, upon which are inscribed 
e names and rank of the fallen heroes. In 1877 Ouster's remains 
sre removed to the cemetery at West Point, and a most unsatis- 
rtory statue was placed upon the grave; it was finally removed 
d stored. The erection of the new statue is largely due to the 
orts of his old friend Mr. Bulkley and to Mayor Martin. 3 



See Detroit Journal, May 28, 1910, Detroit News and Journal, June 4, 1910 ; De- 
Free Press, June 5, 1910 ; Lansing State Republican, May 16, 1910 ; Grand 
)ids Herald, June 5, 1910 ; Appleton's Cyclopedia of Biography. 



THE STUDY OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 

THE MICHAEL SHOEMAKER COLLECTION OF MICHIGAN 

MAPS 

BY WILLIAM L. JENKS 

THE OLD NORTHWEST TERRITORY 

BY EDWIN O. WOOD 

THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 

BY CLAUDE S. LARZELERE 

A JUNIOR PIONEER LEAGUE FOR MICHIGAN 

BY ELEIANOR GRIFFIN MO NETT 

THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF MICHIGAN 

HISTORY 

BY WILBUR F. HEDRICK, PH. D. 



THE MICHAEL SHOEMAKER COLLECTION 
OF MAPS. 1 

BY WILLIAM L. JBNKS. 

AN interesting exhibit at the annual meeting of the Society in 
1913 was the collection of early maps relating to the Great 
Lakes region. It was purchased with the Shoemaker Fund, 
contributed by a daughter of the late Michael Shoemaker, who was, 
for many years, an active member and officer of the Society. These 
maps, and other which may be acquired later, are to be designated, 
"The Michael Shoemaker Collection." 

The earliest map is one issued in 1648 by Blaeu- of Amsterdam, 
one of the most famous of map-making families, whose business 
was begun in 1612 and was carried on by his sons and grandsons. 
This map is entitled "American Nova Tabula." It is beautifully 
colored and contains around the border a number of figures or types 
of different races, and views of cities. It is on a small scale, but is 
clear and distinct. It is included in the collection to show the then 
general state of knowledge in Europe about America. None of the 
Great Lakes is shown, but the St. Lawrence River begins far in the 
interior of the continent. Lake Champlain appears not far from the 
proper location, but on much too large a scale. 

In accordance with a fashion not unusual, the same plate from 
which this map was printed was used in issuing a map at about 
the same time by Jan Jansson, 3 under the title, "America Noviter 
delineata." 

The next map in point of age is a very rare French map made by 
Pierre DuVal 4 and issued in Paris about 1670. The first edition of 
the map was in 1653 and differs very little from this. The con- 
figurations of the Great Lakes are very curious, Lake Ontario 



x Read at the annual meeting, 1913. 

2 Blaeu Jean 1596-1673 son of Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638), also a noted 
map-maker and the founder of a family of noted map-makers. The sons and grand- 
sons of Willem Blaeu afterwards carried on the business. For biography of Blaeu 
family see Lowery Collection (Library of Congress series) p. 133. 

3 Jansson Jan died 1666 a Dutch geographer of Amsterdam, who was originally 
associated with his brother-in-law, Hendrick Hondius. Jansson's three daughters 
married three brothers who took the name of Jansson. After the death of Hondius, in 
1644 (or 1638?) two of the sons-in-law became connected with the business which 
was carried on under the firm name of Jansonius. See Phillip's List of Geographical 
Atlases (Library of Congress series) p. 217. 

4 Du Val Pierre (d' Abbeville) 1619-1684. A French map-maker and relative of 
Nicolas Sanson, also a celebrated geographer. Consult August Jal's Dictionaire 
Critique, p. 521 ; Michaud's Biographic Universelle, and Lowery Collection (Library of 
Congress series) p. 150. 



298 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

measuring about 1^2 inches in length while Lake Erie extends only 
about !/2 inch. Lake Huron seems to be part of a series of lakes 
and bears the name in French, "Fresh Water Sea or Great Lake of 
the Hurons and Atigoatan, which has flow and ebb." 

Next in age is an English map of 1680 by William Berry, prob- 
ably the largest and most authentic English map of North America 
up to this date. It is evidently based upon Sanson's map of KioO, 
but has a few alterations in the shape and names of the lakes. 

A very interesting and rare map is the English map of Daniel, 
covering the English Empire in the Continent of America and 
issued in 1685. This map shows three of the Great Lakes. "Huron" 
lies between 44 degrees and 45 degrees north latitude, and just west 
of 77 longitude. About one degree due south is "Lake Ontarius'* 
and south of that and connected with it by a river, is "Lake Erius 
or Felis." The two upper lakes are connected by streams with tiie 
St. Lawrence River. 

A French map of 1640, Jaillot's 5 "North America," is of value 
chiefly because it is a reproduction, in everything but the name of 
the author, of the first map ever published which showed to some 
extent, all the Great Lakes the map of Sanson 6 issued in 1650. 
The Lakes are not completely shown. Of Superior and Michigan, 
only the lower parts appear. All are distorted and not very cor- 
rectly placed with relation to each other, yet they indicate a 
knowledge of the interior of the continent very far in advance of 
the English geographers of 1650. 

An English map of 1695, by Morden 7 shows the Lakes in ap- 
proximately their relatively proper positions. This same map, 
with a slight change in the title, was issued again in 1719 under the 
authorship of Senex, a well known geographer of that date. 

Another English map, made in 1710 by John Senex, 8 is a fine 
large colored map covering territory extending beyond the Mis- 
sissippi and showing the new discoveries made in that region be- 
yond the Great Lakes. 

A fine French map, undated and bearing no author's name, was 
issued probably in 1718 by N. de Fer 9 "Geographer to His Catholic 

B Jaillot Charles Hubert Alexis 1640 to 1712 ... A French geographer born in 
the village of Avignon near Saint Claude. Jaillot's son and grandson were also 
"geographes du roi." Lowery Collection, p. 157. 

"Sanson Nicolas (d' Abbeville) 1600-1667. A French map-maker whose three sons 
and a grandson were also noted geographers. 

Morden Robert died 1703, an English map and globe maker who lived in the 
latter part of the 17th century. The maps that passed through his hands bear the 
quaint inscription "Sold by R. Morden at ye Atlas in Cornhill near ye Royal Exchange 
London." For sketch of Life see Dictionary of National Biography. 

^feenex John died 1740 a -London, Eng. map-maker. He was made a fellow of 
the Royal society in 1728. His maps appeared about 1710 in collaboration with C. 
Price and then and later with John Maxwell. For life of Senex consult Dictionary of 
National Biography. 

9 Fer -Nicolas de 1646-1720 A portrait of this French geographer with a notice 
life and a list of his maps can be found in Weimar's Allgemeine geographische 
ephemenden (1803), vol. 12, pp. 368-372. 



SHOEMAKER COLLECTION OF MAPS 299 

Majesty." This map is entitled Map of New France, and gives the 
Great Lakes in more detail than does any other map up to this 
date. 

The same author, de Fer, is responsible for a beautiful map 
issued in 1719 and bearing the title in French, "A very Curious 
Map of the South Sea." It covers all of North and South America 
and therefore shows the Lakes on a small scale. The chief interest 
of the map is the elegant engraving appearing as inserts in the 
ocean spaces showing a fine view of Niagara Falls, beavers at work, 
plans of cities, Indians, animals, birds, etc. 

Two of the maps bear the date of 1720. One is by Herman Moll, 10 
the English geographer, and shows all the Lakes on a large scale. 
It contains as an insert, an elegant engraving of "Sasquesahanok 
Indian Fort." The other, which is undated, seems to belong to this 
same period. It is by J. B. Homann 11 of Nuremberg, and is based 
upon the travels and book of Hennepin. This map is also beautiful- 
ly ornamented. 

The collection includes two maps by D'Anville, 1 - a famous 
French geographer. One is of North America and is dated 1746. 
This is usually considered the best French map of the whole of 
North America up to this date. The one dated 1755 includes 
Canada, Louisiana and the English territories. The scale of this 
map is much larger than the preceding, and it is a fine record of 
this region. 

A well detailed and larger map covering this same territory is 
that of Robert de Vaugondy, 13 fils, issued in 1750, with the title in 
French, "Map of the Country known by the name of Canada." 

An important map was that of Jeffery's 14 issued in 1755, based 
upon D'Anville's Map of North America with corrections. It con 
tains several columns of descriptive text engraved in the part de- 
picting the ocean. 

Four English maps complete the collection. These are : Kitchin's 15 
map of 1763, made after the close of the French and Indian war; 



10 Moll, Herman died 1732. Maps with the signature of this English geographer 
were issued as early as 1700. A notice of his life is given in Dictionary of National 
Biography. 

"Homann Johann Baptist 1664-1724 A German map-maker of Nuremberg. His 
business was later continued by his heirs who issued hundreds of maps. For biblio- 
graphy of the Homann family see "The Lowrey Collection" (Library of Congress 
series), pp. 278-280. 

12 Anville Jean Baptiste Bourguiguon d' 1697-1749 For bibliography concerning 
his life and works consult The Lowery Collection (Library of Congress series), pp. 260- 
261. 4 

"Robert de Vaugondy (fils) Didier 1726-1786 For references to the life of the 
two Roberts de Vaugondy father and son consult Michaud's Biographic universelle, 
vol. 36. pp. 138-139. The father's name was Gilles and he lived between 1688-1766. 
Phillips' List of Geographical Atlases (Library of Congress), p. 350 says: "Many 
maps are by Robert de Vaugondy, the son. and are dated 1749. 

ll Jefferys Thomas 1699-1775 An English map-maker of London. Consult Diction- 
ary of National Biography. 

15 Kitchin Thomas 1718-1784. 



300 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

PownalPs 16 map of 1783, made after the treaty of peace between 
Great Britain and the United States, which shows the boundary 
line between the two countries ; a map by Blair 17 made in 1790, and 
one by Laurie 18 and Whittle 19 in 1794. 

This collection in its present condition is a very good beginning 
towards a complete set of characteristic maps which will show the 
growth of knowledge of leading European nations, during the 
Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, of that part of the Western 
Continent surrounding the Great Lakes. 

It will soon receive a considerable addition in photographic re- 
productions of maps in the French archives, most of which have 
never before been published. 20 



18 Pownall Thomas 1720-1805 See Dictionary of National Biography. 

"Blair John F. R. S. and LL. D., died 1782 historian, Priest of church of Eng- 
land, born and educated in Edinburgh. See Dictionary of National Biography. 

18 Laurie Robert H. 1755-1836. Consult Dictionary of National Biography. 

"Whittle James died 1818 associated with Robert H. Laurie in the making of 
maps and atlases. 

20 Since the exhibit, there has been added a fine copy of the famous Mitchell map of 
1755 of the British and French dominions in North America. A copy of this map 
was used by the Peace Commissioners in making the Treaty of 1783 for marking the 
northern boundary line of the United States. 



THE OLD NORTHWEST 301 



THE OLD NORTHWEST.' 



BY EDWIN O. WOOD.- 

THE late B. A. Hinsdale, so long associated with the University 
of Michigan, and to whom the country is indebted for more val- 
uable additions to the published records relating to the Old 
Northwest than perhaps any other authority, in the preface of his 
work upon this subject, says: 

"Save New England alone, there is no section of the United 
States embracing several states that is so distinct an historical 
unit, and that so readily yields to historical treatment, as the Old 
Northwest. It is the part of the Great West first discovered and 
colonized by the French. It was the occasion of the final strug- 
gle for dominion between France and England in North America. 
It was the theater of one of the most brilliant and far-reaching 
military exploits of the Revolution. The disposition to be made of 
it at the close of the Revolution is the most important territorial 
question treated in the history of American diplomacy. After 
the war, the Northwest began to assume a constantly increasing 
importance in ihe national history. It is the original public do- 
main, and the part of the West first colonized under the authority 
of the National Government. It was the first and the most import- 
ant territory ever organized by Congress. It is the only part of the 
United States ever under a secondary constitution like the Or- 
dinance of 1787. No other equal part of the Union has made in one 
hundred years such progress along the characteristic lines of Ameri- 
can development." 

McCarty in a study in historical administration entitled "The 
Territorial Governors of The Old Northwest," prefaces his work 
as follows: 

"The Old Northwest occupies a peculiar position in American 
history. Rich in the traditions of the past, when nations struggled 
for supremacy along its borders, it was left at the feet of the 
thirteen original States by the receding waves of the Revolution, 
a vast wilderness of boundless resources, waiting for the magic 

J Read at the midwinter meeting, January, 1913. 

-Edwin O. Wood of Flint, Mich., was born at Goodrich, Genesee County, Michigan, 
in 1861. He is a member of Michigan Historical Commission and of the Mackinac 
Island Board of State Park Commissioners ; President National Fraternal Press Asso- 
ciation. 1903 ; President National Fraternal Congress, 1904 ; Chairman Democratic 
State Central Committee, 1904 ; Member Democratic National Committee for Michigan, 
1908-1916 ; Member American Historical Association and life member of the historical 
societies in the States embracing the Old Northwest Territory ; Author of Historic 
Mackinac and collector of books, manuscripts, maps, and data relating to Michigan 
and the Old Northwest. 



302 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

touch of civilization. The original thirteen States were then just 
beginning to round out into a unified National life. This life was 
tentative and uncertain at first; but after the critical period had 
passed it burst out of its old confines and spread over the western 
country with a, joyous abandon that threatened to outstrip the 
forms and traditions of the old regime. 

It was an eminently practical evolution that within a few decades 
transformed the wilderness of the Old Northwest into the populous 
and flourishing states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wis- 
consin. The genesis and early development of the Northwest Terri- 
tory are, therefore, strategic points from which a correct study of 
western American institutions and their growth must of necessity 
begin." 

Channing, in his admirable history of the United States, refers 
to the trip of James Monroe made in 1785, to the westward, where 
"he was impressed with the 'miserably poor' character of the coun- 
try, especially of the lands near Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, and 
in the Illinois valley. Writing to Jefferson, he hazarded the con- 
jecture that this whole region might "never contain enough in- 
habitants to entitle them to admission to the confederacy as a state. 
As the number required was that of the inhabitants of the smallest 
of the original thirteen states, Monroe's appraisement of the ca- 
pacity of the Old Northwest was not very high, to say the least." 

In view of these predictions by President Monroe, it is interesting 
to pause here and note that from the figures of the census of 1910 
shown in an abstract just issued, the states of Ohio, Illinois, 
Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan (not taking into consideration 
that portion of Minnesota lying east of the Mississippi river, and 
which with the five states enumerated make up what was originally 
the Northwest Territory) now have a combined population of 
18,250,621, or one-fifth of the entire population of the United States, 
exclusive of our outlying possessions. 

The census of 1790, five years subsequent to the trip made to 
this territory by James Monroe, shows the entire United States 
to have had a total of less than four million people, while the States 
carved out of the Northwest Territory alone now has nearly five 
times that number. 

The total population of the United States in 1840 was more than 
a million less than these five states now have, and Ohio or Illinois 
each at present has more souls than the entire United States had 
when President Monroe formed his conclusions. 

The latest census groups these five states into one unit or geog- 
raphic division known as East North Central, and while five great 
commonwealths have been created, yet in history the original 



THE OLD NORTHWEST 303 

Northwest Territory must ever remain intact. This census (1910), 
shows the center of population to be located at the city of Bloom- 
ington, Indiana. The census of 1860, 1870, and 1880 found the 
center of population in Ohio, and for 1890, 1900, and 1910, in 
Indiana, showing that for fifty years it has remained in what was 
the Northwest Territory. 

So much for the present relative situation of this territory in 
connection with the country as a whole. 

Champlain extended his observations to Lake Huron in 1615, and 
Neill, in Justin Winsor's "Narrative and Critical History of Ameri- 
ca," gives to Brule "the undisputed honor of being the first white 
man to give to the world a knowledge of the region beyond Lake 
Huron." 

In 1634, Jean Nicolet made his way in a frail canoe from 
Georgian Bay to the northern shores of Lake Huron, and paddling 
through the Straits of Mackinac, was the first white man to gaze 
on that now historic section. He discovered Lake Michigan. 

Then followed the exploration by the two brothers-in-law, Groseil- 
lieres and Radisson, and by Father Menard. 

Pierre Boucher in 1663, published a book in Paris containing the 
following: 

"In Lake Superior there is a great island which is fifty leagues 
in circumference, in which there is a very beautiful mine of cop- 
per." 

Joliet visited Sault Ste. Marie in 1669. About the same time, 
Father Allouez had extended his field of operations to Green Bay, 
he being the first Jesuit missionary to reach that point, although 
Nicolet had been there thirty-five years before. 

In May, 1671, a council was held at Sault Ste. Marie, attended 
by representatives of the fourteen tribes and by Saint Lusson, 
Andre, Allouez, Dreuilletes, Claude Dablon, Perrot, Joliet, and a 
number of French fur-traders. 

The starting of Marquette and Joliet from Michillimackinac at 
about this period upon their memorable trip destined to discover 
the course of the Mississippi River, marks an event which will grow 
in history as time goes on. 

The first one hundred and fifty years of written history covering 
Michigan and much of what was the Northwest Territory comes 
very largely from those noble and courageous men, the Jesuit mis- 
sionaries. 

The Ohio section of The Old Northwest Territory was first 



304 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

explored by La Salle, about 1680, his purpose being to trade with 
the Indians rather than to found settlements. 

The French and Indian War was brought on by rival claims and 
the French maintained their right and occupied the country until 
the conquest of Canada in 1760. The English acquired title to the 
Ohio country upon the surrender by the French in 1763. 

Following the Revolution there were frequent and conflicting 
opinions among a number of states concerning their rights to the 
land in this territory. These were finally adjusted when the States 
ceded to the United States their real or imaginary title, Virginia 
and Connecticut reserving a total of about seven million acres. In 
1800 all jurisdiction was relinquished to the national government, 
the latter purchasing all Indian titles to the same. 

The various claims upon this territory were distributed about as 
follows : England laid claim to North America by reason of the 
discoveries of the Cabots and for over fifty years it was a subject 
of dispute between that country and France, the latter being de- 
feated by 1760. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 gave to England 
ownership, that is, any title which France may have had to the 
same of the entire northern and western country which had 
not already been acquired by her from France through the treaty of 
1713. This country was now held by England for twenty years, 
until 1783, when the United American Colonies acquired by treaty 
all of the Northwest which is now a part of the United States. 

Another claim to this country had been made by France, upon 
the discoveries of Cartier, and later, the explorations of Champlain 
and La Salle. 

Virginia already claimed a good part, if not all, of this country, 
through a patent received from King James I, but finally conveyed 
it to the United American Colonies. 

Massachusetts also claimed a strip of land extending from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean by virtue of patents from James I in 
1620 and from Charles I in 1628. Whatever title was possessed 
was given to the United American Colonies in 1785. 

The Erie Indians had maintained possession of a good part of 
Ohio before 1655, while the Iroquois Indians, known as the Five 
Nations, acquired a part of the Ohio Country when they ex- 
terminated the Eries in 1655 and in 1726 they had relinquished a 
strip of land bordering on Lake Erie, to the English. 

Other Indian tribes had portions of the Northwest Territory, 
some parts being claimed by certain tribes individually, while 
others were held or claimed in common. 



THE OLD NORTHWEST 305 

In 1662 Charles II had granted to the colony of Connecticut a 
strip of land of the same width and extending westward to the Pa- 
cific Ocean, and Connecticut laid claim to this land as late as 1786, 
when she also ceded to the United American Colonies all excepting 
what became known as the Western Reserve of Connecticut, in 
northern Ohio. 

New York laid claim to some of this territory by reason of Charles 
IPs grant to his brother, James, Duke of York, a strip of land 
from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, which included the land 
which had previously been granted to Connecticut. New York re- 
linquished her title to the United Colonies in 1780. 

In 1783, following the Revolutionary War, England ceded her 
right to the territory to the United American Colonies and the 
Northwest Territory came into possession of all the title* which 
England could give. Then the United States immediately set about 
acquiring title from the Indians and various individual colonies. 

William Stowell Mills, from whose recent book much informa- 
tion has been gathered, classifies the claimants as, 

1. Those whose right was based upon possession, residence, actual 
occupation. The American Indians. 

2. Those whose claims were founded -upon discovery and explora- 
tion. Foreign powers: England and France. 

3. Those to whom free grants had been made. American Col- 
onies: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Virginia; also 
individual grantees to "Fire Lands." 

4. Those whose rights were obtained by treaty. The United 
American Colonies and England, whose right was regained from 
the claim of France. 

Returning to the Treaty of Peace signed at Paris, February 10, 
1763, between France and England, we quote from Poole, in Justin 
Winsor's "Narrative and Critical History of America," who states 
that this treaty "marks perhaps the most important epoch in the 
political and social history of North America, It settled forever a 
question which had been in doubt for a century ,- whether the rule 
and civilization of France or Great Britain were to shape the 
destinies of the western continent. It was the culmination of a 
seven years' war, in which the vigorous administration of William 
Pitt had crushed the allied forces of France and Spain. The capture 
of Quebec by Wolfe, the surrender of the French army to Amherst 
at Montreal, were but instances of the general humiliation which 
France and Spain had experienced on the continent of Europe, in 
India, in the West Indies, and on the ocean. They could fight no 
39 



306 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

longer and were glad to accept any terms of peace which Great 
Britain might dictate. The Treaty of Paris made a strange trans- 
formation of the political map of North America and for the first 
time brought under British sway the territory which now com- 
prises the Western States of the American nation. ***** 

It will be seen that no provision was made for the government 
of nine-tenths of the new territory acquired by the Treaty of Paris, 
and the omission was not an oversight but was intentional. The 
purpose was to reserve as crown lands the Northwest Territory, 
the region north of the Great Lakes, and the country between the 
Alleghanies and the Mississippi, and to exclude them from settle- 
ment by the American Colonies. They were left for the time being 
to the undisputed possession of the savage tribes. The King's 
'loving subjects' were forbidden making purchases of land from 
the Indians or forming any settlements 'westward of the sources 
of the rivers which flow into the sea from the West and North- 
west.' " 

Following the Land Ordinance of the 20th of May, 1785, Thomas 
Hutchins, who was then Geographer of the United States, which 
office included also the work of Surveyor-general of the public 
lands, was detailed to make the first survey of the western country. 
He was to start at the intersection of the northern bank of the 
Ohio River with the western boundary of Pennsylvania, running a 
base line known as a geographer's line, due west. Every six miles 
apart north and south lines were to divide the territory into seven 
ranges. Lines six miles apart, east and west, were to divide the 
ranges into townships. There were to be thirty-six sections, each 
one mile square, in each township. Lot numbered sixteen of each 
township Avas to be reserved for the maintenance of the public 
schools within that township and there were also reservations for 
Indians and refugees from Canada and Nova Scotia. With these 
reservations, the balance of the land was to be sold at auction for 
not less than one dollar per acre, to which was to be added the 
cost of making the survey. However, before any were sold under 
this plan, Congress had already authorized the sale of large tracts 
to companies or syndicates, at a much lower price. 

While it may be somewhat disconnected, yet perhaps here is 
as good a place as any to insert a letter found in "Sketches of 
America" by Fearon, w r ho made an application to the General Land 
Office, asking a price on a tract of forty thousand acres in the 
Northwest Territory. The letter, written in 1817, reads as follows : 



THE OLD NORTHWEST 307 

GENERAL LAND OFFICE. 
SIR: 

In reply to your letter: I have to say, that the public lands 
north-west of the river Ohio are sold at two dollars per acre, pay- 
able one-fourth cash; one-fourth in two years; one-fourth in three 
years; one-fourth in four years. A discount of eight per cent per 
annum for prompt payment reduces the cash price to one dollar 
and sixty-four cents per acre. If the installments are not all paid 
within five years, the land is offered at public sale ; if it brings more 
than the principal and interest due the United States, the surplus 
is paid to the original purchaser; if the principal and interest is 
not bid, the land reverts to the United States, and the monies 
paid on account are forfeited. 

These are the terms of sale without respect to persons or quan- 
tity. 

I am very respectfully, 

Sir, 
Your obedient servant, 

JOSIAH MEIGS. 
Mr. Henry Fearon, 
At Mrs. Lindsay's, Washington. 

Hutchins died in 1789, and Rufus Putnam became the first sur- 
veyor-general under the Act of 1796 and was directed to complete 
the survey of a certain part of this western territory. 

In 1783 the Ohio Company of Associates was formed as a result 
of a movement to acquire western lands for the soldiers of the 
Revolution. The leading spirits of the new Company were General 
Samuel H. Parsons, of Connecticut; General Rufus Putnam, of 
Massachusetts and Manassah Cutler, a Massachusetts clergyman. 

Avery states that "at this time The Old Northwest Territory, a 
territory larger than the German empire, was practically an un- 
broken wilderness. The French at Vincennes, Kaskaskia and 
elsewhere, numbering probably fewer than five thousand, a few 
settlers at New Design on the Mississippi, a few Moravian mis- 
sionaries, a few hunters, squatters and soldiers, were its only 
civilized inhabitants." 

McMaster writes that "the rapidity with which hamlets and set- 
tlements in the Ohio Valley grew to towns and cities has no parallel 
in the history of America, unless, indeed, it be in California, where 
the growth and development was due to unusual and exceptional 
causes." 

In the few years following the settlements made under the 
guidance of General Putnam and his associates, hundreds of set- 
tlers were killed by the Indians. Many interesting accounts of 



308 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

such incidents may be found in Mr. Roosevelt's "The Winning of 
the West." 

Ever indelibly written in the history of this territory will be 
the names of George Rogers Clark and General Rufus Putnam. 

The vast area which constituted the Northwest Territory, con- 
tained a total of 265,878 square miles, being much larger than 
either Germany or France and more than twice the size of Great 
Britain. Of the five and a fraction states, Michigan is the largest, 
having 56,451 square miles. 

Nearly three hundred years have elapsed since Jean Nicole i 
passed through the Straits of Mackinac and the development of 
the Great Lakes country during that time has been marvelous. 
The one-hundredth anniversary of the great victory on Lake Eric 
is to be celebrated this year. 

A more fertile field for historical research and study has never 
been presented than the Old Northwest and one of the brightest 
stars in war and in peace has been our own state. To know of the 
Old Northwest is to learn of Michigan, and to master the history of 
the Wolverine State is to gather from the rich store of the first 
territory its most interesting events. 



THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 309 



THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY. 

BY CLAUDE S. LARZELERE. 

SEVERAL questions will at once arise in the niind of the 
teacher who is interested in the teaching of state history. Has 
local and state history educational value? Has it interest 
for boys and girls, and, if so, at what age? Where can suitable 
material be obtained? And how can time for it be found? 

While it is true that so far as government is concerned the in- 
dividual states are playing a relatively less and less important 
role and that nationalism is growing even under a Democratic ad- 
ministration, it is not desirable, it seems to me, that state pride 
should be lost or that interest in the neighborhood should n.ot be 
stimulated. It is rather unfortunate that voters should be more 
interested in the election of a president than in that of a governor 
or a mayor. The local health officer more vitally affects our every- 
day life than the secretary of state, and the enforcement of the 
truancy law is of greater importance than the Mexican question. 
There is not much danger of an undue development or provincial- 
ism in these days. 

The study of local history is good for the development of the 
historical spirit. By its study the pupil can easily be made to see 
how institutions have developed, how present conditions have 
grown out of the past. He can be brought face to face with his- 
torical material. He can make use of the sources in their most 
valuable and interesting form. He can gain experience in investiga- 
tion and the collection of material and "obtain the best training 
that history has for him in accuracy, the nice weighing of evidence, 
the sympathetic interpretation of the past." 

In the next place, through the study of local and state history 
the pupil may be led to understand and interpret more easily and 
fully historical events and movements of a more general character. 
For example, the life of the early settlers in the pupil's town or 
county will be typical of pioneer life in general; the movement of 
people into the pupil's vicinity will illustrate well the general west- 
ward movement of population ; the varieties of nationality in the 
school or community will show the composite character of the 
population of the United States. To have its greatest educational 



310 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

value, local and state history should not be isolated but should be 
connected with and put into the proper relationship to the more 
general history of the country. 

There is much in the history of any state, certainly in that 
of Michigan, that can be made of interest and profit to children of 
school age. In fact, there is an abundance of material that is 
suitable for children in the elementary school, for pupils in the 
high school, and even for students in the college and university. 

What child in the lower grades, at that age when myths strongly 
appeal to him and are of value to him, would not be interested 
in the many Indian legends connected with various parts of the 
state? Take this one, for example, which accounts for the islands 
of the St. Clair and Detroit rivers: 

Sleeping Bear, a great manitou, who lived on the point of land 
named after him on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, had a 
daughter of such beauty that he was afraid she would be stolen. 
He, therefore, put her into a box which he sank in the lake, tying 
it with a long rope to a stake on the shore. Every day the father 
would draw the box to shore and feed and caress his child. 

The South Wind was passing one day while the maiden was 
upon the shore and he tarried to woo her. While he stayed, the 
beautiful Indian summer prevailed throughout the region. But 
the North Wind and the West Wind also heard of the beautiful 
girl and they, too, came to woo her. A fierce rivalry soon arose 
among the winds which resulted in a terrible storm. So violent 
was the tempest that the rope holding the box which contained the 
maiden was broken and the box floated down to the lodge of the 
Prophet, the Keeper of the Gates of the Lakes, who lived at the 
outlet of Lake Huron, who made her his bride. 

Sleeping Bear was angry at this and caused a mighty tempest 
to arise which swept away the lodge of the Prophet and the land 
on which it stood. Out of the land thus carried away were formed 
the numerous islands which may be seen in the St. Clair and 
Detroit rivers. The Prophet was drowned and buried beneath 
Peche Island, to which the Ottawa warriors used to resort in order 
to consult his spirit. 

The box in which the maiden had lived was broken up and out 
of its fragments was formed Belle Isle, upon which the beauty lived 
forever after. Her father, in order to guard her and prevent any 
further trouble, placed many rattlesnakes upon the island as her 
guardians to keep off all intruders. 

The early French explorers, stimulated at the sight of pieces of 



THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 311 

copper and by stories told by the Indians, were anxious to find the 
sources of supply. The Indians doubtless knew where the copper 
beds were located on Isle Eoyal and on the southern shore of Lake 
Superior, but they were loth to give information on the subject 
as they were superstitious about the matter, believing that the 
manitous, or spirits, guarded the copper deposits and would pun- 
ish them if they revealed their location to the white men. 

In these days when copper is such an important product and 
when strikes in the copper country occupy so much space in the 
newspapers, the following legend might be of interest: The In- 
dians told the Frenchmen that copper had first been discovered by 
four hunters, who had landed, one day, on an island in the north- 
ern part of the lake. Desiring to cook their food, they placed it 
in some water in a vessel made of bark, and, according to their 
custom, gathered stones and after heating them red hot dropped 
them into the dish of water. After awhile they noticed that the 
stones were composed of pure copper. As soon as they had eaten, 
they hastened to their canoe to set out, as they were afraid of the 
hares and lynxes, which grew as large as dogs on this island, and 
which, they were afraid, would eat up their food and perhaps 
their canoe also. 

They gathered a few of the wonderful stones to take with them ; 
but hardly had they left the island when a deep voice like thunder 
was heard over the waves, "Who are these thieves who steal the 
toys of my children?" It was the powerful manitou of the lake 
calling to them. The hunters hastened away as fast as they could 
paddle. Three of them died before they reached land, while the 
fourth lived only long enough to get back to his village and tell of 
their adventure. The island upon which they had found the strange 
metal had no foundation, according to the Indians, but floated 
about with the movement of the winds and waves. No one had 
dared to land on its shores since the four hunters were there be- 
cause of the wrath of the manitou. 

This, of course, is not history, but such legends may well pave 
the way with young children for history stories, which may be 
supplied in abundance from the history of the state. 

Can you imagine that a child would not be interested in the 
story of the two priests, Dollier and Oalinee, who pushed up the 
Detroit River in their birch-bark canoes and landed one day, in 
1670, near the place where Detroit now stands? Here they found 
a large stone roughly resembling a human figure. The Indians 
had daubed it with red paint and worshipped it as a manitou. 



312 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

About it were scattered offerings of tobacco, maple sugar, and dif- 
ferent kinds of food. This idol was held in great, veneration by 
the savages. They believed that it was his voice that they heard 
when the winds blew over the Lakes, and that he controlled the 
winds and caused them to blow or not to blow as he wished. 

In some way the priests connected this device of the devil, as 
they considered it, with misfortunes which had befallen them. 
They believed that it stood in the way of carrying Christianity to 
the heathen. "After the loss of our altar service," wrote Galinee, 
"and the hunger we had suffered, there was not a man of us who 
was not filled with hatred against this false deity. I devoted one 
of my axes to breaking him in pieces; and then, having fastened 
our canoes side by side, we carried the largest piece to the middle 
of the river, and threw it, with all the rest, into the water, that 
he might never be heard of again. God rewarded us immediately 
for this good action, for we killed a deer and a bear that same 
day." 

The Indians had a legend that after the missionaries had de- 
parted a band of red men arrived to place their offerings at the 
foot of the idol. They could find only small pieces of it scattered 
about. These they carefully collected and placed in their canoes. 
As they were about to depart, they heard a deep voice sounding 
over the water which directed them to the place where the manitou 
had taken refuge upon what is now called Belle Isle. Here they 
were told to scatter the fragments of the idol. No sooner was it 
done than the pieces of stone were changed into rattlesnakes, which 
were to be sentinels to guard the home of the manitou from the 
invasion of the white man. 

At the age when children are hungry for stories of adventure, 
what would please them better than accounts of the doings of 
French explorers, missionaries, fur traders, and coureurs de ~bois 
in the region of the Great Lakes? Marquette, La Salle, and Cadil- 
lac are as attractive heroes and of as much historical importance 
to us in the Old Northwest as Captain John Smith, Miles Standish, 
or William Penn. 

Would not some "punch" be added to the study of the transfer 
of French territory to the English at the close of the French and 
Indian War by reading how Major Rogers took possession of De- 
troit in the name of his Brittanic Majesty? 

Rogers was one of the most noted Indian fighters of those days. 
This description of him would catch the interest of the boys at 
once: "He wore a close-fitting jacket, a warm cap, coarse woolen 



THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 313 

trousers, leggings, and moccasins. A hatchet was thrust into his 
belt, a powder-horn hung at his side, a long, keen hunting-knife, 
and a trusty musket completed his armament; and a blanket and 
a knapsack stuffed with bread and raw salt pork, together with a 
flask of spirits, made up his outfit. He could speak to the Indian 
or the Frenchman in a language they could understand; he knew 
every sign of the forest, every wile of his foes, and repeatedly his 
bravery and coolness had brought him safely through the most 
critical situation. He lifted a scalp with as little compunction 
as did any Indian, and counted it the most successful warfare to 
creep into an Indian encampment by night, to< set fire to the lodges, 
and to make his escape by the light of the flames, with the screams 
of the doomed savages rejoicing in his ears." (Moore, The North- 
west under Three Flags, 103). 

At the head of his "Bangers," famous for the part they had 
taken in Indian warfare, Rogers drew near to Detroit and sent 
a messenger to ask for its surrender. The French commander was 
disposed to resist at first and he tried to stir up the Indians against 
the English. He even put upon the flag-staff a wooden image of 
Rogers' head, upon which was perched a crow, to represent himself, 
scratching out the brains of the British leader. 

Convinced, however, by a letter from the French governor in 
Canada which was sent to him by Rogers that the French cause 
was hopeless, and finding that the Indians would not fight on his 
side, the commander surrendered on the 29th of November, 1760. 
His soldiers were marched out upon the plain surrounding the 
fort, where they laid down their arms, while the Indians jeered in 
derision, tauntingly shouting that Rogers must be the crow and 
the French commander the victim. The lilies of France, which 
had been floating over Detroit since 1701, were hauled down from 
the flag-staff of Fort Pontchartrain and the red cross of St. George 
was raised in their place. 

For the boy in the blood-and-thunder stage what a galaxy of good 
stories are furnished by Pontiac's Conspiracy. These, as told by 
Parkman, might well be used to supplant the "penny-dreadful" and 
"nickel-library" which the boy will read at this age unless some- 
thing better is given him. Hamilton, "the hair-buyer," and his 
capture by George Rogers Clarke, the defeat of St. Clair and the 
victories of Wayne, Hull's surrender, the battle of the Raisin River, 
Perry's victory, and Tecumseh furnish more material of the same 
kind. 

How little do the graduates of our schools realize that the state 



314 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

in which they live was for so long a part of France and that it 
had a narrow escape from remaining a part of Canada! We do 
teach that the British held several forts in the Northwest long 
after the Treaty of 1783 and that Jay's Treaty secured their sur- 
render. But how much more real would this seem to the pupils if 
they could have placed before them the following picture of the 
raising of the stars and stripes for the first time above Detroit, 
as given by a historian of the Old Northwest : 

"Sailing up to the great wooden wharf/' the detachment of 
American soldiers that had been sent for the purpose "disem- 
barked, and marched up one of the narrow, unpaved streets, with 
its footway of squared logs laid transversely, thence through one of 
the two gates on the water side of the strong stockade, and through 
the town and up the slope" to the fort that had been built by the 
British when it was feared that George Rogers Clarke would at- 
tack Detroit. 

"As the troops passed up the street, crowds of barefooted French- 
men greeted them in a language they did not understand, and 
bevies of dark-eyed French girls gazed demurely from unde.r the 
wide brims of their straw hats, anxious to discover whether the 
homespun-clad newcomers were fitted to take the place of the gor- 
geous-hued soldiers and sailors whom the fate of war had sent 
away. Nor were Indians wanting ; old squaws, leading their daugh- 
ters, leered at the soldiers; chiefs and warriors of many tribes, 
hideous in their paint and more hideous in the wounds received 
in drunken orgies, moved about with what dignity they could com- 
mand, or sat in the sun smoking their stone pipes, waiting for 
General Wabanz (General To-morrow) to distribute the presents 
he was ever promising and never bestowing. 

"At the hour of noon the last of England's troops made their 
way to the ramparts, and, loosing the halyards, the flag that for 
thirty-four years had floated over the town of Cadillac's founda- 
tion dropped slowly to the ground. While the British soldiers 
gathered up the dishonored ensign, eager Americans bent the 
Stars and Stripes, and as the joyous folds of the beautiful banner 
streamed out on the July breeze a cheer went up from the little 
band of United States soldiers, whose feet at last trod the soil 
made theirs by the conquest of Clarke, seventeen years before." 
(Moore, The Northwest Under Three Flags, 373-4.) 

It might add interest and value to the discussion of the inven- 
tion of the steamboat and its effect upon our industrial and social 
history to call attention to the first steamboat upon Lake Erie, the 



THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 315 

Walk-in-the-Water, bringing in such incidents, as that it was not 
powerful enough to get out into Lake Erie against the current of 
Niagara River, where it was built, and so was hauled out by sixteen 
yoke of oxen, a ''horned breeze" as it was called; and that the 
Indians had been told "that a great ship drawn by sturgeons was 
to make its appearance in the Detroit River, and when the steamer 
glided up the stream without any visible means of progress, the 
red men swarmed along the shore and filled the air with their 
noisy shouts of wonder/' and when it blew off steam, many of them 
ran off to the woods greatly frightened. A topic worthy of investi- 
gation might be the effect of the invention of the steamboat upon 
the settlement and development of the region about the Great 
Lakes. It would also be worth while to compare the "Walk-in-the- 
Water" with the giant boats of the Lakes today and show the im- 
portance of the traffic which they carry on. 

How boys and girls love a hero! And how they would admire 
the heroism of Lewis Cass as shown in the following incident, and 
how much light would be thrown upon the character of the Indians 
and upon their relation to the British and to the Americans by it! 
Cass had gone to the "Soo" to obtain possession of a tract of land 
Which had formerly been granted to the French and which the 
Indians had acknowledged by treaty to belong now to the Ameri- 
cans. "The braves, evidently restless and out of humor," writes 
Professor McLaughlin, "assembled to meet the Americans. Ar- 
rayed in their best attire, and many of them adorned with British 
medals, they seated themselves with even more than their wonted 
solemnity and dignity, and prepared to hear what Governor Cass 
desired. At first pretending not to know of any French grants, 
they finally intimated that our government might be permitted 
to occupy the place if we did not use it as a military station. The 
governor, perceiving that their independence and boldness verged 
on impudence and menace, answered decisively that as surely as 
the 'rising sun would set, so surely would there be an American 
garrison sent to that point, whether they received the grant or 
not.' The excitement which had been ready to break forth now 
displayed itself. The chiefs disputed among themselves, some evi- 
dently counseling moderation, others favoring hostilities. A tall 
and stately-looking chieftain, dressed in a British uniform with 
epaulets, lost patience with moderation and delay. Striking his 
spear into the ground, he drew it forth again, and, kicking away 
the presents that lay scattered about, strode in high dudgeon out 
of the assemblv. 



316 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

"The Indian camp was on a small hill a few hundred yards from 
that of the Americans. The dissatisfied chiefs went directly to 
their lodges, and in a moment a British flag was flying in the 
very faces of the little company of white men. The soldiers were 
at once ordered under arms. Everyone expected an immediate at- 
tack, for the Indians, greatly outnumbering the Americans, had not 
disguised their insolence and contempt. In an instant Governor 
Oass took his resolution. Rejecting the offers of those who volun- 
teered to accompany him, with no weapon in his hands and only 
his interpreter beside him, he walked straight to the middle of 
the Indian camp, tore down the British flag, and trampled it under 
his feet. Then addressing the astonished and even panic-stricken 
braves, he warned them that two flags of different nations could 
not fly over the same territory, and should they raise any but the 
American flag, the United States would put its strong foot upon 
them and crush them. He then turned upon his heel and walked 
back to his own tent, carrying the British ensign with him. An 
hour of indecision among the Indians ensued. Their camp was 
quickly cleared of women and children, an indication that a battle 
was in immediate prospect. The Americans, looking to their guns, 
listened for the war-whoop and awaited attack. But the intrepidity 
of Governor Cass had struck the Indians with amazement. It 
showed a rare knowledge of Indian character, of which his own 
companions had not dreamed. Subdued by the boldness and deci- 
sion of this action, the hostile chiefs forgot their swaggering con- 
fidence, and in a few hours signed the treaty which had been of- 
fered them." 

We talk much in general terms in our American history classes 
about the western movement of population. All too seldom do we 
take actual typical cases of emigrants moving to the West by 
way of the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, by the Cumberland 
Road and the Ohio River, or by other routes, bringing out the 
actual life on the road. By the study of the early settlement of our 
state we may often catch the spirit and enthusiasm of this west- 
ward movement in a way that cannot be done by a general treat- 
ment of the subject. 

For instance, "By 1837," says a writer, "it seemed as if all New 
England were coming to the state (of Michigan). The fever for 
emigration pervaded the whole region from Rhode Island to Ver 
mont, and everyone seemed to have adopted for his own the popular 
song, 'Michigania.' The first verse runs thus: 



THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 317 

'Come, all ye Yankee farmers who wish to change your lot, 
Who've spunk enough to travel beyond your native spot, 
And leave behind the village where Pa and Ma do stay, 
Come follow me and settle in Michigania, 
Yea, yea, yea, in Michigania !' " 

No wonder that settlers poured into our territory when its 
praises were sung in this fashion: 

"Know ye the land to the emigrant dear, 

Where the wild flower is blooming one-half the year; 

Know ye the land of the billow and breeze, 

That is pois'd like an isle, amid fresh-water seas; 

Whose forests are ample, whose prairies are. fine, 

Whose soil is productive, whose climate benign? 

Remote from extremes neither torrid nor cold, 

Tis the land of the sickle, the plough, and the fold ; 

'Tis a region no eye e'er forgets or mistakes; 

'Tis the land for improvement the land of the lakes. 

"To you, then, I turn and I turn without fears, 

Ye hardy explorers, ye bold pioneers; 

Ye vot'ries of Ceres, with industry blest, 

Whose hopes are still high, and whose course is still west; 

Ye men of New England ye emigrant race, 

Who meditate change, and are scanning the place; 

Who dig and who delve, on estates not your own, 

Where an acre of land is an acre of stone; 

Oh ! quit your cold townships of granite, or brakes, 

And hie with delight to the land of the lakes." 

Or who could resist this siren song : 

"My eastern friends who wish to find 
A country that will suit your mind, 
Where comforts all are near at hand, 
Had better come to Michigan. 

"Here is the place to live at ease, 
To work or play, just as you please; 
With little prudence any man 
Can soon get rich in Michigan. 



318 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

"We here have soils of various kinds 
To suit men who have different minds, 
Prairies, openings, timbered land 
And burr oak plains, in Michigan. 

"Our water's good, there's no mistake, 
Springs, rivers, brooks, and little lakes 
Will all be seen by any man 
Who travels through our Michigan. 

"You who would wish to hunt and fish 
Can find all kinds of game you wish; 
Our deer and turkey they are grand, 
Our fish are good in Michigan. 

"Ye who have led a single life 

And now would wish to get a wife, 

I tell you this, now understand, 

We have first-rate girls in Michigan." 

What interesting pictures of frontier life may be obtained from 
stories told by early settlers in our own state! How vividly do 
they bring before us the work of clearing away the forest, the build- 
ings of the log cabin, the breaking up of the land, sometimes with 
several yoke of oxen attached to the plow ! How we realize some 
of the troubles of the pioneers when an old settler tells us that 
millions of mosquitoes, fleas, and bed bugs "were annoying and 
sucking the life's blood out of us every night. These infernals," 
he says, "would get into the cracks and crevices of the log castles, 
and nothing but hell-fire and brimstone would remove them. We 
dared not resort to that extreme remedy for fear of burning the 
castle." 

And the bite of some of these insects was more than an annoyance, 
it was a serious menace to health. The bite of the mosquito, bred in 
countless numbers in the undrained swamps, undoubtedly caused 
the terrible malaria, the so-called ague or chills-and-fever, which 
was so prevalent. How we realize the seriousness of the scourge 
and what an insight into the darker side of pioneer life we get 
when we read such an incident as this, told by an early settler: 

"A family of three man, woman, and child were helplessly sick 
about one mile from us. In the night the child died. They fired 
alarm guns for assistance, but no assistance came, as there were 
none able to be out nights, and very few in day time. Three of 



THE TEACHING OF MICHIGAN HISTORY 319 

us, then boys, were enlisted to conduct their funeral for them. We 
three were the undertaker, preacher, sexton, and funeral proces- 
sion all together. So we buried their dead 'without a funeral note 
or gospel word spoken,' and left them in their helpless condition, 
as we three looked more like escapes from a graveyard than living 
human beings." 

But there was a brighter side to pioneer life. House-raisings, 
log-rollings, and husking-bees were made occasions for neighbors to 
get together for merry-making as well as for labor. After the work 
was done, athletic contests and horse races took place; and, com- 
mencing in the evening, to the music of the squeaking fiddle, young 
and old continued to dance until well toward morning, when they 
would "hook up" their teams and return home. 

A study of early railroading in our state takes the pupil directly 
into the history of transportation in the United States. Stories 
of lumbering and log-driving on our rivers interest the pupil in one 
of the great industries of our country. A Michigan forest fire 
leads into the big subject of conservation of natural resources. 
Attempted Fenian raids from Michigan into Canada gets one into 
close touch with the relations between England and Ireland, home 
rule, and the Ulster trouble. King Strang of the Beaver Islands 
reminds us of the Mormons. A study of the working of the under- 
ground railroad and stories of attempts to capture runaway 
slaves within the borders of our state, of which there are several 
interesting ones, would bring home to the pupil the workings of 
the Second Fugitive Slave Law more effectively than a lot of gen- 
eral discussion. 

Many topics can be found in our state history well suited for 
special reports or papers by high school students and even worthy 
of serious investigation by students in the colleges and the Uni- 
versity. A few such topics that might be suggested are the per- 
sonal liberty laws passed to protect fugitive slaves, liquor legisla 
tion, the suffrage, history of political parties in the state, "wild- 
cat" banking, the negro in Michigan, the "copper fever" of 1845, 
the history of the various religious denominations, how the state 
got its boundaries, the part played by the state in the Civil War, 
the history of railroad building, the school system, and many other 
topics in our political, economic, social, and religious development. 

How to obtain time for the study of state history is the problem. 
In states west of the Alleghanies, less time might be given in the 
schools to the study of the history of the Thirteen Colonies, valuable 
as it is. Much, however, may be accomplished by connecting 



320 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

local and state history with the general history of the country as 
has been suggested above. In this way each will help the other. 
Topics in state history might well be assigned for papers and spe- 
cial reports in the American history class. 

There is considerable good material for this work. Besides the 
various histories of the state and of the Old Northwest there are 
the works of Parkman and Schoolcraft and other writers, the 
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society Collections, and for re- 
search work, local and state records. Anything like a complete 
bibliography would occupy considerable space. 



A JUNIOR PIONEER LEAGUE 321 



A JUNIOR PIONEER LEAGUE FOR MICHIGAN. 

BY ELEANOR GRIFFIN MC NETT. 1 

WHO doesn't love a story, a story that sends delicious, little 
crinkly thrills running up and down one's spine? What 
average boy or girl isn't eager for stories of bears, "'bob- 
cats," Indians, hair-breadth escapes, "barn-raisin's," "corn busk- 
in's", and other exciting events belonging to the old pioneer days? 
"Picture Grandmother, placid, sunny, wrinkled Grandmother- 
as a slender slip of a young thing in her teens, white with terror, 
"back-firing" the virgin prairie sod. Picture her saving the barn, 
the stock, the hard-won home, from the fierce, devouring prairie fire, 
that dread of the old-time homesteader. Then imagine Father, as a 
baby asleep in the cradle, while miles away, yet in sight of those 
billows of flame \vhich are rushing faster than a horse can gallop, 
rides Grandfather spurring his mount for dear life. 

Then there is the story from the other side of the family. It tells 
us how Great Aunt Jerusha, alone in the house, with two of her 
family raving with fever, barred the door with her right arm, when 
a stalwart, six-footer of an Indian, who had taken too much fire 
water, demanded admittance. He apparently appreciated' her 
courage, for he finally grunted "Heap brave squaw," and solemnly 
stalked away. Next day, a fine, plump pheasant lay on the 4oor 
step. Wasn't that chivalry? 

Yes, indeed, we all, old or young, love a good story, and a really 
good story will bear retelling. We like also to see the place where 
something out of the ordinary has happened, where brave deeds 
were done, and we like to steep ourselves in the atmosphere of the 
scene. The pressure of modern life is so swift, we Americans live so 
much in today, that the yesterdays are often forgotten. The build- 
ers of the yesterdays, are fast dropping out of the ranks, the dear, 



-Mis. Eleanor Griffin M<-N>tt wns horn ;it Grnnd Haven, Michigan, the daughter 
of Hon. Henry Griffin, who settled in Ottawa county in 1837. She is a grad- 
uate of Elmira College, N. Y., and also graduated at Chautauqua, N. Y. in 1896. 
Mrs. McNett has taught in Michigan and Wisconsin. In 1879 she received a govern- 
ment appointment to the Navajo Indian Agency, at Fort Defiance. Arizona. A series 
of articles in the Chicago Times, gave an account of this interesting tribe, and a 
unique experience, at the time of the Indian outbreak in 1880, And "Three Girls in the. 
Wilderness," published in the London edition of "The Wide World," in 1904, gave the 
humorous side of life at an Indian Agency. She has been a contributor to various 
magazine and newspapers, and is deeply interested in Civic work. Mrs. McNett is 
also a member of the State Press Committee of the Michigan Federation of Woman's 
Clubs for 1914-"15". 

41 



322 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

old white-haired Grandfathers and Grandmothers, who laid the 
foundations of present achievement. 

Now, why wouldn't it be a bright, splendid idea to form a Junior 
Pioneer League, in which every cross-roads, village, town and city 
in Michigan might participate, a lively, up-to-date society of boys 
and girls, to dig and delve in clean garrets and among musty boxes 
and barrels, in dusty attics, and neglected barn lofts. Precious 
kernels of information, respecting the dress, manners, customs and 
happenings of the past, may be gleaned from mildewed pamphlets, 
yellow stained newspapers, and old family letters, written when 
correspondence was one of the polite arts, and gentle leisure had 
sway. 

Busy, helpful little pioneers, with love's divining rod, probing the 
springs of information, that lie deeply buried under the crust of 
years, in the memories of the old residents. High time, ere the 
"silver cord be loosed," and the important fact, the keystone of 
the arch, the missing link to correct error and complete the chain 
of history, be lost forever. 

Some old pioneer can tell you when the town was first surveyed, 
and who gave the streets their names, and why. You never thought 
of that before. Just look at the map of your own state and run over 
the names of the counties. It will set you thinking. 

To Schoolcraft, who loved the Indian character, we owe much. 
More than any other writer, he tried to perpetuate the memory of 
the aboriginal, first settlers, and to him, is due the fact, that many 
of the counties of Michigan rejoice in fitting, melodious Indian ap- 
pellations. "Shi-a-was-see, Leel-an-au, Os-ce-o-la, Ot-ta-wa, Mus-ke- 
gon." Can you not fairly hear the murmuring Mus-ke-gon, rippling 
through the forests of aromatic pine, spicy hemlock and drooping 
tamarack, to its goal among the yellow sands of the "shining, big 
seawater" of Lake Michigan? 

The liquid, musical vowels weave pictures of limpid pools, where 
the trout rise to the fly ; and of sylvan shades where the deer lurk 
at noon ; and of the simple life of the native children of the soil. 

Now, if you are an inquisitive, little Wolverine, you may ask 
why seven of our counties have names with a flavor of the Emerald 
Isle? Oh, that's easy, when you know! 'T'was a broth of a boy 
from the ould sod, filling one of the seats of the mighty, that 
plucked opportunity by the horns. Emmett, and the home-land, 
are perpetuated forever among the lake sown, pine forests of the 
Peninsular State. 
Bo you realize that the land which comprises the State of Mich- 



A JUNIOR PIONEER LEAGUE 323 

igan, has paid allegiance to the flags of four, foreign nations ? For 
besides the lilies of France, and the cross of St. George, and the 
Stars and Stripes, the proud Spanish flag once floated over old 
Fort Saint Joseph. The patriotic women of Mies, have com- 
memorated this historic spot by a huge boulder. Do you know 
that the very farm on which you live may be recorded on the quaint 
parchment deeds of the great land grants, once owned by lords and 
ladies of high degree? 

National Junior Pioneer League! Doesn't it sound quite as 
grand and grown up, as the "Old Pioneer Boys," who have their 
anniversary dinners, suppers and picnics. They these old pioneers 
are quite set up and top-loftical. Well they had their time of 
rough sledding, bumping out of the sloughs, over the corduroy 
roads, following the blazed trails. 

Here is a grace, said when three, hungry, home-seekers, after an 
all day's tramp, stopped at a rude, log tavern at Yankee Springs 
in "36." 

"Here we are, three of us, 

Only pork enough for two of us. 

Thank the Lord, there are no more of us !" 

Meekly, and humbly, you must comport yourself, when you are 
told "Nothln' happens nowadays like the good, old times," Why, 
youngsters, things don't taste as they used to do, out of the old 
brick oven ; pan-dowdy, for instance ; and there's no biscuits, like 
those baked over hot coals in a skillet ! 

We understand ! The zest of hunger is lacking, the zest that came 
from swinging the axe and ploughing the furrow; that piquant 
sauce that no culinary triumph of the chef can equal. If you ever 
have a chance to listen, when these same Old Boys foregather, to 
compare notes, you'll have more fun to the square inch, than you 
ever dreamed of. 

Now, if you go to school at "Miller's Centre," and there is another 
nice, little, red school house, with a flag floating over it, at "Miller's 
Hill" or "Trout Run," or "Salt Hollow," be neighborly. I once 
knew a distinguished army officer, who averred he never passed 
a little, country, red school house without taking off his hat for 
the power of it, the far reaching influence. Still wider opportuni- 
ties, are offered today, by the opening of these red school houses, 
as social centers. 

Exchange your stories exchange your old pioneers. Find out 
all about your state flower your state cognomen your state mot- 



324 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

to. Live up to your privileges. Why at these meetings, you can 
brush up old ideas and find new ones thicker than blackberries in 
August. Wind up with patriotic songs. The more you realize what 
your forebears have been through, the prouder you will be of your 
heritage, as a live, growing young American. 

You can surely coax some "Old Sargent Tim," or "Abe Martin" 
to tell of their personal experiences in the Civil War, even 
if they are a bit shaky on their pins. You youngsters, whose homes 
are near the scenes of where Indian battles have been fought, can be 
on the quivive to write of these by -gone happenings of intense local 
interest. Quivive, means, Johnny-on-the-spot. Then, when you 
wear a muffler, and sport a cane, and lose your spectacles, you can 
pass this information on to the curly heads that plead with you for 
"A true war story, please, Grandfather." 

Practically unchanged in movement, identical in form, Indian 
legends descend from generation to generation. Word for word, 
gesture for gesture, they are repeated by the medicine man, or the 
wise, old woman, by the camp-fire. Like children, the race loves to 
hear the same tales over and over and over again. In the same 
manner, the folk-stories of the Hindoos, Arabs, Egyptians, the lurid 
myths of the Scandanavian world the motifs of the W^agner 
Operas and the darky dialect tales "Br'er Babbitt" and his kin 
have come, down unchanged to our day. 

There's no time to lose, begin right away, the work of organizing 
an energetic, wide awake, National Junior Pioneer League. Call a 
meeting for next week. Elect a President, a Secretary with the pen 
of a ready writer, and a Treasurer. Don't swamp the society with 
officers, someone might ask, "Where are the privates?" Make the 
dues small. An initiation fee of ten cents, and weekly dues of three 
cents will be plenty, and they are to be applied to the needs of 
your own chapter. You will have donations later. Just show what 
you are made of. Maybe Mother will let you have a fudge frolic, 
the first meeting, just to break the stiffness and make everybody 
feel acquainted. 

Then do a little practical work. Find out how far into the pas I 
the titles of your land and that of the adjoining homesteads extend, 
and whether there are any interesting facts connected with previous 
ownership. Inquire as to who laid out your own street and gave it 
a name, that street in front of your house, that you have ridden 
up and down a hundred times in your auto, on your bicycle or on 
shank's mare, .without giving its history a thought. Logically, the 
local history, sectionalized, of village, town, cit}^, county and state 
will follow. 



A JUNIOR PIONEER LEAGUE 325 

Won't it be just a splendid thing to do! Think of the material 
for school essays ready to hand!- You know how you rack j-our 
brains sometimes for a theme. Of course you will be painstaking 
and try to use very correct English, and cultivate neat and legible 
handwriting. Be very polite, too, in interviewing your elders. This 
will be an excellent preparatory school for future journalists and 
reporters. 

Why not plan an Old and Young Settlers' picnic, or a Harvest 
Home, or a Mid-Winter entertainment when the farm folks have 
time, and the evenings are long? Of course, we want a rousing 
Fourth of July program for 1915, the day of days, for Young 
America. Why, the Junior Pioneer League can furnish material 
to insure a sane Fourth that will make everybody wake up. 

Oh, that glorious Fourth of July proposition! It is one long 
string of possibilities. And bear in loving remembrance the old 
residents, sometimes poor, sometimes neglected people, who pas- 
sively see the young generation have good times, but are often left 
out. 

Your Secretary must be provided with a large, blank book for 
enrolling the list of members, for keeping records of meetings and 
for preserving old-time stories and odd bits of information. He 
will become so interested that the first thing he knows the book 
will be full. He will just have to buy a new one. Perhaps sister 
Mary or Ellen, may be elected Secretary instead of Tom or Ned. 

A badge? Why wouldn't a little, blue rosette be just the 
things? Blue signifies truth And the truth of things, is what we 
would gather from the old pioneers. 

Archives? Yes, it would be a good idea to set apart a shelf or 
cupboard, exclusively devoted to the interests of the new Junior 
Pioneer League. Later, valuable relics may be bestowed upon a pru- 
dent, care-taking society. Someone may lend an unused room. 
When an enterprise of this kind gets started, it is like a big snow- 
ball rolling down hill. It will gather ideas, help, praise, by the 
way. Only snow-balls melt in summer. Conserve yours, with an 
ice cream festival on the "Fourth." 

Just the other day, the boys and girls of Ionia, Michigan, under 
the direction of their teachers, did noble work along this line of 
pioneer research. They brought to life again the founding of the 
city, which took place eighty years ago. A most interesting festival 
for awakening local enthusiasm, portrayed in six scenes the passing 
of the aborigine and the progress of civilization. They were given 
an open air setting on the Union School lawn and were as follows : 



326 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Scene 1, Indian Village; Scene 2, Trading Post; Scene 3, Coming 
of the White Man ; Scene 4, Pioneer life ; Scene 5, Pioneer District 
School; Scene 6, Old Fourth of July. Such a program could be 
duplicated in every town. 

For an "Old Pioneer" winter evening entertainment, have a stage 
fitted up as an old fashioned kitchen. Find a crane if possible. 
Light the scene with brass candle sticks on the mantel, and have 
a pair of bellows handy. Place some old pewter on the sideboard 
and some of the old blue and white dishes, will lend a festive air. 
Most interesting relics could be gathered together for the occasion 
by energetic Leaguers. It would add greatly to have those taking 
part dressed in old fashioned costume. Don't forget a Grandmother 
at her spinning wheel, with her foot on a wodden cradle. Here's 
hoping to the new Junior Pioneer League. 



MICHIGAN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 327 



THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF 
MICHIGAN HISTORY. 

BY WILBUR O. HEDRICK, PH. D. 

THE distinguished scholar and publicist, James Bryce, declares 
in his masterly work on the American Commonwealth that 
"it might have been expected that in most of the States, or 
at least of the older States, persons would have been found to write 
State histories. But this has been done in comparatively few in. 
stances so that the European inquirer finds a scanty measure of the 
assistance which he would naturally have expected from previous 
laborers in this field. "I call it a field," lie says, "it is rather a 
primeval forest, where the vegetation is rank, and through which 
scarcely a trail has been cut." Since the publication of this ad- 
mirable treatise in 1885 much has been done to remedy the de- 
fects of which the distinguished author complains. 

A whole army of young historians have found their materials for 
professional expression in the circumstances of State history or 
even in the episodes of some neighborhood locality with, which they 
were acquainted. The apothem of Emerson has been acted upon 
by these young scholars, if not formally accepted, that "the first 
step of worthiness will be to disabuse us of our superstitious as- 
sociations with place and times, with number and size. Why should 
these words, Athenian, Roman, Asia, and England, so tingle in the 
ear? Massachusetts, Connecticut River, and Boston Bay, you think 
paltry places. But let us feel that where the heart is, there the 
muses, there the gods sojourn, and not in any geography of fame." 

The example of a Burns in literature or of a Millais in art in 
celebrating the common things of life, the local and the well known 
has been followed by this new school ; and we now have monographs 
upon frontier circumstances, financial problems, social betterment 
movements, political squabbles and race questions, from every 
quarter of the Union. 

The fostering of this new line of achievement has been usually 
in the hands of some university, although State libraries and his- 
torical commissions have done notable work. Recently the Carnegie 
Institution has made significant progress in the matter of collect- 
ing the sources for this sort of history; the departments of the 



328 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

various governments of the land have never been wholly oblivious 
to the value of historical records; and, finally, private historical 
societies and private individuals have done much to bring this folk 
history before the public. 

The trend in historical study here exemplified is plainly a part of 
a much larger movement in the world of ideas which began about 
the middle of the last century and which has had for its purpose 
the entire redirection of historical study and research. The scope 
and aims and spirit of this new history is nowhere better presnted 
than by Macaulay in his famous introduction to the "History of 
England," in which he proposes to write a history "which should 
not merely treat of battles and sieges, of the rise and fall of ad- 
ministrations, of intrigues in. the palace and of debates in parlia- 
ment, but should relate the history of the people as well as the 
history of their governments; should trace the progress of the use- 
ful and ornamental arts, describe the rise of religious sects and 
changes of literary taste, should portray the manners of successive 
generations and should not pass by with neglect even the revolu- 
tions which have taken place in dress, furniture, repasts and public 
amusements." "The time is approaching," says Carlyle, "when 
History will be attempted on quite other principles; when the Court, 
the Senate, and the Battlefield, receding more and more into the 
background, the Temple, the Workshop, and Social Hearth will ad- 
vance more and more into the foreground, and History will not 
content itself with shaping some answer to that question : 'How 
were men taxed and kept quiet then?' but will seek to answer this 
other infinitely wider and higher question: 'How and what were 
men then?' Not our Government only, or the House wherein our 
life was led, but the Life itself we led there, will be inquired into." 

"It is the present," says John Morley, "which interests us; it 
is the present we seek to explain and understand. I do not in the 
least care to know what happened in the past except as it enables 
me to see my way more clearly through what is happening today. 
I want to know what men thought and did in the Thirteenth Cen- 
tury, not out of any dilletante or idle antiquarian interest, but be- 
cause the Thirteenth Century is at the root of what men think and 
do in the Nineteenth." 

The volumes of McMaster in this country and of Green in Eng- 
land, exemplify in tangible form the conceptions of this school of 
historians. The demand for a history that should be something 
more than the chronicles of government or mere antiquarianism is 
coincident with the coming into importance of the common people 



MICHIGAN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 329 

during the past century. It is a curious fact that the history telling 
of a nation suffers under a despotic government: It is imposible, 
for example, that what Guizot has done for the French or Green 
for the English should be done for the Russians or even the Ger- 
mans by native writers. Consequently it was after the conquests 
of their governments by the people throughout Europe during the 
past century after the establishment of popular governments in 
most civilized countries that an impetus was given to all studies 
having to do with people, which resulted in the broadening of the 
basis of historical narrative so that it should include the story 
of the passengers and crew of the ship of state as well as that of 
the chief officials. So, too, the founding of public systems of educa- 
tion, the growth of literatures full of brotherhood and humanity, 
the rise of social sciences like sociology and economics have given 
the people instead of their governments the supreme place in human 
interest and has influenced the study and composition of history. 

"In all the development of history writing from Herodotus and 
Thncydid.es down/' says a recent writer in the Atlantic Monthly, 
"there has been no transition so important as that which was thus 
effected by the advent of the sociological school." 

It must not be thought that the social and economic in Michigan 
history has remained wholly untouched. Forty years ago at the 
very inception of the movement for writing neighborhood history 
on the part of the young scholars, Dr. Edward Bemis from Johns 
Hopkins University the first of the great schools to promote and 
foster this activity published his researches concerning "Local 
Government in Michigan and the Northwest." This work disclosed 
the fact, among many others of equal interest, that Michigan was 
the first Western state to make use of the New England township 
and the reasons for its adoption are here found in the character of 
the early immigrants hither, in their occupations and in their pe- 
culiar interests. It might well have been added, it seems to me, 
that the devotion of our renowned territorial governor, General 
Lewis Cass, to the maxim of his great teacher, Jefferson, that "in 
those New England divisions known as townships lies the future of 
democracy" had much to do with the transferring of this institu 
tion to our Michigan wilderness. In reading the periodic messages 
to the Territorial Legislative Assemblies of this great Governor one 
constantly finds reiterations of this belief in the merits of the 
township form of local government. "Whatever authority," he says 
repeatedly, "may be conveniently exercised in primary assemblies 
may be deposited with these townships." Cass received the Terri- 



330 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

torial governorship in 1813 and retained it until called into higher 
fields of statesmanship by President Jackson in 1832. It was cer- 
tainly no small thing for a struggling colony of frontiersmen to have 
had in their midst for nineteen years so great a man one indeed 
who might have been Michigan's single successful candidate for the 
Presidency had not his devotion to local democracy as shown in 
the support of "squatter sovereignty" cost him the votes of the 
North, while his antipathy to slavery made him equally distasteful 
to the South. 

In the late nineties the University of Michigan published some 
valuable studies upon , certain economic and social phases of our 
history. These came out under the auspices of the Michigan Po- 
litical Science Association and included among other titles such 
important discussions as the following: "The History of Suffrage 
in Michiagan," "An Historical Sketch of Internal Improvements 
in Michigan," "Territorial Tax Legislation in Michigan and the 
"History of Agriculture in Michigan." A scholarly history of the 
public school system of this State has also been written by Profes- 
sor Putnam of Ypsilanti and more recently several other social or, 
economic aspects of our life have been put into written form, al- 
though not as yet published. 

The subjects which have just been read and upon which scholarly 
research work has been done are but illustrative of many more 
which the development of Michigan has furnished. Take, for 
example, the one universal property in a new country land. The 
history of the descent of title in Michigan to this economic 
indispensable is full of interest. The student will find that no 
small portion of General Cass' reputation came from his skill with 
Indians in the matter of treaty-making by which claims to large 
quantities of land were given up by these original occupiers. He 
will find it of interest to read the report of General Tifin as United 
States Surveyor General when sent here to locate bounty lands 
for the veterans of 1912 "that the State was largely uninhabitable 
owing to swampiness that not one acre in a hundred was tillable 
and that provision for the soldiers must be looked for elsewhere." 
The title to the narrow strip of land in northern Ohio of which 
the city of Toledo is now the metropolis is of peculiar interest every- 
where because of the miniature war of which it was the occasion, 
and on account of the resulting decision of the United States 'Gov- 
ernment giving us Northern Michigan and causing that common- 
wealth misfit of two diverse peninsulas within the boundaries of a 
single State. 



MICHiaAN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 331 

The student will also find an account of the long and bitter 
quarrel between the new State of Michigan and the Federal Govern- 
ment over the ownership of the public lands within the borders 
of this commonwealth. "The authorities at Washington," so an 
early Governor complains, "have ceased making the payments for 
'the support of this government which came during our Territorial 
period and at the same time they have retained ownership in so 
much of the lands of this peninsula, which we are forbidden to 
tax, so that our state government is threatened with financial 
starvation." How the policy of the Federal Government was broken 
up in this respect and how gifts of land to the State for school pur- 
poses, for university purposes, for internal improvements, for rail- 
roads, for canals, salt spring lands, script lands and many other 
sorts of land-gifts will form an interesting part of this study. It 
is of course beyond the scope of a paper like this to do more than 
suggest possibilities in the treatment of these subjects, but a 
handling of the land question in Michigan would hardly be com- 
plete without some mention also of the speculativve mania in the 
middle thirties which swept over this territory by which more land 
changed hands in one year than had been the case during our entire 
previous history. 

No social or economic history of a commonwealth would be 
complete either without some presentation of the financial history 
of its government. How a little democracy growing up from prim- 
itive conditions absolved from practically all restraints in respect 
to money matters so far as higher authority is concerned shall 
adjust its public aims and ideals so as to harmonize with its public 
resources is the story told by the finances of this state. Michigan has 
had a mildly spectacular financial history. Not only has her own 
treasury been twice looted by embezlemeut ; not only has this treas- 
ury often been insolvent through the reckless legislative habit of ap- 
propriating more than was possessed; but the commonwealth her- 
self in one notable instance refused payment to its creditors and is 
therefore listed among the half dozen states of our Union which 
suffer under the malevolent stigma of being repudiators. 

The little State was indeed badly advised from the start in the 
use of its credit resources and a public debt which was contracted 
at the very beginning of its history remained to plague the treasury 
officials until the end of the Luce administration in 1890. Few other 
problems have proven so baffling to our local statesmen as has the 
handling of this double edged sword of public credit and the 
present rigorous denial to our legislators, through constitutional 



332 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

provisions, of practically all use of public credit except for 
emergency purposes while often humiliating, is at least safe and 
doubtless the limitation is a permanent feature of our public policy. 

The historian will easily find within our archives the records and 
statistical data which justify the present "pay as you go" policy em- 
ployed in this commonwealth. Michigan's history during fifty years 
of debt-paying activity affords a wealth of experience regarding that 
alluring delusion that debts can be paid without making the neces- 
sary sacrifices. Three times were sinking funds established by suc- 
cessive legislatures but in each case with the invariable result, 
customary to sinking funds in public finance, that each proved 
futile, corrupting or extravagant, or all three. As was said be- 
fore, part of the debt was repudiated and was therefore never 
paid. Naturally the State lost its credit and paid interest com 
pounded upon interest many times. All of the original borrowings 
were recklessly spent. Finally such were the entanglements of the 
situation, that it required a decision of the supreme court in 1880 
to tell whether or not the debt at last had been extinguished. If 
will be seen from this brief outline that public debts present lessons 
of administration of expediency and even of public morality when 
thoroughly given examination. 

That other source of public income the tax in Michigan merits 
the most scrutinizing study from our student if for no other 
reason than for its permanency since like the poor, taxes are al- 
ways with us. Our commonwealth from the beginning has permitted 
itself the luxury of two distinct systems of taxation, the general 
and the specific. Like many others of the familiar institutions of 
our political organization specific taxes are an accidental product 
being as is well known simply a lump sum impost levied upon each 
unit of some object like railroads, saloons, dogs and men, and the 
expediency of these subjects in early days, when property had little 
or no value, was found in their definiteness and permanency. 

No economic history of the State can be written which fails to 
notice the gigantic political struggle of easy memory to most of us 
concerning the transfer of railroads during the Pingree admin- 
istration from the one of these taxing systems to the other. No 
other legislative battle in the history of the State compares with 
this one for intensity of public interest or long length of duration. 
An easy tabulation shows the "equal taxation controversy," as it 
was called, to have been the dominating question before three 
regular sessions of the legislature and the only issue discussed by 
four special ones; it further required an enormously expensive 



MICHIG-AN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 333 

railroad appraisal ; it also necessitated the establishment of a 
permanent tax commission several decisions from the State Supreme 
Court and four years of litigation in the federal courts before rail- 
roads become amenable to taxes on the same basis as other 
property. 

Aside from the levying of taxes, which is the first duty of admin- 
istration in a revenue system there is the still more difficult task of 
tax collection. As is well known with us the local supervisor does 
the one, the local treasurer the other. Franklin, our proverb 
maker, could scarcely have had Michigan under contemplation when 
he identified the certainty of taxes with the certainty of death. Mich- 
igan, indeed, presents unique problems to the student of finance 
in this matter of the collection of taxes. Our State in this respect 
secures its distinction of perverseness in tax collections through the 
prevalence among us of that economic anomaly known as the "pine- 
lands ;" and any investigator may easily satisfy himself that tax col- 
lections in our commonwealth have been no pastime by the single 
proof that two or three pages only of our taxing laws are taken up 
with the levying of imports while eighteen or twenty plan provisions 
for their collection. 

Unrestrained privileges of taxation necessarily have given to 
Michigan marked individuality in financial matters as have the dif- 
fering environments under the same circumstances dealt similarly 
with sister States. The fact for example of inharmonious parts in 
Michigan through the incorporation of two peninsulas within one 
state and the strong bent toward locality government given by our 
great Territorial Governor have hindered substantially a well per- 
fected centralized State Government and the consequent debilitating 
results to our tax levyings and collections have been most pro- 
nounced. The remedy was found in the establishment of the manda- 
tory State Tax Commission a decade and a half ago and the benefits 
from centralization here illustrated, if properly interpreted, should 
bear furits in many other fields of State activity. 

The Michigan school system is the aspect of our commonwealth 
development which unquestionably stirs most pride in the hearts 
of our citizens. Have we not the oldest State university and 
agricultural college within the land? And was not Michigan the 
first of our commonwealths to establish a department of public in- 
struction as a part of its State government? These are some of the 
evidences to which we point with pride when the traditional excel- 
lencies of our schools are called into question. Besides all this, our 
superiority in mental vision and attainment has been acknowledged 



334 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

often by alien and otherwise unbiased judges. I read recently, for 
example, in Mr. Rhodes' admirable history of the United States: 
"Intelligence of a very high order characterized the people of this 
state [Michigan]. Already," he says, "had the educational system 
been established which has grown into one surpassed by none in the 
world and which has become a fruitful model," again an indirect 
testimonial as to disciplined mentality is furnished by the claim of 
Mr. Bemis in his work on Local Government already referred to, 
that in 1881 the membership of this Pioneer Society exhibited 407 
members from New England and New York out of a total enroll- 
ment of 496. Within a field of social development so obviously 
fruitful as our educational growth has been, the social historian 
should find much which would interest and repay him. Professor 
Putnam has written a book, entitled the "History of Secondary 
Education in Michigan," but the volume is little more than a record 
of legislation upon this matter. Dr. Hinsdale has produced an 
admirable history of the Michigan University and excellent studies 
have been made concerning other details connected with our varied 
agencies of learning, but the comprehensive, reliable and readable 
account of how the whole thing came along remains yet an oppor- 
tunity for work and accomplishment to some devoted scholar. 

We should have light at once, for instance, gleaned from ex- 
perience, upon the problem of consolidating our various institutions 
of learning, since this question is a public concern of no small im- 
portance at the present moment. The State support of common 
schools too as now practiced in Michigan violates substantially every 
principle of good financial administration, yet if anyone thinks that 
the voters of this commonwealth will permit the use of specific 
taxes for other purposes than school support let him consult the 
messages of Rich, of Pingree and of Warner for the records of their 
adverse experiences in this matter. The peculiar relationship be- 
tween the railroads and the schools of this State through this ap- 
plication of railroad taxes to school support and from which both 
associates have suffered many influences and to which the citizens 
of the State have shown an almost desperate devotion on several 
occasions, may only be explained by the historian who is willing 
to ravel out some of the many intricacies of our early history. 

A single illustration of an unhappy outcome which results from 
this relationship may here be given. As is well known the support of 
schools in Michigan is a cooperative undertaking, the State defray- 
ing part of the expenses, the localities the remainder, but the con- 
tractual relations between these two partners may properly be 



MIOHiaAN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 335 

determined only in the light of history. The sum now received by 
the locality from the State is in the nature of a bounty for the 
promotion of education and the looseness in regard to results; 
which seems characteristic of all bounties as compared with other 
governmental disbursements, may be easily found here. The com- 
munity is but slightly stimulated to increased effort in the interests 
of education by the receipt of this bounty, since public education is 
already highly cherished throughout the State. On the other hand, 
the descent annually upon the school district of a sum of money so 
large that in more than a thousand instances at once it is in excess 
of what can be used by the local division, not only entails actual 
waste of funds but furnishes a powerful temptation to the cupidity 
of these local recipients. 

Nothing of equivalent advantage to the State government can 
be shown as a resulting compensation for these large outlays from 
the State treasury. There is in Michigan little of centralized con- 
trol of schools and with the exception of a requirement of a uniform 
number of months of school per year under licensed teachers and 
the exaction of reports from the various districts, centralized sup- 
port bears few other fruits so far as the State government is con- 
cerned. On the other hand, it is wasteful and it corrupts the local 
divisions as the excess of an undeserved good always corrupts. 

Closely allied to the educational activities of a people are the at- 
tempst which they have made toward ameliorating the condition of 
the defectives, the dependents and the delinquents within their 
midst. Our State has made many and large expenditures for this 
purpose and has enacted much legislation upon these matters in at- 
tempting to deal with this so-called social problem that with re- 
gard to capital punishment, for example, being almost unique yet 
the authoritative treatise as to how Michigan has dealt with the 
poor, the criminal, the feeble minded, the impoverished and all the 
others remains as yet wholly undiscovered in the books of legisla- 
tion and public reports upon these subjects. 

The circumstances attending the settlement of our State will 
furnish an exceptional theme of interest to the social historian who 
is attracted by the picturesque. Michigan reached the station of an 
outgrown territorial period and a fitness for statehood under con 
ditions very closely resembling a "boom." During the twenty years 
of American occupancy of this peninsula prior to 1835 not more 
than 87,000 inhabitants had at any one time made this region their 
home. During the subsequent three years the number of settlers had 
more than doubled and more land was bought and sold during a 



336 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

single one of these years, 1836, than had been transferred during 
the entire previous history of the commonwelth. "An emigration," 
says Judge Cooley, "almost unparalleled in the history of mankind." 

This magic-like growth of the new commonwealth took place 
at the time when a sort of radiance illumined everything pertaining 
to America. It was toward the end of a period of national business 
"good times" such as we have recently witnessed under the name by 
which it is entitled, the "McKinley Prosperity. Immigrants to the 
new State consequently brought with them their full share of the 
visions and day dreams with which the times were so thoroughly 
fraught and the immediate history of the new State was to bear 
witness to the invigorating results of this enthusiasm. A traveler 
in Michigan at this time Bela Hubbard records his experience as 
follows: "A steady stream of immigrants began to pour into the 
Territory. It consisted mostly of people of means and respectabil- 
ity from the older States, led by the prospect of cheaper lands. 
Wagons loaded with household goods and surmounted by a live 
freight of women and children, the men trudging on foot, were con- 
stantly entering by the almost only door, Detroit, in great numbers, 
bound for some paradise in the new El Dorado." 

The five years which followed the beginning of the "boom" by 
which the new State was settled were among the most eventful and 
were certainly the most active that the Commonwealth has ever 
seen. Within this time a new State government had been established. 
A system of railroads at State expense had been provided for and 
were partly finished. A system of free banks had received legisla- 
tive sanction and more than sixty of these were already in opera- 
tion. A complete school system, involving a State university, a 
state commissioner of education and an entire system of graded pub- 
lic schools had been launched. A federal scheme of State govern- 
ment under which no officers were to be elected, save the single 
ones of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, all other beings ap- 
pointive, had been put into operation. A corrupting gift of more 
than $286,000 from the national government had been received as 
the State's share in the distribution of the federal surplus. The 
United States government on the other hand had been repeatedly 
defied as to the terms under which the new Commonwealth was to 
be received into the sisterhood of the States, and in spite of the 
fact that the Jackson Cabinet, together with all other prominent 
Democrats of the time, were glorified by having their names at- 
tached to the various counties of the new State, the aspirations of 
the little municipality were distinctly thwarted by the mother gov- 



MICHIGAN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 337 

eminent and Michigan was given just such a constitution and 
statehood as the Jacksonian administration saw fit to grant. To 
crown all a little army had been raised and a spectacular war had 
been fought with the State of Ohio. 

"The early settlers were not mad men," said one of them, Ex- 
Governor Felch, at an anniversary celebration many many years 
later, "but they certainly were enthusiasts." 

The character of the men by whom these activities were promote! 
and conducted should receive due attention from the historian of 
the period. It has been often charged that the youthful first Gov- 
ernor of the State Stevens T. Mason was the advocate and in- 
stigator of all this Utopianism. Others, however, of the period 
(like Woodbridge, who had been the Territorial Secretary almost 
from the beginning) can scarcely claim the immunities of youth 
while the Crareys, the Hastings, the Adams, the Bells, Felches, 
Pierces, Ransoms, Greens. Hubbards and Harrys, who figured so 
extensively in the public life of the period can scarcely all have 
been men of immature years. Some few of these founders of the 
State, it is lamentable to say, have need of the especial services of 
the historian. No inconsiderable cause for the sale of our State- 
owned and apparently prosperous railways is found in the amount 
of stealings, or as more moderly designated "graft," of which they 
were the source. The venerable John Pierce, the father of the Mich- 
igan schools, was extremely unfortunate, to say the least, in his 
administration of the public school funds, while the misfortunes of 
Governor Mason (which made him an expatriate from the common- 
wealth he had served during two administrations) in connection 
with the unpaid "five million dollars loan are well known. It is 
due to these men that their right relations to these great interests 
should be cleared up and it is extremely fortunate for everybody 
that the letters and papers of our first Governor are in the hands 
of a member of this Historical Commission whence they will pro- 
ceed properly edited at no distant future, we may be sure. 

This prodigy of statecraft which we have just described lasted 
but little longer, the student will find, than the time in which its 
framers were busy in its construction. Within thirteen years 
another convention was called for the purpose of making a new 
Constitution to which many of the participants in the affairs of 
the "boom" times were sent as delegates. The unusually complete 
records and discussions of this convention of 1850 are of intense 
seriousness of high character and the condemnation which they 
portray concerning the political day-dreaming of our formative 
43 



338 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

period was most emphatic. The State-built railroads had long since 
passed into the hands of private owners. The commonwealth had 
been unable to procure the funds with which to establish the State 
bank that an early law had authorized the sixty or more banks 
founded by private means a few years before had all save two or 
three become insolvent. The school system even under the glowing 
auspices of its great founder, John D. Pierce, had been found to 
be far in advance of its time and must subsequently be remodelled, 
and a depreciated circulation of State-printed treasury notes re- 
mained everywhere to plague the source of its being, for while the 
commonwealth treasury must pay these bills out to private owners 
at full face value, they were quickly returned again to the State's 
strong box for taxes at discounts widely varying from original values. 
Even our Michigan vocabulary suffered notable dislocations as a re- 
sult of the titanic activities of these halcyon days and citizens of 
our State are familiar yet with such outlandish terms as "wildcat 
banking," "charter railroads," "internal improvements," "specific 
taxes," "frost bitten conventions," "primary school interest fund," 
"Toledo war," etc., which have come down to us from this early 
period. Surely here is an epoch of rare distinction in our common- 
wealth growth which should afford rich material to the student of 
the social and economic. 

The student of social history might well make the subject of 
"crazes" or "popular manias" in Michigan a large chapter in his 
narrative. The "municipal aid" movement in the building of rail- 
roads, which followed the Civil War, might properly be regarded as 
a mild repetition of the earlier bubble building which we have just 
described. 

Railroad "promoting" by township, village and city governments, 
since the constitution of 1850 forbade this privilege to the State, is 
the characteristic from which this agitation derived its name, and 
the two legislatures of 1865 and '67 received petitions for enabling 
acts with which aid might be given to roads which involved scores 
of municipalities. The culmination of opportunities of this sort to 
the municipalities, however, was apparently reached in 1869, when, 
through the adoption of a general law, all these minor political divi- 
sions were empowered to give aid at will. 

The character of this mania may be roughly estimated by the 
enthusiasm with which railroad projects were everywhere received. 
Lansing, the State capital, for example, in one year (1869) was 
the focus of six railroads all of them receiving "municipal aid," 
while two more had been granted articles to build to Lansing and 



MICHIGAN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 339 

still another was being promoted. Lansing was already the ter- 
minus of a "land grant" road and of another built by "municipal 
aid." No trade resources could possibly have been found in an in- 
land city of 6,500 inhabitants to warrant the need of eleven rail 
roads, and public excitement must probably be credited with the 
existence of such a large prospective supply. 

The road building impulse itself sprang naturally from the busi- 
ness revival which followed the Civil War and, especially in Mich- 
igan, from the traffic demands of the newly developed lumbering 
industry which was so soon to dominate the industries of the State. 
The strength of the impulse is suggested by the assertion from 
Governor Baldwin in in his message in 1873 that 

"Railroads have unquestionably been the most important 
causes which have led to the development of the State within 
the last few years. On the first day of January in 1869, 
Michigan had 1,199 miles of railway in operation, since that 
date 1,808 miles had been completed, or 150 per cent more 
than the entire length constructed during the entire previous 

history of the State." 

Gratifying as results like these must have been to the friends of 
the commonwealth, the debts which the municipalities had neces- 
sarily incurred in supporting the movement stirred enmity to 
"municipal aid" from the beginning. Governor Orapo, the State 
executive during four years of this period, vetoed more than twenty 
enabling acts voted by the legislature of 1867 and condemned in 
many vigorous messages the whole "aid" policy. Some of the large 
city newspapers also were unvarying in their hostility, and finally, 
in 1870, a decision from the Supreme Court declared the complete 
illegality of any debts contracted by the municipalities in the fur- 
therance of the municipal aid policy; and the whole activity was 
seen at last to be at an end when a special session of the Legislature 
was unsuccessful in annulling the court's decision by securing the 
adoption of the constitutional amendment which had been proposed. 

An old proverb tells us that "the history of a people may be 
found in the development of its tools," and certainly the presence 
of the economic which tools imply is not lacking in Michigan 
history. Curiously enough the history of this State coincides almost 
exactly with that span of years which measures the industrial 
revolution introduced by the railroad Stephenson's Rocket loco- 
motive having proven successful in 1828 while three years later our 
Territorial assembly chartered the Pontiac and Detroit (afterwards 
the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee) railroad, and five years 



340 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

later a successful road conducted traffic between Adrian and To- 
ledo. During this brief space of time the forests have been stripped 
from a peninsula, a rural population has been converted into a city 
population, and manufacturing has eclipsed agriculture in the pro- 
duction of the largest annual amount of wealth. 

Some of the industries for which Michigan is renowned have 
had almost meteoric histories. Lumbering, for example, which, in 
the seventies and eighties, gave to this State first rank in the matter 
of forest products has long since successfully destroyed its sources 
the pine-forests which formerly covered our State from the lower 
counties to the northern limits. This triumph of contemporary in- 
dustry had many other similarities to unjust warfare beside that of 
the devastation wrought. There was the same method of campaigns 
the same ferocity of attack, the similar number of men employed 
and finally the similarity in residual outcome "a harvest of barren 
regrets." 

The second of the famous industries to give Michigan distinction 
was that of mining and the unique distinction was awarded this 
commonwealth during long periods of time of ranking first in the 
production of both those most useful of all metals copper and iron. 
The story of the accidental discovery of iron mines near Marquette 
by a party of surveyors would of itself make an interesting page in 
any industrial history, while the onrush of miners to the Copper 
Eldorado in 1845 ranks' easily as the first of these characteristic 
American movements the second of which came a few years later in 
the descent of the "Forty-niners" upon California and the last in the 
recent migration of the Klondike. 

Agriculture has always been the popular industry in Michigan. 
Although confined mainly to the five lower tiers of counties, 
it probably exhibits a greater variety of products than that of 
any other of the states in the Union. In the three genera- 
tions of civilized occupancy the agriculture of this State has suc- 
cumbed to the industrial revolution which has prevailed everywhere, 
and has become a commercialized industry instead of a self-suf- 
ficient one. Farm enterprises have disappeared and have been sup- 
planted by those better fitted to survive. Few cleaner illustrations 
can be found anywhere of the operation of natural forces in history 
than can be found in the way in which markets and environments 
have acted as touch-stones to discriminate out the fit from the unfit 
in the struggle for existence of farm enterprises. 

The development of improved transporation has also been notable 
in Michigan. A long North and South peninsula this State acted 



MICHIGAN HISTORY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC 341 

as a barrier to the all-water route between the commercial centers 
of the Upper Mississippi and those of the Atlantic seaboard which 
the ice at Mackinaw made a complete barrier in the winter time. An 
obstruction to commerce of this sort was displaceable only by im- 
proved means of transportation, and the bridging of Michigan was 
early recognized as indispensible to the development of Western 
trade. The agencies by which this was accomplished are of them- 
selves significant records of our progress. The old Chicago road of 
the Territorial period, the various State roads at a later time, the 
Michigan Central, when improved motive power was used, and most 
recently the interurban, outlines the stages of evolution in the ac- 
complishment of this feat. The social adjustment of railroads, too, 
by which these new instruments of traffic were given their setting 
among our older political institutions and agencies received an im- 
portant contribution from Michigan, for was it not our State Su- 
preme Court in the case of Salem vs. the Detroit, Lansing and 
Northern railroad that decided railroads were strictly private 
undertakings and therefore not fit subjects for public aid? The 
latest chapter in this long history of the improved means of trans- 
portation will have for its theme the trunk line gravel roads which 
have been brought upon us by the coming of the automobile and 
whose advent makes the sixth in the series of systems of improved 
transportation employed here during three generations. 

The preservation of the records, the public documents, the data 
which would permit such history to be written as we have sug- 
gested is not urged from dilettante or mere curiosity-satisfying mo- 
tives. We believe such history would be practically useful. Is it 
not Carlyle who says "that the life of the lowest mortal if faith- 
fully recorded, would be interesting to the brightest." So we be- 
lieve that the ordinary facts of every-day life have lessons to teach 
of far reaching importance if properly interpreted. We are all 
familiar with a prominent school of historians which assign to 
natural environment a large place in the shaping of the history of 
a people. Taine wrote a history of English literature from this 
standpoint. If our Buckles, Montagues, Taines and Simples find 
such fruitful historical forces in the mere dull, inanimate earth, 
why may not the principles and circumstances discovered by men 
in their activities in the common day be even more fruitful? The 
public interests of the day lare emphatically of the economic 
betterment and social welfare order as is witnessed everywhere by 
our mothers' pension 1 laws, domestic relations courts, pure food and 
workmen's compensation laws, free libraries, free schools, tuber- 



342 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

culosis sanitariums, asylums and reformators of all sorts, social sur- 
veys, rural surveys, county agricultural experts, anti-saloon laws, 
eugenic and other race betterment laws, etc., etc. Why then should 
not the narrative of the social and the economic in our history be 
worth while and deserving of our sincerest consideration ? 



MEMOIRS OF PIONEER SETTLERS 

PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY DAYS IN KENT 

COUNTY 

BY MRS. MARION LOUISE (HINSDILL) WITHEY 

HURON COUNTY FROM 1800 TO 1850 

BY MRS. FLORENCE M. GWINN 

THE SETTLEMENT OF CLINTON COUNTY 

BY MRS. HARRIET MUNROE LONGYEAR 

THE SCOTCH SETTLERS OF OAKLAND COUNTY 

BY ROBERT W. MALCOLM 



PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY DAYS IN 
KENT COUNTY. 

BY MRS. MARION LOUISE HINSDILL WITHEY 

IN the spring of 1833 my father, Myron Hinsdill, came from Hines- 
burg, Vermont, to Richlaiid, then called Gull Prairie. This 
journey was made through the Erie Canal, by boat from Buffalo 
to Detroit, from there on by teams, one of which father brought 
with him. Most of the towns on the way were mere stopping places. 
The vision of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as it was then, still lingers in 
my memory. Mother used to tell the story of our stop there. The 
landlord came out to assist us. As he took down four little girls 
one after the other, he turned to father and in some emphatic words 
inquired what he had come with them to this country for. 

We were warmly welcomed to our new home by the family of 
Elder Knappen whom my parents had known in Vermont. They 
had come to Michigan but a short time before us and were sufficient- 
ly settled so that we could remain with them until some place could 
be provided for us. Father at once set about building a log barn 
for his horses. When it was up and roofed mother proposed that 
we should move into it ourselves and relieve the Knappens. Ac- 
cordingly a floor was laid, a stick chimney built, and we took pos- 
session with two pieces of furniture brought with us a small, light 
stand with leaves and a sideboard and bureau together. I still have 
this and it is a useful article of furniture. I don't remember where 
we got our bedsteads but father went down to the southern part 
of the state and obtained six wooden chairs and a small rocking 
chair, which I still cherish among my household goods. 

In this primitive way my parents, who had left a fine old home- 
stead in the east, commenced life in Michigan. A young woman 



paper was prepared to be read at the midwinter meeting held in Grand Rapids 
in January, 1913, but the author died November 16, 1912. Mrs. Withey was one of 
the foremost women of Grand Rapids and the oldest continuous resident of the city. 
She was eighty-three years old at the time of her death and she came to Grand Rapids 
with her parents Mr. and Mrs. Myron Hinsdill from Hinesburg. Vermont, at the age 
of six. She was married at Grand Rapids, December 24, 1845 to Solomon L. Withey, 
who was later appointed by President Lincoln district judge for the western district 
of Michigan. Judge Withey was always an active promoter of the interests of Grand 
Rapids. Mrs. Withey was prominently identified with the beginnings and growth of 
four of the strong religious, philanthropic and educational institutions of Grand 
Rapids : the Park Congregational Church, the U. B. A. hospital, the public library and 
the Ladies' Literary Club. The Marion L. Withey residence for nurses is a monument 
to her philanthropic activities. Mrs. Withey died in Grand Rapids. November 16, 1912. 
She is survived by four children. [Condensed from an extended article on her life 
and services, printed in the Grand Rapids Evening Press for November 16. 1912. Ed.] 



346 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

who came with us to assist mother, very soon accepted an offer of 
marriage from a man who was probably in want of a housekeeper 
and mother, a frail, delicate woman, was left to struggle with 
small children, housework, fever and ague. 

How that house did leak every time it rained. We had to cover 
the beds with tin pans and dishes to catch the water. As warm 
weather came on we did most of our work out of doors. One in- 
cident I well remember. Mother had prepared the bread ready to 
bake in a tin oven before the fire out of doors, and had gone to 
bed with an attack of the ague, leaving my older sister and myself 
to attend the baking. Child-like we were interested in our play, and 
so forgot the fire entirely. Imagine our consternation when we 
saw two great hogs walk off with poor mother's bread. 

The contest with fever and ague was fearful, and ague usually 
Jiad the best of it. At one time when our distress was the greatest 
a cousin of father's, Stephen Hinsdill, came to us and remained 
some time to assist in taking care of us. We were all sick at once. 
Dr. Deming was our physician. 

The music of the wolves at night was quite common when I was 
a girl. There were other exciting times also. One time during this 
first summer in Michigan we had a narrow escape. A violent whirl- 
wind passed over that region and blew a large tree, which stood in 
front, down on the house, crushing in the front part. Mother saw 
it coming and gathered us into the back part, near the one window, 
from which we were taken out, unhurt but badly frightened. 

A Mr. and Mrs. Baker riding through the woods during the same 
storm, were killed by a falling tree. A baby sister of mine who died 
that November was buried by their side. I have been told that 
these graves have an enclosure near the center of the present cem- 
etery at Richland. We were living at that time in a house owned 
by Deacon 'Gray, nearer the center of the prairie. Of this winter 
I remember little except our going to meeting on an ox sled. I 
don't know why we did this as my father had horses. 

The next spring my uncle, Mitchel Hinsdill, came with his family 
to Richland. My father and this brother located on adjoining 
farms just south of the prairie. My father had five acres cleared 
and wheat sown when my uncle arrived. They both commenced to 
build on their farms and located their homes not far apart. Uncle's 
house was finished first, or as nearly finished as houses were in 
those days. Here one of my brothers, Chester B. Hinsdill, was born. 
Before cold weather our own house was ready and we moved into 
it, although it was not plastered. We used blankets for inside 



EARLY DAYS IN KENT COUNTY 347 

doors for a time and a carpenter's bench was a part of the furni- 
ture. My mother's mother, a woman over seventy, came and spent 
the winter with us. It was a comfort to mother but poor grand- 
mother was greatly tried at the hardships mother had to endure. 
She was mostly troubled that the little girls must be brought up in 
such a wild place. 

Our evenings were enlivened by visits from our neighbors who 
often came several miles for that purpose. Hickory nuts, of which 
the woods yielded an abundance, were our usual refreshments. My 
father often read aloud for our entertainment. I have a vivid 
remembrance of his reading Cooper's "Leather Stocking Tales." 
The evening he read the scene of the shooting of the panther over 
Charlotte's head, Mr. Foster Gilkie was with us. He seems to be 
almost before me, as I recall him with his emphatic "hum ! hum !" 

During that winter father once went to a point south of our 
home where some large sycamores grew. Mother and some of us 
children went along, I presume for a visit. We came home in 
the bright moonlight, riding inside the tree as it lay lengthwise on 
the sled. These trees were used for smoke houses, corn-cribs, etc. 
Several large specimens were standing not far from Kalamazoo a 
few years ago. 

During the winter father also made a trip on horseback to the 
Grand River country as it was then styled. Here the spring before, 
his counsin Hiram Hinsdill, of Bennington, Vermont, had gone with 
his family. Father must have been captivated by the scenery. The 
fine, rapid river and the high hills seemed to him like his old home 
in New England. He fancied it would be more healthy, and was 
quite ready for a change. Accordingly he let his farm, soon after 
selling it, and the last of May or the first of June, removed to 
Grand Rapids. 

We made this journey through the woods, following blazed trees, 
as there was no sign of a road. We were several days on the way. 
One evening as we were stopping for the night in a log house 'with- 
out a floor or roof, the first stage, with George Coggshells' family 
passed us, bound for the same haven. Temporarily we stayed with 
Hiram Hinsdill's family. Father purchased of him the frame of the 
old National Hotel, and proceeded to finish it. While this was 
being done, a part of the summer we lived in a new barn near by 
and as soon as a few rooms were done we moved in. This summer 
of 1836, on pleasant Sundays we used to cross the river to attend 
services at Mr. Slater's Mission chapel where he preached in the 



348 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

afternoon in English. Occasionally he came over to the East Side 
and preached in a house built by a Mr. Lincoln. 

This summer Miss Page, afterward the wife of Judge Bacon, of 
Monroe, at the importunity of several families who had small chil- 
dren, opened a school in a new barn. This building, located a little 
to the rear of what is now the Morton House was built of boards 
set up endwise while the boards of the floor were laid down without 
matching. The school committee was not vexed with the matter of 
ventilation. It was here that I had my first struggles with 
Webster's Spelling Book. 

One of the memorable events of that year was the Indian payment 
in October on the west side of the Grand River. The Indians were 
gathered there some two or three weeks waiting for the specie to 
come. It was great amusement for the white people to go and 
visit the camp and my father took us children. 

Everything about the place seemed curious to us, including the 
savages themselves. Their campfires and wigwams ; the men decked 
out with paint on their faces, feathers in their headgear, and with 
strings of tin cut in round pieces or with beads around their necks ; 
the squaws, many of them with fine broadcloth blankets, handsome- 
ly embroidered leggings to match, and pretty moccasins; all this 
quite fascinated us. These varicolored figures, together with the 
lovely autumn landscape, made a picture well calculated to live in 
the memory. 

This annual payment was kept up for twenty years and from 
fifteen hundred to two thousand Indians assembled in that place 
every year. Many of them we came to know personally and 
we looked forward to their coming. Some of the squaws were 
skilled with the needle and their petticoats were often embroid- 
ered with narrow ribbon and beads a quarter of a yard deep. Their 
bead and porcupine quill work was often a marvel of ingenuity 
and most neatly done. It is a great pity that more of the really 
fine specimens of their work have not been preserved. 

Indians were a familiar sight but I do not remember having any 
serious fear of them or any apprehension of trouble with them. A 
seat by the fire when they were chick-es-sol (cold), or a generous 
supper when they were buck-a-tab (hungry), generally insured us 
the mosf friendly relation with them. 

The summer of 1836 seems a long one to my recollection. The 
arrival of so many strangers; the rapid changes; the hurry of 
people to get some place to live before cold weather; the peculiar 
ways in which people did live; the feverish excitement of specula- 



EARLY DAYS IN KENT COUNTY 349 

tion; so many events crowded into the space of a few months, make 
those months seem now, like so many years. 

To recall the state of things, I extract from a letter dated April 
2, 1836, from my father to a brother-in-law: 

"I have applied for fine lots of pine-land up Grand River but 
there is such a press of business at the Land Office, one cannot 
know under six or. eight days whether he can get it or not, and 
if two men asked for the same land, the same day, they must agree 
which shall have it, as it is set up at auction. There have been 
four or five hundred people at Bronson for a week past, all waiting 
to get land; if I get the pine land it will cost about $2.25 per acre, 
and a great bargain at that. If land buyers increase as we have 
reason to expect, when navigation opens there will not be a good 
lot in the territory at Congress prices, and then I see no reason 
why land will not be worth f 10.00 per acre." 

That this came to pass we now know. The resort of the early 
pioneers to every device to supply food and the other commonest 
necessities of life, was only equaled by their ingenuity for enter- 
tainment. During the winter months debating societies, singing 
schools and masquerade parties were in order. Conspicuous among 
these were the meetings of the Grand Rapids Lyceum. This so- 
ciety was organized in a room over the old yellow warehouse, used 
as an office by Dr. Charles Shepard. Its moving spirits were C. 
H. Taylor, Noble H. Finney, William A. Richmond, W. G. Henry, 
George Martin, Simeon Johnson and others who came a little later. 

Its public meetings were held in the dining-room of the old Na- 
tional -my father's house which was the place for all kinds of 
assemblages. Here was brought out the latent intellectual force 
and forensic ability of that little coterie of young men, that years 
after was conspicuous on the platform, the stump and at the bar. 
The women of that time were no whit behind the men and all wom- 
anly graces, intelligence, refinement of manners and accomplish- 
ments of head and heart were there. A long search might be made 
in vain to find finer examples of noble womanhood than were pres- 
ent at every social gathering in that old hotel dining-room. 

The Lyceum was maintained for many years and thus was 
started a valuable library. Some of the books are still doing ser- 
vice in our present Public Library. 

My brother, Henry M. Hinsdill, was born in March, 1837. He 
was the second white child born here. Napoleon Godfrey who pre- 
ceded him by a few weeks having claim to the first place. In 
August of that year an uncle, Truman Kellogg, moved his family 
here. They made the journey around the lakes and up the river. 
He had previously purchased a farm east of the town on Lake 



350 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Avenue, his house standing where the Paddock House now is. Hav- 
ing a decided taste for horticulture, he took great care to get and 
set out choice orchards of peach, plum and apple trees. He also 
planted some fine varieties of grapes and all the small fruits. He 
gave quite a large plot of ground to the morus multi colus shrub, 
and embarked in the manufacture of silk. For several years he 
raised the cocoons and wound the silk. The family still possess 
many specimens of this, the earliest of Grand Kapids manufactur- 
ing products. At Belding, Michigan, there is now one of the finest 
silk factories in the country. 

This uncle of mine, although one of the quietest of men, was an 
avowed abolitionist, subscribing to the abolition newspapers and 
quietly advocating their opinions. In his correspondence he used 
as a letterhead the figure of a negro kneeling and lifting manacled 
hands to heaven in supplication. The engraving was done by a 
colored man. Some of the letters from a brother in the South, con- 
taining pleas to discontinue the use of this paper for letters sent 
to that place as they were positively dangerous, are curious evi- 
dences of the public sentiment of that time. 

To show that the higher interests of religion and education were 
not neglected I quote from a letter of father's dated February 25, 
1837: "We have two schools in our house, one instructed by my 
sister (Aunt Mary Walker) who came out here last fall; the other 
by Mr. Smith, who was educated in your village. We have had 
from eight to ten boarders all winter, on the temperance plan in 
full, and have most of the good custom. Strangers from almost 
all parts of the Union visit our place and are much pleased. Prop- 
erty has advanced one- third or more since you were here ; so much, 
I think people are crazy. Society has improved very much. A 
Presbyterian church was formed last October with twenty-two 
members and ten added since, and we have as talented society of 
young men as can be found in your state. Provision is very high, 
flour, $15.00 a barrel; oats, $1.00; potatoes, $1.25; pork, $14.00 
per hundred; butter 37V 2 c; and other things in proportion, board 
$4.50 per week ; cash plenty ; most of it paid out for land. I have 
had more silver and gold in my house this winter than a pair of 
horses could draw." 

This is a good picture of the times. The church spoken of was 
soon changed to the Congregational polity, that element largely 
predominating. It is now the First Congregational Church of 
Grand Rapids. I remember distinctly the scene of the organiza- 
tion : the little company as they stood up to assent to the articles 



EARLY DAYS IN KENT COUNTY 351 

of faith, and afterwards to celebrate the Lord's Supper, with the 
bread on a common plate, a pitcher and tumblers for tankard and 
cups. So true were these early settlers to their convictions of 
faith and training, that the same roof frequently sheltered the fam- 
ily, the church, the school, and Sunday school. They were, how- 
ever, very liberal to others; any preacher who could lead a Chris- 
tian service was warmly welcomed. 

The night before New Year's of 1838, we were treated to a new 
diversion. A company of French and Indian half breeds, masked 
and dressed in most grostesque and fantastic costumes, with horns 
and every hideous instrument of noise, rushed through the houses 
of the settlers, howling and dancing. Everything the houses af- 
forded in the way of refreshments was brought forth. The noisy 
hideous visitors threw it on the floor and stamped it down, to the 
ruin of house and furniture and to the great alarm of housekeep- 
ers. So disgusting was the performance and so general the dis- 
approbation that it was never repeated. What it meant and where 
it originated, no one has ever seemed to know. 

In February of 1838, great alarm was felt at the damming up of 
the ice below the town. One evening just in the midst of a spirited 
debate at the Lyceum, there came the cry that the water was ris- 
ing. Everyone started to the rescue. An anxious night was fol- 
lowed by an exciting day. At mid-day, the ice began to move in a 
vast body while the water rushed back on the little settlement, to 
the great danger of several families who lived on the bank of the 
river. The Almy and Page families were taken from the upper win- 
dows of their houses in boats. Their houses were situated a little 
north of where Sweet's Hotel now is. I remember Mrs. Almy's ter- 
ror as she was brought to our house. 

The spring of 1838 was marked by an event of interest to my 
own family. This was the marriage of my Aunt Mary Hinsdill 2 to 
Mr. C. I. Walker. During the summer my father's mother paid us 
a visit. Father spent most of his time that summer looking and 
surveying land, and early in November he was taken down with a 
fever. He died on the 17th, at the age of thirty -nine, a victim to the 
exposures and hardships of a ne<w country. His remains were in- 
terred in the Fulton Street cemetery, then just purchased but not 
platted. 

In recalling this bit of family history connected with the early 
settlement of our state, and bringing to mind the names of many 

2 Mrs. Lucinda Hinsdill Stone, of Kalamazoo, educator, author, and lecturer, was a 
sister of Mrs. Withey and Mrs. Walker. 



352 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

contemporary with my parents, I am reminded of the precious 
material of which our foundations were builded. If truth, in- 
tegrity, intelligence, and heroism are traits of nobility, truly the 
pioneers of our fair Peninsula were a right royal race. 



HURON COUNTY FROM 1800 TO 1850 353 



HURON COUNTY FROM 1800 TO I860. 1 

BY MRS. FLORENCE M. GWINN. 

HURON County forms what is called "the thumb of the Michi- 
gan mitten." It has a coast line on three sides, formed by the 
waters of Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay. 

In the little village of Grindstone City, on Lake Huron, one of 
the earliest settlers if not the earliest was Captain A. J. Peer. 
Here at the very tip of the Thumb he quarried the first stone in 
1834. The stones were used in building the! pavements of Wood- 
ward and Jefferson Avenues in Detroit. It was 1836 before he ac- 
quired 400 acres of land including the Grindstone quarries. That 
same year he set up the works to carry on the business. In 1845 
he located here and operated a water-power saw-mill utilizing for 
that purpose, the creek which runs through the place. He also 
spent many years of his life on the lakes, being owner of a number 
of brigs and schooners. It is worthy of note that the engine used 
in the manufacture of the first grindstones was the first ever built 
in Detroit and had been used in the first steamer that plied be- 
tween Port Huron and Detroit. Captain Peer was the president 
of the first Pioneer Society organized in Huron County. 

In 1838 two lumbermen, John and Allan Daggett, carried on 
operations at a place called Rock Falls. They also used a water- 
power mill. Then followed Henry Whitcomb and soon after many 
fishermen and shingle weavers came to prey upon Uncle Sam's 
domain. 

In 1839 a Mr. Luce built a saw-mill at Willow Creek now Huron 
City. Shortly afterward settlers began to come up the coast in 
small skiffs or often on foot. 

The history of Sand Beach (now Harbor Beach) is interesting 
in many respects. Here John Hopson located in 1838. For a 
time he was engaged in lumbering with Daggetts. Later Mr. Whit- 
comb bought out their interest. The lumber which they manufac- 
tured was put on board of vessels which lay at anchor off the shore. 
Jn order to do this they formed cribs of the lumber which they 
floated out to the boats and loaded up. If no storm came up, they 
were all right; if it did, they were all wrong. The first goods ever 
sold in the county were brought here for sale by Mr. Whitcomb. 



1 Read at the mid-winter meeting at Port Huron, Feb. 4-5, 1914. 
45 



354 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

The shingle weavers were quite numerous at this point and a 
merry time they often had. They received a good price for their 
shingles and the timber cost them nothing. They appropriated 
that from the government. From the proceeds of the shingles they 
would send down to Port Huron^ purchase a barrel of flour and a 
barrel of whiskey. Then they would have what they called "a 
high time," until the whiskey gave out, which it always did long 
before the flour was used up. 

Once in a while the government inspectors would appear and 
scatter the weavers into the wilderness but this condition of af- 
fairs did not last long and in a short time the weavers would be 
back at work. Little thought w r as given to laws, in those times; 
for we find a man by the name of Cane engaged in the counterfeit- 
ing business. He built a log cabin and started a Mexican silver 
dollar factory. Later he counterfeited bills. The good natured 
pioneers never troubled him although they knew very well what 
he was doing. 

The marriage of Duncan McCart and Mary Ann French was the 
first to be celebrated on this shore. The little daughter who 
came into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Allan Daggett was the first 
white child born in Sand Beach. 

At the mouth of Bird's Creek on the shores of Lake Huron and 
Saginaw Bay was the village of Port Austin. Jonathan Bird was 
the first man to locate at this point in 1837. He was a patriot in 
the reform movement in Canada at that period and had to flee here 
for refuge. He built a log cabin and remained throughout the 
winter. 

In 1838 he built a water power mill on the creek which bears his 
name. This was the commencement of the heaviest lumbering bus- 
iness ever carried on in the county. One mill alone cut 120,000,000 
feet for the eastern markets. During these times when expecting 
vessels they would build a bonfire on the beach or hang a lamp on 
the top of a cedar tree. 

The caves along the coast at this place were used as a hiding 
place for fugitives from justice as well as for homes for the pio- 
neers. Many children were born in them. 

There were no roads in Huron County. Indian trails served for 
that purpose along the shore and the woods were traversed in 
many directions by the red man's paths. A man by the name of 
Hopson drove his steers and wagon over one of these into Sand 
Beach where he was engaged in gill-net fishing in company with 



HURON COUNTY FROM 1800 TO 1850 355 

William Underwood. This was the first wagon ever brought into 
the county. 

White Rock was settled in 1848, a man by the name of Smith be- 
ing the first settler here. This place was also the home of the 
fishermen and shingle weavers, who would remain for a time and 
then pass up the shore. 

The first lighthouse was built at Point Aux Barques about 1847. 
It was made of stones collected on the beach of Lake Huron but 
the structure proved to be insecure. The keeper of the lighthouse 
was drowned and his wife took care of the light for a time. A 
man named Sweet succeeded her. 

Coming up the shore we find Walter Hume, after whom Hume 
township is named. He came here long before any other white 
man and made his home among the Indians. He also left Canada 
at the time of the Rebellion. It was the law in Canada at that 
period in case of war, that one man must be left at home to care 
for the family. 

W T hen the trouble broke out both Walter and his father were 
at home. The elder Mr. Hume was taken but by the time he 
reached London, Walter had fled to the United States so the father 
threw down his gun and returned to care for his family. 

Walter had a narrow escape from the Canadian government of- 
ficials when crossing at Port Huron. Indeed, his companion, a 
man by the name of Armstrong, had his arm shot off. This man 
was long afterwards the first sheriff of Huron County. Hume re- 
joicing at his own safety, sought refuge in the wilds of Huron and 
became the Daniel Boone of Hume township. In after years he 
married Mary Shilling, daughter of one of the early pioneers of 
Sebewaing township. One son was born to them. 

In the southwestern part of the county w r e find the village of 
Sebewaing named after a tribe of Indians who lived there. The 
first white man to reach this place was the Rev. J. J. Auch, the 
township being first named Auchville in his honor. He came as a 
missionary to the Indians from a Lutheran church in Ann Arbor, 
Michigan. He found one house belonging to a half-breed named 
Charles Rodd. Mr. Auch built the second house of logs in 1848. 
His brother followed him in 1849. 

Later a company of Germans all from Ann Arbor were landed 
by the steamer Julia Smith on "Lone Tree" island at the mouth of 
the Sebewaing river. This island has since been washed away. It 
was o,ver three weeks before they could reach the main land. 
Through the efforts of Mr. Auch the Indians were induced to carry 



356 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

them over in their canoes. This little company did not feel very 
cheerful or secure when they did reach the shore for they had no 
roof to shelter them and the land was very low and swampy. In 
many places the water was several feet deep. 

Such men are not easily discouraged however, and they began to 
select at once their land and build log cabins. At first they all 
spent their nights in one small log house. There were forty-five 
men, women and children so they were somewhat limited in space. 
Their provisions were brought from Saginaw in small boats. 
There was plenty of game, bear, deer and wolves on the land, and 
pike, pickerel and sturgeon in the bay near by. During this early 
period the mail was brought occasionally from Hampton, now 
Bay City. There were no schools until 1854. 

Shebahyonk was the name of an Indian settlement a few miles 
away. Nock-che-ko-may was the chief. The tribe had bought land 
from the government in 1847 and settled on it. These Indians be- 
longed to the Chippewa nation and were quite friendly toward 
the settlers. 

Thus these heroic pioneers built homes in the wilderness aided 
by their noble wives. Often, without teams, they rolled up the 
logs and at night burned them, picking up the rubbish by the light 
of the heaps. 

Here among the stumps they planted potatoes, their main crop; 
for often they would be for days without bread of any kind. Many 
and many meals they made on potatoes alone. 

In those days the children gathered the butternuts and hickory- 
nuts and stored them away in the loft of the old log cabin. In 
the long winter evenings many a pleasant hour was spent in 
cracking nuts and telling stories around the large fireplace which 
was to be seen in every cabin. Their surroundings were rude, their 
luxuries few, and habits simple but who dare say that life was not 
enjoyable for them? 

In the year 1841, James Gallagher, a trapper, and John Waters, 
afterward Captain Waters, induced by the prospect of gain and 
having beside a keen love for adventure, resolved to coast along 
the shores of Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay on a hunting and 
trapping expedition. 

It was the middle of September when they embarked in their 
canoe at Port Huron. It was a daring venture but these rangers 
of the woods and waters were fearless, and then, too, they had 
a genuine love for the occupation and never seemed to tire at the 
paddles or oars. For days at a time thev would follow the wind- 



HURON COUNTY FROM 1800 TO 1850 357 

ing courses of the rivers or penetrate the secluded retreats of the 
great forests in search of game. 

Gallagher and his companion stopped at several points along 
the shore to hunt and trap, as they came up the lake. They had 
secured a good share of furs by the time they reached that portion 
of the thumb where the village of Caseville now stands. 

In the early dusk of an October evening their canoe glided into 
the mouth of the Pigeon river, whose banks were covered with a 
luxuriant growth of oak and pine-woods. The river was winding 
in its course, forming, as Gallagher expressed it, three horseshoes. 
After half an hour's paddling they reached the point now known 
as the "rapids." It was too dark to go any further, so, finding a 
small opening in the woods, they concluded to land and form a 
camp for the night. After drawing up the canoe on the low bank, 
they soon had a comfortable camp prepared. A thick growth of 
bushes behind hid the firelight from any Indians who might be 
near, although such savages as they had met had been friendly. 
After supper they wrapped themselves in their blankets and were 
soon sound asleep. 

It was just breaking day when Gallagher awoke next morning 
and on looking out was amazed to find that they had encamped in 
the midst of an apple orchard. On the ground and on the trees 
about him were fine apples. He could scarcely believe that his eyes 
were not deceiving him. 

"Wake up, John," he called, excitedly to the other trapper, "we 
are in the middle of an apple orchard." 

"Nonsense, Jim, you're dreaming," responded his companion, as 
he came hastily out. Waters was as much surprised as Gallagher 
had been at the sight. 

They feasted on the ripe, luscious apples and on their return, 
loaded the canoe with the fruit, from the sale of which they realized 
a goodly sum. Who planted these trees? That question has 
never been answered. They have always borne the name of the 
Indian apple trees, although the Indians disclaim all knowledge 
of them. 

In later. years the land on which they were planted became the 
property of the late Thomas B. Woodworth, long prominently con- 
nected with the political affairs of Huron county. State Senator 
Fred Woodworth is his son. Strange to relate Mr. Woodworth was 
born in New York on the very day that these trees were discov- 
ered. 



358 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

The first settler, in what is now the village of Caseville, was 
Reuben Dodge a native of Maine, who came from Detroit with his 
wife and three daughters, Sarah, (afterwards Mrs. Moses Gregory), 
Mary and Susan. They entered the wilds of Caseville township 
and built a small log cabin at the mouth of the Pigeon river. Here 
they made a living by hunting, fishing and trapping. He killed 
the only moose ever seen in the township near where the Macca- 
bee hall now stands. He had a fierce encounter with the great 
creature before he succeeded in killing it. This adventure is given 
in a story (written by Mrs. Gwinn) and was published in the 
Michigan Farmer a few years ago. 

His wife and children did not see any white people, other than 
their own family for over four years. The first white child born 
here was their son, Reuben Dodge, Jr., who is still living. 

The settlers who followed them came up the shore by the way 
of Point Aux Barques following the Indian trail along the beach. 
There were a number of Indians about here at this period belong- 
ing to the Chippewa tribe. They were generally peaceful and fre- 
quently exchanged visits with these early pioneers bringing them 
gifts of venison, bear meat and in the spring maple sugar. They 
caught the sap in troughs made of birch bark and boiled it down 
in large brass kettles. These kettles had been so long in their 
possession that even the memory of the oldest Indian was taxed 
in vain when asked to give an account of how they obtained them. 

My brother, Robert Morse, found one of these kettles in a fine 
state of preservation on his father's farm after one of the great 
forest fires. A large tree had grown over it and no Indian had 
camped in that place for over sixty years. It evidently had been 
hidden there from the position it occupied when found. Maybe 
its owner was killed in one of the fierce battles that occurred be- 
tween the different tribes over 250 years ago. There are several 
great mounds around Caseville where those killed in battle were 
buried after these conflicts. 

A small brass kettle was found by William Handy in one of 
these places many years ago. 

Near one of these mounds on the shore of the bay the ground 
is a dark red in color. Tradition says it was caused by the blood 
of the slain but we of today know it was colored by the burning 
of the camp fires. 

This sketch would be incomplete without mentioning the name 
of James Dufty, who helped to make the first grindstone at Grind- 
stone City and in 1848 came to Caseville. He also helped to build 



HURON COUNTY FROM 1800 TO 1850 359 

the first steam sawmill in the county. His name is associated with 
all of the earliest improvements. He was justice of the peace from 
the formation of the township until his death two years ago at the 
ripe age of ninety-nine years, being the oldest justice in the state 
at the time of his death. 

The town was first named Port Elizabeth in honor of Mr. Rat- 
tles' wife. He represented Leonard Case, of Cleveland, who owned 
many hundred acres of land near the Pigeon river. The first wed- 
ding was that of Sarah Dodge and Moses C. Gregory and the first 
funeral service was conducted by George Cleaver. J. W. Kimbal 
carried the first mail into Caseville from Port Austin. 

There are many interesting incidents connected with the later 
history of the county and Caseville that are worthy of mention. 

Many of the heroic men who entered Huron county in their 
prime have passed beyond. The number remaining who can re- 
late the history of the first days of settlement is yearly growing 
less. It is fitting that a record of their lives and deeds be made 
now to be handed down to the future generations for information 
and instruction. 



2 Much of this history has been obtained from the pioneers themselves and the 
Indians who lived here. I am also indebted for information to the Huron county 
album, in my opinion the most correct record of early times we have. Author. 



360 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



THE SETTLEMENT OF CLINTON COUNTY. 

BY MRS. HARRIET MUNRO LONGYEAR. 

MR. CLARENCE M. BURTON, when President of the Michi- 
gan Pioneer and Historical, asked the pioneers of this Society 
to write what they could remember of their early life in Michi- 
gan. I have complied with that request. 

My father, Jesse Munro, was a native of Rutland County, Ver- 
mont. When twenty-one years of age, he decided to seek his for- 
tune in the West. New York State at that time was considered 
far West, as it was a good deal of a wilderness. There were no 
roalroads, no canals; he walked and carried his belongings on 
his back save when occasionally he secured a ride on a farmer's 
wagon. On arriving at Buffalo, he decided to enlist in the Army 
of 1812. He served on sentry duty at Black Rock until the close 
of the war, only a few months later. 

He purchased land five miles east of Buffalo City on the Ba- 
tavia road and lived there until 1836. He then sold his property 
and came further west to find a place to settle with his family. 
He and my mother together with my mother's brother Hiram Parker 
traveled through Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin without find- 
ing anything that pleased them. Then they decided to look 
through Michigan, the one State they had no idea of settling in 
when they left home. 

They had seen "Michiganders," as they were called, returning 
to the state of New York. Their sallow complexion and the tales 
they told of shaking with the fever and ague made my father think 
that Michigan was no place for him. Nevertheless they decided to see 
for themselves, and give Michigan a look. Much to their surprise 
they found the state satisfactory. They liked the beautiful forests 
with their magnificent trees. My father was captivated a first sight 
arguing that land which supported such a growth of trees w r ould 
raise anything planted. So he located land in Clinton County. 
There were the black-walnut, butternut, hickory, black cherry, birds- 
eye-maple, curled-maple, sugar-maple, silver-leaf maple, beech, bass- 
wood, sycamore, ironwood, white, black and burr oaks ; many being 
three and four feet in diameter and the tulip tree, with its beauti- 
ful foliage and lovely blossoms. 



THE SETTLEMENT OF CLINTON COUNTY 361 

Our New York State home sold in 1836 for f 10,000. We came 
from Buffalo to Detroit on the steamer "Robert Fulton." The fam- 
ily consisted of my father and mother, five daughters, and two 
sons. There were three hired men ; two were sent with the stock 
through Ohio; one accompanied the family. 

Detroit was very disappointing to the older members of the fam- 
ily a very uninteresting town, as I remember it. The buildings 
were low and very unpretentious, right down in the mud; a small 
old French town! 

The men with the stock arrived after having been delayed by bad 
roads. There were three horses, a yoke of young oxen and two 
cows. The workmen applied themselves to loading up the goods, 
and making ready for the journey. The first day out from Detroit 
we went only ten miles. The road was simply terrible. There were 
places where there were half a dozen tracks where different travel- 
lers had endeavored to get around the deep mud holes, but each one 
seemed equally bad. The wagon wheels would sink below the hubs 
and one team was powerless to draw the load. There was lit'tle 
travel through the country as inhabitants were far apart. Wher- 
ever there was an inhabitant we found hospitality. We were never 
obliged to go further for accommodations. We were asked to 
share with them what they had. One place I remember where 
there was a large log house with very wide doors. After supper 
the doors were thrown open, the two being on opposite sides of 
the house; a yoke of oxen then drew a log ten feet long and three 
feet in diameter through one door and rolled it into the fire-place 
for a back log. Another log two feet through was drawn in and 
placed on top of the first one for a back stick; a third one of 
similar size by the same process was placed on large stones in 
place of andirons for a forestick ; smaller split wood was then piled 
upon these logs and then there was a fire to last four twenty-four 
hours, with a few additions of small sticks during the next day. 

At another place where we were entertained over night there 
was no floor to the house. The family lived on the bare earth. It 
was worn smooth and hard. At this place they were building a 
new log house and the men all spent the night in this new struct- 
ure where they had a fire, but no beds. The workmen spent the 
night in entertaining their guests by howling like wolves, so there 
was very little sleep for any one. In the morning the man of the 
house apologized for his workmen. Said he had kept them on wolf- 
soup so long they had partaken of the nature of that animal. We 



362 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

were inclined to believe him, because their imitation was very 
good, as we learned the following winter in our new home. 

We finally arrived at what was then called by everybody, Scott's, 
now Dewitt. There we found good accommodations. They were 
prepared to take care of travelers, having a double log-house, pro- 
vided with appetizing food. At this place my father left the fam- 
ily while he with his three men went on to build a log-house. 
Another regular stopping place was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Mles r 
who had been there long enough to be known and who were al- 
ways ready to help new settlers. My father stopped with them 
and procured provisions. He was obliged to make a road from the 
Niles settlement to his land, about six miles. They went to work 
with a will and felled the trees and trimmed them ready to put to- 
gether for a habitation. They soon had the logs put in place and 
a cover over them. The roofing consisted of logs hollowed out like 
a trough, laid side by side, edges close together, trough side up. 
Then another row, reversed, covered the edges of the first. This 
made a rain-and-snow-proof roof. The lumber used in making the 
doors and window casings was from the boxing of the furniture. 

There were no saw mills in the country. Floors were made of 
the logs split into slabs and adzed off. Smooth boulders were 
used in making the back and jams to the ample fireplace. A stick 
chimney finished and topped it out. A settler who lived one mile 
west of us, having heard strange noises made an investigation. He 
found my father with a house nearly ready for occupancy. He 
said, "What are you going to do with such a house? Are you in- 
tending to keep hotel?" My father answered, "When you see my 
family, you will see it is not any too large." This family proved to 
be desirable acquaintances; there were five sons well educated and 
companiable. 

After three weeks time father came for us. The rains had raised 
the Looking-glass river so that it could not be forded. We were 
all taken across the river in an Indian canoe. A pole was used 
instead of a paddle. We enjoyed the drive through the woods. It 
was night when we arrived at the Niles settlement, but there was 
a large living room and a blazing wood fire which gave bright- 
ness to the) scene and a welcome for the new-comers such as is 
only known to those who settle in a new country. There we met 
Mr. and Mrs. Beers who had come the week before from Con- 
necticut. They we're building a house. We became warm friends 
notwithstanding we were five miles from each other. We visited 
and continued the acquaintance during their lives. There is now 



THE SETTLEMENT OF CLINTON COUNTY 363 

a daughter living in Lansing, Mrs. Anna Smith; two grandsons, 
Guerdon and Charles Smith, survivors of our pioneer friends. 

The journey was ended the following day. We were home. Each 
one found something interesting. The little brook that ran near 
the house gave us great pleasure. The new house was warm and com- 
fortable. It was now November ; a light snow fell soon after we ar- 
rived. Father spent the winter in going to and from Detroit and 
Dexter for supplies, taking ten days or two weeks each trip. There 
was no fruit except dried fruits. Portland, five miles, west was a 
small village. There was one store, that kept a few groceries and 
a stock of domestic goods, Indian maple-sugar, etc. 

The inhabitants were eastern people delightful to know. Two 
young men called, and came in a "new country" sleigh. It was 
made of ironwood poles, the bark ta^en off only from the under- 
side of the runners. This was the first sleigh of its kind I had 
ever seen. I was greatly amused. Lyons, ten miles from Portland 
was a larger and more flourishing town. We joined in the fes- 
tivities of both places. All were neighbors. 

As thetre were few children near us Mr. Shaff, our neighbor, sug- 
gested that his son teach the winter school and my older sister 
teach the summer school. His suggestion was carried into effect. 
He provided a room in his house until more scholars came into the 
neighborhood. The State Road Commissioners came through sur- 
veying the State road, which passed by our door. That was most 
cheering to us. Father with his men built a bridge at his own 
expense across the Looking-glass Eiver, one mile east from us. This 
bridge remained there many years for the good of the public. 

The winters were severe, deep snow, and feed for the stock very 
scarce. In the spring the soft-maple trees were chopped down for 
the animals when the buds were full and red. They would trim 
out a large tree top in a short time and run to the next one when 
that fell. They subsisted on buds until vegetation became plenti- 
ful. Then they were free to roam where they pleased, baring the 
swamps where vegetation was alluring. Our new milch cow ven- 
tured too far and was lost in the mire. That was a real tragedy, 
so much was depending upon the milk for the family. Bravery 
and self control had to be called into action. Each one bearing 
his or her share of sympathy for our mother who knew better 
than we younger ones what it cost to go without milk. 

The sugar maple trees were tapped and maple syrup and sugar 
was plentiful. Several hundred pounds of sugar were made, which 
relieved one of the wants of a new country. Fish were plentiful, 



364 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the men catching with dip-nets hundred of a night. All surplus 
was put into half barrels and salted for future use. Wild onions 
grew along the banks of our brook. In the fall wild-plums, crab- 
apples and frost-grapes were plentiful. Honey was found in trees. 
In the beautiful forests of Michigan there was not only honey but 
also bees-wax, which furnished us with wax candles. 

One day when the men were building the house,they neglected to 
replenish the fire after their midday meal. When they stopped 
work for the night and came to prepare their supper the fire was 
out. Numerous efforts to kindle it were made with flint and steel 
without results ; there were no dry kindlings ; everything fresh and 
damp. The only alternative was to go to Mr. Mies' for supper and 
breakfast six miles. Returning in the morning, one man carried 
by hand a firebrand, swinging it to keep it burning. There were no 
matches at that time. 

Our discomforts and deprivations were many but all were over- 
come by cheerfulness and heroic perseverance. Mother was always 
cheerful. Reptiles and insects there were, but I will leave them to 
your imagination to picture. Indians were friendly and always 
hungry. Their liking for white-man's bread was simply appalling. 
We bought venison of them whenever they brought it to us. We 
had no reason to fear them. They were always sober and peace- 
able. 



SCOTCH SETTLERS OF OAKLAND COUNTY 365 



SCOTCH SETTLERS OF OAKLAND COUNTY. 1 

BY ROBERT W. MALCOLM. 2 

I have been given ten minutes in which to tell the story of the 
early settlement of a portion of old Oakland. As you all 
know, the north half of the Township of West Bloomfield was 
settled by Scotchmen. The first Scotchman who ever visited this 
part of the county with any idea of settling there, was a man 
by the name of Frazier, who, in the year 1819 accompanied Gen- 
eral Cass and a company of American officers to the lakes to meet 
with the Indians. 

As you follow the Pontiac and Commerce road past the late 
David Ward residence, you cross the outlet from Orchard Lake into 
Cass Lake. Off to your right you will see a range of low bluffs, on 
one of which the Indians had lighted their council fires, where Lewis 
Cass and the big braves smoked the pipe of peace and vowed eternal 
friendship. While the big talk was on, Frazier hired two or three 
of the younger natives who were not considered worthy of a seat 
around the council fires of their tribe and with them explored 
Pine, Orchard, Cass, Green and Upper Straits Lakes. 

When he went back to Detroit, 3 he declared it was the most 
beautiful spot on earth and that at no distant day he would secure 
a home for himself on the banks of one of the lakes. Frazier's 
dream of a home there was never realized, so far as he was con- 
cerned, but he did the next best thing. Whenever a Scotchman 
came to the Land Office, where Frazier was an officer he did his 
best to head the land-seeker toward the lake-country. He was so 
successful that from the years 1828 to 1835, he had placed some 
thirty or thirty-five families around the lakes in Oakland County. 



1 Prepared to be read at the midwinter meeting held in Pontiac in February, 1912. 

2 Robert W. Malcolm was born Feb. 18, 1844, on the farm in Oakland county which 
he now owns and on which he still resides. He was a soldier during the Civil War, 
enlisting in the 22d Mich. Vol. Inf., August 11, 1862. He was wounded and captured 
Sept, 20, 1863 and was a prisoner of war for fifteen months. He was discharged from 
the service July 11, 1865 and returned to his home in Oakland county where he has 
been engaged in farming ever since. 

3 The statement about Frazier is given here just as I received it from my Father who 
was a personal friend of Mr. Frazier and received the statement from him. Gen'l 
Cass went, on from Orchard Lake to Saginaw but Frazier went back from the Lake 
to Detroit. Author. 

The census of 1820 for the village of Detroit does not include any one of the name 
of Frazier but in the census of the county of Wayne for the same year is given a 
William P. Fraser- The various histories of Detroit and Wayne county do not speak 
of such a man in connection with the land office. Alexander D. Frazer, a prominent 
Scotch attorney who was, for many years, City Recorder and who held other offices 
also, did not come to Detroit until early in August, 1823 (Wayne County Chronography 
and Pioneer Biography, Fred Carlisle, Comp. ; pub. Detroit 1890) Editor. 



366 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

The first Scotchman induced in this manner to locate in West 
Bloomfield, was a man by the name of Campbell, 4 who came out 
in the year 1828, but most of the Scotch settlers came between the 
years 1830 and 1835. 

Perhaps no class of settlers ever came to the wilds of Michigan 
who in some respects were more poorly qualified to meet the hard- 
ships of pioneer life than these Scotchmen. They knew nothing 
of the art of clearing up a farm. If there was a wrong way to go 
about it they were likely to take it and the only thing that was 
cheap in the settlement was human muscle. For instance, my 
father carried all the rails to build eighty rods of fence on his 
shoulder, rather than hitch his cattle to his old wooden sleigh ; and 
let me say here that he never could learn to drive an ox team. 

In other respects no one ever came into the wilds of Michigan 
better fitted to face the hardships of pioneer life than were they. 
They had been reared in a land where hardship was the common 
lot of all. They were used to coarse food and were strangers to 
luxuries. They could endure the hardships and privations incident 
to life in the wilderness without a murmur. 

My father, George Malcolm, came to Michigan and to this town- 
ship in June 7, 1832. He settled on the farm I now own, on Sec- 
tion 7, where he died in 1889. The neighbors soon helped him roll 
up the logs for the walls of his house and he had managed to 
place the rafters when he was introduced to what the older set- 
tlers called "the shakes," otherwise known as ague. For three 
months he was down on his back every other day. The day he was 
not sick, he split out his roof boards and nailed them on with 
hickory pins, and, with my mother's help, he split out the shakes 
to cover the roof board and pinned them on with wooden pins. He 
floored the half of the shack with split logs and left a hole in the 
roof for the smoke to escape. The door he made of split logs. His 
house was finished and then he left mother and two little ones to 
run it while he went to Detroit to earn a little money to help 
keep the wolf from the door. 

The first winter they spent in Michigan my father would work 
at his trade for two weeks, then filla bag with groceries and walk 
home with that on his back, a distance of thirty-two miles. On 
Sunday afternoon he would tramp back to Detroit. My mother 
was the real pioneer. On one occasion she lived for six weeks 
without seeing any other person than her two children. 



*A11 of the old Scotch settlers spoke of Campbell as the first of the Scotchmen to 
come to this lake region Author. 



SCOTCH SETTLERS OF OAKLAND COUNTY 367 

^No human tongue can tell the hours of loneliness these men and 
women endured. It was no unusual sight to see the family, old 
and young, strike out through the woods to a neighbor's cabin, a 
distance of two or three miles simply to find companionship. It 
would take them, perhaps, five minutes to tell all they had done on 
their clearing, and then they would drift off into Scotch history. 
Each one of those old worthies were sure that at least once in the 
history of his native land, his ancestors had saved the country 
from destruction. Finally they would change off into song when 
all their troubles would vanish and they were back again amid 
the scenes of their childhood. When they went back to their 
humble homes, thanks to the songs of Burns and the Ettrick Shep- 
hard, they were again ready to face any hardships. 

Did you ever realize that the Scotchman has carried his songs 
with him around the world ? He has sung^ them amid the desola- 
tion of the Arctic, and under the burning rays of the equator; he 
has sung them on the battlefield; in the hour of triumph and in 
the hour of defeat; and those songs have done more to carry 
him to success than anything else. There is only one other people 
that I know anything about that have clung to their songs like 
the Scotch, and that is the Irish. 

As soon as these Scotch settlers had roofs over their heads they 
built a school house. They had a university graduate amongst 
their number and they established him as teacher at the princely 
sum of |8.00 per month. The first teacher to whom I went re- 
ceived seventy-five cents per week for services and she taught a 
good school. 

No people were ever more clannish than the Scotch pioneers of 
Oakland County. They would gather for miles around to help each 
other at a logging or a husking bee, and every one went men, 
women and children. They would have a dance in the evening and 
with a little "mountain dew" they were like Tain 'O Shanter, "O'er 
all the ills of life victorious." 

The one great day in all the year to them was New Year's Day. 
They would have nothing to do with Christmas that day was to 
them an invention of the Evil One but all received word to be on 
hand at one of the lakes by December 27th and from that time on 
until New Year's Day they played the favorite game 5 of the Scots, 



5 This is the game called "Curling." As I know the game it is played with heavy 
blocks of granite and with five men on each side. The ice is swept clean so that the 
blocks can slide easily and each man is armed with a broom with which to drive the 
blocks. The side that lands its blocks the nearest to the goal called the "T" wins. 
Author. 



368 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

from early morn until late at night, ending with a little party each 
evening. 

Among the number was Dr. William Wilson, who for fifty-one 
weeks in the^ year, looked after the sick, for miles around. But 
none were so, rash as to become disabled during this one week for 
nothing could induce the doctor to quit the game. If any one called 
,for him, he would tell them to "gang awa' hame; they should know 
better than to be sick at this season of the year." 

However, before he let the caller go he would ask where the 
"loons" lived. Then he would go on with his game, but when 
night made it necessary to stop he would rush off for home, sad- 
dle up his roan, and fill his pockets with bread and meat. No one 
ever knew from his telling when he returned or how many miles he 
traveled. He would be on the ice the next morning and repeat 
this same thing the next night if necessary. It mattered not to 
him whether he ever received a cent of pay or not and for many 
years he thus played the good Samaritan to his neighbors. 

On one occasion the settlement ran out of salt, so they pooled 
their cash and sent one of their number to Detroit for a barrel of 
it. The cost was $3.50 in town and the man was a week going 
and coming, so the salt came high. The} 7 weighed it out to each 
one according to the cash put in and some families did not have 
more than five pounds to last for the winter. 

About the only means of communication with the outside world 
was through the travelling missionaries who w^ent from settlement 
to settlement. Whenever a preacher arrived, the boys were sent 
out to tell every one where the meeting was to be held, and every 
one was on hand. 

Many of those men were lacking in education but they did 
worlds of good. They did make some very funny mistakes however, 
one of them taking his text from Revelations XI, 40, rendered it 
this way: "The Great White Thorn," in place of throne and en- 
larged upon what a job it was to hold a steady seat on top of a 
thorn tree. 

The missionaries buried the dead, cheered the discouraged and 
they toiled faithfully with but little thought or prospects of pay. 

No class of people ever settled in Michigan who were more loyal 
to the land of their birth than were the Scotch settlers in Oakland 
County. At the same time they were wholly loyal to the land of 
their adoption and during the great struggle for National life 
from '61 to '65, more than a score of their sons gave up their lives 
that a united nation might live. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 

AMMI W. WEIGHT, BY JOHN FITZGIBBON. 

JOSEPH GEEUSEL, BY JOSEPH GEEUSEL, JR. 

EEUBEN GOLD THWAITES, BY EDWIN O. WOOD. 

CHAELES A. BLAIE, BY CHAELES E. TOWNSEND. 

HJEEMAN KIEFEE, BY JAMES B. KENNEDY, M. D. 

MES. JOSIAH BEGOLE, BY MAEY BEGOLE CUMMINGS. 

MES. SOPHIA HASCALL BUCHANAN, 
BY CLAUDE E. BUCHANAN. 

ALBEET AND WILLIAM TOOLEY, 
BY WILLIAM P. VAN WINKLE. 

MELVIN D. OSBAND, BY NELLIE OSBAND BALDWIN. 
TIMOTHY EASTMAN, M. D., BY MAEY EASTMAN BEIDGES. 

WILLIAM PUTNAM. 

CHAELES EMMETT BAENES. 

HENEY H. SAFFOED. 

JEAN BAPTISTS PAEEISIEN. 

47 



AMMI W. WRIGHT. 

BY JOHN FITZGIBBON. 1 

ONE of the wealthiest men of Saginaw, a friend for many years of 
the late Ammi W.Wright, of Alma, told the writer shortly after 
Mr. Wright's death that he could not recall the name of a single 
person who had been a business associate of Mr. Wright in the past 
half a century who does not possess more of the world's goods be- 
cause of such association. Some of the names that he recalled readily 
are C. W. Wells, F. C. Stone, Congressman Fordney, Charles H. 
Davis, Gilbert M. Stark, Phil Ketcham, W. T. Knowles, John Kil- 
loran, Michael Kelly, Morris Quinn, John H. Pearson, now of 
Chicago; S. O. Bush, C. E. Thomas, W. H. Mason, E. T. Skinner, 
Joseph B. Woolfenden, Fred R. Hathaway and ex-Mayor W. H. 
Eustis of Minneapolis. 

At that he did not, as this old Saginaw friend facetiously ob- 
served, specialize in making or trying to make other men rich. 
With him it was a case of having to a rare degree the faculty of 
intuitively discovering diamonds in the rough. In other words, he 
found among the young men working for day's wages in his mills 
and his factories and his other industries material that could be 
developed for large responsibilities. Then, he developed and utilized 
it for his own profit, but he did not stop there. It was his rule to 
give them a piece of the profits that their abilities earned for him. 
Not profit-sharing by any means. None of them he boosted. When 
he gave them an opening they had to show him. If they didn't 
show they quickly went into the discard. Again, his old Saginaw 
friend remarked that he does not recall a single rough diamond 
that Mr. Wright considered worth polishing and cutting in his 
long years of business activities that did not reflect credit on his 
judgment. 



'John Fitzgibbon was born in New Jersey, Christmas day, 1862. In 1867 his parents 
came to Michigan and located on a farm near Flint. He attended the Flint High 
School. When 18 years old he went to Detroit to "strike out for himself" where he 
attracted the attention of the late James E. Scripps owner and publisher of the 
Detroit Evening News, who became his life-long friend. For thirty years Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon has been a reporter, correspondent and political writer on the Detroit News. 
He represented the News in Cuba prior to and during the period of the Spanish- 
American war and in the Phillipines during the insurrection there. He has been cor- 
respondent for the News during several Congressional sessions at Washington, D. C., 
and he has attended the legislative sessions at Lansing continuously for twenty 
years except while in Cuba, the Philippines or at Washington. With the death of 
Joseph Greusel, Mr. Fitzgibbon became the dean of the legislative correspondents at 
Lansing. 



372 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

A good many years ago a boy just out of the Saginaw high 
school applied to Mr. Wright at one of his mill offices for a posi- 
tion. The boy was dressed suitably to begin work as his cashier 
with the handling of millions of money annually. Mr. Wright 
looked him over and remarked that he had nothing to do for a 
young man with a high school diploma and no experience who 
wore such good clothes, but if he would come back in the morning 
with working clothes he would give him a job shoving lumber on 
the dock. The young high school graduate cheerfully took the 
lumber shover's job. Charles H. Davis is his name. From a day 
laborer he rose to be an important partner of -Mr. Wright, and 
only the death of the senior member broke their business relations. 
Mr. Davis is now one of the wealthy men of Saginaw. 

One day Mr. Wright was dickering with the prospective pur- 
chaser of a valuable horse that he owned. Mr. Wright, by the 
way, loved horses, not speed horses particularly, but any kind of 
a clean, well-built horse. He inherited the love from the Ver- 
mont farm where he was born and spent his boyhood days. He 
made a strike in the Mesaba iron range of Minnesota, where he 
with a few others, in the early '80s, bought a tract of pine. After 
they had cut the timber at a good profit, rich iron deposits were 
discovered, the mineral rights being sold to James J. Hill for 
14,500,000. Mr. Hill desired to do some little thing to please his 
old friend. Knowing Mr. Wright's love for horses, he sent an agent 
to Vermont to buy the finest young stallion to be found in the 
state. This was the railroad king's present to Mr. Wright, as an 
evidence of his appreciation, as he expressed it, of the square deal 
he always got in his business transactions with him. The larger 
part of the $4,500,000 is said to have been Mr. Wright's profit from 
this particular investment, exclusive of what the timber realized 
before the iron deposits on it were discovered. 

But, about the horse he was selling. He mentioned a few minor 
defects in the .animal, that, even had he kept silent about, would 
not have invalidated the sale. A friend 2 overhearing him recount 
these defects, observed, when the sale had been concluded, that 
he ran a chance of spoiling it by being so particular in enumera- 
tion of the little weaknesses. To this Mr. Wright replied that 
his rule was never to misrepresent anything he had to sell, not 
even a horse. "Now that he knows all about that horse, he'll have 

2 Among the prominent business and professional men of Saginaw, associates and 
friends of Ammi W. Wright, who furnished the material for this article were the 
following : Fred H. Potter, Ezra Rust, John Moore, George W. Weadock, Gilbert 
Stark and others. J. F. 




AMMI W. WRIGHT. 
From a portrait in possession of his daughter, Mrs. J. H. Lancashire. 



AMMI W. WRIGHT 373 

no hesitation to come around and buy whenever I again have a 
horse to sell." A banker, also a friend, who told this incident, said 
that it well illustrates a trait of Mr. Wright's that made his name 
a valuable asset in the directorate of any financial or industrial 
corporation. Alexander McPherson at the time of Mr. Wright's 
death, president of the Old Detroit National bank, and also of the 
Detroit Trust Co., in both of which institutions Mr. Wright was a 
director stated that it was not the amount of capital that Mr. 
Wright might have had in a corporation that counted quite as 
much as the prestige that his name gave. He never permitted 
his name to be used as an officer or a director of any concern that 
was not doing business on strictly legitimate lines. One of the old- 
fashioned notions he entertained to the last was that plunging and 
other forms of high financiering were not necessary to accumulate 
a fortune, and he had some millions, every dollar of which he made 
himself, to prove it. The one speciment of humanity that he con- 
spicuously disliked was a liar. No man ever lied twice to him. 
Having lied once he never got a chance to do it again, for under no 
conceivable circumstance would Mr. Wright ever again have dealings 
with him. 

The Advance Threshing Machine works, of Battle Creek, is men- 
tioned as one of the enterprises that responded to his idea of square 
dealing in a way that made several men independently rich. The 
Advance works had been in a bad way. They were grinding on 
financial rocks when Mr. Wright came to the relief. The an- 
nouncement that he had become a large stockholder and an officer 
of the corporation quickly enlarged by an important figure its 
line of credit. Within a very few years it was, for the first time, 
paying substantial dividends, and, within the past year it was 
sold to a corporation in which there are several similar plants at 
a price which yielded profits to all of the stockholders that they 
little dreamed of when Mr. Wright first put money into the busi- 
ness. It is said by one familar with his venture as a threshing 
machine manufacturer that he didn't know any more about a 
threshing machine than he learned as a boy on the Vermont farm, 
but he applied the same principles of safe and intelligent manage- 
ment that controlled in all of his various lines. The result was 
that the dividends became large and none were ever passed. It is 
said that he never was known to make a mistake of investing any 
considerable amount in an enterprise that he couldn't make pay. 
Sometimes, though not often, his nearly unerring judgment missed 



374 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the mark, and, when it did, he had a genius for getting out from 
under before the loss got very big. 

Ex-Judge Moore, of Saginaw, who had been Mr. Wright's chief 
legal adviser for nearly 60 years, said that he never had known of 
a business care worrying him, and that probably in his business 
career, extending over nearly two generations, he did not, all told 
lose so much as an hour's sleep on account of any temporary dis- 
arrangement of conditions in his affairs. This undoubtedly con- 
tributed to a life of good health covering nearly 90 years. Nearly 
20 years ago a confidential employe of one of the Saginaw cor- 
porations in which he was the largest stockholder stole some $600,- 
000 of bonds and negotiable securities from the steel vault in the 
office building. Mr. Wright stood to be the heaviest loser. A 
week or two later information was secured that a large package 
had been placed in a safe deposit vault at Grand Rapids, and 
there was a suspicion that it was the stolen bonds and other se 
curities. With one of the corporation's Iaw3 r ers Mr. Wright left 
on the first train for Grand Rapids, arriving there late at night. 
In the morning they went to the safe deposit vault. The package 
was securely wrapped in heavy paper, tied with straps and cords. 
It being essential to go about opening of the package in a strictly 
legal way, making minutes of every movement and marking the 
papers and fastenings, a quarter to a half hour was consumed be- 
fore the contents were revealed. The day being very warm, and 
Mr. Wright having no interest in the legal red tape proceedings, 
he pulled a chair into a corner of the vault and took a nap. The 
uncertainty as to whether or not his few hundred thousand dol- 
lars of stolen bonds and other securities were in the package didn't 
disturb him in the least. Nearly all of the |600,000 of stolen se- 
curities were in the package, which Mr. Wright readily identified 
when the last wrapper was peeled off and they woke him from 
his nap. 

The plain ways of living that he was accustomed to in his boy- 
hood days the humble circumstances of his parents prevented 
him from knowing any other were the ways that he still liked 
best when he had accumulated millions. Meats that an average 
farm cook prepared suited him as well, if not better, than the 
elaborate menus of expensive hotels and restaurants. He never 
acquired a dissipating habit, never used tobacco, and didn't care 
for liquor in any form. Yet he was never known to speak of his 
freedom from these vices. A few years ago a lifelong friend who r 
like himself, acquired a large fortune, dropped in for a social hour. 



AMMI W. WRIGHT 375 

Mr. Wright mentioned that a friend down east had sent him a 
jug of real Jamaica rum, and he would make a toddy right then 
and there. Mixing toddies was awkward work for him, so his 
caller observed, whereat Mr. Wright assented that it surely was. 
But he went at the job instead of calling a servant to do it. "And," 
added his friend, "I don't suppose he thought of the jug again until 
another caller whom he liked well enough to mix a toddy for called. 
I know he wouldn't take a drink of it alone." 

One evening Mr. Wright was in Montreal, and, on short notice, 
had to leave for New York for an important business meeting the 
next day. All of the berths on the New York train had been sold. 
But did the circumstances that he, a man of millions, couldn't get 
a berth, fluster him? Not a bit. Morris Quinn, one of his humble 
employes that he started on the road to prosperity, was with him. 
Mr. Wright remarked that there were ordinary coaches, it no 
sleeping car berths. So he went into an ordinary coach, followed 
by Mr. Quinn, and settled himself in a seat and went to sleep, wak- 
ing up the next morning in New York. Many a night in his earlier 
years while timber cruising in the Michigan woods he had slept 
on the ground at night with nothing over him but the sky, and he 
had roughed it in other ways, so it wasn't an inconvenience worth 
mentioning to ride from Montreal to New York, at night, in a 
day coach. W^hen a few hours later he went into the big Chemical 
National bank in New York, of which he was a director, to see his 
old friend, George G. Williams, president of the bank and now 
dead, he didn't look as if he had come into the metropolis with no- 
more style than one of his lumber jacks might have assumed. 

But, while Mr. Wright liked the simple living best, there was 
nothing uncouth in either his appearance or talk. To the last he 
retained a little of the New England twang. A few inches over 
six feet and built like a born athlete, he walked as erect as a veteran 
soldier, even after he had become an old man. Dressed in well fitted 
but unpretentious clothes, there was nothing provincial about him 
that would, even in Wall street, attract attention. Even there 
he would pass before those who didn't know him as the substantial 
well balanced man of large affairs. In his younger years, in the 
camps and mills, he was widely known for his physical strength. 
Then the man of his age who could lift as much as he was rare 
indeed. The old-timers still tell stories of his feats of physical 
prowess. If there was anything in particular that would cause a 
stranger to turn and look at him on the street, it was his fine large 



376 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

physical appearance and evidence of health, which even his face 
reflected. 

Three of the diamonds that he discovered in the rough among 
his day laborers years ago, and whom he always warmly liked, 
were Morris Quinn, Michael Kelly and John Killoran. As their 
names indicate they came of Irish stock. Morris Quinn in later 
years became associated with the late Arthur Hill, and still lives 
in Saginaw, on the west side. Killoran and Kelly went to Minne- 
sota as associates in a small way of Mr. Wright, and now live in 
Duluth, both men of affairs and wealth. Two of the largest mer- 
cantile houses of Duluth, the Marshall-Wells Hardware Co., and 
the Stoner-Ordean-Wells Co., wholesale grocers, are both said to 
have been made the successes they are by Mr. Wright. He was to 
the last a heavy stockholder in both. Both companies are con- 
trolled by men who owe their opportunities to him for their pros- 
perity. Joseph B. Woolfenden of the Elliott-Taylor-Woolfenden 
Co., of Detroit, was a young man in the dry goods business, in a 
small way in Saginaw when Mr. Wright became a special partner. 
And, he continued in the business with Mr. Woolfenden when the 
present house of Elliott-Taylor-Woolfenden was formed. 

Mr. Wright felt a particular gratification in the fact that during 
his long career with his many and varied interests he had but a 
few lawsuits. About the most important of the few he had was 
when Sir Koderick Cameron, who .then claimed New York as a 
residence, sued for a commission in connection with the building 
of the Duluth & Winnipeg railroad, Mr. Wright being one of the 
builders. The trial was in New York and Mr. Wright won. His 
opinion of Sir Roderick for presuming to sue him was anything 
but flattering. In the sale of the road to the Canadian Pacific 
he formed cordial relations which continued to the end with Sir 
William Van Home and Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, and he couldn't 
understand why a mere promoter should sue him, when in sell- 
ing the road to Sir William and Sir Thomas negotiations could be 
carried on to a conclusion without the least misunderstanding, and 
in a way that when the deal was closed all concerned were good 
friends. 

Perhaps to no one outside of the immediate family did Mr. 
Wright's death bring more sorrow than to the venerable ex-Judge 
Moore. When Mr. Wright came to Saginaw in 1853 Judge Moore, 
who had preceded him by two years, became his personal friend. 
When Mr. Wright got business enough to need a lawyer's advice, 
he retained Judge Moore, and the relations of lawyer and client 



AMMI W. WRIGHT 377 

were unbroken until death came. Judge Moore was 87 years old 
at the time of Mr. Wright's death. He was the democratic nominee 
for governor of Michigan in 1868 and in the '70s was circuit judge 
of Saginaw. His short tribute to his old client is : 

"My friend for nearly 60 years comes to me no more to meet 
in consultation. My old friend, after these many years you have 
left me, but I comfort myself with the firm trust that we shall soon 
meet in the better land." 

Alma college, to which Mr. Wright's gifts amount to a quarter 
of a million dollars or more, is a Presbyterian institution of learn- 
ing. Yet Mr. Wright himself was a communicant of the Episcopal 
church. His tolerance in his religious views as here reflected, typi- 
fied his tolerance in all the affairs of his life. 



378 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



JOSEPH GREUSEL. 1 

BY JOSEPH GREUSEL,, JR. 

TOSEPH GREUSEL, son of John and Susan (Sarvis) Greusel, 
*J was born at Glasco, Ulster County New York, August 5, 1837. 
Coming to the United States in 1833, the Greusel family set- 
tled in New York State, on the Hudson Kiver, in the Catskill 
region. The Greusel family came originally from the picturesque 
mountain village of Bliescastel, in the Bavarian Rheinpfalz, where 
for generations the ancestral home, a massive stone building, has 
stood, not far from the estates of Count von der Lowe. 

In the adjacent forests deer, wild boar, and other large game 
abounded and in the back country were the iron and coal mines, 
the deposits of fine porcelain clays, the brine springs, and the re- 
nowned forest of St. Ingobert, named after the St. Ingobert of 
Ireland. 

It was in this forest that John Greusel, six feet four inches tall*, 
in his green coat and leggings, and with his woodsman's axe over 
his shoulder, exercised, by royal warrant, the function of Head 
Forester of the Austrian forest guard. 

At the time of which we are now speaking, 1825-30, French ideas 
and institutions prevailed in the Bavarian Palatinate as the re- 
sult of long wars in which the tricolor of Napoleon bore down the 
red, black and gold of ancestral Austria. The Greusel family suf- 
fered losses in all these wars, as well as in the earlier Napoleonic 
campaigns, especially in the retreat from Moscow, wherein Cap- 
tain Harry Greusel died miserably of cold and starvation. He was 
a gallant cavalryman under the famous Marshal Murat, who led 
Napoleon's retreat. The Greusel family, after coming to America 
had a representative in every war of the United States, from Co- 
lonial days down to the battlefield of Gettysburg. 

The St. Ann's church records show that the Greusels came to De- 
troit in the summer of 1834. The original Greusel homestead stood on 
high ground on the banks of the River Detroit, on the front end 
of the Reeder farm, where also the original Greusel brickyard was 
located. This brickyard furnished brick for Fort Wayne and for 
the old Dearborn arsenal. In fact a large proportion of the City 

iRead at the annual meeting in June, 1913. 



JOSEPH aREUSEL 379 

of Detroit, up to the early '90's, was built up of bricks made by 
John Greusel and his sons. Among these sons was Joseph Greusel, 
the subject of our memior. 

In the old house on the river Joseph Greusel spent his happy 
boyhood days. To go to the Loranger district school the lad had 
to travel some miles, walking along the river highway, where the 
swallows made their homes in the sand and the primeval forest 
still encompassed the environs of the hamlet of Detroit. 

One of the earliest recollections of Joseph Greusel's was the 
burning of old Fort Wayne. He and his companions in order to 
play a prank on the commander, wrote with a stick in the ashes, 
"Poor old Fort Wayne" for which the lads were summarily or- 
dered off the reservation. 

A windmill stood at the mouth of Knagg's Creek, but the school- 
boys used to avoid going inside the mill, fearing that all they had 
heard of Knaggs and the Indians was true and that the place was 
haunted. Overtaken by a thunderstorm, Joseph and his younger 
brother slept in the old mill one night and the creeking of the mill r 
vanes in the tower made it a night of horror to be often remem- 
bered and narrated in later years. 

Joseph Greusel outgrew the Loranger district school house and 
then became a pupil of the famous old pedagogue, Bradford Smith, 
whose stern rule laid the foundation for many an after success, 
in that generation. A list of Bradford Smith's boys would include 
the names of many of the notable men of Detroit and Michigan. In 
after years the boys held reunions to honor their old teacher by 
public expressions of good will. Joseph Greusel, to the end of his 
life, was proud to say that he was one of Bradford Smith's boys. 
This early training in the classics fitted Joseph Greusel for col- 
lege, but he never entered on account of business necessities. 

The family removed, in the '50's, to the present Greusel home- 
stead on the Chicago Road, (Michigan Avenue), where the original 
dwelling still stands, one of the picturesque old-time buildings in 
Detroit. 

John Greusel, the father of Joseph, influenced no doubt by his 
services as Head Forester, was prompted in later years to acquire 
large tracts of land near Detroit and at different times owned 
1,200 acres of ,virgin timber. He cut down the forests to make 
cordwood to burn in the brick kilns. Eventually, the lands, sold 
to settlers, became part of the City of Detroit and grew immensely 
valuable although according to the custom of the time Mr. 
Greusel's pay was often taken in straw, grain or farm products. 



380 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Some tracts he retained, although but a fraction of his original 
holdings, became the foundation of the family fortune. 

Joseph Greusel, at this period of his life superintended gangs of 
woodsmen and in later years he often boasted of the manner in 
which he had swung the axe in the forest. His exceptional health 
and physique were no doubt largely due to his early life in the 
open. When Joseph Greusel was a little older he taught in the 
old Livernois log school during the winter months. The benches 
were rude hand-made affairs; there were no charts or maps and 
the township did not concern itself about the lack. Teacher and 
pupils had to make the blackboards and supply the more neces- 
sary requirements. 

This unusual type of schoolmaster, severe but kindly, made his 
boys toe the mark, taught subjects never before introduced into a 
rural schoolhouse, drilled the lads in military tactics as w r ell as 
in oratorical attainments and went out at recess time to lead the 
boys in their snowball fights. 

Joseph Greusel always had keen admiration for the classical 
drama and had his life been cast in other lines, would, in the 
opinion of many close critics who have watched his career, have 
been an actor of marked ability. The dramatic instinct was strong 
in him and often showed in his writings as well as in his speeches 
on public occasions. While a school teacher, he frequently trained 
companies of the boys and girls in the Springwells district and 
produced locally comedies, tragedies and histories. But this was 
not all for mere amusement ; rather it was a combination of educa- 
tional and practical expediency, for the funds so raised were do- 
nated to the needs of the school. 

In addition to their studies he made the boys cut firewood for 
the old box stove and to do all manner of useful work to keep up 
the log school house and grounds. In many diversified ways the 
teacher endeavored to harden his pupils to the practical business 
of life, as well as to store their minds with useful information. 
In this endeavor he was in a large measure successful. Each term 
he felt he ought to give up the school to carry out his own personal 
ambitions, but it was hard for him to give up his labor of love. He 
had taken the place at first only as a substitute, in an emergency 
but the trustees begged him to stay and increased his pay. To 
this day, one occasionally finds among the grey-haired men of 
Detroit an old pupil of Joseph Greusel, wlio delight to recall 
that this old-time teacher exercised the best disciplinary influence 




JOSEPH GREUSEL AND HIS GRANDSON. 



JOSEPH GREUSEL 381 

of their lives; and Joseph Greusel himself always regarded the 
time spent in the log school as among his happiest days. 

It is, however, as a journalist that Joseph Greusel will be long 
remembered as one of the vital forces of his day and generation. 
He represented what may be called the journalism of obligation 
and conscience, taking a broad wholesome view of life, based on a 
desire to help men forward, rather than to push them down. He 
associated himself with the Detroit Free Press in the early days as 
one of the proprietors aud for nearly fifty years was a leader in 
Michigan journalism. 

It is a long and an interesting story and may not be told in 
detail at this time but suffice it to say that there are hundreds of 
men, indeed thousands, in this State, that owe their first public 
recognition to friendly words by Joseph Greusel, who in turn, hav- 
ing done good by stealth, "blushed to find it fame." He naturally 
liked to discover what men were trying to achieve and to encourage 
them. 

In the course of his years he traveled from one end of the state 
to the other on special journalistic tours, meeting leading men 
and acquainting himself with conditions and movements, until 
there was not an obscure corner in which he did not have friends. 
Incidentally, he saw the entire state develop from pioneer condi- 
tions to its present stage of progress. 

Joseph Greusel always took a deep interest in the pioneer ele- 
ment in Michigan history and did all in his power to help in the 
preservation of the history of Michigan in song and story. He 
always regretted whenever one of the musical Indian names of 
counties bestowed by Schoolcraft gave way before the practical 
side of an image-breaking generation. To the last, he maintained 
that it was a grievous error not to have retained Indian names 
in every possible case for our counties, bays, lakes and rivers. 

For many years, Joseph Greusel was regarded as a sort of 
"avant courier' 7 of journalism in Michigan. *He reached every 
political battle ground both at home and in other states. Presi- 
dent Roosevelt offered to Joseph Greusel the post as Minister to 
Bernambuco, Brazil, but the post was declined. Mr. Greusel let it 
be quietly known that he would never leave Michigan. 

Honors fell thick and fast upon him, but he waived them mod- 
estly aside. When Superintendent Martindale wished to name a 
Detroit public school after him, Joseph Greusel, replied : 

"Name it, instead, after my father." 

During a national political fight for one of the highest federal 



382 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

offices in Michigan, President Roosevelt, declining to appoint a 
certain well-known Michigan leader, who was the choice of the two 
United States Senators, said: 

"I will appoint any other man whom yon suggest." 

The logical decision fell on Joseph Greusel, who was asked by 
the Senators if he would accept, the circumstances being fully ex- 
plained to him. 

"No," he instantly replied, "I will not consider it under those 
conditions. Mr. Blank is honestly entitled to the appointment and 
should have it." 

In order to clear the situation and not wishing to be urged 
against his spirit of fairness, Mr. Greusel immediately left Wash- 
ington. The original appointment prevailed. 

Joseph Greusel's newspaper letters on special events were signed 
by the pen-name "Yusef." They covered the largest political and 
social movements of his day. He was the oldest legislative corres- 
pondent in Michigan, in point of years as well as in service. His 
work has passed into a tradition for accuracy, interest and above 
all, for downright honesty. The deadly foe of all manner of sen- 
sationalism, he presented his ideas in the simple style of a man who 
does not think evil of his neighbor. Many anecdotes could be 
given to show how far this was carried but, in passing, it may be 
mentioned that, although Mr. Greusel was present with vigilant 
eye at sessions that were severely criticised, it is a fact that 
throughout the hundred or more scrap-books that hold his legis- 
lative papers, you will seek in vain to find one defamatory line, 
even a whisper of suspicion. The explanation is extremely sim- 
ple. He was an honest man, himself, thoroughly honest in his 
own life and in his views of other men's activities. It consequently 
never occurred to him that other men were less honest than him- 
self. 

Being a man of independent fortune Joseph Greusel was in no 
wise dependent on* his journalistic income, a circumstance that 
gave still larger freedom to his pen. He positively refused to do 
anything or accept anything that did not square with his sense of 
justice. 

Joseph Greusel attended every national convention from Lin- 
coln's day and cultivated the acquaintance of leading delegates in 
both political parties. Thus, he never had any difficulty in get- 
ting at the inner councils of the elect. His forte consisted in 
reporting proceedings of large deliberative bodies, but he was also 
a descriptive writer of wide, picturesque views. 



JOSEPH GREU8EL 383 

In the summer of '77, Bishop Borgess of the Diocese of Michi- 
gan, returning from a visit to the Vatican, was welcomed home 
by a memorable demonstration. Part of the plan was to break the 
world's record in a fast run from Buffalo to Detroit, on a special 
train. Mr. Greusel was aboard, and his description of the sensa- 
tional flight from St. Thomas to Detroit, 111 miles in 109 minutes, 
is one of the classics of journalism. It has been reprinted not 
only thousands but tens of thousands of times and has since been 
incorporated into some of the school readers as an example of the 
literature that endures. 

His treatise, "Reciprocity With Canada," was quoted in full in 
London, England, and was commented on by the leading states- 
men of Canada and Great Britain. In his later years Mr. Greusel 
worked for memorials and historical tablets, (notably the Macomb 
Statue, the Williams Monument) and lent his thought and pen to 
the Alger Memorial Association. 

The breadth and enduring purpose of Joseph Greusel's work may 
not here be told in full. His interests were as wide as the great 
State of Michigan and from the Pictured Rocks to the Southern 
line, he knew and loved it all. "Michigan, My Michigan" was his 
favorite song. His writings have a strong tinge of reverence for 
his state and a broad love of our land as a whole. There was 
throughout a large historical instinct, and in his papers one finds 
studies of the life and times of Lincoln, Robert Morris, Washing- 
ton, Franklin, and the leaders of the Colonial and Revolutionary 
wars. 

On one occasion, he gave a lecture on Lincoln, with lantern 
slides by Mr. Arthur Mosley, the two collaborating for a happy 
evening. 

One of the pleasantest of his stories was of the relations of Lin- 
coln with Mr. James F. Joy of Detroit. Mr. Joy helped the 
"Great Emancipator" in his days of struggle and hardship as an 
obscure country lawyer, making it possible for him to earn his 
first big fee of $5,000. Mr. Greusel's history of the house in De- 
troit where John Brown planned the Harper's Ferry raid is de- 
lightful reading, as is also the quaint story he tells of Samuel Post 
who sat on a fence to see Lincoln inaugurated. Another study deals 
with the ancient mounds opened on the Detroit River 'by the late 
Bela Hubbard. Mr. Greusel who had a life-long friendship with 
Gen. O. O. Howard, Gen. Phil Sherman and other noted leaders, 
wrote on these men and their careers. He also made a review of 



384 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

the life of Gen. George A. Custer, the great Michigan cavalry- 
man. 

Mr. Grensel had a happy way of writing about big men and 
their ways. His account of Jay Gould, Russell Sage and their 
lieutenants on their celebrated Michigan trip, makes reading that 
is not only interesting but authentic. He toured with Ben But- 
ler, who ran for President on the Greenback, Labor and People's 
tickets, 1884, and made this trip the subject of several articles. 
He wrote- appealingly of Monsignor Capel, the great Catholic pre- 
late; of Don Antoinne de la Torre, son-in-law of Diaz; of Hidalgo, 
the Mexican priest and patriot. 

He wrote with power and pathos of that day of sorrow on which 
Senator Zach Chandler's body was returned from Chicago to De> 
troit and of the impressive scenes and incidents of that hour of 
fate. He pictured in a masterly personal interview the forlorn 
Senator Jacob M. Howard, on the occasion of that great man's 
forced retirement from national politics, likening the pathetic 
figure of the broken Senator to the melancholy grief of Marius, 
musing on the ruins of Carthage. 

He was at the last campfire of the Algonquins on the upper shore- 
of Lake Huron, in Canada, and he heard and graphically depicted 
the sorrows of the vanishing race, which concluded with the solemn 
farewell of Chief Jones not unsuggestive of the departure of 
Hiawatha : 

"I am going oh. my people, on a long and distant journey 
Many moons and many winters will have come and will have vanished 
Ere I come again to see you." 

Joseph Greusel also traveled through the far parts of the world 
and wrote on historical and social topics, affecting the great men 
of all countries. By special request Mr. Greusel was the personal 
guest of Senator Howard at the twenty-eighth encampment of the 
Army of the Tennessee. He visited the field of Waterloo and his in- 
spirational word-picture of that historical spot grips the imagina- 
tion. He also wrote graceful sketches from the land of Bobby 
Burns; of the Bavarian Tyrol; of old Alsatian cities, and of the 
Schwabian land; of Bismarck in retirement; of Gladstone; of visits 
to the homes and haunts of Victor Hugo, Napoleon, Garabaldi, Em- 
peror William I and other of the world's great modern figures. 

Coming closer home mention must be made of his sketch of the 
life of Orestes A. Brownson, one of the extraordinary men of the 
middle of the 19th Century. He told the spirited story of Gen. Sam 
Houston; the life of Randolph Rogers, Michigan's great sculptor, 






JOSEPH GREUSEL 385 

who was first sent by Stewart, the dry goods king, to study art 
abroad. There is the history of the old Wayne County court house 
and the introduction of Hazen S. Pingree to the people, a sketch 
that subsequently became the basis of the best that ever was said of 
that rugged Michigan leader. It is important to emphasize that 
many of Mr. Greusel's special interviews have in them the materials 
of permanent history. As an interpreter of political outlook, he was 
without a superior and many of his forecasts of events now read 
like the final revealed verdict of history. 

In political life Joseph Greusel attended every session of the 
Michigan Legislature for 45 years, either as correspondent or mem- 
ber. He represented Detroit from 1903 to 1908, inclusive, and was 
re-elected to the Legislature of 1912-13. In all, he served four 
terms. During the campaign of 1903, Mr. Greusel, who was help- 
ing the Hon. George A. Loud in the Tenth Congressional district, 
left his own election to such decision as his fellow-citizens might 
determine. His entire campaign expenses amounted to a check for 
$10, to pay his assessment for the convention hall, and a two-cent 
stamp for mailing. Out of the 22 candidates on both tickets, Mr. 
Greusel received the highest number of votes. 

In 1912 he was elected alternate delegate to the Republican Na- 
tional convention and he was one of three managers in the first 
campaign to elect J. C. Burrows to the United States Senate. 

His independent study of history led him to discount many pop- 
ular movements. In 1903 he introduced a resolution for a consti- 
tutional amendment empowering municipalities to own and operate 
street railways; in 1905 a resolution for the direct election of 
United States Senators. He did not believe in either plan, yet he 
was willing to let the people try them. 

In closing this sketch we refer with reverence to Joseph Greusel's 
steadfast loyalty to his city, his state and to his country. On no 
subject was he more at home than that of the Revolutionary War 
and he took his grandchildren with him during various summer 
vacations to visit the old battlefields and to fortify the youthful 
mind with stories of the noble past. He took just pride in the fact 
that he was the lineal descendant of soldiers of the days of Wash- 
ington, through Lieutenant Isaac Lockwood, 1639-1688, Norwalk, 
Connecticut, Sergeant Robert LockAvood, died 1658, Fairfax, Fair- 
field, Connecticut, Regimental Captain Nathaniel Seeley; the 
Wygants and other related lines. 

Through many long years, Joseph Greusel followed his intuitive 
love of reading. He usually selected serious books, preferred bio- 
49 



386 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

graphy and history. His habit was to read at night, often till two 
or three o'clock in the morning. As he read, he smoked his pipe 
or his cigars. The last thing he did just before turning out the 
gas, was to light his candle, in the old-fashioned brass candlestick, 
a souvenir from his mother's house and led by the dim rays of this 
taper, he would go through the long hall and up stairs, to his 
room. Such was his practice, for many years. He was often ques- 
tioned by the younger generation about the use of the candle, but 
he clung to it to the end. It was a touch of sentiment in a man 
singularly free from the outward expression of his feelings. 

He passed his entire life of 76 years in two city homes, in the last 
of which he resided for nearly 35 years. The house No. 949 West 
Fort Street, Detroit, at one time was surrounded by elegant homes 
and gardens but business encroached nearer and nearer, which 
made the neighborhood undesirable. Mr. Greusel would not leave 
the homestead built for him by his father and continued there. 

For many years the same tailor made his clothes and the same 
shoemaker his shoes. He clung to a certain style, regardless of 
vagaries of fashion. He wrote with a pen, slowly .and carefully 
and his handwriting was as clear as copperplate and very beautiful 
in character, to the day of his death. 

It is pleasant to add that at the time of his death, February 13, 
1913, Joseph Greusel was President of the Michigan Society, Sons 
of the American Revolution and also was an associate member of 
the Detroit Post G. A. B. His family was the recipient of many 
soldierly words of courage and patriotism. 



REUBEN GOLD THWAITES 387 



REUBEN GOLD THWAITES. 

BY EDWIN 0. WOOD. 

AT its recent meeting, the Michigan Pioneer and Historical So- 
ciety was honored by the presence of one of America's most 
noted historians, Dr. Reuben Gold Thwaites, Superintendent 
of the Wisconsin Historical Society. At that meeting this dis- 
tinguished man and eminent scholar was elected to Life Honorary 
Membership in our Society. Four months later, on October 22nd, 
death entered and removed from us the subject of this sketch, and 
it is fitting that we should at this time pause and reflect upon 
his useful life and illustrious career, and place upon our records 
a tribute to his memory. Dr. Henry Morse Stephens, Professor of 
History in the University of California, wrote as follows: 

"Reuben Gold Thwaites was of English parentage; his father 
was a Yorkshire manufacturer, and his mother's relatives were 
iron masters in the same County. His parents came to the 
United States in 1851, and he himself was born in Boston in 1853. 
When just out of the High School at Dorchester, Massachusetts, 
he found it necessary to make his own living and went West as 
a lad of seventeen in 1870. Like so many famous Americans he 
passed through the regular stages of working on a farm, teach- 
ing school, and writing for a newspaper. The farm was in Wis- 
consin; the country school he taught, a real old-fashioned log 
schoolhouse, was in Winnebago County, Wisconsin; and he began 
his career as a newspaperman as city editor of a little daily paper 
at Oshkosh in the same state. While earning his living in these 
different callings the future editor devoted all his scanty leisure 
to study. He could not afford in those years the expense of a col- 
lege course, but hammered away by himself at the books prescribed 
for study at Yale and Harvard. 

"Eventually, when about twenty-one years of age, he made his 
way back to the Atlantic coast, and although without a college de- 
gree he was admitted to postgraduate work at Yale University. For 
a year and a half he maintained himself at New Haven by news- 
paper correspondence, and then after writing for a time in Bos- 
ton, he made his way back to Wisconsin as representative of the 



388 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

New York Times, and settled down in 1876, at Madison, as manag- 
ing editor of the Wisconsin State Journal, then a large and flour- 
ishing paper. So far the story of the life of Doctor Thwaites dif- 
fers not much from that of thousands of enterprising young Ameri- 
cans who have pursued knowledge diligently along the same lines 
and have educated themselves while earning their living in the 
three honest fashions, of farm labor, school-teaching and news- 
paper work. But it is doubtful if any of the great editors of his- 
torical documents of the old world ever had this characteristic 
American training, and it is instructive to see that the American 
without the highly specialized education of the European has yet 
attained to an equal proficiency in his chosen calling. 

"In the year 1886 came the chance of Thwaites' life. In that year 
Dr. Lyrnan Copeland Draper suggested that Thwaites should suc- 
ceed him as Secretary and Superintendent of the Wisconsin State 
Historical Society. The post was exactly suited to Thwaites' 
tastes. Dr. Draper had devoted his life to getting together the 
wonderful collection of documents illustrating the growth of civili- 
zation in the middle west, which is the glory of the library of 
the Wisconsin State Historical Society. Thwaites himself fre- 
quently told of the way in which Draper gathered these docu- 
ments, and from 1886 onward the first duty of Thwaites' life was 
the arranging and enriching of the Draper collection. He used 
to tell in his own fascinating manner the incidents of his chase 
after documents among half breeds and fur traders, and although 
the work may not be so toilsome as it was in the days of Draper 
it can only be successfully carried on by one who has the hunter's 
instinct for scarce historical material and the tact to win it from 
its possessor. 

"To house in adequate fashion the fast growing collection of the 
Wisconsin State Historical Society became one of the cherished 
aims of its secretary's life, and in due time has arisen the sumptu- 
ous building at Madison, which is at once the library of the State 
Historical Society and of the State University, and which, both 
in its arrangements and in its architecture, owes much of its com- 
pleteness and usefulness to the suggestions and the energy of 
Doctor Thwaites himself." 

The Outlook gave expression to its estimate of Dr. Thwaites 
as follows: 

"The recent death of Reuben Gold Thwaites, who for more than 
a quarter of a century had been Secretary and Superintendent of 
the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, removed a man to 



REUBEN GOLD THWAITES 389 

whom historical scholarship in the Middle West owed a great debt. 
Dr. Thwaites had done more perhaps than any of his contempor- 
aries to bring to light the materials of Middle Western history and 
to make them available to scholars. There had been great collec- 
tors before his time his predecessor in the office at Madison, Dr. 
Lyman Draper, was one, but Dr. Thwaites was an organizer and 
systematizer as well as a collector. 

"In practically every Wisconsin county there is a group of men 
and women who have been brought by Dr. Thwaites to realize the 
dignity of local history and w r ho have developed, in their own com- 
munity, an efficient co-operating force for the rescue and preserva- 
tion of the memorials of the past; and that Wisconsin has a most 
interesting and varied past is well shown in the seventeen volumes 
of "Collections 1 ' that Dr. Thwaites edited for the Historical So- 
ciety. Every County newspaper (Dr. Thwaites had been a news- 
paper editor himself for more than ten years of his life) became 
enlisted in the cause, and many of them gave effective aid in build- 
ing up the great library at Madison. 

"Dr. Thwaites was the author of the two best short histories of 
Wisconsin, of popular lives of Father Marquette and Daniel Boone, 
of 'France in America,' and of a brief history of Rocky Moun- 
tain exploration ; he was also an authority on the Colonial period 
of American history. But the work with which his name will al- 
ways be associated is the monumental series of 'Jesuit Relations,' 
in seventy-three volumes, which he edited. This remarkable pub- 
lication, comprising the journals of the French priests in America 
for the entire period, 1610-1790, contains not only the chief sources 
available to the historian Francis Parkman, but a great mass of 
material that Parkman never saw. The researches prosecuted by 
Dr. Thwaites admirably supplemented and rounded out the pio- 
neer work of Parkman on the period of French domination in the 
old Northwest. In his own way Th\vaites was building for the 
future historical research quite as solidly as the brilliant Park- 
man in his time had built." 

The Nation thus briefly but concisely comments upon the work of 
Dr. Thwaites : 

"Far outside the circles of scholarship, the announcement of the 
death of Reuben Gold Thwaites will bring a feeling of distinct loss 
to the whole Middle West. More than to any man since Parkman, 
credit is due to him for the upbuilding of the romantic and color- 
ful history of the Old Northwest. The interest of the States of 
the region in the French and British periods virtually dates back 



390 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

from his installation as Superintendent of the Wisconsin State 
Historical Society in 1886, and as editor of the Wisconsin Histor- 
ical Collections since that time. His many publications, his zeal 
as a collector, and his influence upon historical scholarship at the 
University of Wisconsin have been a leavening force long and 
widely acknowledged. His chief fame, of course, rests upon his 
resurrection of the Jesuit Relations, a resurrection as striking 
as the more recent discovery, in southern Illinois, of the Kaskaskia 
Records. But better testimony to his powers and industry lies 
in the many State, University, and city collections of Western 
history built up after his thought, and the many lecture rooms 
and studies in which research is carried on after his own spirit." 

Primarily perhaps delving into the past, especially to add ma- 
terial pertaining to Wisconsin's early history, Dr. Thwaites found 
a rich field in the "Old Northwest Territory," or as designated by 
the preceding commentators, the "Middle West." In this research 
with its great harvest, Michigan necessarily came in for a large 
part. The early explorers who journeyed through Wisconsin, or 
down Lake Michigan, or to the upper Mississippi River practically 
all passed through the Straits of Mackinac, entering what later 
was known as the "Old Northwest Territory" through Sault Ste. 
Marie, Michigan or from Niagara and Detroit up Lake Huron. The 
early history of Wisconsin is interwoven and interlocked with 
that of Michigan, and both states, as years passed, were import- 
ant adjuncts of the central .historical unit known as the Old North- 
west. 

In this especial field Dr. Thwaites takes perhaps first place. In 
years to come the name of Reuben Gold Thwaites, as editor, his- 
torian and collector, will have an enduring place in the historians' 
hall of fame, together with that of our own Clarence M. Burton 
Michigan's great collector of original documents and manuscript. 
The latter has recently given to the public (the city of Detroit) a 
collection which is priceless in its value because much of it cannot 
be duplicated. Each of these men had a vision of the value in cen- 
turies to come, of matter pertaining to the Great Lakes region, and 
they have accomplished more in their respective lines, and rendered 
greater service to their country than many who have been honored 
with the highest positions in state or national government. 

The generous, sympathetic and eager interest exhibited by Dr. 
Thwaites in the work of the Michigan Historical Commission will 
come back to those who met him at Lansing a few months ago, in 
vivid memory. He was present at almost the birth of the new de- 



REUBEN GOLD THWAITES 391 

partment of history made a State bureau by the last legislature. 
He commended in the strongest terms the act creating the Com- 
mission, and predicted that it would mark a new era in the ad- 
vancement of Michigan's historical work and accomplishments 

What Michigan should have been doing in perhaps larger degree 
for the fifty years gone by, Dr. Thwaites has done to quite an extent 
for us, and it now remains for those entrusted with the important 
trust of compiling and discovering fragments of Michigan history, 
to look upon the life of Dr. Thwaites as a beacon light and an en- 
couragement leading them to greater zeal and effort. 

Let the memory of his presence at the inception, organization, 
and during the formation period of the Michigan Historical Com- 
mission and at the meeting of this State society remain a benediction 
and an inspiration. 

In electing Dr. Thwaites to honorary membership in this so- 
ciety Michigan honored herself, and while we mourn with our sis- 
ter State, Wisconsin, the home of his adoption, yet we claim him 
as a part with us, for his life was largely devoted to recording 
the history of the Wolverine State, side by side with that of the 
Badger commonwealth. 



392 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



CHARLES A. BLAIR. 1 

BY CHARLES E. TOWNSEND. 2 

/CHARLES A. BLAIR, son of Michigan's "War Governor," Aus- 
\J tin Blair, was born in the Blair home on Lansing Avenue in 
Jackson, Michigan, on April 10th, 1854. He was the second 
of four sons born to Austin and Sarah Blair, and as boy and man 
his entire life was spent in his native city until 1905 when, un- 
der the Michigan law, it was necessary for him as Justice of the 
Supreme Court to move his home to Lansing. He attended the 
Jackson schools from his childhood till his graduation from the 
high school in the summer of 1872. In the autumn of that year 
he entered the Literary department of the University of Michigan 
from which he graduated in 1876 with high honors as an un- 
usually accomplished student, a philosophical thinker, a logical 
and exact reasoner. He was the poet of his class and while Ms 
business and professional associates seldom saw what is commonly 
known as the poetic element in his life still it was his in abundance^ 
He was not a dreamer as men know dreamers. He was not given 
to sentimentality of the demonstrative order. His soul did not 
often express itself in metrical language but he felt the unexpress- 
able things which lie too deep for utterance but which furnish 
food for the real poet. In the solitude of the deep forest, in the 
quietude of the placid lake and stream, in nature's studio he caught 
the lights and shades which paint the poet's dream. 

In 1909 his Alma Mater conferred upon him the degree of 
Bachelor of Laws. He became a member of the Alpha Delta Phi 
fraternity while in Ann Arbor and this with the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks were the only secret organizations with 



] Read at the annual meeting in June, 1913. 

"Charles E. Townsend was born in Concord township Jackson county, Michigan, 
August 15, 1856. He prepared for college at the union school in Jackson and attended 
the University of Michigan for one year. He taught school for fifteen months in 
District No. 6 of Concord and for nearly seven years was principal of the High School 
at Parma, Michigan. While teaching at Parma he was elected Register of Deeds for 
Jackson county, in November, 1886, and served in that office for ten years. During 
that time he studied law and was admitted to practice in the Jackson circuit. He 
formed a law partnership with Charles A. Blair and Charles H. Smith under the firm 
name of Blair, Smith and Townsend. In November, 1902, he was elected a member of 
the 58th Congress from the Second Congressional District of Michigan and was re- 
elected thereafter three times. He entered the primaries for the senatorial nomination 
in Michigan against United States Senator Julius C. Burrows and in August, 1910, 
received the nomination at the hands of the republicans of Michigan and is serving his 
first term in the United States Senate. 



CHARLES A. BLAIR 393 

which he affiliated. He was especially happy in his membership in 
the Elks. Its simple yet impressive articles of faith appealed to 
him. He liked the genuine fraternity which not only breathed in 
its ritual but which was a quickening spirit through its incarna- 
tion into life and action. Busy man though he was he found time 
to accept the honor which his brothers thrust upon him, by mak- 
ing him their Exalted Kuler. 

After graduating from the University he entered upon the study 
of law with his father at Jackson and in September, 1878, was 
admitted to the bar of his county and state. From the \GYJ be- 
ginning of his law study he demonstrated those analytical qualities 
of mind, that intellectual and moral honesty which impressed all 
who knew him with the fact that his legal career had brilliant pos- 
sibilities. He was at one time City Attorney for Jackson and later 
was made Prosecuting Attorney for his county, positions which he 
held with credit and distinction. 

He formed a partnership with his father and George S. Wil- 
son under the firm name of Blair, Wilson and Blair; later with 
Thomas E. Barkworth and still later with Charles H. Smith and 
Charles E. Townsend under the name of Blair, Smith and Townsend. 
Upon the disssolution of this firm he entered into partnership with 
Benjamin W. Williams. 

In 1902 Mr. Blair was nominated and elected Attorney General 
of Michigan, and immediately entered upon the most important 
litigation the State had ever had. In 1899 the legislature had en- 
acted what is known as the ad valorem method of taxing the prop- 
erty of railroads and other common carriers. 3 That law meant 
much not only to the railroads but to the people. Under its pro- 
visions the taxes on these carriers were increased more than three 
huudred per cent and twenty-seven of the Michigan railroads com- 
bined and brought suit in the federal court for the western dis- 
trict of Michigan to restrain the Auditor General from collecting 
the taxes levied against them under the new law. Capable and 
distinguished lawyers were employed- by the roads and the law 
under which the tax levy was made was attacked on both consti- 
tutional and legal grounds. Attorney General Blair had charge 
of the State's case and he keenly felt the great responsibility which 
rested upon him in his efforts to sustain that law in the interests 
of the people. Before the law was passed an appraisal of all the 
railroad properties in the State had been made but one of the 
contentions of the roads was that the State Tax Commission had 



"Act 19, Public Acts, 1899. Bill approved March 15, 1899 and given immediate effect. 



394 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

assessed the railroads higher proportionately than it had other 
properties of the State and it became necessary to bring that ap- 
praisal down to the date of the suit. This was a great task and 
upon its proper performance much importance was placed by the 
Attorney General. There were many counts in the complainant's 
bill and Mr. Blair gave to all of them his great ability and con- 
scientious attention. He, with others assisting him, presented the 
case before Judge Wanty at Grand Rapids and the argument he 
made to the court was pronounced by distinguished lawyers who 
heard it as one of the most profound and convincing ever delivered 
before that distinguished tribunal. The result of the trial was a 
complete victory on every material point for the State and the 
subsequent approval of the decision of Judge Wanty by the Su- 
preme Court of the United States fixed it as a land mark for the 
future in railroad taxation matters. 4 By this decision nearly six 
million dollars was paid into the State Treasury for the benefit of 
the Michigan schools. 

Before this suit was determined in the Supreme Court and while 
it was still pending there, Mr. Blair was nominated for Justice of 
the Supreme Court. The legislature had increased the court from 
five to eight members and three men were nominated for these ad- 
ditional judges in 1904. Mr. Blair was nominated for the five year 
term. He was elected by nearly one hundred and ninety thousand 
majority. From the very beginning of his service on Michigan's 
highest court he took front rank with its distinguished members. 
His decisions were models for clearness and precision. He was not 
only a master of logical reasoning but he was quick to grasp the 
salient points of the case and he could and did express his opinions 
in the clearest and best of English. It is never difficult to under- 
stand what Justice Blair meant, when consulting his opinions. 

At the end of his term of five years on the Michigan Supreme 
Court he was unanimously renominated by his party at Grand 
Rapids for a second term and at the April election in 1909 was 
triumphantly reelected. 

Space forbids that I should go into detail in recounting his work 
on the Supreme Court of Michigan. I shall have to be content 
with saying that he had the unbounded confidence of his asso- 
ciates on the bench, of the lawyers who practiced before him and 
of the people of Michigan. In his hands the scales of justice were 
nicely balanced at all times. Never for a moment did prejudice, 
passion or special interest exert the slightest influence over his 

*Mich. Cen. R. R. vs. Powers, Auditor Gen'l of State of Mich., 201 U. S. 245. 




JUSTICE CHARLES A. BLAIR. 



CHARLES A. BLAIR 395 

mind when he was interpreting the laws of his State. He was too 
big for prejudice. Passion could find no lodgement in his soul. He 
knew no distinction between men save that which separated the 
right from the wrong. 

Something over a year ago Justice Blair's friends noticed that 
his physical health seemed impaired. He was aging unduly for his 
years and his old time vigor was apparently waning, but he did 
not complain and would not obtain medical advice. The grim 
messenger, however, had called and would not be denied admis- 
sion. 

Finally sheer exhaustion compelled the judge to consult a phys- 
ician w r ho, upon a careful examination, discovered that Bright's dis- 
ease in a most advanced stage existed. Rest and quiet was en- 
joined. At once the spirit of poetry and philosophy of the afflicted 
man turned to Nature's resort on Portage Lake. There with his 
sorrowing family he went, hoping against hope, that with quiet and 
rest beneath the stars, by the still waters of the Take in Nature's 
ample sanitarium, a reasonable degree of health might be restored; 
but the malady was too firmly fixed; the springs of life were run 
too nearly dry. On August 24th, 1912, he was taken back to his 
home in Lansing where he died five days later. His body was taken 
to Jackson, where, covered with flowers spread by loving hands, it 
was deposited by the side of those of his distinguished father, his 
beloved mother and his children gone before. 

Mr. Blair was married to Miss Effie C. North on October 8th, 
1879. To this union four children were born two of whom died in 
December, 1886. Two survive their father, George F. Blair, a 
graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and now married 
and living at Portland, Oregon; and Helen Blair living with her 
mother at Lansing. Such is the simple yet eloquent story of 
Charles A. Blair. 

I cannot close this sketch, however, without injecting some per- 
sonal reflections. I knew Charles Blair personally and well dur- 
ing the last thirty-six years of his life. Probably I was closer to 
him than was any other man of his acquaintance. So far as he 
shared his confidences with any one he shared them with me. I have 
fished and hunted with him, many, many days. I have known him 
in times and places where w r ords and actions are not counterfeit. 
I knew 1 of the fearful struggles he had years ago to overcome con- 
ditions which are not present with all men. I knew of his glori- 
ous victory. I had the invaluable blessings of his honest mind and 
his splendid heart and head. We were friends, and from the stand- 



396 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

point of a friend who knew him I would not say in his physical ab- 
sence what he would not sanction if he were to act as censor of my 
remarks. 

I hold that Charles A. Blair was a good man, a splendid lawyer, 
a just and upright judge. What better can any biographer say of 
his subject? 

The physician who attended him during the days of his last ill- 
ness tells me that Justice Blair knew that the inevitable was with 
him and yet that he met his end with that same dignified resigna- 
tion and manly demeanor with which he faced every responsibility 
of his life. 

He had an abiding faith in the hereafter. He felt that future 
existence was a fact; that somehow, somewhere the work of love 
would be continued and that death does not end all. He always 
had his window open toward Jerusalem and through it day and 
night streamed the blessed hope of immortality. He did not 
loudly profess but he eloquently lived the doctrine of fraternity 
which is but another name for Divinity. 



HERMAN KIEFER 397 



HERMAN KIEFER. 1 

BY DR. J. B. KENNEDY. 

HERMAN KIEFER was born November 19, 1825, at Sulzburg, 
Grand Dukedom of Baden, Germany, and was the only son 
of Dr. Conrad and Frederica Schweyckert Kiefer. 

His academic and professional studies were thorough and liberal. 
He first attended the high school of Freiburg, beginning in his 
ninth year, and afterwards in turn those at Mannheim and Carls- 
ruhe, completing his preparatory course at the age of eighteen 
years. He then began the study of medicine, at the University of 
Freiburg, continued the following year at Heidelberg. He later 
attended the medical institutions of Prague and Vienna. At vari- 
ous times, he was under the instruction of such distinguished 
masters of medical science as Arnold, Henle, Oppholzer, Stromeyer, 
Pitha and Scanzonia. In May, 1849, he was graduated, with the 
highest honors, upon his examination before the State Board of 
Examiners at Carlsruhe. 

A degree received from such a source implies a prolonged and 
assiduous study, which America is but now beginning to appreciate 
and, in a modified degree, to imitate in its requirements. The 
venerable institutions at which Dr. Kiefer spent fifteen years of his 
boyhood and young manhood, stand before the educated world as 
favorable examples of the vast and perfect machinery by the agency 
of which Germany has so well earned the name of being a nation 
of scholars. 

There is very slight probability that Dr. Kiefer would ever have 
become an American but for one agency the same which has giv- 
en the United States much of the best blood and the best brains 
of Germany that of revolution. He had scarcely received his 
doctorate, when there broke out the revolution of 1849. In com- 
mon with thousands of his fellows among the educated youth of 
his country, he embraced the cause of the people, with all the 
ardour and enthusiasm of his years, flinging his future carelessly 
aside, to fight for a downtrodden race against the almost invinci- 
ble power of organized authority. He joined the volunteer regi- 



1 Read at the annual meeting in June, 1912. 



398 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

ment of Emmendington and was at once appointed its surgeon. 
With that regiment he was present at the battle of Phillipsburg, 
June 20th, 1849, and at that of Upstadt, on the 23rd of the same 
month. It was at the former engagement that Prince Carl, later 
Field Marshal of Germany, was wounded and narrowly escaped 
capture by the regiment to which Dr. Kiefer was attached. 

When the Revolution was suppressed, Dr. Kiefer, among thou- 
sands of others, was compelled to flee the consequence of his pat- 
riotic service. He took refuge in the city of Strasburg, then un- 
der the dominion of the French Republic, of which Louis Napoleon 
was president. Even there he did not find a safe asylum, for the 
Republic declined to shelter the refugees from Baden. The spies 
of Napoleon a tyrant under the cloak of popular leadership 
discovered his place of concealment, arrested him and he was again 
compelled to flee. Making his way to the sea-board, he took pas- 
sage upon a sailing vessel for the United States, leaving port 
August 18 and arriving in New York on the 19th day of Septem- 
ber, 1849. 

America was then far less cosmopolitan than now and lacked 
much of its present advanced standard of professional and general 
scientific attainment. It did not present a promising field to a 
highly educated German and we can imagine that the necessity for 
leaving behind him the possibilities of success and distinction in 
his own country must have been a bitter one to an ambitious young 
man, fresh from the scholastic atmosphere of Heidelberg and the 
gayety of Vienna. 

Still, there was no question of the necessity and he made the 
best of the situation. After a brief sojourn in New York he turned 
his face westward, intending to establish himself permanently in 
St. Louis. On the way, however, he met a countryman, who had 
for several years lived in Detroit and he was led to turn aside to 
that city. 

The population of Detroit in the .autumn of 1849 was little if 
any more than 20,000. Michigan was still provincial, and neither 
in social nor business methods, had outgrown the crudeness of its 
earlier days. Less than five months before, Dr. Kiefer had stood 
before the State Examiners of Carlsruhe and received his diploma 
with no other thought than that he should live, work and die in 
Fatherland. Since then he had been a soldier, a fugitive and now 
he found himself, an alien in tongue and blood, facing fortune in 
a western city of America. 

He opened an office for the practice of his profession, on the 



HERMAN KIEFER 399 

19th of October, 1849 and, in spite of all his disadvantages, soon 
won a pronounced success. His practice was, almost from the first, 
sufficient for his needs and it grew year by year, until it came to 
be exceedingly absorbing and lucrative. 

It may be well to say here that Dr. Kiefer has always held very 
dear and given every effort to preserve the spirit and the litera- 
ture of the Teutonic race. In the statement that he is also a 
thorough and loyal American, the anomoly is only apparent, his 
devotion to the country which gave him shelter in his exile, is not 
at all impeached by his desire to see the language, the grand litera- 
ture and the social and historical traditions of Germany perpetu- 
ated among his compatriots. 

He always took a deep interest in educational matters. He was 
one of the founders of the German-American Seminary, a school 
incorporated by the State of Michigan for finished instruction in 
all departments of learning, to be given equally in the German and 
English language so far as practicable and desirable. Of this in- 
stitution he was president and treasurer from the time of its 
foundation in 1861, until 1872. He then resigned and served all 
connection with it, by reason of a disagreement with its other mem- 
bers upon what he regarded as a vital matter of educational ethics. 
It was always his belief that no teaching of religious doctrine or 
creed should be introduced into school instruction. His associates 
proposed to make the Seminary a sectarian institution and his 
withdrawal was the consequence. 

During the years 1866 and 1867, Dr. Kiefer was a member of 
the Detroit Board of Education and used his utmost influence to 
induce that body to introduce the teaching of German into the 
public schools of that city. He made repeated efforts in this direc- 
tion, urging his point upon the grounds of the practical utility of 
the language and also as a right which German citizens were justi- 
fied in demanding. In spite, however, of his utmost efforts, he 
failed to secure the desired legislation. 

In 1882, Dr. Kiefer was elected a member of the Public Library 
Commissoin, to fill a vacancy for a period of one year. In 1883, 
he was re-elected for the full term of six years. When he assumed 
this office, there were very few German books in the library, and 
the fine and thoroughly representative collection of works in that 
language now upon the shelves, was almost entirely selected and 
purchased under his personal supervision. Considering the num- 
bering of volumes and the sum expended, it would be difficult to 
find a library which better illustrates the thought and literary 



400 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

methods of Germany, in science, history and the belles letters. To 
the memory of Dr. Kiefer is due the thanks, not only of Germans, 
but of all scholars and investigators, for the important service thus 
rendered. 

Dr. Kiefer was a member of the Wayne County and the State 
Medical Societies, and of the American Medical Association. He 
was recognized at home and by physicians throughout the country, 
as a skillful, successful and scientific physician. For thirty-four 
years he devoted himself to his practice, finding time only for the 
public service named. This close attention to his professional duties 
prevented his making any elaborate contributions to medical litera- 
ture but his papers in various periodicals! devoted to the interests of 
his profession have been many and have done much to spread his 
reputation in other cities and States. 

For many years, Dr. Kiefer held a representative position among 
the German citizens of Detroit and Michigan and upon all oc- 
casions he was their champion. In all his public life, he endeavored 
by tongue and pen to convince the public that the German-born 
population of the United .States should be respected, as wholly 
equal to the native born people. He claimed nothing for his coun- 
trymen as Germans but he insisted on the fullest political and social 
recognition of their rights as citizens of the United States. 
He claimed recognition for their language and social customs 
and he claimed for them the right to pursue their happiness 
in any way which should not infringe upon the equally sacred 
rights and liberties of others. In his own family Dr. Kiefer paid 
a tribute to Germany, by insisting upon the exclusive use of its 
language and this influence he supplemented by educating several 
of his children in the schools of his native land. 

He was an active member of many of the German societies of 
Detroit and represented his countrymen upon various important 
occasions. He took a prominent place at the Singers' festival held 
at Detroit in 1857; at the Festival commemorative of Schiller's 
centennial in the year 1859; at the festival of Humboldt, in 18G9; 
and in 1871, when all German-America was wild with joy at the 
successful ending of the Franco-German war, he acted as president 
and orator of the day at the peace celebration held by the Ger- 
man citizens of Detroit on the first day of May. 

In politics, Dr. Kiefer was a steadfast and consistent Republican 
since the organization of that party in 1854. There was nothing 
in his character that would render "trimming" or vacillation pos- 
sible to him, no matter how dearly his political allegiance might 



HERMAN KIEFER 401 

cost him. During the campaign made by the Republicans in 1854, 
he was chairman of the German-Republican executive committee of 
the State of Michigan. 

In 1872 he was one of the Presidential electors of the State and, 
in 1876, was a delegate to the Republican National Convention held 
at Cincinnati. At that Convention, when after four ineffective bal- 
lots, the delegates were seeking to unite upon a compromise can- 
didate, he was influential in inducing the Michigan delegation to 
give their united support to Rutherford B. Hayes. 

In every Presidential campaign from 1854 until 1880 he worked 
actively for the success of the Republican party, going upon the 
stump and exerting his influence very effectively among the Ger- 
man citizens of the State. He was an eloquent speaker, recognized 
by all as holding his opinions with as much honesty as tenacity 
and his leading position . among his compatriots gave him an in- 
fluence which was invaluable to the Republican party. 

In spite of his long and arduous service, Dr. Kiefer held but one 
Federal office. During the month of July, 1883, he was appointed 
by President Arthur consul to Stettin. Once before, in 1873, he 
revisited his native land, spending six months in travel, but his re- 
turn as an official representative to a country which he had left 
as a political fugitive less than twenty-five years before, was an 
especial gratification to him. 

The office, too, was much to his taste. He gave close attention 
to his duties and made an intelligent study of political, social and 
trade conditions, the results of which he transmitted to the Secre- 
tary of State in a large number of valuable reports, many Of which 
were published by the Government. Among these may be named 
his "Report on Beet Sugar," published in Volume XXXIX of the 
United States Consular Reports; "Report on Base Burners" in 
Volume XI; "Report on the Extension of the European Trade in 
the Orient," in Volume XLII ; "Report on American Trade with 
Stettin," in Volume XLVI; "Report on Agricultural Machinery," 
in Volume XLVIII ; "How Germany is Governed ?" in Volume I, 
"Report on Labor in Europe," published by the department of 
State in a separate volume. These are by no means all the re- 
ports made by Dr. Kiefer during his official service of but eighteen 
months, but they furnish a sufficient evidence of the activity and 
zeal with which he performed his duties. 

Upon the election of a Democratic President, Dr. Kiefer was 
one of the first officials to resign his office. This he did in a 
characteristic letter addressed to the Department of State imme- 
51 



402 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

diately after the election and while the Cabinet, of course, was 
still Republican, in which he expressed his unwillingness either to 
be "a victim of the political guillotine or to see civil service re- 
form managed by the Democrats." 

On the 21st of January, 1885, he retired from his office. For 
several months thereafter he remained in Europe, traveling ex- 
tensively upon the continent. In September of the same year he 
returned to America and, upon his arrival at Detroit, was com- 
plimented with two formal receptions one tendered by his fel- 
low physicians; the other by the German residents of the city. He 
brought with him from his brief official life an enviable reputation 
for zeal and ability in the discharge of his duties. 

In the Spring of 1889, Dr. Kiefer was appointed a member of 
the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan to fill a vacancy 
created by the death of Moses W. Field. In 1893 he was nominated 
and elected to the same office for a full term of eight years, which 
terminated December 31st, 1901. During his incumbency of the 
office of regent, Dr. Kiefer was particularly interested in the de- 
partment of Medicine and Surgery, and it was largely through his 
efforts that the new Medical building was procured for that depart- 
ment. In June, 1902, following the end of his service as Regent, 
the Board of Regents conferred upon Dr. Kiefer the honorary de- 
gree of M. D., and appointed him Professor Emeritus of the Prac- 
tice of Medicine in the Department of Medicine and Surgery. This 
was in recognition of his services in behalf of that Department. 
The faculty of the Department of Medicine and Surgery had a life 
size portrait painted of Dr. Kiefer, which still occupies a prominent 
place on the walls of the faculty room of the new Medical build- 
ing. 

Soon after coming to America he was joined by his mother. She 
was accompanied by Francisca Kehle, to whom Dr. Kiefer had 
been affianced in Germany, and to whom he was married July 21, 
1850. During the year 1851 his father also came to Detroit but 
the father and mother returned to the old country after but a brief 
residence in America. 

Dr. Kiefer and Mrs. Kiefer passed together nearly sixty happy 
and prosperous years in fact they would have celebrated their 
sixtieth wedding anniversary July 21, 1910, but for the death of 
Mrs. Kiefer, August 6, 1909. 

The couple have had seven sons and two daughters, and of these, 
five sons and one daughter grew to manhood and womanhood, as 
follows: Alfred K. (died November 30th, 1909, aged 57 years); 



HERMAN KIEFER 403 

Arthur E., Manager, Detroit Edge Tool Works; Edwin H., artist, 
New York City; Edgar S., President of the Dahm & Kiefer Tan- 
ning Co., Chicago; Hermine C., wife of Dr. Carl Bonning, Detroit; 
Dr. Guy Lincoln Kiefer, Health Officer of Detroit. 



404 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



MRS. JOSIAH W. BEGOLE OF FLINT. 1 

BY MRS. MARY BEGOLE CUMMINGS. 2 

MRS. HARRIET BEGOLE, widow of the late ex-Governor 
Begole, died August 17, 1911, at 906 Beach Street, Flint, 
Michigan, which had been her home for nearly fifty years. 

Her parents, Manly Miles and his wife, Mary Cushman, were 
residents of Homer, Courtland County, New York, where she was 
born November 25, 1817. Through her mother she was a lineal 
descendant of Captain Miles Standish and Robert Cushman of 
Plymouth, Massachusetts. 

In 1837, with her parents, five sisters, two brothers and an aged 
grandmother, . she drove from their old home in New York to Buf- 
falo, where they took a boat for Detroit, the trip consuming three 
days. From there a part of the family with their own carriage, 
the remainder in the stage-coach, drove over the old military road 
to Flint. Purchasing a tract of land two miles north of the town, 
a log house commensurate with the size of the family was erected 
and with the courage men possessed in those days, the forest was 
gradually converted into a farm. 

April 22, 1839, Harriet Miles was married, at the family home, 
to Josiah William Begole, and with him she made her home in 
another log house on another new farm located still further in the 
forest. Here four children were born to her, and here she lived for 
eighteen years, during which time the log house and stumpy fields 
gave place to six hundred acres of cultivated land and modern 
buildings. In 1857, the family moved to Flint, which was thence- 
forth her home although she accompanied her husband to Lan- 
sing and to Washington when his duties called him to those cities. 

During the Civil W T ar when Mrs. Begole's eldest son was wounded 
at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and her husband, who had gone 
to care for him, was worn out and ill, she took the long journey to 
Lookout Mountain, to care for him. A pass from General Thomas 



*Read at the annual meeting June, 1912. 

2 Mrs. Mary Begole Cummings, the eldest child of Governor and Mrs. Josiah W. 
Begole, was born in the town of Genesee, Nov. 22, 1840. Her early education was 
obtained mostly in the public schools of Flint, Michigan, where the family moved in 
1857, and she afterwards attended Boyd's Young Ladies' Seminary in Monroe, 
graduating from there in 1861. In 18GO she was married to Mr. William Cum- 
mings and has been the mother of five children. 




HARRIET BEGOLE (MRS JOSIAH W. BEGOLE.) 



MRS. JOSIAH W. BEGOLE 405 

permitted Mrs. Begole to occupy a seat in a long train carrying re- 
inforcements to the army. There was not another woman on 
board. She stayed for weary weeks with her son till death ended 
his sufferings. Then she brought his body home. 

A few years later, during a typhoid fever epidemic in Cincin- 
nati, another son was stricken and she nursed him through the 
long illness until she could bring him home. The attending phys- 
ician told her that dozens of his patients were dying for lack of 
such care as she gave her son. There were no trained nurses in 
those days, but her mother's instructions had prepared her to care 
for her family in all ways. She was never idle; and when past 
ninety years of age did many pieces of dainty needle work for her 
friends. 

Mrs. Begole and her husband were always actively identified 
with all religious and philanthropic work in the community in 
which they lived. In the early years of their married life they 
helped to organize a church near their farm. On their removal to 
Flint, they joined the Presbyterian church of that, place. Mrs. 
Begole was always a leader in church work. She also was an 
active member of the Ladies' Library Association of Flint being 
treasurer of the Association at the time they built the first wom- 
an's club house in Michigan. 



406 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



SOPHIA HASCAL BUCHANAN. 1 

BY CLAUDE R. BUCHANAN. 2 

"A beautiful and chaste woman is the perfect workmanship of 
God, the true glory of angels, the rare miracle of earth, and the 
sole wonder of the world." HEIIMKS. 

SOPHIA HASCAL BINGHAM afterwards Sophia H. Buchanan 
was named by the Indians, O-ge-ma-ke-ge-do-qua because she 
was fleet of foot and often in her girlhood days ran races with 
the Indians. She was born at the old Sault Ste. Marie, December 
11, 1833. She died at Grand Kapids, Michigan, March 11, 1910. 

He who would know the child, must know the ancestry. Her 
father, Rev. Abel Bingham, was born in New Hampshire in 1786 
and her mother, Hannah O. Brown, was born in Washington's ad- 
ministration in 1794, in New York State. They came to the Sault 
in 1828, under the auspices of the American Foreign Mission Board 
and remained there until 1855. 

The Rev. Abel Bingham 3 was a man of fine dignity, tall in stature, 
of commanding presence and, as I remember him, extremely re- 
served. He made a fine and lasting impression upon all whom he 
met and knew and this included the Indians. 

He served in the war of 1812 and was wounded in the battle of 
Plattsburg. Some Englishman shot him in the forehead with a 
bullet and a piece of the frontal bone was dislodged. It was worth 
while in those days to be a hardshelled Baptist. 

Men of the type of the Rev. Abel Bingham, men of enterprise, 
intelligence, education, religious principle, moral worth; men of 
knowledge of their fellows and of ability to command; men who, 
in holding their lives not too dear, made these lives still more 
valuable, these are the men who opened up the new country and 
made our present civilization possible. These men stamped in- 

1 Read at the annual meeting in June, 1912. 

2 Claude R. Buchanan was born at Grand Rapids, Oct. 17, 1858 and is the son of 
John C. and Sophia H. Buchanan. He attended the public schools of Grand Rapids 
and graduated at the Grand Rapids High School in 1877. In 1881 he received the 
degree of A. B. from the University of Michigan and from 1881 to 1888 he taught 
school in Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. He was admitted to the Bar at Grand Rapids, 
Sept. 18, 1888, and has practiced law in that city ever since. He was married to 
Matilda Sharp of DesMoines Iowa in 1885 and they have one son, Claude S. Buchanan. 

Called by the Indians "Father Bingham." 



SOPHIA HASCAL BUCHANAN 407 

delibly upon their children a quality of character that can never 
be effaced. 

Mrs. Buchanan 4 was born on the site of the present Court House, 
in the Baptist Mission building, a large, two story wooden build- 
ing, facing east. 5 A photograph of this, from a carbon or ink 
sketch, shows quite a building, with a scaffolding on one side, sur- 
mounted by a bell, which rang when the boats came up the river. 

On the Mission site there was a huge boulder, deeply embedded 
in the earth, and from six to eight feet high, weighing many tons. 
This rock was worshipped by the Indians at the time. They be- 
lieved that the spirit of their great god, Gitchie Manitou, dwelt in 
the rock. Nor is this so crude, for if we study the mythology of 
the Indian, we will find in it a touch of the beautiful and exquisite 
imagination of the Greek. 

Fort Brady 6 was then on the river bank below the rapids, in- 
stead of south of the city on the high land as it is now. West of 
the Fort was a meadow called by the soldiers "the Green" and the 
village was built along the river bank above "the Green." There 
were probably 300 or 400 people at Sault Ste. Marie in the winter, 
but many visitors in the summer. The society was good though lim- 
ited and included the officers from the fort and government em- 
ployees. 

From 1833 to 1854, a peroid of twenty-one years, Mrs. Buchanan 
as a babe, a child, a girl, and a young woman, was reared and 
educated at the Mission home and school among French, Indians 
and Americans in about equal numbers. The Ojibwa tongue was 
as familiar to her as English and French. A careful religious 
training, with systematic daily reading and study of the Bible was 
begun at this time and never abandoned. 



Mrs. Thomas D. Gilbert who has written several interesting articles on early days 
at Sault Ste. Marie and Grand Rapids for the Mich. Pio. & Hist. Colls, and Mrs. 
Robinson were also daughters of Rev. Abel Bingham and sisters of Mrs. Buchanan. 

B This house was the Baptist Mission house which stood almost in front of the 
present court house. It was the second frame building erected at Sault Ste. Marie 
and it was built in 1829 by Rev. Abel Bingham. 

6 "The U. S. Government took its stand as the protector of the great gateway of 
marine commerce in 1822, since which time, with only two interruptions, Fort Brady 
has been garrisoned by her regular soldiers. The old fort occupied what is now the 
site f the federal building and for years was protected against Indian attack by a 
high stockade. In the canal park is preserved the very ravine crossed by Gen. Cass 
when he pulled down the last British flag on the soil of the United States. 

"Fort Brady now occupies a commanding site of 75 acres, in the southwestern part 
of the Soo, and, from a splendid rise of ground, overlooking the city * * * The 
buildings of the present post were not all completed until 1895 although part of the 
officers' quarters and barracks were so far finished in the fall of 1892 as to be occupied 
by troops. Co. F. of the post was the first to be received, Nov. 25, 1892 and three 
days later came the second company from Fort Mackinac (which fort was then in the 
process of evacuation because the U. S. government had given the government land 
and holdings on the island to the state of Michigan for park purposes). 

"The 26 acres upon which stood the original Fort Brady was ceded to the U. S. 
by the Chippewas, June 16. 1820, the locality having been selected by the French 
for military purposes in 1750 when Chevalier Repentigny constructed a stockade." 
P. 327 to 329, Vol. 1, History of the Northern Peninsula of Michigan and its people 
by Alvah L. Sawyer (Lewis Pub. Co., Chicago.) 



408 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

There was at this time plenty of work to do, plenty of hardships 
to endure, constant danger to face. Mr. Bingham's life was fre- 
quently threatened but he was a man without fear and when the 
Indians came really to know him well they had great respect and 
veneration for him. 

The Binghams were a family of singers. Two of the girls had 
fine lyric soprano voices, two had contralto voices; one son 
possessed a rich baritone voice, and the mother also could king 
well. As many of the Indians were fairly good singers and there 
was a small accordion to accompany the voices in the old familiar 
hymns that had been translated into the Indian tongue, the service 
was both enjoyable and inspiring. Mr. Bingham preached through 
an interpreter. 

Mrs. Buchanan lived at the Sault nearly twenty years, until the 
time of her marriage. At intervals she visited at Grand Rapids, 
where her brother, Rev. Judson Bingham, a Baptist clergyman, 
preached and supplied the pulpits in the surrounding territory. At 
one time she attended school at Utica, New York. 

At the same time that this girl was growing up into young 
womanhood in this frontier life, a young man of Scotch-Irish des- 
cent (born in New York State in 1823) moved with his family to 
Pennsylvania in 1834, and with his father and brother, prepared 
to make a journey to the wilds of Michigan. The father who was 
a gunsmith, took with him about $400 worth of guns. 

They left in October or November of 1842, taking a boat at 
Dunkirk, New York, and crossing Lake Erie to Detroit. From 
there they went by train as far as the vicinity of Pontiac, where 
the road ended. They left their goods at Pontiac, and tramping 
with rifle in hand across the State by way of Kalainazoo in a 
foot or a foot and a half of snow, they arrived at Grand Rapids 
November 15, 1842. 

This young man, also, was not afraid of a cold bath, for I find 
that he was baptized Christmas morning, 1843, in the Grand River 
back of the site on which the Eagle Hotel now stands. 

His father built, with his aid, a home on the property site of 
218 East Fulton in 1844, a portion of which still remains in the re- 
built structure. Here he lived from 1844 to the time of his death 
in 1902, his only absence being three years of service in the Civil 
War. Mr. Newton Cook, one of the oldest residents of Grand 
Rapids, says that this residence of 58 years on Fulton Street is 
the longest single residence in one place in Grand Rapids that he 
knows of. 



SOPHIA HASCAL BUCHANAN 409 

Grand Rapids in 1831 was a mere Indian station. The old Bap- 
tist Mission was on the west side of the Grand Kiver, old Chief 
Noonday's 7 house was on the hill and Louis Campau's trading 
post was located on the East side in the heart of the present busi- 
ness district on the site of the Old National Bank. 

These with the wigwams of the savages completed a typical In- 
dian settlement. The village was not incorporated until 1838 and 
the city of Grand Rapids not until 1850. In 1842 Grand Rapids 
was but a small village of a few hundred inhabitants. 

In due course of time John Claude Buchanan, all-round pioneer 
and gunsmith, and Sophia Hascal Bingham, the fleet-footed girl 
from the north, met at Grand Rapids. Their courtship took place 
in the Higgins homestead which was then on Fulton Street but 
was afterwards moved to the Baars' family site on Fountain Street, 
where it is still standing. 

Mr. and Mrs. Buchanan were married in 1854 and they went to 
the Fulton Street home to begin housekeeping. Mr. Buchanan 
worked at his trade. During the administration of James Buchan- 
an and up to the time of the Civil War, he manufactured guns 
for the Government. When the call came from Lincoln for volun- 
teers, he enlisted August 12, 1861, entering the service as first 
lieutenant. He was mustered in September 23, when he went to 
the front, leaving behind him his young wife and two infant sons. 
He served three years, and became Captain of Company D, Eighth 
Michigan Infantry, which he had joined when it was organized at 
Grand Rapids. 

Captain Buchanan was at Beaufort, South Carolina, January 1, 
18G2; at the battle of Coosa; at the taking of Fort Pulaski; at 
Newport News; at Fredericksburg ; at the Racoon ford on the 
Rapidan; at Bull Run; at Chantilly. Under General McClellan 
his regiment went through Maryland and struck the Confederates at 
South Mountain. The next day, September 17, Captain Buchanan 
was at Antietam, where he was wounded in the right arm. 

After the war Captain Buchanan gave up the trade of gunsmith 
and, adopting dentistry as his profession, became Doctor Buchan- 
an. He and his wife spent the remainder of their lives in Grand 
Rapids. Both were connected with the Baptist church there be- 
tween fifty and sixty years. He was a deacon over a long period 
of years and she was made a deaconess. For many years she pre- 



7 Chief Noonday was of the Ottawa nation and was at the head of the Indians of the 
upper village at the Rapids. His Indian name was Qua-ke-zik. Vol. 30, P. 180 Mich. 
Pio. & Hist. Colls. 



410 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

pared the communion. She was active in church missionary work 
and charities and there were certain families that she aided sub- 
stantially for a generation. 

The Buchanan children were taught the old-fashioned religion of 
simple faith, and were required to read the Bible through from 
cover to cover, three chapters every week day, five every Sunday. 
Cards and dancing were rigidly tabooed in those days but only a 
few years rolled around before the dancing master put in an ap- 
pearance. He won out first with the women and children and 
then with the men. Cards followed; then the theatre and finally 
it would have been considered an educational omission not to have 
seen Booth, Barrett or Modjeska act Shakespeare. 

Mrs. Buchanan was a student of Shakespeare for about twenty- 
five years, until the time of her death. Her study, was thorough and 
systematic. 'She was a member of the Shakespeariana in Grand 
Rapids for twenty-three years and she wrote on a wide variety of 
subjects relating to Shakespeare leaving a large number of papers 
on this subject. 

She was also a charter member of the Ladies' Literary Society 
of Grand Kapids and, for many years, seldom missed a Saturday 
afternoon at their fine club house. In the Old Settlers' Associa- 
tion of Grand Rapids she was an active and life long member. She 
always attended their annual meetings in the winter at the Morton 
House and seldom missed their summer meetings at Reed's Lake. 
Mrs. Buchanan also was a member of the Daughters of the Ameri- 
can Revolution, Sophie de Marsac Campau Chapter of Grand 
Rapids. On founders' day in 1909 she read an interesting and able 
paper on the life, personality and character of "Sophie de Marsac 
Campau, Gentlewoman." 8 

Mr. Buchanan deeded the homestead to Mrs. Buchanan when 
he went to the War. He never took it back. She proved herself the 
financier of the family. Later she converted the house into a double 
flat, occupying the larger side where she had room for her family 
and to spare, for she was fond of company. She was a tireless, al- 
most indefatigable worker in everything she undertook and was 
active up to her last sickness. She took roomers and boarders, when 
times were hard and business dull. While rearing and educating 
her children she taught her three boys to work and not to be 
ashamed of it, to hustle for the dollar from their early boyhood. 

8 This article is printed in volume 38, Mich. Pioneer and Historical Collections, pp. 
64-69. 



SOPHIA HASCAL BUCHAKAN 411 

She kept tight hold of the old home and property and when she 
passed on, she passed it intact to her children. In this house was 
celebrated, May 1, 1859, the first golden wedding in the town, that 
of Rev. and Mrs. Abel Bingham. 



412 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



ALBERT AND WILLIAM TOOLEY. 1 

BY WILLIAM P. VAN WINKLE. 2 

ALBERT AND WILLIAM TOOLEY, brothers, were typical 
Michigan pioneers and belonged to that body of early set- 
tlers without whom the Michigan of today would be a dream. 

Their homes were on the Grand River Road between Detroit 
and Lansing just east of Howell. The location was conspicuous 
but their individualities were more conspicuous still. Albert was 
the older and the stronger character, unassuming but positive, al- 
ways a leader rather than a follower. 

They were both born in Wayne County, New York; Albert on 
May 8, 1820 and William, August 23, 1823. They came to Michi- 
gan and settled on adjoining farms on sections four and nine. 
Township of Genoa, Livingston County. Albert came in 1841 and 
his brother three years later. Their residence was continuous on 
these farms until their death, with the exception that Albert lived 
in Howell for a few months. William died March 2, 1909, being 
nearly eighty-six years old and Albert died on February 12, 1910, 
within a few weeks of his ninetieth birthday. 

Their span of life covered a period of almost a century. When 
they were born, James Monroe was president of the United States, 
its fifth president, and the United States had a population of less 
than ten million. Thus they lived to see this country grow from 
ten million to eighty million population. 

Albert was eight years old when the first white man settled in 
Livingston County. He was thirteen when the first white child 
was born in the County; and was seventeen when Michigan became 
a state. 

The Tooley brothers lived to see the sail boat and the crude 
steamship replaced by the floating steam-propelled palace capable 
of carrying the entire population of a small city across the At- 

a Read at the annual meeting in June, 1912. 

2 William P. Van Winkle was born on a farm in the Township of Putnam, Living- 
ston County, Michigan, August 2, 1858. He taught in the country schools during the 
winters and worked on a farm summers from 1875 to 1882. In 1881 he graduated 
from Law Department of University of Michigan and was married in 1884. He has 
practiced law in Howell, Mich., since October, 1886, where he was prosecuting attorney 
for four years, from 1887 to 1900. Since 1904 he has been president of First State 
and Savings Bank of Howell, Michigan, and the president of the Brighton State Bank, 
Brighton, Michigan, since 1910. He is still actively engaged in the practice of law. 



ALBERT AND WILLIAM TOOLEY 413 

lantic in five days. They saw the ox team give way to the horse- 
less carriage. They lived to witness the harnessing of the lighting 
to serve mankind in ten thousand different ways. They saw more 
progress during these eighty-five and ninety years than they would 
have seen had they lived a thousand years at some periods of the 
w r orld's history. 

Both were members of the "Livingston County Pioneer Associa- 
tion" organized September 27, 1871; and Albert was the survivor 
of the original founders of that organization. He was also the lead- 
ing spirit of the association and its secretary and treasurer from 
its beginning to the time of his death. 

Col. Solomon Peterson was the first white settler in Livingston 
County and he came in 1828. He settled on the banks of Portage 
Creek in the southern part of the county, where he remained two 
years the only white man in the county and he was a bachelor. The 
second white person to settle in the county came in 1830. 

I have enjoyed the acquaintance of many of those who came be- 
tween 1830 and 1850, and have heard many accounts of the real 
pioneer life in Michigan. 

In Livingston County for forty-three years, from the first settle- 
ment to 1871, the stage coach and wagon drawn by oxen or horses 
were the only means whereby its inhabitants had communication 
with the rest of the world. The first railroad was built in 1871. 

The Tooley brothers came to their pioneer home in the Michigan 
forest at the age of twenty-one years and for seventy years kept 
up their activities. I have pased their homes frequently and have 
seen Albert, then 85 to 88 years of age, plowing, cultivating and 
actually performing all sorts of active farm work. It has been said 
to me by one of my respected seniors that a good time for a man 
to die is when he had finished his work. 

Few men plow and sow, reap and mow after they are eighty years 
of age, as they did. They were men who took the bitter with the 
sweet, mingled joy and grief, and out of the whole brought forth 
smiles and thankfulness, counting their mercies rather than dwell- 
ing on such misfortunes as came to them. 

These men as typical pioneers of Livingston County, sought for 
true success, and therefore did not seek ease. They knew that suc- 
cess comes only to those who lead the life of endeavor. 

Henry VanDyke says "Life does not consist merely in reaching 
the goal but in enjoying the journey on the way." 

These men did both and left conditions better than they found 
them. 



414 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Here is their creed as I see it from their lives, expressed in the 
language of the poet: 

will start anew this morning with a higher, fairer creed ; 

will cease to stand complaining of my ruthless brother's greed ; 

will cease to sit repining while my duty's call is clear ; 

will waste no moment whining and my heart shall know no fear. 

will look sometimes about me for the things that merit praise ; 
will search for hidden beauties that elude the grumblers gaze ; 
will try to find contentment in the paths that I must tread ; 
will cease to have resentment when another moves ahead. 

will not be swayed by envy when my rivals strength is shown ; 
will not deny his merit, but I'll try to prove my own ; 
will try to see the beauty spread before me, rain or shine ; 
will cease to preach your duty and be more concerned with mine." 



MELVJN D. 08BASD 415 



MELVIN D. OSBAND.' 

BY MRS. NELLIE OSBAND BALDWIN. 2 

MELVIN DURFEE OSBAND during his long life, saw our 
beautiful state literally carved out of the primeval wilder- 
ness. 

He was born at Palmyra, New York, April 22nd, 1824, and the 
next year in October, 1825, his parents bade farewell to civilization 
and came "way out west to Michigan." They came by way of the 
Erie Canal, portaging their goods seven miles around the unfinished 
part at Lockport. Thence they embarked on the steamboat Pioneer 
for Detroit, where they arrived after having spent one week in 
covering the five hundred miles. 

At this time John Q. Adams was President of the United States 
and Lewis Cass, territorial governor of Michigan. Detroit had 
then not quite two thousand inhabitants, and was surrounded by 
virgin forests. Indeed, there was not a single civil settlement be- 
tween it and Puget Sound. 

Sixteen miles from this little country village Mr. Osband grew 
to manhood, experiencing the deprivations incidental to life on 
the frontier. 

The first Osband came over from England in the good ship, Eliza- 
beth, in 1637, the year of the Pequot War. At the breaking out 
of the Revolution, Melvin Durfee Osband's grandfather, Weaver 
Osband of Tiverton, R. I., enlisted in the patriot army and served 
seven years, becoming ensign. He never applied for a pension he 
said he fought for his country, not for a pension. This ancestor, 



*Read at the annual meeting in June, 1913. 

2 Nellie Osband Baldwin, only daughter of Melvin D. Osband, subject of this sketch, 
was born in Lansing, Mich., in 1865, was graduated from the Lansing High School, 
class of 1883. 

In 1885 she was married to Frank A. Baldwin, manufacturer of Grand Rapids, 
Mich., since 1889. 

Two sons, now actively engaged in business with their father, took the engineering 
course at the University of Michigan, the elder, (Class of 1908), receiving his diploma 
from the same hand as did his father 31 years before, that of President James B. 
Angell. 

Besides home making Mrs. Baldwin has kept pace with the trend of modern life. 
She is identified with the Ladies Literary Club, the Social Welfare Association, Young 
Womans' Christian Association, Equal Franchise Club, District Nursing Association, 
and other philanthropic movements which meet the present day demands. She is also 
a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Michigan State Pioneer 
and Historical Society. 

Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin have developed a love of travel and besides viewing the 
wonders of our own United States, have spent many months in Mexico, Cuba, Egypt, 
Palestine, Turkey and Europe, and upon their return from any journey, Mrs. Baldwin 
has been often called upon for "travel-talks." 



416 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Ensign Osband, emigrated to Palmyra, N. Y., in 1791, becoming a 
pioneer in that state. His son, William Osband, father of the sub- 
ject of this sketch, inheriting the "wanderlust" or pioneer spirit 
of his father, emigrated to Michigan in 1825. 

When Melvin Osband was but a youth his hip became dislocated, 
the result of a fall, and in consequence his life work was clerical 
which fortunately accorded with his tastes. He early developed a 
love for reading and books were not easily obtained in those days. 
One winter while attending college in Detroit, he went without an 
overcoat and used the money to obtain some coveted books, other- 
wise beyond his means. An education he was determined to secure 
and he never ceased to be a student. He had a most retentive mem- 
ory and a mind stored with useful information, so that in his last 
twenty years there flocked to him for help in school work, not only 
his own grandchildren, but other men's grandchildren, to all of 
whom he was "Grandpa." He was never so happy as when search- 
ing out some fact in history, some Indian legend, some poem, some 
quotation, some cause and its effect for the school boys and girls in 
the neighborhood. One grandson gave his authority as "Grandpa 
or the Standard Dictionary." Another said that everyone should 
profit by his example and use as careful judgment in selecting his 
grandfather. Nor were the children the only ones who came to 
this fountain of knowledge. Women in charge of literary clubs 
were indebted to Mr. Osband for much rich material which went 
into their papers. A neighbor once said "To the children, Grand- 
pa is a benediction and to the grown-ups he is a continuous lesson, 
proving that a person may be old in years, yet ever young." 

He dearly loved the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society, 
which he joined in 1884. He attended each annual meeting until 
1904 when, much to his regret, his strength was inadequate. He 
justified his membership by contributing generously to Volumes 
4, 8, 14, 22, 28, 29, and 32 of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical 
Collections. These contributions of knowledge at first hand are 
not only authentic but are pleasant reading, expressed in good Eng- 
lish and written in an entertaining style. Mr. Osband's "Recollec- 
tions of Pioneers and Pioneer Life in Nankin," in Volume 14, is 
particularly interesting. While his account deals with individuals 
of local fame, his description of the manner of living at that date 
is typical of any frontier life in the United States. 

Mr. Osband moved to Lansing in 1857, in advance of the rail- 
road or telegraph. In 1859 he married Helen M. Hoskins, daugh- 
ter of Dr. Thomas Hoskins of Scio, Michigan. A son and daugh- 



MELVIN D. OSBAND 417 

ter were' born to them, of which only the latter (Mrs. F. A. Bald- 
win of Grand Rapids), survives and with whom Mr. Osband made 
his home after the death of his wife in 1892. 

In personal habits, Mr. Osband was an example of purity. It 
might be said of him as was said of Abraham Lincoln, "of liquors 
he did not know the taste." He never used tobacco. 

In his youth he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, but 
during the anti-slavery agitation, he withdrew from that organi- 
zation, became an abolitionist, and threw his influence with the 
Wesleyans. In 1857 he moved to Lansing, taking a letter from 
this church. Because his theological ideas had changed and be- 
came broader, this letter was not presented for many years, for 
well the holder of it knew that in the '50s, '60s, and even the '70s, 
the door of every orthodox church would be closed against him. 
At that time any man who indulged in individual views of his own, 
no matter how pure his life and upright his purpose, was kept 
without the fold. He must conform to certain prescribed rules of 
belief drawn up and crystalized by churchmen centuries before. 
When Mr. Osband went to Grand Rapids he was most heartily wel- 
comed to the fellowship of Park Congregational Church by the 
Reverend Dan F. Bradley, pastor. He, at this time, paid his wife 
the highest possible tribute. She was a member of a strict church, 
and Mr. Osband always attended worship with her, so regularly 
that even his children supposed him to be a member. Upon mak- 
ing his home in Grand Rapids he said to his daughter, "I would 
like to affiliate with some church consonant with my ideas. For 
thirty years I have sat under preaching, with which I had no sym- 
pathy." 

The changes he had witnessed in his eighty-seven years read 
almost like a tale from the Arabian Nights. The world made his- 
tory in those eighty-seven years. 

Here are a few excerpts copied from his papers: 

"I have lived through four financial panics, in '37, '57, '73 and 
'93. I was thirteen years old when Queen Victoria was crowned 
in 1837. Six weeks elapsed before the news reached New York by 
means of sailing vessels, and still later was the news received in 
Michigan. At her death in 1901, the news was known from Maine 
to California or Hong Kong in less than an hour. Science has 
revolutionized, not only the methods in the mechanical world, but 
has invaded the realm of thought as well. 

"In my boyhood, we all thought we knew the age of the world 
and of its people. We were taught it was about six thousand 
53 



418 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

years old, and six days were required to create our planet and 
prepare it for human habitation. I was always taught that I was 
a body and had a soul about me somewhere. The idea that the 
universe was governed by uniform laws, I never heard suggested. 
None of God's laws were thought to be so sacred that they might 
not be suspended to secure results not otherwise provided for ! The 
thought seems strange now, in the light of modern research, but 
good and intelligent men believed it then, and anybody who re- 
jected any of these dogmas was deemed heterodox. 

"When Spencer's and Darwin's theory of evolution was thrust 
upon an unwilling public it took the thinking world some years to 
rearrange its ideas and determine where it stood. Persons whose 
years reach back to the time when this theory was launched upon 
the world need not be reminded of the storm it created, nor its 
fury. Scientists fought it and proclaimed its absurdity, and pul- 
pits throughout the land thundered their anathemas at the men 
whose theories they charged, were trying to eliminate God from 
the Universe, by substituting a system of laws. The storm was not 
of long duration however. 

"The horse that in my boyhood days had held the prestige of 
greatest speed in travel from prehistoric times, was dethroned by 
the steam cars in the early thirties, when the railroad first ap- 
peared; then by the bicycle, and now by the automobile. Electric- 
ity, which I remember as only a plaything, is today carrying our 
news, lighting our homes, propelling our cars, and allowing us to 
talk with our friends in a distant city. 

"I well remember the first political telegram ever sent. It was 
sent by the National Convention held at Baltimore, which nomi- 
nated James K. Polk for president in 1844, to Washington forty 
miles away. An answer, received two hours later was treated as a 
hoax. It was not believed possible that a reply from Washington 
could be received at Baltimore so quickly. It was rejected and a 
messenger dispatched with relays, who returned next day and con- 
firmed the truthfulness of the telegram of the day before. 

"I remember when 'Uncle Sam' charged twenty-five cents for 
carrying a letter, which we had to take to the post office, probably 
several miles away. I have known pioneers in an early day to 
leave a letter for weeks in the post office because the missive was 
not prepaid and the recipient had not the twenty-five cents to 
spare. Now, our government brings the letter to our own door for 
two cents. 

"Friction matches came into use in the middle thirties, but they 



MELVIN D. OSBAXD 419 

were only to be used in cases of great necessity, and they had to be 
drawn between two pieces of sandpaper. 

"In the forties, came rubber over shoes and they were made of 
the pure gum, which was carefully stretched over the shoe. 

"Malaria which was prevalent in Michigan, has passed with the 
destruction of the mosquito and anesthetics have robbed the sur- 
geon's knife of its terrors. 

"All of these betterments that I have mentioned, and many more 
have appeared within my own recollection. There is no indication 
that the last has arrived. The field of our investigation is infinite 
and you of the younger generation are destined to witness ad- 
vances to which the old pioneers were strangers. 

"May the blessing of God be upon you all!" 

This is a part of a paper read to a group of friends gathered 
to celebrate my father's eighty-sixth birthday in 1910. This birth- 
day party was an annual custom. The friends gathered for one 
birthday more his eighty-seventh. 

I believe our beautiful state of Michigan is richer and better for 
father's life and work and his readiness with the pen has given this 
and future generations an idea of what it costs to build a state 
out of a primeval forest. 

His large library of carefully selected books, with passages 
marked and insertions made, will be a constant reminder to his 
friends, who were ever invited to use them freely, and to his chil- 
dren and grandchildren, that "Grandpa" Osband still lives and 
loves. 



420 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



TIMOTHY EASTMAN, M. D. 1 

BY MARY EASTMAN BRIDGES. 

TIMOTHY EASTMAN, youngest child of Timothy and Abigail 
Gale Eastman, was born January 17, 1798, at East Kingston, 
Kockingham County, New Hampshire. He was a graduate 
of Dartmouth College and studied medicine with Professor Ingals 
of Boston, receiving his diploma in 1822 at the age of 24. Soon 
after this he became the assistant of a leading physician in Port- 
land, Maine. In 1825 he married Mary Jane Barker, one of the 
thirteen children of Thomas and Sarah Ayers Barker, of Portland, 
Maine! 

In the spring of 1835 conditions favored the fulfillment of Dr. 
Eastman's boyhood dreams and he started for the West, going as 
far as Buffalo, N. Y., by the Erie Canal and there taking passage 
in a sailing vessel for Detroit. He traveled through Michigan by 
stage, horseback and by birch-bark canoe. Soon after his arrival 
at Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Dr. Eastman made a trip of in- 
spection through the surrounding country, which resulted in the 
purchase of land about twenty miles east of Grand Haven, on the 
north bank of Grand River. He also built a house for his family 
in Grand Haven. 

In August, 1835, Mrs. Eastman and their five young children 
joined him. The house in Grand Haven was burned in December, 
1841, and early in the spring of 1842 the family moved to the farm 
up the river. Some rough improvements had been made there, and 
the place was called Scranton. 

Four years later, in 1845, during the administration of James 
K. Polk. 2 Dr. Eastman organized the town of Polkton, and named 
it in honor of the President. Later a village was planted on the 
bank of the river, and was named Eastmanville. As the county 
became settled Dr. Eastman's professional services were in demand 
far and near, necessitating for him long journeys through the for- 
ests on horseback and afoot. 



ir This article Is an abstract of a longer article in regard to the life of Dr. Timothy 
Eastman written by his daughter, Mary Eastman Bridges, born in Polktown, Ottawa 
county, Michigan, in 1844, and now a resident of San Francisco, California. The 
original paper was read before the Historical Society at Lansing in June, 1912. 

President of the U. S. from 1845-1849. 



TIMOTHY EASTMAN, M. D. 421 

He was deeply interested in developing the agricultural resources 
of Michigan and was chiefly instrumental in organizing the Ottawa 
County Agricultural Society in 1856. His opening address before 
this Society was the first to be delivered in that part of the coun- 
try in such a cause. 

The local political organization was a matter of much concern 
to Dr. Eastman. He was the first County Clerk of Ottawa County, 3 
and upon the organization of the county court he was elected 
Judge, continuing to hold this office as long as it existed. He was 
familiarly known as "Judge Eastman." Michigan became a state 
in 1837. In 1850 a new Constitution was 'ramed, and the laws 
were revised. Dr. Eastman was an honored and efficient member 
of the Constitutional Convention which served the State at that 
time. Later he purchased the Grand River Times, finding in its 
editorial pages opportunity for expressing valuable ideas for the 
public welfare. In politics Dr. Eastman was "strongly rooted and 
grounded" in the Democratic faith. 

For many years Dr. Eastman was the only physician in the 
surrounding country, but in the course of time when younger men 
came about, he gradually withdrew from practice and was found 
in the sick room only in consultation. The following tribute was 
paid him by one of his patients: 

"He was a man of fine physical bearing and temperament, capa- 
ble of enduring a great amount of physical labor, of a large power- 
ful frame and of commanding presence and dignity, indeed, per- 
sonally he had few compeers. Added to his natural dignity was 
the culture of the scholar and the grace and polish of the gentle- 
man. What wonder that his presence in the sickroom, be it hut, 
shanty or the more comfortable apartments of village or city 
residence, assured the patient of confidence and hope." 

As the country was cleared and it became easier to take up 
varied interests, Dr. Eastman devoted his time to the improvement 
and cultivation of his farm, making a beautiful spot of his ter- 
raced garden on the river bank, with its fruit trees, berry bushes 
and strawberry bed. His children were systematically tutored by 
both father and mother, until a good school could be opened. In 
1833 a family portrait of Dr. and Mrs. Eastman and four children 
was done in oil during their residence in Maine; in 1853 an am- 
brotype of the entire family, father, mother and nine children, was 
made. These pictures are still preserved in the family. 

3 Ottawa county was organized and the circuit court established in 1837. 



422 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

In 1858 Dr. Eastman prepared a genealogical account of the East- 
man family in America. It was a source of regret to him that he 
could not make this more complete, but others have carried on the 
work. 

Dr. Eastman died February 21, 1868. 



WILLIAM PUTNAM. 423 



WILLIAM PUTNAM. 1 

WILLIAM PUTNAM was born June 21, 1823, in Sharon, 
Schoharie County, New York. In 1826 the family moved 
to Batavia, Genesee County, New York, where his boyhood 
was spent. In 1839, when he was sixteen years of age his mother 
died and the family was broken up and scattered. Having no 
home, he accepted the opportunity to learn the gunsmith trade 
and served as an apprentice until twenty-one years of age. He 
worked at that business long enough to earn money for schooling. 

In March, 1841, he united by baptism with the Baptist church 
in Batavia, and became a teacher in the Sunday school before he 
was 18 years old. In 1845 he was licensed by the church to preach 
and in October of that year commenced his work in the ministry 
with the Baptist church in East Pembroke, six miles from his child- 
hood home. There he was publicly ordained to the work of the 
Christian ministry in 1848. He subsequently served as pastor 
successfully at Shelby, Kendall, Waverly and Lyons, in New York. 

While he was at Lyons the Civil War broke out and in August, 
1862, he enlisted as volunteer in the 160th Regiment, New York 
Infantry, where he served two and one-half years as private and 
chaplain. After the war he moved, in 1867, to Michigan, and 
preached successively at Mason, Plymouth, Howell, Unadilla and 
Oaylord. At each of these places he organized the church and was 
the first pastor. 

While in northern Michigan he served three years as member and 
secretary of the county board of school examiners; five years as 
township health officer ; two years as register of deeds ; eight years 
as notary public and six years as postmaster, besides holding some 
other minor offices. 

In 1892 he made his home in Lansing and, in that year was 
elected chaplain of Charles T. Foster Post, G. A. R., which position 
he continuously filled until 1913, a period of twenty-two years. He 
was elected chaplain of the Department of Michigan G. A. R. in 
1902 and held this office continuously until 1913. He was also 

iRead at the annual meeting in June, 1913. 



424 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

chaplain of the Michigan Commandery of the Loyal Legion from 
1907 until 1913, a period of six years. 

At the time of his death he was over 89 years of age; indeed he 
lacked but 49 days of his ninetieth birthday. 



CHARLES EMMETT BARNES 425 



CHARLES EMMETT BARNES. 

CHARLES EMMETT BARNES was born at South Byron, Gene- 
va see County, New York, on the nineteenth day of June, in the 
year eighteen hundred and forty-eight. He was married to 
Irma Ellen Gore at West Leroy, Calhoun County, Michigan, on the 
sixth day of November, in the year eighteen hundred and seventy- 
nine. He departed from this life at his home in Battle Creek, 
Michigan, on the seventeenth day of October, in the year nineteen 
hundred and eleven. Charles Emmett Barnes was the fifth son of 
Hamilton Douglas and Elanor Wilsey Barnes. When eight years 
of age he came with his parents to Battle Creek, Michigan. 

When seventeen years of age he entered the office of the Weekly 
Journal for the purpose of learning the printing trade. He was 
connected with this paper for six years, when he spent a year in 
the West, and returned to his former position, that of foreman in 
the news room. Soon after this the Daily Journal was started. 
He became its city editor, and increased his newspaper work by 
corresponding for Detroit and Chicago papers. 

In 1877 he started the Daily News but, discontinuing it that 
same year, in company with George W. Buckley he bought the 
Michigan Tribune from the owners, Woolnough and Bordine. Three 
years later he disposed of his interest to his partner and purchased 
the Reed City Clarion. After four years of successful newspaper 
work in northern Michigan, he returned to Battle Creek, 

With Eugene Glass as a partner, he established the Sunday Morn- 
ing Call. In 1886 this paper was sold to a stock company made 
up of members of the Knights of Labor. A daily, weekly and Sun- 
day edition was published with Mr. Barnes as president and editor. 

In 1887 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Labor for 
the State of Michigan and, resigning his newspaper position, he 
went to Lansing where he lived for four years. 

Returning to this city, he began the publication of the Michigan 
Patriot,, selling it in one year's time. 

Then for nine years he was connected with the Daily Moon and 
for one year with the Journal. 

In the last five years of his life his writings consisted of feature 
stories for local and metropolitan papers and magazine articles 



426 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

along Nature lines. Birds and Nature, The Outing, Sports Afield, 
The Outer's Book, Field un& Stream, St. Nicholas, Scientific News, 
The Scientific American, Technical World, The Michigan Farmer, 
Michigan Tradesman and Good Health were among those that con- 
tained an occasional article from his pen. 

He was a student of social questions, and at one time served two 
years as State Master Workman of the Knights of Labor. 

Fraternities and clubs always appealed to him and during his 
life he was at various times actively identified with the Odd Fel- 
lows, Patriarchs' Encampment, Daughters of Kebekah, Improved 
Order of Red Men and the National Union. He was a Past Noble 
Grand of the Odd Fellows, and was initiated into the order Feb. 
2, 1870. In the early days he was a member of the old volunteer 
fire department of Battle Creek and for many years was one of 
its most valiant workers. 

He was also a charter member of the Waupakisco club, the Con- 
versational club and the Nature club of the city and had held 
offices at times in them all. 

In early life his attention was turned to the study of antiquities, 
especially the Mound Builders, the Indians, geology, mineralogy 
and numismatology. He possessed a large collection of specimens 
along these lines. 

In later life his greatest happiness was found in Nature study. 
The great desire of his heart was to awaken in others an apprecia- 
tion of the beauties of the outdoor world and with this end in 
view he worked for the organization and maintenance of the Na- 
ture club. 

It became his keen delight, in company with genial friends from 
this club, to take long walks across open fields, along winding 
streams, beneath leafy bowers and through wooded tracts. 

A dinner cooked over an open fire or a luncheon spread by a 
natural stream of cold water was to him more inviting than the 
most delicious viands or nectar ever served at a conventional feast. 

While not a believer in dogmatic creeds, he thoroughly believed 
in a Divine plan running through all things. 

His favorite quotation was Shakespeare's words: "Tongues in 
trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones and good in 
everything." 

The delineation of a character which he put into a story that he 
wrote some years ago, faithfully described his own innate qualities 
of mind: 



CHARLES EMMETT BARNES 427 

"He saw beauty in the flowers, the trees, the birds ; symmetry in 
the snow-flake and the crystal. He read history in the rocks. He 
saw lace-work superior to human skill in the dragon-fly's wing, as 
well as Nature's carving in the walnut burl and the agate. He 
recognized art in the setting sun; social and industrial co-opera- 
tion in the life of ants; engineering in the beaver's dam and me- 
chanics in the construction of the bird's nest. Dewdrops were gems 
to him, while the humming of insects and the zephyrs playing 
among the trees was music to his ears." 



428 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 



HENRY H. STAFFORD. 

HENRY H. STAFFORD, first mayor of Marquette, Michigan, 
died April 26, 1911, at the home of his son, Walter K. Staf- 
ford, 32 Richardson Street, in Newton, Massachusetts, where 
he had been living since 1900. 

Mr. Stafford was born in Boston in 1833 and spent his early life 
about Boston and Provincetown. He became engaged in the drug- 
gist business in 1850, connecting himself with the firm of Joseph 
Kidder. He remained with this firm until his marriage in 1856 to 
Mr. Kidder's daughter, Catherine L., a member of one of the lead- 
ing families of Boston. The couple removed to Marquette, Michigan. 

In that city he established the first drug store. He was elected 
the first mayor of the city and served in the Michigan legislature 
from that district during the '70s. He became active in politics 
during the administration of Lincoln, under whom he served as 
register of the U. S. land office. Under subsequent administrations 
he became receiver for the same office. He was also interested in 
mining projects. 

He was a member of the lodge of Masons and Lake Superior coin- 
mandery, K. T., of Marquette. 

He is survived by five sons, Edward O., of Marquette ; Walter K., 
of Newton; Charles M., of Minneapolis; Henry L., of Duluth; and 
Morgan H., of Newton. The interment was in Marquette. 



JEAN BAPTISTE PARRI8IEN 429 



JEAN BAPTISTE PARRISIEN. 

JEAN BAPTISTE PARRISIEN the pioneer trader and vogageur, 
of whom a great deal was written in the newspapers during 
the last years of his life, died at his home in Grand Haven, 
Mich., September 9th, 1912. He was supposed to be 103 years old 
and most of his life was spent in Michigan. At the time of his 
death, the Hon. C. W. Cotton, mayor of Grand Haven, issued the 
following proclamation : 

By the death of Jean Baptiste Parrisien, the city of Grand Haven has lost 
one of its most valued citizens. Not only was he the oldest living inhabitant 
of our city, but he alone was the connecting link between the Present and 
the Past our present civilization and the day of the pioneer. 

For generations he has been pointed out to us and to our children as an 
example of honesty and integrity, and now that he has gone it is proper and 
fitting that the citizens of the city should show that respect due one whose 
life has been of such great benefit. 

Therefore I would recommend that all the flags in the city be at half mast 
during the funeral and as many as possible accompany the remains to the 
last resting place. 

C. W. COTTON, Mayor. 

A short time before the death of this old pioneer the Grand 
Rapids Evening Press, in its issue of September 3, published the 
following account of his life as told by himself, in an interview 
with the Grand Haven correspondent of that paper: 

Of all the residents of western Michigan it is doubtful if there is 
one who can recall more of its history than Jean Baptiste Par- 
risien now a resident of Grand Haven, and the reason Parrisien 
can recall so much more of the history than others is because he 
has lived in western Michigan longer than any of them, his present 
age being 103 years. 

Besides the honors accruing to him from a historical standpoint 
Jean Baptiste Parrisien has the honor of having built himself a 
monument which will survive the markers in the cemetery, for 
Jean Baptiste Parrisien's monument, strange as it may seem, is 
the Grandville road which leads from that village to the city of 
Grand Rapids. 

Parrisien formerly was a resident of Grand Rapids, which city 
he called his home for twenty-five years. During that time, and 



430 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

previously, he was an employe of Louis Campau, the fur trader who 
played such a prominent part in the early history of the Furni- 
ture city. He knew Richard Godfroy and nearly all of the other 
men who were responsible for the stability of the early village of 
Grand Rapids. 

ARRIVED AT GRAND HAVEN IN 1835. 

Parrisien, who is a Chippewa Indian, came to Grand Haven in' 
1835 with Louis Campau and Richard Godfroy from Mackinaw, 
where the first treaty with the Indians had been held. They came 
in boats with money for the Indians, this money being from the 
United States government. 

When the party arrived in Grand Haven, Parrisien decided to re- 
main for the time being. The year following he carried the first 
mail ever carried between Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, blazing 
the trail, which led through Rosy Mound, then straight to Grand- 
ville, thence to Grand Rapids. This trail afterwards became the 
Grandville road. 

For five years Jean Baptiste Parrisien carried the mail twice a 
week to Grand Rapids. In those days he was a perfect type of 
Indian of the Chippewa tribe. He was more than six feet tall and 
was as straight as an arrow. Those who saw him as he went about 
through the woods, clad in his blanket and moccasins and with his 
hatchet in his belt, thought of the mighty warriors of old who first 
possessed the land. 

Jean's position was always one of trust. Always to be depended 
upon, he was sent on foot on many important commissions. At one 
time he was sent by a Mr. Albee, of Grand Haven to carry f 6,000 
to a man in St. Joseph. 

"How will you carry so much money, Jean ?" said Mr. Albee. 

"I will roll it up in my blanket and strap it on my back." 

"What have you to protect yourself against the foe if you meet 
any?" 

"I have my jackknife and my two fists." 

"I am afraid that would not be forceful enough. You would 
better take this pistol." 

"All right, Mr. Albee," said Jean. "I will to please you; but I 
never carried a pistol in my life." 

CLEVER PLAN SAVES CASH. 

The last night before arriving in St. Joseph Jean stopped at a 
small hotel. The office or barroom was filled with a rough lot of 




JEAN BAPTISTE PARRISIENNE. 



JEAN BAPTISTE PARRISIEN 431 

men. Jean went in and carelessly threw his blanket containing 
the money into a corner of the room to avert suspicion. Then he 
asked at the desk for some supper and a room for the night. He 
sat around until about 9 o'clock, then was shown to his room. 
Jean, in relating the affair, said: 

kk l left my old blanket in the corner of the room. That, you see, 
was part of my game ; but I could not sleep. The noise kept up all 
night. I was worried about the money. So finally I arose and 
went down to the office. I saw my bag was there still. I strap- 
ped it upon my back and started on my journey. At the end of 
four days I was at home again, after having safely deposited the 
money with the man in St. Joseph." 

Jean Baptiste later went to live in Grand Rapids with Louis 
Campau and for twenty-five years he was with Campau buying furs 
and helping in the store. He was much thought of by Mr. Cam- 
pau's whole family and lived with them most of the time while in 
the city. 

GETS A NEW SHIRT. 

Upon one of Jean's return trips from buying furs from the In- 
dians Mrs. Campau said, "Why, Jean, you have spoiled your white 
shirt. When you come up this evening from the store bring some 
blue calico and I will make you a shirt suitable for tramping 
through the woods with the Indians." 

Thomas Gilbert was later engaged by the state government to 
make a road from the trail which Jean blazed through Grandville. 
Seeing Jean on the street soon after its completion Mr. Gilbert 
said, "Well, Jean, the road is finished." 

"That's good, Tom; I'm glad that you are through with it!" 

"I did not make the road, Jean." 

"No, I suppose not; you just bossed the job." 

"No, I did not make the road, Jean." 

"Who did then, Tom?" 

"You did Jean." 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas D. Gilbert proved life-long friends of Jean 
Baptiste Parrisien, never failing to call upon him whenever they 
came to Grand Haven. About a week before Mrs. Gilbert's death 
she, while in Grand Haven with a party of friends, called upon 
Jean at his home. She asked the members of the party to kneel 
with her and repeat the Lord's prayer, which they did. 

Old Jean, with the tears streaming down his furrowed face, said, 
"Mrs. Gilbert was one of the best friends I ever had." 



432 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Jean lived in Michigan long before it became a state. Nearly 
all his life has been spent in it. He voted for Gov. Mason, its first 
governor after it became a state. He is looking forward this fall 
to again cast his vote with the Republican party. 

It is very thrilling to hear Jean describe the first pay day in 
Mackinaw. When the great boats came steaming up the harbor 
carrying to the fort barrels of money with which to pay the In- 
dians it was a very picturesque scene, the Indians standing around 
in their Indian garb. Jean was among that number, but he did 
not receive any money ; he was too young they told him. 

"I may live to be old enough to need some of this money," said 
Jean. 

Jean married in Mackinaw. Several children were born. Jean 
at present lives in a little house by himself, but near that of his 
daughter, his wife having been dead several years. He is honored 
and respected in the city by all who know him; a lone survivor 
of the early history of Grand Haven. 

PICTURE IN CORNERSTONE. 

Jean took an active part when Senator William Alden Smith 
dedicated the new postoffice. His picture was placed in the corner- 
stone with a lot of historical data. 

It has been many years since old Jean Baptiste Parrisien, 
voyageur and trader, trudged through forests, plodded across the 
lands of the beautiful Grand River valley and struggled through 
the marshes carrying the first mail between the young settlements 
of Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, but the memory of those days 
still lingers fresh in his mind and nothing pleases him more than 
to discuss them. 

His hearing and sight are not as sharp as in the old days, but 
he is still a well preserved man. As he walks about the town in 
his quiet, dignified manner, straight as an arrow and just slightly 
leaning on his cane, one can hardly believe him to be one hundred 
and three years old. 



REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIERS OF 
OAKLAND COUNTY. 

By 

LILLIAN DRAKE AVERY. 

55 



REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIERS OF OAKLAND 
COUNTY. 1 

BY LILLIAN DRAKE AVERY. 2 

FT1HERE is, perhaps, no section of this state where so great a 
JL number of the soldiers of the Revolution have settled, as in 
Oakland County. Certainly in no other county of Michigan 
have so many of their names and burial places been noted. 

The General Richardson chapter, Daughters of the American 
Revolution, has succeeded in reviving the memory of these men 
and has placed markers on the graves of twenty-two. This 
chapter will continue the work until all whose last resting places 
can be found shall be suitably marked. Where there were no head- 
stones, government markers have been obtained and placed. 

JAMES GRAHAM. 

The first permanent white settler to plant his home in Oakland 
County, was a Revolutionary soldier, whose father, a Scotch-Irish 
gentleman, came to Pennsylvania several years previous to the 
Revolution. His Dutch neighbors called him "Grimes," and his 
enlistment is recorded under that name. 

James, born in 1749, was one of a large family, and there is a 
tradition that when he emigrated to America he sold himself, as 
was customary, into service to a physician of New York City, to 
pay the necessary passage-money hither. After the term of his 
services expired the war was on and he enlisted, April 15, 1777, 
for one year in Captain Hewitt's company, Colonel Dennison's regi- 
ment, of Connecticut troops, and he served in that company until 



J Read at the annual meeting June, 1911. 

2 Mrs. Lillian Drake Avery was born November 22, 1856, at Farmington. She was 
graduated at the high school at Chelsea. For three years Miss Drake taught school at 
Farmington, until she married (October 22, 1879) Dr. A. B. Avery, a schoolmate at 
the Chelsea high school, and a graduate of the University of Michigan, medical de- 
partment. In 1885, Dr. and Mrs. Avery moved to Pontiac, where Dr. Avery died in 
1911, and where Mrs. Avery still resides. In 1892, Mrs. Avery became 'the first presi- 
dent of the History Class. This organization is now known as the Woman's Literary 
Club. She was early associated with the work of the Chautauqua Circle and from 
1887 to 1895, she was a member of the Ladies' Library Board. When the General 
Richardson Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, was formed, she was 
one of the charter members and served as vice-regent two years and as regent for the 
years 1902-1903. She has been Registrar of the chapter since 1905. 

The compilation of genealogical records of the Ingersoll family has occupied much 
of Mrs. Avery's time for the last fifteen years. Another work in which she is also much 
interested is the compilation of the records of the old families of Oakland county. 



436 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

Captain Hewitt's death in the battle of Wyoming. He was then 
attached to Captain Spalding's company, in Colonel Butler's regi- 
ment. He was discharged at the expiration of his enlistment. 

His home in Pennsylvania, after the Revolution until 1810, was 
at Tioga Point, on the Chemung River. Then he moved to Can- 
ada, on the site of the present city of Ingersoll. Mr. Graham must 
have been in the enemy's country all during the war of 1812, but 
as soon as peace was declared in 1816, he crossed the border and 
took up his residence at Mt. Clemens. 

His two sons, Benjamin and Alexander, started out during the 
summer to look up a suitable location for a home. Following the 
Clinton River for a mile or two beyond the present site of Roches- 
ter, they concluded that they had found what they were seeking. 
They cut hay in the open meadows along the stream, built a little 
hut and returned for the family. The 17th of March following, the 
father, his sons and a son-in-law, Christopher Hartsough, and John 
Hersey, arrived. They paid their homage to good St. Patrick by 
rolling up the first log house in Rochester for Alexander Graham. 

James Graham stayed for a stort time with his son, and then 
took up a squatter's claim on Section 21. He lived here only a year 
or so, when he removed to the farm now occupied by William Gra- 
ham, who inherited it from his father, Benjamin Graham. 

James Graham married Mary Van der Mark, a native of Hol- 
land, and they had a family of nine children : James, David, John, 
Alexander, William, Benjamin, 3 Chester, Martha and Mary. 

The Oakland County History (1877) tells us that Alexander Gra- 
ham married a Miss Hawkins, and lived on the east side of what 
was afterwards called Main Street, in the house mentioned. Here 
his eldest son, James, named in honor of his grandfather, was born 
early in the year 1818. This was the first white child born in the 
county. The proprietors of the village subsequently gave the lot 
on which the pioneer baby was born to the youngster, who owned 
it till his death, when it passed to the present owner, who, at the 
date mentioned, (1876) was John Barger. 

James Graham is remembered for his unbounded hospitality and 
proverbial kindness. He was not only held in high esteem by his 
white neighbors, but by the Indians as well, who would do any- 
thing the Grahams asked of them. Mrs. Graham died September 
7, 1835; James Graham died September 5, 1837, aged 89. They 

3 Benjamin, b. Mar. 23, 1808, d. Oct. 13, 1864, m. Nov. 18, 1832, Mary Postal, who 
was born Mar. 23, 1808, d. Jan. 20, 1845, in Avon; dau. of George Washington and 
Lydia Fulhara Postal, of Avon. 



REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIERS OF OAKLAND COUNTY 437 

both are buried in the little cemetery belonging to the Graham 
family. 

Alexander Graham was well versed in the Indian tongue, and 
acted as interpreter. Benjamin also understood the language, and 
was a trader. He was called by the Indians "Mauchung," which 
meant chunk-bottle, as all commodities sold to them sugar, flour, 
powder and whiskey, alike lie measured in a chunky glass bottle. 
Many interesting stories of the Graham boys are still told. 

NATHANIEL BALDWIN. 

Only a year after the Grahams came to the county, Nathaniel 
Baldwin settled near by. He taught school in a log schoolhouse 
which stood where the stone blacksmith-shop now stands. He was 
born in Goshen, Conn., July 20, 1761. While still a lad he enlisted 
in the 6th regiment from Connecticut, under Colonel Parsons. This 
regiment was organized at the first call for troops and recruited 
from New London, Hartford and Middlesex counties. He remained 
pn duty at New London until July 17, 1775, when the regiment 
was ordered to the Boston camps, where it remained until dis- 
charged, December 10, 1775. 

After the war, Mr. Baldwin was married to Susanna Sherman, 4 
niece of Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Declaration of 
Independence. 

Mr. Baldwin removed with his family from Connecticut to East 
Blooinfield, N. Y., where they lived many years before coming to 
Michigan. The tract of land they occupied lies about two miles 
south of Rochester, where the Crout farm is now located. His 
daughter, Susan, taught school in the Postal district in a small 
log house built for the purpose in 1821. This was one of the earli- 
est schools in the county. 

Mrs. Baldwin seems to have been a woman of excellent Chris- 
tian character and patience. She died January 2, 1839, aged 74. 
Nathaniel Baldwin lived until August 30, 1840, when he was laid 
to rest in the cemetery at Rochester. Mrs. Milo Newberry, a grand- 
daughter, is the only member of the family now living in Oakland 
County. 



'Their children were : 

I. John, b. July 16, 1784. 

II. Martha Minot b. April 20, 1795 ; d. June 28, 1839 : m. Thomas J. Drake. 
III. Nathaniel Augustus, b. June 27, 1801 ; d. Aug. 22. 1845 ; m. 1st, Margaret 

, m. 2nd, Jane Maxwell, Apr. 2, 1842. She died March 23, 1884, 

IV. Susanna Eliza, b. July 12, 1805 ; d. Jan. 18, 1858, unmarried. 

V. Walter Baldwin, b. Feb. 5, 1809. 

The Baldwin Genealogy gives two other children. Sherman and Zimri. and the 
ancestry of Nathaniel is given as Nathaniel (4), Nathaniel (3), Samuel (2), Nathaniel 
(1) of Milford, Conn. 



438 MICHIGAN HISTORICAL COMMISSION 

GEORGE HORTON. 

Another Revolutionary soldier to settle as neighbor to Nathaniel 
Baldwin and James Graham, was George Horton. He gave his 
military service in Pennsylvania, enlisting in May, 1780, when 19 
years of age, in Captain Sho